Thursday, October 30, 2008


by Robin

What is it about cooler weather that makes me wanna COOK!!!!???

I pulled out the smoker on Monday. While we were waiting for the flames to die off so we could begin smoking meat, I treat the boys to sugar prior to dinner. Please, please, please, don't tell anyone. (LOL) My kids love me so!

My eldest eating his first marshmallow.

My sugarholic......... prepping for Halloween candy rush.

Even the pups were curious but smart enough to not touch the big blue hot thingy.
What did I make? Smoked chicken strips smothered (sounds so much better than covered) with Bourbon glaze from one of those ladies parties, Tastefully Simple. Normally, I detest those parties but this was one of those unique times I not only enjoyed eating with strangers but bought stuff.

I'm not sure what possessed me to make Feta-laced burgers for Jack and the boys. I have no idea if they're good but Jack took them to work today. They smell incredible.
Over the weekend, I made a huge pot of chili. That was great since it covered many meals and I could enjoy time out of the kitchen.
Hope everybody has a safe & tasty Halloween on Friday. We'll be doing Trunk or Treat with our church, like we did last year.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


by Mommy

Tiki is getting neutered today. This post is for him. These pics were all before the vet/behaviorist told me to stop putting him on the furniture. *We*...... meaning he....... has dominance issues.

Reading sure makes me sleepy too!!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


by Robin

It's very cold outside today - a whopping 61 degrees!! I awoke at dawn to 49 deg temps. Earlier this month, we were still at 91 degrees. What a difference 21 days makes.

We've had a little over an inch of rain this week which was nice for me. Florida is entering into the dry season so I will have to water my tenderlings more frequently as the season continues.

There is little to report other than to show you some basic garden pictures. Please excuse my weeds. We've been concentrating more on school and less on the yard. Maybe I'll get out there in a few more days to pull strange green stuff. LOL

Above is Garden #1, my main garden (8x16'). There are plenty of blank spots. Just out of the picture, to the right, are my big tomatoes which will end up covering that entire hay area by spring. I do have a couple remaining cherry tomatoes growing in the wrong spots but I'm leaving them for now. Last time I transfered tender babies, they died. I have too much okra there but I'm waiting to see who is the strongest before pulling.

Garden #2 is really 2 gardens. The wall has my onions this fall. The 'grave' as Jack likes to call it, continues to have my 5 remaining adult sweet bell peppers. It is hard, very hard, to see my handful of new babies that will be popping up over the fall. It will take them time to grow due to less light and cooler temps but they'll be putting out fruit by Feb/March.

Above is Garden #3 which is close to 6x16'. I have soooo many hot peppers and I have no idea what to do with all that heat. I can't give away enough of them. I put some jalapenos in my chili last week. The cukes & beans are only 2 wks old and coming along nicely as they work their way up the fences.
If you want to know specific varities, I can try to look them up with empty packets in the shed/barn.
My grapefruit in the vacant lot next to me are almost ready to eat. They're turning yellow this month. I've been eye-balling those bananas too. I'm not sure when is the best time to pick them.

Monday, October 27, 2008


by Robin

I don't make these things up..... minutes ago......

Andrew: I hate Tiki. (our 4 lb vampire chihuahua)

Me: No you don't.

Andrew: Ok....... I don't hate him. (thinking time interjected here) I wouldn't bury his body in the grass and run over his head with a lawn mower either.

Me: (shocked) Where did you get that from?!? No more TV for you!

Andrew: Oh no Momma. I didn't get that from tv. I got it from Daddy.

Thanks Jack..........

Sunday, October 26, 2008


Gk. ZAO - verb, prounounced /Dzah'-o/
English useage: Alive or Quick

-to live, breathe, be among the living (not lifeless, not dead)

-to enjoy real life

-to have true life and worthy of the name

-active, blessed, endless in the kingdom of God
to live (i.e. pass life, in the manner of the living and acting)

Hebrews 4:12
For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart

God's Word (the Bible) is alive, quick, active, true, worthy, endless, blessed and REAL.

Thank you God for your Word! - Robin (look up more OT Hebrew & NT Greek)

Thursday, October 23, 2008


I've recently been reading a friend of a friend's homeschooling blog, BOOKS and Bairns . I think she describes how deeply thankful we homeschool moms feel to live out each and every day with out kids until they leave home. It's those moments that come unexpectedly where you realize the rest of the world is missing out on something.

Thank you sweetie for your great post!!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


by Robin

We've been working very hard on this for 2 wks. Having 2 pups makes it so much harder! It's like having twins.

We're also doing sit/stay, heel, come and not doing so well on "down". They're already at ground level.
(PS: Their ears are still doing funky things.)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


by Robin

We had a most amazing thing happen the other morning and I really wanted to share it. Saturday night, the kids had all their lego & bionicle bins out & opened across the bedroom floor. It was such an eye sore but it was still 6:30 pm and I had asked them to please pick it up before bed.

Well, then, we got into the movie Ice Age and enjoyed family time together, but it was after 10pm went the movie ended and we had church the next morning. We left the bins out & stuff all over the place as they went to bed. I knew it was a disaster in the making but sleep was more important at this point. We have a bad habit of not wanting to get up Sunday mornings. I think they call it "temptation". LOL

Anyhow, Sunday morning rolled around and sure enough, we hit snooze until we had only 30 minutes left for getting out the door on time. Sound like your Sunday morning yet? We rushed & routine went out the window. The puppies managed to find a loop hole (AKA open door) and went in search of little lego pieces to chew on. In all the chaos to stop their evil plan (ha ha), we had a little accident. Well, no, a big accident. Bins were tipped over and thousands if not tens of thousands of pieces landed over every single inch of the floor.

I sighed. There was nothing else to do but grab shoes, close the door, crate the pups and be on our way. And I might add...... late to church. Are you stressed out yet? Can you just imagine the tension headache? Keep reading.

A couple hours later, after much worship, I had forgotten about those legos until we were around the corner from home. I tried not to whine in my petition with the boys but they knew their first task upon coming home was to clean up the mess. Then, as Andrew opened the door first and Simon Peter followed quickly behind him, they could see that all the legos had somehow, randomly, come together and began forming bonds. There were buildings, little cars, gas stations, people walking around, ...... really a whole city that laid before our eyes. How did this happen? How did we go from chaos to order? Billions of pieces to a city?







Are you still wondering?

Wonder no more. The answer is simple. It didn't happen. It couldn't happen in a 12 x 15' room no more than it could in the universe.

"In the beginning, God created ...." Gen 1:1

We do have the makings for chaos in that room, but thankfully, my boys did pick up their room. I was just messin' with you to make my point. (smile)

Monday, October 20, 2008


by Robin

I guess this is their mixed interpretation of Halloween & recorder lesson day.

I just love it when they practice!! Reminds me of my youth.

Sunday, October 19, 2008


by Robin

Is there hardly a thing that is more inviting to a bath than brand new bath towels & shower curtain? You know, .....besides bath beads & candles.

Now, if I could only learn to enjoy cleaning the tub & toilet.

Saturday, October 18, 2008


by Robin

These were taken a week ago, when Penny and Essie were leaving us and going to a 4H farm with a couple hundred chickens, many show birds.

They won't be show birds but somebody will get to enjoy their eggs. Above is me with Penny who posed for a few shots. Below is Essie who hates people and clawed up my hands just trying to hold her for this one picture.

How could I tell them apart? Their combs on top went in different directions. One thing I learned while being a chicken lady was that once those combs go over, they don't flop back-n-forth. They stay to one side.

I miss my girls but I do not miss my time having to clean up after their poops. I'm down to 10 remaining 'home' eggs in the frig.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Mark 10:13-16

The Little Children and Jesus

People were bringing little children to Jesus to have him touch them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it." And he took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them.

I've loved this verse for many years and it is something that we mothers have shared with our children as they grow up and learn to read their baby Bibles. Anyhow, as I am in the midst of an intense Beth Moore Bible study, I felt this verse speak to my heart in a brand new way. I bolded the few words that pierced my heart.

The kingdom belongs to them, as in there are millions more there than adults. Right? Do you see that pop out at you? How many unborn babies there must be in the kingdom of God! Children who never had the chance to be born & hear the gospels or know the love of Christ through faith. Certainly, they're THERE in heaven with Him now, but His emotion is seen so clearly. The God of past, present and future. Indignant that one would hinder a child the chance to come to Him. Matthew 18:1-11 states that one who harms a child would be better off having a millstone hung around his/her neck and then drowned. God stand firmly and unapologetically on His feelings towards children and harming them.

Children are a blessing from the Lord. An inheritance. A reward. I wish I lived in a society that saw it as plainly as God's Word explains it.

Lamentations 3:58-59

O Lord, you took up my case;
you redeemed my life.
You have seen, O LORD, the wrong done to me.

Uphold my cause!

"Until Christ's kingdom comes, we can and must reach out to victims and support laws that restrain evil and expose deeds of darkness...." Beth Moore in Breaking-Free.

Thank you God for your Word today. - Robin


by Robin

My friend Angela from Hello Dahrling wrote her menu plans out yesterday. She has great ideas for the lazy cook, like myself. I like to cook but I'm not creative on my own.

Anyhow, these Florentine turkey meatballs ended up being the bomb last night!! (I used ground beef instead of turkey.)

The boys had no idea they were eating spinach. That cheesy sauce was fabulous too. Or maybe it is because I haven't had cheese in forever because it is bad for my fibromyalgia. Either way, after taking this photo, I took 2 bites and gave the rest to the boys. Then, about 30 minutes later, I needed some tums and today I had a joint attack. Oh well. I love them but they don't love me.

Still I had plenty for Jack and to put some up for lunch later in the week. Thanks Angela for, yet again, another great recipe.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

FIRST LEGO LEAGUE - open practice

by Robin

This has become a part of my world, like it or not. Simon Peter loves engineering, robots and learning to love programming the robot.

This weekend, they held an open practice for anybody in the state that was wanting to work on their "missions" and ask for help by anybody else who seemed to know what they were doing.

This brave school opened their cafeteria up to 30 teams. We were one of them.

Simon Peter & his teammates started the first week of August, working on a logo first. Then, getting familiar with the NXT robots. He was thrilled the day the team picked his logo to go on the shifts.

I'm sure all five boys dreamed lego pieces & how to make the robot perform the way they wanted.

There were weeks of frustration.

And then there were weeks of breakthroughs & teaching one another.
Still there is much more hard work to do before the actual competition in late November. Measurements to be made and numbers to be calculated. Consistency to be achieved.
Here is an open table from this weekend with multiple teams standing around.
Here is Simon Peter working some kinks out of his program that wasn't being consistent on the open table.

One of our younger boys was having his own issues. A fellow team member with an extra year under his belt helped him out.

Another senior member worked on a new idea that he gleened from another team on another table.

They also were giving seminars for teams wanting to learn more.

We are very fortunate to have great coaches with experience.

Part of this weekend was to build friendships & experience. It was good for their character-building to be able to determine who was helping & who was full of bologna.
Here is a funny pic the boys staged.

Time back at the team table.

We came near the end of open practice time. Andrew wasn't sure what to do with himself. He found a little niche' of cleaning off wheels.

He's Assistant Wheel Cleaner.
Here are the boys acting out gracious professionalism. FLL is big on gracious professionalism. Teams are awarded bonus points for helping other teams or acting kind to their own teammates.

Friday, October 10, 2008

CHANGES in the garden

by Robin

Seedlings are popping up everywhere. Here they are, in no particular order. Ignore the wire cages. Those were to prevent chickens from eating seeds and still prevent puppies from running over them while they're seedlings.

Below - okra, adorned with recent raindrops.

Below is pole beans opening up 3 days after seeding. They are much bigger today but I certainly couldn't get a focused picture to show you.

Below is spinach.

This is a year-old Sweet Bell pepper plant. You can't tell, but it has 3 peppers on it. My spring ones are just throwing blooms now.

Hot peppers below. I eventually had to tie them to cages because wooden dowls were falling over.

Below, is new life on a wooden basil stem. I have sweet basil babies but it amazes me when new life shows up where you least expect it.
Below are 4 sweet bell pepper seedlings. These came from seeds that I gathered from my spring plants. We've come full-cycle here.
Bunching onions. Oh, by the way, hay is in every picture for a couple purposes. Mulching. Get it & the poop out of the coop for the chicken's sake. Fertilizing the soil. Diversion to keep chickens off of the seeds. Unfortunately, the latter didn't work because they wanted to scratch it around and the puppies couldn't wait to run around with some in their mouths. Oh well. At least the chickens will no longer affect the garden.

Cucumber seedlings below. I had to self-pollinate in the spring but at least it was worth the effort until the heat killed them. Can't wait to see how it goes through the winter.
Below is Garden 3. Hot peppers are just out of the picture at the top. You can see my climbing trellises for the cucumbers and beans. I'm so excited about fast-growing produce vs last year's brussels, cauliflower and squash which produced little to nothing for me.

That's it for now. Stay with us through the winter to see our Florida garden grow.