Friday, November 30, 2007


This year we decided to go to Asheville for Thanksgiving. We tried to get our whole family to meet us there, but it ended up being only Blair's parents. That was fine and we had a great time with them. Rena, in particular, LOVES her grandmother...and the feeling is mutual. We stayed in a hotel and they were across the hall from us, so Rena liked to spend time over there by herself. She was even going to spend the night with them one night, but she changed her mind at the last minute. I was secretly glad. I don't really like being away from my children.

Blair has an Uncle that lives there and we got to meet him and his wife for the first time. We had a really nice visit and they went with us to the Grove Park Inn to see the gingerbread houses. It was truly an amazing site, especially when you consider that they are completely edible. I didn't get any pictures, but I did come away with some cool ideas. I'd love to get my children and the neighborhood kids together to make some's the old teacher in me!

We also went to the Biltmore house. If you have never been it really is worth the trip. What a cool place. It's probably one of my favorite places to visit. Grandmom and I toured the house while Grandpop and Daddy watched the girls nap. It's all decked out for Christmas and it really got me in the Christmas spirit. We also took a carriage ride around the estate. This was probably my favorite part. I love being out in the woods and we got a whole different view of the house.

My big plan, and ultimate goal for this trip was to get a Christmas Card worthy picture of the girls. Not an easy task. For one thing, it takes and act of congress just to get them all dressed. Then you factor in hair that is actually brushed and 'fixed', clean faces and shoes that are actually on, and you're talking about a full days work! I had picked out the perfect outfits for them, complete with tights, shoes and headband....and then, Grandmom trumped me! She brought beautiful little red smocked Christmas dresses for the girls. They are too cute and I decided that maybe these would be the dresses I would use. Even though I had no hair paraphernalia to go with them. It didn't matter though, because it ended up being too cold to put them in either set of dresses. Not only that, but our timing was waaayyyyy off and we couldn't get everyone happy and awake and still enough to get a picture. So, I'll have to figure out another setting for our pictures.

Blair's parents ended up leaving on Saturday morning, so we had the day to ourselves. We spent most of the time lounging around the hotel room, but we did make it back to the Biltmore house to check out the winery and eat at the bistro. We had some time to kill, so we went to the barnyard. Now, I'm a farmer at heart and would spend all of my time in places like this. Seriously. They were bringing the horses in from the pasture, and we got to pet the Clydesdales. These are some humongous animals. There were 2 of them and the one we were petting was much more interested in where the other one was. He seemed a little skittish to me, but what do I know. The girls were interested in the baby chicks. We didn't get to hold them, but we liked looking at them anyway. I noticed that there were eggs in baskets on the wall. I asked the .....farmer? if they were real. Now, he probably thought I was an idiot for asking such a question, but I just couldn't believe that they would give the public access to the fresh eggs that had just been laid by the hens next door. But they do. (Evidently they have never encountered curious, and unsupervised boys). Too cool! I could have stayed there all day. Instead, we attemped to eat a nice dinner at way too late an hour.

After the farmyard, we headed to the Bistro for dinner. The girls started off pretty good. Rachel, who has never shown any real interest in coloring on paper (walls, heck yeah!, paper, not so much) colored intently until dinner arrived. Rena, who had been a perfect little lady (especially with lots of praise from Grandmom and her newly found Uncle) was also coloring and entertaining herself pretty well. Riley needed a little more attention, but she was doing pretty well too. However by the time dinner arrived, they were done. The whole time I ate my dinner, Riley was laying on the bench kicking me. Rena an Rachel spend a good deal of time under the table retrieving dropped crayons and silverware. Someone's milk was also spilled under the table and, evidently, wiped up by all three coats. We were drawing the wrong kind of attention. The women at the table behind me engaged me in conversation about raising children and remembering those days. Her grown daughters were with her...and were arguing with their mother about how far apart in age they were. Once we got up, Rachel proceeded with her standard 'wallowing on the public floor' dance that I have come to expect. Luckily, I'm bigger than them all, and at this point, if necessary, I can carry all three at the same time. I didn't have too. I only had to carry one, screaming, flailing, Rachel. She wasn't upset. She just borders on ferrel sometimes.

The next morning we were on our way back home. The girls were tired and the trip worked out perfectly. They fell asleep about 30 minute into the trip and woke up about 30 minutes before we got home. I didn't get the perfect Christmas picture, but I did have a very nice Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 19, 2007

The Great Communicator

I've known for a long time that my husband is not the greatest message taker. Greatest salesman? Yes. Greatest Dad? Yes. Greatest "Hey, your wife's not home? Tell her...". No.

Super no.

Ok, here's the deal. I'd been out the other day and when I got home there was a delicious looking apple crisp on the counter. And here's the conversation that followed:

Me: "Wow! Where'd this come from?"

Blair: "Michele brought it over."

Me: "She did? That was nice."

Blair: "She said it's for the plants.

Me: "What plants?"

Blair: "I don't know. She said, something, something, plants, something."

Well, I was stumped. I didn't remember giving her any plants, or recommending any plants. Could it have been a planter? I did just have a yard sale and got rid of lots of stuff. She had come over that morning, but I didn't remember giving her anything. Plants, plants, plants. I pondered this for days trying to figure out what plants I had given her. So finally I sent her an email. Here it is.

Hey Michele,

I want to thank you for the apple dish you brought over. It was yummy! We'll bring the dish back soon.

Blair was a little unclear on why you brought it. Our conversation went like this: (OK, you've seen this part already.)

Me: "Wow! Where'd this come from?"

Blair: "Michele brought it over."

Me: "She did? That was nice."

Blair: "She said it's for the plants.

Me: "What plants?"

Blair: "I don't know. She said, something, something, plants, something."

So, thanks again. Hope you enjoyed the...plants?


And finally, someone who had the whole story and could make sense of the whole plant mystery. Here's her response:

You are certainly welcome…..and thank you for the laugh!

I told him that it was my 2nd installment on the flour loan…and then I specified that you loaned me a “bag” of flour so that he didn’t think I meant flower!

So he was kinda on the right track!

Ah, yes, the flour. I DO remember loaning her a bag of flour! Now it all make sense. Yippie!

Well, this was good for a laugh...but seriously guys, is it that hard to listen?

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


The other day, after a nap, Rachel came to join me outside. She had a big case of bedhead. She had on no pants. She hung out with me for about 2 seconds when she heard noise coming from across the street. A bunch of the neighborhood kids were across the street playing together. Rachel took one look at them turned to me and pointed across the street, excitedly exclaimed "FUN" and headed for the party!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The Reason

For those of you who know what you know, this is why I did what I did.

Raleigh — A search for a 2-year-old girl was called off shortly after noon Tuesday when the child was found.Wake County authorities found Rachel Kelly Carr, with scratches and crying, in a wooded area about a half-mile away. She was near a pond, and authorities said the quick response from authorities made a difference.Carr was outside playing with some other children when she likely wandered off, authorities said. She was reported missing about 9:30 a.m.
Wake County sheriff's authorities and the North Carolina Highway Patrol searched by land with ground crews and search dogs and by air with the Highway Patrol helicopter.The search prompted authorities to shut down briefly roads near her home in the area of Banks Road and U.S. Highway 401 while they searched for the child.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Sing, Sing a Song

I must be doing something right. My girls are happy! Lately, they have all been singing alot. Rachel sings all the time. She sings Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star, ABC's, a blessing Rena learned in her class, Old McDonald, Happy Birthday, you name it, she's singing it. She's pretty articulate too, so you can understand alot of what she's saying. I'm amazed that she can sing all the words to these songs. Riley sing some too. She loves musics and get into the dancing part. She's really quite timid though so alot of times she stops if you catch her. Rena sings songs she makes up and she always comes home from preschool with a song.

I hope these girls are always singing. I love hearing their sweet little voice. Even in the wee hours of the morning.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Lurking friend #1

Hey Sharon. Yes, I'm talking to you. Stop lurking and say hello. I think about you and Bob and Taylor alot. So leave me a message!

No Singa Dat!

Today has been a really long day. Not bad, just long. I woke up at 2:00am. Yep, that's right. I don't know why, I think it's perimenopause. I know, way too much info, although, that might explain alot. Anyway, Rena got up at 3:30. I don't know what her excuse is except God knows I can't be up without one of the kids being up! I got out of bed at 4:30 and showered and got ready for the day. I had a yard sale today and I needed to get things ready. Rena helped. We were really busy all day and had lots of people come by. The neighborhood kids were out in full force and my girls were busy busy busy. Rachel crashed about 11:30, but Rena and Riley were like the energizer bunnies. I finally started to crash about 3:00 and got Blair to hold down the, yardsale. I took Riley upstairs with me and we settled into bed with a book about Cinderella. She wanted to stay in bed, but she was still a little wound up. I wasn't. So I decided to sing our night time song to her.

Now, she and Rena both have told me "No singa Dat Song" when they have been really tired but didn't want to go to sleep. So today, against Riley's feeble protest, I continued to sing. It was like watching someone get hypnotized. She managed to get out "No singa dat" about 3 times as her eyelids drooped heavily and before I was half way through, she was sound asleep.

Unfortunately, the same could not be said for me. After counting her breaths, replaying the yard sale deals (or robberies, should I say), going to the bathroom twice and watching 57 channels with nothing on, I decided that a nap just wasn't going to happen. Seriously! I've been up since 2! What is the deal. And now it's quarter after 9 and I'm still not really sleepy. Maybe someone needs to sing to me!

Actually, I hear wolves off in the woods behind my house howling. (Really) Maybe they'll sing me to sleep.

Saturday, November 03, 2007


About a 'mont' or 2 ago, we adopted a cat. His name was Mark and he belonged to one of our neighbors who lives across the street from us. (I really wanted a siamese cat, since my last 2 have been part siamese and had been wonderful pet. Sammy lived to be 17, quite the old man!) He has such a great personality and he's a good looking cat. The problem is, it was a slow adoption. I told Blair probably a week before I told the original cat owner. So, she still fed him for awhile and I don't think he was allowed in her house. Then another neighbor fed him and took him to the vet! Poor thing was experiencing an identity crisis. To make matters worse, anytime he did come to our house, he was pulled in 3 (OK 4) different directions. Cats LOVE that! So, he honed his hunting skills and pretty much is a cul-de-sac cat. My neighbor has seen him wrangling with a squirrel! He's eaten mice and birds and god only knows what else. I fed him a half pouch of salmon the other day and he decided to come back the next day too. But now I haven't seen him in a couple of days. Oh and now his name is Boomer

To my friends and family

Ok, I know you are checking the blog out, so leave a comment! Just click on where it says 0 comments and follow directions. If you comment, I might write more! ;) Also, don't for get to click on the pictures to make them bigger and get a better view of the girls.

Water Woes

Ah the irony. In case you don’t know, N. Georgia is in the middle of a 100 year drought. It’s all the talk down here and evidently across the southeast, if not the whole county. Those California wildfires may have stolen the spotlight for now, but it will be back on us soon. One of the big reasons is because our Guv’nr is fighting with Alabama’s Guv’nr and Florida’s Guv’nr over the release of water from Lake Lanier. Now, I’ve got no problem with letting the two states have their fair share, but check the weather channel people! We haven’t gotten any rain to share. And it’s not like water can flow uphill, so if the situation was reversed, they wouldn’t be helping us out either. Now, as far as I’m concerned, all the stupid people have had to wait for the government to tell them when and how much water they can use. They call these ‘water restrictions’. Seriously people, you don’t even need the weather channel for this one. Step outside. No rain. Where do you think the water you use comes from? And the HOA’s have made the situation worse by requiring people’s lawns to be green. (I’m not making it up!)

So here at my house, in a underwhelming effort to counter-act the single biggest water wasters on the planet (Riley and especially Rachel) I have been catching rainwater from my downspouts to water my plants. (What’s that? Applause for the environmentalist in me? Thank you, thank you very much!) Now the irony…I haven’t planted anything that needs to be watered anymore. So I just have a 10 gallon trashcan full of dirty water sitting on my back porch. Maybe I’ll can sell it to Florida!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Fall Festival

Here are some better pictures of the girls.(Don't forget you can click on them and make them bigger.) We went to a fall festival with our next door neighbor and the girls had a great time. Riley had the same stoic look on her face the whole time, but she did have fun. Rachel fell in love with the horses and I'm actually surprised we were able to get her away from them. Rena had a good time too. She participated in all the events.

Rena and Rachel started out in the bouncy thing. I thought they might stay there the whole time, but they finally moved on. Riley stayed with me most of the day. I was surprised she didn't warm up a little.

When it came time to ride the horses, all three girls were in to it. In fact, while I was digging tickets out of my pocket to pay for the ride, Rachel scaled the fence, climbed through and practically jumped into the helpers arms. She was getting on that horse. She ended up riding 3 times. Rena and Riley both rode twice.

After a little food, we played some games, fed the horses and then it was time to go. It was a simple festival and the girls had a great time.

Happy Halloween!

I love Halloween. I don't know why. It does give me a chance to stretch my creative side just a little bit. It really doesn't get enough attention!

This year, Riley was a lady bug, Rachel was a bumblebee and Rena was a princess. They were so cute I could hardly stand it!

We did get some milage out of the costumes. Our neighbor has hippotherapy at a local stable and they had a fall fundraiser we got to wear them too.

Anyway, this year Rena gets the idea of Trick or Treating. She got to see lots of her neighborhood friends along the way. Of course, everyday it Halloween around here. No matter who she goes to visit, they give her candy! Now, Rachel and Riley aren't quite old enough to get the concept. In fact, Rachel's first 3 stops were at our house! Whenever anyone else came, she took a piece of candy too! Once we finally got underway, Rachel and Riley didn't see the point of going to the next house. The first house had all the candy they needed. Blair and I finally started moving everyone along and they seemed to get the idea a little better. By the end of the night, Riley was riding in the wagon, happily consuming all the candy she had gather.

This was the first time ever that we weren't home for Halloween. I just put a big bowl of candy on the front porch and left it to the honor system. I have to say, I missed out on some of the Halloween fun. Even though I saw all of those kids as we passed them, I missed handing out the candy. Next year, Blair and I will have to take turns. Plus, it's not as fun to Trick or Treat at someone's house when they aren't there.

Well, here are some of the highlights of the evening. Sadly, I didn't get any great pictures.