Tuesday, June 24, 2008

"The Taste of Summer"

When I think of summer, it seems almost automatic to think of certain foods that go along with the season. There is nothing like a slice of watermelon or a cool refreshing drink on a hot day. Recently our family has had the privilege of enjoying the wonderful taste of summer.

I discovered a produce stand with great prices--thanks to a friend that told me about this place. I could not believe how much cheaper their prices were from anywhere else I shop. For the locals, this market is on Indian Street. I came out with a cartfull of fruits and vegetables and only paid a fraction of the cost I normally would have.

I came home and made a huge salad. I like to make salads that have lots of different kinds of vegetables in them. It is time consuming, but I decided it was worth the time.

Of course, fruit is always a big hit.

Lydia finishes the last of the watermelon.

Molly also enjoys this treat.

What is summer without home-made ice cream? My sister, Esther, gave me her wonderful recipe for this creamy, yummy, stuff. I had not made it in such a long time, so I decided to make some last week. Samuel adds ice to keep things going. The kids really enjoyed the process of making their own ice cream.

It was so good that we decided to share. We called our neighbors and invited them to come over and join us. We had a great time laughing and eating.

Here is a fruit drink that I have most mornings for breakfast. I pour 8 oz. of orange juice into a blender, add a banana, a couple of strawberries and a few ice cubes. It is also good with peaches and other fruits.

Ah, the taste of summer. Isn't it wonderful?!!!

Monday, June 16, 2008


Sunday we were privileged to honor Doyle on Father's Day. We truly feel blessed to have him as the man of our house. He is a loving husband and a wonderful father to our kids. I find it interesting when men don't want kids around. My husband works with kids all day long, comes home and acts like he hasn't seen any children for years--he really is a natural. He loves kids and it shows, which is the reason why we have so much fun as a family. The following pictures are of the kids and him as they gave him their special gifts. We tried to put notes with each of the gifts that explained our appreciation. When we gave him shoes, the note said, "No one can fill your shoes." etc.

Julianna puts a lot of time into her cards. She gave him socks, which he really needed, and coupons.

Samuel's gift was a book and a funny card. Humorous cards have become his new thing.

Lydia saved her merit money at school and bought him a little car. She also made a nice little book of pictures with drawings of her and Doyle.

Joseph worked diligently on his painting. He also gave his daddy some candy which he has enjoyed sharing.

I am forever grateful to God for bringing Doyle into my life. He loves God with his whole heart and loves us more than we could imagine.

Monday, June 9, 2008


The kids on the last day of school.

WHEW, IT IS OVER!! The 2007-08 school year is history. I don't think we all could have gone on another week. From recitals to competitions, tests, homework, musicals, band concerts, performances, graduations of all kinds, parties, field trips, and a host of other activities, I am exhausted just thinking about it all. I would say that summer has begun, but if summer means hot weather--it has been here for awhile. We do know that vacation is here, and we are so glad for a change of pace.

As soon as school was over on Friday, our girls joined other friends at a water slide party to kick off the vacation. They really enjoyed themselves. Thanks, Julie, for having a super party to celebrate the end of the school year.

Later in the evening we took the kids to Gander Mountain to look around. Here they are being their silly selves.

Samuel checks out a hovercraft.

Joseph would have to agree that this guy is a little different than the stuffed animals he has at home.

The kids wanted to squish into these kiddie carts. Doyle was in charge of pushing the girls, but he kept wandering off with Samuel looking at stuff. When he left them, they would start beeping their horns. It sounded like a flock of birds.

If he still did not come to their rescue, they pushed themselves to where I was. It was rather hilarious. We also went out for supper, did our monthly grocery shopping, and stopped at a few other stores. It was quite late when we came home. Who cares? We are on vacation.

Saturday was kick-off day for the summer reading program here in Martin County. This year our local branch hosted the Busch Wildlife Refuge Center. They rescue injured or deserted animals. They brought several critters and shared their stories with us. This is a little alligator (I am sure you could have figured that out for yourself).

This is an albino corn snake.

This was not just a oppossum. He was brain damaged. I know your heart is touched.

This is one amazing skunk. It was neat to learn more about this smelly fellow.

One of my favorites--the barn owl.

The last animal was a hawk. The kids really enjoyed seeing all of the critters up close.

We left the library and went to Samuel's Sunday school picnic. The Budensieks did a nice job of planning this event. Here they are playing an action-packed game.

Julianna and Samuel enjoying themselves.

Doyle noticed his cell phone was gone while we were out Friday night. We hoped it was at home. He had it set on vibrate, so when we returned home, he called the number and we began to look. We found it under the couch. He knew he had not put it there and suspected Joseph as the culprit. Sure enough, when we were at the park on Saturday, I saw him come up to the bench where I was sitting and take Doyle's phone and palm pilot out of their cases. I captured him on camera.

He then took the phone up in the tree with him. I as sure we would have thought to look there.

Does this look like a guilty face? We will have to keep an eye on him.

We are so excited about the summer's activities. I have put up their behavior charts to make sure they know what I expect out of them. I am glad to have them home.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Giddyup Gideon!!

The big musical of the year for the elementary students(1-6) was Tuesday night. This is a production that is worked on all year long. The kids were great!! This great Bible story was told with a cowboy flavor. We truly enjoyed the experience.

Here is Julianna singing with her class.

Samuel listens intently.

Here he is singing his solo.

I think Lydia knew I was taking her picture.

I caught Joseph working on his conducting skills while we were cleaning up.

I decided to serve an authentic cowboy meal before going to the program--soup beans with ham and cornbread.

I was very touched when I heard the kids singing "Torches and Trumpets for the Lord." I used this as an opportunity to remind them that this is what life is all about--being an instrument to be used by God.
If you are interested in seeing the program, it was live-streamed. I am not sure if it is on the archives yet, but probably will be soon.