Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Where Did 30 Days Go?

I was checking my friends blogs this morning and realized it’s been almost a month since I posted. Let me see if I can do some quick bullet updates.

  • Dan had a birthday and we were invited to celebrate with the Edwards and Holliday’s. We went out for seafood and listened to a live band!!
  • David and I traveled to Ohio for a Model T tour over Labor Day with my dad. It was part Model T and part Bailey family reunion. I’ll post a few pics at the end.
  • Emily is enjoy being in High School and her favorite subject is Art. We are going through the usual transition of only seeing her on the weekends during the school year. :(
  • David is continuing to do well in Kindergarten. His behavior at school is fabulous and his handwriting is slowly improving. He is doing Big Green Bus (gymnastics), Taekwondo and Soccer.
  • I am enjoying the role of room mom for David's class. They are a great group of kids and he has a WONDERFUL teacher.
  • Dan is finishing up our first flip house and dealing with vacancies at the rental property. This economy is starting to hit our tenants. In about 12 years this is the highest vacancy rate we’ve had.
  • Football season has started – and this week the weather finally feels like it. War Eagle!!!!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Mom, I’m internimal…

What!?! you say? That’s what I said anyway. David said you know, it means when you can’t sleep at night like me and you need to sleep during the day. I said oh, you’re nocturnal – yea!!! he says. My poor guy, sleep is still that elusive thing we pray for and dream of. With the medication it’s fairly good, without it – sheer hell. I didn’t realize until bedtime last night that I only had 1/2 a pill left for him, which turned into him not falling asleep until 1:00am. I let him sleep late and checked him in around 10:15. He missed a large portion of his day, but I didn’t want him to miss the whole thing.

We had a neat thing this weekend, it was David’s turn to bring home Bruce the Bear from school. He did lots of fun things with us and we have to write his story and provide pictures and send him back to school. Here are a few of the things David and Bruce did this weekend.

birds DSC_0382 listening to music DSC_0388

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Mack Truck 3, Me 0

That is how I have felt the past week or so. I had decided maybe it was mono since I was so tired. Where a grown married woman would get mono – who knows, but it sounded good in my head LOL. Anyway I called my doc Monday and he had no “sick appointments” so I just headed on to Pri-Med. Turns out the fever, dehydration, fatigue, etc. etc. were something all right. 3 somethings – sinus infection, UTI and upper respiratory infection.

Wow – no wonder I didn’t feel so good. Thank heavens though God gave brains to docs and pharmacists because with medicine I am rejoining the land of the living.

And what you ask does the “land of the living” consist of: cooking, driving carpool, laundry, paperwork, looking at houses, playing, brushing the dog… should I go on. Makes me tired so I’m sure the doctor would want me to “ease” back into it. That’s what I’m telling Dan anyway ;-)

The worst part of being sick was missing Bible Study with the girls on Monday night. And I was supposed to lead. But the girls are awesome and so is God – so we will be back on track next week and I will try to get us through Acts 13.

Friends & Tie-Dye

Emily’s friend Sara visited from Virginia this past weekend and the girls had a great time catching up, swimming and doing t-shirts. David and Toby also got in on the fun!

em and sara david tie dye em and sara 2

toby tie dye

Friday, August 20, 2010

fund raising

Holy Cross doesn’t do typical fund raisers, thank Goodness!! Because I despise them. Just give the money to the school and the prize to the kid and let’s bypass all the junk. I do however try to buy from my nieces and nephews and from Emily, I just dread it. So I guess we can add this to one more reason I chose HC, LOL.

Anyway – I digress. A few of the things that HC does do, I need your help on, if you’re so inclined.

1st is can tabs / pop tops (you know the little movable part that you open a can soda with). These are being collected at school and will be given to the Ronald McDonald House at Children’s Hospital in Birmingham, by the 6th Graders. This is a program at all Ronald McDonald Houses across the country; they take it to a recycler and sell it for cash and use the funds to help pay their bills.

2nd is box tops – you know the ones on probably 1/4 to 1/2 of your pantry items and heck even can goods and refrigerator biscuits and stuff this year. We take these to the school and they are turned in by the PTF. If you are not familiar with this program and aren’t sure which products have box-tops, here is a link:

3rd is Coke Rewards – the “reward” items come on 16 & 20oz lids, 2-liter lids, 12-pack boxes, etc. Coke Rewards has a school program along with the personal program. Here is a link, in case you’re interested.

Thanks in advance for your help on this. And David says thank you too! He doesn’t quite get the bigger implications of these projects, he just knows it’s fun to take a bagful of stuff in school and he knows if his class has the most in a given time period they get popsicles or something fun!!

Just let me know if you have a bagful and I will pick them up or you can mail them to me!!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

mommy, why…?

Are you like me and you hear this question about 100 times a day (and that’s on a school day when he’s away from me). Well the questions are all over the place and sometimes entertaining and sometimes annoying. They do however actually make sense based on what we’re doing, what he recently learned or saw, etc.

I have never been one to have patience. In my job impatience was always listed as a cause for concern on my performance review. But somehow when you become a mom God gives you that extra dose of daily patience – kind of like a vitamin :)

So this morning as David’s awaking for the day he starts to tell me about his dream and how Sissy (Emily) and Toby (the dog) are under this big bridge with rocks and water and he has to go down and get them, but he can’t cross the bridge. Then he says all excited – and mom it was a talking dream!!!! You, he says – a little accusingly – were on the other side of the bridge and wouldn’t come to me and help me. Oh… I say, not really knowing what to say. I go with well you know dreams are just our imagination because you know I would always help you. He just kind of looks at me :-). Then I say well why didn’t you come to me and he says – like duh – the bridge was rubber and it was way to scary to walk on!

Oh – so the lesson is mom’s should do all the scary things!!! I didn’t say this out loud, LOL. I just said oh well that makes sense and it sure does sound like a scary bridge.

a day in the life of my kindergartener

I'm sure many of you have heard me extol the virtues of Holy Cross, since it's a subject I never tire of :-)... I decided to tell you guys about a typical school day for David. I think it will be a good journal post to look back on one day and I think it will also help clear up any misconceptions about what they actually do in kindergarten.

On the drive to school we talk of random things. Friends, travel, the sky, experiments, what dissolves in water, planets, cars, speeding, cops... And we also sing. David loves all the popular songs like Airplane, Billionaire, Alejandro, etc. so I bought him the Kids Bop CD of the songs and we jam to that on the way. It takes about 12 minutes to get to school so after this burst of conversation and a few songs we pull up at school. David is a drop-off kid - heaven forbid if you want to walk him in. That is NOT COOL!!! So I pull up to the car-pool line and Coach opens the door and watches (no help, mind you) David jump out and put on his backpack and stroll confidently in the door.

If he’s dropped off before 7:50 then he goes down to the Extended Day room and visits with friends until the first bell. If he’s dropped off at 7:50 or later he goes straight to his classroom. Upon arriving in the classroom he turns his “I’m present” card around, hangs up his backpack and heads to his seat. Once in his seat he plays with math pattern cards or blocks or links. Once everyone is seated his teacher goes through her morning greetings and then has them line up for Chapel. They go outside and walk the short distance to the Chapel and have their daily 20 minute service (on Wed. it’s longer because of visiting priest and Eucharist).

After Chapel they return to the classroom for lessons. Some of this is taught at their desks, some is taught on the floor in circle-time style. Some is taught in centers. They learn a concept with lecture, interactive talk and activity; sometimes a craft type, sometimes a worksheet, sometimes a game, sometimes by acting, sometimes on the computer, sometimes in centers, etc. One of the funny things to me is if you go to the board and are asked to choose an answer from what is up there you can swat the correct answer with a flyswatter. That is so smart – what 5-year-old doesn’t want to swat something!!

After lesson they have morning snack. This consists of whatever you send from home. Snack is either at their desk or right outside their room at the picnic tables on the veranda.

Following snack they head to their 2 enrichment classes of the day. Each enrichment has its own teacher and its own classroom so you get a change of pace. As I said there are 2 a day and they are 30 minutes each. The enrichment classes are: PE, Spanish, Music, Art, Computer and Library. Now this doesn’t mean they don’t have recess everyday and Spanish, music, art and computer in their actual classroom. These enrichments are just concentrated times on that activity with a teacher who specializes in that.

After enrichment you come back to the classroom and usually recess. Recess ends a little before noon, which is dismissal time for Kindergarten. A small handful of children are picked up at noon and the majority stay for lunch bunch. A different teacher takes over for afternoon care. She does lunch with the kids, takes them outside to play and then brings them back in and gets them settled for quiet time. Some kids are picked up after lunch bunch, but again the majority stay for the day. Quiet time lasts for an hour – some sleep, some don’t. However, you have to stay quietly on your napper during the hour. Once quiet time ends you have snack and then go outside again. After outside you come in and play.

David loves every aspect of this. I don’t think he ever gets bored. He is on the go all day long. When I pick him up each afternoon he is always mad that I didn’t let him stay longer and lately he’s been asking to spend the night there.

When we load up to go home he is talking non-stop about his day – he can’t hardly get a breath he is talking so much and so excited. It’s just amazing to me!! And we have had some serious behavior issues with David at home and also at his 3-year-old preschool, but here we have none. Twice in his 4k year he was put on yellow and so far this year he’s stayed on green. I really believe all the components of his day keep him so occupied that he doesn’t get bored, which leads to his bad behavior. Also there are only 12 kids per K class so he gets plenty of attention.

Well, if you’ve stayed with this post I am really impressed. It went longer than planned. But – if you’ve ever wondered about kindergarten, now you know. And I hope I have covered the concerns re: too much structure, too much time at their desks, kids need to be kids, etc. I know that was a concern I had before becoming a part of the HC family and now I know there is much more to a great school then the desks!!!!!!!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

David's First Day of Kindergarten

Wow, our little guy is officially in kindergarten. I cannot believe just 5 years ago he joined our life. Everyone said the little 6-pound football in my arms would grow and change so fast and they were so right. Here are a couple of shots of our little man when he was still a baby. Now of course you can't dare say that word!!!

Here are some pictures from the first day of kindergarten. Wow!!!! He is thrilled to be back at Holy Cross and Dan and I are still so happy and blessed to have him there. When I picked him up yesterday he wanted to stay there and not go home. When we got in the car I asked him about his day and all the usual. He said I had sooooo much fun and I was as good as I can be, but tomorrow I may do even better!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Vacation at the Lake

We had such a wonderful week at Lake Jordan. Time well spent with family and friends. Lots of games, swimming, boating and fellowship. Here are a few pictures from our week. I'm having some trouble with blogger so here is a link to the photos instead.

The kids and the bigger kid, Dan, love to ride the intertube. The only bad thing was David doesn't weigh enough to ride this new tube by himself so it would submarine on him. The ducks were funny - Dan and I noticed them and the kids weren't paying attention to that side so he turned the boat and pulled them right next to the ducks. David thought that was hilarious.

Toby is a little over 13-weeks now and he really enjoyed his time at the lake. All the new smells and leaves and sticks!!! He wore his little orange life jacket on the boat for safety and he was so cute.

Dan and I did a little house-hunting while up there and we have determined what we want and especially what we don't want. Now we just need to make this new business venture happen and hopefully by next fall we'll have our own place up there!!

Monday, August 2, 2010

I need Grace

Mistake = an error or fault resulting from defective judgement.

Why is it that we can have the best/purest intentions, but when discussing feelings things just don't always come out right. It really wants to make a girl give up dealing with it. I may just borrow my dear friends "whatever" and use that :-)

Before resorting to the famed whatever, I found a wonderful Catholic prayer that I printed out and will pray this week. Here's a link.

Ok - off the lake with prayer in hand!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

How did we ever fix anything?

Before the internet how did anything get done? I swear the internet is my answer to everything.
  • When should the first tooth come in / when should it come out
  • What is the best food for small dog
  • How to keep our tomatoes from splitting on the vine
  • How to keep the worms out of our cucumbers
  • How to cook something new with my chicken breasts
  • How to clean the brick on my fireplace
  • Where to buy a new intertube for the lake
  • What is the best deal on laptops
  • What are the side effects of this medicine?

And the list goes on and on, I bet each of you could come up with at least 10 things in 1 minute and we could all come up with hundreds if we thought on it for a half hour. And now that the internet is on my phone - wow I look up everything. Dan will say I wonder why ____? And I look it up :-)

Yesterday around 2:00 or so I noticed that my phone was not on and it would not turn on. So I put it on the charger and came back to it an hour or so later. Still wouldn't come on. So I just whined about it, tried to get battery cover off (couldn't) and figured I would go to the Verizon store today, which irritated me because I have a lot to do already today. It occurred to me to maybe look it up, but hey I usually do that on my phone and my phone is dead.

Then, this morning over coffee, my brain kicked in and said hey silly person you do have an actual computer, duh! So I came in here to get on the internet to see why "my palm pre won't turn on" and "how to remove the battery from my palm pre" and "how to reset my palm pre". In less than 3 minutes I had the phone working.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Summer Finale

Monday we head up to the lake for the week to have one final hurrah before the kids start back to school. We'll be there until Sunday evening and will have no Internet except my phone. So no blogging - just not dedicated enough to do it from my phone, LOL.

We are planning a fun relaxing time with friends and family, lots of time in the boat, family game nights, puzzles, swimming, eating, sunning, napping, movies, etc. I can't wait.

David finished up zoo camp this past Friday and it was a big hit. I am so impressed with all they did and what he learned and he said it was "too much fun", which is awesome in David speak. I will definitely sign him up again next year. He starts school on Wednesday of week after next with Opening Chapel. I just found out which Kindergarten teacher he will have and I am thrilled. There will be either 12 or 13 kids in each class (2 kindergartens). This is one of the many reasons we choose private school.

I think I mentioned in a prior post that Em will start school on Monday of that week. She's kind of nervous/excited about high school.

Dan had his checkup at the Cancer Center last week and the update was good. Still no sign of recurrence!!!! Praise God!!!!

Toby - our new puppy is doing well. Potty training is still a little challenging since his bladder is the size of a thimble, LOL, but he is improving alot. His training is doing well - he can sit, down, jump, climb up/down stairs, go through tunnel and stand up. Oh - he can also walk on a leash on my left side with no pulling and sits almost every time when I stop. Next we are working on stay and roll-over. We will miss Puppy Kindergarten next week since we'll be a the lake, but our teacher said I could just come early the next week and she would catch us up.

My cyst issue has recurred again and I have a mild cold/cough that is irritating my back pretty bad. Whine, whine - LOL. I hate to complain because I really do have a blessed life.

well, need to go hang up some permanent press so I'll talk to you when we get back from the lake!!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

We have a Freshman!

Oh my goodness, where did the time go? When I first met Dan and subsequently Emily, she was 3-years-old. Now she is 14 and entering her Freshman year at Stanhope. WOW!!!

Today was pick-up class schedule and locker assignments. They have 7 periods and here is her schedule:
  1. Honors Biology
  2. World History
  3. Honors Geometry
  4. Spanish 1
  5. Honors English
  6. PE
  7. Art

We are pleased with the electives. We heard elective choices went in order of seniority, but she got the two she wanted. I can't wait to see how she likes her Art class. And Spanish will be new for her as well.

I'm really sad/mad/depressed, to be honest, about Emily starting this public school this fall. The education level at the school is not what Dan and I want for her and we have offered to put her into a different school or home school her (my preference for her), but her mother has shut us down. Now I have accepted that and will be as positive and supportive as possible throughout the school year. I just pray for the school, her teachers and her and ask that you do as well throughout the year.

Our oldest baby is a freshman - can you say wow again!!!!! They start school Monday, August 9th.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Meandering Monday

Seems like a random disjointed night in my head, I think because my head hurts. Due to that I decided to just give you some bullets.
  • Emily and I finished our puzzle, but we are missing one piece.
  • David had his first day of zoo camp and a couple of the highlights were feeding live crickets to toads and making a snake.
  • One of the newer Clue games had bad reviews this past holiday season so we didn't get it, even though we love love Clue. Target had it on clearance (gotta love Target) so we decided to try it anyway - tonight (if my head improves) is the big debut.
  • Em and I had breakfast with my friend this morning at Panera, yummy!!
  • It was Em's first time at Panera - she didn't think she would like it, but now she wants to go again for lunch.
  • Toby was with us so we sat outside, I think he enjoyed the outing.
  • While we were out today we dropped him off at the groomers and wow does he look great!
  • Tonight I had my first experience of checking out at Publix and my debit card was declined (this can happen if you don't put money in the household account, ugh). What was really bad though, I had no credit card or checks with me because I don't typically use them. I had to leave my groceries - really embarrassing!!!
  • David was concerned about going to zoo camp because the dangerous animals might get out. He decided before that happened he and the "teacher" would glue the cage shut and save everybody.
  • Dan's lake plans got cancelled for the weekend because one friend broke his foot and the other got sick. Looks like he won't make it back up there until next week for our vacation.
  • Toby's hair is almost long enough for the bow on top so today we picked out the "boy-looking" bows. For shih-tzu's it's practical, not just cutesy so boys wear them too.
  • We took Toby to 3 pet stores today, working on socialization. He needs to experience different dogs and different people petting him so he won't turn into a nervous nelly and growl/bark at people. I hate to see a dog that does that - sad :-(
  • I swear when someone gets a new dog I want to buy gifts like for a new baby, my dad and Barbara got a new German Shepherd puppy and I saw tons of cute stuff for her today. I had to control myself!! We have got to get out there and welcome her to the family.
  • All for tonight - Dan's home with our late dinner.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

mommy is that heaven?

Yesterday while driving David sees a graveyard and says mommy what school is that. I said (without thinking, which would later prove to be a problem), that's not a school that's a graveyard. Oh what's a graveyard mommy? Me (still not thinking), that's where dead people are buried. Oh, ok, he says - then that's heaven. Oh my - how did I go so wrong, LOL. So then I have to explain the whole body, spirit, soul, etc. etc., which appeared to promptly go in one ear and out the other. So I guess at our house - graveyards are heaven for a little while.

Lazy days of summer

Oh how we are enjoying our summer. I keep wanting to grab my remote and press pause though because it's going by too fast. I truly have pictures to share, LOL and you will see them next week. The laptop is ready!!

One of my and Emily's favorite things to do is play games and over the summer we get to do that almost every night!! Staying up late and sleeping in... love it. I think we have played 100 games and earlier this week we decided to do a puzzle for a little change of pace. It's coming along well. Dan made us a nice board and we can leave the puzzle on it and move it from bed to floor to table.

David loves swimming and just all around being with the whole "fmly". We have built 87 different track patterns and made 100 "Accidents Happen" (thomas) shows. We have played with friends, gone to the movies, gone to Chuck E. Cheese, gone to Vacation Bible School and next week is off to zoo camp. A giraffe was born earlier this month and 2 white bengal tigers were born last month; I wonder if they will get to see them.

Dan loves when the pool gets used and we (and guests) enjoy his waterfall!! He has also enjoyed the slower pace and spending time in the garden each morning with David, while Emily and I sleep in. His very favorite summer thing though is going to the lake. Thankfully this summer he has had more opportunities to go and soon we are spending the whole week up there at a cabin. (this will just give us more inspiration to go ahead and buy a place, I hope!!!)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

and the blessings abound...

I am just so blessed with loving friends and family. I have to share with you how the fellowship for my birthday continued through the weekend and some other good times and sweet gestures.

My sweet husband bought me an upright Whirlpool frost-free freezer. I know, practical, but it was exactly what I wanted. We had a small chest freezer and I couldn't find anything. I was craving organization of my frozen foods. He also surprised me with a special little desert. No cake since it was just us and we figured we'd have cake over the weekend once Emily got back from the beach.

My dad and Barbara sent me a nice green bill and I bought a great outfit with it while shopping with Leslie. Now Dan and I need a true date without the boy. We go to dinner often, with him and we have a variety of dates when we put him to bed early, like Steak-Out dinner / living-room picnic style and a movie. But it's time to get dressed up and truly go out.

My sweet friend Leslie made me the coolest earrings. How neat to have a friend who can make things. We also spent a girls day together on Saturday, shopping and having lunch at Street's. Those are the best of days!!

Saturday night the family headed out to Wetumpka to spend the evening with the Edwards and the Hollidays. The kids swam and played and we visited. And the big surprise for me was a shrimp boil for dinner!!! Can you say the best thing to eat in the world and my favorite meal!! I also had a scrumptious homemade strawberry cake for dinner - who needs Nancy Patterson's when you have Meme.

Sunday we had a nice day as well. The Holmes and Hollidays came over for a pool-party cook-out and the kids swam from a little after 4:00 until well after dark. We had burgers, hotdogs, coleslaw, chips, homemade pico de gallo, lemon glaze cake and cupcakes! Yummy.

Yesterday Emily and I went to get our hair done and David stayed at Leslie's. He had such a good time and it is an extra blessing to have a friend willing to keep your wild-child. I think he and her girls had a really good time. At the hair place Emily had blonde highlights put in and she looks like the cover of some beach girl magazine :-). I on the other hand... I asked for blonde and boy did I ever get it. To be mild - it is still growing on me, LOL. I mainly did it because Dan has asked me to for almost 10 years and I thought, heck - it's hair, what can it hurt. And he LOVES LOVES LOVES it - weird I know, but he's my weird ;-).

Today has been a stay-at-home do laundry, chores, paperwork, laundry, paperwork and laundry day. Emily and Hope have been helping me because they want to earn movie money. Tonight is one of my favorite nights of the week, bible study. And actually it's my night to lead to so I need to shut down this rambling and go review one more time.

Oh, one more before I go. I was mentioning to Dan this morning that I wanted pet stairs for the puppy to get up and down from our bed (TALL bed) and that it would also help with the bending for me. He can get on and off himself and when I need to pick him up I can call him from the bed and lift him from there rather than the floor. I showed him pictures and we talked for a minute about size and that was it. Projects are notoriously slow around here because our business always comes first. Well a few hours later I am in here working away and in walks Dan with the stairs. He had gone straight out into the shop after we talked and built them. He took them on to work this afternoon so the guys could sand and paint them and put carpet treads on them. Did I mention I have a great husband?

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Happy Birthday to me!

Yesterday was my 38th birthday. Thanks to my bazillion FB friends and their sweet birthday wishes. A special special thanks to one of my dear friends. She hosted us yesterday at the pool and then at her home for hours. She surprised me with coffee and a strawberry margarita and lunch. The kids played and we were able to talk and hang out. She also made me a wonderful mellow, late in the day coffee. The best parts of the day were when the kids pooled their imagination and pulled off a great Hot Wheels Accidents Happen show. I'll have to share the video with you guys. (when made-over computer gets back home). And when my friend and I talked about everything under the sun and agreed and disagreed and felt our friendship grow!!

I, like most everyone, can remember when 38 seemed really, really old. Now that it's here though, I don't feel old, well except for my back ;-).
  • I still love to hear silly jokes
  • catch rain drops on my tongue
  • giggle at puppies and enjoy "puppy breath"
  • ride with the windows down and a jam to a favorite song
  • lay on my back and watch the fireworks above
  • tickle my husband
  • watch Tom & Jerry and Popeye

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Visit from dear friends

Wow am I behind on blogging. My dear friend Jennifer and her son Paul stopped here on the way back from vacationing with her parents in the Carolina's, the second week of June. We were lucky enough to have them from Monday - Saturday. We had such a GREAT time. The boys went to United Gymstars day camp for 3 of the days and to a birthday party for Jace the other. Each evening they went to VBS at a church across the street. They were thrilled - they just thrive on structured kid activities.

During the day Jennifer, Emily and I ran errands, did a little shopping and eating. Really fun girl time. Tuesday of that week is when we bought the puppy. Then of course that dictated much more shopping :-). And the all important what will we name it question.

I swear no matter how much time there is between Jennifer and I getting to see each other (usually a year), it's as if no time has passed. I think that is the best definition of a forever friend.

I realized as I was typing this that we took no pictures of the boys this time. Or at least I didn't. Jennifer - if you took some - please send them to me :). It's neat to watch the changes in them year over year.

newsflash... "soccer mom" loves Twilight saga

A year or so ago, about the time Twilight came out and was becoming so popular I bought the book. Emily mentioned that she wanted to read it and I had heard a little mild controversy so I felt it would be best if I checked it out first. Then of course I had to check out the rest of the series ;-).

It's a great fiction series. I must admit I am a pretty critical reader and I don't like Vampire stuff (not a Buffy fan) and not crazy about shape shifters or wolves or any of that. And I don't find Edward or Jacob "hot". But I do love to read and when a story pulls you in and you lose yourself and you can't wait to finish and pick up the next book in the series and when the last one is over you're sad... That's my definition of a great series!!!!

I'm not sure exactly what the "negative nancy's" out there are fussing about. Here are a few points I find compelling.
  • They don't believe in sex until marriage, yes they "make-out", but no sex
  • Edward doesn't want Bella to become a vampire because he doesn't want to kill her soul (not because he's controlling as some bloggers have suggested)
  • Edward wants Bella out of town/out of his life/away from the reservation/etc. - so she won't get hurt - duh (not because he's controlling)
  • Edward loves her enough to let his arch enemy take care of her when needed
  • Arch enemy as in Jacob and not arch enemies because of Bella, but because of history. The shape shifter/wolves were created to destroy vampires...

I know there are many more points, but the puppy is chewing my foot and now I'm distracted, LOL. Anyway - the books/movies are fine. Get over yourselves and enjoy fiction for fiction!!!

Oh, I went to the midnight release last week. Me, Emily, Leslie, Kim, Hope and Hayden and we had a blast!! Team Edward for me; Team Jacob for Emily and everyone else.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Happy Independence Day

The first 4th of July that Dan and I spent together was in 2000 and I knew from that point on it would be a big day for us each year. We are both patriotic and have father's who were in the military, so that gets us started. And for Dan, he is a 4th of July "junkie" he loves loves loves fireworks! . We usually go to the lake and spend the day on the water, followed by the fireworks show each night. There have been a year or two where we strayed from our usual and those times have been fun, but not the same.

Yesterday - Dan, David, Uncle Chuck, Aunt Jenny and friend Andy all headed up to Lake Jordan mid-afternoon. They swam and tried out our new inter tube (which we returned this AM) and just had a pleasant afternoon. I arrived about 7:00 with dinner from Subway and joined the group. David rode the tube one more time so I could video him and then we made our way over to the dam and watched the fireworks from the boat. It was beautiful, awesome, cool, etc. David loved it - this was his first time. He told Dan we had to do this every year.

Earlier that morning Dan and David had driven out to my dad's to get our boat (he has a shed we store it in) and they stopped at a fireworks store and bought a bag full of "stuff". So after pulling out of the water last night we stopped on the way home (still in the country) and set off all our fireworks. David's favorites are the little white teardrop things you through down hard and they pop and the Roman Candles. He is NOT a fan of sparklers and traditional firecrackers, LOL.

The only thing we were missing was Emily, but she is at Panama City Beach with her mom, step-dad and friend Hope. I know they are having a fun time!!

I have to tell you a few funny David things from yesterday:
  • he decided he wanted to ride the tube for me so he just goes to the back of the boat and jumps in and starts trying to climb up on the tube. We were not ready, but thankfully idling. No fear!!
  • Dan has taught him the signals so when we started off he kept doing thumbs up until Dan got up to speed. Then after riding a while he did the "kill" signal so we would stop - hilarious!!!
  • Question: daddy is that black stuff on your display (on the boat dash) the oil spill?
  • Fireworks are great, I'm so 'cited - are these for your birthday mommy? (my day is Wed)
  • Well if the fireworks aren't for your birthday i think you would be super-happy if we had your party at Pump It Up!
  • He decided that the fireworks daddy was lighting after the lake were for me - so when the "finale" firework was lit he sang Happy Birthday to me.

big to small

  • I love Boxers (dogs) with all my heart. I have had a Boxer for 37 years... Teddy, our most recent, passed away the first part of June, after almost 11 wonderful years.

  • After a family vote, it was decided that we needed a small dog. So against my heart I bought a Shi-tzu. Meet Toby. I am falling for him though :-)

I filled up my computer

Hi all. I am here to tell you that we have not fallen off the face of the earth, LOL. I am such a goof and kept thinking "I'll update when I get my pics all uploaded/edited/etc." Well that was a silly idea. First of all the longer I wait the more I forget the little funny tidbits and second - my computer ran out of storage space. What luck - between all our I-pods, I-touch's and a camera that takes pics of avg. size 5.5mb, there is no more space!! This is because I am using an older desktop, which is usually fine because 95% of what I do on it is my work. Not fine anymore though. We have 3 other computers, but I liked my media being on "mine". Oh well, it's time to dedicate this machine to work only and a little googling, and blogging... So I confiscated one of our laptops and took it to the doctor to get it juiced up and tons of memory added. I get it back this week and then I can upload/download/etc. to my hearts content. Woo hoo!!! Prepare to be overwhelmed with pics and vacation stories.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Summer Vacation

Sorry I haven't updated in a week, we've been really busy getting our work done and ourselves ready for vacation. We also had my dear friend Jennifer and her son Paul in town last weekend. Then the end of this week we had to put our wonderful old dog Teddy down. Really a hard thing for Dan and I.
We wrapped everything up by Friday afternoon and headed out of town. We stayed the first night in Columbia, SC. Couldn't tell you much about it except the hotel we stayed in was nice, LOL.
Saturday we got up and headed to NC. We stopped and ate along the way and stopped at the welcome center to gather brochures and fed some turtles and geese. Along the way an outlet center caught my eye and we stopped there for awhile and helped the local economy a bit :). We finally arrived at our condo in New Bern, NC around 7:00 last night. We settled in and unpacked, did the grocery store run and then watched a movie.
Today we got up and went with Dan to a pool tournament over at the resort rec center. We also played some ping pong and a little bit of arcade games. Next we ate lunch at the rest. here on property called Hurricane's. I had a crab cake sandwich to die for. After lunch we braved the heat (it's hotter here than AL) and played putt putt (also here at the resort). Later this afternoon we drove into the downtown historic area of New Bern and walked around. This is the town's 300 year anniversary, it was founded in 1710 by a group from Bern, Switzerland. We also found the cutest little rest. called the Cow Cafe and had ice cream. Everything is cow's and they even had a cow train going around the ceiling. David could hardly eat his ice cream for enjoying the train. On the way back we stopped at the grocery store and Dan and Emily picked out dinner. We had chicken, pasta, broc, corn and green beans - can you tell we love veggies!
Here are a couple of pictures: 1 is the harbour tonight from our balcony and 2 is the kids and the New Bern bear mascot.

Friday, May 28, 2010

David's Made Up Words

I've got to share a little story with you guys. I'm in the study doing a little work and David just came in. Out of the blue he says you know if you take your ice out of the freezer and put it in a drink it will melt. But when you put it back in the freezer later it will freeze again. I'm like "mm,hmm, yeah, great" and then he says you know what you call that and I turn to actually focus on his face and he says "rechangeable ice"! I just had to grin and say cool.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Spring Pictures

We have also used Stan Foster for our studio photographer and he is fabulous!!!!! We love him and have used him since David was just a few weeks old.
But this year I just felt I wanted something different, specifically non-studio. I have a friend who uses Grace Photography and the results I have seen are awesome. She showed me a recent session with her two kids at Hampstead and I was sold, LOL. So she introduced me to Grace O'Connor.
Last Sunday the kids and I met Grace out at my dad's and did an outdooor session. I loved it - you could tell from the different areas and the way the light fell that it was going to be great. She put a little peek from the session on her Grace Photography Blog, click on the link and then scroll down to find Em and David - WOW!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Happy Birthday Dad & David

David and my dad's birthday's are one day apart so we like to get the two together to celebrate each year. Regular birthday parties and regular cakes had already happened so we decided to go with an easy favorite of David's, you'll see by one of the pictures with his big "O" face that he is thrilled and surprised.

a pool table like daddy's

Some of you may know we have a full-size pool table in our house, it's one of Dan's prized-possessions and not something kids are supposed to play with. I've been encouraging him to teach David how to play and all that, but we haven't reached that point yet. So the other day David and I are in Kinnucans and they have a tabletop pool table - very realistic and looks like ours. David is over the moon because there is a pool table his size!! Then begins the campaign for this pool table - it lasted weeks and there were lots of tears and promises, etc.
Then to the rescue, Kim and family "hooked him up" for his birthday. Check out these pictures.

Spring Soccer

David has really come a long way since that first game last fall. There are all of these opportunities to see our children progress and I love being front and center for them. Here are some pictures of the boy in action. And check out the tongue in a few of the shots - I fear that will become his "athletic concentration" trademark in years to come, LOL.

Click on this link for the pictures.

and summer begins...

We have had a blast already this summer out at the pool. The pictures are of the kids in action. I have a new camera and it is great at catching them. New to the fun this year is the "roller coaster" into the pool. Enjoy the pictures.

Friday, May 21, 2010

I think the boy is left-handed...

Poor David, I think we've done him a disservice this year...

He never strongly showed an inclination one way or the other toward his left or right-hand. One day I would think it was one and then the next day the other. So when he started PreK and they started writing I didn't even think of it. They naturally worked with his right hand, everyone's natural assumption. Dan and I worked with it too - never questioning should we be using his left-hand instead. Didn't occur to us.

Subsequently his handwriting is HORRIBLE and believe me I am not exaggerating. His is the worst, by FAR, in the class. And his cutting skills are pretty weak too. His report card for the year is a ton of S's and then U's and N's in handwriting and cutting. I kept assuming he was just a little slower to develop motor skills or whatever and we just practiced a little more. And to be honest I wasn't really worried about it. So he writes bad - who cares, this is the age of typing and he "knows" the stuff; just struggles with the act of writing it.

Then we started golf lessons. The first lesson the pro asked me a few questions about David's left/right-handedness and I didn't think anything of them. The second lesson he said he really felt David was left-handed and that he didn't want to teach him with right-handed clubs. So the third lesson we came with the left-handed clubs - the pro was happy - said David was definitely left-handed and he played much better.

Ok... that's cool. My dad, who he's named after, is left-handed and I think it's awesome that David is too. But what do we do know about writing and cutting? Sports - he'll do all left-handed, great. But do I "re-teach" cutting and writing??? Or do I let him go forward with crappy writing and be one of those people that writes with their right hand and does all else with their left hand.

They don't discuss this in the parent manuals :-)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

sometimes I feel so depressed with this world

This morning driving to and from school I was listening to local radio for a change instead of XM, essentially only Rick and Bubba get me to do this, LOL. Anyway during one of the commercial breaks the short spot by Lester Spencer came on; his daily "Perceptions" talk. He is the Sr. Pastor at St. James United Methodist Church here in Montgomery and his radio spots are on like 6 stations, so if you are local you have probably heard of him. I have heard him for years and while never "moved" by anything he has said also never offended. They are just nice little messages designed to draw in visitors.

Today however I am mad. I have googled and searched, etc. for an actual transcript of what he said this morning and I have had no luck, so I am going to attempt to "re-tell" the story.

The King of Morocco was visiting the White House and travels with his entourage of 12 wives and his genetic match for heart/liver/kidney transplants. This transplant guy has dedicated his whole life to the King with the knowledge that he could die at any time for him. So we all need someone who is our whole life like this transplant guy... I'm thinking ok, now maybe he'll finally get to the point about God and be sure we know he agrees that this King and the transplant guy are both wrong and it's God we should devote ourselves to. NOPE!! He finishes by strongly encouraging us to find this person we can devote ourselves to.

Can you believe that???

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

David's 1st Golf Lesson

David is taking golf lessons at Wynlakes with some school friends. It is really cute seeing him tote his little bag of clubs out there and work with the pro. Here are a few shots from the first day.

Did you say high school?

Can you believe Emily is finishing the 8th grade and will be in high school next year? WOW, when did I blink and she stopped being 3 and started being 14!!

Ok - I owe you guys an update on her headaches and sorry it has taken a few days. The CT scan was clear!! Nothing crazy in her brain ;-) and no sinus cavity issues. So the headaches have to be stress, hormones or Graves disease. Pediatrician offered a stronger headache medicine, but we don't want to use it right now because it would knock her out at school. We will use it this summer if necessary. On Tuesday of this coming week her mom and I will take her to Children's in Birmingham to see her Graves disease doctor - we will discuss the headaches with her as well.

Here is Emily's 8th grade spring picture:

coffee and blogging, a cure for the Blues

I am terribly out of sorts this morning and need some serious caffeine to jump start my brain. I also need to whine a little; maybe get this out of my system so I can move on to the fun posts - Emily, Field Day, Mother's Day, David's 5th Birthday, golf lessons, etc.

They have a chapel service every morning at David's school led by the Principal and teachers, but on Wednesday they have a full chapel service with the Priests and Holy Communion, etc. One of the other things they do at the Wednesday chapel is sing Happy Birthday to the kids whose birthday's fall on that week. I had planned to go today since they would be singing to David. So last night I am crazy tired (even dozed off at Bible study) so I set two alarms for this morning and in my head I knew the "David" alarm would also have me covered because he normally wakes up between 6:30 - 7:00... I wake this morning to David snuggled up beside me and he is talking about spare tires. He had just woken up and normally his first conversation is wide open just like him. I enjoy the snuggle for a minute or two then sit up and look at the clock - 8:35. WHAT the HECK!! I was so irritated. I assume I turned off both alarms in my sleep and his body chose today to sleep in. And no need to rush out the door because chapel ends around 8:30 on Wednesday's. So we are home today - me blogging and doing laundry and David building tracks and cars and all the normal things he does.

My broken right heel has been doing so much better, but silly me volunteered for a whole day (rather than 1/2) at Field Day Friday. I was on my feet for about 7 hours; at the lunch break I had to run over to Kinnucan's and buy some Keene's to give some relief to my heel. That helped a little, but I can definitely tell that I set myself back because it is swollen and hurting again.

And to add insult to injury my back was doing the spasms and referred pain throughout the whole day. The weekend was calm (in relation to my heel and back), but I evidently did something to it because when I was walking into the house yesterday I heard/felt the "break". Immediately after the pain intensified and the swelling started and the tingling and weakness in my right leg started. This is exactly what I heard/felt when I was doing boot camp - with boot camp though I didn't know what it was and thought maybe my back popped or something and I kept on pushing for two more months. That's what put me into my second surgery. What it was and what I assume it is again is a piece of my deteriorating disc breaks off and lodges in the spinal nerve... Oh joy!

This past Saturday was David's 5th birthday party (more about that later) and it was a fun day and our friends were out en mass. It wasn't our Em weekend, but they brought her over for the afternoon so she could be with us for the party and play with David a couple of hours after. I was sad that David had no extended family there because all the parties we go to there are many family members there (often having flown in).

So here I sit, feeling better because I whined/blogged and am now on my 4th cup of coffee. Pity party is almost over ;-)

Now I just need to suck up the back pain and finish my laundry and clean my house and in between that play with David and pay all the business bills and cook dinner. LOL - sounds bad, but only today. Usually I'm fine and love it because this is my life and I am blessed to have it.

If you stuck through to the end, thanks!! I'm working on some shorter posts with pics!!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Headaches for Emily

For the past few weeks Emily has been complaining of bad headaches. With a bazillion questions/scenarios we can't come up with a trigger. They just happen and don't respond to Tylenol or any of the others. They come and go at their own pace with no rhyme or reason. After two weeks of this we took her to see doc and we were told it was cluster headaches and given a prescription for Midrin. This didn't stop the headaches, but did stop the pain and she had about 5 days of being able to stop the pain. Then Friday afternoon it started hurting on the right side above her eyebrow. Nothing could make it stop hurting, not even the Midrin. It also hurt to touch it - like she would cry out and eyes fill with tears if you slid your finger across it. She had some relief over the weekend, but by Sunday afternoon it was back even worse. So Monday back to the doc. Appears it could be sinus cavity related?? Sounds kind weird to Arlene and I, but what do we know LOL. She is having a CT Scan today at 1:30 so hopefully we will know something tomorrow.

Please pray for her relief and the doctors wisdom!!

Maybe the phrase should be, "6th times a charm"

David went under yesterday for the 6th time and of course yet again it was for his ears. Monday morning at Children's in Birmingham his doc cleaned out both his ears, checked on the site where he removed the tumor (looked great), removed the right tube that was growing into eardrum and patched the hole. No replacement tubes this time, which is a new thing to try for us. Crossing our fingers and asking for prayers over here.

He did great at the hospital, which is no surprise. He is so used to the whole deal that he just takes it in stride. He talked to the anesthesiologist and picked cotton candy smell for his "go to sleep" gas. Then he went walking down the hall with the nurse into the double doors to the OR. Doc came out super fast and gave the good report. It was a little long before he came from recovery. Turns out the nurses were in love - he had made a girlfriend of the patient in the bed next to him and they were just chatting away. The nurses were cracking up and didn't want to interrupt. Also he told them all his birthday was coming up and that they were all invited to the party in Montgomery and that his mom would "call them with the details".

The recovery has been fine. Little pain in the right ear, irritability and fever (to be expected). He is home again today, but probably would have been ok at school. He seems to feel much better this morning.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Chore Chart

If you read my earlier post you'll see that we have been on a responsibility theme around here... I want to use a chore chart with David, but I've been having a hard time finding exactly what I wanted; then yesterday, at Publix of all places, I find one. You write the chores in yourself (dry-erase) then as they become proficient at one you can replace it with something else. I'm working on what things I want it to include. So far I've come up with things related to do what we say the first time we ask, keep control of the "mad", brush teeth, getting dressed by himself, picking up toys, practicing letters... Any other ideas let me know on the comments.

Next I have to figure out the reward system. What I'll actually give him should be pretty easy - start small with a piece of gum and work our way up to the Dollar Tree then maybe Toys-R-Us. The hard part for me is how "black & white" or strict to be on making his little goals and then how many does it take for the prize? All of them? You can miss one? And then for the week? And then for the month? Ugh - as you can see I sometimes over think things, but i need to know the rules and make them clear to myself and the whole family so we can do this consistently. I'm going to do some googling on this today. Any suggestions let me know please!


David as he says is Big 4; meaning he'll be 5 in less than a month. So along with him becoming a true "big-boy" I've been thinking about different types of responsibilities for him. Dan and I both like the idea of each kid having age-appropriate chores. We believe this will help them learn to be responsible, and to experience that feeling of a job well done.

As I laugh at my noble-sounding words above, let me tell you about our first step into this whole responsibility thing - it was a FAILURE, LOL. On Friday I took David to PetSmart and the "fish dr." helped us pick out the best and easiest and hardly no care, blah, blah - fish. It was a Beta fish. So David picks out two females. The lady squats down to his level looks him in the eye and goes over the basic care requirements. He is really listening. Then she gives me the detailed sheet and we pick out a bowl and some rocks and we're on our way. We get home and "move" the fish into their new home. Looks great - they're swimming around, seemingly happy. David decides to name them Sandy and Pearl (characters from SpongeBob) and we officially have two new pets. David and I talked more about the big responsibility and he told me what he was supposed to do - he remembered the "fish dr." telling him. I'm thinking this will be great for him. Then Saturday Pearl is dead and Sunday Sandy is dead. You know why - my responsible son followed all the "fish-care" things to the letter, but it never occurred to the "fish dr." or me to tell him we don't PET fish!!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Thunder Jam

Last night "my boys" had a guys night and went to the drag strip here in Montgomery. First of all, who knew there was even a drag strip here? Not me and I'm from here, LOL. Dan saw some commercial a few weeks ago about Thunder Jam and thought it looked fun and said he wanted to take David. Ok cool. So second, I checked out the website, it looked like a little (and big) boys dream. Then, third, I called around (yall will laugh and think I'm paranoid) to make sure it was an ok place and not filled with drunks/drugs or whatever bad element I don't want my family to innocently venture into to. All reports were positive so I told Dan my "finds" and wished them well.

So you are probably asking ok "long-winded" Michelle - what the heck is Thunder Jam? It's a drag racing thrill show. There were things like 3 flame-throwing jet vehicles and the "Cool Bus" wheel standing school bus; just to name a few.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Happy 14th Birthday Emily

Can you believe Emily is 14 today. I am having such a hard time figuring out where the years went. She was 3 & 1/2 when Dan and I started dating and in one breath it's seems like just yesterday and the next breath it seems my life has always been blessed with her. We celebrated her birthday over here last weekend with a couple of parties and this weekend she is celebrating with her mom.

Here are some birthday pics. The first few are from her party at my dad's, she and her cousin Heather share a birthday month so we always do their family party together. Heather's turning 13.

(wow, in just a few years they have grown so much)

The second few are from her birthday here where we celebrate with the Holliday's and Edward's. Emily and Jackie share a birthday month (actually only a day apart) so we always do their celebration together.

Ice cream cake, by request. Super yummy!

Houndstooth Yellow Box - the "traitor" child... I've even tried to bribe her to not be a Bama fan, but nothing works LOL. Since the Holliday family are that "type" too -;)
they supported her habit.

One of the big hit presents from Dan and I was a new game for the Wii called Just Dance. She Hope and Hayden had a blast playing and we enjoyed watching. As soon as my broke foot heals I'm gonna give her a run for her money LOL.
Great times and a great weekend with family and friends. Emily was thrilled with her cakes and gifts! She's saving for a new I-Home, a new laptop and who knows what else and everyone was great about helping her with that.

A Day Out With Thomas

Yesterday, David and I went to Calera and spent the afternoon with Thomas & Friends. It was a GREAT day!!!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Reeder Pool "Officially" Open

Well I don't know who's crazier, David or me. This afternoon he was playing outside with his toys and saw something on the bottom step of the pool. He decided to walk in there so he could get the toy. Well since it was on the bottom step he decided he would have to "dive" to get it. So thus ensued the long talk about it's too cold to swim, etc. Needless to say he won - I figured what the heck, LOL. And I had asked the ENT yesterday specifically about swimming with his current ear situation and he said sure. So he swam and swore it wasn't cold. He jumped off the diving board multiple times and swam down to the shallow end and generally had a blast. I made him get out and come in after about 15 minutes. He is thrilled!!

Oops - just about forgot to tell you what all the ENT said on Monday. The left ear has a fair amount of scar tissue in it. My assumption was from the tumor surgery, but no from multiple ear infections. However, it currently looks good - no fluid or infection. A little "tight", but that's from the scar tissue. The right ear has scar tissue, a tube that is non-working and a wax and fluid build-up. The infection in that ear however seems to have gone away with the recent antibiotic. I can't tell what about that ear is bothering David - it's either a) the tube or b) the build-up. Doc said he couldn't take the tube out in the office because it's adhered to the eardrum. Great right!?! So we are using the peroxide/vinegar solution to try and clear that ear out and see if it quits bothering him. If that doesn't work then it's the tube and we'll have to have it removed surgically. Then the next question is tube(s) again?? Kids typically grow out of their ear issues at 5, but not always. And since David will be 5 next month... The current course of action is the peroxide/vinegar and decongenstents and pain meds and allergy meds. The next problem/flare-up I'll do the sick-call at the ENT rather than the Pediatrician and we'll decide what next step to take from there. Irregardless we have a follow-up appointment with him in 6-weeks.

Happy Easter, part 1

There they go. All the kids headed out at Annie & Granddaddy's.