Thursday, June 25, 2015


Last night E put his expert chef skills to good use and helped me with dinner. Yummmm.

Today we brought home a couple of hitch hikers from soccer camp. They couldn't find a ride home so I guess we'll have to keep them till soccer camp tomorrow, and return them back to where we found them. 

Hopefully some other kind soul will take them home, cause if I have to bring them back with us I'm afraid we'll run out of crackers and cookies. Although, Annika is pretty good at putting together mac and cheese for the crowd, so maybe I should keep her around!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Day ??

Like all Summer Vacations, this one started off with big plans. I'll post something every day. The kids will learn something. We'll all get along and no one will fight over who got more cookies. Ahhh OPTIMISM. I'll learn my lesson soon. I've completely lost track of the days. And who cares about learning, as long as we're not at each other's throats with cabin fever.

On a trip home from HC or something, the boys were wiped out and Shelly was the only one hanging on. But not too cheerfully.

Shelly and E have invented a new game involving plastic bats and a beach ball.

My family was so wonderful and supported Grandpa and I on our Lighthouse Run last weekend. We even had a couple of friends come out with a sign for us!! So much thanks to David, Archer, Shelly, Elijah, Mary and Willie for your encouragement! I love you guys!

And general silliness because they just can't resist when they get their hands on a camera!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Just RUN! (P.S. Happy Father's Day!)

Sometimes the very best things in like just sneak up on you.

I got sucked into a little competition at work that jump-started my new interest in running. Then I got a little ambitious and set a goal for myself - I'd run the Lighthouse Run in June. That was back last fall. Lots of months to prepare. Then somewhere along the way, I got a little crazy. I think it was after the first time I'd completed a ten mile run and I was feeling empowered - if I can run TEN then what's stopping me from... MORE? (That was January 31, with five months to go before the Lighthouse Run.) Now I've got myself signed up for a half marathon (seriously, that's crazy!).

In the meantime, I still have to keep myself prepared for that ten miler in June. Plus I organized the H. C. Fun Run back in January and we all loved it so much that we decided we should do it again sometime. I was thinking monthly. Dad was thinking weekly. (Whoa! that's a big commitment! I wasn't sure if I was ready for that...)

Here's the best part. Dad and I started running together, at first just once or twice a month, but it has grown into once or twice a week. The two of us push each other just a little bit past what we thought we could do, a bit farther, a bit faster. Then we cheer each other on when the other is about to crumble on the side of the road. We talk about running shoes, running techniques, family, work, trouble, triumph. We grumble about the distance and our little aches and pains. We distract each other from the weather and the hills and the miles and miles of road we're covering. At the end, when I'm hot, worn out, ready for a nap - that's always the best feeling. The feeling that I covered miles and time with my dad, and that we plan to do it again next week. We've done over a hundred miles since this whole thing started back in January. ONE HUNDRED MILES out on the road together! Thanks Dad, I couldn't ask for a better running partner, and I'm glad we're covering that ground together.
Miles Run Together      1/1/15 - 6/20/15     104.73

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Day 6

Tick City. That's what I call the field behind our house. Shelly is the first (and hopefully only) victim, with two ticks on her this morning. Poor girl, the boys never get them. She said she didn't ever want to go outside again. We talked about staying out of the field, not rolling around in the grass, and so on.

The fun of Nature Center Cleanup Party at North Park Elementary drew her out. I slathered up the older two with sunscreen and bug spray and sent them on their way. Eli gets to enjoy movie time all on his own now.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Day 5

Archer was measured at the doctor's office today, he's just 3/4 of an inch shy of 5 feet tall. Whew. Dr. T and I had a little reminiscing moment about the first time we met each other, when Arch was just 6 pounds and a few days old. Now look where we are. Whew. Time flies, and Dr. T advised I quit feeding him so much, maybe his feet won't get any bigger (kidding of course!).

We had a quiet afternoon (thanks kids!) and then I decided we'd all get some sunshine. Shoes on, out the door!

An HOUR AND A HALF later we were on the road. It took us that long to gather up all of the equipment, make sure all the tires were aired up and bicycle wheels wouldn't fall off. Every step of the way, one of the peanut gallery repeated over and over "Let's just call it a bust." I refused to give up after each of the setbacks (missing parts to the bike trailer, where's the tire pump?, is this all going to fit in the van?). 

We finally enjoyed our bike ride/run - the kids on wheels and me following along behind.

We travelled down the path, cars rushing along on one side, the power plant and a rifle range on the other. Planes criss crossing overhead. Between the planes and cars, the sounds from the range, between all of that we enjoyed the wildflowers and sunshine. The fresh air and sunshine perked us up. And the "let's call it a bust" character actually enjoyed himself. He didn't complain even ONCE about pulling his brother along behind in the trailer. "Want to go faster, Eli? Are you having fun?" He even spotted a deer in the woods! After I turned over my phone and earbuds to Shelly, she took off and beat us all to the finish.

I've been running a lot lately, today was one of my favorites. I can't wait for more of these in the summer days to come!

PS On a visit to the grocery store after the bike/run, E reminded us that we STILL haven't tried those chocolate eggs! Maybe next time...

Day 4

HC - Report from Grandma was that Grandpa prvided a chemistry lesson at lunchtime. Something about the pool water. Didn't get much more intel, but I got a lot of work done!

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Days 2-3

Archer was laid up with the 24 hour turkey flu or some other unnamed disease.

Shelly acquired her first car and driver's license and was pulled over twice in her inaugural drive down the sidewalk. Speeding and expired plates. She got off with warnings and opened up a taxi service. Now she shuttles policemen around town.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Day 1

Archer enjoying a burger that HE GRILLED HIMSELF!

Thanks for dinner, Arch!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Wrapping Up

Closing Shelly's ballet season with the Spring Showcase

Bampa's first dunk in the pool after someone gave him a great big push. Bampa does not look happy. Someone else looks VERY pleased with himself.

Tree climbing and bike riding really wears a guy out.

Moving on from elementary school, the great big Fifth Grade Farewell 

Shelly says goodbye to ballet for now - time will tell if she returns for another season or moves on to something new. I saw her grow in confidence this year. She tried something brand new and performed on stage in front of a crowd of strangers. I know she was nervous but it never showed, and she was the most beautiful ballerina on stage. She's an inspiration to me, reminding me that we should all follow our interests and see what direction that might take us. Thank you, dear Shelly, my beautiful ballerina!

Eli finished his first year of school with high praises from his teachers for his good manners and positive attitude. He's been spending the last few weeks harassing Bampa and helping Mamaw bake cookies. Keep up the good work, Grammy Bear!

Archer. My firstborn. I have momentary flashes of the adult he is becoming. The way he says something, his posture as he walks away, the pitch of his voice, he is no longer a little boy. He is done with elementary school and moving on to bigger things. Oh Arch. I love you and I'm so proud of all of your accomplishments. You've learned so much and made good friends. Keep working hard and making good decisions, kid! (Now roll your eyes and pretend you're embarrassed, I know that's what you're thinking!)

That's the end of the school season, and now we move on to Summer. Bring on the heat wave, scraped up knees and tall tales of all our adventures!

Summer Vacation - Cool Beginning

Last day of school picnics, games, treats are all over. The kids didn't let the chilly temps outside slow them down and spent the evening chasing around a beach ball. Summer, here we come!!