Thursday, February 24, 2011

Changing it up

Well, I'm starting a new blog.  Not long after I started blogging, I decided it would be nice to not have our last name all over the internet.  You know, security and privacy and all that.  But it was kinda hard to change when my last name was in the URL.  So, this little photo limit dilemma gave me the kick in the pants that I needed to go ahead and make the change.

If you'd like to visit our new family blog, please e-mail me at nmwife13 [at] gmail [dot] com and I can send you the link.  Thanks!

Friday, February 18, 2011

My new toy

We got our tax refund and I immediately bought myself a dSLR camera.  Woo hoo!  I am as giddy as my kids are when we go to Chuck E Cheese's!  I obviously still need some time to figure out all the bells and whistles, but here a few of my first shots with it.


I was going to include a couple more, but blogger just informed me that I have met my maximum photo quota for this blog.  Ummmm....what do I do now?  Might have to start a new one because blogging without photos just ain't gonna cut it.  My writing's not that good.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Figure Skating

When my good friend, Jayne, called to see if I would be willing to take some tickets to the US Figure Skating Championships off her hands, I was THRILLED.  Yes. Yes!  YES!  I've never been to anything like that and felt lucky that it was right here in our hometown this year.  I just called this my hometown.  Guess I'm settling in for the next couple of years since Andrew found out we're no longer relocating.  :)

April came with me.
We LOVED it.
We watched the pairs finals and the ice dancing finals.

 We saw the death-defying-lay-down-spin.
Like my skating terminology?

Also saw lots of lifts,



and jumping.

But the throws were my favorite.
We also saw lots of falls.
But I was too busy audibly gasping to catch any of them on film.
The skaters can thank me later.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

B's hoops & W's cheer

For the first time in our family, both older kids are participating in an extracurricular activity AT THE SAME TIME.  Whoa.  Big step for us.  It has gone okay, but I'll happily revert to one-activity-at-a-time when this season ends.

Brandon is playing basketball.  The league we've been playing in for years has practices on Sunday for his age group.  Boo.  So, he's playing at school instead.  The level of competition isn't as strong, but he likes playing with and against lots of friends.

Here are some video highlights from the first half of his season.  Andrew is helping to coach the team, so I'm the camera woman.  And I stink.  Brandon is on the Tarheels, light blue shirt with silver and blue shorts, #4.

And after watching that, I say to myself, "He thinks he's too wimpy for football?  At least he'd have on pads and would be playing on grass!"

A little pregame smile (smirk?) for the camera.

 Practicing layups.

 Taking a shot.

Love his little hop while waiting to shoot free throws.

Little Miss Whitney is a rookie cheerleader and loving it.  She looks adorable, has fun, and is good!  Unfortunately, since she's tall, she ends up on the back row all the time.  Kinda difficult to take pics that way.  Here's her little highlight video.  Her favorite part is when she gets to be a "base" and hold the little girl up during the stunt at the end.

Woo hoo!

Go team!

Gotta love those pom poms.

They have a short season, only six weeks.  And we're halfway through.  Go, fight, win for three more weeks, kids!

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Roamin 'round Raleigh

The kids had school off for a teacher workday on a Friday a while back.  We took a little family field trip up to Raleigh for our own educational experience.

First stop:  NC State Capitol

As we walked up, I talked to the kids about how each state has their own lawmakers and that THIS building is where ours work.  And then we went on the tour.  And found out that in NC, the house and senate actually meet in a different building.  Oops.  So it was more of a historical tour than a political learning experience.  It was still good, just not what I expected.

The docent who was giving our tour, taught us about an
artistic motif known as the "Greek key."

And we proceeded to find it all over the building.

It was a little scavenger hunt!
And Whitney was good at it.

We also learned that you can find rocks and debris in the
barrel of old WWII cannons out on the grounds.

Next stop:  Spize Cafe

We don't know our way around downtown Raleigh at all.  The receptionist at the Capitol Building pointed left and told us, "There are lots of restaurants down that street."  So we went exploring and the first place we found that looked interesting was Spize.  I read the kids the menu and they thought it sounded good, so we gave it a try.

It was so yummy.

I got cumin chicken over rice.  
The kids both ate baguettes--shrimp for W, chicken for B.
Caroline ordered rice.
Then refused to eat it.
She nibbled on the chips that came with the baguettes.

Then we visited the NC Museum of Natural Sciences.  We've been there once before and LOVED this second visit. has FREE admission.  Highly recommend it. 
We learned:
that Caroline fits nicely in a dino footprint,

that baby rats are pretty darn cute,

 that you can order volcanic ashes on the internet 
for your pet chinchilla to roll around in.
But the rodent expert does NOT recommend chinchillas as pets.  
Too bad, because Whit was getting her hopes up.

And that Darwin frog daddies hold eggs in their mouth
then burp their babies out when they hatch.  Nice.

They have a traveling exhibit there right now called "Animal Grossology."  You can imagine it, right?  Blood, poop, slime...the kids LOVED it.  It normally has an additional cost, but our science center membership got us in free.  Great investment.

At the end of this exhibit, there is a submarine with an eel slide.
 The kids went on it over and over and over again.

B-train had fun chasing and being chased by this little girl.
He's growing up.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Out of the Mouths of Babes--January

1/4--Caroline and I were playing with Play-Doh, one of her favorite pastimes.  When I made a snake, she said, "I'm proud of you, Mommy!"  So sweet.

1/5--Now that the kids are back in school, I asked Brandon what his friends got for Christmas.
B:  I don't know.
Me:  You didn't ask them?
B:  No!  That's a GIRL thing, Mom.
I had no idea.  I'm already uncool, I guess.

Note to self:  Don't ask nine-year-old boys
what they got for Christmas.

1/10--We were asking the kids about ideas for Spring Break.  When we asked Caroline where she wanted to go, she said, "Home Depot."  Interesting idea.

She IS a fan of that store and even wore her
orange apron to run errands one day.
In this pic, she was saying,
"Look how big my shadow is!"

1/12--This, my friends, is what I would look like if the kids chose my hairstyle and accessories:
Not gaining any points on the coolness scale.

1/16--We drove by a church that had a sign outside that said,, "Real people.  Real relationships.  Real belonging."  Brandon said, "Good thing they have real people at that church.  I thought they were all cyborgs and jelly-filled mannequins."  That boy cracks me up.

1/17--Brandon came walking downstairs today and said, "Genius is 98% awesomeness, 1% smartness, and 1% ponajeeism.  Copyright 2011, Brandon."  Ponajee(sp?) is a word B came home with a few weeks ago.  He tells us it means to dominate in sports or video games.  Now I feel really uncool.  

1/20--We were watching a movie that had a lot of farm animals in it.  Caroline told me, "When I grow up, I want to be a horse."

Practicing her gallop?

1/26--When C woke up this morning, like most every morning, I asked her, "How did you sleep?"  I didn't expect her reply:  "Fancy."

1/27--Some of the thoughts going through Whitney's head today, "When I think of Santa, I think of Martin Luther King.  Is Santa an old man?  Is he in a nursing home?" 

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Profile 2011: Me


Favorite Sport:  Football to watch.  Tennis to play.

Is really good at:  Not taking myself seriously.

Wishes she was better at:  Using my time wisely.

Best part about my job:  Getting to play with my kids throughout the day.  It rocks.

Favorite pastimes:  Reading, playing the Wii (bowling and tennis with Drew, Just Dance by myself or with B & W), hanging out with my friends, taking my kids on adventures, blogging and reading blogs.

Favorite recent reads:  Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell, The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick, Girl in Hyacinth Blue by Susan Vreeland

Favorite restaurant:  Bonsai Japanese

Notable changes/events in 2010:  Finished Psych 301:  Psychological Statistics  (Only eight more classes to go!)  Played competitive tennis for the first time and loved it, especially our one and only win.  Continue to work in the nursery at church and love hanging out with those cuties each week.  Became a part of the newly-organized High Point Stake of our church--exciting!

Hopes for 2011:  Finish the Child Development class I started this month as well as one more class toward my degree.  Also finish my continuing ed credits to renew my dental hygiene license this summer.  Purchase a dSLR camera and figure out how to use it.  Continue to have daily personal scripture study in the mornings before the kiddios wake up.  Get some exercise on my bike once the weather finally warms up.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Profile 2011: Andrew


Favorite Sport:  Football

Is really good at:  Fantasy sports

Wishes he was better at:  Playing classical music on my acoustic guitar

Best part about his job:  Seeing business results improve and knowing that I had part in structuring the organization, developing talent, and hiring the right people.

Favorite pastimes:  Reading, playing flag football, playing basketball, and playing tennis with Andrea

Favorite recent reads:  Surround Yourself With Greatness by Chad Lewis, Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell, and every book about extreme survival situations that the library carries.

Favorite restaurant:  P. F. Chang's

Notable changes/events in 2010:  Transitioning from overseeing HR for our US manufacturing operations to our US sales organization; visiting Times Square and going to the top of the Empire State Building; touring Independence Hall in Philadelphia; putting down a dunk at the Stake Center after one of my church games; and getting a lot more gray hair.

Hopes for 2011:  No emergency room trips, organizing consistent flag football games with my buddies, for the right thing to happen around staying in Greensboro or moving to Dallas (I don't know what the "right thing" is though), lots of fun dates with Andrea, seeing the kids be happy as they do their best, BYU basketball makes a deep tournament run, the Lakers win another champship, and the Carolina Panthers win more than two games. 

Friday, January 21, 2011

Profile 2011: Brandon

Brandon Trey
Age 9

What's one thing you're really good at?  Video games are my talent.

What's one thing you wish you were better at?  Nothing.  [There's confidence for ya.]

What's your favorite treat?  Ice cream
Which flavor?  Whatever's in the freezer...unless it's pistachio or lemon.

What's your favorite game to play?  Sonic Racing for the Wii

What scares you the most?  When I hear sounds in a dark place

How tall do you want to be when you grow up?  Seven feet

What job do you want to have when you grow up?  Football player or something to do with Legos
[I thought you didn't want to play football.] Well, not right now because I'm a wimp.

If you could eat only one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?  Pop tarts.  Any of the ice cream shop flavors or the oreo ones.

If you could choose a different name, what would it be?  Oranjello

 I'm not seeing it.

What rule in your house would you get rid of if you could?  Chores.  Totally.

If you had a million dollars, what would you buy first?  A big house somewhere on the beach.

If you were a teacher, what subject would you teach?  Math

Favorite color:  Blue
Favorite TV show:  I don't really watch that much TV
Favorite movie:  Harry Potter series
Favorite pastime:  Video games
Favorite animal:  Hedgehog  [Really?]  I really like Sonic and he's a hedgehog!
Favorite book:  Harry Potter series

My thoughts:  Brandon cracks us up.  I love his quick wit and smart sense of humor.    He can be really helpful.  He is very responsible with all of his school assignments.  He has a big vocabulary.  He continues to devour books as fast as he can.  He still wakes up at the crack of dawn every morning.  Even though he complains about his chores, he is good at doing them.  I'm still coming to terms with the fact that he's not a little boy anymore.  I struggle with knowing what games/movies/books are OK for him.  The lines were much more clearly drawn out for me when he was younger.  He doesn't eat a whole lot at meals, but has a huge sweet tooth like the rest of us.  When he's in charge of the treats for FHE, he always wants to try baking a new recipe.  One night he even made us warm chocolate melting cakes.  They rocked!  He loves watching sports of all kinds, especially football with his Dad.  Can't believe he'll hit double digit age this year AND start his last year of elementary school this fall.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Profile 2011: Whitney

 Whitney Amelia
Age 6

What's one thing you're really good at?  I'm really good at jump roping.

What's one thing you wish you were better at?  I wish I was better at basketball.

What's your favorite treat?  My favorite treat is ice cream.
Which flavor?  Peppermint.

What's your favorite game to play?  My favorite game to play is Memory.

What scares you the most?  Bats.

How tall do you want to be when you grow up?  As tall as Mom.

What job do you want to have when you grow up?  I want to be a rock star because I've thought up many songs.

Future rock star?

If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?  Vegetables.  Broccolli, lettuce, and carrots.
Why?  Because I like those vegetables.  And I like the colors green and orange, too.

If you could choose a different name, what would it be?  Elise.

What rule in your house would you get rid of if you could?  Homework before video time.

If you had a million dollars, what would you buy first?  A bunch of candy.
What kinds?  Bubblegum, lollipops.

If you were a teacher, what subject would you teach?  I would teach math.

I was thinking entomology...

Favorite color:  violet

Favorite TV show:  Wild Kratts [a new show on PBS kids]

Favorite thing to do in your free time:  Read

Favorite book:  Midnight on the Moon with Jack and Annie [Magic Tree House Series]

Other random snippets from Mom:  Whitney is about as sweet as a girl can be.  She is constantly giving us compliments, loves to help me in the kitchen, and will often color pictures then wrap them up and leave them at our bedroom door as presents.  She prefers playing inside to out.  Very artistic--loves coloring, drawing, painting, making things out of the Bendaroos she got for Christmas.  She is the best eater, not picky at all.  She is the most difficult of our children to wake up for school in the morning and most mornings just takes a little baggie of cold cereal with her for breakfast because she's running late.  She is such a great big sister to Caroline, often reading her books at night before they fall asleep.  She is on a cheerleading squad for the first time this year and likes it so far.  She LOVES school and her first grade teacher, Mrs. Garrison.  She does NOT want to move, so is hoping Daddy's job does NOT take us to Dallas this year.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Profile 2011: Caroline

Time for the annual snapshots of each family member.  Care Bear's up first.  I decided to go ahead and interview her this year.  Some of the responses are a little nonsensical, but others are perfectly accurate.

What's one thing you're really good at?  Coloring.

What's one thing you wish you were better at?  The mall.  [I'm not sure what she meant here, but she did throw a couple of tantrums last time we were at the mall, so maybe she's aiming for better behavior?]

What's your favorite treat?  A cookie.
What kind?  Chocolate chip.

What's your favorite game to play?  Toy Story 3.  [We have a Toy Story Memory game.]

What scares you the most?  Chuck E. Cheese when he walks around.

What job do you want to have when you grow up?  A farmer.

If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?  Mint.  Mint Chocolate Chip.

If you could choose a different name, what would it be?  Cupcake.


If you had a million dollars, what would you buy first?  Chuck E. Cheese's.

What's your favorite color?  Yellow and green and gray and red.

What's your favorite tv show?  Piglet [I don't think she's ever seen Winnie the Pooh.  I would say Diego is really her fave]

What's your favorite movie?  Incredible Me [I thought she meant Despicable Me, but when I tried to correct her, she said, "No, Incredible Me."]

Favorite thing to do in our house?  Take a shower.  [She takes baths...and does love them.]

Favorite animal?  Dogs and Cats

Favorite place to go?  Chuck E. Cheese's to ride the pony.

Are you seeing a theme here?

Other random tidbits from Mom:  Caroline Rose is still our little sweetheart.  She is very loving and affectionate.  But the terrible twos are just beginning to show.  She has started saying NO a lot.  She loves doing puzzles and playing with Little People and dishes.  Afternoon naps are happening about 75% of the time, but she happily plays in her room for an hour of "quiet time" on the days she doesn't nap.  She loves to hop, sing, color, and do somersaults.  She hates getting her hair combed and leaving fun places.

We're looking forward to seeing what 2011 holds for our little Care Bear!

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Ringing in 2011

I've been on an organizing, book-reading, class-registering, continuing-ed-taking kick.  And the blog has been put on the bottom of the list of priorities.  But I wanted to document our fun week between Christmas and New Year's.  Andrew had vacation time that he needed to use, so he took the whole week off and we had such a great little staycation.

Drove up to Winston.  Visited SciWorks.

Brandon found a hidden monster truck.

Whitney built a cool Kapla block tower.

Caroline cried when it was time to leave.
She's cute when she cries.

Stopped at Chuck E's.

The kids score BIG TIME when Andrew comes with us.

Made our first visit to the festival of lights at Tanglewood.
It's one of those things I've wanted to do for the last seven years,
but never got around to.
Wow, were we missing out!
The pictures don't do it justice.
These were HUGE light displays.
It was fantastic.
Cool castle with penguin and polar bear.

Candles and poinsettias.

My favorite:  The pirate ship and lake monster.

Mary watched the kids all day long, so Andrew and I could have an extended date.  Fabulous.

Went ice skating downtown at the seasonal outdoor rink.
We had a great time.
The rink is small and the ice was not so smooth, though.
We were glad there weren't many people there on a weekday morning.

Most of the time, I was busy just trying not to fall.
I didn't.  Yippee!

But Andrew got tricky.
Check out his arabesque!
Glad to see the orthopedist's phone number on the wall.
Thankfully, we didn't have to call.

Stuffed our faces with cheesecake.

 Filled our souls at the temple.

Brandon and I went to the "Bodies Revealed" exhibit at the science center with our friends.  It was amazing.  And a little creepy.  Ok, the 4th grade boys thought it was more creepy than amazing.  

Then Brandon got to help Indiana Bones with her show.

Andrew, our fantasy football league commissioner,
presented Michael with trophies for winning the last
two super bowls.  Then the two of them drove down
to Charlotte to watch a Bobcats game.

Andrew got some sweet action shots.

I think he has new aspirations of becoming a sports photographer.

We were supposed to head to Asheville to spend New Year's with our cousins, but Andrew woke up with pink eye.  Instead we just played the Wii all day long.

After starting his antibiotic treatment, we headed to Asheville a day late.

The boys played video games.

The girls played dress up.

All of us had fun taking our turns holding Chapel,
the happiest baby in the world.

 Ate lots of yummy food.
After putting the kids to bed, we stayed up
playing Settlers through the new year.

 Ryan won.
With the rest of our family so far away,
we love having these cousins nearby.

It was hard to go back to the normal routine of work and school after having such a fun week of play.  But we did it.  And we're already looking forward to our next break.  Martin Luther King Day?