Thursday, October 30, 2008

This Weeks' Update

Another busy week around here! I was home Monday, but worked Tuesday and Wednesday. Home today (except for piano and errands) and I'll be working tomorrow. I really enjoy helping out at the Registrar's office. It's so busy right now, and it's an exciting place to be right before a presidential election!

Neal and I hadn't had any time together lately, so last night we went out to dinner at one of our favorite restaurants -- Moe's. They have awesome Mexican food, but we especially love their salsa! It might even be better than ours. ;o)

While we were there we saw a friend we hadn't seen in a while and I found out he's still keeping up with my blog (Hi Scott!). I couldn't figure out at first how he knew about my blog, but then he reminded me that he started reading it when Neal went through his surgery. Duh! I forgot about that!

That also reminded me that I haven't given an update on Neal for a while. I don't even think about it very often anymore. He is doing SO well! Every once in a while I see his scars and say "hey, you had heart surgery." He just says "yes, I did" and grins at me. We do continue to praise God for healing Neal and bringing his condition to our attention! I would hate to think what we may be going through right now if He hadn't seen fit to do so! Thank you, Lord!

Anyway, Neal and I had a really nice time last night eating and talking. After dinner we ran over to Sams to get milk, and then to Old Navy to look for some birthday and Christmas presents for Ben. We bought him some items he needed and I hope they fit!

Today Ben went to piano, but Beth didn't go in because she has a cough and didn't want to spread her germs around. Afterward we went to Goodwill and Beth found one shirt, and Ben found some clothes! Yaah! It's so hard to find clothes for him. He hates to shop, so that doesn't help!

It's been a good day!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Fun, Busy Weekend

Friday morning started off with a homeschool field trip to Layman Farms in Montvale, Virginia. This was the best corn maze I have ever been to! The farm was outstanding, and there was lots to do for preschoolers all the way through adults! We had 82 homeschoolers come out for this field trip! Lots of fun!

Here are Beth and some of her friends.

Here I am with some of my friends! :o)

This is one of the two wagons we filled up with our homeschool group!

Beth and some of her friends on the big tires!

Here's some of the girls getting ready to enter the maze.

Even teenagers have fun playing in the corn!

This is an aerial view of the corn maze. That is the face of Frank Beamer (Va Tech football coach).

Friday night we had Fun For All at our church. FFA is a halloween alternative we have at our church. There's lots of games, those big blow up jumpy things ;o), pony rides, and Bible stories. At the end of the night the kids go home with a bag full of candy. It goes up through 6th grade, so Ben has one more year. Beth worked in the game room and I worked in the preschool bouncy thingy room. (I'm really drawing a blank of what those things are called!) We had fun, but after having the field trip and then FFA that night, I was ready for bed!

Saturday we had Beth's birthday party! Her Birthday's not until the end of November, but we were hoping to have an outside party. It ended up raining though, and we had to have the party indoors anyway! We had it from 1:00 to 6:00, and at 5:00 it was nice enough that they could go outside. Beth posted pictures from her party, so I'll let you go over there and check them out: Beth's Blog.

Yesterday I visited a friend in the hospital, went to church, went home and finished reading "The Rapture," took a nap, went back to church, went to Walmart, visited Neal's grandpa, went home and ate a late supper, went to bed. Tossed and turned all night, and then started the day all over again. :o)

Now I'm looking foward to a quiet evening at home.

Vote Your Conscience

This video was shown in our church yesterday. We are not Catholic, but this video speaks to everyone. Please watch it and "vote your conscience."

You will want to pause my blog music in order to hear the music on this video.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Sky Watch Friday

These two pictures were taken by my Aunt Alberta (she contributed some pictures a couple of weeks ago). Aren't they lovely? In the top one I can just picture Jesus standing there returning for his children! What a day that will be!

If you want to see more Sky Watch pictures click HERE! (I'm posting a little early, so you'll have to check them out after 2:30 pm est.)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Food For Thought

(I did not write this, it was forwarded by a friend.)

Today on my way to lunch I passed a homeless guy with a sign that read "Vote Obama, I need the money." I laughed.

Once in the restaurant my server had on a "Obama 08" tie, again I laughed as he had given away his political preference -- just imagine the coincidence.

When the bill came I decided not to tip the server and explained to him that I was exploring the Obama redistribution of wealth concept. He stood there in disbelief while I told him that I was going to redistribute his tip to someone who I deemed more in need--the homeless guy outside. The server angrily stormed from my sight.

I went outside, gave the homeless guy $10 and told him to thank the server inside as I've decided he could use the money more. The homeless guy was grateful.

At the end of my rather unscientific redistribution experiment I realized the homeless guy was grateful for the money he did not earn, but the waiter was pretty angry that I gave away the money he did earn even though the actual recipient deserved money more.

I guess redistribution of wealth is an easier thing to swallow in
concept than in practical application.

Also, employers could announce the consideration of employee raises, then withhold those raises and give the proceeds to a worthy cause, preferably one involving non-workers ... PRICELESS!

My New Food Blog

For quite some time, I have been wanting to start a food blog. I finally did it this morning. If you like trying new recipes and finding out about different foods, please come visit me at "Teresa's Table."

Monday, October 20, 2008

My World Tuesday

I am so excited to tell you about My World Tuesday. This is put on by the same group that sponsors Sky Watch Friday. The rules are basically the same, but in this meme you post pictures of your world....however you see it. Next week I plan on putting on pictures closer to home, but this week I'm going to share pictures from Douthat State Park in Virginia. This is about an hour and a half away from our home, and one of our favorite camping destinations.

It is located in the George Washington National Forest.

I think this dam is so pretty. We usually camp next to the lake here.

This is one of the creeks that run through the campground.

Virginia has many beautiful state parks to visit. We usually hike, ride bikes, swim, and just enjoy the company of friends and family.

What's going on in your world? Check out what's going on in other areas by clicking HERE.

Sunday Adventure

While driving home from church yesterday afternoon, Neal commented on how clearly we could see the mountains and how pretty they were (or if he didn't comment on them being pretty, I'm sure he thought it). Sometimes it's hazy and you can't see the mountains as clearly, but you could practically see the roads on the Blue Ridge Parkway! I looked at him and batted my eyes and asked if we could go up there after lunch. He said he was going to take a nap. I kept batting my eyes, sticking out my lower lip, and practically begging until I figured he couldn't resist. No, actually I didn't figure I had a chance of going up there when a nap was on his mind; however, he surprised me and relented! We kept it secret from the kids, because we like to be mean that way... We went on home and I grilled tuna steaks while the kids and Neal bathed the dog aka Suzi. The kids knew something was up, and it was killing them. After we cleaned up the lunch dishes, I told the kids to dress warm and we all (Suzi included) piled into the van. (We decided to splurge and drive the van since gas went down over $1.00 a gallon -- WooHoo!)

We were planning on going to the Parkway, but Neal pulled over at the Food Lion parking lot to have a "Council Meeting" with me. We stepped out of the van and he asked if I'd like to drive up to Cave Mountain Lake to see where he and Ben camped last weekend. I agreed, and we ended the meeting and resumed the drive.

About 45 minutes later...after driving around curve after curve...we arrived at our secret destination. Ben was excited to show us where they had camped! First we went to the beach:

While we were out walking, we went across a foot bridge:

Now this may not seem a big deal to most, but Suzi hates bridges. We live next to a bridge and she will not cross it. Neal can pull with all his might, and she will pull harder in the opposite direction. We've tried foot bridges in the past, as well, and she wouldn't go over them. So this was a big deal for us! We took many pictures to celebrate the glorious occasion! ;o)

Neal wanted us to check out the camp sites to see if we'd want to camp there sometime as a family. The campsites were fine, but the real test was.... the bathrooms! Yes, that's right. We have to have a decent potty! Beth and I decided it was doable, so we'll probably camp there in the spring.

As were were leaving the park, we spotted a sign that said Parkway 4 miles. Neal asked if I wanted to go that way, and I said sure. That was our original destination anyway. So after about 1 mile the road turned into a gravel road. Hmmmm, it was a halfway decent gravel road, so we decided to forge ahead.

Next the road starts curving and going up.

It was okay at first, but then it just kept going and going and getting higher and higher.

And did I mention it was a one-track road? Only wide enough for one vehicle and there were NO guard rails?!!!

And did I further mention that I am afraid of heights...especially when I'm in a car? Well, I am, and I was very afraid! I was so afraid that I wouldn't look out the window.

But I was curious enough to wonder what was out there so I turned the camera to the window and blindly took this picture:

Not much to see there. So we kept driving and I kept taking pictures. I mentioned at one point that maybe we should turn around. But since Neal kept driving I figured he didn't like that idea much. Actually I think he figured since we'd driven that far, and the gravel road was still pretty well maintained, that we would eventually end up on the Parkway.

Right when I didn't think I could take it anymore, I built up my courage and glanced out the window and saw this:
The fear actually left me at that moment, and I was glad we'd taken this scary route! (not that I would do it again!) About a quarter of a mile later, we saw a stop sign and we were there...we were on the Blue Ridge Parkway! WooHoo!!! We were all quite relieved to get to our destination and hit pavement!

We pulled over at the next scenic overlook and saw this:
It was very pretty!

Here's a shot of Neal and I in our cool shades! ;o)
Next we drove to one of our favorite spots.

Here's Beth sitting on a rock looking at the view.

Here's the view from the overlook!

I always take a picture of the kids on these rocks. Beth didn't want to get up there this time, but she gave in to make her Mama happy!

Here's another big rock Ben had fun climbing.

There was another family at the overlook with their dog. For some reason their dog doesn't like other animals, so we kept Suzi at a safe distance to keep the peace.

As it turned out the man was a former co-worker of mine. I hadn't seen him in over 14 years. He is a professional photographer now, and was taking lots of pictures of his family and the view. When they finished, he took a few shots of us with our camera.

The lighting wasn't the best, but it turned out pretty good.

It was a fun day spent with my wonderful family! It's so nice to live so close to such beauty! We were in awe of God's beautiful creation yesterday!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

A Couple More "Ben Funnies"

Yesterday I mentioned how stopped up my nose was, and Ben said "it most be those Algerians you're allergic to." (Algerians = Allergens)

Beth planted a Magnolia seed in a pot a while back to see if it would come up. Ben asked her how her "Mongolian" tree was doing! LOL

Those Yummy Cookies I Talked About

Okay, so here are those yummy chocolate cookies I told you about. And the best thing is they are SO easy!

Here's what you need:

1 cake mix (I used Duncan Hines Devils Food)
2 eggs
1 stick butter softened
1/2 cup chopped nuts (I used pecans)
1/2 cup chocolate chips (I used dark chocolate)

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix ingredients together in bowl. It's a very dry mixture, so I added just a little bit of oil to help mix it together. Apple sauce would have been a good alternative. I used a small cookie scoop -- probably about a tablespoon -- and placed on ungreased cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake about 10 minutes. They will have a glossy look to them, but they will settle down and harden. These are a soft, moist cookie!

This will be a fun recipe to play around with...different flavors of cake mix and different additions like M&Ms, different flavored chips, etc.

If you make these let me know how you like them!

Hokie Fans

Virginia Tech Football is on ESPN tonight!

Neal is in his "game clothes." If he doesn't wear his orange wig, Va Tech will lose ya know!

Neal's Dad came over to watch the game.

I made a yummy spinach and artichoke dip tonight to eat during the game. I also made some very yummy chocolate cookies. I'll post the recipe in a minute!


Thursday, October 16, 2008

Obama on Star Trek?

Did you ever notice the similarities between Senator Obama and Commander Tuvok?

Just wondering...

Sky Watch Friday

These pictures were taken when we went camping a few weekends ago. The sun was starting to set in the first two, and I thought it looked pretty coming through the trees.

If you want to see more Sky Watch pictures, click HERE!

Shadow Update

I took Shadow to the vet and after a few hours and a few hundred dollars we found out that he is extremely anemic. They're not sure why, but they put him on an antibiotic and prednisone (steroid). He was so anemic that if he had been much worse they would have had to do a blood transfusion! So, I'm very thankful we took him to the vet today! He'll be staying up in our house until he starts to feel better. Right now he's just laying around.

Thanks to anyone who may have said a prayer for our special kitty!

Two things

Okay, I have one funny and one serious.

Serious first: If you all don't mind, would you say a prayer for my Mom's cat Shadow? I know it may sound trivial to some, but Mom loves this cat, and he's been sick for a week now. I'm hoping to get him in at the Vet this morning. She tried yesterday but they were booked. She's going to be gone all day and she was going to wait until tomorrow but he looks so pitiful this morning I told her I'd take him. He isn't eating (he's a 20 lb cat with no appetite for a week -- something's wrong!), and he just lays around. He usually goes to the woods to go to the bathroom, but now he just goes in Mom's flower bed. He's only two years old, so something has to be wrong. I'll update later.

Funny: Yesterday Ben told me he needed toothpaste. I asked him what kind and he said Aqua Fresh, and then he proceeded to read all the benefits of using this particular brand. At one point he said "it fights Plague!" Beth (laughing) said, "it's not plaGue, it's plaQue!"

So if you know of anyone with the Plague, give them Aqua Fresh!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Cabin Pictures

I finally found some time to sit down and download my pictures from our camping weekend. We had the best time getting away to the mountains! Here's some pictures from our mini-vaca!

On the way to the cabin it was rainy and foggy...pretty though!

Suzi was excited to finally go on a vacation with us!

After we unpacked the van, the first item on business was building a fire!

Here's a shot of our living room. The cabin was small, but had everything we needed...including indoor plumbing!

Here's the tiny, but stocked, kitchen.

This was mine and Neal's tiny bedroom. Although there were sheets and bedding, we decided to sleep in our sleeping bags. It felt a bit more like camping!

The kids' room had twin beds. The bathroom was in between our bedrooms.

Here's a view of the cabin. It is a real log cabin built in the 1930's.

Another shot of the cabin. I loved the rocking chairs!

Beth and Suzi enjoying the porch. This was taken the morning we were leaving.

Here was the hardest job of the weekend...putting the bikes on the bike rack!
Jeremiah 29:11

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."