Friday, December 17, 2010

Happy 2nd Liver Day

Today is Ian's two year anniversary for his Liver Transplant. We have come so far in two years and are profoundly grateful to so many people. Ian only has labs once a month now, is only on one medication (which he will be for life) and sees the transplant team in Atlanta every six months. He is thriving in Kindergarten and life in general. This is a picture of him prentending to be Santa driving the sleigh with reindeer.
We'll be doing a liver day cake (complete with two candles) tomorrow when Grandma and Grandpa are here. We hope that we have lots more liver days to celebrate!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

band date night

If anyone saw me out tonight, yes I was out on a date with a younger man.....Ian! Brett and I routinely do dates with the kiddos, and family dates, and on the then rare occasion a couple date. Tonight I took Ian on a date to the local high school winter band concert as he talks about musical instruments so much. I kept it suprise until we were in the car.

It was wonderful. He asked all sorts of questions about where the conductor was going to stand, if he (it turned out to be a she) would have a baton (she did), and where the tubas were. Ian is fascinated by tuabs and drums and guitars and thankfully, tonight all three were highlighted in some fashion.

I am very hopeful that his love of music and band will continue until he can select his own instrument to play and I am hoping of his three short listed instruments thus far that it is the tuba that wins out.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Not that type of turkey

Thanksgiving has come and gone as have the family that came to celebrate with us. We had a great time and the kiddos especially liked having some of their cousins here.

As is usual for our family we had a grown up table and a kid table for Thanksgiving dinner. Livia managed to hold her spot at the adult table probably because she bribed Brett with giving him her piece of pie :)
I also did my usual Black Friday shopping but Wal-Mart was sneaky this year and did it at 12:01 instead of crazy early in the morning. I actually liked the late night start. My sister and mom didn't believe me that you had to be there when the pallets were sliced open to get some of the deals and they were both amazed at what Black Friday was like. For me I thought it was really good with people actually helping get things for others like a special size and type of PJ, etc. I won't post what I got as one thing is the major Christmas present for Ian.

In the afternoon on Friday, all of us took the five kids bowling. This was a first for Ian and Livia and they LOVED it. Livy was so tiny she didn't have to wear bowling shoes even. We had a ramp and bumper pads. No one had a strike so we didn't have any of that type of turkey over Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Trial and Error

This year for our family Christmas pictures we opted not to have them professionally taken but rather used our backyard scenery (not the usual fake Christmas backdrop) and the timer mode on our camera. And to really change it up, we opted for very simple attire this year for our family photo. While I am not posting the finalists that may make it into our Christmas Card yet, here are some of the out takes.
The blowing raspberries pose....
Help me I'm falling pose....
And my personal favorite...the choking pose. I was trying to get Ian to rest his hands on her shoulders. Apparently we need to sing head shoulders, knees and toes more often in family home evening to review exactly where our shoulders are.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Harry Potter Complete

I finished the Harry Potter Series yesterday and it was a wonderful read. So good that I am now looking to buy the books (in hardback) and I never buy books. Brett and I have been discussing things from the books as he read them when they were coming out but somehow I thought they would be too dark for me and not want to read them. I guess my Twilight and Hunger Wars reads in recent years has softened me.

I kept hoping that Harry Potter would not die and Brett wouldn't tell me yes or no which I didn't really want him to tell me.

We watched the first movie last night and as is almost always the case, the book was definitely better than the movie. I am hoping to watch all teh movies in time for the first half of Hallows later this month in theatres--yes another gasp that we would go and pay to see it in the theatre.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

No Tricks

This year I could not find the box of costumes that I had packed away so for Halloween we had to make do with what I had hanging up in the spare closet and the dressup bag. A trial run of their costumes this year. Ian was a lion (and a zebra later on) and Livia a witch. I discovered thankfully early on that Livia's costume was a bit on the short side.

We decorated cupcakes with the neighbors this year. And no suprise that 5 year old boys would put way to many sprinkles on their cupcakes. Is there any cake underneath there?

Livia really wanted to just eat the frosting and she managed to swipe a spoon from the table.
On Friday we went to the ward Trunk or Treat party. Where the kids went car to car around the loop twice for treats. I gave out over 100 pieces of candy.
And look at all those treats...well don't look if you are a dentist. We'll be sure to brush extra carefully.
Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

some kind of crazy

At of the beginning of September a literary bug must have bitten me because I have been reading non-stop. All sorts of books. I chug through a book every two days almost and it is great. I am watching almost no TV (only watching the results shows of Dancing with the Stars and Criminal Minds). Of the 30 or so books that I have read recently here are my favorites and recommendations

Hunger Games Trilogy
Hunger Games
Catching Fire
Mocking Jay (just to finish the series. I didn't like this third book at all)

DairyQueen Trilogy
Dairy Queen
The Off Season
Front and Center

Princess Ben
The Amaranth Enchantment
The Help
Book of A Thousand Days
Ketchura and Lord Death
Harry Potter Sorcer's Stone (almost done)

I haven't read like this in so long and it is delicious to put the kids down for bed and just curl up and read. What is cute is Ian now carries around what he calls "journal books" to pretend to read like he sees me doing.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Happy Second Birthday

Livia turned 2 today!

I did a trial run of curlers in her hair two days ago to see if it was worth it for the big day (no second attempt). She held very still letting me put each one in as she was looking at books. Out of the 9 in her hair, 4 made it through the night until the morning. As a nostolgic note, these are the very same curlers that my mother used on my hair when I was Livia's age.

To celebrate Liv's special day, we went to the SC Aquarium for the first time in over a year. The kids loved seeing the albino alligator, the turtles, and of course the sharks.
After lunch and nap (for all of us but Ian), Liv opened presents and played with the new toys. Her big gift was a fisher price dollhouse and it was a hit! I love how the people and things from different sets are interchangable. Livy wanted to drive a car through the door of the house to make it a garage--which was cute but frustrating to her when it wouldn't fit. She also got some books, clothes, craft stuff and was generally spoiled but her extended family (thanks for the awesome stuff family!) She gushed over the Dora things.
I made (or tried to at least) a Dora Explorer backpack cake. When I showed it to her she said "my cake" and "treat" because she could see the M&Ms on it. She got the piece of cake with map and initally tried to eat it with a fork
but then decided that it was much better going face first.
Happy second birthday sweet Livia!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

In a Tent

We tried to be clever and make a conference tent just like in the days of King Benjamin and we tried to have snacks set up for each time a speaker said a special word like Jesus or temple and we tried to church games for the kiddos to play but we still missed a lot of this past General Conference. I am so grateful for the Ensign that prints the messages.

I do however think that the kiddos liked the tent and the treats.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Camp Second Chance

Ian and Brett went to Camp Second Chance (in Rutledge, GA) this weekend. This is a camp set up just for transplant kids and their families through CHOA. The theme was Under the Big Top and Ian had a wonderful time. I think the highlight for him was fishing and catching a catfish (about 2lbs) on his first fishing attempt.

There was a carnival, arts and crafts, and other activities lined up. The volunteers there were wonderful and we are hoping that our family will be able to volunteer when Ian is no longer a pediatric patient to pay it forward so to speak. It was a great experience and I feel fairly certain that we'll be going back next year.

Saturday, September 11, 2010


Apparently, Livy has spent a lot of time watching me get ready in the morning as I found her doing the following things.

(She takes after one of her aunts in being fastidious with ear wax removal.) I was not able to get on camera the chapstick application (which said chapstick is now mangled and in the trash) or the toothpaste squeezing (which said toothpaste tube is now 1/4 emptied). I am going to start locking the bathroom when I shower but then I fear what she will find when she is left "alone".....

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


Sad to say that we had not been to the beach all summer until yesterday, Labor Day. It wasn't because we didn't try but the weather or illness kept thwarting our plans.

We had great weather yesterday so we decided to brave the crowds and go to IOP beach. The water was arm, sand great for digging, not overly crowded and both kiddos loved the waves and even giggled when they wiped out. We stayed long enough that the incoming tide got our blanket just a bit wet.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

No Tears

Ian started Kindergarten today! He did great and no one shed tears today at the drop off; speaking of drop off. It was absolute insanity at the school area today. Cars parked on the road (not kidding) cars parked on the grass, etc. It was worse than the aftermath of 4th of July Fireworks. Hopefully tomorrow will be better. Ian will be dropped off in the AM b/c of his prograf medication. Here is Ian outside his school.

Ian placed his things in his cubby and then found his desk. After getting some crayons, he told us that we could go. Alrighty then! And that was that. Ian was in Kindergarten.
The bus was 30 minutes late dropping off this afternoon which wouldn't have been too bad except for the fact it was a downpour for 15 of those minutes and I was trying to keep livy entertained and hold the umbrella. Ian is showing his name tag for a bus rider after he got off the bus today.
The best part of the day Ian told me was "the mouse hunt" which was where they had to act quiet like mice around the school. And then when they got back to their room, a mouse had a left a note and cookies. The teacher, Mrs. Slusser, did a If you Give a Mouse a Cookie story activity. Ian was thrilled to find not one but two (as he excitedly told me), Chicka Chicka Boom Boom books in the reading center of his class room but sad that he has not unearthed a Thomas the Train book. We may be gifting the class a Thomas book or two.
His homework tonight was to draw a picture of his favorite part of the day. Tomorrow's homework is to write his name 2 times, and then Thursday's homework is to sing the ABC's twice. I have to sign his school folder each night. This is good stuff!
To keep Livia and I occupied this morning so we didn't get too sad, we went shopping at Harris Teeter for Super Double Coupons. We did the most awesome I have ever done on couponing! We scored as shown below:
6 Danimals drinking yogurt packs
5 Danino's yogurt packs
3 Activia packs
3 Peter Pan peanut butters
All for the low price of....................

GETTING MONEY BACK!!!!! Harris Teeter PAID ME $0.35 for the above groceries! A very good sort of retail therapy if I do say so.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Toot Toot Chugga Chugga

We bought tickets to take the kids to see the Wiggles in Jacksonville, FL (closest venue to Charleston) as a last summer hurrah before school starts on Tuesday. The concert was Friday.

The concert was wonderful. It lasted over 1.5 hours and the kids were thrilled. I had made headbands of foam in wiggles colors for hte kdis but those only lasted about 5 minutes before being ripped off. The kids had Wiggles T-shirts on too (thanks Lela!) Brett convinced me to spend the extra money to get tickets on the floor rather than the balcony. Livia loved the Ring Master from the start with his hat falling off trick gigling each time he did it. Both kids danced and sang to the songs. We had a sign that said Ian and Livia love the Wiggles and Murrary read it out loud from the stage which was particularly great for Ian. It was a wonderful show and I would recommend it.

We stayed the night in a hotel (this was what Ian said the highlight was but then changed his mind to seeing the Big Red Car up close). We saw a bit of Fernadina Beach/Amelia Island where there is a Kinder Morgan terminal that Brett has been to several times. And then headed home on Saturday afternoon--of course after a stop for chicken nuggets!

Great trip and a wonderful way to say farewell to summer!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Annual Homecoming

Our annual trip to Virginia the first week of August was great! The kids were decent travelers there and back except that on the way home both kiddos were up the entire ride home until 10:30pm!

We had fun with Grandma and Grandpa. Some of the things we did this round were:

"Hampster wheel"
Bouncing balls
Water table
Digging in the garden
Watercolor painting
Visiting Friends
The magic drawer (Only Grandpa has the magic words to open the drawer that contains treats inside)

I got to sleep in a few days and get a few naps. As Ian starts school this year, that was our last trip to Virginia for a while and I'm glad we did it even with the wide awake kiddos on the drive home to South Carolina.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Mixed Emotions

This summer Livy has started repeating us and therefore talking in general much more. Her favorite phrase is "oh no, what happened" and I know that when she says that I need to look for a) a container of something small and delicate tipped over b) a page of a book ripped out c) crayon, pen, glue on her or some part of the house. It is great. She also likes to say "Need to go potty? all right". It is very cute that she answers herself.

She is also very clever and resourceful using things to get what she wants, like treats. Another one of her favorite phrases is "I need treat" and then proceeds to try to open the pantry door which now has a childproof handle on it. She likes to climb and below she is using a #10 can to peek into the sink.
Ian started the pool season this summer mostly in the kiddie pool playing with Livia and I. Then we discovered one of hte community pools was almost entirely three feet in depth. He is by no means what I would call a swimmer but his growth has been tremendous. He now can "swim" (aka kick feet and doggie paddle) from one side to the other and he can put his whole face in the water with his goggles on. This is huge! I really want him to jump in by the end of the summer.
We are in our last few weeks of summer before school starts on August 17th. We are going through all the role playing things as our final preparation. This week I am packing his lunch in his lunch sack. We talk about what he should eat first, what to do with food that isn't eaten, and practice eating in 15-20 minutes. Ian has been thrilled with the lunch sack exercise and asks me first thing every morning if I packed his lunch. He'll be helping me pack it once school starts but for now I am keeping it a suprise for him as to what is inside :) This picture is also the last "month day" picture for Ian as nonce he starts school, I'll do his book with his yearly school picture.

I'm proud of all the things the kids have been able to do this summer even with all my mixed emotions.

Sunday, July 18, 2010


Our summer is about a month left in duration and it is going to be busy. We've got a trip to CHOA, a trip to Virginia, and school preprations in that time frame not to mention our desire to finally get to the beach this year, more time at the pool, and the sprinklers for the kids.

Oh what do you do in the summertime when all the world is green?

Monday, July 5, 2010

My third fourth

This is my 3rd Fourth of July as a US Citizen. It is great to live in a country of freedom and I hope I never take that for granted.

We did the usual 4th of July things including grilling out except this time we grilled out for three days straight. Our dinner menus were:

Day one was Ribeye (gasp! Yes, I splurged and bought some and it was so heavenly!) with grilled garden veggies with RBFs for dessert (root beer floats)
Day Two was burgers and dogs (the kids favorite) and foil potatoes and fruit salad with smores as dessert (a first for both kiddos and after Livy realized there was chocolate involved she was fine)
Day Three was BBQ chicken with grilled corn on the cob with RBF's for dessert

We went to see fireworks. We tried to put the kids down before going thinking that we would wake them up and go--alas who were we kidding. We got to the place a little late and ended up parking about a 1/2 mile away and then trekking in carrying our kids, blankets, and snacks. (Good thing for Wii Active helping to keep me in shape!) This was Livia's first time seeing any type of fireworks and she loved them. Ian thought they were noisy and wanted to go home before anything got started.

The kids loved the sparklers we attempted today. I thought I had more but there were only three left in the last package from our wedding reception favors. They fizzled pretty quickly but what can you expect after 10 years of sitting around?

Ian had the cutest comment on the 4th as we had talked about it being the USA's birthday and he asked "who will blow out the candles?" Not sure buddy but I'm glad to celebrate America's special day with some extra time as a family!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Happy Birthday Ian

Ian turned 5 today! He got a set of real golf clubs (7 clubs total) that go with his golf bag that he got for Christmas. He is on cloud 9--using a 9 iron probably :) We had a sprinkles cake and he wanted us to sing to him multiple times so we did. Can't believe my Ian is 5 and will head to kindergarten this fall. HAPPY BIRTHDAY IAN!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Food Storage

So we did this project awhile ago (memorial day) but I thought I would post it now because I keep adding to our food storage now that we actually have one thanks to couponing! ( is awesome!)

I've rearranged things about a dozen times trying to get things to fit and we still have #10 cans under beds and various other stashes around the house. (Brett has told me to stop buying toothpaste as we have about 12 tubes or so in our toiletries pantry that is close to overflowing). The kids got into it sorting all the cake mixes, rice mixes, etc. Ian was thrilled to see the cookie mixes and promptly asked when we were going to make some. We have a bamboo cover over it now so it isn't as tempting to see the stuff.

And the finished shelving unit is.....

My next purchase is going to be wheat as I recently acquired a wheat grinder. Why didn't anyone tell me how heavy these beasties are????? Any suggestions on storing wheat or what type to buy as a novice would be welcome.