Sunday, March 25, 2007

Garden is coming along

As the pollen from the pine trees literally drifts through the air in clouds, spring is here!! I've never seen so much pollen. It's everywhere--all over the stuff outside, the cars, the porch and deck are yellow and it's even coming in the house and I sweep it up and wipe it off furniture. This is a picture of the onions, brocolli, lettuces, and potatoes.

Lily visits Columbia

One of the girls best friends from Indy visited us this week. She spent 2 nights and 3 days at our house while her parents were in Greenville. It was our first time to have a sleep over for the girls and they all had so much fun.

My parents started a band!

Mimi and BB have started a band called DeJavu. They play mostly oldies music. There are 7 members in the band now and they sound great. BB plays lead keyboard and Mimi plays backup and sings harmonies. Their studio is in their detached garage that they converted into a hi-tech recording studio! They practice twice a week and have a website (it's one of my links on the side of this page.) They will be performing in Mountain City at the Heritage Hall on April 14th. I'm so proud of BB who after working for years as an attorney for the LA senate is finally doing what he truly loves. All the band members are really nice and very talented. The girls love to listen to the band's demo CD that we just got and they sing along to the music while we are in the car.

My aunt Ellen and my mom (mimi) grew up around music and they love singing together. Here they were singing Brown Eyed Girl with the band and the kids.

ski pictures

Ellen Devon Arianna in their matching shirts from the ski mountain.
Ellen and I on the ski lift.

Dustin, Dylan, Ellen, Arianna, Devon

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

we're back

After our trip to the beach the girls and I went to see my cousins who were visiting my mom in Mtn. City, TN. It's only about a 4 hour drive to their house in the mountains. My cousins from Jackson, MS (Dustin, Dylan, and Devon) were on spring break and had been planning to ski and snow board while at mom's. I was thinking it was too warm but I was wrong. It turned out to be great skiing weather because it was warm enough to wear short sleeves and the slopes had a good base of snow from the cold weather the week before. So we met them at Sugar Mtn. ski slope on Wednesday morning and spent the afternoon skiing. I have some great pictures but I'm not able to upload them at this time. I can't remember how to do it on this new computer :) and I don't feel like playing around with it tonight. I'll post them soon. The girls were able to get up and down the bunny slope all by themselves. Even though I don't really like to ski that much we had lots of fun playing around. As I was telling a friend, the combination of high speeds and freezing temperatures just aren't that fun for me anymore! I took the girls (individually) up the chair lifts to some bigger slopes and let them ski some then put them in between my legs so we could go faster. While we were not skiing the girls had so much fun playing with their cousins. It was so good to see them and I plan to make a trip down to MS this summer to visit them again.
After spending 2 days at the slopes, my family left town and we went over to see our good friends who still live in Boone. The Morrisons, Anna, Scott, Julian, Madeline, Kalen and Brayden were great hosts. They took us out to eat, let us stay with them, and then made breakfast (french toast--yummy!)for us the next morning. I hardly saw Ellen and Arianna because they were so busy playing with their friends. As if all that wasn't enough fun:) We then went to see Matt and Ginger and their new baby Madeline. Matt and Ginger lived with us in Boone and they have now built a beautiful house in the mountains. Ginger is beautiful and so is her daughter who is only 2 months. What a beautiful family and I had a relaxing morning while visiting with them. The girls loved seeing the baby and only asked me about, oh, I don't know, 10 times if I could have another baby!
I only wish Daniel would have been with us on this trip. He was truly missed.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Spring Break on Hunting Island

We spent 2 nights and 3 days tent camping on this beautiful beach about 2 1/2 hours from Columbia. The entire island which is about 4 miles long and 1 mile wide is a State Park and Wildlife Preserve. I did not get a good picture of our campsite but it was right on the beach. The campground was full and active but the beaches never seemed crowded. We built fires, went on long walks, played in the sand, and surf. We visited the nature center and learned about the fossilized shark teeth that we found on the beach. We also walked on a boardwalk over the marsh. The weather turned out to be just perfect even though I worried all week that we were going to be stuck in the rain. (I learned to not depend so much on the weather channel!)It was so fun to be out in nature and very relaxing to be away from phones, internet and TV for a few days. We were certainly never bored and look forward to doing this kind of beach vacation many more times in the future.

The Fire. . . It was a big part of the weekend. We (well, mostly Daniel) spent a lot of time collecting wood, pine cones and straw, poking it and staying away from the smoke. We cooked beans for quesadillas on the grill, toasted tofu dogs, and bagels over the fire. This is Ellen helping out at the campsite.

I just had to get this shot of arianna curled up on Daniel's back. This was after our walk down the boardwalk over the marsh. She was actually comfortable and sat like that for a while!
It's kinda hard to tell what's going on in this next picture. It was low tide and we all (even Jay) climbed out over these rocks that are usually covered up during the high tide. The girls did an impressive job and made it out there without any help. Daniel established 3 rules in the beginning 1. Take your time 2. Don't get in anyone's way and stay on your own rocks 3. Don't do more than you think you can. Those rules made sense to the girls who were able to make it all the way out and back by themselves.

We found lots of cool sea creatures. Ellen points to a big hermit crab and then they take a close look at a sea urchin that is still alive.

This is the lighthouse that we couldn't climb.:) You had to be 44 in. to climb 11 stories to the top and we just thought it was fair that if one of us couldn't go then all of us shouldn't go. They had a great museum and we learned about lighthouses anyway.

We had a very sad moment at the last moment of our trip. We took one last walk out on the pier on the end of the island and the girls had decided to take their flip flops off. Arianna dropped one of hers over the side. She was devastated. Those blue flip flops were very important to her. Ellen understood the severity of the issue and began to sob because she was so sad for Arianna. Daniel and I tried hard to be understanding in this situation and just picked them up and gave them a big hug and finished walking down the dock together.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Finally it's Friday

Well, the compugeeks weren't able to get our data off of the hard drive. It was such an ordeal on Monday when we realized this. I spent time trying to figure out where we were going to send it and how much we were willing to spend on getting it. There are places out there that can save data and have a 90% recovery rate but it can be very expensive--up in the thousands to have done. We were trying to decide how much the past 2 1/2 years of documents and pictures was worth to us. When Daniel and I sat down after the girls were in bed we tried everything we knew to get the mac running again. I sat next to daniel for several hours while we tried new programs and consulted his dad on different tricks to get the files off the computer. I was impressed with daniel's persistence and patience with the whole thing because I finally went to bed and would have just thrown the thing out the window if I could! But, he didn't and just kept tinkering with mac. I'm not exactly sure what happened but something amazing did! It turned back on the next morning and we scrambled to get the most important things off first, grades for daniel's classes, then pictures, then writings, then finally we were able to save to discs all of his music. I can't begin to explain how excited and relieved we were. I'll just give one more warning for everybody out there to back up your computer!!!!!

We had a very nice week after that. Spring is finally here and we have been finding new blooms and buds coming out everywhere. It's fun being in a new house because we don't know exactly what's in our yard. The girls and I have fun finding and journaling about the new plants.

Spring break has started for Daniel. He has a conference this weekend at USC and is getting to see old friends and profs from UIPUI. One is staying with us on our pull out couch. Sunday we leave for Hunting Island State Park to camp for 2 nights. It's right on the beach and has "subtropical" vegetation including a palmetto forest and also a lighthouse. Lots of locals have described it as their favorite place to go and we are looking so forward to it. The girls have been counting down the days till we go camping all week. The weather forcast has been calling for rain but we are going to head down there anyway hoping for the best. At least it's going to be warm;) On Tuesday we will come back and drop Daniel off before leaving again on Wednesday for the mountains. My family from Jackson is visiting my mom and BB in TN. I've been telling my cousins for months that I would see them during spring break but I didn't realize it was going to be the same week as our spring break. Anyway, I'm thankful we worked it out so that we go camping AND still get up to see them.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

problems and solutions

So after the hard drive failed on our mac laptop, the hard drive began to fail on the pc that mom gave me! We took our mac in to "compugeeks" to see if they could get the data off of the hard drive after the computer completely shut down last Sunday. We were a bit worried since daniel had his writings from the past few years, all his students grades, I had pictures, and we both had tons of music and of course most of it was not backed up! Thankfully they are able to get our stuff off of the hard drive (hopefully as I will know for sure tomorrow when I go pick it up.) We were very thankful to have the pc but it soon showed the same error message "smart drive failing." That happened at the beginning of last week and I called mom on Thursday complaining about our problems and she offered to give us her desktop pc that she doesn't use. I had my first dance class and was the host for this weeks early learners coop so I couldn't drive up there to get it so mom volunteered to bring it to us. About an hour later mom was on her way with the new computer! She stayed the whole weekend and played with the girls and even took them out yesterday to give me and daniel the afternoon off so we could hang out alone. It was a very relaxing ending to what was a very stressful week! THANKS MOM

Daniel found this snake in the yard yesterday while cleaning up. Ellen was not afraid to hold it and as you can tell she loved it!

This is a picture of us eating lunch the other day. We like to sit out on our back deck when it's so warm back there. The girls were being silly and I had to get a picture of the outfit that Arianna had on. She picked that out. She loves to wear things that are colorful and I love to see what she comes up with. I think this was the second or third change of clothes that she made for the day.