Sunday, April 29, 2007

Sunday Seven #7 for Me

1. CRCT is over! Standardized testing is a necessity in today's schools, evidently. Since every grade level except kindergarten has to take it in our large school, it has taken 2 solid weeks of off-schedule arrangements to complete the testing according to state guidelines! I'm happy that my own children are through with the testing! I'm glad my students are through with the testing, and I'm happy that our school can return to our regular routine and activities!

2. We had a beach dance for 4th-5th graders to benefit Relay for Life and raised a lot of money to fight cancer! The kids had a great time and a good cause was supported.

3. 18 school days left in this year!

4. B has really improved in her hitting in softball and has finally started seeming to enjoy the game. She got her first base hit last Saturday, and hit the ball well even though she was thrown out at first this week.

5. Our niece, K, turned 16 yesterday! I am thankful to be a part of her life! I am thankful that she is a beautiful girl both on the outside and most importantly, the inside! I am thankful for the positive role model she is for my own children. I am proud of her, her attitude, her efforts, and her accomplishments!

6. We have started cleaning out my MIL and FIL's house. They both passed away during the last 2 years. I am thankful for a family of 12 who can get together for a couple of hours each week and work together to accomplish such a tough task. I am thankful that we get along well and talk things over, and that relationships are much more important than things. I am also thankful that being in the house together again is reminding us of many happy memories and stories. I am thankful that I had loving, caring, and remarkable parents-in-law.

7. I have made a concentrated effort to make meals - as nutritious as possible - at home this week. Unfortunately, we've hit fast food places much too often lately. It made an already hectic week, more hectic, but it's rewarding to feel good about what I've served my family to eat. I hope this week and the coming weeks will help me impress upon my children that French fries are not a food group within themselves.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

The Green Skittle

My son plays on a T-ball team with 11 other 5 and 6 year old boys. They have a lot of fun and the coach is laid-back and handles the boys' playfulness well. Their games are always interesting, because it doesn't take long until the boys in the field are terribly distracted and finding things other than baseball to occupy their time and energy. This week we had a left fielder who was lying in the green grass making the motions to make a snow angel. We had a right fielder who was kneeling on the ground with his head touching the ground in front of him. At another time the center fielder and right fielder had their arms around each other in deep conversation and were pointing to something off the field. The third baseman was skipping around in circles during the 2nd inning, and the short fielder was playing his own imaginary ball game with his very own imaginary ball. The short stop had his ball glove on his head to the chagrin of his mother who kept yelling for him to put it back on. The center fielder kept sitting down and twirling in circles making what I'm sure will be an awful grass stain to get out of the seat of his pants. Several children drew pictures in the sand, and my own son took his glove off, and repeatedly threw it in the air and caught it. It's all very entertaining to watch.

However, this week there was a particular item that proved to be a HUGE source of distraction and entertainment for the boys. In the on-deck circle, there was a green Skittle. One Skittle. Every child that stepped into the on-deck circle found something interesting to do with that Skittle. It was flicked, flipped, stomped, twirled, buried, unburied, tossed, balanced on shoes, stacked on rocks, kicked, hit with the bat, thrown in the air and caught, and bounced in ball caps. It's amazing what can entertain a 5 or 6 year old boy, and it's amazing that they found so many different things to do with that one little Skittle. I was just shocked and thankful that not a single child put the Skittle in his mouth!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Maybe I'm in the Top Ten

I sat down on the edge of the bed as I took my 6-year-old son to bed tonight. Following our usual routine, I sang "You Are My Sunshine" to him. When we had finished our bedtime prayers, he very sweetly told me that he loved me. Then, with a gentle hand patting my arm he said, "You're probably the best mom I've ever met." I told him thank you and that he was the best son I'd ever met. Then he said, "You're probably the only mom who hasn't given her kid ice cream money for the whole month of April, too."

Maybe that's why I'm only "probably" the best mom he's ever met. One should never underestimate the importance of ice cream!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Just a Thought

I've missed blogging. Things have been hectic lately. With 3 kids playing ball, homework, and end-of-the-school-year school activities, we simply haven't been home much. I got up early this morning to do some housework - load the dishwasher, straighten the living room, put away some laundry, etc. Nothing major - just some decluttering. As I was cleaning I thought, "Boy, I haven't even been home enough lately to keep the house somewhat straight!" But, then it hit me..."How have we been home enough to make the house this cluttered?" Someone surely must be sneaking in and doing this to our house! Just wait 'til I catch that little bugger - I have a feeling there are 3 of them!

I hope to write again soon. Summer's coming!

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Sunday Seven - #6 for Me

My blessings and highlights this week have been much to numerous to count! Wow, what a fantastic week I've had! Here are a few of the high points.

1. Family time! Family time! Family time! It's so nice to take a break from work and have an entire week to be a full-time mom! I have enjoyed 9 glorious days with my children - without the responsibilities of my job.

2. We had a trip with my husband's brother and family to our farm house. More family fun!

3. We took a trip with my parents to Pigeon Forge. More family fun!

4. We saw 3 excellent shows in Pigeon Forge. It was so much fun to lose myself in the music and comedy and just enjoy the entertainment!

5. My nephew became a teenager this week! He is a wonderfully sweet, thoughtful, and responsible boy. He will make a dependable teenager! I'm proud of you, D, and wish you a very happy year!

6. We had an unconventional, but beautiful Easter Sunday morning. We were leaving Pigeon Forge and beginning our drive home. We didn't go to church. However, we saw some of the most beautiful scenery. It had snowed the night before, and the mountains were glowing with the sunlight reflecting from the snow. The drive was magnificent! Ice hung to the rocks on the side of the mountains. God has given us a beautiful world!

7. Every day is a gift. We are not promised tomorrow. Thank you, Lord, for every moment of this wonderful, exciting, family-filled week!

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Thursday Thirteen - My #8 - Spring Break!

Thirteen Highlights from this Spring Break!

1. E's birthday! We had a blast celebrating it all week long!

2. Being at the farm. Riding and learning to drive a 4-wheeler! Playing baseball, football, basketball with the kids. Sitting on the tin-roofed front porch watching and listening to the rain. Cooking out.

3. Walking and exploring in the woods and just being outside together.

4. Spending a day and a half with my brother-in-law, sister-in-law and niece. We had fun being together at the farm.

5. Spending an afternoon on the floor with my son and daughters building with Lincoln Logs, Magnetix, and Legos. Sitting on the couch with B while both of us read our own books. Relaxing, good times.

6. Getting caught up on laundry! That only happens on Christmas break, Spring break and over the summer! It's a huge relief.

7. I read 3 books and 2 magazines! I never have time to read! It was nothing heavy. I just read three light, humorous novels from Janet Evanovich. I thoroughly enjoyed them!

8. Watching N play ball. My other 2 children had no practice due to Spring Break, but N's coach called a practice. It was a beautiful night and we had fun being outside and watching her play.

The rest of this hasn't happened as of Thursday Thirteen time. So, I guess this now turns into "Thirteen Things I Expect Will be Highlights of Spring Break!"

9. Going to Pigeon Forge with my kids, husband, and parents. We'll have fun being together!

10. Going to 3 shows while we're there- Black Bear jamboree, Comedy Barn, and the Dixie Stampede.

11. Going to the Gatlinburg Aquarium. My kids and my dad especially love aquariums. I can't wait to visit it with them.

12. I'm looking forward to having a quiet cabin in the woods with a hot tub to relax in!

13. Easter Sunday. When I planned this trip, I didn't realize it was over Easter weekend. However, I think it will be very appropriate and special to celebrate Easter Sunday with family in the middle of God's beautiful mountain creations!

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!1. (leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)

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The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Monday, April 2, 2007

Another Farm First

Another farm first for the children and me this weekend was climbing a deer stand! Wow, those things are high! You'd think they were used to see birds or something in the sky rather than something way down on the ground that can't even climb a tree!

Saturday afternoon, RJ hooked a small trailer to the 4-wheeler and the kids and I climbed on board. We drove all through the woods! What a beautiful trip! We have 56 acres there, and I've never seen most of it. I've taken walks through the woods, but I've never ridden around so that I could see so much of it. We rode all the way back to a beautiful creek that serves as the back property line. It was gorgeous! We saw many squirrels, a deserted turtle shell, many plants and flowers, and a wild turkey!

While we were enjoying the experience of the woods, we stopped by one of RJ's deer stands and each of us took a turn climbing to the top and looking around. What a view! I had hoped we might see a deer or turkey or some other form of wildlife, but even though we didn't the view of nature was outstanding from that high! The girls, in usual form, wanted to go together and clung together at the top of the stand. They declared it scary, but fun. E, in true form, wanted to be independent and go by himself. Even old mom managed to get to the top and look around, although you'll never see images of that posted here! One of my children decided to be helpful and take a picture from the ground of me climbing DOWN the ladder! What a beautiful picture that was! I'm thrilled that digital cameras have a delete button!

Farm Livin'

We had a wonderful and relaxing weekend. We left Saturday morning and went to our farm house in Elberton, Georgia for a celebration of the beginning of Spring Break and E's 6th birthday. We had beautiful weather and played outside all weekend in the huge pastures surrounding the house. We played football, basketball, and softball, and thoroughly enjoyed being outside and together.

I shared a couple of "first" experiences with my children this weekend! We all learned to drive a 4-wheeler! I'd never done that in my life. I've never even driven a stick-shift car, and I really didn't have much of an idea how to switch gears. So, my driving was a little jerky, but a lot of fun. The children each took turns driving, with their daddy jogging beside them giving instructions. My husband is one of the most cautious men you'll ever meet. He doesn't take risks with our children's safety. So, they were only able to get into first gear, which made them drive slowly, and he jogged right beside them - mostly with his hand on the steering

wheel helping them guide the 4-wheeler. Each of them drove with HUGE smiles on their faces and felt so big!

Of course, it was also fun to ride behind RJ as he drove. That way, we went much faster and felt much more confident. We were adventurous and able to go more exciting places. It was fun to ride and feel the wind. It was a feeling of freedom and fun! I could feel stress draining from my body.

What a great day!

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Sunday Seven - #5 for me - Happy Birthday E!

Today is my sweet E's 6th birthday. There are many reasons I'm thankful for and love him. Here are a few things that I LOVE about him!

1. His mind is always thinking and commenting on math. He cracks me up! We can be at a ballgame and he'll say, "Hey, Mom, I know what 10 +3 is! 13!" And if I look around I'll see 10 girls and 3 coaches on the field. He's made a math problem out of the game. This week he told me, "I've only got 3 more days to be odd. (I held my tongue and didn't make a joke here.)Then, I'll be even." It was 3 days until he was no longer 5 and became 6. The way his mind works is fun to watch and the fact that he will tell me what he is thinking is a major joy in my life!

2. This goes along with #1. E has very few thoughts that he keeps to himself. As my father would say, "Everything that pops in his head, comes out of his mouth." He verbalizes everything he thinks, and he thinks some interesting things! He's always making me smile or laugh with his original thoughts. The other day he left a Gatorade in the car while he played ball. After the ball practice he took a drink of the Gatorade and said, "Boy, this Gatorade reminds me of Mom." My oldest daughter asked how a drink reminded him of me and he said, "'Cause it 's HOT!" Both of my girls reacted with disgust and he replied, "What? She's always hot." I am very hot-natured and that's what he meant. He's always making strange connections and saying funny things. He keeps conversation lively!

3. His enthusiasm. He enjoys himself and he goes at new adventures with the attitude that he will have fun.

4. He's gentle and loving. He's loud and rowdy and rough around the edges. However, he's also very gentle, loving and kind. If one of us feels bad, he wants to help us feel better. If someone is sad, he wants to make them laugh. He loves to hold and nurture his baby cousin. It's sweet to see such a rough and tumble fellow be so gentle and kind.

5. He genuinely appreciates things you do for him. This weekend, we went to our farm house to celebrate his birthday. He loved it. He appreciated the cookout. He appreciated the silly string. He enjoyed it all, laughed and had fun, and appreciated our efforts on his special day. (I'll post more on our trip tomorrow.) We're going to Pigeon Forge later this week as part of his birthday celebration, too. He can't wait and he's already told us thank you several times for that trip and it hasn't happened yet.

6. He'll try just about anything. He's outgoing, friendly, and he is usually willing to give anything a whirl. I like his sense of adventure. Sometimes he's a little too sure of himself in new situations, but I like it that he's willing to try new things.

7. He loves his family and doing things with all of us! He loves being with our extended family on both sides. He talks about Gram, Granddaddy, Grandmother and Nanny and Papaw. My husband's parents passed away during the last 2 years, and E remembers them well and talks about them regularly. He loves them and wants to keep their memories alive and with him by remembering things about them. We don't see my parents as much as we'd like, and E is aware that time with them is special and important. He values family. I love that!

Happy birthday, my sweet little boy! I love you!