Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Sidewalk Chalk

Yesterday, the girlies spent the entire day in their princess dresses. (Oh how precious they are!!!)

Papa was "supervising" the sidewalk chalk session...

Leith was struggling with her princess shoes all day. They're a tad too big, as is the dress, but she would not go without them.

Later the girlies were out on the deck for bubble session. Natalie wanted to come back inside, but Leith wasn't ready to come back in just yet. I caught this precious picture which pretty much sums up Leith's independent nature.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

A Royal Evening

Last night, my brother and sister-in-law came over to my parents house with my niece and nephew. Natalie had brought all of her dress up things because she wanted to dress up with Lei Lei. So it didn't take them long to decide it was princess time...

It turned out to be a rather musical evening. The kids banged on the piano...

I love this picture because if you look really close at Natalie you can see she has her lips sticking way out. I think it's so cute!

And mini-Joshua, aka. Bubby, Bubs-a-lubs, Bubbalicious, Bubba-monkey, Jubbs, Jubbalub, etc. found pure bliss on the xylophone. This has been his favorite toy all week. He will literally sit for an hour or more banging on it.

And fianlly, I've saved the best for music man... Scott joined in on the gee-tar.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Long Car Rides

We dove to my parents' house in Knoxville, TN today and it's a long care ride. It was a total joy though in our new mobile diggs! I just had to take some pictures of Natalie along the way, especially this time... She wanted to take a nap, but wanted to use my travel pillow like I do. She tried and tried to get it to fit comfortably behind her head. As you can matter what she did, it just didn't work!

So she settled for just having it next to her.

Later, she watched a movie and just looked so darn cute in her "too-big" headphones.

I have an amazing video of Natalie singing the theme song from VeggieTales while wearing the headphones that is soooo cute. It's on Scott's phone, but his cable is on his desk, at his office in MD, 589 miles away, so you'll just have to wait till we get home. I know you'll all be on the edge of your ergonomic desk chair until it's posted, but you'll just have to wait.

Buuuut... until then... here's an absolutely adorable picture of my nephew and I kissing. He loves me so much!!!

Sunday, May 27, 2007

My Thumb is Fading

So, remember how excited I was about everything that I had planted in my gardens? Well, let's just say... I still am excited, but nothing that I planted came up. Bah!!!

I planted 55+ Gladiola bulbs in the back of my large front bed and out of those 55+ bulbs only seven have come up so far... BIG BAH!!!

So yesterday I spent 3 hours digging up the old bubls that had turned to mush and planted 30-40 more new bulbs in their place. We'll see in another week what those will do.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

See Melissa Organize

Well, I'm in love! I just got my big box of stuff from See Jane Work and I am SO HAPPY with my purchase!!! I ordered a letter holder and a pack of red coral file folders to help tame the mess that is my kitchen island. So here is what my island looks like now... (Please ignore the mess on the counter... it's not what you think. I really did organize all the things on my island. I honestly did not just through it all over on the counter. Shoot! I thought it would be out of the picture!)

Even the box was cool. It had the cutest mailing label on it with the See Jane Work logo on it. (That hot little tamale in the knee-high boots and red trench!) You can count on the fact that I will be ordering more from them.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

My Green Thumb

I have developed an interest in gardening over the past few years. Now that I have my own place where I can plant whatever I want in my flower beds I have been having a blast filling them up. I'm definitely a beginner in this, so I wanted to spend money on plants that would hopeful last year after year. Last fall, my parents helped me put in a bunch of hostas along the front of the beds. This year, my in-laws helped me to fill in the rest. It was so much fun. I took a whole bunch of pictures once we got everything in. I have bulbs and seeds that haven't come up just yet. I look at it everyday hoping that something will begin to peek up. In my mind it looks gorgeous all big and full. It's going to be so colorful. I hope everything comes out well.

Right in front of the mechanical boxes you can see my dwarf boxwood. That will hopefully get much bigger and help to camouflage the boxes without getting in the way of the meter-reader. I also got a shepherd's hook to hang my bamboo wind chime on. Scott won't let me any of my other ones out, so I was so excited to have this one out.

All across the back of the bed I planted Gladiola bulbs--over 55 bulbs to be exact. Those should be amazing once they're up and blooming.

In between the hostas are something so cool I can't remember their name. I love the frosty leaves and bright color they have. In the corner are more of the Glads. Right in front of those are Chinese Lanterns and a Money Plant. (My mom had both of those in her huge gardens when I was a kid. It seemed natural that I would have them too.) Then in front of that scraggly bush I planted some Columbine. And of course the big spiky plant are the Day lilies I planted last year. They should be blooming soon. I think they're yellow.

This is my annual pot. The only two plants I remember the names of are the asparagus fern on either side of the purple spiky flowers called Verbena. I took these pictures last week and already the purple flowers are filling in and getting bigger.

This is the other side. Over hear I planted more of the stuff I can't rememberf I between the hostas and some Columbine in the empty space between the hostas and the bush. The plant in the very back is a Weigala. My mom told me to find a place to have one. She loves them. Her gardens always look amazing so I do what Mom says to do. I fell in love with it too. It should get big and really fill in that space back there.

This is my big shepherds hook. It's so pretty with the scrolling and gold leaves. It's holding a hanging pot full of stuff.

I'm not sure what all is in there, but I know it will bloom and be really pretty!

Here's my amazing husband watering my gardens.

And finally a "before" picture. Hopefully in a month or so I'll be able to post pictures of a full garden!

I am waiting until my bulbs and seeds come up before putting mulch down. We have the most beautiful dark brown mulch to go down. It'll make everything pop!

I could not have done this all if it wasn't for my mother and father in law. They were an amazing help to me and a great inspiration. My father in law took me to all sorts of garden centers and said, "pick out whatever you want--it's all on me." He's incredibly generous. God has definitely given him the gift of giving. It's what makes him happy and hey... it makes me happy to be on the receiving end, so everybody's happy!

My mother in law really helped me to put together the overall color scheme of the garden and worked like a workhorse to get everything in the ground. We worked long days. (I've got the mosquito bites on my bum to prove we were out later than we should have been.) It was so fun having them here and doing stuff that we all (minus Scott) love to do. Now if only they could come each week and help me weed the garden! Hmmm... I'll have to work on that.

Turkey Point

So when Scott's parents were here we took them to a place called Turkey Point. It's a part of Elk Neck State Park and is only about 20 minutes from our house. I can't believe we'd never been there yet. It's so cool! When you come to visit I will take you there!

[This is the Turkey Point Lighthouse.]

"Sandy beaches, marshlands and heavily wooded bluffs comprise the peninsula formed by the North East and Elk Rivers, and the Chesapeake Bay, where this park is located. Several trails meander through the diversified topography, revealing the great variety of plant and animal life. An easy walking trail to Turkey Point Lighthouse provides a view of the Elk River and the Chesapeake Bay." That's a short little blurb from the DNR's website for the park.

We had a great time walking through the forest.

We came to a clearing and Natalie found some flowers to pick. I just couldn't help myself from taking a bunch of pictures of her. I never could get her to turn around and face me but the pictures turned out really nicely anyway. Her pink dress on the green, green grass with the tiny little yellow flowers make for some cool pics.

At the clearing we turned around. It was a good walk yet to the lighthouse and it was so hot and we were so tired from all the yard work we'd been doing. We decided we wanted ice cream worse than we wanted to see the lighthouse.

This was the most amazing view. You could see all the way to Aberdeen from where we were. It was so gorgeous. I still can't believe I live here sometimes. There is no place else I'd rather be.

And there is no one else I'd rather live here with than these two. I am a happy woman.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Soccer Mom

So last Monday I became a typical mom and got a mini van. We've been seriously looking for over two years for something bigger than our two little compacts. A couple times we have even been as close as pen in hand to sign papers and then just walked away. We never felt right about it, and let me tell you, we walked away from some amazing deals. We just knew it wasn't the right time.

When we paid my car off in April, we kinda felt like it might be the time. So we went looking to test the waters. We found lots of stuff we liked. Some we could afford, most we couldn't. :) Nothing really jumped out and said buy me until we drove this Relay around for a weekend. The night before we took it back, we were out for a drive and Scott turned to me and said, "We're going to buy this car, aren't we?" I had to agree. I knew we would too. Over the past two years we have compiled a list of features we wanted on our dream car. God blessed our socks off with this one. We even got stuff we hadn't even thought about.

So by now you are saying what did they get?!?!? We got a BRAND NEW 2006 Saturn Relay. It had never left the lot, but because it was a 2006, they knocked $5500 off the top. Then they continued to drop the price as they added in other insentives and Scott's GMS discount. (That's a GM employee discount we get because his dad works for GM. Nice!) We're now down to one car payment and each month we're saving over $200! It's a really cool feeling.

Now let me tell you about this car. It is fully loaded with all the creature comforts you could want. I didn't take any pictures of all the features, but once you've seen a car dvd player, you've seen them all. So there's a dvd system with wireless headphones, automatic everything. Both doors slide open at the touch of a button, All leather interiors with that wood looking stuff on the dash and doors. Onstar and a phone built into the car. (I press a button, say "dial," say the phone number and I'm talking through the stereo system. How cool is that!?) The stereo can play mp3 cds. I can put about 100 mp3 files onto a disc, insert it into the cd player and it's like I've inserted iTunes to my stereo. (I really don't know how that works--I just listen to the radio or Natalie's Wonder Pets cd.) Heated seats for those cold MD mornings when my tushy is chilly. Shall I keep going?...

I love these bins. They are perfect for an extra blanket and the snow scraper. They're even great for hiding birthday and Christmas presents. :)

Thursday, May 17, 2007

White And Nerdy..the Donny Dance and The Office

Oh my gosh! This makes me laugh so hard!!! I mean Weird Al is always a character (hello? Anyone remember Spatula City from UHF?). Watch out world! Donny Osmond is making a come back!

[Is this the third post of the day?]

Here is a teaser for tonight's season finale of The Office, the funniest show on tv.

Alton Brown Talks Good Eats

Last summer Scott gave me an old issue of Guideposts that he had found at the church. On the cover was Alton Brown. He knew how much I enjoy watching Alton's shows and thought I would enjoy the article in the Guideposts. But as is usually the case, it got stacked together with other magazines and catalogs and completely forgotten. I pulled it out today as I was cleaning out the magazine basket and thought it was high time I read this article so I could put it in my "read" basket. It was pretty good. Nothing I hadn't already heard him talk about until I got to the last two paragraphs of the story. It totally caught me off guard. He had been discussing his "new" Food Network special, Feasting on Asphalt." (A fun show last summer!)

"I told you this has also been a spiritual journey for me. I'm always talking about the physics of cooking, but I'm also into the metaphysics of it. A good meal should offer both physical and spiritual nourishment. That's why I believe the Last Supper is at the heart of Christianity, perhaps its central moment. When Christ broke bread with his disciples and reminded them to do it in remembrance of him, he was showing them the way to both earthly and heavenly sustenance. The simplest moment can be the most profound. Christ unites with his disciples through food that is both sacred and real.
In the end, all journeys are spiritual. So go off the main road. Be givers of hospitality and gracious takers of it too. Accept the serendipitous moments of life because, when all is said and done, you may find that they were not serendipitous at all. And know that faith is real as bread broken among friends. What you believe will take you far on your journey. If you search carefully, you'll find good food all along the way."
[Alton Brown, Guideposts, August 2006, pp. 32)

It was refreshing to hear him talk about Christ and the Last Supper as it applies to life. It my circle of friends, Christ is our daily lives. We talk about what He has done for us and make spiritual connections to life all the time. What is most refreshing is to hear an entertainer and celebrity talk about it.

It's a Miracle

My email inbox only has 5 messages in it!!!!!

And those are all just in there waiting to be printed off. It's a good day in the Ball Room.

For about a month now, my inbox has had anywhere from 26-48 emails sitting in it at one time waiting to be responded to. On top of that, each day I receive an additional 15-25 new messages that need some sort of attention before I can DELETE. Those aren't spam, forwards, or junk mail either. Ahhhh!!! It's a wonder I haven't gone email crazy yet.

I've been trying to answer 5-10 a day, but that never happens. I'm doing good if I keep up with two or three. Over the past week though, I have really made it a priority to empty my inbox, mainly because I was beginning to stress about it. I was so tired of seeing "Inbox (14 new messages, 38 messages)." (Now keep in mind, I check my email at least 4 or 5 times a day and there can be that many new messages each time I check it!!! AHHHHH!!!!!)

So I cleaned house tonight! Hallelujah! What a good feeling that is! now if I can just get myself downstairs to print off those last 5 messages and file them away, I'll be doing really good.

Oh and I just checked... I have 147 messages in my TRASH bin since May 9--that's one week. Maybe that's not a lot for some of you, but for someone like me, where ALL of those are personal messages, it's overwhelming!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

See Jane Work

I just had to share my new favorite website with you. It's It is like Staples for girls. (Stacey--we're in heaven!!!) It has the cutest office supplies. If you have to work in an office or just have a home office; this is a great way to liven up your workspace. Add punches of color and pattern everywhere. Make your space happy.

I just ordered the Vintage Wire Letter Holder for the island in my kitchen along with the red coral file folders. Hopefully this will help to corral the mess that is the mail and paper pile in my kitchen. There has to be a way to organize that stuff without bringing in a dumptruck or Mission:Organization.
So anyway, I just had to share this cute site with you. Enjoy!
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