Sunday, September 30, 2007

Football Season.

We are finally into the football season (pee-wee flag football at the YMCA that is). Willster is on the Blue Bulldogs team. He is number 10, not number 4 Bruno (inside joke). Emma is on the Cheer Leading squad. Both groups are for kids from 4 - 7 years old so it is quite a hoot. This weekend Tanna had a sewing class so Dad hit the Y with the 3 munchkins. During the game, Will ran the football with an illegal quarterback sneak. He said that a boy on the yellow team, who he calls "fast legs", caught him from behind. At the same time he was colliding with his blocker and a different kid from the yellow team. Will refers to this incident as the kid explosion. Emma was as cute as ever cheering on the sidelines.

Will and the other boys involved in the kid explosion.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The Cowpokes

Today was cowboy/girl day at Emma's preschool. Luckily, we had most of the gear already. Aunt Janet had given her the boots a couple of years ago (yes, they STILL fit) and she got the bandanna from Vacation Bible School this past summer. We ran out at the last minute to buy the hat and it was the only one the closest store had. Better than nothing!

To be sure, there really isn't anything spectacular about cowboy day at school, other than it gave me a great opportunity to shoot some pictures of my little birds. Emma had the whole posing thing going on. I am beginning to wonder if she hasn't been sneaking up at night to watch that Tyra Banks model show! I sure as heck don't have those moves (anymore!).

As with all other things in life, if Emma does it, Jack has to do it. So, the hat went on him and up on the twisted tree he went. I know they are my kids, but they really were cute! A neighbor even caught us during the photo shoot. Luckily, he knows what a nut I am, so he didn't question the fact that I was taking pictures of my kids in a tree.
Here's what we came up with:

The arm in the air is Emma pretending to be throwing a lasso!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

I'm a Sub!

Yesterday, Emma's teacher pulled me aside and asked if I would be her sub this year. It just so happened that she had a funeral to go to today and needed me. How could I say no?! It was tough saying "no" to the fall cleaning that I had planned with all kids out of the house, but I did it.

What a blast! Emma is part of an incredible class. They were so mannerly and fun. We had such a grand time talking and getting to know each other that we were late for the group activity! There were three beekeeper who came to visit and give a presentation. It was really cool! We saw real bees in a hive (behind glass), a smoker that is used to calm the bees and a beekeeper's outfit. We tasted different types of honey and saw products made from the beeswax. For snack, they had biscuits with butter and honey. Have you caught on that it is "B" week yet?

Anyway, it was fun and the kids and I got along great. One little boy was even holding my hand every chance he got by the end of the day. For them, I would put off cleaning any day!

My Little Chefs

There isn't much that I enjoy more than a good day of baking! The weather here has cooled down to the mid-80's and Emma decided that it was time for making some cookies. Making cookies in Emma's book means using a rolling pin and cookie cutters. In my excitement, I pulled out all of the fall themed cookie cutters that I could find and decided we would take these cookies as a treat for Will's football team on Saturday. Well.....according to Miss Emma, leaves are boring and don't make good cookies. Instead, we had to pull out the butterfly, tulip, heart and Pooh. Probably not exactly what a bunch of football players would enjoy, but hey! it was all about having fun (I did sneak in some leaves). Emma and Jack had a grand time of rolling, cutting and decorating. Don't worry! Jack's dough was simply for having fun. None of it actually made it into a baked product, thanks to the cup of drool that was mixed in. :)
It was a fun time and the football guys gobbled them up!
Princess Emma has to get the dough just right
With his mouth hanging open like that, how can you not get drool in the dough?!
That is the look of a sugar high - check out the eyes!

A Video For Jonner

This video was made by Will especially for Jonner. Will just LOVES the fact that Jonner's team suffered such a miserable loss during their first game of the season against Appalachian State. This loss has been dubbed "the Mother of All Upsets" and has been the butt of many a joke in our household. Hence, the following video...

Please note that the video and all of its contents are soley the idea of Mr. Will. Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Emma's Surgery

It all started a couple of months ago. I noticed that Emma's lip was looking puffy. After further examination, I found a lump in her bottom lip. It didn't hurt and it progressively got a little bigger. I took her to the pediatrician who told me that it was nothing to worry about - just a mucocele. He directed me to take her to the dentist, who in turn also told me that it was a mucocele and that I should wait 3 weeks. If it didn't go away, I would need a referral to an oral surgeon. Of course, it didn't go away and we went to the surgeon. (See for a great explanation and picture!) He scheduled the surgery right away as it was getting larger and needed to be removed.

After Emma's last encounter with needles, I wasn't so sure this was going to go well and explained this to the surgeon. He was awesome! He showed Emma the chair that she would lie in, the mask with that provided laughing gas, the "straw" that would go in her arm to put her to sleep, everything! She was pretty calm about it and I answered all of her questions. She was scheduled for a 6:30 am procedure and was asked to wear her jammies in. Everything went extremely well - just a few tears at the sight of the needle. It was all over within an hour. She looked horrible afterward, but managed a smile when I gave her a special gift of a Fairytopia Barbie and a new backpack for school. Then, she was back to sleep. She ended up with a fat lip, four stitches and a big bruise inside her lip. The mucocele had actually started to spread into her muscle under her lip. Good thing we got it done when we did!

Miss Emma slept for a couple hours after returning home and then decided she wanted to get the Fairytopia movie from the rental store. We passed a McDonald's on the way there and she decided she was hungry and needed chicken nuggets. Against my better judgement, I gave in. That woman ate 6 nuggets and a bag of apple dippers! All with stitches in her mouth. The stitches ended up bothering her, so she started pulling them out. (mom scream!) Without vomiting, I managed to cut the extra length off the stitches and things were better. So much so, that she insisted on going to a farm team baseball game that night! She was up until 11:00 that night without one complaint. Maybe a little Motrin, but no complaints! What a trooper. Kids just amaze me sometimes. Mine are awesome.

Emma on her way to the surgery. She carried a pillowcase with her Webkinz and her favorite CD of bible school music.

Emma two days after surgery.

I have to add that no pictures were taken of her lip close up, before or after, per her request.

First Day of School

Once again, the first day of school and all of the jitters that go along with it, has come and gone. Will started the migration on August 27th. He entered the First Grade with Mrs. White. Only one of his Kindergarten friends is in the class. This doesn't seem to bother him or affect his excitement about starting a new year. I, however, am not as laid back about this new situation. My initial vibe about Mrs. White and the new class is one of hesitation and concern. I will give it time, but have to admit that I am anxious to get volunteering in that classroom! Watch out, Mrs. White, I will be watching you!

Will eats the traditional first-day-of-school meal, green eggs and ham.

Will hams it up with Emma and Jack.

Next, Emma started her Kindergarten readiness preschool program on September 4th. The girl was all smiles from the minute she woke up. It took some talking to get her to accept the fact that she would not yet be attending Kindergarten at Shady Grove. Then, we had to help her understand that Ms. Neva would not be her teacher this year even though she is at the same school. Phew! Then came Open House. We met Ms. Bonnie, her new teacher, who seems wonderful and very loving. The real kicker is that the class is FULL of boys. Other than Emma, there is only one other girl. Thankfully, this little girl is sweet as pie and believe it or not, smaller than Emma! Emma is actually the youngest in the class as the other children all turned 5 over the summer. This should prove to be an interesting school year! Emma will go to school, Monday through Thursday, for 3 hours a day.

Jack is so excited about this first-day-of-school thing that he has to practice wearing his backpack.

The day after Emma started, Jack had his first day of Mother's Morning Out. He goes for 3 hours, one day a week at the same school that Emma attends. Everything was excitement and happiness for Jack that morning. He even went right into his room and got down to the business of playing. I headed out and according to Miss Kissy, his teacher, he burst into tears as soon as he noticed that I wasn't there. He shed tears off and on for the rest of the day. He just wasn't fond of the fact that I wasn't there with him. He kept calling for me, cry and then get back to playing. When he finally got home, he told me that Miss Kissy hugged him, they rode bikes, they played outside and they painted. After conferring with the teacher, I found all of this information to be correct. Not bad for a 2 year-old!

I just love this picture!

Can you tell Emma adores her little brother?!

All in all, the first days went well. Everyone remained happy, we slipped back into the routine without a hitch and life is good! The big question everyone has now is: "what are you doing with your time when all three are in school?!" So far, I have managed to run errands and make appointments. I actually made it in and out of the grocery store in 10 minutes! That hasn't happened since before having children! I also have listened to NPR and a classic rock station while driving home from dropping the kids off. I actually felt like I was back in high school during a couple songs! Parking the minivan brought me back to reality though.

I have grand plans of doing my fall housecleaning without stopping 106 times within an hour, going to the dentist alone, going to my "annual exam" ALONE, getting my hair cut alone and maybe even trying some beautification/pampering. I also plan to volunteer at Will's school on the days that I don't have something scheduled. Hmmmm......we're 3 weeks into this and I haven't done any of these things yet. Stay tuned to see what actually happens during my "alone time".

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Preparing for the Winter

Date: August 25, 2007

Since the dog-gone deer ate all of our tomatoes (among other things), we decided to head over to the Triad's Farmer's Market to see what we could find. Evidently, we hit it just right. The farmers were putting out the last of their tomatoes and corn, so we loaded up. Just to be clear, there will continue to be corn and tomatoes available, but not in the large quantity that we wanted. I bought 5 dozen ears of corn and two crates of tomatoes, along with about 12 bell peppers, jalapenos and a big bag of onions!
After getting home, we set the whole family into motion and husked all of the corn. Allan helped cut it off the cob and then we cooked it all to be put in the freezer. We used Allan's mom's recipe and it turned out great! We ended up with 18 quart bags of delicious home-grown corn. YUM!

The next day, I went to work on the gazillion tomatoes. We had run out of homemade spaghetti sauce and were in dire need of some more. I used my Grandma's recipe and added a special zing, which turned out to not be a zing at all because the peppers I used weren't even hot. Big bummer. Nonetheless, we had a ginormous pot of spaghetti sauce cooking on the stove until 9pm on a Sunday night with the next morning being the first day of school for Will. In hindsight, that was really stupid timing, but it was then or never. The sauce turned out OK, but definitely needs my doctoring before putting it on the pasta. I made it the other night and put lots of my special ingredients in it and everyone LOVED it. All is well and we ended up with 14 quart jars and 14 pint jars. Good thing spaghetti is the kids' favorite meal! Guess what we'll be serving all of our guests for the next year?!

I am happy at this point. The sauce is looking good!

Now, I have had enough. I want the sauce to be done and in the jars!

Showing off his ear!
Emma does not want her picture taken - that is a first!Will is all business.
Counting up our ears.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Beach Fun

Sure, this is late being posted and I considering just skipping over everything that happened in the last month and taking care of current news, but I just couldn't! We had such an incredible time at the Outer banks that I HAD to share some of the photos. We had a ton of laughs (see the hair-dying pictures), some excitement (see the hang gliding), lots of fun in the sun, some shopping, some game playing (Tim and I rule at Horse thief!) and of course, LOTS of good food. Without a doubt, we all gained some extra pounds during that week!

Allan's highlight was probably deep sea fishing. I didn't review this with him before publishing, but it is my guess. He went out with Uncle Steve, Tim and Eric. They brought back a big bag of cleaned (thank goodness!) blue fish, which weren't even blue. Go figure! Nonetheless, they tasted incredible! Someone shared a tip with them to soak them in buttermilk for a good while before cooking them. It must have done the trick, because they were some of the most mild fish I have ever tasted. We had them with boiled shrimp and grilled scallops. Does it get any better than that?!
My highlight was hang gliding. I opted for the tandem flight. I did this to avoid 3 hours of lessons and because I got to go higher. We were actually taken up by an airplane and then I squeezed the release bar! Wahoo! What a rush! I felt just like I do when I fly in my dreams. We all have those, right? Where you are flying like a bird everywhere.

Will and Emma's highlight was the swimming pool at our house. While I believe they enjoyed the beach, they clearly LOVED the pool. Now that they are both swimmers, it was so much more fun. And of course, they had someone's attention at all times.

Jack was a real trooper and I am not sure what his highlight was. He wasn't too sure about the beach with all of those gigantic waves coming at him and knocking him down. He did enjoy the pool table and hanging out with Eric. He also entertained everyone with his knowledge of the alphabet and made popular the phrase "what does the E say?"
It was just a great vacation with great family! We're ready to go again!

There are TONS of awesome pictures from the week, but to avoid overloading the blog, here are a few of my favorites......
Here I am ready for my first flight!

Eric, Brittany, Danielle and I were the only ones brave enough to try hang gliding.

This is the whole group at the beach our first day.

Jack hams it up for the camera

The color of the week was ORANGE (our family favorite!).

We had breakfast at Bob's Grill (check out the full name on the sign).
While I would love to publish some of the pictures taken during the process, I thought I would be nice and simply post the end results. Believe it or not, this picture just doesn't capture the true color of red that Nana's, I mean Bozo's, hair turned out to be.

Will was in heaven at the Wright Brothers Museum.

Jack is such a stud! Can you tell we were all sad to leave?