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!

Monday, February 28, 2011

The sound

...of hammers is music to my ears this afternoon. It means the framing has begun and the rain held off so they were able to work almost a complete day.

A load of lumber was delivered to the house this morning. We made it down the street just in time to see it dropped in the driveway.

Friday, February 25, 2011


Here's what we saw today.

I had to drag the boys away. Stephen was prepared to stay and help ~ tools, tool belt, and Italicsafety goggles.

The framing is supposed to begin on Monday, and I think our activity for the day has been decided.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

I Can Run!

Betsy is six weeks old today. Hard to believe! She is more alert each day though she continues to sleep most of the time. No complaints about that... I'm a firm believer in letting children get the sleep they need ~ it makes for happier, healthier, calmer children and therefore a happier, healthier, calmer mommy.

So what is "Sweets" up to ~ Betsy enjoys time on her tummy and believe it or not gets a little most days. I don't want her to be in the car seat all of the time although she logs a lot of hours in that carrier!
She is still loved by her siblings. The novelty hasn't worn off, and Mary Frances is still apt to pouting if she doesn't get to old her enough. Walker walks up to us with his arms out saying "I wanna hold her" in that two-year old speech that only Frank, his siblings, and I understand {sometimes}. He typically does this either as I am feeding her or trying to console her ~ neither are ideal. My hands never leave Betsy when Walker is holding her {which makes picture taking a challenge}, but he is so tender with her. He leans down and kisses her on the head. When asked if he is all done, he often looks up at us and very poignantly says, "no." Walker is only at school one day a week and for the last two times he has been, his report has stated how he glows when asked about Baby Betsy. It's true, he gets the biggest smile on his face when you ask him about his sister. Stephen is much more interested in Betsy when her eyes are open. Yesterday, he was overheard saying, "Betsy, you've gotten so big. You used to be so little but you've grown so much. Look how big your feet have gotten."
A funny thing about Betsy ~ if you have boys you are aware that as babies some of them are prone to tinkling when their diaper comes off and their parts exposed to the air. well, my boys didn't really do this too much, but Betsy does.

Still no birth announcement picture ~ maybe today or tomorrow!

So what does six weeks mean for mommy ~ I can run!

And with that I am out the door...

Monday, February 21, 2011

Late February? Really?

The title has multiple meanings ~

1. Look at some of the fun things we did outside over the weekend...
~ The discovery of an old map leads to a treasure hunt ~

~ The allure of competition leads to the first swim of the year ~

~ The blessing of fantastic weather leads to a boat ride ~

2. I have MILES to go on four Easter outfits {not to mention spring clothes}...

Yikes! But what am I doing instead...You guessed it holding a wee little one with a seriously stuffy nose who loves to be cuddled.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

I'm Surviving

Betsy is four weeks old today. It is hard to believe that it was only four weeks ago that she entered this world and our family. In some ways it seems like yesterday. In others it feels like it was an eternity ago. I keep getting the question, "How are y'all doing?" My answer is always, "We're good," and really we are. All things considered we are doing well...

I hope...
I think...
I pray...

Betsy is a sweet baby. We all love her dearly! She is growing and definitely gaining weight. One morning this week as I put her in the car seat, I had to grab the camera to snap a picture of her chubby cheeks.
I chuckled because it is funny that a baby who doesn't weigh much over seven pounds {if that} looks huge. She still has her dark hair, and I don't really think it is falling out or turning lighter. It is beginning to stand up like the boys ~ some have said that might not be such a good look for a little girl. Time will tell what it is going to do!

She might be the ultimate "go-go girl!" Life goes on ~ I guess that's what number four gets! Betsy has been to church, to Greater Shiloh twice, to Crestline twice {once to volunteer and once for Mary Frances' super star lunch, to the library for an outing, one Toddler Tale storytime, and one Family Night, to Mobile and back within 12.5 hours, to the lake for a weekend, to St. Luke's more times than we can count, and to Bible study. She's seen a lot of snow and been poked, prodded and held by her adoring siblings.
I think whenever a new baby enters a family there is a time of survival. Maybe this is particularly true given the circumstances of our life. I'm trying really hard to have a good attitude, not to complain, or become frustrated with the day in and day out reality of four children, a house under construction, and living in someone else's home. It's not easy and to be honest I'm struggling. Poor Frank gets me on the phone at least once a week in tears over something.
It took me over a week to get to WalMart because there was always someone who needed to be fed, needed to be dropped off/picked up, or needed a nap. {I know welcome to my world for the next 18 years.} I'm trying really hard to be patient with everyone and everything. I'm trying really hard to have life go on as normal for my children ~ to cook with them, to read to them, to do crafty projects with them. Maybe that's part of the problem!
I am so thankful for our friends, our neighbors, our Bible study, Norval's friends, Frank's colleagues, and countless others. I'm thankful for all they have done to help us. I am particularly grateful for the meals. While I love cooking, it is nice not to think about what we are going to eat for dinner. For four weeks now, our refrigerator has been full and our freezer space is becoming limited. I am also appreciative of those who have toted my children to and from various places. It helps! I love that Frank has allowed me to get a nap or even multiple naps over the weekends. I need them!

Poor Betsy ~ almost every time we need to go to St. Luke's for pick up or drop off it is time for her to eat. Poor mom ~ just when I think I have a few minutes to do something, anything someone starts crying. When Walker arrived I wondered how I was ever going to complete a task again, and I'm not sure that I ever did accomplish finishing anything in a timely manner or as thoroughly as I would have liked. Now, I'm almost certain that no task will be completed until the very last moment, if then. It doesn't matter how prepared I am or how ready we seem to be, I have been late more times in the last four weeks than I would like to admit.

The things you forget ~ Between Mary Frances and Stephen I forgot how bad spit up and sour milk could smell. Between Stephen and Walker I don't think enough time had elapsed to forget anything. I was just thankful that Mary Frances and Stephen had built-in playmates and that Frank wasn't overly busy at work. Between Walker and Betsy, I forgot how much time you spend just sitting when you are nursing a baby. I forgot how isolating it can feel. Just to name a few...

The things you never forget ~ how quickly you grow to love a new addition to your family, how little their hands and feet seem, how they curl a hand and place it on their cheek or even better curl it around your hand or catch hold of a garment of your clothing, the sweet baby smells and gurgles, how much they sleep, the startle reflex, how thoughtful friends and family are, and how time passes so quickly! Just to name a few...
I can't believe she is four weeks old...

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Valentine Mess

Creativity is among the millions of reasons I love my children. Individually, they have wonderful imaginations. Together their imaginations soar. You just never know where they are going to "go" or what they are going to do.

For the past year Mary Frances and I have planned on emulating {okay really just copying} the Valentine's card she received from her teachers last year. I had picked out these to create for Stephen. I thought they were simple, cute and particularly fitting for the boy who seems to have been born with the bay in his blood. I hadn't gotten to Walker yet. To be honest, I don't think I intended to make Valentines with him because he will not be at school for his class party. But then inspiration struck! Why am I always making more work for myself?

Stephen didn't love the fish idea so I guardedly asked what he thought he might like to make. {I was a bit nervous about what might come out of his mouth.} His response was "ladybugs" so I went to the computer and my own imagination to see what we might create. I also saw a theme emerging from my own little love bugs...

In keeping with the theme, I decided we could make caterpillars for Walker's school friends. This is particularly fitting since he is in the "Caterpillar" class.

So yesterday we worked on their valentine's for their friends....
We made a mess and had some fun!

We cut ~ Well I cut and Stephen snipped {and cleaned up every bit of paper}

We painted ~

Today we will put them together and add a message.