Friday, February 26, 2010

Digging for Gold

We just got home from eating dinner at Trattoria in Swansboro and in the car on the way home, we hear Grace say, "Zach is picking his nose!" Dave and I both tell him to stop and Zach says, "I wasn't even picking. I was just checking to see if there were any boogers in there." And to that I said, "and what if there were? What were you going to do then?" Zach said, "I guess I would just push them back up in there and keep them."

JPS Living Wax Musuem

For the last month and a half, Grace has been meeting with Mrs. Blanchong at school once or twice a week to work on a Living Wax Museum. Fifty students were chosen to participate in the Living Wax Museum and Grace was one of those fifty. Students were to be dressed as a character in history and make short presentations about their character. Grace had to choose a famous teacher to represent and the first person that came to my mind was Anne Sullivan. I mentioned it to Dave and he thought it was a great idea, so I told Grace a little about who Anne Sullivan was and then we got on the computer and researched her some more. Grace told Mrs. Blanchong who she had chosen and began to work at school on researching her character, learning more about her, writing down the facts, making a display board and writing her note cards. In the meantime, I was looking for clothes for Grace to wear that looked like they were from the late 1800's. It was very difficult to find anything that looked like an adult woman from the late 1800's but in a child's size. I ended up getting a long brown skirt, the top was part of a Halloween costume that I picked up at the Goodwill store and we borrowed boots from a friend.

After working very hard, the day of the Living Wax Museum had finally arrived. On Thursday, the students did their presentations from 9-11 for the JPS students and on Friday all the parents were invited to attend.

I went both days and helped set everything up. Dave actually came on Thursday to see Grace's presentation because he had to attend a memorial service on Friday. She looked beautiful and did a fabulous job on both days, despite being thrown up on before the Museum even started on Friday. Yes, that's right. A friend of hers who was also in the museum got sick and threw up all over Grace's skirt and her note cards. We cleaned her off the best we could, sprayed her with Lysol, threw away her note cards and I hurriedly made her some new ones. She was such a trooper about it all!

Grace as Anne Sullivan

Grace's friend Kristian played Helen Keller

Madison Hoover as Betsy Ross

Reagan Todd as Amelia Earhart

Jeffrey Opsitos as Alexander Graham Bell

Maria Martin as Mia Hamm

Noah as Elvis Presley

Caroline Morgan as Margaret Thatcher

Grace giving her presentation to a few of her classmates and Mrs. Snyder

Grace and Kristian

Grace giving her presentation to Dave

He was SO proud of her!

And so was I!

Friday at the Living Wax Museum

Grace and Kristian

Zachary's class didn't go see the museum so I went and got him out of class and brought him to see everyone.

Grace giving her presentation to another little friend, Owen Richwine

Grace and Owen

Video of Grace giving her presentation. It was very noisy in the multi-purpose room and I apologize for all of the background noise.

Grace's Speech:
"My name is Anne Sullivan. My mom and dad were Alice Closey and Thomas Sullivan. I was born on April 14, 1866 in Feeding Hills, Massachusetts. At age 5, the eye disease trachoma struck me leaving me almost blind. Two years later my mother dies and my father left my brother, Jimmy, and me. He died shortly after we were sent to the orphanage. After many surgeries, I got back some of my eye sight. I went to school at age 14. I graduated from Perkins School for the Blind at the age of 20. I was a teacher to an 8 year old girl named Helen Keller. Helen was blind, deaf and mute. I taught Helen using alphabet signs in the palm of her hand. After Helen's formal education, I stayed to help her. I married John Macy in 1905 and we all lived together until 1912 when John and I separated. Helen and I were friends for over 49 years. I died October 20, 1936."

Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Beautiful Blogger Award!

I am so excited! Let me tell you why. Today after a busy morning of helping out at the school with the wax museum, I came home and I had just a little over an hour before I had to pick up the kids from school (early release day - yes, another one). I wanted to do day 3 of C25k but it was soooo cold outside and was actually drizzling and spitting snow when I got home and I was STARVING. So, I changed into some super comfy clothes and heated up a Lean Cuisine. While my food was microwaving, I sat down at the computer and thought I would just do a quick facebook check. The first status update I see was from a good friend of mine and it said "My
first award. I'm so happy!" and then there was a link to her blog which you can see here. So, of course I went over to her blog to read her post, which you can read here. Did you read it? Did you see that she had been awarded The Beautiful Blogger Award and then she went on to talk about me and how I am 'the one that started her on blogging' and am 'the reason she blogs' and she went so far as to say "So Jill - You are the Wind Beneath My Wings. And I pass on to you...'The Beautiful Blogger Award." Yes, that's right.... I have been awarded this....

This may not mean much to you but it does to me. I don't have many followers on my blog (14 to be exact and I think two of those are the same person) but that's okay. I do my blog for me and for our family. I do it so that my far away family and friends can stay updated on everything going on in our lives, the little things and the BIG things. I do it so that one day Grace and Zachary will have all of their childhood memories recorded in a big hardbound book (yes, I convert my blog to a book). I am not a person that blogs about profound things and insights or is so funny that you just want to keep coming back for more. I blog to record our lives. I hope that people read it and enjoy it. It does take allot of time and effort but to me, it's worth it. But even though I don't do it so that I can have this huge following, I am only human and I love hearing from someone that they read my blog or that they saw something we did on my blog. I love it when people leave comments because that lets me know that they are actually reading it.

I love reading other people's blogs, especially those of friends. It truly is such a great way to feel like you are a part of their lives! And to hear that I have inspired someone else to start and continue a blog, well, I'm honored.

And what an honor this is! Apparently only the cool bloggers get this and now, I am officially, wait for it.........


As I accept this award, I would like to thank my friend, Stacy, who nominated me. Thank you! I would also like to thank my friend, Kelly, who inspired me to start my own blog. Thanks Kelly!

Now according to the rules, I must reveal seven facts about myself and then pass the award on to seven other bloggers. When I read that, I thought, "Seven things about myself?" I am going to have a tough time doing that because even though I blog, I don't like to talk about myself but I'm going to give it a go so just bear with me. Here goes:

1. I want a tattoo. I've wanted one for years and years and have never been brave enough to do it. I still want one. I don't want anything too big or in a place where everyone could see it - just me and Dave and then you, IF I chose to show it to you. And I want it to be a cherry blossom. I don't know why; I just like them.

2. I am getting lots of grey hair. And they are thick and stiff and wiry and curly! Dave found about 10 in one spot a few nights ago when we were laying in bed. Am I going to have to start coloring my hair to cover the grey?

3. I hate to cook. I would eat out every meal if we could and would never even use my stove.

4. I want braces. I think I was supposed to have had braces as a child and we moved and it never happened. I've always been self conscious about the space between my front teeth (both top and bottom). When we lived in VA, I had a consult to see if I was a candidate for invisiline but I wasn't! According to that orthodontist my teeth were so screwed up that I needed the full fledge metal mouth! Should that be my 40th birthday present to myself?

5. I love to read and I love to take hot baths and read in the bathtub. Even though I absolutely love my house here on base housing, I can't wait till one day when we own our own home and I have a HUGE master bath with a BIG, DEEP tub. Ahhhh.........

6. I was once an avid scrapbooker and now I am an avid blogger but I still turn my blog into scrapbooks for my kids so that they will have a recording of all the important things (and the not so important things) from their childhood.

7. Speaking of kids and family, last but most definitely not least, is the fact that I am one of the luckiest persons on earth. I am married to a wonderful man who loves and cherishes me with all my faults and we have been blessed with two of the most beautiful, healthy children. I love you Dave, Grace and Zachary. You are my everything.

So, now I guess I am supposed to pass this award on to seven other bloggers.

1. Kelly because you inspired me to start my own blog.
2. Rob - I wouldn't say that your blog is beautiful but I do love your blog. You are funny, serious and I never know what to expect with you. I love following your blog.
3. Wendi because I want to encourage you to start blogging again and keep in touch with all of us back here on Lejeune who followed your blog and want to know what is happening in the Lopez household.
4. Sara Staker whom I don't know but I found her blog through a friend's friend blog and I spent one morning and read the entire thing. And bawled like a baby. She has an amazing story and truly experienced a miracle. If you have a chance, read her blog.
5. The Vintage Pearl because they give away free things!
6. Deanna because she says I am her "blog idol" (hee hee) and I love the fact that I can keep up with a friend whom I knew when we were stationed here the first time who now lives in HI and follow the lives of her beautiful family.
7. My niece Hannah, whom I am so proud that she started her own blog and I hope she sticks with it for a long long time.

So, congratulations to all my winners! I pass this Beautiful Blogger Award on to you!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Happy Birthday to My Friend, Erin

Last night several of us surprised our friend Erin with a birthday dinner at Mi Cabana. She thought only Stacy, she and I were going but when she arrived she was surprised to see Gia, Renee, Heidi, Karen and Jennie also! Karen made a delicious German Chocolate Cake and we ate and laughed and had a great time! Happy Birthday Erin! I'm going to miss you when you move in April.

Gia, Renee and me
Heidi, Karen and Jennie
The birthday girl
One of her presents was a Karen Holliday original

Erin and Stacy
The girls!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Grab a Button

If you have a blog or a website, grab my button and follow our family.

Just copy and paste this code:

Thursday, February 18, 2010

A Trip to the Eiffel Tower

This year I joined the Gourmet Club through the Camp Lejeune Officers Wives Club (OWC). We meet once a month and everyone either cooks twice or hosts once. I chose to host because we all know that I'm not much of a cook, especially a gourmet cook!

The theme this year was a World Tour. Each month is a different country; we have had a Taste of Italy, Fiesta Mexicana, Totally Tapas, Cruising to the Caribbean and this month was A Trip to the Eiffel Tower, which I hosted.

Dave actually gave me the idea of doing small bistro style tables instead of one or two big tables so that it would look more like a small French Cafe. So, I did some research and I rented and borrowed small tables, chairs and all the linens I needed. Since Dave had been to France, we printed out some of his pictures and I mounted them on foam board and used those as table decorations. I was very stressed and nervous for about a week before the luncheon because I wanted everything to be perfect and for the house to look great! The day before the event, I set everything up. I stayed up late that night setting out the china and folding napkins into a Fleur de Lys. Luckily, I did not have to cook but as the hostess, I was in charge of the drinks and had to make Lavender Mint Lemonade. I think I ended up squeezing 35 or 40 lemons before it was all said and done.

This is what my living room looked like when I was finished Wednesday night.

This morning after taking the kids to school, I did the final preparations. I finished preparing the Lavender Mint Lemonade, downloaded a French CD to my iPod and loaded black and white pictures of France to the digital picture frame. The cooks began to arrive at 10 to get to work preparing the meal and everyone else arrived at 11.

When everyone walked in, immediately to their left was my French Cafe........

and they were welcomed with this Bistro Chalkboard which said "Welcome Gourmet Club to The White Cafe". Don't you love it?

The fabulous cooks that prepared our meal
Sandy, Stephanie, Charlotte, Missy, Stacy and Lisa

The Menu:
Lavender Mint Lemonade
Zesty Tapenade with Crackers
Brie en Crute
Crab Bisque
Poulet au Porto (Roast Chicken Steeped with Port Wine, Cream & Mushrooms)
Vegetable Tian
Roasted Fennel
Salad Basket Crepes with Pears, Gorgonzola and Hazelnuts
Elegant Strawberry Charlotte
Cheese Puffs

The cooks and me

Stacy, Erin, Stacey and Gia

Gia and Stephanie

Everyone seated and the cooks explaining their recipes

Stacey, Erin and Gia
Erin's birthday was yesterday so they put a candle on her dessert and we sang Happy Birthday to her.

Blowing out the candle
Jill and Gia

After it was over, I was exhausted! But everything was perfect! Except for the fact that I noticed at the last minute I was a couple of place settings of silverware short and had to get Erin and Gia to both bring some and then when Stacey and I sat down, she didn't have any forks! I don't know how I had missed that but I gave her one of my forks and just told her to keep it for her salad and her entree. Thank goodness it happened to one of my friends that I was sitting with instead of someone else! I would have been so embarrassed!

But it definitely was a success and I was very proud of the job I did. Thank goodness I only have to do it once a year!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Check Out This Give- Away

A friend of mine has been giving away various things for several weeks now. This week she is giving away 3 original prints of your choosing. Check it out and leave her a comment. You might just win! Or don't and then I will have a better chance of winning!

12 Weeks of Give-Uh-Ways

Aside from all the Hussy bUzZ, you're gonna wanna meet this week's featured vendor.
She spawns from the same blood of my very own so be prepared for some major bragging here.
Week #11 is...
by Lindsay Heinzen

For some reason, my sisters, Amy and Lindsay, were gifted with mega talents.
I, on the other hand, was not.
I'm not sure, but I have that question ready for Heavenly Father when I get a chance to ask him in person.
Lindsay is like the most fantastical artist.
On top of being super radically awkward and "hunduddle" her creativity makes for some really interesting work. I only WISH I could express my oddness like she can.
This mermaid is one of my most favorite of her pieces.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Heart Day!

Today for Valentine's Day we took the kids to see this and they loved it!

AVATAR Pictures, Images and Photos

Dave had seen it when it first came out and liked it so much that he wanted me to see it with him. So, one afternoon we went on a movie date. I really only went because Dave wanted me to and I had no great expectations. But Dave kept talking about how good it was and he was right. I LOVED IT!!! Can I say that again? I LOVED IT!!!!! He couldn't believe how much I loved it but it really is a great movie. After much talking and debate, we decided to take the kids. Dave remembers seeing Star Wars as a young boy and it is one of his favorite movies to this day. He thinks that Avatar might be "the Star Wars" to this generation. We'll see.

Here are Grace and Zachary waiting for the movie to start. It is a 2 1/2 hour movie and they had absolutely no trouble at all sitting still for that long because they were both glued to the movie screen. They were able to follow along and keep up with what was going on and they too loved it! After the movie was over, we surprised them by going to Toys R Us and stocking up on some Avatar toys. After all, if it is going to be "the Star Wars" for this generation, they've got to have the action figures to go along with it. Dave still has all of his little Star Wars figures.

After a very successful shopping trip, we went to dinner at our favorite sushi restaurant, Sake Asian Fusion, and had a delicious Valentine's Day dinner. We also gave Grace and Zach a Valentine Webkinz that we already had for them. I would say they definitely made out!