Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Tuesday's Tidbits

"I think. . . I might. . . have. . . accidentally done something wrong, mama." from Rory. Complete with an incredibly guilty look on her face.

I would like to inform my well-meaning, pack rat husband that we do not need 23 cool whip/butter container lids. Yes, twenty-three. And only 3 bowls to match those lids. In the interest of de-cluttering for our move to Texas (and my own sanity), they are all residing in my trash can.

Brian found Camden in the shower with his swimming goggles on last night. I guess that's one way to get around getting-the-water-in-your-face phobia.

In an effort to become Martha Stewart, I baked homemade banana chocolate chip muffins last night to eat now and a few to freeze for later. I won't mention that this might be the first time I've ever attempted homemade muffins. Or that it's definitely the first time I've bought whole wheat flour to use in said muffins. And I definitely won't mention that I've never made cupcakes in my life. My mother's disappointment in me is now complete.

Leora Sanford/Paislee Press: Correspondence

Sahlin Studio: Everyday

Monday, August 30, 2010

New Accessory

Look who's got a new accessory?


Okay, so he actually needs them to see, but he's so darn cute, I'd almost make him wear these glasses for no other reason than he looks cute.

Of course, he also looks way too grown up, but I guess that happens eventually anyway.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Project 365/52 - Week 34

Friday, August 27, 2010

Oh, so tired

Running on less than 2 hours of sleep this morning so I have nothing coherent to say, but wanted to post this picture of Camden right after his haircut last weekend. The head tilt is so completely him. I'm also trying out a new way of posting pics - directly from my Flickr account to see if it improves the blog quality. I think it worked! :)


Have a good weekend!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

One of the hazards . . .

. . . of having a teacher in the house is that he brings home germs. Brian had a little sore throat and cold over the weekend, which is going around in his classroom. In typical Brian fashion, he took some Nyquil, went to bed early, and woke up much better. As of yesterday, the rest of us had the same thing, although Camden definitely seems to be taking after Brian and is much better after a day. Rory and I aren't quite so lucky. And if you remember, Rory deals with being sick by crying. And crying. Then crying some more. And not sleeping. Fun times for all of us. Thanks to Nyquil, I had a great night of sleep last night and my sister volunteered to come take Camden to school so we don't have to get out today (thank you, Liz!).

And two Camden funnies:

Liz ate lunch with Camden at school yesterday (it pays to have a sister teaching at the same school your kid goes to) and she asked him what his favorite subject was. He replied, "Well, I'm kinda good at all of them so . . . " Nice to know he doesn't have self esteem issues.

And last night as I was tucking him into bed, he commented that I sounded worse and that it was a good thing "you didn't go to church and spread that bad disease around." He was dead serious. :)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Lesson 2 in my photography class (which is now over so I'm just slightly behind) was all about backlighting and haze in your photos. After a completely miserable failed attempt last week, I tried again last night with a little more success. If any of my fellow photography addicts have any critique, let me have it. :)

As always you can click the picture for a better view.


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Going to the Eye Doctor

Camden and I both have eye doctor's appointments this afternoon. Three reasons to pray Camden's eyes are fine: (1) I can't imagine the torture of keeping track of a 7 year old's glasses when he can't even keep track of his backpack and belt, both of which are used every single day. (2) Seriously, two of us in glasses (and contacts for me) are not good for the budget when you don't have eye insurance. (3) The jealousy that Camden gets to wear "sunglasses" (as she calls them) from Rory will be unending. She's already seriously upset that Camden gets to see the doctor and she doesn't. Oh, the joys of sibling rivalry.

And a scrapping PSA. Gina Miller has a new back to school kit for $1 today only. You should run to The Lilypad to purchase. :)

Monday, August 23, 2010

Lovely Weekend

Is it wrong to say that our kid-free time was lovely this weekend? Because it was. Just lovely to eat a meal with only adult conversation and run errands without car seats, and to enjoy a quiet Saturday morning without cartoons. And despite the fact that Rory burst into tears the minute we pulled into Gram and Gramps' driveway because she "was gonna be worried" about me, she didn't want to leave Saturday morning so I think it's safe to say she got over that whole worry thing. Camden was kind enough to sleep in the same room with Rory so she wouldn't be scared in Gram and Gramps' new house, although I am certain that he was the one who needed a little bit of company.

After the kids arrived home Saturday, Camden spent the rest of the day playing with one single Silly Bandz. Seriously. One Silly Bandz. There is no need to buy this kid toys! Rory slept the afternoon away and we settled in for our regular Saturday night tradition: pizza and a movie.

Hope your weekend was lovely too!

Sahlin Studio/Jennifer Barrette: Vintage Carnival
Crystal Livesay: Jumpers 61-64

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Project 365/52 - Week 33

Yes, I realized I've missed several weeks, but I decided to just pick up this week and not worry too much about the 4 weeks I might not have taken a photo every single day. I feel pretty sure that the hundreds of photos I take in a normal week will make up for it. :)

Friday, August 20, 2010

Random Friday

  • Rory and I have been having "school" on Tuesday and Thursdays, and she loves it. We've mostly been working on color by number, ABC flash cards, and drawing shapes. Brian came up with the bright idea to take word searches and have her identify and circle letters, and two weeks ago I would have never believed she could do it, but she's made so much progress. We've both been a little concerned about her because she is so far behind where Camden was at her age, although our doctor says that he was the exception, not Rory.
  • We got Camden's first progress report of the year, and he had straight 100's. Clearly, he needs to work a little harder.
  • I made it through 3 and a half days of the Couch to 5K this week. The half day was today and let's just chalk it up to lack of sleep last night instead of lack of commitment.
  • I have finally dropped off the last of Rory and Camden's fall/winter clothes at the consignment store. I am so glad to have them out of my hands. And, yes, I realize 5 huge rubbermaids mean my shopping is a little out of control. But the kids always look really cute. :)
  • We've recently made showers a part of Camden's daily routine (as opposed to baths), and he's decided they're pretty fun. If we let him, he'll spend a good 30 minutes under the water. No idea what he's doing in there all that time but this week alone we've found an empty soap bottle, empty shaving cream bottle (both were full at the beginning of the week), Brian's shaving cream in the toilet, a soaking wet shower curtain, and trash emptied out of the trashcan all on the floor. We never know quite what the bathroom is going to look like after his daily shower.
  • Brian arranged for the kids to spend the night at Gram and Gramp's house tonight, and I am so excited for a few kid-free hours. It's a toss-up as to whether we should stay in or enjoy the free time out and about.

The Digi Files #20

Sahlin Studio/Jennifer Barrette: Vintage Carnival

Thursday, August 19, 2010

My Little Artist

After 6+ years of parenting, I finally had a child color on the wall. With a bright red crayon. I'm not quite sure what prompted an almost 4 year old to write on the wall for the first time, but I thought I'd let her handle the clean-up. Unfortunately, she thought clean-up was pretty darn fun so it's possible I'll be seeing more wall art in the future.

And do you notice she's rubbing the rag on her mouth? She has a red/green towel that came home with her from Korea that has been a serious security blanket for her. It was with her constantly for the first 2 years, and she rubs it across her lips as well on the inside of her wrist. About 6 months ago we started slowly weaning her from the towel and now she only has it in her bed for sleep. But ever so often, I'll catch her rubbing something else across her lips, and last night it was the dirty rag. Ick!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Scrapping catch-up

With all the traveling this summer and just generally being out of routine, I've managed to continue scrapping, but many of them haven't made it to the blog so I've decided to just dump them all into one post.

Shabby Miss Jenn: Warm Summer Day

Gina Miller: August BYOC

Designs by Lili: You

Sahlin Studio: After Dark

Shabby Miss Jenn: Girlfriends

Gina Miller/Kate Hadfield: Coffee and Cupcakes

Gina Miller/Amy Wolff: Whirlwind

A Little Dirt Never Hurt Anyone

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A Little of This and That

Tennessee has had a brief break in humidity yesterday (and this morning) so the kids played outside after school yesterday - something we haven't been able to do because of the heat. And Camden was able to finally play on those monkey bars during recess that he's been "dying" to play on. Of course, we found out later that he actually didn't play on the monkey bars because he was too scared. Now that's the Camden we all know and love.

Camden got a "leash" as he called it for turning in some fund raising info at school. He's been in first grade for a week and has already brought home 2 fund raisers. And those teachers know how to get what they want since they've been promising him all kinds of prizes if his parents will just sell a certain number of things. Unfortunately, he's got poor, hard-hearted parents. :)
A self-portrait that should never see the light of day.
Who knows what Rory was thinking here, but I guess she was feeling good at being outside with no sweat involved.
Kinda looks like she's picking her nose, doesn't it.
Trying on her new Matilda Jane dress. I know, I know. It's become an obsession.

Today is a marathon laundry day, doing a little a "school" with Rory, and I actually have plans to cook supper tonight - something I've slacked on this summer when it's 100 degrees out. I also started the Couch to 5k program this morning only a mere 2 years after planning to start. Have I mentioned I hate exercise?

Enjoy your Tuesday!

Monday, August 16, 2010


I've tried to think of a witty way to say this, but witty isn't really my thing so here's our big news: we're moving to Texas. Brian and I are partnering with our former pastor and friend to help start a church in the North Dallas area. We feel confident that this is God's plan for us even though it will be difficult to leave Tennessee where we've spent most of our adult lives. (I am, however, quite excited to live in the city again.) We were really hoping this move wouldn't be too tough on Camden and that he'd be young enough to be flexible, but he's already quite hesitant about moving away from Uncle Michael, Aunt Liz, Gram and Gramps and his friends at school. Hopefully, he'll adjust to the idea and feel good about it soon. If anyone has suggestions on how to help him, please send them my way. Rory is just excited that she'll get to sit next to Leah and Rebekah (our friend's daughters) - doesn't take much to make her happy!

In case you're new to the blog, here's a little history. Brian's first degree is in Bible/Ministry and he spent the first 7-8 years of our marriage as a youth and children's pastor. About 5 years ago, he decided to go back to school and got a second degree in education and has since been bi-vocational: teaching 4th grade full-time and a children's pastor part-time. He's planning to continue those two careers in Texas. We will finish out this school year in Tennessee and move to Texas in June 2011. That's the tentative plan anyway.

We did spend 2 days in Texas a couple of weeks ago (which I conveniently "forgot" to blog about). They were a crazy 48 hours spent mostly in the car researching neighborhoods and schools, but here are a few pictures from the trip.

A longhorn in a little field beside the road just in front of some multi-million dollar homes.
The whole crew: Joshua, Rory, Rebekah, Leah, Camden
And us :)
Camden in front of one of the massive schools. Everything really is bigger in Texas.
They were happy to be finished taking pics - this was the last one I snapped.
McKinney (not necessarily the town we've chosen, but we're considering it) has the cutest little historic downtown area (if you're local, it's similar to Franklin, TN).
Rory and Leah. Rory LOVED being carried everywhere by Leah.
Inside the cutest little candy store in downtown McKinney.

Saturday, August 14, 2010


Her new favorite word is dude. Clearly, she has an older brother. No idea where she gets her style, though.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Finally Friday

Things I heard from Rory on the way home from taking Camden to school this week:
  • "What is that noise? It's 'nnoying me." That noise happened to be a piece of classical music.
  • Telling her baby, "I'm going to 'dopt you from Illinois and we'll be a family."
  • "Can we buy a cat and a cow for our back yard?"
  • "If you do not blow dry my hair, you will always, always be my best friend." She's developed a serious aversion to the blow dryer even though we usually reserve the full-service salon services for Sunday. :)
And despite having cried/whined/pouted literally every single day we dropped Camden off to school last year, she's sent him off with a wave and a smile every day this week. Now that's progress!

Shabby Princess: Giggle Box

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Whatever Works

I remember on our first night together noticing that Rory's foster mother had her nails cut down just as far as possible. We quickly learned why - she scratches like crazy. In the winter her skin is definitely dry, but even when it's not dry, she scratches. And I mean scratches herself until she bleeds. Her back is covered in little scars that I can only hope eventually go away. We've tried everything: slathering her up in every lotion/cream/ointment imaginable, putting long, tight p.j.'s on her. Most recently, the threat of not painting her fingernails or toenails has worked. Unfortunately, she's back on the scratch wagon and so last night I covered her in band aids (the really adhesive kind) and so far so good. I realized a little too late that if they're the really sticky kind, getting them off might be a bit painful and then I'll never get her to agree to band aids again.

Camden's third day of school was downgraded to just "good." I think they had more of a regular schedule and he more work to do than normal. :) And funny story. He had his first ever spelling practice test yesterday so I asked him about it as soon as he got in the car. He said it was just "okay" so I asked him how many he missed thinking that since this was his first one he got distracted or just didn't pay attention, etc. He replied, "I didn't miss any plus I got the bonus words right, but it doesn't even count because it was just practice." Apparently no reason to worry about his report card if he's not even satisfied when he gets a 100.

Lemon Pie

I made this pie over the weekend, and it's my new summer favorite. Lemon is so refreshing, and the homemade crust was just plain good.

Zesty Lemon Pie
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
3 Tbsp. powdered sugar
3 Tbsp. butter, melted
6 egg yolks
2 (14 oz) cans sweetened condensed milk
1 cup fresh lemon juice (approximately 4 lemons)
1 cup whipping cream
2 Tbsp. powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350. Stir together first 2 ingredients; add butter, stirring until blended. Press mixture on bottom and up sides of a 9 inch deep dish pie plate. Bake 10 minutes. Let cool completely on wire rack (about 30 minutes).

Whisk together egg yolks, sweetened condensed milk, and lemon juice. pour into prepared crust.

Bake at 350 for 15 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack (about 1 hour). Cover and chill 4 hours.

Beat whipping cream at high speed with an electric mixer until foamy; gradually add powdered sugar, beating until soft peaks form; dollop over chilled pie. Garnish, if desired.

The Digi Files #20

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Almost Wordless Wednesday

Rory has been in a model mood lately and has been asking me to take her picture. Apparently, all my begging and bribing for pictures has finally won her over. Even Camden, while not asking to have his picture taken, has learned that it's easier to just cooperate and get it all over with.

This was actually after the "photoshoot" was over, and Camden was just trying to be sweet. As usual, Rory only wants kisses on her own terms.
This would be Camden after I laughed at him trying to kiss Rory.

This is her go-to face when I pull out the camera these days. Nice.
And this would be her second go-to face. Has she been watching America's Next Top Model during naptime? (cause she's sure not sleeping)
Finally a smile!

When Camden got in the car yesterday, he declared his second day of first grade to be marvelous. Where does he get these words?