Halloween 2014

I don’t know what Halloween is like at your house, but it is SO exciting around here.  Painting and carving pumpkins, eating mummy pizzas, having permission to go talk to your neighbors, dressing up, getting candy, it’s all just too much.

Samantha’s pumpkin was decorated with an Angry Bird kit.  Ellie’s pumpkin started out very thoughtful, but ended up in an all-over grey color, and I used my 45 minutes to quickly carve a ghost.  Nothing fancy, as each year I seem to have less and less time to do it.

The girls dressed as a cheetah, and Rapunzel (again).  Here are our past Halloweens.


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Lemonade $tand

All summer, Samantha has been dreaming of operating a lemonade stand. I think she got the idea from one of her Highlights magazines. But, there is a young girl who lives a few streets down from us who has a lemonade stand once or twice per summer. I always stop on my way to/from the pool when her stand is open. The girls find it hilarious to stop and get lemonade.

This began her dream.

First, she had to draw it out and get it just so.


Then she had to make sure she had enough money for the supplies. Next, she had to find a free afternoon when someone could take her to the store for said supplies. She decided to splurge and get some helium balloons.  I told her they might cost a lot of money, but she assured me that “Sometimes, you have to spend some money to make some money.”  Yes, dear.  When supplies were got, she got to work.


And she got so excited that she got the rest of us to join in.


The little venture was much more profitable than I would have imagined: maybe because we were under a heat advisory and it was literally 100 degrees outside, or maybe we just have really nice neighbors. Either way, she had a blast.  And I hope she learned a little too.

Summer 2014

On Friday, August 1st, I thought to myself, “Whew.  I made it.”  Months in advance, I have to plan out the summer, arranging for camps and activities for the kids.  We are on the home stretch now, as the last week of summer is Mom Camp.  More on that later.

We started the summer with the Balloon Glow.


And some dress up from the favorite new movie.



We’ve done A LOT of this:


In fact, Samantha learned how to jump off the diving board this summer.  It’s about time.

This one, on the other hand, has been doing it (with her float) for a while:


She has had a few lessons this summer, and might be a fish, just like Samantha.


We haven’t done enough of this:


We’ve also seen most of the children’s shows at the library.  Samantha got picked to be a volunteer in every show that made requests. This one was Billy Jonas.  It was a new show for the library, and what a wonderful surprise!


And we couldn’t miss Roger Day!


The girls have spent lots of time on this:



And even got to ride on one of these:



And because we didn’t already have enough going on, we scraped the popcorn ceiling off in 4 rooms.



I think that about sums it up.  I didn’t intend to let the whole summer go by and not post.  Hopefully, this summer in pictures captures it all.  School starts next week!

Only a Dusting

At 9pm on January 27, 2014, we were predicted to have a dusting of snow for the following day.  Schools remained open, everyone went to work, and life carried on like normal.  Oh. Boy.  Here are the highlights.

Overall, we faired very well.  The girls were picked up from school by the hero, Aunt Lauren, and taken home.  Brian and I finally arrived a few hours later.  By some freak of nature, we both had plenty of gas, water bottles, coats, all the necessities needed in the event we got stuck.  I was supposed to go to Nashville later in the week, so I had a decent amount of food in the house for Brian and the girls.  I had even gone to the grocery store on Tuesday morning after I dropped Ellie off at school.  Had I known that it would have been a significant trip, I would have bought a few things differently.

At any rate, we hunkered down and enjoyed a few days with our houseguests (Brian’s sister and her son, while her husband spent the night at his office) and our unexpected snow.  We got at least 1.5″ to 2″ at our house.  The strange thing?  It was such a dry snow that we couldn’t pack it!  All day Tuesday and Wednesday we couldn’t make snowballs or snowmen.  It took until Thursday afternoon to be wet enough to pack it.  That kind of snow certainly doesn’t happen here normally.  As of Friday night, 4 days later, it is mostly all gone at our house.  There are still patches of ice, and stranded and wrecked cars still litter the roads.  Crazy.







Lunar Moth Cocoon

We had some dead trees / limbs cut down this past weekend.  I don’t think it looks drastically different, except out the kitchen window.  There is still plenty of shade.  Maybe next year we can afford to cut some pine trees.  So, I was outside looking around when I heard a clicking sound.  I thought it was another chipmunk digging in my rock wall.  (Which, by the way, there is some type of hawk that recently inhabited our woods.  It’s keeping the chipmunks down, thank goodness.)  But, I finally discovered that it was a cocoon.  I knew that it was close to hatching if it was making that noise.  I quickly gathered it and called to Sam to get her bug jar.  The next day, it hatched into a lunar moth.  She had a hard time leaving it alone: “But it needs food and water. I want to hold it.”  Poor thing.  It had just hatched.

I lit the tiki torches and my lemongrass candle.  (I have too much shade for real lemongrass, or citronella, or scented geranium, etc to keep away mosquitos naturally.  Go figure.)  The moth eventually started climbing on my candle, so I quickly blew it out.  It hung out there for a while flapping its wings.  Later that day, I saw some type of bee eating a part of a lunar moth wing.  I hope it wasn’t our freshly hatched moth.