Sunday, May 31, 2009

Just South of Boone

(click me!)

If you get on the Blue Ridge Parkway just south of Boone, NC and head south you will be heading to a small slice of paradise.

This stretch of highway includes scenic overlook after scenic overlook of beautiful blue mountains, colored distinctively bluer as they fade into the distance.

A short walk down a path off the parkway will bring you to Linville Falls. The soothing sound of the water falling over the rocks is as peaceful as the quiet forest that encompasses them. The water has carved through these amazingly curved layers of rock. You can hike up another path to get a view of the falls from above.

(Click me too. This is a stitched photo combining about 30 photos to get a wide view of Linville Falls.)

Jump in the car and take a little trip!
It is an amazing view from the top.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

On This Day in the Year 2004

Yesterday 5 years ago the world was short one small child. My world was short one small child. You came into the world quite quickly after one long night babe. You didn't really wait for anyone to get to mommy's side except daddy so the two of us had you all to ourselves for the first few moments. With your arrival you brought joy, laughter and love like I had never known. You also brought a lot of poop. Part of the laughter was watching daddy gag as he tried to clean off that new baby poop. Ahhh good times good times. Thank you sweetie.

You and I were a team from the start. When my sister in laws, your aunts, came over they just knew that I was letting you sit in a poopie diaper because man did you smell bad. I kept telling them that you were just gassy but they thought I was just a silly new mother who didn't know a thing. I assured them you could stink up a room better than any World War II vet digesting an entire war's worth of rationed canned beans but they didn't believe me. As they were opening up your diaper I looked over at you and thought please Ella, do not have poop in there. As your Aunt looked up at me and shrugged I knew we were homegirls, we were a team. I would have fist bumped you on that, your thrid day, if you hadn't been across that room. I had not been so proud to be a mom yet as I was at that moment. Thats my girl! I proceded to sweep you up in my arms and I trotted triumphanty up the stairs to my room feeling like maybe I wasn't going to completely fail at this mom thing. We are still girls baby.

Your daddy's girl though, don't get me wrong. The sweetest sound in the world is you beating the mess out of your daddy and giggling away while he moans, groans, laughs and incites more craziness.

Today your daddy took off work just to be with you on your birthday. What a good daddy. He must like you. You have spent the day running amok in the Tinkerbell dress and crown we bought last night. You were very much aware of the whole present thing this year. You know Ella, you used to be good with just one present, the box it came in and wrapping paper. We will work on that okay?

We started off the day like we love to start them, snuggling in bed. Then we turned on Night at the Museum just for fun. After we got dressed up all fancy we went to play at that McDonalds they just built with the amazing playground. Youv'e been wanting to take daddy there for about 6 months. It was his idea to go there today. After playing we went to see the next Night at the Museum movie and crammed ourselves with candy as a special birthday treat. You promptly passed out when we got home.

Mommy has more fun planned for later though. In the meantime, how about you slow down on the getting older? In the last year you have grown about 9 feet taller, .9 oz heavier, and 6 years wiser.

We had been doing the whole birthday countdown since your early birthday party with your classmates last week. When I noted on day 3 of the countdown that 5 years ago you were still in my tummy I apparently opened that one of for conversation. "But how did I get out?" you inquisitively demanded. A simple answer didn't suffice and when I ansered that a hole opened up when a mommy was going to have a baby you immediately pulled up your shirt and stuck your finger in your belly button. No no, not that hole. You were pretty done with that conversation when I explained it was down where you go pee. Phew.

You are so loved Ella. What a blessing you have been for these 5 years!
I am looking forward to the next!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Just Pretend

Nate has just moved into a new phase of play and I just find it so sweet and fascinating. He is pretending. His mind has expanded into a place only he can see. No more is his play just concrete using what he sees around him. Now it is as fluid as a finger airplane's course across the sky or a fish swimming through the air. He is enamored with things with wheels, has a new love for shaking his booty, a quite a unique style of dancing, and a love for stealing the spotlight from his sister only because she wants it not because he does. He makes us laugh.

Today he and I shared a meal. He cooked pancakes and sausage and shared it with me. He took his chubby little fingers and dipped them into his palm pulling out bites of "yummy panicakes" and served them to me. "Licious Mommy?" he asked. "Thank you Nate, it is delicious!" And so are you my sweet boy.

Anatomy 101

Ella: "Nate, why do you have a wee wee?"
Me: "Because he is a boy and boys have wee wees."
Ella: Pause for dramatic effect. "Daddy has a wee wee. A big GIANT wee wee!!"

These are the things that concern me about kindergarten starting in the fall.

Alex, I posted about your big giant wee wee for the whole internet to read. Your welcome honey. This makes me wonder about this post again though.....

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

I ♥ Faces - Silhouette

Doing another I ♥ Faces thing this week.
Silhouette was the theme this week. Go join in and check out the other entries!!

Nate checking out the Harbor Seals.
I love those cheeks and sweet chubby fingers.

Strawberry Day at The NC Farmer's Market

A couple weeks ago the kids and I needed an outing so we decided to head to the NC State Farmer's Market in Raleigh. They were having "Strawberry Day"!! Yummy!!! Upcoming events include; crawfish day, blueberry day, peach day, and watermelon day. I think we may have to do a repeat with a few of these.

For Nate & Ella it pretty much went like this the whole time: Approach stand, wait a second for someone to look at big pleading eye balls, respond "Yes Pweeze" or "Yes please" to "Would you like a strawberry?", shove strawberry in mouth making yummy noises, giggle at the other sibling's face when they saw all the strawberry juice running down their chin, move on to next stand while still attempting to eat previous strawberry, rinse lather repeat.

I just laughed at how wide eyed they would get again in front of each subsequent strawberry stand. They would both look in amazement at all the red juicy goodness and turn on the charm for more free strawberries. I had to cut them off because I feared the farmers would suffer losses that season from my children alone they consumed so many. They were amazing. We bought a huge basket full and they did not go to waste.

So what about you? Ever visit your state's farmer's market or your local market? Not only is it a fun outing for everyone but it is a fantastic way to support your local economy and benefit from the freshest produce around. Our strawberries were picked THAT morning! So, go find yours!! Saturday mornings are so fun!

That is my daughter making eye contact with the camera!

Monday, May 25, 2009

3:00pm Memorial Day

At 3:00pm today I will stop what I am doing to remember. Today I remember friends, today I remember family, today I remember strangers. I will bless the active duty men and women who serve away from their families, friends and loved ones. I will thank the veterans who served our country and take with them daily reminders of the sacrifice they gave. I will remember those who gave their lives to make this a country I have the freedom to enjoy. I am safer for their service and I thank them.

If you don't pray just take a moment to be silent. Go set a reminder on your cell - go! Enjoy your hot dogs, hamburgers, families and friends!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Muddled Mommy Had A Farm....

the herb garden

This year with the encouragement of my friend Jennifer (if you had a blog I would link it here you know, get on that) I decided to finally jump in with the vegetable garden. I have had an herb garden with a couple established things in it for the four years we have lived here. I have had thyme, rosemary and what turned out to be oregano when the weeds were beaten back.

basil, cilantro & thyme
Now, in the herb garden I have:
  • Rosemary
  • Thyme
  • Oregano
  • Cilantro which we use SO MUCH of in our house
  • Basil and Sweet Basil
  • Lavender
  • Dill
  • Carrots (what - that's an herb isn't it?)
  • Mint and more I have forgotten I am sure
one of the experimental plots and the kid's fav place to worm hunt

the main garden - notice the 5 foot fence.

In the Vegetable gardens (4 different plots to see where is best) I have planted:
  • Jalapenos
  • Tomatoes - Heirloom, roma, cherry, and Big Boy
  • Green Peppers
  • Cucumbers
  • Zucchini
  • Squash
  • Watermelon
  • Cantaloupe
  • Onions
  • Beans
  • Okra
  • Tomatillos - SOOO Excited about these. If they will produce all the effort will be worth it.
If I can grow salsa I will save so much money this year. We use all those ingredients so much in our cooking. I have bought few plants and started most things from seeds. So much cheaper! Do not get me wrong, I have very little hope to actually produce much but so far we are doing alright. Not everything is dead yet and that is so much better than previous effort which was thwarted by Satan's little helpers deer. I liked deer before that. I tolerate them now.

The kids have loved helping and my hope is that if they plant it, water it, grow it and harvest it they will also eat it. I know they have loved finding worms for it.

Plants top to bottom left to right: 1: ? - Kids & Daddy planted these seeds. They could be cantaloupe or squash. 2 green onions (aren't they so cute!) 3. Big Boy tomatoes 4. Jalapeno 5. Tomatillo 6. Zucchini.

I am not using any chemicals on my plants so I don't have to worry about the kids, well water or dog so I used this interesting product to deter deer and rabbits. What is the number one ingredient? Putrescent egg solids. Oh yea baby. Let me tell you, that smells as good as you would think. It seems to be working though! So what do you think? Locals, hopefully you will be getting a plethora of fresh healthy vegetables from me this year.


"My Like It..."

"My like it laybuuug" - Nate
The kids are really liking the bugs this year.
Those are my babies!! Good job guys!
Mommy loves your spirit.

Saturday, May 23, 2009


Did you miss me? I have missed me. Do you ever just loose yourself?
Maybe it was the missing left arm computer, maybe it is life catching up with me but when I got the computer back last Friday I just could not make anything happen on here.

I promised some posts, photos or not, while my computer was gone but I didn't realize I would be transported back to 1997. I was functioning on my spare computer, a Goodwill find for the kids to bang on, at dial up speeds so d o i n g a p o s t was miiiind numbing. You guys know my mind isn't too there on a normal day.

I have been a busy little bee lately with preschool ending so now the summer for me has officially begun. Play time!!!

On my brain lately: Birth control, trying to be more social, what to do with the kids over the summer, and camping. The kids will be with Gran & Poppi for the weekend in two weeks and I AM SO EXCITED. Alex and I are due for some time alone together so we are taking off camping, our first time together. Might not be possible to be more excited.