Friday, May 30, 2008



Wednesday, May 28, 2008

My Prize

Saturday when I got home from my "trip", my prize from Karen was waiting. I won a Mom coupon book and a $5 gift card to Target. Thanks, Karen for choosing me. The prizes were great.


We live in the mountains so we have lots of creatures in our yard. I thought some you city people might be interested in seeing the things that we see everyday. I keep a folder of pictures on my computer just for the creatures that we take pictures of. Here are a few.

This was curled up under the railing on our deck.

This is what she looks like uncurled.

Then there are these. Scorpions. We found quite a few last summer. Hopefully, they found a better home this summer.

One Saturday morning, we awoke to this visitor in our garage. Harmless, but never the less, I was a little freaked out.

One of Zane's favorites. Also found in the garage.

We see these beautiful Luna Moths almost daily on one window or another. I think they are very fascinating.

This spider was found in the pool on a pool noodle. The stuff that looks like hair on her back is actually babies. Now that one kinda creeped me out.

And last but not least, this beautiful mammal walked right by out kitchen window last summer. By the time we got the camera, he was at the road. There have been several bear sitings this year but we have yet to have one. I would love to see another one. They are so pretty. But I know the reason we are seeing them is because they are hungry. My parents had one in the back of dad's truck 2 weeks ago. I tried to get a picture but it didn't turn out very good. This picture is not great but it is good enough.

Doesn't he look cute and cuddly? But he is not and we will keep our distance.

We've also seen lots of deer and raccoons but I can't find my pictures. Lucy (our dog) seems to keep most of the animals away now. But we will start feeding the deer again and maybe they will come back.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Oh What A Night! (And Day!)

For Mother's Day, my wonderful husband gave me a night away from him and the kids. He booked a room at the Westin Poinsett in downtown Greenville. Oh my goodness, was that the perfect gift or what?
I left home around 5:00 and made a pit stop at Applebee's to see one of my friends. After spending some time with her, I arrived at the hotel about 7:30.

This is what my room looked like when I walked in.

Doesn't this King Size Bed look inviting?

There was even a white robe hanging in the closet for me.

Jim decided to meet me downtown and eat dinner. So after hustling to find a last minute babysitter (we had actually tried to get someone for a week with no luck) we did manage to get a teenage girl to come and keep the kids for us.
Anyway we went to Soby's. Expensive but well worth the money. I had Hickory Smoked Grilled Salmon with crawfish slaw and grits cakes with pimento cheese hushpuppies. It was fabulous. After we ate, we went to my room and hung out for 30 minutes. Then we met my brother and his girlfriend at Connelley's. We sat and talked a while and then Jim decided it was time for him to leave.
Bye Bye, Sweet Hubby! Have a great night!

We sat and talked for a little while longer and then my bro walked me back to the hotel and we said goodbye. I took a long, hot, steaming bath and headed for the big King size bed. It was glorious. Can't you tell by the look on my face how much I loved being there?

Last night was the best sleep I've had in a long time.
This morning, I got up took a shower, packed up, and headed out but not before I had a big cup of Starbuck's coffee.

I headed out and put my luggage in the car and spent the whole morning exploring downtown Greenville. It was great. On Saturday mornings, they have the Saturday Market on the street. I looked at several booths and then decided to buy a few peaches to carry home.
These guys were playing music and I snapped the picture because the guy playing the guitar has a daughter that goes to my boys' school. I thought that was pretty cool to see someone you "know" entertaining on the street.

My next stop was Mast General Store. This is one of our favorite stores to visit because of this.
There are barrels and barrels of "old school" candy. My kids love to go there. So I bought them several things, including some Victory Candy Cigarettes. Just like the 1970's. They even have the red tip on the end. The kids think they are so cool.
I also love the pottery and vintage toys and clothes. It is just a cool store. I love this display of Fiesta Ware.

After a quick stop at The Clothing Warehouse for a few jelly bracelets,

I headed to The Atlanta Bread Company for a bowl of French Onion Soup and a chicken salad sandwich.

After lunch, I walked to Falls Park on the Reedy River. It was such a beautiful day. Here is the view, I saw from the bridge.
There were Canadian geese swimming in the river. Two of them had babies but you can't see them in the picture.

I walked back to my car and I sadly said, "Goodbye" to downtown. But on a happier note, I headed to Target. What's a trip to Greenville without a visit to Target? I loved being at Target without wrestling kids today. I bought quite a few items of clothing for myself. And I even got to try them on. Can you believe it? I made a few more stops (Off Broadway Shoes, Ross Dress for Less, Bed Bath and Beyond, Old Navy, and Wal-Mart) and then headed for Little Caesars for pizza and home. I had a wonderful time but I did miss my kids and especially my awesome husband. Thanks you so much for the great, awesome, wonderful, fabulous, thoughtful Mother's Day gift! I love you, Jim!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Thrill Hill

Anytime we go through our neighboring town we have to do this:

A "roller coaster road" otherwise known in these parts as "Thrill Hill"
This is like the best road ever. It is just like riding on a roller coaster. My kids get so excited. (I'll have to take pictures of them next time. ) Their little faces light up when turn and see the beginning of the road. They even hold their arms up in the air like it is a real roller coaster. My favorite part is the squeals of joy coming from the back seat.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

A Funny Conversation

Zane came home from church tonight and this is the conversation that we had...

Zane: "Braden's aunt made a person out of a yogurt container. It didn't have any arms but she put dirt in hantypose."

Me: "Whoa, What was that?"

Zane: "She put dirt and seeds and stuff in hantypose"

Me: "Say it one more time."

Zane: "She put dirt and seeds in hantypose. And then grew grass like it was hair."

Me: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!! (laughing uncontrollably)

Me: "Go tell your daddy that story." (When I got myself under control so I could talk to him.)

Finally, I let Zane in on the joke. "It's pantyhose not hantypose"

Zane: Oh! Hehehehehehehe!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Messy Monday and More

This afternoon after school, I took the kids to pick strawberries. It was a great day. Not too hot and the berries were plentiful. We picked 3 gallons. I shouldn't have used the word "we". I mostly picked and they mostly ate. Of course, I forgot my camera. I tried to take some pics with my phone and I'm not sure how to pull them off and download them. I never use my phone to take pictures.

When we got home, I did get a couple of pictures of Maci Clare. She loved the strawberry pickin' (eatin')!

She was a mess!

When we got home, the guys were here working on the pool. We walked down to the pool and our first guest was in the pool.

I thought he was kinda big. Zane wanted to keep him in a cage for show and tell. I said absolutely not.

One of the guys told the boys they could go swimming. So this is what followed.

Gabe stayed in the longest.

Zane jumped in first but he couldn't stand it because it was so cold.

Jack was just content to sit on the side. I dipped him in a couple of times. But he wanted out pretty fast. It was really cold. And there are a lot of trash and leaves in the pool. They were just hooking up the filter and pump and electricity. I did go out there tonight and scoop some of the trash off the top and it is starting to look better now that everything is running. We were hoping to swim on Memorial Day but it going to have to be a lot warmer than it is now.

While The Cat's Away...

This weekend was another crazy weekend for the family. On Friday night there was a fundraiser at Oolenoy for the mission team at my dad's church. Hot Dogs and Blue Grass. The kids played outside in the creek while we relaxed inside. My mom gave Maci Clare a cup of chocolate pudding. I guess in a grandma's world, chocolate pudding and 1 year olds are a great combination. What followed was a huge mess! Of course, I didn't have my camera. My friend took a picture with his cell phone but I haven't seen it. Anyway, it was a pretty relaxing Friday night for the start of a very busy weekend.
Saturday, the boys played their last baseball game. This was a great year with only one lost. Our team was really good this year. Jim and Zane had a Cub Scout family camp out on Saturday night. They had to be registered by 1pm. So we rushed to McDonald's (for about the 4th time this week). Jack decided he would like to try camping for himself. So along went Jack. Gabe and I had big plans. We were going to go somewhere special and eat out. What did we do?
We ate pizza, rented "The Golden Compass" and made this.

I read about the "Fast Food Fix" cookbook at Amy's website and immediately put it on hold at the library. This was the Dairy Queen Earthquake recipe. You were supposed to use low fat everything but we didn't. It is just as fattening as Dairy Queen. It was awesome.

We shared it on the couch while we watched the movie.

It was such a peaceful night. After Gabe headed for bed, I watched 27 Dresses. It was a really cute movie but definitely a chick flick. Hubby would have hated it. He would have probably slept through it.

The plan for Sunday was for me to work in the children's department at the 10am service and them Jim could show up for the 11:30am service and we would sit through it together. But...
my mom called on Saturday night and said, "Doesn't Gabe have a piano recital tomorrow afternoon?" I had totally forgotten and Gabe forgot too. Can you imagine?
So I worked the 10am service and then we left to grab some lunch and get ready for the recital.
Jack and Maci Clare needed a nap when we got there so they were terrible. Piano recitals are so quiet and Jim took the 3 little kids to the playground instead of keeping them in the church. When it was time for Gabe to play, he came in and watched and then went back to the playground. This is a short video of Gabe playing. ( I am posting this mostly for my in laws because who else would want to listen to a piano recital.) The video is bad because I was standing and holding a squirming 2 year old.

You can see my grandma's white head close to the front.

When we were finally home, we made pizza (again!) for supper. Gabe and I decided to share our great dessert so we made it again. And we watched "Mr.Magorium's Wonder Emporium". The kids really liked it. I only watched the first part of it. Our busy-ness is about to come to a screeching halt (We hope!). Summer is almost here. 9 more full days of school and 3 half days. The kids are counting them down. (And secretly I am too!)

Friday, May 16, 2008

I Won!

I won one of the prizes from the Write From Karen Mother's Day writing contest. I wrote this. I am so excited. I have never won anything. I'm not sure what I won yet but I will let you know. Thank you Karen!

Give Me A Break

As I sit here reading my favorite blogs, The Today Show plays in the back ground. Guess who is on today? New Kids on the Block. Unbelievable. They are still doing the same thing they did in the 90's. And the "girls" are still acting the same way. And I use the term "girls" loosely. This time the "girls" are my age. I thought they would come out with something new and fresh or at least "older". Oh well, they haven't changed much and my opinion of them hasn't changed either.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

They're Back!

My braces are back. But that is not the most eventful thing that happened today. Do you have a minute? Let me just tell you about my day. I'm going to start at the beginning ( a very good place to start).

I left my house this morning at 9:00 (my appointment was at 10 and it takes me about an hour to get there). So I was about 3 minutes from Dr. Hunt's office and that is when it happened. I was driving along minding my own business, going the speed limit, and on the right sight of the road. I saw two Spanish speaking males walking on the opposite side of the road toward me. As I got a little closer, I saw a dog dart out of a driveway, barking wildly. The two guys take off running. But they do not run down the sidewalk. NO!!! That would make too much sense. They bolt into the middle of the road. They did not look at the road and I braced myself for the impact and slammed on brakes. (My hubby always tells me not to swerve to miss an animal and I briefly wondered if that applies to people too.) Just as that thought crossed my mind, BAM! One of the men ran right into the side of my car. He never even saw me until he hit me. I kept driving and looked in my rearview mirror. He was standing in the middle of the road. I thought that was a good sign but I immediately picked up my cell phone and dialed my hubby at work. As soon as he answered the phone, I said, "I just hit a Mexican." He said, " What? How did you manage that?" So I told him the story. He calmly (someone had to be) told me to keep him on the line and go back and ask the guy if he was okay. I turned around and saw the two guys walking down the sidewalk. I pulled over and rolled down my window and asked if he was okay. He got the look. You know the one. The smile and nod of misunderstanding. They did not speak English and they kept walking. I assumed everything was fine and went to my appointment. When I got there, my whole body begin to shake. I told the ladies in the office what happened and they said "Forget about it." I couldn't. I called the city and told the lady what happened. She asked me, "Where?". I told her. She said, "Call the county." I did. No one answered. So after 2 hours of enduring the re-installment of the braces, I made my way to the Detention Center. I told the cop/detective what happened and he started laughing. Can you believe that? He laughed and told me not to worry about it. So I am safely home and trying not to worry about it. What a day! That could have been disaster. So hopefully, this guy learned a lesson. DO NOT RUN OUT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD ON A BUSY STREET. You would think people would learn that as a child. I am thanking my good Lord tonight because it could have been a lot worse than it turned out.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

What Timing!

Just after the Stay at Home mom post that I did a week or so ago. I saw this. 117,000! Wow! I'll be waiting on my paycheck.

Friday, May 9, 2008

What is Up With Grey's Anatomy?

Did anyone watch Grey's Anatomy last night? I know the show is not the most wholesome but come on, people. Guys kissing? Give me a break. What is up with the world of TV? I'm just not sure I can keep watching this stuff.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Strawberries: Summer's Coming!!!

I bought these yummy strawberries at the local flea market yesterday. We ate all of them today. They were worth the expensive price I paid for them. My whole family loves strawberries and it was a nice treat for lunch and a great after school snack. I'll have to get more next Wednesday.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

What Doesn't Work For Me!

Another edition of Works For Me Wednesday, only this time it is what doesn't work for me. And this is what doesn't work for me.

My back door that opens up to my deck and my lovely (but muddy because of the new pool that is going in) back yard has no screen. It is driving me crazy. Last year, my hubby went to Lowe's and came home with a retractable screen door. He half way installed it and something was wrong and it was never right. The kids and dog have broken it so still no screen door. I like to leave the door open so I can let the Spring weather in and I can hear the kids in the back yard. But the flies are taking over our house. Jack has lost our fly swatter and now we can't even swat them. So that is what doesn't work for me. (If you have any suggestions, feel free to leave a comment.)

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

What It Means For Me To Be A Mom

A Gift for Mom at

Being a mom is the hardest thing I have ever done but also the best. I never realized how much work being a mom is. My mom was tireless and we were thankless. By far, I think I was the most difficult of the 4 children. I was probably the one my mother worried about the most. I have 3 brothers (all younger).
I never realized until I had 4 of my own how much work a mother does every day. It is never ending. The fighting, the messes, the activities, just the general mayhem of having kids. But with all the busyness and messes and mayhem, I wouldn't trade it for anything. And it has definitely made me appreciate my mom more than ever. It is a thankless job but the rewards are endless. Just to experience the everyday things that my children do is a great reward in itself. I get to experience the first steps, the first time one of them said "Mama" or "I love you",the cuddles and snuggles, the lizards and frogs in the house (maybe not that part) or just to feel one of them wrap his arms around me. For all the trouble that my kids cause me, they give back 150% reward. So is it worth it? Do you even have to ask?

Just look at the faces of my children and you can answer that question. This is the greatest and most important job I will ever have and I wouldn't trade jobs with anyone in the world.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Heritage Fair at School

Last week was extremely busy. We had so much going on. But Friday night was really fun. The school had a Heritage Fair. There was a traditional Southern Supper (pinto beans, cornbread, pan-fried potatoes, peach cobbler, and juice). Which, by the way, only cost $1 per plate. We fed our whole family for $6. The Young Appalachian Musicians played traditional music. And then, the 3rd graders presented a wax museum. They had to choose someone or something from South Carolina history and learn about that person or thing. It was really cool. But getting it together was the challenging part.
Gabe chose to be General Wade Hampton from the Confederate Army. Does anyone have a Confederate General uniform lying around? We didn't. I thought the school had one (they told me not to worry about having one made because they would take care of it.) I found out 4 days before he was supposed to have it, they didn't have one. So what is a mother to do? Make a mad rush for Goodwill. And it just so happened that at Goodwill we put together a whole Confederate General costume minus the hat. The hat came from a costume shop and cost more than the whole outfit did. But we pulled it off and I thought he looked great. So what do you think? Do you think he looks like General Wade Hampton?

The reason he is holding his hand like that is because of the blue dot. You walked up to one of the kids, pressed the "button" on his or her hand and they "came to life" to give you information about the person or thing. They did a really good job. And it was fun and cheap for my whole family.

This Is The Way We Walk Our Dog!

Notice she is tied to the front of the stroller. This was my hubby's brilliant idea. She is so hard to handle, he thought she might get a good work out and it would tire her out. It is working! She has been walking this way every night for a week. Way to go, hubby!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Out of the Mouths of Babes

Yesterday morning, I threw on a baseball cap to take the older boys to school because my hair looked so awful.
This was the conversation that followed:
Jack: "Is that your hat?"

Me: "Yes, why?"

Jack: "Your hat look stupid!"
At least he is honest.