Friday, August 28, 2015

Seven Habits for Happy Kids

There are several versions of this being used. You may want to search for your favorite/go to the source to read or download. Here's one from an Academy that is a little different.

This is part of our parenting with youngest AA!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Green Bananas - No More

We love our little home along with our newly installed paver side yard. There were a few little banana trees in the yard and one actually grew bananas this summer. We have had many afternoon thunderstorms with gusty winds and one finally undid our tree! It snapped in half from the weight of the bananas, so we have a bunch of very hard, green bananas. After searching the internet, found what sounded like the best way to eat them; frying like french fries!
So we did this Saturday night while Carolyn was visiting for dinner; and they were delicious! A little salt and they were perfect! No banana flavor either!
Instructions from allrecipies: 
"Peel the bananas using a knife, as they are not ripe and will not peel like a yellow banana. Slice into long thin wedges or strings to make fries. Heat the oil in a heavy deep skillet over medium-high heat. If you have a deep-fryer, heat the oil to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Place the banana fries into the hot oil, and fry until golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from the oil, and drain on paper towels. Pat off the excess oil, and season with salt. Serve immediately." 
This photo was from June, when the bananas were very small:

The broken banana tree:
The bananas were resting on the ground in front of the bird bath:
In the kitchen sink; they had a very sticky sap that invited tons of ants!
In the frying oil - delicious (reminded us of yucca fries):
We were sorry not to have ripe bananas in a couple of months, but this turned out almost as good!

Monday, August 24, 2015

U.S. Kids Golf - Local at Jacksonville Beach Golf Course 08/23/15

The next to last tournament for the local summer tour is in the books! Another second place - was close - only by one stroke! There were eight girls, two from Orlando.
Alyzabeth played a good round with Parker Jules (caddied for the first time by her sister!) and Ava Grall. It was a very HOT day again, a light breeze; I was hoping for rain!
AA really only had one bad hole - a Par 3 that she was on the green in one stroke (her drive) then 3 putted - so bad!! Oh well, doesn't happen very often! Afterwards, AA, Tiffany and Coco had some fun playing outside; we couldn't believe it - so hot!
Hole #10 (played the back nine which had three water holes; two she laid up and one she avoided by playing far left):

 Played this hole to the left to get past carrying the water!

Hole #18:
Round completed!
Trying to get Olivia M. to smile (yellow medal):
 The Top Three - Tiffany, Coco and AA!
 Only the Championship Tournament is left!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Food and Friends - More from Mid-August

AA played nine holes with local Fleming Island resident, Tyler Mawhinney; he was one of the golfers highlighted in the same Clay Today article this past weekend (and he played in the 7-year boys Worlds at Pinehurst). Another HOT summer afternoon (Friday, 08/21/15):

Still loving her Ray Bans!
New golf shoes, I keep ordering a size or two up so that when she needs them, we are ready! The Dawgs brand is great for kids with the smaller shoe sizes.
New recipes - I am still working through the Rachael Ray magazine article on 5-Ingrediant meals. This one is the pork and pineapple kabobs. Carolyn was here for dinner so she got to try them too. We thought they were very good!
Slicing/julienne sugar snap peas was too much work!
Also tried this roasted tomato tart using a store bought pie crust; it was tasty but not good enough to do again. I liked making the peach galette in Pinehurst; great as a sweet treat.
The garlic that grew in Terri and George's garden survived the trip to Florida and dried nicely; now to use; we love garlic!
I think we are caught up with August Blog Posts!

Friday, August 21, 2015

Horse Riding Lesson - Birthday Gift from Nana Ann of the North!

An early birthday present! We are setting up a regular riding program for AA - she loves horses!
Diamond D Ranch (West Jacksonville) with instructor K'Leigh on Wednesday 08/19/15.

Thank you Nana!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Clay Today Golf Article 08/21/15

Here's the Clay Today article by Randy Lefko about young golfers in the Orange Park/Fleming Island area. We spoke for a few minutes, so amazed he wrote such a long article! We will clarify a few things about AA's story: she has been with us almost seven years, it is true about not being outdoors or feeling grass while in China orphanage, but when we took her to the driving range, was not her first time on grass, we did it to help her get used to being outdoors, also her Coach Doug Cody DID teach her EVERYTHING about the golf game; her swing, the rules, manners, etc) and lasty, Ford does most of the caddying but Maria caddies for her in most any tournament that FGA is attending (mostly higher level tournaments). We spoke about her current coaches and gave him the information afterwards and since her current training didn't make the article, here is the credit where credit is due!
Local Coach Kathy Nyman, FSU graduate and Rain Girl Golf Inc founder (Deercreek); Caddie Maria Castellucci (Graduate FSU, Pro-Golfer and Child Welfare Professions) and Coach Jason Voigts CEO/Owner of Foundation Golf Academy, Orlando (Orange County National Golf Course).

Barbara Jo Ford-Coffee Congratulations that is awesome
BeLinda Parks Awesome!!!
Brian-Melinda Decker That is so awesome! Way to go AA!
Aunt Candy Kennard Garska That is awesome she will be a pro one day!!!!!
Dana Reynolds Awesome!!!
Danny Foye Good for her. Blessings to all of you.
Donna Rygiel This is awesome!
Elaine Koerbel Moyer You must be so proud of her!
Eric Coultoff Awesome! Well done.
Frankie Quinones Wow!! Congrats. First of many more to come I'm sure. Blessings.
Cousin Jamie Stone Way to go!
Janet Marcil Boucher Very cool!
Janice Gray Martin Wow, impressive!
Janice Scharf- Felsher Wow, I just love reading this!!
Coach Jason Voigts She did have an incredible summer and it's only the beginning. Great job AA; what a great article. So proud of you.
Jay Hardy Keep up the good work!
Jennifer Maurer Staples Awesome!! Congrats!
Julie Ann Morris Wow. That's awesome
Kerri Schaeffer-Mawhinney Awesome Alyzabeth!!
Kevin Murphy Wicked awesome!
Kimberley DeGroff Girvin Awesome!
Sister Leaa Morgan Cruce That's awesome!
Liana Keller Jenkins The first of many to come! Congrats!
Linda Kay Bell That kid is going places there is no stopping her
Liz Nguyen-Chao So proud of her!
Lynn Shipley Congratulations AA and family. Very nice article.
Caddie Maria Castellucci That's great!! Great interview.
Michelle Dix Raines Nice!!!
Michelle Fizzard Awesome!!
Nikki Vavreck Tuttle Proud of you AA!
Pam Davis I finally got to see the article .... So cool! Alyzabeth works very hard and it is so awesome to see her progress and what she has been able to achieve. Can't wait to see what he future holds for this amazing little girl! ��
Pam M Thurston Congrats AA
Aunt Patti Caton Wow!!!! Congrats AA!
Pennie Wilson McGuire Wow! She is off to a great start. Keep up the great work.
Cousin Rhett Morgan A Morgan making headlines. Love it.
Sammi Davis Hatfield Proud momma and poppa!
Sharon Register How exciting!
Shawn Grindstaff Kavanaugh Rock on!!!!
Aunt Sheri Patterson Boy that page will be a keepsake for sure. That is awesome article, the inside is something else. She's going straight to the top.Just sit back and watch!!!!!!
Stephanie Higgins Way to go! Wow!
Susan Heath Very exciting!
Susan Reitano Rizzo She is amazing
Aunt Terri Cobb Stone A. A. First interview! Can I get an autograph too! Congratulations!
Tina Piper She is super!
Tracy Burnside Neptune So impressive!
Cousin Wendi Baker That is so awsome! Way to AA and to the both of you getting her to practice and tournaments.
Wendy Chang Norris Way to go!!!!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Local Jacksonville US Kids Golf - Hidden Hills - Clay Today

We are back in the swing of our summer - at home - routine. Still feel like we are catching up since school started on August 17th! The first local tournament AA played in since returning from Maine was at Hidden Hills (08/16/15) and we had a surprise experience! The Clay Today Sports Writer Editor, Randy Lefko, let us know that he would be at the golf course to interview AA (and the other local Fleming Island boys) for a sports article. His line of questions stayed mainly about her beginnings with us as a family and how she got into golfing. It was her first interview. She also placed second in the tournament behind a visiting gild from China (who is vacationing in Orlando). 
Being interviewed:

He took many wonderful photos of AA in the rain, with her Rain Girl Golf Inc rain jacket and skirt on (made by Kathy Grant Nyman #RainGirlGolf):
The rain stopped and it was a beautiful day, not too hot!
Played the back nine holes - Last Hole - #18:
We would love to see this young girl's birth certificate; hard to believe she is only nine!
Scoring table:
All smiles for first and second place:
Director David Swinyar giving out the awards for Girls 8-9:
The top five!
Goofy photo:
Two more tournaments to end the Summer 2015 Jacksonville Local Tour.

Recipe - Summer Corn Chowder

Another new recipe: Summer Corn Chowder. Since my Hubby and youngest daughter love corn and there is fresh summer corn in the supermarkets, I decided to give this recipe a try.
I used an immersion blender in the last step, no need to transfer hot liquid to a blender and back - too messy and hazardous!
It was good (no photos...)!


  • 8 ears fresh sweet yellow corn, husked and silks removed and kernels cut from cob
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 5 slices bacon, cut into 1/4 to 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 medium yellow onion chopped (1 1/2 cups)
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 5 cups water
  • 1 lb Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 2 - 3 Tbsp chopped fresh chives
  • Shredded cheddar cheese, for serving (optional)

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

The First Day of School - Third Grade! Monday, August 17th

Monday, the first day of school was a happy day for AA; she was back with her friends! We traveled so much this summer, we barely saw our local family and friends. We need to get better about her social life!
From Facebook: First Day of School for AA - OPE! Eagletastic days are now Mondays - so the school t-shirt is the fashion of the day!

Classroom 39A - it is adjoining to 39B, with several of her friends next door. Third graders can eat lunch with anyone from the other three 3rd grade classrooms, so she enjoys that very much!
 We are back into our routine!