Saturday, December 30, 2006

Christmas Came and Christmas Went.....

Every year, I tell myself that I am going to try to slow down and really enjoy the holiday season. I tell myself that I am going to get all of my shopping done early and wrap all the presents up , so that I can take time to do the simple things that are so wonderful at Christmas. Those are great aspirations, but unfortunately they don't take into account life's little roadblocks that always seem to come up at the worst of times. My personal roadblock this year was sickness. Everyone in my family got some form of bronchitis and believe me when I say that it was anything but fun. Thankfully, the blessing to be had in the suffering, was that we were all well by the time we had to travel. Merrily, we drove to Dothan, singing all the way. Well, maybe we weren't merry and maybe the singing was actually the bickering my children took part in, but we did arrive in Dothan safely. We ended up having a lovely Christmas. The girls and I did lots of baking with Sue-Sue. Sue-Sue was a good sport about the whole thing. I broke her candy thermometer and burned her arm all in a matter of minutes!!! We got to hear Paw-Paw preach TWICE and enjoy all of our wonderful family traditions. We played several games of Scattergories, attended Nathan's basketball game, watched movies, and even managed to convince my parents that they needed to move into 2007 with high-speed internet access. Yes, I would say that a good time was had by all. I am just a little letdown that as quickly as it came, it went. Another year is almost over and I am finding that I now say the same thing every December 31st. "This year went by so fast"!

Picture with my 50 mm lens

It took forever to get here, but I finally received my 50 mm lens. I heard from 'experts' that it is a great prime lens. I did a little dance in my driveway, after checking the mail and finding it had arrived. I couldn't wait to put it into use. Unfortunately, I had to beg Noah to sit there so I could experiment. You might wonder why I wouldn't try to use the girls, but they are on vacation and most hours of the day, their hair isn't even brushed!!! This is definitely my best one that I got out of about 15 shots. Isn't he cute? It's ok, you can say it!!! I have a LONG way to go!!!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Noah's New Haircut

I am used to girls hair. It doesn't require much upkeep. If they wear it long, then all we do is wash it and worry about keeping the tangles out. Having a little boy means getting haircuts more often. Noah's hair has been getting so long and Greg keeps taking him to get it cut, but we haven't been very happy with the way it has looked. I don't think he was taking him to the right places. Today, I wised up and took him to my hair stylist. I think it looks really cute. Of course, I am his mommy and I think everything about him is cute ( well ok, I don't think it is cute when he is throwing a fit or talking back to me). ;)

Andrea's Rules for Ballet Etiquette...

I took the twins to another Christmas ballet this past weekend. We enjoyed it, but it has come to my attention that certain members of the general public do not know the do's and don'ts of attending a ballet performance. I am taking the liberty to enlighten them. (Actually, I doubt any of that public will read this blog, but in order to get this off of my chest, I am going to write)!!!

1.) THOU SHALL ARRIVE AT THE THEATER EARLY! If the ballet begins at 2pm, do not pull into the parking lot at 1:55. Sufficient time is needed to find your seat and get settled. Trust me when I say that finding your seat in the dark is quite difficult, especially if you are in the middle.

2.) THOU SHALL NOT WEAR JEANS!!! Simply put, Sunday dress is best. What you wear to a football game is not appropriate for attending the theater!

3.) THOU SHALL LEAVE ALL CELLULAR DEVICES IN THE CAR!! I know this one is terribly hard to understand, but will it harm you to go 2 hrs without talking to Aunt Betty?

4.) THOU SHALL LEAVE CHILDREN UNDER THE AGE OF 4 AT HOME! In theory, it may seem like a fun idea, but in reality, are they really going to be able to sit in a seat QUIETLY for two + hrs? A better idea might be to take them to a 'Wiggles' concert. They allow you to get up during that performance!

5.) THOU SHALL KNOW WHERE THY SEAT IS LOCATED! Look at your ticket and find the section, row, and seat number. Now, if you have any further questions, ask the ushers. That is what they are there for! It can be quite embarassing accusing someone that they are in your seat, only to figure out that YOU are in the wrong section!

6.) THOU SHALL USE COMMON COURTESY WHEN "CRAWLING" OVER OTHERS TO GET TO THY SEAT!! " Excuse me"," I am sorry for the inconvenience", and" thank you" are generally well accepted by the theater crowd. And why would you wait until intermission is almost over and people are settled back in their seats, to decide it is time to get up?

7.) IF THOU ARE BLESSED WITH HEIGHT, THOU SHALL KINDLY REFRAIN FROM CONSTANT HEAD MOVEMENT. This is especially considerate, when the people seated behind you are small in stature. Remember, we can't see THROUGH your head.

8.) THOU SHALL REFRAIN FROM ALL PUBLIC DISPLAYS OF AFFECTION DURING THE PERFORMANCE. Save the hugging, snuggling, kissing, sweet nothings, etc, etc for the privacy of your home. People are there to see a ballet performance, not watch a re-enactment of "Love Story'.


10.) THOU SHALL REFRAIN FROM TELLING "OFF COLOR" STORIES, WITHIN EARSHOT OF OTHERS. The ballet scene is not the same as the 'Bar' scene!

In case you are wondering, I experienced all of the above on Sunday. I may sound mean and irritable, but I am just tired of people not using common sense and some manners! I paid so much money for our tickets and we didn't have a very good view because of #7 and #8. It was quite frustrating, but I feel SO much better getting this off my chest! :) Maybe I have helped edjucate someone!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Merry Christmas to me.......

Santa Claus came early to my house. Yesterday, I ran to the door when I heard the Fed Ex guy pull up in my driveway. He delivered my brand new 'Digital Rebel XTi'. I feel like I am 10 years old again. I am so excited! I have been reading on a photography board and today I tried the first "lesson", which is shooting in manual. I have always just shot in Auto, which is where the camera picks the settings ( ISO, shutter speed, and aperture). Manual, is where you select the settings. It isn't as easy as it sounds. So, while Noah napped, I wandered around the outside of my house looking for subjects to practice on. The flower above was one of my attempts. While it is by no means a masterpiece, I was thrilled that it came out relatively clear! I can't wait to take lots of Christmas pictures when we go to my parents. I have told my husband thank you so many times, that I hope he understands how much this gift means to me. Now I wait for two more lenses that were on back order. My kids better get ready to strike a pose. If you ever feel the need to be overloaded with pictures, then my blog will be the place to visit. I plan on putting my new "toy" to lots of use! :)

Friday, December 15, 2006

Observations from the carpool line...

First of all, I am going to say how incredibly grateful I am that I could even be in the carpool line today. I have not been enjoying dragging Noah up from his nap every afternoon to go sit in a line of other parents waiting for dismissal. However, the fact that my children were well enough to attend school, made me shout for joy that I could be in the line!!! How is that for perspective? Anyway, I usually end up sitting in the line for a good 10-15 mins and I probably should bring reading material but I usually just people-watch! Yes, you read that correctly. I find it very interesting. There are 3 moms in particular that I look for every afternoon. One mom arrives very early to get in line and she always parks and gets out with her younger child and lets her play at the playground area. I sit there watching while Noah is strapped into his seat, bored out of his mind. I think, "wow she is such a thoughtful mom". I am too lazy to do that. Then there is the mom who just appears through the trees that border the school property. They live in the neighborhood behind the school and she always comes walking with a mini cooler in her hand. She brings her children a cold drink and then they head home and back through the trees. I have even seen her bring a drink to the music teacher, who is always for some reason standing by the side of the school. I think I am secretly envious that the school is in her backyard! Then there is the "fashion mom". They live in a nearby neighborhood too, so she walks over to get her child. I have never once seen her in sweats or without makeup. She is always dressed to the nines! I have even seen her walking over in her stiletto boots! She has at minimum 10 different coats! I have 2!!! There I sit in my car, with my hair piled on top of my head, looking like death(no makeup on my pale face), and feeling pretty pathetic! She is always smiling too. It really is true that when you care about your appearance, you feel better about yourself! I wish I cared enough on Mondays, to actually follow that advice! ;) So there you have it, I obviously have too much time on my hands. Maybe I should make better use of my time. I have a Bible and a devotional in the car and I have tried to read them. Somehow, getting interrupted every few seconds by a question-asking 3 year old, does not make that task easy. No, I would rather just stare out the window and be nosy!!! :)

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

When it Rains, it pours...

The title says it all. It is literally raining outside, but we have a storm of sickness in our house! Since the end of last week, every person in our family has been ill. I am battling sinus stuff and all 3 kids have upper respiratory/bronchitis! I was really hoping that Meredith would be able to go back to school today but she is still not 100%. To say that I am frustrated, is an understatement. Last month, all 3 had strep, and now this. I feel like I need to Lysol every inch of my house. It seems like we are never going to all be healthy again! I guess I am just having a little pity party for myself. Life just has a way of coming in waves. There are the mountain tops and there are the valleys. At this point, it seems like the mountain top is far out of reach! I know that we have so much to be thankful for, and I am. I guess when you are dealing with sick kids, and circumstances that are beyond your control, the only thing you CAN do is trust in the Lord. Unfortunately, I feel like I am struggling in that area too. So, to all my sweet friends ( and my mom), I just ask that you pray for us. We need our health restored in this house. I need the pharmacist to forget what I look like, and I would like to be able to go a full 5 mins without hearing someone hacking up a lung!! My big accomplishment for this week, will be if I actually get to go to my hair appt on Thursday!!! PRAY!!! I am a sad sight! ;)

Friday, December 08, 2006

I don't have good "mommy" radar!

I thought I did but I don't. I just can't seem to pinpoint when they are really sick and when they are not. I totally thought that Noah just had a cold. Greg told me to take him to the dr several days ago and while I called the dr, I elected to try over the counter medicine. I just knew it was only a cold!!! Well, I took him in today and he has bronchitis. I am so tired of sickness. Last month, all 3 kids had strep, and now Noah is sick again and I have a bad cold. To make matters worse, he is extremely clingy. All I really want to do is lay in my bed ALONE, drink hot tea, and rest! Unfortunately, I can't! I really want MY mommy!!!!! :(

Thursday, December 07, 2006

My story of the day.....

Yes, I am odd. I have some very strange things that annoy me. One of them is CROWDS! You can ask any of my close friends, but I can't stand to be somewhere, and have no breathing room. I think I am a little claustrophobic! I have even been known to leave certain eating establishments because it was so jammed pack with people!!!! Well today, Noah and I went to the mall to do even more Christmas shopping ( it never ends). We were at 'Limited' and he told me he was hungry and wanted some chicken nuggets. Well anything for my sweetie!!! So it is only about 10:30am, and the food court was sparse and just the way I like it!!!! I got some Chik-fil-a and we went to a back corner to sit. Seriously, there was probably about FIVE people in the huge court area!!! We are sitting there eating, chatting, and minding our business when this older couple starts walking towards us and they chose the table RIGHT next to us. One of them must have had a hearing problem because they were doing sign language. They didn't just sit down, no they moved chairs back and forth several times, making that loud scraping noise (cringe). Noah just stared. They didn't even have any food. They just sat there making very big sign language gestures and not once did they look at us. I just found it very odd and couldn't help but think to myself that " this kind of thing only happens to me". I mean, there was empty space ALL over the food court. Why come sit on top of me and my son? I could understand if the place was crowded with people, but it wasn't! Now before anyone tells me that I need to loosen up, let me just say that it was just frustrating because I purposely sat in the back so I could be invisible. Do I have a shining light on my shirt or something that draws people over? I really do not think so! Do you think God is trying to teach me something in the area of flexibility? Quite possible!!!! Ok, rant over! ;)

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Sweet Noah

I never get tired of taking pictures of this boy. He was being a little ham for me today. He doesn't even feel 100%, but he would sit there and I would take a picture, and then he would run over , and want me to show him what it looked like! Noah has a cold and a cough. I probably shouldn't have taken him to "school" yesterday, but I was a bad mommy. I had so many errands to do that I gave him some medicine and off he went. In my defense, he didn't have a fever and his runny nose was clear. However, when I picked him up, one of his teachers was *kind* enough to tell me that maybe if I washed his blankie, then he would get better! Huh? Believe it or not, I do wash the blanket, but it is so "loved", that it will never look the same! I felt so stupid as I left his school . Apparently, I didn't pack him enough drinks either! Do you ever wonder if people just assume that you haven't got a clue how to be a mother? I sure do! I am not the type to have a quick retort. I just stutter and get out of dodge as fast as I can. Thank the Lord there were no other mothers around when I got my reprimand! Next time, I am sending Noah to school with at least 3 drinks, and he will take an "unloved" blanket. They better not call me when he cries at naptime!!! ;)

Monday, December 04, 2006

The Nutcracker..

Last Friday evening, the twins and I had a "girls only" night. We went and ate dinner (their choice), and then to see 'The Nutcracker'. Oh the memories it brought back. Madeline and Meredith could not believe that their mom was actually "Clara" in 'The Nutcracker' almost 20 years ago. I still have the wooden Nutcracker my parents gave me the year that I danced that role. It is sitting on my mantle ( the small one on the left). It is very fragile! I have to keep the kids from playing with it. I managed to dig out my old video from 1987!!! We watched some of it yesterday and I could still remember most of the choreography. I think that it will always be one of my favorite times in my dancing career. I still remember the excitement when my ballet teacher called me at home to tell me that I was going to be Clara. It was such a magical experience from beginning to end. As we sat in the balcony on Friday night, the music and the dancing really stirred something inside of me. I have taken 3 years off from teaching and I am starting to get the "bug" again. Who knows what will happen? God has always faithfully provided every single one of my job opportunities. I am excited to see what doors may open. On a side note, the girls informed me after watching the performance, that they now want to take ballet next year!!! All it takes is watching a ballet, to make you want to dance! ;)

Friday, December 01, 2006

Ten Things I love to do:

I am having so much fun reading other blogs. One thing I have noticed is that they "tag" each other with different lists and favorites. It is a great way to get to know different things about other people. So, I am starting one, and I am "tagging" Jennifer, Christy, Diane, and anyone else that reads this. Let's do 10 Things we Love to do :

1. I love to get up early on the weekdays, workout ( very happy when that is completed), grab my coffee, and sit on my sofa in the quiet and converse with God.

2. I love to take LONG hot showers.

3. I love to go to my girls soccer games ( soooo much fun).

4. I *secretly* love that I have a mama's boy! I love hugging him and kissing his sweet face.

5. I love taking pictures, looking at pictures, uploading pictures, scrapbooking pictures. If it has to do with photography, I love it.

6. I love trying new recipes and I especially love it if I get my family's thumbs up!

7. I love surfing the web on my laptop.

8. I love Mother's Morning Out days when I have FIVE hours to myself!!

9. I love to SHOP. I especially enjoy shopping when I have store coupons, which 'Limited', 'Express', and 'Ann Taylor Loft' are so kind to send me! Only requirement, is that I have to be in the shopping *mood*.

10. I love to go on dates with my husband! We especially love to go eat Sushi and go to a movie! :)

Who is next?