Thursday, January 24, 2013

Ears pierced and MyPlate...blah blah blah

 Guess What?  My little girl got her ears pierced.  Her buddy, Edie got her ear's pierced last week.  Her Mom told me where they went and how gentle they were and that they were able to pierce both ears at the same time.  So we headed to there on Monday evening.  Unfortunately, there was only one person working when we were there so Ashley had to get her ears pierced separately. 

Ashley asked me not to share this on Facebook, because she wanted to be the one to tell her friends.  She's seen her friends at play practice and her best friend tonight.  She will still surprise some friends on Friday.  So if you are reading this and Ashley hasn't told you then shhhh! don't tell!

The part that scared me was they have the Mom clean them for the first time as they watch to see if you do it correctly.  They had put a dot on her ear in purple marker to mark where they would put the hole.  When I started to clean the ear, the marker started to run and I thought it was blood.  I was about to freak out then I realized what it actually was.

Her friend, Edie came along with us for moral support.  And they both had to have Cheetah paws.

I had a huge paragraph typed out and lost it!  Oh that makes me so angry!
Last time we went to the doctor she told us to look up the new food pyramid/my plate and get the kids involved in picking out good foods to eat. "They can cut pictures out of a magazine. It will be fun!", She said.  Does she even KNOW my family?  Makes me not even want to go back.  But I know she is right and I have been dreading this day since I spoke with her.
Today I looked up MyPlate and printed off all the information.
We will start small, but I NEED your prayers!
I am going to be hit with a lot of resistance!
Aussie hardly likes anything!  He does not like ANY fruits or vegetables!  And he barely likes any meat.  Ashley likes fruits, but not many vegetables and she despises dairy. (I'm right there with her on that!)  Mason is a good eater and I don't have to worry about him.  He will go with the flow!
Tonight I went to the grocery store.  Good grief it was expensive.  I'm hoping that it will last for 2 weeks, but I doubt it.  I know I'll need to get milk, fruits and meat for next week.
I'm asking for you to PLEASE pray for me as I try to implement something I'm not comfortable with myself.  Pray that Greg will be supportive and the kids will learn to like things they didn't know they liked.  Pray they will try things willingly and not make it so hard on me.  Pray that I can come up with a menu and stick with it.
OK I'm terribly exhausted.  I'm off to bed!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Random Act of Kindness

I made someone's day today!

Recently I went to a cookie exchange and I won first place for the yummy cookies I made.  I made Nutella and Sea salt stuffed Sugar cookies!  Don't they sound yummy?  I found the recipe on Pinterest.  And you can have it too!  Click Here.

Anyway, guess what my prize was? You would never ever guess, so let me tell you...

A $25 gift card to Tiffany's.
  It came in this sweet little box, all nicely wrapped with a bow.  I was so excited!  But then the realization hit me...What in the world could I possibly buy at Tiffany's worth $25?  I certainly can't afford to buy anything there, except maybe jewelry cleaner and well I didn't need any expensive jewelry cleaner.

I got the chance to go there today and look around the store.  I looked at all the beautiful things. I did happen to find a deck of cards for $30!

Really?  Playing cards for $30?  I was tempted to get them, but the frugal person inside of me just couldn't do it!  I can buy a deck of cards at the $1.00 store and be just as happy with them as I would be with these cards. Besides, I play all of my solitaire/card games online anyway.

The sales people there were really nice, but the guard had his eye on me. I could tell! He made it quite obvious.  So I went and talked to him.  He was an older man probably in his late 70's. I told him I was given a gift card but it was probably worthless to me since I couldn't afford to buy anything.  He smiled and agreed with me, but did mention the jewelry cleaner.  I told him my plan.  I was going to see if anyone was going to buy anything and then I would give them my gift card.

I spotted a young lady buying something.

I walked up to her and the clerk and said, "I can't afford anything in here and I have this gift card if you would like to have it. It's for $25."

Both of them were extremely stunned.  Their mouths just dropped open.

Then the customer just stunned kept saying thank you over and over again.
And as I was walking out the door the guard nodded and said Thank you to me.

It felt good!

I thought about asking on Facebook if any of my friends/family would be shopping at Tiffany's anytime soon, but this just seemed like the right thing to do.

Then I headed over to Michael's to find a 90% off sale on Christmas items.  Woooopeee!  I bought several things for pennies.

Then on top of that, when I picked up Ashley at the theater today I went into the Save-A-Lot store next door.  And they had a 75% off sale on a few toys.  They only sell toys at Christmas time so they were getting rid of them. Major score!  I bought a lighted reusable rocket for each of my student's in my Astronomy class for $2.49 each. I only have 6 kids. I bought a couple nice stuffed animals for $1.50 each.  I thought I could give them as baby gifts. I got a glow in the dark Nerf gun for $5.00.  OH so cool.  I would have gotten one for each of my kids but they only had one.  And I got this awesome football for $3.50, which when I bought it I just thought was a regular Nerf football.

It is absolutely the coolest thing!  You put these frames on that have either green or red lights.  Then on the football itself it has several reflectors.  So by wearing these frames with lights it causes the football to light up at night.  I tried to get Mason to go outside and play with me, because I knew he would love it.  But he was playing with Ashley so I asked Aussie to go outside and play with me.

He had a blast!  He would do awkward dancing and throw the ball.  Then I called inside to Greg...You have to come see this.  And as I handed over my glasses/frames to Greg, I sat back and watched them have fun.  And thought to myself...I just tricked the two most un-athletic boys in this house to play football!

We came in.  And a little bit later Aussie asked if we could go out again.  If it hadn't been 11:00PM I probably would have done it.

Anyway, I think Ashley and Mason would love it too.  So I had my friend pick me up another one while she was still by the theater.  I knew they would be gone before I could get back there.  Now we will all have the glasses and be able to play together!

BTW...I did check out 2 other Save-A-Lot's to see if they had any of the Nerf guns.  One didn't have anything and the other one had 4 more guns, but they weren't marked down.  I showed them my receipt and how another S-A-L sold it for $5.00, but they told me they were individually owned and couldn't possibly mark them down that low. Phoooey!

Still I consider it a very successful day!

And even better- it's MLK day tomorrow----NO SCHOOL!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

On our way home

I am a master packer.  It's true, I have a gift for it.  And if anyone brings anything out and tries to "help" it sets me off! I don't mean to be rude, but it totally disrupts my thinking. Don't put that there you won't be able to see out the window...this would fit better here...take that back into the house I'm not ready for it. I'm pretty bossy, but I want us all to have leg room and be able to see out the windows. I didn't think to take a picture until after we got home and things had been slightly moved and disheveled.
It was a long drive home. 13 hours in the car.

We stopped at Pizza Hut for dinner.  I so desperately wanted something other than burgers. Stopping there was actually a mistake.  And I should have known that when I walked in the door. That little stop cost us a whole hour.
But thankfully it was  OH SO good!

 We are home!
 Ashley is asleep and won't budge!  She finally stirs when Greg comes back out to the car, after me shaking her and yelling for her to get up.  All of us are tired!  
 But Greg goes out for a couple of hours.  His good friend, Daniel is in town for one more night from Japan.  

The boys fell asleep on the couch by 10:30 and I was asleep by 11:30.

We are safe! We are home!  All is good!

And even though we didn't see this on the trip, I found it on my phone and wanted to share it.  I saw this when Ashley and I went to Opryland.  I don't know if you can tell by the picture but it is one of those tiny "smart" cars.  Someone put a wind-up crank on the back of the car so it looks like a toy.  I thought that was quite funny and had to snap a picture.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Part 4 and final part of last day of Vacation

 Alex is going to cosmetology school.  So Ashley and I got to get our nails done! YAY!
Alex brought her kit and she did my nails after dinner.
I asked her for something fun so I didn't know what I would get.

The nail polish in the bottle looked purple, but when she put it on it looked navy.  Then she colored the tips black with glitter, added the white strip and she even put a little rhinestone flower on each ring finger nail.  So much fun.
 I didn't get a picture of Ashley's nails.  She had florescent pink.  She put a glow in the dark top coat on the pink.  Then she put a gray crackle polish on top of that.  So when it crackled you could see the pink shine through.  Then when you went in the dark you could see the cracks glow in the dark.

It was the last night and we had promised Aussie we would take him back to French Fry Heaven.  So we went downtown to St. George street.

That is one happy boy!
Ashley was exhausted!

Greg got a Parmesan and Garlic sauce on one of the large fries.

No one but Greg was pleased with that decision.
Mason got one of the small fries and was a little upset, but it all worked out because Ashley didn't want all of her fries.
 While the boys went back to the car, Ashley and I walked up to the plaza.  I had seen this tree from our trolley ride but wanted to see it up close.

Then we went back to the house and had to get packed up.
I spent entirely too long rigging something up in the car that was a great idea but didn't work well. I figured it might not work, but I wanted to try it.

We got a little projector for Christmas.  So I made it so you could play the Wii in the car. Unfortunately in the daytime, you couldn't see the picture very well.  And I was afraid at night, the light coming from the projector would be too bright for the driver.  But the kids thought the screen I set up was too wobbly.  They tried playing on the ceiling, but it was too difficult.

Anyway, I also wanted to get my pictures edited so that I could leave them for Steve and Gayle and do a couple loads of laundry before leaving.

I went to bed at 5:30AM!

I was terribly exhausted and by the end of editing pictures I have no idea if I actually got all of the ones I edited to them.  I saw that some were missing and was able to add them, but I didn't check them all. 

So Gayle/Steve if there is a picture you are interested in that you think I might have, let me know and I'll see if I have it.

Part 3- Last day of Vacation

We don't all get together very often. So this was a big deal!

Here is the original crew:

 And here they are with their offspring:
Starting with oldest sibling to the youngest.

Stephen and his daughter Kaitlin 

Greg and our crew

Kevin with his wife Tracie
Her children Cameo and Noah
His children Karley and Shaina
They get the award for being the most colorful!

Kristen with her husband John
Alex is John's daughter who lives with them
Cassie is not shown- she lives with her Mom and was not there this weekend.
And Blade- Kristen's son
Kristen mentioned this being their first family picture!

 I originally captioned this as the men, but didn't mean to infer John wasn't a man.  So I guess I shall just say brothers with their Dad.


I love this picture below!

All of the grandkids

And the whole crew

 Then we ate!  Hamburgers and hotdogs!

Oh Kristen meant to thank you for blow drying Ashley's hair today while I ran around like a crazy woman!

Next up... nail polish and french fries (thankfully not together)

Part 2- Last day of Vacation

I cannot believe it is already the last day here.  Time really does fly when your having fun! It was time for lunch by the time I got up. Steve and Gayle took us to McDonald's. Shaina and Blade join us.
After lunch we stop by to see the parents of one of Greg's high school friends.  We chatted for awhile then headed home.

Then Gayle took Karley, Blade, Ashley and me back to Winter Wonderland.  My boys were not interested in ice skating.  They hung out at home with Shaina playing on the computers, while Greg got a lot of good work done on his theater stuff.  The website went live can see it here.

Karley really helped Ashley out a lot.
Blade was determined to get it and he did!

Ashley got it too, but not quite so confident.

Then they all went on the ice chute.

We hurried back to the house.  The rest of the family was coming over for family pictures and a cookout.

We didn't have much time to get ready. Ashley took a shower and I desperately worked on getting my camera set up for the family pictures. Unfortunately, after running to the local store for batteries, my remote control time release button still wouldn't work.

I felt like a beginner with my camera.  It seemed to have lots of focusing issues.  Gayle got a lot of good pictures so most of the family shots you'll see in the next post are from her.  I did edit them though. Kristen noticed I had lipstick on my teeth "after" the pictures were taken.  You can really see it in the close up shot of our family so I edited that out.

Next up Family Pictures

Final Day of Vacation- St. Augustine

Oh my goodness, I'm not sure I got any sleep last night, well maybe a few minutes.  After blogging last night I researched the best way to photograph a sunrise. The article I read said to get to your destination at least a half hour before sunrise because some of your best pictures will come in that time frame.  Since I've never really gotten up early to see a sunrise before I figured it must be right. Sunrise was supposed to be at 6:54AM.  That's not terribly early. I can do this.

Not sure when I actually got to bed, probably 3:30 AM.  I kept thinking of things I needed to do. I set my alarm for 6:00 AM, hoping to leave at 6:15 AM.  Ashley was going to go with me.  I laid in bed excited and thinking 6 AM might not be early enough for me to get up and get everything together.  So I reset my alarm for 5:50 AM.  I must have fallen asleep for a few minutes.  I woke up panicking, why didn't my alarm go off?  I tear off my CPAP, then THINK I realize I still have a half an hour.  Since it was such a short time I decide not to put my CPAP back on and try to go back to sleep.  But instead of  going back to sleep I contemplate for a half an hour whether I should just go ahead and get up.  The alarm doesn't go off in  half an hour and I wonder what in the world is wrong.  Thinking a little clearer now I realize I still have another hour until I'm supposed to get up.  Oh brother!  I put my CPAP back on and wondered how I was going to get up.  This will be worth it, I tell myself over and over again.

The alarm goes off at the correct time. Oh wow this is hard.  I really want to do this, come on Chelle get out of the bed.  I wake Ashley up.  I was quite proud that we were out the door 5 minutes earlier than I intended.

Yesterday, Gayle asked me which beach I was going to, Vilano or St. Augustine.  I really didn't know.  I only knew how to get to one of them and I thought it was Vilano.  Vilano beach is where we went the other day where the kids played in the ocean. Vilano is also closer than St. Augustine beach.

So I'm driving along, Welcome to St. Augustine beach. OH, I guess I know how to get to this beach and not the other.  Still thinking I was at the same beach we went to the other day, I'm not seeing where we parked or any entrance to the beach.  I call Greg.  I think I'm kind of lost. He guides me to a parking area (which happened to be a different parking area than he had in his mind but that's another story.)

Wow!  It is dark outside! And dang cold! I get out my flash light and start walking toward the beach. I was scared I would run into an alligator or something.  Even though Ashley is just a kid, I was super glad to have her with me.

Greg calls to make sure I made it onto the beach.  Yes, but it's scary!  There is NO ONE around and it is really dark.  "OK, I'll come", he says.

I set up my tri-pod in anticipation of seeing one of the most amazing sights in my life. Ashley is hovered beside me with her winter coat, 2 beach towels and a blanket on top of her. "Why is it so cold?" The sun is not out, it's January, we are by the water, etc. I tell her.

Greg gets there and there is light and not so scary anymore.  A few people have made it onto the beach and were walking or walking their dog.

6:59AM- no sun
7:10 AM- no sunrise
Where is it?
Greg looks and whatever website he looks at says 7:22 AM sunrise
7:22 AM- no sunrise
7:30 AM- no sunrise
7:40 AM- no sunrise
I look up the sun is peering a little bit through the clouds.

The clouds were so heavy you could not see the sunrise. It was a huge bust!  I snapped a few pictures anyway and wasn't quite ready to concede.

Ashley and I picked up a few shells.

I snapped this picture of the pier.  I'm fairly certain the colors were not this vibrant in real life, but when I auto-corrected the color in Photoshop this is what it gave me and I thought it was gorgeous.

We left around 8AM.
I took a picture of the palm trees in the parking lot because I don't get to see Christmas lights on palm trees in Nashville.

We went back to the house and Greg and I went back to sleep for 2 1/2 hours.
Today was another really busy day, so next update will be in 2 hours.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Day 6- St. Augustine Vacation

Today was another relaxed day.  Kristen had told me about a consignment shop that was really nice and very close by.  So today I went there.  Really nice little shop with super great prices.  I got me 3 shirts and some jewelry.  Then I took Ashley there and got her some Hello Kitty jewelry.

The kids played with their cousins today.

They all went to the zip line again today.  Played on the trampoline.  And then the boys and Shaina played most of the day on the computers.  Ashley and Karley played Barbies.

 BUT...when I went to take a picture of Ashley playing Barbies, Shaina was playing with her.  I snapped a picture...

Shaina's eyes got big and said, "SHhhhhhhh! Don't let the boys know I'm playing Barbies."  She prides herself in being a big Tom Boy.  This was out of character and I caught it on film.

I did a little shopping, laundry, blogging, editing pictures, playing video games, etc.

Then we went to Chile's for dinner to meet 3 of Greg's high school friends and their families.  Eric and Lina and they brought their 2 children, Saffron and  Cyrus.
Saffron was acting shy even though she is typically not shy.  I managed to snap a picture when she wasn't expecting it.
Todd's wife was sick and couldn't make it.  And they have a 15 year old son that didn't come either.  Here are the 3 guy friends together:  I didn't think to add Lina to the picture, but she was one of the high school friends too.

While I was looking through some of Gayle's pictures for some Christmas pictures from Greg's past I ran across one picture of Greg and Eric.

That's a LOT of changing!!!

Tomorrow is our last day here.  It went so quickly!  Tomorrow we have a few activities planned including a big family picture.  Doesn't look like I'll make it back to the beach to make another sand snowman.  However, I do plan to get up early and capture the sunrise.  Better hop in bed now as it is 1AM local time.