Friday, May 31, 2013

Nashville Fun with Fred

Fred and I decided to get away for the weekend.  We went to Nashville and had a blast!  We went to Whole Foods for breakfast, downtown to Antique Archaeology, a gourmet popcicle and the Tennessee State Museum. (We also threw in a hospital visit since we were downtown.) Around lunch we headed to the Nashville Farmer's Market to eat at Jamaicaway.  Delicious.  
The pictures below are of us at Antique Archaeology.  It is a store from a TV show called American Pickers.  We loved it.  We might be a little nerdy, but we're okay with it.

Later that evening we went to Puckett's Grocery in Leiper's Fork.  I highly recommend this.  It was the coolest date night Fred and I have had in a while.  The drive out to Leiper's Fork was worth it.  A word to the wise though, call ahead to reserve your spot.  We almost didn't get in.

The weather was just perfect.  The windows were opened and the band started playing just as it got dark.  Perfection.

The next morning we went to the Franklin Farmer's Market and enjoyed a homemade donut (gracious!) and a biscuit from a food truck called Biscuit Love.  Possibly the greatest breakfast I've ever had.  Once we pa-roused the farmer's market we headed to the Carter House and toured it.  The Carter House is an historic home in Franklin that was part of the Battle of Franklin during the Civil War.  It was great! We grabbed lunch/dinner at a Greek restaurant in downtown Nashville and headed home to a quiet house.
The house was quiet Sunday morning, but somehow Fred and I managed to almost be late.  Maybe it's not the kids after all.  Maybe it's us?!?
We spent Memorial Day in Memphis for lunch and then Jackson for dinner.  You know, spread the love.  Here are the boys at their kick off to summer.
 Does this not just say, "Happy Summer"?!?  I love it!
One other thing happened while we were in Nashville...
Fred and I were working out in the gym (did you see all the food we ate?!?) and I saw a commercial for Bill Walker Chevrolet.  They were offering 4 free tickets to Holiday World if you test drove a car.  Four free tickets?  I couldn't resist.  Fred could, so I dropped him off at the hotel.  I met the nicest car salesman, drove the most expensive car I've ever driven and walked out with 4 free tickets.  Yes, free tickets.  Score!
On a side note, I told both the big boys what had happened.  They were elated!  Although, Jack quickly and quietly said, "Four tickets?  Who's not going, mom?"  I assured him we would buy a ticket for the fifth member of our family and all was well with his little mind.  Priceless.


After school got out I realized that we had a few days before life got too crazy.  I've been wanting to keep Liz's kiddos since she had baby number 3. I thought this would be the perfect time.  I met Renee in Jackson and picked up these two precious boys.  
Before we departed we ate at Snappy Tomato Pizza.  E enjoyed a piece of chocolate pizza.  I mean...he really enjoyed it.  This picture does not do it justice.  He had it in his hair, his ears, up his nose, etc.  I knew E and I would be just fine!!
 After leaving South Jackson we stopped at the train store.  I learned two things while there:
1.  Z is afraid of the dark.
2.  It is hard to get a picture of 5 boys.
Once we got home the Memphis boys hit the backyard.  Z promptly removed his shorts and then everyone began exploring the hole that Jack dug in our backyard.  Good times!
 At one point I looked out my window to see this picture.  Jack was showing E how to eat a popcicle.  Just precious.
 Once it stopped raining we went to Sonic for a treat and then to the park.  E found the only water puddle and did a face plant in it.  It was too funny.
 Walking to the car.  That's a sweet group of boys, isn't it?!?
 This was our last breakfast together.  I can't remember what we had, but everyone had a good time.  Once again evidence that getting a picture of five boys is next to impossible.

 We went to church Wednesday night and E thoroughly enjoyed some banana pudding.  Almost as much as he loved the chocolate pizza.  Same was in his hair, his ears, up his nose, etc.  Classic.
After three fun filled days with this crew we loaded up to meet Mawmaw in Jackson again, but this time she took all five kiddos with her back to Memphis.  I headed back to Paris and cleaned this house from top to bottom and packed my bag, because Fred and I left late Thursday evening for a little fun in Nashville!

End of School

I say this every year, but I really can't believe how fast this year flew by!  The boys were both blessed with teachers who loved them, made learning fun, and challenged them academically.  Blessed.  
Clayton is here at his last day of fourth grade.  Fourth grade.  He will enter into his last year of elementary school in the fall.  I can't believe it.  He has grown so much, just over the past school year.  God continues to work in his life and it is just amazing to watch it.  
 Here's my sweet Jack on his last day as a first grader.  I can't believe he will start 2nd grade in the fall.  Only one more year at Rhea Elementary and I just can't talk about it.  How did we get here?!?
Both boys got to meet their teacher for next year before they left for the summer.  Jack got in the car after school with the biggest grin on his face.  Apparently, his teacher gives candy AND can do magic tricks.  Score two for Jack's teacher!

 We went for a doughnut breakfast before dropping off at school. It was epic.  
 Here is Clayton with the lady that let him out of the car, almost daily.  She was just precious.  Going in to school to get a picture of them with their teacher on the last day of school is long over.  Boo.
 A week of so before school got out Jack had his field day.  Is this not a quintessential picture of elementary school field day?!?  I love the excitement he is showing.  I really just love every element of this picture.  I also love that my friend captured this moment for me and sent it to me!!

 We often talk about how big Jack is.  Here he is with some of his friends.  This picture just tells it all.  Too sweet.
What a year!  Full of memories and changes!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Playing catch up

I've got to start back at Fish Fry.  Fish Fry was wet and rainy.  It rained and then it rained some more.  It was crazy.  The rain didn't really matter though, because I got a phone call from Jack's school Thursday that changed everything.  I was at his school at 10:00 a.m.  I hugged him good-by and kissed him.  He was fine.  At 11:00 a.m. the nurse called to inform me that Jack had a fever of 101.6 and I should come get him.  We went straight to the doctor's office.  Twenty minutes later his temperature was at 102.4.  He was one sick fella.  He fell asleep while there.  Diagnosis...strep throat.  He woke up the next morning and said, "I don't hurt like I did yesterday, but my throat feels badder."  Bless him.

We had planned on going to the carnival Thursday night, but we knew Jack couldn't go.  Clayton opted not to go saying, "It just wouldn't be the same without Jack there.  It just feels like something is missing."  Be still my heart.  Maybe they do love each other. 

While we missed most of the festivities of Fish Fry I got to spend a couple of days with just my Jack.  This never happens.  It was such a blessing.  Silver lining indeed.

We played several intense games of Sorry. 
And we watched the parade from the yard until we had to go in because of the rain.
Later the next week I got to sub in Jack's class.  His teacher asked me to hang some writing on the wall if I had time.  This was Jack's paper.  I held back tears as I read it. 

"I love my earth because if we didn't have earth we wouldn't have a family.  We wouldn't get to spend time with our family and I love to spend time with my family."   I don't keep much school work.  I will keep this one. 
That same week Andrew had his last story hour for the year.  I hold fond memories of story hour and all the friends God has brought our way throughout the years.  This, obviously, is our third go around.  Mrs. Donna holds a special place in our hearts. 
We said good by to this car this week.  It was a bittersweet moment for me.  Being a grown up is tough at times. 
To make up for missing the Fish Fry carnival we told the boys we would go to Incredible Pizza while we were in Memphis for my mother in laws surprise birthday party.  It was incredible. 
Speaking of incredible...the girls of Memphis spent a day together.  It.was.awesome.  We spent some time at the Memphis Farmer's Market.  Awesome.  I will be back soon.  Simply amazing. 
This week at the Shackelford house is the busiest week of the year.  Seriously, it trumps Christmas.  Seriously.  I've had responsibilities at the both schools this week.  Andrew can't go with me, so Aunt Janice offered to keep him for a few days (Can we say Life Saver?!?).  I had responsibilities Wednesday and Friday, but Thursday was just a free day.  It was simply wonderful.  I had lunch with my favorite fella, pictured below...
And I had Pad Thai with chicken and extra veggies at Jasmine (my favorite restaurant!!) full disclosure...Fred and I split crab ragoon.  To die for...
Tomorrow holds making popcorn for 700 students and a cook out at Jack's school and then a spring party at Clayton's school that afternoon (of which I'm in charge).  I think I could fit a few more things in to the day though...ha!!  I wouldn't have it any other way.  I've reminded myself all week (after my melt down last week) that I only live once and I will never get these days again.  I'm trying to take in every minute.  Every.single.minute. 
Other things from the week:
-One day this week Jack wanted me to throw baseball with him.  We went outside, but he couldn't find his glove.  When I asked him where it was he said, "It's either inside or outside."  Well, that narrows it down. 
-While driving home from school this week I had to roll the windows down in the car.  Why?  Boys stink.  Not emotionally...literally.  They stink. 
-Speaking of stink...Fred ran 9 miles Thursday morning.  He wore an arm band to hold his cell phone.  Later that morning I mowed the yard wearing the same arm band.  It smelled so bad I could smell it over the grass and everything else outside.  I told Fred if he didn't have a gift yet for me for Mother's Day that might be an option. 
- I got the boys registered for their summer "camps" this week.  Jack is going to Grizzlies Basketball Camp and Clayton is going to Lego Robotics Camp.  The kicker...they are both the same week AND in Memphis.  BAM!  I love it when a plan comes together!! 
-Andrew has adopted the phrase, "My mom said I could...(fill in the blank).  I'd like to issue this warning...sometimes the lines of reality are a bit blurry for Andrew.  His view of the truth can be a little skewed.
-I introduced the boys to the weeds in our flower beds today.  I told them to get aquainted with the weeds.  They would be pulling them all summer as part of our family work program.  Pretty soon I will introduce them to the lawn mower. 
-Part of our flower garden is an herb garden.  One of the herbs is mint.  Clayton thought it would be a great idea to made mint chocolate chip ice cream.  I cannot think of a better use for the mint.  Good call, son!
 -Andrew really wants his own Kindle Fire.  (The big boys and I each have one.)  Mine stopped charging so Amazon sent me a replacement.  When the package came in the mail Andrew saw it and said, "They sent me MY Kindle Fire, Mom.  Fank you, Fank you, Amazon."  As he hugged my legs.  I didn't have the heart to tell him it was my replacement.