Sunday, May 31, 2015

First week out of school...Yahoo!

Around here we just love routine, no plan, relaxed, no running around in the morning...well, at least this first week of summer.  It's really nice.  We soak it up.  Andrew still wakes up every morning and asks, "What are we going to do today?"  You think he might be the youngest of three and on the go his entire life?!?  Bless his heart.  He's just used to going, going, going...
Speaking of going, we did not go on Saturday.  For the first time in 31 consecutive Saturdays we had a Saturday at home.  It was epic.  I have no pictures.  None.  We went to Target.  Fred worked in the yard.  I cooked breakfast, lunch and dinner.  I went to the grocery store.  I can't tell you how refreshing it was.  We're going to have to do it again soon. 

We celebrated Senior Adult Sunday at our church several weeks ago.  Jack's Sunday School class passed out book marks to all the senior adults.  One of his teachers, Mrs. Faye, (who is not quite a senior adult) stressed to them to only pass them out to senior adults.  They talked about what qualified a senior adult.  Well...sweet Jack was standing at a door passing these out when he saw his teacher's husband, Clark.  Clark said Jack got a coy smile on his face, walked over to him and handed him a bookmark saying, "Your wife told me to give this to you" and then walked off.  He is a mess. Once again, I'll tell you I will be Jack's roommate in college. 

Memorial day was lots of fun with a really low key day.  I made this chocolate cake and everyone else brought delicious food for quite the spread.  (Have you tried it yet?  Seriously, it's so good.  My father in law even liked it...and that's speaks volumes!!)  Then we basically sat around the pool and visited while the kids swam in ice cold water.  I did not swim.  I don't like cold water.
 These two peas in a pod sat in these hammocks and took identical naps.  Father/Son bonding time at its finest.  My Fred might have been tired because instead of riding in the car with the rest of us, like a normal person, he decided to ride his bike to Liz's house.  Other than one fall off his bike on a slippery piece of road in Germantown he said it was a good ride.  The boy loves a bike ride.  Yes, he does. 
   Jack spent the night with a friend last night so we all were pretty lazy Tuesday morning (except Fred.  He still has to go to work in the summer.  Can you believe it?!?).  I made breakfast cookies and this fella ate four.  I think he liked them. 
The rest of the week was just playing at friends' houses, spending time together, catching up on  appointments (because when you are 36 going to the dermatologist and having moles checked is considered a party!) and being lazy in general.  I spent Friday and Saturday night with a few friends at my brother's house on the lake.  We watched movies, ate, sat outside on the screened in porch...and repeat.  It was a refreshing time after such a crazy month.
Clayton leaves this coming up this week for is 6th grade trip with Aunt Janice.  Speaking of Aunt Janice...Andrew has asked three times if I think it would be a good idea for Aunt Janice to make him a treasure chest like he had at preschool.  That way when he takes a good nap he could get a treasure.  Please note that he wanted Janice to make this treasure chest.  He knew if I did it it would be lame. 
Good call, Andrew!
Jack has basketball camp at the University of Memphis.  Andrew will get to play with Zachary at Mawmaw's.  It's going to be great!  Yeah for summer!

Friday, May 22, 2015

Here we go

We are on the final stretch of school!  Yahoo! Jack had a field day parade.  I had no idea what this was, but I quickly figured out that it was exactly what the title indicated...a field day parade.  The students paraded out of the building with their field day team (or class).  After the parade they presented awards to each class.  Jack's class was the 2nd class in overall points in the 2nd grade.  They played music and everything.  It was a good time.

Later that night Jack's school hosted a 5K.  We all love a 5K.  Jack and Fred ran together.  Andrew and I walked together.  Clayton ran with his friends.  Honestly, I think the boys just ran for the Chick Fil A sandwich at the end of the race.  Andrew and I walked most of the way, except when he was on my back for a little while.  Someone mentioned toward the end of the race that the sandwiches were running out.  Andrew put a little pep in his step.  We got a sandwich, so all was well.
Right after the 5K Jack went to church for a Sunday School party.  The rest of us headed to Hobby Lobby to pick up supplies for VBS.  Yes, it is that time of year.

Saturday morning Fred headed out at 5 am to run the Memphis in May Triathlon.  Fred and his friend, Dwight, are all done.

The boys and I cleaned up around the house and then headed to the soccer the rain.  I think those kiddos had the best time playing in the rain.  They loved it!
When we got home from the soccer fields our cousins came over to spend the night with us.  My crew had the assignment of making the biggest and best fort ever.  I think they delivered.
We went to a movie, played, ate and just had a good time while they were here.  Oh, and everyone went to bed early. Yes, we did. 

Sunday we celebrated 60 years of ministry at Ellendale.  It was a big party.  How do I know this?  I made cookies...yummers.  Cookies = Party!
Sunday night I had a meeting to plan children's camp.  We didn't have church that night so we all enjoyed a quiet evening at home...except...that right before I left we had a side trip to the clinic. 
This sweet boy has strep and an ear infection.  Bless his heart. 

Monday morning Renee came over to stay with Jack so Fred and I could go to Clayton's awards program.  We were so glad we went.  He got highest GPA in Science and Language Arts.  He was also one of nine in his grade that got all A's for the year.  And he received the Choir Award.  We are so proud of the way he is using the talents and abilities God has given him.  It is a privilege to watch and call him our son.
Tuesday night Jack had his final game of the season.  It was his final game because they lost.  He was sad.  I don't have a picture of that, but here he is before the game. 
I should also tell you that he stayed home from school Monday and Tuesday with strep as mentioned above.  We have a strict policy around here that if you don't go to school you don't get to participate in extracurricular activities at night.  As you can see we broke the policy for this night for this guy.  He was fever free for most of Tuesday afternoon and during the game.  Thank goodness.  He would have been heartbroken to miss this game.
Wednesday Andrew and I enjoyed a quiet day at home.  Actually he was still not dressed when he ate lunch.  You know that's a good day when you are still casual at lunch. 
He did finally get ready for us to go to Jack's honors program at school.  Jack received a Certificate of Completion, the Citizenship Award, 1st Place in AR for his classroom, recognition of participation in Library Crew and recognition of participation in Chorus.  We are so proud of him and the young man that he is becoming!  God is doing amazing things in his life as well. 
 Both of our boys started new schools this year.  It was a big year to say the least.  They have both been champs.  I could not have asked for an easier transition.  When I dropped them both off in August I did not know a single teacher in either of the schools.  I think they both knew one person in their respective schools.  There were a lot of tears shed by this mom as I felt like I was throwing them in the lions den.  All I can say is that God is faithful.  He is faithful.  We give Him the glory for bringing us (all) through a path that we clearly felt He was leading us down. 
Thursday night Clayton had his Honor Choir Banquet.  A good time was had by all, but unfortunately I have not pictures.  Whoops.  I guess I'm just tired. 

To celebrate the last day of school we always get donuts.  This year we couldn't decide if we wanted to try Howard's Donuts or Gibson's Donuts.  So, I had the bright idea to have the Tour de Donuts.  Don't judge.  It's the last day of school...a celebration.  We first stopped at Howard's for one donut.  they ate this on the way to Gibson's.

Then we went to Gibson's and everybody got one donut.  (That's a total of two.  I know.  It's not healthy.  We'll eat salad later today.)
The big boys liked Howard's better.  Fred and I liked Gibson's better.  Andrew didn't really have an opinion.  He was too busy eating donuts.  So...the first annual Tour de Donuts is a draw.  We'll have to try again next year I guess. 

Obligatory end of the year photos...

 As a final celebration for the end of school we met up with our sweet friends that we met in Paris.  They were in Paris at Springhill when we got there and left about 3 years before we did.  Our children are more like siblings.  They moved to Texas and then ended up in Covington, TN...about 30-40 minutes from us.  We met at the Arcade Restaurant downtown and then we walked around the Bass Pro Shop.  It really was the perfect celebration to end the year.  Our paths crossed during a pivotal time for both of us:  Our children were newborns, we were early in our marriage, we were in a city with no family and we were serving at a church together.  The bond that we share goes deep.  We count it a blessing to call them friends/family.   
Tomorrow we will be home on a Saturday.  Home on a Saturday!  This is epic.  This is monumental.  This is noteworthy.  Why?  Tomorrow marks the first Saturday that we have been home all day on a Saturday in 31 consecutive weeks.  31 weeks!  We have nothing on the calendar.  I may stay in my pajamas all day.  It will be awesome.  More to come on that later...Just kidding...there will be nothing to report because I will do nothing.  Yahoo!
We did it!  We made it!  Schools out for summer!!  Hip Hip Hooray! 

Friday, May 15, 2015

Almost there!

 Saturday I had a Ladies Lunch at church.  While I was gone this sweet crew and their sweet dad cleaned our entire house from top to bottom.  Is that not the sweetest thing ever?!? 
I'm still not feeling my best so after the Ladies Lunch I laid on the couch (for 2 1/2 hours, but who's counting?!?) and recovered.  Once I felt like walking again I decided I could muster the energy to make chocolate cake.  Cake makes everything better, right.  (You can get the recipe here.)   We will enjoy this little treat while watching the Grizzlies game together.  Because we are all at night!!  Thank you Lord for rain that cancels EVERY outdoor activity, thus opening up a very lazy/productive day!! 
Before the Grizzlies game came on we squeezed in a little OEC.  OEC = my favorite restaurant in Bartlett. 
 The boys gave me a journaling Bible for Mother's Day.  I've been wanting one for quite some time.  I want to use it to take notes when Fred preaches.  Then someday when we are long gone our children or maybe their children will have my Bible with all of Fred's sermons in it. I was telling the boys this and without skipping a beat Jack said, "Who gets it?  Your favorite??"  Only a middle child would think of this.  Perhaps I should get three and alternate them.  Hmmm...

Also, Sunday night I had a dream/nightmare.  I dreamed that we had two more children (GASP!), a girl and a boy.  They were about five in the dream (perhaps they were twins.  I really don't know.  Dreams are weird like that.) my dream I did not know their names.  They were 5, but we were so busy we never learned their names.  I tried unsuccessfully my entire dream to learn their name without just coming out and asking them.  It is quite comical when I think about it.  Think we might be a little busy?!?

The boys had Bible drill recognition.  The lady that teaches it had knee surgery.  Thus the reason she's in a wheelchair.  The boys are so funny.  Clayton tried to hide his smile and Jack could not contain himself.  He just grinned from ear to ear...when they called his name...when they called Clayton's name...just grinned.  Bless my soul it was precious.  
 We have a banquet tonight at the University of Memphis.  Three of the people sitting at my table are UT fans.  One of them asked me about the dress code for the event.  This was my suggestion to him.  I think this screams business casual, don't you?!?
While I was at my banquet Jack had a concert at school.  He's been working all semester on this.  We had to tag team it.  My family even came up from Jackson. Everyone loved the concert! 
Tuesday (can you believe it's just Tuesday of our week?!?) Jack had field day.  Field day was made for Jack or Jack was made for field day.  Fred was there during the football toss.  I'm not one to blindly brag on our children, but he threw the football further than any other third grader.  It was great for him to have a victory.  There were parents there "recruiting" him for tackle football.  Is that not hilarious?  When I came up later people were asking me if that was my child that threw that football.  Why yes, yes it was. 
Then came tug of war.  I love tug of war.  I'm not normally competitive. I stood at the finish line and cheered for the last team to come in on the relay.  Yes, I did.  I was that girl in last.  I clapped over the sack races.  But tug of war?  I scream like a mad woman.  (I almost brought his cleats for crying out loud.) Jack was at the back.  Fred and I offered tips over breakfast on how he could help his class dominate tug of war and dominate they did.  They pulled against every 3rd grade class...twice...and won every.single.time.  He was in it to win it.  No messing around.  He was all business.  He did not inherit Fred's thighs for nothing.  He is a beast. 

 (On a side note, I was late for field day because I was at the doctor having my blood checked.  I am so tired all the time.  I can't imagine why?!?)
Later that night we all headed to hear Clayton's choir sing.  He participated in Male Choir...
6th Grade Choir...
And then honor choir...
His program was so good.  I can't believe how far they've come in a year.  He loves to sing and I love to see him do something he it works out great for everyone involved.  As soon as they sang their last song I literally ran out the back door, ran through to parking lot and sped to the ball fields.  Literally.  I promised the man in the middle I would come see him play.  Fortunately, Mimi, Tee, Mun and Janice came to see the concert.  Tee and Jack slipped out early to go to his game.  He had Tee cheering him on until I got there.  They only play three innings and I got to see him in the middle of the second.  He was grinning from ear to ear.  And he hit a grand slam for me at his last at bat. This kid loves a sport. 
 Wednesday morning Andrew and I had a pretty low key morning/30 minutes and we headed to an eye appointment.  He failed his kindergarten vision screening so our pediatrician referred him to an pediatric ophthalmologist.  I figured it was just a fluke.  Nope.  He read the chart perfectly with his right eye, but then he could not even see the first image with his left eye. What?!?  Seriously, it was a 10 x 13 black and white picture of an airplane and he could not see it.  Whoops.  Apparently he's been like this his entire life. 
 He had to wear these cool shades since they dilated his eyes. 
 Then we went and picked out glasses.  Have you ever seen anything cuter than that?!?  We ordered two pairs because I have no lofty ambitions of us keeping one pair alive in this house.  Since I now have the added responsibility of keeping up with his glasses I'm thinking I need to get rid of Dash.  I can't handle all of this responsibility.  I kid.  Well...sort of. 
Andrew will wear these for six weeks and then we'll go back for a recheck.  If his vision does not improve he will have to wear a patch.  I was trying to sell the patch thing and told him we would just call him a pirate.  He gave me a slight eye roll and said, "Seriously, no."  I guess we won't. 
Wednesday I picked up Jack from school and I knew he wasn't feeling well as soon as I saw him.  His teacher sent an email earlier in the day that he went to the nurse, but had no fever.  By the time I got him home he had 102.2 and wasn't feeling well at all.  I rearranged plans.  Jack missed his choir program.  I missed a meeting...that my sweet friend/partner in crime did.  And we sat...
 He appears to be better this morning.  We are hoping he rallies.  We have a 5K on Friday and a baseball game on Saturday. 
Thursday morning this sweet one went to his last day of Preschool. How did we get here?!? I was making a big deal about it being his last day and he said, "It's okay mom.  I'll just sit around this summer until I start kindergarten in August."  Yes, because we typically just "sit around". 
 Thursday night we had two soccer games and a kickball game.  After the first game the big boys and I left for Clayton's kickball game. We all eventually ended up at the kickball field.  Once all of this was over we headed to get ice cream because we owed the boys from earlier in the week. 
Jack hopped up this morning ready to go to school.  He has a field day parade (not really sure what this is, but I'll be there by 1) and then a 5K tonight and a Sunday School party at church. 
Saturday morning Fred is running in the Memphis in May Triathlon.  Andrew has soccer.  Jack has baseball.  Clayton has kickball.  Liz's kids will be here.  I get to make cookies for homecoming at church on Sunday (60!) Then next week we have a banquet, honors programs, a picnic and several other things...BUT...I can see the end in sight.  It's getting closer and closer.  What a week! What a year!

Friday, May 8, 2015

What a week...

Monday morning started off as business as usual.  Fred and I were up early and headed to the gym.  Boot camp starts at 5:15 am so I don't use the term "up early" loosely.  I did not feel my best when I left, but honestly who feels "good" when your alarm clock goes off at 4:45 am?!?  I met my friend Jamie, but by the time I got home I just wasn't feeling right. 
I pushed through getting kiddos lunches and off to school.  Then I turned around and saw this...
Something was wrong with Dash the Dog.  He never sleeps like this in the morning.  I opened the back door and he didn't get up.  I even put people food on the ground and he didn't open his eyes.  I was convinced he was dying.  Since I wasn't feeling well we laid on the couch for the better part of the morning and after texting a few dog lovers I decided to rally and take the dog to the vet.  There's an employee at our vet's office that gets very annoyed when your dog barks.  (Imagine that?  A dog barking...AT THE VET!!)  After several stink eyes and one passive aggressive comment I headed outside to wait with Dash.  Have I mentioned I was running a fever at this point?  Anyway...we saw the vet.  Long story short, and many laughs later at this dog's behavior at the vet, we discovered that the dog has a bacterial infection.  The vet wondered if he had eaten any foreign objects lately.  Ha!  If by foreign objects you mean underwear, shoes, comforters, Legos, Lincoln Logs, a thermometer, etc, etc, then yes, yes he has.  He also asked if he had had any stagnant water.  Why yes, yes he has.  One shot and 12 pills later (12 pills given over 6 days) and Dash is a new dog. 
Clayton got his yearbook this week.  Is this my child?!?  I almost don't recognize him. 
Here he is about a  month ago in case you forgot...
Is that the same kid?!? 
When you are the third child and you've been left at home (YIKES!) your mom will send text messages to make sure you are okay.  Then her sweet husband sends pictures like this to make her feel better. 
Is that not the sweetest thing ever?
I walked in to Fred's office to see this set up...
As fans of the television show, The Office, I named this Megadesk.  Fred claims that he is much more productive and his back doesn't hurt as much.  Whatever works for him, I guess.  In the meantime I may be stopping by his office more when I need to smile. 
Andrew filled this out for me for Mother's Day.  Other than my weight and height he is pretty accurate.
I will remind him of #6 when he has children and they ask him the same question 6,374 times.
Fred checked the big boys out of school early to go see a movie.  I think once they got over the shock of Fred being there they were really excited!  I can't wait to hear about it. 
I mentioned at the beginning that I've been sick.  Yuck.  I've been running a low grade fever all week.  I've been to the doctor to be tested for strep and it was negative.  The next step is blood work to test for mono and other things.  Join me in praying that this goes away quickly.  Ain't nobody in this house got time for mono.   

Monday, May 4, 2015

This week

Several weeks ago my father-in-law called to tell us he had been given four tickets to a Grizzlies play off game.  It was on a Wednesday night (church and school), but we decided to let the boys go.  Sure, they will enjoy a Grizzlies game just as much as me and Fred.  Sure they will.  Did I mention they were 14 rows from the floor?  Have I told you that I've NEVER been that close to the floor.  I'm not bitter though.  No, I'm not.  Yes, I am.  Are you kidding me?!?  At least the Grizzlies won.  Go Grizz!

All of our boys have gotten do take a special trip over the last week.  Clayton went to Pigeon Forge with his Honor Choir at school.  They competed and did great!  Actually, they won first place.  We are so proud of him.  This is the first time for him to be on a trip without one of us.  He made it fine...except that he forgot to pack underwear.  How did we discover this?  Good question.  When he came home Sunday night (after leaving early Thursday morning) he was telling us non stop about his trip.  Then he paused and said, "Well, I guess I should go change my underwear.  I forgot to pack any and I've had this on since Wednesday night when I took my shower."  Fred and I nearly fell out.  I have no pictures from this event, because...well...he's in middle school.  We didn't go.  And those are just the breaks.  Boo.  I can picture him in my mind though. 

Andrew got to go with me on a trip with our senior adults to the Creation Museum.  We stopped along the way at the Corvette Museum.  Andrew was indignant at the end of the tour when we did not receive our Corvette.  His words were, "You SAID we were getting one!"  No, I believe my words were that we were going on a tour.  Yep, that's what I said.  There are many advantages to traveling with senior adults.  One of those advantages is always eating good food. They do not play.  Andrew thoroughly enjoyed this aspect.  In fact, his shorts on Sunday were a little tight as a testament to this fact.  Another advantage is that you have like 37 grandma's and grandpa's on the trip.  You want a sucker at 8:00 am?  Sure.  Candy bar at 9:30 pm?  Absolutely.  Cookies at 9:30 pm?  Why not?  He was absolutely precious. 
Here's Andrew enjoying a candy bar at 9:30 am. 

Our sweet Mr. Tommy had a helper in his ear.  I thought this was too sweet. 

On the way home we stopped at the Louisville Slugger Museum.  I'd highly recommend this if you like baseball.  I don't really like baseball, but it was still interesting. 
Our last stop was dinner at the Log Cabin Restaurant at Exit 143.  (Sorry Katie, I lobbied for McDonalds, but to no avail.) The Log Cabin Restaurant is some good eats.  Truthfully, Tommy stops here on every trip because he likes their chicken livers.  Gross.  When we got there Andrew got off the bus with Tommy's wife, Karen, to let the restaurant know we had arrived.  I was the last person in the restaurant, but when I got to the door I saw Andrew holding the door for everyone.  It was just precious.  It almost brought me to tears. 
Andrew and I decided to split a dinner and dessert.  He wanted cheese pie.  Chess pie?  No cheese pie.  After several confusing minutes I realized he was wanting cheesecake.  We put our order in and waited for our food.  The waitress brought our cheesecake first.  Andrew must have been hungry because while I wasn't looking he ate the entire piece of cheesecake.  Well not the entire thing.  He pushed 1/16th of it to me and said, "Here you go Mom.  I saved you some." So sweet.  Karen saw this entire thing play out and she almost fell off her chair she was laughing so hard.  It was really quite comical. 
Andrew and I got back on Wednesday.  Thursday was just a normal day...whatever that is.  Friday morning Jack and I headed for Jackson.  Once we got to Jackson Jack stayed with Mun and Janice while I loaded up my mother for us to head to Cleveland, Tennessee.  I had to go to a meeting for our summer mission trip.  I don't have any pictures of this either.  We did squeeze in a visit with my brother in Murfreesboro and lunch with my Aunt in Franklin.  So, winning all the way around. 
Jack stayed in Jackson waiting for my dad to get off work.  While he was waiting he played basketball at Mun and Janice's house and then ate lunch.  Janice asked Jack if he wanted to wash his hands and he said, "No, thanks." That kid is too funny. Once my dad got off work they headed to St. Louis for two Cardinals games.  Jack had a blast.  My dad and Jack are birds of a feather.  My dad speaks Jack's love and sports.  My dad did such a good job sending pictures. 

Sweet Fred kept every afloat while we were involved with all our activities.  He kept the home fire burning.  Bless him.  I did send him this in case he needed something to occupy his time while we were all coming and going: 
Yes, Dash the Dog at a pet show.  No, he did not take him.  Dash would win no contest, unless the contest included losing your mind and barking your head off.  If that's the case then send him a medal.  He wins this every day.