Thursday, December 31

extreme gingerbread house makeover

[one more Christmas tradition]
[each year Carly becomes more insistent on doing it all herself]
[love pulling out some leftover Halloween candy to add more decorations]
[such concentration]
[eating more than used in the decorating]

carly's gift tags

In Carly's countdown box, one of the activities is to "make gift tags". Each year Carly has made a gift tag for a few of her presents. The first idea didn't work out so good, so here is the second attempt. Carly thought they were fun to make and they turned out super cute.
Remember, I had just gotten this lens and was excited about experimenting with it. Carly was content for me to snap away because the camera was focused on the art not her. The only problem with that is when I went back to look at the pictures I realized there is not one picture of her face! But the the photos of the project are great!

Tuesday, December 29

merry "lake house" christmas

Thanks Nonna and D for a wonderful Christmas weekend.
Nonna and D in the kitchen, where they stayed a lot!
Christmas dinner was mixed salad greens with melon & prosciutto, beef tenderloin, ravioli, spinach madeline, and yeast rolls.
Saturday afternoon we opened presents. Carly was excited over Harry Potter movies, games, scrapbook kit, peace sign necklace, Ugg-type boots, books.
We got to spend some time with cousin JC. Carly helping Nonna in the kitchen. Carly was learning to make one of her favorite things - Bearnaise sauce. First lesson: learning to separate an egg. Gabby {and I} enjoyed basking in front of the roaring fire!

Wednesday, December 23

wordless wednesday

brought to you by my
Happy Anniversary
micro lens

Tuesday, December 22

party it up!

{snaps from Carly's school Christmas party}
I only took a few snaps and obviously only of the girls' table!
I should have taken a picture of the food table. We had breakfast foods including a huge fruit tray. The kids ate like they had not eaten in a week.
Don't you think it should be okay to push the dress code
on a 1/2 day-party day?
Thanks MamMam for putting together
a super cute art activity and mailing it to us! Mrs. B loved her personalized notepad and her gift certificate.
If you were taking a gift card for a present swap, what would you take? Carly chose a Sonic card to take and she brought home one from Target.

Wednesday, December 9

chilly night out

The girls and I ventured out to Zoo Lights {new addition to the countdown box this year}. Of course the night we planned to go was the coldest night we have had this season. With temperatures around 30, this fake snow could have been the real thing!
We saw lots of lights and some animals. We got to check out the new section at the zoo modeled after Yellowstone. They actually have a lodge and some animals from Yellowstone - wolves, elk, and grizzly bears. We went into the lodge to warm up by the fire. And ran into Santa!

Saturday, December 5

girls only!

Countdown Box....Day 3
New Christmas T-shirt
Countdown Box....Day 4
Paint Nails with crazy blue polish
All to be ready for the
3rd Annual Girlfriend Christmas Party

Wow, they are growing up too fast. This year there was less out-of-control silliness. This year 2 hours flew by because they didn't need me for constant supervision and guidance.

The ipod came out so they could control the music. Less Christmas tunes and more Taylor Swift and Miley Cyrus. At one point, I saw a conga line come through the room.

They made super cute button trees! After much thought and changing her mind many times, Carly finally chose dogs-in-a-blanket, cheese puffs, and grapes/pineapple for dinner. But, dessert by far won out over the meal. When they asked, what they were having for dessert. Carly said you will just have to wait and see. It is the best dessert ever.
They had chocolate fondue. And obviously none of them have experienced fondue before because they think I invented the best new dessert. In fact, after the first couple of dips, it was said that "Ms Kim Sue, you rock". I hated to tell them that fondue has been around a couple of years. In fact, mom let us borrow her fondue pot that she got in the early 70's.

Wednesday, December 2

the countdown has begun

Countdown Box....Door #2
The season is here and the countdown has started.

Behind door # 2 was a note that said "Time to decorate your room".
So tonight we put up that cute pink Christmas tree and got Carly's room ready for the season!

tree trimming

I love decorating the tree.
I especially love sitting on the couch with a glass of wine, my camera and watching.
There are a couple random branches that are not working? But we turned it so those are next to the wall and Kenny declared that this was the last Christmas for this one.

Carly unwrapped and separated the ornaments into appropriate piles....hers, Kenny's, mine, family. I have given Kenny an ornament each year since we were married {there are 15 now}. He also has several Mississippi State ornaments that went up first, front-and-center this year.

I love to see Carly's go up because they tell so much about her first 9 years. There are princess ones, sports ones, hunting ones, handmade ones. There is a Cinderella, Grinch, Rudolph, and a Cat in the Hat.

There are also a growing number from vacations over the years...
a sand piper from the beach, a light house from New York, a White House from Washington, Dumbo from Disney, and even a glass Santa in a gondola from Venice.
I haven't given up finding one with a precious little girl with a cute lime green cast for this year!

Tuesday, November 17

this field trip rocks

Carly's enrichment class (ACT) has been studying inventors and inventions. Their teacher arranged a field trip downtown Memphis to the Gibson Guitar Factory to actually see an invention being manufactured.
The gift shop was full of gorgeous instruments including 2 Les Paul's with price tags over $10,000. The kids enjoyed walking down the isles and looking at all the different shapes, colors, woods.
We got outfitted with our safety goggles and were ready to head into the factory. Sad news: no photos allowed!
This is one of the best field trips I have ever been on. First it is the ACT class which is smaller (smart kids that have gotten a teacher recommendation reduces the number of trouble makers) and most kids had a parent. My friend Stacy drove so I didn't have to worry about that. Carly was with 3 really good friends and they got along the whole trip. It was well organized. We were the only group there.
And, it was really very interesting.

Some things Carly told about the trip:

  1. This factory only makes electric guitars.
  2. There are 2 other Gibson Factories to make the other types.
  3. These guitars cost 3 to 5 thousand dollars.
  4. Lots of people work on the guitars.
  5. It takes months to make a guitar.
  6. The job she would want would be the tester.
  7. or maybe the painter.
  8. The job she would not want was the lady who used a straight razor to clear the varnish off the edges.
  9. If a flaw is found in the guitar along the way, it is taken to the bandsaw and destroyed.

Monday, November 16

the story of paul

4th Grade Chapel Program

Each year, Carly participates in a chapel program. In previous years, each class was responsible for a program, but this year, the whole 4th grade came together to put on a program. Before it was also held in the chapel but this year it was in the sanctuary of the church. That was a big deal to the kids. They go to the chapel every week but the sanctuary made it seem even more of a production!

Carly's Bible and music teachers wrote, directed, organized it all. The program was about the life of Paul. There were drama scenes, music, and singing. The kids got to request what they would like to do. Carly wanted to be an instrumentalist. "I do not want to talk" is what she told me when I asked her what she wrote down on her form.

They did a fabulous job. It was wonderful to see some talents that I had not had the chance to see before.

One day, I am going to figure out how to take photos in a stage situation where I am not close enough for a flash and there is not much stage lightening. If I slow the shutter down to get enough light then they are blurry!