Friday, June 29, 2007

Hot Week

This week has been a real scorcher. I guess that is typical for this time of year but it has been so hot here the only thing to do is stay indoors or go to the pool. I think my car thermostat read 100 degrees at least twice this week. Now that wouldn't be so bad but the humidity has made it miserable.

The boys and I went to our community pool on Thursday while Haley was away on her Girl Scout trip. They had a big time playing in the pool and they even met a couple of new friends. Harrison is still scared of "drowding" (as he calls it) so he refuses to get in the pool without his life vest. I tried to convince him to use the kick board and let me help him swim but he was firm about leaving his vest on. Holden loves to swim and is getting bolder each day. He still won't swim without his trusty goggles but he is like a fish with them on.
As promised, I am posting some of my page layouts from my girls scrapping weekend. These are a couple of simple layouts that I finished. The first layout is of a trip that my mother and I took with the kids to Fort Sumter during Spring Break back in 2005 (yes I am that far behind but at least I am getting them done). The second layout is of the kids going to the strawberry patch (again in 2005). This is the layout for Harrison's album and shows pictures of him not only picking the strawberries but also indulging himself.

Maybe by the end of this year I will be caught up. Probably not but at least it's wishful thinking.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Happy Birthday to My Dad

Today is my Dad's birthday. And since I have become so scatterbrained lately, it snuck up on me. You know being that I love to make cards, you would have thought that the very least I could have done was to send him one. Well, I actually had one to send him but it is still sitting on my scrapbook table. I just can't seem to get it together lately.

So in honor of his birthday, I thought I would list the top 10 reason that I love my dad:

1) He is honest and kind
2) He has integrity and a strong sense of values
3) He believes in me (even though he might not always agree with me)
4) He listens to me
5) He has always sacrificed himself unselfishly for me and for others
6) He leads by example
7) He always gives me sound advice (even when I don't think I want it)
8) He has an amazing amount of faith
9)Because no matter what is broken, he'll find a way to fix it (even if it means using duct tape and string)
and last but not least
10) He loves me as much as I love him

Monday, June 25, 2007

No....I wasn't on vacation

I wasn't really on vacation last week although it did sort of feel like it. The boys were at my parent's house and Haley was at camp. I spent most of the week getting page kits ready to take with me on the scrapbook retreat this past weekend. I left Thursday afternoon and got home yesterday. I had an awesome time and got 61 pages done. I will be posting some of those throughout the week.

Harrison is back to his "normal" silly self. I was doing my Yoga Booty Ballet this morning and he and Holden decided to do the last few exercises with me. At the end they repeat the mantra "I am strong", "I am courageous" and "I am beautiful". Harrison started repeating the mantra and at the end he said "with liberty and justice for all." It's kind of hard to be serious with that little guy around.

Speaking of funny guys. Here's a little wit and wisdom from a very funny guy, Larry the Cable Guy.

1. A day without sunshine is like night.
2. Remember, half the people you know are below average.
3. He who laughs last, thinks slowest.
4. Depression is merely anger without enthusiasm.
5. The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese in the trap.
6. Support bacteria. They're the only culture some people have.
7. A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
8. Change is inevitable, except from vending machines.
9. If you think nobody cares, try missing a couple of payments.
10. Why do psychics have to ask you for your name?
11. Inside every older person is a younger person wondering, "What the heck happened?"

Saturday, June 16, 2007

I hate that it has been so long since I last posted but somehow life has a way of getting busy. We took the boys to my parent's on Thursday night so that they could spend a week in Beaufort. We got back home late yesterday afternoon and then rushed to pack Haley so that she could go to a birthday party sleepover with some friends. This morning I got up at 6 and went to some yard sales. I racked up on some rubber stamps, ink pads, embossing powder and paper at the first yard sale I went to. I got some other great things as well.

After I picked Haley up this morning, David, Haley and I went to Concord Mills, the outlet mall, to do a little shopping. I got some cute things at the TJ Maxx Homestore there. I picked up a cute wrought iron planter shaped like a cat. David said it was the ugliest thing he had ever seen. That made me want to buy it even more. Haley and I splurged and got a pedicure while we were there.

We came home and packed Haley for camp. We will be taking her and some friends up to Camp Occoneechee near Lake Lure for Girls Scout camp tomorrow. She'll be gone until Friday.

I have to prepare this week for my girls weekend away. I will be leaving on Thursday to go scrapbooking with some friends. I am so excited that I will actually have time to sit and do nothing but scrapbook. No kids. No husband. No housework. No laundry.

So that about wraps up the past few days. Just lots of busy stuff going on right now. I am looking forward to slowing down a bit and enjoying myself.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Another day another story

Is it really only the second full day of summer for the kids? Don't get me wrong my kids are awesome and they do play well together but it seems to come in spurts. For instance, they were all playing Polly Pockets together in the playroom this morning but something went wrong because in a matter of an hour we had an injury, an argument, and a crying child locked out of someone's room. Most of the time that crying child is Harrison (as it was this time) because the older two just don't get that at 4 years old you don't always understand exactly what you are suppose to do. And when that happens, 4 year olds get frustrated and act out by hitting (which makes the other one cry) or pitching a fit or trying to make their own rules. Ultimately I end up having to mediate to soothe raw nerves (okay the raw nerves are mine but you get the point).

So anyhow, I am just wondering how I will manage to survive the next two months without having a nervous breakdown. Today when I am trying to have a serious talk about appropriate behavior and getting along with each other, Holden is sitting in the chair smirking and then outright laughing which doesn't make me happy. So then I start telling him he is going to listen even if I have to hang him by his toes. Which of course makes him laugh harder. In the meantime Harrison is politely raising his hand which I take to mean he has a question about what I was saying. So I let him ask and he says "Are you done yet?" So I just give up.

It isn't that they are bad kids because they really aren't. It's just like a giant snowball once it starts rolling downhill it isn't going to stop. That's how the boys get. They start out playing nicely then they get rowdy then it ends up someone gets hurt or they tear the house (or garage) up or something gets broken. Harrison is the destroyer in our house. In the past week alone he has smeared caulk all over the siding on the house and scratched up David's grandmother's table with a key.

I have so much to be thankful for. I need to remind myself that when I am about to strangle them. But it might help if you say an extra prayer for me everyday. I think I might need it.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Harold's-Where Everybody Knows your Name

My dad sent me a copy of an article that appeared in the Beaufort Gazette today about my grandfather's place, Harold's Country Club. So I thought today I would veer from my normal ramblings about my kids and put something on my blog about my grandfather, Harold Peeples who passed away 4 years ago this past May. Although the pain of losing someone so special fades with time, I still feel an emptiness that will never completely go away.

Harold Peeples was a man of few words but when he spoke, people listened. He had a unique sense of humor and while he grew old, he never really grew up. He was a practical joker and got the biggest kick out of making others laugh.
On any given day, you could see him at his place, perched atop a stool at the bar. Newspaper spread open, cigarette in hand. If someone entered Harolds' as a stranger, they left as a friend. So many people were touched by his kindness and generosity that even today after his passing, his spirit lives on.
The article that appeared in the paper is below. While it touches on what Harold's is, you will never truly know unless you visit.

An Eclectic Lowcountry Landmark

Published: Sunday, June 10th, 2007
YEMASSEE -- Harold's Country Club is like any other bar that sells gas, bait and the best steaks around.

Founded in 1973 as Peeples Texaco, the club stands alone on a barren highway in Yemassee, population 839. Decades-old gas pumps display the 2007 price, $2.989, and a flashing sign beams Harold Peeples' likeness, sandwiched between a mug of beer and a grill full of steaks.

Peeples died in 2003, but his spirit and memories are alive and well at the country club, which, in case you haven't guessed, has no swimming pools or golf links.

'They used to cook in the garage where they were working on cars, and when the dinner bell rang, Harold would stand in the middle of the bar and have his blessing,' said Hampton mayor and Harold's regular John Rhoden. 'Harold wanted everybody to have a good time, but he ran a tight ship. If you caused any ruckus, he would say you were banned for 99 years and a day.'

Few ever caused any ruckus though.

Harold's has a laid-back, friendly atmosphere that many compare to the fictional bar Cheers: the place where everybody knows your name. But familiarity is not what makes people comfortable at Harold's.

'Even people who have never been before, I think they just feel at home,' said Peeples' daughter Joyce Bunton, who still refers to Harold's as 'the station.'

The smiling patrons and welcoming bar staff contribute to the home-like atmosphere, but so does the decor, which might remind some of their grandparents' basement.

A hodgepodge of cloths cover long, family-style tables in the dining room, which is mainly lit with Christmas lights, glowing beer signs and a couple of stray desk lamps. Empty glass bottles and movie posters line the walls, while a carousel pony and a bear in a Santa costume stand watch.

'We always say, if it goes up (on the wall), it never comes down,' Bunton said, and patrons frequently bring signs, photos and memorabilia to hang.

Dinner is served four nights a week including Thursday 'pot luck,' an homage to the get-togethers that gradually turned Peeples Texaco into Harold's Country Club.

'My dad would get together with several couples to eat, and when the weather was bad, they would come to the garage to eat,' Bunton said. 'Finally he said, 'I'll do the cooking,' ... and when other people started showing up, wanting to eat, he charged them a couple of bucks.'

Nowadays, pot luck at Harold's means, 'We just look in the paper and see what's on sale, and that's what we make,' said Manager Ronald Murdaugh.

Harold's can serve up to 180 people in a single seating, and everybody gets the same meal. On Wednesdays, they make hamburgers and hot dogs, and on Fridays, it's hot wings. But nothing compares to Saturdays, when there are two seatings instead of one.

'You've got to come here on Saturdays for steak night,' said Henry Sauls of Beaufort, who described himself as a high-roller out to shoot pool at a country bar. 'This place gets transformed into a honky-tonk, steak-slinging, karaoke-singing good time.'

There's no mistaking that Harold's is a country bar, with the horseshoes and bull's horns on the wall and the deep Southern accents seldom heard in Beaufort. But Harold's karaoke nights don't just feature Lynyrd Skynyrd and the Kentucky Headhunters: Patrons also dance to Tone-Loc and do the electric slide.

'They run the gamut from senior citizens to church groups, blue collar, rednecks, white collar ... even the occasional movie star,' Rhoden said of the club's clientele while sitting next to stacks of Blow Pops, Alka-Seltzer and other convenience store items.

Gov. Mark Sanford is a 'pretty regular' Saturday customer, Bunton said, and Mel Gibson and Dennis Hopper are among those who have dropped by to eat. Peeples also taught a homemaking expert he called 'Martha Somebody' how to fry a turkey at Hollywood producer Joel Silver's Auldbrass Plantation in Yemassee.

Bunton said one reason Harold's attracts such a diverse crowd is its central location at the junction of Beaufort, Colleton, Hampton and Jasper counties.

'It's not too far from anywhere,' she said, 'even though it's in the middle of nowhere.'

But the main attraction is what Rhoden called 'the atmosphere, hospitality and camarader-ship' at Harold's. It's the kind of place where a stranger can argue at the bar about whether there are 50 or 52 stars on the American flag (the two extra are for Guam and Puerto Rico).

'Harold's has something for everyone,' Sauls said, whether they're looking for lottery tickets, fishing lures, pickled pigs feet, $2 Coronas or 'just good people having a good time.'

Friday, June 8, 2007

Yes, I am a slacker

I really, really wanted to post Haley's graduation pictures yesterday but I was honestly too tired to even think straight. I left home yesterday morning with the kids at 7:15 and I got home with the kids at 2:15. I had to be there in time to unload the three laundry baskets full of water balloons before graduation started. After the graduation ceremonies, I spent most of the day helping at the 5th grade water day (in the blazing hot sun). Those kids had a blast though so it was all worth it. Then I attended an awards ceremony in Haley's classroom where she was given the Super Student award. This has been a good year for Haley. She was truly blessed with one of the most outstanding, caring and compassionate teachers ever. All of the kids adored him and I think he made an indelible impression on their lives.

Last night, after it was all said and done, I was thinking about how fast my little girl is growing up. Before I know it, she'll be a teenager (lord help us) then she'll be off to college and then onto a career, marriage and kids. It's all bittersweet. While I look forward to being with her as she goes through these stages of her life, I also miss the little girl she used to be. The one that crawled into my lap at night and snuggled up to read a book. The one that made my heart leap as she sang Happy Birthday Jesus during her Christmas program. The one that let me put bows in her hair and dress her in dresses, frilly socks and Mary Jane shoes. The one that crawled up in bed with me on Saturday mornings just to snuggle. The one that rode in the little red wagon during the Fourth of July parade, waving her flag and all decked out in her red, white and blue holiday finest.

I guess that little girl is still there. Only she is a bigger version of her little self. She still loves to read (does the word voracious mean anything), she still loves to snuggle only she can't crawl in my lap because she's just about as big as me and she does still let me pick out some of her clothes only they aren't frilly or girly.

But I am comforted in the fact that no matter what she will always be my girl. And I can never get back those days when she was little, but I can be thankful for the memories we have made and can look forward to the memories we will make.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Holden's Awards Ceremony

I am surprised that I am able to type this at all after spending a good part of the evening filling and tying about 300 water balloons. You don't realize how sore tying a balloon can make your fingers! As always I couldn't say no when asked to be on the 5th Grade Water Day Committee. I just didn't realize when I said yes, it would mean filling water balloons. Tomorrow is Haley's big day. She graduates in the morning and then has Water Day with games and pizza afterwards.

Holden had his awards ceremony today. The class did a very cute program with a poem and a story about how the big bad wolf really came to be the big bad wolf. Then the children shared their writing with the parents. Holden received the scientist award. He is very interested in how things work. I think maybe he is destined to be an engineer. Here he is with Miss Spencer his very cool first grade teacher. She rides a motorcycle and drives a jeep, two of Holden's top ten reasons to like a girl. We also served ice cream sundaes to the parents and kids. I am thoroughly amazed at how many toppings kids like on their ice cream! It's a good thing their parents took them home afterwards. I don't think the teacher could have controlled them with all that sugar coursing through their bodies.
Well, it's off to bed for me to rest up for all of tomorrow's activities.

Monday, June 4, 2007

I just spent the better part of a night editing and ordering photos. I missed the last sale Winkflash had so when I found out they were doing the 6 cents prints again I had to order. I haven't printed my pictures from December 2005 to present so you can imagine how many I have to print. I actually don't print them until I am ready to put them in a scrapbook so I don't have tons of pictures lying around. I was trying to plan ahead for my crop at the end of this month but actually I think by the time I get the photos, I will be getting down to the wire on getting my scrap kits prepared. I have almost 500 pictures on the way to organize and put with paper and stuff. I am so looking forward to my four day getaway with the girls. I think by the time that rolls around I will need it even more than I do right now!

Year end activities at school are killing me. I will NEVER (let me repeat that NEVER) again volunteer to be the room parent for two of my children's classes at one time. Now don't get me wrong I love to be involved but apparently I am one of the few. It has been very hard this year to recruit volunteers for donations and participation in school activities. Seems I am not the only one having that problem. You'd think more parents would be willing to go the extra mile for their kids. Guess not. So anyhow off my soap box.

On top of my trying to coordinate all of the school stuff, Harrison has been out of school now for what a week and all ready I am wondering how I will survive an entire summer entertaining him so that he doesn't totally destroy my house. This morning, as I am getting ready to start my day, Harrison is playing nicely (or so I thought) in the playroom. Well much to my surprise he has pulled out the entire collection of a million and one trucks and cars and the three containers of Mr. Potato Head body parts. Now I know that doesn't seem like a big deal but I had just straightened up the playroom and well I just didn't feel like doing it again. I just keep telling myself it's all small stuff. Don't sweat the small stuff.

Since I spent all evening in front of this computer, I didn't get any creative work done but I do want to share two of the gorgeous cards I made this weekend at stamp club. Enjoy!

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Field Day and more

Gosh I can't believe it has been so long since I have posted. I guess sometimes life gets in the way. It's been a busy week with school winding down. Harrison is home with me now for the summer. It's nice having my little one around but not much gets done. He is a one boy tornado leaving a path of destruction wherever he goes.

Thursday was Holden's field day. Despite the heat, those kids were full of energy. They ended up being the tug-of-war champions for the 1st grade! Holden enjoyed the whipped cream game where they each got a dot of whipped cream on their noses and had to squirt it off their partner with a ketchup bottle.

Friday we were back at school for Haley's field day. Haley lucked out this year and got an awesome teacher, Mr. Peck. It really showed how well the kids connect with him during field day. He was out there goofing off just like they were. That's Mr. Peck throwing water at Haley in the picture to the left. They all (including the teacher) ended up soaking wet, more from pouring (or throwing) water at each other than from games. But they really had fun.
Last night I had stamp club. We created loads of cards. I hope to get a few pictures up tomorrow. Today we got some much needed rain. The county has actually instituted a water rationing policy. We were over 3 inches below our normal rainfall for the month of May. It looks like we might get some more rain tomorrow.
Tonight, Haley has her second real babysitting job for our neighbors. It's scary when I think about how fast she has grown up. Seems like only yesterday I was calling babysitters for her. Now she is the one doing the sitting.