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, August 29, 2013

Role Model Ringmaster

Introducing Miss Anderson's First Role Master Ringmaster!
Congrats sweet boy - keep making those good choices.
You will always be my "boy wanted!"

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Round Two Complete

So yesterday was my first day in a long time to just have my Betsy with me.  It was fun day!  We walked Walker to school and then, on the way home, stopped by the Tot Lot for some playground time.  Even with little ones we knew the playground just isn't as much fun without your big sister and brothers.  Around 10:45 she came to me and asked if she could eat lunch and take a nap.  So we headed home to do just that.

She woke from her nap earlier than she wanted because Lovely fell from her bed.  So what's a mama to do - make cookies for her number 3 child's first day of school snack.  That was a win ~ win for everyone.
Now for today ~ it was my baby girl's first day of school.  The jump from the one year old classrooms is huge and she seemed so big.  And she was.  She walked in carrying her backpack and let me leave with no tears.  That is of course after I took care of a bathroom accident.  Ugh!  I think school is going to be excellent for that but no need to share too much here. 

Okay the week has been really long and I'm too tired for any more words so here are some pictures.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The Dynamic Duo

Today was Walker's first day back to school. 
This will be Walker's last year in preschool.  I'm not sure how I feel about that - ask me again after we get adjusted to our new routine and the newness wears off.  He will be there Tuesday through Thursday.  My preschool is a bit different than most in our community.  It runs from 10 - 2 instead of 9 - 1.  To some that seems really odd.  To others it just isn't a good fit.  To still others they are constantly asking "why?".  To me it never really mattered.  For whatever reason, it worked for us.  Now with two at the elementary school, I love it.  In the morning, I can get the big two deposited where they need to be, and then have some time to get my kitchen clean and also some time to play with my babies before they go to school.  In the afternoon, it gives me just enough time to read with the little ones and catch up on their day before the other two get home and the craziness of activities, homework, play dates, dinner, and bath begins.

One of our favorite things to do before preschool is go to the preschool and play on the playground, therefore, it is fitting that we ended up there prior to school beginning.
Walker is in the same class that both Mary Frances and Stephen were in for 4K.  For that I am thankful!  The teacher is wonderful - kind, calm, loving, experienced.  Most importantly, particularly for my Number Three, she realizes that all children are individuals, and she respects those individual character traits.  Not to mention -  those children leave that classroom ready to brave the halls of an elementary school.  This year she is joined by another fabulous teacher who embodies the same characteristics.  I have dubbed them the "Dynamic Duo".  
I think it is going to be a great year.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Congrats Guys

Last night we attended our first ever sports banquet.
Yep, you guessed it - the swim team banquet.  You know where we spent our summer - at the pool.  What you might not know is how much my children love swim team.  It isn't because they are the fasted, yet they have improved dramatically.  It isn't because they are the cool ones, yet they seem to be liked well enough by most.  In my opinion, it is instead because swim team provides them with a place where they have fun, feel a part of something, and can excel in their own way.  I knew they would each be getting a trophy because we had completed the necessary requirements - 15+ practices, swim 2 meets, parental shift work X 2.  What I didn't know was that they were each receiving a 30 practice patch and a special award.
Stephen received the most improved swimmer for 6 and under boys, and Mary Frances received the sportsmanship award for 8 and under girls.  What an accomplishment for both of them!  While it is great to be fast and to win events, it is even better to excel and be recognized for character that will hopefully last a lifetime.  Thanks guys!
As for that 30 practice patch, I think Walker and Betsy deserve a shout out for that one.  That means that they also attended about 30 practices and sat beside the pool and watched prior to the pool opening.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

While at School

After having four children with me almost constantly for the summer, dropping two off at school certainly lightens the load.  Two are just easier ~ they fit in a stroller better, they are easier to get into and out of the car, there is less complaining and bickering, the demands are just, well, lighter.
It is always fun to see how Betsy and Walker react to being just the two of them again.  They play together well.   
So what do we do while the big two are at school.  Well let's see...
We've gone on leisurely runs ~ slowing once to chase a trail of water to see where it drained and then again to watch a digger.

We've run some errands and gone to the Junior League office. 
We've gone to the library and done some cooking.
We've played with play dough and attempted to do some cleaning. 
We've done some laundry and painted pretty pictures.
We've sat on the floor and done some coloring and lots of reading. 
We've gone to the preschool to see their classes and meet their teachers.
Nothing special really ~ just enjoying each other and the slower pace ~ impromptu play dates, time at the Tot Lot, and the zoo, picnics on the porch, and

Now don't get me wrong ~ when that school bell rings at 2:50 we are thrilled to see two happy faces running towards us at pick-up.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Cousin Camp - Recap

Here it is ~ a recap of our last week of summer and our first ever Cousin Camp.  My head was spinning with all of the things that I needed to be doing, yet we were enjoying one last week of lazy days filled with impromptu play dates, outings to the various attractions our city has to offer, picnics around town, dips at the pool, and unstructured playtime at home.
My brother and sister 'n law graciously agreed to let me bring my niece back from Mobile.  We had a ball.  Sarah was wonderful and my children were too!

Our time together was filled with fun!
We went to the McWane Center.

And Daddy's office for a picnic ~ {the trains are fun to watch too and you can see the baseball field!}
And the zoo - twice!

The boys ~ riding the train

There was a show ~

And a "pajama ride"~
Time for playing and lounging ~
Breakfast at the clock tower followed by the Tot Lot ~
Good Times = Tired Children

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Here We Go...

It's back to school time around my neighborhood.  I've always loved going back to school, and now as a mother it is no different.  Going back to school is fun and exciting!

School started yesterday though we have known our teachers since last Monday.  We even got to go see our classrooms and meet the teachers on Friday.  That was a welcome change in my opinion.  In the past only the kindergarten students got to meet their teachers and see their classrooms before the first day of school.  For mine, there is a lot less anxiety if some of the unknowns are taken away.
We were up early and Frank left even earlier.  He was bummed to miss the first morning of school though we were thankful he was able to arrange the flights so he could be with us for dinner on Sunday.

Clothes were pressed and hanging in closets.  Shoes were mated and in lockers.  Everyone was happy, calm, and obedient.  We had a filling breakfast of "choose your own adventure oatmeal."  Lunches were constructed and backpacks filled.

First stop, obligatory pictures by the mailbox.  Mary Frances was reminiscing about her first grade year when our house was under construction yet we still took her picture by the mailbox.  She wasn't happy about it - that year!  I'm sure we have more of those to come but for today everyone was all smiles.
I'm so glad they have each other.

Next, we walked to school.  Have I told you before that being able to walk to and from school is possibly my favorite thing about where I live?
Then we entered the school.  I love that my boys held hands all the way down the crowded hallways.  It is hard to believe I will have three there next year, but let's not get ahead of ourselves.
 Stephen has a new young teacher.  I'm sure it will be great.
Mary Frances has a teacher new to third grade, and I think it is going to be an awesome year.
My two little ones will certainly miss their brother and sister, but they will enjoy the calm that comes with two vs. four.
 One of the drawbacks of going back to school - inevitably someone gets woken up to pick up!