Friday, August 29, 2008

End of Summer Update

As summer comes to a screetching halt, I thought I would post an update on some of the events that have happened over the last few weeks that have not made it into my blog. I posted about the unwillingness of Maia not putting her face in the pool back in June. Well, by the beginning of August, we had come a long way! She decided one day that she would get her face wet, and from there, just took off with swimming, floating on her back, putting her face in, jumping in the pool from the side and swimming without her vest! She is quite good at swimming on her back.
Maia floating on her back. She has gotten very good at swimming on her back and will be a backstroker like her momma was!

Maia taking the plunge

Going under the water

Harrison finally decided he would go off the diving board. Of course, the day he decided to do this I was not with him, but rather, he was at the pool with my mother in law. Once he started, he couldn't stop. He would jump over and over and then come up swimming and swim under the rope into the other parts of the pool without ever stopping.

Harrison, standing ready on the diving board...

Making the jump...

Success! Into the water! No fear at all!

Harrison also learned to dive toward the end of the pool season. His dive was quite funny and actually very good for a newbe. Check out the progression...

What form on a 6 year old!

This one looked like it hurt, which he informed us, it did.

I got a shot of the pretty butterfly trying to get some water during the rainless last few weeks.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Kindergarten and First Grade Here We Come!

The first day of school went off with any problems. The kids got ready on time and were waiting for the bus long before it was time for it to be here. Our cat, Max, even waited with us. I was doing great until another kindergarten mom started to tear up. Lucky for me, I had to leave ASAP for a trip to the Dr. so I didn't have time to dwell on sending my baby off to school. I did get a bit teary when I saw the other mom and saw my baby sitting on the bus when it was pulling off. My day was very quiet (as quiet as it can be with four 1 year olds that I keep) for the most part. No chattering by Maia and the constant, "did you hear me??" that she loves to ask us lately. No kid tv shows on non-stop, no big kid toys all over the place, in addition to the baby toys. I was ready for them to come home though. Harrison was excited about school from the start. He got his favorite first grade teacher, Mrs. Hudson, that he claims is the most "beautiful teacher, and I can't take my eyes off her." She is pretty. He has good taste in women.

The arrived home a little afte 4pm. I guess the bus was running late, which is pretty typical on the first day of school. Both of them hoped off the bus and no declaration was made about not going to school again, so I guess the day was successful. I only hope tomorrow goes as smoothly as today did! I leave you with some photos from the event! Enjoy!

Maia getting ready to go to the bus stop. She hand-picked her outfit.

The Sleeping Beauty backpack from Disney Store. Has a matching lunchbox that clips onto the front but I chose to put it in the bag since the bag was empty and the lunchbox was heavy.

Harrison excited to start school the first day. He has always loved going to school.

Max keeping watch for the bus. Him and Amos, below, were actually playing in the monkey grass that grows along my neighbor's sidewalk.

Amos hiding from Max. His tail was on one side and his head poking thru the other side. Maia thought this to be histerical and wanted me to take a photo.

Here comes bus 20!!

Harrison boards first, followed by Maia. Mrs. Mary has been driving this route for years and is the best bus driver you could ask for!

There she goes, off to Kindergarten!! Looking pretty happy!

Coming home, looking noticeable more tired than she did in the AM.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Off into the Big Wide World

Tomorrow Maia, my baby girl, starts kindergarten. It is with mixed emotions that I send her off into the big wide world. She is saying she doesn't want to go, but says it with half a smile. She already knows half of her kindergarten class in one way or another and her best buddy, Ryan, from Preschool is in her class. That will help with the transition. He looks out for her. It is too cute. Regardless of what she is feeling, I am not sure what I am feeling at this moment. Sad a little. A bittersweet moment to say the least, awaits me in the early hours of Monday Aug. 25. I will have to hold it together for her sake. If she see's me falter, I am doomed. I will have to be strong and save the waterworks for after she boards the bus with her big brother. He will be in 1st grade! I just can't believe that the baby girl I brought into this house is now going off to school. She was just a newborn when we moved here. Time flys, and no matter how we try, you just can't hold onto it. All you new moms out there, savor every moment of your little ones life. They grow up to fast and before you know it, you too will be sending them off into the world. I'll post an update after all is said and done. Wish me luck!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Feeling the Power

Boy, it has been a long hard few weeks for our church. I have had times when I was angry, hurt, sad, depressed, let down, you name it i have felt it. Yesterday, our Pastor preached his last sermon for FVCC. Afterward we had a suprise luncheon for him and his dear family. It was a good time of friends, food, fellowship and music provided by our awesome praise band, 24/7. They did a few tearjerkers, Michael W. Smith "Pray for Me" and "Friends" which just seemed to fit the situation. We all said our goodbyes. It was hard.

Our Senior Pastor, Don Wilson and his wife, Carol

Don was the driving force behing the forming of the 24/7 Praise Band. Our church had never had anything like this until him. He is a MEAN drum player!! A drum solo was requested. This is him playing his heart out. Just call him "Animal"!!

Today, I was hit with an idea of a new ministry for our church. I didn't know where it came from. It was out of left field for me, but I feel it is something our community needs and something I feel driven to do. We will see. I will elaborate more on this as it unfolds. This evening, I attended my second ever Church board meeting. The board accepted the resignation of our beloved pastor. I was so moved by the presentation that our youth minister gave that I could have cried. He is what we need right now to get us thru this difficult time. When the time is right, we will appoint an interim minister. I am trying to find good in this difficult goodbye.

The 24/7 Praise Band, named by Christy Wilson because "we should praise the Lord 24/7"

Christy Wilson with the future of Fairview Christian Church,
Harrison, Maia, Madeline, and Sara.

I have been trying to figure out why, all of a sudden, this has become so important to me. I have come up with only one thing. This man, our pastor, came into my life to bring me closer to GOD. Like no one before him, he has done things for me spiritually that I could never have imagined. When they talk about being called by God, I can say that I understand that now. I am feeling called by God to take a more active role in our church and to step out of my comfort zone. It is a strange and scary feeling. I think I had to have him leave us to discover this. I don't know if that makes sense or not. This is new territory for me. I am feeling very passionate about this the past 24 hours. I don't know that I would be here without them coming into my life. I don't know where this will lead me but for now, I will roll with it.

I will miss them terribly, but I know that we will meet again one day in Gods Kingdom. Until then, I bid them farewell for now. And I thank God every day that this family was brought into my life.

FVCC youth minister with Sara, Madeline (his daughter) and my beauty, Maia

We love you Wilson Family and we will MISS YOU terribly!!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Home Sweet Harrison

My baby boy came home Wednesday evening with my mom. He was talking all big about staying until Friday and coming home with my dad and nephew, but I knew he would cave as soon as my mom decided to pack up and head home. She had to come home early because of some appointments that could not be changed. He ended up spending the night with my mom at her house Wednesday night and returning on Thursday to see him Momma. He told me he missed me only a little bit. I guess that is better than not at all, huh??? He is such a momma's boy. I love it! Here is a photo of his dirty little face after a day of playing cars in the dirt with Ethan. He looks bruised and battered, but yes, that is DIRT! Gotta love a little boy! (That's my nephew, Ethan, in the background)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

I *Heart* Tori & Dean

There, I have confessed. I am ADDICTED to the show, Tori & Dean: Home Sweet Hollywood. I can't seem to get enough of those two. I even have to go online to Oxygen to see more after the show. Am I a stalker? Maybe. I don't know who out there has watched it...the seem to have a pretty big fan base. The show is super funny. Who would have know that Donna from 90210 was such a comedian? I never watched NoTORIous when it was on, but I wish I had. The show is wrapping up for the season and I will definitly miss tuning in on Tuesday nights at 10pm to catch up on their facinating life. If you haven't seen it, tune in sometime. They will show reruns. Great show!!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Missing Harrison

Today, Harrison left to go camping for a week with my parents and my youngest nephew, Ethan. He has been away from home before, but it has been a while - several years at least. I dropped him off this morning at my mom's house. They are going to Loft Mountain, near Harrisonburg, VA and should be back Friday. I almost cried when I pulled away. I get weird when I know he is going to be in the car for a while, especially if I am not going to be with him. I told my mom to please call when they arrived safely at their destination. Of course, Maia is having her own private little party here without her big brother. She is loving being the only child, but I have my bets that she will be asking for Harrison in a matter of two days. TOPS. Harrison told me he would miss me a little. Oh, if only he knew how much I was missing him right now. Just seems weird, especially at night. Wish me luck getting thru the week!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

You Can Find IT on Ebay

Ok, maybe I should say that 'cause knowing my luck it is a copywrited phrase. Oh well. The fall selling season has begun and I have been listing fall items for a week now. It is amazing what will sell on ebay. I have been selling my children's outgrown clothing on there (and buying new things as well) for several years now. I use to take them to the local resale shop, Once Upon a Child, or Where the Kids Things Are, but they got to greedy and didn't want to give more than a $1 or so for each item, no matter what brand or condition. Then the resale price was three times that or more. Crazy. Several brands of children's clothing sells well on ebay. Gymboree is a no brainer, sometimes bringing in more at auction than the item was originally purchased for. The Children's Place, Gap, Old Navy, Mini Boden, Naartjie, Lands End, Oilily, and lots of other boutique brands do exceptionally well as well.

It is a bit time consuming, but I have found it to be well worth the effort I put into it for the most part. It is all about timing and pricing. Quality and type of product doesn't hurt either. Check out my auctions on ebay. Tell a friend. I need some money!

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Thursday, August 7, 2008

36 Random Things About Me

My fellow blogger and Karen did this on her blog and then challenged readers to do the same. This will probably take me half the day, but here it goes.

1. I have two brothers, one is four years older than me, and one is 14 years younger than me. Don't know what was going on there in the minds of my parents. They are both jealous of me. LOL.
2. I am a cat person. They are so independent and don't mess around. Dogs are cute and one day we may have one, but cats rule. We have three cats right now. We treat them like our kids.
3. I was on a summer league swim team for about 15 years. I was pretty good if I say so myself. Breaststroke and Backstroke were my thing. Almost had a city record in breaststroke. Almost.
4. I was a cheerleader in 9th and 10th grade. JV basketball. I did it cause it was the "in" thing to do, not because I was passionate about it like others were.
5. I was in Marching Band. Yep, a band nerd. Except our band was rockin and won tons and tons of awards in the day. I was in the drum line the first year playing xylophone, and in the colorguard the my junior and senior year. I WAS passionate about this.
6. I went to three colleges. Radford University where I started as a Psych major (who didn't), then to our local community college, then on to Old Dominion University where I graduated Cum Laude with a degree in Fine Arts with an emphasis in graphic design.
7. I drink too much Coke too. I have a thing for fountain drinks. It is my morning coffee since i don't drink coffee. I have to have it to function. Have too. Ask anyone who has talked to me in the am. They know. I am trying to quit, but it is an addiction worse than smoking. (see karen, you are not alone here!)
8. I hate to exercise. HATE IT. If I liked it I could probably lose a ton of weight. Along with stopping the coke addiction. Maybe i should say "soft drink". Coke addiction doesn't sound so great.
9. I am not a sports fan. I have never watched the super bowl, and don't intend to start at age 36. Don't really even care about the commercials.
10. I am a camera whore. I love taking photos and it is nothing for me to take several hundred on one simple short vacation. I took 350 on our beach trip that didn't last a week.
11. I have glaucoma, at age 36. Scary. I have never ever had eye issues until I got pink eye this past winter that wouldn't go away. When the eye Dr. was trying to cure this issue, he discovered that I had glaucoma. I hadn't been to the eye dr. in 7 years until this happened. Good thing for pink eye I suppose.
12. I had natural, unmedicated, childbirth two times and would do it again in a heartbeat. Yeah, it hurt like hell, but it was so worth it to feel in control and aware. I have never felt closer to God than at the moment my kids were born and I held them for the first time. Truly a miracle.

Harrison Rhys Toler • November 27, 2001 • 9lbs 2 oz 21 inches • length of labor 19 hours

Maia Helene Toler • May 16, 2003 • 7lbs 6oz, 20 inches • length of labor 2 hours

13. Speaking of kids... I long for a third, but the clock is ticking and Chris ain't budging. There is a hole in my heart that can only be filled by this "child". I have learned to live with it.

14. I suck at housekeeping. I long for a tidy, neat, organized and beautifully decorated house, but it is not in me to have this. My decorations consist of tons and tons of toys and clutter. It stresses me out and immobilizes me to do nothing about it. I am jealous of my neighbors house, and I have never seen inside. Only photos on her blog.

15. I Loathe home improvements, which is unfortunate since we live in a house built in the 1920s and it needs TONS and TONS of improvements. We have a bathroom renovation that has been going on for about two years now. TWO YEARS! I have not had a shower in my house for two years!! Our house needs siding, landscaping, heat/cooling updating which was quoted at a grand total of $23,000. It needs a new kitchen floor, cabinets would be nice, appliances, paint, Sheetrock repairs where the electrician made HUGE holes to update the ancient wiring. I do LOVE my house though. Really. I do. Here is a photo.

Home Sweet Home. We moved in in August 2003 three months after Maia was born

16. I despise the welfare system. For most people who receive benefits, all it does is enable laziness. I don't think it rewards those who are truly trying to better themselves. In some cases, sure. But in most of the ones I have seen, not so much.

17. I am very outspoken about certain issues. My mouth got me in trouble more than once in previous jobs. I am not a doormat and will not let people take advantage of or walk on me.

18. I believe in miracles. I have seen to many to not.

19. I hate broccoli. I have tried to love it but just can't seem too, even thought it is one of the best veggies out there for you.

20. I once sold Rainbow Vacuum cleaners with Chris, right after we were married. We earned ours for free and made several thousand dollars as well. Not a bad gig for a while. Got old though, trying to pimp $2000 vacuums on people. All of our family members were nice enough to purchase one. They really are great vacuums though. We have had ours for 10 years and it is still running strong.

21. I have a potty mouth. Yep, its true. I have to contain myself around the kids and it gets hard. I think mine are so immune to my language that they don't notice it. They have only repeated something I have said maybe once or twice.

22. I am a Entertainment News junkie. I don't know a thing about our world or everyday news, but I can tell you who is pregnant in hollywood, who is splitting, the latest on Britney, etc. I love Us Weekly, Star, Life and Style, OK, etc. It's ridiculous. I am especially addicted to the show "Tori and Dean - Home Sweet Hollywood" that comes on Oxygen on Tuesday nights. ADDICTED. SAD.

23. My hair is longer right now than it has been in almost 20 years. The last time I had long hair was when I was 19. I feel more girlie with long hair. It's hot as hell, but I guess that is the price you pay. My son and daughter LOVE it. I guess that makes it all worth it.

24. I am not big into jewelry. I don't even wear a wedding ring most of the time. Mainly because my wedding set is too small since having children and I have been too cheap to get it resized. I do wear a sterling silver band when I go out.

25. I secretly want a nose ring. Just a small one. The only problem is I have bad bad allergies and sinus issues, so I am not sure that a nose ring would mix well with all that.

26. I HATE HATE HATE the smell of cigarettes. I won't go near a bar or any place that there may be smoke. I especially hate getting behind a car where someone is smoking and it gets into my car. Yucky cancer sticks!

27. I wish I had stuck with ballet lessons as a kid. I would love to be able to be graceful and dance like a prima ballerina. I dance like a white girl.

28. I hate politics. Couldn't tell you much about the people running for president other than what my hubby tells me or what I hear on the news.

29. I lust after Matthew McConaughey. What female doesn't.

30. I am a sucker for a good back rub or scratch.

31. I love piano music. I could listen to it all day. I also like a good guitar tune.

32. I have suffered from panic disorder and related depression since I was 19. It is something I have learned to live with and control with and without the aid of med's. I am not ashamed to talk about it at all.

33. I love Target. LOVE LOVE LOVE Target. I have to ban myself from there from time to time or I would be in the poor house.

34. I am a huge fan of chick lit. No sappy romance novels for me. Give me laugh out loud humor anyday over the mushy stuff.

35. This is way harder than I thought it would be. YES, it has taken me the whole day to come up with a measly 36 things about me. I have stopped and started over the course of the day.

36. I would love to be a midwife in my next life. If I weren't so dang tired all the time and had plenty of money, I would go back to school and work toward this. I think it would be the most challenging and rewarding career to bring new life into the world.

There, did it. Kudos to you women who can pump out the 100 random things I have seen on some blogs. Hope you learned something you didn't know about me.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Here We go Again...

... isn't that a song by Dolly Parton? Anyway, once again, my daughter has chosen to fall in love with a toy that is unattainable. At least, it is hard to find. The toy is the Yummi-Land dolls and animals. The dolls come in soda pop bottles and have a scent to them. They come with a scented bobble head pet and a purse that is scented lipgloss. They are sold in themed sets, or groups, such as Ice Cream Pop Girls, Candy Pop Girls, Soda Pop Girls, and Flower Pop Girls. To my knowledge, they have not been around long, and it appears that they were very very short lived. Don't know why. They are super cute. Much cuter than Bratz, which I despise to no end.

Betsy Bubblegum with Susie Sprinkles Seal

It all started when she was given one for Christmas last year. I followed it up with a set of the baby animals and they nursery furniture they came with. Well, she pulled it out recently and started to play with it full force. I happened to be in Target one night a week or so ago, and they were clearancing out all the old toys in the process of the new Christmas items they were getting in. I love Target Clearance. I found what was left of these doll on sale for $2.50. They are normally $10-$12 a set. I bought them all. There wasn't many, but I did buy even the duplicate ones because we have three birthdays for little girls to attend in August. Great gifts! (I even picked up a $25 spy kit for Harrison for a mere $3) EXCITING!

Mindy Mint Chocolate Chip and Sadie S'Mores St. Bernard

Being me, I got on ebay to see what the deal was with these things and what they are selling for. My daughter has a way of liking things that become hot items. In the past it was Sweet Streets by Fisher Price. It was discontinued. Check out the prices for this stuff on ebay!! The hospital she has sold for as much as $100.

Cissy Cinnamon Roll & Winnie Waffle ***Carly Candy Apple & Shana Sugar Cookie

I am now on a hunt for these dolls. It seems that, they too, are being discontinued. I went to Toys R Us to see what they had. They are still full price, but will probably be marked down soon. Kmart also has a bunch of them. Again, full price. BUT no one here really goes to Kmart, so they had TONS and TONS of them. I will have to keep watch. They tend to cost more at Kmart for some reason. I don't know why they didn't take off with the little set. They are really cute little things and smell good too!

If anyone out there likes stuff like this, that tends to have a good resale value, keep you eyes open for these. If you already have them, hang on to them. You may be sitting on a gold mine.