Monday, December 31, 2012

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Eve Majesty

Christmas Eve is always my favorite part of the entire Christmas season. I live for it. And, usually, it is when I feel the most home sick, at least for the past three Christmases anyway.

But, I always find a way to make the most of it, and revel in its majesty.

Daddy picked the 7:30 service from a line up of 5 different service options.  I knew there would be communion, but I was surprised (and thrilled, and nervous) that there would be a candlelight element.

Of course my fears were calmed with they offered me a glow stick for Thomas to use instead of a candle.

The church looked so pretty with the candles and everyone sang Silent Night.

I don't usually pull out electronics in church, but I just had to capture this.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Merry Christmas.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Horray For Baby Jesus

Thomas and his classmates, along with the rest of the Kitty's Kids friends perform the cutest Christmas program ever!  Enjoy!!

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

GumDrop Day 4

GumDrop Day 3

GumDrop Day 2

GumDrop Is Back!

Our Christmas elf has returned for the North Pole to keep his eyes on my two little darlings. Wonder what adventures he will have in store for us for the next 24 days.

Friday, November 23, 2012

It's The Barbie Camper!!

Since December 2011, the "Barbie Camper" has been the bane of my existence...and the most sought after item for my daughter. As the months progressed after last Christmas it seemed as though all Gracie could talk about, dream about, think about, write about...was the Barbie camper.

Now, this toy is not a cheap one. In fact it was in the $100 range until it was no longer available I stores.

You would think that would be the end.

Nope. She still can't stop thinking about it.

So, my husband thought he would task his parents (Mamaw & Papaw) with the search and purchase of this elusive toy, having no idea of course that the would not only find it, but would purchase it.

Want to hear whit sounds like when a child's year long dream comes true? :)

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Thomas' First Performance

It is every mommy's day of excitement and pride: her child's first pubic performance (the good kind, not the tantrum In the middle of Walmart kind).

I of course was with camera glued in hand to capture every precious moment.

He was dressed perfectly, and I even hand made him a Thanksgiving tie.

He walked in with his preschool class.

I beamed. I clicked the camera. I fought back tears.

He flashed his grin.

The music began.

All the kids sang. But one. He put his hands down his pants and looked around at everyone else on the risers like they were nuts.

That was my kid.

I am so proud.

Wanna watch?!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Proud Exhibitionist

Thomas quote of the day

 "I did it--jammies off. (arms spread eagle) Look at my naked!!!"

(I pulled the camera out and made him say it again, I never dreamed he would do it exactly the same and let me capture the moment!!)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

An Evening With The Governor

...and a million other people.

Okay, maybe not a million, but it is a small back yard that the Governor of Virginia has--at least when you cram many political types and their kids in there.

Our kids enjoyed another annual Fall Festival at the Executive Mansion tonight. They painted pumpkins and got to show off their costumes for the first time.

You probably already know that Thomas was dead-set on being a tow truck driver like his Uncle Brian.  I didn't fight this (not that I could), and I was thrilled to make an "easy" costume.  Gracie wanted to be a mermaid and she loved the costume mommy finished for her. (although I think it needs some tweaking before Halloween night)

We didn't stay to long, we got to chat with Governor McDonnell and the kids got candy and lemonade.  They had a good time and were doted on plenty.

 So here's a sneak peek at their costumes, and a picture of our family with the man of the hour.

Pumpkin Picking At Preschool

I got a heads up from Ms. Leslie (Thomas' preschool teacher) yesterday, that today, they would be taking the kids to the church's pumpkin patch (in the parking lot) to let them each pick a pumpkin.

It is their version of a "field trip" since 3 year old classes don't take them.

So, I got to go to Thomas' school today and take pictures!!

Of course I snapped a million of them eating snack and then lining up (I am such a goober!), and Thomas was excited that I was going for a "walk" with him and his class. 

The kids didn't know what they were going to do today until they lined up, and now they were very excited.

Thomas wasn't super interested in finding a pumpkin. I figure it was because we have already done the pumpkin patch and the Walmart carving pumpkins pick.  But he finally agreed on the 20th one I found for him.

The kids all had their pictures taken by the school's director, and then they gutted it out for a class picture.  I was so relieved to see that mine wasn't the only one who hates doing pictures!!

Although--I FINALLY got a professional picture of him!!!  The school did fall pictures and I picked his up today! Worth every penny of the $14 a sheet I bought!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Pumpkin Carving 2012

Well, it isn't the same with out chili and the Mozingos....but we manage.

This year we went with Barbie for Gracie, Jake from Jack & the Neverland Pirates for Thomas, and we found the minions from Despicable Me for daddy.

They all turned out so great.

It is a messy, but fun family tradition. And like in years past Thomas did NOTHING to help, he just played in his sandbox and ate Cheez Its ;)  But, unlike years past, Gracie decided to do hers all by herself.  The shape came out well, but the original pattern we had spelled out "Barbie" and that was too tricky, so we had to use a back up pumpkin.

I am sure we are the envy of the neighborhood as ours shine proudly from the front porch steps.

**I think we get better at this every year!***

Friday, October 19, 2012

Tabitha Matches

Did I mention that I surprised Gracie with a matching toga and laurel wreath for Tabitha (her doll)?  She was pretty thrilled :)  This mommy rocks!

Mommy's Greek Goddess

It is Greece Day at Gracie's school today.  Well, actually, just for the third graders.  And, this mommy wouldn't have missed it for the world.

Now, a few weeks back when they were talking about this day and how the kids would have a version of the Greek Olympic games, I got the brilliant idea to make Gracie a special outfit for the day.

It came out beautifully, but was a little less special when the paper came home (48 hours before!!) that all the kids had to wear togas to school.

On the plus side hers was by far the most ornate, and she wasn't constantly fidgeting with a sheet and safety pin :)

Gracie's teacher chose her to do several of the running races and you could see how proud she was to represent her class.

Her class was the city-state of Syracuse and they were very loud and proud of that fact.

Thomas wasn't nearly as proud.  So, he ran off to play on the playground with the 5th graders while mommy cheered her on. (what ya' gonna do?!!)

The kids each earned their laurel wreath crowns after finishing the games and they had a class picture taken with Zeus (Mr. Simon the gym teacher).

Those kids were so excited and so cute.  I love getting to still do some things with her.  Although, it seems field trips are still out of the plans for 3rd grade like they were for 2nd grade parents.  But that is for a later rant. 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Leaf Fun

I saw this idea on Pinterest, and I knew I had to do it too!  I tried to get one with Gracie and an 8, but the light was so poor she is just a blurred mess.  I was lucky I got this one!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Pumpkin Patch

I have been meaning to take the kids to Ashland Berry Farm for weeks now, but we either have the sickies or rain--or both.

Finally it looked like the weather and the germs would cooperate--too bad poor Daddy's schedule won't!

The kids and I loaded up after Gracie's got off the school bus and we had a great time.

We rode the hay ride twice, we picked pumpkins, and Thomas peed in the patch.  What an eventful afternoon. :)

I let each child pick a small pumpkin, since this was for the experience.  We all know I can get large carving pumpkins at Walmart for $3.88 a piece!

Gracie found her perfect pumpkin early, but Thomas kind of rambled around and finally agreed on one of the many I showed him.  He didn't seem to picky--but then he was very proud of the one he walked away with.

I got some great pictures that I am proud of too!

Mommy is loving all these fall activities--even though the calendar is bursting at the seams with two kids in school now!

Fire Trucks At Preschool

Thomas got a bonus preschool day today.  Usually he just goes on Tuesday & Thursdays and is quite upset when he wakes up on the other days and knows there is no school.

But, today he woke up and I told him to get dressed because their were going to be fire trucks at preschool!

Let me tell you he was ready!!

Since there are more students at school on Monday, Wednesday & Fridays, they invited the 3 year old class to come in on a different day.

We gathered with the rest of the kids in the room where they have chapel (which is also Gracie's Sunday school room), and we listened to the firefighters talk to us.

Then we got in smaller groups and went outside to see the trucks.

And, Thomas got in!!

We have seen these trucks from Station 7 (the one across the street from us) a million times as we pass them, at Home Depot, at other events--but he won't get more than a few feet from them.  Today, he followed his classmates inside!

I got many pictures, and I have added the best. And we got a "class picture" too. Only 4 kids from his class came (all boys) for the extra event--and only 3 would do the picture. But, I still love it!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Back On The Horse

"...that throwed y'a!"  

That's what daddy always says to do--I guess Thomas was listening!!

Mommy's "Awwwww!!!!" Moment

Thomas brought this home from preschool today...and it brought me to near tears and left me in a big mommy-puddle.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

A New Favorite

Every time I get mad at this camera, it finds a way to amaze me.  I got several good shots today while on a random excursion to the local park.  But, I have to share my new favorite picture with you...

...don't you just love it?!!!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Thomas' First Library Card

Seems simple, but you know me, we celebrate every milestone. 

Thomas got his first library card today. 

There is apparently no age limit at our library here, and he is always fighting me to checkout the books himself (we have self-check out here), so I thought why not let him have his own library card?

He was very proud to check out his own books, especially the Maisy one!  He couldn't even wait until we got home to read it.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Anniversary #12

Seems like a lot longer...

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Preschool Conversation

My phone has this great feature on it--and I didn't even know.  Well, I know now. 

A few weeks ago, I was telling Garren "wouldn't it be neat to have a microphone setting on the phone so I can record the cute things the kids say?"

He of course gave me a "seriously?!" kind of expression and showed me in 2 seconds how to do it.

Today the idea jumped in my head to use it. I love how he tells me about his day as we drive away from preschool. I only get a few facts, and then he is done for day, so why not record them? I sat the phone  on the arm rest with the ap ready to go, and hit record.

Wanna hear about his day?!!  Good!

***The blog will not let me upload audio only, so (thanks to Garren) I know to add a picture and use Windows Movie Maker, so that it why you just have the image I snapped of him walking out to the car in the rain ***

Friday, September 14, 2012

Hair Drama Mama

I don't know if I am the only mother who deals with hair "drama," but I doubt it, and I doubt I am the only mama who is completely over it!!

Since, oh, birth, Gracie has whinned, cried, screamed,shouted, thrown a fit over having her hair washed, combed, brushed, styled, trimmed, get the idea.

She is now 8.5.

You could see how that could drive a woman to insanity.

Girl hair takes a great deal of maintenance, and I refuse to let her leave the house looking like she rolled around in a hay loft.

Well, I used to.  I think the screaming has gotten the better of me, and unless it is a church or school day--I refuse to fight the battle. This summer she looked so pitiful, but I was allowed most days free of the hair battle.

I thought when I had a boy that at least my hair woes wouldn't grow.

Nope, he hates to have his hair cut.

You wouldn't think that would be such a big deal, but do you have any idea how quickly little boy hair grows?

I should take him more than I do to get a trim, but he screams, fights, cries, kicks, pushes, tantrums, and all in all has a fit on the way, while waiting, during and on the way home from a haircut.

It literally takes all of my strength to get him in the chair. I have to restrain him while the lady cuts his hair, and often we leave with it done "as well as they could do it."

He is 3.5.

The crying began when he recognized the shopping center.

I figured I was in for a long morning, and asked myself, "how long will he do this?!!" And once I got him in the chair and the waterworks started I looked at the hairdresser pitifully and told her he was 3 and a half.  She assured me that it takes much longer for some kids.  That didn't help.

But, to my surprise, the tears stopped.  He wasn't happy, but he wasn't kicking, screaming, or throwing himself.  He wasn't even restrained.  He simply wanted me to hold his body.  He sat still and patiently. I switched sides for the lady, and at one point I let go and got my bag and camera.

No tears. He watched the little boy in the Taxi car get his haircut, he glanced at the movie playing and in the mirror.

He got his haircut done without a meltdown!

Maybe we are in the home stretch?!!  Maybe he can talk to his sister for me?  Nah, I bet that won't work either.

If you have a child over the age of 8 who still throws a fit about her hair, feel free to let me know I am not alone.  If your child is an angel and lets you do anything to her hair and she just smiles, feel free to keep it to yourself. :)

Thursday, September 13, 2012

A Is For Apple

Isn't that the most beautiful and reddest apple you have ever seen?!!


Thomas to me this morning while we are waiting in the "drop off line":

"Mama, I sure do wuv pwee-school!"

Have a good day baby!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Thomas' First School Paper

I doesn't look like two red wheels, so maybe that craft is drying somewhere?  But, I love his very first piece of preschool art work--don't you?!!!!

Pick Up Line

So, I survived my first preschool pick up line.

I always loved dropping Gracie off and picking her up from Grasshopper Green. I could see the classroom and decorations and how they changed with seasons and holidays. I could see the other kids and hear all about her day as we gathered her things. She would show me her projects on display and all of her handy-work, she would point out her favorite toys and that days best friend.

At Thomas' preschool they encourage you to do the drop off/pick up line.  I didn't do it this morning since he had missed Thursday and he hadn't been to school in a week (plus that was his first time!). So, I walked him in, but we had to wait awhile before the kids came up from the pick up line. Odds are he would have been fine, but I got a chance to see the change in bulletin boards and to take more classroom pictures.

This afternoon I patiently waited to get my Thomas. I had to wait in a rather long line!  But, I finally got him. I heard him yell "mama! mama!" from inside the door and he hurriedly and excitedly pulled the attendant out to our car.  He was so happy as he climbed in.

He didn't give me a lot of details about school other than the usual: playground, food, Thomas' house!

I asked if they sang a song "yup, firetruck dance!"

I asked if they made a craft: "two red wheels."

That was more than I got last time, so I am pleased as punch. Hopefully I will get more details as the weeks go on.

My Alone Morning

It is mid-morning and there is no sound. It is quiet.  Of course that apparently happens when there are no kids and no husband around.  A silence I very, very, very rarely get to hear.

I know that other moms think I am nuts for wondering what I will do without my kids, and I am sure as the preschool year wanes on I will find creative ways to fill this void.  But, when you are a woman who devotes 24 hours a day 7 days a week and the past 8.5 years to constant motherhood--you tend not know what to do with yourself and time alone.

So, what to do?

Here is how I spent this FIRST morning alone while Thomas was in preschool and Gracie was off to big school.

I walked in to the house
 it was quiet

I fixed my breakfast
I cooked myself something and no one was asking for stuff

I ate my breakfast
and no one asked to eat part or all of it

I watched what I wanted on TV (Golden Girls!  :)
and no one yelled "Dis Junior!!! Dis Junior!!"

I went to the bathroom
and no one yelled through the door

I updated the blog
and no one wanted anything, yelled anything, demanded anything

I switched the laundry
and no one spilled anything

I loaded the dishwasher
and no one was under my feet and or legs

I picked up the bedroom
and no one threw all the pillows on the floor

And then I brought home my bear
and I was told it was lunchtime
and I became the waitress, the cook, and the janitor

...and all was right with the world again.

Second Week, Second Day

Thomas missed his second day of preschool on Thursday because he caught Gracie's bug, but he was there and happy this morning.

Looks like he the weather person today (how cute is that!! I want a picture!!)

Now, what on earth do I do now? No kids, 3 hours....

Monday, September 10, 2012

Gracie's Memory Box

Gracie's first homework assignment was to create a "memory box."  She had to find something:

1. warm

2. from long ago

3. that makes you cry

4. that makes you laugh


5. as precious as gold

Can you figure out what she picked out and why? :)

(click to enlarge if you need to cheat ;)

At The Car Wash

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Mommy's Daredevil!

Look what someone (boy) apparently taught him at preschool!!  Are you surprised we have already had one broken leg?!!!

Church Fun

The church where we have been attending for the past year and a half had its annual "Block Party" this afternoon. 

We have missed it in years past for whatever reason, but this year the kids were super excited to go and play.

The church set up inflatables (no, Thomas did not bounce, but that was his own decision, I didn't keep him from it), a dunking booth, free games, free popcorn, free cotton candy, music...etc. It was a HUGE blow out and there were tons of people there.

The kids had a good time.

Mostly Thomas wanted to play on the church's (and his preschools) playground, but Gracie was ambitious and bounced and threw balls at the dunking booth (she's got an arm on her!).

Both kids got treats--and very hot and tired.

We all had a good time and went and got ice cream before we went home.

 I would say these kids got a rockin' good weekend!!