Thursday, December 30, 2010

One down, three to go

Today Big Al had her braces removed once and for all. About a month ago they took off the top ones, but the lower teeth just weren't exactly ready. Today, perfection:
I know she'll hate this picture because it isn't her normal smile, but we needed PROOF that the braces were gone... I'll replace it when we get a better one.

After the appointment we got her set up for her science experiment (trying to prove that organic pesticide is just as effective as Sevin - which is used a TON, but comes with hideous warning labels like "Don't let it absorb into your skin, or get into your storm drains" but we're supposed to put it on our food crops). So far we're thinking she needs to set up with more pesticide in her bags because the organic is slowly killing more fruit flies than Sevin, but not quickly enough (she has been observing for hours).
Once she got to a stopping place she talked her Dad into hanging up her hammock, and then tried it out.

Yes, she is wearing her wool pea coat and snuggie because it was chilly. Next I have to teach her to lie down the other direction so she can enjoy the view.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Let it snow

This will be the second time this year (see February) that it snowed in SC. It missed the "White Christmas" with us, but showed up at 2 a.m. Sunday morning. The kids had a great time, and right off the bat tried to make a snowman.

YES! We used broccoli and carrots to make the face. He of course needed a gamecocks baseball hat to pull the whole look together.

They definitely had to take advantage of it as fast as they could, because it will all be gone tomorrow. They managed to get two finished (one back closer to the house, but don't think they ever put a face on it).

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Day

Thankfully we all woke up reasonably healthy this morning. Brian had bribed the little ones to stay in bed until 7 a.m. so we got to "sleep in" a bit. Everyone seemed very happy with their gifts.The little girls both got DS games today, as well as American Girl Dolls (Molly and Emily) from Santa. The bulk of their presents were movies, books and art supplies. They have left a steady trail of activity through the entire house (see pics at the bottom).

The family received Band Hero from Santa. They enjoyed playing it today. Anything that gets all of them involved is a great thing.

At some point during the day, some of us felt the need to crash.

T-Rex got a much wanted erector set, an ihome, and a bunch of cooking things. She currently thinks she wants to be a pastry chef and open her own bakery. Fine - although she made a lot of chocolate things that are still in the fridge, so I think we'll be visiting folks with homemade chocolate creations over the next few days. She also loved her art materials, crosstitch, jewelry making supplies, clothes, movies and gift cards.

Big Al wanted a hammock for Christmas..... unfortunately she didn't tell me until November and of course they can't be found in stores. She thought it would be a quick run to Pawley's Island for their handmade ones (3 hours of a very boring drive), and when I finished laughing at her I simply said no. Lucky for her, Santa found one on Amazon with free shipping. Her other Santa gift was a ripstick (pretty sure its going to be the reason for my next ER visit with a kid). She also received jewelry, books, clothes, and a bunch of gift cards. She is ready to go shopping TOMORROW to spend it all.

Cheesie wanted a snuggie VERY badly, and it isn't something I would normally buy (I don't "get it" at all), BUT it was on her list and I found them on sale, and in kid sizes - and what I buy for one little girl, generally needs to be purchased for her sister and roommate. Oma sent Big Al hers. They think they'll be great for the car.

Playing Aunt Lori's game - Hedbandz. We're thinking about adding our own pictures to the game to expand it.

The afternoon carnage - at this point everyone had pulled out parts of everything and spread it around the living room, and kitchen.... thankfully they cleaned up the mess in the library.

The little girls received a LOT of art things, including these cool easels with drawers and they found a lot of time to paint. This was a good Christmas, with lots of family time together. We did cancel meeting with the rest of our family today, so we missed that, but we'll catch up with them soon.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas

Sorry we've been out of commission this week. The stomach flu has made an appearance and knocked all but Brian over. I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Cupcake wars

This past Friday I hosted a Christmas party for my Cadet girl scouts. I've known most of these girls since they were in first or second grade. At some point, SOMEONE (Big I) smashed a cupcake in SOMEONE ElSE'S (Miss H.'s) hair, then retreated to the bathroom.

Miss H; M.C.; A.M. and Big Al all waited for the moment that she would exit the bathroom - even trying to make sounds of leaving her all alone instead of surrounded.

At one point Big Al even grabbed a screwdriver to take off the doorknob. When Big I finally came out, they pounced, smashed a fast cupcake, and then the chase began.
Over my couch and around kids playing the Wii,

and back to the kitchen where green frosting was everywhere.

I LOVE this group of girls. They are stellar examples of young teenagers (even when cutting loose with cupcakes), and work very hard to help others. On a side note..... I WAS undefeated in Just Dance 2 for the Wii until M.C. practiced the Viva Las Vegas dance, and beat me. I will go on record saying that I beat the rest of them (including M.C.) later to regain my title. THANKFULLY there are no pictures of me dancing.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Use the Force..... Blondie

This past Thursday Blondie participated in "black light fencing." Brian stayed to take pictures and said it involved a black light, and a lot of tape on the foil.

Pick Me! Pick Me!

Young Jedi

In the video below Blondie is on the right - not bad for someone who has only been fencing for a month.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

En Garde

In early November, Blondie began taking fencing lessons like T-Rex. She had watched a few practices, and thought she could do it. I thought it might be worthwhile because she doesn't have to use two hands, but she does have to concentrate, and balance on both feet to be effective. A little boy from her school takes lessons too, so she was very excited. Rick, the coach, didn't see any problems with her taking the class so we went ahead and signed her up.

YES, I'm sure the bigger girl was letting Blondie poke her, but Blondie is absolutely loving this class. She works very hard to have her homework completed before she goes (or she knows she has to stay home), and on Tuesdays she takes the class in addition to physical therapy - so she's one tired little girl.

Saturday, December 4, 2010


Big Al turned 14 in late November. She was born on Thanksgiving Day, which was great when she was little, but now means that friends are usually out of town that weekend. Since she isn't playing soccer this year we decided to have her birthday party the weekend before, but rescheduled when we went to Dot Dot's funeral. Many friends still couldn't attend this weekend because of Nutcracker practice or soccer/basketball tournaments, but 12 were at our house tonight. They mostly hung out, ate hamburgers, and played a LOT of Dance Party 2 - which they seemed to enjoy. It looked a lot like this:
She also opened presents

and then more dancing. Some danced out on the screened porch - in the cold.....
Lots of laughter and enjoying time together.

Oh Christmas Tree

This afternoon was very busy. Big Al had an honor band concert. She enjoyed playing a Japanese drum piece (She is second from the left - had to hold the tempo together):

The rest of the day was spent decorating the tree

And getting ready for Big Al's birthday party tonight.

It's a little too cold to go out and do the firepit like she wanted, so we've tried to make the inside of the house welcoming for them. Thankfully the SEC championship game will be on and they'll probably start by watching the end of that (GO GAMECOCKS!) and then move in to more music/dancing/ silliness. I'll try to snap pictures unobtrusively tonight..... I'm sure a 14 year old won't mind her mommy taking pictures, right?

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Dot Dot

Last Sunday we drove up to Greenville for Brian's grandmother's memorial service. Dot Davis was a wonderful woman, and taught so many people about living and loving family. The center of her life was God and her family, and she spent almost 89 years here on earth.

While there we also spent time with Brian's grandfather, also 89, Jack. Below are Brian's sisters with him.

All of the family came together, minus Brian's brother Barry (he and his family were representing our family at an Uncle's funeral in Texas). It was a beautiful service at the church where both Dot and Jack (and their son, and grandchildren) attended.

Jillianne, Stephanie, Lori, and Lisa

My daughters with their Aunt Lori and Aunt Jillianne

Cheesie and her cousin T.

Aunt Jillianne, Big Al, and cousin Will

Brian's cousins, Julie and Melissa

Although very sad to lose Dot, we recognize the long, influential life that she lived. We were very thankful to meet cousins who have recently moved back to SC, and visit with extended family.

The night before Dot died, Brian also lost his Uncle Dorman. He had been ill for awhile, but we are still very sad for his family. Both sides of Brian's family are very close, and I know they will continue to support each other, and remember with love those that are no longer with us.