Posted in Family, Hubby, Imaginative one, Wee one

Our Super Trip – Day #2

Day #1

When Foodie Pen Pals Meet

On Saturday morning, we got up early and went down for breakfast. We ended up being early, which made our two sleepy children unhappy. Luckily there was a lobby with couches, so they laid down until breakfast was ready. Before we left Charlottesville, we stopped at Bodo’s Bagels. It was jam-packed, so that was a sign of a great place to get breakfast. We got bagels and honey pecan cream cheese. The Imaginative One loved the plain bagels so much that he had two on the ride down to Folly Beach.

Stop #2 was Appomattox Courthouse. The location of Lee’s surrender to Grant at the end of the Civil War. This significant event in our history occurred days before Lincoln was killed. Tears rose in my eyes as I saw the reconstructed McLean house where the peace document was signed.

Before we got there, we had to drive through the backcountry of Virginia. At one point, we even were in the geographical center of Virginia. Some of the roads reminded me of Oz, with the cornfields on either side of the road. We stopped for gas at this little country gas station. It was called Duck Corner, and it would quack whenever someone opened the door. The boys loved this. I had to apologize to the clerk because the boys wanted to hear the quacking.

Oh, and the Imaginative One complained about his stomach hurting while driving down those roads. Luckily I had packed peppermints, so I told him to suck on that. There was no car sickness that day. Mommy saved the day.

We only spent an hour at the Courthouse. I could have spent much longer, but we were on a tight schedule. Our favorite things were the living history people. It was interesting to talk to Corporal Robert Fields from Pennsylvania. He kept in his character the whole time we talked to him.

We also met Jeff Toalson, who has taken letters written during the Civil War and put them in order and in a book. I got the book called Send Me a Pair of Old Boots & Kiss My Little Girls. These are letters between husband and wife Richard and Mary Watkins. I’ve read about a fourth of the book but had to put it down because it was hard to keep putting it down and then picking it up. WI will read it whenI have time to dedicate to reading it. It’s that good.

After we were finished with Appomattox Courthouse, we traveled to Folly Beach. Outside Raleigh (Lynnwood), we stopped for lunch and a little playtime. Soon afterward, we were back on the road. When we were at the South Carolina border, it started to pour. It was so bad that we could barely see in front of us. We stopped at the welcome center, and the boys and I didn’t get out because of the puddles and how fast the rain was falling. Hubby needed to check on his bike rack, so he got out and was soaked. The rain stopped as quickly as it started.

The boys were restless at that point. They wanted to be at the beach, but we still had a few hours to go. At one point, Hubby and I decided to rock out to Pink and put on a performance to Get the Party started. I even had motions and danced in my seat to the song.

Finally, I saw the Bridge and knew we were in Charleston. Only 20 minutes were remaining until we were at the beach. Those 20 minutes took forever, especially with the boys being loud in the backseat. But we made it at about 7:45 pm that evening. After we got there, the boys got to walk in the sand and dip their feet in the ocean. They were so happy to be there. No one went to bed until 11ish that evening.

Click on the picture of the McLean House to go to other pictures of the day.

The McLean House
The McLean House
Posted in Family, Hubby, Imaginative one, Wee one

Our Super Trip – Day #1

We just returned from an awesome trip because it lasted for 11 days – 6 of which were at the beach. On the other 5 days, we visited and traveled from one place to another. We listened to the boys say, “I’m bored!” or “What state are we in?” or “Ohio.  Indiana. Missouri,” or “I want to go back to the beach!!!!!!”  The third statement was about the license plate game. The Wee One loves that game!  🙂  We also listened to books on tape, such as Drizzle, Encyclopedia  Brown, and the Henry Winkler Hank Zipper series. Most of all, we made memories we will cherish.

Day 1 was the travel day to Charlottesville, VA (Check out my post about why we chose that city). We wanted to leave by 6 am to be able to do a tour of Monticello. The official start time was 6:05, so that was a good start to the trip. We hit fog when we hit southeastern Ohio to West Virginia. In fact, the Imaginative One said the bridge that separated Ohio from West Virginia was like a tunnel, not a bridge.

We made an excellent time during that leg of the trip. We got to Monticello (our first stop) by 2 pm. The Imaginative One loved Monticello. His favorite parts were where they kept the ice, Jefferson’s reading apparatus that held up to 5 books, the dumbwaiter, and the polygraph machine. Hubby and I were impressed with Jefferson’s bed in the wall, the closet at the end, and the closet above the bed that had air holes, so there was ventilation. We were also impressed with his front parlor, where he greeted guests. The clock was amazing, and the maps were interesting. The Wee One took away from the whole experience that Jefferson liked to read.

After we left Monticello, we went and checked into the hotel. Hubby needed a nap, and the boys were very loud, and squirrely so I took them swimming while their dad took a nap. Once we were done swimming, we got ready and went down to the University of Virginia rotunda to do a virtual cache (geocaching – Google it).

While at the rotunda, we got a hold of my sister so she could take a picture of us at the virtual cache. The boys thought sticking their behinds out at the camera would be funny. I don’t know if she captured that or not.

After taking pictures at the University of Virginia rotunda, we went to the Pedestrian Mall and met up with Jo. We were late because of Hubby’s geocaching and because we got turned around at one point. We found the Hawaii license plates in the parking lot where we parked. To read about our adventures at the Pedestrian Mall, visit this blog entry.

Click on the Thomas Jefferson Statue to see pictures from our first day on the Super Trip.

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Jefferson statue – The Imaginative One is pretending to look through the telescope.
Posted in Family, Food, Foodie Pen Pal, Imaginative one, Wee one

When Foodie Pen Pals Meet

During the winter, we decided to go to our favorite beach – Folly Beach, South Carolina. Ideas about where we should go on the way there and the way home were thrown around. We knew we did not want to go to Gatlinburg because we had done that twice before, so it was time for something new. I mentioned Charlottesville, VA, and Hershey, PA, as possible destinations. Hershey was quickly vetoed because it would take too long to get there and then too long to travel down. So we decided Charlottesville would be our destination.

When I was a teenager, my mom, sister, and I would travel down to Charlottesville via bus. We would first go to Washington, D.C., and visit different historical sights during our layover. I’m getting sidetracked from my story.

There were 3 things on my agenda for our visit to Charlottesville – Monticello, the University of Virginia rotunda, and the pedestrian mall. About a week before our trip, I emailed Jo. Jo was my November Foodie Pen Pal. We had exchanged emails about her motorcycle trip to Ohio and how much she loved Cincinnati-style chili. So I sent her a box with ingredients to make chili.

I emailed her because she lives in Charlottesville, and as a foodie, I needed the 4-1-1 on good places to eat there. She offered to meet us at the pedestrian mall if we had time so she could give us a local’s perspective on great foods to eat. I warned her about the Wee One and the Imaginative One because I didn’t know if she wanted to spend a Friday evening with two elementary-age children stuck in a car for 7 hours and then walk around Monticello for 3 hours (almost actual times). They could get a little squirrely. She was okay with that, so we met up.

She helped us find parking and even find Hawaii license plates. The Wee One loves looking at license plates and yelling out the different states. His goal was to find Hawaii and Alaska. There were 2 cars with Hawaii license plates in the parking lot we parked in. Supposedly I owe him Legos because he found one of the rare license plates.

It was so much fun talking to her about foodies and other random topics such as running, walking to Monticello from her house, and where Dave Matthews had his first gig. My Hubby even enjoyed talking to her and loved her accent because she is originally from Quebec. She even showed us the Coke machine (which doesn’t work) at Chap’s ice cream. The boys loved the place. They could draw and write their name in chalk. They were not so happy about walking around, but when you are 8 and 10, parents can make you do boring things.

Here are some pictures:

Posted in Imaginative one, Wee one

Dinner Conversations

We eat dinner together most days. It is important to both Hubby and me. We were both brought up eating dinner as a family. So we want to continue this tradition with the boys. Our conversations can be fun because you never know what the boys might say.

Here are some of our conversations:


  • WO = Wee One
  • IO = Imaginative One

Hubby told the boys he used to have a mustache because he wanted to look older. He shaved it off when he turned 30.
IO:  Did you get a senior discount at the movie theater?

Me:  Why are you so loud?
WO:  I was born in the year of the rooster.
IO:  When was I born?
WO:  In the year of the ram, you are so ramy.

IO:  These fries are so spicy.
Me:  Then quit eating them.
IO:  (Dips the fries in the ketchup.)  These fries are so spicy.
Me:  Then quit eating them.
(This pattern continued several times. He ended up eating 2 servings of the fries.)

IO:  Why can’t you tell eggs jokes?
Me:  I don’t know.
IO:  They might crack up.

IO:  I go to the University of Monkey Face. I take classes about making glasses for seals, and another is an armpit-smelling class.   Kids 62 is the University of Monkey Face newspaper, and Kids 68 is the normal newspaper.

IO:   This spinach tastes different.
Me: I just opened the container.
IO: Maybe I like aged spinach or something.

WO taking the onions out of his sauce.
WO: I’m a ghost hunter. I think this is ghost slime.

These are a few of the dinner conversations we have had at our house lately. I wouldn’t trade it for anything!

Posted in Crockpot, Imaginative one, Menu planning

Menu Planning Monday – July 1st

Monday – (The Imaginative One’s delicious food day.)

Tuesday – 

  • B – Smoothie (Imaginative One’s favorite breakfast), sausage links
  • L – corn dogs, raw veggies, Cheez-Its
  • D – Easy Pepper steak in the slow cooker, pasta, salad

Wednesday –

  • B – French Toast Mini Muffins, fruit
  • L – sandwiches, raw veggies, Cheez-Its
  • D – Chicken and broccoli stir fry in the slow cooker, rice

Thursday – Happy Fourth of July!!!

  • B – Smoothie, sausage links
  • L – Corn dogs, raw veggies, Cheez-Its
  • D – Hamburgers, French fries, veggie

Friday – 

  • B – Cereal
  • L – Waffle House (Going out with my mom to celebrate birthdays)
  • D – Barbecue Chicken sandwiches, chips, salad

Saturday –

  • B- French toast (or French toast sticks), fruit
  • L – Pizza or sandwich
  • D – Left-over night
Posted in Dessert, Family Recipe, Ice cream, Imaginative one, Nut free, Recipes, Snacks, Wee one

Cream Soda Ice Cream

This is our family’s favorite ice cream that my in-laws make. They only make it for special occasions. At the end of the school year, my mother-in-law contacts my sons’ teachers and asks if they mind her bringing some ice creams to share with their classmates. It is a way for them to celebrate their birthdays because they both have summer birthdays.

Warning:  You need an ice cream machine to make this.

IMG_8161[1]Cream Soda Ice Cream

Stars of the recipe:

  • 2 cans of sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 liters of red cream soda (You can use other flavors of pop Lemon-lime soda is yummy, but root beer tastes flat.)


  1. Combine the cream soda and sweetened condensed milk in the ice cream machine.
  2. Follow the instructions for your machine.
  3. Put it in a freezer-safe container in your freezer.
  4. Enjoy!

Printable Recipe

Posted in Drinks, Imaginative one, Ingredients, Lemons, Recipes

The Imaginative One’s Fresh Lemonade

There are 3 seasons, according to the Imaginative One – lemonade season, hot chocolate season, and apple cider season. His favorite drink to have depends on what season it is. Now that the weather is getting warmer, it’s back to lemonade season once again. Tonight as I was getting dinner ready, he was asking me questions about lemons and if he could have one of them. I kept trying to find out what he was up to because it could not have been good.

I noticed a tab on the computer that said something about perfect lemonade. He was trying to find the perfect ratio of lemon juice to water to make lemonade. The recipe called for making simple syrup. I did not want him attempting to make that, and I was also using most of the stovetop. So he just added sugar to the finished product to make it sweeter.

The Imaginative One’s Fresh Lemonade

Stars of the recipe:

  • 1/4 c. lemon juice (fresh or out of the bottle – If using fresh, microwave the lemons for about 10 seconds to maximize the amount of juice.)
  • 3/4 to 1 c. of water
  • sweetener to taste


  1. Combine the lemon juice and water in a cup.
  2. Add the sweetener. Stir until dissolved.
  3. Enjoy over ice!

Makes enough for one person.

Printable Recipe

Posted in Imaginative one, Pictures, Randomness, Wee one

Strawberry Picking

Yesterday the Imaginative One and I went to the zoo to check out the new dinosaur island exhibit.  On the way there, I saw a sign about strawberry picking, so I asked him if he wanted to stop and pick some fresh strawberries.  Since he loves strawberries, he told me yes!!!!  So I followed the signs and found the farm.  

The owner showed the Imaginative One how to look for ripe strawberries by sight.  Strawberries stop ripening once they are picked.  He also told him to check the ripeness by tasting it.  So we tried a few freshly picked.  YUM!!!

We filled the basket to the top and even a few more so that it overflowed.  It was an experience that we will not forget.

The Wee One was not with us but enjoyed the fruits of our labor.  I had to tell him to stop eating the strawberries because I was afraid he would get a tummy ache.  

At one point, he was running through the house holding a huge strawberry and singing, “I like big strawberries, I cannot lie.”

Posted in Imaginative one, Randomness

Letter to Moore, OK

The Imaginative One has decided to write a letter to those affected by the May 20 tornado.  He was saddened but also proud of the people of Moore, OK.  Here is his letter:

Dear people of Moore, OK:

I heard about the tornado.  I am sorry about the people who were hurt or killed.  I heard some sad stories but also some stories of real heroes, like a teacher who was found under a car with 3 kids under her.  Also, one is about a lady who tells about her experience of how her dog has swept away from her during the tornado.  Suddenly they heard a sound and discovered the dog was just hidden under the debris and come out when he heard her voice.  

I am sure some of the missing people will be found, but before they are found, let’s hope they are okay.  God be with them, is my plea.  

If I could, I would go down there to help search for the missing people and give some of my clothes, toys, books, and other things to the kids who have lost so much.  

My prayers are with the people who live there.

The Imaginative One – May 21, 2013

Posted in Foodie Pen Pal, Imaginative one, Wee one

Foodie Pen Pals – April

Another month has come and gone. I had fun buying it for Kristen and then receiving it from Ashley. Kristen lives in Sonoma County, California. My boys and I went out and found some goodies from our area to send her. Check out her blog to see what I got her.

Ashley lives in Indiana. She sent not only to me but also to my boys. The Wee One has declared I need to send a picture of him holding his goodies to my next pen pal because, in the last 2 boxes, he has gotten something yummy to eat. Whatever boy! Both of the gifts were well received by the boys.

All of the delicious goodies!
All of the delicious goodies!
The Imaginative One's gift
The Wee One's gift - One of his favorite treats!
The Wee One holding his gifts. He so wanted me to get done taking the picture so he could eat one of them.
The Imaginative One checking out his gift.  As I was cooking dinner, he was writing in the details so it's ready for his camp.
The card - It was handmade in her town.  I love giraffes so this is perfect.  It's hanging up in my classroom so I can smile whenever I see it.
The note
The note
This granola is so delicious!  It has cashews in it which is a welcome surprise.
These are good.  The Imaginative One and I ate on them.
I haven't dug into this yet.  However it looks delicious.

Thank you Kristen for a great box! We really enjoyed it.

And now it’s time for some details about Foodie Penpals. In case you’re a new reader, here’s a reminder of what the program is all about:

-On the 5th of every month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email. It will be your responsibility to contact your penpal and get their mailing address and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions.
-You will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail. On the last day of the month, you will post about the goodies you received from your penpal!
-The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items, or even homemade treats! The spending limit is $15. The box must also include something written. This can be anything from a note explaining what’s in the box to a fun recipe…use your imagination!
-You are responsible for figuring out the best way to ship your items depending on their size and how fragile they are. (Don’t forget about flat rate boxes!)
-Foodie Penpals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers. If you’re a reader and you get paired with a blogger, you are to write a short guest post for your penpal to post on their blog about what you received. If two readers are paired together, neither needs to worry about writing a post for that month.
-Foodie Penpals is open to US, Canadian & European residents. Please note Canadian Residents will be paired with other Canadians only. Same with Europeans. We’ve determined things might get too slow and backed up if we’re trying to send foods through customs across the border from US to Canada and vice versa.

If you’re from the US or Canada and are in participating for November, please CLICK HERE ( to fill out the participation form and read the terms and conditions.

You must submit your information by May 4th as pairings will be emailed on May 5th!

*If you’re from Europe, please CLICK HERE ( to signup.