Monday, April 25, 2016

This Week's Happenings

In an effort to be a more consistent blogger and add a little more to my heaping plate, I am going to attempt a weekly update of our goings-on.  So, here goes nothin'.
Spring is blooming all around us, The azaleas and the impatiens in my yard are so very lovely.  Yesterday morning before church the sun was shining bright and the kids ran outside to play as soon as they awoke.  I lay on the couch watching them in the morning sunlight.  Their heads bobbing by the window and laughter pealing through the yard.  Birds fluttered by with their mouths full of sticks and straw to land in the ferns hanging on my front porch. They worked furiously to build their nests while I lazily watched nature and my children in all their glorious beauty. I didn't need a camera for the scene before me. I'm certain I will forever remember their sweaty red faces scampering by with the colors of spring as the backdrop to their adventures.  I will always hear the laughter and joy ringing through the poplars and oak trees in my heart.  My soul was filled with an overwhelming gratitude for motherhood and the beauty of this glorious world.
Five minutes later they were back in the house fighting, tattling, and calling each other an idiot. Their noses were snotty and their eyes red from the haze of pollen in the air, but it was fabulous while it lasted.

Speaking of pollen, my kids have a knack for getting the lyrics to songs wrong in the funniest way.  We were driving to girl scouts last week and Tom Petty's FREE FALLIN" song came on.  Harley was belting it out like she was on Broadway and when she reached the chorus, in perfect pitch she says, "Now I'm BEE, BEE POLLEN!"  I think it is our new anthem for spring.  Here is another funny one. You know that song from Lion King that is in a tribal African language?  My kids are convinced that the first lines of that song are, PENNSYLVANIA, FELIZ NAVIDAD!  Finally, Adele's When We Were Young. When the background singers, sing "when we were young", my kids hear, INEBRIATE, INEBRIATE.

This week Atley went on his first over-night camp out sans his father.  I was a nervous wreck and constantly checking my phone for a message from the hospital or even the police. He made it back in one piece and had the "best time ever!"  Atley has the "best time ever" frequently and I wish I could bottle his enthusiasm for all the mundane tasks in my life.  I'd take a swig every time I was feeling like, well, myself. He is an eternal optimist and my inspiration!
The last couple of weeks have been Boosterthon at school. Most nights I came home complaining that it was a cult, but when the festivities culminated in a FUN RUN, (like there is such a thing), I saw the error of my ways. Harley, Nash and I ran our hearts out and dad came to cheer us on from the sidelines.
Scott is coaching Nash's baseball team this spring.  It is a pretty hard core responsibility with no shortage of critics, but he is great with the kids and I'm sure the wins will start coming eventually.  Nash loves playing catcher, which is super stressful for his mother who not only has to keep the score book but agonize over every errant pitch and the runner on third looking to steal home plate.  He is uber competitive, to a fault, but there is nothing cuter than him in a pair of baseball pants.  
As I mentioned earlier Sunday was such a beautiful day that I packed a picnic and change of clothes for after church. We went to Chancellorsville Battle Field (where Stonewall Jackson met his demise). We had a picnic in a hay field that 150 years prior was littered with the bodies of 14,000 soldiers.  Do you think that is morbid? Anyway, we also took a driving tour of the battle, which I LOVED! I am a serious Civil War junkie and so is Atley.  The others not so much. They went along with my plan but when I mentioned how fun it would be to pick a different battlefield every Sunday, I got several eye rolls.
You know when you are at a funeral or maybe just a family reunion and all the kids tell stories about dad or grandpa. I have a feeling that the day Scott discovered Craig's List might be one of those stories.  First, let me preface this story with this. Scott is the least impulsive person I know. So, when he does something impulsive, I just roll with it because it is kind of exciting. Last week he told me he bought a boat off of Craig's list.  Wow! Exciting right?  So, he and Atley set of to retrieve it.  Well, let's just say this vessel is not exactly sea worthy. What is perhaps even more humorous is the picture of Scooby Doo, painted on the back with the words, "RUT ROW"!  After a few days of "restoration" I think it has been determined that we will be selling the RUT ROW for parts. Now he is scouring Craig's List for a camper, or as I like to call it, THE MYSTERY MACHINE!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Spring Break 2016

You know what is absolutely awful about spending Spring Break in a place that is warm and sandy and full of sunshine and baseball?  You lull yourself into thinking that it is actually summer and then suddenly the week is over and BOOM! you have three months of school left, totally depressing. But, we are back in full swing and dealing just fine. We are resilient like that.  We spent spring break down in Jacksonville with my dad and I packed as much into those 5 days as I possibly could.  First, on the itinerary was beachin'. We went twice and it never gets old.
This is Ponte Vedra beach, where seashells and hammerhead sharks abound!

Second stop on the Spring Break express, St. Augustine, America's first Spanish settlement.  St. Augustine was settled by Ponce de Leon, so, no trip to the city is complete without a big drink from the fountain of youth. I am happy to report that my children are officially never growing up. We also spent time at the old fort and admiring the lovely ancient live oak trees drenched in Spanish moss.

One of our favorite stops was a Popsicle treat at the famous HYPPO. These flavors are super unique. I enjoyed a pineapple basil Popsicle, while Atley had a honeydew basil treat and Harley and Nash had strawberry cilantro.  Not for everyone but certainly worth a taste.
We caught a Washington Nationals spring training game in Port St. Lucie.  We had front row seats and even got a couple balls. The boys were in heaven being so close their heroes.

Not able to bear the thought of our vacation ending we spent the night in Charleston, SC on the way home. Charleston has always been one of my favorite cities and the weather was beautiful and the food fantastic. We explored market square and  took the kids on a Ghost Tour, where we heard stories about Black Beard the pirate and much more. Both Harley and Nash ended up in our bed for a couple of nights.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Easter 2016

Our Easter Celebration always begins with our traditional Seder the Sunday or before Easter. I love the Seder because it is a very special way to remember our Savior as we begin Holy Week.  Plus, I think of all our family traditions, the kids adore the Seder most of all, which makes my heart very happy. This year we were all sick but we forged on anyway, albeit in pajamas and with wild hair. For detailed instructions about how to host an Easter Seder visit our Seders past, HERE or HERE!

We only made time for one Spring/Easter craft (this whole working thing has really cramped my style), but I think it is adorable.

The Saturday night before Easter around 9;30, just after everyone had showered and gotten ready for bed, Harley reminded us we desperately needed to color eggs and since she is in charge, that's what we did!

Sunday morning the Easter Bunny came and I tortured the children by making them take pictures in their Easter finery, before partaking of our Easter feast, which for some reason, always consists of a  supermarket cake.  This year's was particularly precious!