Saturday, September 25, 2010


Are you one of those lucky souls that wins every contest you enter?  Do you always come away from Vegas with more money than you went with?

Not me.

But a few weeks ago, I won a $100 gift certificate to Threadless from The Great Walls of Balitmore.  Head on over there to check her'll like her blog!  Kayris talks about parenting techniques, menu plans, and her cute little family.  It's always a good read.  Anyway, she was hosting a giveaway, and somehow I was the lucky winner!  Threadless has all kinds of quirky and artsy tees, tanks, and hoodies for kids and adults alike.  I had no problem finding enough to spend my gift certificate!  Thanks Kayris!!!!  Here are a few that I picked up for the kiddos for Christmas...

I love that "Dog Ate My Homework" one...too cute!  And here are the ones I have my eye on for me (but in tank-tops, for the gym!)...
 Head on over to Threadless and check out their adult AND kids collections!  Right now, they are offering free shipping on any order that contains a hoodie...through the end of September.  Check 'em out, peeps!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

You want a piece of me?

You may remember me mentioning that Kendall started doing taekwondo back in early spring. We decided to start out on a 6 week trial run to make sure she liked it before we made a commitment. Well, that turned out to be a non-issue...she LOVED it. By the time summer hit, she was at the gym 4 times per week. Midway through the summer, Noah decided he wanted to join too...and that made sense, since we were there anyway! Both kids really enjoy it, and we never get complaints that they don't want to go. Kendall competed in her first tournament this summer and received a 4th place medal. Of course, she was disappointed she didn't do better, but she got to see the competition that was out there and that she was going to have to "bring it" if she wants to place first! She is now a senior orange belt, and will be testing in October for her green belt. Students start sparring at senior orange belt, so that has been fun for her as well. The owners of the school do a lot of really fun activities, such as picnics, water gun wars, and lock-ins. Kendall LOVES the lock-ins. Pizza, video games, crafts, friends, and NO PARENTS...what kid wouldn't like that? It's been a positive experience all the way around so far!

Noah's class is called the Little Dragons, because he is under 7. They focus on basic moves, dealing with bullying, and stranger danger. He is still in his white belt, but will be testing in October with Kendall for his yellow belt. He's really looking forward to being old enough to be in class with the "big kids". I just think he is so cute in his little uniform!
Are you intimidated yet? How about now...
I'm sorry, but that face just cracks me up! And so does this one from Kendall...always trying to look like some big scary fighter...
Shoot, I'd better skedaddle! Looks like the kicks are starting!If you are looking for an activity for your kids, I really do recommend TKD. It is fun, physical, and demands some focus. And the kids love it! Have a great day, peeps!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Back to School!

I can't believe it's September! And while I DO love having both kids at home every day and the lack of a confining schedule during the summer, I also love getting back into the school year routine when fall does roll around. Too much of a good thing, I guess. But is it just me, or did the summer go incredibly fast this year? I know we packed as much as possible into our summer, with trips to Niagara Falls, Mohican State Park, and the roadtrip to Arkansas...but geesh, it still felt like the summer blew by. Before I knew it, we were buying school supplies and making sure the kids' socks and underwear still fit.

Kendall is always very excited for school to start. We don't live in the same school district where she attends school, so she doesn't see many of her school friends during the summer months. She's usually rearin' to go, and get in there and see everyone! This year, however, she was quite apprehensive...teary even. We'd found out that she was placed in the class with "the meanest teacher in the school" and to make matters even worse, all of her really good friends were placed in the other class. She felt that this did not bode well for a good school year. We had a week or two to digest this information and talk through it, and by the time the first day of school came, she was feeling ok...not great, but ok.By the end of breakfast that morning, she was feeling much better about things...she even gave me a cheer for starting school! Now the day was looking up! After all, she is now a fourth-grader. The fourth-graders rule the school at Monroe.I am happy to report that after 2 full weeks, things are looking so much better. It seems that Kendall's teacher is not nearly as bad as she had heard. I don't think she'll ever be Kendall's favorite, but that's ok. We have to deal with a lot of people in our lives that won't be our favorites. The important thing is that she is still looking forward to going to school most every day.

Noah didn't start until this week. He is attending a 5-day per week Pre-K class at a nearby church, and was VERY excited to start. He did great this week, only complaining once on Friday morning that he wanted to stay home and build with Legos. He's having a great time at his new school, and always has so much to tell me when I pick him up!As for me, I am enjoying the start of a new routine. I get up and get myself and the kids up, dressed, and fed. We leave the house at 8:15-ish, pick up Shea, and head to Monroe to drop the girls off...then straight to Noah's school to drop him off. (I only have a 15 minute window here, and I need every single second of it!) AND as an added bonus, Noah's school is only like 5 minutes away from my gym, so I have 2.5 hours every morning to work out and hit the grocery, or Target, or whatever else I need to do. This week I took a spinning class, had a massage, and took a Piyo class. Can't wait to see what next week will bring!

Thursday, September 09, 2010

My boys

Look at these two handsome fellas...I just love 'em. Love, love, LOVE.

The End.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Friends, photos and online dating...

So I'm loving my 55-200 mm lens. It's taking some getting used to, as I'm not used to being able to zoom in from so far away...and of course, being a longer lens, I have to account for lighting...which I still have to really think through in my head. UGH! But I've been having a little bit of fun, when time permits! And there hasn't been much of it this week...that's for sure!

This weekend, my friend Priscilla came out to the cabin for a (much overdue) trip to have her picture taken. I suspect that the reason this trip has taken so long to come to fruition is that while she WANTS to have her photo taken, the reason behind it having it done is causing just a tad bit of anxiety. Ladies and gentlemen, Priscilla is about to venture into the world of online dating.

At the age of 63.

And while she's totally committed to giving it a shot, who in their right mind wouldn't have a little anxiety over it?!? The thought of dating again makes my stomach churn. Unless I could just date Barry again...that might be fun!

But I digress. So Priscilla called Friday night to say she was coming out on Saturday afternoon to finally have the photos done. This has been going on for a year, so I didn't hold my breath, but she sounded serious this time! Wahoo! She even volunteered to bring a big pot of chili so I didn't have to cook. EVEN BETTER! When she finally got here, we sat and chatted, had dinner with the fam, and basically waited around until the sun was just right for good lighting. And then, after practicing her 'Jackie O' pose, we got to work. And here's what we came up with...Good, but not the great. I am a sucker for a big, heartfelt smile though, and that one certainly has it! This next one though, I really do like. It is very 'Priscilla'. I have seen that look a time or two, let me tell ya. Usually when I say something crass or silly...not that I would ever do such a thing. I'm just sayin'.
We both liked this next one, just because it's a different look. She liked it because her eyes are wide open...see, she squints when she smiles, and it really annoys her. I do the same thing, and it really annoys me too! But darn it, it's HARD to smile with your eyes big and wide when you're not used to doing it! Plus, then you feel like you look all surprised in the picture. Weird.
And this last one? Yeah, it's pretty much everyone's favorite. I'm tellin' ya...there's a very small window at the end of the day when the light is perfect...and this was it. The Perfect Priscilla Portrait. I just love alliterations, don't you?Lookin' good Priscilla!!! You're gonna knock 'em dead! I wonder how many 'winks' or 'pokes' or whatever it is that you get on eharmony she has already? I think I'm gonna go call her and find out...

Friday, September 03, 2010


Yesterday was our 15th anniversary! Where did the time go? How can I be old enough to have been married 15 years???

We are going on a trip to Savannah in October to celebrate, but felt like we should do a little something on our actual last minute plans were thrown together!!! I had a $25 gift card to Smith & Wollensky that was getting ready to expire, so we decided to go there for dinner. A quick call to one of our favorite babysitters sealed the deal. She was so excited to see Kendall and Noah that she changed her plans so she could come over! Now that doesn't happen every day!
We had a fantastic dinner...a goat cheese & heirloom tomato tart, gorgonzola topped filets, and green beans pan fried with ham and sea salt (OMG!). They treated us to a complimentary champagne toast, which was a really nice surprise...and after dinner, when we refused dessert (we were stuffed!), our server insisted and bought us a dessert to share...complete with a candle. Wasn't that sweet? And of course, the bonus was that we could see the tv in the bar, where the OSU game was we didn't miss a thing! What a perfect night out!!!

And how can I not share with you the gift my sweetie gave me? Isn't she beautiful? I love it, and am hoping to get the chance to play with it this weekend! I can't share what I got him, least, not yet. It still hasn't arrived and I don't want to spoil the surprise! honor of our 15 years, here are 15 things I love about my sweetie:

1.) His quick wit. He's actually really funny when he gets on a roll!

2.) How calm he is when it feels like everything is going wrong. Oh, how I wish I could be more like him in this way!

3.) His crooked smile. Love it.

4.) The way he is very frugal and smart with money, but not necessarily cheap. He'll spend the money where he needs to, and saves when he can. And for some reason, he never has a problem spending it on in point, my new 55-200 mm lens for my camera! Thanks honey!

5.) How he takes the time to explain all kinds of details to the kids...what causes thunder, how an engine works, how to shoot a bb gun and all the safety rules that come along with it, how the pressure system in the chicken waterer works...basically all the stuff I don't (or can't) explain. LOL!

6.) The fact that the man NEEDS me to help pick out his clothes. Seriously. He NEEDS me.

7.) That he's willing to put up with my craziness and my moodiness and all my hair-brained ideas. And that he always gives me credit for the good ones!

8.) That he can change my oil and my brakes. This is very important! HA!

9.) The man will eat anything I make, as long as I don't put nuts in it. And most of the time, he likes it! Ok, ok...he eats just about everything anyway...whether I make it or not. But still. :)

10.) He thinks everything through...all the time. All the little details are present and accounted for. And budgeted for. LOL!

11.) His forearms.

12.) Oh, and his hands. I love his hands.

13.) The way he calls me Jenny... rarely Jen. Only my family and the people I grew up with call me Jenny. It feels weird when anyone from my "adult" life calls me Jenny, but I like it when he does. :)

14.) His supportive nature...he supports anything I want to do, and of course, helps me think it through...detail upon detail. It's a darn good thing he's around, I tell ya!

15.) The way he loves us. It's easy, laid-back, and unquestionable.

Every girl should have a Barry!! :)

Thursday, September 02, 2010

The End of the Trip

Sorry for the delay in posting, peeps! My laptop is finally all fixed up and I am ready to burn this blog up! I have so many things to post about!

So let me just finish off our little roadtrip first. The day after we checked out the Daisy Airgun Museum, we had plans to go to Devil's Den state park. Unfortunately, we got a late start to the day and it was farther away than we had bargained for, so we decided instead to go to Pea Ridge National Military Park. The Battle of Pea Ridge was a land battle of the Civil War, fought March 6–8, 1862, at Pea Ridge in northwest Arkansas. In the battle, Union forces defeated Confederate troops, the outcome of which essentially cemented Union control of Missouri. The battlefield itself was unbelievable to look at...of course, it was a beautiful day and all, but the vastness of it and the cannons set up really helped you to see what it must have been like. The kids had fun, but you know how that goes...they're interested in a few high level facts and then they're on to the next thing. But Barry LOVES this kind of stuff. He just walked around reading everything and soaking it all up. I take in things that are interesting to me and take pictures. That's how we roll. :)

After visiting Pea Ridge, we were hot and sweaty and ready to cool off, so Amy took us to the pool. It felt AWESOME. The kids played and played until they were ready for ice cream, and then we headed out. The next morning it was time to hit the road. We wanted to make it all the way to St. Louis so we could spend some time at Cabela's. Yes, Cabela's was a highlight of our trip!

We got moving early and stopped at an IHOP for brunch...Barry and the kids LOVE IHOP. I would have rather gone to Panera, but I was outnumbered. Bummer. Anyway, we scarfed down pancakes, eggs, bacon, and fruit, and then headed out to St. Louis! We went to Cabela's first and spent a few hours there. Yes, I said HOURS!!! Who knew you could spend hours in that store?? We had so much fun, checking out all the hunting, camping, & fishing supplies. We got some great deals too. Of course we still helped stimulate the economy! Hahaha. After we were done stocking up on safety glasses, hunting boots, and the like, we headed out to find our hotel and ordered a pizza. We were hungry, and the kids were itchin' to swim, so we decided to keep it simple. After a good night's sleep, it was time to hit the road. Our plan was to make it into Ohio and just over the border to my Mom's house, where we would spend the night before making the rest of the trip back to Columbus. We had had such a good time, but of course, there's no place like home! Everything was going according to schedule...we had seen the arch in St. Louis, made it through the traffic in Indianapolis, and then about 20 minutes from my Mom's, we hit a detour that took us completely out of our way on a bunch of little country roads. Ugh! But we did eventually make it, and the kids had lots of stories for Grandma Cindy!
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