This momma is WAY behind on blogging! Just a testiment of how CRAZY the last 2 or 3 weeks has been!
Getting you caught up today on TYLAN's 10th BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!
So if you read the 4 little Ferguson's blog, you know we like to make birthdays a big deal, not in piles of presents and parties, but in the days activities.
The birthday boy is the KING OF THE DAY! That means he gets to laze about while everyone does his chores for him.
The birthday kiddo also gets to chose what we have for dinner, and dessert. Tylan didn't want traditional birthday cake, or even the ice cream I offered. He just wanted some jelly beans to eat while he relaxed and read a book.
Kid after my own heart.... ;)
Except the ice cream part, WHO DOESN'T WANT ICE CREAM? Come on now!
We usually do experiences over gifts, but these kids are SO into their imaginative play at the moment, that we went with it......
And yes, I don't have wrapping paper, so a scarf will do just fine! hahah!
We got him a black full face ski style mask for becoming invisible at night when they play Invisible Hide and Seek, and a whole set of SPY GEAR!
He thought it was WAY COOL! There is a motion sensor alarm, a sound amplifer, telescope (called something way cooler and spy like), an invisible ink pen and decorder light and a few other things I can't recall. They have been playing ever since! Love it!
The other kids wanted to give Ty something too. So Avery and Destiny made Tylan coupons to cash in for back rubs, get out of one chore, have their piece of dessert and several other clever things.
Not to be outdone by his thoughtful sisters, Pax ran back to his wallet and got out his $5 from his own birthday, to give to big brother. AWWW! Ty later spent it to buy Paxton a turn on this cool bungie jumping trampoline things at the mall. Love how they love each other!
Ty LOVES him some Taco Pie so that was the requested dinner. I only have one Pampered Chef stone in the RV, so I had to use disposable pie pans, not as good, but still delish.
The Taco Pie recipe can be found HERE on the 4 little Ferguson's blog! There is a funny story about Ty on THAT post from when he was just a wee little thing.
We haven't ever had someone pick Jelly Beans for their birthday treat, so we decided to put the Valentines Day party cakes to good use, and let Ty blow out a candle on one of them.
We only had a #9 candle, but whose counting? We have learned to ROLL WITH IT!
Happy 10th Birthday, Ty Guy! You sure are loved!
In September of 2016, after doTERRA's convention, Dale and I booked it 12 hours down to Los Angeles, to prepare to be on a TV show. T.D. Jakes producers found us through our 4 little Ferguson's blog, and followed us over to this new one.
We have walked away from TV show offers before, but this one felt different. We approached it cautiously and held it with open hands. No doors closed, in fact closed doors, swung open as details fell into place.
They booked us an incredible RV park and asked us to be ready for an RV shoot and studio shoot, within the few days we were there. We were SO exhausted from convention, but so super pumped to have this experience! Dana and Micheal, the producers of the show, were awesome to work with!
Now, the trick, our kids were in Kansas, what to do what to do....
PAPA to the rescue!
Can you believe that guy drove from Florida to Kansas in his RV to go pick up the grandkids and then proceeded to drive them CROSS COUNTRY ALONE?! That is brave!!!!
They picked up Grammy, after she flew to AZ when her time at work was finished! And they all headed to LA! Can you imagine? What GREAT memories our kids will have of their trip with Grammy and Papa!
Besides being on the show, we had a BALL in California, but I already blogged all that HERE
We had to get up BRIGHT AND EARLY to get to the studio in time. Rush hour morning traffic is NUTS! I saw all kinds of people eating and doing makeup on their drive in. Crazy.
We arrive at the studio and a guard escort us inside, where we had to wait in our dressing room for hair, makeup and wardrobe. I kept pinching myself!!! And smelling doTERRA's amazing Balance oil so I didn't pass out from nerves. ;)
Being on a TV set is totally different then I thought it would be. There are lots of cuts and redos, coaching of audience clapping etc. Pretty awesome! TD Jakes and his crew were AMAZING to work with, and so kind and fun. We had a ball!
NO cell phones are allowed on set, so I don't have any pics from that part.
The kids stayed home and did school with Papa on studio day, because they would've had to school like 5 hours with a tutor, AND cost the station hundreds of dollars in liscensing to get them on set. They were part of the RV on site shoot, so I wasn't worried about it.
They made a video montage of our family, but we haven't got to see it yet.
Did you know they beef up shows AFTER they are taped live?
So the live audience saw a 2 minute intro of us, the TV show will have a longer one with more photos tucked into the story. I am so excited, but SO nervous to watch it. It's always hard to see yourself on tape, right?!
I was just given the link to our episode last night, so am popping on here to add it before I post this! :)
When we prayed for the Lord to open doors and expand our territory, we had no idea this would be part of His plan. I love when we get to share our story and point to a Father who makes beauty from out of the ashes, and used the shattered pieces of our broken marriage, to create a BEAUTIFUL mosaic for HIS glory! We are so honored and so excited for all that is to come!
For those of you who haven't read our story of Beauty from Ashes, you can access the series here: https://4littlefergusons.wordpress.com/surviving-infidelity/
Dale and I don't love "consumer holidays" like this, however, who doesn't love a day set aside to show your family some extra LOVE!?
After school, per usual, we had a fun treat planned for the kiddos!
I shooed the kids outside, and Dale and I went to work.......
I made a quick chicken salad to stuff inside hollowed out cucumber halves, and served it with cheese balls and strawberries. We also made a punch out of raspberry sorbet and sprite.
Now it was time to whistle for the kids to come back over!
The host met them at the door and informed them there was a 2 hour wait!!!!!! But since they were VIP guests, they got right in.
They got the best table in the house!
The wait staff came right over to talk about the house wine, er punch and explain the special of the day!
Cucumber a la Chicken Salad Esquisite, Hand Crafted Cheese Infused Balls, and sliced Strawberries la Fresh. La Pinka de Puncha is the house wine.
We saw a poor worker wander by. He was the lawn boy I think. Anyhow, the 4 little Ferguson's decided to invite him to join them at their feast.....
The restaurant offered a parting gift to anyone aged 13 and under.....
A WHOLE BOX OF CHOCOLATES??? WOAH!!!!!!!!
For our afternoon activity, we had a cake decorating station for the boys and girls, they did AWESOME!!!
Because of the amount of sugar they had already via M&M's from Grammy, Pink punch at lunch and the box of chocolates, we decided we'd wait to serve the cakes for Tylan's birthday, which just so happens to be the day after Valentines Day!
Dale and I asked Destiny to babysit while we went on an early Valentines dinner date to eat some YUMMY Indian Food, our newest love!!!!
We have a lot of home dates, so to get to get all fancied up to go out, was such a TREAT!
Afterwards we walked around the mall and window shopped and held hands, JUST like when we were dating. ;) Then we decided to be sensible adults and go to the post office to mail a return before heading home. BORRRING! Haha, no it was fun just to be together!
Love doing life with my best friend and soul mate. The Lord gave us a second chance at a once in a lfetime love, and I don't take that for granted....
Hope you all had a happy Valentine's Day too! :)
If you used to read the 4 little Ferguson's blog, you know I LOVED Stitch Fix!!!!! I blogged pretty much all the fixes I received. But it has been a LONG TIME since I splurged on one.
You can see the other fixes here:
Last winter, before I was blogging again, I got a fix I LOVED with maroon jeans, an awesome buffalo plaid cardi and a couple more things I kept.
I am getting ready to go to doTERRA's Leadership Retreat, and my closet bores me at times, especially when I have to get dressed "for real".
Let me be clear, I ADORE how easy it is to get dressed in a pair of colorful leggings every day with a solid tunic tank, short sleeve, quarter sleeve or long sleeve tunic top, based on finicky Florida weather, in my small basic closet.
Is it 80 today? Ok, tank. Oh, its only 50 for the high, long sleeves it is.
See? Super easy!
However, special business training, calls for a special new top or two. Here is what they sent me:
These are the maroon jeans from my fix last winter that I love.....I am pairing it with the black top they sent this round.
Did you know Stitch fix has SHOES now?! Super fun! I told them I needed comfy but cute for all the walking we do. CHECK THESE OUT! EEEEEK! So cute! Real leather, Lucky brand.
I am keeping the shoes, the floral blouse that matches them. I love the details of the black lace top, so it's a keeper...everything else is going back.
I hated the other blouse, the dress was too big and bulk, even though the back was cute and it was great material.
Stitch Fix apparently thinks I need a lot of navy/black in my life, because it all was the same colors. Haha! I am requesting some fun colors next go around.
If you want to give Stitch Fix a try, make SURE you have a style guide filled out to help your stylist peg your look. I also like to link my pinterest board for them to look through. I call it, Fashionista Wanna Be In A SAHM World! ;)
If you decide to give this a go, please use my referral code!!!!
And guess what ELSE is new? Stitch fix for GUYS!!!!!!!!!
I don't know why Dale isn't as excited as I am about this...maybe because he is currently going back to his, um, "grass roots"?!
Bahahahaha! He is going to love that I shared this with you.... ;)
Now go get that FIX!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
In 1927 John Ringling made Sarasota, Florida, the Winter Quarters of the Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey Circus. Because of this, there is a LOT of cool circus happenings in the area we were staying. A restaurant, a school, and an absolutely stunning 66 acre estate on the water that you can walk through, and apparently, a regular circus show.
The museum we visited, features the lives of John and Mable Ringling, the history of Ringling Bros. circus, the building of the Ca' d’Zan, Mable and John's GORGEOUS mansion, the Museum of Art.
It was kind of mind blowing to walk the long sea shell paved driveway throughout the estate, knowing it was the original path to their mansion. It's all grassy, paved and has buildings alongside it now, but one could almost imagine, winding through the tropical terrain back to an area where the sprawling mansion peeking through the palm trees takes your breath away.
We didn't go IN the mansion this time, but want to next trip for sure!
John was the first person to take a circus on the road, and soon ruled the kingdom of the entertaining arts. Families could spend 50 cents for adults and 25 cents for children, to attend his traveling show.
In 1925, his personal wealth, holdings and companies were estimated at nearly $200 million, in the TWENTIES!!!!!!!
During her travels with John, Mable fell in love with the grace and grandeur of Venice. In 1923, they commissioned the architect Dwight James Baum to build their dream home, modeled on the Doge’s Palace and the Cá d’Oro.
Mable, who kept a portfolio filled with sketches, postcards and photos, wanted a home in the Venetian Gothic style of the palazzi in Venice, Italy, with Sarasota Bay serving as her Grand Canal. Construction began in 1924 and was completed two years later at a then staggering cost of $1.5 million. Five stories tall, the 36,000 square foot mansion has 41 rooms and 15 bathrooms.
Mable oversaw every aspect of the construction, from the glazing of the tiles to the mixing of the terra cotta. She designed much of the original landscaping on the grounds of the estate, including her Rose Garden and Secret Garden. And while the house was to be called Ca’ d’Zan, Venetian dialect for “House of John”, it was really, as one writer later observed, truly “John’s love letter to Mable.”
The house, completed in 1926, soon became the site of lavish musicals, as well as garden and dinner parties. There were Gatsby-esque parties that lasted till dawn, with an orchestra playing from the Ringling yacht moored just off the marble terrace.
This dock was used to access the Ringling family Yacht, parked nearby, as well as enter the Gondola Mrs. Ringling brought back from Venice, so she could have the servants take her out on the water, just like in her beloved Italy.
The kids took a "Swim" in the front yard pool area......
The property now has a neat play area for kids to enjoy and picnic tables for lunch. It's right next to the original Rose Garden of Mrs. Ringling, which still contains some of her original flowers.
Like many wealthy Americans at the turn of the 20th century, the Ringlings made annual trips to Europe, where John found new acts for the circus. John and Mabel began collecting art by Old Masters such as Rubens, van Dyck, Velázquez, Tintoretto, Veronese, El Greco, Gainsborough and others that were the beginnings of the extraordinary collection of art that today fills the GIANT John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, right on the property, so they and their friends could enjoy the collection.
We headed over there next.....
We spent a lot of hours here, just looking at all the MASSIVE pieces! The children did so good, and were so interested in all the pictures. We just had to remind them to point excitedly but NOT TOUCH THE MILLION DOLLAR ARTWORK! ;)
The museum now features local artists as well. We got to walk through "The Pathless Forest" and entire ROOM of ribbon in rainbow colors. It was 8400 strands, or 24 miles of ribbon. They had music and lights all around, and through the display as you walked through the ribbons. It was kinda trippy and messed with your eyes, but totally cool!!!!
With the purchase of the American Circus Corporation in 1929 for $1.7 million, John, who had taken over the management of The Ringling circus after the death of his brother, now owned most traveling circuses in America.
Suffering from diabetes and Addison’s disease, Mable passed away on June 8, 1929. It was a loss from which John never really recovered. His reign as “King of the Sawdust Ring” was short-lived. Declining health, over-extended finances, the stock market crash of 1929, and the ensuing Great Depression, as well as an unfortunate second marriage to a young widow, Emily Haag Buck, a year after his beloved Mable’s death, all contributed to his fall.
On December 2, 1936, still marking catalogues for possible purchases and planning a circus spectacle called “Golden are the Days of Memory,” the boy from McGregor who had become the “King of the American Circus” died of pneumonia, at age 70, in his home on Park Avenue, New York.
Ringling willed his property and art collection, plus a $1.2 million endowment, to the State of Florida upon his death in 1936. However, for the next 10 years the museum was opened only irregularly and not maintained professionally, Ca' d'Zan was still used privately and not opened to the public, while the State fought with Ringling's creditors over the estate.
Because Florida State did virtually nothing to manage the endowment or maintain the property, while the local community (believing the Museum to be the State's responsibility) did little to support the Museum. By the late 1990s the mansion, Ca' d'Zan was falling apart and the Art Museum had a serious roof leak.
The State of Florida finally transferred responsibility of the Museum to Florida State University in 2000. In 2002 it appropriated $42.9 million in construction funds, with one major condition – the Museum had to raise $50 million in private sector support within five years; the Museum raised $55 million by the deadline.
In January 2007, a $76-million expansion and renovation of the Museum of Art was finished.
We spent so much time on the playground, in the rose garden, and hours in the art gallery, that we ran out of time to do the actual circus museum parts of this great estate. So alas, we will have to save it for NEXT TIME!!! It is worth a trip to go if you are ever in the Sarasota area!!! WOW!
I have to tell you a story! Something happened today, that stopped me in my tracks and totally made me get teary......I am pretty sure it was an AH HA moment as well for me mentally.
So, Dale was driving to the RV park office, following a guy in a golf cart who lost a shirt from the back of his ride. Dale snatched it up and followed him to his spot and gave it back. As he pulled away, he notices their car has a huge DoTERRA label on the back of it.
He backs up, "You all do doTERRA?"
They get to talking and eventually, the man's wife comes out.....they continue to chat a bit, and she says, You were in the Leadership magazine with your RV behind you, right? I can't believe you are here! We have that photo right beside our vision board. We loved your story and want to do the same!
We met up with them at the pool a few days later, hit it right off. In fact, we even got to meet some new friends of theirs, also staying at the RV park. I tell you what the Lord just knows how to bring His children together. And we all are working with successful MLM's!!! So cool!
We made plans right then and there to get together the next night for a Mexican Fiesta!
This is my favorite dip and it's tasting even better with some yummy doTERRA cumin, cilantro and lime oils! Do you remember it from the 4 little Ferguson's blog days?
Here is the recipe. If you have doTERRA oils in your home, do Cumin in the spicy sour cream, Cilantro toothpick in the beans and salsa mix, Lime in the guacamole. If you don't have doTERRA oils in your home yet, you are missing out!!!! Where else could you cook, clean and use medicinally, the same product!? I can help. Just message me. :)
There was a TON of food! How does that always happen!? We split up the list so nicely. Well, at least no one went away hungry. And if they did, it was their OWN FAULT! ;)
Oh these families are just precious! All believers too, of course. The Lord always knows how to bring His kids together. :) We had a ball!!! I am so mad I didn't get pics of the guys playing shuffle board, the kids playing around and Shelly, Elisha and I talking it up in the hot tub for hours.
Elisha got some shots she shared on FB, along with some beautiful thoughts.......
We are already planning on when we can see these guys again! The Lord is SO good to lead us together, at the same RV park, with a lost shirt to start it all.
We had to head 3 1/2 hours south the next morning at 5 AM> I NO LONGER GET UP EARLY, so this was super duper duper unusual and no fun. Bleh.
Papa was great to come play with the kids for the day, and take them to enjoy the Putt putt, play ground, hot tub and pickle ball all over the RV park.
Even though it was a long and early drive, I was SO excited to get to teach a class in Hollywood for a school! It went great!!! The preschool plans to start to utilize oils, diffusers and even natural cleaners in their school. How WONDERFUL for those kids and teachers to move away from chemicals, and towards a healthier environment for learning!
Afterwards, Dale and I went out to eat lunch, and wandered along the awesome shops on main street, while we decided what we wanted.
There were several very fancy shops with amazing hollywood style clothes, like silk jump suits, long gowns, mermaid dresses and those jackets with the big stacked ruffles around the arms like the First Lady wears. I have never seen anything like it.
I told Dale I wanted to go IN the next store and actually walk around a bit....next one up was a High Fashion Paris store.
Ummmmm, Oh My Goodness?!
We sure didn't linger long, haha! Plus the food next door smelled fantastic!
Tea and stir fry with my love out in the warm sunshine, before we headed home to FREEZING cold Sarasota, and out to dinner with Papa and the crew. We wanted some all you can eat Amish food at the Der Dutchman.
We were hoping to get to the beach, but alas, it was not so. It has been just plain COLD for the past few days, like boots & beanies cold, but we still had lots to do and keep busy with school and play, family walks and game nights. So long, Sunshine! Will we see you again soon?
Good thing there is always amazing things to do, see and eat around here! Tomorrow, we hope to take the kids to the John and Mabel Ringling Estate, as in Ringling Brothers Circus. There is a museum, art gallery, and estate you can walk through for free on Mondays, and then the forecast is all SUNSHINE again until we go home.
Can't wait to share more..