Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christmas Update

First of all, I must apologize for my camera.  It is struggling.
Mimi and Tee came through the door with an air hockey table.  It was a big hit!  It will not remain in my bedroom. 
We decided to let the boys open one present.  In hind sight we realized it would have been better to be something a little quieter, but oh well...
 Can you tell Clayton was excited?  Yes, four rowdy precious boys received a nerf gun that fires 35 bullets.  Four boys times 35 bullets a piece...that's a lot of bullets!!  Oh my!
After visiting and opening presents and eating we headed out to Jackson to Nana and Grandad's house for Christmas.  We drove home through snow and made it back at 9:30 p.m.

 Clayton woke up first and was pretty excited.  Jack and Andrew were a little more mellow.  Unfortunately, Jack sleeps in his undies and Fred and I did not think it appropriate to post of picture of that...
 Andrew loved his ball popper.  Mimi and Tee spent the night with us, but there is a strict "no grown up photographed in the morning" policy.
 The big boys both got new shoes.  They were pretty pumped.  We ate a great breakfast with the entire Merwin crew and sent them home that afternoon.  We finished up Christmas with a visit to the nursing home to see one of our church members and take her some goodies.  The next morning we got up to go to church, but after a quick peek outside we realized church would be canceled.  After a few tense moments we headed out to Memphis for Christmas with the Shackelfords.  For whatever reason I never have my camera there so we have no pictures, but a good time was had by all!
 Monday we were heading to Jackson for Christmas at Mun's.  After some news of a bug in Jackson we decided to remain in Memphis.  We had a trip planned for later in the week and Renee encouraged us to go ahead and leave.  Please understand that I had packed for one night, but we left Memphis around 4:00 p.m. and headed south.  Guess who made it to the beach with 2 pairs of jeans, 2 sweaters and a toothbrush?!?  These two... 


Friday, December 24, 2010

Five on Friday

1.  We will drive to Jackson tonight to spend Christmas Eve with Fred's mom's side of the family.  Here's to hoping we are not snowed in!  I guess there are worse things than being snowed in at Nana and Grandad's, though!  (Hopefully...) We will head home to spend our first ever (in 14 years!) ENTIRE Christmas day at home.  We are pretty excited.
2.  My family is coming to Paris in about an hour.  Things are surprisingly calm right now.  That is quickly going to change as five little boys arrive.
3.   Clayton spent a few days at my parent's house the first part of the week.  Mom let him pick out a treat at the grocery.  He picked five Hot Wheel cars.  He was so excited about those new cars that he slept with them.  I love that he gets excited over seemingly simple things. 
4.  Jack also spent a few days at my parent's house this week.  My dad was going to take him to the train store, but he kept hesitating and saying he wanted to go with Mimi.  Finally he admitted that he wanted to go with Mimi and not Tee because Mimi would buy him something.  Funny guy.
5.  Andrew has been a grumpy-goo this week. I think he is cutting a tooth.  Boo.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Five on Friday

1.  We got a "new to us" couch this week.  I am really excited after having the same couch for 10 years. 
2.  I am still sore from moving furniture.  Fred is not.
3.  Clayton has never really been my sensitive child.  Last night we took the boys with us to the nursing home.  We visited a precious lady from our church.  While there he whispered to me and asked if we could sing her a Christmas carol and we did.  On the way out after he noticed she had a fruit plate he asked if we could being her an apple next time we come to see her.  We then went down to the cafeteria and he waved to everyone and gave hugs to anyone who asked.  It touched my heart to see him noticing the needs of those around him.   4.  I put out Jack's clothes this morning for his program.  I included a vest.  He was not pleased.  I told him if he did not put on the vest he could not pick where we went to lunch.(I learned this skill in Parenting 101--HA!) He reluctantly put it on and said, "I hope I pick Mexican."
5.  Andrew has taken a few steps this week.  However, I have not been able to capture it on video.  I did capture this below and I have no words for it...

Christmas Programs

The 2nd grade at Clayton's school presented a Christmas program last week.  It was precious.  Jack was sick and Andrew bumped his head on the chair in front of us--right in the middle of the program and wailed...loudly!  It was awesome.  I've said it before, but I just can't tell you how much we love our schools here in Paris.  The music teacher is phenomenal.

 Today Jack had his program at Joyland.  He smiled a few times and sang as little as possible, (The entire program was singing.) but he was still really sweet. 

Snow Day

 We woke up Sunday morning to freezing temperatures.  A few hours after lunch this is what our house looked like... 
Monday morning Clayton was out of school so we headed to one of our favorite sledding locations...without the O'Neals this time...:-(

Fred took the boys a few minutes before me.  I arrived to see the face below.  He was not liking the snow. 

I went down the hill one time and headed home with the little man, but Fred and the big boys stayed for several hours.  I think they had a good time.  I had a pot of chili simmering for them when they got home.  Yum!
 On the ride home I discovered why Andrew was not digging the snow.  How precious does he look bundled up in the snow suit sound asleep?!?

Friday, December 10, 2010

Five on Friday

1.  Fred appears to be fine after running in St. Jude last weekend.  No injuries, no funny walk, nothing.  He is ready to get back on the pavement...Praise the Lord!!
2.  I am scheduled to speak at a ladies breakfast Saturday.  I finally finished up with what I want to say...whew! 
3.  We made a deal with Clayton several weeks ago.  We told him if he got to 100 point before Christmas we would do something special as a family.  He did it!  He informed us that he thought he would like to go to Disney World.  That's nice.  I was thinking McDonald's, bowling or skating, but Disney World sounds like fun...HA! (Jack asked if Disney World cost a lot of dollars.  I assured him it did.)
4.  Jack is sick.  He ran a fever of 102 last night and just generally looked pitiful.  I'll spare you the details, but he is a sick little fella.  He seems to be feeling better this morning.  I think it is his ears.  Bless his heart. 
5.   When we bow our heads to pray Andrew starts saying, "night, night...night, night."  It is the cutest thing ever. 

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Crazy Weekend

Our crazy weekend started on Thursday night as we met at school to decorate for Supper with Santa at Rhea.  It was loads of fun!  Friday morning Clayton and Jack went to school and Fred headed to Memphis.  Janice was here with Andrew.  I worked at school to get ready for the night.  We had pizza, games, nail painting, tattoos, cotton candy, popcorn, a bake sale, a silent auction, Reindeer Lane, bouncers and pictures with the big man himself!!  It was a whirlwind of three hours of activity!  Thankfully, I have a supportive family, principal, friends, church family and PTO officers.  Once the event was finally over I headed to Jackson to get some rest.
 I woke up early Saturday morning to cheer on my favorite runner in the St. Jude Marathon (26.2 miles).  I cannot express to you how excited I was to see his precious face coming up the street around mile 11!  He looked great and was right on pace. 
 After an intense 30 minutes of waiting I finally saw him come around the corner onto the warning track at Auto Zone park.  Tears welled up in my eyes as I saw a healthy, smiling runner!  He is most definitely my hero!

 See the long marks on the track below?  They are left over from a lady several minutes before who collapsed and literally C.R.A.W.L.E.D. across the finish line.  Yes, crawled!  Needless to say I was relieved to see Fred come around the corner still smiling!!
After leaving Memphis we went back to Jackson to get the boys and then headed back to Paris.  This morning we had Bethlehem Breakfast at church. We gathered as families to kick our Advent season off with a celebration of our Savior coming to earth.  What a weekend!  We will not soon forget this one!  (Mainly b/c I think it will take several days to recover...hehehehe!!)

One Serious Case of Bed Head

While at the Shackelford's house for Thanksgiving Andrew got the worst case of bed head I have ever seen.  The scratch on his nose is from one of his brothers who according to them were trying to "help" Andrew and somehow he got in the way.  He also had food on his face, but nothing seems to be bugging him.  He also seems to be oblivious to the way his hair looks.  I think it was one really good nap!!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Five on Friday

1.  Fred worked really hard this week to get all his church work done so we could head out of town.  He was pleasantly surprised to get it done! 
2.  Clayton has outgrown his dress pants.  I hesitantly ordered them on Old Navy last week, thinking they might go on sale on black Friday.  Last week I paid $14.50.  Today they are on sale for $14. I think I'll return them to save the difference...hahaha!!   
3.  Clayton loves math.  He has taught himself how to multiply and divide.  This week he asked me "what that funny sign was that looked like a division symbol, but had a check mark on the front".  I told him that was a square root sign and then explained how to do it.  I never thought I'd have a conversation with my seven year old about square roots.
4.  We went to McDonald's for breakfast with my parents this week. Jack got the big breakfast: three pancakes, sausage, biscuit and eggs.  He ate most of it and then told me 2 hours later he was hungry.  (He doesn't eat like that often,but the boy loves breakfast food!) 
5.  Our children seem to know when it's a holiday and all doctor's offices will be closed.  Andrew has not been feeling well for most of the week.  Wednesday night at 5:01 p.m.(right when all things were closing) he ran a fever of 102.1.  Needless to say we headed to Convenient Care in Jackson.  He is feeling better today.  Finally.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Turkey Trot

We headed out early Thanksgiving morning to watch these two turkeys run in a Turkey Trot...

 The entire crew showed up to cheer them on.

Fred started talking about running in a race on Thanksgiving day and he found one in Jackson.  Clayton overheard us discussing it and immediately wanted in on the action.  The race fee was $20 a person.  I'm no mathematician, but three runners can add up quickly.  I told Clayton we couldn't all three run.  He quickly told me he would use his own money.  Fortunately for him his Mawmaw and Pawpaw sponsored his run.  i think we have created a monster!!

Thanksgiving at Joyland

Jack got to celebrate Thanksgiving at Joyland.  He was a pilgrim.  He told me the food was good and he ate it all...shocking!!

 Two of my favorite pilgrims off the Mayflower...


When I taught school at Trinity the kindergarteners always did a program and sang the song below. It sums up the large majority of my feelings today:
There are many things
I am thankful for
I can find them near and far
There are many things
I am thankful for
Let me tell you what they are
I am thankful for the earth
I am thankful for the sea
I am thankful for my friends
And I’m thankful to be me.

There are many things
I am thankful for
I can find them near and far
There are many things I am thankful for
Let me tell you what they are
I am thankful for child
Who the wise men came to see
And I'm thankful for the love
that He gives to you and me.

Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours!
 Below is the picture from our first Thanksgiving stop of the day...

Monday, November 22, 2010

This time of year...

It's the holidays again. The older I get the quicker they roll around. Plans have been set for a month from now so we can be at each house. (We used to go to seven houses for!!) Don't get me wrong, I enjoy the holiday season. I like the "joyful" spirit that seems to appear as December rolls around. I enjoy spending time with family. I love that I can take an entire month out of my year to tell my children (and anyone who will listen) about the birth of my Savior. I like that, but I don't like the materialism of Christmas--all the stress, shopping, spending, sadness and on and on. Christmas, to me, is out of hand. Don't get me wrong. I enjoy giving gifts (and receiving gifts), but I challenge myself every year to think of five things I got (or gave) from the previous Christmas and I usually can't do it. What is the point?
I want to give, really give. I want to give to people in need. I want to give to my children so they will learn the act of sacrificial giving. I want to give to families who can't provide for basic needs. I want to give of my time. I want to give to relationships. I want to give for the sake of relationships. I want to give.
Things are about to change at the Shackelford house. We are giving intentionally and thoughtfully. We are cutting our spending and, instead, giving to others. Fred and I are praying through what changes God would have us to make not only this Christmas, but throughout the year. Join us, won't you?!?
If you need ideas send me a message. I'm making a list and checking it twice--hahahaha!! Check out the video below...

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Clayton's First 5K

In an effort to have a healthier city our mayor issued a challenge to Paris. Since we strive to be a healthy family we quickly signed up. The culminating activity was a 5K Turkey Trot. We were all excited to run. Clayton was particularly excited because this would be his first official 5K! Saturday was cold and rainy, but that didn't stop him. He told Fred he wanted to run it by himself. I was very nervous about this, but he did great! Mawmaw and Pawpaw came in for the event! Clayton finished the race (without walking) in under 30 minutes! Jack even ran with me for about a mile.
Fred took first place in his age division.
Clayton was so excited when his name was called for first place in his age division!
And then last but not running partner and I both won third place in our age division.
Clayton's teacher even came to support him. She is pregnant (almost 20 weeks) and she still ran it!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Five on Friday

1. Fred attended Tennessee Baptist Convention in Knoxville this week. While he was there he took a short drive up to Kingsport and purchased a third row for our station wagon. He is now trying to figure out how to install it!
2. Elizabeth took our picture several weeks ago. I finally got my order together. I'm really excited to update all the pictures in my house.
3. Clayton's teacher told me this week that he is really excelling in math. On his own he has taught himself how to multiply. He takes tests at school and I get email updates each time regarding his accuracy and time. He is up to his 7's.
4. When Fred is out of town the boys get to sleep with me. It is always exciting for them. After several nights of this I discovered that Jack talks in his sleep all night. He was sitting up and talking...sound asleep. He likes to sleep with Clayton b/c he says "he has bad dreams" if he doesn't sleep with him. I believe him now.
5. We think Andrew has a temper. He will sit on the floor, cry and put his head down if he doesn't get his way. I've never seen anything like it.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Our Halloween Weekend

The Halloween weekend started on Thursday when I went to Sam's and bought 800 hot dogs and buns.  Yes, 800!  That's a lot of hot dogs.  You should have seen my car, unfortunately I don't have pictures of that aspect of the weekend. 
Friday Jack had his Halloween parade.  It was a lot of fun to watch him with all his friends.  He was really excited as they "paraded" around the parking lot.  On a funny note...we have some friends that ride with us.  The little girl told her mother that Jack dressed as a "Presbyterian".  Beth called me for clarification and I quickly assured her that while we totally love Jesus we would not dress our children as clergy for Halloween.  
 Jack took a nap after his parade and I picked up Clayton (and a friend) and we headed to Walmart.  We bought 600 drinks to go with the 300 drinks already at church...and the 800 hot dogs and buns. We got those loaded up and headed out to eat pizza at a new restaurant in Paris called Pi Pizza Kitchen...yummie!!
 Saturday morning around 6:00 Christy and I headed out for our half-marathon.  We started by ourselves, but Christy's husband, Randall, met us at the finish line.  After a delicious lunch in Clarksville we headed back to Paris. 
 Once home I grabbed a shower and headed to church to met a wonderful group of people to load up all the drinks, hot dogs and candy bags.  Yes, that's what all that stuff was for...Operation Pumpkin Outreach a.k.a.-OPO.
 Trick or Treating is really big in Paris.  Over the span of about three hours we passed out around 800 bags of candy and 650 hot dogs.  It was a great night of food, candy and smiles.  Outstanding night, but it certainly did not take me long to fall asleep!!
 Sunday morning we were getting ready for church.  The big boys were in the shower and guess who dove in?!?!  Oh yes, the little boy with his clothes on and the smile on his face.  Thankfully, he was not dressed for church yet!!  He sure is cute, though. 
 Sunday night we went to church and had Trunk or Treat.  I thought we would have four or five cars participate.  Wrong!  We had 20 cars with close to 30 kiddos!  We were just tickled at all the participation!  We even had a clown!

 No (Baptist) party is complete without eating.  
Whew!  I don't know about you, but I'm exhausted!  As I reflect over this weekend I can't help but smile.  It was packed full of events.  It took lots of preparation, but as long as I'm given breath I'll serve Him and his church.  I'm so grateful for my health, my family and friends, my church, but most of all my Savior!