Wednesday, July 30, 2008


I *need* a new wardrobe!

Out on the farm

We have some friends who live on a farm. (I've written about the farm before... you can find it here.) A few weeks ago we received an invitation to come out and see the newest addition to the "farm family"... a baby donkey.

Now, I don't know about you, but I had never seen a baby donkey before. I had no idea what to expect.

We knew before we went out that there wouldn't be anyone available to "take us out to see the baby" and we would be on our own. Here's what I DIDN'T know.

Brandon would be taking us out to find the baby on this...

You are probably thinking the same thing that I was thinking...
1. Does he know how to drive a 4-wheeler?

Answer #1... yes and no. :) He had a general idea of how to make it go and he played around with it before the girls and I got on.
Answer #2... you see that VERY small metal "rack" just behind Brandon? That's where we sat!

We did manage to make it out to the donkeys. No there was NOT a trail and we just went bounding blindly into the tall grass. We hit MORE than a few gigantic holes!

Here we are with the baby...

Riley is squealing with joy, NOT screaming in fear or pain! :)

Chandler was a little nervous... truth be known, Brandon and I were too! The mother (the large brown donkey) was QUITE aggressive. She didn't want us to touch her baby and she made that very clear as she pushed herself between us and the baby.Brandon had a bucket of "donkey treats". We were told that they would keep the mom happy while we were out there.

It worked, but she did NOT want the father (the grey donkey in the background) to get any!
I think this photo was just a few minutes before Brandon attempted to feed the father a snack. How did the mother react? She pushed him away so she could eat and then SHE KICKED HIM IN THE CHEST WITH BOTH OF HER BACK HOOFS!!!

That made me even more nervous... I couldn't really see myself successfully defending my children from an irritated donkey!

Chandler was flat out scared at that point. She had been excited up until then. When the mother unleashed her wrath Chandler calmly said, "I'm going to wait on the 4-wheeler."

I didn't blame her one bit... Riley was anxious to get down and run around so we decided it was time to head back.

Ignore my Mardi Gras beads! Riley had been wearing them and decided she wanted me to wear them for a while.

Chandler's favorite part of the day...

Climbing over the fence. :) She looks like a natural doesn't she!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Tag! I'm it.

Heather, my new blogging buddy, tagged me for a 5 favorite things post.

Her 5 favorite things are very thought provoking... my favorites are going to be a little more, um, superficial. :)

My personal 5 favorite things to pamper myself:

1. A good pedicure! I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE a good pedicure. I don't even mind (too much) when I make an appointment and still have to wait 30 minutes to get into the massage chair... It kills me to wait at the doctor's office or the dentist, but the nail salon? No big deal. Why? I know that good things are coming!

2. A good book! I've been working on a post to tell you all about my newest obsession... Twilight! The Twilight book series is geared towards "Young Readers". It's probably slightly "young" for me, but good grief I LOVE IT!
If you like a good, CLEAN (no s*x scenes, only 2 uses of an "ugly word"), romance novel this is the book for you. **NOTE: I'm am only on the 2nd book in the series so I can only speak of the quality of the first 1.5 books of the series.

Here's the run down (without spoiling anything for you): High school girl, Bella, falls in love with Edward, a guy who is not exactly her "type". They face all sorts of life threatening challenges.
I told my sister in law, Amanda, that I'm glad I'm married and not in the dating scene anymore... Edward Cullen will raise your dating standards to impossible heights!
I know several people (some younger than me and some older) who have read this series and ALL of them LOVE IT!
**There will be a Twilight movie coming out this December!

3. TV on DVD! I really enjoy getting a TV series on DVD. Brandon and I have watched a few seasons of 24 on DVD. If you like blood pumping, high action tv... 24 is for you! We've watched a few others, but for some reason I'm drawing a blank right now!

4. Mint Mocha Chip Frappuccino! I mentioned this great frappuccino in a recent post. It's just delicious! I don't get them very often, but they are great for those super hot, all day shopping trips! :)

5. A trip to Target WITHOUT my kids! I could spend all day in Target! I love to wander the aisles. I don't even have to buy anything... I just look to see what's new! :)

So there you have it! 5 of my Favorite Things! :)

I'm tagging...
Sarah @ Life in the Parsonage
Kristy @ the.junk.drawer
Amy Beth @ Ministry So Fabulous!
Faith @ Walk With Me By Faith
Emily @ The Stones In Tennessee

Remember way back to post #101?

Remember when I posted about the makeover that my guest room would be receiving??

Well, originally the results were supposed to be posted today, but BooMama had a slight change of plans. :) Results will be posted Labor Day weekend.

I'm still working on my guest room.
We had a slight delay in the plan... a good delay... Brandon's sister, Aunt Amanda, came to visit us last week and spent a few days hanging out with us.
She has been in Germany most of the summer (10 weeks) soaking up German culture, language, and anything else they would let her soak up!
She brought back some cool gifts and GREAT chocolates. Mmmmm.

SO ANYWAY... I couldn't very well paint my guest room while she was living in it. :)

We had already taken the room apart so we quickly put it back together only to remember that I had already removed and thrown away those horrible mini blinds! :) In addition to that, I had already caulked all of the holes left behind by the horrible blinds.

The girls and I raced around town in a frenzy looking for just the right width faux-wood blinds. Do you have ANY idea how hard it is to find 47" width, 2" slat faux-wood blinds in white??? Well, let me tell you... DIFFICULT!!! That is unless you want to pay $60-$100 to have them custom cut. :)

We started at Lowe's since that's where all of the other white faux-wood blinds in our home came from. NOTHING (under $60 and custom cut). We searched Target, Bed, Bath and Beyond, even TJ Maxx. NOTHING.
In a last ditch effort we ran by Wal-mart. I know that if you can't find it at Wal-mart you probably don't need it, so I really should have started there. :)

I just knew we wouldn't find any, but LO AND BEHOLD... They were white, they were faux-wood and they were 47"!!! The only thing I had to give on was the 1.5" slats instead of 2" slats. No biggie. :)

We ran home... I painted the inside of the window so it would dry before Amanda arrived. Just before she headed to bed that night, Brandon and I hung the new blinds. She did have to put up with the blue painter's tape that was lining all of the trim in the room.

So, on my list of items I wanted to accomplish...

1. Paint our guest room
2. Re-hang all wall decor
3. Purchase and hang faux-wood blinds
4. Change out the light switch and switch plate
5. Cover the headboard

I can mark off #3!! :)

So, lesson learned... I can stand by my belief... "If you can't find it at Wal-mart, you probably don't need it." Feel free to quote me on that. :)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


This has to be the best and the worst thing I've seen today.... so far. :)

Comments. Please! :)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

We all survived...

Kindergarten Jump Start day has come and gone.

Some of you asked how the day went for me...
Emotionally, I was fine. I think it helped that it was only a 1/2 day. Plus, she wasn't walking away from me with her backpack full of school supplies and her little lunch box in her hand.

I'm sure that will be a much harder day. :)

Here's what I learned on Monday... Even though I RARELY get out of my house before noon, the world actually still goes on without me! I WAS AMAZED! :)
I left Chandler's school about 8:15 and headed over to the post office. Much to my surprise, the post office wasn't even open yet! I've never had that happen before!!!
I ran by Starbucks on my way to Amy's house and got myself a Mint Mocha Chip Frappuccino (yumm-o)... Yes, I offered to get something for Amy, but she declined my offer.

Amy and I went to Michael's, Target, Wal-mart and Bi-Lo. As we were walking into Michael's I told Amy of my awe at being out of my house this early in the morning. She laughed at me... I don't think she thought I was serious!! :)
It's like a whole new world out there just waiting for me!

Back when I had a job outside of my home, I was up and out of the house early, but then I was chained to a desk all day so I still didn't see much of the world.

So when I picked Chandler up from school she immediately asked for a juice box before she would give me any details of her day... priorities. :)
After she finished her juice she told me about coloring, the playground, the tour around the school, and having popsicles. That's about all I got out of her on the way home.
Later she told me
**The monkey bars were small enough for her to do them all by herself.
**The swings were close to the ground so the teachers didn't have to help her.
**They had popsicles outside.
**Her favorite of the teachers was the one wearing black pants and a white shirt.
**She doesn't know the names of any of the kids.

Apparently, the teachers asked her lots of questions and she answered them... all except, "When is your birthday?"
Chandler knows that January 7th is her birthday. She reminds us on a regular basis.

J: "Did they ask you questions?"
C: "Yes."
J: "What did they ask you?"
C: "Just questions."
J: "Did they ask you about your colors?"
C: "Yes."
J: "Did they ask you about your numbers?"
C: "Yes."
J: "Did they ask you to count?"
C: "Yes."
J: "How high did you count?"
C: "To 20."
J: "Did they ask you anything else?"
C: "Yes. My name and when is my birthday."
J: "What did you tell them?"
C: "Chandler Brooke Miles."
J: "And your birthday?"
C: "No."
J: "What? Why didn't you tell them your birthday?"
C: "I don't know my birthday."
J: "Yes you do."
C: "Well, I didn't want to tell them because my throat was scratchy."

UGH!!!! :)

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Ready. Set. Jump Start!!

The day has finally arrived... Chandler has a 1/2 day of kindergarten tomorrow. She'll be participating in a "Jump Start" day.
Basically all of the incoming kindergarten students will go to school for only 1 half day this week. The school does this to get all of the beginning of the year pre-screening out of the way before the 1st official day of school.

Schedule for tomorrow:
6:00am: DRAG myself out of bed and drink at least a pot of coffee to "jump start" my day. :)

6:30am: DRAG Chandler out of bed... maybe she'll surprise me and be so excited that I won't have to fight with her much.

7:30am: Drop Riley off at the neighbor's house. I made these arrangements so I can focus on Chandler tomorrow.

8:00am: Drop Chandler off at school. Easy, right??

8:00am-11:30am: Run errands. ALONE!! :)

12:00 noon: Pick Chandler up from school.

We have a busy morning ahead of us!! I'm off to bed! :)

Saturday, July 19, 2008

I've lost that loving feeling...

Yep, I have no motivation to blog. I think I'm feeling the pressure of being 3 weeks behind and the thought of all the work it is going to take to catch up is just a little overwhelming!

Here's a brief recap of what else happened on our vacation.

Tons of pictures... little verbal description. :)

While we were at my parent's house I found a box of toys that my sister and I used to play with. I pulled out all of the Precious Places and set them up for Chandler to play with.

I believe I mentioned how incredibly hot it was at the park...
Only a Grammy would give a 16 month old baby her very own ice cream cone! :)

"Really Squire? Are you really going to let me have my own ice cream cone on your new sofa??"

On Sunday we attended church with my parents.

After church we headed off to Silver Springs.

Can't you just hear Chandler saying, "Wait Mom! I'm not ready!!"
Actually she was saying, "MOM! Quit using the video camera! Grammy is taking a picture!"

Riley has a fascination with mouths...

The giraffes have always been my favorite part of Silver Springs.

Attempting to feed them cookies.
See how "close" Chandler is to the giraffe. We couldn't get her any closer than that. She would start freaking out! :)
We ended up giving away the rest of her cookies to another little kid who actually wanted to get within 100 feet of the giraffe.

Silver Springs is most well known for their alligators...

Isn't is creepy??
They would sit in that circle until someone threw "alligator cookies" into the water. Then, faster than lightening they were on the hunt. It really gave me the creepy crawlies!


After Silver Springs we had dinner at Sonny's BBQ. Oh if only they had Sonny's in Tennessee!!!

After dinner we had to make a quick stop at the grocery store... we all waited in the car while my dad ran inside.

Just goofing off!
This is what waiting in the car in the Florida heat will do to you!!

Monday was a trip to Wild Waters!

Chandler wasn't quite tall enough to ride most of the rides. She was really bummed about it. We even took a chance on one of them that she was technically too short to ride. Brandon took her all the way to the top only to have the lifeguard send them back down. :( Chandler was SO upset!!

She did enjoy playing in the kid's area...

She was tall enough to ride the Mini Monster...

I think she rode it about 1,000 times.
It didn't even phase her when the lifeguard didn't catch her at the bottom.

It thundered a little at one point so everything was shut down for a little while... it was a great chance to grab some lunch.

Riley enjoying a double cheeseburger!

After lunch, everything opened back up.

Riley in the wave pool. She pretty much hated the life jacket.

But, she LOVED the frog slide!!!

The child has NO FEAR!

On Tuesday we loaded up and headed to Jacksonville to visit my sister, Erin, and her husband, Joel.

Joel had to work on Tuesday so Erin took us to the Jacksonville Zoo.

It was CRAZY HOT that day, but we had a great time!

Erin and the girls.

The zoo is not a really big zoo, but everything was kept so clean and nice. The best part about it was the all of the animals were SO CLOSE!

I took these photos without using my zoom.

Spotted Leopard

I could not get over how close the zebra was! I've never seen one so close. I was fascinated by the fact the I could actually see the stripes going all the way down his legs... I guess I had just never noticed that before. :)

Giraffes at the feeding station. In Jacksonville they feed the giraffes leaves and branches. No giraffe cookies for these guys!

Chandler and Erin

The girls took a little time to splash in the fountain. IT WAS SO HOT!

After the zoo and dinner, Erin took me, the girls and Taylor (Erin and Joel's beagle) to the dog park.
Chandler insisted on watching a movie in Erin's car even though the ride was less than 15 minutes!

Riley kept herself busy at the dog park by playing in the dirt. I think she was having more fun than the dogs!

After we got home Riley and Taylor spent a little time competing for Erin's attention!

Riley couldn't get enough of Taylor. The poor dog was just worn out after being chased all day!

I tried to get a picture with Taylor, but she kept licking my face!

Here she actually licked my TEETH! GROSS!!!

Apparently, she also enjoyed using me as a "salt lick". We were so sweaty from the zoo and the dog park. I guess I just tasted good to her! UGH!

Wednesday we had lunch with Erin and Joel. Then it was time to hit the road... AGAIN!

Chandler, Erin, Joel, and Riley

We made it to Warner Robins for dinner. We were so tired from all of the traveling!!

On Thursday, we headed over to our new favorite play place, Monkey Joe's.

Cousin Colten and Riley playing in the little kid area.

Colten, Uncle Ben, and Riley

Riley on the Carousel.
All 3 kids played HARD!
Chandler took off the second we hit the door. We hardly saw her unless she stopped in to ask me, Brandon or Uncle Ben to go slide with her. She is an old pro at Monkey Joe's.
Riley LOVED every second! She wanted to do everything... and we did everything!
It took Colten a little while to warm up to all of the excitement, but once he did there was no slowing him down!!!
Ben, Brandon and I were EXHAUSTED! Climbing to the top of all of the inflatables while carrying Riley and/or Colten was enough to wear anyone out!!

The girls and I CRASHED when we got back to the house!
You KNOW Riley's tired when she climbs up into your lap and STOPS MOVING for more than 10 seconds! :)

The next day we took it easy.

Colten & Riley enjoying a little movie time

Brandon and Ben played a little whiffle ball.

Gran and Chandler left for a little granddaughter/grandmother time.
Chandler had a BLAST!

They did the play place at Chick-fil-A and then hit the one at McDonald's.

Gran and Chief bought a blow up pool for the grandkids to splash around in. All 3 kids had a great time!

Chandler being Chandler!

One afternoon, Brandon and Chief made water balloons for the kids to play with in the pool. Chandler knew just what to do with them and she pelted them relentlessly. The little kids weren't quite sure about them. Riley pretty much ignored them and Colten threw them out of the pool onto the concrete.

Brandon & Me on the July 4th.

We did a few sparklers with Chandler on the 4th, but my pictures didn't turn out very good.

On Saturday we loaded up and hit the road!
I think we were all ready to be in our own beds after being gone for 9 days!

Just before loading up and driving the 3.5 hours home.

Thanks Grammy, Squire, Aunt Erin, Uncle Joel, Gran, Chief, Uncle Ben, Aunt Lainey, and Cousin Colten for sharing our vacation with us!!!!