Friday, May 30, 2008

More Family Pictures

This is just a great picture of Stuart and Ralston feeding the giraffe.

We joked that it would be impossible to get the kids all looking at the camera at the same time -- but here's evidence that it happened!

My cousin Marc and his sweet baby, Alexis. Marc is my dad's brother's oldest son. We haven't seen much of each other since we've gotten older, but we're determined to remedy that! The picture was taken at Stuart and Virginia's house in Irmo.

My mom has taken an interest in Webkinz so that she can figure out what Kaity's always talking about! We actually bought mom a monkey Webkinz for Mother's Day. Now she can play, too.

This is my grandmother -- Dad's mom. She lives about 2 hours away and we don't see her often enough either!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

If I Ran the Zoo ...

We traveled to Columbia, SC yesterday in order to visit with my brother and his family along with one of our cousins. Stuart and Virginia have a little boy named Ralston and another little boy on the way. My cousin Marcus and his wife Shelly were visiting from New Hampshire. They have a little boy named Quinn who's three, and a six month old baby girl, Alexis. We all loaded up and went to the zoo in Columbia where we had a wonderful time. I have a ton of great pictures, but I'm only going to put a few on here. I'll save the rest for the scrapbook! :)

I love this picture!

Cousins -- Ralston (3), Quinn (3), Joe (3), and Kaity (7)

My favorite big brother, Stoobles, and his boy, Rali. In the background is bamboo, which the little ones called "shampoo".

One of the major highlights was feeding the giraffe, Chrissy.

Kaity and Joe with the lorikeets -- we held out nectar in cups and the birds flocked to us! Note the bird perched on Kaity's head! (You can click the picture to enlarge it.)

Okay, so after having had to choose only five pictures for this post, I've decided there'll be a part 2 tomorrow! Stay tuned ...

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

School's Out for Summer!

Well, not quite for us yet ... but I did go ahead and order our school things for next year! Honestly I think we'll finish out this week and call it a year. I went on-line today after perusing the catalog for a few weeks. I knew what I wanted and it was so fun adding things to the shopping cart! I got Kaity's third grade curriculum and then added on a few things for Joe as well. I'm not doing an official curriculum with him, I just picked out books I thought would interest him, as well as a couple of things he can do on his own.

This is one of my favorite parts of the school year. I love getting a new box of books, and hauling the old empty box out of the attic to fill with the old books. Katie and I reminisce and organize our way through. Then I have to set a limit on her for reading/looking through her new books and things! Otherwise she'd have them all read before the summer's over. It's tough convincing her to wait and digest them slowly over the course of the school year. I've saved out a couple of books that we didn't get to this past year for her to enjoy over the summer. Maybe that will quench her thirst for a little while at least!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Field Day 2008

Yesterday, our home school group had field day out at our church. We don't really have an organized formal "Group", just several families in the same church who homeschool their children. We have anywhere from Joe's age to teenagers -- around 25 or so kids. At field day, we played the traditional games -- relay races, three-legged race, water balloon toss (which turned into a free-for-all as you can see from the pictures!) One of the moms organized the games, one of the dads grilled hotdogs, and we all brought lots of food, because we are Baptist. :)

One thing I love about homeschoolers is that all have the same deer-in-the-headlights look when you tell them to line up! You can hear their little brains whirring, "What is this "line" that you speak of?"

And I love that homeschooling moms are so completely ingrained with teachable moments that even field day is not excluded. For example, after the water balloon fight, "Mom, my clothes are HEAVY now!" and instead of just saying, "Mmm hmm. That's nice, dear." Mom jumps on it -- "Why do you think your clothes are heavier now?"

One sad note -- a couple of weeks ago we were at a friend's house and Kaity dropped a ten pound weight on her toe (second toe on right foot). She could move it so we figured it wasn't broken, but two weeks later it's still noticeably swollen. And of course someone stepped on it during one of the games yesterday. So Kaity sat out for a little while and a couple of moms had a look and diagnosed it as broken (from the weight incident). So we taped it together with the next little toe and that's about all there is you can do for it!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me ...

So yesterday was my birthday! Jeff took me out to dinner at an Italian restaurant in Athens, DePalma's. I went there with Mom back in the fall and it was delicious! This time I had an apple walnut salad with bacon and blue cheese, and gorgonzola dressing. But my favorite part was the foccacia -- it comes with a fabulous spinach and smoked gouda dip. I could eat my weight in that stuff. We had a wonderful evening talking and not having to tell anyone to "eat-it-anyway-whether-you-like-it-or-not." No chance of having to tell Jeff that, because though he doesn't really like Italian food (I know, it's tragic!) he always gets the exact same thing -- Chicken Parmesan. We have a routine where we pretend that he's considering something else. Then when the waiter/waitress comes, he gives me a sheepish look and says, "Chicken Parmesan." After we eat our meals, I rave over the food and ask Jeff how the ubiquitous chicken was. And he always shrugs his shoulders and says, "It was good -- about the same."

Of course we ended the evening at Barnes and Noble where we got Starbuck's coffee and a brand new Get Fuzzy book! Oh, and Jeff bought me a rare treat -- RealSimple magazine and orange Tic-Tacs!

Thursday, May 22, 2008


Last week, we got some of my favorite flowers, Gerber daisies, to put in our flowerbed. I got one red, one pink and one orange. I'm hoping to get some really pretty lantana (the kind with multicolors, not plain yellow) to put in at some point.

And here's another kind of Daisy entirely!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Creative Kaity

The children got up with Jeff this morning -- 5:30 a.m.! By the time I came in the kitchen at seven, Kaity already had a project going. Grammie brought the kids those magnetic letters you put on the fridge, and Kait made up a story using them.

And this is just a random picture of Joe. I took it in my on-going quest to actually get a good picture of the boy.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Ballerina Girl

Kaity has taken ballet for three years from a local Baptist church. She really likes it. I think her favorite part is the recital, which was this past Saturday. Here are some pretty pictures of our ballerina girl!

This isn't the best family picture, but it's the only one we took. We just couldn't get away from the sun!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Random Sweet Pictures

Katie and Joe love to play dress up. This time they were a cowboy and a princess!

Much to MY mother's dismay, we didn't drive down to Aiken for Mother's Day. We did, however, go to see Jeff's parents who live only 40 minutes away. We had a really nice time with them and went to Dairy Queen for supper!

Here's another picture that Katie took. She came running outside yesterday asking if she could take a picture with the camera. She said, "Mommy, Daisy is SO cute!" I gave her the camera and she ran up to her room to take a snapshot of Daisy asleep on her top bunk.

And speaking of Mother's Day and daisies, Jeff bought me four Shasta daisy plants! Despite having a legendary "brown thumb", I seem determined this year to grow stuff. My friend Lisa was the one last year who came over and worked her tail off clearing out this flower bed and replanting it. I'm just trying to maintain it so that her work will not be in vain. And also so she'll keep speaking to me! Anyway, here is a picture of the daisies I planted yesterday. Jeff says they're supposed to bloom later in the summer. I can't wait!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Kitty Update

I have good news and bad news about the nameless little kitten we've been caring for. Well, it's the same news, taken two different ways. The mama cat showed back up in our friends' garage! Ideally, of course, the mommy raises the kittens, so we took our little baby to her yesterday. He snuggled right up to his two siblings and reports from our friends tell us that the mama seems to be feeding them and caring for them well. Joe's concern is that the family is still not complete. "But where's his daddy?" he asks. Joe's own daddy has not made a ruling yet on whether we'll get the kitten back when he's old enough. The children are actively lobbying their cause.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Strawberry Fields Forever

We went on a field trip (literally!) Thursday to a strawberry field, as well as to see a beekeeper. Both were fascinating! I don't have bee pictures yet (forgot my camera in the car!) but I did take some of the strawberry patch.

The kids loved it! Yesterday, I made strawberry freezer jam with the strawberries we picked. We froze some, too, because I'm planning on making strawberry soup as a special treat for Katie. Her ballet recital is next weekend and we'll have a little reception afterward. (Any excuse to cook!)

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Our New Baby

Okay, so we're complete suckers. My friend Lisa called me yesterday and told me of a dilemma concerning a mutual friend of ours, Jill. During their yard sale on Saturday, a cat ran into Jill's garage. Her husband chased it off, and as it ran it dropped a mouse or something out of its mouth. They quickly discovered the "something" was actually a kitten only a few days old! Mom was nowhere to be found for three days, so on the advice of a vet, Jill was feeding the kitten with a bottle and caring for it. Anyway, Jill called Lisa, Lisa called me, me called Jeff ... and we have a new addition to our family! He sleeps most of the time, and wakes up to be fed and cuddled. We haven't named him yet, but Daddy has reserved veto rights -- he's heard some of the names Kaity comes up with for her babies! (We've often teased that we're going to insist on being involved in the naming process of our grandchildren!) And speaking of our little girl, she is the artist behind the camera on all the pictures in this post.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Poll Results

The poll ended up with two choices in the top spot. Y'all wanted to see more Jeff and Jeni, and more pictures. In order to please everyone, here are more pictures ... of Jeff and Jeni! Probably not what y'all were going for, but it's too late now!

Saturday, May 03, 2008

When Nature Calls

Kaity and I walked downtown this afternoon on an errand. I was encouraging her to keep walking, not to stop constantly, and this was her reply: "But my heart belongs in nature and I just can't help it!"

Later on the walk, she composed this poem while continuing to add to her nature collection:
Every minute stooping down,
to pick a leaf up off the ground.

Friday, May 02, 2008


Not much says "summer's on the way" better than a new pair of flip-flops!

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Rabbits and Shopping & Swords, Oh My!

Last Friday we went to the grocery store. It started out as a shopping trip like any other ... until we pulled into the parking lot. To preface, Katie and Joe had imagined for themselves little rabbits. Katie had Violet and Rosie, Joe had Jonathan and Johnny. When I told the kids to unload from the van, Joe had his little hands cupped close to his chest and said, "I can't get out, Mommy!" His unfeeling mother said, "Just put them down." No, that would not do! These were BABY rabbits. Then Katie saved the situation by saying, "Jonathan is big enough to hop on his own." So Joe set Jonathan down. We're in the parking lot, and I tell Joe to hold my hand, which he clearly cannot do because he's holding his (imaginary) rabbit in that hand! I actually leaned down and let him put the rabbit on my shoulder! Not to be outdone, Katie decides that I have to hold Rosie for her. Yes, I leaned down the OTHER shoulder so that she could put her (imaginary) rabbit there. The mark of a dedicated mother is whether she walks into the store as if she is really balancing bunnies on her shoulders. Apparently I am an extremely dedicated mother.

While shopping, the rabbits did not make much of a disturbance, though I'm sure that passersby thought our family completely insane. The trouble came halfway through the trip. I am in a daze trying to decide which kind of pasta to get when I realize that my kids are arguing over something. Joe starts crying -- I mean, really crying. Katie says immediately, "I didn't DO anything!"

Having been her mother for 7 1/2 years, I know this is a fib. Joe explains, tearfully, "Katie took my sword!"

I look at Katie, who does appear to be carrying an imaginary sword. She responds, "But he can't have it, because ..." (I didn't actually catch her reasoning. I don't guess it mattered. My brain was too busy trying to process the fact that the argument was over an IMAGINARY sword.)

In Solomon-like wisdom, I say, "For Pete's sake, Katie, give him his sword back and imagine yourself another one!" I have obviously completely given up making sense at this point.

The good news is that Ingle's has graciously decided to allow me to continue shopping at their store, providing that I come alone.