Saturday, December 27, 2008


For everyone, it seems Christmas has been a busy time this year. Rachel started us out with her cute self in a Santa hat. That is our Christmas tree in the background. Poor thing barely got decorated. The girls hung lots of beaded bells around the bottom. Then they'd take them off again. What they didn't take off got knocked off by either them or the dogs.

Somehow in all the craziness, we ended up in two different church productions. We don't really go to either church! How did that happen. The pastor's wife at a 'start-up' church close to our home asked if Rena could be an Angel in their Christmas musical. We'd been to this church a couple of times and the pastor and his wife are super nice. How could I say no. They wanted the twins to be in the musical too, but that just didn't happen.

Rena looked beautiful and she did a fantastic job, despite only being able to attend one rehersal. Little did I know when I said yes that she was THE angel. Ah, the pressure!

Rachel and Riley hung out in the audience with me. They enjoyed a little snack before things settled down. It had been a busy afternoon with no time for dinner. Rena and I had to go to a birthday party and I had to hire a babysitter to watch Ray and Riley because Blair had to fly to Chicago. We got back from the party, changed clothes, woke the girls up and headed to church.

The weekend before we had to be at the church where we go to preschool. The 4 year olds were playing the handbell in the service. It was great! (That's Rena on the far left) I also really liked the church.

Then Rena's class and the twins class had their Christmas parties. Rena's class put on a little play. Rena got to be the Innkeeper. I LOVE their preschool. She was very excited about me coming. I was excited too, because I didn't have to divided my time between her class and Rachel and Riley's class. Unfortunately, I forgot I would actually have the twins with me. And then, my wonderful neighbor Cheryl stepped up and offered to watch the twins and bring them to school with her when she came for her son's party and hour later. It worked out perfectly for me and I owe her bigtime!

Once school got out we had to find ways to entertain ourselves. Rachel was the only one up and she was playing and I was on the computer. She came up to me looking like this. God this kid cracks me up. She has a great sense of humor and she's sooooo full of life. She's going to be the one that keeps me on my toes.

Riley has dug this princess dress out of the dirty clothes more than once. This dress, that was Rena's Halloween costume when she was 2, is Riley's favorite. I'm sure in her eyes, it is the most beautiful dress in the world. In reality, this dress is well past its prime. The seams are splitting, the tulle has shrunk and the hem is frayed. But you know what, I think she's beautiful in it. Most times. In the picture below, she's kinda sporting the bag-lady look. The dress, of course is on. Then there's a blue can kinda see the hood. Then her winter coat. There is a blue and red scarf poking out the back. The hat is quite fetching, especially the way she has it pulled down almost over her eyes. The pink striped mittens are a nice addition. And no outfit would be complete in our house without inappropriate footware. I made her wear socks since it was so cold and then let her chose shoes. Yes, those are purple flipflops. I thought I had put all of those shoes away. Guess not. I think what gives it the whole baglady feel, though, is the umbrella stroller and the need to be wheeled around the neighborhood.
No one will ever be able to say I didn't give my children creative freedom.

What blogpost would be complete without a DAMN DOG update. This was a bag of trash I had hanging off the cabinets where I had been preparing dinner. Jake decided to explore just what was in the bag.

As the mother of so many dependant children, it's necessary sometimes for me to call in reinforcements. Thank goodness I've made some good friends here in podunk Georgia. My friend Betsy offered to watch the girls at the Mall, no less, while I ran to pick up a present I'd forgotten. What a saint she is. and she even managed to capture this image of all three girls in the same frame and all looking happy. Not an easy feat.

We pulled Christmas off without a hitch, really. Here's the aftermath.

Riley got a Cinderella barbie.

Rachel got the bike she wanted!

Rena finally got the fingernail kit she'd been asking for.

The flower fairies watched it all from the tree.

Rachel, sporting her new sunglasses.

Riley, dressed as a fairy princess, complete with wings and tierra.

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Thanksgiving and beyond

This Thanksgiving, we stayed home. Usually we go to Biltmore and I really missed going this year. Nobody came to be with us either. So, we celebrated Thankgiving with just our family. It kinda took all the fun out of it, but it also took ALL the pressure off. I still cooked a big meal and we ate in the formal dining room, which completely baffled the girls.
I dyed some pasta and had the girls make Native American necklaces.

They had a great time and it turns out that Blair is pretty good at it too! He and Rena had some bonding time over their beading.

The day after Thanksgiving we did head to the mountains of North Carolina to cut a Christmas tree.

It was a brief, overnight trip to Dillsboro and then cut our tree in Waynesville.

It was nice to get away, if only for the night. And it was beautiful! The girls had fun running from tree to tree trying to decide which one would be ours.
After we finally decided, we got to watch them cut it for us.

How exciting.

This place was really beautiful and next year, I'll know that I should have the girls ready for a Christmas picture.

This year, well, I'm just behind.

After that, my Father and Brother came to visit. I was really excited to have them here. My brother only came when we moved in 3 years ago. My father's been here a couple of times. We had a great time together and their visit was over too soon. The first night, my brother and I stayed up well past midnight drinking wine and talking and laughing. I'm still behind because of it! My brother spent most of his time in my kitchen. It was great! However, cleaning in this house is futile.
My dad and I got to spend some time together too. It's always so easy being with them.
And fun. My family is just funny. My Dad and brother were both confused by the Pampered Chef can opener. After I showed them how to open a can with it, my father was determined to figure out HOW it worked. I'd like to know that too.

The girls had fun too.
Grandaddy read to them...
and they helped him put together a play kitchen for the playhouse outside.
I loved hearing him telling them how to build it. Rena and Riley were interested.
Rachel just wanted to watch tv. All the excitement was too much for Rena and even though she didn't want to go to bed, the Sandman found her anyway, right in mid-sentence.

Now, the downhill to Christmas!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Sticking together

This week all of my children have been sick. Rena and Riley both have ear infections and Rachel has a cold. Thursday, Riley stayed with me while Rachel and Rena went to school. Honestly, at the time, I didn't think twice about Rachel going to school without Riley. I was swamped at the time, and still unsure whether Riley was going to go or not even in the drop off line. Then this Tuesday, they all piled out for their last day before Thanksgiving. I headed off for a little 'me' time and to get some things done. Well, about 11:45 I get a call from the Preschool. Slight panic. Don't we all panic when we see that school number show up in the caller ID? It was the twins' teacher. Nobody sick, she said, but Rachel was asleep. She had fallen asleep while they were having indoor recess. What did I want her to do? Let her sleep I said. No problem. This child can sleep anywhere, and I've learned the hard way, it's best to just let her sleep!

So I went to pick them all up a little early and the teacher told me that it was a good thing that it was Rachel that went to sleep and not Riley because Rachel is lost without Riley. WHAT? Are you sure? Rachel is Little Miss Independant. Rachel the Brave! Riley is Little Miss Clingon! Are you sure. Yeah, she say. Riley's fine without Rachel around. I peeked in the classroom and sure enough she looked happy as a clam. Never in a million years would I have thought it was that way. I was sure Riley was more dependant on Rachel then the other way around. Just goes to show what we parents know.

My girls are close. They play well together and get along pretty well most of the time. Oh, they have their fights like all siblings do, but boy are they willing to defend each other. Take last night for example.

Blair was home, so we were all seated for dinner. Riley was playing and not really interested in eating. Blair had told her a number of times to sit down or she was done. Well, he finally took her plate and put it in the sink. This caused her to dissolve into tears and run from the room (oh, yeah, the teenage years are going to be grand!) and for her sister to jump to her defense. "Da-day! Yook what you did! You made Wiley cwy!"
(Rena tries to recreat the look for me, but now she just thinks her daddy's funny.)
Rena AND Rachel both jumped on him.
Poor Daddy. So outnumbered!

Saturday, November 22, 2008


Thursday was one of those days. It was such a hectic day, that it started Wednesday night! I had volunteered to bring a fruit tray to Rena AND Rachel and Riley's class for their Thanksgiving feast. I was also supposed to bring dessert for the little girls' class. So I got started after dinner Wednesday night getting everything ready. Not great planning. I put a movie on for the girls so, hopefully, they would settle in and watch and not be running around destroying the house. No such luck. Even my little TV head Rachel wasn't interested. But they all wanted to help. Well, I was cutting fruit with a sharp knife and trying to get cookies into and out of the oven as quickly as possible. Not really things they could help with, although that did not deter them. By the time I got all the fruit cut up and all the cookies done, then 3 girls and myself ready for bed and 3 dogs fed and in for the night, I was exhausted. Of course, the dogs went out twice during the night and then Riley woke up about 4 complaining of an earache. Finally back up about 6, I started getting my little indian princesses ready for school. I had everyone dressed in the closest thing to Indian clothes that we had, fixed everyones hair, brushed everyone's teeth....I think....packed the car with fruit trays, fruit tray refills, cookie trays, change of clothes, 3 small children and a travel mug of coffee. Oh yeah, I did all of this while Riley followed me around crying and telling me her ear hurt. She was literally clinging to me as I dashed around trying to make sure I had everything I needed for the day. So off we went. I dropped Rena and Rachel off. Riley decided she didn't want to go to school. (She has an ear infection.) so I took Riley with me to tennis practice. I didn't want to cancel my lesson for a number of reasons, but really I was hoping that Riley would decide to go to school so I could do what I needed to do. However, she sat in the car and watched a video the whole time I had my lesson. She was great. After tennis, we grabbed something to eat and then headed back to school.

Rena has been so excited about this Thanksgiving Feast. She has asked me everyday if I can come, and on Thursday she was so worried that I would be late. (I wasn't!) I did have cling-on Riley with me, though.

So the little indians met in the hall and sang a few songs and then we all went into the classroom for lunch. (Riley's teacher rescued me and took Riley to class) It was great. Rena was so excited for me to be there.

The lunch spread was great too. Unfortunately, I had to split my time between the two classes, so I ran down the hall to see what was going on in the twins room.

They were attempting to sing a song. When the girls saw me, the yelled Mommy! and headed straight for me. I felt bad. Poor teachers. There was, of course, lunch going on in their room too. So, I ate a little there and then just kind of bobbed back and forth between the two rooms for the rest of the time.

In the meantime, I had called the pediatricians office to make an appointment for Riley. I hate that they close for lunch from 1-2. We get out of school at 1 and are literally 5 minutes from the office. So we either have the last appointment of the morning and have to leave school early (not a problem) or one of the first appointments for the afternoon. Our appointment was at 2:50. So I either kill almost an hour and and a half, or I go home...25 minutes to get there...30 minutes back to the peds office...give me about 55 minutes at home. Pointless. But that's what I did anyway. Riley does have an ear infection, so of course on the way home we have to stop for a prescription. By the time the day was over, I was exhausted!

Then Friday night, Rena ended up waking in the middle of the night with, what has turned out to be a double ear infection. Poor little things. I'm sorry they all feel so bad. Rachel, so far, has managed to avoid the infection....although she was the first one to complain of her ear hurting. I'm hoping we can make it through the night with not interuptions. hahahahaha. Wish me luck!

One of the things I love most about Rachel is she marches to the beat of her own drum. She's always so carefree. Here's a picture of her watching tv in her flannel pajamas, her flip flops and her ladybug hat....which she is also wearing right now, as she stands beside me waiting for me to finish up this post. So there!