Saturday, July 30, 2011

Girls' Artwork Display

I am forever behind on blogging - I still have a couple of days of vacation I wanted to post about - but I suppose that is the way it will always be unless I just take a few days, stop all activities and sit in front of the computer! Eventually I'll get some more vacation pics up but I wanted to share a part of the girls' new room I am super excited about.

For a while now I've wanted a better way to display the girls' artwork. My fridge is always covered with paintings and coloring book pages. In Gabrielle's old room we just used pushpins to put various pieces up she was particularly fond of and after school ended last year and she came home with a full portfolio of artwork, a few works of art were put up in mine and Ed's room as well. I had thought about framing a few and also considered scanning them in and making a calendar with them through Snapfish or some other online photo printing company. While I still may go through with those ideas I just wanted something more.

As we all do when we want to find anything out these days, I Googled "children's art displays" and found this idea which I love! Curtain rods and curtain rings - so simple!

I wish I could remember the exact web site I found this idea on so I could give them credit. It is such a simple and very inexpensive way to display their work and what I love the most about it is I can easily change out the art as the year goes on and new masterpieces are created!

Gabrielle's art is displayed on the top curtain rod and Samantha's on the bottom. At the moment Samantha has a few more hanging because she is in the Parents' Morning Out program at our church this summer so each week she brings something new home. Once our summer slows down a little more and certainly once school starts for Gabrielle I'm sure she will be rotating her artwork quite regularly.

Other than a two or three little details I'm working on, the girls' room is complete and we all love it! Once Samantha has adjusted to a big girl bed and they both learn that bedtime is bedtime even if there is a "playmate" in the room, we will all love the arrangement even more!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Vacation Continued

The middle of the week at Meemaw's was a little of this and a little of that. The only "big" outing was a morning at Atlantic Beach. We got to the beach at 9:00 when it was not as hot and a lot less crowded. I had no idea the girls would love the beach so much!!

I knew they would both like the sand because they love our sandbox at home but I really did not expect them to enjoy the ocean water so much.

The water was kind of cold at first as ocean water is the majority of the time but it did not take too long to get used to the water temp. Both girls, especially Samantha, were very hesitant at even getting their feet wet. The waves understandably scared them.

I held Gabrielle's hand and stood just close enough for the waves to wash over our feet. After a little bit of that we slowly inched our way out. Gabrielle loved it! We would spend some of the time standing and then spent some of the time sitting and letting the waves wash over us.

I think Samantha must have gotten curious and maybe a little jealous because eventually she wanted part of the water fun as well. Once Samantha got used to it, it was definitely a two person job keeping up with them. Samantha was maybe a little too brave! There were times she did not want me to hold her hand but it was way too rough. I held on tight whether she liked it or not!

Mama and I finally convinced the girls we needed to take a little break for snack and also to reapply some sunscreen.

Next time we go to the beach we'll probably pack a picnic lunch and stay even longer. The girls would have stayed all day I think! I'm so glad they have learned to love the water this summer!

The other days were a little more relaxed. A trip to Meemaw's library for story time, a little shopping and a little cooking. Gabrielle loves to help in the kitchen. She helped Meemaw make M&M cookies one day.

Samantha wanted in on the kitchen action as well so one morning she helped make the blueberry-peach muffins for breakfast.

On Friday Ed was joining us for the weekend as well as my sister and her family so Thursday was spent trying to clean up the disaster we made of Meemaw's house! It wasn't too bad I guess but my girls certainly make themselves at home when we're there.

It was nice to have a few days of a little relaxation because the weekend was very full and very busy but very fun as well!

First Night New Bed

Tonight was the first night with the girls sharing the new trundle bed in their new room. Samantha's crib was set up in the middle of the room until we could get the second mattress. When Ed came home tonight with the mattress the girls could not have been more excited. I put Samantha to bed first and laid down with her since this was the first night out of the crib and in her "big girl" bed. Once she was asleep I tucked Gabrielle in and where does Gabrielle end up? Not in her part of the bed but on the trundle with Samantha!!

Maybe we should have just gotten a double bed!

Oh, and yes their hair is wet - from sweat! Our a/c is out and won't be fixed until Tuesday. We kind of knew it was coming but of course it would quit on us the hottest week of the year!! Last I checked the thermostat in the house it was 85 degrees - and that was at 10:00 pm!! Tuesday can not get here quick enough!!
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Thursday, July 14, 2011

Vacation, Day 3

OK, so I started this post last week and due to some crazy, hectic days around here I am just now getting the time, actually just making the time, to get this one done and posted!

Day 3 of our vacation just so happened to also be the 4th of July. I was excited to be on the coast for the 4th this year because there is just nothing like a fire works show on the water.

We started out the day with a trip to Harkers Island - my hometown. Even though my mom does not live far from there at all now, it had probably been close to two years since I had visited. Not too much has changed really. It was weird to go by the house where I grew up. I don't think the current owners or renters have really made any changes at all to the outside of the house at least but for some reason it just looked...different. Maybe smaller than I remember it being? I'm not sure. I guess it is just somewhat surreal to see the house where I spent 18+ years and know someone else is living there now.

This was the girls' first trip to the Island except for a trip or two for Gabrielle when she was a baby. In addition to pointing out the house I showed them my elementary school where I went to kindergarten through 8th grade and all with the same 22 people! Ha!

The main purpose of our trip to the Island was to visit the Core Sound Waterfowl Museum. This is where Ed and I had our wedding reception but since then the other half of the museum has been completed. I was able to show the girls a little bit of family history. They may be a bit too young to understand or even care a lot about it now but hopefully we can make this an annual or at least every other year event and one day hopefully they'll "get it".

This is Gabrielle in front of my Poppy's old band saw. This sat in our backyard right beside the clothes line when I grew up. When Mama moved she called to have it donated to the museum knowing they would clean it up and take care of it.

Samantha was being anti-photo this day and this is the best shot I could get of her with Gabrielle and the band saw.

I wish I knew more myself of my family and hometown history (I'll have to make a point to buy a book my next visit to the museum) but what I do know is this. My great-grandfather, Stacy Guthrie, was a resident of Diamond City, NC, now known as Shackleford Banks. He was one of the residents that floated their homes over to Harkers Island after a hurricane in 1899. He was a whaler and boat builder. In the museum are several photos and stories about him and a couple of other family members.

My Poppy, Stacy Guthrie.

"Hey, Samantha, you want Mommy to take a picture of you with the ducks?" (She actually had been fairly excited about the decoys in the museum.) The photo above is her reaction to my request. She looks excited, right? And it was mid-morning, not nap time or meal time!!

Gabrielle was definitely more compliant - at least with most of my photo requests.

Almost a cute photo of Samantha and Meemaw in the rocking chairs.

At the top of the museum was a wrap around balcony. The view was great - the stairs getting there, not so great!! We took the elevator down. :)

You can see Cape Lookout Lighthouse in the distance.

Of course, Gabrielle would decide she did not want to have her photo taken when the request involved a family shot with me! And we're facing the sun so our eyes are all squinty. Oh well.

After the museum we went across the road to Shell Point to have a picnic lunch. To say it was windy is an understatement!

Gabrielle really enjoyed feeding the sea gulls some of our goldfish after lunch. Though she got a little freaked out a couple of times at just how close they would get to her for the food!!

After lunch we went back across the road to the National Park Service office. None of us had been in there before and we weren't sure what we would find. We were pleasantly surprised. It wasn't huge but there were some photos and displays of various parts of Cape Lookout and the banks. And there was a magnetic wall where the girls matched up the plant and animal life magnets to where they thought they lived on the Outerbanks. There was also a small table of sand, shells, bones and other interesting things that the girls could actually pick up and touch.

We spent the afternoon resting up since it would be a late night for the girls with fireworks. We were hoping to grill out with my brother Benji and his girlfriend Mimi for dinner and then walk from their house to the waterfront to watch the fireworks. Unfortunately Mimi was in a terrible accident that afternoon so of course dinner plans were canceled. Fortunately, God had certainly sent an angel to Mimi that day. She is bruised and battered and sore and will probably be dealing with some pain and issues for a while but it was a head on car accident and could have certainly had very different, very tragic results. So thank you God for Your protection over Mimi that day!!

While dinner plans didn't work out, we still went to Benji and Mimi's house, checked in on them both then walked down to the waterfront for the show. The girls loved the fireworks and I thought it was a pretty good show.

They were beyond worn out from such a crazy busy day. The fell asleep on the way back to Mama's and since we were on vacation at the beach I figured it was ok to go to bed a little dirty for one night.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Vacation, All I Ever Wanted...

♪ ♫ Vacation, Had to Get Away ♬♩

Anyone else have the Go-Go's singing in their heads now? Probably just me but whatever...

We are finally back from vacation, for a few days now actually, and slowly are trying to get back to the real world but coming back to a house full of disarray after a week of relaxing and playing is quite a difficult task!

Although there was plenty of relaxation last week we also did quite a bit as well. It will take a while to get all the photos and everything up on the blog but here is a small bit of the vacation.

Day 1, Saturday -
Saturday was our travel day. The girls and I left late that afternoon after attending a friend's birthday party here. We arrived at my mom's around 7:00 or so. My brother Matthew and his wife Tammy and boys Joshua and Noah were also visiting Mama that weekend. We had not seen them in a few months which is really quite ridiculous considering we only live about 45 minutes from each other. But life gets busy for everyone and time flies by without notice I suppose. It was nice to have a chance to visit and catch up with them.
Day 2, Sunday -
This is the first full day of vacation I suppose. We started out with attending my mom's church followed by a quick lunch and a little more hanging out with Matthew and the rest of the family before they had to head back home.

An afternoon of napss for everyone was followed by grabbing some pizza for dinner. Then we went to Dairy Queen for some soft-serve ice cream cones. Mama and I got ours dipped and man was it good! I don't think I had had a dipped ice cream cone since high school. The girls loved it as well!

When we got home we were met at the door by a couple of little green frogs.

We finally figured out how to get them off the door so we could get inside without some additional new guests and with avoiding having them jump on us!

And that's it for the first couple of days. Fairly uneventful but a nice start I think. The days that followed certainly were busier!

I'm going to skip ahead a week now to show ya'll what we came home to. Ed did get the carpets cleaned, the room painted, and the bedrooms cleared out enough the girls could get to their beds. I LOVE the color and so do the girls. They say it is like water.

Now I'm faced with the daunting task of getting boxes unpacked and the rooms organized. The girls are anxious to be moved into their new room and to have access to all of their toys again. And I'm pretty certain Ed and I are both ready to have everything moved and all the work done as well. Right now the entire house is in chaos!

More boxes to unpack so better get to it. More vacation pics to come!!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

No More Nursery

Over the past couple of days more packing has taken place.

We have moved furniture.

Now Samantha's room ~ our nursery ~ sort of looks like it did 5 years ago when we were preparing the room for our first little baby girl.

I have to admit this feeling is a little bittersweet. I love the ages and stages the girls are currently in (most of the time anyway!) and we have lots of fun. And of course all babies eventually grow up. But the thought, the idea, we will never again have a nursery - well it is difficult to accept at times.

The girls and I are all packed up and ready to head to Meemaw's for a few days, leaving Ed with this mess and the responsibility of painting, cleaning and moving furniture and boxes so that when we return in 9 days we will all have some place to sleep!!

I don't envy Ed ~ at all!! I would much rather be at the beach. :) Of course, I would rather have Ed with us at the beach but I guess someone has to stay behind and get all this work done.

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