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Monday, November 07, 2011

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Making Pumpkin Bread Together

Add a Dash of Fancy

We're headed to the grocery store the other day, so I tell the girls to get their jackets and shoes on.  I go to the study to get my shopping list, and this is what I come back to:

I always feel underdressed when I'm out with these two. 

Hmm ...

It's like a combination of gangster stance with a ballerina outfit and a Mardi Gras mask.  Otherwise known as Verity's normal clothes. :)

The FAIR!!

I don't know if you know the North Carolina State Fair, but it's kind of a big deal.  It's HUGE.  We ended up not taking the girls last year, so this year we made a point of going as a family.  And we dragged Rere along too.  Which turned out to be fantastic because with all those people and the long walks, we definitely were glad for the help.

We had been through the gates maybe 5 minutes before the girls got their first ride.  And it was on some ponies!!  As adults you look at this and think, "You're charging me how much to ride around in a circle slowly???" But as a child, it's like a gallop through a beautiful meadow. 

And then after riding the real ponies, we rode the fake ones.  You just can't go to a fair or carnival and not ride the carousel.  Except for me.  I guarded the stuff and took pictures.  Although I really should have switched places with Rere as she gets a bit motion sick.  A topic we'll approach again later. 

And then it was time for Charissa's first roller coaster ride!!  Man was she excited.  Since it was one of those itty bitty kiddy rides, she had to go by herself.  That didn't seem to phase her at all!  She ran up the stairs and climbed aboard the giant dragon/sea serpent with a huge grin on her face. 

So about 30 seconds after these pictures were taken, her facial expressions started to change.  It became quite clear that she was not feeling well.  Thankfully the ride ended shortly after.  When she got off I asked her if she liked it and she just whimpered, "I don't want to do that again."  Poor thing!  She had a bit of an upset stomach before we came to the fair, so we don't know if her tummy got more upset, or she has some motion sickness.  Either way, she was a bit pitiful for a few minutes.  And just let me brag for a minute about Sweet Verbear.  She took it like a champion that she couldn't ride the roller coasters (she's about 2 inches too short).  She stood there and watched sister the whole time and clapped and cheered for her. 

We did find a ride that was Verity-friendly.  It was a big obstacle course that the girls and Britt went through.  At the end of the course you get to slide down a very long slide. 

I never thought that we would do this, but we let our girls play one of those ridiculous games.  They had a dart and had to throw it at the balloons and try to pop them.  CJ actually did a great job and popped 2 balloons (out of three throws).  I was really impressed. 
Verity, on the other hand, didn't hit the board a single time.   I was actually more thankful that she didn't hit anyone else with the dart.  Do you see the hands held up for protection in the picture?  It was necessary. 
But the redeeming part of fair games is that you don't have to win to get a prize.  Both girls got stuffed tigers with ridiculously long limbs and have velcro on the paws. 

In the end, the girls did get to ride on one ride together.  It was one of those hot air balloon rides that go up in the air.  Theoretically, the basket will spin if you hold onto the black part in the middle and spin it, but that would require your children to have a combined mass of more than 45 pounds and the strength to move it.  Oh well.  And does anyone notice anything wrong with this picture?
Yup - that's Verity hanging over the side of the basket.  She leaned over even farther out, but at the point I had stopped taking pictures and was focused on getting her to sit her hiney back down.  That was a moment of panic. 

I like this next picture because it displays the girls' personalities really well.  Charissa is holding on and looking around her at eye level just enduring the ride, and Verity is barely seated and looking up at the top and totally enthralled. 

Did anyone notice anything funny in these pictures?  Like the lack of food?  The food is what most people go for, and this year we didn't eat a single thing.  Nothing.  Can you believe that?  With Charissa's tummy being upset and then some possible motion sickness, there was nothing at the fair that we really wanted her to eat, so we all skipped the food.  But next year, I'm definitely getting some ribbon fries! 

All in all, it was the most fun I'd ever had at the fair.  And the girls LOVED it.  And were totally exhausted.  The both dozed off in the car on the way home. :)

Sweet Sisters

Reading the Bible together before bedtime.  I didn't even stage this one. :)

Farm Field Trip

Charissa had a field trip to a local farm recently and Verity and I got to chaperone.  We had a great time seeing the animals and learning about life on a farm.  Apparently this farm has been in the family for many generations, so they had an old well, barns, and even a TWO seater outhouse. 

The girls got to do some fun things like pulling up the bucket to get water ....

... feed the goats ...
... show off our expertise in milking cows ...
... and "pick" pumpkins. 

    We had a lot of fun and I'm glad that we were able to go.  It was definitely a learning experience. But more so about the fact that Verity is definitely NOT ready for school right now.  I spent 90% of the time wrangling the little monkey and trying to keep her focused on the current activity.  Charissa did a great job though and demonstrated how she's learned to stay in line and wait her turn.  At least we have time before Verity goes to school. 

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


Guess who went camping over the weekend?  Some small people and their daddy!  It was a trial run for when they go camping out in the real woods.  We thought we should try it out in case one of the girls decided that they hated it or was scared.  It's much easier to come inside from the backyard than from a campsite a couple hours away.  But they had a great time and loved snuggling with Daddy in the tent. 

And what was I doing?  Well, I was frying up about 4 dozen Turkish pastries for a party the next day.  Hopefully I can make the next camping excursion. 

Someone is starting school!

Verity has been asking to do school since Charissa has been gone at school.  So we started doing some "school" last week.  We're simply learning colors and shapes.  But she's enjoying it and I'm glad she's learning how to sit and work on something. 

And look how we've advanced!  States and capitals!  
Just kidding!  She found them and just started playing with them. 

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

A Dramatically Biblical Bedtime

This afternoon the girls were watching "The Story of Joseph," an animated film about Joseph from the Bible (Genesis 37-50). At one point, the movie shows guards casting Joseph into prison unjustly, and he cries out to God, "Why?! Why have You done this to me?! I didn't deserve this!"

I stopped the video and asked Charissa who Joseph was talking to and why he was upset. Charissa answered correctly that Joseph was talking to God and that he hadn't done anything wrong, then she added, "I feel like Joseph when you put me to bed at night."

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Sweet, Pitiful Girl

Sweet little Verbear wasn't feeling well today.  She got sick over the weekend (including throwing up at her little friend's birthday party ... right in front of the food table.  Sorry Charity!!) and hasn't recovered yet.  This is how Verity spent her day:

Sleeping in the bathroom ...

...asleep in Mama's signature burrito wrap...

...isn't she sweet?

Then she fell off the couch, but that didn't stop her!

This is during nap time ...  she looks both pitiful and silly.

Now, I'm not sure if she actually fell asleep, but she laid there for a while and I feel like she gets points for making the effort.

Clearly she's not asleep in this picture, but she laid there in that position for quite a while.  So it counts for me.  

Such a strange day.  But by the end of the day she was feeling better and I'm praying that tomorrow she chippers up a bit more.

Monday, September 26, 2011

This morning the girls opened a new tube of toothpaste.  This particular had My Little Pony characters on it.  So the the girls are brushing their teeth when we have this conversation:

CJ: Mmm!  It's yummy!
V: Mmm!  Tastes like pony!

Hope you too get to enjoy some pony flavored toothpaste one day! :)

Friday, September 23, 2011

V & Papa Ben

I think this is how I will always remember Papa Ben.  He is never without a giant smile and a loud laugh.  So glad they popped in for a bit so we could see them last week.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Bye Bye Shoes

Do your kids have a favorite pair of shoes?  Ones that they wear  e v e r y  s i n g l e  d a y?  To church, to the park, to a friend's house ... our sparkly white shoes have been faithful all summer.  But now they are starting to look a little tired and worn.

So it was time to retire them.  I thought about just taking them out of the basket and not even saying anything to the girls about it.  But then I realized that as soon as CJ found out her favorite pair of shoes had been stolen away from her, she would be devastated.  Best course of action - having a goodbye ceremony.  Did I ever think I would have a goodbye ceremony for a pair of shoes?  Nope.  Funny where life takes you.

Charissa put her shoes on and did a last dance.  Verity decided she'd rather put the shoes on Buddy.  Sweet little girl in her Mr. T shirt. :)

After our goodbyes were said the girls put their shoes inside a box and that was the end.  
Have I told them that the shoes are going in the trash?  No.  But I didn't make up some line about sending them to someone else or saving them either.  Poor stinky shoes.  They had a good run.  :)

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

They make me smile

When they play princesses and ponies ...

... when they sit around with sunglasses on ....

... when they cuddle their dolls and tuck them in to bed ...

 ... in the oven. :)

So glad my job involves so much silliness!!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Well that's a thinker ...

This morning at the breakfast table Charissa told me that she didn't want to go to school today.  When I asked her why, she said "It's too much fun."

I guess she met her quotient of fun.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

First Day of School

My big girl went to school for the first time last week.  I know everyone talks about how hard it is to send your little ones off to school, but I think Charissa and I were just so ready for school and so excited for what the year had in store for her, that we weren't sad at all. 

On the first day we woke up nice and early so we could have a very special breakfast and have plenty of time to get to school.  Here's the little girl in all her first day of school glory:

As a side note, I made Charissa's backpack and it's one of the worst projects I've ever done.  It took forever and I made so many mistakes (which is why it probably took forever), and I'm not sure I'll be doing it again. But she has a backpack that doesn't have a Disney Princess or Dora or Hello Kitty and it didn't cost $70, so I guess it was a success.  Oh - and she likes it. :)

On her way into the school carrying her gift for the teachers.  It's a "love plant." :) 
And this is how Verity felt about Charissa's first day of school.  She was broken hearted that her sister would go off and leave her all alone.  Not really.  I think she was more upset that she wasn't allowed to go to school than whether or not Charissa was there.  But a mother can dream of daughters who love each other like .... sisters.

Look!  They survived the first day of school!  And they're still smiling!  

This is from the second day of school.  Do you think I should start a series called "Mornings with Charissa" in which I catalog every day before she goes to school?  Probably not.  
Although I couldn't resist taking pictures again this morning!!  She was just too funny and being so silly.  I had to capture her.  Look at that little smirk.  I wish I was a better photographer.  

And that's more like it. :)

I'm so thankful that we are able to send CJ to school.  I know that we are all going to benefit from it.