Sunday, November 27, 2016

Thanksgiving with a little before and after

In typical Shackelford fashion, we started off the week of Thanksgiving with Andrew having a stomach virus. I think I did 7 loads of laundry, used a can of Lysol and washed my hands in lots of bleach...okay not really on the bleach, but honestly, I felt like it.  Andrew and I skipped church that morning and school on Monday.  He was back to normal by Tuesday and thankfully, no one else got it. 

I found him on the couch with Dash Sunday morning.  He said leaning on Dash made him feel better. Bless him.
This was my view on computer, a little boy covered up on the couch, and a dog with attachment issues sitting in my lap.  It was a good day.
Fred's brother came in town for Thanksgiving for the first time in several years, so it was nice having all 57 of us together.  Just kidding.  There are only 19 (sometimes 20) of us when we are all together.

Tuesday night we got to ride on a hayride through Starry Nights.  All the kids loved it.  It was so nice.

We had dinner Wednesday night and managed to get a picture.  Considering the sheer number of us, this was no small feat.  But we did it.  Hooray!

Thursday morning these two turkeys got up to run a four mile turkey trot.  Jack did get his other sock and a shoe on before the race.  Thankfully.

They met up with these turkeys and had a great time. 
I told Dash that it was Thanksgiving and he stood guard at the door to ensure that nothing suspicious was going down in the neighborhood like falling leaves or birds or squirrels in our yard.  I'm pleased to report that everyone in the house was safe, thanks to Dash.

My crew came in for Thanksgiving.  Everyone brought a little and then we had a huge feast.  We ate and talked and ate and played games and I made a video of my grandmother making boiled custard.  It was an epic Thanksgiving.

Remember the boiled custard?!?  Yep, these boys enjoyed it as always.

Friday, Memphis had their final home football game.  Since we've been in Memphis, my grandmother gives us season tickets to the Memphis football games for Christmas.  We just love going to the games together.  Some of us really love the concession stand, but the game is fun too!  This game was no exception.  Memphis came back to win the game in the last 1:30 of the game. It was exciting!
Because we are season ticket holders we are members of the 901 club.  Since we are 901 club members we get to go down on the field after the game.  We typically don't take advantage of this, but on Friday we did.  Andrew even got his picture with Tom the Tiger.  He's come a long way with team mascots.  When he was younger he would hide in the bathroom to avoid seeing the Grizz at the Grizzlies games.

As if the game and concession stand wasn't enough, one of the players threw his glove to Jack.  He was one happy boy.
Saturday morning we had one objective...find our Christmas tree.  We walked all around the Christmas tree farm until we found just the right tree.  It was a long search, but we were successful.  I tried to convince the boys to go to Costco to get a pre-cut tree, but they would have none of it.  It all turned out great in the end.  We got everything decorated and cleaned out and ready to go for December.  Buckle up is what I keep telling myself.  The season is upon us.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

It's been a while...

Whoops, it's been a while since I've updated the family blog.  We are in a busy season and by that I mean, the last 13 years.  I kid.  Things are a little crazy around here and really the only way I remember what has happened is by looking at my pictures on my phone.  Sad, but true.

Halloween was an epic event.  I asked the boys about 2 months before Halloween if they'd like to dress up and the only taker was Andrew and he had about 1000 ideas for different costumes that he'd like to wear.  I wish I could remember everything he went through to get to a SWAT team member.  On Halloween night, he added a puppy to the back of his costume so that he was a SWAT team, K-9 unit...I can't make this up.
As you can see from below, Jack, Clayton, and Fred got in on the action as well.  In a flurry of activity and discussion that involved a glue gun, everyone was out the door for our fall trunk or treat at church.  Everyone had a blast.
Jack is a baseball player.  Fred is a Chia Head.  Clayton is Peter Parker.  Andrew is a SWAT team member of the K-9 unit.

My parents came for the fun and my mom rode the hayride with Andrew...while Andrew ate a hot dog.

I came dressed as a  38 year old.  I think I nailed it.

A few days after Halloween, my mom came back for our annual shopping trip.  We usually go earlier in the fall, but this year because of our schedules, it kept getting pushed back.  We didn't get to take a picture of the clothes that I bought this year, but she did take pictures of two dressed I tried on for a luncheon.  

 Just kidding on actually buying these dresses.  It was a joke, but we got a good laugh out of it!

While Mimi was here, she stayed with the boys while Fred and I attended our first Christmas party.  We had delicious food and even played games.  It was a delightful evening.

And then life and school and life happened until Fred and I left for Tennessee Baptist Convention in Sevierville.  We actually stayed at an indoor waterpark, but didn't take the kids.  Unfortunately, we are to a point where our oldest can't miss three days of school for an indoor waterpark.  I chose not to tell them where we were going.  Fred did not choose this path.  There were moans and groans that they were not going, but in the end just Fred and I left on the trip...without bathing suits. 

Our good friends also go to this conference, so we met up in Cookeville and had dinner. 

After dinner we drove the rest of the way to Sevierville, except Melody and I drove together and Fred and Corey rode together.  We had the best time in the car just talking and catching up.  We even met for breakfast one morning at the hotel restaurant in our pajamas.  We had three really good days just hanging out together and catching up while Fred and Corey were in meetings.  So fun!

Fortunately, we didn't stay in our pajamas all day.  We got dressed for a couple of events.  Remember the dresses from above? They were for this event below.  I sent the pictures to all of these girls to ask them which dress would be best.  We all got a good laugh.  This is what I actually wore.  Thankfully. 

Before we left for Sevierville, we attended a wedding of a sweet couple.  The bride was from the first church Fred and I served at as a married couple. The groom was from our current church. It was like the coming together of two worlds for us. We are so excited for Brandi and Logan and wish them nothing but the best.

And then there's morning Jack told Clayton, "I used your toothbrush this morning for a little while before I realized it wasn't mine.  Sorry about that."  Well...whoops.  I'm pleased to report that this did not result in a fight.  They even paused for a photo op that morning before leaving for school.  Those are some handsome boys that seem to be growing up right before my eyes. Man, I love them.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Andrew's birthday week

Andrew's birthday was Wednesday.  He is now 7.  7.  I cannot wrap my head around this.  He is the sweetest 7 year old you could ever meet.  My heart jumps out of my chest when I see him. I could eat him up I love him so. 

 We celebrated that morning with donuts.
 Then I took lunch to two different schools.  He picked Taco Bell.  His good friend was eating at the same time, so we motioned for him to come over and join us.  Luckily, Andrew and Jack's lunch times overlap.  It is delightful.
 Wednesday was another dress up day.  Andrew got to dress up as his favorite book character, which was Avery from Charlotte's Web.
I took a cake to church Wednesday night since we didn't get to officially party that night.  The cake only said Happy Birthday.  When I showed the cake to Andrew, thinking he would be thrilled, he said, "Why is my name not on the cake.  I guess it will be a mystery as to who this cake belongs to."  (His exact words!)  Killing me...he wasn't being ugly, just matter of fact.  Too funny.
 Thursday he dressed as someone from the Wild Wild West...aka a cowboy.
 Then Friday, he got to dress for his future career.  He would like to be a SWAT team member.
 After school, we grabbed a couple of friends and headed to Incredible Pizza to celebrate Andrew's birthday.  It was like the perfect storm.  We got there on a Friday afternoon, paid lunch prices, and had a coupon for the games.  We even managed the beat the crowds.  We had the place to ourselves.  It was awesome...quite possibly the best birthday party ever.  Yeah!
 Saturday morning we only had one sporting event.  Glory!  Jack is the only one still playing flag football.  He was in it to win it.  He was up and dressed at 6:30 am.  His game was not until 10:15 am.

 All of these people came to cheer Jack on.  He grinned the entire time.  Of course, it didn't hurt that his team won the game.  Having all of his people there to cheer him on was the icing on the cake.

Enjoy these videos of Jack doing what he loves best...

He doesn't connect with the receiver here, but he does have a great throw.  You'll be able to find him.  He's the tallest kid on the field.

Here he has a little spin move and then connects with his player for the extra point.

After the game, all of our people came to the house to celebrate Andrew's family party.  We had chili, grilled hot dogs, and brownie sundaes.  It was an epic day!  If anyone is counting, that's three parties for Andrew.  Next year, the grown ups will be having three celebrations on our birthdays.  It seems to be lots of fun.
Man, I love these guys.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

This week

Clayton has been having a lot of homework this year.  One day last week, he got home at 3:45 and worked until 7:45 on homework...not a project, just homework.  I'd like to go on record and say, "I do not like or agree with homework."  He sure does look grown up sitting here though. 
 My uncle sent me a picture of myself at Andrew's age.  I'd say we look alike, even down to our crooked smile.  At least one out of the three looks like me.

Jack and Andrew's school has an event each year called the Ram Run.  For those of you reading and not familiar with the Ram Run, let me give you a run down.  The PTO asks for pledges and then your child gets to go to a party based on how much money they raise.  The day of Ram Run, each grade goes outside to run around the school building.  What you should read here is that I write a check and the kids get to go to a Sock Hop.  It's the easiest fund raiser ever because of suckers like me.

So last Friday Fred and I stood outside while Jack's grade and Andrew's grade ran around the building.  We cheered our boys on and marveled at how much Jack looks and runs like Fred.
Here's Jack with his buddies.

Here's Andrew with his buddy...
 Andrew's class...
 Jack running

 I have on a wedge, but honestly, do we not look like the tallest people ever?!?  There was no winner at Ram Run, but Jack participated like he was in it to win it.  We could not have picked a better afternoon to stand outside and watch our children run around the building.

After the Ram Run, I headed to Jackson for a women's conference where I was a break our session leader.  Hopefully, my speaking skills were better than my selfie skills.  Yikes.
 Take two was a little better.  These ladies around me are just precious to me.  We served with them 15 years ago at a church in Jackson.  Spending the weekend with them was such an honor.

Speaking of being the tallest people ever...I mean, how tall do I look in this picture?  Goodness.

There was a tower of cupcakes at the conference.  I don't think I need to say anything else.
This week has been Red Ribbon Week at school, which means all three boys have had the option to dress up.  Each day has a theme.  Andrew is all over this!  Monday was "Dress for the Red Carpet Day".  I think Andrew looks like a Blues Brother, but he was pleased with his look, so we went with it. 

 After dressing up Andrew and getting everyone out the door for school, Dash and I went on a quick run.  The goal is to treat Dash like a toddler and absolutely wear him out so he won't have the energy to do anything naughty.  He looks pretty tired here, right??  He was.
 Here's Andrew with his buddy on Red Carpet Day.
 Monday night Fred had a church meeting.  There were food trucks present.  The boys and I stayed for the food, we did not stay for the meeting.  Honestly, can anything top BBQ fries?!?  I think one should just go home after eating that.  It will be down hill from there.
 Tuesday of Red Ribbon Week was dress like the 90's.  Jack questioned my ability to know what people dressed like in the 90's.  I presented him with Exhibit A, B, and C.

Exhibit A...Who would not love this sweet couple from 1997?  I'm not sure what we were doing, but we were nailing the 90's.  Note my plaid shirt under the fleece jacket...not pull over...jacket. I bought it at the GAP and loved it.

Exhibit B...I'm wearing overalls and athletic tennis shoes (Please note I was not a runner.  These were simply aesthetic.)

And finally, Exhibit C...Fred's fraternity from 1996.
So yeah, I think we showed 90's day who was boss.

 There are more dress up days and I'm sure I'll have the updates.  Andrew will participate in