Friday, October 28, 2011

Thursday, August 11, 2011

the one with the castle

once upon a time, some kids built a castle.  it was a lovely castle made of the finest sand and ocean water.

the castle was so lovely it even had a little mote and a real, live sea star.

but everything that goes up must come down.  so the kids pounded the castle back to the ground.

the end.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

precious faces

allison just made up our bed.  the child has finally faced the light. granted, she just smacked her irritating brother two minutes prior.  he deserved it.  she said he squirted her with a water gun.  um, okay.  just keep making up our bed and you can get away with a lot more.

i'm having a hard time believing that summer is over half done.  where does the time go?  now, i have to scurry around and make sure all registrations are in order for school and fall activities.  because when we get back from the beach, school will start, playschool will start for allison, her birthday will be around the corner, and round and round we go.  father time, have mercy on me.

these kids are growing up WAY too fast.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


disney.  how do they do it?  the first movie is always the best.  sequels have hard acts to follow.  but, whatever the movie lacked to it's predecessor in storyline, disney made up for it in animation and creativity.  i loved the international themes and references to two of our favorite cities, paris and london.  and was i the proud mama when my kids even pointed out to the whole theatre they knew their international landmarks and monuments.  hey look big ben!  the london bridge! the london flag!   double decker bus!  london taxi! a beefeater! the queen! the london eye!  the eiffel tower! the atlantic ocean!...i flew over that! yes, the whole theatre heard.

prior to the movie screening, we all met for photo ops and body art application.  distributed VIP treats and found our seats.  after the film and sugar consumption, the kids headed straight for the race car games in the video arcade room.  once, we herded them outside the theatre, it was time for a game of gas can tag and spy kids.  all the kids behaved wonderfully!!

.....until we all got home.  all moms agreed.  we left our well-behaved movie critics at the movies.  but they all acted great in public.  that's all a mom can ask for.

Monday, June 13, 2011

isn't he just the cutest!

our little einstein.  now i've been telling ya'll he's the brightest, most intelligent, sweetest, cuddliest little boy since he was......well, since one week old!  and what mother wouldn't be proud of this precious child!?  davis' preschool class did so good at their graduation.  SO GOOD!!  i will have to transfer the videos from our camcorder to cd before i can upload.  but they were adorable and animated.  i give them four stars!

diplomas awaiting graduates:

the class of 2024 walked in to pomp & circumstance and took their places on stage:

sang a few songs:

received their diplomas:

proudly displayed their graduation poem:

had a watermelon reception afterwards:

hugged the teachers goodbye!:

mrs. powell (above) & mrs. clark (below) - we'll miss you.  thank you for everything!!!

standing outside boiling springs elementary school.  kindergarten, here i  come!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

bizarro world

yesterday was a frazzle day.  you know the kind.  days when you have tons of little things on your to-do list to get done in a matter of, well, minutes?

  • forget to take out trash.
  • remember to take out trash at 1 am
  • put watermelon in frig before bed
  • remember to put melon in frig at 1:05 am
  • wake up late
  • rush davis off to school
  • shower
  • put allison in bath
  • cut up watermelon
  • get allison dressed
  • take watermelon to davis' school
  • fold and hang laundry
  • pick up graduation balloons
  • davis' more at four graduation
in the meantime, allison needed help in the bathroom.  this is normal.  her poo was blue.  i'm talking toilet cleaner blue.  this is not to get the the doctor......get the camera to show the doctor exactly what was wrong.....i'm thinking absorption problems.....chemical imbalances or worse, chemical, "did she eat any food coloring lately?"......"ummm....uhhh.....ooohhh.....yeah. okay,  that makes sense now."  but blue poo still makes for a very bizarre day.

so parents take note.  here is a little story about if you give a child a cupcake.

if you give your child a cupcake.  she will likely eat the icing.  if she eats the icing, it will probably get on her face.  if the icing is black, it will make a cute mustache.  you will probably want to take a picture of the icing mustache with your camera.  you will want to take a picture because you will forget a few days later about the cupcake with black icing.  until your child has a bizarre poo and you rush to call the doctor.  the doctor will ask you about food coloring and you will remember the chocolate cupcake with black icing.

warning:  I am about to post pictures of blue poo.  typically, i would never want to share this kind of thing on a public forum.  but it was just so bizarre and funny (after the fact), it must be shared.  if this post helps one parent in the future not freak out about bizarre poo, then it will serve a purpose.  now of course, i will post the picture in the smallest frame possible, but you have been warned.

in the beginning


and end.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

its the end of the year as we know it

year end children's choir concert
dance recital
preschool graduation
tball picnics
swim lessons
vacation bible school
daylight savings time means later bedtimes
birthday parties
and so it goes.......

i have SO MANY videos and pictures to upload! my goal is to try and do at least one a day.  so without further ado, here is the preschool choir concert:

allison was not so amused by having to wait and, i guess, share the stage with others.  here are two before & after pictures of the performance.

waiting to take the stage:

 why do we have to stand here with the light in our eyes?:

Sunday, June 5, 2011

veni vidi vici

we came. we saw. we conquered outer space.  thank you KidSenses!

Monday, May 23, 2011

a shooting star

a star is born? not just yet. a shooting star? a little more like it. blink, and you may miss her. look away, and she'll be gone in a flash. trying to take pictures? good luck! i've got blurs of tulle a plenty.

allison's big dance recital was a huge hit! wonderful reviews! a sold out performance of parents, brothers, aunts and grandmothers packed the theatre. and the performances continued at home after the recital and at the restaurant. thank goodness we had the back room to ourselves!! otherwise we would have missed davis' beat box, allison's breakdancing, the book of manners rap and this little light of mine.

davis held out until 5 o'clock. by then the attention on allison broke him and he needed affirmation that he has the no.1 boy of the day. even allison asked me right before bedtime, "is my big day over?" i told her it was and when i asked her if she was tired of all the attention being on her, she simply said, "jyeh."

i can confidently say that we caught her up on any attention she missed from years of not being the first to do anything. funny enough, the biggest treasure of the day were the painted, plastic punch flutes at the reception. don't sweat the small stuff? it's always the small stuff.

and of course you can see the entire performance here:

Thursday, May 19, 2011

deja vu to you too

there is something familiar about today. seems as if i've been here before. seems as if i've gotten the same phone call before too -

(teacher) "stephanie?"


(teacher) "davis fell and hit the picnic tables again on the playground. you need to come get him. he'll need stitches again."

"i'll be right there."

only this time, i knew EXACTLY where to take him and who to call to let them know we were coming. again.

not only coming back to the doctor's office for the the second time this week. (the first appointment was for kindergarten health assessment & 5 year old well-check.) but for the second time to get stitches in the head. only this time it was the other side of the head. and he got three staples instead.

well, the lesson for the day is......(because we obviously didn't learn it before)......when davis takes on a picnic table, the table WILL win.

and yes i did ask. ....."is my child the only one who has this problem or does it happen a lot?" thinking that it happens more often and we might need new tables at the school. but, no, it just seems to only happen to davis.

the belle of the ball

once a upon a time there was a little girl who took dance lessons. and one day her scatterbrained mommy rushed her to dance class after spending the day on a field trip with her older brother. when they were getting out of their long grey chariot, they saw other girls in pretty little costumes all running toward the dance school. the girl's mommy thought, "now why are all these girls dressed up? do we have a dress rehearsal tonight?"

"no." said another mommy. "tonight is picture night."

and the scatterbrained mommy thought, "no it's not. please no!!! i've spent all day running around with brother's class, i've forgotten that it's not just tuesday, but tuesday, april 12th!" there i've done it. i have put my older child's activities in front of the younger sibling and forgotten all about the baby. so much for fairness, balance and equal opportunity.

so in the next few crucial seconds, the other mommy told me, "you have 15 minutes! go home and put her in the costume." yes.....but......i live in boiling springs 9 miles away. okay! okay! kids get back in the car. to the other mommy - please tell miss beth i'll meet ya'll at the photography studio! and away we went....

now, all stories have a happy ending. it just takes a while for this one to get there.

you see, we got back home. grabbed the costume and decided to pop it on when we got back to the studio. the problem now was our long, grey chariot was showing there was on 5 miles left til midnight. i mean, empty tank. really? today? now? so we detour away from the dance school and photography studio to add just enough gasoline to the car to get us there and back. not a second or drop to spare!

as we pull up on the street alongside of the photography studio, we see a wave of pastel tulle and sparkly fluff coming down the sidewalk! hooray! we made it! now get inside and jump in this tutu!

all is well until i'm putting on allison's costume and look at her arms. the little ballerina still has a rub-on tattoo on each forearm from last week's kids festival at chick-fil-a. right smack dab in front in the middle.

"allison!" says miss beth, "come on! get in the front row and hold your arms like this....(like you're holding a heart in front of you)"

i shamefully hang my head down low, and look to all the other mommies who have so diligently applied light make-up to their ballerinas and combed, polished and glittered their hair saying, "i'm so sorry. i'm so sorry." because my little girl looks like the meanest ballerina on the block with her two fairy tattoos front & center.

is there a fairy godmother in this story? you bet. and her name is photoshop. thank you for photo editing software!! not just on my on behalf... but for all those other well-prepared mommies and well-polished ballerinas in our class. your group picture has been rescued!

but hey, i have to admit - allison's spit shine & polish didn't turn out half bad. bless her little heart.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


this just about sums up how we all feel around here.

the girl's new cuddle buddy.

Friday, May 6, 2011

it is finished

on day 4 it started with a box, some cokes, popcorn and bubble gum and it ended up looking like this:

on day 5, a simple glass carafe, tissue paper and jelly candies did the trick.

and then it was done. mission: teacher appreciation week was completed. one year down. twelve to go.....

Thursday, May 5, 2011

baby steps

zach got his stitches out and moved up to an aircast that allows him to bear a little weight with the crutches! i'm sure it's a lot easier than holding his foot up and having to hop along. though, allison has enjoyed hopping around on one foot declaring her foot hurts when she wants some attention, too.

so, while allison & i are patiently waiting ona prescription for zach at the local drug store, we whiz around the aisles to see if there is anything at all that i can snag for the next couple days of teacher appreciation week?

new displays of cute, summer items are partially out in one aisle. do i see a sale? yes! grab a 2 for $10 deal. nuts on sale 3 cans for $10? that will work too. great! teacher appreciation days 2 & 3, pain killers for zach..... all in one swoop. maybe we'll get through this week after all.

teacher appreciation day #2

teacher appreciation day #3

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


wow! has this week snuck up on me.

two days ago I realized I had a week's worth of bible study homework to do. no problem! i'll just divide and conquer. half one day. half the next. well, two days went by and I showed up at bible study tonight with an empty notebook and a lot of blank paper. but the best intentions.

three days ago, I finally pulled out Davis' school folder to sign all papers and get ready for the upcoming week. new calendar. new month. first week BOLDLY states, "Teacher Appreciation Week!!!!!" oh snap. here I was, the night before the "big week" I had searched and jogged ideas of what to take each day for our two favorite teachers. but all those lists and great ideas were a month ago. old news. history. now, i had two kids to clothe and feed, a husband to bandage and chauffeur, a dog to walk, neighbors' kids to watch, suitcases to unpack, a house to clean, mountains of laundry & dishes to tackle and dinner to fix. now, I'm asking, "when did Teacher's Appreciation Day change to a Week?!!" and "how am I going to pull this together?!" we have no teacher's gifts. we have no money! all we have is a stack of bills waiting to be paid in US dollars and Great Britain pounds. sweet mother of abraham lincoln!

dig deep. there's got to be something. anything.

so as I'm spinning around the house in a panic attack, all I see are eggs. easter eggs. chocolate eggs. marshmallow eggs. eggs. eggs. eggs. how can I get away with giving our teachers some of the leftover chocolate from easter? am I REALLY about to do this? oh yes i am. and i promise to try and make it up to them tuesday through friday.

so after grabbing:

1. brown, lunch bags
2. kebob sticks
3. christmas ribbon
4. left over gift bag filler
5. chocolate eggs

we had Day 1 of Teacher Appreciation Week. phew.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

where o' where has my little blog gone?

oh where, oh where have I been? well. let me tell you. we saw london, we saw france, we saw francois' underpants.

for spring break we went to visit aunt amy in london. bobo went too. and we saw more of london than we planned for. on saturday we slept for hours upon hours until sunday came. bobo arrived raring to go declaring the best most relaxed plane flight ever. so on a train we hopped to theydon bois for sunday dinner and afternoon at the bull. after a very relaxing day feeding the overfed stuffed duck, playing on a playground, and loving on daisy dog. we, too, stuffed ourselves at the local pub, the bull, on roasts, potatoes, scampi, chips, sausages, yorkshire pudding/circle things, bombs, tarts and ice cream. bobo managed to make it through the day though we all caught her dozing off on the train out to the village merely minutes after her arrival.

monday a.m. came around at a very early 4 o'clock wake-up call. off to the station to board a train to paris. cest la vie! two days of marathon walking, pigeon chasing, carb overloading, and tour de eiffel spotting brought zach back to old memories of living in paris back in 2000-2001.

back to london on tuesday night.

up and out again on wednesday to catch a bus to bristol, england. we haven't seen francois, severine and the girls since davis was 8 weeks old. we had mistaken emilie for her older sister joanne. they had mistaken davis and allison for two years older than they are due to the difference in height between families. the oldest (joanne) and youngest (allison) became fast friends and davis loved the attention of being the only brother and boy among 5 kids. girl crazy that boy is!

francois and sev arranged a babysitter and the parents ran out the door quite quickly for the evening. hooray for charlene! that brave babysitter taking on the three etchanchu sisters and davis and allison. it was a great time for all.

then came thursday. our first day back to london for three days to close out a great week of traveling.

and then came the great screech.

and then the call for an ambulance.

zach wrastled with a taxi and the taxi won. off we go for a trip in the ambulance to the royal london hospital for the next 24 hours. after waiting upon waiting from one queue to another we sprung zach from the nhs and rushed him to a private hospital for immediate care and reattachment of the toes. since then it has been one thing after another. but we are home and in one piece. and we have added "walking sticks" (crutches) to our way of living for the next few months.

well, we've learned where we stand on public healthcare. anyone who wants to support obamacare come sit next to me. i'll be more than glad to fill you in.

oh! and that thing about francois' underpants? well, he likes to eat breakfast in his underwear and he doesn't care who sees. i experienced it for the first time in corsica. and davis quickly pointed it out on thursday morning. "mom! he's in his underwear!"

"well, yes, davis. that's just francois!"

p.s. - i'll try to upload pictures to this post tomorrow.

Friday, April 1, 2011

for your viewing pleasure

once upon a pig

entertaining allison with a rock

hopscotch 101

and of course, you can always go here to watch the videos too.

Monday, March 21, 2011


i have deprived you, my loyal reader, from any sort of consistency in updating our blog. even now, as i look back at what i can upload.....all photos and videos date from 1-2 months ago. (and that's when i rounded up.)

so the photos i have chosen to share remind me of how we have deprived our children. yes, we take them to the circus. yes, we take them to disney on ice. yes, aunt amy spends her paycheck on snowcones, hats, spinners, and princesses and beasts. however, i have yet to purchase cotton candy for the kids. in fact, their first taste of the sticky, artificial blue fluffy stuff came from a lady sitting behind them at the circus which, i think...., was back in february.

so here are a few photos for the big event under the big top! if you do go to the circus again.....i HIGHLY recommend getting there for the performers meet & greet on the floor 1 hour before the event starts. it's not as insane as you think or it looks. very cool.

getting funky on a clown's pedestal in the ring!

a new addiction.

you've probably noticed allison's red dress/tunic lately. yes the child has more clothes than this. and i confess......this dress is size 24 months. what?! am i serious? yes. i. am.

originally purchased for her first trip to the circus in 2009, it was a little big. nothing stuffing a white onesie underneath and tights couldn't fix. now, two years later it wears as a tunic shirt over a pair of leggings or capris perfect for celebrating the cat and the hat's birthday or another trip to the circus. well, you can't say i didn't get my money's worth out of this "big blue box" store purchase.

by the way......the capris in the photos below are size 12 months. got to LOVE elastic and a very, skinny daughter!