G-Force Academy

Florida Homeschool Family Fun!

A Christmas Carol

A Christmas Carol
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens makes a wonderful theme for family evening together. Below is a short film narrated by Vincent  Price. I remember this actor well from my childhood. I love his eerie voice!

Dickens’ classic tale of Ebenezer Scrooge and three Christmas Ghosts that change his perception of life.

My Audio School has an audio version of the popular story. Listen with your kids as you all cuddle under the twinkling lights of your Christmas tree. If you prefer to read click below.

Continue your lifestyle of learning with your kids by visiting
David Perdue’s Charles Dickens Page wonderful page.

Go Make Merry Memories!

December 10, 2011 Posted by | Family Fun, Favorites and Cool Finds, G-Force Academy, Holidays, Once Upon A Family | , , , , , , | Leave a comment




Through a tunnel or through a mountain down a bumpy slide you have to go in order to get lost in a corn maze at Mount Dora’s Scott’s Maze Adventure’s.


Fishing pond and zip line for kids along with a truck tire playground and large traditional playground.


We had a blast! We all took turns leading the family around the maze. It was quite interesting seeing how the kids handled leading each other. We had lots of chiefs in that maze including momWinking smile.

The weather was great. It was cool and sunny. One of the things that made the maze extra fun was the games they include throughout. Our first maze was the small one it was a “fortune maze”. There were five places within the maze where you chose a finger to put the found color on. Once you get out of the maze you can look at a chart and match your fingers to a chart and find your “fortune”. Fun!


After a nice break laying on the grass soaking in the warm sun we GOT LOST, AGAIN! This time we did the large maze. It took us about two hours to get out. This maze gave us a unique  “family bonding experience”. It helped us to work better as a team. Zack started using our flagpole to mark arrows on the ground. Mike took pics of the maze map and studied it with Seth as we took turns left and right trying strategize our next turn. Dad held up the rear and Alexa and I had fun taking pictures along the way. We can’t wait to go again next year and try it in teams.



November 19, 2011 Posted by | Family Fun, Favorites and Cool Finds, Once Upon A Family | , , , , | 5 Comments

Thanksgiving 2011

The holiday season is upon us and I have been on the hunt for resources to make it fun, meaningful and memorable for our family. I hope the following resources help you to make your family’s Thanksgiving holiday.

Here is a wonderful article by Family Life that will help you slow down and enjoy the celebration Teaching Life Lessons at Thanksgiving.

I wrote some time ago about the resources we have used to celebrate Thanksgiving HERE.

Check out my Autumn and it’s Holidays Board on Pinterest for even more inspiration! Here are a few of my favorites:

Try it Mom’s Caramel Apple Bites


The Old Schoolhouse Digital Holiday Supplements

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Barbara Rainey’s, Thanksgiving a Time to Remember, is a true keepsake to hand down to future generations. She speaks to my heart in this article adapted from her book Thanksgiving a Time to Remember.

The Legend of Squanto Radio Theatre Drama

Focus on the Family presents our Radio Theatre production of "The Legend of Squanto," a fascinating account of the origin of Thanksgiving and one American Indian’s journey to freedom.

Part 1

Part 2


Disney’s Family Fun website is chock full of Thanksgiving Family Fun. You will find recipes, crafts, printables, games, decorations and more. Have fun playing with your kids and making your holiday dinner table special.


You Are There (TV series 1953–1957)

The Sailing of the Mayflower

Walter Cronkite

Original Air Date:  22 November 1953

I am so excited to have found this episode on

My Audio School. Enjoy!


Here is a sweet find for Thanksgiving ideas by the Aussie Pumpkin Patch.

And last but not least a Thanksgiving tradition from my childhood growing up in the Big Apple is Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. 

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade airs nationally on NBC-TV to an estimated 50 million viewers and is widely considered to be the "official start of the Holiday Season." It will air from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. (EST) on Thursday, November 24, 2011.

Happy Thanksgiving!

"O give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; For His loving-kindness is everlasting."

1 Chronicles 16:34

Eat Turkey & Go Make Memories!

November 18, 2011 Posted by | Family Fun, Favorites and Cool Finds, G-Force 411, G-Force Academy, Holidays, In The Kitchen, Once Upon A Family | , , , , | Leave a comment

*Jesus is the Reason* Operation Christmas Box 2011


What a great way to set the tone for the holidays by than by putting others first. Our family will be putting together a couple of boxes for needy kids to brighten their lives.

You are still in time to do this with your kids. You have until November 21st to drop off your boxes. To learn more visit Samaritan’s Purse.


November 17, 2011 Posted by | Family Fun, Favorites and Cool Finds, G-Force 411, Holidays, Once Upon A Family | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Foghorns and School Bells

Todd Wilson of Familyman Ministries recently spoke to our local homeschool support group. It was bombastic! We laughed and cried and heard the gentle voice of God through Todd encouraging moms and dads alike.

The Lord spoke so clearly to Alf and I that we left with clanging and ringing in our ears. Let me explain. It was exactly what my husband and I have been discussing. Todd gave voice to our thoughts and painted a clear picture of where our homeschool family has been and needs to go.

According to Todd’s informal poll of homeschool moms across the nation, we ALL feel like we are not doing a good enough job. Yes, each and every mom out there feels like you do! Like I do! No matter what they look like on the outside and how their kids are excelling academically and otherwise we all wish we could do better to some degree. He believes we mom’s are in a fog because we have forgotten that our kids are all masterpieces, created by God and given specifically to us. We are hand selected by God to be our kid’s mom.

I have often been tempted and succumbed to comparing our homeschool to others. I think we all have done that at times. Our desire to give our kids the best can drive us but it can also drive our kids into the ground and we lose site of what’s most important, our relationships to our kids and the Lord purpose. I have raised my standard higher than the Lord’s at times and totally crashed our “school boat” by not heading the warning of the foghorn.

Wikipedia definition for Foghorn is:


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

For other meanings see Foghorn (disambiguation).

A foghorn or fog signal or fog bell is a device that uses sound to warn vehicles of hazards or boats of the presence of other vehicles in foggy conditions. The term is most often used in relation to marine transport. When visual navigation aids such as lighthouses are obscured, foghorns provide an audible warning of rocks, shoals, headlands, or other dangers to shipping.

On our worst days when we are ready to throw the kids on the yellow bus or throw ourselves in front of it, God says We are our kids best!

to warn vehicles of hazards or boats of the presence of other vehicles in foggy conditions”

We don’t need to compare ourselves to the system that we fled from. The test scores, the extra curricular activities, the fellow homeschool friend’s kids that are reading at 3 years of age and all playing stringed instruments are not our standard or reason for homeschooling. This is a trap to distract us from seeing our kids as the unique masterpieces God mad them to be.

“When visual navigation aids such as lighthouses are obscured, foghorns provide an audible warning”

Why do you homeschool? I am doing it because God called me to. That’s my navigational aid. The Lord and his word and calling on my life as a homeschool mom. We want to have deep and abiding relationships with our kids and for them to grow strong in their faith above academics. I want them to want to be with us when they are older and out of the home. We want our kids to be the best of friends and not be separated from each other for hours on end. We wanted to teach enjoy every moment we had with them because time flies whether or not you are having fun!

Dad’s were encouraged to help us get out of the fog by actually making foghorn sound. When my hubby comes home from work and finds me in a puddle on the floor all he has to do is “blow” his foghorn and it reminds me of why I am doing this and I get up and press on!

Now here is the really fun part, ringing the true school bell. Real school happens when we get to teach our kids about the Lord, walk them through a difficult time, and when they say things that show us that they are growing in Christ and being obedient. When times are tough and the stress level is high and our kids suggest to us to play praise music or want to stop and pray, that’s when school’s in session. This is our purpose and upmost goal for our kids education. Math, reading and science are secondary.

I have had quite a few opportunities since hearing Todd speak to ring our school bell. My husband is overjoyed when I call him to tell him that I just rang our bell.

I want my kids to know that I love them no matter what! I want them to know that I will always love them and value them whether or not they ever learn to read, or learn algebra or get high SAT scores.

What bell do you hear? Are you in the fog and ignoring the warnings? Are you ringing YOUR school bell or listening to someone else’s ring?

To learn more about Todd Wilson and sign up for his encouraging devotionals visit Family Man Ministries.


"And be not conformed to this world: but be you transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."

Romans 12:2

November 17, 2011 Posted by | G-Force Academy, On My Heart, Once Upon A Family | , , , | 2 Comments

Zachary’s Disney Birthday Celebration


Buzz Light-year shirt-check! Birthday Pin-check! Birthday hat-check!

Let the celebration begin!

Hey, Where’s Perry?!


Dad decided to start a new family tradition for Disney Birthday Celebrations. Disney cast members and guests love to wish guests Happy Birthday. He thought he would issue the challenge to count how many greetings he got and if he received 25 by the time we left he would get a special gift of his choosing. the dollar amount would equal the number of greetings he received. Wearing a pin birthday pin but a huge birthday cake hat should do the trick! Clearly my hubby wants them to win when he bought that hat. Can you guess what he chose as a prize?

We all had an amazing time at Hollywood Studios.. We rode some of our favorites Star Tours, Rockin’ Roller Coaster by G-force Records (yes, by us, just kidding!) and Tower or Terror.

One of our favorite things to do at Disney is play with the characters especially Citizens of Hollywood. Zack got to participate twice in their street skits. He played a bush in the Shakespeare play Romeo and Juliet. Check out the video

We had our partial packed lunch at the Backstage Lot. We were all treated to FREE DESSERT! We were surprised to find out that a blue tray was magical and got you free dessert. How blessed we are!



The magical dessert tray.

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Boy he is a birthday ham for sure!


As if he didn’t feel special enough he went with his dad to get ice water and they gave him FREE chocolate cake in honor of his birthday!


   I’d say he was one happy go lucky, tired as all get out, blessed kid!


There you are Perry!

October 7, 2011 Posted by | Disney Fun, Familia, Family Fun, Once Upon A Family | , , , , | Leave a comment

Our Homeschool Planners-Part 1

Our family celebrates the start of the new school year by having a special date with each child with just mom and dad. It’s usually a dessert date. A sweet start to the new school year! We talk to them about what they are interested in learning about, their struggles, their strength’s. After the date hubby and I take time to write out a letter of blessing to them.

Alexa 2011-12

We write them another letter at the end of the school year. I am trying to be diligent in sending actual pictures to print on a monthly basis to add to their personal yearbook at the end of the school year.I will include scans of sample of their artwork and special assignments. I have a thermal book binder so I may try using that for textural book. ‘We’ll keep you posted of our progress.

Alexa 2011-12 Blessing 

I wanted to make their portfolios more of a keepsake, a treasury of their favorite and things they are most proud of. We include pics and stats and they get to fill it out themselves. I enjoy digital scrapbooking and have used freebies from Shabby Princess.

Alexa 2011-12 Favorite Things

Setting Goals

 Alexa 2011-12 Goals

We set goals together with the child and then we pray for them.

Alexa 2011-12 journal page

They love having their own calendar to fill in.

Alexa 2011-12 Sept

Monthly Reading Log

Alexa 2011-12 reading log

Weekly Lesson Log

Alexa 2011-12 lesson log

During the Thanksgiving break they have a journal page to write in what they are thankful for and to help them think of ways they can keep Christ in Christmas.

Alexa 2011-12 thanksgiving-christmas break journal page

October 6, 2011 Posted by | Favorites and Cool Finds, G-Force Academy, Once Upon A Family | , , , , | Leave a comment

See YOU at the Pole

See you at the Pole is a nationwide student led prayer rally done mostly in public schools the 4th Wednesday in September each year. My oldest son Mikael and a friend have been organizing this event for two years for homeschoolers in our city. This year Mikael took it on by himself. He did a great job. He  has chosen to hold the event in a central city in the county. He emailed people in our local support groups and contacted the city hall to inform them of the event and to invite their staff to join us.


We were pleasantly surprised to find out that the mayor of the mayor of the city is a Christian. He shared with the kids about his faith and encouraged them to be obedient to their parents, to work hard at their studies and thanked them for praying for him and his staff.




The sun is always blaring hot but the joy of watching our kids standing together praying for their families, local communities and national leaders makes it all worth it.





Immediately following the event we have fellowship and lunch at a park close by.


This was Mike’s final year facilitating the prayer rally since he graduates high school this year (sniff, sniff).  I was blown away by his devotional share. It was a rally cry for warriors for Jesus! In spite of wrenches that the enemy has tried to throw his way this year he has fought the good fight and emerged victorious in Christ Jesus. His focus is being set apart for his purpose for his life.

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He encourages me and inspires me not only to be a better mom but a more holy one. One that surrenders her agenda for her kids and continually gives them over to God, for His glory.


Thanks to all the families that came out to pray and play!

I hope you and your family take advantage of this opportunity in the coming years. Visit See you at Pole for more information and to sign up for updates.

Soli Deo Gloria!


September 30, 2011 Posted by | Familia, Family Fun, G-Force 411, G-Force Academy, On My Heart, Once Upon A Family | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Collect ROCKS Day! Huh?!

Yes, September 16th is Collect Rocks Day.

Although I found no credible source Martha Stewart has rock crafts. If she playing with rocks then I will too! 

My kids have been collecting them well since they could reach for them to stick them in their mouths.

Go for a walk and make sure to bring a basket or tote bag for each person to toss their finds in. when you get home gather the troops for a rockin’ good time decorating.

If you want to make a day of it. Pack a picnic and take the paints, brushes, and any other supplies and make the mess at the park. Invite some friends to join and no doubt there will be some trading of these freshly made collectables.

I am amazed at how many resources and ideas I found to incorporate into Collect Rocks Day. Maybe it’s my love for unit studies. I try to always incorporate our faith into our schooling. And there are a few scriptures that refer to rocks. (Well Duh!) God made the rocks! Share these verses with your kids as you celebrate the day.

He is the Rock, his works are perfect,
and all his ways are just.
A faithful God who does no wrong,
upright and just is he.

Deuteronomy 32:4 (NIV)

Joshua 4:1-9

New King James Version (NKJV)

The Memorial Stones

1 And it came to pass, when all the people had completely crossed over the Jordan, that the LORD spoke to Joshua, saying: 2 “Take for yourselves twelve men from the people, one man from every tribe, 3 and command them, saying, ‘Take for yourselves twelve stones from here, out of the midst of the Jordan, from the place where the priests’ feet stood firm. You shall carry them over with you and leave them in the lodging place where you lodge tonight.’”
4 Then Joshua called the twelve men whom he had appointed from the children of Israel, one man from every tribe; 5 and Joshua said to them: “Cross over before the ark of the LORD your God into the midst of the Jordan, and each one of you take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the children of Israel, 6 that this may be a sign among you when your children ask in time to come, saying, ‘What do these stones mean to you?’ 7 Then you shall answer them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD; when it crossed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. And these stones shall be for a memorial to the children of Israel forever.”
8 And the children of Israel did so, just as Joshua commanded, and took up twelve stones from the midst of the Jordan, as the LORD had spoken to Joshua, according to the number of the tribes of the children of Israel, and carried them over with them to the place where they lodged, and laid them down there. 9 Then Joshua set up twelve stones in the midst of the Jordan, in the place where the feet of the priests who bore the ark of the covenant stood; and they are there to this day.

Exodus 17:5-7

New King James Version (NKJV)

5 And the LORD said to Moses, “Go on before the people, and take with you some of the elders of Israel. Also take in your hand your rod with which you struck the river, and go. 6 Behold, I will stand before you there on the rock in Horeb; and you shall strike the rock, and water will come out of it, that the people may drink.”
And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel.
7 So he called the name of the place Massah[a] and Meribah,[b] because of the contention of the children of Israel, and because they tempted the LORD, saying, “Is the LORD among us or not?”

Exodus 33:21-23

New King James Version (NKJV)

21 And the LORD said, “Here is a place by Me, and you shall stand on the rock. 22 So it shall be, while My glory passes by, that I will put you in the cleft of the rock, and will cover you with My hand while I pass by. 23 Then I will take away My hand, and you shall see My back; but My face shall not be seen.”

Matthew 16:18

New International Version (NIV)

18 And I tell you that you are Peter,[a] and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades[b] will not overcome it.

(the Greek word for Peter means rock)

Psalm 18:2

New King James Version (NKJV)

2 The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer;
My God, my strength, in whom I will trust;
My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

(horn symbolizes strength)

Luke 6:47-49

New International Version 1984 (NIV1984)

47 I will show you what he is like who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice. 48 He is like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. 49 But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.”

(Jesus is the Rock!)

Matthew 7:23-25

New King James Version (NKJV)

23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’

Build on the Rock

24 “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: 25 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.

1 Samuel 17:48-50

New King James Version (NKJV)

48 So it was, when the Philistine arose and came and drew near to meet David, that David hurried and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine. 49 Then David put his hand in his bag and took out a stone; and he slung it and struck the Philistine in his forehead, so that the stone sank into his forehead, and he fell on his face to the earth. 50 So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone, and struck the Philistine and killed him. But there was no sword in the hand of David.

Luke 19:37-40

New International Version 1984 (NIV1984)

37 When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen:

38 “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!”[b]

“Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”

39 Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!”

40 “I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”

Here is a short video of Douglas Stahlman’s and his fabled "Scripture Rocks."

Below are some cool pics and links to inspire you

from around the WWW.

Paint with acrylic paints, glow in the dark paints or permanent markers. If you want to be able to change up the design use Chalk Ink markers.You can wipe them clean and start over.


Use some permanent markers to write thoughtful words, names and scripture. What a neat way to carry your bible memory verse around. You can just reach into your purse or pocket for it. If you run into a friend you can share it with them and then they can pass it on to someone else. I think this rock thing is gonna catch on!



Use as garden markers


Make them into necklaces. Boys would definitely wear a rock necklace, especially if it looked like a gross eyeball.


Happy Rock Collecting Day!


You can also decoupage paper, fabric or any drawing or magazine cutout to your rocks. Here is a simple recipe I saw on Pinterest by the DIY Divas. I have always just used straight glue but will give this recipe a try when we decorate our rocks.

I just love how you can incorporate these rocks into your home décor by displaying them on a shelf or putting them in a bowl or basket.


 fabric or decorative paper decoupage from modpodgerocksblog.com



matryoshka rocks also from modpodgerocksblog.com


These hot rocks are crazy cool!  I saw them on A Girl and a Glue Gun. All you need is crayons and an oven. Oh, and DUH, rocks!


Go Make Some Memories!

September 12, 2011 Posted by | Family Fun, G-Force 411, G-Force Academy, Holidays, Once Upon A Family | , , | Leave a comment

Grandparent’s Day

National Grandparents Day is a secular holiday celebrated in the United States since 1978 and officially recognized in a number of countries on various days of the year, either as one holiday or sometimes as a separate Grandmothers Day and Grandfathers Day.


Here are some resources to inspire you to honor your kid’s grandparents.

There are many coloring pages that can be inserted into cards or just have your kids draw pictures of their grandparents. You can include some poetry or scripture below.


“Grandparents are meant for kisses and hugs,
For watching rainbows and catching bugs,
For baking all of your favorite things,
For books to read and songs to sing.”
Author unknown

Grandparents bestow upon
their grandchildren
The strength and wisdom that time
And experience have given them.
Grandchildren bless their Grandparents
With a youthful vitality and innocence
That help them stay young at heart forever.
Together they create a chain of love
Linking the past with the future.
The chain may lengthen,
But it will never part….
– Unknown Author



Proverbs 17:6 Grandchildren are the crown of the aged, and the glory of children is their fathers
Psalm 103:17 But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him, and his righteousness to children’s children,
Psalm 37:25 I have been young, and now am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his children begging for bread.
Proverbs 13:22 A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children, but the sinner’s wealth is laid up for the righteous.
Psalm 145:4 One generation shall commend your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts.
2 Timothy 1:5 I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well.

Photo Crafts

photo frame kids craft

Make a photo frame out of a CD case. Make it extra special by including a CD of special pictures of the kids and their grandparents over the years. A great way to do this is using programs like Moviemaker or Picasa.

Decoupage tray craft for kids

A tray decoupaged with the kids pics would make a precious keepsake. I recommend that you run copies (color or b/w) since paper is easier to decoupage than photo paper. I have used with success just plain old white school glue as the decoupage medium. I can see my mom using it every time her friends come over for coffee. A subtle way for her to brag about her grandkids, not that any grandparent is ever subtle about their love for their grandkids!

Just genius! Take a dollar store frame and and cover with sculpey clay or any air hardening clay would also work. Have kids personalize with stamps. Bake and insert picture for a unique gift. You can use letter stamps to add whatever your kids call their grandparent’s.

Have a Party!

Let the kids be in charge of decorating. Buy all the ingredients for baking cookies but let them wait for their honored guest so they can bake the cookies together! We are planning a surprise party for my mom when she comes to visit next week. We are making a “We Love You Abuela” Poster as part of the decorations.

Don’t forget to take lots of pictures. You will be able to use them for gifts next yearWinking smile.

Handprint Coupons

On each handprint the child writes a promise – "This coupon is good for one hug", "Exchange this coupon for a car wash", "I will help you lay the table for this coupon", "Breakfast in bed" and so on.

  • >Layer them inside a nice box which the child decorate and tie up with a ribbon
  • >Punch a hole in each handprint and attach together with a key-ring fitting

Add this note to the coupons. I am sure it will be a treasured keepsake for any grandparent.

"I miss you when we’re not together
I’m growing up so fast
See how big I’ve gotten
Since you saw me last?
As I grow, I’ll change a lot,
The years will fly right by.
You’ll wonder how I grew so quick –
When and where and why?
So save this print in a safe place
And take it out each year.
The memories will come back of me,
When I was small and dear."

"My dirty little fingerprints
I’ve left on every wall,
And on the drawers and table tops,
I’ve really marked them all.
But here is one that won’t rub off,
I’m giving it to you,
Because I’m thankful for a (mother, father, brother, sister) just like you!"

Finally, the best gift you can give your mom or dad on grandparent day is a DIY  memory book. My dad passed away 2 years ago and I wish I knew more about him even though I had him with me for 40 years. His old glasses, letters, handkerchief are precious indeed but having his story in his own words and penned by his very hand would be a priceless keepsake.

I am gifting this to myself by giving it first to my mom. I can’t wait to read her answers when she is done. I bet she can answer a lot of the questions in the memory for dad.

Here are some good ones to choose from:

*I strongly believe in do-overs. If you didn’t know about Grandparent’s Day or you haven’t had time to put something special together in their honor then by all means pick a rain date! the point is to teach your children to love and honor their grandparents. Especially in a culture that doesn’t regard the elderly with much respect you can make sure your parents do. Spread the word so others can share the love.


But if a widow has children or grandchildren, let them first learn to show godliness to their own household and to make some return to their parents, for this is pleasing in the sight of God.

1 Timothy 5:4

Go Make Some Memories!

September 11, 2011 Posted by | Familia, Family Fun, Holidays, Once Upon A Family | Leave a comment

Another teenager in the house!!!


We now have 3 teenage boys in the house! We are so blessed!

Zachary waited all day to celebrate with his dad after he got home from work. He chose to have Macho Nachos but, with french fries instead of tortilla chips for dinner. It’s easy peasy and hearty.

Macho Nachos


Tortilla Chips (you can use french fries instead)

Refried Beans

Ground Turkey (You can use any meat you prefer, we used both chicken and ground turkey.)

Taco or Fajita Seasoning Packet (or season any way you like it)

Shredded Cheddar Cheese

Shredded Lettuce


Diced Tomatoes

Sour Cream and/or Guacamole

Taco Bell Hot Sauce


  • Lay aluminum foil on a cookie sheet and spray with non-stick oil spray.
  • Cook meat according to packet directions
  • Layer tortilla chips evenly on pan
  • Top with refried beans, meat and cheese
  • Bake @ 350 for about 10 minutes, or until cheese melts
  • while baking chop lettuce, tomatoes and jalapenos (we sometimes use jalapenos from a jar)

Once the nachos are served every one can customize theirs with the varied toppings available. It’s a a fun and easy meal. Enjoy!

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He got his favorite donut cake. Do I need to share the recipe for that? LOL! He opened all his gifts from the family, including a card with moola from Abuela.


Even his little sister made him a card and bought him a gift with her own money. They have a great relationship even thought he enjoys annoying her. They are very good friends. Checkout his shirt, “3 Things I’m Good At: video games, watching t.v., annoying my sister!” All true!

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We are looking forward to his Disney Birthday Celebration in a few weeks. Our seasonal passes are currently blocked out. Dad has a special treat in store for him. He wants to go to Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Thank you Lord for such a loyal, sweet, loving, creative, cuddly kid!

Happy Birthday Zachary!

We Love YOU!

August 7, 2011 Posted by | Familia, Family Fun, In The Kitchen, Once Upon A Family | , , , | 1 Comment

What if…

Let me first start by saying that this picture is heresy. The bible clearly states that no man shall know the time or hour of Christ’s return. But, with that said, It could have been May 21 or the 23rd or Sept 5th. How are you living?Are you living as if you are expecting your Lord, Savior and King to return?

I look at my kids sometimes and ask Alf when did all these people happen? Were we not walking the halls of our high school holding hands just yesterday?


Mike and Mom. Go Class of 2012!

My oldest will be graduating high school next year. That is a sobering thought. It has set us on a journey to really evaluate how we have spent our time. Have we done enough to form lifelong family bonds? Do they know, love and trust the Lord? Will our kids be able to stand firm in the faith they profess? Is their foundation well built and strong?

Linda Werner of Legacy Principles spoke at my local homeschool support group’s January meeting and posed the question “If it were true that the Lord were coming on May 21 (or this new heretic’s date October 21, 2011), what are you doing right now to be ready? What would the eve of the 21st be like? Will you call your family and tell them how much you love them? Forgive those that you have been resenting? What will matter most in the end?

Are we running from activity to activity? Good ones at that, but missing the boat on leaving a legacy of faith and love to our children’s children’s children?

Live today as if you only had 5 months left. Prioritize and evaluate the busyness that robs you of knitting  your hearts as a family.


We have always had a desire to be intentional about our legacy but not been consistent with it. I hope that you will be inspired to savor the Treasured Times with your family as we share ours with you.

June 10, 2011 Posted by | On My Heart, Once Upon A Family | , | Leave a comment

Summer School = Fun!

I love History! Get a daily dose with

 This Day in History”.

This is a quick and easy way to keep

learning over the summer with your

kids. Let the kids pick an event that

is interesting to them and research

it. Share it with Dad at the dinner


God’s world News also has a nice

timeline style daily history.


Happy Summer Schooling!


June 10, 2011 Posted by | Family Fun, Favorites and Cool Finds, G-Force 411, G-Force Academy, Once Upon A Family | , , , | Leave a comment

Sunny Sunday in St. Petersburg, Florida

Last year was the Waterfront Park’s Centennial in Downtown St. Petersburg. Above is the poster to commemorate the celebration. It’s so cool that we were actually sitting in the very middle of the above poster. We took pictures in those very Banyan trees!

I was on the hunt to add more relaxed and balanced family activities after a year of fun at the happiest place on earth.


My Clowns.They always play along!

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We had a glorious time together at the North Straub Waterfront Park. We finally found balance from the busyness.


After stopping at Michael’s to buy some Prismacolor pencils (with a coupon of course), we headed out to have some family fun. The outdoor cafes were buzzing, people walking their dogs, families tossing Frisbees and couples walking hand in hand enjoying the cool breeze.

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We had fun taking pictures and getting artsy.



They will be called oaks of righteousness,

a planting of the LORD

for the display of His Splendor.

Isaiah 61:3b


After we had our picnic snacks we all took to our creating some art. How could you not with such a view and vibe all around you.


Sometimes kids (adults too) don’t know where to begin or what to draw. Here are some great products to help your family get started.


Sanford Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencil Set, 72/Tin with New Colors





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We had the Museum of Fine Art to our right, the new Chihuly Museum to our backs and the blue sky and waters in front of us.

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We had a very relaxing time


The kids had fun drawing and playing with bubbles


This is my favorite drawing of the day.


Zachary’s view from our blanket, of the new Chihuly Museum.


There’s our very own artist!



You know it’s good day when your kids give you “huggles”.



May 1, 2011 Posted by | Familia, Family Fun, G-Force 411, G-Force Academy, Once Upon A Family | , , | Leave a comment

I’m Gonna Miss This!

I am convinced that no matter how much I try to stay focused on my vocation, my calling, my passion to be an excellent wife and mother, that I am still going miss each season of my life when it passes.



    Lord, Help me to live out loud for your glory. I want to love and live with purpose and passion for my marriage and family. Don’t let me swayed by the things of this world but be firmly planted where you want me to bloom.

For Your Glory. With no regrets. Show me daily, precious father, how to do this. One day at a time, one Kodak moment at a time.

Off to put a roast in the crockpot, read our history lesson for the day and fold laundry with the kids while listening to some Christian rock music. I’m think I will miss the scream music!


March 24, 2011 Posted by | Familia, On My Heart, Once Upon A Family | Leave a comment



Krispy Kreme Donuts are the family favorites. When we lived in Miami it was just a few blocks away from our house. Whenever their neon sign “Hot & Now” was flashing you can count on the line going out the door and the drive thru line backing up street traffic. There is a location about 30 minutes from us. While on one of our Disney trips we spotted the flashing neon beacon to yummy family fun. What a thrill to watch the tasty clouds of yum pass by on the conveyor belt. Give it to us HOT & NOW!

Here’s how to make them at home Quick and Easy, Hot & Now!

Tasty Clouds of Yum!

  • 1 can of refrigerated biscuits
  • Canola or vegetable oil
  • Powered Sugar
  • 2-4 Tb of water

Heat an inch or two of oil in a frying pan. Use a bottle cap or apple corer to make the center donut hole in each biscuit. Save these little balls. They will become your donut holes.


Mix 1/2 cup of powered sugar with a couple of tablespoons at a time of water. Continue to add water until you achieve a glaze consistency.


Fry up the donuts. it only takes about 30 seconds per side.


Dip them in the glaze.





March 17, 2011 Posted by | Disney Fun, Family Fun, G-Force 411, In The Kitchen, Once Upon A Family | Leave a comment

Princesa turns 10!


We had a JOYous celebration at Disney for our Princess Alexa Joy! She is the most precious little girl. Full of energetic chatter and creativity from sun up to sun down! She truly lives up to her name by bringing incredible JOY to our lives everyday!

We love you baby girl!


Daddy took us to Golden Corral for a special birthday breakfast. Where else can you get ice cream and gummie bears for breakfast?!



Feeling like Monsters!                 


time for some Rockin’ Roller Coaster



One of our favorite things to do at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is watch and play along with the Hollywood Blvd. Citizens. I got to participate with the goofy guys. They are with the Public Works Dept. and are always having trouble with their union.


Another favorite, fun a affordable thing to do is try on hats!!! Can’t be the price!

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Happy Birthday Princess!

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My goofy girl just wanted a diet cola for her birthday (I never let her drink mine). Her dad did buy her a new handheld game thingy though.

We are planning a special belated party for her soon. Ssshhh!


January 2011

March 14, 2011 Posted by | Disney Fun, Familia, Family Fun, Once Upon A Family | | Leave a comment

Bartholomew’s Passage Advent Book

We have been thoroughly enjoying our advent readings. We are reading Bartholomew’s Passage. It is the book that follows Jotham’s Journey. It is a story of the adventure of a boy set in the time of Jesus’birth. Every chapter is a cliff hanger. We all cuddle on the living room couches under soft fleece throws by the glow of our christmas tree lights and advent wreath candles. If you have an oppotunity to purchase these books I highly recommend them! To learn more about the author and his other books CLICK HERE


December 8, 2009 Posted by | Family Fun, Holidays, Once Upon A Family | 1 Comment

Christmas Box: Movie Nights

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year…” this song is heard throughout the house. The glow of candles and smell of baked goodies fill the air in our home and sets the mood to our Christmas celebrations.

Every year we strive to continue our traditions and add more family fun activities that focus on the of Christmas, our lord and savior Jesus Christ. I hope our holiday traditions and celebrations inspire you.

Have a Merry Christmas!

Go Make Memories!


There are many family fun activities to during the holidays. Check your local community newspapers and your city or county websites. We enjoyed or city’s annual tree lighting celebration. They had many performers on an outdoor stage by the waterfront. It is so nice to see families out in droves sitting on blankets enjoying each other. After the mayor, Rick Baker, lit the tree (which simultaneously lit surrounding light displays all around North Straub water front park we headed over to view an outdoor holiday movie. We thought it was going to be “Miracle on 34th Street” but it turned out to be “The Shop Around the Corner ” We had never seen this movie. It was awesome! We all enjoyed it. It was freezing cold. Luckily, mom was prepared with fleece blankets, popcorn, and hot cocoa. Oh, what a wonderful night we had. Even Flat Stanley got in on the fun too. We introduced him to the mayor and had our picture taken by the tree. Mayor Rick Baker is almost as tall as the tree! It was nice to see him there with his family too. Every Friday and Saturday local merchants and the city of St Petersburg are sponsoring outdoor holiday movies, FREE!

See info below:

Sunscreen Film Festival 2009 Holiday Outdoor Film Series in the Park presents
North Straub Park, Beach Drive and Third St., 7 p.m. Enjoy a different holiday classic beneath the stars on the downtown waterfront every Friday and Saturday during the holiday season. Sponsored by the Merchants of 400 Beach Drive, Progress Energy and City of St.Petersburg.

o Dec. 4 – Polar Express
o Dec. 5 – White Christmas
o Dec. 11 – Prancer
o Dec. 12 – A Christmas Story
o Dec. 18 – Miracle on 34th Street
o Dec. 19 – It’s a Wonderful Life

We have a family tradition we started last year called the Christmas Box. Every few days my husband and I put out a wrapped box with special items inside for a family fun activity or outing. A family favorite is a movie night. We buy a new holiday movie to add to our growing collection or we rent one. We put the dvd in the box along with popcorn, holiday cookies, wassail or hot cocoa, which are a must for your holiday viewing pleasure. Those big holiday popcorn variety tins will make a spontaneous movie night even easier. If you have a portable movie projector light a fire out back and enjoy the cool weather by snuggling up with you hubby and kids under a blanket. Invite friends over and to share in the fun too.popcorn and any other treats we fancy. The kids are always excited to see what fun surprise awaits them inside the Christmas Box. Makes me feel a little like Santa! 

Here is a list of our family favorite holiday movies and some we plan on seeing this holiday season:



December 5, 2009 Posted by | Family Fun, Holidays, Once Upon A Family | 2 Comments


1, 2, 3, 4, I declare a dance war
A dance or die
5, 6, 7, 8, now we’re gonna celebrate
D-Dance or D-D-Die 

Night of Joy came and went and I’m still feeling the effects of  “shaking like an earthquake”! I am filled to overflowing with joy after spending this special event with my hubby and kids and good friends. Dancing, jumping and headbanging alongside my kids was priceless.

I laughed hard, sang loud, cheered and screamed until my voice was almost gone. Mike’s in the process of putting together a video of the entire experience. I will post it as soon as it is ready. Meanwhile take a journey in pictures with “63 Seconds” and their groupies.

Mikael designed t-shirts for our group also.

On The Tram

On The Tram

Entering the Gates to Rockin' Disney Magic

Entering the Gates to Rockin' Disney Magic

63 Seconds and their groupies inside the gates!

63 Seconds and their groupies inside the gates!


September 14, 2009 Posted by | Disney Fun, Family Fun, G-Force 411, Once Upon A Family | Leave a comment

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