Wednesday, December 20, 2006

bird feeders and santa

Daniel helped the girls hang the bird feeders we made this afternoon. He initiated this whole craft idea where we rolled pinecones in peanut butter and bird seed. He loves to watch for birds out our back window and the girls have picked up a love of it too. We hung these feeders right outside their windows hoping they would be able to see some from their bed during the day.

Later on in the evening we were all on our bed talking about santa. Daniel had gone into a big explanation about santa's bad list. They didn't know much about it. He asked the girls a few questions about what they thought santa knew and how he knew it. Ellen told us that santa doesn't see he just knows. Right after daniel finished his last words Arianna leaned down and kissed his face a few times. We couldn't stop ourselves from laughing. After Ellen stopped hysterically laughing with us she asked us what was so funny! :)

Monday, December 18, 2006

all together again!

I pretended to be a photographer the other day and spent a little while trying to get a photo of all of us to send out in our christmas card. I couldn't get one that I really liked but this one turned out pretty good.

I let the girls take pictures with the camera when we came back inside. This one was taken by Ellen. What a model! I'm getting him back for joking that no one reads this blog!

We went to see the christmas lights at the zoo tonight. It was a beautiful night. I haven't seen that many lights in a long time. I made the mistake of telling the girls that it was the 3rd Santa we have seen this year. Ellen didn't even want to talk with him. Arianna told him she wanted a cinderella dollhouse. i don't know where she got that from. Ellen told me today when she was writing a letter to santa that she wants a purple fairy book. I can't figure where she got that from either. I told her I didn't know where to get that and she was sure that santa would be able to get one for her. Anyone know where I can get a purple fairy book?

Friday, December 15, 2006

being vegan

I got this cartoon from a friend's myspace page and I'm not exactly sure where he got it but I love it. I haven't talked much on the blog about being vegan but I will eventually. I'm hoping this cartoon will just get you thinking:) I was trying to figure out a way to get it to stay at the top of my blog but when I put it in my profile picture it was so small you couldn't read it. oh well, i'm still figuring all this stuff out. Now that I have access to the computer in the evenings again you'll be reading a lot more from me! Daniel is out late finishing his last night of grading before our holiday. I've been working hard rearanging my blog:)

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Arianna and Drew

How sweet!! Claire and I are already making wedding plans! If you listen closely you can hear Arianna talking about riding the Black Stalion.

good friends, good places

The original plan for when Daniel had to go back to Indy to defend his thesis was that he was going to go by himself. But, I just couldn't imagine staying here in Columbia while he was going to be so close to our friends. We made the 10 hour drive in my grandmother's hand-me-down car. The car ride there was harder because the girls didn't sleep as much as we were hoping and daniel and i were very tired. I had run into a curb and had a flat tire on Friday right before taking the girls to a ballet at a theater downtown. That added a little stress to our day and put us on the road a lot later. Anyway, we made it to Indy and the drive was well worth it. I enjoyed every single minute of being there. Even though the kids hadn't seen each other in about 5 months they acted like we had never moved away. It was very cold there the first couple of days so we didn't play at the parks like we were hoping. We did get to spend a day at the Children's museum and walked around the mall that was so close to our old house.

Arianna and Drew were so cute together. I was trying to get a video clip of them up on the blog but I'm having trouble with it. They were riding the horses on the carousel and reached out and held hands. They were always together, holding hands and playing together. I even caught this shot of Arianna with her arm around Drew waiting for our turn on the carousel.

I'm sorry that I didn't get a picture of the grown ups on the trip. Claire and Val were so sweet and put us up in their basement. We got to hang out over at Shael and Tom's house a lot too. Daniel was working most of the time. It was bad timing for him because he would have loved to sit around with us but he was so busy finishing his semester. Don't worry, I had a lot of fun anyway. Claire and I went out for a glass of wine one night and we all just had a great time hanging out. It is so nice to spend time with other families. We shared meals, helped clean up after each other and played with the kids together. The time went by so fast. I am so thankful for those families. Good friends are hard to find and I hit jackpot when I moved to Indy. I have to keep reminding myself that I was there for over 6 months before even meeting them. It takes even longer than that to really get to know someone.

We really miss Indianapolis. It is such a cool town and Columbia doesn't seem to be quite so great, yet. At least it is warmer here and we are only 2 hours from the beach and 3 hours from the mountains and an hour from our family. Oh I almost forgot to mention our lunch at Shalimar (Indian food). It is my favorite restaurant of all time. They have a great buffet and we would ride our bikes there almost every Saturday. They treated us to a free meal the day we moved. Anyway, they remembered us and it was the best meal I've eaten since I left! We ate there twice and the second time the waitor was waiting for us with our drinks ready! He saw us getting out of the car and got the girls mango juices ready!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

another chapter

Daniel defended his thesis in Indianapolis on Monday and he has now officially completed his masters degree in Philosophy! He has worked very hard for the past 2 1/2 years. When we made the decision to sell our houses and quit a good paying job in one of the most beautiful places (Booone) you might have thought we were crazy! We moved away from everything we were familiar with and made a life for ourselves in Indy. We began the life of grad students. Daniel took on the job and lifestyle like a pro. Once I got adjusted to the new town I fell in love with the big city and of course the people. I am so proud of Daniel for taking the chance--leaving what he knew and was good at to go for what he really loved, studying and teaching philosophy. It is not a rare thing around our house to brew a pot of coffee or tea after dinner so daniel can get through several more hours of work after the girls go to bed. I tell him he is crazy. This weekend, my friend Claire called him a machine. He just looks at me and tells me he loves it. What a man! We are proud of you daniel. Congratulations!!!! Now we get a whole month to be together and take a break. :)

Tuesday, December 05, 2006


This was an amazing experience. Once again we were at a place when hardly no one else was there. We had the whole zoo to ourselves. We got to see a lot of animals close up but Arianna and I loved to visit the gorillas. There are 3 males that live there behind a huge sheet of glass. They will sometimes sit right next to the window. They have been interactive in the past but since we were the only ones in there we really got to spend some time with them. This one was actually giving kisses to us and looking us right in the eye. One time he stood up and hit his fists against the window before running up the hill. He came back and sat right back down by us. When I was sitting there next to him I had set my purse down to put my camera back in and he was very interested in what was inside. He was watching me look through the bag and we pulled a few things out like a coloring page and snacks and he was looking at them. The girls had a lot of fun showing him the stuff.

Ellen said that her favorite part of the day was watching the meerkats. Those little squirrel like animals that dig in the ground are pretty fun to watch. But she also loves to feed the lorikeets. These birds are beautiful. Arianna and I are a little skiddish. I have yelled out a few times as they fly right by skimming my head with their wings. We have been in there when they sit on us. I have to hold Arianna because she said it hurts when they get on her.

Sunday, December 03, 2006


Well the girls have been sick for a few days. Pretty much as soon as we got home from our trip, Arianna started coughing. That turned into runny nose and fever and then Ellen got it. Thankfully it only lasted a couple of days and the girls are feeling much better today. I got to get out of the house yesterday and meet Gail and Anna in Charlotte for some Christmas shopping. We had so much fun. Daniel got to spend a lot of quality time with them this weekend and today they spent the morning outside building a fire. We have one of those outdoor fireplaces and they spent several hours out there in the cool weather gathering sticks and playing in the yard. Then we all sat around the fire before coming in to enjoy some hot chocolate and cookies. I got this picture of them enjoying their drinks and watching the angels. My mom sent that to us in Indy last year and it is so cool. The girls love how the angels spin around and make the sweetest little jingle as the bells are tapped.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

we're back!

We made it back from out thanksgiving trip. We were in Baton Rouge a few days and then we drove to Gulf Shores, Al. We had tons of adventures. I got to meet my step brother's wife Raegan. They've been maried for 7 years and it should not be as long before we see them again. I also met my other step brother's kids. I hadn't seen them in 8 years so I could hardly remember meeting their 10 year old, Triston. Madison is their 6 year old who played great with Ellen and Arianna. Then I saw Neal and Paige and Will and got to meet their baby Parker. It was a little too cold to play for a long amount of time on the beach for the first few days we were there. The wind was very strong. But we got in the water a few times anyway. Then when Daniel got there on Wednesday the weather started getting much nicer. We never had any rain and hardly any clouds which made for some great sunrises and sunsets. We built sand castles, dug holes and broke lots of shovels, jumped waves and found lots of great shells and a few creatures.

This is all the kids at Fort Morgan. This old fort is in great shape. We visited the museum and then the kids ran all around the grounds exploring all the dark, empty brick rooms and climbed on the cannons and brick walls.

The men are working hard building something!

Making fun of my mom's comment about us not going out to far in the Gulf because of the sharks. We're not afraid of sharks!

Friday, November 17, 2006


Dad took us out to eat last night. This is Davie, Michelle, Samantha and the girls while we were waiting.

Arianna's got the tigers "basketball" helmet on.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Baton Rouge

We made it to Baton Rouge. The car ride was long and difficult but great. I was so thankful to be able to ride and have mimi and BB to help in the car. I'm staying with dad and Davie in the same house that I was born in. It has been through one more round of remodelling but in the bedrooms and bathrooms this time. It feels like a new home and looks beautiful. The girls and I got to meet my nephew Parker today. What a cutie. He is 9 months old and is a shocker to us all because he sleeps so well. I am going to work on getting some pictures on tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


The girls decided to wear their swim suits all day today (under their clothes) because they are so excited about the beach! Arianna came out of her room this evening and walked around the house with her goggles and the suitcase and I just had to get a picture. I told Daniel it was perfect for the blog:) Then I took a picture of sad daddy and the indian princess on the couch. Dad is sad because he has to stay here an extra week. But, he'll be happy when he's flying and not driving all the way to Gulf Shores! Ellen is the indian princess. We got the idea after watching A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving and Charlie Brown's Mayflower Voyage. The girls and I collected feathers from the backyard and made the head dresses and they walked around with their shirts off saying they were indian princesses. By the way, she is doing an awesome job reading. She is sounding out words and reading signs. She asked me the other day when we were in the car what ex-xonett meant. I told her I didn't know what she was talking about and then realized that she was reading the Exxon sign! very cute and i was very proud:)
I am very excited because we are leaving tomorrow morning to visit family that I've never seen. I'll write more about that later. Off to finish packing!!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

it worked

Okay. I can't believe I just got that video on here. They make it so easy:) We made that video after getting one from our friends Shael, Lily, Tom and Cole in Indy. The girls watched the video of Lily and Cole about 50 times and then we made one to send back to Lily. Then we exchanged one more round of video shows. Lily and the girls used to put on shows together when they played. They still talk about each other all the time. I'm hoping to make a trip back up to Indy if and when Daniel has to go to defend his thesis. Speaking of the thesis, he sent it off for the last time. . . we hope. So, if he goes to defend it then I'm going to try and go with him. I wish is wasn't such a long drive but I'll do it if I can hang out with shael and claire again.

the dancing show

wouldn't it be fun if we could make a show together. . . dance all over the world with drew and lily and all our friends.
(says Ellen)

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

K9 cops and Firetrucks

We had a field trip today to see K9 division of the Sheriff's department. They explained and demonstrated how they train and use the dogs. It was very informative. In fact, I think it was a little too informative for k-5th graders! It was amazing to see how well trained they were and how they performed through the agility course. That was the most excited part for the girls. I didn't take any pictures today but after being around the cops it reminded me of some cute pictures I took at the children's museum of the girls in the firetruck.
I'm really putting this up here for Claire and Drew. They are good friends of ours from Indy and Drew was absolutely infatuated with firetrucks. To this day, when we see one, the girls tell me they think Drew would really love to see that. I still remember seeing Claire one day on the road in Indy and I called her and asked her where she was going and she said they were following a firetruck. The children's museum (Edventure) has a great place for the kids to dress up like firefighters and climb on and drive a truck. One of the great things about homeschooling the girls is that we have the freedom to go to places like that in the off hours. That means we don't have to fight the crowds on holidays and weekends. We usually go in the afternoon and basically have the whole place to ourselves. The day I took these pictures was one of those days.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Fall Field Day

This was an event that was put together by the local homeschool group. There were tons of families with kids of all ages. Most of the games were divided into age groups 6 and under or 7 and up. This first picture is of a kick ball game. Notice the girls in the outfield playing together while the ball is being played in the infield!

This next one is of the egg relay. You can see all the ages and Arianna is by far the youngest player! Ellen and Arianna did awesome the whole day. We were out there playing games such as sack race, clothing relay, pie eating contest, 3 legged race.
They also had face painting by one of the high school girls and bubbles out for the kids to play with. I was impressed with this event that was put on by a bunch of moms. I'm sure I'll be more involved next year.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

And the winner is . . . Arianna

We were on one of our trips to Kroger and saw some colors and pages set out on a table. I stood there a few minutes while the girls colored and realized it was for a coloring contest. After the girls finished with their pages they didn't want to leave them. They didn't quite get the idea that it was a contest and what that meant. The manager and I talked them into leaving their coloring as long as we could bring another one to do at home. Anyway, a few days later, we got a call that Arianna had won! Keep in mind this contest was for all ages. Supposedly they "judged" them taking into consideration the age and what is appropriate for that stage. Arianna was so excited. I was even more proud of Ellen who didn't get jealous but was actually more excited that her sister won! The prizes were a $10 gift certificate to the store and a Disney t-shirt that fits like a sleep shirt. She was so cute with the money. She walked towards the produce section and said, "I think I'll have some apples and pears." Then we explained that there were probably some toys in the store that she could pick from. We then continued to wander the isles looking for just the right one. She ended up with some sparkly finger nail polish, a doll, and another thing she could share with ellen.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

a day in boone

We drove to the mountains hoping to go on a hike and see the leaves. We actually saw a rainbow while driving (the girls first time to see one in real life). As we turned the corners into Blowing Rock it got foggy, rainy and cold. The weather wasn't going to let us go for a hike. We spent most of the day with Scott and Anna and their family. Daniel had the kids outside building a fort while we had visits from Matt and Ginger and Dan and Erin and family. We carved our pumpkins that afternoon before hurrying off to Mountain City for my parents band Deja Vu's performance and Herritage Hall. We spent the night at moms house while daniel stayed in Boone to play ping pong with the guys (part of his birthday present). I picked him up at Matt and Ginger's house and we played in the leaves some before returning to SC.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Halloween Party

This party was hosted by a family in our playgroup. There were tons of kids and lots of yummy food. But, when it comes time for a pinata, I get a little nervous! :) Am I the only one that freaks out when a bunch of 2-10 year olds swing a bat at the Pinata? At this party we lined the kids up shortest to tallest so the little ones got a chance. Most of the kids stood back away from the swinging stick. The only problem was that when the thing finally started to drop some candy, the kids were diving head first to get hand fulls while the kid was still swinging! I always think of America's Funniest Home Videos when i see one of these things. Of course, no one was hurt and the party was a big success. We stayed there most of the afternoon. By the time we got home the girls were ready to take their costumes off. So, for one more year we have gotten away with no trick or treating!

halloween and more

A few days before halloween we celebrated Daniel's 29th birthday. He didn't have much time to celebrate but I made him a cake anyway. Then, since all he would tell me he wanted for his birthday was books, I got him a pack of underwear and hankerchiefs. I think the girls were more excited than anyone as they woke up singing happy birthday to daddy without me even telling them.

We went to HalloWonka at Edventure Children's Museum. I thought it was appropriate since we had just finished reading Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. It was a very disappointing adventure. Besides the fact that it was expensive, the place was over crowded and over rated. The advertisements for it sounded awesome but the games were pretty lame! We stood in line for about 20 minutes to have face painted then again to get balloon animals. We basically just walked around, bumped into people, stood in lines and got nasty candy. Daniel actually confronted a women who skipped in line in front of us. It was very obvious to everyone around that she stepped in front of us and she denied it. I had to hold him back from causing a big scene:)

Sunday, October 29, 2006


Sharing with friends and family. We have been talking about starting a blog for a while. We were hestitant because of the idea of all our stuff being online for anyone to read. I am going to take it upon myself to go ahead and start this thing. We've got friends all over the place now that we've lived in 3 states in 3 years! I'm thinking this will be a good way to keep everyone posted. :)