Shabby Miss Jenn

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Play, Play, Play...and Play

I thought I enjoyed plays, but I think Addisan has me beat.  She has always been very into the arts and drama.  Not sure how she is my kid  sometimes considering I grew up in a swim cap and cleats year round:)  I really do enjoy going to the theater and do my best to take Addisan (and Campbell) as much as possible.  I try to rationalize it to Tommy by reminding him that we seldom go to the movies (unless it is at the Byrd Theater which tickets are $1.99) and that we are not ones who indulge our kids with purchasing toys throughout the year.  

So today we went to go see Madeline's Christmas at the Barksdale Theater. This theater is very small and intimate.  The performance was amazing, considering 12 of the main characters were young girls.  Madeline herself was unbelievable.  When leaving, Addisan asked if she could return to SPARC for the hope of one day being able to take part in a performance like this.  

One of my goals this year is to get more family shots and not to worry (too much) how I look in pictures.

Yesterday, we went up to the Kennedy Center (one of my favorite places) to see an Eric Carle series at their Family Theater with some of our friends.  Eric Carle is one of my all time favorite children's authors.  This puppet crew was from Scandinavia and used black lights to make their puppets glow.  It was AMAZING.  They performed The Very Hungry Caterpillar; Brown Bear; and Papa, Get Me the Moon.

Tommy and his girls before the perfomance.  They have him wrapped around their little fingers.

Campbell exhausted from all the picture taking.

Some girl time.

The girls watching their first snowfall of the season...on the rooftop at the Kennedy Center. 

It is hard to see, but there are snowflake images floating on the ceiling.

All the kids after the show.  It amazes me that they are all actually looking at the camera.

In the beginning of December, Addisan and I went to our annual performance of The Nutcracker.  She has been going since she was 2 1/2 and looks forward to each year.  It amazes me how two kids can be so different.  Campbell, at the age of 4, still could not sit through this lengthy show.  We invited our friends to go with us this year.  We had a wonderful picnic that we brought from home on the rooftop and this was our view....not too shabby!

We have seen more plays this month than we have all year long.  The last play that we saw was How the Grinch Stole Christmas.  It was awesome.  I was a little nervous because it was on a school night at 7:30.  The girls were rock stars!!  I was glad we went on a weeknight because the weekend shows had technical difficulty and the lights went out.  They were not able to get them back on!  

Of course, The Grinch and Max had to join us.

Campbell was asleep within minutes of leaving the performance.  I bet she was dreaming of snow!

We are now in the process of finalizing our plans to see Mary Poppins in February.  This will be my second time seeing it and I am soooo excited.  It is one of my favorite stories of all times!

Time for Catch Up

As many of you know, I tend to get side tracked very easily.  I have SLACKED big time on our family blog.  I have tried scrap booking and other ways to keep my memories fresh and nothing has worked, except the blog (with the exception of the past few months).   Our girls have grown so much, both inside and out.  Addisan has learned to go with the flow more and let the little things roll off her back (which I need to start doing) and Campbell has more spunk than I know what to do with.  I have heard folks who scrapbook say to start with the most current event and work backward.  I think that is what I am going to try to do in order to get caught up.  I want my girls to look back on this blog as they grow as a personal diary of the memories we have created.  As I sit here typing now, I here giggles upstairs and they are "suppose" to be winding down for bedtime.  There is nothing better than the sound of my girls' laughter.....except maybe the sound of them snoring after some long, high energy wintry days:)

Sunday, April 29, 2012

No More least on Saturday Mornings

This is Campbell's first season playing soccer at our local YMCA.  She was very excited at cleats, pink shorts, pink shin get the point.  Then reality started setting in.  She would have to wear jerseys to the games and not her stained heart shirt that she loves so dearly, she would have to share the ball with others on the field, and so many other things that were not on her wish list!

Campbell loves to play soccer at home in the front yard. Her coordination is fabulous and her speed is remarkable.  As her mother, I am a little biased, I know!  Somehow though, when she got on the soccer field with 9 other kids and 2 coaches, she would freeze and not do anything.  The only thing she would look forward to would be the water breaks to use her "cool" water bottle.

When the season first started, my only condition was that she had to go on the field the FIRST time the coach asked.  I did not care if she touched the ball or not...I just wanted her to be on the field (and hopefully without tears).

At the beginning, we would be ecstatic if she even touched the ball. 

I am not one to bribe, but I did not know what else to do.  So I told her if she actually ran with the ball, that we would pass her a Reese's Pieces on her way down the sideline.  THIS WORKED!  Now she is playing and actually making contact with the ball and we do not even have to bribe her anyone.

Now Campbell is a true soccer pro....

Now Addisan even wants to play next year!  There is some hope for my girly girls!

Watching Campbell grow with her confidence makes me smile!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Can You Feel The Love Tonight...

We went to go see The Lion King with some great friends around the corner from us.  Unfornately, my girlfriend had a family emergency and was out of town, so her husband was my date and chauffeur for Addisan and their three kids.  What a great man (and brave) for taking all of us! 

This girl loves nothing better than going to the theater.  She loves the music and just comes to life watching the actors.  You can see it in her eyes and her imagination starts to churn.  Watching her play make-believe games by herself and with her sister, she is constantly performing as though she has an audience in front of her. 

Below is a picture of her during intermission with her overpriced cookie.  I was hoping to get a picture of all the kids together, but time got away from me.  If you have seen The Lion King, you know why I lost track of time....the music and the puppetry is absolutely amazing!  Even with the show being during her nap time, she was fully engrossed for the whole THREE hours!  On the way home though, I knew she was really tired when she was showing Mr. Patrick how she could gargle her own spit.  I know, I am not sure where she gets these special talents....from her mother or from her father?

I felt guilty not bringing Campbell, but I knew she was not going to be able to handle the performance.  I have mother's guilt that I have been taking Addisan to the theater since she was 2 1/2 and poor Campbell has gotten gypped.  This past year, we have brought her to two children's performances and she did fabulous......BUT they are only an hour long and there is no intermission. It is amazing how two girls raised in the same environment can be so different, but it is nice how they compliment each other so nicely.

Being with my little theater critic with great friends makes me smile!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Work in Progress......six years and still counting

So finally after six years living in this house, we have finally started to think about Carmella's Room (aka the "formal" living area).  For those who did not know Carmella, she was our guinea pig and this is the room where we housed her cage and the kids took her on stroller rides.  

This winter, I had all of these color samples on the wall.  I have a commitment problem with colors just like I do with choosing photos from our photographer.  I need to take the attitude of a true test taker and go with my first instinct and not look back.

Tommy and I do as much stuff around the house as we possibly can ourselves.  "We," being more Tommy than myself, do our own wainscoting, painting, crown molding, tiling, etc.  These ceilings though we could not reach even with our tallest ladder.  

This is our lovely dog couch...the only piece of furniture that our dogs are allowed to sit on.  Don't judge us to harshly by how disgusting it is!  We do not sit on it ourselves.

The couch I have been looking at for the past TWO years is from Pottery Barn.  Anyone who knows me, knows I am a sales hunter and pride myself on good finds!  I cannot find another couch that I like nearly as much and is as comfortable as this one.  This is the first time I have not been able to find an appropriate substitution for what I want.  So, I have been putting a little bit of my tutoring money aside each week to purchase it this summer.  My rationale was if I have to look at it each and every day and it has to be functional for humans and NOT dogs, I want to make the investment instead of looking at a so-so couch and always wishing I got the one I really wanted.

Our neighborhood uses a fabulous painting family.  They are the nicest people and love they fit right into our house!  They helped Tommy move the final pieces before starting the painting process this winter.  

Here are the final photos of the painting.  We decided to use two tones of blue to highlight the vaulted ceilings.

Dogs are already to claim their couch again while trying to get another picture of the painting.

I have already ordered and bought frames to make a collage of pictures above the couch.  That is going to be my summer project along with purchasing curtains.  I have found some curtains that I like on, but I am nervous about ordering them sight unseen.  I hope to have more pictures in the next couple of weeks of the completed room.

Painted rooms that I do not have to paint myself make me smile!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Winter Fun!

So we returned from our weekend away at Smithfield Station to find our friends had decorated our house with GOP garbage....I mean ads:)  I had to laugh, once we thought we collected them all, I would find more in my cake pans and other odd places.  I am not sure what the joke was....the reaction from us or the thought Romney is going to win the Presidential race:)?  Props to the Putneys for a good joke either way:)!

Since then, we have been slammed with "life."  My dad had another operation and is doing better.  It has been a slow, but steady recovery.  Tutoring has taken off where I now have a waiting list.  At one point, I had 10 kids a week.  This has been all through word of mouth which is the best compliment.  I have met so many wonderful families that I now consider friends through tutoring.  This on top of working full time makes for one tired mommy some weeks.

We try to make the best of any free moments that we have.  This winter we took a trip to go tubing at Wintergreen, but due to the warm weather this winter, that did not happen.  Instead we went to Auntie Kris's school where she works and went to the playground.  They have an AMAZING playground there.  The picture below just shows part of it!

This is the view from their playground.  I think if I taught here, our recess would be twice as long than in Richmond with that view!

Campbell LOVED this balancing section.  It was tougher than it looked because each of the colored steps wiggled.

Watching these two girls play with each other warms my heart.  They really are each other's best friend.  Having them create all these wonderful memories together, I hope will only strengthen their friendship to come.

We also went to go see the CYT production of Mulan at the local middle school with our friend Violet.  It was phenomenal.  The amount of talent that these young children possessed just blew me away.  I was not expecting it to be too crowded.  Well needless to say, we got the last few tickets and seats right up front.  Luck was on our side! It was truly amazing!

We did get one snowfall this season.  It was the best type of came early enough in the morning to cancel school without delay and it was melted away by dinner time!  Perfect, huh?

My snow bunny!  I know I am a little bias because I am her mother, but no matter what she puts on, she is so stinkin' cute....even in a one piece marshmallow suit!

After a 20 minute temper tantrum inside because her snow pants were not "girly" enough, Addisan finally joined us outside.

 Trying to catch up on some overdue blogging makes me smile!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Smithfield Station

So for the first time since having Addisan, Tommy and I went away for the night.  I purchased a Groupon awhile back for a quaint night away at a hotel in Smithfield, Virginia.  It was not too far away, but far enough to not have Richmond on our minds.

There was nothing much to do in this small town which was perfect for an overworked mama!  It was so nice to relax in our room and watch something other than Jake and the Neverland Pirates.  I told Tommy this needs to become a regular thing....getting away now and then without kids for a night.  As much as I love my girls, it felt nice to return to them recharged and well rested.  This was the view from our room that we had to leave...

For dinner, we walked downstairs for dinner.  It was so nice not to have to cut up anyone's food or have to wipe anyone's sticky hands other than my own!!

The next morning, we took the ferry to Williamsburg to do a little outlet shopping.  I went to White House Black Market and got some awesome jeans for only $20!  So of course, I had to buy a few shirts to go with them.  

Being able to sleep past 5:30 makes me smile!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Some Jamin' Java with Mr. Steve

Our friends back home invited us to see Mr. Steve with them at a local coffee shop in Vienna.  My girls (and surprisingly, myself included) love Mr. Steve.  I did my best to steer my girls away from Barney and The Wiggles and it did it with great success.  Mr. Steve on the other hand has more of a rock sound to his music and covers such topics from the planets to Martin Luther King.  We have seen him at the Children's Museum of Richmond and Theater in the Woods at Wolf Trap.  As I am writing this, it scares me that we might be considered groupies!

Now what road trip would be complete without food?!  We met our friends at Anita's for brunch!  It was the perfect place because it was not too crowded for 7 kids AND 7 adults to be seated.  There was even room for the kids to wiggle out of their seats and walk around some.  


The coffee shop was packed!  I tend to forget how many more people live in Northern Virginia than Richmond until I am packed in tightly with others in a small room like I am in a sardine can.   It was nice though for the kids because there was room in front for them to dance around and just be kids!

Here are some shots of some of the kiddos during the performance.  Campbell cracked me up because she has moves that she must have inherited from the mailman....because Tommy and I have do no posses a lick of rhythm.

We waited FOREVER to meet Mr. Steve. He was as nice as could be.  The girls were ecstatic to get their book autographed.

Hearing songs with your kids that does not make you want to pull out your hair makes me smile.