Summer Fun

My hubby and I are coordinating a summer playground program at our community center this year.  It started yesterday and will run through July 30.  We have three kids right now, but I think that next week we will have more.  We made nature notebooks yesterday and recorded weather observations.  Today we took a walk around the playground and noticed plants and leaves.  The one boy seemed genuinely excited about the plants and was picking one of just about everything.  We, of course, made sure they did not pick the poison ivy!  Hubby remarked that it was like the boy was noticing plants for the first time, and I remarked that he probably was.  It was especially interesting to him to discover that some of the plants were edible, though hubby pointed out it is not a good idea to eat plants that are growing near roads.  I think we will try to take them on a field trip Thursday to Kanawha Falls to check out more plants and trees and have a longer nature walk.  Maybe even show him Cathedral Falls, which is always fun.  It is always neat to help a kid discover the world around them.

We took the leaves and plants back to the classroom and made a collage out of them — gluing them to construction paper.  Tomorrow we will take a flower press so we can do it properly next time.  I will have to post a pic tomorrow.

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Journaling Prompts 6/28

MONDAY:  What comes to mind when you hear “fourth of July”?

TUESDAY:  What does it mean to you to be a patriot?

WEDNESDAY:  What do you consider to be “freedom”?

THURSDAY:  What comes to mind when you think of “independence”?

FRIDAY:  What do you like best about your country?  Least?

SATURDAY:  Write your own declaration of independence.

SUNDAY:  Which song would you pick as your personal “anthem” and why?

SPIRITUAL:  What does it mean to you to be a spiritual patriot?


John Chapter 2

Day 1: v1-5

Day 2: v6-11

Day 3: v12-16

Day 4: v17-21

Day 5: v22-25

For tips on Bible journaling to get more out of your daily readings, visit the “Bible Journaling” tab at the top of the page.

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Sorry folks, I got hideously ill over the weekend and have been in bed since Sunday.  I will get back to my regularly scheduled programming when I am more myself.  *HUGS*

Reality TV

I recently saw some posts on what they watch on tv and it got me thinking about what I watch.  There are so many reality shows on tv that are way over the top.  Maybe these people are really the way they appear on tv, but I can’t help but think that they are playing to an audience.  I don’t go for drama or divas.

The reality tv I like are Pawn Stars, American Pickers and Forensic Files.  I’m a CSI junkie, but the real thing, not those dramas.  Pawn Stars and American Pickers are two shows hubby and I can both watch and enjoy.  Hubby really likes antiques.  I like the stories behind the antiques.  I usually get to watch Forensic Files once a month when hubby is away at drill (like this weekend, yeah!)

There isn’t a lot of fictional tv I’m really interested in.  I think tv has really gone down hill in the past decade.  I like the old shows:  F Troop, The Dick Van Dyke Show, Hogan’s Heroes, The Addams Family (all time fave).  A series in the early 90’s I liked was The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr.  That show introduced me to Bruce Campbell.  I enjoyed his guest spots on Xena:  Warrior Princess too.  There was the short-lived Jack of All Trades which hubby and I enjoy, but it isn’t exactly a family friendly show like Brisco County.  One show I do like is The Mentalist, because it is a modern day Sherlock Holmes type of show (and Holmes is my all time fave hero) but it’s on too late for me, so I hope to collect the series on DVD.  I also liked Monk, but it was the same deal.  I have managed to get season 1 of Monk and hope to collect that series as well.  My sister used to tell me I was OCD, and I ignored her.  Then I saw an episode of Monk and I thought OMG, she’s right!  So now I recognize and embrace my OCD, but I’m not nearly as bad as Monk.  Just don’t ask to borrow my crayons and mess up the order they are in.  Firing squad offence!  That’s a story all in itself.

Another thing is all the movie remakes lately.  You know, if someone said they were going to remake Gone With the Wind, the person would probably get death threats.  You don’t mess with classics.  And some of the movies they are remaking are considered classics.  I think people are getting lazy and trying to make a buck off someone else’s  success.  Well, remakes rarely measure up.  Remakes I won’t be seeing is the new Get Smart movie or the recently released A-Team movie.  I’m sorry, but George Peppard made the role of Hannibal and I think it’s sacrilege to have someone replace him and remake the character.  It’s lost it’s spirit.  I’ll stop ranting now.

But mostly I prefer the few reality shows I watch.  Another one hubby and I watch is Ghosthunters.  Very interesting.  We particularly like Ghost Hunters International because of the European locations — very old and interesting histories.

So, I guess I’m kind of dull as far as my tv habits, but that is okay.

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Character Sketches (Methods)

Journaling can also be used as a tool for creative writing — whether it be fiction or non-fiction.  What makes or breaks writing are the characters.  Are they believable?  Can the reader relate to them?  Doing character sketches in your journal can help make you more observant of the world around you, and can be very revealing when you do one about yourself!  To make it easy, start out with a fill-in chart:

Character Profile

Male or Female?



Hair color

Eye color

Shape of face




Other distinguishing marks

Skin type

Skin tone

Predominant feature

Type of body/build


What things will get the character angry?






How does the character act for each of those emotions?

How does the character deal with these emotions?

What is the character’s favorite saying?

What quirks does the character have?

What does the character to that is annoying?


What nervous gestures does the character make?

What gestures does the character have when angry?






Does the character make friends easily?  Why?

Is the character outgoing or withdrawn?  Why?

Is the character serious or jovial?

Does the character have a positive or negative outlook on life?  Why?

Start collecting a series of character sketches about those you know best.  Including yourself.

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Neopolitan Pound Cake

Saturday we attended our family reunion.  The Hoskins Family.  We converge on the old home town of Coal Grove, OH once a year to catch up with each other.  Mom always brings homemade potato salad (our secret Margaret Kincaid family recipe) and I have started the tradition of bringing a neopolitan pound cake.  I got the recipe free in some coupon book that came in the mail — unsolicited, I might add.  I have been asked for the recipe, so I will include it here.

Neopolitan Pound Cake


1 8oz pkg cream cheese, at room temperature

4 large eggs

1 18.25oz pkg white cake mix

3/4 cup milk

3/4 cup Nestle Nesquik Chocolate Flavor Powder

3/4 cup Nestle Nesquik Strawberry Flavor Powder

Powdered Sugar (optional)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour 10-inch, 12-cup fluted tube cake pan.

Beat cream cheese and eggs in a large mixer bowl until smooth.  Beat in cake mix alternately with milk.  Beat on high speed for 2 minutes (batter will be thick).  Remove 2 cups batter and place in separate bowl; stir in chocolate flavor powder.  Remove 2 more cups white cake batter and place in separate bowl; stir in strawberry flavor powder.

Spoon strawberry batter into prepared pan; tap pan on counter lightly.  Spoon white batter over strawberry batter covering it completely; spoon chocolate batter over white batter covering it completely.

Bake on center oven rack for 55 to 65 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in cake comes out clean.  Cool in pan on wire rack for 45 minutes.  Loosen edges with rubber spatula if needed; invert onto wire rack to cool completely.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired.  Makes 16 servings.

IF you need icing, I would recommend a cream cheese icing that you dribble over the cake.

a scrumptious cake

This cake is a HUGE hit everywhere I take it.  I ended up making a cake while at my sister’s yesterday.  She was having company that evening and I am sure it came in handy.  I would like to hear how it went over with them 🙂

My son went through the line at the reunion and when he sat down beside me he had three slices of this cake on his plate.  I promptly took two and passed them out to other members of the family at the table, stressing to him that he takes one and waits until others have taken what they want before going back for seconds.  Kids!

Of course Sis’s kids were trying to get a slice of the cake before dinner yesterday….

the huge crowd of 2010

Somebody in the family had the bright idea to get married on Saturday, so our number was down this year.  Evidently we were the ones not invited.

We also learned one of our older relatives just passed away that morning.

We had also had to change the date (though we knew this last year) which the family isn’t used to yet.  So all those things worked against us.  But those of us who were there, we had fun!  I have learned that my husband and my second cousin should not have any contact with each other.

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Journaling Prompts 6/14

MONDAY:  June is a popular month for weddings.  When were you married and why, or when would you like to get married and why?

TUESDAY:  What wedding traditions does your family observe?

WEDNESDAY:  What wedding traditions did you observe or would you like to incorporate into your wedding?

THURSDAY:  What songs do you want played at your wedding and why?  If you are already married, what songs were played and why?

FRIDAY:  If you are planning your wedding are there things you want to do and feel you can’t due to someone else’s dictates?  If so, what are they?  If you are already married, did you have to changes things you really wanted to please someone else?  Explain.

SATURDAY:  Traditional vows or customized?  Why?

SUNDAY:  Get married or live together?  Why?

SPIRITUAL PROMPT:  Each believer is a bride of Christ.  What does it mean to you as a Christian to have Christ as your future groom?


John 1, part 2

Day One: v29-34

Day Two: v35-39

Day Three: v40-42

Day Four: v43-46

Day Five: v47-51

For tips on Bible journaling to get more out of your daily readings, visit the “Bible Journaling” tab at the top of the page.

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