Sunday, September 28, 2008

Family Weekend at the Lake

We spent a nice, peaceful family weekend here:
We stopped here on the way to and from the lake:
For these {the world's best chicken fingers and potato wedges}:
The water was a little chilly for swimming, so the kids did this instead:
Saturday night, we grilled hamburgers, hot dogs and corn. We also made good old "lake fries":
Saturday afternoon, Banks wanted to ride the zipline one last time this year and I wanted to practice with the new video camera. He jumped on {see the boy stick figure} and literally flew down. When he got to the end {see the girl stick figure}, he nailed me and I flew backwards into the water between the dock and the boat, video camera in hand. I now know how those people on American Gladiators feel! Luckily we both survived along with the video camera {thanks to the hair dryer}! I thought I had the entire thing on tape and was ready to claim 1st prize on American's Funniest Home Videos but I must have forgotten to press the record button! The zipline if officially retired until the water level rises!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Guess what came today {kind of}

I was starting to get a little nervous because I had not received our travel documents for our big trip yet! I knew they should have been sent out 21 days prior to our trip via 2nd Day Fed Ex and we hit the 14 day mark today. I talked to Popsy early this morning because his office address was on our reservation...but he had not seen them. I immediately called SouthWest to get the scoop. Yes, they were mailed out at the 21 day mark and were delivered on Tuesday, September 16th. What??? That was over a week ago and they were nowhere to be seen! They were able to tell me the address they were delivered to...it was Popsy and Gigi's house {the one they moved from a few weeks after the reservations were made in May}! Great!
Their old house is only a few minutes away from ours...so I drove over there to see if the new owners still had my precious envelope. The girl told me that she had gotten the package last week, thought they looked like airline tickets {really...did the SouthWest Vacations envelope clue you in?} BUT marked on the envelope WRONG ADDRESS then dropped it back in a FedEx drop box! I wanted to scream! At this point I was giving her a break because I thought my name was on the envelope and knew she would not put 2 and 2 together BUT I am listed in the phone book. How hard would it be to pick up and phone and call me...I bet it would have taken less time than it took you to drive to the FedEx box!
So, I got back on the phone with SouthWest. All that lovely customer service rep could tell me that WHEN they did get the documents back, they would re-issue them to the same address. Wonderful! Are they not getting a little nervous, because I am? Hello, this time in 2 weeks we will be there!!!!
I called back a few minutes later and got yet another lovely customer service rep. I just wanted to get the tracking number for the package so I could call FedEx myself and try to track down the package since SouthWest wasn't too concerned. She informed me that she could not give me that information but when the package arrived back they could re-issue it to the same address. Are you kidding me???
Then I call FedEx. Well they can't track the package unless they have the tracking number! By this point I was extremely frustrated! Jody happened to come home at lunch and agreed to call SouthWest to see if he could get the tracking number out of them. Wouldn't you know it...he got the FABULOUS Lucille who amazingly was able to give us the magic number!!! {Thank you Lucille, you are an absolute lifesaver and deserve a big fat raise!} Then we called FedEx back and luckily the package was still in Madison! Hallelujah!!! After we conferenced my dad in {because his name was on the envelope*} for him to give them permission for me to pick up the package...I was off to Madison! So my entire morning day was spent tracking down our travel documents!!!
I am stepping down from my soapbox now! Yes, we leave in less than 2 weeks for our big trip! The kids are getting more and more excited. I am going to spend next week trying to gather up and organize all the things we think we will need! I will keep you updated on the progress!
*Hello to the genius who bought their house...do you not remember their names? It has only been 4 months! OR how hard would it have been to pick up the phone and call him...he too is listed in the phone book!!!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

More Pond Pics

This afternoon Banks wanted to show the pond to Mary Reese and Daddy, so we loaded up and went for our own private viewing!
We know we can't do this once the fish make the pond their new home:

But it sure was FUN today!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Ponds for Kids

Today Banks {as well as the rest of the school} got to participate in the PONDS FOR KIDS program {a partnership with The Alabama Outdoor Classroom} with the assistant of Lee Vought Water Gardens. At the end of the day, the entire school got to watch as they turned on the pond:
Banks with his "work" gloves on. He thought he was going to get to do all the digging. I didn't have the heart to tell him only the older grades were working today. All the younger grades get to help plant the water plants and release the fish into the pond next month.

Ms. Lowery's entire class in front of the pond:

You can check out one of the 2nd Grade teachers Pond Progress blog post to see just how much his school accomplished today! Banks can't wait for next month when he actually gets to "work" on the pond!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

For your afternoon entertainment...

I just bought a new Flip Ultra Video camera {I have been eyeing one for a few months}. I decided I might need to test it out before our big trip; and I have been dying to record Banks and Mary Reese doing the fiddle part of Dixieland Delight but my old video camera didn't hook up to the computer. So for your afternoon entertainment:

video

Do you think they will be asked to make an appearance at Fiddler's Convention in Athens?

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Quote of the Day

Banks - "I'm not the tallest in my class this year."
Jody - "That's OK. Who is the tallest?"
Banks - "Shawn. Well, he suppose to be in 2nd Grade."

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

New Carpool Line Project

Since I finished my book, I needed a new project to work on while in the carpool line and during Mary Reese's ballet/tap class. I finally found an out-of-print Cinderella smocking plate. So for the last few weeks, I have been working on getting this done for our upcoming trip {our Princess will be wearing it when we eat lunch with the other Princesses at the Castle}:
The first week I got all the backsmocking done. This week I have been working on the borders and the picture smocking part. I am almost done with the smocking...then I will be working on the construction of the dress and another surprise! I will post some more pictures once I get it done!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Riverfest Weekend

We spent the entire weekend at Riverfest at Ingall's Harbor on the Tennesee River. Jody and his "Full of Bologna" team cooked all weekend long! They ended up finishing 19th overall out of 77 teams.
Banks wanted to be dropped off to his daddy at Riverfest as soon as I picked him up from school on Friday {afraid he might miss something}. Mary Reese and I headed out later that afternoon. The kids played, danced to the bands and ate all night long! Mary Reese loved the Ribbon Fries while Banks opted for at least 2 snowcones. I looked up at one point and Banks and Sam were dancing on the cooler...just like they were on the front row of a fraternity bank party. Then all the kids started jumping off the cooler:
We headed home fairly early Friday night for a scrub down and some rest - so we could do it all over on Saturday!
Banks headed back to Riverfest with Jody early that morning. He and Mary Bradford played hard and even got their hair and face painted! Mary Reese and I waited until that afternoon to make our appearance! {I knew Mary Reese needed to rest before she went since she got up at the crack of dawn - 6:30 - asking if she could get some more of those Ribbon Fries!} Mary Reese, Vivi and Gray had a blast playing on all the blow ups:

Then Wesley "WeWe" took Banks and Mary Reese to the "yard":

Towards the end of the night, we got to hang out with Holley Ann, Kristi, Aunt Belinda and Pizza Man:

Thank you to Pizza Man for buying us all our glow necklaces and sticks on Friday night! Next year Holley Ann will be right there with them! The kids were already asking if we were coming back next year as we were leaving on Saturday night! They had a blast all weekend! Mary Reese {"The Energizer Bunny"} was back up early this morning...Banks is still snoozing!!!

Friday, September 12, 2008

C is for Cookbook

Mary Reese has been learning about the letter C this week at school. Today in her folder, I found a cookbook containing a recipe from everyone in her class. If you have never read a cookbook complied by a bunch of 3 year-olds then you are missing out! It was hysterical! Here is Mary Reese's recipe for "Little Corn":
Doesn't that sound delicious and delightful? Y'all try it and let me know what you think about it!
In all fairness {since we didn't have a blog when Banks was in the 3 year-old class}, here is the recipe Banks submitted for his cookbook:

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

"Homework"

Both the kids are really into "homework"! {I wonder how long that will last?} Banks had his first homework assignment tonight, so Mary Reese had to have some as well. Here they are, working on their assignments together {I promise her hair was brushed when she left the house today}:
His paper gave the instructions to draw something fun he did yesterday. He chose to draw himself jumping on the trampoline {can't you tell by looking}. I really wanted to jump in and help BUT I don't want to be one of those parents who does all their homework for them. Here is the masterpiece:
I did write out the words "jumping on the trampoline" for him to copy on the bottom. I think his handwriting has improved drastically since last year! I am proud to say that he is definitely a lefty like his Mommy!
Mary Reese has "homework" every week. They are studying lots about the letters of the alphabet. Ms. Valerie and Ms. Irene send a letter home on Fridays for them to decorate with something that starts with that letter. This weekend she has to decorate the letter C. Here she is very seriously and meticulously gluing on her Candy Corn:

She gets to take the letter to school the next week and show all her classmates her decorated letter!

I am really amazed at all they have been learning in school! I am very thankful that both of them LOVE going to school!!!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

After School Snack

Banks LOVES to get an after-school snack as soon as a pick him up {who can blame him since he eats lunch at 10:45 10:20}! Right now his two favorite places are: "Everyday" gas station where he gets an lemon-lime alligator slush and some kind of gummy candy or Sonic where he gets a blue coconut slush! I love Sonic because it is Happy Hour {1/2 price drinks and slushes} and I can get a Cherry Limeade {with good pellet ice}! Can you tell we which after-school-snack destination won today?

Monday, September 1, 2008

Labor Day Weekend fill with Festivities

We had a packed Labor Day weekend filled with LOTS of fun festivities! We {along with everyone else in the city} kicked off our long weekend attending the first D-High football game. It was a little different this year because instead of playing the big cross town rival for the last game...we played them for the first game. Needless to say, it was a blow out and we left at half time. Mary Reese, Banks and Colwell - all were really into the game, the cheerleaders and catching the plastic footballs they threw out when D-High scored:
Saturday morning {about 5 am}, the kids, Debbie and I hit the road to Indianapolis for Baby Carter's 1st Birthday Celebration. I made it all the way to the Indiana state line when I saw this:

They were camped out at the state line and I never saw him. In my defense, I don't think I was going any faster than anyone else on the road but I am sure I was singled out because of my out-of-state tag! It has been 18 years since my last one...so I guess I was due one.

We made it the rest of the way without any major tragedies. Debbie bought Carter his first pair of shoes...a pair of Wee Squeak tennis shoes. He thought he was big stuff walking around making squeaking noises:

Baby Carter then took his cousins to his swimming pool: Where Mary Reese even found a pair of Princess high heels to play with:

After a dip in the pool, we enjoyed "Debbie's Last Vegetable Meal" of the summer {I think I remember her saying the same thing last weekend}! I put the kids to bed and then settled in to watched the Alabama/Clemson game. I decided to hit the hay to watch the 4th Quarter only to discover the Indianapolis station decided the game was such a blow out that they switched over to some Michigan State/California game? Doesn't the rest of the world revolve around SEC football?

Debbie got up Sunday morning, gave Carter his first haircut {no more baby mullet} and fixed him his first big southern breakfast complete with homemade biscuits, sliced peaches and grits! Baby Carter enjoying it all:

After a trip to the Fashion Mall, it was time to get ready for the big party. Uncle Nicholas smoked 2 huge boston butts on the egg. Debbie and Uncle Nicholas pulling it to serve with Big Bob Gibson's Sauce:

Mary Reese and Carter enjoying the birthday meal: The birthday boy drawing with sidewalk chalk like the big kids: Banks, Anna, Dylan and Mary Reese "playing" Bocce Ball: Baby Carter LOVING every bite of his cake:

We headed home after the party and made it home around 11:00 pm...a whirl wind trip but one we would not have missed!

Today we spend the entire day lounging by the pool as a family. Tomorrow...back to reality!!!