Friday, December 14, 2007

deck the house

I have had several requests to post a picture of our house, so here it is. I thought it would be a nice idea to take a picture of it at dusk with the Christmas lights on. (If you click on the picture and enlarge it, you will be able to see it better.) So anyway, I will plan on taking a picture in the day time. I am aware that this is not that great. This is the Moravian star our friends from our church in PA (Calvary Baptist) gave us before we left. It is a common thing to see there as the area where we lived included Bethlehem and Nazareth. Josh hung it over our door and I love it. Thanks guys! We miss you and every time I look at it, I am reminded of how we were blessed with your friendship during the 3 years we lived there.

Here is a closer look at the front door. We had fun decorating for Christmas. I love this season. I will try to post pictures of the inside of the house later.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


Well, Nora Kate has followed in the same footsteps of her brother.... Today she was playing with her new imaginary friend, "Pake". Pake is a boy, and she has been giving him hugs and kisses, waving at him, and sharing her chair with him this afternoon. He is currently playing with his toys. Some of you may remember "Funny Guy" and "Dr. Silly", Samuel's imaginary friends. Those 2 are still around, but spend a lot of time on vacation in Mexico these days according to Samuel.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

under construction

These 2 were hard at work today, at what, I'm not sure.... they're out for hire if you need anything......

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Samuel's School Christmas Play 12-4-07

Samuel's 1st grade Christmas play was last night at his school. It was really cute. He had tried out for a singing part in the play, but was given the part of the 'horse' instead. The day he came home with his assigned part, it was really funny. The paper said, 'Your child, Samuel, has been assigned the part of horse in this year's Christmas play. ' I told him how awesome it was and talked it up. He said, "well, is it a singing horse?" I said "no, I think this is a quiet horse". Ever since the Christmas season has started, every time Samuel sees a nativity, he spots the donkey and says, "hey Mom, there's the horse!" Here is the whole group of first graders singing. Samuel was on the left side, third row, on the inside end. You probably won't be able to see him, but I thought a picture of the whole group was neat and would let you Grandparent's see what it was like since you couldn't be there. It was called "The Mystery of the Manger - It's the Gospel Truth". At some point the kids in the manger scene had to leave to get their costumes on and then they had a procession down the aisle to go back up to the stage. Luckily I got the inside scoop from another Mom who was helping out who told me where to sit so I could see him coming in. This is our little horse coming in during the procession.

This is the manger scene. You can see Samuel sitting to the right of Mary and the wisemen, and to the left of the camel. Very sweet.

This is at the end, all the kids and the music teacher.

Here is our little horse again. He looked really cute.

Here is the t-shirt all the kids had on for the play.

Just for the record, Nora Kate sat very nicely during most of the play. She liked listening to the kids sing and mimicked their hand motions with the songs. At the end, the principle talked to the crowd about Christmas and it's true meaning and then took a moment to honor all Grandparents that were there, talking about what a huge part they play in the lives of their Grandchildren. She had them all stand up and it was about 1/3 to 1/2 of the room. It made me a little sad, but even living far away, Samuel and Nora Kate know how much they are loved by their Grandparents. Enjoy the photos!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Nora Kate's 1st haircut 12-1-07

Yesterday we took both of the kids to get their hair cut. Samuel was long overdue and it was Nora Kate's 1st. She could have waited, but it seemed her hair was just getting increasingly stringy and it needed to be evened out so it could thicken up. Here are the two of them at home "before".
Nora Kate was very excited for her first haircut. She wanted to get hers cut the last time I took Samuel (which was obviously a while ago). We take them to this kids place called Snip-Its. It is very cute and they can watch a video or play computer games during the haircut, so it makes it less painful for everyone involved. Anyway, Nora Kate sat very still and cooperated very nicely the entire time. She really enjoyed it......

...except for the hair dryer. As you can see, she did not enjoy that portion of the haircutting experience, so the lady stopped and we let her hair air dry. No big deal.

This is her "after" picture. As you can see, she was quite proud of herself!

Here is Samuel getting his hair cut. It was quite a job. I don't have an after picture of him, but you can see he was shaping up quite nicely. He really loves playing the games. You can see he was really concentrating. (Under his cape was a mouse and mousepad).

All Grandparents, brace yourselves..... here she is at home today. This is what she really looks like now. Where did my little baby go?!

Friday, November 30, 2007

decorating the house 11-24-07

We decorated our house for Christmas last Saturday, Nov. 24th. We usually do it the 1st Sat of December while watching the Army/Navy game, but Josh will have to be going in and out of work tomorrow as they are having a big change over with their computer system, so we did it a week early this year. Samuel decorated a lot of the tree himself. Apparently it helps to be wearing 3-D glasses. In front of our fireplace we have all of the various snowmen that sing from Hallmark and the Polar Express Santa that talks. The kids love these. They sit in front of them and listen to them over and over, dancing. Surprisingly, this doesn't annoy me. I think it's really cute.

Here is sideways Josh (like flat Stanley - which by the way Samuel got the first book recently and loves it, it's really cute). Sorry I forgot to turn the picture. He didn't want me to take this picture, but obviously I did anyway.

Samuel and Nora Kate are loving the Christmas decorations. I'm glad we have them for an extra week this year. This is after we were finished with the tree. They have been playing really well together lately and just enjoying being together. This was one of those moments.

something you don't see very often

This is something you don't see very often, beautiful fall leaves on a tree this close to Christmas. We put our Christmas decorations up last weekend and our tree still has all it's red fall leaves. It looks really pretty all lit up. We are still in fall "bloom" so to speak around here. There are many of the trees still holding their beautiful colors. I am really enjoying it as that is my favorite time of year when you can see all the beautiful fall colors. I think our peak was right before Thanksgiving. It was gorgeous before we left for MN, but as I said, still very pretty now.

more Thanksgiving pictures

Aunt Peggy and Josh's Mom getting the turkey ready! Eric and Lyndsay, the newlyweds!

Brad and Amber (Josh's sister). We're so thankful Brad is back from Iraq (after almost 2 years).

The pies. Josh's family is known (at least in my book) for their made from scratch pies. Pictured here are 3 of the 5 we had as dessert. (apple, cherry, blueberry, lemon and chocolate) Yum!

Josh and I before dinner. (picture by Eric!)

Samuel and Aaron playing after dinner. They were pretty much inseparable the whole time.

A big crowd chose to play "Life" after dinner. This was when the game was just getting started.

We left on Friday, so we missed our usual trip to the Mall of America on black Friday. That was a bummer, but maybe next year. Josh was a doll and sat with the kids on the plane. I was right across the aisle.

As we were landing, Nora Kate and Samuel were holding hands (at her request) and she was yelling "Help me Sam-l, help me! Help me!" over and over again. It was comical.

Thanks to Josh's family for another great Thanksgiving. It was so nice to see all of you.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Thanksgiving Day 11-22-07

Nora Kate getting her nails done with Lyndsay and Amber after dinner. Table 1

Table 2

Samuel (before he leaned on the table causing it to collapse, giving him a big knot on his head.)

Nora Kate enjoying her dinner!

We were in Minnesota for Thanksgiving this year visiting Josh's family. We had a great turkey dinner and it was nice to see the family again. Lyndsay and Eric arrived this year as newlyweds and it was so great to have Brad back home from Iraq. Lots of things to be thankful for. I'll try to post some more pictures later from the trip.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

another tough question from Samuel

This morning as I was driving Samuel to school, he had another tough question for me.... "Mommy, how are we supposed to give everything we have to God? We can't even reach Him."

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Hobo Day 11-16

Yesterday Samuel's class had "Hobo Day". They were supposed to dress like a hobo and then the class party that afternoon was referred to as a "hoedown". The kids had a lot of fun. Josh had gotten home from his business trip (his all week long business trip) and was able to come also. Samuel was really excited that he was there as Josh doesn't usually get to come to these things. I am posting some pictures from the "hoedown" and of Samuel in his hobo attire. Just some thoughts on this.... we have no idea where this idea came from for hobo day. We can't seem to come up with any connection with hobo's and Thanksgiving. ?? We also don't really see the connection with hobo's having a hoedown, or having a hoedown at Thanksgiving. ?? Anyone?
Oh, and Mom and Dad, the picture of Samuel reminds me of the picture you guys have of me when I was 3 years old and you dressed me up like a boy for Halloween!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Tim and Rhonda visit

Tim and Rhonda and the girls came to visit us the 3rd weekend of October. We were so happy they went to the trouble of coming down. It is a long trip. The kids had so much fun playing together and it made me wish they could see each other more often, not to mention that I really miss seeing my sister (and Tim) more than twice a year. That's one of the things about moving that I hate - not being able to spend more time with my family. It just doesn't seem right. I remember when things started to get serious with Josh and I and we started to talk about marriage. I told him that if he went to the "wife store" to pick out a wife, that on my box it would say, "wants to live in Louisville and always be near her family." I told him not to "pick that box" if he didn't like what it came with, and of course he said he liked the "box" and wanted the same. And that IS what we wanted. But kids come along and life happens and you try to make the decisions that will be best for your family. And so here we are, in North Carolina, my 5th state to live in. We do really like it here, it's just so far. --- But here are some pictures of the kids from our trip to a pumpkin farm during their visit. What is funny about this is that when we got there, we found out that it was $10 PER PERSON just to get in! I thought my eye surgery had gone bad and I was seeing things, but no, that was the price. I think it included a pumpkin and a hayride, but we didn't want either of those things. The kids wanted to ride the train and go down the 80 ft. slide (which had a 180 ft. line and each of which would cost $2.50 extra per kid!). So we just went in the gift shop and took pictures with the pumpkins and after a bit of debating over whether we should stay or go, we just left! (The kids were fine with it. I think they had fun playing with the pumpkins and they were hungry anyway and wanted lunch.) We were all willing to go in if the other wanted, it was just the principle of the thing.
Sorry about the 2 pictures of Nora Kate. I thought it didn't post the first time and obviously it did, but I don't know how to remove it. Still learning about blogging!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

field trip to Durham Theater 11-8

The first graders from Samuel's school went on a field trip to the Durham Theater Thursday. I was able to go. That is one of the things that makes me so thankful that I can stay home with the kids. Otherwise I wouldn't be able to do things like this with him very easily. It matters to him that I am there and it makes him feel special, therefore it matters to me. Anyway, we saw the play "If You Give a Pig a Party". It was cute. Samuel said it was "long and boring". (It was a little long for their age. It was an hour and it started at noon, so all the kids were hungry and getting a little restless.) All the classes had t-shirts. They all had the same design, but each class was a different color. I thought that was a great idea to try to keep them all together a little easier. This isn't all of his class, there are 22 in all.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

complete FREAK OUT!

Today I innocently went to take out our trash and found a SNAKE in our GARAGE! I first thought it must be a rubber snake because there couldn't be a real one in the garage, but then I remembered that I had thrown all of Samuel's little rubber snakes (some so called 'friend' had given him an entire bag of them for his birthday) in the trash because I couldn't deal with having them around. After running back inside, I opened the door again and took a quick look back just to make sure I wasn't seeing things and to make sure it was really there. It was. Then I did a quick lap around our kitchen island, grabbed my cell phone, jumped up on a chair, and called Josh. Thankfully he was my hero and came home and took care of the problem. Before getting down from the chair I called Dad too, because if Josh couldn't come home, he was my next target for help. (not thinking clearly at this point...) Some of you may find this humorous (Rhonda), but it really was not. I can handle any type of bug or spider that comes my way, but snakes are not welcome here. I am becoming less enamoured with NC.

snake stats: it was about 1 foot long (stop laughing - the small ones are really dangerous) and was black with gray triangles or diamonds or something.... can't talk about it anymore....

lizards and snakes.... what's next? oh Lord, give me strength......

Friday, November 2, 2007

It is what you think it is....

Samuel and his neighbor friend Joey found a new friend yesterday while playing... a 'cute' little lizard. They took turns holding it and then put it back on the tree where they found it in case it's Mom was looking for it. Yeah, NC is a new type of territory for us, never had lizards in my backyard before! Thank goodness it was a small one... (this time...)

keeping the tooth fairy busy

Samuel lost 2 teeth last week. One on Tuesday and one during the night Friday night. (That one hasn't been found!) Anyway, he was keeping the tooth fairy quite busy last week here in NC!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Halloween photos

Now, what everyone's been waiting for..... Halloween pictures of the kids. Here they are. Samuel went as "the Thing" from Fantastic 4 and Nora Kate went as the cutest little ladybug you've ever seen! Enjoy!

Fall Party 10-29-07

Samuel's fall party at school was this past Monday. I brought Nora Kate and she had a great time with all the 'big' kids. In one of these photos she is eating a cookie that Samuel decorated for her (that was one of their activities, and he made sure she had one because he knows she loves cookies so much).

On another subject, my eyes are doing well. I went back today (have been going in weekly). My vision has improved just slightly to 20/40 and 20/30 (was 20/50 and 20/30). The internal inflammation is gone, but the inflammation on the surface caused from the dryness is still there. He put in upper tear duct plugs (I already have lower) and wants me to start taking fish oil to help with the dryness. Fish oil for eyes. Who knew? I go back in 2 weeks, and if there is no change he talked like he may send me to a Dr. in Chapel Hill who is a cornea specialist. I hope it doesn't get to that point.

On yet another subject, the newest song I added to my ipod this week is "Everything" by Michael Buble'. It's a really happy mellow song and I really like it!