Saturday, January 29, 2011


Well, it is hard to believe that my last post was almost a year ago. Much too long of a time to wait and share what has been happening in the Batts family. 2010 was a good year but went very very fast. I will briefly speak of some of our family highlights. This will help it be a shorter post. (yeah right, LOL!!!)

Of course my last post spoke of our fantastic trip to NC in February where we saw snow. We actually went back again for the July 4th week to celebrate my husband's sister, Glenda's 50 birthday. We had an awesome time. Glenda even announced that she and her boyfriend, Hugh, were now engaged. They are getting married this year on September 10th.

Glenda with her fiance Hugh.

With work, schooling, and several trips to NC in 2010; we were only able to fit one camping trip in this year. We went to the Sebastian Inlet State Park for 3 days in late March for spring break. It was a great time away with the kids. We did fishing of course but did not catch much too speak about. It wasn't snook season but a lot of people were catching snook all around us. (Surprising with the loss of over 10,000 snook during the 10 day freeze that killed so many) We were so excited when Ashley our 13 year old hooked her very first snook, reeled it up to the dock, but it flipped off right before we could grab it. So of course no picture, just another fish tale. Oh well, at least we had some fun fishing with the kids.

During the summer we were able to enjoy attending our youngest son's, Dalton, basketball games. He finally reached the age of joining the pee wee league with the city. He did well for his first year. He was a little nervous during play time and would freeze up sometimes but he still did a great job. I can not wait until he joins another team. It is exciting watching your child play on a team.
Dalton's team photo

With the start of another school year we had some changes come about. My family wanted me back home instead of working. So with a farewell to my job at the church, I came home to focus 100% on schooling again. Even though I truly miss my job and being with the best staff around, it was actually the best move I could make for our family. My eldest son, Devin, was starting 10th grade but as a dual en-roller at the IRSC college; How proud we are of him. Ashley is starting 8th grade...last year before High School...where does the time go. Dalton is now in 3rd grade and he is my main focus for coming home. We are going to have a fun year with home schooling.

September brought around the birthdays of our two older children, Devin and Ashley. This was a big year due to Devin hitting 16 years old. You know what that means!!! Yes. The dreaded teenage driving juncture. October 1st was his official license day and the beginning of our pacing the floors while he's away phase of our lives. Devin had already gotten a fixer upper car the year before and him and his dad had used the year to get the car ready. Well, it was done and Devin was raring to go. Driving himself to college, how proud we are. (A little secret...I cried the first day that Devin went to the college for his classes. You probably are thinking a lot of parents do that, but it is usually when your child is leaving home to go and live on the campus. He comes home every day. I cried because it was his first time going to school out of the house. I was acting just like a mommy putting her kindergartner in school.LOL)
Devin gets his new car home on September 4, 2009
This is Devin's car in January 2010 after getting new interior done.
This is Devin's finished car with new paint job and decal on hood.

On October 29th, we our proud to announce the new addition in to our family. Please meet Thaira (pronounced like Tyra) our new puppy. She was 7 mths old when we adopted her from the Palm City Humane Society. A little on the hyper side and very stubborn but she is learning a lot and very fast. We love our new little girl.

At the close of the year of course we had a few gatherings with our families, one of which, included another trip to Mike's parents house in NC. We usually try to go for the turn of the New Year but this time we left early in December on the 10th. On the way up we stopped by the U.S.S. North Carolina Battleship located in Wilmington,N.C. This same ship was toured by the Ghost Hunters team and we were so excited to be able to see this ship. Even though it rained all day and we did not see any ghost during our tour; we still enjoyed the day of sightseeing.

After our stop over at the ghost ship we head to Granny and Grandpa's home. It was so freezing cold from a storm that came through with high winds for about three days. But, after it was gone we got to enjoy some beautiful snow. Snow this early in the winter for this area is very rare but so very welcomed by us. Mike and Ashley also made an old family recipe for us. Snow Cream made from the fresh snow. It tasted just like vanilla ice cream. Nice little treat and a reminder for Mike from his childhood. Our dog, Thaira, enjoyed the snow tremendously, she wanted to stay outside all day. Our trip was wonderful and we made it home safely and just in time for Christmas.

Well that pretty much sums up our 2010 year, but of course there were so many other things that filled the other days. Too many things to mention. 2010 was fun, fast, and forever filled with special memories. Now it is time for 2011.

This is my family portrait taken on Christmas Day at my mom's house in Port St Lucie, Florida.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Snowy Vacation

Hello to all, it has been a while since I have posted to our family blog. Life sometimes gets way to busy. I started working in May of 2009 and just shuffled a lot of things to the side. Needless to say blogging was one of the shuffles.

Our latest and greatest family story is our recent vacation to North Carolina. What an awesome time we had. The trip was much needed and a big blessing to us all. We were suppose to go the week of Christmas, but we pushed it back to the week of Super Bowl due to budgeting. Praise the Lord, we did move it. It was well worth the wait.

Our main dilemma (like so many others) is money for the trip. With finances becoming our number one priority, preparing for FPU (Financial Peace University) that is coming to our church when we get home from vacation and we had just finished reading the Dave Ramsey book "Total Money Make Over". We realized that going away during Christmas week was not in our budget and we were not even close to having any money saved for this trip. So we set a goal for saving money for our trip in February. God blessed us with way more than enough to go. It pays to follow a budget and to stop spending foolishly. We were able to go on our trip without any fear of running out of money and not sacrificing any of our regular budgeted money for paying our monthly bills. That is our first blessing from God.

Our second blessing was that we have been going to Mike's parents house for many years in the winter trying to catch a snow day. With me being a Floridian and our three children too, we have never experienced snow. Now I have seen snow on the ground back in October when we drove to a high peak in Robbinsville, N.C. (Which was absolutely beautiful, amazing, and such a serene feeling), but our kids were not with us and we did not see it falling. It is too funny, every trip we make it always snows the day after we leave to come back to Florida. Go figure! Well we decided that our best chances would be in February this year and that was what we set our goal for. It was very discouraging when we received a call from Mike's parents the weekend prior to our vacation and said it was snowing and it was between 8 to 10 inches of the most beautiful snow ever.

My husband was beside himself. He wanted to get in the car that day and start driving. The chances of more snow in their area was very low, since they don't get a whole bunch in their area and this weekend of snow put them over their limit. Obviously we couldn't just get in the car and head up, we both have jobs and the kids have school. So my husband had to cool his jets and wait a week and we continued to pray for more snow to come when we are there.

Our trip got started with us actually heading out a day early due to an rain/ice storm heading that way on the day we were suppose to be driving there. So for safety reasons we left on Thursday instead of on Friday. By Friday morning (we drove through the night) we reached the NC line and there was nothing but freezing rain. It rained all day Friday, but there was still snow on the ground from the prior weekend. When we arrived to Granny's house the kids couldn't get in those piles of snow fast enough. The rain had caused the snow to be more like packing snow cones instead of snowballs. Do you think the kids cared? No...they were slinging these hard uneven ice balls at each other like crazy. I got hit by one and it hurt. Yet, the kids had a blast. They only played outside for about 10 to 15 minutes because of the freezing rain and they were soaked from kneeling and rolling in wet snow.

That first day was joy enough and made our trip so special already. Once the kids got settled in warm clothing and some hot cocoa, Grandpa informed them that they were expecting snow the very next day. How cool is that? We are going to actually see snow falling from the sky. It came, it fell, it was beautiful. The most fluffiest white cotton ball looking snow you could ever see. It made everything so peaceful. Mike thought I was nuts because I couldn't stop laughing. It tickled as it landed on my face. It stuck in my hair and all over my clothing. It was wonderful and believe it or not I wasn't even freezing. What a glorious sight. I know too many people live constantly in it and it is a burden to them, but what a treasure for us to experience it as a family.

Our visit was terrific but of course had to come to an end. We left with an agenda of sightseeing a few historical War ships in South Carolina. Stopping for the night in Charleston, S.C. and spending the next day at Patriots Point was an experience we will not forget. Devin took over 400 photos of just the U.S.S. Yorktown Air Craft Carrier that was permanently docked there. It was a great day, but very windy and freezing cold.

After our tour, we were back on the road for the remaining 8 hour drive to reach home. Within 5 minutes of driving the rain started and it rained all the way home. All I can say is that it was great to be home again. We couldn't have asked for a more memorable trip to NC and SC. Our photos tell the tale of a terrific trip. Thank you God for blessing us, yet again.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The Lock-In

Yes, I got locked in at the church for a whole night. Did I mention that I was locked in the church with a load of teenagers? It was the middle school lock-in for our church youth group. I figured since Devin and Ashley are both in middle school, I as a parent should be helping out with this function. So, I volunteered to be locked-in with the girls for the night. What was I thinking???? No, seriously, I had a blast with the youth.

The night was all planned out by Pastor Billy. He made it a team game night for the youth. There were six teams with about 6 to 8 kids on each team. Each team had to earn points based on their ranking completing some very difficult task. It was a hoot watching all these kids in blind folds, or blowing a ping pong ball with lots of holes in it with a coffee straw around on the floor, and even compete in a team dance off. The games were fun, the food was great, and the sleep was lacking.

Once the girls got separated and we filed into the mullet for our place of slumber, the party really got started. The girls rushed the bathrooms to get on their PJ's,(I don't know why, none of them planned on sleeping anyways)and then it was time for some singing and dancing. Even though I did not know a lot of the songs they were jamming to, I enjoyed the show. The best part of the night was when I was sitting in the dark while the girls played a game called sardines. I loved it when they screamed from fright while hiding in a pitch black building. Too funny.

All had fun for the lock-in, although the anticipation of the boys doing something dreadful all night came unfulfilled. The morning came creeping in and the girls started slowly winding down. I soon felt my age from pulling an all nighter, it was as if I was walking in slow motion. Once I was home it was pure bliss laying in my nice comfy bed.

April Birthday Celebrations

Our family gathering to celebrate the March and April birthdays was on the first weekend of April. We celebrated four birthdays; my step-brother Jon's, Aunt Elaine's, Mine, and my step-sister's Kim's. We had a great time together and had a wonderful dinner made by my mom.

After lunch Mike & Jon are just relaxing.

Tami helping mom serve cake and ice cream.

Kim opening up her birthday cards.

Ashley playing when she got out of the pool.

Aunt Elanie opening her cards.

Spring Break Camping

Devin caught a toad fish; my friend Julie with her son Chris; Ashley,Dalton, & Chris found a load of starfish, the kids playing at the swimming hole, Smores time

Kicking off our Spring Break week with some camping is just what we all needed. A good break away from schooling. We booked a camp site at the Sebastian Inlet State Park for the last weekend of March. It was a time of camping with my closest friend Julie and her two boys, Alex and Christopher. Needless to say the kids were so excited to be camping with their friends. This was also Julie and her boys first time camping.

Mike, was so sweet, he hooked up the camper and towed it up to Sebastian and set up every thing for us and then returned four days later to pack it all up and tow it home. I am sure he was excited about his break at home too.

The weather was a little rough, very windy. We did not even attempt to go to the beach because of all the rip currents. But,that did not damper our vacation at all. There were plenty of things to do in the state park. The kids swam, there was a playground, and we did plenty of fishing. We also got our fill of wildlife. There was a pod of dolphins that lingered all weekend by the parks fishing dock. They were so beautiful and fun to watch. The sea turtles were plentiful, seeing their little heads popping up for air every so often. On our last day, the kids and I had a manatee come right up to the rocks where we were fishing.

This was an excellent spring break trip that was very inexpensive for both Julie and I. Sharing the expense and getting away from home to have fun with the kids. We could not have asked for a better time.

One of the dolphins passing by, the kids taking a break during our walk, Dalton found a crab claw, Me and the kids right before Mike came back to pick us up, Ashley fishing