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, May 27, 2010

Summer Fun, on the cheap!

I have been asked several times, mostly by Dani, if I know of anything fun and free or cheap to do with kids over spring break or the summer.

Yes, yes and yes!!

Here's the list. click for websites, more info, photos and directions:

Sugar Mill Ruins Port Orange
no food allowed in, but we pack a lunch and eat out on the benches at the entrance
usually no one else there

Sun Splash Park, Daytona
free: food allowed but you'll wanna do this and a beach day
usually crowded, but kids love it
this is good combined with a beach day since the park is on the beach

I've never done this but if I still watched kids over the summer we'd do this for sure, actually I am adding this to my summer list- call me if you go, I may join in!
If you take a group of kids, I'd make each kids bring their own money and I'd go on a round-trip trip!
maybe pack a lunch to eat before or after you go.

Ponce De Leon Lighthouse
cost:$1.50 kids 11 and under,
$5.00 adults
Always fun, mostly just a walk to the top but make sure you venture into all the buildings
couple this with a trip to the:
Marine Science Center
under 3 free
Youth (3-12) $2
Adults $5

Downtown Disney
elementary age
We do 3 things when we go here
1. hit the lego store and build and play outside the store in their interactive play area

2. eat at Mcd's next door to the Lego store (no dollar menu)

3. visit the Magic Shop

if it's crazy at the Lego store you'll wanna keep an eye on the kids it can get nuts,
longer road trips can be good, I recommend listening to Adventures in Odyssey while traveling- I have some you can borrow

Sugar Mills Ruins New Smyrna Beach
small area but fun to just have free space to run, the ruins are cool and a small trail makes it a little more adventurous
pretty shaded if I remember right

Reed Canal Park
this is a neat park and is handicap accessible, I like the handicap swing cause it's laid back, plus the ground here is all artificial turf
There is also a disc golf course here

Old Fort Park New Smyrna Beach
let the kids jump down into the passageways below, play hide and seek, guess why this building was built this way
finish up with a trip to NSB Dairy Queen

If you are in Florida and have kids in the summer you have got to plan a weekly beach day.
For us it was always Thursdays.
9-noon I packed no food, just water (maybe a bag of chips)
when they were hungry, we left: it cut down on sunburns, tired beach kids, me packing 800 lunches, sand in food and did I say sun burns?

Brevard Zoo
small cost
short road trips are fun with kids, sure they'll ask "Are we almost there"- always answer with "Nope we are far away", even if you're in the parking lot.
It's a zoo and I heard they have some new water features

Burger King/McD's with indoor playlands
eat and play or just get an ice cream and play
stay as long as they want and have a friend met you there

Turtle Mound
small cost per car
walk to the top of the Indian mounds
then a short drive gets you to the old house, El Dora
This is walking trip with history woven in, go in the morning

Local Movie Theatre
they have a cheap matinee day in the summer, it can be packed with summer program kids but it's fun and worth it- plus a nice indoor activity in the dead of summer
Hollywood Theatres in Port Orange will have their movie day on Wednesdays
Beacon 12 in New Smyrna not sure, call or stop by for schedule

YMCA, Edgewater
their pool is fun!
waterslide, water mushroom and a zero entry shallow end
no shade

Zoom Air Adventure
not cheap but a unique adventure so I had to out it in here
A fun way to let out your inner child and face any fears of heights you may have, now that i think of it this would be a fun mom trip or couples trip.

Skate and Shake, Ormond Beach
tons of fun for all ages!
eat before you go and have snacks for on the way home
to keep it cheap let the kids know ahead of time you're not buying food, drinks, videogames
local NSB Lanes are great fun!
Rent a lane for 2 hours
Eat before you go, pack some water
Fun for all ages!
Also check out my State Parks labeled posts
You will be able to link to this post through the photo link in my sidebar.
Dani and other babysitters- plan your summer events and let the parents know, see if they'll give you a small allowance for each event- even if it's just the admission price, pack lunches and snacks, water bottles and juice and any trip can be cheap!!

ABOVE ALL: have fun!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

New Pet Bunny

We actually got her the end of April but here she is:

Princess Slayer of Evil

Monday, May 24, 2010

New Job

I got a new job about 3 weeks ago at David's Bridal.
Officially I am a Wedding Consultant!!
A job out of my comfort zone. This mom to boys had to learn about waistlines, dress type and how to put someones hair in a quick updo!
So far I love it, or like it?
It's nice to go to a job, do the work and then come home. In the past I've either worked from home or partially from home, this time I can walk away and just be home!!
So if you're in the market for a wedding dress or bridesmaid dress, or special occasion dress come see me!!
It's a fun job- dress up all day long!!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

New Normal

So this weekend Vaughan has been married for 3 weeks.
That means I have had a daughter now for 3 weeks!
The most common question I get is, "How's it going?"
I'm never sure how to answer that; but even more in this situation.
Well because it is going good.
Things are fine.
See those type of answers are general and can be taken as a way of not saying how things are really going.
SO here's a little more detail on how things are fine and good around here.

I wasn't sure how it would be having another female living in the house with me. I'm a guys girl, only had brothers and only have sons; in fact before our new daughter I had only lived with one other female: my mother! and that experience was less than seller.

We have taken on this new role as in-laws from the vantage point of parents.
No, I'm not looking to discipline our new child but I am looking at her as my newly adopted daughter. I am trying my best to love her, be patient with her and help her in whatever way she could use help, seeking God to view her through His eyes and love her with His love. Afterall, my heart and my way is messed up, only through Christ can any of this work out good and fine.

I thought the kitchen and housework would be a challenge, but it hasn't. It's probably the most common area I get advice, and please keep the advice coming; I view advice like chicken: keep the meat and throw out the bones. Anyway about the housework and kitchen. So far, so good. Our new daughter comes from the same mold we do regarding this area of life.
If you've been to my house you know my incredible houseworking skills.
OK, ok so better yet the lack of them!
I am thankful my new daughter comes from the same mold we all came from. She would rather build relationships than clean, head out on an afterdinner adventure over dishes.

OK so I get frustrated in the fact that she doesn't do the dishes as soon as they are dirty and I wish sometimes she'd mop the floor or straightened out the living room sofas, but those wishes have always been around, those duties are my duties and have been for 17 years. Those are also the same complaints I have with myself. Again, let me repeat that the complaints I have have always been there. Take last night for instance I did the dished form all day yesterday and the night before, it didn't take very long and I like serving my family in that way.

The biggest piece of advice I have for anyone in my situation is to focus on the positive.
I can either be upset the towels aren't folded the way I fold them, or I can rejoice that they are folded!
I can be upset that the dishes aren't done as soon as they are messed up, or I can rejoice that I didn't make dinner, or rejoice in the fact that those dirty dished do get washed by someone other than me!
I can look at this situation with pity for myself, my son and our family, or I can rejoice as the Lord has instructed me to do in all circumstances.

So yes it has been a challenge having more people, ok so just 1 extra person in the house, but is life ever not a challenge?
Anyone who has lived with teenagers knows that no matter what it's hard.
Heck anyone who has lived knows that life is a challenge.

We meet weekly as a family, we are working on our new communication, living in our new normal. We are making it through this with some fun.

As I type this morning my kids are in the living room chatting away. Our daughter's sister is in town and they both greeted Justin with a little song when he work up. What more could I ask for?
Love, above all love, see 1 Peter 4:8.
Home school "Bonding with Sister" day!

And on a side note: I just finished studying the book of Jonah. Chapter 4 hit me, go read it. I do not want to be like Jonah and sit and cry for my own death because things didn't go the way I wanted them to. No, I want to live life to the fullest, rejoicing and loving the Lord with all my heart, soul and strength. I desire to live obedient to His Word and reflect His Son.

Happy weekend!

Thursday, May 20, 2010


Well I have been busy doing and busy relaxing.
Busy rearranging things at the house, working my new job, gardening- check out my latest post on my garden over here, and cleaning one of the BIG beach houses Steve maintains, plus cleaning, laundry, building relationships and did I mention cleaning?
We've also had my dad in town this month for 3 short visits, Justin began shaving- yikes! and we added a new pet bunny to our home.
Relaxing consists of time on the beach, by the pool and on my couch!!
Here are some pictures to bring you up to speed:

Sunday, May 16, 2010

A Person Really Could Fit Inside a Whale

You wanna know a little fact about me?
Well here it is:
I've pretty much done whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted, with who ever I wanted.
Yeah, I'd say that's true.
Over the majority of my life I did whatever the hell I wanted.

Now that you know that I can share this with you: lately, I have heard the word obedience a bunch.
And I mean: a bunch.

It first came about when my friend Tereana said to me a few months back, "Obedience is better than sacrifice."
That comment was the start of a long line of me hearing the word obedience.
I heard it from
the Bible,
more people,
and some more people quoting the Bible,
it has come from so many different angles that I better pay attention.
Ugh, I can tell you that I don't like that word.
It definitely makes my top 10 worst words- ever!

So now I am wondering, ok I know, what area I need to be obedient in, and I mean obedient for more than 5 seconds.
sometimes I feel like God is a mathematician.
I think He works like this:
My obedience + My Time = God's Blessings on my terms
Again, ugh.
Did you see the repeated word in that problem.
My obedience + My Time = God's Blessings on my terms.
See not only do I do what I want, when I want, but I want things be done my way.
Boy: I needed to get over myself.
youngest child in me? maybe
only girl in the family? maybe
human factor? perhaps
Whatever way you cut it, I have got to sit in the belly of a whale and look at this matter of disobedience.

-insert childlike tantrum-

So as I continue to study the book of Jonah-
BIG *smile*-
how amazing is God to use His Word to speak truth into my life.
I am truly~amazed~ at His timing.

So this week as I study:
I will report what I am learning....
'cause with Jonah,
I have a feeling, obedience, is gonna be a factor.

Hope you all are a little better behaved than I am.
Have a good week!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Just Another Adventure

It was the planning of this wedding that landed me a job at David's Bridal.
No, I wasn't looking for a job, which is why it makes it all the more sweeter.
I started training last week and I am excited, so far I enjoy the info I am learning and the people I work with. I've done a lot of crazy things in my life and I add this to the list. Didn't realize my life would be where it is today but I am willing to live it where I'm at!
Other than not not too much going on. Homeschool, work, youth came to an end last night. Gearing up for summer.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

I Almost Moved into a Cave in Montana Today

But I didn't.
I don't have enough gas in my car and I'm not even sure I like Montana cause I've never been there.

Today and this week I will try my best, with help from the LORD, to not make
BIG deals out of little things,
to love when I don't want to,
to give when I've given all I got,
to shut my mouth when I want to run off at it.
To pray when I wanna curse, or yell or punch or scream.

Yes, this week I will spend more time thinking on the Kingdom of God and less time on the kingdom on Michelle.
My kingdom is wasting away, His kingdom is forever.

This day I will remember I am a small extra in the movie of life,
I will remember that this story is God's, not mine.
He wrote it.
He designed it.
He allows me to live it.
What will you do this week?

I am blessed and I am the daughter that Jesus loves.
Happy Mother's Day!
Jeremiah 33:6 Nevertheless, I will bring health and healing to it, I will heal my people and will let them enjoy abundant peace and security.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Finally Getting a Few Thoughts Out

OK so I've sat down a few times this week to write something.
So much to say, just not sure what and how to say it?
Still learning to live in my new normal, still learning to process all of this.

I'm an adrenalin junkie.
You probably didn't know that about me, or maybe you did, either way--- I am.
I love a good rush, a good rollercoaster, staying up all night working on a project. Skydiving, bungie jumping and planning weddings in 10 days.
I thrive that way.
But as will most things I love there is a down side.
With adrenaline junkies that down side is

I crashed hard this week. Monday I started to have a sore throat, Tuesday it got alittle worse and then Wed and Thursday had me laying down at any possible chance I had. I seem to be on my way out of it, yippee!!

Oh..... and I got a job.
Yep, in the midst of the crazy wedding planning we made our way into David's Bridal and within 15 minutes I had a job offer.

I took it.
I started on Thursday.

So far, so good.
Again another chapter in my new normal.
My kids are needing me less and less,
and it appears to be time for me to step outside my comfort zone more and more.

So that is that. For now that's what I have to say.

I feel I need to give props to my blogging friend Vanessa, who I met back in 2008 at a blog party, anyway she had her baby this last Sunday!! Then she sent me a sweet e-mail saying she was praying for me and our big day last weekend! Ya know God gives us what we need when we need it and sometimes we need a hug or call or visit from a local friend and other times we need an e-mail from a blogging friend 3 states away. That day, that e-mail- I needed it. Thanks Vanessa, and thank you Lord.

Well, have a blessed Mother's Day!! And please share what your Mother's Day plans are or what you did??

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Pre-Wedding Pics, sorry no bride and groom

I actually took no pictures at the wedding, well that's not true I took a few with my mom's camera so we'll see if I ever get those!!
I just wanted to enjoy the day and not fuss over pics.
I did take a bunch leading up to the big event and when we get the video and professional pics I'll be sure to post some of the bride and groom.
Until then you'll have to be happy with these:

Here's a taste of what the centerpieces looked like:

The difference was that the floating candles were in the smaller jar and the medium jar held their wedding favors. The favors were bookmarks that Sarah and her friends made!
This was the head table, of course it looked much different but this was the prep station for the centerpieces.Rehearsal dinner parking at our place:
Rehearsal pictures:
Since I was the wedding coordinator I went Saturday morning with Steve, Vaughan and my dad to get the place set up. This is the view from where Pastor Ron stood. This plant stand made by my grandfather, who passed away a few years ago at the age of 94, served at the podium holding the Bible. The tree house in the tree was where Vaughan and his friend Scott spent many, many an afternoon playing. Vaughan was in that fort when he was swooped by a mama hawk, she actually swooped him twice leaving claw marks on his head!!!
Here's the opposite view from where the wedding party began their walk.
The archway they came through from the orange grove behind.
Close up of the backdrop behind the bride and groom as they exchanged their vows.
A view from behind the back drop looking at the ceremony.
I decided to leave with my boys, the last photo taken of our family for the last 17 years.
My dad was visiting and we had to take an picture from this angle!
The ceremony and reception went great! 10 days of planning and it was beautiful, I like wedding planning- hmmm, maybe a job for me??
They didn't have a traditional cake but cheesecake and chocolate cream pie instead. The toasts were heartfelt and the fellowship a blessing!
Finally they loaded their car and headed out!
Back at home I pulled my camera out.


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