Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Check Out My Estate Sale Goodies

I participated in a local estate sale auction online.  I got two boxes full of linens, and these are just two of my favorite finds.  An adorable vintage sheer yellow apron (looks like it was never used), and an antique embroidered linen from China with the tag still on.  What do I do with these?  Well, I love to use my favorites for my mom's group gatherings or family holidays.  Some I sell on Ebay, and others I am planning on using in making items to sell on Etsy! (I always talk a good game, but getting it done is another story!)
This is another flea market find. I turned it into a soy candle with a vanilla scent.  I eventually want to sell these on Etsy also.  I just need to get organized!

Recipe for a Happy Marriage

Many people ask how my husband and I have achieved a relatively low key, happy marriage of 15 years.  Here's my simple recipe:
God + Love + Laughter =Happily Ever After.   Here are some more of my favorite "marriage" sayings-some I find humorous as well as helpful-not sure who wrote them:
A Happy Wife means a Happy Life.  If Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy.  The marriage that prays together, stays together.  (You can substitute family for marriage as well.)
EVERY WISE woman builds her house, but the foolish one tears it down with her own hands. – Proverbs 14:1 May God Bless You and Your Marriage,
The Queen Mama

Are You Ready for Some Football?

It's Football Season in our town!  The younger boys started a few weeks ago.  It's The Rockstar's 6th year playing, and Little Big Man's first.  It's a huge commitment for our family (for anyone's family for that matter), as practice is 5 nights a week and a game on the weekend.  What we do for our kids!!

Old Houses I'd Love to Rescue

These are  pictures I snapped from the car on the way home from our vacation.  I have a soft spot for old houses.  I think I must have lived in the Colonial and Victorian eras in a former life!  When I look at these houses, I wonder about the first inhabitants, what they looked like, what type of life they lived, what were their daily joys and struggles?  What did the house look like?  Who abandoned them and why?  I wish I could save them all!  Anyway, here you go..Enjoy!  Love, Queen Mama 

Baby Pangs

I felt compelled to post today because Big Daddy is tired of hearing me tell him over and over!  I am having major baby pangs!  Not necessarily newborn baby pangs, but just longing for more little ones to love.  Maybe it's the pangs of little ones in the system I am feeling, that need a forever family.  At any rate, I am so anxious and the wait has been over a year.  If you read my Our Family page, you will learn more about our adoption journey.  Well, thanks for listening!  I'm going to continue praying, and I appreciate your prayers as well!  May you be blessed, The Queen Mama

Monday, August 15, 2011

Are There Ghosts in Gettysburg?

The Rockstar was adamant about going on a Ghost Hunt while we were in Gettysburg.  It was planned for our last night, but the weather forecasted storms.  We told him we were not going to go, but he was crushed.  So Big Daddy took him on a last minute tour at 11 pm.  The Champ had no interest in going, so he and the Queen Mama and the  little ones stayed at the hotel.  It wasn't a ghost hunt, but it was a ghost walking tour of the town.  Big Daddy is pretty much a skeptic, but changed his mind after the tour.  He swore he saw a curtain move in one of the upper windows of a building (the tour guide told him it was a documented haunted spot).  They were encouraged to snap pictures everywhere and look at them later.  That orbs and different lights were usually ghosts.  So, they snapped away.  Not sure if they saw ghosts or not.  You can decide for yourself!
Note the large round "orb" to the left of the reenactor.  Rockstar on Right. This used to be a riverbed where the wounded soldiers would wash their wounds.  The guide said it flooded after a sudden downpour and many soldiers died there.
My son insists there are faces in this odd red light. Hmmm.
Big Daddy swears he saw the curtain be pulled back in the top left window.  It's too dark for me to see anything.  Well, if there are ghosts in Gettysburg, I hope they were believers, and find their final resting place soon!

Our Gettysburg Vacation

The Rockstar and I are huge history buffs!  We had a blast in Gettysburg!  I think everyone else did too, except for Princess B ~ she doesn't like long car rides, and so was not impressed with the audio car tour we took through the battlefields. (She let us know this by screaming for about an hour straight!)  Anyway, we were able to get some great pics.  Below was our first stop-the Battlefield Tour Center.  We had our pic taken with President Lincoln!
Did I mention it was about 110 degree heat index?  The kids were like, Mama, really? P.S.-Thank you to the kind stranger who offered to take our picture.  Who knows~maybe she's reading this!

We saw some really great monuments, houses and barns that were actual sites of battle, and the civil war soldiers' cemetery.  There are so many unknown soldiers buried there.  It was quite touching and humbling to see.  The following pictures depict all of the above.  Note in the second picture the cannonball hole in the top of the barn wall.
Below is the monument of the Eternal Flame.  It burns atop the monument 24/7.
Rows and rows and rows of unknown soldiers! 

 Above is an unknown soldier-buried 979th in a row. Below are rows upon rows of unknowns.
I love this pic of Bid Daddy, my Navy Veteran husband, solemnly reading a tribute with Little Big Man on his back.  It was so hot, and too much walking for him! We take every opportunity to teach our children about patriotism~hope he remembers this trip!  I love you Big Daddy!!

Hopefully you and your family will get to see Gettysburg someday.  A truly wonderful history lesson!
Blessings to you and yours,
The Queen Mama

Hershey Park Vacation

Our small town family traveled a long, long, way to the big time fun Hershey Park, PA.  It was a great time.  I definitely recommend it for families of all ages!!  Here's one of the top ten scariest roller coasters in the world, the Fahrenheit.
It goes straight up, then straight down, and on to more sideways loops. You will not find The Queen Mama riding this or any other ride!  However, Big Daddy, The Champ, and The Rockstar rode it while Queen Mama waited with a huge knot in her chest! What happens to us when we become mothers?  My sense of adventure is not gone, but my senses want me to stay on the ground!

Luckily, Hershey Park has a Boardwalk area with lots of water fun.

Here's Little Big Man and Miss B posing after some water fun! This is more The Queen Mama's speed!
Note Little Big Man is tickling Princess Miss B to get her to smile pretty for the camera! There is a wave pool that is a few feet deep with a slide and mini water slides for the little kids, and big water slides for the big kids and adults.  All surrounded by lounge chairs, lockers and lots of eating areas!

The Big Boys were good sports by riding rides that Little Big Man could.  Here's The Champ cheesing it up for Queen Mama on The Howler.
The Rock Star didn't want to ride this with Little Big Man, but he ended up having a blast!!  It went up so high-Queen Mama was again ready to have a heart attack!
How neat is this?! This is the Milton Hershey School which you can see from the park.

Hershey Park also has a zoo that is FREE admission when entered through the park.  Take advantage of their meal deal and game ticket packages that you can buy at guest services to help save money.  We had a wonderful family vacation! After Hershey Park, we visited Gettysburg.  Look for some great pics in my next post!
Please visit the rest of my posts for other great small town pictures, recipes, yard sale finds, and trips.

The Queen Mama

Friday, July 8, 2011

I Only Got on Base Once, Mom!

We may live in a small town, but baseball is a big thing around here! LittleBigMan had his first baseball game tonight for the 7 yr old All Star team.  He was so upset that he only got on base once.  He hit the ball every time, but got out at first the rest.  Mama told him not to worry, that he would do better tomorrow.   Now let me tell you, this type of thing just does not sit easy with the men in my family.  They are all fierce competitors, whether it be who finishes their breakfast first to who walks out the door first.  After sulking for a few minutes, he decided he wanted Mama to take a picture of him in his new uniform, and "Will you please put it on that blog thing you're doing?!"  So, to make my favorite 7 yr old happy,  here he is everyone, dirty face and all!

The Drive-In Movie Theater is Still Going Strong in my Hometown

Some of my favorite memories are those of my sister and I putting on our pj's and going to the drive-in with Mom and Dad. That was back in the days of Chitty-Chitty Bang Bang, Escape to Witch Mountain, and The Apple Dumpling Gang just to name a few. I am telling my age now! I hope our children will cherish this memory also.

Big Daddy and I took the whole family on a short trip to my hometown's Drive-In Movie Theater tonight.  The kids were so excited! We had not been there since our oldest boys were little because their younger siblings were always too young to go.  I packed up a bag of snacks, a cooler full of drinks, lawn chairs, blankets, and pillows, and off we went. It was $14 a carload night  for two movies.  We only stayed for the first movie, but what a bargain for a family of 6! Miss B wanted to keep climbing in and out of the car and wouldn't stay settled, but what did we expect, as it was way past her bedtime. 

This is the Drive-In Concession stand.  There are bathrooms on each end.  It hasn't changed much since I was a little girl.  We got a super large family-sized bag of popcorn  with extra movie butter for $4.50. Normally I pop my own, but this was a last minute decision after a baseball game, and I didn't have time.  Still, not a bad price compared to indoor movie theater popcorn prices.  

 Love living the small town life,
God Bless,
The Queen Mama

Thursday, July 7, 2011

A Great Time at The Lake Celebrating July 4th!

The Fireworks were amazing! We traveled to another small town for the 4th where my parents have a camp right on the lake! It's serene and beautiful, and just what we needed in the middle of the busy baseball season!  The kids love it there!
 My oldest, The Champ, and youngest son enjoying some quiet time on the canal.  Oh how they LOVE to fish!

On one of the days, we made a quick stop at the mini zoo. Here is  my "middle" son, the Rockstar who believes his popularity is all due to his hair, and my LittleBigMan (my youngest son) feeding the deer.  You better believe I chased them with hand sanitizer all through the park!
 Here's my youngest child, our Little Princess, Miss B,  petting the mini pony.  This is the tiniest horse I have ever seen! Soo cute! So far no one has come down with any mysterious illnesses, so my quest with the hand sanitizer must have worked!

Further up the lake is an area where the carp literally are piled on top of each other for hundreds of feet because of a dam.  This is one spot that does get lots of visitors feeding bread to them. The ducks literally do walk on the backs of the fish as you will see in the next picture!

P.S.-we have visited these spots every year for the past 12 years~The fish still amaze me!

Back at camp, the older campers put on a big game day.  Lots of homemade games ranging from a golf putt putt, balloon dart game, roll the ball in the hole game, to the kids' favorite~a homemade slingshot contraption game that shoots rubber frogs into rings in a baby swimming pool.  It was so great to see young and old on teams together, laughing, cheering, and having a blast!
Little Big Man throwing darts at the balloons.  So serious! A neat thing about him is he is ambidextrous.  He writes and eats with his right hand, but throws with his left (and kicks with his left foot).  Well, his skills helped our family team win 1st place!  We were so surprised! The kids all got to pick a few toys/trinkets from the gift table, and I picked out a hot pad glove...always the practical one!!  We then enjoyed a potluck dinner in the clubhouse with the rest of the campers.  Nothing beats roast simmered in beer gravy, grilled hot dogs, potato salad, baked beans, "dirt"(a chocolate mousse and oreo cookie dessert) and plenty of other goodies!  The best part? The Queen Mother didn't have to cook!
After all the 4th festivities, I took a nice quiet walk with my Mom, Grace, down by the lake. As we both travel further down the road of life, I cherish times like these with her... The sunset was so beautiful, and luckily my camera was in my pocket. She wants me to enter it in the clubhouse photo contest.  Who knows?  Maybe I'll win another hot pad... I have always enjoyed taking pictures, but have really started to take a lot more.  As my children grow up so quickly, I realize how precious and fleeting memories can be and have really been "stopping to smell the roses" and noticing beauty in the simple things around me. (Well, that is, when I'm not driving kids to baseball practice, guitar, dance, etc. etc.  You get the picture!)

I hope you enjoyed our trip...Blessings to you and yours!