Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Girly Girl....

So I don't have much new to write about these days, but I have been doing some "girly" things that have been keeping me busy! So for any that may be goes! :)

First of all, I am attending a quilting class at our church!! I am the youngest one by about 25 years.. (although I have to give credit to my 18 year old Jessica who came with me during the summer--what a trooper she is!!) Anyway, we are making patchwork quilts for nursing homes, etc. in our community. My job is either to cut out squares or to occasionally piece together a quilt, although I'm not too great at that. It's been really fun to visit with some of the older ladies in our church though! (and my mom, the quilting pro herself, is OH SO proud of me...)

Speaking of quilts, that leads me to the next girly thing I'm doing--redecorating Cambree's room! I'm trying to get the kids rooms all done before Cason gets here. Cambree had a Peter Rabbit nursery which was very cute, but I was eager to do a "girly" theme. So she now has a hot pink/neon green daisy room!! My mom is making the quilt and wall hanging, and I went to Goodwill for almost everything else!! I found like a neon green dinner plate for 29 cents, sponge painted the edges hot pink, and then hot glued a big fake daisy in the center...propped it up on a corner shelf--so cute!! Ok I know you need pictures to really see this, but our camera isn't working right now...but I'll work on it!!

The last girly thing I'm doing is a "Mommy and Me" dance class with Cambree. I know, she's not even 2 yet, but I'm really doing it for a lady in our church who just opened a dance studio in our town. So yesterday it was off to Walmart for tights, a leotard, a skirt, and ballet that stuff adds up!! She will be doing things like "touch your foot to the red clap your hands.." etc. so I think she'll really like it. But, they may want to rename it "Mommy and Whale" class as big as I'm getting...surely they won't REALLY make me dance right...??

So those are the girly things in my life that are keeping me busy right now! Hope you enjoyed!!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


We spent one whole day of our vacation in Canada. It was about a 3 hour drive from our lodge, so we thought, "why not?!" was much different from what we expected!! We went to the province of Quebec, which is the French province in Canada. As soon as we crossed over the border, EVERYTHING was in French--road signs, other signs, I mean everything!!

We stopped at a gas station about 30 miles into the border and even the gas station clerk didn't speak English!! We later found out that they are not allowed to attend an English school unless their parents are English. AND if 2 generations in a row opt out of attending English school, then they lose their privilege to attend and can only attend French school! This is all in an effort to keep the French language pure in Quebec. Wow.

After a LOT of driving (it seems on those northern roads, even in Maine, you can only drive 45-55mph!), we finally made it to Quebec City. The first place we went was to the Cyclorama de Jerusalem. This is the largest panorama display in the world. You go up these stairs and you're in a dome that is a panorama of the city of Jerusalem. It is amazing. It has been there since 1895!!

Then, we went to the St. Anne Cathedral, which was celebrating its 350th anniversary this year. As we walked in, we noticed all of the tourists gathered at the back of the church. Then, we saw a bride! She was about to walk down the aisle to be married!! The music started, and she headed down the aisle! All the tourists were snapping pictures and after she got down the aisle we all just resumed our browsing through the cathedral. Too weird!!

Our favorite thing in Canada was the Canyon St. Anne. It was a huge canyon with a waterfall that was so beautiful! It was fun to hike around and walk on the not so sturdy suspension bridges!

We then headed into the "Old City" where we found the Notre Dame Basilica, the largest Cathedral in North America. Blu pointed out to me that Quebec was celebrating 400 years this year, which is longer than the USA has even been a country! Wow!!

We ended our day in Canada at a French bistro. I was too afraid to order French food, so I ordered a "chicken fajita." (I'm a Texan! I know all about fajitas!) When it arrived, I was surprised to find a toasted tortilla filled with chicken, covered in spaghetti sauce and parmesan cheese! So I guess I got a French meal after all!!

Driving home from Canada was SOOO scary. We got to the border around 8pm and still had about 1 1/2 hours to go. The border patrol guy stopped us and gave us a long speech about the moose and how it is a really bad time of night to drive. Sure enough, we had to drive 40 mph the whole way home, and we were the ONLY car on the road. Whenever we stopped, people would warn us about driving, mention that we shouldn't be on the road, and how it wasn't a joke. We were terrified!! We did end up seeing about 7 moose off the road, and one in the road. And on a Saturday night--no other cars on the road!! Someone later told us that "nobody up here drives past moose o'clock!"

We were very glad to be back in the USA after our day "abroad!" :)

Monday, August 18, 2008

Moosehead Lake

We have had a great time in Maine! We are now back at our hotel watching the Olympics before we head back to DFW early tomorrow morning! I'll start by telling about our time at Tomhegan Resort on Moosehead Lake.

Let me start with our overall impressions of Maine! It is a gorgeous state--tall pine trees, lakes and rivers everywhere, and mountains all around. However, we were shocked at how rural it seems to be! As we drove up to the Moosehead Lake region, we saw that the roads are mainly 45-50mph roads, and I would describe the towns as villages rather than towns! We didn't see many children, or many schools for that matter! People had to drive very far just for groceries! Of course, this was in a rural part of the state, so I'm sure it is different in the big cities. The temperature wasn't near as cool as we were is pretty humid so that makes it seem hotter.

Anyway, we headed up to spend 4 days at the Tomhegan Resort! Let's just say it was not the "resort" we were expecting!! Our room makes me laugh to even think about it. The floor was completely uneven...I mean so uneven that we would wake up in the middle of the night and pull ourselves further up on the bed because we were sloping down! It was hilarious! We were certain we were going to fall through the floor! Also, for some reason, there was no hot water! But, hey, we're African, so we can handle that! We just heated some water on the stove and poured it in the tub! But seriously, we had a great time. We canoed, we fished, we watched movies, we hiked, we played games, we built a fire by the lake, and it was all VERY relaxing! I'll show some pictures here, and then I'll blog tomorrow about our day in Canada!

This is the fire we built on the lake as we watched the moon rise over the mountains and shine down onto the lake!

Blu's vacation goal was to skip a rock 14 times...he didn't quite make it :)

We spent one day out on the canoe. The water was SO cold!

We attended the Rockwood Community Church on Sunday morning! It was different from what we're used to, but we really enjoyed it!

Yes, we did actually see some moose!! And I will blog about "moose o'clock" tomorrow!

Ok, so I was a LITTLE excited about the first fish I caught. What?? You don't see it?!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Babymoon #3!

We leave for the airport in an hour!! Have you noticed a pattern in our babymoons? We tend to go for beach vacations. Well, I'll tell you a secret. I HATE the beach!! I don't like the ocean, or sand, and I hate being hot! What was I thinking, at 6 months pregnant?!

So...when I saw earlier this year that we had 2 free airline tickets through our Delta Skymiles, I researched the available places we could fly that were COLD!! So, we are going to Maine! We get the weirdest looks when we tell people that! The first thing they ask is, "Do you know someone there?" No!!

We are flying to Bangor, Maine, and then tomorrow morning we will rent a car and drive to the center of the state to stay at a cabin on Moosehead Lake. High temps this week are 70, and lows are 50. I can't wait!!!! We plan to hang out, rent a canoe, paddle down to the secluded beaches around the lake, eat picnic lunches on the beach, and watch movies! We will be only about 2 hours from Canada, so we'll drive up to Canada for one day too!

We'll have our laptop, so I'll try to post some pics and blog while I'm there!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Babymoon #2

Ok, I promise this one won't be as long as Babymoon #1, especially since I'm doing laundry and packing!! :) Cambree was due the same time that Cason should be here, so we took Babymoon #2 in August of 2006. I was 6 months pregnant. Blu's very gracious brother, Cloud, offered to pay for half of our airfare to Acapulco, and once we were there, we stayed with him and his wife Sammie, and they bought ALL of our food as well. So it was a great, week-long, beach vacation that cost us $400!

Strangely I don't remember much about this vacation... :) I know that I slept late a lot, spent a lot of time under a cabana on a beach ordering LOTS of food, and watched a lot of movies! The highlight of our trip was our day at the beach Pie de la Cuesta. I have never in my life seen waves so big. I'm a bit of a daredevil, but I was way too terrified to get in. (We went back about 1 1/2 years later when I wasn't pregnant, and I still couldn't bring myself to get in!)

It's really neat to take a vacation somewhere exotic with someone who knows the place! We got to experience unknown restaurants that were delicious and avoid all the usual "touristy" places! So that was Babymoon #2!

A little place called "Tacos on the Street" You stand on the street and wait for them to make your (very cheap and very good) tacos, and then you quickly sit and eat them so that someone else can have your seat!

Us at Senor Frogs

Monday, August 11, 2008

Babymoon #1

Have you ever heard of a "babymoon?" It's like a honeymoon, that vacation you take where time stands still and you do NOTHING, but then sadly have to reenter your real life! A babymoon is the same thing, but is done before a baby comes and changes your life drastically! With each of my pregnancies, we have been blessed to be able to take a babymoon when I was around 6 months pregnant. So today I'll tell you about Babymoon #1, and tomorrow will be Babymoon #2, and then on Wednesday, we are LEAVING for Babymoon #3!! :)

We lived in the bush of Africa, and I was 6 months pregnant and in DESPERATE need of a vacation! We researched a few options (most people suggested South Africa) but hated to pay so much for airfare. We decided on a Mozambique beach, but that fell through at the last minute due to us having to drive through Zimbabwe, and things were just starting to get crazy there! We finally talked to some people who suggested a train ride! Now, we had seen the trains in Zambia, and had heard the horror stories about how late they are and awful they are, etc. But after a little research, we saw that the cost simply could not be beat. We headed to the train station to buy tickets for the train that would take us to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

Men and women were not allowed to room together on the train unless they have bought the whole cabin, so we went ahead and bought 4 tickets so that we could be together. We first took a Zambian bus 3 hours further up into the country to the train station. That was an experience in itself! People acted like they had NEVER seen a pregnant white lady before!

We got to the station and we ended up leaving maybe 2 hours late...not bad we thought! We had a nice stewardess who took care of us the whole time. The cabin was TINY...there were two sets of bunkbeds, where the bottom bunk functioned as a sofa as well, with a tiny table in between them. There was a one huge window so that you could sit on your bunk and look out. We basically played yahtzee on that table for hours as we passed the landscape! There was a community bathroom that was dirty and very tricky to use!! You had to walk between cars to get there, and they shook so bad! So trying to balance over a toilet while the car is shaking wasn't fun! Flushing was interesting as well, but I'll leave the details at that. There was another small room where we could take a shower, but I was literally thrown all over the room as the train cars shook! Kinda fun!
Me on the train in the "lounge" room

As we passed into Tanzania, we were amazed at the beauty. There were green rolling hills on either side of us. We could look ahead and see when we were about to go through a tunnel. It was so neat! As we passed through little villages in Tanzania and stopped for fuel, the kids would all run to the windows and yell "bottles!" They were begging us to throw empty water bottles down for them to play with!

Now, I honestly can't remember how long the trip was supposed to take, I think it was 24 full hours! The first night, we fell asleep on our little sofa/bunk only to wake up about 6 hours later and realize we were stopped. Then, in the morning, we realized that we hadn't moved at ALL from the time we fell asleep. To make a long story a little shorter, we arrived in Tanzania 24 hours LATE. Unbelievable! It was about 10pm, and we had arranged for a Baptist missionary to pick us up, but of course, it was now 24 hours later and he was nowhere to be found. So as we step off the platform, dozens of taxi drivers swarm us. We ask one if he knows the address we show him for the Baptist Mission. "Of course! I know this place! I take you there!" We hopped into his taxi, so ready for a shower and a bed.

Blu and I both agree that this taxi ride was the scariest experience of our lives. My husband does not yell, and is kind to everyone he meets. He screamed at this driver. "The light is red!!!! You have to stop!!!" And "Those are brake lights in front of you!!" We both thought we were going to die. After about an hour of this, it became clear that Mr. Taxi Driver had no idea where the Baptist Mission was. He finally said "I know a good hotel. I take you there." He drives up to this place (it's nearing midnight now) and we realize that he gets commission for people he brings to the hotel. But it was an exquisite lobby, and we walk in and feel AIR-CONDITIONING!!!!! I gave my husband a look he will never forget and said "Pay for a room. I don't care how much it costs. Get me a room." We slept so good in that bed with air conditioning!!!!!

The next morning, we had planned to head to the island of Zanzibar. We found another taxi driver who was oh so eager to help us. After spending the morning at travel agencies trying to get airfare to Zanzibar, we realize that it will be cheaper to just take a ferry. We finally get down to the docks where a boat is about to leave. We are told it takes 2.5 hours to get to Zanzibar by ferry. We get on the ferry, which is actually quite nice, and we realize we aren't moving very fast. After talking to a few other tourists, we realize that we paid for the "slow boat". The trip takes at least 5 hours. *sigh* This vacation is not going as planned....
It's going to be a long ride...

The water was beautiful though!

Because we changed everything at the last minute, we didn't make hotel reservations, but instead found a small resort that we assumed wouldn't be booked (it was February--not really tourist season). We got to our resort at about 9pm that night and found only one room left. Not a great room, but a room we could afford. However, they were out of mosquito nets and there was no a/c...but we took it! We took a shower only to realize that they used the ocean's saltwater in the sinks and showers....ever tried washing your hair with saltwater?! But at last, we were there!

The next day we set off to do some snorkeling. When you ask someone in Africa where something is, they will always tell you it is "just there." We knew better, but we fell for this. After about a 2 hour walk, we reached the snorkeling spot, to find out the group had just left. We headed back to our hotel, but I soon realized that I was VERY sunburned (pregnant belly included.) I told Blu we were spending the rest of our vacation at OUR resort, or along the beach of our resort, but no more walking!!
See my sunburn?!

Strangely, we realized that nobody was in the water. We saw lots of sunbathers (including many topless European sunbathers, including a topless European midget sunbather, but that is REALLY another story...) but nobody in the water. Hmm..that's strange...
A suffering missionary...

Blu headed out to the water while I sat under a cabana to read a book. I see people starting to stare at Blu and then to yell "watch out!" What?! Sharks??? No, instead it's this sharp, spiky stuff underwater that makes it impossible to swim. Insane... Blu came back with cut feet and we didn't get in the ocean again.

The food at this place was AMAZING. It was run by a Belgian and the Belgian chocolate mousse was to die for. We were paying in Euros, and someone told us the exchange rate for Euros to dollars, but they told us backwards. So the whole time we were there and eating, we thought we were paying a lot less than we were. When we paid our bill to check out, we asked "What's the exchange rate again??" Oops.. We splurged our last night and ordered lobster together. The food was just incredible! We ate clam salad sandwiches for lunch and ordered fruit drinks out by the (saltwater) pool. It was neat!

We spent our last day touring some of Zanzibar island and it was so different from the Africa we knew. Zanzibar is like 99% Muslim, so it was like stepping into the Middle East. So different from what we were used to! We carefully bought ferry tickets for the way back to Tanzania, knowing that we wanted to get on the fast ferry! We sat on the boat in airport style seats for the 2 hour ride back. The ferry moved so fast that Blu and I were both white and VERY seasick. It was a rough ride!

Our train ride home was uneventful. We only arrived 3 hours late to Zambia, which was wonderful after getting there 24 hours late on the way! When we returned home, people asked us how our vacation was. We looked at each other, shared a small smile, and said "It was very African..."

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


So I'm kinda developing this hobby of cake decorating. It wears me out, but I LOVE to work hard on something and then see the finished project! I thought I'd share some of my cakes here, and then tell you what's coming up!
Caedmon's 1st Birthday

Caedmon's 2nd birthday

Cambree's 1st birthday

Caedmon's 3rd birthday

My friend Erika's wedding shower cake!

So my upcoming projects are some kind of birthday cake for Blu (red velvet), probably a Finding Nemo birthday cake for Cambree, and then (drum roll please...) a Bible cake for Blu's seminary graduation in December!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

The Wiggles!!

Today Caedmon and I ventured to the big city of Dallas to see The Wiggles live! I bought tickets back in June, so we've been excited about this for awhile! (Blu refused to go, so he stayed with Cambree!) We had such a good time! Caedmon was the perfect age to go and know what was going on. He sang and danced and most often just sat in awe! I loved seeing it through his eyes!! Ok, ok, and Anthony Wiggle isn't so bad looking either.... ;)

"Toot toot chugga chugga big red car..." (yes, I have their songs memorized...)

He was so excited!

Look at that boy dance!