Tuesday, July 29, 2008

I Can See Clearly Now ...

So, when Torrey was in 1st grade, we got a call from the school nurse saying that Torrey had failed the eye exam and needed to get her eyes checked. When I went to pick her up that day, I went to visit the nurse to tell her that I really thought her eyes were fine because, after all, I AM her mother and wouldn't I know if she couldn't see?! She semi-sweetly slid a paper across the desk to me to have me have it signed by the optometrist after we had her eyes checked ... nice! So, I take her to the eye doctor, confident that we are coming out of there with the paper signed and without glasses ... and guess what?! She couldn't see the big E. Did I feel like a schmuck that day. I'm sure that nurse framed that paper when I brought it back to her and informed her that she was right!

Fast forward 7 years and Torrey still can't see the big E. We went to the eye doctor yesterday and she came out in contacts ... GASP! I thought we would have to order them, but evidently that isn't how he does it. She was thrilled ... and I couldn't believe it when she got them in and out of her eyes in 20 minutes! She also picked out a new pair of glasses, and I must say they are quite hip. She told me that this was the first time she could see her glasses before she went back to pick them up ... she told me she always had to rely on my judgement. And, then she said something about that not always being the best thing. What?!

All that to say this ... our girl is growing up!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Guess What?! ... We Are Home!

We made it back to Texas safely last night. Our plane was delayed because of a thunderstorm, but we are home now. Zack was thrilled with our arrival ... Dean was pretty tickled to have us home too! Torrey loves her new room ... we have to finish it up and then I will post pictures. Right now half of her stuff is in the guest room and she wanted to know if she could leave it in there because her room is so clean ... um, NO! My craft room desk was pretty much finished today ... Dean just has to put on knobs (and put up shelves ... I think they will come at a much later weekend!)

Our trip to Savannah was so fun. We laughed and laughed. Jen made up a ton of rules that she thought we would follow since she wrote them down in an "official" rule book. The city is beautiful. So Old South. We walked everywhere. The little parks were so gorgeous. Definitely worth a trip back. We toured an old house. It was actually the site of the murder in the movie "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil" ... I watched it a long time ago when Linda and Paul visited, but I was on cold medicine and it was Mikie and Jess' first date so we spent part of the movie peeking out the window at them (don't worry ... we confessed our sins to them the night before they got married ... I think they forgave us!) The tour guide was crankity and really didn't go into it about the murder ... but, it was interesting. All in all it was fun. Jen gets to pick next ... maybe Scranton so we can hear Scrantonicity II (for all our Office friends!)

I will post more pictures later and more funny tales about our fun. I really need to clean out the guest room ... I might need another vacation when that job is done!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

All Paula ... All Day!

The theme of yesterday was "All Paula All Day". We took a "P. D. tour" ... which turned out to be a 3 hour tour of her local haunts. Which to be exact are 2 produce stands, a bakery and a cookie store. We did not see "her", but we did stalk her son on the street ... or rather our tour guide did. We became convinced she has to stay 200 feet from them at all times! After the tour we came back to the room and then decided to go on another tour ... this one about the history of Savannah. It was good ... and cheap ... we did not stop at any historic produce stands! After that we came back to the room to rest until dinner. They left me (I was taking a nap) to go have hor'doerves and while they were gone 3 women peeked in our window ... really! I woke up to 3 women with their hands on the glass peering in at me. I did the only thing I could do. Wave. We ate at P.D's restaurant ... Jen had the chicken pot pie and the rest of us had the buffet because we wanted to try her fried chicken. It was good. We of course ate too much. Good thing we walked there ... we were able to walk off our dinner (somewhat!) We are about to go to breakfast and then we are going on a house tour and then we are going to lunch at Mrs. Wilkes (I think named after Melanie on Gone With the Wind) because we have heard they have a yummy fried chicken there. After that we are going shopping on the riverfront and then to the beach. Another full day ... I am already ready for a nap. But, today I will close the blinds first!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

We're in Savannah, Ya'll!

No pictures right now ... I haven't uploaded them and mom and Jen are still sleeping. But, not for long ... because today it is all Paula Deen all day! We are going to head over for breakfast at 8 and then the tour company picks us up for the "Paula Deen Tour" at 8:45. We have reservations for The Lady and Sons tonight at 6:30. Full day.

Our hotel is beautiful. It is an old house (hence the name ... The Eliza Thompson House) on one of the most beautiful streets. When we pulled up and were getting out of the car, the bellman came out and asked us if we were checking in and if our name was Townsend. Jen and I looked at each other and looked at him and said "Are you Kevin?" ... and HE WAS! Not a lucky guess on our part ... we had read the reviews and everyone said how fantastic Kevin was. He gave us a quick tour of the house and then showed us our room. We are on the ground floor in what would have been the maids quarters. (BTW, the house was built in 1847). We spent some time walking the amazing streets, getting lost (sorry ... I forgot the map on the bed!) and finding somewhere to eat. We ate at City MarketPlace and then went to Leopold's for ice cream ... Mom had heard it was the best ice cream in Savannah. It was good ... but, I am partial to Blue Bell (does that make me a true Texan?!)

The sleepy heads are up so I guess we are off for a day of fun ... more tonight!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Several Days Fun (in one convenient blog entry!)

So, I haven't blogged in 3 days (here is where you say, thanks for stating the obvious!) ... maybe it was because we did so much in our first 8 hours I was exhausted! We have done a lot since then too ... our days have been full of fun.

Friday morning my Dad and I took the 3 kids to the pool for about an hour (Jen had to work the night before). We came home for lunch and naps and while the kids were taking much needed naps, I met Jen for ...
Starbucks and pedicures (the perfect combination!) Ironically, the girls doing our pedicures were quick to let us know that Starbucks was not a good value for the money ... and a pedicure is?!

We went back to my mom and dad's and hung around until Steve got off work to meet him at ...
Tijuana Flats for dinner. They have the best chips ever! If only they would open one in Houston!
The one we went to has a big covered patio, so we sat outside. It was fun ... and delicious!

We went back to Jen and Ryan's to spend the night ... and, they got ready for their yard sale in the morning. The kids had fun helping ... although I think Carly was doing more shopping than helping! The kids played in the afternoon and we took naps (ahhhh!). Mom, dad, and Steve came over for dinner. After dinner, Jen and I took Carly and the yard sale money to Walmart to buy Carly a new ...

bike! We tried out just about every bike they had ... which meant we had to take them down off the racks (sorry for the mess Walmart guys!) She found the one she liked and has already taken it out for a spin.

After church today we went back to my parents for lunch. My dad made the yummiest grilled chicken and my mom made a coconut cake. After lunch we all went swimming and then came back to Jen and Ryan's. Jen and I watched "First Knight" which is about King Arthur's court and Camelot ... which evidently is not a true story. That was a big disappointment to me ... all this time I thought that the knights of the round table were an actual part of history. Go figure!

Tomorrow morning begins the trek to Savannah. I am sure the car ride will be six hours of fun. We are going on the "Paula Deen" tour on Tuesday ... Jen and I just read the information a little more carefully and it said we will be visiting her favorite shops. Great. She's a chef ... does that mean we are going to Kroger?

Until tomorrow!

There's Something About Carly ...

I learned something new about Carly that I didn't know before this visit. Well, I had seen it before, but this trip it has been glaringly obvious. Girlfriend has a servant's heart. Maybe that should be servant in all capital letters. We have been staying at Jen's the past few nights and she has played the perfect hostess. She has given up her room without a fuss (perhaps that could be because she is sleeping with Torrey in the other room!) and the first night while I was on the phone with Dean, she brought me 3 candies and then turned on some music for me. She came back later to set the clock for me ... she offered to set it for 6:11, but was happy to reset it for 8:11 when I screamed "It's Saturday!" And, when I wasn't out of bed at 8:11, she came back to see what was the matter. She offered me her favorite pillow also. She has offered me water and has generally been ready to grant my any wish. We have joked that I am getting her ready to open a B&B, but I so love to see her sweet heart and to catch a glimpse into the person she will one day become. And, I must say ... she is just like her Mom! Oh, how I love her!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

First Day Fun

We have been in Tampa for less than 12 hours and I am already exhausted! We got to my parents around 12ish and we have been busy busy busy. Fortunately I had the forethought to take a short nap before Ben and Carly arrived and the fun really started!
Obviously my dad reads my blog because it is our first night and he made chicken and dumplings. Torrey was walking by as he was getting the dough ready and wanted to help and since she was helping Carly wanted to help ... Ben came along too, but his eyes were closed in that picture! The dumplings were delicious ... so worth the 2 hour flight sitting next to the farting man!
The kids all love this oversized chair ... it isn't uncommon to find them all sitting in it at once!
After dinner (and after making crafts and playing and laughing and playing outside ... need I go on?!) my dad and I took the kids to the pool. They had a blast swimming together. The jumped in together, dove for dive sticks, jumped over each other and practiced their flips. They would have stayed all night, but the pool was closing and we were about to get kicked out. But, just as we were leaving they found this ....
a most disgusting frog! They were thrilled with their discovery. Carly asked what she should do with it when it was time for us to leave, and I wanted to say, "Um, give it a funeral", because the frog was two degrees past dead ... but, we had her put it in the bushes instead. She is braver than me!
We ran home for dry clothes and then were off again to go to Sonic for shakes (FYI, Carly told us the caramel shake is "AWESOME!" and Grammy and Torrey said she was right), slushies, smoothies, tater tots and mozzarella sticks. You got to love that place! For our friends in the North who don't have Sonic (or Chick Fil A ... how DO you live up there?!) you don't know what you are missing!

And so ends our first day. Well, there was a hilarious Mad Lib reading when we got home ... perhaps that will be shared in another blog. The kids are in bed (and have been quiet for quite a while ... dare we hope they are asleep?!) but there are big plans for tomorrow ... ice cream cones for breakfast, swimming with the chickens (because they want to get there so early!), a pedicure with Jen, and Tijuana Flats for dinner. Good times. Good times.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Same Song ... Different Verse

So, Torrey and I head out to Florida in the morning and .... you guessed it ... I should be packing! I haven't even taken out the suitcases yet and I really have to pack tonight since we have an early morning flight. Never fear ... I will be packed and in bed at a normal time tonight. Consider it a gift! If only it were an Olympic Sport ... perhaps we could petition the Olympic committee to add "Speed Packing" to the summer games. I think there's time! And now, I must go to pack ...

Is it Wrong that I was Sad?

So on Sunday Torrey and I packed up her American Girl dolls ... forever. She has decided that with the room remodel she doesn't want them up anymore. I avoided the task like the plague because it really made me sad ... my girl isn't a girl anymore. WAAAAAAH! I am so proud of who she is becoming, but I am going to miss those dolls. When in NYC with my sisters a few years ago, I dragged them in the store ... they still tease me about the fact that I paid more for an outfit for a doll than I would for myself! When she was in Second Grade, we took a girls trip to Chicago with our friends the Chevaliers to go to the first American Girl store. The man on the plane couldn't believe we were going all that way for a DOLL STORE ... and we couldn't believe he WASN'T going to the store! Melinda and I couldn't believe our good luck when part way through the day a "personal shopper" discovered us ... I'm thinking the good luck was hers since we bought so much stuff we had to ship it home! And, on Torrey's first trip to NYC, she had Kailey's hair done at the doll salon (oh the insanity!) and ran into a friend from our school in Orlando (ironically enough when I was there with my sisters the year before we ran into a different family from our school in Orlando ... here is where you hum "It's a Small World After All") I knew the day would come and on the advice of my friend Colette, I saved the boxes ... but, I must admit I was a little gloomy that the day was actually here. Later in the day she gave me a gift ... she saved two to put back on her shelf ... I was thrilled! I KNEW she must have figured out how bummed I was about her growing up and she wanted to make it easier for me. If only. Truth is they have dresses that will match her new room color scheme. Oh well ... at least they were saved!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

I KNEW This Would Happen!

So, when I started this blog, I had every good intention to blog on a regular basis. Not every day, but on a regular basis. But, it has been almost a week without a whisper from me ... and why you ask? Well, I will tell you that I have been taking myself too seriously and actually have been stressing a bit over the perfection of my blog. Good grief. I just have to get over myself and know that every blog doesn't need a picture, and it doesn't have to be funny, and it doesn't have to be grammatically correct ... because everyone needs an "ain't" every now and then (and, the word "ain't" with a Texas drawl really is fantastic!) It just has to be me ... warts and all! And so, here are a few of my random thoughts from this past weekend ...

First, I came to the conclusion that school is just around the corner. I didn't need to look at a calendar ... the weird dreams have started. Oh they are fantastic and come every year about this time. The ones where my room isn't ready and suddenly I have kids. Or where I can't remember anyone's names. Or where the kids keep coming and I run out of room in my room ... sort of like how many clowns can you fit in a car thing. Don't worry ... somehow I am always ready for the 1st day and the dreams go away.

Then, I really love our church. Our pastor is leading us in a sermon series through Exodus and has encouraged us to read a book called "The Red Sea Rules". It is preparing us for the move back into our worship center which has been undergoing major renovations since the day after Easter. The countdown clock said on Sunday there were 55 days to go (it also counts down the hours, minutes and seconds ... nothing like letting your construction team know that they are on a time limit!) Our pastor is young (OK, younger than me ... he's like 38), but he has a wisdom beyond his years. Occasionally he steps on our toes ... but he doesn't apologize for it. Refreshing.

We are in the middle of a few renovations in the house. While Torrey and I are in Florida, Dean is going to redo her room (from blue to pink ... which is her signature color!) and he is going to make me a desk for my craft room. Everything started because the part of the doorbell that you push broke so we needed a new doorbell ... that has been installed along with new lights in the movie room. (I will post pictures of everything when everything is done) I am thankful for a husband who knows how to do things and is willing to give in to every whim of his girls!

Then, Torrey and I head out to Florida on Thursday to spend just over a week with my family. My favorite part of the trip is always seeing Ben and Carly's faces when we first get there. Actually, their joy has nothing to do with me ... it is all Torrey. I have never seen 3 kids who play so well together. Our move to Texas was quite a blow to them and we try to make it up to them with lots of visits. We will swim until we are prunes (I have learned the hard way to not tread water in the deep end too near to Carly because she has a tendancy to jump on my back and near drown me!) And watch movies and eat popcorn (they usually stay with us at my parents and more than once my mom and I have looked at the clock in disbelief because it would be after 11 and they would STILL BE UP!) They will eat ice cream cones for breakfast ... my mom's specialty! And, I will drink lots of coffee ... I usually head home with the shakes from drinking so much coffee while I am there! We are looking forward to Tijuana Flats chips (yummy!) and Chicken and Dumplings while we are there. I figured if I put it in my blog and my dad read my blog I would actually get the chicken and dumplings ... I do have a back up plan however ... I make Torrey ask for them!

And, finally, on Monday my mom and two sisters and I jump in a car to go on the "Someone Turned 40 and We Are Going on a Trip Together Somewhere" trip. I am the someone and I got to pick the where and I picked Savannah, Georgia. I thought it just sounded like a girls trip place to go. We are staying in a bed and breakfast for 3 nights and going on the Paula Deen tour (hokey, I know) and then we have no other plans. But, whatever it is we decide to do, it will be fun ... and, there will be rules!

And so there it is ... a new blog entry from me. Might not be too interesting to some, but it is a blog entry none the less! Enjoy the rest of your Tuesday and watch "WipeOut" tonight ... although the hilariousness of the show may be watching it with Torrey!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Actual Sighting in Dallas (I am NOT Making This Up!)

Friends, meet Lance the Lemur. We met Lance at THE RODEO in Mesquite ... I did not know that lemurs were rodeo animals. Anyway, Lance broke his leg when it was slammed in the car door (I wonder if he was driving!) and his leg was in a cast. A blue striped cast (perhaps his owners were trying to make it look like his tail?) And he was wearing a sock. And, posing. Perfect. Only in Texas!

On a side note ... the rodeo in Mesquite was really fun. Jen and Ryan had gone a few years ago with his sister and raved about it. Best part ... mutton bustin'. That's where little kids (under 50 lbs) see how long they can ride a sheep ... most don't make it out of the gate! Again ... only in Texas!

Big Fun in the "Big D"

So, last week, Torrey and I drove to Dallas to spend a long weekend with Melinda, Gretchen and Megan. Megan's volleyball team was participating in the Junior Olympic Volleyball thingy at the convention center ... it was kind of neat because there were several girls on both the 12- and 13-year old teams that went to school with Torrey in Orlando. We stayed at a beautiful hotel in downtown Dallas (The Fairmount) and navigated our way around town (thanks to the Garmin ... we only had to "recalculate" a few times!) Torrey had gotten her braces the day before, so the trip was a good distraction ... because Brother! was she in pain! So, here are a few pictures from the trip ...

When Melinda said we were going to a volleyball competition, I didn't know she meant I was going to a volleyball competition! Fact: the 12 year old team that won the championship could have taken me blindfolded. They were good. We didn't stay to see the 13 year old team championship ... I'm sure they would have beaten me blindfolded AND sitting in a chair!
I always get a little happy to find an allee ... I wish I could figure out a way to plant one in my backyard. Here are Torrey and Gretchen on Day 1 ... I think I might have heard Torrey whisper to Gretchen, "Just smile and get it over with!"
This little cabin is the actual cabin of the first settler of Dallas. The plaque says "Bryan Cabin". It is literally in the middle of downtown. I saw it when I was 12 on my way through Dallas while on a mission trip to Mexico ... I really thought it was in a big grassy field then. Who knows. I will say this ... it was hot this day. I mean really hot. I didn't think it could get any hotter ... and then came Day 2!

One last pose on our way out of town ... I realized we really hadn't taken any pictures of the skyline (we really didn't take that many pictures to begin with!) We were tired and hungry and dreaming of a grand slam from Denny's (OK ... that was me. I had been talking about it since the night before!)

It is always nice to meet up with friends. This wasn't our first "Girl's Weekend" (we did Chicago in 2004) and I'm sure it won't be our last ... we were all sad when it came time to put our sweet friends back on the plane!