Sunday, May 31, 2009

Redneck Riviera

School's Out for Summer!!!
{The kids are out. I am working 1 more week and then I am out...I can't tell you the last time I have had a summer vacation!}
{These are what Mary Reese took for her friends on Splash Day. Banks also took some when they visited the Splash Pad}
Summer means lots of outdoor time for us! Today after we cleaned out the garage, we hooked up the octopus pool from last summer to create our own Redneck Riveria:
By the looks on their faces, I think they had a ball: This one also enjoyed a little pool time: This one did not: {He napped in the air conditioning instead!} We ended a HOT day outdoors with these: {Chocolate M.&.M Ice Cream Cookie Sandwiches} Best of all...this time next week...we will be getting packed up for our annual Beach Trip!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

AXO Pledge Class Reunion

As soon as the curtain closed at the 12 Dancing Princesses Recital, one of my pledge sisters {who also had a daughter in the recital} and I jumped in the car and headed to Tuscaloosa for a pledge class reunion/slumber party here:
It has been 14 years since I lived there and some of my best memories from college were made there with these girls:
{The 1991 Pledge Class before our first swap.}
That was then and this is now:
{I think we look pretty darn good!}
About half of our class got together for the first official reunion since graduation. We all met at the house and picked up right where we left off! We immediately headed to our old rooms to drop our stuff before the festivities began! Zap came to the house to take some pictures before we headed to dinner at Yazoo. After dinner we {surprisingly opted not to hit the bars} headed back to the house for a gossip session in the t.v. room!
Here are the girls I pledge with from my hometown on Bid Day:
And here we are almost 18 years {and 6 kids} later:
{Somer has 2 boys, Nikki has 1 boy and I have 2 boys + 1 girl}
These are some of my closest friends {we still try to get together for at least 1 home game a year}:
{Amy, Jane, Mary, me and Lori - there are 10 kids between the 5 of us}
After our late night chat session in the t.v. room, we headed for bed. Have you ever slept one one of these? I spent my entire Senior year {getting some fantastic zzz's thanks to the "commercial" fans and the 2 snooze limit} sleeping on one of these: {Not as comfortable as I remembered but it was well worth it to see my pledge sisters!}
We were all amazed at how much {yet how little} the house has changed! We loved seeing all the rush posters in the study hall room and hanging out in the t.v. room that has doubled in size! We left after breakfast on Sunday morning with intentions of making this an every other year occasion! Hopefully more of our sisters can make it next time!

Monday, May 25, 2009


Saturday morning {at the crack} we were headed off to see these:
Our annual picnic breakfast with friends among the hot air balloons. Unfortunately they didn't fly, but we still got to see them blow up and tether.
This big boy looks forward to this morning for an entire year:
This year he even got to help hold onto a balloon:
This little girl likes watching them from a distance and visiting with friends:
{Twins in their Smitten shirts, matching skirts and flip flops}
This baby's first experience at the balloon races:
My attempt at a picture of all 3 of my children:
{They weren't very cooperative! I think it might take a professional.}
We headed back to the Jubilee later that afternoon in hopes for a balloon glow. Instead Banks and Mary Reese went to work here:
Earning their keep with the Villarreal children peddling pizza! They took their jobs seriously!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Field Trip, Awards Day & Graduation

Banks has been super busy during these last two days! Yesterday the Kindergarten classes went {along with PreK, 1st and 2nd Grades} to the Huntsville Botanical Garden. A couple of teacher friends emailed me these pictures:
They said it was wonderful! Hopefully we can make it back one day this summer.
Today was Awards Day. Here he is accepting his Awards from Ms. Lowery:
He was awarded the following: Math Award {for being able to count to 100 by 1's, 5's & 10's}, a Computer Achievement Award {for Great Technology Skills}, a High-Flying Success Award {for DIBELS Benchmark in ALL areas} and a Star Reader Award {for reading 180 books this year}.
Tonight we were back at school for their Graduation Program - Look What We Can Do!
{Banks is in a red shirt on the top row, far right!}

They sang several songs and then received their diplomas from Ms. Lowery and Ms. Davis:
After his program, we let him pick where we went for dinner. Not surprisingly, he picked the Mexican restaruant down the street! Afterwards he shared this special dessert {a treat from Nanny Nan} with us:
Banks - I can't believe your Kindergarten year is almost has truly FLOWN by! I know you are going to be just as sucessful in 1st Grade at your new school! Only 4 more days of being a Kindergartener!

Monday, May 18, 2009

12 Dancing Princesses Recital

Mary Reese had her first dance recital on Saturday. {Thankfully she was in the abbreviated Pre-school Show which lasted about 1/2 the time of the "real" performance.} It was the 12 Dancing Princesses and her class did a ballet routine called Blair's Roses.
{Mary Reese is the second one from the left on the first row}
Here she is with Sarah Laine and Gray at dress rehearsal:

Here is the routine performed at dress rehearsal:

She did a fabulous job {but we are glad to have our Monday nights free again}!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Pizza & Pickles

Tonight was homemade pizza night {one of our well as a family favorite}. Since we worked like dogs in the yard this weekend, our patio was now open for dinner. Usually I make mini pizzas and let everyone make their own {but tonight everyone got pepperoni}. We are a thin crust family and I have been making Frank Stitt's recipe from his Bottega cookbook cooked on this pan {the combination makes the perfect crust}.
We were teasing Mary Reese about putting pickles on her pizza:
She thought that sounded DELICIOUS & DELIGHTFUL. Anyone else have the same thoughts? Even Baby Owen joined us for dinner on the year he will be digging into the pizza with the rest of us!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

2 Month Check Up

Owen had his 2 month check up this afternoon. He did fabulously during the weighing, measuring, poking, prodding and oral immunization. It all went down hill fast when the nurse busted out the 3 shots {but by the time we got to the front to check out...all was forgotten}!
{Banks and Mary Reese were thrilled with his band-aid choices!}
Now for the status {with a comparison to brother and sister since we didn't have the blog back then}:
Weight: 11 lbs. 10 oz.
Length: 22 3/4" long
Banks - 11 lbs. 7 oz. & 24" long
Mary Reese - 10 lbs. 3 oz. & 22 3/4" long

Sunday, May 10, 2009

A happy Mother's Day

All I wanted for Mother's Day was my new and expanded garden to be constructed and planted {and a Spring Yard Cleaning session}. Last year we transformed the sandbox into a garden and for tomatoes and herbs. This year we ripped up some bushes {with the car and a chain} to add 12 feet of garden space. Earlier in the week my father-in-law helped Jody build the additional beds {with the help of these}. Then Saturday morning, 5 yards of dirt was dumped in the driveway:
I have never seen a little boy so thrilled:
{A giant pile of dirt made up for the rained out T Ball game!}
Even the princess joined in on the fun: They were completely covered in mud by the end of the project but they had an absolute ball. Here is the new garden: Filled with tomatoes, banana peppers, pepperoncini, red and green peppers, squash, zucchini, green beans, okra, herbs, watermelon and cantaloupe {most of which was started from seed}. We might can even have a truck farm at the Farmers Market {just kidding}! We still had over a yard of dirt left over. I told Popsy {who came over to lend his gardening expertise, tiller and muscles} that I had wanted a "horse troughs planter" {inspired from this blog}. He showed back up with this from the farmer's co-op:
I filled it with caladiums, jacob's ladder, angel wing begonia, button fern, maidenhair fern, euphorbia, and creeping jenny. I can't wait for it get more filled out. We also cleaned up the wisteria and oak leaf hydrangeas. Here is the pile of "stuff" we cleaned out of the yard:
It took us all day yesterday! So today we ate:
Uncle Christopher {with Jody as his soux chef} prepared a wonderful meal for all the mother's {and Aunt Stacey}. We dinned on fried catfish and chicken fingers, hushpuppies, onion rings, grilled sweet potatoes and slaw. We ended the meal with grilled peach cobbler and homemade vanilla ice cream. We had a wonderful Mother's Day!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Road Trip

This little man took is first road trip this weekend:
Debbie, Pitty Pat and I loaded up Friday morning and headed for a weekend packed full of festivities in Natchez, Mississippi {in honor of Aunt Stacey and David's upcoming wedding}.
This is pretty much what he did the majority of the time:

when he wasn't getting Debbie Scrub Downs in the bathroom sink:

He was the best baby and got drug LOTS of places! While he was snoozing {or getting scrubbed down}, we were busy doing this:
EATING {we ate a late Friday lunch at Fat Mama's Tamales, dinner Friday night at Woodstock, Saturday lunch at David's parent's house, a cocktail party Saturday night at Routhland and a Sunday Brunch at Greenlea}.
We also did some of this: DRINKING {frozen margaritas from Fat Mama's}! In between eating and drinking, we did a little sight seeing: This is the Turning Angel in the Natchez City Cemetery {at night when cars drive by on Cemetery Road their headlights shine upon the monument and to some it appears to turn as their car passes by...we didn't make it back at night}. We also hit a local home improvement store to see him: P. Allen Smith {he was autographing his books}
We had a wonderful weekend in Natchez exploring the historic homes {which make mine look like a spring chicken} and enjoying all their southern hospitality!