A very special THANK YOU!

While we were in Daytona we needed someone to come and take care of our fish tanks. The Lilly's have been friends of our's for several years and their son Brian loves to earn money and is very responsible. He knew it was an every day commitment regardless of the weather, but he still wanted to help us out. So, every day the Lilly family would come by and take care of our fish even with an extra 8 inches of snow that came after we left.

I have been wanting to post his picture but didn't have a 'good' recent one until today. Due to a 'minor family emergency' we had these two this evening so I used the opportunity to finish out this post. Thank you Lilly's and I loved the WELCOME HOME written in the snow on my car!
These two kids just go with the flow. It's getting late so we stopped by and got their pj's so they could be ready for bed when Denise and Darryll get here. Amanda is 5 but never questioned anything. They ate, got a shower/bath and are now resting. Amanda did tell me that she reads a book and says her prayers in her bed so we may have to compromise on that one (wink, wink). Oh and by the way, I was really glad we grabbed their tooth brushes - this was the picture before she brushed her teeth......

It can always be worse....

Isn't it fun to win something? When we were in Daytona Ronnie had Dale Jr. autograph a hat he bought but it ended up being too big (imagine that :) So he decided to donate it to Pack 95's annual pinewood derby today as a raffle item. This guy won and was sooo happyHis luck hasn't been the best lately as his family is dealing with some very difficult and challenging times but I have to say that when I was talking to them about their situation his wife put it all into perspective very quickly for me. I was very concerned and told her that I hated that they had to deal with this and I know it must be hard. She quickly set me straight by saying "you know what? it could always be worse. As unfortunate as this is, we are a healthy, strong family and will get through this!" Wow - what a great way to look at those life events that come our way.
We are very blessed to have met so many wonderful families through Cub Scouts.


He DID it!

Chase has been working hard the past several weeks on his school work. We were successful in switching teachers for the two subjects he seemed to be having the most trouble in, Math and Science. His hard work payed off when the orange mid-term paper came home on Friday! He had pulled both failing grades up to an A and B. Woohoo Chase! Needless to say, we are very proud. Of course he needs to keep working from here on out but hey, progress is progress!
And we certainly can't let Cierra's A's and B's go unnoticed! So way to go both of you!


MEOW - Moms Eating Out Wednesday

Cute, huh? Pastor Joanna came up with this little catchy name for our newly developed group of Moms. She even made us these adorable pins - You can't see it but there's a cross in the O!! This little group all came about thanks to Samantha! She organized our Christmas program and enjoyed spending time with so much she decided we should all get together (without kids) once a month. Tonight was our kick-off dinner at Glory Days. It was a lot of fun and we even talked about potentially taking a cake decorating class (just kidding, that's an inside joke)!

So ladies - thanks for a great time tonight!

Tricks of the Trade

Juggling has always amazed me. Not sure why but it just seems really hard. I think most of us (mom's at least) are good at keeping many balls in the air at once because that's how we survive. But how do those people really juggle balls and bowling pins and all those other things that entertain so many of us?

Well tonight at Boy Scouts Ronnie had one of the parents come in and teach them a few things, one of which was juggling. The first "ah ha" was that they learned with scarves. Nothing to break or be noisy as they fall, huh? Then it's all in the 'cross over' - something like "toss, cross, etc" It really is all in the thinking! Of course Ronnie completely gets it and came home to show us his new talent, using Walmart bags lol!
Meanwhile "back at the ranch" this little guy worked away on his homework. No fun for him tonight, he had to write a 2-3 minute speech about how you use math in sports. All written now, just need to type.Now, if you're really not interested in Juggling Tips, here's a blog that I found with tips for Photoshop and Photoshop Elements (which is my new addiction). As you use these packages more and more, you do get more comfortable and familiar. Love that!

So if you're interested in getting tips on Tuesday, go here and sign-up!

That's all the tips I have for today :) Happy Wednesday!


I have work to do...

Real work; like my job type work but somehow I just haven't found time to buckle down and focus. It's been a really fun, busy, satisfying weekend though :)

We had a great evening out Friday night, Kayden came yesterday afternoon (for the night, yay) then we had the annual 4H Family Dinner, church this morning, several scrapbook pages done, I finished up my first lesson in Unit 2 of my NYIP course, I figured out how to add a post divider and I made these delicious au Gratin potatoes for dinner!
Thanks to this blog I found several recipes I really want to try. These potatoes were really good and a hit here on 'the corner'. fyi - I used marble cheddar cheese which is why you see the light and dark cheese. I am also thinking next time we might add bacon and maybe mushrooms (just maybe because I don't like mushrooms). I highly suggest you check our her recipes if you are looking for something special, different or just plain tasty!

A princess and a fairy -

Kayden carries a Tinkerbell blanket with her wherever she goes. I think between Mommy, Grandma and Gigi, we have at least four now 'just incase'! When we went to Disney a few weeks ago I really wanted to find her a Tinkerbell doll but didn't really like how she looked so....we opted for Minnie Mouse dressed up like Tinkerbell and IT worked! She likes her new baby -


oh those little things...

Our house is full of shoes, bottom line. Ronnie doesn't have quite as many but the rest of us have more than enough. It seems like there are always a few pairs 'right inside the front door' every day! I am constantly asking Chase and Cierra to put them away. All of us have 'cubbies' within 3 feet of the rug that can hold a few pairs but they just can't seem to make it there :)The 4H family dinner was tonight so when we came home this is what was just inside the door...these tiny little shoes
I did a double take. Kayden is with us for the night and has fallen right in synch with our family tradition; LOTS OF SHOES!

3 Onions and Kazu.....

Shepherdstown is another one of those 'quaint' towns that is so close to us but we just don't seem to visit much. It has been several weeks since we made it out on Friday night so we were excited to get back on schedule. Ronnie called me with three options: Japanese, Longhorn or Alway's Rons. I was to decide before I got home :)

I'm home and of course, couldn't make a decision. So - we pop a cork on one of the fine wines we bought in Florida and talk about what we want to do. In the mean time Ronnie has to call one of his friends to talk about Mendie's "leave me alone" story. During that conversation Lyle Campbell invites us to their 'outing'. Yippee; no decision by me.

So off we go to Shepherdstown! Our first stop is the 3 Onion lounge....
it is a very quaint place and we had the whole room to ourselves. It looked just like our living room..which was perfect for some pictures...

Then we headed to Kazu...
a potentially dangerous walk was upon us......
The food was great, we had the 'lunch box' - everything at once in it's own little compartment (perfect for those of us that don't like our food touching, ha)
Kiya even taught us how to read the chop sticks, lol! (she made sure we held them just right :)
Ronnie and I ate Sushi for the first time (I know pretty pathetic that we haven't tried it before) We eventually 'closed' the place downthe we went window shopping ....I have always loved this historic building
we really need to visit more often. So thanks Lyle Campbell and Kiya for a really fun night out!


Happy Birthday Roo!

This is a little belated but still very special! Last Friday was my admin's birthday. She is definitely what holds our team together and has become a good friend of our's as well. She is so much fun to have around - she's the one the drew the cartoon for Mendie's blog just to give you an idea of her sense of humor, lol!

So today we will be celebrating with some yummy brownies I made last night and wishing her another wonderful year - so here's to you Rita!


Plug for SPRINT

I am a gadget queen - cameras, cell phones, iPods, computers....I love it when new stuff comes out! (speaking of that.....I'm on a waiting list for the new iPad; Can't. Wait.!!)

Anyway, I don't use my blog for anything other than capturing memories.....don't advertise nor have any (current) intention of making money from blogging but I felt compelled to share this one gadget that we so love!

We have always had a 'wireless card' from Sprint but prior to this we had one that plugged into the USB port. Only one person could be on at a time and had to have software installed on their laptop. This little guy is 'standalone' and can be set up as a hub allowing up to 5 of your friends/family to be on-line! Yay! This gadget definitely got overused and abused on our last trip. It wasn't unusual to have 4 laptops running from this and it was even quicker than the KOA connection! Cierra and I were connected many hours of the road trip, too. Love it!

So, if you're like me and really need to stay connected, check this out. It's called the Sprint Mifi.


Going for 12 years in a row?

Extra! Extra! Persistent pothole wins the Daytona 500!

Not thinking so, ha! Last year the race was 'called' early due to rain and this year the famous pot hole (times 2) stole some of the excitement.

As soon as I heard about the pothole I remembered being at Martinsville in 2004 when they had a similar issue. The race was red flagged for over 2 hours. When the officials at the Daytona 500 race said 15-20 minutes I just laughed!

Regardless, fans spend a lot of money coming to this race and the past two years are making those diehard fans really wonder about checking out another track.

Guess we'll have to see what next year brings but at this point there is no intention of renewing the tickets (that he has had for the past 11 years) and I didn't reserve the KOA.

We had a good time and enjoyed the 'sunny' state even though the temperatures were about 20 degrees below average but are home and getting settled back into the routine. Luckily the kids didn't miss any school (yay me!) and even have another day of tomorrow. Wow!

So for those of you that followed our adventure, thanks! and I hope you enjoyed spending the week with us.


Blue Skies and Good Racing!

It was beautiful today - still a little chilly but the sun was out and everyone enjoyed being outside.
Ronnie had two races today since the Truck Race was moved from yesterday to today. He went to the Nationwide then came back to get Chase for the Truck.
As expected, there was a lot of action - those truck come to race :)

These two were on the top for Ronnie to watch today - Danica and Dale Jr. Unfortunately neither of their cars looked like this after the race.....Tough day for both!
Tomorrow is the big day!


Rainy but still better than home....

and we found other stuff to do. Manatees have always amazed me and Sea World's manatee exhibit is one of my favorites. It's almost as if I feel sorry for them...they are so big yet graceful and somewhat quick but seem to always be in harms way. Blue Spring State Park is about 20 minutes or so from Daytona and back in 2006 Ronnie and I visited there so we decided to take the kids this time. Sure enough, they are quickly swimming around the dock for us to see. The water is 72 degrees so you can see the steam. It is much more beautiful when the sun is shining but the kids still enjoyed it.

Check out the two fish on this manatee's back :)

We saw some orange trees along the way - actually in the backyard of many houses.
And even passed Valentine Park (how fitting this weekend?)
I had searched for local wineries - (last year we went to one in St. Augustine) and I found one in Ormond Beach. From the information I found, it sounded like they had some really 'fun/tropical' varieties. We definitely weren't mislead - we tasted nearly 30 and liked almost all of them! It was a difficult decision but we decided on five.

The truck race was cancelled so we hung out at home and watched "Finding Nemo" while Chase finished up his project :)The weather is already looking better for the remainder of our trip so no complaints here.



And now we tune in to what this trip is all about, ha! Four straight days of racing,
hitting the 'famous flea market' for diecast to get autographed

checking out all the local produceand those juicy Florida orangesIt's about fast cars, going to the Mall Show to see those popular drivers.

It's about the 2.5 mile race track, experiencing the 'fly over' and even finding those 'crafts' that tell people which driver you follow It's about the 'night life' at the beach
and even those funny things people do for attention in fancy restaurants (nope, that's not my Dad, lol)!!