Tuesday, September 30, 2008

What's The Big Deal About A Tree?

What's the big deal about a tree, you ask?

Well, to an adult nothing really. Unless you're an activist trying to stop logging but that's not what I'm talking about.

I'm referring to how a 9 year old views a tree and it's a huge deal let me tell you.

Especially if the tree involves sitting in it and kisssing.

You know the song.

Ken and Barbie sitting in a tree...
First comes love.
Then comes marriage.
Then come Ken and Barbie with a baby carriage.

It can really traumatize a kid. So much so that said kid wants to talk to his guidance counselor about how to deal with the teasing.

And said kid wants to take his girl/friend to the guidance counselor with him to discuss how they can handle it together.

Yeah. I'm so not ready to discuss marriage counseling or dating issues for a 9 year old yet.

Who knew that trees were such a big deal to a nine-year-old?!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Taking Personal Responsiblity

I recently mentioned that I have no idea how to solve the current economic crisis. I also said that it was time for folks to buckle down and spend less.

My friend Jen has figured out how to curb her spending. She just froze her credit card.

I know that you are thinking that only financial institutions can freeze credit.

But, no. I mean that Jen actually froze her credit card.

As in a block of ice.

That makes it a little harder to use if it's encased in four inches of ice.

Now, that's taking personal responsibility for yourself!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Crazy Weekend

What was I thinking?


A garage sale and Owen's birthday party in the same weekend?

The small saving grace is that it hasn't rained so far so I'm able to do the garage sale.

Send good vibes that it doesn't rain tomorrow. I have at least 12 6 year olds coming over that need to go outside and play.

Friday, September 26, 2008

What's Wrong With The Economy?

The economic state of America is on everyone's mind.

What's going on on Wall Street affects everyone regardless if you actively trade stocks on it or not. You may not even realize that you're invested in the market but your mortgage probably is as is your retirement plan.

The cost of everyday things that you buy rises and falls with the market, oil prices, investor confidence, etc.

I'm not smart enough to figure out how we got in this mess. As much as I'd like to lay the blame squarely on Bush, I can't believe that it's all the Bush administration's fault. Some of it has to be Clinton's administration's fault for not stopping or slowing down the economy. And, he was handed Bush Sr.'s economy. Etc. etc. etc.

After all, the economy doesn't start and stop with each new administration's inauguration.

Everyone had a hand in it.

Corrupt and greedy banking officials. Government officials who didn't slow down the housing market boom or make decisions quick enough to re-start the economy. And, last but not least, investors who didn't make wise decisions.

And what goes up must come down as they say.

I'm also not smart enough to figure out how to get out of it.

But, I am smart enough to identify the truth (or some of the truth anyway) when I see it. The sign on this box for goods pretty much says it all.

And now we must pay for the greed. It's time to buckle down. Stop buying things that we don't need. Start packing lunches and eating more at home. Stop driving places that we don't need to go and carpooling when we can.

And it's okay to tell kids no. In fact, it's good for them.

This is one ride that's only going to get worse before it gets better I'm afraid. I'm glad that I'm not Obama or McCain. There's no way that they are going to be able to keep any campaign promises.

They are going to be far too busy trying to clean up this mess (and won't have the money) to make good on any campaign promises.


Thursday, September 25, 2008


Sometimes I just want to wring Shane's neck.

He drives me to the breaking point.

Mostly because of his mouth. Man he can argue.

But, yesterday I just wanted to hug him.

Because sometimes he's just so considerate and thoughtful.

They are doing a project where they have to bring in some items.

Shane gave me the sheet and told me that he signed me up to bring fruit rollups and some other item.

Then he goes on to say that they also need sugar cookies made but he didn't want to stress me out and put too much work on me so he didn't sign me up to do that.

Sometimes he's just so sweet. I can't stand it.

Needless to say, I bought the stuff to make the cookies.

Now if I can just get him to pick up his underwear off of the floor. That is the real stress. ;)

Monday, September 22, 2008

Owen is a Lugnut

Seriously. Owen is a Lugnut.

Before I get any hate emails defending Owen's honor, that is the name of his t-ball team. Here are a few pictures of his first t-ball game.

He got a little bored by the end of the game as you can see. I kept having to yell out to him to pay attention to what's in front of him not behind or beside him. LOL. I bet he was talking about Mario to the other kid on second.

This is by far my most favorite picture from the game. I wonder what Owen could possibly have been arguing with the 3rd base coach about. After all, that was probably his first time on third base. Ever. Man. I'm in trouble when he's a teenager.

He loved playing. Maybe we have a baseball player on our hands.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Saturday Mornings - Retro Style

If you grew up in the 70's and were glued to one of the four channels that we could watch for Saturday morning cartoons, you'll remember this.

If you're an adult who use to try to do your housework and vacuuming around us, you'll probably remember it too.

And, this is infinitely better to getting mahna mahna stuck in your head! ;)

Enjoy and have a great Saturday!

Six Ways to Say No

I'm desparately trying to get my life in order and clean up the chaos that is known as my backroom. One of the things that I'm really far behind in is my scrapbooking. So, I'm just now working on Shane at 8 and his third grade year.

I usually like to put at least one drawing and writing sample in the scrapbook for the kids at a particular age. As I'm going through Shane's writing journal from the 3rd grade, I come upon this little gem.

I think that #5 is the best. I love the spelling and he obviously got his spelling gene from Ken. And I wonder what "Cave Kid Talk" means too. That has me stumped.

I think that I'll post this in Shane's room to remind him of how to say no.

To people other than me that is. He's got it down to a fine science about how to say no to me!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Kim vs. The Weeds

I'm tired of getting hate mail from our Home Owners Association.

Yes. I know. I know.

I know that we don't cut our grass until the children are lost in it and by the time that we do, as I'm cutting it, there are butterflies flying out of the grass out the path of the blades.

Our neighbor is a yard work fanatic and his yard looks good.

But, I don't care and I'm not in a competition with him.

Unfortunately, we got another love note from the HOA about our ditches so I decided that it was time to cut the grass again.

I cut it yesterday and when I went to weed eat, I couldn't get the weed eater started. Neither could one of my neighbor's dads so I didn't feel so bad.

So, this morning after I walked with my friend Emily, I asked her if she could get it started. She does their yard work so I figured that she would have better ruck.

She picked it up and started it on the first pull and then giggled at me as she handed it to me.

So, I set off to weed eating the ditches and around the front of the house.

My intent was to do the whole yard but I only ended up doing what the HOA narcs could see because my arms were about to fall off.

That was two hours ago and my arms are still vibrating. I can barely fix my hair (which I have to because I have a PTA meeting tonight) because my arms hurt so bad. Maybe I'll do the minimum amount of make up necessary to not scare people.

And, I'm surely done typing today because it's painful to hold my hands up to type.

Yes. I know I'm pathetic.

The next letter will be from the HOA complaining that I cut big chunks of the yard with the weed eater. Well...it's not pretty but I got the ditches done and the mail lady can once again put mail in our box without getting attached by weeds.

Come on winter....

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Now...This is the Report I Want!

I went into the school to have lunch with Owen for his birthday. I saw his teacher and asked if he was behaving. She said yes and I mentioned that I knew that he had gotten a few green slips because he told me he got them.

She replied that it was good that he told me and I responded that I was frankly surprised that he hadn't received more than two.

Yes. I'm a realistic mom. :)

She said that he was the least of her problems.

Finally...a good report. The one that I want. Well, maybe not a good report but at least there are worse kids out there than mine.

I guess it's a double edge sword. Good for me, bad for her because if Owen is one of the "good ones", she's got her hands full this year!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Its'a Owen's Birthday!

Well, this post was going to be all about Owen at six.

See...today's his birthday.

I was going to post a bunch of pictures of Owen up to this point and tell you all about him.

And then I thought about posting how, thanks to Owen's birthday, I can now remember my mother's birthday (because it's one day before Owen's) and I can now keep my parents anniversary (Sept. 10) separate from her birthday.

This is all due to Grammy Hawk's calendar method of figuring out people's birthdates, ages, etc. It goes like this:

Me: How old is so-and-so or when is so-and-so's birthday?

Ginny (who learned this from Doris): Well, let's see. I graduated from high school in xxxx and that was the year that your aunt had so-and-so. And so-and-so is three years older than her brother so she is 49 and was born on xx-xx-xxxx. I remember that because we were at the Pumpkin patch when she went into labor.

We call this the "Doris Calendar Method." It works. You all do it...admit it.

Anywho, back to the birthday post.

So, it's Owen's birthday. He opened up his birthday cards today. I started looking at the cards and noted the envelope on the one from Ken's grandma.

Notice that she has written in Owen's name in the stars? She did it all along the outside of the card, even on the front.

How cute is that? Here's the "Great One" with Ken and the boys in July.

So, happy birthday, Owen. You are truly one of a kind.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Happy Birthday, Ginny!

Happy Birthday to You!
Happy Birthday to You!
Happy Birthday Dear Ginny!
Happy Birthday Dear You!

Since we took a trip down memory lane for Shane, we have to be fair and do it for Ginny! :)

Hope you had a great birthday with Mickey! :) :) :)

Saturday, September 13, 2008

How To Make Scrapbooking More Manly

I don't blog about it much but I really enjoy scrapbooking. I'm trying to catch up on about two years worth of photos and, as you may have noticed that I like to take pictures, so it's making my catch up job a little more difficult.

But, that's not the point of the post. I found this video online and it's a man's take on making cards. This guy nails it and somehow makes it look cool for men to scrapbook and make cards. He's obviously a scrapbooker or a very observant husband.

I really think that he's onto something.

I think that I've done every single thing that he's showing us here in my scrapbooking. I know Becky W. is giggling too.

Even if you don't scrapbook, I'm sure that everyone knows some man like this and I'm betting that you're giggling at that alone. LOL

Friday, September 12, 2008

SC Botantical Gardens

While in Anderson, I decided to take the boys to the SC Botantical Gardens in Clemson. Afterall, I am now addicted to botantical gardens and photographing all things nature. :)

But, the gardens were in a draught and there wasn't much to photograph.

It was cool that day (unusual in SC in August!) so we had an awesome picnic and then took a stroll through the woods.

The obligatory picture for the grandparents. :)

They also have gem and fossil museum at the gardens. When we first went in, I thought it was going to be lame. Afterall, the last one we went to was the National Museum of Natural History, but, it was really pretty cool and surprisingly they had a lot of artifacts on display.

The boys enjoyed doing the "treasurer hunt" and finding different things in the museum. Every third Saturday of the month, it's free to get into the museum. Well worth the time if you want to take the kids somewhere educational and fun.

I was surprised how much Shane knew and was able to answer on the quiz without hunting for it. I guess he did learn something from the Gemstone project that he did last year. :)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Silver Run Falls

As most of you know, I spent most of my summer in SC. Most of it was at Pawleys Island at the beach. As awesome as Pawleys is (and I loved photographing it), my true love is the mountains. And, where I grew up in Anderson, SC (about as far away from Pawleys as you can get and still be in SC) there is plenty of mountains within a short driving distance.

So, I decided to take the boys up to the mountains one day in search of some nature and some waterfalls.

If you're near Cashiers, NC, stop by Silver Run Falls and have a picnic. It's easy to get to and the hike to it is mere minutes. Once you're there though, it feels secluded.

I love this picture because it captures the college kids just hanging out and relaxing - like you should at a waterfall.

I hope that Shane loses this smile and soon. It's his current smile. :) They said the water was cold. Well...duh.

To get there, it's on Route 107 going towards Cashiers. It's about 10 minutes south of the 64/107 intersection in Cashiers. Look for the sign on the right hand side of the road and park at the gravel pull off and follow the gravel to the falls. (There's only room enough there for about 4-5 cars.) This is the sign that you're looking for.

It's well worth it to stop by there if you're in the area. Next time we're finding Sliding Rock though. It wasn't well marked and the last road that I turned down, there was a sign that said "drive real damn slow...this is private property." I took that as a sign that I should find it another day. :)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The Warning Slip

Owen's class has a punishment system. It's a four tier system and by the first day, Owen knew exactly what would happen if he got a warning.

White means you've been good.

A green slip is a warning that you're fast tracking to a yellow slip.

If you get a yellow slip, you lose ten minutes of recess and you have to run laps. (Shane had to run laps several times last year. For talking don't ya know?)

Man. If you get a red slip, it means serious business. SERIOUS business. Your PARENTS get called.

The first day of school, Owen came home talking about this one kid who had ALREADY gotten a green slip. Like he's never gotten a slip or 10 of them. LOL.

Anywho, apparently yestereday he got a green slip.

He failed to mention it to me. But, of course, I was busy talkiing to him about why he peed in his pants at school (he DIDN'T!), but I digress.

I overheard him talking about getting a green slip to Ken when he got home.

When Ken asked him why, Owen (in his most belligerent "Oweney" voice) yelled "God dad. I was just telling my friends how great my dad is. Is that so wrong?"

Pressed further, he "said" "FINE! I won't tell anyone else how great my dad is. God. She didn't even give me a chance. It's not my fault."

Right. I'm sure that's why he got a green slip. He's a funny little guy.

That teacher is so mean. I mean really. He was just "telling" his friends how great his dad was. What could possibly be wrong about that?


I guess I'm just surprised that he waited until week 2 to get a warning slip. And, no, I don't believe for a second that that is the reason that he got a warning slip. I DO, however, believe that he got one. :)

Saturday, September 6, 2008

The Best Moment of the Republican Convention

Maybe you don't agree with Sarah Palin's views and politics.

But, if you're a mom, you can sure relate to what she was probably thinking after she watched the CNN video of what her youngest daughter Piper did during the most important speech of her life.




This by far was the best moment of the Republican Convention!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Name That Photo Contest!

I'm growing bored of the pictures and stories.

And I suspect you are too.

So...let's have some fun. :o)

This picture is so funny but I can't think of a good title for it.

So, here's the contest. Name the photo below and whichever title I think fits the photo the best, the author will win a prize.

The judging is completely on me at my discretion. I'm not telling you what the prize is so don't ask. If you ask, you're disqualified. :)

Judging will close on Friday, September 12, 2008 and 8:00 EST.

You can email me your title submission if you don't like to post comments.

If multiple people come up with the same title, and it's chosen, the one who posts first or emails first (EST) gets credit. Submit as many titles as you like.

Have fun and be creative!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Here's The Secret

Mary Mayken really doesn't like men.

It took her about a year and a half to allow Ken the honor of hugging her.

But, there is a secret to getting Mary Mayken to acknowledge you.

It's called bribery.

It worked for Ken.

First, he offered her the Lays potato chips he was eating.

She started warming up to him.

Then, he offered her the cookies he was eating.

Then she was his Best. Friend. Forevar. BFFs.

Sometimes she even prefers him now. (He can stop with the bribery now. It's worked.)

So, Susan and I and the kids (all of us!) went to my parents this summer and Mary Mayken is deftly afraid of my dad.

I told him the secret.

Shane backed me up.

He balked at first. Said he wasn't going to resort to bribery.

And then gave in. Probably because he got tired of her screeching and running whenever he came within 10 feet of her.

First he offered her some cookies.

Then some ice cream. (Okay, he didn't want to part with that but she wouldn't leave him alone!)

Then it was his drink.

Now, they are BFF too.

I guess he didn't think about the fact that by offering her the tea, he has now sucked her into an Eckhardt family tradition.

Just grab the first unmanned drink that you get to.

It's yours if it's unguarded. :)

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Just For The Grandparents...

Since I am still swamped and trying to get things back under control, I thought that I would put up a few pictures for the grandparents. :)

And last, but certainly not least, the Great One. :)

Okay, you can slow up on the hate mail. I'm trying to get these pictures up as fast as possible. It's just so hard when you take 1,000 pictures at a time to go through them all. I have a sickness. I know. :)

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Did You Hear It?

Well...did you?

You must have because every mom in my neighborhood did it.

We collectively breathed a huge sigh of relief at about 8:37 this morning.

That's right. First day of school.

The bus was early. We were late so I didn't get many pictures. But, I got my annual pics of the kids first day.

Shane going to fourth grade:

I thought it would be fun to look back at his pictures and see how much he's grown. Good grief. He's getting so big so fast! :)


First Grade:

Second Grade:

Third Grade:

Let's not forget about little Owen. :)

He was super excited to go to school today. He was all "Marioed" out.

Goofballs. I'm not sure who they got the idea to do goofy pictures from. ;)

From Kindergarten:

So, now how do I spend my time? First, I caught up on a bunch of stuff that has been neglected. It will probably take me all school year to get caught up.

Then I had lunch.

And then I had ice cream.

I didn't even have to go to the dining room to hide from the kids while I ate it.

God, I miss those brats. :)