Monday, December 21, 2009

Derick Turns 14

When Derick turned 14 a couple of days ago, it was like many other birthdays that we celebrate here at home. With a home made birthday cake, made to their order, plenty of candles and singing.

Then the presents arrive and everyone is giddy with anticipation.

Yippee!!! It's some sort of accessory for their PSP hand held game.

And a geek T-shirt that lights up whenever it detects WiFi.

But what's this? A surprise package??

Timothy can't believe it. How NOT FAIR IS THAT??

Jonathan is also in tears. How come DERICK gets a guitar??

Now if he can keep the other kids' hands off of it, it may last to see next week.

Happy birthday Rock Star!!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

A Dicken's of a Christmas

A misty day just added to the English feel of the Dickens Christmas in historic Franklin. We enjoyed kettle corn, caramel apples and hot chocolate while we wandered Main Street enjoying the music, sights and sounds of an Olde English Christmastime.

Timothy gets asked to be hired as a pick pocket. One day's wages would get him a drafty, drippy room, a cup of milk and some toast if he was willing to leave his family to work. He's thinking about it and Austin is pleased that Timothy hasn't said "no" yet.

Christmas carols on brass instruments always sound so grand.

But the bells sound heavenly to the ear.

Although who could resist such a sweet violinist?

Taking a break from all the fun.

Such a cozy spot that the older boys join in.

Another sweet violinist. I think those two should get together for a duet!

And the Christmas Spirit is well underway here in Tennessee!!

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Leipers Fork Christmas Parade...2009 Edition

Ho ho ho!!!

Thought I'd dust off the cobwebs around here and update my blog!

No better time than now, just in time to present the Leiper's Fork 2009 Christmas parade. Down home style.

Waiting for the parade to start! Derick was actually in the parade this year, so he's not waiting with us. High temp on this day was 34 degrees!

Naomi Judd did the announcing.

I loved this sweet entry!!

Uncle Lester??

A few of the Titian Cheerleaders decided to brave the cold and come on out.

I want these girls to be my best friends forever. And the guy in the afro wig too!

This is Mrs. Claus on her wedding day.

Isn't he having fun?? And why shouldn't he?.....

.....he turned his 4-wheeler into a Gingerbread House!

His brother was a gift box!!

No Leiper's Fork Parade is complete without Floyd!

Or the General Lee!!

The Hillsboro 8th grade football heroes!

Derick and Santa chillin'

Of course the Zero Turn Mower Precision Drill Team made their appearance, as they do each year.

My Dad tells me that this 34 Rat Rod is sporting a tractor radiator grill. That just makes it so much BETTER!

These sweet horses all wore authentic sleigh bells!! They sounded so pretty!


She was just too cute!!!

Mrs. and Mr. Claus!!!!
A very nice day and a super fun parade!!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Arachnophobes Need Not Apply

So heading out to the garage this morning, Austin brings to my attention this spider, which happened to be blocking the door we needed to get through in order to get into the garage. The spider was was pretty big and I thought maybe it was a small tarantula. We had tarantulas running around our property in So. CA, but even then I hadn't seen any except in October and November and they were much bigger.

Being adventuresome, I got a ruler and the spider obliged me by sitting still for me to get a good scale photograph.

Upon closer inspection, I learned that the spider wasn't really hairy.

It was just carrying a bunch of baby giant spiders on it's back.

So anyway, spider time was fun and all, but I had to get Austin over to the high school to buy his yearbook. I told the Austin and Amanda to step back just in case the spider bolted their way when I opened the door. Well as I opened the door, the giant creature instead went into the garage. Not good. I opened the big roll up garage door hoping it would head out into the far wilds and fresh air, but upon seeing the light the spider quickly retreated further into the garage. But I, still holding the ruler in my hand, decided to lightly flick the spider out the roll up door. Great idea. And it worked. Except as I flicked the spider, tens of the baby spiders fell off the spider's back and began scattering in all directions on my nice cool garage floor. Giant spider tried to run back into the garage. I quickly pressed the button to close the big garage door. The Mama spider was trapped outside while the baby spiders began to figure out where the Mama spider was and ran toward her. There was plenty of room between the garage door and the frame for the spiders to reunite, so I felt pretty good about that.

Meanwhile, we open the bay door to the garage stall I needed opened in order to get my van out. As we backed the van out and I started to close that garage roll up door. Austin then says that he saw that giant spider dart back into the garage. I left the garage door open all day hoping it would somehow, some way, miraculously run back out.

But I have feeling we will be over run with wolf spiders in our garage before the summer is over.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Books and Covers

Why we love Susan Boyle

I'm assuming that most everyone has heard or heard of Susan Boyle's performance on a British talent show called, "Britain's Got Talent."

She has become quite the sensation. But why? We have all heard fabulous singers before. We have probably even heard better. So why is Susan's performance so extraordinary? I think her popularity has exploded for several reasons.

Number one is that Susan was judged on her appearance before ever given a chance to prove herself. She reminds us of how shallow we as a people have become, or what we expect from others as a society based on first glance alone. Before she takes the stage, Susan confesses that she has never been married, or even kissed, and that she lives with her cat Pebbles. Naturally one is to assume that it is because she is crazy and eccentric. I mean look at her right? Anyone who has looked less than perfect in the world's eyes, or has held on to a standard not recognized by society instantly connects with Susan, before she ever takes the stage. The classic, "Judging a book by the cover."

Number two is that Susan represents those of us who were ridiculed or teased during our lives. Susan stands up on stage and stoically endures the eye rolls, snickers and words being exchanged in low whispers among the audience as she speaks about her dreams. Most of us who were teased would never be brave enough to ever reveal our dreams. Our hearts would not allow any more rejections. Oh how we would have LOVED to have shut everyone up, brought them to their feet, lapped in their praises, just moments after they all made a joke of us. Susan has done what millions of the down trodden could not, not only proved the taunters all wrong but won their admiration to boot.

Another reason? Susan's age. Let's get real, people who want to have a career in the performing arts had better be well on their way by the time they hit 30. Doors are closing then. Actually in many careers, you are no longer considered a shooting star once one reaches a certain age. Susan reminds us that it is never too late to chase a dream. At this point in time, as our population ages, she has given many the inspiration to just try. As Susan said when asked why she hasn't fulfilled her dream, "I have never been given the chance before. But here's hoping that will all change."

Susan represents the 90% of the population who are not exceedingly gorgeous. Those who have lived a life of mediocrity. Who have worked hard, putting dreams to the side as they lived up to obligations and to the challenges of life. Susan's choice of song was also one of pure irony. She sings, "I had a dream my life would be so different from this hell I'm living. So different now from what it seems. Now life has killed the dream I dreamed." And really, who can't somehow relate to something in that?

Who else is happy about Susan Boyle's new found fame? Well I'm thinking it has to be Elaine Page. I think Susan Boyle has now made HER more famous than ever. I mean really, Elaine gets a shout out heard by tens of millions of people outside of Britain! Most of them probably saying, "Who is Elaine Page?" and then promplty logging on to Sweet!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Thrill of the Hunt

So after Sunrise service it was time to begin the egg hunt.

There were plenty of eggs to be found all filled with candies.
There was also a golden egg, full of 5 $1 gold coins. Everyone wanted that egg.

Amanda wanted the golden egg badly, but it was found by Jonathan.

She took the realization pretty hard.

But after some clever negotiating (Jonathan gets the coins and Amanda gets the egg), every one seemed just a little happier.

Happier and ready to pose for a group shot.

Although Derick may have been a little miffed that he didn't find the golden egg.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Tramp Ball

When a playmate comes over to visit, it's time to hit the trampoline for a friendly game of Tramp Ball

First the teams are formed and ground rules laid.

Then it's on to the action of the game.

It's intense....

...and needs concentration....

....courage and strength....


...trick plays...

...and determination.

Actually I'm not sure what's going on.

Only that it's not too hard to figure out...

...when the ball goes out of bounds.

See, it's hard for me to concentrate on the game when I feel like I'm being watched.

Ya. Like that.
Special thanks to Frederick for contributing photographs for this story.