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!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Craisins, Cream of Wheat, and Crazy Hair

What do craisins, cream of wheat, and crazy hair have in common?
Mornings at our house...

I love rustle my children's hair as often as I can and crazy bed hair makes it all the better.

My children love craisins on their oatmeal or mixed with cheerios and/or almonds for a snack.

Mary Frances loves cream of wheat, but Frank does not so we reserve it for mornings when Frank is out of town or must leave the house before eating with us.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


I told you Stephen could fall asleep anywhere and I mean anywhere. The following picture certainly proves that statement in my eyes.

This picture was taken after I picked him up {asleep} and carried him out of his car seat, put his feet on the ground, and held his hand to walk across the yard, up the stairs, and into the house. This is where he landed and proceeded to sleep for another 15-20 minutes before tumbling to the floor.

Hope to be back soon with some summer stories!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Reoccurring Themes

I've been going through the last year of photos for Stephen's 3rd birthday celebration and slideshow and several reoccurring themes of our family have emerged!

Here are the Top 10 Truths about our family that you might not see unless you are around day in and day out:

1. We cook together a lot.

2. Stephen needs his own apron.

3. Stephen likes to dress up.
4. I strip the boys down to their diapers often ~ they get wet, dirty, etc...

5. We always have some kind of project going on.

6. Stephen can sleep anywhere {I wish I could}.

7. My boys have a limited wardrobe that we wear over and over and over.

8. We use our next door neighbors wall and landscaping to take pictures often.

9. It is hard to get a picture of five people.

10. My children love each other.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

It's More Than

ABC's and 123's...

Throughout the year, Mary Frances' 4K class has learned a lot! Her class and her teachers have worked hard and had fun... She knows all of her letters, their sounds, and how they work together to create words. She can read many sight words and is beginning to sound out some words. She is curious about words and is always carrying around a pad and pencil asking me "what does that say?" and "how do you spell ____?" She can rote count above 100 and can count with correspondence to almost 30.

I think all of that is wonderful, and I truly think her last two years at St. Luke's have helped create a lifelong learner which is extremely important to me. She has had wonderful teachers who have gone above and beyond at every turn. In fact, her teacher from last year took her to the elementary school to eat lunch with her daughter. Just an example of how they have gone the extra mile to help my child love school! They know my child and they know what she needs. And while she might have been a bit shell-shocked to walk into that full and loud lunchroom last week, it will give her a boost of confidence when she walks through the doors in August.

There is another thing she has learned this year that I think is much more important than all of the academic learning, and it is something that I also hope will be a lifelong habit. That is how to give! Throughout the year, her class and the entire school have collected pantry items for Grace House Ministries. Each week we were charged to bring a pantry item to put in the basket. We didn't take something each week, but we tried! {As you know, my children typically accompany me to the grocery store so we would pick up something ~ usually on sale and that goes a long way such as rice or pasta ~ and talk about taking it to school and why.} The basket would fill up and Mary Frances' teacher would deliver it to the appropriate recipient.

Well, this week her class {with the help of parents, grandparents, and teachers} planned, organized, and put on a lemonade stand to raise money for St. George's in Nashville, TN and Christ Church in Albertsville, AL ~ two churches that have sustained damage in the recent floods and tornadoes. The children had a ball and they raised over $1300 to divide between these churches.

Isn't that amazing! What a lesson I hope they ~ the ones who sold lemonade and the ones who donated ~ learned...

{That's Stephen's class after enjoying their cool, refreshing lemonade.}

And now a questions related to giving ~ does anyone know where I can find a firetruck cookie cutter? A fire dog and a fire hydrant would be a bonus! Stay tuned to see how that relates to giving.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Newest Daredevil Among Us

We have gone from a new walker to daredevil in just a few short weeks. It seems it was just yesterday that we were playing in the front yard and several people walking by stopped to comment on our "new walker." Walker began walking at almost 15 months and was running by 16 months. One of his favorite things to do is escape our backyard through the gate that doesn't quite shut! Not too long ago he couldn't make it through the gate without a reprimand. Well now he can get all the way past the car and to the grass before I get to him.

Well this week he has become quite adventuresome! Here are some shots to show off his newest stunts...
Yes, he stands all the way up and lets go ~

I tried to shoot stealthily so as not to encourage ~

I was telling my brother about these latest stunts and in reference to the above picture he said "what's so bad about that." {Mind you my brother is the one in the family who had so many stitches that my mom new the ER doctor's names.} My response, "nothing until he does a forward roll over the swing and lands face down with a mouth full of dirt." Needless to say we had brown bath water~
Full of excitement and determination ~ He would get to the top and barrel down the slide as if it was a roller coaster ~

Mary Frances would catch him ~

He couldn't walk when he got off because his balance was so affected~

He's off to do it again...if he did it once, he did it fifty times ~

Monday, May 17, 2010

Mental Images

Can you believe it? Two in one day...Don't get used to it though I do have lots I want to fill you in on.

I just don't want to forget some of the mental images of our Sunday so I feel I must attempt to capture them in print. Some are directly related to me and my family, but others just represent a life worth living ~ little moments that add up to a good life ~

1) While walking through the parking deck headed to church, all five of us were walking together holding hands and then departing in the alley. Stephen ran back to Mary Frances to give one last hug. When he caught back up to me, he said, "Do you know why I did that?" "Because I love her!"
2) A mother in front of me rustling her daughter's hair. I can't quite put my finger on how old the girl was but she was old enough that her mother's touch could have been annoying her. Instead, when her mother stopped she looked up and smiled in only a way a daughter can to say "please don't stop".
3) Dean Limehouse approaching the pulpit as he does each Sunday before he preaches ~ he kneels to pray and I know he fingers the placard that says "Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel"
4) Our first real family "movie night" ~ Stephen engrossed in Dumbo, Mary Frances snuggled in next to me, and Walker standing by the coffee table dancing whenever he heard music.

There are probably countless other examples of the gift of life I have been given and that I wanted to share but I have already forgotten and so you now get the real babies {who are growing up} on just an ordinary Sunday afternoon.

Reflections on the Weekend

It was a good weekend ~ busy yet relaxing and productive at the same time.

Frank returned home from Washington D.C. Friday afternoon. We all love it when he walks through the door particularly when he has been away for a couple of days.
He went to work in the yard ~ cut the grass, use the weed eater, and blow the mess ~ and left me with my little helper. She helped me finish picking up the house and get supper together for our dinner guests.
As an aside I want to share some thoughts about Mary Frances and her impending graduation from 4K and St. Luke's. Boy, I am going to miss her next year! Actually I think the boys might miss her more. It is going to be great and we are both ready {I think} to enter the world of "big school," but I have had many moments over the last few days where I am overcome with my emotions and become near tear when my thoughts linger too long on her ending her chapter at St. Luke's.
My children don't mind being in the kitchen with me. In fact they love to bake with me! They are also typically content to play at my feet, color, paint, or do play dough at the breakfast room table, or put on puppet shows among other things. Actually, Stephen can be quite content just sitting on the counter watching whatever I am doing. One of his favorite things of late is to watch me pour my half 'n half into my coffee so that it swirls and changes colors. However, on this particular day Mary Frances was extraordinarily helpful in making the salsa for our Cumin Crusted Soft Tacos. {This is one of my favorite make ahead, serves a crowd recipe ~ great for supper clubs!} The other items on the menu included fruit for the children and salad for the adults to go with the Tacos and Key Lime Pie for dessert. I have searched online for my key lime pie recipe because I know it was in an OLD Southern Living and a couple of people have asked for it. It must be so old that it isn't on the My Recipes website. Does that make it okay for me to post it?
Friday night ~ dinner with new friends. I say new friends because they are a couple who joined our small group fall before last. The reality is that Frank graduated from high school with one of them but we just didn't travel in the same close circle. We have truly enjoyed getting to know them as a couple and enjoy being with them as parents. The are a wonderful addition to our small group and I am very excited that their middle girl will be in Kindergarten with Mary Frances.

Saturday ~ a day spent working in the yard ~ Frank on the playhouse and me in the garden and a an adult birthday party with the children for dinner. I walked out the door without my camera and we were running SO late I didn't have the heart to go back in for it.

Sunday ~ church, grocery, outside play {before the rain}, lunch, naps for the children, more work {in the rain} on the playhouse for Frank, and organizing papers and making a master list of the things swirling through my heard for me ~ the list includes but not limited to children's clothes, JLB, SLDS, delinquent presents {birthday and baby}, graduation, Linville, Pt. Clear.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Bone Tired

The picture is Stephen, and he is doing what I wish I could do. Instead of "bone tired" the caption for this picture should read "tired and hungry are a dangerous combination," but I'm using his angelic, sleeping picture to let you know how I feel.

I'm not sure why I'm so tired so I'll just chalk it up to a life that I am very thankful for ~ a life with a husband and three young children, a house, a yard, a church, a profession, friends, a sewing machine, and various other commitments. I'll try to be back soon with a recap of May thus far or possibly some things coming down the pike. The sad truth is I can think "in blog" all day ~some of it is mundane, but some of it is quite good {funny, useful, helpful, or will just make you feel better about your life} but I just can't find the time to sit and record.