Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Monday, September 23, 2013


A couple of weeks ago, Spencer and IV moved up into 4 wheelers from their little motorcycles (that they had majorly outgrown!)  They have riding gear and have been taught how to ride safely----but evidently they weren't 100% sure where the property line stopped nor did they bother to ask.  They ended up making a path down the property line into the neighbors land.  And that neighbor is the type to make a big deal.   Keep in mind, that we live in the county and everyone down in our "neighborhood" has at least 5 acres of land--so it isn't like they did donuts in a flower bed.  BUT--- they DID mess up a section of her yard at the property line.  Boppa got the supplies and Jimmy got out the tractor and the boys had some manual labor cut out for them to repair and reseed.  Spencer came home exhausted and filthy. I am fairly certain they don't want to be landscapers when they grow up!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Mom, I miss the blog.

Spencer said, "Mom.  I miss the blog."

Well okay buddy-- let's fire this bad boy back up!

We had a busy weekend but managed to find time to go to the local Bush Hill festival. Years ago, we went to the festival and I would pay stupid amounts of money so Spencer could ride all the kiddie rides. This year I paid stupid amounts of money for Spencer to eat.  That kid had a fresh-squeezed lemonade, a smoked chicken sandwich, a funnel cake, a snow-cone....and would have kept eating!

The people watching was hilarious. I think a man would adjust himself while standing in front of the Queen of England. Normally, I ignore it--but when a man adjusts his sackage, then reaches out--with the same hand-- to give me a sweaty ball scented flier about his church...yeah I'm gonna have to pass on that one. Gross.

We also went apple picking this weekend and then I made a big batch of apple butter! Yummy! I love apple picking but I am terrified of snakes---and snakes LOVE a dadburn apple tree.  Luckily I got 10 pounds  of apples for $7.50 and not one snake was seen!

Last weekend, we took the boys to see the Blue Man Group.  They LOVED IT!  I have seen them twice in Vegas, but this was a first for Will, Spencer and Joe.  It was definitely one of our best family outings!

Spencer went camping with Jimmy, Melissa, IV and Boppa on Labor Day weekend.  He had so much fun he forgot to call and check in with his momma the entire weekend  :boooo:  Brat!

Spencer stared 7th grade last month.  I know what you're can Spencer be in 7th grade when his Mom is so young... hahahahahah   :heavy sigh:

Monday, March 25, 2013

March 2013

March was filled with mild weather, lots of soccer and some happy celebrations.

Happy Birthday Hyena!

IV celebrated his 11th birthday with a fun party at Creekside Park:

The weekend before IV's birthday, we took him out to celebrate.  IV chose Five Guys Burgers for dinner, he had LOTS of time to play at Celebration Station (where he did quite well winning tickets) then we came home and made ice cream sundaes and played Apples to Apples-- a FUN filled night that might become a birthday tradition!
P.S.  IV is allergic to peanuts (not an airborne allergy) so the eating peanuts picture was staged to send to III and Lucy as a joke! :-)

Kristin came to visit!

My friend, Kristin, and her son Timmy stopped in NC on their way to FL to spend a day with us.  We had a great time just hanging out, shopping, and giving Timmy his first Krispy Kreme!! 

Saying Goodbye to JJ

Sadly, March also brought sadness.  Our dear family friend (and Spencer's Godmother) Joyce Johnson passed away suddenly from a heart attack on March 10. She was having "indigestion", nausea, sweats and pain. She presented to the hospital with these symptoms and was immediately evaluated for gallbladder issues. We have known for MANY YEARS that heart attack symptoms in women look like this yet many (like Joyce) still go undiagnosed until it is too late-- even at the ER. We miss JJ greatly. Spencer is still processing her death and is as hurt and confused as the rest of us. RIP dear friend.


North Carolina State Band Festival

Spencer had his FIRST ever band competition March 14. They got an over all rating of Excellent and scores of 2 Excellents and 1 Superior.  Even though they had to be at school at 6:30 am to make the trip to Wingate University, Spencer jumped out of bed with energy and excitement.  He came home with LOTS of stories and --for a kid who hates shopping-- he LOVED being at Concord Mills for shopping and lunch on his own. 

Year 2 of Infinity!

And of course, March brings our Anniversary celebration!  Happy 2 years to us!  Can you believe I forgot to get a picture of the two of us together? We celebrated with a traditional Irish lunch at his mother's church, a nice dinner out and gift exchanges-- I got a Larimar pin and he got a certificate to pick out a Case knife for his collection.  We will take our anniversary trip next month (when it is a bit warmer) to the Blue Ridge mountains-- I BETTER remember to get a picture then!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013


We hosted a tea for my friend Stacy's baby shower.  It was beautiful-- filled with traditional scones, devonshire cream, tea sandwiches, lovely shades of pink sprinkled everywhere....And although my heart was all about welcoming Stacy's head was TOTALLY planning the photos since the setting was so pretty. 
I was expecting pictures like this

But no.  Something crazy happened to my camera and all my pictures look like this:
I am terribly disappointed.  But the good news is that other people were taking pictures as well--so Stacy will still have photos.  And the tea was LOVELY-- the food was incredibly tasty and we all had so much fun. to google how to fix my Nikon!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Love in February

Valentine's Day was more like Valentine's week for us.  Not because of extravagance or anything but because we love an excuse to indulge in fun.

We have had lots of celebratory dinners out with family and friends, flowers and chocolates, we had a couples massage.... ahhhh! Wonderful!

We took the boys to the GTCC Observatory last weekend.  What a fun, FREE family outing.  I think our favorite part was looking at the craters on the moon-- the stars and planets were fun, but the moon was the most interesting.

During the tour at the Observatory, we encountered  twelve year old, genius twins.  Seriously-- they were taking the SAT the next morning and heading to college next year.  At first we thought they were just weird, hyper, unruly kids....but then they started correcting the astrophysicist leading the tour. Their scout leader told us about their "unique" intelligence-- WILD!

Our Valentine's gift to each other was a couples massage.  This was Will's first massage so he was a little anxious.  He took a xanax ...and 3 Gas Ex tablets to ensure it was a pleasant experience for everyone involved--haha!
 He LOVED the massage--and fell asleep three times (snores!). 
But, I need to tell y'all about the little prank I pulled on Will.
I had told him that he needs to be naked for the massage but they will keep everything covered except the area they are working on.  As I joke, when we went from the serenity room to the massage room I kept my panties on.  When we both dropped our robes to get on the tables, he saw I was still wearing my panties and he was nekkid he gasped and spat "I thought you said I had to be naked!!" I pretended to grimace and said, "Eww!  You dirty pervert!  Did you think I was serious?"  He jumped for his robe and was headed out the door to go get this undies when I stopped him and told him I was joking and we would both be naked.  He was NOT amused.  I, however; laughed so hard I nearly had an asthma attack. funny Valentine!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

He makes me Waff and Waff

People often tell me I am the happiest they have ever seen me.  And it is true, Will makes me EXTREMELY happy.  But this post isn't about how wonderfully loving he's about how he makes me laugh. 
He cracks me up ALL of the time, but the funniest moments are when he doesn't mean to make a joke.  Here is a great "for example":
This weekend, we went for sushi and then walked to a store next to the sushi place shopping for new toys for our dogs. (Wow--could we have a more middle-class, white evening out??--ha ha!)
The girl at the checkout had a very unfortunate situation with her teeth.  They weren't just a little messed up, I am certain she could eat corn on the cob through a picket fence. Bless her heart.
And what does my husband do???  He says "OOH I like your braces!" 
The poor girl just stood there. 
Dumbfounded and blushed. 
Evidently, Will had seen a glimmer of spit or something in the 4 inch gap between her teeth and thought she had a sparkly invisilgn or something.  Who knows.
She stammered something about needing braces and saving up for them.  I was so embarrassed--but at the same time, this was so typical.  Will is the nicest person in the world (unless he is driving) and would NEVER say anything to hurt anyone's feelings--but he often talks without thinking.  And that's when he makes me loller the most. 
No woman wants wrinkles---but I bet I die with the deepest laugh lines in history!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Hoarders...Spice edition

I love to cook.  And somehow, my spice cabinet spilled into two more cabinets.  Probably because I keep buying and upgrading without throwing anything out.  Once I discovered Penzy's, I stopped buying grocery store spices but failed to purge. 
Well, today was purge day.  It took a little over an hour and 2 trash bags...but I did it!
Most of my spices were from 2008-2010 that needed to be thrown away but check out Mr. Celery Seed.

Yep.  1997.  Is Astor even in business any more?  Shame on me!
Here is what I ended up throwing away/recycling:
I still have a full cabinet plus a shelf of spices left.  You can't expect a spice addict to go cold, unseasoned turkey, right???

Friday, January 18, 2013


I decided to stop blogging last year.  I don't really know why-- I guess it felt repetitive with facebook-I have no idea. But seriously, I pick 2012 to stop blogging?  The year we go on a Bahamas cruise in March, Hawaii in June and a mission trip to Romania in October??? I will probably NEVER have such an exciting year again in my life and THIS was the year I stopped writing...geesh!!!

Well, I'm back heifers!

Today is Friday of a long weekend.  I have a TON of stuff to get done at work; however, I just finished my lunch and decided to take 10 minutes to resuscitate my blog. 

We got snow last night for the first time in two years.  Spencer was so excited he set out his "snow clothes" as soon as the forecast was official.  Since the boys didn't have school today, IV spent the night so he and Spencer could play all day.  By 9 am they were suited up like an Aspen vacation (IV's words not mine) and dragging sleds across the front yard.
By 10:30 am they came back in...cold..wet...hungry...with lots of red, snowball rashes across their faces ready for dry clothes, hot cocoa and comfy chairs at the Xbox.

Monday, April 09, 2012

Happy Easter 2012!

Easter weekend was wonderful here at Team LA. (Linthicum / Alderin) Spencer and Joe kept us "hopping" all weekend.

Friday evening, Mom, Will and I went to Raleigh to pick up Joe.  We did a little shopping at Crabtree Valley (LUSH!) and had a yummy dinner at The Cheesecake Factory. Spencer stayed home for some time with his Boppa!

Saturday, we smooshed lots of fun into a single day--- cooking/prepping for Easter, Disc Golf at the park, egg hunt at Nana and Boppa's, dinner out at our favorite Chinese joint, dying Easter Eggs and some hilarious rounds of Apples to Apples.

Although we missed Jimmy, Melissa and IV at the egg hunt, I have to admit, there were no hunt related injuries this year since my brother was gone! Spencer found the special egg (with the $20 bill in it) and he found the most eggs (23) during the hunt.  I came in second with 10 eggs, Joe found 4 eggs and  Will only found 2 eggs. Yes, you read that right...the 11 year old found 23 eggs and Will found 2. Sigh.
Dying eggs later that night was fun---and little Miss Galaxy was all up in everyone's business.  We had to lock her in the bedroom to keep her out of trouble!
Easter morning was very relaxed.  The bunny always hides the baskets so it took a few minutes for the boys to find their treats.  This is the one day of the year we allow the boys to have candy for breakfast.
We had lunch at Will's sister's house and then we came home that afternoon and I cooked Easter dinner for us, Nana and Boppa.  Spencer's allergies hit him full blast and he puttered out mid day.  He napped all afternoon, fell asleep WHILE CHEWING during Easter dinner and then slept until 9:30, woke up to open his Easter basket from Nana and Boppa, ate a few Oreo cookies and then went back to sleep until 11:30 the next day!

Monday, March 26, 2012

1st year Anniversary

Our first anniversary was last Saturday, March 17th.

I can't believe it has been a year already.  Seems like only yesterday I had the entire bed to myself and didn't have to worry about being downwind from anything heinous....sigh.
But despite the wind situation, I love him lots. This year has been absolutely wonderful.
And what better way to celebrate our first year together than with the same thing we did for our honeymoon...a cruise!
We went to Charleston a day early to begin our vacation in relaxed mode. We had a leisurely 4 1/2 hour drive down, then we went to Ft. Sumter for the Harbor Tour. Our tour guide was a history teacher and he had a true gift for story telling. It was fabulous!

After our Harbor Tour, we went to our favorite restaurant, California Dreaming.  I know what you are thinking....why go to a chain when you could go to Fig or Hyman's or many other Charleston-esque dining options...well three words will tell you why.
Blue Cheese Dressing.
The Blue Cheese Dressing.
It'll make you slap yo' teeth out just to get your tongue closer to the bowl.
I think it is made with blue cheese, crack and xanax.  Only more addictive.
I have spent an eternity trying to google the recipe....and have sadly failed.

Dinner was reasonably priced (love that!) and close to our hotel so we had an easy first night and were ready to cruise!
Embarkation the next morning was a bit more slow than last year. We had an unexpected 45 minute wait at the hotel and then quite a long line going from shuttle drop off to the bus line to the pier (which was in throwing distance...but no, you still have to wait in the sun and board a shuttle....) Luckily that was our only hiccup and it wasn't that bad of a wait. I think we just hit in there at the same time as a bunch of other folks.
We got on the ship at 1:00, had lunch, unpacked, did the muster drill and then hit lido for the deck party! Having our anniversary on St. Patrick's Day is so much fun--- everyone is willing to celebrate with us!
After the deck party, the most magical words of the trip:  the Sushi bar is open. THE BEST sushi ever.  Keep in mind we aren't adventurous sushi eaters, but we love the hell out of some tuna nigiri.  EVERY afternoon we would get a cold beer and nigiri then sit and  people watch. By day 2, poor Will would swipe utensils from the dining room because he has some sort of unfortunate chop stick palsy....

Day 2 was a relaxing day at sea.  We did slightly less than nothing other than nap, read, eat and lounge---don't judge--it's our vacation and we can be as lazy as we want--haha!

Day 3 we were in Key West.  We did the Conch Train tour and LOVED it.  Our driver (Ronknee) was funny and we enjoyed the history, architecture,wild stories and shopping.

Day 4 was Freeport, Bahamas.  Last year when we went to Freeport we rented a jeep and drove all around the beautiful island and the beaches.  Since we had an off road adventure last year, I thought I would book us a "City Tour" this year.  It was only $35.99 per person (which is relatively cheap for Carnival Excursions) and I was looking forward to a relaxing tour.
Yeah.  About 2 minutes into the tour I was doing the math ($35.99 x 2)  and determined that I was going to be about $71.98 worth of pissed.  The tour guide was dry and not funny.  He drove us through mediocre neighborhoods showing us houses, churches and schools.  He even pulled over twice when a "for sale" sign was posted in case anyone on board wanted to buy real estate.  And just as I was wondering if this tour was some sort of hidden sales pitch, he takes the ONLY stop of the tour at a sad, depressing farmer's market where we felt guilty for being tourists.  A woman (Brenda) from a frozen drink stand at the market came on board and offered coupons for drinks....then at the end of the stop, Miss Brenda came back to the bus and gave the driver his percentage of the drink sales her kiosk turned during his stop.  Convenient, huh?  Oh well...a crappy tour on vacation is better than working or doing chores at home, right?  The tour ended at Port Lucaya.  We didn't find anything we wanted to buy...other than cans of Barritt's Ginger Beer. We watched an awful fight as the local police arrested what appeared to be a vagrant and then took the bus back to our ship.  Freeport is okay for beach drives with the jeep, but not for bus tours.

Day 5 was Nassau , Bahamas.  I have been to Nassau 5 times in the past 4 years so there wasn't anything I wanted to do so we just shopped and went back to the ship early for another relaxing day. Oh and some sushi...of course.

Day 6 was another relaxing day at sea.  We did the same thing as before...or maybe even a little less.  It was awesome. I debated about playing in the casino or going to the spa but I was still pissed about wasting the $72 on the crappy tour in Freeport.

All week we sat at a large table in the main dining room and immediately found our dining mates to be charming and witty. We loved hearing about our friends' adventures (nudist gay bars in Key West, crazy bidding at the art gallery, family stories, new nicknames (What's up Asian Glow?), champagne toasts and LOTS of laughs.  I looked forward to dinner every night not just for the lobster, prime rib, decadent desserts, etc. but for the wonderful company of new friends!
By the end of the cruise we stayed out until 2 am listening to our new friends sing karaoke and going to the lounge for some awesome 80s-90s hair metal by an asian cover band.  (Seriously, they rocked.) Luckily, we were all about the same age so we really enjoyed the music despite the spring break teens chanting for "Britney Spears"--which did not make us feel old, just musically superior--haha!

The entire cruise was fantastic.  Lounging enough to nap several times, read three books, saw and did everything we wanted plus we got to eat, drink and be merry with new friends. And celebrate our first year of marriage!

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Reflux Warrior

Although Spencer has had reflux all his life, a few months ago his meds stopped working.  We were referred to a specialist at Brenner Children's Hospital and the new specialist ordered an endoscopy and a 24 hour sensor tube.  Finally, we will get some answers and Spencer will stop having so many issues!
Even though it is a little too small, Spencer wore his lucky shirt to the procedure:
His shirt says, " Go Ahead And Push Me Around But You Ought To Know I've Got the Meanest, Baddest NANA in town!"
I knew the endoscopy and biopsies would be quick and painless for my little man but general anesthesia is always a bit scary. I watched the anesthesiologist start to push the meds in his IV and as I went to tell Spencer I loved him he was already out BEFORE they finished putting his meds in the IV!  It scared me a little and I tearfully went to the waiting room and sat with my family.

In less than 30 minutes, Spencer was in recovery. He had an airway apparatus in his mouth because they said he snored like a freight train during the procedure.  For a slim kid without adenoids that little guy can snore!
He looked so small and helpless.  I wanted to hold him.....but NO ONE could get near his hospital bed.  Nana and Boppa set up like protective gargoyles-haha!

After the recovery time passed, the nurse gave us permission to try to wake him.  Whew! That took a while.  Poor little man was sleepy, confused, frustrated and his nose was itching like crazy--but with the sensor tube in place he couldn't scratch it.  We were all trying to help him!

After x-rays, Spencer came home with the sensor tube in place. The tube was uncomfortable and he was miserable.  He had trouble eating and it wore a blister on his nose where it rubbed.  He was more than ready to return to the hospital the next day to have it removed.
Now, he is home, just ate dinner and is playing xBox.  Despite the make up work from missing three days of school, he is happy.  We found out that he doesn't just have reflux, he has Eosinophilic Esophagitis as well.  We still have biopsies and sensor results to get so it will be about a week before we know anything else. The good news is that Eosinophilic Esophagitis can be treated with medication. Hopefully we will get the rest of the results soon!

Friday, March 02, 2012

Chuff Daddy

Last weekend, Will and I took Spencer and Joe for a great day trip.

We left Sunday morning and filled up at Cracker Barrel before heading South for a little less than an hour.

We pulled in at Suzie's Pride and the boys were wow'd!

Suzie's Pride a Sanctuary and Rescue for big cats. They are a no-kill, no-breed facility for unwanted, abused and neglected big cats from private owners, commercial entities, zoos and other sanctuaries.    
It was amazing!  they only have a few cats, but you can tell the staff are very dedicated and knowledgeable.  We really enjoyed our tour!

One of the most important things we learned is NOT TO GIVE ANY MORE MONEY to "Photo Cub" organizations.  We see them in all the big tourist traps, you know, get your picture taken with a cub and the money supposedly goes to Endangered animals or whatever.  Well it's a load of crap.  They are allowed to use the cubs while they are under 50 pounds so they under-feed them and then when the cub gets too big they are dumped, sold illegally or worse.... Thankfully there are sanctuaries established to help, but people need to stop giving money for "photo cubs" and perpetuating the problem.

The most fun thing we learned is how the big cats "chuff" ....and the boys (Mostly Will) spent the rest of the day chuffing at all the cats.  I never got the hang of it.  Chuffing (or Prusten) is a sound made by big cats. The animal's mouth is closed and it blows through the nostrils, producing a breathy snort. This sound is non-threatening and often used when two big cats encounter each other on neutral territory, or between courting pairs. Mothers use it to their cubs as a form of reassurance.
Will got pretty good at it and the animals would chuff back at him-- it was amazing to have (even a small) connection with the exotic beasts!

After we spent time at Suzie's Pride, we went next door to Tiger World.
Tiger World is a nonprofit animal conservation and educational center dedicated to rescue, rehabilitation, and preservation of exotic animals.

This is an amazing zoo that has MANY MANY beautiful tigers and ligers! The wolves were incredibly beautiful, the roaming ducks, geese, peacocks etc, were friendly.  All of the animals looked happy and healthy--- we highly recommend going!  And yes, the boys chuffed with all the big cats here, too!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Crazy February!

On was snowing...

And today it is sunny and mid-70's.  Crazy weather!

Valentine's Day was wonderful!  The boys got candy, Will got candy and Upright Citizen's Brigade DVDs and I got a Kindle Fire.  Holy Smokes I was surprised!  Will insisted we open Valentine's gifts IMMEDIATELY that morning....he was just in his underwear but with creative cropping I at least got a couple of photos for my blog without posting gratuitous semi nudes of my goofball husband.

We celebrated Laura's birthday with  lunch at K&W (I!), gifts, shopping and a half day class at Greensboro Bartending Institute taking a mixology class for cream drinks. We had a blast and learned quite a bit!  Will is a big fan of the "Almond Joy" next time you come over, ask me to make you one!

And finally, Mom, Dee and I spent the weekend with our crafter friends at Thousand Trails.  It was a beautifully relaxing weekend and I FINALLY finished my Alaska (digital) album from 2009.  WOOOHOO!

And just a quick update on Galaxy.  Our baby kitty is in that long, lanky "teenage" stage...and is a total sweetie despite eating 15 times a day and destroying not one but TWO laptop keyboards.  She cuddles and plays with me and Spencer and FIGHTS/WRESTLES with Will and the dogs...perfect, huh?

Monday, February 13, 2012

My Funny Little Valentine

We worked on Spencer's Valentines this weekend.  Since this is his last year in elementary school, I assume this will be the last year he does Class Valentines. sad!
Spencer thinks Valentine's Day is lame and embarrassing.  He is an 11 year old boy.  He thinks EVERYTHING is lame and embarrassing. He didn't want any froo-froo Valentines so out of the million I pinned on Pinterest for him to look through....he liked the CRUSH Valentine the best:

I put text on a pensive looking picture of Spencer that says "The best Valentine's CRUSH is the kind you drink!" and made it into a can label.  Each can has a To/From tag tied to the tab...and... Ta Da!-- a non-lame Valentine with a sweet can of Cherry Crush to chug---YUM!

Speaking of Spencer.....
He came to me over the weekend and said, "Mom, there is a kid in my class named D___.  He acts kind of strange and all the kids make fun of him. I have been telling the teacher when other kids are mean to him and I try to sit with him when everyone avoids him but it isn't getting better for him. I think he is poor because of his clothes and all. Can I have some money to send him a Valentine Gram?"

I nearly cried. Of course you can have money to send him a surprise (The school sells Valentine Grams for 50 cents each as a fundraiser.) And Spencer and I talked about what else he can do to keep D___ from being bullied/neglected/picked on.  It absolutely broke my heart but at the same time I was proud of Spencer for stepping up.

Spencer is a straight A student, has tons of friends, active at church, a leader on the soccer field, has won so many awards in the past few years that I am out of space to display them....but NOTHING has made me prouder than things like this that tell me I AM RAISING A GOOD KID. I am so proud of this little guy!

You make me waff and waff....

Will and I have bath crayons in our shower and we leave each other messages on the shower wall.  Most of the time they are just cute love notes, sometimes reminders for that day....and when the kids are away for the weekend, they are....(ahem!)

Anyway,  we are excited about the cruise we are taking in celebration of our upcoming one year anniversary so I left Will a little reminder message on the shower wall that our trip is approaching.
It looked like this:

Then, for some unknown reason, Spencer showered in our bathroom and left this message in response:

My little cutie assumed it was lemonade and fruit and not the famed cruise ship "Drink of the Day"!
It made me laugh...Especially the little picture of himself reclining in a lido deck chair chugging some "lemanade"