Saturday, March 29, 2008

Holy Week! Batman would say. It has been absolutely insane around here this week.  Good insane, coupled with internet issues equals no blogging.  But (cross your fingers) we should be good to go now.  
We have welcomed the nicer weather which has brought us many benefits.  New neighborhood friends to play with and Chickie actually attempting contact with a bug! It was a lady bug, and she flipped out in the end.  But I'll take it!

We have been up to our usual craftiness around here.  A lot of gift making going on.  I'll have to show pics of that after the surprise is over.
Chickie and Baby Alive have been up to their usual antics.  This time they are aliens.  

I got my new camera! Yay! Now I just need to learn how to use it!  Chickie was all dressed up as a bride, tape and scissors in hand, crafting her own groom.  Now that's an idea!  Apparently, his name is Canon.  The "boy across the bushes" that she "felled in love with."  Did I ever tell that story?  He's our old neighbor and Chickie was crazy about his super blond hair.  
No detail was left undone.
He's even her height.  And she thought is was pretty funny that my camera was also named Canon.

Bentley got driven around in a pint sized tractor.  Karson is an excellent driver.  And Bentley really didn't even mind when he fell out. He wanted right back in!
During most of the outside fun though, Mandee and I were making the cutest aprons ever!  We are thinking of wearing them to church.  I'll have to take a picture of mine, but right now I'm supposed to be cleaning.  That's what Saturday's are for right?
Chris has been working like crazy this week on his fun project.  And we have had a ton of  excitement in behalf of our friend Derek. But...more on that later. Edit...or read about it on their blogs here and here.
This week I have been thankful for new spring growth, especially the color green of the new grass growing in.  Fun new fabric, friendships, creative time, making more color wheels.  It's really surprisingly fun.  And isn't ordering things on line the best version of shopping ever! No running after kids involved in that.  I like it!  And last but certainly not least, Enchanted, the funniest movie ever.  Plus Derek looks just like the prince, except with out the outfit.  And I think Chris is secretly in love with Gisele, but I can't really blame him. I mean seriously, she makes her own clothes...but where does she get the shoes?

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Hoppy Easter

Long story short, I planted a big bowl of grass.  I had my plans for it to be a cute centerpiece with eggs hidden in it.  The grass grew much faster than expected and got a little unruly.  There were discussions as to whether or not it would be a good idea to trim the grass.  In the end I decided that I didn't want a bowl of mowed grass on my table.  I decided I liked the long and shaggy look, it was cute kind of drooping over the sides.  Last night I went out on an errand, and Chris and Chickie apparently had plans of their own for said bowl of grass.  It was smooshed down with carrots and pictures for the Easter Bunny.  And it was left by the...fireplace.  What holiday is this anyway?  
Apparently the Easter Bunny enjoyed a soft place to much a carrot snack and some grass.  I think he may be slowly inching in on Santa's territory.  
He left Bentley's goodies in a dump truck instead of a basket.

I'm thankful for Easter saturday and looking forward to Easter Sunday.  Yay Spring!!

since you asked...

Thanks Mindy, for asking about the painting. It is one of two that I've done since college....That can't be right? Can it?  Oh, I guess it is right. That's sad really.  But here it is Chickie swinging in the park.
And while I'm at it, here is painting number two. Chickie with a huge hat and a huge floaty on her head at the beach.  Hmmm, those aren't the official titles.  
These are really bad pictures. My camera broke last week. So sad. I was slightly traumatized.  Before blogging I would have forgotten all about it.  But now I'm used to taking a million pictures everyday, just in case I may want to blog about it later.  So yesterday I ordered a new camera.  Yay!  Hopefully when it gets here we will notice much better picture quality.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Happy St. Patty's Day!

I hope everyone had a great green holiday! We had fun!  I made an Irish feast for dinner. All recipes I hadn't tried before.  So that was fun.  Chickie made a hat for her dad out of a box!
Bentley wanted to get in on some of the box hat action.
And totally unrelated to the greenness of today, was the pinkness of yesterday.  Chickie is doing her bella dancerella. Needless to say, Bentley wanted in on some of that action as well!
I'm greatful for silly holidays, aren't you?!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Inside out, upside down

Is it just me or does this week have you totally upside down?

Maybe it's the weather?
It probably has something to do with daylight savings time.  What do you think Bentley?  See, even he is confused!
Maybe it has something to do with the excitement of a new baby in the family.  I'm happy to have a new little nephew "far away in the west."  Thank Heaven for a healthy baby boy and mama...and for cell phone cameras!
Thank goodness today was beautiful outside!  It only took Chickie one hour of tearful decision making whether to join us in the sun or stay inside in a bug free zone.
Luckily in the end sunshine won out!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

How to leave a comment on blogger

Since many of my readers (ok, most) are my beloved non-blogging family members, I get a lot of (well, a few) comments just directed to me via phone or email.  What between this and all of our family reunion blogs I thought I would post a friendly little HOW TO.

If you would like to post a comment on blogger this is the process. 

1. Move your mouse to the little tiny word "comments" at the bottom of the post and click on it.
A little box should pop up.

2. If other people have already left comments you will have to scroll down past those until you see a box under the caption "Leave your comment." Type your comment in the box.

3.  Then you will see some oddly fonted and colored letters.  Under these letters there is "word verification" and a box.  Try to type those letters in the box as best you can.  Sometimes they are a little tricky to make out.  The purpose of this as I understand it is to prevent spammers from leaving mass amounts of comments on blogs.

4.  Here is where the confusion enters.  Next you will see the "Choose an identity" section. Since this post is directed towards non bloggers I will address the last two options.  You can either click your mouse on the circle before "Name/URL" or "Anonymous."  If you choose "Name/URL" it gives you a box to type in your name. You can leave URL blank or you can type in your website if you have one and feel like sharing. If you choose "Anonymous" it does not give you any box to type your name so I would recommend that you type it in the body of your message, but only if you want to.

5.  Then click on the "Publish Your Comment" button.

At this point your comment may post semi-immediately or it may be sent to the host of the blog for approval, depending on the blog writer's settings. 
A blogger may delete your comment if you say something they don't like. However, if you leave shameless flattering comments no one will ever delete them!

Please feel free leave me a comment. No flattering ones will dare to be deleted.  And if I get no comments I will assume my mission has failed. But I will not give up.  Come on Mom. Give it one more try. 

smells like money

What? You think you smell something other than money?  Chris bought this house today and I'm very proud of him!  He has had this goal for a long time. That is to buy a house for the soul purpose of making it beautiful and making some money in the process.  I have no doubt that he and Derek will do it up right!  Have you seen some of the miracles Derek has worked in the past?  
When they ripped out the tub today they found that it was filled with leaves.  eww.  
I will be happy to show pretty pics in a few months or so.  

Today I'm thankful for my husband reaching one goal and starting the journey of another one. Way to go, babe!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

All about the dancing

Besides all the dancing a big part of the fun is all the vendors.  There are shoes and dresses galore to try on.  We both tried on shoes and we each got a new pair.  Chris got Latin shoes and I got Standard/Smooth shoes.  We were both really excited for new shoes.  We looked at a million pictures, both of ones taken of us and Chris with his other students, Debbie and Linda.  We ordered some, so I'll have to show those when we get them of us in action.  Then I worked my way to almost every dress vendor I estimated that I tried on approximately $100,000 worth of dresses that day! So fun, and so exhausting. Some of those dresses are really hard to get into.  One of the dresses I tried on had these fabric bangles that were studded and the lady said she thought they were," a giggle."  I think that's the cutest thing I've ever heard.  They were a giggle. It was really fun trying on all the different styles and fun figuring out which ones look good on me.  

I took a ton of cheesy pictures like this of us together.  This one was Friday night we got dressed up to go to the Pro competitions.  Which were so inspiring!
I got a few pictures in before they gave a friendly reminder to put cameras away.  This one is the Standard dancing. Which had my heart pounding. I think I almost cried once, too.  It's so beautiful when they are all on the floor racing around in gorgeous gowns and crazy hair.  Especially Quickstep.  I was on the edge of my seat wondering will they or won't they run into each other. And if they do what will happen?  It was better than any thriller movie! 
I loved this chic's hair.  It was bright pink and it came to a long point in the back. A super cool cone head hair do. Loved it!  I finally really understand the difference between American and International styles. Chris always seemed so annoyed when I would ask. Now that I've seen it I understand how obvious it is.  I've been to other comps but I was actually paying attention this time.  It makes a lot more sense the more dancing you do yourself. I guess.  But it's kind of hard to understand when you just talk about it because several of the dances have the same name. But the steps can be totally different from each other.  They are all so amazing I don't know how to choose which dances to do myself.  I loved watching Standard it's so insanely elegant and dramatic with the head laid out like that.  And the crispness of it all.  But American Smooth(which is what I did this time) is probably more fun to do.  You open instead of staying in frame and get to be really expressive with your arms and body.  I love both of those. And then there is Latin vs. Rhythm.  I definitely like Latin better. I think it's classier and it includes Jive and Samba which are the most fun dances in my opinion.  Rhythm is really fun to watch but I don't think I'd want to do it competitively.  It's costumes are definitely the closest to naked and the best dancers are like wild animals on the floor. Neither of those things make me very comfortable. But Standard and Latin go together and Smooth and Rhythm go together.  You can just do one style or you can do 10 or 9 dance respectively.  I think I'd be more fun to do both.  None of this makes any sense. But, I'm excited. We both are. And yesterday we did some Standard basics, so that was fun. I'm looking forward to keeping up the dancing. 
The crazy thing about it is the whole performance sport aspect. What other sport has people dress up to the point that they are totally unrecognizable and are basically acting while competing. It's wild. And oddly addictive. I remember the first comp I went to. I was seriously afraid. I kept thinking, "THIS is what my husband does for a living!"  Now I'm hooked.  I think it's the dancing itself you fall in love with and then the competing just makes us goal oriented people work harder. (Just look at me with my sticky plastic gold medals.) And if you get to sparkle and have really crunchy hair once in a while, well, what's not to love!

It's fun just having fun.

I took these pictures out of the window from our room.  My photography does not do it justice. It was really breathtaking.  The red roof part is the original hotel.  Two wings were added the Vanderbilt wing and the Summons wing (maybe).  The dancing was in the Vanderbilt wing, which is what you sing in the first picture. So we had to walk through our wing down through the middle and then all the way through the Vanderbilt wing.  It was quite the hike in heels.
This glass topped area is the spa and pool.  We never even went down there. Next year we really will have to make a point of remembering our swimming suits.  I think we forgot last time we stayed here, too.

Chris loves sushi.  This was eel and it was cooked. He told me that it tasted like Bar-b-q chicken. So I tried a bite. It SO did not taste like chicken.  At all.  But now I can say I've eaten eel.  Not that it matters.
On Saturday morning we went to a cute local bakery and the food looked so good I think we got it all.  Of course Chris had to check out the local real estate. And we both drank a lot of hot chocolate this weekend. It was COLD in Asheville. brrr
The reason we went to the bakery for breakfast was so I could go to this fun fabric shop.  I got some killer buttons, a rockin new thimble, and a fun book that shows how to make flower corsages and the like.  They had a bunch of them made up in the store and they were very pretty.  But the book was cheaper than even one of the pins, plus it was written by a local woman. So that was fun.  

As we were coming back to the hotel Chris said, "It's fun just having fun."  I said, "It's REALLY fun. Just having fun!"  So that became out motto for the rest of the day.
We sat by this huge fire in the main part of the hotel and had more hot chocolate.  At this point in the day we were winding down after trying on a ba-zillion different dance costumes.  
It was this guys job to go into the fire pit and throw more logs on the fire. Isn't it insanely big?

I'm really thankful for a weekend of pure fun! It was a-mazing. And the kids did great. They didn't miss us at all.  Heather is a ton of fun and they had a blast all weekend.  In fact, on Sunday we met them at church and I was a little worried that we would cause a scene.  I had it all pictured in my mind. We walk in, the kids see us from across the room, they yell out, "MOMMY!" and come running.  In reality, not even close.  The looked at us like, "Oh, you again. Hello."  Which is good.  We all had a great time and honestly didn't miss each other.  But were very happy to be with each other again. It won't be another 5 years before I leave my kids again. 

We cleaned house! (but not like you think)

I actually look like a real ballroom dancer don't I?!! And look how handsome Chris looks!   I went to great effort for that to happen.   No, not for Chris to look good, for me to.  I got my hair done.  Which I loved and it was hard as a rock. I think I had to wash my hair four times to get whatever it was they put in it out.
I got my makeup done.  And when they handed me the mirror I almost jumped. I know I scared several other people that day as well.  But I guess they know what they are doing because I think it looked pretty good under all the bright lights.   I was very tempted to scrub some of it off, but I'm glad I didn't try because when I was done dancing and went first thing to wash my face I couldn't get my lipstick off at all with my face wash or eye-makeup remover. I had to literally scrub it off!
Come on admit it. I scared you didn't I?  

Well as far as the dancing went I did great! I was very happy with how I did. I won all of my entries. I only danced 8 times. I was competing in the preliminary silver and intermediate silver in my age category in waltz, tango, foxtrot, and Viennese waltz.  The kind of disappointing thing was that I only was dancing against one other person.  When you sign up there is no way of knowing how many other people will be in your age category and in the level of dancing you pick to compete in.  But I did get to watch the girl I won against and I thought she was a great dancer.  So that made me feel good.  And she won the scholarship dance. When you do regular heats like I did you win gold plastic sticky-backed metals.  When you dance in the scholarship dance you win money and a big fat trophy.  I didn't enter those for two reasons. One, when we signed up for this competition I didn't even know Viennese waltz, and secondly Chris had another student already entered to dance in the scholarship in my age category.  She ended up not being able to come and we didn't think to enter late. So lame because the one girl I beat won the scholarship dance. At least it made me feel really good about how I did, even though I only danced against one person.

I'm so thankful that I have THE best teacher ever!