Sunday, December 21, 2008

Friday, December 5, 2008

Day Trip!

On a spontaneous whim, we decided to take the family on a daytrip to mountains to see the fall colors. Believe it or not, we had never done this before! We drove up to Brevard, NC and wandered around downtown. We visited the ‘Coolest Toy Store on the Planet’, a Christmas store, and a fudge shop, yum! After lunch, we drove over to Pisgah National Forest and visited three of the waterfalls there. I even brought my tripod so we could get a family photo.

Then we headed back towards home and stopped at Caesar’s Head State Park. Here we got to see a beautiful vista of the fall colors right before sunset. The kid's enjoyed climbing all over the rocks and visiting 'The Devil's Kitchen'. It was beautiful and we had a wonderful day!

Fall Festival

Here are a couple pics of my kiddo’s at the Fall Festival held by New Heights Baptist Church. They are just down the road from us and do a great job. They have free popcorn, cotton candy, funnel cakes, hotdogs, chips, lemonade, roasted marshmallows, games, prizes, hayride and inflatable rides. They do this every year and it’s all free! This year they even gave every child a free stuffed animal!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

A Fresh Take on an Old Hobby

I have to admit that one of the reasons for my lack of blogging, is that I’ve got a new hobby! Actually, it’s an old hobby reworked. I’ve been scrapbooking for about 12 years now. I used to scrap every Friday night at my local scrapbook store, but it closed almost a year ago and since then I’ve had very few opportunities to scrap. I don’t have the space for it at home and my church group only gets together once a month. Also, I’ve been losing my ‘mojo’. I needed something new and fresh, that I could do more easily at home. I found it!

A couple months ago when I went to my church scrap night, I had injured my back. I asked a friend to lift my heaviest bag out of the van for me but then I put everything else on my own shoulders. Yeah, stupid. Anyway, my back seized up and I almost ended up on the ground. It took half an hour for the muscles in my back to relax. As I was sitting there in a painful, awkward position, one of my friends arrived with her scrapbook stuff…a laptop. I had toyed with the idea of trying digital scrapping, but hadn’t yet been motivated enough to figure out how to start…until that night. I don’t have a laptop yet, but I do have photoshop on my computer at home, so I started to learn how to use it for digital scrapping. I found out that there are so many places on the web that you can download FREE digital kits. I was like a kid in a candy store! I love it! I enjoy scrapping again.

My church group had been planning our first scrap retreat. It was coming up in late October. So I worked on getting a good portfolio of kits and had it all organized. When the retreat came, all I had to bring was my computer! There were 3 other digital scrappers there besides myself. It’s a new age of scrapping! (my behemoth monitor did look a little silly next to their laptops, but I didn’t care!) We had 17 people at the retreat and we had a great time. I can’t wait to go again next year. Eventually, I’ll have a laptop….

Here are a few of the digi-pages I’ve created. I’m still learning:

Monday, October 27, 2008

If My Son Was President

My ten year old son had to write a paper this weekend about what he'd do as President of the United States. Here it is:

If I Was da Prez

If I was President, I would reduce the amount of trash in landfills by encouraging people to recycle more. I will also hire some people to plant about one million more trees because people have cut down trees and do not replace them.

I would try to help all endangered species by making poaching illegal. But I will not make hunting illegal if it is done for survival. Animals used to be everywhere but since we arrived, animal populations have been decreasing due to pollution and poaching.

One thing I know kids will love: I will BAN HOMEWORK!

I would be famous for eating the most fudge in one day. I would tell scientists to make me a flying monkey. I would ride my monkey all day long. I would also get Lego sets for free! My office would be surrounded by Lego sets. If I had children, they would play with the Lego sets.

I will also paint the White House gold.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Wow, end of September. Hmm. Blog much? Let’s see, where did I leave off…

Back to School! Yay!
Roan started Kindergarten this year.

He was a little nervous which is actually unlike him, but Dean had recently begun teaching him to read this past summer and somehow Roan got it into his head that he had to know how to read in order to go to Kindergarten! He did that with Tae Kwon Do, too. He’s been watching his big brother for years and begging to go. So, this year I signed him up and his response was, ‘But I don’t know Tae Kwon Do!” Good times.

I’m in the process of job hunting now that all kids are in school. I think I might be a substitute teacher. I want to have the same schedule as the kids including holidays, etc. and this is one way to make that happen.

The biggest most frustrating news in our lives right now is the soap opera with our van. 2 ½ weeks ago Dean ran the Blue Ridge Parkway 200 miles relay. This was his 3rd year. He loves it. It ends in Asheville. He then flew out of the Asheville Airport to Connecticut for his Aunt’s surprise 80th birthday party. He flew back into Charlotte Airport where I picked him up. On the way back home, about 48 miles out of town, our transmission blew! It took 2 hrs for the tow truck to arrive. I will try to make a very long frustrating story short. Basically, our van (a HONDA no less) is only about 8 years old with 120,000 miles. The transmission that just blew? It was the THIRD one. So we tow the van in, and they try to tell us that WE are going to pay for our FOURTH transmission in eight years. Do tell. So Dean has been ‘negotiating’ with them for 2 weeks, and finally gave them the go ahead after getting them down from $3700 to $490. Really they should be paying 100%. Anyway, on top of the $490 we are also paying for towing and about 4 or 5 days of rental cars. Now they keep telling us the van will be ready then calling back saying they found something else wrong. Yesterday they said they found ‘xyz’ wrong but they’d eat the cost. I asked Dean if they’d like ketchup with that. Supposedly we are to finally get the van back this morning after almost 3 weeks. Here’s hoping…

The weekend that Dean was out of town, Roan celebrated his 6th birthday. Since Dean wasn’t there we scheduled his party for the following weekend. However, on his actual Big Day, he brought a giant Yoda cookie to school. He LOVED that!

He party was, of course, Star Wars. He had several friends come. He was very excited. HAPPY BIRTHDAY ROAN!

ROAN QUOTE: Roan’s been saying stuff that reminds me he’s growing up like ‘My bad’, and ‘hold that thought’. Also, he’s been trying to expand his vocabulary. He has noticed that Kai and Alyssa are praised when they use good words. So the other day, he was upset over some legos he was building. When I told him to calm down, he said, “I’m just really frustrated right now.” He came home from school the other day and told me he’d learned two new words that day, hibernation and exclamation point. He was very proud.


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Early August

Yay! Our deck is in! One more down and several to go on our list of things to do to sell the house. Here is a pic of Dean knocking down the old one:We also had a leak in our water meter fixed. Here’s the deal. We noticed our water meter in the front yard had sprung a pretty serious leak. We called the water company. It turns out that if the leak was on the street side of the meter the city would be responsible. However since it was on the house side of the meter, we are responsible. So, we called the plumbers. THREE guys showed up. They looked at it and said the trip fee would be $40 and the repair would be $210!!! They assured me, though, that we weren’t paying for all three guys. They must have been training one or something. So they dug a big hole in the yard and went to work. There was quite a view. A little while later I looked out the window and this is what I saw: In case you can’t tell, two of the guys are sitting on a bench under the tree and the 3rd guy was in the truck with air conditioning running, music playing and smoking a cigarette. They remained like this for over 15 minutes. Finally, they all went over and looked in the hole. They turned the water on, looked again, and walked away with my check for $250. Now, in all fairness, they were probably waiting for some sealant to dry or something. But they were only there for a total of 45 minutes, at least 15 of which they were doing nothing. AND the part they replaced was PVC pipe. What they heck was I paying $210 for?

Last Friday we went to Carowinds for the day. We spent half the day at the water park and rode a few rides. When we left, we met Amy & Family for dinner in Charlotte then went on to Raleigh to visit the grandparents. Saturday the kids went fishing with Grandpa and had a great time.Grandpa realized that the first fish ever caught by Grammy, me and my 2 sisters, and the five grandkids were all caught with him. That was pretty cool to think about. Sunday we went to church with Andrea and Jerry. Monday on the way back home we went to Durham to show the kids where Dean went to college at Duke. Kai and Alyssa thought it was so cool. Kai said he wanted to go to Duke. Alyssa said, “Now I want to try harder to get good grades!” So all in all, I’d say that was a successful visit!

I would like to add that while we were in Raleigh, dad showed me some prints they had had converted from some old slides that belonged to my grandmother. They were of my parents during their college days! They’re awesome! Here are 3 of my favorites:
ROAN QUOTE: “Did you know that I didn’t exist a billion years ago?”

CULTURE QUOTE: "There was a time in American television when parents and children alike would gather in front of the TV to watch Leave It to Beaver or even The Cosby Show, programs that ... reminded us that loving parents can guide their children through even the worst of childhood's problems. Those days are long gone, baby, as viewers were reminded last week when Living Lohan and Denise Richards: It's Complicated made their debut. Gone is the notion that parents are problem-solvers, or that parents—in the plural—are even the norm. In their place Hollywood now offers the new 'reality' of divorced mothers who, while claiming to love their kids, actually cause the majority of their problems in life. ... These shows, we're told by Hollywood, are 'reality programs' reflecting 'normal' families. They are, network executives would have us believe, more accurate depictions of the American family than fictional families of old: the Cleavers, the Bradys, the Huxtables, even the Simpsons. But when did any of our realities include buying a $9,000 grill like Denise Richards, or sitting down with our youngest daughter to watch a porn tape possibly starring our oldest child?" —Kansas homeschooling mom and blogger Katherine Berry [pajamasmedia.com, 6/02/08]

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Some Stuff

I don’t have much to write about right now, and no pictures, but I’ll do my best! Last Friday, we went to Palmetto Falls. If you’ve never been there, you should go! It is a small water park at Fort Jackson and it was a LOT of fun! It’s not as big as a regular water park, but then neither is the price. It is only $9.50 per person. Check it out. We had a blast.

These days I’m just doing all the normal ‘end of summer break’ activities such as making doctor appointments, registering for kindergarten and middle school, getting ready to go school shopping, and scheduling a last minute weekend at the grandparents as well a day trip to Folly Beach. We are also still working slowly but surely on fixing up the house to sell. This weekend we are replacing the deck.

Extended family news includes:

~Amy & family have moved to Charlotte, NC
~Andrea just turned 30
~Andrea is pregnant! Whoo Hoo!

Roan Quote: While we were in the car the other day, Roan told me out of the blue that South Carolina is better than Florida. I laughed and said, “Oh? Who told you that?” He answered without hesitation, “Jesus.”

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Psyche!

I LOVE this show! Here's why:

video

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Time for Another Post....

Kai and Alyssa had a great time at camp. They went on different weeks this year since Alyssa was bumped up to the older camp.

Roan wasn’t very happy with his YMCA camp experience. Just to give you an idea, they told me to supply him with $10 for the week for him to go to canteen at snack times, but he was taken to canteen only once out of the five days. I spoke to several different people throughout the week always being assured that they would work it out. Finally when camp was over I said I at least want my $8 back. They took a message and said someone would call me. They never did. Roan was also bored the whole week. They went swimming every day but only for 45 minutes. We were both very disappointed. He will NOT be going back next year. Fortunately, next summer he will be old enough to go to Camp Bethel where Kai and Alyssa go.

While Alyssa was at camp, the boys and I did some fun things. We went to Chuck E. Cheese, which they love. I just grin and bear it! Roan went to work with Dad for a day, so I took Kai to the movie ‘Iron Man’. We also went to the zoo. All three of us brought cameras. Roan was especially tickled that he got to have his own camera (he borrowed Alyssa’s) and could take as many pictures as he wanted of anything he wanted! Kai borrowed Dad’s camera. Here is one of Kai's pics:
Here is one of Roan's:And here are a few of mine:

I put a couple more on my photo blog, too.

On the 4th of July we went to the pool for a few hours. That evening we went to Fort Jackson. What is more appropriate than celebrating the 4th with our troops?

Unfortunately, a severe thunderstorm came through and we were evacuated to our cars.
Everyone seemed to be leaving so we did too. It turns out that they still had the fireworks after the storm passed, so we missed them. Hmph.

Saturday morning we picked up Alyssa from camp. That evening we went out to Lake Murray for one more chance to see fireworks. They were far away, but it was fun.

Last Friday we all went to see the movie ‘Journey to the Center of the Earth 3D’. It was fun. It was in the same vein as the Spy Kids movies, National Treasure, & Night at the Museum in that they are all quality family fare.

This past weekend my sister and her family moved to Charlotte, NC. I drove up and picked up her kids. They stayed with us for the weekend so Brad & Amy could get stuff done. The kids all had a great time.

Yesterday, I took the kids to see ‘Meet Dave’. As kids go, it was cute, better that I thought it would be. My kids loved it. But, it’s hard to imagine adults going to this movie without kids.

Finally, I've been growing cherry tomatoes this summer. This is the first time I've ever grown anything edible! Here are the 'first fruits' of the crop:They were DELICIOUS!

It’s been a while since I’ve posted a ‘Roan Quote’, so here you go:

ROAN QUOTE: Dean recently fell while running and scraped up his knee pretty badly. It took a while to heal and apparently occasionally commented to the kids about it. So, Roan came up to me one day and asked me, “Mommy, What is suppurating pus?”

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

June Recap

A few weeks ago, we attended the Ripple Awards. This is our church’s way of showing appreciating for their volunteers. They have a delicious banquet with dancing and entertainment and everybody dresses up, some even in gowns. It is a lot of fun. Alyssa has wanted to help out in the nursery since she was probably in about 2nd grade, but our church rules say they must wait until sixth grade. So this last year, Alyssa was finally able to help in the tikes room. She really enjoys it. So she was blessed when she was included in the banquet. She wore a gown and borrowed some of my jewelry. She even got a haircut. She looked beautiful and Dean and I really enjoyed being able to include her this time. YAY for the last day of school!

A few days after school ended, Grandma and Aunt Edie came for a visit. We did all kinds of things while they were here. We went to the Riverbanks Zoo, Edventure, and the State Museum. We ate out a lot and even went to Yamato’s (Japanese Steak House) YUM! One night we got a babysitter and went out (just us old folk!) and saw ‘Indiana Jones – Kingdom of the Crystal Skull’. We also watched a few movies at home. We tried to stay indoors most of the time, because this whole week was a heat wave crossing over into the 100’s. Yikes! We’ll be going to Connecticut for Christmas this year. Hopefully we’ll see some snow!

A few months ago, I entered a magazine photo contest. I did not win but I did get runner’s up, so my pic is in the magazine. Yay!

This week Kai is away at camp. Also, Roan is attending all day camp this week at the YMCA. This leaves Alyssa and me to ourselves, so we’ve been having a high time of it. Tomorrow is also her birthday (she’s 12!). Monday we went to the zoo together to take pictures. We had a lot of fun together. Here are some of the pics I took:
There are a couple more on my photo blog, too. Alyssa took some great photos, too, and I downloaded picassa for her so she could learn to edit them herself. Here is what she did: Isn't she awesome? Yesterday, we got a mani/pedi. Today we’ll be going shopping for clothes. Tomorrow (her birthday) she will be going to work with dad and having a special lunch with him. Tomorrow night she and I will have a special birthday dinner at The Melting Pot. Then Friday we’ll go see the new movie ‘WallE’. Fun! Next week she goes off to camp and it will be just me and the boys. Now I have to think of some fun ‘boy’ things to do!

Happy Birthday, Alyssa!

CULTURE QUOTES:

"Games are cool again, and it's not just violence. I think there's something really great about that." —2K Games senior vice president of marketing Sarah Anderson, discussing how the Nintendo Wii and DS systems (as well as games such as Brain Age, Guitar Hero and Rock Band) have increased the demand for family-friendly casual gaming. Anderson also cited a recent consumer survey she conducted. When gamers were asked what they wanted most in a game, their top answer was "Fun." "I've never seen that before," Anderson says. Previously, the top answers were "graphics" and "realism." [gamedaily.com, 4/9/08]

A school board in Bisbee, Ariz., has decided that prophylactics should be among the items handed out to students in a "prom bag" that has traditionally included items such as picture frames, balloons and candy. The board voted four to one in favor of adding two condoms to every bag given to teens attending this year's high school dance. [worldnetdaily.com, 4/9/08]

"In today's world, we look at our presidents, our prime ministers, our princes and our potentates, and we describe them as our leaders. But they're not. They're merely our rulers. The leaders are the people who change the minds and stimulate the imaginations of the public, whether children or adults. That means the moviemakers, the people who make TV shows, the entertainment people in the business. And that means that if you're going to lead the world as the movie people and the TV people do, you'd better choose very carefully in what direction you're going to lead." —Douglas Gresham, stepson of C.S. Lewis [Focus on the Family daily broadcast, 5/7/08]

Turns out that bigchurch.com, a Christian dating Web site bearing the motto "Bringing people together in love and faith," is actually a creation of Penthouse Media Group. [Newsweek, 5/10/08]