Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Alabama Vacation


Double Click the picture to see moments from our Alabama trip this Summer. We had a great time!

We enjoyed visiting family and being down South. The kids are even starting to pick up on how different it is from the Midwest. We stopped at a Cracker Barrel for supper on the way down there and we barely got in the door when one of the workers stopped me and asked if these were my kids, and went on and on about them and then asked where we were from and wanted to know all about where our family in Alabama was from, etc. While we waited on our food, we let the girls go play checkers since we could see them from our table. Little old people came out of the woodwork to talk to them.

Then, an older lady at the table next to us stopped by and said, "Ya'll have the sweetest little family." We had only been there 15 minutes! Drue came back to the table and said, "Everyone is so nice here!".

One evening at Pine Lake David and my Uncle Tom were serious about wanting to catch a huge catfish. Uncle Tom brought some special bait, and they put special hooks on the ends of their line. They picked the perfect spot to cast. The kids don't care what size fish they catch, they just like the thrill of watching their bobber go down and pulling up whatever caught their hook. Reese had a tiny hook on hers with a worm and cast it out at the end of the pier. Pretty soon it went under and she started reeling it in. She didn't catch a tiny brim this time, she hooked a huge carp! And as she was reeling him in, she caught him on David's and Uncle Tom's lines as well.

Sadly, it turned out to be her "one that got away" story because it broke the line. Well, multiple lines. She was so upset. We would have had to throw him back anyway, but she wanted to get him on the bank and get her picture taken with him.

The beach was a blast this year. Last year we couldn't really get in because of the oil spill. The girls tried to teach me how to boogie board. And we took turns heading down the beach to fetch Tate when the current carried him and his boogie board too far.

The last night we stayed there was by far the most comical. We were sleeping soundly in the hotel and at 5am an alarm sounded from the intercom between our beds. An automated voice came on saying, "Alert! There has been an emergency discovered in the building. Please exit immediately.". I leaped out of bed and started making a plan. "You grab Tate! I'll grab Drue! Reese can walk down the stairs with us!". I headed for the door and turned back to say, "Come on Drue", and found her still sound asleep in my bed.

David is definitely the calmer of the two of us, especially in situations such as this. He was grabbing some shorts and shoes and taking his sweet time. Reese kept saying, "Is there a burglar in the building? Is he going to steal our stuff?". I was sure a tsunami was approaching since the weathermen had been warning of an approaching gulf storm. We made it down 5 flights of stairs with 3 sleepy children and pushed open the door to the side courtyard into the early morning air...and rain. I was barefoot, not having had the forethought to process anything beyond getting the children to safety.

I don't even remember now what the cause of the big emergency was. It was not a tsunami, because I quickly scanned the gulf when we got outside and was relieved not to see a hundred foot wall of water heading towards shore. I think someone smelled something burning in the elevator. Ugh.

We filed back up the stairs and crawled into bed. But there was no going back to sleep at that point. Adrenaline has a way of waking you up, whether you're ready or not. We got up, packed up our stuff, ate breakfast and were ready to hit the road for the first leg of our journey home by 8am. Two hours before we had originally planned.

And we're already looking forward to seeing what adventures next year's trip holds for us!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Forgotten Facebook Statuses

Ok, so my blog posts are sometimes few and far between and I like to blame a little thing called Facebook. Oh, and time. Or lack thereof.

Facebook and time. Yep, those are the culprits. It's so much quicker (more quick?) to pound out a few lines of a Facebook status sometimes than to draft a more lengthy blog post. It kinda makes me realize how much I tend to ramble (no feedback needed on that comment David),how many of my blog posts go on and on, and how much time is spent building up a certain scenario.

I do get a kick out of going back and re-reading old posts, though. Especially some of the stories I had forgotten about. Which, is really one of the reasons I started blogging in the first place. So I figured I would do the same thing with Facebook. Go back and re-read some of my statuses for old times' sake. As I was going back through my statuses, I realized there were more than plenty that I never blogged about. So I picked 10 random ones for this post. And may choose to revisit some others later.

I joined Facebook the Summer before Reese started Kindergarten. Here were some doozies/sweet ones between now and then:

-David asked who dumped the entire box of carpet fresh onto the carpet. Tate quickly scanned the room and when he couldn't find his sisters to blame said, "Mommy did it!".

-I popped a Starburst in my mouth on my way up to tuck the kids in. Tate was trying to figure out what it was so he leaned in closely, sniffed, and said, "It smells like Star Wars."

-One lost school library book. One upset child. One found library book after upset child had already been dropped off at school. One mad dash back up to school with found book for upset child. One happy child after school with new library book. One puzzled mother asking her happy child why she checked out a book we already own?!

-Tate's prayer last night: "Thank you for Santa for giving us toys and thank you for God for giving us hearts".

-Me: "Drue, do you still want to be a vet when you grow up?"
Drue: "No"
Me: "Oh, what do you want to be then?"
Drue:"Nothing"
Me: "What do you mean nothing?"
Drue: "I just want to be YOU!"

-A sign of a hectic morning is finding your perfectly toasted bagel still sitting in the toaster oven at 5pm.

-Tate's favorite blanket is accidentally spending the night at church. We have assured him it is in good hands...God's hands.

-I felt like I was in a production of Sound of Music last night. Every clap of thunder brought another child jumping into our bed. I'm sure we will have a repeat performance tonight.

-I finally delivered our Welcome Basket to the new neighbors...minus the cupcakes. (Moral of the story: If you're not home the 1st time I try to deliver your basket, I will eat all perishable items).

-I was feeling pretty good about myself getting everyone ready ahead of schedule this morning until I dropped Drue off at school in her sweats and realized it was Picture Day.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Extreme Makeover: Girls' Room Edition

 
We moved Reesie out of her nursery a few months before Drue was born. We wanted her to think, "Cool! I get a new room!". Instead of, "That new baby is kicking out of my room!". Of course, since she wasn't yet 2 at the time, neither thought probably crossed her mind. After Drue was born, we finished setting up Reese's new room. David put white bead board up and we painted it the prettiest, girliest, sweetest shade of pale pink. 7 years later, we decided it was probably time for a little update. We were subtly pushed toward this decision by some comments the girls have made here and there. For one, neither one of them likes the color pink in general anymore. And they have both been wanting to put a little more of their personalities into their room by asking to put up posters, etc.
 
So we bid farewell to their pale pink walls and Pottery Barn Quilts earlier this week. I've been planning it in my head all Summer. And being the huge fan of HGTV Surprise Makeover shows that I am, decided that was the way to go. Completely and totally surprise them! The beginning of the new school year coincided nicely with getting the girls out of the house together. David took a day off work, and we worked diligently toward the "Big Reveal".
 
It turned out p-r-e-t-t-y darn close to the way I imagined it being. At first, we were going to keep their beds (which I have always liked). But the girls have asked for bunk beds a few times. They actually were wanting waterbed bunk beds, which I doubt even exist. And at one time Drue was bound and determined to ask Santa for them this Christmas. Yikes! We ended up coming across this really inexpensive bunk bed frame while we were on a date night a few weeks ago. We both got so excited picturing their reaction, we just couldn't resist. Their cute twin beds will wait for the girls to move into their own rooms someday.

The hard part was keeping all this a secret from them. I have been out on numerous secret missions to Target, Hobby Lobby, etc the past month or so gathering items. The girls couldn't miss the huge box on top of our van the night we bought the bunk beds. We told them we couldn't tell them at that time what was in the box but explained they'd find out soon enough. I even had to go so far as to tell them, "Don't worry, it's nothing to get excited about" to throw them off the track. Drue decided it must be a new shower for our room because she caught David measuring our shower recently. David stayed up late a few nights putting together their new dresser in the garage. He threw a quilt over it and they didn't peek once. It also worked to our advantage that they are scared to go in the garage by themselves, which pretty much kept them from snooping when we weren't close by.
 
I couldn't WAIT for them to get home from school and be surprised! This helped me not be too sad to replace the pink walls with bright turquoise, ahem, Magical Oasis, and remembering all the times we tucked in our little toddler girls in that room or helped them into their tiny pastel tutus.
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Footage of the Surprise

video
David sent the girls upstairs to see their new door. Little did they know what was waiting for them when they opened it.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Race for the Cure

SURVIVOR
 

GRANDMA
 

MOM
 

INSPIRATION
 

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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Message Received

The girls and I have discovered duct tape crafts!

Huh?

Yes, you can actually buy patterned duct tape now and make crafts out of it. Ok, it's probably been around for awhile, but it's new to us, so don't steal our thunder...or our duct tape.

The other day we purchased our rolls and set to work. Which included googling different projects and watching You Tube tutorials. We fashioned bracelets, anklets, a ring, and...wait for it...wallets! Drue has a cheetah print duct tape wallet, Reese has a paint splattered pattern, and Tate chose...orange. Plain orange. Well, not plain orange. Bright-neon-grab your sunglasses-orange.

They are beyond excited and proud of their new accessories.

The other night the girls were being especially giggly and talkative at bedtime. Oh, wait, that's every night. David had already been in a few times to settle them down to no avail.

It was time to pull out the big guns. Threatening to take away a most treasured possession if the commotion ensued. I was listening from our room as he went in there and said, "Girls! You need to lay down and be quiet. If I have to come in here again, I'm going to take away your wallets."

To assure they understood completely what was expected of them he asked them to clarify, "So what should you do?".

"Hide. Our. Wallets!" Drue said decisively.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Tate's Gift

 

I wish I could keep it forever,
This sweet little golden flower.
I wish I could slow down time,
Every second, minute, and hour.

Picked by his hand so small,
As we walked to school today.
He smiled and held it up,
Then went off on his merry way.

A simple little gift,
That everytime I see,
Reminds me in his changing world,
He still thinks of me.

I wish I could keep them forever.
If I had one super power,
I'd choose to slow down time,
Every second, minute, and hour.
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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

And They're Off...

 
...to school that is. All of them. And the house is quiet. Too quiet. For about 3 hours, until I go get to pick up Tate. The tears came easily when I had to drop him off the first day. From me, of course, not from him.
 
Thankfully, the kids were healthy all Summer. Two days before school began, Drue started running a fever. Her first day outfit hung neatly in the closet for another day. My friend came to pick Reese up the first day so I didn't have to drag Drue out of bed and into the school. I was so sad watching them pull out of the driveway, knowing I wouldn't be able to walk Reese to her 1st day of 3rd grade. Reese assured me by saying, "Don't worry Mom, we can pretend like tomorrow is my first day and you can walk me to class then."
 
Drue's temp stayed down so I did get to send her the very next day. But I didn't get to walk the girls to class. We all filed into the front lobby of the school and the principal said that 1st & 3rd graders could go on into the library. Drue looked up at me pleadingly, wanting to go, so that was that. I tucked her $20 bill into her side backpack pocket for lunch. I never thought something as trivial as lunch money would set me off. But my voice broke as I said, "Don't forget to give that to your teacher." *sniffle*sniffle.

And off she went. Reese was torn because she, too, wanted to go to the library but knew I'd be sad that I didn't get to walk her to class. Then I looked at Tate in his oversized backpack and more tears fell. I gave Reese a hug and kiss and she reluctantly started down the hall. She abruptly turned around and came back to give me one more hug. The principal looked at her sweetly and said, "Is she ok?". I just nodded, not wanting to go on to explain that she was fine, her Mother was not.

Tate marched down the hall with confidence but as we got closer to his classroom he slowed down and grabbed my hand. Then we went through the door. The last time I'll ever go through that door for my first day Kindergartner. I remembered back to Reese's first day there, and how I couldn't get over how tiny she was to be walking the halls of this school.

I was still lamenting the fact that time is passing by so quickly when I read one of my friend's facebook statuses. Her baby girl is heading to college this year and it simply said, "Seeing all the boxes of her stuff is starting to bother me". While I'm sad for her, that's exactly what I needed to read. I am so thankful to be in this stage of life. Yes, I'm sad there are no little ones at home with me all day, but I am so thankful I get to pick Tate up at lunch and that the girls are still young enough to want to snuggle on the couch and tell me about their days when they get home. I'm grateful for my calendar full of soccer practices, gymnastics, and brownie meetings. And I most certainly do not even want to think about the day we will pack up their stuff to send them off to college.
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