Thursday, August 28, 2008

Guess what I talked Andy into seeing on October 12th????
I'm sooo excited, our tickets came a few days ago!!!

"Every good and perfect gift is from above" James 1:17

That bible verse has been on my mind constantly lately as we prepare our home and hearts to be parents. (Hopefully sooner rather than later, but all in God's perfect timing we know) We think about this verse with the "big things" in life. I'm thankful God gave me the most amazing Godly, designed just for me, handsome, hilarious, big kid, husband. I'm thankful for the gifts of my fantastic parents and family, a home that I love, a job that really isn't a job at all, but a passion . Sometimes though, like today, I have to stop and remember to thank God for the little things too. It's the first day we've seen the sun around here in the past 4 days. I drove to work praying for my preschool babies and thanking God for sending us this gorgeous day!! I came home this afternoon to find our lantana (butterfly) bushes absolutely, postively, filled to the brim with butterflies. They are out there all the time, but today it is covered up! Amazing!! The bushes are out of control and the 6ish little plants have grown into one massive bundle and are now WAY taller than I am! They grow like wildfire and we love them. Anyway... The butterflies were enough to make me stop in my tracks, grab my camera and thank God for his blessings. The small ones as well as the big ones!!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Summer Ends and a New School Year Begins

So here it is, the night before our official first day of school. Where did the summer go? As a preschool teacher we get out of school in May and the summer stretches out before us like a big open wilderness to explore. A wilderness of sun and fun, lake trips, swimming with family, lunch with friends, projects & reorganizing, organizing for school, working in the nursery, networking like crazy, movies and laziness! The summer seems so long in the beginning, but as always is over way too soon!

I love fall, it's my favorite time of year. I love scho
ol starting back, meeting my new little friends and learning about their personalities. I love the crisp mornings, beautiful colors in the trees, pumpkins and scarecrows, festivals and the arrival of the fair. I love "harvest" smelling candles, football season and leaving the windows open for a cool breeze. As much as I love those things, it's truly bittersweet to say goodbye to summer. I look forward to at least one more afternoon trip to the lake, the lingering tan and a few more weeks of shorts & flip flops.

Last week was preplanning for us at preschool. I'm not sure how I worked a few weeks at the end of summer and still wound up with so much left to do. Crazy how that happens. Still, it was exciting. Ms. Dawn & I got our room ready, we met the fantastic group of parents (8 returning sets) and then welcomed our new little friends to Open House last Friday. It's so much fun to see the excitement on their faces and know what kind of adventures await them. They are such babies when they walk in our doors tomorrow and in just 9 short months they seem to grow up so fast! Here's a little peek into our classroom, just waiting on new friends to explore in the morning!!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Niece & Nephews

Today was the shower for our niece Trisha and newest great nephew, Trey. It was a fantastic "meet & greet" the baby. Anytime there are kiddos, we all go with camera in hand. It was the sweetest, funniest thing ever. Layla (2 & 1/2) had everything under control! Everything meaning her brother Tanner (almost 6 months) and Trey!! She LOVED holding Trey and kept saying "I got it, I hold Trey" There were babies diving off the chair (that would be Tanner) and babies sliding down in chairs (that would be Trey). As grown up hands stood by and helped, Layla assured us all over and over "I got it, I got it."!! Too fun~ Here are just a handful of the 30 or so continuous pictures I shot, hilarious!!!! Here they are, cousins Layla, Tanner & Trey!

You never have to worry about Tanner being ready for the camera!

I assume she's thinking ... "babies are a lot of work"

Layla says "He got me!" b/c he's holding onto her.

Doesn't she look like she's had practice holding babies?!
I love that her hands are clasped.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Olympic Obsessed

I am not a sports junkie. I watch UGA football in the fall, that is by far my favorite sporting event. Sometimes I'm known to watch a few other SEC games here and there. I've always been into certain parts of the Olympics, though only a few. I've enjoyed the opening ceremony, I've always liked gymnastics and was a huge Mary Lou fan. That's about the highlight of my summer game watching. I enjoy a few favorite sports from the winter Olympics as well and then I'm done. Sadly, I didn't see a single event when it was here in 1996. I visited the Olympic Village Guest area downtown a few times, but that was the extent of it. I'll always regret not seeing a sport.

Anyway.... this
year I decided I had to watch the Opening Ceremony because I was sure that China was going to put on a beautiful production. I was right. We both sat glued to the TV that night. I cried, seriously, kind of sad. The moving cubes, how'd they do that? Was it computer controlled? NO, it was PEOPLE! The drummers, the world with it's runners, the people who were "lit up" and the dove they formed. All of it was breath taking!!

Then, I watch the athletes parade in. I watch every single bit, every single country. I read every single thing about the flag carrier, the number of people that live in that country and how many athletes they have in the games. History was my least favorite subject in school, still is. For some reason, I'm totally intrigued by the little "tid
bits" of trivia and facts that they tell about each country. I love the smiles on the faces!!! I love how the tiny country, population 1,000 is just as proud of their 1 athelete as we Amercians are of our nearly 600. Again, the whole thing makes me cry. (See a pattern here?)

I thought I'd start watching the events the first day. I thought I'd catch a few here and there. I wanted to see what all the fuss was about this Michael Phelps kid, see if Shaun Johnson was as great as they say she is.

The next t
hing I know, I'm 100% obsessed. It's all I watch, day and night. I watch the Today show every morning and see the stories around the country. I watch each sport, when I'm not here I set the DVR. If it's not on NBC, I turn to Oxygen or MSNBC. In between what's on TV, I watch what I've saved on DVR. I've learned tons about water polo, I've cheered and screamed for Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh. I celebrated with them as the President visited to see a beach volleyball match and visit with the gals. I've watched, holding my breath, as the syncronized divers are in perfect harmony. I've said prayers for the gymnst as they walked out to compete in front of those crowds. I've tried to figure out just how they judge dressage equestrian events and watched boxers go at it. I've watched it all!! I find myself discussing it everywhere I go; friends, family, coworkers. Did you SEE that??

Then there's th
e matter that I have a teeny obsession with Michael Phelps. Did you see that guy swim? 8 out of 8 events, gold medals all the way around! He's good looking, an amazing athelete, a good sportsman, a great son to his Mom and just appears to be an all around good guy. The close calls that he's had have been unreal. He's amazed himself. They don't think there will be another athelete ever to dominate a field like he has in swimming. He says he's coming back in 2012, I can't wait.

I'm inspired by Dara Torres, 42, swimmer. She's won medals in 5 separate Olympics! Her first games were TWENTY FOUR years ago, come on now?! That's serious stuff. She has a two year old and wants her to know that age should never keep you from doing anything you want to do, go for it. How inspiring is that?!

Eric Shanteau, 25 years old, swimmer. He finds out just months before the Olympics that he has cancer. He asks them to hold off surgery until he's gotten to swim his events at the games and they clear him. Sadly he didn't win a medal and is headed back to the US for surgery and our prayers go with him for a fantastic recovery. He's originally from Lilburn, Georgia. Way to be there and say "I'm going to finish this job, reach for the stars and then deal with the crap". Ya know?! My quote, not his.

Keeth Smart, fencing, has a rare blood disease and four months ago they thought he was days from dying. He spends 2 weeks in ICU and just days later his Mother dies of cancer. Here he is, 4 months later, leading the mens fencing team to win a silver medal. How inspiring is that? And you thought you'd had a few bad days, ya know? Puts things in perspective.

There are more, but I'll stop there. It's amazing to me. In watching the "Today" show stories each morning about how far the country of China has come. How much they've gone through, there is such history there. Our nation is still so young and China has such age to it. To know how they guarded themselves behind a wall, the great wall if you will. Now to know they have finally opened their country and invited the world to come be a part. A friend of mine said her son was watching the opening ceremony and said "The Olympics are all about peace, huh Mom?" He gets it. The Olympics are all about peace. They're about how our countries can come together to celebrate something amazing. To celebrate sports, but even more so sportsmanship. To celebrate the great athletic skills, but even more the athletes.

Truly inspiring!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Mama Mia

I'm pretty sure this is the best movie I've seen in awhile! I LOVE movies and will see pretty much anything on the big screen. I love horror movies, action movies, mysteries, comedy & drama. My favorite kind though are chick flicks, throw in music and I'm in heaven! There's also something said for seeing it on the "big screen"! Thankfully Andy enjoys movies a lot, my Dad does too, but my Mom is always my partner in crime if there is something worth seeing! I know she'll go with me to chick flicks and musicals when Andy wont even consider it. We'd wanted to see this awhile and finally made it yesterday.

If you even remotely like chick flicks and enjoy musicals, this is for you! (Don't say I didn't warn you it's a MUSICAL. They don't sing "every" word though!) This movie was fantastic! Yes, it's filled with Abba music. I'm so hooked I am going to buy the greatest hits CD's this afternoon. Yes, it's incredibly cheesy and mushy. It will make you laugh out loud (a lot) and probably make you shed a tear as well. The cast is amazing, poor 007 is the only one who really can't carry a tune in a bucket, but it's ok because we love him anyway. The characters are fantastic and you begin to adore them all right away. Then there is the background, the scenery, the breath taking footage of Greece! I've fallen in love with Greece ages ago and now I am more ready to go than ever!! I'm going to force Andy to sit through it no matter what eventually, just to make him see the footage of Greece. (Though I may have to fast forward through the singing.)

I've never seen it on stage, I can't compare the two. I'd love to see it now though! If you don't know the story, girl meets boy and falls in love. They are going to get married. Girl lives with her Mom on a beautiful small island of Greece. Girl doesn't know her Father and wants to, girl finds Mom's diary and knows there are three options on who her Father might be. Girl invites said three men to her wedding, unbeknownst to her Mom. Mom's two best friends also come to the wedding, her backup singers from the old days of their girl band. Each character has something to offer for sure. The three possible Dad's are all unique and you can't help but root for them all. Mom & I both come out saying that we wanted to go see it again!

Edited to add: Saw it for 2nd time tonight!

Go see it, go with your girlfriends or your Mom. You'll love it, I did!

Great Cast:
Girl Sophie: Amanda Seyfried (adorable)
Boy Sky: Dominic Cooper (cutie)
Momma Donna: Meryl Streep (great choice)
Momma's Friend Rosie: Julie Walters (great part, especially in the end)
Momma's Friend Tanya: Christine Baranski (great part as well and love her beach song)
Daddy 1 Bill: Stellan Skarsgard (you have to love the hippie still sailing the world)
Daddy 2 Harry: Collin Firth (you know you love him, professional, banker, English)
Daddy 3 Sam: Pierce Brosnan (you know you love him too, he's kinda dreamy)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Reading in July & August
(aka: Twilight & S

I repeat again that this has been the strangest summer for me ever, where reading is concerned. I love to read and summer is when I seriously pack in the favorite books! I have a basket full and two stacks in the guest room floor of books that I want to read, the stacks haven't budged the summer. The books I have read are books that I picked up other places. I blogged awhile back asking for suggestions and got some great ones. There are still a couple that I want to get and read. Then there were a few suggestions that I dove into.

I had to grab books to take on our surprise be
ach trip a few weeks ago. I went with a new James Patterson, "Dangerous Days of Daniel X". I love James Patterson, one of my favorite authors for sure. I normally read through those in a day, two tops! I love his books written for teens/young adults and was excited about this new book. Strangely enough, I couldn't get pass the first handful of chapters. I put it down and have yet to pick it back up. I also took along "Marley & Me". It's a book about a dog, I love dogs. It's going to be made into a movie, surely it's a great story, right? I read through the first 4ish chapters and put it down. It just wasn't keeping me interested.

Then I decided to give a book a try that I was sure
I wasn't going to "love". Larilyn, Larelle, Hillary and Holly swore they were great books and the Ls were very insistent that I'd love them. Jo said she couldn't finish it on her first try because of the "teen angst", hmmm.... teen angst is usually right up my alley. (Do you know my favorite shows on TV past & present??) Then again, it's no secret that these are about vampires. Vampires? Seriously? I am NOT into vampires! But I picked it up and headed to the pool..........

And I was hooked!!!!

"Twilight" is one of my new favorite books (and series) of all time. I am putting it high up there on the list. It had me hooked from the first chapter and I couldn't put it down. Bella moves across country and in with her Dad for her brand new year as a Sophomore in high school. (I think she's a sophomore in the first book) She makes new friends and runs into a guy who seems to hate her from first sight. Is it possible for "hate at first sight" to occur? It seems like it to Bella. As the story unfolds, you fall madly in love with the characters (some more than others) and you find that vampires aren't as strange and out there as you once thought. I absolutely could not put it down. My copy is trashed, as beach books always are, with torn pages, water wear and blue popsicle remains. I couldn't wait to head to Walmart in Gulf Shores for book #2.

"New Moon" was possibly my least favorite of the 4. It wasn't "bad" and I read through it just as quickly, it just wasn't what I expected. I love how the author (Stephanie Meyers) portrays some feelings there on a few pages . . there near the beginning ish... If you've read it, you know the pages. If you haven't, I don't want to give it away. I thought it was neat though. Still, it leaves you wanting so much more.

"Eclipse" & "Breaking Dawn" are sort of smushed together in my mind. We went to Books A Million, still in Gulf Shores, to pick up the 3rd. I didn't have a chance to start it until we got home and I just gave up life in general and devoted the entire day Saturday to reading. It was fantastic and I was ready to run out immediately Sunday morning to pick up the final book in the series. (That had just come out the day before) So Sunday was devoted again to reading the entire last book! It was fantastic. I couldn't have asked for more. It was a little different than the other books and I had mixed feelings as I read it. What direction were we going in? What were we building towards? But when it was all said and done, I think it was done just right and can't imagine it any other way. I especially loved the middle of the final book, called "Book 2" in the book itself.

There were tons of fantastic quotes in the books, but I hate to share those in case you haven't read them. I don't want to give anything away and it surely would. Pick up Twilight, read it. Forget what you think you feel about wierd vampire books, forget what you think about how cheesy a book about teens is, read it..... You'll love it!!! I didn't tell my Mom a word about the books, just took them to her house and left them. I told her simply "I read each one in one day, yes they are huge and thick, read 'em" She has read them all in record time as well and loves them as much as I do!!

Did I fail to mention the movie "Twilight" comes out 12/12/08? I'm counting down the days!! If you are a "behind the scenes" reader, like me, visit the authors website. (After you've read the books!!!!) She has some "out takes" of things that didn't fit, some explanations, etc.. Be sure you wait until you're read them all though or you'll read spoilers and that takes the fun out of these for sure!

"Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants" has been on of my favorite books for quite awhile. I read the first book twice, once before and once after the movie came out. I love the movie and it's one I put in when nothing is on TV. Great movie and has inspired my desire to visit Greece someday! I read all other 3 books as soon as they came out, loving them all! I have looked forward to the next movie coming out for quite awhile. In anticipation I thought I'd reread book #2, afterall it's the second movie. As I read through it in a day, I realized that previews of the movie weren't just coming from book #2. So, I picked up #3 and reread it again as well. I read it in a day and remembered why I loved the books so much in the first place. Super great and easy summer reading. I'm glad I started this again. After a little research and still thinking about the previews I'd seen, I realized that the movie is a summary of books 2-4, with a heavy focus on #4. Who knew? (I guess the girls are getting older and we just can't keep making the movies of each book) Anyway, I read them all again and absolutely loved them. I'm glad I picked them back up and they were the perfect way to really wrap up the summer reading that had been strange so far. They were easy to read, sweet, heart warming, made me laugh and made me cry. I can't wait to see the movie. (This afternoon with Mom)

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Last of the Beach

Thursday wasn't the best of weather days, but we still had a great time. Andy & I decided since it was raining a little we would head to a few golf stores and outlets. I found a few great deals and then I tore myself away before I got into the kids clothing stores. I have no self control and still buy one in pink and one in blue.... Then we headed back to Lulu's for lunch! We spent the afternoon playing games and hanging out.

Then it was photo session time. Thankfully the weather cleared and we had a perfect evening for it!!!! Aimee had bought the greatest outfits ever for taking pictures! I love the colors and how they looked on the white sand! It was such a great choice. Taking pictures is a HUGE passion and it makes me happy to know I am capturing moments!! There's nothing more fun than taking pictures of kiddos, thus the oodles of pictures of Layla & Tanner. It was a lot of fun and we got some great pics out of it! Taking pictures makes me happy~ (Even if I did get drenched by a wave there in the end. :)

Enjoy.... Aimee, Jason, Layla & Tanner Thurmond!!

Our favorite picture, which was totally NOT planned......

How cute are they?

I was taking pics of Jason & Aimee, but Miss Priss decided she needed to be in these too. I just think this one is sweet.....

That tongue, she's so funny.....

Nothing sweeter than a little girl & her Mommy.....

No fear of the bitty bitty crabs......

Yep, two bitty bitty crabs... that girl, that girl..... isn't she beautiful?!

Tanner and his Daddy testing out the ocean for the first time.....

Tanner's face just makes me laugh.....

Tanner and his Mommy.....

Aren't they the sweetest?

Wednesday @ the Beach

We spent the morning & early afternoon on the beach. Ms. Layla had fun in the ocean with Pappy holding her, knocking down sand castles and playing ball. It was a beautiful day!

What color are Pappy's eyes? Let's get a GOOD CLOSE look!!!

Silly girl!!

Aimee & Jason before we headed to eat at The Oyster House. How sweet are they?

There were catfish to feed after we ate, Mimi & Layla.

Then it was time for Zoo Land putt putt. Aunt Monica & Layla read to play "golf". She was so excited and we had a great time!

Uncle Andy enjoyed entertaining Tanner. Tanner also made a few girlfriends with the group behind us, the little flirt!!

Layla loved putt putt, more so than I ever would have imagined. She played every hole, over and over! She was hot and her face was red, but that little girl never complained and then cried when we left. A few mornings later Pappy asked her if she wanted to color or play Boggle and she said "no, play golf"!!

We were all melting by the time it was over and we headed straight to the pool to cool off!!!
Just one more perfect day at the beach!!!!!!!!!!! Makes me ready to go back just thinking about it!

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Part 2

Monday the ocean was still a little choppy and the sea weed was back a little, but never quite like that first day. We spent the morning playing in the sand and then decided to head out for lunch @ Lulu's. Andy & I had never been before and we loved it. (We went back later in the week) It is a yummy, casual, fun joint on a marina and owned by Lucy Buffet. Great food and fantastic smoothies!! Then we returned for pool time for the evening!!

Lunch @ Lulu's. Surely someday this dork will stop making faces for my pictures. He should learn that I'll post 'em for the world to see. Dork!!

Uncle Andy, Pappy & Layla in the ocean. She never would walk into the ocean on her own all week. She loved being out there though and wanted Pappy to carry her further and further and further out. She'd have went to the edge of the world if Pappy would have carried her there!!

Tanner makes his beach appearance of the day!

Layla takes over my noodle chair in the pool and she & Uncle Andy fight with the float. I'm sure it went something like this:

A: I'm gonna get you
A: Yes

They had MANY of these same conversations during the week. He is the perfect Uncle in the way he annoys the dickens out of her and she thinks he is so silly. She's right, I think he's super silly too!!!

Tanner makes a fashion statement at the pool with his Uncle Luke's swim suit on. I guess it's 20something years old now, too funny! Not sure how he feels about the pink float. Why didn't we put that little guy on the blue one?

Tuesday it seems that I only took one picture, how interesting. Tuesday morning Andy decided to go play golf while I hung out with Aimee & Tanner watching a movie and then I spent some time at the pool with my new book "Twilight". (That will get it's own blog eventually) The rest of the gang was at the beach until lunch. After lunch Andy & I spent the afternoon at the pool! Andy & I went to shop around some after dinner, no beach trip is complete without wondering through a store that sells shells, shirts and beach toys! We headed to Walmart & Books a Million to find the next two books in the Twilight series, "New Moon" and "Eclipse" and then ended our nightly outing with a "Sno Ball" that we bought from the cutest little guy ever.

My one picture from the day seems to be of the little man in his seat.