Friday, September 30, 2011


Laurel in her uniform, at her first competition!

Thursday, September 29, 2011


Laurel's first competition.  They didn't win, but really should have.  The other school we saw was rough.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Idle Wednesday

This is a barrel weave, but I added a twist...a fifth copper jump ring to add color.  This is the necklace that garnered a compliment from a lady driving in the parking lot at Wal-Mart.  She actually stopped her car just to tell me that she loved it.  I love it when that happens!

365 favorite time of day.  I've never had a camera that could capture the atmosphere well, but this new camera is doing a pretty decent job.  I'm really going to miss this yard!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Sweet Dreams, and Wishful Thinking (365)

I had a dream last night that I was back home in the Valley. It was mid-fall, and the mountains were bursting with color. It was an incredible dream, the yellows, oranges, reds, and greens were wildly vivid, I could feel the light nip in the air, and I felt completely at peace. Then I woke up still in Georgia, 89 degrees, and humid as hell. Sweet dreams and wishful thinking.

Monday, September 26, 2011


Sunset at the football game.  I realize that seems silly to some, but I will look at anything to avoid actually watching the game.  The sound of helmets cracking into eachother is hideous.  Besides, my new camera has a "sunset" mode.  I have to try it out!

Sunday, September 25, 2011


Playing Monopoly with our new friends!  We met Donna through Laurel's friend Xavier (She's his mama) I wish that we had met when we first moved here, because she is awesome to hang out with!  I've only met one other woman who has as much energy, as great a sense of humor, and is as animated as she is!  Not to mention that she has raised an awesome son.  Hopefully we'll get to hang out once more before we leave.
I didn't really think that we were going to find anyone here to be friends with.  As a matter of fact I wasn't looking at all, knowing we would only be here a couple of years.  It's funny who and what the universe sends your way sometimes. :)

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Friday, September 23, 2011


The local news announced a possible serial killer in town the other day.  Laurel's reaction was somewhat unexpected.  
She was laughing like this for about ten minutes before I went for the camera, which I grabbed when I realized she was going to  keep going for a while.  I'm not sure if she was reacting out of fear, or what.  I don't think that they are going to hire her as a criminalist if this is how she reacts to things like serial killers.  
I can't help but laugh when I watch this, so I thought some of you might get a kick out of it as well.  Enjoy!

Thursday, September 22, 2011


Laurel took a pair of old skinny jeans, and made herself a skirt!  She has since added a few teenager features, like patches and colored pockets.  Pretty cool, I think!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


This picture is for my mom.  She's always complaining that no one on tv shares her name.  Not complaining anymore is she?  lol  I blocked out the actual item because of it's inappropriate nature, but I'm sure you can use your imagination.  Or, if you watch John Stuart's show, you won't need to! 

Idle Wednesday

Miah has been saving soda tabs so that we could play with them.  This is what we came up with.  She doesn't really like it though.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


Picture by Laurel

That's what I want my future driveway to look like!  Looks like home to me!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Laurel's on youtube!

Laurel's Band 9-17-2011


Me too!
Harley just had to get in on the picture taking!  The poor dog can't stand to not be the center of attention.

Sunday, September 18, 2011


This stadium is incredible.  A score board with a giant tv screen that plays instant replays, commercials during time outs, huge bleachers, I could go on and on...By the way, they beat the crap out of us...But our band kicked their band's butt!!!!!

Saturday, September 17, 2011


Sammy, Laurel, Me, Jeremiah, April, Ben, Matthew, Miah and Luke. 
Ben and April drove down to see Laurel preform this weekend.  Unfortunately they only got to stay for one full day...which mean they were in a car for at least 20 hours this weekend!  Holy cow!  I can't tell you how much we appreciated you guys coming down.  We knew it was a hard drive, but it was a great visit.  I hope we can do it again soon. 
Harley is well on her way to learning how to behave around strangers.  She startled us a few times with some crazy barking, but it was nothing like the first time we had visitors!  We are using a squirt bottle and water to let her know she needs to shut up, which works so much better than tearing your own hair out and crying.

Laurel's halftime show went really well.  The opposing team's band wasn't as good as ours, but the football team kicked our team's butt.  I was really excited to be able to share the experience with BJ.  It's a lot different watching the field when it's your kid out there. It's hard to describe.
BJ and Jay both rode the buses to make sure the kids behaved, so that left me, April, and the kids to ride in the Jeep.  We yacked our heads off the entire six hours we were driving.  The buses were only driving between 45 and 55 miles the entire way, and I didn't have the directions to and from the school so we had to follow them.  I was getting pretty irritated (Not to mention tired at 1am and we were still driving) but I changed my mind when we nearly hit a couple of deer.  I sort of stopped complaining about the speed after that.  Sort of.  I'm not very patient. 
Poor Sammy got sick while we were at the stadium.  The Band boosters must think there is something really wrong with our family, because someone has gotten sick at almost every game. I hated to have to drive non stop while he was sick in the car.  I wanted to be able to stop and help him out, but we would have been so lost!  Next time I'm not going to make the same mistake!  DIRECTIONS!  My poor car got christened the USS Vomit. lol 

This was the last visit from anyone until we move.  We already have visits planned for the new year, and sometime after everything is settled, and Jay knows how his new unit operates, we are going to have to make a plan to drive back home.  I'm not sure how much I'm going to want to travel after moving, unpacking, then having visitors so soon, so everyone is going to have to try to be patient, OR everyone could all come see us!  All are welcome!  (Just as long as I have a couple of days between each visit!!!)

Friday, September 16, 2011

Laurel's Language Arts Project

Down to Hades: Leonardo Da Vinci
            If I could talk to someone who has died, I would speak to Leonardo Da Vinci.  Because of his variety in style and technique, his work has greatly influenced me as an artist.  As a scientist, Leonardo astounds me as well.  If I could, I would ask him why he didn't publish all of his scientific findings.  Seeing as he taught himself science and math, it seems to me that he would take a little more pride in his inventions like the tank and helicopter.  I would also ask about his procrastination when it came to finishing his creations.  Most of his machinery, paintings, and sculptures were left either unfinished or it took him years to complete.  One of the last things I would ask would be about what inspires him.  That, I know, is one of the most important aspects of being a scientist, artist, or philosopher.  Leonardo da Vinci was a brilliant man, so I'm sure that his inspiration is something that should inspire us all.
The Sirens: The Twilight Series
            Like most girls, I fell for the golden eyes and perfect skin of the vampires in the Twilight series.  I read the books, over and over.  I watched the movies, over and over.  My whole world in sixth and seventh grade revolved around the story line and the love triangle.  Arguing about who was better for Bella, Edward or Jacob, was my Achilles heel; I couldn't stop myself  Over the summer after the craze started, I reread the books for what seems like the thousandth time.  It was then that the veil was lifted and I realized that the writing was sloppy, that the characters could be seen throughout different stories in literature, and that Edward was an all-around jerk.  When I got back to school, I also realized that I had fallen in Hollywood trap of a perfect life.  After some nudging from my friends, I tried to read the books one last time, to give them one more chance.  I didn't change my mind.  The books still anger me when I see them, for two years of my life was spent worshipping the ground Taylor Lautner and Robert Pattinson walked on.  I fell for something that seemed amazing, and yet it turned out to be more of a letdown then anything else.
Athena's Guidance: My Mom
            My mother is my mentor; she has been the most helpful and supportive in my life.  She fits in with my group of friends and actually hangs out with some of them, so she isn't just a mentor to me.  She's helped many of my friends with their decisions as well.  My mom has taught me almost everything I know, from how to handle a difficult situation to how to make crème brûlée.  Though sometimes other people think that her rules are unfair, without her helping me through life, I would be a very different person.
Loyalty: Xavier Charles
            The most loyal person I know is someone I yell at, someone I hit, and someone I insult until my throat goes dry.  Xavier Charles, my best friend, is faithful and trustworthy.  We met early in eighth grade, when he overheard my other friends talking about how great my homemade cupcakes are.  He tried one of them and he was hooked; he started sitting with me at lunch and eventually became a part of what we call simply "the group."  I knew that he was most loyal to me when I found him getting ready to punch someone that just pushed past me in the hallway.  Since that day, I have found myself going to him constantly for advice and ways to handle people that were being quite irksome.  He knows that I am more loyal to him than anyone else as well.  We depend on each other for ways to get through this crazy thing we call life.

Farewell to Ithaca: The National Young Scholars Program
            The first time I left home was in fifth grade, when I went to Illinois for the National Young Scholars Program.  My sister stayed with my grandmother as my parents drove me to KeKalb.  I remember being so excited; I couldn't wait to be out on my own for once.  I promised myself that I would meet new people, and stay in touch with them for years and years, and they would be my best friends.  I kept that attitude up until I got into my dorm room, and my parents left.  I slugged my suitcase into the corner of the room and sat on the bed.  The room looked sterile, like a hospital.  My roommate hadn't come yet, but I could hear girls in the room next to me so I went over there.  They were nothing like me.  They were jumping on the bed, drinking orange soda, and about two years older than me.  I went back to my room. 
            I took out my little, disposable cell phone and got ready to call my mom.  I couldn't do this; I was sure that I wasn't going to meet anyone and it would be a horrible week for me.  I was scared, and homesick already when I started to dial the number.  Just then, my roommate walked in.  She was my age and looked just as awkward as I felt.  We took one look at each other and started laughing, hysterically.
            After that, I wasn't so scared.  My roommate's name was Kendall, and she introduced me to people that she had known from school.  Though I was still somewhat homesick, I got involved with my CSI classes and it wasn't that bad after a while.  As a matter of fact, at the end of the week, I didn't even want to go home.

Calypso's Island: My Mother's High School Reunion
            There's a time in almost every Army brat's life where you must fill in for your deployed parent at an event.  The first that I remember was at my parent's high school reunion.  My mom and dad went to a high school in a small town in Kentucky.  As my mother and I walked up to the building they were having the reunion in, everyone seemed to know us and call out our names, though most hadn't seen us in years.  The reunion planners had a basket set out with things to send my dad in Iraq, so I thought that the reunion was going to go nice and smoothly.  Hopefully, I thought, I won't have to talk to anyone.  Near the end of our gathering, everything changed.  People swarmed around me, amazed at how grown up I looked.  It was the most embarrassing and uncomfortable experience of my life, and I couldn't do anything about it.  I wanted desperately to be back at my grandmother's house, playing on the computer and listening to music.  An expanse of time that seemed like eternity passed before we could finally leave, and I practically ran out the door.  Afterwards, I made my mother promise that I would never be forced to do anything like that again; she said okay, mostly because she had been uncomfortable as well when people came up to us.  So far, no more high school reunions.

Defeat of the Suitors: Band Camp
            I can still feel the absolute horror of band camp like it was yesterday.  My fingers slipping over the keys, the sunburn on my shoulders peeling and rubbing against my neck strap, my thoughts as the director finally called for lunch break, it all comes back in a flash.  My legs ached of the thought of going back in 99° weather; they screamed as we started up again day after day.  I pushed, willing myself not to pass out in the middle of the field.  Even as a freshman, there were no excuses.  You march and do it correctly; you stand at attention and do it correctly.  My body, physically and emotionally, was put to the test.  I was sure that the odds were against me;  by the end of the first day I felt as though my best option was to leave band completely and join something like the chess club.  The end of the week came at a slow pace, but when it did, I was relieved.  I was surrounded by both old and new friends;  I knew then, as I looked over all I had accomplished, that I wouldn't die during marching season as I originally thought.

Circe's Advice: Kylie Logue
            "Your shoes don't matter.  Your shirt doesn't matter.  Your new $100 jeans are stupid and probably matter the least.  Life isn't about those things, so why do we dwell on them?  We tell ourselves that it's for us. We say that we want to feel pretty, and those things make us pretty.  It doesn't.  The problem is that we are bombarded with pictures of the so-called perfect woman and we think that the only way we can be loved is to be that woman.  I good person, a good friend, will tell you that you're beautiful when you're sitting on the couch watching the Titanic movie, eating chocolate, and crying your eyes out, and they'll be right.  They'll be right because you are beautiful every day, whether you're in a stunning gown or your grey sweatpants and an extra large shirt.  Remember that, and you'll know the meaning of this, of life."
            My friend Kylie Logue said this to me when I first left Kentucky.  She told me that she had sat down to write a whole speech, one that would stay with me until we met up with each other again.  I scribbled it down on a piece of notebook paper, and I recently found it in a stack of papers on my desk.  It was the last day of school for me at Wassom Middle School.  I had just cleaned out my locker; my backpack was stuffed to the brim with cards and goodbye letters from my friends.  Kylie said this to me as we walked down the blue painted hallway, and I remember thinking, "She's exactly right."  Since then, I have lived my life like there really isn't a tomorrow.  I go with whatever life brings me.  I take it full on and handle it my own way.  Though some people tend to look at me like I'm crazy, I look back and laugh because I am the one enjoying every second while they are busy trying to figure out how to get the latest trend.

Scylla and Charybdis: Getting Adopted
            The most difficult decision I ever had to make was about whether to let my father adopt me or not.  Technically, the man I call my father is not my blood relative, but it did not change my decision.  When I was eight years old, talk about letting him adopt me came up.  This was difficult for me to decide only because I would be changing my last name.  At that time, it was Wilson; if my dad adopted me, it would become La Forest.  I wanted desperately to hold on to my Wilson name because it seemed famous to me.  I saw tennis balls, footballs, stores, all with the name Wilson.  Even the soccer ball in Cast Away was named Wilson!  As a young child, that appealed to me.  Finally though, after a lot of thought, I went ahead with it anyway.  My father adopted me and, after I asked the judge myself, I even got to keep my name.  I got laughed at, I'm sure, when people printed out the birth certificate with my whole name, Laurel Emma Bailey Wilson-La Forest.

The Lotus Eaters: The Titanic Museum
            One of the strangest things that I've ever experienced was at Georgia Aquarium while the Titanic exhibit was open.  We went to the museum just after the TV show Ghost Hunters was filmed there.  For those of you who don't know, the show consists of a group of people (TAPS) that do in-depth research and experiments about paranormal activity in buildings.  There is still a lot of speculation on whether the Titanic, and its artifacts, are haunted, which I did not know when we went to the museum.  What I remember most are my feelings when we entered the Titanic exhibit.  I was cold, scared, and though I wanted to see the exhibit, I also wanted to leave.  I had pressed the feelings to the side, laughing at myself for them, and then we entered the room with the names of people who had died on the Titanic.  Just outside the door, my mom stopped to take pictures of some of the dishes that were cased in a glass container.  All of a sudden, the room got cold.  It felt as though ice was being poured on top of my head, rolling down and quickly melting over my skin.  It encased me entirely, and swirled around my trembling body, then fell away slowly in blocks again.  My mother had a weird look on her face, and I asked her what was wrong.  She said that her camera battery had just died, even though she had charged it fully before we left home and we weren't through even half of the exhibit yet.
The Cave of the Cyclops: The Semi truck
            My narrow escape took place while I was still in Fort Campbell, Kentucky.  We were at the big intersection just after the gate; my dad was driving.  To our left was the road we took to go home, and to our right was a big lot that semi trucks filled their gas tanks at.  We were at a red light, and like we usually do, my family was talking about the latest movie we had seen.  The light turned green a few seconds after we completely stopped, and my dad hit the gas pedal, getting ready to turn toward our home.  My mom looked out the passenger side window and screamed stop at the top of her lungs.  My dad hit the brakes and looked towards my mom and the semi truck that was going past the front of our car at an immeasurable speed according to my seven year old brain.  The semi truck honked, loudly, like we were the ones doing something wrong during our green light.

Laurel La Forest


A planet made of you think it will fit on my finger?

Thursday, September 15, 2011


My oldest friends.
We're a little wilted from the heat (Why is it so hot at your house, Sheila?!?)
Can't wait for you guys to come visit us at our new house!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


One tiny, undetected drip from the bottom to the old-as-hell fridge.  Now we need a new floor+subfloor.  Thank the FSM we rent, and don't own.  Why haven't they invented something to slide under the fridge to keep this from happening?  Holy hell!
The best part: Having company down while the fridge sits in the middle of the floor!  AHHHH!

Idle Wednesday

Overcoming my fear of yeast, I made bread for the family. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


Jay and I went to lunch here again.  I made him a chainmaille bracelet, and he bought me a sterling silver bracelet that I had admired at a shop we were at the other day. :)  He also bought me a new outfit to go out in.  We stopped at the book store and picked up a couple of goodies, and got home in time to pick people up from school, and band practice.  More pictures later!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Laurel Gets an IPod!

I apologize for the crappy sound.  After a couple of hour trying to convert the video to something that movie maker would be able to use, I gave up and rerecorded it with my other camera. Lame, I know.  But it got the job done!


We aren't a sports family...this is what Miah is doing during the football games. :)

Sunday, September 11, 2011


JROTC 9/11 ceremony before the football game.  They conveniently forgot to mention the 6000+ soldiers that have died in the past ten years as a direct result of decisions made after 9/11. I was a little miffed.

Saturday, September 10, 2011


These last 4 "365 days of pictures" posts courtesy of Laurel and Miah, the Goofy Brigade. Can you tell what they were up to?

Friday, September 9, 2011

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


In an effort to not feel quite so overwhelmed concerning the upcoming move, I bought some organizational supplies.  An accordion filing system with an attached notebook for lists of to-dos and for storing receipts from the trip, a color coded calendar for keeping the housing/movers/packing appointments straight, and the file folder that we will carry our important personal papers, and official army documents in.  Not that it's helping any.  We are getting close to moving time, and I still have a few things to do!  Ahhh!!  Band trips are hindering my ability to get things done, so Jay and I are splitting up the volunteer responsibilities until the end of our time here.  Hopefully that will help.

Monday, September 5, 2011


Tanned, Bright eyed, and Stronger.  That's what Marching Band will do to you! Laurel lost some baby weight, and gained a mini six pack.