Friday, April 29, 2011


I must begin by offering praise that all of my family were safe from the deadly storms that hit our beautiful state this week. Thankfully it was not too bad here but a town in our county was hit hard. The images and videos of the tornadoes and the aftermath are gut-wrenching and heartbreaking.  I hope you will join me in prayer for everyone affected.

Now transitioning to something lighthearted to end the week on...
That's one tuckered out little boy. Or would it be "suckered" out?

Either way I had to post it. After all, I'm a sucker for sleeping pictures. HA!

Ok, ok I'm done. Happy Friday!! :) And don't forget to hug your loved ones extra tight.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


I'm not at all surprised but nonetheless thrilled for my baby girl that she will be cheering again this next school year. Tryouts were last Thursday so the younger two boys and I made a mad-dash to Decatur to be there when she found out the results.

As you can see she has no shortage of fans! :)
It seems like just yesterday you were cheering for the local YMCA peewee football/cheer league.

And now look at you. You're big time!! We're all so so proud of you, Sissy! Way to go!! We love you and are excited to watch you continue doing what you love!

Good Friday was also Maggie's birthday. Two things Claire asked to do on her birthday was to feed the turtles, geese and ducks at Blount Cultural Park followed by a trip to California Yogurt Kraze. Martha asked if we would like to meet them at the park then accompany them to CYK. Yes and yes.

It was a gorgeous day which I thought would make for some lovely pictures at the park. Well, pictures that probably would have been lovely had I remembered to put the memory card back in my camera. I was able to capture a few with my phone.

I'm not sure if you can tell in that picture but all those little heads sticking up from the water are turtles. Turtles were kind of the theme for her birthday so it was really neat that we got to see so many. It was like they knew. HA! I'm sure it had nothing to do with the bag of Cheerios with which the kids were luring them to the surface. The picture does it no justice because there were so many of them. They decided to go up to the viewing deck to feed them.

We always enjoy spending time with RaRa and the girls and were glad we could help Claire celebrate turning 9.

Saturday was the day before Easter. As in the Easter Bunny was supposed to be making a visit THAT NIGHT. Procrastination Polly here decided I better kick it into high gear if I didn't want my children's hopes and dreams of a supernatural bunny who comes around on Easter giving out loot shattered by the fact that he skipped over our house this year. I have two people to thank in helping me accomplish this feat:  Chris and Bethany.

Thanks to Chris because he decided to spend the day fishing with the boys at his parent's house. The boys have been wanting to do this for quite some time, so they were beyond excited to go. They not only enjoy fishing but always love to see Grandmama and Granddaddy Norton.
They caught 240 fish in 3 1/2 hours.
Believe it or not, yes, they did leave some fish in the pond.  HA! It took a few hours to clean them too. But now they're all cleaned, bagged and frozen and have been our dinner in some form or other the past three nights. Delish! If you could see in my freezer you would see they will likely be dinner for quite a few more nights as well. :) 

While the boys were away Sissy and I had the day. We had the whole day to ourselves, and we were on a mission. We spent the entire day shopping. The ENTIRE day. I think we all know shopping isn't exactly my forte but it had to be done. This is where the thanks to B comes in because if you can believe it she actually got me to enjoy myself. In the beginning anyway. One of the missions was an Easter dress for me so she was like my own personal shopper. ;) I'm not exaggerating when I tell you I think we went to every single store that sells dresses in Montgomery, and I think I tried on every single one of them even remotely cute. Notice I said I enjoyed it in the beginning because by that afternoon I was as ill as a sore-tailed cat. I had shopped until I literally was about to drop. We refueled with a stop by Great American Cookies and accomplished what we set out to. And I'm officially over shopping until a few days before Christmas.

Did you know Satan works overtime on Sundays? But because I can laugh about it now, here are a few outtakes from our attempted Easter pictures:

First of all I wanted our picture in FRONT of the cross. You know, the front. As in the prettiest part, with the church in the background. Well it was a beautiful day with full sunshine and the front of the cross was facing the sun. Not. Gonna. Happen. However, even when I agreed to put our backs to the sun...
Grant still couldn't see, Mac is trying for the great escape, and 
Reid clearly wants to be there. Sissy and I are trying to keep it together.

Sissy was blinded by the light as well, Grant looks like he should be in the bathroom, Mac looks like he's in pain, and again, Turbo CLEARLY wants his picture taken. I'm still trying to keep it together.

I tried for one more. ONE more. Grin and bear it, April. You're at church. On Easter. You can do this.
And then...
The whining. Oh my side, all the WHINING!

And then I could no longer keep it together.

And then I needed to ask for forgiveness and repent.

And that was our weekend. Just keepin' it real. :)

Sunday, April 24, 2011


Yes HE'S alive.

Oh HE'S alive and I'm forgiven.

Heaven's gates are open wide.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


Grant's class took a field trip to Lanark in Millbrook yesterday. Lanark is home of the Alabama Wildlife Federation headquarters and Alabama Nature Center, a conservation education center. Boy was this a field trip made for Professor! It was also one made for daddy, and Grant was pumped Chris could go.

They learned the difference between soil and dirt:
That's the "soil doctor." He was quite comical and very animated in his teaching. He told the students that EVERYTHING comes from soil. That "without soil, y'all would be butt naked." Boy did that cause a riot. HA!
They got to see a barn owl:
She showed us more times than I can count how far it can turn its head. I felt like I needed a chiropractic adjustment after watching it.
Next was a black vulture:
That is one nasty bird. I know they are much-needed (I like to think of them as the garbage disposals of nature) but nonetheless nasty. As if it weren't bad enough that they eat roadkill, they also poop on their feet to cool themselves in the heat. HOWEVER, we learned that what comes out is actually cleaner than what goes in so... it's all good. And almost perfectly on cue, it pooped. Again, riot.

Last was the grand finale...
The bald eagle. It's gorgeous. I was enthralled. That part was my favorite.

Even as fun as that was, though, I think the next part was Grant and Chris' favorite:

It was a catch and release "fishing trip" (which was good being that most of the brim caught would be better suited in my fish bowl than on my plate) but you never would've known it by the kids' reactions when they caught one. You would've thought they were catching trophy bass.  :) The students fished in pairs and naturally Grant and Seth were partnered up.
Hotdogs were used as bait, and if you can believe it the only things hooked were fish - no students. :)

It was definitely one for the books, and I think Professor thoroughly enjoyed having us both there. Chris and I are both soaking it up while we can because it won't be long before we're not cool anymore. ;)

Monday, April 18, 2011


April showers may bring May flowers, but the month of April also brings about quite a few birthdays in our family: Dawn, me, Mom and Claire. Mom likes for everyone to get together to celebrate all of our April birthdays. We did that this past Saturday at mom and dad's house. With each get-together I grow more and more thankful for my family. My mom makes it a point for us all to be together. She won't have it any other way. And Big D has a way of getting what she wants. HA! :) We all truly do enjoy each other's company. We talk, laugh, eat and reminisce. Then talk, laugh and eat some more. Mom and dad cooked a delicious lunch (of course Martha was in on that too - it wouldn't be a meal without Martha's hand in it) followed by strawberry shortcake made with homemade pound cake and homemade ice cream. Between my boys, Martha's girls, and the other kids in the neighborhood who all somehow end up at Meems and Granddaddy's house, we had about ten young'ns hovering around the ice cream maker like vultures circling their prey. :)

Today is Dawn's actual birthday. I cannot tell you how much joy she brings to my life. She's a beautiful and hilarious person with a heart of gold who can be quite blunt - which makes her funny without even trying. She also, in some ways, still has a sense of innocence about her. It's what makes her our Dawnie. So here's to you, Snuggs! Happy happy day! I love you!

A few snapshots from Saturday...

Snuggs' friends, Rebecca and Kate, helped us celebrate:

The only time the kids slowed down was to open the Easter Happy's Aunt Sandra brought everyone.

We tried to get one of us girls with mom and dad. As usual, it went something like this:

And that was the better one. 

Then it was time to open gifts. Maggie's birthday is Friday so we're making her hold out until then for most of her gifts; however, Mimi couldn't do that so she let her open hers. She tore into that thing so fast no shutter speed would've been quick enough.
The John Deere tractor beach towel isn't a joke because she hearts all things JD (and of course what's on the t-shirt is no joke), but the color of those two things are. She doesn't love pink. In fact, she doesn't even like pink. Which is why it is now a joke that just about everything we get her is pink.

My turn... I LOVE my towel wrap.
I also got an umbrella (in the colors orange and blue) and a gift card to buy myself some clothes, which is pretty standard as a gift for me because everyone gets sick of seeing me in the same things over and over. :)

Then it was Mimi's turn.
I think she was excited she got a towel wrap too. She had a few other gifts as well. This is a monumental birthday for Big D. She's turning the big 6-0. And I think she looks pretty freakin' fabulous!

Grant challenged his RaRa to an arm wrestling match. Don't let him fool you. He's strong as an ox.

B channeling her inner Kate Middleton.
She'll want to kill me for posting that one, but I think it's too cute. I love that she doesn't take herself too seriously.

Two of my sweet loves:

It was a great day which was made even greater when Rachel said, "Do you want me to take the boys back to Selma with me so you can have a little break?" Ok I know that sounds awful but every mama needs a break every now and then. Mom chimed in and said she wanted to take them to the Easter Egg Hunt at her church Sunday so she would get them from Rachel, take them to church then bring them home. It's like they know just when I need to catch my breath. The boys were overjoyed and didn't miss me a bit. :) I love that they love their RaRa, GaGa, Mags and Uncle Keith so much. Martha said when they got home Uncle Keith had Pop Rocks and Fun Dip waiting on them. What's not to love about that!

They had to swing by the house on their way out so I could pack a quick bag. Reid didn't want to get out of RaRa's car.

The rest of the afternoon gave my Sweet B and me a little time to ourselves which I always love. Then Sunday came and it was time for her to head to North Alabama. It's never easy. I don't like it. But it is what it is right now. It makes the time we spend together extra special.

Sunday afternoon Chris and I enjoyed a few much-needed child-free hours with each other. We don't get too much alone time so I tend to forget how much I enjoy spending time with my man.

And lastly, because today is tax day, I would like to dedicate a Cee Lo Green song to the IRS. I'm sure you know which one I'm talking about.

Thursday, April 14, 2011


Not to be confused with wench.

Only the Norton boys would go down a hill so steep in a Power Wheels truck, which they had already been warned NOT to do because A) I knew it would be tempting and B) I knew said hill had the potential to send them end over end, that Chris would have to come to the rescue with the Ranger and winch them out.
 I was fuming mad because I told them not to do it.

Chris thought it was hilarious.

Just a day in my life in a house of testosterone.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


Remember when I said Reid isn't real interested in his big brothers' baseball games because of the little sisters of some of the players? I can't much blame him...
He knows a pretty girl when he sees one. :) Dani is the blondie. Only she's not much into Reid. She is, however, really into Mac. She looks for him constantly on the field and in the dugout. And when he walks past her she calls his name and starts batting her eye lashes and waving to him. It's the cutest thing ever. Cam is the brunette and she is as sweet as she is cute. She LOVES Bethany. She asks me every time I see her where she is. Bethany could eat her with a spoon so whenever she's at a game, B is all about doing whatever Cam wants to do. She's her hip attachment.
Cam is also into Reid. I think he's a bit smitten too. We had practice here yesterday, and as soon as Cam got here she showed me a boo-boo on her finger. Only there wasn't a band-aid on it. I didn't get the words, "Do you need a band-aid?" completely out of my mouth before Reid had run inside to his "safety spot" and run back out as fast as he could with his little first-aid kit to fix her up. :) He's been working really hard on being a big boy lately but I've never in my life seen him act more like a big boy than when he's around the ladies. He doesn't want me to do anything for him.

Just a glimpse into my future of how mom will be taking a back seat to the ladies. INSERT POUTING SMILEY HERE.

It's okay. I can handle it... as long as I like her. :)

Monday, April 11, 2011


Three games in and that's our team's nickname. :)

Winning isn't everything.

It's the only thing.

HaHa!! I'm only kidding (sorta). This league has been dubbed "daddy ball." And rightfully so. When you're the team everyone wants to beat it makes victory even sweeter, especially when there are smack-talking parents and coaches on the opposing teams. Y'all, I've never in my life. First it was that we cheated in the draft. Um, have you ever been involved in the so-called "draft" for 5 and 6 year olds? It's quite possibly more scrutinized than MLB, minus the agents and salaries.

Then it was that we weren't using the pitching machine on the right setting which of course meant that we cheated in the first two games because no one else in the league was running the score up like we were. So before the game this past Saturday, Chris got a new pitching machine and showed up to the game with the new machine and a baseball radar gun. He asked the league president to be there as well as the coach for the other team so they could all set the pitching machine together and make sure it's throwing 32 mph like it's supposed to.

There. Everyone happy now?

We beat them 11-2.

See?!? SUH-WEET!

Here's a strange concept: We actually practice. As in we have either had practice, a practice game or a real game at least three times a week since we have had a team. If you know Chris you know that when he's into something, he goes ALL in. Of course this is no different. It involves baseball and his own sons. HELLO! And he's a good coach. Our boys have worked hard to become the team we have become, and we are all very very proud of them. We have a great group of boys with great parents. With the exception of a couple of them, every player on the team wants to be there. We have one little boy in particular who could barely swing the bat the first day of practice. He now hits the ball every single time he gets up to bat. They love baseball. They want to get better. They enjoy winning.

They are also five and six years old. Maybe even more so than winning they enjoy finding the parent responsible for snacks that day and seeing what treat they have in store for them. It's all relative.

Since I've been out of commission for a bit (lightning took out not only our computer but the wireless router and the compressor in one of our A/C units... good times) I still have pictures to post from opening day:

Since Norton Vinyl doesn't have a logo Chris came up with their uniform:

I took this picture because I love seeing Norton on the back. I realized when I posted it that it looks like they're in trouble and I made them put their nose against the wall. :)



Ms. Vines, Grant's teacher, was so sweet to come to one of his games. She said she would come on one condition:  That he take a picture with her. He obliged but Professor is not a fan of the camera.
Don't think for a second Turbo is missing out. He has his own bat and glove and Chris is practicing with him every time he practices with the other two. He doesn't care much about watching the games though. He's too busy flirting with the pretty little sisters of the boys on the team. But when we're home he's all about keeping up with his big brothers.

I realize this is yet another baseball post. But right now we eat, breathe and sleep baseball so I'm quite sure there will be many more baseball posts in my future. This was the boys yesterday at 7:45 am.
I think I'll borrow Mossy Oak's slogan and say, "It's not a passion. It's an obsession." :)

One last thought for this Monday morning...

I was at Eastchase Friday in search of some type of cropped/capri pants. I don't own a single pair, and it was going to be in the high 80s Saturday. Being that shorts are not even in the realm of possibility (I would blind someone) and the 3 pair of jeans I have that are in constant rotation week in and week out would probably kick my claustrophobia into overdrive after a few minutes in the heat, I had to suck it up and shop. Oh the horror. I just really hate shopping. However, seeing this as I passed Gap may have changed my mind about shopping if for nothing more than to shop for entertainment purposes.
Excuse the glare - I took the pic with my phone.  Am I the only one who thinks there are all kinds of wrong with that??? But like I said, entertaining. Dawn and I got a good laugh out of picturing Chris in a pair of those. ;)