Sunday, December 5, 2010


You know on occasion when your husband just knocks one out of the park! What can you say? Nothing , but WOW!!!!

Noele was drying off after her bath and Ken had just walked in from going to get me a newspaper so that I could look at the sales ads when I heard him saying, "Sandra, go get the kids. I have something to show them." I figured that maybe we had carolers out front, boy was I in for a surprise! I told Noele to hurry and get dressed and I started walking downstairs when I heard another voice. I thought maybe Ken had run into someone from work or a relative. I was almost to the bottom of the stairs when what to my wondering eyes.....Santa was standing there!

Brandon and Chloe' were already there and then Noele came down. They were in shock at first I think. Brandon couldn't wipe the smile from his face. Each of the kids told Santa what they wanted and I snapped some pics and then it was time for him to go. I think they'll always remember this with a smile and love in their hearts.

**Ken was at the gas station when Santa asked for directions to a local church. He said they talked for about 15 minutes and then Ken left to come home. He said he realized he might not have another opportunity so he turned around and asked Santa if he could come by. Santa makes appearances for donations to his Masonic Lodge. The lodge then turns around and uses the money for charities. He doesn't do malls or anything else, nothing for personal profit. Santa was more than willing and came by for a visit. A moment when I think my husband rocks!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Jack's Old South....

So do you watch BBQ Pitmasters?

Myron Mixon is one of the judges and a world champion pitmaster. Ken and I started watching the show in Arizona and thought that he was just a character. I told Ken that I was going to send him to Myron's cooking school since Ken is such a BBQ and grill buff.

Anyway, Myron owns Jack's Old South a BBQ restaurant and has started franchising it. Jack's Old South just opened up in Braselton about 10 minutes away from us and we (I) just had to try it. I think it's his first franchise restaurant. Pleasant surprise the food was good. You just have to understand.... Ken is an excellent cook, BBQ'er, griller, however you want to put. So for me to have someone else's pulled pork and it be pretty good is a big deal.

The meat was tender and not fatty at all. (I have this revulsion to fat on meat! Ugh!) Even the slaw and potato salad were good. Myron was at the grand opening and we missed seeing him! Darn! Oh well, I'd rather have the BBQ anyway!

Best Burger Ever!!!!

So, Ken kept bugging me about trying some steak burgers that the butcher told him they were selling at the meat market.....I kept thinking to myself that they were going to be terrible. Ken said that they were grinding up leftovers of steaks and mixing them w/bacon and patting out burgers. I just kept thinking that they were going to taste overwhelmingly of nasty bacon.

Surprise, surprise, oh! delicious surprise!! The burgers are made out of ground usda prime ribeye, filet mignon and applewood smoked bacon. These are the bits that they keep after cutting steaks. One can call on on Wednesday and reserve them for Saturday. Saturday is the day they take the leftovers and make the burgers. If you don't order you might get lucky, but if they put them in the case on Saturday morning don't expect to have one for dinner.

Ken grills them up and then I like mine w/swiss, cheddar, lettuce, tomato, avocado and jalapenos! Delicious! Just the right amount of bacon flavor and so just yummy!

Saturday, September 11, 2010


Today was the first game of the season for both Brandon and Chloe'. Noele decided that soccer wasn't her thing after only one season. Unfortunate, because she was actually pretty good. This year was also a new league since moving to Georgia. Yaya is U12 and B is U8.

Ken and I were pretty worried about today. Brandon has been all right during practice, but not great. He has the attention span of a gnat and if things aren't moving along he gets bored and quits listening and doing what he should. Chloe' has been, well, terrible during practice. Seriously, Ken and I were both saying that we were worried because we were sure the coach was wondering what the heck he was going to do with her during the game. We knew she really wasn't that bad because Ken worked w/her so much when she played before, but we were wondering if she had forgotten everything.

Game day came and thankfully they both came alive! Brandon's team lost by two and he was ticked! It wasn't for him not trying though. He was up and down the field and just did wonderfully. Unfortunately there was one boy on his team put as keeper and that's when the other team scored all their goals. He just wasn't very good. Really sweet boy though and had really no clue that he was doing badly so it never phased him. Chloe's team tied, 3-3! Yay! Her coach had said yesterday at practice that they were playing one of the best teams or the best team in the league in rec so the girls were a little worried. She was just great! She stayed in position and chased down the other girls and passed and kicked the ball when she had (and was supposed) to. She was a little upset because she missed an opportunity to kick in a goal because she got nervous and missed the ball. Her team also had a goal kick not counted because the ref blew the whistle when the ball was in the air. It went in but didn't count. Her coach was surprised I think and kept her in most of the game and kept her as midfielder most of the game. I'm sure he was wondering where she came from.

We'll see how the rest of the season goes.... For now, SO proud of my kids!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

First Day School 08/09/10

August 9, 2010 was the first day of school for the kids. Chloe' 5th, Noele, 2nd and Brandon 1st. Ken stayed home to take the kids. He's always been great about being there for everything important (and not so important) that the kids have had going on. He has always put us before anything else.

I honestly can say that I think the kids were secretly looking forward to starting school. I think they were getting really bored being home even though we had several activities during the summer. Chloe' is in 5th, Noele is in 2nd and Brandon is now in 1st. Yay!

Here's to a great year!

Gwinnett Braves

Went to the Gwinnett Braves game on Friday night and the kids had a great time. Hubby's company has a suite so we got to enjoy! The kids played on the jumpies and Hubby had Harry Canary come in a say hello to the kids. Ended up being only Chloe' and Noele, the other girls in the suite were scared and Brandon was off playing with the boys at the jumpies again. We'll definitely go back! BTW....the Braves won!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Confession....# 1

I have a confession to make....

I can't swim.

Okay, it may not be a big thing to some people, but to me it is. We would go to the pool when I was a kid, but it just really never came up for me to learn or really try. Unfortunately, when I was ten we went on vacation and my siblings pressured me to get on the diving board and jump off. When I got up there I became totally terrified and my brother wouldn't let me off. So in I go and I remember just going to the bottom of the 10 ft pool and struggling to get back up to the top. Since then I've been very scared of the water.

I've made it a priority that all three of my kids know how to swim. Especially since Ken is a great swimmer and I always felt like I missed out on some of the fun going on around me when I was a kid. I also don't want them to drown!

Anyway, the point of my confession is that I am taking swimming lessons!!! I've taken them twice before when I was in my late twenties, but I didn't learn much. The instructor was a young guy who was too busy flirting with all the young girls. I'm 42 now and our kids are getting older and we're do more family activities. It's time to get it done. Thank goodness my instructor now is great!

First lesson was today! 40 mins of hard work! I'm a mouth breather so it was really different trying to breathe in through my nose and blow bubbles. Now I know what my kids went through this past summer. We'll see how it goes!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Beach Vacation 2010

Just got back yesterday from a week on the beach in Florida. We had a very good time! My husband, Ken, of course had to break something before we went, but that's just typical. He apparently cracked the side of his big toe and was in a lot of pain the whole week, but he didn't let it stop him or get in the way of us having a good time.

We rented a house through VRBO which was interesting. The house itself was nice. I guess there are pros and cons on everything. My younger sister Christina and her family joined us for most of the week. We went to the beach two days, Big Kahunas, Crab Island, and dolphin watching while we were there. All in all it was a good time! We will definitely do something similar next year I think.

We stayed in Santa Rosa Beach which is between Destin and Panama City. There was a walkway through the preserve to the beach and the sand was beautiful! The water was a different story. There was a huge algae bloom known as the "June Bloom." One of the local waiters told us that it happens every year at the end of June and lasts through August. Interesting how no one mentions this. Everyone was concerned about the oil not allowing anyone into the water, but the algae was just as bad. The water looked nice, but as soon as you got in all the algae was constantly touching you and just felt icky. No one wanted to get in the water. Luckily the "Lake of Terror" was close by. The lake was part of a bigger lake that was maybe 20 feet from the beach filled with brackish water. It was gross, but the kids loved it. You could have sworn that the kids were swimming in Coca Cola.

Big Kahunas is a water park. Not the biggest, but it had a lot of slides and a few lazy rivers. We rented a cabana for the day and that was the best thing! We had the cabana with tables and chairs and lounge chairs. We also had our own personal waiter and didn't have to go get in line at the concessions. The kids had such a good time and their favorite was Thunder River. Ken and I were so proud of Brandon. The girls had taken off and were going up the stairs to Thunder River and he wanted to go with them. By the time he got to the stairs they were gone. He stood there and kept looking back at us and I could tell he was wondering if he should come back. Finally he mustered up his courage and after almost being run over by several adults he managed to get an inner tube and he drug it up the stairs and went down Thunder River by himself! He met up with the rest of the kids at the cabana after that first round and just kept up with them the rest of the time we were there.

I think our favorite thing to do was Crab Island! We rented a pontoon boat and took it to the bay where Crab Island is. It's not actually an island, more of a giant sand bar. The algae bloom wasn't there and the water is only about 3 feet deep and blue! The kids had a good time finding crabs all afternoon and Ken and I just floated around and relaxed. We really want a boat now!!

Dolphin watching was all right. Two hours on the boat with about 1/2 an hour of dolphins. Not bad except for the extreme heat. The kids were kind of done. (So were we.)

All in all a great vacation! Looking forward to next year!


Found a good website for tutorials. Loved the corkscrew bow!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

July 4th, 2010

These are pictures from this year's Camp Cullasaja in Highands, NC. My in-laws live there and every year they have a two day camp for the grandkids to come and participate in various activities. We hadn't been in a few years so it was due time for the kids to come back and have fun.

The first activity up was the fishing competition. It was a beautiful morning, chilly with a mist all around. The kids did all right. Noele caught four fish, Brandon caught one and Chloe' caught a 12" bass, winning for the largest fish.

After fishing the kids had karate and hula hooping. All three did karate and really enjoyed it. Ken and I would love to put all three back in it, just to find the time.... The girls did hula hooping. B says it's not for boys. There was a woman there that teaches it for fitness and makes hula hoops to sale. She gave a quick lesson and exhibition and then the kids got to make and decorate their own hula hoops. They are actually really good quality hula hoops. It's funny because about two weeks before I got my own quality hula hoop. haha..the girls and I will go on the road. Not!

Day two, well, the kids were kind of pooped out. In between karate and hula hooping the day before they went swimming. So, day two was supposed to be golf and tennis, but only Chloe' did tennis that day. Brandon played in the fountain and Noele ate a snow cone.

For the end of camp they always have a golf cart parade. We decorated the cart and the kids went for a ride w/Grandpa Hughie. After the parade there was a wild animal show and more time w/the grandparents.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Whale Shark.
The Georgia Aquarium, the world's largest aquarium, in Atlanta, Georgia of all places. It made for a really fun day with the kids. We got to pet stingrays, sharks, shrimp, horseshoe crabs and other sea animals. The best part was seeing the giant aquarium where the whale sharks and a manta ray are kept. There are all kinds of other fish in the tank, but the whale sharks and the manta ray were the stand outs.
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