Saturday, June 27, 2009

On Our Way...

There's too much to tell right now. I'll just say that the car issue seems to have resolved itself and we're headed out this evening. I'm stressed beyond belief and can't believe that even though I started packing on Monday I still have a ridiculous amount of stuff to do. Deep breath. See you soon....

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

She Cracked the Rules!

Last night Halle was wailing- loudly. I knew she wasn't hurt because it was her angry cry. Travis went to investigate and Halle wailed "she cracked the rules" at the top of her lungs. Travis said "what?" clearly confused and Chloe said nonchalantly "she means I broke the rules, that's how she says it". Very funny.

So we're 3 days out from our trip and we have transmission trouble. We know a guy that just put brakes on our other vehicle and he took a look at our main van and said there's absolutely no way we could drive to Florida with it as it is. He said it's a something or other but if we fix it now we won't have to have the transmission rebuilt- good to know. But we haven't been able to get it fixed because we can't get in touch with him- because he has to talk to somebody...and we're running out of time. He fixed the brakes on Trav's van but it took two days. And that was for brakes. I'm no mechanic but it seems like a transmission is harder to get to- being in the front of the car with the engine and all. Hmmm. I think it's going to be interesting to see how this plays out. Thankfully Travis handles the car stuff. And God has it all under control. I wouldn't say I'm nervous- just curious. Ok, and really excited because I know that God has some big things in store for us. So right now it looks like the bottom is falling out- two big car repairs in the last two weeks and we absolutely refuse to use credit cards for anything. We've drawn a line in the sand so to speak. But things aren't always as they appear. 2 Kings chapter 7. We're leaving Saturday. And everything that God has purposed for us for this trip will be accomplished.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Fun Stuff

In the midst of getting ready for our trip I've had some plant life happiness too. Like these eraser size little green tomatoes. It's so cool! I haven't ever grown any kind of thing to eat- other than the pumpkin last year but Chloe planted that at school. I'm positively twitterpated! My mom says I get it from my her mother- although my grandpa (dad's side) always grew stuff too. Maybe it was just that generation with their victory gardens. Travis and I have dreams of making salsa with them. Yellow salsa? They're supposed to be sweeter so I thought about mixing them with mangoes or peaches for a salsa- with the handy dandy magic bullet my parents bought Travis for Christmas.
And how about this sweet little sunflower? You might not be able to tell but this guy is only about two feet tall. I've seen seeds for varieties like this but haven't ever actually planted them. So my guess is that one of my birdie friends dropped a seed from somewhere else into my yard. This one has grown behind where we keep the trash can. It doesn't have any other small blooms though so this might be a one and done type flower. If it is that would be disappointing- that's why I always grow varieties with lots of blooms. But if you planted hundreds of seeds that would be spectacular.
And here's a pathetic little carrot. I knew that we were close to harvest time and I couldn't resist pulling one to see how they were doing. Boy was I disappointed. I'm not sure if they're too crowded or not getting enough water or what but this little guy is way small to have all that foliage on top, don't you think? We ate it anyway. It was kind of bitter but very carrot-y tasting. And somehow it made me feel all happy inside. I'm wondering if I should delay harvesting until we get back from FL. I'll have to do some researching today. I probably should have done that a couple of months ago. And now there is much to do. I've already done some big things but I'm making a list of everything that needs to go into our bags. I always try to do it from memory and I *always* forget stuff. Then we end up having to go shopping as soon as we reach our destination. It's very frustrating. And I have to wash and clean out the know the drill. So until later...

Friday, June 19, 2009

Because It Was Horrible to My Taste

This past Monday was family night of course, and I made burrito fixings since everybody loves burritos. Mostly. Actually, Chloe and Halle like bean burritos- the Taco Bell variety. I forgot to buy a can of refried beans so they were out of luck. But I did grill some chicken breasts that were marinated in Mojo. I love that stuff (it comes in a big bottle at Publix- do not buy Publix brand, blech) actually I love Cuban food and am very glad that I married a Cuban. Anyway, if you marinate the chicken for about 30 minutes (there's citrus in the marinade and it can start to cook the meat if you do it for longer) and grill it and it's fabulous- and really simple. We made burritos for the girls and all of a sudden Halle spit out something and we asked her what she was doing. To which she replied- "I spit out da chicken 'cause it was horrible to my taste". I wanted to be upset but I couldn't help but laugh.

Something that Travis brought home last night was horrible to my taste too...this pretty little apricot. So sad...

I've never actually had an apricot before that wasn't dried so I was excited to try it. Unfortunately it was mealy and tasteless and dry. I didn't finish eating it. It had to be that particular fruit because Travis loves them but he didn't like this one either. We'll have to try it again sometime.

In other news I've figured out my remaining sickness issue. Yeah, really I have. I'm allergic to TN. That's kind of anti-climactic, right? But I've noticed that my fatigue, headaches, feeling like I have a cold or flu symptoms were the same as when we had the cats. It left when we got rid of them and came back when allergy season started. So now when there's no tree pollen I feel fine, when it's low I start getting sinus headaches and really tired- any more than that and I'm done for. But I'm not the only one. My dad said he used to feel like he had the flu a couple weeks out of every month when he lived in FL. So yeah, that's it. It's nice to know that I'm not really, actually sick. My immune system isn't wrecked like I thought it was and that's encouraging. The not encouraging part is staying in bed for two to three weeks at a time because I'm allergic to trees. I love trees. And I love TN. But it's making Florida look even better. I wonder if I'd be OK vacationing here? We used to vacation in NC and I was just fine. Very sad.

And on another note- I finally have Amanda's schedule! And I don't think I'm going to be all that busy with her stuff. I need to look at it again but she really wants me there for her competitions and for the award ceremony- for which I need at least a semi-formal dress. I don't really feel like buying one of those right now. And I'm having a bit of trouble not being critical about some aspects of this whole thing. I know that acting is my daughters passion and I appreciate that. I just hate the whole modeling, image aspect of it. I found myself being a bit sickened as I watched a little girl of about 5 posing for her dad when I was at Amanda's last practice. She was made up like a little model and clearly that's the aspiration. It's just not my thing. So I need to make it a goal to not judge and be loving and excited for these kids- and adults- that are trying to make a career in a field completely about image. And talent- a lot of these kids are really talented. And this is what Amanda is called to. I'm supporting her and praying for her. I just need to leave my condescending, self righteous attitude...well, I should just lose the attitude. Ooh, I think it worked...I feel much better now ;)

And I think that's all of my ramblings for the day.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

By Request

Christy requested a picture of my new hair and I'm glad to oblige since I don't really have anything else to blog about today. Now, I'm as vain as the next girl (more than some, less than others) and I hate taking my own pictures. The only thing I hate more than that is to post pictures that are less than flattering. These pics left me running for some powder since I'm sans makeup but I decided to not retake them because, well, whatevah. I'm hanging out with the kids today and no makeup takes 10 minutes off my routine so there you go.

From the front...
And from the side-ish...
It's really the easiest hairstyle ever and Rhonda is a magician, I think.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Summer time...

Today I'm thankful. Thankful for a husband that can talk me down off a ledge, a new haircut and a new person to cut my hair. Not that the person that used to cut my hair left me desiring better hair, it's just that the price tag for said hair cut left me looking for ways to save money. Thankfully a woman in my life group is a hair stylist that stays home with her kids. She gives really good, really cheap haircuts. Nice. I miss the massage-y chair when I get my hair washed but the price more than makes up for it and I don't have to find a babysitter for the kiddos- it's a win-win.

I've made a partial list of things that I need to do before we leave (10 days!) and have crossed some things off already. Like having the tires rotated- blech. I usually pick the worst times to do it and end up wandering around Costco for a couple of hours but yesterday it was done in 35 minutes, yay! So before I run off to do laundry and make dinner (pancakes, eggs and sausage- yum) I'll give a brief overview of what's going on around here for summer. Oh and btw, I've been out in the sun quite a bit and am several shades darker than Trav- bahahaha!

Sweet little bathing suit clad girls... Roses are still blooming some...

Really, really weird looking bugs....

Carrots! The mini variety...

Pumpkin blossoms...

And tomato blossoms!!! Already! I didn't expect to see blossoms for a few more weeks. According to the research I've done they produce lots of tomatoes and they have a milder flavor than grocery store tomatoes. I hope I like them. If I don't, I'm not sure what I'll do with them.

Friday, June 12, 2009


I thought I'd follow up my previously melancholy post with something a bit more fun. I've been feeling a bit melancholy recently (might have something to do with my being stuck in the house) and I find that beachy pictures cheer me up.

Like this beautiful beach cottage bedroom. I love blue and green together. all pictures are from Coastal Living
Could you imagine having breakfast with this view? Scones and coffee and fresh fruit...mmmm... Or this one? I'm not sure I'd want coffee in this setting. I think I'd have to have something more tropical.
An outdoor claw foot tub...divine.
A peaceful reading spot would be nice too. And to go with my beachy theme I'll give you a recipe for fruit salad that I made on Memorial Day. I stole the idea from a Publix magazine but modified it because there was way to much sugar in it. I used honey for this but you could use blue agave nectar also.
2 mangoes
2-3 kiwi
1 fresh pineapple
10-15 fresh strawberries
1/4 cup honey
4 tbsp. key lime juice
poppy seeds for funsies
Slice everything up, mix the honey and lime juice and pour over the fruit. Sprinkle on some poppy seeds if you'd like. They add some fun and let people know that it's a fruit salad. The lime gives it a bit of a kick. I used Nellie and Joe's Key West lime juice- gasp! Not fresh? Yes. I didn't have any Key Limes around and I was going for easy-peasy. So call the culinary police if you must. Even picky Amanda liked this. Enjoy....


I was looking at the calendar this morning and realized that Chloe goes back to school the Thursday after we get back from vacation. We leave in about 2 weeks, we'll be gone for two weeks and then she's back to school that Thursday. Conflicting emotions abound. I've loved the schedule this year but we went on vacation a lot earlier last year. So I think I need a pro/con list.

1.Getting up at a ridiculously early hour (for the Buttons) was rough but we got through it.
2.The school was tougher academically than her last school and was good for her.
3. The parents of this school are *really* involved.
4. The overall quality of everything was a notch above her last school (which was also very highly rated).
5. Keeping Chloe in the same school is good for her because change is difficult.

1. Getting up early affected week night things like Life Group. And life in general.
2. During most of the year she had more than an hour of homework every night even though her teacher said they would have no more than 20 minutes of homework a night plus reading. I don't know of a kid that can rainbow write (every letter of every word has to be in a different color) all 20 spelling words in 20 minutes, plus math homework, plus grammar homework.
3. Her teacher was a nice person but I didn't like her attitude toward Chloe, academically speaking. Apparently Chloe's artsy-ness bothered her so when I recieved communication from her it was typically negative. Which affected Chloe's report card. How? Because grades around here are subjective. It just makes me too angry so I need to stop.

Sigh. I haven't been completely happy with any school that any of my kids have gone to. Well, Beech High School was a good school for Amanda. I was happy with that but we moved. It's difficult for Travis and I because we were both teacher's pets. Our teachers constantly heaped praise and attention on us so to have teachers that are indifferent or negative towards my kids is really hard. I guess we were spoiled. I grew up in private school and he did too until the 4th grade, I think. Home schooling is out of the question. I'm not physically able to take that on (I've been sick since the day Chloe got out of school) and we're not financially prepared for it either. So, we'll do what we always do. We'll pray about it and figure it out. Ultimately God knows what Chloe needs better than I do. I mean, it's really a miracle that she got into this school anyway. There are plenty of kids that apply year after year and don't get in. I'm really just not ready for her to be in school again. Of course, I'll be rejoicing when she gets that 3 week break in October, right?

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Keeping Up

So I've been trying to keep up lately...with the laundry. I know, aren't we all? Actually laundry isn't usually a huge problem around here because we have enough big people to keep up with it. If they need something washed, they just wash it. But ever since our cats left, the fleas moved in. With a vengeance. I don't like talking about fleas or looking at fleas but really, the Button household has revolved around nothing but fleas for the last 3 weeks or so. It has been the most frustrating thing ever. So, Travis sprayed the entire house again this past weekend. This is the third time but this time he emptied out every closet, took everything out from under every bed (when you live in a small house the space under beds is storage- no way around it) and vacuumed every inch of floor space in the house...and sprayed *everything* with insecticide. Now I am usually a no poison kind of gal, especially with small kids in the house but since fleas were responsible for the outbreak of the bubonic plague I more readily accepted poison in the house. Gaaa. Disgusting. And the laundry? I've washed every single comforter in the house and every pillow cushion and blanket around to get rid of flea eggs. We still have a layer of poison on the wood floors because apparently they lay eggs in the grooves- so we have to walk around with shoes on until Saturday when I can mop. Blech. We've seen a few fleas since then and Travis has said that if they show up again we're flea bombing the house. I *really* don't want to do that.

On the brighter side of things, we're leaving for Florida in 19 days! Did I mention that? Amanda's acting competition is in Orlando the end of this month and the first week in July and we're going with her. She's nervous and well, I might be a little nervous too. She definitely needs us there to walk with her and give her guidance and pray with her because we have no idea what's going to happen. She'll be competing but there will also be casting directors and that sort of thing. I think it's just nerve wracking to know that you're being watched all the time and competing and that sort of thing. But I don't have a plan yet. At this stage of the game I *always* have a plan- um, except maybe for that last trip to Florida. But she doesn't have her schedule yet which means I don't know what I'm doing or what to plan for or what to wear. And do I have to have a formal-ish dress for the award ceremony? Oh, I hope not. What days are we spending where? I don't like not having a plan. I am looking forward to it though. I'm hoping for a beach day and an amusement park day and a friend day and I'm supposed to have a looking at houses day with my mom-but I guess I'm not going to know all that for a little while yet.

So I will wait, mostly patiently, and dream of palm trees...

Monday, June 08, 2009


...a few weeks ago Amanda accidentally dropped her i-Pod in the toilet. Tragedy of tragedies, I know. She was so upset and I felt really bad for her. We bought it for her for Christmas and it was the new model with some new features and it was probably the nicest present we've ever bought for her. So the hunt was on for some remedy to the water inside. She went to the Mac Authority and they told her to try putting it in a bag of rice to get the moisture out (the real trick according to Travis is if you do drop an i-Pod or cellphone in water is to turn it off immediately and do not turn it back on for several days. Apparently turning it on and trying to use it fries the circuits or something like that). So she grabbed some rice from the pantry and put her beloved i-Pod in for a few days and...nothing. Bummer. But a few days after that I found the bag of rice back in the pantry. The rice that the i-Pod was in. The i-Pod that fell into the toilet. I don't think that I need to tell you that I'm not serving toilet water rice to my family. But I also thought it was reeeaaallly funny. So I wrote a little note on the bag and stuck it to her bedroom door. Hilarity ensued. She thought it was reeeaaaallly funny too. Seriously, I almost fell on the floor laughing.
Ah, a day in the life of the Buttons. My dad says that we can have fun doing *anything*. I think it's true.

Thursday, June 04, 2009


I'm sleepy and it's 10:35. I normally don't go to bed until around 11 at least. Even when I try to get to bed earlier it's at least 11, more like 11:30. We Buttons are night owls- but you all knew that, right? I don't have much to say since I've been cooped up in the house since last week. Halle's been sick and now Trav's car is broken. It should be fixed easily enough. And I wanted to see if I could type out anything coherent when I'm this sleepy. And now everyone has come back to the bedroom and started to have a conversation with me. It's hard to type and half listen.

Chloe's birthday was today and we had big plans. We bought a little inflatable swimming pool and a slip-n-slide and a loaf of white bread. The plan was to walk to the dock and feed the fish then come home and play in the water all day. But it was overcast and chilly But we redeemed the day after Trav got home by taking the kids to Chuck E. Cheese to play video games.

Tomorrow we'll be stuck at home again because Trav will have my car- thankfully school is out. And the weather is supposed to be sunny. So our plans are on again- walk, swim, slide. It should be fun.

Monday, June 01, 2009

A New Dress and a Brunette

Well, even though I didn't meet my goal of finishing Halle's dress *and* Chloe's dress, I did at least finish Halle's- for now. I'm pretty happy with how it turned out, even though it's far from perfect. But this is another idiot proof project- meaning it's hard for even me to mess it up completely. I do hate the ribbon ties though. I've tried a couple of projects with ribbons for ties and I just hate them. They slip out too easily so I'm sure I'll be making my own straps. Either frome the dress fabric or from bias tape. I'm sure most of you recognize this fabric. Mary and I made a quilt for Halle out of the same thing and I have yards and yards leftover. I was *really* new to sewing back then and figured that I needed enough to recover a couch.
Halle got pretty "hammy" in her posing. And here's a closer look. I'm not going to even bother pointing out all the defects. The end result is wearable and you'd have to take a really close look at it to see what's wrong so I'm happy with it. Halle kept wanting to take it off though so I'm crossing my fingers that she'll wear it.
And I'm a brunette now. Gasp! It's kind of a long story that involves me messing up my highlights but here you have it. The jury is still out on whether I'm happy with it or not. It's a pretty big change and it's kind of hard to get used to. Actually, I looked in the mirror a couple of nights ago when I did it and scared myself. No, really. But I'm supposed to see some friends soon and I think it's better to let people know ahead of time, right? Travis likes it but Amanda says I look better blonde. I think I'll be staying brunette for a while though. The upside is I'm not looking at roots all the time.
And everybody dyes their hair darker in the summer, right? Right....