Costume Fun

Last year Charlie was miserable in his big 'ole Elmo costume. Miserable. Wanted out of it the second we put it on him. But this year, he's all about dressing up. Probably because he's Sir Topham Hat! Thomas and his friends and trains in general are his absolute favorite so this costume is right up his alley.

Elliot was going to be Superman like Charlie was when he was a baby but last week Charlie said, "Elliot be a train." So I scored a costume for E online. Anyway, this Topham costume was so fun to put together. I bought a Size 3T tux from a kids consignment store. It had a black vest and bow-tie so I had to get creative: I sewed yellow felt to the front of the vest and made a black tie and some tails for the jacket with some fabric remnants. Charlie had fun watching me sew and could hardly wait until I was finished.

And adding to the fun, this year we had a neighborhood party at our clubhouse so the kids were able to wear their costumes last night. It's nice to get some mileage out of the costumes...and I'm happy to have a distraction from the election intensity of the past week.

Please comment with a link to your cute kiddos and their costumes...would love to see all of them!


And another one


From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs...is this really us, fellow Americans?

Is this why our ancestors and our great-grand-fathers and grandfathers fought and died? Is this why our husbands and brothers and sons and friends are out in the world fighting for freedom even now?

Don't miss this

Please take a minute to checkout Candace's blog today. and the link she has posted..you won't be sorry.



An Investment

I finally invested in a new bag. As you know, I don't like diaper bags. Sometimes they are a necesary evil (church or preschool) but most of the time, I just throw all of our gear into one bag. This past summer, I had a great yellow bag. It was from Wet Seal and it lasted all summer. I was sad when it finally broke (actually, the pleather peeled off). Anyway, I have been through 2 bags so far this fall and neither worked out. One had too many pockets and one broke. So I bit the bullet and invested in a nice bag, a Longchamp tote--the black one with brown leather handles. This one is kinda hard to find, often sold out. It was sold out last time I tried to find it. But I tried again last week and snagged it. I am so pleased with this purchase and it's already been road-tested: I spilled milk and pretzels inside it and it cleaned up very nicely. So far, it's well worth the money. And I didn't have to drive my double stroller into Wet Seal to purchase it.

In other news, Janelle and her hubby and precious baby visited this week-end! We had a great time...just wish it was longer. We miss you already, J!


Two more pictures

Lauren and Simmons...our sweet hostesses!

Today we painted pumpkins with friends from church. Everyone had fun and I have so many pictures! To see more, checkout Fef's blog. But here are my favorites. Enjoy!

Elliot and his best friend Wyatt (they are 2 days apart!)

Sorry, Wy, didn't mean to get paint IN your ear!

Charlie, I said paint the pumpkin, not paint the brother! :)

"Are we having fun? I'm not sure!"

Needless to say, Elliot needed 2 baths to get clean! Here he is, painting with his one little finger (he touches everything like that these days).

Charlie showing off his messy hands.


Why I'm Angry

This election season has been quite tumultuous for me personally. I've taken turns being interested, angry, vocal, bitter, obsessed and as of late, angry. I'm not angry in a only-Christians-should-be-president/Christian-right kinda way. In fact, I'm more of a Libertarian. I know Roe v. Wade is not going to be overturned at the national level; I'm all for civil unions ('tho leave "marriage" alone; John Kerry had a great apologetic for this viewpoint in the last election season...before he changed his mind of course); and I didn't vote for Mike Huckabee (gasp). I was a Giuliani gal before he let us all down and tried to defy history by giving up IO and NH. Anyway, I'm angry because of what this Obama factor is doing to our country and to me. Here in the deep South and if I'm honest, in my own heart, his presence is not helping race or socio-economic relations. At all. In fact, quite the opposite is taking place. All compassion that I've had for the "under-privileged" has all but disappeared. Why? Mostly because so many of the poor people that Obama wants us to support are not poor. The right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness does not include Blackberries, fancy tennis shoes or satellite TV. It doesn't even really include education if you ask me. And the Obama TV ads, interviews and everything else is constantly reminding me that in a few short weeks, I could be paying even more.
Let me describe for you a few scenarios:
1. To get to our house, you have to drive through a "low-income" neighborhood. Many of the houses are even subsidized. However, there are many, many satellites sprinkled throughout the neighborhood as well as a few Navigators and Cadillacs (I drive a Kia).
2. I'm shopping for shoes for Charlie, trying to find a good deal. This season is THE first time that I've ever bought name-brand, brand-new tennis shoes for my child. All the other shoes he's had have been hand-me-downs, generic or bought second hand. I've changed my philosophy on buying Charlie things now that we have Elliot so I was going to bite the bullet and pay full price. While I was in the store, trying to find the best deal, there was another group there, about 5 or 6 kids, a guy and a girl. All looked very young. Some were calling the guy by his first name, some called him dad. Same with the woman. These kids were all decked out in fancy tennis shoes and both of the adults had cell phones with Bluetooth. I really hate to stereotype but I'm going to do so anyway: I would be willing to bet the farm that these people received some sort of government assistance, be it housing, food stamps or health care. (I would not have even paid attention to this crew a few weeks ago but that day I could hardly think of anything else).
3. The woman in front of me at Wal-Mart uses foodstamps to buy her Lucky Charms, frozen convenience foods, milk and juice boxes (I don't buy juice boxes regularly because to me they are a waste of our hard-earned money)...while talking on what else? Her Blackberry. And what is she wearing? An Obama "Change You Can Believe In" shirt.
4. My sister works for a big medical group here in Savannah and does medical billing. Not long after her second boy was born back in April, she was talking to some co-workers about the high price of formula. They were all shocked that she "had" to buy her own formula. They get theirs for free. They told her to just go down to the welfare office and get the tickets. It's that easy.
And they drive better cars than Anna and me.
5. I'm driving around downtown Savannah one Saturday and I spy a school supply giveaway sign. And people lined up for 4 blocks. Initially my heart is softened for these children, but that quickly changes as I notice the way these people are dressed and the cell phones and Bluetooth devices glued to their bodies. These people are not poor. They truly believe that "their" money is to be used to buy what they want and we (people who actually make money) should buy them what they need. Ridiculous. I still can't even believe it. I already pay for their education, their healthcare and their food. I was not about to buy their school supplies.
Where is personal responsibility? Why do Democrats insist on keeping people poor and dependent? Oh wait, I know: they do it to get elected. In the words of Mayor Kate Hennings from the movie Sweet Home Alabama: "There is nothing wrong with poor people. I get elected by poor people."
So what can I do? Nothing really. I can vote and I can repent of my hard, hard heart. I can support causes that really minister to people who need help the most. But I will not ever think it is right or good or Christian to allow people to wallow in self-pity and reward the sense of entitlement that is so rampant in our country today.
And I can steal Obama signs, which is what the picture at the top of this post is all about. It's a tradition that Jill and I started back in Charlottesville during the 2004 election. We had fun then and I had fun today. I'll probably be adding a few more in the coming days.


What we've been doing lately

Enjoying the lovely fall (ahem: 80+ degree temps) in Savannah...
Playing in the park with friends

Painting Pumpkin Rocks

Enjoying Wiener Dog Races at Oktoberfest on River Street...where's Waldo: can you find Ryan/Charlie and David/Tyson in that crowd?


Election Emotions

While watching the debates and the general election coverage, I'm filled with many emotions...fear, , pride, disgust, disdain, hope, and others that don't need to be mentioned here on this blog. And since the VP debate: curiosity.

Did Joe Biden get Botoxed? So I did some research. I think YES, botox has definitely occurred.

Not sure when this photo was taken but I notice a marked difference between then and now. What say you?


So as I've been blogging recently, I've been somewhat conflicted over time management, fighting my perfectionist tendencies , doing the most important things in life, etc. Deciding what is important has been somewhat problematic...most things in my life seem really important. So I've been reading, praying, thinking about all of this lately--and blogging about it a little bit--but oddly, not discussing this in much detail with friends here in Savannah (except for a couple of short discussions here and there with Sarah and Marlo). Venting electronically seems so much easier, less personal. But really incomplete, as I realized today during a discussion with the girls in my young mother's Bible study. Today we were all able to get really personal, discuss our familes, husbands, children, our struggles and even shed a few tears (which felt soo good. For someone who cried all the time in college, I sure am emotionally stunted sometimes as an adult). Anyway, my biggest struggle has been just getting it all done and maintaining a little bit of Emily and things she likes to do. So I just said it today, asked for prayer. And you know what: community happened. We all shared, we all rallied around each other and I left feeling more whole, more complete and much less guilty and confused.

And in regards to "spending time" with the kids, these girls had some great insight, great thoughts and overall, a lot of encouragement to give me. They are abosolutely right: this whole "quality time" thing is a new invention. We don't remember our moms playing with us constantly. And we don't agree with that concept, no matter what the world tries to sell us about the importance of leisure time and always being entertained. A neat, orderly home in which to live, to be safe from the world; food lovingly prepared (even if it is grilled cheese and canned tomato soup like we had last night); clean clothes to wear; opportunities to read/be exposed to good books and to play creatively; to be yourself--these are the things that make for a happy childhood. And these things don't just happen. It takes a mother's attention and devotion, not her constant availability as a playmate. So now, encouraged by these friends, enlightened by a few week's of praying and thinking, I'm much more sure and confident in my role as a wife, mother and keeper of our home.

So feeling much more like myself, I'm going to spring into Fall (hahah) by making some pumpkin bread and other things off of this fabulous website I found last night. And I might just pull out my new fabric and sew some playroom curtains!



Today I received an email from Pottery Barn advertising their Halloween decor. Does anyone else find this particular line of products to be rather odd? And somewhat disturbing? I definitely do. Every year the ghost candles and spiderweb tablecloths and skull-whatevers creep me out. This year they've really outdone themselves with the Spooky House Wall Mural.
And I wonder: must every single retail company in the world capitalize on every holiday?


Thanks to those who emailed and responded via comments to my last post. I do appreciate your input. I think that our current schedule and my new enthusiasm for fighting femcha will help me to stay on track and accomplish my goals - getting stuff done around the house, pursuing interests of my own (other than cooking and cleaning!), reading/teaching with the kids and teaching them to play independently. So far this week is going great...and we are having frozen pizza and salad for dinner. I'm so proud.

Today I've been working on one of my hobbies, Southern Living At Home. I love these products. I want one of each. If you are bored, checkout my website. You can find the list of specials (something Southern Living is really known for)--October specials are fabulous--and browse the on-line catalog.