Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Once a month will have to do...

So, it looks like we're in a season where once a month will have to be enough for posting. Yikes. We meet ourselves coming and going. This blog post is actually brought to you by a canceled soccer game. It's not raining. In fact, rain is not even predicted. We have no idea why it was canceled. We are calling it the favor of the Lord resting on the Shackelfords. Here's a little catch up...

With two starting at two new schools, the homework/workload situation is a little intense. My man in the middle has basketball practice everyday after school until 4:30 (He gets out at 2:00.)...okay, closer to 5:00, but who's counting?!? We sit down each evening for a nightly homework session. Sixth grade homework is intense. So is 9th grade homework...Clayton just does most of his online, which is funny because the world wide web was barely around when I was in 9th grade. So, we are basically experiencing the same 9th grade experience except completely opposite. 
You know what's not opposite? Girls leave boys notes in their lockers. Know how I know this? A little girl at Jack's school leaves him notes in his locker multiple times a day. He just rolls his eyes at it. I'm making sure he's being polite, but seriously, make these girls stop.  

The big boys had a party with the youth group at church. It was Jack's first "official" event and he really didn't want Andrew to attend. I get it, so I pitched a fun night with just mom to Andrew and he was all in. Can you tell?
Yes, our fun night included the cousins and Incredible Pizza. Does it get much better?!? We've been in Memphis almost 4 years and I still have to pinch myself that we can meet up with family on a random Sunday night.
 Monday morning, Labor Day, we all headed downtown to run the ChickFilA 5K. Well, I didn't run. There has to be an athletic supporter, carrier of the bags, holder of the phones, parker of the car, etc. in the group. That was me.
 Fred and his mini me were all set to race.

 Fred finishing.

 I think this is Clayton finishing. He came across first for the Shackelford family. I think he ran the 5K in around 23 minutes. Not too shabby.

Andrew had a fun run around the field. He was all business and did well. He's the kid in blue. 

My aunt Christie came to town and we took her to the old Sears building for dinner and just to look around. It is now called the Crosstown Concourse. It has restaurants, retail space, residences, offices...just a generally cool building. We all had a great time. If you're ever in the area, you should stop. We highly recommend Farm Burger and MemPops. 

All the running around that we've been doing has been leaving Dash absolutely exhausted. He even pulled a pillow up to make himself comfortable. 

We had a paint party at church. Painting/crafting is not really my thing. You know who loves it?!? Andrew. And so does his cousin Zachary and his friend Turner. These three precious boys busted up the women's paint party and had a blast! I loved having Andrew there.

The blog that I love, Thriving Home Blog, released their cookbook. It is all about freezer cooking and I absolutely LOVE it! I made Chocolate Zu-Nana Waffles and everyone ate them up. Jack wanted to know what Zu-Nana stood for and when I told him that it stood for zucchini and banana he wrinkled his nose and said, "I knew you would try to do something healthy." But, I'm proud to report that he tried them AND liked them. Five thumbs up from this crew. Now, that's high praise. 

I mentioned Jack playing basketball, but Andrew is playing flag football and Clayton is playing soccer. We stay pretty scheduled between all three sports. Zachary and Eli are graciously joining us each Saturday all the way from Germantown so the cousins can play together. It is such a delight to watch them play. Andrew and Zachary are on a team together. If you asked them their favorite part of the game it would probably be sitting on the sidelines together and eating snacks. Those two loves flow straight from my DNA. 

Fred and Renee had tickets to the Ole Miss game and they asked C and J to go. Having never been to the grove, they decided to give it a try. The Rebels played UT Martin and I'm pretty sure Jack and Clayton cheered for the Skyhawks...unfortunately they did not win. 

The boys were out of school last Friday. I took the opportunity to take them shopping to try on clothes for fall. The days of picking out clothes and bringing them home are long gone for several reasons: 
1. I have no idea what size they wear. 
2. I want them to wear it. 
3. The big boys are now in the men's department. Those clothing prices don't play. 
Jack was indignant about going shopping. In fact, when I told him we were going to shop for fall and winter clothes he said, "What?!? I have four pairs of shorts and two sweatshirts. What more do I need for this winter??" Sweet boy. After much, much discussion, we bought him one pair of joggers and another sweatshirt...oh, and a pair of shoes. The boy loves some tennis shoes. 
We also bought cupcakes...well the kids had cupcakes. I've reached an unfortunate age of certain foods hurting my acid reflux problem so drastically that I have to refrain. If it sounds terrible, you are correct. It's terrible. 

Sweet Jack went into the dressing room at TJ Maxx with 5 items. He walked down the hall, but quickly came back to tell me he couldn't find room 5. I explained to him that the 5 was for the number of items that he was taking back and that there were not assigned rooms. He just giggled. Think he goes shopping much?!?

I'm proud to report that we had a successful shopping trip. I'm also proud to report that it's been 95 since we bought all these clothes. I call that time well spent. {Insert eyeroll over Memphis weather.}

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Whoops...I missed a few months

So, I've been keeping this family blog for years now and I've never missed months. Months...an entire season. Whoops. Let's just say we were on the run. I kept thinking that I might catch it all up, but alas I've determined to just draw a line in the sand and just start fresh. Having said that, here's a recap of the summer:

Soccer camp in Bartlett
Soccer camp in Jackson at Union
Basketball camp in Jackson at Union
Basketball practice...sometimes twice a day
Basketball scrimmages...all over the city and sometimes out of town
Time spent with Mimi and Tee
Time spent with Janice and Mun
Time spent with Mawmaw, Pawpaw and our cousins
Beach Blast (Youth camp)
Children's camp
Little Kids Camp
A trip to the beach with friends
A trip to St. Louis with family
Fred turned 40 and we had a party for him
Clayton turned 14 and we had a party for him
Jack turned 11 and we had a party for him

I'm sure I'm missing something, but that's about what we packed in during our short, short summer.

So here goes...

We started school back and we've hit the ground running...or maybe we just continued running. I'm really not sure. I just know we never stop around here.

Clayton is now 14 and started high school. High school. Gulp.

 Jack is now 11. He just started middle school. Middle school. Gulp.
I took him for a physical because he's playing basketball for his school. He measured in right at 5'7". The doctor told me he has not even hit his major growth spurt yet. He asked Jack if he liked playing basketball. Jack grinned from ear to ear and said, "No, I LOVE playing basketball." The doctor said, "Good, keep dribbling." Ha!
 Sweet Andrew is seven and in the second grade. Second grade. Wow, these boys are growing up so fast.

A little earlier in the summer I took Clayton for a preview day with the high school. Since he is starting a new school, he didn't really know where to go or what to do. At first he was a little apprehensive and asked me to go with him. As we rounded this corner he told me he was good and I could leave. I saw a strong willed toddler come full circle. I saw a determined, confident, and independent young man and it brought me great joy!

Fred turned 40 over the summer. We had a few friends meet us at Aldo's Pizza downtown for a little surprise party. It was a great time to celebrate one of my favorite fellas. 

Sweet Melody and Corey came from Paris. 

My family was out of town for the party so they came a few days later. My mom made a quilt for Fred with all of his race shirts from the last few years. It was a labor of love for sure. 

Clayton had his 14th birthday party at the Bluff City Escape Rooms and then they had ice cream at Sheridan's. We had two different rooms, but everyone escaped successfully.

Back in June Jack turned 11. He chose to have Bennett and Caleb come and stay for a weekend. We had loads of fun. We went swimming, rode bikes at Shelby Farms, had pizza at High Point Pizza,
played Laser Tag and went to Jumping World. It was an eventful weekend celebrating a sweet fella.

One of my back to school rituals is to clean out the playroom and Andrew's room. Andrew is a bit of a pack rat. Over the summer he gathers many, many "treasures". He has a craft corner in the playroom so I had to get his help. I'm happy to report we got it all cleaned out and ready for his next project. 

Not to leave out Dash...the summer and the beginning of school has left him exhausted. Ha! We run and run and run and it really interrupts his nap schedule. He even tries to cover up my yoga mat so I won't work out. 

The weather here has been perfection this week. Dash and I have been able to go on a few walks. While on those walks Dash has cleared out all the squirrels and birds from our neighborhood. He takes this responsibility very seriously. Very seriously. 

Jack's life can be summed up with one word over the last three months: basketball. He has been at practice almost everyday and loves every minute of it. But on Friday night he took a break and went with some of his buddies to his first middle school dance. I wish I could have been a fly on the wall. I'm told that a 7th grade girl "asked him out". What?!?! He said he was very nice, but politely told her no thank you. Whew...dodged a bullet with that one.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

School is officially out for summer!

Yahoo!  My last blog post mentioned a few things that we had standing in our way before summer break could officially begin.  I'm happy to report we have made it through:

2 awards day programs
1 field day
3 soccer games
1 soccer celebration 
5 teacher appreciation gifts
1 choir concert
1 (or 3) basketball games
1 8th grade graduation
1 8th grade formal
1 choir banquet

Needless to say, there are a few pictures.  

Jack had the opportunity to play on a semi-competitive basketball team this spring and he loved it.  He definitely grew as a player and he'll be playing for his middle school team this fall.  Good times ahead.  Although, I've told Fred I don't think I can watch after the 5th grade. The stress of the game just gets me. I'll be at home reading the twitter feed.  
His last tournament game did not go well, but in the end he was still smiling.  

Andrew and Jack had a program at church.  Jack actually sang a solo.  He did great.  You can view it here

Clayton had his final middle school choir banquet.  He received the Director's Award, which is the top award for his choir.  We just love Mr. Mack. his chorus teacher.  We are so excited about Jack being under his direction as he enters middle school. 

These are all the 8th graders. It really is a good group of kiddos. 

While we were at the choir banquet and all dressed up, I thought it would be a good time to get a family picture. I was wrong. Seven tries later, we got one decent photo.  Oh the joys of taking photos with boys...

Clayton's last day of middle school was Tuesday.  Of course we had to take a picture...at 6:45 am.  

 That afternoon, our family came in for a little graduation party.  I really don't understand 8th grade graduations, but whatever.  We partied and attended.

 The 8th graders from Clayton's choir sang and it was great.
 It just so happened that Clayton's class walked right by us. And as the alphabet would have it, two of his close friends were beside him in line.  Clayton received several awards, but I don't remember what they were.  Something about his GPA being really high and maybe science and something else, but I can't remember exactly. We could sum up his 8th grade year and just say, "He's a good student and we're proud of him."

Aunt Janice spent the night after graduation and then left for Texas the next morning.  She delivered donuts and sausage biscuits and then took the boys to school. 

Andrew and Jack had their last day of school on Thursday.  They had a half day on Friday, but we were done.  

Here's a little end of the year fun. 

As Jack's first official out of school project, he made dinner for the family. He was thrilled...well kind of. I certainly was. Grin.

We celebrated being out of school by going to a new (chain) restaurant here called Freddy's. We were going to take the boys to a movie, but they asked to go to Shelby Farms. We are always game for Shelby Farms. We played football, hide and seek, and we even rode in a kayak. It was a fun day and a great way to kick off summer!

I told the boys I would give them $5 for every book they read this summer. 

Andrew: Oh wow!
Clayton: Game on. 
Jack: I don't need any money. 

Funny boy. 

Clayton left at 4:15 am for Honduras for a week on Saturday morning.  He was really looking forward to this trip. I'm just hoping he keeps up with his passport...just kidding..I'm so excited he had this opportunity. 

Saturday morning I headed to Shelby Farms for a little yoga.  It was free and outside.  It was all things wonderful. 

Sometime Saturday afternoon, I got this picture of our goofy 13 year old.  He made it to Honduras safe and sound.
Late Saturday night into early Sunday morning, we had some pretty rough storms in Memphis.  We really didn't know because we slept through them. However, when we woke up Sunday morning about 150,000 people in Memphis were without power, including our church. So, in a quick turn of events, we decided to have one service in the fellowship hall. (the sanctuary has no windows, so it was pitch black) It was definitely different, but fun to break from the normal routine.