Welcome to the Blog Plantation Y'all

Our family welcomes you and thanks you for stopping by to visit. We are delighted you have taken a few minutes out of your day to spend with us. We are Joe and Jessica. We have two children and one very regal beagle! We post often and it usually includes details of our Christian faith; life here in the South; entertaining our family and friends; tales of our travels; as well as the daily adventures of having two children. Oh, and our passion for Alabama Crimson Tide Football!
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What time I am afraid I will trust in thee
Psalm 56:3

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Friday, August 29, 2008

The aftermath

*GrandMaMa and the 2 O's

Well, let me just say this..... when Daddy is home alone with the little ones, Mommy has work to do the next day. They had so much fun. They made Jello and played and ate things they were not supposed to. Stayed up late and watched football. I am tickled because Olivia this morning was saying well, Daddy ...... it cracked me up.

We are still watching Gustav, now it seems Hanna will hit Alabama (even Birmingham by next weekend) She is to be a Cat 3 also. Evacuations are crazy and coming from all areas.

Today is Ramsey's birthday so.....................................

Happy Birthday Ramsey!!

We will See you at Chuck E. Cheese in a bit, we love you!

For those of you that are curious, Orren is walking here and there. He just doesn't like it as much as crawling. Chief says it is his 4- wheel drive. I fell in the floor I thought it was so funny.

Tip Top Grille pictures

*View from Tip Top Grille

We had such an adventure that day. Oh my goodness! The wind on top of the mountain is VERY strong and it blew our umbrella right out of the table when we sat down. Then because the sun was so bright we decided to move to another table with a sturdier umbrella. Well,........ in the move Chief's drink was knocked over and all of his food was soaked. It fell apart when he picked it up it was so soggy. So then Olivia's chicken took forever and we were all so aggravated that it wasn't as much fun as we had hoped. But as Chief said we are not likely to forget it!*Olivia squinting in the sun @ tip top

The weather was perfect it was so cool, windy, and sunny. I wish it was that way here at our house right now.

* Master Orry on his horse


Thursday, August 28, 2008

Board meetings, Hurricane Party, and chocolate martini

*Master Orry on his horse

*Olivia enjoying a "virgin" chocolate martini

Just a quick post tonight. I have a Board meeting @ 6:30, I have got to get dressed for! Another night of Daddy alone with the children!

We put Chief and GradMaMa on the road this morning so that they can secure everything on the Gulf. They should be headed back this way on Sunday to avoid Gustav.

Olivia and Orren are great today, I rearranged Orren's room. Now it doesn't look like we just threw the furniture in there however we could. I can't believe he is 15 months old and I am just finishing his room!

We still can't find all the binkies, I am pretty sure they were thrown away.

We are getting ready to host our family and friends coming this way from the Hurricane. I have been baking and preparing today. We will be ready to greet everyone with lots of food and libation! We will be posting pictures of "the Gathering" @ Chateau Breland

Have a great night!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Hurricane is coming............ batton down the hatches!

*Orren at the table he got for Christmas "studying" I am so happy he can finally use it!

We are watching the Gulf! Our home is open to all friends and family that may need a place to seek refuge!
Lemons off of GrandMaMa's lemon tree, "Louie"

We would like to congratulate all the new members of out city council. We are saddened that Hal did not get elected. Next time Hal, next time!

*Orren in our living room trying to decide which ball to play with!

It has been a day. I think if it could go wrong today it has! My goodness, one of those days to go to bed and pull the covers over your head! That is OK though, "tomorrow is another day"

The children are still enjoying Chief and GrandMaMa and are dreading tomorrow. Of course with Gustav, they will be turning right back around and headed this way by Sunday at least.
We took Chief to Tip Top Grille today. It was a gorgeous day with an awesome breeze and the temp said it was 75 degrees with wonderful sunshine. It is BBQ time when Joe gets home.
Chief's favorite!

We are very concerned and cannot think much about anything but the Hurricane. We will post as we know more and can think more clearly. Please keep Kayla in your prayers, her wedding is next weekend. Might not happen if there is no power and the Hurricane hits.

All of our family is along the Gulf Coast from New Orleans to Gulf Shores,(except for Jarrod and Katy who are in North Carolina) some part of our family will be affected. Please know we love you all and our home is open for you.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Rain, Rain.... go away!

* OK, so everyone knows I am a photo/ video stealer. I stole this from Hewy. This is Helena yesterday, in the rain.
Our beautiful city just got pounded!

We are soaked here! It started raining on Saturday and has not stopped yet. Goodness the trees are going to float out of the ground! We are ready for Fay to be on her way!

I must share this story with all of you. I was in Publix yesterday when a funnel cloud went over the top. The power went out. Lots of "dramatic" noise....................................... LOL

Let me just tell you that you have not grocery shopped until you have done so with 2 children, in the dark, with a tornado. Yea...... good times!

Mother and Daddy made it in yesterday despite the tornadoes and storm. The children have been on cloud nine and playing with all the "happies" Chief and GrandMaMa brought! I absolutely love when my parents come. It is so very special to the children, well to us all, but especially the children. I love hearing them giggle and squeal with delight as they pull into the driveway.

Orren, Olivia and I made Chief's favorite dessert........ Chess squares. He did not want a birthday cake so we surprised him with those. Everyone helped make them! Tonight we will be grilling his ribs that he loves with potato salad, broccoli casserole and corn on the cob! YUMMY. We are glad Chief is about to have a birthday.

To all of our friends and family along the Gulf, please watch Gustav and if you need to seek refuge, our home is your home. We have lots of beds and room! We even have a generator!

Our prayers are with you.

Today is the BIG election day in Helena! Good luck to our dearest friend Hal! We will be casting our vote for you shortly.

I guess that is it for today.

May God keep you all safe and surrounded in love!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Dinner, Senators, Vegas & Friends

We had a great weekend!

Joe and I were so honored to be the guests of Aunt Kay on Friday night @ the Shelby County Republicans annual dinner.

This evening was in honor of United States Senator Jeff Sessions(AL).

It was @ American Village and was absolutely wonderful! Our dinner consisted of crisp Caesar salad with a creamy Dijon Mustard; Chilled Gazpacho Soup; Baked Macadamia crusted Chicken with a raspberry sauce; four cheese risotto; Green Beans almondine; Chocolate chip pecan pie with bourbon whipped cream. Let me just say the food was fabulous. The catering was done by the Wynfrey hotel in Birmingham.

For Hor D'Oeuvres we had crab cakes an remoulade sauce, strawberries and cream cheese. tortellini and marinara, and chicken salad in phyllo dough pie shells. I tried the crab cakes... wonderful and made me long for the beach. I also had the chicken salad and it to was wonderful. We had a really good Chardonnay and just a really good time.

We were so proud of Aunt Kay as she introduced Sen. Sessions. She continues to inspire me with her elegance and poise. Alabama is truly better for her having been our State Treasurer.
Senator Sessions is a phenomenal speaker and empowering. We so enjoyed our evening, it is always so much fun to get dressed up for dinner!

The children had a great night as well. Their care giver took them on an evening stroll, campaigning for Hal Woodman, Baked cookies, ate pizza and painted fingernails! I am not certain we were missed at all.

Saturday, we spent the day at Michelle and Salah's. We helped all day doing the projects that come with a new house and unpacking. Of course with Michelle and I together we found a way to go shopping briefly, and you know there was tons of food and sweets! Their new home is coming together so beautifully and I cannot wait until it is finished! I cannot believe I had the camera in the car and never brought it in! I will when it is all finished for sure! After a hard day of work it was time for Joe and Salah to break out the Heineken. Michelle and I did not venture into our normal martini consumption. I think we were actually too tired to even think about them!
Salah left for Las Vegas this morning and we hope he has a safe trip and lots of fun! We will see you when you get back! Vegas is such a fun place, I cannot wait until we get to take everyone! Michelle, while he is gone, you know what to do!

Orren and Olivia have been playing this morning. We noticed that something has happened over the course of the past couple of weeks. Orren has lost that "baby" look completely and has moved into full blown toddler hood. He has also discovered that he can go up the stairs with the ease of an Olympic Gymnast and the speed of "Lightening Bolt" from Jamaica! He has put it together that his room is up there & his toys. I am not ready to turn him loose in the play room, as there are still to many things he could choke on in there.

Joe is grilling right now and we will be enjoying lots of BBQ fare soon! Looking forward to a restful afternoon together before we start the week again tomorrow! Glass of wine in the gloaming if the rain stays at bay. It has been a while since we lit the outdoor fireplace. I hope we get a chance today. I began to think we had moved to London as grey, wet and cold as it was yesterday!

Chief and GrandMaMa will be here soon! We cannot wait! We will check in soon!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Shelby County Republicans, Hewy is named, and Rain

It is Friday! How exciting. Joe will be home this evening, yea!!!! He and I will be attending the Shelby County Republicans dinner @ American Village tonight. It will still be in the morning before he gets to spend time with the children.We are looking forward to seeing so many friends and Aunt Kay Ivey. The children are excited as well because Mommy and Daddy will be out and they get to be with one of their favorite nannies and eat pizza!

We are bracing for serious rain over the next 6 days. Huckleberry has steadily paced all morning so I know it won't be long before it starts.

I wanted to share this with all of you as well, my very dear friend Hewy No sleep sent this email to me late Tuesday evening:
"I think I'm going to just give up my real name Thursday night on the blog......................................................... Thanks for keeping it a secret for as long as you did."
He outed himself late last night on his blog.
No problem Hewy! It was so fun, I think it was cool to be the guardian of such a coveted secret.
So now it is out that "Hewy" is really Hal Woodman. This should just validate how wonderful he would be as one of our city councilmen!
*August 26, 2008
Time to fix lunch for the day... we had cinnamon rolls for breakfast, so I need to fix something REALLY healthy for lunch. Maybe, chicken salad on a croissant and fruit with *devonshire cream!
*my Aunt Kay Roseberry gave me this recipe years ago and it is still one of our favorites.
See all of you sometime over the weekend!
God Bless

Thursday, August 21, 2008

A couple of months ago now, but I love this picture!

Good Morning! First let me say.................................

Happy Birthday Margaret!

You are a dear sweet friend and I hope your day is wonderful! I am going to try and walk over to see you late this evening!

OK, I am really beginning to miss Joe! I have been single mom for 2 days now and I don't like it! Hurry home, we miss you! Although, I am getting a crazy amount of cleaning out done. The nights are long and empty once the children are asleep, so I have to occupy myself somehow.

I am waiting on the rain which should be arriving soon. So we have been playing and doing some "art" this morning. Olivia is doing her school work. She is loving this ABEKA DVD system. It is the teacher in front of the class teaching just as if she were sitting in the desk @ Pensacola Christian. She is doing well and really responding positively to this type of curriculum. We have used ABEKA every year before, since she was in 4 year ol Kindergarten, Minus the 2 years of public school. It is a fantastic program and we are very pleased.

Orren has a few new sayings. The first one is OH WOW! It is done every time with such enthusiasm. The first time I thought he was going to suck in the room as he makes the OH by breathing in so hard it makes a noise. Wow comes when he exhales just as hard. After I got over my fear of him hyperventilating, I could enjoy it and laugh because it is so funny!

He also is now pointing his finger and saying DAH!( There is that DAH again. )When he is mad.

Hopefully Joe will return to us soon, I know I NEVER want to get divorced, oh my goodness I would hurt someone. I EVEN PUT THE GARBAGE OUT!!!! LOL, Guess I need to learn to live with him opening cabinets and not closing them! Funny what you learn to appreciate when they are gone a few days. I do hope that they meet their deadlines and he can rest this weekend. Think it might be pushing it to ask him to cut the grass?

Well, apparently their pancakes have worn off and it is time for lunch. I promised Paninis and French onion soup, so I best get started!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Barons game, baby giraffe named, Bama opener

We are just finishing school for the day. The two O s are playing on the floor and painting. We will be cleaning ourselves up soon for the Birmingham Baron's game tonight. Olivia is so excited and we cannot wait to get some good baseball park hot dogs!(must be a child thing, Mommy wants no part of that) Nachos for Mommy. Fries for Daddy. Go BARONS! I hope we catch a ball. The children would love that! Joe has been known to catch them.

We found out today that the baby giraffe at the zoo has gotten her name. It is Willow, meaning slender and graceful. PERFECT name for her. Congratulations to Brayden for a GREAT name.

Orren submitted.... Maggie

Olivia submitted....Emma

Mommy submitted....Montie

Daddy.... Jambo, meaning "hello" in Swahili

OH, how could I forget.................... it is 11 days until the season opener! Roll Tide!!!!!!!!!

Bobby Villere, just get ready, we will see you on the field!


Monday, August 18, 2008

Weather Channel weather report by The PRINCESS

Just click on Play, IT WILL APPEAR!
The Princess had so much fun doing her weather report! Hope you enjoy it also.
I hope Hurricane Fay doesn't look like this, or hit Gulf Shores!
We probably won't post anymore today, I have a meeting at 7:00 and that is going to mean Daddy and the children are running free through the house. YIKES! So have a great day and we will post tomorrow!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Weekend report, new house, Thunder on the Beach, Roll Tide!

Wow, what a weekend! We are exhausted. Friday night we went to dinner and came home to make "turtles" (Pecan Sandie's with chocolate icing in between them). We all turned in early.

Saturday was a HUGE day for us. We got up bright and early to have breakfast before heading to the Nickelodeon kid fest. We had our picture taken with Scooby Doo, the characters from The Wizard of Oz, and the croc from Animal Planet. We played in the Nickelodeon game lab, and Olivia gave a weather report for The Weather Channel. They are emailing us a copy this week and we will post it when we get it. It was a hoot! I took a lot of pictures, but I am having trouble getting the disk to read on the computer so t may still be a few days before we get those posted.
We came home an had Huckleberry's birthday party. It was so fun. Rosie and her family our sweet friends the Hayes came, and a surprise guest Peyton from down the street. We had cupcakes and capri sun for the people. We had "frosti paws" for the puppies. Rosie ate hers like a lady should licking it and savoring it slowly. Huck just swallowed his whole. His table manners are beyond compare. I have pictures of this to post also. They will hopefully be up within a few days.

After all of that we headed out to Greystone to see the new house of Michelle and Salah. It is so beautiful and I cannot wait until Salah turns us loose on the decorating. Michelle had a "honey -do" list for Joe. We will be going back this week sometime for him to finish. We had dinner with them, the El-Fallah's and headed home. The BIG move is tomorrow. Cross your fingers!

This morning we had such a nice brunch and knocked around our house. The children and Joe washed and detailed the cars, they had so much fun. Then a stroll around the neighborhood and a few bike loops and it was time for dinner and baths. Everyone is now tucked safely in their beds ready to start another week.

Next week is sure to bring a lot of posts as we have a lot going on.

Before I end this post I do want to add a picture that Chief sent us. THUNDER ON THE BEACH was this weekend and as you can see he had a really good time. I LOVE that we can find a reason to Roll Tide Roll no matter where we are. Have a great week!
Aunt Katy, we are thinking of you and wishing you best wishes for a great week back in Vet school! GO NC State!( it is OK we can root for them to!)

Thursday, August 14, 2008

stolen from Missbossypants

OK I stole this from my fellow blogger MissBossypants. She is an Obama supporter, we are not. WE ARE REPUBLICANS, but this was so funny I had to post

Prayer, sick babies, and Doctors

Happy Thursday!
One more day until the weekend. Both of the children are sick and that has been no fun. Nothing I like more than wiping little noses! Orren's has found a lovely shade that will most likely have us at the doctor tomorrow. YEA!!!!!!! It seems as though we live in the pediatrician's office, among other doctors as well.
I don't have much to post, except this, we have a few things going on that we have not shared with anyone yet. We will when the time is right, but for now, please pray for us. Mostly for Joe. I hate to sound cryptic and all 007, but it is not mine to share. I, however am a FIRM believer in the power of prayer. So please keep him in your thoughts and prayers. I can tell you this, he has some Dr visits of his own in the coming days and weeks. We will let you know as we progress.
So, on that note I am going to distribute the last round of antihistamines, and Tylenol, and hopefully collapse on the pillow before it all wears off and we are up in 4 hours to do it again!
Have a great night!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

I have a rant about Charter Cable!

So, I was sharing this story with my Mother and Michelle. I got myself all worked up about this again and wanted to share with all of you. Yesterday, we awoke to a new channel line up on our TV. (in the words of Orren... Uh OH!)

Apparently Charter found it necessary to move them all around and even take a few away. No Biggie because I was assured that all of the channels that effect us we would still get, no problem.


Here is how it played out at the Breland house:

Olivia woke up before anyone else, as she always does. She put it on <66>formerly known as Toon Disney, it is now BET. Yea, she came running into our bedroom crying. If I had seen that first thing in the morning I would have cried to. Anyway, ...so,... I explained it all to her and helped her find the Toon Disney Channel..... that we no longer got. GREAT! Frantically I start checking for the other "kid" channels..... OMG...... No Babies First TV? WHAT? Deep breath, it will be OK. I am sure that it will all be up and working again soon. We can distract Orren and Olivia long enough. OK.... 10:00 AM... NADA....... It is fine it will be on soon...... 12:00PM.. NADA! Oh, this could be bad. Orren has now taken matters into his own hands and is in a tug- of -war with Mommy over the remote. He REALLY wants the shushybye song.............

Shushybye Theme
Every night the sun goes down The lights go out throughout your town That's the time to close your eyes 'Cause soon you'll be in Shushybye
(Chorus): Oh my my, Shushybye! Oh my my, Shushybye!
There's a train that takes you to A place where dreams are made for you Climb aboard, we'll ride the sky And soon you'll be in Shushybye
(Chorus): Oh my my, Shushybye! Oh my my, Shushybye!
All the dreams are there for you Dreams that last the whole night through So hold my hand and close your eyes We're on our way to Shushybye
Chorus: Oh my my, Shushybye! Oh my my, Shushybye! (repeat 2x)

1:00PM... NADA.... time to call. After being told that it was a transition...blah, blah blah,..... it will eventually all be up and running....blah, blah, blah..... I responded with "OK.... GREAT!.......Now, you explain this to the 14 month old and then to the 9 year old 'cause Mommy is DONE!" He responded with a very low and humble, Ma'am? I said "you heard me, it is after one o'clock, YOU tell them why they can't watch Mickey and dance to the shushybye song!........ Oh, no answer? OK we will just load up and come to watch it at your house!"

(Mommy is ready to hurt the cable man if he doesn't fix it NOW) AND, "I am certain we will be getting a credit to our account, RIGHT?" "We will get it taken care of as soon as possible Ma'am"

LOL, ALL of our channels were up and working within 10 minutes of our phone call.

"Oh my, my shushybye."

Birthday, Heat, Spearfishing, Sandcastles

* Chief sent me a picture of the latest sandcastle. I wish I lived at the beach! Love you Daddy.

Happy Birthday Jonna!

One of my oldest and most precious friends, Jonna, has a birthday today! I love you girl, Happy Birthday! I miss you! I will see you soon.

OK, so here is a rundown of our day today, Orren is still tottering around for brief periods of time. Olivia is doing great with school and her cursive writing is really becoming something not only legible, BUT pretty. I am very proud of her.

I think our little cool spell is over as the heat returned today with a vengeance! I am a little disappointed in that.

*scuba diving, Uncle Jarrod and Aunt Katy

We really don't have much else to share except that I realized I have not put pictures of Jarrod and Katy up from their visit to the Gulf. So, I wanted to add those tonight. Jarrod and Katy are so cool. I wish I had 1/10 of their energy and sense of adventure! Oh, well I guess I can live vicariously through them!

*spear fishing tournament.

Joe and I are once again preparing to watch the Olympics tonight. Go USA!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Orren is walking! Well, sort of. Olympics 2008 ROCK

Orren is now a walker. When he feels like it. I watched him walk three separate times today for several steps. Then he would revert back to the crawling, after all he practically breaks the sound barrier as fast as he is.

It has been a dreary day. Lots of rain. We studied and read a lot today. It was cool and the perfect day to be piled up on the sofa with a book, under the blanket, with a cup of coffee! That lasted for like 5 minutes! Then back to the children! OHHH, well maybe tomorrow!

We are so excited for all of our friends that are moving. The El-Fallahs will move on the 18th and the Krapovickys will move on the 29th (well they will already be here their closing is on the 29th) Lots of fun and excitement!

Chief and GrandMaMa are busy, busy, and excited about a new Bible study they have started.

We miss them so much and cannot wait for their visit in a couple of weeks! Chief has a birthday coming up (Sept.3) and has requested BBQ ribs for his Birthday meal here at our house. Joe's specialty and we cannot wait to celebrate with them!

this was Joe and I when they won the relay! We looked just like this, but in our living room, and older, and heavier!

Tonight, we will be watching PHELPS again as he swims and continues to amaze us! We are having the BEST time watching the Olympics this year. Is it just us? Is anyone else just totally caught up? We cannot get enough.

See you tomorrow!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Back to School, Olympics, and New additions

Tonight is a quick post! We had a fantastic day with our first day of home school for the year! WOW do we ever forget so much over the summer! Good thing we started off with a review. Things worked out perfectly as we started around 10:00 AM after a leisure morning and coffee for Mommy and eggs and grits for the children. We were lucky in the fact that Orren slept through all of the instruction time and woke up just as Olivia went into her desk work and one hour of daily reading. So I was able to meet all of his needs without shorting her. Could we dare to dream that this would become our norm? We shall see!
We got our phone call from Mississippi this morning, Kayla is having a baby boy! All looks well and we should have a new addition in time for Christmas. Congratulations!
At this moment I am sitting here with Orren, watching him eat his mashed potatoes and corn with his hands. He refuses to let me help or spoon feed him. He is a big boy and can do it all by himself. It took me three days to figure out that was why he wasn't eating. LOL SO now he makes BIG BOY MESSES!
Joe and Olivia are working the multiplication flash cards to get back in the swing of things. Everyone will soon be off to bed. Mommy and Daddy will be watching the Olympics again.
DID YA'LL SEE THAT SWIM RELAY LAST NIGHT? Oh my goodness! Joe and I were standing up, cheering, and motioning them on. We were so bummed out about the little USA girl coming in second after such an amazing run that this turned the whole night around! We laughed and jumped up and down beaming as if we had done something. Then we turned in and slept, I haven't had such a restful night in a very long time.
So we will post again tomorrow!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Happy Birthday Lord Huckleberry,

Happy Birthday Lord Huckleberry Breland!

Today our precious and loyal dog Lord Huckleberry Breland turns five years old. We had a birthday party scheduled for today, but "Huck" decided to wait for his friend Rosie to be able to attend on Saturday. So we will have cupcakes and "Frosti paws" Saturday afternoon to celebrate. For today, Huck had to settle for his Favorite food, Bacon. (per GrandMaMa)

We love you so much Huckleberry and we would be lost without you!

Joe is presently mowing the yard and battling the weeds. Orren is napping and Olivia is reading. I, as you can see decided to blog!

It was another glorious morning and cool. This is not good, as I am really beginning to feel the itch for Autumn. Oh, how I am longing for the gloaming this afternoon!

We are spending our afternoon watching and cheering the United States on in the Olympics. GO USA! We just came in fourth in the rowing so we will not be moving forward. BUMMER!

We had the most wonderful visit at Helena Cumberland Presbyterian Church this morning. We learned that this Church was founded in 1840. In so many ways it did feel as though we had been transported in time. The pastor gave a service that I know he prepared just for us. As my Great Grandfather used to say "he was reading my mail". Anyway, we don't want to make a hasty decision, so I am certain we will visit a couple of other churches in Helena and re-visit this one. We felt so welcomed and loved there. MOST of all you could feel the Holy Spirit there, and Olivia loves it there, and they all knew her! (She has done VBS there 2 times and does Parent's Night out every month. Several times today Joe and I said "yes, our children proceed us"LOL we loved it. We will be back!

Olivia starts school in the morning, first day back! Here we go again! I can't believe she is in the fourth grade! We have changed schools. We are no longer with Evangel Christian Classical School. We are now with Riverside Christian Academy. It is closer, smaller, and part of our community. (I have had this real pull to be close to our community and family in case you haven't noticed) We love Evangel and would highly recommend them to anyone, and perhaps will return at a later time, for now we wanted to be closer to home and in our community. We are blessed and thankful that Evangel gave us the wings we needed to fly as homeschoolers and for holding our hands as we took those first steps. They will forever be special to and a part of our lives. The Snuggs are such special people and we are better for knowing them.

Looking to the future, we are thankful and blessed that Riverside Christian Academy is here! We anticipate amazing things and we are excited about our new adventure!

Tomorrow is the BIG day for Kayla!
*Kayla and Dalton.
We find out what to the new addition will be. I initially had a feeling that it was a girl. Now, I could be leaning towards blue. Nona, (Joe's Mom) says pink, Kayla and Christy say blue. We shall see! I will post tomorrow.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Birmingham Zoo, Giraffes, and Build a Bear High School Musical Bear

I am blogging early today as I am planning to have some family time this evening,


We had a fantastic day today. We woke up and headed straight for the zoo. Such a perfect morning for that! It was almost COLD! Oh, how pleasant it was to walk around with the hint of Autumn in the air. We fed Juno and Gordon, the giraffes. You should have seen how long their tongues were! Orry even fed them. He wasn't so sure about them, but he did it. Juno thought Olivia had more food and spit all over her when she didn't! It was a hoot! So they gave Olivia a little more food to give Juno and they made up. Olivia even got to pet Gordon. He was very accommodating, but Juno having just given birth was still a little skittish, unless you had a treat.

We saw the new baby giraffe. Juno gave birth on Monday of last week to a little girl giraffe. She is so precious. Two weeks old on Monday, she still had her umbilical cord. We all submitted our name choice for her. Each one of us had a different name to submit. Even Orren. We cannot share what we chose, but we will after Aug. 13th when they make the selection. The winner gets some very cool prizes.

We also witnessed the flamingo fight. Oh my goodness, I have never seen such! They were so loud and so mean to one another. We sat watching in awe!

From there we put on our swimsuits, well the children anyway, and headed to the fountains to play. Fortunately, by then it had warmed up a lot and they had so much fun. Of course the goose bumps set in when they got out of the water. Worried that Orren would get chilled we changed him before our lunch. Which included nachos, cheese fries, chicken fingers and cheeseburgers.

After all of the excitement from the morning at the zoo, we ran to the Galleria to Build a Bear. Olivia had to build the "high school musical bear". It really is cute. She loves it so. Then a quick run through Disney Store to pick up a little something for Orry( a sword that makes sounds) and then home! Whew, we are exhausted.

This afternoon we will pop some popcorn and make some snack foods to settle in with a new movie on pay per view. So we hope all of you have a wonderful afternoon!

We are visiting a Church here in Helena in the morning. Cumberland Presbyterian. We will let you know when we get home what we think. We are hopeful as a church in our community is something Joe and I think our family needs. We adore our church family and church home, Trinity United Methodist. We just think it is vital for the children to be at Church with community friends and to have that core. We will see! SHHHHHHHHH don't tell Orren's Doctor, he hasn't cleared him for that. BUT our family doesn't think we can stay away from Church any longer. We are going to risk it! Don't tell on us, LOL

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Orren has taken four steps in a row on his own. YEAAAAAAA! He is also totally gluten free again since we DID NOT have a food allergy AT ALL and our GI doctor is a wacko. When I am over my anger and frustration I will post more details. BUT, based on what we have learned he WILL NOT be going back and HE WILL NOT be having any more surgeries, regardless of what that woman says.

We are gearing up for school. Olivia is ready and so am I, perhaps Orren will be accommodating. She has her new folders, Binder, book covers. We just need a pencil box and writing paper

We had some serious weather today and we do have a little damage and we are braced for more to come this evening. The power and phone (only downside to the digital phone line, no power... no phone) have been out. Guess there will be no gloaming this afternoon. The children did very well. They occupied each other and that was a huge change in the way it used to be around here. Olivia would be right underneath me, clinging. SO this was wonderful to see.

We are about to take on some projects that are long over due:
Painting the Kitchen is first. I am using the same green I had in my last kitchen, I love it so!followed by the dining room in a grey blue.
A couple of the little alcoves we have, in a deep "candy apple", and the Hallways in a deeper beige than we have.
We are ripping up the carpet and putting in hardwood through the downstairs(this is still a little off, we need Orren out of this stage first)
I am looking to order our little awning for above the front door, so if anyone has a suggestion on the best company, I am open to them.
I will post pictures along of the progress! IT WILL TAKE A WHILE!

Next week is an exciting week for us, we will find out what Kayla's expected bundle of joy will be.
We will NOT be going for surgery! Huckleberry has a birthday on Sunday!

All the children in Helena had their first day of school today! I hope it was wonderful and fun. Thank you to the Helena United Methodist Church for breakfast for everyone this morning! Sausage and biscuit with OJ to wash it down! Yummy! What a great thing to do for our community.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Hal Woodman Meet and Greet!

Well, here is Olivia and Orren with the golden gnome. We were so hot and sweaty and looking rough! It was still so very much fun! Thanks to Hewy for sending it to me and thanks to Laura Lynn for taking it!

*Here is Hall Woodman on the campaign trail!

We had the meet and greet with Hal Woodman here at our house today. It was a lot of fun. It is always so nice to have good conversation, meet new people (even if you already know them in blogland) and have good food (LOL, Can I still say that when it was made by me? UMMM well, it was!) Anyway, he is just what our fair city needs and he is truly in love with her. Hal is one of the most incredible people I have had the honor of knowing and I hope you will all join me in ELECTING HAL WOODMAN city council Aug. 26, 2008!

Tonight we are watching football, it is begining to feel like Autumn. I AM SO EXCITED!!!!!!

I am saddened by the fact that school starts this week. On Thursday for public school and Olivia will begin next Monday!

Orren has his Halloween costume. No hints, just wait 'til you see. Margaret and Michelle know, and GrandMaMa. The rest will have to see! We have decided what Olivia and the rest of us will be, so I am working on those.

After my trip to Williams-Sonoma, I can feel Autumn coming. I am even begining to feel it chase the late afternoon breeze. I felt it on my face as we sat out in the gloaming tonight. I am ready for the evening glass of wine to become an evening cup of coffee under the blanket, out by the fireplace, under the stars. I can almost smell the cinnamon and pumpkin! Apple pies and...... oh wait, I made one of those for today! No wonder.

Oh well, hurry my dear friend Autumn!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Well, Olivia went to "parents night out" at Helena Cumberland Presb Church last night. She truly has missed this ministry and had so very much fun. She was thrilled that Joey and Andy got to come. You would not believe all the crafts the children came home with, my goodness! They watched movies and had hot dogs and cookies with pink lemonade! WOW how could that NOT be fun?

Joe and Orren and I bandaged our bruises from the lost gnome hunt at P.F. Chang's, one of my favorite places to eat! Orren discovered their fried green beans and ate as many as Joe and I did. Joe had the wok seared lamb it was fantastic! I, of course had the honey chicken YUMMMMMY. We also got the shrimp fried rice and the hot and sour soup(I could live off that stuff).

Then it was off to Williams-Sonoma! We were out of cinnamon sugar and we found the cutest sandwich cutter (one was a train and one was a daisy) we had to have! They came with their own little sandwich keepers and were so precious. We also found a great deal on the most adorable football cake pan. Bama opener is in 28 days so we had to have LOL! Bath and Body Works was smelling so wonderful I had to go in and pick up some refills for my wallflowers. The we were off to pick up the children!

I was flooded by all three when we got there. Andy had to show me this, and Joey wanted to tell me that, and Olivia was begging to finish her art project! Once we were finally all herded into the Yukon, trying not to wake Orry, Mr. Joe decided we needed ice cream! So it was a quick run for a McFlurry!

Finally, we were all home and after visiting with our sweet neighbor Mike and Margaret, we finally all went to sleep after a VERY LONG DAY!

So, what was on the agenda for today? Preparing for the big

Meet and Greet for


tomorrow @ 2:00 PM

We will be having meatballs, grated apple pie, and of course my famous fondue bar!
*plus whatever anyone brings from the campaign committee

We also made a stop at the Loading Dock and finally found the RIGHT curved chrome pipe to put our rain forest shower head in the middle of our shower. (well, close enough) We LOVE the Loading Dock! Everyone needs to go and check them out. Laura Lynn is sure to help you find what you need, and you feel as though you stepped right into her home as she surrounds you with southern hospitality!

Our thoughts are with Chief and GrandMaMa tonight as they attend the yacht party at the yacht club! We were all together for it and had so much fun last year. Orry was so tiny and he had so many firsts that night. (His first dance ever, with his GrandMaMa.) We all ate so many wonderful things, drank wine, and danced 'til way after the sunset beyond the ocean's horizon. SO tonight our thoughts and dreams are with ya'll there on the beach, wishing we to were there and loving you so much! We will be settling for tacos tonight while that tuna is sizzling & shrimp is boiling down there.
Thank you to all of you who are visiting and reading about us. I discovered yesterday it was a lot of you! If we have not met you we look forward to it. We love to make new friends!
May the Lord, mighty God, bless and keep you forever!