Thursday, September 10, 2015

Long overdue update

It has come to my attention that I have been very negligent at updating my posts. I have been threatened by my oldest that she wants a hostile takeover. :). So even though I do not have consistent internet, I will do my best to give a quick and accurate update.

Hubby has been given the lead on his current project and that has kept him very busy. Even though he has had many challenges he has met them head on and so far has been triumphant. We did not go with him this time because of other commitments. It's been an interesting summer.

Child A is now in her junior year and looking forward to forensic anthropology. She has been looking thru so many college sites, I'm convinced that they are going to just start showing up with the material in paper form to keep her from slowing down their web pages! She is in the last stages of her braces and the teeth look great. And... she has started doing craft fairs and taking special orders for her homemade and crochet projects. It has been very good for her and she is getting a good start. She has a very large fair this fall and we are very excited.

Child B is now in fourth grade. He is turning out to be very engineering minded. His math and sciences are going best and his other subjects are good too. He will read almost anything he can get his hands on. He loves being outside and riding his bike.

Child C is now in second grade. She loves to be read to and is slowly warming up to reading to her younger sibling. They have an amazing bond that is fun to watch. Her biggest interest is in the kitchen with me. I always have an instant helper and she is getting real good at cutting and/or grating stuff for freezer storage.

Child D is in kindergarten. She is very inquisitive and full of energy. She loves to sit and do her school pages while I am working with the older ones. She has taken to following everyone around and helping whom ever will let her. She has a knack for presenting "gifts" to everyone who walks thru the door.

As for me and life in general, I have been busy trying to keep everyone busy and helping with the various projects that are always going on. We were in the process of buying the house we are living in but there has been a snag in the deed transfer. Come to find out, it doesn't have a clear deed and so everything is on hold. That's ok...God must have better things in store. I have been attending a local gym for a while and I love it. It is nice to go sweat. But really the kiddos keep me very busy.

Nothing real exciting to announce but I really like to post. You just wouldn't believe it by my current track record. Have a wonderful night!!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

A New Recipe

I ventured out to the dollar store in search for plastic cups for the bath time routine. Exciting, I know. But as I pulled up, the eldest said she thought she saw a bulk store. So we HAD to check it out. What a neat place. And I found new inspiration to post another recipe.

While we were going crazy over the stuff we were finding, a few ladies were giggling at our enthusiasm. Of course, we HAD to chat, and we found kindred spirits. :) Ideas were exchanged and "mom" encouraged me to post more recipes. I'm not sure why I don't. I love to cook. I'm passionate about finding the best things for our crew to eat, all within the allergy guidelines. And the budget. So...I thought I would share the taco mix that I use. It can be a little on the spicy side if you use a hotter chili powder. If heat is your thing, look for a habanero chili powder or a roasted chili powder. Frontier Brand has several options but if that is not available, Walmart or Meijer has generic chili powder as well.

Taco Seasoning Mix
2TB chili powder          1/2tsp onion powder          1/2tsp oregano          1TB cumin
2tsp pepper                    1/2tsp garlic powder          1/2tsp red pepper flakes
1tsp paprika                   2 1/2tsp salt

I must give a few other tweaks. I do not use the full amount of salt. We are not used to adding salt so please adjust that to your taste. Also, this is for one batch of meat, give or take. I tend to make this in multiples of 20-50. I am very careful to keep excess moisture out of the mix. Because there isn't preservatives in here, it will need to be spooned out. It will not shake well. Add as much or as little as you need to each batch of meat.

I'm not sure where this mix originated from. Plus, I tend to tweak things so much, it may or may not be the original anyway. :) I love this mix. I hope you do too. Thanks ladies from the bulk store!!! You gave me the nudge needed to post again. It was wonderful to meet you and chat a little. :) :) Have a wonderful night!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Anna Maria Island

As I sit here, ready to write, I'm having a dilemma. Do I account for the beauty or entertain with the mishaps? Do I go into great detail or just give hints and let you find the gems later? So...true to my introverted personality (hahaha) I will give some glimpses into both adventures that we had this last weekend. :) :)

Anna Maria Island is a "local hideaway." The more people that you talk too, the better idea you will get of where to start. There is a public access area but once we explored a little, we found a semi private beach that was absolutely fabulous! In order to enjoy this area we had lunch at the local restaurant on the beach. We had a table where we had our toes in the sand the whole time. The food was great and the views were amazing. The Gulf of Mexico was calling for us to swim.

The water was so warm and calm. We stayed fairly close to the shore. The thought was that if we didn't venture too far out, the animals wouldn't venture too far in...right? Wrong!! Plenty of fish...they didn't concern me. But... the oldest two were checking out the shells and rocks on the floor and as the oldest stepped on a really cool one, it moved! Luckily it didn't sting because we quickly found out it was a small stingray. It was cool to watch from a distance. Then, as the younger ones and I were bobbing in the waves, I had a sharp "poke" that turned into one very intense sting. Wow. A jellyfish thought that I needed to move. His method did get me to move. It was almost comical watching me try to get out of the water and address the sting and not alarm the girls. The locals had a good giggle as we tried asking how to address the injury. They recommended we urinate on the wound. (enter my sarcastic "right") Since I didn't go into the emergency room I can't say if it was good advice or if they were just messing with us.

On the other side of the island, you overlook Tampa Bay. You just can't beat the views. We spotted a pelican, several dolphins, little jellyfish, and tons of tiny fish. We have been told that the wild peacocks are amazing but we never saw them. A long pier allowed us to get closer to the water without getting wet. The closer we got to sunset, the busier the water was. Apparently the heat of the day is way to hot for good dolphin sightings.

The whole island had this feeling of comfort and relaxation. The houses were bright and had huge plants that had wonderful colors as well. I even saw an aloe plant that was as tall as a grown person. We walked through some of it but also drove some. Parking was a challenge but once that hurdle was crossed, you were good to go. If for some reason the island loses it power of seduction, a close town offers a museum that houses the oldest manatee known. Maybe that is worth checking out. For me. I'm hoping for a wild manatee sighting. :)

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Travel and Our New Digs

After four official days of travel, we have arrived at our destination. Phew! On our way down, we had an opportunity to visit with our friends in Tennessee. Most of two days was spent catching up,  enjoying the company, sitting on front porches, and the ever so interesting junk store excursion. I cannot explain why, but the junk store is a place of wonder. It is never the same twice and if you are willing to hunt, you can find lots of bargains. Especially on the organics and natural products. Ahhh. (Sorry. Bunny trail. :)) Our travel seemed to take forever and as always we had a deluge in Atlanta. Why it always rains there when we are passing thru is beyond me. But...once we arrived here, I realized why people snow bird here.

Our area is close enough to the big city to find anything but far enough away that I am only a hop from the water. By the way, the water is warm! I have enjoyed our week so far. The heat hasn't bothered me as much as I had anticipated. Maybe the heat at home bugs me because it is never warm very long...whatever the reason, I am really liking my time so far. Everything is so green! We saw an aloe plant that was my height! Huge and super cool. And, the children have a mission to catch a gecko at least once. Several have been spotted and stalked but no capture yet. :)

Our next order of business is to find an educational and fun place to visit on our first set of off days. I'm keeping my eyes and ears open for possibilities. Any ideas for me? I am trying to steer clear of the obvious tourist traps but Sea World might be an option because of the animals. I guess it needs more research...I have never been there.

For those of you wondering, C had a good birthday. She picked a place to eat out and chose to have her toes painted. She received a few cards here and loved getting mail. She sends a big thank you!! We took a walk and encountered two very large cranes. They did not run or act scared of us, but we were wondering if we could get close enough to touch them. Nope. Once we were in arms reach they sauntered off like they were just testing us. It was neat to be so close.

I hope all is well with all of our friends and family. We miss you all. But the possibility of me finding a location to just plop and stay is increasing all the time. The pretty weather doesn't help. :)

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Our Chaotic Life :)

I have often wondered if my friends find my life a little insane. True we move, a lot. And travel for business, a lot. We do a lot of things that are out of the "normal" realm. Things like cloth diapers and wipes, homemade laundry soap, homemade seasoning mixes (taco is a favorite), and hanging clothes out if possible. But what gives me inner humor, if I haven't said it before, is normal is a setting on the washing machine. :) I'm not sure who originally said it but it makes perfect sense in my family.

So, as an update...we have sold our home and are preparing to leave on our next trip. This time to Florida. I understand it's going to be wicked hot but once August is over, I'm hoping for beautiful weather. We closed last Monday and have all of our things in storage. A perfect situation for someone who is technically homeless. Haha. My step-father has been nice enough to allow us to invade his home for the remaining time before we leave. Which, has worked out very well. It has allowed for easy trips to see family and friends and for me to be able to help grandma while grandpa is in the hospital.

We had the opportunity to see the 4th of July parade that is held every year that includes the band from my old high school. There is nothing like seeing the kids doing the very thing that you did and realizing that we really weren't as cool as we once thought. :) I now wonder if we ever knew the actual importance of the day we celebrated.

My babies are growing so fast. A is learning to sew and you would never believe that she hasn't been doing it always! She has a talent and understanding of the art that I will never possess. Her studies are going well and her interest in science baffles and amazes anyone who has an opportunity to talk to her for more than a few minutes. B is proving to be a math and engineering whiz. He is interested in his daddy's work and actually understands when his questions are answered. Hence, why I call him a whiz. :) Most of the engineering science has a cloud of wonderment around it for me. C is getting into school now too. Her big heart can melt me in seconds! She likes to sing, dress up, and have tea parties. We have lots of tea parties. D is officially potty trained!!! I'm so excited. As a result of her hard work, she had her ears pierced. Her choice. That day, she told me that she was a big girl now. Awesome. All of my babies amaze me daily. Where I fail, God seems to fill in the gaps and make sure that they are blossoming. It's nice to know that we aren't raising these babies alone.

As for hubby and I, well...I'm one year closer to 40. That doesn't bother me as much as the gray hair. Vanity suggests that I color or something and my practical side says "why bother". The battle rages some days. LOL. I'm excited to see our new destination. I would like to see the manatees when they come in later this year and I hear that there is a wonderful science museum close by. But again, the battle rages within about a house and garden and being able to grow my own herbs for teas and herbal remedies. It must be my age telling me to settle and not be so gypsy like. HAHA. Hubby is loving his job. They keep him busy but he is never dreading going to the office. A good thing, I think. He is looking forward to spending time doing new things and seeing new places on his down time in Florida. Plus we will be very close to my in-laws while we are there. We always enjoy chatting and playing cards with them. Especially late at night because everyone gets slap happy and it proves hilarious!

A long post, but I haven't had Internet to update. If I could figure out my phone, I am told it is possible to do it from there. I would love to see how I would possibly type on there. I have fumble fingers on the computer!!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Sorry

It has been way to long since I have updated. I have a lot to say, yet I am having a hard time organizing my thoughts. We left Texas in the middle of October and headed home. That is one long trip. Upon arriving home we encountered several challenges including the fact that our Internet line had been severed due to a overly helpful yet careless neighbor. He was mowing the lawn (uninvited) and hit the line with the blade. Long story short, it is expensive to fix and we do not have Internet now. Hence why it has been so long.

We went house hunting and put in two offers that were rejected and one that was accepted. The inspections that were done showed major problems with plumbing and electrical so we decided that we were going to walk away. Bummer. But on the bright side, if God wanted me to stay where we are currently, I need to be content. It just seemed that we were constantly hitting road blocks. I'm holding to the hope of something better later on.

The children have helped put the winter d├ęcor in place and they had a grand time. :) We blasted Christmas tunes and gave everything a fresh face. Then we laughed because the tree is so sad and little...and all the ornaments are in one spot. lol. It is so great to know we were bonding and creating memories.

Hubby had an impromptu trip he needed to attend to, so we loaded the car and joined him. I wish I could say we went to warmer weather but instead we ended in Ohio. Today it is a whopping 8 degrees and the wind bites your skin. We are looking forward to his vacation time coming up. Two full weeks of nothing planned and nothing expected.

Short and sweet. An overview of happenings. Minus a lot but... Merry Christmas!! 

Sunday, August 11, 2013

We Are In Texas Y'all

Surprise. We are in Texas. Hottest part of the year and surprisingly, it is not too bad. Yes, it is hot. But it isn't the melt in a puddle of sweat type of hot. More like standing in an oven, with a breeze. :) Really it isn't so bad. Seriously, I expected something much worse. It is beautiful here. I love all of the ranches and city-scape and the life is relaxed and friendly. Plus I LOVE boots and hats. Lol.

Already we have been to the Fort Worth zoo and the stockyards. The stockyards offer a look into historical Texas and a part of life that is still widely used outside of the city. Everyday they run a cattle drive thru the street. It is amazing how large the horns are on these cattle! Approximately three feet long each. Wow. The children felt that they had to have a real cowboy hat, and since, have worn them everywhere. So cute.

Don't forget that we are close to so much history here too. Within a days travel, we can see almost everything we would like to. The Alamo is a noteworthy site on our list of hopeful destinations. San Antonio river walk has been mentioned several times as a cultural do not miss. Depending on the definition of culture, it might be fun...

We love being able to go to the pool everyday and never having to fear that the water might be too cold. Already we have made some friends and life is settling into a routine. Today we were given a heads up on a couple of home school groups that we might be able to connect with. It seems like we will have plenty to keep us busy. :)