Friday, December 5, 2008

Queen for a Day

We celebrated our YW in Excellence last night and had a pagent theme. Ms. Faith, Ms. Divine get the idea. It turned out really cute. The girls did their pagent wave at the end and to ham it up it little more, I wore a ball gown. didn't quite go over as well as I liked. I thought being so over the top would get some laughs...instead I got a lot of stares and "no comments"...oh well. I think overall the girls did fantastic and were able to showcase a lot of the projects they've been working on throughout the year.

Monday, December 1, 2008


We had a quiet little Thanksgiving holiday this year. We stayed in SC and had dinner at our new house with my Mom and stepdad Lonnie. It was very relaxing and included no holiday driving marathons...ahhhhh. My brother went up to VA for the holiday break and it took him 11 hours to get home rather than the normal 7 hours. Ick. Yes...a quiet Thanksgiving was so nice. We threw our traditional pie party that evening. We had a few families over and enjoyed a great variety of yummy pies. I made homemade apple and pumpkin pie as well as a chocoate mousse. We also were graced with a peanut butter mousse pie as well as a delicious apple praline cheesecake...YUM! It was all worth it...and yes...even the extra few pounds.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Arrrgh Matey!

Almost forgot to include a photo of us together on Halloween night. Our entire family dressed up as pirates. Dale's "tattoos" were courtesy of Grace and a sharpie. My personal favorite is the hangman on his forearm. I'll take an "a" please. And that's a real goatie he grew in just for the occassion. Only thing is his beard is naturally blond and he of course wanted it darker. So he asked to use my mascara...ha...I don't think so. So he used the next best shoe polish. It was definitely dark...for a very long time.


Racing the rubber duckies
Yeehaw Cowboy!

Jason, Libby, and Addison on our hayride

Literally swinging from the rafters

We've done a lot of activities this Halloween season. We took the kids to a really cool farm about an hour away that had the corn maze with a ton of other fun activities. They had a barn full of hay with ropes tied to the rafters...crazy but fun. They had a corn cob gun, hayride, pumpkin patch, cow train, and even funnel cakes! Here's a few pictures for your enjoyment. My brother Jason, his wife Libby and my cute niece Addison joined us for the day.

Trunk R Treat

So I participated in our church Trunk r Treat this year. I actually dressed up and decorated my car. If you know me well, you know that's not too hard to believe. Our family LOVES Halloween! We lived in Florida last Halloween and they are crazy there. Full on theater level props on their cars, stake level chili cook-off, EVERYONE dresses get the idea. Well, I was thinking the same here, not so much. I'm the ONLY adult dressed up. Several people had to do a second look and someone even called me "Sister Sparrow". I can at least say I had a really good time and wasn't lacking for conversation.

Party in the Hood

Bobbing for Apples
Our 1st & 2nd place Chili Cook-Off Winners
Donut on a string...hilarious!
Tristan the pirate
Tons of good food...check out our ballot was official!

Yes...I know it's a been a LONGGGGG time. I've been busy.
I'm the Activity Committe chair for my neighborhood HOA....aka "Sucker". (I'm the only one that'll do it.) Well, we don't have too many kids in our neighborhood (probably around 20 tops) but I still needed to throw a party that interested both adults and kids if I was hoping for any type of turn out. Hence we successfully threw our 1st annual Savannah chili cook-off/halloween kid party. I've included a few pictures from the event. We had about 60 people attend. Not too shabby considering we only have 49 houses in our entire neighborhood. I think everyone enjoyed themselves. We had some fun games for the kids. I did a "ghost hunt" (lollipops dressed up like ghosts hidden through the backyard), apple bob, donut on a string, and my best creation...the cupcake walk! We had about 9 chili contest entries and a mother/daughter team took 1st and 2nd place. The entire event was exhausting, but it's all worth it if everyone has a good time.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Big "G", Little "o"...Go! Go!

Grace cheered at her first game Saturday morning in Mauldin. It was super hot but the girls kept upbeat and kept the crowd excited. We've only mastered about 5 cheers so far so they repeated a few throughout the game, but I don't think anyone noticed. It was fun to watch them and then to also see the pee-wee teams play. The boys looked like bobble heads running up and down the field and then they'd slam each other. I was definitely entertained.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Hang Ten Dude!

We had a really fun experience the week before school started. We took the kids to Folly Beach, right outside Charleston, SC, to a surf camp for autistic children called Surfers Healing. It's a non-profit organization that brings professional surfers to various coastal towns to surf with autistic children. It was pretty incredible and both of our kids had a blast. Grace got up on the board basically everytime but Tristan wasn't so sure of it. He suctioned himself to the front of the board each run but finally felt comfortable on his last one and stood up. Too cute. He's mimicing a lot more these days, which is fun to see. The pictures speak for themselves.

Back to School

Grace on her first day of 2nd grade

It's been awhile since last I posted. I think preparing for the first day of school took over, but now I'm back and did I mention free?!! Yes, I love the first day of school. Summer vacation for the kids is officially over and MY vacation begins. Lazy days. LOL Ok...maybe not "lazy" since I still have to get up at 5:30am to get the kids ready for school. Yep...that's no typo....5:30am..and it's pitch black outside. Ugh. Gone are our 9am wake-up's. Tristan's school is about 20 minutes away and he's the second pick-up on his bus route at 6:25am.'s still dark outside. It seems criminal to put my child on a bus that early. Let's not forget how much my neighbors "love" me when this loud bus comes through the neighborhood with its flashing strobe light and "beep, beep, beep" everytime it backs up to get out of our culdasac. I can say I'm not making new friends in the neighborhood for it. I did have one neighbor tell me it's basically her alarm clock.'re welcome???

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Happy 4th of July!

We had a great 4th of July holiday. Our great friends from Orlando came up to visit for the weekend; Todd & Maria and their son Austin. We visited the Biltmore Estate during the day (see prior post) and then stopped and stocked up on fireworks at the state line. Can you say trouble? Our neighbors invited us over for a BBQ that was so incredibly good. Ribs, chicken, shrimp on the mouth is still watering. Top it off with Paula Dean chocolate cake, sweet potato pie and the most incredible sugar cream pie (think warm sugar cookie in a pie form)...yummy!
We then pulled together our arsenal of fireworks from 5 different families. Keep in mind that South Carolina is that place people visit to just get fireworks. You can buy the big boys here and we definitely did. Dale and the rest of the men were in their happy place for over an hour. We only had two incidents...yes, it could of been worse if you knew how much fire power the had. The first was a big one that the guys lit and dropped into the pipe (one of the big exploding ones you see at Disney World) and it shoots out only like a foot and then drops back into the pipe. It explodes outward at eye level and gets everyone. We only had one person get burned...and unfortunately is was a little girl that was already scared to death of them. Can you say therapy? Poor thing. So the first one was definitely a dud and an accident. I wish I could say the same regarding the second. Dale and our friend Todd couldn't get one lit. It would burn and then fizzle out. By the time it lit it only had a wick on it about 6 inches long. They lit it not thinking and dropped it in the tube to shoot but it launched so quickly they didn't have time to set it down and direct it upwards. Instead, Dale was holding it against his chest and pointed it away from the group of people and towards our house instead. It launched, kicked back on Dale and exploded in our cul-de-sac. It lit up all of the houses on our street. Everyone in unison said..."Whoa". It was a good laugh...afterwards of course.

Our Visit to the Biltmore Estate

Playing Victorian games of the area..."Hello...anybody there?"
"Games of Grace" (games that taught ladies to be graceful)
Gracie thought it was cool they named it after her. I didn't have the heart to tell her otherwise.
The Biltmore Home in the background
Dale, Tristan, Austin, Grace, our good friends Maria & Todd

Dawna & Dale in the Biltmore gardens

For those of you that have never checked out Asheville, NC and the Biltmore're missing out! This was our second visit here and just as fun and interesting. Built by George Vanderbilt in 1888, it is the largest privately owned home in the country to date with over 175,000 sq ft...that's no typo. It's huge! It includes a 70,000 gal indoor pool with underwater lighting and bowling alley. It's an amazing home and the gardens surrounding the property are stunning. It covers about 8,000 acres now but was originally 125,000 acres. The acreage was sold to the US govt. in the early 1900's and preserved as National forest. This is a definite must see if you're ever in the area. Call us and we'll join you, we're only 2 hours away!

Here Batter Batter!

Getting ready for the ball!
Grandpa Buckley got Grace a Drive foam glove...charge!!!
Dawna & Grace having fun
Dawna, Grace, Tristan, & Dale at the game

We had a fun experience last Thursday. We met up with my brother and his cute family as well as my Dad and stepmother (visiting from VA) and attended a Greenville Drive game. The Greenville Drive is the farm team for the Boston Red Sox. This was the kid's first experience with baseball (besides T-Ball) so it was a toss up as far as if they were going to enjoy it. The weather was perfect, slight breeze and the atmospere counldn't be beat. Add some popcorn and cotton candy and all was good.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Our Visit to Historic Charleston

Tristan, Dale, and Grace had a blast on our carriage tour of the city.
This is the cobblestone road made from English stones.
Southern Bell Grace with Tristan & Dale by the bay
Look! They named it after me!

Well, it was a fun but very quick visit to historic Charleston, SC. It was suppose to be a 4 day family getaway but ended up being just an overnighter. Let me begin.

Dale's job. His work schedule changes often and this week was no different. After already booking our hotel for the week, we found out that he had to be in Virginia on Wed. and Thur. Dale still had a demo scheduled about an hour outside Charleston, so we decided to join him anyways.

We drove into Charleston around 4pm and went to the carriage company first thing. We were able to take a tour via horse carriage through the historic area of Charleston. I personally LOVE history and archeticture so I was having a great time, the kids, not so much. I kept hearing "MOM! When can we go to the hotel to swim?!" It was somewhat enjoyable. Afterwards we got some icecream from Maggie Moo's (Best Dark Chocolate icecream EVER) and walked about 8 blocks down to the ocean. Grace had the blue Cotton Candy icecream...she had permenantly blue teeth afterwards. (Check out the pics)

We walked through the residential area and it was amazing. Money, money, money. Nothing was under $2 mil. and those that were for sale were $9 mil + Yowzers! One of the fascinating things about the houses was that most of the structures were original from the civil war period and they were wood. Cypress to be exact. I learned that cypress not only repels termites but also water which makes it perfect for an oceanside home. That explains how these homes are still standing too after so many years.

One of the streets was fit with thousands of cobblestones...very large ones. The tour guide said that all of the rocks came from England. All of the ships had to load their cargo holds with rocks to keep the top level during their journey to America. On arrival , they would unload and the locals would use the rocks on the road. The story is that the king of England found out what the settlers were doing and began taxing them for the rocks they took from the ship. Crazy, huh?

We ate dinner after our long walk to the bay and came back to browse through the downtown market. Lots of vendors were selling everything from hand woven baskets to "I love Charleston" t-shirts. Grace bought a southern bell fan (pink of course) and Tristan found a laser light that had over 42 different light forms...he was happy. We ate dinner at an awesome little place called Tommy Cordons. I had the BEST shrimp and grits ever...and I don't even like grits. I always try to eat what an area is known for. I'm glad I did.

The kids were ready to swim so off to the hotel we went. Tristan was a little anxious when we got down to the pool as Dale was determined to get him to jump from the deep end. We were the only people in the pool until one lone guy from the gym can in to swim laps. Tristan is literally kicking and screaming as Dale is trying to get him to jump in the deep end. After about 10 minutes, he decides to jump...onto the guy swimming laps. LOL I was shocked and mortified but I have to admit I haven't laughed that hard in a long time. Tristan took him right down to the bottom of the pool (9 ft) and the guy resurfaced with Tristan death gripping the guy around the neck. I can't tell you the last time I laughed so hard. The good thing is the guy was very understanding about the whole thing and very sweet. Thank goodness! We laughed and laughed about it afterwards. Whew...good times.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Flowers Galore

Flowers from my honey, Dale
Flowers from my in-laws: Sandy & Leon

I was very blessed this year for my birthday. I felt special in many ways but nothing says "I love you" like flowers....delivered! I've been trying to convince Dale for the last decade (yes...10 years) that flowers from Costco that he sticks in a vase from home aren't quite the same as professionally arranged and delivered. He's finally caught on and really wowed me this year.

My in-laws also did not disappoint with their own special delivery. I thought it was incredibly sweet of both Dale and my in-laws since I know they hand picked almost every flower in the bouquets sent. Yes...I felt very loved this year!

Last Day of School

Grace received a Super Terrific Kid Award
Grace & her buddy Grayson at their end of year luau
Tristan receiving his award for participation in Special Olympics
My luau princess

I'm not sure if this is a good thing or bad. Ok...probably both. Good for the kids...bad for Mom's everywhere. Last day of school. Tristan and Grace's vacation break has begun and mine has ended until the end of August when they return to school.

The kids had a great school year and ended on a good note here in SC. A lot of changes happened this year with the move from Florida and new schools, but they did awesome. I'm really proud of them both.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Memorial Day Celebration

Tristan loved the trampoline
Tasty fresh cut carny fries for Tristan
Grace and Tristan building their bird houses
Riding the train
We rode with them for free...thanks to the super nice train conductor!
Keep dreaming Dale!
Grace is all smiles
Look how high Mom!
Dale using his own daughter for target practice
My Patriotic Princess

We got to enjoy a local festival here in Simpsonville on Memorial Day. It's called the "Freedom Aloft" Festival and it's got a ton of hot air balloons that take off every evening from the venue..probably close to 100 ballons. We saw some over our house Sunday night and it was pretty fun to see. Over at the fair grounds we were able to sample a bunch of the local foods and ate some traditional goodies like cotton candy. We watched some of the frisbee dog trials which were amazing. The kids both tried out the suspended trampoline. I tried to persuade them to flip but I think both were a little overwhelmed at how high they were jumping. We also ran into a funny clown that put these weird coned helmets on the kids heads (yes, that includes Dale) and they played ring around the head. The pictures explain it better. Jason and Libby (and Addison) were able to meet up with us at the festival too. We ended our day with building wooden bird houses (free activity..too cool) and riding the train at the park. Exhausting but fun day!