Happy Monday. It was overcast and a tad dreary today. Mom ran up to Michael's with me and on the way back I stopped by Fat Fish to get some new snails and hermit crabs. Mom found a green Emerald Crab that she loved. So I ended up bringing him home with us. Tommy and I named him Verdi.

Check it out:

These super cool dudes eats algae first and foremost. Oh, I think I am in LOVE with something that actively seeks out algae in our aquarium.

Oh, here is a random Tommy shot I got:

For the record please let it be known that I actively try to get shots of all the kids. Tori just outright refuses more than the boys. Sigh. Really, I'm not neglecting her! Can someone say issues in 15 years when I have 3000 pictures of the boys and like 4 of her?! Sigh.

Anyways... TJ had a pack meeting tonight. Got a cute picture of him. I may be a tad bit biased on the cuteness factor.

Oh, and I have zero baby news. Which is a wonderful thing. Another day down. Woo hoo! Go Aunt B, you are doing GREAT!

That's all for Monday.

Trying out the action shot while the boys played on their scooters. This one of Tommy just cracked me up.

Yeh, I know, I cut off TJ's scooter in this one. I'm trying!

Tori, God bless her, blinks each and every time I take a picture of her, I SWEAR!!!

Seriously, I just took 21 pictures in a row just of her... and she had her eyes fully open in THREE.

Sigh... she's worse than me, I think!


I know I have some friends looking for updates on my sister-in-law, B, that I have been so worried about. I resisted putting updates on here before now. But please keep her and the twins in your thoughts and prayers. She is back in the hospital again. And too far away from me.

I'm pacing around worried about her. (Thanks for the updates Nana and Lalo!)

I'm hoping NOT to meet the twins when we go to Austin in a couple of weeks. But want them all healthy and safe above all else.

So, there is a B update of sorts.

edited to add: Things are looking much better when she called me at 4:30 p.m. Hooray!

The Mist

In case you were thinking about renting the movie, 'The Mist,' Let me save you some time. It's beyond awful. Really really really awful. Not a campy amusing sort of way. Just... awful.

Tim apologized when it ended it was so bad.

So, skip it.

I'd take Tori's picture, but she was acting particularly ugly to me. Sigh. So, it's the boys for today. Need to work on getting my light source properly lighting my subjects. I'm working on it!

First blush

Okay... so we got my first lens. I was looking to start with a 18-55 mm as a good started lens. Had a high rating, decent price that won't break the bank. But they didn't have it in stock at Best Buy. BUT they did have an open stock 55-200 mm. We opted for this one. And maybe I'll get a basic 18-55 mm for Christmas. :)

These are by no means outstanding pictures. But I'm starting to play with it and get learn what I can do! I LOVE it so far. LOVE it!!!!

Oh yeh, by the way... Tori had about 6-7 inches of her hair cut off! Doesn't it look cute?

Just a shot of some flowers in the front bed. They are in with some hot pink snapdragons and multi colored impatiens. We had to tear out the azaleas (we re-homed them at the Green House) since they were miserable in the wet clay. It's really filling in well.

My super cool birthday orchid. I always wanted one. And Tim surprised me last night. Really... isn't he the best?!

Happy Birthday to me...
Happy Birthday to me-ee....
Happy Birthday to ME!

If you really want to read up on what this baby can do, check out the Nikon D80 Review.

I mentioned Tim rocks, right?!

And he took the day off.

And he helped me clean the house this morning.

Happy Birthday to me.


In an effort to not deal with dodging hurricanes the school has changed the annual Kindergarten Down by the Bay field trip from the Fall to the Spring.

So, today was time for Tommy's class to trek down to Mobile Bay.

It was cold. The science teacher said she was changing it back to the Fall so they can have more fun.

Anyways here are some pictures from Tommy's adventure today.

PS Look what the lovely eye did Monday morning! Looked like a prize fighter heading off to school. Poor kid!

Love that they have good rewards again. But I still want a BzzAgent troll doll. I NEED one. :-D

Happy Easter!

Hope everyone had a wonderful day.

The Easter Bunny left some fun filled baskets. LittleKinz were the big surprise.

Yes, he's on the table. Yes, I know he shouldn't be. Bad Mommy.

We managed to have everyone dressed and early enough to make 8:30 Mass with seats. I was impressed myself.

After Mass we went over to Gama and PopPop's for Easter Dinner. Yummy.

To add adventure to the day Tommy fell face first down the steps going down to the back yard. We're glad he didn't (a) break anything of (b) need any stitches. Phew! His old Crocs were the culprit as they had totally split in the front and tripped him. They went STRAIGHT into the trash.

Oh and here's a picture I forgot to post the other day from Tommy's class Easter Egg hunt down at the Bay.

And that's all I have for you today. Happy Easter! :-)

Almost Easter

Our Church had an Easter Egg Hunt down at Sacred Heart today. I do love going down there. It's just so pretty.

Kids got lots of eggs. Afterwards there was a picnic as well. We took along chocolate covered strawberries. Yum!

And tonight we dyed the eggs.

Oh! The boys came out asking me to PLEASE take a picture of them and make a page called 'The Easter Boys'... guess I need to get scrapping! Here's the picture they wanted me to take SO badly. Aren't they cute?

The carrot cake is cooling as I type. Terrified of the frosting I'm about to put on I'm sure. (I can't frost worth a darn, you know!)

And now the Easter Bunny is just waiting for ALL the kids to be asleep so he can hide the baskets and run the string.

Have a good night everyone!

That Report Cards arrived yesterday. Tori was able to pull out A/B honor roll and one B was less than a point away from an A. I'm proud of her for pulling that grade out of the drain... the gutter. Ugh! Thank goodness!

Tommy was all G's and TJ was straight A's.

So, they will be thrilled to get their Krispy Kremes tonight from Dad. KK gives away donuts for each 'A' or 'G.'

There you go.

Have a happy Good Friday!


I found a zoanthid eating nudibranch in the tank a second ago.

Not happy.

It takes patience and time to get rid of these nasty buggers.

Boo hoo.

Edited to add:
BWHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I haven managed to gleefully destroy five of these and pick off four eggs with tweezers. I'll be doing another fresh water rinse in three days time.

Look what I discovered...

Life with kids is amusing.

Not the greatest weather this year. But we had a fun time.

Tim got us a great new cross for the entry way. And we also picked up a print from this year's official Fairhope Arts and Crafts Festival poster as well as the K1 Center print and note cards by Christine Linson.

The kids had fun creating hats in the kids' tent.

Hope everyone is having a great weekend.

This was the day I had been dreaming of all along. But truth be told, it was also the day I had been dreading. I had read too many reports of people not being able to dock at Disney' private island, Castaway Cay, more often than not in January. So I was nervous we wouldn't be able to visit. And then there is the whole last day thing.

BUT I was determined to be positive and not let anyone know my fears. The kids and I were set for the first stingray feeding of the day. And I went to sleep dreaming of warm sand and a cabana boy bringing me drinks... ahhhh....

I awoke to the phone ringing. Room service was on the way. Tim had ordered cereal for the boys, and bagels and fruit and (most importantly) coffee for us! What
a great man.

As I peered out the window I wasn't feeling too good about our chances. It was overcast and a bit windy. Still we sun blocked up my alabaster skinned children. Tori took a shower and I plastered her hair with conditioner and then braided it up... to her disgust.

We arrived on Deck 9 as we began backing into Castaway Cay. Even with a slight drizzle it was so cool to see! The kids all kept saying "Oh wow... cool!" Then Ray, the cruise director, came on too announce that it would be an overcast day and not to forget your sunscreen none-the-less. As if I need that warning! Really, you have seen how white my kids are, right?!

But the news was good... we were going to be able to get onto the island. Hooray!

Anyways, it's obvious things are running behind. We had a 10:00 Stingray Time and there was just no way with us taking so long to dock. But we went ahead and got into the mass of humanity waiting to rush unto Castaway Cay. It took about 15 minutes of waiting with the grumpy Tori being even more grumpy than usual. And I'm sorry, but whoever was allowing their child to scream over and over and over and over and over and over (you get the point, eh?) please bring along copious amounts of Tylenol for those around you next time. Hey, I have kids... and they are no angels. I understand. But really.. Tylenol. Thanks. (And if anyone is wondering this was giggling having fun 'I think I'm being cute' scream that we all got to enjoy!)

Finally about 9:55 we are let off. There was some character in front of the post office and next to no line. I wanted to stop, but Tim is a man who needs to be on time. So we didn't. *Note to self: when you know you want a picture, just tell Tim he has to wait next time. Like the frozen lemonade snack credit from Disney 2006... I digress...really, next time just do it!

So... we power walked to the tram. Hopped on thinking we'd get all the way to the Stingray Shack.

Crud. Obviously, something got lost in translation. I had no idea you had to walk to the next tram station. And the very cheerful staff would only say 'not too far' when we asked just where they fricking' frackin' stingrays were. Really, I am starting to need a drink people. So, we began the second power walk with an increasingly agitated pre-pubescent almost 11 year old ANGEL of a daughter. I think I muttered something about if rain wasn't going to ruin our dream vacation then her attitude sure the heck wasn't going to either ... as we continued to trudge to the durn stingrays.

We arrived at the little stingray hut and had to wait. And wait some more. We waited almost 20 minutes.

Sigh... see, I should have got that picture by the post office!

As we waited it was so cool to watch the stingrays basically stalk up and down the beach in large groups. They knew it was time to eat! I loved watching them.

Anyways, the education part was interesting. Tommy helped demonstrate how large some species of stingrays could get. Holy Moly! I think she said like 24 feet?

And then we divided into groups to feed. TJ is my more serious (at times) quiet child. He had been wanting to feed the stingrays more than anything in the world (well, minus get a picture with Sorcerer Mickey!) I could sense he was feeling a bit nervous. Add in very cold water and next to no body fat on this kid and I was starting to worry this could go south very quickly.

My wild man, Tommy was all excited and could hardly wait for his turn. As he fed the stingray (having a very difficult time holding that funky green jello stick between his itty bitty fingers) he declared the experience 'totally awesome!'

Tori, despite her grumpy demeanor, loves all animals and was thrilled as well...

And sweet little TJ was shaking (a bit of cold and a bit scared I think) but he did it. He turned to me and all but yelled 'this is the best day of my life!'

Watch Tori and TJ feed the stingrays: video here.

I fed one too. It was really cool, I have to admit. Then we could snorkel. That... that didn't go so well. Tori was being Tori. She was cold but she wanted to swim out... so she got mad at me. Perfect sense, right?! Tommy was cold and wanted to go build a sandcastle. And TJ was fighting his inner demons. He had been dreaming of this day for so long. But, I kid you not, the kid is all skin and bones. And 7.5 years he weighs all of 44 pounds. The water was cold... he was shaking head to toe. But he desperately wanted to snorkel with the stingrays.

If he wanted to do it, I was going to stay with him. Eventually he did force himself to swim around some. And grinned so big when he spotted some fish and stingrays. It was so worth it.

Tim, love that he is, had secured some chairs as well as a much anticipated hammock for me. Now... ask me if I ever got in the hammock.


Oh well, that's okay. I was too excited to be there at any rate. All of our family eventually congregated at the same spot. Even if we weren't all there at the same time.

I took the boys out on a raft for about 20 minutes. We were heading out to the playset, but they closed it. Eventually I took them in. Tori was hungry (and even grumpier... see a theme here?) so we headed off to Cookies.

When you go to Cookies head over to the left side far back. There is NO one in line there at all. It's weird. Food was yummy. I did have seconds on ribs. And even a bit of the cookie dough soft serve. Ah, the magic of Disney. TJ heard that there was a dance party. So Tim took the EVEN grumpier (it was getting BAD) Tori and Tommy back our beach-base. While I took TJ to the dance party. Eventually Tommy heard the music and wanted to come back to me. They had a lot of fun dancing around. At one point I heard a mom say, "Look at those cute twins with Mickey!" I looked... they weren't twins, they were my boys. Seriously, people, if they were twins, well, they were born 22 months apart! (I get this question often actually, very strange.) It made me giggle a bit. And the boys were thrilled to be dancing with Mickey.

I made multiple drinks of lemonade for the beach... we had some minis of Malibu to add... yum! As we headed back the wind picked up and the boys started to shiver a LOT. I found Tori on the hammock under a towel. Hey... let's make the kids into towel animals!!

Hmmmm.... how about two slugs?!

Ok, that's the best I can do at towel animals. Sorry!

Tim headed out to snorkel with his younger sister, Kate, and her husband, Cody. They were looking for the Mickey statue.

While I had a drink, or two, chatted with Nana and told the kids to stop fighting over the hammocks already. Oh yeh, the boys ended up flipping over and landing flat on their back at one point. Oy!

No one wanted to swim. By the time Tim returned, thrilled they had found the Mickey statue.

Cody with Mickey:

Well by now my crew was ready to revolt. I threw in the towel, realized that they were simply too cold and there was no reason to make them miserable. And we headed back. We saw Ted, Kathryn, Teddy and Rachael working hard on the scavenger hunt.

Okay, I admit it, that's not my picture. But I thought it was so cute! But we really did see them!

And we stopped by Monstro's Dig on the way out. Zander Becca and Rick were there.

Bought some fun stuff at the shop. The boys used some of their cash to get stuffed stingrays that they adore and Tori got a pen and a CC bracelet. I was eying a long sleeved shirt, but decided against it. Again, * Note to self: just do it next time!

And too soon, we were back on board.

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