Thursday, December 2, 2010

Countdown to Christmas

This isn't your typical countdown (just don't say I didn't warn you). I thought of writing this post out to the 12 days of Christmas, but I'll spare you.

So, we've had our Christmas decorations up for exactly 5 days.

Day one, Case broke the Mickey & Minnie snow globe that I lovingly and trustingly (read stupidly) put on the shelved mirror in their bathroom. How'd he do it? By twirling with arms spread wide while brushing his teeth. When I put it in there I jokingly asked Chad to hedge a bet on how long it would last before Case broke it (he's notorious for such irresponsibility and destruction). Chad generously bid a week. Should have put money on that b/c I would have gone WAY less.

Day two, Case decided to walk past the Christmas tree and "bounce" a ball ornament up and down on a branch. It shattered. I actually felt bad for the kid since he'd just been lectured a mere 24 hours previously on making wise and responsible choices and not just going with his instinct w/o thinking. He stood there with his hands on his head, tears streaming down his face and said, "Oh no! I did it again!" Poor guy! I'm sad to say, though, that said ornament was not a replaceable one. It was one my parents brought back from a cruise for me b/c it had a turtle on it and that was my sorority mascot. I got a little choked up.

Day three, Case decided to try to open the door on the Noah's ark ornament on the kid tree in the upstairs bathroom. (Does this kid EVER learn?) The ornament came crashing down, and a pair of elephants and zebras went overboard. Fortunately, they no animals were harmed during the making of this tragedy and can readily be reglued back into the ark.

Day four passed rather peacefully (I think).

But no worries, we made up for our uneventful day today. I left to pick up Em from an afterschool club. Case decided to stay home while I ran to get her (Chad works from home, people, so don't be calling DCS on me). As I'm driving the mile route back home, Chad calls and says, "We have another Christmas casualty". Me: "What happened (sigh, eye roll, sigh)." Chad: "Pound Puppy was taking rides on the banister and landed on the wrong side. The Christmas tree side. He broke another ornament." Me: (laughing on the inside b/c of how Chad's deflected all responsibility to my childhood stuffed toy that Case has now hijacked as his own. poor pound puppy. who can be ticked at him?) "Which ornament?" Chad: "Your UNC ball". Me: "Seriously? Why couldn't it have been one of the generic stupid snowman that I'll probably pitch after this year anyway? Ugh! Another non-replaceable one.

But that's not the end people....

So, after dinner the kids are be wild....running around the house. And Emily is chasing Case with her stuffed kitty cat, complete with leash. The leash whips around as she is flying through the family room, and CRASH....the angel Gabriel lost his wings. I cried a little. Chad picked up the pieces. Emily profusely apologized. And I have to believe Case was feeling a little relieved (I know I would have been if I was him). In a small and maybe weird way I was glad Em broke something. She can be slightly prideful and just earlier today when Chad had called to warn my of Pound Puppy's destruction, Emily piped up when I hung up the phone and said, "I bet I know what happened." Me: "Emily, it is not your concern or business. Please don't stick your nose in this (trying to protect poor Case, I mean Pound Puppy)". Emily: "I'm just saying, I bet Case broke something else (poor guy does have a reputation). Well, Miss High and Mighty (I love the girl, but she can be such a nudge)....I'm sure Case will strike again, but just remember YOU went after one of God's angels! Yikes! :)

Friday, November 19, 2010

What not to wear...

Where are Stacy and Clinton when you need them? I sleep in for few hours on Saturday morning and I wake to find this....

To my horror, I discover that not only has Daddy said she could wear this, but that he also allowed her to go out in public! WHAT? Let's just say that I'm thankful we had a party to go to later that day that required dressing up....whew!

And please take note of how my husband is dressed while cooking breakfast in the background. Yes, he HATES winter and yet is too cheap (I mean frugal, honey, if you are reading this) to crank up the heat. So, instead he wears this to cook. Oh how I love that man!

A Long, long time ago in a galaxy far away....

So, we kept it simple for Case's party. We had it at the park in our neighborhood, a super cool one. We did pizza and cake and just let the kiddos play. The adults got to hang out, the girls climbed and slid, and the boys played Star Wars (which as the party theme).

Here are some pics....

Case and his "best friend in the universe", Jack! Jack is the son of our dear friends Shad and Veronica. It's so great to have little boys in Case's life that are fun and come from families who love Jesus!

Jack, Case, and Austin eating cake and making disgusting boy jokes! What is it about little boys being together that brings out the wildness? Ha! They were great! Austin is my precious nephew. He is such a neat little guy....great character, smart as a whip, and a total goofball! Case canNOT get enough of him. You would think that they would tire of seeing one another, but every time is like the first time!

Here is my attempt at the Death Star cake. Ask Erin for the story on this one...she had me convinced that it was the easiest cake to make (she made it last year for Austin's birthday), so I went for it. About 5 minutes in I wanted to cuss. Come to find out that she is WAY more talented than me (which is NOT news), and her skill combined with her hubs' artistic ability is why it felt easy. I should have let her make it when she year, E, it's all you, kay? Love you!

Case and Austin dueling. Case is Luke (hence the blue light saber, apparently), and Austin is Darth Vader (which requires a red light saber for those of you that are Star Wars ignorant)! Ha!

Emily as Padme and Case as Luke. Emily's costume was a total throw together at the last minute. She loved it, though, so much so that she ended up ditching the idea of being Belle for Halloween and went as Padme. Gotta love that!

Case's Birthday

So, since last month we've celebrated Case's 5th Birthday. He's such a funny, charming, smart little fella. He truly is my shadow ALL day long, but he can play so well on his own and with others when asked. We started his day with "hat day" at school. He was the "Star of the Day" for his birthday, which means he got to bring the book for story time and also a special treat for snack time. He chose to bring "My Lucky Day", which is a favorite of ours to read and he chose a cookie cake for his treat.

We then celebrated by making him the guest of honor at dinner, where he got to choose what we had. He chose hamburgers (and a hotdog for Emily), rosemary and garlic baked new potatoes, and caesar salad. Thanks to Nana, we then enjoyed yummy cupcakes from a local bakery for dessert!!!

Over the weekend we had a party for him as well...those pictures to come....

Friday funnies....

Has it really almost been a month since I posted...ugh! As much as I want to capture life and all that is happening, I stink at it. Sorry!

Okay, so funnies from the mouths of my babes..

1. Emily was asking about something that Nana and I did together, but I missed the first part of her question so I said, "who?" She replied, "Nana, you know your assistant mom." (a.k.a Mother-in-Law).

2. While reading with Case I try to remind him when a vowel makes a short or a long sound in the word he's trying to sound out. So, I said, "Case, this one is a long E." And so he proceeds by saying, "eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee. was that long enough, Mom?"

3. While driving, especially to church each Sunday, Case often asks, "Mom, is this the short cut or the long cut?"

4. Emily while playing a game with Nana one night after dinner at our house says, "I"m so tired I could pass out."

OKay, so that's all that come to mind....but I'm sure there are more b/c these two keep me in stitches. Stay tuned for some photo updates...

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Fall break

Fall break has been fun. laid back and fun. day one we went to the library and out to lunch at Chick-fil-a. day two we went to the the play area at our botanical gardens (where the kids love to dress up and pretend in the outdoors...see picture) with Nana and the Crenshaw girl cousins (Livi and Elle Belle). day three we had a picnic at the park and loaded up to drive to Arkansas for the rest of the week to see my sis and her fam (hopefully more pictures to come of our time there...counting on Mel for those).'s been lovely here....campfire by night, walks in the woods in the day, cousins playing anything and everything, adults playing Catan, watching a movie in bed with my sister, breakfast each day prepared by my b.i.l (his specialties), and then men even preparing a mexican feast for us gals last night! i've LOVED it. I know that so many people feel like the time with their kids at home (on breaks from school) are stressful...but I feel just the opposite. there is no schedule, so nothing HAS to be planned. we can just roll. love it!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Photo Diary-Cookies with Case

Now that we are living near Nana, we are always kept in the know of all the local happenings, deals, etc...she's the BEST!

So, here are some shots of Case and I enjoying Free Cookie Friday...

Photo Diary-Case at play

I'm trying to enjoy each day that I have with Case, as I know that I will miss him terribly next year when he goes to school for Kindergarten. As it is, this year's been a HUGE transition with him gone to school two days and with Nana to Bible study another day. On our two days together I try to take him to parks, on playdates, or try to be intentional to play with him at home. It doesn't always work out, but we've had a lot of fun when it does. One of our new favorite outings is to the botanic gardens where they have a play area just for's so super creative and since we go with Aunt E and the girls (Elle Belle and Liv) we always feel like its a treat!

Here is Case in one of his favorite areas...the walking creek.

Photo Diary-Emily's Muffins with Mom

Emily's school hosts a Muffins with Mom. So, true to Woelke form Emily picked the Double Chocolate Muffin! I do NOT understand how you people can eat chocolate so early in the morning! My! But, she LOVED it. We got there pretty early, so we had our muffins (and thankfully coffee) and then played on the playground before school started. Here are a few of Em scarfing down her daily dose of chocolate and then playing...

Photo Diary-Case's accomplishments

Okay, so Case may NOT know how to tie his shoes, cut food with a knife, or even say his "L"s exactly right yet....but he has mastered the art of crossing his eyes. We are ever the proud parents!

Photo Diary-Case's fuel belt

Okay, so clearly I can't keep up with the blog these days. I WANT to. I WANT to keep track of all the funny things the kids do and say. I WANT to log all our fun family adventures, but I'm surrendering it. I won't say that I'm quitting, but I'm surrendering what I had hoped it could be and allowing it to just to be what it can. That might mean more posts like this...with a little picture and a story, but I figure that's okay by all of you...who wants to hear my ramblings anyway, right? Ha!

So, I'm apparently CRAZY enough to train for another 1/2 marathon. This one is still a few months away, but I'm already incorporating a few long runs into my week. As such, it's been hot and I've needed more water than normal. So, I've been taking my "fuel belt" along with know, the belts that go around runner's waists and hold water bottles.

Well, the other day while Case and I were in the kitchen (where my fuel belt bottles were drying in the dish rack), Case grabbed one and in an attempt to mimic me he put it down his pants and ran in place! The placement was HILARIOUS, but so was his running (if only I had thought to capture that for your enjoyment)! HA!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

First Day of School

Okay, it's catch up are the kiddos on their first days of school. Em started first grade and transitioned beautifully. She was such a great student in Kindergarten, and thus far has continued on in like fashion. Here she is on her first day in front of our new home and then with her teacher, Mrs. Buchholz!

Case began preschool (his first schooling ever) this year. He goes to a 2 day/wk. program at a local church. I was nervously praying for him all summer, as he's my kiddo who doesn't always take to transition so well. When the day arrived, he was SOOO excited that he kept asking when it would be time to leave. He was actually driving me BATTY so I set the timer in the kitchen for him. The sweet boy literally sat at watched the time tick by, ever-so-often calling out a time update for me. Needless to say he waltzed right into his classroom and the rest is history. Here he is on his first day (notice the totally Case pose) and then one with his teachers, Mrs. Williams and Mrs. Bailey.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


so, we've moved. we jammed all that we could into one last summer as residents on our sacred island, sadly kissed my daddy (and for that matter an entire chapter of our lives) goodbye, and moved.

now, understand this...i am a moving expert. i moved a TON as a child. i welcomed it, made the best of it, embraced it, and often began to look forward to the next one. it always rang of clean slates, new friends, and yet another place to return to and claim a stake on.

this's different. the change has been great for, an AWESOME church, returning to old friendships that are both fun and sharpening, etc. and just like always, the boxes were promptly unpacked in a matter of days (although at 34 I also FELT it like never before...sore back and dehydration...ugh). but that's when it all went south.

i am a type A (bold, underlined, and capitalized). so once the boxes were unpacked, i didn't know what to do. maybe it's because there's too much on the list that i want to see done and don't know where to begin? maybe it's because i'm not sure whether to connect with people, paint a room, or find an gym and instructing position? i don't know exactly why i was so stumped, overwhelmed, and paralyzed but, well, i was.

so, i opted to work in the yard. it seemed logical to me at the time. i knew that all the beds needed to be weeded, pruned, watered, treated, etc and unlike paint i couldn't go wrong. it's formulaic...pull weeds+water+treat=done. was it hot? as in wring out your shirt when your done, hot. and apparently, we have poison ivy in our yard....EVERYWHERE. So, by day 2 or 3 i was covered in rashes.

now, i've never had poison ivy before that i can remember...and after this bout, i think i would have remembered having had it before. it stinks! i was plumb UNCOMFORTABLE. i was itchy. i was hot in my long attire. and now i didn't know what to do with my time. to top it off, i finally went to the doctor for an eye issue i'd been battling unsuccessfully for about a month, only to determine that i was on the brink of blindness. okay, not really, but he did scare me...something about dead spots on my cornea and all....ugh! remedy? no contacts for two weeks and drops in the eye 4x/day. now, you may not know me but i am a sweater, and I don't mean clothing. i get DRENCHED quickly in heat and during activity. my nephew, Jack, would tell you its "unlady like to perspire", but that's just the way the good Lord made me. and not only that, but i sweat from my head. as a cheerleader at high school football games you could see steam coming off my head...true story. but i digress....

so, wearing glasses outside (which is where i wanted to be to work at the one thing i felt i COULD the yard) was UNCOMFORTABLE. wearing glasses to run or work out is also UNCOMFORTABLE. are you seeing a theme.

yes, this transition and all that has come with it...the lack of routine, the physical ailments, etc...have made me UNCOMFORTABLE.

but thanks be to GOD for His timely word in my Bible reading one morning...that being uncomfortable is exactly where He has me and wants me. metaphorically, its like my time in the yard. He wants to weed out the idols, the lukewarmness, the bad habits and all in my heart. He wants to water it with this abundance of great teaching and community we've been blessed with. He wants to treat it with the fellowship of family and friends who care enough to walk the deep road with me. And, He wants to leave behind a remnant with which to begin to tend and grow anew. peeps, i need that. i've been in drought and overgrowth for quite a while now. blame it on the grieving process, the lack of a church home that we felt connected to, or just my plain ol' sin. but, i can tell you this....i will take being UNCOMFORTABLE any day of the week if it means further refinement for His use and glory. amen? AMEN and AMEN!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Pony Camp

Poppy gave Emily and Ella-Kathryn two days at Pony Camp for their birthdays. They got to brush the horses, clean the horseshoes, take a tour of the stable, learn all about horses, saddle them, and then ride. The first day they rode on a pony with a lead, and then today they rode on a big horse alone. They had a BLAST! They loved going and especially going together.

Here is a picture of Emily all dressed and ready to go!

Happy 6th Birthday, Emily!

I can hardly believe I'm the mom of a 6 year old! Unbelievable. Not that it is about me, but it just puts it all in perspective for me. I can still remember lying in my bed pregnant, looking across the hall to that closet full of little tiny clothes, thinking are we really going to have a little person who will fit in those? Oh my!

We celebrated kind of mildly this year. I have to say that Em's birthday was not high on my list with 14 other people here visiting, saying goodbyes, packing, and all that comes with moving. It's not that SHE's not important, but I just kept putting off the planning. So, at the last minute I decided that our family would bring her gifts to the Boardwalk Bash on Friday night (her actual birthday) and that she could spend the night at Aunt Lala's along with her cousin, Ella-Kathryn. On Saturday Aunt Lala took the girls shopping, had their nails done, took them out to lunch, and to the pool. We met them there later for a pool party for Emily. She wanted Tinkerbell, a few friends, all of our family, and pizza. Easy peasy! So thankful she didn't need/want anything I probably couldn't have produced it this year. Ha!

Anyway, here are a few pictures from the pool party...

Ava, Halle, Emily, and Will eating pizza.

Maribel and Pete

Aunt Lala, Aunt Melanie, Ryan, Jack, and Gran

Case and Ella-Kathryn

We're planning on doing a little more celebrating with our family in Memphis once we arrive and get settled.

As for Emily...where to start? Emily is outgoing, dramatic, strong-willed, and stubborn (no idea where she gets it). She's organized, scheduled, diligent, and bright. She likes to lead, but still doesn't quite know how to do it appropriately and in the best manner that others will follow (i.e. she can be bossy). She likes to be in the know (i.e. nosy), helpful, and she always wants to be around people. She loves to read, swim, sing, do dance and gymnastics, go shopping and watch movies. She's 6 going on 16 in appearance, behavior and attitude. My oh my what will next year be like? Love that sweet girl! Happy Birthday, Em!

The Simpson

We've been enjoying the Simpsons (my sis and her fam) for the past 2 weeks or so. We've hit the beach, the Y, the pool, the boardwalk bash, and have had so much fun. We've only got a day or so left before they head out, and CLEARLY I'm going to need to take some more pictures than this. I'm pathetic, eh? But, here are few keepers for sure...

My nephew, Will, sporting the worker goggles and underware. Not a look many can get away with, right?

My nephew, Ryan asleep in the chair next to his momma. Poor fella...he was so tuckered out from a cold and benedryl.

And here's another of Will with a sweaty head at the boardwalk reminds me of those gnome/troll pencils that you would twist the hair on top! Ha!

Okay, hopefully more to come....

My two little loves...

I have to admit. Parenting has been a HUGE challenge for me this summer. I mean, I LOVE my children...but sometimes I've struggled in these days to truly LIKE them. Is that terrible? Just keepin' it real!

Anyway, I really believe that the struggle stems more from being stressed from our current circumstances, not walking in the Spirit, and just being plum worn out. Yes, Emily and Case aren't completely without fault, but I feel that if only I could handle myself differently then we'd be that much closer to success, ya know?

Ah, in a perfect world!

Having said all that, here we are in one of our better moments. Watching the parade on the 4th....all squeezed together on Mommy's lap, me being the chair that we forgot to bring.

I do love my kiddos, and I even like them most of the time....I suppose its more about me not liking me. I'm just thankful that their memories are short, that the Lord's mercies are new each morning, and that I get to be their Mommy!

Saving the world one rat at time....

Our most interesting visitor this summer would most definitely be THE RAT!

It all began when I opened the kitchen trashcan (yes, you read that correctly), and saw movement. Out JUMP a RAT! Instead of closing the trashcan or doing anything logical to solve our problem, I ran away and screamed like a little girl. Chad promptly ignored me because he says, "I always hear screaming downstairs". Thanks for that! Fortunately, we still live with my Dad and HE came running. The next SEVERAL days were filled with rat catching escapades. It began with Dad making this homemade rat trap, which required lying on the floor, waiting for the rat to make noise, and then trapping him. I guess Chad decided to join him for moral support? Not sure, but I know it went on until 3 a.m. and there was no prisoner in the morning.

Poppy then blocked off all cabinet spaces that appeared "open" in the kitchen. So, logically the rat then next appeared in his bathroom. After closing off those, the rat then showed up in the pantry. At this point we added rat traps, real ones, no longer caring to be humane to this ridiculous creature:)

Well, all seemed quiet in the house for a day or we assumed the rat had moved on.

Then one night I went to bed, Dad went to bed, and Chad stayed up working in the family room. I got a call on my cell phone, after having been asleep, and it was Chad. In hushed tones he said, "hey, I'm in the family room and I have the rat cornered." WHAT? Is this a dream? No, perhaps a nightmare, but not a dream.

So, I do what any good, tired wife does...I got up, opened the door, rolled my eyes and sighed heavily, and then proceeded to help Chad capture he and Dad's nemesis. The rat was cornered under a bookshelf that was near the back porch door. Chad got a flashlight and corned him in its beam. I remembered that Dad had said that if we could ever get it to run out the door that would be the best option. I also remembered that he said that they don't run across open expanses, but rather will stick along the wall. So, we proceeded to build a corral from the bookshelf to the back porch door...using the moving boxes and tubs that were stacked on the wall all ready for our move to Memphis in 2 weeks. Once the corral was constructed, Chad poked and prodded the rat with a rake and out he flew....down the corral, out on the porch, and out the back door! It worked! After a high five and a little clean-up of boxes, we were all able to sleep more soundly.

I think the thing that gets me the most, and there is so much material here to choose from, is that the thing was living with us for a whole week and we didn't even know it. Ick! Maybe it wasn't the same fella...I asked Dad if he thought it was and he said, "I don't know, Karen, I didn't ask his name." ha! Even so, to think of that gives me the heebie jeebies. Ya know? Alas, all is safe in the world now!

The Crenshaws

We've had the privilege of having some of our dearest friends and family here with us this summer. Chad's sister, Erin, and her family came at the end of June and I have NOTHING to show for it in terms of pictures! Ugh! Why do I do that? Here is the only one I can find, and fortunately Erin took some as well and posted them on her blog, so check them out too!

I can't begin to say enough about this family and what they mean to us. They aren't just in our lives because of being family....they are some of our best friends. They challenge us, love us, and sharpen us and we are so thankful to be able to walk this life with them.

Thank you for taking the time and resources to come see us this summer, Crenshaws! We loved having you and feel so blessed to have had that time with you. Can't wait to do daily life with you in Memphis VERY SOON!

My three favorite peeps...

So, I've not done a great job of keeping up this summer AT ALL! So this will be my attempt to cover our summer all in one sitting. Be sure and check out all the new posts, as I'll do them all separately for my own benefit:)

Here are my three favorite peeps in a few of our rare moments of downtime this summer. They're all so nice and brown, eh?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

4th of July

We've had such a busy summer...lots of visitors, packing, working, etc....etc! We've been enjoying each day for what it offers, but it is quickly coming to a close. Only 10 more days of family, beach, pool, and this beautiful island. Then we're off to our new home (which I still haven't see with my own eyes...ha!).

Anyway, here are a few shots of our time at the parade with Gran and Lala. It was a gorgeous night for fireworks and a parade.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

So it's been a LONG time since I've posted anything health related, eh? My journey hasn't halted, but I just neglected to write about it on here.

When I began, I intended to lose 61 lbs., get healthy and strong, and gradually implement changes that would affect my family in a positive way as well. I also knew that I needed goals outside of just seeing numbers going down on the scale, though. So, I challenged myself to get certified to teach group fitness classes, run a 1/2 marathon, lift more weights, run faster, do more pushups (or atleast one...ha!), etc. Having a wide variety of goals helped to remind me that it was about the big picture rather than just about being skinnier, ya know?

So, where am I now? Well, in terms of numbers I've lost 40 lbs., I can actually do several pushups, I'm challenging myself to run faster for longer, etc. I'm also back to investigating more about nutrition...what things are better to buy organically (i.e. that are cleaner), what additional healthy changes I can make by removing certain food and adding in others, etc. I'm teaching aqua aerobics now, and love it. I look forward to teaching other classes in the near future too. I'm in a boot camp style group training, just trying to spice it up a bit and trick my body into pushing itself past what's comfortable and expected.

Having said all that, I thought it might be fun to you to see a picture from when I started....when I was at my heaviest (and saddest, I might add), and then a current one of me in process. It pains me to look at the "before" picture. Why did no one tell me I looked like someone had inflated me to be a balloon in the Macy's Day parade? Ugh! I just can't believe it. Anyway, here goes...

Align Left

Friday, June 11, 2010

Oh to be "Young"...

So, our dear friends the Youngs were here for a visit this week. Marilyn and I went to college together at UNC-Chapel Hill, but really became close after college when we roomed together. I can hardly believe that was 12 years ago. Oh my!

Marilyn blesses me. She is hilarious, easy-going, and incredibly wise. We have so many similar ideas and's just so life-giving to be around her.

I have LOVED getting to know her precious children, Tucker and Hannah. They are bright, funny, beautiful children and my kiddos said, "I miss them already" as they drove down the block. Tonight at dinner they Emily prayed for them to come back too! It's such sweetness to have your kiddos love those that you love!!!

So, here are a few shots of our week. We get another night with them and the bonus of having Matt here as well. Can't wait!

Pensive bike rider Case

Case, Tucker, Emily, and Hannah watching a movie (our attempt at a chill night). Notice the blank stares on our boys and the DRAMA on the faces of the chicas! Hilarious and VERY telling!

Our bathing beauties....mine is the brown one! Ha!

Em, Case, and Tucker in the tide pool finding fish and hermit crabs. Good times!

Case, Tucker, Hannah, and Emily enjoying some Shake's Frozen Custard, care of Poppy!


So, we said goodbye to our dear friends, Leslie and Andrew (affectionately known as Tiger to my children b/c he growls and chases them (see picture below)). They have been such a joy to do life with, and will sorely be missed both here on the island and just in our daily life.

Here are a few shots from our time at B.J.'s for their goodbye dinner....