Thursday, July 29, 2010

Heart Matters

Libby: Guuueeessss what, Mommy!

Me: What?

Libby: Guess who's in my heart?

I immediately dropped the laundry I was folding. She had my full attention.

Me: (expectantly) Who?

Libby: Jesus!

Me: Really? How do you know?

Libby: I think I can feel his foot kicking me right here! (pointing to her tummy).

I think the details of pregnancy and salvation may have gotten a little mixed up.

Before I could go into my well-rehearsed talk of coming to an understanding of her need for a Savior, she yelled,


Then she and Annie were on to practicing handstands against the wall...

The moment had passed, but it made me more aware of her excitement of who Jesus is. At least she gets that Him being in her heart would be thrilling?!?!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Happy Birthday Libby!

We now have a four year old. I just can't believe it! Four year olds seem like big kids...and that's exactly what she is! We celebrated Libby's big day with a Mermaid party on Saturday night with our family and friends.

With the unbearable heat, the only way to have an outdoor birthday bash in July was to just add water! The thought of a pool party made me a little nervous with all the little ones, so we thought a water slide would be perfect. It was so much fun and the kids really LOVED it!

Libby was so thrilled to celebrate with all of her buds and the adults enjoyed watching the kids slip and slide around "WipeOut"-style!

We grilled hot dogs and munched on watermelon, "Mermaid Mix" (oyster crackers and goldfish crackers), chips and dip and went through three gallons of Grams' recipe lemonade.

The kids wore themselves out going up and down the Aqua Tunnel we rented for the day. The stairs in the back of the slide didn't get used much. They preferred going up the slide (why do all kids love going up a slide???) and then throwing themselves down. The "one slider at a time" rule also went out the window. They rolled down in groups and then dog piled in the water at the bottom. There were a few collisions, but thankfully no one got hurt!

There were a few non-sliders in the group and thankfully the bubble bin was a hit with them! I snagged this bubble recipe from the Learning Express Toy Store.

It was so easy and made enough to make bubbles all evening. And I found the giant wands at Target in the dollar aisle. Score!

The mermaid cake...

I baked the "rock" in a Pyrex batter bowl and stuck a doll pick in the top. Her tail and the blue water is piped with a star tip and then I stuck some chocolate shells and royal icing flowers around her. Brown sugar makes the perfect "sand"! I was a little stumped on what to put on I wanted to make her a modest bathing suit, but Dusty said she ended up looking a little like a bachelor party cake. I'm hoping the overall look was ok and none of our little guests went home with any questions about our mermaid :) We also had cupcakes topped with more sugar sand and chocolate shells.

Towards the end of the evening, some of us big kids had to get in on the action. The kids thought it was so funny to see Mommies and Daddies on the water slide. The dads began to throw the kids down the slides.

Go Uncle Marty!

I was so proud of the birthday girl. She was so sweet to her friends and thanked everyone for her gifts and for coming to her mermaid party. It was a fun night.

On Monday (her actual birthday) Dusty took off work and we enjoyed the day as a family.

She was tickled by her birthday biscuit!

We all got to enjoy lunch out and a suprise ice cream sundae! Lucky girl.

We ended the birthday celebration by making snow cones that night. We broke in Libby's new Snoopy Snow Cone Maker that she got for her birthday. I had one when I was little and it was fun to make them for the girls!

It seems like yesterday that she was a tiny little bundle...

But I'm thankful for this new stage and new age.

I love this sweet girl and can't really remember life before she was with us. She is beautiful, creative, funny and smart and she is my best little friend!

Happy Birthday, Libby Tate!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Playing in the Dirt

Yesterday, the girls helped me pot some plants. I realize July is not really the time to do this, but I have had to make up for forgetting to water my previous flowers and plants before we went out of town last week. Oops! This just proves that I don't deserve to have a real garden like Poppa's! I have never had much luck with tending plants, but in the last few years I've managed to keep some simple potted cypress tress, english ivy, herbs and impatiens alive.

I love to look at them but obviously don't love to remember to water them.

We made a trip to Blooming Colors (and resisted the urge to eat at their fabulous farmer's market cafe, Crepe Myrtle-DELISH!) and they told me exactly what I needed to plant to undo my gardening blunders.

While Dusty and I were on our cruise, my Mom and the girls had planted some red impatiens on the deck. After last week, they were unrecognizable. We replaced the sad droopy remains with some pretty pink Vinca that the lady at the store swore I wouldn't be able to kill. The girls loved scooping the soil into the pot. Libby would then "tuck them into bed" by patting down the dirt around the base of the plant. Both took turns watering them in.

I would have normally already had herbs planted for the summer (so that we could eat them!), but just I just haven't gotten around to it yet. While we were already dirty, I plopped some basil and italian flat leaf parsley in a few pots. My rosemary and chives somehow survived from last year, so we fluffed them up and gave them some new "pretty dirt", as Libby put it.

The ivy that I have enjoyed next to my front door finally succumbed to the blazing sun (and again, MAYBE my lack of watering) so we swapped it out for some Asian Jasmine. I've heard it turns a reddish color in the fall. As long as it doesn't turn brown, I'll be happy :)

As I was finishing up, I could hear squeals and giggles coming from behind the deck. As I rounded the corner, this is what I saw...

We were already filthy, so I let them enjoy!

This part was probably more fun than my horticulture lesson anyway...

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Extended Atlanta "Staycation"

I have taken a little blog vacation (as so many seem to do) but I am blaming it on my "staycation". We loaded up the fam last Friday for a weekend at my parent's house. On Saturday, Dusty was going over his travel plans for this week and we realized he would be gone more than he would be home. Not wanting to go solo with the kids for so long, we decided he would leave us in Roswell for a few more days. It worked out great!!!

On Saturday, I had a great time at Courtney's baby shower. I got to spend a lovely afternoon with all these Zeta girls!

We were missing a couple of faces, but it was great to catch up and celebrate Courtney's baby due in September!
It is always such a treat for me to get to see this group. We all pledged the same year and lived on the sorority hall together as sophomores. The pose above has not changed much since Crush Parties and formals :)

So, of course, personal trainers look fabulous even when pregnant and Courtney was no exception. She will be the kind that will walk out of the hospital holding her baby in her pre-pregnancy jeans. I just cannot relate...
Brandi couldn't get enough of the baby belly!

It's so much fun to catch up with these fun girls. There were even brave enough to do dinner with me plus Libby and Annie a few nights later. Haley, thanks for entertaining them so that I could eat my enchiladas - you're a natural! They didn't even seem fazed by the million broken tortilla chips that ended up under our table. Libby thought she was so cool getting to eat dinner out with, as she put it, "all those pretty big girls". Just to clarify, she did not mean "pretty big" just "pretty" and "OLDER than her"!

Before Dusty left, he and I were able to find and order two of these for the the bonus room!

They fold out into twin beds! We have realized sleeper chairs are really hard to find, but we liked these -and their price- so we jumped on them! We are working to expand Hotel Garnett since football season is just coming up soon. What do you think?

I also got to spend time with my sweet cousin Taylor on Monday night! We made pizza and probably covered every topic since the last time we had gotten together. I got to hear about her amazing trip to India and we also debriefed on more important things like So You Think You Can Dance :) I treasure cousin time and can't wait to do it again soon!

We took advantage of having a few days to go to our favorite Atlanta/Roswell hot spots. My mom had to work during the day, so I would pack up the girls and hit the town! Neither of them are obviously at an age that they really like to shop (that day will come!) so I tried to think of stores and places that they would enjoy. Our day started at The American Girl Store. Oh, I am in love! We only window shopped, but had a great time looking at all the doll displays. It's like a little museum! We have told Libby she can get one when she turns five, so she spent her time deciding which doll she would a year. We think Kit is it. Isn't she precious?

We also found the greatest toy store! Learning Express is in the shops near Northpoint Mall. They have so many of the items on display for kids to play with right there in the store and the girls had a blast! They even had a bin of Crocs for half off so Annie is now sporting a new pair of turquoise "Soos"!

And because it's a local tradition, we just had to make a trip to the Varsity. Hot dogs and a Varsity Orange were in order. Libby loved the orange drink and asked me "Mom, how do they make this? What's in it?" I just couldn't tell her it has no nutritional value and would probably rot our teeth. It was delicious and I just didn't care!

"Whata ya have, whata ya have???"

In the three days we had, we rode the carousel at Northpoint, marveled at all the princesses at the Disney Store, went up to the North Georgia outlet mall (the girls just had to withstand the PotteryBarn outlet - yum), had fun on an indoor "soft" playgroud, visited Grandmama at her gym and hit up several craft stores in town getting ready for Libby's birthday party next week. We also found the perfect topper for her cake. More on that soon!
We came across these little visors for $1.99 at Michael's. I wish I had bought them in every animal! They are pretty darn cute and will come in handy on sunny days at the park.

Poor things, I probably thought our little outings were more fun than they did. But it did wear them out to traipse around my hometown. Here is what 2:00 looked like every day.

Best of all, we got to spend time with Mom and Melanie. There is always lots of laughs and it was so nice to have help with feeding and bathing kids in the evenings. We were also treated to Mom's yummy home cooked meals and I must share a glimpse at this one...

Yes, that's a cast iron skillet.
Yes, she served that chicken over creamy polenta.
And yes, those are feta stuffed olives.
How Provincial!
I love my Mom.

Back at home now and looking at some tall grass and lots of weeds that will need to be pulled this weekend. Thankful for our little get away! Looking forward to having Dusty home and relaxing!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Poppa's Garden and other Fourth Fun

We had a really fun weekend celebrating the Fourth of July! We headed up to Hartselle on Friday night in time to have dinner with Grams and Poppa. The next morning, Poppa took us all out to see his garden!

They planted all sorts of goodies this year and he let the girls come and help him pick.

Farmer Poppa and his Silver Queen corn.

What a teachable moment for Libby. She thought it was amazing that she could pull food right off of a vine!

I was equally intrigued with their sweet little garden and I'm now trying to talk Dusty into helping me do one next year. This from the girl who can't seem to remember to water her potted impatiens out on my deck! Then again, you can't eat impatiens...

The rest of the day was spent at Dusty's aunt and uncle's house on Smith Lake. Our family, along with 50 other Garnetts celebrated Independence Day (a day early) with beautiful weather, pit cooked barbecue, and homemade ice cream. There are SO many cousins on Dusty's side of the family and the girls had a blast playing with all these built-in friends! It was both of their first times swimming in the lake. They did great and jumped right in. I even conquered my fear of lurking snakes and other lake creatures and joined them!

Beth and Jason have a water slide at the the end of their dock and Libby went down in more times than I can count.

Now REPEAT a least a hundred times!

She also LOVED the water trampoline.

Annie was a little more laid back. She wore a life jacket for the first time and I couldn't get over how very cute she looked floating around in it!

Dusty took out the jet ski a couple of times and Libby had a meltdown thinking he was leaving forever on "that little boat-y thing"!

We came back to Auburn and spent Monday at home and Dusty was off work - yea! We took lunch to the pool and enjoyed swimming at the AU Club.

Having Dusty with us at the pool is SO much easier and less stressful for Mom. I love having another set of eyes so I'm not having to watch like a hawk while they swim. Plus, Daddy is so much better at things like this...

So can you guess what we cooked up for dinner that night?

All of the yummy fresh picked veggies!

Poppa and Grams were good enough to share this crop with us. To go along with the whole chicken that Dusty smoked, we made fried okra, creamed corn, peach cobbler and, for the first time ever...

Fried green tomatoes!

Oh, mercy. They were good. I used this recipe that calls for dredging them in saltine cracker crumbs and now I'm a believer. They were crunchy and downright addictive. Dusty even whipped up a dipping sauce (because he believes everything is better with a sauce and I tend to agree with him) and they were oh so yummy topped with his creamy, spicy concoction. We hardly ever fry anything, but it was fun to be in the kitchen together and put those fresh veggies to good use.

It was a great weekend, spent with our great family, celebrating a great country!