Monday, May 31, 2010

My Movie Monday (#6): Take Me Out To The Ballgame!

Week 6 of joining Chrissy, over at Traveling Light, for...

My Movie Monday @ Traveling    Light

Ivie recently learned the words to "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" and was eager to perform for everyone.

Amanda, a St. Louis native, thought the cuteness was overshadowed by the fact that someone taught her to cheer for a team other than the Cardinals...

Friday, May 28, 2010

Show-and-Tell, Round 53: Sleeping Beauty Trio

I don't have to remind you that Ivie is into princesses these days. Her favorite, lately, is Sleeping Beauty. Maybe because she has a plethora of them, as evidenced by her trio of Show-and-Tell items today: Sleeping Beauty book, Sleeping Beauty bath-friendly doll (the streaks in her hair turn blue when they get wet with warm water - pretty cool!), and Sleeping Beauty plush doll (that, incidentally, was a birthday gift from the Devers and has a blanket that zips onto it and stuffs inside the dress to poof it up like a REAL princess dress).

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Monday, May 24, 2010

My Movie Monday (#5): Swinging

Week 5 of joining Chrissy, over at Traveling Light, for...

My Movie Monday @ Traveling   Light

We had an interesting (read: stormy) weather weekend here, but we did find some time Friday evening to sneak in some swinging. I took two videos...

First, Ivie learned to swing all by herself. Without pushing from Mommy and Daddy. It was a BIG day for her. And especially big for my arm muscles (though it's the only real workout I get these days, so I shouldn't be complaining). Sadly, we quickly discovered that she still can't swing as high by herself as she can when we push her, so we'll still be assisting her for awhile until she can. Because she likes to swing so high that, at the peak of her swing, her bottom lifts slightly off of the seat. It's only THEN that she thinks she's "high enough".

And this next one is of the infamous belly swinging. Ivie used to be a lot more brave with this activity, until she got a little carried away one day and flipped herself over the swing, head-first. Since then, she's very hesitant. You'll see. Macie continues to throw caution to the wind. She has yet to flip.

You might note Ivie's reference to a snake. As if she were predicting the future, our "visitor" from the front porch made a return visit yesterday afternoon. My aunt, Julie, casually walked out the door, saw it, and nonchalantly said, "Aim, that's fake, right?". Clearly she's not a regular blog reader... Then, when we got outside, we saw another snake, much fatter and much longer, crawling up the column on the porch. Two snakes, hanging out on our front porch, within 6 feet of each other. Gross. We've REALLY got to get rid of the bird's nest that sits atop said column. We think that's what they're going after. Sorry I didn't get another picture for you. Would have been a good one. I was too busy running to Jasper's house to get assistance in snake removal from a male (since only females were present at our house at the time).

But I digress.

The other thing I find hilarious about this video is when (for the second time) Macie takes a tumble. And then just lays there, watching, and waiting for help. Ivie will be back to help you, Mac, just as soon as she stops laughing at you for falling...

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Simplify Sunday (#6)

Amanda and Julie arrive today! Amanda is my cousin (Julie my aunt) that I mentioned in my last Simplify Sunday.

While our house pretty much always remains a mess (those of you with kids understand the overrun-with-toys feeling that we live with on a daily basis), at least Amanda will have a clean, toy-free bedroom to which to duck away when the craziness overwhelms her. And now, thanks to a big trash bag and my first thorough pantry cleaning since we moved in almost 6 years ago, she will also have a place to put her much-much-much-healthier-than-the-Herman-family-would-dream-of-eating food.

Friday night, I seriously threw out an entire trash bag of expired canned/boxed goods. In fact, at one point, I sent Dale (who was out of town working) a text message that said:

RIP, Slim Jims. Best by Feb. of 2007.

The beef jerky strips were from Dale's South Beach Diet days, and had been "hiding" in their box in a back corner of the pantry, out of daily view (or so I tell myself to justify the fact that it took me 3 years past their prime to throw them out). I don't have an excuse for the canned goods that were on the eye-level shelf for, in some cases, four years past their expiration.

But I'm proud to report that nothing remaining in the pantry expires before September of 2010! And, Amanda? Bring on the healthy food! Maybe we'll learn a few good habits from you while you're here this summer (though I doubt you'll talk me out of stocking Pop-Tarts)...



Saturday, May 22, 2010

A Macie Kiss

This might be the shortest video ever, but it's also pretty cute... Taken, obviously, on our flight to Missouri last week. The thing that will intrigue most of you, after viewing it, is "how much did Amy have to pay Dale to let her sit by herself while he entertained BOTH girls?!?".

Show-and-Tell, Round 52: Clifford's Puppy Fun

Ivie chose her "Clifford's Puppy Fun" book to take to Show-and-Tell on Friday. It's one of those "lift the flap" books, and the premise behind this particular story is to find Clifford in various scenes throughout the day.

And, just for fun because they had on matching shirts, I'm including a picture of the girls yesterday morning making "funny faces". Although Ivie's looks more creepy than silly!

Ivie's Random Thoughts (#11)

Room Service

Monday morning in St. Louis, as we headed down to breakfast in the hotel, Ivie spotted a room service tray sitting outside one of the other rooms. Seemingly disturbed by this, she said,

"Ooooooooh, Mooooooommy, somebody dropped their foooooooooood!"


Ivie's name for one of my (and her!) favorite types of candy?

"Pike and Ikes"

Older Man?

Yesterday, at school pick-up time, a cute little friend of Ivie's, named Jackson (who is a few months older and has moved up to the 4-year-old class in advance of Ivie), looked through the open car door as Ivie was getting situated into her car seat. Here's the conversation that followed:

Jackson: IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIvie!!!!!

Ivie: Jaaaaaackson!!!!! Bye, Buddy!!!

Jackson (as he walked away): Bye, Sweetie!!!

Me (trying to control my giggling): Ivie, is Jackson your boyfriend?

Ivie: Yes, he's my boyfriend. Jackson says he's going to marry me someday.

When I told this to Dale last night, he asked, "At what point does this story get funny?".

The teenage years are going to be interesting ones...

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

School Pictures: Spring, 2010

Just popping in to update the school picture montage that I started here. This latest round shows off Ivie's freshly chopped hair. I think it makes her look so grown up!

Spring, 2010
(Ivie, 4 yrs)

And while Macie's hair is a bit crazy, it's definitely "her". So we wouldn't have it any other way. I'm hopeful that someday (soon) I'll figure out what in the world to do with all the unruly little curls on her head! Preferably a style that she will leave alone for more than 1 nanosecond before pulling out whatever band/clip it might involve. Yes, we're at "that" stage with her...

Spring, 2010
(Macie, 20 mos)

And, finally, the combo picture. With Ivie cooperating and smiling (as usual), and Macie staring at something apparently very interesting on the ground.

Wordless Wednesday (#15): Sweet Family Pics

(Ivie and Great-Granny)

(Macie and Uncle Scott)

Monday, May 17, 2010

Missouri, Day 4: Jumping is Contagious

Sunday, our last day with the Schaeperkoetters was very short, since we left for St. Louis shortly after lunch. But, late that morning, we managed to get the kids on Nina and Papa's couch for the "grandkid-only" picture that had escaped us the night before. (Yes, we had to bribe Ivie to cooperate by telling her that she could watch a movie in the car on the way to St. Louis if she smiled!).

Afterward, while I had the camera out, the kids wanted to join the fun that their parents had obviously had the night before with the "jumping" pictures.

After saying our goodbyes, we left for St. Louis, arriving there around 3p, and spent a few hours with Mom and Dad at St. Louis Mills Mall before they took us to our hotel at the airport for the night. Then, this morning, we had a leisurely hot breakfast (thanks, Embassy Suites!), shuttled to the airport, and, thanks to Southwest's direct flight to RDU, were home safely by 3:15p.

Home. Sweet. Home.

But, as always, much fun with the Schae crew. Can't wait until the wedding to do it all over again!!!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Missouri, Day 3: Columbia and Family Dinner Out

Saturday, our 3rd full day in Missouri, was RAINY. Which pretty much stunk all the way around, since the guys had an early morning tee time at Lake of the Ozarks, and the girls were planning to hang out in the morning with the kiddos and then meet up with the guys for some fun and shopping at the Lake...

Because Plan A was a washout, we had to resort to Plan B. Which was Nina's idea, and Papa jumped on board quickly. They (Nina and Papa) took all 7 grandkids to Leapfrog Fun Center, while we siblings and our spouses took an adults-only trip to Columbia for a few hours.

[Side Note/Funny Story: Yes, my Mom and Dad are awesome, though some might call them gluttons for punishment. My dad's response when my mom mentioned to him that there were a few of us siblings that didn't think they could handle all of the kids on their own? He said, without batting an eye, "Well, not a single one of them has more than 3 kids." He had us there. We stopped questioning them. And they, of course, did GREAT, even managing to get the youngest four down for naps upon their return home.]

Us siblings, sans kids, went to Shakespeare's Pizza for lunch, and then spent some time at Columbia Mall, where Dale and I found great deals at Gymboree and were able to snag both of Macie's dresses for Matt and Carla's wedding (wedding and rehearsal), as well as Ivie's rehearsal dress (she's a flower girl with Olivia, so the wedding dress is already purchased!).

When we got back to Jefferson City, we loaded everyone up into 3 cars and headed to Linn to a place called Stoney Mountain Restaurant (they don't have a website, or I'd link to it for you!). It was certainly "out there", even requiring a short drive on a gravel road and eliciting a joke from Dale about "valet parking", but it was the perfect place for our family of 19 (all 17 of us plus Granny and Papa, who drove over from Mount Sterling) to converge for a family dinner.

Here are a few pictures from the actual dinner:

After dinner, we ventured out back to the restaurant's great (and huge!) deck. Our goal was to get some family pictures. We were fairly successful in all but one area - Ivie didn't cooperate and refused to join the other kids for a "grandkids only" shot. Neither Dale nor I could coax her into it, so we just gave up on that idea and decided to try to get it later.

But we did get a few good ones...

Kids Being Silly


The Siblings
(yes, I know I should have taken my cell phone off my hip)

Siblings and Spouses (or very soon-to-be)

Great-Granny, Great-Papa, Nina, Papa, and Grandkids

Then, inspired by you, Sarah, I attempted to get a "jumping" shot of the siblings/spouses. It, well, didn't work out great. But, considering it was an idea I shared with them just moments before my dad took the camera to give it a try, it could have been worse. Before you even see it, yes, it appears as though I was trying to take up the whole picture. I tried to get someone to come to the front row with me, but everyone refused. But, on another note, how funny is it that Sarah and Tony have the exact same twist to their bodies, arm spread, leg raise/angle, and facial expressions?!? They've clearly been married for almost 15 years!!!

So we'll keep working on this, since I LOVE the idea! It's certainly good for a handful of laughs...

What a great way to finish our Missouri trip. While coordinating schedules for 5 families and 17 total people (including 4 under the age of 4) is not an easy task, it's always worth it to be able to spend time together. If only we could make it happen more often!!!

Missouri, Day 2: Runge and Bridal Shower

Friday morning, while the guys golfed, Mom, Carla, and I took Ivie and Macie to Runge Nature Center. We'd been there before, but it had been a couple of years, so it was mostly new to the girls. The highlight was the purchase of 2 plastic lizards as souvenirs (and the re-purchase of Ivie's after she lost her first one in the fun at the mall at lunchtime).

Later that evening, all the girls (excluding Macie) headed to Carla's Bridal Shower with the Schaeperkoetter/Alfermann families, which Mom and Julie organized and planned. Here are a few shots of the party (though I didn't do a very good job getting pictures of all the attendees)...

... and a few of the 3 younger girls (Josie, Olivia, and Ivie) having fun at the "big-girls only" event.

Another great day with the fam!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Missouri, Day 1: The Synergy Singers

Today was our first full day in Jefferson City with the Schaeperkoetter clan (minus Matt and Carla, who will arrive laaaaaate tonight).

It was a fairly quiet day, since the big kids had school, but we did take a lunchtime outing to watch Sam perform with his "Synergy Singers" group. Since we arrived early and had about 15 minutes before the show, Macie snuggled with Nina, and Ivie and Gavin passed the time by making funny faces for my camera.

Once the show started, Sam's group did GREAT! Here are a few snapshots from his performance...

As we walked out of the Department of Natural Resources (where the "production" was held), Macie found a random curb, with blue chipping paint that was not at all attractive in and of itself, on which to play. And, you know what? It made for some cute pictures! Here they are...

After nap and school, everyone congregated at Nina and Papa's house, and we grilled burgers and hot dogs on the charcoal grill. Gas is easier, but charcoal tastes so much better!!! The 7 grandkids played and played, and the adults just enjoyed being together. Because it sure doesn't happen often enough!

More fun to come tomorrow...

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Monday, May 10, 2010

My Movie Monday (#4): Ketchup

Week 4 of joining Chrissy, over at Traveling Light, for...

My Movie Monday @ Traveling  Light

Macie loves ketchup. Here's proof:

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Day, 2010

My fifth year as a Mom! And what a gorgeous day we had here in North Carolina to celebrate: upper 60's, slight breeze in the air, and Carolina blue skies.

Macie woke up at her normal time (6:45a), so Dale got up with her and closed our bedroom door. Ahhhhhhh, a bit more sleep for me! Then, when I wandered downstairs around 7:45a, the house smelled of our typical Sunday morning cinnamon rolls. Only today, by the time I got myself out of bed, they were already being pulled out of the oven and iced! YUMMY! The girls both greeted me happily, and Ivie exclaimed, "Happy Mother's Day!!!". While Ivie is pretty coach-able at this age, Dale got pretty lucky, I think, that Macie joined Iv for the big hug that followed.

We were off to church, and then to our Mother's Day lunch tradition...

...where I had my regular meal, the Country Omelette (no sour cream or onions!) and Blueberry Pancakes (no whipped cream, please). I tried to find pictures to make your mouth water, to no avail. Sorry.

Upon our return home after lunch, I made the successful transition for Macie from car seat to crib (she had fallen asleep shortly leaving after IHOP for the 15-minute ride home), and then I took off for a pedicure (my one personal indulgence, it seems). Afterward, I stayed seated, with my toes under the pedicure drying light, for literally 45 minutes. Nose stuck in my latest James Patterson novel (I'm addicted to the Alex Cross series right now). Then, when I finally felt guilty and went home, it was still quiet in the house (everyone still napping), so I snuck out to the screened porch and read some more. Until I'd finished the book!

Before dinner of fresh-off-the-grill (thanks, Dale!) burgers and tator tots, the girls played on the swing set and we walked around the block. With the girls pulling "Babby" and the "Bouncy Bee" behind them. It took FOREVER to make it around the block. But who's in a hurry on Mother's Day?!?

After dinner, it was off to Cold Stone to pick up my free "Like It" (strawberry ice cream with brownie mix-in). Along with every other mother in southern Durham, it seemed. But the promise of "pink ice cream with sprinkles" got the girls through the wait in good spirits.

The girls are both sound asleep now, and another Mother's Day is winding down. But, so that I don't forget this particular year, here are the various cards that Ivie brought home from school throughout the week...

... and a picture from this morning. Thanks for celebrating with me today, girls! I'm so very proud to be your Mommy!

Simplify Sunday (#5)

It's been quite a while since I've had a Simplify Sunday post. Not much simplifying going on around here lately...

But then this weekend rolled around. And, first thing Saturday morning, we dove into "Operation Amy's-Cousin-Amanda-Arrives-in-15-Days-and-Has-No-Place-To-Sleep". Dale and I double-teamed the guest room, which turned into also organizing/purging in both of the girls' rooms, our room, the bonus room/office, the dining room table, and the downstairs coat closet. Because we, of course, had to find someplace to put the stuff from the guest room that HAD TO GO!

It literally took us all day, but we were super-productive! Dale made two trips to the dumpster and another trip to the Goodwill drop-off. I'm not sure how, but we found behind-the-scenes homes for everything that you see on the floor of the guest room in the "before" picture below. A lot of stuff!

Amanda, we're so excited for you to come stay with us. We're ready for you now!!!



Saturday, May 8, 2010

Show-and-Tell, Round 51: Tea Set

Ivie wanted to bring her Beauty and the Beast teapot set for Show-and-Tell on Friday. But there were way too many pieces, and I was sure some would get lost, so I only let her take the pot and two cups. And, for transportation and safe-keeping purposes, she put them all in her large Cinderella teapot.

Ivie was not blind to the fact that they didn't really "go together". With a concerned look on her face, she said, "But, Mommy, it's a Cinderella teapot holding the Beauty and the Beast teapot!".

I told her that Cinderella and Belle were friends. And that worked just fine.

(Thanks for the cute cups, Mark! As you can see, Ivie insisted on using hers for breakfast.)

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Seven Days in a Week

This morning, before taking Ivie to the doctor for what turned out to be an infected bug (spider?) bite, she was working on her mosaic fairy jewelry box and singing. I had to run upstairs to brush my teeth, and when I came back down, she was in the middle of a very loud rendition of "Seven Days in a Week".

As is my trend when she's singing, I asked her if she wanted to record it and watch it on my computer. Her response? "Yes! But I don't want to see it on the blog."

Something about her knowing the word "blog" just cracks me up!

Anyway, too bad, Iv. It's here. Because someday it's going to be really fun to show your friends how you sang as a kiddo...

Wordless Wednesday (#13): A Rocket Ship

(The first picture Ivie has drawn, other than people, trees, flowers, and houses, that actually resembles what she says it is...)

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Inflatable Water Fun

For those of you keeping score (okay, I think that's just Dale and me), we had yet another beautiful May 1st here in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. It was pretty HOT, actually, reaching the mid-80's this afternoon. So the Herman and Dever girls continued our fun day together by pulling out the Dever's inflatable swimming pool and beach ball sprinkler. Since Brooke and I were clueless about how to correctly use the electric air pump, we had to settle for our own hot air. Which we've got a lot of, so it ended up not being that difficult!

Turns out, Ivie was a pretty big fan of the sprinkler.

Macie and Emerson? Not so much.

The pool was much more their style.

But we still succeeded in enjoying the cool water on a warm afternoon.

Let's just hope that I don't get in too much trouble for dumping that massive amount of water in the grass when we were finished. At least we didn't just leave the pool filled overnight to use again tomorrow, right? Wouldn't that have killed the grass faster than the deluge of water? Dale, are you even reading this post? I know you don't, generally. But if you are, by chance, Happy 6th Anniversary! And, if you're not, then I guess at least I'm safe with the water dumping.

Jean's Berry Patch

Brooke and I were talking on Thursday night about what we could do with the girls Saturday morning, since both of the guys were going to be out of town until later that evening. Brooke mentioned strawberry picking, and we knew we had a winner!

By 8:45a, we were off to Jean's Berry Patch. They had opened at 7:30a, and the crowd was already huge by the time we arrived. But we got our own "row" to work down, and off we went.

Thanks to Emerson's birthday party last year, they both had personalized buckets that were just right for the job. Ivie loved finding and picking the perfect red berries (sometimes a little TOO red, I realized when I got them home to clean them and some were already soggy), but Macie preferred for me to pick them for her, and then hand them to her to put in her bucket...

Afterward, the girls wandered over to the "Berry Heads". And I couldn't keep them from jumping on the John Deere, no matter how hard I tried. Sorry, Schaeperkoetter clan!

Then it was time to head home for a strawberry snack!