Friday, May 30, 2008

Week 1...Almost Done

This is the view from the front porch of our amazing housing at WG!

Here we are at the end of Week 1 and I have hardly kept you updated.
That is either a sign of things going really well or REALLY BAD.
Thankfully it is that we are having such a good time that I am not slowing down enough to keep my adoring public updated. I will try to do better in the future.
One of the main problems is that the internet service to our cabin is pretty spotty. And by pretty spotty I mean, non-existent. So, I have to work a little harder to get to the ole blog.

I don't have anything major to update you on except that this has been awesome so far. We are doing well, the kids are doing well except for Lucy hitting all of the other little girls in camp and Asher having a major case of the hot poops. But if that is as bad as it gets...well shave my dog and call it "Baldy".

So here are some pictures from this week. My kids are pretty dang cute if I do say so myself...

Monday, May 26, 2008

Seven Years Ago

I agreed to accept Matt Sloan as my husband for the rest of my life. Little did I know what I was agreeing to.

Some of those things might be:
-peeing outside at any opportunity. Even though we have three bathrooms INSIDE of our house.
-hunting, killing and skinning animals that he expects me to be delighted at eating.
-playing random instruments like the clarinet, the trumpet and the melodica in our garage without knowing how to play any of the instruments.
-wearing women's XL Liz Lange maternity gauchos for an entire month to make high school kids laugh so Jesus can invade their hearts.

Over the years, the things that made me crazy when we were dating, making me crazy now. I knew EXACTLY who I was marrying, I just chose to believe that those things might change. Nope. They are still around. But I think that I have changed because now, those are some of the things that I love the best despite how they might drive me up a wall.

I am grateful that this man is my husband. He prays for me. He prays for our kids. He loves me. He loves our kids. I can not wait to grow old all the days of my life with him, as long as the Lord lets me.

Seven years. Over a quarter of my life has been spent with Matt Sloan. Since I have dated him since I was 21, nearly a THIRD of my life really.

This is how you know that we are becoming one. Matt LOVES to make fractions at any opportunity. Just last night, our friends Jed and Becca celebrated their one month anniversary and Matt told them they would have to do that 84 more time to catch up with us.


Sunday, May 25, 2008

Send me some packages!

Hey just in case you wanted to send us any packages or good times items, feel free to send them to:
Leslie Sloan
c/o Young Life's Windy Gap
120 Coles Cove Rd.
Weaverville, NC 28787

Thanks! Oh and I love Mike and Ike's and 30 Rock is my favorite show (just in case you wanted to buy me a season of that show on DVD)


Saturday, May 24, 2008

Anybody Wanna Buy A House?

Here is our listing on the MLS if you wanna see!
at Jd Jackson's website

Right Now

Click on this link. And then come right back here. You want to read my other new post.

Was that a Barrel Around His Neck?

A lot of times when you are leaving to go to YL camp for a month, all kinds of disasters might strike. Sometimes you don't find out until you get home what they were. (One year, we came home to a rotten bag of potatoes that liquified. I still gag at the thought of how they smelled). Sometimes they happen minutes before you leave town. Thankfully, we haven't had anything like that happen just yet to US.

But on our team, Bryan and Lindsey Hancock experienced a day that made me so grateful that they took the hit for all of us. On Thursday morning, the Hancocks were hosting a preschool end of the year party at their house (Of course! Why wouldn't you HOST a party for 15 preschoolers and their parents right before leaving town for the month? This is why we are friends) So they had all of these kids and parents at their house. They also were dog sitting Bryan's sisters St. Bernards. That's right Bernard'S. Two of 'em. One of them is rather old and a bit cranky.

He was freaking out at all of the chaos at their house and Bryan went outside to calm him down. He was settling the dog when he just latched onto his forearm and would not let go. The only way to release his grip on Bryan's arm was to hit the dog. So two quick punches to the skull and the dog went on his way.

Bryan was also on his way to the doctor's office to get 19 stitches in his arm.

On his way to the doctor's office, he called his sister to give her the news. She asked him to get the dog put down due to his violent tendencies. So, before leaving town for the month...Bryan and Lindsey needed to 1) pack their three kids and house up. 2) clean the house from the preschoolers party and 3) put a dog to sleep.

Bryan agreed and once he got home he loaded a shotgun into his car. Yep. That's how the dog was going to be "put to sleep". And then he made his way out to the dog pen where he found the St. Bernard was already dead. Sweet.

It is pretty much assumed that he killed the dog by the blows to head. Either that or the dog has rabies.
So now add to the list, get the dog to vet so that he can get autopsyed and get a major dosage of antibiotics for the open wounds on Bryan's arm; oh, and get arrested for killing a dog. (just kidding about that last one)

So when Bryan and Lindsey rolled into camp at 2am on Friday morning, they were pretty exhausted. Yay-it wasn't us this year!!!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Before and After

This was the best picture that I could find of my living room before we were "staged"

Doesn't it look great? Click on the picture to see all of the "details".

We are DONE with working on the house. I am going back tonight to watch TV, clean out the fridge and freezer and take the garbage down. We basically need a small dumpster for all that we have gotten rid of this week. Without freecycle, we might really be in trouble!

Please pray that the right buyer would find our house this month. I would LOVE to be under contract by the end of the month. I know that is a lot to ask in this financial climate, but our house is in great shape, we aren't there and it is priced well. PRAY!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

We're moving Out

No, that is not just a title of a really bad Billy Joel song, it is now my life.

We are moving up to Windy Gap tomorrow to begin our month at Young Life camp. Thank God we are staying on the east coast and I can just drive all of us into camp, 15 minutes from where we live. I feel no pressure to pack right or well. I will just pack what we need for the next few days and as morale drops at camp, ta-da! We at home where whatever it is that we need and are missing from our lives resides and we can pick it up and take it back to camp!

I am very excited.
I am also excited because it means I can stop working on my freaking house.
We are listing it for sale tomorrow morning, so we have been maniacs here. On Monday, I had Cindy McCandless come over and help stage our house. For those of you who have never done this, do it. Not because you need to stage your house, but if I had her come over when we first moved in, I might have liked my house a bit better.
She rearranged furniture, gave me design ideas and told us we had to paint our kitchen. Before Thursday.
I was the sane one and said, "No way. It's not even possible." Matt said, "Let's do it!"
So we did it. I had a minor panic attack selecting paint at Home Depot. It normally takes me several days and several test coat of paint before committing. I took 10 minutes.
After we left Home Depot, I took the kids to Target and spent a minor fortune on "home accessories". I know that some of you might find this hard to believe; but I suck at this sort of thing. I don't really do "chachke" I like clean surfaces, minimal wall hangings, etc. So to go and buy little tables, lamps, vases and pictures for my walls was a big deal. The bigger deal was telling Matt just how much money was spent. Yikes.

"but sweetheat, it is just a small investment to be able to sell our house." Does this line work? Cause I don't think so.

But he does love all of the changes and seriously yall, this woman knows what she is doing. In 10 minutes, she rearranged my living room, rehung pictures in my bedroom and got me to paint my kitchen. Whaaaaat?

I wish we had her come over when we moved in because then I would have loved my house for the last three years instead of the last 15 hours.

I will post before and after pictures tomorrow. Yay for tomorrow!!!

Friday, May 16, 2008

We Hack Our Kids

Asher has been escaping from his room wee in the early hours of the morning. For some of you with less sleeping kids, you might be saying to yourselves, "give me a break" but my kids have been sleeping until 8am since they were three months old. So Asher making appearances next to my face 6am has been more than a rude awakening.

So we have been trying the clock method. We told him he is not allowed to leave his room until he sees a "seven" on the clock. And this has worked remarkably well. I mean, he is leaving his room at 7:01. So Matt came up with the brilliant idea to "reset the clock" back one half-an-hour. So then "seven" is actually "7:30".

I think it is quite brilliant!

A Life is Changed

Recently, I was introduced to coffee from a french press. I know, I crawled out of a cave and into society on that day.
Anyway, I loved it. I really wanted one and my friend Robin gave me one that she received as a wedding present and doesn't use.
It has revolutionized my life. Because I am pretty much brewing full coffee cups of espresso now. My favorite part? Pressing the grinds down. There is something out it that makes me so happy. The taste of coffee is unbelievable and the caffeine hit has been nice.
Especially since Lucy has gotten a sinus infection and a double ear infection this week.

And it helps me to remove one more item off of my kitchen counter. It is my goal to remove everything except for absolute essentials off of my kitchen counter. It helps me to see clutter more quickly and to do something with it. There is little that I love more than a clean kitchen counter. Except for french press coffee.

Go get you one today! You will love it!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

One More Reason to Love Target

I know that none of you need further reasons to love Target, but I am going to tell you why you should run out and spend all of your money there. :)

Last year, Matt and I bought a patio furniture set for our deck. We had looked at the ones at Target, but decided to not to buy their set for a few reasons. (none of them are good now that I look back on it). Instead, we bought a gorgeous set that had a glass top. We brought it home, set it up, put the umbrella up and ate dinner. It was LOVELY. We left everything set up for the night because we wanted to eat Sunday lunch outside after church. Came home, the table top was shattered. Wind had blown the umbrella and broke the table top. We called the store we bought the set from and they offered us a new top to compensate.
We got the new top, no harm no foul except for 3000 shards of glass on and under our deck.

Fastforward to this year. We cleaned out all of the glass from last year. Painted our deck and had friends over for Cinco De Mayo. I was excited to eat outside, so while the kids were napping I set up the table. I opened the umbrella, got all the cushions on the chairs. Came back inside, a gust of wind came out of nowhere and BOOM-shattered the table.

I was ummm, NOT HAPPY.
So I called the store and they did not make the same offer to replace it a year later. So I called a glass company and they offered to custom cut a piece of tempered glass for $100 or a piece of frosted plexiglass for $130. Yikes, that is STEEP. Except that I have a perfectly useless frame of a table sitting on top of now another 3000 pieces of tempered glass that is raining down on my kids play castle and swings.

I looked around a little and decided that our table is now crap. Because I do not want yet another piece of glass to go on top of the table. Nor do I want a plexiglass top that will scratch and yellow with time.

Where do I find my answer? Target. They have a patio table that has NO glass, instead is woven metal (which is EXACTLY) what we looked at last year AND it matches all of my chairs.

I went to Target today and they had no more in stock. All they had was a floor model. I asked if I could buy it and they guy who looked EXACTLY like Dwight Schrutte told me no. More would be coming in. A manager overheard him and asked him to check if it was the last one and now on clearance. He checked and it was! They COULD sell me the floor model, for 30% off! Hooray! I paid $70 for a brand new table, they took it apart and put it in my car for me.

I was fired up. I mean, I would have LOVED to not have spent $70 on that, but it was a much better value than getting a new piece of glass cut.

Now, we can entertain outside again! Except we are never home in the summer. ugh.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Overwhelmed and (almost) out of time

So we have a 9-day countdown until our house goes on the market and so now is when we decide that we are really serious about fixing the things on our house that have been around for oh, say, two years now. And well, it is a little too little too late. And it is irritating.

I am overwhelmed with work, house crap, the kids are both sick and cranky and so am I. Matt is behind and we are both feeling the pressure of the summer upon us. It really is no way to be.

On the plus side, while we were gone we hired Ben (the guy that lived with us last summer and fall) to come and clean our carpets while we were gone so that is one less thing on our to-do list.

So hopefully, before work week at Windy Gap we can tick a few more things off of our list and feel good about listing our house rather than hope that it looks just mildly better than the trailer park that is down the street.

But who wouldn't want to buy our house and get to sit on our front porch? Doesn't that look lovely?

Here are pictures from our beach trip up on Flickr right now. We are kind of regretting going since we have so many things going on. But it was nice to pretend like we don't have our lives here to catch up on. Just for you, another taste of our time there:

Monday, May 12, 2008

We're back

We went to the beach with Matt's parents for the weekend, I promise to post more tomorrow. But driving home five hours with the kids was a bit much...
see you in the morning!

Monday, May 5, 2008


One more category that I am adding:
5 Snacks I hate, that other people love
1. Ice Cream: I don't hate ice cream. But I don't love it and I would never want it on top of cake. And I would throw an ice cream CAKE out of my house if someone brought it over to me. But, I hate the way people around me eat ice cream. People always leave a little bit on the spoon and then turn it over, savoring each bite. Oh, and they BITE ice cream. I don't get it and it grosses me out.

2. Peanut Butter. I love LOVE peanut butter. But if someone is eating peanut butter when I am not eating it, the smell grosses me out and makes me a little angry.

3. Snickers Bars. My poor sweet husband loves Snickers, but if you see #2 then you will know that peanuts are in Snickers and are a direct violation unless I am eating a Reeses Cup, then he may eat it.

4. Big Red Chewing Gum. Or cinnamon anything. Once again, my husband has no choice in the matter. My dad would chew Big Red on every road trip we ever took. And smack it. So the smell would permeate whatever mode of transportation we might be using. It brings me back to some of the best and worst memories of childhood. In addition, Big Red does not FRESHEN breath. It just makes you smell like you have been chewing on mulch. I don't see the benefit and so no one around me should be able to partake.

5. Arby's. I love curly fries as much as anyone and I wish more fast food places would offer them. But I cannot go to Arby's simply because of the offerings of roast beef sandwiches with cheddar cheese smothering it. Horsey Sauce, market fresh wraps, etc. They all make me throw up a little in my mouth.
Their ad campaign almost has me thinking Arby's, but not quite. Cause then I would have to actually eat there and well, Bojangles is almost always across the street.

Just Got Tagged

Thanks to Erin Shelton, I just got tagged with an about me questionnaire. This is the equivalent of a chain letter, but since she didn't include that if I don't do it my kids will get std's if I don't do it, I will comply.

What was I doing 10 years ago?
1998, I was finishing my sophomore year in college and returning home to take classes at NOVA Community College, work at PJ Skidoos waiting tables and playing soccer for the Zephyr. I was dating Ed Parker and he left to study abroad in England for the summer. Pretty much the hardest summer of my life. Thank GOD I am not doing that over again.

5 Things on My To-Do List Today:
1. This thing.
2. All-Area Club at the Barn in Old Fort. Last club of the school year. YEE HA
3. Sending out emails/writing proposals for Big Bridge Advertising.
4. Playing with my kids in the baby pool before club.
5. Call carpet cleaners to come and clean our carpets a few days before we list our house. Unless someone out there wants to make a little cash doing it for me. Lemme know. I will put this off for today in case someone wants to do it.

5 Snacks I love:
1. Totinos Pizza
2. Fudge Grahams
3. Girl Scout Cookies (Samoas, thin mints or shortbread)
4. Carob covered nuts or raisins
5. Doritos

5 Things I would do if I were a Billionaire:

1. Pay off all of our bills.
2. Pay for college for Lucy and Asher.
3. Give a lot away to people and organizations that are doing the most effective work for the Lord.
4. Go live abroad for several weeks a year.
5. Pay for several of my friends bills that are hanging over their heads.

5 Bad Habits:
1. Raising my voice at my kids.
2. Raising my voice at Matt.
3. Not being content with those I live with, myself or how much money is in our checking account :)
4. Not keeping a clean car.
5. Not keeping my car well-maintained. (a subject for another post!)

5 Places I've Lived:
I have lived in MANY places, so this is my top 5

1. Asheville, NC (2000-present): I moved here right out of college to work for Young Life. Eight years later, Matt is the area director here. It is crazy to see how things have changed but have stayed the same. So many friends have come and gone in these eight years. Now, we have been here long enough to see friends who have come, gone and come back! We love it.
2. Columbia, SC (1996-2000): How could you not love where you went to college? I specifically chose to go to a big state school because I wanted to go somewhere with school spirit and in the south. USC had it all. I met the Lord right before I went there and I owe much of my current relationship with Christ to those that poured into me during my time there.
3. Staten Island, NY (1992-1996) I didn't so much LOVE my time on Staten Island since I felt like an outsider much of my time there. I lived up to that feeling by further alienating myself by putting on a mask of a punk rocker and kept people at a distance. Fun but could be pretty lonely.
4. Carlisle, PA (1991-1992): one year. But a great one where we got to live on a lively post in the United States with good friends and got to meet great life-changing locals from Carlisle. I loved my year here.
5. Berlin, Germany (1984-88): I don't remember a great deal from this period in my life, but I know that it shaped a lot of how I view the world, America and our role in it. In addition, we got to live in one of the world's largest capitals prior to the Berlin Wall coming down and it became Westernized. Pretty incredible.

5 Jobs I've Had...
1. Advertising Executive, Big Bridge Advertising. This is what I am doing now. I pursue new business and network with local business people in Asheville. I love getting to meet people and hear about their businesses. I love seeing how we take mediocre collateral and turn it into marquee messaging and help build a business. It is great fun!
2. Sports Information Director, UNC Asheville. I loved and hated this job. I loved the people, the sports and the varying responsibilities. I hated the hours and the pay.
3. Intern, Young Life of Asheville. I worked for Asheville Young Life at Erwin High School and North Buncombe. It was a great job that I loved for two years. I miss getting to only think about people and how to love them best all day long. Sometimes, that wore me out too.
4. Soccer Player, University of South Carolina. I didn't make actual money at this, but I did get a scholarship and that is as good as money to my mom and dad!
5. Waitress, PJ Skidoos. I already mentioned this. But I waited tables at a steakhouse in Fairfax, Virginia. The sight of food in mass quantities, especially salad dressings made me lose 10 pounds in a month. I looked and felt gross. I sucked at waiting tables and I hope I never have to do it again.

5 People I Want to Know More About:
1. Buffy Smith
2. Sarah Spooner
3. Robin Plemmons
4. Jill Rutland
5. Katy Hanna

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Beatings Will Continue Until Morale Improves

This weekend felt a lot like work around here.
Asher came down with a man cold late last week and today he told me that his ear hurt. TOLD ME. That means he's officially sick. We will be heading to the doctor in the morning.

We had two funeral services, a wedding, church, senior soccer game, friends in town, plus...we are listing our house for sale in T-minus 18 days. So of course, I deep cleaned our bedroom, closet and garage. Along with planting nearly $50 worth of plants in the yard.

Also, Asher has officially decided that 6:45am is HIS new wake-up time. Which makes it officially MY wake up time.

On the plus side? Lucy said, "I love you" to me for the first time. And then she climbed into my lap (happily) to be cuddled. Um, that never happens?!

I have given away my exercise ball and 30 bricks on freecycle over the weekend. I have two yoga mats, a yoga strap and a yoga bar to add tomorrow. I love this group. We have a very active freecycle groupin Asheville, you should see if you have one where you live.

It is great, you have something you don't want anymore? List it on freecycle. Someone else wants it AND it doesn't end up in the landfill. Also, they have to come pick it up. Booyah.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Stuff White People Like

Okay, I kinda can't get enough of this blog right now. Just in case you were not convinced yesterday that it was is #67, bicycles:

A good place to find white people on a Saturday is at a Bike Shop. Bike shops are almost entirely staffed and patronized by white people!

White people also like Mountain Bikes because it lets them be in nature. It’s really not more complicated than that.

And finally, they love expensive Road Bikes and the accompanying spandex uniforms. This enables them to ride long distances and wear really tight clothes without any social stigmas. These types of riders will spend upwards of $5,000 on a bicycle and up to $400 on accessories, but will not ride to work. Perhaps because they cannot wear the spandex. It is important that you never question why someone needs a $5000 bicycle since the answer is always “performance.”

For the most part, these rules have been unisex. But there is a special category of bicycles that appeal far more to white women, the European city bike (pictured). White women have a lot of fantasies about idealized lives, and one of them is living in Europe and riding around an old city on one of these bikes. They dream about waking up and riding to a little cafe, then visiting bakeries and cheese shops and finally riding home to prepare a fancy meal for their friends who will all eat under a canopy with white Christmas lights. This information can be used to help gain the trust/admiration of a white woman, especially if you can pull off a lie about how your mother told you about how she used to do all of these things when she was younger.

And of course, it goes without saying that white people who ride bikes like to talk about how they are saving the earth. If you know a person who rides to work, you should take them aside and say “Hey, thanks. Sincerely, The Earth.” Then give a thumbs up. That white person will ride home on a cloud.

Being an ad wiz and all...

Has led me to LOVE this blog post over at list of the day.

Click on the link and laugh over the fact that all of these got through committees of well-meaning people.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Shout Out

My good friend "spooner" just put this site up on her blog and well...guilty as charged.

What were you thinking?

This morning, I took my kids to their nursery school. It is a pretty tame place within a church building. They host a co-op of home school teenagers during the same time that my kids are there. It is nice to see high school students and pre-schoolers mingling together.

Except for today.

This morning, I was getting my kids out of the car when I saw a teenage boy walking past us into the school dressed (I am not exaggerating at all) in head-to-toe camo, with a black hat on this head that covered his ears, chin, and most of his face. On his eyes he wore dark glasses and was carrying a large bag into school. He pretty much looked like the Columbine shooters.

I saw his mom then PARK the car and walk in to chat with her friends inside the school.

OKay, I get that trust your kid implicitly. That this MIGHT not even cross your mind that you raised what looks like the Unabomber. I want to have understanding.

Except that it has only been a year since Virginia Tech. Columbine is not such a dim memory that you can just dress like that and walk into an educational environment and no one will raise an eyebrow.

I spent the rest of the morning trying to justify why I left my kids there and didn't immediately turn around and go home. I honestly did not know how to address the situation.

After several hours of being gone, I returned early to the school and spoke with the director about my concerns. She told me, "It's the end of the year. They might have had a dress up day or skits or something."

That's nice. How about not having a school shooting dress up day?
How would any of you handled this? I seriously felt like I was overreacting and that nobody else seemed to have a problem with this. But it freaked me out-BIG TIME. And it was the first time that I have ever felt threatened, that I thought my kids could be a target. I hate this.