Friday, May 30, 2008

Erica's Graduation

Here are some pics from Erica's Graduation tonight.
She looked absolutely beautiful!!! So grown up and just beautiful!!
It was a perfect night for an outdoor graduation.
It brought back memories for each of us sitting there...I think everyone in her family has graduated from Woodruff....Michael and I, her mom and dad, her mom's parents, her uncle Dave...wow!
Talk about a family tradition!

Toyota Prius

My newest obsession is the Toyota Prius. I've been noticing very recently just how many of these cars there are on the road!! They are everywhere!!
So, I decided to swing by the Toyota dealership to see exactly how good the gas mileage is on these cars and what they would cost a person.
Hmmm....I drove around the lot twice before I stopped to ask a salesperson...aren't the Prius cars made by Toyota?
Well, yes, but they are on backorder until AUGUST! Wow!!
That's how popular they are all of a sudden.
They start around $22 basic and can go up to $29 fully loaded. Best part, they get almost 50 mpg!! Yes, you heard me...50 mpg!

I am so intrigued by these cars. The only drawback for me personally is the lack of trunk space. I still carry a double (sit and stand) stroller and it's questionable if that would even fit in the small trunk. If it did, I'd have to pile groceries on top of my kids! :) I bet that would go well!

The thought of owning a car that is relatively inexpensive (for the price of new cars these days) and saves that much on gas....that is just mind-boggling to me.

Now if I could only talk Michael into driving one. :) Anyone imagining that? LOL

His poor truck gets about 12 mpg. I don't think it gets much worse than that. We debate daily on what we should do about it. Do we buy an old, cheap civic (or such) for him to drive around (unless he's hauling a boat or other items) in addition to keeping his current one? Or do we buy a smaller, less gas guzzling truck (but not as good as the civic) to replace the one he has?

The math is complicated and confusing....I've figured all possible scenarios and I'm just not sure what the best way is. Any opinions? Anyone in the same situation?

Yay! for Erica

Congratulations Erica!
Today my oldest (and only) neice Erica graduates from high school. We are so proud of her and wish her the very best as she moves on to another exciting phase of her life!

Erica and her mom

Erica and Michael

Erica and Ella Kate

What a Precious Boy

Jake did the sweetest thing this morning. I was working on the computer while I was waiting on them to get up. He came tiptoeing in the room, and I felt sure he must be up to something.

He said, "Come here mom and let me show you what I did."

I've learned that you should always be nervous when he says those words.

This time I was pleasantly surprised. I had the best surprise.....

HE MADE HIS BED....WITHOUT BEING ASKED! Look how cute it is with the pillows propped up and everything!



I know to you this picture looks like a duplicate of the picture I posted below.

To me it's a picture of a precious 4 year old trying so hard to be big and make his momma proud!
I just love this cute little fellow. And I'll save this picture to remind me at all those times he cries and whines about not being ABLE to clean up.....that HE SURE CAN! :)

Oh, and I can't believe I forgot to mention that we got Jake new bunk beds. I didn't even realize it until Summer asked about it. We were up until who knows what time on Wednesday putting them together. He loves them and we got a really good price on them at Factory Furniture for Kids. They really do have some great kids furniture for decent prices. If you're in the market, you should check it out.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Jake's Room

I know most of you are bored silly with my home improvement posts, but for the handful of you that aren't :), here are some pictures of Jake's room.





I couldn't show too much of the floor because there are still toys everywhere. I either have to finish the job I started of stripping and staining the shelf that was in there OR I have to find another shelf that will hold everything. The stripping is turning out to be a HUGE hassle.

I found those red and blue bins you see under the bed online and they are flexible so they slide under really easily. I have more of them that I plan to put on the shelf to hold all of his toys, along with books and other stuff.

Oh, and we have to pick up the mattress tomorrow night from storage for the top bunk and the chest that matches his bed is on order. It will replace the lovely white one that is missing a leg. :) Gotta love Target furniture...I think 5 years is pretty good for the money you spend!!

Just a few more things I need....like a red curtain....and I can move on to my room!

AND I am to say the least "decorationally challenged" so any and all suggestions for this room are wanted and appreciated. :)

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Play Time

My kids love to play together.
That doesn't mean that they don't fight.

They do. Plenty!

But they still LOVE to play together.

I have to say this is the very best advantage to having them so close together.

When one of them is gone or asleep, the other one is miserable.

And they are so creative when they play.

They are always imagining things and making up games.

It is the funniest thing to sit and watch or listen to them play.

I personally love to see Ella Kate take up for herself when Jake tries to boss her.

He is soooo just like me.

She just doesn't take it though!

This particular day they are playing "music class". See their obedient pupils. :)
Ask them what their names are....they are ALL either 'Addison' or 'baby'. Addison is their friend Brynn's baby sister. Jake has started asking if we can get a baby. (umm....NO!) His argument is "But Brynn gets to have one!" Ha, ha
See the good teachers...Ella kate even has the authoritative pose going.
You can't tell really well, but Jake is leading the singing with his hands. He's not frowning, he's mid-song. He loves their music teacher at school, Ms. Laura. He always imitates her when he's being the music teacher.

Memorial Day

What a fun Memorial Day we had! I am usually bored on holidays because I think you should always have something really exciting to do! Well this one was really nice. Every Monday my friends and I get together to let the kids play and have some "mommy (and daddy!) time". We did 'Miss Donalds' through the winter but now that it's warm, we can venture out and do more things. This Monday we hung out at the pool. We had a really good time. We went early and had the pool to ourselves for at least a couple of hours and by the time it was getting crowded, we had eaten and were ready to head home. I've really come to enjoy and look forward to Mondays because I know we'll have a good time getting together.

Afterwards we came home to attack the mess that had steadily grown in my kids' rooms!! It was horrendous!! It took us over an hour - ick!!

Our friends the Laneys came over to cook out Monday night and Brynn brought her Power Wheels Mustang. They had a blast driving all 3 cars all over the yard. They played in the sprinkler a while and we just hung out in the backyard. It was a really nice and relaxing evening.

Oh, the popsicle days of summer!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Busy Busy Busy

Lately I have been feeling a little overwhelmed with all the 600 projects I have started and the ZERO I have finished!! I have a list a mile long of things I am either in the middle of or would really like to start. I decided today I'd go ahead and tackle one that would be pretty quick and I'd definitely see the results...painting Jake's bedroom. I had been planning on doing it soon so that his room would all match...I was hurried up when he and a buddy took it upon themselves to remove half the border. He's gone a while with a lot of random things in there, poor kid.

I let him help choose the color...and I think it turned out well. I'll wait to post a picture when I get a few other things I want for it. Hopefully, that will happen this week!!

Just a little FYI/Things I Have Learned While Painting:

Most of you probably don't know that I am a little obsessed with painting rooms in my house. I simply CANNOT believe that the walls have stayed the colors that they have for this long now. It's a miracle. And the thing is, I love to do it myself. Painting is kind of therapeutic for me. It makes such a difference! That said, I am tired of every room and intend to paint every one this summer (that means this month!).

On to what I've learned...

1. It does make a difference what kind of brush you use for the trim. I have tried everything from the cheapest to the most expensive, and, you got it, the most expensive works best. It definitely has to have an angle and the bristles need to be soft. It makes it really easy to get a straight line around your trim. I'm a bit of a painting perfectionist and crooked lines don't cut it!

2. If you must have a border or wall paper anywhere in your house....the less glue you use the better for the person who will eventually remove it! If you are taking one off, peel off the top layer first. Don't worry about leaving the bottom layer. Then soak it with water using a spray bottle. Get a handy, dandy scraper from the store and it will come right off. Magic!

3. There is such a thing as paint that only requires one coat. I did not believe it when Mr. Lowes told me. I told him that if I bought this paint (which cost about $8 more per gallon than the other kind) that I WOULD be back tomorrow for a refund if I had to put on 2 coats. He just looked at me like I was crazy. Well, I was pleasantly surprised. One coat. That's it. Beautiful. It's Valspar at Lowe's and it is simply amazing. It's soooo worth it to me to pay a little more and only do 1/2 the work.

4. Don't allow a 3 year old or a 4 year old to even LOOK into the room while you are painting. They WILL fall in. Then they WILL touch the wall. Then they WILL wipe it on their clothes. They WILL turn around and bump their heiney on the wall. Then they WILL run screaming when I threaten them with their lives if I even see their face peep around the corner. :) Really it wasn't that bad after they figured out that they weren't coming in.

I am done for they day. Pooped. I'll post Memorial Day tomorrow. :)

Friday, May 23, 2008

Best Buds

Jake and Ella Kate LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to play with Brycen and Braeden. They play so well together that it's really nice to have them over. Jake, Brycen, and Braeden are all boys' boys. No doubt! They are all about rough and tumble, wrestling, and dirt. It's funny to watch them play. Their favorite things to do (ie. beating each other up) are totally unappealing to us girls. When they are together, Ella Kate just tags along and sets her 'girliness' aside for the time being to be one of the 'guys'. They came over today so Tracy could work and run some errands and they had a good time playing in the sprinkler and riding the gator.

Ella Kate being a guys' guy



Thursday, May 22, 2008

Steven Curtis Chapman

My heart is breaking for this family...they need our prayers. I had no idea until I read it on a friend's blog. Please visit this link: www.stevencurtischapman.com

For Sale



Anyone need a couch and oversized chair? We FINALLY got a new couch and loveseat so we need to get rid of our old ones. They really are in good condition. If it didn't cost so much to store them, we'd probably keep them for our next house that will most certainly have a bonus room. BUT for what storage would cost, we could get new ones when the time comes.
We'll give you a good deal if you'll take them off of our hands!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Say a Prayer

Say a special prayer today for my dear friends who found out today that they lost their baby. She was 11 weeks, and she went to the doctor this morning for a check-up. They were so thrilled to be expecting, and I know they are devastated right now. Lift her and her husband up in your prayers today.

Monday, May 19, 2008

AWANA Awards

Our church has the AWANA program on Wednesday nights for kids 2 years through 5th grade. This year I taught a 3 year old class, Ella Kate went to "Puggles", and Jake went to "Cubbies. Sunday night was our awards program. It seems like we have a program for everything this time of year but they do enjoy getting to go up on stage and get their "awards"!

This one is a little far away, but this is what she does on stage now every time she's up there. It's hilarious! She's the second child from the left - the big cheeser!

I put this one in because it's most of the Cubbies and Puggles leaders from this year. (L to R) Tracey, Laurel, Chara, Rhonda, and Lisa

Jake is happy to have his award bag!

New TV

Michael and I have really tried to cut back on major purchases for a while and get our money's worth from the things we already own. BUT even I had to admit that our bedroom tv had seen it's last "hoorah!". We have 2 tv's in the house - one in the living room and one in our bedroom. We don't plan on letting the kids have one in their rooms for a LONG, LONG time just because we don't think it's good for them to sit in there and watch all day (and we know they would!). I mean, come on, they sit in the living room and watch way too much as it is!

So, we have found that having 2 tv's in the house is a good compromise. Trouble is, the one in our bedroom had gotten a little moody. There was a wire loose on the back and if someone walked in the room causing the floor to shake, either the sound, picture, or both would disappear. Very annoying if you're into a show! For a while it worked to prop up the wire with my jewelry box....yes, we are a little red. :) Then it came to having the kids jump in front of the tv to make it "correct" itself. They loved this, even when we were so lazy that we would lay on the bed and yell for them to come from another room to jump start the tv...literally. (Yes, that's my dirty secret. Lazy, lazy girl!)

We finally gave in yesterday and made the big purchase. We used the gift card that Michael won in the fishing tournament to help pay for it. The tv we originally purchased was the brand 'Emerson'. I wouldn't recommend it. In the 19" LCD flat screen, the sound sounds similar to that of your clock/radio. Terrible!! So we took it back today and got a 'TrueTech'. I'd never heard of either brand (I'm sure b/c they're the cheaper ones!) but we're very happy with the one we have. It's our first flat screen so we're thrilled to have joined the 21st century. :)

It's Monday everyone....you know Jon & Kate are on!!! :)

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Congratulations!

Yeah!! Michael and his dad (Sam/Papa) won our church fishing tournament this morning. They hold it once a year at Lyman Lake, and they have fished it together for several years now. They received some great prizes and were very pleased to have won. Michael doesn't get to fish nearly as often as he would like, so I know it is a treat to do well when he does get to go!

Friday, May 16, 2008

NKOTB

If you don't know what NKOTB is, you must be pretty darn old or still a babe. My sister called this morning to remind me to tune into The Today Show, and there they were! Apparently, they are trying to make a comeback. They have a new album. :) Can't help but laugh! I did enjoy hearing some old songs...brings back junior high school memories. I think I can quote every word of every song on their albums. Oh, the good ole days.... I would spend hours in my room listening to the songs and making sure I had every lyric right. Wouldn't want to be the only one who didn't know them!
It's funny when you hear something like their songs and it makes you remember things that have long been forgotten. I remember that all my friends got tickets to their concert that year....I got the video. Woe is me. I wish I knew what happened to that video...I'd get a kick out of watching it now.

Who was your favorite NKOTB? Mine was Jordan. :)



Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Last Day of School


First Day of School, August 2007

Last Day of School, May 2008


Jake and Ms. Joy


Jake and Mrs. Sophie


Ella Kate and Mrs. Cindy

Ella Kate and Mrs. Summer

Kind of a sad day today....our last day of our first year of preschool. The kids have loved going to school this year and I have not regretted for one second the decision to send them. They have had awesome teachers and made some great new friends. Now we're done until next fall!!

Ella Kate's Spring Program

Ella Kate had her spring music program a couple of weeks back on a Friday morning. Luckily, Michael was able to take a few hours off of work to be there and my mom (Mimi)was able to as well. It means so much to the kids to see their family there to watch them!

Ella Kate is quite the little singer. She loves to sing and is coming to love the stage as well. She put on quite a show at our church choir program. :)

She sang her little heart out at the school program and was happy as she could be. Mrs. Summer says that's because they strategically placed her beside her best friend, Kate. They say that putting her beside Kate makes her quite the happy camper. Otherwise, she tends to be a little moody. :)

Hollywild Zoo

Ella Kate's class at school took a field trip to the Hollywild Zoo in April. Wouldn't you know that the day of our trip was freezing cold!! It was 20 degrees below normal temperatures for this time of year and 30 degrees colder than it was the week and days before. We survived despite the cold and the kids had a great time.

I have to stop here and say that I honestly feel very blessed to be able to have these experiences with my kids. Not all mothers are fortunate enough to be stay at home moms and accompany their kids on field trips. The kids either go without their moms or don't go at all. I am so glad to be able to do these things!! We'll both have great memories to look back on.

I'm also glad that this year I got to go to the zoo with a couple of my best friends, one of whom is Ella Kate's teacher (Summer M), and the other who also has a little girl in the two year old classes (Summer L). I think the kids and the moms enjoyed spending some one on one time with the kids.

We started off walking around looking at animals and were then taken on a bus ride (with the sides cut out)to feed the animals out the sides. It was fun to see the animals eating out of the kids' hands. We ended up with a "animal show" where Ella Kate totally surprised me by touching the SNAKE! I guess she's not really that squeamish since her and Jake routinely play with snakes (really earthworms) at home in the yard. They love to find them and carry them around. I'm sure the earthworms at our house love to see them coming!

I have to add that, sadly, Jake missed his zoo trip this year with his class. We got all ready and when we went to start the car....dead battery! Michael was not able to leave work, so, with much help from our kind neighbor, we charged the battery with his boat battery charger. Unfortunately, it was WAY too late to make the trip. We heard through the grapevine that it was extremely crowded that day in particular and very hot. That makes it a little better, but I still felt awful! Mimi felt really bad and even offered to leave work and take him there, but I declined and said that we would take him later to the Riverbanks Zoo in Columbia. We'll have to make good on that promise soon!

Soccer Season

Jake has played soccer this year for the first time and he has really taken to it well. He still says he enjoys football more (to Michael's delight!) but he is actually pretty good at soccer as well. He has scored 2 goals this season - one in each of the first two games. Their goals are a little harder to score than normal because they have a different set of rules this year. There is a circle around the goal that they cannot touch the ball inside of. They have to kick it from outside the circle for it to count. That makes it a little harder on them and they have made considerably less goals than they think they have. But that's okay....keep their confidence up! :)

Picking Strawberries







The strawberry patch near our church has gone "Pick Your Own" this year! How great is that?! That's part of the joy of buying fresh strawberries....taking your kids out to find their own.

We all 4 stopped for some strawberry picking one morning after our soccer game. The fun was a tad bit short lived as they both found it hard to only pick the red ones. We somehow have an attraction to the bright green ones! Even Ella Kate with her love of pink still preferred to pull the green ones. I think it was probably all because we told them "do not pick the green ones". "only pick the red ones." That was enough to steer them clear of anything resembling red.
A good 2 minutes into picking Ella Kate was bored. 2 full minutes later Jake was bored as well. I tried to quickly fill up the baskets they had been given so that we would get our moneys worth!

Cinco de Mayo Baby

Am I that bad that I did not even give my husband a Happy Birthday blog?? Shame of all shames!!
My sweet husband is a Cinco de Mayo baby. Believe it or not, he had not even heard of this holiday until he met me and, of course, I was thoroughly impressed with his unique birthday.
We are, unfortunately, now at the ages where birthdays are usually pretty uneventful. Thankfully, this year was different. His brother celebrates his birthday 2 days earlier on May 3 and he turned 40 this year. That warranted a big party!! So Michael's mom had a party for everyone whose birthday was within close proximity - all 5 of them! :)

So, Happy Birthday to...
Uncle Willie @ ???
David @ 40
Michael @ 34
Erica @ 18
Lee @ 16
18 and 16 are pretty big ones as well!



4K Graduation

Jake graduated from 4 year old kindergarten last night at Anderson Mill Road Early Learning Center. They had a great program with lots of singing by the kids and then a ceremony. Jake looked precious in his blue gown and loved the hat especially!
I am very sorry about the SLOW slide show. If you will click on "View All Images" below the show, it will open a new page that shows them much quicker!