Monday, August 30, 2010

Rob is 4 Years Old!!!

Weight: 38 lbs (70th percentile) 
Height: 41 1/2" or 3' 5" (90th percentile)

You wear a 4T shirts and a 4T or 5T pants (for length...)  You just jumped to a size 11 shoe!

Daily Routine:  You are an early riser!  You are usually awake by around 6:30 or 7:00.  Lately you have been stumbling downstairs and crawling into Mommy and Daddy's bed early -- around 5:30 or so and going back to sleep.  You want to eat as soon as you wake up, and you call it "breakf t ast" throwing that extra "t" in there. Cute! You are such a busy body that it's no surprise you have incredible metabolism and want to snack all day but you do make healthy choices!  You sometimes still take a nap. You are definitely in a transition period.  You go to bed usually around 8:30 or 9:00, but bedtime is quite the process.  You are such a creature of habit!  You must be read a story, we say prayers, we sing "Jesus Loves Me", Mommy must scratch your back, and lay with you for a few minutes.  But someday I will long for the days when you wanted that much attention, so I try to have patience!
Personality Traits & Accomplishments: You are so tender-hearted and loving!  You love your sister and always want to know if you are a good big brother.  Being kind and responsible are very high on your priority list.  However, you also like to show out.  You love an audience!  You will sing, jump around, wrestle, make all sorts of noises!  You can recognize many instruments by ear -- guitar, trumpet, piano, drums, violin, and more.  You played T-Ball this year for the first time.  You were very good at being on a team with others.  You got the chance to play each position.  You can write your own name very well!  You can say the Catholic meal blessing on your own.  You love playing with Legos or imaginative figures.  You are consumed by the love for Pirates, Police and Firemen, Dragon Slayers, or other courageous or heroic figures.  You will still tell people your favorite guitarist is BB King. (Silly face:)
Places You Have Been: In January we went to Mentone, AL to ring in the New Year's holiday.  You have been swimming in Tuscaloosa with LarJean and here with Stephanie and Miles.  You love to swim.  You got to fly on an airplane (for the 2nd time) to go see family in Arizona with Nona and Papa.  You loved going to the beach this summer with Mommy/Daddy/Nona and Lorie/Shane/Whitney.  You got to see some fireworks this 4th of July and you finally were not scared of them!  Yay, big boy.
Special Friends:   You love spending time with cousin Miles.  You recently got to go swimming with him.  You spent the afternoon recently with Madison and Mikayla.  You have no problem being the only boy; you're a little stud-muffin in training.  You don't get to see Colby much these days b/c he is a big Kindergartener, but you two play so well together whenever you can. Your sweetheart, though, is Whitney.  You two get along so well whenever she's in town.  All your friends at Ms. Beth's house -- Allie, Braxton, Morgan, and Ella -- most certainly miss you because your last day there was at the end of July.  You are getting ready to start school soon and you will meet so many new people.

Current Events:  You became a big brother this year!  You love your little sister more than I could have ever imagined.  However, she is starting to bug you -- she wants to play with your toys and do whatever you do.  You still love her, though.  We've struggled through the Gulf Oil Spill and the Economic Crisis.  However, this year we also celebrated that Alabama Football won its 13th national championship.  It was a great year!

What We Did This Day: You woke up in Mommy and Daddy's bed, as is usual lately.  You were the last to wake up, so you woke to Caroline crawling on you while Mommy sang "Happy Birthday to You."  You smiled and stretched, then you were told the story of your original birthday.  Mommy and Daddy helped out with the Cagles' Benefit Fishing Tournament, so you and Caroline spent the day with Mimi and Rocky.  You got to help Mimi bake you a cake and cupcakes for your special day.  You saw your Maw-Maw today and you received some wonderful presents at Mimi and Rocky's house.

Enjoy the flashback:
My sweet boy will always be my baby!  Happy Birthday, love Mommy, Daddy, and Caroline! 

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Great Outdoors...

Ever get in the what-do-we-do-today rut?  Well, the Morris family does.  So on this day we shook the cabin fever by heading out to the great outdoors.  We visited Oak Mountain State Park.  Noteworthy to mention it's the state's largest park and even more noteworthy to mention we got in F-R-E-E thanks to a coupon book we bought as a fundraiser recently.  That sucker has paid for itself many times over!

First stop was the Alabama Wildlife Rescue Center. 
They advertise having rescued wildlife on display so that we the peeps can see the amazing work being done to keep wildlife wild and free.  Let's take a look:
That's Rob, Mikayla, and Madison checking out the owls.  Pretty cool stuff...Rob couldn't pull himself away!
There were birds' nests to view...
...and two live snakes.  Ugh!
That's about enough of the wildlife...let's go out into the wild!
"C'mom," says Madison to Mikayla.  "I'll hold your hand."

"Nah, I'll go first," decided Mikayla.
We went on a little (100 degree) hike.  Matt wanted to take control by getting the proper instructions/directions...
...which was a good thing, because I was busy forcing family photo ops on the Morrises:
It was so hot, but we really did have "different" fun!  We walked, laughed, and sweat off about 5 pounds each!
Don'tcha just love, love, lurve this picture of Caroline? 
To say that Oak Mountain has a beach is like saying Gatlinburg has Olympic-quality ski slopes...sure there's a sand, which qualifies as a beach.  There is a lake that has cooled off and refreshed many people.  We planned to go have a picnic evening dinner at the beach area.  But this area is just very simple and make-shift.  One would almost say it's not even memorable.  One would only say that if one missed seeing this:
or this:
Well, that just about ended the day's outing.  I mean, we can now say "We have seen it all," agree???
Once more just for giggles:
All joking aside, this was actually a fun day.  We sweat like fattened hogs in this good ol' southern humidity, but it got us out of the house and together for some Great Outdoors.  'Bye until the next outing!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Happy B'day Mommy!

Well, better late than never, but I wanted to share with you guys my wonderful 3* birthday!  My actual birthday fell on Sunday August 15th.  But in typical ~me~ fashion, I managed to squeeze in multiple celebrations.  My good ol' dad was in town on Friday, so we went out to eat.  Dad brought me a surprise, too...
That's my surprise -- my Aunt Joyce joined us.  It had been toooooooo long since I had seen her and I reeeeeally enjoyed catching up.  It had been a little bit since the kids had seen their Papa Joe, so they were loving some P.J. time.  
I am sad to report I didn't snap any pics of Vishell that night.  I enjoyed her company, too.  Love you Lady V!

Took a break Saturday, but Sunday we went to church, then it was time for more celebration!  Ate at Mom's house.  Caroline looked aMAYzingly fabulous and oh-so-frilly.  Thank you Aunt Joyce for her 1st tutu!  But when you look as darling as she did, you get to refuse looking at the camera whenever you wish...
Cake time!

(L-R Rob, Lauren, Me, CC, Micah.  Nope, I'm not telling you what I wished for!  But I wish I wished for more of that delicious cake from Edgar's!)

And for the finale...(Are you keeping count?  This would be my 3rd b'day celebration...) My best and some dearest friends in the world and I all got together.  Amber and I discovered that among the plethora of commonalities we share, we also have the very same birthday.  I think I was born about 2 hours earlier at a hospital across town.  We have been best friends since age 14.  I'm not telling you how many b'days we have celebrated together, but it IS less than 20!
My sista-from-anotha-mutha Kylee joined us, and my dear Cajun besties the Stewarts (Lorie, Shane, and Whitney) were in town.  We tried out Chuy's, the newest Tex-Mex restaurant in town.  Delicious food, great prices, but I will probably wait until the hype dies down before returning.
Funny story: Chuy's has this great patio area.  Despite the 100-degree summer we are having with 80% humidity, we all decided to sit outside since it would likely get us a table more quickly.  Well, before we even received our drink order, this happened...
Okay, that didn't photograph well.  You would normally be able to see shopping and blue skies behind our husbands.  What you actually can barely see are sheets of driving rain.  Those little pines are blowing in the wind!  I'm talking major shower here, folks!  Good thing I talked my hubby into taking this before dinner:
That's a wrap, people!  See ya next August 15th (and 16th, 17th, etc.)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

So Long, Soft Pink!!! (A.K.A. New Kitchen Countertops)

As of August 2010, we have lived in this house for 5 years.  I really do love my house, even though we have outgrown it.  The house was built in the mid 90's, but both the builder and previous owner had impeccable late 80's taste.  I wish I had before-and-after pictures of everything we have redone...Our hall bath's wall-paper was truly a Miami Vice airbrush-esque look.  There was mint green, baby blue, peach, cream, etc. splatters on a white background.  We have painted, replaced metal mini-blinds, tiled over laminate floors, and more.  Ironically enough, the thing I loathed the most was the thing I learned to live with the most kitchen countertops!

Enter my sister-in-law Mary.  She is starting a side business called Fantasy Faux.  She loves to faux-finish anything that isn't moving or breathing.  Her first love is furniture re-do, but she also can do countertops.  Guess who she chose to be a guinea pig and practice on?  Moi, Myself, Me!

Here are a couple of before shots...the countertops were supposed to be neutral...
but they were textured and they had pink swirly designs in them...
So, the first thing we decided to do was try to smooth things over by sanding the fool out of them (pun intended).
Hmm, that didn't exactly work.  Talk about resiliency.  These 'tops may be mighty ugly, but they were built to last.  So on to Plan B.  Mary concluded that we would be putting quite a bit of layers on top of them...that would smooth things out anyway.  First step, primer. 

...aaaaaand buh-bye pink!  I'm loving it already!  Now, about that stove.  It's going to really be in our way.  So we pulled it out, revealing another dark do you like my red kitchen?
Yeah, I like it too!  Much better than the old wallpaper that I lazily never finished painting over!  Hahaha.  Okay, next step, the base coat.  We chose a warm okre/mustard color.  Almost too mustardy.  I'm craving hot-dogs fo' sho'!!!
Okay, maybe it's not so bad.  I guess all these paint fumes are just getting to me!  Let's get back to work.  The next steps went from exciting to waaaaay scary.  I freaked out more than once.  Have I made a huge mistake?  Have I gone from guinea pig to lab rat?  But I know and trust Mary.  I have seen her work.  So I bit my tongue.  Well, until the last night.  Anyhoo, enough talk.  Let's paint:
And finally, we were through with the coloring part.  Here's my beautiful niece Lauren showing off the almost-finished-process and her fabulous new haircut:
Now, keeping in mind that #1 this is a painted surface and #2 I tend to lean toward the careless side of life, we decided to put a truckload of two quarts of poly-acrylic clear coat on top.  Not only will this seal the painted surface, it will also give the countertops the glassy surface associated with real granite.
That would be my brother, David, applying the first layer of poly-acrylic.  Just like a gym floor, right Dave?  Well, with no further ADO...I present the finished (almost) product:
I'm still waiting for the poly-acrylic to finish setting before I can accessorize again.  Ugh, patience is so hard!  How about a little before-and-after again?

So long for now...I'm off to watch paint dry!  Heeheehee...