jeff and i are often amazed at the strong willed recessive gene that is our anna katherine. a blonde haired ~ blue eyed girl from parents with dark eyes and hair. (minus the gray and color treatments, mine is as dark as jeff's)

today i have a quick tale of an anna katherine blonde moment. seems she has been having quite a few these days, especially in geography class ;) 

a little background ~ many know i am a fan of court tv. i love real life stories, mysteries and the workings of our legal system. when a good trial comes along, i've been known to get hooked!  this trial about a pathological psychopath is my latest fixation. (seriously, just lock her up and throw away the key already!)  during my work day i listen/watch in my office. on the way to school, i listen in the car via satellite radio. on a couple cross examination days,  i've broken my own rule of no tv after school and watched while cooking dinner. when the kids are tucked in, the tv remote is mine. (this is one they cannot watch!)  jeff knows it's short lived so he is a good sport, because he despises nancy grace!

my kids do catch pieces of nancy's rants and her "unleashing of the lawyers."  jean casarez is one of her favorite go to lawyers.

anna katherine was listening to nancy grace when she commented:
"who in the world would name their child jenko-saurus? that's just mean!"

pronounced like tyrannosaurus (rex), 
except tyrann is jenko ~ with a long o.
take a listen. what do you think?
hhmmm... this might not be a blonde moment.
sounds like a jenko to me ;)
 anna katherine has a great sense of humor.
because jenkosaurus has brought much laughter to our house this week.
 now every time nancy asks jenko-saurus her opinion, 
my husband does this:

bonnie plant project

"In 2002, Bonnie Plants started the 3rd Grade Cabbage Program with a mission to inspire a love of vegetable gardening in young people. Each year, they distribute more than one million free cabbage plants to 3rd Grade classrooms across the country." 
how exciting! especially for my third grader who dreams of a garden overflowing with vegetables and flowers! maybe one day :)  mary claire bounced home last week with her mega cabbage plant. an o.s. cross variety, which is known for producing giant, oversized heads, some weighing more than 50 pounds!

fifty pounds was her goal! ;) she was ready to get started. 

i googled a mega cabbage "how to." 
my thumb is far from green so any help is appreciated. 
we planned to start the plant in a pot and then transplant to a bed. 
we purchased the recommended soil and had the recipe for the perfect nitrogen mix (what the heck?)
we were ready to go! 

we had some high hopes for this mega plant!
"it's going to grow huge. gigantic. biggest one ever!"

so mary claire watered it... 
to death.
two days later and our mega cabbage was no more... 
cause of death?
water boarding.
we'll just buy another one. except monster cabbage plants cannot be purchased just anywhere. in our small town, that translates to nowhere. 
so i called bonnie plants. 
and man are they nice! 
so nice, the sales rep hand delivered us flat. 

so now we have six of these beauties planted in a bed. 

it's only been two days... 
so far, they are still alive.

{fingers crossed}

40 something!

41 wasn't nearly as stinging as the big 4-0. my day was as close to perfect as a birthday can get. i'm pretty sure it rained for 24 hours; the makings of a perfect low key, lazy, cozy day. many years ago, before children, jeff forgot my birthday. it scared the poor fella forever. since then, he goes overboard on birthdays. he took the day off,  after the kids were off to school we slept in, met my mother for lunch, did some antique / home goods shopping and ended the day with a movie night... with my four favorite people... perfect! 

anna katherine made a delicious gluten free  red velvet  (four layer) birthday cake. that's milk chocolate on top.

mary claire greeted me at 6am with gf birthday pancakes. she couldn't reach the candles so she used matches. 
too adorable/memorable not to photograph! 

i finally got a v-i-t-a-m-i-x!
 ~ woo-hoo ~ 
i spent part of the weekend baking and figuring out this fancy blender.  hilarious that the video refers to vitamix owners as a community... and using them a way of life. personally i loved the word 'horsepower' :) i can't wait to try fresh peanut butter! 

skimpy on the birthday pictures. the rain and promise that i could pick the movie had me eager to get in my pajamas!  
100+ happy birthday facebooks messages, phone calls, emails and happy mail... really makes you feel special. thank you!

the keltner girls sent over a slice of their creativity. who can compete? a beautiful monogrammed scarf, which anna katherine also loved!

and this cool play dough! 
when i finish soothing my creative beast... i can eat it!
{it's gluten free... and smells delicious}
homemade gifts... love!

mary claire bombarded her mother with cards. 
bennett, knowing my relationship with car keys, made  a beautiful key holder in ceramic class. 
yes, he takes ceramics, loves it and has an A+.
anna katherine, whose love language is gifts, is known for her incredibly thoughtful presents. i will cherish this forever! i read the 41 reasons i'm loved at least a dozen times. 

and i'm framing this one!
(i'm always right)

41... i know you're going to be great!

bask in thanksgiving

i interrupt this blog to share some earth rattling news... in the teen world anyway. anna katherine had her cell phone taken away at school for two weeks.  (i loved the way she stressed two weeks) it was partly my fault. i texted her 10 minutes before dismissal with a carpool change. it dinged in her gym bag and school policy is all phones must be turned off. obviously hers was not and a rule is a rule. after class a couple kids said, "anna katherine, you shouldn't have said it was yours, she never would have known!"  but she did, rightfully so and accepted the consequences.

who knew a confiscated cell phone could bring such a parenting blessing. day later we received this note:

be still my heart.  
this is it! 
and it's certified in writing.

one of those rare blissful parenting moments when we experience a twinge of success. i had forgotten how they feel!

"no area of your life can make you feel more like a success when everything is going well. 
no area of your life can make you feel more like a failure when things go wrong."

 when raising two teenagers, the moments of parenting failure seem to fly at you with record force. so when an opportunity comes along (even ever so briefly), when we see fruits of our labor... we will bask in thanksgiving
 for prayers being answered!

now if i could only get a teeny tiny letter, a post it note would do, concerning math achievement...
 that would be divine. 

ordinary day

"Oh, the ordinary day, let me be aware of the treasure you are.

Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow. 

Let me be grateful while I may, for it may not always be so.

 One day I shall fall upon my knees, or bury my face in the pillow, 
or lie among the sick, or raise my hands to the sky and want,
 more than all the world, your return." 
Mary Jean Iron


last tuesday my son wore shorts to school. 
we turned on the air condition.
i exercised in shorts and poured buckets of sweat!
and mary claire wanted to play outside in the water hose.

four days later... it snowed in south carolina. 
{crazy i tell you}
it wasn't a nemo size storm, but we were able to scrape up enough 'winter-mix'  for a modest snowman.

sunday morning i snapped a few wintery pictures... 
and by lunchtime most of it was gone.

harlem shake

what an incredible couple of days with these sweet girls. saturday night it snowed and the girls headed home from church activities a couple hours early... and pulled out the dress up box, video camera, ipod and created own entertainment. 

 seems the harlem shake is all the rage!

and yes, that is my husband. and no, it didn't take a lot of begging to get him to take part in their video!

happy-ish friday!

a little happy and a little ish

we are gearing up for an exciting next couple of days. it's discipleship now (DNOW) weekend and we will be hosting half of the middle school girls. i love spending time with this sweet group and the college leaders. stay tuned ;)

a few pictures from our valentine week. jeff and i postponed our date night so i could photograph a valentine's day wedding. which was so sweet... and red!

  thursday morning mary claire couldn't wait to get to school.  

out the door she ran, ready for her valentine's party.

i could tell from the carpool line something was up with my little one. she was as pale as a ghost. once in the car she told me all about her party and how she threw up twice and how she didn't want to call home because the party was at the end of the day. insert a look of terror; eighteen other children being exposed. so she will be leaving the house this weekend.

i do love how they want to stay so close to mom when they are sick! making her a bed on my floor while i worked.
 and our pillow pet looking cat... 
he has an injured foot and wants to stay close to mary claire. but all other humans ~ need to stay away. 
#hateful cat
a tramp dog from disney.
i {heart} getting valentine's.

our girls in action director, celeste, is the most thought person ever! i receive a hand written card from her every holiday!

anna katherine took lollipops to the entire eighth grade... her sweet love language. mary clare was so in love with her valentines. a $1 box of cat and dog valentine's and she was over the moon. i jazzed up the drinks. #couldn'tresist!

we re purposed a 99¢ christams cake pop set into a valentine craft.

fun... but not the prettiest!

kuddos to bennett! for his sat scores and a letter from our state senator!  jeff and i often comment on how he is such a neat kid! he wrote our state senator a letter concerning gun control and our senator responded! #hehasmyvote

last but not least, i'm sporting a broken ring finger. i tripped over the dog on my studio stairs. i did a gymnastics move that gabby douglas couldn't recreate... i bruised all kinds of things (thankfully it was dark.) end result was a terrified wiener dog, a broken table and ring finger. thinking it was just a sprain, i postponed the doctor. until a lady told me how broken fingers can turn into "trigger fingers" that do not move (???) my son would be beyond impressed if his mom's finger was permanently shaped like a trigger... however i didn't like the sound of it. so, i'm glad i made the appointment ;) no trigger finger for me!

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