Wednesday, May 10, 2017

A Mother's Day Tribute to My Grandmother

My blog lost one of it's most faithful readers on March 15, 2017.  My sweet Mamma went to heaven after a short battle with cancer.

Mother's Day weekend seemed like a good time to honor my Mamma.  She was a great mother, and an excellent grandmother.  I have so many memories of spending time with Mamma throughout my life. 

When I was growing up, I would fly to Amarillo, and spend a week in the summer with Mamma in her hometown of Memphis, TX.  I remember vividly going to her quilting club with her.  Quilting club consisted of about 8-10 old women (with names like Louise, Johnnie, and Peggy) sitting around a quilt all day; quilting and chatting about all the goings-on of Memphis, TX.   Thinking back, it seems funny to me that I enjoyed that activity, but I thoroughly did.  We also played a lot of games, usually cards.  Mamma was the ultimate game player.  She was always up for a game of Rummy or Scrabble.  My love for jigsaw puzzles comes from Mamma.

As I got older, the time we spent together changed a bit.  Mamma's favorite place in the world was Colorado, but she didn't feel comfortable driving there by herself.  When I was in college, I was headed to Colorado to visit my parents.  I drove to Memphis, picked up Mamma and we headed north to the mountains.  Our 'road trip" wasn't what you typically think of when you think of a college summer road trip, but we had a great time.  There were a few reminders to "watch my speed," and we listened to "Blue Moon" on CD more than once.  After Casey and I married, we took Mamma to Colorado a few more times.  The most memorable time was when I was pregnant with Jane and Sydney,  and we were planning to tell my parents when we got there.  Mamma was so shocked that we kept it a secret the entire drive up there, but she was so excited to become a great-grandmother again.  She loved my kids, and always kept up with their latest antics. 

As she got older, things continued to change.  Whenever she would come to town, Mom and I would plan a girl's day of shopping.  I loved those days.  We would spend an entire day, with a stop for lunch and possibly an afternoon coffee, just going from store to store.  Even though Mamma started the day saying she didn't need anything, she always ended up with the most bags!

The holidays will always make me think of Mamma.  When she arrived in town, it officially felt like Christmas had begun.  I remember one afternoon during the holidays, we were over at Mom and Dad's house.  Mamma was tired from travelling, and she went to lie down for a bit.  After only a couple minutes, she reappeared in the den, and she said, "I just don't want to miss anything."  She loved spending time with family.

I was lucky enough to have Mamma around for so long.  She was 89 when she died.  I was also fortunate enough to spend time with her the weekend before she passed away.  I am so thankful for that last weekend that my family spent with her.  Certain things will always make me think of her...the aforementioned puzzles, making her meatloaf recipe for Casey, and every trip to Colorado.  My entire life has been sprinkled with memories of Mamma.


On this Mother's Day weekend, I will remember what a great mother she was to my Mom, but more than that, I will remember what a fantastic grandmother she was to me.  We had some great times together. 


Sunday, May 7, 2017

Graham is SIX!

Graham had quite a sixth birthday!  His actual birthday fell on a Friday this year, and luckily enough, a field trip was planned for that day.  So, he and I, and about 100 other kindergarteners spent the day at the aquarium.

For his birthday dinner, he picked "chicken pop pie."  While he was opening his gifts, he said, "I just feel so happy!"  ❤  We gave him a saucer swing that he has since named Dragon.  Dragon has already gotten lots of use!


His "friend party" was a couple of days later in our backyard.  He wanted a bounce house and baseball.  Easy enough.  We had a bunch of boys over. They played in the backyard,


hit a piñata,


jumped in the bounce house,


ate some cupcakes,


and went home tired with Cracker Jacks and a baseball.

After the party, the rest of our family came over and had dinner to celebrate our birthday boy.  He raked it in with some great gifts, and I think he felt totally "birthdayed." 


Happy #6 Graham!

Monday, April 17, 2017

Easter Weekend

Easter traditions held true, and we started our festivities at Deedee and Papaw's.  Pictures were required before any egg hunting began!




We were joined by Emme, Grandad, Morgan and Bryan, and Morgan and Nick.  Deedee upped the ante this year by numbering the eggs and having the kids bring them back in order.  They ate up the new twist, and they were all eventually successful!



The kids got some cool gifts, including this sequined pillow! 


We had a great meal, and then the kids enjoyed their first dip of the season!

On Sunday, we woke up to see what the Easter bunny had left.  Then, we  put on our Sunday best and went down to Nathan and Megan's house. 


My Easter peeps!

LoLo, Pop and Aunt Jennifer met us there, and we all went to church together.  It was great to be at church together on Easter Sunday.

I love this picture of all five kids...and Zeke!

Everyone was excited that Jennifer came to visit!

 

Of course, another egg hunt ensued and a wonderful meal.  We had two great days with family, and we thoroughly enjoyed our weekend. 

Monday, April 3, 2017

Eleven Things about Clare

I still owe Clare an "All About Me" post, so I thought I'd do eleven things about Clare.

1.  Clare just started playing volleyball this season.  She plays for a team called the Blue Bumpers, and so far, she seems to be enjoying it!  She's not crazy about the serving part though, because she doesn't like everyone looking at her.


2.  She also still swims.  She swims twice a week on a non-competitive swim team. 


3.  Clare does great in school.  She is never a problem behaviorally, and she makes excellent grades.  Right now, she wants to be a teacher when she grows up....which will make good use of her sometimes bossy personality.

4.  Her best friend's name is Payton.  She gave Clare a "best friends" necklace for her birthday.


5.  She loves to bake.  Thankfully, she's gotten pretty good at it, and can make some useful things around here.  Most often, she makes us banana nut muffins!  She also likes watching shows like "Kids Baking Challenge" and "Worst Cooks in America."

6.  She doesn't like Mexican food. I know, I know.  It's almost enough to make me disown her.  She loves Italian and Chinese food.  One of these days, she'll learn.

7.  She's dying to get a dog.  It's not happening, but it doesn't stop her from talking about it all the time.

8.  She has a beautiful smile.



9.  She is persistent to a fault.  I often call her "the woodpecker," because she will "peck" me to death about wanting to do something.

10.  Clare is currently obsessed with making slime, along with the rest of the tweens in America.  I have banned slime and all slime production at my house.  Eww.

11.  She is a sweet, responsible, and kind girl.  She makes Casey and I very proud.  She is growing up before my eyes, and I know before I blink, she'll be heading off to college.  I need to savor every moment!





Saturday, April 1, 2017

Clare is 11!

Clare turned eleven last week! We celebrated her birthday in several different ways.  We started with a family party last weekend.
   

Look at the excitement on Clare's face about one of her gifts.  She got lots of great stuff...a new bike, an Echo Dot, some new shoes, and some fun art supplies.  She was a happy girl!


She picked a salted caramel chocolate cake, and I was happy to oblige! 

 On her actual birthday, we started the day with pancakes.  Of course, I had to snap a few pics on the actual day!


She picked the menu for dinner that night, and we had lasagna and opened presents.  Her "friend" party was the next day, and she wanted to make her own birthday cake.  She did a great job, even surprising herself.  She kept saying, "I didn't know I was good at this!"



Clare decided a while ago that she wanted to do a "Cupcake Wars" birthday party.  She even presented us with a power point presentation on how it would all work. 




We tweaked a few of the details, but went with her plan.  Her guests arrived, and we started making cupcake bath bombs!  The great thing about eleven year olds is that they are so independent.  They knocked out a bunch of bath bombs in no time!



Next up, the girls ate pizza and cake.  Clare was proud to show off the "zebra cake" that she made!



Then, it was finally time for cupcakes.  We needed decorators to get all of these cupcakes beautiful!


Round one's challenge was to make your best emoji cupcake!


Round two...make three identical cupcakes.


The third round required the girls to decorate something from nature.


And the fourth was to make their very best.


Jane, Sydney and Graham were the judges and awarded the winner of each round with a small prize.  We did presents after that, and then called it a night! 


Phew...that was a lot of pictures.  Can't believe she is eleven! 

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Jane!

It's Jane's turn!  It is such a pleasure to be Jane's mom.  She is the sweetest child that ever existed.  That's not to say that she doesn't occasionally give off some attitude, but her true personality is just so kind.  She is a quiet, thoughtful, sensitive, fun-loving, rule-following girl.

Jane is the "girliest" of all my girls.  She loves fashion, accessories, getting dressed up and all of that.  She'll happily try on the clothes that I buy her, and she loves to new things to wear.  She wears scarves all of the time, and she always has the most jewelry on.


She's so well-rounded, though, because she's quite sporty as well!  She is a darn good soccer player, and she continues to love gymnastics.  She is often outside playing...she just might be donning a scarf!
 

This girl is one talented artist! I am amazed at her sketching abilities.  She is creative and loves a good art project.  She is patient enough to sit and work on something for a long period of time....unlike her twin sister!



Jane doesn't have a sweet tooth at all.  She prefers salty to sweet, kolaches to donuts, chips to candy, and always loves when sausage is on the menu!  She loves to play with her friends, watch YouTube videos, and her favorite thing to do is to shop Target! 😊


Jane is generous with her thoughtfulness.  You'll never leave an event with Jane without getting a hug first, and she frequently leaves Casey and I notes around the house.  She is a pleasure to be around....and I'm thankful I get to be around her a lot! 


Sunday, February 26, 2017

Broken Bow, OK

We decided to take advantage of a three day weekend and take our crew to Broken Bow, OK.  When we told the kids, you'd have thought we were taking them to Paris...they were so excited!

We rented a little cabin near Beaver's Bend State Park, and we spent three days just hanging out!  The biggest perk of the cabin was a hot tub.  The kids spent a ton of time in that thing.


On Saturday afternoon, we went horseback riding.  Clare was old enough to ride by herself, but the other three had to ride with an adult.  (Sydney rode with the guide.)  It was a long ride, and the kids really enjoyed it.
 

On Sunday, we went on a hike and had a picnic.  We took our time, threw rocks in the creek, and just enjoyed the day.



  


If you ask the kids what their favorite part of the weekend was, they will probably tell you about Dukey!  The first day we got there a stray dog ambled up to our porch.  He was well-behaved and the kids took an instant liking to him and they named him Dukey.  They played with him for a long time, and then we left to go ride horses.  He was, of course, gone when we returned.  On our last day, guess who came back?   Dukey!  The kids were so thrilled....and they took a million pictures of him!



We thoroughly enjoyed the weekend away.  We played a ton of games, Truth be told, I think we could go anywhere and have a good time.  It's just nice to get out of town and away from the busy schedules.