Thursday, August 31, 2017

Where Did Summer Go?

 Summer is over, and we are two weeks into the new school year. It looks like it's going to be an amazing year, but I still mourn the end of summer.

Here are a few random photos from summer.
Cincinnait

Downtown Cincinnati

Tubing in North Carolina










 Rafting in NC in the Great Smokey Mountains. It was seriously too tame, so we are looking at going rafting in AL (a lot closer to home and cheaper!) in October.


Around home












Friday, April 28, 2017

New Camera

My Nikon 3100 has always jammed when using auto focus and usually at the worst times. So I bought a Nikon 5500. So far I've just taken a couple of baby pictures with it, but I look forward to trying it out more in coming weeks.




 LOL. You can tell what she's watching.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Take the Risk

Take the risk this summer. Go out of your comfort zone and do something amazing. Live like you mean it. Ideas?


Friday, March 3, 2017

Fun Friday: Crock Pot Cream Cheese Chicken Chili


Life has been so crazy that I am simply going to share the recipe we are having tonight when another family comes over in a bit.

Crock Pot Cream Cheese Chicken Chili
4 chicken breasts
2 cans Rotel tomatoes
1 large can corn undrained
1 can black beans drained and rinsed
1 can red kidney beans drained and rinsed
2 envelopes ranch dressing mix
1 tsp chili powder
2 8 oz pkg cream cheese


Place the uncooked chicken in the bottom of the crock pot. Top with the Rotel, corn, beans, dressing mix, cumin and chili powder. Stir to mix. Top with cream cheese. Cook on low for 4-5 hours stirring occasionally. Shred the chicken before serving. Can serve over rice or baked potato or use as a dip.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

The Perfect Road Trip

A scientist planned this road trip which allows you to see all the major landmarks in all the continental 48 states. It is 13,699 miles and would take 224 hours or 9.33 days to drive it straight through. But of course that would defeat the purpose, so you'd want to take at least a month!



Here is what you'd see:


1. Grand Canyon, AZ
2. Bryce Canyon National Park, UT
3. Craters of the Moon National Monument, ID
4. Yellowstone National Park, WY
5. Pikes Peak, CO
6. Carlsbad Caverns National Park, NM
7. The Alamo, TX
8. The Platt Historic District, OK
9. Toltec Mounds, AR
10. Elvis Presley’s Graceland, TN
11. Vicksburg National Military Park, MS
12. French Quarter, New Orleans, LA
13. USS Alabama, AL
14. Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, FL
15. Okefenokee Swamp Park, GA
16. Fort Sumter National Monument, SC
17. Lost World Caverns, WV
18. Wright Brothers National Memorial Visitor Center, NC
19. Mount Vernon, VA
20. White House, Washington, DC
21. Colonial Annapolis Historic District, MD
22. New Castle Historic District, Delaware
23. Cape May Historic District, NJ
24. Liberty Bell, PA
25. Statue of Liberty, NY
26. The Mark Twain House & Museum, CT
27. The Breakers, RI
28. USS Constitution, MA
29. Acadia National Park, ME
30. Mount Washington Hotel, NH
31. Shelburne Farms, VT
32. Fox Theater, Detroit, MI
33. Spring Grove Cemetery, OH
34. Mammoth Cave National Park, KY
35. West Baden Springs Hotel, IN
36. Abraham Lincoln’s Home, IL
37. Gateway Arch, MO
38. C. W. Parker Carousel Museum, KS
39. Terrace Hill Governor’s Mansion, IA
40. Taliesin, WI
41. Fort Snelling, MN
42. Ashfall Fossil Bed, NE
43. Mount Rushmore, SD
44. Fort Union Trading Post, ND
45. Glacier National Park, MT
46. Hanford Site, WA
47. Columbia River Highway, OR
48. San Francisco Cable Cars, CA
49. San Andreas Fault, CA
50. Hoover Dam, NV
You can find the link to the article HERE
Which of these have you already seen?

Thursday, February 9, 2017

2016's Reading List


At the beginning of 2016, I posted a list of the books I planned to read. That list is HERE.

Below is a list of what I really did read in 2016. I should put "read" in quotes because in reality I listened to the book on CD in most of these cases. I listened to the whole Harry Potter series and most of the Alex Rider series while driving my kids to school and on errands. A couple of the books I read from my phone while stuck in waiting rooms or lines.

All the Bright Places  review HERE
13 Reasons Why review  HERE
8 Notes to a Nobody Author interview HERE
Hunger Games- Read Bryan Davis' review HERE and HERE
The Fault in Our Stars review HERE
Harry Potter: The Sorcerer's Stone 
City of Ember review HERE
If I Stay
This is How I Find Her review HERE
The Outsiders
Tiger Eyes
The Boy in Striped Pajamas review HERE
The Chosen One
I Was Here review HERE
All Fall Down
Gathering Blue
The Messenger
8 Keys
No Such Person
The Face on the Milk Carton
There You'll Find Me review HERE
The Dare
Four
Divergent (Twice)(while driving from FL to NC to Cincinnati, to IN and back to FL)
The Dark is Rising (Same trip as above)
Counting by 7's (Same trip as above) review HERE
The Summer I Saved the World in 65 Days review HERE
How I Became Skinny, Famous and Fell Madly in Love review HERE
10 Steps to Girlfriend Status
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
The Hate List review HERE
Just Listen
Because of Winn Dixie
Prisoner of Azkaban
Goblet of Fire
Order of the Phoenix
Half Blood Prince
Autism,The Invisible Cord, A Sibling's Diary
Fan Girl
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Stormbreaker
Point Blank
Skeleton Key
Rules
Eagle Strike
Scorpia

Books we read in family time:
The Giver
Gathering Blue
Messenger
The Son
The Castle in the Attic
Harry Moon: Halloween Nightmares
The Cay
The Year of the Dog
Honey Moon
The New Kid at School
The Case Time Forgot

Other books I read (non fiction and adult fiction)
It: Nine Secrets of the Rich and Famous That Will Take You to the Top
Dick Van Dyke: My Lucky Life In and Out of Show Business
Duck Commander Family: How Faith, Family and Ducks Created a Dynasty
Write Your Novel from the Middle
The Gift
One for the Money
Blind Alley
Next Thing on My List
If I Run


I will probably reread a lot of the books on the list for three reasons:1. I have short term memory damage so until I've read a book a few times a lot of it is new to me.
2. I reread my favorites anyway.
3. The library has limited books on CD.

Which books on my list have you read?
What are you reading right now? I am finishing the Alex Rider series in the car. Listening to a James Patterson YA novel in the house.


Friday, February 3, 2017

Friday, January 20, 2017

Fun Friday: Amazing Basketball Player

You thought you were good at basketball? Check out this 11 year old girl!



What do you care about enough to be this dedicated to it?

Friday, January 13, 2017

"Fun" Friday: Track Cleats

I haven't had much time for my blogs lately and didn't come up with a fun Friday brain teaser. So I am going to post a story I posted yesterday on facebook.


So here's kind of a cool story. I took Kayla to counseling (that's not the cool part) and on the way back to school I decided to stop at Catholic Charities because I'd heard they had cleats in all sizes, and I figured she could use a pair to grow into. Well, there were none in her size so we left. When we got outside she asked if we could go back in and look in the cart of $1 shoes. Well, why not? I saw what looked like running shoes on the top of the cart and turned them over to look for a size, and they were track cleats! A size too big for her, but not for long I'm sure. But the cool part (besides getting track cleats for $1) was that there was a Scripture reference written in them. Habakkuk 3:19 which says, "The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights." I told Kayla that must be God's message to her for track this year.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Repairs

I haven't been on my blog as much as usual. The reason is that we have had several projects going on. A couple of months ago we looked at a waterfront house. We were really interested, but it didn't seem like the right house for us because it was a duplex, and I have a drummer and two trombone players. The location was great though. We also realized we need to get our house paid down more and also make some repairs.

The list of repairs was long, but mostly things like new flooring in the kitchen, new decks on both sides, replacing woodwork that is water damaged and so on. So I decided to use my birthday money (today is actually my birthday, but we bought the tile three weeks ago.) We also sold our wooden swingset and bought boards for one of the decks.

About this time, an adoption caseworker from the state called to say he was coming on January 6. Yikes! That gave us less than three weeks to do the decks and flooring. We jumped right in with the flooring and the first part went pretty well, but cutting the tile to fit around door frames and the little pieces around the edge got crazy.
When we pulled the old linoleum, we wrote our favorite verses on the wooden floor before we laid the tile.






First tile laid.



Replacing water damaged bottom piece.







We also started pulling apart both decks thinking it would just as easy to do both at once. They are both very small. One deck was built under Jessica's direction a few years ago. The other was here when we bought the house. It has steps up both sides, so we left one side so we'd have a way to get into the house. The problem was, it turned out the risers were rotted on those steps. Risers were $200 each so Rick made a pattern and cut the risers himself. We also decided to have just a single set of steps on that side.




So the past couple of weeks we've been laying tile, cutting wood, building steps and so on. Also during this I've been dealing with an injured elbow, so didn't get to do much of the building. So I did a lot of waterproofing boards and painting woodwork. We didn't get everything quite done, but did a good job of hiding it!

I don't have pictures of everything finished, but I do have a few of the inside of  the house in general.
My office that I share with everyone.





I will get some of the finished projects next time and also share the cool part of the adoption home study visit.