Tuesday, August 25, 2009


has officially started. And I promise those are soccer shorts that Sam is wearing - and not a kilt!

Pete is doing a little coaching...

Sam is doing a lot of running and a little kicking...

a little throwing in...

The season has just started, but I can already see a big difference in Sam's skills over last year. He has just grown in general in the last year, but he has also played a season of indoor soccer & t-ball. All of which I think have helped him.

We have noticed that if Sam doesn't have possession of the ball for throw ins, kick offs, etc. then he is more worried about keeping the opponent from scoring than actually scoring a goal himself.

Did I mention he has been kicking?

It is a little tough to watch the game, watch Grace & shoot pictures all at the same time. Per Pete's suggestion, I have been trying to get more action shots. I'm not near the photographer that he is, but I do occasionally get some {in my opinion} decent shots.

When I downloaded the pictures from last week's game and reviewed them, I was impressed with this particular shot for a couple of reasons. One, I managed to get an action shot that is focused where it should be and that isn't missing any parts
{ie, his partial head in the pic above} because of his movement or mine {I'm also trying to keep up with Grace, remember?}. The other thing that impressed me was his form. Pete was a kicker in high school, and this really reminded me of some shots of him that are somewhere in a shoebox {I mean acid free photo box}. If I was more technically savvy {and had a better scanner and/or negative scanner}, I would post a picture to show you. For now, you have to take my word for it.

Long story short...I think we may have a kicker on our hands. If not that, then a good defensive player.
And I'll continue my juggling act as long as he wants to play.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Finally Fencin' In, Fixin' Up & Finishin' Up for Fall

Can you say that 5 times fast?

I have been working on this post for a few days now. I had visions of verbage and photos throughout my rambling list. But, this post must be finished...I must move on.

Now that Sam is in school and we are getting back into a more regular routine, I have been thinking about things that we (or in some cases, I) would like to do or need to do around the house. In no particular order, here are the things I would like for me/us to work on during the fall.

1. Fence in the backyard

We had a fence at our last two houses, and I miss it so much! I love the extra privacy. Having a fence makes it much easier to send the kids outside to play without worrying that they will be in the street - Grace especially!

This is actually a work in progress. We got estimates & submitted our plan to the HOA back in June, and the work is finally getting done this week. Woohoo!

2. Finish decorating the kids rooms

Sam's room is almost finished. Just one more box of things to hang on the walls. And he is done. Grace's room, on the other hand, needs more help. I don't like the furniture arrangement. And we haven't put a single thing on her walls. I would really like to finish!

3. Finish unpacking the office

Poor Pete. His office has been so neglected since we moved in. There are just a few boxes left in there to unpack. And the hall closet is almost full of his stuff. Can't we just get on with finding homes for his stuff so he can actually use and enjoy his office? I hope so.

4. Fix up our bedroom

I have been inspired to do something with our bedroom by watching Design Star {and other HGTV shows} and also some blog reading including Nesting Place where The Nester talked one day about her biggest decorating mistake. She talked about regretting that she didn't make the master bedroom a priority.

Our bedroom has never been a page out of a magazine or like you stepped into a room at a bed and breakfast or a nice hotel. But, it has been even less so for the last 5 or 6 years. It has been littered with maternity pillows, then a pack-n-play, diapers, breast pump and other baby stuff. Now that we are getting somewhat back to normal {although I'm not sure if the kids will EVER stay in their beds all night every night}, I am ready to make it a place to relax without looking at the extra clutter.

I found this set at JCPenney. The blue isn't as bright as it looks in this picture. It's more of a blue gray. I am working on curtains, accessories, etc. to finish out the room. I would love to put a chair in there and maybe do something different with the TV {different TV stand, mount it on the wall, or put it over the wardrobe}.
So, there is probably a furniture rearrangement in the works too.

5. Finish decorating the house

We are mostly finished with the decorating in major areas of the house - we just need some stuff on the walls.

6. Finish scrapbook projects

I think that I have about 42 scrapbook projects in various stages. I would love finish up some of those projects...so I can move on and start new ones.

7. Fix me up

I like food. Ok, I love it. I would like to find a way to 1) cook more {which I have been doing more since Sam started school}, 2) cook good food, and 3) cook and eat healthier food. I would like to be healthier, skinnier and just have fun with the kiddos. And them being healthier would be great too.

Since it has taken me so long to put this together, I can safely knock #1 off the list. Now I can see what else we can do to fix up & finish up projects this fall. In between school, church, soccer and Alabama {Roll Tide!} football, of course.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Top 7 things that Sam learned during his first week of school

7. Friday is "free choice" day in P.E.

Sam said they do exercises in P.E. Monday through Thursday. On Friday, they get to choose from basketball, jump rope "for more than one person" among other things.

6. His lunch code.

To pay for lunch, Sam has to enter his code into a keypad in the lunchroom. This number will stay with him through high school as long as we are in the same school system. They sent home a sheet with a keypad printed on it for him to practice. He had it down that night {and even got sticker later in the week for knowing it!}.

5. When you ride the bus to school, you get to sit in the library until time to go to your classroom.

4. The buddy system.

Sam drinks a lot - water, juice, milk...it doesn't matter. The class takes restroom breaks as a class. When the kids need to go to the restroom in between official breaks, they go with a friend.

3. Buying lunch in the cafeteria isn't always what it is cracked up to be.

Sam's list of favorites & not so favorites has already started. He had nachos the other day, but he didn't really like them because "they weren't how he wanted them to be."

2. "It really is a buffet!"

Sam saw the lunch line when were at open house, and he said "oh, look! It's a buffet!" We weren't sure so we told him that he'd have to find out when school started. He bought his lunch on the first day (and every day since so far) and with help from his teacher, fixed his own plate...from the buffet.

and the #1 thing Sam learned during his first week of school...

"I would rather just catch the bus!"

For me, Sam riding the bus home in the afternoon is great. Grace is usually napping at the time school gets out. The option of staying home & letting her nap is great. And to be greeted by this sweet face is one of the best parts of my day.

We have offered, though, for Pete to take him on his way to work. I feel a little guilty for him riding the bus both ways, plus he wouldn't have to get up & to school quite as early. He loves the bus and doesn't want us to drive him.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

One Last Summer Getaway

After Pete did his part to fix the space station problem, we loaded up in the car & escaped to the beach. We stayed near Rosemary Beach with some friends of my parents. It was great!

We were only there a few nights, so it was action packed!

We got some beach time. Grace is not afraid of the water AT ALL. We chased after her twice while we were out one evening - including once when I fell {in the water and got soaked} trying to get her. The water was a little rougher than normal so it freaked me out. We opted for our friends' pool the next day.

My beach bums...Pete, Sam & Grace

Remember the drenching I mentioned before? This is Grace post near drowning. It didn't phase her. A bit.

My mom with the kids...

Beautiful sunset...

It's not a trip to the beach until you go out for ice cream {and/or other sources of sugar}!

We grilled burgers one night {and steaks another - only ate dinner out one night}...

I saw this at Rosemary Beach...bike lot - park & walk to the beach...

I love this sign we saw at a nearby park...

I'm so glad we got to go down there. We are all ready to go back again. Grace asked just yesterday..."I want to go to the beach. Can we? Can we? Puh-leeeezz?!?!" She does take after her mama a little bit after all. :)

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Ominous clouds

I was driving down the road the other day {Sam's first day of school} with Grace, and we were on our way to meet Pete for lunch. I was in an okay mood considering that it was Sam's first day, but I was taking things in in a little different way {or maybe I could just hear myself think since he wasn't there to try to win a "who can be the loudest in the car" contest}.

These clouds kind of moved along with me. I just thought they were neat. I didn't have a good place to stop, but I managed to get a few shots while at red lights, waiting to turn, etc.

The first few kind of remind me of mountains...

Love the {ocean} waviness of this one...

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Photo session(s) with Daddy

We are behind. Almost 6 months, but here’s the highlight of Grace’s 2 year pics.

Here’s the highlight of Sam's 5 year pics.

A not-so-bad shot of them together (complete with Grace's corner of the eye look she gives a lot)...

And this is the attempt to get beach pics of the kids together on our last trip.

Not real sure what is going on with Grace's hair here (not to mention that the sun is glaring in her face)...

No chance of seeing Sam's face in this one...

Isn't this a keeper?

All that is missing here is a shovel & fork...

This might be a keeper...

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Sam goes to kindergarten

I can’t believe it is here. Sam's first day of kindergarten. I am not sure how to feel about it. On one hand, I am excited for him and for all that is to come. I know he will have fun and learn a lot at the same time. He is so inquisitive {have you had the chance to play “20 questions” – or sometimes 100 – with him? he loves it!}. Such a curious one.

On the other hand, I am afraid of starting this phase. I think that I will blink, and he’ll be a 7th grader like my oldest niece. {It doesn’t seem like she is really old enough to be in 7th grade.} I think about how old I am and how old I will be when he is a 7th grader.

I think the day has been a little easier for me because as I was turning on the shower this morning, I heard Sam come stomping down the hall towards our room {not in a “don’t make me do this” kind of way, but a “I have new shoes on & am already dressed for school” kind of way}. He woke up at 5:32…5:44…5:45 – he couldn’t remember. He got up, straightened up his room and got dressed.

From that point on, Sam could not wait to get to school. I was trying to get ready, and Pete was fixing breakfast {he always cooks our standard special breakfast – french toast}. While Sam was waiting for breakfast, he colored and kept saying “I just want to get to school. That’s all I want to do.”

When we finally made it to school, Grace wanted to be like big brother…she had to take her backpack in with her. Sam wanted us to just drop him off – he could find his way to class. Pete told him that we’d come in, and he could show us the way to his classroom. He did pretty good.

We made it to his classroom, put up the remaining items he needed, took a couple of pictures and were on our way. And Sam stayed for his first day of kindergarten.

He wanted to ride the bus home today, so I will be waiting anxiously at the corner for him to find out how his day went.

My big boy.

Monday, August 10, 2009

two weeks...and no paci

we had one of sam’s friends over a couple of weeks ago to play while his mom ran some errands. grace was right in the middle of them playing. sometime during the morning, she lost her paci.

i looked for it when naptime came. i looked everywhere. in her bed. under her bed. in the toys. in the kitchen. my bedroom. the recliner.

i never found it and just decided to go for it. we had been putting off taking the paci away. {sam lost his on his 2nd birthday because he kept throwing it on the floor. grace was still pretty attached to it – naptime & bedtime particularly – and hadn’t pushed any buttons to make us want to get rid of it.} it took about an hour & a half, but she finally went to sleep without it.

and hasn’t had it since.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Getting ready for school

Sam is almost officially a kindergartener now. We got Sam's school supplies together the other day to take them to school during the open house.

We got to see where his class is, meet his teacher and explore the school while getting signed up for buying lunch {who knew a 5 year old would have a credit account? I was in college before I had credit}, getting his bus route info, & buying a school t-shirt for field trips & other activities.

While we were standing in line, Sam found the cafeteria food area and said, "Look! They have a buffet!"