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!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

First Field Trip

I had the privilege of accompanying Mary Frances and her friends on their first field trip of the year.

We walked here...

and here...

I had actually never been to the police department, and it was pretty cool! Stephen would have thought it was particularly cool. One more thing he will love about kindergarten!

The jail cell and the police car were the highlights ~

New friends...

So big...
Mrs. Farrar's friends minus one riding the wave!

Thank you Frank for wanting me to get a sitter to help with the boys so I can be a part of the elementary school experience. I just hope I get to do it with each of my little ones.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Baby Gift Debt

I have finally caught up on some LONG overdue baby gifts. I'm too embarrassed to let you know how long ago some of these babies were born.
Not only am I thrilled to cross these gifts off of my "to do" list, but I was excited to try some new things. I don't usually feel like my sewing, monogramming, or applique is terribly creative, but I tried some new things and liked the results.

I actually have one more bib that I think is going to turn out super cute, but I can't seem to move it past the end of my ironing board!

Not only are these gifts made, they are wrapped with a card attached. Many have been delivered and the rest are in mailers to drop by the post office after picking Stephen up from school, grabbing some egg boxes from the Pig, and making a Garden Club bank deposit ~ do you think he will fall asleep during all of that and I can sit and smock in the carpool line for Mary Frances? Keep your fingers crossed!

The Sad Truth: I actually completed the machine part of the gifts over a month ago, but it has taken me this long to get them washed, photographed, wrapped, and ready to deliver.

Oh well, such is my life!

Humpty Dumpty

You know the rhyme:

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall
All the kings horses and all the kings men
Couldn't put Humpty together again.

What you may not know is that I spent the better part of my free time this summer putting together a "nursery rhyme curriculum" for my fellow Junior League volunteers with Success by 6 to follow. This curriculum includes 9 different nursery rhymes with a circle time, craft, snack, and various other activities for our volunteers to complete with the children in their daycare center. It has more information than anyone could every complete in the few hours we visit our day care center in a month. I had fun putting it together and feel like it allowed me to use my brain and all of the components my schooling prepared me to do. I just hope that it makes the year easier on my volunteers and that the children enjoy it.

Well yesterday, I concluded my month of Humpty Dumpty activities at Greater Shiloh, and I wanted to share some images from my time with these precious children. Before you get bored, and leave me let me tell you there are two fun book picks and a "cooking" activity you can do with your own children.

Where were my children? At school...Tuesday is the one day all three of mine go to school so I have from 8:45ish until 1:45ish to myself. I would love to tell you that this time is spent accomplishing all of the tasks around my house that I need to attend to but instead thus far this time has been spent at Greater Shiloh providing enrichment activities to a 4K classroom, meeting with builders or doing other building related homework, or at the doctor.

Yesterday was no different... After taking Stephen and Walker to school, I began my day at Greater Shiloh and then went to pick out stone/tile for the house.

We had circle time where we recited and acted out Humpty Dumpty and then I read the extremely clever book What Really Happened to Humpty? which I will tell you about later.

From circle time, the class was split into groups. One group colored their own Humpty Dumpty puppets to take home and the other group made Egg Heads.

First, I hard-boiled some eggs and cut them in slices for the body. Then, I truly went through my refrigerator and pantry and put together an assortment of various vegetables that could be used to decorate the "eggs."

The activity was well received and the children had a ball decorating and eating their "egg heads." They were great about being willing to try new foods. Some liked them...some did not!

Now for the books... Each of the nursery rhyme units is accompanied by a book list. The list contains books that can be read with the selected nursery rhyme. While at the library with my own chickadees a few weeks ago, I came across this clever little book.

This author had real vision... Go check it out and see how many other nursery rhyme or classic storybook characters you can count. There are lots of allusions! My goal is to read each of the alluded to books to my students at Greater Shiloh!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Good Friends

As I told you Friday, Frank and I were leaving town. We spent a wonderful weekend hanging out with good friends. It truly is a great group ~ easy going, accepting, not pretentious,

You know you are either really good friends or getting old when you are sitting around Friday evening and realize you need to be leaving for your dinner reservations and five minutes later six adults have piled into a Honda Pilot. No one showered. No one changed. No one made a phone call to check on their loved ones at home. I'm not even sure anyone used the restroom, brushed their teeth or hair, or put on lipstick.

I don't have too many pictures from the weekend. We talked about taking pictures more than we actually took pictures. Saturday the boys cooked us breakfast and then we went for a group bike ride. The remainder of the day was mostly spent on the beachfront deck watching college football while listening to the waves of the Atlantic crash on the beach. Michael had the foresight to suggest bringing a splitter, extension cords, and cable to run the television{s} outside. Way to go Micheal ~ what a great call that was! It was a good day for football for those of us with ties to either university in the state of Alabama! Roll Tide and War Eagle!

Sunday we were a bit more active ~ well at least the boys were. They played golf while the girls relaxed, and then we all went on a kayaking adventure.

Thank you to all of Frank's friends and their wives for being such good friends. I can't wait to get our families together over Christmas. It will wild with all thirteen children! Thank you also to all of our loved ones who graciously kept our little ones while we spent a relaxing weekend catching up and resting.

I close this on a sad note. My good friends' father 'n law passed away rather suddenly over the weekend. Please say a little prayer for Anne and her sweet, precious family. Frank and I know the pain of this loss all too well and so wish there was something we could do to make this time easier. All we can do is pray and let them know we are there for them... It helps!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Twinkle Toes

There have been a few instances as a mother when I have realized the moment is too good to be experienced alone. In the past in those moments, I would pick up the phone to call Norval to come share the experience with me. Last night as Frank and I were recalling some of those moments, I realized they mainly involved Stephen.

Well once again Stephen provided me with one of those priceless memories. Yesterday, we had one of those moments in our house,and it made me sad that I could not pick up the phone and ask Norval to walk down the street to experience it with me. The camera and the blog are as good as it gets...

Mary Frances is starting ballet today so yesterday after school we went to get her ballet shoes, leotard, and tights. Upon arriving home, she immediately wanted to try everything on. While she was getting situated I got on the phone with my mom while attempting to fold some laundry.

All of a sudden a half-naked little boy appeared by my side asking for help ~ He had a pair of Mary Frances' white winter tights half-way up his shins and needed my help getting them where they belonged. With that accomplished, I knew what was coming next..."Mommy where is the other leotard!"

Found! {Fortunately it had not been packed in the dress-up clothes ~ I possibly would have unpacked a box for the moment to continue.}
In my head, I'm thinking this is going to be great so I went in search of the Nutcracker cd and a cd player to make it even better.
In my head, I was also a little worried if this was okay for Stephen to do.
Rest assured, here is a child secure in his masculinity ~

...check out the pajamas he chose and then wanted to take off before actually getting in bed because he was worried he couldn't play football after school if he slept in the jersey.

True to his word ~ at dawn he woke up football in hand when he came to find me to unlock to back door so he could go play outside!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Memory is in the Mess

Yes, I'm preaching to myself! I truly believe those words and embrace them when my children and I are in the kitchen or completing crafty type projects, but I have a harder time keeping that perspective as I walk through the rest of the house and seeing the clutter ~ unfortunately it is typically my clutter. I am trying to make myself believe those words as I walk through the piles of laundry in my bathroom {which doubles as a laundry room} and the stacks of boxes {some packed, some waiting} throughout the house.

Enough about that, I want to tell you about my Friday. I was feeling overwhelmed with all I needed to accomplish and was trying to figure out how I could at least get done the necessary items on the list. I couldn't run errands in the car because all three car seats were out of the car and still in need of cleaning. Once I got the covers out of the wash and into the sun, the boys and I took off in the stroller. {It's a good thing I wasn't planning on using the car because not only did Frank have both sets of keys, but my battery was dead!}

This is just one of the many reasons I love my neighborhood ~ I can accomplish a whole lot on foot. First we went to St. Luke's to take care of some board business. Neither boy attends school on Friday, but Stephen was thrilled to go visit and take Mrs. TaraKy a picture he had painstakingly colored. Next we went to the bank to make a deposit for Garden Club and to the boys' delight there were many emergency vehicles in the road. Apparently there was a memorial service for 9/11 going on in front of city hall. We ran in the CVS to pick up a prescription and then scampered across the street to inspect the vehicles all while trying to keep our squeals of delight at bay so as not to be rude to those participating in the service.

Our last stop ~ The Piggly Wiggly to catch up with a few "on sale" items and a few other necessities for the lake. As I filled the buggy I failed to remember I was in the stroller and not the car. The cashier and bag boy laughed at me when I made a comment about making it all fit in the stroller ~ we got it all in with no problems!

Okay here is my first realization of the day that the memory is in the mess. In the produce section, Stephen was taken with the bags of fresh roasted peanuts. I'm not one for impulse buys, but I thought roasted peanuts would make a good snack and be fun at the lake so I let Stephen grab a bag for the buggy. We made it home and decided we needed a snack. The boys enjoyed the peanuts. Stephen enjoyed the cracking and eating. Walker mainly enjoyed the cracking and his method was less than ideal ~ he took the peanut and stomped on it on the tile floor. It actually made me smile and then laugh as I realized the act was making a memory and the mess was nothing that the broom wouldn't quickly remedy.

We got that cleaned up, ate lunch, and put Walker to bed so Stephen and I could embark on what became our second mess of the day ~ making Tootsie's pound cake! Friday would have been Tootsie's 61st birthday and we were heading to the lake to spend the weekend with Pops and some friends. I have always thought Tootsie's pound cake recipe the best I've ever had so I thought it would be fitting to make one {or two} in honor of her.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Really Anywhere...

How many times have I said that Stephen can fall asleep anywhere he gets still ~ Here's another picture of proof... Just in case you are wondering, I was in the dining room vacuuming Mary Frances' carseat so that I could get them all back into the car to head to the lake. First I heard screams of frustration that he couldn't undue the buckle followed quickly be snores.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Farewell Summer

We made one last trip to the pool before it closed for the year. The children loved daddy being with them and getting an end of the summer treat!
I loved them sharing!
And I'll leave you with this...