Saturday, August 20, 2016

This week

 Sunday I decided that Jack and I would walk the 6 mile loop at Shelby Farms.  We just needed a little time together and hiking six miles certainly gives you time.
About 3 miles into the loop, the bottom fell out.  It rained, it poured, it thundered and then the lightening started.  I couldn't decide if we were better out in the open field or in the woods.  Jack just took off running.  At one point it was raining so hard I could not even hold my head up.  There was not a dry stitch on either of us.  Jack was pretty scared.  I knew we were going to be okay, but we were at mile 3 of a 6 mile loop.  I told Jack whatever we did, we were just going to have to get back to the car and the best way to do that was walk.  And walk...and run we did.  We made it back safely.  We made great memories that we are still laughing about.  It has been raining here since that moment at Shelby Farms.
The above picture was taken at mile 2.  The pictures below were taken at the finish.  We made it! You can't tell how wet we were, but just know before I got in the car I literally had to wring out my shirt.

 Since I was gone most of the afternoon with Jack hiking we thought it would be a good idea to swing through the drive thru at Taco Bell after church.  Fifteen minutes later we had our food and were headed home.  We sent this picture to Fred to show him that we were waiting at TB.  He was not surprised.
PS-My hair was still wet here.

This week it has rained a lot.  All practices were canceled, which means that we only had a few meetings each night instead of multiple places to be.  It was such a nice break...even though we are just a week into school.  

Every now and then a Friday works out just perfectly for me and Fred to have a date.  We decided to bike the Wolf River Greenway.  (It cloudy, but the glare was killing me!)  After we rode bikes we cleaned up at home and tried a new Mediterranean restaurant called, Casbah.  It was great!  
I had a gyro plate and Fred had schwarma.  My plate had lamb.  Typically we don't have dessert, but there was a Vegan Caramel Brownie that I was intrigued by.  I asked the lady if it was good and she said, "Are you a Vegan?"  Umm....No.  Lamb.  I just had a plate of lamb.  Fred and I got a good chuckle out of that.  The brownie was good.  Vegan for sure, but good. 


Andrew came home on Friday with his homework for the week.  I love this.  We can get his homework done on Friday afternoon so we don't have anything to do during the week.  Glorious!  This was Andrew's first time to do big boy homework.  Bless my soul.
 Friday night we had a DIY night at church for women.  If you know me, you know that a craft stresses me out.  I'm not crafty at all. I'm happy to report that I survived.  I'm also happy to report that these sweet girls from my class came to participate.  I sure do love these girls.  I'd also like to note that I'm standing on my tip toes to be able to see.  I'm not really that tall.  I'd also like to point out that I look tired.  That's because I am.  This picture was taken at 8:15 on a Friday night after the second full week of school.  So yeah, I'm ready for bed here.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Back to School

Monday morning, bright and early, we started school.  But on Sunday afternoon, the boys made their own lunch.  I typically make Andrew's sandwich because he's 6 and then he gets everything else, but on Sunday that all changed.  I started to make his sandwich and he said, "Mom, I'd like to make my sandwich this year so you don't have to do it.  You do too much for me and that's somethings I can do."  Well, bless his heart.

Monday morning we all lined up for the obligatory back to school photo.  8th grade for Clayton...
5th grade for Jack...
1st grade for Andrew...
Fred and I walked the youngest boys in to school, but you don't walk a middle schooler into school.  No, you don't.  Fortunately for me, my sweet friend was in the halls helping out and just happened to see Clayton...and she just happened to introduce him to his homeroom teacher as her foreign exchange student.  Then he teacher said, "Welcome to our country."  I have laughed and laughed and laughed at this.  I'm so thankful for friends that keep us laughing, that love my children, and that introduce them as their own foreign exchange student.

Here Dash's back to school picture. He was sad.  He missed the boys.  Apparently, I'm not as much fun as the boys.  Who knew?!?

Then, this crew came out of the middle school.  I remember when we moved here and my children didn't know anyone.  Tears streamed down my face as I left him in the 6th grade hall.  Isn't God faithful?  Look at this great group of kids from our church.  This group doesn't include his school friends. 

I went to my first of three parent nights.  Andrew's class was first.  This was his self portrait hanging on the wall.  Too sweet.
Then we decided it would be a great idea to host Clayton's birthday party on Friday night after the first full week of school.  #augustbirthdayprobs
A sweet group of guys headed to our friend's house for swimming, fishing, and eating pizza.  The plan was the camp out, but with high rain chances we opted to come back home for a little sleep over.


Happy Birthday Clayton!  I hope you enjoyed this sleepover.  No more sleepovers.  I'm too old for this.  Just kidding.  Well...maybe not.  Ha!

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Routine is Coming

School begins tomorrow, which is a giant Boo!! around here!  Here's what's been going on the last couple of weeks though...

Clayton spent a week at the Ocoee serving several families.  He had a blast and even found my love of pressure washing.
While he was there he got to raft the Ocoee and he fell into a rose bush.  I'm not really sure how that happened, but it did.


The other boys spent the week with Aunt Janice in Jackson.  They had a blast.  There was back to school shopping, eating whatever they wanted, and staying up late to watch Cardinal baseball.

Aunt Janice also took them to eat lunch with Fred's grandfather.  They had a blast!

While the kiddos were gone, we did all sorts of fun things like wash our fence and mow the yard.  Seriously, when these boys leave home, we are moving into an apartment.  I'm not maintaining this yard without them.  We did have lunch together and just enjoyed the quiet house.  It was all things glorious.

 Andrew had to go to the Little Clinic because he had an ear infection.  We were going to the doctor in a few days, but when your ear hurts you need immediate assistance.

 Speaking of taking boys to the doctor...if you haven't taken 3 boys to the doctor at once, you haven't lived.  Those rooms could not be smaller.  It's awesome. God bless Dr. Thompson.

Fred celebrated his birthday on Thursday with a Happy 16th birthday balloon, because I'm a dork.  Then, later that afternoon we drove to Jasper, Arkansas for a last hoorah before school begins.  
True story...I called the place we were staying for the physical address to put in my GPS.  They don't have addresses.  The place is so rural...they don't have 911 addresses.  I had a lot of questions about this, but I just kept my eyes opened as we were driving and literally said, "There it is."  Literally, no mail box, no sign, nothing.  I just remembered it by the picture on vrbo.  Who knew?!?

Our first day there we hiked to Triple Falls, which was more like Triple Trickle.  It was not much of a waterfall, but it was a fun hike none the less.  
All of the roads that led to trailheads were gravel.  Gravel.  I would not recommend a Honda Odyssey for this type of driving.  We made it out on a wing and a prayer.
After that hike we headed to Eden Falls/The Lost Valley.  We hiked to the waterfall and then did a little cave exploring.  When I say cave exploring, I mean crawling through spaces that were about 24 inches.  I am pleased to report that we made it, despite the fact that we followed the word of some teenagers that were in front of us assuring us that this was the way.  I'd also like to point out that one of the teenagers was wearing FLIP FLOPS.  Yes, flip flops.  And yes, we followed this kid through this cave.  Later that evening I asked Fred what we were thinking and we both just laughed.  I mean, when your boys are saying, "Come on mom.  Come with us."  That's what you do, right?!?




After that hike we headed to Whitaker Point.  Yes, we tried to squeeze in a lot in one day.  I'd say we succeeded.  The drive there was 6 miles on a gravel road.  Whitaker Point is the most iconic hike in this area, so naturally we had to hike it.  Minus getting separated from our children, the guys, and not having water (Mercy.) it was worth it. I mean, look at this view!  Please note that these pictures look worse that reality.  We were all safe in taking these pictures.  Really.  I wouldn't have walked out there or allowed my children to walk out there had I not felt safe.


After this hike, we decided to call it a night.  Saturday morning we loaded up and headed to Mountain View, Arkansas to tour Blanchard Springs Cavern.  Thankfully, this one was a guided tour with lights and guides and stairs and guides and safety precautions and wide passageways and lights.  It was worth the price of admission.



After the cave tour we explored Blanchard Springs and Mirror Lake falls.  It was beautiful.




We had the best time together!  Until next summer friends.  I think I better go get some boys to pack their lunch for school tomorrow.  Can you hear the cheers of excitement?!?  Ha...just kidding!

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Since my last post

This summer has been so crazy, I'm just thankful I've taken pictures.  About the only way I can remember what's happening is by looking at my phone.  Since my last update, this is what's been going on around here...packing, unpacking, washing laundry, and repacking. Yep, that about sums up our summer.

Jack went to children's camp.  He had a blast!  Jack is made for camp.  He loves every aspect of it.  Although he did tell me that he chose his small group times incorrectly.  All the group times were outside and I think it was super hot.  Oh well.  He had a blast and took one shower.  I count that one shower a success, since he didn't even want to (nor did he see the need to) pack a towel.


Initially, I thought I was going to go to children's camp, but as it turned out, I was not needed.  I had already scheduled Clayton and Andrew to be in Jackson since I was supposed to be gone.  So, we continued on with the plan.
Clayton went to music camp at Union.
Andrew took some swimming lessons to go deeper in his knowledge of swimming.  Get it?!?  Go deeper.  Ha!  I am so punny.

While the boys were gone I did a few riveting things.  Like clean out and organize my freezer.
And, I helped a friend, who shall remain nameless, clean out her closet.  It was a blast, I tell you!
Oh and I cleaned out Fred's bathroom sink area.  I'm telling you, the fun that I have knows no bounds!
Once Jack got home, I opened his suitcase and gagged.  Mercy.  Camp laundry is the worst!
We had to repack Jack so he could go with Tee and Adam to St. Louis for a few days of fun.  No one can do a trip like Tee.  In fact, when we went on a trip this summer I wished I had counted how many times Jack said, "When I'm on a trip with Tee" or "Tee would let me" or "Tee takes me to (restaurant) and let's me get..."  They went to the Arch, the zoo, and a ballgame.  Oh, and they went to Cardinal Nation...twice.




Once Jack got home we had a few days and then we headed to EBC staff retreat in Paris, Tennessee.  We all met for dinner at Patti's and then headed to the cabin on the lake.
But before we headed to Paris, I had to take Dash the dog to the vet.  He has not been feeling well.  When we got to the parking lot of the vet, Dash got overly excited and scratched my legs.  You see, there was a dog in the parking lot...at the vet.  Mercy.  Dash is a little high strung.
 Once we got inside he was still feeling a little nervous.  He was so nervous, in fact, that they gave us our own special room.
 He even got the back of my leg in his excitement.  While we were at the vet I had them cut his nails.  Time well spent at the vet, I'd say.
 Then we finally hit the road.  Andrew insisted that he was not tired.  I encouraged him to rest.  Turns out, he was tired.  He slept for a good part of the trip.
We met up at Patti's for a delicious dinner and a photo bomber.
 We visited with a few friends while we were there.  And then we also met up with some friends at Dairy Delight, which was a must stop for Jack.
 We even stopped by the Eiffel Tower at the park.  We got an obligatory photo with the tower.
 Sunday morning Clayton left for the Ocoee for a mission trip.  We found out he was leaving about 2 hours before the trip.  For some reason we did not sign him up, but at the last minute someone backed out and a spot opened up for him.  He literally packed in 50 minutes.  I'm happy to report that we made it to church about 5 minutes late, which really isn't much later than usual.
Aunt Janice came to Memphis to get a friend at the airport.  While she was here she just picked up the kids.  So, Fred and I are kid-less again.  When school starts back we are not going to know what to do with ourselves! Fourteen days of summer left, in case anyone is counting.  I know I am.  Oh summer, how I love thee!