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?

Follow us by Email

Other Stuff We Do

Thursday, January 29, 2009
Hopefully you've gotten up off the floor after having fallen from the shock of seeing a new post from me. Are you ok? Hopefully it's just minor scratches and bruises. Now, don't get too cozy in your seat, this will be a short one. Starting off with an apology for my absence, and no promises about my activity going forward. I'm just in a bit of a busy season - what can you do.

But, my readers are important to me...and I'm trying my best to keep y'all updated. I do have some good material to post soon...one of them may be a picture of something I've knitted around a street pole in Middle TN. Stay tuned.

For now, here's a little nibble for you to whet your Adventures appetite.

BACKGROUND: Mike waking Abby up for school

Mike: "Abby, wake up honey, it's time to get up...what can I make you for breakfast?"

Abby: (Groggy and Tired) "Is sleep on the menu?"

BACKGROUND: Fast forward 10 minutes...in the kitchen for breakfast

Mike: "So what is it going to be?"
Abby: "Can I have a piece of toast?"
Mike: "Sure...do you want some cereal with that?"
Abby: "No, that's too many grains"

I don't know where she would have gotten something like that from...???!!!
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Just checkin' in ...

Been a little busy here at the Club...mama's been puttin in a few extra hours at the salt mines and it's backin' up the production line.

I was thinking about y'all and thought I'd knock out a post and put any fears to rest that we are freezing our patooties off out here in Middle TN. We are actually acclimating to the weather here in Middle TN (don't think for a minute that I wouldn't transport myself to San Diego in a flash if I could, though). You need proof? I heard Mike say to me the other day when he came in from outside, "WOW...it's really nice outside". It was 36 degrees. I'm also convinced that the weathermen are on drugs - they keep saying it's going to snow yet every day it's sunny and blue skies! They are TEASING me with the snow forecasts! It's not right. I'm officially boycotting the weather forecasts.

On Thursday night we got a phone blast from Abby's school informing us that school would be closed on Friday because, "it's too cold". Yes, that was the exact phrase.


Put on a jacket and do some jumping jacks for heaven sake!

Love & mittens,
Sunday, January 11, 2009
Today is Abby's official birthday...

This morning Abby crawled into our bed and woke us up. Mike whispered, "Happy Birthday" to her and she whispered back, "I feel bigger".

After church Abby ran out to the end of the driveway to get the morning paper, which was quite large and heavy looking (chocked full of good coupons, I was hoping). Mike asked Abby if it was too heavy for her to carry to which she scoffed and said, "C'mon...I'm six."

Oh boy.

Stinkin' cute jacket and hat courtesy of Auntie Kathryn...
The dust is settling here at Club Amaro...

The balloons have been wrangled into the big black garbage bags, the whipping cream caps have found their way back onto the cans and rogue beads have been picked up off the carpet in order to escape the accidental suck of the self-propelled rebel vacuum cleaner. Mike's shirts have been put away and the lemons are happily resting in the fruit bowl again.

Oh sure there were a few casualties - sprinkles and artificially flavored hearts and discs that will never see a frosted cupcake because they were prematurely dumped onto a plate (and subsequently dumped into the trash). And although I can't get that stinkin' Cotton Eyed Joe song out of my head, I would say that Abby's party was a smash - and she would tell you so (and that's all that matters).

A little recap of the festivities...

After the intake process, the girls were herded to the craft area where they made their personalized beaded zipper pullies. They did a pretty good job with it and only 1 girl could not finish. We had all different color pony beads, buttons, stars and letters. I of course was up until 2am having fun making the samples the night before. My favorite was the blue & yellow combo that I did in honor of the Chargers.

After zipper pullies, the girls were whisked off to the kitchen area where they were bagged (a garbage bag over their clothes) and tagged (hair tags, to keep the hair out of their face) and put in front of a mound of whipping cream! Their mission was to fish for the 4 gummy worms hidden somewhere in the sea of cream. I am truly amazed at the girls ability to get it all over their face, but not their hair.

After the Gummy Worm fishing, the girls moved onto Crazy Balloon T-shirt...a game whose object is to have your partner stuff as many balloons in an over sized t-shirt (Mike's came in rather handy!) in a set amount of time while listening to really loud music (again - I'm not above the shameless plug...we went with an old TapWater favorite, "Cococnut"). I got some good video of this and will share it with you once I get my firewire cable back from a certain South African I know.

Next we moved onto the cupcake decoration activity. I had some already made "blank" cupcakes for the girls and let them loose with a bunch of partially hydrogenated frosting's and sprinkles. I was horrified by the amount of frosting, sprinkles and decor gel that were sacrificed for one little cupcake. On the other hand, I watched as my own daughter daintily embellished her cake, not wasting or overdoing. Man, I just have NO idea where that comes from.

I'll be real honest, after the cupcake decorating, everything was a blur to me. I know there was a printed schedule, and I know that it was adhered to...but, I myself was running on some sort of adrenaline that I didn't know existed in the human body (at least this human body). I think there were alot of games (Dance Freeze, Cotton Eyed Joe, Lemon Push), eating of the cupcakes, opening of the presents and more dancing. Then of course, the handing out of the goodie bags...I especially loved watching my hours of goodie bag handiwork torn apart in a matter of seconds in search of that dream party favor. But as one Mom told me on the way out the door, "Hey, they looked good at the beginning and that's what counts"). Sigh...

Today, I am an overcomer of child birthday party issues. I can forge through the rest of my career as a Mom knowing that I have slain the birthday party monster. I was a participant in a well-executed party and it was a real confidence booster. But truth be told, I can barely take any credit for the success of this celebration of six. Ahhh ha...I made a reference to my secret weapons in my last post. Did you catch it? There were two weapons, really - one named Teresa and the other named Amber.

Teresa was there in my hour of despair as I lamented about my kid birthday party issues. She said, "It's going to be alright because here's what were going to do". Even before that, Amber inspired the "dance party" theme and actually laid out a high level plan that gave me enough confidence to actually order and send out the invitations! After a little pow-wow with Teresa after dinner one night, we had the party sketched out and a shopping list made. Then Amber and Teresa showed up 2 hours before the party and worked out the dancing games. And at 2 o'clock - GAME ON - these girls RAN THE SHOW....and they completely rocked it. I am SO, SO, SO thankful for them - and it was because of them I was able to run the behind the scenes (which is my strong suit) smoothly and snap off a few pics and some video. So - tonight I lift my glass to Teresa & Amber - party crew extraordinaire!

And - speaking of invitations, I can't say enough about Handmade Hellos...Suzy hit a home-run with these custom-made invitations and got them out to me lickety-split. If you love the look of handmade cards, or need some custom designed stuff (even if you don't!) please check out their website and see if you can support this wonderful business!

Well - that's about it in a nutshell...more photos can be found on the Dropshots account. And, a little vid-montage will be coming soon.

A little shout out to my gal Julie over at Lost Luggage whose plans for the weekend make my birthday party drama look like a solitary confinement couch event with bon-bons and I Love Lucy re-runs. Lifting my party glass to you, dude...hope it all goes well (and the Chargers win).

Thursday, January 8, 2009

These goodie bags I made from a piece of regular stock paper.
Crease 'em up just right, slap a cute flower stamp, a few eyelets and some fibers and
Waaaa laaaaaa. And of course, don't forget stuffing them full of fun favorlicious treats like mini nail polish, heart socks, pen & paper and of course, a few chocolates!

Operation Birthday Party is underway. The Command Post is operational, I've got the platoon leaders at the ready with their orders and the heavy artillery is poised and ready for deployment. 1st and 2nd platoon will deploy from base camp covert, with light and noise discipline to establish a perimeter. 3rd platoon will come in behind and charge in providing suppressing fire and securing the objective in an attempt to outflank the enemy party crashers.

It's clear that I have lost my right mind...either that or I've seen Band of Brothers one too many times. Maybe both. Regardless...the birthday party is a go.

You know - I won't go into my years of birthday party issues with you here...it's just not the right place and I may launch into another Airborne flashback. But at a certain point, it's time to let go of the things that hold us back.

I woke up this morning with a song in my head - a specific lyric of the song kept rolling over in my mind:

"You may say I'm fallin' like the leaves of an old oak tree"

It's from a song entitled, "Come Undone" and just because I'm shameless, I'm going to do a shameless plug for my brother, who wrote the song (along with his band, TapWater) - please check them out - they are PHENOMENAL musicians - world twang, baby!

Anyway - this lyric kept rolling around in my head...now I don't know about you, but I have 2 big oak trees in my front yard and despite the freezing temps that seem to hug the days around these parts, they are STILL holding onto their dead leaves!! It's sort of an odd phenomenon.

I started thinking about the oak tree, holding onto its leaves, not wanting to let go of the deadness it holds onto. It reminds me of myself...what am I holding onto that's dead...that's lifeless. Or more than that, what am I holding onto that's sucking the life from me? I used the "birthday party issues" as a tongue in cheek example, but I have more dead leaves to ponder than that.

So how about you - what are your dead leaves? Just a little thought for you and me as I tie off my last goodie bag and head off to sleep.

Love & suppressing fire,

Card for a Friend...
clear heat embossed stamped image, sentiment and a little raffia
coupled with some yummy paper...

What's up my peeps...did you miss the Adventures? Well, I went on a little blog sabbatical (by the way - can someone explain the diff between a sabbatical and a sebatical?) and I can't really say I'm back in full force yet - we'll wait and see how this turns out.

The last time we were together, you were watching a video of my dancing queen in her rather spring-like dress dancing to a little Christmas ditty. So that would put us as being apart for WAY TOO LONG.... Alot has happened here at the Club, so we'll have to go readers digest version on ya so you can come up to speed with relatively little pain involved.

Once upon a time,

Oh, I guess I don't have to go THAT far back...actually, I thought you might like to see a picture of some of my people. The couple on the left are my great grandparents and the seriously joyful looking woman and her husband on the right are my great-great grandparents (parents of my great grandmother). I can only speculate as to the circumstances surrounding this photo...but, it was taken in Germany. My great grandpa looks VERY uncomfortable...maybe he's meeting the in-laws for the first time. Maybe he had a little too much schnitzel for lunch...who knows? I just think this is a really cool photo! One of my recent projects has been scanning old photos of my ancestrals and doing some photo touch ups, etc.

I have seriously digressed...sorry. So - Christmas...yeah.

A few days prior, Sweet Rig (the term affectionately used for my Mom & Randy's motorhome) pulls into the driveway around 7:30pm. I SERIOUSLY undershot my measurements...I thought the motorhome would take up only half the driveway...well, I was half right about that. We were still able to accommodate Sweet Rig and got her all hooked up with electricity so that secret parties could be held there. Abby got to help Gmama & Gpapa decorate the inside of the motorhome with Christmas lights and decor.

The traditional Christmas Eve meal of chili and cornbread, sans Mike Amaro (sniff, sniff)

Picked Mike up at the airport at 12:30am (yes, that is an "AM" not a "PM") on Christmas morning - ho ho ho! Was so glad to have him home...I really missed him! He wanted to sleep under the tree to surprise Abby.

Christmas morning opening of gifts (guess who did the most unwrapping?), the traditional Christmas brunch and the ceremonial "incremental napping" throughout the day. I'm so thankful for Abby who can appreciate getting gifts, but not be driven by them...she was showered with many fun and useful gifts and she loved them all - but at the end of the day, she's know what's up.

Enjoyed the company of Grandmama & Grandpapa for almost 2 weeks. Grandpapa was an extra special blessing to us during this visit because he spent alot of time doing fun house projects. He did alot of organizing (and supplementing, I might add) to Mike's manly workbench in the garage (otherwise called "Mike's Scrapbooking Room"). He trimmed a ton of trees and reworked some unsafe wiring in our kitchen pantry. Of course, he didn't do all this alone...

Hard work makes a kid tired!

Got some really cute shots of one of the work days here at the house...feel free to check them out here at the Dropshots account.

We celebrated New Years with my Mom's traditional New Years Day meal of Ham, black eyed peas, mustard greens and sweet potatoes. To accompany, I whipped up a few batches of Cat Head's and some iced tea. As Aunt Jan says, "It wah good".

We saw Gmama & Gpapa pull Sweet Rig out of the driveway at 3am this last Friday morning...after that, I got into bed, slept a few more hours then woke up with a case of strep throat with a side of upper respiratory infection. And, since I'm not the least bit stubborn, I waited 2 days till I was utterly miserable to see the doctor for a few shiny copper bottles. I hate antibiotics, but I was singing their praises come yesterday morning!

So, are ya feeling a little Reader's Digested? Good - because that's all the updatin' I care to do right now.

But stay tuned...someone you and I know is turning SIX this weekend and Club Amaro is in FULL prep for 2 hours of eleven kindergarten girls (plus most of their Mom's). I must be crazy...but, I have a secret weapon that is making me feel calmer than silence. You'll have to wait to find out.. (but, I wouldn't turn down a prayer or two, so feel free).

May each of you find time to sabbatical from your busy schedule and rest. Of course don't use me as an example or anything...clearly what I did was more of, drop doing important stuff so you can be busy doing other things and don't rest and get sick at the end. Yeah, that wouldn't be what I'm saying there. That's why I called mine a sab-BATTY-cal. wink, wink.

loving you all with
a big New Year hug,


PS - for those of you that are wondering....let there be NO confusion about where my loyalties lie in the coming weeks of football. I may live in Tennessee...but my blood runs BLUE AND YELLOW, BABY. Go Chaaaaaaguh's