Friday, November 30, 2012


I never thought it was possible, but I think there is one person in this world that may be more competitive than Brady Smallie.  His little sister Cate!  When she sets her mind to something, there is no stopping her...she WILL NOT back down.  The monkey bars are her latest obsession.  One day we sat at the park for over an hour while she finally got across without dropping down.  Hadley and I were literally laying on the ground begging her to be done already :)  But she refused to leave until she pulled herself across every last one of the bars and was so proud of herself when she finally accomplished her goal!
On Thanksgiving, the weather was perfect for a park trip.  We walked from Fran's house to Shaw Park and Cate was thrilled to show off her monkey skills! 
Nailed it!
As Dora the Explorer tells Cate everyday:  NEVER GIVE UP!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Turkey Eve

On Wednesday, Cate and I were fed up with fighting boys so we broke outta here and headed to the Galleria for a little retail therapy.  She was looking for something cute to wear Thanksgiving and I was wanting to get her opinion about a few things in The Disney Store that I thought she would like for Christmas.  Cate is the perfect child to take shopping because she never begs/cries for anything, she just asks that we put it everything on her Christmas or birthday list.  I love that we can go into her favorite stores and walk right back out with zero tears or whining.  Makes for a fun, stress-free excursion!
I've always loved the Christmas decorations at Galleria
She could spend hours in the Disney Store!
Why does the Gap sell these?  She thought they were funny.
Santa was in da house!  I asked her if she told him what was on her list and she said "No, I just listened to him tell me about things I might like, but he was really off so we need to get my list in the mail"  Ha!
Walking the mall wore her out!  When I unbuckled her she snuggled back in and I barely got her out of her seat. The trip was a success though~ (Thanks to Mini Boden and Nordstrom, Cate will look super cute on Thanksgiving!)
When we arrived home, everyone was asleep. 
That night, Brady had two 3v3 soccer games and his team won the tournament.  Woot Woot!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Holiday Parade

Last Saturday was our towns annual Holiday Parade.  This year, our Jr. Garden Club had a float.  My kids were very excited to get to ride through a parade and be the ones throwing out the candy and goodies!  We decided to go with a holiday garden theme (duh) and decorated trees and wreaths using gardening shovels, gloves, and real vegetables as the ornaments.  Super cute.  We had 22 club members ride on the float and the streets were filled with THOUSANDS of people.  It was crazy!
Scott, his Grandma, my Mom and lots of our friends sat along the route, while me, my sister, our dad and my kids rode on the float.  Cate had a blast!
We had to line up an hour before the parade started and it got pretty boring :)

By the end of the parade, Brady was exhausted!
Trevor dressed up in his pea costume and Annie carried him behind the float.  Cutest vegetable ever!!

The parade was a huge success and Kathy and I are already brainstorming for next year.  My Mom and Dad have done an awesome job with the Garden Club again this year and everyone is so appreciative of all the effort they put into it. 

$400 ketchup

Let me just start this post by saying Teenage Boys Are Stupid.  Or TBAS.  Some situations can only be dealt with by accepting that TBAS.  So without further ado, another Carter story........

After we arrived home from our fun Memphis weekend, I sat down at my computer to check our online bank statement and was shocked to see an additional $400 charge from the hotel we had just checked out of.  I immediately called the front desk and was told that the $400 was a fine they charged us for "trashing" the hotel room.  I don't know about you, but "trashing" a hotel room makes me think of Johnny Depp c.1994 and when I left our hotel room, the only thing amiss was that I threw the towels into the dry tub so I could get them out of the way.  That's when the hotel clerk told me there was splattered ketchup all over the room.  He was explaining the damages and although I could hear him, my mind was wandering to 5-hour old memories.  1*Carter had left his headphones in the room, and he, Stevie, and Brady ran back up while we waited in the car.. meaning I was not the last person to be in the room 2*while stalking Carter's Twitter page on the way home, I saw that Stevie commented about "trashing a hotel room" 3*well, TBAS.  So, I asked the hotel guy to email me the pictures and I would call Tuesday to talk with the hotels GM  (he was off til then).  Carter immediately got that "oh shit" look on his face and for the next hour, Scott and I went crazy on him while our other three kids cried and screamed out random things like "We're never going to be able to eat again, our money is gone!!"  "I'm never eating ketchup again!!"  "Hotels will never let our family back in!!!" 

So how did we get to the bottom of this and find out exactly what happened during those 30 seconds in the room??  Well, we asked Brady Smallie of course.  He may be the most mischievious little guy around, but he sings like a bird the first chance he gets...always.  And sing he did.  Turns out, Stevie threw a packet of ketchup (like the picture above) at Carter and it splattered onto the wall.  Because TBAS, they didn't mention it to us and we left Memphis.  Once I saw the pictures, I realized that the room wasn't neccessarily trashed, but definitely messed up enough to tick off hotel staff.

 On Tuesday, I called the GM four times and he never returned my calls.  On Wednesday, I left another three messages.  Yes, he's busy, but come on, a $400 charge is worth calling me back about.  By Thursday, I was fired up.  Those of you that know me, know I am not a confrontational person and I HATE the telephone.  I can't even order pizzas because it makes me nervous.  Making this phone call was defintiely not something I was comfortable with, but Scott is even worse at this crap than me, so I didn't have a choice.  {I will say I was this close to having my friend Crista call for me...she's crazy like that :) }   So, once again on Thursday he was "away from his desk" and his voicemail was full so I told the front desk that if I did not hear from him within the hour, he would be hearing from my lawyer.  Ten minutes later, he called me back (funny how that works, huh?!).  We went round and round for a good 20 minutes and I finally got his attention when I told him I was going to contact the soccer tournament director and petition to have his hotel removed from the recommended list (these tournaments require you book hotels through their list of hotels).  And that the other 21 families that traveled with us that weekend would be willing to fill out the online survey with not-so-great reviews.  Here was my beef with this entire situation....Yes, the mess in our hotel room was our fault and I had absolutely no problem paying an extra cleaning fee for the mess.  But bottom line is $400 was an outrageous fee for one packet of ketchup.  Bed linens can be washed (and let's be honest...ketchup is not the worst thing that has been on those sheets in their lifetime) and walls can be washed down.  The pictures revealed nothing different than crap I deal with of my life.  My closing remarks went something like this..."I am really sorry about all of this.  Had they told us this happened, we would have gone back up to the room and cleaned it and no one would have ever known.  My husband and I are very embarressed about this and the boys will be punished and expected to pay the fee.  TBAS and they make bad decisions (at least mine does...a lot.) but there is no way I am paying $400 without putting up a HUGE fight."  In the end, he agreed to knock $300 off the fine and Stevie paid half.  Guess what Mr. Carter is getting in his stocking this Christmas??  KETCHUP. 

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Sunday, November 18, 2012

Memphis...Part 7

Last weekend we took our 7th sports related trip to Memphis...Brady's soccer team was playing in a tournament at the Mike Rose Complex.  Carter asked to bring his friend Stevie this time and we figured it would give him something to do and maybe the kids wouldn't argue so much if they had a distraction.  For the most part, it worked.  However, the car was a bit cramped.
Our first stop was at Lambert's Restaurant.  Home of the thrown roll! We left town about 12, so we could enjoy a late lunch at Lambert's and then finish the rest of the drive getting us to Memphis about 6. 
Lambert's is this Hungarian blooded boys heaven. Yummy huge rolls literally thrown at him non-stop.
Cate and I sat on the front porch while Scott and the boys played football for awhile to burn off some energy before we left Lambert's.

We reserved a suite because of our large amount of children and it happened to have a jacuzzi right in the middle of the front room.  Cate thought this was awesome and swam in it all weekend.  She especially loved when Brady brought his soccer buddies in take a dip!

Bennett, Carter, and Stevie played a lot of catch over the weekend.  Cate liked watching from our hotel window
Game time!  The weather was PERFECT!
Cate draped our blanket over the bleachers and hung out underneath to avoid the sun :)

Brady's games were at 1 & 3:30 Saturday, so we had plenty of time to lay around and hang out
There was a running trail right next to our hotel so Scott even got to go for his daily run

Saturday night, we went to Corky's BBQ for dinner (YUM) and then Scott took the three little ones back to the hotel to swim, and I took Carter and Stevie to the mall. 
They danced in the middle of Target for a very long time
Sunday was a very colorful day for Cate!
Still avoiding the sun!
Heading home and we're all still in one piece=successful trip!

Brady's team ended up losing in the semi-finals Sunday (to a team we had already beat 8-2 grrrrrr), but overall it was a really fun weekend.  Until the ride home.  It stormed the final three hours of the trip and it made me very very nervous.  People were pulled over on the side of the highway, but Scott said there was no way he was stopping, he just wanted to get home!  Unfortunately, the storm followed us all the way to GC and stayed with us overnight.  I was so happy to finally be out of that car! Sounds like we have three more trips to Memphis next year and one to Southhaven MS, which is 15 minutes from Memphis.  We should look into renting an apartment there :)  

Monday, November 12, 2012

Halloween 2012

Woah.  I'm way behind on my blogging.  Lately, I've been taking most of my pictures with my phone and I haven't figured out the fastest way for me to get them from there to I've just been avoiding it all together.  However, the show must go on (before my dad starts harassing me about it)
Halloween 2012 was a success!  We had a witch and, well, that's it.  My big kids haven't dressed up in a long time.  I guess we're not really Halloween people. Ok, if it isn't obvious, I'm really crabby today, so I'm just going to throw out a lot of pictures and caption them for this post, in no particular order.  Hopefully my happy self will return soon :)
I loved Cate's choice of costume this year.  Very colorful and super cute!
Tyler and Cate at their class party. 
We stayed close to home Halloween (as opposed to running all over town visiting family) and had over 400 trick-or-treaters stop by for some goodies!  Crazy considering we only have four kids that live in our neighborhood  :) We went through five huge bags of candy and all of the kids stuff.  Cate loved doling out the candy and seeing all the costumes!
Brady's class had a fun party and he especially loved the spooky story time
Bennett's class painted pumpkin pots.  It was also their fieldtrip day to the Symphony!
Trevor stopped by.  Cutest vegetable ever!
Teen Wolf also made an appearance this year!
Cate used some of the class party time to play on the computers
The night before Halloween, we trick-or-treated with the Cochran's in their neighborhood

October flew by and we're already just a week away from Thanksgiving.  How did that happen?!?!   I would like to request that October, November, and December  go by slowly and we can zoom through January, February and March!!