Life with the Shirley Family

Life with the Shirley Family

Thursday, August 30, 2012


Nathan and I have been slowing down in our virtual trip through the US.  He is growing up, and although he is interested in different states, he is getting busy with his own life.  And homework is increasing.  7th grade has been tough so far. 

But we are trying to keep it up, even if slow.  Montana was our latest state.  We ended it with a meal of pan fried trout and Indian Fry Bread.  We also ended it with a week at home that was a gully washer!  Montana speak for a very heavy rainstorm!

Although I forgot to take pictures, I thought I would share the Indian Fry Bread recipe.  It is very easy, and although I didn't think it was the best (very dense), Dave and Nathan really liked it.  So here it is for when they ask me to make it again.

6 cups flour
3 Tbsp baking powder
1.5 tsp salt
2.5 cups water

Stir the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a bowl.  Slowly add the water and knead with fingers until dough is soft, but not sticky.  Add more water if necessary.  Grease a 9 x 9 baking pan and spread dough inside.  Bake at 350 for 35 minutes.  Eat the bread hot with a dash of butter or jelly.

I only make half of the recipe and it seemed to fill up my 9 x 9 pan and was thick.  I also brushed melted butter on top.  Be careful though and not leave the leftovers out on your counter; even in a sealed Ziploc bag.  Your black lab still may find it and eat it!!

Monday, August 27, 2012

RIP Sparten

Well, we had a pet death today.  Sparten was found in his water bowl this morning, upside down.  Not good.  We figured he wouldn't make it, but Nathan was still upset.  For the past month or so I have been having to force feed him, and even though it looked like he was recovering at one point, he just kept shrinking away.  At first we thought he had a calcium deficiency; but then it looked like he had a parasite problem.  Without finding a herp vet, there wasn't much we could do.  We were even soaking him in Pedialyte.  This only changed his color.  Since I was the one feeding him everyday, I was getting kind of attached to him.  We heard from one knowledgable person, that pet store geckos tend to have these problems.

So we are now without a leopard gecko.  Nathan wants another, but we will have to find a better source of geckos.  And figure out how to not let parasites in his life.  So rest in peace Sparten.  For a cold-blooded reptile, you were pretty cute!

Thursday, August 23, 2012


I have become addicted to cupcakes! We like to watch Cupcake Wars at our house and it always makes me want cupcakes. There are three cupcake stores that I know of in Charleston right now, but my favorite has been and continues to be Cupcake. The cupcakes there are so pretty and even though I am not an icing person, I like their icing. This summer I discovered that on the back of their loyalty card is a list of the daily specials for the summer. I used to always get Red Velvet, which is still my favorite, but I thought it would be fun to taste all of the specials; at least the ones that sound good. So far we have made it to every day we want but Sunday. We are missing Pink Lemonade. My favorite special is the Chocolate Strawberry, but Cherry Limeade and Key Lime are really good too. My least favorites are Watermelon (even though it is so cute because is has a green cake, pink frosting, and chocolate chips seeds) because it tastes to candyish (too artificial for you Cupcake War fans!) and Salted Caramel Chocolate. I was really looking forward to the second one, but it was too salty. Although my favorite Cupcake store is downtown Charleston, there are at least 3 others. One in Mt. Pleasant, one in Columbia, and one in Greenville.
Chocolate Strawberry, Cherry Limeade, and Creamsicle from Cupcake

The other two stores have their merits too. Sugar is another downtown store. What I like about their cupcakes is that they have fillings in many of them, and lots of different flavors like lemon, lime, and orange. Their icing is good too, but their cakes tend to be taste stale. The last store is named Butter, I think. My friend Ashley treated me to their cupcakes recently and the praline cake was really good. The icing to me is not the best, but the cake and praline was delish! So all in all, I am becoming a cupcake connoisseur. And why not...everyone loves cupcakes!!!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

The end of summer :(

Tomorrow is the first day of school for both Nathan and Camden.  Camden will start kindergarten and Nathan will go into the 7th grade!  Life is going by too fast; just like the summer. 

We ended our summer with what I dubbed our month of camps.  We started in July with a mission week at our church.  Nathan spent the week at the church for this "trip".

After a two day break, Nathan left for music camp.  Dave was able to spend the last half of camp as his chaperon.  They had a great time during Nathan's fifth and last year attending music camp.

The boys of Music Camp

Music Campers at White Oak Conference Center

Music camp ended on Friday; we went to Columbia; spent the night with my parents; and left for Atlanta the next day.  Grammie Camp began on Sunday morning!  This year Grammie Camp expanded to include Declan, the 7 year old cousin.  Since the youngest two cousins are 5; this means in two years they all get to go!!!  While Nathan was away at Grammie Camp, Aunt Amy/Jennifer Camp had a full schedule in Charleston.  This schedule was even busier since the Olympics were on!

Grammie Campers 2012

Aunt Amy/Jennifer Campers

Grammie camp ended on Saturday, and on Sunday morning, Nathan and I left to go to Look-up Lodge for four days.  This camp was lots of fun, but also spiritually challenging. 
The Cow group from Charleston Baptist at Look-up Lodge

One of the topics that the camp Pastor brought up was something that I have been hearing about a lot in the past few years.  Why are so many children who are brought up in the church and profess to be Christians leaving the church when they leave home?  This is disturbing, not just in terms of church numbers, but ultimately in terms of lives that may or may not truly be saved.  A couple of reasons for this have been presented and both of them seem true.   The first is that these kids were never really saved to begin with.  The other is that these kids from "good" homes are being brought up by parents who do not live out their faith in their home.  Parents who say one thing to their kids, but do another.  This was also reiterated by our youth pastor during the new parents talk for new youth...yes, Nathan moved to the youth group today!

So this summer has come to a screeching halt with lots of new things happening and old things that will never happen again.  As I move into the school year schedule, I need to keep in mind the lessons I have learned this summer.  I need to make sure that Nathan and Camden do not hear one thing from my mouth and see me do another.  I need to love God more and let them see that in my life.