Sunday, November 29, 2015


Our holiday weekend started off lots of in Fred was up at misnight coughing his head off.  I moved upstairs and put a pillow over my head.  Happy Thanksgiving indeed.  Ha!

Wednesday evening my parents came in town.  We enjoyed a dinner of soup, chicken salad, cranberry salad, and a delightful cake from Costco.  After dinner while I cleaned the kitchen they all played a game called Bluff.  When I was a kid we called it Bull.  Everyone had a great time and there was lots of laughter.
Thursday morning everyone but Fred enjoyed a leisurely breakfast/morning.  Fred and his sister met up at the Botanic Gardens to run a Turkey Trot.
Since there's been a little more leisure time I've been on facebook more.  These little things from facebook have made me laugh out loud.  I hope they do the same for you!

On Thursday morning Fred ran a Turkey Trot with his sister at the Botanic Gardens.  

The rest of us hung out at home.  We had a low key breakfast and lunch.  Then we headed to the Shackelfords house for a proper Thanksgiving meal.  I was in my happy place cleaning the kitchen with my father in law.  A few other people join in on the fun this year.  
 Friday morning these two headed out for a little black Friday shopping.  Clayton has been saving his money for a new gaming system.  They found a great deal at Target, but unfortunately they were all sold out once they got there.  They came home and ordered it online.  It was delivered to our closest Target store by that afternoon.  Gotta love the internet.
 After they got back we headed out to cut down our Christmas tree.  The irony is not lost on me that we lived, for almost a decade, in a rural small town and never cut down a tree.  But, we move to a big city and now we cut down our tree every year.  We literally saw it down ourselves.  Too funny to me!

 Since we were at home we actually got to decorate our house.  Fred even did a little exterior illumination this year.  It all looks so nice.  I'll enjoy sitting at the fireplace looking at it all through the Christmas season.  Just kiddind.  We won't be home.  But I'll enjoy looking at it all as I walk from the kitchen to my bedroom.
 Saturday morning several families at church joined together for a Toy Giveaway.  All the proceeds are going to missions.  I am so proud of all they accomplished...just by getting rid of unplayed with toys.
 It was cold and rainy and business was a little slow.  These two took the bull by the horns and tried to drum up some business.  Who wouldn't want to buy toys from these two?!?

 While we were finishing up the sale Fred and his parents weathered the last University of Memphis game.  It rained and rained and rained.  At halftime Memphis was up 56 to 0.  They left.  Our Tigers have not had a perfect season, but we sure have enjoyed cheering them on.  Go Tigers Go!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

I can't seem to keep up!

It's been kind of crazy around here.  I hesitate to say that, but it really has been.  I think it's just our normal and I'm okay with that.  
On Wednesday and Thursday mornings this is my early morning Oak crew.  They have chorus at 7:00 am.  I enjoy them for the 10 minutes or so that they are in my car.  Sweet kiddos.

Last week our friends had a sweet baby boy.  I'm going to spoil him rotten!!  Is there anything sweeter than a newborn baby?!?  Especially when he belongs to someone else and you get to sleep at night.  
Last weekend Fred and I had a wedding in Jackson.  We spent the weekend at my parent's house.  Jack had a flag football game in Bartlett that he did not want to miss so Aunt Janice and Tee took him back for the game.  (Mimi could not go because she had a minor surgery last week.)  Aunt Janice and Tee endured the cold and the rain to watch my man in the middle grin and play football.  They made his year.  

Jack even had a Chick Fil A chicken biscuit as a pre game snack.  Life is good for Jack.  While Jack was away I got McDonald's for the crew at Mimi's house.  Apparently, it has been a lifelong dream of Clayton's to eat a Big Mac.  His dreams came true.  I think it was everything he thought it would be.  And it was gone in 5.6 seconds.  

When they got back the boys went to a Union basketball game with Janice and Mun.  After the game they toured Union's new library.  Andrew was disappointed that he could not check out a book.  
Also, while at the game Andrew told Janice he was dizzy from watching the ball go back and forth.  Ha!

One morning this week we woke up and it was 32 degrees.  Andrew came down the stairs in shorts.  I told him he needed to put on pants because it was cold enough to snow. He looked at me and said, "So, we don't have school??"  It took me a minute, but I realized he thought we would be out of school if it was cold enough to snow, not actually snow.  It's going to be a LONG winter.  

While all of this fun was going on, Fred and I were at a wedding.  We had a great time celebrating a sweet couple.

Everyone has been doing their part to get ready for Thanksgiving.  Dash went to the vet to have his nails trimmed and to get a bath.  He lost his ever loving mind at the always.  It was quite comical.  I'm glad to report that he is fine now and no longer stinks.  

Let the Thanksgiving festivities begin!

Monday, November 16, 2015

This week

Monday morning, I headed to chemo with my friend for her last chemo treatment.  She has a road ahead of her, but this is definitely the end of a difficult season.  I could not be more pleased/proud for her!
Tennessee Baptist Convention was this week in Millington (about 30 minutes away).  I was supposed to work on Tuesday, but it was canceled.  So, I got to go to a lunch with Melody.  It was great!  I love that our lives continue to intersect at meetings like this.  
 Tuesday night Clayton went to a movie night at his school.  Fred was still at the convention, so the younger boys and I stayed home.  Andrew followed me around all night talking.  Then he said, "I just like being with you, mom."  Well, okay.  Any.time.  Sweet boy.
Wednesday we were out of school.  Of course, the boys were up at 6:00 am.  I mean, who doesn't get up at 6:00 am when they are out of school.  Geez. Later that afternoon we went to Jumping World and Sheridan's Frozen Custard. I was so hungry from all that jumping.  Just kidding.  I did not jump.  I did eat some custard though.  I wouldn't want anyone to think I'm missing out on anything!

Thursday morning I woke up with everything on my mind that needed to be done that day.  In an early morning conversation with Clayton I told him that I would be at his school to pick up his Butter Braid order.  He looked at me strangely and then said, "My teacher never told me the order was due."  Whoops.  I'm pretty sure I told him it was due when I gave him the completed order form and check.  But whatever.  My afternoon calendar just cleared a little.
The only other thing I had on my calendar was a party at Jack's school.  I told his teacher I would come help and I would bring ice cream.  I went to the grocery to get the ice cream and while I was there I just did my usual grocery shopping.  Then I ran home for a quick shower.  I had about 10 extra minutes so I thought I'd grab a drink at Sonic for Jack and Andrew's teachers.  I knew what Andrew's teacher wanted, but I was unsure about Jack's teacher. I sent her a quick email and just as I placed the first drink order I got her email.  It read, "I love you for this, but the party is NEXT week."  Whoops.  I guess the apple does not fall far from the tree.

Saturday we had flag football games in the morning. Andrew did not go because he has a cough.  I was afraid the cold air would get him.  Jack had two games and he enjoyed every minute of it! He was a football phenom.

Saturday night we had a banquet with church.  This was my plate.  See that sauce?  It was delicious.  I'd like to add that it might be why I'm two pounds up.  Yikes.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Last Week. I'm just a little late

I'm a little late on this blog, because Fred and I were out of town.  I did not write anything while we were away.  It was glorious, but I thought I'd write down our week for memory's sake.

Fred and I flew out for Salt Lake City, Utah on Monday morning.  Renee stayed with our crew and got them to school.  She then took Dash home with her.  He looks cozy, right?
Mimi (my mother) came in Monday for school pick ups, flag football practice, and various and other items.  She stayed until Wednesday morning.  While she was here the boys ate lots of salads and veggies.  Ha...just kidding.  They got whatever they wanted and had a grand time.
Mimi read to Andrew's class on Monday.  He was thrilled!  Then she stayed and had lunch with both boys.

Aunt Janice came in Wednesday and stayed through Friday morning.  She dealt with loose teeth, pajama day, and play practice.  A good time was had by all.  I can guarantee it!

 When Aunt Janice is the tooth fairy pays out BIG!  I may start pulling my teeth in her presence if I get $5.  Ha!
Friday afternoon Renee picked up the boys after school.  They went to Wendy's and then to the Peanuts movie.  Saturday morning they had football.  Apparently, it was cold as per my father in laws attire.
They picked us up at the airport and we grabbed some dinner at Gus's Fried Chicken and then headed to the University of Memphis football game.  Memphis got their first loss of the season.  Boo.  We left around the 3rd quarter.  I could not take the requests for food and drinks one more second.  Honestly, I think my children believe our ticket to the game is a license to eat the ENTIRE game!  I purposefully did not take any money in.  For crying out loud, we ate right before we went into the game.  This is how the game went:
Child 1:  Mom, I'm thirsty.
Me:  We just ate.  Plus, I didn't bring any money in, so no.
Child 2:  Mom, can I get something to eat?  I'm hungry.
Me:  We just ate.  Plus, I didn't bring any money in. so no.
Child 3:  Mom, mom, mom, I'm really thirsty.
Me:  We just had beverages at the restaurant.  Plus, I don't have any money.
Child 2:  My throat hurts.  I think a shaved ice would help.
Me: No.
Child 3:  I'm really hungry.
Me: No.
Child 1:  Don't you think a burger would be good.
Me; No.

Seriously, this went on and on and on until I just the third quarter. It started 2 minutes into the game.  I count snapping in the third quarter as a success.  Yep.  Nailing the parenting thing.

Fred and I had a great week together while the village took care of our crew.  We landed in Salt Lake City and then rented our car to drive to Moab.  We hiked around Arches National Park in Moab on Tuesday.  It was beautiful.  Stuff like this is not in Tennessee.  One hike that we went on required us to climb across the top of a boulder for about 200 yards.  The wind was literally gusting at 39 mph.  We were about 100 feet up.  At one point I started crawling.  Then I just sat down.  I have children that need a mother, so eventually I decided to just stop.  So did Fred.

Here are some other views from Arches National Park...

Wednesday morning we drove to Zion National Park.  Our plan was to hike there that afternoon, but it was raining and then snowing.  In a last minute decision we decided, since we couldn't hike in the snow, to drive 2 hours and 40 minutes (one way!) to the Grand Canyon.  Why not?!?  Neither of us had ever been.  Our plan was to just look at it, take a few pictures, and then leave.  Well, we should have turned around, but oh well, we have some great memories.  This was our drive.
I should have known something was up when everything was covered in snow.  When we finally got to the Grand Canyon there was NO ONE there!  Ha!  I finally saw some foot prints and followed them.  They led to a lone worker.  The visitor's center was closed.  This guy was just working on the cabins.  When I asked him where the Grand Canyon was he pointed behind my back and said, "Right there."  This was our view. Just kidding.  This was just the poster.
 This was really our view.  Do you see the Grand Canyon?!?  Me either.  It's behind us though.  I promise.
Here's my picture proving I was there.

Have you BEEN to the Grand Canyon?  Absolutely!  Ha!
We ended up driving back to the sweetest little town called Kanab, Utah.  We ate at a great restaurant and stayed at a wonderful hotel.  So all worked out in the end.
The next morning the snow was melted and we headed back to Zion.  We hiked Angels Landing.  Angels Landing is not for the faint of heart.  In 2.5 miles we hiked over 1000 feet of elevation.  There is one point on the trail where you have to pull yourself up on chains.  This is as far as I got.
Not one more step for me.  Pictures do not do this hike justice.  We were so high up.  We hiked and hiked.

 The middle part of the mountain is about 2/3rds of the way up.  After that we climbed up the mountain on the left through a series of 21 switchbacks.  Hello leg muscles.

Later that afternoon we hiked the the upper, middle, and lower Emerald pools.  I must admit I was pretty tired at that point.  If you have trouble sleeping I would recommend this trip.  No one had trouble sleeping...ever.
Friday morning we got up early and hiked The Narrows.  The Narrows is a hike through a river bed.  The river bed is there because the Virgin River carved it out between two canyons.  I think I reached my limit of saying, "That is so beautiful!"  while on this hike.  I have never seen anything like it!
We had to rent a dry suit and neoprene socks and hiking boots.

Saturday morning we headed home.  After a delay in Salt Lake City, a changed flight, and a Home Alone type sprint through the airport, we made it just in time to catch our flight home to Memphis, where we met up with our crew for Gus's Fried Chicken and a Memphis football game.  Fred and I had a blast together.  I can't believe we've been hanging out with each other this long and we still love and like each other. It's nothing but God's grace.  I'd go anywhere with this guy.