This week marks three years since we moved to Alabama!  Three years!!  It seems like forever ago…or not long ago at all.  It’s been quite a ride!

Things that have not changed for us since we moved here:

1.  To the confusion of many Alabamians we still could care less about college football.

2.  We are part of an awesome church (technically the actual church is different, but us being part of one we love is the same.)

3.  We’re not fans of BBQ.

4.  I still say ‘you guys.’

5.  I have not yet found the perfect corn bread recipe.

Things that have changed for us since we moved:

1. Language:  no, we don’t have a Southern accent.  (Although with K starting school in a few weeks that may change.)  We do occasionally say things like “fixin” and “y’all.”  And I’ve come very close to saying “might could.”  Heaven help us in another three years.

2.  Family: we came as a family of 4 1/2 and became a family of 5.  (Also, my adoption of S was finalized, so I legally became the mom of two sons.)

3.  The children are significantly bigger than they were three years ago.  Significantly bigger.

4.  Bugs:  I now hate them with a new level of passion.  They are BIG here.  (Really the word ‘big’ is an understatement.)

5.  Critter type things such as scorpions, poisonous snakes, and poisonous spiders have significantly dampened my love of the outdoors.

6.  We all like sweet tea.  (Though K will only drink the neighbor’s rather than mine.  What’s that about?)

7.  40 degrees in winter feels very cold.  90 degrees in summer is a warm day.

8.  I’ve tried Okra.  I don’t hate it.

Our time in Alabama has been a bit of a desert experience with many heartaches, crises, and challenges.  However, there have also been incredibly good things and I am expecting even more good things in the next few years!!


Three years ago.  (Well, almost.  Technically it’s 2 years and 11 months ago, but you get the general idea.)

Random stuff

So we’re still stuck at home due to vehicle issues.  I’ve lost track of how many days we’ve been here, but it’s requiring some creativity to keep us from going crazy!  Here’s a few things we’ve tried to stay busy with in the last week:

1. Sensory activity:  “Clean mud” is how it is listed on the blog where I found the idea.  Really not so much.  However, if I have to choose between baking soda or dirt on the carpet, table, and furniture, it’s a very easy choice!  The kids had fun playing in it too.  Add the ease of making it and it was definitely a good activity!


2. Another activity:  Destruction.


This used to be a grill.  I wanted it out.  I had two boys here with an innate hankering for destruction.  Voila!  New activity!

3. Medium:  Colored Rice.


Easy to make.  Cheap.  Many ways to use it.

IMG_4828bSensory play.


Eye spy jar!

4.  Today’s activity!  Chalk Ice Paint


The ice is currently freezing, but hopefully I’ll be able to post more pictures of this later!  The kids had a ton of fun just making the chalk paint, so I’m hoping the actual ‘activity’ will be just as fun!

5.  The next activity?????


What suggestions do you have for me?  It cannot require any purchases because I can’t get to a store right now.  So it must be done at home with whatever items most people have in the house.  I’ve seen tons of good ideas on Pinterest, but many require items I don’t have.  What ideas can you come up with using common household items?

(Please comment on here rather than FB so it’s easier to find in the future.  Thank you!)

Summer Bucket List

The past few months (about 12, I believe) we’ve had significant vehicle issues.  Significant.  Popped tires, dead alternator, misc broken parts, transmissions (yes, plural), and a blown engine.  (These is particularly important if you want to use your vehicle to get places.  However, I can get you a great deal on a large paperweight if you’re interested.)  Despite all these issues no one has gotten hurt.  Nor where the kids with us any time a vehicle broke down mid-journey.  Those are big things for which to be grateful!!

Because of the vehicle issues the kids and I have been home.  A lot.  I’ve had to be creative to keep us from going completely crazy.  Thanks to Pinterest and other internet sites I have started a ‘bucket list’ for summer activities for us.  It’s been really cool.  Today’s was awesome and I highly recommend it!  Easy prep with two hours of payoff.  A momma can’t ask for better than that!!

I got the idea from here to make a block of ice to dig into.  First I collected some of the kids’ toys that could handle being wet and frozen.  Then  I took a big wash basin and filled it with water.  I dumped the toys in and tried to stick in the freezer.  This is the point where I made a critical error, thinking I could ‘wing it’ when I stuck the big basin of water in the freezer.  Even now I’m shaking my head at my lack of thought!   After I reorganized and cleaned (and got all the water out of the bottom) I found a stable, level surface for the basin and added more water to let the freezer work its magic.  Twice I added more items and water so I had three layers of toys in the ice.  It would have been really cool to color the water different colors so the kids could see the layers.  But I didn’t think of that till this minute.  So if you try it please let me know how it goes!

After I had a large solid block of ice with toys and misc items in it, I gathered the other supplies.  Medicine droppers, blunt table knives, salt (which I added a few drops of food coloring to), and warm water.

The kids loved doing this activity, though my two year old was the first one to get bored with it.  I think he would have liked a thinner layer of ice better so he could get items out easier.  However, my oldest repeated over and over again how fun it was!


The block of ice.


The supplies.


The block of ice waiting in the pool.



Working on freeing a plastic bug.  The water is yellow because of the food coloring I added to the salt.




My oldest still digging after his siblings were done.


The leftover ice.

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