Monday, April 28, 2008

Braden Knows Where We Are

This past weekend Reid and I traveled - ALONE - to Charleston to attend an engagement party for his cousin.

We called the boys on Friday night to tell them good night. When Reid was on the phone with Braden, this was the conversation...

Reid: Braden, we made it. We're finally here. Do you know where we are?

Braden: Yes.

Reid: Well, where are we?

Braden: Dad! You're at the place where you were going!

Too funny!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

TN Football - Orange and White Game

A few weeks ago, Reid was out-of-town for part of the weekend. On Saturday morning, I awoke wondering what I could do with the boys that would be fun and memorable. I realized that if I had been given a daughter, I probably would have opted to go shopping. However, the boys would freak out if I told them we were going shopping on our day together. I knew I had to make a plan...something the boys would enjoy...something memorable...something fun... After some deliberation, we decided to go to the Orange and White Game. This is the UT football team's spring scrimmage. I didn't realize how BIG of an event we were about to attend.

We started our day together at the VOLS practice field. All of the players were signing autograph after autograph. I had picked up two new footballs for the boys to get signed. (I was going to purchase four footballs, but Franklin said they only needed two - one for each bedroom. Thank you, son!)
It was crazy shuffling from player to player, but the boys were thrilled to have their picture taken with some of the players. Here are a couple...

The boys with #74 - Jarrod Shaw and #72 - Ramone Johnson (Tackles)
The boys with Jeff Cottam (Tight End)
After we left the practice field to head over to Neyland Stadium, we approached the Wall of Fame. Guess who is listed among the great players at UT? That's right, my Dad! The boys were all so excited to find his name! Pretty cool, huh? (See where I get my love for Tennessee football? Not only did my father play at UT, he also coached football here as well!)

After walking on, the boys posed in front of UT's Torchbearer statue. Tradition states the Torchbearer carries the light that is never extinguished. It has a lot of history with the university, and each year UT selected a few Seniors to receive the "Torchbearer Award." I was one of five recipients the year I graduated. It was quite an honor. (I was going to post a link to share with you about the award, but the site I found posed the question, "UT Torchbearers - Where are they now?" The four I read about were extremely successful - lawyer, medical researcher, mayor of Knoxville, and UT Public Relations Director. Ummm...wondering how I would answer that question. So, if you would like to read about it you'll have to do your own Google search. You are getting the answer to the question for this Torchbearer as you read this blog!)

As we made our way toward Neyland Stadium, the players "did the infamous walk" from the Practice Building over to the stadium. By far, my favorite players were the ones that reached out to give the boys a "high five!" It thrilled them! Thanks guys! Davy Crockett was paving the way for the team. Of course, I asked him to pose for a picture! (I don't think he minded!) Trying to make conversation, I asked him, "What's your name? If you'll tell us, then we can cheer for you down on the field!" (Yes, I really asked him that - I was suffering from VOLmania! And, yes, he really answered me in this way...) "Well, Maam. My name's Davy Crockett of course!"
We finally made it to the stadium. I looked down on the field and saw someone I knew. Why, it was good ole' Davy Crockett waving the Big Orange T! You go, Davy!

We settled into our bleacher seats, and my cousin AJ walks up and sits down with the boys. He was there with some of his friends, and he noticed us when we sat down. AJ graduates from high school this year, and will be headed off to college in a few months. We enjoyed our surprise meeting at the game!

Here are a few of my favorite pics from the day... I enjoyed being with the boys...doing something we all enjoy! Watching TN football!

Finally, for those of you who have not experienced Tennessee Football. Here are a few things you should expect:
1.) For Rocky Top to play in your head for several days after a game!
2.) To ALWAYS wear ORANGE in support of your team!
3.) For a scrimmage, like today, you should expect about 40,000 fans to crowd into the stadium! Unbelievable!

Go Vols!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Last FBCK Homeschool Co-Op - Notes on Ethiopia

This year, we started a Co-op with some homeschool friends in our church. The kids named the Co-Op the Christian Crusaders, and our learning focus this year has been about missionaries and current mission opportunities around the world.
For our last lesson, Tracie, Avery and Aidan shared about Ethiopia. Tracie shared about the orphans, the poverty, and other saddening statistics about Ethiopia. However, she also shared some of the HOPE for that country as well! Some of the people truly know the joy that Jesus offers.
Other Interesting Facts...Did you know that coffee originated in Ethiopia? Did you know the Bible records that Paul baptized an Ethiopian? Finally, did you know it is a different year in Ethiopia than it is here - they recently celebrated the year 2000? (Did I get that right Tracie? I tried to take copious notes, but I couldn't keep up! I need to brush up on my note taking skills!) Seriously, it was a great lesson, and everyone learned a lot about the country and the culture.
Avery was dressed in her Ethiopian dress. She gave everyone REAL freshly ground Ethiopian coffee as a take home! Aidan shared about the language, by wearing his Ethiopian shirt...but, we have no idea what it says!

Tracie even brought a REAL Ethiopian for the presentation! Isn't he adorABEL?!?

We were blessed to have this final Co-op at the Swoboda Ranch! It is beautiful!
Yes, this is one of our pastors. His name is Farmer Brandon. Although he is sporting his John Deere Hat, he is still shopping for some overalls! :-) Actually, he and Betsy are doing a great job learning how to take care of this beautiful land. Brandon gave all of the children a lesson on chickens! Bawk, bawk!Here are a few more of my favorite pictures of the day!
Here's a pic of all the MOMS together! For the six Moms in this picture, there are 25 children! Are we crazy or what??

Christy - 5 children, Robin - 4 children, Betsy - 6 children (and LOTS of animals!), Tracie - 4 children, Patti - 3 children, and Cindy - 3 children

Friday, April 18, 2008

Captain Salvador is 45!

Recently, there has been a very frightening sight here in Knoxville!! Oh, my!!
It seems a 45 year-old man, has chosen to mow his lawn on his riding mower wearing his brand new tank top undershirt and his new underwear! He has also been seen in this same outfit drinking from his root beer bottle, gnawing on Beef Jerky and eating pork rinds!
(Yes, it is root beer folks!)
If you see this scary sight, please call the Hillbilly Hotline number!
Here is the latest picture of this Hillbilly Wanna-Be:
Gender: Male Age: 45 Hair color - Dark with specks of gray
Occupation: Superhero to 2nd and 3rd Graders - Known as Captain Salvador
Last seen: Mowing the lawn in the above attire - SCARY!
Other significant information: Seems to believe that hanging a beach towel from his
bedroom window is attractive...approach with caution!!
Actually friends, these are our friends, The Salvadors! C.J., Maddie, Patti, Craig and Tory. Patti surprised Craig by sending him on a Scavenger Hunt around Knoxville for 45 GIFTS!! The family stopped at friends' homes, and he got to open the gifts Patti and
the kids prepared for him. It was adorable!! One family even posted signs
in the front of their neighborhood that read, "Old Goats, This Way!"
At our house, he received an abundance of undershirts and underwear. (Aren't you glad you opened those here so I could post it on my BLOG???)
We were keeping Triten for the weekend. He and Braden were excited about the gift opening!
Peppermint Patti and I - notice there is nothing in Patti's teeth!!

Our gift for Craig was truly a Tennessee Special! This family moved here from Michigan, so we wanted them to have a taste of Tennessee. We gave Craig "all the fixins" for a Southern meal...pinto beans, cornbread, and hot sauce! Yum-yum and Yeehaw!

Our family with the birthday boy!! Happy Birthday!! Thank you for giving us the opportunity to celebrate with you!! Your family is precious to us!Hey, Patti - my birthday is coming up and I am turning 39! Hint, hint - ha-ha!

Who Are You?

Once again I got "tagged" by a friend to answer a few questions about myself. I had some time on my hands, so here were my answers (tailored a bit for this blog). I would love to hear your answers...

All of you fellow bloggers out there - consider yourself "tagged!"

Place an (X) by all of the things you have done.

(I couldn't believe all of the X's I had!! God has richly blessed my life with lots of experiences and blessings! Oh my!)

Have you ever:
Gone on a blind date (X - worst date ever!)
Skipped school (X - then confessed to my parents b/c I felt so guilty!)
Been with someone when they died (X - actually 2)
Been to Canada (X - with my hubby - thanks Pampered Chef!)
Been to Mexico ( ) - notice the empty box!
Been to Florida (X)
Been on a plane (X)
Been lost (X - I once drove from Knoxville to Georgia...I realized I was headed the wrong way when I hit the KY state line. However, I don't get lost with my hubby, Mr. Direction!)
Been on the opposite side of the country (X - as long as Colorado or Nevada counts - hope to see California someday)
Gone to Washington , DC (X)
Swam in the ocean (X)
Cried yourself to sleep (X)
Played cops and robbers (X)
Recently colored with crayons (X)
Sang Karaoke (X - I think I cleared out the restaurant!)
Paid for a meal with coins only? (X - Many times b/c keep coins in my car! I've always wanted to do it with just pennies, but haven't had the nerve!)
Done something you told yourself you wouldn't? Made prank phone calls (X - Said I never would, did it, still regret it!)
Laughed until some kind of beverage came out of your nose (X)
Caught a snowflake on your tongue ( ) NO, but I've tried!
Danced in the rain (X - only as a little girl though)
Written a letter to Santa Claus (X)
Been kissed under the mistletoe (X - I hang it up every year for that purpose!)
Watched the sunrise with someone you care about (X - and a lunar eclipse!)
Blown bubbles (X)
Gone ice-skating (X)
Gone to the movies (X)
Gone water skiing (X - and snow skiing)

1. Any nickname: Rockin Robin, Hollywood, Hillbilly Rockin Robin
2. Favorite breakfast cereal? It would still have to be Captain Crunch!
3. Favorite drink? used to be Dr. Pepper, now Lipton Green Tea!
4. Body Piercing? Ears only! I double pierced one of my ears, but when my mom told me I would have to tell my father, I took it out! Too chicken!
6. How much do you love your job? Being a wife and mother - Very much!
7. Birthplace? Somewhere, USA (this is a blog!)
8. Favorite vacation spot? Beach - any beach for that matter!
9. Ever been to Africa ? Yes and would LOVE to go back! I know I will set foot in there again one day!
10. Ever eaten cookies for dinner? Yep! And, I've let the children do it a few times as well!!
11. Ever been on TV? Yep, that was embarrassing
12. Ever steal any traffic sign? No, but someone gave me one in high school. I don't know where it came from! Seriously!
13. Ever been in a car accident? Yes - a few minor accidents, one very major accident in my early 20s
14. Favorite salad dressing? Brianna's Red Wine Vinaigrette
15. Favorite pie? Pecan or Chess
16. Drive a 2 door or 4 door car? 4, but with gas going up I'm going to start walking and riding my bike!
17. Favorite number? 38 b/c I've had 38 years of a wonderful life, soon it will change to 39!
18. Favorite movie? Not sure - perhaps Pride and Predjudice or The Notebook - I'd choose these only for the memories they conjure up for me b/c of who sat with me while I watched them...
19. Favorite holiday? Easter is the most thought provoking and emotional for me, but my love language is gifts so I really get excited about Christmas!
20. Favorite dessert? Breyer's Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
21 Favorite food? anything someone else makes for me!!
22. Favorite day of the week? Saturday or Sunday - family days
23. Favorite brand of body wash? anything from Bath and Body Works - hint, hint - I never buy it, but it's been a nice gift to receive!
24. Favorite toothpaste? Crest with Whitening!
25. Favorite perfume/cologne? something from the Gap - don't know the name
26. What do you do to relax? read, pray - not necessarily in that order
27. What is your number one pet peeve? People that find their worth in what they own. That makes me really sad.
28. How do you see yourself in 10 years? Hopefully happy and fulfilled in life! It'd be nice to be thinner, but...well...when I tried to picture myself - I didn't really see it happening!! Just being honest!!
29. Furthest place you will send this message? Chicago, IL High Point, NC or Denton, NC ?!?
30 Of the people who read this, who will do this first? Surprise me!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Pizza Pizzazz

The boys took a class today called Pizza Pizazz. A precious lady named Janis taught it. She is one amazing bread-maker...(or would she be called a bread-baker? Hmmm...)
Seriously, she makes incredible rolls, breads, etc... and sells them to help support her family of 8. She grinds her own wheat, and uses as many natural products as possible! Everything she bakes tastes wonderful! She is one incredibly gifted God-loving Woman!

Today she taught the boys to make:

1.) Regular Pizza

2.) Cherry Pizazz Pizza

3.) Chocolate Chocolate Melt-In-Your-Mouth Pizza

4.) Pizza Pockets

5.) Cheesy Cheesy Bread

Now that I am salivating as I type, I must tell you that the boys came lie...ready to cook dinner completely on their own! They were so excited! However, since everyone came home with so many goodies from class we added a salad and enjoyed their creations from class for dinner. It was a delicious meal!

Thanks, Janis, for a great class! The boys loved it! I'm excited to see them become even more independent in the kitchen. Homemade pizzas for Mom and Dad on the way! Yum-yum!

Purple Flowers are Pilots?

Braden bounded into the kitchen today and announced, "Mommy, did you know all purple flowers are pilots!"

I thought, "Why no, Braden, I didn't. I thought they were violets."

However, I actually said to Braden, "Really, honey?"

It is so adorable to hear him still mastering the English language! Bless his heart!

Braden Has A Cavity?!

Lately Braden's nose has been running. A LOT! I have told him that it is because he has "allergies."

Yesterday, Braden was telling everyone..."My nose is running because I have a cavity!"

Too funny!

Boys Fort Rules

Last night I was cleaning up the kitchen and found a small piece of paper. On it, the boys (Franklin and Weston - I presume) had written the rules for the Fort they have deep in the woods behind our yard. They continue to work on it, and the look of it changes weekly as they maneuver the dirt with shovels and spades.

However, you should be aware of the rules in case you ever travel to Knoxville. Here they are as written on the paper I found:

1.) Do not tell anyone about the for unless you have permission. (Ooops - I just broke that rule!)

2.) Be nice to people smaller than you.

3.) Don't say cus words!

4.) Put sticks around traps when working.

There you have it - all of the current rules for the Fort!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Homeschool Human Body Class - The Brain

I'm having so much fun teaching this class! We have studied the Human Body in our Homeschool Co-Op and I have been in awe of the intricate way God created us! Absolutely AMAZING!

After our GROSS Digestive System (scroll down for blog entry), we have moved on to learn about other body systems. This lesson was the beginning of the Nervous System. Today's focus was "All About the Brain!"

Hunter always seems to volunteer when something will be placed on his head! Poor Guy! Today he was my Human Brain Model. I wrote all of the different parts of the cerebrum on a shower cap, so the children would be able to see the different portions of our amazing brain! We talked about our frontal lobe, temporal lobe, etc... and what they each control.

Our first experiment today was to figure out whether or not we needed the fluid around our brain. A few weeks ago, when studying the skeletal system, we discussed the fact that God created our bones to protect major organs - heart, lungs, brain. Today we were trying to determine if the cerebral fluid around our brain was really necessary. (Unfortunately, I did not try this at home first!)

Here's what we did:

1. ) Two raw eggs were placed in plastic containers. One egg was surrounded with "water," and the other egg was surrounded with...nothing...just the "air" in the container. The water represented the cerebral fluid around our brain.

2.) The "air" container was shaken to see if the egg would break. It broke IMMEDIATELY! SPLAT! (The top was not secure on the container, so raw egg flew out onto some of the students. These things seem to only happen to me!) It helped us to see what would happen if our brain rattled against our skull! Oh my!

3.) Next, we shook the "water" protected egg with the same force. Then we shook it up some more! The egg did NOT break - it was safe and secure in the fluid! When our brains are "jarred" or hit with some force, it is the cerebral fluid that keeps the brain safe from harm! Isn't God's creation amazing?
Yes, the egg has a "smiley face" on it. Well, it needed to look like a person?!?
After the egg experiment the children were given play dough to create a model of the brain. They were to make a model including the cerebrum, cerebellum, and brain stem. I think they boys went a little crazy with the brain stem. Perhaps they thought we were still discussing the end of the digestive system!?! Hmmm....

Olivia drew her model on the board b/c the smell of play dough makes her sick! However, I think she did a good job, don't you?

I love these kids - it's been such a joy to learn with them!!