Saturday, September 30, 2006

Peter's Creek Boat Ride

This afternoon we loaded up Salty Dog and meandered up Peter's Creek just off Black Creek. It's a short 5 minute boat ride from our dock up the St. John's River to Black Creek. Peter's Creek is an inlet off the Black Creek main channel. If you don't know about it, it's easy to miss.

We didn't see any gators or manatee's today but it was still nice idling slowly through countryside that had "old Florida" written all over it.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Playing Catch Up

The meltdown of our blog has sloooowed things down around here big time. We enjoy trying to post something new every day or so but that has not been the case for a while now. I'm sure part of the posting slowdown has had to do with the extended "Wait" and the toll that has taken on everyone, not just us. Still, folks can whine only so much and it doesn't change the reality, it only gets on people's nerves. So, no whine, just a little catch up on what's been happening...

I had a little family business to take care of recently in Missouri. It was a fairly quick trip up and back but I got to pack a lot into a very short time. I was able to have a family dinner at Dad & Joy's attended by my brothers Ben and Bill and my sister Tiffany and her husband Mike and their son Walker. This is where Alyson reminds me that I DIDN'T take any pictures.

I did have a dinner out with Ben and Bill at a great little place in Kelso that Bill and his wife Joan stumbled onto. Visiting with the brothers is always nice. Always entertaining. Never frequent enough. Nor long enough. And when we can agree to leave politics off the table, we seem to relish being in each others company.

Brother Ben

Brother Bill

On Sunday I attended church with Tiffany and Mike at La Croix United Methodist in Cape Girardeau. What a fun time. The pastor was just returning from a 3 month sabbatical and the service was 4 fantastic actors presenting the complete bible in 1 hour. The performance was entitled "Long Story Short". It was hilarious with the added bonus of teaching the bible in a way young and old could understand and ENJOY! After church they treated me to a great Sunday brunch at the Cape Girardeau Country Club. Too good! Ate too much!

Oh yes, this is also where Alyson reminds me again that I DIDN'T take any pictures.

After church I joined some of the family in Jackson to catch a baseball game with my 10 year old nephew Lane playing in an All-Star League. Lane is the son of my niece Kaci and her husband Luke. Lane has 3 strikes going against him: 1. He's a handsome devil. 2. He is a straight A student and 3. He is athletically gifted. Poor kid...


I also got to spend more time with Lane's younger brother Jack who is no less good looking, sharp and loves sports. Can you tell he's a Cardinal fan?


Bill, my niece Kaci (Lane & Jack's mom), Joy and Dad catching some shade during Lane's baseball game.

On the way back to Florida I stopped in Atlanta and spent the night with our good friends BeLinda and Lee. After feasting on some fabulous ribs they treated me to a trip to Turner Field to catch a Braves/cub game. I love baseball and other than a minor league game this summer, this was my first time attending a professional game this year. Fun. Way fun...

Lee, & BeLinda

Finally it was home and birthday parties for DS Justin and then last night it was DD Leaa's turn for a little birthday celebrating at The Tasting Room, a wonderful wine & tapas in St. Augustine. Mixed in between the birthdays was one small dinner party we hosted for two couples we team with doing Crown Financial Ministries.

Kelly & Justin


Alyson & GD Liv

Justin is holding his sister Leaa's daughter Liv while Leaa is holding her brother Justin's daughter Kilee. These two cousins are bound to be some kind of fun as they grow up together! Oh gee...

Leaa with her sister Nicole and (Leaa's) husband Jesse

Justin with his dad - that would be me :)

And that's about it. I know, boring. What can I say. We're still enjoying the boat every chance we get. And eventually, I'll get the old blog rebuilt on this new site. Eventually. All in due time. All in due time...

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Sunday's Can Be Cool

Every now and then things just seem to set you at peace. Those times seem to be more and more precious and harder and harder to come by. Today was one of those days...

Nothing spectacular happened today, still, today was a good day. A day when skies were blue, the winds blew gently and the river provided a playground for families to smile ear from ear as they watched their kids ski or slowly made their way from one cove to another on a river that didn't bear it's teeth with choppy waves. Below are some photos that can't capture the beauty of it all but then you'll just have to believe me.

For those offended by my not being religiously/politically PC - sorry, it would only indicate you really don't know me. God smiled on NE Florida today. Thank you Lord. Love those smiles.

As you may have gathered, the weather was great. Low humidity. A bright, full sunny day but more than bearable on the heat side. We did the church thing early at the 9:30 service. Saw and exchanged good times with good friends. (We had a couple of folks over Friday night for a small "Tapas" like get together). All in all. A nice weekend. Great wine. Good friends. Too good.

Saturday we made our way over to St. Augustine. I've been needing a new book to read and I picked up a Ann Quindlen novel, Blessings. Aly laughs and says sometimes she wonders about my testosterone level. What can I say. I love to cook because I find it relaxing and I love to read. I don't know. I hold down a "manly" job but I don't always fit the mold. Whatever the mold is suppose to be. I'll deal with it. Oh, and I guess the part about me retiring so I stay home with Alyzabeth An pretty much seals the deal that something must be "different" with me. So be it. I hope so. I look forward to it.

Have you all checked out Johnny's blog and his latest post tagging fun ? I love Johnny's blog. Gee, to be able to write like that. I'm green with envy. I have things I would love to write about but maybe another time, another day, another blog. Someday...

That's it. Rambled enough. Probably shouldn't post this. What the heck. You all take care. And if you can:

Help someone this week. Give an ear to someone who needs someone to simply listen to them this week. Reach out a hand to someone who could use a help up not just a hand out. Give someone a smile who has had a full day of frowns. And when you have the time. Give yourself the benefit of doubt that Life Is Good and you helped to make it just a little bit better for someone else. I know. Sounds gooney. So be it.

Peace, fm

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Breaking News:

The CCAA has finished the review of the adoption application documents registered with our office before December 31, 2005.

This little bit of news means we are now "officially" in the Review Room. Hopefully we will have a short and sweet stay there before slowly making our way through the Matching Room.

And the Wait continues...

BTW: Most of you understand the issue with Blogger and the beta version we are operating under that prevents you from leaving us comments. That is unless you have already made the move to their beta version that eventually everyone will be using. I believe you can leave us a comment if you select the anonymous feature. Blogger swears this is temporary and full comment function will be restored SOON!

(as I turn purple from holding my breath)

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Family Gathering For Justin

We all gathered at Cathy & Werner's today to belatedly celebrate Justin's birthday. Of course, we don't have a picture to show you of the birthday boy in that it somehow disappeared from the memory card. Hopefully his sister Nicole took a few good shots and will share...

She's so good about that :)

Saturday, September 16, 2006

I Love Tomato Soup

Ok, here's the deal. I love tomato soup, however, I like it made with half & half, or at the very least 2% milk. Not that it's a huge deal but...the calories add up quickly. So I went looking for a tomato soup with "flavor" but without the cream or milk. Ugh, I hate thin wimpy tomato soup so I'm on a quest to find one I really like.

Here is my first attempt to share with you. DW enjoyed it but I'm still on the fence. We served it with a fresh greens salad with squash and cucumbers and tossed with balsamic vinegar and oil.

The ingredients list is quite small. You will need:
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 Medium Sweet Onion
1 Can 14 1/2 Oz can of peeled tomatoes (Quayle spelling rules apply)
5 Cups Chicken (or beef) Stock
Sea Salt
Fresh Ground Pepper
Fresh Basil
2 Gloves Garlic

1. Heat olive oil in a large soup pot.
2. Add onion and garlic, careful not to burn the garlic. Cook till soft.
3. Add tomatoes and stock.
4. Bring to boil, reduce to simmer.
5. Cook about 20 minutes to reduce. Keep the pot lid off.
6. Season With Salt & Pepper.
7. Add Fresh Basil.
8. Using Stick blender, Blend Till Smooth.
9. Enjoy...

That's it. I'm sure you all will have a ton of great ideas as to how to kick this up and make it better. Just remember, there are only 84 calories per serving in the recipe.

Play fair... No rich butter, fresh cream or other calorie laden taste enhancers! :)

Friday, September 15, 2006

Welcome Back! We're Rebuilding!!!

When I started messing around with Wordpress my simple intention was to "check it out". Period. Maybe move. Maybe not.

Somehow in the copying of our original blog to Wordpress things went terribly WRONG! Bad wrong. Huge wrong. I feel kind of stupid wrong. My DW is going to kill me kind of wrong. Johnny can you help me kind of wrong. It was, it is, UGLY...

I've been out of town recently and have just now had the chance to begin to repair the damage. Only thing is, the damage can only be repaired by "REBUILDING" a new blog with our old posts.

If you are thinking of making the move or even just copying your Blogspot account onto a Wordpress account my advice would be a resounding NO! Don't do it. Run. Hide. STOP!!

So if you all would, PLEASE change your bookmark to our new home one last time:

Everything is not rebuilt but we will be adding new posts and rebuilding the old posts as time permits. Again, thanks for hanging in there with us. And remember:

Stay with Blogger. Forget Wordpress! Just my humble opinion...


Saturday, September 02, 2006

Happy 24th Anniversary

Sister T. and her DH are having so much fun now after many years of raising a family and working at several jobs. They are in Boston for a long Anniversary weekend of fun.Look at their new "getting ready for retirement" hobby!

Pictures are from last weekend at Little Sebago Lake. Lots of fun!

Happy Birthday Pop

This picture was snapped at my brother Bill's home. The beautiful lady on the left is my Aunt Jan. That's my Dad sitting beside her. Today is my Dad's birthday.

Happy Birthday Pop. See you soon!


Friday, September 01, 2006

Review Room Update

The CCAA has finished the review of the adoption application documents registered with our office before November 30, 2005."Rumor" has it that January is in the Review Room along with December.

There was a time that this would have been huge positive news but with the "Wait" pretty much sapping any happiness out of everyone it just becomes another step in a long, long ordeal. Sad in it's own way. Everyone should be celebrating this step. By being in the Review Room we now get to sweat it out while the Chinese authorities comb our dossier for red flags. If they have any questions they contact our agency, CCAI, who in turn will contact us. We could be in the review Room for quite some time. We're hoping we move through within two months. Who knows.Well, back to happy face and positive outlook!!!

BTW: Congratulations to the November folks who just moved out. Has to be a great feeling...