Monday, February 28, 2011

Just Sitting and Looking...

Because Costco Can't Be Wrong...

All 5000 ounces of germ-X in my house are courtesy of Costco. I buy the huge containers of this stuff. I will use it to refill the small bottle I carry in my purse and for around the house. I like to keep a bottle in the kitchen. It makes for a fast way to get the kids hands clean when we're in a hurry for some kind of lesson. My mother laughed at my gallon-sized jug of germ-X the first time she saw it and implied that I had a slightly OCD thing going on.




If loving Costco and its unnecessarily large bottles of germ-X is wrong, I don't want to be right.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Monkey See...Monkey Do...

Children are incredibly interesting to watch. Sitting at a slight distance absorbing all of their sayings and ideas is far more entertaining than any episode of Grey's Anatomy. Side Bar: Is anyone else as bored with Grey's as I am right now? Dark and Twisty Meredith was much better TV material than Shiny and Happy Meredith. Side Bar over.


Children imitate the adults in their lives. Layton loves to slide on a pair of Jay's boots, walk into the kitchen, and ask me "what's for eat for dinner?" That's Layton speak for What's for Dinner? The boots come all the way up his legs and the leather wads around his ankles. But he feels like a big man wearing daddy's boots.

It's the same way Ella likes to swipe my lip gloss across her mouth, or Hadley likes to wear my earrings. Children copy their parents.

Oh, and the imagination of a child? The power of Hadley's imagination could fuel an army of trucks if there were a way to bottle it. She thinks up stories and outlines games for the younger children to play. If I close my eyes, I can hear her telling Ella and Charsy, "Now pretend that I am the mommy of this young puppy. You will see me and need my help. Don't wake the puppy though." They love to play "dog." That's what I call it. They each pretend to be a certain breed of dog and crawl all over the house.

I could sit for hours and watch them color. Rarely do the markings stay inside the lines, but that's the best part. My children color the way they want, no matter what other Monkeys tell them to do. Live it big, little ones.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Chili Challenge...And Silent Auction...

Hospice is such a wonderful organization. In the weeks leading up to my father's passing, it was such a blessing to have a local non-profit hospice to assist with his care. I, personally, feel particularly strong about helping with the annual fundraiser for Hospice.

Every February Hospice has a Chili Challenge and Silent Auction. There were probably 30 different booths of chili! You pay for a ticket, and then you can walk from booth to booth sampling the chili. You get to vote for your favorite and the booth with the most votes wins. There is also a vote for the cutest booth.

I helped with the silent auction again this year, and it was so much fun! We had all kinds of things in our booth. Autographed footballs from Nick Saban, passes to a local water park, massage gift certificates, scooters, football prints, paintings of Toomers Corner, and tickets to the SEC basketball championship were just a few of the items in the Sports booth. There were also booths for children's items, antiques, travel, entertainment, and many more. By the time I left, our booth had raised over $2,500!

These are a few hospice employees enjoying the day. And probably a little shocked that I was photographing them.... HA!



I kind of think we need a new banner for the sports booth, but it's the same one that's been used for as long as I can remember.



The adorable girls from Valley Imaging had their Bowls of Fire booth again! Clearly, their chili is HOT!




This guy worked really hard on his booth.


Before things got super packed I snapped a picture of what was in front of me.


When Jay and the kids came to see me (I had to get there really early to finish setting up), the gym was so packed that you could hardly walk. How great is that??!!!?
Overall, the day was a complete success, and I am so lucky to have been able to volunteer to help with it.

Oh, Hadley....

Friday, February 25, 2011

In The Winter, It Looks So Different...

The river is such a special place to me. For many reasons. One of the most important reasons I love the river is my husband. My husband? Yes.

Jay's grandparents and my grandparents had river camps next door to each other back in the day. My dad and Jay's dad grew up together on skis. Jay's aunt Peggy and my aunt Mona grew up together and are still the best of friends.

The water of the Elk is one of the reasons Jay and I know each other. Well, that, and his fancy reverse polar notation calculator he had in trigonometry that was totally hot to a girl like me.

In the Winter, TVA uses the dam to drop the water level of the Elk. It prevents flooding in areas North of us. When we go to the river in the Winter, it looks so different. So gray...


So muddy where the water once was in the Summer...



The tracks of the birds that light in the mud...

So gray and waiting for Spring...Just like me.

He's All Ears...

When I went to Layton's art night at preschool, I was pleasantly surprised to find that he doesn't just make silly faces for me.


He makes them all the time. :)

Nope, There Aren't Any Oranges on My Face...You Just Think There Are...

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Bright Copper Kettles...

One of my favorite order books is...



I've never ordered anything from it because I don't think $189 dresses are appropriate for Ella. She would likely use it to wipe blush all over the door to her room. Then I would cry about trying to get blush out of an obscenely expensive dress.

BUT...

I love looking at all of the clothes in this magazine! Too cute! If I had more time to sew, I would probably dust off my machine and try to copy some of the dresses. Then again, it is more likely that I will actually avoid complex carbohydrates than dust off my sewing machine.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Just A Few of the Girls...

One of my favorite things that my friends do is have a girls night out for birthdays. It may not be on an actual birthday. We may have to do it a few days late or even weeks sometimes. BUT....


We go to Sakura and eat Japanese food for all the girls' birthdays. Due to the rampant flu and strep situation in our community, a lot of girls couldn't come this night. We have had so many girls out before that we took up two hibachi tables! It was still so much fun though! I hope that all the children are well before the next birthday rolls around! Sushi, wine, and friends. Excellent combination. :)

Have You Ever?...

What a cutie pie!!!! I can't believe I got my little nephew to smile for me!!!

Did I Mention She Is Full of Herself?...

What A Show Off...

She is so full of herself!!!

Recently overheard while picking her up from piano lessons....

Ms. Judy: Ella, what day does Hadley have violin lessons?

Ella: Ms. Judy, I don't manage her schedule.


I was outside the door cringing. :)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Is It Really February?...

The weather lately has been faboosh! Last weekend, it was in the 70s. Layton wanted to go for a dip in the hot tub.




I obliged.

Can you believe he was this wet outside in February? And it was completely okay! The water was a little over 100 degrees, and it was in the 70s outside. What a great day for a dip?!

Wordless Wednesday?...

Trial Run at Posting Bigger Pictures Than Usual...

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Feel free to ignore this post. I am simply learning how to edit the HTML and post larger pictures. :)

Waiting for Spring...

It Hunts Too...

Ella has been dying to go squirrel hunting. Jay obliged.


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Yes, my child held up two dead squirrels. Should I be concerned?

Smile Teddy Beary...

Layton has two teddy bears that he loves. This one is Teddy Beary. Ok, the name isn't very imaginative, but he sure does love this bear!


I never had a toy or animal that I was particularly attached to. Did you? I'd love to hear about it!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

He Is Wonderfully Made...

Put Those Pouty Lips Away...Or Not...


Nephew Nathan.

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He loves to push my buttons. One day at the farm he told me, "You're not my cousin no more, Amanda." I tried to tell him that I was never his cousin, but his big brown eyes convinced me to let him say whatever he wanted. :)

You've Got Cake on Your Face...

One of my very best friends is from Connecticut. She moved here a few years ago to marry one of mine and Jay's friend's from ages and ages ago. Angela had two little girls from her first marriage, and a year ago this little cutie was added to their brood....


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Ally had the best time eating her smash cake at her first birthday party! Angela is pregnant again already. I keep joking with her that I know what year her Christmas card is from based entirely on the number of children in the picture. :) The seem to be adding one a year! HAHA!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Hadley Faces North...

Hadley loves her coat. She wears it all day every day. She puts it on in the morning, zips it all the way up, and keeps it on until she gets in the shower at night. Sometimes, I have to steal it away from her in order to wash it.


It Was Good Enough for Me...

I like wine. Not all wine. But yes, I like to have a glass of wine from time to time.



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Hands down, my favorite wine is Riesling. It's so light, peachy, and sweet.

Red wine isn't something that I drink a lot of. When I do go red, I typically go for a pinot noir or cabernet. Merlot is not one that I go for often. I find that it has a good bit more bite to it. I asked a friend about the bite, and she said it was because of the tannins in the grapes used to make merlot. She lives in New York City and has already completed culinary school. Now she is taking a nine month wine class. I know the class has a fancy name; I just can't remember it. Ha!

Anyway, I want to expand my wine pleasure. What are your favorite red wines?

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Friday, February 18, 2011

When He Makes This Face...

My heart melts.

By the Way...This Is His "Thinking Face"...

Layton calls this his "thinking face." When I ask him what he wants to eat, to drink, to do, etc, he always says, "Let me think about it."

The thinking face emerges....

And a while later, he'll have an answer for me.

When Was The Last Time His Face Was Clean?.....

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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Snowman...

Layton came home from school one day with a snowman he made.


The snowman melted and was flat. :)