March Inn

Why"March Inn?" March Inn was the name of that magic place where I spent my summers growing up. I have alluded to this place before, and I probably will again. March Inn is no longer standing. The waters of Katrina rendered it unlivable so my children will never know that "March Inn." That makes me sad. In fact it brings me to tears whenever I think about it. I want my children to have their own "March Inn," and I want to capture our lives as they are growing and changing. I invite you to "march inn" to our lives. My hope is that you will catch glimpses of the real world. You will see our creations. You will see our chaos. You will see our affection. You will also see our frustrations, fears, and disappointments. Enjoy your march!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

A Sneak Peak

It gets better - I promise!

The joy of being a child! The wonder of the beach ~ the sound of the waves, the feel of the sound, and the whisper of a cool breeze.

We enjoyed five glorious days at the beach as a family of five. We have been different places and done different things as a family ~ even as a family of five. It seems we are always packing our bags and loading the car to go somewhere or do something, but we had never been on a vacation with just our family. Before, we have always been meeting extended family or friends in various locations. This was just us!
And it was good... It was good to get away from our routine, have a change of scenery and enjoy each others' company. We cooked good meals - Frank and I together. Mary Frances and Stephen slept together even though they each could have had not only their own bed but their own room. We {more Frank than me} swam in the heated pool with the children. Frank and Mary Frances went down the "lazy river." We walked on the beach where we fed the birds and collected seashells. We played games. Zingo is one of our favorites. It is fun for the adults and even Stephen can play. We took our Christmas card picture. We talked, we napped, we dreamed. We want to do it again.

Friday, November 27, 2009

I am thankful...

Thanksgiving has come and gone, but it is never too late to express gratitude for all that I am thankful for.
My husband

Frank ~ you are so full of life and adventure~ always dreaming and always scheming. You make each of our days fun! We have fun together and fun with our children. I look forward to growing old together.
Mary Frances
~ You are a wonder with a dear heart and a love for learning. It is fun though sometimes challenging watching you grow into your own being.
~ You have the sweetest spirit and would give anyone the shirt off of your back. You, like your father, are always up for an adventure. You know what you want and when you want it. It is wonderful to listen to your language emerge. You are constantly observing, processing, and assimilating.
~ So fun to watch your little personality emerge. You are becoming such a little person who is very attached to his mother right now. With your mobility, you are gaining independence.
My Mom

~ Thank you for all you have done for me and continue to do for me and my little family. Thank you for teaching me independence, the value of a dollar, a "can do attitude" and so much more.
My Dad and Vickie

~ Thank you for loving the time we get to spend together {albeit a bit crazy with three little ones four and under} and appreciating the effort we make to get that time.
My Mother 'N Law

~ Your ever present love for Frank, me, and our children. Thank you for your willingness to help us in any way you can, your love for life, your energy, your creativity, and especially your love for the Lord.
My Father 'N Law

~ Thank you for wanting to spend time with us ~ all of us!
Bill and Anna

~ We thank you for putting up with all of us and our craziness and are looking forward to your new arrival.
My Children's Great Grandmothers

~ What a blessing to know ones great grandparents. I am thankful for knowing three of mine, and I hope my children remember these three remarkable women.

I am also thank for for extended family, old friends, new friends, church, community, jobs, hobbies, health, and countless other blessings.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Putting Things in Perspective

From Sweets with Santa to a Thanksgiving Feast it was a FULL day to end a FULL week.

Stephen is trying to catch a glimpse of Santa!

Waiting patiently for instructions on how to make reindeer antlers.

Enjoying the beginning of their sweet treats - doughnuts and scones followed by a cup of hot chocolate laden with magnificent toppings.

Walker loved the cranberry scone. Mary Frances and I decided we want to try to make some between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Their first taste of cotton candy! My first reaction was to cringe when Mary Frances spotted it, but I let them get one to share. In reality they liked it and took a few bites but it was quickly discarded. Lesson learned for mommy!

From Sweets with Santa at the Junior League's Market, we took Mary Frances to school, and then ran by the house to get our food for the Thanksgiving Feast and a quick trip to the library to get some new books and make copies of our Sunday school lesson.

Stephen does not go to school on Friday so I am not sure why I felt like I needed to attend his class feast but we did. He ate a great lunch and was very well-behaved. Sadly, I have no pictures because I was holding a tired and hungry baby throughout the meal.

Sweet Frank met us at noon for the second round of feasting!
Walker finally cashed in - poor baby.

This is Mary Frances with her dear friend Beverly.

This is how we all felt!

It has been a long week with many reminders of how blessed my family is. I spent Monday, Tuesday, and the better part of Wednesday in a the Early Intervention and Preschool Conference. I was there to get my continuing education hours to keep my licence for speech-language pathology. I attended some great workshops and learned some tidbits that I can't wait to use with my own children, with my clients, and with the children's preschool. I met some amazing parents who have endured more with their medically fragile children than I can imagine. Because I was attending this conference, we all had to be out of the house by 7:30. This was hard for us! As I am known to do periodically, I called Frank and told him "thank you" for letting me stay home with our children.

In addition, to all I have reported thus far I have been frantically trying to get the children's Christmas outfits completed so they could wear them to Sweets with Santa. They didn't get completed, but I came up with a Plan C that worked well. It was such a reminder that God provides a way and I need to be more trusting and secure in that.

Lastly, upon arriving home and getting my little ones settled for naps I checked my e-mail as I often do and in my "inbox" was a cry for help from a women here in my community. I know this lady {though not well} from my children's preschool and Junior League so the e-mail spurred me to go open my newspaper and read this article to get more information. This women always has a smile on her face and resonates the joy of knowing Christ. She has been handed a difficult lot in life but does not let it get her down. What an example! It certainly put my stress and weariness into perspective and put it on my heart to pray for her and to give what I can to ease her circumstances.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Pancakes, a Tailgate, and a Parade

Good Morning! Walker is enjoying his first pancake breakfast immensely.

I wasn't counting but Frank reported that he ate seven - that's double what I ate. It looks like I'm going to be doubling the recipe sooner rather than later. The funny thing is that I never would have given my older two pancakes at 10 months. As I was preparing the batter, I decided Walker could partake. I justified my decision that it is really only bread. My recipe has very little sugar, and of course he ate them with no syrup.

In addition to trick or treating, our Halloween provided all kinds of excitement for the little ones.

First, we attended the first birthday of a dear friend. Lindsay is a fabulous hostess and she prepared a "tailgate" party for the Ole Miss/Auburn game. Very appropriate since the daddy works for the SEC and is a huge Rebels fan.

Mary Frances loved her Auburn shaker and tattoo.

Oh no! Getting a picture for our Christmas card is going to be very difficult. First, I've got to get the outfits completed so I won't clutter my brain worrying about the pictures yet.

Olivia and Mary Frances admiring the Colonel Reb sugar cookies.
This was our SEC commercial picture - so many little ones sporting their favorite {or their daddy's} team's colors.

You can take a boy out of Mobile, but you can't take Mobile out of the boy. About four years ago, there is a guy who lives here in town who is originally from Mobile and I guess he missed Mardi Gras so he started a "mystic" parade for Halloween. Each year it has gotten bigger and bigger. This year their were 20 floats! I think our family is content to remain among the spectators so here we are. Yes, we are a two stroller family!
And now for what most people think of when they think of Halloween. The costumes! Here are our precious ballerina, big bad wolf, and sweet pea!
I'm going to huff and I'm going to puff and I'm going to blow your house down.

In reality we went to a couple of houses, but they were so content handing out candy at our house. Stephen in particular - he just passed the candy back and forth from his bag back to the big container all night.

They are already talking about what they should dress as next year. We shall see.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

October Archives II

We made cookies...

for Stephen's Hallloween party at school. Stephen's class has been concentrating heavily on colors so we made a variety of Halloween and fall designs which I iced in various colors to go with a homemade Halloween/Fall book - White Ghost, Whit Ghost, What Do You See?. I'm waiting on a group picture of Stephen's class to make a copy of the book to send home with his school friends.

We painted leaves!

As we were walking Mary Frances into school the Friday before Halloween, Mary Frances and Stephen were picking up leaves and commenting on their splendor. They really were beautiful - red and orange in varying shapes and sizes. Stephen, in his matter of fact two-year-old speak, announced that we could "leaf paint" with them. Who knows where they come up with these ideas, but I readily agreed thinking we would do it after picking Mary Frances up from school before naptime since school dismissed early. Wrong, upon walking in the front door Stephen took his leaf and walked to the breakfast room table which is where we do all sorts of activities clearly telling me he was ready to paint with his leaves. And so we did... Really it is only right that I give Stephen that luxury since I spent so mch time doing those types of activities alone with Mary Frances before he was born or while he was taking a morning nap.

We did it some more after Mary Frances got home from school.

Just don't want you to forget about this one!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

October Archives

A trip to the park...

Walker thought he was hot stuff in the race car with his big brother.

I love this picture because we have one on our refrigerator of Stephen that looks very similar.

Sleeping children are priceless...

I think we still need a nap - at least some days. Mary Frances has graduated from "nap time" to "quiet time." She has this quiet time on my bed which means laundry never gets completed, but I won't complain because she is really good at her quiet time. I made her a "quiet time" box stocked with paper, crayons, scissors, and other quiet activities. Mary Frances loves to learn so she enjoys practicing her letters and doing school activities. Anything with cutting and glueing is a BONUS! She loves carrying around a notebook and writing notes to her friends and family so I make sure that is in the box as well as activities related to her letter of the week at school or other themes from school. Each week I fill it with activities from Enchanted Learning and The Mailbox. The teacher/SLP in me thinks this is great and I am really quite impressed with what she can do.A bike ride...
He's ready!

She's hesitant!

We were debating if we should turn around and head home when Stephen said "No, Peach" and pointed that way.
ShuShu came to visit...
and brought a box!
which provided HOURS of entertainment. In fact, I need to retrieve it from the shed. We had supper club the night ShuShu left, and we put the box away in our efforts to pick up. It is time for it to reappear.