Friday, July 27, 2007

Second post of the evening

Okay, this is post number two. But I needed to say that I will be gone for a week without a computer. So that means no blogging. I will be having serious withdrawals. But, maybe by the time I get back, I will have lots to write about.

We are leaving tomorrow to go to my parent's house for a family reunion and then on Monday we are headed to Charleston for our closing. I will be staying to take care of things down there while David returns to work. So don't miss me too much! I'll be back.............
Back in 2006 when David and I went to New York, my cousin Spencer, suggested that we all go see the BodyWorlds exhibit. At first I was hesitant because I didn't know if I wanted to look at dead human bodies. Much less ones with the skin removed. But, Spencer convinced us that everyone who had seen it was astounded. So we all went to see the exhibit and I have to tell you that he was right. It was incredible.

In short, the exhibit contains corpses that have been plastinated. They are displayed in various poses and states of dissection. There are in-depth displays and cross sections of every major body part, showing both healthy and diseased organs. There is even a section with fetuses in various stages of growth, including an 8-month old fetus still nestled in it's mother's womb.

If you ever doubted that there was a God, after seeing that exhibit, I don't know how you could. The human body is a miraculous thing. It amazes me how everything works together to make our bodies what they are.

When I left the exhibit I thought about how much Haley would have enjoyed it. She has wanted to be a doctor since she was knee high. So imagine my delight when I found out that this traveling exhibit would be arriving here in Charlotte in June.

Today, I took Haley and Holden to see BodyWorlds at Discovery Place. Harrison stayed with dad, since I figured he was way to young to get anything out of the exhibit. I tried to prepare them before we went about how the displays were once real live humans. And of course, we talked about the section with the fetuses.

We spent over 2 hours walking through this fascinating exhibit. At first, I think they were both taken aback by the fact that the bodies still had their private parts (there was a little snickering at first). But once they got use to seeing them, they became mesmerized by the bodies. Haley was fascinated by the inner organs. Holden was making note of the difference in the smoker's lung and the healthy lung so that he could tell his Uncle (who smokes) how nasty it looked. About halfway, through Holden seemed to get a little bored but then we came upon the display of the man riding the horse. Again, they noted that the horse was male (how could you not) but they also noticed how similar the inner workings of the bodies were.

So in all, it was a good trip. I think that they both enjoyed seeing the exhibit. And in time, they will appreciate it more. But for now, if nothing, they have gotten a glimpse of the incredible thing we call the human body.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

The new me

I have been dieting lately and even though I have a long way to go, I wanted to share the results with everyone. Now be honest. Am I too thin? Is the bikini my color? Maybe I should lighten my hair? Or am I perfect just the way I am?

Don't I wish. I learned this nifty new Photoshop trick from one of my favorite bloggers, Absolutely Bananas. She posted this awhile back and I have been dying to try it but didn't have time until this evening. Not bad for my first attempt. Once I get good at it, maybe I will Photoshop about 20 pounds off of my body. That would be way easier than dieting.

But seriously. We have four more days until we are owners of two homes. YIKES! Sweat is beading on my forehead even as I think about this. Thinking positive here. The house will sell, the house will sell, the house will sell. Come on everyone join in my chant.

So lately I have been busy trying to get a handle on everything that needs to be done before the movers get here. I have packed some things that I refuse to put on the moving van, like my scrapbook stuff. They can have the dog, the kids, but not my scrapbook stuff. And I am beginning to think I might actually get done all that is on my list.

But, if you don't hear from me again, come looking. I might be buried under all these boxes.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

A Mayonnaise Jar and Two Cups of Coffee

A very good friend of mine sent this to me today to remind me of the importance of the big things in life. I thought I would share:

The Mayonnaise Jar and Two Cups of Coffee

When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, when 24 Hours in a day is not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar and 2 cups of coffee.

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, wordlessly, he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with an unanimous "yes."

The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.

"Now," said the professor, as the laughter subsided, "I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things - God, family, children, health, friends, and favorite passions -- things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full. The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, house, and car. The sand is everything else -- the small stuff. "If you put the sand into the jar first," he continued, "there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you."

So... Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your partner out to dinner. Play another 18. There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal.

"Take care of the golf balls first -- the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand." One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the coffee represented. The professor smiled. "I'm glad you asked". It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend."

Monday, July 23, 2007

Even Mommies Have Melt Downs

Over the past few weeks, my stress level has been building and today it erupted like a geyser. Lately, I have been like that bucket of water that is full to the brim and then a slow steady rain starts and as the drops come, the bucket slowly begins to overflow. But then the rain becomes steadier and steadier and suddenly the water is pouring out of the bucket in torrential rivers.

It wasn't one big thing that finally did me in. It was a million little ones. The stress of moving to a new city and making all of the arrangements for the move and for school. And selling and keeping the house here clean. And arranging financing and insurance. The pressure I put on myself to be the perfect mom. And everything else in between. It just finally got the best of me. So when I received an email from my realtor asking me to make a decision about the pricing of our house, it just finally made that bucket overflow. And overflow. And overflow.

So the kids are all standing around looking at me like I have lost my mind as I cry in front of the computer. And then I call my dad because he is one of the only people who can talk me through my tough times and I think I have it all together and then I start crying again. And as I cry a funny thing happens. The kids all start to become concerned about me and it's like they want to make my pain go away. Holden comes over and hugs me tight. Harrison gives me kisses. And Haley stands there not sure what to do even though I know she really wanted to make it alright.

I continue to talk to my dad and I pulled myself together. When I got off the phone, I walked past Haley's bathroom and there is Harrison with the toilet brush and Comet, cleaning the toilet. I stop to ask him what he's doing and he says "Me and Holden are helping you clean so you don't have to cry". Which of course made me cry again. But really this time it was because I felt so loved. Just by that small gesture from a 4 year old. And as I am crying, Holden comes up the stairs with a pile of shoes and toys to put up. Without being asked!

So I sit them down and explain that sometimes Mommies get tired and that when they have a lot of things on their minds sometimes it just gets to be too much for them. It makes me feel bad that I don't always have myself pulled together like I should. But then again maybe it's not all bad because it let's them know that it is okay to be vulnerable. And that everyone needs to let it go sometimes. And that even Mommies have meltdowns.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Funny Hair

This weekend has been a blur. We spent Friday night getting last minute things together for our yard sale. We had a couple of car seats that had been sitting in the garage that David wanted to clean off so he took out his air compressor to blow off the dust. The kids got curious and came over to see what was going on and David played hairstylist and gave them all new "do's" with the air hose.

Saturday morning came a bit early and I had to make myself get out of bed at 6 a.m. As we were pulling the stuff out of the garage around 6:30, people were already starting to drive up. I am all about finding a deal but no way am I getting up early enough to be at a yard sale at 6:30. We had a lot of traffic and ended up extending the sale by an hour because we still had people coming. We cleared out a lot of stuff and donated the rest to the local Help Center. After standing on my feet for 7 hours, I was really tired and wanted to rest but unfortunately I had a lot of cleaning to do. I spent the rest of Saturday cleaning for today's open house.

So today we took the kids to the pool while the open house was happening. No buyers yet, but I am still holding out hope. This evening we went out to dinner with our neighbors and then back to their house for ice cream. The kids ran races around the house for an hour and miraculously no one got hurt.

As we were walking home, I started thinking about how the summer has flown by. Already it's almost the end of July. The school year will start in less than a month. It seems like yesterday school was just getting out. Life just goes so fast sometimes, I wish I had a brake so I could at least slow it down. Before I know it the kids will be too old to hang out with us and run races around the house. They'll be driving cars and hanging out with their parents will be totally uncool. I guess I need to savor the moments of their youth now because in the blink of an eye, it will be gone.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

A Day at the Ranch

In less than two weeks we will officially become residents of another state so as a send off to ourselves, we have been trying to visit places in and around Charlotte that we will miss once we are gone. Today we took a trip to Lazy 5 Ranch in Piedmont, NC just north of Charlotte.

This ranch is an incredible experience where you can see and interact with many different animals from around the world. You drive your car through the ranch (only the animals are allowed to walk around) and the animals come up to your car (and sometimes try to get in) to eat from the buckets of feed that you purchase at the gate. You are not allowed to feed them anything other than the purchased feed, which means that you can't feed them your children no matter how bad they are behaving.

We took my van through the park so I folded down one of the seats for the kids to sit on the floor and we left the sliding doors open. At times, this allowed the animals to come a little too close for comfort.

The first animal we came upon was an aggressive, large beady-eyed Emu who wanted to go home with us. Or at least hitch a ride. He poked his head in as far as he could without actually crawling into the car. Shrieking at the top of their lungs, the kids scrambled across the back seat and into the trunk area where they remained until we started moving again. I think Emu's must be deaf or really dumb otherwise that thing would have been scared out of it's mind from all the noise.

After that experience, the kids were a little scared. It took them a little bit to build up the nerve to feed the other animals.

We spotted pot bellied pigs (and piglets) whose bellies drug the ground. They were caked with mud and smelled really bad. They didn't come up to the car but welcomed any feed that you would throw to them. The reindeer were a bit skittish and if you moved suddenly, they ran. But once the kids learned to be completely still, they would come up to the van to be fed.

The llamas were very friendly and would let you pet them but they also liked to eat and didn't want you to leave. They are actually very strange looking creatures with huge bottom teeth that stick out of their mouth.

We had one small deer who put his front feet up on the running board of the van and ate from Haley's feed bucket. He must have been hungry because we finally had to push him gently off of the van so that we could move along because we had a traffic jam going on behind us.

There were two giraffes who were in a caged area but you could drive up and if you hung out of the car window, they would reach over the fence with their long necks and eat feed from the bucket.

We spotted water buffalo, impalas, warthogs, ostriches (or ostronoceros as Harrison said), zebras, long horned cows, a rhinoceros and many more animals that we couldn't identify. One of the cows stuck his head in my van and slobbered on the seat. Yuck! I guess I'll be getting that cleaned.

After our tour through the ranch in our van, we got out and walked through the grounds where they have exotic birds from all over the world. They also had a tortoise and a hare. Neither one was moving very fast today. I think the heat was a bit much for them. We spotted a cute prairie dog who enjoyed playing hide and seek. They had three ring-tailed lemurs (and as Harrison noted they were just like Zooboomafoo).

And of course the day wouldn't have been complete without a Harrison moment or two. As we were walking through the petting area, Holden was feeding the goats very nicely. I looked over and Harrison was trying to poke them with his light saber. And thankfully I caught it on film so that one day I can show him what a handful he really was.

We ended our day by sitting in the rockers on the porch of the country store and eating popsicles and watching the peacocks strut across the farm.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Up to my elbows in junk

Today my mission was to organize and price my yard sale stuff. I had already hauled my collection out of the attic and into the garage. I had raided closets and cupboards to find anything that I hadn't used since we moved here (which less than two years ago). I didn't count on having a lot of stuff since I regularly purge but somehow I managed to come up with piles of stuff.

So first thing this morning, I headed outside to the garage to begin the task of pricing. And things were going well until, the children decided they wanted to be involved. Now as a good mother, I welcome any opportunity to teach my children. So today when they asked if they could help, I hesitantly said yes. I knew I was setting myself up but I really wanted to believe that there was some lesson for them to learn from this experience. Perhaps, they would learn the value of objects? Or how purging unused things cleanses the mind and frees you from clutter? Or how helping one another makes you feel better?

So I made them stand at attention as I gave them their orders. No fighting over items, no double stickers, no taking back items and when items were priced they went in a new pile. So I doled out their stickers and the fun began.

They would grab an item, ask how much, I would tell them and into the pile it went. Then the confusion began. Holden, being the graceful child that he is, kept knocking over the glassware that was in the priced pile. So I moved it to another space hoping to keep it out of his reach. Then Harrison spotted some cars that he just had to have back. I caved. It just wasn't worth the fight. I figured I could steal them back at some point when he lost interest.

As the priced pile grew larger, it started merging with the unpriced pile. Seems that walking an extra ten steps to the other side of the priced pile to deposit the item was too much work. So the items kept getting mixed up.

Not to mention that now Harrison, who had been given the job of sorting the play kitchen items, had turned them into a demolition pile for his trucks and was scattering them across the garage.

Then the tape incident happened. Let me just say that when you tell children to tape something you should be very specific about the amount of tape that they are to use. Or better yet, you should probably do it yourself. Thinking that the job of taping a bag of Fisher Price people to the Fisher Price house was under control, I turned my back to more important things. When I looked back, half the roll of packing tape was wound tightly around the entire house and bag. It would take an engineer to figure out how to remove this tape.

Thankfully about an hour into this adventure, the children had enough fun and left me to go play at the neighbors house. So I picked up the pace and finished the pricing before my helpers returned for round two.

Monday, July 16, 2007

A mother should be proud

It's funny how each of my children are so incredibly different even though they all came from the same womb. I remember how after the birth of Holden, my husband held him in his arms and said he's just like his sister.

Well, it only took a week to blow that idea out of the water. He was nothing like his sister who arrived into this world six weeks early and barely uttered a peep for the first few weeks of her life. Holden could pierce the ears of anyone within a mile when his crying started. And cry he did. Constantly. For four months. After that, things calmed some but he was still much different than his sister. While she had never pitched a fit in her 3 years of life, he made up for her in a short period of time. While she was self confident and never met a stranger, he was reserved and shy.

It took me awhile but I learned to understand and respect their differences. And then just when I thought I might have it all figured out, it happened. Child number three came along.

Harrison arrived on the scene and for the first year proved to be a calm, loving little guy. Full of smiles for everyone. Personality wise he was somewhere in between the other two.

Then he learned to walk. And walk he did- everywhere. And if he could open it, it got opened. If he could unlock it, it got unlocked. And if he could climb it, it got climbed. He was and is a determined little guy. Always into something and looking to get into something else. A smart cookie who will figure out how to make it happen-his way. One who wants to be the star of the show.

This desire to be the star of the show was apparent last night when we went to Ben and Jerry's for Holden's baseball party. For weeks now Harrison had been practicing a new trick. He wanted to perfect it so he worked on it as often as he could (even when he was told not to). He finally perfected his trick and was eager to show it off. So in the middle of the party, he whips out his arm, sticks it down his shirt and proceeds to make farting noises with his armpit. Yes, a mother should be proud.

As a mom, I am constantly learning lessons. Harrison has taught me to expect the unexpected. He has taught me that a little determination pays off. But the best lesson he has taught me is to always laugh.

One of those weeks

Do you ever have one of those weeks where everything just seems to go wrong? I had one of those weeks last week. On Friday alone, I used the Little Green Machine carpet cleaner three times. Took the dog outside first thing in the morning to go to the bathroom and he hiked his leg on my newspaper. Then we come inside and while I am downstairs getting myself breakfast, he comes upstairs and pees on some papers I was cleaning out (guess he wasn't happy enough about ruining my newspaper). Then a couple of hours later, I hear the whirring sound of the carpet cleaner and come running. Holden is trying to clean up the clay that Harrison has tracked all the way up the stairs. I can't decide if he genuinely wanted to help or if he was afraid of the wrath of mommy on his little brother who had been told a million and one times to take off his shoes when he comes inside.

And the list goes on. Of course add to it the stress of having to coordinate a move, arrange financing, take care of the kids (while keeping the house spotless) and doing all of the other mom things that need to be done. So that is why I have been absent for the past few days. Trying to get things prioritized. But I feel this week is going to be better. I may even get some scrapbooking in. A little creative release may just be what the doctor ordered.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Children's Imagination

“This world is but a canvas to our imaginations.” Henry David Thoreau

Sometimes as adults we get so busy with life and all of the "have to do" things that we forget to enjoy the simple things that life has to offer. I was reminded of that truth today as I watched my sons create their own world on our back deck. Little by little they hauled things in the back of the John Deere and in the wagon from the garage to the deck to create their own little house. They arranged it just so that they each had their own "bedroom" and a workspace.
It reminded me of the times when I was young and would play house in the sandbox in my backyard. Where the Japanese Plum tree served as my lookout post and the flowers and berries from the bushes were my "food".

Tonight we watched "Bridge to Terabithia" where the children used their imaginations to transport them to the magical land of Terabithians and Trolls. The secret kingdom where good reined over evil and the possibilities were limited only by the things they could imagine.

Somewhere along the way from childhood to adulthood, we forget how it feels to let our imaginations transport us to the world of imaginary friends and places. Looking at a child who is immersed in their own make believe world reminds me of the happiness that I felt when I was the ruler of my world and had ultimate control. What a gift it would be to teach and encourage our children to forever look at the world as a canvas to their imaginations.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Temporary Moment of Insanity

Today I suffered a temporary moment of insanity. I took all three of my children into Target. Next to a scrapbook store, Target is my all time favorite place to shop. I mean, they have it all. And it makes me happy to go there. But today I wasn't shopping for me or my kids. I was there to find a wedding present and a baby present. Simple enough.

Then it happened. I let my guard down. While I was searching the kitchen aisle for some useless gadget, my boys had spotted something
better. A spatula. Only they were using it as a sword. To hit each other. Once I reined them in and got that under control we headed for the baby section.

As I am oohing and aahing over all the cute baby stuff, I look around and see that I am missing son number one. I spy him crawling onto a shelf between boxes of car seats. Now what possesses a seemingly normal child to feel like they have to explore every hole they see is beyond me. He knew I meant serious business when he saw the veins bulging from my neck.

Next against my better judgement we went to the toy section of the store. The boys had brought some money to spend so I gave them 5 minutes to choose something and guided them toward toys they could afford (notice I didn't say that they need). Son number one picks out a toy within a few minutes. Son number two continues to bring me toy after toy that costs way more than he has. Repeatedly I show him what he can afford. After the 5 minute deadline, I round them up and proceed to the checkout. At this point son number two has still not picked out a toy and when we start to leave, he starts screaming.

Now I am the mom who use to roll my eyes as I watched mothers who had lost control of their children in the store. I would swear that my child would never do something like that. Well, that was before I had my boys. That's when reality smacked me right in the face.

So as we are heading toward the checkout the screaming gets louder. My face is turning redder and I am starting to blow steam from my ears. I lean over the cart handle and tell son number one that if he doesn't stop embarrassing me right now, he will never again watch Power Rangers. Which only made him cry harder.

As we exit the store, I am wondering if I passed some woman who shook her head and said under her breath, "That woman really needs to control her children."

Monday, July 9, 2007


I have a confession to make. I hate Play-Doh. Yes, I know it's good for strengthening those hand muscles, and for nurturing a child's creativity and blah, blah, blah. But, I still hate it.

Did you know that Play-Doh was originally intended to be a Wallpaper Cleaner? Maybe that's why it makes such a mess. Of course had I been the one who introduced Play-Doh to the world, I'd be smiling, all the way to the bank.

In our house a session of Play-Doh playing goes like this:

HARRISON: Mom, can I please, please, play with Play-Doh?

MOM (after sighing loudly): I suppose. But ONLY if you promise to clean up after you have finished.

HARRISON: I promise.

So we carry armfuls of Play-Doh and Play-Doh paraphernalia to the kitchen table where we spread it out.

MOM: Okay, I am going to fold a load of clothes. I'll be back in a few minutes to check on you.

10 minutes later loud yelling comes from the den

HOLDEN: Moooooooooooooom, Harrison got Play-Doh on the carpet.

MOM (screaming from the laundry room): Harrison what were you doing with Play-Doh on the carpet?

HARRISON: I don't know.

MOM: Did you get Play-Doh on the carpet?


MOM (panting as she runs downstairs): Where is it on the carpet?

HARRISON: It's all good Mom, I scraped it out with my fingernail.

Returning to the original scene of the crime Mom detects a million pieces of crushed up Play-Doh all over the kitchen floor and table. All the while wondering silently to herself how in the world that much Play-Doh came out of three little tubs. And as she gouges the miniscule pieces of Play-Doh out of the Fuzzy Pumper Barber's head, she swears to herself NEVER again.

So needless to say Play-Doh time at our house is rare. I prefer the roll in the mud get yourself dirty outdoors kind of activities for the kids. That way, you can just hose them off and be done with it.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Summer Reading

I think you can probably tell a lot about a person by looking at their bedside table. If you looked at mine, you'd see (besides dust) a lamp, an Ipod Clock/Radio, an angel my friend Patti gave to me before my surgery, a picture of my mom and me when I was one and books. Lots and lots of books. See I have this thing about books. I have passed this on to my daughter who literally consumes a book a day. But back to my obsession. I cannot go near a bookstore without going in. And forget me passing up books at thrift stores and yard sales. I mean what kind of entertainment can you get for less than a dollar?

Lately I have taken to reading nonfiction books. I could name a dozen that I have read within the past several months. Some good, some not so. But I think it gives me some insight into other people's worlds and some insight into my own. So here are the books that currently occupy the space on my table:
"The Measure of a Man" by Sidney Poiter details his life and tells of the incredible journey of a poor boy who became a very powerful, influential man.

I haven't yet started the lastest book "Name All the Animals" but it sounded like an interesting read and I couldn't pass it up on my last visit to Barnes and Noble (where my husband says they know me by name). I don't know why they had to tempt me by having an entire table of memoirs in the center of the aisle. Really all I wanted was to get Holden a new Magic Treehouse book.

Of course I really need to finish reading "The Dog Whisperer". It's pretty bad when your vet suggests that getting the dog neutered might be a good thing since it would probably calm him down. Maybe I just need to pay a dog trainer to come and help.

My attempt at figuring out how to liberate myself from the age old motherhood guilt has been to read "Motherhood: The Guilt that Keeps On Giving". I am on the last chapter but it's about learning to let go and I am having a hard time doing that. You know we all have that woulda, shoulda, coulda kind of guilt. Well, it's hard to define whether that guilt is a real guilt or a self-imposed guilt. I mean is it REALLY something I should feel guilty about or is it something I could have controlled? So in combination with this book, I am attempting to do a daily devotional with the book "Discovering God's Will for Your Life" published by the Women of Faith.

And last on my bedside table, where it stays, is a great book for helping to discover and nurture your creative self: "Living Artfully:Create the Life You Imagine". The author, Sandra Magsamen, has some great ideas for discovering the creativity within you. She sums up her book by saying:

"There is a purpose and beauty in each thought, action, choice, and gesture you make. Play, laugh, dance, care, understand, have patience, try, imagine, create, invent, dream, and love - for these are the tools that you paint your life with. Every moment is an opportunity to live fully, openly, and with heart. If you follow your heart, and act on the desire to connect, to belong, and to love, you will make a meaningful difference in the world, and your world will be filled with happiness and meaning."

What more could we want?

Friday, July 6, 2007

So Darned Cute............

Harrison is such a funny little guy. Sometimes he means to be and sometimes he doesn't. Not many days go by without him making us laugh about something he has said or done. Actually laughing beats the alternative.

Anyhow, the other day Harrison was telling David, my hubby, a story about preschool and his teacher, Mrs. VanArdsol only he was calling her Mrs. VanNostril. And he was serious. Apparently the poor child has forgotten how to say her name in the last month that he has been out of school. He was quite upset that we were laughing at him. But really it was funny.

So while there are days that Harrison is funny, there are also days where we want to lock him in a closet for a few hours. Although in case anyone from DSS is reading this, we never would. He is a very inquisitive child. And if you leave him alone long enough, he will find trouble. And he can find it quickly.

Like tonight for instance when he decided that painting his fingernails with Haley's nail polish would be a good idea. Of course his chosen color -black. Hope that isn't a sign of things to come.

But at the end of the day, you still gotta love the kids. Because when they are asleep, they are all angels.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Happy 4th of July. I am sitting here listening to the fireworks that all of my neighbors are shooting and thanking God that my children can sleep through just about anything. Of course the dog isn't sure what's going on and if I move he is following me. Hopefully by the time I go to bed, they will have run out of fireworks.

We went downtown this afternoon for the bike parade and then to the concert in the park. The boys both rode their decorated bikes in the parade. Holden took off once the parade started and met us at the finish line. When we got there he was standing by his bike with a smug look on his face. He declared that he came in second. I guess he didn't realize it wasn't a competitive event. Harrison made it to the end but he got a push most of the way from either mom or dad. Afterwards, we set up a blanket in the park and listened to the band Too Much Sylvia. They were pretty good and the price was right- FREE. The kids didn't care much about the music. They were more interested in the jump castles and other activities. They ended up playing in the huge sand pit in front of the stage during a good bit of the concert.

As promised here is the picture of the shirt I made for Holden. Holden is actually wearing the shirt but he wasn't being such a willing model so I had to chop off his head in the picture. That'll teach him to roll his eyes. The colors were actually much brighter before I washed it but I think it still turned out really cute and they were so simple to make. You could make just about any design from circles to flowers.

Here's what you will need to make your own t-shirt:

Plastic Cups
Sharpie (or other permanent) markers
Stencils, bottlecaps or and other shape you want for your shirt
Rubbing Alcohol

You will put the cups with the top up inside the t-shirt between the front and back layers. After you have placed the cup where you want the design to be, put a rubberband around the top securing the t-shirt taut over the cup. If you would like to have more than one design on your shirt, you can place the remainder of the cups in the t-shirt now or you can do one at a time and wait 5 minutes before moving the cup to different spot. Next, place your stencil (or you can use any other object with an open center) on the t-shirt over the cup. Make dots around the stencil. You can use more than one color. After making the dots, take the rubbing alcohol and slowly drop about 20 drops inside the drawing. As the shirt absorbs the alcohol, the marker will run outward giving it a tye dye affect. Make sure you drop the alcohol slowly in the center of the object. When the t-shirt is completely dry, put it in the dryer for 20 minutes. This will heat set the design. Then you can wash and dry as normal.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Fun Day at the Museum

The kids enjoyed a fun afternoon at Edventure Children's Museum in Columbia. The museum has a lot of really neat things for them to do. Kids can shop for groceries, drive a fire truck, milk a cow, broadcast the news, climb a rock wall or go on a West African adventure all within the four walls of the museum. Guests are greeted by Eddie the giant Edventure "mascot". Kids are able to climb inside this 3 story tall boy and see and hear how his internal organs work. Pretty Cool! I enjoyed seeing the West African exhibit and learned some new things about the nation and it's inhabitants. For instance, did you know that camels don't really spit. The spitting that you think you see is really the camel throwing up. EWWWW! And less gross, did you know that Timbuktu is a real place? I always thought the saying "from here to Timbuktu" was just that, a saying. But it is actually located in Mali, West Africa at the edge of the Sahara Desert. I guess I must have slept through that geography lesson.

So tomorrow is the 4th of July. We have no real big plans other than to hang out and enjoy the day. We are going to make "fake" tie dye t-shirts in the morning. I made one today just for practice and it turned out really cute. I will post pictures of the kids wearing them tomorrow as well as directions on how to make these really cool t-shirts (trust me it is way less mess than the real tie dying). Tomorrow afternoon we are decorating the kids bicycles and heading downtown for the parade. Afterwards we'll probably hang out and listen to the band downtown.

Happy 4th to All!
PS- I am working on a new look for my blog so it won't always look so bland and white.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Time seems to fly faster and faster each year. I can't believe it is already July. My intentions were to have some educationally challenging thing for my kids to do each week. Something that would stimulate their minds and enrich their lives. Okay, well actually I just wanted to feel like I was doing something good for my kids rather than just letting them plant themselves in front of the television for the entire summer. But, here it is July 2 and I still haven't done anything remotely educational with the kids. So tomorrow we are making a trip to Columbia so that the kids can visit Edventure the Children's Museum. I must admit that I am also looking forward to the trip since they have a new display on West Africa called "From Here to Timbuktu." I have always wanted to visit West Africa and hopefully one of these days I will be able to but for now maybe the exhibit will teach me a little about the region.

Since I always post pictures of the boys, I searched my recent photos for one of Haley and came across this picture of her with her best buddy, Janie. This is the picture I took when we dropped them off for Girl Scout camp a couple of weeks back. Janie is the sweetest girl and I am so happy that she and Haley are friends. They became friends when Janie moved into the house next door to us back in 2001. Since then, we have moved to Charleston and back. Even though the girls don't go to the same school now, when they get together they just pick up where they left off the last time. I think their friendship will stand the test of time. I look forward to seeing it grow as they do.
So on that note, I'll finish off with a great quote on friendship.
"A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart, and can sing it back to you when you have forgotten the words."