Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Pony Camp

Poppy gave Emily and Ella-Kathryn two days at Pony Camp for their birthdays. They got to brush the horses, clean the horseshoes, take a tour of the stable, learn all about horses, saddle them, and then ride. The first day they rode on a pony with a lead, and then today they rode on a big horse alone. They had a BLAST! They loved going and especially going together.

Here is a picture of Emily all dressed and ready to go!

Happy 6th Birthday, Emily!

I can hardly believe I'm the mom of a 6 year old! Unbelievable. Not that it is about me, but it just puts it all in perspective for me. I can still remember lying in my bed pregnant, looking across the hall to that closet full of little tiny clothes, thinking are we really going to have a little person who will fit in those? Oh my!

We celebrated kind of mildly this year. I have to say that Em's birthday was not high on my list with 14 other people here visiting, saying goodbyes, packing, and all that comes with moving. It's not that SHE's not important, but I just kept putting off the planning. So, at the last minute I decided that our family would bring her gifts to the Boardwalk Bash on Friday night (her actual birthday) and that she could spend the night at Aunt Lala's along with her cousin, Ella-Kathryn. On Saturday Aunt Lala took the girls shopping, had their nails done, took them out to lunch, and to the pool. We met them there later for a pool party for Emily. She wanted Tinkerbell, a few friends, all of our family, and pizza. Easy peasy! So thankful she didn't need/want anything extravagant...as I probably couldn't have produced it this year. Ha!

Anyway, here are a few pictures from the pool party...

Ava, Halle, Emily, and Will eating pizza.

Maribel and Pete

Aunt Lala, Aunt Melanie, Ryan, Jack, and Gran

Case and Ella-Kathryn

We're planning on doing a little more celebrating with our family in Memphis once we arrive and get settled.

As for Emily...where to start? Emily is outgoing, dramatic, strong-willed, and stubborn (no idea where she gets it). She's organized, scheduled, diligent, and bright. She likes to lead, but still doesn't quite know how to do it appropriately and in the best manner that others will follow (i.e. she can be bossy). She likes to be in the know (i.e. nosy), helpful, and she always wants to be around people. She loves to read, swim, sing, do dance and gymnastics, go shopping and watch movies. She's 6 going on 16 in appearance, behavior and attitude. My oh my what will next year be like? Love that sweet girl! Happy Birthday, Em!

The Simpson

We've been enjoying the Simpsons (my sis and her fam) for the past 2 weeks or so. We've hit the beach, the Y, the pool, the boardwalk bash, and have had so much fun. We've only got a day or so left before they head out, and CLEARLY I'm going to need to take some more pictures than this. I'm pathetic, eh? But, here are few keepers for sure...

My nephew, Will, sporting the worker goggles and underware. Not a look many can get away with, right?

My nephew, Ryan asleep in the chair next to his momma. Poor fella...he was so tuckered out from a cold and benedryl.

And here's another of Will with a sweaty head at the boardwalk bash....it reminds me of those gnome/troll pencils that you would twist the hair on top! Ha!

Okay, hopefully more to come....

My two little loves...

I have to admit. Parenting has been a HUGE challenge for me this summer. I mean, I LOVE my children...but sometimes I've struggled in these days to truly LIKE them. Is that terrible? Just keepin' it real!

Anyway, I really believe that the struggle stems more from me....me being stressed from our current circumstances, not walking in the Spirit, and just being plum worn out. Yes, Emily and Case aren't completely without fault, but I feel that if only I could handle myself differently then we'd be that much closer to success, ya know?

Ah, in a perfect world!

Having said all that, here we are in one of our better moments. Watching the parade on the 4th....all squeezed together on Mommy's lap, me being the chair that we forgot to bring.

I do love my kiddos, and I even like them most of the time....I suppose its more about me not liking me. I'm just thankful that their memories are short, that the Lord's mercies are new each morning, and that I get to be their Mommy!

Saving the world one rat at time....

Our most interesting visitor this summer would most definitely be THE RAT!

It all began when I opened the kitchen trashcan (yes, you read that correctly), and saw movement. Out JUMP a RAT! Instead of closing the trashcan or doing anything logical to solve our problem, I ran away and screamed like a little girl. Chad promptly ignored me because he says, "I always hear screaming downstairs". Thanks for that! Fortunately, we still live with my Dad and HE came running. The next SEVERAL days were filled with rat catching escapades. It began with Dad making this homemade rat trap, which required lying on the floor, waiting for the rat to make noise, and then trapping him. I guess Chad decided to join him for moral support? Not sure, but I know it went on until 3 a.m. and there was no prisoner in the morning.

Poppy then blocked off all cabinet spaces that appeared "open" in the kitchen. So, logically the rat then next appeared in his bathroom. After closing off those, the rat then showed up in the pantry. At this point we added rat traps, real ones, no longer caring to be humane to this ridiculous creature:)

Well, all seemed quiet in the house for a day or so....so we assumed the rat had moved on.

Then one night I went to bed, Dad went to bed, and Chad stayed up working in the family room. I got a call on my cell phone, after having been asleep, and it was Chad. In hushed tones he said, "hey, I'm in the family room and I have the rat cornered." WHAT? Is this a dream? No, perhaps a nightmare, but not a dream.

So, I do what any good, tired wife does...I got up, opened the door, rolled my eyes and sighed heavily, and then proceeded to help Chad capture he and Dad's nemesis. The rat was cornered under a bookshelf that was near the back porch door. Chad got a flashlight and corned him in its beam. I remembered that Dad had said that if we could ever get it to run out the door that would be the best option. I also remembered that he said that they don't run across open expanses, but rather will stick along the wall. So, we proceeded to build a corral from the bookshelf to the back porch door...using the moving boxes and tubs that were stacked on the wall all ready for our move to Memphis in 2 weeks. Once the corral was constructed, Chad poked and prodded the rat with a rake and out he flew....down the corral, out on the porch, and out the back door! It worked! After a high five and a little clean-up of boxes, we were all able to sleep more soundly.

I think the thing that gets me the most, and there is so much material here to choose from, is that the thing was living with us for a whole week and we didn't even know it. Ick! Maybe it wasn't the same fella...I asked Dad if he thought it was and he said, "I don't know, Karen, I didn't ask his name." ha! Even so, to think of that gives me the heebie jeebies. Ya know? Alas, all is safe in the world now!

The Crenshaws

We've had the privilege of having some of our dearest friends and family here with us this summer. Chad's sister, Erin, and her family came at the end of June and I have NOTHING to show for it in terms of pictures! Ugh! Why do I do that? Here is the only one I can find, and fortunately Erin took some as well and posted them on her blog, so check them out too!

I can't begin to say enough about this family and what they mean to us. They aren't just in our lives because of being family....they are some of our best friends. They challenge us, love us, and sharpen us and we are so thankful to be able to walk this life with them.

Thank you for taking the time and resources to come see us this summer, Crenshaws! We loved having you and feel so blessed to have had that time with you. Can't wait to do daily life with you in Memphis VERY SOON!

My three favorite peeps...

So, I've not done a great job of keeping up this summer AT ALL! So this will be my attempt to cover our summer all in one sitting. Be sure and check out all the new posts, as I'll do them all separately for my own benefit:)

Here are my three favorite peeps in a few of our rare moments of downtime this summer. They're all so nice and brown, eh?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

4th of July

We've had such a busy summer...lots of visitors, packing, working, etc....etc! We've been enjoying each day for what it offers, but it is quickly coming to a close. Only 10 more days of family, beach, pool, and this beautiful island. Then we're off to our new home (which I still haven't see with my own eyes...ha!).

Anyway, here are a few shots of our time at the parade with Gran and Lala. It was a gorgeous night for fireworks and a parade.