After the circus, we stopped at Long John Silvers for lunch. I don't eat sea food but I really like their chicken. I just do not like anything about sea food. I can't stand the smell and really don't like the taste. I just can't bring myself to eat something that my cats believe is for them(like tuna.) Monty LOVES fish and tuna and shrimp and I have always tried to make some periodically for him and the kids. Unfortunately, my girls have the same taste buds as I do. By the time they were about 5, they would no longer eat it. I remember when we were at a church dinner and I put a tuna sandwich on Keslee's plate. She took a bite and then got the worst look on her face. She quietly spit in into a napkin and whispered "mom, there is something really wrong with this sandwich." I could not argue with her. While at lunch, we found out another possible reason for Keslee's dislike of fish. Kenyon ordered popcorn shrimp and really wanted Keslee to try one. She asked him if it had eyes. He told her there were no eyes but she still had to inspect it from every angle to be sure. She gulped down one shrimp but it was a struggle for her and she would not try a second one. Jacinta ordered fish and Keslee wanted to also examine each piece of it to insure there were no eyes on it either. After being assured that none of the food was being served with eyeballs looking at us, Keslee asked "Mom, do they have a big trash can in the back full of nothing but eyes?" We just had to laugh at her innocence. I can just imagine a huge can in the back room of every sea food restaurant for nothing but the eyeballs. It was so funny and may explain why she is not to fond of eating fish.
It really was about time for a field trip. A nothing but fun, relaxing field trip and I knew the perfect place to go. What is better than a circus?!?! The Shriner circus was in town and since Kalysa is now a shriner kid, we were invited to the free show on Friday morning. I did not tell the kids where we were going so even though they had lots of ideas running through their little heads, they did not know for sure what we were doing until we got there.
Of course there were lots of clowns. Kalysa was a little leery of them but we were able to get a picture. Kenyon is almost 12 years old(his birthday is Wednesday!) and that is just WAY to old for a boy to be pictured with a clown so he opted out.
We were able to get seats right on the floor-3rd row in front of the center ring.
We have been to the circus a few times in the last few years but they have been the small ones that have come through our little town. This is the first BIG circus the kids have been to and the 1st one I have been to since I was a child. I was soooo excited!! They had EVERYTHING, including white tigers. They were so beautiful and the kids really enjoyed watching them do their jumps and tricks for the trainer.
This couple twirled. They started with batons and moved on to this HUGE metal square and triangle. With the lights out and only the flashing red and blue, it looked like a terrific light show bouncing and flying all around them. It was really neat!
My all time favorite was the elephants! I ♥ elephants!!! I collect elephant figures and think they are just the neatest animal God created. This little guy was SOOOOO cute. He is just a baby and you could tell that he was having a blast! He was like any little boy out on the play ground just playing and being a kid. He even skipped when he ran around by kicking his hind feet out to the side as he went. Can't ya just see the huge smile on his face? I fell in love and told Monty that I want a REAL elephant now!
I just could not get a clear picture of these guys because the did not slow down the entire time they were in the ring. In case you can't tell, it is 2 bears. They did their tricks which included riding a bicycle, walking on a ball and riding a motorcycle.
The high wire act was really amazing. For their finale, they crossed the wire in a seven person pyramid. One of the guys on the bottom was shaking so bad that we were all afraid they were not going to make it all the way across. Kenyon half way hid his eyes the entire time and quietly rooted them on until they were all safe on the other platform. Keslee really liked this act because they had a 7 year old girl in the act. She was not a part of the pyramid but did ride on some one's shoulders as they rode the bike across the wire.
For the finale, ALL the elephants came out and put on a show. When the baby did his act, his momma stood beside the ring but was not apart of his show so we thought he WAS the elephant act. He was awesome and I would not have been disappointed if that was all but I was so excited when all the adults came out.
They did their stands and sitting and rolling over. They stood on their hind legs and stood on their front legs. They sat up on their hiney and sat on each other. They spun around and danced. They were the highlight of the entire day. As you can tell from my new header, they even had elephant rides which the kids did not want to miss.
The circus was almost 3 hours long and was a treat that we don't get very often. Because we were already in the city, we did some consignment shopping and then went out to lunch. It was just what we needed. A field trip day filled with fun!
Kalysa had an after surgery check up back at the Shriner hospital a few weeks ago. Because there was some mix up with the appointment last time we went, we were never given the complete instructions for what we should have been doing these last several months. I realized this when we saw the doctor....
"Is she wearing her splint all day AND ALL NIGHT......uh, no. Are you doing the stretches everyday?.....what stretches would that be? Does she wear a knee immobilizer at night?....didn't know she was supposed to? Is she going to any physical therapy?.....no." Well that explains why her muscle is still pretty tight but luckily it takes a full year after surgery to really get everything loosened up so hopefully we did not do to much damage. So now we are stretching and wearing the splint all the time and a brace at night and waiting for a call back for physical therapy here.
Every time we go to Shreveport, Keslee wants to know ALL the details about what we did so I was sure to have a photo essay to explain our trip...
At the motel, after a bath, it is time to try jumping around the room while holding your ankles...
then jump on the bed-because mom would NEVER allow this at home.
notice you can see yourself in the mirror so be sure to watch every move you make.
When you get to the hospital in the morning, check the toy give away box to pick a new buddy. Since we were one of the first ones there, things had not yet been picked over so a big fluffy pink bear was still available. Just the type of new friend a 7 year old girl LOVES to find.
While mom watches your new friend, take a few rounds on the bikes.
Mrs. Pacman game is free! Gotta play that for awhile! Time to see the doctor. Boy, that new friend comes in handy in times like this!
Back to the lobby to play some more games. Then on to orthodics to have some adjustments made on the splint and get a knee immobilizer. On the way home! A wooden doll set with magnetic clothes was available on another give away table at the hospital so Kalysa actually got 2 gifts this time. Perfect for a little play time in the van. Then a little bit of "Mary Poppins" on the portable dvd player the Shriners provide for the trip.
And of course there is always time for a nap on a 6-7 hour car ride.
I am in the process of changing the look of things around here and am stuggling to learn how to customize a header. So far I have not had much luck. I will keep playing around with it and-one day-I will get it. Please excuse the mess associated with my progress!
Yesterday was a beautiful day of about 70*. The kids ran and played outside all day long. The swing set got plenty of use and the bicycles came out of their hiding in the garage. The sun was shining and the birds were singing. Clear indications that spring would arrive right on time. Today......
coats back on, find the gloves and pull the sled out....It is Snowing AGAIN! That is typical Oklahoma weather for ya!! The snow started around 3 am and is supposed to be pretty constant for the next 24 hours or so. The projected snow totals have gone from 2-5 inches to 10-14 inches. Last report I saw said 6-10. Basically we have no idea how much we are gonna end up with. Hopefully this will be the last of it for this winter! I love snow but must admit that I am ready for spring. The kids, of course, do not want to miss what could be their last opportunity to play in the snow for a while. The girls decided they would build a snow castle.
It is really cold so they only lasted outside for about 20 minutes before everybody was ready for hot chocolate!
Just a quick note to assure you that I have not dropped out of blog land. We have had a very busy couple of weeks. We were given new(to us) furniture which has required a complete re-do in about three rooms of the house. Trying to move things from room to room has often left many things left in the MIDDLE of a (or several) rooms and I just can't justify sitting down to write out a long blog post when we are not yet able to walk completely through the house. We also have gotten a new computer. This was LONG overdue since the one we had was about 10 years old. Although we do have the new computer set up, I have not yet transferred all my photos and things from the old computer. Once the house is arranged and the computer is fully functioning with all my photos, I promise a more detailed update on what's up here! God is Good All the Time!
Last weekend Monty and I were able to go on a couples retreat with our church. This is the second year we have been able to go and it is so beneficial. This retreat was started by our preacher before he was our preacher and started with just a handful of couples. Last year there were almost 400 people (200 couples) and this year there were about 750 people (almost 400 couples!). The retreat is held in Branson Missouri and we stayed at the Chateau on the lake. (Because of the number of people this year, several churches had to stay at another hotel)
Our room was BEAUTIFUL! It came complete with a balcony with a view of the lake, bottled water (that cost $4 if you opened it) and...
quite comfortable DOUBLE beds. This is the second year that we have gone to the retreat and the second year that we have gotten a room with double beds. I guess that just encourages closeness but after being used to sleeping in a queen bed at home it is kinda hard to adjust to 2 people in a double bed.
The lobby of the hotel was just gorgeous with several water falls and live birds singing away.
The preaching sessions were awesome and so beneficial! The first session we heard was "the old fashioned flame." It was a little tense at first with a whole room full of fundamental Baptist sitting around listening to a preacher talk about s*x but we were all married and that is a big part of marriage. As a matter of fact, we learned that when you are married your s*xual relationship is you WHOLE relationship. That is not to say that s*x is all there is to your relationship but that part of it does reflect the rest of your relationship. That statement is something that really made me look at myself and my actions/reactions to my husband. The session was all very tasteful, very informative and very needed! (FYI-I don't have a problem with the word s*x but I do not want my blog to come up on a search because someone is searching THAT word so I am not spelling it out for that reason). We also had a session on "old fashioned purity". Often times we think of staying pure as something that we should do (or should have done or want our children to do) UNTIL marriage. What we learned was the importance of staying pure DURING your marriage. It is just as important to stay pure after marriage by carefully choosing the movies you watch, books you read, music you listen to, websites you look at, etc. The one statement that really hit me during this session was "when you are betrothed to the Lord(which every person that is saved is) and you are flirting with the world you are committing spiritual adultery!" WOW! Really makes ya look a little harder at what parts of the world you may be flirting with. When I hear the commandment "thou shall not commit adultery" I never considered the fact that I could commit adultery against my Lord Jesus!
We also got to attend a session on "the old fashioned money". Most of the things that were discussed were things Monty and I have heard before and agree with but we still have some problems with. Luckily, we were given a handout for budget planning that I think just may work for us. I have seen other examples of budget plans but have never really been able to implement them into our life very easily. This one is really doable-not easy, because planning a budget and sticking to it is never going to be easy but it is one that we both understand and will (with the Lord's help) be able to do.
We also had a session called "the old fashioned home". This was a 2 part session (1/2 on Friday and 1/2 of Saturday) and was really about the man and the women each keeping their verse. The man's verse is Ephesians 5:25 "Husbands, love your wives even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;" and the wife's verse is Ephesians 5:22 "Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord." If we would each just keep our own verse than our marriages would be so much better. We talked about how God's plan for marriage is not the problem it is the people's execution of that plan that causes the problems. I have often thought that I have to SUBMIT to Monty and that is a REALLY hard thing for me to do. All he has to do is LOVE me and we all know that I am totally lovable so he has the easy part. Upon further study of each scripture we learn that actually both verses leave the same expectation for each spouse...put the other person before yourself. When I submit to Monty, I will think of him and his needs before myself and when he loves me, he will put me and my needs before himself. Sounds pretty simple and pretty impossible and it is impossible without the Lord!
All of the messages that we got to hear about God's plan for our marriage are truly priceless but one other aspect of the retreat that is such a blessing is getting to spend 5 hours on a church bus with other members of our church family. It is so much fun to get to know each other better and to talk and laugh like a bunch of teenagers out on a school trip. Of course since it was revealed on last years retreat that I am uncontrollable-that became a dominant theme of the conversations on the bus, enhanced by the fact that Monty and I were once again sitting in the back of the bus. The fact that 2 days of "couple" talk, and "couple" time and talk of romance and purity has the same effect on a bunch of married people as it would on a bunch of hormonal teenager was proven by one Innocent little conversation overheard from the back of a dark church bus after we had stopped at Wendy's for a burger...
Me:I forgot that they put mayo on the burgers. Did you get some napkins? Monty: No, I didn't think about getting any napkins.
Me:WHAT? No napkins! You know I always need napkins. I want to wipe this mayo off.
Monty:Just lick it.
Me:If I WANTED to lick it I would not need a napkin!
followed by hysterical laughter throughout the bus!! AAAWWWW....good times!
Monty loves the Dallas Cowboys. All of our children have had cowboy onsies and sleepers and t-shirts and jerseys. Monty has a couple of Dallas Cowboy jackets, tons of sweatshirts, sweat pants, of course several hats, and even socks. Last year someone gave him a Dallas Cowboy santa hat (it matches perfectly with his Dallas stocking). Somehow the santa hat did not get put away with the rest of the Christmas stuff and I think I may know why... Kalysa has confiscated it! It seems like just about everyday now, as Kalysa plays around the house-she is wearing it!
She loves this hat so much! Daddy always has on his Dallas baseball cap so I guess Kalysa decided she needs to also always have on a Dallas hat. So much so that she even wears it when we leave the house now. If that were not enough-when I came home the other morning after the paper route and stepped in to be sure my kids still had their covers on I found this...
She doesn't even want to take it off to sleep now. Ain't she cute?
I could not decide if the photo on the black plate or the white plate did this dish the most justice so I just posted them both! I have been given some blueberries. Lots and Lots of blueberries. I have made blueberry pancakes and blueberry muffins and have plans to make some blueberry jelly. This weekend I started making pancakes before I thought about the blueberries in the freezer so I started searching www.allrecipes.com. I found a simple recipe for a blueberry sauce and decided to give it a try. WOW!! It was amazing! If I can find a steady supply of inexpensive blueberries for the rest of my life I would never have a need for syrup again! Here is all ya do....
1/2 cup sugar 1 Tbs corn starch 1/3 cup water 2 cup blueberry
Mix sugar and corn starch in a saucepan. slowly add water and mix well. add blueberries and cook on medium heat stirring often. When it comes to a boil, boil for about 1 minute while stirring.
That's it!! I told ya it was simple. You can add more cornstarch to make a thicker sauce for toppings like on a cheesecake or less cornstarch for a syrupy sauce. Trust me-this stuff is DELICIOUS!
Conservative Christian homeschooling stay at home mom married to Monty for 15 years and mother of 3. We are striving to raise our kids with a Biblical worldview so they grow up to love and serve the Lord and they will be willing and able to stand alone. We, as a family, are no where close to where God would have us be but we are all growing in His grace.