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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Another Reason to Blog

Or journal or scrapbook or write notes on the backs of photos.

Brian had to work late last night, so I let Sammie lay in bed with me until she fell asleep.  I asked her what her favorite part of the day was.  She thought for a minute and said, "Watching a movie."


I said, "What about playing in the garden for two hours and planting and swinging on the swing set? What about a chips and salsa snack on the deck?  What about having your first 'quiz' for school and getting a hundred on it?  What about playing fishes and scuba in the bathtub for 45 minutes?  What about a special popcorn snack with Chase and Ava before bedtime? What about you beating me at math games? What about taking a walk this morning to our special rock place?  What about you and Chase picking cosmos for me from the neighbor's garden?"

She giggled and said, "Well, I guess my favorite was the chips and salsa.  And, the quiz.  And, playing in the garden."

Now, THAT'S more like it.

This is why we MUST write these things down. Somewhere.  SOMEHOW!!  Otherwise, all we'll remember is how tired we were.  And, all they'll remember is watching movies.  


Thursday, September 25, 2008

Big Week for the Arnold's

First of all, Sam read her first story today.  All by herself.  I am so proud of her.  I'm also proud of people who can write a story only using the short "a" vowel sound.  Amazing.

Second, one of the beginning steps for potty training in our house is to get that baby out of the crib.  I don't want to have to get her out of the crib if she needs to go, for heaven's sake. So, I thought I'd test the waters to see if Ava was ready for that step by taking off one side of the crib. Clearly, she hated it.

Seriously, the transition was so easy.  I did pull a "Super Nanny" trick at the first nap time. (When I'm feeling like a bad mom, I do occasionally watch that show to boost my spirits.) Read up on the "stay in bed technique." It worked.  She's been talking ever since about sleeping in "the big girl my bed."  Though she did fall out about 6:15 this morning, she went right back to sleep when I tucked into the corner of it!

Last, but not least, Brian and I celebrate our 9th anniversary today. 

I won't go into the sordid details of a wicked flu bug that attacked our entire house yesterday. But it's important to know that even though Brian felt terrible, too, he snuck out under the guise of getting us all some ginger ale.  I woke this morning to a dozen beautiful, red roses in a special vase that he'd chosen.  The card reminded me, among other things, that people use pottery to celebrate the 9th anniversary. 

Bri, you'll be happy to know that I focused on your favorite things: I didn't ask for an expensive meal out and I didn't spend one penny on a gift for you.  

We've come a long way, eh baby?


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

He Never Asked for Us Once

Brian and I had an opportunity to go on a company-sponsored event together last week to Disney World.  The only hitch was that we couldn't take our kids.  It was a bit tricky finding a second home for all three of them for almost a week.  The girls ended up going to my hometown to be spoiled by their "Gi Gi" and her sister, my sweet Aunt Betty.  Chase was adopted by by good friend and neighbor, Cindy.  Well, Cindy AND her whole family.

The email updates from her were hilarious.  Here are some excerpts:

Chase had a great day. He was so, so good. We just stayed home all day. There was lots of sword fighting, lots of stacking things, lots of tv. (sorry.) :) He never disobeyed, he never destroyed anything, he ate well, and seemed very happy! :) Here are some of my favorite quotes from the day:

Chase- What is that for?
me- It's for a recipe I'm making.
C-I know recipes. I eat all recipes. I help my mom with recipes. I'll help you with recipes.

(Tattling on Cheddar the dog): "Ava is by me again!" :)

me-Tomorrow you get to play with Ben!
C-I think Ben went to Kroger with all his family.

me- What did you like doing at my house today?
C-I don't know. I only know what food I want.

me- Did you have fun playing at church tonight?
me-Who did you play with?
C-I don't know.
me-What friends did you play with tonight?
C-I don't know what kind of people they have at that church.

me-Who do you like sword fighting with?
C-Swords. I can do it up. Or down. Or up up side.

me-You're going to sleep at my house tonight, and you're going to stay in bed until we tell you it is time to get up in the morning, ok?
C-Squirrels can eat at morning time. Squirrels AND monkeys.

And a few days later, we called to check on him and I told her I couldn't understand a THING Chase said on the phone. She filled me in...

Shelby said Chase spent the whole time telling you how he's not getting in trouble. :) He really has been so, so good. You should be proud. A couple little times he said, "NO!" to Scott and had to sit down for a minute, but it lasted about two seconds and both times he didn't want to go to bed even though he was exhausted! :) So I think he is happy. He slept through the night last night. (The two nights before that he woke up and screamed once or cried, but only for a minute and fell right back asleep. Weird.)

He went to the bathroom my niece asked if he washed his hands. He said, "No. I didn't wash my hands. And I didn't wipe, either!" ;)

He thought our pizza was a "lil SPICY!"

Brynne woke up to find him in her bed the night he stayed in Cassie and Shelby's room. She asked him why he was in her bed and he said, "Oh? Your bed? I thought it was my bed."

me: "What do you like to eat for breakfast?"
C: Ummm... macaroni and cheese
me: "What do you like to eat for lunch?"
C: Ummm...macaroni and cheese

Thanks, Cindy, for taking care of him and for giving me memories of my boy even when I wasn't there to experience them in person. She captured it so well.  She captured how adorable he is and why, possibly, I'm incapable of having sensible conversations.


Monday, September 22, 2008

Just Alike

I love when people say we look just alike, because I think she's just beautiful.


Saturday, September 20, 2008

Excuse me, sir? You forgot the eyeballs on our ice cream.

Phrases like this are a sure sign that it's the end of summer around here. In our college town, the students are back and are clearly in training.

There's a little ice cream dive called The Chocolate Moose that sells "torch cones". My kids instantly adored them because each cone comes with a pair of candy eyes. I instantly adored them because they are actually kids' sized and Brian instantly adored them because they are only 25 cents! (35 if you get a special chocolate or cherry dip.)

We took one of our trips there Friday night and the poor guy at the booth handed me two blind torches. So, I had to say, "Excuse me, sir? You forgot the eyeballs on our ice cream."

Brian loves Fall. And, I suppose if there were no change in seasons, I could never appreciate Summer as much. But, I LOVE summer.

I'll miss some of these Summer-only moments:

Popscicle faces and sprinkler races.
Will these girls always stay so sweet?
Go ahead. Guess what's in the coffee cup.
Ahhhh...paintin' the fence with Daddy. Don't you love a man who's brave enough to give a three year-old a paintbrush? (The back side of the fence, that is. The side no one can see. )
Old-fashioned rides at the county fair.
Hi-tech rides at the county fair. HA!  They did say this was their favorite. Something about it looking like an M & M.
Painting on the patio.  Their object was the swing set.  I wish I had photos of their abstract art. Then again, you may be glad I don't.
Working on landscaping in the bright, bright sunshine.  A perfect reason for a five year-old to use her parasol.
Landscaping in the 98 degree heat.  Really the ONLY reason a girl in her late 30s should ever wear pig tails.
Picnics on the front lawn. (Shirts optional.)
Banana pudding on the front porch with friends. (They always seem to know the perfect time to drop by on a Summer evening.)

So, now we say good-bye to sprinklers and picnics, swimsuits and fairs. Good-bye to Summer.

And, good-bye to ice cream with eyeballs. 


Sunday, September 7, 2008


Rather than post each time my kiddos say something cute, I've saved up a few.

If Ava ever visits your house and is wanting a drink, she'll say, "Seetea."  That's all we drink around here and she picked it up fast.  

When Chase was her age, he was hollerin' for "baf" at the end of his messy, messy supper. Ava asks for a "poon" and "nakin" to keep things tidy.

My favorite is a phrase she learned from Sammie: "pee picey."  Sammie says it of our salsa. Ava thinks my chili and my tooth paste is "pretty spicey."

I'm sure Chase had lots of fun misquotes at her age that I can't remember, but he came off with a funny one the other day when he saw Grandaddy with a BLT.  "Mommy, I want a swamwich, too!"

Sammie is almost six, so she gets most of her words right or fixes them after one correction.  I have yet to correct a couple just because I think they're cute.  She gets the k and f mixed up and says "breafkast".  And, I suppose because I say it so fast, she calls one of our Southern favs "turn it greens."  (For you brave folks, I'll post that turnip greens recipe some day.)

I'll never forget Sam's most memorable misquote.  Chase was brand new, so she would've been only two and a half.  Some dear friends of ours had a daughter being baptized. We had such a sweet time of worship beforehand.  We sang a song you might know called "Here I Am To Worship."  Check it out at itunes.  

Here I am to worship. 
Here I am to bow down.
Here I am to say that You're my God.

Perfect for a baptism!  It's funnier if I could sing it for you, but if you know it, try to sing out loud what I heard Sammie singing for the next several months....

"Here I am to worrrrk it."

Funny, huh?  After I thought about it, I realized she might have gotten it right after all.  We can never do anything to earn it, but once we've accepted God's free gift of eternal life, we are here to work it!  

Ephesians 3:8-10 says this: For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

So, what does God have you workin' on?


Tuesday, September 2, 2008

I Quit Making Breakfast

I still make everyone a drink in a sippy cup in the mornings, but I've quit making breakfast.
Grandaddy had been graciously sharing his fried egg every morning with Ava, if you'll remember.

She started eating more of it each day, so he started making a plate for her.  He will NEVER do anything for one that he doesn't at least offer to do for the other two.  So, now he gets up every day and asks each of his great grandchildren if they want an egg, if they want toast, if they want gravy and if they want grits.  Usually, each of them says yes to it all!

So, I have quite a mess to clean up afterwards, but I'm no longer in charge of breakfast. Woohoo!

Go ahead, ask your grandad to live with you.  Maybe he'll take over one of your daily chores.


Monday, September 1, 2008

Hot Girl

Chase loves the classic super heroes:  Superman, Batman and especially Spiderman. We've been renting the "new" cartoon versions from the library and Blockbuster.  I sat down a month or so ago to watch with him and three things made me ban Spiderman for a while.

First, I heard someone ask the leading lady (who, second, was dressed in a half shirt and stick skinny), "What the hell was going on." Then, third, I watched as one of the characters was shot repeatedly with a gun and nothing happened, I decided his little three-year old eyes and ears are just too young to watch this cartoon. 

I felt, on the one hand, like an old fogey and on the other, I just KNOW that's not what I want him to see as normal.  Where's the Spidey from "Electric Company" that I know and love?

The funny part of the story is this....Brian rented a DVD from the library called "Justice League", which is a new version of Wonder Woman, Supergirl, Superman, etc.  They often watch TV in Grandaddy's room.  It's right off the living room and I can hear what's going on from the kitchen.

As I listened the other day, I heard Grandaddy ask, "Chase, who is that?"  I heard Chase answer, "Hot Girl."  

Grandaddy is trying to get it: "Hot Girl?"

Chase:  "Yeah, Hot Girl."

Grandaddy:  "Sammie, did he say HOT Girl?"

Sammie stares at the TV and answers, "Yes, Hot Girl."

Of course, my ears perked up at the first mention of Hot Girl.  I assumed it was some character that had fire power or something, then I remembered the half-ne-ked girl from Spiderman and thought I should check it out.

While I wouldn't call her super hero corset "modest", I was a little relieved when I went in and saw a lovely woman with large, brown wings and a mask with a beak.

HAWKgirl to the rescue.