Friday, June 25, 2010

Things I've Left Out

Amber took me to a Chonda Pierce concert.  We laughed and laughed and then cried at her beautiful testimony!
I went to the Jamesriverwomen's Rally, "Sparkle Shimmer Shine" with Charlotte Gambill.  It was amazing!!
Kayla invited me to the annual Bradleyville walk/run.  It was a lot of fun!
We celebrated Mom!  She's the kind of wife and mother I want to be!  So selfless and always putting her family first.
Abby and Ethan graduated from St. Joseph's!

I caught up with some of my dearest friends!
Kayla and I went to the Bullrides.
Family dinner after one of Chase's games.
We celebrated Dad!  He's the one I measure other men against.
We celebrated with the annual whiffle ball tournament, picnic, and swimming.  (This year Mom, Dad, and I skipped out on swimming due to being so tired from the trip, so I don't have any pics.)
It was a very competitive game, but I honestly can't tell you who won!

There's much to be thankful for!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Can you guess what I made?

Seeing all that chocolate, it can't be too hard to guess.
That's right!  I made the one and only triple chocolate cake!
I made one about a month ago for a good friend and I've been craving it ever since!  (It always smells SO good!!)  I decided to just go ahead and make one.  I knew I wouldn't and couldn't keep the whole thing, so I shared it with a few people I love!
Abby thought I brought the cake for her only!  She even tried to talk me into leaving the whole thing!
I also left some with Mom and Dad, Grana, and Grandma.  I ending up only keeping three pieces.  It hit the spot!!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

I live in the city...

...someone needs to tell him this!
This is the biggest frog I've ever seen!  I wish you could see him better in this picture, but I was too afraid to get off the porch to take a closer shot.  I was right to be nervous!  As soon as I snapped the picture, he started to move away.  His legs were so long, it still creeps me out to think about them!!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Brushy Creek

I had such an amazing time on this little getaway!  I brought two books with me to read, but found no time to read.  I was busy having too much fun!  It truly was a time to getaway considering the fact that we were cut off from the rest of the world.  There was NO cell phone service, none.  My phone only read "searching for service".  Fortunately they did have wifi at the lodge, so I was able to use my ipod to tweet with Tonya to make sure everyone was ok at home.   

We arrived sometime Wednesday afternoon.  We unloaded and watered the horses, then began setting up camp.  Mom and Dad's trailer has an air conditioned place for us to sleep in.  We took my little refrigerator from school and had most of the luxuries of home.  Air conditioning being the number one priority, of course, with heat indexes in the hundreds.
This is the view outside of the trailer.  Thankfully there was plenty of shade, however, there was not much of a breeze.  Nearly everyday around 3:30 or 4:00 clouds would roll in.  The wind would blow like a storm was coming in for about five minutes, then it would pass over us, as we were way down in a valley.

Here was Stormy's home away from home.  He's so big, there wasn't much room for him to turn around in the stall!
Mom and Dad and I had breakfast and dinner at the lodge.  It was so relaxing to sit down in the cool, with no flies, for a gourmet dinner.  The food was delicious!!  That's saying a lot from picky, picky me.
This is where we ate.  I can't tell you how friendly everyone was.  It was so nice!
This is the rec room.  We didn't spend much time here.  I think there was one day we were early for dinner, so we hung out in here for about 15 minutes.  Then, on Friday Dad was ready for bed, but I was not.  (Imagine that!)  Mom and I hung out, hoping to be able to watch some TV and catch the news.  There was one girl who stayed in this room all. the. time.  She was 12 or 13 and watched the Disney Channel.  Although she never offered to part with the remote, but we were finally able to watch some TV that night, but it wasn't without some doing.  And that's all I'm going to say about that.  ;)  The room was very nice.  Everything was always so clean!
After dinner on Wednesday, we headed out for a ride.  It was wonderful, but very, very sticky and humid. We just took a short ride and stayed out only about an hour.  It was enough to make me look forward to tomorrow.  The trails were nice.  Not very wide, but also not very rocky.  We were able to gait our horses a lot!

Here's where we showered that first night.
On the right is two showers and on the left is the toilet.  It was very clean, but the problem was that it wasn't air conditioned!  You can only imagine how hot and humid it got in there.  I was thinking, I cannot do this!  My hair wouldn't even dry because of the humidity!  Thankfully, there was another bathroom at the lodge.  It was bigger, more private, and had air conditioning.  We drove the truck up there for our showers.  SO worth it!!
The people we went with all have living quarters with kitchens in their horse trailers, so they ate breakfast and dinner at camp.  They were ready to ride each morning at 9:00.  Our breakfast wasn't served until 8:00, so that first morning we were a little rushed to eat and then get back to saddle up.  So, every morning after that, we rode our horses the quarter of a mile up to the lodge.  It was pretty neat!
Before Thursday's ride I gave Dad his Father's Day present from his girls.  We got him insulated horn bags and some gourmet coffee.  Tina and Tonya, he loved the bags!
Thursday was another great, hot ride.  It was so much fun, that the heat really wasn't an issue.  We had a few extras join us that day and ended up riding with 18 people! 
After the morning ride we would unsaddle, hose down the horses, and eat lunch.  We had ham, crackers, cheese, 7-layer dip, and bread-n-butter pickles.  It always hit the spot! 
We brought some sodas to have with lunch.  Mom read on the package of the dry ice to put it on the bottom of your cooler with a bag of regular ice on top of that.  Well, it definitely worked!  It worked a little too well in fact.  All of our sodas were frozen solid.  So frozen they started bursting!  It was quite a mess.  It took us leaving the cooler open in the sun for everything to thaw out!

Thursday evening Mom and Dad went back out for another ride.  Dad brought Rowdy.  He's still a young guy, so I told him to take Stormy.  Stormy is the most laid back horse you'll ever know.  He doesn't spook or booger at anything, but Stormy can have an attitude problem around unfamiliar horses.  It's not every horse.  I don't know how he chooses who he does and does not like.  When there is one he decides he doesn't like, he will strike at them if they get too close.  This makes me nervous, so I asked Dad to ride him and give him a lesson or two.  Here's a picture of them at the end of their ride.  Isn't he a pretty horse?
Here's Mom on her horse, Breanna.  She's Stormy's momma.  She's a pretty one, too!
Some pictures from Friday's ride:
They named this place appropriately!
I don't normally ride in a hat, but I didn't want to worry about getting burned.  Dad let me borrow one of his.
At the watering hole.
Saturday was our last day.
  The ride we took that day was my favorite.  We rode along the ridge and saw beautiful scenery.  It was just too long.  We rode over 15 miles!!  Everyone was exhausted when we finally made it back to camp.
When we got back, we took a nap, showered, and packed up.
We visited with the rest of the group until dinner time, and then finally headed home around 7:30.  It took us more than 30 minutes to regain cell phone service!  We rolled into Mom and Dad's sometime after 10:00.  Although it was extremely hot, I had the absolute best time!  I'd go do it again this week if I could.  We already have another trip planned in the fall! 

I have to thank Tina and her boys for taking care of Chloe.  Tina was so sweet to tell me that she was very good and that the boys fought over who got to take her out.  She said she was no trouble and that she was welcome back anytime.  I know little Chloe didn't miss me while I was gone, but I think she is glad that I'm home.
It had been so many days since Abby had seen or talked to us, that she asked Tonya if I had gone to heaven.  Bless her heart!  You never know what that little stinker is going to say next!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

I'm still here, really!

It's been forever since I've posted.  I have several things to blog about, just haven't found the time to do it.  I'm not going to be doing it these next few days either.  I'm headed out for a mini-vacation!  We (Mom and Dad and other family and friends) are going to Brushy Creek in Black, Missouri for some serious horseback riding.  I can't wait.  I've made a promise to myself that I'm going to catch up on blogging when I return.

**Just a shout out to Alysia, Kelly, and Leslie: thanks for the fun night of Nert!  Monday had been a rough day for me and the evening was just what I needed.  Thanks for the laughter and friendship!  We have to do it again when others can join us.  ;)

**On a funny note, everything is packed and in the car, including Chloe's things as she'll be staying with Tina and the boys.  She's been sacked out on the couch, periodically checking on me as I work.  I picked up her dog food so that it wouldn't attract anything creepy or crawly while I'm away.  No sooner than I did this, she went to begging for it.  She does this quite often if she thinks anything of hers is up on the counter or table.  She lets me know about it until I get it down.  "Let sleeping dogs lie."  That's for sure!

Friday, June 4, 2010

What's in a Name?

So, I'm thinking of renaming my blog.  This is really quite a shocker considering how little I appreciate change.  Not to mention the fact that I had a hard enough time picking out the first one!  "Living the Dream" was supposed to remind me that even though my life's path may not have perfectly followed my dreams, I'm still blessed beyond measure.  I still feel this way, but I think I just need a new reminder.  A title that reflects me a little more personally.  However, vacation or not, my limited creative juices aren't quite flowing.  The only thing I've come up with so far is: "More than Enough", reminding myself that HE's more than enough for me.  I'd like a few to choose from, so if you have any ideas, let me know!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Back from a "digital" Vacation

I've been on somewhat of a digital vacation since the last day of school: no email, no blogging, no ipod, no computer. Instead, I've been...

...packing up my classroom
Where did the year go? It was a tough one, but I became a better teacher because of some of the challenges I faced.

...attending preschool graduation
Abby, Ella, and Ethan graduated from the "Zoo" to the "Park" at church.  It melted my heart to hear so many little ones singing praises to Jesus! for bargains
The flowers and the plate cost $5.00 together. I was very excited! I was also able to share in Hannah's excitement in shopping for her new home. Shopping is SO much more fun when you're spending someone else's money. :)

...buying a new purse
I went to Tonya's Miche purse party, planning on not buying anything. But, yellow? How could I resist?!?  This purse stays so perfectly organized.  Best yet, a book easily fits inside, allowing me to read in between innings at the many, many ballgames I'm attending this summer.

...squeezing in as much horseback riding as possible

I finished Something Borrowed and Something Blue. Loved them! (Thanks, Les, for lending them to me!)

...spending quality time with my nephews/niece
Look at how little they were!!
I'm so thankful for my current "single" status. It allows me to drop everything when I get sweet phone calls or texts asking me to come over to play. :)

Last summer I had a huge to-do list. While there are a few things I want to get done, the focus of this summer is going to be on relaxing, having fun, and spending time with those I love.