• Double the Time

    Why do chores take so long for these two? Hmmmm…I wonder. One is trying on his brother’s underwear while he folds the laundry and another one is making the leaning tower of cups while unloading the dishwasher. (YES we used ALL those cups in a short amount of time). The jobs usually get done but in double the time. They have a special way of making work fun! We could all learn something from them!

     

  • A Visit with Nana

    Where has the time gone? Summer seems to be sneaking by so fast and next thing we know, it will be time to start school. It’s been a fun summer for sure. Just this last week we had a special visit from Nana. The kids loved having her for days on end. We conducted a Dr. Pepper tasting contest, had a shopping spree at the dollar store, taught Nana a new game, swam in the pool on the bluff, put our toes in the sand for hours and hours at the beach, and had fun hanging out together.  I love how she engages the kids on their level and asks them questions about their interests. She takes time to make each kid feel special and that is a gift! What fun memories we shared with her this summer!

  • Barbie

    What’s going on here? Gress thought it was so funny that GI Joe was hanging out with Barbie. But WOW Barbie, pull yourself together! And why is there a baby laying on the table? Lots of Barbie playing by Mabry (and Rue). We spared Mabry knowing about the injured Barbie. HA!

    Mabry loves legos, and climbing trees, and barbies!

     

  • Time

    It was a Friday. Rad was feeling the need to work despite the rest of us going to the beach for one last day of surfing. He heard someone recently say that “Americans wear watches yet most have little time.” It resonated with him and reminded him why we live the life we do. There’s something so freeing about owning your own schedule and taking the time to do the things that really matter. So today he choose the beach with us. We LOVED having him there. There was more surfing, and Gress got offered a board to surf with the camp. Mabry also decided her life jacket was getting in the way of boogie boarding so off it went. OH BOY! She got a chance to surf with Sushi the other day so it has spurred a love of being in the waves on a board. These are my favorite ways to spend family time.

  • Our Surfer

    We have always known Mcree loves the water. I’m pretty sure a week of surf camp sealed the deal for Mcree’s lifelong love with the ocean. This kid did a great job surfing. It didn’t matter the size of the waves, Mcree used every opportunity to practice getting better. By the end of the week he had great form and was getting long rides in as he learned to work the face of the wave. The guy who runs the camp, “Sushi,” has more energy than all the kids he teaches. It was an incredible experience.

  • Like My Own

    Oh how we have missed our farmer friends! Like REALLY missed them. It’s been so many months since we gathered together as families. This crew is really special to us and I was so grateful for hours to catch up. It was one little farmer boy’s 5th birthday so what a great time to gather and celebrate! I love this crew like they are my own!

     

  • Summertime Fun & the 4th

    We spent 4th of July watching fireworks from the bluff across the street and shooting off our own fireworks with kids from the neighborhood. Rad took the kids to the fireworks store and they each could use $20 of their own money to pick out whatever they wanted. It was a fun show to see what they each shot off. There’s something  special about being with your neighbors for these kinds of things. I didn’t get any photos of the chaos but just close your eyes and imagine smoke, and kids squealing, and lots of popping and a cattle dog jumping and spinning in the air trying to see if she could catch the fireworks as they went off. The kids kept telling me for days what a great day they had on the 4th.

    It’s been quite different this summer with more kids around to play with. My kids would describe it as AWESOME! The other day we filled up the pools and pulled out the slip and slide and had a water day in the front yard. To top it off we called the ice cream truck to make a stop at our house so we could have some treats. I couldn’t stop smiling at how much fun all the kids were having.

  • The In Between

    I was sitting here wondering what has kept me from the blog for too many days on end and then I remembered. Since the last time I posted anything, I got into a little fight with some poison ivy and it won. All I did was touch it while picking weeds and next thing I know I have it covering every part of my body, including my face which led to my eye being swollen shut for several mornings. (I will spare you any photos). It was MISERABLE. And when you itch, you don’t want to be hot. And living in the south, hot is unavoidable. You know what else is unavoidable, this cattle dog wanting to touch me all the time. I lay down and there she is with her nose always on me or her legs jumping up to see if I am ok. It’s sweet…and slightly annoying. It’s a good thing I love her so.

    Although Rue can be naughty. While Gress and I were outside talking to a neighbor lady, Rue was mad she was inside so she took the liberty to shred his lego instructions to a lego set he just bought and opened not 5 minutes before. WHY? Gress was so mad and I thought he might unfriend her forever. Luckily Lego has all their instructions online! WHEW!

    I had BIG plans for Mabry and I to spend a week together doing fun things while the boys were in camp ALL WEEK ALL DAY! The poison ivy kind of ruined that. We did venture out to her favorite art store Henny Penny and do some crafts. I am sure people were wondering who this movie star was as I wouldn’t remove my sunglasses for even a minute while inside any establishment for fear of them thinking I had some weird illness all over me. We had a lunch date with Daddy at a fun taco place downtown. And I got to dream in the isles of an art store I have wanted to visit for years. It’s surely different having only one kid for days on end. We made the best of the week. We were dog sitting a neighbors dog so that was a fun distraction every day to visit and walk a sweet dog. In the end, the slower pace really did make our week special!

    The boys had a blast at their Low CountryExplorers camp. They learned how to throw cast nets, learned tons of things about the ocean including hearing many oceanographers share details about specific sharks or animal tracking or how to preserve the ocean, did crafts, swam, and just had fun. It was the first time Mcree had ever been to camp and he LOVED it. It was neat they could go together.

     

     

     

     

  • Mimi Time

    The kids love having their Mimi around. I think they played more games in the time she was here than they have all year! 

  • The Gift of Time Away

    Marriage is hard. I’m not talking about the kind of marriage that is just status quo, go with the flow, live our your days just next to each other. I am talking about rich, meaningful, engaged, romantic marriage. That is the marriage I strive for, yet often fail. I could blame it on a million things like the busyness of life or the chaos that 3 kids and 2 cattle dogs can bring. Its so easy to make excuses for being tired, withdrawn, and blah. I don’t operate at my best when I am tired. But I have been tired pretty much my whole life I am sure….hence the best napper award I received in my younger years. And trust me, a nap doesn’t always solve my problem now.

    Rad and I had the INCREDIBLE opportunity to be together ALONE for 4 days. ALONE. No kids. No dogs. No interrupted conversations. No listening to anyone say they are hungry, or that their sibling won’t share, or that they are bored or hungry again. My mom graciously gave us time away from our home life to help us enrich our marriage. The last time she came to watch the kids was Hurricane Matthew almost 3 years ago..(remember Rad and I heading on a plane to TX and having to turn right back around to secure the house for the hurricane?). So in over 11 years of marriage, this was our first real extended getaway. THAT’S RIGHT!

    We headed to a mountain house near Cashier’s that our old neighbors graciously offered us. It was tucked away in the woods with a rushing river just down below. If you look up the phrase “a serene place of rest” there would be a photo of this house. What an incredible place to renew, reconnect, and revive our marriage. Not going to say it happened immediately because it took time to not think about the kids, or wonder if we should turn around and go back. We weren’t used to quiet. And hours to just be together. We joked that we were feeling what empty nesters must feel and that we have to learn to be together alone more before it really happens one day. We had to get used to it just being us.

    We hiked a few waterfalls, some way more strenuous that others. We love a good adventure and the conversations that happen along the way. We rested and got to be together non stop. And I took a nap! This whole time together was truly a gift!

    THANK YOU MOM for holding down the chaos and creating memories in my kids hearts along the way. Thank for giving selflessly giving Rad and I this gift!