We took Jon camping as part of his Father's Day gift. It IS a gift, since I'm not much of an outdoorsy girl. Too many bugs for my comfort! For our first trip in the new-to-us pop-up camper, we chose a state park about 30 minutes away so if we forgot something it wouldn't be a strain to get it. That was a good choice, because Saturday turned out to be the hottest day of the year so far, and we ended up coming home for a few hours to swim in the pool, then going back to the campsite. The little girls had a fun time even though we forgot to bring their scooters. Here they are by the sign for a short little hike we took.
This afternoon I went outside to clean the cooler in preparation for our camping trip and couldn't get much water pressure in the hose. When I looked behind me at the road it was easy to see why. A water main broke outside our subdivision and we had several inches of standing water in the road! It took several hours to fix but by then we were gone camping. I did hear that some of my neighbors had water damage inside their homes caused by water shooting up through washing machines and dishwashers.
When we were at Disney World, Quinn admired the hairdos she saw on little girls who had visited the Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Bootique. She asked me if I could make her hair look like that, so I gave it my best shot. Her hair is so short that I couldn't put it on top of her head like the ones we'd seen, but it was still very cute in the back. Just add a tiny tiara and she's ready to go!
We have some more Adams at our house for a visit. Jon's brother and his family are here for a few days and we are having a great time. We don't get to see each other often enough since they live in Wisconsin, about 14 hours away. Jon and his brother Ed give me great hope for my girls. If Jon and Ed can fight the way they say they did when they were kids, yet grow up to be so close, I can hold out hope that Karis and Quinn will one day be friends. Here's Ed checking out the Wii. I like to say I married the younger and better looking brother. Love ya, Ed!
Woohoo! The new Hannah Montana movie opened today! I took the girls to see it this afternoon and yes, I am not ashamed to admit that I LIKED it! Something about the whole phenomenon reminds me of being a kid and it feels good. After the movie I asked Karis and Harper to rate it on a scale of 1-10. Karis said 100. Harper said "infinity". I think they liked it too. :-)
Out of the kindness of her heart, Dana used her own money to buy candy and stuff some plastic eggs for Karis, Harper and Quinn to find. We hid them then let the girls loose to look for them. Unfortunately it didn't turn out to be the fun experience we had hoped for. Maybe they were tired or hungry or overexcited, but there was a lot of whining and complaining about who found the most and who didn't like the candy in the eggs, etc. Not much fun for anybody, especially the sister who bought all the candy. :-( Here's Karis before the whinestorm broke.
I probably got ahead of myself by planting my "garden" last weekend. I did take a shortcut by buying a tomato plant with not only blooms on it, but actual green tomatoes. Yeah baby! I'll be eating fresh tomatoes very very soon. Now the bad news is that you may notice this picture is taken indoor. That's because there is a freeze warning tonight. In fact all my plants are hiding out in the breakfast area for tonight.
Would you believe that we have yet another feline houseguest? Dana's boyfriend James recently moved back to Ohio to finish his education but he couldn't take his cat with him, so she's staying with us for a year or so. She's a sweet kitty and likes to have her tummy scratched, kind of like a dog. You can pet her head and she'll roll over for you to scratch her belly. Funny little thing. Dana named her Zarah although I'm campaigning for another name. I'm not winning at the moment.
We (as in the women of my church) started a new Bible study today. I'm almost embarrassed to admit that I have never done a whole Beth Moore study, at least not a whole one. I'm excited to get into this one because I've seen Beth Moore on video and she is hilarious! And Esther is a book that I haven't really ever read so it will be interesting to dig into it and see what's there.
I first noticed this tulip last year. We have a clump of them in our landscaping beside the house but this one seems to have separated from the pack and migrated into a shrub. It's lovely, sticking its little head out of the shrubbery, isn't it?
LifeSong Church, where we belong, has a tendency to push the envelope on what might be considered "traditional" church activities. Our Easter Egg hunt today was no exception. In addition to hiding the eggs on the church lawn, we had a ultralight aircraft fly over and drop a bunch of little eggs with tiny parachutes attached. Sadly, the pilot overshot the target and most of them ended up in the woods. It was a memorable sight though! This is a picture I took of Q reaching for Dana's hand. I don't know what it is about the photo that I like, but I just love it.
Day trip! Today we headed down to Columbia to the EdVenture museum. The centerpiece of EdVenture is a huge structure made to look like a boy, and his name is Eddie. Quinn is scared of him but Karis loves to climb inside him and check out his brain, heart and stomach. We spent the most time in the music room where kids can compose and play back their own piano pieces. I took this one of Karis so that when she gets famous one day I can prove that I knew her "when".
That's what Dana calls Chuck E. Cheese. We dropped some $$ at CEC this afternoon in an effort to keep the girls occupied. Spring Break sounds like a nice idea but by day 3 or 4 they are starting to get bored with each other. This is Karis enjoying the virtual roller coaster there, but her very favorite thing was getting the fake ID cards that identified her as a cheerleader, CSI agent, actress, etc. We have quite a collection!
If you think I'm a little bit hair-obsessed, you're right. I can't do much about my wrinkles, and my makeup skills are minimal at best, but hair - that I can do. I've often said that the only reason I ever let my hair get any length at all to it is so I can cut it off and enjoy having more than an inch removed at a time. And I love a good razor cut! There's just something about that razor slicing through my hair that feels downright rebellious! I've been going to the same hairdresser for almost three years now and she knows what I like whether I can express it coherently or not. I don't like to wait for an appointment - when I decide I want a haircut I want it now. Laura is very good about getting me in on the same day and that's probably why I've stuck with her, considering that in the past I've been very fickle about who cuts my hair.
I've signed up to start subbing at the school and I needed something more low maintenance, or at least that's what I told myself. I think the truth is I just like to change things up.
It's that time again! Mowing season has begun in South Carolina. Jon came home from work, changed his clothes and started up the mower. There are some people in our neighborhood who take their lawns very seriously - I bet you know someone like that. Jon wishes our lawn were prettier but there's a limit to the time and money we'll spend on it. So here's Jon mowing the lawn. Yes, ladies, he's all mine, black socks included. Don't be jealous!
Karis' sensory problems make it hard to take care of her hair. The slightest tangle hurts like crazy, making her what we used to call "tender-headed". If she would let me braid it or something to keep it from swinging around and tangling, it would be different, but she doesn't like it put up. Her hair has the texture of cotton candy and gets ratty at the drop of a hat. She and I agreed a few weeks ago that she would get a haircut and she told me she wanted to wait til Spring Break. Today is the first day of Spring Break, so off to SnipIts we went! Here's the after picture. I think she looks adorable, and now she can brush her own hair in the morning before school. I think she ended up losing about 5 inches of hair!
We were supposed to leave for Knoxville yesterday but after our PT rehearsal on Wednesday when we learned a new song for Sunday, I didn't have the nerve to tell Larry I wouldn't be there Sunday morning. Instead we decided to leave after the music, drive like crazy to get to my aunt and uncle's 50th anniversary party, visit with some friends, then drive back home. It was a lot of driving, but it was worth it. I hadn't actually seen my Aunt Frances, Uncle Claude and my cousins in about 10 years. Bad, I know. Anyhow, I wanted to be there for the occasion and we ended up being able to spend a couple of hours with them. After that we went to see our friends Pam and Doug, who fed us all dinner, then we drove back home. We took James with us for the ride. I took my camera and didn't pull it out of the case until we stopped at a rest stop in North Carolina on the way home. How sad!
I got together with the Praise Team girls today to rehearse for tomorrow morning's worship service. Larry (the Worship Pastor) wasn't there because we (the PT) were the ones who called the rehearsal, not him. We give him a hard time about his wireless microphone because he's a little protective of it and anytime one of us gets to hold it (or, heaven forbid, use it) we make a big deal of it. We've been joking around about be-dazzling it one day, just for fun. Well, today someone brought some sequins and a couple of feather boas, and we decorate the mic and the stand it was on. It was a sight! I don't have pictures of it because I didn't have my camera on hand. In fact the picture of the day was swiped off my friend Amy's facebook page, but she didn't mind.
Every month at Karis' & Quinn's school, each teacher chooses one child from his or her classroom who has shown good character, good behavior or most improvement. This child is named that classroom's Great Gator of the Month, since the school's mascot is a gator. There's a huge assembly once a month where all the Great Gators are recognized. They get a certificate, a cupcake and have their pictures taken. It's really a big deal. Today Karis came home and told me that she was the Great Gator for her class! She was so excited and proud, and rightly so. She told me all about how surprised she was when they called her name and that she didn't even have time to take her backpack off. What a great way to start Spring Break!
It's that time again! I get planting fever around the end of March every year and since the last frost might still be coming, I have to be satisfied with starting seeds indoors. Some of my seeds have sprouted and will need to be transplanted outside soon. Sadly, my husband won't let me dig up the yard so I put my veggies and herbs into containers on the patio. They still produce plenty, though.
When I was in elementary school, I lived part-time with my Grandma Tunie. She was actually my great-grandmother and she was almost exactly 60 years older than me. I always say living with her is what made me so weird. She kept this cookie jar on her table and there were always cookies in there for me whenever I came home from school or later on, whenever I visited. She passed away in 1999 and when my grandmother asked me if there was anything of Grandma Tunie's that I would like to have, the cookie jar was the first thing I thought of. It now sits proudly in my china cabinet as a reminder never to forget my roots.
Don't do drugs. Drugs are bad. Actually, I just got out of the opthalmologist's office, where she dilated my eyes. I took this picture in the mirror in my car. I can barely open my eyes because the light feels too bright. I hope it doesn't take too long to wear off.
Nearly every day when Quinn comes home from school she asks to put on her Halloween dress. Last year for Halloween we bought her this 60's looking dress that she just loves, for some reason. She says she likes the plastic rings on it. She likes to wear it with silver glitter tights. The hair barrettes are because she asked me to fix her hair, which usually involves pinning her bangs back, which usually requires many, many barrettes. She loves to have her nails painted and actually talked her Daddy into painting them for her yesterday! She was still for a minute too long this afternoon and fell asleep in the floor and like a bad Mommy I just left her there and took pictures of her.
I ended up at church today three different times, for three very disparate reasons. First was the Sunday morning worship service. Then this afternoon I attended the funeral of a friend (more about that later). This evening I went back for a training sessions for children's ministry workers. Our friend Scott died this week from complications of leukemia. He was part of our small group, although he didn't get to attend very often due to his health. He was always so cheerful in the face of his illness. In fact, the very first time he came to our group he had his chemo pack on. Scott handled cancer with grace and I'm so glad I had the pleasure of knowing him as a friend. I'll miss him, but one day I'll see him again. He just gets to meet Jesus before I do.
My day started extremely early today. The yard sale went well - we made about $1300 and it was pretty painless. Our church had a kite day for kids and gave away free kites. The church is located on top of a hill and had a great breeze. I topped off the day by taking the girls to a birthday party at a local gymnastics facility. Time to fall into bed!
I am the co-President of our school's PTO this year. I haven't done much to deserve the title - my co-President is a real go-getter and usually takes on most of the work. Tomorrow is our PTO yard sale at the school and we are hoping to make some much needed funds for our PTO bank account. Personally I don't like doing the door-to-door sales of wrapping paper and chocolate that many PTOs rely on. Our school was brand new this year and we're acutely aware that we as the PTO are setting precedents for years to come. So today I spent most of the day at school, sorting, pricing and moving donated items for tomorrow's sale. We had lots of help and were done by 5:00. Which coincidentally is the time I need to get up tomorrow morning....
I am never satisfied with my hair for long. It's getting too poofy and I hate the whole blow-dry routine. It doesn't look good pulled back with a headband. Be watching for a new haircut. I can feel it coming on. Short and layered is sounding pretty good right now.
Karis has a project due tomorrow and true to form, we waited until the last minute to do it. They are studying weather in her class and they got to choose from several severe types of weather to do a report. She chose drought. Why not tornados or hurricanes? Anyway, it was hard to keep her from drawing all over the posterboard before she had a plan in mind. If I had let her she would have drawn all kinds of pictures on there, none of which had anything to do with drought. Maybe next time I'll get two pieces of posterboard - one for her to go wild on and one for the actual project. I thought it turned out very colorful!
Softball season started tonight! Both girls did pretty well considering that it's Quinn's first year (and she's only 4!) and Karis has been off the field for 9 months. Here's Quinn digging in the dirt. Isn't that what the new players always do their first time on the field?
When I went upstairs to wake the girls up this morning, Karis was coughing that barky cough that usually accompanies croup. I felt sorry for her and let her stay home, despite Jon's pleas to give her some cough meds and send her to school later. Obviously she didn't feel *too* bad because she was playing most of the day. I had to take both Karis and Quinn with me to the doctor while I had a TB test done in order to be a sub at the school. Karis waited outside the lab but Quinn insisted on being right beside me. Once she heard there was a needle involved and it was going into me and not her, wild horses couldn't keep her away! She was determined to watch, and she did.
We were invited to join some church friends at Elmo's (a local Mexican restaurant, more accurately named El Molcajete) for a casual birthday celebration after church today. As it turned out, LifeSong ended up filling about 80% of the tables there! We had so much fun! I love all our church family and because we're a smallish church (but growing rapidly!) you can safely invite almost the whole church to events like this. You'd think my picky eater (Karis) would have trouble finding something to eat here, but that child can eat her weight in chips!
Today I went through my closet, a daunting task. This is my shoe collection before I shipped about 12 pairs to the school yard sale. I ended up ditching about 1/3 of my clothes. I've lost about 40 pounds in the past year or so and there were so many things in there I just couldn't wear anymore. I've bought new stuff but never bothered to get rid of the old stuff. I spent the morning in my bra, trying on tops. I couldn't believe how many of the shirts that are now too big for me!
And here's my view out the front door. That's the pool cabana on the right and my driveway on the left. I love that the neighborhood pool is just across the street! In summertime we keep our wagon stocked with our pool supplies and toys so when we go to the pool we just pull the wagon with us. So convenient!
Guess what this is! If you said a laptop, you're only partly right. It's MY laptop! I bought a used one for myself (supposedly) a year or so ago and put it in the kitchen so I could check email and have a way to access the internet without closing myself off in the office down the hall. It very quickly became the "family" laptop. Nobody even asked my permission to use it! That wasn't a huge problem until other people in my house started saving their stuff on it. The poor thing already didn't have much memory (I didn't have a whole lot of money to spend when I bought it) and it gets eaten up quickly. We bought Dana a new laptop when she graduated high school in 2006 and she recently decided that she wanted a newer one, so she bought herself a new laptop last month and I inherited her old one. The screen was malfunctioning so I bought a replacement screen on eBay and fixed it myself. What I'd like to do is use my "new" laptop for digital scrapbooking and blogging, and maybe even creating DVDs (our desktop is too slow for that!) so I had to restore it to get all Dana's old junk off. I can't wait to start loading my own programs on there, although I'll probably end up having to buy more RAM to make them workable.
We have a lovely neighborhood playground right across the street from our house. Even though we have a playset in the backyard, most of the time the girls would rather go to the "park" and meet up with the other kids in the subdivision. Quinn had a nice time on the tire swing and posing for pictures. I guess she's used to the camera by now. ;-)
Quinn doesn't normally take a nap, but there are days when she will fall asleep while watching TV on the couch. The time change has really tired her out and that probably contributed to this impromptu nap.
As predicted, the temperature today is about 80 degrees. Sally Hannah Juliana is enjoying the sunshine while we're all outside with softball practice, wearing our pajamas to Bruster's for free ice cream, and grilling out.
The Upward end of season banquet was tonight. The entertainment was a ventriloquist, which fascinated Quinn, but not so much Karis. Later, though, Karis asked a lot of questions and I'm not sure she still quite understands how the puppet could talk!
Thursday nights Jon coaches and plays on a basketball team. His games are always at 8:30, which means the girls are in bed and I have to stay home with them. I don't mind too much because it gives me a chance to cuddle up on the couch with a good book. This is the one I'm currently reading.
School is out again today for the snow, but mostly for the freezing over that happened last night. The roads are downright icy this morning! The girls are already bored - can you believe it? I think they would be happy to be at school right now. There's only so much Dora you can watch, I guess.
And.... here we are, under about 6 or more inches of snow. We went outside last night to play in it and had a blast! I was too chicken to take my camera out there and get it all wet so I don't have many pictures from last night.
Oh the anticipation! Can't you just see it on Quinn's face? We're supposed to get 2 to 4 inches of snow this evening and tonight. It doesn't snow much in South Carolina so this is HUGE! Right now there are huge flakes coming down outside and we can hear thunder. The weatherman called it "thundersnow" and said it's a very rare phenomenon. And there's no school tomorrow - it's already been decided and announced.
It was time for Mom to go home today, sadly (at least for me). The trip was wet and chilly, but the little ones stayed home with Daddy while Dana and I and my friend Misty made the 6-hour round trip. We spent a couple of hours in McKay's, THE best used bookstore in the country and maybe even the world. :-) Here's some of my haul from this trip. Karis has been asking questions about Anne Frank and even though she's too young at 8 to actually read the book, I bought it for her anyway. I also picked up The Phantom Tollbooth, which is also too "old" for her right now, and a little play about Molly, the American Girl. Afterwards we had dinner with my sister before we headed back to SC.
Four years ago today, we were in a remote province of China called Guizhou. Around 11 in the morning, we stood third (or maybe fourth) in line with the other families in our travel group waiting for our baby girl. We could see her in the arms of a caretaker and we recognized her right away. I could see that she must have been in the hospital because although her whole head was shaved, she had a section on one side that was shaved closer than the rest and I could see the bump where an IV needle had been. I couldn't wait to get my hands on her! In honor of Family Day, I'm posting our referral photo of Quinn. I love you, sweetie!
Last night Quinn woke up with a fever, complaining that her ear hurt. That's usually a foolproof sign that she has an ear infection. Off to the Dr. we went this morning, only to hear that her ears are clear and she must just have a virus. She's complaining of a headache and a sore throat and just laying around on the couch. Poor baby!