Friday, July 31, 2009

Bush vs. Obama

This is funny. As someone who lives baseball for 10/12 of the year I can appreciate it even more.

Sean and his new brother

This is Sean with his newest sibling-his five day old little brother, Larry. Martha (their step-mother) told me a couple of days ago that little Larry has become VERY attached to his oldest sibling (Sean) already. Apparently Sean spends a great deal of time snuggling and holding him! I'm not surprised.

(Photo sent to me from Sean)

Monday, July 27, 2009

Brendan and his quad

Sean took this video of Bren riding his 4-wheeler in their back yard (at their dad's house), and he emailed it to me today. This is their favorite thing to do while they are up there (aside from visit Aunt Jodie!!).

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Tony and Heidi

Heidi came over this afternoon, and of course I had to get some pictures of the two of them together. They are so cute. We all went to school together, and after 17 years of being apart they have reconnected (big time!!!).

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Tooth #4

Erin lost her first "big tooth". Before tonight she lost the two bottom middle teeth, and the one just to the left of those. Tonight she lost her left "big tooth" (as she calls them). Now she has a big toothless grin with one missing on the top and the bottom.

A treasure

I meant to post about this a couple of weeks ago, and because I've been so busy I completely forgot.

When my mom was here earlier this month she brought me my great grandmother's cookbook with all of her hand written recipes. Hundreds of treasures just waiting for me to try. The book itself, with over 200 pages of printed recipes, is from 1929, but the real gems to me are the handwritten recipes on individual pieces of paper that are stuffed into the book. While she was here Zaye and I made one of the recipes, an old-fashioned applesauce cake, and it was to die for. In fact, we made it twice in just a couple of days. There are also several recipes that were created by my great grandmother, and I can't wait to try those, too.

For someone like me that loves to bake this is a priceless gift. Thanks mom!!!!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Afternoon fun

Yesterday evening we had seven of the neighborhood kids (Erin and Maddox included) in our yard. They were riding bikes, doing cartwheels, running around, and just having fun. Later in the evening I made a cake, and they all sat out on the sidewalk in front of our house and ate cake. I love that we always have kids over.

I took Erin, her friend Hannah, and Maddox to the YMCA pool again this afternoon. No matter how often we go it's always a treat for them.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Bath time

Erin usually takes a shower, but she wanted to play in the tub with Maddox tonight. They are so cute together, and they have so much fun.

Erin and Hannah

I took Erin and one of her friends to the pool at the YMCA yesterday. They were so cute together.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

A few pictures from the past few days

I'm super busy with school right now, but I wanted to take a minute to just post a few pictures from the past week. Tony has Maddox this week, so we've been spending a lot of evenings together with Erin and Maddox outside in the yard or at one of the parks in our neighborhood.

On the way to the "sand park" in our neighborhood.
Walking through our neighborhood on the way to the park (Tony & Maddox).
Tony and I saw this on the way to the park yesterday, and I was cracking up. He was just sitting there with his upper body stuck out of the top of the fence.
Erin and one of her friends in the neighborhood, Kaley.
THIS makes me crack up!
Tony and Maddox.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Bartender Tony

Tony passed with flying colors, and is officially certified!!!

Tony graduates from bartending school tomorrow. He has worked diligently each night to learn the 130 drinks (type of glass, how it's mixed, the ingredients, amounts, and garnishes), and tomorrow he has his final exam. I have been working with him tonight to make sure that he has everything memorized, and after about an hour he was so tired that he couldn't sit still any longer. This is how he sat (yes, laying on the table!) while he continued telling me about the different drinks.

I know that he's going to do great tomorrow, and he'll likely be bartending by next week.

Congratulations to my girl!

Yesterday Erin was accepted to Carrollwood Day School, and I am so proud of her.

We knew at the completion of her kindergarten year that public school would not be enough for her. They could not keep up with her pace, and in kindergarten alone she completed her K, 1st, and part of 2nd grade curriculum. We love the school that she went to (and Sean and Bren attended for elementary), but in their attempts to "leave no child behind" they just were not able to maintain a pace that kept Erin challenged.

So at the recommendation of her teachers and faculty at her previous school, and a friend of ours (Lars's dad, LT) that is a child psychologist, we took Erin to have an educational analysis and IQ test done by one of the best in this area. The testing, which normally takes 3-4 hours, was finished in two. It was no surprise to find that she is significantly above average for her age.

Having been given the recommendation by teachers, LT, and the educational psychologist, we applied for admission for Erin to attend Carrollwood Day School. We toured the beautiful campus, visited the elementary classrooms, and Erin met with the admissions director, Dawn. Normal procedure calls for Dawn to then meet with an Admissions Committee to determine acceptance, but Dawn notified us on the spot that there was no need, and that Erin was definitely welcome to become a part of their family. She said that she was "blown away" by her reading and math skills (she administers an educational analysis of her own during the meeting that she and Erin had), and agreed that CDS would be a place where Erin can be challenged and grow.

This entire process has taken several months, and Erin has been so excited with the thought of potentially attending CDS. When Dawn told her while we were there yesterday that she was accepted she was so happy, and she got the biggest smile on her face.

I know that many who read this will take it as bragging (yeah, so I am), and that's alright. My girl deserves the recognition for her hard work, and I am very proud of her. CDS is one of the best K-12 schools in the country, and I know that she is going to thrive there.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Catching up

I didn't post pictures while mom and Larry were here like I thought I would, so I have a lot to post now. We had a great time, and I was sad to see them go. It was my mom's first flight in 29 years, and Larry's first time anywhere on the east coast.

Thursday evening we went out to Clearwater Beach, but it was extremely overcast and drizzling, so we didn't stay very long.

Mom and Bren
Friday we just stayed around the house until the afternoon, and then we took a trip to Godiva so that mom could load up (since they don't have access to Godiva where they live). Then we came home and feasted on crab legs and steak.

Saturday was the 4th of July, and after waking up Erin wanted to show grandma and grandpa some of her piano. Mom loved sitting with her, and singing while Erin played.

We left about 2pm to head over to Orlando for our annual family 4th of July party. My mom had not seen my Nana and aunt's (my dad's sisters) for almost 30 years, and they were all extremely excited to see her and to meet Larry. It was a great day filled with food, family and fireworks.

Non-stop texting...
My oldest and youngest.
The newest addition to the Harper family-Brianna
Bren with Sidney and her best friend (l-r) Sidney, Bren and her friend

Nana and Tony

Every year Sidney gets Brendan with cake or something!
Rhiannon and Erin

My cousin Mike and his girlfriend, Nikki
On Sunday evening we headed back out to Clearwater Beach for sunset. We had a lot of dolphins come right into shore while Bren and Zaye were out swimming (at one point only about 10 feet away from the boys), and I was so glad that mom and Larry got to see them.

Bren showing Zaye the dolphins right behind them.

Grandpa taking video of the pirate ship coming out.

After walking the beach until well after the sun set we ate dinner at a local place right on the beach. Brendan asked Tony for his "hush puppies", not realizing that they were conch fritters. Tony went along with it, and when he put it into his mouth he made a face that was the funniest thing we've seen in a long time. Mom was laughing so hard that she couldn't even catch her breath for a few minutes.

We had a great time with them here, and anxiously look forward to their next trip down. It was hectic at times (with 9 people in the house), but having them here was so nice. My house is suddenly very quiet since the boys left this morning at 6am to go spend 5 weeks with their family in Atlanta, and my mom and Larry left at 6:30am. Zaye (Tony's oldest son) also went back home today until the boys get back, so it's just me, Tony, Brian and Erin now. It's very, very quiet.