Friday, December 31, 2010

Mental Math Mania!!!!!!!!!

"Mom..I know what 20+90 is...110!!!"

"Mom..Do you know what 140+90 is????"

" know what 70+55 is?"

"Mom....I bet you don't know what 60+57 is!"

THAT is what Malachi sounds like lately.

It is hilarious.

He is in 1st grade and has a MATH MIND that won't quit.

He is like an ACTIVE VOLCANO...of Math problems.

He spews and spats them out like they are LAVA hot....FAST and furious.

There is not a day that goes by these days when he doesn't come to me least 50 times and challenge me with his mental math.


And the best part......Sheba came up to me yesterday and said,

"Mom....I bet you don't know what 7+3 is."

I just smiled and said, "No...but I bet you will tell me SMART GIRL!!"


Tuesday, December 28, 2010


Times are changing.

It was bound to happen....I knew I wouldn't be ready.

No matter WHEN the time came.

Wasn't it just yesterday that they were born?

Now they are half way grown.

Wasn't it just yesterday that they were taking their first wobbly steps?

Now I couldn't catch some of them ....even if I tried.

It feels like only a few weeks ago that they were starting to babble.

Now they get in trouble for talking back.

Life is a journey.

Sometimes it goes by so fast that yesterday seems forever ago and 10 years seems like yesterday.

Lately I have been noticing some changes our family is going thru.

Weird, Scary, New.

Changes that you cant prepare for as a mother.

Changes that CREEP up on you and take you by surprise.

Things like Zeek(10) saying things like, "Mom, do I have to do that craft???"

Seriously....this was HORRIFYING to me.

I mean ...when do they stop doing crafts. I thought we would be making a diorama when he was in college. I was prepared for toilet paper MLK figures in 11 grade. sad.

Then there is Shasha who has recently decided that she likes her hair a NEW WAY.

The NEW WAY is way to grown up for me.....
She likes to hold a piece of her hair down on 1 side of her face...and have me put the rest up in a ponytail.

Sniff. Sniff.

Then there is Malachi.....hes almost 7.

What the heck?????

How is our WILD CHILD almost 7????


Even Sheba...the BABY is growing.

She is starting to say things like, "I can do it!!!!!"

It is a hard change....
I am not ready.

But then again...would I ever be?????

Monday, December 27, 2010

White Chocolate Snowmen

I have to say it...I LOVE WINTER BREAK!!!!!

I love all the cool weather, and all the crafts that go along with it.

I love waking up early and NOT having to have school....easy breezy!!!

We just go with the flow.....FUN.

The other day we made "White Chocolate Snowmen".

Here is a PICTURE tutorial of the HOW TO....self explanitory really.







Happy Whole-lot-of-days!!!!!

Thursday, December 23, 2010


Sometimes GOD shows himself to you in different ways.

Sometimes it is something HUGE.

Sometimes it is something small. matter what....GOD always seems to DELIVER.

That is exactly what happened to us.

We WANTED to go to the "Winter Wonderland" at the ampitheatre in St. Augustine...
for a family of would cost a fortune.
Ice skating: $10 X 6= $60
Bounce house: $2 x8 = $16
Ice slide: $3 X 10= $30
Train: $3 X 6= $18

Total: $124 for JUST our family to go!!!

There was NO WAY we could justify spending $124 on something like that.
Don't get me wrong, we would LOVE for our kids to experience the "snow" but....
NO WAY could we afford it.

A friend of ours GAVE us these:

Which was not only ENOUGH...but MORE than enough.

We took Jays twin brother and two of his kids also!!!!

And once again....GOD provided.

It was such a blessing to be able to give the kids such a gift.
SUCH a show of how GOD does provide ....
sometimes he provides not just for a need, but for a WANT!!!










Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Not the fishnets............

I have to tell a story.

It started after THIS PARTY .

Let's just say I wasn't very ENTHUSED about the way my husband reacted to what I thought was me "putting myself out there" and got DRESSED UP for a party.

His reaction was ....."You look good."




Let's be REAL....there is only one reason a woman puts on FISHNETS.


And to look "GOOD" is NOT THE REASON!!!

But my husband is more of a "DOER" than a "SAYER".


He has a way of SHOWING HIS LOVE than most men don't have.


Opening the gate for for me at 3:30 am in the RAIN.


letting me sleep all day...just because.


Drawing me a bath....with candles


being so OVERLY protective of me that he says the SAME THING everytime I go to work: "Lock all your doors, have someone walk you out, and call me when you are on your way to the car. Jana....DO IT. "

But he is not a man of ADORING WORDS.

And sometimes .....I am DUMB.

I let my wants get ahead of my NEEDS.

And a few days after "the party"...I told him it bothered me that he didn't SAY what I wanted him to say.

He laughed.

Then he said, "I show you all the time that I love you. I show you with my ACTIONS.
You should be CONFIDENT in yourself. I shouldn't be the one that has to BUILD YOU UP. I know the TRUTH. I love you...that is the TRUTH."

What a CRAZY woman I am.

The TRUTH is that he LOVES me ...and dosen't TRULY prefer me "dressed up"...he's more of a GRUNGY GUY.

The TRUTH is that he wants me to CULTIVATE that confidence in MYSELF.

He prefers when I am matter what I am wearing.

A few days later....I was on my way out to a girls night out, and was NOT dressed up.

He said to me, "For the record, I think you look better tonight than you did the other night."

"Why??? Less make-up???"

Then he said to me, "No...because you are CONFIDENT tonight."

And then it was clear to me that TRUTHFULLY...
he loves me no matter what.
He loves me for me......
NOT the fishnets!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Out with the "old, In with the "used"...

earth Pictures, Images and Photos

The land must not be sold permanently, because the land is mine and you are but aliens and my tenants. Throughout the country that you hold as a possession, you must provide for the redemption of the land.-Leviticus 25:23-24

A "recycled" lifestyle.....


My Mom would tell you that is started early...
I liked clothes from the thrift store better than I liked NEW clothes.

I felt like they had "personality"....they had "character".

And more importantly...they were CHEAPER.

I always was a sort of "hippy-child",
a earth-lover,
a tree-hugger.

It felt natural to me.

I never, ever have been comfortable about spending LOTS of money.

When I was young I just knew it didn't FEEL right...I didn't know why...but it just didn't sit right in my soul.

It didn't FEEL comfortable or necessary.

And, as I have gotten older....not much has changed.

I still feel a TUG on my heart when there is alot of money being spent.
(I STILL walk away from the register when my mom is paying for a WALMART trip!!!)

I just have a problem when I think about all REAL WORLD VALUE of money.

What is "cheap" to us would sustain a third world family for a month.

The money we spend on a single "out-to-eat"...would give 3 people water FOREVER.

What we spend on "upgrades" in our home....would feed family for a year.

It is CRAZY...and out of control.

Now in my adult life....we RARELY spend money on things that we can buy USED.

We HARDLY EVER pay FULL PRICE for anything.

Its a conscious decision we order to be better stewards of our money....
according to a REAL WORLD VIEW.

Jay does construction/paints when he is on a on a jobsite he is ALWAYS on the lookout for things they throw away.

And believe me...they throw LOTS of perfectly good stuff away.

Stuff that is BARELY USED...because it isn't the "right color".

Stuff that they JUST GOT because it is SCRATCHED.

It is so sad to me....wasted materials, wasted money, wasted BLESSINGS.

Such a shame...... they say...

One mans TRASH is another mans TREASURE.

Needless to say...when I woke up today ..I was so plaesed because I went to sleep with THIS SINK:


And woke up to THIS sink:


All for FREE!!!!!
All because it wasn't QUITE what they WANTED....
THANKS to an amazing husband!!!!
It was PERFECT for us!!!!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

"Walking" the "talk"........


But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” 1 Sam 16:7

I have a confession....
I am a phoney.

I talk big.
I speak well.
I APPEAR confident. be honest....
Its a SHAM.

I am not that woman.

I ASPIRE to be confident.

But....I am still enslaved by FOOLISH THOUGHTS.

My appearance and weight still CHALLENGE me.

They always have.

They probably always will.

When I was in high school, my WHOLE SELF was encompassed in how I LOOKED.

It was THIN I was.

It was ALWAYS about how thin I was...
what to eat?
what to wear?
how many calories was THAT?
how can I get RID of it?

A downward spiral that left me and empty shell....too consumed by SELF DOUBT to ever even CONSIDER God in my life.

Too ENSLAVED by what I had been FED...mentally.

Too innocent to even know where to begin to START the order to get to TRUTH.

I was SAVED.

My life changed.....
all of the suddden - HE was watching.

I was suddenly accountable to GOD for something that was CONSUMING me.
It wasn't ok.
It was VANITY....which in the end only makes you the eyes of the LORD.

So ....
I fought the GOOD FIGHT.
I conquered bulimia/anorexia.
That was 12 years ago....
and still sometimes.....
I lack confidence.
TRUTHFULLY.....I do alot.

But sometimes I RISE UP and CONQUER my fears.
I have learned the last few years that I do have it in me.
I can pull it out of me.

Which is EXACTLY what I did on Wednesday night for my work Christmas party.
It was FANCY .....
and I was scared.
I did it.
I got dressed up....I really put myself out there.
It was fun and SHOCKING to my coworkers...who think of me as a "prude".
I was soooo proud of myself.
I was "walking" what I am always "talking".
I pulled the confidence out of myself.
With the help of GOD....I felt pretty.






Thursday, December 16, 2010

SWEET Memories...


Today OFFICIALLY started our winter break.

We had what I like to call...FUNSCHOOL.

In FUNschool:
Math=Uno Attack
Reading=reading the back of cookie package
ART= making caramel apples

It was a PERFECT last day of school before winter break...
A SWEET ending to the first 1/2 of the year.





Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Winter Wonderland...

It worked!!!!!!!!!

We woke up this morning to a WINTER WONDERLAND.

Thanks to a SWEET DADDY who was willing to BRAVE the FREEZING weather to set up a SPRINKLER.
Shasha woke up first and got all bundled up with Jay to go see IF it worked.

She came back in with an icicle about a foot long with a HUGE grin on her face!!!


Then she proceeded to WAKE UP ALL the others and by 7 am...the whole family was up and OUTSIDE in 23 degree weather.

But...after admiring Daddys ICY creation, we started a fire and had a quick Science lesson on weather and temprature.

Then we watched the sun rise and had hot chocolate.

Freezing never felt sooooo WARM.












Tuesday, December 14, 2010

God Willing....

Sometimes I just have those days....

You know the ones....the ones where
the arguments never end

the "What were you thinking" talks happen over and over

the days where there are so many sentences written that it seems POINTLESS.

A day that just makes me wanna go BACK TO BED.

I should have known that it was going to be one of those days because...
I was sick for the last 3 days.


It started at 7:30 ...they started arguing.


So....Right then and there was the FIRST talk about WHY you should be LOVING aand KIND to your brothers.

I explained that we are ALL GODS children and when we are MEAN or UNKIND to one another it is disrespectful towards HIM.

That was the FIRST time.

As soon as that happened and they all spent a little "quiet time" in their beds ...AT 7:30 AM...we started school.

And we started by talking about sin.

I asked, "What is a sin?"

"breaking Gods rules"
"going against Jah"
"doing something WRONG"


But ...OBVIOUSLY...they werent getting it today.

They copied bible verses, they sat in time outs, they lost privledges.

It was a hard day in the Vallone home today...

Thank goodness that GOD WILLING we get another chance tommorow. <3



In Florida we hardly have a winter....much less icicles.

So when we heard we were having a "hard freeze"...we decided to MAKE our own.

That was 2 days ago.

For the last 2 nights Jay has set up the sprinkler under the swingset.... TO MAKE ICICLES!!!

The first night was a wasn't cold enough.

The kids were would have thought we told them the sun was NEVER comming up again.

Then last was 23 degrees.

Perfect for "making" icicles....If the hose wouldnt have been KINKED!!!!!!!!!

The kids woke up this morning and went out to find a SMALL CIRCLE of FROZEN GRASS surrounding the sprinkler.

LOL- they thought it was cool anyway!!!

Oh man calls for 21 degrees tonight...
We will TRY AGAIN.

Friday, December 10, 2010


If you have ever met my husband you will understand this.


He's all the right ways.

He is a REBEL at heart....for all the right reasons.

He is all the right times.

And he is a fault sometimes.(If that is possible.)

He has a heart of gold and wins you over almost instantly.

It is amazing...
People and animals GRAVITATE towards him.

He just CONNECTS with people...effortlessly.

Seriously....Amazing and WEIRD ....
all at the same time.

I knew I loved him, as soon as we really talked.

I knew.

It just happens like that sometimes.

Which is WHY....
when the 2nd stray dog showed up 3 days ago...
I knew it was Jay.

They are just drawn here.


Its a vibe.....
and now....
The dog wont leave.

A kid even came and took it to his house today after school.
He was back in 90 min...flat.
And CRYING for us to let him in the gate.

When I asked him what the dog was doing back Jay said with a smile, "I dont know. He likes us. We're calling him - LOST."

Sweet, compassionate, CRAZY man....
Gotta love him.


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Santa + Slavery = SICKENING

Evil Santa Pictures, Images and Photos

Sometimes the devil hides among plain sight.

Sometimes he sits.....right in front of our eyes, at the tip of our noses.

Usually disguised as something COMFORTABLE.

Something that TEMPTS us.

Most of the time he WANTS us to walk right past.....denying the TRUTH....COMFORTABLY.

He WANTS us to look past him..because we are so USED to him.

He wants us to be BLINDED by tradition,
He want us to be INDIFFERENT in the name of "making memories".

But thankfully......sometimes he is SOOOOO OBNOXIOUS that he sticks out like a "sore thumb".

That's how I felt when I saw the SANTA sitting in the PLAZA of downtown Saint Augustine....on the EXACT spot that SLAVES were sold in the OLD SLAVE MARKET .

Sick to my stomach.

Grossed out...the smell of SATAN was permeating.

The sight of all the children waiting in line to SEE him was so sad.

Not ONLY because Santa is such a BOLD LIE, but because the TRUTH was being IGNORED.

No thought was being given to the SERIOUSNESS of what TRULY happened ON THAT SPOT.

Babies being TORN from mothers arms.

True loves being RIPPED apart.

Families being SEPARATED forever.

And is all forgotten.

In the name of some stupid Christmas tradition that has PAGAN roots.

All for a snapshot of an FAKE old man who just wants little children to give him a LIST of material things they WANT.

I thought Jesus was SUPPOSED TO BE "the reason for the season".....


So sad....Jesus would be DISGUSTED.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Infused..........with love.

Sometimes I have moments where I find my self staring INTO my life from the outside with that Talking Heads song from the 80's song going thru my head....

"You may ask yourself...How did I get here?"

It is always a sureal and wonderful feeling becuase I feel like it is a TESTAMENT to what GOD can do in your life.

I feel like everything I have is a gift.

There were times when my days were dark....
so dark I could not SEE> matter how many "bags" I weighed myself down with ...MY "bags" being -negativity, self-loathing, fear, and loss....

No matter how UGLY my soul was ....

I was WORTHY of H. I. M.!!!

And when he came to me .....I accepted.

Not knowing WHAT the road would look like...not sure what the future would hold....
Nut I KNEW....
It was going to be better than carrying all those heavy "bags" around all day.


And boy was I right.....
Yesterday we had our FIRST ANNUAL "Friends Feast" at the homestead.

It was amazing.

There was tons of food, friends, laughter, and LOVE.

And as I looked around at each and ever BLESSING that stood before me.....
I heard that song....the talking heads one.

I heard it loud and clear....
And felt the LOVE of GOD surrounding me.

All the smiles and life that we have INFUSED into our life.

All of the sweet babies and loving friends.

All of the fireside chats and the sweet sounds of children on the trampoline.

I felt myself being showered with the LOVE of GOD.

Straight from the hand of God a gift to me.

Saturday, December 4, 2010


I know this girl.........

Who got a SWEET phone call the other night....

It was from her Daddy.

He called to tell her that he wanted her to know that he thought she was a GREAT MOTHER.

What a gift to hear something like that.

After a lovely conversation about the hows and whys of his opinion.....he said he was PROUD.

What a blessing this was to her...because there were times when she KNEW she had made him LESS THAN PROUD.

There were times when she STUMBLED....
times when she fell..........

And after all this time she had made him PROUD.

No matter the clothes, her beliefs, or the way she wore her hair.....
He was proud.

And was SHE.
I love you Daddy!

Friday, December 3, 2010


Before Listening: scroll down and pause music player on the right...

Mark 7:8....Hmmmmmmmm.

That Which Defiles
1 The Pharisees and some of the teachers of the law who had come from Jerusalem gathered around Jesus 2 and saw some of his disciples eating food with hands that were defiled, that is, unwashed. 3 (The Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they give their hands a ceremonial washing, holding to the tradition of the elders. 4 When they come from the marketplace they do not eat unless they wash. And they observe many other traditions, such as the washing of cups, pitchers and kettles.[a])

5 So the Pharisees and teachers of the law asked Jesus, “Why don’t your disciples live according to the tradition of the elders instead of eating their food with defiled hands?”

6 He replied, “Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written:

“‘These people honor me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me.
7 They worship me in vain;
their teachings are merely human rules.’[b]

8 You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to human traditions.”

9 And he continued, “You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe[c] your own traditions! 10 For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and mother,’[d] and, ‘Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death.’[e] 11 But you say that if anyone declares that what might have been used to help their father or mother is Corban (that is, devoted to God)— 12 then you no longer let them do anything for their father or mother. 13 Thus you nullify the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And you do many things like that.”

14 Again Jesus called the crowd to him and said, “Listen to me, everyone, and understand this. 15 Nothing outside a person can defile them by going into them. Rather, it is what comes out of a person that defiles them.” [16] [f]

17 After he had left the crowd and entered the house, his disciples asked him about this parable. 18 “Are you so dull?” he asked. “Don’t you see that nothing that enters a person from the outside can defile them? 19 For it doesn’t go into their heart but into their stomach, and then out of the body.” (In saying this, Jesus declared all foods clean.)

20 He went on: “What comes out of a person is what defiles them. 21 For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come—sexual immorality, theft, murder, 22 adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. 23 All these evils come from inside and defile a person.”

Thursday, December 2, 2010


Sometimes just what we need is a little play...dough...that is.

When the world really gets ugly, and you need to just "get back to the REAL".

There is nothing like nice, warm, sticky, homemade playdough.

It always takes me back to my childhood....warm.


So today...we made playdough.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Food for thought...........

29 Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. 30 And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.” And it was so. Gen 1:29

Could it be MORE clear?????????

Could he have given MORE SPECIFIC directions????????

Is he ever WRONG?????????

These are the questions that I use when explaining to my children that "BIG BROTHER" is TRYING to take away the rights of some farmers.

And we all KNOW that "some farmers" quickly trickles down to YOU AND I.

It was a sad day yesterday as we watched the polititians VOTE on S510 or as they like to call it: The "Food Safety Modernization Act"

One after another voted "aye" ...while few stood their ground and voted "no".

It was sad to watch this in real time while trying to explain to the children WHAT was going on.

"Why is it illegal to GROW food?"

"Why are they voting for that Mama?"

All questions that little minds should NEVER be faced with.


Growing, raising, trading, and selling food is a GOD-GIVEN right.

It is something that is a TIME TESTED tradition passed on from generation to generation.

Something that can really help humans to appreciate and WONDER at something that has been done from the begenning of time.

There is something wonderful that happens when you plant a seed in the dirt and with little effort GROWS.

There is an appreciation that is gained... an APPRECIATION for LIFE.

Something that you cant BUY when you get your cucumbers in the vegetable isle at Publix.

These are lessons that GOD intended for us to learn, pass down , and cultivate.

Lessons that can't be REPLACED in the name of "food safety".

I mean organic farm is illegal because they wont CONFORM to the FARMLAND security.


A government run farm is legal...even though they use pesticides, hormones, and mistreat their "livestock".


The answers to those questions they asked were easily answered.
We live by Gods laws....not man's.
No matter what BIG BROTHER says.
We use GODS example...we use HIS rules.