Thursday, December 31, 2009

It's Over?

Well, the holidays are officially over. I will write all about it once I unbury myslef from the piles of suitcases, gifts, laundry, and wonderful memories! Happy New Year everyone!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

All Quiet

You know that moment when all is quiet. When everything just stops and there is that brief moment of silence. That single moment when your child has to make an announcement when all around you is so still and quiet. Well, Brady picked that exact moment today while IN CHURCH! He announced, "Take my underwear off! I have to go potty!" I could feel the heat rising up into my face. You can't just sneak out the back after that kind of announcement. I basically gathered our coats grabbed my purse and scooted us out without making any eye contact with anyone. After meeting Brady's demands, we found a spot in the lobby of the church and watched the rest of the service on the closed circuit TV. All was quiet again. Whew!

Monday, December 7, 2009


Jacob's class is talking about traditions this week in school. His teacher gave us an assignment to bring something in to show the class our holiday traditions. We were stumped. We don't really have any "traditions".

Growing up we always traveled to Louisiana to spend the holidays with my Grandparents. We moved around every 3-4 years so going to Louisiana was something constant. Something comfortable. A tradition. When I was in high school my Dad was always "on duty" at the plant so my Grandparents traveled to us. Our tradition changed.

Tod's family always had a routine of going to Grandma Owens' house on Christmas Eve then to Midnight Mass. On Christmas they had a family Christmas at home then off to Grandma O'Donnell's house for the rest of Christmas day festivities.

Since we have started our family every Christmas has been different. We alternate Christmases between my family and Tod's. We have celebrated Christmas in Kentucky, Florida, North Carolina, and South Carolina. We have had our Christmas in happy places and in sad places. We have even celebrated Christmas as late as January 21st. One Christmas we didn't even have a tree. (Well, we decorated our ficus...doesn't count!)

There are some traditions in our families that I hope will last for many generations. My Dad always fixes a huge batch of fudge. He even makes an extra batch without pecans for me. Tod's Mom always buys us all new pajamas to wear every Christmas Eve. We all look great for our Christmas morning pictures! My Dad also makes many pans of party mix. Sometimes it is super spicy...the way we all like it. He started making some "not so spicy" for the kids. Tod's Grandma Owens makes the best Christmas cookies and coffee cake. Yum! My Mom cooks up a HUGE pot of crawfish gumbo every year. We FEAST and there are not many leftovers.

Jacob said that he is going to tell his class that our tradition is that we do things different each year. I guess it doesn't matter where or when you spend your holidays, but who you spend them with. This is why I have chosen Fudge, Party Mix, and Gumbo as my new blog title. What a great tradition we have!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Letters to Jake

I have been looking for an address so Jacob can write a letter to Santa. I found one the other day and asked Jacob if he wanted to write to Santa and tell him what you want for Christmas. Here is our conversation...
Me: Hey Jacob. Do you want to write a letter to Santa? I found his address and you can tell him what you want for Christmas.
Jacob: No. I think I will write a letter to Jake Delhomme. (Panther's Quarterback)
Me: Why?
Jacob: Well, he broke his finger and I want to tell him that I hope he feels better.
Me: Aaaa, OK.
Jacob: Can you get his address?
Me: Ummm, I will certainly try!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Tourist In Our Own State

Last weekend we decided to be tourists in our own state! After seeing Pearl Fryar on HGTV, 60 Minutes and in Southern Living Magazine we had to go see his Topiary Garden in Bishopville, SC. After Pearl retired he got a little bored and decided to trim the trees in his yard. Well, it turned into the most interesting place. He had a little mailbox in his front yard for donations and a big Welcome sign for anyone who wanted to take a walk around his yard. He lives on a dead end street and has inspired all of his neighbors. The entire street is decorated in topiaries.

Yep - that is his address!

It just seemed like we stepped into a Dr. Seuss story book.

He had Love Peace And Goodwill written in his side yard.

Tod and the boys along with two little dogs that followed us all over the place. It was a nice welcoming committee!

This tree is called the Arrowhead. So amazing.

Everywhere we turned there was an amazing tree that you can tell was so carefully and lovingly sculpted.

This is my favorite. A square tree.....

He also had some neat sculptures and fountains scattered around the landscape.

Jacob thought these topiaries looked like animals.

Who know bushes could take these shapes?

Brady loved this fountain. He didn't want to leave.

After leaving Pearl's topiaries we headed to Lee State Park to throw the football and take a hike. I was surprised to find how swampy it was there. Also, the trees were huge and covered with Spanish Moss. Brady called the trees "hairy".

Our hike was on a boardwalk across this green swampy water.

Jacob just called the water - "YUCK!"

These little green plants were under the water. It was actually very beautiful.
Taking a little break after our swamp hike.

Our next hike was around the lake. Tod spotted these three turtles sunning. We found two fresh water springs at one end of the pond. Brady threw sticks and pine straw in the lake and Tod and Jacob threw the football around the lake.

We had so much fun on our little road trip for the day. It was so nice to be outside after three days of constant rain. We do need to do this more often!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Here's what we have been up to...

Ok... I'm back on track. I have finally uploaded an entire memory card onto the computer and weeded through hundreds of pictures. Here's what we have been up to the last couple of months.

I believe there are certain rites of passage. Certain firsts that determine your pathway through childhood, boyhood, and manhood. Well, Jacob has mastered a particular boyhood talent that has changed the acoustics of our house. Yep, the underarm fart is a new accompaniment to our daily lives.

My friend Siobhan and I took our kids to the NC Transportation museum to see the Christmas Carol Train. Very interesting. Each car showed you how they made the movie. Incredible the amount of work went into this movie. Brady was on cloud 9. He loves trains! You can tell by his smile...

And the 3-D movie at the end was his favorite.

We decided to do a family trip to a local farm. They had a hayride, corn maze, hay hut, animals, and lots and lots of hay for the boys to climb on. Here's the boys on the hay ride. It had rained all week so the trail was very slippery. Made for a wild ride.
Jacob tried to ride with no hands, but had to hold on when we dipped and slipped along the trail.

Jacob on his "corn phone".

The boys in the Hay Hut.

Jumping on all of the bales of hay.

The boys loved the animals. The horse was the biggest hit. They were able to pet him and feed him.
Brady's new ride. He has ridden it every day. With all of the rain he has been riding it in the mud in the empty lot across the street. Our driveway is covered in muddy tracks. He wakes up from his nap every day and says, "I need to go for a drive."

Jacob lost yet another tooth. He is officially snaggle tooth! He was a bit disappointed that he keeps getting "only a dollar" from the tooth fairy. His classmates are getting five dollars!! Geesh! Tod told him, "I don't know how it works, Jacob." That seemed to satisfy him. (for now)

Tod took Jacob and my Dad to the Panthers game last weekend. It wasn't a good game for the Panthers, but what a fun experience Jacob had. He has been playing football with his friends in the front yard ever since.

I hope I don't procrastinate like this again! Now off to delete all of these pictures off of my camera!

Friday, October 23, 2009

To Blog or Not to Blog

This Fall we have been so busy. School, baseball, scouts, homework, field trips... it's getting a little too busy around here. I have had many moments this month where I put a little "memory" post-it on my brain and say to myself, "hey, this is blog worthy." Somehow I just don't get around to blogging about it.

I will be posting pictures soon about our many Fall adventures. As soon as I declutter my brain of all of the post-its!!!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Play Ball!!!

I never thought I would ever say... "Go Tarheels!!" It's hard to say coming from University of Kentucky, but since Jacob's baseball team is the Tarheels...I'll make an exception!
He is playing coach pitch baseball with the local rec department and he is loving it. He doesn't care for the practices, but LOVES the games. The kids get to play in the evening under the lights. Tod says that he would have loved to play under the lights as a kid. Our coach isn't a good pitcher and he enlisted the help of another Dad on the team to pitch. It's got to be hard to pitch to someone who is only 3 1/2 feet tall!!
Here is Jacob in right field watching the pitch.

Playing under the lights.

Jacob at first base after a great hit. He brought two teammates in with this hit.

That's Jacob running HOME!!! Tod and I were so excited. Jacob looked up at us just after stepping on home plate with a huge smile on his face. He was so excited that he almost ran right into the back stop fence while giving up two thumbs up!!

We are so proud of him. We don't have any games this week and practice has been rained out. He wasn't disappointed that he didn't have practice, but he said..."If it was a game I wouldn't be happy about that." Go Tarheels!