Friday, May 30, 2008


I just absolutely love this man so much, I could eat him up.

Thursday, May 29, 2008


The link starts with snakes ......"I blame my brother Will. He struggled with "Herpetology" when we were growing up."

It ends up with a Bible vs Indiana Jones fun quiz. Let me know what you think.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

by Robin

I grew up in a very close Italian family. My sisters and I have enjoyed such a close bond over many decades. We three were able to make a quick get-together to Savannah in January and now, this one in the greater Atlanta area.

All of our lives, we've done the 3 Monkeys pose - See no evil, hear no evil and speak no evil. I'm sure we have pictures of us in elementary school doing this.

I love her smile here. This is my younger sister. It was late but we really got our 2nd wind of chattiness. I think she was laughing at me sing, "Let my people go", mimicking that guy from Am Idol Auditions. (Google it)

I'm so glad that not only do we all get along, but so do our husbands. Many of these pictures were taken at 11pm and we were all giggles by then.

Even the kids were filled with silliness. This is my niece who otherwise can be found doing ballet & tap in her hometown. Mostly, the kids stayed in the basement, having their own fun.

Each person in our family is such a special and integral part of our unity. I am so thankful that God has been very good to us. I hope this carries over into our sons and their families.
Oh and the story wouldn't be complete without mentioning Caruso. My sister has 3 dogs, but Caruso should have his own comic strip. He's such a character. He is our special needs nephew-in-fur. Out of the blue, he will see imaginery flies and snap at them. For example: We'd be at a lull between jokes and Caruso would jump up to get one of his flies and we'd all give him a big cheer and applause. He'd be quite satisfied that he'd gotten his annoying fly and lay back down. He's really quite adorable, as you can see. And... his mother would be in her bed on the other side of the room, ignoring his antics. It all really needs to be a comic strip story, I tell ya.
Family Portrait

(Jack and I are in the pink/green shirts. Our boys are in plaid.)

We had a wonderful vacation in the GA mountains. We sure did fit a lot of stuff into a small holiday weekend.
More pics to come over the week.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

by Robin

Mom and Dad have been married for 45 years!!!! I just love this wedding day photo.
May Jack and I be so fortunate to share 45 wonderful years together.

Saturday, May 24, 2008


Somebody is turning 70 today!!!

I love it that my boys have a Papa to hang out with and celebrate things. We're in Georgia, visiting with all the family. It's like a big family reunion this weekend.

One of our gifts to Papa is a VoiceQuilt. If you ever get a chance to do this for somebody, definitely do! I did a reading and then told some stories of my childhood. Each of my fishermen got to retell stories of former vacations together with Papa.

HappyBirthday Dad!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

by Robin

Well, since the heat has begun, we're seeing snakes regularly. I have my trellis snake which is one size and then I have my teenage snake that lives on the other side of the yard. Occasionally, I see my big boy who is more of a transient.
Friday, we built the chickens their coop and while walking away for the evening, we saw snakes chase each other down the fence. Oh, but then, we had to cover the kids' eyes as it was no longer G-rated. Jack shooed them out of the yard and told them to get a room.

Anyhow, on a good day, we can have about 3-4 sightings. It's probably the same one or two roaming around looking for a meal. I'm sure my neighbors are quite accustomed to my snake screams from time to time. It probably doesn't even slow down their sipping lemonade in the shade. It might even comfort them that they're all in MY yard that particular day.

One day, my kids got it in their heads that they were going to set up a snake trap. They had no idea how it would unfold but they certainly were going to try to have some fun at a snake's expense. (Btw, these are black racers which are non-venemous. Don't play this game at your home with cottonmouths or diamond back rattlers!)

All the props are in place.

I've labeled everything for you. The fake snake is orange in the leaves. Fake lizard is semi-realistic brown on the stone. Then, we have the real black racer entering the scene from the trellis.

Here is the REALLY funny part. I came into the porch not knowing that was a fake lizard at first. I hadn't seen the fake snake because my "Mom radar" is honed in to moving black snake not orange still stuff. I don't walk ANYWHERE in my yard without looking for a racer. I'm puzzled at the fact that a lizard isn't moving at the sight of a snake. I'd never seen that before. Boy, was I glad to later realize that my instincts weren't off.
So, as you can see above, the wise snake looked at the fake lizard. He smelled it with his tongue. And then.....

....there was no strike. He slithered right behind him down those stones and onto the grass.

MORAL of the story: You have to get up pretty early in the morning to fool my trellis snake.

(Disclaimer: No snakes were harmed in the making of this story.)

Monday, May 19, 2008

AWANA Grand Prix
by Robin

We didn't do well in the races on Saturday because our cars were on the light side and didn't even cross the finish line. We'll do much better next year. We were so happy for Daddy to attend this with us so he can help engineer a faster race car.

However, we were so happy to see Simon Peter receive acknowledgement for his car design. We worked on that together but I think what really paid off in the end was that we put Jesus as the name of the driver, under the window. We may have gotten some judge sympathy "awww's".

Here is Andrew with his participation ribbon & his tank on wheels. I thought he had an equally great design, but I may be a bit partial.

If you're interested in getting your children started in AWANA, look here:

"Awana Helps Children and Youth to Know, Love and Serve Christ! A new look and feel is just one aspect of the re-branding of Awana as a ministry.

What is the purpose of Awana? We equip churches and parents worldwide to raise children and youth who know, love and serve Christ ... for the rest of their lives!"

AWANA ceremonies are Wed night. I may have more pics then.

Friday, May 16, 2008


Somebody got their first coop de ville. Jack did an awesome job of making this predator-safe.
Below are the inside nesting rooms. Hinged door for easy access to cleaning or grabbing eggs.

I'm having trouble with getting rid of three of them. I want hens but I'm not any sort of chicken genius. It feels like much of a guessing game to me. Thank goodness I have these silly people to help me out.

Have a great weekend y'all! Tomorrow, my boys participate in the AWANAS Grand Prix & Block party. Should be so much fun.


Thursday, May 15, 2008

Where did the time go?

Two days old.

They are 1 month old already!!
This is one of our 2 White Leghorns.

Left is one of the three Light Brahamas that we adopted from our friends.

These guys were all part of our 4H embryology project.

We have about 1 more week to determine who is a rooster and who is a hen. I'm hoping for 2 Leghorn hens. We shall see.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Ecclesiasties 4:6 (NASB)
"One hand full of rest is better than two fists full of labor and striving after wind. "
I am enjoying reading my book, in the afternoon sun, when I come across this scripture quote. The book is emphasizing the importance of rest vs burn out. I then looked up and saw this scenario unfolding before my eyes. It was just too perfect not to use it in today's blog.

At their current ages, I don't think they'll have too much trouble with picking rest over labor. I can only hope that they grow up and still continue to have fun and rest instead of being so fashionably burned-out.
See pg 105, "The Heart of an Artist" by R. Noland.

Monday, May 12, 2008

by Robin

Here was my original garden.

Inside there, we see green bell pepper plants (sweet) right in the middle.

In the front rows, there is spinach, carrots and onions primarily on the left side. My spinach was doing great until the temps went well into the 80's. So, they stunted growth and went into seeding. Probably not worth eating, but I may keep them around for the seeds for next year. This variety is pretty good tasting.

In the herb section, my cilantro forest now has white flowers on top. Cilantro sits between some basil and sage, which has purple flowers.

This bush is out of control. I've decided to let it go to seed.

I have no idea what color they will be but they're about to bloom now.

Front right of Garden #1 was a row of Iceberg lettuce. I had probably a dozen heads and have eaten a few of them. Plus, I had heads in another garden and they're completely eaten. Anyhow, the head didn't make a perfect round ball like the store variety but it is still pretty firm leaf when watered well. It has a super-slight bitter taste to it but not enough to not enjoy the lettuce.

Garden #2

In the back is a bunch of cherry toms on the left cage and Big boy toms on the right cage. The small bush under the window is sweet basil.
In the front are the sweet peppers. I can't wait to see the green bells turn to their variety of colors. I purposely placed it outside my window so I could enjoy the colors.

Here is the first of many, I'm sure. It is growing upside-down.
This was my last-minute garden I put in sometime around March. I had an unused corner that quite honestly I was scared to go into. It has snakes sometimes but they're non-venemous black racers. Many mornings, a racer sits on the trellis, which is behind my back as I took this picture.

Ok..... far back are the hot peppers. Left is cucumbers. Center are Crooked Neck summer squash. Right are 2 zucchini plants.

Long Slim Red Cayenne pepper. Still a baby. That long spindly thing will turn red in a while. FYI:

I think this is a jalapeno plant. Time & growth will tell me for certain. FYI:

At this time, I have only 2 plants w/ peppers. I'm suppose to have 5 varieties if all end up growing.

I have my first full-sized cucumber. I just about can't stand to not pick it until dinner tonight.

I'm having trouble with bees not coming around to pollinate my vines so I have resorted to helping them out with a q-tip pulling pollen from the boy blooms and putting some on the girl blooms.

I'm still waiting for the zucchinis to put out some girl blooms.

The squash has put out 2 girl blooms and so far, nothing. One has died and I was offshore fishing the day the other blooms, so I have to pray that a bee came by and did its job.

My amaryllis, mums, rose, lantana, azaleas and verbana...(?) all sit in this garden. Small but does the trick to see butterflies. Very attractive addition for very little work.

Here is a mixture type of garden. Dwarf Cannis and mini-roses are also planted here. Again, not complex but a nice addition to the yard.
I hope you enjoyed viewing my gardens.

"If 14% of the world's Christians adopted 1 orphaned child, there would be no more orphans in the world."

There are 2.1 billion Christians around the world. There are 143 million orphans.

Anita's blog has many great links for people who are interested in adopting internationally. I believe her focus is on Ghana, Ethiopia, Vietnam and Cambodia.

Could you be the one to adopt an orphan?

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day!!!

I wrote this back on '04 for my Mom, but wanted to share it with y'all today.

I remember....

I remember a Mother who stayed home with her children.
I remember a Mother who arranged holidays with lots of family.
I remember a Mother who took catnaps after dinner.
I remember a Mother who was game for camping at Bite-a-Bit.

I remember a woman who loved her parents very much.
I remember a woman who cooked and cleaned a lot of dishes.
I remember a woman who took me to piano and horseback riding lessons.
I remember a woman who took lots of pictures of her girls.

I remember a Mom who healed me of chicken pox.
I remember a Mom who let me crank the homemade pasta out.
I remember a Mom who cried when I ran away on horseback.
I remember a Mom who watched scary movies with me.
I remember a Mom who knew I’d love a diamond and sapphire ring.

I remember how you let me hold my baby sister.
I remember how you tucked us in with a kiss at night.
I remember how you let me pick out yellow walls for my room.
I remember watching you drive away my 1st day at pre-K.
I remember crying bye to you on my 1st day at college and coming home 3 days later.

Everyday, I want you to remember how much I love you.

Not only is she a wonderful mom, but she is also a best friend. Thank you for giving me life so I could turn around and be a mom to 2 handsome fishermen.

We love you Nana.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

by Robin
My chicks do everything together. Eating is a group event. This picture is a little bit older but it gets my point across.

And I caught this picture a little while ago, they were napping together. We moved out of the little box and put them into a wire dog kennel. I gave them a little loft. My leghorns can fly up there now. I'm training them to roost with that 1 x 4 wood at the bottom of the picture. Don't be fooled, they're not Angel Hair pasta.

My 1st cucumber is now 4"-ish. Boy, they sure do take off on you once they are pollinated.

No. 2 is right behind the other. Looks like some type of spikey hot pepper at this point.

Here, I don't have 2 pool pictures but have to shown it because I was given the news today that I have to drain and refill it again. I just did it last week!! I can't do that twice. My stabilizer #'s are too high. I couldn't drain it to the very bottom but I thought 2/3rds would do the trick. Can you hear my heart breaking? We're in the middle of a drought with 92 deg heat by the weekend. I DON'T want to empty my pool AGAIN. I feel like chlorinating it heavy and at least jumping in and vacuuming it out.

Here are my two fishermen. All grown up and look like they're going to school. Close.... We meet each year with a community of homeschoolers & certified teachers to take the IOWA Basic Skills test.
They're on day 2 of their testing. One more day to go. They were a bit nervous the first day, waking up at 6:40 without an alarm clock. This is just unheard of in homeschool-land. Today, nerves were replaced with excitement. They had buddies & knew their teachers.
I always look forward to seeing their scores in approx 6 wks and seeing how smart they are.
Tomorrow, we have friends coming over after testing to visit with the chicks. Should be a fun day.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Ephesians 4:3

Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.

They really are best friends. I love that.