Thursday, December 18, 2008

Water. Agua. H2O.

Ahhh.....can you hear it? Feel it? Taste it? Mmmmmm....
You just don't know how much water you use and how bad you need it until you don't have it. Running water is something not to be taken for granted!!! I've always heard that if you have running water (indoor plumbing) that you are rich compared to the rest of the world. I know it's hard to believe that many people don't have indoor plumbing.
We have been hauling water in for cooking, cleaning, drinking, hygiene, and flushing potties. We have been taking showers at my parents house. This HAS NOT been fun!!! (not the parents part, but just being without water in general) Being stuck at home because of icy weather is okay with me, as long as I can get something done. No water makes that difficult. No laundry, no dishes, no cleaning the bathrooms, etc.
So, yesterday afternoon, since the temp finally rose above freezing, hubby got out to work on the well only to discover that the filter housing was busted. So, expensive as that was, we replaced it. (Most of the time I HATE, I mean ABHOR credit cards, but in this case I sure was glad we have one!) One other problem.....turned the water on and the shut off valve had busted also. Grrrr. Hubby replaced that this morning with some spare parts he had (thank goodness!). We now have water and he is supposed to replace the points on the well this afternoon (which we purchased A LONG TIME AGO, but somehow they never got put on....). YAAAAYY! Now....dear hubby expected us to jump up and down cheering for daddy when the water came back on. That's not really the reaction he got. Sure, we thanked him and we expressed how glad we were to have it back on. I think he was a little bumfuzzled as to why we weren't more excited. Let's do the math.
Family of 5, 3 meals a day, plus snacks=lots, TONS of dirty dishes to catch up on.

Family of 5=5 pairs of clothes daily, plus pajamas, towels, wash clothes, etc. to be caught up on (not to mention we were behind on the laundry already!). (might I add here that we wore layers of clothing to keep warm, so there were even more extras!)

So. My 3 girls and I who are the keepers of the home (laundry, dishes, and cleaning) know that having the water turned back on means warm water to wash hands with, brush teeth, and take baths (not to mention flush the potty) but it also means time to give the house a thorough run down....which might take days! LOL

We really are glad to have water back!!! May you NEVER have to experience life without it, but learn from us that it is a convenience not to be taken for granted!!! :0)

Merry Christmas!

Christmas Colors and A New Spin on "The Twelve Days of Christmas"

A Plethora of Popcorn....

Well, what else should one do? No water....STILL, leaves us with time to follow a few of our Advent activities. I have to highly recommend our book we are using called "The ADVENTure of Christmas" by Lisa Whelchel. I love Lisa Whelchel. She is so down-to-earth and "real." She has written many great books, some of my favs being "Creative Correction," "Taking Care of the ME in Mommy," and "So You're Thinking About Homeschooling." Each of these books have helped me in my parenting and homeschool endeavors and I would recommend them to ANY mom!

Anyway.... There are many activities, but we pick and choose. This is the first year we have actually done more than 1, LOL! I like this simplified Christmas that we are practicing. It gives us more time to concentrate and ponder the real reason and meaning of this wonderful celebration.

So in talking about Christmas Colors and why they are red, green, and white (you'll just have to read it yourself...don't want to give too much away!) we decided on making green popcorn. The best part of the experience (for me) was the interest in the idea of home made popcorn from my girls. I brought the bag home and they looked at it, and with questions in their voices, asked, "Yellow Popping Corn??? What's that?" Oh, how I laughed!!! I guess I haven't made any this way in a long, long, looonng while. So they watched intently while I made it...ya know, the old-fashioned a pot with some oil. I shared with them how this was the only way we had popcorn when I was a kid. Just when was microwave popcorn invented??? I don't even remember. I don't think I bought it until I had the ballerina (she's 13, remember!). Wow. That makes me feel old. I feared they wouldn't like the blandness of it. I made some extra, let them taste it plain, which they made "hmm" noises to, then added some salt, let them taste test, then added some melted butter, to which they fell in love with! They asked if it was cheaper to make it home made (trying to convince me it needs made this way every time). Well, with microwave popcorn being so cheap, I don't really know if it's cheaper. I haven't done the math. Does anyone know???

So, with the other 16 cups of popcorn we followed the recipe which makes a sort of candied popcorn. It's pretty yummy! We chose green to color it, but next time I think we'll do red.
Junior and Roo chomping down!

"The Twelve Days of Christmas"
In her book, Lisa also talks about different Christmas songs and carols (and helps kids understand the difference!). It's so wonderful! I learn right along with the kids most of the time. (my home school mommy friends will agree that this is quite common for us!)

Legend says that "The Twelve Days of Christmas" was written to help parents teach their children the true meaning of Christmas in England during the 300 years that it was illegal to be a member of the Catholic Church. The words are a 'secret code' that I'm going to crack for you, so that you may share it with your kids, or simply learn something new! :0)

"My True Love"
represents God, who gives all the gifts listed in the song.
"A partridge in a pear tree"
is Jesus, who gave His life on a tree (the cross).
"Two turtle doves"
symbolize the Old and New Testaments.
"Three french hens"
are faith, hope, and love.
"Four calling birds"
speak of the four Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John.
"Five golden rings"
correspond to the first five books of the Bible, also known as the Pentateuch.
"Six geese a-laying"
stand for the six days of creation.
"Seven swans a-swimming"
are the seven gifts of the Spirit (Romans 12:6-8).
"Eight maids a-milking"
point to the eight beatitudes (Matthew 5:3-10).
"Nine ladies dancing"
signify the nine fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23).
"Ten lords a-leaping"
represent the ten commandments.
"Eleven pipers piping"
are the eleven faithful disciples. And finally......
"Twelve drummers drumming"
call to mind the twelve points of the Apostle's Creed.

That's quite a bit learned about the Bible in a very unique song! I don't think I will ever forget that. We created a game (suggested in the book) to help us remember each symbol. Cool, eh? :0)

P.S. I have NO idea why the print is SO large on this post....I tried to make it smaller, but blogger won't let me!!! Grrr...

All words in purple are from "The ADVENTure of Christmas" by Lisa Whelchel.

Monday, December 15, 2008

The No Water Woes Ice Day........
So. It's 20 degrees and our school work is done. What to do? I know! How about build a Gingerbread House without having any water?! (I betcha wanna eat that! LOL)

Yup. No water. Ah, the joys of living on a farm. Getting the tractor running took precedence this weekend over winterizing the well house. Hmph. And again I say HMPH! We do keep some jugs of water around for just this very reason, and my parents live right down the road if/when we need more water. That being said.....
The girls have been dying to build a Gingerbread House, so might as well do it while being stuck inside, right? Well, we thought so. We spread the newspapers out because a friend had warned me of the mess that could be created, and since there wasn't warm water to clean up a mess.....Voila! The finished product! So beautiful that I wouldn't let them eat it....just yet! So, instead, I gave them some graham crackers, extra icing and candy and they created their own master pieces that they could eat! (Which they did before I even got pictures!)
I couldn't help but take some pics of my buddy, Frodo. He hasn't been on the blog in a while. This is his first haircut! Isn't he adorable? He's so soft to the velvet, only fluffy! :0)
I'm really surprised he hung on the wall, too!

So, what did you do with your "snow" day?

P.S. I have no idea why some of my print is underlined or seems hyper-linked. The only link should be the word "friend." Also....blogger won't let me move my pics around very easlily anymore. Can someone help me out with that? Thanks!

Small Town Christmas Parade

It's A Hometown Christmas Parade!
Saturday night was our hometown Christmas parade and since the girls are in 4H, they got to work on a float and ride in the parade. This is Junior, and 2 of her good friends riding on the rocking bench.

We did a Pioneer Christmas theme. (Our town's high school mascot is a pioneer as well) The float won the Theme award and the Chamber award. Can you guess how many napkins were used to make that white fluff? Me either! LOL I helped with it, but my-oh-my was that a lot of napkins!!!
Roo and friend....aren't they cute?

In the moments before the parade, when the grown ups were completing the construction of the float, the kids made cards and crocheted hangers for the Siloam Springs Nursing Home, which we were supposed to go and deliver on Tuesday, but due to the weather, that is being rescheduled.

The kids all had a blast and slept very well that night! LOL So did mom and dad! ;-)

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Thrifty Mama Giveaways

I hope you are all keeping up with The Thrifty Mama blog because she is doing some FANTASTIC giveaways!!! I always have her button on my sidebar, too!

Some current giveaways:
DVDs (such as the new Charlie Brown ones), and a $10 Barnes and Noble gift card!!! :0)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Bizzy, bizzy!

We've been crafting/cooking/running like crazy with the Christmas dazzle in our steps! (Which has left little time for blogging-sorry!)
On Monday we made homemade candy canes-yum! It was the first time I've tried making rock candy home-made, so the consistency was a little off when we were trying to form them into canes. I would have gotten a pic of that part, but my fingers were too sticky trying to help the girls! They made lots of different shapes, but mostly canes.
They might not look that great, but they taste REALLY good!
Tuesday we decorated store bought candy canes like little deer, copied the story of the candy cane, and tied it to them. We plan to pass them out throughout the season whenever we are out and about.

Tuesday evening was the CHESS Christmas Variety Show. This is the first year the girls have been able to participate in this. (Seems we always have schedule conflicts!)
Roo and Junior sang Rudolph and did a little diddy....well, sort of. Junior forgot to do her moves, but she remembered her lines!
It was really cute!
Rimshot planned on singing Breath of Heaven by Amy Grant. She has wanted to do this song for years. Unfortunately she got very nervous as she started to sing and then became too emotional to continue. She really did a beautiful job and has sang in front of the church a few times, so I'm not sure why she got so nervous, but we all felt so bad for her!
These are some of Rimshot's friends who did a REALLY cute little Beatles Medley with some slides in the background.
Speaking of GREAT friends.... they came back with Rimshot at the end of the show and sang with her. Isn't that so nice? They helped her get right back up on that horse. :0) They truly are an amazing group of girls and I am so thankful that Rimshot has such wonderful friends!
Towards the end of the night we knew we must have "Twas the Night Before Christmas," but we didn't expect a twist!
Here, a quite talented young man recites his (yes, HE wrote it himself!) "Twas the Pirates Night Before Chirstmas!" It was a hoot!
Here we have all the performers gathered and singing, "We Wish You A Merry Christmas," at the end of the night.
More crafting, trying to finish up shopping, ladies' Christmas party, Lowes workshop, 4-H work, parade, dinner with friends, and all the like will occupy the next 72 hours, but I'll update as soon as I can!

Also....if you could say a prayer for me.... I've had a bit of a sore throat the last couple of nights and am getting quite achy.....I can't get sick now, there's too much to do!!!


Hope you are enjoying your Christmas festivities....leave me a comment and tell me what you are doing!

Monday, December 1, 2008

A Beautiful White Blanket

What's better to wake up to on a Monday morning than a beautiful white blanket that makes everything look new, fresh, clean, and pure? (Sorry for you commuters who have to drag kids out in the cold....probably not very pleasant!) This light snow was easily packed into snowballs....and little hand held ice packs to tuck down the neck of the kiddie's sweaters! ;-)

Unfortunately, when it melted away by lunch.....

... it left a soggy, muddy mess! Ick!

I won't disgust you with those pictures....blah! was a nice, early teasing of winter's tale! Hope everyone is having a great Monday!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow!!!

Though it may be light and fluffy, it's defninitely snowing! It's been snowing here all night and all day. To the children's dissappointment, there is not much accumulation. I tried to warn them that we just don't get good snow around here until February and March...sometimes even into April! They dream of a white Christmas. The closest thing I can remember in the last 10 years we've had to a white Christmas was a good ice storm that kept us all home. Not much fun to play in, though!
The picture below was taken this morning when it was more like snow/ice pellets. Hope you are toasty and warm! I'm enjoying a hot cup of coffee and a nice fire in front of the Christmas tree.

:0) Have a great week!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Summer Sun, Check!

Well, the name of the shade of yellow is Summer Sun. It is Valspar paint from Lowe's. up on the agenda is deciding what color to paint the wall with the fireplace insert, and also whether or not to paint just that wall a different color, or that wall and the wall next to it. I know it's hard to judge when you aren't seeing the whole room....maybe I will get those shots up next. My house is such a wreck between trying to paint and rearrange and decorating for Christmas.
Dear Hubby thinks the wall needs to be a darker color because of the fireplace....smoke and yellowing, etc. ??? We are also thinking of using some old aged wood to trim out the fireplace, so it won't have the white trim around it, like the rest of the walls. Hope that makes sense.

This is the complete wall that I just finished painting. We haven't hung things back up on it or even moved all the furniture back against it yet...but wanted to get a pic.

So, what do you think?

Friday, November 28, 2008

Christmas Playlist

It's that time of year again!!! Time for celebrating the birth of our Lord and Saviour, time for hot cocoa and warm fires, good books, decorating, baking, snow boots, and watching the classic seasonal shows and movies! (Charlie Brown, It's a Wonderful Life, etc.)

So, in honor of the first day of the Christmas season, I've created a musical wonderland that will take you back in time....well, it does me anyway!
Enjoy songs from Frank Sinatra, Barbara Streisand, Amy Grant, Josh Groban, Bobby Helms, Kenny G, Alvin and the Chipmunks (the originals from when we were kids!), Jose Feliciano, and George Strait. Hopefully I'll find some time to add more soon!

Also, "A Soldier's Silent Night" is included, author unknown.

Merry Christmas!!!

Remember Our Soldiers

While creating a Christmas playlist to attach to my blog, I stumbled upon this "song" of sorts. Please listen and remember all of our many soldiers who won't make it home for the holidays this year. Please keep them in your prayers.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Doritos and Superbowl 08 what do those things have in common and what on earth do they have to do with my blog?

Simple. My BF from Junior High and High School days is in a Doritos commercial that is up for grabs to be aired during the superbowl. :0) Ahhh.....I hear the sighs of recognition and understanding, LOL! Anyway.... her director emailed and said they needed to get their numbers up on viewings and comments....hence the post! I'm going to post a link, and attempt to post the player....never done that before and am not sure if it will count as viewings. ??? Voting for which video airs begins Jan. 5, 2009. Make sure to vote!!!

okay...I have no clue how to get the video to upload, so PLEASE go to the's only a few seconds! :0)


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Grand Prix, Gray Days, and Is this Yellow???

AWANA Grand Prix
This was Rooi's first opportunity to participate in the AWANA Grand Prix. For those of you who don't know what it is (not that I'm all that informed myself), the T&T kids put their own wooden cars together, paint and decorate them, put weights under the front of them, etc., then race against each other.

And they're off!
Ethan Barnes competed against Roo the first go round....he had quite the lead!
And the final score........

Roo placed 2nd in each race throughout the night! Yay ROO!!!! You go girl!


Okay....2nd part of this post. Do you ever get headaches on "gray" days? I can't stand them. Tylenol, ibuprofrin, nothing helps. Sometimes it is almost migraine level. Winter is FULL of gray days. Ick. I don't like cold days, either, unless they are spent in front of a warm fire with books or crafts, or maybe the occasional good movie, and a cup of coffee, hot tea or cocoa. Basically, if I don't have to leave the house, I'm good on cold days. :0)
About 6 months ago I was given a gift certificate to Lowe's, so I used to buy some paint. I talked about it for so long that dh finally gave in to a shade of yellow, just so long as I would finally do it, LOL! Needless to say, I just put up the first coat on the first small wall today. I chose the yellow in hopes that it would brighten those dark/gray days and keep spirits high (and headaches low). The only thing is....I'm not sure it LOOKS yellow on the walls!? Ugh.
What do you think?

Is it yellow? Hmmmmm.....not as much as I'd hoped, but probably better for my not-so-yellow-loving-husband. I guess we'll see. I plan on working in some of the green that we painted the hall/office with, and maybe a pale color on one of the other walls. So, seriously, does that look yellow?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Cooking and Costumes

Junior loves to help me cook, and sometimes I talk myself into slowing down long enough to let her. I always try to catch her off guard so I can get a good pic, but she is such a poser! LOL

Making brownies for 4-H Achievement Dinner...

Well...not very scary, but VERY cute! A scarecrow, a mime, and a princess....charming, don't ya think? Maybe I'm a little biased....just a little. ;0)

Latest Deals

Okay, okay....I know I've been slacking and I'm sorry! I take the pics, but then I get behind on posting and hate to post it once the deals are over because then it's just bragging instead of sharing tips on what you can go do for yourself. :0)

I've been trying to keep our grocery budget under $40/week. So far, so good! (well, for 3 weeks anyway!) I know it sounds crazy, but I decided if Crystal over at can do it, so can I! (Despite the face that she is feeding a toddler and a baby and I am feeding a ravenous teen, another ravenous pre-teen, and a 5 year old.) Well, what can it hurt to try? It's pretty much become necessity. So without further adieu, here are this weeks deals:

From Wal-Mart:
1 gal. FF Milk 3.32
1 gal. Whole Milk 3.82
2 bags Chex Mix price matched for $.99 each with Walgreen's ad, then had 2 $.50/1 coupons, so $.49 each
3lb Blue Bonnet Butter 2.32
4 Hiland Lowfat Lemon Yogurts (8oz) price matched Price-Cutters/Harps ad 2/$1, bought 4, total $2
6 Glade Scented Oil Candle Holders $2 each, had 6 $2/1 coupons, free!
2 boxes Honey Nut Cheerios price matched for 1.99 each from Walgreens ad, then had 2 $1/1 coupons, so $.99 each, total 1.98
2 boxes Cinnamon Toast Crunch price matched for 1.99 each from Walgreens ad, then had $1/2 coupon, so 1.49 each, total 2.98
2 Lindor Truffles $2.50 each, so $5 total
1/2 gal. Eggnog 3.42
As a Christmas gift from my dh's wonderful employer (yes, WM), we are receiving 10% off ALL GROCERIES from 11/17-January (not sure of the date), so we had an additional discount of 2.99
Walmart Total: 22.83

From Walgreens:
4 jars Skippy peanut butter on sale 2/3, had 4 $.40/1 coupons, total 4.40
2 Liter A&W Diet Root Beer $0.79
2 Liter A&W Root Beer $0.79
2 Liter Sunkist $0.79
2 Deerfield Farms grated cheese (I think I bought Mexican Blend) 8oz 2/$3
Blistex Medicated Lip Treatment $0.99
2 Degree deoderants on sale for 2.99, had $1/2, so 2.49 each, total 4.98 (not bad considering they are normally well over $3/each!)
Received $1 RR at checkout

Walgreens total: 14.74

This week's total: 37.57

Woohoo! Now that's exciting!

I need to add that some purchases were special treats, as well, because I knew I was going to come in under budget. We have been finding great bargains for the last couple weeks, so I'm fairly stocked up, and I cook mostly from scratch anyway. The truffles and eggnog were special treats for our family...some treasured favorites! :0) The soda was special, too, because we haven't been buying soda lately.

If you would like to see step-by-step directions on how you can get these same great bargains, head on over to !

The next post is of a great deal I received a week ago...sorry it's late in posting!

This was from Sav-Mart and the Little Debbie Store:

15lb. Potatoes $5
2 bags Boneless/skinless chicken breasts $5.50/3lb bag, total $11
Fresh Ground Beef 1.69 lb, total 4.82
4lb Golden Smoked Boneless Ham (Which I took to their meat dept. and had half of it shaved for lunch meat...yum!) 5.95
2 Owens Sausage 2.50, had $.35/1 coupon, but they double coupons, so it was $.70 off, total 4.30
They had a special deal, buy 1 1lb Owens Sausage, get 1 doz. eggs, 1 can biscuits, and 1 64oz Orange Juice Free....obviously I did the deal twice, LOL!
Total: 31.02

Little Debbie Store:
Day old bread $.89

Total for week: 31.91

(*I think I bought milk at Aldi's, but didn't get that in the pic because it was earlier that week. Also didn't add it into total....)

Monday, November 17, 2008

This is a GREAT find!!! You simply search as you normally would (or surf, if you will) and you earn gift cards to places you already shop! It's win/win. I've seen stuff like this before, and am normally quite the skeptic, but I've read enough articles from blogs that I trust to try it out. Here's a link to Crystal's blog post about it (

and I encourage you to read this one, which details her earning and spending (how she purchased all of her children's Christmas gifts with her gift cards):

Please use this link to sign up, if you so wish! :0)

Have fun earning!!! :0)

Monday, November 10, 2008

Living Frugally

Most of you know how fond I am of Crystal over at She has led me to fall in love with frugality. She makes it possible to capture the best of deals. There's a couple of other blogs I check on once in a while, but one has caught my eye frequently as of late. A lot of the offers are the same as moneysavingmom, but I've noticed there being additional ones recently, things that make great Christmas gifts for free or nearly free.


The Thrifty Mama

I'll be posting a link to her blog on my sidebar. Enjoy the great deals!!!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Morning After

This was a forward from a friend, but states very well what many of us are feeling/facing.

The Morning After
By Ariel Allison

"I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving, be made for everyone - for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth." 1 Timothy 2:1-4

Red states. Blue states. Exit polls. Electoral votes. My mind spins as election results scroll across my television screen. And fear rises in my heart.

What if my preferred candidate doesn't win? What if my values are not shared by the next president? What if...

One thing I know for sure: half of this country will wake tomorrow overwhelmed with disappointment, possibly even anger. Uncertainty will reign. Fear will be rampant. This nation will be divided, and Christians will find themselves right in the middle. How then do we live in the tension that surrounds us? Where do we find common ground when our worldviews are so divergent? And how can we be at peace with the results - especially when we passionately disagree?

As I pondered this election I was encouraged by these reminders from an online friend named Rona:
1. The Bible will still have all the answers.
2. Prayer will still work.
3. The Holy Spirit will still move.
4. God will still inhabit the praises of His people.
5. There will still be God-anointed preaching.
6. There will still be singing of praise to God.
7. God will still pour out blessings upon His people.
8. There will still be room at the Cross.
9. Jesus will still love you.
10. Jesus will still save the lost when they come to Him.


I take comfort in the knowledge that "all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God" (Romans 13:1). And I find reassurance in the mandate to pray for those that He has placed in authority over us (1 Timothy 2:1-4). Too often we consider prayer a last resort when it should be our first course of action. Will you join me in committing to pray for our new President and the others who will lead us over the next four years?

Ariel Allison writes, reads, and lives in a small Texas town with her husband and three young sons. She is the co-author of Daddy Do You Love Me: a Daughter's Journey of Faith and Restoration (New Leaf Press, 2006). Her days are filled with toothless grins, muddy hands, and a never ending stream of words that try to find their way to her laptop. She ponders life as a mother of all boys at and her thoughts as a redeemed dreamer at She and her husband are expecting their fourth son in December.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

God Help Us

"God has not given us a spirit of fear, but a spirit of power, a spirit of love, and soundness of mind."
Now, more than ever, we must cling to this and the many other promises that God has given us. He is truly the only One who knows what the future holds. Pray. Pray. Pray.
"Father, our lives are in Your hands....Your mighty and capable hands."

Anniversary Continued

We set off to go hiking, and I had to grab my camera. Jason headed on down the path, and then I couldn't find him. Wouldn't ya know? Up a tree! I told him we are getting much too old for that, LOL!

A beautiful sunset from our back deck.
Apparently strange things start to happen after the sun goes down, LOL! Now you know why we need to get away laugh!!! :)
This is the back side (I think) of a real, working steam engine, which REALLY impressed my husband. The name Detter you will recognize as they are the owners of Domestic Tranquility. I believe the last time we were there they told us it was Mr. Detter's father's.
Of course, dh had to check it all out and show me all the signs that it works and has been used recently. :0)

What's this? It's a wagon they actually hook up sometimes and take on trail rides.
They have many farm animals, some normal, some not so normal. Like these ducks....what's up with the bouffant of hair??? LOL!

Precious ponies roam like dogs...never far and willing to let anyone pet him. So friendly. He likes to stay close to their fire pit.
This is a lookout tower we were going to climb and take some awesome pics from....but this time of year, the bees are drawn to the warmth, so we thought best to let them have their peace! :0)
There was another tower on the other side of Eureka, but alas, the bees had invaded it as well.
A beautiful view.

There are many more pics, but had to choose just a few, heh, heh. :0) Hope you enjoyed the tour and I cannot encourage everyone strongly enough to visit this piece of paradise for themselves! :0)