Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Jarem and the Pillows

The night before last, Jarem came into our room after everyone was in bed and asked if he could use our extra pillows that we use on our bed as decorative to make a bed on the floor. Eric and I said ok, so yesterday morning, I took a picture of what he did with them.

He made himself a bed on the floor of pillows and slept on top of the body pillow. As you can see, it is right next to his bed...I'm not sure why he felt it would be better than his bed, but he went to sleep.
Next to him are the stack of books he looked at before he fell asleep. I guess he was happy with his bed because he slept there all night. The grass is always greener on the other side, huh?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Our Saturday Project

Those of you who know me well, know that I love to garden. Since we've moved into our new house, it has been winter, and I've been itching to get out and get some landscaping done. Well now that spring is here, our schedule has been SO busy that I've struggled to find time. There is SO much that we want to do with the yard and too little time.

Finally last Saturday, Eric and I made a plan and accomplished a small part of our plan (which was really a big job). We created this garden area next to our retaining wall. The plant without any leaves in the bottom corner is a hydrangea (Susan asked if I planted any hydrangeas).

I've been eyeing this spot for awhile envisioning a weeping flowering cherry tree there, and we finally got it done. It turned out just how I thought it would. The dirt is a lot of clay here and can be very difficult to work with. When it is dry, it feels like you're digging in cement and when it is wet, it is a red, sticky, clumpy mess.

Another view

Yesterday, after work, Eric planted these two flowering pear trees on the edge of our yard. They are hard to see next to our neighbor's lush green grass. It was an extremely big challenge to dig in that soil with all the rocks and clay. I couldn't even dig two inches, so I really appreciated him doing that!

Hopefully we'll get a little more done soon.

Belated Egg Dying

Well, the shamrock cookies didn't get made until the day after St. Patrick's Day, and once again we were running behind. I bought an egg dying kit the day before Easter, thinking we'd make time to do it, but with our busy schedule, we didn't have the time. So, one week after Easter on Sunday, the Jesikah convinced me that we should dye the eggs, and this time, we did have time.

They really enjoyed it, so I'm glad that we did it. Jesikah is our crafty one, and begged to do it, but they all really enjoyed it. They were supposed to get 3 eggs each to color, but as things turned out, one broke and Jarem only had two. They quickly made friends with their eggs and even named them. The faces really gave them their own personalities. :)

Jesikah being creative in making stripes

A closer view of how she striped hers.

Tessa with her three eggs: Lemon Custard, Orange Creme, and Strawberry Shortcake.

Jesikah with her three eggs

The girls and all their eggs

Alex's eggs were named Rocks, Booger, and Roly (of course he didn't want to be in the picture).

Playing around with the eggs

My attempt to take a picture of Jarem and his eggs. Alex didn't want to be in his own picture, but when it was time for Jarem's, he stuck his head in just as I snapped it.

Jesikah's favorite egg

Jarem's two eggs

Tessa set her eggs up this way for the picture. Right after the picture, they toppled over and one broke.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Grand Ole Opry

After visiting the Opryland Hotel a few months ago, I decided that I wanted to stay overnight there sometime and go see a show at the Grand Ole Opry. I haven't really listened to country in quite some time, but we're in Tennessee, so I figured it's time to embrace it! :) So, Eric took the hint, and he made arrangements for us to stay overnight and go to the show for my birthday last weekend. Kyle (Eric's brother) and his wife, Jessica, drove several hours to come and watch the kids for us. We really appreciated it.

The hotel was awesome (except our balcony view of the stairs and the $18 parking fee), but we also really enjoyed the show. We just picked the night and hoped there would be people singing that we liked. When Little Jimmy Dickens came out on the stage, I was shocked, because after I saw all his outfits in the museum, I thought he was dead, but he's still energetic as ever at 88, I believe.

One of my favorites was Dean Brody, who was there for the first time that night. He's from Vancouver, Canada, and his first album is being released this month. He sang his single called, "Brothers" (it is a very good, I already got it off i-tunes) and another one called, "This Old Raft" which was good but not available on i-tunes yet.

My other favorite was Darius Rucker. I hadn't heard of him before, but when they mentioned that he was the lead singer for "Hootie and the Blowfish" in the 90's, then he definitely sounded familiar. He sang two songs from his new is his newest single, "Alright", which was my favorite. You could tell that he really enjoyed singing it. If you liked "Hootie and the Blowfish", you'll like his music!

Anyway, we had great seats and it was a really good time. We spent a little time at the Opry
Mills Mall before heading home. It was an awesome birthday weekend. Many thanks to my sweet husband for arranging everything and to Kyle and Jess for watching the kids!

I left my camera at the hotel because it was so big and bulky, so I only had phone for pictures. I took the above pictures with my phone and put them onto a scrapbook page. I wished that I had my camera after we got there because you can walk up to the stage and take pictures at any time, and we were close enough that I wouldn't have even needed to go anywhere. Oh well!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Dogwood Trees

Another tree that I haven't seen so much in other parts of the country is the dogwood. They are blooming beautifully all over town, so I just had to get some pictures to share. There are pink and white varieties. A close-up of some in our neighborhood

This tree is ONE dogwood tree with both pink and white blossoms on it, so I thought that was interesting.

A pretty pink one with a white one behind.

More Cousin Fun

While Jeanni and the kids were here, we spent Tuesday at the Opry Mills mall shopping and eating at the Rain Forest Cafe. That was Jarem and I's first time to the Rain Forest Cafe, and he really liked it. Logan and Laton were so nice to Jarem at the mall. They got out their money and let him go on any ride or try any of those machines where you can win a stuffed animal. He was very spoiled by them. I appreciated the way they took care of him and were so nice to him.

Then we rushed home to pick up the kids from school and get Tessa to her soccer practice. After driving about 20 minutes to get to her practice, we got there and no one was at Fairgrounds Park. I guess the practice got cancelled...UGH! But, we brought bread, so we spent some time feeding the ducks before heading to the library and home.

Laton with Jaidyn on his shoulders. Laton, Logan, and Meghan are such good big brothers to Jaidyn.

Logan holding a sleepy Jaidyn. One of the few pictures I got of Logan because he couldn't move out of the way.

Meghan riding Tessa's American Girl horse. She's just about the right size.

Jeanni generously bought all the kids suckers at the mall. Jesikah shared hers with Jaidyn.

I don't know if she expected Jaidyn to like it THAT much! (probably wasn't the best idea)

Jeanni asked Logan to get this picture because she'd never seen a speed "hump" before. I hadn't places we've lived before they call them speed bumps.

The kids and the ducks

They were surprised that the fish were coming up and eating more bread than the ducks.

Jarem with Meghan and Jaidyn the day they left. The kids felt bad that they didn't get to say goodbye. We all enjoyed having them here so much! Thanks for coming to see us Jeanni, Logan, Laton, Meghan, and Jaidyn. I hope you had a good time and you'll come back soon.

Cousin Fun!

Unfortunately, our kids had their TCAP tests while their cousins were here, so they still had to go to school. I did let the girls stay home on Monday since their TCAP didn't start until Tuesday.

Logan and Laton in our backyard trying out Alex's airsoft gun (Laton was running while Logan shot him :)) Laton was a good sport even if he was the target

Jaidyn ready to go on our walk. I'm amazed how she loves the sling. She just sits in there or sleeps and doesn't make a sound.

Jeanni and I walked up to the little cemetery in our neighborhood. There are lots of old graves from 1700's and 1800's. In Tennessee, you can bury someone anywhere, but that area has to always remain a cemetery even when the land is sold. This one is up on the hill in our development.

Another picture of the little's a little family cemetery with a rock wall around it

Meghan out on the scooter...she and Tessa had fun playing outside in the puddles after it rained.

I saw on Jeanni's blog that Jaidyn and Meghan loved Spaghettio's, so I bought some and as you can see Jaidyn was loving it. My kids don't get them often either and thought that was a treat.

She even cleaned the bowl
Jesikah taking advantage of her "baby time"

Jesikah and Meghan playing house with Jaidyn outside

Having snacks

We went bowling Monday night...when we got there, the bowling alley was nearly empty and they told us it would be an hour wait. I guess there were leagues coming, but as it turned out we ended up getting in after a few minutes. While we waited, Aunt Jeanni generously supplied each of the kids with a dollar. Jarem went immediately and put his dollar in the game where you can win a movie by pushing the button. He pushed the button and WON A MOVIE! I was shocked!

Logan and Laton both went buck hunting...they are hunters and did well

Alex, Laton, and I while waiting to bowl.

Logan getting ready to bowl with Tessa trying to get her ball. My kids hadn't been bowling in a long time. Tessa and Jarem LOVED it! Alex had a good time and he and Logan were practicing their spins. Jesikah didn't do well without the bumpers. She got mostly gutter balls. She was frustrated, so she ended up giving Alex most of her turns. Alex liked the extra practice.

Jarem waiting for his turn. He would watch the screen and go up when it got to his name.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Meeting Jaidyn

We were lucky enough to have some company this week. Jeanni (Eric's sister) flew in with her 4 kids to St. Louis and drove to see us on Sunday night (Easter). Jeanni was also my close friend and roommate in college (the connection that brought Eric and I together). We always have a lot to catch up on when we get together, but haven't seen each other in over a year. Last time we got together, she was barely pregnant with Jaidyn and now Jaidyn is 8 months was so fun to finally meet that sweet little thing. It didn't take long for the kids and I to get acquainted.

Jaidyn right after they got here. After travelling all day, she was still happy.

Jeanni and Jaidyn right after they arrived.

It didn't take long before Jesikah was holding her...Jaidyn was friendly to her from the beginning.

Jarem and Jaidyn getting acquainted

Jarem trying to cuddle Jaidyn
More pictures to come of all the rest too...