Family Alive

Brian, Kristine, Analise, and Josiah Toone

Archive for 2009 1st purchase

20th November 2009

I am happy to announce that after going live with the preliminary version of almost 3 months ago, I have sold my first map! You know you want to buy one, too! Here’s a link to one of my favorite state maps (Arizona – high resolution) and also my paypal balance – I’d say business is booming 🙂

labeled screenshot of the az-high map 1st purchase

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Sweet stuff…

16th November 2009

Fun memories from recently…

**Brian was staying at work late to speak to a group of students in the ACM society.  I was trying to explain how it wasn’t exactly class, but that he was teaching them something extra, “something cool.”  Analise said, “Like what?”  I was struggling, and said, “Like how to keep computers safe.”

Analise, who’s just getting proficient at the most basic computer skills and has computer class once a week at school, thought for a moment, and then said, “I know what Daddy should teach them!  He should teach them to log off.  That’s cool!”  I laughed and agreed that it was cool.  She continued, “And he can teach them to log on!  That’s cool, too!”  Indeed, sweetheart.  Indeed.  I think she’s going to be as cool as her Daddy some day.

**The week after Halloween, I gave Josiah a little bag of mini M&Ms dumped into a bowl to munch on while we were driving somewhere.  When I handed them to him, he said, “That’s a wot of m’s!”  When I got him out of the car, all but one tiny little M&M were gone.  When I coaxed him to eat the last one, he said, “I’m saving that one for Sister.”  Sweet boy!

**While I was gone this weekend, Beverly helped Analise write her own Christmas list.  She is enamored with the new Barbie and the Three Musketeers movie and all that goes along with it.  She brought home a neatly printed list that I was very impressed with.  Beverly spelled everything on the list for her exept the title, “Crmis List”.  Great writing and beginning spelling practice!  Sunday morning before church, she even wanted to copy it onto another list so Brian could have his own copy.

Yesterday after church, we were headed to Target to shop for our Operation Christmas Child boxes.  I was explaining that we were shopping for other children, not ourselves.  I told them I knew it would be hard and that we’d see lots of things we wanted, but that we would do Christmas shopping for each other another day.  Analise piped up in the sweetest, most innocent voice, “Mama, I happen to have my Christmas list here.  In case we see anything on it, you can just get it for me today.”   Good thinking, but not on my agenda… We did manage to do all our OCC shopping and not come home with a single item for ourselves.  Learning little by little that it’s not about us.  I hope to have pictures of them dropping off their shoeboxes later this week!

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5th annual fall Gatlinburg trip

14th November 2009

Each November, Brian attends a conference in beautiful Gatlinburg, Tennessee.  We always look forward to the fun family atmosphere of the small town, the beautiful Smoky Mountains, and the first taste of winter and snow.  This year we got to go without kids!  What a treat!  And this year it was warm enough to walk around in a short-sleeved t-shirt instead of bundled up in my winter wear.

Brian presented (and staffed and organized!) at the conference, so it was definitely a working vacation for him.  I, on the other hand, slept late, watched Food Network for hours (don’t have it at home!), and walked around the bustling downtown.  I enjoyed watching Brian’s presentation, though many of the details were above my head.  He sounds like a genius to me 🙂

Brian headed out early Saturday morning to ride from Gatlinburg in the valley up to Tennessee’s high point, Clingman’s Dome (a leisurely 20 miles with 5,000 feet of climbing).  After we had breakfast, we drove up there, and climbed up the overlook at Clingman’s.  Gorgeous Smokey Mountains as far as we could see!

I tried to post these pics from my iPhone on Sunday afternoon while we were driving back, but I hit a couple snags.  Actually, I typed all the text out with my thumbs and lost it… twice.  But here’s the iPhone glimpses of our trip!

My handsome smart-talking husband.

The river in downtown Gatlinburg.

The rest of these photos are from Brian’s ride up the mountain Saturday morning.

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Finally… our Out West Adventure book

10th November 2009

Here’s a glimpse of the Shutterfly book I made of our photos from the July/August 2009 Out West Adventure. Goodness knows there are plenty more photos I would have liked to include, and I wanted to post about each segment of the journey. But alas… three months later and I’ve not gotten to it, so hopefully this will do! Enjoy!

Click here to view this photo book larger

Or Click this link:

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Josiah’s Preschool Pic

10th November 2009

Not the best photo of a photo, but I had to share Josiah’s preschool picture. What a handsome little guy!

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Happy Halloween 2009

6th November 2009

Happy Halloween!!!

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Halloween Treats!

30th October 2009

I made some snacks for Analise and Josiah’s classes this week… they were pretty easy and turned out cute!  Of course, no one likes the licorice legs.  For Josiah’s class I used Oreo Cakesters instead of the Hostess Ding Dongs.  I saw the idea originally here.


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Halloween Adventure

30th October 2009

This past Sunday we continued a 5 year long tradition of going to Old Baker’s Farm to get pumpkins, enjoy the civil war reenactments, and the Native American traditional dancing. Kristine drove the kids there after church, and I decided to bike to meet them. Church ran long, and I rode fast making it there before them and then searching to try to find them before borrowing a cell phone to find out that they were still on their way.

We were all hungry so we went straight to the food area, bought a bbq sandwich and bbq baked potato and headed over to the bicycle tractors where Josiah and Analise could sit on little miniature John Deere tractors and pedal around in circles in a small area near the entrance of the farm. After riding Josiah sat down with us and started to eat. There were yellowjackets flying around attracted to the bbq and one eventually landed on Josiah’s nose. Kristine and I both stared at it for the slightest fraction of a second before Josiah swatted at it and we could then see the yellowjacket extend its stinger directly into Josiah’s nose. We swatted it away with the stinger still in his nose, and then Kristine pulled out the stinger. 15 minutes of blood-curtling screaming, one raw onion wiped on his nose, and many tears shed by Analise pleading for Josiah to stop crying, everything suddenly was fine and Josiah was proud/happy to say that it stopped hurting.

We continued on, had a blast, found some pumpkins in the much picked-over end of the season field, and took these pictures below. Enjoy! (Also the two last pictures are from Josiah’s nursery rhyme parade at school and the Clearwater Trunk or Treat event last Sunday)

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Analise’s Excitment for the Evening

27th October 2009


As we were brushing teeth her this evening, Analise said, “My tooth hurts!”  I cringed, thinking how ironic that she could be getting a cavity before Halloween even arrives, and asked her to show me which tooth.  Lo and behold, her front bottom (right) tooth wiggled a lot, and the one next to it wiggled just a bit less!!!!  Loose teeth!?!  She, of course, is Very Very Excited.  I, personally, am reeling a bit from approaching a milestone that for some reason I thought we were pretty far removed from.

This kindergarten year is just blowing my mind.  She seems so tall, so mature, and so articulate.  She’s become a lovely companion on the rare time that we go somewhere one-on-one (like the recent opportunity to see The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe at the Alabama Children’s Theatre).  I love listening to her learn to read, spell things, sound out words and write sentences.  I’m amazed at how quickly this new realm of communication is coming together for her.  She is forever stapling papers together, drawing pictures and creating books, for which we often write out the story (though I’m sure we won’t need to do that for much longer!).

Each morning as I drop her off at school, I glance over my shoulder and see her loading her backpack onto  her shoulder and walking so independently into school.  She loves school, but walking in she has the tiniest bit of hesitation and nervousness, and it always tugs at my heart.  But when Josiah and I walk over to pick her up, she bounces out, looking around for her 3rd grade friend who walks home with us, while her kindergarten classmate from the next street over waits for shyly for Analise (it’s a cute little friendship triangle).  She’s full of stories and tidbits from the day, anxious to show me the newest book she’s brought home and read through her weekly sight words.

Not tonight or tomorrow or even the next day as she desperately hopes, but before I know it, there will be a big gap (thankfully in the bottom!) of her beautiful smile, and we’ll step past another milestone leaving babyhood behind.

(She asked Brian what the tooth fairy left him, and silly daddy said a bicycle!  Thankfully, she was just as excited to hear that he’d gotten a shiny quarter…)

(One last thing… if you haven’t noticed the new feature in the photo header, click through to enjoy the site firsthand.  The six photos at the top now randomly rotate when you refresh the page.  And you can click on each photo to go to the post that it originally was published in.  Of course, it’s heavy on the baby pictures, because we used to post every cute picture that we took, and there were a lot of them!  I could sit and refresh the page for an hour to enjoy the photo memories!  Hope you like it too!

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What’s Cookin’… Pizza Bites!

14th October 2009

Ok, who doesn’t like Totino’s Pizza Rolls?  They’re so yummy.  And the perfect quick kid dinner.  But dang, they’re expensive!  And there are never coupons for them, so that means that I don’t have them in my freezer very often. And the kids are always requesting them.  So I decided to do a quick online search to see if anyone had a recipe for an equivalent.  I stumbled across this amazing blog, Chaos in the Kitchen and her Pizza Bites recipe.  I made them last night, and they were AWESOME and super easy!  Analise even ate 4, and said, “Mommy, these are so, so so yummy!”  Those words make a momma’s night!

I like homemade pizza dough, but couldn’t swing it last night.  So I used fresh pizza dough from the deli of  supermarket, and it was easy to work with.  I made one square pan of about 28 bites, and baked them all up.  I tossed the extras into the freezer for quick microwaving.   Seriously… you’ve got to try these!!

She’s also got a yummy looking recipe for homemade Bagel Bites.  I’ll have to try them next!

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