Monday, December 26, 2011

Staying Busy

Warning: There are no pictures of children in this post. If you want to see pictures of children playing happily with new toys, you will need to wait a day. :D

Christmas is over and done with. It is only the day after but since we celebrated early, on Friday, it seems like more to us. After the opening of gifts my house looked like a bad day at Toys R Us.
As seen here:
That isn't even the half of it really. Since we celebrated early, the children were able to go out and spend their Christmas money and gift cards on Christmas 'day'. I didn't even photograph the kitchen after bringing all of Grandma Orr's goodies home. The mess was driving me crazy.

Usually I plan ahead a bit and clean out the kid's toys before the holiday. This year, I just didn't get it done. No excuse, just laziness. Today though we went to Target (to spend more gift cards and money) and I planned to at least buy a clear, plastic box for all the little pieces. Imagine how stoked I was to find that this baby was on sale:
Oh yeah, that is more like it!! I took it home and got busy in that weird extra room we have. I think it's a mud room - whatever. It is a toy room now.

And voila!
Believe me, there is a very organized method to that madness...

I need a bigger shelf unit for the extra large toys, but this will do for now. At least they are out of the way where they can be seen.
They still have a big green tub with the big toys and cars but this is still so much better. I finished around bedtime and neither Dillon nor Ayden wanted to go to bed. They were both wailing because they could finally find the toys they wanted to play with, and they wanted to play!! (Go figure) I hope this makes the rest of the week go much smoother. My house certainly looks better.
Now I just need to catch up on my laundry. Ick.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

A Sad Tale

I love this season and we are building traditions here that I have truly enjoyed. One tradition has been the pumpkin patch. We've gone every year since we came to Virginia. Yesterday, we decided, a bit last minute, that it was probably the only good time to go since next week will be busy with a birthday and anniversary. We loaded up in the car and headed over to the patch. This year though we did not see the sign for 'all you can carry' pumpkins for $20. Odd. So Bobby asked the man about it. He said the hurricane in September really did some damage to their pumpkin harvest and they just didn't have the stock this year to offer that. We were a bit bummed, but no big deal. We boarded the tractor and went for our ride. The view was the same, beautiful.
We drove past the same horses and chickens as every other year. However, when we got to the pumpkin patch there were no pumpkins growing from the ground. They had been placed there. Instead of vines and pumpkin blossoms there were just tall mounds of grass. There were plenty of pumpkins to choose from, but there were also a lot of pumpkins that were crushed and some were even moldy. Poor pumpkins. Luckily, all the kids managed to find a suitable one to take home.

Look at all that grass... no vines anywhere. And the broken pumpkins! So sad.While we were out there was a beautiful view of the sun's rays shooting through the clouds, I had to try and capture it even though I only had my phone.
We still had a great time and hopefully, next year's crop will look better.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

You Can Curse Around My Kid Any Time!

Well, just kidding. Please don't use bad language around my child, or me for that matter but... a funny thing happened last night.
Way back in July I purchased a Groupon coupon for $15 for two hours of bowling for two, shoes included. I thought it sounded like a great date with my husband, something different. Well for whatever reason we never used it and it was about to expire.
I decided to take Caleb with me. I gave it a lot of thought. Brooklyn and I like to watch cheesy girl TV shows together. Seth and I like to read together. Of course Ayden and Dillon demand a lot of attention. Caleb gets the short end of the deal and he loves to do physically active things. Actually, once I gave it some thought, the choice was not so hard.
Caleb when we first started bowling.

We showed up around 4:30 ready to bowl. The place was pretty empty just as I figured it would be on a Monday afternoon. A father and son were way down at one end and another man had just come in with his four bowling balls to practice. He was away from us too. However, the little shop where they sell balls and towels was right behind us and a bunch of men were hanging out. One seemed extra, how can I say this, comfortable there? I don't know if he worked there or just hung out. He was sitting at table behind us and yelled a bad word. More than once. It was a pretty bad word, one of the worst. I turned and looked and Caleb. He and I made a face at each other but we continued bowling. I did turn around from time to time to see what those guys were doing.
Before I knew it the manager walked up to me and apologized for the bad language and gave us a gift certificate for a party of ten for two hours, including shoes. Wow! That is a pricy deal he just handed us. The cussing was brief, the guy did walk away from us and he wasn't cussing AT us, but I really liked to see this guy trying to make his establishment family friendly. It was clean, everyone was so helpful and I'm excited to go back again with my entire family!
Caleb and I pretty stoked about our coupon!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Theme Song Time!

I spent my early years living in an apartment. I fantasized that the entire complex was my mansion. The apartments were right in the middle of a very nice neighborhood and I grew up imagining that I would live in a house like that someday.
In fact, it was the neighborhood on that show "Reba". I lived across the street from the high school that the show refers to all the time. We did finally move into a house but it didn't look anything like the houses I had admired that all my friends lived in. It was a small house in a neighborhood where all the houses look the same and the garage is half the house. There were no trees in this neighborhood either. Everything was very plain, pretty much like this one...
I didn't lose heart though. I knew one day I would marry a very rich man and we'd have a super huge house that would hold the ten children I would have. I would be a stay at home mom and sit at the kitchen table talking to my kids when they got home from school. I would drive them to their football and swim practices and music lessons.
Well, that didn't happen, at all. And that is perfectly fine with me. I love my husband, I love my kids, I love my life and I do like our house. I was riding in the car the other day and an old favorite came on the radio. It was "Our House" by Madness. I remembered when it came out, and we were living in our little apartment, my sister told me that the house in the middle of the street was always the biggest one. I always believed what she told me. Now I live in a house that is in the middle our street. So, I've decided that this is our family's theme song! I particularly like this part...

Our house it has a crowd

There's always something happening

And it's usually quite loud

Our mum she's so house-proud

Nothing ever slows her down

And a mess is not allowed

Father wears his Sunday best

Mother's tired she needs a rest

The kids are playing up downstairs

Sister's sighing in her sleep

Brother's got a date to keep

He can't hang around

Our house in the middle of our street

Our house in the middle of our street

If you don't remember the tune and want a trip down memory lane... enjoy.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Flashback Friday/You're how old?

Say what?

Yes, really, Papa G turned 85 on the 19th of September! OUR Papa G! Holly had a surprise party for him and I was so disappointed that I could not be there. My Uncle Andy and Aunt Tammy even flew in from Colorado to celebrate with him. So I was the one missing. No fun. But... Papa G is fun. Thinking of his birthday reminded me of all the times I spent visiting him and my Grana. He took me to Shipley's or brought me the donuts if I didn't wake up early enough. He put locust shells on his nose and tried to put them on my clothes! He let me play on his riding tractor where I pretended to drive. A few times he even let me sit on it with him while he mowed. He liked to play tricks and pull my toes and tickle my knees. Papa is a quiet man so when he says something everyone listens. I missed your birthday party Papa but I was thinking of you all day! Love you!

Saturday, September 17, 2011


My kids should always look this happy to go to school...
First day of school 2011: Brooklyn - age 13, Caleb - age 11, Seth - age 10

My house should always look this clean:
Now that I'm back at school, so are my boxes and we get our house back.

Bobby and I should go on a date every Friday.
I only like two things about Bobby's schedule. He is off Friday and Sunday.

I should enjoy every moment that my little ones play well together.

Monday, September 12, 2011


That word describes my house. It is not decorated at all. I have a few things that others have given us. There is only one thing hanging in my living room that I picked out. I love the things we've been given but one thing is for sure lacking. We need some kind of picture to represent our family! Those are expensive though so... when I ran across this website on my friend Jenna's blog, I knew I HAD to leave a comment and ask for a piece of art! I can't wait to see what it looks like. I'll post it on here when I get it!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Flashback Friday/Baby Kisses

Have you ever been kissed by a baby? I mean, full on, grab your face, smooches! Nothing is sweeter, more innocent, more wonderful than the moment when your baby first kisses you. I love how they keep their mouth wide open, like they just want to eat your face! They probably do, actually, they want to eat everything right?
That mostly naked baby smooching my cheek is Brooklyn, hard to tell by the back of her head.

"Come here lady and let me plant one on you." Caleb and Aunt Holly

Birthday kiss for Beena! (That is what Brooklyn called my mother.)

Lovin' for Papa G!

Who doesn't want to give a smiley face a kiss?

So, when was the last time you got a kiss from a baby?

Saturday, August 27, 2011

You Know Bad Weather is Coming Your Way When...

you see this truck at the gas station.

I know this is not a great picture. I regret now not getting out of my car and just walking up to the truck and snapping a shot. Instead I sat in my car and worried about people coming up behind me. There was a sticker on the door that said 'Storm Tracker'. There were crazy thing all over the top of the truck and there were poles on the back like the ones in the front. I wish Caleb had been with me and Seth, he would've loved it.

I spent the entire day yesterday running around prepping for Hurricane Irene. Without my dad here I don't have access to a generator or a Coleman stove or an abundance of batteries. Heck, we only had one flashlight. I took the kids over to Target to look for some flashlights and pick up diapers. The entire flashlight section was empty. Not even a Tinkerbell flashlight in place. There were also no 'D' batteries, anywhere. I remembered that the pharmacy had a lot of water so I headed that way. That was pretty much all they had. Bobby and I headed to Sam's. He was pretty uncomfortable since he just had hand surgery the day before but he braved it for me. I was so glad to have him - it was a zoo and I was experiencing panic attacks from the crowds. They did have flashlights and we got some paper plates and cups. I was feeling calmer until we tried to get gas. That was a nightmare at Sam's and Kroger until I said "Forget it!" and headed over to the empty Exxon. Can you believe 7-11 was out of gas? Gassed up and feeling good about our food situation we headed home. I did go to Kroger after the little ones went to bed and bought some Almond milk so they could have cereal and milk if the power went out. I'm sure it's better cold but it's something. Now I was ready for this big hurricane. As we slept the hurricane was downgraded to a category one. Now it's raining and it's windy but nothing like what was predicted. However, if I didn't prepare yesterday, Murphy's Law dictates that it would have been horrible. So today we'll enjoy the rain and staying dry inside and pretend it's worse than it really is. :)

Friday, August 19, 2011

Flashback Friday/The Perfect Circle

When Ayden was a baby he was very flexible. (I know many babies are, but don't think it's all babies because Brooklyn was not flexible at all!) Bobby liked to take Ayden's wrists and ankles and lift him up over his head. He would yell, "Look! It's the perfect circle!"
He did this all the time as I looked on in fear that Ayden would wiggle just a little and Bobby would drop him. Of course, he never did and Ayden never seemed to mind!
(I never did see that he formed a perfect circle, guess you had to be the one lifting him, but it was Ayden and Daddy's special thing.)

Monday, August 15, 2011

Seth's Birthday

The only thing Seth talked about for months leading up to his birthday was going to see Harry Potter 7 part 2. He knew before school was out who he wanted to invite. On his birthday I took him, three friends, Brooklyn and Caleb to see the early show. Only Brooklyn and I had seen the movie. I loved seeing how excited all the kids were. I sat behind him and his friends and watched them, literally, bouncing in their seats during the suspenseful parts. We came back to the house afterwards for cake and ice cream. His friends brought him gifts and he opened those while I got everything ready for the cake.
We ordered Seth's cake with an old baby picture on it. He sorted through all the photos and found the one he wanted. He was almost as excited about the cake as he was about the movie. It turned out pretty cute.
Brooklyn wanted to get him trick candles so all the kids blew on the cake about ten times each. It got a bit excessive and still didn't work.
The kids ate and talked, talked more than ate.

Then they ran outside. When I went out to check on them they had sticks in their hands and were talking about all the different spells. It was cute. Later that night he got to go out to dinner, his choice, with the grownups. He chose Outback. I wish I had taken this picture when the waiters were all singing to him and he was bright red.
It really was an amazing day for him. He said it was the best birthday ever.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Flashback Friday!

Caleb does not look very much like the other children in our family.
Neither my sister nor I look a lot like my mom.
However, my grandmother told me that when Caleb was born my mother called her and said, "This one is my baby, he looks like me." I never knew she made that comment, but I've always said the same thing when people ask who he looks like. It doesn't take a thought, I reply, "He looks a lot like my mom." I love that he looks like her. I look into his eyes and I see her. Both of these photos were taken of Caleb before my mother passed away, so this is the Caleb that she saw.


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