Friday, December 24, 2010

Friday, December 3, 2010

There Really is Free Lunch!

We got a surprise invitation from Brooke's pre-school. It turns out the parents of one of the older kids there is a managing partner at Carrabbas, an excellent Itialian restaurant. All the 4 and 5 year olds and their parents were invited for lunch! Complete with a visit from Santa! The food was fantastic and we all had a wonderful time. And I found out that Brooke is a social butterfly. Her friends all came to see her at our table and she had great fun playing with them.

Here is The Gang visiting their teacher (and her 2 yr old daughter) at her table.

Last year, Brooke had only been home 4 months when she started seeing this fat guy in a red suit everywhere she looked. Who in the world was he? Now she knows who he is and what he does and she is a BIG fan. Ha! She wasn't shy at all about hopping up on his lap. (What a great Santa he was!) But, she completely forget to tell him what she wanted for Christmas in all the excitement. She remembered that little detail on the car ride home and started to get all upset. I explained that she can send him a letter. Thank heavens she calmed down! Ha!

One last buddy picture before we headed for home. Can you believe they are in the same class?

After finding out she could write Santa a letter about Christmas, she zonked. What a nice afternoon!

Tomorrow we head to the brewery for their family holiday party!! The kids will get to see the Clydesdales up close and then tour the brewery. The girls are very excited, especially Olivia, who has vowed to "work with her father". (Brooke says she's gonna be a dentist, so I figure she'll just take over Uncle Dave's practice when he retires. How convenient!)

Saturday, November 27, 2010

New Haircut!!

Olivia has been saying for weeks that she wants short hair. She had decided she wanted her hair cut like Brooke's. (And Brooke had decided she wanted to grow her hair out like Olivia's...) I figured I would wait and see if she was serious or not. Well, she was! So, today we went to the beauty shop. Olivia was SO excited!! Here is the traditional "Before" picture...

Snip! Snip! Snip! (by Cathy, Super Beautician!) At one point, Cathy thought she was done but Olivia said no - shorter!!

Olivia got all kinds of compliments from the grownup ladies at the beauty shop. She was GLOWING! Here she is immediately after "surprising" daddy with her new look! Do you think she's happy??

Here's the left side view. I was amazed at how well her baby-fine, thin hair stacked with the extra length cut off!

Here's the back - very short!

And the right side view.

Olivia's new big-girl look!! Brooke will get her's shaped up after we decide what she's really going to do... long or short?

Oh! Here's what Brooke finally decided on!! How do you like her new look?? Ha! This is a Halloween wig she dug out. What a hoot!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving from our house to your's!!!

Olivia was SO excited about Thanksgiving!! She even volunteered to clean the potties! And she was happy about it! (I will keep this picture to remind me of the one day she did this!)

Brooke helped daddy put together the extra table we needed! She's great with power tools!

We were all ready to cook!

The girls' annual Turkey Portrait!

The family (minus Mark, who is snapping the picture).

And Mark with his "new do". Ha! I just don't see him as a spiky blonde...

I would write more, but I have an extremely cranky pre-schooler on my hands. No nap and lots of turkey and excitement have made Brooke and unhappy girl!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

It's Thanksgiving Time!!

And that means it's time for Olivia's very first official school play!!

Olivia was a "Pilgrim Woman". She declared she wanted to be turkey because she could do the turkey "strutt", but she had to settle for being human. The day before the play, one of the turkeys was absent and Olivia was appointed to be the official "turkey understudy", but alas - all the turkeys turned out for the perfromance.

It really was a cute play! The kids sang and told the story about the first Thanksgiving. They put a lot of effort into it and it showed. A fun time was had by all.

Here are the Pilgrim Men and Pilgrim Women...

The Pilgrim Women and the Corn (who said "Pop! Pop! Pop!")

And the Indian Women and Indian Men. The Indian Women would shout, "Go Braves!" I didn't get a shot of the turkeys because they kept to the sides of the stage (and a large woman with big hair was sitting in front of me). But the turkeys were great looking. They had dark, 33 gallon garbage bags for bodies, which were stuffed with newspaper, and they had huge, long, multi-colored tails which dragged on the floor.

A smiley and proud Olivia and daddy after the performance.

A good family picture. Brooke stood still long enough for one good shot. She was bored and wanted to leave NOW.

One of the two giant cornicopias that Mommy painted on the kitchen table!!

Are we ready for Thanksgiving? No, not yet, but we have a family rule for keeping it simple so it won't be a hassle. We have new carpet (I still gotta post those pictures), a new sofa that doesn't smell like dogs and a freshly painted sunroom, so most of my work is done. Yeah!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Pre-Halloween Pics!

For Grandma Helen, who has checked this blog every day for the last 2 months, hoping for new pics... here are the girls!! (Now I have to quickly grab a needle and adjust both their pants, since they're falling off! Eeek!) I especially love the kissy-giggly pics at the end.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Who Cares about Halloween? McRIB IS BACK!!!!!!!!

Yes! McRib is back and that makes me soooooooooo happy!!!! I didn't expect to get one until Tuesday, the official release date - but our local McDonalds had their signs up today!!!!!! We were going to be good and go home for soup after church, but when we saw that sign - plans changed on the spot!!

My tummy is VERY HAPPY!! In honor of my late mother, who LOVED McRibs also, we said a "toast" to her memory before we took our first bite. (argh! it keeps loading my picture sideways!!!!)

I'm hoping to get back to blogging now that I'm done with the new carpet (it's so fun to move everything off the floor!), frig, painting the sunroom and making the girls' Halloween costumes (remind me NOT to volunteer to sew again next Halloween). Here's a sneak peek of Brooke in her costume. She got to wear her's to preschool for her Halloween party on Wednesday. Olivia's is identical, but in purple.

Friday, September 10, 2010


Olivia's birthday was on the 31st. It was a school day and she was none too happy about having to go to school on her birthday. But she survived. A week before her birthday, six gorgeous roses were delivered. She LOVED them! They were from Lori and Chuck, her godparents (who were winging their way to Europe). When Lori found out the flowers had come a week early...

(Yes, I know the picture is sideways, but Blogger keeps loading it that way.)

She made sure another bouquet was delivered at the correct time. (You don't mess with Lori.)

Because Olivia's birthday was on a school day AND Daddy was working afternoon shift (so he'd be gone when she got home from school), we did the cake and candles thing before she hopped on the bus. Here's her home grown cake (red velvet with cream cheese frosting)...

And some of her decorations, which stretched from the kitchen all the way into the family room.

Here is the birthday card she made for HERSELF.

Happy Birthday, baby girl! Well, not a baby anymore - SIX years old! (Didn't we just bring her home from the hospital the other day?)

She managed to blow out all her sparkler candles in one breath!

And best of all - she had cake for breakfast (which she told her whole class about)!!!

She opened a few presents and then she had to go to school. Conveniently, it was her class' day to go to the Book Fair, held in the school library. Parents are invited to meet the kids and attend the sale with them (sort of like deliberately taking your kids down the candy aisle at the grocery store). So, I got to join her for the book fair and have her pick out some birthday books. At one point kids were coming up to her suggesting books for her to buy, like they were commissioned salesmen. I finally had to send them away, explaining that books are expensive. One little boy got all puffed up and explained to me, in no uncertain terms, that "it is her birthday and she can have whatever she wants!" WHAT?! I went home and took over with Brooke and then... Daddy got to eat LUNCH with her in the cafeteria and pass out her birthday treats! (For some reason she was put in the "allergy" class even tho she doesn't have any allergies. Anyway, it makes treat time really easy because all we're allowed to bring for the "allergy" class is... popsicles! Yeah!) Then Daddy had to go to work. We went to the Mexican restaurant that evening for dinner. She wore her birthday crown from school. The waiter took note and brought her this - a "topless" cup! (That's what she calls a cup without a lid. Lidded-cups are the kind of cups "little" kids use.) She thanked him profusely for bringing her a "big girl" cup. She said it MADE her day! I just prayed she wouldn't knock it over...

Then the wait staff brought her a soapapilla (fried, and covered in honey and cinnamon - yum!) as a birthday treat and sang to her. She was speechless and then sucked up all the whipped creme.

After we got home she tore open the rest of her presents and seemed very happy with her birthday booty. Now she's an old lady.

We waited six days and then it was - Brooke's birthday!!! On Labor Day, no less! Because it was a holiday, we were able to have some family over to celebrate with us. Since cousin Ivey had had a birthday at the beginning of August, we had a triple celebration.

Here's the very happy birthday girl with her crown!

And here's Uncle Dave with his stylish hair! (Yeah, it keeps loading the pic sideways.)

We had ham and corn on the cobb and potato salad and lots of good things to eat.

Counsin Ivey kept trying to get out of the pictures, so I took another of her just to get even.

Thank you to Publix for a delicious cake (chocolate with cherry filing)!

Brooke was so excited about her birthday!! Since she'd just watched Olivia get all the attention and presents, she was happy that it was HER turn. She didn't even mind sharing her birthday cake with the other girls.

.........................Huff and puff!!!!!!!!!!!!

And there goes the frosting! (She left the cake, as usual.)

..........................Uncle Dave...

...........................................Big Sissy!

....................................Present time!!!

Ivey, Brooke and Olivia (the birthday girls) on the playgym.

Olivia got a mosaic art kit for her birthday. It's like a paint-by-numbers kit, but it has tiny foam tiles which are sticky on the back. The picture forms are numbered so you know exactly where to put the different colored tiles. Brooke has wanted that set for herself from the moment she saw it, so I was VERY happy when I went back to the toy store and found a mosaic kit for her age group. Plus, she can wear her creations!

Of course, Olivia isn't going to pass up a chance to wear a crown!

Daddy is happy wearing his improvised bunny ears.

Olivia really wants a party with her friends, so we have promised both girls we'll do that soon. (It's the birthday that never ends!) We're all birthdayed-out until the end of the month - when it's Daddy's turn!