Sunday, June 14, 2009

OK - So I know I am waaaaaay past due for an update. Some of you have asked how long you are going to have to look at my sewing machine! Sorry - I am a little excited about! Not really (although I have really enjoyed it and business is picking up - YAY!). Life has just been incredibly busy the last couple of months. During school, I was working more hours at the hospital, both girls have been playing softball and we have thrown VBS (in Columbus), camp and a couple of days working in Columbus in there as well. I think (I hope) things are about to slow down just a bit so we can enjoy what we have left of summer. It goes by so quickly. School starts back August 7th - both girls will be attending this year. Natalie in 4th grade and Alyson in kindergarten.
I obviously can't catch you up in detail on all we have been doing the last couple of months but I have posted a lot of pictures with some brief descriptions to at least catch you up to where we are. Grab a drink and a snack - this may take a little while.
To stay in chronological order, scroll to the bottom of this post then work your way back up.
Our newest resident! We haven't named him yet (any suggestions?) but he has obviously discovered that our front porch is an all you can eat buffet in the evenings. He appears every night about sundown and is gone every morning.

Hailey, Harrison and Alyson
Hailey and Harrison spent a few days with us last week. This just looked like a classic Kodak moment as they enjoyed their popscicles.

Natalie and Alyson spent the week in Columbus with Pawpaw and Nana the first week of June for VBS at Fairview. While there, they were expected to do their share of work in the garden ;). Natalie (in pink cap) and Alyson digging up potatoes with Pawpaw.
Natalie, Alyson and Lexie
Natalie and Lexie went to camp at Central Hills with Fairview last week. From what I have been told. All the kids had a great time.
Happy Birthday Hailey and Harrison - May 5, 2009
So hard to believe they are 3 years old already. They are growing so fast. Kerri hosted a great party for everyone (including LOTS of kids). It was a circus themed party that almost turned in to a Noah's Ark themed party. Kerri did a great job making the most out of the situation. The rain did eventually stop and some of the outdoor activities were able to take place. I think everyone had a great time. I know my crew did.

Anabelle, Alyson, Natalie and Rosalie
The first lemonade (kool-aid actually) stand of the summer.

Alyson's hair post recital!
Natalie, Madison (cousin) and Alyson at Alyson's gymnastics recital.
Natalie, Judy Lynn and Alyson at Alyson's school program.
Alyson with her class at her school program.
A beautiful rainbow we saw on our way to Alyson's school program. This area hosts some of the most beautiful rainbows I have ever seen!
Alyson at bat!
Judy Lynn, Alyson and Natalie enjoying a warm spring day! It wasn't quite warm enough for me!
Natalie at bat - she got a base hit!
Somehow this is the only one I have of Natalie playing ball. Not sure how that happened. She has a couple of more tournemant games so I will make sure to get some more and post them later.
Aly during warm up.
Natalie and Alyson ready for the games. It has been crazy this spring. They play on seperate teams in different age divisions so we are often going different directions with them. Unfortunately, we don't play in a park complex so we travel to various communities for our games.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Mama's new toy!


I finally got it! They say "If you get it, they will come" (or something like that) don't they? So maybe now that I have the machine I want, the business will come ;). Let's hope (or I am going to have a lot of explaining to do). Anyone who knows me very well knows that I have had my eye on this machine for quite a while. Well, after a good offer on it and a little arm twisting at home, it is mine - and I am so excited. It is a Baby Lock BMP8 - it has 6 needles on it. I got it Thursday and have already christened it well by monogramming 60 visors for the girls softball league. There was definitely a learning curve there that included a couple of desperate phone calls to Brian, but I got them done. Although business has been kind of slow, I have confidence that it will pick up. I have several people plugging my business for me whenever they get the chance and graduation is coming up soon which always increases the business a little bit. After all, it took 2 years of doing it in Columbus to get me built up to staying really busy. Regardless, I am ready for the challanges ahead of me now! For perspective, you can see part of my regular sewing machine sitting just to the left - that is the one I have been doing embroidery on until now (and I can still use it for that as well).

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

MVP (or something like that)

Last night the girls had their first softball game - in the pouring rain. Well, Alyson's team played in the pouring rain. They did cancel Natalie's because it started lightening. I had to work last night so I was only able to catch a few minutes of the game before leaving and unfortunately, didn't get to see Alyson do anything. She was next to bat when the batter before her struck out and ended the inning just before I left. Well, the action all happened after I left (I wasn't even a mile down the road). Alyson had just gone in to the field (shortstop position) for the first time in the game and the batter hit a pop fly - to Alyson. SHE CAUGHT IT!!! Unfortunately, it missed her glove and she caught it with her arm (but she didn't drop it!). The crowd reportedly went crazy and I think she was stunned for a moment. Then reality set it. That was the end of the game for her last night. She was the hero of the night though. Everyone bragged on her everywhere she went after that.

Not the greatest picture (it was a moving target) but you can see the battle scar - a nice strawberry with faint lace marks. She has officially been initiated into the sport.

I will post more pictures later with them in their uniforms and some game pictures when we have a night that is a little less hectic.

Hoppy Easter!

OK - so I am a couple of days late with my Easter message. It was busy and crazy but it was great. Lots of firsts again this year for our family~the biggest change was our non-involvement in the Living Pictures (LP) presentation at our 'home' church in Columbus. With the exception of the year my mother died, this is the first year since its inception (20+ years ago) that I have not been involved. Frankie jumped on board as soon as we started dating and he started going to Fairview and Natalie has been in it as well the past few years. LP requires much time and commitment, especially the week prior to Easter, but always well worth it. Despite it being an incredibly crazy week, it is a constant reminder of the sacrifice that was made and the precious gift we receive. We did get to attend and watch LP from 'the outside' this year for the first time. It was excellent. Kudos to all involved - so neat to see how it all comes together so well.
This year, we found ourselves with a little more free time than in past years but we managed to find plenty to do to fill the time. Saturday dawned a little cool but absolutely gorgeous - a perfect day for our church (in Meridian) Easter Egg hunt at a neighbors house. All the kids had a great time and walked away with goodies and candy.
We took a little while Saturday afternoon to dye our Easter Eggs before heading out to get a bite to eat.
Sunday morning dawned clear, sunny and beautiful -how fitting. It was a little cool but the girls managed to stand still just long enough to get some pictures.
After we attended church in Meridian, we hit the road for Columbus where we had our annual Easter lunch with family and friends at my parents house. As always, we had a great time but missed some of our regulars this year.

The 'kids' - not so sure you can call of them that anymore.
Not all of them were willing participants!

This group of girls goes back a few years - since Amelia (in purple) was an infant!

(Sorry it's off center - we let a man take the picture ;) )

Alyson is just silly!

The kiddo's get in a visit with the Easter bunny

Saturday, April 4, 2009

A Day at the Zoo

Friday, I got to go with Alyson on a field trip to the Birmingham Zoo. We had a blast! Here are a few pictures from the day.
Alyson's first request of the day was to see a zebra. We managed to find one pretty quickly which freed us up to do a little more leisurely exploring (not that we were in much of a hurry to start with). We managed to find a few more interesting creatures along the way. I really think she was most excited about the fact that she could just let loose and run!

Shortly after arriving we attended a brief educational program where the kids were shown and taught about various reptiles including a turtle, a gecko, a snake and an alligator. At the end of the program the children (and parents - I passed on this one) were given the opportunity to pet the snake and alligator. Aly jumped at the chance.
Aly made sure to use only 2 fingers and stroke the animals in a downward motion, as instructed.

I think our favorite exhibit of the day was the Lorikeet Aviary. So much so that we visited a second time later in the day. You could purchase a small cup of nectar and carry it in with you (you can see the small cup in Alyson's hands) and you can see the results. They were so much fun. You could barely get through the door before they were all over you. They were very gentle and when they finished the nectar, they were on their way again looking for the next visitor.

Yes, that is a Lorikeet sitting on Alyson's head.

The worker said they were also very facisnated by the screens on digital cameras. I was attempting to get a shot of one that landed on my hand while I was taking pictures of Alyson.

This is all Alyson was good for on the ride home. I could barely get her awake to get her off the bus. She definitely made the most of her day!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Under The Big Top

Saturday night Natalie's school had their spring program. It consisted of PreK thru 3rd grade. Please do not be offended for not being invited. Space was a serious issue and there was barely standing room only for those that were there. I am sure I still have someone's knee print remaining in my back - it was very close quarters. The theme was "Under the Big Top". The teachers and students did a wonderful job and had the gym set up like a 3 ring circus. Each grade had their moment in the spot light. Most of the pictures I took turned out pretty dark but here is a video of Natalie's class- she is just to the right of the middle. She is wearing khaki shorts and holding a purple streamer (though it is hard to see). They are singing "God Bless the USA". You can see her better towards the end of the video.

video

Monday, March 23, 2009

Spring Break?

"Break " has to be a misnomer. At least for our family . I think this was the busiest spring break I have had in years. We managed to cram in a visit to Brandon, 3 dentist appts, 2 haircuts, a visit to Starkville (Check out Judy Lynn's blog), a visit to Columbus that included a fishing trip, a family cookout, cleaning out a storage unit and just visiting with family and friends in general. I had to take an extra day off work just to recover from my week off! But please don't tell my boss ;). We seriously did all of the above and then some but it was a very rewarding week. Read below for some of the highlights of the week.

St. Patrick's Day

Tuesday, the girls and I headed to Brandon to spend some time with Suzan and Gracie and do some much needed shopping for Natalie. It was St. Patrick's day so we took advantage and dressed festive. No one in this bunch was going to get pinched.

Octopus Soup

I can't believe I had never heard of this in all my dealings with children over the years. Kerri suggested this for lunch one day for the kids and I honestly thought she had lost her mind. I am not a huge hotdog fan but this is a pretty ingenious idea! You simply slice a hotdog 2/3 of the way up into 8 strings and boil until done. The result~an octopus! Too cute!

Family Fishing Trip

Friday was a milestone day for all 4 grandkids. They got to go fishing for the first time! Paw-paw took all 4 of them (with Kerri, Debbie and I in tow) to a private lake where we could fish from a pier. Mind you, it was a little crowded - 8 people (4 under the age of 10) on a 10 x 10' (approx) pier with no rails. Certainly a recipe for potential disaster but we somehow managed to avoid it. Poor Debbie ran her legs off between trying to keep kids from the edge and taking pictures. She earned a gold star that day. We considered the day a success as everyone stayed dry and all 4 grandkids caught a fish.

Paw-paw giving the girls a little instruction on how to cast before heading to the lake.

The grandkids

Harrison caught the first fish of the day!Natalie was nextNatalie with her first catchAlyson's reaction when she realized that there was really a fish on the end of the line.This is as close as I could get Alyson to her first catch.Finally, after much patience, Hailey had her catch. Can you see her enthusiasm?A brief photo shoot before heading home.

We had a great time and some learned a great lesson in patience. Kerri and I vowed that next time we are going without the kids. Paw-paw has to go though - we need someone to bait our hooks and take the fish off ;).

Angel Choir

I didn't choose the name of this choir (Angel choir is their name) but I think it is quite fitting. They consist of 2 year olds through kindergarten and you definitely get a taste of it all when they sing in church. We had everything from a bellydancer to a runaway and there were a few in there that actually sang. Alyson is on the top row on the left of your screen with a white headband. Despite a stuffy nose and a case of laryngitis, she sang her little heart out. Hope you enjoy!

video

Sunday, March 1, 2009

SNOW!!!

After more than one missed forecast for snow, followed by disappointment, they finally got it right. Natalie woke us up bright and early this morning to let us know it had snowed. Although the accummulation was minimal, it sure was pretty. I guess March is the magic month around here. There was a significant snow here this time last year. Of course, we weren't here to enjoy it and it totally missed Columbus.
Call me a bad mom, but the girls were having a fit to get out in the snow to play (we were very short on time because we had to get ready for church) so we bundled up the best we could with what was in reach - robes and crocs (with socks).
The girls enjoyed playing with the snow, eating it and even managed to get in a brief snowball fight. After they finished playing, they 'offered' to clean off my van :).
They were a little disappointed that there was no snow left
to play in when we got home from church. That is OK though - they desperately needed their naps (which they got thanks to cancelled softball practice).
Maybe we can get a repeat performance next March as well.