what made me smile today...

Bennett went to play with SuSu while I took the girls to ballet yesterday...my Mom called me this morning to tell me that he was cracking her up when they worked on the USA puzzle. He kept trying to figure out how to "get into" the puzzle. Especially Florida, because all of his "friends" (Mickey Mouse, Buzz Lightyear, etc) are there, and Tennessee, to see Aunt Mo and Phillip. He even sat on the puzzle at one point.

He is a funny thing.


Wildlife and Wild Life

David here, haven't posted in a long time because Nicole is the better story teller in the family. However, we have been pretty busy the last few weeks so I wanted to chime in.

Spring at the new house has brought about some things we really didn't expect to have. You have already met the family fox that is spotted every few weeks in the back yard, most recently saturday morning. We also have two bunny rabbits that hop in and out of the scene from time to time (their visits do not coincide with the fox visit). I also saw a huge turkey last week. Saturday night we spotted our first deer - two rather large doe. I got them in some pictures from the deck, then ran out into the yard and ducked behind trees to try to get a better shot. The pics are not great, but nevertheless, evidence of our new friends.

The next morning we were playing in the driveway when I felt something on my foot as I was walking into the garage. It was this snake, that slithered about 2 feet away from a petrified Elise. I got the kids out and then got the snake the best way I knew how. I got the blower and cranked it up to high, then pointed it under the fridge and shelving until he peaked his head out. Then i pinned him with a rake and took Bennett's toy hoe and went to town. Only a king snake ( a "good snake") but whatever. Snakes suck in my book.

Nicole would later ask Lila if she touched the snake once I had it, and her response was "No, I just kill it some more".

Saturday Nicole was in Nashville gearing up for our family's big day next month when Mo and Philip get married. Saturday I took the kids to donuts like normal, then we picked up grandpa Ray and Mimi for a trip to Baton Rouge. Ray had not seen Jared's house, and the kids had only been there once. We loaded up and met Jared and Erinn at Walk-On's for lunch. Jared would later text Nicole in no uncertain terms that he was deathly afraid to have children right now. At one point in the meal, he looked at me and asked if they were going to stop yelling. I asked him what he meant, because I had my parent ears on (the ones that are somehow able to turn down normal crying and bickering yet still hear anything important). We made it out of a 2 hour lunch with three jumpy kids, two tired grandparents, and one traumatized uncle.

We then went to see Mike the Tiger, a tradition of mine every time I take the kids anywhere near campus. Bennett and Elise loved it....Lila, not so much. Unfortunately, Mike was not really in a mood to show off, but bronzed Mike was a fun climb for the kids.

Bennett was telling this little fella "That's Mike. He is a tiger. I am Bennett. I am a boy, and that is my big Daddy David". Dude cracks me up constantly.

After a quick trip to Posh Boutique, Aunt Erinn's store, we headed to their house. Jared really has the yard looking good. All were impressed with his stones, bushes, and tree, but Bennett was really interested in looking for Henry poop in the yard. He ran around with all of the dog toys in his hands, and would run over a spot, look back at where he just ran, and say "Aww man, more Henry poop right here daddy". He says "Aww, Man" about 20 times a day.

I also wanted to post about how much fun I had this year coaching Elise and the rest of the Lilly Pads. We had a great time, and I threw a team party for all the girls and their families a few saturdays ago. We handed out awards, ate pizza and ice cream, and most imporantly had some smiles and laughs. The girls really did well with soccer, but I also think that they all made friends with each other which was the point in the first place. I hope, but am not pushing, for another year of coaching Elise. Bennett and Lila are ready and waiting in the wings.

Finally, we have all the kids in their big boy/girl beds. Each one got a present, and I could not help but post this pic of Lila with her Woody doll (From Toy Story - get ready for the marketing blitz Summer 2010).
She is truly a character.
Until next time.....


a look: elise's room

I thought we'd take a little peek today into Elise's room. Like every room, I don't consider it "done", but it is more "done" than most of the rooms in the house. The bed was David's grandmother, and we were actually lucky enough to be given the whole set. Not everything can fit in her room, and I'm not so sure I would want everything so matchy-matchy even if it could, but I think it is neat for her to have, and it will be hers forever if she wants it. I go back and forth about painting the bed, or the side tables, but for now they just remain the dark stained wood, which, I think, actually works well with all of the white and pink.
I love her bedding, and actually have from the time I saw it. We found it half off at restoration hardware when she was still a baby. David's parents bought it for her for her first birthday. I actually think the structured lines of it fit her little type A personality very well, and are a true reflection of her.

The painting above the bed was her first birthday gift from David and I. An Angel to watch over her. The artist is a friend of a friends, and when I was sent her website this painting immediately grabbed my attention. The bench at the foot of her bed was a birthday gift from Uncle Jared and Aunt Erinn. She loves it! I do too!
The dollhouse tucked away in her nook was mine when I was a child and was built by my Grandpa Roland. Aunt Mo did some updating and redecorating of it, and Elise adores it and playing with it.
David's parents gave us the neat iron rack, and the sabrina baskets from Pottery Barn Kids that had been tucked under her bed fit in it perfectly. It is a great place for her to store her headbands, mail, and other little special things. Most of the toys in our house are in the playroom, but we do allow each child to have a few special things of their own in their own room. Especially things like a dollhouse, which encourage quiet play....(although, to be honest, this hasn't been happening too much here lately).
Notice I did get around to trimming the roman shades out with ribbon. I think it made a huge difference. They definitely look much more finished now.

I love the little target lamps on the bedside tables.

This little bookcase is one of my most favorite things David's parents have given us. I just love it. It is a great place to display photos, and the bottom is perfect storage for Elise's board games.
The sweet tea set was a gift when she was born, and the adorable birdie perched on top was a special handmade treat she received when she was in the hospital last summer.
I came across these Spode plates at TJ Maxx one day, and although they are a little on the girly side for me, they seemed perfect for my girly-girl E. She loves fancy things, and these sure are!
I hope I've created a cozy little place for her to call her own....with a nice blend of function and fancy, just for my #1 girl!


little ladies louisiana derby

Our little social butterfly was invited to two birthday parties today!! David and I decided that we would each take her to one in order to get some one on one time with her. I staked my claim on the Spreen's Louisiana Derby right away!

Elise was soooo excited about the party and dressing up for tea and pony riding!

It was very obvious that a lot of time, planning, and preparation took place by Nikki and Brian to make sure Amelia and Abigail had a very special day. It was precious. The tables were adorable and each girl got to drink out of a "real" tea cup. A big deal when you are 4!

Elise loved putting the sugar cubes into her tea. Notice the gloves resting on the table. They were given out at the party and she was thrilled!

The menu was perfect for her! Pb&J finger sandwiches, lots of fruit, and (of course) candy and cake! YUM! She is sitting next to Abigail, but I never could get a pic of them both looking at me.

I was pretty shocked at how, with absolutely no hesitation, Elise rode the pony. As soon as her turn was over she would run to the end of the line and wait to go again. SHE WAS BEAMING. I am really glad I was there to see her joy. She had such a great time!!

It was an absolutely adorable party, and I will not be surprised when the requests for ponies start coming in for a certain girl's birthday party!!
We loved spending time with friends and enjoying the festivities!



Just some random thoughts and happenings today....

*Kids are in playroom having "quiet time" after school and I am putting away laundry. Went in to check on them and Lila was giving Elise a pedicure with the plastic mixer from their kitchen.

*Bennett slept in a "big boy bed" last night. The last crib in our house is probably coming down tonight. There may be tears.

*Grandpa told he Elise he likes high heels yesterday (obviously not for himself!).
Her response-- "Are you kidding me?"

*Saw these quirky prints on a design blog. Think they might be an interesting touch to Bennett's big boy room....or, they may give him nightmares. Not quite sure yet.


rough day at the office

Bennett apparently did a full face plant on the concrete this morning at Mother's Day out. He was pushing a truck and it came out from under him. Based on what the director said, I was honestly expecting much worse. He is over it already....quite a contrast to the drama of the girls, who milk invisible scrapes and scratches for hours! Nice to have a tough little boy!



First of all, and totally off the subject, check out these azaleas! I probably shouldn't admit this, since all southern girls love azaleas, but they really have never been my favorite. But these huge bushes in our back yard are doing a pretty good job of winning me over!

Today we had beautiful weather, which just called you to spend the whole day outside. So, that is exactly what we did! Lila and Bennett rode their trikes all morning, and then after we picked up E we stayed outside and continued to enjoy the weather.
I had read about doing art using beans (I bought lentils and split peas) and so we set up for a little project. I AM SO GLAD I DID THIS OUTSIDE!!
Not surprisingly, Bennett grew tired of the art very quickly and thought it was much more fun to throw lentils and split peas all over the driveway. They would have been all over my house.
The girls thought it was quite fun. Elise made several masterpieces. Lila made one, and then became very possessive of the glue, so that had to be quickly confiscated.
But, all in all, it was a good project...

"Tree" by Elise

By late afternoon it had warmed up quite a bit and so I decided to let them play in the sprinkler for the first time this year! They were super excited to put on the bathing suits the Easter bunny brought and play!

No surprise that Bennett was the first one in!!
*I'll take this chance to go off on a little tangent about Bennett. He has been quite entertaining lately. First of all, you will probably see him in these red sandals, regardless of whether they match or not, until he outgrows them. They are his self-proclaimed "fav-rit", and ever since he saw them on Easter morning he has not wanted to take them off! We had to bribe him to wear the much more subdued brown ones to church!
In addition, our quirky little boy has gone from always having a car or train in his hands to now having a little posse that he carries everywhere with him. Right now, he is fast asleep in his bed, with his posse, which includes his Super Bennett cape (he just carries it, doesn't wear it), a dinosaur he got from a happy meal (Gpa loves to take them to McD's), Mozart the monkey, and his right hand man Buzz Lightyear.
And lastly, I have to brag a bit about his coordination. My parents gave him a soft bat and ball for Easter, and he loves it. (It sometimes gets him into trouble though!Ha!) On Thursday, I took Lila to ballet and Elise came with me. My Mom told me to drop Bennett off for that hour so she could play ball with him. She said he would throw a pine cone up into the air with one hand and swing the bat and hit it into the pond behind their house with the other. Pretty impressive (I think) for a not quite 3 year old.
Or maybe I am just used to girls....

And our girls were a little more hesitant about the sprinkler at first....

But, by the end of the day they had a full fledged car wash going on!

So, we had a long full day! They started crashing hard around 5:30, so we had to take a little spin in the car and listen to music (I used to do that ALL of the time when the twins were screaming infants and I couldn't hold them anymore!) and that helped calm everyone down....
They SHOULD sleep well tonight!
Feels like summer....and it's almost here!

Enjoy your weekend!


this one

This one.
She has been giving me a run for my money.

But, I really shouldn't....

be surprised....

at all...

because it has been this way from the beginning.

And Lila, I'm so thankful you're here to challenge and inspire me!
Love, Mom


Easter is here!

David and I try hard to blend different traditions from our families together for the kids, as well as creating some of our own....
We started off our Easter weekend by making some special Easter cookies, while reading the Easter story....a good friend of mine emailed me the idea, and we are going to try to do it annually. Think it will mean even more as the kids get older and are able to better understand the story.
At our house, the Easter bunny always came inside to fill up our baskets, and he always brought us our bathing suit for the summer. David's loot was hidden all over outside and he had to hunt it all down (which he loved)!
The idea of the Easter bunny (or Santa for that matter) coming into our house doesn't sit so well with Lila. So, we decided we would put the kids' baskets on the front porch so that the Easter bunny could make his delivery without having to actually come in. Thought this would make his job a little easier, as well as providing some comfort for the little ones.
This morning, when the kids woke up, they ran to the front door to see if he had filled up their baskets. He had!

"Look, he came!"

After a short egg hunt, the kids brought the baskets inside to check out their gifts. They each got a bathing suit and a pair of sandals for summer. (I really like the Easter Bunny's practical thought process!) The girls got beaded cross necklaces, and Super Bennett finally got the cape he needed to complete his superhero look. They also got a very small amount of candy. A few peeps and a chocolate Cross.

A happy little boy!

After they finished that, we ate a quick breakfast and headed off to church. I LOVE Easter church....the songs, the flowers, the message, the sermon.....it was all extra special today.

Then we raced home to get ready for our company...My Mom always has holidays at her house, and I decided it was finally time to take some of this burden from her. But, she, of course, still helped immensely by making a lot of the food....
Elise loved helping me set the table and get everything ready. It was fun to actually use my china and silver (both heirlooms from David's family), which have sadly rarely been used in our 10 year marriage.

On a side note, I had to snap a picture of one of our pleasant surprises from this week. Our backyard has a very wild, wilderness-y, look (which we are embracing), and since we were not living here last spring, we didn't realize how pretty it would be back there when everything started to bloom. I absolutely love wisteria, and until this week, had no clue that we actually have a very mature vine of it in our backyard. I can see it right out of the kitchen windows, and it makes me smile daily.

The kids played in the back on the swings (yes, in their Easter dresses) and enjoyed the beautiful weather while we waited for Jared & Erinn, Grandpa & Virginia, Mimi & Grandpa, and Mom and Dad.

David attempted to get some pics of them together in their Easter clothes, but ended up giving up...but at least he got a few individual shots!

Lila took a little spill, and David (of course) snapped a quick pic (he had the camera in his hands) before running to console her.

She recovered quickly.

Our family....and Elise eating MORE candy. (we would pay for this later)

Grandpa Roland spoiling his great grand kids.

Bennett playing with his new tennis set. He also got a baseball bat (soft) and ball from SuSu and G, and had a great time playing baseball in the back with Uncle Jared and David.

Super Bennett!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We had a great day filled with family and love. We, of course, missed Aunt Mo and Phillip, but are looking forward to seeing them soon.
Things were great until the sugar highs started to wear off and we had three kids crashing at once. That cleared out the company pretty quickly. Just kidding.....well, kind of!
Think I may have to let the Easter Bunny (AND GRANDPARENTS) know that we need even LESS candy next year! :)
Hope you all had a wonderful day! Off to help David tuck in the tired kiddos!
Nite Nite!