Sunday, July 31, 2011

Old Friends and New Friends

This week we have celebrated the old and new friends in our life. David has an amazing and wonderful helper named Ashley. She has been with us for over two years and we truly count her as one of the biggest blessings in our life. She is wonderful with him and he has blossomed so much from her influence. Ashley has a friend named Jason that is now David's favorite person besides Pops.

Jason is a super talented photographer and has taken some amazing pics of my children, so this week on his birthday David made him a picture/handprint craft to hang up at work or home. We even hand delivered it to his office! Here is David presenting the gift!

Here are David and Jason with the gift. It touches me so much that Ashley and now Jason are involved in David's life. They are his cheerleaders and friends and I am so thankful for this new friend in David's life.

This week we also got to celebrate an older friendship that has survived a move and distance. About nine years ago I met a new friend named SAbrina at the Orange County Street Festival. After we talked some we realized that we have little boys only a month apart. We started getting together often with our boys for playdates and outings. This week they came to Hungry Mother to stay at the lodge and we got the boys together!

Here are Kyle (who is sweaty from basketball practice) and Brett. These two boys have been friends since they were a year old and now at nine they are still like two little sports peas in a pod. Brett came over to our house for a sleepover and playtime and then the next day Kyle got to go to their lodge and swim and play with them. They even got to go see the Smurfs at the drive-in.

I took the boys to the batting cages and to play putt-putt. They are still as competitive as ever but they have so much fun together. There are just some friends that you know that time or distance will never change and I am so thankful that Kyle will always have this special friend in Orange County.

At our house they played Twister with Mike-ha!

These two boys may be athletic but they are not super flexible! :) I enjoyed watching them get twisted up!

We had pancakes for breakfast and it was cool to realize that Brett eats as much as Kyle does!

They even played golf on "our hole" on the golf course and they made $6 each selling golf balls and lemonade to the golfers. I cannot even describe how neat it was to see these two boys together. I am thankful for old friends! Speaking of old.....

I pulled out Kyle's scrapbook and found this picture of the boys when they were a little over one year old at Maymont in Richmond. This picture reminds me that time is going by so fast and treasure times with the new friends in your life as well as the old. This week we have certainly been blessed around here.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Big Girl Room

This summer we have worked hard on cleaning out Hope's nursery and turning it into a big girl room! I picked out a cute comforter set at Target and we have bought cute decorations on our summer travels. I love this flower to take up some wall space beside her closet. Her room is not huge at all, so we have had to make wise use of the space so we can keep all the furniture that I want to in there. We bought her furniture when I was four months pregnant with Kyle almost ten years ago-gasp! It is so full circle to now be breaking it down to use as a big girl room for our last baby. That crib has served us well and with David we also used it as a toddler bed.

Here is the lamp that matches her stuff with her awesome P. Buckley Moss limited edition framed picture that was a very special gift to her when she was born. I also need to put back up her letters of her name that was a gift from Mike's aunt and cousin. They were above her crib so now they need to be moved.

Here is her sweet, new big girl bed! I love the colors because it is definitely not baby colors with soft pastels, but it still looks little girl to me. She will have plenty of time for brighter, bolder colors when she gets older.

After her bath she was so excited to read stories in her new bed. I think we read just about everyone on her bookshelf. Her Oma gave her the sweetest lullabye book with a CD and we just laid in her new bed and sang some of the songs on that sweet CD.

Her drapes still need some ironing and maybe a tie back, but they are so sweet and have the same butterfly and flower pattern from her comforter. I also bought these cute wall stickers that match that add a little fun above her drapes.

Her room is a tight squeeze, but here is her bed and cute little nightstand/cubby that I found at Hobby Lobby!! I really wanted her enormous doll house to fit in her room and we made it work thanks to Ashley's awesome moving/carpentry/geometry skills. I really need to find something kind of big and cute to hang above her bed?

Here is sweet girl ready for bed in her Hello Kitty jammies. I bought all her sheets, comforter, drapes, and wall stickers at Target.

I wish I could say that she drifted off to sleep peacefully, but when it came time to turn off the lights and go to sleep she balked:) But as I write this her Daddy has gotten her to sleep and he has put her in her bed. We will see how long this lasts:)

Monday, July 25, 2011

Ahhhh Sweet Relief

We finally have some sweet relief around here because Mike is finally home from his big conference in Charlottesville. He had a week-long tedious and intense conference to attend while the kids and I kept the home fires burning.

I took a leave of my senses and allowed the kids to talk me into an indoor campout two nights before Mike got home. They really had a blast but it took me hours to wash and put away all the blankets that they pulled out.

Kyle got them each a glow stick and those were a huge hit! I cannot believe how much Kyle and Hope look alike in this picture-wow:)

This little one loved her glowstick and David put music on for them to dance to with their sticks. It was wild for sure but I think the kids had such fun.

David was our silly camper-he could not stop laughing! We played a few games and sang a few bible school songs. I will always treasure the memory of singing the song Beautiful One with my babes in the semi-dark. Precious, priceless memory.

Because this was an impromptu campout, we did not have a fire, or smores, or really anything so we lit candles and kyle made a glow stick swag! He is super creative.

Here they are all snug in their beds ready to sleep! The funny thing is that this was the only time they were all cozy like this! David chose to sleep on the couch, and Hope and I ended up in my bed. Kyle was the only true camper that spent the night on the floor.

My sweet boy snug as a bug in his bed.

Princess Hope in our king-size bed! Her curls have gotten so wild this summer.

Sunday morning Hope wore her new dress to church that I bought at the Hungry Mother festival.

Sunday afternoon while we waited for Mike I was the teacher and made the kids do some school work-here is David working on some handwriting and sight words.

David is helping Hope color a picture-she is really into coloring and writing these days.

We are all so relieved to have Mike home. I know he missed us as much as we missed him. I have a new admiration for single mothers because when I fly solo as a parent I feel so responsible and on edge. This week we are trying to fit some more summer fun in around here. The clock is ticking so loudly on our last days of summer and I am determined to squeeze in as much fun as possible!

Random Recipe for Crock Pot Mac and Cheese!

My friend Suzanne asked for the recipe I use for Crock Pot Macaroni and Cheese so here goes!
This dish is wonderful because it serves a lot and everyone loves yummy macaroni and cheese:) Enjoy!


8 oz of macaroni, cooked and drained (really use only 8 oz)
12 oz evaporated milk
1 1/2 cups of milk
1 tsp salt
3 cups of mild cheddar cheese
1/4 cup of butter (I do not use it)
2 eggs beaten

Spray slow cooker with cooking spray or better yet use a crock pot liner! Combine cooked macaroni with all the remaining ingredients and cook on low in your crock pot for 3-3 1/2 hours. Do not stir while it is cooking! This is one of those dishes that you are so thankful for crock pot liners! Enjoy:)

Friday, July 22, 2011

On the Road Again

Wednesday morning Kyle and I set out on an adventure to Charlottesville to visit Mike at his conference. I was so excited to show Kyle all our favorite sights from Central Virginia so our first stop was....

The scenic lookout on Afton Mountain! Unfortunately it was freakishly hot and hazy so the view was terrible.

Our second stop was the UVA football stadium so I could get a picture of my Hokie at the stadium. All rivalry jokes aside, the campus there is beautiful and the stadium is really pretty. We just hope that when the Hokies come to town that we win!

The next day we went to Monticello and here is Kyle posing with Mr. Jefferson himself!

One view of Mr. Jefferson's home, Monticello. I have to admit that I really enjoyed getting my historical dork on and learning about all things Jefferson. It was a great family-friendly tour and we both had a great time despite the crazy heat.

Another view of Monticello. That place was so beautiful and we had such a fun time.

After the tour we went to the hands-on center where kids could touch and play with replicas of the original items that were in glass cases. Here is Kyle all sprawled out on Mr. Jefferson's bed.

Here he is in his chair printing a letter on his "copy" machine.

Kyle and I decided that although we love Monticello and think that Mr. Jefferson is brillant and amazing, we both find him hypocritical. He pens a famous document talking about how all are created equal and have certain rights, but he himself had 200 ish slaves running Monticello and he only set 5 free during his lifetime. Interesting-huh?!

Anyway, the little ones had fun at camp GG and Pops and Kyle and I really had a great time in Charlottesville. We stayed with Mike on campus and we ate really good food, toured around, went to see the movie Zookeeper and we just enjoyed our time together. Kyle is not perfect by any means, but he is really becoming a wonderful, mature, and kind young man. I so enjoyed our conversations and I think he enjoyed his time with us and Mike's coworkers.

So tonight we are all home anxiously awaiting Mike's conference to be over so we can all be together again. I am so thankful for all the wonderful time I have had with the kids this summer. I am already working on my summer highlight post because we have really had some fun, fun times this summer. I know the school supplies are rolling out at Walmart which means that school is on the horizon, but for now I am going to continue to enjoy the time with these wild, crazy, and hilarious kiddos.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


This week Mike is gone for a while so my wonderful, amazing helper Ashley went with me and we took the kids to Wilderness at the Smokies for a couple of days of swimming and fun.
It was hot, hot, hot but as you can see this one had a ball! We first stopped off at the Disney outlet and found this cute Buzz and Woody swim shirt and suit on clearance and then we hit the waterpark. Check out Mr. Dave shooting the ball as he jumps off the side!! This swimmer has come so far this summer-we are all so proud of him!

These baseketball goals kept the boys entertained for a long time.

David was brave enough to stand under the Big Bucket!!

Kyle and Ashley braved the big slides, but I chose to watch from the bottom!

I love these two boys! We had such a fun time except for the trip down. All three whined about different stuff the whole two hours there. I was so thankful to let them hop in the water when we got there.

My three are all on such different swimming levels so it thrills me when I see them all playing together. Kyle wants to help Hope swim more but she often demands that I help her! Hope is my fish and can actually swim under water to me now.

This is really the best shot I could get of all three. Hope is really trying to say cheese and her hair is WILD, but here are my three angels.

Kyle is really a great big brother when he wants to be. Hope was obsessed with these little water spouts all over the place and he would patiently sit with her and play.

Then brave girl decided it was fun to put her whole face in it!!

The big bucket!! Every few minutes a huge bucket of water would dump and Hope and David loved to watch it from afar, but Kyle was right in the middle of it. Look hard and you can see Kyle underneath the spray.

So the last few days have been full of swimming and fun. Tonight when we got home we unpacked and repacked for another trip to visit Mike in Charlottesville. Kyle and I are leaving in the morning and Hope and David are going to GG and Pop's house. Kyle is super excited to wear his VT shirt on the campus of UVA and visit Mike.

Mike is at a long conference at UVA this week with some other awesome administrators from our county. He is working hard this week so Kyle and I are going to go visit him and our old stomping grounds. Kyle remembers Orange County and I want to show him some of our favorite spots from that time in our lives.

So we are off tomorrow on another adventure. Hope and David are excited to spend some time with GG and Pops and Kyle and I are going to wear out VT stuff and walk around UVA-Ha! I am taking Kyle to Monticello and we will definitely get a Bodo's bagel. I love where we are living now and it is so home to us, but I sure wish there was a Bodo's bagel here sometimes.

I am not looking forward to the heat or traffic in Cville, but I think Mike would appreciate some company at his conference. He works so hard and I am so proud of him. I know I don't tell him enough. So for now we are on the road again!

Saturday, July 16, 2011


This past week has been catch-up week around our house. We have stuffed so much fun and sun into our summer that we really needed to stop and catch up a tad. The boys were invited to go to Bible school with some friends, so off they went every evening for a few hours. Mike and I enjoyed our time with Hope solo.

One night while Mike worked late, Hope and I had a spa night! We did her toes, finger nails, and then she actually let me french braid her hair. It has gotten so long lately and I am always experimenting with different hair styles. It is hard because with summers humidity her wild curls escape any hairstyle! I have a lot of practicing to do, but here is my first attempt.

David throughly enjoyed VBS at our friends' church and he was selected to throw a pie in the face of one of the men in the church because they won their attendance goal! I wondered if DAvid would be brave enough to throw a pie in a strangers face in front of 100 plus people, but oh no-he loved it!

Today has been super cool and rainy, so while I got some cleaning done, these two made themselves comfortable on our bed to watch a Jason Aldean video! This picture cracks me up!

During a break in the rain today, Mike and Kyle went out and played golf. Hope and David were so excited to sit on the deck and watch for them to come to the hole right next to us so we could cheer them on! Here is my sweet piggy-tailed girl!

Here is Kyle putting the hole before ours. I love my new lens because it helps me get far away action shots.

This picture sums up these two-they truly are Mike and Ike! I am so thrilled that they have this special Daddy/Son time in our backyard. Usually women get annoyed when their husbands take off to play golf, but I am so thrilled that Mike and Kyle have found this new sport they can enjoy together. Mike coaches so many of Kyle's sports which can get intense and crazy, so I love watching them together on the golf course. Mike is so careful of spending quality time with each of the kids. He never leaves on an errand that he does not take one child with him.

Here is Kyle teeing off on "our" hole. I was so impressed how well he played and I think he might have given Mike a good game today. Kyle has recently fallen in love with pitching in baseball and golf. I also think Kyle looks 14 in this picture instead of 9.

Here is Mike! I do not think he had a very good game today, but I know they had fun.

These two were so excited to watch for them to come to "our" hole that they just started hugging and playing together so I got this cute picture!

This might be one of my favorite pictures of all time. This picture sums up the sweet friendship between my two youngest. They can certainly have a smack down over a toy in a heart beat, but these two adore each other and this picture just makes me smile.

We have a fun but busy week ahead of us. Monday we are heading to Wildeness at the Smokies for some waterpark fun and then later in the week we are heading to Charlottesville. I am ready for a few days out of town and I am also ready to hit a few stores in the outlet mall!!