Saturday, December 13, 2008

It will be in the 80's this week!

We just got back from a wonderful trip to the beach. It was a bit chilly for my liking, but it didn't stop the kids from getting in the water! I will probably be blogging about children with pneumonia in a few days, but hey, they'll have some great memories! There are waaayyy too many pictures to post, so I'll just be putting up a few here and there. I might make a slide show in a couple of weeks, if I can get around to it!

As for the trip, it was wonderfully relaxing. We got to the hotel on Thursday evening. We went down to the beach and let the kids play around. It was still pretty cloudy from the cold front moving through, but the sun would peek out every once in a while.

On Friday, the sun had come out but the wind was fierce. Matthew was trying to read the paper out by the pool and finally had to just give up. We pretty much just lazed around all day until dinner time. Then we went to "The Grill" for dinner. This was probably the fanciest restaurant the kids have ever been in. I'm talking polished silverware, glass goblets...the works. When we first sat down (at a table far far far away from everyone else) I was a little stressed at the fact that my 8 and 5 year old were going to be drinking out of glass goblets. However, as usual, they were excellent. We enjoyed a wonderful steak dinner, delightful conversations, and impeccable service. When we left the restaurant, the Ladies that seat people and take reservations stopped us to tell us how wonderful the kids were. They said "they are by far the best behaved fine dining children they have ever had!" They also asked us to please bring them back anytime! We'll have to save up for another 15 years or so to do that again.

On Saturday, we headed back down to the beach. The wind had died down considerably at this point, but it was still a bit chilly. But not enough to stop the kids. They played in the sand and a little bit in the water and then went up to the pool for a dip. By lunchtime, I thought the excitement of vacation was starting to wear on Brady, I later realized that it was not that but perhaps the fact that my son was developing an allergic reaction to guess is the luxurious feather bedding we slept on. Anyways, at lunch he was getting quite ornery. His eyes were bothering him from the chlorine and he was complaining about the wind hurting his eyes so I gave him my sunglasses to wear. However, he kept griping and complaining so like any mother, I told him: "If you don't change your attitude, then I am going to make you lay down and take a nap!" Do you know what his response was???? "Rock stars don't take naps!" How do you keep a straight face after a comment like that? He did change his attitude and I guess had we known he was suffering from an allergic reaction, I would have been a little more sympathetic to his discomfort. Whoda thunk that an allergy like that would take nearly 2 days to show up?!?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

It's that time of year again...flu season!

Thanks for everyone's patience in my lack of posting lately. As many of you can appreciate how busy this time of year is and then on top of it all we had some nasty virus go through our household...and of course I got the worse case of all. The kids both got ear infections several days apart and bounced back pretty quickly after getting some antibiotics in them. Me on the other hand got what I was positive was a full blown case of the flu. I woke up one morning and got every single flu symptom as the day wore on. I went to the Dr. that afternoon, but since I wasn't running a fever he determined that it was a virus instead. So off to CVS yet again to get my antibiotic. Needless to say, I'm still coughing and sniffling here 5 days later!

The day after Thanksgiving, we got very brave and let Abbey have a sleepover. We invited all the little girls from church. We had a total of 5 girls (including Abbey) + Brady + one of the boys from church came over just for the evening. We had a really fun time and the kids got along really well. They made some holiday crafts, played flash light tag, watched a movie and then "camped out" upstairs in their sleeping bags.

The picture above is the kids playing flashlight tag. They are pretty inventive with games. They turned out all the lights in the room (the spots you see on the wall are from the flashlights) and then tried not to get tagged with someone else's flashlight beam. This picture was taken in the dark, but because of the flash you can't tell that the room is pitch black.

I have to say, foam crafts are great! They already have adhesive on the backs and all the pieces are already cut out. And since I had bought these last year after christmas, I got a great deal on them...glad I remembered I still had them!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Baby Joshua

Kelly, Jim and Joshua got home from the hospital this afternoon. This evening we took the kids over to see their new baby cousin for the first time. Abbey has been bouncing off the walls the last few days waiting for the big moment. The kids of course were head over heals in love, as we all are! He is such a beautiful baby. I'm sorry the video of the kids holding Joshua is so dark, that's what you get for using a digital camera that really isn't designed to take videos. But at least you can hear what they are saying. I've also included some cute photos of Joshua at the hospital and from tonight too.

Monday, November 10, 2008

A busy month!

So the temperatures down in Florida have been unseasonably cooler than usual. Which has helped to put people in the holiday spirit early! I, Miss Procrastinator, am actually going out today to tackle holiday shopping! I do believe this is the earliest I have attempted this daunting task. Please take into consideration that I do not enjoy shopping typically and I especially don't enjoy fighting crowds of rude people during the holidays, so this is a huge step for me. Plus we've got lots going on this month with Deacon ordination, Joshua's arrival, The Johnson Family has a little mini vacation planned the second week of December...I just didn't see me actually getting it all done in December (like I normally do) so I have dedicated the entire day to shopping. So I leave you with pictures of the kids that were actually taken during our cold spell in October and send you Happy HO HO HO wishes with little Happy SNOW SNOW SNOW wishes!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Better Late than Never!

So, I totally forgot to post pictures from Kelly's baby shower. We had a great time and everything turned out perfect. The weather started off kind of gloomy, but turned into a beautiful day before it was over. We played an intriguing game of "guess that baby food." And, Kelly got a lot of really nice gifts. We are so excited to see Joshua. The countdown is now 11 days give or take a few!

The Grandma's to be: above - Jim's Mom, Val and below - our Mom aka Borrowed Gramma, Beverly!

All the "Milla Girls" together (and for those of you who don't know, that's what we were referred to back in high school by our drama teacher).

This is our wonderful British friend/realtor/Kelly's boss who could say the meanest nastiest thing (but doesn't) and it sounds like roses rolling off her tongue! She is a hoot!

Now these are the Wells girls below(aka Aunt Carolyn, Debra and Denise) - Denise was a wonderful help, not only did she clean up my kitchen after the party but she vacuumed my carpets! I told her for as much work as she did cleaning up, she may as well of had the party at her house and gotten her house cleaned up by others for free! :-)

My Mom's youngest sister, Sandee and her daughter know the one who asked Brady to be in her wedding. This is a competitive game of name that baby food. And Ashley was the winner with the tie breaker guess of "Guava"!

These are the duck and turtle cupcakes I made, they were both adorable and yummy!

This was the hit gift of the party along with the singing/dancing duck. Both the duck and the turtle entertained us immensely. Each person had to test out the toys when they went around the room. These were given by Val's cousin Grace who is pictured below. Grace also made these beautiful lollipops to give out as party favors. As you can see we had a blast and are looking forward to our next party!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

It's an "Obamanation"

(picture of me and U.S. Congressman Adam Putnam, who will run for president in the near future...mark my words).

Matthew coined a new phrase yesterday and I would like to give him full credit. We just heard a very powerful sermon on Sunday about the abominations in this world (homosexuality and abortion to name a few). So we have now been shown a new "obamanation." It has been a long political year and the country has made a decision. And, as you all know, this was not the decision I was hoping for, but as a God Fearin' Woman, I will now pray for the Lord to give President Elect Obama the wisdom and the strength to run this country.

As some of you know, I had the pleasure of attending one of the Sarah Palin Political Rallies held at Fantasy of Flight in Polk City. This was my first rally and truly an enjoyable experience. Sis. Sheila and Joan invited me and I invited my Mom. So it was just a couple of us "uneducated white women" that went, because according to a Tampa news channel this morning, the reason Obama won the state of Florida was due to the "Educated White Folks along the I-4 corridor." Could that be more insulting? Anyway, I digress. We had a wonderful time, listened to some inspiring speeches and had a great time fellowshiping as well.

My children, the young republicans that they are, were disappointed that they did not get to go, but watched a little bit of it on TV and cheered the Republican party on! Abbey is very interested in politics right now. Danielle and I had a very in depth conversation with her about the 2 candidates. We showed her with real money how the tax system worked under both candidates. We gave her 4 one dollar bills and told her this is what she makes for working. Under McCain's tax plan, she will have to give $1 back to the government to help pay for the things the country needs. Then we showed her how under Obama's tax plan that she would have to give $2 to the government to not only pay for what the country needs, but to also pay for the people who can work but choose not to. This morning when the kids woke up, I broke the news to them about Obama. Abbey was really quiet for a moment, then she got all teary eyed and said "Well I guess we will have to start giving him $2!" I tried to explain to her that the Lord will protect us and keep us safe. She perked up a little bit and said "well, only 3 more elections and then I will be able to vote!" My heart is beaming!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Happy Halloween!

I wanted to share our fun Halloween with everyone. Since Brady is in Kindergarten this year (and according to Abbey: "Kindergartners have all the fun") I spent the day up at school on Friday to help out with their "Fall Celebration," because as you all know we can't say the word Halloween in the public school system. They had a scavenger hunt in the Pine Wood Flats right outside their classroom. They had to find a brown string among all the pine needles. A little brown acorn and a number of other things. They also got to make spider hats to wear for the whole day. And of course, what is a celebration without some snacks? They got to make a spider snack and pumpkins on rice cakes...yummo!
This is Brady and his friend Peyton showing off their spider hats!

I procrastinated a bit on purchasing our pumpkin this year, so on Thursday afternoon (yes the day before Halloween) I ran into Publix to pick up a pumpkin. Unfortunately, all they had left was pumpkins that already had faces painted on them. So to avoid running all over creation to find a pumpkin that wasn't already decorated, the kids opted for the painted pumpkin with the stipulation that we would carve the back of the pumpkin. They chose the pig face. That way we could have a cute face that wouldn't scare people and a carved face that would! Hence our scary Dracula carving! And boy were our roasted pumpkins seeds gooood!
Halloween night we went over to the Abernathy's haunted house party and Trick or Treating in their neighborhood. All the kids were so cute in their costumes. Abbey was in a Sharpay (from High School Musical) dress, but decided since she didn't have long blond hair like the girl in the movie, that she would just be another girl from the movie who "would probably have liked to have that dress too." Brady, as if you couldn't tell was Optimus Prime from Transformers. This is his newest fancy right now. He is so observant. He has several Transformer books that show all of the characters both good and bad and he pointed out to Matthew yesterday that all the bad Transformers have red eyes and all the good Transformers have blue eyes! So if you ever come face to face with a Transformer, now you know how to tell if he is a good guy or a bad guy!

I also have some very interesting shots of our Pastor in his Halloween costume, but I was strongly advised that posting such pictures could adversely affect Matthew's deacon ordination in 2 weeks!

Monday, October 27, 2008

What am I going to do with that boy???

I know we want our little boys to be "manly men" and like boy things and be rough and tough, but I do believe Brady might be a little bit on the ridiculous side. This past spring, I was shopping for "Easter" outfits when I came across this really handsome button down dress shirt in a pale pink with a tie to match. I of course showed it to Brady where he proceeded to fall into near convulsions at the thought of wearing pink. Needless to say, he does not own any pink clothing. He also refuses to wash his hands in public restrooms where the soap is pink. Are you kidding me?!? He loses that battle each and every time. So now he has been invited to be in my cousins wedding! Wow, what an exciting thing for a kid. I was so excited to tell him! Here is how the conversation went:

me: Brady, I have some exciting news for you.
Brady: What?
me: Ashley wants you to be in her wedding!
Brady(with the "you're tricking me" look on his face): Moooommmm!
me: No really, she wants you and Jack (one of my other cousins who's 3) to be the ring bearers. You get to wear a really handsome suit and walk down the aisle holding the rings.
Brady: ummmm, No Sank you!
me: But Brady, you get to get all dressed up. Remember how Uncle Kyle got to be in Mom and Dad's wedding? You can be just like Uncle Kyle.
Brady: No sanks, Mom.
me(sternly): Brady, you're going to be in that wedding and you're going to look handsome and you're going to be happy about it and that's it!

Now I am going to have to break it to him that not only is he going to be in a wedding that he apparently doesn't want to be in, but he's going to have to wear PINK! Oy!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Putting the "Art" back into Party!

Oh how I love to throw a party! And this has been the season for parties! With all the babies popping up around here, we've been able to have lots of showers. I have had the pleasure and blessing to be able to co-host several showers at the church for the different future Mom's to be. And now we are having one for Kelly at my house!

It seems now a days, people stray from the "fancy" parties and it really makes me sad. More days than not, we're eating pizza off paper plates as we half sit half stand through the meal, so that we can once again rush off to make it to such and such activity (trust me I know, that was tonight's menu).

I am a member of a club here in town (that is made up mostly of women twice as old as me) who still enjoy entertaining to the fullest! I have grown to appreciate the art of entertaining. Not only the creative aspects of themes and decorations, but the social aspect of being a truly gracious hostess. We have become so focused on making things "easy" that we have forgotten that the reason for opening up our home is to make our guests feel special.

I recently opened up our house for a social gathering of these ladies (about 40, give or take a few) from my club. We had a blast. We ate delicious food (mostly home-made by said Ladies) served on beautiful polished silver and crystal platters, sipped beverages from glass goblets and wiped our puckered lips on cloth napkins. We called each other "dahling" and said things like "oh, how divine" and well, OK, maybe I'm exaggerating a bit. But you have to admit, sometimes it's nice to just sit around and chat about politics, religion, family and life over a nice plate of hors d'oeuvres.

So I mentioned to one of my friends from the club about some of our upcoming parties and she invited me to come "shopping" at her house. So Kimberly and I met her at her house and we literally went shopping for all the beautiful dishes we needed to make a picture perfect party! This woman is truly amazing and oh so generous. She had a closet full of glass dishes. Luncheon plates, hors d'oeuvres plates, dessert plates, cups, saucers, polished silver, glass goblets, crystal platters, you name it she's got it and enough to serve well over 70 people at any given time. But what is even more amazing than that is how spectacularly organized everything is. She knows exactly what she has, where it is stored how many and what pieces will match it! All I can say is I want to be her when I grow up!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Last Soccer Game

Sorry for the delay in posting. I have been a bit under the weather for the past 2 weeks, plus we have had a lot of baby shower stuff going on! Last night was the kids final soccer game of the season. I must say, this has been a great program for the kids. It was a great way to introduce team sports to them. Abbey and Brady really enjoyed the program. Brady scored a goal last week during one of his games. He was so excited.
Brady and Katie Sue were on the same team and both of them have improved dramatically from the first game of the season. They had an excellent coach that really worked with them on the skills of the game. Their team was really good too. There were several "superstars" on the team. However, there is one little boy who was bound and determined to get a goal last night, so each time the ball got close to the goal he would run into the pack and pick up the ball with his hands and move it to right in front of the goal and then kick it in. Brady was highly offended with the fact that someone on his team was "cheating." There is another little boy who is an absolute brute! He didn't care if you were on his team or not, he would knock down anyone who was anywhere in the same vicinity of the ball. It got to the point where the coaches would have to sit him down because he would hurt too many kids. Brady learned very quickly to stay away from the pack when this little boy was on the field.

Abbey, I think may have finally found her "calling." She has been begging to play soccer for several years now and I just couldn't bring myself to put her in a sport that is so physical. But she finally talked me into it, and I am so glad we did this. Abbey really surprised me. She was put on the team of 2nd and 3rd grade girls. She of course was the smallest on the team, but she did get the nickname from all the parents on the sideline of "Animal Abbey." She was really aggressive (in a non-hurtful way).
At her level they actual play positions. Although her coach was a dud and didn't really teach them much about the game, there was a father of one of the girls on the team who would help coach the team every once in a while and he really worked with them on the skills. Abbey played forward most of the season. And like I said she was always in the pack fighting for the ball. She had no fear of the other girls/team. She also figured out when the ball was close to her teams goalie, if she hung out near mid field she would be able to get the ball when it would get kicked away and she could take it most of the way down the field and pass to a team mate who was stronger at kicking into the goal. The last couple of games of the season though she has been playing defender and she really did well in that position too. Goalie is hard for her, but when she is a defender, man she charges the ball coming towards her goal and gives it a boot out of there. Sunday night they will have an awards ceremony for all the players and everyone will get a trophy. Like I said this program has been a great start for my kids and they have already said they can't wait for it to start back up next year.