Tuesday, May 16, 2017

We're Getting Close...

Well here we are right smack in the middle of May-hem.  This time of year is crazy for us.  But life still goes on.  The boys still fight and make up and apparently, you can't ask for forgiveness without jumping of top of your brother. Whatever works.  Just get along.  That's my motto.

Andrew and Jack have had field day.  For some reason I did not get pictures of Andrew's field day.  I did manage to get a few at Jack's field day.  Jack REALLY enjoys a field day.  In fact, he took 1st place in the football throw for the third year in a row.  He was pretty pumped.  

Having said that, Jack's class was not quite feeling field day like he was.  At Jack's school they keep up with cumulative totals and declare a winner at the end of field day.  Jack was really hoping to take home the 1st place class prize, but they came up short.  After a heart-breaking defeat in tug of war, Jack had to face the reality that his classmates were not "in it to win it" quite like he was.  He told me, "It's as if they are just out here to have fun.  Don't they know we need to win??"  Bless him.

Here he is when the tug of war competition began...so full of hope and optimism.  Believe me, this was not the case when the event was over.

I've been doing yoga for the past year.  I was going to our gym, but I've found some great videos on YouTube so I've just been doing them at home.  Dash likes to participate most days.  When I get on the floor he thinks I'm there to play.  Good times. 

Sweet Andrew had to go for a eye doctor appointment last week.  In fact, everyone had got to go because we were staying out on that side of town for Renee's birthday dinner.  When we sat down in the waiting room, Andrew put his arm around my shoulder.  It was just precious.  I tried to get a picture before he noticed, but I was unsuccessful.  You can still see his sweet little hand on my shoulder though.  Melt my heart. 

Then on Friday, Andrew and I went to get his glasses.  Just the two of us went, which is rare.  He told me on the way to Costco, "Mom, this is like a Mother's Day present for you because you are getting to spend time with me.  In fact, you don't really need a present now.  This could just be your present.  Isn't that all a mother wants...to spend time with her son's?  Well, I guess really all she needs is God.  So, yeah, this time together is a great present." 
Dear Andrew, 
I like flowers and chocolate and I have an Amazon gift list.  You have a lot to learn about women and I feel like I may have failed you as your mother, but this time together is really special.  
Love, Mom

Jack and Andrew's school had a 5K.  He ran it in less than 30 minutes.  I won Mom of the Year at the 5K.  Fred was at a wedding so I had all three boys by myself.  I knew Jack was going to run it and I wanted to see him finish the race.  Clayton was volunteering in the food tent.  So, I convinced Andrew to volunteer in the food tent with me and Clayton.  He reluctantly agreed.  When we got there we discovered that Andrew could not help in the food tent because of his age.  Cue the tears.  We did not have proper shoes or clothes so we just stood around while everyone started the race.  Cue the tears.  Andrew's teacher saved the day.  Her job was to pass out medals, so she let Andrew help her.  Our tears were turned into joy and Andrew proclaimed that this 5K was "the best night ever".  Victory.

Saturday we had 17 ballgames...okay, not 17.  But all three boys had games.  That afternoon we headed down to The Greek Festival with our friends, the Moulders.  We had a blast!  
Last year, on Mother's day weekend, I went the Greek Festival with Andrew.  I bought a loaf of Greek sweet bread, only to discover the next morning that Dash ate it.  Let me rephrase that...Dash ate the entire loaf of sweet bread.  The.whole.thing.  So, this year I really wanted a loaf of bread.  When we got to the festival though, they were all out. I stood in line with the hopes that one would appear, but to no avail...until...until I pulled out my money to pay.  As I was standing there paying a sweet lady walked in from outside with a loaf of the coveted Greek sweet bread.  I asked her if that loaf was for sale and she said, "Yes, it's all yours if you want it." Do I want it?!?  I've been waiting for a YEAR to try this bread and it did not disappoint.  Mercy, it was good.  We also got some delicious Greek pastries.  

Andrew got a tattoo, because he LOVES a tattoo...always has.  

Three funny things happened while we were at the Greek Festival.

1.  Andrew had to go to the restroom, but the ladies line was too long so he went into the men's restroom by himself.  This always makes me a little nervous, but I sent him in while I waited in the ladies room.  I got nervous waiting so I just went outside to wait for him.  When I didn't see him right away I asked a man standing by the restroom door if he had seen a little boy with dark hair walk out of the restroom.  He said, "Hmmm, a boy with dark hair at the Greek Festival? That narrows things down."

2.  The Greek Orthodox Church, where the festival was held, offered tours of their sanctuary.  Being the nerd that I am, I attended one of the tours.  It was awesome.  However, our entire party joined me, including all 5 children.  While sitting on the all wood pew, Andrew passed gas.  Loudly.  It caught him and everyone sitting around him off guard.  I almost fell of said wooden pew because I was trying not to laugh out loud.  Do you know how difficult it is to stifle a laugh when you are in a quiet atmosphere and Father Michael is talking about stained glass windows?!?  It's pretty difficult.

3.  There was food everywhere at the Greek Festival, so, naturally, the boys opted for pizza.  We bought them all a piece.  Andrew only ate about a third of his slice.  I offered it to our friend, Benjamin.  Right as he was taking a bite, Jack leaned over and whispered, "Andrew doesn't wash his hands."  Speaking of almost falling off the pew...

Mother's Day was Sunday so we celebrated by going to church.  Then after church we went to Mun and Janice's house where Janice fixed a feast.  We got to visit for a bit and then headed back to Memphis to celebrate with the Shackelfords.

Around Mother's day we were talking about all the women in the life of our family.  The conversation turned to my grandmother, Mun.  She went to Honduras for several years to serve on a medical mission team.  Now Clayton is going to Honduras and she loves to help support him.  Clayton said, "When Mun turns 100, I think we should take her back to Honduras."  Everyone was in agreement until Jack spoke up and said, "No, I think when Mun turn 100, she should go skydiving." I'll keep you posted on her decision. 

I mentioned May-hem in the beginning.  We are smack in the middle of the craziest time of year, but I can almost see the finish line.  In between us and the finish line: 

2 awards day programs
1 field day
3 soccer games
1 soccer celebration 
5 teacher appreciation gifts
1 choir concert
1 (or 3) basketball games
1 8th grade graduation
1 8th grade formal
1 choir banquet

And then just life, but I can see the finish line and we're running at it with everything we've got!! 7 1/2 days if anyone is counting and, believe me, we are!

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Andrew had his final Manner's Club of the year.  They celebrated at Coletta's (a fancy Italian restaurant) with a formal dinner where they could show off all their newly acquired manners. He told me he only "failed at a couple of the manners."  Ha!  I'm not really sure what that means, but I know he had a blast!

My grandmother, Mun, flew in from Minneapolis after taking care of my aunt and uncle.  My parents drove to Memphis to pick her up.  Lucky for me, we were able to meet up for lunch before they headed home.  Best Tuesday ever!

 One morning I set out my yoga mat to get a little bit in.  When I turned around Dash was lounging on my mat. Clearly, we have two different ideas about how this was going to go down.
 Later that week, Clayton and I left for a choir trip to Atlanta.  We had to be at school at 5:30 am.  Our bus was very swanky, complete with the morning news and wifi.  I was able to sip coffee and watch the morning news.  It was glorious.  Oh, did I mention that in the first 20 minutes of the trip...before 6:00 am...some of the girls on the trip had broken out into song about 5 times.  Oh dear...Ha!
 Our first stop was for lunch.  Of course four middle school boys chose McDonald's.  It just made me remember my friends that we used to do story hour with.  I don't think I've had McDonald's since we stopped story hour.
 Our first stop in Atlanta was the Coke Museum.  It was thoroughly enjoyed by all the boys.

 Oh the joys of taking pictures with four middle school boys.  They are the best.
 Then we went to The Varsity for dinner.  Since I had McD for lunch I was not feeling a burger and fries for lunch.  So, I had a chicken salad sandwich for dinner...and it was actually REALLY good.  The fact that I couldn't eat fries twice in one day just proves to me that I'm getting old.

 Saturday morning we were up and ready for the competition by 7:30.  Look at those sweet fellas.
 Here they are with their fearless leader.  We just love Mr. Mack.
 Loaded and headed out...

 Again, silly fellas.  They were supposed to be serious.  Nope.  Not happening.
 After the competition, we headed to Six Flags.  After all the food from the day before, I decided to eat steamed vegetables for lunch at Six Flags for $11.50.  Those were some delicious mixed veggies...worth about $1.
 Clayton and another girl received the award for the choir.  They received 1st place and excellent ratings.  They were all really excited.

 Later the sweet fellas rode rides.  Here they are on the Batman.

They were hoping to ride the Dare Devil.  They waited for over an hour.  Mr. Mack, according to tradition, always rides the roller coasters with the 8th graders.  After waiting for the Dare Devil for an hour, Mr. Mack was able to ride the ride.  Clayton and his buddies sat down on the ride, pulled the safety bar down, and then were told to get off the ride. They were closing the ride because of weather.  Bless them.  They were so disappointed.  I felt so bad for them. 

Sunday morning we checked out of our hotel and then headed to the Georgia Aquarium. It was so nice. 

We even got to see a Dolphin show. The show only made me feel bad about myself as an animal.  Seriously, they can get these dolphins to do all these things, but I can't even get Dash to come when I call his name.  Oh dear...

We really had the best trip.  I'm so grateful for the opportunity to spend the weekend with these boys. Middle schoolers really get a bad reputation, but they really are a delight.  A delight.  

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Clayton had a soccer game.  We were all there to watch.  Well, Fred wasn't there yet.  My friend, Stephanie, was sitting beside me and noted that the radar was showing a storm headed our way.  The she said, "it smelled like rain".  And then she said she felt a drop of rain on her arm.  And then...then...the bottom fell out.  We were like sitting ducks.  There was no where to go AND the soccer game continued.  Continued.  We ran to the cars while our children played in the rain.  Then we headed back out. It was cold and miserable.  Did I mention that the team we were playing spoke only Spanish?  Yeah.  It wasn't pretty. 

Before Easter, we met up with a couple of our friends and had a Sadar meal to boys about the Passover.  This is our second year to meet up to have a Passover meal and it's always a great night.

Easter morning, Fred left for church early, but I'm proud to report that this crew made it to church on time...dressed and smiling.

I pulled up this picture from last Easter.  Look at how all these people have grown.  Mercy.
Mimi made her famous bunny cake.

Later that week we had a storm and Dash was very concerned. Very concerned.  He does not like a storm.

I was studying in the hammock and Dash was so distressed that he tried to climb up in the hammock with me.  It did not work, but he tried.

In fact, Dash was so distressed from the whole ordeal that he ate my dinner off my plate that was on the table and then refused to make eye contact.  Silly dog.

Since the boys have been cooking they have learned a lot.  It has worked out well for us.  Sometimes after dinner one of the boys will ask if they can make cookies.  Make cookies??  Yes.  A thousand times yes.  

And then they work up the next morning and made pancakes.  Does it get much better?!?

Jack had a game that morning.  They played hard.  As soon as the game was over he downed this bag of Flamin' Hot Munchies.  You know what I've never thought after a hard work out?  Mmmmm, some Flamin' Hot Munchies would taste good about now.  Nope.  Never thought that. 

After Jack's game we headed for a hamburger at the Dixie Queen.  Now, that's some good eating.  I was really in the mood for a good burger after watching Jack play so hard. 

 Monday Clayton cooked dinner.  He made BLTs, Parmesan potatoes, and broccoli.  He was slinging stuff around so much, he had to take his shirt off.  I was cracking up.

 Andrew had a field trip on Thursday that he was really looking forward to.  He was to put a snack and a bottle of water in a brown paper bag with his name on it.  He's seven.  He got it done.  Here's to third children everywhere.  They are survivors.

Thursday morning my phone rang at 5:45 am and it was Fred.  I knew he was on a bike ride, so when I answered the phone I said, "Where do I need to come get you?"  He was a 12 minute DRIVE away from the house.  I was just thankful that I didn't have to up GPS coordinates.  At least I had an address this morning.
 Remember the snack from earlier?  The long awaited field trip was Thursday.  We went to the Memphis Botanic Gardens.  Andrew told Fred that afternoon that he knew it was going to be fun, but it was ten times better than he thought.  Bless him.

During this photo we were in the tranquil Japanese gardens having a tea ceremony...except our tea ceremony was anything but peaceful.  About five boys decided to throw softball size rocks at the geese in the garden.  The volunteer leading the tea ceremony was not pleased.  He had a bit of a come apart during the ceremony. 

Speaking of third children being survivors...I make three-four options a week for breakfast and the boys just heat something up when they get up.  Look at this sweet 7 year old that's barely able to reach the microwave making his own breakfast.  Melt.my.heart. 

Jack had his final Bible drill on Saturday.  He did great.  As usual, his groupies were hanging out.  Fred was at the soccer field with Andrew.  As soon as the event was over, my parents took Jack to change his clothes and everyone met up at his basketball game.  Then when it was over everyone but me headed to Clayton's soccer game.  I headed to Appling Middle School for a Spring Fling.  

At 8:00 pm, we finally headed home.  It was a long, fun Saturday.  I think I may need another Saturday to recover from my Saturday though.  19 1/2 day of school left in case anyone is counting.  And yes, we are!