Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Gearing up for Kindergarten

Tonight we went to the Kindergarten Ice Cream Social on the playground of our new school. The girls were very excited; in fact, Abby started to get ready for it at 7:00 this morning, and I had to explain that she had 11 hours to wait!

We saw lots of friends, made a couple of new ones, ate some yummy ice cream, and played on the playground. The impending thunderstorm sent everyone scurrying to their cars before 7pm, so it wasn't a late night, and we all had fun. Sarah had a shy moment when she realized the playground was being overrun with kids and she couldn't find Abby, but then she found her friend Lauren and felt better.

Tomorrow we're off to G&G's for a couple of days and then down to Mobile for a quick visit. I'll try to post some pics while I'm gone-

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Three Wishes

Our Associate Minister preached today, and he was really very good. He was talking about prayers, and how they should differ from wishes. He mentioned Aladdin getting three wishes, so at dinner tonight I asked the girls what they would wish for if they had three wishes.
Sarah: 1) That God and Jesus would come down to Earth and we could see them. 2) That everyone would love God and Jesus. 3) She needed more time to think about it.
Abby: 1) That she could fly. 2) That she was a unicorn pegasus. 3) That she was really tiny like a fairy.
They're different!

Saturday, July 26, 2008


She's a "Minnie" Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader!

Saturday Morning

A post from Daddy:

This summer, the girls and I had gotten in the habit of Saturday morning outings so we could have some good "Daddy time." We would routinely go to the library, the mall, lunch at Mcdonalds or a couple of different parks. Today, we decided to bring Mommy along. We sure had fun! We began with breakfast at Krispy Kreme (breakfast of champions). Sarah's favorite is chocolate with sprinkles; Abby is a traditional glazed girl. Afterward, we went to the Pepper Place market downtown where we enjoyed petting puppy dogs (the picture was taken moments before that little beast lurched and snapped at my Sarah!), sampling fruits and vegetables, and seeing the beautiful art. We left the market and went to Vulcan Park (http://www.visitvulcan.com/) where we enjoyed the solitude of early morning and beautiful views of the city skyline.

Friday, July 25, 2008


We love books. Abby is obsessed with them, and always has been. Her idea of a perfect day would be to sit down and read every book we own (over 1000, probably!) and then do it again! When we turn off the lights at night, she gets out of her bed, gathers a big pile of books, and then "reads" them until she falls asleep. When I go up to check on them before I go to bed, I pile all the books up and place them on the floor. Well, unless she's done her "book drop", where she drops each book onto the floor, one-by-one, causing quite a racket and letting us know that she's done. Anyway, last night I went in to check on them, and her animals were lined up in her bed, reading. I had to take a picture to share - it's just too cute. So this pic was taken around 10pm last night. S&A were both asleep and fortunately didn't wake up with the flash.

Oh, and now that I've recovered, I wanted to post one last pic of VBS. Look at these kids - over 300 - having so much fun "Surfin' Through the Scriptures!" I'm sooooo glad I can stop listening to the CD (now I just have to figure out how to stop the annoying music in my head)!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

What's in the Box?

Yes, I love crafts. It's fun to watch the girls creating things and getting messy and using their wonderful imaginations. But it's even more fun when they come up with their own craft ideas and figure it all out by themselves! This afternoon Sarah found a small box that Perry had gotten in the mail. She drew pictures all over it, then told me that she needed a really big sock, some googly eyes, pom-poms, and glue. I had the sock, but no eyes, and only a few pom-poms. So she decided to use markers instead. A few minutes later, she revealed her creation...A Sock in a Box! She was so proud. And so was I - she's going to be a great crafter!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


We've been going to VBS at Trinity UMC this week. I'm one of the teachers for S&A's class - we have 14 kids and 2 teachers plus a couple of youth helpers. It's absolutely exhausting, but a ton of fun. It's been great for me and for the girls; I really want us to get "plugged in" at our new church, and I think that's a hard thing to do. I guess because I grew up at Dauphin Way UMC and then went back there, it was easy for that to feel like "my" church. But here, we don't live in Homewood, we're not from Birmingham, we have no family ties to the church, so we really do have to work harder to play an active role in our church community rather than just sit in the pews on Sunday. A big part of that, for me, is getting Sarah and Abby to feel comfortable there. This week is helping a lot. We're finding our way around, making new friends, seeing familiar faces, and also having a blast. Tonight we were talking about the kids in their class, and they've both latched on to a little girl named Abby as a friend, plus there's a girl in their class who they know from Sunday School. It's great to see them laughing with new friends and not being shy. It makes me feel better about them starting kindergarten. On the flipside, one little boy in music class told Abby that he didn't like her, and he walked to the other side of the room. She hadn't even said anything to him! I was shocked, and so sad when I saw the tears welling up in her eyes. She's so sensitive, and I wish she could get tougher skin - but she's definitely my child.

This afternoon we picked up their school supplies that we had ordered through PTO. Sarah and I went through their supply list twice (at her request) checking off everything in the box and making sure we had it all. It's getting close now - only 16 days left before my babies go off to school. I still can't believe it.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

TV Commercials - a follow-up

I've had a lot of emails about my concern over inappropriate TV commercials during otherwise child-appropriate programming. It seems obvious that I'm not the only one concerned. In a cursory google search, I found many, many posts about the problem, but no one working on a solution. I've sent out a few feelers to see if I can find the right avenues to pursue, and if anyone has any ideas I'd love to hear them. One of my friends suggested that we contact Tipper Gore to talk to her about her battle with the music industry years ago. I think that's a great idea; I'm sure she'd have some great suggestions on what to do (and conversely what not to do, given the repercussions she faced).
If you'd like to help, you can start by keeping a journal when you're watching TV with your kids. What channel? What time? What program? What commercial? Ask your friends to do the same. Once I figure out where I'm going with this, I'll figure out how to compile all the data. But for now, just keep some notes if you can. Many thanks!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Red Mountain Theatre

Since the day we moved here, we've had so much fun exploring. Today we went to see a local production of Beauty and the Beast. I love the theatre, and I'm having fun introducing it to the girls. The Red Mountain Theatre is a small organization that uses local and national talent. It's not well-known or well-publicized (at least not that I knew of), and I had expected something along the lines of a local community theatre, but this was much much more. I don't know why I was so surprised by this, but I was. The theater (the Virginia Samford) was small, maybe 300 people tops, so there wasn't a bad seat in the house. The orchestra was awesome, the costumes were incredible, and the actors were top-notch. Most of them weren't even local. The guy who played Gaston stole the show. It was long; almost 3 hours including intermission. But the time flew by, even for the little ones (and there were tons of little ones). Fun!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Roger Day, Flying K-9s, Beauty and the Beast

It's been another full week. Tuesday we went to the Hoover Library and saw Roger Day. He's a kid musician along the lines of Laurie Berkner and Dan Zanes, and he's from Birmingham. I thought Abby would love him, but I expected Sarah, who loves Miley Cyrus and the Jonas Brothers, would be bored. I was wrong. Abby enjoyed the show, but Sarah? Well, Sarah was mesmerized. She loved every second of the show, and wanted to buy a CD. We bought 2, and got a free DVD, and it was non-stop Roger Day until bedtime. On Wednesday, I decided that this was a very good development for Sarah, because it was taking us a step or two away from the teeny bop influence that has been weighing so heavily on her. So, we went to see the show again. We got there early, sat in the front row, and sang along to every song. I must say that I really like "Dream Big" and "Roly Poly". Good thing, too, since I've heard them about 500 times this week! http://www.rogerday.com
Today we went to a birthday party at Veteran's Park, and they had the Flying K-9s for entertainment. Big fun! We took Bailey and he REALLY wanted to get out there and play with all the other doggies! He could be a frisbee dog, too, I think!
Tomorrow we're going to see Beauty and the Beast performed by the Red Mountain Theatre. I'm excited, except that it's a 3-hour show. I'll let you know how it goes.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Girls' Day Out

Today we went to Sweet n Sassy. The girls got manicures and haircuts. Such fun - they were totally pampered and loved it! They smelled like cupcakes and cotton candy when we left, and I just wanted to eat them up! Then we went to the mall for some back-to-school shopping. Abby bought 3 dresses, and Sarah got a few skirts and a shirt/leggings combo that she wants to wear on the first day of school. It was really the first time we've really gone shopping like that, where we looked at all the clothes, took a bunch of stuff to the dressing room, tried everything on, then made decisions. Usually I just bring things home to try. So I'd consider this our first real big girls' shopping trip, and it was a definite success. What fun! After a little lunch and a cookie, we came home to rest. Then they played with their friend Heather this afternoon and performed a fashion show / disco party show for me.

Just a sidenote, a little funny story about Abby. Yesterday in the car she said "Johnson's baby shampoo has no more tears. Is that true?" And then she said "Huggies comfort fit diapers". Perry and I busted out laughing - she's quoting commercials! Today at the mall, she saw the Skechers store and recognized it. She said she wants Skechers for her playground shoes because "they stretch and flex and fit your foot, and make you run faster." This is a child who only watches Noggin, except Saturday mornings when they watch one of the network cartoons (Kewlopolis, anyone?). So that one day of commercials is really having an impact on her. The next time you think TV isn't harmful or influential, remember this!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

A Crafty Summer

We've been keeping busy this summer - very busy. But in our downtime, we've tried a bunch of new crafts. Here are just a few:

1. Caterpillars out of egg cartons. They added paper towel wings to make butterflies - beautiful!

2. Painting sticks. First we painted them white, then we added the color. We stood them up against the fence outside! Who needs flowers in the garden, when you can get your color from sticks?! This simple project was some of the most fun we've had - it was messy and it took a long time.

3. Tissue paper butterflies. I cut butterfly shapes out of cardstock, then the girls painted them with a glue/water mixture. Then they sprinkled small torn pieces of tissue paper all over the glue. When the whole thing was covered with tissue paper, they put another light layer of glue on top. We attached some string and hung them in the windows - so pretty!

4. Butcher paper - have you ever noticed that coloring is more fun when it's on really big paper? I traced their bodies and then left them alone to do the rest - these are so great I have them hanging in the stariwell.

5. Recycled art. A castle out of a cardboard box and a wrapping paper tube; a house out of an orange juice container. These are the perfect size for Polly Pockets!

We've also painted seashells that we found at the beach. And then we put glue on some and sprinkled on glitter - they were gorgeous! Abby has been enjoying color by numbers. We've done a ton of painting - watercolors, tempura, acrylic, oils. We've made flowers out of coffee filters, vases out of McDonald's milk containers, and more flowers with beads and construction paper. We've made necklaces and bracelets and even tried braiding beads into our hair. If you had told me 10 years ago that I'd be doing crafts with my children soon, I definitely wouldn't have believed you, and I might have gotten sick to my stomach! But they've certainly brought out a creative side that I didn't know existed.

Technology scares me!

Perry got an iPhone. It's amazing - I really can't believe all it can do. But at the same time, it really scares me. I opened YouTube and just browsed through the top 30 or so videos. At least5 of them had titles that offended me - all I could think about was a preteen surfing through, and how things like this must be affecting our culture. I don't mean to be a prude, but I think this kind of thing is getting out of hand. The other night, we were watching America's Funniest Home Videos on the Family Channel at 7pm. One of the commercials was about meth - and it was horrible. I was sitting there with my 5-year-olds and I'm not ready to explain these things - can't they just be little kids? Do they really need to know about drugs already? I might block every channel on our TV except Noggin - it's the only one that hasn't concerned me.
I think I do a pretty good job of protecting them from outside influences, but they're about to start kindergarten, and I know that my bubble is about to pop. I just hope I've given them a firm enough foundation.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Daddy's Girls!

A Daddy post:

I'm so proud! This morning, I was backing the jeep out of the garage when Abby asked where I was going. When I responded that I was going to the golf course, she said wanted to come along. When we asked Sarah, she wanted to go too so we had an impromptu daddy and girls trip to the golf course. We enjoyed hitting range balls. Daddy offered some instruction but the girls politely declined, preferring to "just hit it by myself!" We didn't stay too long but, as you can see, they were hot and tired. The girls really enjoy hitting golf balls and I make an effort to keep it fun by limiting the time we're there and the amount of insruction I provide. If it worked for Earl Woods (Tiger's dad), it'll work for me.