Thanks for stopping by! We were a family of three, until we added one more (cat, that is), making us a family of four. In 2012, we added four more...one husband, two girls, and a dog. We have a full plate as a party of eight!

Adoption, blended families, pets, school, running...it's all here. Pull up a chair and read a while. After you do, please leave a little comment love! It makes me happy...and y'all know...if Momma is happy, then everyone is happy...at least at our house!

Friday, July 30, 2010

A Bug in the Darkness

There are lots of things to blog about from our trip to Edisto, but Tuesday night is the one that is getting the most laughter and retelling around here right now.

After a great dinner at the Sea Cow Eatery, we went back to our condo and got the girls ready for bed.  One conked out almost as soon as her little head hit the pillow, and fortunately slept through the whole event that unfolded shortly thereafter.  One was downstairs reading with her grandmother before going to bed.  Gloria was already in bed watching a little bit of a DVD on our portable player.  There was a thunderstorm warning for our area, but things seemed calm--just a little lightning in the distance and a few rumbles of thunder, maybe a little bit of rain. Nothing to get excited about.  Or so we thought...

With the next flash of lightning, the lights went out.  Total darkness surrounded us.  From the third floor I heard Gloria yell for me with terror in her voice, but I couldn't see to make my way across the room and ascend all those stairs.  Instead, she unplugged the DVD player and used the glow of the screen to find her way down to where my mom, Gloria's cousin, and I were.  The two girls curled up with the DVD player between them to watch "The Aristocats" until the power came back on.  We assumed it would be just a few minutes and then everyone would go happily off to bed.

WRONG.  The power was out as far as we could see.  Out the windows and across the golf course...DARKNESS.  Across the road and around the bend...total darkness, occasionally broken by the flashing light of a security truck driving through the resort.

Mom thought she had a flashlight in her car and went to find it.  In doing so, she left the front door open.  Apparently the glow of the DVD player was interpreted as an invitation to come inside by a rather large flying creature.  Mom thinks it was a cicada.  I didn't get close enough to it to find out.  I heard wings fluttering and the thumping of it flying into walls and finally located it, using the light from my cell phone screen, crawling along the edge of a picture frame.  As soon as Mom made a move to trap it in a cup, it took off again.  We found it again, with the light from my cell phone, but once again it took off.  I was screaming (I HATE big bugs) and jumping every time it took off, you know...acting like a GIRL.  I think it flew right by my ear a time or two, which about did me in.  Finally, Mom was successful in trapping the thing and tossing it back outside.

What we thought would be just a few minutes lasted for the entire length of the movie and then some.  We were tricked by a few brief moments of electricity after we convinced the girls that we all needed to go to bed--just enough time to turn off all the lights that were on and reset the clocks...all before it went out again. 

Monday, July 26, 2010

Beach Mom? Not Me!

I am so not a good beach mom.  I know that.  I try, but I just don't do it very well. 

Don't get me wrong...I love the beach.  Love it!  When I can walk along the beach, right on the edge of the water.  When I can pick up a shell or two that catch my eye.  When I can sit on a chair with my toes in the sand and read a book or just enjoy watching the sea gulls and pelicans.  I love the beach like that, along with a good ocean breeze.

I'm not a good beach mom though.  I don't like to play out in the ocean.  Can't stand thinking about what all else is in the water, living and non-living.  Ick!  I don't like to sit in the sand where the waves are coming in and get sand all in my bathing suit.  Double ick!  I don't build very good sand castles, and do I really need to ooh and aah over the 37th piece of a shell that looks like half of the other 36 that are already in the bucket? (The answer to that, of course, is YES!)

But for this beach trip, that's what the grandmother is for.  Most of it, anyway.  I can enjoy shells and walking with three sandy little girls along the beach.  Then I can sit on the beach blanket and watch two little girls work diligently on sand castle after sand castle that keeps getting eaten by the waves, no matter how high they attempt to build the wall around it while the third little girl sits in the sand and plays with her grandmother.  That I can do.  Apply sunscreen?  Sure.  Hand out juice boxes and water bottles?  I can do that too.  Move the blanket and towels and cooler and myriad of flip flops when the tide starts coming in?  Absolutely.  Happy to do it.

Just don't make me get in the water or sit in the sand.  I'm happy to watch everyone else be happy playing at the beach.  Now...if I only had a book...

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Food for Thought...Thoughts for Food

We typically eat a gluten-free diet.  Through some experimentation a few years ago, we learned that gluten might be the source of Gloria's nose bleeds and my arthritis-like symptoms in my back and shoulders.  We usually do pretty well with it, although we will "stray" every once in a while.  I know I feel so much better and don't hurt all the time when I stay gluten-free.  And I don't hear "Momma, I'm having a nose bleed" at two o'clock in the morning. 

Lately, we haven't been very good.  Just this week I can think of Chick-fil-a, lunch with friends at Cracker Barrel, and Subway today when traveling, have all been much easier and much more fun then making the gluten-free choices.  But we are both feeling the effects of it.  My back has been hurting all week and I've taken more Tylen*l than I care to have taken and Gloria has been having nose bleeds quite often.

Guess it's time to buckle down again and free ourselves of the gluten!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Growing Up

For the last few days, Gloria has been watching her "me" video.  "Momma, can I watch me?" really means that she wants to watch the video of herself as a baby/toddler.



It's so hard to remember her as that little tiny 9 1/2 month old baby that I first held in my arms in November of 2003.  She really was tiny, and she kept her legs curled up under her with no interest in straightening them out and putting her feet on the floor.  She couldn't sit up by herself, much less crawl. 

Then the video jumps ahead 3 1/2 months to my trip to bring her home.  She was still such a tiny thing.  She could crawl a little bit, but not much.  Still no interest in putting her feet on the floor. (She wouldn't walk until 18 months of age.)  But that little girl loved books.  She would sit and turn pages and study--didn't matter what book it was.  That continues to this day--she loves to read.

Once we came home, she was crawling all over the place and pulling up on everything.  She would eat everything she could get her hands on and she grew and changed so fast.  It's fun to go back and watch that happen over and over again on the TV screen.  (If only I didn't have to listen to my own voice going on and on and on, narrating every move!)

Fast forward to today...

Sometimes we have conversations that seem so grown up.  Not your typical 7-year old conversations.  Other times, yeah, she's definitely 7.  Today we went from discussing prayers in the Book of Common Prayer to playing with Thomas the T*nk Engine on the living room floor.  I love her curiosity, and I love that she still likes to play with Thomas too!  Of course now I don't have to construct the track and crash my train into hers.  Today, Thomas was taking all of the Disn*y princesses to the merry-go-round at the fair.  And poor Sir T*ppom Hat, who is only about 2 inches tall, had to dance with Cinder*lla who is about 4 times as tall.  They made quite the couple, let me tell you!  :)

When I referred to her as "young lady" this afternoon, Gloria informed me that she is NOT a young lady.  She is a little girl.  Oh?  Her reasoning was that she is not an adult and she is not a teen-ager (whew!) "So therefore, Mommy, I am still a little girl."  I'll take that.  She can be my little girl.  But gosh my little girl is growing up!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Guess Where We Went Today!

Eating out is fun, but eating out for free is even better! Not that it was fine dining or anything, but we really don't eat out very often so we enjoyed it, even if we were dressed like momma and daughter cows!


Thursday, July 8, 2010

Need a Name

So yesterday we said good-bye to the van and hello to a new car. I can't tell you how glad I am to be back in a car. It does feel strange to be driving "low" but I'm sure that will pass. Gloria hopes that this car will be hers in 9 years. Sounds good to me! ;) In the meantime, she has decided that the car needs a name. The van was either the "mommy van" or "Aunt Merrill's Bus" depending on the situation at hand. And it seems that most of the cars in our family have had names based on color--real original names like "Whitey" or "Blackie" or "Silver." I had a little red car a long time ago that we called Robert, short for Robert Red-Nissan (instead of Robert Redf*ord) and I seem to recall a "Redwood Express" and the "Bloodhound Mobile"--both trucks that belonged to my dad. So, here's the new car...


We were brainstorming names this afternoon and came up with two possibilities: Charlie or Ree. The official color of this car is charcoal grey, thus Charlie. Ree is just the second syllable of the car, just with a different spelling. The vote is split one to one. What do you think?

New Hangouts

With children and cats, life is rarely dull around here! There are calm moments though, and here are two that I captured recently:

Sure, Sch*lastic says every child deserves a good book. But Hannah Cat says every cat deserves a good box. She has claimed this box as her own ever since I brought some things home from school in it at the end of the school year. Screamer gets a pounding if he sets foot--I mean paw--in there. She even hides her favorite pink ball in there. If we can't find her, she's probably in the box.

Screamer's new favorite hangout is the bathroom sink, but only after he knocks over everything on the counter and fights with himself in the mirror. If he's not on the back of the sofa (which he took over from HC) then he is probably on Gloria's bed or in this sink.