Wednesday, March 21, 2012


Jesikah was invited to be part of the symphonic band a few months ago. This is a select band at the middle school. They practice twice a week after school.

Yesterday they participated in the North Tennessee concert festival at Austin Peay University. They played 2 songs. They received a 1 score on this one (which is the highest). It is called Mountain. Jesikah is in the 2nd row. This is a difficult piece and I thought they did an awesome job.

Waking up Tessa

Saturday morning, Jarem wanted a playmate, so this is how he woke up Tessa. See YouTube video link below.

This is Tessa in her bed with her arms sprawled out to the side and stuffed animals all over her head.

Evening in Nashville

Alex had to take a referee course in Nashville this past weekend! He is now a certified referee for soccer games up to age 10! He is pretty excited.

On Friday night, he had to attend the class from 6:00-9:30, and all day Saturday. Friday night, Eric and I decided to just hang out in Nashville and go out to dinner during his class. Jarem and Tessa were with us and Jesikah was spending the night with a friend. First we headed to Opry mills mall to see if it was open yet. It wasn't, but there were 4 stores open. One is Bass Pro Shop, so we went in to look around. Jarem and Tessa loved the water feature with real fish. They were especially interested in the large mouth bass! :)

After that, we discovered a new part of Nashville, the west end. It is near Vanderbilt university, so there were a lot of college students, but it was a nice area with some good restaurants.
We settled on eating at TGI Fridays. We all thoroughly enjoyed our meal and time together. It was different to fit at a table for 4. It was great to get to spend time with the two younger kids and it was kind of a reward for them since they both got all A's on their report cards that day!

Daddy n daughter

Eric was invited to go to a young women activity with Jesikah. First, they played a version of the newlywed game where they had to answer questions about each other. Then they played a variety of games where they had to work as a team. They had a great time.

The pictures below are some that a friend of ours took while they were using spaghetti noodles to pick up and transfer pasta to the other person. Jesikah and Eric were the only ones able to complete this task!

Eric felt bad that he missed the question about Jesikah's favorite cold cereal, so a few days later, he came home with a giant box of cinnamon toast crunch to make it up to her. She was so happy.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


For the past few weeks, our house has been in different stages of this:
What is going on? (you are probably wondering).  Well, the basement right window (most bottom right window in the picture) has been leaking almost ever since we moved in.  It doesn't leak a lot, and it doesn't leak everytime it rains, but it persistently leaks a few or more times per year.  We reported it to our builders before our 1 year warranty was up, and ever since then, they have been trying to fix it.  I have to give them credit for ALWAYS coming over when we call and trying to fix it again and again and never charging us a dime.  Bless their hearts (as we say in the South), they must have thought it was fixed 5 or more times, only to find out that it still leaks.  We have kept towels on the window sill for literally years. 

Finally, this past November, we thought they finally got it fixed!  But, not so.  We took the towel off the ledge for the first time and it wasn't 1-2 weeks before it leaked again (all over the carpet underneath).  Early December, John came over (one of the owners of the construction company) and said they are embarrassed and fed up with trying to fix it and never getting it right.  He said they were going to go big and find the leak for certain.  So, they removed the deck, removed all the brick on that side of the house.  Then, replaced the leaking window and the patio door above where the leaking was originating.  Now they are in the process of wrapping, flashing, taping and hopefully bricking soon.  Then the deck will have to be put back together.

I really can't complain because they are footing the whole bill, which I know is costing them thousands of dollars.  I almost feel guilty since it seemed to be a small leak, but it had already damaged and warped the window and trim and the wood under the brick was damaged and moldy (as we found when we pulled off the brick). 

That said, I am getting a little sick of the pounding all the time.  And then there is the guys walking by my windows at all times of the day.  This morning about 7:30 or 8:00 am, I heard music, talking, and laughing in the backyard, so I went and looked out the window.  There was this big group of brick masons(see picture below) listening to Spanish music and laughing and having a good time out on my back sidewalk.  I guess they were waiting for the guy that was wrapping to finish so they could start bricking.  (And there were more than you see in the picture.)Not counting the other guys working on the house.  I couldn't help but laugh  thinking about how outnumbered I am.

Unfortunately, when they were taking the brick off, all the pounding knocked one of my precious moments shelves off the wall and about 6 of my collection of precious moments broke.  I was pretty bummed.  I was already able to repair most of them with super glue, but the one little boy with his arms stretched out saying, "I love you this much" was broken in many pieces and didn't come back together very well.  It was one of my favorites, so I think I will try to find a replacement.

Amidst the construction, my flowering pear trees are blooming!  In fact, I also saw red buds and magnolias blooming today around town as well.  I love the flowers in spring and I love that it comes early here.  It was up to 79 yesterday and supposed to be 81 today.  I was shocked the first year we lived here when it got up to 80 in March.  It has happened at least a few days every year now.  Spring is beautiful here when it isn't stormy.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

This is cool!

Friday morning, Tessa was telling us how the earth is closer to the sun for a few days right now. Because of that, there is a stronger gravitational pull. When this happens (every 8-10 years), you can stand up brooms and eggs. So we tried it out. Sure enough, we were able to do it!

The last two pictures were Eric's work. He balanced the broom and the egg for the same picture. I have to give him credit because that small broom's bristles are not stiff at all. Even Tessa was impressed when I showed her the picture of the little broom balancing.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Pagoda Bells

Here is a YouTube link of Jesikah playing Pagoda Bells for a concert at Austin Peay University this past Saturday. She participated in music festival the day before playing 2 songs including this one before a judge. She received a superior rating, which is the highest. Everyone who received superior was invited to perform in this concert. Here's the link:
I was very proud of her. I heard the people in front of me say, "It's so beautiful!" while she was playing. And it really was. She added dynamics which really made it stand out.

Below is a picture they took afterwards of everyone who performed.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Hilton Head Weekend

Last weekend we went to Hilton Head Island in South Carolina.  Some of you were probably wondering where we were when I was posting pictures of the beach and stuff.  I didn't really want to be specific since I know people use blogs and facebook to track when people are out-of-town until we got back home, but that is where we were.

It was a great vacation! It was 4 days and 3 nights, but really 2 days and 3 nights since it took about 9 hours travel each way.  We didn't plan anything, just wanted a break from our busy lives.  That is just what it was.  We went to the beach, swam in the pools, Eric and I even went to the workout room at the resort for the first time ever on vacation.  We mini-golfed and ate out.  It was a nice break from everything.

It's funny how this vacation came about.  Over three years ago (before we moved here), we signed up for the Marriott Rewards Program when Eric was travelling for work.  While we were driving out from Washington to Tennessee, I got a phone call on my cell phone.  It was Marriott wanting to offer me a vacation to one of their resorts (4 day, 3 night) for $129.  I said ok and bought it.  The vacation was supposed to be in Las Vegas just to check out one of the new resorts they just opened for timeshare with no sales presentation required.

Well, time passed, and we never used it.  Late last summer, they called me and asked me if I would still like to use the vacation we paid for.  They said they could get us into a 2-bedroom deluxe room at Hilton Head right on the beach.  We agreed to do it, but, "the catch" was we had to do a 90-minute sales presentation.  Truth be told, the sales presentation wasn't that bad, and we didn't buy into it.  However, they don't do timeshares anymore, and you just get an allotted amount of points you can use anywhere.  You can also exchange them for airfare using Marriott Rewards Points.  Really, I wasn't expecting to be impressed with the package, but, I was.  We may buy into it someday, but not now since Eric is getting out of the military in a few months and doesn't have a job yet.  He does have an offer, however, to stay here, and we are pretty certain we are going to take it.