Monday, June 30, 2014

Catching Up

We finished up the week of VBS.  Since I was the director of VBS and since my husband is the pastor and since he loves me A LOT...he (and all our staff) agreed to sing and do the hand motions to the VBS theme song.  It made my week!  Below is Jack's face as he watched his dad "dance".  It was awesome.  His dancing skills have not changed since college.  
 Friday night we had a finale party, complete with water jumpers and hot dogs.  Honestly, can you have a VBS party without jumpers and hot dogs?!?  It was a good time!
Since my fourth son was here during the week we headed one afternoon to the Children's Museum splash pad to check it out.  It was wonderful!  I thought the big boys might be a little too big, but they all had a good time.  We are looking forward to our next return trip.
 Oh, and here's a selfie of me and my friend from church.  She's in the Navy.  She's super cool.  She and her family are moving to Hungary in a few days.  I'm pretty bummed.

See these crackers below?  They are delicious.  My Aunt Janice keeps making them for me and I keep eating them.  Go to Kroger and buy oyster crackers, canola oil, parmesean cheese and gallon zip lock bags.  Dump the oyster crackers in the gallon zip lock bag and then add 2/3 c. parmesean cheese.  Close the bag and shake it.  Then pour 3/4 c. oil in the bag.  Keep flipping the bag for a while.  The next day they will be ready to eat.  Seriously, make them.  You will thank me later.  You're welcome.  
 There is no reason for the picture of a picture, except that I saw it at Fred and Renee's house and I could not quit smiling.  Could.not.quit.
 I finally got curtains hung in Fred's office.  You can't see them because of the light coming through the windows, but they look good.  If you see my mom give her a hug.  She rocks.
Thursday was our anniversary.  Andrew came in my bed and said, "Happy University, I mean...Anniversary.  I can't ever remember the difference between the two."  We'll work on that before he gets married and has a university...I mean anniversary.
 My friend sent me a text and asked me if the boys and I would like to go to a giant slide in the middle of nowhere.  I had no idea what she was talking about, but I thought it would be a good time so we agreed to go.  Here's the big slide in the middle of nowhere.  For a nominal fee your children (and any adults that want to) can climb up and slide down this slide over and over and over.  And that's what our boys did.  For two hours...over and over and over.  They loved it.  Hopefully, we'll revisit the "big slide in the middle of nowhere".

 We went to a Redbirds game Saturday night...our first one since we moved here.  We bought our tickets, drove all the way downtown, packed our ball gloves, paid to park and then made it to the ballpark...just in time for the bottom to fall out.  We went up under the awning and waited with 2,000 of our closest friends and the rain did not pass.  We left after looking at the radar.  They called the game off at 8:00 pm.  We had three disappointed boys.  They were troopers though. (Of course, I had to have a conversation with one of my boys about how I can't control the weather.  Goodness.)
Our friends spent the night with us while their parents packed their house for Hungary.  I had five little boys at my breakfast table Monday morning.  It was sweet.  We loaded up and headed to the Children's Museum for the splash pad.
They played in the splash pad for 30 minutes and then they were hungry and wanted to go inside the museum.  After a conversation explaining that all forms of tag (freeze tag, jogging tag, walking tag, etc.) (Who knew there were so many forms of tag??) and hide and seek were not appropriate we enjoyed some exhibits.  Well...after I broke up a game of tag.  Apparently while "full museum" tag is off limits playing in a small area is okay.  No, no it's not.  My crew was VERY disappointed.  All in all we had a good time.  

Clayton is usually right on with his vocabulary, but this week he was having a conversation with a friend about his skin color.  Clayton said, "Skin color is generic."  I listened for a second and then it dawned on me...Genetics, not generic.  Ha!!

We made good progress with our move.  One thing happened though.  We lost a book.  Let me rephrase that...We lost a required reading book from Clayton's summer reading list that we checked out from the Bartlett Public Library.  After two overdue notices I finally called and asked what it would cost to replace it.  For $22.67 we can be over this little bump in our summer.  Well...except for the fact that he still has to read the required book.

Speaking of books...I am reading Melanie Shankle's book, The Antler in the Living Room.  It is laugh out loud funny.  If you need a light summer read this is your book.  I've read half of it out loud to Fred because it is so funny.  He's probably tired of me doing that, but oh well, he's been with me for 14 years and we're still going strong.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Tale of two houses, visiting family and a birthday

Tuesday, June 4th at 3:30 pm we closed on our house in Paris, Tennessee.  Fred and I drove to Paris, had lunch with our friend (and realtor), stopped by the house and then headed to the bank.  We had a great drive up to Paris.  We talked about the last decade of our lives and much of it centered around that house:  friendships, tears, arguments, joy, home improvement projects (usually where the tears and arguments came from...ha!!!), births, deaths, parenting mistakes and successes, and on and on.  I brought two of our three boys from the hospital to this house for crying out loud.  The day was much more emotional than I thought.  I just wanted to sign papers, get our check and head out.  Instead, I was flooded with emotions and memories.  We drove by one last time and walked through.  The movers were there packing and almost finished.  One last photo...
 Sale was no longer pending...
  After the closing and all the emotion with it we celebrated with coffee (I had iced coffee, my new favorite!!) and a treat from A La Mode.  
Since the kids were at Fred and Renee's we ended up celebrating in Jackson at Cheddar's.  Then we just decided to stay in Jackson.  We headed out bright and early to close on our house in Bartlett.  (It was an eventful 24 hours!!) 
 We had movers that moved all of our "stuff" in and then the unpacking began.  Boy did we unpack!!  My mom came, my Aunt Christie, Janice, Mun, Renee and even a friend from church (who scrubbed my cabinets...bless her.).  It was a full-fledged party.  This is the playroom.  Mercy.  I made the announcement that we officially DO NOT need anymore toys!  My mom told Jack that I made this declaration and he said, "That's okay.  We always have Aunt Janice."  I think he missed something.  Ha!  
Here sits the final box.  The movers were at our house from 1:00 pm until almost 9:00 pm.  I unpacked a little while they were here, but mainly I pointed to furniture and rooms.  The unloading started on Wednesday and the final box was unpacked Saturday morning at some point.  By no means is it all done, but it sure is close.  When you live in a state of transition for six months order and routine are much appreciated.  
I'm not sure when my closet was put together, but it was pretty early on.  If I ever felt overwhelmed I would go look at my closet.  It was my happy place.  
Our finished bedroom...Speaking of a happy place.  No boys (sans Fred) are allowed in here.  
 Living room corner...
 I put my recipe file in my kitchen.  The recipe is from a precious lady in her handwriting.  Each time I see it it makes me smile.
 Playroom before my Aunt Christie hung pictures...
 When the movers were here Wednesday they were unable to get my grandmother's couch in to my bedroom.  Two precious men came over from church and got it in.  I will forever be grateful!

This same day we picked up another Shackelford family at the airport.  The tall guy with the hat on belongs to us.  His crew is a few steps behind him.  We have pretty much been together since they got home.  We've gone to Shelby Farms, the Shackelford's house, and on and on...
 Just Fred and Renee joined us for a movie in the park in Bartlett.  It was a fun night.
I even got to take this sweet crew on a date to Sonic.  Milkshakes for everyone!!  Woohoo!!  The crew below also attended Grizzlies basketball camp together last week.  They spent most of the week together at Fred and Renee's.  Fred and I went to Lambert's Restaurant with our senior adults one day while they were at camp.  Good times!

For Father's Day everyone convened at Ellendale for church.  When you are in the ministry spending time with your family on holidays is virtually impossible.  For the first time in 17 years this crew was all our new house...for lunch (or Sunday dinner as my mother-in-law calls it, but that's a completely different, confusing post).  I don't know if that fact or getting the picture below is more of a miracle?!?

Shortly after the above photo was snapped I headed toward Jackson to give my dad his Father's Day gift and then meet up with this crew below for Jack's birthday party.  I actually sent this picture during church (I know, tsk...tsk...) to tell their parents we made it.  My friend responded with "you know your friend's husband is a pastor when you get a picture of them sitting in church."  Classic and so true.  They were troopers to sit through church.  In total we had seven boys spending the night at my house Sunday night.
It was nothing short of a miracle that all seven of them were sitting at my kitchen table by 7:15, dressed with socks, shoes and deodorant (the last one was my request...grin.).  We were at church by 7:50 (with the above mentioned AND teeth brushed!!!) for VBS.  Again, you know your friend's husband is a pastor when you take seven boys to VBS...
After VBS we gained two more boys, because 7 just wasn't enough (HA!) and headed home for a birthday lunch of chicken fries and mini corn dogs.  After lunch we headed out for a game of Laser Tag and then swimming at Fred and Renee's.  Since the lighting is not good at laser tag there are no pictures, but here's one of the swimming pool.  That is a pool full of boys!
 We had pizza and ice cream cake to continue our celebration.  
 I love this eight year old.  He has his daddy's face, size, thighs and laid back disposition, but he has my heart.  Sometimes when I look at him my heart feels like it is going to jump out of my chest.  God has gifted him in so many ways.  I cannot wait to see what the future holds for him.  For now, I'm just going to enjoy watching him grow every day...literally and figuratively.
 After cake we headed home for showers...our fourth and final activity of the day!  It proved to be quite the challenge.  Fun, but challenging.  Ha!  The original seven, plus one more spent the night Monday night.  It all went smoothly.  We went to VBS and then drove through McDonald's for lunch.  We headed to Jackson to meet up with a friend from Paris and after one last swim they headed home...except that not all of them went home.  I kept one.  He'll be here through the end of the week.  He wanted to stay.  What can I say?!?  He's my fourth son for the week.  I'll take it!

All in all June has been a pretty busy month--We sold on a house and finished a chapter of our story.  We bought a house in Bartlett and moved in.  We celebrated part of our family coming home.  And we watched a little boy grow into an eight year old young man overnight...literally right before my eyes.