To every thing there is a season, and a time for every purpose under the heaven.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Halloween 2008

Here's my little angel! She looks a bit like a sleepy angel here.
At school, they were given paper dolls to take home and decorate like their Halloween costume. There she is, on the bottom right next to Darth Vadar.

Trick or Treat!

Braving the scary skeleton door with our neighbor, little Princess Phoebe.

Happy Halloween!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

A Visit to Kackleberry Farm

Hope you enjoy these snapshots from our trip to Kackleberry Farm in Louisville, Ga. Click "view all images" to see the slideshow with full pictures. Some of them are cropped here.

Backyard Camping

Not long ago, we decided to introduce Mary Beth to camping. So, we spent the night in the backyard. We listened to the crickets...and the party at the neighborhood clubhouse. She had fun, so maybe we'll take a real camping trip one of these days.

6th Birthday Party

This year, we had Mary Beth's birthday party at a fun place where you can paint your own pottery. Each of the girls painted a plate of her own. I think they all had a good time.

The only request Mary Beth had for her cake was that she wanted it to have roses. That was certainly easy enough!

All in all, it was a fun day.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

First Day of Kindergarten

The first day of school was Monday, but Mary Beth didn't make it until today, Wednesday. She's been sick for several days. This made it a little harder on mommy, but made Mary Beth all the more eager to go. We like her teacher very much, and I think she'll take good care of my baby.
Bella thinks there must be something good to eat in that lunchbox!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Summer's Almost Over!

Even though it's hot, hot, hot here, summer is practically over for us. The munchkin starts kindergarten on Monday. We went to open house tonight and met her teacher who seems very nice. Unfortunately, none of the children she has met here in our new town are in her class, so we'll be starting over at making friends. I think this is bothering me more than it is her, but I'm really sad about it.

We've had a good summer, though. Two trips to the beach, Butterfly Camp, Vacation Bible School, Princess Ballet Camp, and swimming lessons kept us busy. The pictures are from the last day of ballet camp when all the girls dressed up as princesses and put on a little show for the parents.

I'll have 3 weeks until my piano teaching term begins. I'm up to 6 after-school students now with a goal of 12, so I'm willing to bet that I fill all of those slots by the end of September. That doesn't include mornings. I have one home-schooler already and hope to have more.

Kevin has begun doing shift work, but fortunately he doesn't have very many night sessions between now and January, and he'll have more days off than usual. He'll actually be off on Monday and will be able to go along when we drop MB off for her first day at school. We've decided to go out for breakfast afterwards. He told me there was no crying allowed. We'll see about that.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Summer News and Pictures

Since I last posted, we've stayed busy. Grandma and Grandpa visited from Florida and got to meet the new house and the new dog. We enjoyed visiting with them and showing them our new town.

Not long after that, Mary Beth attended Vacation Bible School at a nearby Methodist Church. That turned out to be much fun, especially since we discovered that some of her friends from PreK were there, too.

We've spent many days at the neighborhood pool here in our new neighborhood. We meet up with our friends on the street as well as some of our school friends there. Mary Beth took swimming lessons through the Y, and has gained quite a lot of confidence in the pool.

One of our fun outings this summer was a trip to a blueberry farm. We picked a gallon of blueberries, and we're planning to go back for more!

We love blueberries!

For the fourth of July, we went to the Whigham family reunion in Dublin, Ga. Our cousin hosts a gathering at his home every other year. This year, Mary Beth learned to cast a fly rod at the pond, along with meeting several cousins, aunts, and uncles. Yep, that's Bella, our dog, in the picture. Hey, she's family, too!

And finally, the best and most wonderful news is that we finally sold our house in Rincon. On the same day as the closing, Kevin took a final exam for the training phase he's been in at his new job, and he aced it. So, we're enjoying happy days.

When I traveled back to the closing, we got to attend Mary Beth's best friend's birthday party. There was lots to celebrate!

Look closely at the picture of the birthday cake in the final picture. If you live anywhere near Springfield, GA and you want a cake, order it from Sheila's Cakes. The birthday girl's grandmother is opening a bakery - and she's very talented. Look at the tiny butterflies on the 5!

Friday, June 20, 2008

A Visit From The Tooth Fairy

After hanging by a thread for days, that little front tooth finally popped out at the neighborhood block party last weekend. Mary Beth was so excited to lose her first tooth. "I'm really a big girl, now!" Of course, the tooth fairy came. Yesterday, we discovered that the other lower front tooth is loose, too. Looks like we're going to keep the tooth fairy busy!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Beach Trip

Mary Beth, Bella, and I had a great time last week at St. Simons Island. I found that it was a challenge to be there with a dog who couldn't be left alone, but it was balanced out by the fun of watching her play on the beach and meeting lots of fellow dog lovers.

Mary Beth attended a camp about butterflies! She had a great time! On one day, they went out to the beach to fly homemade kites, and the reporters from the local paper showed up. Mary Beth was on the front page of the newspaper!

While Mary Beth went to camp, I took the dog to the beach and let her run off the leash while there were few people to disturb. There's no doubt that she's part Labrador retriever. She absolutely loves the water! However, she absolutely does not love being left alone, and since we didn't want the condo to end up with damaged door frames or window blinds, we had to take her everywhere we went. This meant no trips to restaurants. So, we enjoyed lots of picnics on the beach and at the park. It was fun to be outside so much! We did manage to spend a little time at the condo pool with the aid of doggy valium and Bella's crate. Even with the valium, I had to keep popping inside to reassure her. We did manage to spend as much as an hour and a half at the pool this way before she'd begin non-stop barking. We hope that these problems will sort themselves out as we continue gradual crate/separation conditioning and as she matures. Otherwise, she's such a great dog! So, I've resigned myself to making this the "summer of the dog" as we work on these issues.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Studio Pictures

I'm very excited to have a room in our new house where I can teach piano. I'm also happy that I now have some students and a reason to use it! Without a doubt, there will be more students by fall.

Of course, the most important thing in the room is the piano. I have a Charles Walter studio piano. Not very many people have heard of this family-owned piano company out of Indiana, but piano technicians go ga-ga over my instrument. These are very well-built pianos, and some technicians liken them to Yamaha. Mine is a little bright for my tastes these days, but the action is very good - responsive.

I finally have an "I Love Me Wall." This is what Kevin calls the wall in his office where he hangs his diplomas, his Naval commissioning, and memorabilia from his Navy days. There just wasn't room for all of my stuff, but at least some of it is up. The sofa opens into a double bed for when grandparents come to visit during arthritis flare-ups and they don't want to climb the stairs to the guest room.

I have my desk, my filing cabinet, and my digital piano all crammed onto one wall. It's a bit cluttered looking, but leaves plenty of floor space for away-from-the-piano activities with students. Maybe one day the digital piano will go away and a nice little harpsichord will take its place. For now, the digital is useful. The kids find it motivating to play, and I can use it to make recordings with my computer. These days, you just can't avoid using technology in the teaching studio. It's here to stay.

Music storage is an ongoing issue for me. Ideally, I'd like to store scores flat, but it's hard to find storage solutions that accommodate that.

So, I have music in the filing cabinet, music in the filing crates behind the keyboard, and music in the magazine files in the bookshelf. In addition to that, there's music in the guest bedroom closet. The magazine

files have actually proved to be a pretty handy tool for storing my teaching literature. I'm in the process of covering cardboard magazine files with fabric to dress them up. Pretty soon, we'll have no place to live for all the music!

Ready for Kindergarten

Mary Beth is officially no longer a preschooler!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Thunder Over Augusta

Here’s the munchkin dressed up to go to Thunder Over Augusta, an armed forces appreciation festival last Saturday. See the matching outfits? Since she almost never plays with dolls, mommy was happy that she wanted to hold her baby for the entire day. Lots of people at the festival commented on how cute she was with her doll, and she ate up the attention. I guess I need to look for more of those matching outfits!

We saw some paratroopers land, including one whose main chute got tangled on his foot. We didn’t realize there was a problem ‘til I I read about it in the paper the next day. We missed the jet flyovers, but we did see some Chinook helicopters flying overhead. The munchkin enjoyed the bouncy castles and we watched some attack dogs do their thing. Lee Greenwood crooned in the distance as we set up our chairs for the fireworks on the riverwalk.

You can’t tell from the picture, but there’s a pretty steep hill. The highlight of the afternoon for the munchkin was rolling down it – in her white dress. Thank God for Oxiclean.

The other big highlight was a fantastic fireworks display. We agreed that it was the best we’d seen short of Disney World.

When we got home, we discovered that we really should have taken the dog with us. We could have – lots of other people had their dogs on leashes. It would have been a little tricky, but possible. Bella had been redecorating the house, and now, we are searching for a couple of new sets of faux wood blinds that match the dimensions of our breakfast room windows.

It’s lucky that she’s so cute.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

New home

For those of you who look for Lowe news here, I'm sorry it's been nearly half a year since I posted! We do indeed have lots of news. We have moved to Evans, GA, and we like our new house! I'm particularly happy to have my own studio - a place where I can teach piano while the rest of the family can still use the family room. Unfortunately, there are no students yet. I'm hoping that I'll sign up some by fall. Kevin has an office, too. We've done some painting, and we have more plans to remove some wallpaper and eventually enclose the back deck as a screened porch.

The munchkin has made some friends at her new PreK, and here on our street. Two of our little neighbors are exactly the same age and will start to school with her in the fall. She's very happy because the neighborhood pool is close to our house. She's signed up for swimming lessons this summer, as well as ballet camp. She'll start kindergarten and ballet classes in the fall. Lately, she has been practicing for her pre-K graduation ceremony - "I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United STAKES of America and to the the REPUBLIX for which it stands..."

There is one sad bit of news. We said goodbye to our cat Dolly recently. We miss her very much, but she was old and sick, so we are glad that she is not in discomfort any more. We still have Sebastian, and we now also have a new family member...

Meet Bella! She's an 11-month-old mixed breed dog that we adopted from a local rescue organization. We think she's part lab, shepherd, maybe setter, and maybe golden retriever. She's fetching balls for us with no training on our part and splashing in a plastic wading pool in the yard. She's a sweet, good-natured doggie and very trainable. Now, if we could just get Sebastian to come out of the bedroom...
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