Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Happy Holidays!

Twas several days after Christmas and I'm a bit late
So here goes the story not to overrate.

It was quite busy with so much shopping in tow
Spent quite a bit - over budget wouldn't ya know

Christmas Eve was special with the Childrens Mass filled
Visitors from afar, parishioners calling for Father Theo to rebuild

We headed to my Mothers for a comfortable greeting
Beautiful decorations,  fun galore and lots of eating

Late getting home with the children hurrying to bed
Time to wrap presents for visions of Santa danced in our heads

Woke the next morning with first things first
Baby Jesus in the Manger and prayers versed

On to Alexander who played a few songs for our delight
Then to Brian who opened James gift of box after box to enjoy his plight.

We continued our tradition with celebratory chatter
The best gift of the day was from my husband, pant size was the matter

Then on to Christmas morning with our annual breakfast and later for dinner
Where my Mother cooked a roast that was certainly a winner. 

And so 2012 is on its way with much marathon training behind us
We are packing for Goofy and feeling really quite nervous.

Merry Christmas to all! As we head to Disney for our big debut
With love and blessings to many ~ farewell, we bid you!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Texas trip - part 1, partner.

On our way to the biggest state in the nation we stopped in Atlanta, Georgia for breakfast, Alabama for lunch, Mississippi, just because,
it's on the way, 

and as luck would have it (or rather really good planning) we ended up in New Orleans, Louisiana for a delicious Cajun dinner and an overnight stay.
The next morning we awoke early and decided we couldn't leave without touring the French Quarter....

And since breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and Cafe Du Monde  just happened to be on close by We sampled a few beignets.

 Did I find Heaven!!
So we sampled a few more and a few more after that...
After rolling ourselves out into the streets of the Big Easy, we spotted St. Louis Cathedral and thought it best to confess my our gluttony sins.

While there we learned this beautiful church was built around the early 1700's and has 
fossilized tile floors. It was pretty cool.
Upon leaving the cathedral Alexander met a few friends. 
Some pretty cool jazz musicians.

Later, we came upon an opportunity to visit a bug museum called  Insectarium.
A really great place to visit if you get the chance.

Don't be nervous if your not a fan of a small invertebrate,
it was quite fascinating. 
Take it from an anti-bug enthusiast.

If you go during lunch,
your in luck because they actually serve insects!  

and cooked them while you wait! 

Although the aroma was really something to tempt the taste buds, the thought of eating creepy crawlers just didn't seem very appetizing.

So we opted for plan B and took the first train, bus, boat outta there!

Got in the car and headed toward

the Big "T"

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

T-shirts of James

In looking through several pictures, I've noticed one specific theme     
involving our oldest son. Each time I try to get a snapshot of him, he's in a t-shirt.

Some of them are pretty funny, seeing a 22 year old wearing a t-shirt with the words "My mommy thinks I'm special" just cracks me up. (and Yes, I do).

I'm thinking... its a sign of my sons higher intelligence to wear a goofy shirt like a picture of the cookie monster, Elmo or even this one, of Einstein.

Although I am delighted that he stands up for what he believes and makes his values known...

Hm, perhaps some may be a bit cynical. 

Anyone for steak?

The cool ones display places he's visited. 

I'm not sure he's actually been to Bermuda... 
perhaps the places someone else visited?? Oh well.

 You have to admit this one is pretty clever. It's a t-shirt that he and a few of his friends designed for a local company. James' silhouette is the one in the middle, under the light. 
Can you see "his" glow? 
That's my boy.

After going through these pictures. I thought of sending his photo and a letter to the show
What Not to Wear
truthfully, I don't care.

James is one of my most favorite people in the world.
A super young man and a wonderful, kind individual anyone would have the pleasure to meet.
It has been my greatest joy to have him in my life.

Soon enough these t-shirts will turn to business suits. 

Sunday, December 11, 2011

It's a good thing

My Mother has a special  talent with decorating. She understands the importance of making one feel comfortable and always welcomed into her home. 

Each holiday she places magical affects on everything she touches. Anytime there is a birthday or a special event my Mother knows how to pull it together. Personally,  I love the wonder of transformation on her home during this season.  Once my nephew George noted "Nana's house is decorated! Christmas is here! Christmas is here!"

Indeed it's a happy, warm and inviting wonderland. 

This year was no different. 

The front entrance is a simple of elegance of silver sparkling deer, plaid garland, and white poinsettia's. 

Turn to the left and you will find her living room glistening with crystal wise men, lights and angel atop a beautifully decorated tree.

Enter through an archway and you will find the dining room. Where Dickens village is placed on glass shelving overlooking  the festivities.

The table is set simply with an adorable reindeer runner and each plate meticulously placed in a strategic fashion for a wonderful social gathering.

I, like so many, love seeing the new, fresh ideas and decorations my mother originates each year.

Thanks Mom for teaching and passing on your welcoming views to the rest of us.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Alexander and the Trans-Siberian Orchestra

My Alexander loves music! He plays the piano quite often and enjoys listening to musical orchestras. One of his favorite the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. A classical rock band with the power to transform music into dancing lights,  pyrotechnics and fireworks. A year ago they came into town and he asked to go see them for his birthday but the tickets were sold out. 

So this year Reiner, my husband, heard that they were coming into town, and as luck would have it, his company was giving a special drawing for their employees for boxed seats right in front of the stage. "the box" is comfortably furnished with big leather chairs, a television and all you food you can the eat and drink! 

Thinking of Alexander without hesitation he jumped at the chance to put his name in the hat. 


He won!

(Just wondering. Did you think to play the lottery too, dear?)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Garrison Keillor! Make me laugh!

Brian, our nine year old's favorite all time radio host is non other than Garrison Keillor . Every Saturday night he sits with his ear close to to the radio and laughs at each delivered joke and story. Brian's ear is attuned to  stories of Lake Wobegon and the travels of Guy Noir and the cast of a Prairie Home Companion. It's really quite funny.

Recently, Brian and I where driving back from a visit to my sister Karen's home. We drove down Main Street in Greenville to look at all the Christmas attractions being offered in our town. As we past the Peace Center,

Brian shouted "WAIT!! Mom!! Stop! It's Garrison Keillor!"

"Where?" I replied.

"There! On the sign! At the Peace Center! He's coming! Mom! He's coming here!"

"Oh. That's nice." I replied.

"Oh. No. Mom. you don't understand. Please! Wait! This is an opportunity of a life-time! For Christmas. He's retiring. I have to go see him! Please Mom. I will never get the chance again. He's coming. It's all I want for Christmas!"

"Really? No gifts? No toys?" I said

"Well. No. I want. toys. too. BUT. Okay. Well. I didn't mean that's all I want. Listen. You can give Alexander 8 gifts and give me 7. Because this will count as a gift. Okay? Pleeeeze!?

"WOW! With a bargain like that how could we pass up an opportunity of a lifetime for Christmas, Brian!" I replied


Although the show was funny, the greatest part was becoming star struck by meeting the face of radio in person and have everyone standing around you while Mr. Keillor talks to a you, personally,  about his show and life on the radio.

"What did he say to you Brian?" I asked

"I don't remember, Mom. I was too nervous. But if you notice, Garrison Keillor wore a red tie with orange sneakers and I wore a red vest with an orange shirt. Pretty funny, huh? I wanted to stand next to him for a picture but everyone was near me and I was nervous."

"That's okay. I think it's pretty neat that he talked to you. But next time maybe you should wait to eat a mint until you get home." I answered.

"Heh. Yeah. Did you notice he autographed a book for me?" 

"Thanks Garrison Keillor"

"Oh yeah. And thanks Mom. And Dad too."

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Travel School

The joys of homeschooling is that you can hold school just about anywhere. 

AND Since we are missing this guy 

way to much. 

I say...

It's time for a field trip! 

Round 'em up and Move 'em out.

Texas here we come!! 

Monday, October 31, 2011

13.1 things to think about

This weekend my sister Lisa and I ran in the Spinx !/2 marathon in Greenville, Sc

Although she's a runner and athlete 

This was HER First Official Marathon 
Anyone whose run long distance knows this stuff is tough!

 I was so proud AND happy to see her cross that finish line. 

In fact she bought a 13.1 sticker for the back of her car.

She's Hooked.

Official Recognition of a Real Marathoner!! 

13.1 miles = 21.0824064 kilometers

13.1 things to think about

Mile 1 ~ I'm cold
Mile 2 ~ This is so easy
Mile 3 - I'm hot, I hate this
Mile 4 - Are you kidding me?
Where's the finish line?
Mile 5 - I'm hungry, where's McD?
Mile 6 - I'm thirsty, I.need.a.drink.
Finish line, where are you?
Mile 7 -  Ya know,  this isn't so bad.
Mile 8 - Leg cramp. Where is that stupid Bus?
Finish? Line?
Mile 9 - Are you kidding me? Another dumb Hill?
Mile 10 - Ok yes! Only 2 miles left!
Mile 11 - Wait! No! 2 miles left? What? 
Mile 12 - Are my feet and legs still moving? Are they attached?
Okay. So where's the finish line? 
Mile 13 - You mean I still have to run?
Mile 0.01 - I did it! So much fun!!!!!
Where's the chocolate?

You can't just buy those goodies off the shelf.
(okay. well. your not supposed to)

Hey, guess what... 
I beat my old time and had a personal record. Fastest pace to date!!

(Which isn't really that fast but faster than last year so...)
BUT the last 5 miles of this race was uphill!
Hey. I'm happy.

To everyone out there who is thinking about signing up for a marathon. WE say...


 On your mark

Get Set. 

Sign up for a race today! 

Who knows my sister Lisa and I may join you in the fun!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Our fishing trip by Alexander and Brian

It appears that I have been busier than normal lately. My kids have been asking me to write a post about their recent fishing trip so their Uncle Mark can read about the great BIG FISH they caught. I suggested since they are in a writing class and wasn't there - They should write about it.

So without further ado may I present Alexander and Brian's first post:

These following pictures may be disturbing to Uncle Mark and our cousin Mary's fishing career. (Brian) 

This was not like our usual fishing trip. We usually start out with a dull morning and puny fish. The day before was cold and our special day was just right in temperature.

 Dad caught the first fish of the hour. But that one was not right. He was a little to thin.

Ι, Brian, caught a fish that was a little bulkier but that one wasn't right either.

Wait! You haven't seen anything yet!

Last but not least...

We, really me... Alexander, caught this guy! 

He's Just Right.

Maybe someday we will show Uncle Mark our special fishing hole.

Hold on!
We should see if Aunt Lisa will bake us a cake first. Mom said sometimes bribery works. 

Friday, September 23, 2011

Pirates!!!! of Graceland's Coachwood

I, I, Mate.

My guys still love to dress up in costumes.

Arrrr. Thar Matey!

 These pirate hats are a special gift from their Nana after her trip to the Bahama's.

oh yeah! 

I'm scared.

  (Thanks Mom!)

Sunday, September 18, 2011

My Opey Cunningham

Remember Opey from Andy Griffith?  

My Alexander is the cutest little red head you will ever have the pleasure to meet. 

His smile is dynamic. He actually looks a lot like Opey.

He loves sports, any kind of sport, but he's especially talented in the game of tennis. 
.In fact, if your visiting us and hear thump. thump. thump

Rest assured it's not a peg-legged pirate or Opey Cunningham... it's Alexander practicing his forehand, backhand or grand slam against the sheet-rock in our garage.

Did someone mention Lego's?
Like most little boys his age he can build just about anything. 
His latest was an exact replica of the well known twin towers in New York which he saw briefly in the news one night during the week of 9-11 remembrance.
Unfortunately, I wasn't quick enough with the camera.

He really enjoys playing the piano and has gotten quite majestic with musical tunes. In fact, he recently preformed for the Ladies and Gents of a local Music club in town. 
Once again I forgot my camera 
but trust me when I tell you,
He. Was. Great.
Of course... I am his Mother. 

Unfortunately, there is one thing that Alexander has not enjoyed so much...



Captain Underpants! 

This book is literally infectious and full of gross bathroom humor which has brought a giggling joy of reading into my reluctant reader.

It's cartoon featured pictures enhance good dirty jokes. It's a perfect noneducational and corny read that has kept my guy completely entertained. In my opinion, any child who is not interested in reading could truly benefit from this book therefore become engaged 
for hours - well into the night. 

With this book Alexander's confidence levels has greatly improved.
His ability to read fluently has become noticeably different.
Although, it's not the book I would have chosen but it's gotten the reading ball rolling
and really -
isn't that what's important?

Personally, for me,
it has been one of my greatest pleasures 
to yell at Alexander and tell him

Sweet dreams Opey Alexander.