Admin Note

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DM #7

Originally posted by drp on Flickr.


DM #5

Originally uploaded by *Autorun*




Ask the Reader: New Music Recs

So, I am in a slight music rut. I love music, but being busier than I used to be has eliminated a lot of my music discovery time. So I turn to the very few of you who read this to ask what I should check out. In order to help you with my musical tastes, I'll provide lists of my most recent favs as well as my all time favorites. I'm limiting this to secular songs, as my husband has no problem helping me find new Christian artists/songs. Don't be afraid to suggest older songs/artists either!

New (to me) Picks
"Sea Green See Blue" by Jaymay
"Sleep" by Azure Ray
"You and I" by Ingrid Michaelson
"I Love the Rain the Most" by Joe Purdy
Shotgun (album) by Tony Lucca

"Nightswimming" by R.E.M.
"Your Song" by Elton John
"American Music" by The Violent Femmes
"Ticket to Ride" & "In My Life" by The Beatles
"Wild Horses" by The Rolling Stones
"Reptila" by The Strokes
"Don't Think Twice" by Bob Dylan
"Fix You" & "Don't Panic" by Coldplay
"Honey & the Moon" by Joseph Arthur

DM #2


Menu Plan Oct. 5-11

Hey, I'm starting a (hopefully) weekly feature. Mostly, it's to give myself some accountability with menu planning, as that seriously saves money with the grocery shopping. I'm not deluded enough to believe that most of you reading this will actually want to know what we're eating for dinner! Also, you may note that it is Wednesday, not Monday. What can I say? I just decided to do this. We eat pretty simply around here, for the most part.

Monday: spaghetti with meat sauce (ground turkey instead of beef)
Tuesday: chocolate chip pancakes with eggs and sausage (boys had a salad as well)
Wednesday: boiled shrimp, french fries, carrot sticks
Thursday: hot dogs, mac n cheese, broccoli
Friday: BBQ chicken legs, rice, green peas
Saturday: chili with cornbread, salad
Sunday: grilled cheese with chicken noodle soup, pineapple

Daily Mood

Orange mood
Originally uploaded by Pensiero


The Boy

Last Thursday was my husband's birthday. I told him that I was going to blog about him, and then I promptly did not follow through. Well, after the events of this weekend, I decided that he really did deserve his very own blog.

This weekend, Kenn did a family reunion gig at the G-Ville Hilton. On Friday night, he did some strolling magic, meaning that he walked around from table to table doing some magic meant for close up. However, on Saturday night, which I was able to attend, he was booked to perform his full evening show. I had not seen the full show yet, so I was very excited to see his performance.

It is an emotional experience to see the person you love best on the earth do what he loves best. I was so proud of him I teared up a couple of times. He was so happy on stage, so confident and assured. I love him a little bit more after Saturday night, and, in honor of his birthday and fantastic show, I am going to present a top ten list of my favorite things about Kenn Ball.

10. His hip hop dancing

9. The way he laughs when he is laughing really hard

8. His willingness to talk in our special dialect

7. The fact that he was my first Lost friend

6. The way he wants to make sure the boys have tons of fun memories from their childhood

5. His singing to me -- whether it's full versions of country songs that I didn't ask for or songs that he makes up when I go to sleep, he will pretty much always sing to me

4. The way he plays Bible, Disney, and magic trivia with Josh & Caleb

3. That he is WAY better at decluttering and picking up the house than I am. I'm the better cleaner, but he makes sure the house isn't messy.

2. That he has the same spiritual AND political views as I do. That's not all that easy to find around here.

1. That we are each other's best friend. I can always talk to him, about anything.

Happy belated birthday blog post, babe. Love you!


More Things I Want

I don't know what my problem is, you guys. I cannot get it together to post regularly. Sorry. Whatever's going on that keeps me from posting regularly has not kept me from browser window shopping. Here is a list of the current faves in the "I want that" category.

1. Charley Harper: An Illustrated Life- This book is so pretty. I love his illustrations, particularly his birds. And this coffee table book comes with tons of full page size prints, so whenever we have a baby (NOT pregnant, NOT trying), I'm stealing Dooce's idea and using them to decorate the nursery.
2.These earrings - So cute and silver.
3. This wall organizer - No, it doesn't organize your actual wall. It hangs on your wall, and I can organize so many odds and ends with it. Like my passport. And spare keys.
4. This umbrella - Now, I never actually carry an umbrella, so why I feel as though I need one that is $65 is beyond me. But it is adorable. Perhaps more so than the Old Navy one that sat on the top of my blog forever. Speaking of Old Navy...
5. This scarf - I'm not even sure about how I feel about summer scarves, but I feel as though this would add pizzazz to my rather lackluster wardrobe. Also, pretty.
6. This bedding set - So we've only been married a little over a year, and I'm already kind of bored with our bedding. Kenn probably does not enjoy this. Of course, I'm not planning on actually replacing it, but I would love this set if we suddenly came into a windfall of cash.



Three Books I've Read Recently
  1. Columbine by Dave Cullen
  2. Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane
  3. The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets by Eva Rice

Three Movies I've Seen Recently

  1. Star Trek (yes, the new one)
  2. What Happens in Vegas (I didn't say they were good movies!)
  3. RENT (Filmed Live on Broadway) (not technically a movie, but I saw it on a DVD)

Three Things I've Gotten for Free

  1. 20 bottles of 10 calorie Vitamin Water
  2. a set of 4 photo coasters for my grandmother's Mother's Day present
  3. 1 Schick Intuition razor

Three Words To Describe Me

  1. awesome
  2. legendary
  3. humble


More Vacation Photos

First Family Vacation

A couple of weeks ago, we went on our first vacation as a family. Though I'm pretty late with the write up, I figure late is better than never. Besides, my friend recently lovingly told me that she was tired of looking at the umbrella.

For a couple of reasons, we ended up only taking a two day trip (well, we drove home the third day). We went to Pigeon Forge, TN, because the boys had never been to Dollywood, and they love amusement parks. So we set out the Wednesday of their spring break probably after 10:30. We stopped at a neat little restaurant in Hendersonville, NC called Harry & Piggy's. It's one of those mom and pop restaurants that has memorabilia literally everywhere. Nothing is better to kids.

As you can see, they even had memorabilia outside the restaurant. And rides inside (well, one ride).

We got to Dollywood a little after 3 p.m. Just a little tip, if you buy a day's ticket to Dollywood and don't enter the park until 3 p.m., you get to come back the entire next day. So, ultimately, you get a day and a half. Kenn and Josh took off ahead of Caleb and me because the first two rides we would hit, Caleb couldn't ride. So we caught up with each other after Josh & Kenn had riden the Thunderhead and Timber Tower. Caleb got to play on a little playground while we waited for the big boys to get off the Mystery Mine roller coaster.

After the boys pulled their body weight up a big pole (Lumberjack Lifts), we all finally rode something together. River Battle is a water attraction where you ride on a boat. Each passenger has a water gun of sorts to shoot at bystanders. Catch is, they also have water guns, and theirs reach farther. Also, it is a law of human nature that attacking perfect strangers with copious amounts of water is delightful and irresistible. We came off the ride soaked. Luckily, Dollywood had a family sized dryer closet that you could use for $3. It was like being surrounded with hair dryers, and it was a cool day, so the heat was quite welcome.

Kenn took the boys on the roller coaster that Caleb could actually ride (well, that wasn't a kiddie coaster). It was 6 or a little after at this point, so we headed to exit the park because we had something other plans for the evening. On the way, we stopped to watch an employee make some pottery. She was really sweet to the boys, and they walked away with a lump of clay each other. Josh made a candle holder out of his.

We grabbed a quick dinner and headed down the main strip to see Terry Evanswood, a magician, perform. He has his own theater, and for my magician husband, it was like paradise to see posters of Houdini, Blackstone, Thurston, & Kellar. The show was wonderful, and there wasn't anything I felt was inappropriate for the boys. You could take pictures during the show, and later Evanswood sat down front for everyone to go take a picture with him.

After the great show (seriously, I recommend it), we finally checked into the hotel. It was after 11 by this point, and I knew there was a Krispy Kreme right down the road. I thought the boys would be delighted with doughnuts after 11. Alas, they were closed, so we just got some snacks at a gas station, which actually had doughnuts. Even then, Josh was really excited. He said, "We went to Dollywood, saw a magic show, and now we're eating doughnuts at 11 at night!" Later, he said it was one of the best days of his life.

We went back to the hotel and slept on the HARDEST beds ever. Sincerely, I have never felt a harder mattress. Kenn and I woke up to this sweet sight though.

Even though Dollywood didn't open until 10, we ate breakfast and were in the park by 9:45. We went to see Imagine, a special show running during their Festival of Nations, which was like Cirque du Soleil. After that, we basically rode everything in the park that we wanted to ride. We even saw another little show, and both Josh & Caleb were in it!

We stayed until closing, eating lunch in the park. We rested for a bit at the hotel then ate dinner at Wendy's. Everyone was tired, so we didn't have a really late night. Next morning, we packed up, ate our free continental breakfast, checked out, and headed home.

Of course, this was the weather on the way home. The entire way home.


Product Crush #2

I so want this umbrella from Old Navy. I wouldn't even lose it like I've lost every other umbrella I've ever owned.