Tuesday, November 17, 2009

updates and important dates

pretty sad when you relish the breaking-down of the car one day and having a sick child home the next. love having a reason to stay home and not get dressed. got the pics i promised oh-so-long ago. we are awaiting a couple inspections on the house before the drywall goes up. from there, it shouldn't take too long.
ok, here goes...
the house looks done from the outside. makes the neighbors happy. looks different from before, ya think?
my favorite part, so far, is the porch. we couldn't find the door we wanted until chris stumbled upon this mahogany beauty unfinished at Home Emporium. it took awhile to finish it, but i love how it turned out. we're gonna have some ceiling fans out there, too.
once again, the reason we bought the place and uprooted our family.
i think it's worth it.

now, onto something of equal importance. i would be remiss if i didn't include my dear first-born and her recent celebration of 12 whole years on this earth. she's fun and brilliant and confident and sassy. i couldn't live without her and i wouldn't want to try.

twelve things you may not know about harley...
1. her middle name is susan, after my mother and sister.
2. she was only 5 lbs. when she was born. not early. just skinny.
3. when she grows up, she wants to be a commercial writer.
4. her favorite meal i make is stuffed red peppers and she drools for bruchetta, too.
5. currently, she's only 1/4 inch shorter than my 5'4".
6. one hour of her day is spent on the piano.
7. writing is her favorite subject but she thinks grammar is for the birds.
8. she's the last to go to sleep and the last to wake up.
9. a self-proclaimed choc-o-holic, she thinks nutella is a gift from God.
10. she gets her expensive taste in clothing from my sister hilarie.
11. my biggest critic and most fervent cheerleader.
12. thinks that the Twilight Saga is the new four standard works. (thus, her Rosalie costume for Halloween)

happy birthday Harley! sorry the power went out as i was making your birthday dinner and stayed off long enough to have to postpone your party. you have to admit, opening presents by candlelight is kinda fun :):):)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

feeling the spirit

i know how you feel, gracie.

Saturday, August 29, 2009


i am unique.

when i grocery shop, i bring my own money. i don't stalk the parking lot for generous-looking people.

when i walk into the store, i go through the door labeled "Enter".
when i leave, i go through the doors on the opposite site. you know, the ones that say "Exit".

when i pack groceries into my cart, i have the uncanny ability of knowing if i am over or under the 20 item limit for the Express Lane.

i never forget that i am married and try to hit on some random guy in the cereal aisle.

when shopping with my children, i never slap them when they get unruly and then treat said unruliness with candy at the check-out.

i am truly unique.

at least i am in any norfolk wal-mart.

Saturday, August 22, 2009


ok, ok, i get it. it's super lame when all you want to do is stalk blogs and the lame-o's out there don't even have the decency to update once in awhile. i'm still have the photo-upload problem so it makes me not wanna blog so much. a good photo can seal the deal on a good post. right?

anyway, i am getting bigger. no need to show off that in a photo. i'm stretching my reg. clothes out. getting close to full-on maternity wardrobe. i look at flat tummies and get kinda sad knowing it will be a long time till i can wear those things again. this baby better be cute.

waffling on finding out. we didn't with harley or gracie. i love, love, love surprises and i think i can wait this one out. the children were excited to know the gender, but now they're not so concerned. a week or so more to decide.

new house is coming along beautifully. i need to try and upload the pics of that. so worth it. we never expected chris to have so much work this summer. our house isn't being finished, but we can't turn down the jobs. the brick and stone are all done and i get sad when i need to leave.

getting excited about school. all three. all day. this will be a great semester before the baby comes. i feel freedom i haven't felt in forever. i think i'll probably volunteer at the school.

food is back on my brain and in my tummy. i was not interested in the stuff for a couple months. making dinner was a chore. yes, even for me. happy to report...i am back. my food obsession is at a climax. i cook all the time and eat almost as often. craving spicy, flavorful foods. tomato/mayo sandwiches and fried egg/tomato sandwiches. every day. oh, and i made spicy okra pickles. awesome.

'bout to kick some neighbor punks to the curb. they stole our scooters and chris found one of them a block away on the sidewalk. betcha it was the skaters.

contemplating baby names. the ones i like, the children give thumbs down. thumbs down?? my mom had 10 kids and i can never remember giving a thumbs down! i don't expect them to love the names, but to oppose? if we went with their choices it would be Ashalissa Marie or Cowen Carlisle. any guesses who picked those?

i do love reading your posts. i haven't commented in awhile because whenever i check out the blogs, i look in the corner and realize i am logged into harley's account. don't feel like commenting under her name. really don't feel like switching accounts.

pics of the house to come soon. i promise.

Monday, June 29, 2009

in case you haven't heard

we're having a baby! super excited. super tired. a beautiful built-in excuse for not cleaning, cooking or blogging in about a month. i'm feeling better and starting to care about the way my house looks. i figure since i've been cleaning for the past 5 hours, i should throw in a blog before i start my cooking spree. conveniently, this comes the day before my mother and other family comes in town. perfect timing.
the baby is due in january. i'm 11 weeks tomorrow. sorry, no pics of the ultrasound. requires way to much energy to scan and upload.
yes, my tummy is growing. with baby #4, it doesn't need coaxing or coaching. it knows the drill.
no, i haven't had morning sickness. never had it, in fact. i was, however, on bedrest for three weeks. some complications that have seemingly been resolved. must be due to my "advanced maternal age", beautifully stamped on my medical folder.

Friday, June 5, 2009

progress is sweet...

renting this house is NOT! have i mentioned to any of you that i am OVER this situation? if i clean this house, it still doesn't look clean. i miss my home. big time. chris has been working his tail off at the new house (we call it mona, after the street). anyway, mona is coming along well. it's amazing how much work you can get done when you put in 12 hour days and eat dinner at 9 o'clock about every night. love you, hon. thanks:)
wanna see the progress?? i need to get over and take more pics, it changes by the day and it already looks different. the roof has shingles, the framing is almost done.
before shot. needs work.

tore off the roof. we're gonna raise that baby.

taking time to visit dad for dinner.

adding some height to the house.

ta-da! new roof!

back of the house with a view of the nasty addition. can someone please tear it down??

thank you scott:)

roof, front view, with paper. sorry no shots of the shingles. i bet if you close your eyes you can probably imagine how great it looks with them on.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

terminally ill

yes, i'm alive. i wish i could say the same for my computer. the jitters it usually gets has me picking up the phone to get my "nurse" over for a check-up. thanks tim:) this time, it needed the "doctor", and that wasn't enough. they don't know what's up with it. i see it as a terminal illness. not quite dead. barely alive. i have my photos backed up. (thanks, alisha for the reminder.) i'm not worried about losing anything too precious, except for the computer itself. we've bonded over the past three years. i have come to rely on it for access to the outside world, blogging on a whim, downloading my favorite american idol tracks (oh...adam:). it has become part of me and i can't afford to replace it right now. not with a new house in the works.
so, i'm blogging from chris's computer and feeling a bit lonely without my bookmarked pages and password prompts that remind me of the personalization of MY OWN COMPUTER.
we are in the rental house and settling OK. the phone and internet should be hooked up this week. (thanks random neighbor for having a strong enough wireless signal for me to borrow today.) until then...boxes, laundry and lots of finger crossing.

Sunday, April 12, 2009


Yes, we are moving. This week. This post should probably include the hundred or so boxes, the carton of packing tape, the constant mess in every room (due to my cleaning strike until the BIG DAY). It should include as little as possible because my time is at a premium.
Going through room after room, box after box, reminds me of the little things that happen everyday that make our lives great. Here's a glimpse of our past week, ignoring the fact that we are moving and normal life just doesn't feel very normal right now.

Chris's garden is going strong with collards, peas, broccoli, spinach, lettuce...
here are some rosemary transplants soaking up the sun.

a trip to Jamestown with Marshall's class was a great distraction

and then there's Easter. one of the only sundays i was happy to have afternoon church. we finished it of with a wonderful meal at hilarie's house. the day was pretty much perfect, and i will always remember it being the calm before the (moving) storm.

Monday, April 6, 2009

twilight, revisited

when she was two, on a visit to my grandma's house, she watched "mary poppins" and fell in love with something called a movie.


when she was three, she saw "the little mermaid", learned every word to "part of your world" and fell in love with a princess.


when she was five, we had a girls night and borrowed mr. randolph's copy of "the lizzie mcguire movie". she felt like a big girl and fell in love with a star.


when she was nine, morganne was visiting and brought home a copy of "high school musical" for us to (finally) see. needless to say, she fell in love with a boy named zac.


just last saturday, the two of us tucked ourselves away in my bedroom and watched "twilight". the movie i panned, she praised. the actors i laughed at, she loved. the flaws i picked at, she ignored. she saw a movie about high school vampires, loved it fiercely, and is planning on watching it every night i will let her.


thanks, harley. it was much better watching it with you:)

she has to wait awhile to read the books. i think that's gonna be a long wait...

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


After months of endless waiting and cleaning, we have a contract on our house. I guess we're actually selling it. Please hold your applause till April 17th. That's when we go to closing. Yup, three weeks till moving day...how did that happen? Looks like we're gonna move into a rental the next street over while we build the new house. WOW. Talk about throwing us for a loop. I've been living in a state of constant cleanliness since school started. I have zero motivation to get up and do anything now. I could honestly sit on my couch and not care (too much) about how the house looks. OK, maybe that's not true, but seriously, I'm drained.
So, I need to give a shout-out to my peeps who've given me a reason to do what needs to be done.
Here goes:

Thank you Jenna,
The smell of Windex in your house made me want to clean my windows today. Sparkly.

Thank you Hilarie,
The mere mention of your chocolate chip cookies had me mixing up a batch of these. Mmm.

Thank you Jaesi,
Your fabulous pics of Puerto Rico reminded me it's almost swimsuit season. Dang Cookies.

Thank you Nicole and Brooke,
You make the best walking buddies for the impending swimsuit season. Two loops?

Thank you Charlene,
Seeing your sweet new baby today reminded me how sweet my big babies can be. Sometimes.

Thank you Rachel,
Since you never answer your phone I have more time to get things done around here. Brrring...Brrring...

Thank you President Obama,
Your speech tonight pushes American Idol to Wednesday night, so I have time to update this blog. And eat cookies.

So, thanks again guys.
I feel much better.
I'm here if you need anything.
You'll find me on the couch.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

labor day

I have it in good with the superintendent of Norfolk Public Schools. Dr. Stephen Jones and I have a little agreement. Works pretty well. Here's the deal. I promise him some straight A, well behaved kids to balance out the riff-raff you sometimes find in Norfolk. In return, he gives me one day a month for these kidlets to come home early so I can squeeze a little more work out of them.

Child Labor Laws being what they are, I can't work them 24/7...they must attend school and get some formal education. I get it. This deal is a good compromise.

I just wonder if they'll ever catch on.

Hope not:)
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Monday, March 9, 2009

one year older...

Brooke and Stephanie

You know you love 'em. I know I do:)
That's why I'm having a birthday brunch at my house this Saturday at 10am.
Let me know if you can come. Bring a dish if you want, but you don't have to.
Birthdays are always a great excuse to catch up with the gals...
See you Saturday!!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

snow much fun

Yes, we're home. The trip was way too fun. Well, maybe not...fun doesn't even come close to describing it. I think I'll let the pictures do most of the talking. Let me just set the stage. 9 inches of snow the night before we arrived. 3 more inches the day of arrival. Beautiful sunny skies the next 2 days. Rain to send us home. We took the trip with the Valle family. Everyone except Gaby-Baby got to hit the slopes. The best part for us was the runs we took as a whole family. I am loving this new stage in life.
The families had slope-side rooms next door to each other. We shared meals, babysitting and Abba Sing-Star. The boys found the deck to be a great place to "sword" fight. Night time swims were a must. You start out in the indoor pool and then before sanity strikes, you swim through the tunnel to the outdoor pool, complete with a waterslide and hot tubs. Only the insane survive it. The waterslide is a blast if you enjoy getting your hands frozen to the railings on your way down. As you hit the water a brain freeze sets in to complete the fun. The kids couldn't get enough. Oh, heavenly hot tubs. Our defense against hypothermia.
Marshall is getting to be a great skier. He skis fast and loves the black diamond runs. Nicole snowboards and they had built up a little rivalry. They would race nearly every time they could. Here's the evidence, I mean video, of the race. Beware...Chris filmed this while he was skiing. It's a tad shaky:)

Good-bye Snowshoe. See you next winter...
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Sunday, February 22, 2009


a few more things on my list...

ski clothes, skis, boots, other gear? CHECK!

almond cake, chocolate chip cookies, rustic bread and other seriously delicious food? CHECK!

gameboy, DS, iPods, magnadoodle, markers and books? CHECK!

take out the middle seats and move the bench seat forward to load up the van? CHECK!

money and cards for whatever we've forgotten? CHECK!

guilt over taking the children out of school for a week? UH...NO!

see ya'll later, we're off to Snowshoe:) http://www.dcski.com/images/misc_images/1087874637_snowshoe.jpg
(can't ya tell i'm a little excited??)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

love it

i love it...

i love it not...

i love it...

i love it not...

i love it...

i love it not...

i love it...

i love it not...
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Friday, February 13, 2009


Movie anyone? "Confessions of a Shopaholic" looks adorable and we need a girls night out. The problem is working around all the different schedules. Let's try for Wednesday the 18th at 9:15pm. It's at Cinemark 18 at Military Circle Mall. I want to see who all can come. Try to tweak your schedule...we need you:)
Somebody better call John...

Saturday, February 7, 2009

the plunge

A nice balmy day in February brings out the best in all of us. What better way to celebrate than to drive down to the View and dive right in. 50-60 degree air. 30-40 degree water. I sense a tradition in the making.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


Do you ever get the feeling your child is trying to tell you something? If she would just come out and say it-ask for what she wants...
My kiddos go to Ghent School and the beauty of it is it's K-8. Three kids in the same school next year is a pretty sweet deal. Well, there's this other middle school and apparently it ROCKS. "The School of International Studies at Meadowbrook" is where Harley wants to spend her three precious middle school years. ( Her blog features a plea to recruit readers to her side.) There's a big application process. Uniforms. Strict grade and attendance requirements. Not that any of that bothers me. It's part of the public school system so it's not a tuition argument, either. I simply want my three children in the same school. Harley wants to go there to be challenged academically (the nerve of some kids). You choose a focus of either World Languages or Military Science. She wants to focus on languages and get a head-start on courses for high school. I tried the "don't you want to be with your best friends?" tactic. "Are you sure you want to wear a uniform?" "Are you ready to work your tail off for A's?". Not swayed.
I think one of us is acting like the parent and I'm afraid it's not me.
I wonder if she'll harass the principal with colorful notes if she doesn't get in...
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