Thursday, October 31, 2013

Throwback Thursday: Tee Ball

Awwww...such sweetness!  Here is Robert's 2003 tee ball team lined up at the fence waiting for a turn at the tee.  That's Robert (at age 6) wearing number 13.  

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Watson Mill Bridge

This is the wooden bridge at Watson Mill State Park in Georgia.  At 229 feet, it is the longest covered bridge in the state.  I remember walking across the bridge as a child...slightly terrified that a car would come along and run over me.  (Yes, I was just a tad dramatic.)

This post is linked to 5 Minutes for Mom and Sarah Halstead at The Naptime Momtog for Wordless Wednesday.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Scavenger Hunt Sunday

 It's time for Scavenger Hunt Sunday again!  Here are my interpretations...


Leaves have been slow to change color around here, and the (two...yes, two) trees in our yard seem to be the last to change in our neighborhood no matter what the season--the last to be dressed for fall, the last to shed leaves for winter, the last to bloom in the spring.  True to form, the leaves in our yard are still this next photo is a leaf from our neighbor's yard.

I didn't notice the spider's web until I pulled the photo up on my you see it, faintly, in the upper left quadrant?

Your mood today

Robert (16) has been driving to and from his weekly guitar lesson, but Jason has always been the one to go with him...until last week, when Jason attended a conference.  It's about a 30-minute drive, and this was the first time Robert had driven with me for more than 15 minutes at a time (he has his learner's permit).  It was also the first time he drove with Josiah (11) and Grace (7) in the car...He did well, but  my mood was, admittedly, at least a little apprehensive.  This was my view during the drive, dashboard reflection and all:

And, on the way, Robert pretended in a pretty convincing way that he had made a wrong turn, since he knew the way and I didn' I took a picture of the trickster.  (Yes, he has his father's sense of humor.)


I went with friends from church to the Women of Faith conference.  It was, of course, dark during the CeCe Winans concert Friday night.


This was the sweet and silly little face that welcomed me home after we came back from the conference:

Depth of Field

I couldn't decide which one to pick, so I'm including a few for this prompt.  These are the last of my zinnia blooms for the year...

There are lots of little white flowers in the back half of my neighbor's backyard...growing among the ragweed and golden rod

...and here's a bee I stalked at an unsafe distance until I got a good shot of him.

Click on the link below to see others' photographs or to join in on the fun!  

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Scavenger Hunt Sunday

It's time for Scavenger Hunt Sunday, which has become a sort of "our week in photos" for me.

Watching and Leafy

These first two shots were taken a couple of weeks ago, when Jason found a leaf insect.  I don't freak out about bugs, but I still think it's a little freaky when you can see them watching you (praying mantises in particular).   I didn't know this leafy guy was watching me until I edited the photos.

I also didn't know he was grazing on our towel...

If looking at bugs is too creepy for you, here's another leafy shot.  This tree grows in a nearby store parking lot, and the leaves look like brightly colored feathers once they start changing color in the fall.  (As you can see, things are still very green around here in this part of Georgia.)


We still have some cosmos growing in our yard.  I believe this is the latest we've ever had them.  Grace picked some to put in my little vase at the kitchen window.

A Good Day

Friday was a good day for the kids to play with friends at the park...

Grace (7), ever stylish in her dress, capris, and boots...with a cheerleader bear tagging along on for a ride down the slide.

and a good day to go with my husband to have supper with some friends in a nearby downtown area.

First World Problem

Oh, first world problems.  We love to complain, don't we?  Whether it's about missing the otherwise lovely shot because of aircraft trails marring the blue sky (like in the photo above), or about dealing with traffic, 

or about clutter,

or about being cold (you know, while in a climate-controlled building and while wearing weather-appropriate clothing).

Grace huddled in a chair for warmth  ;)

And all of our complaining about first world problems is going on while most of the world lives very these girls...

This is the time of year when we can give a simple gift...the gift of a shoebox full of goodies...that can go halfway around the world to brighten a child's life and let him know that someone loves him, and that God loves him.

Click over to the Samaritan's Purse/Operation Christmas Child website to learn more.  You can donate online whether or not you put together a shoebox, and you can even print a tag to put on your shoebox that will let you follow where your shoebox goes.  The deadline for the national collection week is November 18-25, and you can find some drop-off locations on the website.

Click on the link below to see others' photographs or to join in on the fun!  

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Works For Me Wednesday: Making Spice Mixes For Recipes Ahead of Time

For at least a year or two, I have measured out the spices I used in a specific chili recipe in two batches at a time...

once for the recipe I was preparing that evening, and once for a time in the future.  I labeled the second batch of spices with the name of the recipe (because I always think I will remember know what happens) written on an empty spice container that I used for storing the mix over and over again.

Recently, in an effort to simplify things, as well as the realization that chili was off the menu on plenty of evenings if I didn't have the spices already measured out, I decided to mass produce the spice mix for my chili recipe.  

I used plastic food containers that I already had on hand.  I store these in a larger plastic food container that is now labeled "SPICE MIXES" so that the spice smells don't take over my pantry.  I plan on measuring out spices for another recipe, too, so I already labeled the bottoms of these little containers with a "C" for chili (along with a note stating which specific recipe these spices go with know).

The process of measuring the spices into a series of containers all at once took a couple of minutes longer than measuring them for one use.  Chili will be back on the menu more often this winter, and I will expand this idea to other recipes for more time-savings...

And that works for me!  Click over to We Are THAT Family for more Works For Me Wednesday ideas.

If you are interested, here's the link to the chili recipe I use:  Laura's Quick Slow Cooker Turkey Chili.  I mostly follow the directions but have tweaked it to fit my family.  I am allergic to the beans listed in the recipe (I can eat great white northern beans and that's about it, and I only add one can instead of two), so that's one change I made.  I have never, ever made this recipe with tomato soup but always use some form of diced tomatoes, and I have not added red pepper flakes because I want my kids to eat the meal.  :)  Be sure to read the comments on the recipe to see what others have changed--you'll likely find what will work for your family in particular, too.  Even though the recipe is for a slow cooker, I usually prepare this on the stove top.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: The Monastery

These are some photos from our recent trip to a nearby monastery for a fall festival, which included animals and more.

Grace(7) petting a bunny who was trying to find some shade.

Close up of the...kangaroo?  wallaby?  wallaroo?  I'm not sure.

This little guy just looked miserably hot.  Not sure what animal he is, either.

We went inside the monastery shop to look around

(and up)

and Josiah (11) found a ring he liked.

Then we walked around outside some more...

and rode on the horse-drawn carriage before leaving.

Grace's favorite part...seeing the horses!

One of our fellow passengers:  a monk with face painting

This post is linked to 5 Minutes for Mom and Sarah Halstead at The Naptime Momtog for Wordless Wednesday.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Scavenger Hunt Sunday

I'm a little late in joining in with this week's scavenger hunt!  Here are my interpretations.

(All photos are SOOC [straight out of the camera] except for cropping.)

M is for...morning glories.  There are still a few blooming each day in our yard.

What you saw today:  A boy loving on our puppy.

Josiah (11) with Bono (18 mos. old).  Bono is a Bouvier des Flandres and weighs over 80 lbs.

Corner:  This one is from a couple of weeks ago, when I took a bunch of photos of a local historic church.  (Click over to see more.)

Pink:  A pink sunset over our church.

Hands:  I've said before how it's a little freaky impressive how often Grace (7) can catch butterflies with her bare hands.  She did it again last Friday...and didn't want to let her go.  She named the butterfly Angel and said she was her most favorite one.  She let little Angel just took a while.  And judging by the look on her face, it was among the most difficult things she has ever had to do.

Click on the link below to see others' photographs or to join in on the fun!  

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Scavenger Hunt Sunday

We've had a pretty busy extended weekend, and Scavenger Hunt Sunday gives me the opportunity to share a handful of the photos I've taken.  This week's scavenger hunt items were:

  1. Something Colorful
  2. Light
  3. You
  4. Afternoon
  5. In Motion

Something Colorful

How 'bout a colorful parrot?  We saw this and other creatures at a fair held at a nearby monastery this weekend.

A parrot one could hold...for $5

Or maybe a monk with a bit of face painting...perhaps a dragon on his cheek?

Grace (7) and Josiah (11) sitting next to a monk during a carriage ride


Light from the window hitting lovely pieces of stained glass and etched glass in the monastery shop.

And then there were the rustic-looking lights hanging from the ceiling of the monastery shop...


These are label pins that show the size and shape of a 10-week unborn baby's feet...10 weeks after conception, you had feet that were perfectly formed and approximately 1 cm long.  Amazing, isn't it?


We spent an hour this Sunday afternoon participating in Life Chain along the busy road in front of our church.

In Motion

Friday afternoon, as we were at the end of our homeschool group meeting, Josiah (11) showed his football-kicking skills.  (Click here to see more of my photos of this historic United Methodist church.)

Click on the link below to see others' photographs or to join in on the fun!  

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