Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Walking Boldly

A lot going on.

A lot that's really not so good.

OK, downright yucky.

But He is right here with us, even though I'm struggling to see that at times. I've got a lot of scripture I can fall on, and examples from our past and stories from so many friends in real life and in bloggyland to remind me that He is indeed holding us and is working out every little detail, all to His glory. One day we'll see how all of this time of great trial has a purpose in the story He is writing for us.

I'm so thankful that I know I'm in His hands.

I'm not going to walk in fear. My friend from college wrote a devotion that spoke directly to me. She said she could hear God speaking to her (and I'm claiming it too!)

"I know you fear this, but you need to know that I will not allow anything to happen to you that is not best for you overall. Even in loss, I will bring good (Romans 8:28). So, do not let the enemy fill your mind and your day with destructive thoughts and feelings about this today. And do not be sad by what you fear. I got ya and I'm fighting for you."

Sweet friends, I do not think I am alone in my experience of fear and emotions. As women, I think we all can get consumed emotionally by things we fear. But God does not want us to live in fear. He wants us to live in full confidence that he is in control, that he loves us, and that he will bring his best for us if we walk in obedience to him.

Be bold today sweet sisters and do not be consumed by fear of loss, fear of betrayal, or fear of the unknown. Be consumed today by God and his love and his sovereign guidance. Turn your fear into an opportunity to express faith in him. Listen to that loving voice and do what he says to do in full confidence that he does not want you to be afraid. And walk boldly today sweet friends. Walk boldly.

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."
~Romans 8:28


Sunday, October 30, 2011

Photo shoot fun

The girlies don't really like to model for me much anymore. I signed with a modeling referral service several months ago and I ship out my items and get professional modeled pictures for my advertising (I get full rights to the images) and the model/photographer keep my item(s) as their compensation. It has worked out pretty good. One set of pictures was awful and I had to file a complaint and get my items back, but other than that I have gotten some pretty good images and some amazing ones! It has allowed me to get younger and older girls and different ethnicity's than I have in my home.

But I don't always want to send out more expensive or one of a kind items. So I have to fall back on using my home grown models... and bribery.

The bribe this morning?

Mommy needs to sell some more stuff so there will be money available in my paypal account to do some Christmas shopping.

Worked like a charm!

They changed clothes several times, and made silly faces for each other to help me get natural smiles. It was fun! And I got some good pictures.

Uploaded a few new things to etsy this afternoon. Mini Top Hats are the up and coming fashion trend for play and especially for photo shoots. They are incredibly fun for me to make as I get to be creative. I priced mine below the average of the hats currently listed.

Hope I get some sale in the next month.

Christmas shopping needs to get started!


Saturday, October 22, 2011


I'm friends on FB with the nearest Chik-fil-a. Not only do we love their food, but the owners go to our church (and are adoptive parents of two little ones). On Friday the FB post from C-F-A was about a local theater performance. There is a branch of Christian Youth Theater on my area and they put on quite a few shows every year. I love theater, and so do the girlies, but we have never been. So when I saw the post about the show opening I checked it out.

Pocahontas. I knew the girls would like that. Tickets were $15 each. Affordable. I clicked on purchase tickets and it took me to a screen where I could select the performance, and then the exact seats in the local middle school auditorium. Most shows had a few seats on the sides and back, but the Saturday afternoon performance had three seats dead center in row F. Must have been turned back in or something. Everything around it was sold out. So I checked with Paul that he wasn't interested (duh) and bought the three great seats for a girlie adventure.

We had a blast! It was very impressive and so professional from the sets to the costumes to the programs. It is quite an operation. I loved that they had a performer come on stage before it began and open with prayer! The lead role was one of the daughters from the family from our church. She has an amazing voice! We ran into several friends at the show. This was the girls second live performance (took them to the local HS last year for Hairspray). They want to see the CYT show of Annie next month. All the shows they have coming up look neat. Too bad singing is not a gift anybody in our family has been blessed with. The girls were both excited and asked if one day they could be in a show like that. Unfortunately, you have to be able to sing.
For now we'll stick with the audience. We were excited to discover this gem in our community and will surely be back to watch many more productions!


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Requesting Prayer

So few people stop by my little piece of the blogosphere, but if you happened to pop by, would you pray for us tomorrow (Friday)?

We are hoping to see God's hand move on our behalf, sense his guidance and feel his protection.

Thanks :)


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Make Your Shopping Count!

It bothered me when I started seeing Christmas decorations for sale at some of the bog box stores near me last week... in September. It seems that the start of holiday commercialization gets earlier and earlier every year.

Are you doing any of your gift giving shopping yet? While I don't like to be last minute about mine, I really am not thinking quite that far ahead yet. But if you are starting to pick up a few gifts why not consider shopping with a purpose and support an adopting family!

Sharon, an adopting mom, is putting together a wonderful resource of links to families selling items to raise funds for their adoptions.

Check it out, then check out all the goodies that will not only bring a smile to the face of your gift recipients, but will help bring a child home.

Bloom Child Bloom


Sunday, September 18, 2011

Big week

It's birthday week in our family...BIG time!

Paul's birthday is on Wednesday and then Teagan turns 7 on Thursday. Same day my mom celebrates another b-day!! Paul really wanted Teagan to be born on his birthday, but since I needed an induction and my OB was scheduled for Wed. back in 2004, the 22nd it was! She and my mom love being "birthday buddies."

We do birthday's low key. The girlies and I will actually not get home until 8:30 PM on Paul's big day (our big dance day). He has requested a vanilla cake.

Teagan wants me to make her a layered cake with strawberry/vanilla/strawberry layers and vanilla frosting. She picked Japanese hibachi for her fancy dinner out (love that choice!!). She loves her some steak, and likes the soup and friend rice too. Plus the hibachi part is fun, now that she is no longer afraid of the big flames. We go once a year, usually on my birthday. Found a new place that has steak as a child menu option, it's close by and is on restaurant dot com where I still have a gift certificate from my mom back on Mother's Day. Works out well. I'll be drooling until Thursday night.

Never got around to having a party for Piper back in May. Since they have the same core group of friends, we are doing a combined party for the two of them. We'll be doing some tie dye in the back yard. I have to get on the ball with that.

Guess I have some baking ahead of me this week.

Lots of celebrating ahead!


Friday, September 16, 2011

Long week, but good week.

A week ago at this time I was back on my college campus, walking into an academic building with two other advisers and two national representatives from my sorority to supervise a voting session of formal recruitment. I had just spent the evening back in my sorority house upstairs helping alphabetize hundreds of pieces of paper, while the sisters met five rounds worth of perspective new members downstairs.

I was among a group of area alumni asked to consider going back and helping out. Sounded like fun, so I said yes.

I enjoyed getting to know some of my college aged "sisters" and it was a big throwback to be back in the house where I lived for two years and to see and hear some of the ritual I hadn't thought of in fifteen years.

It was a long Friday. I got back to my parent's home at 3:30 AM.

They asked me to come back for the final round the next night. Not quite as long. It was the final night, so only two rounds. I was able to be in bed by 12:30 Saturday night.

Or that would be Sunday morning, wouldn't it?

Then I had my monthly art show Sunday afternoon. I was tired. And hot. Poor turnout. I did OK. One of the other advisers came by my booth and let me know that our sorority did great and welcomed 29 new members that afternoon. I'll be serving on the advisory board this year. I asked to be "at large" so I don't take on too much responsibility at first. My plate is already quite full.

When the art show was done, my mom and dad helped me pack up and I was able to get on the road home. Pulled in about 9:30 Sunday night.

Monday morning was my first day of teaching this year. I hoped the dark circles under my eyes were not so visible.

I'm thrilled to say that I have an AMAZING group of kids this year (well deserved). I have 8 boys and 8 girls. Such kindhearted little ones. My assistant and I were pinching ourselves all week long. Do we really have such a good bunch??

Wonder what God is telling me and teaching me with my kids this year?

I have a refugee from Africa whose family speaks no English and is supported by a relief agency. She has been her a year and has some English and cracks me up. Such a spunky, tiny thing. I have a Chinese boy who speaks only Chinese at home. And another Chinese boy- one of two adopted sons in his family who just moved to our area. Plus a little girl born with heart issues who will have a second open heart surgery sometime this year. I read her medical info and understood all the acronyms. Funny how following ND heart kids and reading up on heart issues over the past few years will do that!

It was a long week that I started with an empty energy tank. We also had our first night of our two studio dance schedule we'll face this year. 4:45-5:30 at the studio 30 minutes away. Then a quick dinner on the road and arrive at the next studio for class from 6:30-8. At least it's on the way home and only about 15 minutes away. Girls did great. I had Piper's back to school night from 6:30-7:30 so flew from drop off to the school and back in time for pick up. LOVE her teacher. She'll be really challenged in this gifted center this year, but it seems so her style. Really excited for her.

Ready to go to bed and sleep in (Oh, I hope!). I have a lot of bows to sew this weekend (a good thing).

And I hope to sleep a lot too.


Thursday, September 1, 2011

Teacher time

It's been an emotional Thursday.

Due to the lack of power after Hurricane Irene teachers were delayed going back to work to prepare for the start of school, so they couldn't send the traditional "welcome to my class" postcards that let kids know who their teacher is. Teachers went back yesterday and word got around today that class lists were going to be posted on the windows of the school after 2:30. Around 2 facebook messages started to pop up that the list was on the school website.

I called the girls over to the sofa and brought up the website. We carefully scrolled through each grade until we found 2nd and started looking for Teagan's name.

She is not in the same class as her BFF. The tears started. Heavy, body aching sobs. My girly was beside herself. I comforted her best I could and asked Piper to run and get last year's yearbook so we could look up the picture of her teacher and the kids in her class. There are quite a few sweet girls in her class from last year and kindergarten... just not her best friend. Her best friend whom she met when she was about 6 months old. As I pointed out who was in her class she just continued to curl up in my lap and cry. I thought I had prepared my emotional little girl to the fact that the odds were not in their favor after four years in the same class. Guess it didn't sink in. They'll be on the bus together, they'll hang out after school. They should have recess at the same time. All Teagan could manage to get out between sobs was "Who will I sit next to at lunch and tell secrets to?"

Oh, sweet girl! Anybody in your class will be lucky to have the dear friend you are!

Piper was pretty happy. Her best friend from preschool who has been in a different elementary school for the past three years is with her in the center gifted program and they ended up in the same class. Her school is sending six girls and six boys into the program, so three girls and three boys in each of the two gifted third grade classes. She is pleased with the crew that is in her class. And pleased that a girl coming from another school we have heard not so nice things about is not in her class. Both CBG teachers are amazing, so we couldn't go wrong.

Teagan's teacher I know nothing about. But the principal has allowed letters indicating what type of teacher and learning environment a parent desires for their child to assist in placement and I have written a detailed letter every year. We have had nothing less than a perfect fit every year, so I have great faith that Teagan was matched with a teacher who will be wonderful for her. I was able to contact a parent today who had a child in the teacher's class a few years ago at another grade level who said that she is gentle, and kind and hugs. That is part of my letter right there- Teaggie needs a nurturer. I'm excited to meet her tomorrow.

I've played up all the positives (she does have many girls she knows in her class, and BFFs class is peanut free and whoa, would that be hard for my PBJ lovin' girl) and she is starting to come around. BFF came home from running errands and they have had a chance to talk face to face about not being together...officially. I have a feeling these two will be the best of friends for life!

Besties in preschool 4 years ago


Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Winding down summer... thinking of school

School will still start in time, Tuesday, September 6.

Whew! I was seriously thinking that we'd be delayed. Teachers were supposed to go back on Monday, but over half of the schools in the county were still without power, thanks ti all the downed trees on power lines from Irene. There are still 12 school without power today, but the county allowed teachers back in today and announced that the start date would remain the same. Teachers missed two days of prep time.

We *should* get our teacher assignment postcards in the mail tomorrow. The teachers dropped them in the mail today, their first day back. For the past two years one girly has had her card come the next day, and one has not. In case all cards don't come, the school has announced they will also post the lists on the front windows at 2:30 tomorrow afternoon. Meet the teacher is Friday at 10:30.

Teagan is so anxious about her teacher and if her best friend will be in her class for the 5th year in a row (3 year old preschool, 4 year old preschool, kindergarten and 1st grade). We have told the girls that odds are not in their favor to continue the streak, but they do only live 100 yards apart and will be on the bus together at the very least. Fingers crosses.

We'll know tomorrow.


Saturday, August 27, 2011

Getting Nasty

Hours away from the full impact and it's already getting nasty outside.

I had to go out this morning around 11 to drop off my loot at the month long consignment sale I participate in each year. The ladies in charge are being diehards about their time line, so it was get my stuff in today, or sit this sale out. I'' earn $500 if all my stuff sells (expecting about $300 based on past experience), so I felt motivated and safe enough to go out early and get it there!

Hard rain and steady winds with 30 MPH winds. Lots of small branches down all over. Chick-fil-A was open, so I went through the drive thru and picked up sandwiches for everybody. Parked the car down on the street so I'm out of the way of all the big trees near the driveway.

Banana chocolate chip bread just came out of the oven. Glad to get that cooked before the power goes out. It's flickered a bunch and VA power has many outages reported already in our immediate area. Dropping pressure isn't good for my headache- ugh.

We are in for a long day/night!


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Irene is a commin'

Spent all day following weather models and prepping.

Another run to the store for two more cases of water and some other supplies I thought of.

Picked up a few more books to read from the used book store.

Cleared out the garage so we can park a car inside.

Removed almost everything from the yard and deck that can become a projectile when we get the sustained 40-60 mile winds that are on their way, and 80+ MPH gusts.

Got packs of glow sticks at the ready.


And fried.

...We'll need stuff to eat when we are without power for days (what we think will happen based on the last hurricane- and this one is way worse!).

Did many loads of laundry.

Changed sheets.

Cleared out the fridge.

Picked up a block of dry ice (we don't have a generator).

And got NOTHING that was on the agenda for the day accomplished (like several bow orders and entering and tagging all the items for the consignment sale that are due Saturday. The ladies in charge say it's still on for item drop off Saturday. Ha!)

Getting nervous looking at the path and intensity. My folks generator is not working. Dad and some neighbors think they figured out the issue and he's going to attempt to have it fixed tomorrow. Not good the way they stockpile food in their freestanding-has to be bungeed shut freezer in the garage. They are in the 60-80 MPH sustained wind zone and their neighborhood had a lot of damage with Isabel in '03. Mom's nervous about the trees. Me too. Heck, I think everybody in South Eastern VA is.

Prepared best we can.


That's all we can do for now... and wait.


Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Oh my!!

5.8 earthquake centered just 50 miles from me.

I was on the sofa at my computer when the whole house began to violently shake. We don't have earthquakes in VA- I was so taken off guard. I ran out the front door (the girls were outside playing) and found my neighbors also on their front steps. We all yelled to each other- "Did you feel that?"

At first I though it was my washing machine!

Phone calls aren't going through, but Paul was able to get a call through to me. He was in a Walmart 20 miles away and the building shook and was evacuated.

I can't get through to my mom and dad. We keep trying each other, but can't hear.

I called the girls in and talked about what we just felt and told them to stay outside playing since an aftershock is possible.

I'm still shaking.


Keeping an eye on Hurricane Irene

Two years ago I stumbled upon a local independent weather forecaster who works preparing weather forecasts for private clients , mostly in the agriculture business. I was looking for information about a possible snow storm that would have possible major impacts on travel I had planned, but the TV news was saying it would not be a big deal. Still, I wondered. I was looking at a few chat forums about the local weather and found many references to DT- so I found his private forum. He called the storm dead on- big impact on my trip and area. The local guys kept saying it was nothing until hours before it hit. DT had a new fan. I spent many hours looking at his graphs and maps and explanations about isobars and the 12z NAM and GFS versus Euro models. I learned a lot and was "in the know" about storms well before the general public. My friends at work were always asking what my weather guy had to say. DT was correct when the TV guys were not.

Last winter DT again nailed several storms. His facebook following soared. Then he got one big storm wrong- it wasn't big for us after all. Still, I felt better being prepared. I have also learned why the GFS model is usually wrong days out and why the Euro is the superior model. I like learning about this stuff.

So yesterday afternoon when the TV guys were saying that Irene was possibly going to have an impact in my area I decided to see what DT had to say. Yikes!!! He believes that Irene will make landfall around Wilmington, NC and his take on the latest models is that it will move up the coast right over my parents and then over us. Nobody else is calling this path at this time, but I'm taking this seriously. My parents neighborhood had severe damage with Hurricane Isabel. It was a few months before we moved into our home, but our area had many trees down, severe flooding and many days without power. That was a cat. 2 storm. Irene could be a 3.

Late last night I decided I wanted to go get some supplies before the general public was aware of the possible path and stores could get crazy. We needed new flashlights, batteries and bottle water and some non perishable foods. We are moving everything that could blow around off the deck and yard. We'll clear the junk out the garage in the next few days so we can park Paul's car inside. The TV guys are still saying it's "possible" but not with the intensity DT is. Thing is, the TV guys have to be cautious because they have a responsibility not to rile the masses until they know what is really going to happen. They have also been very wrong with calling all the snow storms, until they were almost upon us- then they called it like DT had days before.

So I may be a bit alarmist, but I'm going with the idea that things could be nasty around here Saturday. Doesn't look good for Norfolk, Va Beach, Williamsburg either. Good thing is it should really help dampen the wildfire still burning out of control in the Great Dismal Swamp. We have a lot of neighbors on vacation down in the NC outer banks. I'm guessing they will be evacuated in the next few days. The beach we just vacationed at ourselves on the NC coast could get pummelled. As we drove around Paul and I kept remarking that it would just take one good hurricane to destroy the tiny barrier island beach we visited. Hope that doesn't come to pass.

For now, I'll keep following "my weather guy" and learning what I can about the science behind interpreting the models. I'm fascinated.


Monday, August 22, 2011

Two more weeks

Two more weeks of summer vacation.

Hard to believe that it is the end of the summer. It has really gone by quickly.

Last week we went back to Williamsburg with the intent of a weekend of outdoor activities. The girlies and I arrived much later on Friday than I had desired due to a lot that needed to be done before we left. We arrived around 4 and unpacked at Nana and Grandpa's house, ate an early dinner, and set off for Busch Gardens. We has a beautiful evening at the park and were able to see the last of the Illuminights shows we had yet to catch this season. The girls and I really liked the Chinese yo yo performers and acrobats. We had gone to a Chinese yo yo demonstration several months ago at the library and fully understood how difficult what the performers were doing really was! The evening was capped by some amazing fireworks. Love Busch Gardens Williamsburg! We plan on making two more visits to the park before our summer passes expire.

Untitled from Kelly Winn on Vimeo.

Paul was to join us Saturday to go back to the park, but when I woke up I was discouraged to find thick smoke outside. It looked like fog. There is a wildfire (still burning!) in the Great Dismal Swamp down in Suffolk and the winds had brought the thick, acrid smoke to Willaimsburg. The girls and I had breakfast plans at my favorite dive in town, so we braved it out. Visibility driving was poor and it was stinky and tough breathing. The Colonial area was packed. Guess if folks are on vacation they'll still make the best of it and not just hang out in a hotel. For us, however, it made no sense to go to Busch Gardens in that air. The girlies and I hit a few stores for some back to school clothes shopping and headed back to Nana's. We called Paul and told him no hurry. Ugh.

My main concern was for the next day- Sunday. The reason we were in town in the first place. My monthly Second Sunday Music and Art Festival booth. Would it still be held? Would people even come t an outdoor event? Would smoke ruin my inventory? I was a ball of nerves. I really needed a decent show income. Rain came Saturday night, so I went to bed hopeful that the smoke would clear.

Sunday morning brought clearer skies, but the smell was still intense. The organizer sent out an email saying that the event could not be rescheduled, much advertising had been done- who was willing to still show up? She's make a final call based on interest. I replied that I would come, but bring a small portion of my inventory that wasn't susceptible to smoke. Thirty minutes later I got the response that 8 of the 20 vendors were willing to come, so it was on and we'd just line one side of the street so that we still lined the two blocks of the street. I usually arrive at 12:30 and am fully set up by 1:30. The event officially begins at 3, but most vendors are selling by 2. This time, we didn't leave the house until after 1:30. We packed 75% of my stuff, just in case. It still smelled heavily of smoke, though the visibility was not that bad at all.

By the time we had parked and began unloading the car, the air was smelling clearer. We unpacked all my tubs and after my tent was up and tables all arranged it was surprisingly clear...and folks were out in full force. I set up everything I had and began selling immediately. Answered prayer. No doubt about it! I did better than June, but quite as well as July. Still a good day! Hours earlier I wasn't even sure I'd be able to set up. God cleared the skies at exactly the perfect time!


Thursday, August 11, 2011

My dental adventure

A month ago I broke a tooth while eating dinner.

I have never had a cavity and have not had any dental issues, and without dental insurance have put off going for several years. No issues equaled no need to go when the budget was tight. I also had an awful experience the last time I went. The dentist was horribly rude to me. So I don't have anywhere to go to have this broken tooth fixed.

A friend is a dental hygienist out of town. I saw her briefly a week after it broke and she looked at it for me and said it felt huge, but was not bad, and likely just needed a filling. Several hundred dollars at her practice. She suggested I look into the dental school in the city for discounted care.

I called and the dental students were on vacation. I could call back in two weeks to make a screening appointment. Done. Two more weeks until I could get screened to see if they would accept me as a patient.

That appointment was yesterday.


The city campus of the medical school, dental school, hospital, cancer center, children's hospital is huge and crazy!

The receptionist when I called to see what building I needed to go to told me "Honey, don't mess with the garages. Parking at that time of day is impossible. Do the valet."

Convinced! So I arrive at the city corner where the valet is located.... and see a big "Closed" sign! I panick for a few seconds and then I navigate the one way streets and find an sign that says patient parking garage. It takes me almost 20 minutes to navigate through the garage, snaking down 8 levels before I come to the booth at the bottom, not having found a spot. It was insane! The booth attendant asked for my ticket and requested $5. I told her I was looking for a spot. She gave me a receipt for comped parking (duh!) and a voucher for $3 off valet for my trouble of facing a full parking garage. I told her that the valet was closed and in English that was difficult to understand she told me to head toward the cancer center- left, left, right.

I began the process of figuring out the one way city blocks, immense traffic and pedestrians (most in scrubs) all over the streets out for lunch. I had left myself plenty of time, but it was quickly ticking away. About ten minutes later I was able to find a sign for another valet and I got in line. They took my voucher, $2 fee, and handed me a claim ticket and I was on my way. Only I had no idea where in the vast complex I was!

I walked on the streets for a block and found a big map with a red "you are here" sticker. Looked up the dental school- there are 3 buildings- and picked the closest one. It was a muggy 97 degrees as I walked the four city blocks to find my way. Thankfully, I picked the correct building and took the elevator up to patient registration with twenty minutes to spare.

I have never been in such a crowded facility before. There were students in scrubs with their name and class of 2012 or 2013 everywhere! I got forms to fill out and took my seat and waited a half hour for my group to be called. I then registered, paid my fee, and waited again. I was in group B. Another thirty minutes passed and we were called to follow a student back to radiology for an xray. After our group of 15 had all had xrays, we were escorted to the exam hall. There were about 20 dental chairs set up in fancy cubicle like areas. I was told three doctors would be examining me. Each one came, looked at my xray, spent about 10-30 seconds looking in my mouth, and left to view the next patient. A nurse came and said congratulations, I had been accepted as a patient of the dental school. A student would be contacting me within two weeks to set up a treatment plan appointment. Then we would schedule actual work at a 1/3 to 1/2 price discount. The entire evaluation process took less than five minutes!

So now I wait to do it all again. At least I know the lay of the land a bit better. I hope this turns out to be a savings over what just going to a local dentist would have been. One of the ten second examinators said he thought I'd need a root canal and crown. When I said "Really? I have no sensitivity or pain at all." He replied, "Hmmm? Maybe not. Your student evaluation will let you know, but if I were a betting man I'd say root canal." Praying that's not the case. Guess I'll know in a few weeks when I make the adventure back.


Saturday, July 23, 2011

Headbands in Africa

Remember this post a few months ago?

What a blessing to watch this video of some of the beautiful orphans in Uganda who received the 4000 donated headbands and be able to identify for sure 4 precious kids wearing ones I made! One child is even pictured wearing the huge orange flower Teagan has on while we packed the box. Out of 4000 donated I got to see children wearing 4 of the 110 I made and donated. There are 3 more pictured I possibly made, but they are not as one of a kind as the ones I can identify as my creations for sure.

Pretty cool!

Crowning Princesses in Uganda 2011 from Kari Gibson on Vimeo.


Friday, July 22, 2011


Something's just wrong when it's 96 degrees when we came out of the Target at 9:30 PM tonight!!

My friend who has a house cleaning business came over today on her day off and helped me do some serious scrubbing and mopping and dusting and vacuuming in a lovely barter exchange (I'll be transporting her daughter to and from VBS and watching her for a few hours afterwards next week- I think I got the better end of the deal). We stayed inside working hard all day while her daughter and my girlies played. I was worn out, so decided it was the perfect night to use the restaurant gift card my mother in law gifted me for my birthday. We left for dinner around 7 PM. I wanted to pick up a few things at Target after dinner. When we came out of the store both girls remarked that it was impossible to believe that it was so late since it was still so hot outside.


It's 90 degrees at 11:49 PM. Expecting 102 tomorrow.



Monday, July 18, 2011


We went blueberry picking (forgot the camera, darn!) with my parents last week and managed to pick 11 pounds in about 30 minutes between the 5 of us. I was responsible for 4 pounds myself. It was fun! My dad's rule is "pick one, eat one." Teagan had no trouble following the rule! Piper, who eats no fruit (don't ask- we are working on her- have been for years), just picked.

We washed them in a solution of 1 tsp of bleach to 1 gallon water. Mom read that that helps kill some germs and prolong their freshness. She had tried it with some other fruits, vegetables and green with great success. Also, her last round of blueberries lasted much longer with the bleach wash.

We have eaten our share by the handful, put them on our cereal, made a pie, and today Teagan and I made my favorite... Blueberry Pound Cake. This travels well, is great for a pot luck and frozen blueberries also work wonderfully.

The recipe comes from my college cookbook. It's easy and so yummy!!

2 pints blueberries
2 sticks butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 eggs

1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups flour, divided (I use cake flour when I have it around)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 325. Grease and flour a 10 inch tube pan. Use mixer to cream sugar and butter; add eggs one at a time. Beat well after each addition. Add vanilla and beat until fluffy. Dredge berries with 1/2 cup flour and set aside. Sift remaining flour with baking powder and salt; fold into cake batter until well blended. Gently stir in berries. Pour into pan and bake for approximately 1 hour 1o minutes, or until a cake tester inserted near the center comes out clean. Place pan on rack and cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan.


Saturday, July 16, 2011

Saturday happenings

Can you see the crack?

My windshield has cracked, and it's growing. I noticed the "L" crack behind the rear view mirror a few days ago. Seems the crack started way up high behind the mirror where I had no way of seeing it while it was still small. Now it's huge. When we went to run errands this afternoon, it was at least 10 inches longer. Ugh. It's called in and they'll let me know when the new glass is in and can be installed. To the tune of $100.

But on to the fun stuff.

We went school supply shopping. Yes, we have until September to worry about back to school stuff, but the girls are excited and it's better for me to do it in small doses. Piper got a post card yesterday from the county center for Gifted Education with a website link to her school supply list. The general ed lists came home with report cards in May. Target had a few things on sale that were on the list, and I wanted to check on beach/pool stuff that was 50% off.

I printed two copies of the lists. One went in my purse and one was taped onto the paper grocery bags that we will store the supplies in. They highlight the items as they go into the bag. Piper also hand wrote her list.

Used items from last year, ready for 2nd grade.

Piper was thrilled that she finally gets a binder, and could pick lime green!

Spent less than $30 total and each girly crossed quite a few things off her list.

Also found a big soft frisbee for $2.50. Most of the other clearance was, well, cleared out. The girls had fun trying the frisbee in the cul de sac. Works great! We'd have stayed out longer, but the mosquitoes are insane.

See their shiny hair clips? I just got the appliques in today in a handful of colors. Thrilled I finally have a new product that they deem "big kid" enough to wear.

I have to have girls who will wear some of my accessories.
After all, I am the "Bow Girl."