Friday, April 30, 2010

Five on Friday

Happy Friday everyone!!

1. Fred injured his ankle about six weeks ago. After weeks on the elliptical, the bike and in the pool (including one awesome session of pool running...not really) Fred is finally back up and running on the pavement!! He's had two good three mile runs this week and is looking forward to another run tomorrow. Next week he will begin adding mileage. YEAH for all of us!!

2. This morning it was made very clear to me that I am a mother. Andrew has been (how shall I put this?) backed up. I gave him prunes last night and by 8:00 a.m. this morning they did their magic!! I have never seen so much...well, you know. I had to call for back-up. It was EVERYWHERE!! Well, as soon as it was all cleaned up I washed my hands, sat down at the table and ate breakfast. Yes, it's official. I'm a mom.

3. Clayton has learned how to ride his bike really well over the last few weeks. He wants to ride all the time. We have a great place for him to ride, but someone has to go with him. Sunday he went with me while I ran. I told him I could run faster than he could ride. I was wrong. In fact, he rode three miles while I ran two.

4. We have several dogs in our neighborhood. They know me and Fred well since we run past them frequently. They do not like us. Jack is oblivious to this. The other day as we were driving past these barking, snarling animals (behind a fence) Jack told me, "Big dogs, wittle dogs, all dogs--they wike me. I see them smile at me." It was too funny! Those dogs were NOT smiling at us!!

5. Andrew turned six months old Monday!! Six months old!?! Where has it gone? He got shots yesterday. After three children and multiple shots I still can't stand it. I left him with the sweet nurse and stood in the hall while she gave him three shots. I had tears stinging my eyes. If I could I would take the shots for him.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Ode to our Sheriff

Dear Monte Belew,
Thank you for all you do for our county! Since you have become sheriff in Henry County we have seen a real change. Your campaign signs say "For the Future of Henry County". For those of us who are rearing the future of Henry County our hat goes off to you! No wonder you are running unopposed. Thank you for standing for what is right. Thank you for working with other agencies to provide the best law enforcement possible for our county. Putting the high school on lock down and searching the parking lot for drugs...genius!! Arresting the students at school for dealing drugs...inspiring!! Impounding their cars from the school parking lot...brilliant!! Fifteen arrests...unbelievable!! You have reached rock star status at our house!
We pray for you and your officers. May God keep you in the palm of his hand and watch over you all. May he continue to guide you and give you wisdom as you protect our corner of the world.
To quote you from the paper...
“I believe drugs are the root of all evil,” Belew said. “And unfortunately, they don’t discriminate against age. If you are selling drugs, we will investigate you, we will arrest you and we will convict you.”
Once again Monte Belew our hats are off to you! You rock!!

To view the full article click here.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


All three of our boys have their own blanket. Monday when we were walking out the door Mimi put Jack's blanket on Andrew while he was in his carrier. Once we got in the car Jack quickly noticed that Andrew had his blanket to which he replied, "Hey, get your own blanket Andrew!" My boys are normally very kind to their youngest brother, but obviously they have their limits!!

Here is Clayton with his blanket around 14 months old...
Here is Jack with his blanket (and a cheeseburger) last summer...

Here is Andrew with his blanket last week...

Last Story Hour for Jack

Monday was Jack's last story hour...sniff, sniff. He will be heading to preschool in the Fall at Joyland...sniff, sniff. We had a great year with Ms. Donna and Ms. Pam!
Ms. Donna asked for volunteers to participate in the song Five Little Ducks. Jack was to be the daddy duck. He was not going to do it until Mrs. Katie offered ice cream from McDonalds. He reluctantly stood, but he did not do his part. He stood with the above face for the duration of the song. He finally said "quack, quack" when Mrs. Katie reminded him of the ice cream. Too funny!!
The crew from this year, minus Amber and Jack.

After story hour we headed to McDonald's (where Jack got his promised ice cream). Katie offered to take us on a tour of the back of McDonald's. The manager, Ms. Debbie, even let each kiddo say, "Welcome to McDonald's." Jack actually did it. He giggled through the entire experience.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Our garden with Alex and Gail

Some friends from church are helping us with a garden this year. We have never had a garden before and we really want to learn how. Since Gail and Alex have a farm they graciously allowed us to plant with them. We are excited to see what we will have this summer. We planted tomatoes, cucumbers, green peppers, hot peppers, dill, cilantro, basil, watermelons and squash. Hopefully, we will have pictures to show this summer!!

Fish Fry Carnival

We headed to the carnival Thursday night after the World's Biggest Reading Celebration. We saw lots of our friends there. Clayton and Shannon rode some rides together. They will be moving soon and two little boys that live in this house are going to be heart broken. As we were walking through the carnival I spotted Clayton and Shannon holding hands. It was precious. They are the best of friends. In fact, neither one of them knows what life is like without the other. It breaks my heart to see them separated, but we are going to enjoy these last few weeks with them with everything inside of us--knowing that we will see them again!!

Can you guess who was tuckered out?!?
Jack and Clayton bought these fabulous swords at the carnival. They had the most wonderful evening playing with them...until they broke!!

The Fish Fry Parade

The parade starts on Friday at 10:00 a.m. of Fish Fry week. Christy and I ran along the parade route at 7:30 a.m. and people were already sitting in lawn chairs!! We had to jog around them. Since school is dismissed for the parade we always feel like we have lots of time. Boy are we wrong. Fred and I are usually running around trying to get everything ready to get out the door so we can meet our friends!! Clayton told us Friday, "Whew, you two are really working hard!" Thank you son for noticing! I think it was a first!
We did finally make it to our "spot". All of our friends were there and it was a beautiful day!The O'Neals posed for their final Fish Fry Parade picture! They are moving to Texas. (More details to come on that later...)

Tee was able to come this year! I think he thoroughly enjoyed it!!

Jack sat in his chair and waved at everyone that came by, as if they were waving to him personally. It was precious!
For those of you that don't know, Jeremy does not snack! However, Aunt Janice makes these crackers that are beyond delicious and he could not resist. Seriously, it is the first time in six years that I have seen him snack!!
Our favorite candidate...
This seems to be a common theme with Andrew!!
If you ever find yourself in Paris on the last Friday of the final full week of April join us on East Wood Street. I guarantee it will be a rocking good time!! I heart Paris, Tennessee!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Five on Friday

This week is the World's Biggest Fish Fry! For those of you who don't know about it, it is a really big deal around these parts! In honor of Fish Fry I thought we'd devote our Five on Friday post to our town.

The question is, "What do you love most about Paris, Tennessee?"

1. Fred loves the people, especially our church family. He also loves the summer here. Since we are so close to the lake it feels like vacation all the time, even though we aren't on vacation. Seriously, when we go to the grocery in the summer we see people in bikini tops and cut off shorts buying charcoal, steaks, a bag of lettuce and the beverage of their choice. Vacation, right? Love it!!

2. I love the sense of community here in Paris. Fish Fry is this week and the entire town is a twitter. The city has come by and mowed our bank and cleaned our street. (We happen to live on the road to the fairgrounds.) Not only is the city making an extra effort to make our town look nice, but businesses, homeowners and churches are sprucing up, planting flowers and putting their best foot forward. I just love how our town comes together!

3. Clayton loves Paris because of the carnival and parade. The carnival comes twice a year--for Fish Fry and Henry County Fair. We can hear it from our house. The parade is about two blocks up from our house. Did I mention school is canceled for the parade??? What kiddo wouldn't like that?!?

4. Jack loves story hour and the carnival and the parade and going to Mimi's house. (I think he got a little carried away with Mimi's house since she lives an hour away, but his answer was to cute not to quote.) Since we've already covered the carnival and parade I'll tell you about Story Hour. Story hour is through the Paris Special School District. Mrs. Donna and Ms. Pam lead us each week with songs, activities and stories. Plus you can check out books, backpacks and videos. Did I mention many of his friends attend? Did I mention we go to McDonald's once it's over? Did I mention Monday is his last story hour?!? Sniff...Sniff...

5. Andrew likes all the people that smile at him wherever he goes. For real, it takes us an hour to get four things at the grocery. Of course one of those four things is rice cereal, which he now LOVES!! He actually smiled today when I brought the spoon up to his mouth. Progress.

World's Biggest Reading Celebration

Today was the World's Biggest Reading Celebration at Clayton's school, Rhea Elementary. We were in charge of the grill. Fred and our friends (Corey, Andy, Doug and Chris) grilled 1400 burgers!!

Along with the cook out they also do field day. Clayton and his class got to participate in relay races, obstacle courses, a petting zoo and many other activities.
Jack got to help Mrs. Cindy, Mrs. Kathy and Mrs. Kathy make cotton candy. They made and bagged cotton candy for the ENTIRE school (teachers, students, teaching assistants, staff, etc...A LOT!!)...all day long!!

Andrew...well what can I say?!? He's a trooper! He took his morning nap in the back of the van. Can you tell he's a third child?!?
Clayton's school focuses heavily on reading. So far this year his school has read 414,186 books! Isn't that amazing?!? This morning before they started their day each class gathered in the hall while the Mr. Owens (principal extraordinaire) played this over the intercom. It was precious to see them all "rocking out" to a song about books. God has blessed our family by putting us at Rhea! I'm not an emotional person, but when people pursue excellence and my children are the benefactors...well, I just can't talk about it. I'm getting misty-eyed.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Five on Friday

Each Thursday Fred's sister, Elizabeth, posts a blog entitled "Ten on Thursday". I so enjoy reading it that I decided to do something similar. My only hesitation is I don't know if this particular season on my life will allow me to think of and post ten different things about us. I adapted mine to Five on Friday, thus allowing each member of our family to have one new thing. Without further adieu here are our five...

Sorry to start on a mellow note, but life is life...
1. By Saturday Fred will preach his second funeral in five days. Funerals are normal for preachers, but two in five days is a lot. Both of the people who passed away were active church members and both of their deaths came as quite a shock. To say it has been an emotional week around here would be an understatement. Our hearts and prayers are with the families that will bury their loved ones this week.

2. Last week Fred asked me if I wanted to go visit a lady at Vanderbilt in Nashville. While I had a super long to-do list, I just kept hearing a still, small voice whispering to me, "People are more important than tasks.". I felt an overwhelming sense that I should go with him. Man, am I glad I listened and obeyed. Both of the people we visited were the ones who passed away.

3. Clayton came home this week from school super excited! As part of the World's Biggest Fish Fry here is Paris, First Bank is sponsoring a coloring contest. Students from across the county will enter pictures. He will be in the kindergarten through first grade category. After much planning he began to color. With a smile on his face he told me what the first place prize was and then he said, "but even if I don't win that they have prizes for second and third place." Precious confidence. I pray he keeps that confidence. When I mentioned it to Fred he replied (confidently), "Of course he'll keep it!" Wonder where he gets it from?!?

4. Jack did not want to leave my in-laws house after Spring Break. He was really sad and crying. In an attempt to get him to stop Mr. Fred offered him a nickel. No response from Jack. Mr. Fred then offered him a quarter. Jack then replied through sniffing and crying, "I'll take a dollar." sniff. sniff. Atta boy!! Go for the big stuff!!

5. I finally broke down and started feeding Andrew cereal. He does not like it...really does not like it!! View below...

Spring Break

Our Spring Break started a little early because Clayton was sick. Fortunately, by the time our real Spring Break started he was better! The boys started Spring Break in Jackson. I don't have any pictures from their fun time there. They did all sorts of fun things: fed the ducks, bowled, played at the arcade, ate donuts for breakfast (and really any time they wanted them), got kids meals at McDonald's, and on and on!!! They had the best time! Wednesday night after church Fred and I headed to Jackson for the night. Thursday morning we headed out and made our way to Memphis. We went the back way and stopped at a Mennonite bakery in Whiteville. Then we continued on to Wolfchase Galleria. The boys L.O.V.E. to ride escalators! Below you can see the excitement in Jack's face. They HAD to eat their lunch before they could "ride" up and down and up and down. Too funny...

We found a little play area that was conveniently located right outside one of my favorite stores, New York and Company.
Clayton and Jack found this wheel to spin. They even argued over who got to do it next. We had to take turns spinning this wheel. Did they win a prize, you might ask??? No, it was just a wheel.
When we came in the mall they had these little jumpy things. The big boys decided to use their allowance to do this. No fear. They went twenty feet up in the air. The sign said you had to be 20 lbs. to participate. We were going to let Andrew do it, but he didn't have his allowance!!

We even rode the carousel. After the carousel we jumped into a photo booth. You know, the old fashioned kind that takes four pictures and then develops them in two minutes. Well, we didn't quite fit. I scanned our debit card while the big boys were coming inside. Fred was getting Andrew out of his seat. Unbeknown-st to us Andrew had leaked through his diaper and poop (sorry mom) was all over him. So he entered the booth, that was way too small for five people, and the fun began. We didn't get a single picture of all of us, but the final pictures were really funny!
Friday morning while everyone was at work we headed to downtown Memphis for a picnic and a visit to the Fire Museum.

We were completely exhausted, but not too exhausted for a cupcake!! On a recent trip to Nashville, Fred and I discovered a little place called Gigi's Cupcakes. We looked and found that they had a location in Memphis. Oh, how great!!!

We had the best Spring Break...loaded with fun!! God has blessed us with a sweet family! Oh, how we enjoyed our time together! Summer break is around the corner!!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter at Springhill from 2006

We have been at Springhill since August of 2004. This year marks our sixth Easter. As I looked at our Easter picture this year I was thinking about all the ways God has blessed our family. While I couldn't find a picture of our first Easter here I could locate 2006 to the present. Hope you enjoy!

2006-Clayton was 2 1/2 and Jack was two months out from making his appearance.

2007-Clayton was 3 1/2 and Jack was 10 months old. 2008-Clayton was 4 1/2 and Jack was not even two (yes, I know!! a very large two year old!!).
2009-Clayton was 5 1/2, Jack was 3 1/2 and Andrew was seven months out.
2010-Clayton is 6 1/2, Jack is 3 1/2 and Andrew is 5 months old.