Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Our first foray into organized sports

We have signed Claire up to play soccer this coming fall. I'm not going to lie, she is very coordinated for her age and we thought maybe if we started young, we might have a soccer scholarship in her future. College isn't getting any cheaper!

Seriously, she has a lot of energy and loves to "play" soccer at home, so I thought we would just try it out and see. Since she has never actually played soccer with other kids, we decided to do a week-long soccer skills clinic just to sort of break the ice ... and get all of the CRYING out of her system. My word, I never knew that child could cry so much. The first day of camp, she probably ran over to the sidelines crying about 20 times. In her defense, she was one of two girls in the group of about 15-18 kids and clearly the youngest and smallest of the group.

After that first day, she did great. She always left talking about how much fun she had and couldn't wait to get back the next day. I will admit that on Tues-Friday, her "no crying" was rewarded with cookies for her morning snack. I am not above bribery.

Here are a few pictures from camp. And just know that I use the term "skills clinic" very loosely. There seemed to be a lot of running and kicking going on. I like to think of it as an hour of free entertainment.

Stretching is very important in soccer. I'm not sure Claire is getting much out of her own personal stretching technique (in the pink shirt, center).

Time for an end of the day team huddle. Her two high school coaches did not know what they were getting themselves into I'm sure.

An action shot.

More running and kicking.

Still more ...

Yeah! A t-shirt, certificate and soccer ball prize at the end of the week.

Claire with Coach Bryan and Coach Taylor. These boys were so sweet (and patient) with these kids. Claire talked poor Coach Taylor's ear off everyday, but he was always sweet to listen and give her special attention when she got upset.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Will's Famous Shrimp Boil

Saturday night, we sent the kids to my parents' house and had a grown-up party a la Cajun-style. The girls from my bible study group and their spouses came over to partake in Will's famous shrimp boil. It is yummy goodness at its finest. Will perfected this recipe in college and it is a summer favorite. I love it because all I have to do is buy the groceries and he takes care of the rest. And clean-up is a breeze too!

Here is a shot of the guys (minus Carey who was late).

Here is Chef Will at his work station.

Once is it finished, you just dump in on the table and eat. Oh what fun! I see corn, potatoes, red onions, shrimp and sausage. Yum, yum!

The girls! We had to get a pre-meal shot before we got all messy eating.

Here are some photos of everyone enjoying the meal.

Menu Plan Monday: July 27-August 2

Another good week of sticking to the menu plan. First, a quick recipe review from last week. The simple enchiladas were good, but I would suggest adding a package of taco seasoning to the ground beef before you stuff the enchiladas. It needed a little more flavor. Also, the bacon and spinach quiche has A LOT of spinach. I loved it, but my husband who can only eat spinach is very small doses was not a huge fan. I would also suggest placing the pie pan on a cookie sheet to bake just in case a little egg spills over the edge.

In addition to menu-planning, I have also started doing a little couponing to help keep the grocery budget a little lower. I'm not going crazy or anything like driving around to 5 different grocery stores to get pop-tarts for a penny, but I have been watching for sales and coupons on items we use regularly and trying to stockpile those things a little bit. I found this awesome website that lists the weekly sales for local grocery stores and matches them with coupons in the local Sunday paper (and provides links to online coupons that you can print). This week was my first attempt to do a little stockpiling and I only went to the grocery store where I regularly shop, although I was tempted to stop at Harris Teeter too since they were having "super doubles" (doubling coupons up to $1.98).

Here are my sale/coupon results for this week:

Total groceries: $71.63

Total savings: $42.42 (59% savings)

Total out-of-pocket: $29.21

Monday: Leftovers for Will and the kids (I have dinner at my book club meeting).

Tuesday-Friday: out of town

Saturday: dinner out with Will's golf tourney buddies and their spouses.

Sunday: (brunch) Blueberry Sizzle french toast, bacon

Sunday: (dinner) Grilled Fish Tacos, rice pilaf

Check out other menu plans here.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Higher Learning

We took our first trip to the library the other day. Just trying to find a way to beat the heat I guess. Plus, we needed some new reading material.

But who knew that the library didn't open until 10am?? Apparently, there has been a recent reduction in hours in light of our current economical situation. Good thing there was a playground outside to keep us occupied for the 30 minutes we had to wait for the library to open.

We finally got inside and quickly picked out a bunch of books. Claire had a blast. David, on the other hand, was not a happy camper in the stroller, so it was a quick visit!

Of course, we had to get at least one Dora book (on the bottom of the pile). Claire has been so excited about her "new" books and she will actually sit quietly in her room for her "rest time" and look at the books on her bed. I have enjoyed getting to read some new "big girl" stories too. We will definitely return these books in 3 weeks and pick up some new ones. Can't wait!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

David: 15 months old

David was 15 months old last week. I waited until today to post so I could get the official stats from the doctor's office.

Weight: 23 lbs. (30%)
Height: 30 inches (50%)
Head circumference: 20 inched (>97%)

Hey-we grow our babies' heads big, which makes for LOTS of brain power. Speaking of heads, here is a shot of the new haircut. It's still growing on me.

This has been quite a challenging three months with the Big D. I love him to pieces, but he is all BOY. From the sweat and grit to the stinky feet (I'm told that he gets that from his daddy). David is one busy little boy for sure.

Right now, he loves to climb ... the stairs, onto chairs, onto tables (see photo below).
He also loves to put everything in his mouth ... including the Styrofoam fruit see pictured above.

His other favorite activity (when his is not climbing on chairs) is to pull out all the Ziploc bags in our house and throw toys in the dryer when I am not looking. Climbing into the dishwasher and closing doors is also a favorite activity. Did I mention that we should never spend any money on toys for this child.

He plays HARD in the bathtub, and more often than not, there is more water on the floor than in the tub when he is finished. How could you get mad at this face?

He still loves to snuggle with his mommy when he is tired and I could just eat him up. He also likes to look at books, but I can't really read to him because he gets mad if he is not in control of the page turning.

Right now, he says "Mommy", "Daddy", "milk", "bye", "thank you" and this afternoon at nap time I think he said "night, night". He is very good at mimicking the intonation in your voice when you say something and he also likes to scream (for fun) and hum.

But, his very favorite thing to do is spin. Claire loves to dance with Will in the living room after dinner and David will get in there with them and just spin round and round ... until he falls down ... literally. It is the funniest thing I think I have ever seen. We have to make sure he is all clear of the furniture ... or the tile floor in the kitchen. I will try to get a video up soon (if I can figure it out) because it will crack you up.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Happy Birthday Uncle Doug!

Will's brother celebrated the big 2-9 earlier this month, so we headed down to Alabama to celebrate his birthday with a big SURPRISE party.

He was genuinely surprised. Can you tell?

Will tests out the cake.

We got to see some of our favorite Alabama friends at this little party! These silly girls crack me up. Look at them checking each other out. I never did get a picture where they were both looking at me at the same time.

Mattie Moo making a silly face. Claire is not quite sure what to think.

Mommy's friends ... Kaisha and Laura.

Look at all these balloons. If Claire had been outside, she might have floated away.


Monday, July 20, 2009

Menu Plan Monday: July 20-26

We did good this week sticking to the menu plan. Will tried to talk me into going out one night and I adamantly refused and we enjoyed leftovers instead. We did end up going out to dinner with some friends on Saturday night, but we were actually having a freezer meal on that night anyway, so I will just save it for later.

So far, some our favorite recipes have been the Greek Chicken (Will told me no less than 5 times how much he liked this chicken), Ham & cheese baked roll-up and Apricot Chicken.

Monday: spaghetti, salad and bread

Tuesday: A-1 pork chops (i.e., pork chops marinated in A-1 marinade and grilled), roasted potatoes, green beans

Wednesday: leftover buffet

Thursday: Dinner out with our Sunday School class supper club group.

Friday: Simple Enchiladas, rice, corn & black bean salad

Saturday: (brunch) bacon and spinach quiche, strawberry salad

Saturday: (dinner) my small group and their spouses are coming to our house for Will's famous Shrimp Boil. I am going to make this for dessert.

Sunday: (lunch) leftover quiche, fruit salad

Sunday: (dinner) other leftovers buffet or something from the freezer.

Check out other menu plans here.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Our weekend, Twitter-style

-VBS family night at our church. Claire didn't sing. She just stood there. But she didn't cry, so that was an accomplishment I think.

-Ice cream afterwards. This was promised to Claire if she didn't cry during the VBS program. We are all about bribery in our family.

-Watched "He's just not that into you" on DVD. It was okay. Will fell asleep halfway through.

-Took a quilt class on Saturday and made this ... almost finished. (okay, so the lighting is really weird in this picture.)

-Went to the zoo-no pictures since Daddy was in charge.

-Ate dinner with some good friends at Bonefish Grill ... yummy!

-Organized the closet in our bathroom. (more on that later)

-Went to the 50th anniversary at the small church I grew up in Waynesboro.

-Ate the most yummy potluck meal ever ... there were 4 tables of dessert.

-Watched hometown favorite Stewart Cink win the British Open. I was in a wedding with him in 1997. Will played golf against him in high school. Will is not on the PGA tour so you can guess how those rounds turned out!

-Cut David's hair. It was time. No less than 5 people over the weekend thought he was a girl. I hurt me to cut off those sweet little curls. And I forgot to take an after picture. He definitely looks like a boy now. Oh, and apparently this was TORTURE for him.

-Made homemade peach ice cream (this deserves a whole other post entitled "what can go wrong while making homemade ice cream", but this story is really Will's to tell) . It was WORTH all the trouble.

-Did some laundry. Does anybody know how to get the mildew smell out of a washer other than buying a new washer? I am campaigning to get a new one for Christmas, but I still have to wash clothes for the next 5 months.

Fun times ... time to start another week!

Friday, July 17, 2009

A little Friday humor ...

Claire has been in VBS at our church this week so I have kind of had "kids" and "church" on the brain. Then, I found this old email someone had sent me when I was cleaning out my inbox today at work. These are sure to bring a few chuckles.

A Sunday school teacher asked her class, "What was Jesus' mother's name?"One child answered, "Mary."The teacher then asked, "Who knows what Jesus' father's name was?"A little kid said, "Verge."Confused, the teacher asked, "Where did you get that?"The kid said, "Well, you know they are always talking about Verge n' Mary.

3-year-old, Reese:"Our Father, Who does art in heaven, Harold is His name.Amen."

A little boy was overheard praying:"Lord, if you can't make me a better boy, don't worry about it.I'm having a real good time like I am."

A Sunday school class was studying the Ten Commandments.They were ready to discuss the last one.The teacher asked if anyone could tell her what it was.Susie raised her hand, stood tall, and quoted,"Thou shall not take the covers off the neighbor's wife."

After the christening of his baby brother in church,Jason sobbed all the way home in the back seat of the car.His father asked him three times what was wrong.Finally, the boy replied,"That preacher said he wanted us brought up in a Christian home, and I wanted to stay with you guys."

I had been teaching my three-year old daughter, Caitlin, the Lord's Prayer for several evenings at bedtime, she would repeat after me the lines from the prayer.Finally, she decided to go solo.I listened with pride as she carefully enunciated each word right up to the end of the prayer:"Lead us not into temptation," she prayed, "but deliver us some E-mail.

One particular four-year-old prayed,"And forgive us our trash baskets as we forgive those who put trash in our baskets."

A Sunday school teacher asked her children, as they were on the way to church service,"And why is it necessary to be quiet in church?"One bright little girl replied,"Because people are sleeping."

Six-year-old Angie and her four-year-old brother Joel were sitting together in church.Joel giggled, sang, and talked out loud.Finally, his big sister had had enough."You're not supposed to talk out loud in church.""Why? Who's going to stop me?" Joel asked.Angie pointed to the back of the church and said,"See those two men standing by the door? They're hushers."

A mother was preparing pancakes for her sons, Kevin, 5 and Ryan 3. The boys began to argue over who would get the first pancake.Their mother saw the opportunity for a moral lesson."If Jesus were sitting here, He would say,'Let my brother have the first pancake, I can wait.'"Kevin turned to his younger brother and said, "Ryan, you be Jesus!"

A father was at the beach with his children when the four-year-old son ran up to him, grabbed his hand, and led him to the shore where a seagull lay dead in the sand."Daddy, what happened to him?" the son asked."He died and went to Heaven," the Dad replied.The boy thought a moment and then said,"Did God throw him back down?"

A wife invited some people to dinner. At the table, she turned to their six-year-old daughter and said, "Would you like to say the blessing?""I wouldn't know what to say," the girl replied."Just say what you hear Mommy say," the wife answered.The daughter bowed her head and said, "Lord, why on earth did I invite all these people to dinner?"

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Love Story

Today, Will and I are celebrating 9 years of wedded bliss. I thought it would be fitting to write down our love story just for old times sake.

Will and I actually met 19 years ago ... in 8th grade! Yikes! It's kind of nice to know that kind of history about your spouse, but on the other hand, we both got to witness in person the other's awkward years.

So, Will and I met in 8th grade. We went to a small private school so there was only about 50-60 people in our class. We "knew" each other, but I would not say that we were friends. Around 11th grade, we were on the debate team together and we started hanging out with the same little group of friends. My best friends Kaisha and Ginger went to church with Will so that is how we all ended up in the same little group. Fun times!

Will and I started dating in the fall of our senior year. He asked me out to our class hayride/bonfire at Michael Cooper's house. We dated for about 3 months and then he broke up with me the week before Valentine's Day! He was smothered and I was devastated. I just knew he was the man I was going to marry and didn't understand while he didn't see that too. Needless to say, I eventually moved on and decided that maybe Will was not "the one" but that it was someone with similar personalities traits, values, etc.

This is a picture of us our senior year of high school and our jr/sr formal. We did not go together, but I made him get his picture made with me anyway.

Fast forward 4 years. Will was in college at Alabama and I was at Belmont. We had actually stayed in touch over the years just because I had friends at Alabama and I typically ran into Will whenever I went to visit them. I had just ended a relationship 3-year relationship with my college boyfriend (over Christmas break). I had seen Will over the break when he was in Nashville for the Music City Bowl. I sent him a letter (how lame is that) telling him that my boyfriend I had a broken up. He called me that night and invited me to Tuscaloosa for him and his roomies annual Super Bowl Party. I went down the for the weekend and the rest is history.

We dated long-distance until we both graduated from college about 4 months later (May 1999), and then we both moved to Auburn (and drug our roommates along with us) where Will started working on his MBA and I worked on a research grant in the psychology department at the University. We got engaged in August (7 months post-getting back together) and married in July 2000. We moved to Tuscaloosa the summer we got married so I could start law school 3 weeks after we returned from our honeymoon.

This picture is from the night we graduated from college. I found it last night when I was digging up these other photos and it really cracks me up. I drove down to Tuscaloosa from Nashville after my graduation from Belmont. Will and his roommate Cory were having a little get together at their house. Cory, pictured with his girlfriend-at-the-time and now-wife, Amy, has been Will's BFF since they were itty bitty. Cory was a good friend of mine in high school too. Cory and Amy got married 2 weeks before we did.

Here is a picture from our wedding day. Don't we look young and in love?

What I learned from our dating/falling in love experience:

(1) Be patient. God's timing is always perfect.

(2) Be faithful and God will give you the desires of your heart.

(3) Pray for your spouse daily, before you even know who he/she is.

Happy Anniversary sweetie! We have had a great 9 years together and I pray for many more. God created my perfect life partner in you. I love you!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Model Behavior

I snapped this pictures of Miss Claire on Monday afternoon ... I promise that she came up with these moves without any prompting from me.

Baby brother on the other hand is practicing some not so "model" behavior. He moved that chair to the sink and climb up in it all by himself. This boy is going to be TROUBLE!