Saturday, July 9, 2011

Tractor Supply/Camp Return

Today we picked up our princess from her week long church camp trip. I was so happy to see her.The buses were running late so we had to wait out in the heat for a little over an hour. Maybe this way they were thinking we would get a taste of how hot it was for our campers! My baby came back a little sunburned, tired and a little smelly. AAAHHHH the campers life. lol..
She had a blast though, a few bad moments, but all in all a good trip and experience. She loved Jesse the juggler the best and all the crazy songs and dances they did. She even managed to conquer her fear of heights and did both the zip lines and the rock climbing wall! So very proud of her.

Top picture: Princess is in the far background, right corner with her hand on her face, sitting down in blue/purple.

Middle pictures: Us and our flats at the Tractor Supply Company in Mesquite. 

Bottom picture: They were playing some game and she and a few other people won and got to go on stage with the performers. She was very excited.

Once we picked up our baby girl and learned all about her adventures, we ran over the the tractor supply. We had a few things to pick up for revamping our ball mill. We use the ball mill to mix the charcoal we burn to make a powder for fireworks. Anyway we have had the same one for so long that it has gotten VERY loud and you cannot focus on anything else except that horrible noise. So we are making a new one that will be quieter!

Kids hanging out at the Tracor Supply

The kids thought they were being all cute hanging out and looking all intelligent, so I of course snapped photos!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Camp Glo: Mt. Lebanon

My daughter has been off at camp now for 5 days and I am missing her something terribly right about now.  We made the decisions to attend Sunnyvale First Baptist Church for VBS this year since our church, Centerpoint, was not holding VBS due to church expansion project. We have been to SFB before as visitors and although the church was great and the sermon was fabulous, the church was simply too big for our family. We felt like just another face in the crowd and that is not what we want. Plus I have this thing about churches that video tape and broadcast, really bothers me. It makes me feel like I need to "be on" and perform. It takes away the whole experience of going to church too grow in Christ and have that time of reflection and the awe of how wonderful Christ is. Instead I find myself looking to see were the stinky camera is so I can avoid it at all costs. I dont see and never will see why they feel the need to show and advertise the crowd. Thats not suppose to be why you are tuning in, its for the message the preacher/pastor is giving, not for who is in the crowd. Anyway that was my enormous rant, but so off track. Like I was saying, we love SFB and think the preacher team and youth team are wonderful, so we took our kids there for VBS. While there, they were talking about (almost said about word choice) for there pre-teen camp. Princess got all excited and wanted to go. So I picked up the packet and began filling it out. Than I came to the cost part and thought WOW we cannot afford this at all. For all practical purposes, I am a single mother. I work FT, got to college to finish my Masters, home-school my kids and try to have some free time to be active in our home church and play with my kids! So when I saw the price tag I thought "oh boy! I am going to have to break her heart". The next day when I go and grab them from VBS I hear them talking about scholarships to go to camp and so I inquire about getting one, fill out the paperwork and turn it in. A few days later they ask if I would be willing to volunteer and do some camp preparation work in lieu of paying for her camp! I am ecstatic at this point and so happy I dont have to tell my daughter no. I can find a way to squeeze in time to volunteer, its the money aspect is a little harder to squeeze! So I spend a few hours each night helping get set up for camp. Putting back packs together, getting logos on bags, writing names on cups for all the campers, getting name tags together on each piece of camp gear going out, etc. Not rocket science stuff, just time consuming things. Either way I was happy to help out considering the cost of camp and what the church was sacrificing for people that are not even members!
So my little baby is at Camp Mt. Lebanon out in Ceder Hill( having what looks like the time of her life. I cannot download or copy these photos from their site, they are major lock down, so here is the link instead.
That leave me and her little brother missing the living daylights out of her though. He wont even sleep in their room because he doesn't want to be in there without his sister, who he is crying for every night! My poor boogie-woogie.

I will be so happy when I get to pick her up this Saturday and hear about all her wonderful adventures. I hope and pray that the Lord used this time to help her grow closer to Him and renew her heart and spirit for Him. This is her very first camp experience and I am so thankful that she is getting to go to a Christian camp, were the word of God will be upheld and exulted.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Texas Bluebonnet and Lotus Flower

My kids thought these were lovely and so they decided to up and pick them and bring them to me as a gift! Glad they don't really enforce the whole its illegal to pick your state flower thing or I would be in some serious trouble!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

The faceoff

James thought it would be hysterical to take a pic of him fighting the giant grizzle so here you have it ladies and gentleman. I am pretty sure that the grizzle would win this one, but hey I guess we will never know for sure! The kids got a kick out of it though since they are the same height. What can I say we are easily amused ;)

Saturday, July 2, 2011

The paint job

Finally going to paint my kids room and cover up all my 4 yr olds at work~as he likes to call it. Thank you Home Depot for 50% paint! I know this room is probably not the style for most people when they think great painting, but my kids adore it. I got all the way through with painting it a simple pink, when they decided they wanted alternating wall colors with pink and blue. So me being oh so patient said fine and covered up two of the walls with blue.After that was said and done, my lovely husband, thought I was going to "turn" both my children into homosexuals by having a boy surrounded by pink and a girl with blue, which is just plain ignorant, but it made a trickle effect for them to want to splash paint of opposite colors on the walls, so I thought why not, I dont live in the room! So there you have it, the paint story...It reminds me of going to a rave when I was younger and they had the black lights going and in the day time this is what the walls look like! Either way the kids LOVE their room and think its very cool, which made me oh so cool for doing it for them! I'll take what I can get :)

Ok well I thought I had more pics, but I dont and honestly I dont feel like taking any at the moment. I would have to get up, find my camera, walk down the hall, open the camera, focus, snap a pic, upload the pic and frankly its just too much effort at the moment when Iam feeling oh so lazy. Maybe later, probably not though, lets face it, its a room, its paint and really I bet kids are the only ones who will love it :) I am good with that.

Fireworks Galore

 Ok there is a little backdrop to this story. We make fireworks every 4th of July to shoot off. Now the process of making fireworks is long and I wont give you all the details, but I thought since you were a rocket you would enjoy the process of making the charcoal to put in the "engines" of the fireworks. Of course first you have to gather willow wood, only willow wood. James could tell you why, I dont remember why. I just know what wood you can use and its willow.
Red Flame
white flame
Once you get the wood you have to strip it down. Than you have to cook the willow wood into charcoal. The process of placing the willow wood into a can to cook in a fire is called retort.

Each color flame inside the can has a different meaning behind it in the burn process to make charcoal for fireworks.  When you first place the can into the fire, after about 5 minutes it starts smoking white. The white smoke is the moisture left over in the wood burning out. After all the moisture is gone, about 10 minutes, the smoke will turn a yellow and brown color. This is all the poison, impurities and oil burning out of the wood.
It will burn this color for about 5-10 more minutes. .
 Once all the impurities have cleared the wood, the wood becomes combustible. The smoke will turn into a fire and will literally sound like a small rocket engine. Once the flame starts to slow down you have to get a wet wash cloth and throw over the hole in the can. You do this so no O2 (oxygen) gets inside the can. Oxygen will turn the charcoal into ash, ruining your whole batch of charcoal.

So here is the breakdown:
Yellow/Brown=oil, poison and impurities

Introducing ROCKET: Baker Family

Today we got in Rocket, who hails from Fenton, Michigan. Rocket is of course an adorable little ship with the family pic inside blasting off to new and adventurous places. Luckily he arrived when we were meeting some friends for dinner and heading out to: Genghis Grill - The Mongolian Stir  to grab some awesome food. The grill is named after the famous 12th century warrior Genghis Khan, who rumor has it had his warriors heat up their food using their battle shields in open fires.

Here  I took 2 of my kids, my nephew and Princess BFF to the Ranger game. We lost. Again, to the Mets.

Drizzle and Mom

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We got caught fast asleep

Friday, July 1, 2011

Heeeellllllooooo Kitty

My youngest son, Drizzle, recently attended a birthday party for his friend Isabella, who was turning 5. Now my son is deathly afraid of over sized characters. He was laughing and partying as well as any 4 year old does and having a gran o time, until this large, over-sized kitty appears out of nowhere and scared the living crud out of him. For the next 45 minutes he hid behind my back and would scream in terror if the stinky cat so much as looked at him. It didnt help matters at all that his ever so loving sister that you see sitting on Kitty's lap kept trying to drag him over to the cat to show him how "un-scarry" it really was.
ok I dont know how to rotate the pic :( What can I say, turn your computer! lol
Now a couple things you should know. First, Hello Kitty was really a guy! He did a horrible job trying to disguise his voice. Second, little ol kitty's costume was a bit too small, shall we say, and kitty was showing alot more than she should have been! Third, I thought the Kitty and the birthday girl's mom were going to through down over the first two issues. I think the adults had a harder time than the kids did with the Kitty. He was rude, short, and just did not need to be around kids, dressed up in 102 degree Texas heat! He tried his best Iam sure and the kids liked him and thought he was funny because of the way he acted. and innocence can really be a blessing sometimes. I was informed that Hello Kitty is a mean cat, not a nice cat. I am not sure since I ve never seen the show, but it was an entertaining way to spend my Friday night for sure.
The party was great. They made great food, had a lovely pinata, beautiful hand made cake ( I lack that talent), great little goody bags for the kids and it was at night time! Anyone who lives in Texas during the summer knows how important that last bit is for outside events. ;)
All in all it was a great night. I got to speak with adults, a rarity. The kids got to play and we had alot of fun as a family! Good times, good times!