Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A chance to become an ASL instructor?

Most - if not all of you - know that I have been signing with Rebecca & Mary-Gail since October 2007, when they were 11 months old (8 months corrected age). And most of you know that I almost gave up signing with them since they "weren't responding" to my signs and signing back to me. However, in early January, 2008, (a long three months later) Rebecca made her first sign for "more" and I was hooked! Now, both Rebecca & Mary-Gail have a huge vocabulary of words & signs and we continually learn & add more signs to our vocabulary through Signing Time and a great website I found,

I recently opened a Signing Time newsletter (via e-mail) and they are starting their Signing Time Academy soon! I had participated in a questionnaire from Signing Time inquiring about this program, and now they're launching their first phase for certifying their instructors. Can you believe it? A chance to become a certified Signing Time instructor and teach others sign language?

Whoa, I know what you're thinking...Amanda doesn't have any ASL training or education; and just being a mom who owns (& has memorized) all the Signing Time DVDs doesn't qualify you to be a Certified Instructor. Which is why this Signing Time Academy is so great - you can apply to become a Certified Instructor after you complete at least one formal ASL class, submit a video of you signing, and of course go through a rigorous application & interview process (including a background check).

So, I'm toying with the idea of getting started and enrolling in an ASL class. My niece is taking ASL in high school - wonder if they'd let a "30-something" audit the class. Hee-hee

Monday, September 28, 2009

Holy Zucchini!

August 20th:
"Holy Zucchini Mom!"
I decided to measure this mammoth zucchini, and the girls were excited to be a part of it. Never mind the sewing tape - it's always available, and it's what I use to measure things (like this too).
Over 16" in length...
...and 15" in circumference
Mary-Gail's little hand stretched across the neck of the zucchini

A gal from Tony's work has been sharing her garden harvests with us, and with each "delivery" of zucchini, squash, green beans, and snap peas, we've had many-a-good-fixin's in the kitchen. She sent home this zucchini with Tony, included a recipe for Chocolate Zucchini Cake, and requested a sample of the cake after I made it.

I thought that was so cute - to include a recipe (one she'd had, but never made herself) and request a sample. So, I made the Chocolate Zucchini Cake, and it was delicious!

Mmmmm, yummy!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Orlando Temple + 2 hours wait at the Airport! Sat, Sept 19th

Families are Forever - The Orlando Temple


Because the Orlando International Airport is so busy (due to all the vacationers) we were advised to check-in at least 2 hours before our flight departure time. We were also told that the security check point took about 30-45 minutes. That being said we planned on leaving for the airport around 1:30 pm for our 4:45 pm flight.

The security check point didn't take 45 minutes (thank heavens!) because Jo & I were so organized & efficient, and were hustling all the children & carry-ons through. However, I packed my Cinderella Castle Music Globe in my carry-on, and the globe had more than 4 oz of water in it, so security wouldn't let us carry it on. Poor Tony had to take the carry-on suitcase all the way back to the ticket counter and pay $15.00 to check it! And then he had to re-enter the security line to go through security all over again. Poor Tony - I felt so awful since I purposefully packed the globe in my carry-on (I didn't think about the 4 oz liquid limit). I just didn't want it to get broken if I put it in our checked bags. Poor Tony.

Killing time @ the Kennedy Space Center airport store
Get ready to be strapped down for 4 1/2 hours kiddos!

Thank heavens for portable DVD players!
Lovey purchased one for us the day we left for Florida.
align="center">Neither he nor I wanted a repeat of our flight home from Charleston!

Cy-Cy joined the girls to watch NEMO & have some treats

And this was how my flight home was...

MG & Rebecca slept for most of the 4 1/2 hour flight home
(MG zonked out about 45 minutes after take off, and I aroused her about 30 minutes before landing)

Our flight home was great: MG & Becca slept, Mom & Lovey relaxed, & I watched the in-flight movie, "Grey Gardens." I felt guilty having such a great flight home, because poor JoJo's flight home was less than desirable: Gage's ear hurt terribly (Jo's pediatrician confirmed Gage had "swimmers ear" + an ear infection); Taylor was wrestless; Cy didn't want anyone to touch JoJo (or for JoJo to touch anyone else); and Reese was in need of some attention. I'm just glad our flight was non-stop.

However, when we arrived in at the baggage claim, I had deja vu of our flight home from Charleston, speaking mainly about the luggage and car seats. With Cy & Taylor strapped in their double-stroller, JoJo hooked three carry-on suitcases to the back of the stroller, strapped on her laptop bag (with two laptops in it) across her chest, and carried Taylor's car seat in her "free" hand. She had Reese & Gage pull their own carry-on suitcases to the door. Meanwhile, I strapped on two backpacks, put Becca & Miguel's backpacks on top of their double-stroller, pulled one carry-on suitcase & carried two car seats. Don't ask me how Jo & I maneuvered the strollers. And where were the "men"? Oh, they were waiting for the checked bags. I'm so glad that Jo & I are strong and can manage 6 kids and a butt-load of luggage + car seats. We're happy to be home!

The last day at the pool, Sat, Sept 19th

Saturday we packed up, getting ready to leave for the airport,
but we just had to spend a couple more hours at the pool. We just had to!




Cheesy smiles all around

Cy-Cy...the big guy in the pool

Look at me Mom! I can fly!!!

Mary-Gail Darleen practices her cheerleading jumps & kicks

Rebecca LaRae soars "way high in the sky!"

Oh phew, Daddy...

...that was fun! Let's do it again!

Rebecca (left); Mary-Gail (right)

I tried to launch Rebecca as high as Lovey did;
Sadly she didn't reach the Ozone layer, but I was still able to emit some shreaks from her

Awww, for cute!

Lazy Day Friday, Sept 18th

JoJo & I decided to let "the boys" plan our activities for Friday. Which basically meant that nothing was planned and we lounged around all day. It was hard not being "in-charge" of what we did this day, because I was still in the "go-go-go!" mode, but...the day seemed to work out OK anyhow.

We cruised on over to the Activities Center where Pappy, Jed, & the littles checked out golf clubs and golfed a few holes on the Jurassic Park Miniature Golf Course. Then we received instructions from Ivine on using the Swan Paddle Boats. Mary-Gail didn't want to wear the life jacket, so she stayed inside with Grandma. Those two were two smart girls: it was ridiculously hot, the life jackets were smothering, and even though the time limit for the paddle boats was 30 minutes, we only lasted about 12.

Jurassic Park Miniature Golf
JoJo + Reese
JoJo + Reese; Jed + Gage + Taylor-Bug
The tip of Taylor-Bug's head, Jed, & Gage
Pappy + Cy
Lovey + Rebecca
We turned the Swan Paddle Boats in and took the kidlets to the on-site park. Man, was it hot! No shade and the slides were all covered. The adults decided to cancel playtime at the park and go back to the room & swim. No objections from the littles - they were so excited to go swimming again.

And lastly we fixed a good, hardy supper - "spaget"

Round Two - Magic Kingdom, Thurs, Sept 17th

Magic Kingdom again!
Magic Kingdom Entrance
Dad, Jed + Taylor, Gage, Jo + Cy, Reese, Mom, Me + Rebecca, Lovey + Mary-Gail
I think he's upset he couldn't bring his baseball bat into the park
Hello Chrisman Cutes!

Hello Kemp Kuties
(+ Tickah)

Lovey's double-life as a restaurant owner

The crew cooling off in the shade,
after standing in line for character pictures & autographs

Lovey & Miguel "holding real still" for their profile portraits
(Mom & Dad had our profile portraits done while we were young and hung them on the wall in our sitting room; in 2005, Lovey & I had our profile done @ a Flower Festival in Summerville, SC. Can't wait to match that one up with this new one!)

Don't even ask me how much these balloons cost!!!
Lovey loves his littles!
The Buzz Lightyear ride

Car racing on the Speedway
Although the height restriction said 53", the littles could ride if they were accompanied by an adult

Grandma Pink + Reese

Lovey & Rebecca

...a cup of chocolate/vanilla swirl ice cream, and fruit smoothies for Lovey & me
Sleepy, little Taylor-Bug
She's using up her "reserves" for her lunch
Lovey & Miguel dancing
A very cute & very precious moment of Lovey & Miguel dancing in the mist from the mist-fans
Miguel & Lovey...
...Rebecca was throwing a fit on the incredibly dirty, germy ground.
It was time to go home for naps
Good Bye Cinderella's castle
Good Bye Magic Kingdom
Good Bye

Kemp Kuties on the Charleston Pier

Kemp Kuties on the Charleston Pier
September 2007