Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Happy Birthday Adam

It was Adam's 5th birthday this past Sunday. Yeah, you are probably thinking, "Isn't he already five?" That is how I feel. We had a little party for him with the Bartletts and plan on having another little one this weekend down at Bear Creek with the Harrisons. He was precious. Each time he opened a gift, he immediately showed it to Caleb knowing that, in a way, they were for him too. He got LOTS of legos and (as always) some toy dirt bikes. I made him a dirtbike cake for the third year in a row. It wasn't as good as previous years. I had a late night before the party so I was in a bit of a daze while making it. Adam didn't seem to notice though.........he was just excited about the new little toy dirtbikes on top. I can't seem to load the video from the party so here are some pictures instead. Oh my! I almost forgot to mention that it was also Grandaddy's birthday as well. Happy birthday Grandaddy and Adam! We love you!

Since today is Halloween, I thought that I would say a little about this holiday. I think that Halloween is weird. We are going trick or treating and all and I won't go into "redeeming halloween" or anything like that, I just think it is a weird holiday. It is weird to decorate your house with cobwebs, witches, and demons. I just think that the gore is strange. Completely normal folks put tombstones and coffins in their yards to celebrate Halloween.....and their might even be some demon-type thing coming out of the coffin too. Weird. Now don't get me wrong, dressing up is one of my all time favorite pastimes. And I LOVE candy. I just think that it is weird to scare people and such. Actually, I try to avoid scaring my kids at all costs.

So that is my take on it all. Oh yeah, last note, I have also noticed that Halloween has been an opportunity for women to dress really slutty. You could be a slutty firewoman, or a slutty nurse, or a slutty cat, or a slutty pirate.....or you could even just go as a hooker. I have been a cowgirl (a fairly unslutty one) for the last couple of years because it is easy.

There you go. Everyone go put on your slutty costumes and try to scare the crap out of folks this evening. I will post pictures later this week from our festivities. Kiah and Lorie are coming over for trick or treating. Then, Seth and I are going to see the Widespread Panic Halloween show in Asheville. I have never been "out" on Halloween. We have no costumes and it is all my fault. I don't want to be a cowgirl again. Anyone have any suggestions? We need something that is cheap (but not cheap -looking) available within 5 hours from now, comfortable, and slutty (just kidding) Oh yeah, and something that you do not have to explain to anyone. ........Looks like we will be going as our grungy little selves. During college, we always went down to Bear Creek and since we've had kids, we have just stayed at the house. A post may be in order after my experience tonight.

In the meantime, here are some really cute videos of the kids:

This one is Adam playing the drums in Annabelle's pumpkin costume.

This is after the birthday party. The kids had tons of fun sledding down our slope in front of the house. The slope has been something that prospective buyers dislike about our house but they just don't see the sledding potential. You can sled without snow and it evens out just perfectly so that you never hit the deck. Sorry that the videos are so dark.

Thanks for reading and see ya later!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

We go swimming at Cheshire ( the gym where I teach aerobics) at least once a week. They have a 'Mom and Tots' swim on Thursday afternoon and a 'Homeschoolers' swim on Friday. It is a really fun thing for us and helps to get some of the boys' energy out. Caleb and Adam have become pretty good swimmers . Annabelle is fearless in the water and completely wears me out as I try to keep her from drowning. Caleb was exactly the same way. Here are some videos of the boys doing their tricks:

Adam's double flip:

the belly flop:

Caleb's Dive/Flip

Caleb's real dive:

Annabelle and Caleb (you can see how she has gone under a few times. The other is Caleb and Adam with their little friend, Rowan. He is so cute......3 years old and swims like a fish!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


Last Saturday was "RECO" day for the boys. RECO is some land in Black Mountain where our friends go to ride dirt bikes and four wheelers . It is complete with jumps and trails through the mountains. As you can imagine, Caleb and Adam were in heaven. They got up at the crack of dawn and came into my room completely dressed and ready to go. Seth took them and I spent the day with Annabelle. It was wonderful! Since I was not there, I cannot give any specifics, but Seth said it was the easiest babysitting he has ever done. He spent the day sitting in a chair in the back of a truck watching the boys ride. That afternoon, one of their major heroes, Daniel (my cousin) showed up to ride with them. It can't get much better than a day like that for Caleb and Adam.

They usually end the day with a huge bonfire, however the burning ban prevented that from happening.

This is Caleb and Adam taking a break with Mr. Dana. Check out his sweet jeep behind them.

By the way, Adam's birthday is this coming Sunday and he informed me that (for the third year in a row) he wants a dirtbike cake.......with trick candles.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Cute Conversation

As Adam was sitting down at the table for his lunch of chicken nuggets he said to me, "Moma, did you get my ranch?" I said, "of course I did Adam. Ranch for you, ketchup for Caleb. I know you pretty well ya know. Actually I know you better than you even know yourself." He then replied, "I know you too Moma." So I asked him, "OK, what is my favorite thing to do?" He answered, "clean". What????!!!! I suppose that he got mixed up with what I do all day or something. I thought it was cute so I thought I would share.

Early this morning before Seth was leaving for work, we were having a conversation about money and where we needed to deposit checks (Harrison Homes or personal accounts). It was not a pleasant subject and we both tend to be cranky in the morning at times. About fifteen minutes after the conversation ended, Caleb said, " Daddy, you should put the money in that coffee can on top of your dresser where all of the rest of it is." Yep, he was listening and trying to help us solve the problem. It was way cuter in person and it made us both cheer up and chuckle a bit.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Hanging with Lacey

Last Friday night Amie and I helped our cousin, Lacey, get ready for the homecoming court at Owen High School. Uncle Larry and Aunt Carolyn took the boys and Lanie to the Christmount park so that we could have a little "girl time". I curled Lacey's hair and Amie did her make-up. It was so much fun and we reminisced about all of the times we had done it in the past for weddings and other events. I hope that we gave Lacey a little perspective on the whole homecoming thing. You know, it is fun at the time but in the grand scheme of things, it is pretty unimportant......so don't stress over it, just enjoy. Anyways, she looked quite beautiful as she left for the game. Amie and Daddy went and had a great time.

Here is a picture:

(We must be on a hill because I am not that much taller than Amie
..........I mean, yeah, sure I am.)

And it would not be a proper blog entry without a little cuteness from Annabelle:

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Little Girls

I decided that I really needed to post something because my last one was crap. Not that I expect this one to be much better, but it will move the other down the page a bit. Right now Annabelle is asleep, the boys are playing in forts in the big room, we just did some "school" and the house is straightened up so I actually have a rare second to sit here. Actually, I absolutely have a ton of other things that I should be doing but oh well. All that said, here is a bit on what has been going on with the kiddos:

I used to get the question "Have you noticed a big difference in having a girl?" all of the time and I would say, "So far, not much, only that she is much more fun to dress." That is changing more and more and I can't wait for someone to ask me again. I do realize that some of these things probably are the result of Annabelle being a different person from the boys, but I think that they have more to do with her gender. The most striking thing to me is that my ONE YEAR OLD wants to color! WHAT!!??? She can hold a crayon better than the boys did when they were 3 or 4. She also loves books. The boys could have cared less about reading until about last year and they still would never sit around and look at one alone. Caleb just began to enjoy me reading to him. She also pays more attention to clothes. If she finds a shirt on the floor, she immediately tries to put it on. I will look over and laugh so hard because she is walking around with a bathing suit top around her neck. Annabelle is also more excited about Seth than the boys were at this age. She freaks out when he gets home and runs to him. (and I will say she has him wrapped already..... too cute) So there.

My friend Tracy was afraid that her 3 year old boys weren't smart at all because they were so different than her five year old girl. We came to the conclusion that boys just develop at a slower rate than girls in most ways and that Riley (her 5 year old) and Annabelle aren't geniuses after all. On the other hand, our boys could all ride bikes without training wheels at the age of three.

I read somewhere that most all parents think that their toddlers are geniuses and then decide that they are closer to average by the time they are five. hhhmmmm.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Last night I spent an hour online reading information on the MMR (Measles, Mumps, Ruebella) vaccination that Annabelle should be getting at her next check-up. What to do, what to do? As you may know, there are plenty of folks out there that claim the vaccination may be linked to Autism and Crohn's disease. Basically half of what I read said that there is no link and the other half said it is a cover-up by the drug companies who make tons of money off vaccinations and such. Most of you probably know that I am a bit of a conspiracy theorist myself and I won't go into all of that in this post.....or maybe I will. Anywho, I am still undecided, but I am leaning toward skipping that shot this visit. I guess what I gathered from my research is that the Thimerisol in the vaccination can be really dangerous if a child gets too much of it or if they are too small. If we plan a visit to Romania, we will get the vaccination right away though. Anyways, it is one of those many situations where I am so glad that I know God and can find my peace with Him. He is in control. You know you can worry yourself to death about the safety of your children and your crappy parenting skills if you cannot rest in Jesus.

I guess it is the same conclusion that I come to when I get all worked up about conspiracy stuff. I won't go into detail as to call to much attention to my blog but I will say that if you ever watch any of those videos, they are very convincing. Do I believe that the government was behind the 9/11 attacks? Not necessarily. I just know that we have no idea what really is going on. And we should all own a gun (safely contained). And if the government ever shows up at you door and want to take you to a "refugee camp" or a "safer place" or whatever, never go. fight to the end.
And now you all know that Julie Harrison is a little crazy. (By the way, Seth buys into even more than me.) I will have to post again about this when we are grading the new lot because I will have been with "Bobcat Bob".

NEW SUBJECT!!! Speaking of lots and grading........we are hoping to start building in Black Mountain soon. We are buying a lot from our friends, Ami and Dana, and will hopefully be their neighbors in the late spring. We took our house of the market (though it is still for sale by owner) and plan on relisting it in April. I am so happy and relieved. I have come to appreciate our yard and neighborhood more these days and know that it will be a good place to spend the winter. Sure I hate the driving, but that is nothing a new van can't cure. We may even get one with a dvd player and I might just let the boys watch something on trips to BM.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Take a big, deep breath. Now sit back and exhale. Aaaahhhhh. That is how I feel at this moment because we just closed on that darn spec house.

Whew. We can officially close that chapter of Harrison Homes. Now it is time to pay off credit cards and put a little back on our home equity loan.........and then buy a minivan. Neither Seth or I want a minivan but we have to have a car with a third row now. I am tired of buckling three kiddos in every time we load up. We thought about some sort of SUV but then came to the realization that the only reason we didn't want a minivan was because a minivan is uncool. Well, that is a pretty dumb reason. It is really funny, because we had a van about 5 years ago and I had no problem with it at all. I think I was more secure in my coolness because I was only 24 years old. As I get closer to 30, I realize that I am getting less cool by the day. So, though a minivan is not the coolest option, it is the most practical option for a family of five. I tell you what is not cool, driving a little bitty Toyota Camry all over town knowing that more than half of the cars on the road would crush us in a crash because they are so much bigger. So, I am cool with getting a van now. I am actually looking forward to it.

Did you like how many times I used the word "cool". I thought it was appropriate for the annoying content. :)

As for the birthday weekend, I am a bit short on pictures because Aunt Amie is very busy these days. Here is a video from the cake scene:

(It is so cute to watch Lanie sneak a couple of licks too. )

I had forgotten how overwhelming a first birthday party can be. Annabelle did just fine and even unwrapped a gift or two on her own. She had plenty of help from her cousins on the others. It was a really fun time and I will get a slide show up asap.
Love y'all!
We had a little get together with some of our friends from college a couple of weekends ago at Montreat park. It was so much fun to see everyone and for our kids to play together. Caleb and Adam LOVE playing with the Phil and Tracy's kids. They have three year old twin boys (Garrett and Grayson) and a five year old girl (Riley). Phil and Seth have been playing on the same baseball team this year and so we've been hanging out together a lot lately. Garrett and Grayson are as rowdy as our boys and so they make quite the group. Here are some pictures of the gathering:

The kids really liked the toddler area. Tracy and I decided we needed that set-up in our backyard.

Annabelle walked around and snacked the entire time. She liked carrying the bubble container.

Cora is Alex and Joey's little 2 year old. What a cutie! (Alex took all of these pictures. Aren't they great?)

This is Grayson after he ate a cupcake

Adrienne organized the whole event. Thank ya, Adrienne!

Kristi and Daryl Bryant's little one. We actually live just down the road from them so we have decided that we need to hang out more often.

Drew is their 3 year old:

This one is Tracy and me sitting in the shade of the pavillion.

Dana and Eli. I am sure that Eli will be right there with the other rowdy boys in a year or two. Caleb and Adam already have plans to teach him to ride dirtbikes and fourwheelers. They decided that they will pass theirs to him in a couple of years.

Ami, Dana and Eli went on an adventure to eat at the Mexican restaurant in Black Mountain with the us and the McCurry's. Bad decision. It was 7:30 and the kids were spent by that time.......especially Annabelle. She is at the stage where you just have to realize that it is not worth going out to eat. The Bobilyas were troopers and said that they didn't mind the chaos.

Caleb with a bit of cupcake on his face as well.

You should hear this little guy talk! Garrett has the cutest southern accent of all time!
My sweet little gal.

Early, early Saturday morning, Nana and Papa took the boys to the Cataloochie Elk Farm out near Waynesville. They had a great time watching the elk. The park ranger even came over to show them some antlers, fur and such. (So we got our Science lesson in for the week....just kidding) They all had a good time and I got to get ready for the big birthday party.

BubbleShare: Share photos - Halloween contest

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Aunt Nicole just sent me a link to make this little slideshow. The pictures are random since I was just trying it out. Thanks Nicole!
BubbleShare: Share photos - Share your baby pictures

Friday, October 5, 2007


I finally have a little time to write about our adventures in Pigeon Forge. Grandaddy and I took Kiah and my three kiddos over on Tuesday night and then Aunt Amie, Uncle Chuck, Mimi, Lanie and Lucie met us at Dollywood on Wednesday. We had a blast!

Our family (the Bartletts) used to get season passes to Dollywood every summer and so I have wonderful childhood memories of going there. However, Dollywood has grown so much that I barely recognize the place now. There are SO many rides and attractions and it is close to home. OK, I will leave it at this: I was really impressed. The kids loved riding all of the rides and playing in the water park section.

It has been a really long time since I have ridden a roller coaster. I love them! I f you haven't ridden a roller coaster in a while, I highly recommend it. There is nothing that makes you feel more like a kid again than riding one and then running back around to get on one more time because the line was so short. Amie, Chuck and I rode the Tennessee Tornado and the Mystery Mine a few times while Mimi and Grandaddy watched the children. It was great!
Here are a few photos:

The kids at the end of a the day...tired and wet!

The Veggie Tales Roller: You can see Adam, Kiah and me.

Grandaddy, Kiah, Adam, and Caleb on the RAMPAGE! Caleb and Adam's favorite!

Annabelle playing in the water.

Amie took most of the pictures so I will probably post a few more later.

That night Mimi stayed with the kids and me at the time share condo. We went to the Smokey Mountain Knife Works where I almost bought Caleb and Adam pocket knives. Did you just gasp? They wanted them so badly and I think every boy (or man for that matter) should have a good pocket knife........ Maybe just not 4 and 6 year olds. What age do you think would be appropriate? I told a man that worked there that I needed the dullest knives they sold. He looked at me a little weird and said I could buy one and get them to dull it down in the workshop. We didn't have time for all of that so they settled for sling shots and toy machine guns. If you don't have a son, you may think that you would never let yours play with guns or knives. However, they will most likely use sticks as their guns and swords instead. Most little boys are just wired that way. Mine are.

Here is what Seth refers to as the "Westside Militia":

note the machine gun, sword and sling shot.

So, to sum it all up, I think everyone should go to Dollywood at least once in their lifetime. It is fun for all. The only thing we would change about the next trip would be to plan ahead so that Seth could take off work and come with us!!!!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

The boys have changed their minds on what their future occupation will be. They now want to be "tree cutters" when they grow up rather than dirt bike riders. We had some trees taken down in our yard this morning and Caleb and Adam had a blast watching them climb up in the trees and take out all the limbs before they cut the rest down. It was quite entertaining and I found myself out there with them instead of getting some housework done inside. Here is a video of our friend Chris topping the tree:

Chris said that he is used to having an audience, but people rarely take pictures and videos of his work. He probably thinks I am really weird.

Here are the boys watching from the wall in the side yard. I had Annabelle in our fantastic new backpack that my friend Ami let me borrow. I might have to put up a picture of it later so you can see how great it is. Annabelle was crawling up out of the other one (she could wiggle out of the straps) and this one keeps her in better. Anyways, Annabelle enjoyed the action as well. Later Seth worked up a little rope-climbing action for the boys to play around on. It was a fun day. Now we are off to Pigeon Forge with Grandaddy and Mimi for a visit to Dollywood tomorrow. More later.......