Friday, November 30, 2007

What To Doo Doo About It

I have to laugh about it or else I would cry. We all know that crying accomplished nothing. Well, it does help to let it out, but it doesn't fix anything. We have been having trouble with our septic tank. Well, think about it, there are 8 dwellers in our Castello!

One would think, "No problem, just get it pumped and be done with it!". There is a problem, you see, no project is EVER that easy in our Casetllo. :o) We had the septic pumped in June. A couple of weeks ago, we started having problems again. We would ease up on the water usage. I would cut back on my laundry which is not easy for a family of 8. Then came Thanksgiving. BAMM! Problems again. Frustration hit, but we tried to make the best of it.

Ok, family is gone. Time to get the problem fixed. I thought, "No problem, just call the septic company. Have them come over, check our tank and if need be, just have them expand it or whatever it is that needs to be done." Well, even though we own our 5 acres, apparently we have to get a "PERMIT" to get it inspected and see what needs to be done. Boy did that tick me off! It's my property, WHY do I have to ask permission to do something?! Thus began my run around...

I called the office and asked what did I need to bring with me in order to get the permit. They named two things. My Knight looked for it and gave it to me. I took it in. When I got there, the lady told me, " You also need these other things." She handed me a checklist. I told her I had called the day before and was told I only needed two things. She proceeded to tell me that she didn't know who I had spoken to, but they always ask for all this other things. URGH!!!! I KNEW I should of asked the name of the person who I had spoken to the day before. Well, I got the checklist and I told her I'd be back the next day. I went to and got a letter stating that we don't have sewer access. Even though I told them we didn't, but they needed a letter stating that. Ok, now I'm ready to get all the paperwork started.

This morning, they called to tell us that the car Still Waters was driving yesterday was ready to be picked up. It has four new wheels and it's been aligned. I figured great, Daughter of the King can drop me off and as a test drive, I'll drive to the "permit" office and get that done. When I get to the tire place, I look for my credit card and it's not there. URGH! I was using a new wallet and couldn't find it. We drove back home to get the card. I looked in my old wallet and couldn't find it. Panic set in. Oh no, I lost my cards! I looked again in my new wallet and found the card tucked away. It's the emergency card. I even have a rubber band around it with a paper saying, "DO NOT USE". I'm a compulsive buyer and seeing that deters me from using it. Daughter of the King drives me back and I finally get on my way. I arrive at the "permit" office and... it's closed! URGH!!!! The roll down window was down. On it was a paper that said, "this office is closed the second Wednesday of the month and the last Friday of the month. I could hear the ladies behind the rolled down window. The lady knew I was coming back today. I told her so yesterday. She didn't tell me they would be close. The only way to see that sign is when the window is rolled down. Oh, did I mention that when I sat in the car, the seat was still wet from the night before? And that the tow truck driver, after laying in the mud trying to put the chain on the wheels sat in my car? And that after I sat in my car, my hinnie got mud on it too? Yep, it was a fun day.

Sometimes I wonder if I'm a Libertarian. I understand why we have laws and why we have to abide by them. But come on, does my left foot really need to ask permission from my right foot to do something? Why does it have to be that way with our government. I love my country, but sometimes, the people really get in the way. If we all could just be more civilized, we wouldn't have to have all these laws. But, that's another story...

I have to say though, that my Knight came to the rescue. He took me out on a date. I love my man! We ate Italian, which is my favorite. But not only that, my meal was steak and fettuccine noodles with spinach. Steak, my favorite! Then we had a to die for dessert! From there we went to Books-A-Million, one of my favorite stores. We strolled the mall and headed back home. It was great! Hey, I'm a pretty easy gal to please. All is forgotten, well at least until I think about it again...

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Mom, Something Is Wrong With The Car

While I was in the process of trimming the Warrior's hair, Daughter of the King handed me my cell phone. "Mom, something is wrong with the car. I had to pull off on the side of the road." My heart stopped beating.

Those are some of the words a parent doesn't want to hear. Still Waters was on the way home from SU. The drive is about 35-45 minutes. It's a two lane road from our Castello to SU. For about 25 minutes of that ride, all you see are trees. My first concern was, she's alone, she's 19 years old and a beautiful Fair Maiden.

I quickly got into my car and drove as fast as I could, to be with my Baby Girl. I called my Knight and he told me to have the car towed to the place we usually take our cars to get new tires. I called good ole' AAA. An hour and a half later, the tow truck showed up. By that time, we had been dinner for many mosquitoes and it was drizzling. My Knight arrived a short time after the tow truck. Once my Knight got there, Still Waters and I left for home.

When we were half way home, my Knight called. Another tow truck was needed. Still Waters had parked the car a little too far off the road. She has seen plenty of videos of reckless drivers hitting parked cars. The problem was that it was way close to a ditch. The ditch was not easy to see, cause the grass was so high. I was told it was a miracle she didn't lose control of the car and that the car didn't flip. So, they all waited for the second tow truck. My Knight didn't make it home until 8p. This whole ordeal started at 3:30p.

I can't begin to share how I felt when Still Waters called me. Crazy thoughts came and went. I began to silently pray. But I have to say, that for the past 2-3 weeks, I've been praying more fervently than ever before. I don't know why, but my spirit has not been at ease. I know that our family is under attack. I know that many of my friends are also under attack. I know that spiritual warfare is something people don't like to talk about. But I'm a firm believer that satan exists and that this world is his playground. I have been praying for a hedge of protection around my family and those we know and love. There have been so many incidents where, we know that God has shielded us. We see miracles every day, but sometimes we are just too busy to take notice.

Today, I'm thankful for God's protection. For His Word and promises. Take the time to look around today. Expect a miracle....

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The Day After Thanksgiving

A couple of years ago, we went to Miami for Thanksgiving. Boss Lady (my sister) had it at her home. We had a great time. Not only did my dad's side of the family attend the dinner, but my mom's side of the family did too. It was an awesome gathering.

That year, she managed to talk me into going shopping with her the following day. I had never been shopping on the day after Thanksgiving, so I said sure. I didn't have anything to get, but I thought I'd keep her company. WHAT WAS I THINKING?! We only went to one store, Toys-R-US. I can't begin to share what a horrible experience that was! There were people shoving, taking things from other peoples carts, grabbing things out of peoples hands, it was horrible! Suffice to say that I've never ever done that again. :o)

So this year, apparently she has forgotten how I felt about it, she asked me to go shopping with her on the day after Thanksgiving. I looked at her and told her, "You are crazy! I'll never do that again!" I'm proud to say, that I didn't allow her to sway me. She has a way of making me do things I really don't want to. Well, I know no one can make someone do something, but I'm such a compliant, weak, people person, that I end up caving in and doing what she wants, even though I'm the oldest one. How messed up is that! LOL! Well, I didn't go. :o) But Sabimbi, my mom went with her. She dropped her at the front entrance and then went to park the car and wait. She took a book to keep her busy and she just waiting until my the Boss Lady was done. She was back home within 1 hr. She found the two items she was looking for and came home. She told me, "See, it wasn't so bad." No, I'm not doing that again. :o)

We spent the day playing games and helping Drama Queen, my niece, set up her facebook account. We "grazed" on leftovers all day long. When dinner time came along, my dad decided he wanted fried rice. So he went out and brought some home, even though there was plenty of leftovers.

At around 9p, we finally decided to head to the Happy Place downtown. All the Christmas decorations were up and we wanted to walk around and take pictures. The only ones that went were, Boss Lady, Drama Queen, Soaring Amongst The Clouds, Still Waters, Daughter of the King and I. Everyone else just hung around the Castello playing games and watching tv. We had a great time but I was one tired puppy! We didn't get home until 1am. I don't think I'll be doing that again anytime soon.

Mother and daughter at each other's throats. This is very typical of them. The Boss Lady and Drama Queen could be a carbon copy of each other in everything. Well except when it comes to fashion. Boss Lady is elegant and flashy. Drama Queen is more down to earth but into labels.

G.I. Joe, Papi and my Knight spent some time outdoors "fixing" things. :o) My parents brought me an avocado and mango plant. Can't wait until they give fruit. I know it'll be a few years. :o( they also brought me two other plants. In Spanish one is called Galan de Medianoche and the other one is called, Ayer, Hoy y Siempre. Translated the first one is Midnight Gallant and the other one is Yesterday, Today and Forever. Sounds better in Spanish. LOL! Their flowers a beautiful! Their fragrance matches their Spanish names. I picked the spot and they planted it for me. :o)

My dad really enjoys visiting us. Here he's petting our Nubian goat. Her name is Belle. We got her for Christmas about 6 years ago. She was 3 months old at the time. She's very friendly. Always goes right up to the fence to be petted.

My sister caught The Warrior pretending to ah... how can I say this without sounding crass... pee on my gardenias. It's hard to see, but he's holding the water hose and making it look like, well, you know. He's so mischievous! But boy do I love this boy!

This is the Seamstress. She's my Knight's mom. This is a rarity. We don't have many pictures of her smiling. She was very happy that my family came to visit. They all get along very well.

Here we are at the Happy Place Downtown. My sister and I had fun trying out different hats. My sister ended up buying the one she has one. For New Years, she and Drama Queen are going skiing with some friends. She plans on wearing her hat when she skis.

Us girls having fun shopping around. Can you believe it? I know it's hard to see, but we are all showing teeth! :o)

This is at an awesome Cuban restaurant owned by a famous singer. They serve authentic Cuban cuisine. Restaurant is decorated with Cuban decor. The male waiters wear Guayaberas. Which are traditional Cuban shirts. They have a dance floor and a band playing salsa music. My sister went down to the dance floor to take a picture of us on the stairs. No too much after she took this picture we were told we aren't allowed to stand in the stairway. Yikes! My sister ended up dancing until the song ended. I would of joined her, but my Fair Maidens would of fainted! LOL!

I fell in love with this mask. I just had to have a picture taken. Funny how we can be someone totally different when we wear a mask.

Boss Lady and Drama Queen were trying to explain to me what a "chonga" is. I had never heard of the word. But apparently its popular in South Florida. The chonga girls labeled themselves with this name. Here they were calling me a chonga because of the hat I'm wearing.

Still Waters was the only Fair Maiden willing to try on a hat and pose with her mama. She's really stepping outside her box. You go girl! ;o)

We had great fun with these masks. We took quite a few pictures. Once we were done, my sister decided to see how much they cost. We almost fainted when we realized we were "playing" with $150! OUCH! Still Water's mask was my favorite.

Didn't I tell you that this was the norm? Glad I was able to capture the moment. There is never a dull moment when these two are around.

We all had a great time. We literally closed the place down. The ride home was quite. We were ready to spend the next day quietly at home. But that was not to be the case. Boss Lady always has to be on the go. She gets antsy if she's indoor for too long. The next day I was too tired to tag along. She took my Fair Maidens and Drama Queen to see Enchanted. After that they walked the mall for a while. Then they came home. My Knight had grilled some steaks and we also cooked some potatoes. By the time they got home, dinner was ready. We had chocolate cake for dessert and then we all called it a night. It was definitely an action packed weekend. But then again, when my sister is involved, when isn't it?!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Thanksgiving In Our Castello

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving. My family from Miami came up to visit. The Seamstress is living with us, so she was here too. Steps also came over. Scrapper, Airman G and KT came by to pay us a visit too. It was a weekend filled with family and friends. The fun and not so fun kept us busy all weekend long.

Where do I even start! My family arrived late Wednesday night. They drove up in one car. Boss Lady's (my sister) car is nice big suburban, so it was a comfortable ride. Papa (my nephew) was the only one that didn't come this time around. He's been having some anger and attitude problems. Due to an altercation they had, the therapist said he should not go on the trip. Papa is 11 years old, but he's a tall, big boy. He is physically very strong. He has gotten physically assertive with my sister. We all missed him terribly and were sorry to hear that he wasn't able to spend Thanksgiving with us.

We took so many pictures, but I'll spare you and only share a few. Be forewarned, I look very tired and haggard. I was a little emotionally stress and physically whooped, but the why, I will leave for another day.

Here I have the first love of my life... my dad and the man of my life... my Knight. My Knight is the one that cooked the turkey. Oh, and no, that was not the only turkey plate. There were a total of three overflowing plateful of turkey and some still left in the pan. My Knight is an EXCELLENT chef. I love my man in blue! He's sooooooo HOT! And not because he was in the kitchen!

Papi (my dad) and his four and only granddaughters. From left to right: Drama Queen, Soaring Amongst The Clouds, Daughter of the King and Still Waters. My dad loves the t-shirt he has on. He owns over 25 of them. He loves this country. He passed down his patriotism to all his children. We are so blessed to live here.

Step's family had their dinner earlier than we did. They had invited Daughter of the King to eat with them. So they had two Thanksgiving dinners. LOL!

Boss Lady and my two Squires. From left to right: The Warrior, Boss Lady and G.I. Joe. I was amazed that I was able to catch both of my Squires smiling at the same time. You think that they are getting use to this "mamarazzi"? LOL!

The only one missing in this picture is the Boss Lady. Then again, she's the one taking the picture. Step's mom is all the way on the left. We took this right before she left. Steps was with us until 11p. We played games after our dinner. We had a great time playing Imaginiff.

I love this picture. I guess it's because I love my dad. :o) I miss him not having him around. At least I get to talk to him. Praise God for modern technology and cingular phones. ;o)

My mom Sabimbi, is a difficult one to get a picture of. I guess now you know who my children take after. LOL! I know it's hard to see, but my mom has the smoothest complexion that I've ever seen. Her secret? Water and aloe. She buys fresh aloe. She cuts it and puts on the creamy milk on her face. She lets it dry and then rinses it off. She is very much into the "natural" stuff. She is 65 years old. Takes no medication for her arthritis or any pain relievers. She eats lots fresh fruits and vegetables and drinks LOTS of water. If she does have pain, she makes her own home remedies.

WOW! All but one is showing teeth. LOL! Instead of saying "smile", we say, "show some teeth". Mainly cause my Fair Maidens manage to smile but with closed lips. As for my sister and my niece, they "show teeth" without even anyone asking. Smiles are so contagious. We should all do it more often.

Need I say it again? I LOVE MY DAD!!! I miss you Papi, wish you were here...

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

A Visit With My Doc

For quite some time, I've had some trouble swallowing. Not just food, but liquids too. In 2003, I was told I had something called cranial settling or cranial instability. I was told that having trouble swallowing is one of the side effects. But I wonder if that's what I have or is it something else.

What is Cranial Settling or cranial instability? Here's what I found: The uppermost bony portion of the neck is called the dens or odontoid process. The skull rests on this process and rotates. Cranial settling occurs when this bone protrudes into the hole in the base of the skull called the foramen magnum. This can be congenital (from birth) or from conditions such as Paget's disease or arthritis. Cranial settling can cause pain in the lower part of the skull and upper neck. It may also cause compression of the spinal cord, which may cause extremity weakness, numbness and symptoms found in chiari malaformation. This condition can be treated by surgical removal of the dens followed by instrumented cervical fusion.

A couple of months ago, I decided to see my family doc about it. I had noticed (quite some time ago) that the right side of my neck was swelling up. Aside from the swelling up, I could also feel a small lump. He ordered a barium swallow. Nothing showed up. Praise The Lord! \o/ But my problem still continues. So I saw him a couple of months after that. He gave me some steroids to see if it would help. I don't like taking steroids. It makes me feel great. But on the flip side, it makes me very moody and it make my temper's ugly head pop out. No matter how I try to be be calm, the ugliness comes out.

Today he gave me some antibiotics. He wants to see if that will take care of it, that's if it's a salivary glad inflammation. I'm taking the med for two weeks. Should it go away, then all is solved. If it doesn't, he's going to order a ct-scan. He's thinking it might be a cyst, lymph node or something else. I can't remember the name. If it is, it has to be removed. I'm not worried about it cause I know who is in control. ;o) What ever it is, it will be good to be able to look sideways and to swallow without having pain. Once again, I have to say, I'm thankful that this is happening to me and not my beloved family. God is good... ALL the time!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

It's Not "Just" A List

This mornings service was unbelievable! It had was about being thankful. Mr. Dr. Pastor Sir (our pastor) focused on three things to be thankful for, Friends, Family and Faith.

First off let me explain how we (my family) came to call our Pastor by that name. Plain and simple, he's a Mr. he's got a doctorate, he's our senior pastor, and he's a Sir. That's a lot of titles for someone that's only in his early 30's! We are truly blessed to have him as our pastor.

Ok, back to this mornings service. Mr. Dr. Pastor Sir had us open our bibles to Romans 16. He spoke about how Paul listed some of his friends. He shared a little about them, how much they meant to him and the effect they had on his life. He then had us write the names of people who we were thankful for. People who had an effect on our lives. This list was about people in general, not family. I listed people who helped me in my spiritual walk. Cunningham was the first Christian I had ever met. He not only talk the talk, but he walked it too. He was my Knight's Army buddy. His light shined so brightly that others "wanted" to be around him. Even when he asked those around him not to use fowl language. They respected him for taking a stand. They honored his request. Carrie, a very young lady who worked in the department next to where I worked. We weren't really friends but we were acquaintances. She saw me hurting when my beloved brother died. Even though she was not attending church, she invited me to the church she grew up going to. My Knight, how can I not have him in my list. He's my accountability partner. He's my soul mate, he's my better half. Emily and Carlos, they answered all my questions and helped me realize that I needed Jesus Christ. My Knight and I asked Jesus Christ to be our Lord and Savior while sitting on Emily and Carlos' couch. Myrna was my neighbor and closest friend. I could share my heart with her and know that she would not gossip about it. Carol and Dave were our first Sunday School teachers. They ministered to my Knight, my family and I. For that, I will forever be grateful. Cheryl took me under her wing. She was my mentor without her even knowing it. She was and is what Proverbs 31 talks about. The Ladies of the HAUS are prayer warriors. They are wise and knowledgeable. They are my sisters in Christ.

After we wrote our list, Mr. Dr. Pastor Sir, went on to say how this list, our list, is not "just" a list. This list mattered. Where would we be without the people on this list? He shared about the impact, the Vietnam Wall in Washington had on him, but not just him, those around him too. The list of names was not "just" a list. They were someone's son, father, brother, nephew, cousin, friend, daughter, sister or niece. Those people mattered. I'm a visual person and when he mentioned the Vietnam Wall it brought it all in perspective to me. I've seen this wall. I do not know any of those names on the wall. But I couldn't help feeling a sense of loss. Those names mattered to someone.

Mr. Dr. Pastor Sir went on to say how important a family is. He asked us to turn to Ephesians 5:20-33. As Christians we are to submit to one another in fear of God. Now, the word fear in this passage, doesn't mean be scared, but it means: awe, reverence, respect, and devotion. He spoke of how we, as wives are to respect our husbands. He also spoke about how husbands are to love their wives. How they are to love their own wives as their own body. Talk about drying to self! All we, as wives have to do is, to our husbands as we submit unto the Lord. Our husbands have it much harder. They are to love us as they love themselves! Being that they are the head of their wives, just like Christ is the head of the church, the leadership falls on them. As wives if we stay under our husband's covering and our husbands are to stay under God covering. By doing this, we will be honoring God. I know that it's easier said than done. But if done, imagine the blessings! From there he went onto Ephesians 6:1-4. Children, no matter what age, meaning me of 44, are to honor our father and mother. Why? So that it may go well. Think about the peace and harmony that can be achieved if we obey God's word. I know that "when" I do obey God's word, I have a peace about what is happening. There is comfort in knowing that you are following Him. There is peace knowing that you are obeying.
Mr. Dr. Pastor Sir also spoke about, how we as parents are not to "provoke" our children. Without realizing it, I provoke my children. I don't realized until it's too late. The words have been said, the deed has been done. But our God is a mighty God. The word "sorry" is a mighty word. Asking for forgiveness is very cleansing. It helps to restore relationships. The key is to catch yourself before you provoke them. Lord, help me not to provoke my children.

The last thing Mr. Dr. Pastor Sir spoke about was faith. He asked us to turn to Ephesians 1. To tell you the truth, I was so into what he spoke about friends and family, that I didn't get to take notes on what he said about faith. I thought, no problem, I'll remember when I get home. Yeah, right! Then our evening service ROCKED so much, that it made me completely forget write down what he said about faith.

For the evening service. The youth theater group performed some skits. They were all great. Then Mr. Dr. Pastor Sir continued talking about "it's not 'just' a list". He mentioned how the Book of Life when mentioned in scripture is really more a Scroll of Life. He went into detail about that. It was very interesting. He's big on history, which we love, cause we are big into history too. Well from there we went into a business meeting. Towards the end of the meeting there were people who needed to be added as members to our church. He said that membership matters. It says, "you are committed". What he did at this time, to me, was beyond words. We got a glimpse of what it "might" be like, when we get to heaven and they'll look for our name in the Book of Life. He had all the names of the new members written in a scroll. He opened it up and started reading the names. After he read each name we would all quote a scripture. First one was, "Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord". Then we sang Victory in Jesus. The next scripture we could (after each name called) was, "Give thanks to the Lord, call on his name."-1 Chronicles 16:8, then we sang Amazing Grace. Next was, "Give thanks to the Lord for He is good. His love endures forever."-1 Chronicles 16:34 and we sang Bless The Lord Oh My soul. Then it was, "Oh Lord my God I will give you thanks forever."-Psalm 30:12. After that one we quoted, "Now our God we give you thanks and praise your glorious Name."-1 Chronicles 29:13 and we sang, Great Is Thy Faithfulness after the series of names. During this series of names, our children's names we called out. We quoted, "We give thanks to you O God, we give thanks for your name is near."-Psalm 75:1. For the next names we said, "We give thanks to you Lord God all mighty." -Revelation 11:7 and we sang Victory In Jesus. For the last group of names we said, "Thanks be to God for His incredible gifts."-2 Corinthians 9:15 and we sang the Doxology.

Today's services were AMAZING! What I've shared doesn't even do the service justice. It was certainly Spirit lead. I am a visual person. When Mr. Dr. Pastor Sir rolled out the scroll and started to read the names, it helped me to "see" just how important it is that our names be in the Book of Life. That list of names is not just a list, it's THE LIST. Every person matters to God. I know that my name is on that list... is yours? I pray it is. If you aren't sure, ask me how you too can have your name in the Book of Life.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

All In One Day

I have got to say that my children have outdone themselves. I've always known that they can do anything they set their minds to. They have accomplished more in one day, than anything I could ever have done. Where do I even start?!

I had a rough night last night. I was up all night, I felt for sure I was going to end up in the hospital, but God had mercy on me. PTL! \o/ So, I didn't meander out of bed until 10a. By the time I got up, my Knight and Daughter of the King had done the Thanksgiving groceries and everyone had had breakfast. What did they have? Well, Daughter of the King fixed biscuits and gravy. YUCK!!! I won't even tell you what that makes me thing of. Glad I missed that! But my Fair Maidens like it and so does my Knight. The Warrior woke up feeling much better. PTL! \o/

Soaring Amongst The Clouds spent most of the day at LS working with her partner. They have to put together a project for one of their classes. She's so organized. Thank God she takes after her dad. Her partner isn't as organized and is struggling to understand what they need to do. I'm sure that it will all come together and they will do an outstanding job.

We are having Thanksgiving dinner at our home. We are all very excited about it. My dad, mom, sister, niece and nephew will staying with us for 5 days. My mother in love (The Seamstress) is already living with us, so she's having dinner with us too. More on her on another post. We've also decided to host the college/career Sunday School class Christmas party. Since we really won't have much time in between to decorate, our children decided to get it all done before Thanksgiving. So....

Today they spent the day doing what my friend calls, "blessing our home", known to others as, cleaning our home. I'm not talking about dusting and vacuuming. I'm talking about nick and cranny, organizing, moving around type of cleaning. I started helping them out. I got as far as dusting and then I got dizzy. So I had to take a brake. After my brake, my Knight and I went to Lowe's to look for a French Door (more on this on another post). From there we went to purchase another cell phone. Our next stop was Wal-Mart. We bought a universal tv control (ours was dying) and a new pair of jeans for our G.I. Joe. He's growing up so fast. Then we headed home. Oh no, one more stop this time at Walgreen's. We picked up a medication refill and two bars of chocolate. Which we started to eat the minute we got into the car. I love having "dates" with my Knight. It doesn't matter where we go, as long as we are together. While we were gone, G.I. Joe mowed 1 1/2 of our acres. He cleaned himself up and started to help his siblings.

I scrapbook, well, I use to. I've got quite a collection of "stuff". I had it all stacked up on and under a card table, in the corner of our dinning room. We also had two of our sewing machines, some material and sewing patters stacked around that area. I had pictures galore in my hutch. It was all quiet unsightly. I'm quite the pack rat. I'm proud to say, that they cleared out EVERYTHING in that area. It doesn't even look like the same dinning room! Where did they put all of my "stuff"? In the school room. They made room for ALL of it! My children ROCK!

By the time my Knight and I got back, everything was done. This year we won't be able to have a Christmas tree. The only place our Christmas tree fits is in our living room. But the Seamstress is staying in that room. So, the tree doesn't fit there. We are trying to come up with different ideas of what to do, until then, not tree. Even so, they had most of the Christmas decorations up. I was amazed. They even had candles lit and everything. Our Castello smelled heavenly. I'm sorry to say that I have pictures of anything that happened today. They did all this while I was gone. I'm doubly sorry to say that "they" did not take pictures either. They are definitely their father's children. Oh well, I won't have the memories of "seeing them" doing it, but they will have the memories of their time together.

It is Still Waters turn in the kitchen this week. But with her schedule, she really isn't home to be cooking, so Daughter of the King is the one that fills in. Still Waters enjoys cooking, so since she was home today, she wanted to cook. She made spaghetti and garlic bread. Our Squires have been wanting to learn to cook. So tonight, the Warrior helped with dinner. When I say helped, I mean he really did cook. He loved it. While he was stirring the spaghetti sauce, Soaring Amongst The Clouds went and patted him on his buttocks, he gave her "the look" and told her, "Not while a man's cooking." LOL!

In our Castello, we have a, "no phone until you get your driver's license" rule. Not the permit, but the license. We feel they don't "need" a phone. We are the ones that drive them everywhere. Also, where they go, there is always a phone, so they don't "need" one. Well Daughter of the King got her license last week. My Baby Girl is growing up. This coming February she will be 18! So we went to get a new phone. Except... the new phone is for me. Another rule is, mom or dad get the "new" phone and then the eldest can decide if she wants the "hand me down" phone or keep the one she has. Soaring Amongst The Clouds wanted to keep her own phone. Still Waters got mine and Daughter of the King got her sister's phone. Everyone is happy with their "new" phone. It's wonderful to have grateful children.

My children reminded me of the Army commercial on tv. The one that says, "We do more before 8am than most people do all day." My children have great work ethics. I wish I could say I had something to do with it, but I have to give credit where credit is due. My Knight has taught them well. I'm the dreamer, free spirited, easy going one. He's the straight arrow, by the book, wise, practical one. I bring goofiness into his life and he lifts me up. We balance each other out beautifully. I'm so blessed.

Friday, November 16, 2007

The Cows Do

Last night my Warrior had a fever of 101.6, so I gave him some meds. By the time he went to bed, he no longer had a fever. He's had a cold for the last 2-3 days. Hate is a very strong word. It's a word we don't use in our home. But between you and me... I hate it when my children are sick. My heart goes out to them. But this morning he woke up with no fever. He's still congested, but at least the fever is gone. Today for school, we will focus on just reading.

My Warrior is more susceptible to getting sick than the average child. He was born with Alpha Thalassemia. But to look at him you'd never think he has this blood disorder. He does have dark circle under his eyes, but come summer time, one can't tell. He is very active and a great natural athlete. He excels at whatever he sets his mind to. He's got his daddy's drive and competitiveness. Well, he's got a double dose of competitiveness. ;o)

My Warrior carries this quilt with him, whenever he gets up in the morning. The quilt will be on the couch for the rest of the say until bed time. He loves it! His sisters made it for him for Christmas. Soaring Amongst The Clouds and I do not sew, but we helped pick the materials. Still Waters and Daughter of the King were the ones that made the quilt. If you look closely, there are cow prints. He LOVES cows. When he was two years old, the property next to us had many cows grazing. We would walk up to the fence and call the cows. He just loved looking at them. One day he and I were looking out our bay window. I told him, "Looks at the birds, God created the birds and God loves you, look at the sky, God created the sky and God loves you, your sisters love you, and you know who else loves you?" He told me, "The cows love me." I couldn't help but laugh. I was expecting him to say, "You love me or mommy loves me." But no, the cows love him. LOL!

This morning he was laying on the couch wrapped in his quilt. I laid down beside him and kissed his little face. I told him, "Your sisters love you so much, you know who else loves you?" With a twinkle in his eyes said, "Yes, the cows love me." Then he kissed me. Be still my heart...

*notice: In the first picture, hi little pillow case has a "moo moo" print. Our Daughter of the King made that for him.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

One Of Those Days

I woke up today feeling like I was run over by a truck. I know my body well enough. I could feel the flare up coming up. Today was the day it decided to strike.

I wasn't able to get out of bed until 12 noon. When I say that, I mean I wasn't physically able to get out. I was in too much pain. Once I was able to tolerate it, I took my meds and a heating pad and laid out in the couch. My Warrior needed some help with Science so we "schooled" on the couch. We do that very often. Ah... the beauty of homeschooling.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Camping Outside The Castello

My Knight decided to set up the tents. He enlisted the help of our Squires. Unfortunately, I didn't get a picture of them setting up four of the tents. I believe we own about 6 tents, but only 4 were . LOL! Well, what do you expect, our family kept growing and we had to keep buying bigger tents! :o) They only set up 4 cause those were the ones used recently and they needed to be cleaned up.

Since the tents were up, someone had the bright idea of camping out tonight. NOT ME! I'm cold blooded. It's only 58 and my fingers and toes are white! Those of you that know me personally, ah... know that, well, I'm of Cuban, Panamanian, Italian heritage. White is not my shade. LOL! Well, my fingers and toes turn white because I have Raynaud's Phenomenon and Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (lupus for short).

Ok, back to camping. Daughter of the King turned in early so she didn't camp out. The rest were waiting for a football game that they were watching to finish up. The team they were rooting for won. YEAH! So off they went...

Here we have my Knight and Still Waters. They were the last two to get into Camelot. This is our biggest tent. It sleeps 8. Which means, when we go camping we need another tent to hold our backpacks and whatever else we decide to take. Cause when it says it sleeps 8, it really means, that's it, only 8 can sleep there, no room for anything else!

This is the foyer of Camelot. All shoes are lined up and ready for slipping on in case someone has to make a dash for it. A couple of days ago, our neighbor called to warn us that a pack of 15-20 coyotes had tried to get to their cows. They took off when he shot at them. But we could still hear them howling. Not a sound I like. Oh, before everyone had headed out to sleep, we were all sitting watching the football game. Someone said we need to lock the gate. Then Soaring Amongst The Clouds said, "No, it would make no difference, they'll dig under the hole." LOL! We all couldn't stop laughing. Another one of her "isms". We all knew she meant, that they'll just dig a hole under the fence. Her words can't keep up with her thoughts. Never a dull moment around here.

Soaring Amongst The Clouds (the one with the flashlight) is making sure there aren't any critters in the tent. She's very adventurous and loves the outdoors, but she DOES NOT like bugs! G.I. Joe is telling her, "There is nothing there!"

Still Waters is the one that gives me the hardest time when I try to take a picture of her. She was holding her flashlight, "Let's see how this turns out mom!" Very funny missy!

Four of my precious children. I don't think they'll be too cold tonight. I made sure they took their quilts or fleece blankets. G.I. Joe and Still Waters have their fleece blankets inside their sleeping bags. Sleep tight... I pray the ants won't bite.

I tried to sneak a picture of my Knight, but he's much too quick. URGH! Now you know who our children take after. :o) But then again, who better to take after than their dad?! MUAH!!! Love ya Babe. He kept asking me, "Are you sure you don't want to come and cuddle? I said, "Sure I want to cuddle, but not out hear, let's go inside." ;o)

Notice the skull cap my Warrior is wearing. It's a Marine skull cap. Airmen G gave him that cap. My Warrior is always talking about being a Marine when he grows up. I know he'll be great at whatever God leads him to be.

I know she's thinking, "Ok mom, enough is enough." But I love my sweet faced Still Waters. Thank you for being so tolerant. I know it isn't easy.

I can't believe that I caught her laughing. It is pitch dark out there. All the pictures I took I had no clue how they were turning out, unless I would stop and play back what was taken. Since none of them are very co-operative, I have no time to check. Except for some reason, I saw that the picture taken before this one (not the one of Still Waters), but a picture I took of Soaring Amongst The Clouds, did not turn out. She had her eyes closed. So I was telling her, "Let me take it again, you had your eyes closed." She thought it was funny and was laughing about it. Unbeknown to me (or her), I clicked at the right time. YEAH!

My G.I. Joe was thrilled to be camping out. We had him sleep on one of ends because The Warrior moves around too much. Water would be seeping through before the night was over. Didn't want that to happen.

I can't wait to hear how it all went. As for me, I will sleep warmly in my heated waterbed, covered with my quilt and fleece blanket. Ah...

Friday, November 09, 2007

A Day At Our Castello

One would think that at a home with 8 dwellers, one wouldn't be able to hear them self think. That's not the case at our Castello. Keep in mind, that we no longer have babies, toddlers or young ones. Our children are older now.

Gone are the days of days of running around inside our Castello, cleaning little hands that have peanut butter and jelly on them, cutting up grapes so they don't choke on them, saying "no" a million times a day and telling them why, wiping dirt smudged cheeks, tripping over toys, using outdoor voices while we are indoor, well, you get the picture. That chapter of in our book of life has ended... at least for now. One day my Knight and I will once again be in a similar stage of our lives, but it will be as grandparents. We look forward to that day. For now when we see younger ones, we think, "Remember when...".

Our Castello is full of life. How can it not be with 8 dwellers! But it's a little different now that they are older. Soaring Amongst The Clouds attends classes all day on Tuesday and Thursday. Still Waters attends classes all day, all week. When they get home then they are busy doing their school work, in their room. Daughter of the King does all her work in her room. G.I. Joe and The Warrior, do their school work in our dinning room. That way, I'm right there to help if they need it. They do their reading on their beds. They are all self motivated. They got that from their daddy. By the time they were in 2nd grade they figured out that the if they got their seat work done early, they could have the rest of the day to do what they wanted to ... within reason of course. Well, all except The Warrior learned that at an early age. It took him longer. LOL! While they are busy on with school work, I'm usually on the computer, doing laundry, cleaning the bathrooms (mine & the guest), on the phone, doing a Sudoku puzzle or reading. If I'm having a flare up or a chiari day, I'm either in bed or on the couch. I could say that I don't have many of those days, but I'd be lying. More often than not, I'm having one of those days. My children know and understand. They are very caring and helpful. They ROCK! Here are a few pictures of what happens on any given day, at our Castello...

The Warrior: "Mom, can you come here?" I'll go and look, but can't find him. As I call out to him, I realize that I passed him. Look at the quilt closely....

He's hiding under the quilt. Yep, that's the Warrior. He's eleven and yes, we still play hide and seek. He likes to sneak up to me and just stand there quietly until I realize that he's there. He doesn't scare me, but he likes to see how long he can be standing behind me, without me realizing he's there.

Depending the homework they are doing, Soaring Amongst The Clouds and Still Waters will come down and grace us with their presence. They'll do their homework in our dinning room or on the couch, where we can all be together. I love it when that happens.

If the Fair Maidens are done with their homework, they'll play games. Blurt! is not a quiet game. I know that it's hard to believe, but the Fair Maidens are quite boisterous when they play. It's their competitive genes. They have a double dose of it, my Knights and mine. :o)

Card games are very popular at our Castello. I love watching them play together. Our Squires really miss having their older sisters around. If the phone rings and it's them, while I'm talking, he'll holler, "Hi -insert name". When the Warrior sees their car driving up, he runs yelling their name and saying, "-insert name... is home!" He'll greet them with a big hug and kiss. Everyone hangs around because they want to hear how their day went.

I'm so blessed that I've been able to stay home and be with my children 24/7. I look at them and I can't believe how time has flown by. Just yesterday I was changing diapers and tucking them in bed. Today I wait until they come home and share with me how their day went. I love my children. I love being a mom. All I've ever wanted was to be a wife and mom. I'm so blessed...

Saturday, November 03, 2007

A Day With Daughter Of The King

This weekend Soaring Amongst The Clouds and Still Waters went camping with the college/career Sunday School class. They went on the same trip last year and they had a great time. They get to camp on the beach.

They left the church, Friday around 2p. Since Still Waters has classes until 2:30p. and it's on the way to where they were heading, they stopped by the US to pick her up. I rode along so I could drive the car she used back home.

Well the meteorologist reported, that the temperature was going to dip and the Fair Maidens packed accordingly or at least one of them did. As Soaring Amongst The Clouds was packing some last minute stuff, we got to talking. We were wondering if Still Waters had packed her sweatshirt and jacket. Well she checked her sister's closet and she hadn't. So she packed it for her. Ah... sisterly love.

Since two of the Fair Maidens were gone for the weekend, that meant that the women were outnumbered in our Castello. That does not happen often. LOL! I decided to have a daughter and mother day on Saturday with my Daughter of the King.

Our day started out with her taking care of little ones at church while their moms attended a gathering. She was there until lunch time. I picked her up and I let her decide where she wanted to eat. She wanted Burger King. From there we went to Books-A-Millions. All of my Fair Maidens enjoy reading. We were there for over 2 hours! :o) We ended up purchasing Scooter's Christmas present. (*more on this later) Daughter of the King purchased a Christian t-shirt (yes, they now sell Christian accessories) for herself (in pink- which shocked me and will shock everyone else cause she never wears pink), a card for a friend and two gifts for two other friends. Oh, about Scooter's gift, I told his mom, that I was going to help build his library. I know he will get lots of toys from his grandparents and uncles. He has already has lots of cute outfits, so I figured books would be the way to go. She even takes him to mom & tot library time. So for his first Christmas present we got him, The First Christmas, The Night Before Christmas and A Charlie Brown Christmas dvd. We walked the mall for a little while and then headed out.

We really didn't want to go home, so we stopped at Dairy Queen to have some ice cream. The Dairy Queen is close to a quaint little town. I love visiting this little town. We decided to visit this little town's down town. We ate our ice cream while we window shopped. Once we were done with our ice cream, we went into my favorite shops. I shop so often in one of the shops that they know me by name. I know the owner likes me cause she knows I have 3 daughters and we are all fans of Vera Bradley. So when she sees me walk in, she sees $$$. LOL! But I have to admit she's an real nice lady and she always gives me the best deals. I also stopped in my favorite little shop that sells Crocs. Apparently new crocs are coming out for the winter. They have fleece lining to keep the toes toasty. I need to look into that. By the time we were done it was almost dinner time.

I can only speak for myself, but I had a wonderful time. We laughed and we talked. I had forgotten how wonderful it is to just laugh and talk with just my Daughter of the King. She has a smile that just brightens those around her. Thank you for spending the day with me... I love you sweetie!

I need to make a point to spend one on one time with each of my children. We really don't get to do that. My Fair Maidens are older now and are busy being college students and a senior in high school. I won't say I'll try, I'll say I will be spending some one on one time with them. That's if they have the time to spend with me...

“Do or do not, there is no try”
- Yoda

Thursday, November 01, 2007

True Confessions

One of the blogs I read regularly challenged her readers to be true. By this I mean to share the truth about themselves. She mentioned that bloggers only tend to share the good and not the bad. I think that if we share it all, it could minister to someone. It will help others to see that we are all human, we are all sinners. That none of us are perfect.

I don't want it to come across as I'm airing my dirty laundry. I will only share about me. I want to start of by saying that with me, what you see is what you get. What I've shared has not been sugar coated. Years ago, God convicted me of lying and gossip. He also convicted me of what I call, the sin of omission, that's when you don't say the "whole" truth, just part of it. I can't get away with lying even if I wanted to. Why? Because my Knight and Fair Maidens read my entries. They would so call me on it. Isn't accountability wonderful?! :o)

This is just sharing from my heart, in hopes that it might minister to someone. I'm a sinner saved by grace. Well, I'll start off by sharing 15 things off the top of my head, cause I don't know where else to start. LOL! So here goes...

* I'm OCD about keeping my white clothes, white. But also about keeping my colored clothes stain free. I'll spray oxyclean and scrub by hand until all stains are gone.

* I'm a coke-aholic and a junk food junkie. I know it's not good for me, but I have an "I don't care" attitude about it. BUT...

* Because I know that junk food is not good for you, I'm more careful about my children's eating habits. So I guess you could say that I'm basically telling them (with my actions), "do as I say, not as I do". I know, I'm not the ideal roll model.

* If I'm not going out, I'll stay in my pj's all day.

* I clean my commode every other day.

* For some reason, when the laundry is all caught up, I feel that all is well. Needless to say, that laundry is always caught up.

* Now, that doesn't mean it gets folded right away. LOL! But as I take it out of the dryer, it gets laid out carefully in the basket so it doesn't get wrinkled.

* I'm not organized and to boot, I'm a pack rat. BUT our Castello only takes 30 minutes to tidy up, even though it's almost 3000 sq ft. Remember, there are seven living here. That's lots of hands to help tidy up. ;o)

* I am the last one to go to bed and the last one to get out of bed. I know I'll be chastised about this but, there are days I don't get out of bed until 10am.

* But there is a reason for that, I don't sleep straight through the night. I get up 3 or 4 times a night. And no it's not to go to the bathroom. Since I'm up during the night, I pray.

* For the last three months I've been having inner struggles. My mother in love, The Seamstress can no longer live on her own. She has dementia. So she is now living with us. She is a negative, criticizing, prejudice person. I'm not use to that. I have laid it at my Heavenly Father's feet and the weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I know that He is in control.

* I am an impulsive or compulsive buyer. Which is not good since we are a one income family of seven.

* I know that my Knight is level headed, logical, organized, methodical, think ahead kind of person. Even so, I still struggle with submitting to him. I know in my heart that I am to submit to my husband. But my mind and flesh sometimes want no part of that. Not only do I end up paying the price for my foolish pride, but so does my family.

* I know that this will ruffle some feathers. I don't believe there is anything wrong with drinking alcoholic beverages. But I do feel that we need to be careful not to get drunk. Scriptures says, "And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit"- Ephesians 5:18

* I also know that I can not cause some one to sin. We can't make someone do something. But I feel strongly about tempting some one to possibly sin. I know my limit of alcohol... 1. LOL! FOOT NOTE: MY KNIGHT DOES NOT DRINK ANY ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES. I on the other hand, enjoy having a Margarita. My mom (Sabimbi) makes an AWESOME Pina Colada and Egg Nog (family recipe). I enjoy having some of that. But I will not have it around others. My reason is, because I do not know if others can handle alcohol. I do not want to cause someone to stumble. Let me share why... Years ago, my Knight and I went dancing. We went with a my sister, her husband, our cousins and a high school friend of my sister and her husband. This young man unbeknown to me could not control his drinking. No the men (except for my Knight) had ordered a drink. Then every one went to the dance floor to dance. All of a sudden we heard a commotion. The bouncers were attempting to escort my the young man who came along with us. All them men went over and tried to calm him down. He was belligerent. I had never seen anyone act that way. It made an impact on me. Ever since then, I vowed that I would never have alcohol in front of any one or have it in our Castello. The alcohol is not bad. It's just that some can't control themselves. One never knows who can or who can't handle a drink, so why tempt them?

So there, now you know 15 pretty private things about me. Well, not that you have to, but care to confess? :o)