Thursday, December 15, 2005


Today was MK's last day of school until January 3. We have a lot planned in the next few weeks, but mostly just to relax and bake and have fun. School is out for me as well. I sweated my online class but it turned out well. Next semester will be a little more hectic because I have 2 classes face to face, which means, 2 nights a week away from home. I've also volunteered to help with the youth at church, but it looks like that will be on Sunday nights. So, it will be a busy time but it will be worth it in the end, which isn't in sight quite yet.

MK was named "Aviator of the Month" at school so we went to the Big Man's restaurant for dinner to celebrate. It was a lot of fun and funny that T. Willy starts saying, "Daddoo" (his name for Daddy) as soon as we pull in the parking lot. They learn young.

So, nothing much else. Have a great day

Monday, December 05, 2005

Twas the night for a parade

Our annual Christmas parade is a huge deal in town. MK walked with her Girl Scout troop and the Big Man and I watched. T. Willy liked it...I wasn't sure what he'd think when the fire trucks came by blaring their sirens, but he just watched the whole thing. It was about 70 degrees, so it didn't quite feel like Christmas, but it was a great time.

Making cookies

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Super power I wish I had

Besides the ability to fly, right now I wish I had the ability to stop time. This is my favorite time of year and Thanksgiving is my absolute favorite holiday. But it's tomorrow already and then it will be gone. (sigh) MK often says that Saturday is her favorite day of the week. Mine has always been Thursday. On Thursday, the weekend still lies ahead of you. None of it has been used up. Of course, I'm not working outside the home right now, so my family tell me that every day is Saturday for me. I disagree, I say that every day is Monday. Better yet, every day is Thursday...because that's my favorite. Regardless, I am blessed in my life no matter what day it is and truly have much to be thankful for.

The Big Man's parents came in yesterday and surprised MK by bringing her cousin with them. She spent the night at their house and I doubt I'll hear much from her today. I learned that there is a Christmas tree farm in a neighboring town, so we may take the girls there for a little adventure. The trees are atypical since we live in the South, no firs or blue spruce, but it still could be a fun time picking out a tree and cutting it down. We'll see.

Have a great Thanksgiving and drop me a line!

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

If you see me laughing hysterically...

call 911...because something is probably wrong. This is something I have discovered about myself.

Last year my wonderful brother took his 3 wonderful kids, my wonderful daughter and me to NYC for the day. We had a wonderful time. His friend, Alan, was with the Kenny and Amanda Smith Band and they were giving a concert in the park, so we ended our day of sightseeing watching their concert. (Incidentally, Alan was recently acquired by the Del McCoury Band...big time bluegrass!!! Wonderful brother saw then in Philly last night.) At the end, all we had to do was take the subway back to the ferry, get in the car and head home. Too easy? Of course.

We got on the subway, made it to our stop and wonderful brother, wonderful niece, MK and I got off the train. I turned around to say something to one of the boys in time to watch the door CLOSE!!!! And both boys were still in the train with blank looks on their faces. Wonderful brother had the presence of mind to yell at the boys to get off at the next stop (Brooklyn, I think) and wait for us to take the next train. Now here we this enormous city that only w.b. knows his way around, with his 14 year old and 9 year old alone. W.B. is upset but calm, checking with people to see when the next train was running. The girls started crying. And I? I start LAUGHING know, the whole body shaking uncontrollably laughing. Trust me...not for a moment did I think this was funny. It is apparently my very inappropriate reaction to fear. Thankfully, I have had few encounters with true fear, so I didn't really know this about myself. The boys did as they were told and the story has a happy ending. But it has made me do some introspection.

I experienced another episode yesterday when T. Willy hauled the plastic ball at me. It wasn't exactly fear but it was abject PAIN that brought out the giggles. So I'm running around the house, feeling my face swell and laughing. The Big Man was asleep, and I didn't know if it was something that needed attention. You wouldn't have known it even hurt by my reaction. Oh well...just a warning. If you see me laughing (seriously, hysterical guffawing...) call the authorities!

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

T. Willy on the swingset - he is getting big and independent

Visit with my folks

Two causes (See below)


So here's what happened today


MK enjoying the house with her new friend

The house - not right on the beach but within walking distance

Back from the Beach

We had a wonderful time in Destin. We went out to eat and went to the movies and slept in (sort of because our room had a lot of windows and it got quite bright) and walked on the beach and read. It was a lot of fun. My parents came with the kids for a night and MK went swimming at the beach, brave girl. We weren't so brave but had a wonderful time. The house was beautiful. I'll post some pictures...hope you enjoy them!

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Guarding the stash

T. Willy was just happy to be out and about

MK and Friend, Mekala

T. Willy the Fireman

This was the first and only time he wore the hat....and you can see it's only on because MK is holding it in place.

Trick or Treat - Pictures

Ahoy, MK the pirate.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Trick or Treat

So our little town decided that the kids would trick or treat tonight instead of Monday. They've done this before but tonight it seemed that many people didn't get the word. Still it was a beautiful and cool night so we had a great time. The Big Man stayed home and passed out candy and I took MK and T. Willy out with a friend of MK's. We ran into several friends and were home by 8. That is an hour later than T. Willy usually goes to bed so I'm really hoping that he doesn't get up at 6:30 tomorrow, since he won't know that the time has changed.

I have some pictures and I'll work on downloading them. Have a great night!

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

I accept your challenge, Noelle

Well, today was more boring than usual. The Big Man is closing tonight which means he was home during the day. We did nothing. We watched some t.v. and napped. Boring. So I will tell anecdotes about my birth to keep Noelle on her toes. They just make me chuckle and it would be nice to have them recorded in cyberspace for posterity.

These are as I have heard them...hope I get them right.

I was born on a Saturday morning. My mom realized that I was coming quickly so they called some friends of theirs (the Knapps) to meet them at the hospital to watch my brother who was about 4 1/2. When they got to the hospital, the friends were not there yet and I was coming fast. So they locked my brother in the car to wait until the Knapps got there. My mom and dad went into the hospital and I was born in a matter of minutes with my poor brother waiting in the car. I am told the Knapps got there quickly, but I cannot imagine that happening today. It certainly ages me, because when I went into labor with T. Willie, MK came with us up until the operating room. Then she sat in the nurses's station and waited.

The other story is about my dad. It was his job to call the family to let them know that I had been born. So he called his parents, my mom's parents, their brothers and sisters, answer anywhere. He was dying to tell someone so he called the operator and said he just had to tell someone. She laughed and then said that he wasn't the first person that had ever done that. That ages us too, because now it is really hard to get ahold of an actual operator.

Thanks to Noelle and Melissa for their kind wishes. Have a great day!

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

I am 36

Wow...that sounds so adult. Happy birthday to me.

Today was a lovely day and sunny. It was so beautiful. After eating breakfast together, MK went to school and the Big Man, T. Willie and I headed to the beach. My parents are planning a trip here next week and the Big Man and I are going to take a little getaway. We went down today to look at some houses we had seen online. It's the "winter" season so the houses are way cheap. We found a few to choose from and are very excited. Then we went out to lunch and did a little shopping. It was a fun day.

I wish there was more to say so that you don't get bored and go away....I just can't think of anything. I'll go watch the Amazing Race and try to think of something.

Friday, October 21, 2005


Have you seen the commercial where the psychic is advertising herself and her "God-given" ability to tell the future? Is that an oxymoron? Or is she just a moron?

Saturday, October 15, 2005

When Worlds Collide

When we were in Atlanta, I picked up the book 50 Acres and a Poodle by Jeanne Marie Laskas. It is about her "farm dream" and how it goes from 2D to 3D. (I also have a farm dream, although the Big Man suspects it may actually be a "country dream.") It is one of those books that I can't put down, yet I wish that I could because I don't want to finish it but the end is in sight. So, I went to and found that she has written a follow-up.

Meanwhile, I was reading my hometown paper online and started reading an article when I realized that it was about the father of one of my childhood best friends whom I haven't seen in 20+ years. The article described his journey recovering from Guillain-Barré Syndrome. His wife wrote a book about it from her journal. It was also at, so I ordered it and have started reading it.

Now...this is where worlds collide. The follow-up book to 50 Acres and a Poodle is called The Exact Same Moon: Fifty Acres and a Family. It chronicles, among other things, the author's experience helping her mother to recover guessed it....Guillain-Barre Syndrome. I have read the name of the syndrome before but really had no idea what it was. Now in two days, I've been confronted with it twice. What are the odds? I haven't bought the follow-up book yet, but I will soon, I'm sure.

All is well here. MK has a friend spending the night. They get along so well that I hardly know they're here. They played outside earlier and are now buzzing around the living room and MK's room. It is time to get their sleeping bags out, pop in a movie and settle them down. I have nursery at the 8:00 service tomorrow, so I'd better go to bed too.

Good night.

P.S. It is supposed to get to 52 tonight!!!! I am soooo ready for the fireplace!

Monday, October 10, 2005

A Cat Tale

We spent Saturday relaxing and swimming. The Big Man and T. Willie watched some football and MK and I went to the movies. We had such a great trip to Atlanta but weren't too sad to come home either.

We stopped at a Cracker Barrel near Montgomery and ran into a friend there. Her parents live there and she had taken her boys there for the long weekend. I haven't seen her in almost a year and she lives in my neighborhood! The moral of this story is "Go to Cracker Barrel." (Just a little plug for those in the know.) Well, maybe the real moral is call your friends more often.

I'll tell you...driving around the Deep South is so different for me. I am a northern girl, but when we drive through Montgomery and Selma, I just feel the South. It is also wild seeing the signs pointing out different landmarks of the Civil Rights movements. Makes you want to get active stomping out oppression everywhere.

We arrived home around 2:00. There is always that pang right before you see the house hoping all is well. We always know the cat will be waiting at the door and purring. We can hear her from the garage. But this time we opened the door and she wasn't standing right there. We walked in the house and she didn't come running in a sleepy stupor. Uh-oh. The Big Man opened our bedroom door, which is just by the garage and here comes kitty. She had been locked in our bedroom for 71 hours! No water...and (big gulp) no litter box!!!! Our first thought was thankful that she was alive, then the reality of no litter box set in. But we sniffed and didn't smell anything...hmmm....nothing in our bedroom that we have yet spotted. We went in the bathroom. Apparently she had only used the rugs...the not too expensive-lay them down with rubber backing-from Target or Wal-Mart easily replaceable rugs!!! Wow...I was stunned and happy as I easily rolled them up and took them to the garbage can.

I did not grow up with cats. I didn't really care for them. But MK wanted a pet and the Big Man knew a girl from work who had to get rid of hers. Sugar was 5 years old when she came to live with us and has completely changed my mind about cats. She is the best pet. She is docile and loving and very gentle with T. Willie no matter how much torture he inflicts upon her. Remember, he's mobile now and really does love to "play" with her. She sleeps with MK and is a great addition to our family. So here's to Sugar!!!! The cat who has been extra loved and extra fed and extra watered.

Friday, October 07, 2005

It's cooler up North

Yes, all the way up here in Georgia. It's also raining. It has pretty much rained all day. We drove up last night after the Big Man came home from work. Our plan was to go to Stone Mountain Park today and kind of laze around tomorrow. We woke up to rain but around 11:00 it had slowed down, so we decided to venture out. Then it started pouring as we drove. We made it to SMP and thought for awhile. We finally decided we were already there, so we could go ahead and do it. Even though it was pouring we had a lot of fun. We rode a train around the base of Stone Mountain. There was singing and learning...a good time. We walked around (many thanks to my friend, Sandy, for the stroller rain cover) and played in the barn and rode the "Duck." It was a good time and fun in its own way because of the rain. We'd like to come back some year at Christmastime. I'm sure it's beautiful.

So now we're in the hotel and the Big Man took MK swimming and I stayed back so T. Willie could sleep. He is quite a bit off schedule and not liking the port-a-crib. So he is sleeping on the sofa cushions.

That's it for us right now. Hope you had a good day too.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Monday, October 03, 2005

Highs and Lows

No, not that's all about the weather. The Big Man checked the temps at Stone Mountain for the weekend. It should be in the 70's with lows in the LOW 60's!!!! I am very hopeful. Sad, huh? I just got back from Wal-Mart. It was 79 degrees and it's 8:45. But the calendar says it's OCTOBER!!!! Sorry to whine...I get like this every year at this time, but I'm usually not complaining in February.

Today I cleaned and moved a lot of furniture. MK changed rooms. So now she has the big bedroom that was originally hers when we moved into the house and turned her smaller room into something yet to be determined. Of course the other room is bright green with a pre-teen girly border...we'll have to work on that.

That's it. Have a great day!

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Field trip and a movie

The field trip was fun and short. I was put in charge of a group of 5 girls and they were all sweet and well behaved. We went to Pensacola NAS (do you remember a show in the 90's with that title?) and, as soon as we arrived, went right into the IMAX theater. We saw a cool movie about fighter pilots and then had just 45 minutes to look around the museum and shop in the gift shop. Then we ate lunch and left. In lieu of riding on the non-air-conditioned school bus, I rode with another mom. She was a lot of fun and we had a lot in common so it was most enjoyable. Quite refreshing, actually, because I have been to several field trips now and am realizing that a lot of these moms still think they're in high school. It's "cliquey"- are you kidding me? We're a bunch of adults there for the kids and they act like they can only speak to the "cool" parents. I've never been the "cool" anything, but I have been known to be friendly and I can't say that about some of these parents. So I was quite surprised and delighted when this mom suggested riding together.

Last night we had some family time. We picked up pizza and then came home and finally watched, "Finding Neverland." We've had it here forever and just never got around to watching it. We loved it.

Hoping next weekend for a little getaway. MK has no school on Friday and my prof. cancelled our Thursday night class and somehow the Big Man has a 3 day weekend. Our plan is to leave Thurs. pm and drive to Stone Mountain, GA. Has anyone been there? I am sooo dying to feel weather just a little cooler and hope I am not disappointed.

Melissa asked about my class. I am really enjoying the face to face class. (Understand why I was never "cool?") And learning a lot. The online class is not so great. I'm learning a lot in it, but the prof. is less than involved. We'll see how it turns out.

So, there's that. Have a great day!

Monday, September 26, 2005

Wish I had something to post about

Today was a beautiful poured for hours!!! It was dreary and we were very thankful for it. Who knew you could get tired of sunny days on end? It looked like it was 50 degrees outside so I made homemade vegetable soup, simmered it in the crock pot all day and curled up with a blanket during T. Willie's nap while listening to the drone of the washer and dryer. Of course, it was in the 70's, but I used my imagination. The Big Man was home and it was a really nice day. MK had a project due, so I walked her into school in the pouring rain with a trash bag wrapped around it. She made a diorama of a Mayan village and used sugar cubes painted grey for a pyramid. I really didn't want them to melt and they didn't.

Tomorrow I am going on a field trip to the Pensacola Naval Air Station with MK's class. I've been before but MK hasn't. I've known about it for weeks and with the Big Man's family here, kind of took it for granted that they would be here to watch T. Willie. Well, the last of them just left on Saturday and the Big Man works tomorrow. I nearly had to back out, but my friend, Mary, came through for me. He will join her 4 boys for the day. We'll see how he does. I'm hoping he'll be his normal, pleasant self, but you never know.

The New Orleans crew is home now. They are dealing with their damage and even some new things from Rita. But they're safe and living in their own homes. We are really praying that we don't see anymore hurricanes this year.

So, I'll try not to let so much time go by before updating again. It's just been kind of quiet around here.

Friday, September 09, 2005


My actual knowledge of French is quite limited, but I have started a French theme in my kitchen. The Mrs.' parents are quite artistic so they made a sign based on one I had seen in a catalog. It is a not quite literal translation of live well, laugh often, love much. Anyway, the artiste's mari ( hung it today and here is what it looks like. I am so happy with it! Thanks, Dennis and Kathy!

On the hurricane front...the brothers in law came back yesterday. The damage to their homes is reparable but worse than they expected. All of the evacuees at my in-law's house had water damage but in different degrees. There are pictures but I will have to download them first and I'll do it as soon as I can.

Thanks for all of your prayers!

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Happy Trails

The Grillmaster and his brother in law just left to survey their homes. They stopped here to get some water and our video camera. They've had some snippets of information but I know it will make them feel better to actually see it for themselves. So stay tuned and maybe we'll know something soon!

Saturday, September 03, 2005


MK and Miss raised $26 for hurricane relief. Way to go, girls!!!!

Friday, September 02, 2005


What a difference a few days can make!

We found a website with aerial views of the area where the family lives. They were able to zoom in close enough to tell that all of the houses are there and dry. We don't know if they had water in them at one time, but they look dry now. There is possibly a tree on the Grillmaster's roof, but it also may have been a shadow, since the zooming caused some distortion. But it was nice to at least see that the houses are there and didn't look too bad. We could see their roofs and yards. It was really amazing.

Things have been going well. We've eaten together and laughed and cried together. Today was the Big Man's birthday, so we went to his parents' house for dinner. Afterwards we watched the telethon and then MK and I went to Wal-Mart. We bought some ribbon and pins and sat around and made some ribbons. They're green, gold and purple, which are Mardi Gras colors. MK and Miss are going to set up a table in front of our house for donations and give the ribbons to those who donate. We live on a pretty visible corner, so I hope they're not disappointed. They made posters and are very excited to do their part.

Thanks so much to those of you who have asked about the family. They're doing well. Pap is a pastor and he and Granny have been able to get in touch with some people in the church. They are setting up an internet church until things can get back to normal....or at least to some normalcy. It may be months but they are feeling better than they were about things. They live outside of the actual city of New Orleans in Kenner and Metairie. The airport is in Kenner so you saw it if you saw any of the footage of Air Force One landing there today.

So, there's that.

Happy Birthday, Melissa of VA!

Monday, August 29, 2005

All together now....Everyone knows it's Windy

The important thing first: Our family is here and safe. Isn't that really all that matters?

Now some information. We live in the Panhandle of Florida. That is where Hurricane Katrina was first predicted to land when it reached the Gulf of Mexico. Since we have 2 young children, the Big Man and I discussed my heading west to New Orleans to stay with his parents who live there. I get on Interstate 10 at our exit and get off at their exit in 3 1/2 hours. So we decided to wait to see what it was going to do. As you now know, it headed west and straight for the city. If you've watched the storm coverage, you have heard endless reports of how it is below sea level, relies on a vast pumping system to send water into Lake Pontchartrain, and has levees all around the city to keep the lake out, and they all hear of how devastating "THE BIG ONE" would be. There were many indications that Katrina was going to be "THE BIG ONE". So, instead of us going there...they came to us. Staying at their house last night...Granny & Pap, the Grillmaster, the Mrs. and Miss, the Grillmaster's mother and father in law, and the Mrs.' sister and her husband...oh, and MK.

Providentially, the Big Man's parents built a house just around the corner from us and moved into it this spring. They use it as a getaway on occasional weekends and just last weekend the Grillmaster, the Mrs. and Miss left after spending a week there. So they have had a nice place to stay and we have shared some meals together and watched a lot of storm coverage together...I mean a LOT!!!

Power is out in New Orleans and phones are not working, so we really only know what most people know by watching t.v. They didn't get a direct hit so it wasn't the BIG ONE but it was close. In areas east, such as Biloxi and Gulfport and some Louisiana parishes, it certainly feels like the BIG ONE. I'm sure we'll know more tomorrow. They are saying it could be a month before power is restored but we also know that if they said a week and it isn't a week, people would go crazy. Hopefully it won't be that long. They weren't able to send helicopters over the area until the winds died down to a certain speed, but I'm sure tomorrow we'll learn much more. What we have heard is that the area where Granny & Pap live may have as much as 3 feet of standing water. It's not for certain but that sounds very bad. We saw a picture of the street behind the Grillmaster's house. There was standing water in the yard and street but it didn't reach the houses so we are very hopeful that their house may be dry.

Here in Florida we had a lot of rain and very heavy wind gusts. And yes, we lost more trim from our house. That is the least of our concerns. We didn't even get it fixed from Dennis yet...we may wait until the hurricane season is over.

In the midst of this, the Big Man received a phone call from work. The 15 year old only son of one of the employees has been battling cancer. Just on Saturday the friends of this family had a huge yard sale and raised over $4,000 for his family to help cover their mounting bills. We've been praying for him with MK and have talked about him often. The phone call today told us that he had passed away. That put a lot of the other things going on in perspective. Due to some acquaintances, we have assurance that Tim knew the Lord and his suffering is over. But his parents' suffering hasn't even begun. The least of their worries is something happening to their stuff. We've tried hard to keep that in perspective.

So I'm going to borrow my closing from Dy....

"Kiss those babies..."

No one ever says, "Kiss your stuff."

Good night

Friday, August 26, 2005

I'm really not geographically challenged

If you read the link in my last posting and realize that I said that we are at the far left...please understand that the link updates and the projected path has since moved west. If I wake in the morning and the path has moved east again...ignore this....if it shifts again your computer may self destruct. Sign off as fast as you can!

Have you seen this?

Oh brother. Fortunately on the map right now, it's only a Category 1 and we are at the far left...not far from where Florida meets the Alabama border. But I have been praying for the residents of South Florida with the satisfaction that the last projected path that I saw sent it toward Texas. Good grief. (No, I'm not sure how long ago that was, and no, I really don't pay that much attention to the weather. Mostly I look outside.) The Big Man mentioned to MK that she might not have school Monday. I honestly had a blank look on my face...Labor Day? Nawww..took me a second to calculate the dates. I'd like to say that I was just so overwhelmed with school and the duties of caring for the household, but no, I just rarely know what the date is. Do any other stay at home moms have that problem?

Thursday, August 25, 2005

A Case of the Happies

Every so often a feeling of joy, happiness and contentment passes over me. I'm having it right now. I can't even explain it. Maybe it's because I'm sitting in a clean house, quiet but for the washing machine, T. Willy safely in his bed napping, the Big Man just called from work and is having a good day and MK is at school where I know she is learning and enjoying time with friends. It's a nice feeling. I should look for it more often. This time it found me.

Tonight I start my face to face class. I started my online class last night. I had a reading assignment and some discussion questions to answer. Not too bad for the first night. Next week I have to read some articles and write 2 papers summarizing my reading. has been a looooong time since I wrote a paper. The babysitter is lined up and I bought new notebooks and pens. School supplies for mom!

My new favorite CD..."Short Term Memories" by Chris Rice. Every morning when I drive MK to school she asks for the "Cartoon Song." We have it memorized now. My favorites are "Welcome to our World" and "Smellin' Coffee" so far, but every time I listen to it, I like something about another song. I am definitely a lyrics person and I like what he's saying.

So, there's that. I hope the "happies" find you! If so, tell me about it!

Saturday, August 20, 2005

What to talk about?

A lot has happened this week but I have no idea what to write.

Tuesday - I took Miss with me to eat lunch with MK at school. Miss came home with us and played with T. and swam but she was pretty bored until MK came home.

Wednesday - T. Willy and I went to breakfast at the Big Man's restaurant with the Grillmaster, the Mrs., Miss, Hee-thar (the girls' name for her) and Miss's uncle. We had a nice time and some great food. I also went out to dinner with some girls at church. The Big Man stayed home with one girl's two boys. WHEW! He is used to having a mild-mannered girl and a boy who isn't at that active a stage yet. He was ready for us to come home.

Thursday - Cannot even remember Thursday. Ummmmm.

Friday - T. Willy and I again went to lunch with MK. She likes for us to visit her at school and we're glad to see her any time we can. I also like for the teacher to get to know my face. After school MK had a birthday party for one of her Build-a-Bears. No kidding. She is a delightful, girly girl for certain. Worse, the bear actually got a present!!! And we had guests...Miss and another friend. We even made a cake. I suspect I won't be doing this with T. Willy. Then the Grillmaster grilled steaks for us and we all sat around the kitchen table and talked. As soon as it got dark the lights flickered and went out. It did that a couple of times and finally went off for awhile. The electricity was off for a long time so we sat at the table with candles and flashlights and told stories. The girls and I went out front and watched some neighbors throw a lighted football and then lit sparklers. When we ran out of sparklers, we went back inside. At one point the lights came back on, but the girls were enjoying it so much they turned the lights off and we talked some more. They left and the electricity was on and off for the next few hours. By morning it was back to normal.

Today - MK spent the night with Miss at the in-law's house. We had a quiet morning. I did laundry and the Big Man mowed and edged and cleaned the pool. The family came over for lunch and stayed through dinner. Miss is spending the night here. The girls and I looked at photo albums and laughed and laughed and now they're in the living room wrapped in sleeping bags and watching old home videos and laughing. The family leave tomorrow and a new week will begin again.

So, nothing profoud, but that was our week in a nutshell.

Hope you had a good one!

Monday, August 15, 2005

My husband is sleeping with a co-ed....

It's me! I am registered and paid up and ready to go. It has been quite awhile since I was on this side of the classroom, so it should be interesting. But I'm really looking forward to it.

The biggest change so far has been technology. I went to undergraduate school in the dark, dark ages...the days before e-mail or cable modems. One had to wait for mail or make phone calls and wait in lines and talk to many people to get anything accomplished. This time around, I have only had to speak to 1 person - my academic advisor. I had to meet with her to get my courses and major straight. Otherwise I signed up for the GRE, applied, was accepted and registered for classes via the Internet. I could have avoided the trip today but I had a certificate for 6 credit hours (saved me $$$$) and I wanted to make sure it was applied correctly.

This was only my 3rd trip to the campus. The buildings are numbered instead of named so it shouldn't be a problem. Today I was looking for Building 20. No problem...I vaguely remembered where it was, so I parked, put T. Willy in his stroller and took off. Immediately I found Building 19. This is going to be easier than I thought...but the building on one side was 18 and the next was 21. WHAT???? T. and I strolled around and looked around and found a map. It didn't help because I was hot and getting irritated. I walked behind the buildings. No help...they were in the 30's. Hmmm....I decided to walk. Out of order but in front of me was building 20. Thank you , Lord! I was able to go in and get my student ID, parking pass and payment taken care of in fewer than 15 minutes. This was not the college registration of my youth. It all worked out and after a trip to the bookstore to buy the entire family shirts, I was on my way home.

Well, almost home. We stopped at the mall first. I bought T. some shoes and MK some more school clothes. Then we went home.

The Big Man's brother, the Grillmaster (he's already cooked twice for us) and his wife, the Mrs. and their daughter, Miss came over on Saturday to stay at the in-laws' house around the corner. Poor timing for MK because she is in school, but we're trying to let them spend as much time together as they can. They are staying for most of the week. In addition, the Mrs.' sister and her husband came over yesterday. The whole crew is coming over tonight to watch football - the Eagles v. the Steelers. Since the Big Man's family is from the Pittsburgh area and I'm from the Philadelphia area, we're just glad it's pre-season and doesn't mean anything.

I picked up Miss and then we waited at a different bus stop to surprise MK. She was excited and now they are playing and I'm going to occupy T. Willy so that they can have some peace.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Three Days with the Big Man

The Big Man has 3 days a row! He needs some rest. The water main that supplies his work broke on Wednesday night so they had to run the restaurant WITHOUT POTABLE RUNNING WATER yesterday and until they get approval from the city to use it again without boiling. Ugh! This affects all the dishes and pans being washed; coffee, tea (the house wine of the South), name it. So, he had to drive to Sam's in Ft. Walton to pick up 1200 paper plates, bowls, cups, etc. and then open the next morning. But he was off today so he didn't have to worry about it. He said most of the customers were understanding, but it couldn't have been easy.

The only thing I asked of him during his time off is that our lawn gets mowed at some point. Our "Life Group" from church meets here on Sunday nights. I recalled that the week before last our grass needed to be cut and this week when they came it still hadn't been done. It has just been a combination of little time off for him and inconvenient (but welcomed) rain. So tonight he paid MK to babysit T. Willy and we were off to mow. We have a riding tractor as well as a push mower. I offered to push in the front yard (really I did) so he could ride in the back and we could finish faster, as thunder rolled in the distance. He tried to back the tractor out of the shed and it wouldn't budge. So he dragged it out and tried to start it...nothing. He decided it was the battery and started charging it up, and set up the push mower for me. I mowed for quite a while while he used the weed eater and then he approached me and said he had gotten the tractor ignition to turn over, so I could use that to finish. I hopped on the tractor, engine running, and it wouldn't move. No matter what we did, it wouldn't budge. I thought, that's okay, I'll just finish with the push kidding, the safety mechanism on it broke and it wouldn't start. Now it is starting to rain, the Big Man is a wee bit frustrated and only half of the front yard is mowed. On top of that, this tractor is only 3 months old!!!! Thankfully it was purchased at Wal-Mart and they will take anything back, so he found the receipt, loaded it into the truck with some difficulty and help from his dad who is visiting, and off to Wal-Mart he went. They took it back, gave him a full refund and tomorrow he is off to shop for a John Deere. So maybe tomorrow we'll be able to finish.

Are you still with me????

That really has been the most exciting thing that has happened this week. MK has Girl Scouts tomorrow and will spend the night with the grandparents. T. Willy is doing fine and learning new things daily.

And for those of you who have been with me from the start, you'll recognize a line from my favorite chick movie. Obviously the only movie I know well enough to quote.

So, there's that.


These pictures are of MK after her first day of school last week. The bus stops right in front of our house (on the right not pictured) so we just step out the front door to wait for her.

Friday, August 05, 2005

16 years later...

Today is our 16th anniversary. When I look back on it I wonder what my parents were thinking. I was so young! But here we are and I wouldn't trade the Big Man for anything. He had the day off but I went to have my hair done and it took 4 hours, so he played with T most of the day.

Melissa of VA asked about MK's first day of school. She had a great time. She likes her teacher and was only disappointed that they didn't do much the first day. Today they took some tests and she liked that better. Her teacher is getting married in June so she thought that was exciting. Thankfully she is still in elementary. Middle school begins here in 6th grade. I am not looking forward to that at all. We have loved her elementary school. In addition to academics, they emphasize and enforce proper manners and dress code. My mom was here once for their talent show and she couldn't believe that they were singing "Jesus songs." For Christmas they sing carols, not just Santa songs, and no one blinks an eyelash. In second grade, her teacher had a "Getting to Know the Teacher" poster and on it she wrote that her favorite book was the Bible. Her teacher last year was a Christian too. We have been very blessed.

So that's what is going on with us. What's new with you?

Thursday, August 04, 2005

School Days

I never did get around to the yard. It rained so I took the girls bowling instead. Here is a picture of MK and her friends...and as always...their Build a Bears.

Last night we went to 5th grade Orientation. T Willy was napping so the Big Man stayed home while I took MK. We were able to see her classroom and meet her teacher. Her teacher is co-teaching with another one in the same room, so there are 2 classes of students in the room. But it looks like it's going to be a fun year. She is especially excited about blocks of Science, her favorite subject.

When we got home I heard the washing machine going. I had finished all of the laundry that morning, so I knew something was up. When T Willy woke up, the Big Man walked into his room to see him standing up with no diaper. He had managed to take it off (dirty) and apparently then fallen asleep. So the Big Man had quite a mess to clean. But he did it and it was all cleaned up when we got home. What a man!

So this morning we walked MK to her classroom and are now home in a quiet house. No big plans today...playing with T and waiting for 3:30 so we can hear all about MK's day. Hope you have a good one!

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

It's August....

August has always been a big month for us. The Big Man and I met in August, married in August and our kids were born in late April and early May, so if you do the math, you'll realize that August is an interesting month for us.

This August started with school shopping. School begins on Thursday so we went to Destin yesterday and bought MK some new clothes. We had made plans to meet up with some friends, so we ate lunch together, then the daughter came shopping with us. It is easy to shop with MK because she has definite opinions on her clothes. They just have to be girly and not "feel weird." So we left with skirts and skorts and she's ready for school.

Today MK wants to have a couple of friends over to swim so I have some serious yard work to do first. The sky is overcast right now so I had better get out there before it either rains or the clouds disappear and it's too hot to do anything out there.

Friday, July 29, 2005

Before and After

Links and Locks

Back in Florida again. We had a wonderful trip but as always it was too short. We were busy the entire time. My brother took lots of pictures, so here are some links so that you can see what we did.

On this there are pictures of us eating crabs with my sister in law, mom, niece and nephew...and a trip to "Blue Diamond Park." Esp. note when T. Willy is crying...he did not like the sound of the roller coaster.

Pictures of the school reunion.

This is a video of my dad's skydiving experience. It is 12 minutes long but fun to watch. My brother is so talented.

Not much else to report. School starts on Thursday, so we went school supply shopping yesterday and will do some clothes shopping today or tomorrow. It is "tax free shopping" time here so we will try to take advantage of it before tariffs are levied once again.

Yesterday I asked MK if she wanted to get a new haircut for school. She said that she didn't because she was growing her hair out for "Locks of Love" so that she could donate it to make a wig for a child with cancer. So I looked up the site and found the requirements. There had to be at least 10 inches to donate. So we measured and she had it. After school shopping we went to the hairdresser and she did it. They had a few moments where they thought she might not be able to do it because of all the chlorine from the pool, but they did some conditioning and it all worked out. Her new cut is adorable (she can't stop playing with it) and she feels great about helping others, so it was a win/win for her. I have some pictures but I'll have to change computers to put them on here.

Hope you have a great day!

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Big Day

I'm happy to report that my dad is alive and well and able to walk and Sha had her baby girl yesterday a.m.

That's the bottom are the details.

We drove up to Williamstown, NJ in the morning. The thing that struck the Big Man and me the most was how LUSH everything is. Since we were in South Jersey, it was easy to understand why it's called the Garden State. At our home the soil is so sandy that lush is a dream...we just hope for green. We arrived at the skydiving place around 9:30. We had some waiting to do but it was a beautiful day. Once we arrived and realized that it looked like a legitimate business and a busy one at that, our fears dissipated. Then we really got into it and were excited. We had a good time waiting but it was hot and T. Willy was getting tired, so we took him, MK and 2 cousins for a drive. He was able to nap for a few minutes and we arrived back at the place in time to see my dad in line to board the plane. Then up he went and maybe 20 minutes later he was back down. It was hard to tell which one was him until he was almost to the ground but it was a lot of fun to watch. Parachutes just seemed to appear out of nowhere. Most importantly, he loved it! He was so excited and really had a great time. Way to go, Granddad!

While we waited I called Sha's husband and found out that the baby had been born around 8:20 a.m. Everything went well. She was 8 lb 13 oz and 21 1/4 inches long. Summer joins her 4 year old big sister and I know they are all happy that she's here.

My high school (which was K - 12 and I actually went there from 4th grade on) is having a reunion today. It was a small school, so they're doing a reunion for all of the classes. That means my brother and sister in law will be attending too. It's at a state park so it will just be a big picnic and MK will have her cousins there to occupy her. It's supposed to be quite warm today so the Big Man has an "out" if T. Willy can't take the heat. He has kindly agreed to go, but he won't know anyone except us, so he's more than welcome to make his appearance and leave.

Then my brother and family are coming over tonight for crabs. My mom, sister in law and I are the only ones who really eat them, and we have fun sitting and picking.

That's it. Have a great day!

Friday, July 22, 2005

The First State

We're here! We had a bit of a long day yesterday, but we're finally here. We flew out of Pensacola, changed planes in Atlanta and arrived in Philly around 6 p.m. We were a little delayed due to weather in Atlanta but not too bad. T. Willy was ticketed so we were able to take his car seat on the plane and it really helped. He only really cried one time and I was strong and didn't get him out...he can't get out in the car so I didn't want to confuse him. The Big Man downloaded some shows from Tivo onto the laptop, so MK stayed busy with that and reading. She is and has always been an excellent traveler. After we arrived and got luggage and did the car rental, we stopped at Jim's Steaks and got cheesesteaks for dinner. Then we took a scenic route home (not on purpose - but the car has "Neverlost" navigation and we were playing with it) and arrived at my parents' house by 9.

My brother and his 3 kids were waiting for us. T. was shy at first, plus had just woken up, but he warmed up quickly. MK and the cousins went swimming and entertained us, so already the fun has begun.

I don't know why I'm up so early. I don't sleep well when I'm home. I think I'm afraid I'll miss something. What I won't miss today is my dad skydiving! My mom and I are less than thrilled about watching, but we'll be trekking to New Jersey anyway to witness it. It's done in tandem, but, still, my mild-mannered father will be plummeting from the sky. He said there's a 60 second freefall. Nothing in this world would make me want to do that for sport. I'm moderately adventurous but that is where I draw the line.

Also, Sha, was to arrive at the hospital at 6 a.m. I can't imagine that she slept well last night, but I hope she was able to get some rest and is ready to meet "Summer" this morning.

A sweet story: at the airport in Pensacola, I was walking with T. Willy and a woman seated nearby asked how old he was. I told her and she said, "We find out what we're having on Tuesday." She did not look pregnant at all, but she was beaming. She appeared at least my age or older and said that it was her first baby. She asked T's name and talked to him a little bit. Then her husband walked up and she said to him, "Honey, did you see T? This is T. You have to see T." She was obviously very excited about kids and it was neat to see.

Of course, I am, and admittedly a bit too much, conscious of the fact that MK was sitting right near us and hearing every bit of it. T has no idea people are fussing over him, but she is acutely aware. Most people are really kind and talk about what a great big sister she must be and how lucky he is to have her, but this lady was focused on babies and I understood that too.

So, I'll keep you updated. Have a great day!

Saturday, July 16, 2005

I've Been Tagged

Okay, Melissa in VA, here we go.

10 years ago
MK was 2 months old and we were living in Statesville, NC. I was a new stay at home mom and just trying to figure out the whole mothering thing. I remember little sleep and lots of nursing, lots and lots and lots.

5 years ago
We were living in this town but in another house. I was dreaming about this house although I didn't know its address. I even had a list. The Big Man was working at his current job and I was teaching 4 year old preschool. I think I was working that summer and MK was in my class. I became certified to teach in Florida and taught a first grade class for the school year.

1 year ago
T. Willy was 3 months old. I was only getting up once a night with him and then he'd go right back to sleep, so I was getting more sleep than I did with MK. I wasn't nursing. I believe we had just gotten back from Nashville to see my niece play in a basketball tournament. We were living in this house.

The Big Man was home and it rained all day so we watched movies. We finally saw National Treasure. We are not at all current in our movie watching. We liked it and enjoyed snuggling on the sofa while we watched and T. napped. I don't believe I even left the house. I cleaned and sneezed.

I finished cleaning and played with T. He was in a great mood which let me get a lot accomplished. I pushed him on the swing and then we waited for MK to come home. She did and we're so happy. She had a great time but it's wonderful to have her home. She and I are watching a movie on the Disney Channel and I'm answering my tag.

5 Snacks I enjoy
Mint chocolate chip ice cream, Movie theater popcorn - the next day, Soft pretzels, Snowcones, Green olives

5 bands I know most of the lyrics of their songs
The Beatles, Matchbox Twenty, James Taylor, Simon and Garfunkel and Nanci Griffith

Things that I would do with 100 million dollars
In addition to making sure that my loved ones were financially stable, educations secured, investments made and donating money to worthy causes, I would treat the Big Man to a Rolex. He is a "watch-o-phile" and that is something he has always wanted. I know exactly which one he wants, so I would run right out and get it. But if there are any philanthropists reading this who are just dying to part with their money - this is what I would like to do: my uncle lives on the land that I knew as my grandparents' home. It isn't where all of their kids grew up, but it is the only place I ever knew as their home. Uncle N never married or had children, but took care of my grandmother after my grandfather died and sacrificed a lot to do that. The home sits on 58 acres in West Virginia, but the house is in really poor shape. It's over 100 years old and probably just needs to be torn down and a new home built. I would also rebuild the barn. That land is my favorite place on earth and I would love for it to be a place for my kids to visit with their children. Incidentally, my second favorite place on earth is my mom's front porch, specifically on the swing that her dad made. We've thought about making that request to Extreme Home Makeover, but it's not really a sad story of need, just something that would take more money than we have to make happen.

5 bad habits
I interrupt people, that's a really bad one.
I am critical of people as if I have never looked in a mirror or at my own heart.
I would rather write a list of what needs to be done than to just do it.
I watch too much tv.
I am stubborn when I think I'm right - but in my defense, have no trouble admitting it when I'm shown to be wrong.
Possibly more character flaws than bad habits, but it was cathartic.

5 locations that I would run away to
New York City at Christmastime
Paris anytime - but only for 3 days...just to see the touristy things and then go home.
Mountains - no specific mountains...just bigger than I can find in Florida.
Australia - My family lived there when I was a kid, but I was too young to remember...I'd like some memories.
The last is a tie between Uncle N's house and my mom and dad's house

5 things that I'd never wear
A bikini
Hip huggers - when they make skinny girls look not so skinny, there's no way.
Culottes - I went to the same kind of school as Melissa in VA
A"Vote for Nader" shirt
A tube top

5 things I like doing
Traveling, reading, swinging, swimming and rocking on my front porch

5 biggest joys at the moment
MK being home
T. Willy and the Big Man tucked in bed
Air conditioning
Anticipation of the 4 of us heading to DE on Thursday

5 Famous People I'd like to meet
I thought and thought and could only come up with 2: Laura Bush and Nanci Griffith. I don't want to meet too many people. I'm afraid it will ruin the illusion and then I won't have it to look forward to anymore. (My brother got to meet Nanci Griffith in May. When he was with her, he called me, but the Big Man was on the phone and didn't recognize the number on call-waiting/caller i.d. Thanks for trying, Aaron. He did get me a shirt that she signed, "SING OUT," but I'm almost afraid to wear it.)

5 movies
The Wedding Singer, Breaking Away, Grosse Point Blank, Steel Magnolias,
Shawshank Redemption I LOVE every one of those movies and could watch them over and over.

5 TV shows
Cold Case Files, Investigative Reports, Law & Order, Extreme Home Makeover and, I'm almost ashamed to say, The Brady Bunch

5 Favorite Toys
Digital camera, laptop, baby monitor, power edger, and my new cell phone which the Big Man and I use to text message all day long. I never thought I'd use that feature, but we love it.

5 People to Tag
Well, most of the bloggers I know are because of Mel, so Noelle, Laura, Aaron and Melissa G are the only 4 left.

Whew...I was finished and proofreading on the desktop when it just clicked off...and of course, I hadn't I had to do much of this twice. But it's finished now. Bye!

Friday, July 15, 2005

I've long suspected it - but now I know it's true!!!

I am allergic to cleaning. Yes, it's true! MK is coming home tomorrow so I decided to give her room a good once over. Right in the middle I started sneezing nonstop and my head completely stuffed up. I'm sure it isn't dust or the concentration of cat has to be the cleaning.

To combat my miserable feeling, I decided to medicate. After downing a Benadryl tablet, I realized that its expiration date was January of this year. Hmmm...maybe I should clean out my medicine box too. But due to my newly self-diagnosed allergy, that could prove fatal. What to do - what to do.

I think that I will go to bed. Later!

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Thanks, Ben

So today I took T. Willy to the library. While I was there I thought about what a great concept the library is. If you're here, I have to imagine that you enjoy reading too, because my life certainly isn't compelling enough to attract a non-reader. I vaguely remembered that Benjamin Franklin started the first library. What didn't that man do? I just love the idea of getting books for free and then taking them back and getting more. Plus I was pretty excited about the books I got today so that made me happy! Not great literature but not beach-fluff either.

I had books to return. So I had to search MK's room and find hers then I found mine and off we went. I knew that they were late, but they were due Saturday when we were in Alachua (if you find that I like typing Alachua, you should hear how much I like to say it "A-latch-oo-uh"). I was hoping that the library had a grace period for the evacuees, but no luck. So, $1.80 later, I was free to browse.

T. was really good at the library. His stroller has an attachment with a steering wheel that has a horn and plays music. After a few glares from the sweet library ladies, I decided it was in my best interest to turn it off. He was not happy with that. But it didn't take long to choose 7 books and hit the road.

The Big Man was at work so we stopped there to see him. He wasn't finished so I sat in the car to look at my books and T. napped. While we waited it started to pour. It rained so hard it woke T. We waited for it to stop and the Big Man invited us in for lunch! I'm not one to turn that down so we got to eat a nice meal together.

MK may be back Saturday. I know she's having fun but it's definitely not the same without her. She got to ride in a Hummer limo yesterday. Hope she can humble herself to ride in the Durango when she gets home.

Thanks to those who leave nice to hear from you all!

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Things are quiet here

It's pretty quiet at our house without MK. T. Willy is in a good mood today. We've done some straightening up and playing outside. T. spent some time in his swing and I raked up some leaves and branches.

MK and G bought a gift for MK's friend, MN, while we were in Alachua. Her family came home yesterday from Georgia so I took the gift over to their house last night. They have a 10 year old girl and a 1 year old boy. Sound familiar? The girls get along really well but the boys don't quite know what to do with each other yet. They just look at each other but don't interact. It won't be long, I'm sure.

Other than that, it's a quiet day. T. is napping now and I'm making a grocery list and will head to Wal-Mart when he gets up. The Big Man is off tomorrow and Friday but may have to go in to do some things he didn't get to do Monday.

MK should be home Sunday and we leave for Delaware on Thursday. My brother, sister in law and I went to the same school and they are planning a schoolwide reunion. I'm looking forward to it. Also, my best friend since childhood, Sha, is scheduled to deliver her 2nd baby on the 22nd, so it will be fun to be in town for that if she doesn't go earlier. NS may stop up with Ava and I'm told that my dad may be sky-diving while I'm there, but I really don't know if I want to see that. Other than that, I hope to relax and swim and eat steamed crabs with my sister in law!

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Another storm brewing??? I'll think about that tomorrow.

We're home! Our trip went fast, I guess because we didn't tack on an extra 3 hours like we did Friday. We didn't have much traffic at all, just some rain in spots. The sights I enjoyed the most were all of the power and tree removal trucks headed our way. Thankfully we didn't need them, but I'm sure there are still people west of us that are grateful for them. I took a few pictures. They tell the story better than I can.

The garden "before"

The garden "after"

The same damage to the same trim we had last year. Our house took the most damage of any on our street. We're on a corner that faces south so it took a direct hit from the wind.

The trim from the front of the house ended up the pool in the backyard.

The Big Man on the left...power trucks on the right.

Power trucks to my right and in my rear view mirror.

T. Willy happy to be home. MK is safely at G & P's house, and Savannah, you can rest can see the healthy and happy cat right behind T's head. She enjoyed this much more than traveling. She shook during the entire trip last year.

That's it for us. Good to be home! Hope you're all well!

Monday, July 11, 2005

Looks good...looks real good

Can you name the movie that produced that line? My favorite chick flick...bad Southern accents notwithstanding.

Well, Dennis hit while we watched the Weather Channel for several hours. If you happened to see it, and you noticed the guy in Destin, FL, you'll have seen MK's favorite shopping center. It's been open for about a year and a half. It has a great movie theater and, more importantly, Build-a-Bear. We are very thankful that we missed a serious hit. We called our home phone many times today and each time our answering machine picked up, so we knew that we had not lost power. The Big Man got in touch with a couple of people from work and they said that the damage is much less than the damage from Ivan. We are going to try to get home tomorrow to see it for ourselves. One dilemma is that the I-10 bridge to Pensacola is closed tomorrow. (It collapsed into Escambia Bay during Ivan - both north and southbound.) The alternate route is a much smaller highway around Pensacola and there will be a lot of people trying to get home. This won't affect us but may give G & P some serious delays.

Thanks for all of you who were praying for and thinking of us. We still don't know exactly what we're going to find, but we're optimistic!

Oh...and did you guess Steel Magnolias?

Sunday, July 10, 2005


We spent some time today exploring Alachua. Ten minutes later...okay, not really but so far we haven't seen much. G & P took Ty for a drive and MK and I went to the grocery store. After the store we decided to go for a drive and caught up with G & P. We saw some nice neighborhoods but never really got off the main drag where our hotel is. So there really may be more out there. The Big Man arrived safely around dinnertime and he is the best for finding fun. So tomorrow we may have an adventure after all. Mostly we spent today at the hotel.

T. Willy isn't sure what to do with himself. At home his life is fairly structured. That isn't to say that I am, but he is a child who likes routine and this has thrown him off a bit. MK is bored but she's making the best of it. G & P have their dog with them, so she's being entertained by Gracie. She's been reading and went swimming with P but has been disappointed because she was supposed to be in New Orleans with her cousin. If all goes well, she will still get to go home with them on Monday.

The Big Man worked this morning and checked the Weather Channel at 4:30 a.m. At that time the hurricane was a "1" and he debated even joining us. The last I heard they said it was only 6 miles an hour from becoming a "4" as it has picked up strength in the open Gulf. We live 30 miles from the coast but we are thankful that he decided to come. Our neighbor stayed at home through Ivan in September when we left. When we returned we asked how it went. He said that it was the scariest thing he'd ever been through. And he was in a helicopter crash as a soldier in Vietnam. He said that he would never stay through another one and moved a few months later.

Loss of life isn't so much a concern as far inland as we are. But we lost many tree limbs, roof shingles and fascia and many people lost their homes during Ivan. We know several people who have only been back in their homes since March and are now facing that again. We are thankful for the stuff we have but realize more than ever - it's just stuff. The most important things in our lives are in this hotel room as I write. (Although MK may argue that's not true, since we didn't bring her cat this time.) Nonetheless, stuff can be replaced. (I want you to hold me to that next week if the only stuff I have left is what I brought with me.)

So there you go. Drop me a line if you can...I'm bored!

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Here we go again

I'm writing tonight from Alachua, FL. It's been a long day.

We went to sleep last night planning to go to the Big Easy with my in-laws (G & P) this afternoon. The Big Man has to work tomorrow, so I was going to follow them and the Big Man would join us after work. Instead, my father in law called me at 8 a.m. and suggested we leave at 9. least I had MK packed because she is supposed to spend next week with them. So I threw some things together for T. Willy and myself and we were ready to leave at 9. Then we sat around and watched the Weather Channel until 9:30 and decided to leave.

We had an easy trip...not much traffic in Pensacola, which we were expecting, and made it to Mobile, AL. G & P were listening to the local news in New Orleans and found out that their parish was being evacuated. So, we turned around and headed for......HOME! Three hours after leaving our home, we were back! Thank the Lord for cell phones. We contacted the Big Man and he was able to find us a hotel room here in Alachua, about 10 miles north of Gainesville. So we stopped at home and ate some lunch and got back in the car and 6+ hours later, here we are.

MK and T. Willy were soooo good. It could have been ugly. She got to ride with G & P. T. Willy rode with me and only cried twice. He has to be exhausted because he hardly even slept. We'll see how he does tonight in the hotel. We came to Gainesville for Hurricane Ivan and we had a great time. It was like a mini vacation. We returned to our house then to minimal damage and power and phone...our cable even came on later that night. We were so fortunate. We know it's in the Lord's hands, so we'll just ride it out and see what happens. Just another adventure.

And...hey to Thom. Good to hear from you. Of course I remember you! I've been following your adventures and saved reading about your trip for tonight so I can take my time!

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Monday, July 04, 2005

It's Independence Day!

Happy 4th, everyone! We normally have some friends and their kids over for eats and fun but this year they are out of town. One couple went to Stone Mountain, GA and I can't wait to hear how it was. They said there would be fireworks all weekend so they may come back early and enjoy the fireworks our own little town offers tonight.

We live in a small town in the Florida Panhandle. Small compared to where we grew up, but not as small as it was when we moved here. It has experienced a serious population explosion of late, but it still has a great small town feel. It seems that everyone in town shows up for the fireworks. Between my former job as a teacher, the Big Man's job, church, and my daughter's various activities, we can't pass many people without knowing some of them. Parades are even better. I've never experienced a Homecoming parade like we have here for the local high school. That's something I like. We have 5 elementary schools and 2 middle schools, but everyone grows up to be a "Bulldog" since we only have one high school. I imagine that will change due to the growth, but it's something we really enjoy right now.

Before the fireworks, the Big Man's folks are coming for dinner, then we'll come back here afterwards for watermelon. Pretty traditional but we wouldn't have it any other way. Various neighbors have been shooting fireworks for the past 2 nights, so I imagine we'll get to see some more.

Hope you all have a safe and fun 4th! Our freedom is something we don't take for granted. What a great country we have!

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Not much going on

The Big Man's parents built a house in our neighborhood and use it as an occasional getaway. They came in yesterday and will be in town for a week. Then they're taking MK home with them for another week. She will love the special attention and getting to spend some time with her cousin. When she gets back, we'll spend one week here, then we're jetting to the First State to visit my family. Then only a week or so and school starts. It just seems too soon. August 4 is still summer!!!! But she doesn't complain when she's out of school in mid-May. Fifth grade and her last year in elementary. I can't even think about it.

MK spent the night with G&P, so we didn't see her until the afternoon. The Big Man was off of work and he and his dad ran some errands. T.Willy was in a rare cranky mood, so he napped early and woke up happy and active. I intended to hit the pool while he napped but turned on the news and was riveted by the rescue of a missing girl in Idaho. Finally I tore myself away from it and did swim until T.Willy woke up. I can't believe how different he is from MK at that age. If I walked into a room, she would follow. He does just the opposite. He can't get out of the room fast enough. He especially loves the bookcase. He pulls books off faster than I can get to him.

G&P came up to our house and the Big Man grilled hamburgers and sausages. We ate inside because the patio furniture was soaked after a torrential afternoon rain, then we waited for the Nascar (can you believe that?) race to start, but it was rain delayed. G&P left and Maddie and I curled up on the sofa with a quilt and talked and watched tv.

Enjoy the holiday weekend!

Friday, July 01, 2005

Getting started

Who we are:

The Big Man - He's the dad, the husband, my best friend. "The Big Man" because his dad used to call him that.

Me - Annette, wife and mom among many other things. I stay at home with T.Willy and will begin graduate school in August. I'm pursuing my Master's in Reading. Along with my "Bachelor's in Communications with a Concentration in English," I should be well qualified to speak and read my native language.

MK - Our daughter, 10 years old. She's an animal lover, artist, big sister and Girl Scout for starters. She loves to write and tell stories and brings sunshine to our lives.

T.Willy - Our son, 1 year old. He was a big surprise and a wonderful gift. We are thankful every day for him and the added fun he's brought to our family.

We've lived in the Florida Panhandle for nearly 8 years after moving around Virginia and North Carolina. We love to spend time together swimming and playing on the new swingset that the Big Man and his dad built for us.

That's about it. Feel free to comment!