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

Tuesday, June 30, 2009


I've tweeted and yes I said tweeted not twittered- I TWEET.
Anyway I have tweeted about redbox a bunch and thought I should at least write about it.
If you haven't tried out redbox movie rental system then you are missing out big time!! It costs $1 a day and it's easy checkout, easy return!


it is soooo much fun meeting people in the line. I just can't help but ask everyone if they just love redbox and guess what- they all do!
Check it out.
Happy Movie Reting

Monday, June 29, 2009

First Fruits

This is what I picked from my garden this morning!
And I have many more still on the plant!
Happiest outside,
"Homemaking - being a full -time wife and mother - is not a destructive drought of uselessness but an overflowing oasis of opportunity; it is not a dreary cell to contain one's talents and skills but a brilliant catalyst to channel creativity and energies into meaningful work."
- Dorothy Patterson

Friday, June 26, 2009


I love the summer.
Although it's the busiest time of year for me at work, it's also the time of year for sleeping in, pools, the beach and lazy Fridays.
If the kids aren't all here they are all gone at another friends house.
If we're not going to work or some event, then we're sleeping or hosting some event.

Next week will be our 24-hour Movie Fest.
It's an annual event around here.
I think we'll combine the Lord of the Rings-a-thon with the 24-hour Fest this year.

Who knows we could have combined the two last year:
I can't really remember-- with all that sleep we got!!

Well, off to date night with my man,
It's been a good ending to my week.

Peace out,

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Last week 29 middle schoolers and 6 adults spent the week on our Middle School mission trip. The past two years have taken us to New Orleans,LA and Waveland, MS doing Hurricane Katrina clean-up. This year we really thought it was important that our students see the need right in their own back yard; so we stayed at our church and served local ministries and organizations right here!!

One of the first things we had to do was something called Servant Evangelism. Each team was given $30 and told to go bless or serve someone with it. Below is a picture of my 5 middle school students on my team, or my crew as I called them. They decided to buy donuts and flowers with our money and take them around to the local fire stations, police station, City Hall and more!
Here we all, minus one boy who is hidden in the back, all riding in the van!
Our last Servant Evangelism stop was at a local Assisted Living Facility where we met Odeal, a 97-year-old woman who acted about 50! The kids fell in love as she shared her story of leaving New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina, her tales of owning a dress shop in Brooklyn that got robbed and many more! They loved her so much we went back another day just to say hi!
Here they are sitting on the floor with the resident dog while listening to Odeal tell her stories.
We spent 2 days painting at a local runaway home, a morning weeding an elderly widow's yard and another morning cleaning all the shelves at our local food bank. The kids worked hard and with only a few complaints.
On Thursday we were given another challenge: this one was called the Parable of the Talents. If you are familiar with the Bible at all you may have heard of this parable Jesus told. Basically we were given $50 and told to multiply it and then use it for someone/someplace else. My crew decided they knew enough business owners that they would simply ask them for money and then that we would spend that money on supplies for the Humane Society.
We they turned their $50 to $355!!!
We had a blast buying all the supplies!!!
We had even more fun dropping them off!!! As we were unloading a stray cat walked right up to us so the kids were thrilled that they got to rescue a cat!! We were even allowed to go in and visit the animals, I balled- after all it had not even been a week since my Fluffer Nutters died, sniff, sniff. My crew was so sweet to me!
One of the neat things about working with youth is meeting all kinds of students. Every once in awhile you meet one you just fall in love with instantly and then they grow on you more and more. The young man below is one of those students. His heart is something in books; God's got plans for this young man and I am excited to see what they are!
We play a game called Mafia on all our trips, usually Matt, Kev and I get voted out pretty quick. It's a great game, full of lying and deceit, here's a group playing. I know aren't we the best: serving the community while playing lying games!!! *smile*
I just love this picture of my dear friend.
We had a student who had just graduated from high school come every night at 7pm to lead worship songs. Later in the week my Justin had the opportunity to lead a song at the Assisted Living Facility his team visited and well as lead some kids in a song during our annual Missions Talent Show (sorry no pics are allowed at the talent show- hey attendance has it's privileges)
Packing up is always an adventure in itself!
My new friend and bedmate, Christie- too bad she's headed off to college this year!

Part of my crew.
Lastly we had to do a clean up on the vans we were driving in. This is a shot you get when middle schoolers run the camera.
We had a good week and nothing got broken until the last hour when we were waiting for parents to arrive.
So, I we survived another middle school mission week. I was really stretched on this trip, more than any other. I really was taken another step in my walk with the Lord. One of the truths I learned was this:
Mistakes will happen. Some will be a direct result on my actions and decisions, some will be the result of others action/decisions. Still some have no origin to blame. Either way I must trust the Lord with both.
Loving students age 11-14,

Monday, June 22, 2009

And I Don't Mean Bungee Jumping

Right now jumping off a bridge seems like it would be a fun thing to do.
I am not caught up from being away for a week and it looks like getting caught up may be more difficult than ever before!
I shall keep on, keeping on and I'll be back soon with pics from the last week.

It Has Begun

Summer is in full swing like never before. The first week consisted on me getting up early and going into work to get the most of it out of the way while the children still slept in their beds. Vaughan actually woke at 6:30am M-W and then had a friends sleep over so that helped with the sleep-in factor.

Our daughter Sara came over and spent a whole day with us! Justin played Guitar Hero and I cooked breakfast for her, that's how early she came over!
Our summers usually consist of a weekly pool/beach day. We got one of those in so far. I have ratings for pools in the area. I am thankful for all my friends with pools as well as our local public ones but there is always one that sits on the top of my list.
It's an older pool so that means it's big! We can all swim, jump, flip and fit!!

Of course we always have an extra in tow!
Summer fun!
Peace, love and call your mom today

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Because These Things Are Important

Because I think the public should be informed.
Look at the Old School style of Betty Crocker I just bought.
Compare to this:
I'm betting still yummy and oh so yucky for oyu!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Saturday, June 13, 2009

This is About Teenage Boys

My boys are great about putting the dishes away.
They've been doing this for most of their life.

It's pretty easy: when the dishwasher is clean,
or dishes in the sink are dry (for the no-dishwasher houses) the boys rotate top and bottom and put them away.

OK, so this has been going on for YEARS! Dishes getting put away each time in their proper spot.
Not anymore.

I have been missing my small white cutting board for over a week now?

No one seems to know where it is or can remember where they put it away? Spatulas and baking dishes are the most misplaced items.
I'm convinced it's the teenage brain and the effect of hormones on it.

For those of you with little ones you're time is coming, hold on- it's a ride;
but, let me tell you a secret,
having teenagers is fun!

Well off to make some granola- yummy.

Peace, love and write a handwritten letter today,

Thursday, June 11, 2009

It's Been 2 Days So...

... here we go...
OK, so why does it seem like we have 804 things going on all the time?

Don't get me wrong, I'm not feeling stressed, that week has passed this month already- hehe, but really I'm not stressed just a little perplexed when looking at my calendar this last week.

It's been crazy.

Mainly because of this this piece of information...
This year our middle schoolers are going to be on a local summer mission trip...
which means... someone here on our end has to line up and plan the service projects.

That person would be... you guessed it - ME!
So my week has been crazy, busy, fun and frustrating getting that together as well as preparing my house for me to be gone and then the regular mom/wife/daughter duties.

Luckily I can come home or just escape to my bedroom and see these little jewels.
Baby kittens!!!
Who isn't filled with instant joy when they see a baby anything?!
OK some of you need not answer that, but for me I love little babies- especially kittens.
Here's a shot of 3 of the 4 living in my closet.
This one has pretty coloring but he always looks scared.
Now on to outside things around here....
When growing tomatoes red is always a fun color!
I ask myself why I have cherry tomatoes again- I gotta plant some big ones!!! But don't these look juicey and yummy?!
There's nothing like a fresh bud growing, and for those of you whose mind went to a gutter I am talking about a flower bud like this one. Although... *smile*

Well that's it.
I hope you all have a great day, remember
"This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it."
Psalm 118: something
Peace, love and pale skin,

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Looking Back

I dug this one out of the archives, from 1 year ago.

We survived night #1 with no a/c.
After waking this morning we realized I slept better for 2 reasons.

#1 I didn't go to bed until midnight so the room had cooled down and I had too. I actually spent 30-45 minutes laying out on the trampoline last night. It was beautiful out, the breeze was constant and kept me cool and the bugs away. The stars were so clear- it was awesome.

#2 the fan, one of 3 in the room, that sat in the window is on my side of the bed so I had a nice direct breeze blowing on me all night.
Needless to say Steve slept, he was just a little hotter than usual.
Not that I don't think he's always a hottie!

The kids moved all their gaming equipment out into the Lego room and set up camp there. Did I mentioned we finished school last week and are in vacation mode right now, well the kids are, I have a FULL week of work this week! The Lego room is not under our main house a/c unit so it has a stand alone unit. That kept them pretty cool. Of course it was the night Vaughan had a friend over! We try to keep things Ghetto-fabulous around here, especially with company over! Don't laugh at the ghetto part- just ask around about pulling out into traffic with our car.

With everything that was in me I wanted to pitch a fit over this whole a/c thing.
I just couldn't do it!
Have you ever had that?
When your flesh wants to behave in a certain way, maybe even your mind too; but the Holy Spirit in you just won't allow it!
That's what I had going on and I'm so thankful for God's faithfulness in my life. That He is always there! Encouraging me and prompting me to go against the flow of my flesh. Lord knows I've become and expert and jumping into the stream and going with the flow; that's what makes this particular event all the sweeter.
Psalm 121
1 I lift up my eyes to the hills—
where does my help come from?2 My help comes from the LORD,
the Maker of heaven and earth.3 He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;4 indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.5 The LORD watches over you—
the LORD is your shade at your right hand;6 the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.7 The LORD will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life;8 the LORD will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.

Rock on!

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Weekend Happenings

It's been a busy weekend here at the Span Ranch.
Beside the middle school "Quadruple Yuk Squared" event at church, I spent a lot of time in my garden and on the phone with a good friend!

It's also rained a bunch!
I don't mind the rain; I just put on comfy clothes and head out into it.

Here are the start of some tomatoes.

This is my bean tee pee. You can see the beans in the ground at the base- I'm wondering if I planted bush beans though? Hmm. We will see.
To the left of the beans, I mean the right, are 2 of my cucumber plants. I still have 6 waiting to go into the ground.
I moved some rocks and got some landscaping going; below is the beginnings of a flower bed. I used coquina rock as a border (still in need of some) as well as bricks from various clean-up jobs after Hurricane Katrina. I use to have 1 large broken pot amoung the greenery until that pot mysteriously broke into 4 pieces? boys
In case anyone forgot about the car blowing up incident in 2008 here's the remainder of that vehicle. It has become a punching bag for many children and adults over this past year.
Rocks, sticks, bats, rakes, cones, shovels.
Kicking, jumping, running and kicking.
I've even nicknamed one of Justin's friends Anger Management because of the time he spends whacking at this thing.
With all this rain our driveway washed out. We really need to invest in some a bunch of sand and a ditch to fix this. Anyway Steve and a friend worked on it today.

Well, the summer is shaping up to be busy so I promise to keep you updated, plus you know me and blogging... I so prefer it over Facebook and all the other sites I belong to.
Hope you had a great weekend, I'd love to hear what you did, comment or link here.
peace out

Friday, June 05, 2009

Angry Eyebrows

I've learned a few things this week.
First I have taken a poll of 11 students age 15-19 and found that 85% of moms yell at their kids while cleaning or getting ready to clean the house.

The most common phrase used is, "I do everything around here"

So let me encourage you moms reading this to take the challenge I am taking and not yell at our kids when you clean.

A few alternative things instead of yelling would be:
to enlist their help,
assign cleaning jobs or
just grab the kids and leave the house for an ice cream or play at the park, clean houses are overrated anyway.

The next thing I've learned is that 30% of the students polled have a secret code with their siblings and dad for when mom is in a "mood".
In my house it is an angry eyebrow symbol.

I haven't yelled lately, it's something the Lord has been working with me on. The funny thing is when my boys were little I wasn't a yeller. I mean I yelled, I am a redhead *smile*, but seriously my "cleaning yelling" came much later.
I think my frustrations came when they became the size of an adult. Something about that just says to me, you know better, get cleaning! Realistically the teenage brain doesn't function that way but seriously have they really lost all their habits from elementary school?

So two things:
moms everywhere be comforted knowing we have more in common than we realize
I wonder if you're family has a secret mom code?

Oh I do love the fact that my boys and I can talk about our imperfections, I didn't have that with my mom.
How about you? Were you able to talk with your parents about everything, including their quirks?

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

I Promise I Won't Punch Anyone

So I've been gone a few days.
Not sure where or what I've been doing but the above picture is a pretty accurate description of 4 out of the 7 days of the week for me, except I'm driving.
Seems like this week should be over all ready. Not because it's been bad just because it's been long.
Our first year of public school comes to a close on Friday.
Out first year of home schooling one child since 1999 doesn't come to an end because of forces we're still not sure of.

I'd like to share a few thoughts that have been bouncing around in my head about my life.
First: Education decisions for Vaughan are driving me crazy. For whatever reason I feel like a bad parent because it looks like he'll go full-time again at the high school.
How have I let this inadequacy creep in?

I fight it.

So that's a monster I'm fighting right now. I ask myself, is there anything wrong with graduating from high school with just a high school diploma? I mean we did it, right. There is a train of thought in my circles that no that is not good, that our students should be pushed to get college credit, if not an AA, under their belt before leaving high school. Some times I just want to punch those people in the face.
Other times I realize that wouldn't be very nice.
But if you've ever punched someone there is such gratification in that, self control Michelle, self control.

Second: There's the work and work.
Don't get me wrong I like my job and if I could pick any job it would be the one I have. It's just, well quite frankly after staying at home with my kids for 14 years going to work has been tough to get adjusted to.
My home was my job for 14 years and I loved it!
I spent my days educating my children, cooking, cleaning, visiting parks and the beach, grocery shopping and organizing.
Now that I work p/t out of the house I struggle with not doing my housework when I get home.
A typical day goes like this:
wake up and get people fed, then homeschool, check on my blogs, start some laundry, do dishes, shower and finish homeschool (if we even started) and then lunch and off to work.
At work I work and try to not talk to Jamie too much or hold baby Julia too long.
I then leave work, pick up child, taxi child somewhere, home to make dinner, vacuum floors and then some days back to work.
While I'm at work any cleaning I had down goes quickly down the drain and dirt begins to multiply.

ADHD people, like myself, have a hard time sitting still but lately it's been more like I'm not sitting still because life is going on and things need to get done.
So I ask myself: Am I teaching my children to be a slave to the man? Am I a slave to the man? Oh heck just asking that makes me want to sell everything and live somewhere with tents and gardens or better yet a camper, my family and lots of miles.
Hmm. I don't know.
I don't even know if this blog post is even making any sense.
I don't really care if it does!
So I've rambled.
I'm surviving and now it's off to push some laundry through and get on with the day.
Peace out

one more thing, perhaps the most important, what I to combat all this is from the study of the book of Esther I'm doing: I've taken one of our scenarios of "it's tough being a woman" written it on an index card and on the back side I've written scripture to help with that.
Here's my card:
The Truth to bring me peace, joy and sanity.


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