Family Alive

Brian, Kristine, Analise, and Josiah Toone

Archive for November, 2005

Where’s Kristine been???

30th November 2005

Here I am! I’ve got a long blog half-written (from Monday!) that I’m going to try to finish, but I realized something last night. I know it’s been nearly 2 weeks since I’ve posted anything, and I figured out one reason. From Wednesday 2 weeks ago through tonight, we will have hosted 47 people at our house. Wed: Home church (15 people), Fri: Home Church leadership dinner (10 people), Wed before Turkey day: 3 friends from church, Turkey day: 10 people including 3 overnight guests, Tonight: Home church (17 people). Whew! It’s a good thing some of my energy is returning because I’ve been so busy getting the house in order, cooking, cleaning up, and then doing it all over again! Gotta go – Lauren’s coming over for coffee and prayer in an hour. Make that 48 people! hope I’ll be back later today!

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Fun times in Birmingham

24th November 2005

Kristine went to a baby shower for an expecting mom in our church last week, and inspired by the awesome diaper cake we got from the Haffly’s last year, she made this awesome diaper cake, which was a hit at the shower.

And then these next three pictures of Analise being her darling, adventuresome self. First, holding her baby glowworm close, Analise has been carrying this friend around with her everywhere! We went as a family to go shopping for Christmas gifts to send in a shoebox via Operation Christmas Child. It’s become a yearly tradition now, and here’s Analise posing with everything that went into the shoebox. Analise also has been challenging herself by trying to stack as many of her “Little People” friends onto her children’s bible as she can. Maybe that’s what it was like on the Ark! She actually had almost 10 friends at this gathering at one time! Lastly, Analise brought her pumpkin in from outside to join in the fun with Daddy.

Yesterday, we had a fun time at the Galleria Mall seeing all the Christmas decorations and riding the carousel. But the highlight of the day for me was taking my family on the glass elevator ride in the attached office building. Hope you enjoy the pictures and video below!


This view below is from the glass elevator on the 17th floor of the office building attached to the mall. If you look just to the left of the highrise Wynnfrey Hotel in the foreground, you can see a strip mall. This used to be a cement plant, and we used to ride our BMX bikes back behind the cement plant up a hill from which we would sit on rocks and watch them build the Galleria! My parent’s neighborhood where I grew up is located in the forest behind the strip mall. Isn’t it sad how these days, builders just chop down all the trees when they build a neighborhood? I’m glad when they built our neighborhood they left so many (probably 80%) of the original trees. Today, I’d expect they only leave about 20% of the trees (if that much) around the border of the entire neighborhood. Sad, sad, sad. If you are wondering where Kristine, Analise, and I live now, the general area is indicated by the green arrow. My parents live somewhere near the red arrow.


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New upcoming release

21st November 2005

For those who haven’t heard the exciting news, here’s an exciting announcement we’d like to make…

The newest version of the Toone family will be release in June 2006. Analise has been so much fun, and it looks like we’ll be having double the fun very soon!

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A Smattering of Subjects

18th November 2005

I’m back! I know you’ve not heard much from me lately.

I’ve probably lost some of my frequent readers with my

lack of posting. Brian’s been so good about posting,

thought, especially with pictures:) It’s taken me a

while to get over our stomach bug, and I’m finally

feeling better. Besides that, it’s been a pretty quiet

week, and there’s not much interesting going on here in

Sweet Home Alabama. I’ll see if I can catch you up on

all the funny, interesting and mundane in the Toone


Rise and Shine
Analise is determined to make me an early riser. Since

the daylight savings time change, she’s been waking

around 5am, sometimes before. Aggggg… I can usually

bring her to our bed for a bit, and we doze while I pray

that we can stay snuggled under the down comforter until

at least 6am. That’s about the time she’s ready to get

up, though. I’m not sure what to do… she’s not

screaming to get up, but she’s in her crib, crying

unhappily. Maybe it’s a phase, like everything else in

toddler hood?? One small advantage is that she’s ready for a good long nap by about 9:30, just when I’m ready for some quiet time getting things done. Thank goodness!

Sam’s Sample Vultures

Analise and I discovered the wonderful world of Sam’s

Club this week:) I had forgotten all the samples they

have, and we enjoyed browsing the store over the lunch

hour both Tuesday and Wednesday. Analise has been a

picky eater lately, but she devoured everything we were

offered, from crabcakes to teriyaki vegetables to

chicken enchilada soup! Her favorite were the petite

quiches on Tuesday, and they were handing them out on

Wednesday too. The lady had just run out, and told us

to check back in 10 minutes. Since I really wasn’t

shopping, we wandered around through the Christmas

decorations and toys for a while, and kept coming back

within sight to see if the lady had taken them out of

her oven. No, no, almost… so we wandered around an

ailse and found a lasagna sample we hadn’t tried. When

we got back, she said, “You just missed them – they’re

already gone!” And I was feeling bad about circling

like a vulture watching for her to take them out of the

oven… I’m sure we’ll be back at Sam’s more often,

since we had such a fun time.

Analise moments
She’s saying a few more words lately, but more

importantly she’s got a whole repertoire of animal

sounds. Very cute!
She’s also full of kisses – for all her stuffed animals,

her Little People Noah and animals, for the air. She’ll

come up to me in the kitchen, wrap her arms around my

leg, and go, “MMMMMuh!” Love it. I have the sweetest

little girl, and she’s just in such a charming

Even her first real tantrum was cute! She wanted some

graham crackers, but not the one I handed her. So I let

her pick one, then she wanted another for her other hand

(of course), so I assented. Then, with a graham cracker

in each hand, she leaned forward with her mouth open to

grab the one in my hand. She wanted a 3rd cracker for

her mouth! I don’t think so… When I wouldn’t give it

to her, she proceeded to throw herself on the floor,

dropping her 2 graham crackers and cry for 5 entire

minutes. She didn’t want either of the 2 graham

crackers, and she was irate that I wouldn’t give her the

one in my hand. Poor girl. I’m sure it won’t be in the

future, but it was so comical!
She’s also learned where the belly is, and she takes

great fun in finding it on people. She particularly

likes my belly, which is a little jiggly. Brian’s very

very ticklish, so she’s found his belly to be fun, too.

Wednesday night during our group discussion at home

church, Analise was sitting on our friend Ben’s lap. I

saw her reach over and try to lift up his shirt to find

his belly! Watch out, everyone! Then she crawled

across all the laps on the couch… tooting all the way.

Ah, the fun moments she brings us!

Antique Adventures
We’ll be having Thanksgiving dinner here at our house next week, so I thought this would be the PERFECT time to use our antique china for the first time. It was given to us by Brian’s grandmother, whose birthday is our anniversary. Her husband was in Germany for World War II for their first anniversary and sent an entire set of German china back as a gift. Other servicement sent their wives sets as well, but they all insisted on repacking it themselves. Unfortunately, most were broken when they arrived, but because Grandma’s husband let the company pack and send it, hers arrived in perfect condition. I love it! It’s been carefully packed since she left her house in Virginia through a move to Alabama to Brian’s parents before we were married, to California for our first year and a half, stayed packed through our move back to Alabama in January. I’m finally getting to unpack it and see all the beautiful pieces. It’s 12 complete settings, with more serving pieces than you could imagine. I spent an hour on the internet trying to figure out the pattern name and how much its worth, but it’s nearly impossible to identify china simply by picture. Oh well, the sentimental value is priceless. I’m excited to use it this week, and I’m sure I’ll post a picture of my pretty Turkey Day table.

I’m going to post this, since I told my poor mom and sister I was going to do it yesterday. But I’ll probably be back this afternoon with a couple more blurbs and even a photo or two. Have a good day!

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Alabama Fall Weekend #2 (Samford Bulldogs Football Game)

14th November 2005

This weekend was fun fall weekend #2. Despite high temps in the mid 70’s, the morning did start out at a chilly 37 degrees as Analise and I head out on our second Backyardigan adventure. Unfortunately, Analise was very much wanting to stay home with “ma-ma-ma-ma”, so Analise didn’t get to enjoy the beautiful sunrise through the woods.

After a leisurely breakfast, I biked out to Clearwater to mow the lawn and biked back fast to pick up Kristine and Analise and head to the game. We made it just in time to get the last free bbq sandwiches at the tailgate. It was a good, close game against an in-state rival Jacksonville State University near Anniston, Alabama. We sat with our friends the Kawell’s (Greg Kawell is one of the other faculty members in the CS dept).

Kristine and I took turns walking Analise around during the game including on the infield track right next to the field. That’s one of the nice things about a small university, you get to get much, much closer to the action then at a big university. Analise isn’t quite big enough (and I wasn’t feeling adventurous enough) to take Analise sliding down “slide hill”.

One last thing to mention is that we got treated to a really nice halftime show before we had to leave. Samford’s good (but rather small) band played a tribute to our veterans (since Friday was Veteran’s Day) including a touching rendition of Amazing Grace by a group of bagpipers. Then JSU’s band, (which is huge!!!!), took the field and they were awesome. Greg was telling us that they are a nationally competitive band. Not bad for a school with about 9,000 students.

Ok, that’s it for now. I posted a few more pictures from the week (and weekend) here in a separate photo album. Enjoy!

Click here for more pictures

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Alabama Fall Weekend #1 (Picnic at Samford)

13th November 2005

We have had two fun weekend’s back to back. First, this blog updates you on our fun picnic last weekend (Nov 4) that we had at Samford. The first part of the week leading up to that weekend saw a few trees start to change their colors.
By the end of the week, the colors were fantastic. So part of the motivation for the picnic was to get out and see the beautiful fall colors.

Unfortunately, the day was brightly overcast making for terribly washed out pictures. So for all the pictures you see here, in your head imagine that it was actually twice as beautiful in person! This picture above shows the east end of the Samford campus from a vantage point near the top of Shades Mountain.

Analise enjoyed playing with the leaves quite a bit. Here in this three picture sequence, you can see Analise doing the “Leaf Dance”.

We took many more pictures, which I’ve included in a separate photo album. Just click on the picture below.

Beautiful Alabama Fall Weekend #1

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10th November 2005

No, not cockroaches. Some stomach bug found Brian and I last night, and it’s been miserable around here. Thank goodness for my in-laws, who rescued Analise from the sick house, and I hear she had a good day. It was the first time she’s been away for the whole day, but man did I need it! I think we’re both on the upswing tonight, thankfully, though I’m not sure poor Analise will survive with just applesauce and saltines for dinner. I’ll check back when we’re feeling better. Hope everyone’s well!

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My Ironman-to-be

6th November 2005

This morning, registration opened for the 2006 Ford Ironman Triathlon in Panama City, Florida. Two guys from church had talked about doing it, and Brian had decided he wanted to tackle the Ironman distance race as well. The registration opened at 9am, and they knew it would sell out fast, so you had to register online. Brian went biking with a friend this morning, and he came home a bit late, just 40 min before church, jumped in the shower, and yelled to me that he had to register before church. I was GRUMBLY because I did NOT want to be late. It only took a couple minutes to register and we were at church just as the music was starting. The guys from church hadn’t registered yet, and they were racing to do it after the service ended. We’re still waiting to see if they managed to get their registration in on time… The race includes a 2.4 mile swim in the ocean, a 112-mile bike, and a 26.2 mile marathon. Brian’s done a half-ironman distance triathlon out in Californa, known as the “World’s Toughest Half-Ironman”. I’m sure you’ll hear much more about the Ironman training and adventure to come!

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Catch up!

5th November 2005

Snuggly Saturday Morning
Alright, I’m snuggled on the couch while Analise is watching Dora the Explorer. We’ve rediscovered Saturday morning cartoons lately, and our favorites (in order) are The Backyardigans and Go, Diego, Go! Dora isn’t quite as much fun as Diego… better adventures and more Spanish with Diego. Analise is so funny – the Backyardigan animals dance a lot, and she loves to dance when she sees them get started.

Brian and Analise went out for their own morning adventure and walked to McDonalds to find our breakfast of Egg McMuffins and Sausage McGriddles. The weekend’s starting out well!

Dinner and Dogs
Dinner last night – Chicken Capri from the recipe on yesterday’s blog – was excellent. I served it with pasta, which probably isn’t in the South Beach Diet list of side dishes but it worked well. I used 6 chicken breasts, an entire container of ricotta (1 3/4 c), and a can of stewed italian tomatoes that I cut up. It was cheesy and tomato-ey, and the chicken was very tasty from the sautee’ing. I give it 2 thumbs up!
We have a lot of dogs in our neighborhood. I remember the first night we moved into this house, hearing a lot of barking during the night, and thinking that this was something you could never know about a house/neighborhood until you actually spent a night there. Last night, though, the neighbor’s dog barked incessantly starting at about 5am. Ag. It was so annoying. Bark, bark, bark, bark, bark…silence (and you’re thinking it might be over)…. Bark, bark, bark. Ag.

I forgot to blog this past week about our neighborhood tradition called Boo’ing. Our next-door-neighbor had told us in early October that there was a tradition that someone would drop a basket of treats off on your door (they “boo’ed” you), and then you had 24 hours to do it to someone else. So on Saturday before we left for Clemson we got boo’ed with a GREAT package. It was a huge plastic bowl filled with candy corn, a ceramic pumpkin bowl of chocolate halloween candy, a pumpkin potholder, a hand towel, some Ghost Peeps (which, by the way, should not be called “Peeps” but “Boos”, shouldn’t they???), and a little toy for Analise. It was quite a treat! So I sent Brian out get some treats to boo one of our neighbors. It wasn’t quite as good a selection as Brian wasn’t sure what to get, and we ended up spending about $12 ($5 more than I thought we’d spend). So we boo’d our neighbors on our way out of town the next day. I’m sure they knew it was us, because they were all in their dining room eating when Brian dropped it off on their porch. We were supposed to put a sign up on our door saying that we’d been boo’ed already, but we sort of didn’t get around to it. All week long, we kept saying that we needed to print off the sign and post it. Then on Sunday evening, the night before Halloween, we got boo’ed again! Whoops! We decided we’d “re-boo” the basket to our neighbor across the street:) All in all, it was kind of fun. But then I just found out that our sweet neighbor who told me all about this, who’d had her basket ready since September, never got boo’ed at all! I felt so bad. I might have to drop off a treat on her doorstep sometime soon, though.

Brian posted the pics, but I had a few things I wanted to recount. The first that he forgot to mention was that Analise won us a cake during the cakewalk at the festival we went to! Sweet! We didn’t buy any candy for trick-or-treaters since I had a huge bag leftover from vacation bible school this summer. I left a large bowl on the front porch, thinking kids would take SOME (you know, a reasonable 3-5 pieces each) while we were gone. When we got home from the festival, the huge bowl was nearly empty, and it was only 7pm and still lots of kids out! I managed to find another bag of chocolate in the cupboard, and sorted through Analise’s stash for the stuff we didn’t want:) We just had enough! I can’t believe they took all our candy while we were gone! Brian wasn’t surprised, though.

Have a good weekend!

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Blog Backlog

4th November 2005

Yes, I am here. Brian’s been the blog hero lately, and he’s working on another with fall photos of the beautiful changing trees. But I’m just trying to stay on top of our house, which seems to get unclean as fast as I get it clean. That’s actually 99% due to Analise. She’s just today learned to reach a new level of shelves. This means that there’s a whole new world of “toys” that she can play with. Picture frames are strewn all over, my Willow Tree nativity set animals are lying around, and her “good books” (only to be looked at with supervision) have been found. She’s heard “NO” a few too many times today, and I’m sure she thinks I’m just the grumpiest mama (in fact, I’ve said it 3 times since i started this post 2 minutes ago!). I think she’s a bit grumpy, too, maybe due to teeth. We’re about to head to the bedroom for a nap, but I’ve got a cake in the oven that needs to come out – Darn Good Choclate Cake from The Cake Mix Doctor Cookbook. We’re having company for dinner, and I’m going to try a new recipe from The South Beach Diet Cookbook, on recommendation from my sister, called Chicken Capri. Here you go – we’ll let you know how it is after tonight!

Chicken Capri

  • 1 c reduced fat ricotta
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 4 boneless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup crushed tomatoes
  • 4 slices reduced fat mozzerella cheese

In a blender or food processor, combine the ricotta with the oregano, salt and pepper. Process to blend. Rub the chicken with the garlic powder. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook for 12 mins per side. Place the chicken breasts, side by side, in a large baking dish and allow to cool.
Preheat the oven to 350F. Spoon 1/4 cup of the cheese mixture and 1/4 cup tomatoes onto each chicken breast. Top each chicken breast with 1 slice mozz. Bake for 20 mins, or until thermometer reads 170 and juices run clear.

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