Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Nothing Unusual

Today was just an average day. I have nothing of extreme excitement to report. I was home alone almost all day and did school*, straightened my room, inwardly wept at the fact there was no one to take a walk with in this beautiful weather, started to make earrings, and drove with Dad to see the work they've done at his new business. As you can see,it was nothing to be jealous of. I almost didn't post anything today because I didn't do anything out of the ordinary, but that was my life today and I blog about my life! What did you do today?

*{Yes,I realize it's almost July and just about everyone else is out of school. Just tell that to my online school...do you think they missed the memo? Thankfully I'm almost done!}

On a different and happier note, I am so excited about the 4th of July! Next to Christmas, it is my favorite holiday. I know I talk all the time about "I love,love,love such-and-such" or "one on my favorite things is___", but when it comes down to it, I just love my country so much. People say it all the time but its so true- those of us who live in the United States are so very,very blessed. I just wish that the patriotic feeling people have on this one weekend would last the whole year. It seems to be one of those things that people are so into at the moment but when it's over, they forget all about it and go on with their lives. When I have my own home, I want to have a special America Room with stars and flags and well,American things! I love planning my 4th of July outfit each year. I feel it's very important to wear something appropriate. This year I need two outfits-one for Saturday and one for Sunday. Unfortunately, my wardrobe isn't that extensive but I'll figure something out! :-)


THOSE WHO EXPECT TO REAP THE BLESSINGS OF FREEDOM, MUST…
UNDERGO THE FATIGUE OF SUPPORTING IT.

Thomas Paine

Don't be late!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Me, Marissa...and Rebecca

*Don't forget to enter the giveaway by Wednesday night!*

Today was hot, sticky, muggy, and just plain warm.

I did school work on the computer almost all day and thought the day would end uneventfully, but around 3:00 I got this text from my friend, Marissa,
"Hey,what are you up to? I remembered that i still owe you dinner for your birthday,and i was wondering if tonight was good." I was surprised as I didn't even know she wanted to take my out for my birthday! I told her it would be lovely to spend the evening wining and dinning with her and what time should we meet? After very little deliberation, we choose to eat Olive Garden because she hadn't been there in a while and I had never been at all. We felt all sophisticated and important at our little table surrounded by all the Italian decorations. Two men were sitting at the table next to ours, and one of the men was rather, how shall I put it, friendly. "Do you girls want to sit with us? I'll pay for your meal!" *clears a space to us at his table* When the waiter brought him his beer he looked at us and said, "do you girls want a drink? Oh, never mind! You're only 17! hahaha." To each of his questions we looked at each other and went letmethinkaboutit NO. Why does this overly-friendly stranger situation keep happening to me? We had extra time after the restaurant so what else could we possibly do but go shopping? Marissa is so funny when she shops. She's just like Rebecca Bloomwood from Confessions of a Shopaholic.

She can't resist the urge to buy something she loves. I have to keep an even closer eye on her wallet now that she has A CARD. ;-)

Tomorrow I'm babysitting Zachary and Molly all day and thanks to my newly-recovered courage, we're going out in search of another adventure. I'm not going to let the don't-pet-the-animals petting farm keep me down! :-)

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Ben & Kelsey

--> giveaway <--

Yesterday will go down in my book as one of the best parties of the year thus far. I went to the graduation party of my long long time friends, Ben{from college}and Kelsey{from high school}. The fact that I was there for 8 hours proves that I was having a fabulous time!

The girl of honor and I. Isn't she beautiful?! I'll miss her in the Fall when she moves to Tennessee!

I told Kelsey's sister Jennica that I wanted a picture of them, and she said with a huff, "well,I don't like her very much." Oh sure,Jenny, Just look at that smile...you're best friends!

Even my girl Joanna was there! I just love her to bits!

Kelsey's family put on the nicest graduation--homeschool or otherwise--ceremony I have ever seen. All 7 of her siblings had a part. Her two older sisters spoke, Jenny sang, and her three brothers sang two songs. Even her sweet grandmother spoke about when Kelsey was little. It was so touching and sweet! They're one of the funniest families I know so of course there was humor in there too!

Mr. Benjamin, the college graduate. He's going to law school next year, smart cookie.

At the very end of the ceremony, Kelsey spoke and sang. I'd like to point out that I did neither at my graduation. As expected, she did a wonderful job.

Here's one of the most exciting parts of the night: Amanda showed up! We hadn't seen each other in years and I wasn't expecting to see her until next month so it was a wonderful surprise for me! My mom looked at this picture and said, "oh,she's pretty!". I think all of my friends are beautiful!

Amanda, and her sister Lydia{who is also very pretty}, came to teach us Regency and Civil War dances. It was SOOOOOO fun we could have danced hours longer!! Joanna and I had the best time as dance partners for almost every dance. I'd like to book her in advance for the next 12 dances we attend together. I wasn't very good at all, but it was so fun I didn't mind. Besides, it was dark out and we were all moving so fast it wasn't worth stressing over how I looked! As is usual for this type of thing, the boys were extremely scarce. More than half the time you'd switch partners during a dance and be face-to-face with another couple made up of two girls and have to figure out who was "the man". It got quite entertaining! I only had to be a man twice; Joanna usually took over that role. A few times I danced with real boys which was nice. ;-) Amanda is planning a real ball for next month which makes me extremely excited. I'll dress up in Civil War dress with a hoop skirt and everything. I'm so thankful I got to practice some of the dances last night. Now I can't wait to teach them to my family!

* I'd like to give a special thank you to those who comforted me in my time of failed adventure. I feel so much better! *

Friday, June 25, 2010

The Failed Adventure

I was so proud of myself.

It was such a good idea.

Instead of saying home with the kids for eight hours, I would take them out in search of an adventure. After all, I had last weeks extremely successful trip to the arboretum{or "arberdedum" as Molly says it}under my belt so I could do anything. Even if it meant driving to a town I'd never heard of before, as long as it cost about $0 and I had a GPS I could do anything.

They say pride comes before the fall and boy, did I fall.

After spending 35 minutes looking for adventure via the internet,20 minutes making a picnic lunch, and another 18 spent solving civil disagreements between blood relatives{which is just the politically correct way of saying Zachary and Molly were arguing and I had to break it up}we buckled into the car and speed off.

The destination in question was advertised as a "free indoor/outdoor petting zoo" where you could "pick-up some fresh eggs from their free-running chickens." Then we could "top off our visit with a selection from the old fashioned candy counter." I thought it sounded just lovely.

We were the only guests at the farm when we arrived. And the only guests during our stay. And the only guests when we left. I got the feeling it wasn't a very happenin' place. We walked around back and saw a couple cute animals behind a fence. A young goat (obviously a boy, judging by the way he was behaving)stuck his nose at us through the hole in the fence and just before we reached out to pet him, I realized we should double check that it was ok to pet him. We went into the store and it was completely empty. For a minute I though it might be an honor-system operation but then a teenage girl came around the corner. "Um,hi" I said. (I have such a gift when it comes to starting of conversations beautifully.) "Um, we just wanted to make sure it's ok to pet the animals before we do it." The girl didn't know but she did know how to yell for her manager. "LINDSAY!!!!". Two minutes later she was back with a report from Lindsay: "Um, you can't really pet the animals because we don't want you to get bitten or anything else like that." I thanked her, gathered my children and exited the store. Once outside it hit me. THIS IS A PETTING ZOO. WHY CAN'T WE PET THE ANIMALS? I wasn't the only one wondering this because both children looked up at me and said "why can't we pet the animals?" I had no answer for them so we moved on to the chicken coop. At two stories and probably 40 windows long (I'm sorry, but I have no idea how many feet that would be if I even knew how to do a window-to-feet conversion), it was the largest coop I'd ever seen. Molly was just about to go through the door when I saw this sign and called her back out:
Enter at your own risk.
Risk of falling eggs.

It was at this point that we left the can't-pet-the-animals petting zoo and watch-it-or-those-fresh-eggs-will-fall-on-your-head free running chickens. We didn't even get any old fashioned candy.

I felt bad totally wasting the trip out to in the middle of nowhere so we attempted to find a nice park to eat our lunch. The GPS brought us right to...the middle of a housing development with no nice parks in sight. I wasn't about to eat lunch on someones lawn so we just went home and ate in the back yard.

It was a sad, sad attempt at an adventure.

The day wasn't completely lost,though. After we recovering for our tragic experience, we played in the kiddie pool for hours laughing and screaming and generally being crazy. Zachary and I passed a little plastic fish back and forth between our toes 55 times without dropping it. That's the type of talent our family is made of.

So the moral of the story is this: don't try to be some really cool babysitter who thinks she has it all together. Because you probably don't. And also, look up some reviews before you waste almost two hours of your life seeking adventure.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Less Words Wednesday

*click for for the giveaway!*


The shops in Maine had some of the cutest signs. I wish we could have photographed each one. I love signs like these. They're fun and often so true.

DSC_0192-1-1.jpg picture by sarahbelle528
Seen around Kennebunkport

Stick around in Maine long enough and you'll observe the lobsters staging a revolt against the pot, boiling water, and melted butter. I feel it's a lost cause.

Click for larger pic
elegant WA without you copy

I didn't have the camera the day we visited the BEST sign store so we have to settle for these two courtesy of my friend G. O. Ogle.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A who-can-say-no-to-$40 giveaway

Comments closed. Stay tuned for the winner!

When Ashley from CSN contacted me about doing another giveaway, I was a little surprised. I thought my 86 questions last time would have scared them away for good. Even more surprising...me? again?? really??? I didn't have to think long before emailing her back saying I would be very interested,thank you very much. After all, it's not everyday someone asks if you'd like to choose any item from 200+ stores for free. The real question was what would I pick? I deliberated, debated and finally choose the Julia Frosted Butterfly Mirror. Isn't it pretty?!

I had a difficult time deciding whether to pick an item to keep in my Hope Chest, or something to use in my soon-to-be redecorated bedroom. I knew when I saw this mirror that I could kill the Hope Chest/bedroom bird with one stone. I can use it now and in my own house someday.
It was so fun opening the box when I got home from babysitting today! When I finally got all the bubble-wrap off, they package very carefully, I immediately loved it. The butterflies are so pretty and dainty! Andrew was here when I opened it and gave his own unsolicited review{and I quote}, "well, I can see myself." That would be the main quality when looking in a mirror. It's slightly smaller than I was expecting but that's completely my fault. I read the dimensions but used the ruler in my head instead of a real ruler. You'd think I'd know by now that never works.

And how does this effect you? One of you charming, lovely people will win a $40 gift certificate to buy whatever you'd like from CSN.

Mandatory entry~ poke around CSN then tell me what you'd buy{I know this isn't creative,but I couldn't think of anything better. My apologies.}
Bonus entries{1 each}~
* be/become a blog follower
* blog about this giveaway and leave the link
* Twitter{Tweet?}about this giveaway and leave the link

Giveaway will run through June 30th when I pick, announce and email the winner.

Have fun! :-)

Monday, June 21, 2010

Father's Weekend

We celebrated Fathers Day over two days this year- Saturday with The CCE{The Cutest Couple Ever, aka Daniel and Erika}and then again on Sunday. More correctly it should be called Fathers Weekend.

Saturday
To start off the festivities we played Ladderball. Here we have Mom and Dad practising together. I asked them to look really into the game and this is the result. Mom did a good job but Dad, well, I have no idea what his face is all about.

Our competition was pretty relaxed. Maybe that's why they lost.

At least they were cheerful.

Look for the rockin' team of Barbara{also known as Mom}, Erika and Sarah coming to a Ladderball game near you. On second thought, don't look very hard for me. I didn't come in as one of the top two scorers for our team.

After supper, we all{along with Grandma}drove to the building Dad's renting for his new business so Daniel and Erika could see it. The twins got slightly bored listening to the talking,talking, talking{who can blame them, really. They've heard the business plan 312 times already.}so of their own initiative, they started peeling the unwanted border off the wall. Mom
and I have has trained them so well.

Upon our return home, we did what any heath-conscience people would do: sit down to eat sugar-laden ice cream and blueberry pie{blueberries are good for you!}. I have to add that the coffee ice cream Elizabeth made was a huge hit. I think she should start marketing it. As we ate we looked at pictures of Daniel and Erika's recent vacation to South Carolina and Colorado. Those people really get around. Here they are in Colorado:

I can't go without mentioning the three beautiful birthday gifts Daniel and Erika bought me in S.C. ~a lovely green wallet with a butterfly clasp, a blue, green and gold glass necklace, and one of those light blue flowered Popcorn shirts. Once when I unexpectedly slept over there house I needed a shirt so Erika let me borrow her black popcorn shirt{we're totally different sizes so this was the only "one size fits all" shirts she had}. The only requirement was that I had to sew a tear in it before I could wear it. She decided to buy me my own to make up for her actions! ; )

Sunday
For Dad's special dinner I made Chicken with Olives. Despite the multiple flying-butter burns I received for my labors, it turned out well. I wanted to make a special dessert but I ran out of time. Besides, I was so tired you'd honestly think I chased, killed, and plucked that chicken.

The father with his three remaining children that live under his roof.

Inside:
"And we do brag about you...
especially to all the other people in the world you have fathers.
Which is everybody."

And it's true...every word.

The Maine Attraction

On my Things to do Before I Die list, somewhere between learn to waltz and become a cowboy girl, is written visit the Bushes summer home in Kennebunkport.

I am pleased to announce that as of June 4th, 2010, it has been crossed of my list.

Now you have to understand the Bushes: I'm a fan. A BIG fan {particularly of the older members of the family,but I do like the youngers, too}. This fact is not lost on my family so when Mom told me that Old Orchard Beach is near Kennebunkport, I knew all my dreams were about to come true. At lest, the dreams involving large house and nice people who's last name starts with B.

Photobucket
Isn't it beautiful!?

Kennebunkport is one of the cutest towns I have ever seen. It's so quaint in one way but very "rich people live here" in another. We were so impressed at all other the beautiful houses that we almost drove by the B's. Unless you're looking for it and know it's their house, you could easily miss it{especially since it's not guarded by The Great Wall of Maine.}

DSC_0275-1.jpg picture by sarahbelle528

You have to understand something else about the Bushes and I: we're pen-pals of sorts. I say "of sorts" because we haven't met yet, but we're real pen-pals none the less. For now I am content knowing I got to look at their house across the water and hope that the man in the red shirt was Mr Bush himself. Someone, I think Mom, asked me if he likes to wear red. Unfortunately, even though we're pen-pals, I don't know the answer to that question. I guess I'll just have to ask him next time I write. Or better yet,when they invite us over for supper! :) We do know they were home thanks to their very nice security guard{NO, we weren't in trouble! How could you think such a thing? We were just talking to him. I'm not sure why he shared that information with us; I'd think it was a security breach but I didn't mind knowing!}.

After leaving the Bushes house we walked around the town. Poor Aaron, being with all girls meant he had to wait while we went in all the stores!


We just had such a nice time walking around and spending time with each other. At night we had a picnic on the beach but I"ll save those pictures for later. :)

Friday, June 18, 2010

the many faces of an 8th grade graduate-a study

{Subtitled: I don't really understand 8th grade graduations but I attend them anyway.}
{Sub-subtitled: Wasn't Alyssa just born the other day?}


two of the pretty faces in my family

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Maine Event

While hanging with my peeps recently, we weren't just sitting around with nothing to do. We had our toes in the lovely water of Old Orchard Beach. My Uncle Brian's family has a beach house there that they so generously shared with us for a week.

Due to various and sundry delays, we left home even later than planned {surprise,surprise}and didn't arrive until 11:30pm. After unloading all our bags and boxes, we sat down and watched tv until 2:00. Because we were on vacation, that's why. I'm pretty sure it also had to do with the fact they have cable and we don't.
The next day brought rain, rain, rain, and just for good measure, a little more rain. We mostly sat around reading books and playing games. It was during this time I interviewed Elizabeth and that Aaron began his personal vacation mission of taking{and I'm not exaggerating}856 random pictures of anything and everything within sight. He'd just point the camera and shoot shoot shoot not caring who or what he was shooting at. At lest 96% of said pictures were taken at a weird angle. Here's one of his better shots. {Ok, I'll be honest. Some of them were good. Just don't tell him I said that. I mean, out of 856 pictures you're bound to have some good ones!}

Friday morning brought out the sun and we brought out our bathing suits.

This picture is dedicated to Elizabeth. She just loves when I take feet pictures to add to my collection.
When I interviewed her, she told me "toes should be walked on and not photographed". Then she said my toes would wear away from too much photography. It looks like she was right:


Even if she wouldn't share her toes with me if mine wore away, I think she still loves me a little.

My very favorite part of our trip happened Friday afternoon after we left the beach. I can't wait to share those picture! :)

Monday, June 14, 2010

Interview with my only{but favorite none-the-less}sister

Please answer the questions even if they might make you feel slightly uncomfortable. This is all in the name of future generations and posterity.
Which of the following nicknames do you feel is the most appropriate?
- Lizetta
- Lizette
- Bettina
- Betty
- Tina
- Tin(pronounced "teen")
- Squidzen
- Squidzette
Tina
Why?
I used to be tiny but I got bigger. Get it, TinY--TinA?
Um,ok.
How long have I been your favorite sister?
The last two months.
SQUIDZEN!!!!!!!! What about all the time before that?
I didn't realize you were my favorite sister. I wanted you to be something better but now I know you're perfect the way you are.
What is your dream job?
Blueberry picker in Austria.
Why a blueberry picker?
Because then I could squish them under my feet like they do in movies. Or is that grapes?
That's grapes.
I guess I meant grapes picker.
On a scale of 1 to 10, how is life as a twin?
Um. Well. I'd give it a 10.45 for duplicity.
How do you think Aaron feels about being a twin?
He would give it a 10.54 for boredum.
NO! We're going to have to ask him about that.
Please make up a short poem on the spot about a topic of your choice.
"Oh wooden chair,
Where is thy hair?
Do you see how we stop and stare?
It's hard to do-becoming new
But we will help you get there."
How are you going to "get it there"?
I don't know.
If you could live anywhere in the world for six months outside of the United States, where would it be?
Africa.
Why?
Because I see the lady of Niger who was swallod by a tiger.
The lady of Niger?
"There once was a lady of Niger,
Who once took a ride on a tiger.
The tiger returned with the lady inside
And a smile on the face of the tiger."
But I thought the lady was inside the tiger. How would you see her? You mean you want to see the tiger?
Oh yeah. I mean I want to see the tiger.
How do you feel about the fact that I take pictures of my feet(ONLY when my toenails are painted)in many different locations?
sigh. I feel very strongly that, um, toes should be walked on and not pictured with numerous landscapes including puddles and potholes, bathtubs and bushes.
I only do it because I did it that one time and you pretend-complained about it so I HAD to keep doing it.
Well, its like those archive places: you can't take pictures of them or they wear away. Your toes are going to wear away.
Would you give me your toes if mine wore away?
No.
What famous person do you think would be a good president?
I think that Brad Paisley{oh,I have trained her well!} would be a good president because he is very handsome and all the other countries would love him and he could paint the White House paisley. That would be cool.
He'd definitely have my vote!
Of the people you know,who do you think would be a good president?
I nominate Sarah for the presidency because she would cause a new generation of baby bloomers{interviewer note- that's what she said, "bloomers", not "boomers"} and keep the White House completely organized. She would seat the people at special dinners by color-coding them.
{Oh,she knows me well!}

If someone in our family says that such-and-such "happened during Rush", what do they mean?
While we were listening to Rush Limbaugh on the radio from 12:00-3:00.
If it "happened during Sean", what time would it be?
3:00-6:00. Then we turn the radio off because we don't like Mark.
He also gets turned off because he comes on at supper time and Mom likes relaxing meals.
What are some of your favorite words?
Oh yes! There are many,many. Insightful, epic, noodle, bologna{intervier note- she means saying it the way it's spelled}, esoteric.
What is you favorite music?
All kinds. Josh Groban
{that's my sister!}, Haley Westenra, Casting Crowns.
You're stuck on a desert island by yourself. There's no internet,computers, cell phones, ipods, cd players or books. What do you do to entertain yourself?
I would draw in the sand a picture of everything I remembered from back home. I'd also write all my sad thoughts on the sand so when high tide comes in it would wash them away.
That's a really nice thought.
Honey bunches! What person would you miss the most while on said deserted island? *hint hint*
I don't want to answer that question. That's not a nice question!
I thought you would miss me the most.
I already nominated you for president. I can only do so much!
Would you rather be a raindrop on a rose, or the glitter on fairy?
Raindrop on a rose.
Why?
It's natural beauty.
You are so eloquent.
Really? That was nice of you to say.
You are. Your writing is so good. Mine is not.
I keep telling you its good; I wouldn't have expected it. For school its not that great, but for blogging and emails it's good.
Would you rather sing like a bird or run like a cheetah?
Sing like a bird.
Would you rather be a triple-layer chocolate pie, or a simple but yummy strawberry shortcake with fresh strawberries and whipped cream on top?
Chocolate pie.
You've been watching alot of Dr Quinn lately,right?
Yes, Ma'am!
What's your favorite episode of far?
When Dr. Quinn goes to visit her rich family in Boston.
How do you feel about the fact that I frequently refer to Sully as "Tarzan"?
I find it very disrespectful! You should call him "Knight in Shining Armour" or "Brave Byron". Call him "B.B." or "Double B".
Would you rather have perfect dreams and aspirations for life that never come true, or be a really sad person who's had everything they way they wanted it?
The one who never comes true.
*And with the thought, the interview ends abruptly with Elizabeth leaving to help Mom make supper.*

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Marissa's Party

Despite what became a torrential downpour, Marissa's graduation party was a shining success.

Our family is pretty attached to Marissa.
I tried situating everyone so we wouldn't look what we were in a police line-up but the going was a little tough. Aaron is smiling for the picture{thank heavens}but during my anti police line-up speech he did alot of, and I quote, "rolling of the eyes, rolling of the eyes". I just make his life so hard.

Please note the black pearl and diamond bracelet. My friend John and I gave it to her along with a silver and yellow necklace. The yellow fit her perfect as yellow is her current favorite color, as well as the color of her prom dress.

Marissa and Gram

Subject: Sister-in-law Debbie
Photographer: Aaron{makes me wonder-did he try telling her how to stand?}

During the graduation ceremony last night, I re-realized{how do you go about saying that, anyway?}one of the downsides of being home schooled was that I never got a picture taken in a cap and gown. I didn't do a graduation ceremony like some of my friends, so I wasn't about to spend $40 plus on it just for a picture even if I did want to. So today, three years after graduating high school, I achieved one of my goals: I had a real graduation picture complete with cap and gown taken. I was going to crop the picture more but didn't when I realized keeping the flag in the picture would be perfect because I had a patriotic themed graduation party. I love when things line up unexpectedly like that!

Hope you all have a great weekend! :)