Sunday, April 27, 2008

Pew Packers Visit Fire Station

Every Sunday night right after church, the 5th graders and under meet down front for what is called Pew Packers. Mr. Jason sings songs with them and will have a little short devo. Once a quarter, or sometimes more often, they have a kids devo after church...and tonight they piled onto the church bus and drove to the fire station. Johnny is the Lieutenant at Station 56 - he goes to our church and his girls babysit for us occasionally. Anyways, Ethan was soooo excited about riding the church bus to Mr. Johnny's fire station!

We got to the station and went inside and into their break room and Johnny talked to the kids about fires and answered some of their funny questions. They were all so cute! Then we went into their big kitchen and they had pizza for dinner. After that he took the kids through the entire station showing them where they sleep and spend their time when they aren't fighting fires. It was quite interesting. Then we went into the garage and the kids got to go through the Ambulance and the Ladder Truck. They all loved it! After that, the driver pulled the Pump Truck outside and they hooked up the hose and let the kids shoot the hose (we aren't under any water restrictions) and they all loved it! It was such a fun evening - thank you Mr. Johnny for letting us come see your fire station!!!
Listening to Mr. Johnny tell us all about his very important job Ethan wondering when we get to see the big firetrucks???!!! In their nice big kitchen - Johnny cooks a lot here and is a very good cook!
This is where they sleep - behind each curtain they all have a bed and their space
Finally, we get to see the trucks!!!
Ethan walking through the Ambulance with Cate (Johnny's middle daughter)

Walking through the Ladder Truck
Michelle put on their gear to show the kids - Johnny said that with all their gear on they have an extra 70 lbs. The kids loved seeing Michelle dressed up in the gear!
Now for the fun part....I can't believe Ethan didn't try to squirt us!!! He thought this was really neat! Making growling faces with Mr. Ben
Johnny with Ethan and Will

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Sunny Days and Rainy Days...

The weather has been so nice here lately, so we've been outside a lot! Yesterday, Ethan got his first little pink neck of the season - so we told him last night from now on we have to put sunscreen on. Now he thinks we're going to the beach because we talked about sunscreen! Nina is almost a year old and is so cute and sweet and really just a joy to be around (of course, that's her Mommy talking). It's funny how quickly they pick up on things and how they work. She knows how to turn the stereo on and is quite proud of herself when that happens. She knows what to do with a phone (surprise, surprise). She waves and says "hi" when she sees someone, blows kisses, and lately folds her hands to pray when we say prayers before meal time. How sweet is that?!

Sunday night after church, we had our Lads to Leaders kickoff - Hawaiian theme this year - the food was really good and the gym was decorated and there were games, etc....for the kids. It was a lot of fun. Anyways, we were heading down to the gym and Jen, one of Ethan's Wednesday night teachers, stopped me and said she had an Ethan story. Oh no, I thought! Because lately with this big boy underwear thing....the stories have been amusing to say the least. They start class (Sunday and Wednesday) with the teacher pulling out these big music notes that have been cut out of poster board - and they have the names of the songs that they sing on them. So the kids go around the table and pick out which song they want to sing. However, Mrs. Roberta (his Sunday am teacher) had taken the music notes home because she's making the kids their own song they were without the notes this particular evening. Macey and Ivy both picked out their songs and then it was Ethan's turn. Jen said he kind of looked at her funny and then all of a sudden said he wanted to sing "are you washed in the blood of the lamb". Jen said she looked at Erica and they both just started laughing and wondered if either one of them knew how to start that song. Well, they did, and Ethan sang it with them! Then at the end he said he wanted to sing it super fast - Ivy's song choice was one that they sing regular and then super fast. Never a dull moment!!!
Ethan with his Nashville guitar we brought him - he was so happy! But he was a little upset because it didn't have a strap on it so he could wear it...

Oh, and Mark got him this lovely harmonica that he loves to play - the Elvis sunglasses are for Uncle Carl
One morning Mark and I were getting ready in the bathroom and we heard Ethan pushing around one of the stools I keep at the counter in the kitchen....a few minutes later, we walk into the living room to find this...Ethan had pushed the stool in front of the cabinet where I keep all the sippy cups and had gotten the pappy cup, but had taken all of Nina's out and left them in the cabinet but brought all of his to the couch. He still has it at nap and bedtime and we're trying so hard to just get rid of it. I just love pictures of sleeping babies - especially with their little bottom in the air!

Ethan chasing the soccer ball
Taking a break talking to Aunt Courtney. He kept saying, "Courtney, are you kidding me?" I don't know what she was saying to him, but that's what he kept saying to her.Ethan got my camera and started taking all kinds of pictures - they were so funny...some of his feet, the stereo....he had the best time walking around taking pictures with my cameraMy rainy day project - shower curtain for the kid's bathroom. Thanks to many fabric shopping trips with Randi and my mom, I'm hooked....I love going to look at fabric and I walked out with this fun one. I also got a red gingham and a pattern and am going to attempt to make some shorts for Ethan. Ok, Randi and Mom, why didn't you tell me that seam rippers are less than $2? I bought one! Nina yelling into Ethan's microphone I was trying to get a cute picture of the kids to send to my Mema for her birthday
Nina crawled into this box and thought it was so funny! Notice her red knees from crawling around so much! Kisses from Nina!

So as I'm sitting here posting this...our doorbell rings and Mark looks outside and notices that the "witnesses" are out in the neighborhood. We're all 4 in the office, right by the front door, so I'm sure they have heard us. Mark answers the door and there are 2 sweet ladies standing there and before they can even get ONE word out, Ethan starts with, "Hey, hey the Easter Bunny left me a trailer...wait, wait, Daddy, what's that called? Oh, a trail. The Easter Bunny left me a trail from my bed to my Easter basket. See this boo boo? I was running and fell and my truck hit my chin, but it doesn't hurt anymore. That man took his trailer and put it on a truck and put a cool car on it and they left." All of this was within like 30 seconds and I'm sitting here at the computer trying not to laugh out loud and Mark is trying to shut Ethan up and the ladies are just standing there laughing. I don't think they'll be coming around here again!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Week of Guests...

This past week we had Chris, Melanie, Allie and Avery in town. They were supposed to get up Monday morning and drive to Memphis but when I talked to Melanie on Sunday, Allie was running a fever....and once again they weren't sure if they were going to get to come. She took Allie to the dr. Monday morning and they ended up driving to our house on Tuesday. We had a great time with them and wished they could have stayed longer...although I think Chris was ready to get out of the chaos - but I do believe he felt at "home" here (you'll have to ask Chris to elaborate on that one...)! The first night Melanie and I just put Allie and Ethan in their beds in Ethan's room and thought that they would just go to sleep....Allie ended up on the couch in the playroom and Ethan finally went to sleep. The next night Allie was sooooo tired, so she went to bed in Ethan's room first and then I put Ethan down later and that seemed to work well! We took the kids to see the ducks at The Peabody and had Corky's BBQ and just had a great time together! Here are some of the pictures. Allie and Ethan loved driving the Jeep together - here I think Ethan was telling her to drive him to the airport and I don't think she wanted to go that way!
Ethan and Allie in their fort
Avery and Nina playing together
They are so proud of themselves here - Melanie and I were both on the phone at the same time and Melanie turned around and they were digging in the M & M container.....whoo hoo, no one is looking!!! No wonder they didn't cooperate for us at bedtime!
The 4 kiddos waiting for the ducks - and since it was a week day, we had the best view we've ever had and the ducks took their time getting to the fountain and the kids loved it!
Yet one more attempt to get a good picture of both kids together! And Mark wonders why I want to pay a professional to do this!!!!!
Ethan and Allie and their fake smiles - I had just given them bubblegum and they were starting to chew it and couldn't smile!
Just think, these 4 kids could be all mine or all Melanie's...they are spaced just perfectly apart - how insane would that be?!?! I had several ask if they were siblings or cousins - I'm sure the matching blue didn't help! Everyone is cooperating except Nina - she was looking at the water!

Thursday, as Chris and Melanie rolled out of town, Mark went to the airport to pick up his parents. They graciously flew down to Memphis for the weekend to keep the kids while Mark and I went to Nashville for a wedding. I got home with the kids and got them down for their naps and literally felt like a hotel housekeeper - changing the sheets and getting everything ready for the next round! We left Friday morning to drive to Nashville. Allen, the groom, is a friend of ours from Auburn and he was in our wedding. Summer of 2006, Allen drove to Nashville from Atlanta for a Dave Matthews Band concert (he's a HUGE fan....even called the manager to see if they could play at the wedding) and started talking to this girl sitting next to him....Elizabeth and Allen realized they had been going to the same concert at the same venue for years and hit if off right away! So last summer they began to plan their wedding.
After dropping Mark off at the church for the rehearsal, I went to the Loveless Cafe to help decorate for the dinner. This is one of the big tourist spots in town and it's the Nashville version of Paula Deen's place in Savannah. Needless to say the food was incredible and I was worried I might not be able to zip my dress Saturday night!!!
The wedding was at Elizabeth's church that she (and her mom) grew up going to - St. George's Episcopal - just a gorgeous church...which, in Nashville, are everywhere!!! Allen and Elizabeth have both been in many, many weddings, so their wedding party was quite large. I tried to get a good picture, but it was hard because the party was just so large. Her dress was gorgeous and the vail was absolutely breathtaking - longer than the train and had lace and pearls all the way around it. The vail and the dress looked like they were made for each other. Come to find out, it was her mom's vail and they took her mom's dress apart and had Elizabeth's dress made with the lace and pearls off her mom's dress with the prettiest silk fabric. It was gorgeous and very becoming and modest - one of the prettiest dresses I've seen!
Ok, so off to the reception at the War Memorial Auditorium at TPAC (Tennessee Performing Arts Center).....I can't even describe to you the amount of flowers everywhere. I lost count of the number of HUGE flower arrangements on the tables and at every door when you walked in, on the stage, in the bathroom downstairs in the basement, on the food tables...And all the tables had full length tablecloths that matched the bridesmaid's dresses with the gorgeous gold wedding chairs and thick ivory cushions. The food was great! They had "the" band in Nashville - City Lights Orchestra - and they were incredible! It was a fun evening and was an incredible wedding to be a part of!!! We hope they are having fun in Hawaii!
The church
War Memorial Auditorium in front with the Capitol building in the background (this was from our hotel balcony) Mark and Mandy before the wedding in the groomsman's area
The wedding party - 10 bridesmaids, 2 matrons of honor, 4 flowergirls, 11 groomsmen and 1 best man - I told you it was large!
Not a great picture - but the inside of the auditorium
The food tables were located on either side of the room underneath the balcony and they served food all night long until the bride and groom left at 11
One of the large flower arrangements

I just had to take a picture - mini cobb salads with grilled cheese sandwiches....look at the grass underneath the glass! The presentation of the food was amazing!

The military honor guard introducing the bride and the groomDr. Adams dancing with his daughter - her parents were in Hawaii last Fall and their rental SUV rolled over him and crushed his legs and hips and they said he would never walk again. Well, he walked Elizabeth down the aisle and was able to dance with her. He's still using a cane and she totally got to enjoy the full effect of walking down the aisle because they had to walk so slow, but he got to do it and there wasn't a dry eye in the church! Truly amazing!
Don and Laura Lynn - one of Allen's friends and now ours too....Don helped Mark get on at FedEx. He was one of the honor guard and it was funny hearing all the other wives when they saw Don's Marine uniform....they were asking their husbands why their uniforms didn't look like his! They all looked so nice!!
Mark and Mandy with the new Mr. and Mrs.
Allen always played in a band in college with some of our friends (Mark sang sometimes) so as a surprise to Elizabeth, he played a Dave Matthews song and then played Crazy Love by Van Morrison with the band - this stage is where Elvis, Johnny Cash and The Beetles recorded live records! How cool is that?!?!
The 3 Amigos....Paul (Mark's roommate from Auburn), Allen and Mark
At the end of the night, they cut the lights on, so I tried to get a better picture of the room - it still doesn't describe how incredible this place was!!! No expense sparred for sure!

Pa and Ro Ro did fine with the kids. Although during the rehearsal dinner, Ro Ro called to say that Nina had a fever and a runny nose. They took her to the dr. Saturday morning but the dr. said it looked like she was teething. Needless to say, they had to deal with that....but they were fine! Thank you for flying to Memphis to keep the kids, Pa and Ro Ro!!!