Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Kindergarten Cake

Being unplugged sure has opened up a lot of time in my schedule for doing things I enjoy...like making an impromptu cake and decorating it for our first day of school. Wow! I guess I never realized just how much my "plugged in" times were creeping up and taking over my entire life. Anyways, without further ado, the Welcome to Kindergarten Cake!

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Our second day of kindergarten shall see us EATING the Welcome to Kindergarten Cake! YUM! Chloe is excited. I must be off now. Our second day of school awaits.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Unplugged

Our family is officially "unplugged" for the week. No more television, movies, video games, computer games, internet browsing...and the like. (The only exceptions are school and business purposes.)

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I spend waaaayyyyyy too much time on the computer and playing video games. It hit me Saturday night while James and I were trying to figure out what to do together. I suggested watch a movie and we spent the next half hour jumping from one channel to the next trying to find a "good show" to watch. Finally I said, "this is silly...let's play the Wii." Yep...took us the next 30 minutes to settle on which game to play. TIME WASTED! By the time we played the game once, it was bedtime. We could have played Monopoly in that time and been able to talk, laugh and enjoy each other instead of fussing over the television.

Lightbulb Moment!

So, we are unplugged this week. (At least Chloe and I are.) And I will attempt to post each day to tell you of all the things we get accomplished when we are not glued to a screen of some sort. My morning computer time (for emails and blogging purposes) is now over and I must be off to begin our first day of school. (more about that on my other blog later this evening.)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Journey Begins Anew

You all may be wondering, "whatever happened to James and Anna's adoption plans?" right? Well, they sort of got put on hold last summer when we received James orders to Afghanistan. They don't want you to adopt if you have a move on the foreseeable horizen, so we put the process on hold until we were a little bit more sure of our stability in this house.

Well, as you may recall, we did not receive our orders to England last month as we anticipated so that allowed me to broach the subject of adoption once again.

The answer is YES! We are beginning our adoption process once more. We have picked an agency and will be contacting them this week to pursue the 27 hours of training we need before we can start the home study through them. I am excited. I am nervous. I am scared. So many emotions are running through me at the moment.

I began reading the book Attaching in Adoption last night. I will probably be reading every positive, helpful adoption book I can get my hands on in the next year or two. Oh...how thrilling to be on this journey once more and hopefully the end of that journey will be with a child in our arms and not another deployment. I can't wait to share with you the ups and downs of our journey. Its bound to be exciting and heart-wrenching and everything in between.

Letterboxing Adventures

Chloe's friend Jackson came over today for a visit. I decided last night that I needed to completely wear them out find a way for them to exert their abundance of energy. I picked letterboxing for our activity of the day. I picked a state park complete with hiking trails for maximum weariness "physical exertion".

It worked.

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Thank goodness we took a wrong trail and found some gorgeous places like this...

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...and this...

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If we had taken the correct trail from the beginning, we never would have seen these cool mushrooms growing on a log. I imagine fairies coming and living on these mushrooms, or attending tea parties on them. They just look like something out of fairyland, don't they?

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Needless to say, by the time we figured out that the trail was quite a bit more difficult than the clues stated and hiked back down to the correct trail, both the children and I desperately needed nourishment. I dug out the "energy snacks" (granola bars) and we enjoyed the energy burst.

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We finally found the letterbox and I let each child take a turn stamping the books. Jackson stamped the letterbox book with our family stamp and Chloe stamped our book with the letterbox stamp.

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During the entire 3 hour hike (which was only supposed to be an hour or less) we saw many different kinds of bugs and animals. We stopped for every single bug and caterpillar who dared cross our path. The coolest animal warranted a picture.

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I felt so happy that we saw this crane on our way back to the car. I think, all in all, the children enjoyed their time in the woods and I can assure you they are tuckered out completely and will be sleeping quite soundly tonight.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Bowling Night

Our family loves bowling. I don't know why, really. I guess part of it is because James took me bowling on our very first date back when we were teenagers. There was not a lot for us to do in our town so we went bowling. We have loved bowling together ever since.

Last night we sped off to a nearby bowling alley for an impromptu game.

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Check out that grin! I believe we have the start to a lifetime love of bowling, folks.

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I started the game off with a strike. James came back in the final two frames to beat me by 11 points. I scored an even 100. HOORAY! I am always excited to break 100. James, on the other hand, should be bowling around 200 so he is obviously not on top of his game. I have carpal tunnel syndrome so the ball becomes too heavy for me to bowl properly after about two frames. I wonder what his excuse is?

I know I promised pictures of our Fourth of July camping trip. I am very sorry. We got out to our camping spot and I snapped a picture only to find out that my memory card was not in the camera. This means I was extremely limited as to the amount of pictures I could take and the chosen few were stored on the camera's internal memory. This means, in order for me to get the pictures onto this blog I have to walk downstairs and hook the camera up to the main computer and retrieve the pics. Do you think I can do that? Sure I can. But will I? Nah. I am too lazy for that. You may see the pictures sometime around Thanksgiving, if you are lucky.

I am off now to finish up a box with Chloe. You will have to check out our homeschool blog later today to find out what sort of box and why. Have a fantastic Friday everyone. Think of something you accomplished today and smile. Drink a cup of tea (or coffee) and indulge in something sweet as your celebration in accomplishing that.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Catching Up!

Man, I am out of breath. Can you hear my heart pounding? I am sure you can, even through this here computer monitor. It's quite loud. Now physical activity is not what caused my shortness of breath. No. On the contrary. Life has. What a whirlwind life can be sometimes, can't it? Circumstances just sort of sweep in unexpectedly and take you for a roller coaster ride.

My latest roller coaster adventure involves a cake and some knitting. I received an email at some point last week reminding me of a baby shower this Sunday for which I volunteered to make a cake. Shwooosh! Thank goodness for friends who are on top of things enough to remind those of us who aren't what our duties are. I totally forgot about the shower and the cake.

I bought the supplies, baked half the cake (It was a two layer one so I baked one layer. I did NOT take it out of the oven halfway through the baking.) and then forgot about the cake again until someone reminded me Saturday evening at about 6:00 pm. I rushed home from our all day crafting event to finish baking the cake and began icing it at about 10:00 at night. Wow! Here is what I came up with for our "bright pink floral" theme.

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I now feel inspired to practice my cake decorating skills a bit more instead of waiting until the next function that needs a cake. Maybe that way I can improve my skills a bit.

In knitting news, I found some time to finish up a square for my afghan last week. Woo Hoo! Yay! Yahoo! Yippee!

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And I will have another square to show you shortly since I worked on one the entire day Saturday at the craft day. I will be happy when this one is finished. Its one of those that looks quick and simple yet takes the longest amount of time and yarn to complete. It doesn't even have cables so I have no idea why it is taking so much of both.

I asked James last week which he would rather I finish. The queen size quilt which needs to be hand-quilted or this knitted afghan. I told him to pick the project and I would devote all my crafting energies into it until it was complete. He chose the afghan. I sure hope I can finish it soon so I can move on. I have some lovely sewing projects I would like to start on soon.

I am off now to update the Homeschool blog and then its time to fix dinner. Pot roast and potatoes tonight. Yum!

Friday, July 09, 2010

Happy Belated Father's Day!

I missed it. I totally missed Father's Day. Thank goodness James requests that I do nothing for him on Father's Day. His reasoning? "I'm not your father." Likewise, I pull teeth out just to get proper accolades on mother's day. "Your not my mother," he calmly states.

Anyways, he shared this video with me today and I thought it funny enough to share with you all. A little late, but I hope you enjoy it none-the-less.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Her Mother' Hope Book Review

While camping this past weekend (more on that in my next post), I read Her Mother's Hope by Francine Rivers. Oh my goodness. What a fantastic book. Its rather large, but I managed to finish it in three days. That's how good it was. Francine Rivers is one of the most talented authors of our time. I can honestly say that. I read her books and wish they would never end. Most books I just have to get to the end to see what happens and then I am done and move on to another book. Not so with her books. I sit there wishing there were more.

This book spoke deeply to my heart. Not only was it a fantastic read, but it challenged me in multiple ways. I want to be a better housewife. I want to be a better mother. I want to work on my relationship my own mother. Through this book I was able to see glimpses of my own life and my own shortcomings.

Another thing brought back into existence by this book is my dream of owning a hobby farm. I thought I had put that dream to rest a few months back but it has resurfaced once again. Oh, I just want chickens and a cow and some rabbits and maybe some goats. I dream of owning fruit trees from which I can put up fruit for winter. I dream of a large vegetable garden and large trees that shade my porch and a creek hidden in the woods out back that my family can fish in.

Funny thing is...I told myself as this dream bubbled back up this week, "Now Anna, you put that dream to rest. Leave it there." But it just doesn't seem to want to leave. And then yesterday I received a notice from Mary Jane for a subscription to her wonderful magazine MaryJanes Farm. Oh no. Here we go again.

Maybe its okay to dream. Marta in the book above dreamed. She didn't get to spend her life living her dream, and she learned how to be content with the life God gave her, but she still held onto her dream. Maybe I can do that too. I need to be content with the life God has given me, the amount of children I have, the particular husband I have been blessed to serve...but I can dream about a farm sometimes. As long as that dream doesn't make me discontent with what I have been given.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Camping Weekend

I am thrilled to announce that the family and I will be camping this weekend. Yay! Our first trip of the year. I hope we will have many more this summer...or at least two more because that's the amount I have planned.

This trip was sort of spur of the moment today but sort of not. You see...about a week ago I began asking if we could go camping this weekend, forgetting that it was the fourth of July weekend and everything would be booked up.

Well, lo and behold, I found a place on the water that had a few sites still available and just as I was about to book them, James called to inform me that we have been invited over to a co-workers house for a party on the fourth. Yippee!(did you hear that hint of sarcasm?) I didn't want to give up my four day weekend camping trip to go to someone's house who I do not know for a couple of hours. James made his final decision and it did not include camping.

Today I came up with the most brilliant idea, the day before the non-existent camping trip was to be. Why don't we just go camping for two nights instead of three? We still pay for the three nights but that doesn't mean the entire weekend has to be spent sitting around on the couch doing nothing. Oh no. We can still go and thoroughly enjoy our two nights out in the woods.

And go we will. Tomorrow! I am so excited. I have the tiki torches, the two cans of OFF!, the giant citronella candle, the bug coils, the mosquito lantern and the S'Mores supplies. What more does a girl need? (Note: The tiki torches, bug spray, candle, coils and lantern are for James while the S'Mores are for me. Just thought I would point out that all important fact. We each have our own priorities.)

I must take my camera and get a few pictures to show you all. This is gonna be one crazily busy weekend, but oh...its gonna be so much fun! I'll chat at you all Monday! Have a glorious weekend and a very merry Independence Day. I am off to take inventory of the camping supply tote stored in the shed.