April 23, 2009

Update on Missing Child - Good news

An update to let everyone know that Ashley is back home with her family. A local TV station did a segment and she contacted her parents & returned home. Wonderful news for the whole family.

April 21, 2009

MISSING CHILD - Please read!

A friend of mine has a young teen daughter and a friend of the daughter has gone missing. The family has put out information and I'm including it here. There can't be much worse than having your child missing!

This is directly from the Friel family in Columbia, MO:

Our daughter, Ashley Friel has been missing since Saturday, April 11th. She was last seen at home in Columbia, MO. She is 15 years old. 5 feet tall and about 105 pounds. She has some scarring on the inside of her forearms. She has brown hair with blonde highlights and hazel eyes. The picture below was taken about 4 months ago. Her hair is shorter now and she does not have her glasses. Please contact detective Curtis Brown at the Columbia PoliceDepartment if you have any information on her whereabouts. The number is (573)442-6131.

http://i67.photobucket.com/albums/h313/kbgirlref/ashley/100_8842-2.jpg (the above pic)
Please share this!

Update: just got word that Ashley was seen leaving town with 2 males. NO other identifying information was given.

April 20, 2009

Happy 8th Birthday Alex

April 19, 2001 at 1:15 p.m. in Poughkeepsie, NY a new member of our family made his grand entrance. All 11 pounds and 22 inches of him! We can't believe that it has already been 8 years. Where has the time gone? Alex is a very smart, active, funny, sensitive, frustrating, loving and snuggly little guy. No one in the world can make me so frustrated I want to scream (and I sometimes do) one minute and then make my heart feel like it will burst from so much love & joy the next minute. Alex can be such a character.

Alex enjoys being on his computer, video games, bowling, playing board & card games, being silly with our pets, teasing his sister, chocolate of all kinds, playing at the park with friends, singing...especially in the car, and being with his family.

Today, I am especially proud of him. As you know he turned 8 today. We decided to schedule his birthday party with family & friends for the first weekend in May because Corey's work has been so busy and we will be out of town next weekend at a bowling tournament for the kids. Some friends have a birthday on Tues and for scheduling issues for their family they held their party today. Alex handled the whole thing *very* well!! It isn't easy for an 8 year old to spend a good portion of his birthday celebrating someone else's birthday. He did receive gifts from us & others today and in the mail. Morgan baked him a cake this morning that we had tonight for dessert. There were a few times at the birthday party this afternoon that I knew he was working to control his emotions and I made sure to give him a hug & be available to him...but he did remarkably well and I am just soo darn proud of him. There is no way he could have handled this a year ago. He is growing and maturing and coming into his own.

Our family would not be complete without him. We look forward to seeing what a wonderful person he continues to grow into over the next 8 years...and then some.

Happy 8th Birthday Alex!! We love you!!

April 10, 2009

Castle Building - Day 2

Before and after our delightful tornado warnings today, Morgan and I were working on the rest of our castle. We had the Keep completed and the walls but that was it. So today we got the other towers done as well as the gate house. It is too cute and has a drawbridge that you can make a working one...just by adding some thread in 2 places. Morgan wants to do that so we will give it a shot. Here is where we are after 2 days.

We just have a few smaller "interior" buildings like some lean to's & the kitchen, putting strings on the drawbridge, and adding the people they include. We've enjoyed building the castle. I think I will have to look for more projects like this.

Tornado Warnings...again

Spring in middle TN includes tornado watches and warnings. April and May are the months with the most activity & thus, highest risk. Last Thursday we had our first tornado watch turn warning of the year. We had a repeat performance today. Right before the warning we had LOTS of rain and dime size hail. Morgan tried to get pictures but they didn't turn out so well. After the hail we had a break from the rain and I stepped out on the deck to take some pictures. These were taken after they announced a tornado warning for our area but no sighting.

A few minutes after I took those pictures they narrowed the warning area down a bit and the kids were ready to go to our safe spot. For our house, this is the space under the stairs (in the center of the house) which we access through the closet in the master bathroom. Here are pictures taken while in our safe spot.

Alex playing Timez Attack on mom's laptop (since the DSL wasn't working).

Morgan hugging Hope and playing the DS.

And Trey taking it all in stride and taking a nap.
After about 30 minutes the warning expired & was not renewed. The DSL was back up so we double checked the weather and the line of storms was east of us. So, all clear for us. Unfortunately, Murfreesboro (just east of us) got hit and had 2 deaths, several injuries and a lot of home destruction and damage.

April 8, 2009

Building Castles

Today, after math & grammar, we started building a castle. I had purchased the Usborne book for making a model castle at a curriculum sale last year. So we got down to business. Here is the book that contained our castle.

This is another Usborne book we have and Alex read about castles while we worked. This book has websites listed to go online and learn more and do interactive stuff. So cool!

Here is Alex reading to us about castles while Morgan and I did some cutting.

Mom gets the honor of holding the pieces together while the glue dries.

Morgan works on folding the next pieces.

Here is the Keep partially finished.

Alex helps cut out walls for our castle.

Our castle at the end of Day 1. The Keep is in place on the baseboard (came in the book) and the walls are put together but aren't upright yet. Tomorrow we will do the towers that the walls will connect.

It was cold but sunny today...a good day for building a castle. :-) We also played Sorry and Trivial Pursuit - Disney. Morgan worked on her fairy cross-stitch pattern for a little while. This was all followed by a lot of reading. Morgan has finished all the Magyk series by Angie Sage.

April 5, 2009

Corey, the brewmaster!

Corey started homebrewing a few years ago when we lived in Tampa. Some really good friends homebrewed and got him started. Sending a shoutout to Jay and Dirk!! Hi guys! He gets the kids involved (chemistry!) and we all wait to see how it turns out. So far he has done pretty good. His latest brew has been bottled a week and he was ready to pop open the first one for a sampling. This brew is a brown ale with chocolate undertones. This one had to be transferred from one fermenting bucket to another, something we hadn't done before in previous brews.

Here is the brewmaster with his latest brew, Muletown Brown.

And here we have a close up of Muletown Brown. The color is absolutely gorgeous..the camera just didn't capture it completely.

A Spring Weekend

Corey was off on Friday so we started our weekend early. After a slow, relaxing morning we headed to Galaxy Lanes for some family bowling. We have joined a family league that starts in May so we are getting in some practice. We checked on Alex's bowling ball (a birthday gift) and it had come in, but had been drilled & sold to someone else over the weekend. Ugh! So, they've ordered him another and will call us. Thank goodness we told him about it and his birthday isn't here yet or I would not be a happy camper. Alex handled it all very well (big improvement for him) and bowled very well. We then ran some errands. When we got home we decided to do some yard work. I mowed the backyard and did some trimming around the circle of daffodils and Corey trimmed the plants around the a/c units on the side of the house and then mowed the frontyard. We put lots of green into our compost! Woo. :-) Friday night we watched "Marley & Me" and I bawled like a baby. Fabulous movie, heartbreaking as a dog lover (especially having btdt).

Saturday was Mule Day here in Columbia so we took the kids to the Mule Day parade downtown. It is about 1.5 hours long and interesting to watch....since I didn't grow up around horses, mules, wagons, sheep, etc. :-) Mule Day actually lasts several days and the first 3 days involve a wagon train. I bet it can be fun travelling around the local area in a wagon. Anyway, after the parade we headed north to Thompson's Station to meet up with Tish at TN Equine Hospital where she works on Saturdays. They have several pregnant mares awaiting to foal. We got to meet the mares and visit with Tish. A couple of the mares are ready any second now. One of them is just a sweetheart and we were able to go into her stall to visit, give her lots of love & attention (and treats). We are hoping to have some foals soon to visit. Tish will keep us posted so we can come see them, we are calling it "baby watch '09". We then headed over to my mom's house to visit with her and my brother. We had a good visit. Then we went over to a friend's house for dinner. They always do a big taco cookout after Mule Day. We had a delicious dinner and a great visit. The husband is a contractor and I would *love* to hire him to do some work for us...like expand our back deck, and then cover & screen part of it so we can use it more. I guess I should start playing the lottery so I can get this stuff done. lol

Today was a gorgeous day and after a yummy breakfast of orange danish we jumped into yardwork again. This time focusing on the front yard. Corey put up the solar lights for the front, along the driveway and the front walk. He cut back, waaay back, the crappy bushes between the driveway & mailbox. We hate those bushes but haven't decided what to do with that section so haven't removed them just cut them way back. We have a triangular area between the driveway and front walk that had some flowers, ground cover, border plants and a small tree when we moved in. The flowers died, ground cover mixed with weeds and took over. The lawn started growing into the border plants. The small tree died and a completely different kind of tree grew from the same hole, thanks to a bird or squirrel, and was very crooked (because of the dying/dead tree). The kids and I dug up the 2 trees last week so they've been removed. Morgan and I worked several hours today pulling up weeds, ground cover, and cutting back the border plants. Corey pulled up the plastic (weed blocker..that failed) for us. It isn't perfect yet but we are making progress! We have tulip and beared iris bulbs to plant and a bunch of flower seeds. Here is what everything looks like so far.

Here we have the triangle after ground cover/weeds & plastic removed and border plants cut back.
You can see some of the solar lights along the driveway and the front walk.

Here are the severely cut bushes next to the mailbox. There is a small trellis & honeysuckle around the mailbox. Any suggestions on what to put here?

Here you can see the solar post lights in the backyard (1 next to the moose and 1 far left).

Here are the solar post lights at the gate between the back & front yards.

The whole backyard, see the daffodil circle.

April 2, 2009

Thankful Thursday 13

I haven't joined any group or whatever for Thankful Thursday 13 but I've seen it on a few blogs and just throught it would be a nice one for today. :-)

Kelly's Thankful Thursday 13

1. For my wonderful husband that works all kinds of hours to provide for our family.
2. For my husband's co-workers that tell him to go back to bed to get a couple hours of sleep.
3. That my husband still has his job, it is a good one with good benefits.
4. For the option of staying home to homeschool our children.
5. For my 2 wonderful children, whom I love more than life itself, even on the rough days.
6. For my friends, they keep me grounded as much as possible and provide much needed adult interaction.
7. For my family, without all of you we wouldn't have gotten this far.
8. For the unconditional love of pets.
9. For Diet Coke, without which I would NEVER make it through a day.
10. For our libraries because they keep us in books.
11. For gorgeous spring days that allow us to meet up with friends and enjoy the outdoors.
12. For the internet because it allows me to keep in touch with family & friends far away.
13. For educational games that make homeschooling & learning more fun.