Friday, July 30, 2010

More Soon

We are camping right now, well, sorta camping. I don't do tents. Our family, however, has some very sweet friends that we borrow an R.V. from.
That I can handle.
My pictures are just not loading from here, so when we get back, I will have more posts.
Lots of love!!!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Home Again

I am happy to report that all went well while Doug and I were away. No police were called, no kitchen fires had to be put out, no windows broken...
The laundry even got done!!!! Are my girls amazing, or what?
Also, many thanks to my sweet friend, Susie for posting while I was away. You are the best!!

Doug and I had an amazing time. Great weather, fantastic beaches, even better food!
I won't bore you with vacation pictures, but I will tell you a story from out trip.
This is the Napali coastline.

It is wild and beautiful. There is great snorkeling out in these waters. Doug won a ticket for a boat ride, so we antied up for the second ticket and set sail early one morning.

I don't get sea sick, so this was super fun. Crashing through waves on a Catamaran is a blast! It was a windy and wild ride. The swells were at least 4-5 feet. Throw in a rogue 10-footer and you have yourself a heck of a lot of fun.
As I said, there is great snorkeling out here. When they moored the boat out in the middle of nowhere, Doug and I jumped off with all our gear (and me in a floaty-vest, I'm not THAT wild) into the sea to see what we could see. 
Fish, rocks, coral, bubbles...
Bubbles? Pretty, but I had no idea what they were from.
The wild girl that I am, I decided we were too far from the boat at one point, so I swam back.
Here's where it gets fun.
Does anyone know what these are?

I'll give you a hint:
They look like pretty, floating bubbles underwater.
Better known as Portuguese Man of War jellyfish. Never found off the Napali coastline. Nope. Well, maybe only when the tide winds are so crazy.
Is the picture getting clearer?

This critters have tentacles that are up to 30 feet long. These said tentacles like to wrap themselves around arms and lay across backs.
The guide on the boat said that the best way to treat it was to put vinegar on it, which he couldn't find. Then the other guide offered to pee on it for me. Yes, he was kidding. Well, actually he said growing up on the island they got stung all the time and that's just what they would do. I was ready for him to do it 'cause it hurt like CRAZY, but they found some topical ointment for me first.

The bad new is, it HURT, I didn't eat lunch on the boat and I was too afraid to snorkel for the rest of the week.
The good news is that it was just on one arm, it only hurt through that night and I didn't have the mad, crazy itching like everyone said I would. 
Until I got home and woke up at 4:30 a.m. only to see my crazy little welts return all over my arm, itching like mad. Guess my allergy medicine wore off a little early today.
But, hey, I got this post done!!!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Such Sisters

Sisters ... Sisters ... 
There were never such devoted sisters.
Never had to have a chaperone, no sir.
I'm here to keep my eye on her.

This song from "White Christmas" may not fit seasonally (it has been WAY to hot to even dream of Christmas weather!), but Rosemary Clooney and Vera-Ellen sum up what Brenna and I like to call Sister Fun Week pretty well. 
Here is how two devoted sisters do a week without a chaperone, no sir:

Step One:

Watch LOTS of movies. Like a lot. 

Step Two:

Go in the pool every single day. 

Step Three:

Have good friends come over.

Tuesday with Mori.

Camilla-willa Wednesday.

Step Four:

Make sure to spend at least two hours apart everyday. Absence makes the heart grow fonder and all. Also, it helps one sister keep her sanity. 
Art Camp is a great choice for those two hours.

Step Five:

Finally, keep it spicy with giggles and sweet with snuggles! 

Sister fun weeks are simply the best. 

Thanks mom for letting us sneak into your blogspot, going away, and giving us sister fun week!

~ The Girls

Monday, July 19, 2010

Art Saves & Half the Sky

{a sidewalk display from my shop, Lambs & Ivy Boutique, this weekend}
Hi Sweet Friends,
I'm so honored to be here writing a guest post for my dear friend Lynn, while her & her hubby escape to the sea in celebration of their wedding anniversary!
By the way...I'm Susie from vintagesusie & wings .
I thought I might share with you something I recently was so moved by & wanted so much in my own way to contribute to.
My cause:

Half the Sky is a Foundation that offers the love and concern of family for thousands of orphaned children in China who have lost theirs. They provide individual nurturing and stimulation for babies, innovative preschools that encourage an early love of learning, personalized learning opportunities for older children & love, but most importantly, a permanent foster home for children whose special needs will keep them from being adopted.

The thought of orphans anywhere in the world is so heart breaking to me, but in China the majority of these orphans are girls, as they are simply not valued as much as boys are in the Chinese culture.

Unimaginable, right...but real.
So, when I found out that in celebration of International Children's Day they were having an Art-A-Thon to raise funds for their children, I couldn't wait to sign up & join in this creative & heartfelt opportunity to give! 
Now, I believe that Art Saves !
Many of you already know who Jenny Doh is. She worked as the chief editor for all the Stampington Publications . You know the ones. The amazing, creative & beautiful magazines like Artful Blogger, Somerset Life & Belle Amoire Jewelry...the ones we all dream of one day being published in.
Well, she now is the Editor-in-Chief of a fabulous on-line community,
Crescendoh which inspires the theory that Art Saves!
This is my chance to prove this to be true!
Half the Sky Foundation
The Art-A-Thon started June 1st & goes through August 31st.
You can click on any of the links to find out more & maybe consider creating your own piece of art for the cause. If you are interested in sponsoring me, click here to go to my pledge page.
 Remember Friends...
"every child, no matter how humble her beginnings, deserves loving care, and a chance at a bright future."

Thank you friends for allowing me to share & thank you Lynn for the pleasure of doing a guest post on your amazing blog. Have a fabulous week...Smiles,

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Why I love Summer, Part 4

As previously mentioned, my Anniversary is coming up.
Doug and I are escaping taking off to celebrate-
Another reason as to why I love Summer. 
You will be in some very capable hands.

These two have promised that they will write a blog.
It oughta be good!
I think they will keep this promise, but maybe you could check in just to make sure.
Miss Vintage Susie and Wings will write one as well.

Love you all!

Why I Love Summer, Part 3

I'll tell you why I really love Summer.
Because of July 21st.
To most everyone else, it's just another hot summer day.
 Maybe someone had a family reunion that day. Maybe it's someone's birthday.
Could be that's the day you leave for vacation!
For me, it's a very special day. One that I have now celebrated for 
25 years!!!!
Yes, twenty five years ago I married this man.

We were 23 and 25.
I would do it all over again. In a heart beat.

He is kind and patient. He is funny and loves to laugh. He has learned to love the beach.
He is consistent, Godly, and loves his family like nobody's business.
He is outgoing, thoughtful, analytical, methodical and thorough.
We were complete opposites when we married. Our "personality tests" we took in marraige counseling were totally and utterly at opposing ends of the scoring scale.

Did I mention we were engaged for a total of six weeks?
That we packed up all our belongings and headed out to Oklahoma two weeks after we said, "I do" and he began medical school?

Did I mention how much he adores his girls? That when you watch Doug and Lauren walk together they are the same?

I bet you never knew that when we had this cutie pie

He was the one that said, "why not?"

Twenty five years is a long time. A quarter of a century! We have had many highs and some of the deepest lows anyone could face. I will tell you one thing. This man has stood strong. His faith has sustained him as well as the love of his family.

I think we make a pretty good pair!
(So much for the personality test scores.)
We actually balance each other out quite a bit. He would be the one to light the fire and go after whatever needs to be attended to. 
I am the one who is willing to skip a day and sleep in.

He has learned over the years to slow down a bit.

Not much. But a little.

Mostly he's trying new things.
I have geared up a little. But mostly I prefer this:

And a good book.

Neither one of us is perfect. It's the willingness that counts. Willingness to listen, communicate, get help when needed, pray, ask advice, laugh at each other and ourselves, build a community around us and live loving each other. And saying it!! And showing it!!
Have you told your husband that you love him lately? Have you written down 20 reasons why and given it to him? Have you really listened in a while? When was the last time the two of you went out and enjoyed dinner or a movie together?
Enjoy every year and day you have together!

(And for the record my colors were NOT pink. They were lavender and grey.)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Why I Love Summer, Part 2

The Barbeque.
Are you with me?
It seems to be a manly pursuit.
William Shakespeare liked it:
“It is better to have burnt and lost, then never to have barbecued at all” – William Shakespeare
In our home, it's MY favorite way to cook in the Summer.
Doug doesn't cook much, which is not a problem. It just means I get to use the barbeque all the time.
I love my Barbeque.
It looks a lot like this:

I had a picture of it, but it got deleted. It's 9p.m., so I don't think I will go outside and take another picture of it, no matter how much I like it.

I rarely cook inside in the summer. It's just me and my BBQ.
I do not wear weird aprons.

But I will take my book outside and read while the meat is grilling. 
Or maybe I will water a little.
Last night I tweaked yet another Cooking Light recipe, using what ever I had on hand. 
It was good.
Really good!
Here is the original recipe.
Here's mine:

In a bowl, cut up zucchini (yes, that I actually grew!!), a small white onion, throw in some grape tomatoes (yes, I grew these as well!!). Add 4 tsp. minced garlic,1 healthy tsp. of dried oregano, 1 tbsp. white wine vinegar, drizzle some olive oil and add some salt and pepper. Toss well.

Season a piece of chicken with some salt and garlic salt. Put all your veggies into a BBQ basket (LOVE this basket-I think I got it at Wal-Mart) and throw the chicken on the grill as well.

Cook the chicken about 6 minutes per side and stir the veggies every once in a while.

While this is cooking, cook about 1/2 bag of pasta. When the pasta is finished, drain in a collander. Put a couple of handfuls of spinach on it while it is hot, then you can wilt your spinach easily.

When your chicken and veggies are done, put the spinach/pasta mix in a bowl and add a drizzle of olive oil and 3 tbs. parmesean cheese. Add the veggies and cut up the chicken and toss it all together.
Add feta cheese if you like.
Lauren and I like, Brenna and Doug do not like.

The mix on the veggies is killer. Then you add in the chicken. Yum! But the feta cheese crumbles is what put me absolutely in love. A bite with zucchini, onion, tomato and feta is the BEST!

Ahhh, I love Summer!

Monday, July 12, 2010

I Love Summer

Summer is by far, my favorite time of the year. I thought this week I would share with you my favorite parts. Let's begin with food, shall we??
Like peaches and blueberries!

Not that Brenna would consider eating a peach. No, she's a strawberry-watermelon kinda gal.
But she just wanted to be on the blog again.
We had some friends over for dessert the other night and I decided to make a 
from our Cooking Light magazine. 
Unfortunately, I had to buy peaches from the store. Our local produce stands don't have peaches. My neighbor's tree looks like it has quite a few, but they weren't ripe yet, and I don't think he would appreciate me taking 5 pounds of peaches off of his tree!

It was a really easy recipe, but my timing was off. I was trying to peel and slice peaches while getting dinner ready, and I didn't realize it took an hour to bake! Good thing it's Summer and people are not in a big rush. There is lots of time for hanging out and talking under the twinkle lights in the back yard.

The cobbler part smelled super yummy even before it was baking. Mostly flour, butter, and buttermilk. Mmmmm! There's not a lot of sugar in this recipe so you can really taste the flavors of the fruits.

Here it is all prepped and ready to go into the oven. Be forwarned: put the dusting of sugar on top of the cobbler BEFORE you put it in the oven. Unlike myself, who put it on while in the oven and managed to cover the (hot) oven door with a fine layer of sugar. What a mess!

Since it took an hour to bake and the company came in the mean time, I didn't get a picture of it straight out of the oven. And there wasn't a bite left after all our friends went home!!
Here is the link for the recipe.
You can print it out from here and it has a picture of the finished product.

Thursday, July 8, 2010


Do you recall this collage?

I have to say, it is one of my favorites!
My friend, Manya bought it and it now lives in GREECE!!
Yep. In the beach house.
I am so proud of it, traveling all that way! 
It was sent with much love and many wishes to bring peace and happiness.

Miss Manya sent me a picture the other day. Here is what she had done to the collage:

I think the frame sets off the collage beautifully, don't you? 
I love the frame. It reminds me of old driftwood.
I hope it has a happy life, living in Greece. I know I would!
Thank you, sweet friend!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Horse Camp

Last week, I spent every day from 9-2 at Horse Camp. Actually, Brenna was enrolled for Horse Camp. But I went with her. I'm not sure who had more fun!

The days began by 12 kids grooming 6 horses. Manes were brushed, hooves were picked, and lots of love was given out.

 Then the group split into two, with one going in the ring and the other staying out. The group that stayed out got to learn things like line dancing and cleaning saddles. 

There were games to play and arts and crafts. It was hot during the day, so the sprinklers were turned on as well, and then there were snacks. (Brenna's favorite!)

I think the sprinklers were her second favorite.

Each day a horse would be brought out to learn about. Or play with, as was the case with the "Minnies." The smallest one is about as big as a labrador retriever. They LOVE being played with!! 

On the other end of the spectrum was Luvey. She is a Percheron and is gorgeous and BIG!! It was fun to hear the kids when they watched her in the ring. (They only ones they were allowed in the ring with were the minnies.) "Woah!! Did you see that?" "How big IS she?"

The kids got to groom her, and I was impressed that Brenna even went near her. We were rewarded for this by a sneeze and a snot shower. That was gross.

This picture gives you a better perspective on how big she is. Luvey is as sweet as she is big!

Other days, the horses just provided a lot of fun to watch:

I love this picture:

The trainer says Chili was smelling something in the air!

When it was our turn in the ring to ride, I was able to go out with Brenna and walk with her along the rail. For an hour. We (I) would sing silly songs about the horses, we would talk, or we would talk to her horse, Splash. 
This picture gives you an idea of what it was like in the ring with 6 kids. LOTS of instruction being given. When we added Brenna in the mix, it was like a pin ball machine! She tends to let her horse lead the way, instead of leading her horse. Hence me being in the ring with her.

Brenna rode western saddle, english saddle and even bareback one day! (Definitely NOT her favorite!) She gained quite a bit of skill in learning to lead the horse. Then one day, Brenna got really brave and decided to trot again. She hasn't trotted in probably over a month, since her horse gave her a little scare and decided to canter a few steps. Brenna has spent her lessons over the last month regaining her trust for her horse, just grooming and walking quite a bit. When she decided to trot like the other kids, I thought, "well, o.k. then-here we go!" I had hold of the horse and would jog with Brenna along the rail. Yes. Many laps were done with me jogging in boots and jeans and sweat pouring off my face while Brenna laughed and laughed. It was worth every minute.

After all the kids had ridden, it was time to groom again and put the horses back into their stalls. Then they got the hay into the wheel barrow and fed each horse before their own lunch.
One day after lunch, we did "painted ponies."

That was fun! Each person got their picture taken with their painted pony. Even more fun was giving them a bath the next day.

It was a glorious week! I was so proud of Brenna, learning so much each day. Many, many thanks to
 El Camino Ranch and their wonderful trainers!