Wednesday, December 31, 2008

It Was A Great Year!

I hope that 2009 does not go by as fast as 2008. I also hope that I get to see as many friends in '09 as I did in '08 (hint to those of you I have been begging to come visit)! We are going to Tampa to celebrate Jane's birthday with her today and will be spending the night with her and the girls. All girls are so excited to get to see their cousins. I cannot believe we are getting ready to start a new year!! Hope everyone has a very Happy New Year!!!!!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Picking Flowers


Christmas 2008

I hope everyone had a warm, safe and merry Christmas!! We had a nice holiday. I so enjoy spending the holiday at home and not having to be in an airport or on the road. It looked like a really big headache for a lot of the holiday travelers this year. Fortunately, Grandpa made it up to Vermont without any problems! Hope you are staying warm up there, Grandpa!!

We started celebrating here on Christmas Eve with our dear friend that we have know since way back in Alabama. She arrived around 2:00pm, and we sat around eating and visiting. She only lives about ten minutes away, but we cannot seem to see each other except for the holiday!! Terrible, I know. We had a large Christmas Eve dinner; the girls headed to bed around 9:00pm; and the grownups got to bed just after midnight. Everyone was up at 6:30am. The girls told me that they had been awake since "5:13am" but didn't want to wake us up that early, which was much appreciated! Although the big girls were up early, we had to wake up Rachel to go see what Santa had left under the tree. The girls were pretty excited about it all-although it was noted that they did not get the "most important" things on the list. This actually translates into the most expensive things on the list, but the kids did not really seem to care. We kept it pretty cheap, with the exception of the TV for the playroom. Despite not getting the "most important" toys, the kids have had a great time playing with the new toys. Allison is working really hard to master the unicycle and is making lots of progress. I cannot believe how fast she is picking up the skill.

We have just hung out around the house since Christmas. I got out in the yard yesterday and did some weeding and gardening in the flowerbeds. Gardening is a year-round hobby here. The kids played outside all day. Today I have got Mike fixing all of our leaking toilets. He is loving me for that. I think he has actually finished that project and is out in the garage working on his 30 year old trail bike. He wants to get it running again. He says Allison is old enough to ride it now, but I am a little uncomfortable with that. She still forgets to look for traffic when she crosses the street, so I am not too keen on putting her on a gas powered machine-it is tricky, isn't it Rosie!?!?

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Winter Break!!!

The girls are so happy to be out of school for a few weeks. I am so happy that I don't have to try to drag them out of bed for two weeks and that I don't have to crack the whip on homework for a while. The girls have been REALLY dragging the last week or so and really needed a break. I have to say I have not been much better.

Rachel has a new habit..........she is getting up at 4:30 in the morning!! That makes for some long days! I have gotten her to go back to bed, but by the time I have her settled, I am wide awake and it is almost time for me to get up, so I am up for the day. This morning she decided to sleep in until 5:30am. I guess she figured since it was the weekend.........I hope she does not do this through the Winter Break!! I was wide awake after she got me up this morning, so I just decided to stay up. So much for getting to sleep in.

Another busy week has come and gone. After Leah's party on Tuesday, I volunteered in Allison class on Wednesday morning, and Friday morning was Allison's party. The kids in her classroom had to present their "Holidays Around The World" projects that they had been working on. During the week, the kids had to make their presentations for the teacher. On Friday, they had to bring in a food from that country and serve it to the parents who came in for the party. The kids did a really good job. You can see Allison below serving her "Anzac Biscuits" from Australia. We had no idea what we were making....the recipe was called "Anzac Biscuits(cookies)" I expected them to look something like biscuits, but they really spread out when they baked and became REALLY flat. I have no idea if we screwed up or not! They tasted okay though.

In between running to the school almost every day this past week, I was trying to get a few errands done. It seemed that I was in the car more than I was at home! Yesterday, we took Rachel to her horseback riding, ran two errands and came home. The weather was beautiful, so the girls had a picnic (no fort this weekend, though) and spent the afternoon playing outside. Rachel and I went outside for a while. I am still trying to get her to figure out how to pedal the tricycle. Right now, I am pushing and she is saying, "no, no, no." Maybe one day. After the practice on the tricycle, I put her in the seat on the big bike and took her riding around the neighborhood. She really likes to do that. I would too, since it requires no work!!

Today after church, we are supposed to load up and go to Grandpa's for a visit. I keep sending Mike up there with the girls and I stay here to get things done, so I really should go this time.....but I have so much that I really need to do, and need to do without the girls, that I need to stay here. I am not sure what I am going to do, yet. Since the girls are out of school we will be able to spend the night and come home on Monday after dropping Grandpa off at the airport for his Christmas trip to Vermont. I hope the weather does not interfere with his flight!!

We are very sad to say that Allison's best friend has now moved to Wisconsin. She left at dawn on Friday morning. We are going to miss her!!!! She is such a sweet little girl. I kept trying to talk her mom into leaving her here, but just couldn't do it. We are hoping that they have had a safe trip up there, considering the weather there right now it just terrible!!! Allison told her to send us some snow pictures each week. It looks like there will be plenty of snow to take pictures of!!!

Thursday, December 18, 2008


Leah had her class party Tuesday. I went in to help. The kids had a great time and got to make lots of crafts. The teacher gave them clear glass plates and paint markers and let them create a keepsake Christmas plate. All the kids did a great job painting their plates. They worked on them sooo hard. Leah did a nice snowflake. When she brought it home, I wanted to rinse it in the sink and put it away for safe keeping to use at Christmas. Guess what!?!!? The paint washed off!!! Yes, completely off-just slipped right off in a matter of seconds. I was mortified, but Leah handled it okay (probably because I promised I would go buy the paint markers and let her do it again). Turns out that was a $30 mistake. Paint markers are quite pricey! Anyway, with a set of markers of her own, she was able to redo her plate. Now Allison wants a plate to paint too. It is never ending around here.

Leah works on her original version of a snowflake. Just like a real snowflake, Leah's painted snowflake melted away. The second version of the plate has rainbow colored snowflake. I think I liked the white snowflake better, but it is her plate.

Monday, December 15, 2008

It's All About The Girls!!

Friday, Allison went to spend the night with her best friend. This is the last weekend that her friend will be here in Florida. Next Friday, she is moving to Wisconsin. Allison is so sad to see her go. Leah was devastated that Allison got to go somewhere without her. It breaks her heart to be left out of anything, so Mike took her out for ice cream after dinner, and we let her stay up late (until 10:30pm or so). Rachel tried to stay up late too, but just couldn't do it!

Saturday morning, Rachel went horseback riding. Mike had to go into work, so Leah had to tag along with me and Rachel. She was none too happy about that, but she survived. It was pretty chilly out in the wind, but the sun was shining, thank goodness. Leah sat in the van and played Ninetindo games. Allison came home from her friend's house about 1:30pm. She and Leah spend the next few hours running in and out of the house, supposedly "playing outside." Mike got home from work about 3:30pm. At that point, I headed outside to put up the Christmas decorations. I told the girls if it did not happen this weekend, it was not going to happen. I actually got to wear a sweat shirt while I was decorating! I believe it is the first time I have decorated outside here and not had to wear shorts! Kind of helps put you in the mood for decorating. I was determined to get the outside completed Saturday, so I stayed out there until 7:30pm. The girls thought that was great and they stayed outside and played hide and seek in the dark with flashlights-they called it "manhunt", but based on what I saw, it was hide and seek. It reminded me of playing kick the can when I was young. Anyway, I finished the decorations, yea!! Decorating palm trees took a couple of years of getting used to, but I have my own technique now.

While the kids were outside playing, Allison's friend wandered walked by with her dog. The kids immediately went into covert planning for another sleepover. We ended up having Allison's friend over-well, it was her last Saturday night here-and the neighbor across the street, which is also a really good friend of Allison and Leah. She is in the third grade, so she fits right between Allison and Leah. Mike was a trooper and fixed dinner while I wrapped up decorating. Below are the girls chowing down on the spaghetti. It gave them lots of energy for the late night Twister game!
Sunday, the sleepover party headed outside to play. They decided that the debris pile down the street had the makings of a fort, so they drug all the stuff down to our yard and propped it up on the side of the house. Viola! A fort! They played in and around that thing all afternoon. They had a picnic lunch in there, which was really funny to see, because the square footage of the fort was only about 12 square feet. They were packed in there, but they had a great time!

This is what the fort looked like from the street. Yes, from the street. Needless to say, we had to take it down at the end of the day. I am sure the homeowners association would have not appreciated the craftsmanship that went into the fort.

Sunday evening was time to wind down and finish up homework. I usually get Allison to get her work all done on Friday, but for some reason that I cannot remember, that did not happen. Below is a lovely picture that Allison took of the rolls that were on the table Sunday night-Rose, Allison could use some pointers on how to photograph food artistically! Allison thought her stacking job was really cool!! No, we did not eat all of those. Allison just wanted to put them all out on the table so that she could build the pyramid. The things you just let slide to get through the day...........

Below Rachel gets ready for bed by fixing every one's water. She is so cute, trying to do it by herself. After she fixes the drinks she has to take them to the girls too. What a great little helper she is!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Christmas Cookies

We are in the holiday spirit now!! Yesterday, Leah had to bake cookies to take in to school this morning. I was hoping she would choose the cookies that I can just pop out of the package and bake, but no such luck. She chose to make the sugar cookies that you have to roll out, cut and decorate with the frosting and sprinkle decorations.....of course. Here are some pictures of how Leah spent her afternoon.

Leah rolls out the dough. I have to admit that the sugar cookie dough came from the package because you can see the wrapping here in this picture, but this is as close to homemade cookies as we get in my house.
The fun part!! We have no skill when it comes to putting icing on the cookies. We had the icing in a can, and none of us could manage to control how much we put on the cookies, but we had fun trying.
The finished product. Despite the looks, the cookies were great! The cool thing about not having control of the icing is that the cookies were covered in it, so they were extra good!
Check out Leah's star n the middle there. That one was probably our coolest looking cookie. I am not sure how she managed to do that one.
The job is complete. Note the icing on the forehead and eyebrow. The chef samples the product and looks a little worse for wear. You cannot see it in the picture, but she also had green icing in her hair. She had to go straight from the kitchen to the tub.
After dinner the customers gets to sample the wares too. The consensus was that the cookies were great!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Christmas Cards

It is that time of year again........time to make the kids sit in front of the tree and smile like they are having a good time. The reality of it though is that they are MISERABLE and I am MISERABLE. They are whining and complaining that it is taking too long and that they are DYING/STARVING/etc......!!!!! I am yelling that it would not take so long if they would stop whining and complaining and just smile.

How hard could it be to just smile? Apparently incredibly hard. This blog allows me showcase all those pictures that will never make it to the card. You always just see the one that I pick out of the group, but below are the ones that tell you the true story. They should really be the ones that go on the cards, because they show the real personalities, for better or worse.

Christmas Card Pictures

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Decorate '08

Another busy week, but at least everyone was well. Sunday we "HAD" to decorate the tree. The girls would have it no other way!! As usual, that was more of an ordeal than I had planned. I pulled out all the lights and realized that I did not have a single string that worked completely. Each string had at least one section that was not working. That meant a trip to Home glad it is close by. Of course the lights I wanted were all sold out!! That was a surprise, considering it was just the first day of December!

Monday I had to volunteer in Allison classroom. Fortunately that only took about an hour. After working at the school, I ran home and did some housework and made out my grocery list. I usually shop on Sunday's, but the Christmas tree decorating had taken priority. After picking up Rachel from school, she and I ran to the store for food. Tuesday I tried to get some laundry done, Wednesday was another volunteer day. That was wretched. The teacher wanted me to make these little books to help the kids do measurement conversions. I worked on those at the school until I had to go get Rachel, then I worked on them at home. It took me forever.......I later discovered that it was taking me forever because I had cut out enough pages to make 46 books instead of the requested 23. Oh well, extra is always good, right? Thursday morning was back to school for a volunteer breakfast. I try to avoid these, but Leah's class was singing and she was disappointed last year when I did not of to school for the morning again. After the breakfast I had an appointment for a haircut. Friday morning I tried to wrap up my Christmas shopping. As usual that took longer than anticipated too. Two hours in Target, yikes!! I came home and wrapped presents...just getting done before the kids got home from school. Why does everything related to the holiday took so long to do?

In addition to the running around, I spent this week battling with the girls to get their homework done. They are really starting to drag in that department. I hope that the Christmas break will help refuel them! With much help, Allison is just about done with her Holiday Around the World project, or shall I say, I am about done with her holiday project. She worked on the poster and did a rough draft of the report, but I typed it with some elaborations and added the graphics to the pages. Amazing what you can do with reports these days. This fourth grade report is way more fancy than any college paper I ever did, and it was way easier to do!!

Today, the girls are hanging out around the house. Allison had her best friend over to spend the night. We recently found out that this friend will be moving away soon-in tow weeks to be exact. We are all so sad to see her go. She and Allison have been friends since they were in first grade and she is a super sweet little girl. I told her mom I would keep her here, but she want let me have her. I don't think I would even notice one more little girl! Mike has take Rachel to her horseback riding. I was supposed t clean the house while he was gone, but that has not happened. I wonder how much I can get done before he gets home in the next 30 minutes. The girls want to go to the movies to see Disney's Bolt. I told them we will see. I wonder if I can talk Mike into doing that too? This evening we hope to watch Alabama win the SEC championship game! Roll Tide!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Black Friday

Soooo, did anyone else go out before sunrise to try to snag a bargain? I thought I would try to go to Walmart this morning to buy a TV that they had really cheap. I have never done the Black Friday thing before, so I was SHOCKED at how many people were out shopping at 5:00am!!! The Walmart parking lot was FULL! I did not get there in time to get the TV. It was sold out by 5:20am. It took me 15 minutes to get to the back of the store where the TVs were. As I headed back home, I stopped at Radio Shack, because they had a similar offer. The doors opened at 6:00am, so I had to wait in the car for a little bit. Five minutes before the doors opened, people started showing up so I got out of the car and fell in line. I was the first to the TVS and got one, yea!! Five minutes later a lady came to buy the same TV, and they had to get her the one off the shelf. Can you believe they only had two in the whole store. Anyway, I have a new TV!! It is supposed to be the girls, but I told Mike it is more for me, because it will allow me to move the Wii game upstairs to their playroom instead of having it connected to our big TV in the family room. Merry Christmas to me!!

Allison seems to be on the mend. She is still not eating anything, but she has been drinking, and she has not been sick since about midnight Wednesday night. She always surprises me and throws up two days after I think she is well, so we will see, but she seems better. She is still hanging out in bed and is currently sleeping, so she is not 100% yet. So far the rest of us remain well. I hope we can make it through without anybody else getting sick! I am still paranoid after every one of us got sick a few years ago. That was lots of fun.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Change of Plans

Wow, what a busy last couple of days!! It seems we have been going since Friday. Friday morning I spent all morning running errands-I had to go pick up some Sunday school materials from the regular Sunday school teacher, because she was going to be out of town, and I had to teach in her place on Sunday; I went to the library to get some books for a project that Allison needs to get started on (notice I say needs to get started on); I ran home and did some things around the house; I ran and picked up Rachel from school and met the physical therapist at a nearby park for her to work with Rachel. (I was impressed that not only did I remember to show up for the appointment, but I also remembered to take the tricycle for Rachel to practice riding.)

Saturday we went to Rachel's horseback riding session, raced home and ate lunch and headed to the girls' school for their Fall Festival. I had to work there from 12:30pm-4:00pm. It was a beautiful day and the girls had a good time running around the school playing the games and jumping on the inflatables. We were all tired Saturday night. Allison had a friend that was going to spend the night, but she started feeling bad shortly after we got home from the festival, so she went home around 7:00pm. We all crashed early.

Sunday I got up early to prep for the class I had to teach-nothing like waiting until the last minute, but I was just too tired to do it Saturday night. After Sunday school, we raced home and fed the girls so that they could go to an ice skating party. Fortunately, Mike was able to take Allison and Leah to that, so that I could go to the grocery store. Rachel and I headed to the store and bought all the Thanksgiving fixins'. Sunday evening we had some cake to celebrate my birthday. It is scary how fast 50 is creeping up on me!!!

Monday I headed out to do so Christmas shopping. We just found out that Mike's company is going into the layoff and pay cut mode this month, so I was really looking around for some bargains! The time just flies when your spending money, and before I knew it, it was time to go pick up Rachel. As soon as I got home from shopping and picking up Rachel, I had to straighten the house up because we had company coming from Texas for the evening. That was a short but nice visit, and they left after dinner. Tuesday morning I had to volunteer in Leah's class for a little while. It involves reading with the kids one-on-one, so it is lots of fun. After I got home from school, I started cleaning up around the house to get ready for the company on Thursday. That took all afternoon and of course I did not get close to finishing.

Today, I was planning on getting so more housework done and starting some baking for tomorrow, but last night around midnight Allison woke up and threw up. She and I were up most of the night, and she has been sick all day. She still has not kept anything down. I am hoping that this evening she will be able to at least get some fluids to stay down. Mike and I called everyone today and told them to cancel the plans for tomorrow. That means I won't see my sister over the holiday, but if everyone else stays well, maybe we can have a Thanksgiving dinner with Grandpa and Mary Jane some time over the weekend. I hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday. Enjoy the silly pictures below.

Hat day at school. You cannot see it in the picture, but Allison's hat has a sequin A on it. She thinks it is the cat's pajamas.
Just thought this looked funny and ran and grabbed the camera. Rachel loves to play in the tub.
The girls tell me this is Harry Potter. Who knew he was penguin.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Busy, Busy Busy!!

I cannot seem to get time to sit down and add some new pictures! I have had this picture on the computer for a week and have not had time to sit down and send it.....still don't really, so here it is without commentary. Will try to do more before Thanksgiving!!

Saturday, November 15, 2008


Well, the dentist pulled Leah's tooth yesterday. Leah was none to happy about it and tried to talk the dentist into doing it another time, but the dentist said, "today's the day!" You can see the permanent tooth that was behind the baby tooth is already all the way through. It is set back because the baby tooth was there for so long. Hopefully it will move forward over time. After it was all said and done Leah was really excited to show everybody she had lost a tooth. She was a trooper about it all. She was really scared, but only cried a little.

November 15 and the girls are in the pool. It was pretty warm today, but the pool has cooled off quite a bit, so they were not in it for very long. The water is too cold for Rachel, so fortunately she did not persist about getting in too. Tonight it is really supposed to cool off, going down into the 50s and only warming up into the 60s tomorrow. They won't be in the pool tomorrow!!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

School Pictures

Nothing much happening this week. Leah is on a field trip today to the King Center to see a play. Man, does she stress about following rules....hate to complain about that, but she was driving me crazy last night about what she was supposed to wear and how she was supposed to pack her lunch. She was freaking out that she would be dressed inappropriately (pretty ironic considering how she dresses most days). She also had it set in her mind that she had to have a "disposable" lunch. Often on field trips the teachers ask that the kids bring sack lunches so that they don't have to keep up with their lunch boxes. Leah's class will be at the play during her regular lunch time, so the teacher wanted them to bring their lunches to eat in the classroom when they return. I told Leah that it did not matter what her lunch was packed in , but she would not rest until it was in a paper bag. At one point she said she did not want to go on the trip because she did not know what to do about everything. She did not believe me for a second when I told her I knew what she should do and would make sure she was dressed appropriately and had the right lunch. Anyway, I did get her off to school this morning. I hope everything is going smoothly for her.

Rachel is coming down with a cold. I guess it was inevitable. Every other kid in her class has already had it. She woke up with a runny nose this morning. She has not really had a cold since her tonsillectomy in February, so we will see how she handles it now that she has a bigger airway! Maybe we can get through this without having to use the nebulizer. I did finally get her flu shot a couple of weeks ago, but I have been a bad mommy and not gotten my own or gotten the big girls in to get theirs. I really need to do that soon.

Tomorrow, Allison and Leah go to the dentist. Allison is just going in for a cleaning. Leah is going in for sealants and for the dentist to assess whether she needs to pull a tooth. Leah has one of her bottom teeth coming in behind her baby tooth. She looks a little bit like a shark at the moment with the two rows of teeth. I am not sure if the dentist will pull the tooth tomorrow or not, but I know that she is going to want to do that at some point. She said last month, at Leah's cleaning, that if the tooth didn't loosen up by this visit-and it hasn't- that she would pull it. Yikes!

The big girls got their school pictures back last week. I have not gotten Rachel's yet. They are looking like such big girls. I could not believe that Leah's hair was actually not sticking up in some funny way! Notice she did not smile. She does not like her smile and pretty much refuses to show her teeth-or lack thereof-for the camera. I cannot believe that they start worrying about those kind of things at such an early age!!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Not Ready Yet.....

Today I am trying to get caught up with my laundry. I spent yesterday morning running around. To start the morning off, I realized on the way to the big girls' school, that I had left Rachel's extra set of clothes at home on the bathroom counter....darn it! Then when we got to the big girls' school, we realized Allison had left her backpack at home. The irony of it all is that she put Leah's and Rachel's in the car! I dropped the girls off at their school at 7:40am, but had to take Rachel to her school before I could go back home for Allison's backpack. Rachel has PT bright and early at 8:15am on Mondays, so she could not be late. As I am I a dropping off Rachel, I actually remembered to tell them that she was in big girl panties for the day, for the FIRST time. Remember me saying that I had left her extra clothes at home........well, I told them to call me if they needed them. Rachel had done well over the weekend with going to the potty, so I crossed my fingers and left.

I drove back home and picked up Allison's backpack. It was in the garage!! I don't know how we got out of there with it sitting right in front of us. I got her backpack to her at 8:30am, just in time for her to turn in her math homework! Since I was in Allison's classroom, I did a couple of things for the teacher and headed home about 9:00am. I got home and was able to get a few things done before Rachel's school called. Guess what......she had wet her pants! Of course it really didn't surprise me, but I was hoping she would make it. Soooo, I jumped back into the car and headed back to Rachel's school.

When I was done there, I didn't have enough time to get back home without having to turn right around and go back and pick up Rachel, so I went and did some shopping. I HATE shopping-for clothes that is, but, I had no option. Allison went through her clothes the other day and gave Leah all of her pants that were too short. She was left with two pair of pants. She also only had three long sleeve shirts. She might would be able to make it through the next couple of weeks without new clothes, but the next time it cools off she would be in some serious need of some clothes! I went to Old Navy and Justice and hit the sales racks and did not do too bad. The best thing of all is that Allison actually liked all the things I picked out. You may ask why I didn't wait and take her along too? Well, she hates shopping as much as me and when we have to do it together, it turns into a wretched ordeal!

So, today I am hoping to be able to stay home until it is time to go pick Rachel up at noon. You know what........I just remembered that I did not get Rachel another set of clothes to her school again today. Yikes!!! Well, she is in pull ups again, so maybe she won't spill anything on herself. I just decided to wait until the Christmas break to really start pressing her out of the pull ups.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Let the Fun Begin!!

Well, the weekend came and went with its usual speed. Friday afternoon we had no plans for the weekend, other than watching the Alabama football game on Saturday, but that was soon to change. Allison and her friend covertly planned a sleepover. Around 6:00pm I talked with the mom, and she said it was fine for Allison to sleepover. I told the mom that I would feed Allison and send her over about 7:30pm (the mom already had four kids to have to feed and I figured I wouldn't add a fifth). Just before dinner, my sister called and asked us if we wanted to go to Disney's Animal Kingdom on Saturday. Her husband just started working there and get lots of free passes. The weather was going to be perfect, so we said count us in.

At 5:50am Saturday morning we get a call from Allison that she is not feeling well at her sleep over and she wants to come home. Allison is an anxious child and often gets overly excited about things to the point of nausea. A trip to Disney warrants such excitement. I drove down and picked her up, brought her home and put her in her bed. She feel asleep for a little bit and then got up and felt fine. I wish I could have gone back to sleep for a little bit too! Saturday morning, after Rachel's horseback riding, we headed to Orlando. We got to the park around noon. I had packed sandwiches so that we could eat before we entered the park, thus saving about $45 would we spend on lunch in the park! We ate our lunches in the car as we waited on my sister to arrive. With all the Disney passes, we just had to pay for one kid to get in-it was still almost $70, but to think we got a family of five in for that and it is a bargain! The girls had LOTS of fun. They worked up the nerve to ride their first real roller coaster, Expedition Everest. I was so relieved when we found out that Leah was indeed tall enough to ride it. They could not stop talking about it for the next 24 hours. Mike and I tried to keep up with the Alabama game via his iPhone. On the way home we were logged onto a site that kept sending in updates to keep us sort of informed. With three seconds left in the game though it decided to quit refreshing. My sister texted to tell us the game went into overtime. I called her to see what had happened and she told us about the blocked kick. We knew nothing until she texted Roll Tide Roll! With that, I had to call her and get the scoop on what went down. Go Bama!!!! Almost wish I could have stayed home and watched the game......almost.

Sunday we had to get back to the routine. We went to church in the morning, and I had to go to the grocery store in the afternoon. The girls talked Mike into dragging out the kayak and letting them paddle around in the lake behind the house. It turned out to be the excitement in the neighborhood and drew every child within a one mile radius to the lake shore to take a turn paddling around. After the kayaking the kids headed over to the neighbors to swim for a little bit. Whew! We made it through another weekend. Below are some pictures of the weekend.

Welcome to Animal Kingdom!Mike and Rachel at the start of the day.

The African Safari ride was really cool! The girls ride the train.
All the cousins pose with the elephants. Rachel pets the goats.

When this cow bellowed it was REALLY loud. Rachel did not like it at all! The girls at Dinoland. Sunday afternoon kayaking.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Can I cry too?

Oh boy!! Anybody got a place I can come and spend the weekend?! The girls are driving me crazy, and they have only been home from school for two hours. Allison is pretending she does not know how to do her homework-rather convincingly, I might add-because it is time consuming and she does not want to do it. She has been procrastinating now for an hour and has turned on the tears at least once trying to get out of it. Leah had her meltdown right after school, because Mike told her they could go camping this weekend. Despite the fact that he told her it could not be Friday night, she came home from school talking about the camping trip she was going on tonight. Lots of tears when I told her the reality of it! Rachel is also learning the fake cry. Twice today she has tried to use it on me. Just a few minutes ago, I made her put some toys down to wash her hands and she put on her Oscar winning performance. She is pretty convincing too. Do you think I can get away with putting them all to bed at 5:00pm?!?!?

Here Comes Another Weekend

Another week has slipped by. We were not too busy this week. I volunteered in Allison's class on Monday and Wednesday. Wednesday I was in and out in 10 minutes, but Monday I was there for about 2 1/2 hours working on something the teacher needed done immediately. Unfortunately, that was the day of our monthly get together for moms with children with Down Syndrome so I ended up having to miss that. I hated to miss that, because it is always nice to get together with the moms and chat. Next month, I am making the Down Syndrome breakfast my priority!

Tuesday, I went and cast my vote. I was pleasantly surprised to not have to wait in line at all. That was totally unexpected. I had left my whole morning open, and I went as soon as I could, after I got the kids to school, so that I could vote without the kids hanging on me. Rachel has no patience for standing around!

Wednesday and Thursday I tried to get some things done around the house. I am really trying to stay out of the stores and save up some money for Christmas. I cannot believe it is coming up so fast! The girls have started working on their lists for Santa!

This morning I remembered to take my camera to school when I dropped Rachel off. She has started asking to carry her backpack into and out of the school. I think it is so funny to see her carrying that backpack, because it is as big as she is!! Below you see her walking down the hall with her load!!

This weekend I hope to watch Alabama beat LSU! Roll Tide!!

Rachel heads to class with her HUGE backpack!
Rachel rides Gypsy last Saturday. We finally got a helmet that is small enough for her little head, so now she can see where she is going. Notice the stirrups. That is as short as they go and she still cannot reach them.
Just had to take a picture of the marigolds. I planted about six little plants almost two years ago. They have long since gone, but the flowers keep reseeding the area, and they are blooming like crazy!! I have three trees in the back yard and only planted the flowers around one of them, now I have a little rogue plant coming up in one of the beds around another tree. Here in Florida, annuals become perennials.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Trick or Treat!

Can you believe it is November? I cannot believe that we have started into the holiday season. Hope everyone had a happy and safe Halloween. The girls had a great time. Thursday we carved the pumpkins-or shall I say I carved the pumpkins. Allison and Leah helped clean out the pumpkins for a little bit, but after that, Allison headed back outside to play. Leah hung out with me a little longer and drew all the faces for me, but after a while she deserted me too. Rachel would have nothing to do with it from the start. As soon as she saw the insides of the pumpkin, she said, "Done", and left the kitchen. Leah wants to roast the pumpkin seeds so I had to separate the seeds from the pulp after we were done with the carving. The seeds are still sitting out on the counter waiting to be roasted. I printed a recipe off the computer on how to roast them, but if anyone has any words of wisdom about roasting pumpkin seeds, please feel free to share.

Yesterday the girls were really excited about trick-or-treating from the time they got up. Before she left for school, Leah pulled her costume out of the closet. When I asked why she was getting it out so early, she stated that she did not want to forget about it and go out without it. I told her that was probably not going to happen-although if she has a memory like me, anything is possible I guess. The girls got home from school really wired. I spent abut two hours pressing Allison to get her homework done. It was not much, but she just could not stay focused. Grandpa arrived at the same time the girls got home from school, so that added to the girls' excitement. At about 5:30pm we started getting the girls ready for the evening. Rachel and Allison were easy, but Leah needed makeup. My newest Halloween lessons are that white face paint is not as easy to put on as one would think; hair really sticks in white face paint; and money spent on a wig is wasted because it is "TOOOOO IIIITCHHYYYY" to wear for very long. The weather was beautiful! For the first time since we have moved down here, we were able to go trick-or-treating without sweating. I actually was able to wear a long sleeve shirt. It was neat to have a little cooler weather for the holiday.
Today, we all got up and took Rachel to her horseback riding session. She was so excited to finally get to go again. Grandpa was still with us, and Allison' friend had spent the night and was still with us too. After the horseback riding, all seven of us loaded up and took Grandpa out to eat. His birthday was Thursday, so we treated him to lunch. Each time I go out to eat with the kids, it reminds me of why I don't do it more often. Allison is my Mom's and Dad's revenge on me. I am a picky eater, and she is as bad as I ever was. Of course she did not like what she got, and she had to pout about it all through the meal. The rest of us enjoyed ours, though. When we got home from lunch, Grandpa packed up and headed home; Allison's friend had to go home; and Mike had to go into work. So now it is just us girls hanging out around the house doing nothing. It has started raining off and on outside so we are just staying in.

Pumpkin carving. Note to self, since the kids are not that interested in pumpkin year one pumpkin should do!

The recipe calls for 1 1/2 cups of pumpkin seeds. Do you think we have enough?

The finished product. The pumpkin on the left is supposed to look like Spongebob, with the emphasis on "supposed to."

Elvira at age six. Notice I gave up on the white paint on her neck. She had reached her limit on standing still, and I had reached my limit with trying to make her stand still. The look is nothing like we had imagined in our heads. I always wondered why the kids with white face paint always looked so, I know!
A cheerleader, a vampire, and an alien are ready to go!
The trick-or-treating posse is assembled. Notice the little dog in the front in her Halloween shirt?

Rachel had a good time going through the neighborhood. She will probably expect candy every time she walks through the neighborhood now.
I thought this was a funny play on the lawn flamingo....only in Florida!
Home with the loot!!!