a sea of orange in rocky top tennessee

this past weekend the boys and i took a trip with pappy (alan's dad, jeff) to go and visit "the tennessee eargles." they have been quite an elusive group since i have only met one of the eleven and heard so much about them, but this was an opportunity to meet the family that actually live in the rocky top state and others that travel to knoxville for football games (at least some of them).

QUICK SIDE STORY: Alan's grandfather, Gran Po, had an identical twin brother, Bill, who had eleven children, not to mention that their mom, who is Alan's grandmother's cousin, went through having all of these little darlings, including one set of twins. They grew up in Mississippi and most of them now either reside in the deep south or in Tennessee.

it was a very nice weekend. we experienced knoxville for the first time, having some wonderful sushi on our inaugural night and eating the rest of our weekend at a tailgate hosted by a lovely, die-hard UT fan named Frank, wearing tennessee orange. one of the weekend's running jokes, since i'm a UK grad, another SEC school, was that i would have a hard time switching loyalties for a day but i enjoyed my shopping spree for orange attire and proudly sported my blue nail polish for my alma mater. the game didn't go so smashing for the Vols but we enjoyed meeting family members and spending time together. here are a few shots from the weekend. ok, in my defense it was the end of the game when this shenanigan took place. the score was 30-6 Florida and i was a momma away from her little guy for too many hours, responsibility went out the eargle picture. Eddie, left, Anne Marie, organized the entire weekend and actually lives in Tennessee (and has an extensive orange wardrobe), and Jeff, Alan's dad. i also met John Paul, Michelle, and Andrew. in total i met 45% of the tennessee eargle clan. they were all a delight!

btw, wilhelm had a babysitter the entire time we were at the game and tailgate. he had a smashing time with her, which was assuring for his parents.


so you like the sauce?

today i took on a task presented to me by Real Simple magazine, an experience making homemade tomato sauce. the plan started two days ago.

when i went to visit my parents on tuesday i arrived to find their entry room (aka mud room) filled with tomatoes. my mom is an amazing gardener and normally plants a garden that produces three times more food than my family needs, but some how she manages to store/can/giveaway the crop so hardly anything goes to waste. anyway, as i saw this massive amount of tomatoes i could almost feel my moms pressure to do something with the little red vegetables. since i don't have the ideal living situations right now (sidebar: with our downtown loft we have to carry everything in quite a piece and our counter space is limited so sometimes cooking large portions can be a chore. also, so i don't have to mention it later we have VERY bad lighting in our loft. with no windows we have to rely on artificial so my pictures are a little icky sometimes but maybe i'll learn more about photography and figure it out with lenses or we'll be able to sell our place soon and have a wonderful home with real light.) i didn't jump to her aid in assistance and honestly my mom rocks so i thought she could handle it all.

wow, am i making this a long story!

as i sat down to read my Real Simple magazine i was drawn to a section about cooking with friends, a big batch of tomato sauce. could it be a sign i thought? we'll with that i called my friend radhika to see if she would be interested in helping out with the task. with her on board i loaded up a milk crate of tomatoes and prepared for my sauce day. today was that day!

30 pounds of tomatoes and about six hours or so of work the mission is complete. i wish i could show you a picture of the sauce on some freshly boiled pasta, but wilhelm had swim class tonight so our sauce went into the freezer for future use and i plan on sharing the rest of the batch with my parents and radhika's family. lets cross our fingers that it is edible. if it is i'd be happy to share the recipe, aside from the peeling & seeding of the tomatoes it is an amazingly easy recipe.

bedtime routine

it isn't very fitting for me to say that wilhelm has a bedtime routine because he has to be one of the hardest children to get to sleep at night. so the routine turns into the ordeal really fast! it isn't that he is bad, but it is that he has such an energy reserve that always seems to be activated a few minutes after he gets his pajamas on. legend has it that a young alan had a very similar bedtime experience (thanks genes!).

that aside i really enjoy this time at night because it is a time that my boys have to spend together. the routine almost always includes a few books. reading is one of wilhelm's favorite activities to do. many days i will catch him in his room or on the couch just looking at books am mumbling to himself. hopefully this interest continues in the days and years to come!

here are some images from alan and wilhelm's reading time last night. alan, as you might guess, is a great reader and tries very hard to get wilhelm to repeat words as they go along. I haven't yet figured out how to get a video on the blog for you to hear, but maybe i will work on that. When I'm As Big As Freddy has become a house favorite. it is a great classic book and actual was one of alan's when he was a child. i'm sure it will be in the family library for years to come.


a new day

today is a new day! a new start for our family blog, a new experience for wilhelm, and a new opportunity for momma. lets start at the beginning.

after a variety of apologizes about starting & stopping the blog, and a major summer hiatus due to life events & schedules, we have again arrived on the blogging scene ready for a new fresh start. i'm energized to try to provide more information about our family's life, aside from the
wilhelm chronicles, and hope to have regular readers. my goal (goals are good!) is to blog at least once a week. i normally give others lectures on babysteps when they find themselves at a difficult juncture in life of making a decision or trying to find time to do something, so now i must tell myself, "babysteps, once a week is ok if that is all you can find time to blog!" in the coming weeks i plan to add some new features to the blog for your reading pleasure.

the last two new experiences go together.

today was a big day at the eargle household, our little wilhelm clarke went to his first day of school. albeit a parent's day out program for only five hours of the day, one day a week, it is an opportunity for him to seek independence and social skills away from his parents. the hustle and bustle of the first day kept Alan & I from loosing our composure.

here are a few pictures from the start of the day.
i love this last picture. i realize that it is out of focus, but he was so excited to get into class that his movements caused a blur with my novice camera skills. it symbolizes to me just how fast raising a child goes. amazingly they grow-up right before your eyes, and it almost seems unreal or blurry that time can go by so fast.

today is a new for me too, i'm extremely happy for my son to have the opportunity to go to this program but it is one of my first lessons in how someone else can be there for my child besides myself. it is a wonderful way for him to gain his independence and a wonderful way for me to find mine again. i look forward to seeing what this experience brings for us all!