Thursday, February 21, 2013

Our caboose turns 6

Tuesday, February 19 was Reid's birthday.
He's 6. It takes me a minute to process that. It also takes me a minute to process the fact that my children's ages are 6, 7, 8 and 17. Whoa.
I am sort of over parties for my kiddos. Actually I'm really over parties and have been for a few years. However, it's still their day and I want to do something special ~ something they want to do. If they asked for a party and really wanted it, I would make it happen. Thankfully there are other things they come up with they would rather do. Besides, what better friends to celebrate their birthdays with than the two best friends they get to grow up with: their brothers. :)

Reid had three requests for his birthday: Build-A-Bear, the arcade at the mall beside BAB, and dinner at the restaurant of his choice which was Country's Barbecue ~ because we like to keep things classy. Easy enough.

My poor little Turbo was struck with the flu again. This time he tested positive for Type B which, according to his pediatrician, doesn't seem to be as intense or contagious as Type A which is what we all had in December. And it's from the Devil. After a dose of Motrin and a breathing treatment he would be bouncing off the walls. So we tried to time the birthday outing just right.

First stop: Build-A-Bear. I sometimes forget my boys are still babies... until I see them in a place like Build-A-Bear.

They loved it and took it quite serious. ;)

Next stop was the arcade. It smelled like a combination of dirty feet and cigarette smoke. Gag! After going broke from buying enough tokens for everyone we left there with “prizes” from tickets they won which may have totalled $3.00. Oh, OH and I got whipped by Mac in a game of air hockey. The nerve.

My little Turbo was fading fast so we decided it was time to get some food. He couldn't wait for some Country's Barbecue sweet tea. True southern boy.

Thankfully we had the back of the place to ourselves, especially since Chris started this:
Blowing up the plastic sleeve the utensils were in then popping it - see? Classy.
POP! haaaahahahaha
He couldn't stop laughing
Can I really do it, momma? And not get in trouble?
Two peas in a pod/double trouble
Exhibit A: They didn't know the other was doing it.

It was a good night.

Happy 6th Birthday to my hilarious, energetic, sweet-loving, tough-as-nails little Turbo. We love you so so much.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Christmas 2012: The year of the flu

It's been so long since I've blogged that every time I sat down to post I felt like I needed to play catch-up. Because that can feel overwhelming I decided I'm not going to approach it in that way. I am going to blog when I can about whatever comes to mind I find blog-worthy ~ whether it's an event that happened over the summer or over the weekend.

I would love to be able to start this post by saying Christmas 2012 was one of the greatest ever but unfortunately that just wasn't the case. Grant was the first one to get the flu a week or so before Christmas, and it slowly but surely took out The Nortons and The Colleys. I was one of the unlucky ones to have it on Christmas, as were my nieces. So pretty much all I remember about Christmas was that it was miserable and I didn't want to move. It was unrelenting, and I didn't think it would ever end.

My mom started a tradition with my sisters and me of a Christmas Eve gift, matching pajamas. Rachel and I have kept the tradition going.
Opening their Christmas Eve pjs - I'm pretty sure Reid was beside me
We give the kiddos four gifts (similar to a three-gift Christmas but we add in "Santa" for a fun, whimsical gift). They make a list. As long as the gifts on the list are reasonable, that's what they get. I love it. It works for us.

I didn't take near the amount of pictures I usually do, but I'm just happy to have what I have. :)
It's so hard to surprise Bethany. And she's not one who enjoys surprises.
But I think I pulled it off this year with a DY bracelet to add to her collection.
Professor chose an iPad mini for his "gold" gift
Momma wishes she would've asked for that as well. :)
Mac's biggie was a Kindle Fire
Reid has asked for a "battery operated Polaris Ranger" since
last Christmas. Santa left a note that his gift was in daddy's shop :)
My loves
Now let me back up a bit.

Mom mentioned a while back that she wanted all of us to go to Fantasy in Lights at Callaway Gardens. I had only been one other time so I was hoping it would work out for us to go. Mom secured the tickets for the Friday before Christmas and it was a done deal. Bethany and I decided it would be fun for us all to get decked out in tacky Christmas wear for the trip. Rachel of course was all in. It took a little convincing for Dawn to participate but eventually she caved, and we all knew just where to look for a plethora of Christmas garb - Mimi's Christmas closet. Haha :)
We had "plans" (hate that word) to eat somewhere other than fast food in Auburn/Opelika (thanks for the suggestions, Shea) but due to unforeseen circumstances (i.e., traffic and a restaurant who wasn't busy yet took forever to attempt to seat us - maybe it was the Christmas sweaters) we were pressed for time and ultimately had to settle for Arby's. Because we're classy like that. It was delicious. Seriously.

A wee bit later we were back on the road and ready to see some Christmas lights.

We listened to a few stories first. Then it was time for the Jolly Trolley.

Waiting for the Trolley
Meet the Griswolds
Finally made it
It was cold. SO cold, but that's exactly how we hoped it would be. We laughed and made some great memories. Before heading home we loaded up on hot chocolate, fried oreos and funnel cakes. It was a really good night.

The next morning, Saturday, bright and early it was time for Christmas at Mimi and Granddaddy's.
It was another day of time together, laughter, and memories. Memories. Like the one made when it was Dawn's turn to open a gift and Rachel looked at me and said, "Where's Dawn's gift?" And I looked back at her and said, "Well I don't know. Where IS Dawn's gift?" Yes. That happened. A bit of miscommunication via text ~ oops ~ but thankfully Snuggie was a great sport about it and was happy with the end result. ;)

During the summer Reid was able to have a little vacay of his own at RaRa's house. Due to baseball conflicts Grant and Mac never had a turn. Rachel and I devised a plan (there's that word again) for Grant and Mac to go home with her for a couple of nights the afternoon we were done with Christmas at mom and dad's. Then Monday, Christmas Eve, Bethany, Reid and I would drive to Selma where we would meet up with Rachel at my Nana's house for cookie and baklava baking. This would not only allow me to get Grant and Mac but it would give us something to do on a day which seems to drag on forever. And the thought of all of us together baking in my Nana's kitchen seemed like a great way to spend the day. Plus, BAKLAVA.

Well Sunday morning I got a call from Rachel, "You have a sick baby... Grant has had a fever of 102° since 2 a.m."

I said, "Great. He also has a sick momma." I went to bed really early Saturday night and thought I was worn out from two days of fun with the fam. In hindsight I was getting sick. And because my sister is awesome she said not to worry about Grant - that she could handle a fever and to let him stay. She would let me know if she couldn't get his fever to break or if he needed/wanted to come home. I am so very thankful for my sweet daughter who took great care of me. I also had to rely on her to meet Rachel to get Grant and Mac back since our trip to Selma didn't happen. Since Reid was here he and Chris had some quality father/son time as well. A few days after Christmas Reid came down with it too followed by Sissy not long after. Mimi and Granddaddy stepped in to help as well. My mom took Grant and Mac to Scottsboro with her to visit Uncle Stinky and Aunt Rebecca while Reid and I recuperated. My sweet dad brought them home. I am blessed with a wonderful family, and I'm so thankful for each and every one of them. I hate we all got sick but there isn't a doubt in my mind God's hand was in the details, timing, etc.

Since it didn't work out for us to make a gingerbread house before Christmas, we decided after Christmas was just as well. Plus, they were on clearance. Score! We went with the mini village so everyone could decorate their own.
Mac was Mr. Serious
My little sweet tooth couldn't stop eating the icing
And Reid wanted to see juuuust how much his little house could handle
And so while I would really love a Christmas do-over, I'm thankful for the good times that were still had and for the fact that I was able to wake up and see the joy of Christmas on my children's faces, even if it was from the couch under a blanket.

Flu shots for everyone next year! :)

More to come soon... promise.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


My beautiful girl is 17 today. I'm so thankful for her life ~ what a precious soul she is. I'm grateful for the incomparable bond we share.

Bethany, you're such a gift. You are loved by so very many people. Happy Birthday, baby girl. I love you with all my heart! I & B!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Four weeks

There are only four short weeks until the kiddos go back to school. Until ALL my children will be in "big" school. It will be the first time in over 8 years that I haven't had a baby at home with me. I don't anticipate this little ol' blog will get much attention between now and then.

Off to enjoy what's left of our summer...

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Still playing catch up

In an attempt to get caught up a tad more... (WARNING:  it's a looooong one)

The days leading up to the end of the school year were super-duper busy with end-of-the year parties, graduations, ceremonies, etc.

Grant's honors day ceremony was short and sweet. Just the way I like it. :) We're so proud he made all A's all year long. He also received an AR award for receiving 134 AR points. The books he read are 0.5 points so you do the math. That's a lot of books. Proud, yes, but not surprised. Way to go, Professor!
His teacher, Ms. Turnipseed, is retiring to Seaside.
While we're so happy for her, selfishly for us we're sad.
She and Grant grew quite close this year, as did the two
of us. She will be missed. Grant had a really great year.
Mac's Kindergarten "graduation" was held at a local church. Let me say how much I love that our public school has their Kindergarten ceremony at a church. Since there are quite a few classes they had to split the programs up. So like Grant's, Mac's was short and sweet. They sang a few songs then received their diplomas.
As usual, Bueller was smack dab in the middle of the ladies. :)
We love, love, love Mrs. Schweers and fingers are crossed Reid gets her this year
Mackey had a great Kindergarten year. They really pushed Accelerated Reader in Kindergarten this year which was new to us because Grant didn't start AR until 1st grade. So Mac was reading and testing on books that Grant read and tested on well into 1st grade. He finished the year with 18 points. He was very excited about it in the beginning. Had the excitement continued through the end of the year he could easily have had 25 or more points. The newness of AR wore off. I didn't push the issue ~ 1st grade will push it enough. ;)

Now Reid's Kiddie Kollege graduation??? That sucker was anything but short. But it sure was sweet. This was our last Kiddie Kollege graduation. Ever. Part of me is excited for him because he absolutely cannot wait to start "big school." Of course part of me is sad that we are now done with preschool. Well, I'm sad until we do things like go to the beach and I realize how utterly fabulous it is that I can finally just sit down and enjoy myself while watching them play and swim. Then? Not so sad!
Pomp and Circumstance gets me every time
Receiving his diploma and "graduation smiley"
(already signed by his classmates - love) from Miss Morgan
Finding out he got "Most Talkative" in Who's Who haha!!
So proud it was his turn after following in big brothers' footsteps
Mimi and Granddaddy with their boys
Grandmama Norton and Big Daddy were there too
but snuck out before I was able to take their picture. :(
Me and my guys
One of my favorite things about Kiddie Kollege graduation is knowing I will be taking home their scrapbook.

A lot of time, hard work and love goes into those books. There are pictures from their first day to their last and everything in between. Treasures. I'm very appreciative. The boys have fun going through them together. :)

Snuggie was there too. Did I mention it ran a bit long?!? She was Luckily she came back home with us to stay the night. Once things settled down and we chilled while daddy grilled, we snapped a few more pictures.
"Aint" Dawnie with the grad
It was a good night!
Every morning since we've been out for summer he has asked if it's still summer or time for school. I think it's safe to say he's ready.

Also thrown in the mix has been the last little bit of league ball along with travel ball. Let's just say league ball this year was a learning experience. Chris and I made the decision to let Mac play in his age group as opposed to playing up in Grant's age group. We second-guessed that decision many times. At the beginning of the season only Mac and the coach's son could even hit the ball. They came in second in their division. Needless to say they came a long way. Mac played shortstop and WAS the infield most of the time. Without a doubt we made the right decision. He had a season of being "Mr. Baseball." :) He came in second for the highest batting average in the 5-6 age group (Mac's was .864, 1st place was .875). He loves the game. Loves it. And is a natural. Way to go, Bueller!
Carlile Pediatrics
Grant's team had their share of ups and downs but also came in second in their division. It was fun to see Grant grow and mature into a third baseman. His coach was determined. He has done so well and is playing third in travel ball also.

We were a bit apprehensive at first but ended up really enjoying our high-strung coach. ha!
How our coach, David Law, (back middle) never had a
heart attack on the field is beyond me. He's intense. :)
Grant loves the game as well and works really hard. He is tougher than tough and as sweet as they come - a winning combination.
One of my favorites from the season. Both boys got a game ball the same night.
Travel ball is really just getting started. We were forewarned when Chris was getting the team together that it would take a while. That we would surely have some growing pains. We have played in a few tournaments and boy have we had our share of growing pains. Yikes! It's hard watching our boys get stomped after working their little baseball booties off and looking good at practice. But we're improving with every tournament and finally had our first win a couple of weeks ago. It was awesome! Pardon the pun but travel ball is an entirely different ball game. I wish I had more pictures but things move so fast I don't even think about it.
Headed out early
Pep talk
Now that's how you watch a ball game
Daddy/son talk ;)
Baseball buds
Dawson, Grant and Davis
We will play through July then will take off a little while. As much as we love it, I think we will all enjoy a little breather. ;)

That's still not everything, but I'm getting there. In the meantime we are soaking up and thoroughly enjoying our summer.

Until next time...