Saturday, January 28, 2012

Driving School

     The neighborhood we live in is made up of the best, most creative, fun women on the planet!  Of course, with 4 kids I rarely get to just hang out and chat with them.  It's usually just a text or a wave during the mad dash of car pool.  Today the kids were invited to driving school at the Thompson's house.  They have a new go cart, and every kid here wants to drive it, so they were very excited.  All I've heard since yesterday is, "Tell us when it's 3 p.m. on Saturday because we have to go to driving school at Mrs. Sandy's house."  Jackson and Mia rode their bikes over at 3 sharp to get started.  Parker is too young to drive, but he definitely wanted to watch, so we got Everett up from his nap and headed over a few minutes later.  This was a very professional school of driving.  First they had to take their written test, of course.  Once they passed that, they had their turn behind the wheel.  We got there just in time to see Mia pulling in the driveway, and Jackson took his turn next.  I thought Parker would at least ask for a ride, but he was just glad to be there with all the other boys.  After they had their test run, they got a certificate saying they had completed the course and their very own driver's license!  They had a great time, and I'm sure the first thing they say in the morning will be, "Can we go drive the go cart?"

One brave woman riding with all the student drivers.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Weekend Away with a Celebrity Sighting!

     Alright, so it wasn't me who spotted the celebrity, it was mom.  That counts by relation, right?  On Friday Jeremy and I headed to Nashville for a little weekend getaway.  This was my birthday present from him, so I've been looking forward to it for a few weeks.  Of course, like all of our best laid plans we had a few hiccups.  Mia had 2 rounds of the nasty stomach virus that's going around the past week.  Her first round of it was actually 2 Friday's ago, but her last bought starting on Wednesday night.  By Thursday morning she was tons better, but I kept her out of school Thursday and Friday to be on the safe side.  No one else showed any symptoms, so we left town feeling like we were in the clear. 

     We got to Nashville that afternoon and drove straight downtown to Gruhn's.  I think Jeremy's brain is imprinted with a homing signal to this place, and it's always our first stop when we get in town.  He could stay here all day and play.  We walked around downtown a little after that then decided to go check in.  Our hotel had a resident Dachshund that Mia would've loved, but I only saw it when we checked in.  It's little bed was right beside the front desk!  We ended our day with cheesecake for supper from the Cheesecake Factory, and it was delicious as usual.
     Saturday was cold and rainy, but it didn't deter our shopping plans.  We had 2 missions that day.  Look for a pageant dress for Mia, and look at chess sets for Jackson.  Jeremy ended up picking out Mia's dress, which is red and sparkly and almost as loud as she is.  I did have to stop him from buying the jewel encrusted matching red shoes.  She would have been in bedazzled heaven!  Jackson will be 10 next month, so we browsed around for a nice chess set.  He has a glass one, but with lots of "helpers" I'm afraid he won't have it for long!  I'd like to get him a really nice one, that he can keep and maybe play with his kids one day.  We didn't buy one, but I got a better idea of what I'm looking for.  My parents came into town around lunch time so we met up with them for a bite to eat.  The Blackhawks (dad's team) were in town playing the Predators (Carley's team) so they had tickets for that night.  We had a nice lunch, then went back to the room.  Mom wasn't going to the game, so we picked her up later that evening for dinner.  Jeremy and mom love a good steak, so we went to Morton's.  After dinner we got the dreaded phone call.  Mia had so kindly shared her virus with Parker.  By this time it was around 8 p.m.  We debated on driving on home that night, but Jeremy's mom said everyone else was fine, and he didn't really get sick anymore, so we decided to stay and drive back early Sunday morning.  I don't think I slept a wink, praying that Parker would feel better and no one else would get sick. 
     We packed up that morning and drove home.  We talked to them on our way home and Grandma said everyone else was still fine, and Parker was feeling a little better.  Also on our way home we got a call from mom.  She said they were at breakfast in the hotel, sitting next to Hoda Kotb!  Mom wouldn't ask for a picture or an autograph, but Carley snapped one with her phone.She said Hoda spoke to her on her way out and asked her how she was.  Mom said she's a lot skinnier and taller in person. 

     We got home and were very glad to see all the kids.  Parker was still a little pale, but he was begging to play with everybody else, so we knew he was getting back to his regular self.  Everett ended up with a fever last night, but tylenol and laying in the recliner with his daddy watching football seemed to cure him.  He slept through the night and everyone feels good this morning.  Hopefully we can get through the week with no more sickness! 
     I only took 2 pictures the entire weekend.  I always have the best intentions of documenting our time away together with my camera, but I rarely do.  I think when there are no kids around we just get caught up in being together with no interruptions that I forget I even have the camera with me!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Stuff That's Going on Here

    I really have no better title for this post.  It's just a bunch of random stuff that we have going on right now.  Let's start with my kitchen.  I would also include a pic of my dining room, but it's a carbon copy of the kitchen right now. 

Why does it look like a storage shed?  Because my husband is doing this to our room. 

Our friends are building a house right across the street from us and they had extra wood flooring left over, so Jeremy bought it and is putting it down in the master bedroom this weekend.  I am trying to help as much as possible, but I have no idea what I'm doing.  Mainly I sweep, bring in meals and snacks, and try to keep the kids out while he's working.  We have 2 different couples interested in our house, so we're hoping we will be done with our project and have it ready to show by Monday evening.  The highlight of all this DIYing for me is that we get to put the mattress on the floor to sleep.  Our bed is so tall that I always feel like a kid trying to jump onto it, so it's been nice to literally fall into bed at night! 
     As I was toting empty flooring boxes to the street today, our mail lady handed me a package with this in it. 

It's the blog book I ordered from my 2011 posts.  I was so excited to get to see our year all bound up in one big book.  If I'd had the cash flow I would've gotten a copy for each of the kids, but I guess when I'm long gone they'll have to take turns with just the one copy.  I am very impressed with the quality of the book, and I can't wait to sit down with my coffee later and look through it all.  I'm so glad I started chronicling our family life this way.  So many things would be forgotten if I hadn't written it down.  I hope my kids and grandkids will appreciate the memories one day.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Happy Birthday . . . You're Old!

     This was confirmed by my lovely daughter at 7 a.m. yesterday morning as she was eating breakfast.  And I quote, "Just 3 more years and you'll be middle aged!"  First of all, to whomever taught her the words middle aged, thank you.  Second, she's about right.  Despite my oldness, I am thankful for another year with the ones God has given me.  I try to save my resolutions for my birthday instead of the new year, so here it is.  At 32 I plan to end my streak of being the eternal pessimist.  I like the term realist better, but my husband would beg to differ.  He is the eternal optimist, so I am going to try to follow his lead. 
     I had a busy day yesterday of the usual carpool, grocery run, pick up toys, sweep, laundry, dishes, pick up toys, etc. When the kids got home they gave me their presents.  Mia made me a pot holder and a card and Jackson made me a card and stuck $2.00 inside.  Cash is always his favorite gift, so I guess he figured I'd like it as well (and I do!).  When I opened it he said, "ka-ching!".  Last night we all went to Pop and Nana's house with the pretense of a birthday celebration, but we were really there to watch the Tide Roll.  Pizza, wings, pigs-in-a-blanket, petit fors, chocolate peanut butter ice cream, 8 little loud mouths, and a 21-0 victory for our Bama boys made for a great night.  It is well known that my husband can be a little loud (bordering on obnoxious) during games, especially when the National Championship is up for grabs, and last night was no exception.  He usually scares the crap out of at least one of the kids at every game.  Mia and Kenzie finally made everyone signs to hold up, and promptly told Jeremy that he should wave that in the air instead of shouting.  All this excitement gave me a nice little birthday headache, so Everett and I went home before 9 p.m.  Since it had been raining, we had driven the 3 doors down to my parents house.  Jeremy had to wait until a commercial break in the game, then he rushed us home and got back before the game restarted.  Everett practically ran to his bed and fell asleep, so I snuggled up in my comfy-cozies and turned on the game.  Everyone else came home by 10 p.m. and crashed, then Jeremy and I finished the game together.  I am surprised he could even go to sleep as excited as he was when that game was over.  Sadly, I took zero pictures of anything yesterday.  Grandma had given all the kids new Alabama shirts to wear for Christmas, so we were all decked out and looked like the biggest fans ever.  I wish I had gotten someone to take a picture of us all, but I didn't even remember to bring my camera to mom's.  So I will leave you with this:

Friday, January 6, 2012

The 2012 Ball is Rolling . . .

     As I have just caught my breath from the holidays, life is in full swing once again at our house.  Everyones first few days back to school have been great.  Jackson brought home his very first B on a report card yesterday, and I thought his daddy would just about faint.  We don't try to emphasize perfection in our family, but we do emphasize doing your best at everything you attempt.  Jackson is extremely intelligent and we know that that B wasn't his best, especially since he kept forgetting to bring his books home those last few weeks in December.  So we gave the old "we're proud of all you've accomplished, but we know it wasn't your best, so let's buckle back down and finish the out the year doing our best".  I say "our" best because Jeremy and I feel like we're right there in 4th grade with him.  I don't think I ever hated homework so much in my life!  Also this semester, he's trying his hand at wrestling.  Shoals Youth Wrestling is meeting twice a week at his school to teach 1st through 8th graders.  He's never been into contact sports, so it surprised us he wanted to try it, but he went last night to their first practice and he loved it!  (Carley's boyfriend wrestles for Deshler, so I think that influenced his decision just a little!)  Jeremy took him and I pleaded with him to take pictures, so this is what he sent me.

I guess he's not going to get out on the mat and take a million pictures like I would, but this is a good effort on his part.

Mia came home with a flyer in her backpack as well.

     She is already planning what dress she wants to wear.  I told her she could do it as long as she wouldn't get mad if she didn't win.  She said she didn't care, she just liked getting to dress up and wear make up on stage!  I may have a mess on my hands in about 10 years. 

     Parker was glad to get back to his class and see his friends.  He got some new tennis shoes (just like Jackson's) and before the teacher even had the car door all the way open, he was showing them off and telling her all about them. 

     Everett is turning into a nightmare.  One day we found him sitting on the computer desk with my camera in hand, which he had snagged from the very top shelf of the desk.  He had turned it on and when I walked in and looked at him he pointed it at me and said, "mile (smile) mama".  This child has no fear.  Not only could he have hurdled to his death from his perch, but he also didn't care about the spanking he knew was coming for climbing.  Here is his handywork.


     Mia was also a climber, so I guess he takes after her.  He also has an eye for Jeremy's iPad.  If he ever sees him sit it down, he runs over and grabs it up.  Not only that, but he unlocks it, finds Angry Birds, and starts up a game.  Should an almost 2 year old be able to do this?  A better question I guess would be, if an almost 2 year old can do this, shouldn't we let him?  Another favorite pastime is following people into the bathroom to help them potty, especially Parker.  He will walk in right after him and say, "pee pee?" .He also likes to roll all the paper off into the floor.  If he ever asks to go too, we always let him sit and try.  He hasn't actually done anything yet, but it's never to early to start encouraging! 

     I am trying my best to keep the house semi-decent on the chance that someone calls from the front yard and wants to see the inside of our house.  I asked Jeremy to please stress to whomever calls that I will need a little bit of time to tidy up (especially the endless mounds of hot wheels that are constantly under foot these days).  We haven't really "advertised" other than a sign in our yard for now, but we will put it in the paper before long I'm sure. 
     Well, Monday is the day.  And no, I'm not talking National Championship.  I will be turning another year older.  My kids are already kidding me about how ancient I'm getting.  After all, they say, I did live in the 1900's (meaning 80's and 90's).  We had a great opportunity to go the the Bama game this weekend in New Orleans, but I can't imagine paying hundreds, if not thousands of dollars for tickets.  Much less the horrible mood my husband would be in on my birthday if they lost the game!  A cousin of mine has an apartment in Jackson Square, and he said we were welcome to stay there if we came down, but I think we will stay home and watch from the comfort of the couch, instead of with thousands of our closest friends (and enemies to boot).  So, between the game, dance practice, and wrestling practice, I should have a pretty busy birthday.  I see this as a blessing in that I hopefully won't have time to think about how old I'm getting!  And should our beloved Crimson Tide lose the game, we can at least drown all our sorrows in buttercream icing!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Our Home

     And there it is.  The trusty old "for sale" sign.  Nothing is sacred with this man, except maybe his kids, and that's MAYBE folks!  I did once overhear a disturbing conversation about trading a (then) baby Everett for a farm with acreage, but he was just joking.  I think.  I have learned in some ways it's good to not be so attached to a physical house, but to cling to the ones I love for my sense of home.  Today I sat down and counted all the places we have lived since we were married, including all the rentals between building houses.  The grand total is: 10.  Moving into this house was our 10th move.  We are hoping, as crazy as it sounds, to have #11 (renting) and #12 (new house) under our belts before the end of 2012.  I thought I'd use this post for some pictures of our home, so we'll remember it.  And so I can one day look back and make fun of my nonexistent decorating skills.  Also I started my "things I will not realize I miss until I (once again) no longer have them" list.  It begins as follows: 1. a garbage disposal, 2. a covered place to park my car, 3. an ice dispenser in my freezer, 4. water pressure, 5. Pop and Nana for neighbors, 6.  My back porch swing.  This list will only get bigger and better as we get closer to renting a place while we build again.  I'm sure there are untold treasures that I will only remember once we're actually in said rental space.  I try not to complain (too much) because we are very blessed to have all that we do.  I guess it just goes to show you how many little conveniences we take for granted nowadays.  Yes, I googled "nowadays" and it's actually a word in itself.  Here we go,

Jackson's room.  He started out wanting everything red.  Walls, ceiling, carpet, closet, etc.  He settled for 2 crimson and 2 tan walls.  The furniture he has was the very first bedroom set Jeremy and I bought as newly weds.  All we could afford was the bed, chest, and 1 night stand.  Mom and Dad bought
us the mattress as a wedding gift.

Upstairs bathroom.  I looked high and low for these mirrors and I love them.

Mia's room

Playroom.  I have a real love/hate relationship with this room. 
Love when it's clean/ hate when it's messy.  You can guess how I feel about it most of the time.

Downstairs extra bathroom.  When we moved in Everett was 3 weeks old. 
He now stands on a stool at this sink to brush his teeth with his Spiderman toothbrush!

 Our den with Jeremy's enormous leather couches.

Kitchen.  You can barely read the scripture over the window. 
I love it so much I may have it in every kitchen for the rest of my life!

My backsplash was painstakingly installed by my dear husband. 
He still reminds me how hard it was to cut the tiles directly behind the stove. 
Maybe I can talk him into doing one more like this!

I think it was Paula Deen who said, "Every southern home needs a front porch swing and
a rooster in the kitchen".  Well, I have a swing on my back porch, and as of Christmas
I have my rooster.  It still counts if he's green, right?

Dining room.  I am the proud owner of my great grandmother's dining room furniture
(which I'm told was considered very modern when she got it.) 
I'm not sure how much longer it can survive my kids!

Everett and Parker's room.  I love this green.  This poor furniture we bought brand new before Jackson was born, almost 10 years ago!  The dresser and night stand are on their last legs, but I hope one day one of our kids will want to have the rocker that they were rocked to sleep in to rock their own babies.  And, thanks to pinterest, I have big plans to turn the baby bed into a bench.  I'm afraid that little piece of the kids' history will be staying with me until I'm gone for good!

Our room.  This bed started out with tall posts on the footboard which connected to the headboard, and I was not a fan, so Jeremy took it to a man to have them removed and he reset the headboard as well.  A vast improvement in my book!

Ahh, my tub.  I had to put 2 pics of it in because I love it so much.  It's wonderful in the early evening, when the sunset shines through the glass and makes everything pink and gold. 
Make this #7 on my list of things I'll miss.

Our foyer and Jeremy's precious crown moulding. 
He was excited for months after our trim guys installed it. 
I think he just might miss it the most!

When I hear the phrase "business in the front, party in the back" 2 things come to mind. 
Mullets, and our houses.  The front is nice and neat, the backyard looks like a junkyard.