Tuesday, December 16, 2008

visit with Santa 12-12-08

Santa came to Josh's work again this year. It is a great way to visit Santa because it is so much more low key than the mall. No lines, and the kids can pretty much spend as much time with him as they want.

Before we left, they got their lists ready: (Someone was a tad grumpy but I won't name any names. You might be able to tell from the pictures....)

I swear we washed his face before we left, but some things take an actual shower to come off! Samuel was all business again this year.

Happy! Wow! Christmas is going to be good this year! Santa said he'd bring everything if we're good! --- Thanks Santa!!

in the running

These pictures were all in the running for our Christmas card picture this year, but in the end I went with a different one. Thought all these were good though and wanted to share!

Friday, November 21, 2008

more sewing

I finished this little top for Nora Kate Wednesday. She loved it and wore it to preschool yesterday. All the teachers loved it too and want one for their little ones. I made it intending for it to be the top part of a Christmas outfit for this year and I still want it to be that, but I need to make some pants to match. I was not sure, but I am now thinking dark brown corduroy ruffle pants, perhaps making the ruffle out of the polka dot fabric. I may have to add some more of the ric rac too just because I have a thing for ric rac. Another option is that I already have some khaki corduroy, so I may go with that. The fabrics are from Sandi Henderson (farmers market), and Anna Maria Horner (garden party). I used a pattern for the top part of the top and it was Sandi Henderson's 'Claire' from her line of Portabellopixie patterns.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

momma said there'd be days like this...

Okay, I know. I've lived a sheltered life. I've never plunged a toilet before. Before today that is. Let's have a recap of my day....(and remember that it's only 3:30). Let's also preface this recap with the knowledge that my husband is out of town for 4 days and we are now on day 3.

-got up at 6:30 after another sleepless night -- very tired, more than usual.
-had to drag son out of bed after he stayed up an hour past his bed time reading.
-went through the usual Mommy get me this, Mommy get me that servant routine
-realized that when my son took one of his gargantous (don't know if that's a word, don't care) numero dos trips to the bathroom yesterday that 'he blew up the john' (a phrase I got from my b-i-l Tim, makes me laugh and remember a funny story so I use it)
-7:30 took son to school
-back home, 1st attempt to plunge. unsuccessful.
-8:15 got tips on how to properly plunge a toilet from husband over the phone who doesn't have time to talk and is eating breakfast at fancy hotel with jolly laughing co-workers
-8:30 went to pick up our van with a nieghbor since it has been at the shop all week getting a brand new $500 starter. well it started right up, so that was a positive, but a hassle none the less, not to mention the $$.
-back home, 2 more attempts to plunge the toilet. unsuccessful. you have to make sure you get a good seal, he said. tried, got a good seal, unsuccessful.
-various chores at home with 3 year old girl literally climbing on my back and sticking toys in my face, "see this mommy?" yes, yes, yes, please don't put it so close to my (lasik improved) eyes.
-ballet class at 11:30. getting there included 15 minutes worth of trying to dress an uncooperative wet noodle, wet noodle refusing to wear a jacket over her leotard, wet noodle running away when I tried to put her in her car seat, wet noodle pushing the opposite direction on the van door (pushing it open as I am trying to close it), packing wet noodle extra clothes to change into after ballet so we can go straight to Samuel's school for chapel (this is all an attempt to make him feel special since this week- the week that his father is out of town- he is student of the week), and then wet noodle not cooperating when I'm trying to get her ballet shoes on, and finally whining for me to go into class with her. closed bathroom door before I left as I am starting to notice a smell in the house.
-during ballet, and it's only 30 min long. Discuss plunging with another ballet mom who has experience. She says a tulip shaped plunger might help. Oh, I think we have one, I say. Said 3 year old has to go to the bathroom. Every once in a while her pee goes projectile into the air, and this happened to be one of those times. Pee everywhere including all over her underwear and tights. For once I am prepared with a change of underwear and a plastic grocery bag. Said 3 y.o. returns for the last 5 min of class.
-leaving ballet, after gathering 3 y.o. from running thru parking lot by bribing her with Smarties, quick run thru the drive thru at taco bell ( a place my digestive system just really can't take anymore, but it was the only ff restaurant anywhere close and our only chance to get some lunch before going to Samuel's school.
-trying to eat taco in car and spill sour cream on my pants. 3 y.o. in back is being very indesicive of whether or not she wants her cheese sauce for her nachos. "I want it Mommy" (I hand it to her), "no I don't want it anymore" (take it back), etc......
-get to school and my key chain thing to swipe and sign in (school's security system) doesn't work and I have to get out my license and sign in with that, meanwhile holding up the line.
-late to chapel
-son does dance moves to Christian worship songs, daughter constantly tries to get down and run amuck.
-chapel is about to end and fire alarm goes off at school. everyone leaves the building. major chaos. trying to find Samuel's class but am in a sea of kids and considering I am barely just a tad taller than the 3rd graders, this proves to be difficult, not to mention I am carrying wet noodle. good news, just a drill. take son home early from school.
-back home. ask son to look for other plunger in upstairs bathroom, no luck. back in the john for attempt 4, no luck. close the door.
-husband calls, on a bus on his way to a tour of a research and development facility before going to a nice 5 course dinner at a fancy restaurant which he will eat at before returning to his fancy hotel suite with 2 flat screens and maid service. gives more tips on plunging... flush first, must have water in toilet to push 'it' through. I ask where the tulip shaped plunger is, and get a "huh?". no other plungers in the house he says.
-put whining wet noodle down for a nap
-back to the john for attempt #5. did the flush first thing. unsuccessful. irritated at the emmense grossness of this task. think back to days of working in nursing homes and try to decide which is worse. then remember I will be going back to work in nursing homes soon. shut the door.
-upstairs to make an 'out of order' sign for the john.

Hopefully the rest of day 3 will go a little better. not sure if I will go for attempt 6 or not. my efforts have been fruitless thus far.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Halloween 2008

Here they are, the much anticipated Halloween photos of the kids! We have here Sleeping Beauty and Obi Wan Kenobi in the flesh! They had a great time. Samuel helped me make skull cookies, and they enjoyed a ghouly dinner of mummies and green guts with eyeballs. Nora Kate thought trick-or-treating was a blast and really got into it this year. Samuel had one of the best experiences since he fought Darth Vader at Disney World this past spring..... one of the neighbors had dressed up as some kind of monster, so Samuel fought him with his light saber, earning an extra piece of candy for his efforts! He is still talking about it!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

I made this bag!!

Look at me! I made this bag! I am so proud of myself! I have sewn a lot of things in the past, but this bag is significant, because this is the first thing I have made using a pattern. Everything else I have just made up as I went along. It is an Amy Butler pattern (frenchy bags) using Amy Butler fabrics. I love it! Just call me crafty!

our trip to the lemur center

Ever seen the kids show Zaboomafoo? Well, if you haven't, it is about lemurs, and it is actually filmed at the Duke Lemur Center, where we visited last weekend of Sept. For a little background as to why we would spend our leisure time on a Saturday driving to Durham to visit the very remotely located Lemur Center... Samuel had to do an animal report for school and he chose the Lemur. The lemur center was very neat. There were a lot of different species of lemurs and we learned a lot of interesting facts about them, such as they are female dominated, they only come from the island of Madagascar, there are some that are nocturnal and others that aren't. There was a lot of heavy influence on our tour suggesting that lemurs were part of the chain of evolution which includes monkeys and as we learned in school, supposedly then humans. Thankfully, we have taught Samuel otherwise and he thinks the idea that monkeys eventually turned into humans is hilarious. In fact, every time our guide mentioned anything about evolution, he started giggling. The interesting thing to me is that so many people just accept evolution as fact, when really, there is no scientific evidence to prove it. Darwin never actually saw anything evolve into anything, he just made it up. I do not consider myself articulate enough to explain what I know, but if you are reading this and I have either riled you up at the idea that I do absolutely believe in creation or if you are just interested in learning more, visit the creation museum website link I have over on the side of this blog. There is a lot of info there, and they have a lot of resources as well. --- just a side note, we learned on our visit that the show Zaboomafoo was actually filmed there at the Duke Lemur Center and the actual lemur they use in the show lives there, but his name is not Zaboo. Also, Samuel got a 100 A+ on his report!


Nora Kate started preschool Sept. 23. She was on a waiting list for a good preschool here for the 2 day class and they had an opening come available in their 3 day, so we put her in the 3 day. She goes T, Th, and F 9:30 to 12:30. She really likes it although she does cry every day when I drop her off. I'm not sure if she's doing that for my benefit, or her own, but she is really enjoying learning new things and they always tell me she has had a great day! She is even going potty independently there! So big!

Samuel started his first day of second grade at North Raleigh Christian Academy Aug. 18. He is having a really great year so far. He is learning to write in cursive and LOVES it! He does an excellent job with it too, getting A's on most of his writing tests. He just got his first quarter grades which were straight A's in 6 subjects, his lowest being a 97 and he got commended on his positive attitude! Tonight we go to the school for parent teacher fellowship and get to see all the things he has been doing, and he has a field trip to the fire station on Thursday so something to look forward to! Our little man.

a couple random pics of Nora Kate

Such the princess.... We've been working on this for about the past couple of months. She is doing great! Completely trained except while sleeping! Big Girl!

Friday, October 10, 2008

eye love it!

Still having problems with posting photos, but wanted to mention that today is the 1 year anniversary of my eye surgery! It has been so wonderful to be able to see without the help of glasses or contacts. It has been so wonderful to read a book at night, to have so many moments of clarity seeing every little tree branch, to see better while driving at night, to just see. Josh describes it as "seeing in HD" and he's right. I am still having problems with dry eyes as I did prior to the surgery and a little worse after the surgery, but it's nothing major and a few eye drops will usually help. I am so glad I had it done, and that it went well! Praise God for Lasik!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

stay tuned...

having photo difficulties again... and here I am in my photo catch-up stuck back in the 4th of July. All of a sudden I can't find my photos on the computer anymore to upload. It is weird, or most likely, operator error. But be looking soon (hopefully) for updates including Samuel's 1st day of 2nd grade, Nora Kate's 1st day of preschool, potty training, our trip to the Duke University lemur center!, Covidien family fun day (carnival at Josh's work), and my most very recent b-day! There, I've given you something to look forward to, and now I will leave you with a funny....

Last Saturday, Samuel awoke with a bad dream (at 6:30 am) and came to get in bed with us because he was scared. This was all fine and good, we were lovin on him so he wouldn't be scared anymore. But he was awake now, and was getting chatty (at 6:30 am). He was apparently studying his Dad who like always (and I know it's like always because I sleep next to him and get elbowed in the head several times a night) had his arms up above his head. Samuel says this: "Boy, it sure is taking my armpit hair a long time to come in." I completely lost it (at 6:30 am)!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

4th of July family cookout 08

These were taken on the 4th of July at my Dad's cousin Larry Rush's house. They had a family reunion out there in London, KY and let me tell you it was packed (with people and with food). It rained pretty much the whole time we were there, but that didn't seem to stop any of the fun. There was fishing (pic in the middle is of Dad helping Samuel fish), volleyball, swimming, rides through the woods on some type of 4 wheel vehicle that I am not educated enough to know what it was, and a genuine outhouse (with toilet paper and a light)! I haven't seen too many outhouses in my day, but with all the ammenities this one came with, I would consider it pimped out. One of the highlights of that evening for me was ... no, no, not when Samuel got the fish hook stuck in his finger; no, not when Nora Kate ate 3 different types of dessert for her dinner, but getting to talk to and catch up with Larry's daughter Becky. Becky is some type of cousin to me (our Dad's are 1st cousins) and I have known her all my life, we are about the same age. She and I were pregnant at the same time with Samuel and her son Caleb and they were born very close together. So, we had just arrived at this very populated cookout and I was feeling a little shy not feeling like I knew anyone as it was mostly people I did not know, and all of a sudden I hear this little boy throwing an absolute fit. I immediately looked around to see where Samuel was as this sounded EXACTLY like him, when I realized this particular screaming fit was coming from another young man that looked to be about Samuel's age. I then saw Becky deal with him and a smile spread across my face. She looked at me and said (and this was the first thing she said to me at the cookout) "you thought you were the only one, didn't you?" Becky and I bonded that evening over our boys.

King's Island ~ July 2008

I know I am back-tracking here, but I was looking through some of the pictures that we were able to save (after losing literally HUNDREDS of pictures ~ did I mention that already?!) and these were just too cute not to include. Every summer since we have moved far away (aka 2004) I have travelled back to OH with the kids to spend a week with Mom and Dad. It usually includes a trip to KY to see extended family which is my only opportunity to see them at all. And it also usually includes a trip to Kings Island, the amusement park I grew up going to. The kids love it. This year, Nora Kate really came out as the dare devil of our kids and Samuel looked like quite the scaredy cat next to his little sister who wanted to ride everything! Here she is with Mom riding her first roller coaster, the "Little Bill Coaster".

This year Rachel and Elizabeth, my sister's 2 girls were staying with Mom and Dad a couple of the days that we were there and they got to come along to KI with us, so that was an extra bonus getting to spend some time with them. Here we all are (except for Dad who is taking the picture) on the train at the end of the day. Rachel and Elizabeth are in front, then Mom and me with the kids in the back. You can see that someone is getting a little sleepy, but I won't name any names. The funny part about this is that Dad took the pictures at the last minute before the train was taking off so it had already started to move when he took the last picture. So then, in pure Dad fashion, he disregards the warnings and swings around the outside of the train while it's moving to get back to sit with us. I can't remember if they said anything to him or not, but it was funny!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

from the mouths of babes...

First I must say that obviously I have been a bit behind in my blogging and that is unfortunate because during this time that I have been silent and have not been posting pictures, we (Josh) have lost hundreds of our photos while trying to transfer them to a cd. He says they must be somewhere because he did not specifically delete them, but they are nowhere to be found. So, no birthday pics of the kids, no school field trips, no anniversary trip pics, etc. Thankfully, I had uploaded our disney photos to shtterfly, because they are all gone too. Anyway, I wanted to post this funny thing Samuel said yesterday before I forget...

Yesterday afternoon...
Samuel: Mommy, are you skinny?

Me: Well, I wouldn't say that...

Samuel: Well, your legs are.

Me: Yeah.

Samuel: (takes a closer look) Well, maybe just your feet.


Monday, July 14, 2008

July 11, 2008...has it really been 10 years?

in front of the Biltmore house

my favorite part of the 4 acres of flower gardens

July 11, 1998July 11, 2008

This past weekend on July 11, Josh and I celebrated our 10 year anniversary. We had planned to take a big trip, but it just wasn't going to happen this year, so we decided we will celebrate 11 years on the 11th next year! We did get a weekend away, which was really nice. We went to Asheville, NC and visited the Biltmore. I can remember wanting to do that when I was little, but we never did. The house was amazing. It was 6 stories with 43 bathrooms and fireplaces larger than some rooms in our house. One of the most interesting things about it was realizing that it was built in the late 1800's and learning how they used horses and railways to bring in all the materials. The property is 8000 acres, and is still owned by the family. The little we learned about the family history was also very interesting. We went there Thursday and Friday (if you buy your ticket after 3pm you can use it for the next day also), then went out to a nice restaurant for our Anniversary on Friday night. A HUGE thanks to Mom and Dad for watching the kids for us (and surviving!). Enjoy the pictures.

Monday, June 16, 2008

father's day weekend

For Father's Day, Josh wanted to do something fun with the kids to create memories rather than getting a present. Since there is a minor league team here he decided last year that it would be fun to go to a baseball game. So, that's what we did last year and again this year. We actually went with a group of neighbors this year. It was a lot of fun. We did have a bit of rain and everyone got pretty wet, but still fun.

Friday, June 13, 2008

typical Nora Kate....

This is what living with our little girl is really like. These are a couple of pictures that really capture her true personality! She likes to wear colorful socks and sleep with her babies and a book and of course her princess blanket.... She almost never goes anywhere without at least 10 of her boppies and of course her purse. She also likes to bring along a toy if she can. This particular day she was still in her princess gown and slippers! (I think we were taking Samuel to school. She doesn't usually go out in public wearing her pj's!) She is such a little bag lady too. She loves bags and purses and fills them with all sorts of stuff she can find! So cute. Still in diapers, she doesn't want to have anything to do with the potty. She was really interested in it until one day we were working on it and she was wearing her big girl panties and went on the floor. She was really upset and since then has wanted nothing to do with it whatsoever. She does not like messes and I think it scared her that that happened. What can I say? She still drinks her milk out of a bottle too. That's right. Just turned 3 and won't drink her milk out of anything but a bottle. I know maybe I should care, but I really don't. I think it's more important for her to get the milk in than to fight it. (believe me, I've tried!) Basically, she's our princess and we love her to pieces and pretty much do whatever she wants! (Is that bad?!!)

end of 1st grade celebrations

Friday, May 30, the entire 1st grade from Samuel's school had a field trip to JellyBeans, the roller rink here. We all 3 skated (yes, even me!) Someone said to me "wow, you are brave!" when they saw me and the 2 kids all in skates. I said, "well, either brave or stupid, I'm not sure which just yet!" It all turned out good. I only almost fell once but saved face. (Unlike the poor Dad from another class who fell and twisted his ankle on the last field trip to Clemmons Forest. Poor guy had to be lifted out of the forest on a stretcher.) Anyway, both of the kids had a great time. Samuel skated and fell a few times, but had fun. Nora Kate didn't care too much for skating on the rink, but liked 'skating' around on the carpet outside of the rink. It was a very cute sight to see her in roller skates (the smallest size they had!) The last day of school was Tuesday, June 3. The first grade had an Awards Chapel at 8am. Josh and I both went. We weren't sure if he would get an award, but we told him even if he didn't it was a good idea to go and cheer on his classmates. As it turned out, he did get an award for A/B Honor Roll, meaning that he got all A's and B's the entire year! We were really proud of him! Here he is with his teacher, Mrs. Gordey in the classroom after the awards. (Just a side note.... he has since gotten a haircut -- thank goodness!)

playset is finished

Josh actually finished the playset Memorial Day but I am just now getting around to posting about it. The kids are LOVING it! (In case you can't see), there is a rock wall, rope ladder, 2 regular swings, a disc swing, a slide, and an upper and lower level clubhouse type area. They are playing on it every day and having so much fun, not to mention quite a few of the neighbor kids are enjoying it also! Samuel has learned to swing and can swing about as high as the top of the slide. I was not surprised that he is 7 and didn't know how to swing. How would he? Most of the newer playgrounds these days do not have swings, not to mention that when he was in school in PA he only had recess 3 TIMES the whole year from when school started to when we moved in March. I was irate about that. He does have recess EVERY day here in NC, which I am very grateful for, but no swings. And just to note (from my OT classes), swinging is very good for kids developmentally and neurologically. So, glad to finally have the swings!

Monday, May 26, 2008

what we've been up to....

Wow. I can't believe it's been 2 months since I last posted. The time has really flown by. We've had so much going on. We've had 2 birthdays (Samuel turned 7 on March 25 and Nora Kate turned 3 on May 13), both sets of Grandparents have visited, spring break, we've built a robot for a school project, had school field trips and presentations, Awana ended at church, baseball season started and is more than halfway through, Samuel was in his first parade with the baseball team, Mother's Day, Josh built a retaining wall in the front of our house, and much more that I'm sure I am forgetting. I am posting pictures of our current project.... the much anticipated play set! The kids are so excited! It was delivered Saturday afternoon around 4 and has been kind of a neighborhood weekend project. Josh is trying to finish it today. The last picture of the kids eating breakfast was just taken this morning!