Saturday, November 8, 2008

On a lighter note...

Woman on Lindor Truffles commercial: "Do you dream in chocolate?"
Riley: "Yeeaaaaaaahhhhhh."

Me too, buddy. Me too.

A day of mourning.

I'm sure it's not normal to have such strong feelings about a restaurant, but my family just adores eating at McAlister's Deli. For 13 years we've been loyal customers. As we've moved from Alabama to Mississippi to Texas to Arkansas to Georgia, one constant has been McAlister's with our only hiatus being when we first moved to Texarkana. Oh the joy the day we realized the restaurant being build across from the hospital was the exact shape of a McAlister's! I couldn't believe our luck! Eric dared to joke that they might not serve sweet tea at THAT one but I just laughed and said they'd never do anything like that. I can't even begin to count the number of times we ate at that McAlister's. I do know Eric and I ate there before every OB appointment throughout my pregnancies while we were there. There was just something comforting about eating there and having a place we could depend on for good Southern sweet tea.

Living where we do now, McAlister's is a bit of a drive so we haven't been able to eat there as much as we'd like, but it is still one of our favorites and our kids enjoy it as much as we do. Until today. Both boys had already decided what they were having for lunch (Riley a hot dog and Owen a turkey and cheese sandwich) and I was planning on doing their new "Choose two" combo with half an Orange Cranberry Club and half a Spud Ole' which is exactly what I had a couple weeks ago when my boys and I ate there after our trip to the pumpkin patch. They've made a lot of changes at McA's lately and although we haven't been too thrilled about some of them, we could still depend on them to have our favorites.

Immediately upon entering the restaurant, I noticed the menu was very different and my eye went straight to the kids' portion. Oh boy. No hot dog! And no PB&J! These are the boys 2 favorites (Owen had only agreed to a turkey sandwich because Eric bribed him with cookies for dessert). I pointed it out to Eric and then, just to be sure I wasn't overlooking something, I ask an employee about it. Nope, no hot dogs and no PB&J. Riley was NOT happy. And as a matter of fact he proceeded to pitch a fit that lasted pretty much the entire time we were there. Then I noticed the Spuds section of the menu seemed a bit shorter than it used to be. Only four spuds to choose from. And one of the ones they eliminated... my favorite, the Spud Ole'. I knew right away this wasn't going to end well and quickly started scanning the menu for other glaring omissions. The Orange Cranberry Club. The Chili Nachos (a meal in themselves). The Muffaletta. The Pot Roast Spud. All missing. Then Eric noticed one of his favorites, soup in a bread bowl, was missing as well. Eric joked that maybe they had gotten rid of the sweet tea. This time I wasn't laughing.

So I finally settled on the half Turkey Melt with half of a Spud Max (**sigh**), Owen still had the turkey and cheese, Eric didn't eat, and Riley wouldn't stop crying long enough to pick anything he wanted. All he kept saying was he wanted "nothing." He did finally change his mind and agreed to some Mac and Cheese but Eric had to pick him up and start carrying him out to the van before he finally agreed to calm down and eat. The food was still good, but under those circumstances, I left with a bad taste in my mouth.

As I walked out the door one final time, I couldn't help but think there should be someone there playing taps as we said good bye to a dear old friend.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


I've got a lot of pics to post from recent activities, but I'll start with the most recent and work my way through them all.

Owen decided quite a while back that for Halloween he wanted to be "that thing that's wrapped in toilet paper." I couldn't see buying a mummy costume, so we made it ourselves. It was pretty easy really. I looked for some good ideas online and decided to learn from others' mistakes and NOT just wait and wrap him up each time he needed to wear his costume. I mean, he's good at holding it, but he's still going to need to use the little boys' room at some point. So I wrapped the gauze around his pants and a turtleneck and he was able to pull them on and off whenever needed. It worked really well and he loved it.

Riley still doesn't quite get the whole Halloween thing, so Eric and I picked his costume for him. He loves sharks right now, so that's what we went with. I couldn't find a shark costume though for less than about $40 (TOO MUCH!!!) so I made it for around $5. I think it turned out pretty good and he LOVED it, so that's all that matters, right?

Anyway, here's the pics...

First Owen had Trick or Treating at school and a little party there with his friends on Thursday. Riley and I came for the party and Ry had a great time.

On the way to school...

Party at school... (L-R: Will, Nolan, Jack, Blake, Owen, and Riley)

That afternoon was our MOMS Club Halloween party.

Shark Attacks Mummy...

Riley and Julia

Then Friday night we went to a friend's house for TorTing in their neighborhood. Let me say Owen LOVED it. Here's some pics of the boys with their friends.

(L-R: Will, Brady, Owen, Bowie, Riley)

(Will, Cloe, and Owen)

While out TorTing we ran into some other friends. Here we are with Jenni and her girls, Anna and Emma. BTW neither Jenni nor I live in the neighborhood we were TorTing in. I guess we're just a bunch of moochers.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

I'm Baaaaaaaccccckkkk!

Sorry I've been gone so long. I've had some major computer issues that are now (hopefully) resolved. There's a lot of catching up to do so I'll be doing all of that soon. I had a post written before all the issues started and I just need to add a few photos and then I'll be able to post it. It will be out of date, but better late than never, right?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The start of a mini-revolution.

I noticed my friend, Kelly, has a new look to her blog and it's super cool so I asked her how she did it. Turns out she used Simply Fabulous Blogger Templates to do it. Our super savvy friend, Jenney, is the one who turned her on to it. Then Sheri saw my new and improved blog and decided to upgrade hers a little. Now there's talk that Mindy's blog will be undergoing a makeover soon too! By the time it's all said and done there's going to be a lot of really cool blogs out there!

FYI, before making any changes to your blog, be sure to save all the important information from your sidebar like the links to all your favorite blogs!

And if you've got a second, let me know what you think of the new look! I hope to one day remodel the whole thing myself...from scratch...but I don't have the time for it right now. Nor do I have the right program to create the graphics I would want.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Trying to find a pattern for...

...diapers and wipes pouches and I came across some other cuteness. It seems simple enough and I'd like to try it one day (birthday or Christmas gifts, maybe???) so I'll post about it here where I can find it later.

This Little Boxy Pouch seems simple. Maybe one day I'll find out if it really is simple.

I'll probably NEVER get around to sewing this little top for myself, but maybe one day...

Hmmmm. After a couple hours of blog hopping, that's all I came up with. Still looking for the diapees and wipees pattern.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Happy Birthday America!

We went to a friend's house after dinner for dessert and fireworks. We all had a great time and the boys all enjoyed the sparklers. Here's a few pictures...

First the firetrucks:

Then the sparklers:

And here's Owen and his pal, Will, watching the fireworks from their bikes:

Monday, June 30, 2008

More cuteness!

I just ran across these Sticky Notes Books (a.k.a. Post-It Notes Books) and thought they were neat. I just might have to give this a try myself.

And I like these Crayon-A-Longs. There's not a tutorial for it, but how hard can it be, right???

I'm sure I've posted these Crayon Rolls before, but I still haven't gotten around to making any of them, so here it is again.

And I know it's not Easter, but I think these Chalkboard Easter Eggs are a cute idea. Oh the possibilities with colored chalkboard paint!

And I know it's not even school time, but this little number will be great for Teacher Appreciation Week. Except that Owen usually has about 25 teachers all together!

And while I'm posting things for holidays that are far, far away, how about this cute little drum valentine. I hope none of Owen's classmates are reading this because we just might do it next year for his valentines.

And here's one for an obscure holiday (obscure int he US anyway). Apparently January 26th is Australia Day and these ANZAC cookies (or biscuits Down Under, I guess) are just the thing for celebrating it. The reason I'm so excited about this is because my mother-in-law was born in Australia and her mother served in the Army there making this the perfect thing to add to our family traditions. What a find!

Well, it's dinnertime, so I've got to go feed the critters!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Hot Air Balloon

Riley loves to doodle on the Magnadoodle and then he shows it to us and says, "Look! Look!" And we tell him how pretty his scribbling is.

Last night I was cleaning up the kitchen and Riley was showing Eric his "picture" and he kept saying, "Hot air balloon." Eric didn't catch it at first, but then, sure enough, Riley had drawn a hot air balloon! So I got out the camera and took some pics. Riley was SOOOOO proud. See it? There in the middle? I'm a little fuzzy on what the rest of it is though.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Recent comments from my kids.

"More again please. More again."
"Can I want some? Can I want some please?" instead of "Can I have some?"
"Can I hold you?" when he wants ME to hold HIM.

Then today Owen said (and I could tell he was a little perturbed by it),
"Every time I'm watching a show and they go fishing, they always catch a boot."

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Vintage Children's Books Online

I came across this tonight and thought I'd post it here so I can find it easily again later! I have a thing for vintage children's books and viewing them online isn't the same as having them in my hands, but it's better than nothing!

If you're looking for things to do with your kids this summer...

...check out Let's Explore.

I specifically want to try this Sink or Float experiment with Owen. We did a miniature version of it at the pool the other day and he was haing some trouble with it, so we'll keep trying.

I also like these flowers from Plum Pudding. I've got buttons, pipe cleaners (a.k.a. chenille stems), toilet paper tubes, and I'll substitute green cardstock for the felt leaves. Might be a nice project for Owen this week.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

I'm IT!

Okay, so I've been tagged. It's happened once before but I pretended I didn't get tagged because the person who tagged me also tagged everyone else I knew with blogs. I'm hoping to get this done and tag 5 people before someone else tags everyone I know. The race is on!

Here's what you do:
Link to the person who tagged you,
Post the rules on your blog,
Answer the questions about yourself,
Tag five people at the end of your post by linking to their blogs,
Let each person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment at their blog,
Let your tagger know when your entry is up.

What was I doing 10 years ago?
My 10th anniversary is in 2 months, so I guess 10 years ago I was planning a wedding! I was finishing up the last of my classes and getting ready to start my teaching internship. I was loving life and looking forward to the future. And I was clueless about what that future would be like.

Five snacks I enjoy:
1. Southwestern Ranch dip and flour tortilla chips
2. Chocolate chip peanut butter chewy granola bars
3. Toastchee crackers (with chocolate Silk soy milk)
4. Goldfish crackers
5. Cool Ranch Doritos

Five things on my to-do list today:
1. Take my van in to get the power steering fixed.
2. Meet some friends at INK to let the kids play.
3. Stop by Hancock fabric for some bias tape.
4. Get a few more dish towels at Target.
5. Work on Eric's Father's Day gift.

Things I would do if I were a billionaire:
1. Give some of it to my church and to support other worthy ministries like my friend, Mary Virginia, who is a missionary in Brazil.
2. Buy a cabin in the mountains, condo at the beach, and house (with a boat) on a lake.
3. Start my own business.
4. Fund more cancer research.

Five jobs I've had:
1. waitress
2. Ticketing and reservations at Opryland (one of my favorite jobs)
3. Undergraduate Physics lab instructor
4. Secondary school teacher.
5. Mom! (my all-time favorite job!)

Five of my bad habits:
1. Starting lots of craft projects then taking forever to finish.
2. Washing, drying, and folding laundry but not getting it put away.
3. Staying up past midnight when I should be sleeping.
4. Not mailing things in a timely manner.
5. Hiding in the pantry to eat junk food so the boys don't see me and want some.

Five places I have lived: Okay, I guess technically I've listed 9 places, but it's hard to narrow them down!
1. Nashville, TN
2. Alabaster, AL (and Mobile and Auburn)
3. Hattiesburg/Petal, MS
4. Texarkana, TX/AR
5. Athens, GA

Five people I want to get to know better (yes, this means you are tagged!)
1. Melody
2. Tiffany
3. Lelia
4. Jenney
5. Kym

Thursday, May 15, 2008

School Days

Today was Owen's last day of school for the year. A sad day for sure although when I told him this morning that today's the last day he wasn't at all upset. I don't think he understands. But give him a week and I'm sure he'll get it. I can already hear the "What can we do today???" question being asked day after day after day.

So here he is on the first day of school:

And today, the last day of school (Can you see how much he's grown?):

Here he is getting his certificate of completion from his teacher. She was so sweet and said a little something special about each student. For Owen she was talking about how smart he is :-D and how one of the high school girls who teach the class said, "I think he might be smarter than me!" I also learned today that his favorite number is 105! Where did that come from?

And here's the whole class except for Nolan who was being camera shy. I guess I need to photoshop him in. Do you notice something about the students? There actually is a girl in the class but she didn't come very often and I haven't seen her there in weeks. Quick story about day Owen told me he was going to marry Jenny "because she has pretty clothes." I'm sure it had nothing to do with the fact that she's the ONLY girl in class! L-R: Kelli Demott, Wyatt, Camden, Levi, Sammy, Owen, Will

Recent Scrappin'

I'm fortunate to have a few friends I can get together with once a month to scrapbook. The thing is the kids always want to be "helping" us, so we decided to have a kids' scrapbooking night. I let Owen scrap about the MOMS Club Easter Egg Hunt we'd had. He picked everything himself (some very interesting choices to be sure!) and did all the cutting and taping himself. The left page is the one he did, then I used the same "color scheme" to do a quick page about the night with a pic of all the kid scrappers.

Last week they had Field Day at Owen's school. All us moms went and watched (along with our little ones) and had a great time. My camera wasn't, um, working (It was NOT operator error. No, it wasn't!!! *blush*) so Rachelle was kind enough to take pics of Owen for me and she was even sweet enough to print them out for me too! So here's the spread on that.

And this last is a two page spread to go in Owen's First Year album. Yeah, he just turned 4 and I STILL haven't finished his first year. **blush again** I did stamp the date on this after I took the pic. It's from April '05 about 2 weeks before he turned 1.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

More INK

This is a follow up to another post I did earlier today so you may want to check it out first then come back to this one.
These are some more pics from the Interactive Neighborhood for Kids. They're from Will's birthday party. INK is so much fun that I just had to share it with the rest of the world. Can you tell why we love it here so much? There's really not much to do in our little town beyond going to the library and the park, but there's SOOOO much we can get to in 30 minutes or less. Of course with gas prices being the way they are, it's not quite so nice, but you gotta do what you gotta do, right?

They have a stage and lots of dress up clothes for the kids. In the above pic, Owen is pretending to be one of the Village People!

Making an appt for someone at the beauty parlor.

Shopping at the grocery store.

The train playhouse. Where's Waldo?

Cop car.

Model trains.

Dentist's office.

Will and Owen at the train table with the Dentist's office in the background. Boy have they grown in the past 10 months!

Strawberry Patch

I guess I'm making up for lost time today by posting about a bunch of our recent happenings. I think it's greatly because I have a headache and don't feel like doing much beyond just sitting here, so I'm sitting here typing.

Down near Athens is a farm that does pumpkin, strawberry, and blueberry picking. The pumpkin picking last fall was the best (maybe I'll dig up those photos in a minute and post them too) because they have all sorts of activities for the kiddos. The problem was that they're only open for field trips during the day so we had to wait until 3 pm. I think we stayed until 6 or so and there were several things we never got around to doing!

Anyway, back to the strawberries...We went this past Monday and picked about a gallon. I could NOT stop Riley from eating them straight off the bush (there was at least one he bit into while it was still attached), so instead of heaping the bucket full like they recommended, I just got it almost full. It's still more strawberries than we can eat, so we're good. The boys had a great time and they did let us go take a look at the goats before we left.

It was a cool, windy day and we weren't totally dressed for it, but I always have a jacket in the van for the boys (and even had one for one of the other mommas who went with us). Owen kept it on his head most of the day. If you know Owen, then you understand.

Riley playing with the flag that's supposed to mark where we stopped picking. He thought it was great fun and, believe it or not, he didn't poke anyone with it!!

This is Owen and his best bud, Will, and they are SOOOO proud of their stash! I told them to look at the camera and this is the best I could get!

Here's the guilty party. He knows he LOVES strawberries.

This is the old fashioned water pumps that they race ducks down in the fall. They had so much fun pumping away.

Feeding grass to the goats.

Interactive Neighborhood for Kids

We have this wonderful "children's museum" about 30 minutes up the road from us. It's set up like a small town main street with a grocery, beauty parlor, post office, bank, vet's office, dentist office, diner, etc. They also have an old firetruck the kids can climb in, a police car, and now even an airplane. The boys LOVE it and Owen asks about once a week if we can go there. We went last Friday and here's a few of the pics.
Nolan and Owen at the grocery.

Riley playing with Thomas. This is where the boys spend about half the day...playing with Thomas. There's also a model train they can watch go round and a big train playhouse type thing.

Is it just me, or does this plane remind you of Wonder Bread?

Ready for take off!

Watch where you're flying buddy!

My Mother's Day gift...

...from LAST year (or was it the year before?).
It's the gift that keeps on giving.

These roses are from the 2 rose bushes I got for a previous Mother's Day. Aren't they pretty? I love having roses just outside the door!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

A little reminder from God...

...not to take a single day for granted. Here's why...

We went camping this weekend up at Tallulah Gorge State Park. It's a nice park and we camped there once last year with my mother-in-law, sister-in-law, and brother-in-law. This year they all came back to join us for the trip. Friday night after we got set up and ate dinner, Eric decided to take the boys up to the playground right behind the bathhouse. My brother-in-law, Nathan, decided to go with them. When they get there, Riley wants to go down the slide so Eric helps him do that and had just picked him back up when Owen starts fussing and backing up. Nathan goes over to him to see what's wrong and the next thing Eric saw was Nathan jumping with both feet like he was jumping over a log and there was a SNAKE flying through the air. They weren't sure what kind of snake it was at that point but it had a triangular head which is indicative of a pit viper. Mother-in-law and sister-in-law rushed Nathan to the hospital (after he CARRIED Owen back to the campsite!!) and I went to get Riley from Eric so he could kill the snake.

Turns out it was "only" about 10 inches long and a baby copperhead. I heard from a couple of people who say that the babies can be more dangerous because they don't know how much venom to release so they release it all. Anyway, they gave him the antivenin treatments at the hospital, he was admitted and stayed about 36 hours. He's doing much better now and is (hopefully) resting at home.

So as a result, I spent my Mother's Day being thankful that both my boys were okay and able to be running around and playing. I'm not GLAD Nathan got bit, but I am glad my boys didn't get bit. I think Nathan's 6'5" body can handle the venom a lot better than my boys could have.

Here's the snake. Sorry it's a little blurry but Eric took it with his phone. You can kind of see in the middle of it's body where Eric beat it to a pulp, but being the smart person he is, he made sure not to hit it in the head so we would be able to identify it.
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