Welcome to our adventures. I try as best as I can to document the happenings here in our family - everything from the shenanigans to the spiritual, from the kid to the kitchen, from the cat to the catastrophes. We believe that adventure can be found in everything we do...even in the mundane tasks of the day. When we set our minds on things above in gratitude to God, we find the strength to approach life with a sense of purpose & adventure. The adventure may not always be what we have planned...but isn't that what adventure is all about?

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Sunday, August 31, 2008

Happy Labor Day to everyone! As I write this, it's actually Labor Day Eve and we're just getting ready to settle in for the night. Tomorrow we are having our first official "social" at the house. I'm throwing Mike a party to celebrate his....deep breath....FORTIETH birthday. The old man looks darn good for his age if I don't say so myself - it must be that "youthful" behavior that keeps him looking so young (and I mean that in the most respectful way).

The real shout out goes to both our Moms (Mom and Mom) who had the REAL labor days so many (many, many) years ago. You guys are the best! Thanks for having and putting up with us...you done did good.

Now, for 2 days I get to be FOUR years younger than Mike instead of three :) Hey, you gotta take it where you can.

May your labor day be restful and memorable.
love and hamburger buns,

Tuesday, August 26, 2008
There's a little game that I've seen played in the blogosphere which I myself have never been privy to participate in. But, thanks to my buddy Melissa (of the Posch variety) I am now Tag-a-licious!

So my job, as the TAGee is to share 6 random things about myself and then tag some other people. I can so do random...here it goes:

1. Speaking of random, I randomly like to take pictures of random silly things with my cell phone and then send them randomly as picture mail to my husband at random times of the day. Sometimes, I'm even in the house with him. (Don't worry, we have unlimited picture mail with our Verizon service). Yes, this is really odd but, come on...you know with whom you deal. To the right is a random picture I selected from my selection of random pictures.

2. I have a problem with my sheets and bedspread not being taut. I would rather have my bed completely unmade and very messy then have wrinkles in my made bed. My husband can attest to this painful reality. In addition, I cannot get in my bed if it is messy...so, I will straighten the sheets (making them taut) before entry. I've also been known to get up in the middle of the night and pull the sheets taut and re-enter (sometimes the sheet gets tangled around Mike, leaving me with the feeling of un-tautness - this will wake me from a dead sleep). While we're on the subject of sleeping, I also need to have my right foot OUTSIDE of the sheets in order to get to sleep.

3. When somebody talks about something that is gory, my foot will begin to become uncomfortable (probably because it never gets any time under the sheet). Mom - please leave a comment on this post and tell them I'm not lying! In fact just the other day my Mom was telling me about something and she paused saying, "I know this is making your foot hurt, but..."

4. I love to make silly songs. This is usually done whilst in the car with Abby (sometimes Mike is privy to the show, but mostly it's just me and the girl). I'm actually quite good at spur of the moment silly songs. But you will never know...it's a mad skill I save for only my family. In addition, I love to sing operatically. I'm not sure if operatically is a word, but what I mean is "in the style of Opera". Sometimes I like to combine my silly songs AND my operatic singing, and then other times when I'm not feeling creative, I'll just sing Opera style to old '80's songs like, "Danger Zone" by Kenny Loggins.

5. I have Incredible Hulk issues...as a child, my brother and I had a bunk bed. Being older, I had the top bunk. In order to get to the top, I had to climb a ladder on the side, which was right next to the closet. At night, I was convinced that the Incredible Hulk was going to come out of the closet and get my leg as I climbed up the ladder. As an adult, I still have problems with being close to a closet in the dark. I can't even really be a fan of Lou Ferrigno...ever. And don't even get me started about Bill Bixby.

6. I guess that's really too many quirky things to know about me...will you even read on? I love to make cards and do crafty things, I love to cook, I like taking pictures, spending time with my family, playing games, going on adventures, singing, getting good deals, the beach, rainy days and Jesus.

Hope I didn't lose you. Your turn - here are the rules:
1. Link to the person who tagged you
2. Post the rules to your blog
3. Write 6 random things about yourself
4. Tag 6 people at the end of your post and link to them
5. Let each person you have tagged know by leaving a comment on their blog.
6. Let the tagger know when your entry is posted.

Now, my turn...TAG! You're it:
Suzy @ JahnJunction
Kara @ Chasing Monkeys
Sarah @ Fiddledeedee!
Barney @ Don't Worry Be Happy

love and operatic silly songs,
Monday, August 25, 2008

No - this picture wasn't taken in October or November. This picture was taken last Sunday after church. Leaves on the ground in August, you say? Yep - that's what happens when there is a DROUGHT. Apparently, these parts have experienced drought for a few years now with last year being the worst. This August is one of the driest on record in the last 60 years. They actually pray for rain at church!

Today our prayers were answered...rain has falled steadily all day long. At times is was so heavy that you had to raise your voice a bit so the person next to you could hear. At other times, it was a gentle sprinkle - a respite for grocery shoppers taking their cart of Kroger goods to the car (like me!).

Like the leaves falling off the tree in August or the rain pouring all day long after so long without a drop, I'm reminded that I am not in control! If it were up to me, I would build a spreadsheet with charts and graphs and couple it with a computer program that would generate the times and seasons of all things to happen. I would email it to all the elements and post it on the blog. I know you're probably glad that I resigned from the universe caretakers position...

Stepping back from the universe perspective and taking to a human perspective - I feel the need to control things in my life. For awhile this works...but inevitably my hands tire of holding onto everything and something slips. I can't do it on my own. With God, it's in the letting go where true freedom and liberation can be found.

The author of Hebrew's tells us that Jesus upholds "all things by the word of his power". I love the Amplified version which reads, "upholding and maintaining and guiding and propelling the universe by His mighty word of power". He makes the rain fall when it needs to fall - He's in charge of every leaf on every tree, the cattle on 1000 hills and every hair on my head. Shhh....listen....that's the sound of me letting out a deep sigh of relief. God is in control...that doesn't mean that I sit as a passive bump on a log and let everything happen around me. It means that I get to participate with the Creator of the Universe as he "guides and propells" my life by His "mighty word of power".

I'm excited to find rest in the hands of the everlasting God...may you find your rest as well.

Friday, August 15, 2008
Just a quick update for ya on the haps at Club Amaro.

As of yesterday our apartment is FINALLY empty...and CLEAN! I never thought I would see it empty. Good grief. I spent 4 hours cleaning that place - spic and span it was when I was done. The fella came in to do the walk through and said, "Awesome" and "Ah man, I sure pray-shate this" about 7 times each and then signed off on it! They are real relaxed here about deposits - we were not required to pay a one - not to mention our first month was free. The guy doing the walk through was so grateful for me having cleaned it the way I did that I got the sense that it wasn't something that was required. Oh well...it made me feel good to do it.

Boxes are slowly but surely disappearing, thanks to B & M who are going to be moving in a few weeks (I think). They are still working on their house, which is going to be incredible once it's finished! We are looking forward to being down the street from each other (and we're also looking forward to being settled!). Rooms are starting to become functional (I cooked my first official meal on my new stove tonight). There's always the reorganizing that will take place for the next few months, but it feels good to have rooms in working order.

"Painter Rob" just finished the guest bathroom - it looks fabulous. The color is "Swiss Almond" and it's a major improvement over the wallpaper. The prior owners must have gotten a deal on this hunter green and maroon stripped wall paper because it's everywhere. The cool news is that Painter Rob needs an updated website....and, I just so happen to know someone who does websites and also needs her living room painted. The sunny-yellow is a little too perky for us and it's not quite right with the merlot couch and chairs.

Abby is having a blast in Kindergarten...the above shot is a pic of their Teddy Bear picnic they had today. This was "bear" week at school...they were asked to bring a stuffed animal bear to school to hang out for the week. They learned all about bears, hibernation, types of bears and all that kind of stuff. Abby had her first trip to the school nurse on Thursday after she tripped, fell and bled. She told me every last detail on the way home from school that day and at the very end she said this about the school nurse: "She sure knows about being a nurse".

Last but not least, we had a fun spur of the moment outing tonight - all the way to our next door neighbors house. The husband is part of a garage band (and I mean that literally...they play in their garage!). They had a huge table of food, a whole bunch of guys playin' stuff and a nice big couch for the wives. They played country oldies, and they were REALLY GOOD! There was a stand up bass, steel guitar, piano, guitars and a full drum set. They were just jammin' the night away. The male singer had a great Johnny Cash sounding voice and there was a gal there who sang a few and she sounded like Loretta Lynn. We hung out there for quite a while just listening and laughing at the 'back and fourth' banter between the musicians. Even Abby got into it. We are excited about having such cool neighbors!

Well, I hope that everyone has a great weekend in store...I can pretty much sum up the weekend ahead for us in one word: BOXES. We are excited for our first official visitation, which is coming up in less than a month...but, before that happens, there's a little matter of someone turning into a new decade. HMmmmmmmmm....

love and 30 somethings,
Sunday, August 10, 2008

Greetings from the other side of town...

Yes, we just spent the first night in our new-to-us house. Yesterday we got help from our small group guys...they loaded up all the furniture and bulky stuff and unloaded in less than 2 hours! What a blessing... However, I would say that we are FAR from being "moved in" though. Our house is in a slight state of chaos right now.

Hindsight being 20/20, we probably would have done our move a little differently, but hey - it is what it is. The good news is, Abby's room is all setup. In an attempt to make relatively little impact on her Kindergarten sized world, I thought it would be the best use of my time to get her room livable. Her room is actually much bigger than the one at the apartment (and the one on Charlotte Ave for that matter). She has a cute little reading area right by her window. Super cute.

Here are some observations from our first 24 hours here:

1. We have frogs. Yes, the pool in the backyard (which is supposed to be disappearing any day now) has turned into a swamp of some sort that has invited some interesting critters including dragonflies, mosquitoes and frogs. The frogs are loud and they only come out at night apparently...it's cute for about 45 seconds, then it's just annoying.

2. This house is big. If I am in laundry room and Abby is in her room, I can yell for her to "come here" and she will not hear me. This is a problem for people who like to beckon for others by yelling from the opposite side of the house (i.e. me). I'm actually going to have to get up and look for someone. Not to mention, it's a long walk from one end of the house to the other!

3. Have I mentioned lately that I hate moving boxes and packing paper?

4. I'm thrilled to have once again moved crap that I don't need. Maybe by next move I'll get it right. People, I've said this before and I'll say it again - get rid of stuff you don't use, de-clutter your life...throw away the 4 year old jar of 1/2 used lemon pepper. C'mon.

More to follow.

Thursday, August 7, 2008
Today a dream of mine came true...I sat on my very own front porch and watched a summer rain fall. The only thing missing was a mint julep. Actually, I don't really know what those taste like...I would have settled for a margarita, a cosmopolitan or really just something to drink.

I did my first load of laundry in my new washer and dryer...I never planned to get so excited about laundry, but it did happen and I'm not going to try and hide it.

Our office is no longer harvest gold and hunter green - it's "Thyme". Thanks, Rob.

My main man lit the pilot light on the water heater, saving us a $75 service call. I'm proud of him - we are both scared of gas and open flames coming together so close to our person.

My daughter picked "Scrapbooking" and "Planting a Watermelon" as her Electives for this quarter. I wasn't aware that Kindergarten had electives...but then again it was the stone ages when I attended that level of schooling.

God has blessed us with an amazing small group who have volunteered to help us move the big stuff.

I was first in line at the "pick up" on Tuesday...it was 95 degrees and I had to wait 30 minutes with my windows rolled down. I took a nap. I decided I had better things to do, so this is not a goal of mine anymore.

Here is hoping your tidbits are well...

Monday, August 4, 2008
Get your mind out of the gutter - HELLO - this is a family-friendly site! I have to catalog my CVS plunder from today...you'll be amazed to know that the following items I secured with less than $5.00 out of pocket, plus I got money back (in the form of CVS Extra Care Bucks) to boot!

Breakin' it down:


8 Packages Orbit (42 count) Gum, various flavors
On sale for 2/$3.00

Regular Price: $12.00
EC Bucks Used: $9.99
Out of my Pocket: $2.21
EC Bucks Earned: $5.00
Total cost to me: FREE plus $2.79 overage.


4 Bottles of PERT PLUS on sale BOGO
2 Bottles of SURE deodorant
2 Tubes Colgate Total
1 Tube Crest Pro Health

Total Price: $18.84
Coupons used: $12.75
EC Bucks used: $5.00 (from previous transaction)
Out of my pocket: $2.44
EC Bucks earned: $5.50
Total Cost to me: FREE plus $3.06 overage

YEAH!!! Just so you all know - when you come to visit us, DO NOT BRING TOILETRIES (or gum)!!

A hungry Abby polished off her egg this morning in the blink of an eye...her comment upon finishing the last bite? "Man, I finished that egg in a jiffy!"

After my chuckling died down, Abby started in on her fruit, which consisted of some peach and pear. The peach, while very delicious, had a skin that was not so pretty. Abby picked it up, looked at it and commented, "this peach skin is spinning out of control".

Oh the years ahead where many other people will have input into Abby's vocabulary and life besides Mom and Dad...people who say things like "jiffy" and "spinning out of control". If this is the extent of it, then I can't complain - but it does remind me how important it is as parents that we take action and bathe our children in prayer DAILY.

"Arise, cry out in the night, as the watches of the night begin; pour out your heart like water in the presence of the Lord. Lift up your hands to him for the lives of your children, who faint from hunger at the head of every street."
Lamentations 2:19
Saturday, August 2, 2008

Abby had a "show and tell" activity on Friday...teacher asked her to bring 3 things that showed something about herself. She choose: Her road trip scrapbook, her play microphone and her camera. Of course, I knew that she'd come home with a few new flicks in her camera! Her teacher was nice enough to snap a pic of the class...then offered to snap one of the two of them. So here's a pic of Abby with her teacher:

The first week of school is in the books. A routine is starting to be established and I'm figuring out the whole "pick up" thing. It's quite a nice time of solitude, I must say...sitting in the "line" with nothing but the hum of my engine choking away gas at $3.75 a gallon. My new goal in life is to try to be first in the pick up line. Each day this week I would go a minute or two earlier but could never get that first spot! The closest I've gotten is probably 10th. I notice that the higher grade pick up line (they get out 30 minutes AFTER the kinders) is starting to queue up before I even get to the kinder line! So you have people sitting there for an hour...I don't get that. Of course in order to be first in line, I may have to get there an hour early. Oh the sacrifices...we'll see just how bad I want it.

The new Club Amaro is slowly but surely being established. Mike went and got the contents of our storage unit and placed everything in the garage. Today, I took advantage of our state's "no sales tax" day and purchased 3 major appliances and a guest bed. On top of no tax, the appliances were 10% off...yay! We still haven't started the process of boxing stuff - it's still a little too painful to think about. I may go over to the house and put some batteries in the smoke detectors. Yeah, that will definitely push the progress meter forward. We are praying that somehow a little man would come and paint our office before we move in. I know how Mike and I are - once that office furniture gets in there, forget it...it's hunter green and harvest gold crackle forever! Complete with "books" wallpaper strip) see this picture for a refresher.

There are all those little things that you need to find out when you take over a house...here are some of my current questions:
1. How in the world do you use a riding mower?
2. What in the world is a water softener, why do I have one and do I need to touch it?
3. How do I light the water heater pilot light (NO the gas company will NOT come out and do that here....TITO, WHERE ARE YOU??)
4. Where is the filter on that monster air conditioning unit outside?
5. Which of these 8 light switches turns on the light?

I remember when we sold Charlotte Ave...I made this awesome document for our new owners...I put EVERYTHING in there, right down to the name of our mailman. I had a tidy little folder with all appliance documentation and other information of note. And, I even left a nice gift basket as a housewarming gift! All we got from our sellers were cobwebs and a riding mower (sans instructions). I think there was a pamphlet about the stove and dishwasher - but that's it! Oh well...

That's it for now...I'll try to come up with a post that's not related somehow to school or house stuff. It's sort of our life right now, I'm sure you understand.

tax free love,