Monday, June 29, 2009

Week in Review and Upcoming Activities

Last week, my middle son went to Bible Camp at Fall Creek Falls State Park. This park in located near Crossville, Tennessee. It is an absolutely beautiful park! Today I want to share a few pictures of the youth camp, then tomorrow I will share some park pictures. This is the building where worship services are held and where morning assembly takes place. They have a service each night of camp. The speakers are some of the counselors. They have a theme for each year. This year the theme was the book of James. Here is a picture of some of the campers and counselors just "hanging out". My son goes senior week ( ages 13-18). I get tickled when he tells me that some of the campers just sit and talk all the time. He said, " Why would you come to camp just to sit and talk?" They have crafts, field games, swimming, volleyball, ping-pong and lots of other activities as well. They also do daily hikes out in the park area.
The volleyball area. Lots of good times happen here!!

One other activity that I forgot to mention was fishing. Here is my husband getting my son's fishing gear in order.

This was his "home away from home" last week. This camp is a very rustic camp. The cabins are very minimal, but my son just loves it! He has been going since he was ten. When he turns eighteen, he wants to be a counselor. I love the spiritual growth that I see in him after he returns from camp. It's funny, I went to this same camp when I was young and I just loved it! You are away from so much there. The campers are not allowed to bring cell phones, ipods, video games, etc... It is almost like a sigh of relief for these campers. They can relax, study God's word in his beautiful creation, and get to meet up with friends. Oh, an added bonus is that the food is awesome! They get three wonderful meals in addition to snacks. These ladies that cook for them are just wonderful. While you eat, most of the time you can watch the deer behind the dining hall. What a relaxing way to dine!
I hope you enjoyed this view of camp at Fall Creek Falls. Tomorrow I will post some pictures of the park. Have a super Monday!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

A Look Inward

This is all of the family members that went on vacation together. What a wonderful time we had. Just solidifying that relationship was great! The rest and relaxation that comes with going away was cherished. I look forward to spending more time with family.

Since we have been back, I have put together a list of some projects that need attending to around the house. The first one will be painting our master bedroom and bathroom. Mike's aunt gave us a gorgeous bedspread set with curtains and all. I want to take one of the pillows and match the paint. I think a taupe will work well. I will post pictures of "before" and "after". I really would like to make our bedroom a sort of retreat. Of course we all gather in there at night for read alouds, so a "family retreat" would be in order!

Mike and I also really want to get in better physical shape. I am not talking about just "getting skinny" here. We want to be healthy. We just do not get enough physical exercise. We have started walking in the mornings before Mike heads out to work, which is great. That really gets us going for the day! We both need to lose weight and firm up, so we have a few plans to start doing that. When we were dating and first married we would work out together. So hopefully we will be able to do that now. Our plan is to get the WII fit so that the whole family can have fun getting fit together. We also are taking the 100 push-up, 200 sit-up challenge. This will be a six week challenge to help us on our fitness adventure. I am really excited about this as I believe we will feel more energetic once we get started.

Also on vacation we played board games almost every night. It was a blast! Our family used to do this more at home, but we just got out of the habit ( too tired, etc...). So we are going to bring that back for a once a week family board game night. I hope to "theme" the snacks ( I know, I know, I was just talking about getting in better shape, but this is a different paragraph!) such as Mexican night, different flavored popcorn night, etc... I'll keep you posted!!

Lastly, we also really got into our reading last week. Since we have been back, we have been keeping that up. Right now I am reading "Captivating, by John & Stasi Eldredge". I am really enjoying this book. There are some parts I have to re-read to fully grasp the meaning, but this is making me do some inward thinking of how I view myself. Very interesting read!

I wish everyone a super Thursday! Tomorrow I get to go retrieve my middle son at Bible camp! I have missed him greatly even though I know he is fully enjoying himself. Take Care!


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Outdoor Wednesday

It's Outdoor Wednesday time! Thank you to Susan, over at for hosting this event. Be sure to check out all the Outdoor Wednesday posts. We just returned from a beach vacation at Panama City Beach, Florida. We had 24 family members that made the trip. While there, we rented two pontoon boats to go out to Shell Island. On our way to Shell Island we stopped and got off the boat to investigate some marine life. This was absolutely fascinating! We were able to see and hold things that we normally just see in books or at the aquariums. In this picture, Chase is examining what he found. I am not sure what this is, but we will be looking these things up in our books. If anyone can help us out, please let us know.
One of Mike's cousins found this amazing creature. Once again, we were finding things that we didn't even know what they were.

Here is a sand dollar that was found.

We put everything back after inspecting it and went on to explore Shell Island. Now we are off to look up everything that we found. Such wonderful fun!
Enjoy your Wednesday!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Back From Vacation

We are back from Panama City Beach, Florida! We had an awesome time with family. The weather was just wonderful, hot, but wonderful! This week I will be sharing pictures of vacation.
We rented two pontoon boats and went out to explore Shell Island. We did the half-day rental, but we now know if we ever do this again to get the full-day rental. It was amazing! We were able to take the boat to shallow areas and get in to explore the marine life. It was great to be able to hold a starfish, sand dollar, and sea urchin. We just loved getting to hold what we normally see at the aquariums. We would inspect it and then put it back. So much fun!! Shell Island was very relaxing and tranquil, more on that later this week!
We ate at Pineapple Willy's, which had great atmosphere! It is right on the beach. There was also a fireworks show ( not sure if that was with Pineapple Willy's or just someone shooting off fireworks), but it was really nice!

The boys table at Pineapple Willy's. Seems to be deep conversation, probably about video games!

Mike and I sat with his cousin and her husband. It was so nice to get to talk to them. Such a sweet family!!

Chase having fun in the ocean! The boys enjoyed their time in the water. Although, as the week progressed, we saw several sharks from our view on our balcony. That was a little unnerving! We usually spotted them in the morning. Sometimes there were people out in the water and the shark would swim around the people and go on his way!
It was a really great get away, but it is also nice to be back. I now feel like I can get to work on some "summer projects". My middle son is away at Bible camp this week. He just loves this camp. He has been attending since he was ten, and he is now 15, soon to be 16! I can't wait to pick him up on Friday even though I know he is enjoying himself!
Thank you for looking at my vacation photos. I wish everyone a wonderful Tuesday!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Week in Review and Upcoming Activities

This has been a whirlwind week with us getting ready for vacation. It has gone well and we are all looking forward to spending time with family at the beach. My parents are coming over to feed our pets, so that is a wonderful blessing. I will not be posting until we get back, so I wish everyone a wonderful weekend and upcoming week. I also want to thank everyone for the kind comments. I am making so many new blogger friends that I enjoy keeping up with.

Our upcoming activities are to relax on the beach! Sounds good to me!


Thursday, June 11, 2009


We are busy getting ready for the beach! I just love, love, love the ocean. Yesterday we went to the library and stocked up on books to take. I am planning on sitting under my umbrella and reading like crazy. I joined for a reading challenge. I hope to make some headway on my books while at the beach. The boys are also planning on bringing some board games and video games to play with their cousins. I have heard discussion of an all family WII bowling tournament while we are there. There will be 21 of us going! How fun!!!

Today I want to share some recipes that I have come across. These are from fellow bloggers and they are turning out to be wonderful keepers!

Hash Brown Casserole
1 can condensed cream of celery soup
8 ounces Colby cheese, grated
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup minced onion
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 (2 pound) bag frozen shredded hash browns, thawed

Grease a 13X9X2 inch baking pan; set aside. Combine soup, cheese, butter, onion, salt, and pepper. Gently fold the potatoes into the mixture and pour into prepared pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, until heated through and top is browned. Enjoy! ( Mrs. H at HeritageSchoolhouse) My family has loved this!

Pineapple Breeze Cake

Make icing:
1 8 ounce package of cream cheese, softened
1 stick of butter, softened
1 16 ounce box of powdered sugar
1 cup of coconut flakes

Blend well with mixer.

Make cake using directions on yellow cake mix.

When cakes have cooled completely, spread a can of drained crush pineapple as filling. (You can also add cool whip to the center if you desire. It is completely optional.)

Add top layer of cake and ice with coconut cream cheese icing.

Toast coconut and pecan topping:
In a skillet, add 1 Tablespoon butter or margarine and melt. Add 1/2 cup of coconut flakes and 1/2 cup of chopped pecans. Saute until coconut has browned. Remove from heat and cool. Once cool, sprinkle on top of icing. Chill for 2 hours prior to serving. ( Melissa at Huckleberry Prairie) This was a hit at the family reunion!

Monkey Bread

3 tubes refrigerator biscuits
1 stick butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Cut each biscuit into four pieces. Using kitchen scissors is a quick way to do this.
Melt butter. Mix together sugars and cinnamon. Dip each biscuit in butter, then in sugar mixture. Fill a bundt pan with coated biscuits. Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes. Let cool for about 5 minutes. ( Mrs. H. over at Heritage Schoolhouse) My boys absolutely loved this. I am going to make it while on vacation.

I hope you enjoy these recipes. Heritage Schoolhouse and Huckleberry Prairie have some delicious recipes. Be sure to check them out!

Have a great Thursday!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Weekly Menu, Upcoming activities

What a wonderful weekend we had! We had a yard sale on Friday and Saturday. On Saturday we went to a family reunion and visited with family members we haven't seen in a while. Then, we started our week in worship with other believers. The message that was preached was one that I needed. The lesson dealt with hiding God's word in your heart, studying and knowing God's word. I needed this boost to really dig down deep and commit to memory God's word and to make sure that we don't let other activities take precedence over the study of God's word in our home. The fellowship was also very encouraging. What a great way to start the week!

The menu for this week is:

Monday: Cheesy Lasagna, Cheesy Italian Bread, Salad, Pudding, Tea, Water

Tuesday: Crispy Fried Chicken, Green Beans, Salad, Rolls, Tea, Water

Wednesday: Black Bean Enchiladas, Chips & Salsa, Salad, Cookies, Tea, Water

Thursday: Spaghetti & Italian Meatballs, Garlic Bread, Salad, Fruit, Tea, Water

Friday: Homemade Pizza, Breadsticks, Salad, Brownies, Tea, Water

Saturday: Traveling

*I have gotten alot of the above recipes from www.heritageschoolhouse I will be sharing some of the recipes this week. Mrs. H has some great meal plans and recipes!

Chores for today:

Laundry, Wash all bedding, finish cleaning pool, pack up remaining yard sale items and donate, clean bathrooms

Calls to make today:

CARE organization about kittens

Paperwork to be completed today:

Mail attendance forms to Department of Education, check to see that Clint has finished his thank-you notes

Enjoy the outdoors today!


Saturday, June 6, 2009

Week in Review and Upcoming Activities

This has been a great week! I feel like we have gotten so much accomplished. For our week in review, I will start with today. We finished up our yard sale this morning, then headed to a family reunion. We got to catch up with family members that we don't see often. The food at family reunions is always amazing! I made a new cake called Pineapple Breeze Cake. I got the recipe for Pineapple Breeze Cake from Huckleberry Prairie and it turned out very nice. I will share her recipe this coming week. The boys were able to get some swimming in at the reunion. The weather was absolutely beautiful.
This week we also had a yard sale on Friday and Saturday. We got some much needed decluttering done and made some money in the process. This coming week we are going to donate the items that did not sale. It feels good to be getting some organizing in motion!

One of the biggies this past week was my middle son getting his learner's permit. He was very excited that he passed the test. There was certainly a crowd there that day!

My oldest had his final piano recital this past week. His piano teacher recognized her seniors during this recital. It was such a lovely time. All the students do so well to play in front of a crowd. I was very proud of all of them. I will miss his piano teacher. She is a wonderful teacher. She challenges the students to achieve a higher level, but she is always doing everything she can to help them. Best wishes to all the seniors!

This was a great week with lots of activity. We are moving forward on our summer goals, tweaking a little here and there.
This coming week we will be preparing for our vacation. We will need to clean the house, get needed vacation items, make arrangements for our pets, and finally pack! I will be sharing a schedule for the week on Monday!
I hope everyone has had a great week and I also hope everyone is getting their summer goals accomplished. Have a wonderful Lord's Day. Enjoy your families!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Outdoor Wednesday

It's time for Outdoor Wednesday, hosted by Susan over at . Thank you Susan! Today I want to share some sights of Savannah, Georgia. Savannah's Historic District is a 2 1/2 square mile grid of cobble stoned streets. A number of Savannah's first residents were from England's debtor's prisons. James Edward Oglethorpe was the underwritten of a social experiment to rehabilitate the residents of these England prisons. The experiment did not turn out as Oglethorpe would have hoped and the colony of Georgia was turned over to the British government in 1752.
Even though Oglethorpe's experiment failed, Savannah thrives as a symbol of Southern charm. In Savannah's Historic District you will find 18th and 19th century homes.

In Sherman's famous "march to the sea" he couldn't bring himself to burn Savannah so he presented Savannah to President Lincoln as a Christmas present.

Savannah keeps a balance between the present and the past. Historic buildings have been preserved. Savannah's riverfront, which at one time was the busiest cotton port in the South, was restored in the 1970s. Now you can find boutiques, art galleries, and restaurants on the riverfront.

I hope you enjoyed a little history of Savannah, Georgia. Be sure to check out all the Outdoor Wednesday posts.
Have a super-delicious Wednesday!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Week in Review and Upcoming Activities

Last week, our first official week of summer break, was a big week. We got quite alot accomplished, which was nice. I really think writing down our summer goals was a good thing to do. It focuses us a little more on what we want to accomplish this summer. Today, I just want to highlight a little of what our week entailed and what we hope to accomplish this week. We listed our eight kittens on our homeschool website. Our little stray had five kittens, but we also found three kittens on our property that belong to another cat. We have already found homes for three of the kittens. A sweet friend, who has three children, took three of the kittens. They will have such a good home with this family.

Last week, we also observed the flags that are put up for Memorial Day. They have crosses with names on them of service men and women. It was such a beautiful sight and a reminder to thank all those who give so much for our country.

Our homeschool support group had their annual book sale last week. We had a table in it. This is a picture of the crowd. Several people came out for the sale. We were happy with our sales. We are trying to put back some money for the supplies we will need for the upcoming school year and also for vacation. The boys set up our table and manned it the whole time. I was very proud of how they conducted business. They took the table down when it was over and loaded everything up. I basically got to visit with friends. What a nice day!
Last week we also got alot of organizing and cleaning done. I started on paperwork that needed attending to. We finished getting my oldest son's shot record and TB screening for college. I am glad to have that taken care of.
It was a great week and I feel good about what we got done. I hope to get alot more done this week. I start jury duty today, so we will see how that impacts our progress. It should be interesting!
This week:
Monday-Jury duty, laundry, clean things out for yard sale on Friday.
Tuesday-Jury duty(?), garden work, tennis with the boys in the evening
Wednesday-Jury duty (?), Zoo & Picnic, Church
Thursday-Jury duty (?), get everything prepared for yard sale
Friday-Jury duty(?),yard sale, movie & pizza night
Saturday-Middle son's SAT II test in Biology, Family Reunion
Have a wonderful Monday!