Friday, May 27, 2011


Rachel's dance recital was last weekend. It's always such a treat for me. This was the 5th anniversary of The Dance Studio, and the past four years I've gotten to sit front and center in the audience doing absolutely nothing but enjoying a performance put on by my sister and her students. Her studio has grown with each passing year, and I don't see it slowing down any time soon. Her recitals have always received rave reviews (not just from me) and this year was no different. The dances were great, the costumes were incredible, and everyone (even the babies) knew what they were doing and where to go. While it should always be that way in a dance recital, it isn't. Do you have any idea how hard it is to teach a choreographed dance to 3-year-olds? It's not an easy task. Not everyone has what it takes. Martha does. While it doesn't surprise me that it goes so well every single year, I'm nonetheless amazed as I sit and watch a production consisting of an opening number, 30+ dances, and a finale each with a different costume, music and choreography. And it's done solely by her (with a few helping hands of course - one in particular who she jokes is her right hand, left hand, and half her brain). :)

This year was a bit different, though, in that Dawn and I didn't get to sit in the audience the entire time. Part of the time we were on stage ourselves. Yes. You read it right. Somehow Rachel, Dawn and I decided it would be fun to dance together in celebration of five years of The Dance Studio. We did a little tap number to Footloose. I hope we all enjoyed ourselves because that's probably the last time that will happen for this gal. It was fun. Really fun - seeing my mom and dad in the audience grinning like cheshire cats as they watched their girls, my dad whistling and cheering us on. :) It definitely took me back to my dancing days. I miss it. BUT... the nerves. Oh my twisted stomach the NERVES. When I was standing on the side of the stage getting ready to go on I didn't know if I needed to turn around and run, or if I should go pee, or if I needed a barf bag, or maybe a Jagerbomb? And let's not even mention that after having birthed four children (because you know how children rob you of brain cells) I suffer from a lack of brain capacity to actually remember what step comes next. There's a reason I stopped doing this, oh, over 15 years ago.

I kid. I think we all three enjoyed ourselves, and I'm sure when Rachel gets the DVD we'll have even more fun playing it back.

A few of my favorite snapshots:
Opening the show
She's not smiling in this one but it's no shocker that Claire loves a stage :)

I couldn't get Grace to smile to save my life... until this dance. Obviously her favorite.
B with Mayree who entertained us with a great solo

We 3 - Footloose and Fancy Free :)
Rachel has an adult class in which she also dances herself. My mom and my aunt took part as well. It's always a fun dance to great music and is quite entertaining. 

My aunt, Sandra, has participated in the adult class for 3 years now. This is her receiving her 3-year trophy. :)
My Umby was so sweet and said, "You looked like a natural up there," but she's sweet like that. I'm sure she really just wanted to crawl under the auditorium. haha! 
Me and my loves
Thanks for letting us be a part of your big day, Martha. I'm so proud of you and love you so very much!

Yesterday was the last day of school for the boys, so today officially begins our summer.  A summer of days filled with bare feet, sun, swimming and popsicles (and I'm sure a few bare bottoms at times - ha!), extra time with my baby girl, evenings filled with garden and blackberry picking, grilling out and more swimming, and weekends filled with camping and boating at the lake. And maybe, just maybe, we can throw a family vacation in there somewhere since we didn't take one last year.

And, if I'm being honest...  school being out means the boys will be around each other 24/7. This time of year is also Chris' busiest time of the year (for which we are thankful!) which means this momma/referee will have very few foreseeable breaks in the future which equates to some of those evenings consisting of the consumption of an adult beverage or two on the part of said momma/referee. :)

Happy Summer!!
Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.
James 1:17

Friday, May 20, 2011


This week was a fun week for Professor. Tuesday was Field Day, and he has been counting down the days. Not only do they get to stay outside most of the day, but it's all about competition. Grant is competitive by nature (gee, wonder where he gets it??? Poor thing... he got popped from both sides on that one), so this day is especially fun in his mind. :) Well, as long as he's winning. See Exhibit "A" below.
Go ahead and zoom in so you can see that extraordinarily, freakishly large vein popping out of the side of his neck. That's because someone just pulled his flag and got him out. Ooooh he was pissed. Look at that thing. What is it? That cannot be healthy.

The object of Flag Tag is for a certain number of people to get inside a "box" with a flag in each of their pockets. When the coach says GO you run around trying to snatch people's flags out of their pocket while trying not to let someone else snatch yours. If someone gets your flag, you're out.

Well... someone snatched his. Oh the nerve of that kid! Of course Grant had already snatched quite a few people's flags himself and gotten them out, but how dare one of his friends do it to him. He had to go to the back of the line for that one. Losing with grace is still a work in progress. Again, genes run deep. :) Thanks a lot, Martha. HAHA! Kidding!

Mac and Reid accompanied me to Field Day, and Ms. Vines was so sweet to ask if they wanted to participate. Turbo's answer was a big negative, but she only had to ask Bueller once. He was all in. Naturally when it was his turn in he headed straight for the ladies.
Mac and the ladies...  Heavens to Betsy. His teacher told me this week that periodically he will come up behind her and pop her on her rear end then will stand there smiling with a "yeah, I did it" look. Chris and I talk often about how we think life will be when they boys are teenagers. And it's SCARY! :)

After a stop at the concession stand for a snow cone Grant had cooled off and was good to go. Next was limbo which provided for many, many laughs and a lot of fun.
After each 1st grade class had been to all the stations they met up for a class relay race. Ms. Vines' class won last year, so the pressure was on to win again. And guess what...
They did! Thank goodness. It would've been hard to teach Grant a lesson in losing with grace if he saw his teacher pop a vein. :)

Yesterday was 1st Grade Honors Day. Grant loves school. He loves to do well in school and already puts a lot of pressure on himself to make straight A's. Hello... his nickname is PROFESSOR. B's are no good in his book. You may as well give him an F. This takes the "genes run deep" thing to a whole new level. Sound familiar, Sissy? I keep telling him he has a long road ahead of him if he keeps this up. Trust me.
I was proud as a peacock watching him walk across the stage to receive awards for A Honor Roll-2nd Semester, Good Conduct, AR, and a medal for having A Honor Roll all year. It's my blog. I can brag.
A few classmates and fellow recipients
(Ally, Grant, Ashton, Jaice and Christopher)

 If you only knew how hard it was to get this picture - someone is always starving, has to pee, or just plain doesn't want their picture taken. In which case I said, "You will starve unless you take this picture. You can hold it. And you just better get your tail over here and smile." And voila. 
Pictures can be quite deceiving, can't they!?! HA!

So proud of you, my little mini-me!

There are 5 more school days left. Let the countdown begin...

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


Every year Kiddie Kollege holds a ceremony honoring all the "graduates" of their Pre-K 4 program.  Mac was a part of the Kiddie Kollege Class of 2011, and the ceremony took place last week. The parents and grandparents were treated with a slide show set to music while the graduates got into their caps and gowns. The ceremony officially began with, what else but a processional to Pomp and Circumstance.
Although it looks as though he's overcome with emotion over the fact that he's a graduate and Pomp and Circumstance brought on the tears, it's really just that he was a bit nervous and for some reason keeping his hand on his face is how he showed it. ;)

They found their respective places on the stage, and we were entertained by the graduates with special songs, poems and Bible verses they worked so hard to learn. Mac vividly remembers Grant's two years ago, so he was very excited to take part in something he watched his big brother do.
I was equally as excited because Grant's was a precious ceremony. Short, sweet, and to the point. Precious.

Earlier that evening as Chris and I were getting dressed to leave for graduation he looked at me and asked the question all dads ask before attending something like this:  "How long is this thing gonna last?" I assured him, "Probably around 45 minutes, maybe an hour at the latest."

The ceremony lasted a little over TWO HOURS.

There were 16 5-year-olds on that stage for TWO SOLID HOURS. It wasn't supposed to last that long, but some miscommunication, issues with the venue, and a bit of disorganization caused it to run a tad over. And by a tad I mean an hour and fifteen minutes.
At the one hour forty-give minute mark I turned to my parents and my in-laws and told them they were excused from Reid's ceremony next year - no hard feelings. :)
Mac's was precious too, though, all 120 minutes of it. It really really was. I know I'm a little (ok, a lot) partial but he really did a great job. He knew all of the songs, poems and his Bible verse and was one of the most well-behaved children there, even after spending half his life standing on the stage. HA!
They had Who's Who for the class. That's Mac stepping forward to be recognized as "Most Athletic." You can't tell it because his head is down but he's grinning from ear to ear.

A few family pics...
 My sweet boys. Goodness we're blessed.

 Grant, Mac and Reid with Grandmama Norton and Big Daddy

 Professor, Bueller and Turbo with Mimi and Granddaddy

"Aint" Dawnie with her boys

Me with all my guys (we missed you, Sissy!)

The time and effort everyone at Kiddie Kollege puts into making each child feel special (not just at graduation but all year long) is heartwarming. They are a wonderful group of people who have become like family to us. They genuinely love and care for our children, and always go the extra mile. We will be sad to be ending our Kiddie Kollege days after Reid graduates next year.

As for Bueller, though, there's no sadness that his Kiddie Kollege days are over. He asks me almost every day how much longer it will be until fall because he knows that's when he starts "big school." Like they sang in one of their songs, Kindergarten here we come! I've never seen a child more ready for it.
 Way to go, Mac! We love you!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


I realize we're halfway through this week but if I don't post about my Mother's Day weekend now, my memory will fade me and I will wish I had. The weekend started off with a baseball game Saturday morning. I think I've mentioned a time or two (or twenty) that we like baseball just a tad, so what better way to kick off the weekend. We won. Whoooo hooooo! They played a great game, and the siding boys remain undefeated. :) We have a few tough games left though.

After the game the anglers were at it again. Chris, Grant and Mac went to Big Daddy and Grandmama Norton's for the rest of the day Saturday. It was just the three of them spending the afternoon fishing.
I think it's safe to say they had a good time. I love doing things like that with them (and have to admit I was a bit bummed they were going without me), but I also love that they enjoy alone time with Daddy and that Chris loves to have his boys with him.

Turbo had the chance to go too but wanted to hang with me... Shocker! Mimi, RaRa, GaGa and Mags came to the game that morning, so while the boys did their thing we did ours. We had a two-hour lunch just talking and visiting. Then somehow we roped Meems into keeping the younger ones so Bethany, Martha and I could go see Something Borrowed at the movie theater. The movie was really cute and funny, and I loved having a few hours of girl time.

On Mother's Day I was able to sleep until almost 9 a.m. I really don't know the last time that has happened. We ALL slept in. You couldn't have bought me a better Mother's Day gift. The fishermen got in too late the night before to do anything with the fish except put them on ice, so cleaning fish was on the agenda first-thing.

The guys with their catch (59 to be exact):

Deer and fish now make up 98% of the contents of the deep freezer.

Since they helped catch, they helped clean.
Mac signifying that a breakfast of fish guts in a trash bag is NOT the breakfast of champions.
Turbo opted out of helping with the fish (he said he didn't catch them so he wasn't helping) and instead checked on the tomatoes:

Sissy opted out of playing with fish eyes too and stayed inside catching up on a few of her DVR'd favorites, but soon we were all enjoying the beautiful weather. I love this time of year. Love love love. 
While we played Chris was grocery shopping since he was in charge of lunch and dinner. He cooked us a delicious lunch of... what else but our catch of the day. :)

After our bellies were full the boys got still on the couch, and it wasn't long before Turbo was sacked out. Chris mentioned that if Bethany and I wanted the rest of the afternoon free of three certain little boys then we had better slip out while we could. You only have to tell us once. We were in search of green plums so we decided to make a pit stop at Peach Park before B headed back to Decatur. We scored on the green plums and also saw many, many people walking around with ice cream cones. I'm not much of an ice cream fan but Umby sure is. She couldn't resist. We headed toward the ice cream but before we could get there a few other things caught our eyes:  Homemade red velvet cake, homemade strawberry cake, and homemade caramel cake. But which one? That's a decision no one should have to make so we took a slice of each.  :) She dug into the ice cream cone and I dug into the cake like we hadn't eaten in days. It was quite a sight.
Guess the DIET Dr. Pepper counts for something, right!

One last thing...

Did you happen to notice anything different about our pool in those pictures? It recently received an overhaul. It needed it in a big way. A few "before" and "afters"...

 (Last year around this same time.)

 (During the overhaul.)

We love it and couldn't be happier with the outcome! Ready. For. Summer.