Friday, November 30, 2007

Coffee Fact

Infidels only consumed this delightful beverage until Pope Clement VIII found it to his taste and lifted the ban which had long denied Christians the enjoyment of this pleasurable and stimulating beverage. (Imagine~ no coffee before Sunday School or a church social without coffee!!! I shutter to think.)

Caitlin's Driving!!!!

Caitlin has had her first on the highway, in the Suburban, loaded with passengers, driving experience. She even had to merge out onto the highway! I was in the back with my eyes closed, Lee was the brave one in the front. For her first time out on the open road she did really well. I am looking forward to the day when she can shuttle me around town and not the other way around!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

CTTS=Cute Things They Say

It's been awhile since my last "cute things they say", partly because when they say cute stuff I either forget it or fail to sit down and tap it out quickly enough. SO this time I headed straight to the computer~ well after I did the dishes, folded a load of laundry and took a shower etc... but you get the idea. Today's CTTS comes from Gracie. I was helping her with her Grammar schoolwork which was a lesson on contractions. I went through it with her explaining that contractions were two words combined into one with an apostrophe replacing the missing letters. We practiced reading them, then went through the list guessing which two words had been crammed together, like I am=I'm and is not = isn't. You get the idea, right? After rolling right along doing this for a little while, her next task was to read a list of contractions then use each one out loud in a sentence. The first contraction was the word "I'll". Gracie read it then said "oh oh I know a sentence for that one!" "OK shoot" I said. Then she proceeded with "At Food Lion the milk is on AISLE ten." Hmmmm... I wonder where I went wrong?

Monday, November 26, 2007

Bob the Hog

....groundhog that is. He paid us a little visit a few days ago. We figured he was searching for food before he lays down for his long winter nap. If you remember that last time we posted about our groundhog friend Snickers had him hemmed in under Lee's car. Since his brave return to our yard, Abbie has decided that we should call him "Bob". He hung around in the yard for at least 15 minutes while we enjoyed standing at the windows watching him forage. I stealthily took all the pictures of him (which can be seen in our Picasa album) from inside. So I can now add "wildlife photographer" to my list of skills. I'm just waiting for the National Geographic or Animal Planet to call with a job offer but I'm not holding my breath.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Beautiful Beautiful Autumn in Virginia

Our first Fall in over 3 years~ thought we would share it with all of you. Enjoy!

The view from our back window

Our front yard tree

Yep it's quite lovely here in Virginia! The colors that surround us right now are AMAZING!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Just In Time For Thanksgiving

In case you were actually considering hauling out that dry ol' Homemade Mac N Cheese recipe from years gone by this Thanksgiving. I give you the all time, hands down, most fabulous mac n cheese recipe in the world! (In my not so humble opinion that is)
This recipe does come with risks involved which I will explain for you in the following disclaimer.

Disclaimer: Accept this Macaroni and Cheese recipe at your own risk. The gifting party will not and can not be held liable for any and all of the frustrations you may encounter after cooking said recipe and feeding it to others. You may become forever known as the "Mac N Cheese lady/man" and you may be asked to bring said Mac N Cheese to any and all functions you may or may not attend for the rest of your born days. By receiving this recipe you understand that you may never grumble under your breath or out loud about the person who gifted you with said recipe when you have to cook it for the umpteenth time . You now have all rights to this recipe and may share it with any and all parties concerned thereby gaining some relief of responsibility as "the Mac N Cheese lady".

Amy's (now Rebecca's) Fabulous Mac and Cheese

1 lb elbow noodles cooked and drained
1 stick butter (melted)
1 Cup of each of the following shredded cheeses
* mild cheddar
*sharp cheddar
*Mexican Mix or Italian Mix (Asiago, Mozzerella, Parmesan for example)
2 Cups Half and Half (can use evaporated milk instead)
1 16 oz. bar of Velveeta (add to this about a Tbsp of milk)
2 large eggs
salt and pepper (ortional)

1 whole tube Ritz crackers crumbled
1 stick butter (melted)
Parmesan cheese grated

*********** In a VERY large bowl mix cooked noodles with melted butter, eggs and half and half. Then mix in the 3 cups of shredded cheeses, season with a bit of salt and pepper to taste (I used white pepper here). Melt Velveeta in the microwave or stove with a little milk until nice and smooth. Pour the melted Velveeta over the noodle mixture and stir it all together. Pour the entire shebang into a greased 9x13 pan. Sprinkle cracker crumbs over the top, melt the second stick of butter and pour over the top of crackers. Top it off with a little sprinkle of Parmesan cheese. Bake for 35-40 minutes at 350 degrees. Enjoy!!!

Sunday, November 18, 2007


Ok I totally stole this off of Jen's blog. Thanks Jen!!! It was just too much fun to pass up. Alright everyone have a little fun and send me your answers!

Reminder: I have a new email address~

1. Rock star name (first pet & current car):

Me: Benji Suburban

Lee: Claude Mazda

2. Ghangsta name (favorite ice cream flavor & favorite cookie):

Me:Chocolate Snickerdoodle

Lee:Spongebob Chocolate Chip

3. Fly girl name (first initial of first name & first three letters of last):

Me: R Bro

Lee can't be a fly girl

4. Dectective name (favorite color & favorite animal):

Me: Pink Otter

Lee: Red Bull

5. Soap opera name (middle name & city where you were born):

Me: Joan Rutherfordton

Lee: Gary Warner Robins

6. Star-Wars name (first three letter of your last name & first two of your first):

Me: Brore

Lee: Brole

7. Superhero name ("The", 2nd favorite color & your favorite drink):

Me: The Blue Cream Soda

Lee: The Blue Coffee

8. Nascar name (first names of your grandfathers):

Me: Walter Walter

Lee: Rupert

9. Las Vegas Dancer Name (favorite perfume & favorite candy):

Me: Poison Snickers

Lee: No Vegas dancing for him!!

10. Witness Protection Name (mother and father's middle names):

Me: Joan Thomas

Lee: Gary Rubeye

11. TV Weather Anchor Name (5th grade teachers last name & major city beginning with same letter):

Me: Strong Seattle

Lee: Brown Buffalo

12. Spy Name (favorite season & favorite flower):

Me: Autumn Pansy

Lee: Spring Plumeria

13. Cartoon Name (favorite fruit & article of clothing your wearing right now + "y"):

Me: Watermelon Flannel Pantsy

Lee: Pineapple Slippersy

14. Hippy Name (what you ate for breakfast & favorite tree):

Me: Fruitloop Willow

Lee: Toast MonkeyPod

15. Rockstar Tour Name ("The" + favorite hobby/craft + Favorite Weather Element + "Tour"):

Me:The Family Sunshine Tour

Lee: The Baseball Lightning Tour

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Our Cruise to Cozumel

I know it has taken me long enough to get something on here about our cruise. I've been meaning to do it for weeks now and just keep forgetting. Sorry!! We did go on a cruise in mid October with Mimi and Papa and Papaw and Theresa as well as a number of families from Grace Tab. Lee was unable to go with us because of work. :-(
We had four full days of nothing but relaxing fun and food. I LOVED going into Cozumel. Papaw and Theresa rented a van so that we could go see the "real Mexico" and not just the touristy section near the port. Thanks Papaw and Theresa!!! The funny thing is there were 10 of us so we needed a big van. Well the Mexican fellas threw a couch in the back and assured us that there would be plenty of room for everyone. Gracie and Abbie got to see Mexico backwards from their couch in the back of the van. This totally reminded me of the bonnie method of doing things that we had become used to in Guam.
Favorites from the trip:
By far Gracie and Abbie's favorite thing was being able to go down to the Lido deck and get ice cream any time they pleased. I think their record was 11 cones in one day!

Holly and Sami also enjoyed the ice cream machine and they loved shopping in Cozumel and being able to stay up late every night playing cards with friends. I heard that Sami and Holly got a kick out of being able to order room service. Such a grown up thing to do!
Caitlin loved spending every waking minute with Aubry and the other girls that came with our group. She and Aubry went around and had their pictures made at every photo spot available.
Mimi and Papa had alot of fun watching the girls have so much fun. Mimi won a little cash at the casino and papa and I donated a little cash to the casino, but we had fun doing it.
Papaw and Theresa enjoyed the casino a bit too. A highlight was watching Papaw compete in the final round of the slot tournament. He did not win but we had a ton of fun cheering him on.
Lastly, my favorite thing was seeing Mexico. I was able to get plenty of bottles of yummy Mexican Vanilla and I can now add Mexico to my list of places in the world that I have visited.
One little note.... my camera was being stubborn while we were on the cruise, so the bad news is that I did not take any pictures. The good news is that papa did take a few and you can see them in our Picasa Web album.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

A Little Rant

I must say that as popular and "normal" as homeschooling is becoming I am still amazed at the reactions I often get from others that I run across while out and about. I will readily admit that every now and then I do get a positive "ATTA Girl, keep up the good work!" reaction. More times than not though I usually get one of two reactions when people find out that I homeschool the girls.
The first is the classic "you are such a (weirdo) saint" and "how and why would you possibly try to duplicate ALL that a child would be taught in the FABULOUS school down the street?". This is usually followed by a well meaning albeit unsolicited explanation of just how fabulous the school down the street actually is and why their kid is in said school AND just how much their little darling LOVES said school AND how much they would HATE being a (social reject) homeschooler. For some reason people seem to take the fact that we homeschool as an affront or judgment on my part about their decision to send their kiddos to school each day. Hmmm... I have begun to wonder if this is because deep down they might feel a bit guilty that they are not doing the best thing for their child?
The next reaction is the one that REALLY gets me right where I live! That is the one where I hear the other mom say: "oh you are such a (weirdo) saint!!! I could NEVER spend that much time with my children!!!" This is usually followed up by one of several other comments including but not limited to: "we'd kill each other", "I cannot get her to mind me even in the little time we do spend together, she is SOOO strong willed" or the ever popular " we fight like cats and dogs just trying to get the two hours of homework done each night". Mind you this is often said about elementary school aged children. To this reaction I just shake my head and try ( a little bit) to look sympathetic but realistically I am wondering what their home life must be like with all that disagreeing going on. My other immediate thought is that if you cannot get your 7 year old to mind and respect your authority while he is small, then how in the world do you think it will be when he is a teenager?!!! Mental images of their child in the back of a squad car begin to creep into my mind. Then I truly DO start to feel a little sorry for this mom in front of me, mostly because I think of all the grief and heartache she will have over her rebellious child someday. OK, I already know what some of you are a thinking right now. I AM NOT trying to say that homeschooling children do not rebel, believe me I'm not THAT naive. I AM simply saying that I wonder about the logic of a parent who says that they cannot have a respectable relationship with their 7 year old.
As far as homework goes, I wonder if most folks realize that in the time it has taken them to get homework done at night (during what should be family time) they could have just about completed a day of homeschooling? The beauty of it is that you as the teacher do not have to spend half that time deciphering what it is her school teacher is wanting your child to do. Seriously my girls spend a concentrated 2-3 hours per day on school work and then we're finished! Then we get to go spend time with other homeschooled kids and moms (socializing) chatting and laughing about what crazy things we have recently heard come out of the mouths of other parents who just don't get us (weirdo) saints.

**** The italicized, parenthesis words, ALL CAPS and overuse of explanation points were all added by me for EMPHASIS and in some cases to note extreme sarcasm!!!!!!!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Holly's Rendition

The Good Samaritan and His Dog

One day my master and I were getting ready to travel to Jericho from Jerusalem. It is quite a long way to walk, but my master made sure that he had enough water for both of us. My master is so good to me, why just yesterday he said “Barnabus” (that is my name, it means encourager) “you are a most loyal companion” that made me feel so proud. Anyhow the next morning we left and I made sure to stay right by his side the whole time. When we got out of town in the middle of nowhere, three men came out from behind a big rock, and began to beat up my master. I started to growl and bark but they wouldn’t stop. I looked at the three men, and then with all my strength I bit the one who was telling the others what to do. He yelled and picked me up and threw me. I hit my head against a rock, and then everything went black.

When I woke up few minutes later I saw a terrible sight. My master was lying on the side of the road bleeding and he looked half dead. From what I could tell the three men beat my master, ripped his clothes, and stole all of our stuff. I went and went and laid down beside my master, I was so tired, but I didn’t dare fall asleep, I wanted to be awake to protect my master, just in case those men came back. About twenty minutes later a priest came walking down the road. I know it was a priest because he was wearing the clothes only a priest is allowed to wear. He looked at us, and then just walked by on the other side. I was thinking “how rude of a priest to just walk by! “ A little while later, another man came down the road. When he came upon us, he looked at me and said, ”sorry little fellow I can’t help you right now, I’m to busy” I was thinking “ you are to busy for a dieing man?” I had just about given up I was almost asleep, when I heard foot steps. I looked up and saw a man with a donkey coming down the road. When the man came upon us he stopped and helped my master up upon his donkey, then the kind man dressed my master’s wounds. In an hour or two we were in Jericho. The kind man paid for a room in an inn. The nice man stayed the night, but in the morning he had to say good bye. My master thanked him before he left. The nice man gave the inn keeper two silver coins and said “if you spend more than that on the hurt man, I will pay you back the next time come through town”. What a nice man! I do not have thumbs since I am a dog so I could not shake his hand but for his kindness to my master, I gave two wags of my tail.

Written by Holly Brown

Saturday, November 3, 2007

A Fun Word Game

http://www.freerice .com

Increase you vocabulary and feed the hungry! Let me just warn you though, it's addicting!!
I will be posting more soon. We just got our internet back up after almost a month without. Did you all miss me? I missed you!