Thoughtful friends -

I am very grateful for friends that think of me......

Two years ago a group of us went with Pastor Joanna to Washington as part of Cierra's Confirmation classes. The timing was perfect so while we were there I was determined to make my way down to the Tidal Basin where the cherry blossoms were in full bloom. Yeah, right! Everyone else in the world must have thought the same thing :(. After spending a lot of time in grid lock traffic, we gave up and drove back home, finding some trees close by for pictures.

Today I received an e:mail from Pastor Joanna. Her sister works in DC and spent her lunch hour taking some of these beautiful pictures! (Thanks Ginny)

Now you see why I was so determined to see for myself? Maybe one day...


What I'm LOVING Wednesday

I've decided to try something different. I'm playing along with Jamie to share what I'm really 'loving' today!

And honestly...it's just the simple things....

I am totally loving Reba - she just joined our family on Sunday but is already such a part of our life. She is SO sweet. We have all 'bonded' with her and it is the best!

And then there's this....

Pathetic but my vacuum cleaner 'blew up' which forced me to purchase a new one. I researched, read reviews and finally decided on this one. I have to say, so far, I think I made a great choice!

And my final choice for this week is....(drum roll please)

We love mashed potatoes but during the week, just for four, it's a pain to peel and boil potatoes. So tonight Cierra and I went to the grocery store (hungry I might add) and found these. They were perfect! Now, they wouldn't be my choice for a family dinner but just for us....I'm lovin' 'em!

Happy Wednesday ya'all!


Meet Me On Monday!

Looks like it's Java's 40th edition of "Meet Me On Monday" and of course I want to play along - click on her icon and join in the fun =)

Here's this week's questions:

1. Crunchy or Soft Tacos?

We actually do both. I get 2 (or sometimes 3) kits that have soft and crunchy. Chase tends to like soft while Cierra has typically liked both but....now with the braces I'm thinking they will both prefer soft!

2. Do you Scrapbook?

YES but I am wayyyy behind, lol! I have converted to digital but still have tons of supplies, books etc. that need to be used up. Maybe one day.

3. Do you take daily medication?

Yes. Advair for asthma but honestly feel very blessed.

4. What is your favorite sound?

The ocean. Hands down!

5. Where were you born?

In a smal hospital in Winchester, VA. The part I was born in has since been torn down :( The remaining section has been converted to a rehab center.

So there you have it! Another week of information you may or may not be interested in, ha!



Ronnie and I have never been fans of Reba McEntire. There's just something about her songs. They always seem sad....but today we have become fans of REBA! Just not that Reba. Check our this Reba that joined our family -

Reba is actually 4H Project #2. She will hopefully be the Momma Ewe to Cierra's next market lamb. Time will tell =)

We did get to visit this little guy, too -

She even got to learn how to 'dock' his tail - check out how long it is...

but not for long -

By the time we pick him up, his tail will be all gone =)

So now Chase's goats have a new barn buddy and all is well!


On a whim -

It was Friday but we didn't have any plans. Both of the kids were supposed to have baseball/softball practice until dark and with new braces we just decided we would chill out at home. Plans changed. Fields were closed; no practice. Zana came over then Chase wanted Tommy to come over and before we knew it, we had four kids set for the night. They were all busy and didn't really want to interact with us, ha!

So....we decided to hit this winery -

which we had been trying to make it to but our schedules just didn't work out. After checking out their web-site, we hit the jackpot! The last Friday of every month they have live music until 9 pm. We got a later start but plugged the address into our navigation system and great! 26 miles, 33 minutes....we'd be there around 7.

Once we turned in, we could see the winery at the top of the mountain.

Keep in mind that it's still pretty much winter (even though it should be Spring) so nothing's really turned green yet but - this it's still beautiful at 951 feet, huh?

Once we got to the top, we immediately fell in love with the place. Very quaint and welcoming. We could also see by the number of cars that it was a pretty 'happening' place. There was one WV car in the parking lot and believe it or not, we knew them ha!

KEN was playing.....again, we quickly became fans of his, too =)! He figured out right away that we were into his music so he let us know his playlist/request sheet was available. Ronnie circled many songs...all of which he played. Perfect!

During one of his breaks, he came over and chatted with us, inviting us to the rest of this weekend's performances. Wow - he's very busy! Check out his schedule....(click on KEN above and it will take you to his web-site).

We did purchase his first cd - which is available on iTunes, Amazon, etc.

All in all this was just a really great "find". Their wines are excellent, too. We have never been fans of Merlot however after being convinced to try theirs because it isn't the typical Merlot, we liked it enough to buy a bottle, lol!

They have some pretty cool t-shirts, too -

So..if you're local and looking for a fun, cozy, happening place - check out Bluemont Vineyard! Who knows, you might just run into us -


Where there's a will.....

there's ALWAYS a way!

With our annual Soap Box Derby just a little over two months away, it's time to get the cars out of storage, line up the drivers and begin re-building, tweaking and/or adjusting the cars. Sunday was the big day! Fortunately a local storage facility allows us to store the cars in a few stalls between races but unfortunately it's about 12 miles away from where we hold the clinics. AND on top of that, the Mayflower trailer wasn't an option. Uh oh, right?!

Nope....a few e:mails and phone calls resulted in a group of parents, grandparents and even some kids pulling together and moving ALL the cars on Sunday. Wow. That's what I call team work!

Of course this came in handy, too =) Thanks Dad!

And 'poof' - they're all lined up!

Ok, so it wasn't that easy but hey, they got it done thanks to all the help!


Happy Birthday Mom!

We hope you have a wonderful day!


Meet Me On Monday!

Actually.....it's catchin' up Tuesday (running a little late this week)!

I love playing along with Java each Monday. Feel free to come along, just click on the icon -

Here's this week's questions:

1. What jewelry do you wear 24/7?

My wedding rings. That's it. Bottom line. Everything else comes off before my shower.

2. Do you twirl your spaghetti or cut it?

I have always cut my spaghetti. My husband even cuts his before the sauce goes on =)

3. How many siblings do you have?

I have one sister....I am the baby, lol!

4. Were you named after anyone?

I think my middle name is after my Dad's Mom...sounds like I need to confirm.

5. Pepsi or Coke?

Are you kidding?! Neither! I either drink unsweetened tea or water (unless of course wine is an option!)

So there you have it...my own little answers to this week's five little questions -

Only Chase......

Chase actually did something tonight that no one else in our family has ever done. He traded fish, ha!

So the story goes like this. On September 5th of last year he 'rescued' Renegade. This fish had been in Brandon's Mom's fish tank and wasn't getting along so well with another fish which resulted in a big "chunk" out of his nose...

He came here in a bucket and was soon happy in Chase's 30 gallon tank.

His nose got better and he was a very happy fish. He followed Chase around the perimeter of the tank and knew when it was feeding time. He actually turned out to be a pretty cool fish.

At Christmas Chase got a 75 gallon tank which made Renegade even happier. The goal was to have a few other fish like this pretty goldfish -

but one goldfish, an algae eater, three cory cats later it was confirmed that Renegade wanted to live alone, regardless of how big his tank was.

Last month Chase decided he wanted to either give Renegade away or sell him. He made up a sign to hang at our local pet shop but it never quite made it there. One day Chase decided to call a fish store we visit frequently to see if they would take 10 - 11 inch Red Oscar as a trade and believe it or not, they said "YES"!

Our weekend was pretty busy but this evening Renegade once again landed in a bucket and made his way to his new home. It's a win-win situation. He will be happy in his new fish home and Chase can get more fish =)

Good luck Renegade! I think Chase just might miss you.....



This could qualify as a "Wordless Wednesday" post, wouldn't you agree?! He was up early this morning (well early for him) and hit the bikes with fishing gear. Within 15 minutes the phone was ringing......he excitedly tells me he has officially caught the first fish of the year, lol!

Just another sign of spring and I'm lovin' it!

Just yesterday....

It doesn't seem like it's been a year since Kunckles was hanging out in the corral -

but these two little kids have moved right in -

That's right....Cocoa and Puff joined our family last weekend and they are just too cute =) So I guess that means the lambs will be joining soon! The 2011 4H goat and lamb projects are upon us again and we are loving it!

And wasn't it just yesterday that this winning car made it's way down the hill in Ranson then on to Akron?!

Well it's time for the 2011 Derby -

New Driver (and returning of course) Orientation was last Sunday with the first car clinic being tomorrow.

It seems like we move from one thing to another and times where there is even overlap but that's what life's all about and you won't hear any complaining here.

Happy Saturday y'all!


Bring the Rain.....

God always provides an umbrella, right? Of course he does!

This is a true story. The names have been changed to protect the innocent.

In April of 1998 Sally gave birth to a healthy little baby boy, named Sam. Sam was the baby to three siblings. He was a cute little boy with snow white hair. He captured all the hearts with his bubbly personality and perfect little face.

Sam attended Kindergarten in the Fall of 2004. His teacher was quick to overlook his lack of focus as he was ‘just being a boy’. Kindergarten turned in to 1st then 2nd then 3rd grade. While in 3rd grade his teacher was absent a lot due to a multitude of reasons. Many of the substitutes would become frustrated with Sam’s clowning around and disruptive behavior.

Sam’s Mom and Dad decided it was time to check into the potential ADHD with their pediatrician at the suggestion of the school. Keep in mind that Sam’s parents have only dealt with ADHD children through activities such as baseball, 4H, church, Cub Scouts, etc. but have always been against medication to calm a child down.

Questions are asked, a quick evaluation takes place and results show no concern. Disciplinary action is taken from time to time simply to show Sam that he needs to respect the rules and do his work. This pattern continues however Sam’s grades were sufficient so he moved on. Fourth and 5th grade brought similar challenges however again, his looks seemed to overshadow any scholastic or behavioral issues with acceptable grades.

It’s time for Sam to move on to middle school. Seven classes, seven teachers, 3 floors, a locker….wow. Let the struggle begin. Very quickly Sam’s attention span is compensated. He can’t keep up and quickly his grades are concerning enough for teacher conferences, discipline, a diet change and tutoring. His 6th grade year was such a challenge that many times it was thought that he would fail and be required to repeat the 6th grade. The school year ended, and the mail was delivered with the verdict in an envelope. “ADVANCED”! Hooray….Sam has now advanced to the 7th grade without Summer school or any additional work. What a relief. Sam was even surprised!

Last Fall brought a new school year; a fresh start. Unfortunately within the first month incomplete and/or missing assignments and behavioral issues were noted. Sam’s parents met with the teachers to better understand what needed to be done. Sam was also a part of the meeting. No significant change. The teachers were becoming more and more frustrated. Sam’s Dad even attends school one day, moving from class to class to observe. All through this time, Sam’s computer, Xbox, TV, cell phone and ipod have been taken away. Basically he has a room. At home frustration heightened as well with simple chores were left undone. A messy room, no sense of responsibility and failing grades was all Sam had.

With no other alternative, Sam’s mom consulted a counselor. HELP she said. Nothing seems to phase him.

Within 10 minutes of the first call, the counselor suggested Sally pick up this book, "Taking Charge of ADHD". Oh no. This won’t help, my child is not ADHD. He can sit in front of a tv, play a video game and isn’t hyper. Not to mention that Sam’s Dad would not hear of this!

So quietly Sam’s Mom began reading the book. Within the first two pages, pink highlighted sentences and paragraphs were quickly visible. Sally couldn’t read this book fast enough. Oh my gosh! This is Sam, this is me, this is what’s happening to our family. How can it be? With all this knowledge Sally now begins dealing with Sam in a different light. Simple tasks, one at a time. Remaining calm. Giving back the TV and xBox. This gives Sam the sense that now his parents don’t think he’s just stupid but are starting to understand that he needs help. He wants to do better, just doesn’t know how.

It’s still difficult to share with Sam’s Dad however Sally decides to make an appointment to meet with a special counselor. The appointment is out about 3 weeks which gives Sally time to convince Sam’s Dad to “hear her out”, “listen to what she has to say”, understand this is in the best interest of Sam and to glance as some of the highlights in the book. Wow – now even Sam’s Dad is starting to understand.

The time comes for Sam, Sally and Tom to meet with the counselor. After a questionnaire, some testing and an evaluation, Sam is confirmed – Attention Deficit Disorder. He is not ADHD which is the hyper active version. A prescription is handed to Sam’s parents. Now the big challenge. For years medication was something they would refuse to administer. No way.

After Sam’s parents talked it through, with pretty much straight F’s and diet, tutoring and discipline not working, they had to give it a try. First does: Christmas Eve. Sam was 1)not hungry 2)sad and 3)stayed to himself. Their immediate reaction was NO MORE MEDICATION! Regardless, no way. A different approach would have to be taken. So after a few days and some heavy conversation, they agreed to try this again but first thing in the morning, with food. Major difference. Sam was very calm yet focused, appetite was not compensated, sleep not impacted and very interactive with the family. This continued over Winter break.

Now it’s back to school. His teachers immediately noticed a difference. Assignments complete, focus in class, interactive yet not disruptive, displayed the desire to learn and do good overall. Yay us! Within a few weeks, his F’s were brought up to A’s and B’s. He went from failing to passing. Has made new friends (you’re only as good as the friends you keep, right?!). Likes to go to school. Completes his homework and is so mature. The environment at home is much more pleasant as well. He does his chores, keeps up with his room, doesn’t talk back, can be given a list of tasks with all being completed and is a joy to be around. Wow….what an amazing difference!

So I guess you could say that it’s important for all parent’s to keep an open mind. There are cases where medication is necessary in order to be successful no matter what everyone else feels and……more importantly, “know the story”. I have learned so much about this condition....educating myself is the best thing I could have ever done. We never know what any one family may be dealing with so it’s always better to take care of our own situations and stay out of those we don’t completely know.

So there you have it…..now do you want to meet Sally and Sam?

Now you understand why we were SO excited to learn that Chase had placed 1st in the Young Writer’s contest for the 7th and 8th grade for our whole county? How can a child go from failing…to A's and awards and recognition throughout the county? Well....a lot of support from family, friends and teachers. Remember....anything IS possible with a little faith but you have to BELIEVE in yourself, trust your heart and always keep your eye on the prize.