Wednesday, December 31, 2008


I woke up, wide awake this morning. I laid there trying to figure out why I was so awake. Then I looked at the was 6:45!! I was awake because I had just had 8.5 hours of uninterrupted sleep!!! Plus a little bit on the couch before I went to bed!! That is unheard of!! I snuck out of my room, heated up some old coffee, and hid in the computer room until Eric and the dogs woke up. Once the dogs are awak and banging their tales around, everyone wakes up.

It was devine while it lasted!!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

40th Anniversary

Back in October my parents celebrated their 40th anniversary. None of us could be near them to help celebrate and we didn't have a lot of money to spend, so we mailed around a mat for a picture and all of the kids & spouses signed it. My sister had a this picture of my parents walking through Dinseyworld from years ago. Ironically my parents celebrated their 40th in Disney also. Now - 2 months after their anniversary they will finally get this!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Don't judge me

I am one who gets bored with my hair easily. Recently, I've been "glowing red" because it sounded fun...and it I'm trying to decide what to do next.

So - when my 5 year old, who has beautiful naturally curly hair, continually tells me she wants it smooth....why not?! So after her bath today - for the first time - I straightened Amber's hair.

Everyone always tells me they'll hate their curls when they are older - everyone wants their curls, people pay for curls like that. But ultimately...She's Amber....not Curly Hair Amber. Hair doesn't not define a person. It does give or take away confidence at times - so why not try something new? You can always change it, right?!

Anyway - the outcome was adorable, and she was thrilled.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Just an FYI - I've just posted a ton of pictures! Enter at your own boredom!!

Creative Outlet

They needed a creative outlet - thank goodness for a large linoleum kitchen floor and washable paints!

Kitchen takeover:

Amber's canvas painting "In process":

Amber's canvas painting "Finished":

Amber's watercolor:

Camryn's canvas painting "In Process":

Camryn's canvas painting "Finished":

Camryn's watercolor:

Tyler's canvas painting "In Procss":

Tyler's canvas painting "Finished":

Tyler's watercolor:

Tyler -

Carriage Rides

Billy Graham Ministries is located here in Charlotte and they put on this big display with live nativity and carriage rides and carolers and stuff. And it's all free. So we decided to take the kids. Luckily (by unacclimated Colorado transplants) it wasn't very weather. We needed coats - but not hats and gloves. (some people were just about in snow was in the 40s).
Anyway - the main reason for going was the carriage rides. We stood in line for 1hr 35 minutes to take a 15-20 min (max!) carriage ride. The kids LOVED it and they were really good so we can't complain.
Just arriving:
Watching all the carriages come & go....waiting...
This is the one we finally got to ride in:
And they LOVED it...made the whole night worthwhile:

Gingerbread houses

God has blessed us with a great family to be friends with here. They moved here from Maryland shortly after we did. They have 2 little girls, 4 & almost 2. On Sunday we ended up spending most of the day together...they went to church with us...then the guys went and played football together...then we went to their house for dinner and gingerbread house/train decorating. We even joined pantries for a dinner. It was a blast.

All the kids

Having a great time decorating:

Helping dad:

Almost done:

When we weren't paying attention - we lost it!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Husband points!

Can I brag for a minute? I came home from my afternoon school-pick-up rounds around 4:00 this afternoon. Eric's car was in the driveway. I was a big confused and concerned. He never comes home early.

So I walk inside, very cautiously to find him doing dishes - and the laundry is going. I asked what he was doing here and he said he just felt like he needed to come home and help me out this afternoon by cleaning the house. I asked if he got fired or if there was bad news coming or a catch to all of this.

He said, "This is your Christmas present." I just cried and said, "I love presents like this." He grinned and said, "I know."

For the first half hour all I had to do was look at him folding laundry or scrubbing floors and I'd just cry. It was wonderfully weird.

Friday, December 12, 2008

shopping is different

So my kids are finally really into Christmas this year. We've never pushed Santa, in fact Eric calls me Scrooge because I don't play into it too much. I knew it would happen on it's own...and it has. I tell the kids there's not a Santa and that I actually bring the gifts....I do it because they don't believe me. They say, "No mom!! You're so silly! You don't bring the presents!"

Today I went to Toy.s.R.u.s to buy some stuff. For the most part, since they are usually out infront of me while we are shopping, I can sneak stuff into the cart and they really don't that's what I was doing today. We were buying birthday party gifts too, so I would slip things under the other gifts.

Well, at one point Tyler pops his head over the cart...I'm not standing by it...and he says this:

Tyler: "Is this our cart?"
Mom: "No." (I've stooped to lying...)
Tyler: "LOOK what's here!" (as he holds up one of his gifts.)
Mom: "Oh, that must be someone else's cart." (silently hoping he's distracted by the toys and doesn't see my purse)
Tyler: "But your purse is in here."
mom's thought: "Shoot! He's way too clever."
Mom: "Well, maybe someone was too lazy to put that toy away and dropped it in our cart...we'll give it to the lady upfront!"

What have I turned into? Actually it's kind of funny. And luckily the cashier was picking up on my attempt at a distraction and the first few things I put up to buy she quickly pulled behind the register and scanned them out of sight.

I think they rest of my shopping will be done solo!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Christmas Card Confessions

We didn't do Christmas cards last year...I had many more important matters at hand and cards were no where near the top of my list. I have a feeling we'll receive less this year because #1...we moved....#2...we probably got axed from peoples lists this year since we didn't send last year.

Aren't Christmas Card politics funny? "Well, we didn't get one from them last we are NOT sending one to them this year." Do you write a letter or just send a picture? Do you include the whole family or just the kid(s)?

As a kid, our Christmas tradition was making our own cards. My mom would write a poem related to Christ's birth, and my dad would do a quick synopsis of everyone on the back...when I say quick...he'd get 6 people and 12 months into one paragraph!

Each kid had to submit an original drawing for the card. The coveted spot was always the front of the card. I am not artistic - but I'm clever!! I recently went through all of our old cards at my mom's house before she moved. I had the cover many times!! My artwork wasn't great, but I was always sure to draw something appropriate for the cover. Anything from a snowman manger scene to "Merry Christmas" in bubble letters with lights and footprints. Clever...sneaky...manipulative...whatever!! It worked!!

My parents still continue the tradition but it's all done on computer and we no longer have to submit artwork. They do try to get pictures of everyone in...and us kids always notice who was in there more!! Of course the grandkids hog all the glory now (but at least they are my kids!). Last year, my beloved husband, got mistaken for a stranger and didn't actually make it on the card!

I think since we did not do cards last year I am feeling extra obligated. I always like having something fun and perfect. People always commented on our cards and were amazed that even the dogs were looking at the camera....thanks to the off-camera treats. But if there were audio attached to the card it'd be a whole different picture!!

This year - we have had SO many changes and fun things happen that I almost need to just send out a photo album!! I have too many ideas in my head and none of them have given me that "AHAHA!!" that I long to get. Do I use a beach picture? Do I use a camping picture? Do I include the dogs? Should I do multiple pictures? Or maybe just a big picture of me! (just kidding!)

Do I sound obsessed....maybe a little bit. I enjoy it...I have a longing to be creative and I can usually figure something just takes me awhile.

So if you want a card from us...and have never received one....leave your address under the comments...I'll delete them as I get them so they aren't just "out there".

I feel I'll have to set up a photo shoot soon since all my ideas aren't quite working how I want them to. for a backdrop.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Sick energy

Why is it that my girls get this sudden burst of energy when they are sick? Maybe not at first, but the next morning.

A few weeks ago I had to go get Amber from school because she wasn't feeling well. In all actuality you would have thought she found the sugar bag that afternoon.

Yesterday I pick Camryn up from school and she's struggling. She said she had a headache (!? for a 5 year old!?) and she cried all the way to get Amber and in Target I realized she had a fever. When we finally got home her fever was 102.5. This morning it's still over 101 and she's playing like it's a Saturday. She says her ear and tummy hurts and one of her glands is bulging, but you'd think she were getting ready for play date.

Why can't she just want to lay around on the couch all day? Isn't that what you are supposed to do when you're sick?

Saturday, December 6, 2008

It was just funny!

I almost forgot to share this!!!

The other day I took Tyler to the Starbucks in Target (whoever thought of that is a GENIUS!). We were sitting there sharing our cranberry bliss bar and a lady who was ordering dropped a cup of coffee on the floor. She was a postal worker and was late to work. She was very apologetic, but was also late for work so was trying to get out of there. Tyler was SO funny.

He kept saying...without any tact, discression, or care that the embarrassed lady could hear...things like:

"mom - why did she drop her coffee?"
"mom - you have to hold your cup tight so it doesn't fall."
"mom - she made a big mess."
And he kept repeating these things. At one point she chimed in and was trying to explain to Tyler that her cup just slipped.

Then he said, "Mom, I always hold my cup so it doesn't fall. I don't drop my cup."

She stopped at our table and looked at Tyler and could tell she was trying to bite her lip and just laugh his comments off, but finally she just tight-lipped said, "SO!!"...and walked off. I just died laughing. It was SO funny!!

I felt bad for her in the first place - but then to have just a 3-year-old rub it innocent as it was...I'm impressed she didn't just let him have it. I wasn't even offended...even now I'm laughing out loud as I write this.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Thanksgiving in Cincinnati

Has a great ring to it, huh?!

It was actually really nice. It was a 9 hour drive with 3 kids and 2 dogs. And they were all amazing! We didn't even have a DVD player in the car! Just good old fashioned, coloring, reading, toys and special blankets! Plus there's a huge difference between driving 9 hours from North Carolina through mountains and town and cities, and over rivers and beautiful countryside....and driving through Kansas for 9 hours. Need I say more?

We spent a week in Cincinnati with Eric's dad. I got to see my bestest friend, Michele McGuire, for a couple of days and meet her new boyfriend...who is the best one she's ever had. I hadn't seen Michele in over a year so it was wonderful to see her. We also saw some of Eric's friends and their kids, and that was great too. We spent a lot of time...obviously...with Eric's dad. We also spent Thanksgiving with Eric's 2 grandmothers, one who is 89 and one who is 97! And one of his aunts.

We went to the amazing Children's Museum and to the zoo lights. We ate a lot of really good food...but somehow didn't gain 15 lbs!
Here are some pics. The story about the tree in the pictures is that it was bought by Eric's grandmother, in memory of his mom, and it's planted by the lake that is right by their cottage. It's a weeping cherry. I thought it'd be good if we all took pics by it.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Eric's challenge

Eric has been challenging me to get up early. He gets up early at 5:15...I can't quite do that. I'm aiming for 6:15, but have yet to get up before about 6:40 at this point. It nice when I get up even a few minutes early because I make lunches or straighten up or sit down and actually eat breakfast. This is going to be a continuing challenge for me. I want to do it...but my body doesn't!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Snow Globes

Did you ever collect these as a child? I used to love them and had a small collection. They are mezmerizing...especially if they have the right music to go along with them.

The church we are currently attending just started a series on "Shaken". I can't take credit for this's from church.

I loved the idea of this. I'm such a visual learner that this was perfect. Picture yourself in a snow globe. Picture yourself in this perfect little setting, happy, peacful, content. All of a sudden, God picks of the globe and starts to shake. Your world seems to be turned upside down. Pieces of your world are flying in your face, distorting your vision, making you dizzy and confused and feeling helpless...when will it stop? Why is God still shaking? What's the point? Eventually the shaking stops, the snow/glitters continues to fall, but eventually all settles so peacfully and all is calm again.

From outside the globe, people see you being shaken, but at the same time, we see the beauty in your struggle. We can see how you are enduring it and how it is making the world around you a beautiful place. We learn that God shakes us to show His glory...and because He can...and because He knows that in the end, all the pieces will settle and it will be beautiful.

Remember this visual picture next time you feel you are being shaken. Try to look past the pieces flying around, and focus on the hand that is doing the shaking.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Salon Drinks

Since I have no loyalty to a hair stylist in NC yet, I decided to get my hair cut in Cincinnati. I found a salon near where we were staying and made an appointment.

The girl was great. Young, fresh, attentive, professional but logical, listened great and took her time - gave me options, but didn't push me in one way or another...and I LOVED my hair for the first time in a long time. I wanted to put the girl in my pocket and take her home with me!

However, my issue with nice salons is the drink they give you.

I love when they offer you coffee or tea or water or wine (at my salon in Colorado wine & beer were always offered).

But here's where the frustration comes in: When do you get to actually drink it?

You take a sip or two just before you sit in the chair and then you start talking about the hair cut....then comes the ever-encompassing black drape. I feel as if I can't take my arms out of it. Once she starts cutting I don't want to move. I feel it's rude or distracting...and heaven forbid I move and she takes a bad cut!!

So I sit there - watching my once steaming cup of hot tea slowly become luke warm.

I was able to take a couple more sips after the hair washing, but still left it about 1/3 full when I walked out.

Why bother offering drinks? It's a nice idea, don't get me wrong - but it's like going to the dentist and them asking questions while their hands are in your mouth.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Saturday - bright and early - we load the kids and dogs in the car and head north. It was a 9 hour drive. No DVD player! We have always borrowed one for our long roadtrips before, but not this time...and let me say...we all survived beautifully!! They each got a bag of toys/books/colors etc...and they were their special night-nights. We made 2-3 quick stops and one stop to each lunch and a non fast food restaurant. Then they all fell asleep for the remaining 2 hours. Fabulous!

The worst part of the drive was going over the "so-called mountains" of North Carolina while suffering from a sinus infection...and painful ears that won't pop.

The rest of the trip so far has been non stop. Friends, late nights, early mornings. Walking dogs in the wind and rain. Kids who seem to be on a never-ending sugar high. We've seen some of Eric's friends, my best friend Michele!!! and her boyfriend, Eric's grandma and aunt.

We've been to the Children's Museum and to dinner and breakfasts and lunches...the never ending supply of food here!

I'm so thankful we have this time with Eric's family. One grandma turns 89 on Friday, the other one is 97...and healthy as can be. However, her mind is going, so it's good to see her when she still remembers us a little bit.

I get go have a bit of a break tomorrow when I get my hair cut. ahhhhhh....SO badly needed.

Have a blessed Thanksgiving.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

night-night surgery

What are they called at your house? Binkie? Woobie? Is it a stuffed animal? A blanket? A pacifier?

Here they are called "night-nights". Their blankets. Eric's aunt crocheted each kid a blanket and without persuasion, they all got addicted to it. They suck their thumbs holding their night-nights. They sleep with them and take them on long car trips. If the child is misbehaving badly enough, I get the scissors out and threaten to cut up the works every time!

However, Tyler has loved on his SO much that it is falling apart. (Amber too - but today we are talking about Tyler's).

I don't know what will happen if these things disintegrate, but I'm afraid one day they will. A week or so ago Tyler's started to unravel. I tied it off as best I could, but today I decided it was time to amputate the edging. Luckily the edging was a separate appendage from the main body - so after close analysis I was able to locate and sever the connectors. It was a successful procedure.



Monday, November 17, 2008

New found talent

The girls came and got me from whatever it was I was doing. They were very excited and wanted to show me something. I couldn't imagine what it was since I knew they'd been playing with Thomas trains...this is what they showed me!! Human Tunnel??

one more

...forgot this one...

More leaves

There are plenty to be had around here and a big pile of them is as fun for one generation as it was for the last!

Here they come!!
Jumpin' in!
Look what the leaves raked up!
I thought this picture was almost perfect then I almost deleted it...until I saw what Amber was looking at - then I thought it was just cute!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Anti-I Suck as a Mom

Before I left Colorado I was having one of those weeks when nothing was going right, from my "mom" point of view. My kids were not listening, I felt I was failing at everything, I was pouting about Eric's job...waawaawaa...

My little sister put these pictures on a CD for me and labeled it "Anti-I Suck as a Mom." I finally got it from here only since I've moved to Charlotte, and only last week looked at the pictures for the first time. I thought it was like a mixed-tape of songs, so I had never opened it up. Then I tried to play it in my CD player and when I told her it didn't work she said's pictures!


Yes - it's been 2 weeks, but I realized I only had 1 blurry picture of the kids so I had to wait for my mom's CD to arrive. Thanks mom!!
I had intended for them to wear these darling cheer leader outfits they had and then I was going to dress Tyler as a football player - but shopping with all 3 kids during the 30% at Target 2 days before Halloween changed everything!

Here are my favs!
Eric - Big Bad Wolf

Snow Princesses

Tyler - Mater from 'Cars' & 2 snow princesses