Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Out On the Town - Christmas Night

We had two "social engagements" Christmas night. We were invited to Jean's house (that's where Ed was renting a room before we moved up here) to see some violinists play. I wish I had taken my camera in. It was pretty cool. Jean is friends with some violinists at her church and one of them plays in the National Orchestra in D.C. She invited them over Christmas night to eat food and play. It was like a private concert! They played classical music - all very, very good! There were about 10 of us sitting in her living room just enjoying the music. Pretty cool.

We made plans a few weeks before to go over to the Curley's house on Christmas night to play Bingo. I guess it is a family tradition for Erin's family and she was really excited about it so we went. Everyone brought a few wrapped gifts as prizes (I'm not going to lie, we did some regifting while we were there - but I promise it wasn't anything from you!) and she had a spinner with wooden balls and everything. We didn't stay for too long because we were out late the night before at the BWB (a bar down the street with the best hot wings in town) for their Christmas party. Ed must be a good tipper because we scored an invite to their private party after they closed down the bar. It was pretty fun - especially the part where I got to dance to Single Ladies. Luckily Nolen and Max haven't yet realized how embarassing their mother is. I wonder how long this will last because they will probably start acting like they don't know me at some point. Sorry boys!

Playing Bingo at the Curley's house. (We bought this house from the Curley's and they are now renting a house a few miles away)

Logan's babys siter Rowan! Rowan was born on December 17th! Logan is the boys' friend who lives across the street. He is three and until recently was an only child. The boys have fun playing together most of the time but Logan is still learning how to share.



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More Christmas!!!


I love Nolen's face in this one! He was so excited!

Santa left the boys' stockings under the Christmas tree but they had to follow a scavenger hunt to find their Hot Wheels set! They had to look on their bedroom door, the bathroom sink, the fridge, their cup drawer in the kitchen and finally downstairs by the Wii. Nolen did a great job of reading all the notes.


I don't know why but I failed to take ANY pictures of present unwrapping. I think I just decided to enjoy it. Anyway, here is a picture of Nolen unwrapping a present that we found later under all the wrapping! You can see the chaos in the background.
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Monday, December 29, 2008

Our 7th Anniversary!

Today is our 7th anniversary! Where does the time go? Oh yeah...

2 kids
6 moves.
1 year in Iraq (we should be grateful it was only 1!)
17 cases of strep throat
1 flight school graduation
4 cases of Tequila (not really, well, I didn't actually keep track)
on our 4th camera since our honeymoon (sorry babe)
17,000 pictures
temperature range... -52 to 98 degrees
0 completed scrapbooks
6 Ikea trips
1 kayaking trip in Valdez
2 camping trips in Alaska
1 outhouse race
1 dip in Chena hot spring
2,000 cups of apple juice poured
15 trips to the lake house
55 worms killed
2 fish caught
1 lightning strike
1 graduation ball
3 trips to Sea World
2 trips to D.C.
4th barbeque grill (Lil Smokey, Smokey Joe, real Weber, propane behemoth)
2 mortgages
my cars: Honda Civic, VW Passat, white Jeep, Odyssey
your cars: black Jeep, silver Jeep, Mazda
17 sets of Army uniforms (includes BDUs, ACUs, flight suits, DCUs...)
no broken bones! Yay! (knock on wood)
7 years - 1year in Iraq - 5 months of training - 2 months of travel and field exercises - 2 months you lived in MD alone = 5.25 years of me doing your dishes. ha!
I love you baby! Thank you for quite an adventure, two wonderful children, a lot of laughs, and a happy life together.


Sunday, December 28, 2008

Hi from my iPod touch!

Ed got me an iPod Touch for Christmas and its awesome!!! I love love love it! Its way more than a music player. I can play games on it, right now just Sudoku. I can Facebook or post a blog from it - so cool! And I haven't tried it yet, but I guess I can load video podcasts onto it. Lara across the street has one and her son watches Thomas on hers. I don't think I'm ready to share my iPod with two little boys! Thanks for an awesome present baby! I love it! Oh, and I can manage my Jazzer playlists on it so I won't be scrolling through it during a Jazzer class! hehe

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Build-A-Bear!!!

I've wanted to take the boys to Build-A-Bear for-ever! I can remember walking past one in the Florida Mall in 2004 or 2005 and thinking that I would love it but Ed would kill me. Especially since at that time, the boys didn't even touch their stuffed animals. Well, my patience paid off!! For a few years now, the boys each have a few favorite animals...mostly dogs. Max's are Pluto and something else I can't think of right now. (What kind of mother am I?) Nolen's dogs are named Pongo and Pupdate (I don't know where he got that). A few weeks ago we wandered into Build-A-Bear and watched a girl get her turkey stuffed. Isn't that funny. The boys stood completely still and stared at the process. I told them that when they had each saved up $10 we could come back and get an animal. Well, Nana helped out and sent each boy some money and a coupon to Build-A-Bear! Yay Nana! We went yesterday and the boys loved it! They each chose the same dog - it really was the cutest dog. They sort of wanted a sound but I told Nolen he would have to give me $3 from his piggy bank when we got home so he skipped it. Here they are getting the bears stuffed and putting in the heart.



After the dogs were stitched up, it was time to go over to the computers and input some info for their birth certificates. The boys were very cute and did most of it themselves. I typed our address (in case the dog gets lost he has a bar code sewn inside him so he can be traced back to us) just to speed things along. It was very fun! They boys carried those dogs around for the rest of our mall trip.

Here they are standing in a pretty long line to see Santa. We must have stood there for 30 minutes but the boys were convinced that this was necessary (and I hadn't gotten a Santa pic yet this year so that was ok with me). They help their dogs the whole time we stood in line.

Max is really checking him out. Max's dog's name is Scruffy. Nolen's dog is Bolt.

Telling Santa what they want for Christmas. It looks like it would have been a good picture but the cheapest Santa picture you can buy costs $20!!! What's up with that??? I have Christmas shopping to do people!
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Sunday, December 21, 2008

Wishing you a Jazz(ercise)y Christmas

As forecast, the Jazzercise Christmas party was a time of quiet reflection, I mean, crazy dancing. Only one Jazzer song was played during the evening in an effort to keep us from dancing a choreographed routine. Still, the line dancing was most popular. ha! Here we are doing the Cha Cha Slide. The lady to my right is Louis, she is one of the class managers. The lady in the sleaveless black dress is Starla. She is the center owner and very funny, loud and sweet. Her daughter Lenea was there and was the life of the party...sadly no pictures of her...she was moving too fast!

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Saturday, December 20, 2008

Friday Night Live

We're still gearing up for Christmas around here. Nolen had his Christmas party at school, and then we had some neighbors over last night for enchiladas and Ed's margaritas! Yum! Tonight is the Jazzercise Christmas party which should be fun. These girls have the biggest personalities! I look like Debbie Downer next to them! Ha! There will be dancing and I've been informed that there will not be Jazzercising. I have to remember to take the camera because it will totally be worth it.

Yesterday I told Nolen to go upstairs and get dressed for school. I told him to put on pants and a long sleeved shirt from his closet. Maybe he has seen some reruns of Miami Vice because he decided to go for the Don Johnson look! By the way, the blue shirt is the pajamas he slept in the night before. ha!

Here is the kids table at dinner last night. From right to left we have Spencer C., Max, Gigi F., Nolen, Hannah C. and Jayden F. All of the kids were SO good last night. Most of them fell asleep around ten o'clock while the grown-ups were still playing Cranium. Nolen fell asleep in the basement still sitting up on the couch, Max and Hannah fell asleep on our bed watching TV and I don't know where but Gigi and Jayden fell asleep somewhere too. Spencer and Hannah (and Donovon, not pictured) used to live here before we bought the house.

Hannah is showing off one of her old tricks!

Look, Nolen can do it too. He's usually not very athletic but climbing seems to be his thing. He likes to climb trees too. And if you know me, you know that I had to try this too. Nothing like a Mom climbing the walls to be the sign of a good party! Sadly we didn't get a picture of that! ha!
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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Max's Christmas Pagaent

Max's preschool had a Christmas pagaent on Monday. I wasn't really in the mood to give up one of my kid free hours to go watch them sing (is that terrible) but it was WONDERFUL! First of all, Max is a little ham! He didn't know the words very well since he's only been in the class for two weeks but he had all the moves! He really got down during Amazing Grace - which he later told me was called "Macy Gracy"! ha! I have to double check with Max but I think the girl in the red dress and black tights is his "girlfriend" Rachael. It was a very cute performance! I am so glad he is in the school. They really do a wonderful job there and Max has a blast.


Each kid had a colored bell and the music teacher had a chart to help them play Jingle Bells. It even sounded like Jingle Bells! Very cute!

When it was time to sing "The Reindeer Pokey", each child put on a pair of antlers and got a little red sticker on his nose. So cute! Max is thrilled! Sadly his antlers were in front of his ears so they came off during the very first verse. In typical showbiz style he didn't miss a beat and left them on the floor. The show must go on!
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Monday, December 15, 2008

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Friday Night...Saturday Morning...

We had a special visit from the North Pole last night! The boys each got a present from an ELF! Nolen's present was from Elmore Elf and Max's was from Eric Elf. I guess there was toy overrun at the Pole this year so they were getting some presents out early.

The boys have a fascination with the toy soldier nut crackers so when I found them on sale at JoAnn's yesterday I couldn't resist! They were so excited to get them and even more excited to think of Elves delivering the presents.


It was well timed too. Santa arrived in our neighborhood on a fire truck last night, sirens blaring and all! He was throwing candy canes and the kids were pretty excited! The best part was running around and gathering the candy canes! Overall, we had a fun family evening at home!

This morning, we've just been relaxing around the house. Its fun when Nolen gets to stay home and he and Max have a chance to play. It seems like they don't get as much time to do this now that Nolen is in school.

And that's about all we're doing today. Tonight is Edward's company Christmas party...I hope its better than the Christmas party we went to on Thursday night!

To catch you up...I'm still not teaching Jazzercise but Starla has assured me that she loves me and she doesn't want me to quit and she feels terrible about all of this. Right now its just a paperwork issue and as soon as its fixed I'll be back to teaching again. Its been nice to have all of this free time. (As if Jazzercise 3x a week takes SO much time, but it does. It take about 2 hours to leave here and return because I have to get there early and stick around afterwards. Then I have to shower as soon as I get home. Poor me. haha) I have been sewing and baking this week. I'll have to post a picture of the Christmas stocking I sewed for Max!
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Sunday, December 7, 2008

Catching up on the mundane...

Well, I haven't posted in awhile, mainly because we haven't been doing anything interesting. Here are a few things I've been thinking about lately...

The other night, Ed was watching Wall-E with the boys. You know the part where Wall-E puts the bra over his eyes? Well, Nolen said he was wearing a blindfold. Ed asked, "really a blindfold?" Nolen said, "yeah, the kind that girls wear on their bellies."

We all have a holiday budget...here is a list of the things that probably aren't included but I always end up buying and thus spending money on anyway...
  1. The tin of popcorn...carmel, cheese and yellow (its not butter flavor, but it is yummy)
  2. Advent calendars...I know they're only two bucks each but this stuff adds up.
  3. A new calendar for next year. Got mine today at Wal-Mart!
  4. Christmas lights...I am always replacing Christmas lights! This year I went hard core and bought LEDs. C'mon technology...don't let me down!
  5. Christmas cards. I love, love, love getting Christmas cards in the mail so I won't go paperless just yet, but at 50 cards...I'm up to about $50 in cards and stamps!!! What gives?
  6. Shipping gifts because we aren't going to make it "home" this year (wherever that is!)
  7. The surprise gift you end up needing for some secret santa/white elephant gift exchange at the company Christmas party.
  8. A dress, shoes and wrap for the company Christmas party. I have the dress already. That reminds me, babe, I need some money to buy shoes and a wrap for your Christmas party.
  9. Paying the babysitter for the night of the Christmas party.
  10. Drinks at the Christmas party...I don't think I need to explain this one.
  11. Baking supplies...even if I never actually bake anything with them. Its fun to believe that I will.
  12. Christmas presents for teachers, bosses, etc. We're up to $20 for the kids' teachers alone!
  13. I'm sure there is more that I'm not thinking of. Feel free to comment and tell me what you buy during the holidays that wasn't exactly in the budget!
Let's see...what else can I catch you up on? Oh yeah. Jennee, you will appreciate this. Jennee once posted about how it bugs her brother that our blogs are all about all of the great things that happen in our lives...it becomes sort of a brag book I guess. I'll admit I'm guilty of that. But I'll diverge from my formulaic postings here....I'm having Jazzercise drama. And it especially sucks because it happened during a week when I was really enjoying subbing and had taught 5 classes in a week...which means $100 in my pocket. But then the shoe dropped. A customer in the Sunday night class I taught for the Center owner complained about my class. She didn't just complain, she wrote a letter to CORPORATE! Well, long story short...my new MD franchise is in limbo and I'm technically not suppossed to teach until it is fixed. I will also be monitored to make sure I'm really not dragging Jazzer through the mud and I think I brought the heat on the WHOLE center. I feel so bad about putting the owner through this...I can't quite tell if she's upset about me being a dum-dum or about the girl who wrote the letter. Although I think it is the latter. Its just been quite a weekend (I found out about this on Friday and drank myself under the table Fri night when we went out with friends. oops. Sat. was kind of rough) OK, thats the end of my rant. It will be good to get organized and go in and talk with Starla this week. As for the lady's complaint...I think there is some truth in what she said. Ya'll know how I would always pick on Kim and Katie and Barbara to tell me what move was coming next...I guess that isn't cool in the real Jazzer world and I may need to kick it up a notch. Dammit. Now I'll have to learn all the moves and remember them myself??? WTF? Wish me luck!

Some happy stories...Max loves school, he says he has a girlfriend at school. I think that means he has a girl that is his friend. He says they hold hands but he doesn't know her name. He had a fun first week at school. They kids get to play outside on the playground each day and they go to music and he brought home a few projects. They have a Christmas pagent next Monday for the parents so that should be fun.

Also, Nolen is a Super Reader! He surprises me every day with his reading...Here is a video of him reading, "Are You My Mother?" Its kind of a long book so I stopped videoing before he finished. The boys chose it as one of their bedtime books on Saturday night and I told Nolen it was a book he could probably read. He read it like a champ so I took this video on Sunday morning.


I think that's about all I have today. Hope you're all finding time to relax and enjoy the holiday season!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Off to Preschool (Again)

These poor kids...I feel like they've had about ten different preschools...hopefully *fingers crossed* they can stay at Leonardtown Elementary through fifth grade! I had been asking around about preschools for Max since we got up here in August. It turns out there is a great preschool at the Methodist church right across the street from us. I put him on a waiting list back in September and I got a call from them last week. I was extra excited because lately I have been missing our little group from FUMC in Enterprise. We never officially attended church there, but I taught Jazzercise there and the kids played basketball and soccer there. The people there were so great and always made us feel so welcome. I was missing them, so it was really nice to get a phone call and get Max into this preschool! He was super excited when I told him that we found a school for him.

I met with the school director for a bit this morning, and then we walked Max down to Ms. Latyak's class. He walked right in and sat down on a square. She was holding up each child's name on a snowball and each child took their snowball and stuck it on the tree behind her. Max was no slouch and hopped right up when he heard his name. He also told me that he got to be the "train" for his job this week, and that means he is the leader (line leader). They have a playground outside and a nice, big open classroom. I think he is really going to enjoy his time there. He is so outgoing...I hope he makes a lot of friends!
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