Sunday, May 31, 2009


Swimming is a lot like reading for me. It seems like I have always known how to do it. I remember taking lessons at the middle school pool. What I remember the most is the bobs. Up and down, up and down, tons and tons of bobs. I never knew the purpose of them until last week though.

Aspen has joined the swim team. She is really excited about it and is quite a good little swimmer. Her coach had them doing bobs last week and explained that bobs help you get used to blowing your air out under the water so that when you come up, or when you are swimming you don't have to waste time with your head out of the water blowing your air out, all you need to do was breathe in.

Wow! You really do learn something new every day! I have been on several swim teams, even a diving team (That was something...) I knew how to breathe while swimming, but I've never made the correlation of that is how you practice, or get used to it. It makes a lot of sense. One of the biggest things in learning to swim, especially as Olive is trying to learn, is don't breathe the water in! You can't do that though if you've already got a lung full of air. Brilliant!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Memorial Day Weekend, a photo essay

Saturday at dinner we were talking and figured that we should make a plan for Memorial day. The idea of camping was brought up and, just like that, it was decided. We headed out to buy a tent. (Our 3 man tent would have been a bit small...)
Next up is where to go. We ruled out the state parks because they are first come first serve and since we weren't leaving until after church, the likely hood of us finding a spot on memorial day weren't so hot. KOA to the rescue! Bristol TN, just an hour away, complete with pool and playground and fun weekend activities fit the bill perfectly. The kids were so excited that they could hardly sit through church. Olive kept calling it Crystal instead of Bristol, but by the time we left, she had it down.

You can't go camping without s'mores. This was the highlight. At first, the kids wanted just to roast marshmallows and eat all of the ingredients separately, (what fun is that?) I think that we got everyone convinced by the time we were all full.
Mmmmm, Mmmm, good!

Just right
Oh, yea, try this!
Just a little burnt on top!
Not too close!
Oh Yea!

Bed time! Cedar really wanted to see the stars, but it was way too cloudy. We had to settle for staying up late and telling stories.
The kids lined up on the bed. I don't know how we ever camped without blow up mattresses!

After we got home we somehow still had energy so we loaded the bikes up in the van to go to the park. Aspen and Cedar FINALLY learned to ride without training wheels. Pretty sad when an 8 1/2 year old can't ride without them, but if you've ever seen the hills around here you wouldn't be too surprised. Jonathon also dug out our roller blades and we went around the track a few times. It's been a long time since I have done that!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Keep reading!

This week had been full of blog worthy events. There was so much going on that I didn't have time to blog about it until today. So keep reading. Below are 5 new posts. I hope you enjoy!

Aspen English! It's a landslid of awards!

All of her awards, medal and ribbons from 2009.

If I were writing the newspaper article that chronicled this years 2nd grade awards, that is what the headlines would read! This past week has been the time for Aspen to really shine and show what it is that she does best. Tuesday we went to the Walters State Community College where she received an award for a book that she wrote with her class. Then Thursday was the awards ceremony for Manley elementary. I didn't know that she even really cared about what she got until that morning. She said that she really hoped that she got the Principal's Choice award. It is the top award you can get and she has gotten it 2 years in a row. She wanted to make it three. She did end up getting it (phew...) and she also racked in 8 other awards. Top reading, top math, writing awards, you name it, she probably got it. (Except perfect attendance. Nope, she didn't get that one.) It was a nice day for her. She has worked really hard this year.
Principals Choice Award. One boy, one girl per class.

Lakeway writing award

Cedar's kindergarten awards

Showing off his awards.

With school ending we are bombarded with end of the year "stuff." But I really like the awards ceremony. The teachers do a good job to make sure that every child gets recognized and has a chance to shine. Although it is amusing to hear some of the awards that they came up with.
Cedar in the front of the line with his class.

Good job Cedar! You are a wonderful student!

Olive's preschool end of the year program

Olive is the first to officially be out of school. Friday was her end of year program. This year has been really fun for her. She has made some really cute friends and the best part is that they are all going to be there next year. We have been at that school for four years now. Next year will be year number 5, in a row! It's hard to believe that Aspen started there when Olive was 8 months old.

Strawberries spell summer time!

We have been anxiously awaiting the opening of the strawberry patch that is across from the elementary school. Each morning we would check, "Are the windows to the little shack open?" And Finally on Wednesday it was! Unfortunately, the kids had school so we couldn't go right away, but Saturday turned out to be the perfect day! Jonathon had to go back into work after Cedar's soccer game, so off we went. We picked 2 gallons of ripe yummy strawberries! So far we have had them in sugar, plain, in milk, in ice cream, on crepes and with nilla wafers. After school gets out I want to pick some more and make jam, but until then, I'm thinking maybe pie and fruit pizza, and ....

Cedar soccer

We finally remembered to bring the camera to soccer. Cedar's team is made up of 5-6 year olds. They are so cute, the way they chase around the ball. This is Cedar's 2nd year so he had some sort of idea what to do. He is actually pretty good. In the Upward league that he is in they have a smaller field, 40 yards or so. A few weeks ago he actually kicked a goal from the opposite end and made it into his goal! He thought is was the best, most amazing kick ever! He demonstrated it for us repeatedly for many days after.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Oh Happy, Happy Day!

Did you get breakfast in bed? If you're a mom I hope that you did! If you're not a mom, I hope that you served someone up! When I was a kid I don't think that I realized the importance of Mother's Day. It's just a day for giving your mom cards and breakfast in bed, right? I don't think that anymore. Now, that soooo many of the people I love and who influence me are graced with that title, I see more to it than cards and french toast. Mothers hold a position of great power in this world. People, unfortunately take the name of the Lord in vain all the time. Not many will do much to stop it. It has come to mean any number of slang things, from good to bad. But, insult someones mother and you better duck!

I have great sisters. I've always thought that they were the best, but when they became mothers I saw them as so much more. They are the kind of mothers I want to be. My teachers and examples. My brother's and husband's wives were always nice people. I love them and admire who they are. As I have watched them with their children I see grace and beauty in action. As a girl, I always thought my brothers were immature and silly, but I see the women that they have chosen to love and marry and I must admit that I was wrong.
I think of Grandma Loveridge. To me she is the pinnacle of near perfection in wife and mother. She is loyal and true and honestly believes that you (whoever you are) are the absolute most wonderful person in the world. You feel like you might just be when you are in her presence. Maybe that's why none of us can stay away. If we're around, we just have to drop in for a little dose of grandma.
Where would I be with out Marie? She helps me see things I've never seen before. Parts of people that are unique and beautiful. She reflects light and all of us who have the opportunity to have her in our lives are better because of her. Jonathon will spend hours talking to her sometimes and he always comes away a little lighter and I know that he loves her without question.

Now we come to my mom. Several people I know call their mom's by their first name. "Because they are friends and equals now." I don't think I could ever do that. Even as a grown woman with children of my own, my mom is always who she'll be. The woman who (still) kisses my owies better, who may not understand me perfectly, but loves me perfeclty. She is my friend, my caregiver, my advice hotline, my idea springboard, my companion, my mom.
Speaking of my mom, today is not only a day to pay tribute to her, but also to her amazing husband Tony. It's his birthday today. I think he's turning 42. He has been an amazing addition to our family. I don't think you could find a more selfless man anywhere. He is kind and funny and energetic and thoughtful and I am so glad he's around! I love you Tony. Happy birthday!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


Many of you know that I'm a bit of a psycho about the number of toys out at my house at a time. I'm not really big on picking up toys all day, and I think that if there are too many toys out to be picked up, that just means that there are too many toys! We have a ton of toys, and even though as the kids get older their toys are getting different, smaller sometimes, but we still have tons of 'em. We aren't ready quite yet to get rid of them, so we switch them out every once in a while.

I totally love this! Here's how it works, we have a portion of the toys out, then when the toys start to get left out too much, not played with, and it's been a while we switch them around. The ones not out are in the garage. We put the ones away that we are ready to store for a while and then get out new ones. I let the kids help choose, sometimes. The rule for that is that the toys that they get out have to be roughly the same size as the ones we put away. No matchbox car in exchange for the train table! Then the magic begins, the kids are totally enchanted by the toys again. They remember how to use them and what some of their favorites were and the play room is full of busy, happy people! I love it! Just like Christmas with out the wrapping paper.

We did this yesterday and the play room has been so fun, especially since it has been raining so much. Even the little people that my kids are probably technically grown out of worked well when paired with the other doll house. Olive built amazing train tracks and Cedar has "17 creations so far" in his collection.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Let the swimming season begin!

Last Saturday the kids were invited to a birthday party for one of the boys in Aspen's class. This family really knows how to do it because they invited the whole family. I love it when people do this. And obviously so do my kids. They had rented the pool at Carson Newman College and we had pizza before. The water was a bit too cold for me so I was the official picture taker for my family, but Jonathon is always up for swimming. Here are the first swimming pictures of the season. I'm sure these will start to get old after a few months, but let the swimming begin!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Update on the movie...

Thanks Emily for helping me. For Aspen I would choose Mara Wilson.

Friday, May 1, 2009

My movie

The journal jar question is back. Who would play me in the movie of my life along with who would play my family. I didn't word that quite like Em did, but that's the gist of it.

For me...In my early years it would be a toss up between Emily Watson and Kiera Knightly. I think I was about that obnoxious.
Keira Knightley is set for a busy year

See full size image
For me in my later life I think it would be Olivia Williams

For Jonathon he is in a toss up between Bill Murray and Toshiro Mufune(He chose those ones!)

Our kids would be...Olive is Dora , Cedar is McCully Culkin, Aspen is, I don't know. I Don't know any child Actresses. Help me with this one!

The title of my movie would be, "Into the Forest"

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