Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Another Cheerleader?!

Heaven help me...that makes two of our three girls!!

It looks like our baby love might be following in her big sister's footsteps. J took her to gymnastics Tuesday night while I did some work at home, and she had big news to report when she called me afterwards. Not only did she master her back handspring, but they asked her to sign up for All Star cheerleading! I've never really been a fan of the idea. They've asked her several times and we've always said no. But now there's a team for ages 4-7 and it's not nearly as hard core as the older team they'd wanted her to join before. She still has 2 extra practices a week in addition to going twice a week for her regular classes. But she's begged and begged since day 1. I hope it's not enough to burn her out on it at such a young age. We'll see! For now, she's on cloud 9 and you couldn't wipe the smile off her face if you tried!

Yesterday morning bright and early we were outside so she could show me her new trick...

video

She's the type that will try something a hundred times over until she gets it, and that's how she learned to do it. J said she did at least 150 of them Tuesday night at gymnastics and he had a feeling he wasn't leaving until she got it...per her request!
Way to go Townsy Wownsy!!!!

So you've heard me go on and on about how great cheer camp is here and here, but all good things must come to an end. Little Miss Big Time has had enough, or so I've heard, and is sick of hearing cheers 24/7! Ha! Just like her mom said, now that's the B we all know and love. I'm sure she's sleep deprived and exhausted, but she can see the light at the end of the tunnel...she gets to go home today! I just know it's cheer camp she's tired of and not Auburn itself...God's country, the Loveliest Village on the Plains, heaven on earth, etc. No pressure to go to college there or anything, Bebs. Ha!! Can't wait to see you Saturday!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Missing Sissy

Well, we got Bebs off to cheer camp before the sun came up Monday morning. I think she slept all of 4 hours Sunday night because she was too excited to close her eyes for much longer than that! This is the first time she's ever been away from both us and her mom (she's always been with one or the other), and I'll admit that dropping her off and leaving her wasn't the easiest thing I've ever done. We unloaded her luggage and I stood there with her for a few minutes, but seeing as how there wasn't much more for me to do I snapped a picture and decided to head home...

They're pretty darn cute for 5:30 a.m.! :)
We hugged, said our goodbyes and I got a full 5 feet away from her before I instinctively stopped. When I turned around she was coming back towards me for another big ol' hug and she said "I've just never been away from y'all for this long"! I insisted that she would be totally fine, and after the phone call last night from her telling me that she never wanted to come home...well, I think she just might survive after all! Ha!
Should I admit that I secretly sat in the parking lot for 30 minutes waiting for their buses to pull out? And then I followed them to the point where they had to turn one way and I had to turn the other...

Sentimental?
Maybe.
Missing her like crazy?
Absolutely, positively!!
But she's having the time of her life, is loving Auburn, did fantastic in their home pom routine last night (or so I've heard from numerous reports), and you can't ask for more than that!

Meanwhile, I've had to keep my two other little munchkins occupied to keep their minds off of Bebby being gone. That's the first thing they noticed when they woke up to her being gone yesterday morning. After breakfast, I let them dress themselves to play outside and this was Cate's get-up...

Pettiskirt, shades, and a baby doll...driving a Gator!

Late yesterday afternoon Towns begged to take their babies to stroll around the park by the river. It was beautiful weather and there was a breeze blowing, so I told them to get their babies and strollers together...

I was thinking more like one baby and a little stroller for each of them, but this is what they came out with. Double the fun!
I'd think something was wrong with them if they didn't cut up in some shape, form or fashion...


When we got to the park we watched the boats go by for a while...

Every Monday there's a concert in the park and yesterday happened to be a jazz/swing band. They brought out their silliest dance moves and put on a show...

Buggy's about to get low...

Do I see the early signs of a tripod? Hmmm...
They cut a rug to some Patsy Cline until we spotted this little thing...

Not sure if it was hurt or if it just lost its mama, but the girls were so incredibly worried about what it was going to eat for dinner and where it was going to sleep...

All the while, the mama bird was about to take their heads off but I tried not to clue them in on that. I diverted their attention to the playground and a few trains that were going by, and there we stayed for a full 3 hours! We had dinner at the park, got home way past their bedtimes, hosed them down in the bath tub, and they were asleep by 10 o'clock. We're going to be in major trouble when school starts again, but that's what summer's all about, right?!

Oh, and did I mentioned we're flying out at 6 a.m. Sunday morning to see these guys...

Disney World won't know what hit 'em!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Little Miss Big Time

It's been a while...
We've been on the go like you wouldn't believe, and my camera bit the dust when J dropped it on the pavement by accident. It happened on his birthday last weekend (which is a major post in itself), so I couldn't get upset at him. But seeing as how my camera is pretty much a permanent extension of my body, well, it's thrown me for a loop!

Our weekend has been full - full in a lot of ways.
Grandmommy and Pop came to visit which is always such a treat. Having them here is so easy. They are fun to be around and the girls love every minute of it because it means nothing short of play time, shopping, getting their nails done, and most importantly, quality time with two very special people! That also means that they are way too busy for pictures, and it usually ends up that I have very few after their visits. And when it comes time for them to go, I'm not sure who wants to cry more...them or me! They are diamonds in the rough, and it always does my heart good to be around them.

Two more reasons we've had a full weekend:
1. Ice Water Teas for D High Sorority Rush
2. Rehearsal for Bethany's cheer competition at Auburn
All in one day.
The heavens opened up and I heard angels singing.
All of the above have made my heart nearly explode with joy today because those are right up there on my list of favorite things on the face of the Earth.
We didn't have high school sororities in Andalusia, and back when I was at Auburn I always thought it was fabulous when my friend Jess (she grew up in Decatur) would tell us about it. Never in my wildest imagination did I think I'd be here now. But here we are, and Bethany is in heaven! Ever heard of living vicariously? Yep, that's me. And don't even think I didn't want to do a toe touch when I found out I had to accompany her to Ice Water Teas!! She couldn't have looked cuter, and she was on her A-game. She's so cut out for this! Rush lasts all summer...complete with lake parties, scavenger hunts, and more events than I can keep track of. Fun times ahead!
We hurried out of Rush so we could stop by the house for her to change for cheer practice, and when she came in the room with her uniform on for me to zip her up my heart did a double back flip. It's like it all hit me at once. All those early morning summer practices, the ordering of uniforms, etc. was all fine and good, but it wasn't until that very moment that I realized that she's big time! No more Oak Park uniforms...this is the real deal! She had D High plastered across her chest and I felt like she was a celebrity. Here, high school football is right up there with college football. And she's a part of it all. Officially! It was even more of a thrill to watch her perform their routine for competition this afternoon. They had a full crowd there to watch them practice. I literally had tears in my eyes and hesitated to tell B that because just as I knew she would, she laughed hysterically at me. I think I'm more over the moon about all she's got going on than she is...if that's possible!
She's all packed and ready to head to Auburn at 5:30 tomorrow morning because she's got a 10 a.m. date with Aubie for pictures. This will be her first real taste of freedom with being away from her family. And if she's anything like I hope she'll be, she'll want to stay in Auburn forever and never leave! Ha! I'll miss her little cheerleading, rushee self but I couldn't be happier for her or more proud!!
Believe me when I say that Rush and getting ready for cheer camp at Auburn has been enough excitement to last a year...can you tell?!

I was seriously missing my camera today, but I managed to get a few pictures...

B's in the center in this one, and I think her eyes are closed, but it's the best I could do...

One more she wanted to kill me over...

I dared not ask her to turn so I could get more of Decatur High in the background. She was mortified that people were seeing me take that one!

Have fun, do great, and enjoy every single second of being in God's country!
If I pop out of your suitcase when you get to your real live dorm room, don't be surprised...
Love you, Peach!!!!!
**April, I expect 834+ pictures after you go to home pom tomorrow night! :)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

A Hug and a Nerve Pill

Ever have one of those days? Today was mine. If something could possibly go wrong with work, it did. If one of my children was going to get hurt, it wasn't just one time that it was going to happen. It was three...a goose egg on the forehead and two busted lips. All on the same child. Our house looks like a hurricane came in the front door and went out the back door. Even my sweet Towns got a spanking today. Can't remember the last time she needed a spanking, if ever, but she's gotten a little sassy lately and I acted before I thought about what I was doing. It just wasn't pretty. Thank goodness for Bethany who tries to keep me sane during the day! Before the clock struck noon I was so frazzled that I didn't think I could go another step without completely losing it. Bethany's so good about stopping me in my tracks and saying "you just need a hug". But today it went more like this: "you just need a hug...and a nerve pill"! Ha!

I think the reason things were a little crazier than usual is because the girls and I have been out of town. We don't function well when we're out of our routine, and it's even harder trying to get back into it. We spent a few days with my dad before he leaves for Hawaii this weekend with his American Legion baseball team. Wish he'd pack us in his suitcase! When we pulled up to his house late Sunday afternoon this was waiting for us...

And it took all of 17 seconds for the girls to get their bathing suits on and go at it...


This was one of two times Cate went down...

She seems so tough, but deep down she's a bit of a chicken!
So she and I did a lot of this...

I refrained from practicing ballet moves while sunbathing, however.
I've figured her out. She doesn't really like the water very much. But she does love everything that comes with being around it...

The swim suits, the sunglasses, the lounge chairs...and most importantly seeing how many poses she can strike while sitting in them!
A friend of my dad's offered to let us spend a day by his pool and the children were ecstatic. (As if the water slide wasn't enough.) So we bought floaties and pool toys and off we went. When we got there, we found that we weren't the only people who thought we had dibs on the pool. There were several other people there, and when the girls realized we weren't staying to swim they turned on the water works like you wouldn't believe. My dad can only take .5 seconds of that, and ten minutes later we were at the local water park!
On the way in...

We had a big day, but that night it was time to pack up and get ready to head home early the next morning. The trip wouldn't be complete without stopping on our way out of town to see Mrs. Angie...

The girls stick to her like glue when she's around. Her husband coaches with my dad, and when we are at any of the baseball games she adopts them as her own. She knew we were coming so she had a bowl full of homemade brownie batter (she owns a restaurant that's been in her family for years and years) waiting on us...

One last picture with Pawpaw and it was time to hit the road...

But not before we made a pit stop at Sikes & Kohn for some big girl school shoes for Kindergarten...

That she learned to tie all by herself!! And she's let everyone know it, too!

We got home just in time for the VBS round-up at the park to celebrate a great week last week. Too bad the bottom fell out right after we got there! And in the middle of the monsoon as we were running to the car I lost the keys. We were all dripping wet from looking around outside trying to find them. They were under my seat in the car the whole time. Remember that nerve pill?! My entire family could have killed me after that one!
We did manage to get in a little bit of play time before we had to make a run for it...



Today was pretty special for Bebby and Towns. I let the two of them walk around the mall together (right after I scared Towns to death by teaching her how to look out for people trying to snatch her or her purse) and they had the best time. B says Towns needs to toughen up, though. Apparently she was complaining about her feet hurting from walking 5 minutes after they started shopping. She'll learn soon enough!

While they had their date, Cate and I went on our own shopping mission. J's got a birthday tomorrow and he deserves the most fun day a man could ask for!
All Cate was asking for, though, was a cookie cake...

You'll never guess which one she wanted...

You can't tell it from the picture, but it's the biggest one in the case with none other than a big ol' monkey on it.
How appropriate (see photo above)...

Happy weekend!!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Not Your 80's VBS

I'm warning you now...this will be a long one!

Where to begin?
Last summer was the first time I volunteered to help with Vacation Bible School at our church. Every year before that we'd been out of town during VBS week. But after the experience I had last year, I knew that we'd plan our out of town trips around it. This year was no different, and it was extra special because it was the first year Towns could officially be part of it. I can't really explain how I feel about our church. It's one big family, and I'm so thankful for what it's meant to our own little family. The fun part is that it's not what I remembered VBS being, even thought I have fond memories from VBS as a kid. But it's not standing still singing "Onward Christian Soldier" like what I was used to! :)
Towns with her class (one of 3 entering Kindergarten classes!)...

I know I've mentioned this before, but music is my absolute favorite part of any type of service. This week was no different! It was down right fun!! The theme for the week was Saddle Ridge Ranch which meant there was lots of toe, heel, dosido'in going on. That made me one happy cowgirl! And the fact that the message is incredible makes it that much better. Towns and I had a personal favorite - Tumbleweed - and we practiced at home at night so we'd have it down pat. I can't find the best video of it (wish I had one of our kids at church), but you can get the idea here. Excuse the ad at the beginning. Disclaimer: The people in the video get into it about 1/100th of what we did. Watch it and tell me that you don't see how you can go crazy with that?! (Or maybe it's just the dancer in me!) There's not an ounce of exaggeration when I tell you that you could feel the church floor shaking!
Towns' class sat on the front row during the worship rally and I tried my best to get a picture of her getting into all the singing, but I don't think she's anywhere in it...

But it'll show you how much fun was had!
Every year we take up a VBS offering to help certain missions projects. It's always boys vs. girls which makes for some fun competition. This year our new childrens minister had a plan for the offering. She's been a missionary in Africa and her team translates Bible stories onto cassettes in each village's language. The money given during VBS will buy cassettes so that more people can hear about Jesus, and by the end of the week the children had raised enough money for thousands of Africans to hear the cassettes. It truly was amazing.
Tuesday on the way home from church I asked Towns how she thought she could help, other than me just giving her money from my wallet to give in the offering. She remembered that she had her birthday money in her piggy bank. That was the first thing she went for when we got home...

I helped her pull her money out, and she said that she'd be willing to give up $5. I wanted her to understand to the best of her ability what she was giving her money for. I explained to her that we have a wonderful church where we can go to learn about God, we have Bibles that we can read, and we have lots of other ways to share Jesus with others. But that there are other people in the world who don't have the many opportunities that we do. Those cassette tapes could be the only way they'll ever hear about God. She looked at me and thought for a second. I could tell her wheels were turning. She piled her money up, all $37 of it, and pushed it over to me. She said "all of it - I'll just give all of it". And she did. Cheerfully.
We sat in the floor and counted it one last time...

Wednesday during our closing worship rally, she was surprised to hear Mrs. Kristy call her name to go up on stage...she was one of the Buckaroos of the Day for having a giving heart!
They put a cool blue cowgirl hat on her head and she stood up there grinning from ear to ear...


I'm pretty sure she didn't remove the hat from her head for the remainder of the week!
There were so many other kids who did even greater things. Lemonade stands, toy sales, doing chores for money, etc. It's so neat to see kids working together like that! Together they raised over $1,500!!
All of the Buckaroos from the week got a special treat on Friday. Mrs. Keri's father was on the USA Bobsled team in the 1980 Olympics. Keri still has Mr. Al's Olympic gear, some of which was western wear, and she offered to bring it to let the Buckaroos have their picture made with it...

And she was sweet enough to let them try it on themselves...

I couldn't resist this one...

That label was in the lining of the coat and cowboy hat. Pretty cool! The Olympics were in Lake Placid that year, hence the heavy coat. Towns could barely hold herself up in it!
While we were waiting for her turn to try the gear on, she wanted her picture made in front of the campfire because being on stage is cool (Miss Elle - you're the reason behind that!)...


Ever heard of the Christian Cowboy?
If not, you're missing out! He's a neat guy who uses his rodeo talents to share his faith. He came to our church to get us pumped up for VBS back in April, and he was there at family night Thursday night as well. He was gearing up to break a record in the Guinness Book of World Records, and chose to give it a shot at our church. The record he wanted to break? Balancing a near 60 ft. pole on his chin for 10+ seconds. After the big round up in the sanctuary, we migrated to the ROC to watch some record-breaking history...

It took a while for the Christian Cowboy to get prepared, so the girls entertained themselves while we waited...

Emma and Buggy...

I think the bandana and bow constitute one thing - the child marches to the beat of her own drum!
And finally...

I didn't realize how big of a deal this really was until they announced that we had a state senator there to officiate, a representative from the Guinness Book of World Records, news media, engineers, etc. And he did it! Broke the record...right there at FBC before our very eyes! :)
Afterwards, the girls played hide-and-seek on the church lawn with Emma and her sister Olivia until almost 9:00, because in Alabama in the summer time the sun doesn't go down until then! It took forever for us to convince them that we really did need to head home because Friday morning would come early...

But I just couldn't get these two to stop hamming it up long enough to make our way to the car! We met J at the Mexican restaurant where we were seated right next to the entire ministerial staff...where my children put on the show of all shows! Mercy...

J had to be somewhere Thursday night and couldn't go with us to family night which sent Towns into hysterics. So he promised her he'd come Friday morning to watch her sing her songs in the morning rally...

Two hearts were broken that morning.
Mine and his.
Because she was too embarrassed to hold his hand going down the hall to the sanctuary.
And too embarrassed to sit with us. She wanted to sit with her friends.
We still haven't recovered!!
I kept Cate with me during worship so that she could see what it was all about. And boy did she have a good time!

She tried so hard to keep up with the big kids who were doing motions to all the songs. And when she finally caught on to how to pretend to ride a horse and lasso at the same time for the Saddle Ridge Ranch song, Mrs. Ginger couldn't help but go at it with her...

Cate things Ginger is the coolest person ever - they're both interested in nothing but crazy fun!
Cate found Brock and Ella and they sat in awe of what was going on around them...

So cute!
And she actually stopped long enough for a picture with her mama...

At least she's not too embarrassed to be seen with her parents...yet!
What a great end to an even greater week...I think it'll take me 'til next year's VBS to recover! But it was worth every last minute of it!