Wednesday, May 8, 2013

funny, haha? or funny, crazy?

You decide!
You don't have to decide right now. But later. Much, much later. No pressure.
So,there are two things you should know about me. Okay, maybe you shouldn't know these things. It's not life altering information, and knowing these things may or may not change how you view me as a person, friend, wife, mom, and teacher. You see, I'm pretty normal. A 'blend in' kinda gal. But some things are just different about me. Some people, people that don't know me well, have said I'm a little dramatic. I have no idea where they would come up with such an outlandish idea. Me? Dramatic? Hmm. Okay, maybe a little dramatic. But aren't we all? Just a little? Admit it. You know I'm not alone in this. 
Anyway, as I was saying, I'm different.  Different in how I parent, how I teach, how I am as a wife, how I cook, how I  garden and raise chickens, how I sew and crochet, how I decorate...or the lack of decorating would be more accurate.  I'm just different.  Not in a bad way, not in a better way, just in my own way.  I work hard to align how I live and love in accordance with Biblical principles.  I do.  But I'm still different. Funny, if you will.  The goal here is to decide if I'm funny, haha, or funny,crazy. 
First up, it is very difficult for me to see a crazy hat and not put it on my head.  I usually try to put in on one of my girls first and they just duck and cover.  "Mommm!" is usually the battle cry against crazy hat modeling in public.  They leave me no choice, you see.  It must be done.  So while we were at Disney World in January...I couldn't NOT put on just  about every hat.  I mean, Epcot...the World Showcase,  there were so many countries and so many hats. But not just there, the gift shops had hats, too.  So here is a sampling of hats that I had to try on, in public, at Disney World, much to the chagrin of my children.  Thankfully, Tim didn't seem to mind.  He was even gracious enough to document each one with a photo!  You can click on the collage to see it larger.  From left to right:  the Mickey umbrella hat, the German alpine hat, Sonic the Hedgehog hat, Chinese hat, silver sequined Minnie ears, Jack Skellington hat, my personal fave-the Chewbacca hat, Canadian moose hat, and Mexican sombrero.  By the end of the trip my family was pretty much immune to the embarrassment, but for some reason, they never joined in on the fun.
Another thing that you may not know about me - again, it's not life changing information - is that I love Japanese stuff.  Being able to spend time in Japan at the World Showcase was really fun.  Everything was so cute.  The stationery- cute, the note cards, erasers, books, toys, figurines.  Just cute.  Even the packaging for snacks was cute.  I mean, really.  The crafty stuff gets me every time.  And the clothes, the traditional kimonos and obis were beautiful and amazing.  My girls were a little amazed by it all, too.  And Tim?  Well, he was very patient and let me look and take pictures with out rushing me or wondering why I was taking pictures of kokeshi dolls or bookmarks.
So now you must decide.  No, you can't put it off.  No, you can't skip this part.  The pressure is officially on.  If you are here on this page and you have read about  my shenanigans, then you are fully informed and must now choose. xoANG

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

may, already?

I double checked the calendar.  It was not a dream, it really is May.  I did not realize how fast April slipped through my fingers.  With the unseasonably cold weather, the winding down of the school year, and the presumably premature gardening, April escaped me as quickly as those pesky little dandelion seeds that blow through the yard if I even give them a sideways glance. 
So it's May.  For me it begins with bleach and Lysol, because although we made it through the entire winter season without so much as a cold, it seems that during our very last kid-gathering time at church for the season we managed to bring some lovely stomach virus germs. 
You know, when people talk about becoming parents it's all cute baby clothes, stylish strollers, tiny shoes, and teething.  Then, once you get past all of the unsolicited parenting advice, no one ever mentions being up in the middle of the night for hours with this child your brought into the world, holding her hair back and swabbing her forehead with a cool washcloth, all the while trying to keep yourself from heaving.  Yes, it was one of those nights.  And, honestly, as much as I despise that part of being a mom because it makes me anxious and worried, I also love it.  I love knowing that God knows.  He hears my pleas for mercy on this sweet child of mine.  She may be feeling better as I type these words, but I know the reality is that this is likely far from over.  She knows that, too.  So with a joyful heart she sips a drink and nibbles some food and watched a funny show with her sister.  Choosing joy.  That's the ticket.  Choosing joy isn't always easy, that's why it's a choice.  Being miserable is easy, anyone can do that.  But a heart trusting in God's sovereign ways, mercy, and makes choosing joy easy. 
Proverbs 17:22 A joyful heart is good medicine, But a broken spirit dries up the bones. 

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

riding in, not like, the wind

This is a beautiful, warm, breezy day. After lunch, and before I have to go to work, the girls and I went to the church down the street so they could practice their new bike riding skills.  Meanwhile I got to work on my crochet project and catch some rays.  A little vitamin D is just what I need to combat this springtime cold.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

i love shutterfly

Shutterfly is so great! Every time I order something from them they send me great deals to order more things. Photobooks are by far my favorite. It's like scrapbooking without having to invest in all of the to-die-for stuff. I have ordered photo coffee mugs and prints from them. It's all great quality and it all comes in the mail so quickly you hardly have time to let the excited anticipation build up as the mailman comes each day. This here is a cute magnet that I just ordered. I do love me some Minnie Mouse!
Photo Gallery Magnet
Create personalized greeting cards and invitations at Shutterfly.
View the entire collection of cards.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Disney World part 3::Epcot and Magic Kingdom

This post was a long time coming.  It got lost in the busy-ness.

Finally I am getting to part three. First up is Epcot. It's so cool to see the Epcot ball. And at night when it's all lit up it is really amazing. There is a ride inside th ball called Spaceship Earth. It's a slow, informational type ride that goes through human communications from the beginning of time, to writing on papyrus, the Guttenburg Press, to the computer age. Other rides there were pretty amazing. Soarin' for! it really was like being in a hang glider. We also road Mission:SPACE. It was pretty neat to feel like we were in a spaceship taking off and as a team we had to land on without crashing. But the favorite ride at this park, without a doubt, was Test Track. It's a ride that is like testing out cars on a crash course...and we were the crash test dummies! Then at the end of the ride we got to see how fast our car would go on the track. Oh yes, we rode that several times. As far as shows go, well we went to Turtle Talk with Crush. I don't know how they do it, but it was really cool to have Crush on the screen, as if in a tank, and actually interact with the kids at the show...answering and asking questions. Super fun! We aslo went to see Captain EO, which for all you people my age, is a 3-D space adventure featuring Michael Jackson. It was 1986 at it's very best. I thought it was great...the kids, well, they couldn't figure out why he looked so much like a girl. But, man, he sure

can dance!
Then there is the World Showcase. We really enjoyed going to see every country. Okay, I did, Tim did too, and I'm pretty sure the girls liked it. But I really enjoyed it. Japan was my favorite. That's another post though. And one thing that my girls didn't quite appreciate was the fact that I put on a hat at almost every country. Also, another post, but it was the classic embarrasing mom episode at each country. Hmmm, maybe that was why the girls lacked enthusiasm about visiting the countries. At night there was a pretty cool fireworks/laser show.

Last, but certainly not least, is the Magic Kingdom. Days upon days could be spent there. The girls absolutely loved loved loved Thunder Mountain Railroad. And riding that in the dark...awesome! We loved Space Mountain, too. A true classic ride, but not the favorite. We met many princesses at the Magic Kingdom, along with Mickey and his friends.   The new sections of Fantasyland were not quite finished, but a lot of it was and in true Disney style, it was amazing. The fireworks over the castle are like none I have ever seen.  We saw and rode just about everthing there was at the Magic Kingdom.  And it wouldn't be a proper Disney experience without a Mickey Mouse shaped icecream treat, so yeah, we had those, too.  The Swiss Family Robinson tree house was pretty amazing, and when we got home we watched the movie.  The Disney house was just like the one in the movie, which was very cool.  We also went to Tom Sawyer's island and that was fun.  We could have spend hours over there exploring, but Thunder Mountain awaited us.  The Laugh Floor from Monsters, Inc. was a funny interactive show that we all really enjoyed.  The only thing not open, other than water rides, was Stitch's Great Escape.  That was a bummer because Stitch is a favorite. 
It seems like years ago that we were in Disney World, yet it's only been 2 1/2 months.  It was so fun and we really enjoyed our time there.  Let the savings we can go again in a few years!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

april 9th - by the hour

8a.m. - kids have showered and are working on the new spelling list and Latin while I throw in the first load of laundry and get my workout done.

9a.m. - workout done, Bible lesson finished, kids working in math...goodbye winter clothes!

10a.m. - laundry hung, chickens fed, garden watered, girls enjoyed snack time and now school outside. A pileated woodpecker is jackhammering away and the cardinals sing as they fly from one side of the yard to the other.

11a.m. - morning dishes done, school still in progresss - although the sun is trying to lure us away from our work,  more winter clothes being removed from closets and drawers to make room for shorts!

12p.m. - weekly trip to the library for fresh books and a movie or two, and a new workout video for me...the A/C wasn't working in the library and it was HOT!

1p.m. - lunch with Tim, laundry already dry since it is so warm is taken down and folded, chickens given more fresh water since it's heating up so fast

2p.m. - picking up an extra kid and heading over to skateland for the monthly homeschool skate day

3p.m. - still at skateland, girls enjoying some fun skating and playing in the arcade with their sweet friend before she leaves for the mission field, I am working on some crochet projects while the music plays loudly...loud enough where I can sing along and no one can hear me:)

4p.m. - girls still skating, I finished one project and continue working on the other

5p.m.- back home, fixing dinner while chatting with my Mom on the phone, clean, folded laundry taken upstairs to be put away...can't quite be done because winter clothes aren't filtered out completely yet
6p.m. - dinner, windows still open, relaxing

7p.m. - listen to radio, plant seeds in starter pots so we can continue to add to the garden, water new seeds, go to garden to check on plants after first hot day...plants look good, asparagus - known for growing super fast - grew about 5 inches since I watered the garden this morning! No kidding! I will measure in the morning tomorrow then again at night to see if it happens again.  I really am serious!  Throw the frisbee for a while with Tim while the girls play before the sun goes down

8p.m. - wash evening dishes, look at pile of folded laundry and decide to wait till tomorrow to put it all away, do evening push-ups with the family - a new routine of push-ups and stretches at night to help firm up my arms

9p.m. - kids in bed, walk on treadmill on highest incline for an hour while watching netflix

10p.m. - cool down, clean up, drink lots of water, in bed before 11p.m.


Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Photo Book

It seems like forever since we were at Disney World even though it's only been about 4 weeks. I created a photo book with Shutterfly as a way to have our most favorite photos all in one place. Here it is so you can flip through and see it all. Enjoy!
Click here to view this photo book larger
You'll love award-winning Shutterfly photo books. Start your own today.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Disney World part 2 - Hollywood Studios & Animal Kingdom

I'm back.  And boy do I have a lot to say!  I am really enjoying reliving our Disney vacation by telling you all of the fun details and sharing pictures.  I hope you are enjoying it, too.  Again, if you click on the collage you will be able to see it bigger.
Hollywood Studios was a great park. There were so many great things to do there. One of our favorite things, being big Star Wars fans, was the Star Tours ride. It was like being in a Star Wars movie! The setting around the ride was awesome, too. Disney really knows how to make great stuff. They had Jedi training sessions for kids. Unfortunately, my children did not want to participate. Had the age limit been higher Tim and I would have done the training just so we could be on stage with Darth Vader using the force. Tim rode the Rock n Roller coaster while the girls and I watched a Beauty and the Beast musical. It was great...but Tim loved that roller coaster. When the musical was over Eliana and I rode the roller coaster. Oh man, it's a good one! It's inside a building, in the dark, with really loud Aerosmith music playing. Oh and also, there is a loop in the ride. I did not tell Eliana that before we rode it...but she liked it! It's definitely a must ride! The one thing we didn't get to ride, which we really wanted to, was the Tower of Terror. The line was long and not moving. We should have gotten a fast pass for that one, but didn't plan ahead.
I feel like I am rambling - but there is so much to say.  The Indiana Jones stunt show was great. Everyone loved that.  Going to see the American Idol show was pretty cool.  The set was just like it is on tv, which was pretty amazing.  No Ryan Seacrest, but there were three judges and one was very critical.  The 3D Muppet show was cute and the Little Mermaid show was cool.  The singing was great.  We would all like to go back to Hollywood Studios.  It was a great park.
Now for Animal Kingdom.  Oh my, it was like a zoo on steroids!  Talk about feeling like you are in Africa.  The safari ride was so wonderful.  The guide was funny and informative.  We got to see so many animals up close.  They even had hippos! Most of them were under the water, but I did catch a couple of them coming up for air.  They also had animals in other areas, not just on the safari.  We saw an anteater for the first time.  Now that is a bizarre looking animal!  I had never seen one in real life.  They are really big-much bigger than I imagined since I had only seen pictures of them. There were kangaroos and porcupines, flamingos and macaws, meerkats and monkeys, gorillas and giraffes, lions and rhinos. At many of the animal habitats there were Disney folks to share interesting facts and details about the animals. Now, of course there were more things to see other than animals. One of the best shows ever was the Festival of the Lion King in Camp Minnie-Mickey. It was so great! The costumes and singing..the whole show - definitely a must-see. Over in Dinoland we loved Finding Nemo the Musical. The actors were in costumes and had to sing and act with giant puppets of the Nemo characters. A great show, we loved it! Now that I'm talking about Dinoland let me just say that the ride Dinosaur was like being in the movie Jurassic Park. It was super fun. Let's move on to Asia. The minute details to make it really feel like being in Nepal were amazing...the colorful banners, the clothing on the terrace by the river, Mt. Everest. Oh yes, if you are a rider of roller coasters you will love Expedition Everest. We all rode it. The Yeti was awesome and going backwards after running out of is not a ride to be skipped.  We also took a train out to Rafiki's Planet Watch.  The had a petting zoo with sheep and goats.  Who doesn't love sheep and goats, right?  We got to meet Rafiki out there...that was fun.  We also got to see where the Disney veterinarians do their work.  Unfortunately we didn't get to go into the animal clinic areas, but there were window so we could see how and where the took care of all the animals.
There is so much more I could say about these two parks, but I don't think you could stand to hear it all.  Only two more parks to discuss.  Brace yourself because Epcot and the Magic Kingdom are next!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Disney World part 1 - Have we met?

One of the fun things, which I think was more enjoyable for everyone than we expected, was meeting the Disney characters and princesses. I took an inexcusable amount of pictures while we were at Disney World and there is no way your computer can load them in a timely fashion. In order to condense the experience and keep the computers happy, I made some picture collages. Oh, it was difficult to choose, but decisions had to made.  I did include each person we met so You get  to see them all...just not every shot of every encounter. Hopefully you'll be able to click on the collages to see them a little bit bigger.
Obviously, in the above collage you can see the princesses.  I also included Alice and Mary Poppins.  Not princesses, but wonderful just the same.  I also included Gaston!  He was very funny and thought very highly of himself.  The girls didn't really want to have their picture taken with him, but he was really funny so they posed with him anyway.
And this collage contains all of the characters we met.  There are two Mickeys in there because we met him once at the Animal Kingdom in his safari outfit, then we saw him again at Epcot.  My personal favorite was Rafiki...yep, I had to be in that picture.  Of course we all love Minnie and Mickey the most.  Who doesn't?  Stitch was pretty awesome, too.  So awesome, in fact, that Eliana wants her birthday to be Stitch themed.  I love that! 

There are more collages to come...parades, rides, shows, fireworks!  I have so much more to share.
I'll be back soon.  xoANG

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Poolside post

It is our last day.  The girls are soaking in some pool fun before we hop on a plane back to our winter wonderland of a home.  We met just about every princess and character. That was really fun.  I will have you know that my girls rode Expedition Everest, Thunder Mountain Railroad, Space Mountain, Test Track, Star Tours, Mission to Mars, Soarin, Dinosaur, Rock n Rollercoaster(not Olivia)...and a ton of non fast rides and shows. I have a so many pictures. I cant wait
to share them with you.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Having fun

Well, we stopped at the Magic Kingdom on the day we arrived.  We didnt have much daylight going in, but we really wanted to see the fireworks show...AMAZING!! We did ride Its a Small World and the Dumbo ride.  Eliana and Tim rode a small rollercoaster called the Barnstormer.  Elianas first rollercoaster. She loved it! No, Olivia didnt ride it. She want ready.  She did ride her first one today, but thats another story.  There was also a dance party with Stitch, Pluto, and Goofy.  It was fun..great (loud) music, concert lights, and lots of kids dancing. No, my girls wouldnt join in, but they enjoyed watching. There were other things we did on those few short hours at the Magic Kingdom but they are escaping me at the moment.  We will be going back in a couple of days so we can be sure to meet every princess and character we can find...and to ride Thunder Mountain Railroad and Space Mountain.  Pictures will come later. They are on my camera so i will do picture posts when we return.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

From VA to FL

we made it safely to Florida. The flight was nice. The take off was like the start of a rollercoaster.  We shot down the runway. The view of the VA mountains capped with snow was breathtaking. The flight itself was smooth.  The landing was perfect.  The girls enjoyed the flight although on ascending and descending they felt wierd, normal flight wierd like elevator feeling magnified.  It is hot here. Yay! I will check back in soon.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

the tween is in the house!

 Well, the end of January is very near and I have yet to share pictures from Olivia's 10th birthday or Christmas.  I will start with Olivia.  As you can see from the cake, she chose to have an artist party.  The cake turned out pretty good.  Again, the teachings of my cake genius friend have helped me to make a great cake.  The birthday girls was very pleased...and frankly, that's what counts.  I'd like to say that the color is off, but no, it's pretty true to life.  I was aiming for neon pink and super bright paints on that palette and I think it worked. 
 Now, you can't be an artist without a beret.  It was the only real gift request and thanks to Target, I found one, well, two.  You know they both needed to have a beret.  I love a cute hat.  Olivia's is a lovely raspberry color...go ahead, indulge in the music of the 80's and sing it.  No one will mind.  They may wonder why all of a sudden you were inspired to hum a Prince tune for the rest of the day, but it's okay.  You only re-live once!
 Many gifts for this party were true to the theme.  She got loaded up with every artistic medium you can think of.  Sketching pencils, water color pencils, oil pastels, soft pastels, acrylic paints, all the special papers for each medium, and extra drawing pads to keep the creative juices flowing.
 She was super excited to have an art box to take on the go that had a built in easel.  Once the weather warms up I can see this being used under the dogwood tree or in the shade of the chicken coop as she sketches the details of her surroundings.
 Oh, and the dress.  The birthday is quite frowned upon when I try to call it the birthday suit.  I went a completely different direction this year.  Usually the outfit to match the theme, and even the chosen fabric, is a surprise.  Not this year.  Ten is big...ten has a style...ten has specific likes and dislikes, so we went to the fabric store together.  She chose this awesome tie dyed fabric.  It's so her. 
 Then we headed over to the patterns.  She wanted a dress...with a v-neck.  We searched and found this perfect dress, Simplicity's New Look 6171,...a fake wrap-around with an elastic waist for the super skinny girl and cute sleeves.  The pattern has many variations...three quarter sleeves and a collar or an asymmetrical tunic top and capris.  I love the variety, I can see other variations being more of Eliana's style, but this is what Olivia chose.
 The pattern seemed complicated at first, but came together easily, and it fits perfectly.  I did make it longer that it was supposed to be because, well, mini doesn't go over well here.   She chose the button...a perfect match and a lovely detail that was a must.  Had I thought ahead I could have done a little fussy cutting to get that tie dye burst to match up perfectly on the wrap around part on the front, but even without the fussy cutting it came out pretty close. 
I still can't believe I have a 10 year old.  She loves to read, mysteries mostly, oh and you can never have too many graphic novels.  She loves to write magazines for her friends and create her own comic books occasionally, but mostly she loves to draw.  She's a blessing to us, great big sister and a wonderful friend.  Ten.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

double digits

Well, it's baby turned 10 years old.  I cannot believe ten years have passed.  She is on the precipice of teen years and quite excited...especially now that she is officially a tween.  We had a small celebration with the opening of one gift from us and one from a friend.  The day was relaxed and fun.  The birthday girl requested a taco dinner (which was a gift to me-simple and delicious) then we went to Sweet Frog for dessert. Yum!  The party where there are more gifts and most importantly cake, will be this weekend when family from near and far will come and celebrate with us.  We are looking forward to it!