Wednesday, October 29, 2014

This week

Clayton made the honor roll at school.  Apparently, when this happens you get to go on a field trip...who knew?!?  When the slip came home for us to sign it had a section for us to indicate if we would like to chaperon.  I asked jokingly if he would like me to go and he said, "Well maybe not, but if dad wasn't working I'd like him to go."  What??  I tried not be be bitter.  I mean after all I carried him for nine months and endured labor to bring him in to this world.  Why would he not pick Fred.  Ha!! Just kidding.  I really have no greater joy than seeing my boys desire to spend time with Fred. If my boys turn out to be like Fred I will be over the moon excited!  I got this picture from the experience.  
I think they had a great time together.  And I'm not bitter, no I'm not.  When I was laboring to bring that sweet boy in to the world Fred was standing beside me.  I know that concrete floor he was standing on must have been exhausting.  Ha!!  I love those boys in the picture above!

My childhood friends and I get together once a year.  We just hang out and stay up WAY past my bedtime.  We usually rendezvous in Nashville, but this year we decided to meet up in Jackson at my parent's house since they were going to be out of town.  Sometime during the evening (while we were face timing with our friend that couldn't be with us this year) things got a little crazy and I remembered a few treasures that were in my closet.  
Yep, that's my drum major uniform from my senior year in high school...
 Yep, that's my wedding dress with me pointing to a picture of me in my wedding dress...
I also tried on my prom dress.  It was really short and I didn't want it recorded so there's no picture.  And I tried on my pumpkin costume from the fifth grade.  Oh, and my cap and gown from high school were in my closet as well.  We laughed until we cried.  I have not laughed that hard in a long time.  It was awesome.  We ate a lazy dinner Friday night (before this photo session), a lazy breakfast Saturday morning and a lazy lunch at a sweet little tea room.  When I got home Jack asked me what we did.  I told him we talked and ate.  He said, "Is that all?"  I told him it was.  He got the weirdest look on his face and said, "That's boring."  It really was not boring.  It really was so fun.  Friends are such a blessing.  These girls have been around for a long time.  They get me...and love me anyway.  Big plans are being made for 2018 when we all turn 40.  Except for one, they will all turn 40 first, but who's counting.  Ha!
-While I was gone the boys had their final flag football game.  They celebrated at Red Robin.  Yum!  My boys think that Red Robin is the be all, end all.  Big day for them...
  -One more celebration for me...the Shackelford women went to the Beauty Shop Restaurant to celebrate October birthdays.  We had the best time together.  The food and fellowship were delicious.
 This was Bruschetta on whole wheat French bread with thin apple slices, blue cheese crumbles, arugula and balsamic vinaigrette drizzled over it.  Oh mercy.

We even enjoyed dessert together.  If you ever find yourself in Memphis and want a special evening, call me and I'll meet you at the Beauty Shop.  It was not disappoint. 
-This week I volunteered at Jack's school.  I didn't tell him I was coming.  When I came in he looked so surprised and then he got up, in front of his entire class and gave me a hug.  Don't think I wasn't trying hard not to cry. Sweet boy.   

Happy Birthday Andrew!

Andrew turned 5 last week!  Five?!?  If you know our little guy you know he likes to talk about several things:  his birthday and his Halloween costume.  Mawmaw came and took him to lunch for his birthday and they went shopping.  His two favorite things collided as he celebrated his birthday AND got a costume.  If you are counting we now have 6 costumes to pick from for Halloween.  Ha!
I wish I had kept a running list of all the things he wants to be for Halloween this year.  It would be a really long list.
Sunday morning (his actual birthday) he woke up to a balloon, candy and a card at his place at the table.  Then we took donuts in to his SS class.  He was pretty fired up.  Several hours after church we met up at Incredible Pizza for the party to begin.  We played/ate for 2 1/2 hours.  It was a blast.  By the time we left my head was ringing.  Ringing I tell you.  Andrew was grinning from ear to ear.  He loved every minute of it.  Worth every minute...
This was the only picture I got.  Honestly, I was more concerned with keeping up with this precious crew than snapping pictures.  I took lots of mental pictures!  Thankfully, Aunt Janice was there to capture a few.  Does he not look like Clayton in these pictures...with brown hair and brown eyes?

Once the party was over we collapsed headed back to church and then hit the bed.  Andrew woke up Monday morning and asked if it was still his birthday.  I told him no.  He said, "Oh man!  I told you I wanted my birthday to last a week!"  Bless him.  He did think it was a week (possibly a month) because here's the list of things he wanted to do for his party:
-Go to Holiday World
-Go to the beach
-Go to Sky Zone
-Go to Jump Zone
-Play Laser Tag
-Go to Incredible Pizza (check)
-Play at Shelby Farms
And a few other things that I forgot...
He ran over this list several times as if I should be taking notes.  Maybe I should have been taking notes, whoops.

I cannot believe the caboose, swan song, finale of the Shackelford family is 5.  He talks incessantly and demands attention. (Can you say baby of the family?!?)  He says so many funny things that I just want to video his life so I don't miss a moment.  He loves "the big boys"/"the brothers" and wants to be just like them.  He is brutally honest...sometimes when he opens his mouth I have a moment of panic wondering what will come out...and then other times his words are so incredibly sweet and loving it will bring a tear to my eye.  He (might) have a little flare of drama in him.  He loves to be around people.  He usually wakes up asking, "What are we going to do today?"  He is not a risk taker, unless he witnesses the big boys doing it.  When I look in to his eyes I see a reflection of myself.  He definitely has my genetic features.  I cannot believe God entrusted him to us.  He is a joy.  I love him, more than words can express.  Happy 5th birthday sweet Andrew!

Friday, October 24, 2014

I almost forgot this one...

Fred and some friends completed a bike ride two Saturdays ago.  Fred rode 100 miles.  Some of the others rode a 100K.  He left at 6:00 am and got back around 4:30 pm.  We were at the Memphis Game by 5:15 pm.  No rest for the weary!

This week

Our sweet friends from Paris came to visit her mother in Collierville.  Thankfully, she and the boys and the sweet Baby G were able to visit with us.  We went to Shelby Farms to play and then we grabbed dinner at pizza buffet.  

Friday while the big boys were at school we visited a Pumpkin Farm.  The boys got to go on a hayride, a train ride, pick a pumpkin, play on bouncers, toss a football and more.  It was so fun!  

Now, for my parenting fail of the week...I mean day.  Jack had this thing at his school called a Ram Run.  (They are the Oak Rams.)  He collected donations...which means I wrote a check...and then they completed this "run".  I had it on my calendar.  I informed Fred that we needed to be there.  I had the time of the run down for 9:40-10:20.  In actuality, it was from 9:10-9:40.  We got to the school at 9:37.  Fail on my part.  Whoops.  I did capture this sweet picture the one time he ran past me.  

 After school on Friday the boys left for RA Camporee with our church.  (a.k.a a weekend for mom to be by herself!!)  They had the best time.  They camped out, got dirty, competed in outdoor activities, got dirty, played and got dirty a little more.  Andrew even got to go.  At one point Fred called me to tell me all was well and he said, "hang on, I need to call you right back".  When he called me back I asked what was going on and he calmly said, "Oh, it was just Andrew's turn to throw the hatchet."  What??  My baby was throwing a hatchet and no one was concerned?!?  Goodness.  Only 359 days until the next RA Camporee, but who's counting?!?  This mom!

When everyone left me Friday this house was so quiet.  Eerily quiet.  The phone rang and broke the silence.  It was Fred.  He didn't say hello.  He just said, "Everyone is okay."  My heart sank and I almost dropped to my knees.  He went on to tell me that they had had a wreck.  From what he can remember a car suddenly stopped in front of him.  He tried to swerve to miss them and then he started spinning.  He must have hit a concrete bunker or a guard rail.  When the car finished spinning he came to rest on the down ramp facing on coming traffic.  My heart skips a beat every time I think about it.  The fact that no one hit them when they were spinning or on the ramp facing on coming traffic is nothing short of a  miracle.  They were in Jackson, which was about an hour away.  My parents were here.  Fred assured me they were all okay and were even going to continue on to Camporee (in my parent's car).  I needed to put my eyes on them, but there was no way I could get to Jackson before they needed to leave.  Aunt Janice to the rescue (for the 1 millionth time)!!  She quickly drove over to check on them and sent me this picture.

I knew they were okay.  She was an angel to check on my crew.  She helped them get my parent's car and then move all the camping gear.  And they were off.  We are still waiting to hear from our car, but who cares.  It's just a car.  My crew is okay and we are still praising His name for His protection.

 Andrew was asleep when it all happened.  Clayton saw it coming and reached out to hold him in his seat.  Be still my heart.  They do love each other.

While the boys were away Dash the dog kept running out of our fence and terrorizing our neighbors.  I got tired of chasing him down.  So, my friend and I went to Pet Smart and bought a dog run.  He really seemed to enjoy it
 until I went in the backyard to get the lawnmower.  Then the silly dog went wild.  (I now refer to him as a silly dog b/c my mother told me it was not appropriate to call him dummy.)  I was in the front yard and that silly dog came running after me.  So happy and feeling accomplished.  I was unsure how this could have happened until I walked around to the back yard.  Somehow that silly dog got off the dog run by getting out of his harness.  Silly dog...for lack of a better word.

Sunday our sweet friends came to church with us.  It was the icing on the cake for me!  
Then my parents, their friends, Fred and Renee and the above pictured people came to our house for lunch.  It was such a blessing!
You have friends in your life that are just friends.  Then there are a few friends that you consider family.  That is the case with this crew.  Monday morning was so lonely.  I kept thinking she would call for us to do some fun activity together.  Alas, their fall break was over and school was back in session.  Boo.
After church Andrew wanted to ride with our friend that's a little older than him.  He was being pretty ugly.  Fred took him aside and told him he was probably hurting W's feelings.  Andrew looked at Fred and said, "But Dad, I'm wittle I don't know these things!"  That "wittle" boy will turn five this Sunday and I can't talk about it.  Hopefully, I'll be able to post a few picture to remember the day.  Seriously, where has the time gone??  I'm so glad I write all this down, but honestly I wish I could carry a video camera to record more.  All of them say and do some of the funniest things.  Sometimes I wish I could just bottle it all up...and then they start fighting/arguing and the moment's over.  Ha!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Fall Break

We headed south for fall break this year and it did not disappoint.  As a matter of fact, I don't think we will go back to the beach as a family in the summer ever again.  The weather was perfect.  The crowds were lower.  It was awesome.  Every.single.minute.
Our plan was to leave by 4:00 am Monday morning.  Andrew woke up screaming about something around 2:45 am and woke up the entire house.  I got him settled back down and realized our alarm clock was going off in 45 minutes.  I was awake.  I quietly spoke in the darkness and asked Fred if he was awake.  I got a yep.  I ran upstairs and told the boys to stay awake and load in the car.  We were leaving our driveway at 3:23 am.  Our boys really are the best travelers.
Around 5:00 am Andrew presented us with this "map" in case we needed help with directions.

We got to the beach house by 1:00 pm...stops and all.  I went to the grocery and we all unloaded.  Within two hours of arriving this was our scene...
 Those are my people in the picture above.  Honestly, does the view get much better?!?
We closed the beach that night and had a frozen pizza.  We watched a movie and called it a night.
Two of our three days consisted of waking up, hitting the beach, eating some lunch, hitting the beach, eating some snacks, playing in the ocean, and then eating supper.  The temperature was in the mid eighties and absolutely beautiful.  The water was clear as deep as you could go.
One day we decided to mix things up a bit and we rented bikes.  There was a bike path you could take to Seaside, Florida.  It was about 6 miles from our house to Seaside.  We walked around in the cute/pricey shops and had some expensive delightful lunch.  (Okay, it wasn't really that delightful.  The boys had $10 hamburgers and were still hungry.  I strategically chose tuna salad and tea b/c I knew they wouldn't eat it.  My lunch was $17!!  It's about the memories, right?!?)

One morning the big boys and Fred went out early to watch the sunrise.  There was some kind of lunar eclipse or something going on.  I'm not getting up early on vacation.  Andrew and I stayed in bed.  They did not get to see the thing with the sun, but I think they enjoyed their time together.  
 I think this is the only family picture we have...
 Our last day on the beach there was a wedding.  We were literally hanging out 20 feet away as they had this wedding.  I felt like an intruder, but like a wreck I couldn't turn my head away.  Once the wedding was over I had the brilliant idea to pose for this picture.  You should have heard my big boys.  They were mortified and my suggestion that we set up this funny picture.  We finally convinced Jack to snap it for us.  Clayton was hiding behind the beach chair from embarrassment.  It still makes me laugh.
While we were on the beach we found a crab and a snail.  We kept them in a pail and watched them all day.  At the end of the day we released them, because, you know, crabs can't make it in the big city...right?!?  Any who...Andrew was devastated that we released in cried for 5 minutes.  Bless his heart.
 My birthday was Friday, the day we headed home.  Jack got up and told me happy birthday.  I said, "Awe, thanks bud".  To which he replied, "Dad told me to."  Feel the love people.  Feel the love.  Ha!
 We drove home that day, picked up Dash at Fred and Renee's and then met some friends at the movie to see Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day (highly recommend this one).  It was a full, fun fall break and I wouldn't trade one minute of it.  God has blessed us beyond measure and this week was a great time to step back and let it just flood over us.  Happy Fall everyone!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Shopping trip with my mom

Every fall my mom and I take a shopping trip some time between our birthdays.  We eat out, shop, stay in a hotel and laugh...a lot...and shop...a lot.  It's a blessing and an honor to have a mom that is my friend.  Since I love getting a deal she follows me around as I shop at any and every consignment and thrift store I can find.  It is really a blast!
Here's our haul this year:

5 pairs of pants
9 shirts
1 skirt
3 dresses
5 cardigans
3 scarves
2 pairs of boots
1 pairs of flats
2 pairs of heels

Total cost: $250
If you are a budgeter like us you will know this is an extremely good deal.  It averages out to around $8 per item.  Pretty good if I do say so myself.
This year we shopped at:
Clothes Mentor
Fashion Exchange
Salvation Army (on Kirby Whitten and Austin Peay Highway)
Junior League's Repeat Boutique
Celery (did not purchase here)
Sugar Plum (did not purchase here)
Payless (for one pair of shoes)

Plus, we got cupcakes at Cocoa Van and cookies at Whimsy Cookie.  Yummers!!

We got finished a little early Saturday so mom and I decided to have a little fashion show.  Good times.  So here goes the thrift store finds:

 Nine West dress, Banana Republic sweater and Payless heels
I'm Jennifer and I'll be reporting the news to you tonight for Channel 5.  Just kidding, but seriously!
 Anne Klein dress, BCBG sweater, same shoes as above
(Any of my Bama fan friends want to borrow this dress?!?)
 GAP dress. Other stuff came out of my closet.  As it gets cooler I'll add some colored tights.
 Yes, those are embroidered owls on those pants.  I'm pretty sure these pants are 40 years old.  I don't care. I love them.  The brand is David Brooks (?) and the shoes are Bandolino. The rest of it came from my closet.  
 J. Jill pants, Banana Republic shirt and sweater.  Same shoes as above.  
 Same shoes and pants as above.  Shirt from my closet.  The scarf is new.  
 We tried to get the back of this shirt because it has some button details.  Really cute.  The scarf is from Fred's grandmother.  The jeans are from Target.  The boots are new (to me) as well.  
 The is my Punky Brewster look.  Remember her?!?  Same boots and jeans as above.  The top is a Pika top. 
Same jeans.  Boots are from my closet.  The shirt is J. Crew and the sweater is Peppermint (?).
 The shirt is from Kohl's and I'm not sure of the pants brand.  Same shoes as above.  The scarf is new as well.  
 J. Jill sweater.  Chico's shirt. New scarf.  Pants and shoes are pictured above.
 Blue shirt from Banana Republic
 Plaid shirt from Express.  The rest of it is from my closet.  
 Pants from Anne Klein.  Shirt and shoes are of no particular brand, but they are new to me.)
 *Disclosure...this sweater was purchased at the Hope Presbyterian Market.  It is not included in my total listed above.  It's just new.
This skirt is from J. Crew.  The picture makes it look red, but it's more of an orange tweed.  I liked it at the store, but don't have a vision for it yet in my wardrobe.  We'll see how it turns out.  My total investment is around $1, so if it doesn't work there's really no harm.
I would say 40% of these clothes had tags on them.  As in brand new.  I also got a few things for Fred and the boys.  I got two bike jerseys for Fred.  They are typically $30-40 per jersey.  I think I paid $5 for both of them.
Mom said she would rather spend a weekend with me shopping than go to Hawaii.  I told her I felt certain we could shop in Hawaii.  Thanks to Fred for being the best dad and husband EVER for allowing this to happen every year.  He's a rock star.