Wednesday, March 30, 2011


I finally got Jillian's hair in pigtails! Yay for me!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

New Car!

Jillian would like to introduce you to our new car.

It's a 2011 Toyota Sienna. We tried the Odyssey, but got more bells and whistles for less money with the Sienna.

Funny, one of the first questions they ask you is what color you want. Like you have a ton of choices or that's the most important thing. We really didn't care, but I knew I didn't want silver, because we already match the Smothers' van too much:

Wondering if we'll have little baby siennas running around if we keep parking them together at school?

Monday, March 28, 2011

Ryan Rocks as Star of the Week

It took all year, but Ryan was finally Star of the Week in his kindergarten class. He is the last one of the year!

First, he got to bring Snoopy home and document their adventures together. Snoopy picked a good weekend to come hom with us...we bought a new car! I am not sure Snoopy's licensed to drive this!

Snoopy and Ryan's favorite feature of the new van? The interior buttons to open and close the back doors (even though Snoopy can't reach them!):

Later, Snoopy helped Ryan and Scott with a wood project.

He mostly watched:

They built a birdhouse! Maybe Woodstock will move in!

They played out back some:

Finally, Snoopy helped Ryan create his Star of the Week poster:

Today, Scott, Jillian and I came in to eat lunch with Ryan and his classmates:

And read books to them:

We are so proud of our little star:

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Not Exactly According to Plan

Our trip to Charlotte was good for so many reasons...Scott got to work at a few of his properties, we got to visit with his grandfather, we got to visit with my mom & dad, and then, Scott and I were supposed to have a few days away by ourselves which we haven't done since before Jillian was born.

Well, Scott got to work. We got to visit Pop-pop & Barbara. We had a great time with my parents. And then came some challenges.

First, my grandmother went into the hospital on Wednesday. There was no question that my mom would fly up immediately to be with her and we would forgo our couples getaway for a family weekend of exploring Hendersonville, NC. I went through some books and found what I thought would be some fun activities for all of us to do. And fortunately, my grandmother is doing much better!

Then, 20 minutes before reaching Hendersonville, at around 8 pm on Thursday night, our Odyssey with it's 188,000 miles lost power to the wheels. We pulled over, had a grand adventure (that's what I kept telling Ryan) of sitting on the grass on interstate 26, while we talked with AAA and tried to figure out what to do. A kind NC trooper pulled over and sat, lights flashing, behind us until the tow truck arrived.

But there were so many issues: the hitch and two bikes on the back, being over 500 miles from home, 4 of us to ride in the cab of a tow truck, a car that might need a new transmission. Ack!

Luckily, many things fell into place. The tow truck driver was so kind. He took us to the house we rented, let us unload, then took the car to the Honda dealer about 20 more minutes up the road. We had iphone service (in Ryan's rendition of the event, he made sure to draw us all with our iphones out) so we could find a dealer, communicate with AAA (who couldn't seem to figure out where we were), etc.

Here's my amazing husband, pulling the hitch with two bikes off the car as they tried to load it on the flat bed:

And that's the only photo I have of that whole event.

Another lucky break, we picked a house 1 mile from downtown, so we could still do something while in Hendersonville without a car. No rides down the Blue Ridge Parkway or hikes to waterfalls, but we got to explore downtown Hendersonville.

Back at the house, we chilled while Jillian took a nap, I read and Scott watched basketball. It was back out for dinner and when Ryan (who did NOT want to walk all the way back into town) asked for ice cream, we told him it could only be found downtown, and away we went for probably the most fun part of the trip.

Friday evening we learned that it was the transmission, and we decided not to get it fixed. We arranged to have it picked up for donation (Scott's brilliant idea! I mean, how would we get it back to Memphis?), and we rented a can to get home (we needed something big...we had the hitch and two bikes, after all).

Saturday morning, Scott took a cab to get the rental van, and the kids and I got a few pictures in:

When Scott got back, we loaded up the 2011 Toyota Sienna (nice to have a 500+ mile test drive on a car we are considering buying!) and headed back to our Odyssey to empty her out.

I am an emotional person, and it was kind of hard to leave her behind like this. I brough both my babies home from the hospital in this car. I have driven thousands of miles safely in this van. I was hoping to make it to 200,000 miles and was not ready to say good-bye yet, and definitely not like this. Not to mention, I don't want a new car payment. :(

Stay tuned to see what we get!

Thursday, March 17, 2011


Gramps took us to the inflatable place near their house today. No one was there, and the kids had a blast. At first, I was all about staying right behind Jillian, especially as she climbed up any ladders.

But, soon, she showed me she needed no help! She's such a good climber!

And not afraid to go down the big slides by herself, either!

We loved the Richard Scarry Apple and worm!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Discovery Place

We went to The Discovery Place today with Nanny and Gramps. We hadn't been since the renovation was finished and I was eager to let Jillian loose in the toddler area!

First, we had a snack in the cafe.

We started and ended with water play!

Even Gramps!

Ryan played on some kitchen drums:

And everyone played with the extra large Lite Brite:

Then, it was upstairs for some building:

And Physics experiments. First up, pulleys:

And cranks:

Bed of Nails, anyone?

Rope Bridge over the rainforest:

Then we shoved newspaper up an air shaft...

...and watched it come out the top:

Back at Nanny & Gramp's, we played in our new rain boots!