Wednesday, March 30, 2011


Signs of spring are popping up all around. The March showers are bringing April flowers. (I know the saying is April Showers, but really around here, March is the rainy month!) There was a break in the clouds this weekend and I scooted outside to capture what I could, while I could. Simplicity's photo challenge this week is flowers. I'm submitting this...


This is an Iris. My mom gave us some bulbs last summer. I'm glad they all survived. They are a lovely addition to our spring flowers.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Gone Fishin'

Last week, JJ had Friday off from school. You know, one of those teacher workday thingys. Why they couldn't use that day as a snow make up, instead of doing nothing at the end of June, I don't know! The boys planned to head out to the river that day and spend the day fishing. Gene bought a new canoe for them to use. We named it Knife. Why you ask, because the first knife in the JJ's series is called the canoe. So I said your canoe has to be called knife. Get it!??! Nevermind.... I wasn't able to enjoy this day of male bonding, but I did get to hear all about it when they got home. They were lucky enough to have caught some fish. 3 Bass, 2 crappie, and a brim, maybe?


They decided we were going to cut up the fish and have a fish fry. It was late and I didn't feel like making a mess in the kitchen, so we cut up the fish and delayed the frying until Saturday. IMG_9798 This fish reminds of me of that singing fish, Billy the Big Mouth Bass, remember that annoying thing! There was a lot of cutting IMG_9806-2 A lot of meat IMG_9810 And a whole bucket of guts. (JJ made me take this photo) IMG_9824 The fish were photogenic


IMG_9815 As were the fishermen


JJ was excited to get his hands in the kitchen and help. He really enjoys helping in the kitchen. He's not afraid to get messy. And he often apologizes when he does make a mess. IMG_9854 The fish got a good breading before they hit the heat... IMG_9856 Its not a fish fry with out a fryer right!!! Yummm... IMG_9861 Everyone had fun and there is interest in doing it again. I may even get in on the catching action. I do have my own fishing rod.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Lets Get Ready to Rumble!

So Soccer isn't really a contact sport. Well, there is some contact, but its not like Football (American Football). There's some pushing and shoving, maybe some elbowing or kicking, but nothing major. Most of the time it is not about contact it is about being aggressive.

JJ's never been an aggressive kid. He's smart, he's a thinker. With soccer, he could easily use his footwork to steal the ball and not need to throw an elbow. (Which is a foul by the way!) But, now that he's older and the skill of the other players has caught up, sometimes its needed to get a little aggressive.

This is a JJ sandwich...

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Last weekend, he played a team that had a notoriously aggressive player on it. This kid, A, has played on the same team as JJ for several years, but this year his parents moved him to a "better" team. (I don't blame them, we never practice, we're like the Bad News Bears sometimes!). A is known for rolling around on the ground, screaming its a foul, and having to be carried off the field. This happens almost EVERY game. We blame it on watching too much professional soccer.

So, last week, I told JJ that he was to play A's team and I wanted to see him make A roll around on the ground. I was only joking and JJ knew this.

Then, minutes into the last quarter, I see this...

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Yep, that's JJ and A on the ground. It's followed by this...

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And then this...

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Karma, its a bitch you know! Next time I'll keep my mouth shut. But A was ok. Just shaken up a bit. You can see that JJ's left shoe slid into A's left shoulder. I'm sure that hurt, but it was an accident. When they were both being aggressive to get the ball, momentum got the best of them and they ended up in a pile on the ground.

Son... please tell we what you were thinking!

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It's all fun and games until....

Monday, March 21, 2011

It happens to everyone

I might be biased, but I think JJ is a fantastic athlete. Maybe its because I'm not, maybe its the mom goggles, I don't know. But I'm really proud of him. He plays his heart out.

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He's got great footwork

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He's getting better at being goalie

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Ah... kinda...

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What's up with that, man?

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He tripped, or something. The ball went two feet and JJ ended up on the ground. Its not like him, not at all. I don't really know what happened, but he played on.

Because he had touched the ball (or some rule), the ball went to the other team for a corner kick. Which means that one person from the other team puts the ball in the corner and tries to kick it into the goal. Sometimes it goes in, sometimes....

it doesn't

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I was so excited that he recomposed himself and got his head back into the game and made this awesome play. (Ok, maybe again with the mom goggles!)

They ended up, as JJ said, handing them a big goose egg with a 4-0 victory!

Stay tuned, more funny soccer stories coming up!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Renovations update

So, we moved into the house in August of 2007. Construction began in April of 2006.

Here we are now, March of 2011. There is still a lot to be done, inside and out. Its a slow process, mostly confounded by money and lack of. But, we knew that this would be our forever home and we are willing to take forever to get it complete.

We got a little closer this month with the installation of the upper kitchen cabinets. Gene wanted so bad to make them, but he doesn't have time or space in the shop anymore for large pieces.

We contracted a local cabinet maker that fit Gene's rigourous demands. I will say that I'm very pleased with the quality.

This is what the kitchen looked like before the move. Now, this space is our back porch. I wanted more kitchen, less porch. Sorry Granny.

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When we moved in, all we had was the utility sink. We brought in our K-mart shelves and hot plate from the cottage. We also finally brought in the fridge from the back porch (redneck?!?)

kitchen move in

Over time, Gene built the lower cabinets. He even made them so they quiet close. No slamming doors in our kitchen!

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At this time I had plywood countertops.
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Next came the addition of paint and the eat at bar. Gene had the room painted as a surprise while I was away on business. It was a pleasant thing to come home to, although nothing was moved back yet.

We use the bar all the time. Its our central gathering zone, and that's what we wanted.
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And finally, the upper cabinets....

kitchen complete 1

We've added some under cabinet lights to help brighten it up. I LOVE them. They add so much to the work space. I don't fear cutting myself because I can't see anymore. (I still fear because I'm horrible with knives). Adding the lights meant taking some cabinets off the wall and digging in the sheetrock to find the wires. Gene wasn't happy about it, but he agrees that it makes a huge difference.

kitchen complete 2

We still have some little things left to do. We need a range hood over the stove, and some decorative lights. The trim needs to be done, but the entire downstairs needs to be trimmed.

We'll get to those, someday.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


I've gotten behind on my blogging. Last week was busy and I didn't have time to sit down and look at my photos. I try not to do much editing to them, but with Internet photography theft rampant, I at least need to watermark my stuff before I put it out there. And that my friends, still takes a little time.

So, getting back on track on what you've missed. Last week was JJ's Homecoming Day. We really turned it into a weekend long celebration. We've always wanted him to know how special he is and how special the day was that he came to his forever home.

This year we decided to give authentic Korean food a try. We don't live in a mega metropolis, or even close to a tiny metropolis, so our options were limited. And by limited, I mean one! This one, we've noticed before. Its smashed in a dinky old building connected to a dinky old gas station. We had JJ convinced we were eating at the gas station!

I'll admit that I was skeptical, but it turned out to be really nice. It was clean and it was busy.

We were all a little insecure with the menu, but we decided to take chances and go for it. The owner was our waiter and he was very helpful in guiding us to some tasty choices.



JJ's mom brought a cake for the celebration. She joked with me that it was store bought, that I shouldn't hate because she doesn't have my mad baking skills (which apparently JJ talks about all the time!) I didn't hate, after all its my favorite kind of store bought, Publix!


So the Korean fare expedition was just the starter. Saturday after the soccer game (sorry no photos folks, it was raining. I was not going to try to figure out how to hold an umbrella and my camera and take photos all at the same time) we were heading to a rivalry baseball game. My college, Clemson, and Gene's, South Carolina, were playing in a three game duel and the middle game was at our local minor league stadium. We had tickets, as did friends, so we met for lunch.
It so turns out that the game got cancelled because of bad weather, but rescheduled for later in the week. The boys had fun though, don't they look cute in their rivalry outfits!

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I was disappointed that the game got move to a night time because I stink at night photos. Gene did get one of me and JJ. Its not perfect, but its a perfect memory.


My team ended up losing, 4-5. But we rallied in the 9th. It was a good game considering we were playing the National Champs!

JJ's homecoming turned into more than just a weekend, and he milked it for all he could. Its been 10 years since JJ came home. Here's a look back from that day.

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Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Wee bit of me

I'm linking up again with Leigh Ashley for a Wee Bit of Me Wednesday.
I love her questions, I always find myself answering as I read them.

{one} what color is your kitchen?
Its red. It doesn't look so bad now that we have the upper cabinets installed (I promise photos to come soon.) Gene had it painted as a surprise for me while I was away for work.

{two} do you have a good luck charm?
Yes. In college I carried a Jade charm called a tiki. I wore it around my neck for good luck at regattas.

{three} do you prefer to write with a pen or pencil?
Pen and a wide point. I don't like skinny points, it makes my writing look like scribble.

{four} can you use chopsticks?
As a shovel yes, otherwise, no

{five} do you prefer baths or showers?
I like baths. We have a super cool Jacuzzi tub that I hardly ever use. It drains the hot water tank before its done filling. It takes you almost an hour to fill it up. Not worth the effort. Its really cool though because its got chromotherapy lights in it. (That just means the lights in it change color. You can set it to one color or have it cycle.)

{six} what is your favorite salad dressing?
Right now its Balsamic Vinaigrette. I like the basics though, Ranch, French, Italian. I love the Ginger dressing at the Japanese place.

{seven} can you sing the alphabet backwards?
No. Although JJ use to be able to. When he was in preschool, they taught him to do it. Cutest thing ever!

{eight} do you have any allergies?
Yes, more than I would like. I have the seasonal variety. But, I'm highly sensitive to molds, all kinds. It sends my sinuses into a panic. I'm also allergic to feathers. If I rest my head on a feather pillow, even for just few minutes, I'll throw up. Its not pretty.

{nine} crunchy or creamy peanut butter?
I've always like creamy, but I've found a recent liking to crunchy.

{ten} have you ever hitch hiked?
No! Stranger Danger!

Check out more random internet strangers Wee Bits over at My Leigh Ashley

Tuesday, March 08, 2011


This weeks theme at Trendy Treehouse is Cookies. I love cookies. I love baking cookies, eating cookies, anything about cookies. Emmm.... cooookkkie (Say that in your best Cookie Monster voice)

I skimmed the files to see what I could pull up, because I don't have time today to bake and photograph new cookies. I came across a photo that Gene had taken at Christmas time. JJ and I have a tradition on Christmas Eve. We bake cookies for Santa. He's finally old enough to understand some of the math that goes into baking, so its fun to teach him how to use what he's learned.

JJ is great helper in the kitchen.


I love that this photo is just a snapshot of a great memory. Of course, the kitchen is a mess. But its often like that when I'm working in it. I promise I clean it up when I'm done! Don't your love my harvest gold Kitchenaid? It belongs to my mother in law. She rarely used it, so I swiped it a few years ago. She told me as long as I share with her what I use it for, she'll be glad for me to keep it.

And no, I don't normally wear that much make up to bake. Gene and I had been to a funeral earlier that day and I didn't take it all off. Why not feel glamorous when you bake?!?!


Monday, March 07, 2011

Are you tired of this one yet?

I really think I'm getting good use out of this photo. This week at I Heart Faces, the theme is People's Choice. The only requirement, is it had to be taken in February.

I cropped it in some this time, to highlight his face, mostly his cheeks.

I hope you don't hate me for blogging this one again, but I had to!


Check out I Heart Faces for more People's Choice

Friday, March 04, 2011

Flashback Friday: I'm engaged!

We're approaching the 3 year mark of my engagaversary. March 6, 2008 Gene and I made the ulitmate decision to become husband and wife. This was a special day for us, because it was the anniversary of JJ's homecoming.

For his special day, we decided to plant the cedar tree Gene had given me for Valentines Day. (Romantic huh, its the gift that keeps on giving. I love it!) Once we got home from work, JJ and Gene set out in the yard to get the ground ready and I started to work on dinner, and pack for our upcoming trip to my parents house.

After a while, JJ came in the house asking if I could get the camera and come take pictures of him and the tree. I really didn't think anything of it, because we take random pictures all the time. After all, it was his special day, lets take some special pictures.

So I head out there and I tell Gene and JJ to get near the tree first. JJ is acting goofy, but what 6 year old doesn't in front of the camera.


Then it was mine and JJ's turn. I'm all smiling, clueless to what's about to happen.



see that little blue sparkle above JJ's head, that's my ring... right there... I'm oblivious!

So, JJ and I are done, I stuff the camera in Gene's face. He gives me this look...


Then he hugs me and tells me how much he loves me. I reply the same. Then he reaches over and pulls the ring of the branch and asks me to be his wife. JJ errupts into extreme excitement. Of course, the answer is yes. But I was mostly concerned where the ring came from. I had no clue a proposal was coming. I mean, I knew it would eventually happen, but financially I didn't think a diamond ring was in the budget.

JJ then took our photo, the happy couple...


March 6 is a special day for us. Not only is it the day JJ got his forever home, its the day we became a forever family.

So, I was bad and forget to link up to Jen last week. I was away from the computer all day and thought of it Saturday morning. But today, I'm linked in. So go check out more Flashback Friday posts over at 526,000 minutes.

I'm going to get a tissue now because I'm sappy like that.

Flashback Friday

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Spring has Sprung

Last Friday, when leaving the house in the morning, in the cold and rain, I noticed that the daffodils in the front yard were blooming. I took note that sometime during the weekend, I needed to photograph them!

Much to my surprise, the weather cleared pretty early in the day Friday and when I got home, I had some time to myself and I set out, camera in hand, into the yard. I'm sure everyone driving up and down the street got a nice view of my behind as I was crouched in the yard, but I didn't care, its SPRING!

Why hello there pretty yellow daffodil!




And the tulips are starting to come up!


I know there are still some cool days left to come, but I just can't wait for it to warm up and stay warm. I'm not excited about the pollen and the allergies, but I love the crisp air of spring.