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!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

B is for Betsy

First, I want to thank my friend, Sally, for reminding me of this sweet series of books. I not only remember reading these Carolyn Haywood stories as a child, but I remember exactly where they were on the shelf at the downtown branch of the Mobile Public Library. I vividly remember running through the stacks {Ms. Merriweather in the Library Lion would not approve} and crouching down to see if there were any adventures of Betsy that I had not yet read. What I did not realize was that this book has a copyright of 1939.
They are timeless, sweet, innocent stories of Betsy and her friends. They books were written in a simplier time and it shows. I love it! Mary Frances loved it! Stephen endured it which is not too shabby for a 2 1/2 year old. Actually I think he enjoys them too. Mary Frances couldn't wait to see what Betsy was going to do in the next chapter. Besty expressed fears, joys, remorse, sadness, and excitement ~ all emotions Mary Frances can identify with and is trying to make sense of in her own little life. When we finished the book Mary Frances couldn't wait for me to go back to the library and find a new book about Betsy. On Friday, we Started Betsy and Billy. Carolyn Haywood wrote many books. There is also a series about Eddie - it might be more engaging for the boys. I am loving reading these books to Mary Frances and Stephen and it won't be long before Mary Frances can read them to herself.

Saturday, January 30, 2010


Another picture that is worth a thousand words...but I will have to add a few.She did this all by herself ~ without even being asked. Didn't she do a good job? I was overcome with pride as I walked in and saw what she was capable of accomplishing when she put her mind to it. There were no complaints, no ugliness, no threats, no words ~ she just got it. She knew what I expected and did it. This picture was taken yesterday. She did it again today! Will it happen tomorrow ~ we'll see and I won't even be disappointed if it doesn't. I am grateful for small steps towards independence. That is my goal - oh yeah and to enjoy the process.

I must add another picture for those who have been asking to see the children's room.

The other side looks the same but with Stephen in blue and his "stuff" on the shelf.

By the way yesterday was a joyful day in spite of the majority of my house being awake and up before 5 a.m.!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Ten Til'

In fact it was exactly 4:50 when I heard the first peep. I was awake which is my own insanity, but to have children awake at that ungodly hour makes for a long day. I had taken my first sip of coffee. The computer was booting up while I was looking over my calendar and "to do" list trying to arrange our day. I stopped, took a deep breath and walked to the other side of the house all the while thinking surely I would get him to go back down. No such luck, in fact Mary Frances was awake too. For about 15 minutes we attempted to snuggle together and go back to sleep, but I quickly realized I was fighting a losing battle so we got up. We made our way to the other side of the house as I am mentally thinking how can I rearrange this day so that it is not a complete disaster especially knowing that we were scheduled to be at the church for Faith Alive until almost 9:00.

Some pictures to capture our morning before our scooter woke up at 8:00.

The two year old mentality - I can do it all by myself!

Puppet Shows:

Thursday, January 28, 2010


We have so many choices throughout a day and I preach "choices" to my children daily, probably hourly, and sometimes minutely. The reality is I have to make choices all day too, and sometimes I too need to remember to make good choices. At the beginning of the month as I was beginning my quiet time, I came across this in the front of the devotional book, Grace for the Moment by Max Lucado. I loved it and have read it almost every morning since then. I find it a great way to begin my day and keep things in perspective. I helps me make better choices. Maybe it will help you too!

Note: The pictures are from the archives of 2009!

"It’s quiet. It’s early. My coffee is hot. The sky is still black. The world is still asleep. The day is coming. In a few moments the day will arrive. It will roar down the track with the rising of the sun. The stillness of the dawn will be exchanged for the noise of the day. The calm of solitude will be invaded by decisions to be made and deadlines to be met. For the next twelve hours I will be exposed to the day’s demands. It is now that I must make a choice. Because of Calvary, I’m free to choose. And so I choose.

I CHOOSE LOVE...No occasion justifies hatred; no injustice warrants bitterness. I choose love. Today I will love God and what God loves.

I CHOOSE JOY...I will invite my God to be the God of circumstances. I will refuse the temptation to be cynical...the tool of the lazy thinker. I will refuse to see people as anything less than human beings created by God. I will refuse to see any problem as anything less than an opportunity to see God.
I CHOOSE PEACE...I will live forgiven. I will forgive so that I may live.

I CHOOSE PATIENCE ...I will overlook the inconveniences of the world. Instead of cursing the one who takes my place, I’ll invite him to do so. Rather than complain that the wait is too long, I will thank God for a moment to pray. Instead of clenching my fist at new assignments, I will face them with joy and courage.
I CHOOSE KINDNESS...I will be kind to the poor, for they are alone. Kind to the rich, for they are afraid. And kind to the unkind, for such is how God has treated me.
I CHOOSE GOODNESS...I will go without a dollar before I take a dishonest one. I will be overlooked before I will boast. I will confess before I will accuse.
I CHOOSE FAITHFULNESS...Today I will keep my promises. My debtors will not regret their trust. My associates will not question my word. My wife will not question my love. And my children will never fear that their father will not come home.
I CHOOSE GENTLENESS...Nothing is won by force. I choose to be gentle. If I raise my voice may it be only in praise. If I clench my fist, may it be only in prayer. If I make a demand, may it be only of myself.
I CHOOSE SELF-CONTROL...I am a spiritual being. After this body is dead, my spirit will soar. I refuse to let what will not, rule the eternal. I will be drunk only by joy. I will be impassioned only by my faith. I will be influenced only by God. I will be taught only by Christ.

To these I commit my day. If I succeed, I will give thanks. If I fail, I will seek His grace. And then, when this day is done, I will place my head on my pillow and rest with the peace that passes all understanding." ---Max Lucado

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Coming Up for Air

Hello Friends and Family,

It's been way too long. Where has January gone? So many, including myself, look towards January as a slower paced month ~ a time without a full social calendar, a time of renewal, a time for purging and organization. Our January has certainly not been like that { it never is} but how can it be as a family of five. We have had a wonderful month thus far ~ full of wonderful things out of the routine! My pictures are few and far between however my camera is back in my hands after being shipped off for cleaning and repair. I need to start putting it to use. I will!
A quick recap of the biggies that have been occupying our time this month.

* Enjoying good quality family time when we have all been here together which has been not often enough because of travel, work, meetings, church, etc.
* Frank and I went to Park City for an ABA meeting. I skied, wrote thank you notes, read a book, typed and e-mailed board minutes, had a massage, smocked part of a dress for Mary Frances and most of all enjoyed time with my husband.
* I went to New York for a girl's weekend ~ a first~ I've only left my children with Frank one time before and that was about six weeks ago ~ just before Christmas when I went to Mobile to visit my grandmother. And then I was only gone for just over 24 hours! I still need to tell you about that day!

* Attended parent conferences for my two older ones ~ what is there to say at two and four ~ fortunately nothing of consequence for mine.

* A first haircut for Walker
He was not really happy about this. Look, he even disregarded a sucker! Stephen was no doubt appalled although he might not have noticed because Mr. Steve was giving him Oreos. Now that I have two boys with my straight, fine hair that grows like a weed, I think I am going to have to learn how to cut their hair. It can't be that hard - right? Any suggestions are welcome...

* Hosting Girl's Supper Club ~ that's tomorrow so there is lots of cooking and cleaning to be done.

* Purging closets ~ making donations ~ enjoying new toys from Christmas and birthday
* Completing projects ~ more on that to come
* Dreaming up more projects and wishing I had the time

* Planning Easter, spring, and summer clothes ~ I'm trying desperately not to get ahead of myself ~ In fact, I hardly took advantage of the Smocking Bird's sale because I just don't need to add material to my collection.

* Making baby presents ~

* We've even succumbed and rented a storage unit because we feel as if we are getting "closer" to pulling the trigger on building our house, and we have some furniture from our grandmother's homes that just won't fit in our current location.

* Filled out kindergarten registration papers ~bittersweet feelings over that one

* Ordered pictures of my children that have been taken over the years. Yes, you read right ~ years! I have had Mary Frances, Stephen, and even Walker's pictures taken professionally at various stages by a very talented photographer in the area but did not have any {not even the proofs which are mine to keep} in frames in my home. When we did our first set Mary Frances was seven months old, and the sweet photographer told me to take my time ordering and wait until I had several sets of proofs so I could decide what I really wanted to do with them. Well I took her at her word and almost three years later put in an order from several shoots.

Saturday, January 9, 2010


Kanoodle...our answer to a DS.

The Background:
As we were driving home from school one day around the middle of October, Mary Frances announced that she wanted a "DS." It is somewhat uncharacteristic for her to say that she wants something so I was thinking fast. Trying to be cool on the outside but on the inside thinking "over my dead body", I asked, "Well what is a DS?" She couldn't tell me exactly but to my chagrin she knew. She replied "that game that Kate was playing at the lake." That was Memorial Day and she hadn't even touched the game, but she remembered. I think I made a comment about that being a game for big children and the topic was dropped.
This Week:
Well there has been no more mention of a DS {yet}, but I was reminded of that event as we waited in the pediatrician's office for Walker's 12 month check up. Mary Frances was engrossed in this Kanoodle game that Frank and I received as a Christmas gift. I smiled as I thought how happy I was that she was engrossed in this activity where she had to think and visualize instead of a video game. Don't get me wrong I think there is a time and a place for video games, but I just don't think we are ready.
Kanoodle really is fun and maybe a bit addicting. Find one for yourself or give it as a gift. It is good for all ages! Go check it out...

Monday, January 4, 2010

If "Pictures are Worth A Thousand Words"

then this one is priceless~

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Happy New Year

New Years at the lake has become somewhat of a tradition. Some years we have invited friends other years it has been just family or extended family. We had to take the year off last year in order to welcome Walker into the world, but we tried it again this year, with friends. It was wonderful! Frank's parents were awfully brave to not only let us come for the holiday but to also let us invite friends. The friends are my best friend from Mobile and her husband and three terrific boys. It is such fun to be with them for many reasons ~ they are wonderful parents with wonderful children but best of all they have a playmate for each of my little ones. To my dismay my pictures don't prove that a good time was had by all. I hope that Anne captured our time better than I did. It seemed I was always snapping the picture at the wrong moment or looking for my camera during the perfect photo opportunity. Here are a few of my attempts; however no camera can capture how great it was to spend time with good, old friends. I hope we are able to do this many more times over the years ~