Sunday, August 30, 2009

Pictures from Previous Post

I'm in ATL for a few days this week while Brent is in Washington for a class. We had a lot of my friends from high school over last night for a cookout and swimming party. It was so much fun to see everyone and see/meet their families. We had almost our entire crowd there - and missed the few that couldn't join us. Its been hard being so far away for all these years so I really enjoy the times that I can spend with old friends and I hope that one day we'll be closer so that we can do it more often! Enjoy the pictures!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Meeting Avery's Teachers

Avery starts preschool when we get back in town from the beach. She's going to a new school, 2 days a week. Today we met her teachers Ms. Gayle and Ms. Leah and most of her classmates at a park for a casual "meet and greet." They kids played and had snacks while the parents got to visit a little bit. She enjoyed meeting all her new friends!

Katelyn and Avery enjoying snacks

playing in the water fountains

Thursday, August 27, 2009

S.O.S. Update

So here's the update for today...We talked to our insurance agent this morning and he directed us to a "water mitigation" team and a general contractor. The water guys came this afternoon to inspect - we have lots of damage. They are going to have to pull up about 1/2 of the hard wood floor in the living room and some in the foyer....and they are going to have to tear up brent and mike's beautiful tile floor!!! For now, they isolated the mold with plastic sheets and gave us 2 huge de-humidifiers. They'll be coming by daily until the moisture is at a decent level. I have a general contractor coming at tomorrow morning to take a look and give me a guesstimate of what he'll be doing...what a mess! Both the water guys and the contractor said that insurance companies are funny about paying when mold is involved - blaming it on a negligence issue rather than a problem - so pray that all is covered!!!

wall update
our de-humidifier

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


Brent and I are in WAY over our heads!!! We did some painting this last weekend in the dining/play room and in our living room. When we moved the couch out to paint behind it, we noticed that the wall was bowing (spelling?) and I diagnosed some "pitting edema" - AKA wet sheet rock! So a plumber came today and found the leak - nothing major in and of itself - very small but steady - and it was easily fixed....but the amount of wet and moldy sheet rock, wood, flooring, etc that followed is major. Brent did a "demolition" job this evening and now we have a disastrous mess...we are going to try to get our home owner's insurance guys out here to take a look and then go from are a few pictures...

the original leak
look at all the wetness and mold - yuck!

there was actually a puddle of standing water in this space (under the stairs)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Black Bean and Corn Relish Tostadas

Here is a yummy recipe that my sister-in-law Anna sent me. We had this tonight and absolutely loved it...

Black Bean and Corn Relish Tostadas
2 limes
2 scallions
4 ears sweet corn - boiled, cut off ear, and chilled (ice water bath works well to cool it down)
3 TBSP olive oil
coarse salt and ground pepper
1 jalapeno (we used a can of diced chiles)
1 pint grape tomatoes
8 oz mont jack cheese
4 flour tortillas (6 inch)
1 can black beans (i think i'll use 2 cans next time)
1 avocado
sour cream (optional)

Thinly slice scallions and add to bowl along with corn, tomatoes, lime juice, 1 TBSP olive oil, salt and pepper. Toss to combine. Cover and refrigerate.

Arrange tortillas on baking sheets. brush both sides with olive oil. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes or so - flipping to crisp up both sides. Remove from oven. Top crisp tortillas with with rinsed beans, jalapeno, and cheese. Bake until golden and crisp - about 7-10 minutes.

While tostadas are baking, pit, peel, and dice avocado. Toss with corn mixture.

For serving, top tostadas with corn relish and sour cream.


Sunday, August 23, 2009

Why I've never let Griffin play with markers...

So I realized today why I had not yet let Griffin draw with markers...


Neighborhood Icecream Social

Our neighborhood had an ice cream social this afternoon. It was sponsored by our "neighborhood watch" committee. We took the kids in the wagon to join the festivities! The ice cream was good but the hit of the party were the fireman! The kids got to climb on over and in it. The firefighters were great - they let them play with their hats, sunglasses, flashlights, and every other gadget and buckle in the truck. There was also a little "mini firetruck" with a Dalmatian driving it. It was remote controlled and could actually talk to the kids and squirt water! They loved it!
my little fireman
avery - not too sure about "sparky" at first


avery took this one!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Poor Cassidy

Those of you who are around us very often know that Cassidy is not my favorite creature. She is just another job for me - I have to feed, pick up poop, vacuum daily...and I tell her "NO" more times a day than I do Griffin!!! But I must admit that she is a very tolerant dog and has been great with the kids. They ride her, sit on her, climb on her, take her bone....and she never flinches. I came into the living room this morning after cleaning up from breakfast and found this:

dr avery looking in her ears

dr griffin giving her a shot

and avery taking her blood pressure!!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Cookie Time!

Avery loves to help in the kitchen - normally with making things like cookies, brownies, waffles, muffins, etc. She loves to dump everything in and we've even been working on cracking eggs!! (we've had a few land on the floor!!) We normally have to fight Griffy off because he wants up too - but he likes to shove her off the chair, play with the coffee pot, dig in drawers - but not really "help." Well, this weekend I was feeling especially patient so thought I'd attempt to let them both help....and it went surprisingly well!! Griffin got his own chair and I moved the glass part of the coffee pot out of his reach. We took turns doing the "dumping" and everyone enjoyed a few chocolate chips. (see Avery's cheeks in picture 2) They both had a blast and we've all enjoyed the fruits of our labor!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Day at the Museum

We had a rainy day on Thursday so we opted for an inside activity. My friend Kim and I took all of our kids to a museum in Raleigh called Marbles ( This place is WAY cool! If you live near by and haven't gone, you need to go! We only did a small portion of the place and were there for about 3 hours. There is a huge area that is perfect for toddlers and preschoolers. It is like a "mini city" with a boat you can fish from, an ambulance, fire truck, grocery store, post office, farm stalls, garden, etc - complete with props - with everything from dress up clothes for the ambulance and fire truck to mini wheelbarrows for the garden. The kids had a blast.
my little fireman
and fire-woman!
driving the boat

riding the "packaging truck"
(Kim with Jackson, Avery, Katelyn)
they even had a place for art projects (we had glue everywhere - it was just dripping off of avery and katelyn's papers!)

I will say that we were pushing nap time when we left. By the time we were on the elevator in the parking deck, both girls were screaming crying!!! Good thing Kim and I could just laugh!

Thursday, August 13, 2009


Quick Avery story -

We were walking by the fountains at the mall and Avery asked if she could throw some "monies" in...I replied that I didn't have any money - I was broke. She stopped at looked at me from head to toe and said very seriously, "I don't see any cracks." I just died laughing!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Things I'm Loving Lately - Part III

Griffin's "Things I'm Loving Lately" List

1. Jumping - mommy used to tell everyone that I ran everywhere I went...but now she's started saying that I jump everywhere I go! I just go back and forth jumping across the living room. and I have mad ups - I can actually get both feet off the ground at the same time!

2. Sister's dress-up stuff - this one drives my daddy crazy. i love to do everything that avery does...and this includes wearing tutus, high heels, Easter hats, necklaces, and bracelets. for some reason, when I'm all dressed up, my daddy calls me "Elton!" 3. Band aids - i learned this one from avery as well. I'm really into "ouwies" and need mommy to kiss them immediately and frequently. I can now say "band aid" and ask for them repeatedly, regardless of if I need one or not.
4. Bugs - I love bugs...and I'm not afraid to pick them up. Mommy's afraid that something is going to bite me soon. I also love to try to catch flies. I take the towel off of the kitchen counter and swing it at them saying "Buh."

5. Newly learned words - I have lots of these and say something new almost everyday. here are a few: drop, throw, catch, amen, cookie, wha wha (water), sissy, a-e (avery), croc-croc, chalk,up high, wet, peepee, cheese, watch, i did it

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

"Face to Face"

Avery came up with idea - she loves to sit "face to face" with Griffin to eat. The only bad thing is that they throw the food they don't want onto the other's tray!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Gammy's Visit

Gammy made the long drive up from Mobile, Al for a long weekend visit. She arrived just as the kids were waking up from naps on Thursday afternoon. Griffy warmed up instantly and offered a constant stream of kisses and giggles. And Avery was thrilled to wake up to Gammy's face!

Gammy always comes bearing gifts - new play clothes, alphabet books, and bubbles! The kids had a great time trying to blow their own bubbles and then catching Gammy's bubbles.

Gammy and I took the kids to the pool on Friday so that she could see avery swim. This weekend was the hottest weekend all summer so the pool felt great! I worked on Saturday so Brent and Gammy had the challenge of entertaining the kiddos all day! They went to chic-fil-a for lunch and had a birthday party to go to in the evening. And when I arrived home from work, the dishes were clean, the house was vacuumed, and the kids were bathed and in bed! How nice! We just hung out the rest of the weekend. I think Gammy is pooped - she entertained the kids all day every day! Avery is really into imagining and pretending - so she and gammy spent hours (literally) "going" to the park, school, church, doctor,etc - all while sitting on the couch!!!

Avery slept in her pack-n-play in the same room with gammy - which avery thinks is pretty cool to do. she is way too big for it - and can climb out by herself. here is what we found when we went to wake her up on day from her nap...

Thanks for coming gammy - we love you!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Things I'm Loving Lately - Part II

Avery's "Things I'm Loving Lately" List

1. White Donuts - a few months ago, I discovered my love for "white bagels" when Gammy brought us some at the beach...mommy gets them every now and then and I get so excited every time! they are so messy but oh so yummy!

2. Stickers - I am really into art projects and crafts. I love to paint and do chalk. But more than anything, I love stickers. I would go through and entire pack in one sitting if mommy let me. I stick them on paper and all over myself.

3. Big Girl Cups - I just got some new big girl cups and love to drink out of them. I have to drink very slowly but I can do it. My favorite part about big girl cups is that I can have a cup of milk to dip my graham crackers in! (my favorite bedtime snack!)

4. My butterfly dress - I always request to wear this dress when mommy says we're going some where. So I've been wearing it a lot lately! I love to go up to anyone (especially strangers) and show them my pretty dress and sandals.

5. So You Think You Can Dance - This is my favorite TV show. I get to stay up a little late on wednesday nights so that I can watch some of this. I always have to put my "princess" clothes on so that I can look like all the dancers. I spin around, break dance, and sometimes make mommy and daddy dance with me!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Food and Friends

We had the Runkles and the Likes over for dinner Saturday night. It was a little hot and sweaty at first but ended up being a nice evening outside. The kids played hard and were dirty messes by the time the night was over! We enjoyed the time with friends and dinner was delicious!

Avery and Katelyn

Griffy and Creighty

Griffy's newest "cheese" face
all the kiddos (actually playing while the adults got to eat!)