Saturday, May 30, 2009

Picnic

Today was Hollon's school picnic at the park.







Later on in the day, we played dress up with her tiara and blanket. She was Princess Hollon and loved posing for the camera while she was all dressed up.




I straightened Hollon's hair this evening after her bath. Well, not intentionally anyways. For some reason I couldn't get her hair to dry in the towel very well, it was sopping wet. So I blew it dry. She was so tolerant, that I just kept going because if I straightened it, I would get to actually see how long her hair has grown.







And somewhere in between all of our activities today, I managed to pack quite a few boxes and get some laundry done! Yay me! You can see all those diaper boxes behind us - those are all now filled with books....lots and lots of books.

Have a great night!

Friday, May 29, 2009

First off, I'm tired and sleepy, so I apologize it there are misspellings and my sentences aren't perfectly coherent. However, I couldn't wait to post these pictures. We're just so proud of our baby girl.

Tonight was "Look What I Did" night at Hollon's school, Ocean Montessori. This was an opportunity for Hollon to show her mommy and daddy around her school and show us all the activities she's been working on this past year. Here's Hollon at the entrance to the school, "come on, mommy" she kept turning around to say.




Here's Hollon and her teacher, Mrs. Kelley, who also is the school's assistant directress. Hollon absolutely adores Mrs. Kelley and greets her every morning with a big hug. Mrs. Kelley's son, Mason, also goes to school with Hollon and they are great friends.



At the Montessori school, everyone is called a "friend" and during work-time, each friend gets to choose their own work in which they do not have to share with other friends. They can choose to share or not. This teaches independance, but it also teaches sharing. Hollon shared her work with a friend named Keira who is about the same age. However, sometimes she didn't want to share with Keira, and she'd use her words and say "no Kiera." This is actually a very big step for Hollon as we have been teaching her to use her words and express feelings through her words rather than biting or hitting.

Here's a picture of Hollon working on some independent work, funneling.



Other independent work is grating. This work requires hands-on assistance as the grater is sharp and they are grating soap. Stuart and I kept wondering why she kept coming home smelling so good!



And here is Kiera giving Hollon a great big hug for helping her with her puzzle. Hollon laughed! Keira is a very loving child.



Oh, this was a tricky one, tong transferring. Hollon had trouble with this one, so mommy and daddy helped. Oh no! Don't drop it!



Pouring, yeah, this didn't go very well either. The red food colored water went EVERYWHERE! But, Hollon loved it and laughed so hard! Adorable!



I'm not quite sure what this one was, something about nuts and bolts....I think.



Another practical life activity, spooning.



And at last, the toothpick insert. This is Hollon's absolute favorite. This is the first one she goes for every day and just loves this activity!




There were many other activities that Hollon showed us as well. One included the reading of one of her favorite books, Brown Bear, Brown Bear. While reading, Hollon had flash cards in which she had to match each animal in the book with the flash card. Hollon got every one right!!

After showing us all her work, all the kids had group time where they sang songs and danced and played. It was adorable watching all the kids interact. It was actually quite organized. When the friends are done with their work, they put everything back on the tray, put the work back on the shelves and go get more work. When Mrs. Kelley rings the bell, all the kids put their work away and go sit on the floor. It's amazing, we're talking about two-year olds here....organized....12 of them. I can't organize my single two-year old. It was really enlightening.

I was going to post a video - but I'll do that tomorrow as my computer is about to die and there is some sort of glitch in trying to get it downloaded. So, be on the lookout tomorrow - it's so cute, animal noises! Exciting stuff!

Last day of school...

Well, actually, Hollon's last day will be this coming Thursday. However, tonight, we get to go to Hollon's school for a "Look What I Did" program. Hollon gets to take us into her classroom and show us all the things she has learned this year which will finally answer the question,"what did you do at school today?" Considering Hollon can't yet hold a conversation, we have to rely on her teachers and the little form that comes home in her lunch box everyday telling us that she played with the duck-walker, rolling machine and pouring. What the heck is a rolling machine or a duck walker for that matter? I'm sure they'll be a lot of "Oh, that's what that is...." exclamations throughout the evening!

Anyhow, we are so excited to go to her school and walk around with Hollon! This is important for us to see what she is doing each day at school, but more important for her, so that she feels special, important and knows that we are very, very proud of her.

I will post pictures of our upcoming evening in the morning. Until then, happy Friday!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Joys of Florida Living

One of the many joys of Florida living are the beautiful, very large sandhill cranes that periodically grace our front yard. I was actually able to get about 5 feet away from them before they took off. Are they not beautiful? I wish you could see the red feathers on the top of their heads. They are so brightly colored, but it's quite cloudy today and my phone doesn't take great pictures. They walk so slow and gracefully without any jerky movements. They are so fluid in motion, it's almost relaxing to watch these, the egrets and the ibis.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

I'm sorry, I'm lagging...

I'm sorry ya'll. Stuart and I have been so busy with Memorial Day weekend and then trying to get everything done with the sale of our house and the purchase of our new home, it's been crazy busy! I promise that once things get back to normal (well, I should come up with a new phrase because things haven't been "normal" for, well, two years!). "When things settle down" (how's that?), I promise we'll get back into the groove, crafting up some new crafty things with Hollon and having lots of summer fun, camera in tow at all times, of course! Until then, I will do my very best to slide something in now and then!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Memorial Day

The Trents had a fabulous Memorial Day long weekend. It rained most of the time however, yesterday morning was absolutely beautiful with zero clouds in the sky and not a drop of rain. Hollon and I took a trip to downtown Stuart to watch the parade (which we missed, bummer!) and to see the City of Stuart's Memorial Park. But first, our morning started out with Hollon and her most prized possessions....her naynay (blanket), bear and milk!




Hollon enjoyed the park where the city had placed hundreds of crosses with dogtags naming all of the deceased veterens from the Stuart area. Though Hollon does not yet understand, we believe it is important that she grow up to understand the meaning behind Memorial Day, Veteren's Day, the 4th of July and all the other days honoring our armed forces and our country. After all, her great-grandfather, Clarence Dauby, and her great-great uncle Donald Skaggs*, both served in World War II. Her grandfather, Ronald Dierolf, Jr. (my dad) served in the army and the reserves, but thankfully never had to see combat (he entered at the end of the Vietnam war and was on stand-by for the Gulf War). Her ancestors served in the American Revolution and she can one day join the Daughters of the American Revolution society. I am sure there are many, many more family members in her lineage that has served at one poit or another. They all served to give her and to allow her to keep her freedom of Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
Here are some pictures from our day at the park. (Family members, help me out here. Stuart says Uncle Donald may have served in Korea, not World War II. We want to honor him properly, so does anyone know for sure?)






It was a beautiful day!

Later, we went over to Tom and Jana's house for a Memorial Day BBQ. The kiddos had a fabulous time playing, running all over the place and playing in the pool!


At the end of the day, Hollon gave everyone a piano concert. She hopes you enjoy

video

Thursday, May 21, 2009

It has been raining for days, not that I'm complaining as we desperately needed the rain! It hasn't rained in months and the poor plants and grass all over Florida are starting to look quite shabby. Irrigation doesn't help due to the strict South Florida Water Management District rules, but that's another rant and rave.

So, the reason there haven't been any picture updates, is because we haven't been taking our daily outside play-time each evening, it's been too rainy and that's usually when I get the best pictures! In addition, we've been busy with our realtor and paperwork trying to get everything completed for our home sale and our new home purchase.

Until then, bear with me, I'll get some new pictures up soon, and try to think of something new and interesting to talk about.

Oh - and everyone has been asking how the packing is going. It's coming....sort of. Actually, I've packed a few things that we won't use between now and closing (i.e. guest linens that desperately need washing when we get to the new house, we have 150 towels!, pillows, books). But, I think we're going to stop for now. We don't want to jinx anything. You know, pack the whole house to find out something went wrong. We truly don't believe anything will, as everything has just fallen into place this time around, but you never know. We have put everything in God's hands and what happens, happens, though we truly feel and believe that this is the path meant for us. So, we'll keep trudging along and just keep praying and hope you do too!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Pedicures

Okay, so now that we have a new house to think about, finances will be tight for a little while. Which means, no more pampering for me for a while! Boo hooo hooo, I will desperately miss my pedicures! My feet take such a beating here in south Florida, I haven't worn a pair of closed toe or closed heel shoes in years (well, except winter visits up north and then my feet just hurt!). I know some are thinking that it must be a faux-pas to wear sandals to the office, but it's an unspoken rule down here, that sandals can and do look great with professional outfits, including blazers (though one rarely wears those either due to the heat). So, the word is, our feet take a tremendous beating and pedicures are a way of life for even the busiest working mom.

In a desperate attempt to somehow savage my destroyed, aching feet, I took to the world wide web to find an all natural, homemade scrub. I ran across the following recipe, mixed it up and looked at it thinking, yeah, this is going to help (*sarcasm*). It looked like a runny green nasty mush that couldn't possible soften my feet. Well let me tell you, I woke up this morning with the most supple heels I think I've ever had. Coupled with my vaseline remedy I'll do tonight, I think my feet will be softer than even a professional spa pedicure (though I did miss the wonderful leg massage). Anyways, I just had to pass this along!

Get out your coffee grinder and grind some oats into 2 tablespoons (not two tablespoons of oats then ground, but two tablespoons of ground oats).

Mix with 2 tablespoons brown sugar, 2 tablesppons aloe vera gel, 1 tablespoon honey, 1 teaspoon lemon juice , 1 teaspoon of almond or olive oil (I used olive oil)

Massage gently into your feet and rinse off with warm water.

I soaked my feet in some warm water with some olive oil first, to soften the skin a little. This is before I apply the scrub, then I push and cut the cuticles and then add some foot lotion when dry (note, not on the toes - you still have to add nail polish!)

All in all, this took about a half an hour to complete and my feet feel fabulous and my toes look great! They truly look like a professional job, and all for nothing, just with stuff I already had around the house!

I've been doing the following for a long time - once a week, I'l rub vaseline all over my feet right before bed and then put on a pair of socks and sleep in them. Oh, this feels good too - but only for those of you that can stand to wear socks to bed.

Catch you later!

Monday, May 18, 2009

New House~

Well, after only 3 weeks on the market (this time around anyways), we have a contract on our house and the contract for our new house has been accepted. Judging home inspections, mortgage appraisals and all else goes well, we will be moving on June 17th! So, pray, pray, pray all goes well. Stuart and I are sure are!

So, now I'm freaking out, just a little though because I'm too excited!! I was told by my friend, Rachel, as we were discussing this yesterday "just pack two boxes a day, and you'll be packed before you know it!" I plan to take that advice and start tonight. Stuart and I decided to label boxes to the room in which items are currently located so that we'll know what's in the box without having to open it and drag everything out (i.e. hall closet - linens). The good thing is the people buying our house don't have to move right away as they are in a rented condo. They said we coud take a couple extra days after the closing if necessary.

Anyways, that is our big news! I will post pictures better pictures very soon. One thing is for sure, now, none of you have an excuse not to come down and visit us!! We now have plenty of room and a pool so you can get that nice Florida tan before you go home! YAY!!! (Perfect timing for the blistering hot summer, eh?)



Saturday, May 16, 2009

Puppy - Mother's Day 5.16.09

Our neighbor's brought over their new puppy, Molly, today for Hollon to see. Hollon immediately fell in love and would NOT let go of this sweet little puppy for anything! They took it for a wagon ride.



And then, she decided to carry the puppy all around the house and yard. It was so cute - I want a puppy now, a teeny tiny one - not like U.K., our golden retriever, but a tiny little dog that will curl up in my lap at night while I'm reading a good book. But Stuart won't let us have one. He was working on the house at the time and couldn't see Hollon with this adorable puppy, or his heart would have melted too (and then I'd have my puppy)!



Now, I'm playing a little catch up here, and this is mostly for granny Trent and grandma Dierolf. Hollon painted flower pots for them for Mother's Day! She had so much fun.





And now for the finished product!

Friday, May 15, 2009

The Sandbar

I am soooo addicted to this blogging thing...I keep surfing , finding new things that I absolutely adore, new blogs that I can't stop reading and I find myself wanting to become not only a blogger about my #1 things in life (i.e. God and family), but also of all things fun, crafty and well....just plain fun! When we move into our new house, I'm hoping to have my own craft area and then I can pull all my fun crafty things out and show you what I'm up to. I'm adding an embroidery machine to my wish list.

I'm trying to think of something to do with Hollon and Stuart this weekend. We so enjoyed the beach in Apalachicola so maybe we'll take the boat out, that is if it still runs! It's been almose a year since we've been out. Stuart - if you're reading this, that's your task for tonight! You're off the hook from parenting duties if you can handle this! :-)

So, I hope the weather holds up and we are able to make it out to the hang-out that ony us locals know about. It's better known as "The Sandbar" to us Martin County residents and it's this huge bar that is exposed for the better part of the day, in the middle of the gorgeous intercoastal waterway, just before exiting out to the ocean. The boat ride to it is gorgeous as with the wind in your hair, a smile on your face, the sun basking down. The neat part is we get to motor slowly past no wake zone all the absolutely huge mansions that the "northern rich" use as vacation homes. In the summer, they aren't used much, so hurricane shutters cover the windows, but that doesn't stop us from gauking at Mr. Walgreen's house....yep, that's right, Mr. Walgreen himself (you know, the pharmacy?) I think we pass Wayne Heizinga's house too. He has his own helicopter pad. I've always wanted to go for a helicopter ride. I had a chance to when I worked for Greg Norman, but THAT is a whole other entry!


The picture above is of Stuart, the historic downtown section with absolutely fabulous shopping, I might add! We live all the way at the top of the photo just across the Palm City bridge, if you can see it. We circle around this section of the river and then....



.....we go underneath the Roosevelt Bridge just north of downtown Stuart. Below is another view of the north section of the bridge.



At the bar, everyone beaches their boats and brings a grill, volleyball nets, loads of food and the kids and dogs run wild (where else can they go, you'd have to swim to get anywhere else!) And we just have a great ole family time with people young, old and in between. I'll be sure to take pictures if we go. I can't find any good ones in my archives.

So, that's our vacation spot, right in our own back yard. Jealous???? Then come visit us! We love visitors.

Later ya'll!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Can you see the resemblance? 5/14/09

My mom and dad have been working on a project for me for a few months now. They are scanning all my pictures from when I was a kid into the computer, dating and naming everyone in the pictures and putting them on a disk for my keeping. They recently gave me Volume I - 1977 - 1981, my first four years.

As I was going through the pictures, I realized how much Hollon looks, smiles and acts like I did at the same age! Here are some pictures. I think that maybe, eventually, we might be able to do the same for Stuart's baby pictures.

I have to say, I got quite teary-eyed, looking at my mom and dad in their young age as parents, about the same age as Stuart and I are now. Mom was (and still is) so beautiful and my dad so handsome. I remembered my grandparents and great-grandparents, two still living and the others, now gone. I saw pictures of my aunts and uncles, still young and unmarried without children of their own yet (I was the first grandchild out of many); my uncle Tim was only 13 at the time. I was able to take a glimpse into life in the late 70's, early 80's and it really hit me, that my parents went through the exact same tough times and turmoils that parents go through - and all the while, were so happy to have been blessed with, of all things, me! I guess I just got a little emotional.

Anyways, back to the task at hand....enjoy these pictures!


September 25th, 1977 - 1 day old - just me and my dad. I didn't realize that I was born with quite a bit of blond hair.....



Hollon Meredith 7/30/07 ..... though Hollon was born with loads more blonde hair than even I!


My baptism day 10/16/1977


Me - 7/1977 - 22 months old (the same age as Hollon is now).


Hollon - 5/2009 - 22 months old


Me 9/24/1979 - My 2nd birthday!
I'll post more pictures as I go through them. I hope to get some of Stuart too. In addition, I still need to post the rest of our pictures from Apalachicola and the pictures from the flower pots Hollon painted for the grandmother's for mother's day.
See you soon!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Apalachicola

Here are the pictures from our weekend trip to my parents house they rented for a few weeks in St. George Island, Florida / Apalachicola (about an hour southwest of Tallahasee).





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At Papa Joe's Oyster Bar




Grandpa and Hollon walking out to the bay on the private dock from the house.


Fishing during Hollon's nap. Didn't catch anything, but it was still much fun!



I made Stuart bate the shrimp for me!




Stuart's first oyster ever! He's been ragging on my dad and I for years about how we're eating the entire body of a bottom feeder. He realizes now that he has been missing out!!



Papa Joe's famous oysters with butter and parmesean! YUMMMM!!!



Stuart, after eating his first oyster. He LOVES THEM!!!



Thank GOODNESS this picture is fuzzy. You would be scared to see me in a bikini. Most people had to hide their eyes because of the bright shimmer coming off my pale white body :-)



Hollon loved the beach, but was afraid of the water. She had so much fun chasing the birds down the beach....and Stuart and I became exhausted chasing after her!







Grandma and Hollon heading out the dock to the bay to look at the fish and oysters. That's the house behind them. It was so nice and peaceful, surrounded by trees. We couldn't hear anything and the huge porch was completely screened, so we spent most of our time out there.


Sitting on the dock of the bay!


The other great place to eat oysters - That Place on 98. In fact, that is pratically all they serve!
I will post some other pictures tomorrow from our trip. Some are on my other camera.