Thursday, August 28, 2008
I especially need a nap right now because all of the sudden it seems that I am running in several directions at once. Among other things, I was asked to be the chairperson of our chapel committee for our homeschool co-op. There isn't really a reason they've given me for assigning this position, but I have it figured out. My last name is first alphabetically of all the committee members. Yep, that's gotta be it! Also, I am trying to prepare classes for our first week of co-op. I also volunteered to be the "Nut Mom" for our Girl Scout Nut Sales. Everyone has said I fit the calling quite well. They crack me up. My official title is "Troop Nut Manager." In a nutshell, I'm in charge of getting the order forms out, getting them back, inputting orders, yada, yada, yada. I've been told I'm kind of squirrely so the job should be easy. I think it's going out on a limb to say that. Okay, share your best nut puns now!
I NEED to be busy with Pampered Chef, but the Lord has filled my time with these other things while my business seems to be taking a nap. It needs to wake up SOON or we will all be in the nuthouse! Maybe the poor house is more like it! (how does one insert smileys in blogspot?)
I haven't posted in a while, so wanted to just stop by & say hello on the sheer chance that some lone person is out there checking! Hey, look! I added a blog roll to my blog! You can click on those & see some of the nuts in my family, plus some of my squirrely friends! I haven't finished adding links, so if you are my friend & your blog isn't there, let me know. If you aren't my friend.......just kidding.
Gotta go heat up leftovers, get Bethany to a Girl Scout sleepover, go plan for a class at co-op & get home again at some point tonight.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
One of our moms and her husband have a condo at the beach. They were gracious enough to open their weekend home for us to join them on the beach. There is also a lifeguard right at the beach where their condo is, which was a concern on a Girl Scout trip. The girls played in the water. Some went out deep and rode the waves in to shore. Some used "Boogie boards" to try new things in the water. Some built sand creations (I THINK they were castles! LOL!). The girls saw living sand dollars, held some live fish, found hermit crabs, teensy tiny crabs and even a dead crab (that would be MY child who found the dead one---lovely). They saw LIVE shrimp. We even found a lovely Portuguese Man-Of-War. It really was pretty, but the sting is quite fierce, so we removed it from the premises. The day went so quickly as we relaxed on the beach.
We had thought we'd leave Corpus around 5 or 6. The FIRST car to leave didn't take off til after 6! My van was the last to leave and we weren't on the road til after 8:30. We stopped to eat at a Cracker Barrel, which seemed to hold the record for longest wait time and slowest cook time of any restaurant in the city. We didn't get back into the van until after 10. We hit San Antonio shortly before 1, I think, then dropped people off at 2 different homes. I think it was nearly 2 when we got home. Maybe it was just 1. I was so tired I'm not sure WHAT time it was! I do know I didn't get into bed until 3:30 and napped almost all day on Monday.
Unfortunately, I forgot to take my camera down to the beach, so I have no pictures of this day. Some of the other moms did take pics so hopefully they will be kind enough to share & I can post some here.
It was a really fun trip, but it was SO good to be in my own bed, with no sand & no steaming glasses the moment you open the door to go outside.
I am just ITCHING to teach people about meal planning, saving money on foods, and showing them the tools that will change how they cook and make them WANT to cook at home. That's pretty much what I do for a living---or a not-so-substantial part of our household income this summer. I was looking up meal plans on line. I thought, "Hmmm, I wonder if there are any gluten-free meal plans out there," so, being the queen of all things Google, I typed in "gluten free meal planner." My intelligence is quite amazing, isn't it? tee-hee.
One of the links that popped up was called Gluten Free Gobsmacked (click on the link & you can see this too!). Much like the Mouse and the Cookie of children's literature, when you give this girl a link, she'll keep clicking until she finds herself traveling around the world on the internet (a rather inexpensive form of travel, I might add). I found.....are you sitting.....oh, you probably are if you are reading this at a computer, huh? That wasn't a complete sentence, but this isn't a grammar class, so here goes.....a GLUTEN FREE CROISSANT recipe! YES, I did! Here is a link to the recipe. She has other recipe ideas on there, too, ALL gluten free!
I haven't tried it yet, and the proof is in the pudding, or in this case, the roll, but I am just tickled pink thinking that someone has gone before me and created this! Yippee!
Thursday, August 14, 2008
After the museum, we headed to a local diner called, cleverly enough, City Diner. It used to be called Elmo's City Diner. I'm not sure who this Elmo is, but I suspect he isn't a red furry puppet with a big round nose. There are pictures all over the walls of local heroes of yesteryear. One of the moms in our group told us that her parents' pictures were on the walls there. Her sister-in-law was also on the trip, and both had daughters with them, so all these girls got to take their friends to a restaurant with pictures of their grandparents. I suspect the girls were far more concerned with visiting with their friends, but some of us moms enjoyed the historical tour!
Next stop was the Texas State Aquarium: http://www.texasstateaquarium.org/ We unloaded all our "gear" and headed out on what felt like a 2 mile hike to the front door. I'm sure it was less than 1/8 of a mile, but we were tired. After hearing all the rules & regulations of sleeping in the aquarium, we started on our personal tour. Our first stop was to see the Sea Turtles. The girls learned about endangered animals and ways to keep them from becoming extinct. The tank the turtles are in has clear sides almost all the way around, so we got to see some really cool views of these guys. He posed for this shot!
We then saw the alligator and learned a bit about different levels of endangerment. We also learned how to remember which is an alligator & which is a crocodile. Using "See you later alligator," you take a step with your foot flat on the ground as if you are leaving. Your foot is broad across. The alligator has a broad snout. For "after a while crocodile," we turned our foot on edge, so the skinny part was up. It's hard to walk like that, so you get there "after a while." The croc's snout is skinny. I didn't get any pics of the alligator.
We looked out & saw some wild brown pelicans and the girls learned a bit about those. We learned that juvenile pelicans aren't terribly bright & when they are learning to fly, many die in the process. That was interesting to hear. We also learned that certain chemicals that used to be used in pesticides were highly harmful to some of these animals.
The sun was setting as we went back upstairs to the lobby area. We split into 2 groups into the display areas where we saw a huge variety of sea life. In one area we passed some birds in an estuary setting. Estuary was my new vocabulary word for the weekendand went! It's an area where the water is stagnant or stationary. Then we went into an area where the girls learned about sea urchins, whelks, and other such critters. They actually got to hold some! This is Natalie holding a hermit crab in a shell.
The other exhibits we walked through had jellyfish is more shapes, sizes and colors than I had ever seen. There was also a tropical rain forest exhibit. I'm not exactly sure why they had that in an aquarium, but it was interesting nonetheless. Then we reached it. The big tank. The one with the BIG fish. The one with the SHARK. I don't know if I've blogged that I am not exactly crazy about sharks. Natalie is terrified of sharks. I also have a fear of aquariums bursting open and flooding the room I'm in, not to mention those animals being on the loose. I know that people were praying for me and God gave me such peace that I was not afraid at all. It was dark, it was a huge tank, there was a really big shark, and I was not afraid. Funny, sitting here writing about it, I have that same feeling of not wanting to be there that I had before the trip, but I didn't have that feeling while there.
We gathered the girls all together at 8:45 for pizza. Then we got into pj's and started getting beds ready. We all took an air mattress of some sort, so we spent quite some time inflating air mattresses, then having girls line them up in front of the big tank. They asked the moms to be "book ends" on either end of where the girls were. I had to plug in my cpap where I found an outlet, so instead of being on the END, AWAY from the shark tank, I was right there by it, but against the back wall. I just took off my glasses & put on my cpap then tried to fall asleep. Even with the cpap on I could hear girls giggling and pipes in the tank rattling. When the lights went out it was VERY dark. At some point I guess everyone eventually fell asleep.
Sunday's activities in another post!
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Monday, August 11, 2008
Did you know that Christopher Columbus landed in Corpus Christi, Texas? Well, he obviously did because we saw his ships there! What's that you say? Those weren't the REAL ships?
We took a Girl Scout trip to the Texas Coast at Corpus Christi, Texas. As anyone who was on the trip could now tell you because I shared it so much, I was born in Corpus. I was almost born on the 'High bridge' from Portland to Corpus. I can now say I have driven on that bridge....twice. Our first stop of the day was at the CC Science & History Museum. It is a really fun museum. We have the Witte Museum in San Antonio. They NOW have a cool area for kids called the Treehouse, but for the most part, with occasional revolving exhibits, they have the same exhibits they had 20 years ago when I took 2nd graders there on a field trip. It's a very hands OFF experience (other than the Treehouse), so not much fun for kids & not that great for me, since I tend to want to feel & touch things as much as read about them. THIS museum in Corpus has lots of stuff to do, plus the just look at it stuff. There is a kids area with a mock boat they can play on. Even some of the older girls went up in that. We have a multi-level troop and on the trip had girls from 7 to 16.
One exhibit that had us moms laughing was a display of letters kids had written to the museum. First, there was a list of how kids spell museum. It started with muzam and continued from there. I laughed because Natalie for years (and occasionally now) will call it a muzam (which rhymes with "Sha-zam!" from some old TV show!). Letters had things like:
- I hated it.
- I loved, loved, loved, loved it.
- Your museum is very nice but I think it is mean that you hurt animals that didn't do anything to you. First you kill them, then you starch them.
The part I was most interested in wasn't as great as I expected. There are replicas of Columbus' ships in CC. Two have been dry-docked because they were hit by another large ship and could not stay afloat in the water. We were only allowed to go onto one of them, the Pinta. It WAS fascinating to see what the ship would have looked like, and see the pulley system they used to raise things out from below deck. However, we could not go onto the Santa Maria, and the Nina is still docked in the water & you can't go on that one, either. Since I've been on the Mayflower 2 in Plymouth Massachusetts, I was a bit disappointed in not being able to do more than just listen to a lady (whom Natalie found quite boring) and then not be able to see more of the ship. I am amazed at the conditions these men and boys endured on their journeys.
We spent the night at the Texas State Aquarium, but that deserves a post all its own another day. We pulled into our driveway shortly before 2 a.m. this morning (Monday morning). I have slept most of the day. I was utterly exhausted. I had the girls in bed much earlier tonight & am heading that way now myself.
Here are a few "muzam" pictures:
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
Without further adieu, a white cake lie:
WHITE LIE CAKE
Have you ever told a white lie? You are going to love this, especially all of those who bake for church events.
Alice Grayson was to bake a cake for the Baptist Church Ladies' Group in Tuscaloosa ,but forgot to do it until the last minute.
She remembered the morning of the bake sale and after rummaging through cabinets, found an angel food cake mix & quickly made it while drying her hair, dressing, & helping her son pack for Scout camp.
When Alice took the cake from the oven, the center had dropped flat and the cake was horribly disfigured.
She thought, 'Oh dear, there is not time to bake another cake.'
This cake was important to Alice because she did so want to fit in at her new church and in her new community of friends.
So, being inventive, she looked around the house for something to build up the center of the cake.
Alice found it in the bathroom - a roll of toilet paper. She plunked it in and covered it with icing.
Not only did the finished product look beautiful, it looked perfect.
Before she left the house to drop the cake by the church and head for work, Alice woke her daughter Amanda and gave her some money and specific instructions to be at the bake sale the moment it opened at 9:30 and to buy the cake and bring it home.
When Amanda arrived at the sale, she found the attractive, perfect cake had already been sold.
She grabbed her cell phone and called her mom.
Alice was horrified - she was beside herself. Everyone would know! What would they think? She would be ostracized, talked about, and ridiculed! All night, Alice lay awake in bed thinking about people pointing fingers at her and talking about her behind her back.
The next day, Alice promised herself she would try not to think about the cake and would attend the fancy luncheon/bridal shower at the home of a fellow church member and try to have a good time. Alice did not want to attend because the hostess was a snob who more than once had looked down her nose at Alice because she was a single parent and not from the founding families of Birmingham but, having already RSVP'd, she couldn't think of a believable excuse to stay home.
The meal was elegant, the company was definitely upper crust old South and, to Alice 'S horror, the cake in question was presented for dessert!
Alice felt the blood drain from her body when she saw the cake! She started out of her chair to tell the hostess all about it, but before she could get to her feet, the Mayor's wife said, 'What a beautiful cake!'
Alice still stunned, sat back in her chair when she heard the hostess (who was a prominent church member) say, 'Thank you, I baked it myself.'
Alice smiled and thought to herself, 'God is good.'