Friday, April 8, 2016

E - Exercise

So this time last year, I was exercising.  I go on these kicks sometimes.  I really WANT to exercise but truly I hate it.   So this time last year, I had started on this kick to get into shape before all of those summer trips we had coming up.  

As you can see from just the previous three posts, we did eat well.

I was going along at a good pace when Aly and Skye went to my parents for Spring Break.  When I joined them, it was nice to change up the pace a bit. 

Walking the hill is one of our favorite pastimes at my parents.  It's not possible in the summer ... SNAKES ... but early spring and late fall make it a beautiful, fun EXERCISE.  

Ok it's not ALWAYS fun! Like when I am severely out of shape and gasping for breath while my legs are burning because it is a steep climb.

This particular spring morning I was thankful to be at my parents and thankful for the opportunity to enjoy a more scenic walk than the one around my block in the suburbs!

D - Donut

Not all of my A to Z posts will be about food...I promise!

Universal Studios in Orlando hosts a section dedicated to The Simpsons.  The girls only have a vague idea of who the Simpsons are, and The Simpsons' ride is a bit nausea inducing (according to Aly and Dan who rode it on our first trip), so we don't really spend much time in this area of the park.  On our recent trip, we noticed that they had expanded this area, adding new restaurants and a new ride.  

Enter Lard Lad Donuts!

The shop smelled REALLY amazing every time we walked past.  Skyeler finally caved and decided she had to have a Donut.  Now you can't tell from the above picture but check out the following picture...

Yes, yes, that really IS a quarter in the center of the Donut hole.  Lard Lad makes some pretty large donuts :) 

And yes, it really IS about as big as Skyeler's head!  

We all thought that it would be just a mediocre donut, fun for the size but not very tasty.
We were VERY wrong!  Actually, they make the donuts fresh and it was quite yummy!  The four of us couldn't finish it, but we had so much fun taking pictures of it and sending them out to all our friends :)

C - Cannoli

The fourth day of our Teen Christian History Trip took us to the Freedom Trail in downtown Boston.  

One of our fun stops is a couple blocks off the Freedom Trail ...
Mike's Pastry!

Why Mike's Pastry?
This is why...


Mike's is famous for them!
In something like over 15 flavors!

The line is always ridiculously long (because it is so delicious), you have to know what you want or they take someone else ahead of you, and they only take cash!  

I was a little concerned about the "you have to know what you want" part of our plan.  This particular group of ours excels in NOT knowing what they want :) 

We were supposed to get our Cannoli's after our dinner, but dinner ended up not working out and  we had to backtrack many blocks to get our treat.  Now normally "many blocks" would not be such a big deal, but after walking the whole Freedom Trail.  Well, we were all pretty worn out.  The kids love eating local fare, however, and were not too put out :)

We sat down and enjoyed them in the middle of a park in downtown Boston because Cannoli's are best fresh!

Monday, April 4, 2016

B - Butterbeer


Hang on just a moment while I drool a little ... Ok, I think I have some semblance of control now. 
I'll be honest here...this stuff is Beyond Belief amazing! 

Frozen - my personal favorite
Ice Cream!

And yes I tried them ALL on our latest trip to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando!

How to describe Butterbeer?  Well, Cream Soda mixed with butterscotch mixed with caramel all frozen or bubbly.  I had the frozen first since it is my favorite.  Dan really enjoyed the hot Butterbeer.  I'm one of those strange folks who doesn't really like hot drinks in the summer, but Dan drinks hot tea or coffee year round.  Aly had the Ice Cram Butterbeer from Florean Fortescue's Ice Cream Parlour (just a side note here, though I cannot eat ice cream in large quantities anymore, the family tried four unique flavours ... Butterbeer, Green Apple, Earl Grey & Lavender, and Chocolate Chili ... and all were delicious). And of course  we had plenty of the regular sort with our refillable Butterbeer mug.  

A trip to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is just not complete without this sweet treat!

Friday, April 1, 2016

A - the Adventure Begins

I think this picture Adequately describes our year last year :)

Traveling is Always an Adventure and we did plenty of both!

Our itinerary covered at least 10 states (at least 10 since we are having some controversy as to whether or not we drove through Connecticut this time...that's what happens when you don't write things down right away).  And we drove to Florida twice.  I didn't count how many hours we spent in the car ... Hmm that would be an interesting fact to keep track of ... but as I mentioned we drove to Florida, twice.  We also drove to Boston where I KNOW we sat in over 6 hours of traffic.  Those are some long trips!

What drives us to travel?  Family usually.  But also we have found that once we started seeing the many wonders and beauties that our country has to offer, and the history that is all around us, well, it is kind of addictive and makes you want to see more!  Though I will admit that I LOVE revisiting the places we have already been which is counterproductive to seeing more LOL!

January - Cheryl and I met in Columbus for a Girl's Weekend - shopping & scrapbooking!

March - Skye and Aly headed to Granny & Papa's for Spring Break.

April - I joined the girls in Kentucky for a night.

May - Universal Orlando!
Memorial Day Weekend in Kentucky!

June - Back to Florida ... Dan's family celebrated Christmas in June.

July - Our Teen Group's Christian History Trip to Boston!

November - Thanksgiving in Kentucky!

As I try to complete this A to Z Challenge, I hope to share some pictures and stories from our Adventurous 2015.

April's A to Z Challenge

"My poor blog!"  I usually make this lament at least ONCE a year as I look back at all I have NOT blogged about and look forward to blogging a new year.

Those poor January and February posts that start out the year with great intentions and then fizzle out.  This year I did not even make it to the annual January and February posts thanks to my next lament, "Our life is just crazy right now!"  

UM...that seems to be the new NORM, I'm just refusing to see it!

Sooo, I have all of these wonderful pictures that I took last year from all the traveling we did, and I've never gotten around to sharing them, plus normal life, and a co-op where the pre-schoolers outnumber the rest of us...  Not really, it just seems like it sometimes ...   And enter an interesting challenge I ran across this week

Blogging from A to Z

A Challenge to blog through the alphabet in the month of April.  What a great idea!  So I'm going to give it a go.  I doubt I will be able to keep up, but it's always good to have a goal, right?  I don't have a "theme" so I can go wherever the mood takes me :)  

Away we go... (that could be "A" but I'll start somewhere else).

Monday, March 30, 2015


February.  What a dreary sound.  Some people may think of  LOVE and HEARTS.  All I can think of  is just how much longer there is of winter!  And what about that stupid GROUNDHOG!?!?!  He ALWAYS sees his shadow.  Grr!  In fact, this year I have NO idea just how that rodent saw a shadow!  It was pretty cloudy here.  It's all a sham, folks! 

And then there was the sickness, a horrible sinus infection lasting upwards of two weeks in which I lost my voice for a few days (which if you know me at all, you know that is torture for me LOL)!  Ugh!  Followed a week later by the worst migraine I've had in nine years.  So I spent quite a bit of time  like the picture below...

In my JAMMIES, with some tea, reading a book!

So not ALL of February was bad (even if I was sick)!  We celebrated the Sammy Boy's Birthday!  What a hoot!  He had a Mickey Mouse Clubhouse birthday, and Danielle had these adorable cupcakes that looked like Mickey ears.  Skyeler bought Sammy a Mickey Mouse Clubhouse tool set.  Aly got this picture of Sammy in the hat, safety goggles, and drill.  The goggles were the best LOL!  Aly 

I wasn't the only one sick in February!  Cheryl was too!  Yet she loaded up the boys and came down for a visit over the President's Day weekend!  Yaroo!  She is MUCH better at sucking it up than I am.  I am a wimp and a baby.  (And proud of it)!  So they came, and we vegged, um I mean sat, in our office...aka the couch...for the whole time.  Well, except when she drug me (read guilted me) out in freezing cold wind chills to go to the thrift store.  Though she did reward me with Starbucks :)

They Yahoo's found ways to keep themselves occupied, they always do!  But first we have to mention a truly MOMENTOUS occasion!  Are you ready for it?  Skyeler drove ALL of them to get donuts!  It's the first time Skye has driven the Yahoo's anywhere!  God is good and brought them all back in one piece :)  

Our favorite donut shop is AWESOME!  Bryce was dying to have their Maple Bacon Donut.  He posted it on Instagram LOL!  With other flavors like Oreo Cream-filled and Creamsicle,  and the best Long mouth is watering just typing about it!  

Bryce also was not feeling great.  He only went outside with Aly and Carter for a little bit.  Aly is obsessed with climbing trees (even when it's freezing outside).  After hearing Bryce say that Aly said she needed help, I was a little worried about what kind of help.  Sometimes Aly needing help means that she may be hanging upside down from the tree!  So I get out of the "office" and go peek outside the front door.  What do I find?  This...

I'm not sure they are appropriately using the garbage can :)
And they wonder why we call them Yahoos!

They also played a lot of a game Bryce brought, Last Word, as well as consumed not only donuts, but Valentine's candy, Starbucks frapps, and Uncle Dan made them Fried Oreos.  All in one day!  I am thrilled that they still enjoy getting together so much!  We always have fun, even when we are sick!

February is also Oscar's month.  I kind of unknowingly started a tradition where we watch these every year.  Skyeler has taken the tradition a bit further.  She sees it as a time to stock up on all of her favorite candy to enjoy while watching the Oscar's.  We were not as familiar with this year's movies so it took some of the fun out of it.  I actually went to bed early.  But the candy was enjoyed either way :)

The snow finally started falling in February, though for most of it it was too freezing cold to get out in it, much to Aly's dismay.   In fact, Skyeler had a whole week off work due to snow and below zero wind chills.  Dan was sick that week with the stomach flu and so we spent the week holed up in our electric blankets watching episode after episode of 24!  At the very end of the month, we finally got a snowfall that was not also accompanied by the bitter wind chills, and Aly went out to build.  Last year she made a Dalek Snowman.  This year she was going to try and make a Cyberman but the snow just wasn't the good packing type.  

My Bible reading was a bit sporadic this month due to all the sickness.  And my devotional book that I've been using didn't have the gems this month that it had so often had in previous months.  I did start getting caught up on my reading of the New Testament.  The church is reading through the New Testament in 2015, and I was a bit behind.  I made great strides catching up this month and hope to be fully caught up by the end of March.  Reading the Book of John and Acts much like a short story helped me.  I realized that more often than not I read for depth, but in doing so I miss some of the flow of the context.  It's been good for me.  

I don't think I added anything new to my Bible Journal in February.  Not good! But if I would have, I would have added this quote I found in my Well-Planned Day Planner.  I found it to be profound...

"People do not drift toward holiness.  Apart from grace-driven effort, people do not gravitate toward godliness, prayer, obedience to Scripture, faith, and delight in the Lord.  We drift toward compromise and call it tolerance; we drift toward disobedience and call it freedom; we drift toward superstition and call it faith.  We cherish the indiscipline of lost self-control and call it relaxation; we slouch toward prayerlessness and delude ourselves into thinking we have escaped legalism; we slide toward godlessness and convince ourselves we have been liberated."   -D.A. Carson

I find this more and more common in our youth today, and surprisingly, I'm also beginning to see this among adult Christians.  Why we feel the need to step away from God's Word, and try and make God and the church like the world, cater to the world, I don't know.  I suppose it is because we are children of sin.  And sin  is "fun" and "easy."  Lining ourselves up to Christ is hard.  I sometimes feel that I'm hanging on by a thread to all that many would call just "tradition" of church.  But I see our time in church  as so much more.  A disciplined life, a giving up of my time, a respect for God's Word, showing my children that God comes first.  I continue to struggle to get my daily Bible reading and Prayer life in balance, but I pray that I will grow in the continuing and come forth as gold.  

Here's looking forward to March and Spring!