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, February 13, 2014

Once Bitten, Twice Shy

While North Central Alabama was still dealing with the debacle of ice and snow from two weeks ago, another storm was on the horizon.  You know me, I don't really watch the news or follow the weather so on Sunday evening when I received an e-mail that Boy's Bible Club was cancelled for Monday afternoon due to the threat of inclement weather, I paused to check the forecast.  Precipitation was likely but ice and snow doubtful.  The temperatures were hovering around 35!  It didn't matter, everyone was taking this threat seriously.  The governor called a "state of emergency," and in turn the school systems cancelled school for Tuesday and then again for Wednesday.  For two days, we sat around with wet, cold weather keeping us inside.  It was far too wet to play outside but far from cold enough to snow.  I built a fire.  We played games.  The children created an amazing block structure and an elaborate script to go with it.  I vacuumed.  They drew pictures.  Neighbors came to play.  We had a few outings - haircuts for the girls on Tuesday and the grocery store on Wednesday.  I didn't want to be too far from home just in case!  Still no snow.  The temperature still hovered around 35!  Really!  Frank's office closed at two on Wednesday, yet he stayed until past 5:00.  Once he arrived home and I was cooking supper, I looked out the window and finally there was that much anticipated "wintery mix".  The kiddos took a shower.  Then there were some big flakes mixed in.  We ate supper.  The snow kept falling.  It was 7:00 and Olympic coverage was starting.  We were thinking about putting the children to bed but then finally there was an accumulation of snow on the ground.  Enough snow to go outside and play.  And play we did!
It was the perfect consistency for snowballs and snowmen.  We called Pops.
Our neighbors converged on the street.  An impromptu cocktail party!
 What fun!  What a relief to be outside and doing something active!
Fun to be with friends and make memories.
No school again today!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Well, No

I look at this little blue car and am overcome by memories.  You see, it has been around for a long time.  Mary Frances received it for her first birthday from Frank and me.  It has been loved my many!  On occasion is is still used by all.

Today it provided laughs for all.  Yesterday when I arrived home it was a bit farther down in the driveway than I wanted.   When I got out of the car, I attempted to toss it in the flowerbed.  It didn't make it, but I left it because it was far enough up that I could pull all the way in.  As you can see from the picture, it landed upside down, and I left it that way.  This morning as we were pulling out of the driveway for Crestline drop-off, the children commented on it.  I made an offhand comment about taking it for a spin and having a wreck.  They thought that was the funniest thing they had heard in long time.  They were all laughing hysterically and asking where I went.  They each chimed in where they thought I went.  And then, Mary Frances said, "So that's why the house doesn't get clean."  Ouch!  Well no, that isn't why the house doesn't get clean but there is not need to explain the multitude of reasons.
I'm glad the thought of me on the little blue car could provide such entertainment for each of you all day.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Just an Ordinary Day!

Yesterday was an ordinary day!  It was a good day - no, make that a great day.  Maybe it was an extraordinary day!  Of course there were tasks that needed to be completed, but there was nothing pressing.  Frank went into work early and it was threatening to rain, so I drove the big kids to school and made our way to WalMart.  There were ordinary items on our list but none crucial.  {You know what I mean - Oh no that was the last diaper! - type of items}  I dropped Walker off at school and took Betsy to story time. We came home to eat lunch, read a story {or three}, and  take a nap. I prepared dinner for a friend who just had a baby and put our own in the crockpot.  Walker had a ride home from school and in turn that friend came to play so her mommy could enjoy two more hours of time to clean her house while the baby napped.  Betsy woke up.  I painted with Betsy and then attended to some cleaning of my own.  The big two came home, ate a snack, showed me their folders, played, and worked on their homework.  The friend went home.  We ran to CVS to pick up a prescription and then to another friend's house to borrow some roller blades.  {I hope you get to hear more about that at a later time!}.  When we returned home they had about 15 minutes to play before it was time to pick up and take baths.  They decided to try out the roller blades.  It was comical!  I went into attempt a few chores.  There was some screaming on the part of my No. 1.  She needed some space so I sent her to shower while everyone else began the process of picking up.  They took baths.  They picked up - thoroughly {not perfectly, but that is okay} and without too much complaining {that makes it all the better}.  They even set the table and helped unload the dishwasher.  Frank came home.  The roller blades came out again.  We ate supper and visited.  I had to deal with some blatant disobedience.  We helped brush teeth and read a story.  Daddy prayed.  I got a heartfelt apology.  We tucked in our babies.    

And then this is what I saw as I was heading down the stairs!
Oh how I long for more ordinary days.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

It Takes a Village

Tuesday, a week ago, started out like any other morning.  It was a good morning -relatively quiet and calm!  Frank was home and made breakfast before taking the big children to school.  I tidied the kitchen, made a pot of coffee, and warmed some muffins in preparation for a meeting about Kindergarten Orientation.  My little ones played.  We knew there was a chance of snow flurries, but we weren't expecting too much.  The weather was predicted to hit south of us.  Unusual, but true!  In fact, south Alabama had already cancelled school for Tuesday and Wednesday.  Not here.  Any accumulation was supposed to be 50 miles south.
As we we were having our meeting, snow began to fall.  No big deal.  We are accustomed to getting snow flurries on occasion.  It usually amounts to nothing!  So I finished up my meeting and took Walker to school.  The roads were fine, but snow was definitely falling and beginning to stick.  We arrived just at 10:00.  I stuck around for a bit.   Just in case.  It was likely to get bad quick.  At 10:15 I headed to story time at the library.  This outing is the highlight of my ordinary Tuesday.  She loves it.  I love it.  Betsy played with puzzles, and I chatted with the other moms.  That's what we do and that's why we both love it.  The conversation revolved around the weather -  "What was going to happen?," "Were they going to cancel school?,"  "When?"  And then at 10:30 cell phones started buzzing.  School was dismissed at 10:45.  I slowly made my way out of the library while continuing to visit with another mama.  My plan was to head to the preschool in order to pick up Walker first and then meet my big two on the route that they walk home.
So much for my plan!  I turned out of the library parking lot and started slipping and sliding.  I could only go one direction - backwards!  My tires wouldn't get traction, and I was taking up both lanes in front of the library.  I know I looked ridiculous.  Call me crazy, but I even got out of my car twice to look under it.  Finally, I was able to move in the right direction - forward.  At that point, I abandoned my plan and just wanted to get my car safely to my driveway.
Mission accomplished!  Now, to collect my other three children.  Fortunately, I live where I can walk to get them.  A friend, Claire, grabbed my older two because she was nervous they would get hit with all of the cars slipping and sliding.  Here is the "it takes a village" part.  Claire then sent my two and her one across the street to another friend so she could head to the preschool.  We both walked to the preschool to collect our children.  We ended up hitching a ride back to the neighborhood with another saintly neighbor.  Around 1:15 or so, I finally collected my kiddos and their stuff - hats, gloves, coats, backpacks- from my two friends' homes and made my way home.
Frank walked in the door from downtown about 15 minutes after the rest of us arrived home.  He left as soon as he received the call that the schools were closing.  He picked up stragglers leaving their vehicles as he slowly made his way over the mountain.  
I'm not sure that I have ever been so thankful for all six of us to be under one roof.  There are countless stories of people being stranded on the highway, stuck at the office or at school, separated from their nursing infants, etc.  and there are an equal number of other stories of those helping others.  What a reminder that we can't do this alone.  We need each other!  Truly, it takes a village. 
For two days, we played with friends and neighbors in the snow.  We went sledding, made snow angels, drank hot chocolate, had spend the night company {on a school night} and playdates.  We watched movies, played games and grew tired and grumpy from so much stimulation.  

Everyone was probably glad to return to their normal routine yesterday!  

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Terrible Blogger

Hi there!  I confess...again!  I am a terrible blogger.  But that is okay.  Anyway, I think my husband is the only one who reads it.  And it is really just for us!  A way to document the craziness of our life.

So where did I leave off?
Okay, so I guess you gathered we went on a ski trip and left Betsy behind.
We had a blast! The kiddos did some ski school, but the big two got to ski with us one day.

The plan was to all ski together the final day, but Stephen had a big crash.  We decided it just wasn't worth the risk so we went to the Olympic Museum in Park City.  It was really cool!  The Australian ski team was there practicing.  I am looking forward to the Olympics to see them in competition.
Stephen came home and wrote about all of his adventures…
What I didn't tell you was that we were gone for a birthday.  Betsy's third birthday was while we were away.  She celebrated in Mobile with my mom and brother's family.  And then she celebrated at school.  And then she celebrated at home with friends, neighbors, and family.
She didn't seem to mind at all.  She kept calling her birthday dinner at our house her "other birthday."
When it comes time for birthdays, I always get a bit sad.  You see I grew up surrounded by lots of family - two sets of grandparents, great-grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins.  As a child, I may not have gotten the perfect present for my birthday, but I always had a birthday dinner with lots of family.  I want that for my children.  While we have a large family, our extended family living in Birmingham consists of one.  POPS!  Pops is great, a saint really, but it is often just the seven of us.  Frank and I like to say, "Any ol' Tuesday night!"   I want more for my children's birthdays so we adopt "family."
Fortunately, we have friends who humor me!
Happy Birthday Betsy Boo!

On another note, aren't you glad you don't teach these boys' Sunday School class?