Sunday, April 26, 2015

Going on

Andrew and I went to a yard sale last Friday.  If you know him you know that this pile of stuffed animals (while totally GROSS to me) is a treasure trove.  He could no sooner pick a favorite star in the heavens.  However, after several minutes of decision we left with only one. 

I do not know what I was thinking, but I scheduled all three boy for school physicals on the same day.  Crazy, right?  Could those rooms be any smaller?!?  Two boys had to have shots...the oldest and youngest.  The youngest did fine.  He resisted a little, but ultimately he just took all three.  The oldest was caught off guard b/c he thought he only needed on shot, when in fact, he was getting three.  Oh dear.  I'm not going in to detail, but there was MUCH, much resistance.  There were tears.  Ultimately there were shots given.  And then there was a punching match.  Bet you didn't see that one coming!  You see, child one was losing his mind and this was very entertaining to child two.  Child two was laughing so child one punched him and then child two punched him back.  Luckily the room was small and the situation was easy to contain.  And, lucky for my boys, I did not swing back.  This picture was snapped before all the drama took place.  Good memories, right?

 Later that evening the big boys went to a school play that we thought might not be appropriate for Andrew.  So, Andrew and I hung out together.  We played mini golf...a coupon that he earned at the doctor for being a good patient.  He actually got a hole in one on the hole below.
 Then we had yogurt and then we rented a movie.  He told me we got to do three things because he got three shots.  Works for me!
 This big guy was fired up when they suited him up with catchers gear.  This mom was ready to take him home.  It was 8:45 on a school night.  That's late enough.  But really...could you tell this guy no?!?  Me neither. 
Thursday morning Andrew and I loaded up and headed to Jackson for my friend's wedding.  We went up early to get ready for her bridesmaid lunch.  I had to get shopping and cooking done while my mom decorated.
Friday morning this young man headed out for his choir competition.  He left at 5:30 am, without any parents, for his first overnight school trip.  He's been working hard all year with his choir.  They got to go to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee and participate in a competition as well as other very fun activities. 
While Clayton was loading up I was out on a run.  I ran to my Alma Mater's campus, Union University.  It has changed so much since I left several years ago.  As I got on the campus memories just came flooding over me. 
Later that afternoon we had lunch at my parent's house for my friend's bridesmaid luncheon.  I think this is a southern thing, but it really should catch on.  It's a blast.  The bride gave us all a gift bag with an owl, a bracelet and a signed copy of Melanie Shankle's book, Nobody's Cuter Than You.  Too sweet.   

Here we are getting ready for the wedding.  I'm here with my two roommates from college.  Remember earlier when I ran on Union's campus and had lots of memories?  Yeah, most of those memories involved these two.  I can't believe it's been almost 20 years since we started that journey together.  Goodness.  Surely we are not that old?!?

Then Fred arrived for the wedding.  Isn't he the cutest?!? 
Here I am with the bride.  She was beautiful! 
This was us the night before at the bachelorette party.  Lindsey planned it and it didn't start until 9:00...30 minutes past my bedtime.  We sipped coffee, had dessert and opened presents.  Wild and crazy, right?  I know.  I had caffeine after 1:00 pm AND I had 2 cups of coffee in one day.  You just can't keep up with me I'm so wild!
Sorry for the mix up in pictures.  I'm too tired to rearrange them.  Here's the sweet couple leaving after the party. 

Here's me and Melody after the wedding pretending we are asleep.  We weren't really asleep, but we were tired.  Yes, we were.  I'm still recovering today.  Yes, I'm old.

During the reception Becca had a photo booth.  Fred and I had a little fun in the photo booth.  Good times.  Congrats to the happy couple!  We sure did love celebrating with you!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

This week

Andrew and I were making his lunch this week.  He said he wanted a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, yogurt and applesauce.  The he said, "If we don't have applesauce I'll just take a Milky Way."  Yes, that's an equal trade.  I'm so glad I've had an influence on my children and healthy eating. 

The Gideon's were passing out Bibles at Clayton's school this week.  I rolled down the window to thank them and they handed me two.  I didn't really want to take them because we have so many Bibles around here.  I wanted someone else to take it that really needed it.  I told Clayton this and he said, "Mom, I'll take them.  I have a friend at school that's an atheist.  I'm going to try to put it in his backpack."  I held it together and told him that was a great idea and I'd be praying for him.  I didn't cry in front of him.  If I've learned anything from years of living with boys it's this...Boys do not like it when girls cry.  So I try really hard not to create an uncomfortable for the majority gender in this house.  As I pulled off I couldn't help the tears streaming down my face and I couldn't help but praise the Lord for all He's doing in Clayton's life.  The Lord and I had a long talk that morning. 

Jack mentioned, in passing, that he ear was hurting.  We were walking out the door for school.  I told him to take his temperature.  Sure enough he had fever.  He was thrilled, fist pump and all.  I took him to the clinic.  Diagnosis...double ear infection.  His ear hurt a little?  That boy.  I think his arm could be severed and he might say ouch...maybe, but I doubt it. 

I help a 93 year old lady that lives in a senior community.  She is spunky and full of life.  Andrew and I get to go to her house every other week to help her.  According to her she needs a little help because "she just can't get behind her commode anymore". (Her words not mine)  Yeah...when you're 93 you have a pass on baseboards, right?  I mean, can I get an amen??  Wednesday was my last day with her because she is moving into an assisted living facility.  I was telling the boys about it.  Clayton said, "When I get old my kids are going to come live with me so I don't have to move."  I told him that would be like us going to live with Mawmaw and Pawpaw and/or Mimi and Tee.  His reply..."Awesome! Twinkies and Cokes everyday.  How could life get better?!?"  I think he's ready to move in tomorrow.

My sister in law sent me this picture this week.  It could not be more true for me. That is why I don't keep Goldfish in the house.  Goodness those things are yummy!

 My boys have to make their beds up on school mornings.  Apparently this is extremely taxing because when I went to check on Jack last night he was sleeping under a light blanket and wearing a robe.  When I asked him what in the world he was doing he told me he didn't want to make his bed in the morning.  Now, that's commitment. 

I got pictures from my friend's fancy wedding shower.  We have been together for a long time...some of us have been together as long as the church nursery.  I consider these girls treasures.  My childhood just wouldn't have been the same without them. xoxo

 Some of us keep it classy everywhere we go...those cupcakes did not play.  They were tasty.  That Melody can make a strawberry cupcake.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

New Adventures

A few things have been going on in my life and the life of our family, especially as it relates to my career.  I've waited to share what God is doing in this area until I thought it was time.  Today, on my Mun's birthday, it seems like a good day.  As you know, I've been on an extended maternity leave since Clayton was born.  This fall Clayton entered the 6th grade, Jack started 3rd grade, and Andrew started preschool.  I remember when Andrew was born, thinking in to the future and wondering what life would look like.  I wasn't afraid, just curious. My teaching license is current, but for several reasons I just did not feel God calling me back to the classroom.  I talked to Fred about this in the fall and he encouraged me to pray about it and see where God would lead. 
I began praying in August and by November I had a good idea of a direction to go.  I love to clean and organize.  So, I had business cards made and started a small business called Household Helper.  I go in to peoples' homes and help them for a season. God has brought so many people in my path and I have loved it.  I wake up on my Household Helper days and just look forward to the people I'm going to work with on those days.  Doing this allows me to drop the boys at school and be back for pick up.  It affords me the opportunity to continue to volunteer at Jack's school, at an afterschool Bible club and at church.  I am amazed each day at how God has proven faithful.
The second part of what I felt like I was supposed to do was create a blog.  I started the process for this in February.  To say that I am technologically challenged would be an understatement.  I cannot tell you how many tears have been shed over this new venture.  (I know I have a blog, but this is different. I'm creating it from scratch.)  This new blog is a lifestyle blog. (That's what "bloggers" call it.  Who knew?!?)  It is in very early in I have 7 or 8 posts. 
What does this mean for you?  Well...two things.  First, I'm still going to keep Good Times with the Shacks.  I will share more personal, family things on here that I don't want to advertise. (Obviously, when it's on the internet anyone can access it. But still...) If you read it, nothing will change.  I started this blog in 2008 when some of our family moved overseas.  It started as a way for all of us to stay connected.  Today, it is a treasure for me to look back through.  When the boys were born, the overwhelming piece of advice that we received was to write everything down.  Boy, am I glad I did.  I treasure these priceless memories.  Nothing will change with Good Times with the Shacks.  I'm so delighted you share in these memories with me.  The second thing I would ask of you is to go over to and check it out.  I'd love for you to become one of my first followers.  I'd love to hear your feedback.  If something needs to be changed or added please email me at  I'm going to make the new blog public in a week. 

So many people have encouraged me during this time:
Annie told me I could do it and have an audience.  She has encouraged me along the way.  I've sent her countless messages.  I could/would not have done this without her. 
Melanie prayed with me as we both navigated a new season of our lives.  We have been in this, Melanie and the Lord.   
Stacy, you saw the new blog before anyone else.  I was so nervous to tell anyone about it.  You, as always, sent me a message with nothing but encouragement.  I treasure our friendship and miss you on a daily basis. 
Fred, my best friend, you sat by me when I was ready to throw the computer.  You are the best.  I love you more than all the words in the Bible...Greek, Hebrew and English. 
My mom and Aunt Janice listened to me as I dreamed.  It seemed like this would never come together, but it finally did.  Thanks for believing in me and loving me. 
Elizabeth took my pictures.  She's the best photographer I know. 
There are a handful of other people that have encouraged me and checked out the blog.  You know who you are and I love you lots. 
And finally, my Mun...Today is her birthday.  She reads my blog every week and never fails to tell me how much she enjoys it.  I know she prays for me and my family every day.  She has never given up.  She always sees the positive. She teaches me, by the way she lives and the things she says, how to love Jesus with "all my heart, all my soul and all my strength". She loves unconditionally.  I will be forever grateful for the heritage of faith she passed on to all of us.  Her impact will be felt for generations to come.  Happy Birthday, Mun. 
Okay, now that the tears are dried in my eyes, I can remind you...go over to and check it out.  I appreciate your support! 


Sunday, April 12, 2015

Going on around here

 Dash the dog ran with Fred this week.  Clearly, it was hot outside and clearly Fred runs faster than me.  This dog laid on the floor for a long time.  If you just wear him out he tolerable.
 Andrew got some kind of letter from his preschool teacher.  It was supposed to tell me if he's ready for kindergarten.  The letter told us that he is, but several things on it made me laugh.  The comments on this page made me smile:
 And then #6 made me laugh out loud!  I'm actually still laughing about it.
 The University of Memphis Football team hosted Friday Night Stripes.  They played against each other.  The kids got to run through the tunnel and on to the field.  It was a fun Friday family night after a pretty rough week at school.  I'm not going in to it on a public forum, but I can sum it up in five words: I am over state testing!!
 Is that not beautiful?!?
 I found a jersey at a thrift store and Andrew wears it to all of the games.  The number on it is 22.  It held no significance to him until we met #22 on the team.  We found him as soon as we walked on the field.  It made Andrew's night! 
 This fella needed a fun night and boy did it deliver!  He loved every minute of it!  His smile makes me smile. 
Saturday morning was crazy.  We have three children that needed to be in three different cities and only two parents.  We were outnumbered.  I took C to Bible Drill in Collierville.  Fred took Andrew and Jack to soccer.  Then, the reinforcements came in (i.e. my in laws) and took Jack to Cordova for baseball. 
Below is a picture of Clayton and his buddies at Bible Drill.  They did great!
Once we picked all the boys up we headed to Jackson for me to attend a bridal shower of a childhood friend, for Fred to shop at a suit store (the only one that has his size on the rack!!) and for the boys to hang out with Mimi and Tee.  I'm not pictured with the bride.  Those pictures are on someone else's phone.  I'll get them soon.  But for today this is all I have.  I just have to say, I love these girls.  We've been together for a long time.  They get me.  We don't have to catch up.  There's just a familiarness (maybe that's not a word?!?) between us.  I love them as if we are related.  I love them. 
While I was at the shower I got a text from Fred that he headed back to Bartlett b/c he had a wedding to preform...that he forgot...whoops.  Talk about panic.  I'm not going to talk about how quickly he made it from Jackson to Bartlett.  It was too fast for me to think about.  Having said that...he made it...they are married...and all is well.  By the time we got back in bed that night I told Fred I felt like we had packed three days in to one.  Needless to say, just like every other night, we slept well. 

Sunday, April 5, 2015


Saturday was the beginning of ball seasons at our house.  This fella got dressed around 7:00 am and then we found out that his game was canceled.  Disappointed does not begin to describe his emotions. 

This dog is made to run.  The majority of the time he drives me crazy, but when we run he is all mine.  If a dog could smile he would be grinning from ear to ear. 

 This came home from preschool the other day with this sweet picture.  Be still my heart. 
 My big boys had Bible Drill Thursday night.  If you are not Baptist you probably don't know what this is.  Allow me to give you a brief explanation...They memorize 24 Bible verses, 10 Key passages (like where you can find the ten commandments, sermon on the mount, etc.), books of the Bible.  They've been working since January and it's a lot of hard work.  They both did really well.  All our family came down to watch.

Friday we enjoyed a low key day...not really, but whatever...We had Nora's birthday party where two of our boys participated in the first of three egg hunts.   (I had cake.  I didn't want to be rude for cryin' out loud.  She's 2!!  Plus I turned down peanut butter pie for the second time this week.  When you turn down pb pie twice you lose at least 5 pounds.)
Clayton was not there. He was at the Grizzlies game with his buddy, Colin.  The Grizzlies were having a free giveaway.  He and his buddy got a free cape and mask.
Saturday morning we got up to head out for Andrew's soccer games and the Easter Eggstravangaza.  (Hunt #2). 


We had an egg hunt, hot dogs, popcorn, snow cones, jumpers, and face painting. What more could you want?!?
This is my friend and partner in crime when it comes to children's events at church.  We are on a team of awesome people, but Stephanie and I plan VBS together.  We've also had several planning meetings at a local Greek restaurant and at a Hibachi grill.  What?  If we have to meet to plan there might as well be good food there, right?!? 
  When we came home Andrew helped Mimi make her annual bunny cake.  He had a blast.  Note the tiger face painting left over from the egg hunt. 
At some point during the afternoon it worked out perfectly that I had an hour or so by myself.  I worked a puzzle.  It was lovely. 
 I did not get a hot dog at the Egg Hunt.  (Each time I was pregnant I was sick.  Sick.  When you are married to someone in the ministry you eat a lot of hot dogs.  Sometime when I was pregnant with Andrew I vowed not to eat another hot dog.  Ever again.) Needless to say I was hungry after the Egg Hunt.  My dad and I share an affection for Krystal.  I thought this would be the perfect treat after all our hard work.  It did not disappoint.  I did not eat all of this on the tray, but I did my part.  Some of us are givers.  Grin.
 After Krystal and the bunny cake assembly Mimi and Tee hosted our third egg hunt.  They put money in the eggs.  It's a good time.  At one point I thought about joining in on the hunt. 
Later in the day I found this in a drawer in my kitchen.  Andrew wrote his name on a piece of paper, taped it to his candy and then hid it.  You know he's the third boy, right?!?  Bless his heart.
 Sunday morning we woke up and got ready.  I went to cook breakfast and my oven did not work.  It did not heat over 100 degrees.  This will not cook a breakfast casserole.  Bummer.  Fred got ready quickly and took it to church, which left me (and my parents) to dress the boys.  Andrew was not happy with is clothes in this one.  He said, "I look horrible.  My bow tie is choking me.  My shoes hurt.  I need a band aid." Happy Easter everyone.  Ha!
 Here is Andrew with his buddy at church.  Is that not the cutest thing EVER?!? Bow tie and a friend with suspenders, yes please!!
 Each Easter I try to select just the perfect outfits for my family (I kid.  I really do not.  I just try to find things that they will not whine too much about.  I have boys.).  It is however the first time we've pulled out new spring clothes.  For whatever reason it's just kind of a place to begin with spring stuff.  When I was a child it meant that I wore my "white Sunday shoes".  Does anyone else remember this?!?  I had white in the spring and summer and black and brown in the fall and winter.  Easter and Labor day were our changing points.  Maybe this is just a southern thing, but you would NEVER wear white past Labor Day.  Tisk, tisk.  Any who...
I like to get a family picture on Easter.  It's a tradition.  This year it was seemingly impossible.  First photo take...child #2 is making a crazy face. 
 After discussing with him on proper picture taking procedures we try again.  Guess who ruins it this time?!?  Me!  My eyes are closed.  I give up. 
 Here's my sweet boys before we left for the day.  Aren't they precious?!? 
Happy Easter from the Shackelfords!  Because of the resurrection of Jesus, which we celebrate every day not just Easter, we are able to live.  He paid it all.  Oh praise the one who paid my debt and raised this life up from the dead!