Thursday, June 29, 2006

A Day At The Beach

P and G joined other MOMS at the beach at Red Top Mountain State Park today. The water was very shallow, so P could relax a little, and it was very warm. The two of us, and later G's friend Thomas joined in, played water baseball (did you think we could not play baseball?) even though the fish tried to eat the ball every time it landed in the water. It was hot, but not too hot, and a good portion of the beach was shaded, although we stayed in the water the whole time.

Later, after we went to Wild Horse Park to feed the ducks and geese, Chip was sick in all kinds of ways. The bug he had at the beginning of the week must never have gone completely away, which is fantastic with all of the people coming in to town this weekend and The Race next Tuesday.

Oh yes, we got race numbers! We wrote to the Atlanta Track Club with an explanation of how the post office kept our entry and a photo of us running two weeks before Gabriel was born, and they had pity on us. Now we have enough numbers for P and G, Dad A, Jack, and Mom K. They are so great! Not only do they put on the best event of the whole year, but they also appreciate the runners who are faithful entrants.

Jack and Jen will be here tomorrow (well, today), and Dad, Gail, Mike, and Grandma will be here on Saturday. It will be a fun weekend with lots of eating and lots of exercise. Bring on the barbeque!

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Busy Weekend

On Friday, we had a MOMS Club "Family Night Out" at Skye's house. We all had a great time. Skye's a great hostess. The kids had the time of their lives, running around like crazy and climbing all over Mak's daddy Mark like he was a Wiggle. He was so fun to watch with the kids; you can tell he's a great dad. Here's a picture of Skye, P, and Addie, Owen's new little sister. Yes, I'm holding a baby; no, it did not stir the least desire to have another baby. Sorry.

We spent Saturday doing a little home improvement. We shopped for everything from lighting to bedding and got new linens for the guest room and Chip's room as well as lights for the front porch and dining room. Here is the porch before:

and after:

and the old dining room light:

and the new one:

Today was very special, because Gabriel got to see his oldest friends again. Jonah's birthday party was at one of Atlanta's newest inflatable gyms, and Jake and Zoe were there, too. We missed Jake's party yesterday, but we got to see him today and meet his little brother Charlie for the first time. Patty got to hold him, and he was so sweet! [Sorry, still nothing.] Here is a photo of G, M, Zoe, Jake, Gray, and Gina in the background, along with a little girl we don't know (but who's named Lindsey) on the side:

The other day, we found a great recipe in Woman's Day magazine that we made today. The beef negamaki could not have been easier. Our suggestion is to ask the butcher wherever you buy your meat (we got our at Publix, which is like Busch's for you Michiganders) to slice it for you so you don't have to buy more than you need, nor do you have to slice it yourself. It was one of the best dinners we've ever made. It tasted professional. It's one of the magazine's three-ingredient meals, and now that we have looked at their web site, we will be visiting it often for meal ideas. This recipe isn't on the site yet, but there are lots of other good things to make. Check it out!

On the latest Globe Trekker, Megan visited the southeast United States. She came to Georgia and showed some great stuff, but one of the neatest things we learned was that you can stay overnight at the defunct West Virginia State Penitentiary in Moundsville. Now that would be a unique trip!

Thursday, June 22, 2006


Christopher came over yesterday with his mommy, because they had to drop some things off, but they got to stay for a while. Gabriel needed a little help remember how to be a good host and share his things, but they played well in the end. They even read a book together!

Later, Gabriel played along with Daddy's softball game. In this video, he swings and then throws his bat to run the bases. M is playing first, in the orange shorts. He was a valuable asset to the Intimidators, as they mercied their opponents. P got to keep score this game since Grammie and Pa-Pa were there too, so we all had an extra-great time.

Today we went to The Jump Off, where both Gabriel and P got to jump, slide, and run. Chip's interest in toes is getting stronger; he grabbed a few feet today and noticed others. He has taken to tickling ours when we least expect it. We think it's hilarious.

G found M's old Matchbox cars, so we let him check them out. He absolutely loved them. Unfortunately, they are practically antiques by now, so we will have to put them in storage and get him his own cars.

p.s. To Mom and Dad K: THANK YOU!!!

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Happy Father's Day 2006!

...aka "That'll make a man lecture on May."*

In our household, we don't have holidays. We have holiweekends. Father's Day was no exception. We started on Friday with a trip to REI, dinner at Sweet Tomato's, and a trip to Borders, where we picked up A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian, The Golden Spruce, and Animal Farm. On Saturday, we went to the art museum and to our friend Lisa's birthday dinner at Johnny Carino's ("Hey, what do you want from me?"). Today, we took a guided tour of the Cheatham Hill battlefield, had dinner at O'Charlies with Mom and Dad K, and hung up the porch swing. Well, that wasn't part of the celebration so much, but it certainly deserves celebration - that thing has been sitting on the porch (not swinging above it) for almost a year now.

Probably the most memorable thing about the weekend was the Quilts of Gee's Bend exhibition. This was probably the most important thing we've seen in a long time, in terms of historical significance, artistic merit, and human interest. Many of the women were there to sign autographs, and they were very nice. They signed a poster for us, a book for Mom, and a CD for Dad. Here is a photo of Qunnie (pronounced "Queenie") Pettway, who quilted one of our favorites in the exhibition, and here is a sample of her work.

This is a list of the women who were there: Mary Lee Bendolph, China Pettway, Mensie Lee Pettway, Qunnie Pettway, Mary L. Bennett, Marlene Bennett, Addie Pearl Nicholson, Gloria Hoppins, Geraldine Westbrook, Rita Mae Pettway, Jessie T. Pettway, Loretta Pettway, Arlonzia Pettway, Nettie Young, Mary Ann Pettway, Louisiana Bandolph, Sarah Bennett, Nancy Brown, and Ruth Kennedy. Many of them have the same name because they are descended from slaves who were "owned" by the same person. It was common for slaves to be assigned the last name of their owner. Please take the time to look at the Gee's Bend website. We think that it is a very important thing to know about.

Ironically, the other interesting thing we did was the battlefield tour. First one side of the coin, then the other, we guess. Our guide was dressed as a Confederate soldier, and he arrived (in his van, not on a horse, unfortunately) with some kind of bouncy Confederate Civil War song blaring from his radio. Before we even saw him, we knew who he was. We learned things that we have not been able to figure out for ourselves in previous visits, and it was fascinating. Here is a photo of our fearless leader, er, tour guide (his wife does laundry in the reinactments, by the way):

What's that you say? Where are the pictures of Gabriel? Well, we hear you, and America, we deliver. Here is one of him at Dairy Queen with Grammie and Pa-Pa while we were at Lisa's birthday party:

And here's one from our little hike today:

Finally, here is a video of our little slugger. His baseball skills are pretty amazing, we think, and we might need this video to lend to ESPN one day.

A few things about the video, mostly for Nancy who asks this type of question. On TV is Fantasia, hence the colors shining on Gabriel. The rattan box to the side is our diaper changing kit that usually sits on a shelf of the built-in to the right of the fireplace. The bowl has the rest of his peas from dinner in case he wanted to snack on them. And lastly, he throws his bat like a pro when he is about to run the bases (P asks him, "Do you want to run the bases?" and he nods), which entails running all the way around the wall where our family room couch sits. We are trying to change that, because this is what happened yesterday when he did that:

...and he didn't spill a drop!

If any of you saw the Braves/Red Sox game, you can see why we Atlanta residents are so frustrated this year. But still, what a great game!

*[He actually said, after sipping his bottle of Schug Chardonnay, "That'll make a man like chardonnay."]

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Congratulation, Graduate!

Mad props go to Patty's uncle Bill, who graduated last weekend from Baker College. Summa Cum Laude, can't get any better than that! The whole family is very proud, and none of us have been able to get grades that good! Way to go!!!

Tuesday, June 6, 2006

Camp LeFun!*

*not what the Marines stationed there call it

First things first, Nancy has been found. It turns out that lightning hit close to her house, blowing the internet and phone, and she lost her cell phone. She could have called from someone else's house, but nowadays, who has phone numbers memorized? We decided we couldn't pass judgment because we don't know our own parents' numbers. Anyway, welcome back to the land of the living, Nancy!

Gabriel's only cousin turned one last week, and we want to wish Aiden a very happy birthday! If his grandparents ever decide to send us a current photo, we will post it here so you can all see how cute he is.

We had a great mini-family reunion last weekend at Camp Lejeune with us Georgians, Jack, his gf Jen, Laura, and the Wolfgangs, along with a few friends who live in the area who stopped by. You can see all of the photos here. We had three lodges and a cabana (room on the beach), and Mom and Dad bought out Sam's Club's entire inventory of food, so we had everything we needed right there on the beach. We did spend most of the weekend there, but one night we went down to Myrtle Beach to a really cool place called Broadway at the Beach. It is a huge complex of shops, restaurants, and attractions like an aquarium (which we visited), a magic castle, and a major mini golf course, complete with 30-foot fire-breathing dragon with glowing eyes and huge wings:

We need to mention one funny thing that happened on the way there. We had to stop at a police seatbelt checkpoint. Every car on the highway was being stopped, checked for seatbelts, drivers' licenses, and license plates. When we asked if this was a normal thing, the cop laughed and said, "We do things different up here in the north." We had to laugh at him seeing us as Southerners. Here is a photo of the checkpoint:

We had such a great time on the trip that it was difficult to find the motivation to come home. It also didn't help that they were going crabbing that day at Topsail Island and we were missing the fun. On the way back, we stopped at South of the Border, which is a place that has a giant sombrero marking its location along the highway and a million stupid signs advertising its existence. We had to use the restroom, but that's as far as we got. It was so run-down, and there were no signs indicating what was there or where to find anything, and the one place we went into looked pretty nasty, so we turned tail and drove to Arby's and Taco Bell (both). If we'd looked at the web site first, that would have helped, but as it was, we were a little weirded out by the place. I guess we just didn't get it. We did stop for a brief photo op before we left, though:

Gabriel was great the whole trip back, including a good nap:

When we were getting close to Atlanta, Gabriel started getting antsy, so we gave him the phone. We heard a voice on the phone, so P grabbed it and asked who it was. He had called 88.5, the college station, and after explaining how he had been called, we felt compelled to make a request. P pulled The Red Elvises out of the air and he played it right away, announcing on the air that it had been requested by a two-year-old. This was really interesting for a couple of reasons. First, we happened to be close enough to the city to turn on the radio (it had been off the entire trip) and actually hear the request. Second, that station plays every kind of music, from Radio Madras (Indian music), to Japanese pop, to bluegrass, to kids' music, so we had no idea what kind they were playing at the time. It turns out that the music we requested was exactly what they were playing. We were so amazed.

Gabriel saw his first movie in a theatre today - Curious George. We sat in the very front so he could stretch his legs when he needed to, and he did fantastic. We stayed for the entire thing, and the movie was one of the best animated movies I've ever seen. I laughed out loud many times. It was so neat that the ship was named the "H.A. Rey," after the author of the C.G. books.

After the movie, we sped to the dentist, where they redid one of the fillings from a couple weeks ago. Once again, the gas was verrrrrry enjoyable. I didn't want to get out of the chair. Hopefully, this one will take.

When we got home, Chip wouldn't take a nap but Mommy couldn't stay awake - a combination of the sleep disorder and after-effects of the gas, I suppose - so when I dozed off, Gabriel decided to get creative:

As I write, we are watching The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou. It is very strange, but it's hilarious. We are constantly laughing out loud. There are a lot of subtle and visual jokes. The special effects are not special - they didn't even try to make anything seem realistic, and that's part of what's so funny about this movie. We give it a 53 on our scale of 64 for the comedy genre, and a 50 overall. Worth the watch.

Enjoy the post. We're out.