Thursday, December 27, 2007


I didn't realize what a production getting properly fitted for pointe shoes would be. I was told that it was actually a lot easier to fit Tessa because her feet are small, so the choices are fewer.
Step One: Try on one of everything!

Step 2: Get that position just right!

Step 3: Let the girls know how they feel.
Come on, really, how could they possibly feel???
Better her feet than mine!

Step 4: Narrow down the choices.

Step 5: Make a decision.
Oh, I almost forgot--pay the bill!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007


Tessa received 33 books for Christmas, plus a gift card to Border's. How cool is that? Considering the fact that she could not read fluently until she was eight and a half, it does this mom's heart good to see her with a book in her hand. Well, usually it works that way. She actually has a book in her hand at all times. Sometimes that is not all that appropriate. *grin* Recently, she had to return to a public restroom to retrieve the book she placed down while she--well, you can imagine! I am trying not to dwell on that situation much. Then just last night, she brought a book and flashlight with her to the movie theater. And the point of that was???? She said that she didn't want to waste the preview time. She did have enough sense to leave it at her seat during her visit to the restroom.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas Surprise

I'm writing this even before Tessa knows the surprise. Her ballet teacher called me last week to let me know that she is ready to go on pointe. She has been working really hard and has recently commented that maybe next year she'd be ready. She will be so surprised tomorrow when she opens up the card with the announcement. I am glad that Mr. Ashley thought of making this a Christmas surprise. She will be very excited. I'll have to take her to be fitted for her shoes before we head to Florida at the end of the week. That will be a special day.

Tessa removed the note from the tree and read the note that told her of her advancement to pointe. She was thrilled as expected!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Isn't She Lovely?




It's kind of neat how my brother's home is just about at the half way point between here and Connecticut. It's also kind of neat that he is the family member gifted with hospitality--probably why he is such a great chef! Even though I forgot to let my brother know until the day of that we'd be stopping over on our way to Connecticut, he graciously prepared for 11 house guests. That's a lot of bedding! We also stopped on the way back and he prepared--as always--a wonderful dinner and breakfast for us.
Uncle Mike, Aunt Mary, Nate, Ross
Breakfast Feast

My favorite brother, Mike

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


Ryan's friend, Kellye, joined us on our trip to Connecticut. She had never been to that area of the country, so it was fun to have her along. She and Ryan were able to go into New York City the day after Thanksgiving. It was way colder than they expected, so was not as enjoyable as it could have been.

Kellye and I shared one of Kathy's guest rooms.

We learned that Kellye likes ketchup about as much as Michael Jr. She just eats it on stranger things--like the turkey! YIKES! The photo below was taken on Thanksgiving.

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The turkey and table were beautiful! Michael's sister, Kathy, always does a nice job of decorating! This year Al even carved the bird at the table. Quite impressive!

Michael, Kelly, and Travis waiting for dinner to be served.

Kenzie, Ross, Nate, and Tessa waiting for dinner to be served!

Nate tore up that turkey leg!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

The Last of the Fun at American Girl Atlanta

Tessa agonized over her purchase, but finally decided on Nicki. I think the curly hair was the deciding factor. Her friend Abby bought the same thing.

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The Bistro at American Girl

The Bistro was wonderful. The food was delicious and plentiful and the presentation was very nice. We really could not believe all you got for the money.

First you read the menu!

Then you think about eating all the food!

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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

American Girl Atlanta

For Tessa's 11th birthday, I surprised her with a trip to the new American Girl store in Atlanta. Her friend, Abby, who also has an October birthday came along with her mom. Kelly and Kenzie joined us too! This AG store is so different from the one in NYC. It is just another store in a nice mall with a small restaurant in one section. The selection isn't as extensive as NYC, but you got to love that it
doesn't cost anything to park!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Tessa's Art Exhibit

Last year when Tessa was in fourth grade, she was required to draw and watercolor all the state birds and some of the province flowers of Canada. She took the assignment seriously and produced some of her best work--outside of horses. *grin* I really wanted to frame them all, but didn't really have any wall space left for such a huge collection.
The door between Kelly's part of the house and ours turned out to be the perfect spot. I will now curtain the back so that Kelly and her family have their privacy and darling little grandchildren cannot touch the art work! The second photo shows a few birds up close. One of my goals in life has always been to do things a bit differently, so this project has brought me great satisfaction.

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The entire family actually went to church together!
We took up the entire row, and it was sweet!
Tessa turned 11 a couple of weeks ago,
and it was not sweet!

I am not ready for my baby to grow up!

Sunday, September 16, 2007


Ross' class finished up Charlotte's Web this week by hosting an all-school county fair. It was great fun! Children were encouraged to enter items into different categories to be judged. Tessa and Ross did very well.

In photography, Ross received a first place ribbon for his photograph from the top of the St. Augustine lighthouse. Kelly framed it with some seashells that he had collected on the trip to Florida. Tessa received a second place ribbon for her photograph of a jellyfish at Ripley's Aquarium.

In the art category, Tessa received a first place ribbon for her watercolor and colored pencil collage. You can click on any photo to see it larger.

Tessa also received a first place ribbon for her tooth fairy pillow made from her old jeans. There is a snap pocket on the back to put her teeth in when she loses them.

Tessa's fairy in a canoe craft received a second place ribbon.

Ross' batman car received a third place ribbon and his planet painting an honorable mention.

But his cookies brought home another first place ribbon!

Tessa and her friends (enjoying free-dress day) checked out the exhibits.

Then they checked out the pig! It's name was Wilbur!

Kelly was in charge of carnival games and did a great job. There was a cake walk, pitch a penny, knock the cans over, fishpond, beanbag toss, football throw, and guess how many pieces of gum were in a jar. It rained for the first time in months. Yes, we needed it, but really! Anyway, games were moved indoors, and Travis manned the football throw!