Saturday, August 30, 2008

Who Knew?!

A couple of years ago, there was a Nike commercial that went, "Bo Knows...". It was about a baseball /football player named Bo Jackson. The commercial had a ditty that said, "Bo Knows... baseball... Bo Knows football... Bo knows basketball... tennis, ice hockey." Then they show him trying to play the guitar along with blues legend Bo Diddley. At that point Bo Diddley says, "Bo (Jackson) you don't know diddley. It was a cute commercial. It all started because he played baseball and footbal. And he was good at it.

You must be thinking, "Woman, where are you going with this?!" Well, we have a Bo in our Castello, except his name is G.I. Joe. Let me tell you how, "G.I. Joe Knows..." came to be...

G.I. Joe has played baseball since he was 5 years old. He's very good at it too. Then a couple of years ago, he said he wanted to play football. Me heart stopped! My first thought was, "My Baby is going to get killed!" Turns out, he was very good at it too. He enjoyed it too. Much to mom's dismay. But he was asked to play in an AAU baseball team and he was thrilled about it. So football got put in the back burner. PRAISE THE LORD! \o/ After two seasons, of playing year round baseball, he went back to playing just little league. YEAH!!! No more traveling ball.

Now that he's a homeschooling high school freshman, who's enrolled in an umbrella school, he's not allowed to play for the local high school. We opted not to enroll him through the county because we didn't want him to graduate with a GED. As as student who is enrolled in an umbrella private school, he will graduate with a scholar diploma.

Since the umbrella school we enrolled with doesn't have an athletic department (no sports offered), that meant he could only play little league. Well, actually we could find any sports and be on a traveling team, but that's not cheap. It cost lots of $ and that's not a road we want to take.

So began our search to find a private school that welcomes homeschoolers. After many calls and inquiring with friends, we found a local private school, that is homeschool friendly. I called them up and asked if they had a baseball team. They told me yes, but during the Spring. Being that it's the fall season, they were offering soccer. The athletic director told me if he's interested in playing we'd love for him to come and play on the team.

After discussing it, G.I. Joe decided he wanted to play. Mind you, he's never played before. In order for him to play, he needed some soccer gear and a sports physical. All this by Monday's practice. Little did I know that the team had been practicing for two weeks already. So he was already behind schedule. Off we went early Monday morning. We bought his gear and got his physical done all by 2:30p. Practice was at 3p. Good thing the dr.'s office was close to the school.

He showed up early for practice. G.I. Joe is a friendly enough guy. But this was the first time he he would be with a group of youth that he doesn't even know. Well, turns out two of his friends from church started attending that school. One is a soccer player and the other decided to play this year for the first time.

G.I. Joe was tired by the time practice was over. Conditioning for soccer is different than for baseball. Before he left, the coach mentioned that all the players had run 5 miles during the week, so G.I. Joe had to run 5 miles before the first game on Thursday. So he had 3 days to run 5 miles. He's never even run 1 mile. My poor Baby! But he lived up to our family motto, "Max out or black out!" HOOYAH!!! He ran 2 miles on Tuesday, 2 miles on Wednesday and 1 mile on Thursday (game day). Mind you, he had practice on all those days (except Wednesday it's church day). He ran his miles at home.

Game Day was on Thursday. He didn't expect to even play cause he had joined the team late. So he was surprised when they called him over and told him to go in for someone. When I saw him in the field, my heart stopped. I mean, I knew he was going to play, but soccer is such a "physical" game. I didn't want my Baby to get hurt! But let me tell you... he held his own. WAY TO GO BABY!!! He almost scored a goal too! YEAH BABY!!! I should mention that we lost the game. I'm not trying to give excuses. The other team was better. We have some players that have never played before... including G.I. Joe.

When the game was over, we all went out to eat dinner. While at the restaurant, the coach came up to me and told me, "I thought you said he'd never played before?! He's a natural!". I thanked him and told him, it was true, G.I. Joe has never played soccer up until that week. When I went to sit down with some of the other moms, they made the same comment. Needless to say I was very proud of him. But then again, I'm always proud of my children.

Warming up a little before the game...

I believe this is the first time ever he's had an even number.

So, now you see why this week I was reminded about the Nike, "Bo Knows..." commercial. Except that (since this is my blog) I, saying... "G.I. Joe Knows... baseball... football... soccer...". I wonder what he'll try next?

Friday, August 29, 2008

My Fair Maiden.. Still Waters Is 20 Today!

In honor of her 20th birthday, I will share 20 things about her that I admire. There are many more but I will limit my list to 20 for obvious reasons. :o) This is in no particular order...

* She's a wise Fair Maiden... wise beyond her years.

* Love of learning... if she doesn't know something, she will research it in detail.

* Her humor... has a dry sense of humor but at the same time, finds silly things funny, she's also quick-witted.

* Her kindness and gentleness.

* The loving way she always allows her brothers to go into her room to play or hang out while she's busy studying.

* Her gracefulness and elegance. It reminds me of the great actress of days of yore... like Grace Kelly and Audrey Hepburn.

* She's a good steward of her time, talents and spiritual gifts.

* Her OCD which is not as bad as CDO. Her organizational skills ROCK!

* Her green thumb. This sweet child of mine can make anything grow.

* She's got great work ethics.

* Her "stick to it" attitude.

* Her faith and faithfulness.

* Her sense of style. She knows what she likes and wears what she likes. It matters not what "the world" says is "in". If she likes it, she wears it.

* The way she enjoys being outside and taking pictures of God's creation.

* She's so imaginative and creative.

* Her artistic ability.

* How even though she's 20 years old, she still enjoys playing and being silly with her siblings.

* Her wild side. Yep, she has one. True she doesn't enjoy roller coasters, but this child of mine wants a motorcycle.

* Her spiritual walk. It's evident that God is Lord of her life.

* How she is not swayed and sticks to her convictions.


I'm so proud that God chose me to be your mom. You are such a blessing to me and those around you. You are a beautiful godly young lady. I look forward to seeing all the amazing , wonderful things God has planned for you. Stay the course...

love always,

Friday, August 22, 2008


I'm up to...
* sitting on the couch next to my Knight and
* watching the Olympics while...
* listening to the movie, 300 which is being watched in the dinning room table by Daughter of the King and Steps, on her laptop (with speakers attached) ... at the same time...
* hearing G.I. Joe playing his guitar upstairs in his room (his door is open- Castello rules)

I'm thinking...
*I love my Knight and children
* people sure have a warped sense of what love is and how to show it
*I miss my brother
* how can people make comments about how others always want to get their way and are spoiled, yet they think the world revolves around them
* my Knight really makes his blue shorts look good
* G.I. Joe really needs a new guitar
* why do I keep stumbling and sinning
* why can't I die to self
* I hope my children will be loved by their spouse, more ( if that's possible) than what my Knight loves me.
* I don't want my children to suffer
* I really like the movie, 300
* I might have to get the soundtrack
* a pawn shop would be a good place to look for an acoustic guitar
* that maybe Soaring Amongst The Clouds and Still Waters should take some Salsa dancing lessons being that they're going to a wedding in Panama
* why didn't we hear more about Bryan Clay, the American Olympic Decathlon Gold Medalist
* I need to buy more candles
* what restaurant would Still Waters want to eat at for her 20th birthday celebration
* I should of never highlighted my hair
* I don't like how my hair (highlights) looks like, now that my hair is growing out... URGH!!!
* my fingernails need to be polished

I'm thankful...
* that tropical storm Fay has finally said goodbye to Florida
* no lives were lost due to the storm
* it's the weekend and my Knight will have a chance to chill (hopefully)
* that all five of my children are home
* for God's grace, mercy and salvation
*that my Knight loves unconditionally
* both of my parents and sister are alive and well
* for the my sisters in the HAUS
* for friends and family
* my children don't mind spending time with their mom and dad
* my Fair Maidens believe that being a wife and mom is honorable (considering it's not what the 'world' teaches)
* coke and chocolate cake

What are you up to? What are you thinking? What are you thankful for?

Thursday, August 21, 2008

What Our Day Was Like Today...

Tropical Storm Fay is wrecking havoc on Central Florida. Classes were cancelled until Wednesday. Good ole' Fay has decided she loves Florida and wants to stay for a while. What is it with these storms that start with "F"? First Frances a couple of years ago and now Fay is doing the same thing. I say skip the letter "F" next year!

Still Waters got up early to attend her class today. She was scheduled to work this morning, since her classes start at 1p. But a little before noon, she got an email stating that all classes had been cancelled for the day. Even so, I took some pictures...

She has no idea how....

beautiful she is... inside and out. I love you Baby Girl!

Well, Still Waters later received an email from one of her professors. I won't go into details, I'll let her write an entry about it. Next thing I knew she was dressed and ready to go once again...

She decided to change her outfit. By this time, it was obvious Fay was going full force.

I love this picture. She doesn't like for me to take close-up pictures of her, but I can't help myself. :o) Sweetie, I would say I'm sorry, but I'd be lying.

I lover her rain boots! They have little cherries on them. They are just tooooooooo cute! Needless to say her feet remained dry and warm. :o)

So here is what we did today...

Daughter of the King went to church to quilt with the Ladies from the quilting ministry. Since they meet only on Thursdays, she won't be able to help out during the fall semester. I know she will miss quilting with the Ladies. But she'll be able to help out again in the summer. After quilting she went to have lunch with her friend KT. KT LOVES Chick-Filet, so that's where they ate. :o)

I took this picture while she was cooking dinner. She was happy because Steps was going to be dropped off at our home while his folks went to a bible study gathering. Well, due to "Fay" everything got cancelled. There's been lots of flooding and power outages. She was bummed that he wasn't able to come over, but she's very understanding. She's such a good girl. Sweetie... you ROCK!!!

Well, two thrill seekers decided to brave the wind and rain...

Soaring Amongst The Clouds is leaning forward as the wind is pushing her back. She is wearing my raincoat. Little did we know...

... it needed to be scotch guarded again. She got soaked! She started laughing when she happen to glance over at...

... The Warrior. He was being his goofy self. As you can see, his raincoat is repelling the rain. He didn't get soaked. Well a least not his upper body. His lower body got soaked.

Since they were already wet, they decided to just go ahead and take the raincoats off. Do you think they are cold? LOL!!!

Ok, we've had enough... it's wayyyyyy to windy...

...... and cold!!!

I couldn't resist, I had to take one more picture. The Warrior decided to make it one of his infamous "eye" shots.

While they were busy playing with thunder storm "Fay"...

...... poor Still Waters was trying to dry off one of her books. Apparently, her new backpack is not water resistant. One more thing that needs to be scotch guarded. Guess we're going to need to get a couple of cans of scotch guard.

This is what I found when I went to open our front door. Yep, the rain is coming in through the bottom of our front door. My hands hurt from the towel wringing I've been doing.

Earlier today Soaring Amongst The Clouds and I went out. Since it was still storming, I decided to wear.....

....... water shoes! I LOVE them! My jeans will get wet, but I know my feet will stay dry AND my toes won't freeze!

Here's a better look. They are cute aren't they?! But wait.........

My rain boots are cute too! LOL! I LOVE cute shoes! I'm not into fashion. I'm eclectic. I know what I like. If it's not in style, I wear it any way. Why allow others to dictate what to wear?

All in all, things have been quiet around the Castello. I'm just enjoying having my children home. I know the time will come when they won't be dwelling with us in the Castello. They will have their own Castello. Be still my heart...

Monday, August 18, 2008

Trip To Alumni University Parte Due

Still Waters did share her pictures with me, but to tell you the truth, I didn't know how to access them. Even though they are on my own laptop! But alas, I figured it out... on my own I might add. Kudos for me!!! Below are some of the pictures she shared...

Here we are walking to the car. If you look ahead, the tree that looks like it's growing off the top of my head, is the one in my previous post. The one they all stood behind for a picture.

I decided to run ahead and take some pictures. My previous post has the pictures I took. If you look closely, you can see that Soaring Amongst The Clouds has her arm raised. She's taking pictures too. I have yet to see the pictures she's taken. (hint... hint) Please, no comment on how I look while I run. LOL!

Notice, Daughter of the King is getting ready to give me the "hand" pose she always does. URGH!!!!!!! That GIRL!

LOL! Still Waters caught me taking a picture of her and her siblings. Soaring Amongst The Clouds and I ended up taking pictures of each other too. Yet again, I have yet to see the pictures she took. ( clearing throat... hint... hint)

I wonder if G.I. Joe is having flashbacks of the day he got hit while crossing a 10 lane highway. At least there was no traffic on this day.

We stopped at Chick-Filet for lunch. Little did I know that my children weren't really co-operating...




mean....................!!!!!!! If you look behind Soaring Amongst The Clouds, The Warrior popped up to do one of his "eye" shots.

Even Still Waters got on the "give mom a hard time" band wagon. LOL! Look closely... right under my arm that's hugging Still Waters, you can see G.I. Joe. See the twinkle in his eye?! He's loving this!

This picture was taken for nostalgic reasons. Our children were reminising about their childhood play days in Chick-Filet and McDonald's playgrounds. Looking back, I can't believe I EVER let my children play in those germ, infested playgrouds! The thought of it, makes me cringe!!!! WHAT WAS I THINKING?!?!?! OH, did you notice Daughter of the King attempting to get away in this picture? I tell you, what is a mom to do?!

On the ride back home, Gaz decided to come out and play. You see he was hiding in The Warrior's pocket. When ever he goes on a car ride, he usually takes two beanie babies with him. They keep everyone in the car pretty occupied. He really knows how to make them come alive. I should ask Still Waters to video tape him. (hint... hint) ;o)

I am a poster mom for the quote, "Do as I say and not as I do." Here I was driving. Yes, you read that correctly... I was driving. Dare I tell you how many "takes" it took to get this picture? Once again... I plead the fifth...

Thursday, August 14, 2008


VBS stands for vacation bible school. Different churches do it different ways. At our church, VBS last one week and it's from 9a-12p. We have volunteers come in and teach bible lessons. They decorate the rooms according to a theme. They have music time, recreation time, mission time, craft time, snack time and lesson time. The children have a wonderful time. This is geared for children who are in kindergarten through 6th grade.

Youth-I-Versity was introduced to our church when the youth minister came aboard. This is the same thing as VBS, but don't tell the teenagers. ;o) Everything is geared for teenagers. We have volunteers come in who take care of snacks and teaching different lessons/classes. Our youth minister gives each class a funky title, so the students have no idea what class they signed up for. Example: The class named, Girls Night Out was about the Proverb 31 Woman. Of course this was a girls only class. Since some teenagers work, this event goes from 7p-10p. Every night they have a lip sync contest. All song lyrics have to be approved. The songs have to be positive or christian songs. He has 6-7 performances a night. He also has "guest" judges (more on this later). There is a 1st, 2nd and 3rd place award. First place is usually a ticket to an event. This year on the last day, all who've attended youth-i-versity every night get to go to an amusement park and pay only 20$ plus their meal. The church will pick up the price for the rest of the admission. Pretty sweet deal! Every night they have some kind of tournament. So far they've had a 2 person team jump rope contest, the lip sync contests, carpet ball contest, hoola hoop contest and a pogo stick contest. On the first night we had over 70 youths! In the past, the first night has the lowest attendance. The big attendance days are Wednesday and Thursday. I can't wait to see what the attendance will be tonight.

Here are some of the pictures...

Our Master of Ceremonies was non other than.... Michael Phelps! (setting the record straight... this is an impersonator.) Needless to say, the crowd went WILD!

One of the guest judges was... that's right... Kung Fu Panda! He even did a little martial arts demonstration. Very much a la Jack Black. LOL!

On the last night... we were floored... when... Batman... dropped by. WOOOOOOO HOOOOOOO!!!!!!!

The Warrior and his best friend... Bro decided, after a prompt for the Fair Maidens, to enter the lip sync contest. Still Waters and Daughter of the King sprayed some highlights on their hair and helped them pick an outfit to wear.

They began to goof around while waiting for their time to preform. Bro is also the youngest of five siblings. Like The Warrior, Bro has an older brother and three older sisters.

The Warrior and Bro have been friends since they were two years old. They are great playmates. At times they don't even talk, they know what each is thinking or what they are about to say. When they are together, you can be sure to hear a lot of laughter.

Not many are know the silly, funny, goofy, quick witted side of The Warrior. In fact, most were shocked that he preformed. The Warrior and Bro were the only up and coming 6th graders to attend Youth-I-Versity.

Jewels "performed" with....

Susie-Homemaker and Mr. Bill. They "sang" a song called, Tennessee Bird Walk. They did a great job. It was toooooo funny. Jewels was awesome with the, chirp, chirp. LOL!

The Warrior and Bro, "performed" a song by Reliant K. This is how it goes... "I.... just... wasted... ten... seconds... of... your... life..." . The song was exactly 10 seconds long. The youth got it, but the older crowd (other parents) didn't get it.

Let me tell you something about my Warrior. He is not one to call attention to himself. He was in a couple of plays when he was younger, but once he was old enough , he quickly realized he didn't "have" to be in choir or in plays. We know that it's not for everyone, so we never forced him. This performance was his decision. He did so good. I'm so very proud of him, for stepping out of his comfort zone. WAY TO GO BABY!!!

Another group "performed", Stomp, by Kirk Franklin. They did a great job. They had the crowd stompin'! The young lady in the front that's wearing a white cap, was AWESOME. She was really gangsta!

G.I. Joe was asked by some friends to perform with them. They sang, Which To Bury, Us Or The Hatchet by Reliant K. I knew my G.I. Joe had it in him, but I had not really seem him perform like this before. He's been in plays and musicals when he was younger. But my Squire has really matured into a fine young man. Be still my heart...

One is only allowed to be in two groups maximum. So needless to say....

G.I. Joe performed with another group of friends. They performed the song, Godspeed by Anberlin. They tied for third place with the Kirk Franklin group. They really did a great job.

This time around he was the "lead singer" or should I say the "lead lip sync-er"? I know I'm his mama, but he looked mighty handsome up there. ;o)

I'm sorry to say, that most of my pictures didn't turn out well. These were the best ones, if you can call them best. :o(

I'm so proud of my Squires. They did an awesome job. They knew all the words to the songs and were great performers. I can't wait to see the mighty way God will use them.

The grand prize for first place lip sync group was an admission ticket to Bush Gardens, for all the performers in the group. The group that won sang a song from Third Day, called I CAN Feel It. I wish I was able to take picture of their performance, but alas, my battery went dead. :o( Also, the pictures probably wouldn't of turned out either. :o(

All the youth at had attended all four day of Youth-I-Versity were able to go to Bush Gardens for $20. They got a group discount which brought it down a bit, but the rest that was owed, the church flipped the bill for it. All those that went to Bush Gardens had a great time. They had two bus loads. One bus, was one of those big ones that has a bathroom. The high schoolers rode on that bus along with some chaperones. The smaller bus (sits about 35) was for the middle schoolers and the rest of the chaperones. They left at 9a and got back around 12:30a. It was a long day, but they had a FANTABULOUS time! Daughter of the King and G.I. Joe went.

The Warrior and I made other plans. The Bush Garden trip would of been too long of a day for us. So instead, we got together with a group of his friends, who tunrs out that have older siblings that went to Bush Gardens. We decided to go to Animal Kingdom. The Warrior's best friend, Bro and his mom went with us. A friend from The Warrior's Sunday School class, Nerf Jr. and his mom went with us too. They also brought along with them a friend from the neighborhood. We rode all the "fun" rides. We had a FANTABULOUS time too.

All in all, the week was a HUGE success! They averaged about 50+ youths every night. The lessons being taught were great. The snacks were DELISH. The volunteers really went all out to make this a special event. People really don't realized all the hard work that goes into putting something like this on. But the rewards are priceless. The youth meet make new friends and grow closer together. The volunteers get to know the youths and they bond. Even newcomers leave having made friends. God is good... ALL the time! \o/