30 January 2009

Samantha Takes Matters Into Her Own Hands

Samantha took the plunge into bangs. She loves her long hair. It has plenty of body & some waves when it's wet, but, she likes it long & straight. This week she decided she wanted bangs and cut it herself. Yes, herself. Dad later straightened out her line. Voila - Samantha with bangs.

We think it looks great.

29 January 2009

Seventeen Again...

James and I had a huge night! We were seventeen again. Thanks to ebay, we scored two tickets to a concert that neither James nor I had seen before - the one and only, AC/DC. We were even able to snag a ride with some fellow "seventeen year olds", our friends Matt and Megan. Together we experienced an awesome show - AC/DC, the Black Ice Tour.

AC/DC has a new album out and after more than thirty years as rock icons, they were amazing. As I was standing on the concrete of the first risers, I could feel every joint in my body pounding with the intense music. The guitar solos were long and driving and just straight amazing. I have been to many, many shows in my life, but, I can honestly say that I have never seen anything like Angus Young. Wow. Brian Johnson's voice sounded clear and solid and it was as if we stepped right inside the music. Loud doesn't begin to explain how high the volume was. Wow, loud. It was fantastic, and for the night, we were lost in the music and the show.

We were seventeen again.

28 January 2009

Squeaky Kids ...

I love my kids at times like "these" (I use the word these to substitute for what you, my reader, can obviously see and for what I want the unknown Google-er to not see...). I love the togetherness, the fun and the nurturing of the "I'll take care of you" attitude my ladies have for their little baby boy. And man, that's a lot of water in the tub, right? :)

26 January 2009

Ten Minute Switch

In the ever constant battle of teaching my children to love work, respect property and generally be helpful, kind citizens....I have implemented yet another system of chores. We called it the 10-minute switch. It went something like this: First, we take a "tour" of the house. We go from room to room as a group and talk about what needs doing. Then, each child (me included!) chooses a room. For ten minutes, you clean up in that room. When the ten minute bell rings, you switch rooms and pick up where the last person left off. When a room is finished, the person who would have gone to that room joins someone else in another room, until all the rooms are done. Besides a few glitches, like sharing the vacuum and don't take out the trash until everyone is finished, it went pretty well. I think it helped that we were not tied to a room, so you always had that prospect of moving on to motivate you. Ten minute works well, too, since it is enough time to get into something without having too long to get distracted. We'll keep this system up until they get complacent, again, and be off to the next one. What do you do?

22 January 2009


We had the play-doh out the other day and I this one one won the contest for best design - especially with Rachel's comment attached to it - "Ma, look, this might be the only snowman I get to make this year!" So true, Rachel, so true. At least it's a great one!

19 January 2009

What comes around, goes around ...

We had a big day for the tooth fairy today at the Ball Team house...First - Charlotte lost her first tooth! It has been loose for about three days, and she has fiddled with it plenty. Today it was just hanging on, so I told her to pull it and out it came. Yeah! She already has one other loose one. Second, Jay has pushed his first tooth through! It's on the bottom and he uses it with vigor, so don't put your fingers in his mouth! He didn't co-operate for a picture of the tooth itself, so we'll just take this cute one with big sister Samantha.

16 January 2009

Need A Laugh???

I received this e-mail and thought I would share: (thanks, Sonia)

Life Lesson - Always check your
child's homework before it gets to school!
When asked to draw a picture of what they wanted to be when they grew up, second-grader "Sarah" turned in the lovely drawing shown below. Needless to say, the teacher was a bit surprised -- Mrs. Smith had always seemed like such a conservative woman. So she sent a note home to the girl's mother asking for clarification as to the picture's meaning.
(read Mom's reply below the picture)

(Here's the reply the teacher received the following day)
Dear Mrs. Jones, I wish to clarify that I am not now, nor have I ever been, an exotic dancer. I work at Home Depot and I told my daughter how hectic it was last week before the blizzard hit. I told her we sold out every single shovel we had, and then I found one more in the back room, and that several people were fighting over who would get it. Her picture doesn't show me dancing around a pole. It's supposed to depict me selling the last snow shovel we had at Home Depot. From now on I will remember to check Sarah's homework more thoroughly before she turns it in. Sincerely, Mrs. Smith

15 January 2009

James' turn for Stitches...

James had some out-patient surgery this week. He had a skin tag on his leg. He figured it was time to get it removed and saw his doctor about it. No problem, says the doctor, just make an appointment whenever you are ready and we'll take care of it. So, Tuesday morning James walks into the doctor and walks out just under an hour later - all done. Meanwhile, he has twenty stitches in his leg and a prescription for pain-killers, 'cause once that topical stuff wears off - look out. Suffice it to say that James stayed in bed that afternoon, all day the next day and forget about basketball this week, guys. By Thursday he is back to work and still hurting, but, up and around. No jumping on Daddy this week ladies, just cuddles.

13 January 2009

Recommended Reading...

I picked up this book at Time Out For Women back in September and we have been using the lessons for FHE. The lessons are based on the For the Strength of Youth booklet and they are well written. They include stories, scriptures, activities, games, illustrations, and even treat suggestions. Our family has really enjoyed and I hope it helps yours, too. Before they Turn Twelve, by Deborah Pace Rowley

12 January 2009

The Trash Man

Baby Jay, Ten Months Old, January 2009

11 January 2009

Stitches - the Epilogue

Samantha had her stitches removed and is healing nicely. She said it wasn't bad and the physician's assistant even told her to keep the tweezers and scissors she used to remove them!

Great, next we can have a puncture wound visit to the ER...

Chilly Spot

Yesterday we had some friends over. We had nine kids in the house. The baby was taking a nap and I thought, great, everyone can play and I can steal away for some computer time...so I did. Meanwhile, the kids were playing hide and seek, because through my closed door (the baby was sleeping, after all...) I kept hearing phrases like "go hide", "Shhh" and "aaaahhhh" as they tore up and down the hallway. Silence, then screams (of delight, surely). Silence again, screams again. Silence again, screams again....you get the picture. So, later I decide it's time for lunch and I go into the kitchen to get it started and I open the refrigerator door to find this...the newest hiding place! Kids....

10 January 2009

Pencil Sketch

Ball Team, January 09
This was supposed to a Christmas present, but, I just didn't get it done in time, so - surprise! I had the kiddos stuffed into this little Mall photo booth for this pencil sketch. No-one wanted to go all the way to "town" just to be shoved into a booth and told to smile. (A bribe of hot mall pretzels did the trick...) So, besides the fact that Jay is about to be pushed out of the picture, and Jo looks squished, I think it turned out great.
And yes, Ma, I have sent you a copy. :)

07 January 2009

Books should stay on shelves?

Jay is getting so big! He can crawl now - he's pretty quick, too. He is pulling up to furniture and walking along the edges. He waves, claps and picks up cereal using only his finger tips. He can go from crawling to sitting and crawling again, so he is literally all over the house. He pulls down the trash can and empties it. He pulls books off of shelves and bowls off of tables. Yesterday one of his sisters left the bottom drawer of a cabinet open - this happens to be where we keep the coloring books, tablets, crayons and markers. Jay was giggling to himself so loudly that I could hear him a room away, as he emptied the whole drawer item by item. Here he is - fresh from a scrub down - curls all a mess and cute as can be!James, II - January 2009

05 January 2009

Nice to Ice

My friend Emilee noted on her blog just recently that the weather here in Arkansas had gone from Ice to Nice. I am sad to report that Mother Nature has changed her mind yet again. I took the picture of the bank sign on Friday, January 2 showing a snowman and a temperature of 80 degrees! Today, January 5, we have mini icicles on the dome! Back to nice, please....

04 January 2009

The Big Dam Bridge

These two photos were taken on the same day. It was rainy, then sunny for a while, but, it rained again just as we were headed out. We got soaked.
We spent the afternoon in a town about twenty minutes away. There is a dam in the river and a big walking bridge above the dam, so you can walk across and see the workings of the dam. There's even a playground just before the bridge. I'm all about an afternoon of fresh air and free entertainment, so we walked the bridge. Yes, the Big Dam Bridge.

02 January 2009

Samantha is in STITCHES!

Samantha had a new adventure - stitches! She was in the backyard, playing with the dogs and her sisters when she came in the house howling! She had fallen over a brick and gashed her knee. She had taken a chunk out of her knee about an inch long. I soaked up the blood and got out the camera... Samantha insisted that she didn't want stitches, but, the doctors felt differently. She had a laceration - see? - injuries are a learning experience in so many ways...

We went to Children's Hospital in Little Rock-love that place. There was maybe a ten minute wait to be seen. The staff was friendly and Samantha got to ride in a wheelchair. Here she is holding her laceration together.

While the doctor was waiting for the anesthetic to work its magic, the ladies played checkers. We also got to talk to a wonderful lady named Ms. Denise, who is a Child-Life Counselor. Her job is to answer any questions that the kids have about their injuries and explain what will happen to them. She was fantastic. Samantha had a lot of questions, and Ms. Denise brought a set of all the tools the doctor would be using to put in her stitches. Samantha got to put stitches in a doll's knee and use a syringe.
I snapped a picture right after the doctor was finished with the stitches - four of them - and Samantha will now proudly tell you that stitches are not that bad. They have slowed her down a bit, but, she was back jumping on a trampoline with five of her friends just three days later! Very brave! At nine years old, Samantha is the first in our family to visit the Emergency Room for stitches!

01 January 2009

Charlotte is Six

We have slightly different way of counting the holidays in December here at the Ball Team. It goes like this: December 24th is Christmas Eve, then December 25th is Christmas. December 26th is Charlotte Eve and December 27th is Charlotte's birthday. This year she turned six. All she wanted was a new bike and that's exactly what she found in the front room when she woke up on her birthday morning. Here she is with her bike and some hallway balloons. And for breakfast - birthday big cookie!

We had a great morning for riding a new bike - it was about 65 degrees and overcast. By afternoon rain was pouring down on us. So, we played with some friends and stopped by Sonic for some birthday ice cream and a photo opportunity with the Sonic sign, letting the whole town know that it is Charlotte's day!
At six years old, Charlotte is in kindergarten and loves school. Her favorite part of school is reading, which just turned her world inside-out. She reads signs everywhere we go and she can read some of our books at home with almost no help. She is so proud and loves it, just loves it. You can just see it in her face when she sounds out a word that she is gaining knowledge, confidence and a little attitude about her abilities in this world. You go girl! Charlotte is a dancer, a climber, and a loving big sister. She is spunky, scrappy and she is fearless (she had the first broken bone in our family - she broke her leg when she was three). Charlotte is blunt and opinionated - she speaks her mind - so watch out. (We are working on it....) She is a clown at home and shy in public. Charlotte is a fish, literally. She loves to swim, dive and simply be in the pool. She watched the Olympics this past summer and decided that she could do that. She could! She is easily fascinated and asks great questions. Charlotte is our cuddliest baby girl, our puddin-duddin and our Charlie-girl. We love you, Charlotte.