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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Wednesday, December 29, 2010
intro music

Tonight on The Adventures of Club Amaro's "Behind the Music"...

He was a long way from home with a Macbook full of banjo and harmonica tracks. She was a Johnny Cash lovin' 2nd grader from the other side of town. Together, they are Uncle Steve and Little Bita.

In 2008 in a dingy San Diego hotel room, "Lemon Cake String" came to life.   The success of the single came much too fast for these two.   In this TACA  exclusive, we go behind the music and bring you the story of Uncle Steve and Little Bita.

Actually, the story has yet to be written....and I'm much too excited about their sophomore project "A Bita Merry Christmas"

Uncle Steve threw down the banjo and harmonica tracks before Little Bita came into the studio.   Little Bita laid down her vocals like a pro.   There is even a guest appearance by El Padre de Bita.    Everything is arranged, mixed down and whatever other technical phrases there are to be done by Uncle Steve himself.

Please....sit back and enjoy this medley of tunes by clicking HERE

And thank you for tuning into this edition of TACA's Behind the Music

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Abby is in the children's choir at church...their performance this year involved different "eras".   Abby got to be in the 80's era....and after alot of hairspray and a gigantic Christmas bow, here's the result.   Abby is on the left side of the stage as you are looking at the video - she is one of the red shirts (wearing long white sleeves).


Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing

If you receive "The Adventures" through email, 
you will need to visit the website directly to view the video.

Sunday, November 28, 2010
Sunday mornings at Club Amaro usually involve some kind of "special" breakfast.   I don't know quite how that got started, but it has become a bit of a tradition.   We attend church on Saturday evenings and that leaves Sunday morning for sleeping in and "special" breakfast.  Usually, it's my waffles, pancakes, french toast or crepes (or "cradles" as Abby calls them).  Something out of the ordinary that doesn't find its way on the Mon-Sat rotation.

This morning, I was feeling a little naughty and decided that bag of chocolate chip morsels had been in isolation too long.    So, I rocked some chocolate chip scones....    It just so happened that my camera was nearby so I decided I would do a little "Cooking at the Club" installment.   It's been too long since my last one.

I will include my recipe at the end, but here are my shots:

my little chocolate chip scones, getting ready for their time in the oven...

fresh out of the oven, cooling on a rack

waiting to be eaten....


The only problem with doing this kind of activity is that your family has to wait for you to stage pictures.   You can't have a 1/2 eaten scone in the midst of your scone stage.   It's just not proper.   So as the photographer, you are responsible for ensuring that scone-happy fingers don't find their way onto your stage.

little fingers, stage left

Club Amaro's Sunday Morning Chocolate Chip Scones
2 cups self-rising White Lily flour (really, is there any other kind?)
2 tablespoons raw sugar
1/2 cup chilled butter
1/2 cup chocolate chips (I used minis)
1 beaten egg
1/2 cup milk

- Combine flour & sugar.
- Cut in butter until...you know...it gets that "way".
- Stir in yer chips.
- Mix egg and milk together then add to your dry mixture.
- Stir till just moistened then toss onto a well-floured surface.
- Knead until nearly smooth.
- Form into triangles, or however you want to rock it....3/4 inch thickness is best.

375 degrees, around 17 minutes.
Remove; cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes

You could, if you wanted to take the scones out at about 15 minutes and brush them with a little melted butter then pop them under the broiler for 2 minutes. But really, there's already a stick of butter in there...let's show a little self control.


Hey Club Amaro readers...have you been over to AFH recently?   I've been a busy little bee....please visit!
Monday, November 8, 2010
Just wanted to let you know that tonight at the dinner table, Abby announced that we are going open a family business.   It will be a restaurant called, "The Amaro House of Food".    Will will be open 6 days a week and on Saturday morning we will serve breakfast.

We will be closed on holidays, but we will be open on Election day.   Because people will probably be hungry after they elect.

If you have any questions, please contact Club Amaro.
Saturday, October 16, 2010
Some of you may remember our trip to Fall Creek Falls when I was able to overcome my fear of crossing the scary bridge that was 1 million feet in the air.

Well, today Abby overcame her fear of heights and rode the zip line during our time at the Cedar Rock Fall Fest. She actually didn't seem to hesitate - she marched right over and got in line. Later, she would share the thought process that she was having....it was too in-depth for me to remember. I was too busy bringing my blood pressure down after watching her do the zip line.

Anyway - here's a little progression photo montage for ya:

Waiting in line

I think this is the "psyching myself out" part...I could be wrong

And, she's off...

If you look hard enough, you can feel Mom having a heart attack

Zipping on down...

She did the zip line twice....I was so proud of her!

What fear are you needing to overcome?
Saturday, October 9, 2010
Took a little day trip since it was Grandaddy's last day here...we went to Sewanee and then did the JD Distillery tour.  A little disappointed in the lack of fall foliage yet in Sewanee.   Guess we were just a tad early!   You know how I am about the fall foliage.  Still, we had fun...we visited the All Saints Chapel, had lunch at the University of the South cafeteria and drove around the grounds.   Then, we went home via Lynchburg and  took the Jack Daniels Distillery tour, which is always interesting.

Here are few snaps from the trip:

Statue of Jack

Our tour guide right next to the statue....thought this was a funny capture!
Abby walking the Perimeter Trail in Sewanee
Abby + Daddy
Abby + Grandaddy

She begged me to take this one...

Day Trippin' is tiring!
Relaxing on the grounds of the distillery

My favorite of the day....Abby on the steps of the Cross, getting slightly spun out at me for all the pictures.
"Mom....really?  I can only smile so much!"
Thursday, October 7, 2010

A conversation that just occurred:

"My allergies are really bothering me because Grandaddy and I went out to the field to fly our kite and it really threw me off a cliff"

My response, "it threw you off a what?"

" It's a figure of speech."

Note: the publishing of this conversation has been approved by all involved parties.
Saturday, September 25, 2010
"You are going to do what to where?"
Poor Cephas....he just returned home after a few days at the Vet.   He was neutered and had an additional procedure done on his front claws.   He has to be confined to a small area for the next 3 or 4 days and is wearing one of those Elizabethan cones.   He looks absolutely pitiful.   It's been hard to see him look so pitiful - but we know that in the next week or so, he will be back to his normal self.

You know, doing stuff like this:

and this:

We love our little Cephonious Monk....looking forward to him getting back to his old self.
Friday, September 24, 2010
Any of you that know me know...this is my time of year. I see a hint of color in the trees around the hood. Feeling relief from the beastly humidity of July and August. I'm just itching to pull out my cozy sweaters and boots. I have my camera ready!

I have missed you...looking forward to spending some time together.

No Spring nor Summer Beauty hath such grace as I have seen in one Autumnal face.
- John Donne
Monday, September 13, 2010
This morning, Abby was getting ready for school.   I walked by the bathroom and spied her wiping her face down with one of the little round sponges that my Mom had given her.    She was quite enjoying the moment....then she looked over and saw me watching her.    I gave her the look.....and, I'm sorry that I cannot go into more detail about the look, it's just a look that I give, that Abby knows.    

Her response to the look was this:

"Grandmama puts it this way:  I feel like a fresh new woman"

Dear God, please help me.  Amen.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010
This past Saturday Mike had a little run in with a strong man.    No, really...he was strong.   His name is Dennis Rogers.   Never heard of him?   Here's an excerpt about him from his website:

"Today Dennis is a Grandmaster Strongman, and travels the world performing incredible feats of strength. Named Pound-for-Pound the World’s Strongest Man for the feats he performs (A.O.B.S.), he is the most seen strength athlete in history- witnessed by over 300 million people in 156 countries, through either his live or televised performances. Even Oprah jumped on his bandwagon, as she selected him as the "World’s Most" Performing Strongman.

All are amazed as he twists steel bars and horseshoes, rolls frying pans up with his fingers, tears thick phonebooks and decks of cards like they are tissue paper, and drives nails through construction lumber with a mere blow of his fist. Just a handful of the many feats he performs through his inspirational and motivational performances."

For real, yo. He did this to a frying pan and gave it to Abby:

So it was an innocent Saturday eve at church (yes, we go to church Saturday night...it rocks). Pastor is wrapping up the big fall sermon series, "Unwavering".  They usually pull out all the stops for the fall & new year sermon series...this was no exception.   To illustrate the point of Pastors sermon, they started off the service with a little demonstration by Dennis Rogers.....and..........since WE sit in the front row (yes, we sit in the front row...it rocks), well.....I'll just give you a visual:

Yes, that is my husband.   Yes, that is a 6 inch nail in the strong mans hand.   Yes, that is a board on his lap.  Yes that is a balloon between his legs.  Yes, he is wearing blindfold-glasses lest he should flinch and the strong man renders him...ahem...um, you know.

Pretty good action shot, eh?   Thanks to having the old point-n-shoot in the purse (thanks, Mom!!).

Dennis went on to rip a deck of cards in half, bend a steel rod, make a heart out of a horse shoe, bend a hammer and wrench  in half.   And oh yeah, drive a nail through a piece of wood with his bare hand.

All this strength makes me think of my man............today is his birthday!!!   So I shant let this post end without sending props out to my personal strong man.   Later after church during supper, he bent a straw with his bare hands!!   What a feat....I love you, Mike!!  Happy birthday, you will always be pound-for-pound, Club Amaro's strongest man...

peace out...
Friday, August 20, 2010
We found out that Abby's teacher is a huge Florida State fan.   A homework assignment that Abby received this week was to find a picture of someone performing an action, write a sentence and highlight the verb.

Cephas recently discovered a whole new world behind the curtain...

Monday, August 9, 2010
Time flies....

(L-R Pre-School and Jr. Kindergarten)

(L-R Kindergarten and 1st Grade)

(2nd Grade)

My little baby is a 2nd grader....I can't even believe it.    Before I had a child of my own, I used to poke fun at parents who would talk about their kids growing up so fast and be all emotional about it.   "Ugh", I used to think...I'm sure with a little rolling of the eyes.     But here I am....my kid is growing up so fast.   And I'm emotional.    Ugh.   Sigh.

So today we had the annual 1st day of school photo shoot....the one where I make her wear the "Care Bear" backpack that she wore on her first day of preschool.   The first few shots she's all into it....and then she's over it.   I promise only a few more pictures, and of course, we have to get a shot with the real backpack...the one that's probably too big for her.

Yeah...that one.

Ok...c'mon, just a few more...

"Really, Mom?"

I love my 2nd grader....she is already smarter than me too.

Hope you're all enjoying your first day of school, or whatever it is that is going on in your life....

Peace out.
Saturday, August 7, 2010
Playing a little Laura + Amanda this morning with Abby....today we are doing some "paperwork" and Laura interrupts me with the following:
"I got a phone call from a man that was wondering if we had wi-fi.   I told him that we do have wi-fi but that we would have to charge him $5.00"
I'm glad we got that all worked out....

A little later on, Laura had a little gasp and looked at me to say:

"Can you believe that I came to work all fancy and I didn't put my make up on"
This followed by a quick grab of her lip gloss and mirror from her purse and subsequent gloss application.

Frankly, I'm a little worried about her actually hitting the work force....please pray for her.   And me.

Monday, July 26, 2010
I came home from this gym this morning to find this going on in my foyer:

Leg stretches.  Water is close by for her re-hydrating needs, as
well as her "garbanzo bean" can weights

Abby with her "garbanzo bean" can weights.

Our church has a kids "Fitness Camp" during the summer months at the Sunday evening service.   The leaders teach the kids different exercises, things about good health/nutrition and also about their spiritual health.     

When I walked in, she was laying on the ground extending her leg and opposing arm out and counting to 10.   I was so utterly fascinated that I sat down on the couch and watched her complete her workout.   She also mixed in a few things she learned from her time working out with Uncle Anthony during our time in CA.   She doesn't want to be locked down to just one set of exercises, you know...

After her workout, she informed me that she was going to be wanting a healthy breakfast.   As opposed to the Twinkies and Ding-dongs that I normally feed her, I guess.    That was a joke, by the way...

She also informed me that this routine will be incorporated into her daily activities.   I'll let you know how that one goes.  I did mention to her that I only worked out 3 days a week....it seemed like she was stifling a scoff, but I can't be for sure on that one.   At any rate, I am encouraging her to continue focusing on good physical and spiritual health.   In the same breath I'm also reminder her to ensure my garbanzo beans are returned to the pantry.

Friday, July 16, 2010
A very strange moth that we happened upon today....
This is a test....

tap tap.

this thing on?

Saturday, June 26, 2010
Just reminiscing about our California vacation visiting family for a few weeks. What a great time we had! While we were there we were able to celebrate Mom & Pop's 50th wedding anniversary - what a treat! 50 years is quite an achievement when you think of it! And 3 great kids to show for it (and a few other fine accessories like a FAB son & daughter in law - wink, wink...and a cute little grand-daughter). In addition to the anniversary festivities, I crafted some wicked abdominal muscles while Wii wakeboarding. We spent some time listening to vuvuzela's and checking out the Patterson Apricot Fiesta. Abby & Aunt Julie read a combined 72 million words during their shared "reading time". Of course, we can't forget electric blue toes and fingers...or the Pub Mix. Oh yeah...I'm a fan of the Pub Mix.

Here's a little compilation video from some of my Patterson photo shoots...enjoy!

Patterson 2010 from kristin amaro on Vimeo.

This is "pet" week at I Heart Faces...a perfect opportunity to welcome the newest member of Club Amaro:

Cephas Cat
hailing from the Barn Cat Brotherhood...

...more to come

Head on over to I Heart Faces and see the entries 
for this weeks contest as well as other great info!
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Greetings to you all...here's a recent update straight from the Club Amaro Compound.  Abby has been attending day camp this week.     The two previous weeks were spent in California visiting Grandpa, Grandma, Uncle Anthony, Aunt Julie, Uncle Paul and various friends from the Bay Area.   It was a super fabulous time which also included a little trip to Monterey (pull out a map of the US....see any beaches around Middle Tennessee?    Yeah, me neither.   So this California transplant had to dip her toe in the Pacific - even if only for a few hours).    

Note:  please check out my pictures from our Monterey trip, you can see them by visiting my AFH site here.

Great time.    Lots of Wii.    Lots of laughs.   Lots of eating.   You know the vacation drill.

So prior to our trip to California, I spent some time visualizing what it would be like for Abby that Monday after getting back from a jam packed vacation.  Waking up to Mom and Dad's morning breath with nothing planned for the week ahead whatsoever.   I mean, what kind of let down is that?   Spending 2 weeks with Grandma and Grandpa and then.....what?....running errands with Mom?    OH YEAH.......that's a recipe for summer disaster.

SO.   Mike and I purchased a day-camp week at a local ranch here in town (yes, our city has ranches!)  for the week right after returning from CA.    I mean, it's a proper camp with counselors, camp food, activities and the like.    We told her about it before going on vacation...    And yes, that was very strategic.    Mwaaahhahhhahahahhhaaaa!

Camp starts Monday morning....so Sunday evening we get the child to bed early.   Around 11pm or so, I hear the toilet flush (I'm in bed, reading).   I think to myself, hmmmm....    Abby very rarely gets up to go to the bathroom so I knew that she must be not sleeping.   About 11:30pm, I hear her little footsteps coming towards the room.   Next thing I know, she's standing in front of me.

"Mom....I've been asleep all this time {yeah, right} and I was wondering....is it morning yet?"

"No sweetheart...it's 11:30"

"How much longer until I have to get up?"

"7 and a half hours"

"Sigh......I'm SO excited to go to camp"

I remind her that she needs good sleep so she can be full strength for the 9 hours she'll be at camp the next day.   So I tuck her in and pray for her and shuffle back to the room to be reunited with my buddy pillow.  About 20 minutes later:

in a whisper:  "Mom.    I went to sleep for awhile {yeah, right} but I came to let you know that my water bottle is empty and I'm thirsty."

"Sigh....Ok, I will fill your bottle up.   But c'mon....you have got to get some sleep sister!"

"I know, I know...."

So I fill up her bottle.   Tuck her in and shuffle back to the room again.   My buddy pillow has lost it's indentions - I hate that.   10 minutes later:

"Mom.    It's so hot - I need a ponytail."

Fortunately, that was the last time she got up.   It was way after midnight I'm sure before she got to sleep.   And I'm here to tell ya that when her alarm went off the next morning it may as well have been all the way in China.   She was not hearing it.   Nonetheless, she got off to camp and had the most exciting day.    Same story for Tuesday and Wednesday.     Horseback riding and swimming every day have been the huge highlights.   Especially the horseback riding.

Today, Mike and I went to pick her up.   We were waiting in the car for the counselor to bring her out.   She walks up to the car with a huge smile on her sweaty face and reports to us, "I got bit by a horse today!".   Mike and I, in unison chime back, "You got bit by a horse?"      YEP!     Apparently the horse riding in front of her turned around and nipped her leg....we got the impression from her that the cowboy said the horse was trying to nip her horse because he was getting too close.   [Completely unrelated side note....did you know that when I was 19 I got a ticket for following too close + excessive honking? I'll have to share that story one of these days]  She has a little mark on her leg and everything (no skin broken, though).    After we processed that event, she went on to tell us about the rest of the day.  

Each day I've asked her what her most favorite thing was all day.   Her response each day has been "riding the horses".    I thought for sure she'd be done with horses after this episode, but she said riding was still her favorite part.    I was proud of her for not letting a few horse teeth get in the way of her enjoying the horseback riding.  So there you go.

Two more days of camp left.   Hopefully the horses will lay off the calves of my precious offspring and there will be more wonderful memories.

Wonder what we'll do next week....?