Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Misphah and Shen. He named it Ebenezar, saying , "Thus far the Lord has helped us." 1 Samuel 7:12

Monday, March 31, 2008

Rockin' Out

I know I've mentioned the fact that just about anything grows here in Florida, I know that should not have shocked me- but it did and still does.

Another interesting thing I found out about Florida is that natural rocks do not exist in our area of FL. When we first moved in I decided to set out in the woods to find some rocks for a natural border around my flower bed. Needless to say I learned first hand about Florida underbrush but I found no rocks.

What we do have is coquina rock. if you're not familiar with coquina rock it is a rock made of compressed together shells that are still a little rough. Florida is nothing more than a sand bar so we get coquina! It's also hard to come by and can costs big bucks! All my coquina came from local sand pits.
So for today I will give you the rock tour of my yard. Please note I chose to blog instead of weeding my garden today.

This is one of the larger pieces

Here's a coquina rock border

We also have large shells.

You can also find pieces of cement that have been washed up on the beach.

We have also brough in our own. These are from NC mountains, Virginia and Africa.

Sunday, March 30, 2008


It's not good when someone with as much hair as I have loses their hairbrush.


Saw the movie 21 as a family yesterday afternoon.

Now, we're planning a family trip to Vegas in 6 years where we can count cards as a family team, well it's more like one of my family members planning this, I will not mentioned their name to protect them but if you know my children you know who it is.

I've sent my family off to Sunday School this morning, I stay at home for my only hour of alone time before meeting them for church; anyway, I sent them off, after we played a bunch of hands of blackjack. Good Sunday morning family activities at the Span Ranch.

When my father-in-law taught my children how to play craps at Vaughan's 8th birthday party I wondered if the card playing bug would bite them, and over the past 6 years it's been more of "look what card trick I can do" and not so much about the game.

Now... I'm afraid it's taking a turn.
Driving home from the grocery this morning I gave my "Treat it like it's a drug" speech. My "addiction runs in the family" rant. "Yes, mom, I know". A mother can not be too caucious in these areas.

For one of my children he loves guns, knives and cards. If scotch enters the picture I'll worry more; until then I'll be more happy he was introduced to M.I.T. than to the game of blackjack.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Hair Coloring Comment

I read a post today over at Living Proof and it spoke about hair coloring. Beth, the author, was shocked that a women, well past her twenties, had never colored her hair!

So I admit: my name is Michelle, I'm 33-years-old and never colored my hair.

While it's not out of the realm of possibilities for me, I don't foresee myself getting any color or highlights for quite some time. I'm not even sure if color and highlights mean the same thing? Heck I even had my husband cut my hair for several years. Oh if Beth read this she'd probably be gasping for breath right now.

Of course as a child I wanted so badly to be a blonde. Don't blondes have more fun? Anywho, I never did go blonde and through prayer and the Holy Spirit I have learned to like my hair color. I know red is a cool color now but as a child in the 70's and 80's it was not cool to be a redhead and I endured a lot of teasing. So the acceptance of my hair was BIG in many areas of my life.
So just for fun here's a recent, I don't look great, photo of my hair, perfectly colored by God and getting rather long I might add.

And please no comment on my facial expression, my un-toned arms and pale skin, or the state of the background of this photo. The room is probably looking the same, the un-toned arms are a work in progress and the pale skin--- well in my eyes pale is in!


My New Creations

See what's been going on in my studio.
Go here

Thursday, March 27, 2008

A Good Night

Had an incredible conversation with one of the girls at youth group last night.

Basically she wants so bad to get into a fight with a certain girl, but she knows it's not the best choice. This girl is raised in a household where fighting and cursing out everyone are what ya do. Under-age drinking and a whole slew of other things are encouraged. Her mom's advice is that if someone makes you made or says something you don't like, tell them off. It's sad, the state of many of these students homes, and to think I only get a small glimpse.

After talking with and praying for, she told me she knew what she had to do. She knew that love was the way to go, accepting this girl and her quirks was far more worth the pain than hauling out and knocking her across the head. She realized that God has probably put this girl in her life for a reason. To love her. To show this girl what it's like to be mean and nasty, yet be loved back. To show her that there is a better way, love is the way.

So when I come home after a Wednesday night and wonder what the heck I'm doing, I'll remember nights like last night. When change in people for the good is not only seen here on earth but the rejoicing in heaven is heard all around.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

A Tour of My Yard

Monday found us back at homeschool and work. After a few slow weeks I have to admit waking up Monday knowing I have a busier schedule made my day a little sad. Justin began in his 7th grade schoolwork, he's doing 7th grade Language Arts and 7th grade Math. Still in 6th grade Science, Literature and Creative Writing. Three days down and things seem to be working for the good. And to think California is trying to say homeschooling is not an education option for parents, all because they want the all-mighty dollar, shaking my head at the man.

During my 40 days of no blogging I got a chance to be in my yard a little more!

I went out today and took some pictures I thought I'd share.

The Pumpkin Patch the homeschool group made. We carved pumpkins back in October and left the seeds in my front yard, I was so excited when I noticed the leaves!!

The start of my first pumpkin!!

I love the colors of nature and the delicate nature of this particular flower thrill me!

A few feet from the pumpkin patch lies this: our veggie garden. I also got the first layer, OK so Steve and Vaughan did the heavy work. We'll go one more layer high and then bring in soil. Still working on a system to keep the animals out!? That's our dog in the upper left corner.

One of our flower gardens.

This will bloom into the Hawaiian Lei Flower

Of course a picture tour of my yard is incomplete without a picture of Fluff, my gardening friend.

It was my 2-year-old nephew that inspired this sandbox, for all my friends with children younger than mine.

This tour wou;n't be complete without some sort of pile of something sitting around, this is wood to sell and also for our firepit.

Spending all this time in my yard, I got thinking about how I can be self-supportive here in my neck of the woods. Here's what I came up with:

1. grow our own veggies, I live in a sub-tropical climate where just about anything grows. After 10 years of trying to grow something in NH, OK, SC, I moved into my house and threw out my half dead house plants. It wasn't long before they were growing strong and healthy. Ever since then I've been hooked - I'd be stupid to not have a veggie patch!

2. Chickens. This is still up in the air, as long as the chickens don't cost us more than we save. I figure we'd need a roster because we'd need chicken for laying and for cooking.

3. Solar power. Again, sunshine state. We've been investigating this for awhile and are certain we want to own our own panels and not rent them and still have a monthy bill. Wind is another option being on the coast, this is more up Steve's alley.

Well that's it here at the SpanRanch.
Happy Wednesday!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter

"It's not real Easter."

~Classic Papou

For the rest of you I say, Happy Easter!

May you remember the reason we celebrate Easter. Jesus Christ rose from the dead so we may have salvation through Him.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Did Anyone Out There Miss Me?

...please for my own self-esteem, someone say yes *smile*

Ok, so I'm back a day early.
With Easter tomorrow and back to work and school on Monday I don't see much time for blogging and wanted to say hi to all.

It's been busy around here these last 40 days. I've had a good break from all things internet (for the most part) and have totally emptied out, cleaned out and put back together my bedroom and living room. Our current address is the longest we've lived anywhere in our 15 years of marriage. My past major house cleaning consisted of renting a U-Haul, so this time I figured I needed to do as close to moving as possible. It feels good!

Let's see over the past 40 days, we've had kittens born, Vaughan ran a 5K, Justin was promoted in karate and he turned 12. Steve got a new job, we registered Vaughan for public high school, I started a new workout/self-defense program that's been kicking my butt and defining some long lost muscles- lovin' it!! I've started back to gardening and focusing on a "mistake" pumpkin patch as well as got the perimeter of my veggie garden layed out and built. We've fought, we've laughed, we've yelled and cried in the last 40 days. We've shaved the dog and built a sandbox for all my friends little ones, I've become addicted to Guitar Hero and am thrilled we don't own that game but yearn for the day a friend lets us borrow theirs!! I've settled on the missions trip the boys and I'll take this summer (sorry Steve work calls your name) and even been given the opportunity to serve myself in inner-city Detroit. We've eaten Mexican food a lot and the boys are becoming salad freaks!! This is a good thing since they love, love, love to eat junk food!!

side note on parenting: it doesn't matter what you feed your kids as babies and toddlers, if they have a sweet or salty tooth- it'll come out later no matter what! No. Matter. What.

So it's been a busy, fun, adventurous 40 days.
I'm back!
I'll post pics from the 5k in February today and then be back to share the past 40 days as well as some thoughts I've had on living green, homeschool, parenting, relationships.

Oh yeah... my favorite... I've been busy with my redwork and embroidery- tons of completed pics to show as well as others in the works. Lots of babies coming this spring/summer so I'm busy, busy, busy and lovin' it! I've also been challenged in my craftiness- hmmm, a new challenge is good.

Suncoast Classic, Feb 2008

I thought it best to sum up our St Pete/Race day trip in pictures, so here goes... enjoy.

It was about an hour into our arrival that I thought "What am I doing here? Am I not surrounded by enough testosterone at home?"

Cribbage, the old faithful- I think I've watched them play this game for a good 15 years.

The big day, waiting in the hallway for Steve to finish doing his hair.

Tying his shoes before the run- it was about now that I wondered what we'd got him into.

Getting lined up, Vaughan the only one running in big, size 14, basketball sneakers.

After the race.

We were a few blocks from the race festivities so we went back to the room and showered and changed before heading back down for the awards.

Vaughan with his 1st place prize backpack with goodies. He finished 1st place in his gender/age group, boys age 10-14. Not bad for never running more than 2 miles at any one time; 28:20 I think was his time.

Justin being silly.

Good times



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