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Sunday, February 27, 2011

2011 So Far

It's hard to believe how slowly the days go by and yet how quickly our kids are growing up! Luke had a birthday, turned 8 and was baptized in January, Lillian demanded her first rose for Valentine's day, and cowboy Andrew has started hitting the herbal tea hard. Sullivan has discovered the joy of legos, and was too busy playing upstairs with them lately to be in many pictures!

(note: the children-sized baptismal wear was missing from the church--Luke had to make some adult pants that were in the church closet work!)

I was working in the kitchen one afternoon, and turned around to see this hilarious sight that he'd arranged himself. Andrew loves hats. He wore that 10 minutes straight, and kept sipping water from that teacup like it was the last he'd ever get.

We had to dress Lillian up as a rockstar for a birthday party. This was the best we came up with. I kept thinking, what would Avril Lavigne wear? I don't know, but probably not this. Sunflowers scream rocker-girl, right?

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christmas 2010

We had such a nice Christmas! Here are some snapshots of our Christmas at our home with my parents.

Andrew loves Lillian's pink snugglies. He's officially adopted the pink bear as his own.

Homemade hats! Thanks for teaching me how to crochet these beauties, Jean!

Cameron's version of a gingerbread house.

My favorite gingerbread man recipe! (from allrecipes.com--cute and delicious!)

I'm completely biased, but she just takes my breath away. (She's trying to blow a bubble with the gum Santa foolishly put in her stocking). It snowed the day after Christmas--a Christmas miracle here!

My mom and dad make a mean North Carolina breakfast for Christmas morning: Eggs, toast, grits, livermush, bacon, OJ . . . heaven.

Popop and Andrew playing Jenga . . . Dad sets up and Andrew knocks down. He LOVED this game.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Years!!!!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Formal Retraction

I'm hereby issuing a retraction of former statements regarding crazy people wearing spandex. I totally get it! Since February, I started doing spin classes at the YMCA to help me shed baby pounds, and I must say, once you get past the initial self-consciousness of wearing only a second layer of black skin over your nether-regions, it is the ONLY way to ride a bike! No more tugging at my shorts as they ride up my pasty white legs, no more chafing thighs (that was before I lost much of said baby weight, uhhhumm), and a newfound confidence from not caring what others may think of my shape or lack thereof! Thank you, Nike and Champion, for making my attempts at bike-riding a little more comfortable! And I'm sorry to any who may have been offended by my prior misunderstanding of spandex. ;) I'm not saying it still doesn't make others in the room who are not wearing spandex uncomfortable . . . but, oh well!

*As I was searching for a photo to add, I only found 2 that would work, and the first one was so uncomfortable that I could not in good conscience post it on this family-friendly blog. Prior view on spandex proven, and perhaps still stands after all. Suffice it to say, black is a much better color for men's bike shorts than red. Color selection is everything if you dare to wear!

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Overheard While Doing Laundry

Tap, tap, tap, tap.

Lillian: "Andrew, can you give me that please? Because I need to turn Sully into a pig."

Lillian grabs the pink toy wand Andrew's been banging on the wall, and runs off to the next room where Sullivan is sitting in the rocking chair, playing quietly with a little toy.

"Pwesto (smack), pwesto (smack), pwesto (smack). Now you're a pig!"

Poor Sullivan. Good thing we're having slop for dinner.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

We Love Spandex!

Today we turned on the TV to find men's ice skating on. Having never seen it before really, the kids were enthralled for a couple minutes, silently watching a young man in black spandex dance and swirl around on the ice.

Suddenly, eyes glued to the screen, Lillian says,

"I like dose bum-bums, Mom."

Me, trying not to laugh too hard yet, "Huh?? What did you say, Lillian?"

She just smiled matter-of-factly, pointed at the screen and said, "I'm looking at his bum-bum."

Trying not to roll onto the floor busting a gut, I attempt to play it cool, and hope inwardly and furtively that this appreciation of men's "bum-bums" ends here. Man, do I love what our funny kids have to say!

Be warned: even two-year-olds find Spandex riveting; I can't look away myself, but it's more out of horror. I never can understand what spandex-wearing men must be thinking! To have that kind of confidence must be very, um, freeing. Maybe too much so.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

You're welcome, ants!

I was raised in a house where killing spiders was forbidden. Bees were caught in glasses, with a paper slid under them to transport and then release them outside. For years, I couldn't kill a fly, and felt guilty wishing mosquitos would die. Now, I have drawn a line with the creepy crawlys: you come inside my home, you will most likely end up in the toilet. I still feel guilty, but I tell myself they've been forewarned. I still think it's heartless to kill non-poisonous, non-biting insects who are outdoors, doing their thing. Which is why I was appalled yesterday as I was walking the kids back to the car after gymnastics, and Luke stomped on a big 1/2" long fat juicy black ant scurrying across the sidewalk, no hesitations. Lillian and I had just barely stepped over this ginormous ant, admiring it's size. I thought it was a good teaching experience, and a great time to encourage empathy and kindness in my rambunctious and impulsive 6 year old. For those of you who love to hunt, I did explain that if he was starving, he could kill and eat ants to his heart's content without feeling bad, even offering to go back and get it for him to eat. :)

I'm a big fan of "writing consequences." I see it as an educational form of punishment (though he wasn't exactly being "punished" this time around). So, I had Luke imagine he was that ant, going about his life before he was stepped on, and had him write me a few sentences on how he would feel if he was that ant. Yes, I know, that probably makes me crazy to many men and a quite few women out there, but that's okay! Trust me, this child needed this lesson . . . you'd thank me if you had a sweet little child in his school class with him. Here's what he wrote:

"Dear Mom,

If I were that ant it would hurt. I'm sorry for killing that ant.

Love, Luke

PS: Luke don't want to be an ant."

He brought it over to me, silently glowering, waited while I started reading, and then glared accusingly over his glasses at me as he emphatically punched the last line with his index finger, not saying a word. I busted up laughing. I think he may have got the message . . .

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

What's for Dinner, Girls?

I spend way too much time surfing through different sites trying to find family-friendly recipes. So, I've decided to start my own recipe-sharing blog. I needed a place where I can sit down and find some great family recipes quick from moms (or dads) I trust. :) The blog is "What's for Dinner, Girls?". Once you're added as an author, you can post any recipes that you or your family love. The more recipes we collect, the better this resource will be! So, if you're interested, please leave me a note with your email address to add you as an author. Once added, post a favorite recipe! I'd like for members to try to add a recipe a week so that we can grow our collection quickly, and keep it growing. I can't wait to try your recipes! Happy cooking!

Friday, September 04, 2009

One Proud Little Boy

Luke caught his first big-mouth bass! During my cousin's wedding weekend, we stayed at my parents place in NC. They own a lovely piece of land up there with a lake, a pond, and beautiful acreage. Cameron loves escaping out to the lake with whomever wants to go throw a line. He and I once caught 9 big fish in about one hour. This time, he took Luke and his cousin Gillian out, and it was Luke who got lucky. He caught it and reeled it in, where Cameron helped him take it off the line. I was up at the house with the little ones. Luckily my sister-in-law had her camera and was willing to paddle out in a canoe by herself just to take a picture for us. Thanks Buffy! Luke was just delighted.

It's not 'Andy' or 'Drew' . . .

It's Andrew! People ask me frequently if we'll be shortening his name, and the answer is a firm NO. :) At least for as long as we have control over what he's called. We said that for Sullivan, too, but now he mostly goes by Sully. No offense, but I'm not a fan of the abbreviations of the name 'Andrew'. Enough that it was almost a deal-breaker for me, if Cameron and I could have agreed on another name. We both really do love the name Andrew though.

I'm biased, but really, this is the cutest little guy ever (along with my other 2 boys)! ;) Andrew's been a great addition to our family. He's almost 5 months old, and he's mellow and sweet, but lets us know in no uncertain terms when he needs something, which is good with all these other noisy little kids running around. True to form, he wants to eat every 2-3 hours throughout the night, just like my other 3 did. I need to figure out how to curtail that habit. Any tips, moms? With my other 3, they were about a year old before they outgrew it. I don't think I can do that a 4th time!


Andrew's first dip in the ocean. I was trying to lower his toes in gently, but he kept lifting them up higher and higher out of the water. He wasn't too sure about it, but he was a good sport!

Back to School!

Summer went by much faster than I expected. Right about when we had got a routine down and were really starting to enjoy having all the kids home, it was time to go back. Luke wasn't sure he was happy to go back until the end of his first day, but Sully has been looking forward to this day for a year! They both have really great teachers, and I love the school that they're at this year. The week before school started, my sister, Jean, and my sister-in-law, Buffy, came out to visit us with their sweet children while Cameron was out in UT visiting his family. We had so much fun! My sister-in-law Buffy taught us some basics in making and working with fondant, which was really neat; I would've been to scared to try it on my own. We made crayon cakes for a mini-back-to-school party for the kids. One cake was made out of Rice Krispy treats for an allergy-free option, and that worked really well, too. It was really great having the 9 little cousins together that week.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Nancy's Wedding

Here are a few snapshots from my Cousin's wedding in Greenville, NC. We had a delightful time! Luke and his cousin Claire were the ring bearer and flower girl. Nancy was so sweet to involve them - they were so precious.

Nancy and Kyle are both historians--he loves the Civil War period, and she worked as a tour guide at Monticello (the gorgeous home of Thomas Jefferson, in VA). They are both wonderful people and a terrific match! I love this picture (taken by their photographer).

Andrew was a great sport. He was dragged all over the place for pictures, rehearsals, the bridesmaids chambers, and the wedding! He's getting so big. :(

Cameron with my Uncle John at the rehearsal dinner.

Monday, July 20, 2009

A Busy Few Weeks

It's been a whirlwind around here lately! In the last 30 days, we celebrated Sullivan's 5th birthday, moved into a new house, and celebrated July 4th with friends. We've had a great time despite the hectic-ness, especially now that the move is done! Here are some random pics of our last few weeks.

I let Sullivan pick whatever kind of cake he wanted this year (I realized that may have been a little bold once I heard some of his ideas). He opted for another train cake, which we have done for the last 3 years. This time, after watching too many "Ace of Cakes" shows, I was more ambitious. While it wasn't as awesome as I imagined, it turned out okay--which was a relief since it almost fell completely apart before the birthday. Structural support is everything! I would do it very different next time, but, it survived long enough to blow out the candles. Whew!

We closed on the sell of our beautiful home back in April, and the new owners kindly rented it back to us for two and a half months until they moved down. While that was very nice and a huge help, it was a relief to finally move out. The move had been looming over us, along with the sadness of knowing that we would soon have to leave our wonderful home and 1 acre lot. We had lots of great times there, but it we knew it was time to move on. Now that we're out, I feel much lighter! It was a big move. We filled this truck 3 1/2 times! Luckily we were only moving about 4 minutes away.

Another sewing project for Lillian: this is actually my second test of the same pattern from Sew Sensible, slightly altered, with the bloomer pattern as well. I used leftover fabric from kitchen curtains I made a few years back, and from covering our bar stools. I look at this outfit and think of our kitchen, but hey, it was economical and still cute!

Luke goofing around while we ate watermelon waiting for fireworks!

Back me up, moms: A husband is never more attractive than when he is carrying a child or cleaning supplies! You look fantastic, Cameron--screaming babies suit you well. Very thinning . . .

I took a picture of myself to prove to future-Andrew that I really was present and involved during his childhood since there won't be many pictures . . . It looks like I have cellulite on my wrist that was holding the camera--not good for the vulnerable, post-baby self-image. :)

Hope you all had a great July 4th!