Friday, December 28, 2007

Merry Christmas and more

Christmas is always a busy time and this year was no exception. I compare it to planning a wedding. You spend the entire month ( except in the case of a wedding it's usually longer) before preparing for the big day. Every spare minute you have revolves around the buying and wrapping of presents, the planning of meals, baking, decorating, sending cards, etc.... And then it's here and gone in the blink of an eye. Every year I say it's going to be different and every year it comes and goes just like the year before.

We were fortunate enough this year to have my mom and dad and my grandmother join us for Christmas. Usually on Christmas Eve, we go to church and then come home and have lots of appetizers and then open presents. This year we did something a little different. We had a nice sit down dinner and then let the kids open two presents. Our intention was for them to open one present but it turned into a battle so we relented and let them open an extra one. Instead of going to the Christmas Eve service on Christmas Eve, we actually went on Sunday since our church had the same service for both days. Then we all gathered around the Christmas tree and my dad read the Christmas story out of the Bible. Haley then read Twas the Night Before Christmas.

The kids all slept together in Haley's room. When we put them to bed Christmas Eve we told them they were not to come and wake us up before 7 a.m. Of course we should have been more specific and told them not to wake anyone up because they went in and woke my dad up at 6. Anyhow, after checking to make sure Santa actually brought them some stuff, we let them go downstairs.

The big hit of the day was the Wii that Santa left. The kids (and their father) have enjoyed it tremendously. The kids also got a lot of other nice things such as a camera, Lego's, remote control cars, etc.

Harrison got a disposable camera in his stocking and he was taking pictures with it indiscriminately. My dad looked at the camera and told Harrison he needed to save some pictures for later because he already had taken 26 pictures. Harrison's reply was to take another picture and say "27", then he took another and said "28". At least we know he can count.

We had a large breakfast and a late Christmas dinner. My sister-in-law and her son and grandkids joined us for dinner. They stayed for a while and then my brother-in-law, his wife and kids came over and played some on the Wii. At one point, there were 15 of us in my house.

I feel very fortunate that my family is close enough to join us for this special holiday. All in all it was a very nice Christmas but I think that next year, I will try to do less and enjoy it more. As my mother said, we should all savor the moments because it will never be exactly this way again. This was the only Christmas that my kids would be 5, 8 and 11. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in the quest for the perfect Christmas that we forget it isn't about all the stuff, it's about spending time with each other and celebrating the greatest gift ever, the gift of God's love and forgiveness expressed in the birth of his son, Jesus Christ.

May all your Christmas' be merry and bright........................

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Visit with Ol' Saint Nick

We took the kids up to the local mall Wednesday night to see Santa. Haley and Holden were game but Harrison was reluctant to sit on the Big Guy's lap. After some coaxing we were able to get Harrison to sit beside Haley.

Of course, Santa had a warped sense of humor because he told the kids he didn't take care of his teeth when he was little and they all fell out. Then he proceeded to show them his dentures by sticking them out of his mouth with his tongue. Now that is a memory I want for my child. Harrison just stared at him like he had lost his mind but he fortunately stayed put and we were able to get this cute picture.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

Finally, we have some colder weather. For a week or so there I felt like I was living in Hawaii. The temperatures were in the high 70's to low 80's every day. Thankfully, Old Jack Frost blew some arctic air in our direction. I can only hope it holds out for Christmas. It's a little difficult to get into the Christmas spirit wearing shorts and running the air conditioner. Of course there are many people who disagree with me and love having the warm weather.

This past weekend we went to my Grandmother's house to celebrate our family Christmas. We exchanged presents with my Aunt and Uncle and my grandmother on Saturday. Haley got a lot of art supplies and an easel, Holden got some camping stuff, The Dangerous Book for Boys, and some Gameboy games and Harrison got a cowboy outfit and a Power Rangers Megazord.
Then on Sunday, our extended family got together for Christmas dinner at my grandmother's house. As usual there was no shortage of food.
Monday was Harrison's Christmas party. They had lunch provided by the parent's and then exchanged presents with their "secret Santa". Amazingly enough, they all kept who they had a secret. Harrison got a Hot Wheels car launcher which was right up his alley.
On Monday, Holden and his class had pajama day and watched The Polar Express. Tuesday was Holden's Christmas party at school. I volunteered to bring cookies so I asked Holden what he wanted. He didn't ask for chocolate chip or peanut butter or sugar cookies. He wanted Gingerbread cookies. So I spent several hours Monday night baking and decorating them for him. I was quite pleased with how they turned out. So much in fact that I think I will be making a batch for our family and some of the neighbors.
Here are the links for the recipes I used in case you are interested. The only thing I did differently was substitute a 1/4 tsp. ground cloves for part of the ginger. You will also want to flour your surface generously before rolling out the dough as it is pretty sticky. And they rise a lot so be sure to leave plenty of room between them.

Gingerbread People
Royal Icing

Saturday, December 15, 2007

The Christmas program at Harrison's school was great. The kids did a good job at retelling the Christmas story in their own words. Harrison had several lines and he not only remembered them but delivered them quite well for a five year old. He even had to say gold, frankincense and myrrh. Here is his class doing the Living Nativity. Harrison is the one with the staff. And no, he didn't hit anyone with it.

After the show, we went to the classroom to enjoy some refreshments. Here is our little star and his carpool buddy, Rob, who was a Wiseman.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Christmas card nightmare

It all started on picture day a couple weeks back when I was frantically running around looking for my son's white shirt that never appeared. So we had to go and buy one on the way to the beach. But let me back up. I was taking the kids to the beach solo because David was helping over at the Sertoma tree stand (I should have known better than to attempt this by myself).

Well when we started out it was overcast and by the time we got on the way it started raining. We waited it out but by that time the sun was going down. Trying to get all three kids to look at the camera and smile (all together) was a lot of fun. After telling Harrison to stop squashing his neck into his shoulders a dozen times, I finally gave up. I still got some good pictures (or so I thought).

When I uploaded them and tried printing them out on my printer they were all fuzzy looking. So I took them to CVS quick print and when they printed out they were better but had a slight purple shadow. So I sent them over to Ritz and they turned out good enough to use. Not the best ever but, oh well.

So then I designed my own Christmas card in Photoshop in a 4 x 8 design because that is what size Ritz prints their Christmas cards. Well come to find out, Ritz only does the standard sizes (4x6, 5x7, etc.). So I had to redo the whole thing in a 5 x 7 format. Now this would not be a big task for someone very proficient in Photoshop. But for me, a beginner at best, it was a bit challenging. But, I did learn quite a bit about the program while doing this card.

So anyhow, I got the card all ready and I sent it over to Ritz to print. When I picked up the card, I decided the picture looked a little dark, so I lightened it up (meaning I had to redo the whole thing) and sent it over to print. This was Monday evening. Keep in mind that Ritz is suppose to be a one hour processing center. Midday Tuesday, I went over to Ritz to pick up my pictures. When I got there, I was told that my pictures were in the que to be printed when the machine broke. They thought it might be ready that afternoon but they would call me. So I went home and didn't hear from them. On Wednesday, I went to the store around noon and found out that my prints still were not done. The photo technician said if I wanted to print them in glossy (rather than matte), she could have them ready in 15 minutes. So rather than have to come back later, I agreed. I returned 45 minutes later to find out that they STILL had not been printed. By this point it was time to pick Harrison up from school so I told them that if I had to come back, I would prefer them to be printed in matte and just to call me when they were done.
Fast forward to Wednesday evening. I call the store and they tell me that my pictures are done. Keep in mind that this is the 4th time in two days that I have been to this store and stood in a very long line. I finally get my pictures and I am sure you have guessed it by now. They were printed wrong. On glossy paper and the prints were not even trimmed.
By this point I was pretty irritated about the whole situation and I guess the manager sensed that my boiling point was near. I wanted to have them reprinted in the matte finish but he said they were so far behind it would be another day and instead he gave me my money back and the prints.
So although the prints are not what I ordered and they doe not look as nice in the glossy finish as the matte finish, they were free. And they are on there way. So that is one less thing to do before Christmas. And that is a good thing.

So here is the infamous Christmas card.

Silent Night

Harrison's Christmas program is this morning. His class has been preparing for a couple of weeks now. There is fortunately one little girl in his class who is going to be Mary. Harrison has informed us that the Baby Jesus isn't real, it's just one of Bethany's dolls.

Last week we had to get Harrison's costume together for his role as a shepard. His teacher hasn't sent home any lines to memorize so we have no clue what he is going to say.

Last night, as David was putting him to bed, he asked him if he was sure he knew his lines to which Harrison replied, "I can't tell you, it's a surprise." David said "Okay, I was just checking." Then Harrison looks over at him and as serious as he can be says, "But I don't know them anyway."

Let's hope he was just kidding.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Who is that dude?

Harrison has always been the child who could make you laugh or smile with the things he says and does. He has an incredible imagination and a wonderful sense of humor. Of course on the other end, he can also be the child who makes you want to pull all of your hair out by all of his shenanigans.

Last night the kids were all upstairs playing while David and I were downstairs in the kitchen. Harrison came downstairs and walked through the kitchen without saying a word. When I looked up, I laughed out loud at his outfit. I wonder where he got his fashion sense?

When I asked him to pose for a picture, here's what he did.

Now that is one cool dude.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Don't put this on your list of things to buy

I don't know what I was thinking. Obviously I had a temporary lapse in judgement. But really I couldn't help myself. Here's the story.

For Harrison's birthday back in August, the only thing he asked for was Moon Sand. He was so cute repeating the television commercial saying that it would never dry out, it came with it's own carrying case and it was a lot of fun. So of course I had to get him some. Or rather I had my mother give him some.
Here's Harrison playing with his moon sand. He is interested in it long enough to create a huge mess. Oh say, five minutes. Then he loses interest and leaves me to clean up.
Just let me tell you that as much as I hate a playdoh mess, I hate a moon sand mess a million times over. What the commercial fails to tell you is that it will scatter all over your floor and since moon sand sticks to everything including clothing, if I don't catch him, he will walk through the house leaving a trail of sand. I am sure it never dries out because having been scattered everywhere, it is all gone by the time it would have dried out.
Here's what a child looks like when he has been told to clean up moon sand off of the table and chair. See, even he isn't happy about it.
So let this be fair warning to all parents who have this on their to buy lists for their children - DO NOT DO IT! You will regret it. And like me you will look for every excuse possible to avoid pulling it out of the closet. I don't even bother trying to put the excess back in the containers. I just sweep it up and deposit it in the garbage all the while mumbling under my breath "I can't wait until it's gone".
Of course I am sure that as soon as it's gone, there will be some other item that he sees on television and just has to have. Only maybe next time he won't be so cute when he asks and I can say no.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

What's next?

When my kids were infants and then toddlers, I spent many hours checking out toys to see if they had a part that could come off and get lodged in their throats. I checked recall lists to make sure that a toy we owned wasn't on any of them.

I removed all strings from jackets so that it cold not strangle them. And all my blinds had the cords tied up so that they couldn't get near them and hang themselves.

As they got older, I began to relax a little. Until now.

Earlier this year, I discovered that the Mag Stick Magnetic toy had been recalled. We had a set of these and normally I wouldn't worry because my children are past the mouthing stage. But I have caught both of my boys at one time or another with some small toy in their mouths. It terrifies me that not only could they choke on one of these magnet balls but, if more than one magnet is swallowed, it could cause intestinal perforation.

Then the whole lead scare started. In June, the Consumer Product Safety Commission issued the single biggest recall of toys containing lead paint. The culprit- Thomas and Friends wooden railway toys. In August, Fisher Price recalled 83 types of toys including including the popular Big Bird, Elmo, Dora and Diego characters -- because their paint contains excessive amounts of lead. And then in September, Mattel, the parent company of Fisher Price, recalled 675,000 Barbie accessory toys for the same reason.

And it looks like there is no end to the toys that are being recalled. Aqua Dots has now been discovered to be covered with a chemical that metabolizes the same as the date rape drug.

As if it wasn't already hard enough to find toys with some educational value to them, now as a parent we are forced to consider if the toys we buy are secretly a ticking time bomb slowly poisoning our children.

As I was Christmas shopping this year, I had to really think about the toys that I was sticking in my cart. Normally, if I saw a toy in the dollar section at Target, I would have thrown it in the cart without a second thought. This year though, I was reading labels to see if it contained those taboo words "Made in China". It's a scary thing that nothing seems to be safe anymore.

Now that the lead issue has been bradcast by the media and people have become more aware, youwould think that the numbers of dangerous products would be diminishing from store shelves. But a Michigan based environmental group has found otherwise. They test 1,200 toys and found that 17 percent had lead levels that exceed the federal recall standard of 600 parts per million.

If you are like me, you will want to check out the list of toys that are not made in China published by Toys R' Us. While you still have to be careful about what you buy, this list can provide you with a starting point. Another good website that lists toys by brand or type along with a listing of any chemicals found in them is

If you want to see if any toys you already own have been recalled, go to They have a list of recent recalls as well as links to the government website that has toy recalls as far back as 1974. Another great reference site is

If you feel so compelled, check out to sign a petition to stop the manufacturing and distribution of toxic children's products.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Christmas Pictures?

I recently purchased a Canon Rebel XTi. It only took me 3 months to make the decision as to what camera to buy. I had to do a lot of research and price shopping before I felt ready to make the leap.
I took the kids down to the beach the other evening to get our Christmas pictures. We were delayed by the rain but it turned out we got to see a beautiful sunset. The pictures turned out pretty good in theory. When I actually printed them out, they were a little "spotty". Not sure what caused that but I guess I have some things to learn about the camera.
Here are a few of the pictures I took. Maybe with a little Photoshop help, I can make at least some of them printable so that I can use them for my Christmas pictures. I sure don't want to have to go through the whole photo shoot process again.

Monday, December 3, 2007

The pressure's killing me...........

It happens every year. I run myself ragged trying to get all of my holiday stuff done by December 1st. Then December 1st arrives and every year, I disappoint myself by not having it all together. You would think that by now, I would come to the realization that no way am I going to have my shopping done, my Christmas pictures taken (much less the cards mailed) and my tree and house decorated by the first of the month. Every year I get close. This year was no exception. As of Friday, I only had 3 Christmas presents left to buy. Pretty good, right? My Christmas pictures are taken (never mind that I just now figured how to get them off of the camera).

But here lies the BIG problem. We started a huge redecorating project in our family room that has taken way longer than anticipated. So not only do I not have my tree up, my furniture isn't even in the right places and the walls are only half painted. Well actually the tree is up. It's in a bucket of water on our back porch. But it's not in the house and decorated.

So why don't I stop giving myself this deadline? Or why don't I move it back a week or so? I don't know. Maybe it's the type A personality that makes me want to be in control of it all. Whatever it is, it is driving me mad. So maybe this year as my New Year's resolution I will make a commitment to myself to let it go next Christmas. No deadlines, no pressure. Just have fun.

Let's face it though, the chances of that happening are about as good as us having a white Christmas. So maybe instead I will just start my shopping January 1. That way I stand a better chance of having it all done by December 1.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Incredible Hulk

The other night after dinner, I sent the kids upstairs to get a bath and change into their pajamas. As I was finishing up in the kitchen I heard someone stomping down the stairs. I turn around to find Harrison storming into the room wearing his Hulk underwear. He looks at me and says "What the heck happened to these?" At this moment it was all I could do not to lose it. Here is what he was wearing............

My first thought was how ironic that he was wearing shredded Hulk underwear. I mean isn't that what happens when David Banner becomes enraged and turns into the Hulk? Could this be a sign of things to come? Are those fits of outrage something more than a 5 year old's tantrums? Could he be the next Incredible Hulk??????

Monday, November 26, 2007

It won't hurt.............

I had to take Holden to the doctor this afternoon. He developed a nasty cough over the Thanksgiving holiday and it just didn't seem to be getting any better.

Holden has a deathly fear of shots. One mention of going to the doctor invokes a paralyzing fear in him. He starts chanting "no shots, no shots" until I assure him that we are going only for a check-up or sick appointment.

Last year when Holden had an ear infection that would not clear up, he had to get a shot of Rocifin (actually 2 shots, one in each leg). I tried to explain to him that if he would relax and take a deep breath, the shot would not hurt nearly as bad. Of course telling him that just sent him into a fit. No amount of reasoning would calm him down. Two nurses came in to give him the shot and when they couldn't control him, they sent me out of the room and had two other nurses come in to hold him down. I don't know which was worse - the humiliation I felt that my child was making such a scene (which by the way the whole entire office could hear) or the sound of his pain. A half hour later we were on our way but the memory of that lingers in his mind.

So today as we were sitting in the room waiting on our doctor, Holden reminded me that he didn't want to get a shot (like I really needed reminding). Harrison looked at him and said "Holden, Mom said if you don't tinsel up, it won't hurt. And I didn't tinsel up and she was right." When the doctor came in we were both laughing. Holden did end up having bronchitis. Thankfully no shots were involved.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

I am so thankful

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. My family and I went to my grandmother's house as we do every year to celebrate the holiday with all of my aunts, uncles and cousins. We always have quite a large crowd with lots of food.

Even though I am a bit late, I thought that I would make a brief list of some things I am thankful for.

In addition to my family and health, I am thankful for (in no particular order):

  1. My friends (both old and new)
  2. Freedom of Worship
  3. Freedom of Speech
  4. The soldiers who fight for our freedom and their families who sacrifice so that they can
  5. Teachers who get way less praise and appreciation than they deserve
  6. My husband who works hard so that I can stay at home with our children
  7. My dad who stood in line for 2 hours and was able to get my kids the one present they really wanted for Christmas
  8. The smiles and laughter of my children, the feel of their arms as they hug me tight, the trust I see in their eyes and the peacefulness on their faces as they sleep.
  9. My mom who never hesitates to offer her help
  10. The roof over my head
  11. Clean water and food on my plate
  12. My Dansko clogs
  13. Warm coffee on a cold day
  14. My birthmother who made the unselfish decision to give me the opportunity for a better life than what she could have given me
  15. A beautiful sunset
  16. The crashing of the waves on the shoreline
  17. My favorite sweats
  18. My pillows
  19. The first flowers of spring
  20. Rainbows and the promise they stand for
  21. Days when absolutely everything goes right
  22. For the rain after a long dry spell
  23. Libraries
  24. Technology
  25. Hope
  26. Forgiveness
  27. The future

And on that note, I would like to leave you with these thoughts. I can't take credit for writing it but I wholeheartedly agree with it.

Be thankful that you don't already have everything you desire. If you did, what would there be to look forward to?

Be thankful when you don't know something,for it gives you the opportunity to learn.

Be thankful for the difficult times. During those times you grow.

Be thankful for your limitations,because they give you opportunities for improvement.

Be thankful for each new challenge,because it will build your strength and character.

Be thankful for your mistakes. They will teach you valuable lessons.

Be thankful when you're tired and weary, because it means you've made a difference.

It's easy to be thankful for the good things. A life of rich fulfillment comes to those who are also thankful for the setbacks. Gratitude can turn a negative into a positive. Find a way to be thankful for your troubles, and they can become your blessings.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Christmas Wishes

This year for Christmas, we decided that our children needed to get less than they have in years past. It seems that each year the gift giving has gotten bigger and bigger to the point of ridiculous. They would end up with so much stuff that they couldn't possibly appreciate what they got.

So David and I sat the children down and explained that this year we were going to allow them to ask Santa for 4 things. We gave them the option of combining a wish for one large thing. After a few whispering sessions (and some good old politicking on Haley's part) they each decided that it would be good to combine one wish each and ask for a Nintendo Wii (which of course cannot be found, but that's another story).

With that said, each child now had three wishes left. So in order to make sure those wishes got fulfilled, I told them that they should come up with a list to give to Santa. Holden, being the sweet, kind hearted child that he is, came down to breakfast the other morning and told me that he wanted to trade one of his wishes in and ask that Santa give a toy to a homeless child. It's moments like that when you know that you have done pretty good job at raising your child. It made me so proud that he would be so selfless. Knowing that he only had four wishes and he had already used one, he was willing to give one of his away to some child who needed a gift more than he did.

On the other hand, Harrison didn't quite comprehend the whole trading wishes thing. I asked him what he would like for Christmas and he mumbled something about socks. I thought that was kind of odd that he would be asking for socks, even though he really needs some so I asked if he wanted socks for Christmas. He replied, "No I want to trade my socks for some toys." I guess he'd rather have bare feet and some new toys.

The cutest little Indian

I was sick for the majority of last week. I started feeling poorly on Sunday and it seemed to get worse as the week progressed. By Thursday I was feeling better so I went to help set-up the Thanksgiving feast at Harrison's school. I was in the midst of cutting the turkey when I started feeling poorly again. I am not sure if it was the turkey or if I just wasn't completely well but whatever it was, I had to go and sit down.
I could have been on my death bed and I would have wanted to be at Harrison's program. And I am so glad that I was. His class dressed up as Indians and did a few songs for the parents. Harrison knew the words to all the songs. They were all darling but of course I thought Harrison was the cutest little Indian.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

How Many Shopping Days Until Christmas?

I am being reminded already by the barrage of television advertisements, store flyer's and Wish Books that have arrived from Toys R' Us, Walmart and Target that there is only six weeks to finish our Christmas shopping. That's just 40 days or 960 hours or 57600 minutes. However you look at it, Christmas is getting closer. And forget about getting it all done by December 1st like I plan to every year. I haven't bought the first thing yet.

So I decided that I should try and get one step closer by at least putting down on paper the people I shop for along with the gifts I want to buy for them. Only problem is that once I got the list of people down on paper, I got stuck with the whole gift list part. Once I started thinking about their needs, wants, and personalities I just went into a catatonic state and realized that this year was going to be no different than the last five when I sweated every purchase as if I were making the decision of a lifetime.

I mean if I had unlimited funds, then gift buying wouldn't be a problem. Did you say you wanted a flat screen television, no problem. Or that cashmere sweater would look good on Aunt Bitsy, no problem. But realistically, I am on a budget. A very small one. And while my list of recipients isn't all that long, it's big enough to send one thrifty, budget conscience shopper (me) into cardiac arrest.

I thought Christmas was suppose to be one of those wonderful fun-filled enjoyable times of year. I mean it's all about the thought, right? Bull. I have put lots of thought into some of my gifts only to be told by my husband or child that what I bought was weird or not something anyone int heir right mind would want.

So this year, I am vowing to make it different. I am going to buy nice, affordable gifts. Gifts that everyone will love. I have scoured the internet and found a few interesting sites. And if these don't help me, then maybe they will help you. My new favorite site for all things handmade and homemade. You will find everything from art to clothing here. Check out the belts at Applina's shop. They have fabulous gifts for those who love to pamper themselves. Check out the sweetest soft robe for only $39.50. They have some very cute t-shirts, mugs and bags. One of my favorite t-shirts says "Who are these kids and why are they calling me mom?" For the chefs in your family. They have good prices and an excellent selection. Plus a flat rate shipping of $4.99 making the deals even sweeter. On my list this year is the Kitchenaid Mini Chopper and OXO mandoline slicer. Check out the photo books at this website. They are reasonably priced and most sizes are available in softcover and hardcover. They also can publish your blog entries in a book. Check out the cute monogrammed items available at this site. I particularly like the monogrammed insulated lunch bag. This site claims to have "unique gifts to entertain your inner child". Check out the stocking stuffers for those on your list with a great sense of humor. This site has it all. Well at least almost all. But I like their selection of books. One of the big hits this year is the Dangerous Book for Boys and there is even one for the girls, The Daring Book for Girls (although I don't know that this is as big a hit). I love these cute polka dot tea towels and matching oven mitts. They also have some nice jewelry and handbags. This is the greatest concept in my book. Socks that actually never matched to begin with. A youngster (or someone young at heart) would love these. They even have change purses and pouches to match. Check out this website for a lot of unique websites for home and family.

I hope that you will find one of these websites helpful. Now I need to sharpen my pencil and start crossing those names off my list.

Oh and if you do happen to be one of those people with unlimited funds, can you add me to your Christmas list?

Christmas, already?

Yesterday Harrison and I were riding down the road. I was lost in my own thoughts and enjoying the tunes playing on my Ipod when I heard a shriek coming from the rear of the car. My first thought was that Harrison (who was the only other one in the car) had mashed his finger in the window, or got his tongue stuck in the juice bottle. I hit the brakes and turned around (only slightly because I was after all driving down the road at 45 miles per hour) to ask him what was wrong. Well, turns out nothing was wrong, he had just spotted the newly hung Christmas decorations that were adorning every light post on the road. This apparently had sent him into a frenzy of what excitement? I don't know. After I explained that he couldn't scare mommy like that, he rolled his eyes and said "But mom, they really messed up because it isn't even Thanksgiving yet." My thoughts exactly little guy.

I need some of that face cream

It's funny how when you are young, everyone over the age of ten seems old. When I was young, 40 seemed incredibly old to me. And if you were 60 then you definitely had one foot in the grave. And 80, well that was just too old to fathom. Oddly enough as I approach 40, I think don't think of it as old age anymore. And when I think of 60, I think of the benefit of senior discounts. And I know plenty of 80 year olds now who get around quite well and really don't seem terribly old to me.
Harrison and Haley were watching Hannah Montana and Billy Ray Cyrus came on the screen. Not the old "Achy Breaky" Billy Ray but the new and improved "Ready, Set Don't Go" version. Harrison looked over at Haley and said "You know he's like Mammy's age." Mammy is his great grandmother who happens to be in her early eighties. So if Billy Ray Cyrus is indeed that old and looks as good as he does, I might need to get me some of his face cream. I figure if I start using it now in a few years I might look like this.

We can all dream, right?

Monday, November 12, 2007

And God said, "It was good"

I took Harrison to the doctor today and while we were waiting, he picked up one of those Bible Story books. The first story was the one about the Creation of the World. It went into a great amount of detail and since I didn't have time to read it all and didn't feel that he would get a whole lot out of the long version, I shortened the story a bit, enough to get the point of the whole story across. I figured that he pretty much got it until this evening when he recounted to Haley the story of how God created the Earth. Here's Harrison's version:

"On the first day God created that ship, the Mayflower. And on the second day he created the land. Next came all of the animals (only he says it aminals)."

Of course at this point I am curious as to when he thought people might have been created, so I asked. Harrison said matter of factly "God created people on the same day Jesus was born."

I suspect we have some more Bible reading to do. Perhaps next time I shouldn't skip over so many parts.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

My first classes

I taught my first class at the scrapbook store on Tuesday night. When we first moved to Charleston, I went and visited the store and talked to the owner about teaching some classes. My motivation was to meet some new people but in addition, I like the discount that comes along with teaching.

So, anyhow I came up with several ideas for classes and we settled on doing a fall layout class and a squash album class. The class I just taught was on the Fall layouts. I had a total of 7 people sign up for the class but only 3 could make it the night it was scheduled. Thankfully I still get paid for the people who purchase the kits even if they didn't make the class.

I taught them how to sew on paper. It's funny how doing something new totally intimidates some people. I had one lady who laughed at herself because she was afraid to sew on a $1 piece of paper yet she would go and buy expensive fabric and sew on it and mess that all up and not think a thing about it.

While the layouts I came up with are not my usual style, I think they turned out pretty cute. I had to use a limited amount of supplies to keep the cost of the class down and each layout had to have some sort of sewing on it. Here are the three layouts I taught:

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Guess whose birthday?

Happy Birthday David!
Sometimes, we seem to take for granted the people we love the most. It doesn’t mean we don’t care. It is just that sometimes, life gets crazy and there isn’t time to do it all or say it all. Especially today, I want you to know how much I appreciate the loving things you do and how much I admire you for being the kind and giving person you are. I hope you know how very much I Love You…not just today but always.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Trick or Treat

For a week now we had been trying to set aside a block of time to carve our pumpkins for Halloween. We tried to carve them on Monday evening but lo and behold the official pumpkin carving tools were no where to be found. So yesterday, I searched high and lo for a new set of pumpkin carving tools and finally happened upon some at the Harris Teeter (very expensive I might add). So last night we were finally able to turn our plain old pumpkins into some jammin' jack-o-lanterns. Harrison was not thrilled about sticking his hands into the ooey gooey pumpkin insides but he was all about helping his dad do the carving. Holden was a willing participant in the pumpkin gut cleaning. He maybe enjoyed it a bit too much. He also liked doing the carving although several times his dad had to warn him that he was getting to close to fingers for comfort. Haley is finally at the age where she can create her own design and carve her own pumpkin. This makes it much easier on dad since now he only has to focus on the one. The jack-o-lanterns were happy about their outcome, look at the smile on their faces.

Tonight was the night of ghosts and goblins or more appropriately in our household, Power Rangers and Hippies. Holden and Harrison were Power Rangers and Haley (aka Ms. Procrastinator) ended up being a hippie. We tie died her shirt Monday evening. Of course the boys also wanted one so we ended up tye dyeing four shirts. Haley's friend Rachel was a bumblebee. Her mom made the cute outfit.

Before we went out trick or treating, our neighbors invited us over to their house for a cookout. It was a lot of fun and nice to meet some of the neighbors we had not met before. I blew my entire week of Flex points on the hot dog with chili but it was so incredibly delicious I just couldn't resist.

Our across the street neighbor started decorating his lawn for Halloween 3 weeks ago. Day after day we would come home to find some other decoration occupying space in his yard. First it was a few pumpkins, then some skeletons, then a scarecrow or two. Then came the monster inflatables and the inflatable haunted house. The porch was the last space to be decorated and I don't think he could have found room for another pumpkin. He even put a giant blow up spider on his roof. He even had music playing through speakers in his yard. This evening he dressed up like Captain Jack Sparrow to hand out treats.

Haley's friend Rachel came over to trick or treat. They just moved here from Tennessee and are leasing in a condo until their house in TN sells. So I was giving her father directions to come and pick her up and when I told him we lived across the street from the house with a million decorations he didn't really believe me. When he got here to pick her up he said that he now understood why I said that.
We had a steady stream of trick or treaters. I was the not so popular mom in our household who bought individual bags of unpopped popcorn to give out. I get so tired of telling the kids no more candy that I just thought it would be a cool idea to do something different. Most of the kids who came to the door were really excited about getting popcorn. One little girl who was about 8 said "Popcorn, that's kind of weird but thank you anyway."
I bought 80 bags thinking that would be a gracious plenty but I ran out about an hour into the whole trick or treating thing. I guess the house across the street brought quite a few more kids than usual. I started turning off the lights just before I ran out and still had a few come up to the door after I turned the lights off. I answered it the first time then I went upstairs and hid out with the lights off so no one could see me. Next year I guess I will need to get 160 bags of popcorn.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Homework Wars

Today is a short week for the kids and for that I am glad. For me that means no more homework until next week. No homework on Thursday and no homework on Friday.

You would think that since I am not the one doing the homework it wouldn't matter. WRONG. Here's how my afternoon goes.

ME: Harrison, lets do your homework before Holden gets home from school.
HARRISON: No, I don't want to.
ME: Well, you will be all done and can play later.
HARRISON: No, I am not doing it.
ME: Well, alright but you won't learn anything if you don't practice.

And that is how it is day in a day out with Harrison.

That however, is mild in comparison to what happens when Holden is asked to do his homework. He gets home from school at 3 :00 so we get him a snack and go to get Haley at 3:35. When we get home from picking her up, this is what happens about half the time (twice this week already).

ME: Holden, let's do your homework.
HOLDEN: (GRUNTING) No, I don't want to.
ME: Let's see, would you like to do your math or spelling first?
HOLDEN: (Getting ever more agitated) No, No, Nothing. I don't want to do anything.
ME: Well, that isn't an option.
HOLDEN: (STOMPING HIS FEET AND GRUNTING) I hate homework. I can't do it. I don't want to do it.
ME: I am not listening to this (which obviously I am)
HOLDEN: (FLAILING ON THE FLOOR AND GRUNTING) I can't do it. It's too hard. I hate homework.
ME: (Sometimes said in a calm voice, other times in a not so calm voice)Okay, fine. You win, don't do it.

Eventually he will calm down and come do his homework. By then, he has usually wasted 30 minutes pitching a fit. I try to explain that if he had just sat down and done his homework to begin with he would be done. That just doesn't seem to register on him. And it is very frustrating for me. Some days I want to strangle him because I have a million other things to do and it isn't fair that I sit there for 30 minutes asking him to do something he knows he will eventually have to do. Most days though, my heart just aches for him because deep down I know that more often than not, the real reason he pitches these fits is because he has a hard time writing and spelling.

I have spent many hours trying to figure out how to change his attitude about homework. I keep thinking that somehow, I will find the thing that helps avoid these fits. I realize that I cannot control how he acts. If he wants to pitch a fit and waste time, then it's his time to waste. If he chooses not to do his homework, well then he can explain that to his teacher.

That is all easier said than done. I want to make it better. To understand and share in his pain. I want him to finally "get it". I keep hoping and praying that things will come easier to him. I keep searching for that one thing that will make it click or that one reason that it hasn't. Because after all I am his mom and that's just what moms do. They sit beside their kids and hold their hands and give them love and support even when they really feel like tearing out their hair or running away from home (at least temporarily).

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


I started Weight Watchers again last week and managed to take off 4 pounds. It is the only diet I have ever been successful on. I think it has more to do with a lifestyle change than anything. I am more conscious of what I eat and how much I eat. I am not saying that it is easy. With three kids it certainly would be easier to drive by Sonic and pick up a burger than to cook a healthy meal at home.

Tonight for example was CiCi's Pizza night for Harrison's school. I actually dislike CiCi's because the pizza to me is just one step above frozen. But, the kids seem to like it and so does their dad. So I figured it might be a losing battle when Harrison came home with that large CiCi's sticker stuck to his shirt. He started early trying to wear me down. First he said all of his friends were going to be there. Then he tried the "I love pizza so much" angle. When nothing seemed to be working, he got his brother in on the begging. I finally had enough of their ploy and put my foot down and said that we couldn't go because I was on a diet to which Harrison responded "So don't eat. You can live without dinner but you can't live without water." I guess he figured I could sit and watch him eat with my glass of water.

And I might have won that battle except for it ended up being four against one. David came home from work and was sitting on the sofa half dozing when all of a sudden his eyes pop open and he announces that he thought pizza would be good. Who could win when the odds were stacked against them? So tonight we went to CiCi's. I guess I will have a salad with that glass of water.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Turning 40

Last week as I was pouring some cereal for one of the kids, I started reading the back of the box. Now if you know me, you will know that I do not like mornings. So it was totally unusual for me to even have my eyes open enough to see the back of the box much less read and process the information printed on it. Anyhow, it was a list of things to do before you turned 18. It listed things that kids might do as they grow older (except for the whole bungee jump one, not sure what mother in her right mind would let their child do that).

So the wheels started turning and I thought it would be cool to make a list of 40 things I wanted to do before I turned 40. But then it dawned on me that in just over two months, I would be 40. UGH! So I changed my list to 40 things I want to do the year I turn 40. Here they are:

  1. Wear a size 6 again
  2. Run a 5K
  3. Start my own business
  4. Learn to hem a pair of pants (I am ashmed to admit I never have)
  5. Organize my photos on the computer to include dates and tags so that I can search for them rather than going through picture after picture to find one of say Holden and Harrison at the park.
  6. Get my scrapbook pages current
  7. Put all of my completed scrapbook pages in an album
  8. Get published in a scrapbook magazine
  9. Learn to do an intermediate Sudoku puzzle without cheating
  10. Read the newspaper or watch the news at least four times a week (I have no clue what's going on these days)
  11. Buy clothes that fit my body (flab and all) rather than hide it
  12. Do more arts and crafts projects with my kids
  13. Finish my home improvement projects
  14. Wake up early before the kids and do my bible study
  15. Label and organize everything in my attic
  16. Renew an old friendship
  17. Volunteer somewhere (other than school which I already do)
  18. Read the entire Harry Potter Series from beginning to end
  19. Get a tattoo (okay so I won't actually do that but it still sounds cool)
  20. Go to the World's Longest Yard Sale
  21. Bike the rail line in West Virginia
  22. Learn to paint with watercolors
  23. Send birthday cards to my friends and relatives
  24. Learn to invest money
  25. Get a new diamond for my 15th anniversary (hint, hint David)
  26. Take a photography class
  27. Smile more
  28. Laugh more
  29. Stress less
  30. Have date nights with my hubby
  31. Take a trip in the Fall to Vermont for my 15th anniversary and stay in a B&B
  32. Wear jewelry (I forget to put it on)
  33. Read the The Purpose Driven Life
  34. Go to church regularly (even when what I really want to do is sleep in)
  35. Spend more time with my family
  36. Make dessert twice a week
  37. Have date nights with my children (one at a time)
  38. Have more get togethers with friends
  39. Be more organized
  40. Plan weekly meals so we eat out less

Pumpkin Patch

For the past couple of years I have been taking my kids to Walmart or Harris Teeter to get a pumpkin. I know, it isn't a pumpkin patch. But they all come from the same place, right? Besides, it is much cheaper to buy one from the store.

But this year I was shamed into taking my kids to the pumpkin patch. One of the moms at preschool was working at the church pumpkin patch where Harrison goes to school. She asked me if we were coming to get a pumpkin. I just couldn't tell her I shopped at the grocery store for mine. GASP! So, I said I would come when all the kids could come with me.

Today was the first opportunity that we have had to all go and pick out a pumpkin. So David, the kids and I piled into the minivan and headed across town to find the perfect pumpkin. To keep the peace in our household, we allow each child to pick one small pumpkin to put Mr. Pumpkin Head parts on (yes, it's like Mr. Potato Head just with a pumpkin) and together they pick one large pumpkin to carve.

About 20 minutes into the whole pumpkin picking escapade I remembered the real reason why I do not like to take my children to the pumpkin patch. They cannot make up their minds. One pumpkin is too fat, one is too tall, one has bumps on it, one doesn't have a stem and stems are a must. They pick up and poke and turn over every pumpkin they can reach until finally we blow the whistle and tell them times up.

We headed up to the checkout with our four pumpkins. The man at the register was apparently trying to be funny because he had the nerve to suggest that since we had five people in our family we needed one more pumpkin. Yeah, just what we need - another half an hour searching the patch for one more perfect pumpkin. No four will be fine thank you.

An hour later and $25 poorer, we headed home. Maybe next year we can get away with the Harris Teeter pumpkins.

What is the black stuff in your hair?

Sometimes you just really have to wonder what goes through a child's mind. Tonight, David and I were downstairs staining the desk in my scrapbook room when Holden comes running down the stairs at top speed laughing. That should have been a warning that something had happened. Holden is the slightly devilish instigator while his brother is the willing cohort. Harrison is usually the one that gets caught all the while Holden is standing in the background smiling smugly or giggling.

So back to tonight. Holden runs into the room with Harrison trailing not far behind. When I look up much to my horror I see this huge mass of black clumped in Harrison's hair. My first thought is gum. But then gum isn't black. Finally it dawns on me that he has mashed slime in his hair. Slime that came in a barrel and is supposed to look like oil. The slime that was his sister's prize for selling some stuff for school. Black slime in blond hair. Not good.

While trying not to completely lose it, I asked why he had decided to put it in his hair. His first response was that Holden "threw it" in his hair. Apparently he decided by looking at my face that telling the truth might be a better alternative. So it came out that he wanted to have a mohawk. Why he chose to put slime in his hair to obtain one is far beyond adult comprehension. Apparently in the mind of a child, when you add something slimy to your hair it can do amazing things.

Unfortunately Harrison did not think about how this mohawk making slime was going to come out of his hair. So as he was sitting in the bathtub, tears streaming down his face, while I combed the slime out of his hair, he turned to me and said "I don't think this was such a good idea". You think?

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Yesterday David and I celebrated our 14th year Anniversary. It seems like only yesterday, I was busily planning a wedding. Then almost overnight, the wedding was here and gone. In the past 14 years we have:

  • moved 6 times
  • Had three children
  • Owned 5 pets (7 if you count the hermit crabs)
  • Taken vacations to big cities, small towns and several in between
  • Celebrated 10 and 20 year high school reunions
  • Owned 6 cars
  • Started 5 jobs between the two of us
  • been broke, been not so broke (never wealthy, still hoping)
  • changed hairstyles (thankfully I lost the BIG hair from the 80's)
  • Gained weight, lost weight, then gained it back
  • Cried a little, laughed alot

Our 14 years together have been good ones. There were days when things were rocky but there have been many more that were not. During the last 14 years, we have learned:

  • that a successful marriage requires you to fall in love with each other many times
  • to celebrate our differences
  • be strong in our faith for each other
  • that a happy home is one filled with love
  • that kind words heal wounds
  • No matter what, we are in it together

I am looking forward to traveling together down the road of life, celebrating each new day with the one I love.

In closing, here are some Thoughts on Marriage:

The best way to get most husbands to do something is to suggest that perhaps they're too old to do it.
-- Ann Bancroft
Any husband who says. "My wife and I are completely equal partners" is talking about either a law firm or a hand of bridge.
-- Bill Cosby
A good wife always forgives her husband when she's wrong
-- Milton Berle
I was married by a judge. I should have asked for a jury.
-- George Burns
Never go to bed mad. Stay up and fight.
-- Phyllis Diller
The secret of a happy marriage remains a secret.
-- Henny Youngman
People are always asking couples whose marriages have endured at least a quarter of a century for their secret for success. Actually, it is no secret at all. I am a forgiving woman. Long ago, I forgave my husband for not being Paul Newman.
-- Erma Bombeck
When women are depressed, they either eat or go shopping. Men invade another country. It's a whole different way of thinking.
-- Elaine Boosler

Monday, October 15, 2007

Home Again

I got back yesterday from a four day weekend trip with my sorority sisters. Every year in October, we rent a house on the Isle of Palms for four days. It seemed like a real vacation when I was living in Charlotte but now it feels sort of odd to be staying five miles from my house. It was a lot of fun though.

There were 24 of us all crammed into a huge house second row from the beach. Oddly enough I didn't even set foot on the beach. I picked up two of my closest friends from college (pictured here with me- Leah is on the left and Tamara is in the middle) at the airport on Thursday and we headed over to Vickerey's on Shem Creek to meet some of the other girls for lunch. When we got there I asked the (very young) hostess if there were a group of young ladies there. When she looked at me kind of funny, I had to clarify that I meant young like me not her. We spent the afternoon hanging out and catching up all of the past year's happenings. Friday a few of us went and got pedicures and then spent the entire day shopping. Saturday, one of the girls planned we had a game like The Amazing Race. We drew names from hats and split into teams. We had five challenges and the loser of each challenge got eliminated. I am not in the best shape of my life (to say the least) but I ran 2 miles (yes, I slowed down some) to reach the Observation deck first in Challenge number 2. And I also helped to propel a paddle boat around the lake to come in first in that challenge as well. I am proud to say that my group WON every challenge and the final competition! I was afraid that I was going to be really sore on Sunday but I felt pretty good.

David and the kids went camping out this weekend at the Boy Scout Camp on Wadamalaw Island. They had a great time and want to go again (maybe I'll be busy that weekend?). My idea of roughing it is staying at a Motel 6. I need running water and toilets that flush.
This morning Haley and I both woke up feeling kind of bad so she stayed home from school. I had to do laundry and clean regardless. By this afternoon we were both feeling a bit better. Tonight, we had to run a few errands while David was at a meeting so we stopped by Chick-Fil-A for dinner. Harrison got out of the car and ran over to the pond. He started yelling that he could see the "ducklets". Wonder if they are any relation to "chicklets"?

Monday, October 8, 2007

Tonight I came across a new website called If you are ever in the market to buy anything handmade (and even if you aren't) you should check this site out.

You will come across things that are absurd like the doggy poop bag? They come in a variety of colors. You cold have one to match every outfit you own! Who would have thought there would be a need for that when a grocery bag would do the trick?

Oh and while you are walking your dog toting that doggy poop bag, your fine canine friend would look sporty in his bandanna. If blue isn't your dog's favorite color, then you are in luck because you can choose from a variety of colors as well.

Or maybe you like monkey's and have always wished you had a "cheeky" monkey to pin to your bag, lapel, anything else that you can think of? They've got that too. (Isn't he cute? Kind of reminds me of my own little monkey Harrison).

Or if monkey's aren't your thing and you are more into fruit, then maybe you'd like some cherries. Crocheted cherries that is. They come in a variety of colors. And sell for only $2.50 for 5. What a bargain. Just don't try to eat them.

But maybe you don't like all that handcrafted stuff. Then you are in luck because you can buy food too! There is a variety of homemade delicacies to choose from. On tonight's menu is homemade pomegranate jelly for all those late night cravings. And look how cute the packaging is.

But seriously, you should check out this website. There are some really cool things on there. It is now at the top of my favorites list. Watch out wallet.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

The Nut Doesn't Fall Far From the Tree

I will have to be the first to admit that my mind never stops working. For years it drove David nuts but I think he has finally gotten use to the fact that I can and will be thinking of ten things at any one time. Especially at night when I am laying in bed. There's just something about being in the dark and quiet that lets my mind think of all those things I couldn't think of during the day.

I will be just about to doze off and something will pop into my head that I just need to ask David about. So I will shake him (lightly of course) and ask him that ever so important question like "Did you remember to turn off the sprinklers because you know its been raining" or "What do you think about painting the family room red".

I have thought about keeping a notebook beside my bed so that I can write down all those things that run through my mind, but somehow that just seems like more work than it's worth. So I just take the easy way and ask while it's on my mind. Which I am sure sometimes really annoys David. Especially when he is already asleep.

Tonight, we put the kids to bed and were sitting in the bonus room watching some television when we heard this little voice from the other end of the house calling "mom". The boys had been in bed for about 45 minutes so I figured it was probably Harrison wanting something to drink because he was coughing. David went to check on him and came back shaking his head. I asked what was wrong and he said that Harrison just wanted to make sure someone had picked up the sandwich he left outside in the garage.

See, the nut doesn't fall far from the tree.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Don't you just hate it when your kids are right?

We have an awesome backyard. It isn't very large but it has some beautiful hydrangeas, lots of ivy and plenty of shade from the huge oak trees. There is a horseshoe pit and a nice swing to sit on (when the mosquitoes aren't swarming you). I haven't been outside much because 1) it has been too hot until recently and 2) the last time I was out there, I almost stepped on a snake (which David swears was a lizard but as I told him "Lizards skitter, snakes slither and this was definitely a slither").

The previous owners of our house had two large golden retrievers so they built a fence around a small area near the back of the house off of the garage and filled it with mulch. I didn't think we would need to utilize this area because 1) Sullivan is treated like a human 2) He thinks he is human and 3) He stays indoors more than he stays outdoors. Well, he use to stay indoors a lot more until he decided to chew up the blinds on the windows by the door. He was being left in the big yard until 1) he started pooping in the grass and 2) he started digging holes the size of a small car. So now when Sullivan goes outdoors he is confined to the small yard. Since it is filled with mulch, when he digs a hole, we just fill it back in. Cleaning up is easier because you can actually see it and the kids don't have to worry about stepping in anything they might not want on their shoe. Which when they do leads to a lot of screaming and dancing around as if they stepped into a pit of coals. And it always entails me having to clean up the mess.

Being confined to the "dog" area isn't such a bad deal because even though he can't get on the screened porch like he could when he was in the big yard, he does have access to the garage though the dog door. Only, there is a small problem. We don't leave the dog door open because 1) unwanted creatures might visit us 2) Sullivan might chew up something in the garage that would hurt him and 3) when we opened the garage door he would take off down the street at full speed.

Okay where was I going with this story. Oh yes. Tuesday night after dinner, we took the family to the Kohl's Grand Opening. David was in need of some work clothes, I needed some shirts and Haley just wanted to look for some fall clothes. As we got ready to leave, David took the dog outside. Holden (who is supposed to be the dog's owner but the dog is confused and thinks I own it) told his father adamantly that he should leave Sullivan indoors because it might rain. David stated adamantly that the dog would be fine, it wasn't going to rain.

Apparently Holden knew something that his father did not because as we were leaving Kohl's it began to rain and rain and rain. As we were turning into our neighborhood and driving through puddles the size of Lake Michigan, David realized that he had left Sullivan outdoors with no way to get out of the rain.

When we opened the door to let Sullivan into the garage, we were greeted by a soaking wet dog who was very happy to see us. Now, I am not pointing fingers but being that it wasn't my fault the dog got wet, I went on inside to get the kids ready for bed and left the dirty work to David. So instead of leaving Sullivan in the garage to dry, David got brilliant idea to dry the dog's hair with the hair dryer. Sullivan was not amused by this but he didn't have much choice since David had the death grip on his collar. Now I am sure that David did not find this as amusing as I did but he was a good sport and let me take his picture.

All I can say is you've gotta hate it when the kids are right.
I haven't been writing in my blog lately. Not because I don't want to but because I have been very busy. This past Friday, we closed on our house in Charlotte. Thankfully we no longer have two mortgage payments. It was a very stressful time for us because of many reasons, including the fact that our realtor was horrible (and that is being nice), but at last it is over.

When we bought our house in Charleston, our intention was to finish the third floor for a scrapbook room and office for David. Since we are already into October, we have decided to go ahead and finish doing all of our other projects first and start on the addition next spring. This means that I am having to rework some of our current space. The bonus room was serving as the scrapbook room/office/playroom. We have a nice room off of the kitchen that I had set-up for the kids to use as a study/arts and crafts room. I have now kicked them out and am redoing it to use as a temporary scrapbook room.

I always have such grand ideas and thankfully I have a husband who can and will help me with my projects. We hung the wall cabinets last weekend. I also bought two birch doors which he cut down for the desktops. The desk is L-shaped and will have three stations. I can use them now for my computer, my sewing machine and a stamp/scrapbook space. When I am finished with the space it will provide a work area for each of my children.

We ran into a small glitch when the table legs I wanted to use (repurposed from a table I had) were too short in relation to the base cabinet. So we ordered some new table legs from Osborne Wood Products in Georgia on Monday afternoon. And I got them delivered today. Talk about awesome customer service! And the legs are exactly what I wanted. Since the room is right off of the kitchen, my vision was to have the room look like it had built in furniture rather than a hodgepodge of desks and cabinets. David is building shelves with beadboard paneling behind it to go in between the wall shelves. And I am going to hang some free hanging shelves above the side desk. The desktop will be stained and the cabinets will be painted willow white and then I will apply a glaze to give it that aged look. I hope that we get this project finished soon because right now the entire contents of the study room are in my family room. I can't bring them up to the playroom until I move out the scrapbook stuff. Hopefully we can get it done this weekend in between popcorn sales for Cub Scouts and a birthday party for my niece and nephew.

On another note, I went and talked to the owner of our local scrapbook store about teaching some classes. I figured that would be a good way to make a little extra cash, get a discount on my scrapbook stuff and meet some people. Anyhow, I had to come up with some ideas for November and December classes. I presented those to her today and she loved my ideas. So over the next week I have to make the actual projects from the sketches I came up with so she will have something to display in her store. This is really exciting for me and I am looking forward to teaching others.

So soon I will have a scrapbook space of my own so that I can work on some new projects. Even thought the room is small and it will be a tight squeeze for all my stuff, I am looking forward to having it downstairs near the hub of family activity. Maybe I can even sneak in a layout or two between homework and dinner.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Walk on the Bridge

This evening we went for a walk on the Ravenel Bridge. There are walking paths all the way across so that you can walk from Mount Pleasant into downtown Charleston.
I took my camera with me. David said he was going to walk behind me so no one would know we were together. I guess I must have looked like a tourist. Of course this was the first time that I had been on the bridge. David, Haley and Holden were able to go on the bridge before it even opened thanks to my brother-in-law who is a highway patrolman.
I am glad that I took my camera because I got some great pictures. Here are some of the pictures I took.
This one is of the sun setting over the Charleston Port.
This is a picture of the cables. It is incredible how big they are.
This is the USS Yorktown at Patriot's Point. The aircraft carrier is permanently docked and serves as a museum.
I was taking a picture of the kids at the top of the bridge when a nice lady stopped and asked if we wanted her to take a family picture. I figured why not (by the way, the camera adds 10 pounds).
This is a picture of downtown Charleston as seen from the top of the bridge.
This was a nice way to end the day. I think I might start walking the bridge twice a week. It was actually very therapeutic. Plus, I could use the exercise.