Saturday, July 31, 2010

Mining for Gems

My brother invited us to go mining with all of his family.  We went to Cherokee Ruby and Sapphire Mine located in Cowee Valley, NC.   This is about 40 miles from our home.  Anyway, we arrived ready to mine and find our fortune.  None of us found our fortune, but we all had a really good time.

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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Mountain picnic

Today Dennis and I joined my brother and his family for a family picnic in the mountains. We went to one of our local parks where it was about 10 degrees cooler since it is tucked away in the mountain. It was a nice time to spend with family. I think there was about 22 of us.

This is the shelter where we ate. We didn't have to walk too far into the forest.


I used my phone to take these pictures. They didn't turn out too badly.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Hot Day!

Right Now 99° F
Feels Like 107°F




Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Front porch make-over

My friend Tammy challenged us to show our before and after front porch pictures. I think this was in response to a front porch party hosted by Rhondi at Rose Colored Glasses.

First, we put the Christmas rug away and swept the porch. 100_0196

Then, we put a red chair on the porch. The chair needs a flower.


Then, we put a begonia in the chair. So far, so good – right?


This is Deniska’s flower wheelbarrow that all came up volunteer this summer. Isn’t it pretty? This has nothing to do with the front porch.


Deniska wanted me to take a picture of him and Tom. Tom has just showed up at our house. He is a stray. I guess he belongs to us now since the boys have been petting him and feeding him! Again, this has nothing to do with the front porch.


The final picture of the front porch. I think the 2 boys make the porch, don’t you?!!100_0203

We may add a few more things over the course of the summer and into fall.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Dinner with Frank


Today. we have had a busy, busy day!  I had a chiropractor appointment at 8:00 AM this morning.  I was there before anyone else in the office and I was running late!  After being clicked, and adjusted, zapped, and heated, we were on our way to the dentist for the boys’ six month check-up.  The hygienist wanted to make x-rays of the boys’ teeth – their first.  When she came back and put the x-ray on the machine, I knew we were in trouble.  Nikolai has a tooth growing sideways in his gum.  It’s a permanent tooth and I confess I am really worried.  On top of that, Deniska has crowding going on with his teeth.  So, our dentist, referred us to a orthodontist for a consultation.  I can see big bucks going out the door for these little guys.   The consultation is the first week in August.

This afternoon, I spent working on some sewing.  As I started cooking dinner, I put on this CD of Frank Sinatra.  I had it on my iPod.  I have a BOSE SoundDock for my iPod.  (If you have an iPod, this sound dock is well worth the money!)bose-sounddock-ipod-speakers It was fun to listen to it while we ate dinner.  I had all the boys dancing in the kitchen with me – from Dennis to both boys.  Dennis and I were singing phrases along with him.  (Well, maybe me more than Dennis!)  We had such a fun time.  I just loved having dinner with Frank.  You can click on Frank’s name to see all the wonderful songs we listened to during dinner.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Soccer Camp

The boys had soccer camp this past week at my college alma mater. They had a great time!!


Deniska is smiling like his daddy – more a baring of teeth than a smile. After numerous takes, this was about the best one.

On the other hand, we have Nikolai who gave me “let’s get this over” smile. He is doing his schoolwork on my bed. I don’t know why my bed is such a magnet for the boys.


Finally, he turned his back on me and ignored my picture taking. Silly boy!!


Thursday, July 15, 2010

Copper River Grill Disappoints


The boys and I met Dennis at Copper River today for lunch.  Deniska and I had really looked forward to eating there since we rarely go there.  The hostess seated us and we waited, and waited, and waited.  People came in after us and was immediately served.  We still sat and waited and waited.  Did I mention that we waited?  Oh, I see that I did.  FINALLY, a waitress arrived without any explanation.  I said, “We were beginning to wonder if we had a waitress today.”  She said, “Yes, there was a mix-up on who was serving this table.”  No apology was offered, nothing.  She took our drink order and disappeared before we even had a chance to order.  Then, we waited, and waited, and waited.  Are you beginning to see a pattern here?  Dennis arrived 10 minutes later and we were STILL waiting on our drinks.  Dennis was on a lunch break and certainly did not have hours to wait for lunch.  So, we decided to leave.  I don’t know if the waitress ever came back or not.  I suspect there was something going on that we were not privy to – perhaps a power struggle between the wait staff?  Who knows!  I don’t know if we will ever eat there again. 

UPDATE:  the store manager emailed me and said that he had talked to the server in question and rectified the problem.  He is sending us a gift card to use at the restaurant.  I thought that was very nice of him. 

Monday, July 12, 2010

Summer Reading Club

My boys attend one of the BEST elementary schools in the country.  The teachers are dedicated and go over and beyond what is expected.  They are a very special group of people.  Today, they gave up a day of summer vacation to meet with a group of students to discuss their summer reading books.  Every student received a free book (of their choice) and they were divided into groups.  They met at the park, discussed the book,and had a period of play and fellowship with each other as well.   The boys enjoyed it very much.  Thank you teachers for being the best!

Aren’t these students just the cutest upcoming 4th graders?!  I just love this age!!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Cool gadgets

I received an email from Bed Bath & Beyond with these cool little guys advertised. The top one is a Kikkerland® 4-Port USB hub and the bottom one is a Kikkerland® Electroman 4-Plug Multi-Outlet. Aren't they cute?! And, best of all, affordable. Hmm, I might just have to drop by Bed Bath & Beyond to buy some for myself!

The Good Samaritan


Today’s scripture was on the parable of the Good Samaritan.   It’s one of my most favorite parables in the Bible.  As Christians we are called to have great charity and love for all we come in contact with every day.

It also reminded me of the nursing aides in the nursing home that took care of my mother in her last days with Alzheimer’s.  They were all so kind to her and spent time above their job with her.  I think it takes a special person to work in a nursing home dealing with the frail and elderly patients.  One special occasion comes to mind that happened on the day when Mama was dying.  Bridgette, a nursing aide, stayed with us even though her shift had ended.  She had taken care of Mama in her last few months of life.  She stayed by her bed (on the other side from me) and sang “Jesus Loves Me” to Mama.  She said that Mama always loved for her to sing that to her.  I can’t begin to express my appreciation for that small act of kindness.  She certainly could have gone home, she could have excused herself, but she stayed until the end.  She cried right along with all of us.  How many times do we forego looking after our “neighbor” because we are too busy or too rushed with our own lives?  Something to think about as we go through this week.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Bowties and Birthdays

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Deniska loves bowties.  He wears them most of the  time when he gets dressed up for church or other occasions.  He had rather wear bowties than ties.  He only has 2 bowties and they don’t always match what he is wearing.  Last night I happened across an article about the comeback of bowties.  Who knew that Deniska was ahead of his time?!!  The article was in the L.A. Times and best of all they had a free pattern.  The only alteration that I did was to inset elastic in the back of the tie instead of making it all cloth.  Deniska LOVES his new bowtie and has starting going through all my fabric for me to make him more.  I do think he looks cute in his bowtie!!

Today is my mother’s birthday.  Although she died several years ago, I still think of her and honor her on her birthday.  Since she taught me to sew, and loved to sew herself, she would be proud of Deniska’s bowtie.  I remember that she made my brother’s prom suit when he was in high school.  She made the coat out of bright red linen.  He thought he was super cool.  She made a lot of his coats and vests.  I don’t think I ever had a store bought dress or piece of clothing my entire life while I was living at home.  Mama also did sewing for other people.  She was a very accomplished seamstress.  She had many talents.  She had a cake decorating business on the side and made hundreds of birthday and wedding cakes.  Along with these talents, she managed a household, cared for her invalid mother-in-law, raised her children, loved her husband, and was a Godly woman.  She was not perfect, as none of us are, but she did the best that she could with what she knew.  We never doubted her love for my dad or for God.  I wish my children could have known her before she got Alzheimer’s.  Happy Birthday Mama!  I love you and miss you.  Enjoy your birthday with Daddy and my brothers.

Monday, July 5, 2010

July 5th

We had a wonderful July 4th yesterday.  We stayed at home, the boys played all day long, and last night we drove to town to see the annual fireworks show.  We arrived just in time with just seconds to spare.  I like this picture because it looks like little candy canes in the sky.  The fireworks show lasted at least 20 minutes and was really good.  They had already closed the street off to get to the fireworks so we watched from about a half mile away.  100_6133

At church this past weekend, our priest was talking about advice that he was given when he went on a trip as a young man.  The advice was to leave the camera at home and just experience the moment, otherwise you spend the entire trip looking through the camera lens.  I found myself in this situation last night with the fireworks.  I had taken my camera and realized that I was taking pictures and not experiencing the moment.  I put the camera down, sat down with the boys on the tailgate of the truck.  Both boys ended up in the lap or leaning on me.  We “oooh” and “aaaah” throughout the whole show.  We laughed and teased each other.  It was the highlight of my day.  I wouldn’t want to change that experience for all the great pictures in the world.  Afterwards, we got a hot fudge Sunday from McDonald’s and their daddy got hot apple pies.  It was a nice ending to a wonderful day!

I was a little sad and missed my brother yesterday.  He LOVED the holiday and spent a fortune on fireworks every year for his children.  He would have loved the fireworks show last night.  I enjoyed it for him.  Since we are surrounded by lakes, we saw hundreds of boats on the lake waiting for fireworks.  The boys got a kick out of that and were so excited to spy the occasional fireworks in the distance. 

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Vacation Bible School

The boys were in Vacation Bible School this past week.  They had a very good time.  They learned about the Mass and on Friday they had a children’s mass.  Can you tell in this picture that Deniska was mad at his mama?  Kids!!



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.