Tuesday, July 27, 2010

It's no secret...

I met my best friend when he was only in the FIFTH grade.  Things have changed a bit for us since this day 10 years ago....

This little guy filled our first home with playfulness and  joy...

and of course lots of puppy LOVE...

Next....came our miracle blue-eyed wonder...

And a few short years later...we were blessed with this handsome little fellow...

We've definitely had our ups...and of course there's always a few downs.  But we have been soul mates from that day we met more than 20 years ago.  I love all of the changes and turns our life has taken....thanks for the travels....and here's to many more...
Love you, B!

Friday, July 23, 2010

60 Years Young!

Whew!  What a week.  I can't possibly imagine why I am sooo exhausted.... Might it be....
1.  The excessive heat has forced me to keep the kids INSIDE the majority of the week
2.  To burn off energy....S and J have been finding it fun to run around in circles around the house with some of my modge podged pails over their heads
3.  I have been up to the wee hours with my hands in dough or frosting

We did do a few fun things worth mention this week...the first of which was celebrating Papa's 60th Birthday!

 I love birthday cakes... I love the excitement in the kids' eyes when they help blow out the candles.  I love watching Sophia close her eyes to make a wish even when it is not her special day.  Omi made a fantastic cake to celebrate the big day...and boy did we ever have fun blowing out those candles.  I'm not sure how many times we relit the candles just so everyone could have a turn blowing them out!!!!

Papa...thanks for ALWAYS being your silly self and for all the laughs you give us!  You are 60 years YOUNG and sooooo full of life.  I just couldn't help smiling at these pictures of you with my babies...who were sooo excited to celebrate with you!

Of course can't leave out some cookies for our guy...

We had a break from the hot sun for at least a little bit one day this week. So one late afternoon, when the skies turned gray and I heard the beginnings of some faint rumbles of thunder...we headed outside with some paper and food coloring.  We worked quickly to sprinkle the colors all over the papers....and placed them in the grass...and waited. We waited just like Ki-Pat waited in the book we read earlier in the week, called "Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain."  This book is a must read for children... it is a 70 year old African tale with repetitive verses modeled much like the cumulative nursery rhyme, "The House that Jack Built."  And just like the story... it didn't just start to rain at our house... it POURED. The winds picked up and I thought the papers were just going to be a memory.  But thanks to the hubby....they were salvaged...and we ended up with what I would call a rain splattered work of art!!!

When I tried to get a picture of our papers pre-storm....my camera fogged up from the humidity...and this is all I got.  But you kind of get the drift...

Other adventures included a trip to the library and the Miniature Toy Museum (we loved the marble exhibit,  the special 50 years Barbie exhibit, and all of the tiny 18th century doll houses filled with exquisite and detailed miniature furnishings).  And finally, we ended the week with a visit to Thea's pool with some good friends.  Thanks for hosting a fun play day in the sun!!!

Ahhh....the sound of sleeping children.... and not even the hum of the Kitchen Aid mixer tonight....  I can certainly tell it is Friday..

Friday, July 16, 2010


I'm feeling a bit guilty...my blogs as of late...have seemed to revolve a lot around my baking!!!  As I was folding laundry this morning... I was listening to the kids on the monitor while they were playing upstairs.  The conversations between them can be pretty funny.  They are both getting so big... I hope when they get older I will be able to remember all of these "everyday" moments.  I hope they will someday be able to look back at these crazy blogs from their mother and learn a little about what they were like!

Miss Sophia...  Age 6....going on 26!  My dear Sophia....you are growing up soooo quickly!  These days you LOVE LOVE LOVE to read.  Every afternoon...you WANT to sit in my room and read quietly to yourself.  You read the same books over and over and can retell the pages from memory.  Your favorite books right now....Junie B. Jones (I am addicted to them as much as you!!) and your Toy Story 3 book.  You love all of the characters in this movie...especially Jessie...the doll that you just got today as a SPECIAL reward for filling up your GOOD BEHAVIOR chart.  You are an artist and LOVE to draw.  Your handwriting has become incredibly neat...and your coloring is impeccable.  You often get very upset when your pictures don't turn out exactly as you envision or when your little "bother" draws a random line on one of your pictures.  You are stubborn at times....you are independent....you like to keep things in their place (wonder where that came from).  You worry a lot about silly things...but things that are important to you.  I never know what will scare you...characters in movies, toys, etc.  You love to listen to your Toy Story cd and dance to it for hours.  You learned the words in less than a day!  You have an incredible memory.....you don't like to lose any games!  Right now...you love to play tennis with  daddy and me.

You are very persnickety.  You like routine.  You love chocolate ice cream and want it in a cone even though you never take more than a bite of the cone.  You love to eat Haagen Daaz (the mini containers with the plastic spoon....you have good taste!) .  You have never liked fruit and still request that I take the skins off of your apples and pears.  You hate cereal...and make breakfast a challenge every day for your mama!!  But the most recent breakfast success....BACON!!! That's right...put aside all those home-made breads and muffins I have tried to no avail....you like microwavable bacon!!!

You will be in first grade before I know it and Joseph and I will not know what to do with ourselves all day.   I can't even imagine how dull my world would be without you in it.  I love you forever, I'll like you for always... as long as I'm living my baby you'll be.

Mr. Joseph....Age 2 1/2   My silly little boy...you make everyday an adventure for me.  You generally love to give hugs and kisses ( or licks, these days...not sure where that came from).  You are all BOY and definitely TWO.  You are quite the pill these days....and you are learning how to outsmart us in more ways than one!  You still love your "truckies" and your cars.  You love to lay on your tummy and line them up in neat little rows.

You follow your big sister "Doodah" (as you call her) like a little puppy.  You do not like to sit still.  You still occasionally like to "chew" on your sister and you think the word "Dummyhead" which you learned ONE time from your sister repeating something out of a Junie B book, is the funniest word around.  We have tried ignoring it...we have tried putting you in the corner for saying it...but it still seems to come out of that little mouth of yours...and of course at the most inopportune times!!  When you misbehave..we ask you if you want to go to the corner...and you say YES!

Eating is not your favorite thing unless it is grazing on snacks.  Eating requires you to sit still in a chair for too long!!! When you do eat...you eat FRUIT (opposite of your big sister!)  You love blueberries and strawberries (all those things which irritate your sensitive tummy).  You love yogurt and ice cream and are excellent about drinking water!  You will not eat anything I give you for breakfast....I have tried cinnamon rolls, waffles, pancakes, toast, at least 10 different cereals, banana bread, muffins, uggghhhh.  You will just not do it...so we are happy if you have a few bites of yogurt, scrambled eggs (minus the salt and pepper which you say is "too picy" or part of a nutrigrain.

Your favorite thing to say these days is "WHY?"  You say it at least 50 times a day....oh my...sometimes my ears get tired.  But occasionally you will still sneak in an "I love you too mommy!"  You love your binky at nap time and night time.  And you cry if your feet become "uncovered."  Or sometimes you just shout.... "mommeeeee...mommeeee...mommeee!"

You have no desire to sit on the big boy potty....we will work on that....I thought some new big boy Handy Manny pants might motivate you...but I guess I was wrong!   We will get there.  We will not rush things...you are still my baby!!!

Your smile still melts our heart every day.

"I love you, too," little Joe.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Tennis Anyone?

I haven't picked up my tennis racket since before I broke my wrist in 2001.  In fact.... I'm not even sure where my old racket has gone.  I played in high school....and sometimes when I walk past the tennis courts in our neighborhood... I think... " I should play again someday."  Sophia has been begging us to play tennis with her since she got a new racket for her birthday, so... this past weekend...we finally headed to Target to buy some cheap rackets for us so we could play with her.  We even found one in J's size!!

The off and on rain yesterday made a trip to the tennis courts out of the question...but as soon as the skies turned blue late in the afternoon, we headed out for a round of driveway tennis.

They might make a pretty good doubles team, don't ya think?

Looking ready to serve...watch out!

Considering placement of the ball..

But not too sure that he wants to let go of his ball...let alone hit it to someone else!!

There was a lot of ball chasing into the street on my part...and some disgruntled players....( I think we might need a lesson in sportsmanship already)....but both kids asked to play again today....so I guess that is a good sign!  

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Lions and Tigers....and

well...no bears....OH MY!

A good friend of my suggested that we visit Cedar Cove, a feline sanctuary and education center just outside of Louisburg.  After I researched it a bit.... I thought it might be a neat little excursion for the kids.  The weather was perfect this morning...so we headed out!  Sophia was a bit nervous at the thought of being so close to REAL tigers....but once we arrived and she saw the fences....she was eager to see them.  We had an excellent tour guide and saw a variety of tigers, and lions and other felines....(sorry Joe...no bears, though....he kept asking if we would see bears!)

Brett and I learned things we never knew...For instance.... they feed the tigers only every few days to mimic their eating habits in the wild.  When tigers kill their prey and eat...they gorge.....and then fast for days so as to have a clean system in order to go on the hunt again.  We also learned that tigers are endanger of becoming extinct...there are only 3000 remaining around the world.

Here are some of the pictures from our morning...

By the way... the man in this picture... was missing a leg... I couldn't help but wonder whether it was the result of a tiger attack???  The tour guide did say that these animals' temperments can change at a moments notice.  But all those keepers who work there do so with the understanding that these are animals and that the keepers are responsible for themselves...whatever injuries they sustain....they do not place any blame on the animals.

A lion and a lion cub....notice they are in separate cages.  The keepers are not sure how the lion would respond if he were in the same cage as the cub.  They worry that the lion may be too big and may play too rough with the cub.

This keeper went in the cage with the lion and the lion would give him kisses....but he would constantly try to chew on his arm....they like to bite and chew just like puppies!

A white tiger...very pretty....He had blue eyes....Sophia thought he looked like her...

The next picture is a leopard, which the tour guide described as extremely sneaky...and inconspicuous.  She said generally you can tell ahead of time when the tigers are going to get upset about something...but the leopards never give advance warning....you never know when they might attack...  This guy looks pretty harmless here...but I sure wouldn't want to be in that cage with him!!

Sophia looking very interested...

I even hadAnimal crackers for a snack in the bag...pretty apropos don't you think?

Thursday, July 8, 2010


So... I'm not sure where the last five days has gone....I guess we have been busy cleaning up after some repainting....and of course I have been burying myself in my cookies.  We tried to do some fun fourth of July things over the weekend...but the weather didn't really cooperate....but at least it gave us the opportunity to see Toy Story 3 (which, by the way, had me all choked up!!!) .

I have finally sorted through some of our vacation pictures....and I have learned, upon looking at them, that being an amateur and shooting with an SLR can be quite tricky in direct sunlight.  I have such admiration for all those photographers who just get the trickiness of lighting and natural lighting.  My pictures aren't great by any means...but they tell at least some of the story of our trip....which is all that matters, right?

This was Joseph's first airplane trip.  I was so worried he would not be able to sit through the flights as he is such a busy little man.

I was a bit worried that he might get airsick too, but didn't anticipate just how sick he would get.  I know this picture is blurry...oops...but I couldn't pass up posting it.  As you can tell...this was BEFORE the air sickness.

Lesson learned....ALWAYS pack a change of clothes in your carry on...you never know what kind of messes will end up in your lap:)

This trip was Sophia's second airplane experience.  She became quite the traveler especially after our delays on the way home forced us to take THREE flights just to get back to KC.  She and Thea watched hours of movies together on the plane and in the car.

It took J a little while to get used to the sand and the crashing waves....but after a few days, he made his own fun for a while playing in the sand.  The pool, however, still won out....it was both of the kids favorite place to be.  Sophia had fun swimming with Pappou and Joseph...well he just wanted to get out of the pool and then jump in...over and over and over!!

What can be more peaceful than the sound of the ocean waves rolling in....can you see the Tarheel blue?

Lighting is still my biggest struggle with my SLR.  And it is amazing how the light can change in such a short amount of time making things look so different.

Here's a picture of Sophia being silly....she was the first to put her swimsuit on every morning...rain or shine.  We had a few really pretty days...and a few days of rain.

Here is Joseph wearing his cute little hat...look at those lashes!

A cloudy day, but still fun playing in the sand with pappou...trying to dig holes and make sand castles.

Snack time is always good.

Daddy and the kids dug some pretty big holes and Miss Sophia tried to hide in them.  I wish I had my camera with me on some of our beach strolls...b/c some of the sand creations we saw were amazing....prize winning....It's fun to see other people's creativity!

I tried to capture the sunrise on our last morning at the beach.  We were lucky to have a wonderful view from our room.

Oops... I think I missed these pictures of Sophia playing in the sand!  Can't leave those out!
Whew!  Playing in the sand can be exhausting!

Here is what Sophia and Thea created together one day when Brett and I were walking along the beach...just in case we got lost on our way back....we would know where to stop!!

And finally...this last picture was taken by my sister....and no she is not a professional photographer...but oh my....is this a good picture or what????

A BIG thank you to Pappou and Yiayia for making S and J's first trip to the beach a memorable one!