Friday, July 27, 2007

pet sitting and no TV

we are pet sitting for some friends this week. The guinea pigs are Cindy and Layla and rabbit is Dora. The girls have had so much fun with the animals, especially the pigs. They go get them first thing in the morning and pet them, take them out of the cage and bring them in the kitchen to run around for a little while. They are a lot of work though. It has been fun but we will not be getting any little animals like this for our own house.

The pet sitting has been a good transition into life without TV. Daniel and I have been talking about getting rid of the tv for a long time. We finally did it last week. We never really watched it much. I used it with the girls in the mornings while I brushed and put up their hair (so, usually about 30 minutes a day). During the season we loved watching America's Funniest Home Videos together on Sunday nights. I would then spend several evenings a week (after the girls were in bed) watching shows while Daniel was studying. This doesn't mean that we arent's watching DVDs and youtube:) We like checking out the new stuff on youtube every once in a while. The Office clips are our favorite right now. We've also gotten season 1 and 2 of The Office from our library. We also have the cheapest membership to netflix so we get 2 movies a month.

I'd have to say that the nicest thing about not having tv is not having to watch commercials! The other obvious thing is that instead of turning it on when I'm (we're) tired and just want to zone out we usually just do something else. I've been going to bed earlier, reading novels, browsing the internet, reading the paper, planning and organizing for the school year. . . I'm not saying that we'll be tvless forever. I guess we could change our minds one day. The girls haven't really missed it. Like I said they can still watch DVDs and this week they've been totally entertained by our borrowed pets. It's just so nice not having the big box taking up space in our den and our lives.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Arianna swimming

Trip to Louisiana

Mom and I took the kids south to visit family. Daniel had to stay since he is teaching summer classes. Here are a few pics.

Kids playing outside my dad's house in Baton Rouge. William, Ellen, Arianna, and Samantha.
We spent most afternoons at my brother's neighborhood pool in Baton Rouge. Parker loves being thrown by his daddy.
Paige and I took the kids to New Orleans one day to visit the Aquarium of the Americas. Here they pose in the play area.
On the last morning, my dad took me and the big kids to the Baton Rouge zoo. Will loved the rhinos, Ellen and Arianna said they liked petting the goats best. Dad and I liked the giraffes.

On the way down to LA we stopped in Jackson to visit my grandmother, aunt and cousins. We spent 8 days traveling and visiting. After our marathon drive yesterday in the car (12 hours) and me and Arianna being sick to our stomach some of the way, we are so glad to be home. We all agreed that the long drive was worth getting to play with our family!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

doing nothing, asking questions, and making babies

Ellen said 2 things today that I thought were really cute so I thought I'd share. First we were in the car on the way home from swimming when she said, "you know mom, you can't really be doing nothing." So I said "oh yea, what do you mean?" and she went on to say that even when you are just standing there you are still standing and that's something. I thought to myself. . . like father like daughter! :) Second, she must have started feeling some of the way I feel when the girls are asking a million questions because she noticed it today. I am constantly answering questions like . . . "when are we going to be there, why are we waiting so long, why did you stop at that stop light, why did you go at the caution light, why is that man standing there. . ." and the list goes on. So it's almost like anything that pops in there head they just ask. Ellen finally picked up on Arianna asking and asking in the car today and started singing a song about questions. She loves to sing and it was so natural for her to just start singing to some made up tune about Arianna asking so many questions. Wish you could have heard it and seen that smile on her face. She knew she was being funny.

The other day, actually it was a few weeks ago, the girls mentioned wanting another baby. I've told them several times that mom is done having babies but they still talk about it. So, this time when the girls and I were at home one afternoon one of them made the comment about wanting a baby and Arianna said "but we need daddy" and Ellen said no we don't. I thought that was interesting so I asked her to explain. She said daddy already made a baby and so I could have another one without him. I just smiled and said "Oh really" since I wanted to hear what else they had to say. Arianna went on to explain that we do need daddy since he has to be here so that mommy and daddy can stand close together and share bodies because that's how babies are made.

Monday, July 09, 2007

A visit from Grandaddy William

William came over on Saturday and spent the day with us. We checked out the garden and then had a big blueberry pancake breakfast. He brought down his electric knife sharpener and worked on our knives. I love having sharp knives to work with. Then we all went to the State Museum. The girls love going there. They associate it with the children's museum because they can move around and look at all kinds of things. Some of it is hands on and some of it we just have to read to them. It's amazing how much they've learned from going so much (we probably go twice a month since it is free for homeschoolers.) The girls can tell you a little bit about most of the exhibits and they both know where things are located in the building. After being at the museum for almost 2 hours I started getting tired and hungry and no one wants to be around me when I get that way:) I think the rest of the family could have stayed a bit longer. William took us out to eat on the way home. We like a few of the mexican restaurants in town. One is locally owned and the other is a chain called Moe's. They both serve vegetarian beans and rice and can put whatever we want inside tacos and burritos. We had a great visit with grandaddy. It's so nice that we are close enough to do these kinds of things.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

ellen recites crowded tub

arianna recites humpty dumpty

Friday, July 06, 2007

damascus 4th july

The girls dancing with their scarves from Elvis.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

July 4th adventure in Damascus VA

We traveled to Damascus VA to watch my parents band, Deja Vu, perform at the town's 4th of July celebration. They played before and after a fireworks show. There were also 2 Elvis performances before they played. It was my first experience at an Elvis concert. The Elvis' did all the classic songs, threw out hawaiian leis and scarves that the girls went up and caught, and even walked in and out with their security guards. What a show. The girls had no idea what was going on or why this guy was so dressed up but they had fun catching the free prizes! The band's performance was amazing. I can't believe that Mimi and BB are playing in a rock and roll band. They've always loved music and played a lot when I was growing up, but it is quite a transformation from their old working selves. Their retired life is a lot different! The other members of the band are younger and like their kids. They are a big family that love each other and love playing together. It really shows up on stage and in the crowd. Everyone had a blast. Way to go Mimi and BB. Mom has put together a website at if you want to know more about them.

This is the crowd. A lot of people came out for the event. They had booths set up serving all kinds of fair foods but not as expensive. I was so surprised to buy a large lemonade for only $1 and a bag of chips for 50 cents.
I couldn't get the whole stage since I didn't want to stand right in front of everyone to get a picture. This is of the side so you can see BB on the keyboard. He's the leader of the band and plays keyboard and sings some songs too.
You can see mom just barely in this picture. She's in the back wearing white and a white hat. She plays keyboards and sings back up vocals.The lead singers are John and Diane, the electric guitar is Shannon and Billy's in the back playing drums. They are all amazing musicians.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Bugs in the garden

The garden has been beautiful and producing lots of tomatoes, squash, eggplant, basil, and peppers. Yesterday our worst fears came true! There are bugs in the squash plants!! OH NO!! Daniel spent time digging each one out of the stems of these huge squash plants. I'm not exactly sure how he figured out they were in there but when I got home yesterday afternoon he had torn some of the plants completely out and was in process of digging out the rest of the grubs from inside the stems. Apparently they are some kind of wasp that lays eggs inside the stem and the the little babies come out and eat the plant from the inside out. Crazy. It is so sad to see the destruction. I'm being dramatic. It is true that we should have expected some critters in the garden. But it is a sad fact that it happened to our squash. We will plant some more after the 4th. Thankfully I was pretty much sick of squash since we've been eating it every day for several weeks. But I will miss the zucchini.