Friday, June 26, 2015

A week at!

We came in from our trip Friday night around 5:00 pm.  By 5:37 pm the car was unloaded, everything was put away inside the house and laundry was going.  Three cheers for boys that are good helpers!  What will we do when they leave the house?!? It just do happened that Elizabeth and her family were coming in from vacation as well so we had an impromptu family dinner at our favorite Mexican restaurant.  When we got home I fell asleep around 7:45 pm.  I'm not even kidding. 

Saturday morning a friend came to get Clayton for a little birthday fun.  Jack was sad to be left behind.  He loves to have someone to play with.  His good friend in our neighborhood goes to Utah for the summer and now Clayton was gone.  What's a boy to do?!?  Enter our good friends, Kay and Johnny, from Paris.  They are in town for a softball tournament and asked Jack if he'd like to go.  Actually, they ended up taking both boys.  So, the house is empty except for me and Fred.  I'm so excited I think I'll go to the grocery store while Fred mows the yard.  We lead an exciting life, yes we do. There are no pictures of Jack because he was watching softball.  In fact, he did not get home until 11:00 pm Saturday night.  Andrew however stopped long enough to pose with a ice cream bar. 
Monday morning Andrew got to go to Little Kid Camp at Ellendale.  He woke up so excited!  He got to create a craft, make a snack, eat pizza and go swimming.  Our little camper had a blast!

While Andrew was at Little Kids Camp the big boys and I went to Renee's house.  We took Dash so he wouldn't be home all day in his kennel.  Last week we left him at Fred and Renee's while we were in Ohio.  I think he was a little nervous about me leaving to go do a little work.  If I could put words in his mouth they would sound like this...
Please don't leave me.  It's hot outside.  I'll never run away again. I'll never eat anything other than dog food.  I'll be good.  I promise. 
 If you're tempted to feel sorry for the dog...don't.  These chewed up headphones are evidence that he did NOT keep his promise.  Silly dog.
Phase II (Have I ever told the story about the girl in my senior English class that failed to turn in her outline for her research paper because her computer did not have Roman numerals?!?  True story.  I often wonder what became of her.) of wearing glasses...the eye patch.  I am happy to report that after 6 weeks of wearing glasses he is now on the eye chart.  Yeah!  In order to expedite the process we are patching the "good eye" to wake up the "bad eye". 
But he has to watch TV like this now...

  Andrew has always had a flare for the dramatic.  He fashioned this "cast" for his arm before we left to run errands.  At one point during the errand process all the boys got what I call "low blood sugar".  Any time my children begin to misbehave/aggravate one another/talk ugly/whatever I blame it on low blood sugar. I know this is not taught in parenting books, but please.  Take a walk in my shoes and come up with a better plan and I'll follow it. So I gave my "Don't talk again your blood sugar is low" speech.  Jack began to mouth everything to me from the back seat (since he couldn't talk), which was exciting.  Andrew whole heartedly agreed with me by saying, "Yeah mom.  You are right.  My blood PRESSURE is low."  Well...not quite the same thing, but whatever. 
A good friend of mine asked me to serve on the PTO board at Clayton's school.  (Did you hear that thud?  It was my mother.  Someone pick her up off the floor.)  I went to my first meeting Tuesday night and was met with this organization.  I am the Chair of Inspiration.  This title makes me smile.  What does it mean?  Good question.  I'm not really sure.  The basic understanding I got was that I'm to read an "inspiring" quote at our two meetings and then encourage the teachers.  Yep, I think I can handle that. 
The boys and I loaded up and headed to Jackson for Mimi and Tee's. I told them we would get Chick Fil A on the way out of town.  They wanted Chicken Mini's.  As I looked at the menu a thought dawned on me...they make bigger servings than a 3 pack or a 4 pack.  Yep, we go the platter of chicken mini's.  Plus I got an iced coffee so everyone was happy!  You've never seen chicken mini's disappear so quickly! 
 After I dropped the boys off for what I know will be a fun weekend I met up with Fred at The Butcher Shop.  The Butcher Shop is a pretty fancy steak restaurant.  This family might go there on a special occasion, but not very often.  Since we've lived here I've noticed a sign that they serve steak burgers on Fridays at lunch.  I've wanted to try it, so to kick off our anniversary weekend we ate lunch here. It was some fine eating.  That was one mighty good burger. 

Renee/Mawmaw always takes the kids on a "date" for their birthday.  Jack got to go with her this week.  He chose to go to the Bass Pro Shop downtown.  I think he had a grand time.  If you haven't been to the Bass Pro Shop (in Memphis) yet you should visit soon. 

 That is one big burger.  I'm pretty sure he had to take it apart to eat it.  Happy Birthday to Jack!

Friday, June 19, 2015

A trip and a birthday

Our youth sponsored a silent auction several weeks ago.  One of the items in the silent auction was a dinner cooked by one of our precious college students.  (Actually, he's Jack, but just 10 years older.)  I really wanted know...for the kids.  But seriously, Chandler can cook.  He delivered the meal on Saturday and it did not disappoint: Chicken Cordon Bleu, brussel sprouts, roasted vegetables, macaroni and cheese, bread and peanut butter pie.  It was delicious! 
Saturday my parents came to Bartlett to celebrate Jack's birthday.  If anyone is counting this is celebration #2 for the big guy. 
Sunday after Fred preached we headed out for Southern Baptist Convention in Columbus, Ohio.  First, Fred and I shared an intimate picnic in the front seat, complete with hummus.  Fred likes hummus.  I do not.  And our picnic was not intimate, but was delightful. 
 Here we are rolling down the road. 
 At stop number #1 Jack hit the jackpot with this movie!  It was a total score.  Boys think this movie is hilarious.  Silly boys. 
 We finally got to the hotel at midnight.  Midnight.  Mercy.  I told Fred if I drive this far I expect to have my toes in the sand and my eyes looking over the ocean.  Oh well...
Monday morning Fred went to register at the convention, but the boys and I stayed at the hotel.  There was swimming and resting.  A good time was had by all!
 When Fred got home we headed to COSI (Center of Science and Industry) in Columbus.  It was a great museum and we enjoyed hanging together.

We ate dinner in the hotel (Because I packed a crock pot...yes, I did.  But that's a conversation for a different day).  After dinner we had delicious ice cream.  Delicious. 
Tuesday we all headed to the convention for some time with 5,000 of our best friends.  I tried to get a family picture, but someone is always not cooperating.  I have no words for the youngest child in this photo.
All day Tuesday Andrew was complaining about his arms, legs, and head hurting.  Being the sensitive and attentive parents that we are we brushed him off by telling him he was growing.  (Possibly that was bothering him in the above picture?!?) the time we went to bed Tuesday night I knew he was running a fever.  I could feel that he was hot, but I also knew because he wanted me to sleep with him on his bed.  He said, "Dad gets to sleep with you every night.  Why can't you sleep with me tonight?"  How could I say no to that?? I should tell you that he was sleeping on a sofa bed.  I lasted until 10:35 pm.  Then I got back in my bed.  When it comes to sleeping I have my limits.
So Wednesday morning we dropped Fred off at the convention and then the boys and I spent the majority of the morning searching for and waiting at a drop in clinic.  The nurse confirmed what I already knew.  Andrew had an ear infection.  We got his medicine and headed to lunch and the Lego Store. 
Since the boys had so patiently waited at the clinic (I don't really mean patient, but I'll give them a little grace.) I thought they deserved a fun experience at lunch.  Thankfully, we have saved tons of money the entire trip by eating out of a cooler/crockpot, because we used all of those savings at The Melting Pot.  Who knew?!?  They really did enjoy it though. 

 The chocolate part was their favorite.  It retrospect we could have skipped all the meat and just done cheese and chocolate.  Really we could have just done chocolate.  There was fruit on the tray to dip in chocolate, so that counts as nutritious. 
 Thursday was the day everyone (Okay, mainly the boys) had been waiting for.  We headed to Kings Island Amusement Park in Cincinnati, Ohio.  The last several summers we have taken mini vacations around theme parks.  This works really well for my crew.  So, when I knew we might be coming to Columbus this summer I researched amusement parks near by and this one came up. 
I bought the tickets at Kroger.  They were the same price as they were online, but since I bought them at Kroger I was able to use my Kroger card for 4x's fuel points.  Score!  Thursday was overcast and spitting rain.  From the website they told us they did not close the park or refund money.  We figured this would just give us the park to ourselves.  We were correct.  It was awesome!  We never waited more than 10-15 minutes.  The rain held off until around 5 pm, just when we were taking a break for supper. 
We got to the park when it opened at 10 am.  The boys were ready to go!
We rode rides on the amusement park side for a couple of hours and then retreated to our car where we enjoyed a fine picnic of PBandJ sandwiches, Pringles and Little Debbie brownies.  Does it get any better?!?
Once we were finished with lunch we headed back in to the park to conquer the water park side.  We did this for several hours and then decided to go to some water rides on the amusement park side...White Water Canyon and the Log Ride.  We rode White Water Canyon (I wanted to call it the Grizzly River Rampage from my childhood Opryland days, but I refrained.) and got absolutely drenched.  Drenched.  Thankfully our plan was to wear our swim wear and then put on our dry clothes.  Once we finished up that ride and were walking the exit it started to thunder so they closed that ride down.  I changed my clothes, we grabbed a most expensive meal and then we waited the storm out.  The park really cleared out after that.  It would rain off and on, but never like it did while we were eating dinner.  Finally around 8:30 pm I'd had about all I could take with the rain and the guys were ready to go too.  We headed to get some ice cream and then to the hotel.  A good time was had by all!
Funny things the boys said on this trip:
Jack to me as I was eating ice cream for the third time on our trip...
"Wow Mom!  You must not be counting calories this week!
Andrew to me while we were at the park:
"I fink I feel so bad because I'm just excited."  Bless his heart.  I think he felt bad because he had a double ear infection. 
Andrew to me while we were passing all the games:
Andrew: You know what would make me feel better?  A stuffed animal.  You know I love them.
Me:  No, those games are a rip off.  We are not playing. 
Andrew:  But it would make me feel better.
Me: No
Andrew: Mimi would get me one.  She knows it would make me feel better. 
Well...we came home without a stuffed animal.  Again, bless his heart. 
Clayton to me while we were at the park and after we left about 15 different times:
"Thanks mom for planning this trip and taking us to Kings Island.  It's been awesome!
Jack to me while I was trying to convince him to ride a roller coaster with me:
Me:  You'll regret not riding it once we leave.
Jack:  How can I regret something I didn't do? 
Me:  But this is it.  Last chance.  I don't want you to be sad.  We'll never be back here. 
Jack:  How do you know we'll never be back here?
Me:  Because we have lots of other places I want to travel and we just won't be back to this area.
Jack:  You never know.  Someday I might come with my WIFE. 
Well...okay.  I guess I can't argue with that.  On a side note, he did not ride the ride with me. 
Every time we take a trip together I say this, but I really do love this crew God has blessed me with.  We have so much fun together!  We only have 5 summers left with everyone living under the same roof.  I'm trying to make the most of every opportunity...not just trips.  

Friday, June 12, 2015

VBS and other things

I registered all three boys this week online for school.  It felt so techie. 

While helping the boys with their laundry this week I folded 5 pairs of underwear for Clayton, 5 pairs for Andrew and 1 pair for Jack.  This means one of two things:
1.  He did not change his underwear all week. 
2.  He did not take a shower all week. 
Either way I am a failure as his mother.  Goodness. 

 Sunday I decided to go for a 2:30 pm...when it was 95...after I ate pasta, broccoli, cake and Diet Coke at a church potluck.  Not my best judgment call. Whoops. 
 Then Monday night my friend Colleen thought it would be a great idea for us to go to Zumba together.  I called my friend Krista to see if she wanted to join us and she did.  Plus Colleen's daughter joined us.  I rocked the class.  And by "rock" I mean I moved around like the whitest Baptist girl you have ever seen.  Yes, I did. 
 My friend, Missy, gave me this coffee mug because she said it reminded her of me.  Sweet, right?  Two weeks ago she was diagnosed with breast cancer.  She found out on Tuesday that it is stage 1b to a 2.  She will have chemo and surgery.  I will use this cup from now until she gets an all clear to be a visual reminder to pray for her.  I'd like to humbly ask that you join me in praying.  We serve a big God who is able to do immeasurably more than we can ask for imagine.
 VBS was this week.  I love these kiddos in this picture.  It was a crazy good week.  We decorated before Sunday so excitement would be in the air.  The curriculum was a jungle theme.  One of our older men walked through the church and calmly said, "Bingle bangle bungle, I think I'm in a jungle."  I don't know why this was so funny to me, but I doubled over in laughter. 

During VBS the boys and girls always have a competition to see who can bring in the most change.  This year our offering is going to help the Faith Vietnamese Baptist Mission trip to Vietnam (Faith is a Vietnamese church that meets on our campus.) conduct a VBS while they are on their trip.  How cool is that?!?  Our kids are supporting a VBS in Vietnam.  Back to the competition...Jack, without me knowing, took $20 of his own money and put it in the offering bucket.  (You should know he gets $10 for his allowance a month so this is 2 months worth of allowance.)  When I figured out what he had done I said, "Jack.  I didn't know you were bringing in that much money.  You were supposed to bring in change."  To which he responded, "It was my money and I want to win...(as an after thought)..AND I want to help the missionaries."  Yes, helping the missionaries...that's what we are all about. 

Excuse my thumb, but honestly, does this not just sum up the perfect summer?  A swimming pool, good friends and a good book.  Yes, please. 

Andrew is the baby.  Always has been, always will be, I guess.  For several months now I've been trying to prepare him for kindergarten.  One of the ways we've been preparing shall I put this delicately...getting him to wipe his own bottom after he...goes big bathroom.  He is not a fan of all.  Even when he does it I am summoned to "check" how he did.  I'm really ready to move on from this stage, but we seem to be stuck here.  I think I may go to college with him to continue in my duties.  (My boys think duty/duties is the funniest word ever.  Say it in a sentence around them some time.  They will literally hold their stomachs in fits of laughter.)  Anyway...the other day he went to the bathroom and called me in there to wipe.his.bottom.  When I came in I gave him my usual "you are a big boy and will have to do this at kindergarten" speech.  He looked up at me sweetly through those glasses and said, "Mom, you are just so good at it.  You really can do it faster than anyone I know."  Yes, flattery will get you far in this house even if it comes to wiping a bottom.  Yes, it will.  I may have to go to college with him, but that may not be so bad.  I'll already be there with Jack, so no big deal.  (Yes, I will be Jack's college roommate.)

While we are on the topic of Andrew's bathroom habits I should also tell you that he has a knack when we are out to need to go big bathroom as soon as our food is delivered to the table.  This little habit gets on my last nerve.  I try to avoid it by encouraging him to go as soon as we get to the restaurant, but inevitably he doesn't have to go.  Well, last week I took him as soon as we ordered and I told him to go at that moment.  Then I said, "I'm not leaving the table when our food gets here so you better go now."  Our food came and everything was good...until I had about 5 bites left.  Then he just came and stood by me.  I asked him what he needed and he said nothing.  He stood and I took a bite.  Then he asked me if I was finished and I said no.  I took another bite and the same thing happened.  Then it dawned on me.  I told him I was not going to the bathroom with him until I was finished.  His plan was to stand over me until I was finished with my meal.  Thankfully, Fred was finished and agreed to take him (even though he clearly does not have my bottom wiping skills!).  I'm not sure which is worse...having to leave the table just as the meal arrives OR having a child stand over me asking me if I'm finished yet with every.single.bite. 

We closed out a great week with a little birthday celebration for Jack.  As it worked out our sweet friends from Paris were in town so they got to go to the party with us.  My heart just about exploded with all the friends for Jack.  We started at Jumping World, went to Fred and Renee's for swimming, pizza and cake.  Know how many pizzas 11 boys can polish off in 5 minutes?  Me either.  We bought 5 and they were gone in 4 minutes with several asking for more.  Ha!  A good time was had by all! 

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Summer is fabulous!

Saturday the boys and Fred went to Jackson to play at Mimi and Tee's house.  They got to play with their friends, C and B, from Paris.  Jack loves B.  I'm sure both of their days/years were made! C and B are going to Honduras next week to get their baby sister.  We can't wait to meet her!
Remember the treat box that Andrew thought Aunt Janice should make him.  Yep, she did. 

Look at that sweet smile.  Is she not the best?
She came to our house to get Clayton for his 6th grade trip.  Yes, she takes you on a trip when you complete 6th grade because she's fabulous like that.  They have been in Nashville all week and having a blast.  I've gotten pictures all week.  If I could go back to 6th grade I think I would this week. 
There's been shopping, sleeping in, movies, eating wherever/whenever, baseball, Dave and Buster's, video games, and much more.  Don't you wish you had an Aunt Janice?!?  I know.  I wish that for you too.  She rocks!
Andrew is the slowest moving kid ever.  When we get out of the car, leave the house, go to bed or just whatever...he takes forever.  Forever.  The other day we were getting out of the car and I told him to "come on" for the 5th time.  He looked at me and said, "Mom, I think I just have a lazy bone."
This fella is going to basketball camp at the University of Memphis this week.  He loves it.  It is from 9 am-4 pm Monday through Thursday.  He told me that he's going to save his money to go next year so that he can be sure to go.  (Don't worry.  We'll send him.  Life is not that hard for Jack.) He told us during the week that he doesn't think anyone knows his real name.  They just call him Z Bo...which thrills his soul.  This kid loves a sport. 
I woke up Thursday morning to this...
 Yes, the dog in the picture ate it.  I guess he's exhausted from all the book eating he did in the night.  Grrr...
I should also note that this is the book I gave my mother for Mother's day.  When I was at her house last Saturday I asked her if she was reading it yet.  She said no and then told me to take it.  Obviously Dash was appreciative.  Obviously I'll be reordering it on Amazon. 
 Andrew talks incessantly.  I mean, he never quits.  Sometimes he interrupts himself.  Fred and I just look at each other.  We have no words.  The other day Andrew was asking me if Bartlett would get a sprinkler park.  I told him I didn't know, but he could ask Turner's grandfather, BooBoo (Jack).  I explained to him that BooBoo was Vice Mayor of Bartlett.  Well, wouldn't you know that Andrew found him and church and asked him.  Ha!  When I got home he gave me the report from BooBoo.  I'm happy to report that Bartlett will have a sprinkler park by the end of per Andrew.