Tuesday, July 31, 2007

I See You!

Gracie asked me yesterday evening to help her make binoculars. I had seen this craft and wanted to do it with her, we just hadn't gotten a chance. So, I put dinner on hold, pulled the last 3 paper towels off the roll and made her a set of binoculars. They were so cute, and she is proud as pie of them.

I added some ribbon so she could keep them around her neck. She spied everything in sight, and some not all of us could see.

This morning she colored them a little more and added some Franklin stickers. They have been around her neck so far all morning.

This is a simple craft and you can do it with your child.

You need either one paper towel roll cut in half, or 2 toilet paper rolls. Tape the rolls together. (you could use glue, but I suggest hot glue because they are heavier than you think and the kids won't want to wait until they dry!) Use a hole punch to make holes on the outside of each roll and add yard or string or ribbon to make the binoculars portable. Voila!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

First Aid

Dear Gracie,

I am so sorry about your devastating fall in front of the Wal- Mart this evening. What horrible parents we must be to have let you trip. And what a terrible scrape. I am sure it is broken like you said. All of that blood; it nearly needed more than one tissue! I hope that you can forgive us, and you will be able to walk again soon. I don't blame you for needing to be carried from the store and in to our home, and to have your teeth brushed, and in to your comfy bed. I am sure you couldn't bare the pain. I do hope that the Hello Kitty band aid that we put on it will somehow contain the gushing of blood and will attempt to seal the wound. My only hope is that the ice cream you so desperately needed go to your knee in time.


Please feel better soon,

Your loving mother

Friday, July 27, 2007

Little Mommy

I thought I would share this adorable picture of Gracie feeding her baby doll. She has been quite the little mommy these days as she feeds and changes and even washes her baby's clothes. Did I tell you we found a vintage Fisher Price washing machine!

She has also been a big helper this week while we took extra special care of Emma who ended up having an ear infection. She is pretty sickly, but is on the mend. Hopefully the weekend with her mommy will help her feel better quickly.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Finished


I didn't get it done over nap time, but I finished it off this evening. This is side two.

I am so proud of it--I think it came out so cute, and it will be something very special for Gracie to have as she gets older.

Click on the picture to enlarge.

Pocket Full Of Hugs


I got the cutest idea on Tuesday. I wanted take all of the hugs Gracie had received and let her keep them close. (By the way thank you so much to everyone who sent hugs, Gracie loved having me reading and giving her a physical hug for every person you listed. She wanted to do it over and over again!)

Since all of you "sent" her hugs from where you lived I made "postcards" out of material and sewed them to a canvas bag. I addressed each one and added a stamp that I printed from the computer and sewed on. I added a few extras like a butterfly I had cross stitched when I was in high school and flowers that Lou had embroidered.

The picture above is from the front of the bag, I still have three more "hugs" to add to the back. It took me 2 days to sew all of these on, and I couldn't wait to share. There will also be more room to add additional hugs.

Thank you again for loving Gracie so much!

You can click on the picture to enlarge and see all the details. I hope to finish the bag while the girls are down for a nap, I will post the other side when I finish it.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Tummy Trouble

There is a lag in the blog updates as Gracie seems to have caught a mild stomach bug. Now, mommy has it, as does Emma who stayed home today. So it's just Gracie and I today, and despite the rumblings in my tummy--I want to take advantage of every moment. We have already been coloring this morning. Who knows what we will do next.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Grill Master

Here is a picture of Garren doing his new favorite thing--grilling. He looks like Rambo on a mission to char the burgers in the heart of the jungle.

He looked, and looked for an electric grill (because we aren't allowed to have a gas or charcoal one at the apartment), and he finally found one in Tennessee.

This was the second time we had gotten to use it, and the food tastes pretty good. And clean up is pretty easy. Gracie loves it because she gets to be a big helper.

Other fun family time included and evening full of games with Gracie. It was a good day.

Oh, and please leave more hugs! Gracie loved getting her hugs and I would love to pass on more. When I post on Friday, most of my readers don't see it until Monday or later because they aren't at work or don't use the computer on weekends. So, scroll down to my "Hug Day" entry and please leave more hugs. Thanks!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Oh No, Not again!


Looks like we have a new dinosaur fan in our home again. Just when I thought we had outgrown Barney, Emma comes a long and resurrects him!

As much as I am loving the fact that Gracie outgrew the purple dinosaur, he really is good for kids. He teaches plenty through song and action. Plus, I put all the videos and stuffies and other artifacts downstairs nearly a year ago, so I only have to deal with him for one half hour a day.

Other cute pictures from today:

Hug Week

I can't believe it is "Hug Week" already, it seems like "Kiss Day" was only yesterday, ah time flies.

Don't you just love these adorable little holidays? Well I do, so Gracie and I are sending you lots of hugs. Then again, you don't need an unknown holiday to show how much you care.

Hugs and kisses,
Mommy & Gracie

You can send Gracie hugs too. x's and o's are for hugs and kisses and you can leave some in the comment section and I will tell Gracie you sent her a hug, and I will even give her one to show how much you care!


BEAR HUGS are very strong, be careful not to hurt

OCTOPUS HUGS with it's whole body
PUPPY HUGS are very soft and wet
FISH HUGS are very cold, and seldom returned
MOMMY HUGS you can NEVER hug a Mommy to much
DADDY HUGS are best when he first walks in the door
BROTHER HUGS usually called a buddy hug
SISTER HUGS also known as single arm hugs, are very good when you walk together (Even if you aren't sisters)
GRANDPA HUGS are sometimes given while sitting
GRANDMA HUGS can be found anywhere, but are especially nice in the kitchen
GREAT AUNT JEAN HUGS can only be given once a year
BEWARE!! you normally end up with lipstick on your cheek
HAND HUGS normally called shaking hands
BLANKET HUGS everybody needs some kind of blanket
HURT HUGS to make the pain go away
REPORT CARD HUG for doing well
WELL DONE HUG for trying hard
THANK YOU HUG for helping
KNEE HUGS are good if you are tall
WORM HUGS surround you with love

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Long Time No Blog

As my mother has so delicately put it in an email she sent yesterday; I have been back for 4 days and still no update.

This week has been so busy, and I am so tired! Not much of an excuse, but it's the best I have.

I will update about our adventures in Tennessee this morning while the girls are sleeping and Murder She Wrote is on.

As for this week. I am desperately trying to catch up on sleep and rest, but I am failing miserably. Gracie and I had some mother daughter time yesterday. We went to the library, 2 thrift stores and got some ice cream at Dairy Queen. We found a lot of great books, puzzles, and a Little People set. As for Monday, it was very long and full day of unpacking every free second I got. Tuesday was a bad day, no need to talk about it.

Today is better, and I feel somewhat rested. I will resume my blogger addiction. Thanks for reading; and keep checking in as I add in a post about Tennessee.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Look What I Got!


The Mozingo's were so kind as to take care of our garden while we were gone. The deer took care of it too. But, look what they didn't get! I got my very first tomato and cucumber. And look at the size of those squash. They tried to give the veggies to me, but since Candice had been so generous to share with me, I let them keep them. Of course, I snapped a picture first!

We're Home

What an adventurous week we spent in Tennessee with Mamaw, Papaw, Aunt Heather, the boys...and too many more to mention.

I could write a novel about everything we did, but I think I will just share the highlights.

On Saturday, we attended a picnic at Aunt Janie's. Much of the family attended and got a peak at Gracie. The last time we were in was in March for Gracie's 3rd birthday, she had obviously grown. Gracie was pretty cheery despite the gross lack of sleep. After the picnic we took her to the movies, just Garren and I. We saw Ratatouille. It was a very cute movie and Gracie loved it and the extra large tub of popcorn. After the movie none of us were ready to head back, so we stopped and ate ice cream at TCBY on the patio. It was some nice family time together.


Sunday was a restful day, so I will skip to Monday. We took Gracie to Jonesborough for her first trip to a water park. This is a small park, nothing like Wet-N-Wild or anything, but still pretty nice. Gracie had a fantastic time, well after she stopped being a chicken. We had a hard time getting her to do anything but let Daddy hold her in the water. We stayed several hours, and we all ended up having a good time. Gracie got brave and went down the kiddie slides on Daddy's lap. Mommy found an awesome slide for her and went down several times. Despite the extra stops for more sunscreen, Garren and I burnt pretty bad (and we were using SPF 60!!), Gracie was fine though--just several shades darker. It was an extremely hot day.

Tuesday the boys went and did their shooting thing, which I of course refuse to be apart of, so I took Gracie to Johnson City, just us girls. We hit a few thrift stores (Candice was right you can't find anything there. I think it is a difference in cultural: there you reuse things until they are nearly trash, here people get bored with something and they throw it out.) I also took Gracie to my favorite Chinese restaurant. When we got back, Gracie took a non-nap and we went back out with Mamaw and Aunt Heather. Mamaw had her mind set on getting Gracie a bicycle, and she did. Gracie is the proud owner of her very first bike. A Dora one with backpack on the front and map. She looks so big on it with her helmet and pads. When Daddy and the boys got back from their day, he helped Gracie try and pedal. I helped her for a long time and she just couldn't get it. Unfortunately for me the pedals don't move when you push the bike.


Wednesday was a rough day, sort of. Gracie is so exhausted by this point. Going to bed late, very little sleep, and no naps all week! I tried to get her to rest most of the day knowing that we were going to Knoxville in the afternoon. This did not work and only made mommy and Gracie cranky. We recovered though. We had a nice dinner in Knoxville at Calhoun's (my favorite!!!) with friends Katie and Matt. After dinner we all went up in the sun sphere. It hasn't been open to the public since the World's Fair! It was really neat in there, and I am glad Katie suggested it. After our amazing view we went to Katie and Matt's home and met Trixie their adorable dog. Gracie and Trixie hit it off, but we didn't stay long. I was so embarrassed. Gracie was so tired and very punchy. She was jumping up and down, she was climbing on their furniture. It was like someone else's uncontrollable child. She has never acted like that, and I was so ashamed. I didn't yell at her or anything, I knew she was tired, but she wouldn't listen and she was getting more rowdy by the minute. I really hope they didn't think us rude!


Thursday we spent the day with Candice, well most of it. Gracie and I got to Candice and Elliott's before noon. We had a delicious lunch of BBQ, corn fresh from the garden, along with tomatoes and potatoes also fresh from the garden! After lunch and playing with Lucie we went to see the goats. Gracie liked Sassie and Nellie, but they weren't to sure about her. They warmed up enough though to let Gracie feed them from her hand. Too cute! We took a break from the goats and the hot sun in the pool. Elliott's mother and father live next door to them and they have a pool. They are very sweet people and we appreciate them sharing their pool, or as Gracie dubbed it: "Elliott's water." Gracie had a great time. She and Elliott splashed and played, and the more time we spent in the pool the more brave she got. Towards the end she was jumping end by just holding on of my hands! I love those confidence suits! We had to leave Candice and Elliott's before dinner as Mamaw was hosting a rather large picnic at her house that night. (Daddy had stayed behind to help with grilling and setting up and such)

The picnic was a huge success and we got to see many more relatives that we hadn't seen in a while like DeAnna, Jimmy and their 2 boys Cody & Cory. Gracie was actually quite outgoing. She wanted to play the games that Mamaw had set out. Not having little girls of their own, Aunt Heather and DeAnna took turns playing with Gracie. It was very neat to watch. Gracie had such a good time she actually broke in to tears when I made her got inside and get ready for bed.

Tweetsie Railroad was next, and I had the best time ever! I kept telling people I wasn't sure who had more fun: me or Gracie! It was the cutest place ever, although I must admit I wasn't sure if the drive up there would be worth it. Puke city! But, it was. They had rides just prefect for Gracie. There were very few people, so we only stood in line for 2 rides that I can think of. We rode the big train, the little train, Ferris wheel, the carousel (5 times!!! Gracie kept wanting to go back!), the chair lift, and the boats. We saw 4 shows and spent time in all the cute shops. It really was a fantastic day. It wasn't hot, in fact it was nice and breezy, but the sun was out. The only disappointment I had was that they closed at 6. I would have stayed all night if they would have let me! Gracie got several cute souvenirs including the pink cowgirl hat that I just had to get her. We also got postcards, a key chain and several souvenir cups.

These were just a few of the highlights from the week. It was very busy, and I was glad that we found time for extended family, but also had things for just the 3 of us like the movie, water park, Knoxville, and Tweetsie. I have put a ton of pictures on Picasa. I hope you enjoy--click here.

We extend many thanks to all of the people who fed us, and let us crash at their home, and who we visited and played with Gracie. We all miss Tennessee a great deal, just as much as you miss having us there.

More extended picture album (this has more of family members, the other folder is mainly of Gracie) click here.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Wedding Wishes


Best wishes to Erica & James

We hope you had a wonderful ceremony and wish you nothing but happiness as you start the amazing journey that is marriage. Our love to you both, and sincerest congratulations as you start your life together.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Tennessee Bound!


We are on our way...well after I hit publish anyway. We will spend the next week in Tennessee with Mamaw, Papaw, Uncle Luke, Aunt Heather, DJ, Ryan, and Casey.

Other fun activities include a trip to Tweetsie Railroad, a day at Wetlands Water Park, dinner at my favorite restaurant in Knoxville with friends Katie & Matt, an over night stay and tons of fun with Candice, Elliott & Lucie. Plus, what ever else we can come up with.

I will attempt to continue to blog. I stress attempt, we always stay so busy when we visit family.
Have a great week and I hope to hear from you soon!

Fourth Of July Fun

It is so hot today! It has been raining off an on and the heat continues to increase. After ruling out the pool (heat + threat of rain), we all decided to just relax today. We slept in, we got the house picked up, and after much cuddling I got Gracie down for what would be a 2 1/2 hour nap!

While Gracie slept I got a big bag together to take to the park for the fireworks. We had hoped to leave at 5 when all the fun started, but my little sleepy pie stayed down and I was not about to wake her up!

Around 6:30 we headed to the park. Gracie grabbed a free hot dog for dinner and then was ready to start on the free fun stuff. She actually went on 2 of those bouncy things. She was hesitant at first, but then she went on in. She got stuck again as there was a tunnel. Daddy pulled her out of the toy from the back, but mommy insisted that she keep trying. He put her back at a different spot where there was as slide. Now she was stuck again, she was too afraid to try to go up the ladder. It wasn't a real ladder, it had hand holds and foot holds for you to climb up. After a minute or two a little girl came by and offered to help her up. Gracie let her help her and I was very thankful. She stayed in the inflated room for a little while before she came out.

In addition to the bouncy things, they had a petting zoo, pony rides, and tons of carnival food stands. We skipped the pony rides as the lines were very long and the heat was awful! She did see and pet the animals, and luckily I had brought along plenty of activities to keep her busy until fireworks time.

Strasburg's 4th celebration is very nice. Besides what we went to, there are 4-5 HUGE bouncy slides and room things, a classic car show, live music, free and expensive food, pony rides, the petting zoo, plus the pool. The pool had closed because of lightening, but they were opening back up for the after fireworks pool party.

Gracie, Garren and I got comfy on the picnic blanket and Gracie went through the games and toys I had packed. I also brought cookies I had baked earlier that had flags on them.

When the toys wore off, I suggested the boxes of sparklers that we had gotten from WalMart. Garren took her off in to some abandoned grassy area and let her have fun with the sparklers.

We didn't have to wait too much longer until the real fireworks. Gracie was very impatient, but then when they started, she got scared. It was so loud that it wasn't until a break that I heard her crying. Garren sat up and held her in his lap (we were lying down to see them better). He covered her ears with a towel and that helped. After that she didn't stop yakking! She loved them.

We all had a great time, and I am very glad that we went. I guess Garren is right: this town isn't so bad after all.

I took this video of Gracie and the sparkler. Of course while I am videoing she gets her hand too close. She was fine, and the video was too good not to share.



I thought you might like to see some of the fireworks. Gracie has already watched these videos at least a dozen times! She loves to see them again, and again. This is the best one.



See more 4th of July pictures here.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Happy Fourth Of July!


Have A Happy Fourth!
Spend It Together.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Frustration


Frustration seems to be going around today.

Poor Gracie is so tired. She is crying because she is frustrated she can't put a puzzle together. On an ordinary day she would keep trying, but this evening she is tired and just doesn't seem to have the patience and confidence.

It killed me to stand back and encourage her to try. But, we have more of a daily problem of mommy doing everything for her. I am trying harder to stand back and make her try things before I come to the rescue, or she will never learn perseverance.

When she gets overwhelmed like this I try to get her to walk away and take a few breaths, or do something else; then come back to it. No dice. She is very stubborn, and has to finish what she starts. I can't imagine where she got that from :)

PS: After a few minutes of her crying, I made her try again, and then I came over and helped her. I didn't do the pieces for her, but we talked about what part of the animal it could be and where it should go. Thankfully Daddy came home not too long after I snapped this picture and we were able to stop for dinner. This is one of those cube puzzles that has a different puzzle on each side of the blocks, and she kept doing a different one after she finished the last!

Look What I Made


Well my life may not be that exciting, but I am once step closer to the bed I want for Gracie.

I brought back the matching material from mom's house this weekend, hoping there would be enough for her bedspread. There wasn't. But as I was looking at it, I decided to try a sham. I had no idea that I could make one, much less that it would come out this well.

I am proud.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Too Early To The Party?

Now, if you know me well, you know I am rarely (if ever) late. I can't stand to be late, it is one of my pet peeves. I think I also have deeply embedded goody-two-shoes jeans, and we all know a good girl is never late. But when it comes to this HUGE party we call life, I think I was too early.

Some of you may know that I got one of those MySpace pages. I don't use it to blog. After everything I drone on here, about there wouldn't be anything left. I have a few pictures (all of which have been posted here first), and that's about it. I started the page not too long after my high school reunion. It seems it is the "hip" service everyone uses. Apparently blogger is reserved for us duds with families. Anyway, the reason I got a MySpace page is because you have to have one in order to see everyone else's pictures--and we all know how nosy I am.

Being nosy has it drawbacks. Now I know what is going on in just about everyone's life (I have found at least 100 people I went to school with on that site!). My flow of information is taking a toll on my rather weak esteem.

I see all of these people and the amazing adventures they are having in their lives. We are all relatively the same ages and they have either been, or continue to travel all over the world. You saw my map, I haven't been be outside of the Mason Dixon line. They have masters, and PHD's. I have a shinny bachelor's degree....that I don't use. They are just now getting married and having babies after years of promotions and travel and growing experiences.

Now, I don't know much about the rest of you, but when I was in school those whose "adventures" started in high school were the ones who had eyebrows raised at them--not those whose "adventures" started after college! I actually feel like trailer trash sometimes for being married and having a child at 29! I am waiting to dodge stones at any moment.

Now, no one start with the speech about how everyone's life is different, I shouldn't compare myself to them, and to remember I have a wonderful family. Because I do have a wonderful family, and I love my daughter more than anything. But, these past few months I am starting to feel more and more like that awkward girl who arrived at the dance a little too early and she is trying to cover it up.

When did life begin at 30?! I must have missed that memo. I thought that I was well ahead of the curve waiting until after college to get married, and then waiting several years before starting a family.

The more I write, the more I wonder if the root of this problem is I am afraid there are no more adventures left for me.

I am not a traveler. The one time I was on a plane I hated it, and I have no desire to fly EVER again. I don't party. My idea of a good time is a tea party worth 4 other kids. I don't want to get married again. My wedding was a disaster--thankfully the groom turned out to be my soul mate! :) (by the way I want to puke reading about all those love sick 30 year old women who have met their matches and have dream weddings and unforgettable honeymoons.)

Am I out of adventures? Gracie is amazing, and she is an adventure all her own. But, I think I may be done. I will never get up the courage to write articles for Parenting Magazine or publish the children's book that floats in my mind. Is Strasburg, VA it? I am done? Will my excitement level remain my daughter and thrift store sales for the next 10 years?

I guess I really am afraid that my adventures are over, and I do feel like everyone is raising eyebrows at me. "You are married with kids!?" "How nice."

I doubt I will give up my MySpace page, I have reconnected with some classmates, but maybe I will curb my use of looking at so many pages.

In the meantime I will attempt to continue to remind myself, like Hermie the caterpillar, "God isn't finished with me yet."

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Fun Weekend With Grandma & Grandpa

Gracie got a much needed 48 hour doting session this weekend in Lynchburg.

We got there very late Friday night, but she mustered up the energy to play for a few minutes before we were able to round her in to bed.

On Saturday she spent the day playing with Grandma, going to IHOP for breakfast, swimming in the pool and much more. Grandma and I also got in a few errands and even some thrift store shopping while Gracie enjoyed playing at the house.

Sunday we played even more. Grandma and Gracie played in the sandbox, and later Gracie and Mommy and Daddy went for a swim. She also spent time swinging with Grandpa and pulling out every toy in the house!

I am embarrassed to say I didn't take any pictures Saturday. I caught a few Sunday.

We had a very nice weekend and Gracie seems much better.

Now, we have a busy week ahead preparing for next week in TN, the fourth of July and Emma.