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

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Latest Creation

It's a small zippered pouch!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

My Kid Rocks!

I know we all think that but I actually know it to be true!

When I started homeschooling I took quite a bit of slack. I even had things said to me that were mean and quite frankly had nothing to do with home schooling.

Then when I put my oldest in public high school full-time I took some slack there too. Again some pretty rude things were said to me, again many that were not school related at all.

Fortunately I keep those people far away from me , but if they were around I'd have to restrain my tongue from saying something very rude as I threw this in their faces!

That's straight-A's 1st quarter and 2nd quarter!
Those are 1's in conduct- everyone loves this kid, well expect the 1 kid who wants to beat him up; but he's always had that, since he was little 99.9% of the people who meet him love him and the other 1% not only don't like him but are always asking to fight him. The "02" are absent days from him leaving early on mid-term days.

So as you can see- my kid rocks!!
For those of you that don't now about my home schooling practices I don't give out grades- you do the work, you understand the concept and we move on. If I had to give out grades it'd be A's around the horn here too! I take that back his handwriting would get less than an A because he can just be sloppy in that area- part of being artsy I guess, the alphabet "reigns in his creativity"- what? Just write your letter correctly so we can read what you are saying!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Back At It!

Feeling better.
Saturday I had to take a trip out, we seemed to have had undergarment issues while I was sick. I'm down for a few days and everything the boys own gets ripped, torn or full of holes. So Saturday I ventured out to Wal-mart for the first time out of the house in a week.
I needed some walking so I parked at the far end of the parking lot and weaved my way in and out of several of the stores along the way to WallyWorld. As I walked the world seemed different, new, fresh. There seemed to be less people and the air a little crisper. Perhaps it was the cold medicine, perhaps it was seeing the outside for the first time in a few days, either way it was nice to be back out and about.
I also made a visit to the lego room and realised that the Christmas ornaments and tree are still sitting in their boxes in the corner of that room.
I forgot I planned to clean the attic up before putting everything back up there. That was 24 days ago, before work got busy, before a trip to NH for a funeral, a trip across state with 28 middle schoolers and before I caught the flu. So now, I'm doing what I do best- avoiding cleaning it up and blogging instead!
Trust me cleaning up my attic is not high on my list, when I was getting the Christmas stuff down I happen to notice several boxes gone through and not put back together properly- apparently one of my children and his friend spent some time up there looking through stuff and loving it!
Doe anyone else have any Christmas stuff hanging around still?

Thursday, January 22, 2009

He Keeps Things Just So

"You'll find it in the ..."

I received this text from Vaughan today disclosing the location of the key to his DVD case.
How sweet it was to think that he has such a loving heart to think of us at home, out of movies to watch, still recovering from this thing called the flu.

Vaughan owns 80% of the DVD's in the house and keeps them under close watch, lock and key. No one, until today, knew the hidden location of that key.

Sometimes when I lay awake at night I think of the mistakes I've made in parenting. I know we're not perfect and I don't much like to focus on the negative but the reality of parenting is we're gonna mess up. It seems at night sometimes I am haunted by my shortcomings;
days like to today come around
when a selfless act comes out of nowhere, an act that was not easy for him , that wasn't begged for or even asked for, and act that reminds me even with all my screw-ups God is the ultimate worker on my boys hearts.

Now off to watch another movie and Lord-willing be done with this flu today!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Congratulations Mr. President

I'm sure you all watched as history was made yesterday. At school Vaughan's classes were arranged so the students wouldn't miss out, at home Justin, Steve and I sat together and watched this momentous time. Justin asked so many questions and learned so much that it made this homeschooling mama proud. One thing I'm thrilled about is to be able to look now at our Branden and truly tell him the skies the limit!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Sick Update:

Vaughan went to school today, Steve stayed home from work. Justin is doing better and I am maintaining.

All the phones are turned off to protect those who are sleeping.

My mom brought over her homemade chicken noodle soup, fresh squeezed OJ, homemade biscuits and strawberries. Steve and Vaughan made a Walgreens run last night, add in our vitamins (which we hadn't been taken as regularly as we should have been), a bottle of echinacea and my kitchen counter looks like this:
For those of you who know me well, you know how much I avoid medicine, so it's pretty rough around here. Anyway my alka-seltzer is kicking in so I'm going to push some laundry through, start the dishwasher, eat a few strawberries and then watch some of the Presidential festivities on the tele. Gotta say although I didn't vote for Obama (registered independent right here) I am excited for our new President and support him 100%, as I believe we should always do as Americans, watching all the stuff on his journey has brought a few tears to my eyes.

I also am excited about his call to service for the people of our country. Something very close to my heart and something we have been actively doing in our church or the past 4+ years.

Helping rebuild New Orleans, LA and Waveland, MI, Make a Difference Day, giving to the inner city children of Detroit and local service to the people in our own neighborhoods are just a few things my friends and family have participated in as part of a call by Jesus to serve others and give back.

So... off to some housework before medicine wears off.
I feel like yuck!

Monday, January 19, 2009


Our family caught some sort of nasty flu over this last week and it was enough to send Justin and I home early from our Planet Wisdom conference. It was a hard decision to make but Friday night J was not feeling/looking/doing well and then on Saturday morning he hadn't improved much. We stayed back at the hotel and then I delivered lunch to the rest of the gang on Saturday. Justin and I headed back home slowly feeling the flu myself each mile I drove.

Yuck! I have not been sick twice in one year for... well ever that I can remember. Vaughan is the healthiest of us all. Yesterday we watched movies, that seems to be our sick day, or down time home activity- watch movies. Let's see I was up early so I watched Memories of a Geisha, then as a family we watched Hellboy 2 (not as "bad" as the name sounds for all of you who are freaking out thinking "who let's there kids watch that"), then we watched Superman Doomsday, Matrix 1 and 2. The boys stayed up after us and watched Transformers. Taking it slow today.
I do want to share my latest project, plus who wants to end a post with the above picture? It's from the book Cute Stuff.
First the cutout and pinning.
Then a short 2 hours later a cute bag!
But I'm curious what does a sick day look like at your house?

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Checking In

Checking in from Planet Wisdom, where we are 25 hours and 50 minutes in to an eventful trip. 28 middle schoolers will do that!
I'm sitting at the hotel while my son is sick upstairs. I'll wait to serve our group lunch, Publix subs- yummy, before heading back home this afternoon.
Add in 6 students stuck in an elevator this morning and the trip has proven to be one of the most exciting yet!
The conference was great last night, "Unlikely Heroes" is the theme and it's good stuff. Our students are getting it, seeing the reality of their lives and actions, or lack there of, and I believe they are being challenged to step it up, accept the challenge to live as an Unlikely Hero.
Well, I need to make sure we're packed to go and instructions for Saturday after conference activities are all set.
More to come... it's been a bust 2009 so far!

Monday, January 12, 2009

A Passengers Lament

Dear Southwest-

I really enjoy flying on your airline. Your 3-hour non-stop flight from Orlando to Manchester is my favorite and your other destinations have always fit my travel plans. I find your crew exceptional and I really enjoy your open seating concept. I also am thrilled I have not paid for a ticket on your airline in 5 years because of the generosity of your pilots who I can call my friends and family. I do however have a few things I'd like to point out that you could change on my future flights.

First, I would ask that you do not tell me that the engine that starts the jets has quit working. Second, I also ask that you do not use the term "de-ice" and "plane" in the same sentence while I watch a convoy of 6 plow trucks pass my window and third, I ask that you please do not tell me that we have a "killer headwind" and my 3 hour flight will take 4 hours. May I suggest free shots of some "warming liquid" around the 2.5 hour mark to lighten the mood and ease the extended flight.



Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Sleeping with an Xbox

Should I be worried that they are this layed back in their gaming experience?
Seriously, I thought, "How sweet he's resting."
Wireless remotes have changed the face of gaming; I'm trying to picture my brothers and I with a wireless Atari joystick playing the superfast game of Pong, or remember Pitfall, I miss my Atari.

Monday, January 05, 2009

1st Sunday of '09

Sunday was a great end to an even greater Christmas break. After church I arrived home to a picnic lunch all ready to throw into the car and go with. After eating at the beach, taking a walk and coming home we opened the doors to "extries" and I realized yet again how times are a changin'. When the boys were little their friends would leave plastic toys around, now they've graduated up to more grown up toys.
The 3 Amigos on the trampoline:

Action figures have been replaced with cell phones and more grown up toys.
The guys walking ahead of me to the pavilions for our picnic.
Seriously, this view is 3 miles from my house, do I have it made or what?
We just love the fact that our camera screen turns on itself so we can see ourselves when taking the picture, OK at least Justin and I like it!
PS Just wondering is it proper to label pics before you view them or at the bottom after they've been viewed?

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Happy 2009

I hope your Christmas was a joy and your new year has started off on a positive note! I've been enjoying the change of pace around here. With Vaughan home from school and home school on vacation it's allowed for lazier mornings and no lesson planning and paper correcting. Most days the computer has stayed off and I read 3 books in the month of December alone! Steve's business is still going along well, staying busy and meeting his "quota" during this holiday season; with no weekly youth group my work schedule has taken on a new look as I plan upcoming trips and events, perhaps my fav part of the job.

It's been such a nice "down time" this month that I've decided to continue it through this whole year. I'll be keeping the computer off more, picking up books and my sewing needle more and just giving more time to being a mom and wife.

I've been learning a lot about anxiety lately, I've been cleaning up Steve's office area and with his education background I have lots to read on this. Something I've struggled with more over these last 2 or so years with some days, weeks, months spiking more than others. The latest thing I've learned is the relationship between adrenaline and anxiety. Many people think anxiety is tied to worry; that never sat well with me because I'm not really a worrier. Don't get me wrong, I worry, it just is not the base of my anxiety. I'm a "driver personality" as someone who knows me well terms it, I'm a doer, go-getter; I just like to do stuff, be involved, get 'er done. In many ways this is good, busy can keep me out of trouble, but busy can thrive on adrenaline and too much adrenaline thriving can suppress one' my brains natural neurotransmitters or "happy messengers". Not many happy messengers can lead to anxiety.

So with that said I'm slowing down in some ways and keeping up the pace in others. I'm stepping away from my adrenaline fuel addiction fuel and plan to slow down and finish reading this book educating myself on this subject/thought.

Now on to the fun stuff, pictures from the last few weeks

My baby and I on Christmas Eve.
Steve and his dad.
So painful to be with his mom and Yiayia

Our first family trip to a state park where I sat in the back.
The reality that roadtrips will never be the same.
Justin's Christmas joy!

And Vaughan's
New Year's Eve was spent with family and friends who seem like family.
Here I am with Erin, an incredible young lady who's learning to make wise choices. She made a cake!

New Year's with cousin's...

...and friends...
I'd say this was one of Justin's best friends, one of my good friends and my boss but he'd say he wasn't my boss but my co-worker so I will just call them friends with the first 2 statement inarguable facts .
More friends...
One of my oldest friends in FL. She coined the term reduce, reuse, recycle long before it became popular. I'm encouraging he to write a book titled,
"I Haven't Used a Trash Bag in Over a Year"
Why that title? Because as she looked at 2008 she could say just that. The things she does are INCREDIBLE! And by the way she as a household of 6 people.
Happy New Year... the Spanos'


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