Friday, May 31, 2013

summer randomness

Water battle....

Dressin' up...

 Building things....


My kids' allergies have hit full force.  I put in a call to the nurse today for suggestions on what we could give them.  After taking her suggestions, Daniel stopped blowing and running for the first time in a couple of days.  Now, he is really hoarse.  When I was a kid suffering from allergies, I always lost my voice.  Even as an adult, it's the first thing to go when my sinuses go crazy.   I hope after a couple of days on the medicine, their bodies will be better. 

I realized that I'm guarding my summer too closely and being too cautious with how we spend it to the point of doing nothing.  This next month,  we're going with the flow and trying some new things...VBS at a local church (whatever nights we feel like going), maybe signing up for art classes, meeting with friends-new and old, and whatever other randomness we decide to do as long as it's relaxing and fun! 

Bummed...but movin' on!

Sometimes things just don't work out the way we plan....

I'm bummed out today.  I started doing about a month ago.  Tracking everything I ate, my exercise, my water intake, coming in just under my calorie goal everyday, getting in 12,000 steps, exercising at least 30 minutes to an hour a day.  Today, I got on the scale for the first time in a month.  I had lost....wait for it....a whopping 1 lb.   Yes, I feel better...yes, I'm probably toning muscle/losing fat...yes, my husband thinks I look great...yes, I'm noticing little changes....but doggoneit, I just wanted that number to confirm what I'm doing.  

We do that in other areas of our lives, too.  We want the numbers to show us our success, but sometimes the numbers just don't measure the hard work and progress.  

So what do we do?   Take a breath, take stock of where we are and where we want to be, regroup and keep on moving forward. 

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Memorial Day at the Zoo

We spent part of Memorial Day at the zoo with some of our friends.  It was a cool morning and all the animals were out.  It wasn't as busy as I thought it would be.  It was a great time!!!

 Not happy to leave his jeep, but he got over it pretty quick!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013


So, okay I'm obviously not doing the Blog Everyday in May blogchallenge, but several of my real life and bloggy friends have taken the challenge.  

Today's topic is: 5 songs - Five songs or pieces of music that speak to you or bring back memories.  Well, you know me and music! So, I thought I would join in, just for today....and I'll probably break the rules.  ONLY 5 songs?  

A song I could listen to over and over especially when I'm feeling down...don't ask me why? :

Carolina in my Mind by James Taylor

Lullaby for my three golden haired, blue eyed babies: 

Close To You by The Carpenters

Reminds me of my dad and childhood:  

My parents must have listened to all kinds of different music, because I remember listening to 45's of Abracadabra, Private Eyes, Dolly Parton's I Will Always Love You, American Pie, Jeremiah was a Bullfrog, Bad, Bad Leroy Brown, Ruby, I Love a Rainy Night, Lesson in Leavin', all kinds of church music and Southern Gospel/Bluegrass, Hallelujah Square....

Songs that bring tears to my eyes as I long for the day...:

Finally Home by Mercy Me


When I Get Where I'm Going by Brad Paisley and Dolly Parton

Most of the songs from my past that bring back memories are kinda slow and melancholy... 

Here's a couple of current favorites just to perk you up a bit: 

She's Got the Honey by Mat Kearney 

Long Way Home by Steven Curtis Chapman 

Starts with Me by Tim Timmons

See I told you,  I'd end up breaking the rules and I barely got started. 

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Sgt. Alvin C. York State Historic Site

Last Saturday, we set out on an adventure....

Tera has had a fascination with the history of Sgt. York lately and plans to do a history project about him.    Since his birthplace is only 2 hours away in Pall Mall, TN, we've wanted to make a visit for a while.  Well, we finally did rain and fog all the way.  We stopped for umbrellas just in case.  

Carsickness runs in my family and each one of our children has succumb to it at least once...except Michael.  Now, he's a member of the elite club.  2 hours of winding roads and McD's for breakfast in the car did not sit well with the boy.  We were thanking the Lord we had a change of clothes/water/towel in the car and for Daniel helping contain the mess out of self-preservation.  We had to strip Michael down on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere and headed on for the last 7 miles to our destination.  

We started out at the York General store with a video about Sgt. York's life.  Sgt. Alvin C. York was a WWI hero, capturing 132 German soldiers almost single-handedly in the Battle of the Argonne Forest.  The room that houses the video is like a mini-museum with lots of documents and photographs. 

I love this old letter box!

The home that was gifted to Sgt. Alvin York and his wife, Gracie by the state of Tennessee in recognition for his service is a short walk across the street.  All the contents in the home actually belonged to the York family.  All original. 

This man pictured with Tera is Andrew York, Sgt. York's son.  He works as a park ranger at his parent's home, the one he grew up in.   He was one of the nicest men.   Mr. York invited Tera to play on his father's piano and gave her an autographed copy of a booklet containing some of his father's diary and timeline of the war.  (All because he knew she was doing a project on Sgt. York)  You should have seen her face light up when he gave it to her! 

Grist mill

We did not let rain keep us from having a picnic or wading or skipping rocks!  The water was cold and clear.   Just as we finished, there was a torrential downpour. 

There are two ways to get to the burial site of Sgt. York.  One involves a .5 mile hike from the home and a suspension bridge.  I don't really like bridges at all, but I was willing to be adventurous.  It looked pretty safe from the pictures.  We tried to hike from the house and then hit a ton of mud...I mean, a ton.  So, we turned back.  You can also drive to the burial site, so that's the route we went this time.  We tried to hike back from the cemetery  just to the bridge, but again hit tons of mud.  We'll have to try to get to the suspension bridge next time, we go. 

Burial site

Michael was just wore out....

We saw this little guy on the side of the road in Lenoir City, by a busy road.  He sparked the debate of groundhog vs. beaver.  No prominent beaver tail that we could see.  What do you think? 

I'm so glad we didn't let rain and fog and carsickness keep us from making some very cool memories! 

Monday, May 20, 2013

Wide Open

Summer is here...

For the past few summers, I've put my kids on a schedule because they were too young to find things to do on their own.  This year, I'm playing it by schedule, no tickets, no theme nights, no fair projects.  Tera and Daniel have certain things to accomplish before lunch (short math practice, instrument practice, typing and doing something with Michael)  They offer to help with chores, but other than that they play, read, create and sometimes fight.  It's been 1 week of this new relaxed way and we're still doing okay.  If things change, we'll go back to more structure. 

We've done some pretty cool things the past two weekends:

A play at our friends' church...

 Michael with Peter Pan

and a educational day trip for Tera's history fair project....(more on that in another post this week)

We aren't doing fair projects this year and are pulling back from our participation in the summer reading program at our local library.  We'll attend at least one special performance, but won't be participating in the kick-off like we've done every year.  I just haven't been impressed with it and don't want to feel obligated to do something...just because.  

I want this summer to feel wide open.....


Skippy Jon Jones: Lost in Spice portrait 
by Michael 

Skipping rocks

I'm focusing on weight loss, experimenting with some menu ideas, reading A LOT (compared to the rest of this year), organizing more in the house and other low key things.  I'm sleeping in everyday and staying up later than I do during the school year.  
A new to us, entertainment center
The house is quiet now with children all playing and working on various things.  The window are wide open and everything is airing out.  

I feel like that, too...I'm airing myself myself a much needed breath.  Doing things that work on me...reading my Bible, getting healthy, and pursuing things of interest.   Trying to let go of stress, of things that weigh my mind down, reflecting and working on me (the inside and outside).  

"May I learn to be content in whatever circumstances I am in.  Whether I am in need or in abundance, whether I am filled or hungry, let me learn the secret of being content in any and all situation.  I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me!" 

Philippians 4:11-13


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