Saturday, October 29, 2016

Andrew's birthday week

Andrew's birthday was Wednesday.  He is now 7.  7.  I cannot wrap my head around this.  He is the sweetest 7 year old you could ever meet.  My heart jumps out of my chest when I see him. I could eat him up I love him so. 

 We celebrated that morning with donuts.
 Then I took lunch to two different schools.  He picked Taco Bell.  His good friend was eating at the same time, so we motioned for him to come over and join us.  Luckily, Andrew and Jack's lunch times overlap.  It is delightful.
 Wednesday was another dress up day.  Andrew got to dress up as his favorite book character, which was Avery from Charlotte's Web.
I took a cake to church Wednesday night since we didn't get to officially party that night.  The cake only said Happy Birthday.  When I showed the cake to Andrew, thinking he would be thrilled, he said, "Why is my name not on the cake.  I guess it will be a mystery as to who this cake belongs to."  (His exact words!)  Killing me...he wasn't being ugly, just matter of fact.  Too funny.
 Thursday he dressed as someone from the Wild Wild West...aka a cowboy.
 Then Friday, he got to dress for his future career.  He would like to be a SWAT team member.
 After school, we grabbed a couple of friends and headed to Incredible Pizza to celebrate Andrew's birthday.  It was like the perfect storm.  We got there on a Friday afternoon, paid lunch prices, and had a coupon for the games.  We even managed the beat the crowds.  We had the place to ourselves.  It was awesome...quite possibly the best birthday party ever.  Yeah!
 Saturday morning we only had one sporting event.  Glory!  Jack is the only one still playing flag football.  He was in it to win it.  He was up and dressed at 6:30 am.  His game was not until 10:15 am.

 All of these people came to cheer Jack on.  He grinned the entire time.  Of course, it didn't hurt that his team won the game.  Having all of his people there to cheer him on was the icing on the cake.

Enjoy these videos of Jack doing what he loves best...

He doesn't connect with the receiver here, but he does have a great throw.  You'll be able to find him.  He's the tallest kid on the field.

Here he has a little spin move and then connects with his player for the extra point.

After the game, all of our people came to the house to celebrate Andrew's family party.  We had chili, grilled hot dogs, and brownie sundaes.  It was an epic day!  If anyone is counting, that's three parties for Andrew.  Next year, the grown ups will be having three celebrations on our birthdays.  It seems to be lots of fun.
Man, I love these guys.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

This week

Clayton has been having a lot of homework this year.  One day last week, he got home at 3:45 and worked until 7:45 on homework...not a project, just homework.  I'd like to go on record and say, "I do not like or agree with homework."  He sure does look grown up sitting here though. 
 My uncle sent me a picture of myself at Andrew's age.  I'd say we look alike, even down to our crooked smile.  At least one out of the three looks like me.

Jack and Andrew's school has an event each year called the Ram Run.  For those of you reading and not familiar with the Ram Run, let me give you a run down.  The PTO asks for pledges and then your child gets to go to a party based on how much money they raise.  The day of Ram Run, each grade goes outside to run around the school building.  What you should read here is that I write a check and the kids get to go to a Sock Hop.  It's the easiest fund raiser ever because of suckers like me.

So last Friday Fred and I stood outside while Jack's grade and Andrew's grade ran around the building.  We cheered our boys on and marveled at how much Jack looks and runs like Fred.
Here's Jack with his buddies.

Here's Andrew with his buddy...
 Andrew's class...
 Jack running

 I have on a wedge, but honestly, do we not look like the tallest people ever?!?  There was no winner at Ram Run, but Jack participated like he was in it to win it.  We could not have picked a better afternoon to stand outside and watch our children run around the building.

After the Ram Run, I headed to Jackson for a women's conference where I was a break our session leader.  Hopefully, my speaking skills were better than my selfie skills.  Yikes.
 Take two was a little better.  These ladies around me are just precious to me.  We served with them 15 years ago at a church in Jackson.  Spending the weekend with them was such an honor.

Speaking of being the tallest people ever...I mean, how tall do I look in this picture?  Goodness.

There was a tower of cupcakes at the conference.  I don't think I need to say anything else.
This week has been Red Ribbon Week at school, which means all three boys have had the option to dress up.  Each day has a theme.  Andrew is all over this!  Monday was "Dress for the Red Carpet Day".  I think Andrew looks like a Blues Brother, but he was pleased with his look, so we went with it. 

 After dressing up Andrew and getting everyone out the door for school, Dash and I went on a quick run.  The goal is to treat Dash like a toddler and absolutely wear him out so he won't have the energy to do anything naughty.  He looks pretty tired here, right??  He was.
 Here's Andrew with his buddy on Red Carpet Day.
 Monday night Fred had a church meeting.  There were food trucks present.  The boys and I stayed for the food, we did not stay for the meeting.  Honestly, can anything top BBQ fries?!?  I think one should just go home after eating that.  It will be down hill from there.
 Tuesday of Red Ribbon Week was dress like the 90's.  Jack questioned my ability to know what people dressed like in the 90's.  I presented him with Exhibit A, B, and C.

Exhibit A...Who would not love this sweet couple from 1997?  I'm not sure what we were doing, but we were nailing the 90's.  Note my plaid shirt under the fleece jacket...not pull over...jacket. I bought it at the GAP and loved it.

Exhibit B...I'm wearing overalls and athletic tennis shoes (Please note I was not a runner.  These were simply aesthetic.)

And finally, Exhibit C...Fred's fraternity from 1996.
So yeah, I think we showed 90's day who was boss.

 There are more dress up days and I'm sure I'll have the updates.  Andrew will participate in

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Since the last post

A lot has happened around our house since I last posted.  Let's catch up, shall we?!?

Memphis had a football game on a Thursday night, which is a school night.  I was done by Thursday night.  Fred, Jack and Clayton went to the game and Andrew and I stayed home.  I think they had a blast.  I know I did.

Saturday morning we had the usual football and soccer games.  Then, that afternoon I met several friends for our first ever freezer cooking party.  We worked for about an hour and a half and then we all left with 6 meals.  It was so much fun.  We are making preparations for the next party.

Later that evening we celebrated my birthday at Fred and Renee's house with Mexican chicken and cheesecake.  I have no picture.  I was too busy eating cheesecake. 

Monday morning I cleaned a house and then Aunt Janice came to take us all to lunch for my birthday.  She then took the boys home with her.  They played dominoes, ate whatever they wanted, and helped at tutoring. Before they left Andrew told me the kindergarten students could just call him Mr. Shackelford.  Too sweet. 
 Mr. Shackelford even took a little bit of his homework to work on while he was there. 
The idea was that Fred and I could stay home and go out for dinner/a nice evening, but my stomach had a different idea.  Instead we stayed at home, watched Netflix, and ate chicken noodle soup.  Good times.  
Tuesday morning we headed out for our fall break trip at Fall Creek Falls. We stopped halfway at a bookstore and then headed straight to our cabin. 
Wednesday morning we woke up and headed out to hike at Fall Creek Falls.  Since it hasn't rained much this summer, I've renamed it Fall Creek Trickle.  FCF is typically a roaring waterfall, but not this time.  It was a little disappointing, but the hiking was still fun. 
 There are cable bridges at Fall Creek Falls and it is so fun to explore. 

 You can see the falls over my shoulder.  Again, this is usually roaring.  Not this time, but we still had fun.
 This picture does not capture the colors of fall, but it could not have been more beautiful.  The colors grew more red and orange and yellow each day that we were there.

Thursday we headed to Rock Island State Park.  The waterfall there was breathtaking.  Again, the pictures don't really show the massive expanse of the falls. It's about 200 feet wide and 75 feet tall.  This waterfall, unlike the one at FCF, is fed by an unknown source coming from a cave, so it's not dependent on rainfall. 

 We then hiked to a second waterfall.  It was really a nice hike with more beautiful views. 

We didn't hike as many miles on the second day as we did on the first day, so we headed back to FCF for one last trail...after a quick trip to Sonic, of course.  The trail we wanted to hike was one we had never done before.  It was a cable trail that descended 120 feet into a gorge.  When we looked at reviews online it was labeled as difficult and for the "extreme adventurer" and only for "experienced hikers".  It certainly wasn't recommended for children.  We decided to hike to it and then make our decision.  Before we could decide Jack and Clayton headed down.  Again, pictures do not do this hike justice.  My thighs are still screaming from this one. 

 There were drop offs and rocks that had to be climbed over and around and at times we just had the cable to hold on to.  The views at the bottom were totally worth it though.  I'm so proud of Andrew.  My other two never would have attempted this at his age. 
Finally made it to the bottom of the gorge.  The water level was so low, that a tree branch was sticking out of the water. 
Friday morning it was time to leave.  Fred and Jack went on a walk/run before we loaded up.  Look at those two walking and talking.  Is that not the sweetest?
On the way home we had to drive through some pretty curvy roads.  Some of us deal better with curvy roads than others...
Before heading home we stopped at Cumberland Caverns for a little tour.  A cave tour never ceases to amaze me.  From there we went to Linden Valley for me to drop the boys off at RA Camporee.  They were thrilled!  Almost as excited as me as I headed home to be by myself.  I waited at camporee until they got the tent set up.  Since it was raining, Fred wanted to wait to unload all of their things.  I didn't get a picture before I left.  They were excited.  I was excited.  It was a win-win situation for us all!  I heart fall break.  Until next time fall were wonderful, as always!