Thursday, July 31

The Joys of Owning a Home: Part 2

A serendipity, if you will, has come from owning this home. Actually many, but one stands out. Since we have lived here we have received some of the mail of the previous owners. Mostly junk...nothing important. I have learned a little bit about our sellers...or the wife at least. THE GIRL LOVED HER SOME CATALOGS. When I returned home from my Atlanta Staycation I was greeted with this:

I seems small in this pic but it's a huge stack of catalogs. I mean I was gone for 6 days people! I am not going to lie. I have looked thru them all. What woman passes the opportunity to shop...even thru a catalog...even if it's not your taste? :) I liken it to slighting my new People magazine on a flight to look thru the Sky Miles magazine. And of course I find many things I can't live without...if only I had 99.95 to get that cool chair that I could lay out on my stomach AND read a magazine. (Don't throw know you wanted that one too.) Anywho...I want to show you some of the ones we got.

The two above are cute little country type decor...wooden signs, animals, lots of things made from wire, candle holders galore, snowmen ALL OVER for Christmas, cute phrases like, "of all the places I have for guests...its seems they like my kitchen best"(or something like that) and "We don't skinny dip, we chunky dunk." Seriously...that was on a wooden sign! :) Thinkin' 'bout gettin' that fer Isaacs room. :) Very country and crafty selections in these two.
You may have heard of this one (above)...if you are a needlework and craft expert. Many things that you can make with accents including hummingbirds, butterflies, flowers, little mice and the like.
This one I think I enjoyed. There are lots of neat kitchen ideas and gadgets. I mean this is the very magazine that junks up the big drawer in the kitchen...with an onion peeler, a slicer apparatus for potatoes only, a corn on the cob peeler (why not just make a can of corn?), or wrap-around coasters (that are glorified sweatbands). I am not gonna lie...I almost bought something. But I didn't.

This one above may have been his...full of electronics and so on. Cameras, radios, ect.
above: "Sturbridge Yankee Workshop"... Didn't look at this one too close. Looked neat...but don't love much with "Yankee" on it but the candles.

wow...creative irish gifts...amazingly in demand. I bet it's full o' leprechons, beard trimmers, setters (bad joke), lucky charms, and ye ol' rainbows ending in pots o' gold!
This one above is interesting. Apparently there is an actual demand for women who are the new age-y, crystals, prisms, incense, kinda go-with-the-flow, but slightly angry, dragon-lover types. WHO KNEW? My previous owner did, that's who! I was so glad this came, though, cause I have been looking for this item (BELOW) and have not been able to find one for when the kids act up..and's reversible.

CREEPY!!! Seriously???
And the sign above it to the left says, "If you can't take the heat, then don't tickle the dragon!"

I was also glad to find this statue (below) will be perfect to have next to my new cape.

more interesting clothes above...

Then below is's called Catalog Favorites! In case you have searched them all and can't find what you are looking for OR if you need a Walmart one-stop-shop Catalog...they have one! It's got all the best sellers from Catalogs of all kinds. This one does include the freaky lady stuff too. But has some neat stuff too. Notice the tank top on the front center of the cover. It reads, "I feel a SIN comin' on." Not sure when one would pluck this jewel from the closet (or lair) and say, "Yes, I have the perfect occasion to wear this to!" Seriously when I imagine me walking around a Renaissance Festival and running in to the lady who I think may actually wear this...I get scared. I feel the need to run...and pray. Call me crazy, I don't know.
Below was another lovely selection that they are actually selling new. I was looking for these too...but I have not made it back to the year 1985 to get one yet. So was the previous owner an electronics usin', gadget buyin', cross stitchin', dragon-lovin', yankee leprechon? Probably not. Honestly I would hate to be judged by the junk that's still going to Tanglewood. :) She is probably happy to leave all this mess behind. And we are happy to laugh at it! :)

THIS is what I was looking for as I pilfered thru this pile. I love Real Simple. Notice someone got to it before, we don't have a dog. I also love Pottery Barn Kids, Oriental Trading, LLBean, JCrew, and so on. The others we get are just so entertaining! I will keep you all up to date on what graces our mail box! Until the next catalog.... :)

(And I have to agree with my sister-in-law Anna here (from the comments). She mentioned the reality of witchcraft and Satanism in this world. This is not to be taken lightly. God is bigger for sure and will prevail. But we can't ignore or just stand by and laugh...and not take it seriously.)

Wednesday, July 30

The Joys of Owning a Home: Part One

Ahhh...remember the phrase (or the great Daughtry song with this line) "Be careful what you wish for cause you just might get it all." ? Anyone? Well I say that in light of the these next thoughts. I am so thankful with what God has blessed us with. I would not change a thing. But much like my job as a stay-at-home mom...there is the good, the bad and the ugly. Owning a home has its major perks (laundry IN my home, more space, indoor parking...well, for one of us...) and its stress (the yard, the bugs, the roof, the trees, the plumbing, the carpet, etc). I mean we have been calling the landlord and expecting the work to be done in a day or two for 7 years! Now the landlords are "yours truly" and DJ Jazzie Jones...and we don't know what we are doing and are certainly not as punctual! :) BUMMER.
Right now the "ugly" part would be our yard. I have been calling us "yard retards" since we have taken this beautiful landscape and slowly, actively, yet unintentionally been KILLING it. Let me show you:

Before we bought the house...during the inspection.
Above is before we bought the house. All thick, green, flourishing the way God would have it!
NOW LOOK AT IT...below....

Look at my fern! They all look this way!

(above) and this is the front yard.
The deal was that we sprayed the yard with a "fungicide" (at least that is what the bottle said) since we had talked to the previous owner and he said he would do that about 1 time a year...and with all the rain we had gotten it may need it. Well, once we saw the grass turn a lovely tan color we thought...uh oh...some-ting-wong. We called a lawn company who inspected it and said we may have accidently used a herbicide (aka ROUND UP...AKA...KILLS ALL PLANTS!) and/or severely burned our yard. Niiiiice. Greaaaaaaat. Puuuuuuurfect. Can't even maintain a great yard...we just kill it! Dan said we are like that scene in Tommy Boy where the Chris Farley shows the waitress what he tends to do to his nice, perfect sale (using a stuffed chick as demonstration). We have taken something so sweet and precious and just squished it. :)
But let me say this...when we moved in... our yard was AWESOME. (And keep in mind we have been in this house since June 9th (a month and a half). )

So there are 3 options:
1. The previous owner really spruced this place up to sell (bought the palms, did yard work galore, bleached all the outdoor tiles which now are green, cleaned up the rock beds...).
2. They had no other life than to work in this yard and make it look amazing. Cause it did...but it doesn't do that we thought/or hoped. It's so much stinkin' work! Just when you are done and you sit back and enjoy it..3 days later it's time to get out there again! Or a storm comes and knocks lots of junk into the yard. Then you start hating every time the wind blows cause you know it means more work! :) I mean the family before us had 2 little did they do it??
3. My guess is they had FULL service yard service that did it all! Grass, weed, trim, water, edge, blow, fertilize...all by someone else. THAT'S AWESOME. LOTS of our neighbors have lawn services (mainly cause they are rich and/or older). We are saving for that ourselves. Well, now that the grass is dead there is not much more to do. But we may do it next summer.
Keep in mind we have never had a yard to maintain. In addition to that, it has never had to take up any time in the last 7 years of our lives because we never had to deal with a yard. NOW we have to work in it, juggling the kids or arguing over who "gets" to cut the grass and who has to stay inside and keep the kids entertained. I admit I love the hour of my iPod and pushing the me crazy. Dan usually lets me do it.
We have about 10 potted palms that probably need daily watering. NOT going to happen. I mean I hate to see them die...but I attempted to bring out the kiddos to water them one afternoon. The whole task should take about 40 mins (yanking the dang hose all over the yard and then standing there watering). I put Isaac in a backpack (painful from the very start!) and Daisy was going to be my "helper." As I am sure you predicted...THE LUG was killing my back since I was having to squat and lean over to pick up the hose and so on. Then "helper" decided after one palm that she was hot and tired as she stood watching me (really, "helper", do YOU have 50 lbs of baby and backpack on while getting the hose to the OTHER SIDE OF THE HOUSE???). Anywho...I am not going to use my valuable nap time to water the palms. So they will have to die. Or I can pray for rain.

I wanted to share my experiences with you all. I did tell Daniel yesterday that I was thankful that we didn't have a shabby yard that we were having to totally redo and/or nurse to health ourselves. That would be worse. Or would it even happen? HA! Feel free to comment on your own yard troubles or advice for the "yard retards."

Here is little Isaac (11 mo) in his fav chair. It's a little giraffe folding chair. He climbs up in it all by himself. It's pretty cute to see his little fat leg hiking up to get in! Then he is so proud! And he fills up the whole seat too! He is not smiling in this pic...bummer. The bad part is him getting out...he usually falls back or forwards ending in lots o' crying. Poor bug...he will figure it out!

Sunday, July 27

a little bit of nothing...

Hello all! We don't have much to share. I just thought I would give a general update on the latest in O Town.

We are learning our way around. However, I have been "lost" several, SEVERAL times since moving here...twice on our way to a play date. And when stressed out searching frantically for the location (cause I HATE being late) it's so comforting to hear, "Mom? Are we lost? Again? BUT I WANNA SEE KAAAATELYNNNNN!!!! WAAAA!" Seriously? Then I got lost once cause I mapquested something wrong. Another time when I got directions there were 3 locations with the same name, and of course I chose the wrong one. Once I went to the wrong park, all the way there excited that I knew where I was going this time. :( And then once it happened on my way back to my OWN HOME from Atlanta. I had been that way 20 times...but on the day that my children, mom and I had been on the road all day, I decided to take a 1 hour detour home. Ugh. I used to call myself "directionally challenged" until I developed a love for maps. :) Apparently my love has not been enough to carry me around Orlando.

Anywho...we broke down and bought the Sea World passes. Apparently it's the best one to get (and by best I mean cheapest). Pay for a day of admission and get in for the year. We ventured there on Saturday. It was BOILING hot. We were there about 2 1/2 hours. And that was LONG enough. We will do that park in small chunks. And maybe never go on a summer Saturday again. :)

Me and Daisy on the far right.
Daisy's version of "raising her hands" on the ride.

We finally got to go to the Dr Phillips Splash Park. (We have tried but weather has been in the way.) Here are some pics of the kids playing. I met a new friend! YIPEE! Her name is Michelle. She is in the book study I have been going to. She has 2 kids. She is very sweet. We met at this park to play. About 10 minutes after arriving, Daisy fell and scraped her knees and toe really bad. She had blood running down her little legs. :( But she made a full recovery and played again. But don't think there has not been added drama and milking those wounds for all they are worth for the last 5 days!!!

Daisy and Julia were fast friends!

Info on the kids...

Daisy is just so sweet. She is cracking us up with her comments and thoughts on things. Of course she is now asking questions about her body, mine and Daddy's. They may not be appropriate for the blog. But it's too funny.

She loves to "do art" and color, paint, stickers...whatever. I love to that works out. She still loves to dress up. Tragedy hit when I was carrying Isaac and, not seeing her tiara on the floor, crushed it with my foot. Whew...felt bad about that. Here was her response, "MOM!!! WHY DID YOU DO THAT? sob, sob. I LOOOOVED my tiara. It was so beautiful..and now it's NAAAAAAT (not)!" (I predict that after reading this news, the Grandmothers will respond immediately and we will receive several tiaras via mail this week. :) ) I told her we would try to find another one. Again her response was, "But THIS one was the MOST beautiful! We will NEVER find another one!" whew...the drama. Since she is still a little vague on the difference between "accident" and "on purpose" this all went on for DAYS. Luckily it has died down some. I have finally snuck (is that a word?) the pieces of the tiara (that she has been lamenting over and then giving me death looks) away to see if she notices. If not...then I will toss them out.

She also loves Memory. And she is good! She loves TV...but we are limiting that these days. She loves the pool. She still says, "Non't" (a combination of "no" and "don't" I guess.). She still sucks her fingers and LOVES her white blanket. She loves to listen to music and sing in the car.

On to Isaac. The baby is 11 months. NO WAY. The best part is that in one month I will be singing my own rendition of "Turn the beat around" by Gloria Estefan replacing "beat" with "seat" and my big boy will be able to see in the car!!! He is so big. Everywhere we go, if Isaac is there, he is the topic of conversation. His first word is "bah" for ball. He says it every time he sees one. He will say "ma-ma" and "da-da" but not specifically...but to both of us. He is sleeping well. Still not a super napper. But at least he takes 2 little ones. He is standing up on his own. He walks behind his walking toy. He will walk holding our fingers...but not on his own yet. He is so smiley. He has 4 and 1/2 teeth. One is on its way in. He has a love/hate relationship with balloons. He screams till he can hold one...and then screams when he holds it...and then screams when he lets it go. Nuts. And "non't" worry...I am watching him with this choking hazard.

We got to see Gary and Shelley this weekend. They were in town for a conference. Shelley even kept the kids for us so we could go listen to some classes! It was great!!
We got to see Hannah (Rhodes) and Michael Rogers on Friday. They were up for the Spiritual Growth Workshop in Orlando. We met at Chick-Fil-A and caught up on life! (Wesley, her little boy, is missing from this pic.)

That's all! Have a great week!

Saturday, July 19

The Cagle Staycation in Atlanta

Well this year for our "vacation" we all decided to save some moolah and have a "staycation" at my parents house in the ATL. It was good times. We were ALL together the first weekend. Then the guys all had to go back to work. Aunt Julie, the kids and I stayed in ATL for the week. We had a great time!
It was fun to all be together for the weekend. Julie and Blake brought their new "baby" Bo. He is a 9 week old golden retriever. And he was so cute and full of energy. He and Isaac required equal attention...especially when they were together! :) I think Jules and Blake are getting some early baby training with the new puppy! :) The boys golfed on Saturday. The rest of us went to the pool. That night we celebrated Scott's 27th birthday. We had Chicken Pockets and Rice-a-roni...some of his favs. Then one of my favorite parts of the week occurred. Scott was about to head to bed when I stopped him and BEGGED him to teach me a popular dance to pop song (that I will not mention). He was reluctant. But my friends, my brother can cut a rug (and the cheese) like NO other. He spent the next 2 hours teaching me, Jules and a little to mom. You shoulda seen us jumping across the kitchen! We went on the C-walk and others. It was hilarious. I laughed so hard. Scott was cracking me up and so was my lack of skill. It hurts to get old and realize some of the natural talent you used to have is pretty rusty...and uncool. Scott was kind though and gave some hilarious pointers. I heard the line from the movie Hitch several times..."Mel, just keep it right here (step touch, step touch)." HA!
(btw...I was doing yard work this weekend and the song I learned the dance for came on my iPod...I couldn't help myself...I had to bust out my new moves. But don't worry, I was on the side of my house and hidden by our fence.)
Sunday we went to church with Nanny and Granddaddy at Grace Chapel. And while we were there we got to see the Wyatts! Rocky and Ashley are some of our good friends from Harding. They have a little boy named Camp and another one on the way! It was great to see them.
Later that week we went to the Georgia Aquarium and Zoo Atlanta. It was great! I highly recommend hitting those places on a weekday when they first open. The Aquarium was a ghost town until about 10:45 was perfect. The Zoo was about the same. We got there before all the matching shirted daycare groups arrived!
On Monday I started not feeling too well and dealt with nausea and the big "D" (and I don't mean Dallas) the rest of the week. There was a funny episode at 12:50 am where I busted into Julie's room and then collapsed on the floor (cause I thought I was going to faint) and said, "JULIE, GET MOM!" She couldn't hear me cause of the fan in her face and I kept hearing a groggy, "Huh?". Luckily Dad was kinda awake and heard me DOWNSTAIRS and he woke mom and they came. We had ourselves a little family meeting in the wee hours of the morning in the hall upstairs as I laid there on a towel. It was a great addition to the Staycation. :) Here are some pics from our fun week:

at church on sunday
The Lug of Luv at the Zoo. He wore Dad's sunglasses and didn't even attempt to remove them. It was so bright he didn't seem to care!

Me toughing it out at the Zoo...I couldn't miss out on the fun!
Papa and Isaac

Daisy, me and Willy B.
Cagles at Zoo Atlanta
Mom and Scott...HA!
Daisy and the Panda
Julie, Me and Scottie

"word. we're at the Aquarium."

that's us...3 of the many silouettes by the tank.

There was a "family intervention" of sorts this weekend. When I mentioned that I was sad and didn't want to cut Daisy's hair for a mom and sister piped in that they thought it WAS TIME to. First, I was sad cause I felt I was the one who had a kid with chewed on long hair and I was only one who DIDN'T know (For those of you who happen to agree with my mom and sister....DON'T COMMENT and let me know. It was painful enough to hear it from them. :). Second, I was sad cause I was cutting my baby girl's hair for the first time (well, we did it once when she was 5 months to rid her of a stick straight baby did NOT go well..think Lloyd Christmas on Dumb and Dumber.) Anywho...I soon saw the error of my ways and was talked into a trim. After it was all said and done she got a small trim and it looked/looks MUCH healthier. The curls returned which was my biggest concern. Mom and were right.