So, because I love the random-here are 9 random things.
1. I am a little obsessed with Zumba lately. I just love that exercise class. It's very odd, because there is not an ounce of my blood that is even remotely gifted at anything dance/rhythm/fitness related, but I would go to zumba any day. The music is not what I would purposefully listen to, but I love it while I'm there. When I first went, I didn't even feel like it was exercise, it took me so much effort to do what everyone else was doing, I wasn't even getting sweaty-now I leave drenched and I LOVE IT!
2. Gil's cousin Leigh, and her little girl Alex are here from Canada (they are living there for a few years for Leigh's job at the Four Seasons). We got to see them for a few minutes last night and then we'll get to spend this weekend with them. Yeah. Leigh is so fun to be around, and the boys love playing with sweet Alex.
3. Nate has been waking up in the 5:00 hour for close to a week now. Ugh. That is not good for anyone.
4. This extreme heat is no fun. The boys and I will go outside to play in our pj's at 8:00, and it still gets too hot too fast. I love summer, but let's turn it down a notch or two on the thermometer.
5. I am so excited about Carolina being in the finals of the CWS. What an amazing thing. And to have gone against Clemson was sort of surreal. Big time rivals playing each other for one of the last 2 spots. Wow. Go Cocks
6. If I don't get my hair cut soon, I might shave my own damn head.
7. I am not a super fan of being the captain of our tennis team. I don't feel like I'm doing a great job of it. My procrastinator nature doesn't match up with being in charge of something like this. Good thing it's only the summer singles season.
8. I have been doing so well going to the gym 4 or 5 times a week, but have been baking lately. Hmmm, doesn't make much sense. Want a banana chocolate chip muffin?
9. I am so excited that my beautiful cousin Brianna is coming to visit at the end of July. She is the baby of the 8 cousins and I just love her. And then Becca and her boys are coming at about the same time. I love having visitors to look forward to!
Bored out of your skulls?
To continue the theme of random, here are some random pictures.
*I love summer. Strange, because the heat, it kills me. But I love the nice slow pace of summertime in the south.
*Happy Birthday to Courtney (last Sunday) and Auralee (today). Such nice girls those two.
*We had a great weekend. Friends over Friday night after a night at the lake was cancelled due to some crazy hurricane like weather-which probably cleared up the minute we went back home.
Here are some of the littles-I missed Coleman and Ray somehow....
*Saturday night we all trucked out to Monetta (way out in the country) to see Toy Story 3 at the drive in. That was suprisingly great. The little guys did so well, considering we had to get there about 2 hours early to get a parking spot. All of the bigger littles stayed awake for the whole movie, and the little littles fell asleep quietly in their mama and daddy's arms.
*Father's Day started with a visit from Gil's parents, Mimi and Papa. Leslie joined us, too and we all headed to church to see the kids from VBS sing. I was helping up on stage, so I couldn't see Ben, but apparently, he stood right in the front and yawned the whole time! We ate a nice lunch, all took naps around the house like it was Christmas Day, and ended the day with some very large steaks on the grill.
My favorite Dad...
*The boys and I went to the Marionette Theater on Monday. That is an interesting place. I love the idea of it, but it's never as great as I think it will be. The play this time was Puss In Boots and I would have liked to see a little more action. We wanted to stay for the behind the scenes stuff after the show, but it was so crowded.
*It was very nice to have some water to get into today. It has been so hot here the past week or so, and this week looks like it will stay toasty and roasty. We got to spend the morning out at the lake today and we stayed in the water the whole time-even Emily-the big chicken-got her toes wet! You know it's a good day when Nate doesn't even make it back out to the road awake. I also know that if that kid doesn't let me put some floaties on him, my hair is going to turn gray!
So, I just wrapped up one of my favorite weeks of the year. I really love our church, it's big and huge and I love that about it. Our Vacation Bible School saw about 1800 kids come through between three sessions a day. And it is amazingly well run-I can not imagine how much work happens throughout the year to make these 5 days go so smoothly.
Growing up in Virginia Beach (at least for 4th-9th grade) we had the supreme good luck of having VBS actually on the beach. Each summer, a group traveled around different east coast beach towns and actually did VBS on the sand. I have such great memories of CSSM (Children's Sand and Surf Mission-I think). There was a huge pit dug out of the sand, and that sand was used to make a big mound. Each morning, the leaders got there early and decorated the mound with tissue paper flowers with that day's message. It was beautiful-or that is how I remember it. And all the counselors had funny nicknames. One year mine was "Thud"-I think she was clumsy possibly. I don't remember too much about her, but I really liked her-one of those cool older kids that really did well with younger kids. I think the counselors had a great time participating, and got to go from beach to beach.
Obviously it made a pretty big impact on this kid, who didn't grow up going to church except when I stayed over with friends on Saturday nights. That's probably why I love VBS week so much. Now that I'm an old lady, I'm really loving being involved in church, and I know that VBS really touches a lot of kids like me, kids that don't go to church regularly, but enjoy it when they do. And how amazing to see the hundreds of adults, all there to touch the lives of sweet little kiddos.
Ben got to participate this year and he loved it too. We have been driving around this week blasting our High Seas cd and rocking out. I so look forward to these boys growing up in church, and I know this is one that they will enjoy throughout their young lives.
And on an unrelated note, anyone have a hose?
Ben is the smart one, staying away from the sticky baby.
We hear that several times a day lately. Nate will stick something in our faces and deadpan, "BITE IT". It is the funniest thing. He will also offer his foot on occassion and invite us to "kiss it". Believe me, it's pretty funny.
We went over to the neighbors this afternoon and I took my camera and actually caught the aftermath of "bite it".
I also thought this little series of pictures was so funny. I don't know what made him laugh, but I'm glad I caught it!
So, in my head, I am a chicken girl. Really, sometimes I think I really want some chickens out back. I have no idea why, I surely would not eat a chicken that I had known alive, and I'm not really a big egg eater (although Nate is a different story-the kid loves eggs). And I know, having chickens sounds great, but really-chickens?????-come on!
Luckily, my great good friend Emily has chickens that I can pretend are mine. She and her brood (of kids as well as chickens) live on a big ol' bunch of land and have horses as well as the birds. Emily and I went to high school together in Italy and somehow, with no South Carolina connections at all at that time-ended up living 15 minutes apart in little old Lexington. Strange, huh? During the school year, we don't get to see each other nearly enough-teaching and her kids' activities keep her on the run. And we are still pretty housebound here in the afternoons for Nate to take a nap.
We went over and bothered Emily the other day and took the chickens some strawberry tops, which they really seem to love. They looked pretty funny walking around with them in their mouths, beaks??? see-not really a chicken girl after all.
My little egg lover got to get the days' eggs out of the henhouse. I love how they are all different colors-I don't love that they are sort of covered in chicken poop. Again, not a chicken girl in actuality.
Oops, good thing the ground was really padded with straw! And somehow, even though the egg dropped, the animal cracker was safe (yuck!)
And this was really cute, Brady and Bennett-Emily's guys- were sitting with Ben, holding random books and pretending to read them. They were making up the funniest stories and Ben was mesmerized (Nate was too busy chasing the bulldog around the house-(sorry Sidney)
I didn't get a picture of Madison, she was in and out on the way to work, I'll get you next time Maddie!
The baby monsters come home tomorrow, after spending last week with their grandparents in Charleston. As previously stated, I got nothing real done. Boo. Should have made a list, that always helps.
Gil put together a dvd of video clips-huh???-from Nate's first year. It made me boo hoo-twice. Something about watching the babies while they were babies just gets me. (In the interest of full disclosure, I will know admit that watching Friday Night Lights this weekend also caused the exact same response-wah wah wah).
So, because I miss the little wild men, here are a few of my favorite pictures of them as wee ones.
I'll start with Ben-my amazingly brilliant, getting close to 4 year old. (biased much?)
And for the little monster Nate, my cuddly, energetic, stinker of a getting close to 2 year old.....
Wow, those are some handsome little men. Watching Nate's video made me nostalgic for the baby days, but then I remembered the baby nights-and I'm ok again.
Anybody have a new baby I can smell and promptly return?
This should just be an ongoing series. There are several times a week (maybe a day) that I ask myself, "What was I thinking?"
Today's instance occurred around 2:15. I had a tennis match at 2:00 and about 15 minutes into it I asked myself the famous question. The thermometer on the car on the way over said 94 degrees. Well, that's hot. The first few sets were fine. I felt sort of evenly matched to my opponent. But then, THE HEAT. It sort of hit me and my arms and legs gained 38 pounds each. My shoes began to melt into the ground-and it all went downhill.
All of a sudden, there was a lot of activity from the court behind us, but oddly nobody was playing. A poor woman was suffering horribly from the heat. I guess she began by thowing up (which I had sort of considered at one point, even so far as planning where to do it to be as polite as possible). The group consensus was that she was experiencing heat exhaustion. Not sure what exactly it was called, but she was taken away in an ambulance.
So, today's "What was Amanda thinking" was brought to you by extreme heat and tennis stupidity.
Sally, glad to have shared this miserable experience with you-looking forward to many more sweat filled Sundays this summer.
I have really squandered these non-kid days with watching tv and catching up on quilting/sewing blogs. I was really looking for ideas, and came across pictures of camera strap covers, so I made a quick one....
I used some scraps for the Happy Birthday Banner I made for my friend Jennifer's little girl Addie. And I just remembered that I never posted pictures of the finished banner. It really turned out well, although really, really long. It was so long, I couldn't figure out how to take a picture, so up it went onto the lattice under our deck.
I did get inspired to make a quilt for Nate's bed when he ditches the crib. The boys are going to share Ben's very large bedroom and I want it to coordinate with Ben's Pottery Barn quilt. I thought about just buying Nate the same one, but I kind of want to make him one. Here is one I am in love with from Cluck Cluck Sew. Ben's quilt is light blue, green, and white madras patchwork. So I want to make Nate a circle quilt using the same colors.
So, this is no surprise to those of you who know me, but I am a huge dork. I have also developed a startling addiction to saving money. Startling I tell you. And it increases the dorkiness factor by about 1000. My favorite place to shop and save tons is Publix. I love that store anyway, it all started when we lived in Lakeland, Florida-the home of Publix. Going to Publix in Lakeland is like going to Disney-it feels like the happiest place on Earth. Everyone is so nice-staff and customers alike-it's kind of a parallel universe. It all makes sense since they have no idea if any given customer is related to George Jenkins (the founder) or lives next door to some execs (which we did) or is married to someone that is a big deal-or crap, might even be the big deal themselves. You get the picture.
Since I discovered my new favorite money saving website, Southern Savers, it is unbelievable how much money I am saving on groceries. I focus on Publix, but also get to some others if there are really good deals that week.
Today I went to Publix and spent $14 and got this......
If I hadn't had any coupons, or planned my trip based on the sales, $14 would have gotten me exactly this (they are $6.99 each normally).
And I have to say, saving money is fun AND easy. There are so many great online resources that do all the work for you. So, if you have a few spare moments, check out Southern Savers and make a plan.
The boys are in Charleston for a few days while we try to get the house situation taken care of. We all went down this weekend, and they stayed with Gil's parents. Gil and I drove up to Simpsonville on Monday to get the house cleaned out and ready to show, after our tenants moved out. Or so we thought. Apparently the girl didn't know they were moving out until her (ex)boyfriend showed up with a u-haul on Saturday. And somehow, she still didn't start moving her stuff. So, we got in the next day and luckily it has been taken care of pretty well-except for a bedroom upstairs that has been painted electric pink, with one whole wall painted in very bold black and white ZEBRA stripes. A whole wall! So, we have a little painting to do! We are heading back up there Sunday after she moves out for real, or so we hope.
Crappy cell phone picture, but you get the idea....
--This morning, I had the Today show on in the other room and was kind of listening, while checking email in the playroom. All of the sudden, the soothing sound of Meredith and Matt speaking was replaced by the non-soothing sound of Team Umizoomi! The dvr hates me apparently. Even with the kids gone, I am still listening to their annoying tv shows. At least it made me turn off the computer to pretend I was going to do something productive (ok-so I changed the tv over to The Bachelorette-don't judge too harshly.)