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!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Make A Joyful Noise

How can you not smile when you see this face!
Yes it was loud and probably obnoxious.  Most would have cringed, but all I could do was smile!
Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth; break forth into joyous song and sing praises!
Psalm 98:4 (ESV)

Saturday, November 23, 2013

The Feast

While many of us are planning our own Thanksgiving Feast, my children and their teachers planned one for us.  Yesterday, I had the pleasure of attending the Thanksgiving Feast at St. Luke's Day School.  In fact, I had the privilege of doing this twice. 

First, I sat with Betsy while she ate.  It was a joy to have just my baby girl without the distraction of her siblings or the chaos of our house.  She ate a delicious feast of protein and carbs - a roll, ham, turkey, mac 'n cheese, dressing, and sweet potatoes followed by a piece of pound cake.  You know what - I'm not complaining.  At home, I think she would have balked at everything except the meat and dessert.  She happily tried and asked for more of each of the other dishes.  It always helps to have mama feed you!
And then, Frank met me at the school to join Walker for his final feast at St. Luke's. 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Thankful Thoughts

Earlier this week my oldest son slipped downstairs and quietly made his way to our dining room table. 

The rest of us were in the kitchen carrying on while getting breakfast and lunch prepared for the day ahead.  For some reason, I peaked in the dining room and this is what I saw.

Stephen was pondering a thankful thought that he had just written on a card to hang on our thoughtful tree.  For that I am thankful... 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Made me Smile

Yesterday, I emptied my camera and this is what I found.
It made me smile...

Life has been such a blur that I had already forgotten about the Veteran's Day parade at St. Luke's.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Part of Your World

Dear Mary Frances,
     I am so thankful that you are a part of my world.  I loved the time we spent yesterday creating your costume for Kathryn's birthday party.  I turned out great!  My favorite part of the day was driving you to the party and listening to you sing the song Part of Your World from The Little Mermaid.  I think it is cool that you knew the words not from watching the movie but instead from Pops taking you to see the play.
     I hope you had fun with the little girls.  It is neat to think that those will be some of the girls in Walker's kindergarten group.  It is fun when your worlds collide and your circles grow smaller and smaller.  Never stop meeting people and making new friends.  You will be a great example to those little girls when they get to Crestline next year.


Saturday, November 16, 2013

Mid-November Already?

Okay so I am awful about updating you on our life!  On one hand, I want to apologize, but on the other I don't.  I won't say "I'm sorry" because in our house saying those words means I'm going to try to do better.  In my head, I want to do better, but the reality of life is that I can't.  Or I won't sacrifice other things to spend more time sitting here at my computer.
 So, what have we been doing?
 Playing outside a lot - one of the perks of October in Alabama...
Mid to late October is a blur, and my camera remained put away for most of it.  There is lots of activity that creates many schedule changes.  There is also life with six people and six different sets of activities, interests, and needs.
Our outside projects have finally come to a finishing point.  Note, I didn't say completion because there is always something to be done.
Frank and Mary Frances had a special evening together while Stephen had spend the night company.

Our school system has a day off in mid-October for the end of the first nine weeks.  This year that day was an e-day.  Don't get me started! 
The following week we have three half days for Parent-Teacher Conferences.  Don't ask!  Weird?  Crazy?  Inconsiderate to working parents?  Yes!  While I love having my babies and their friends home, we are all exhausted after those three days.  Let's just say they play hard when they are together.  This year Mary Frances had hula hoop practice (another story for another day) from 12:00 - 1:00 so it created three different pick-ups plus scheduling meetings with each teacher.  

4:30 pm - Post Fall Festival
And then the next week is Halloween and everything associated with that!  Why oh why is there so much associated with Halloween?  There is Crestline's Fall Festival and Bake Sale, St. Luke's Trunk or Treat, and the community Halloween Parade.  Oh, and Frank was travelling, and we had parties at the preschool.  Something had to give, and it did!  First, on Wednesday Stephen came home from school sick which meant no Trunk or Treat.  I have to admit, I was relieved and fortunately I didn't get many complaints.  We had breakfast for supper and turned in early.

5:00 am After Fall Festival
Thankfully, Stephen had strep throat.  If you have to be sick, strep is the illness to have because, at least as a child, once on an antibiotic you feel better almost immediately.  He was a trooper.  On Thursdays, Walker goes to school and Betsy and I go to the church for a Discipleship Class that I was asked to join.  Because of the nature of the class, I really didn't want to miss.  At first I was going to stay home, but then I realized that if we went Stephen could take a snack, a blanket, and a backpack full of books.  He could snuggle up on the couch in an alcove of a room where we meet.  It worked!  He was great while quietly reading his books and eating his snack. I almost forgot he was there!

And then, I received another phone call from the nurse at Crestline.  Mary Frances fell on the playground.  Thankfully, it was 1:45 so I was able to collect all of my children and head to the pediatrician's office.  They took x-rays and sent us to an orthopedic!  This is our first experience with a broken bone so I didn't have a strong preference for who we saw.  The pediatrician made us an appointment with someone in close proximity.  Thank goodness!  We were in and out and home by 5:30.  Frank met me at the orthopedic and took everyone else to the parade.  The only picture I have from Halloween is from the pediatrician's office.
Thank goodness for friends!  They took pictures and took my children trick or treating.

On Friday we went back to the doctor and got our first cast. 

Now we are on our third cast for the same break! 
Our favorite neighbor broke her wrist the same day.
Wait - There's More
We had our first ever Friday Family Fun outing ~
Betsy loved chopsticks!
Let's see...what else...Frank ran a 10K!  We went to cheer him on.

I don't know about you, but we need our routine and schedule.  The slightest change can have us off kilter for days to come.  I was glad to see November 1.  Frank was not!  He had been dreading the beginning of November for months because he had four arbitrations set for the first two weeks.  That means he was in town but not in our house.  In times like that, we long for the weekends. 
Betsy in her new favorite place to snuggle - the den sofa!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Feels Like Fall

We are experiencing some cooler temperatures here in Birmingham.  Part of me wants to say finally, but I'm afraid that is only because I am tired of my clothes and I want to wear slacks and not feel hot as I get in and out of the car running here, there, and yonder. 

The cooler weather makes me want to enjoy time outside with my children.  Last weekend Frank made a trip to Dallas to surprise his aunt for her 60th birthday.  That left me here with the kiddos, and I wanted to do something fun and out of the ordinary.

For awhile now, I have been wanting to go to Moss Rock Preserve so that was the outing that I planned.  I was met with complete resistance!  They whined, and cried, and complained as I made our picnic.  The grumbled and bickered the entire drive.  No one wanted to go! 

But I did and their behavior was not going to get me to change my mind.  It only fueled my fire that this was going to happen. 

And it did...

at least briefly.

Betsy was ecstatic.  She literally squealed when I took out the baby backpack and started to put her in it.
The boys immediately snapped out of their funk and had fun traipsing through the woods looking for sticks and noticing rocks.  Mary Frances continued to complain but she enjoyed carrying the camera and act as our photographer.

Our adventure was short-lived because of rain, but I am looking forward to going back as a family.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Gooey Gunk

I alluded to my girls making concoctions.  Recently, Mary Frances has loved what they have been doing in science.  She has been studying chemistry, and she often comes home asking to mix and make things.  One Saturday, I said yes.  Then I remembered I had this book:
We flipped through it together and landed on Gooey Gunk.  I had all of the ingredients, and it looked interesting.  We made it together.  But for food coloring getting into the hands of a two year old and then going everywhere, we had fun!
 It provided hours of entertainment for all!
 How it works, I'm not sure, but it was quick to put together and does not make a mess.
The only problem now is that MFS has hidden it so I can't pull it out for her siblings when I need some quiet entertainment.
An activity that bridges the gap between my bookends is a huge win in our house!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

War Eagle Hey

If Stephen has found his first love in baseball, then his second is all things football.  He loves to watch football.  He loves to play football.  He loves to talk football.  He declared early in the season that he was cheering for Auburn, and he has not wavered.  Honestly, I thought his devotion would wane as the Tide began winning.  However, he stood strong.  Despite heading to T-town for a game under the lights, he continues to root for the team on the plains.  I admire that dedication!  It helps when you have a daddy and good friends who are also cheering for your team.  After Auburn's game against Texas A&M, I think we were all screaming War Eagle!

Friday, October 18, 2013


Yes, we are missing in action!  Our life is full of action.  Fall is busy.  Winter is busy.  Spring is busy.  Summer is busy.  Yet, I don't love to think of being busy.  Busy is okay, and it is our life.  But I don't won't to be busy for the sake of being busy.  I want our busy to be worthwhile and meaningful.  The fact is, we are a family of six and that means we are busy - always.
Spectators at the MidAm.
We are in a good place.  I feel like we are truly busy, but it is busy in a good way.  Busy that is fulfilling.  Not busy just to fill the time.  It is funny how when I am busy in a good way, more gets accomplished.  I'm learning to use little pockets of time to get things done, and I'm learning that I don't have to be five minutes early to be on time.  One drawback to this busy life is that there is little time to sit at my computer and document what is keeping us so busy.  So what have we been doing...    
We've been playing fall ball -
I would say Stephen has his first love.  He LOVES baseball. 

While Stephen is actually the only one playing baseball it definitely involves the entire family.  Playing baseball in the fall is supposed to be a little less involved than in the spring.  And that is true.  It is a relatively short season and we only have practice once a week with games typically on Sunday.  I have to cushion our time at the ball park by at least 10 minutes because Betsy wants to walk up and down each and every step.
Both directions.  Either way we get there.  And as you can see there are lots of steps.

We've been busy spending time together -
My scientists are making something.
Playing in the front yard

Ready to hike
We've been busy watching a transformation of our yard -
We've been busy going on adventures -
The boys went camping!
And the girls went to Mobile to meet Baby Harriet!
We've been busy with school, watching football, cooking, cleaning, volunteering, and playing with friends -

Pink for Breast Cancer and Blue/White for Cougar Spirit
Give drugs the boot!
We've been busy waiting for it to feel like fall.