Friday, February 27, 2015

Banana Splits and Movie Night!

First of all, on a sad note: Farewell to the only man on my fridge, the inimitable Leonard Nimoy. He was, and always will be, our friend.
My favorite refrigerator magnet.
And now, for some happy news: Ice cream! I very rarely get store-bought treats for the kids, preferring to bake something special instead. However, I decided to get some ice cream Friday so we could have a fun movie night. I made calzones for supper, then cooked up a homemade chocolate sauce to go on our banana splits.

Before starting up Big Hero 6, my little girls and I had some snuggle time. Jeff and Joe were off getting haircuts, and Kaity was down in her lair.

"I love you!"
"I will bat my big brown eyes, and Kaity will give me ice cream!"

Mommy's a sucker, too!
Can you see Kaity down there under Selah, the pillows and Lauryn?
I have no idea what Selah and I are doing over there, but I'm including this one for the expressions on Lauryn's and Kaity's faces.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Goldie Fuzz

When I was a little girl, my dad used to tell Stuart and me a story he made up about a raccoon with golden fur. Dad was a great story-teller. He used different voices for all the characters and dynamics to dramatize the action. He knew just how to make us laugh. Once, when he was going to be gone for some time (I believe it was when he was in Turkey on TDY), he recorded the story on tape so Stuart and I could listen to it at night before bed. The two of us shared a room with bunk beds. Stuart had a radio and we'd often fall asleep listening to different tapes, like Abbott and Costello's Who's On First routine or whatever music Dad had recorded onto tape from his record collection.

Anyway, Goldie Fuzz has become part of Grandpa Rick's legacy because now I tell it to my kids. I hadn't done so since Selah was a toddler when she recently asked me to tell it again. Kaity and Joe can practically recite it by themselves! I've told it a few times over the last month or so which apparently inspired Kaity to illustrate the funny little story, which is basically The Three Bears with a twist - namely, that Goldilocks the little girl has been replaced by Goldifuzz, the mischievous, naughty raccoon.

The pictures read essentially like a comic book. Kaity remarked, "If I'd known you were going to put this on the blog, I'd have done a better job coloring it!"

So Goldifuzz tries the fish that Papa Bear cooked, finding only Baby Bear's palatable, then their bowls of water, breaking them in the process (Crash! Splash!), then tries to rest in their chairs, all of which are unsatisfactory. He finally wanders upstairs to Papa Bear's bed, which is made with branches and thorns and pinecones: too uncomfortable (YOW!). Mama Bear's bed, which isn't much better, and finally snuggles down in Baby Bear's bed, which is made up of pine needles, soft moss, and leaves - just right!

The Bears arrive home from their walk, which they had taken while they let their fried fish cool. After inspecting all the damage left in the wake of our hero, Baby Bear squeaks out the news that the perpetrator is fast asleep in his own bed! Naturally, the Bears gobble up Goldifuzz, leaving only his teeth, hair and eyeballs, which Kaity illustrated so thoughtfully.

Now, doesn't that explain a lot about my sense of humor? Thanks, Dad.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Yes! Yes! Yes!

A couple of years ago, our friend Chad introduced Jeff to Mnozil Brass, a group of crazy talented Austrian musicians. Emphasis on the "crazy". The two guys went on a road trip to Florida to see them at the time. I stayed home with the kids but I'm not bitter; thanks for asking. Seriously!

Fast forward to a few months ago and we found out Mnozil Brass were coming to UGA! This was an opportunity not to be missed. We made plans with Chad and another friend, Jacob, to attend. The concert was last night and sadly, Chad was sick an unable to attend. Kaity was not disappointed at all, though, because that meant she got to go with us! Jeff, Kaity and I, along with Jacob and his sweetie pie Alicia had a great time and loved the concert! (Dinner at a downtown Athens staple, The Grill, started out the evening.)

My mini doppelganger and me!

Kaity: "My parents are dorks."
 Pictures from the program:

The name of this tour (totally different than the one 2 years ago) is Yes! Yes! Yes! - hence the title of the post.
Okay, this concert was seriously awesome. The technical acumen of these guys is outstanding! They're funny, sure, with their Monty Python-esque routines, but they are also unbelievably talented. The ensemble includes 3 trumpets, 3 trombones, and a tuba.

Highlights of the concert:

*An a cappella (with just a little horn thrown in) German love ballad
* Snippets of some of my favorites like "Layla", "Take on Me" & "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun"
*Axel F
*A 2001: A Space Odyssey montage that started, of course, with Also Sprach Zarathustra and culminated in the theme song from Star Trek. *swoon*
*Their encore presentation brought down the house! Again, a cappella punctuated by horns ... Bohemian Rhapsody! Seriously cool. 

Monday, February 23, 2015

Never Trust A Toddler

So the good Doctor may have been specifically warning about the Weeping Angels, but his words can certainly be applied to toddlers.
"Don't blink. Blink and you're dead. They are fast. Faster than you can believe. Don't turn your back. Don't look away. And don't blink. Good luck."
I was sitting in the recliner, resting after painting the bathroom. The children were playing on the Wii and watching TV, just chilling.

I should have known Lauryn was TOO quiet.
My Mom Radar starting pinging so I peeked over her shoulder to find this:

(Except that she was actively coloring her hands with a marker. I took it away before I went to get the camera for these pictures.)

Sunday, February 22, 2015

VW Get Together

As Jeff's Volkswagen obsession has grown, he's become friends with people via internet who share the same love. We get together once in a while with His People locally, and also make trips a couple of times a year to various surrounding states. Saturday night was a local get together with some his water-cooled VW friends. The last couple of times we've seen them, I've been nagged about bringing MY water-cooled VW, a 2003 Eurovan, aka The Big Silver Rectangle, or as the children prefer: Steve. Because it just sounds funny as all get out to refer to the van that way. (They picked it up from the monkey in the movie Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs who randomly shouts his own name. "Steve!")

Anyway, I finally brought Steve to meet everyone and I felt like a celebrity surrounded by paparazzi when I drove up. Seriously. As I pull into the parking lot, I see guys start pointing and staring. Before I even parked one of them was at the window, "So you finally brought it!" Someone else walked up saying, "Hey, check out the Eurovan!"

Oh, stop it. You're going to make me blush.

So, of course I popped the hood, proudly answering their inquiries about the type of engine - the 200hp VR6, naturally, and eyebrows went up. "Nice!" "Really, the VR6?" "How many miles on it? Like 170?" Nope. Higher. 290,000. More amazement. "Bet it doesn't get 200 horsepower now!"

About that time, Jeff arrived in his Beetle - grinning from ear to ear at the guys all gathered around his van. I'm pretty sure I won him some points with the guys.

Me, Lauryn and Steve. And Brian, attempting to photobomb in the background.

Handsome, silly boy.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Master Bathroom

After painting a majority of the new house in a very short time period, I took a break from it for a while. One reason was that I knew I wanted to paint the master bathroom - the lone hold-out of the upstairs rooms - next. When I painted the kitchen I absolutely fell in love with the color and I knew right away it was what I wanted in the master bath. The only catch was that I didn't have enough to finish the job. Because I'm cheap frugal and didn't want to buy another can of paint, I needed to work with what I had and scrounge up another color from my stock. I settled on "borrowing" the cream color we'd bought for Kaity's bathroom. I figure we have enough for both since her bath is pretty small. That just left finding the time to get the job done. Since Monday and Tuesday are such busy days, every Wednesday found me saying, "Maybe this week." Finally, like Calvin donning his space helmet and determining to "go for the gusto", I knew I just had to go for it.

This is the before picture I took the day I started painting. It is violently yellow, y'all. The blue is from when we first moved in and I pondered going bold with the colors. Bullet dodged.
This is the best picture I could find of the true "before". You can juuust see the wallpaper border of a beach scene with sailboats. Yeah, I scraped that and the jungle/safari weirdness (on the bedroom walls) off pretty quick-like.

Here's what the master bedroom looks like now:

 Anyhoo ... After pictures!
I love that the soft green, cream and white gives it a very calming ambiance. The bathroom has a lot of natural light that I really wanted to enhance.
But not enough to buy lightbulbs, apparently. I can't remember everything while grocery shopping with four little crumbsnatchers, people!
I love my stripey rug! The back wall of this room is the same green that's in our bedroom and the foyer.

Me, sticking my tongue out at you. This huge mirror definitely helps reflect light back around the room. Someday I'm going to surround it with white trim or little stone tiles. Someday.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Phone Pictures

We're not exactly the most technologically savvy people. We only recently upgraded our TV to a flat screen and that was only because our former TV was beyond resuscitation. Seriously, if you're turning your TV on and off with a butter knife, it's probably time to let it go. (Not that we did. We waited until it reached the point that only the volume button turned the power off, which also turned the volume down. Then we watched with closed captions for a while before we admitted defeat.)

In fact, Jeff's brother saw our TV in the background of a picture and commented something like "The 80's called; they want their TV back." When I went to the store to research our purchase, I had to laugh at the irony of someone in their 30s having smart TVs explained to her by a man who was easily in his late 60s.

All that to say that we have no idea how to get the pictures on our phones onto our computer. It's sad, really. But Jeff had some great pictures of Lauryn on his phone and he was determined to figure it out. So he sent them via text to a friend of ours who is ten years younger, Jacob, who then used his newfangled Samsung iDroid to send the pics to Jeff's email.

I think at one point Kaity, Jeff and I all had this picture as a background or screensaver on our phones.

Checking out Daddy's ride.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Baby Ballerina

Lauryn is always finding, or digging out of the dresser, other people's clothes and shoes. When she brought me Selah's ballet recital costume and looked at me with those big brown eyes, I couldn't refuse to help her put it on!

She adored swished her little tutu around and spent a long time running and dancing around the house. Beautiful little thing.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Mini Family Reunion

I can't believe I haven't posted about this yet! Last month, we had a mini family reunion at my mom's house. It was a really casual, quick visit, and not the same without the WHOLE crowd, but so much fun anyway!

In many families, there are names passed down through the generations. In my mom's side of the family, it happens to be the names of my grandparents, Riley Eugene and Josephine Lois. My mom, my aunt, and one of my uncles all bear a portion of their parents' names. Among the grandchildren and great-grandchildren, Granny and Papa have several namesakes. Stacy Jo, Kiley Jo, and our own Joseph Riley are among them. Several months ago, my cousin Kelli added to the list with a little Riley of her own. Because Kelli lives in Virginia, Granny and Riley hadn't yet met and this little reunion brought them together. Eugene, Terri, Kelli, Dustin, and Riley made the drive down from Virginia, and Donnie, Cindy, Eric, and Granny made the drive up from South Georgia. And Stuart and I drove over with our kiddos, of course!

First up, Lauryn and Uncle Stu (or Stoobles, or Beef Stu, whatever. Ah, siblings!) Also known as Greybeard - man, he's getting old! It's a good thing I'm soooo much younger. (Love you, Stuart!)

Cousins! Joe, Kaity, Ralston and McKinney. Joined together by the power of Minecraft!

Granny with Uncle Eugene, her oldest son, and Uncle Donnie on the end over there.

Granny and her great-granddaughter, little Riley - together at last!

The paparazzi!

Granny with the two youngest grandbabies.

My cousin Eric, the baby-whisperer. Even our stoic little introvert was wiled by his beard and winsome smile.

Kelli with Kaity and baby Riley.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Valentine's Day

My mom planned to come up the day of Selah's birthday party. Unfortunately,  she and Berk needed to make an unexpected trip to Ohio when his grandmother's health took a turn for the worst. Instead, they both came up this past weekend, which just happened to be Valentine's Day.

Bobba's and Selah's birthdays are just a couple of days apart so we celebrated a little together!

Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes! They had a fresh strawberry filling and strawberry whipped cream on top.

Miss Fashionista over there got new Sunday dresses, gloves, and sunglasses for her birthday!

She always covers her ears when we sing Happy Birthday.

Silly faces!

Grammie and Bobba graciously agreed to stay with the kids for a couple of hours so Jeff and I could catch a quick date. We tried a new restaurant, Taqueria Tsunami, which was pretty tasty overall. The traffic was worse and the wait at the restaurant longer than we anticipated, so by the time we were on the way home it was later than we'd thought. I made a quick call to let Bobba know we had one more stop to make and then we'd be home. Jeff laughed and said, "You realize you just called your parents to ask if you could stay out after curfew?" The more things change ...