Personal assistants are the best

June 30, 2009 at 9:13 am (Evan, family, Megan, Top Ten Tuesday)

I don’t see how people get through the day without personal assistants.

1.  I love my personal fitness coach


2.  And swim coach too.


3.  What would I do without my personal gardener?


4.  Or my “manny” so I could get a a few things done without worrying about the baby?


5.  It’s very important to have someone keep the Tupperware organized … but it’d be nice if I had a photographer because then I could blame someone else for deleting this picture!

6.  And they must know how to take care of the DVD collection.


7.  The dishes would never get done if I didn’t have someone helping me.


8.  But life got so much better when I had someone else start taking care of the bills.


9.  It’s also important to have someone that can help keep the fridge in order.


10.  And another to help as your personal shopper!


Ahh, life is good!

For more Top Ten Tuesday Lists or to link up one of your own, visit

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My childhood home

June 28, 2009 at 11:46 pm (family) ()

Recently my parents closed on the sale of their house – my childhood home.  My mom was pregnant with me at the time they built it.   They moved in about one month before I was born.  That was about 31 years ago.  It’s the only house I ever celebrated birthdays, Christmases, or Thanksgivings in.  It’s the only childhood home I know! 


Of course when we were young it was out in the middle of “no-where”.  As we grew, so did our little town & now it’s surrounded by everything you need!  They sold our house along with about 20-acres that surrounds it.  The land was left to my Dad & his sister by their parents.  The new owner has bought all the land & the house … for their horses!  They’ll eventually build a new house & tear ours down.  That could be before the end of summer or some time away, but it’s inevitable.  Our little ole’ house doesn’t exactly fall into their million dollar plan!

To think about someone else living there – either in our house or on the land is so strange.  They’ll never know it the same way we did. 

They won’t know about the tire swing, games of baseball or egg hunts that took place outside.  They won’t know about my brother’s wedding or his horrible summer-time accident (two separate events – the wedding was NOT a horrible accident!) that took place in the back yard.  They won’t know about all our dogs that ran in the yard and about the big tree that we buried them under as the passed.  They won’t know about the Graduation banners that hung out congratulating each one of us kids as we graduated high school (oddly one of those banners doubled as a “Moving Sale” sign this very weekend).  They won’t know about the “lucky spot” at the top of the drive-way where we could sell “almost” anything. 


They won’t know about the skeet-shooting that took place in the pasture or the arrival of the cops & the court dates that followed.  They won’t know about the big fish that have been caught in the pond, the deers shot from tree-stands, the cows that roamed the field, or the adventures with our two horses – Pumpkin & Scooter. 


They won’t know how bad the corner cabinet in the kitchen hurts your fingers, until they get pinched for the first time.  They won’t know about all the bridal showers, baby showers and parties that were hosted in our family room or what the mantle looked like when it was full of stockings at Christmas-time.  They won’t know that the carpet they walk on was prayed over before it was laid (believe me, I’m all about prayer – but that occasion was just odd!!).   The won’t know about the layers of wallpaper that can be found in the powder room, or about the wall of pictures that hung down the hall.  


They won’t know why the closet door in Staci’s bedroom is scratched so badly.  They won’t even know which bedroom was Staci’s!  They won’t know that the bath tub in my parent’s room that was used when we were infants, just bathed three of the grandchildren the other night!!  They won’t know about the countless games & hours of fun that was had in our basement – alot of that time while my parents played Trivial Pursuit upstairs with their friends!  Or about the birthday parties & slumber parties that we always got in trouble for while we were down there. 

They won’t know about the laughter that took place having four children under the age of 5 or the fights that came along with it. 

There’s so much they won’t know about, but yet almost every memory I have for the last 31 years involves that house.  I just hope I can hold on to all those memories & remember so much more, even after the boxes are packed and the moving van is gone!


Now, my parents have closed on the purchase of their new home.  We just had their Moving Sale (31 years in the making) this weekend and now they’ll start to move into their new place.  Strangely, we won’t know all the history that the family moving out is leaving behind, but it’s a new place – one that we’ll make new history of for ourselves and one that will soon be “home”.

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The t-rex cafe

June 23, 2009 at 5:01 pm (Top Ten Tuesday) (, )

As I mentioned before, we were recently in Orlando.  I had researched alot – or so I thought – about restaurants to hit & things to do, but much to my surprise it wasn’t until we were in Orlando & I was flipping through one of the oh so many phamplets I picked up from the lobby that I found the absolute PERFECT restaurant for our family – the T-Rex Cafe!! 

Our 3-year old, Evan, absolutely LOVES dinosaurs.  And Megan’s learned to love them just as much … they’re also great teething toys for her:).

So Monday night we headed over to Downtown Disney.  A few of our favorite things about the T-Rex Cafe were:

1.  The Dinosaurs– there were dinosaurs everywhere.  Sharp Teeth, Three Horns, Long Necks, Flyers … you name it – they were there!  There were also several different sections – the Ice Age, the Big Water, & the nice friendly Great Valley.  So while you wait on the food to arrive, you could go Adventuring!


2.  The Menu– it had plenty of choices for everyone.   You could start out with the “Footprints Flatbread”, munch on some “Ice Age Salmon Salad”, slurp some “Lava Tomato Basil Soup”, chow down on the “Layers of the Earth Lasagna”, a “Pre-historic Panini” or the “Dino-bite Nuggets”.  And of course ALL the deserts looked delicious!!

3.  The Food – Not only did the menu look good, but the food itself was really yummy.  I ended up with “Tribal Tacos” – grilled Mahi Mahi wrapped in corn tortillas & topped with red cabbage, fresh cilantro, pico de gallo & Avocado cream sauce – yummy!

4.  The Meteorite Showers – every twenty minutes the showers would hit.  Dinosaurs started moving & lights starting go out. Evan LOVED it!  He looks scared to death in this picture … he thought that was funny!!


5.  The Wait (if you plan right!) – they don’t take reservations but do offer “call ahead seating“.  I would definitely take advantage of this if you plan on going.

6.  The French Fries – they kept Megan busy … which means they also kept her very happy!


7.  The Store – Of course they had a great store to shop in.  I really regret not getting Evan a T-shirt.  We got too busy with #8 (below) that I just got side-tracked & didn’t go back in!!

8.  The Dinosaur Dig – This, of course, was brilliant!!  There was a huge pit filled with dinosaur bones covered in tiny pebbles.  Kids took their shoes off, grabbed a paint brush & starting exploring!!  Evan could have stayed hours in there – seriously!  On a side note, Evan looks really big to me (and a little silly too) in this picture!


9.  Build-A-Dino – From the Build-A-Bear company your little one can stuff a dinosaur before leaving the restaurant (and after paying for it of course)!!  But how cute.  It was like a mini Build-A-Bear but with a huge selection of only dinosaur stuff!

10.  The Experience – I love restaurants that are just about the experience as much as they are the food!  And this is one of those!!  Plus we had a great waiter.  He actually had good opinions, suggestions, and a good personality – go figure!

My pictures just don’t do it justice, so click here for more information & pictures from the Orlando location. 

What are some of your favorite “EXPERIENCE restaurants”??

And for more Top Ten Tuesday lists or to link up to your own, visit

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One of the lucky ones

June 22, 2009 at 10:13 am (family) ()

I was one of the lucky ones.  I grew up with a Dad that knew what that word & that role meant.  He worked hard for his family, supported our hobbies & decisions and loved us when those decisions weren’t good.  He coached little leagues & basketball teams, taught Wednesday night classes & was always serving in church.  He was a great example.   And I’m still lucky to have him around now.  Lucky enough to still have a great relationship with him.  Lucky enough to see him be an awesome Papa to my children.

I’m also lucky enough to see my husband be that same type of incredible Dad to our children.  Yesterday he got up early & made breakfast for the family (I know I should have made a Father’s Day breakfast, but instead I bought everything & let him do it – he enjoys its & he does a MUCH better job at breakfast than I do!).  He then served in the 1-year old room with me at church, went to a local Antique Fair with me (don’t feel bad – he agreed because he knew there’d be some old instruments there.  He was right.  And he went home with one!!), and then went to my parents house for dinner where we stood out in the heat for about an hour taking family pictures.  He was a good sport on a day that he should have been able to call the  at least some of shots!!

So, even though he’ll never read this … I love you!  Thank you for being the wonderful Dad that you are – for knowing what that word really means & for fulfilling that in our children!!


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Conversations with a 3 year old

June 21, 2009 at 10:35 pm (3 year olds)

3 year old:  What are we doing?

Me:  We’re getting our car washed.

3 year old:  Why are we getting our car washed?

Me:  Because it’s really dirty.

3 year old:  Why are these people washing our car?

Me:  Because these people are trying to raise money to go on a Mission Trip.  They’re going on a Mission Trip to help other people.

3 year old:  I want to go on a Fishing Trip with them.

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Coca-Cola Salad

June 19, 2009 at 8:46 am (Family Recipe Fridays, recipes)

I suppose I should start this one with brutal honesty – I don’t think I’ve ever actually tried this recipe that I’m about to give out!  I realize that’s not very fair.  I mean who really wants to try a recipe if the person giving it to you has never tried it herself??

But I wanted to participate in the Vanderbilt’s Wife Family Recipe carnival, so I pulled out my trusty Family Recipe Cookbook and started flipping the pages.  Being an Atlanta girl, anything with Coca-Cola in it sparks my interest.  Plus it’s a fruit salad so with temps reaching triple digits this weekend, I figured a chilled salad recipe was much more appropriate than the Brunswick Stew recipe that I started to share!!!  And, my grandmother gave me the recipe … I trust her, so I’ll go out on a limb & say that you can trust me:).

So, enough rambling – here’s a Coca-Cola Salad the way my “Mama-Lou” makes made it!

Here’s what you’ll need:

2 pkg. cherry gelatin

1 small can crushed pineapple, drained

1 can pitted cherries

1 c. pecans, chopped

1 c. hot water

1 can Coca-Cola (and absolutely NO substitutions in my neck of the woods!!)

Here’s what you do:

Pour hot water over gelatin & stir well.  Add pineapple, cherries, and pecans.  Pour in Coca-Cola & stir well.  Refrigerate overnight & serve chilled.

Hope you enjoy … and if you do, let me know so I’ll give it a try!!!

For more Family Recipe Fridays or to link up to your own, visit The Vanderbilt Wife.

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The happiest place on earth

June 17, 2009 at 6:47 am (3 year olds, vacations, Wordless Wednesday) (, , )

… until it’s time to go home!

I love Mickey

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Orlando family vacation

June 16, 2009 at 10:00 am (family, Top Ten Tuesday, vacations)

We just got back from our first “family of four” trip.  And although a family vacation with just mom, dad & the kids isn’t exactly a “vacation“, it was still alot of fun & we had a great time!  So, in order of occurrence here are the Top Ten Reasons I loved our family “vacation”:

1.  The “Are we there yet” questions.

2.  The Interactive Water Feature at our Resort – This was so fun!!  In addition to swimming pools, they had this super cool area!  Evan could run around, go up & down the slide, shoot cannons & dump buckets of water.  Plus it was all zero-entry so Megan could sit, crawl around & have a ball!!

Water Feature

3.  Playing Miniature Golf – Evan LOVES golf.  And by his standards he’s really, really good at it!!!  The resort had a great little course on site, so needless to say we definitely got our Tee-Time in!!

 Golf 1

4.  Dinner at the TRex Cafe in Downtown Disney.  Oh my goodness!!!  This was the coolest!!  It’s from the same people that brought us the Rainforest Cafe (another wonderful dining experience!!), but it’s all DINOSAURS!!!  I had no idea it existed, much less that a location was at Downtown Disney.  But if you have a little boy or girl that loves dinosaurs, then you must make this a priority during your next visit to Orlando or Kansas City (random location, yes).  There’s so much I could say about this … maybe I’ll do a whole post on it later.

TRex Cafe

 5.  A day at Magic Kingdom – well of course this was fun!  But oh, it was so incredibly hot too!!  At one point, our favorite attractions became what was ever inside!!  Evan had a really good time & Megan was a great little trooper!!  I’m not sure if Walt would be thrilled to know that when it was all said & done, Evan said his favorite rides were the Monorail & the trolley – but hey, he had fun in between too!!  Again, this could require a whole post of it’s own so hopefully that will come in the near future:).

The Castle

6.  Fishing – Evan & his daddy both enjoy fishing, so they made sure to carve out some time for fishing on the lakes.  This was usually during Megan’s nap time or while I was putting her down for the night, because fishing isn’t exactly on my personal “top ten”!


7.  Playing in the sand – typically this isn’t something I would like to do – far to sticky & messy for me, but it made for some cute pictures & it made both little ones happy.  Evan liked hiding his feet & hands in it & Megan liked to eat it!



8.  Watching Evan – it’s just fun when he’s having fun!


9.  Watching Megan – and it’s even more fun when she’s having fun too!!


10.  Coming back home to my own bed!  Oh, how nothing beats it!  Even on a great vacation, coming home is oh so nice too!!

For more Top Ten Tuesday lists or to link up to one of your own, visit

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Are we there yet?

June 15, 2009 at 8:21 am (3 year olds, family, vacations)

“Are we there yet?” … Ah, The age-old question asked by most all kids at some point in their life.  And likely while strapped in the back of a station wagon, SUV, or mini-van with luggage around their feet & piled to the ceiling. 

Last week we began our roughly eight-hour journey down to Orlando.  Apparently, Evan’s either too young or his mind just doesn’t think in terms of “are we there yet”, but still the same point was made.   He was stuck in the carseat & he wanted to be out!  After being in the car for just a short time, I quickly realized I needed to grab a notebook & start taking notes!!  FYI – Evan thought “vacation” was actually “the cation” … so that’s what he called it all week!

9am – roll out!

9:27am – “Are we going on the-cation?”

9:38am – “Dad, I really want to go on the-cation!”

10:33am – “I want to go on the-cation.  Where is it?”

(we attempt to re-explain that “the cation” is in Florida)

10:44am – “Hey Mom.  I want to go to Florida.”

(we attempt to re-explain that while in Florida, we’ll see Mickey Mouse, go swimming & fishing, play putt-putt, etc.)

12:45pm – “Mom, I’m ready to catch the fish.”

1:58pm – “Mom, I want to catch the fish.”

(between 2 & 5pm, we stop for lunch, Evan watches a movie & naps in the car)

5:20pm – ” I WANT to GO FISHING!”

5:29pm – “Look Dad, there’s a lake.”

5:31pm – “Can we go fishing in that lake?  I want to go fishing Dad.  I want to go FISHING!”

5:34pm – “Dad.  I want to GET THERE!”

(at 6pm we stop to eat dinner, explain that we’re in Florida & just a few minutes from where we’re going to stay)

6:15pm – (Leaving the restaurant – Evan starts crying) “MOM … I want to stay here in Florida I don’t want to leave!!!”

(attempt to explain that Florida isn’t the restaurant … arrive at condo)

6:45pm – (After unloading all our luggage & snacks & Evan’s juice into the condo)  “Look Mom.  They have juice just like we do!!!”

10ish – (Trying to get Evan in bed) “I just don’t understand the-cation!!”

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Too tired to come up with a title

June 14, 2009 at 9:13 am (family, vacations)

We just got back yesterday from our trip to Orlando.  I’ll have plenty to post later, but here’s a cute picture to hold you over until then!!


Now I’m off to spend probably the next two weeks getting back our bed-time & nap-time routines … oh joy!

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