Friday, November 30, 2007


Watch this video. I have never laughed so hard in my life. I saw this on Ellen this week and I had to post it. She is trying to find this couple to have on her show.

Absolutely HILARIOUS!!!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

84% Dixie

Take this Yankee or Dixie Quiz to see what percentage Southerner you are. Be sure to only click one answer for each question before computing the final score. (If you hit the wrong one, you need to hit the 'Clear All' button and start over.)

I took the Quiz and I was a little disappointed with only 84% Dixie. I pride myself on being a Southern girl. Although I have only recently returned to the South after being gone for 10 years. I know I lived in Maryland for about 5 years but Southerns don't accept Maryland as a true southern state even though they are below the Mason Dixon Line. (I might get an ear full from my husband for that comment). When we were dating he took this picture to prove we were in the South while in MD. Marylanders do not have that Southern hospitality or the nice twang in their voice, especially if you live in Baltimore. They may be Southern when it comes to geographics, but not in their hearts.

It was fun to take the Quiz and have enjoyed seeing the scores of my sister-in-laws. Maybe after 10 days with me at Christmas will help you be a little more Dixie. (Suz - you better get 100%)

Take the quiz and post a comment with your score.

A few of my favorite topics:
  • How many of you seen a drive-thru liquor store? If not then you haven't been to the beach in VA or NC. Great Fun.

  • A conversation at a fast food place in the South:
  • What would you like to drink?
    A coke.
    What kind of Coke?
    What kind do you have?
    Coke, Diet Coke, Sprite, Mello Yello, Root Beer, Dr. Pepper (all carbonated drinks included in list)
  • Y'all really should come visit
  • Monday, November 26, 2007

    My Ring

    My wonderful wedding ring fell off my finger last Sunday (No I didn't feel it fall off). After church I went visiting teaching to 2 homes and at the 2nd home I noticed it was no longer on my finger. My wonderful companion helped me look through the parking lots and on the streets and then through the church.
    I loved that ring. Not only because it was what Chuck gave me on the day we were married but it is the only ring I have looked at and absolutely loved. My ring was made by a friend of the Gates family patterned after a Tiffany's ring. Now my ring was not very expensive as far as wedding rings go, but still it was mine and exactly what I wanted. I think I might wear the $10 Claddagh ring I wore as an engagement ring (because I didn't really want an engagement ring) because my finger feels so bare.
    When we were looking at the church, Chuck and Leland knelt to say a prayer. After "Amen", Leland stands up and says "Okay, open the door and we find the ring!" So matter of fact like she had the faith that she really would find it. For the next few days she still included "bless us to find mommy's ring" in her prayers. It's been over a week now but I still think it might turn up somewhere. We'll see.
    Lani, Shana - I know you feel my pain.

    Our Visit to NC

    We had a fun trip to NC to visit my Dad and Suzanne. We celebrated 2 birthdays and of course Thanksgiving. We were able to start the Christmas season with a drive through the Festival of Lights in Tanglewood Park. We rode a hayride through the lights first as a group then just as a family in our car. Luckily the weather was very pleasant. Leland and I also joined my dad and all his girls to pick out their Christmas tree. We had a great time.

    We celebrated Layni turning 5 at Chuck E Cheese.
    Leland loved playing all the games and meeting ChuckE.

    The girls - Lucy, Emily, Layni, and Leland.

    Suz turned 30! Happy Birthday.

    To view more pictures and videos go to our Snapfish Photo Room.

    Tuesday, November 20, 2007

    Ranting about Dick Vitale

    Well, there's another college basketball season started off poorly. Tonight, I was excited to watch a college basketball featuring #1b UCLA (UNC is the real #1) v. #11 Michigan State. I even stayed up late. This would be the first big game I would watch this season. I have been really excited about the start of another college basketball season.

    When it began and the commentators voices started in, a horrible rage exploded within me and I instinctively yelled out, "I hate Dick Vitale!" Then, I was horrified to hear myself say, "When is that guy going to die?" I know that is beyond harsh and way over the line. I feel very guilty for having such strong feelings against somebody I never met. But I also have realized that there is not another person in the world who evokes such disdain in my heart. Now usually, I do not post such negativity on the blog, but I figure it may be therapeutic for me to express it here, so that maybe I can let it go.

    I dislike him so much, that I had to violate my own rule against blog posts without pictures; I had a great one (see here), but I threw up a little when I saw it on the same page as my family.

    If you have to ask why I hate him, it is obvious that you don't watch basketball on ESPN/ABC. To start with, he can't stop talking about nonsense that nobody wants to here. Next, he loves himself way too much when there is nothing at all of substance to love. He IS the East Coast Bias in College Basketball - to him, covering a Big 12 game in Kansas is too far west. Finally, he embodies why nobody likes Duke, unless they got a degree from there, live in New York, or are Canadian.

    Some of you might say that he sometimes, professes to love UNC... Uh no... That relationship is as one sided as the tiny little freshman girl with freckles, glasses, messy hair and headgear who has a crush on the senior Prom king. Find me a UNC fan who likes Vitale and you will have found a UNC fan who has a Duke sweatshirt in their closet. Ask my in-law family, I understand the importance of that choice.

    BTW, don't let my UNC talk lead anybody to think I have abandoned the Pac-10. I do love UNC, but I am quick to admit that the ACC can only hope to be the second best conference in any given year (and this year, it is #4 or 5 after Pac-10, Big East, SEC and maybe Big 12). UNC is great, the rest are only mediocre.

    But back to my point about Dicky V... This year, the Pac-10 returns to ESPN (thank you Disney-ABC-ESPN), so I will get to watch some Pac-10 games. But because there are so many ranked Pac-10 teams, that means that they will probably send Vitale to cover those games and I will be forced to listen to his mindless drivel until my ears bleed (not thank you Disney-ABC-ESPN).

    For more, see some of these links:
    - Jotsheet: Funny blog post that explains why Dick Vitale needs to retire.
    - The most hilarious Day in the Life of Dick Vitale parody.

    Anyway, I want to thank the bald, no-talent, obnoxiously annoying Dooky V for ruining another basketball season by having anything to do with it. Please do the world a favor, Dick... Retire!

    Thank you... I feel better now.

    Monday, November 19, 2007

    Project GRECo is working!

    Today we were so excited to hear that Mitzi (Chuck's sister) and Mike McBride have put in their request to move to Virginia! Woohoo! (Not to be confused with wahoos.)

    I am especially happy because step two of Project Gates Relocation to East Coast (GRECo) has come to fruition. Step one was for us to move here; step two was for the first family member to follow. Now that one more Gates voice will be singing the praises of the East (more specifically, the Southeast), it is only a matter of time that others follow.

    Welcome to the McBrides! We hope it all works out for you to move here.

    We are The Roaming Roan

    For those who don't know, I attend Washington & Lee University School of Law in Lexington, Virginia. One of the things I have done to become more involved at my new school is to write for the newspaper. After another columnist flaked out before his first column, I was given the opportunity to create my own recurring travel column focusing on day trips in the Shenandoah Valley area.

    I was very excited because I love going on day trips, I love writing, and I love writing about trip planning. It is a fun commitment that assures that we take one Saturday a month to do something cool in our area of southwest Virginia.

    The column is called The Roaming Roan - named after one of General Robert E. Lee's war horses. W&L Univ is named after two great Virginia gentlemen who each played crucial roles in the school's history - George Washington & Robert E. Lee (more about that here). I am also posting the articles on a TRR blog at

    My first column had to be done quickly, so I used my past experiences living in and near Washington, DC to create an article about some really cool DC attractions that most people miss. Give it a read and let me know (a) if you have seen those sights and (b) what you thought about them.

    For the second column we went to Staunton, a very well preserved Civil War boom town. I will create a separate Staunton post with family pics later.

    Anyway, I invite you to stop by the TRR blog, even if you are far from Virginia.

    Sunday, November 18, 2007

    Tag - I'm it

    I was tagged, so here goes. My 6 facts/habits you may not know about me.

    1. Hi my name is Ashley and I'm a blog stalker. I can admit it and I'm okay with it. There are many friends of my friends and complete strangers who I read about regularly.

    2. No Egg Nog BEFORE Thanksgiving. Don't get me wrong I love egg nog, I just don't buy it or drink it until after Thanksgiving. I have no legitimate reason why.

    3. I've been to 2 concerts in my life. Lenny Kravitz and New Kids on the Block.

    4. My feet are claustrophobic. I can not handle to have my feet pinned under blankets.

    I can only come up with 4 for myself so here are some facts about my daughters since they are extensions of me.

    1. While sucking her thumb she sticks her pointer finger up her nose. Her pointer finger used to rub her eye ball which totally freaked me out. Now she has upgraded to the nose.
    2. She asks Chuck and I "Are you a boy or a girl?" all day long.
    3. She talks to Lucy the way we talk to her. If Lucy's crying she'll get in her face and count to 3 and tell her take a deep breath. Leland also calls Lucy 'screamer' just like Chuck does.

    1. She throws her binky out of her crib at night. I felt like I was losing all her binkies then I looked under her crib and found her stash. Now every morning I have to crawl under her crib to get her binky.
    2. She likes to take off her socks and stuff them in her mouth
    3. She likes to play with my hair. It's like she's twirling it around her fingers.
    4. 100% mama's girl!

    Here's a nice little fact about my husband that you might enjoy:
    He wants to go to the Spice Girls Reunion concert REALLY bad...and I still love him.

    I'm not going to tag anyone, but if you are looking for something to blog about, this was pretty fun to try to come up with things to include in my list. I recommend it

    Saturday, November 17, 2007

    Do you think they look alike?

    Leland and Lucy both at 5 1/2 months

    Friday, November 16, 2007

    Turkey Day Crafts

    Cute turkey that Leland made at Preschool
    We made handprints turkeys for family and friends
    Leland made this turkey at the library storytime.
    She ripped off his head when we got home.
    I guess she's ready to EAT turkey now.

    Thursday, November 15, 2007

    Natural Decor

    Last night we had our Law Families Thanksgiving Dinner at our home. It was a great turn out. Check out Heidi's Blog for pictures. I wanted to decorate in some way but did not want to spend any money. I ended up filling vases that I already had with mixed whole nuts and cranberries (thanks to food stamps). I also found this great pine tree in our backyard with mini pine cones on it. They looked really cute and I spent no money.

    Update on the Girls

    Leland (2 1/2 yrs old) : loves anything to do with Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, or if it is the color pink or purple. She sings all the time. Her favorites are from Sleeping Beauty, Hail to Princess Aurora and Once upon a Dream, and from Cinderella Bibidi Bobodi Boo. She also loves primary hymns.

    Once a week she goes to an at home pre school with 2 other little girls. We rotate houses and the moms take turns teaching. She gets very excited to go and feels like such a big girl. She also enjoys Storytime at the Library.

    Lucy (5 months) : She is a very happy baby. Everyone loves to get smiles from her. Lucy is starting to sit up on her own and rolls and scoots all over the room. She enjoys taking her socks off and stuffing them into her mouth.

    All Bundled Up!

    It finally started to get cold and I had to bundle up the girls to go outside. But then yesterday was 70! Today it's back down to 50. What is going on with this crazy weather?!?!

    Saturday, November 10, 2007


    On Friday night we had family movie night and watched Ratatouille. It was a very entertaining movie and Leland especially enjoyed watching a movie with Mom, Dad, & Lucy.

    She became quite emotionally attached to Remy the mouse. Whenever Remy was not on screen she would repeatedly ask, "Where's the mouse? Where's the mouse? Where's the mouse?"

    At one point, Remy becomes quite sad and the Disney/Pixar animators did a very good job at showing that expression up close as Remy walked off screen. Leland turned to me with big puppy-dog eyes and said, "The mouse is sad." Tears welled up in her eyes as I told her to take a deep breath, but it was too late. She started to wail... and it was at that point that I realized just how far animated movies have come such that Leland was truly connected with the emotions of the character. Ashley and I tried to console her, but it was very hard to stifle our giggles.

    Tuesday, November 6, 2007

    Leland and her Potty

    My life is consumed with everything potty. Sorry that's all I can post about because that's all that has been going on at our house lately. She's got the pee thing down, but not so great at the poo. (I will spare you the details) Here are some pictures of Leland being excited about having gone potty and running around in her new underwear. As you may notice her sunglasses are a pretty constant accessory.

    We have a few fun upcoming events:

    • Our first activity as Activities Co-chair, a Linger Longer this Sunday
    • Hosting a Thanksgiving dinner for Law Families next Wed.
    • Chuck gets a full week off for Thanksgiving so we are excited to have him home so much

    Saturday, November 3, 2007

    Potty Training Breakthrough

    After talking with my sisters and friends, I have decided no more diapers for Leland - somewhat cold turkey. We have been working for a few weeks on potty training and have finally had success. Chuck printed out a potty chart and taped it on the wall in the bathroom. Every time Leland goes potty she can put a sticker on her chart. If she fills the column she gets to watch "Cinderella" It has totally motivated her.

    Yesterday she went most of the day with real panties on and only had 1 accident. Luckily while we were at home. Today she did great too. Only 1 small accident but she had a pull up on because we went sightseeing.

    She is a princess fanatic so she picked out some princess panties at the store today. When Chuck put them on her he told her not to pee-pee on Sleeping Beauty and she responded "I not, because then I feel all wet." Something finally clicked in her head!

    I know she will have accidents, but the past few days have been great. It was so nice today to not have to buy 2 different sizes of diapers.

    Thursday, November 1, 2007

    Halloween - part II

    Here are some pics of trick or treating at the Main St. businesses in Lexington. Tons of people showed up to trick or treat around about 6-8 blocks of the historic area. Our town is great, y'all really should come visit!

    _ _

    After our Law Families party eating 'Smores and watching Charlie Brown and the Great Pumpkin, Ashley took Lucy home to hand out candy, and Leland and I went out trick-or treating.

    She got the hang of it quite quickly. At first, we only did the dozen houses between the party and our house, but she did not want to stop when we hit home. She sweetly asked to "go to more houses".

    I could tell she was tired from the way that she was walking, but we went back out. I took the sit-and-stand stroller so that she didn't have to walk between houses, only up the doorsteps. After another dozen house she still wouldn't let me stop. Finally after a few more, she said, "Daddy, I go home and go night-night." She was so cute the entire night.

    In these videos, if you listen carefully, you can hear her say "Trick or treat." The 3rd is our next door neighbors, 3 first year law students - one of whom has been really nice to talk/play soccer with Leland when we see him.

    Halloween preview

    Here are a few pictures from our Halloween costumes. We had a blast Trick-or-Treating in our cute town. The businesses downtown passed out candy in the afternoon then after a party with some friends roasting marshmallows, Chuck and Leland went around our neighborhood. I will post more pictures and videos later.

    [Chuck's additions:]
    - The middle pic above is in our front yard. Yes, that is how cool our house and yard is for only $1050 a month!
    - Plus, Ashley forgot the pic of my costume, so 'tis.