Sunday, August 31, 2008

Simon Peter asked last night, "Why did they call it Labor Day? Shouldn't it be called No Labor Day?"

Hmmmmmm.......... out of the mouths of babes.

Friday, August 29, 2008

by Robin

I have this totally funny story to share with you. In our county, we have a lot of Gentlemen's Club establishments. I'm not fond of these places but I've decided to pray for them as I pass by them. Well, the other day, Andrew overheard me praying for one. He asked why and I gave him a simplified reason of how it was sinful for women to dance nude and they get paid for it, etc. That whole conversation stuck in his mind. So today, we had business on the island and passed by another establishment called Wiggles. (I would love to keep it anonymous but it pertains to the story.) Andrew asked me if I was going to pray for it. Simon Peter was totally in the dark about what was going on. In a matter of seconds, Andrew brought him up to speed, even pointing out the lack of windows & dancing girl silhouettes on the sign.

You would have thought a bomb dropped because Simon Peter was entirely speechless. Come to find out, he'd seen the sign many times and thought it was a place to buy wigs. He thought the ladies on the sign were holding their heads to try on new wigs and didn't give much thought to their legs being shoulder-width apart & in heels. It never once occurred to him it was a dancing position.

Ahhhhh, the beauty of an innocent mind. I'm just so sorry that they have to grow up and understand that we live in a very fallen world, filled with sin & corruption. I was reading 1 Peter 1: 3,4 earlier today and it addresses the difference between heaven and earth. Oh what a blessed day it will be once we're in heaven.

1 Peter 1:3, 4
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
who according to His abundant mercy
has begotten us again to a living hope
through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled
and that does not fade away,
reserved in heaven for you,
who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation
ready to be revealed in the last time.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

This is the real reason why we got chihuahuas. They're really good divers and they work for sardines.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

6 THINGS YOU didn't know about ME
by Robin

1. I have a linear scar across my left eye thanks to a recent abrasion. Please pray my eye accepts contacts again.

2. I have 400 lbs of cow manure and 100 lbs of peat moss & dirt in the back of my SUV. Please pray for my back when I unload it tomorrow early morning before it ripens in the sun.

3. I have eaten ice cream twice this week in a Carvel cake and twice given myself self-induced fibromyalgia attacks. Please pray I quit having cravings for food I'm not suppose to eat. I'm suppose to be vegan, plus fish for health reasons. I need accountability because, obviously, pain isn't working.

4. I graduated from a 9 wk refresher course of American Sign Language tonight. I love signing but so far, Simon Peter is the only one that understand me 50% of the time.

5. I'm going to challenge myself by co-starting up a children's choir (& some sign lang too) on Sunday nights at our church. I really enjoyed the musical this summer and hope this will be fun too. Please pray for my ministry.

6. I ate a third of a box of Good-n-Plenties tonight on the way home from shopping. I'm not much of a candy person, but this was treat.
How to Scare a Homeschooler
by Robin

Take them to the local elementary public school (for voting) and when you walk in the door, ask the lady where to sign the kids up for school. They turned pale as ghosts.

Sadly, by 11:45, I was only voter #76 in my district. Yes folks, every vote counts when only 76 of you show up to vote. I hope there is a better turn-out in the afternoon.

Various other updates:
*Will be starting my fall gardening soon.
*We've dried out since TS Fay gave my yard over 10" of rain.
*I'm so behind in food blogging but will update soon.
*Puppies are great!! Tiki is 2.4 lbs and Captain is 3.1 lbs. Both screamed for their shots on Saturday.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

by Robin

We left off yesterday with a post about Simon Peter. Now, let's talk a bit about Andrew. (By the way, these pictures were taken Saturday, on the Indian river banks, in front of the VAB building- Kennedy Space Center. It's there, trust me.)

Tomorrow, Andrew turns 9 yrs old and I'm having such a tough time with this because I feel like I'm no longer able to call him my baby without somebody wanting to put me in an institution for crazy talk. He's my baby. Always will be. I'll just have to remember not say that to his face when he's got a bunch of buddies around.

So, yesterday, Simon Peter was achieving some success on the skim board while Andrew was sizing it all up. In many ways, he's the bold one, but not yeseterday. Weeks ago, he took on singing a solo for the whole church of 220 people twice in one day. But, I can see the hesitation in his eyes as his mind works out the order of business.

He tried it many times only to throw the board down, hop on or over it and then end up on the opposite side. It's a lot for a brain to process in coordination. Plus, he just got a new board which is heavier to throw.

He contemplated some more when he used the board for shade rather than skimming. Jack did his best to give instructions but I had a lightbulb moment while taking photographs. I've seen this face before. He needs bullet points. Numbered steps. Simplify. He doesn't want to fumble his way through it. He wants perfection & coordination of a 12 yr old, on the first run.

So, Step 1, throw board forward. The shallower, the better until you can build up speed. If it moves sideways, abort jump. It is skims forward, run and jump.

That's right!! You can do it. He's always had the passion to do it. This is one passionate kid. He doesn't like to do things half-heartedly. He puts his whole heart into whatever he does. Wait, maybe yardwork he doesn't....... but that's because it isn't his thing at all. He's just being obedient because I asked for help. And for both those reasons, I love him more than I already loved him the moment he was born.

I really can't wait to see what amazing things God will work in both their lives. I'm honored to be their mama and it such a priviledge to watch them develop & grow into fine young men.

by Robin

My big boy turned 12 yrs old this month and with it came many milestones. He's no longer my baby or my little helper. He's a tweenager. Not quite a man or a teenager, but no longer stuck in childhood. As if this needed to be said (HA!) he's turning into quite the handsome tweenager.

Muscles are replacing baby fat. The voice is lowering a little. He's graduated out of children's church into the youth group.

While he's not a huge risk-taker at-heart, he is willing to try more adventurous stuff. He's up for a challenge, like skim-boarding and reeling in bigger mahi.

While the water is fairly shallow for this sport, he has that classic surfer look of a guy riding the Pipe on North Shore. Look at him throw those arms out for balance. He's in deep concentration.

When I look at these photos, I realize he's becoming a man before my very eyes. He doesn't remember those days of being in a stroller or being held in mommy's arms. He's gone from Duplos into a Lego League & robotics. He talks programming & engineering stuff that's way over my head. And yet, he still loves to hang out with his parents & brother. He's got a big heart, sensitive streak, dark Florida tan & blue eyes. Yep, he's going to steal some young girl's heart in another decade, if not before then. I just hope he remembers how much I love him.

Tomorrow, I'll have to write about Andrew.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

by Robin

We were in the midst of Fay. I was bored. I had sleeping puppies on my lap. Camera next to my end of the couch.
Who could resist a picture or two or three or ten?
It's so rare that they stay still for a closeup.
And to get a toe shot........ priceless. Chihuahuas hate to be on their backs. Wanna see a chihuahua in a bad mood? Put them on their back.
I could kiss this wet nose all day long. I love the little mole.
Oh and this fat belly. It's irresistable & must be rubbed.
Or the precious bunny rabbit position where the feet are up by the front feet? See that right ear wanting to go up. It's trying.
Because they were so exhausted, I decided to mold & shape them the way I wanted to photograph them. My goal here was to show you the difference in length of the arms (height), but what my eye sees is LOVE. Puppy love. Adorable snuggling.
Hope they don't hate me when they grow up and I show this to their girlfriends.
I mean........c'mon...... this is adorable stuff, right?

Oh yeah, and my original thought was to show you the difference in arm length. Captain is so much taller & leaner than Tiki. Tiki is "the baby."

Sunday, August 17, 2008


(Carrots, onions, basil & parsley pictured)

brought to you by Robin & Tiki

I pulled all my onions inspite of not being 100% of certain of my decision. As you can see, they're under 2". I could have taken a chance that they'd continue growing over fall and then pull them. However, I wanted the space for new items. These onions had been in the ground since Feb, I think (should check dates). I started seedlings in peat pots and I felt that the peat pots were stunting growth. Next year, I will not do that. They do love lots of compost & manure and I had done that, but maybe not enough. Next year!! Next year!! This is a learning process for me. It has been my first full year of gardening in Central Florida.

I picked a dozen or so carrots from the garden and somebody ran right over to make a nest of the tops. My 3 girls thoroughly enjoyed my entire afternoon in the garden, digging up bug for their eating pleasure.

This is the variety that I harvested last week. Not big, but then again, we just had a dry month. I figure I should get a big harvest in Sept after the hurricanes drop buckets of rain on us.

I have no idea what this is. I'm suppose to have 5 varieties of peppers but this is one not mentioned on the packet. Must research to determine type. I love the multi-colors on the bush. They're rather large. I have only 1 of these.

Hungarian Wax (or maybe Anaheim). Either way, they're very much like a banana pepper. Mild & delicious. Wish I had more of these plants!

Orange Serrano Chili - hotter than a jalapeno, but cooler than a cayenne.
I love the orange variation that I accidentally got in my package. There is some curling of the leaves, probably a deficiency in the soil.

Slim Red Cayenne peppers, picked & drying to make crushed hot pepper for seasoning dishes. Seeds are very hot!! The skins are good for "crispies" which can be fried in oil & put on eggs for breakfast or whatever you want. My parents have a friend that loves his crispies.

Red jalapenos (they were green but tend to go red if they sit on the bush or if it is fall) They have some cracking on them due to heat stress.


AVACADO TREE - new addition (1 ft.) Gifted to me by Betty who also gifted me with my chihuahua puppies

MANGO TREE - new addition (18")

These have strong roots, so don't plant them right by the house.

Even with rain, everything look awful from the destruction of Florida heat (91 deg daily) & sun. However, God has a cure for this.

NEW GROWTH on Bell peppers (Spring plants). I've been pondering the reason why my wilting plants are beginning new growth at the bottom of the stalk rather than from the tops. My only guess is that the plant knows hurricane season is around the corner. So, God has growth show up at the bottom for the new season and the old growth can be broken away between heavy rains & high winds. Amazing how God's providence is unique even for coastal plants.

More growth on my 1yo Bell pepper plant in the main garden. I have nearly pulled this plant twice. I'm glad I didn't now.

Mess of tangled tomato vines. My big toms died but the cherries lived. It was a chore to separate the 2 and then rehang the growth to redistribute the weight again.

Here is the picture of the cleaned-up cherry tomato plants (1 yr old). I gave a 4H friend some seeds years ago and her original bushes are still alive, being about 4-5 yrs old.

Baby Cherry tomato (left) growing in the wrong side of the garden. This one was transplanted after my pruning of the established plants. I have 2 of these babies. One in the carrot section and one in the hot pepper garden across the entire yard. I'm guess either chickens or my feet transferred the seed.


Thankfully for me, herbs don't mind the heat. My small plants are a year old and growing like weeds. They're approx 2-3ft cubed each plant. Cilantro died out but the seeds should be growing soon with the rain from TS Fay.


CLOSE UP on seeds (right side of plant)

After harvested, in a big bowl, I shook & pulled seeds off those pods and kept the seeds to make into babies.

This basil plant is a year old & was transplanted to the back spot in the spring. I really thought it had died but inspite of sandy soil, lack of spring rain & lack of love from me, it took off again. I just love the smell in the corner of the garden. It was a pleasure to work around the herbs.

Left is a dried series of sweet basil seeds. These were pulled on one quick slide of the hand and put in a baggie.
by Robin

What do you see and think when you look at the above picture? Young learner? Slow learner? Learner with disabilities? Nope. It is none of those.

This is the work of a homeschooler. He just turned 12yo, in 7th grade, tested appropriately for that age/grade and when given lined paper to take notes for ice core drilling research, this is what happened. Does he know how to write correctly on lined paper? Yep. He has pretty much always done it right since he started school. I think what I see when I look at this work is a strong development of creativity working in his brain. He is familiar with drawing picture horizontally. The schematic on the page before this lined sheet was printed horizontally. Amazingly, he did not feel the restraints of lines to hold back his deep creativity working in his brain. He was deeply engrossed with research, turned the page to take notes and kept writing until he was called for dinner. Infact, it hadn't phased him until this point that maybe he wasn't taking notes as the paper was designed. I'm still not sure it bothers him. He plans on transferring all his notes to a Word document before presenting them; so for him, this isn't a problem of how the paper is used.

Is it efficient? Maybe not in our minds. Is it efficient for him? Maybe so. Who can say for sure? God created him to be unique and unique he is. He is loving his role in the FIRST Lego League and his logo design was picked for their t-shirts. He is loving every hour he spends building, researching and programming. I think we have found his niche. I love that he thinks outside the box. This is the beauty of homeschooling. The passions of their heart are searched for and discovered in new ways. It is independant thinking at its best. It reminds me much of the spirit of our forefathers. There is no malice in intent of being different (than England) but they were strongly driven, passionate, free-thinkers in pursuit of dreams.

Thank you God for our freedom to homeschool in this great country.

Friday, August 15, 2008

by Robin

They hated those harnasses but learned to live with it by making small whines each step. Aye-yi-yi!! Chihuahuas are very vocal in communication.

Above is Tiki and below is Capt'n. He was a quick learner and love the walk. My little runt above, on the other hand......... "Momma, please hold me." They're really opposite in personality.

Then, we had some crazy lady down the street who thought it would be fun to let her rottie & catahoula dogs out the front door. I did the Mama panic routine, throwing caution to the wind, grabbing a rottie's collar while the catahoula gave poor Samantha a sniff-down without proper hellos & a dinner. I told her afterwards to bit the next boy that does that to her. The young fishermen grabbed the babies while I proceeded kindly tell the woman to get her dogs and don't give me that story about how they won't bite. They were growling, running with hackles up!

"Look at them!!" I exclaimed! "They're just ounces big!" (Ok, maybe a pound was more accurate but who's counting when your blood pressure is up.)

Normally, I'm a pretty nice & happy person; but..... don't get the Mama in me in Protection Mode. It ain't purdy.

And the nerve.......... she never once said sorry. Like I said........ crazy woman.

(Steph, the allergy pills seem to be helping Sam some, but oatmeal did not.)