Tuesday, December 8, 2009

There's Only One First Piano Recital

Audrey's was this past weekend. She did great! She played a duet with her teacher. Why was this not an option when I was a child? My entire piano career was scarred by the terrible recital in which I forgot the last half of "Glow Little Glow Worm". I spent the next six years of my life begging my mom to find a piano teacher who didn't have recitals. But enough about me.

Here is a video of her playing, "Go Tell it on the Mountain". As I told my friend later, she was the first 90 seconds of a 90 minute event.

She waited patiently for the remaining 88.5 minutes with her buddies.

Benton was riveted by the whole affair.

A few more poses at the end.

Nice job, Audrey!

Friday, October 9, 2009

It's a Quiz!

Our sweet babysitter sent me a text on Wednesday as follows, "Who is quark? Benton talks about him all the time!"

Choice A - Lovely quartz crystal.

Choice B - Quacking duck.

Choice C - Uncle Clark!

Clark is a college basketball coach and I stole this picture from his team website. The one above was on the site last year during season. Benton LOVES basketball and asks to check the computer regularly to see the pictures. "See Uncle Quark! See Uncle Quark!" When this picture pops up, Benton responded, "No, Quark yelling. I want Quark not yelling."

So, Choice D - Quark not yelling.

Let the games begin! Go Eagles!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Molasses Madness

This weekend, we went to vist my aunt and uncle on their farm in Missouri. My uncle plants sugar cane and then uses it to make homemade molasses. My aunt makes homemade soup and yummy apple cobblers. They've done this for a while now, so lots of family and friends come for the day to help, watch and eat!

My uncle uses this cool old cane press and his prize Belgian horses to squeeze the juice from the cane stalks. We got there too late to see the horse, so the kids had to pretend. Then he cooks the juice for about eight hours. He stays by it all the time and skims off the yucky stuff. When it starts getting sticky and sweet he pours it through a strainer into old milk cans. Here are some pictures of the action.

Can you figure out the puzzle on the pink t-shirt? The first picture is a mole. Then, a donkey or (*ss) times 2! Get it! So cute! And my aunt, the hostess with the mostest.

My cousin Kelli with her college friend, Jenny, who drove all night and slept in her car to make the big day.

Family pictures...
Kurt and Jaci

Uncle Mart, Uncle Jim, Daddy and Aunt Doris

Mom and Aunt Doris


The terrible twos, except they're three now. In case anyone from PETA ever reads this blog, these two did not, repeat did not, throw huge walnuts at the prize Belgians.

There is never a day too busy to work in some crafts.

Thanks Jim and Cathy! We all had a great time!

Thursday, October 1, 2009


Benton doesn't tell us much about preschool. The only friend he mentions on a regular basis is Spence. Excitement ran high this week when the mailman delivered an invitation to Spence's birthday party.

Unfortunately, the party is a few weeks away. The way Benton understands time, it might as well be in 2017. My patience was wearing a little thin in the wake of the many, many questions about this big event.

Benton let the topic drop for a little while. We were sitting at dinner when Benton hopped out of his chair and announced he needed to go in the backyard for something. He returned with his much loved (and almost new) baseball bat, tee and ball. He handed them to me and said, "Wrap these for Spence."

I responded, "Do you want to give Spence your new baseball stuff?"

Benton, "Yes, for Spence." He left the room and then brought his very dear Spiderman velcro wallet. "Wrap these for Spence."

I hope I never forget this brief look into his sweet, giving heart.

GO t U l S A!!!

The TU football team played its home opener last Saturday. We all loaded up and went to watch the game. Benton insisted on bringing his American flag to the game. He almost forgot it in the car, but went back and retrieved it at the last moment. After a hike to the stadium, climbing up to our section, and then scooting past several people to our seats, Benton sat down, waved his flag, and yelled, "You can do it!" Repeatedly.

Audrey agreed to go to the game because she thought it was a good photo opportunity. She made sure her dad brought a camera and staged her best shots.

TU won big. Everyone was happy.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Benton Goes to Preschool

Benton started preschool at the same school where Audrey attends last week. In general, Benton sees people in two categories: 1) his mom, and 2) not his mom. Being away from mom is more often than not reason for fretting, tears and potential yelling. This appears to be pretty rough for him, but it is excruciating for mom. It's a "phase" he's been in for about two years now.

So, we started the new school year with many prayers, lots of coaching, and a little bribery. Benton has been getting candy for going places without crying for a while now. So, in addition to candy, I upped the ante with baked goods and other treats.

Benton had a great first week. I was so incredibly grateful. His Nana was so shocked she drove 90 miles just to congratulate him on his stellar performance.

Then came Tuesday, dreadful, awful, bad, horrible Tuesday. I'll spare the details and just say that it was everything you can imagine. So, I upped the ante a little more.

Guess who didn't cry at dropoff for preschool today?

Monday, August 24, 2009

Catchy Playground Rhymes

First grade is turning out to be serious. Spelling homework, every night. Math homework, every night. Every night means Friday too! I think there is more of everything except recess.

When I asked Audrey what she learned at school today, this was her response

"Boys go to Jupiter
To get more stupider.
Girls go to college,
To get more knowledge."

Do you think this will be on the spelling test next week?

Monday, August 17, 2009

First Day of the First Grade

Hey Mom! I'm not in kindergarten anymore!

Guess who's starting preschool tomorrow?

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Party, anyone?

Last weekend was my lovely sister-in-law's birthday. The kids and I headed over to Arkansas to celebrate with her. I told them we were going for Aunt E's birthday.

Audrey, "What are we doing for her party?"

Me, "Well, we are going out to eat with our whole family. Then we'll give her some presents."

Audrey, "Are we going to jump on things?"

Me, "I don't think so."

Audrey, "Are we going to putt-putt or anything?"

Me, "Not this time."

Audrey, "Are you sure this is a birthday party? Because it sounds a lot like dinner."

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Pool Fun

Last week we went to Waynesville, North Carolina to visit Lee's family. The city has a super fun indoor pool. The kids and I had a great time. Audrey had a blast on the big slide. Benton loved all of it, especially jumping in off the side.

Here are Luke and Lily on the big slide...

Audrey on the big slide.

I laughed watching Lily "baptize" Audrey...my brother and I used to do that every summer!

One final picture before we left for McDonald's.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Golf Camp

There is a public golf course less that two miles from our house. The course is having a golf camp this week for kids Audrey's age. It's four mornings, two hours a morning, not that expensive. Lee asked Audrey if she was interested. Of course, she's intersted.

To prepare her for the week, Lee took her to the driving range Saturday and Sunday this weekend. She's hooked. She likes her driver the best. In her words, "It's the best because I get to do a full swing, use a tee, and it's shiny and red." I'm pretty sure this is how Tiger selects his clubs.

This all seemed like innocent fun until she returned this morning from camp. One of the instructors told her that her clubs are too short. (Sidenote: They were purchased for Benton's birthday, but held back in the midst of gift overload.) And, all the other kids have bags for their clubs, and golf gloves and cool hats.

So tonight, we went shopping and spent exactly DOUBLE the cost of the camp on a new set of clubs with a matching bag, new glove and cool pink hat. Benton now is the sole owner of the original short clubs (without a bag!) and new green golf hat from the pro shop.

Truth be told, I don't think there is a price her daddy would not have paid for this. He's pretty proud...and aware that he will never have a quiet afternoon alone at the golf course again!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Memorial Day

Audrey is quite comfortable with life and death. (Maybe all six year olds are, she's my first.) One evening a few months ago, the TV was on Animal Planet. The show was in the African plains and showed a tiger run down some rabbit and bite down on it. I immediately asked Lee to turn the channel.

Audrey turns to me, shrugs, and says, "Mom, that's its prey."

Well, glad we have that settled.

Yesterday, my family got together for the holiday weekend. Part of the day included my mom and my uncle decorating gravesites for my grandparents and other relatives. Audrey was fascinated to tag along.

She came home full of information about all of the interesting names she saw. She is named for my grandmother, so it was exciting to find her middle name on the "big rock". There were other great stories about relatives and then one random headstone with the last name, "Tinkle." Lots of jokes for the rest of the evening on that one. Her burning questions after the trip, "How big is Elvis' rock? And when can I go to Memphis and see it?"

Sunday afternoon -- after church, lunch, rest, crafts, etc. -- we were both having a snack at the table. Audrey pipes up, "Mom, I guess you have to be careful when you fall in love."

In my mind, "Oh my goodness, she has been listening! She knows how important it is to find some kind, Christian young man to start a family with, and one her mother approves of!! I AM a good mother after all."

But out loud I respond, "Why is that?"

Audrey, "Tinkle."

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Picture Perfect

Audrey's dance recital was this past weekend. I think I've just now recovered enough to talk about it. There is no experience like being the "helping mom" for a 4.5 hour dress rehearsal in the morning and and 4 hour recital that evening! Here is the little ballerina backstage.

Here is her class with their student teacher. I could watch her dance all day; she's fantastic!

I was wondering if Audrey would want to take dance lessons again next year. On the way home from the dress rehearsal, she said, "I just can't wait!"

Me, "For the performance tonight?"

"No, to find out what my costume will be next year!"

I guess she's in!

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Monday, May 4, 2009


This sweet baby is three. Not three days, three weeks or three months, but THREE YEARS OLD.

How did this happen?

Please time, slow down just a little.

I love you, buddy! Mom