Wednesday, September 30, 2015


Katie was able to do something really exciting and unique!
She was able to go on a homeschool field trip to go  indoor skydiving!

She got flipped over at one point and wound up on her back on the floor!  But the instructor flipped her back over and she kept right on going!

It was very exciting to watch!  I wish I could have done it as well, but it was a special price for the kids because we had a group rate.    

Some kids paid extra and got to spin up high into the overhead tube with the instructor!

I was shaking when Katie got done!  I'm not sure if it was from nervousness or excitement!

Because it was a school group, they taught the kids about the science behind the wind tunnel and terminal velocity and such.  They threw different sized balls into the tunnel to see which ones went higher and which ones stayed low.  They even squirted water out of a water bottle and it stayed in individual drops that floated around in the wind tunnel!

The instructor showed them what sort of exciting maneuvers you could do if you went there a lot (and had a million dollars).  They even have competitive teams!

The first video is the one that I shot. THIS video is the official one, taken by the staff, and included in the price of the flight!

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Katie's 15!!

Once again, it's hard to believe.....

My youngest, my little peanut, my smidgen of a girl....

Keeps growing.....

Without my permission.....

And now she is 15!  

I just can't believe it.

I know I say that every time one of my kids has a birthday, but it's really true.

Katie has the unfortunate reality that her birthday is in September.  We often move in the summer.  

This is not the first birthday where we've moved to a new area and she hasn't known enough people to have a party.

THIS year however, we happened to move to a place where she does know someone.  A friend from Hawaii who lives here now.  We had her whole family over for dinner.

 We gave Katie a messenger bag which is modeled after Kaylee's coveralls.

 I took her shopping and let her pick out a dress.

 It's very twirly!

 We took her out to lunch.  Ben ordered a drink which came in a "girly" glass.

Then back home to open more gifts!


Saturday, September 5, 2015

Consumer Demand

Emily is home for the weekend and we're making Stroganoff.  I always have to buy dairy-free sour cream when Emily is here due to her dairy allergy.

Since we are new in town, I wasn't sure where I could find some so we've went hunting this weekend.  I usually can find it at Whole Foods but we don't live near one of those any more.  We tried Harris Teeter, Food Lion, Martins, Walmart, Fresh Market and Farmer's Fresh Market - and came up with nothing.  Zip.  Nada.

Usually the organic/organic type stores have it so I was really surprised that the two fresh market places didn't have anything.

I stopped an employee and asked if they had dairy-free sour cream.

"No, sorry," he told me.  "It really isn't cost efficient to carry things we don't have a lot of demand for."

And yet they were selling tubs of rendered duck fat.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Church Candy

We're doing the "church search" at our new home in our new town in our new state.

One church that we went to also had a youth group that Emily and Katie decided to try.  Emily was really too old to go, but she knew Katie would appreciate having her there for moral support.

The youth leader gave the girls a bag with items to welcome them.  It included info about the church and youth group as well as a small box of Russell Stover chocolates.

Another kid brazenly walked up to Emily and said, "Can I have your candy?"

"No," Emily responded. "But thank you for asking!"

Emily said later she wished she'd though to say, "No, but you can watch me eat it!"

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Losing Ringo (Again)

We had an electrician and the owner of the house we live in come over today to fix a couple of things.

The puppies greeted them with great enthusiasm - jumping up on them, barking like crazy.  I'm having a hard time trying to teach them to behave!  Ringo sniffed them and followed them about the house.  The electrician thought Ringo didn't like him because the hair on his back was standing up.  I told him it's always like that and Ringo liked him just fine.

After they left, I asked Katie to walk the puppies.  I was surprised Ringo didn't come surging forward to go out as well.  Usually if anyone walks the puppies, he thinks he needs to go too.

I started looking around for him and couldn't find him.  I called upstairs to Ben to see if Ringo was up there with him.  I thought he said yes and I continued fixing dinner.

When dinner was ready, Ben came downstairs and said, "Where did you find Ringo?"

"I thought you said he was upstairs with you," I said, looking at him in shock.

"No, I said he wasn't up there," Ben responded.

We started looking around the house.  The electrician and owner had gone all over and we thought Ringo must have gotten into a different area of the house.  I checked the garage, Ben checked the basement, Katie checked her room, and I checked my bathroom and closet.  We were all calling his name and the entire time I was doing my special whistle that brings them all running.   It usually means I have a treat for them.  The puppies were at my feet in hysterics wondering why I wasn't giving them a treat.

Just as I headed into the living room to get my keys and go out looking, I spotted him - lying asleep on the sofa in the living room.  Ben walked in and saw him at the same time.

"I swear that dog is deaf," Ben said.

It's true.  He's not totally deaf, but he's clearly missing a lot of sounds.

Except for the sound outside at 2:00 a.m. that had him barking his head off this morning.  That one he heard without a problem!

Thursday, August 27, 2015


Moving into a new house always requires a LOT of work.  

I fool myself on every move thinking about how we've purged so much stuff and unpacking will be a breeze this time.

It never is.  We always get rid of just as much stuff when we are unpacking and we wonder why we didn't get rid of all of it before we moved.  

There's also the issue of curtains.  I have curtains that I haven't used in years but I can't get rid of them because you never know how many windows you will have in the next house.  I've bought curtains for houses all around the country only to find they won't work in the next house we move to.

Fortunately on this move, I didn't need to buy new curtains, I already had a set that will work.  But we did need to buy several curtain rods.  Kerry had already installed a couple of them before Ben got here but we still needed one in the living room.

I suggested that he get Ben to help since Ben will be a husband soon and will have to be doing this sort of thing on his own.  Then I set off to work on the kitchen.  When I came back, this is what I saw:

 Ben was reclining like Cleopatra on her barge while Kerry hung the rod supports.

I have to admit, I laugh my head off every time I look at this picture!

Then Kerry decided to change jobs with Ben!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

First Day As A Freshman!

Emily's first day as a freshman in college (well, this college anyway) got off to a rollicking start!

They were divided into "teams" and had to play games and get to know the other freshmen.

At one point they had to write down answers to questions and a boy, (young man, guy, man-cub) asked to borrow a pen.  Emily usually has about twenty different pens on her at any given time and they are all different colors and serve different purposes. Saying that she is very attached to her pens is putting it mildly.

"Don't be surprised if I forget to give this back to you," the man-cub told her as she handed it to him.

"Well, I could just stab you and take it back," Emily responded to him (she's good at interpersonal communication).

She said she apparently terrified him and she got the pen back, pronto.

Lunch was a giant pizza buffet with salad off to one side.  Since Emily is allergic to dairy, she bypassed the pizza and headed for the salad.

"Sorry," the guy guarding the salad said.  "This pizza is only for people who are allergic to gluten because they can't eat the pizza."

"I can't eat the pizza," Emily told him.  "I'm allergic to dairy."

"Pizza has dairy in it?" he asked.

"Pizza has cheese on it, "Emily reminded him.  "So, I need to have some salad."

"But the salad is only for the people who are allergic to gluten," he told her.

"No," Emily snarled, "The salad is for the people who can't eat the pizza!"

She finally got some salad after a little more haggling.

Then she peeled the cheese off a piece of pizza and ate it just for spite.