Monday, June 16, 2014

A pinch of sugar...

 Brynn has become my little sous chef.  Anytime I am in the kitchen cooking she pushes her chair up to the counter as she is asking me if she can help.  How can I say no?!  We love baking together. 
 I bought a Martha Stewart cookie book a few years ago.  It has the BEST sugar cookie recipe.  The secret:  Lemon zest and lemon juice. 
 The perks of helping mommy bake.

The results.  Sooooo good!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Spring Dance Recital

The girls had their Spring dance recital at a local community theater in downtown Greensboro this year.  This is a giant leap from the humble beginnings of Mrs. Shelley's living room. 
 My Brynn bug!  She performed to "Let's Go Fly a Kite".  She was so comfortable on stage. 

 Caroline performed in two numbers: "Let it Go" (Hip Hop) and "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" (Ballet II).  She knew her routine and hit every mark.  I was so proud. 

Monday, June 9, 2014

A Backyard Story...

 When Kevin and I began looking for houses to buy we insisted it have a great backyard for the kids to run and play.  When we discovered the Windermere house we loved it but then we saw the backyard!

But we loved the house and we loved the potential of the backyard.  We envisioned sitting in the sun room or on the back deck over looking our plush, green yard while the kids ran and played.  But we knew it would take a lot of work. 

The problems we were up against:
1) A LOT of trees; big trees, saplings, branches, etc. 
2)  Years worth of leaves.  The good news is that underneath those layers and layers of leaves was the best dirt we could ask for.  All of the vegetation basically mulched itself for years. 
3)  Uneven dirt.  Because the backyard has been untouched for most of its existence there were valleys and holes and slopes.

First item to tackle:  Tree removal.  This tree had a large branch hanging right over Russell's room.  One good storm and it would have landed right on top of him.  (I shudder just thinking about it.)
PS.  Check out this guys awesome beard!  Kevin was impressed.

Ok.  So big trees are gone.  Time to take care of the ground.  Using a bobcat, the landscapers removed the top layer including leaves, saplings, branches, etc.  

 That trailer is how much stuff they removed.  Crazy. 
 Next step was fill dirt.  It took 3 dump trucks full of dirt to cover the backyard.  The girls loved having big piles of dirt to play on.  Such a difference already. 
 Side Yard
 Last step, GRASS!  The guys aerated the dirt, seeded, aerated, and seeded a second and third time.  Then they put down straw to protect the seeds.  Kevin and I were so impatient to see any growth.  We would check every morning. We got so frustrated.  Did we water it to much?  Did we not water it enough?  ARGGGG!  Then one morning we walked to the sun room and saw this...
 We were so giddy!!! 

It keeps growing and growing!  The girls love it and have been begging to go outside and play. 
Totally worth it!

Random Sampler (May)

 This is a typical scene at our house around 3:23pm.  Caroline has finished her homework, the games come out and the girls are glued together.
 For teacher appreciation week at school Shelley decorated Mrs. G's door with photos of the kids I took.  Each student held up a letter and they all spelled out "We love Mrs. Garrison!"  Caroline and her BFF got to be the hearts in the middle.  What hams!
 I finally got back to my roots (pun intended) and planted a garden.  It has been hard work but so worth it.  The girls love to check on our garden each day and it never disappoints.  Can't wait to sample the fruits (and veggies) of our labor.
This is a typical scene in my bed each Saturday morning.  We have a king size bed but honestly when you have have little wiggle worms in bed with you it doesn't matter.