Thursday, May 27, 2010

Wanna buy a house?

Grrrrr!  I am so tired of being a landlord! 

Since you are all my friends, I am sure you know all about our Simpsonville problems.  We have the most beautiful house, in the best little neighborhood-that is making us crazy.  When Gil got his job here, we could not sell our house up there.   We rented here in Columbia for a few months-yuck.  Then Gil drove back and forth for a lot of months-double yuck.  Then, we just got too close to Nate being born, so we decided to rent out the one up there and buy one down here.  

We have tenants moving out this weekend-after only about 4 months of their lease.  They have been huge pains in the rear-and Gil has spent HOURS dealing with their slack behinds.  They just told us this week that they are moving out this weekend.  It will be better to be rid of them, but I sure hope we can get someone in it or better yet, sell it quick. 

I keep thinking that this is God telling us to try again to sell it.  It's just such a risk, selling it takes a bit of time, especially in this market, and we can't have it be empty for long.  So renting it is a good quick fix, but not a long term solution, and it sat on the market for close to a year before we rented it out.  We definitely can't afford that.

So, if you know anyone in the Greenville area that is house hunting, boy can I make them a deal they can't refuse!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Weekend Wrap Up

I don't know about you-but it seems like we have either absolutely nothing planned on the weekends, or so much that we can barely squeeze it all in.  All or nothing, baby.

This weekend was of the busy variety-which I really love a lot!  Friday night was Members Night at the Zoo-and it was packed.  That place has a lot of members.  We were able to walk through the new kangaroo exhibit before it was open to the public.  But oddly, there were no kangaroos-just terrified wallabies.  The poor little things were all cowering behind the landscaping.  I'm sure in no time they'll be comfortable, but for their debut-they had some stage fright. 

We also got to go behind the scenes in the penguin exhibit.  The boys got to stand about 3 inches away from a real, live penguin.  We also got to see how penguins poop-yuck.  I might never be able to drink milk again.  I had to keep my hand on Nate, after he almost got bitten by an alligator at the aquarium in Charleston a few weeks ago.  There was a baby one that a handler had out, and the kids were allowed to touch it.  Luckily, the handler had some ninja reflexes, because Nate pulled his tail and the gator turned to bite him.  (Gil and I were in Richmond so this is all second hand information-but it sure sounds exciting).  I wasn't afraid that the penguin would hurt Nate-but rather that Nate would hurt the poor bird.  So, a hand remained on Nate at all times.

Saturday brought us to the lake (as you might have read).  Kristen and Bill had a summer kick off party out there.  It started off very overcast and with a few sprinkles, but the sun came out and we were all nice and pink by the end of the day.  The kids played nonstop and Nate even took a little nap in one of the swings. 

Then Sunday was another busy one.  This morning we had church outside.  Our church does this once a year and it is really neat.  There is only one service, instead of the usual four-and everyone brings chairs and blankets and gets comfy outside.  The only tiny problem is that it was HOT!  After the service, there is a big picnic, with a bounce house and some rides for the kids and yummy food.  Did I mention the heat?  We left there a little stinky.

And to round it out, Sunday afternoon our neighborhood had a picnic.  It was so much fun.  I really love living here and it was so nice to meet so many of our neighbors.  I had no idea so many little kids were around.  I think all of the houses that have sold since we moved in, are now owned by people with kids-and mostly little kids.  There were a ton of little guys under 5 today.  Ben played with a group of boys and Nate stayed closer to us and played with some little girls.  And luckily, the people in our 'hood that don't know us, but hate us anyway were not there-or at least did not attack us (there was a little incident with someone always honking at our neighbors' dog, we ratted them out, then they came to our house and rang the doorbell and I hid-I'm afraid of them!)

Later on, I overheard Ben asking Nate if he had fun playing with the baby group.  I could tell he was so proud that he had been playing with the big kids.  And for once, he was actually playing and they were letting him.  So often, he kind of tries to get in with a group and can't quite make it in.  Either they already all know each other, or they really are too old to play with a 3 year old.  It hurts your heart to see your baby rejected, even though you understand.

And somehow all weekend, I didn't take a single picture.  So here is another boring-picture-less post.  Sorry. 

Saturday, May 22, 2010

A Lake Day

I know this will be one of many this summer, and for that I am over the moon.  We are so lucky to have a great friend with access to the neatest little club on Lake Murray (thanks Bill-and don't EVER quit your job!).  This little wonderment has a perfect sandy beach (no mucky lake yuckiness on the bottom here), a playground, restrooms, picnic shelters, and outside showers.  So much more, but those are the things we like best.  There is also a pool, which we are excited to check out this summer.

A shot of Nate from last year, I don't have any yet from out there this year.  He was kind of easy last year, he would stay right at the water's edge, or in his float-but naps were a mess for him.  This year he will have more of an opinion of what he wants to do, but naps in the morning shouldn't be a problem.

Ben (from last year)-he looks like such a baby.  He absolutely loved going out there, and still does now.  He will stay in the water all day.  He goes back and forth between swimmies and an innertube, and we are looking for some new fun things to play in the water with now.  It is just so nice to be in the water when it is so hot outside. 

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


This afternoon I had a Mayberry moment.  I really love, I mean REALLY love our culdesac.  I know, everyone raves about living on a culdesac, and I never got it before.  The house we picked here in Lexington just happens to be on one, and I didn't think too much about it until Ben got big enough to want to ride on things.  I love that the two wild things can be out there and I don't have to worry.

But I digress-back to Mayberry.  This afternoon, the boys and I were on the front porch (wrap around of course, in true southern style) shucking some corn-I mean, really-who could make this stuff up?  Then we went down and were playing with bubbles.  My neighbor called and asked to borrow some sugar (I'm not kidding), she sent her sweet daughter over with her measuring cup.  They were baking strawberry pies for their 2 younger children's teachers.  Then another culdesac neighbor pulled out of his driveway, rolls down his window, and shouts "Hey Gang".  It all just seemed very Disney movie, without all the scary violence and single parenthood.  We topped it off when I needed to borrow some Parmesan from the sugar neighbor, and she actually came out to meet me halfway in the cutest apron. 

Hello, 1950's-why was I not lucky enough to know you?

In progress

So, about an hour after this post, my friend Jennifer called me (without knowing that I needed a project to work on) and gave me just what I was looking for.  Her little Addie O was born a few weeks before Ben and Jennifer and I shared our pregnancies-through yard sales, that is!  We taught at the same school and commiserated with each other over Bruster's ice cream whenever possible!  She had seen the valentine banner I did for our house, and wanted a happy birthday version for Addie.

(Here is ours from Valentine's Day-and yes, I fixed the backwards a in Nate's name, I was just too lazy to take another picture)

I also did one for our little wild friend, Allie, but I don't think I ever took a picture.

So here is a sneak peek of Addie's-don't look Jennifer....

I'll try to remember to take a picture when the whole banner is finished.  And I hope their mantle is extra long, because this is a really long banner.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Channeling.. inner Miss Spider.

This spider is one great mama.  She has a bunch of little kids, some of them pretty mischievous at times, yet she never loses her pudding (as we say around here.)  She remains calm, cool, and collected.  (And her voice is lent to her by Kristen Davis, one of my favorite actresses out there.)

Seriously, though-the boys watch this show after we pick Ben up from preschool, while I make us all some lunch.  It is one of my favorite kiddo shows and for some reason, one of the only ones that doesn't make me want to give up tv and live in a commune.  When I realize I am getting stressed and snappy-I always try to think about how Miss Spider would handle to situation.  She has her trials-again, lots and lots of bug children all over the place, but things don't bother her.  And when I slow down, and decide to find my inner Miss Spider, we all have a sweeter day.

So, thanks Miss Spider for nudging me in the right direction now and then.

Sunday, May 16, 2010


Oh what a fun Saturday night we had!  The title says it all.  We got together with a great group of friends-you know the type of group-where all the wives and the husbands get along, and actually like each other.  It's kind of rare to find a group that just clicks, and this is one.  If I do say so myself, we are a pretty fun bunch.

Kristen and I know each other from when we lived in Simpsonville.  Our garages backed up to each other in our back alley.  We lived in the neatest neighborhood where most of the houses have detached garages and you got to them down an alley.  It made it so pretty, because the houses just have sidewalks in the front and no ugly garages or driveways to look at.  Our time in Simpsonville was so very strange, but for me, it meant I got to meet Kristen.  And 2 months after we moved to Lexington, she and her family moved right across the lake from us!  If you have read any of my other posts, you have seen Allie, the wild girl featured!  Kristen, Allie, and Bill are on the right side of the picture.

Courtney and I met at the library during storytime soon after our youngest wild things were born.  Nate and Ray are just 2 weeks apart, and Ben and Coleman are about 6 weeks apart.  Neat, huh?  Courtney and I remember seeing each other once when we were hugely pregnant, but I think we were both in survival mode then, chasing after our almost 2 year olds.  Courtney is a drug rep and she has recently gone full time-and we miss her dearly at playdates.  Courtney is in the middle with the white shirt on, and her husband Carl is in the back with the beard.  Coleman is in the front by Ben, and Ray is standing up with the orange striped shirt.

Robin and Kristen met while participating in the MOPS program at a church in Irmo, and they quickly realized that Robin was rushing out of MOPS each time to get to storytime in Lexington with Courtney and I.  Small world, huh?  Kristen made the connection, Robin introduced herself to Courtney and me-and the rest is history.  Robin has long dark hair and a striped shirt on, her husband Michael is holding baby Griffin in the back, and Lincoln is in the red striped shirt with the cute expression on his face.

We started our party late in the afternoon and the kids wore themselves out and brought home half the yard in their shoes.  We did Frogmore Stew and ate a mess of shrimps.  Most of the kids play without too much intervention (baby Griff is bringing up the rear-and Nate and Ray are getting semi-independent) so it's getting easier and easier when we all get together.  Robin and Michael have the coolest kiddo 4 wheeler and the kids all took turns motoring all around the back yard.  They boys were the main drivers, with the pretty girls hanging on to them on the back.  

I really can't express how much fun I have when we all get together.  I have always had good girl friends, but having good couple friends is hard to pull off!  I'm so lucky to have this group in my life!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Last weekend

Last weekend, Gil and I happily headed up to Richmond for the wedding of one of my cousins.  My sweet cousin Matt married his sweet Kate.  Those two are fun!  And their wedding weekend was great.  It was the first time in forever that I have hung out with my side of the family for an extended period of time, and the first time since my sis and I shot out 4 boys that we have all been together kid-less.  And boy did we celebrate.

Here is our group, I think we got everyone in on this one.  Matt and Kate are in the front.  This one was at the rehearsal dinner-at an old train depot-so cool.

Here are the 4 girl cousins (there are 8 of us-4 boys and 4 girls).  From the left are Tara, Brianna, myself, and my sister Rebecca.  And really, I couldn't even put the wine down for a picture?  Had you been there, you would have noticed that to be a pattern.

Here are 7 of the 8 cousins at the wedding (Christoper-Tara and Brianna's brother could not make it).  See the wine?  Notice, everyone else was empty handed-or at least hid theirs behind a relative's back!

I just love this picture.  That's all.  (and it happens to have my favorite person in the world in it-NO, not me you idiots-GIL!)

So, it was getting kind of late in the evening, and there was an open bar, so here ya' go-cousin feet.  Didn't realize how sparkly we were.

Guess it would be nice to show a picture of Kate and Matt, huh?  The wedding was held at Tuckahoe Plantation and it was so very beautiful.  The weather was perfect, with not a bug in site.  We sure can't say that around here.  I think Kate and Matt even had fun, although at brunch the next morning, Kate was saying that it was such a blur-I think all brides can identify with that.


My sis and I

Mom and her girls.  Her allergies were killing her and she couldn't take her sunglasses off.

And just one more.  I can't express how much I realized I love these girls this past weekend.  They live in DC, so we never see them, but I so wish we were closer geographically.  I could have packed both Tara and Brianna in my suitcase and kidnapped them.  And Charlene, I know you hate pictures of yourself, but too bad.  I love you way too much not too have one of you where we could actually see your face!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

I need a project

I have been sort of unsettled lately and I think I need some kind of project.  Unfortunately, creativity is not my strong suit-by any means.  The PJ shorts for the boys, as cute as they were, were not a great fit-pretty small in the waists, pretty big in the legs.  Sort of MC Hammer shorts.  Not exactly the look I was going for.  Nate can kind of wear Ben's shorts, and I say kind of because they look really funny.

I have so much cute fabric in my stash, but don't know what to do with it.  Nothing is really coming to me. 

I think I want to do the kitchen cabinets and all the trim in there, but, whoa.  That is not just a project, but a life choice.

I also want to print and frame pictures of all of us to put up the stairs.  But I am pretty afraid of achieving that not so special Brady Bunch look (which I just googled and those darn Bradys didn't even have pics up their stairs-I have been using a bad reference for quite some time now).  I want to use all large black frames with big white mats.  Not sure if the pictures should all be black and white, or some color-or all color.  Any thoughts?

I also, irrationally, am planning our future guest room.  When Nate gives up his crib-we think we are going to put both boys into Ben's room.  He is in the room over the garage, and it's really big.  Gil and I think it would be fun for them to share a room until they are older and need privacy.  They play with the same toys and have pretty much the same schedules, so we think it will work out nicely.  And I really want a guest room.  I have been keeping my eye out for a queen size headboard that I can paint red.  Nothing fancy, I'm looking at Goodwill and yard sales for something cheap but with "good bones".  I want to do that room in red and turquoise-and yes, boys will be allowed to sleep in there.  I think I am allowed one really cute room-since it's just me and a bunch of boys around here!  I thought about making a quilt for that room, but a queen size quilt would be really expensive to make and would take a whole heck of a lot of time.  And I'm not sure if I could do the quiliting on something so big on my regular machine.  Wow, that turned into a book for something that isn't even happening anytime soon.

So, any ideas for a project?

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Coolest thing. Ever.

I might be the last person on Earth to try this, and I was a teacher of all things. 

Have you made goop with cornstarch and water?  Put about half a box of cornstarch into a big plastic container.  Start adding water and stirring up.  Go pretty slowly with the water.  It becomes the strangest consistency in the world.  It looks like a liquid, but you put your hand in and it feels powdery.  Then you can actually scoop some up, as if it were a solid.  Then when it's in your hand, it sort of liquifies again.  So strange, and cool, but really, REALLY strange. 

If you have kids-try it.  If you don't-still try it.  It is cool.

What are you waiting for-go make GOOP!