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, December 29, 2011

Birthday Sneak Peak

If you have a few minutes or 10 check out the following link to see my precious three year old grow up over the last 12 months...

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

My Own Selfishness

Here we are at the lake...
Tuesday morning we loaded the car in Mobile and headed north a few hours. As we were packing up and loading the car I couldn't help but think, "I just want to go home." Home to my house. Home to finish unpacking boxes and moving our stuff from Steve's house. Home with my children. Home to find a place for our new gifts. Home to weed through stuff and put more aside for Bargain Carousel. Home to prepare for our upcoming ski trip. Home with my family.

Instead, I kept my head down and kept gathering stuff and completing tasks. I tried not to complain. I tried not to grumble. I tried not to be short with anyone, least of all my children. I'm sure I failed miserably. I usually do!

Now that we are here I'm glad to be here. It is quiet. It is calm. It is relaxing. There isn't much that has to get done. My children are comfortable here. Maybe this will be their special place. Everybody needs a special place!

It has become a tradition that we spend the week between Christmas and New Year's at the lake. Yes, we could skip this year. Our children are young. They are happy to be here and that isn't going to change in the next couple of years. However, they are growing up. When they get to the age when they don't really want to come to the lake after Christmas, when they would rather be in Birmingham with their friends, we want it to be just what we do. We go to the lake the day after Christmas and stay until New Year's Day ~ no ifs ands or buts. Sort of like, we go to church on Sundays. It's just what you do in our house. Sometimes we have friends...sometimes it's just us, but we go to the lake after Christmas.

I'm hopeful to create more special memories full of laughter, love, and time together.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

All is Bright

What a whirlwind of activity the month of December has provided...

~ unpacking boxes and organizing their contents

~ another Christmas program

~ dinner guests
~ a gingerbread house ~ our small group dinner and Christmas pageant
~ Christmas creating ~ cooking, baking, wrapping, delivering ~ traveling to Mobile
~ singing Christmas carols
~ a Christmas Eve visit from the tooth fairy
~ time with family

Wishing You and Yours a Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 12, 2011

My Reminder

When the stress of the week ahead starts to get to me may I remember these precious faces!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Just Stay in the Gutter

There is so much to tell you ~ The last few weeks have been full. Full to overflowing. Overflowing is not always good. Overflowing often leads to being overwhelmed.

We've had a school program ~

with Santa ~

and cookies ~
Mary Frances earned a "snow globe award"~

I've unpacked boxes and attempted organization. Just a glimpse...

Yes, that is a cell phone charger. It was missing for a week. I found it in the train box. I now know what happened, but that combined with a missing house phone have been the cause of a bit of frustration. Let's just say I have been hard to get in touch with this week.

Throughout this school year as I have waited in carpool lines, I have been reading a book by Katrina Kenison ~ the gift of an ordinary day. In so many ways it is fitting that I have been reading this book over the last SEVERAL months. There are many points that I could blog about, but today I will simply use a quote from Katrina Kenison to sum up what is going on with me ~ "The house awaits a hundred finishing touches. Everywhere I look, there is something I need to clean, hang, unpack, or put away." I'm making progress, but it is slow. Some moments I feel as if I make two steps forward and then take three back as we bring in yet another load of our stuff from Frank's dad's house. I mean really how did we have so much stuff in such tight quarters.

Last night we took a break from the projects and had guests for dinner. These friends have been such a blessing to us as we were living down the street. The were our next door neighbors as we were displaced. During this time we became friends. Real friends. Good friends ~ Friends who we are so thankful for. Friends who we can be ourselves with. Friends who have lived the last year and some months with us more than most. Friends whose children we love. Friends who we can call on. Friends who we never tire of being with.

It was a simple dinner ~ A combination of efforts ~ burgers and sweet potato fries with fruit. Cookies for dessert.

As the evening was winding down the children put on a performance. They acted out the Christmas story, and it was precious. That turned into a dance party. Not sure how that transition occurred but it did. I have no pictures of the first performance, but I did pull out the camera for the dancing. It was priceless! It wasn't just any dance party but a ballroom dancing party. Where did they learn these moves? As I was shooting photos, my mind wandered and I smiled because this is what it is all about ~ being together, laughing, making memories, loving each other and life.

We loved living next door to this lovely family, but now we will just stay in the gutter as we travel back and forth from one house to the other.
I pray that we all cherish these times, these memories, these blessings...

Saturday, December 3, 2011

We're Home

Finally, we're home...
Let's not forget the precious little one who will finally sleep in a room and not in the foyer by the front door.
We baked our first cookies, cooked our first supper, read our first books, had our first fire, and spent the first night in our house last night.
You see where my priorities lie ~ It wasn't getting sheets on the beds but instead what meal would we prepare and what old favorites could we read off of our bookshelf. My children were thrilled to have their Curious George back, and it is no surprise that the first story we read was Curious George Goes to the Hospital.I must tell you that despite my many grumbles and complaints over the last 15 months it was certainly worth the wait!

It is far more than I could have ever wanted or needed. I look forward to the countless memories we will make as we turn this house into our home.
What a blessing!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Give Thanks and Sing Praises

On my morning run, I pass by a neighborhood pharmacy that also sells many gift items. {Do you have one of those near you? They often have some great gifts though I have never darkened the door of this particular store!} For the last six weeks or so there has been a pumpkin tray in the front window. The words, "Give thanks. Sing praises. Psalm 92:1" are painted on it. The first time it caught my eye, it made me pause and give thanks for all of the many blessings that I have been given. It made me smile! Since then I have sought it out, because that first time it made me happy and grateful for those many blessings. I have so much to be thankful for ~

my parents...Frank's extended family...Frank's extended faith

... the list goes on and on...

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Starts, Spurts, Stalls, and Stops

So we still aren't in the house.

I guess that's okay because I still don't have Mary Frances' dress hanging in the closet. We're close on both fronts!

Construction is definitely an exercise in patience. Just ask my brother patience has never been my strong suit.

These last few weeks have been a series of one step forward, two steps back.
For me it is utter frustration.
For the boys it has been shear delight ~ lots of heavy equipment.
We hoped to move some things in over the weekend, but upon walking through the house yesterday, there were still some issues with the floors. I saw no reason to start putting things in the house if they are only going to have to be moved. Maybe we can make some headway today, but in the meantime I'll leave you with some finished details that I haven't posted. I'll try to take some more pictures today.