October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween

This year Maggie went as a pink princess. I got this costume on clearange last year at The Children's Place Outlet, for, wait for it, $1.50. No kidding!!! I got it the first weekend in December on last year's trip to Gatlinburg. You can't s it in the pictures, but she's got on TONS of glitter in her hair, on her face, and "Sprinkle" chapstick (it had glitter in it). Maggie loved getting to have all those "sprinkles" in her hair.

We went to church for the "Fall Festival" after stopping for a quick visit to our grocery store for some candy and cookies. Here's Maggie and Daddy. When we got out of the car at the store she would not let go of lamb, so Daddy had to carry the princess wand. Maggie as the pink princess, Zayli as a fairy (pronounced Berry, according to Zayli). Decorating our own pumpkin cookie.Maggie enjoying a wonderful homemade Shirley Haskins donut at the fall festival. Seriously, we tried and tried to get her to look at Daddy while he took the picture. I went as my alter-ego, Super Flower Girl. =) Bouncing on the ramp into the bouncy castle. Maggie did not want to actually go into it. Facepainting. She did a great job holding still for the girl that did the painting. She got a litle red butterfly, and didn't touch it or rub it the rest of the evening. Trying yet again to get Maggie to look at the camera. Eating her favorite candy, a sucker. The duckie pool was her favorite booth again this year. She loves that pool of water. She had a great time at the festival - pitched a HUGE fit on the way out the door, which continued on the 10-minute drive home and into the house. Despite that, it was a really fun night, it's so fun to see her enjoy getting dressed up and understand the fun a little more.

October 30, 2008

Jack-O-Lanterns 2008

Here are my pumpkin creations this year. Halloween totally snuck up on me this year. Gaga and Papa got Maggie a pumpkin at the pumpkin farm when we were in Mexico, but I didn't get any other pumpkins until Monday. Yesterday, after I picked up Maggie from Mother's Day Out, I brought the pumpkins in the house and carved all three. I love all these this year, the ones with eyes are a kit that comes with plastic eyes you insert so they glow. Pretty cool.
I'll post pictures of Maggie's costume Halloween night if I can, otherwise Saturday night.

Gatlinburg 2008

The fall trip to Gatlinburg is becoming an annual tradition. This year we went with Anthony & Meredith Brooks & Riley, Jamin & Christie Dunn & Nyah & Aubrey. This is the first year we've brought our kids. Maggie LOVED having Nyah to play with.

We did have one unhappy surprise there - SCORPIONS!!! There was a dead one in our bedroom, which we found pretty early on the first night we got there. Then, about 10 or so, Meredith found a live one in their bathroom. Then, since we all had our precious babies with us, we started searching our rooms for them. That, of course, required waking up all the soundly sleeping kiddos so we could search their beds. Jamin & Christie found a live one in their bedroom, then we found a 2nd in our bedroom, another in the game room, and 3 more in the laundry room. EEK!!! 8 scorpions. We were NOT happy. Maggie didn't go back to bed until 1 a.m. But, it turns out the scorpions in the Great Smoky Mountains are relatively harmless and fairly rare (8 out of the remaining 10 were in our cabin). I will not be posting any pictures of scorpions here, they are too gross.

On to the fun:
The older girls, Nyah and Maggie, were getting restless Saturday after breakfast, so I took them on a walk outside. We walked to 2 neighboring cabins and gathered leaves. I made them into a centerpiece for the table.
Tyler and Jamin took the girls in the hot tub while the ladies were shopping at the outlet mall on Saturday. I didn't pack Maggie's swimsuit, so she got to go in the tub in her panties. Good thing she's not even 3.

Saturday afternoon project: caramel apples. The girls had lots of fun helping me unwrap the caramels, and then decorating their apples with sprinkles.
The girls (and adults) got to enjoy caramel apples after dinner.

Waiting for brunch on Sunday. We thought about going to the Apple Barn for brunch, but the traffic in Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge/Sevierville is enough to make anyone go insane. It's worse than Seattle rush-hour traffic. So, we took the back way out of town and ate at Cracker Barrel.
Aubrey and Nyah at brunch.
Maggie loved the biscuits!

October 22, 2008

Maggie's Souvenir

We got Maggie a little guitar in Cabo. It was better than the turtle whistles that vendors would hoot at you whenever you got within 15 feet of them. Here she is singing about her Gramma and Grampa.

More Cabo Pics

Just a couple more pics from our trip.
One of the hotel pools.
Is this the picture of relaxation or what? The ocean was so relaxing to listen to.
The surprise dress I bought for the formal farewell dinner. I found it on a whim at Macy's during a clearance sale. It was originally $139.00, and I got it for $20.40 plus tax. NO JOKE! Tyler loved it! I didn't take a picture of the back, but it has a kick-pleat section in the back. So cool!!!
The morning we left, Tyler and I got a nice surprise. Two whales spent about 15 mintues in the waters off our hotel. I haven't seen whales in a very long time, so it was a real treat. The sun was really bright that morning and I couldn't see my display screen to take this picture - I just aimed it at where I thought the whales were and zoomed in. What a wonderful surprise to load my pictures to my computer and find this.

And I would like to give a big "thank you" to Tyler's parents for coming out to watch Maggie. I never worried about her or how she was doing, and I know she was in great hands having the time of her life. Maggie is constantly asking me when we can see Gaga and Papa again (she calls them Gramma and Grampa when they are here, but has reverted to calling them Gaga and Papa now that they are gone). She also says "I wanna go to my birt-day party" because she knows they are coming back for her birthday. How funny!

October 16, 2008


Here we are! Tyler and I are in Cabo San Lucas this week. We were SO blessed by Tyler's company to be sent on this trip. So far it has been a great time!!! And, we've got wireless internet in our room. It's slower like dial-up, but at least we can check email.

We've gotten to sleep in (but I can't sleep much past 8, I'm too used to Maggie waking me up at 7 every morning, I guess), eat awesome food - had my first lobster, go to some great dinner parties, go snorkeling and tour the city. It has changed a lot since I was here in 1996.

So here are some pictures: the view of the hotel pools and the Sea of Cortez from our balcony.
We took a catamaran trip to go snorkeling on Wednesday, it went right past our hotel, so here it is.
Getting ready to snorkel. There were not as many different kinds of fish as I remember from the trip I took here with my family my senior year of high school, but it was still a lot of fun.
After snorkeling, the catamaran took our group to the arch.
And, before dinner last night at "The Office". The food and beverages were spectacular!

October 2, 2008

Crack for Grandparents

Ok, I am not ACTUALLY dealing drugs, but here is one of the cutest little girls on the planet singing with her cutest little voice. You will want to watch it again and again and again. Probably not as many times as she has sung it the past several weeks, which has been almost constantly, but I bet you will watch it a lot. I present to you: Maggie singing her ABC's (pretty darn perfectly, I might add).

I HATE bugs, especially in my house

As many of you know, I HATE HATE HATE bugs. The only exceptions are: ladybugs, butterflies, moths, dragonflies, honeybees and fuzzy bumblebees, preying mantises. And ONLY IF they do not touch me or land on me or get too close. I also like artwork of these bugs, but only if it's cute. No scientific close-ups, thankyouverymuch.

Tuesday my friend Meredith stopped by after bible study. She came in the front door, and somehow this bug got inside in the process. All of a sudden, on the wall, was this THING!!! A giant walking stick. YUCK! Trying not to panic so I would not 1) alarm Maggie, 2) freak out Meredith and 3) look like a total doofus (#3 was not attained) I squelched my squealing and ran out the back door to get the broom. Of course I did have to snap a picture, because no one would believe me if I told you a 7-inch bug was in my living room. Or that I was able to get it out of the house without fainting or needing a valium.

It was about 7 inches from the tips of its antennae to tail, and it did not like the broom I was trying to get it to attach to so I could get it out the door. It scurried up my wall over our family pictures (note to self: spray with lysol). But, it did finally latch onto the broom without me knocking down the pictures and I quickly got it outside before it could climb up the handle to inflict what I am sure would have been life-threatening injuries to my person.

On a related note, the first summer here in Nashville we lived in a ground-floor apartment. That was awesome after having lived on the 3rd floor the previous year. Except for the bugs. Bugs would seriously be lined up outside our door to rush it every time I opened the door. The worst instance of this was one morning when I was leaving for work. Tyler was still asleep, and as I opened the door to leave for work in comes a 4-inch big black millipede!!! EEEEEEEK! It was crawling all over the place, and poor Tyler. He was in grad school at the time - still sleeping after staying up very late studying. The millipede stayed between me and the door (as if I would actually leave the bug in the house to come home to later), so Tyler had to come capture said bug in some compromising attire with the door wide open for the world to see. He grumpily caught the bug and disposed of it so I could go to work. I love my husband, catcher of bugs and squasher of spiders!