Wednesday, August 28, 2013

now we don't have to get divorced!

chase has always said that he is going to divorce me if i hit a hole-in-one before he does.  i'm pretty sure that i didn't say, "til death do us part unless i hit a hole-in-one before you."  but clearly, that is what he heard.

but as of today, i'm happy to report that he is officially stuck with me forever because he did it!

TCC  par 3, #17   174 yards  6 iron

and i didn't even make him buy me a beer.  i've got to think up something good that he owes me.  but i guess i have time since now he'll actually be around "til death do us part!"

Saturday, August 24, 2013

saturday scramble

it took us a little while, but we finally figured out a system to make it work smoothly out on the golf course!!  put the little people on the same team!!  the last few weekends, we have taken them out and let them scramble for a prize....a powerade, a kit kat, whatever they can think up.  i come up with a number, and if they can beat it....they can claim their prize.  if not, they come home empty handed!  and since they are on the same team, nobody can blame anybody and they even cheer for each other!  genius.  today's prize was a slush.  

it came down to the last putt....a 3 footer!  i think wes may have prayed over it.  (that boy does love a slush.) 

but william stepped up and sank it for the win!  that made for some happy little people!  

enjoying the victory...

next up, i am going to see how being on the same team works for cleaning up the playroom!!  :) 

Saturday, August 17, 2013


on thursday, william had a birthday.  somehow, he went from this 3 year old guy with perfect little baby teeth...

to a tall, skinny 8 year old!

the morning started off as a typical birthday morning with presents and cupcakes for breakfast.

we managed to get in a silly string fight before school, too!

he requested shipley's donuts and popcorn for his classroom celebration.  i'm sure there's nothing more fun than a bunch of 2nd graders hyped up on donuts for the afternoon.  sorry, mrs. noland!!

and of all the places to choose from for his birthday supper, he picked....wait for it....connie's.  a fried chicken joint.  but look at that plate!  he knows what he likes!

we topped the celebration off with some friends last night and went to eat mexican and to the movies to see Planes.

happy #8, william!!

Thursday, August 8, 2013


earlier this week, wes got to be a superstar!  his color the weather picture was the winner, so he was featured on the 6pm news in these parts.  he was a little confused because "we never saw william's picture on t.v.!" poor middle kid.  he is so used to following in somebody's footsteps.  so i was really excited for him that he "won" this time!  and you should have seen the smile that spread across his face when he heard matt laubhan (our weather boy....not weather man....he can't be over 14 years old) say his name!  

the t.v. didn't agree with the flash on the camera, so you get two pics.  

the smile....

the picture...complete with "boom!"

it was funny because that afternoon we had a wicked thunderstorm pop up really quickly that caused some damage along with crazy lightning that left it's mark on quite a few trees around here.  so he was right on cue!  :) 

way to go, wes!!  

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

it's back!

summer is officially over.  i'll admit, i was worried at the end of the last school year just what in the world i was supposed to do with all these people this summer.  but as it turns out, we all made it just fine without killing each other.  it might have gotten a little close a time or two, but we're still here!

 i don't like starting school this early.  i've mentioned that before.  but i'd rather deal with early august because i really don't like the idea of going to school into the month of june next year when we start the 3rd week of august because our ridiculous legislature thinks that EVERYBODY WILL GO TO THE BEACH if we start school later!  what?!?!  get a clue, people.  nobody wants to take first semester exams after christmas break.  and nobody's first thought is, "hey!  we've got two weeks here.  let's spend a couple thousand dollars and go to the beach. i mean, we didn't get to go in june because we were still in school."  where are all the normal people with common sense?  i need to run for president.

anyway, this morning marked the first day of the new year around here.  everybody ate breakfast and was fired up to go.  except wes...who crawled back in the bed after he finished eating.  but hey, 2 out of 3 is pretty good, right?  and he was really excited once he woke up for good.  he's just not a morning person.  and i dread the high school years!

reed, K4

wes, pre-1st

william, 2nd

making our way into school!

miss wanda, reed, and miss christy

wes and mrs. vaughn

mrs. noland and william

bring on the homework and the projects.  let's do this thing and enjoy the "normal" year.  next year at this time we'll be spending our money improving the economy on the beach!  or eating popsicles in the backyard waiting on school to start!  :)

Thursday, August 1, 2013


chase and i got away for an end of summer, kidless, fun trip to boston last week.  we decided that somebody is going to have to help us figure out how to take a relaxing vacation because last year we hiked death valley and fought off a bear and a moose while this year we chose to walk miles upon miles while learning (or re-learning) the history of our country.  we had a blast, ate a ton of good food, and even managed to sleep late a time or two!

when we arrived, we decided to take a water taxi from the airport across the harbor to our hotel.  because hello....where else can you take a water taxi?

we took the obligatory duck tour later that afternoon and got a brief history of the entire city.  it also gave us the basic layout.  boston looks very spread out when looking at a map, but when you are actually on foot (or in a duck truck), we found out that it's not spread out at all!  it's not called america's walking city for nothing!

after dinner in little italy (one of many!), we had to jump in line at mike's pastry to find out what the fuss was all about.  it was packed!  after a short wait, i ate my first cannoli ever, and well....i am a fan of the cannoli!

the next morning we set off on the freedom trail.  we bought a little book in boston common that told us about each stop with many detours along the way.  the first stop was the massachusetts state house.  it was designed by charles bullfinch, the leading architect of his day, and this was not lost on chase.  i don't know why the boy went to med school because he is enamored with architecture.  he likes to ride by a house and tell me why that window placement is wrong or this spacing here or there is not correct.   so he really enjoyed the state house.  i thought it looked cool, and i wished the dome hadn't been under repair!

we took a little detour over to the beacon hill area.  it's called beacon hill because way back in the day a beacon was placed on top of the hill as a sort of alarm.  it was a tall wooden pole with a bucket of tar at the top.  if they were attacked, the tar would be set on fire as a visible call for help.  they never used it.  and today, beacon hill is the "premier" neighborhood in boston.  it was a cool place with it's brick sidewalks and unique houses.

park street church used to be a granary.  it was converted into a church and during the war of 1812, they stored gunpowder here.  it's been called "brimstone corner" ever since.  another cool fact was that on these steps, the hymn "america" (or "my country tis of thee") was sung here for the first time.

along with cannolis, i found out that i am a fan of graveyards.  who knew?!?  in this burying ground next to park street church, there are several governors, several signors of the declaration of independence, ben franklin's parents and even mother goose.

i just found reading the headstones fascinating.  they weren't afraid to tell stories or write poems, and each and every stone had this skull with wings on it.  i found out later that this is called the death head.  seems like you'd want something not so sketch looking on your headstone, but who am i to argue?  this was obviously the thing to do back in the day because everybody had one.

while on the trail, we passed the omni parker house hotel.  they lay claim to the boston creme pie and parker house rolls.  since we don't often turn down food, we decided to go in and try them both.  i didn't think the pie was all that great.  being the original, i wanted it to be awesome, but it was just ok.

HOWEVER, we discovered the updated version at a different location!  hello, boston creme pie!  it was so good, we went back the next night for another one!

this is the old state house.  the declaration of independence was read from this balcony.

faneuil hall was just down the street.  it was the meeting house and market back in the day.  up on the top of it, there is a grasshopper made of copper and gold leaf.  nobody know why peter faneuil chose to put a grasshopper up there, but during the war of 1812 it was used to screen for spies.  if someone didn't know the answer to "where does the grasshopper fly?" he was arrested for being a spy!

the oldest street in boston.

paul revere's house was the next stop.  we went inside for a look around.  it was a very modest 2 bedroom house.  did you know paul revere had 16 children???  we were told that no more than 8 kids ever lived there at a single time, but nonetheless, i don't think i'd care for sharing a 2 bedroom house among 10 people!!

just down the road was the old north church.  this is what some consider boston's most famous landmark.  it is the church that paul revere warned of the british troops' coming by the signal lantern.  it wasn't him that actually climbed up there on that night, though.  it was his friend.

 my favorite part of these old churches are the pews.  they aren't pews at all.  each family had a section...a four walled section that they occupied during church.  i'm thinking we need to install something like this at lawndale!!

down the street is the narrowest house in boston.  it has nothing to do with the freedom trail, but i took a picture anyway.  it is 6 feet deep and 10 feet wide!!  chase wouldn't even be able to lie down in there!  it was built out of spite for a neighbor to block his view or something like that.  how's that for revenge?!

we made our way over the river (on foot) to charlestown all the way to the bunker hill monument.  "don't fire 'til you see the whites of their eyes!"  it's funny what you remember from elementary school!

we climbed all 294 steps to the top.  let's all take a moment and give thanks that chase is still with us.  i wasn't sure he was going to make it up that spiral staircase.  and then when he nailed his head at the very top on a concrete slab, i thought for sure he was a goner.  but he survived, and we had some great views of the city.

right down the way in charlestown, is the last stop on the freedom trail....the u.s.s. constitution aka "old ironsides."  once we declared our independence, we needed our own navy.  the constitution was one of our first vessels and was undefeated in battle.

we toured an aircraft carrier in san diego, and i was amazed then that that thing was able to float much less maneuver around anywhere.  same goes with this thing.  i just don't get it!!

 next up was fenway park.  we had a really good tour guide give us the scoop and show us the ins and outs of the stadium.  she grew up not far from fenway, and has been a fan her whole life.  i'm pretty sure she had no clue that there are any other sports on the face of the earth.  diehard.

standing on yawkey way

the green monster

sitting on the green monster

we were told that we must not miss out on the sam adams tour.  it was more like "here's some information" than a tour, and i learned all about barley, hops and yeast.  we tasted different types of barley.  the one used to make dark beers almost made me hurl.  nasty, nasty stuff.  and we smelled different types of hops.  for the record, more hops than not smell like horse crap.  i'm not sure how on earth somebody came up with the idea to put all that together and make beer, but props to them.  after walking through the brew room, it was followed up with a so-called tasting of different beers.  tasting obviously means different things to different people.  in this case, tasting means drink however much you want.  and did i mention that this was all free??  i don't know how they keep the college age crew out of here??!?

since we got all liquored up (not really.....i drank more root beer than beer because the hops.  the hops smell bad.  horse, remember?  i have a very sensitive sense of smell, but even if i didn't i'm not sure i could drink it after smelling that.), we decided to do something smart people would do the next day!

hello, boston public library!

this place could have been a museum rather than a library.  aside from marbled everything and some other artistic stuff i don't know about, it just had room upon room of books.  one gigantic room was the nothing but the collection of some guy that hoarded joan of arc books.  what a strange dude.  it was very cool, and i'm glad we took the time to walk around and check it out.

we also had a lobster roll for lunch one day.  my sister-in-law had us afraid to try one because they had eaten one that was terrible the year before when they were in boston, but we had to try it because that's just what you do in boston!  and i think they just went to the wrong place because this one was yummy!

i also crossed the finish line of the boston marathon.  i don't even look tired, do i?  it was a piece of cake.  i had to dodge a few buses to get the picture, but i figured that was easier than actually running 26 miles!

we also walked over to where the first bomb was during this past marathon.  they were still fixing up the outside of the building.

it was a little strange that they didn't have anything to mark the spot (i had to ask a waiter at the cafe next door), but he said they wanted everything to get back to normal.  there was a general memorial down the street in copley square and there were all these prayer ribbons on the fence at a church just down boylston street.

we made it over to where everybody knows your name, but since we had plans shortly thereafter we didn't venture in.  we just opted for a photo!

the plans we had involved this guy.

and ok...yes, that odd looking thing could probably give me nightmares if i looked at it long enough.  but y'all....the blue man group puts on the BEST show!  i can't even begin to explain what it is that they even do, but if you are ever in a city that has a blue man show do yourself a favor and go!  it was so much fun.  we laughed for an hour and a half!  and then we had a dance party at the end!

our last day there, we went over to cambridge to visit harvard.  harvard was not what i expected at all.  it's located all over the town instead of all on one campus.  each school has it's own dorms, eating facility, classrooms, etc. all right there in one little pod.  the math people may never even see the history people.  it just seemed weird to me.  but maybe that's because everybody in that town had an IQ about 400 times higher than mine.  sing with of these is not like the other!!!

(it was cold that day.  thank goodness for the athleta store (pure awesomeness) and the new pullover!

the harvard library.

"enter to grow in wisdom" or just stand there to get a picture!

so there you have it.  we really enjoyed walking all over this city, and i really, really enjoyed a break from fixing 3 meals a day, cleaning up after those meals, washing clothes, etc!  thanks to the grandparents for taking over kid duty!  maybe next year we can conquer everest!