Thursday, October 31, 2013


Day #31

Happy Halloween!

It is a big deal at our house.

We plan all year what we are going to dress up as

as a family.

I will post those pictures tomorrow.

We had a family vote this summer and changed our minds on our as-earlier-agreed-upon costumes

while Monte was out of town.

We called him with the vote

and he was good with it.

Which worked out nicely since 
he was outvoted anyway.

We carved pumpkins Tuesday night.

Something amazing happened this year,

wonder of all wonders,

Monte scooped the goop from his own pumpkin!

He scooped it AFTER he had already
carved the front, Florida boy that he is.

Looking a little pekid. Or maybe he is
looking meanish at me. Huh. Didn't
notice that before.
You see, Monte has a gag reflex that can be triggered immediately by a seemingly endless list of things ranging from

dried eggs on a plate in the sink, 

to blisters, 

to pumpkin goop.

I'm not sure he is going to be able to 
read that list without gagging.

Who are you and what did you do
with my husband?!?
Like most things in our household,

we take carving pumpkins very seriously.

We research ideas.

We have a plan.

There is a clear winner.

Ellie's pumpkin took the longest.


Her efforts were rewarded.

I was going for a Pinteresty "banners and polka dots" theme.

Instead it looks like Charlie Brown's Halloween costume.

The ghost one with way too many eye holes.

Ok, I see it now.

The girls kept saying,

"I got a rock."

every time they looked at my pumpkin.

Monte said he was going for Mike from Monsters Inc 

but I think it turned out more like a minion from Despicable Me.

Either way, it is adorable.

McDaniel has a love of whales. 

This is actually the outline of a whale. 

It comes across so much better lit up.

Hope everyone has a safe night of Trick or Treating!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Browsing for Christmas Gifts

Day #30

Because there are several fall birthdays in my life,

I have begun to think about Christmas gift ideas.

Just think.
And put lots of stuff into online carts.

When the kids were little,

the locally owned toy store did a fabulous sidewalk sale in the summer 

and I would buy the girls their Christmas presents then.


In the summer.

Ahh, the good ol' days.

Now, the girls don't really even know what they want.

They are right now as I type, looking at the Target coupon catalog that just came in the mail.

I am mostly hearing things, like,

"No fair! The Leapsters are basically iPads now!"


"What parent is buying their kid a toy Mercedes?!"

So I am hoping they aren't adding anything to their lists from that catalog.

Especially if it is a Leapster iPad
or a toy Mercedes.

While browsing around the internet I did find a few interesting things for the people in my life

and me.

This is a reusable spool of conversation starters on material that can be unravelled at the table.

I love things like this.

Proverbs 31 also has this leaf wreath made out of scriptures and songs.
The creative voice inside of my head says, 

"I can do that!"
But we'll see what the
voice of reality says.
I have ordered from this site before.

But I made the mistake of giving away all the spoons as gifts last year and not keeping any for me.

I love her stuff so much.


I love the idea of having all the states framed as art where each of us in our family were born. No two are the same.

This would be for McDaniel, our Georgia Peach.

That voice is saying,

"I can do that!"


Grrr. That voice gets annoying sometimes.

I have a few things in the cart at Lisa Leonard Designs.

Isn't this precious?

The Pi Beta Phi in me loves this.

There is something about this being
a stick that I adore.
I am a new fan of Janet Hill Studios on Etsy.

And not just because of this "fluffy" gem:

Still funny.
I love all the miniature zoo animals on leashes. Especially the giraffe.

This is how I look riding my bike,  Lolly. In my mind.

What about you? Anyone start Christmas shopping yet?

Tuesday, October 29, 2013


Day #29

The girls didn't have school yesterday,

which was glorious after the intense chaotic pace of the weekend.

Except McDaniel had lifting bright and early 
and then basketball in the afternoon.

But we did manage to tackle Ellie's science project in between lifting and basketball practice.

Ellie decided to do a video skit explaining the attributes of the minerals gold, diamond and corundum.

She cast us as the dramatic players,



and Corundum.

Of course, Ellie wrote herself as the star, Gold.

Gold is a self-centered sassy thing.
Gold trash talking Diamond.

Me as her tiara-wearing nemesis, Diamond.

Diamond is not lacking in self-esteem
either. Oh, I do regret the shoulder
showing. It is for 6th grade science,
for the love of Pete.

Diamond is quite proud of her
 tiara bling bling.

And McDaniel as the over dramatic, 
slightly imbalanced, 
Corundum, that has a southern accent 
that comes and goes.

Corundum didn't bother to take off her slippers.

Not sure why she is in the street.
Or covered in leaves.

McDaniel went off-script with all the drama and imbalance and accents.

But Ellie allowed it.

It was quite the soap opera

with off-camera staring,

bitter rivalries

and a bit of a hissy fit.

Not sure what the neighbors thought
of all the carrying on.

All neatly wrapped up by the soundtrack 
of "Gold" by Britt Nicole.

And all in the name of science.

**I'd show you the final video but I am afraid it doesn't accurately represent the full mental capacities of the parties living under our roof. Or maybe it does. But we need our girls to get into college one day. Plus, I regret the whole shoulder showing part.**

Monday, October 28, 2013

Basketball and Annie Over and Out

Day #28

Auditions began back in August for my daughter's middle school production of Annie.

And open gyms and lifting began in June for high school basketball.

It has been a lot of It's A Hard Knock Lifeing

and weight lifting.

(no Tiger Moms allowed in the high school 
workout room even if it is just to take 
a few pictures).
You're Never Fully Dressed Without A Smiles

and sprints.

The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrows

and box jumping.

But. It. Is. Finally. Over.

Cue the applause the sign.

McDaniel made the freshman basketball team

[big happy sigh of relief]

and Ellie successfully danced with a mop/broom 
for 4 different shows over the weekend.

Not counting the 2 "teaser shows" 
she did at school on Friday.

[big happy sigh of relief]

It took a village.

Neighbors and carpool.

My mom made the necessary alterations to  Ellie's orphan dress.

A lifting coach never gave up on McDaniel who started  
not being able to even lift the dumbbell bar to actually 
adding weight to it that totalled 90 pounds.

For someone who inherited my wiener arms, 
that is impressive!

Carisa and Julie did Ellie's make-up.

Carisa doing a quick make up application
from the back of my car before an after
school dress rehearsal.

Julie making Ellie into an orphan
or singing her a love song,
I can't tell which.

Ellie had no faith in me to make her look like a dirty orphan.

Many friends and family came to the show to support Ellie

and sent sweet congratulatory texts to McDaniel for making the team.

I am so grateful.

Ellie's shining moment of getting to push one of the leads
in the laundry cart.

The cast was sooooo good! I had to keep reminding
myself that they were all middle schoolers.
Daddy Warbucks shaved his head.

Now, I am going to suck my thumb and stare at the same spot on the wall for about half a day.


Oh, I can't?

I have practices to get McDaniel to?

Shoes, shooting shirts and warm-up outfits to order?

Schedules to write down in my calendar?

And so the season begins.

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