Saturday, April 28, 2012

Five on (the day after) Friday

Alrighty, so this is not Jennifer, your normal, friendly GTWTS host. This is her husband, and I'm filling in for her, because she is (and was yesterday) out of reach at a pastor's wives' retreat. I'll try to make her proud...

1. This week is the annual Paris, TN, tradition known as the World's Biggest Fish Fry. Woohoo! As many of you know, we live just down the road from the Fairgrounds, so our neighborhood gets lively this time of year. It also means that our schedule is packed full with school activities, ministries and, of course, the CARNIVAL. Like, we can hear it from our front porch. Here's what everything looked like for us this year:

Wednesday: Jennifer spent the day getting ready for The World's Biggest Reading Celebration at Rhea Elementary (Jack's School). She's on PTO, and had to help pick up 800 + T-shirts for teachers and kids, get them organized and distributed and set up for the events on Thursday. It took a while. Fortunately, my mom came into town to help out. We were very grateful. Wednesday Night, the big boys and I went to the annual Christian concert, held every Wednesday night at Fish Fry and sponsored by our local Baptist association.

Thursday: The Worlds Biggest Reading Celebration!!!!! Jennifer got up there about 6:45am to do final set up, mark the fields, etc. Mom and I got up there at about 8:30 for the World's Cutest Kindergarten parade. Jennifer's Mom, Mun, and Aunt Janice were also there:

 After that, Bro. Corey Cain and I spent two hours manning some intense Kindergarten and 1st Grade tug of war action. Intense.

I left after eating lunch with Jack. I didn't think the folks at church would understand if my sermon Sunday consisted of "Sorry, folks. It was Fish Fry this week." Jennifer endured all day. Seriously. She got home around 3:30-4pm. Mom headed back to Memphis sometime around then.

At 5pm, we all regrouped and headed to Grace Episcopal Church for the Paris Community Kitchen. It was our Sunday School class's turn to host this month (our church volunteers once a month). We left there about 6:30, and went straight to the Fish Tent, ate Fish, and rode some rides with the kids at the carnival. 'Bout 9:00, we made it home. Everybody, especially Wonder Woman, was pretty tired:


Friday: Parade Day!!!!! We love parade day. Every year, lots of our friends come, park by our house, and we all walk together to a particular spot for the parade. This year, Aunt Janice drove up (after driving up and back to Jackson the day before!) and joined us. The kids played, the adults laughed and cheered all our friends in the parade. Twas a good time. After the parade and all our friends (including Aunt Janice :( ) went home, Jennifer headed to the aforementioned retreat, where she still is today.

So, that's the context. Now, here's the rest of your five...

2. Can you tell that Jennifer is the queen of Fish Fry activities? No, not literally the queen. We don't actually have a queen of Fish Fry. we do have a Hostess Princess, who gets to ceremonially throw out the first hush puppy on Wednesday Night (for real), but no queen. If we did, though, it would be Jennifer. She rocks.

3. Since the kids were out of school on Friday, Clayton's had a buddy over since about Thursday night. He met us at the carnival on Thursday, spent the night and went to the parade with us on Friday. Then Jack and Clayton went to his house all Friday afternoon. He came back over and ate with us Friday night, and then Clayton spent the night at his house last night. We love this guy.

4. Jack. I love me some Jack (and some Clayton, and some Andrew). I also love a Ferris Wheel, and I got to ride a Ferris Wheel with my Jack. check out the video:

5. Andrew, on the other hand, is not a fan of carnival rides. Wait, let me change that. He's not a fan of riding carnival rides. He loves watching his brothers ride carnival rides. Seriously, shakes with excitement when they get on and squeals with delight when the ride starts up. Scared to death to get on himself, but loves living vicariously through "his big boys." I think I hear a sermon in there somewhere....

So anyway, that's our 2012 Fish Fry experience. Come and join us in 2013!!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Five on Friday

1.  Fred preached a funeral on Monday of  a lady who died at 101 years old.  Fred and I started an interesting discussion about all the historical events that occurred in her lifetime:  both World I and II, Vietman, the Great Depression, the sinking of the Titantic, just to name a few.  Her birthday was actually September 11th.  When the terrorists attacks took place on her birthday she was 90...90!!
2.  Fred has been around town, for the most part, for three weeks.  It has been nice.  He has not been home much this week.  Because of upcoming schedules and weather forecasts I needed to get the yard mowed today.  Fred and I usually complete this task together.  It took the better part of the day.  (I worked around Andrew's nap and when the big boys were home.)  While I was mowing I had a lot of time to think.  This is what I thought about...Clayton will be able to mow next summer and for the next 16 years I will have some boy (if not boys) to do the yard work.  Yippee!!  Get to mowing, boys!!
3.  Clayton is getting ready to take his first TCAP test.  I told him it was important that he do well, because his test scores would not only be a reflection of him, but a reflection of all his teachers up until this point.  He was very excited at the possibility of making them all proud.  It was sweet.
4.  Jack Shackelford is Fred Shackelford made over.  I know he looks like Fred, but the way that he acts is a carbon copy of my husband.  He, like Fred, is so easy going and forgetful.  Just this week I told him to get in the car so we could go to school.  He slowly meandered to the car without his backpack.  When I questioned him as to where his backpack was he literally looked shocked that he had forgotten it.  They are so much alike that it makes my heart skip a beat.  I love those fellas. 
5.  We think Andrew (and maybe Jack) are going through a growth spurt right now.  I made Cream Cheese Spaghetti the other night and Andrew ate four servings.  Try it for your table.  It was delicious and simple.  Click here for the recipe.   Please note I used whole wheat noodles and low fat cream cheese. 

Monday, April 9, 2012

Spring Update

We have started spring with a bang!!  Clayton is wanting his own space and Andrew is needing to move out of a crib so I'm doing a little switching around here at the Shackelford house.  I started with their closets.  I cleaned them out and did a little swap. I'm so proud of the way they look I had to post pictures.  (Nerdy?!?  I'm okay with it!)  Sometimes I just go and open the doors to look again.  I thought you'd like to do it as well. 

While I don't have pictures, Fred and I have done a few things around the house.  I pressure washed just about anything in sight, washed windows (inside and out), and bleached blinds.  Fred has gotten the yard prepped for spring, including making preparations for our garden.  We also hung new curtains in our room...made by my mother.  Lovely.  
Spring break was this week and we partied hard!  The big boys and Fred camped and hiked at Fall Creek Falls.  They took a friend and Dan (Fred' brother) and son met them there.  Fred thoroughly enjoyed the did I.  I played the "I guess Andrew is too little to camp and you guys probably need some bonding time" card.  I think I will enjoy this card in the future.  I went to Jackson and enjoyed a little quiet time shopping with my mom. All jokes aside, I'll join those precious boys the next time...we (or maybe I) just won't camp in a tent.

 I bought more junk food for the boys pictured below than I have bought in my life.  Fred laughed when I came home with all of it.  He reminded me that they were only going to be away one night.  For the record, they did not return with much food! 

We all met back in Paris on Wednesday.  Fred had to work and preach at a Holy Week service.  After church that evening we headed west for Memphis to see Fred's family.  We spent two glorious days of togetherness in Memphis, including a trip to Incredible Pizza.  All three cousins on a motorcycle racing.  It was precious.  I may or may not have teared up a little at this scene.
 That's Clayton in his own go cart.  Fred and Jack are next to him.  It was a big moment for Clayton.

We left Memphis after dinner Friday night and got home really late.  We dropped our bags in the floor and hit the bed.  Saturday we had a community wide Easter Egg Hunt that our church did.  Friday night we learned that one of our advertisements had the wrong date listed, but despite that we had a great turn out.  Who doesn't like snow cones, face painting and hot dogs?!?

After the egg hunt we collapsed came home to get ready for Sunday services.  What a great day we had!  Since our church is reading the Bible through this year in chronological order we did not have a typical "Easter" sermon.  We read Ruth last week.  So, Fred preached on Ruth and redemption.  I was once again reminded of God's redemptive plan for humanity and how that directly effects me, giving me hope.  Amazing.   I serve a RISEN Savior!

 After I dressed the boys Sunday morning I told them to sit down on the couch and not move.  The picture below is why...
 Mimi, Tee, Mun and Janice came in to town to have lunch with us.  Mimi made a bunny cake and let the boys decorate it.  I ate it and it was delicious!

Whew, that was a lot of ground to cover!  Happy Spring everyone!!