Monday, September 29, 2008

Every morning I wake up early to have coffee and check the blogs before the kiddos wake up and I start running around the house like a crazed housewife. But c'mon girls! I need some updates. I have just moved halfway up the eastern seaboard and I need the scoop from ya'll! Lisa, what is up chica? Katie, you're doing ok and you're carrying a watermelon so you're off the hook. Tara...yours isn't quite a watermelon yet, more like a watermelon seed so no excuses. Now, I know I'm not the best blogger either, but ya'll have forced me into blogging today when I have zero news to share. Sheesh! Oh well, here goes!

First of all, I haven't taken many pics of the kids lately because I keep leaving my memory card plugged into the computer in the basement by accident. It is in my camera now though so maybe we'll do something fun and picture worthy today.

We had a semi-relaxing weekend. Ed was in Huntsville on business last week so I wrangled a babysitter for Friday night after he got back. I think he found it funny that it took me two years to get a babysitter for us in AL and just one month here in MD. She is a sweet girl who lives next door and we're friends with her mom. We just ran down the road to the BWB (local little bar with excellent wings, pool tables, jukebox, Keno which is big here). We had a great time. I think we have gone there every weekend for the past 3 weeks. Its a good time.

The boys are good. Nolen is enjoying school even if he says he isn't. Yesterday he read a book to his whole class...a Curious George phonics book. On Friday I am going in to be the "mystery reader". I'm not sure yet what that entails! Still haven't found a school for Max but I haven't been trying very hard either. I was super excited to find out that the Methodist Church (which is close enough for me to walk to) has an awesome preschool and Kindergarten but they are full! Bummer dude.

I'm enjoying the house but it is still keeping me busy. Lisa, I don't know how you get yours done so fast every time! I'm too much of a waffler for that! I'm jumped the gun painting a few rooms last week and yesterday Ed was hanging a curtain rod in our bedroom and he asked me when we are going to paint that room! Ha! Sweet...I'll put it on the list! Its a lot of work but this house was really due for some new paint! Every evening a few of the neighbors congregate outside. I love it - reminds me of living on post. The kids play (although Logan keeps hitting the boys, but he's 3. He's not hurting them, just making them mad and rightfully so.), we let our dogs run around (no complaints yet) and the grown ups chit chat. Its a lot of fun.

Other news...I was monitored for Jazzercise last week. I was warned that the girl doing the monitor is tough and has been known to be unreasonable so after some good preparation for class, I made sure not to stress about the actual teaching of the class. It went really well! It was one of the most fun classes I have ever taught. Tara (a very loud, funny girl) was in my class and didn't know I was being monitored. She was hilarious! There is a new song where we keep doing 8 abductions and 8 knee lifts over and over but for some reason, if I don't count every single set, I completely lose it. Well, my whole class knows this and its almost a joke. Tara counted EVERY single set at a volume that topped my mic! I was nearly laughing! And she had everyone else in the class pumped up too! It was so much fun! BTW - 11 girls in class that day! Yay!

Well, girls, I guess that's about all for now. I'm off to visit and to look for some decor! Have great days and blog darn it!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

My Little Picasso

There is a good reason I haven't been blogging much lately...I've been busy painting! On Monday I painted the living room and on Friday I painted the dining room. Both rooms look MUCH better. It wasn't just that the colors needed changing, but the walls themselves needed to be spackled, cleaned and touched up. It feels so much better in here now. We still have some touch up work to do, but the big part is done. Hooray! Poor Max gets ignored on painting days so yesterday I let him help me. I ended up having to scrub paint off of the floor when we were done but he had a blast!

Notice the nice shade of apricot in the before pictures.

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And here is the finished product! I really like the color...I got it from the clearance paint area for $10 and it came out more taupe than I had anticipated but I like it a lot.

And here is the living room. I took this picture in a hurry so I didn't clean up stuff first. The entire room used to be the color of the wall by the closet. It wasn't terrible but it had too much orange or yellow in it for me. I also went on a Target shopping spree this week. I got a bunch of stuff on clearance, like these black picture frames (whole set $10), a new clock that Max chose ($8), and a small end table with two lamps ($20!).
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Saturday, September 20, 2008

Countin' Fair Day!!!

The County Fair has come to town! To celebrate, Nolen had the day off from school and we made a family pilgramage down the road to the fairgrounds! In November, I took the boys to the National Peanut Festival in Dothan and they had a ball! We rode an awesome farris wheel, ate fair food and saw some animals, so the boys were really excited about the fair this year - and so was I. Well, unfortunately, I've found one category where Alabama has Maryland beat! The Fair. I was so ready to be impressed by a quality production, however, even the pig races were disappointing. The fair rides (which I'm never a huge fan of anyway) were the most disappointing. The faris wheel was half the size of the one we rode last year, and it cost $5 per person to ride it! No thanks. We ended up not riding anything - and I have to say that I have two amazing boys! They were disappointed but they weren't upset and there were no signs of tears or fits! I love those kids! A little cotton candy and another look at the animals suited them just fine.

Max and Daddy watching the 4-H cows being judged.

Look Ma! A chicken!

My cute boys!
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Friday, September 12, 2008

Nolen's Night Out!

Last night was really exciting for me AND Nolen (and Max too). Open house at Leonardtown Elementary was a blast! Since Nolen still says that he, "doesn't like Kindergarten because its too long," I decided to try to make open house extraordinary for him. He was my star last night! First, I let him choose where we went to eat for dinner. He had McDonald's, pizza or hamburger joint to choose from and of course, he chose pizza. We went to Arizona Pizza Co. which is just down the road from our house. It was really pretty inside and the pizza was good too. I think there was a tie for the highlight between the TV at our table (Nolen informed me he wanted to watch a cooking show, I'm not sure why) and the fire in the brick oven that cooked our pizza. He had so much fun that he literally couldn't sit still while he was eating.

After dinner we headed to the school. The staff did an amazing job with the open house. While the kids watched a movie in the cafeteria, the parents attended a short, introductory PTA meeting. The woman who spoke (the president of PTA) is so great that I want to volunteer for every program and I want her to be my friend. Ha! I get so excited about school stuff anyway because I loved school so much, but LES really impressed me. I can't wait to get involved and meet some other parents and staff around the school. I hope Edward stays here for the next six years, because the kids and I are about to become attached!
The school building is brand new this year. Each kid has a locker instead of a coat hook, and the classrooms and bright and airy. Nolen and Max always end up playing with the blocks, games, pretend money and pretend clocks when we go school. There is also a rug where they have circle time, a reading corner, a listening center, and a few classroom computers.

I love Nolen's teacher. She is young, sweet, motivated and recognizes that my child is a genius! Just kidding. But she did make a point to tell me last night that Nolen is reading (which I knew) and that she has several readers and is looking forward to forming small reading groups so that she can assess each child's reading level.

As a bonus, let me pass along some intell that Nolen shared with me at dinner last night. He says that "4" doesn't have a middle number, but "5" does. "3" is the middle of "5". But, he also told me that half of "4" is "2". He went on to tell me about "9" and "10" as well. I told him, that any number that has as he calls it a "middle number", is called "odd", and numbers that can be split in half are called "even". How cute is that? I think he got my math brain! OK, are you sick of hearing about my kid yet? hehe
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Pax River Jazzercise

I taught my sixth Jazzercise class yesterday and finally remembered to take a picture of it! I thought some of you E'prise Jazzers would appreciate it. The center is small but really nice and it just opened in May! I'm so lucky to be able to jump right into teaching classes here. Everyone is super nice - just like every other Jazzercise group! I even went to Lowe's after class on Wednesday and ran into one of my Jazzer girls and stopped to chat with her. TGFJ - Thank Goodness For Jazzercise! By the way- do you see all of us that were wearing green yesterday??? Apparently class coordinating is not just an Enterprise phenomenon. Half of the class was wearing green yesterday!
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A few random pictures...

This was the sunset Saturday evening as Tropical Storm Hannah was leaving our neck of the woods. It was even prettier a few minutes earlier but I failed to catch it.

A Smith family sandwich. Max and Daddy are the bread. I'm the peanut butter and Nolen is the jelly. Notice our new Ikea couch in our basement!

I did some work in the garage this week...still a lot more to be done!
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Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Random Thoughts...

  • I will mess the smell of roasting peanuts.
  • The crickets here are crazy...they chirp ALL DAY LONG!
  • I have met a TON of people...(Jazzer girls) Jody, Starla, Cathy, Lenea, Patrice, LeeAnn, Cindy, Cindy, Shannon, Samantha, Mary, Terry, Debbie, Karen and probably some other people whose names I can't remember, (neighbors) Pam and Jeff, Netta, Russ and Stephanie, Tina and Dave, Beth and Joe, Laura and Jeff... all that and I feel like I don't even leave the house!
  • Every night after dinner the kids go outside and play with Sarah, Katie and Logan. Last night I was able to sit on the deck and have a quiet moment while they played. I could get used to that!
  • Jody is another instructor at Jazzercise. She reminds me so much of Carolyn Brewster from Alaska that it drives me NUTS! Its like being with Carolyn!
  • The kids need to wake up, its time to get going. ooh - great timing, I hear someone coming down the stairs.
  • Last night Max told me that Jasmine smells stinky. He said she smells like rotten garbage. I'm not sure why he said that.

And an update...
I feel like its taking us forever to get unpacked this time. We've been in the house for exactly two weeks and I still have a pile of boxes in the basement, another pile in the guest room and a garage that could scare Frankenstein! I also want to paint most of the rooms in the house so it doesn't look like I'll be finished anytime soon! haha! One reason its taking so long is that I am committed to unpacking and organizing or getting rid of EVERYTHING! No more boxes in the corner of the guest room! Oh, who I am I kidding, it wasn't a guest was a box storage room with a queen size bed in the corner.

This weekend we went on a total shopping spree at Ikea! It was SO fun! If you know us at all, then you know we have been thrifty in the furniture department for some time now. I think we have earned a new set of furniture! I had recovered Ed's old couch last September. So, that project bought the couch another year of life, but alas, its time with our family has come to an END! We spoiled ourselves with a new sleeper sofa for the living room (Ektorp in black floral), a beige L shaped sleeper sofa and ottoman in the basement (also Ektorp), two red Tullsta chairs in the living room, new bedside tables in our bedroom, and a new dresser for the boys' room (red, Hemmes 3 drawer chest). I LOVE IT! The boys' dresser might be my favorite looks like it could be from Pottery Barn but it cost $200!!! Although, the couches are pretty sweet too! The kids and the animals have some new rules to get used to! The couch no longer doubles as a jungle gym!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Edward is my hero! He rescued my pictures from my camera! Hooray! So, some of these pictures need a little more explaining than the caption size allows...

The lake house picture is from the week that our AC was out in Alabama. I was so relieved to be in a relaxing place with AC and to see Max racked out! I'm sure this was taken after a few hours of swimming! We will definitely miss Linda, Neil and the lake house!

The next picture is from the last time the boys got to play with Austin at Fort Rucker. We met at the pool on post and the boys had fun swimming. Every hour, the lifegaurds call "Adult Swim" and make the kids leave the pool. During one of the adult swims, the boys were investigating the tiki bar. While they were over there, a man started making duck call noises. The boys thought the tiki was doing it. They would get scared and run away and then get curious and go back. It was hilarious to watch!

We scheduled our movers to come on August 13th, which is also Max's birthday. Sorry Max! In all of the chaos, he really got cheated! We only managed to take him out for pizza and dessert on his birthday. And he got exactly one present. But bless his heart, Max was happy with that! I LOVE that kid! I can't believe he's four!

I didn't have the guts to chot down the dead pine tree on my own, so Ray the tree guy did it for us. That was fun to watch!

The next picture is of Nolen on his first day of school. I drove him from the Super 8 to our new house where we met up with the kids that were living here. We all walked to the bus stop together. Donovan is 9 and so sweet to the boys. Hannah is 6 and I think she is Max's girlfriend! I LOVE the picture of them holding hands on the way to the bus stop!

By the way, Nolen hopped right on the bus on his first day of school. He is so big! I wasn't sad to send him to Kindergarten but two weeks into it I realized that he is gone a lot! And when he does come home, he is playing with his brother or his friends and I am cooking dinner! I miss my kid! Everyone keeps asking me if Max is going to start preschool. We will get him into something this year, but I'm not in any hurry. I had to let go of one of my babies. I'm hanging onto Max for as long as I can. Sorry Bud!

On the third day of school I was the lead car in a four car pile up while I was driving Nolen to the bus stop. Everyone complains about this intersection in front of our neighborhood. Now I see why. Luckily, I was the lead car just got a dinged up bumper. It was inconvenient but not a big deal.

Max had had about enough of all of this moving around, packing up, unpacking junk. He acted like he was going to fall asleep in the lobby of the Super 8 while I was checking out. Poor kid.

After a rough week of hotel living, Edward and I still love each other. Yeah!!! What a relief to be in our house!

I took the boys to a random playground in housing at the Navy Base and I had to take a picture of the funny 4-way see-saw! Its exactly the same as the ones that are all over at Fort Rucker except that it has fresh paint! haha

We closed on the house on Monday August 26. Hooray! After we closed, we went to dinner with the Curley's. I think its a real sign of how life is going to be here versus how life was in Enterprise. Here, we closed and went to dinner with the Curley's. In Enterprise, we closed and went and ate a $5 pizza from Little Caesar's on the floor in our new house. I feel like I already know more people here than I did in E'prise. Maybe its not true, but we have met a lot of people!!!

The last picture cracks me up! I went down to the basement to wake up Grammy and Max for dinner. They were so cute snuggled up together. AND as a bonus, do you see Nolen's Wii remote sticking out of the box? I made a moving box into a little house for him with doors and windows and he was playing Wii from inside the box!

Now that the camera is officially fixed, I'll be posting with pictures again! More later!