Monday, December 18, 2017

Good Times

Fred received an award from our alma mater, Union University. The entire family showed up in full force to help him celebrate. I even had my hair done...and this is the only picture I have. Whoops. Next time he receives Young Alumni of the Year, I'll try harder. 
I caught this sweet moment one morning very early before school. Jack has to wear a tie on home basketball game days. Clayton was helping him tie it. Maybe they do like each other?!?

Jack had a basketball tournament in Benton, Kentucky one weekend around the first of November. He is talking to his coach and his good buddy is in the picture too. 
Since we were so close to Paris we had to stop. Bless B's heart. He has to be a good friend to stand that close to Jack. Jack had to be RIPE. He had had those clothes on since his game that morning. 

Every other year Fred and I try to get away...far, far away...together. This time we chose Estes Park, Colorado. He hiked and had a blast. 

 One day we had a picnic of homemade cinnamon rolls at the peak of a mountain. Cinnamon rolls for lunch?!? Yes, please!
We came really close to this pack of elk while we were hiking. Fred kept hiking. I was not that calm. In fact, I started labor breathing and was frozen with fear. Those things are HUGE when you are standing that close to them. Fred assured me they were fine and were not going to bother me. I assured him they were looking at me.  Eventually I started walking. I told Fred to write this on my tombstone, "He said, 'Trust me.' and she followed." I'm happy to report all is well and we made it back to the hotel that night. 
We flew in and out of Nashville because Tennessee Baptist Convention was in the area. Tennessee Baptist Convention is work for Fred. Me? I just go to see my friends. We had a blast together. 

 Melody and I even got to do a little side by side writing one morning. It was just like when we were in college...well, almost. Melody wasn't really distracting me with making cookies and we were both drinking iced coffee. Minus not having cookies, it really was the perfect day.

Andrew has had two Oops You Forgot Your Manners club meetings. He looks so cute when he's all dressed up and ready. 

Clayton made it into the All West Honor Choir. He lost his voice after practicing all day, but he still went to the performance. There were so many in the choir and I was sitting so far back that I had to draw on the picture to point to where he was. 

Later that evening, he went to his first high school dance. Currently, Clayton attends a 9th grade Academy so it doesn't really feel like he's in high school. About an hour before this dance I discovered that this dance was with the entire high school, not just the 9th grade. To say that a little panic set in is an understatement. There were 1200 students at that dance. Oh mercy. 

We drove Clayton and his friend to Seer Shack (a local burger place) and let them eat with two other friends. The rest of us ate at Lenny's, which was next door, and waited for them to call us. They hung out at our house until the dance started at 8:00 pm. 8 pm!! That's so late. It didn't wind up until midnight. Thankfully, Clayton's friend's mom picked them up. You know Fred and Jennifer were tucked in their bed!

Thanksgiving morning we left Memphis early to run in a Turkey Trot. Actually the three biggest boys ran, Andrew and I walked, ran, held hands, and talked the entire way. 

Then we enjoyed Thanksgiving day at Mimi and Tee's. No turkey was consumed. We had steak. Yummers. 

The day after Thanksgiving, we hit some trails in Jackson and really enjoyed ourselves. 

We got back to our house for a little cleaning...

 and a little Christmas tree decorating. We walked around that Christmas tree farm and found the perfect tree for our family. Of course, Fred and I quoted Christmas Vacation the entire time we were at the farm. Our children love us.
We celebrated White Christmas at church. Our first Sunday at Ellendale we did this Christmas tradition. It's hard to believe this is our 4th year to celebrate. 

Jack was elected to the Homecoming Court at his school. He had to escort a girl. I'm sure her parents spend a lot more time {and money!} on her hair and outfit than we did for Jack.

 Jack had his choir concert and the family came out again. My people from Jackson always, always come to support us. We don't take it for granted that they love and support us. They come so much I've said that their cars just must know the way.

Andrew had his Christmas program at school, but I didn't get any pictures. The lighting is terrible and he is on the back row of the program of all the classes. Just picture the cutest 2nd grader you ever saw and know that that's what he looked like.
 We had our annual Christmas Open House at our house a few weeks ago. My friend, Stephanie, came and helped me clean. Before she got here I carried around what I call a "Bag of Shame" and put everything in it that was out of place. Mainly all of Andrew's stuff.
 We rented a limo with our friends and headed to Christmas City in Burlison, Tennessee. It's a church camp and church, but in the winter it's covered in lights.
Funny story, some other friends of ours were there and they knew we were in the limo. They told us that the rumor was going around that Justin Timberlake was there in his limo. It was not Justin. It was us. Fast forward to Saturday morning. I'm sitting with a friend telling her about Christmas City. She says, "I've never been to Christmas City, but I just read on FB this morning that Justin Timberlake was at Christmas City in a limo last night." Ha! Again, that was us. Funny how rumors get started.
Andrew had his Christmas program at church Sunday night. He did a great job. Again, the family came out to see this. Again, I have no photos. Someday I will have it all together. Clearly that day is not today.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Another update

Since I lasted posted on here, Fred ran into a traffic cone and flipped over his bike, landing rather abruptly on the pavement. The abrupt landing caused a break in his collarbone, which required surgery. When I went back to get him I got tickled because this was written on his left collarbone. It just made me laugh. 
Two weeks after surgery he is sling free and feeling pretty good. He still can't lift anything heavier than a coffee cup or ride a bike (outside), but he's making progress. 
During his surgery, Grandma Beulah and Renee sat in the waiting room with me. Grandma Beulah came prepared with 1/2 or so of muffins from Perkins. She's the best. 
Andrew and I try to read each afternoon together. Dash will not be left out. He typically sits right in between us or on top of us. 
 The other thing I do in the afternoon is carpool, carpool, carpool. With three boys in three different schools and three different sports, we keep the road hopping. I'm typically running from one thing to another for about 3 hours each afternoon.
 Here we are at a soccer game. The theme of our life right now is hurry out the door and wait. I mean, I love these middle and high school coaches that invest in my boys, but you know what I'm going to invest in for them of Christmas?? A watch. ;-)
Jack doesn't have much free time these days, but while Fred was down recovering from surgery, he was a big help. This particular day HE ASKED me if he could mop the kitchen. He asked me. I told him under no uncertain terms that he was always free to mop the kitchen floor. 
 Jack did not have practice one day and we found a little time to run together. It was so precious. He talked my ear off the entire time and encouraged me to run faster. He even said, "I bet I can can beat you to the house." To which I responded, "I bet you can too!"
It has been rather humid here these "fall" days. This is what my hair looks like when I go on a run with these temperatures. Nice, huh?? I think I could start a new trend. 
We have a sweet friend at church that plays football. One Friday night we headed to Arlington to watch him play. It was a great game and a good night for football. It's always a good night for football. 

Over fall break I did a little freezer cooking for our freezer swap. There are six of us that get together once a month and swap meals. Everyone leaves with six meals to store in their freezer for the month. It is delightful!
I made Meatball Subs. So one day I rolled about what seemed like 2,000 meatballs. It really only took me about 30 minutes. I also made chocolate chip cookies for everyone. 

Also over fall break we headed to Jack to spend a little time with my parents. We had a blast and ended up going to the Farmer's Market to get a donut, because that seems like the right thing to get at a Farmer's Market when people are selling fresh fruits and vegetables. It was the best donut I've ever eaten. It was also as big as my head. I was only about to eat about 1/3 of it. 

On Sunday our sweet friends from Paris surprised us at church. I had a difficult time maintaining my composure when I looked over and saw them. Man, I love these people. I also can't believe how much all of our children have grown. 

Jack came down the Monday after fall break dressed like this...with his sweatshirt on backwards. He did not even notice it until I pointed it out. Bless him. 
My mom and I had our annual shopping trip. The boys were at Camp-o-Ree so we just stayed at my house. Friday we shopped so long that we were exhausted Saturday. We did a little bit Saturday, but mainly just watched some football and hung out. 
 Jack has been playing, practicing, talking about, dreaming about basketball. The first home game was two weeks ago and it just happened to be Andrew's birthday. Andrew requested waffles for his birthday breakfast. For all the home games, Jack's coach has them dress up. Not wanting to mess up these dress clothes, I had just wear an apron. He went along with it thankfully and no syrup was drizzled on him.
 Sweet boy all dressed up...
 Sitting with the team.
 Dressed and ready for his first JV game. They lost. Jack does not like to lose.

One morning Jack had to wear his tie and Fred was working out so Clayton helped him. Bless my heart it was about the sweetest thing ever. 
Clayton has been living and breathing soccer. His rec season just finished up and now he's headed to conditioning with the high school team. He's been working all summer at him running times. On the first day of conditioning he ran his mile in a little over 6 minutes. That's fast people. 
Andrew has been playing flag football. It was FREEZING last Saturday, which is fitting since today it is 75 degrees outside. 
I mentioned Andrew's birthday a few sentences above. He turned 8 on Thursday, October 26. I can not believe he's 8! We went to Jumping World with a few friends, had a fine dining experience at McDonalds and then feasted on an ice cream cake from Baskin Robbins. 

 On Friday we took him with us and the senior adults from our church on the General Jackson. He had a fun day in Nashville for his present from us. We had fun being with just him...when you are the youngest of three boys it's pretty rare that you get a captive audience for an entire day with your parents.

We had a Fall Festival at church. Clayton dressed as a referee. The plan was for Jack to dress as a basketball player, but basketball practice ran a little late and we ran out of time. 
 Andrew was a ninja and Fred was a traffic barrell.
It's been a good month. We are now gearing up for the holidays and a few other fun things.