Monday, August 24, 2009

Rite of Passage

Little kid...

Big kid....

Monday, August 17, 2009

Murphy, NC and Brasstown Valley, GA

The week following soccer camp was vacation week. Roger's dad and his wife invited all of us; Roger's brother, Micah, and his wife, Alisha; plus Shirley's children and grandchildren to spend a few days at their home in Murphy, NC, then on to Brasstown Valley Resort in Georgia for a few days. 18 of us in all! It was great to meet Shirley and her children and grandchildren. And my new (and only!) sister-in-law, Alisha. Our kids had a lot of fun playing with new friends, and 2 months later they are still asking when we can see them again!

In NC, we spent time at Gary and Shirley's houseboat on the lake watching the kids swim, jump off the top of a pontoon boat, ride the jet ski, fish a little, and Shirley's son, JR, brought his boat so the kids were able to tube and wake board a little, too. I hadn't been able to get into lake water since the end of April because of some dermatological surgery I'd had on my back. But by the 4th week of June, I was cleared to expose my skin to whatever funk the lake had to offer, so I tried the wake board myself. Surprisingly, I was able to do it! I even had more success than I'd had before the 8-week hiatus. Lots of fun!

Brasstown Valley was a super nice resort. Every night there we had a fabulous family dinner, all 18 of us, all arranged by Gary and Shirley. The men all played golf one day while us girls hung out at the pool with the kids. Erin even learned to swim there! She overcame her fear of going underwater and she was jumping in and swimming all over that pool. The next day, a bunch of us went for a long trail ride through the northern Georgia mountains. It was beautiful. Carrie was thrown from her horse, but that didn't stop my girl! She got right back on and finished the ride back to the stables. The entire trip was truly fabulous. A big thank you to Pa Pa and Grandma Shirley for having us! Incidentally, today is Pa Pa's birthday. Happy birthday, Pa Pa!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Victory...(tweet! tweet!)...Soccer Camp! Whoop, Whoop!

On to week 2 of summer...Victory Soccer Camp. Our church has a soccer camp every summer rather than a VBS. What would you expect in a church where both the pastor and his wife are soccer players?! There are character lessons taught daily as well as soccer skills and an elaborate World Cup tournament. They also do a cheer to rally all the campers, but I bet you can't guess what it is.

The 100 campers are divided into teams by age and each team represents a different country. They play a few mini games each day plus a World Cup game where they get points for the final World Cup games. At the end of the week, the teams with the least points play each other and the teams with the most points play each other to determine the World Cup Champion. Alec, Carrie, and Erin all played and Haley was an assistant coach. Carrie's team, Ireland, went on to win the World Cup in her age range, as did Haley's team, Italy.

This embedded slideshow is pretty small, but if you click on it, you will be taken to Picasa's website where a larger version can be seen.

Erin was quite the little soccer champ. She and Carrie and Landon are all signed up with the local Parks and Rec to play in the fall. Which is next week. But, Erin...pray for her. The child is in danger of losing her new love. She is slacking off at school and at home with her chores. If there isn't a huge improvement by the time practice starts next week, I'll have to revoke her privilege of playing. Pray for her. She needs it. And so do I.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Let's Dance!

With all the trips, camps, and summer activites done, and school back in full swing for Alec, Carrie, and Erin, it's time to share what we've been up to all this time. As soon as the '08-'09 school year ended, Carrie and Erin's dance recital was the first order of business. The girls did well and the show was excellent. What I saw of it was excellent, that is. I was the backstage mom for both girls' classes and wasn't able to watch all the performances. What I did see was excellent, and as soon as I pick up my DVD of the entire recital, I'll see just how excellent the rest of it was. Here are some pictures from dress rehearsal the night before the recital...

Erin's Tap Dance - Lullaby of Broadway

Carrie's Tap Dance - Little Shop from Little Shop of Horrors

Erin's Ballet dance - Do Re Mi from The Sound of Music

More of our summer coming soon. Next up...Victory Soccer Camp! Bet you can't guess who's the best soccer player?!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Isn't she lovely? Isn't she wonderful?

Yes. She is.

She is 13, beautiful, smart, sweet, wants to be a veterinarian, and loves little children. Unless they're from the same gene pool as she is. Then she still loves them, but doesn't love to show it.

More coming soon! Things have been so busy over the last few weeks that I haven't had time to update the blog, but soon enough you will be inundated with pictures from the dance recital, soccer camp, vacations, 4th of July, our summer party, and then the 1st day of school. 'Til then.... I'm out.

Sunday, May 10, 2009


There's no other title that describes these pictures better than "EEEWWWWWWW!" The kids found a dead snake today near the entrance to our neighborhood. He was a biggun, too. About 4 feet or so. And fresh. Did I say, "Eeewwwwwwwww!"?
Now, Alec is the snake fanatic in the House, but Landon was all about this dead snake today. He carried that thing around for about an hour. He even wanted to keep it and make a house for it! I put a stop to that right away. He hung the snake from our mailbox, hung it over the front porch, and hung it around his neck for quite a while. Again, "Eeeeewwwwwww!"

'Nuff said. I can't talk about it anymore. I'm getting nauseous. Here are the pics...

Look how he's swinging the tail around like a rope. Eeewwww! Bad lighting, I know. So I took another one...

Despite the look on his face, Landon was not at all disgusted by the snake. He was talking about building its house and squinting into the sun. LOL

One more time...EEEEWWWWWWWWWW!!!!!!!!!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Good times!

Like much of the eastern half of the country, we just came through a very warm weekend. Well, forget about warm. It was downright hot. Temps went from the low 70's on Thursday straight to the 90's for the weekend. The 80's never even made an appearance. Sounds like a perfect weekend to spend at the lake! When we lived in Nashville, we were moments away from Old Hickory Lake. We had a boat and spent nearly every weekend on the lake swimming, fishing, and even did a little tubing even though the kids were all really small and we had to pull them very slowly. It was a lot of fun. We had to get rid of that boat when we left there and moved to northern Virginia. There was nowhere to use the boat up there that was close enough to make it worth keeping it. So we sold it and missed it for 3 years. Then we came back south where there are lakes galore, and we knew as soon as we got here that a boat would be in our very near future. Within 6 weeks of moving down here, we were at a boat show. We left the show with a sizable stack of business cards from salesmen, 2 bags full of brochures of different models of boats, and stars in our eyes. Oh yes, a boat was in the very near future! After a few months of shopping around, a near disaster with "boat selling" scam artist, and another boat show, we finally found the boat for us. Everyone has been outfitted with life jackets and new swimsuits. We've stocked up on beach towels and sunscreen. We got a tube and a wake board. The only thing we needed was some warm weather to bring up the temperature of the water. Then the heat wave hit, and we hit the lake!

The little kids were excited about the tube, though they were also a little nervous. Everyone wanted Mommy to ride the tube with them. The big kids were excited about the wake board. We watched a tutorial video on YouTube and read lots of articles on how to get up on the board. We thought we were prepared. The first disaster happened when I got on the tube with Erin and Landon. They are not very tall, so all their weight was at the front of the tube, along with half of mine. As soon as the boat took off, the front of the tube submerged and we were knocked off. Unfortunately, we had not told the kids that they should let go of the handles in the event of a fall. I let go and watched the tube pull Landon and Erin ahead of me as it tried to flip over. They both went under water, but popped right back up with their life vests on, screaming and crying. We knew they were okay because there was no choking and gagging, just a lot of crying. We put them right back on and I sat upright in the middle of the tube to control the weight distribution. They were not happy. Even at 4mph, they wanted off that tube. NOW. It wasn't long before Landon calmed down and began to enjoy the ride. Erin was a different story. She did stop crying, but she never got around to enjoying the ride. It'll happen. We have an entire summer ahead of us. She will get over the trauma of her first tubing experience in time. Carrie was the one we were actually worried about with the tube. She was pretty afraid. But she got on with Alec and Haley and though she was scared at first, she eventually came to love the thrill of the speed, the water in her face, the bouncing over the wake of the boat, and she even enjoyed being slung off the tube on a tight turn! She surprised us all. Success! It was short-lived, however. Because next we got out the wake board. And as prepared as we thought we were, nobody could get up on that thing! I tried, Roger tried, Alec tried and *almost* got up, Haley tried. Then something bad happened. Nobody got hurt...we couldn't even get out of the water! But something else didn't get out of the water when it should have, and that was the tow rope. Our boat is a "jet boat" - it's like a jet ski all grown up. There are 2 engines that propel the boat by forcing water through them. The tow rope went under the boat and was sucked up into both engines, cutting off all power to the boat. After about 45 minutes of working to untangle the rope, we had one engine free and were able to slowly crawl back to the ramp, pull the boat out, and take it home. There, Roger was able to untangle the rope quite easily.

Sunday after church we went back out for a repeat performance. Little kids on the tube...not yet a success, but they managed to ride for about 10 minutes without freaking out. Big kids rode the tube together until they got slung off. Haley was ready to call it quits then, so Roger got on with Alec and Carrie and they had a blast. Then we did a second take with the wake board. This time Alec went first and wasn't able to get up. Then Haley went, and she got up! She rode for about 3 or 4 seconds then fell. Then I went, and I got up! I stayed up for maybe 10 seconds then felt some turbulence under my feet and decided I was going to go down gracefully rather than fall on my face, so I let go of the rope. It was a ton of fun. Roger was sore from hanging on to the tube the day before and from trying to get up on the wake board, and had decided he was going to lay low and not try the wake board that day. But after seeing Haley's and my small victories, he changed his mind and gave it a go. He did better than either of us girls. He was able to stay up for maybe 30 seconds at a time before falling off. And once, the front of the board dipped under the water causing it to stop immediately. Roger didn't stop immediately. He was pulled out of the bindings, went airborne, and was able to let go of the rope and turn his head before hitting the water. Talk about saving face! I think we were going about 30mph when that happened. A face plant at that speed would have really hurt! He did lose a contact lens, and it wasn't a painless fall, but at least he had time to realize what was about to happen before it happened. That ended the wake boarding for the day. We let the kids swim for a few minutes, then it was time to head home. What a wonderful weekend! Here are some pics...