Saturday, January 31, 2009

Yesterday was a busy day....lots of running around. Yesterday afternoon was Paige's appointment at Nemours to pick up her brace. Wow. That thing is big! Paige has been handling this all incredibly well - I am so proud of her. They told her to put it on and just keep it on as long as she could, and to try to do it a little bit longer each night. Paige got it on last night (and that is a process in itself, let me tell you!!) and kept it on all night long until 4:00 am....then put it back on about an hour later. Such an overachiever. We go back in a month for more x-rays and to check the fitting but I am very hopeful that we will see positive changes in her curvature. I didn't realize - but the brace bends her back in the opposite direction of her looks very unconfortable!

Clay started training for taekwondo competitors this morning - 8:30 until 10:30. I am sure he will be very sore tomorrow. Master Berry usually has them run 2-3 miles and/or run the bleachers at the high school, LOTS of conditioning! The reason they always do so well in the competitions is because of all this conditioning though. When they spar it is Olympic style rules...they spar someone, and if they win immediately spar someone else, and so on and so they need to have endurance and not get so winded that they can't go on. It is amazing how many of the other teams run out of breath and energy about halfway through a match - and our guys just keep going and energizer bunnies. :)

On today's agenda....I have three big bags of books to take to Chamblin's (the used book store)...and I'm sure I'll bring a few books home with me as well.:) Run to the grocery store, and more cleaning...Tim will be packing for six days away....

Thursday, January 29, 2009

It's a dreary, rainy day here today...and after the rain, it's gonna get COLD! Again. Which means covering all the plants or bringing them in. Again. Enough, already...I'm ready for spring. Ah well, this is really only about another month to go. :)

We found out a couple of days ago that Simon is coming to visit for two weeks next month. Simon is the French boy that Clay did the exchange with last summer and the boys are great friends. They email and talk via skype all the time and Simon even wants to come live with us for a year and go to school here. He has a two week holiday from school and his parents said he could come - we of course, are thrilled to see him again. He will go to school with Clay when he is able to (not sure about the school's policy on that!) or do stuff with Tim and I. It makes me happy that he wants to spend time with us....I was feeling a little bit guilty that the Thomas' took Clay skiing in the Alps, to the last leg of the Tour de France, etc.....and we took their kids to Whitey's Fish Camp for gator tail...Yee Haw! Oh well....they must have enjoyed the gator tail! :) Anyway, we are excited to see him on February 6th - and hoping he will cook for us again. When he was here over the summer he made us crepes - and taught us all how to make them too. Crepes with Nutella. Yum Yum. I am also hoping that he can work with Clay on his French and maybe Clay can get that French grade up!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Paige and I arrived home Sunday night...Paige woke up Sunday morning with a terrible cold, so it was a long day for her. She had a wonderful time at Grand Prix though, and really enjoyed the classes. Clay has also been feeling a bit under the weather. Yesterday I had to go pick him up at school - he was running a he is home today, feeling yucky - poor kid! Plus, he is going to have a ton of work to make up when he is back at school...

Tim is home all this week, which is really nice. He and I are working on cleaning out a lot of the junk that has accumulated in our house and garage over the past 8 years! Friday morning we have a conference at the school with Clay's teachers, and Friday afternoon we will take Paige back to Nemours to get her brace and make sure it fits properly. I am excited to get going and try to correct this, but I feel so bad for Paige having to sleep in that thing!!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Just a couple of the photos of Paige doing her variation (the Rose Fairy in Sleeping Beauty) i Grand Prix on Friday......

Saturday, January 24, 2009

10 Things about Tim

And...10 things about Tim (also by Paige):

1. He lets me "style" his hair!

2. He used to play "Roadkill Barbie" with me. Another time he and Clay used one of my Barbies as bait. :(

3. He loves to read. (but he is sloooowww)

4. He is a good pilot.

5. He gives WILD rides on the tube!

6. He is smart. He helps me with homework all the time.

7. He is funny. Sometimes he is funnier than mom. Sometimes she is funnier than him. Sometimes Daddy is not as funny as HE thinks he is.

8. He is a hard worker. He works, comes home from work and does work at home, goes back to work. You get the idea.

9. He is very superstitious. He always makes Mom do the weird kissy thing before he goes to work. We (Clay and I) are not allowed to watch it, so I don't know much about it.

10. He loves his family.

10 Things......

My friend Suzette did this in her blog, and has directed me to do the same. I have a hard time thinking of things about myself though, so Paige is helping here they are, 10 things about Lisa (by Paige):

1. My mom is really organized and a good cleaner. She helped me clean my closet out and get it organized and now it's HUGE!

2. She has really good handwriting.

3. She is fast at typing!

4. She is very pretty. You guys have all seen pictures, right?

5. She drives me everywhere...

6. She is an extremely good cook! Her chicken tetrazzini and vegetable soup, crepes with nutella, chocolate chip pecan pie, chicken pot pie, salad dressing, and especially when she experiments!

7. She loves to read.

8. She really wants to visit Egypt...but Daddy won't take her.

9. Dad is her best friend. They argue about who is funnier and they talk a lot and they kiss a lot and embarrass us!

10. She loves her children. :) For details, see numbers 5 and 6!
I posted a video of the kids warming up....interesting if you watch Paige's face, you can see how intimidated she was feeling watching all the "freaky dancers"....also to the right of Paige you can also see one of the two piece tutus...and that little girl was 12!
This is a picture of Paige's BFF Reilly doing her hair for her before the event yesterday. Paige did very well....but oh my goodness! Some of those other girls - 12 - 14 years old - were FREAKISHLY good! (as Paige put it....) I think they must be home-schooled and be in the studio 8-10 hours per day. Also, some of the costumes....I don't know...12 year olds in two piece tutus with their stomach's showing? For a classical ballet variation? What were their teacher's thinking...and where were the parents to say, "Um, no...I don't THINK so!!" And there were several in the...revealing...costumes. Young girls! Very sad. And then of course, there was he 14 year old boy, quite a good dancer, wearing what looked like a speedo....who had shaved his legs, chest, under his arms, etc.....????????????? Very interesting......

I wasn't allowed to take pictures or will have to post some later, when they ones I have to purchase arrive! Paige is very excited about the workshops tomorrow with the judges, and to get the evaluations on her dancing.....Today will be spent in supporting the other trainees who are dancing today - including the BFF Reilly!

Also yesterday, I was able to met my former flight attendant friend for lunch. It was wonderful to see him and play catch up!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


It is VERY cold here! Hard freezes every night, barely getting above 50 degrees during the day...for Florida, that's COLD!

The past few days I have been catching up with old friends from my airline days on facebook - and having a ball! It's been wonderful seeing everyone's photos and hearing about what they have been doing...but especially wonderful with one or two who I was especially close to. Of course, Tim totally doesn't understand the appeal of "chatting" online with old friends...he thinks I am crazy! But then, HE has a life.....:)

Tomorrow - Spartanburg. I won't write about it now, but will try to post from there....Paige is very excited though....and I am hoping to be able to meet up with one of the above mentioned old flight attendant friends for lunch one day. He lives in Charlotte and we will try to meet half way somewhere. I can't wait!

One of my dearest and oldest friend's mother passed away. I feel so terrible that I will not be able to go to the service because we will be in South Carolina. Her mother was a dear friend of my mother, and a big part of my childhood. Heather, if you read this - my heart will be with you and I love you!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Today was the showcase for the Grand Prix variations. Sort of a preview of what the kids will be doing next week in Spartanburg. I was very impressed with everyone. There are still some things to be improved upon - tweaking, as Mrs. Byrd calls it - but if you are able to view the video I uploaded, you should be able to get a general idea of Paige's variation. Her costume is still under construction...but again, you can get a general idea!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Poor Clay!

Poor Clay. He had a rough day yesterday. I won't give all the details, because I don't want to embarrass was a typical tough, middle-school, teenage drama, type of day! He qualified for the "geo-bee" (geography bee), but was eliminated and didn't win. :( Girl problems. Hair problems (see pic for more details!!), and finally his grades caught up with him and soccer season is over for Clay. Maybe this makes me a bad mom, but I am glad!! I have been waiting for this to happen. I love that mom and dad aren't the bad guys here. Clay has no one to blame but himself. Hopefully, this will be the kick in the rear end that will finally get his attention.

On another note, he told me that the dean of the middle school told him yesterday that his SAT scores were among the highest for 8th grade in reading comprehension and science. You see why we are so frustrated with him? He is such a smart kid - he just needs to work harder.

Oh well. so yesterday when he was so upset, what could I say except "I love you, kiddo, and it will be ok". I remember middle school and how hard it was. Kids can be so mean and there is so much pressure to fit in. What a hard age. Poor Clay.

Yesterday morning there were hundreds of birds out on the water....some sort of duck. I don't know if you can really see them in this photo, but it was like something out of The Birds! Crazy. It is beautiful here in north Florida...but very chilly. Yesterday Clay and I went and covered up all the plants out by the pool and the citrus trees, and brought all the potted plants into the guest cottage. Some of the palms by the pool I wasn't able to cover...I hope they make it. Tonight and tomorrow night are supposed the be hard freezes. The citrus trees are covered in fruit, and the orange and grapefruits are not quite ripe. Close, but not quite. I don't know if I should pick the fruit or leave it on the trees. If anyone has any advice, please let me know!

Tim left yesterday morning for Brussels. When he gets home he will have three days off and then leaves for Denver for proficiency (annual) training. Both kids came home yesterday with low grade fevers and went to bed early. They seemed ok (normal temps) this morning, so...hopefully I won't get a call from the school today to go pick them up. :(

I am on a real roll with my organizing/purging....still working on the laundry room (I'm telling you, it was really a mess!) but it is starting to look pretty good....

Monday, January 12, 2009

A busy, rainy, cold Monday....

The Charleston Bending Brace
I have posted so many beautiful sunrise photos on here....I thought I'd post another kind of morning picture! Today has been rainy and chilly - and is supposed to get even colder later this week. We may have to go cover all the citrus trees and bring the plants inside. I got a lot accomplished today. I am almost finished cleaning out Clay's closet. It has been a challenge, let me tell you! He was supposed to be cleaning his out when Paige was cleaning hers....but just didn't get done. Huh. He brought me two old t-shirts and a pair of pants and said that those were the only things he had outgrown. Yeah, right. So....I filled up two big boxes of things which were obviously too small for him - I didn't even need him to try them on.

I also went through my Christmas decorations and did a bit more purging, and cleaned our laundry room aka the junk room. As in, if you don't know where it goes...put it in the laundry room. It is still not finished, but I certainly made a dent in it!

And finally, I took Paige back to Nemours today to be fitted for her brace. The man who did all the measuring was very nice and very helpful. He explained how it will fit her and what it will do, etc. It is called a Charleston Bending Brace and - keep your fingers crossed - if she wears it properly it might even correct some of the curvature that already exists. I'm sure my little overachiever will do whatever it takes. Anyway, it should be in in about two weeks. She will go in and get it and get instructons and then we will go back in about three weeks for another fitting and x-ray to see if there is any improvement or if they need to "tweak" the brace at all. The picture at the top is what the brace will look like, although Paige's will be light blue.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Paige and Clay

Hi. I am cleaning out my closet. I never knew it was that big! There was a LOT of stuff that was too small for me. I love my new pointe shoes. They are much easier to get over the box and they are so nice and new looking. They are easier to dance in. School is going well. I think (hope) I have straight A's on my report card. I know I am summa cum laude. :) I think report cards are out next week. I am off to finish cleaning my closet now.....

Hi. This is Clay. We have lost yet another soccer game - what a shocker. We had many shots on goal, but didn't capitalize on them. I had to play defense on Friday because there was a fast kid as right wing. I saved our keeper (Brooks) when he missed the ball and it was about to go in when I saved the day. Ta Da! In Tuesday's game I scored!!! It is really frustrating because half the team wants to play and win and the other half doesn't. Half the team can't do everything.

I am going to start training for taekwondo soon. I can't wait. I'd better go do homework now.

Friday, January 9, 2009


It has been a busy week, but I think we are fully back on a schedule now - rush, rush, rush....Clay had three soccer games this week (and no, they didn't win any), Paige is back at ballet class and rehearsals, and I am slogging through this house cleaning/organizing/purging. I have cleaned out two closets and Tim has made two trips to Goodwill...which sounds great, except there is still SO much to be done! It seems overwhelming at times, so I have to stop and think about what I have accomplished this week...

* changed all the sheets on the beds
* cleaned all the ceiling fans
* cleaned out 2 closets
* purged a few dvds from our several hundred (it seems)
* made appt. for Paige's brace fitting
* took Clay to the dentist
* had computer guru back out to check my laptop again (!!)
* several loads of laundry
* several trips to grocery store
* lots of nagging of C & P to clean rooms, do homework, etc...
* took load of books to used book store
* finished packing up Christmas dishes
* spoke to realtor

OK, OK...I didn't get everything accomplished that I wanted to...but I did accomplish some things. I guess I'll have to be satisfied with that for now.

Tim left for Amsterdam this morning. He is happy because he hasn't been there in a while and he wants to stock up on those Belgian beers (brewed by monks) that he likes. :) He was a big help to me these past couple of days because he cleaned out the pantry for me and scrubbed the floor - which was absolutely disgusting because my precious angel children are incapable of getting anything into the trash can...their philosophy is "Hey, if it is within 5 feet it's good enough". So you can imagine the state of the floor....but now it is shiny and clean and smells like pine-sol. Tim rocks!!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The Soccer Game....

Well, they lost the game last night. Again. 5-1. However, the good news is that they did score one goal....and guess who scored that goal? Yup, #12 aka Clay Van Kuiken. The truly amazing thing is that I was actually there to see it! Yay Clay!

On another note, what is up with these parents who are just obnoxious and think they are the coach? There was a dad there last night screaming and hollering giving directions from the sidelines, yelling at the refs....just disgusting. Then at halftime he walked out on the field and started schmoozing the refs. During the game (when he wasn't screaming) he was eating pistachios and spitting the shells all over the track. He was just gross.

Anyway, there is another game tonight, keep your fingers crossed that maybe this will be the one they win!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The kids went back to school yesterday and it seems to have been a fairly easy transition back into the daily routine. Mom yelling for Clay to get up, Mom having coffee, Mom yelling for Clay to hurry up and get out of the shower, Paige eating breakfast, Mom yelling for Clay to get a move on, etc. etc. You get the idea. NOT a fun way to start the day (for Clay or me!!) but unfortunately, necessary. Why does he dawdle so? It is driving me crazy. Even asking him to take the trash out, or feed the's like he is walking in slow motion. Aaarrrggghhhh!!!

It is very warm here - unseasonably so. Thankfully, it is supposed to rain tomorrow and then get cooler for the rest of the week. I have still not cleaned the house. Oh, I've done some shopping, laundry, the daily stuff...but this house needs a BIG, DEEP cleaning and I just cannot psyche myself up for it. So...Tim gets home tonight and we are going to take tomorrow and just dig in and get it done. And then, I absolutely triple dare those kids to leave their rooms a mess....ggrrrrrrr........

Clay has a soccer game (JV) tonight. Paige and I will go up to the school in a little bit and cheer and support him. I am keeping my fingers crossed that maybe there has been a Christmas miracle and those poor kids can finally win one!! Then he has another game tomorrow night and again Friday. Ballet classes also started up again last she has classes on the weekends to run her variation for Grand, busy, busy! Soccer season is basically finished after this week - except for the tournament, and hey, I'm gonna go out on a limb here and guess they will only play one game!! - and then Clay starts training in earnest for Taewondo season. Gulp. I can't wait for summer vacation!!!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Memories aka "A blast from the past"!!

Tim and Lisa when we first started dating in 1987

Today has been a fun day! I got online this morning and found a message waiting for me from a flight attendant I worked with years ago at Florida Express Airlines, which is where I met my wonderful husband (see above pic...that is when we first started dating!) We chatted online for a while, then chatted on the phone for a while longer. A bit later I heard from yet another flight attendant from the good old days so did a bit of catching up with her as well! Wow, the memories from that time. Florida Express was a very small airline based in Orlando...we flew old BAC 1-11's...and we were like a family. With only a few exceptions, I have fond memories of everyone I worked with there. We all had a lot of fun! So the past several hours have been spent on..."do you know where so-and-so is now?" etc. and "Did you know that so-and-so is blah, blah, blah...". Emailing old photos back and forth, and just remembering stuff....

In other news....yesterday I had to meet Paige and her dance teacher at the dance store for....yup, another round of sizing, etc. for new pointe shoes. And yes, you remember correctly...I just bought Paige a new pair right before Christmas. I asked her teacher what is up with this...and she explained to me that as Paige gets better and better, her foot gets stronger and more flexible and she needs more - or less - from the shoe. In this case, the Blochs (old pair) actually offer too much support for her. She needs more flexibility in the shoe. So....we ordered a pair of Freeds for her this time....let's hope these work for while! This is getting expensive.

Tim left this morning for a trip to Brussels. The kids and I spent the morning in our pajamas and finally decided to get dressed about 1:00!! It was a nice, last lazy day before the back to school hubbub begins tomorrow.

Friday, January 2, 2009


Yesterday was a quiet day for us. Tim arrived home around 6:00 and we had our Hoppin' John, so hopefully 2009 will be filled with good luck! Paige had a rehearsal for Grand Prix this morning and took in a copy of the x-ray of her spine to show her ballet teacher. Her teacher said, "Well that explains why your left hip always wants to go forward..." She showed Paige how much bigger the back muscles on her right side are and showed her some exercises to help strengthen the left side. Afer we got home I decided to do some research online and did a search for "ballet and scoliosis". I wasn' really expecting much and so was very surprised at how much information there is. Many studies have been done on this - apparently up to 25% of girls diagnosed with scoliosis study ballet or rhythmic gymnastics (which Paige did before concentrating on ballet). Paige was very interested in all the information I found...especially the New York City Ballet principal dancer who has learned to compensate in her dancing...

Also today we received the Grand Prix rehearsal schedule - yikes! Although, considering the competition is in three weeks..I guess it isn't so bad! Paige is getting really excited about it - especially about getting to spend so much time with her buddy, Reilly.

Clay has decided he wants to take Drama again next semester...and wants me to look for auditions for him. Hmmm....

The house is still a mess - and I just don't care! I am trying to keep it clean enough that it wouldn't be condemned by the Board of Health and other than that I will deal with everything else after the kids are back at school on Monday! We are all just kind of laying low and resting up before school, taekwondo, soccer, ballet CLASS, etc. starts back up and our lives become a crazy whirlwind again.

I didn't really make any resolutions this year...just "goals" to try to exercise more, be more patient with the kids, and not stress so much about the little things. Wish me luck!

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