Monday, June 28, 2010


Since I haven't ventured out in the world to live anywhere besides the Asheville area, I try to redeem my coolness by telling people what a great place it is to reside. Asheville is beautiful. It has a great live music scene. It is diverse and artsy. It has good weather. And now it even has a little water feature to play in called "Splasheville". We took advantage of the downtown scene Friday night by playing in those new fountains out in front of the courthouse and then walking over to the drum circle later. It was a fun night, although we definitely stayed out tooooo late and paid for it the next day with some cranky kids.

My friend, Cristy, and her son, Oliver, met us there. He just turned two years old and is about the cutest thing I have ever seen! None-the-less, I was reminded how tiring it can be to run after a boy at that stage and was thankful that mine are older. I made sure Cristy knew that I felt parenting gets easier as they get older. I remember someone telling me that when the boys were little and it was so comforting.

Oliver brought a balloon that proved to be great entertainment when Caleb could get it caught in the fountain......which he mastered.

Annabelle was very timid but gradually got a little wet and was so proud of herself after the fact. She came running back to let me know that she had gotten her bathing suit all wet!
Oliver jumped to Adam and then to the ground close to 50 times before we left.
Then we headed over to the weekly drum circle at Pritchard Park to dance a little and watch a lot. Annabelle and I loved all of the hula-hoopers while Adam was dying to talk to the guy dancing with a SNAKE around his shoulders. It was an interesting scene to say the least but fun stuff I tell ya.
Oliver climbed his little tree until some lady told us to stop because it might break. Those Asheville folks just loooooove them some trees!

Cristy and I were talking and realised that we could actually go see free live outdoor music every night of the week except Wednesday between Park Rhythms, Concerts on the Quad, Groovin' on Grovemont, Downtown After Five and Shindig on the Green. I told you Asheville is great!

We are on it. See ya there!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

This year taught me, once again, that I should lower my expectations for accomplishing things on beach trips like blogging, or running, or learning to play the banjo (all things I really considered putting on the "to do" list that week). For some reason, I think, vacation equals free time sooooo, what can I get done? But then there are the three children that keep me pretty busy not to mention that I am with a bunch of my favorite people who I just want to hang out with all night long. I did accomplish one thing though. I got my blog transferred in a book and ready to order. Granted, all I had to do was enter the address and choose the book cover, but now I have the last 3 years in print and saved just in case crap hits the fan and computers fail us. This has made me refocus on using the blog as a record of some of the little things I hope not to forget as my kids grow older.

For example: As we were pulling into the driveway this afternoon from a long day of tutoring, swimming at the pool and then grocery shopping (which I surprisingly survived again without drop-kicking anyone or losing my mind) I told the boys that after they helped me unload the groceries, they were free to go play or even watch a video to rest a bit. Adam announced, "I am going wait, I am going to go do whatever Caleb does!" I know it sounds simple, but it made me smile as they ran off together. It sums up how they prefer to be together and rarely ever separate. And I love that. I love it despite the fact that it doubles the risk for mischief. They did end up running around in a downpour and getting really muddy together. The good thing now is that they are old enough to strip down, throw the wet clothes in the washer for me later and dress again with little mess made in the process. This picture is what they are up to at the moment......bartering SillyBandz . which are all the rage with their age group lately.

I have got to come up with something stupid like rubber bands in the shape of things and convince kids they are awesome and the cool thing to wear so that I can make a ton of money.

Here are a couple of pictures from Amie's birthday party on Tuesday night. Our friend, Carrie, and I coordinated the event and it seemed to be a successful evening. We had lots of good food, friends and wine...... which makes for a nice party. After working out together in Amie's class at the gym, we met up at Carrie's house a little later for the festivities.

Each person wrote a word (or two) to describe Amie on the mat of a picture frame and we are going to put this group shot in it for her! It was a sweet time for everyone to tell their word and why they chose it. Lots of folks sure do love Amie!

Speaking of not getting things accomplished, the boys went to day camp last week down in Atlanta with their cousins. Aunt Angie is super awesome and lets them stay with her the entire week giving me some time off. I did get the house completely cleaned up and cleaned out and listed on the market (once again) but beyond that, Annabelle and I just hung out. The boys had a wonderful time swimming and canoeing and all that fun camp stuff. Here are a couple of pictures that I snagged off facebook:

The other day, Annabelle made a drastic change in her outfit choice as we were leaving for the gym. I thought about saying something but then decided that
I. did. not. care.

The kid didn't wear a sweater all winter long without a battle. Now she pulls one out when it is 80 degrees! Whatever....she is back to the same 2 dresses now.......still wearing socks though.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

More Beach Pictures

The first thing I thought when i saw this picture is "WHOA, the boys are getting so old and tall!" It seems like yesterday they were little toddlers kissing my pregnant belly with Annabelle inside in the picture on the beach. I think they will catch me in height within a couple of years.

Can I just tell you what a sweetheart Lucie is? She is the kindest little helper and friend you can imagine! She is always sweet to Annabelle even when the latter is tired and cranky and not being too sweet to her. Lucie also loves to clean and tidy things up (just like her Moma) and everyday she took it upon herself to spray off all of the beach chairs and toys when we came in. Why couldn't one of my kids be just a little like that!?
Adam loves this necklace that Nana brought home from her Kenya missions trip last summer. He hasn't taken it off in months! His nose is peeling from our first day when I didn't reapply sunscreen very diligently.

Siblings pose

I am so glad that we got at least one picture of Annabelle crying. She cries a lot. And I rarely think to get pictures of that, but sometimes it is good to remember those times as well. We are still in that "stage" that I am hoping will be over soon, where she flips out a lot especially about clothes. Every single day I had to discipline her to get her swimsuit and sunscreen on. It was tiring but Mom stepped in and helped me with her often. My kids were a two-man job most of the week so I was always asking a family member to watch or help.

Annabelle loved wearing Lucie's bathing suit that matched Lanie. OK, she maybe liked it at times because of course, she usually hated putting it on.
Here we come in on the kayak.

Here is Adam studying his critters again. He loved that net and caught lots of crabs and minnows with it.
Aunt Leslie also helped with Annabelle at the pool and swam with her a lot.
Kiah reading the girls a bedtime story.

the goofy siblings pose

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Topsail Island, NC

The Bartlett beach trip was wonderful as always this year. Aunt Leslie flew in from California for most of the week and Aunt Teresa came and stayed a couple of nights with us. Seth and Uncle Paul couldn't make it because they had to work and we missed them very much.

This year we stayed in a house on the beach that had a POOL, a hot tub and a foosball table. wow. What luxuries! We divided our time pretty evenly between the ocean and pool. It was so nice to have both.

Annabelle at the beach at the age of three is much different than the boys. I had to constantly be in the ocean with the boys lest they drown themselves as a result of their fearlessness and reckless abandon when they were two. At three, they could handle things on their own pretty well. Annabelle, in stark contrast, has to be persuaded down to the water's edge and timidly sticks a toe in a little at a time. The boys have always been completely content to swim and play in the sand for 8 hours a day and all I really had to do was watch and feed them when the time came. Annabelle was a little more "hands on" so to speak. I had to literally force her to put on swimmies and get int the pool everyday. About half the time she would finally get comfortable and swim around on her own. The other half she ended up just getting out and hanging around while everyone else swam. It is going to take some serious work this summer to get her swimming. Ugh.

Adam spends a lot of his time studying little creatures, but I think he is just looking at shells here. He had been saving his money to buy a hermit crab at the beach for a while and was delighted to finally get a couple.
Annabelle and Lucie running in the waves.

Caleb and Uncle Jonathan played some baseball on the beach. Aunt Lorie found this really awesome catchers mitt for him and he was excited to break it in.
Doesn't he look so grown up?

Uncle Chuck rented a kayak so we all took turns taking it out on the water. We had to learn how to paddle in quickly without turning sideways and flipping over in the waves. It was pretty funny.....especially when Amie and I came in.

That is our house right behind Jonathan's paddle.

We also went crabbing a few times down at the end of the island.
The boys loved that, especially Adam, who has the patience to be pretty good at catching them.
He even ate them with us each evening.

I think it is safe to say the older kids swam for at least 8 to 9 hours each day.
They were exhausted in the evenings.

We played Bocce Ball on the beach and had some fierce Foosball games in the house. Beth is the best foosball player and dominated the games.

Look at Caleb in this picture. He was so mad because we made him quit playing Bocce ball to pose with the kids in this picture.

This was the end of our dock. It was a great place to hang out.

On Sunday, Seth took the boys down to Atlanta for a week of Camp Cherokee with Aunt Angie. It is just me and Annabelle and I intend on getting about 100 things accomplished this week while I have spare time on my hands.
I had better get to it.
More pictures to follow.......