Saturday, December 23, 2006

Brittney is no longer a teenager!

It's hard to believe I have been a mother for twenty years. It's hard enough to deal with me being 40, but wow! motherhood anniversary too! Brittney celebrated her 20th at the house with family and friends. Good food and lots of fun! We were thankful she was content being at home and allowed us to be a part of a mile marker in her youth!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Hunter's 3rd Grade Christmas fun

Hunter did a presentation on Christmas in Ireland. All the students in Mrs. Coxen's third grade class each had a country. Hunter got to interview a friend of ours that was raised in Ireland. The children exchanged gifts as well and the holiday festivities continue.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

40 years young

I dreaded turning 40. Not sure why! I guess it's never easy realizing you have completed yet another decade. Brittney baked me a wonderful cake - Each year with its own story of its creation. Prior to that we enjoyed dinner out with a sombrero on my head and being serenaded by some mariachi's who weren't quite sure how to pronounce Happy Birthday JOY. It brought smiles and laughter! later, my sweet hubby produced an XFM radio! (It didn't work in my office that faces North, but we are enjoying it in the van) Another one of my favorite gifts was the calendar Brittney created and spent her hard earned money on. It had all kinds of different pictures for each month with Brittney's own comments and interpretations. It was a wonderful Birthday!

Friday, December 15, 2006

Danielle's Choir Debut

Danielle has always had plenty of confidence and she enjoys all the artsy stuff that school has to offer. We all attended her junior year Christmas Cantata. She did a wonderful job and the evening was quite enchanting.

Friday, December 8, 2006

Ornament exchange with friends from work

After Thanksgiving brings the rush of holiday activities and fun. The pictures above are from a Christmas ornament exchange we had with some friends from work. Lots of fun and "taking" of the gifts!

Friday, November 24, 2006

A bonfire to remember!

For the third year in a row, Steve and Nancy have graciously hosted all the Martin's and Slates to a bonfire at their home. We enjoyed Brunswick stew and chili and all kinds of more good food. As if Thanksgiving hadn't stretched our bellies enough! Its fun for all - visiting and being with family. The kids get to enjoy a hay ride and lots of hot melted marshmellows and s'mores! YUmmm! Me? I'm inside because this Texas girl will never get acclimated to the cold NC winters - even if tonight is really not that cold! So, another blissful moment in the lives of the Martin's! Life is good!

Monday, November 20, 2006

It's his 46th!

Today is my sweet husband's 46th birthday! He just keeps getting sweeter and more handsome as the years go by. He enjoyed a hard day at work! We did celebrate with cake and ice cream. Although I was threatened not to embarass him at work, several of his female co-workers did me proud and sang Happy Birthday! Later we opened presents with his new Crocks being the highlight! A new pair of PJ's and a NC STate coffee mug - oh yea! Hunter was excited to encourage his team! Nevertheless, the Tarheel girl shared from the UNC campus via the phone! We love you Dad!

Saturday, November 4, 2006

Mother of 4?

I often get asked, "How many kids do you have?" When I say four, the response is more of an open-mouth gasp rather than a "Awesome!". Years ago families were bigger than the current national average of 2.5. Is it because we are more selfish with our time? busier with careers? busy filling each moment with things to do? not wanting to be poor because kids are not cheap? Maybe a little of all, but then again, we don't have the big farms to tend to which needed more warm bodies. I have the best of all worlds - wonderful kids who, for the most part, are pretty good kids! I have a loving, supportive husband as well as a good career that I enjoy - well the nursing part, not the stress! So, my response to the gasp is "It's a great life!"

Thursday, November 2, 2006

Children at all ages

Anyone who is a mother can relate to "not enough hours in the day". The chores and day-to-day activities are endless and even when you feel you've got something accomplished (i.e. the laundry, the dishes, the floors) its all ready for you to do again in a matter of hours. Then you have the trials and tribulations of each child at different stages in their lives. For instance, Brittney is 19, almost 20. Very responsible and independent. Yet as a mother, I worry about her driving, walking late on campus, getting enough sleep and eating right, and "why hasn't she called?". Danielle, however, is a different kind of worry. Will she interact with the right kind of kids at school? Will she become independent some day? Will she make the right decisions? Hunter, at the age of 8, 3rd Grade - are the kids nice to him at school? He is so smart about some things, but can he be consistent in all areas? Will he get hurt playing soccer? Now, let's add Walker - the infant - to the list of worries - taking steps? putting what in his mouth? throwing a fit about what? For all the glory we get for being moms, it doesn't come without a head full of all kinds of stuff, some sleepless nights, a few tears, but lots of hugs!

Danielle's Cruise Mobile

After looking high and low - remember who the searcher is? - well, the deal of the month was found. Its a 1994 four door, dark gray Nissan Sentra. Perfect size, great gas mileage and the absolute steal of a price tag! Danielle is so excited! Now....the training begins! We hope to follow Mama Beulah's trick of learning how to drive around the pasture! We'll see. Our little girl is growing up and working on her independence. Next step--a job!

Halloween - Trick or Treat?

Halloween is Tim's favorite holiday. Not sure why - perhaps he feels justification for the "witchiness" in the world, if only for a day! Walker enjoyed being a big fat pumpkin. Even left his hat on for a while! Hunter dressed up as a wizard! His wand had all kinds of magic since it kept disappearing!, but it always seemed to be found. Danielle enjoyed being an observer rather than a participant. 17 year olds just don't do those kind of things. Brittney on the other hand, at the age of 19, dressed up as a cat and strolled loud, busy Franklin street at Chapel Hill. The night was filled with lots of treats and visiting with friends and family for all.

Wednesday, November 1, 2006

Day Care Blues

There comes a time in every man's life....blah! blah! blah! We have been blessed to have wonderful grandparents to care for Walker as an infant. We knew months ago, that in October, Walker would be going to day care. We started a little each day, but two weeks into it and the separation anxiety persists. Walker is doing fine. Mom, however..... Well actually his new caregiver struggles with his tears trying to decide - is it his cold? teething? not taking a good nap during the day? or just missing Grandmother? Whichever the reason, he's not always his happy-go-lucky self. My morning drive to work no longer allows me the peace and quiet to prepare for the day. Instead I'm overwhelmed with the tears that are soon to come, the sadness in his eyes and the heaviness in my heart. Perhaps persistance will pay off and enjoying the day will come for him. Once more I envy those mom's that stay at home. Yet I'm also smart enough to know that working is good for me - psychologically and financially, so the battle of emotions shall rage on!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

This week's family moment!

Every year the Jackson Springs Community has a Chicken-n-Dumplin' dinner and auction.
Although Tim could not join us due to his work schedule, the kids (Walker, Hunter and Danielle) and I joined my in-laws for a delightful evening. The food was good and the auction was fun. Hunter had his eye on this beautiful knife. After $25 my bidding ceased. After $525 the knife found its new owner! WOW! I did purchase a bread tray. Very simple and sturdy. I used it to carry leftovers to Tim and his co-workers as well as my staff. Great fun for everyone!

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Walker at 9 and 1/2 months

Wow is all I can say! He has really started doing some cute stuff! He's taking steps-being mighty brave some times! He has learned to wave "bye-bye". He loves real-people food- to heck with that smashed, yuk!, baby food! He loves drinking from his sippy cup! He climbs on everything - out of the highchair! up to the top of the couch! into his baby rocking chair to stand up! up the side of his crib! up my leg! he hasn't mastered climbing into the dryer, but the thought has been there! He's a lot of fun - he can even wrestle with Hunter! (But let me remind you, I am not 20 any more, so whew!)

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

NC State Fair 2006

We are truly a family laid in tradition. For the 9th year in a row, we have traveled the hour and a half trip to Raleigh to spend our money and enjoy all the festivities the fair has to offer. The Village of YesterYear brings back memories and offers lots of stuff to learn to the amazement of our kids. This is where we find the paintings of wildlife or the challenging "screws in a jar"! (That's Tim trying to figure it out...minutes pass, and then more minutes pass, the sun begins to set and still sits Tim. Finally, Whaw La! With a little guidance from the Tarheel girl, he figures it out!) Hunter enjoyed seeing the tiniest horse, the largest snake and the meanest alligator and the tobacco hanging in the barn. The musicians were quite amusing as was the crazy lady dancing ,and singing along and playing that tamborine! (Hunter hid behind his sisters, but Walker smiled at his silly mommy!) I tried to get Danielle to audition for a commercial, but no luck. She was not impressed with my acting ability, thus fearful that my lack of pazaaz would be an inherited trait. Then there was the trip us three girls took to the Levi jeans measurement trailer. I'll not share the discoveries made there, but suffice it to say, I was flattered! We took pictures like Telli-tubbies and Brittney kissed the pig! The cotton candy and dill pickles were our first treats. Flinch was created at the "Make a Bear", "break mom's pocket book" booth. Now a new member of the family. Hunter carried him all day. Danielle got a cute purse with the letter "D" (reminded me a Laverne and Shirley show) We had the good ole hot Apple Cider and tasted "kettle corn". Pizza, stromboli and a Blooming onion joined the list of endulgances. Later we added the funnel cake and NC State Ice Cream! The best part for the kids was the $40 worth of rides. Hunter took Brittney's place in wanting to ride those that truly had "ride me and throw up" listed on them. Nevertheless we all had fun. Last on our list of fun adventures was the family moment on the ferris wheel. (The scariest ride of all according to Hunter and Brittneyas we all 6 climbed aboard) The lights from the fair seen way up high were amazing! Our day ended with feelings of exhilaration....for the kids anyway. Exhaustion was my perspective, but loads of fun and smiles!

Monday, October 2, 2006

More Ocracoke Pictures

Ocracoke Island, NC 2006

All year we look forward to our trip to "the island". My mom and dad fly in from Texas and enjoy a week full of sun, fun, beach and sand, fishing, eating, and non-stop chatter of grandkids!
This year my little brother Jerry and his son Rowdy joined us as well. Although I always feel guilty for the long expensive plane ride, then the long 6 hr drive to the Island, along with the relaxing, but long 2 and 1/2 hr ferry ride, my family takes it all in stride and goes with the flow. This year was a blast. Walker, Jerry and Rowdy's first trip! We fished, played beach football, attempted the skim board, fished some more, escaped a shark, rode in the back of the truck in the cold and in the rain, dug lots of holes, ate and ate and ate, rode bikes, watched movies, enjoyed the local coffee shop, did some shopping, listened to some folk music, went sight-seeing, enjoyed the local hang out as well as Howard's Pub and took over 500 pictures. Most importantly we were all together enjoying just being a family! Until next year........