Friday, August 31, 2007

Florida, Day Two

Friday morning, we woke up to this BEAUTIFUL view out our window:

Our hotel package included free breakfast at their restaraunt. We took advantage of it our first morning, & had it brought up to our room. :)
Room Service.

After enjoying breakfast & our view, we decided to explore the grounds. As you could see in the first pictures, the hotel had very lush landscaping. It felt a lot like Hawaii. Between the hotel and the lake, there's a big "lazy river" that you can float around in, so Chris & i decided to take advantage of that.

This is a picture of a waterfall that flowed into the "river"

looking up at this cool palm tree, as we floated by.

Chris in the waterfall. --they sold these tiny little inner tubes for $5, by the pool. A littl small for us, but they did the trick.


As the "river" winds around, every so often, you'll come to a pool. I just liked the look of this chair sitting on the "beach." :)

Looking up at our hotel.

After we went swimming we got a drink a the outdoor bar. It felt very exotic --just like the movies. :) To one side, there was a giant chess/checkers board, so chris & I took our drink over there & played checkers.

King Me.

Chris poses with the King.

And they lived happily ever after.
Another fun thing about our hotel package was the $25/day towards the use of their spa. So after our game, went to the spa & got a couple's massage. So fun!

That evening, we tried to see the Blule Man group, which was performing at Universal Studios, but there were no good seats left. So we decided to go out to a murder mystery dinner theater. So fun! On the way, we passed this building. thought it was cool, so i took a picture from the car as we drove by.

can you tell what's wrong with this picture?
There was a "Ripley's Believe it or Not" building that was similar. :)

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Florida, Day One

Okay...I'm working on editing all of the photos we took, & I'll post them by day.

We didn't want to take the big fancy camera & lug it around, so we bought a smaller point & shoot camera. I've gotten so spoiled by my nice one that my new one w/the time-delay, drove me nuts, & i missed some great pictures because of it. BUT, Since we were planning to do a lot of water activities, i was very excited to buy a waterproof camera. We weren't able to use it w/the dolphins, but we *did* take it w/us on our other water activities. it was a blast!

If anyone is curious, it's a Pentax W30. From what the people at the camera store told me, there are only 2 point & shoots that are waterproof (and this is the least expensive). If you don't buy one of them, you can get a waterproof case for your Nikon or cannon. But the case, itself costs like $300, which is more money than my Pentax was. So, it's a great little camera, aside from the time delay, & fairly grainy pictures. But it was okay for what i needed.

on to our first day...

we flew out early in the morning on Aug 23rd (our anniversary). We woke up around 4am to depart by 6:30 or 7. We had a long layover in Dallas, and arrived in Orlando, Florida around 7:15PM.

this is a picture of the sunrise in a cloudy sky, from the plane. it was way more stunning in real life, with mountains peaking through the clouds. But i couldn't capture that w/the camera.

This is Florida from the sky. Chris & i thought it was so interesting how much water covers Florida. It's everywhere! And they just build their houses around it. I tried to capture it in this photo.

When we arrived, we took a shuttle to the Hertz place, where we picked up our red '07 Corvette, that we would be spending the weekend with. :)

We stayed at the J.W. Marriott, which was VERY fancy! (Chris gets hotel $$ with Marriott through a business credit card) When we got to our room, it was sprinkled with rose petals, and there were chocolate covered strawberries waiting for us (at my request, as a surprise for Chris).

oops. I accidentally deleted the best picture, but i can't add it back... oh well. you get the idea. It was very fun & very romantic. :)

New Hair

I got my hair cut again, last week. This is the picture I took to the stylist.

I asked Mom to take some pictures of me, so I could share them with you. She did a great job & got some cute pics of the kids, too.

Thanks mom. :)


Mom was very pleased with her sneaky self for getting a picture of me scolding one of the kids.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Kiss Me

still not much time to write. Mom's in town til Sat, so i probably won't post much of anything til after she leaves.

But i just had to tell you about a place in Florida named Kissimmee. :) I really wanted to get a picture w/Chris there, but it didn't work out.

also, check out this funny sign that we saw down by the Keys:


We're home! Chris & I had a blast. Took lots of pictures. I'm running off to make lunch for the kids, & then maybe i'll be able to post more. :)

Monday, August 20, 2007


Mom's flying in today, so she can watch the kids while we go to Florida. I'm picking her up in a couple hours, so this'll probably be the last post i make for the next week or so.

before I go, thought you might want to hear about the latest creation by Apple:

Apple Computers announced today that it has developed a computer chip that can store and play music in women's breast implants. The iBoob will cost between $499 and $599. This is considered to be a major breakthrough, because women are always complaining about men staring at their breasts and not listening to them.

:) :)

Gideon Turns FIVE!





Friday, August 17, 2007


The smoke and ash are back. The orange skies are eerie.

In the evening, we went for a walk at the beach. the sky was so dark and smokey, that we could hardly see the ocean. We lost our chance at our fifteen minutes of fame, when chris refused a "man-on-the-street" interview with the local news station. He (Chris) was insulted because the newsman assumed we were on vacation. (santa barbara people are predjudiced against tourists) :)

This is a picture of my car, covered in ash, reflecting the orange sky and sun:

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Happy Birthday Josh!

10 years

Next Thursday, August 23rd, Chris and I celebrate our TENTH anniversary!! We'll be celebrating by going to Florida for the weekend. While we're there, we plan to go to Discovery Cove where we'll get to SWIM WITH DOLPHINS!!! I'm looking forward to having time alone with Chris to do whatever we want. And I'm looking forward to crossing something off of my life's to-do list for the first time!

Darth Vadar Meets Buddy Holly

okay... i just heard a song by Weird Al that had me laughing all the way home from swim lessons. If you like the song, "Miss American Pie," or Star Wars, you should hear this. You can listen to it on this youtube video. or you can read the lyrics here, but here's the chorus:

My my this here Anakin guy
May be Vader someday later
Now he's just a small fry
He left his home
And kissed his mommy goodbye
"Soon I'm gonna be a Jedi"
"Soon I'm gonna be a Jedi"

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Praying for Rain

A couple weeks ago, I looked out my window, and felt like I woke up in a science fiction movie. The world was tinted orange, and "snow" was falling all around.

There's a fire in the mountains behind our house. The wind has been blowing ash all over the city. This is a picture of the hood of our car on one of the first days the ash blew in.

It kept falling for about a week. Everything was covered. The heat's been up to about 80 degrees lately. In our city, few people have air conditioning. We just open your windows & hope a breeze will cool off the house. But when we opened our windows, the ash would blow in. I was sweeping up piles of ash. And the poor kids couldn't play outside. :(

The wind changed a few days ago, and we've had blue skies again, until today. Here are some pictures I took yesterday, from the house.

The Zaca fire started on July 4, and they're hoping to have it contained sometime in September. Our local fairground parking lot has been filled with fire trucks from all over the state. Some people who live in the mountains are being evacuated, but so far, the main city is safe. Our biggest concern is the fire getting to the electric plants. Then we would lose our electricity.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The Tiger

i'm cleaning out my emails this morning & came across one that dad sent me awhile back. thought you might enjoy it, too. :)

There was this tiger, who woke up one morning, and just felt great (yes, just like Tony the Tiger: GREAAAAAAT). Anyway, he just felt so good, he went out and cornered a small monkey and roared at him: "WHO IS THE MIGHTIEST OF ALL THE JUNGLE ANIMALS?"
The poor, quaking, little monkey replied: "You are of course, no one is mightier than you."

A little while later the tiger confronts a deer, and just bellows out:"WHO IS THE GREATEST AND STRONGEST OF ALL THE JUNGLE ANIMALS?" The deer is shaking so hard it can barely speak, but manages to stammer: "Oh great tiger, you are by far the mightiest animal in the jungle."

The tiger, being on a roll, swaggered, up to an elephant that was quietly munching on some weeds, and roared at the top of his voice: "WHO IS THE MIGHTIEST OF ALL THE ANIMALS IN THE JUNGLE?"

Well, the elephant grabs the tiger with his trunk, picks him up, slams him down; picks him up again, and shakes him until the tiger is just ablur of orange and black; and finally throws him violently into a nearbytree. The tiger staggers to his feet and looks at the elephant and whispers: "Man, you don't have to get so pissed, just 'cause you don'tknow the answer."

Monday, August 13, 2007

Nerds and Weirdos

When we bought our new car, it came with a free XM subscription for 3 mos. One of my favorite stations on there is XM Kids. They've got some great kids music!

One song that i liked was "Nerds and Weirdos" by Mr. Nicky.

"Without nerds and weirdos we could never get along, 'cause the nerds made our computers and the weirdos wrote our songs." :)

Another one i love is by Mr. David: "Crocodiles are hungry" Sounds kinda like a Bob Dylan for kids. My favorite part (Heather & Glenna, think you would like this):

Monkeys at the Zoo are bored.
I think you should open the door.
Let 'em out!

Crocodiles are hungry.
Crocodiles eat little boys.
Just kidding.

Sometimes I think my dog's a crocodile.
you should see the way she chews up my shoes
til they're gone

I know my dog's a crocodile.
You should see my wardrobe.
It's gone.
Got no more clothes, man.
This is my last shirt.


I tried to post the actual song, but it wouldn't let me. But if you click on the link, you can listen to it. :)


When Heather visited a couple weeks ago, her son had some audiobooks that she had purchase through itunes. I never knew they had adiobooks! After she left, i did some looking into what itunes had. They've got some great stuff. I'm so excited, because there are so many great books that i'd love to read with my kids, but just don't have the time to read them all. Now, they can listen when i'm busy, and as often as they want. So fun!

I just bought Shel Silverstien's Where the Sidewalk Ends. It's so fun, because he narrates it himself. I'll see if i can get one of them on the blog-player, later.

The kids are also in the middle of The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary. That's been fun so far.

I already purchased the book, Charlotte's Web, for school this fall, but i'm afraid of turning into a mushpot when Charlotte dies, & being unable to read it. So, maybe i'll get that one as an audiobook, also.

some other audiobooks that i'd like to get for the kids are:
Pippi Longstocking
Charlie & the chocolate Factory
Peter Pan
The Narnia Saries
The Little Princess

Any other suggestions?

Friday, August 10, 2007

Art class

one thing i'm really excited about w/the new curriculum I'm using, is a book called, "Drawing With Children" It's a kind of art curriculum that was designed for young kids. In it, the author talks about research that's been done that show that children who learn art in school, actually end up doing better in math & language arts than kids who don't. She's broken down drawing into 5 basic shapes, and says that just like you can learn to read music, you cam learn to draw. Very interesting. I think it'll be fun. :)

Thursday, August 09, 2007

my rantings on precocious puberty

Yesterday was time again for Chloe's 3 month check with the pediatric endocrinologist. We discussed the results of her lab results last month. her estrogen levels have gone down quite a bit, as well as some of her physical symptoms. yay! however, the Doctor didn't have any input as to why she still has body odor. oh well. as long as the puberty is being held back, i'm happy.

had some interesting conversation with Dr. Lifshitz. As we were discussing how long Chloe would have to be on medication, he mentioned that the average age of puberty is getting younger and younger in this country. I already knew that it was pretty young (8 years is in the normal range, and some drs. are fighting to get that age lowered to 7!), what interested me was that he said, "in this country." Which means that the age is higher in other countries. --which says to me that this is an environmental issue, not just the way the human race is changing. So my question is: why do they keep lowering the age, and say that it's "normal." When it's not normal. something is terribly wrong with the children of this country. If it were normal, it would be happening all over the world. This is not normal. This is an epidemic! Why isn't anyone doing anything about this??

So...I asked the Dr. more about that, & he agreed that it's an environmental issue. So i asked what he thought could be causing it. Could it be the hormones they use in meat products (which has always been my theory)? He said that there's a lot of speculation, but nobody really knows for sure. There's been a lot of research into the meats, but he thinks it has to do with all of the endocrine disruptors (see this for more) like plastics, that are causing it. He siad that precocious puberty is getting more and more common. In his early days, all his cases were for delayed puberty. Now it's the opposite. It's all *early* puberty.

One thing he told me awhile ago, was that women tend to start their periods when they reach 100 pounds. So something he mentioned today was that countries that have obesity problems also have more cases of precocious puberty. Thought that was interesting.

And on another note... my dr. is a bit of an activist when it comes to insurance. He's a very well-known, and highly regarded doctor around the world (not to mention, the *only* pediatric endocrinologist within several hours of us). But Blue Cross refused to pay him a reasonable rate. So he refused to be one of their providers. That's all well and good for him, but that causes problems for us, since we use blue cross. After Chloe's last appointment, we sent the claim form to our insurance company, but they denied our claim. Today, Dr. L. asked how things were going w/the insurance, so I told him what had happened, and that we were still working on our last claim (3 mos ago). When I told him that I've never had problems with our insurance company before, he said, "that's because you've never had serious health problems before. Sure, they'll cover you for little things, but the moment you need any real help, they refuse. If we never needed any real help, we wouldn't buy insurance!" He told me to call them and tell them that we were going to get a lawyer, and ask *them* to find us another pediatric endo. in the area...

He also said that we should watch the movie, "Sicko." "Anybody who has someone with chronic illness, like Chloe does, needs to watch that movie so they can learn how to deal with their insurance company. "

All in all, a very interesting, and educational doctor visit.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

new widget!

hey. check out the new widget i put on the sidebar of the page. scroll down til you see picture of the palm tree. it's a tracker to show all of the visitors! :) and while you're at it, why don't you check in toward the top, & sign the guestbook!

A visit to the Dentist

Monday, I took the kids to the dentist. I love my dentist. He's *so* gentle and soft-spoken with them. And they love him. Chloe cried on Monday, because I had to postpone her appointment. Even though she got a treat along with the others, she was heartbroken that she didn't get her check up. :)

So apparently, they have a rating system for how well the kids' teeth are brushed. The dentist said that Gideon brushes his better than most parents. Yay, Gideon.

We'll be going back to visit in about a week, because Gideon's going to need a palette expander. Apparently, the roof of his mouth is too narrow. As his body continues to grow, this could cause problems with is breathing, not to mention giving him a serious underbite. Gideon is very excited about getting a "brace thing". :)

Zachary will also be having a procedure done. When we noticed that he was tongue-tied as a baby, we asked our pediatrician about it, & he said that nothing needed to be done. the frenulum (the piece of skin that holds the tongue down) would just stretch as he grew. However, Dentist says that a person should be able to stick their tongue over their teeth a *minimum* of one centimeter in order to have proper speech. Zachy can't even do that. Also, he said that it's pulling the gums away from his teeth. So... we'll be "untying" zachy's tongue next thursday. eek!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Strung Out

You may recall that in my discussion about coconut oil, i was going to try using it on my face for acne. My plan was to give it a month's trial, to see how it worked through my hormone cycles. When I first started using it, it worked great! My face cleared up rather nicely. But a few weeks into it (right before I started my period), I broke out way worse than I used to. So I stopped using the cocounut oil, & finally decided to see a dermatologist.

When I saw the doctor last Wed., he asked how I would feel about taking an antibiotic. From my experience, antibiotics are pretty mild, & since i *never* take them, i didn't have a problem w/using them now. So the dr. prescribed "minocycline" for me to take 3X/day, and sulfer, for me to apply to my face.

After i read the pamphlet for the minocycline, i freaked out about all the potential side effects, the most common of which were dizziness, drowsiness, and headache. In the precautions section, they mentioned that you might not want to drive vehicles or operate heavy machinery while on this medication. WHAT? I thought this was a simple antibiotic!

well, i decided to try it for the weekend, & if i didn't like it, i'd call the doctor on Monday. Monday didn't come fast enough. All weekend, i was walking in a fog. I've been completely dizzy, and could barely stay awake. Very weird. By the time Monday ended, i had a dull headache that had been with me for a couple days.

The doctor says it's probably just an overdosage (!) and told me to cut back to one/day. So today, my haze has mostly subsided, and there's only a shadow of what used to be my headache. I keep thinking it'll all be worth it, if my acne goes away. But so far, it's worse than ever. (what's up with that? I'm THIRTY and have worse acne than i did as a teen??)

anyway... any desires i might have had to become a druggie have vanished with this drug.

back to school

well, now that my summer is having a bit of a lull, i thought i'd start thinking about the upcoming school year. I've chosen a curriculum that I found at the homeschool convention: My Father's World. I was very excited about it at the convention. It seemed to be much more simple than the last curriculum I used. And simplicity is my motto for my life right now. However, after reading through it, the last few days, I'm already feeling stressed. EEK! I just have to keep going back to the fact that God told me to do this, and that He is excited to show himeself strong to me, as I lean on Him. I'll be excited to reach the end of the year & be able to look back & see how God's hand was in all of it from the beginning.

Saturday, August 04, 2007


One of the major assignments that we had in my photography class was a portfolio. We had to print up our ten best photos that we had taken during our semester, & turn them in. These are the one I chose. --Thanks, Linda for your help! :)