Monthly Archives: August 2012

At Home Tuesday…

Yesterday was “At Home Tuesday” and it was a total success. It is true that little successes really help to string you along in life. We never left the house, never got out of our PJs, did school three times, and played all day. At one point I was pitching a small ball to Wilson who was trying to hit it with the “horse head on a stick” toy. He was doing quiet well. He was also only wearing a pair of sunglasses and Faith’s sparkly pink flip flops. What a sight!!

I made a new reading game for Faith to practice her reading. I got the idea from the “How to Teach Your Child to Read in 10 Minutes a Day” book. She has to sound out each letter and then blend them to form the word. After each correct read card she gets to jump the other card forward and eat the treat. The cards continue to move down the row until she reaches the end. She ends up sounding out each letter and word at least six times. Here is a picture of her playing it. She can pretty much read any three letter word now. I am so proud of her.


This is her playing still, but I thought my big foot in the picture was funny! :)


Faith is really into puzzles right now. She usually has at least four of them out and on various surfaces around the living room. She just keeps redoing them throughout the day. Miller likes to pull up on the fireplace and play with them as well. He basically follows Faith around…



Here is another reading game that I made up.  I stole the board idea from Hooked on Phonics.  I simply made up 15 – 20 cards with words that she should be able to read and put them in a pile.  If it is her turn, she picks up a card.  If she reads it correctly then she rolls the die and moves forward.  If she is incorrect she has to wait a turn.  It was fun and she loved it!  I am starting to feel like a real home school mom.



While Faith played her game with me, Wilson actually played independently at the table with Play Dough.  We had a really great day!


Time for a change…

Ever wish you could change something about the way you look? Straighter teeth? Smaller thighs? Bigger boobs? Less grey hair? Well, I have always wanted a smaller nose. I have my Grandma Madeline’s nose. I have had it since seventh grade and I don’t like it. For some unknown reason, God gave me this nose and wanted me to have it. I think it is to make me more humble, but I won’t know that answer until I get to heaven.

Due to the fact that no one carried a camera on them at all times when I was in my twenties, I have very few pictures of me back then. Now, with the iPhone and video cameras in our hands constantly, I am in more pictures, and consequently, more aware of my nose.

I have decided to take the plunge and change my nose. This Friday I will be having a rhinoplasty….that is a nose job to you and me. Shocking! I know! I must admit that I am torn between the moral implications of  what I may be teaching my children about God’s perfectness (and their’s), and being more comfortable with myself. There is no right or wrong answer to this dilemma. Either I get over it and just love my unique nose or I change it so that I can focus on more important things. I have decided to go with “change it”. I do believe the sayings of “Beauty is only skin deep” and “Beauty is a gentle and quiet spirit”.   I know those to be true.  I know that I am beautiful either way.  I also know that I am doing what I wish I had done ten years ago.  Now is the time.

My kids will never know me to look any differently. They will only know if I tell them or they read this later on in life. I am okay with that. At some point in life everyone either gets braces or dyes their hair. Is there really any difference – other than cost and anesthesia?

So Friday is the big day. Keep me in your prayers and I will keep you posted….

The End of an Era….

I lived in Frisco, from 1998 – 2003. I was thirty years old when I finally moved back to NC. Living in Frisco was some of the most memorable years of my life. I could hike amazingly beautiful mountains, showshoe on the frozen lake, snowboard, hangout all day with friends, and wait tables at the most fun restaurant in town – The Old Dillon Inn – or better known as – The ODI. The ODI was located in the next little town, Silverthorne, and was called by those who knew it well, The BA. This is because the R on the BAR sign was shot out by someone years and years ago. The softball uniforms even said, The BA on them. It was an old wooden building that was practically falling down. It was said to be haunted by ghosts, who had been seen by many friends and employees (thankfully, not me). Each table in the dining room was lit by a hanging lamp that had a tiny little 8 watt bulb in it. I believe that this was so that no one could see all the chip crumbs that littered the floor each night. Every weekend the bar would be packed full of people dancing, drinking and listening to the band that would play on the small stage.

Three of the best girl friends I will ever have in my life worked there with me: Charity Saunders Palmer, Karen Crawford, and Kari Wright Snell (who married the bartender, Josh Snell).

The owner of the ODI was Bud Nicholson. Bud was a great boss – he never complained, never stuck is nose in your business, and only asked that you show up for your shift and do it as best as you could….that night. He was a kind man and a great boss. Bud passed away in October 2010. Through Bud I met his friend Phil LaCasse. Phil and I became friends and would hang out on occasion. I even went to see Phil in Florida two different times while he was there. We would go out drinking, go out to dinner and once we went to New Orleans to visit and see a Saints v. Broncos game. He was a great man and a good friend. Phil just passed away in June after a long battle with cancer. Now Bud and Phil are both gone and so is the ODI. Bud sold it back in 2007 after more restaurants appeared in town and business slowed down due to too much competition. It feels like a chapter of life in Silverthorne has closed. It is sad to know that the people and places that I knew so well are now gone.

Here is a picture of Phil and Bud that was probably taken in the late 1990’s.



Here are a couple of links to articles that were written in the Summit Daily News about the Old Dillon Inn and it’s closing


When Tom and I visited Colorado in June 2008 we went over and saw the ODI building. Tom had the bright idea to take a letter off of the building as memorabilia. We could only get the “N” from the words “Mexican Dining” off of the building. That N is downstairs in my house and I will keep it forever.

This is a picture of the Old Dillon Inn.  See the “N”?  I have that!!

Silverthorne, CO : Old Dillon Inn


Those pictures bring back so many memories!!  Rest in Peace Bud and Phil.  I will miss you.


A Date Night to No Where

Tom and I had a date night planned for tonight. At first we were going to go to a party up at Lake Norman which is about an hour away. Tom decided that he wasn’t up for the drive so we thought that we would just go out to dinner instead. We usually don’t go uptown but we wanted to do something a little different than usual. We drove uptown, and at first, were very indecisive about where we were going to go. We finally decided to go to the EpiCenter which is a large area of town that has many different restaurants all at the same place. We pulled into the parking deck, found a spot to park and Tom looked into his wallet for his checkcard….not there! He forgot that he had taken it out of his wallet this morning. Unfortunately, I didn’t bring a purse or my wallet either. So, there we were in a parking deck with no way to get out because we had no money and there wasn’t a person in the booth. I kept trying to convince him to pull right behind someone leaving and follow them out of the gate. He wouldn’t do that. Finally, we decided to call a friend that lives near there so we could borrow some money. We had to walk out of the parking deck so that the call would go through, and as we were walking out we saw two women in a car at the gate. We talked to them a moment and they offered to give us six dollars to get out of the garage. We took them up on their offer and finally left to go home so that we could get some money to go to dinner.

We drove home, Tom ran in to get his card from his other shorts, and we were off again. This time we decided to stay closer to home. We picked another restaurant and Tom went to get his check card from his pocket…..wrong card!!! He obviously didn’t look at the card that he took from his other shorts, but just assumed that it was the right one.  Once again, we had no money! I was a little frustrated  because I was starving, but we had to laugh at this all the same.

Needless to say, we headed home again for a second time. By this time, I am starving and all I want to do is go home, eat a huge bowl of cereal and call it a night. The last thing I wanted to do was get back in the car and drive to a third restaurant. So, we got home, paid the sitter for two hours of work, and sent her on her way. I got my bowl of cereal and then drank a glass of wine.  Now it is almost 9:00 and I am ready for bed.

The night didn’t work out as we had planned or hoped for, but Tom and I spent some quality time together, only had to put one kid to bed, and were able to talk and laugh without interruption. I guess that is really what you are hoping to do on a date night. :)  Still a succesfull evening.

Home schooling crash course for me…..Playground time for them.

Two main things have happened in the past two days…

1-I went to my friend, Laini’s house to get some home schooling help and was able to implement some of it successfully today

2-We had another long, fun play date with the Bishops at Boyce park today.

First, I went to Laini’s house yesterday. She homeschools her six and three-year-old kids while she has a two year old running around as well. They were all wonderfully behaved while I was there. She was able to give me some great tips on websites that have some additional work for the kids to do. She showed me the binders that she has for both of her kids and the work in it. It was also nice to see that she has check lists that she is supposed to use, but doesn’t. Laini said, “Homeschooling is all about good intentions.” That really took some of the pressure off. Even she doesn’t have it all together and perfect.

I tried her strategy of having one kid work independently on something so you can teach the other. It worked! While Faith worked on her letter “B”, I was able to help Wilson practice his cutting and tracing. Then when Wilson finished cutting he was able to play on his own while I worked with Faith. I also used the microwave timer again. Set it for 15 minutes of learning and then when it goes off they can both play for 30.

During the play time Wilson found a pink beach ball and a plastic golf club.  He asked me to throw the ball at him so that he could hit it with the club.  Not the best indoor activity, but I thought, “Sure! Why not!”.  We went into the kitchen and played baseball.  He did awesome!  He hit the ball almost every time.  We played almost the entire 30 minutes. Sign this kid up!!



Wilson with his golf club and ball


After 30 minutes is up, then it is back to school for another 15. This time Faith and I worked on her reading. She was able to read the word “at”. I then added single letters to the front of the word to make “bat, mat, sat, rat”. Faith could actually blend the sounds to read the word! This is a new skill that she couldn’t do a month ago. I would love for her to start reading soon. We were only able to do two sets of learning, but it is more than we usually accomplish. I will try again tomorrow.

After “school” it was play time. We met Rachel and her kids at Boyce Park at 10:45 and played until 2:15. We have record breaking play dates with them. The kids are great together. We wandered around in the woods, played on the soccer field, ate snacks and actually played on the playground equipment. This park is fabulous. There is so much to do there and most of it is not on the equipment, but in nature. I love it and so do the kids.

Another successful day!


Wilson and Payton being "bad guys"



Faith and Miller - Hold on!!


Home at Last!

We finally arrived back home today at noon. We have been to Greensboro, Roanoke, Harrisburg, Roanoke and back home over the course of seven days. I am ready to sleep in my own bed and have the kids sleep in their own bed. Last night in the hotel we played the Double Bed Shuffle! I slept in both beds and with everyone at some point. It was exhausting. We did have a great time together as a family and with family. It was worth the travel and the lack of sleep!

I can tell that the kids are needing to be home as well. They were sooooo sassy today! I ended up putting both of them to bed early with no books. Wilson was just out of it. If I heard him say, “no” one more time, there was going to be a meeting between his bottom and a wooden spoon. I have never threatened the spoon (I was never spanked with one), but my hand just didn’t seem to be scary enough. In the end, he went to bed and cried that I wasn’t being nice and that I wasn’t his friend. He was really sad. It was sad and cute all at the same time. He kept asking me, “Mommy, stay here in my bed with me the whole time cause I wuv you!”. It was so sweet. I laid with him a while and told him that I loved him too. I am sure tomorrow will be a better day.

While I put Wilson to bed I had Faith babysit Miller while she cleaned her room.  Faith and Miller have a special little bond.  It is very cute.  She loves to carry him around and he thinks that she is hilarious.  They laugh together and play wonderfully.  Tonight I went into her room after I put Wilson to bed and found Miller in one of Faith’s purple, glittery shirts on top of his clothes.  I had to laugh.

After being gone for a week I came home with a fresh look at our house. It needs some serious decorating help. One thing that I have learned from Tom is how to rearrange furniture. We hardly ever moved anything in my house growing up. Tom moves furniture all the time. At first I thought it was strange, but now I find it liberating! I have already turned the dining room table, moved the toys and have a strong itch to paint the kitchen….again! I have already prepared Tom that things will be different when he gets here. Most of the time he likes the way I have arranged things. Don’t worry, honey, if you don’t like it Friday then I can move things around again next weekend! :)

City Island and out with Kristen

Harrisburg, PA is located on the Susquahanna River. In the middle of the river is an island called City Island. Long ago it only contained a concert stage, an ice cream shop, a kiddie train train, and a carousel. Today it has all that plus a few small restaurants and is home to the minor league baseball team, The Senators.

Tom and I took the kids to City Island to explore and enjoy the island activities. We rode the small train, had a picnic lunch and rode the carousel. Luckily the kids are old enough to ride the carousel on their own so that I don’t have to ride it with them. It literally makes me dizzy just watching them go around and around. (another reason I am officially “old”)

After the island we went to get ice cream. I rarely have ice cream but ate it almost every day this week….now that is a vacation!!

I also must mention that City Island is where Tom saw his first concert: the Greatful Dead. A great first concert and location. I, on the other hand, had Barry Manilow as my first concert. I was very young, but it still counts, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world!! Haha

On Sunday night I went out with my dear friend, Kristen Maines. She and I first met right after I graduated NC State in 1995. We worked together at Farm Bureau and made a whopping $17,000 per year (plus kick backs). We have kept in touch through the years and it has been 17 years since we first met. This makes her one of my oldest friends. We always have fun! Last night we went to a bar, had some snacks and drinks, and laughed. She just moved to Harrisburg last month. I was lucky enough to visit her in Seattle this past September when she lived there. I was 36 weeks pregnant and flew across the country to see her. It was fabulous!! A somewhat risky move, but worth it.

Today we drove back to Roanoke for the night and tomorrow the kids and I will drive back to Charlotte. It was a great visit with Tom’s family. The kids were excited, a few things got broken, but everyone just rolled with it. A big “Thanks” to Tom’s mom and Will for having us and showing us a good time, and a little grace!! We will be back again at Christmas.

Here we are on the train.  It was a very shaky ride!