Friday, November 30, 2007


singing Christmas carols over and over. He was such a great sport about it. Also, so were the Dancing with the Stars folks.

Helio & Julianne were featured. Derek (Jenny Garth's partner) & Julianne danced some. Edyta, Joey Fatone and his dance partner also were there. Oh, Oh!! And how could I forget, Cheetah Gal Sabrina & her partner Mark were also there.
Lunch then.....

..... singing "Hark the Herald" with the Harlem Gospel Choir. She was not as good of a sport. And.....

this lovely lady sang with her group of Princesses all around her. You could hear her through the entire park.

We did get to ride 7 different rides before it got dark at 6pm. Fireworks were also magical - the best I've ever seen. Then, we saw this leaving this park....

Disney really knows how to make a Magical Day......

Thanks Mickey & Minnie,

Robin (Edited to add that you can see this Disney Special aired Christmas morning on ABC. Maybe we'll be in it.)

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


One thing I've notice about my fishermen is that they have a wonderful love for the sea. They will stroll a beach in a heartbeat. They find dead mullet on the beach interesting. And, they are captivated by beautiful sunsets. Have sand & water, ........ will travel.

Simon Peter is braving not just wind, but bitterly cold wind without a jacket for a chance to run the shoreline.

Andrew is awaiting the pop of the proverbial gun before taking off in a sprint from the camera to The Point.

Saturday, November 24, 2007


Here I am, making the broth part of the Bouillabaisse.

Kiss the cook, right? Only, try not to get your nose in her eye. Jack was right with me, in the kitchen, the entire morning. He does all my seafood cooking. The clams, crab & shrimp were perfect.

Here are the cousins. They had a great time creating this silly pose for my sister.

This picture is more serious. Aren't they cute kids? And are they talented!!!!
More pics later. I'm tired & church comes early tomorrow.

Friday, November 23, 2007


Nothing better to try a new camera out on than Blue Crab.

First downsized version:

Full 7.2MP size at 2.5 MB

I don't see a difference. Do you? The larger one is slightly lighter in brightness but not enough to matter. Right?

Partially, I'm testing out my new camera and partially I'm showing you all that we had a wonderful Thanksgiving with my sister & her family today. We made the Lady's Bouillabaisse- modified & guaranteed to dirty every dish in your kitchen!

Dessert was Pumpkin Slump, I think. I need to get the recipe & name correct & post it here. My neighbor brought it over and it was FANTASTIC! Here is a picture of my sister giving the kids squirts of whipped cream in the mouth.

I have a picture of my nieces but I forgot to downsize it. I'll post it up later.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


Wives submit yourself unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.

by Robin

This is such a popular verse in the Bible, ........

If you're a woman, you'd love to hate it if it wasn't the word of God. If you're a man, you love it. It is even more special if you're a wife-beater with a mullet, crushing beer cans on your forehead and flying a rebel flag..... but let's not go there this morning. Anyhow, there are many ways women can submit to their husbands without actually becoming their slaves. The verse is not intended to make woman a slave to her husband and I firmly stress that at our home.

Last night, I had the tv remote FIRST. Dancing with the Stars had just come on and Jack walked in from the computer room late. I had it. I had it first.. na na na na booo booo. Ooo, wait, that's not very submissive. I was on one couch and he the other. In a customary manner, I got up on the commercials to finish up the big pans in the kitchen and tidy it up. Jack asked for the remote. The coveted remote that I so rarely get my hands on.

Now, I don't really need the remote from the kitchen. I really shouldn't stay with the remote on the couch during the commercials because the dishes won't do themselves. Hmmm... ok..... I'll be a submissive wife and give him the remote. Very lazily, I might add, with elbow propped up on the couch he has an outreached hand, much like a baby bird waiting for the worm. I saw it but the rebel in me was screaming, "Don't do it girl." It was like good angel, bad devil sitting on my shoulders telling me how lazy & demanding his hand looked. How do I fulfill Eph 5:22 and still be a rebel at heart?

Well, the middle child in me won out. I put the remote on the table in front of him. Not the birdy hand, but close enough. With little eyes watching us, they could see the birdy hand make open & shut movements, wanting its remote. I saw it, but now I had to address if I was going to be openly rebellious or submissive.

I stood a second and look at the bird and then the remote. I glanced around at my dear children's eyes afixed to the remote, the birdy and their mama. There was only thing that a good, submissive middle-child mama could do. I walked around to the back of the couch and pushed the birdy, I mean hand, closer to the remote.

We all burst out laughing for a few minutes. I had won. He got his own remote, everyone was laughing and I kept my dignity at the same time.

I'm so thankful that Jack loves me for me. He accepts my rebellious spirit and middle-child personality. He knows I would wait on him hand & foot if he were really helpless, but......... he wasn't.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

by Robin

We heard this wonderful sermon this morning at our church on Stinkin' Thinkin'. It is based out of the book of Philippians, Chapter 4, written by Paul. Have you ever met a person with the attitude of I stink, you stink and life stinks? Well, they are wrong. You don't stink because you are wonderfully and fearfully made (Psa 139:14) . Others don't stink because we are made in the image of God (Gen 1:27) Life does not stink because we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us (Phil 4:13).

However, what we need to do is learn to be content in whatever state we are in (Phil 4:11-12). No, not Florida versus Wyoming, although it is better in Florida hands down. The state like 'State of the Union.' I never get tired of hearing Paul's testimony that he sang in jail or that he was fearless in the face of death in 2 Timothy.

I think that this teaching is very applicable as we begin the holiday season and we become overwhelmed by stresses. Instead of having stinkin' thinking, try to be content with your situation, be still while taking time for God and give thanks to God Almighty for all your blessings. Here are some adaptations from a letter that was published in the local County Baptist Newsletter. I couldn't remember all of them but you'll get the idea.....

*I'm thankful for crowded grocery stores because it means I have plenty of food to choose from whenever I get hungry.

*I'm thankful for rising gas prices because that means I have a car to drive.

*I'm thankful for that early alarm clock bell because that means I made it through the night.

*I'm thankful for things breaking down in our house because it means I have a home to live in.

*I'm thankful for those health problems because it means I'm still alive.

*I'm thankful for dirty dishes because it means I had food to eat today.

*I'm thankful for lots of laundry because it means I have clothes to wear.

*I'm thankful for taxes because it means I have a job.

*I'm thankful for fingerprints on the walls and toys over the entire floor because it means I have children in my home.

*I'm thankful for the ACLU fighting to stop prayer in school & witnessing in the workplace because it means God is still working on hearts.

*I'm thankful for athiests because they give wonderful testimonies once they make Jesus Lord of their lives.

What are you thankful for? Are you having one of those stinkin' moments? Don't.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

(terrible photo - that shadow behind Jack makes his head look so big!)
Jack and Simon Peter had the best time the other day at Universal Studios. They did like the Jimmy Neutron & Spiderman rides the best in that park. From there, they hopped over the Island of Adventure and rode the Hulk 5x, Mummy and couple others. They both agreed that Islands is the better park.
Fortunately for them, the parks were near empty. It was them and the International folks. Many rides they would get off and run right back to the front of the line for another turn. When they called at 3:30 and said they were done, I was caught off-guard. I thought something was wrong, but there wasn't. They had had their fill of rides in only 6 hrs. It was time to come home for some family time.

Andrew and I had only been home about 5 minutes when the arrived, so I had plenty of help to unload all the groceries & holiday stuff. It was my big day to knock as many gifts off my list as possible and I succeeded. It sure was fun and most of all, it will make December so much more enjoyable without the stress of that deadline. I will enjoy Jesus' birthday so much more now. I am hoping to knock out my cards right after Thanksgiving. Yeah.

Since we have family coming to town for the holiday, we decided to put up our tree early. Andrew was a big influence on me getting all those boxes out and to keep going. He would love it if we had lights all 12 months of the year.

We have gotten some new ornaments, which didn't show up here. I will have to get close-ups tomorrow. You can get a feel for the Christmas warmth with this low light picture. I wish my camera did better in low light because it feels so festive in the LR now. It doesn't translate that well across the blog.
This is our first Christmas in our new home. I can't wait to wrap & put more gifts under the tree tomorrow.

Thursday, November 15, 2007


My boys have never been much for climbing as toddlers but it is something they find a challenge now as young men. Last night, they were inspired by a show called Ninja Warriors on the G4 channel. (If you watch this show, mute the commercials or change channels.) This Ninja course lies in Japan and they had 100 contestants the other night. Out of those 100, only 2 Japanese men passed onto the second level. There were 3 Americans out of the 100 competitors and all three fell into the water on the Jumping Spider obstacle.

So, at 10:30pm, the boys were climbing the walls, literally. This morning, I went ahead and videoed, quickly, them doing it.

Enjoy. They are only several seconds each. First is Simon Peter.

Second is Andrew, who does a dismount & hilarious bow at the end.

I'm not sure how God will use this talent in the future; but for now, my boys think they strong as Ninja warriors. If only that could transfer that energy into doing dishes and laundry......

If you think of it, please pray for Simon Peter and Jack as they head off to Universal Studios for a Father/Son day riding roller coasters. Andrew and I are going to do lots of shopping.


Tuesday, November 13, 2007


We are fortunate that this doesn't happen much amongst our boys but we had an incident today. I always feel like I am inadequate as a parent because my boys still fall victims to jealousy and I have somehow missed the boat in teaching on this topic. The truth is this topic is nothing new to God. It is nothing new in the arsonal of spiritual attacks. Families have had jealousy since the first family of Adam and Eve. Think Cain and Abel in Genesis. They had jealousy so fierce that Cain killed his brother. Some other famous Bible brothers were Jacob and Esau. Jacob stole Esau's inheritance blessing. Esau was filled with so much rage that Jacob left town for dozens of years. How can I prevent such jealousy in my boys? In my own strength, I can't. It is a temptation that they must learn to fight on their own, if I give them the right spiritual tools (i.e. Bible & prayer).

You see, yesterday, we were given 2 tickets to the Universal Studio themeparks. Not 4, only 2. Jack had planned on making a roller coaster *event* for him and Simon Peter. A father & son bonding day. None of us even thought Andrew would be jealous, but he was. He didn't even like roller coasters. Why wasn't he happy for his brother? We worked out some alternative scenarios but the fact was that we had a heart issue. I could give in, buy more tickets and let Andrew gets his way or I could try to reason with him outside on the back deck. (Jack was at work.) In the end, the best thing was to go inside and finish making lunch after I had said my peace. Andrew stayed behind and from the window I watched & prayed for my little boy.

I saw him move around and then, sit like a statue. Then, he came in the house with some reservation. His eyes met mine and he said, "I'm sorry." I quickly let him know that I had forgiven him and knew he would make the right decision.

The only problem now was that he hadn't forgiven himself. So many times, we ask Jesus to forgive us and we cast our sins upon His shoulders. But then, we take them back into our lives and keep beating ourselves up over them. I don't know why we do this but sure enough, it happens to young and old alike. Andrew is the type of personality that he has such a hard time leaving his sins with Jesus and feeling forgiven. He is good at self-hatred which is something I had to deal with all my life. It's about feeling worthy. As a child of the King of kings, I have to often remind myself that I am worthy of forgiveness and happiness. I had Andrew pray about it and he kept his head in a pillow until the smell of fresh pizza filled the air. Like Scooby Doo to a Scooby snack, the world was right again.

I believe he had finally come to the point of letting go of his jealousy and letting go of his own sin. It is good to see a smile back on his face and a restored relationship with his brother as he eats his pizza.


Saturday, November 10, 2007


As I was enjoying my morning coffee, I could feel & hear engines roaring over the house. I went outside for about 10 min and saw planes in formation, experimental aircraft and the normal ones too. What was going on? (see the 2 dots close to the tree line? ... in the center) I googled the local airport and found out they were having a Veteran's Day Open House at our local Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum.

Even with the boys not feeling well, I promised them free toys from the gift shop if they went to the museum with me. Today was "free" day for county residents and veterans. It would be a shame to miss it since we're so close and this is something my youngest wanted to do earlier in the year and we opted out.
Our highlight of the day was to meet Scott MacLeod, astronaut and fighter pilot. Andrew sat in his plane and posed for a quick picture. It was such an honor that I admit I was star struck and couldn't say a thing other than thank-you and what a pleasure it was.

I think this is something we're going to have to frame and put in the boys' room. Andrew really was in his element amongst the airplanes & memorabilia. I wouldn't be surprised if he ended up being a pilot, like his daddy.
Here is Simon Peter with Dr. Scott MacLeod. He was so kind to take his time explaining all the buttons and switches to the kids. He must have a teacher's spirit.

Here is a fun picture of the boys reenacting some wartime play. This afternoon, their heads are filled with new visions for all their toy planes. The toys are out of the closet and I can lay down and rest. I may even take some Nyquil.
Thank you to all the people who serve around the world in the name of FREEDOM. I appreciate your service.


Wednesday, November 7, 2007


I think he did a fine job this morning. It's making my mouth water. It's still warm. The boy is cute AND he can cook.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

4H Day

Today, we schooled extra fast so we could go guilt-free to the 4H club meeting. After the business mtg, the boys did a search & rescue attempt. Half the class, including Andrew, suddenly became lost in the woods behind the Ag Building. Several minutes later, the other half of the club, including Simon Peter were told to come find them. I thought it was ingenious way to segue from first-aid the past 3 meetings to geocaching.

Jack is sick......I'm not sick, I'm not sick (sniffle), I'm not sick...(ah-choo)....I'm not sick. Please pass the Lysol and Chlorox Clean-up. Really, I'm not going to be sick.

Just in case you paused here to ask me about Critical Thinking & Reading Comprehension, well then I wanted to recommend "Reading Detective A1". I LOVE it!! Best of all, it is self-teaching for the boys and it even keeps their scores! I only have to print off their scores at the end of the quarter. I would love to invest in more of these at a later date.

I finally go to sit down on the couch tonight only to find a mess o'chips cluttered everywhere! Grrrrr. I say, "Thank you Andrew for chips in my seat." To which he proceeded to tell me, "You're welcome," gave a kiss and left the room. Sometimes I love him & his sense of humor too much to discipline him. I can't wait until he has his own children. ha ha


Sunday, November 4, 2007


Here is my "fountainhead" Scripture: Philippians 1:6
Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

It was a good day to be in the house of God today. We woke up to 61 deg weather, the sun fully shining and we headed off to church, chipper to learn something new this morning.

The children of the church all sat in the first three pews and listened to the music. I was in the row behind them. During the greeting part, the boys' teacher came to me and praised our boys. While I did make a couple threats for good behavior prior to church, it was true, they were good boys. I'm very proud of my sons and love them very much. Anybody who knows me for very long knows my love for my children. They are my Achilles Heel. So, at this point, I'm a bit puffed up as I sit back into the pew for a sermon. "Yep", I told myself, "I had done a good job of parenting."

Was I in for a reality check!!!! Have you ever heard that story of Muhammed Ali where he's on a flight and the stewardess asks him to put on a seatbelt? Boastingly, he says to her, "Lady, I'm Superman, I don't need no seatbelt." Being quick-witted, the stewardess replies to him, "Superman, you don't need no airplane. Now, buckle-up." What she gave him was a reality check!! And for the next 45 min, God proceeded to give me a reality check.

In most areas of my life, I am humble, except when it comes to taking credit for having good children. It's true, I sacrificed my education and career to stay home. It's true, I gave up mornings with the Today show and afternoons with Oprah to homeschool. It's true, I was considered for sainthood for teaching 1-6th graders for a couple years, by myself, walking uphill both ways, in 6 ft snow drifts. LOL

But then I looked in my Bible and saw words like "made himself nothing, taking on the nature of a servant" (Phi 2:7). "But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ." (3:7) Paul was essentially a PhD of his time with of pure lineage, yet he gave perspective that it meant nothing. It was dung compared to winning Christ in his life. "Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead" (3:13) - I had to give up the notion that my education was what qualified me to be a homeschool mom. Truth is, it is ALL CHRIST. (3:21) He changed my lowly body into a glorious one for His glory.

If the boys were stand-outs in their class, it wasn't because of me and my degree. It wasn't because they completed the Miss Manner's Course for Children that *I* taught them. It wasn't even because I had disciplined myself to talk in a happy voice for the past 24 hrs. It was because Christ changed ME & JACK and Christ was now our family's focus. We give thanks for meals, Bible is a subject in our home and prayer is a daily requirements like brushing teeth. God began a good work in me and now He was going to carry it on in my children.

It has been said that pride is the only disease that makes everyone else sick but the one that has it. I never want to get in the way of God's work of raising fishermen. Next time somebody compliments my children, I shall sit in the pew and thank God for doing a great job. Even Muhammed Ali got his reality check.........eventually.

Thursday, November 1, 2007


Trunk or Treat - two of 25 trunks

In the gymnasium.

On the hayride
Eating candy.