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13 May

From my to-do list:


wash sheets

put away clothes

call jessica

schedule new peds appointments

schedule new ent appointment

note to gwen

note to kate

make beef jerky

kids haircuts


buy stool at marshall’s

william’s 2nd grade expo

what is a 2nd grade expo, you might ask?  well i didn’t know either.  it was from 9:15-10:45.  amelia and i rolled into the parking lot @ 9:10 and were quickly redirected to the church a mile down the road where we were to catch the SHUTTLE to the school.  hmmm.  ok.

amelia was beside herself at the thought of riding on william and zachary’s bus.

i’ve never seen anything like this.

we got to the school and in the gym, all 6 2nd grade classes were there and 6 stations were set up.  we rotated every 10 minutes where we participated in different activities together–tangrams, computer math games, an art project on the life cycle of a butterfly, planting a marigold, reading together and mad libs (parts of speech).  it completely blew my mind.  i didn’t see one kid without at least one parent there (i was told there are 133 2nd graders).  many had 2 parents there.  after the gym, we went to william’s class where he showed us some things he’d been working on this year.  i showed up with 1 kid and left with 4 (all 3 of my own plus i picked one up along the way).

we got shuttled back to the van and had a great day.  somehow i managed to get every single thing accomplished on that list.  it’s a friday the 13th miracle.


5 years ago

27 Feb

william was barely 3 years old and he had the sweetest little smile.



and now he’ll be 8 years old in a week and is still a monkey.




i won’t say that it seems like it was yesterday that i took that first picture, but i will say it’s been a sweet 5 years.  here are a few of my favorite pics from friday’s excursion:

charleston for a day.

26 Feb

visiting charleston has been on our SC bucket list for a while now, so yesterday we surprised the kids by taking them out of school and heading down to will’s old stomping grounds for the day.

it completely poured the entire trip down and the entire morning.  but no worries, thanks to our handy Droids.  we spent the morning at the Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry.  what a great place!!!  it’s much more hands-on, creative play than EdVenture here in Columbia.  the kids painted pictures in the art room, ran through a room that looked like a medieval castle, played for an hour in the water room and on and on and on.  check it out:


i’m serious–it was crazy awesome.  no loud music, no TVs screaming at you, no flashy stuff–we will absolutely go back there next time we visit charleston this summer (BEACH WEEK, BABY!).


we decided on hominy grill for lunch, which is our favorite restaurant in charleston.  allow me to gloat and tell you the deliciousness we ate:  she crab soup with sherry, okra & shrimp beignets with salsa & cilantro-lime sour cream, fried green tomato blt w/ ancho chile lime mayonnaise, southern fried chicken breast with country ham gravy, collard greens cooked to perfection, and biscuits.  oh hominy, how i love thee.  i know charleston is a food mecca, but i just can’t tear myself away long enough to experiment with new restaurants.


after lunch, we headed down by the waterfront and took a nice long walk around battery park.  if you’ve never been to charleston, it’s lined with houses like these:



the kids loved running loose around such a beautiful park, climbing on old cannons and cannonballs, statues, monuments, etc.  it’s one of my very favorite places on earth.  i’m not kidding.  i took a bunch of pictures, which you can see in the slideshow below.

finally, we headed over to the citadel, will’s alma mater.  we dropped some cash in the gift shop (gotta represent up north!!) and walked around campus for a bit.  the cadets put on a parade every friday afternoon and i’ve waited a long time to make the time to go to one (other than on homecoming weekend, when it’s super crowded).  we’d love it if the boys went to the citadel, but we’ll know for sure in 10 years, i guess.

gotta run!  enjoy the slideshow (there’s about 20 pics)!!

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snow day!

10 Jan

so in case you haven’t heard, it snowed in columbia.  like really snowed.  i think columbians are starting to get bored of the white stuff b/c yet again, there were not that many people out and playing in it.

and they missed a good time.

we. were. ready. for. it.  we have stocked up on snow pants, thermals, and REAL SNOW BOOTS (for pittsburgh).  will’s best buddy, whom we have always called uncle chris, gave the kids a suh-weet toboggan for christmas.  he made it very clear that the gift did not come with our health insurance co-pay for any injuries acquired.  it’s similar to this one, but slightly awesomer.

we were enjoying a nice, leisurely morning and i asked the kids if they wanted to play in the snow?

nah, not right now, mom.

are you sure?


william and i made eye contact and we both screamed at the same time, “THE TOBOGGANNNNNN!!!!!!”

20 minutes later (we’re still getting used to this snow dressing thing), we were all outside.  the boys were dragging each other around the yard in the toboggan.  then they all piled in and that’s when the real fun began.

I was perfectly content going down the nice, gentle hill.  Not Will.  So we set off in search of the “big hill” in the neighborhood.  We brought along Maggie and I think she has a love/hate relationship with the snow.  There were lots of our friends and neighbors there and Will’s dad watched from his window.  He likes neither wet, nor cold.

This is my husband not killing himself.

Kay Jewelry Moment

7 Jan

Last Christmas (2009) Will and I were sitting on the couch, ready to exchange Christmas gifts.  We were headed up to the mountains with my family, so we decided to exchange ahead of time.  The kids were in bed.  The bags were packed.  The fire was going.  I was ready for my “Kay Jewelry moment.”  You know, the cheesy commercials on tv??  No?  Well, here…

There, now isn’t that romantic???  Well, Will opens the gifts I carefully selected and he loved them.  My turn.  He hands me one small box, wrapped beautifully and I get all gooey, excited about it being my turn.  I open slowly….slowly….slowly…to reveal…a phone.  A Droid, to be exact.  Definitely not the Kay Jewelers moment I had prepared myself for.  And then he pulled out another Droid from underneath the cushion.  Matching Droids.  So romantic!!!

Needless to say, I’m still waiting for my Kay Jewelry moment.  But Will knows I don’t want anything from Kay Jewelry.  And I’m not pining away for anything in particular.  It’s the moment.

So, anyway, I loooooooooove my Droid.  I really do.  Except I HATE the camera on it.  It’s horrible.  Everyone else in my family has an iPhone, which is great, but in my opinion, the only place it has the Droid beat is in the camera.  So I don’t take THAT many pics on it b/c they’re terrible.  BUT!  I uploaded them the other day when I had to use the computer to charge my phone.  I thought I would post a few of my favorites.  Enjoy!


Christmas 2010!

28 Dec

We had such a wonderful Christmas!  It was probably because of William’s prayer on Christmas Eve:

Dear Lord, Thank you for such a great day!…And please let us get presents.  Like LUCKY presents.  But not like at the end of a rainbow, lucky.  Yeah, lucky presents….Amen.

Anyway, here are a couple of shots of us before our Christmas Eve church service.

And Christmas morning!  William got a dissecting microscope, Zachary got a bike/scooter/skateboard ramp (we’ve yet to make an ER visit, so we’re determined that 2011 is the year for that), and Amelia got a CD player with 2 microphones.  They each also got something to trick out their bikes.  And Uncle Charles won Favorite Present again this year, with his gift of 2 sets of nunchucks for the boys and a pink guitar for Amelia.

Will needed something awesome for his office, so I found this phrenology bust.  He loves it.

And I scored with a PARKA!!! for Pittsburgh.  I’ve never owned a parka!!

Santa was extra good to us and brought us snow on Christmas night!!!  We woke up the next morning to a couple of inches and it pretty much snowed all day.  It was peaceful and beautiful and white.  We told the kids that this was just a practice round for what’s ahead.

And this is what happens to you when you get smacked in the face with not one, but two snowballs by your father.

And here’s the link to a few more pictures from Christmas.  Enjoy!!

Christmas 2010

christmas 2009: smoky mountain memories!

24 Dec

Since I was a crappy blogger last year, I’ll just tell you the brief story of our fun Christmas 2009.  We decided to make it a first-ever destination Christmas, so we booked a beautiful, high-end cabin in the Smoky Mountains.  Well, it just so happened to snow like CRAZY 2 days before we were scheduled to arrive, as in 18 inches crazy.  Being somewhat snow-ignorant, Will and I figured everything would be fine.  We packed the kids, the presents and loaded up both the Hotyssey and Will’s truck and headed to Maggie Valley, North Carolina.

We crossed into NC and the snow kept getting higher and higher and we started getting a little nervous.  Normally we would have been super excited, but our cabin was at the very top of a mountain and neither one of us were driving a 4×4 vehicle.  We got to the Maggie Valley ReMax to pick up our key and we learned that we most likely would not be getting to our luxurious, warm, snuggly cabin at the top of the mountain.  Of course we had to try though, right????

I had the kids in the van with me and Will was driving his truck.  Making a VERY long story short, we attempted to get to our cabin unsuccessfully.  Let’s just say it was one of the most terrifying hours of my life.  One-lane road, snow, ice, children crying in the backseat, snow chains wouldn’t go on, turning around on the one-lane road almost falling off the mountain, sun going down, driving backwards downhill on the one-lane road in the dark…you get the picture.

After searching and searching, we found a Comfort Inn that had one available room.  I was in no position to bargain with Will, so we took the one room with two double beds.  We slept in the clothes we wore all day and had a warm place for the night.  Will didn’t do much sleeping after he got kicked to the floor by a restless, kicking, talking-in-her-sleep Amelia.  Thank the Lord that my mom, Kate and Brandon were not scheduled to arrive until the next day.

The next morning, Will headed back up to the ReMax office and by the sheer grace of God, there was an available cabin of the same size.  The lady didn’t think we’d be able to get to that one either, but we managed.  My genius husband threw a shovel and bag of salt in the back of his truck before we left and that came in very handy.  It was the first time I’d ever seen him shovel snow!

That was the biggest story of the trip–just getting there.  Mom, Kate and Brandon arrived safely and Christmas 09 commenced!  We enjoyed the hot tub:



And the big boys squared off in a mustache contest.  My brother was declared the winner after he pulled of the Mexican drug lord ‘stache.


Brandon took home the prized mug.


And Will was heartbroken when he had to shave his.  (It was his Christmas gift to me.)



Brandon and Will had an enjoyable night in the hot tub

which led to Brandon doing a snow angel in his bathing suit in about 20*.


We went snow tubing ,


And we had a great time being together!!



Yay for Smoky Mountain Memories!!!





Merry Christmas from the Owens Family!

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