Friday, May 27, 2005

Speed Street

Today I took the three Little Kids downtown to Speed Street ... the annual street fair/extravaganza to celebrate a big NASCAR race that goes from May 20 - May 30.  Don't ask me the name of the race, I'm really clueless when it comes to NASCAR.  Apparently you spend about 2 hours in traffic to get to the speedway, then you sit out in the hot sun and watch a bunch of cars speed by at 250 mph.  Be sure to bring earplugs because the decibel level is stratospheric.  Then you get to sit in another 2 hours of traffic to get home.  That is unless you can afford to rent a helicopter to take you.  Yah right.  The only other thing that could compete with such a lovely outing is watching a race on TV.  Kinda like watching paint dry; right up there with watching golf.  Okay, I just don't get it.  Sorry ... my apologies to all you race fans.

However, I thought Christian might like Speed Street, and it's held on the street in front of David's office, so we made a lunch date out of it ... David came to meet us for a little while before we pooped out and came home for a nap. 

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

School's Out for the Summer

Today is the last day of school (for Q, Chr. and L).  Colin will get out June 8.  Yesterday I had two programs to go to, not to mention take Lisa to a park where her class was having pizza, then back to the school for Christian's show.  Melanie had playgroup in the morning but she was one unhappy, bored camper during Christian's program.  

They both did a great job ... and I actually remembered Lisa's piano lesson.  Way to go, Liz!

Tonight David and I are going out for dinner to celebrate my birthday (late) ... our favorite restaurant, Dressler's, is having a special "prix fixe" seven course dinner featuring wines from the vineyard St. Supery, which we visited when we "did" the wine country a few years ago.  Can't wait, can't wait.

Monday, May 23, 2005

For Granddaddy

Here are some action photos of Christian playing baseball.  You should have seen the honking camera that was used to take them ... (belonged to the commissioner's wife).  We had quite a team this year ... Coach Creel, our hat is off to you again!

You Can Say You Knew Him When ...

Having my morning coffee while I catch up on the news on the internet.  Thought I would share a couple of shots of the play, "A Connecticut Yankee" ... it really was very cute.

Had a nice weekend.  Yesterday, as my dear son Colin pointed out, I reached the halfway point to 90.  We went to church in the morning, to hear Coach Joe Gibbs (Washington Redskins) give a talk ... he is a member of our church, and I have sat behind him and his wife many a time.  He is hysterical ... known for his wholesome outlook, something rare in an NFL coach.  I remember when we joined the church 4 years ago, how he and his wife welcomed us.  I stood in a receiving line after the service and told him about that ... he seemed appreciative.

We ate lunch with our SS class .. a new Mexican restaurant.  The kids and David had prezzies for me at breakfast .. as a joke, they bought me a few "As Seen On TV" items ... complete with the "Ron Popeil Seal of Approval".  What home is complete without the Ronco Grip and Flip, or the Owl Pocket Magnifying Glass?  I also had the deliciously luxurious chance to take a nap and read a book.  I'm reading "Leaving the Saints" by Martha Beck ... very good read.

I feel duly celebrated, and now I can look forward to the next 45 years of my life (thank you, Colin).

Well, I have an 8:30 appointment this morning, so I suppose I should put the pedal to the metal ... will check back in later this week.

Friday, May 20, 2005

The Calm After the Storm

<phew>  How strange it feels to just sit and not have to be anywhere.  Well, I do have a lunch date, but have a quick 15 minutes before I have to go perform my morning ablutions.  The week started with a bang ... the painters arrived early to start stripping wallpaper in the kitchen.  Had to take stuff to the school for Quentin's play dress rehearsal.  Get Christian ready for a baseball game at 6 p.m.  Tuesday I had to do some more running around, then meet at Colin's school about his schedule for next year.  Home to dress quickly and be at the school for the BIG SHOW ... and realized that I had completely forgotten to take Lisa to piano lessons, and had forgotten a doctor's appointment for me.  "Mommy Brain" at its finest. 

The play was fantastic!  The kids did a tremendous job.  The costumes!  I laughed!  I cried!  Quentin was a perfect jester (complete typecasting) and the other kids are Broadway bound, I'm sure.  I'll have to post pictures when I get them back from mom ... we didn't take our digital camera, though we videotaped the whole thing.

Wednesday I had to take Melanie to speech, then drop by a ladies' get-together across the street.  I had promised Mom a shopping afternoon, and she wanted to go to "Birkenstock" (those who live around here will appreciate her malaprop ... it's called "Birkdale").  We had a nice time, buying out Chico's and Talbot's, and grabbing a quick lunch.  On the way home at 6:00 I suddenly remembered I had a meeting in South (way south, as in an hour drive) Charlotte at 7 p.m.!!!  My expletives will be deleted since this is a family blog!  The lady who did our homestudies for both adoptions, Beth, had asked me to be on the Board of Directors for her company ... I am completely flattered, and excited to be a part of an aspect of the adoption business.  I was promptly voted "Vice President" of the Board (which sounds quite impressive, but doesn't mean much, they reassured me.  I only have to jump in when the President can't come to the meetings -- just called me Alexander "I'm In Charge" Haig!)  

Got home around 10:00, and literally dropped into bed, exhausted.  Yesterday there wasn't much going on, Mom & Dad packed up and left around noon, and I spent the day washing clothes, since we are on the brink of having to turn our underwear inside out.  (Not really!!!)  

Melanie seems to have come down from her nadir of "two-ness" although I am still on guard.   

Monday, May 16, 2005

Calgon ... PLEASE take me away!

I am certainly not going to survive this.  None of my other children were quite as TWO as Melanie.  She is going to be the end of me.  Yesterday, a rainy Sunday morning, we were all hunkered down, the kids watching cartoons, and I helping Christian with a project for school.  The doorbell rings ... and it is two women out walking their babies in strollers.  They say, "Is this your little girl?" pointing at Melanie who they had corralled down by the mailbox.  "We found her out in the street!"  Somehow she had managed to open the door and escort herself (and the dog) out into the wild blue yonder, without anyone noticing.  Of course I was totally embarrassed (knowing full well that these ladies were mumbling to themselves as they walked away, "Man, what kind of MOM is she???"  After securing Melanie in the house, I took off in the rain (and my pajamas) to rescue the dog, who had gone across the street to commune with the dog who lives there. 

Not ten minutes later, after Melanie had done her best Tasmanian Devil imitation through the house, I found her totally naked again, clothes nowhere to be found. 

The day had hardly began to wane, when I realized later that afternoon that I had lost track of Melanie yet again.  As I rounded the corner to yell upstairs, "IS ANYONE WATCHING MEL ... " I found her sitting on the stairs with three bottles of shampoo, happily squeezing the gooey liquid out on to the carpet, all the way from the top, down to the bottom.  What a pretty pattern it makes when you dribble it out!  We put our new Hoover steam-vac to work, but MAN does that shampoo foam up a lot!

But wait!  There's more!  Quentin had a sheet of poster board laid out on the floor for a project.  He had almost completed it, ran into the kitchen for quick second, and came back to find that Melanie (who moves at the speed of light) had taken a black magic marker and scribbled all over his hard work.  I'm sure at that moment he had decided NEVER to have children, ever ever.  We did manage to creatively cover up Melanie's "artwork" with pictures ...

Man oh man.  That's all I can say.  The only redeeming thing I can think of is that when she sleeps, she sleeps well.  Too bad I can't.

Friday, May 13, 2005


This week we had new countertops put in our kitchen, and a new cooktop.  I know you are all thrilled to death to hear this ... I suppose this post is more for the folks back home who read this blog to keep up with our goings-on.  If you're not excited about our mundane household stuff, feel free to skip this post! 

Lisa is standing next to me trying to pull out a tooth.  Another one!  The poor Tooth Fairy is going to be eligible for frequent flyer miles to our house!

This morning I found Boudreaux barking at something in the grass in the back yard.  I went out to investigate and found a baby blue jay.  He looked pretty freaked out, so I took a tennis racket and rescued him from his canine attacker.  He is now in a box in the garage, although I'm not sure what to do with him.  Common sense tells me I need to feed him some worms, but a real Mama bird would probably chew them up first and then feed them to the baby, but there are SOME things at which I just have to draw the line.  I did spend about 30 minutes digging in the yard to see if I could find a worm to give him.  Why is it when I'm planting flowers I'm always coming across a worm and getting completely grossed out?  Why is it when I NEED a worm, they're nowhere to be found?

What is the deal here?  Do I look like a critter rescue operation to you??  Dogs ... birds ... what next? 

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Not much to report ... just emptying out the memory stick!  All four of the older kids are going to camp this summer, in Boomer, NC (yes they are all going the same week!!  Yee haw!!  <ahem> I mean, awww I really will miss them!  Heh heh).  The applications have to have pictures on them, so I lined them up for mug shots.

Mothers' Day was very nice for me...after church we went to eat Italian food.  Then I came home and took a two hour nap!  Bliss.  I have some really cute cards and a gift certificate to Chico's.  Very nice. 

Christian's baseball game was rained out tonight.  Even when the hotline said the fields were open, we had to go or be faced with forfeiting.  So I set out, and ran into a hail storm.  It felt like the windshield was going to break right in front of my eyes.  I turned around and came home until it passed, then went to the field.  We all stood around watching the lightning, thinking, "Yah, we need to send these kids out there with metal bats ... um, no ..." 

David leaves on Thursday to spend the weekend with his parents in Jackson.  My parents arrive on Saturday from Baton Rouge to spend the weekend, and to see Quentin's play on Tuesday.  (A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court -- he's the jester).  I'll be sure and post a review after the premiere.

Quentin says:  I don't think the play is going to be very good, so don't expect a very good review. 

I say:  We'll see.

Thursday, May 5, 2005


The CNN Headline News ticker version of the last few days:

- The Branches take in a stray puppy that they found at the bus stop.  Colin prints up fliers and pastes them all over the neighborhood, but I suspect she was dumped.  The kids name her Margie, but Boudreaux makes a unilateral decision that she will not stay.  She is currently in the adopt-a-pet program with the Cornelius police department.  The Branch kids are in mourning.  Mom is in the doghouse (ha!)

- Mom makes a brave attempt to be in two places at once, but fails miserably.  Christian's game and Lisa's musical at church are held at the same time.  Mom manages to see the first 1/2 of Lisa's program, and the last 1/2 of Christian's game.  Hope they don't feel neglected.

- Home improvements are in the works ... new countertops, losing some wallpaper, gaining some paint, a new cooktop and blinds.  News at 11.

-  Melanie continues to go to speech therapy twice a week ... some words are starting to come together.