Tuesday, January 30, 2018

New Year

 I don't think I've updated since before Christmas. Whoops. Time kind of gets away from me. Over the Christmas break we set up bank accounts for the boys. Project Grow up Independent boys is in action.
 Christmas Eve was on a Sunday, but it didn't keep us from going to Cracker Barrel. We had a blast. After breakfast we went to church and just spent a lazy day at home.
 Then Christmas morning we had our traditional big breakfast. Mimi and Tee spend the night with us and then Renee and Fred came to join us. It was really quite fun. 

 The day after Christmas our tree was on the curb by 9:00 am, which isn't really any different from past years. We went to Jackson the next day to do Christmas with Mimi and Tee and then on Wednesday we headed to Mun and Janice's house for Christmas.

Thursday morning we left on our Christmas trip for St. Louis. We stopped for lunch at McDonald's because we had gift cards.
 We made our way to Six Flags for the biggest bummer ever. All the rides were closed and there was no communication. Bummer. Thankfully there was a Polar Plunge close by and we changed plans to head there. Polar Plunge = big snowy slide...not a jump into a cold pool.
 After STL we headed home to get ready for the Memphis game. While they lost, we had the best time with our family. The boys were super excited about attending the game. It was part of their Christmas present.

 Fred's sister, Liz, surprised her husband, Zach, with tickets to the Alabama game in New Orleans. Since Fred and Renee were in Canada Fred and I got to keep their kids. It was a rowdy 36 hours but we had the best time.
 Eventually we had to go back to school. Andrew was not too happy about it.
 Jack finished up his basketball season with a big victory. They had a few other games after this one, but this game was the best I've seen them play all year. It has been a joy to watch this team grow and play together this season.
 Andrew had Manner's Club in January. I took this cute picture of him right before he left. He said, "Mom, you know the only reason I do Manner's Club is for the snacks, right?" Well, at least he's honest, right?!?
 Memphis is notorious for predicting snow and then nothing happening. Well this time snow was predicted and we were covered. We were out of school on Friday for snow and then Monday for MLK Jr. Day. And then Tuesday we got another round of snow so we were out Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. The boys only went to school on Friday. It was a good week.
 Dash lived his best life while we were all home.
Having all my people home made my heart so happy. The world doesn't stop for us very often, but when it does we sure are grateful. 

When the snow came we decided to work a puzzle. It was 1000 pieces and took some time, but we got it done. 
 Minus one piece. We were missing one piece. Ha!
This icicle was right outside our bedroom. You can't tell, but it's about 3 feet long. It's the biggest icicle I've ever seen. 
 Our sweet friends, Melody and Corey, came into town. We went to a Grizzlies game and the Cheesecake Corner. They spent the night with us and it was glorious.

 Shortly after they left I got the flu and everything stopped again. I mean stopped. Thankfully no one else has gotten the flu. We are crossing our fingers that it stays that way.  

Monday, December 18, 2017

Good Times

Fred received an award from our alma mater, Union University. The entire family showed up in full force to help him celebrate. I even had my hair done...and this is the only picture I have. Whoops. Next time he receives Young Alumni of the Year, I'll try harder. 
I caught this sweet moment one morning very early before school. Jack has to wear a tie on home basketball game days. Clayton was helping him tie it. Maybe they do like each other?!?

Jack had a basketball tournament in Benton, Kentucky one weekend around the first of November. He is talking to his coach and his good buddy is in the picture too. 
Since we were so close to Paris we had to stop. Bless B's heart. He has to be a good friend to stand that close to Jack. Jack had to be RIPE. He had had those clothes on since his game that morning. 

Every other year Fred and I try to get away...far, far away...together. This time we chose Estes Park, Colorado. He hiked and had a blast. 

 One day we had a picnic of homemade cinnamon rolls at the peak of a mountain. Cinnamon rolls for lunch?!? Yes, please!
We came really close to this pack of elk while we were hiking. Fred kept hiking. I was not that calm. In fact, I started labor breathing and was frozen with fear. Those things are HUGE when you are standing that close to them. Fred assured me they were fine and were not going to bother me. I assured him they were looking at me.  Eventually I started walking. I told Fred to write this on my tombstone, "He said, 'Trust me.' and she followed." I'm happy to report all is well and we made it back to the hotel that night. 
We flew in and out of Nashville because Tennessee Baptist Convention was in the area. Tennessee Baptist Convention is work for Fred. Me? I just go to see my friends. We had a blast together. 

 Melody and I even got to do a little side by side writing one morning. It was just like when we were in college...well, almost. Melody wasn't really distracting me with making cookies and we were both drinking iced coffee. Minus not having cookies, it really was the perfect day.

Andrew has had two Oops You Forgot Your Manners club meetings. He looks so cute when he's all dressed up and ready. 

Clayton made it into the All West Honor Choir. He lost his voice after practicing all day, but he still went to the performance. There were so many in the choir and I was sitting so far back that I had to draw on the picture to point to where he was. 

Later that evening, he went to his first high school dance. Currently, Clayton attends a 9th grade Academy so it doesn't really feel like he's in high school. About an hour before this dance I discovered that this dance was with the entire high school, not just the 9th grade. To say that a little panic set in is an understatement. There were 1200 students at that dance. Oh mercy. 

We drove Clayton and his friend to Seer Shack (a local burger place) and let them eat with two other friends. The rest of us ate at Lenny's, which was next door, and waited for them to call us. They hung out at our house until the dance started at 8:00 pm. 8 pm!! That's so late. It didn't wind up until midnight. Thankfully, Clayton's friend's mom picked them up. You know Fred and Jennifer were tucked in their bed!

Thanksgiving morning we left Memphis early to run in a Turkey Trot. Actually the three biggest boys ran, Andrew and I walked, ran, held hands, and talked the entire way. 

Then we enjoyed Thanksgiving day at Mimi and Tee's. No turkey was consumed. We had steak. Yummers. 

The day after Thanksgiving, we hit some trails in Jackson and really enjoyed ourselves. 

We got back to our house for a little cleaning...

 and a little Christmas tree decorating. We walked around that Christmas tree farm and found the perfect tree for our family. Of course, Fred and I quoted Christmas Vacation the entire time we were at the farm. Our children love us.
We celebrated White Christmas at church. Our first Sunday at Ellendale we did this Christmas tradition. It's hard to believe this is our 4th year to celebrate. 

Jack was elected to the Homecoming Court at his school. He had to escort a girl. I'm sure her parents spend a lot more time {and money!} on her hair and outfit than we did for Jack.

 Jack had his choir concert and the family came out again. My people from Jackson always, always come to support us. We don't take it for granted that they love and support us. They come so much I've said that their cars just must know the way.

Andrew had his Christmas program at school, but I didn't get any pictures. The lighting is terrible and he is on the back row of the program of all the classes. Just picture the cutest 2nd grader you ever saw and know that that's what he looked like.
 We had our annual Christmas Open House at our house a few weeks ago. My friend, Stephanie, came and helped me clean. Before she got here I carried around what I call a "Bag of Shame" and put everything in it that was out of place. Mainly all of Andrew's stuff.
 We rented a limo with our friends and headed to Christmas City in Burlison, Tennessee. It's a church camp and church, but in the winter it's covered in lights.
Funny story, some other friends of ours were there and they knew we were in the limo. They told us that the rumor was going around that Justin Timberlake was there in his limo. It was not Justin. It was us. Fast forward to Saturday morning. I'm sitting with a friend telling her about Christmas City. She says, "I've never been to Christmas City, but I just read on FB this morning that Justin Timberlake was at Christmas City in a limo last night." Ha! Again, that was us. Funny how rumors get started.
Andrew had his Christmas program at church Sunday night. He did a great job. Again, the family came out to see this. Again, I have no photos. Someday I will have it all together. Clearly that day is not today.