Tuesday, June 30, 2009

2 boys + 1 truck = FUN!

The boys wanted to go camping last night, so I let them. They pulled the patio chair cushions into the bed of the truck, (along with water, a flashlight, food, tissues, a trash can, pillows, blankets, and an assortment of other items) and made a nice, comfy bed. They were parked in the driveway, but you would have thought they were in the wilderness. First, they wanted to look at the stars, then they heard sounds in the woods (we live in a rural area), and then they could not settle down. Deniska said that Nikolai kept squirming around and kept the light on. Finally, after the 100th trip in the house, their daddy told them to go to sleep. They had a good time on their camping trip! It was a really hot day yesterday and I don't think they were prepared for it to be so cool in the morning. They were ready to come in and warm up!

Nikolai has been a grouch today. I don't think that he handles changes very well. Deniska asked if he could just go by himself tonight to camp since Nikolai was not a good camping buddy. I am thinking we need to look into buying them a sturdy tent to put up outside. I don't think their daddy wants to keep sharing his truck with the two campers!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Shady Businesss

My sliding glass doors have been my nemesis ever since we moved into this house. It gets full sun from noon until sunset. It faces West, so it's hot sun. When we had shutters put in, the shutter guy did not have anything to offer us. Then, Dennis read you could put aluminum foil up to stop the heat. Needless to say, I did not want to use aluminum foil, it's expensive! I started looking at awnings but they were at least $1,000. I just did not want to spend that much money.

When I was at Big Lots last Friday, I saw these matchstick shades (or is it call broom stick shades, I can't ever remember.) They were the perfect size, so I bought 2 sets for $5 each. The one on the main door worked like a charm. The other side was more of a problem. I could not leave the hardware and bamboo sticks on the non-movable side. So, I took off all the hardware and begin to think how I could attach it to the glass. (Dennis, being funny, suggested that since I was from the South to just use Duct tape! Very funny Dear! He's a city boy and doesn't know any better.) Then, the idea came to me to use velcro. I hot glue the edges to make it the right size to fit the glass. I attached the shade with velcro circles to the glass at the top and the bottom. This will make it easy to remove should we wish to do that. I think it turned out very nicely. My friend, Tammy, suggested I use a table umbrella on the patio to stop the sun in the afternoons. It works like a charm. Now we will have a nice cool kitchen thanks to shades, an umbrella, and thinking outside the box.

Dennis and I are really fond of our new shades in the kitchen. I think it makes all the difference in the world.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Dennis with the Bishop of Charleston

Dennis had his picture taken with Bishop Robert E. Guglielmone, Diocese of Charleston, while attending the 2009 Marian Conference in Greenville, SC. The conference was held at the Peace Center in Greenville on June 26th-27th. Dennis had a wonderful time hearing God's word and listening to all the speakers. He is already making plans to attend next year!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Coming clean....

I woke up in a cleaning mood this morning. I want to wash all the woodwork in the house. It has little finger prints everywhere. I also want to mop the whole house and get it nice and clean in time for the 4th. I went to Big Lots, my favorite store of late, and bought cleaning supplies. I bought:
  1. a tool box step stool (with 2 steps)
  2. Mr. Clean Angle broom with dustpan (this will stay in the laundry room where the cat litter is)
  3. 2 roll-up matchstick blinds for the patio doors
  4. a new pack of kitchen sponges
  5. 409
  6. Mr. Clean Magic erasers (4 pack)
  7. sponge caddy
  8. shoe bag for the closet that will hold 10 pair of shoes
  9. a purse organizer for the closet that will hold 8 purses
  10. a wooden shelf for my bathroom that fits over the sink
  11. spray paint (to paint the blinds and shelf)
I am all set now to clean and organize to my heart's content. The boys will help me clean. They always volunteer to go outside and play! Silly boys! I can't complain though, they are good little helpers.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

First Jon & Kate, and now Mark

It's hard for me to watch a marriage fall apart in front of my eyes. I watched the much acclaimed Jon & Kate show and felt sorry for both of them. I did not feel sorry that they made bad decisions but felt sorry for them in dealing with bad decisions and for their kids. Little did I know it would come home more personal to me with our governor, Mark Sanford. Governor Stanford has been "missing" for 5 days supposedly on a hiking trip. Dennis and I knew that something was up for one does not miss Father's Day to go hiking, especially with 4 children. Add to that late night rides without his usual security and you have problems. Today, in a press conference, he admitted to having an affair and resigned as the president of the Republican Governors Association.

Now I know that the Democrats will have a field day with this. And true, it was irresponsible to leave his state unattended. I am not a fan of Governor Stanford, he hates public education and makes no bones about it at all. I thought he made a fool of himself over the stimulus package. I don't think he is a good governor. But, I do not relish in his personal troubles. My heart goes out to him during this time. He has hurt so many people with his lies and unfaithfulness. Seems like corruption goes along with power. We see this even in the Bible with David, who was a man after God's own heart. I have chosen to pray for Governor Sanford instead of gloating in his failure. I pray for forgiveness from his wife, his children, his family, his state. I pray for reconciliation with his family. I pray he turns to the Lord during this time and straighten out his heart. Most of all, I pray for him to have peace as he tries to rebuild his life.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Happy Birthday Dennis!

This is from 2005 when we went to Hawaii. I selected this picture today because is encapsulates all the things about my husband that I love. Dennis is a Godly man who loves his wife and children above anything. He provides for us and he protects us. He is not afraid of a challenge and loves adventure. He is the spiritual leader of our home - he practices what he preaches. He is a man of deep faith in God. He has given me children and taken me to see the world. I have traveled to far away countries and experienced life outside of my comfort zone. I cannot imagine my life without my husband who is also my best friend. I love you Dennis more than you will ever know (even when you mess up my TV recordings by playing with the remote!)

Happy Birthday! I hope we have many more together in good health!! Cards from the boys. Hmmm, looks like Deniska needs help with spelling 'Birthday'.

And, here's Dennis with a big piece of his birthday cake - coconut! One of his favorites!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Update to VBS

Conversation from the back seat:

Nikolai: Where are we going again?
Mama: Vacation Bible School. You will love it. It's so much fun!
Deniska: I know why Mama loves Vacation Bible School. (Said with his arms crossed.)
Mama: Why Deniska? Is it because you will learn about God's love?
Deniska: No! You are just excited that we are going to be gone from the house and you get 3 hours all to yourself! You can't fool me Mama!


Vacation Bible School starts today! I am excited!! I think I am more excited than the boys about VBS. They did not get to go last year.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Father's Day Concert

We went to a local church to hear the Lake Junaluska Singers. Melissa, one of the singers, is Dennis' cousin. All these young people are very talented. We enjoyed the concert very much.

From the website: Melissa Greene, 23, joins the Junaluska Singers from Ooltewah, TN. She is the daughter of Robert and Diane Greene of Ooltewah, TN. Her grandparents, Howard and Mabel Phillips, reside in Louisville, KY. Melissa attends the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. She has been a member of the Central High School Ensemble, UTC Chamber Singers, and Northminster Presbyterian Choir. She was also a CHS Senior Day Soloist. Her favorite musician is Billy Joel, while her favorite choral work is “Lux Aeterna” by Morten Lauridsen. This is Melissa’s first year with the Junaluska Singers.

A personal story:I have played piano for around 15 years and percussion for 10 ½ years. I am a music education major with an emphasis in percussion. I would like to be a high school band director. I was selected to be the Central High School Senior Soloist in 2003 for my class’s Senior Day. I have traveled with the UTC Chamber Singers to Austria in March 2007, and I performed with the University of Vienna Choir at Karlskirche in Vienna. I was born in Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Happy Father's Day

The boys and I went shopping for Happy Father's Day. They asked if they could go ahead and give their Daddy their presents. This is what they bought:

A folding chair for Mama, OK - I picked that up but I'll go and get Papa one too! A hand pump which Nikolai pointed out that was needed to pump up his pool toy.
Hmm, Papa doesn't look too impressed with that!
Next, a big bouncing ball to use! What daddy wouldn't like one of those?

Ah, now Papa liked this, a basketball goal and ball for the pool!

Two kick boards for the pool! Hmm, looks like the boys have a theme in mind!

Now, he had 2 swimming noodles, 2 floats, and 10 new cereal bowls for the china he bought me for Mother's Day!
Alright, everyone smile! Let's try this again. Nikolai, do not look like that at your Mama!
Ah,this is much better! The three loves of my life! I am truly a blessed person!!

Happy Father's Day Honey! You are the best father ever!!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Swimming Lessons are over

This is Nikolai's diving test. He took to diving immediately is is very good at doing the different types of dives. Nikolai also won all of the races this week. Both boys had a really good time and are already looking forward to next year. Next week ... Vacation Bible School!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Swimming lessons

The boys had their first swimming lesson of the summer with Miss Debbie. She is phenomenal! Within the hour, she had both boys jumping in to the deep end, floating, swimming, and a number of other swimming tasks. Nikolai who is afraid of water over his head, was jumping from the diving board and swimming as if he had been swimming his whole life! It was amazing!! I can see now why she has a waiting list of people wanting in.
Waiting patiently to start class.Listening to instructions.
Ready to start!

First jump - Deniska doesn't look so sure.

There goes Deniska!
There goes Nikolai! Be still my heart and lets hope he comes up again! This was hard for me to watch.

"I can't believe I did that!"
Miss Debbie demonstrates the correct form of swimming.

Here I go again!
At the end of the hour, she let the kids just play in the pool while the next class was arriving. The boys were so proud of themselves, as I was too!!

Sunday, June 14, 2009


This is Sam. He is the sweetest cat and is just a gentle giant. Of course, he likes to help me fold clothes and put away things by sleeping on the clothes. I caught him cat napping and thought I would snap his picture.

Today is housecleaning day. We went to Mass last night so I could spend the day cleaning inside today. I am so not looking forward to doing housework. Still, I am so thankful that I have a home filled with loved ones who mess it up! It's a small price to pay.

Psalms 113:9
He gives the childless wife a home, the joyful mother of children. Hallelujah!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Part 4 - coming home - BMW

On our way home, I suggested we stop at the BMW Visitor's Center. Dennis liked that idea (since he LOVES anything connected with BMW.) The boys enjoyed seeing the cars and movie. It was a nice way to end our road trip.

Just like his daddy, he fell in love with all the cars.
Hmm, Nikolai, you are blocking the BMW logo - move over please!
Yes, that's much better!! This BMW X5 is Dennis' dream car/SUV.

Love, love, love these little cars!

BMW Manufacturing Plant
I-85 at Hwy. 101 (Exit 60)
(864) 989.5297 or 1.888.868.7269

The BMW Zentrum is a state-of-the-art visitor’s center that highlights the company’s commitment to engineering and its neighboring communities. In addition to historic cars and motorcycles, visitors are able to watch a short film on the construction of the vehicles and witness the “Art Car” display. Visitors can even “ride the line” via the Virtual Factory Tour. Actual tours of the factory itself are available, although it is suggested that reservations are made far in advance due to the overwhelming popularity of the tour.

St. Therese

St. Therese, the Little Flower, please pick me a rose from the heavenly garden and send it to me with a message of love. Ask God to grant me the favor I thee implore, and tell Him I will love Him each day, more and more.