My Crew

Friday, May 29, 2009

Summer Fun Ideas - VGNO

Last week our troop had sign ups fro boy scouts. My 6 years old is now FINALLY old enough to join his brothers pack. He has been so excited that he has me searching the Internet on a daily basis to find cool stuff to share with the rest of our pack. We found some great ideas and wanted to share them with everyone. These are some great ideas for the summer when the kids are home ALL day and start shouting, "I'M BORED!"


one serving
4 thick bacon slices, 2 eggs, 1 brown paper lunch bag

- At home, pack the eggs and bacon in a cooler.
- At camp, cook one serving per bag. Place the bacon inside the bag, wiping the inside generously with grease (the more you coat the bag, the better). Crack eggs on top of the bacon. Fold the bag down several times, then poke a three-foot stick (green pine won't burn) through it so that the bag hangs at one end.
- Holding the stick's other end, suspend the bag over hot coals (not flames), heating all sides evenly until done (seven to ten minutes).

Minnow Traps - Great for Fish Bait!

■ Two 3-liter (or 2-liter) soda bottles.
■ One large nail (6-penny if possible).
■ Some string or twine.
■ Scissors and locking pliers such as vise-grips.
■ Your kitchen stove.
■ A marker.
■ A bowl of cold water.

This minnow trap will be made from two plastic bottles. To follow the instructions easier, you will need to mark one bottle with an ‘X’ and the other with a ‘Y’. Cut the bottom third portion off of the X bottle but leave the cap on. Then cut off the top third portion of the Y bottle and take its cap off (leaving about a half inch lip underneath the part before the Y bottle curves). We will be keeping the top portions of both bottles and throwing the other parts away. Now place bottle Y inside of bottle X with both cap parts pointing in the same direction. After doing this you will be able to see how the minnows will be able to swim into the trap but then have a tough time finding their way out.

Now we need to fasten the bottles together at the bottom. Go to your kitchen stove and turn on a burner. Take hold of the nail with the pliers and heat it over the burner until it is very hot. Hold the two bottles firmly and with the hot nail still in the pliers, poke about a dozen holes around the bottom part of your trap where both bottles are touching. When finished, drop the hot nail into the bowl of cold water. Next, take your string and sew through the holes – or make little ties of cord – around the bottom to secure the bottles together. Now reheat the nail and poke more holes around the outside of bottle X to allow water to get in the trap when you throw it into the lake.

For minnow bait, you can add crunched up crackers or bread to your trap, or even dog or cat food. Fasten a line to it and throw it in your favorite lake and wait overnight for the minnows to fill it up. The next morning you can simply open the cap on top of the trap and dump the minnows into a bucket and then you will be ready for fishing.

We will be adding more ideas as we find ones we like so check back often.


Saturday, May 23, 2009

Memorial Day

I found this on another blog and just had to pass it on! This was found in a Texas newspaper!

"David Thornhill, a US soldier was severely wounded over in the sand box in Iraq. Sgt. Thornhill who lost both of his legs and burned over 56% of his body while serving this country in Iraq. His birthday is next week and his family is putting out a gentle request and reaching out to supporters asking them to send a card or note to inspire him as he continues to spend time in recovery.

He has been in the hospital for over 2 years now. Sending a birthday card will show him how much we love him for what he has sacrificed for his country. His parents are worried about his emotional status and he hardly ever has visitors. Let's help this soldier and send him a lot of cards."

My kids think soldiers are the greatest people on earth and they are thrilled to be able to write to one. I am so thankful for Men and Women like David who have sacrificed so much so we can be free.


Mailing address: Sgt. David Thornhill
Tillman Troops
6 Marquise Oaks
The Woodlands, TX 77382

Friday, May 22, 2009

As Seen On TV

My kids are obsessed with the As Seen On TV items they see on TV. I don't think a single day goes by when I don't hear about a new product we just HAVE TO HAVE. And heaven help us if we see one of those item in a store. Its not like its a new toy. Its a green bag to keep my veggies fresh or a special purse so I never loose my keys or my cell phone.

We have never gone as far as to purchase any of these items, but I think the kids are starting to wear me down. It is kind of sweet that my son is worries about me loosing the keys and that he wants to help me not waste money on uneaten veggies and fruit.

Here are a few of our favorites!

Does anyone else have this problem? Has anyone ever bought an AS SEEN ON TV and loved it? Let me know!

Having a VGNO. Will you join me? Just click below!


Thursday, May 21, 2009


So I have decided that my kids are going to pick the numbers for my lottery ticket and then we are going to the track. I don't know if it is just luck or they know what they are doing but they are on a winning streak. They picked the winner of Survivor, then Dancing with the Stars and last night they picked the underdog (and won) of American Idol.
I have to keep this winning streak going and maybe help myself out in the process. Congrats to all the Winners out there! We love you!
Please keep my mom-in-law in your prayers. She is have pretty big surgery today! Thanks!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Notice anything different? I got a blog makeover thanks to my great friend Liz @ Infectious Chatter (
She is the whole reason I started blogging. Thanks Liz!

5, 6, and 8 FOREVER!

My kids are growing up. How do I STOP that? The past couple school days I went on my kids school field trips. Thursday I went to the Riverbanks Zoo with Kent and Rachel's classes. We had so much fun looking at all the animals. We fed the giraffes and birds, laughed at the elephants taking a bath, and ran around like the monkeys! We had a great day and took nice longs naps on the way home. (Well the kids did. I had to drive.)

Friday we traveled to McLeod Farms. Its a local farm famous for its strawberries and peaches! Kent and Rachel got to pick strawberries and eat ice cream. The weather was beautiful and we had a great day.

Monday was Hunter's turn. We drove to Myrtle Beach to visit Ripley's Aquarium. We watched the sharks, played with horseshoe crabs, and pet the stingrays. It was so much fun to see how excited the kids were. Even though they were a couple years older than the kids on the zoo trip, they had just as much fun.

I wonder how many more field trips the kids are going to want me to come along. Soon they won't want me around because I'm not cool. But right now I am going to enjoy they and be glad they still want me. Glad to see their faces still light up when I walk into the classroom. Glad to still get kisses even if we have to hide from their friends! A part of me can't wait for them to grow up but a bigger part of me wants them to stay 5, 6, and 8 forever!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Be Nice

My nephews had been fussing and fighting yesterday (Mother's Day). After a little yelling and a few time outs later, my nephew looks at the sister-in-law and says, "You have to be nice to us today. We gave you cards this morning." I had to leave the room to keep from laughing out loud while the kids were in time out. Oh the joys of motherhood.

Camping at the Beach

This past weekend we went to the beach to go camping with the boyscouts. We went to the beautiful Huntington State Park in Merrills Inlet, South Carolina near Myrtle Beach. This is one of the best places to visit in South Carolina. It combines the beach with the fresh and salt water marshes. The wildlife was amazing. We saw deer, snakes, alliagotrs, crabs, cranes and much more.
We started the weekend off with a salt water marsh tour. We had a wonderful guide to tell us all about the marsh and the many animals who live there. We had a chance to do a little fishing then took a nice walk on the beach to search for seashells.
The next part of the trip was a tour of the Huntington Castle, Atalaya. Atalaya Castle, also known as Atalaya, stands as a monument to the creativity and generosity of Archer and Anna Hyatt Huntington. Archer M. Huntington was a noted scholar of Spanish culture and art and modeled the couple's winter home in the style of the Moorish architecture of the Spanish Mediterranean coast. Anna Hyatt Huntington was a sculptor and her main studio was here.

Atalaya was built near the ocean in South Carolina in what is now Huntington Beach State Park. The 200 by 200 foot (60 by 60 m) masonry structure was built from 1931 to 1933. Local labor was used at Mr. Huntington's insistence to provide work for a community hard hit by the Great Depression.

The living quarters consists of 30 rooms around three sides of the perimeter, while the studio, with its 25 foot (8 m) skylight, opens onto a small, enclosed courtyard where Anna Hyatt Huntington worked on her sculptures. Because she liked sculpting with live animals as models, horse stables, a dog kennel and bear pens were included. The building also features hand-wrought iron grillwork designed by Mrs. Huntington, and shutters to protect against hurricane winds. The inner walls of the main courtyard were covered with creeping fig vines. Sabal palmettos, the South Carolina state tree, and other palms help make the courtyard a picturesque, unique setting. The Huntingtons last used Atalaya as their winter home in 1947. Most of the furnishings were sent to New York City after Mr. Huntington's death in 1955. The studio equipment was moved to the new studio at Brookgreen Gardens just across U.S. 17 which cut through the Huntingtons' former property.

While Hunter was working on some boyscout belt loops with daddy, Rachel and Kent made shell necklaces.

The best part of the trip for the kids was playing in the ocean. Kent had fun trying to "beat up the waves." The kids spent the rest of the day down on the beach.

Now you can't go camping without making S'MORES! The kids ate a WHOLE bag of marshmellows. (With a little help from their parents.)

If you are ever in the Myrtle Beach, South Carolina area this is a must stop!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

The Blessed Gift of Being a Mother

I recently read this and the tears welled up in my eyes. I had to share this with other moms out there. We have the BEST job in the world!

We are sitting at lunch when my daughter casually mentions that she and her husband are thinking of "starting a family." "We're taking a survey," she says, half joking. "Do you think I should have a baby?"

"It will change your life," I say carefully, keeping my tone neutral. "I know," she says, "no more sleeping in on the weekend, no more spontaneous vacations..."

But that is not what I meant at all. I look at my daughter, trying to decide what to tell her. I want her to know what she will never learn in child birth classes. I want to tell her that the physical wounds of child bearing heal, but that becoming a mother will leave her with an emotional wound so raw that she will be forever vulnerable.

I consider warning her that she will never read a newspaper again without asking "What if that had been MY child?" That every plane crash, every fire will haunt her.

That when she sees pictures of starving children, she will wonder if anything could be worse than watching your child die. I look at her carefully manicured nails and stylish suit and think that no matter how sophisticated she is, becoming a mother will reduce her to the primitive level of a bear protecting her cub.

That an urgent call of "Mom!" will cause her to drop a soufflé or her best crystal without a moment's hesitation.
I feel I should warn her that no matter how many years she has invested in her career, she will be professionally derailed by motherhood. She might arrange for child care, but one day she will be going into an important business meeting and she will think about her baby's sweet smell. She will have to use every ounce of her discipline to keep from running home, just to make sure her baby is all right.

I want my daughter to know that everyday decisions will no longer be routine. That a five year old boy's desire to go to the men's room rather than the women's at McDonald's will become a major dilemma. That right there, in the midst of clattering trays and screaming children, issues of independence and gender identity will be weighed against the prospect that a child molester may be lurking in that restroom.

However decisive she may be at the office, she will second-guess herself constantly as a mother.
Looking at my daughter, I want to assure her that eventually she will shed the pounds of pregnancy, but she will never feel the same about herself. That her life, now so important, will be of less value to her once she has a child. That she would give it up in a moment to save her offspring, but will also begin to hope for more years - not to accomplish her own dreams, but to watch her child accomplish theirs.

I want her to know that a cesarean scar or shiny stretch marks will become badges of honor.
My daughter's relationship with her husband will change, but not in the ways she thinks. I wish she could understand how much more you can love a man who is always careful to powder the baby or never hesitates to play with his child. I think she should know that she will fall in love with him again for reasons she would now find very unromantic.
I wish my daughter could sense the bond she'll feel with women throughout history who have tried desperately to stop war and prejudice and drunk driving. I hope she will understand why I can think rationally about most issues, but become temporarily insane when I discuss the threat of nuclear war to my children's future. I want to describe to my daughter the exhilaration of seeing your child learn to ride a bike.

I want to capture for her the belly laugh of a baby who is touching the soft fur of a dog or cat for the first time. I want her to taste the joy that is so real, it actually hurts.

My daughter's quizzical look makes me realize that tears have formed in my eyes. "You'll never regret it," I say finally. Then I reach across the table, squeeze my daughter's hand, and offer a silent prayer for her, and for me, and for all of the mere mortal women who stumble their way into this most wonderful of callings. The blessed gift of being a Mother.


Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - Feeding the Ducks

Twilight Series

This weekend I started to read the Twilight Book Series by Stephenie Meyer. I was a little skeptical at first. I had heard of the movie and seen people talking about the books on facebook but I thought "What was the big deal?" It looked like some silly teeny-bopper series that I was too old to read. I am a married mother of three. What do I care about a silly high school vampire romance story.

That all changed last week while I was watching my boys at baseball practice. The mother off one of their teammates was reading one of the books. I watched her in amazement thinking she needed to watch the boys practice like the good mother I was. She saw me watching her and said "I just can't put it down."

I told her I had heard a lot about the books and it noticed a lot of people were "obsessed" with them, but I didn't know what the big deal was. She told me she thought the same thing. Her sister-in-law had been trying to get her to read the books for over a year and she finally gave in.

Well I wondered into the bookstore last Friday, wandering around trying to fine the book. When I asked for help, I was slightly embarrassed as we headed to the Teen section. But I bought the book and went home.

I was sucked in from page one. I had finished the book with in 48 hours, thirsty for the next one. I had to wait till Monday, but I was at the bookstore when they opened. I even took a test on facebook to find out which Twilight character I was most like. (Bella Swan in case you are wondering.)

If you haven't read the series I would highly recommend it. It has a great storyline and wonderful characters. Happy Reading! I havn't watched the movie based on the first book, but I heard its GREAT!