Friday, December 15, 2017

All Things Christmas

Well we are marching right on towards Christmas! I can hardly believe it! This year has been so different. On one hand I honestly am loving teaching and being back in the classroom...but part of my heart aches b/c I feel like I am missing out on my moments as a stay at home mom. I keep telling myself though that this is the season God placed us in. I can't think about anything, but that! Its an encouragement on the long days when I just long to be home. I feel like its a tough balance of being able to fulfill my mom/wife jobs but also its such a blessing b/c I am at school with my kids. So even though I am working atleast I am working WHERE they are at school. Anyway this week we are a little over a week from Christmas break! I am so excited and ready! The kids are feeling the excitement as well. I have enjoyed celebrating though and talking about the true meaning of Christmas with them as well though. 
Monday and Tuesday we were fortunate to be home. I treasure those afternoons that we get to come home. Although Monday was a hard day. I lost my temper with the kids and ended up feeling terrible. I just let Satan get a hold of me. We ended up making the most of the evening though. Austin brought home Chickfila for dinner. It was our 13th anniversary. The season of life we are currently in I think we were both completely fine with it! Tuesday Colby didn't have homework so that was a much needed blessing and made for a much more relaxed night which was lovely. 
Wednesday was a long day for us. We of course had school. We have been staying for dinner at church but this was the last week of Wednesday nights until sometime in January and it was the Christmas Party night for Jumpstart so I knew I needed to stay and let the kids participate. It ended up being a really great night and I was glad we stayed even though I was SO tired when it was all said and done! It made me realize that even though Wednesdays are always super hard I feel so blessed after. 
Thursday was another LONG one! We had school then that afternoon I had a Staff Christmas party. I brought the kids to my parent's house per tradition in this season. I got to visit for a few minutes before heading back up to the school. We started with a gift exchange game which was really fun. I just enjoyed the fellowship! I really love all the teachers and it was fun to get to be around them and visit rather then just quick visits between wrangling kids. After that we all went over to Sun Ray for our dinner. It was really nice. Mrs. Schifflin was there which was so nice to see her. I enjoyed getting to visit with her as well. We received the sweetest little gifts from the principal as well. Its definitely been a different season of life. Its been hard in many ways, but its also been so sweet. I hope to stay involved in the school in a more leadership role instead of just a parent, but we will see. I know this was a God thing! I never really thought I would ever go back into the classroom. I have honestly loved every minute of it. I have a feeling Thursday will be a bit emotional for me b/c I will miss it and I will miss the kids greatly. Its a hard job, but its super rewarding! 


Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Snow Days and Birthday Party!

So this weekend started on a very exciting note! Well there's been talk of winter weather or snow all week. I have honestly been praying that it would snow and cancel school. Well that didn't happen. We had cold, rainy weather the 2nd half of the week. It was nice at first, but then made for some long days at school. The kids handled it well though and seemed to enjoy their inside recess. We've only had to have about 4 indoor recesses since I've been there so that's a blessing. Anyway while we were at lunch on Friday it started to SNOW! Such a fun sight! It didn't stick to the ground at all, but it was so sweet when all the kids ran outside and were screaming and laughing! It truly brought tears to my eyes and was such a "treasured" moment. It made me forget all the stresses and tiredness and I just tried to soak up that moment and be thankful. I am thankful my kids were at school and were able to share that moment with friends. I am thankful I was there to witness it! Friday once we got home it felt so good to be in and settled though. It was freezing outside! We had pizza for dinner and watched The Polar Express. It was a nice night just hanging out as a family.
Saturday we got up bright and early to prep for the b-day party. We had cleaning and getting ready to do! I felt so crazy with being a working momma this year and not being able to do much prep ahead of time. We got it all done though and the party was a success. We had about a dozen little girls here for her painting party. Everyone had a great time! The 2 ladies that led the painting did such a terrific job! It was such a blessing for my little girl! She loved it!! I was so happy all her friends were able to make it except two. The only ones we were missing was Jordyn from school and Claire from her old school. Its fun to see her church friends and school friends unite. We also had Ella here for Colby. I was happy he had someone his own age to hang with. He was a little bummed b/c his friend Nijel was supposed to come but didn't show up. We had Ebbie (6), Lindsay (6), Layla (6), Mia (6), Eden (5 1/2), Mirabelle (5) and Genevieve (6) here to paint. The girls were so cute and did such a great job. Even though we had to move the party inside everything turned out great. After painting we let the kids eat then they played in Lindsay's room for a bit. We then had them do cake/presents. A few braved the cold outside and played on the playground as well. It was a great day! We are so blessed that so many people love our little girl. After the party we cleaned up the house a bit then we all took naps. I was so tired. It felt so good to finally stop and nap! That afternoon we decided to get out and run errands. That has been one of the hardest parts of this season is learning to balance on the weekends what I normally have ALL week to do. We went to Fleurty girl and that was a fun time. We got what we needed and got out. After that we went to Hobby Lobby. There I was able to get stuff for our class Christmas party. I was happy we were able to check some things off the never ending list! We then went to eat at Outback. Eating out at night seems rare these days so it was a nice treat! After we even rode around a bit to look at Christmas lights. I was thankful for that family memory. In the midst of the crazy! 
Sunday was another pretty busy day! We had church, then the grocery store. We did get to come home and hang out after that though. Colby had a project to work on though so I felt like that consumed our afternoon. Sundays are always very busy with trying to prepare for the upcoming week! 

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Funeral and The Weekend

So this past weekend was a bit different. Well first of all Friday I didn't teach. We were asked to attend Brittany and Chris' baby's funeral. Wow not something you WANT to do but something you know you HAVE to do for a friend. We got ready and dropped the kids off at school. Even though I knew the day was going to be exhausting it was nice knowing I had a break from the classroom. Teaching is so tiring that being out is always nice too. So after dropping the kids off we drove into Slidell and stopped for breakfast. It was nice to spend some one on one time together as we drove. We were making great time, but then somehow got lost. Anyway we made it right as everyone was walking to the gravesite for the funeral. So hard and so sad! Anyway the service was sweet, but so hard. I don't think there was a dry eye there. After the service we were able to hug and speak to Brittany and Chris and from there we went back to the pavilion and had a bite of lunch and were able to visit a bit before hitting the road to head back to NOLA. we got back to the school right at 3. We waited and got the kids in carpool. We had to stop by their house to check on their cat and get their mail and such. Once we got home it felt so good to finally be home. We didn't get to rest much though b/c we had to cook dinner. We had grilled chicken, sausage, mac n cheese, and green beans. We also did movie night...the kids chose to watch ELF. I do love watching Christmas movies with them! 
Saturday we were up early again...we don't stop apparently! We had family pictures scheduled for 8am. It turned out to be a really fun and sweet time though. We walked around the French Quarter taking pictures. We then went and had breakfast at Cafe Du Monde per the birthday girl's request. I figured since we would all be going separate ways on her actual b-day it was only fair for her to get to choose. After that we went back to the Westbank and stopped in to visit with my dad for a bit. It was his b-day plus he was recovering from surgery. It was nice to visit with them. Afterwards we went to Party City and then had lunch at Brother's. I really enjoyed being together as a family. That afternoon we were able to rest and take it easy! Such a blessing in such a busy season of life! 
Sunday was ofcourse church. We went to first service. Our new routine is go to church then I drop everyone off at the house and go grocery shopping. Its not my fav but its only for a couple more weeks. That afternoon we hung around the house and worked on getting ready for the week ahead. That evening we had Cary and Kristian over for dinner. It made the evening a lot crazier but we sure enjoyed fellowshipping with them. 
The weekends just go by so fast!! I wish I could hang on to them for a little while longer! 

Monday, December 4, 2017

Back to the Groove

So of course this week we went back to school after Thanksgiving break. Monday morning was so hard to get going again. I found that entire day to be hard. The kids were whiny and honestly I wanted to be whiny too. After a whole week off I had a hard time finding my groove. We made it though! That night we enjoyed being together and having a low key school night. 
Tuesday was a VERY busy day! We had school of course then after school I had my first Faculty Meeting. It lasted until about 5:00. Luckily my parents were able to get the kids from school and do homework with them. Once I picked them up we picked up Canes then came home for baths and bed. Austin also was out of town. It was quite exhausting being a single, working mom. 
Wednesday was another super busy day...might I mention too that Tuesday and Wednesday I had no breaks during the school day. Let's just say that's hard on a teacher! You go non-stop from 8-4 basically. Also Wednesday is the day we stay late. Its the only day I really care to stay and do anything after school. It works out well though b/c I clean desks, sweep, and sharpen pencils as well as do other stuff around the room. That evening Ella joined us so it was a little crazy having 3 kids in there. Finally I was ready to leave so we went outside where the aftercare kids were. They enjoyed playing for a bit. We stayed at the church for dinner. I am always wiped out though. On one hand I enjoy visiting with people, but on another hand its so hard after a long day. I hate that in this season my kids are missing church, but I just cannot stay there until 8. Especially this week since Austin was out of town. We were after 6 getting home anyway. Then it was super busy with baths and bed for the kids. 
Thursday was a complete whirlwind of a day! School ended up being a very good day though. It was just one of those days that I felt like everything fell into place. We also ended up having computer which I was extremely excited to get that break. It was also good for the kiddos b/c it rained so we weren't able to have outside recess. They did very well inside though. That was our first indoor recess since I've been teaching. That afternoon kickball got cancelled but we still had Scouts. We went to my parent's house after school. I always enjoy being over there with them. It just makes for a long day. Scouts went ok..I felt like my kids were unruly though. I know they were tired though. They act out like that when they are exhausted. I still lectured them, but I understood they had been going so strong all week. 
It was a good week and I can't believe another one is down! 


Thursday, November 30, 2017

Thanksgiving Break Part 3

Gosh I feel like we were so busy, but accomplished so much over the break. 
Well Black Friday Austin had to return to work so it was the kiddos and I and his mom. We had planned to go to the Children's Museum. That's sorta become a tradition for us. I had a really good time watching the kids just play and be kids. We don't get to go there too much now with them both in school. I hope to do some more fun trips when they are out for Christmas. I think Austin's mom enjoyed watching them play as well. I am so thankful that Colby can still enjoy the museum with his sister. We also met Austin for lunch at Jimmy John's. That has become another tradition for our family. Its these little things that I love most about the holiday season. We had a nice visit. We came home after that and tried to rest. By this point I was really wishing to have the house back. We enjoyed having Austin's mom here but with me working right now its hard b/c I don't get a lot of alone time anymore like I was used to. I was so weary by this point. Colby had piano that afternoon and fortunately Austin got home early. We had gumbo and leftovers for dinner. We did movie night with the kids and they watched Charlotte's Web since we had just finished the book this week. 
Saturday Austin was up early to help his mom get out of the city. The kids and I stayed home and focused on getting ready. Saturday ended up being a SUPER busy day! As soon as he got home we got ready to leave the house. Our first stop was the Educator b/c I wanted to get a few Christmas things for my room. After that we had to go by Petsmart. We promised the kids we would go see the movie Coco. The only thing with movies is they take most of your day. I knew though Lindsay especially was dying to go see it and I knew if we didn't see it then it would be after Christmas before we would make it. So I am glad we went! The movie was super cute! After the movie we had a late lunch at a Mexican restaurant. We then had to go by our old house b/c our friends sadly lost their baby and so we had to go check on their cat and get their mail and such. After that we went to get our tree! Whew it was a lot! It was late afternoon before we got home. I think we all rested for a short bit but we knew we still had a lot to do. We spent that evening working on decorations. We had leftovers for dinner. I think we were all happy to see our beds that night as well! 
Sunday was another whirlwind day! We started the day with church. It was nice to be there as a family. After church we stopped in my classroom to put up the Thanksgiving stuff and put up a Christmas bulletin board. Once we got that done we dropped the boys off at the house and Lindsay and I went to the store. We got our grocery shopping out the way then we came in and all ate lunch. We had to get busy after that with decorating and Colby's project. We finished up the majority of the decorating...although it took until past dark to finish Austin. Bless it! Poor Austin! It was such a busy day! None of us really stopped. Also tempers flared...I think we had just all hit our max by that point. I mean honestly Thanksgiving break wasn't super relaxful...I mean the start was but the second half was SO SO busy! Anyway we finished everything! We also busted our tails to finish Colby's project and make his cinnamon rolls only to find out the project wasn't due until Friday!! Oh well I am so glad we got it all done early!! Again we were all so happy to see our beds that evening! 
It was a nice Thanksgiving break...I feel like we got to do a lot. It was different between company and me only being off a week from work. I feel like we are having to cram more stuff in b/c of that. We are trusting God though in this season. I know he placed me in this position so we are working at learning to cope in stressful situations and yet learning we have so much to be thankful for! 


Monday, November 27, 2017

Thanksgiving Day 2017

Its hard to believe another Thanksgiving has come and gone. This year we had Austin's mom staying with us. We woke up early and Austin got right to frying turkeys. I stayed busy inside cleaning up around the house and preparing us to leave later that morning. We also on/off watched the Macy's Day Parade. The kids were outside most of the morning so that was nice too! We have been blessed with such gorgeous weather this fall. 
We went over to my parent's house around 12. It was just us, Austin's mom, my parents, and Randall and Elizabeth. It was nice just having family around. We of course mostly visited and ate. We had SO much food. It was nice reminiscing and laughing around the table. We also per tradition wrote down what we were most Thankful for and read them at the table. 
After dessert we decided to take our traditional walk in the park. I am glad we have started this. I think we started this tradition around the time Lindsay was 2 and Colby was 5. Its fun for them to be able to run around/play. I also think its good for the adults to get out and move around instead of slouching around on the couch. We didn't get back that evening to our house until after 6. We made turkey sandwiches for dinner and relaxed. I think we were all pretty pooped. 
It was a great day and I was thankful to be here and with family. I forgot to add though we awoke to sad new of our good friends Brittany and Chris losing their baby girl Rose overnight. That did make it a tough day in some aspects. 

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Thanksgiving Part 2

Monday it felt so good to be able to sleep in a bit and not be rushing out the door. It was my grocery and errand day. My parents had also volunteered to bring Lindsay out shopping for her b-day. Yes believe it or not she will be 6 in like two weeks!! This left Colby to run errands with mom. He was a gentleman though and really a big help. I miss their toddler days but I must say big kids are kinda great too! So after the grocery we talked to my parents and they decided to come on and get him too so that they could go have lunch and the kids could spend the night at their house. I knew I would miss them a ton but after working the last few weeks a day at home by myself sounded like BLISS! I relished in having lunch by myself and taking a nap! I am trying to realize that rest is not a bad thing. I had the entire day to myself pretty much b/c Austin didn't get home until about 6:30 or later. We ate dinner...he picked up takeout and we watched our show then off to bed. It was so crazy just having to take care of ourselves for an evening, but I think we enjoyed it. 
Tuesday I had a couple hours again to myself. Again so nice. I left though about 9 to go get the kids. We headed out to Lakeside. Its tradition for us to go there the week of Thanksgiving to see Santa and ride the train. I wasn't sure this year if they would want to do all that but I still figured it would be a fun morning with just me and them. We got to the mall a few minutes before 10 which was perfect so they were the first group on the train. I was proud of Colby for riding with his little sis. He feels he's gotten too big for those things but she really wanted to ride it. He was the one also who really wanted to see Santa. She honestly wanted nothing to do with it, but I talked her into taking a pic and smiling atleast ;). After that we went on down to the Disney store and I let them just browse. They also picked out their Christmas ornament and she got her b-day present. She really wanted the Moana dress up outfit so I told her I would buy it for her bday but she wouldn't be surprised and she had to wait until her b-day to open it. She was good with that. Normally I probably wouldn't do that but with working I knew I might not get back out to Lakeside so it was just a WIN WIN for us. After the Disney store we went to PB Kids, there they had the best time playing with the little toys. Again so comforting to just see them be kids and play together. It really was such a sweet day for us! After that we went ahead and had an early lunch. They are so sweet when its just us. We came on home after that. It was nice to have a low key afternoon around the house with them. I knew the rest of the week would be pretty busy so I really enjoyed just having the day to ourselves. 
Wednesday was when life got busy again! So that morning Austin was up bright and early to meet his mom in Slidell to lead her through the city. The kids and I just spent the morning getting ready and straightening up a bit around the house. They got here around 9:30. We all got ready and headed out to the Audubon Nature Center. This is a place I used to go when I was little but it closed after Katrina. It just re-opened last month so I was anxious to go back. I was a little disappointed though that there didn't seem to be much to it yet. I mean it was nice, but the planetarium wasn't even opened yet. Anyway they had one room with indoor exhibits that we enjoyed looking at, then basically the rest of it was trails. We walked on pretty much all of them. The kids seemed to enjoy it and it was a beautiful day. Lindsay whined a bit here and there. I am not sure if she was scared we would run across some wildlife or she was just bored and ready to go? She doesn't much enjoy stuff like that. Colby LOVED it though. I was glad to just be outdoors and moving. Once we left there we came back to the Westbank to eat lunch. We decided to just go to Chickfila b/c it would be quick and easy with the kids. After lunch we dropped Austin and his mom off at the house and Lindsay and I went to order her b-day cake. That afternoon we rested a bit then just enjoyed being together. We grilled hamburgers for dinner. We were also able to enjoy the gorgeous weather and take a walk. We also did our pies that night and the kids watched Charlie Brown. I love those traditions! 

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Thanksgiving Break Part 1

So Thanksgiving break commenced the moment I got all 12 of my kiddos signed out last Friday. I was so happy that was a short day! So after some clean up we were FREE!! Colby had a piano lesson though with Mrs. Carly after dismissal. She offered to do them at the church which was helpful. So while he was doing that Lindsay and I ran to Walmart to get a few items. We got back a few minutes early so we were able to visit with the school staff and teachers and listen to him play for a few minutes. As soon as he was finished though we were out of there and headed HOME! I picked up lunch for us and we scooted home. GOSH it felt so good to be home mid-day like that. We ate lunch and then all RESTED! Once we got up and got going again Ella came over. The 4th grade class was going to see Wonder. Normally I am not too big on getting out late like that but since it was a class field trip I knew we couldn't miss out. It turned out the majority of the class showed up and it was so fun. His teacher and even the principal were there! It was such a neat way to kick off the break! The movie was also so so good. Such a touching movie! I was glad both of my kids could see it. It might have been a tad over Lindsay's head but I know for Colby's age group its a must see! We got home around 7 and Ella stayed for about an hour. She got to stay and eat pizza with us. Again another fun way to start our break! 
Saturday we were up and at 'em early! We were driving to Hattiesburg for the day to see USM play. We decided to just make a day trip out of it. Since it was a day game we could do that and not get home too terribly late. We stopped on our way out to vote and eat breakfast. It was fun just having a family day the 4 of us. We got into Hattiesburg around 10:30. We stopped first at the USM bookstore b/c we all needed fall/winter USM wear. We then went by his Mom's house and visited with her, Shelbi, and Maggie. We could only stay an hour though due to the game being early. We got to the game around 1 and we ate our lunch. I think my dad enjoys having the kids there with him. The game was really good...they won by BIG. We need up leaving a little early in the 4th quarter since we were driving back. We said a quick goodbye to my parents and we set off to grab dinner before heading home. We got in that evening around 8. We quickly got the kids bathed and put in the bed. It was a tiring but fun day! 
Sunday we were all able to sleep in which was LOVELY. We were planning on attending 2nd service. Austin had to count so we figured we would go to the end of 1st and then stay through 2nd. I was glad we got to relax a bit that morning. Church was of course great. The kids were happy to see some friends. After church we went to eat lunch with Stephen and Courtney. They got married back in September and we have been trying to get together with them since. Anyway it was a fun time. Although we didn't get home until after 2. We rested and watched the rest of the SAINTS game but then ofcourse we still had so much to do. It did feel better though in the sense that I was off for the upcoming week so we weren't having to do all that we have been doing the last few weeks on Sunday. 


Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Countdown

So the week leading up to Thanksgiving break was nice b/c 1) it was kind of a short week and 2) I could totally see the light at the end of the tunnel. It was an extremely busy week though! 
So Monday we were back at things! It was a good day teaching wise. The kids had library which always helps to pass the time when they go somewhere in the afternoons. I have been blessed in this season of teaching that nola has had a gorgeous fall so we haven't missed a day of recess yet!! That afternoon after school we had to bring cards and cookies to Lindsay's actual teacher. It was so nice to see her and get to visit for a short bit. It did put us later getting home though. We were 4:45 getting in and then it was a mad rush to get dinner prepared and homework finished. We managed though. 
Tuesday was a pretty regular day at school as well. We have staff devotion though on Tuesdays. Its always nice though to stop in the midst of the crazy and pray and choose to be thankful. The kids had Art that afternoon...so again its always a good day when they go to an extracurricular. That afternoon we were able to come straight home which was heavenly. 
Wednesday is always a LONG day. For starters we have no extra curricular classes except chapels on Wednesday. That afternoon I let them work on their grandparent pictures though which they enjoyed. We also stay after school so we can go eat dinner at church. That's become my day that I do some "housekeeping" in the room. All the other days I am super ready to just get out of there that I don't spend a lot of time cleaning. So on Wednesdays I wipe down the desks, sweep, sharpen pencils, and overall just tidy up. We then went to eat dinner. I had promised Colby he could stay for church. In this season I hate we are missing Wednesday nights but its just so hard for me to be gone from 7am until 8pm. I also can't fathom working with kids after being with them all day. So we have just been coming home after eating with the exception of the FALL FEST night. Anyway I let him stay and I brought Lindsay home. It was nice to have a little quiet time with her. Austin ran some errands then picked Colby up from church. Its not perfect but for right now its working. I look forward to in January hopefully getting back to our normal schedule. 
Thursday was another LONG day for us! The school day went well. The kids had computer that afternoon and since it was the last "real" school day for us before the holidays I decided to let them have a fun afternoon. We painted pictures of corn, ate popcorn, then watched a movie. I am trying to keep kindergarten fun and full of surprises for them. I think they all enjoyed it. We talked a lot about the first Thanksgiving throughout the week which was fun as well. 
Friday was of course Grandparent's Day. It was different this year to be on the teacher side of this. Last year was actually the first one I was able to attend. This is because all the years Lindsay was at Aurora her Thanksgiving Feast was always the same day/same time. Anyway the kids had carpool like normal but instead of doing pledges and announcements in their we went into the church and did all that with the grandparents. It was really a cute program. They added a lot more to it this year and did that rather than the other stuff. My group performed in the 2nd half of the program and they did amazing! I was so proud of them. Everything wrapped up about 10:30. All my kids had grandparents there and they all got signed out so I was happy to be a FREE LADY!! Oh and my kids loved having my parents there of course. I was also happy to have their help since I was wearing a "teacher" and "mom" hat. 

Sunday, November 19, 2017

SWAMP and FAMILY

So this weekend Austin's family came into to stay in Bayou Segnette in the floating cabins. They goto here Friday night but we had already decided that with the busy of the week we would just hang out at home and see them on Saturday. I was so glad too since I ended up going to bed at 8:30. So Saturday morning we were all up fairly early. I think I was up before 7:00...sigh. But I did feel good after such a long night's sleep. We all had to get up and get going though. We had to divide and conquer and get a bunch of errands done. Austin and Colby went to get haircuts, to the bank, shoe repair, cake place, and grocery. Lindsay and I went to the library, Target, and Hobby Lobby. Its really taking some getting used to with now running errands on Saturday. Anyway we got it all done by like 11. We came home and re-gathered then headed out to the Bayou. Once we got there everyone was getting ready for lunch. The kids were excited to see Mawmaw and their cousins. They also were excited about fishing and such. We basically spent the afternoon fishing, hiking, reading, relaxing, and just visiting. Everyone went for a hike at one point except myself, Lindsay, and Harvey's mom Mary. I enjoyed the quiet for a bit. I think Lindsay also needed some quiet time. That evening we had a big dinner. It was very yummy! We also celebrated Wendi's b-day. We hung out and watched football then had birthday cake with the family. After that we decided to come on home. We had been away from the house all day and we were all pretty tired. 
Sunday we were up early of course for church. We were excited b/c Austin's family met us there. It was the first time his sister and her family had been. It was just nice having them there so they could see that piece of our life. I mean our church/school is a LARGE piece of our lives so I was glad they were able to get a tiny glimpse of it. After church we went to the grocery store. We decided to go as a family this time. We got all that knocked out then came home to rest and watch the SAINTS game. We had a lot to do that afternoon though. That seems to be the new theme of Sundays. With me working and us all being out the house all week it leaves Sunday afternoon as our only day to really play catch up. Its always nice though to be together. We even got out and took a walk. Between the time change and our busy schedules we don't get to do many. 
It was a fun weekend and now we are on the final countdown to Thanksgiving break!! 

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Another Week of Teaching

So last week was another extremely busy week for us! Especially after getting back in town after a trip. It was a full week with 5 days of teaching. I feel like I am getting the hang of it though. I have one kid though who is a MAJOR handful. I feel bad b/c I think his home situation isn't the best but oh my he tries my patience. It was mostly a week filled with routine. Nothing major which was kind of nice to have a regular week without holidays. Most of our afternoon/evening plans got cancelled too which was honestly nice. Wednesday we only stayed for dinner at the church. Thursday we had dinner with my parents then came home b/c kickball and scouts were both cancelled. Friday's piano lessons were cancelled too so we came home that night and watched CARS 3. I was so tired and grump though! I went to bed at 8:30! That has never happened except when I am sick. Anyway we are all still adjusting but I would say for the most part things are going well. I am just trying to soak in the season and enjoy this month even though its filled with chaos and busy. I just want to absorb it for what it is! Life is going by so fast! I feel like Colby should still be 5. Anyway we were quite ready for our weekend! 

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Family Reunion Dallas Edition

So last weekend we had a quick trip out of town. My mom's family gets together every other year for a family reunion. They always fall between October and November. They are also always in a different location. We have enjoyed going throughout the years. So this year it was in Dallas at my Aunt's House. We had chosen to get a really early flight out b/c originally we thought we would be meeting up with friends there. Those plans fell through. We also had planned on going to this really cool Dinosaur park but as the time got closer and we looked at a map we realized that was going to be really far. We decided the week before to check out a Science/History museum in downtown Dallas. Also when we planned this trip we also had no idea I would be working. It was painful to have to wake up at 4:30 on Friday. We survived though. Our flight out was at 7:50. We ate breakfast in the car on the way there. We got into Dallas around 9. By the time we got the rental car and got to the museum it was right about 10ish. We got to the museum and it was HUGE! It was also very busy with field trips. There were about 6 different levels and each level focused on a different part of science. The first floor we stopped at was the prehistoric level. This was really cool b/c it had a lot about dinosaurs in it. The next level had a lot to do with Biology and Life. The kids really enjoyed these exhibits. The next floor we did was about Rocks and Geology. Lindsay was interested in the minerals. After that floor we decided to go ahead and eat lunch. We chose to eat at the museum b/c leaving there and coming back would be a pain and since the kids had such an early breakfast they were getting hungry. As expected the food was not that great at all in the museum cafe. We ate though and moved on to look at the rest of the museum. The kids really enjoyed the physics floor. We let them play and enjoy until about 2 then we decided it was time to head out and check into our hotel. By that point we were all exhausted. It felt good to get to our room and rest for a bit. I quickly conked out on the bed. We got up though around 4 and headed to my aunt's house. We got there and visited with everyone. Its always neat and fun to see all my aunts and uncles. Plus my cousin Brant was there with his 3 kids. They are 9, 6, and 4 so it was perfect for our kiddos. It was nice having kids there for them to play with. We soon packed up around 6 and left to go to dinner. My aunt and uncle treated everyone to dinner at a local Mexican Restaurant. It was so yummy! You realize what true Mexican is compared to what we have here. After dinner which it took about 2 hours...we went back to their house for dessert. Ofcourse we were all wiped out so we didn't stay long. We were anxious to get back to the hotel and bathe the kids and get them in the bed. 
Saturday we all slept until 8 and that felt AMAZING! We took our time getting up and going. We watched the news and slowly got dressed for the day. We were at my aunt's house about 10 though. That morning they had donuts and pigs in a blanket for everyone to enjoy. It was nice getting to relax/visit some more. The kids had an awesome time with their cousins which I was so happy to see. We mostly just hung around and visited. We tried to sit outside mostly since it was a nice day and also to encourage the kids to stay outside and play. For lunch they had sandwiches for everyone. Gosh we ate so much good food on this trip! After lunch we visited for a bit, but then made the decision to take the kids back to the hotel. Swimming had crossed our minds, but I think we were all tired and really just wanted to take it easy. We ended up just hanging out in the room and watching football. After awhile though we knew we needed to get their wiggles out. We ruled out swimming b/c by the time we all got moving again it would have been late and I really didn't feel like dealing with wet kids and swim suits at this point. We instead freshened up and set out to find a park. In Texas basically every neighborhood has a park of sorts so we found the one there and the kids had a blast. It was nice for them to play/run. Lindsay met 2 little girls who were her age so she had a great time playing with them. We got back to my aunt's house and we did more of the same visit and eat. It was a fun night though. We had a big BBQ dinner and we watched LSU/Bama. We stayed until about 9 that night. We got back to the hotel late and got ready for bed. 
The next morning/day were a busy blur! We got started early and got to the airport and all that fun. We ate a quick bite for breakfast there. Our travels went great until we got back to nola and realized someone had taken my parent's luggage by mistake. Luckily they did retrieve it that afternoon. We finally got home around 12. We ate lunch and watched the SAINTS. Sundays don't seem as restful now with me working b/c on Sunday we have to now cram in so much. House cleaning and grocery are the main things! We are making it work but I do miss being home during the week and where Sundays were truly our Sabbath. I mean we do still try to take it easy in a sense but with a trip crammed in a weekend it truly made for a busy day! 
It was a wonderful weekend though! I am thankful for my mom and her family. I am thankful for laughter and memories! I am thankful we have been able to make it to all of these and have a good time with family. Now onto a continued busy fall season! 

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Halloween and Fall Fest

Wow last week was quite a week with all the excitement! Tuesday was Halloween. I have decided I dislike very much for Halloween to fall on a week day. Its just so hard. This is the first time in our kid's lives though that its fallen on a Tuesday. Since it was a regular school day for us we got home a little after 4 and hurried to get homework finished then prepared for company. My parents and Randall and Lizzie were coming over to hang out! This is our tradition. I hated we couldn't include friends this year but between me working and it being on a school night there was just no way. We had fun though! My parents got here around 5 and my mom was a HUGE help getting everything prepared. We ate around 5:30 and left shortly after to Trick or Treat. The kids had a blast! Its amazing how grown up they are though! I sorta miss the toddler days! But I do say we are in the sweet spot of life. They still love this stuff but they are also old enough to go up to the doors alone. It was great just being out and socializing! 
Wednesday was another big day for us! It was our church's Fall Fest. We stayed after school. Its just too hard now to try and drive home on a Wednesday. It also gives me one day a week where I can truly focus on cleaning up the classroom. I choose not to stay late any other day so I feel like I make up for it on Wednesday. That's the day I sanitize the desks, sweep, sharpen pencils...those type things! That night I was so tired but I had to hang in there for my kids' sake. I did enjoy getting to visit with a few friends. The kids had a blast though. Once Colby's friend Nijel arrived I didn't see much of him. Lindsay never really ran off with anyone. She did spend some time in the bounce house I guess but i felt like she was a bit more "needy." Those events are hard for me when it starts getting dark and there are kids everywhere. Lindsay started having a meltdown at around 6:30 over a popped balloon. Finally I looked at Austin and I said ITS time to go! We left out of there! I was so relieved to leave! Again I am glad we went for their sake and had I not been working all day it would have been different. But Halloween and Fall Fest back to back in the same week made for a hard and long week. 
Its all fun though and I do love seeing my kids have fun especially this time of year with all the holiday stuff! 

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Back to Teaching

So last week began my new life of working full time. Mrs. Schifflin was still there though on Monday. It helped getting to be there with her for 2 days to see how she does things. Tuesday was my first day alone and of course it was Halloween. I felt like things went well and that the class responded to me. I planned a fun craft and book for them that day. They don't really celebrate Halloween but I wanted to make the day slightly different and fun for them. 
Wednesday I felt like the day was a little more stressful and tiring. Part of that could be that we have chapel on Wednesdays and then we don't get another break. That makes for a tiring day. The class was also a little bit more wound up. I had to clip a few down. I think it was a combination of all the changes plus the day after Halloween. 
Thursday was a good day. I felt like the kids did much better except this kid named Melvin. I felt like he was out of control all day. I even asked several other staff members about him. I was thankful though that that was my "Friday". That afternoon after school Colby had a kickball game. After that we got to come home. I was glad Scouts was cancelled for the week. With everything else going on I really wouldn't have felt like going to that too. Plus I was able to spend the evening packing and preparing for our upcoming trip! 

Monday, November 6, 2017

Farm Day and Weekend Bliss

Well as if I didn't already adore weekends?!? Well now I love them even more. After 3 days straight of "working" I was pooped and ready for some downtime! 
So Friday we were all home which was cool. We all got to attend Farm Day together as a family. It was the first year we were able to do that! I know the kids were super happy to have Austin with us! So we didn't get to sleep in but we were all excited and ready for the day. We got there early b/c Austin was designated in charge of the fire pit and I was there as  a teacher helper. Anyway I hung with kindergarten the whole time. It was fun getting to see the class and be around them for that time. Lindsay had a blast with her little friends. I didn't get to see much of Colby but he's sorta past that phase of wanting mom around anyway. I think every year they top Farm Day. It is bittersweet though when I think back that we were really just here for Colby's first and now its his 5th and Lindsay's 2nd. I think both of their favorites were of course the farm animals. That afternoon we enjoyed resting and hanging out as a family. It felt so good to be home by 12:30. We mostly just took it easy. Colby did go to piano lessons. He's really doing well and enjoying that so far. That night we ate and did our usual movie night. 
Saturday for sure felt good for us all to sleep in. Austin went up to Hattiesburg though that morning with my parents. I stayed home with the littles. We just had so much to do that I couldn't imagine leaving to go out of town. With now knowing I would be working the following week Saturday was a precious day for me to just catch up on life. The kids and I went to Target and Party City. We got all the halloween things and even invites for Lindsay's upcoming 6th b-day party. We picked up Chickfila then came home to just hunker down and rest and be productive. The day was nice and I enjoyed the time spent with them. 
Sunday we were up of course for church. Austin of course rode back with my parents and we saw them all at church. It was nice to have a "normal" Sunday. We ate lunch at a Mexican place after first service then came home to relax and watch the SAINTS game. Austin got out that afternoon to go grocery shopping for us. That will be our new normal for awhile. I helped the kids with their school work and worked a bit on my own. 
It felt good to catch up on rest over the weekend as we prepared for a BUSY week! 

Monday, October 30, 2017

New Normal

So this week has been interesting! Ever since I found out about Lindsay's teacher having cancer and wondering who would take her place I have felt God calling me to do this. It first began with the secretary telling me that I was like plan C or D. Then when I had breakfast with Lindsay's teacher she thought that the school was considering me. Then on Sunday I had a conversation with the 3 year old teacher and she made mention of it as well. I knew with all these people bringing it up that it wasn't coincidence. I was still determined though that I would not seek out the position but if it was offered to me I would prayerfully consider it. Well Monday I had a really low key day. I look back and I am so thankful that God gave me that day to just REST. I grocery shopped then stayed home all day and that was such a blessing. We also didn't have anywhere to be after school so that was nice as well. We had a nice family night. Austin got home early and we had cheesy chicken over rice and fresh green beans. It was a nice way to start the week. 
Tuesday was a bit busier. I began the day with my Ladies Bible Study. It was lovely to be back at this but also bittersweet knowing that I might not be able to attend for awhile. During the time I was waiting on it to start the principal called me into her office to talk. At this point she offered the kindergarten job to me. She asked if I would be willing to step in and take the class while Mrs. Schifflin has surgery or be willing to be her aide if she has to go through chemo first? I went home to pray about it but I pretty much knew I would do it. I was nervous and overwhelmed but also felt God calling me to this opportunity. I was glad to go home and have a few hours to myself after Bible study though. That evening Austin came home and we just had a supper of hot dogs and mac n cheese. It was nice to have a low key night at home. 
Wednesday was when my life changed! So since I got asked to help out with kindergarten I knew I should come atleast one day so I could observe and see what their day looks like. This was on my one free day for the week. I hated that I couldn't spend it like planned...relaxing and running errands. Anyway the day was fun but OH so tiring! I enjoyed hanging out with them though. Its a really sweet class so I think it should be an easy adjustment for all. It also meant our church plans would change up a bit. I mean originally we had planned to go but with this I knew I needed time to rest. We ended up going by my parent's house to work on homework then going back up to the church to eat dinner before going home. The kids seemed ok with it which I was thankful. I did enjoy the time we got to visit and hang out though at dinner. We got in and had to finish homework before getting the kids off to bed. Again I was SO tired! 
Thursday would be another marathon day. I was feeling thankful though to just be going to teach music and not a full day! I am so going to miss my little music class over the next few weeks. It was a good week and we did some fall songs. I really didn't teach them any Halloween songs this year. I was super happy to come on home and have lunch and a couple hours of quiet! After a nap and a cup of coffee I felt so much better!! I felt human again! Colby had a kickball game after school. He doesn't get super into it...I am glad he's giving it a try even though he mostly just stands around on the field...sigh! I just want him to be involved and get the exercise. Its all about fun anyway. Lindsay also enjoys the time with friends b/c they bring the aftercare kids out and there are like 3 kids from her class there. After the game we went to my parent's house for dinner and homework. I know my mom and dad really enjoy the hustle and bustle. Even though I know its a lot of work for them I think having their house full of life on a school night is fun for them. I am so thankful we don't have to drive home or worry about dinner on these crazy nights. Afterwards we went on to Scouts. These are crazy days but I know this season of life is so fleeting. Colby loves Scouts and its been so good for him. I had contemplated going on home but Lindsay really wanted to go and I felt revived after a nap and some coffee. This week they learned about physical fitness. The kids passed out that night in their beds though! They were worn out! Oh and it took us like an hour to get home! Anyway needless to say I think we were all happy for our beds and for the upcoming weekend! 

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Precious Weekend

Weekends are always a breath of fresh air after a busy week! This week was especially busy so I was very happy when Friday rolled around! After 3 straight days of working I was relieved I didn't have to go in. I started the morning with coffee with my friend Virginia before running a couple errands. I was definitely happy to get home and have some time at home by myself. That afternoon I picked up the kids and Colby had piano lessons. He has always had an "interest" in music but I have never really known anyone to teach him lessons. Well Carly approached us this fall and said she would be starting them up! Anyway she lives close to us and the lessons started at 4. Lindsay and I dropped him off then went to the library to check out some books. From what I hear he did well and enjoyed them. I also enjoyed the library trip with her. I am hoping she will get interested in it and will begin lessons in January. I want to give Colby a little time to get settled then my plan is to drop them both off at 4 and have until 5 before I go pick them up. So after lessons we picked up dinner then came home. I was ready to collapse in a heap on the couch! The kids and I spent time outside and just relaxed. That night we did movie night and watched Pippi Longstocking. 
Saturday Austin was off and it felt good to sorta sleep in as a family. Although sleeping until 7 is about as late as I get these days. That morning Austin cooked a big breakfast for the kids while I got ready to go out and have breakfast with Lindsay's teacher. After finding out she has breast cancer I really wanted to just hang out with her and get to know her a bit. It was really good visiting with her. I have known her for about 5 years. We have never really been close though. She's just someone I knew of. She taught Colby VBS a couple years ago. I have always liked her it just seemed like we weren't in the same circle. Anyway it was a nice time of fellowship. My prayer is that I really can be an encourager and a help to her during this time. Its also been mentioned to me about me possibly taking over her class? Again I am not sure how I feel about this. In one way I think it would be super fun and I would also love to do it to help her out and help the school. Plus I know honestly I could do a good job. It just scares me though b/c I am already SO BUSY and working 3 days last week completely wore me out so I can't even imagine full time! Anyway I am praying on it and if I get asked then I will prayerfully consider it. So once I got home from that we all left to go to Aurora to the Family Fall Festival. It was super fun being there! My kids were in their happy place. They both had besties to play with and they just RAN and RAN hard! We were there from 11 until almost 2! It was nice to visit with all the people I know around there too. Once we got home we all crashed for a bit. The afternoon was nice having time to spend together! Its always nice when Austin is home on a Saturday. That night we had steak and baked potatoes! So yummy! 
Sunday was another great family day. We were all able to go to church together! We went to first service and then went to lunch and came home. Sunday's are our day to rest and be together as a family. Colby had an opportunity to go hang out with a  friend and he even hesitated b/c he knew he had homework plus I think he gets that Sundays are kinda our day to chill. I was proud of him. We worked on homework and then hung out outside. We had a front go through so by that afternoon the temps were in the 70s and it felt so great! We ordered pizza then went for a walk that night! 
It was a nice weekend filled with just the right amount of fun and social stuff but also quiet enough that we got to rest up! 

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Pumpkins and Teaching

Well this week has turned into another QUITE busy one! 'Tis the season I suppose. I told a friend that basically from now through December will be this way for us! Anyway so Monday Austin was off. It was nice to have him home again on a Monday. I did my usual grocery shopping then came home and then Austin and I got out and ran a few errands together. Its always nice to just hang out even if we are actually "working". Its nice to chat and not have the interruptions from the kids. We had po-boys for lunch and watched some tv together and relaxed. He then went outside while I decided to take a nap. I knew it might be one of my only down days during the week so I was completely ok with resting. The weather was amazing though and we did have all the windows up. Once the kids got home from school it was a MAD RUSH b/c we had less than an hour to get homework finished between the 2. We got it done and then we all headed out to Aurora to help unload pumpkins. I hated to not have our usual Monday evening at home as a family but I really felt like this was something we should participate in. We had a great time too! Its always fun to serve together as a family. We got there a few minutes after 5 and people were already working. It was so shocking that we were finished by 6! The kids were a big help but also enjoyed being with their friends. Also with the weather being so amazing it was just a fun night to be out and doing something with our community. They provided a dinner of hot dogs and chili which was quite yummy and we all enjoyed. After visiting and eating we decided to hit the road about 6:30. We got in and got everyone bathed then Colby still had a little school work left to do. It felt good to sit down that evening once the kids went to bed. 
Tuesday was another busy day! Well I was originally asked to help out in the Pumpkin Patch that day. That morning though I got a call from Mrs. Breaux the kinder teacher there wondering if I could sub. So they worked it out and found a replacement for the pumpkin patch. I loved her class! She has 5 sweet kids. The morning was a little hectic though since they had their field trip. I also really didn't have lesson plans to go from so we mostly were winging it. They did well though and I LOVED being back for the pumpkin patch! It brought back so many memories. In fact my phone reminded me that 5 years before was Colby's Pumpkin Patch field trip. I was tired though by the time I got home. That afternoon the kids and I hung out here. We did homework and cooked dinner. Austin got in early and was able to eat with us and we even took a walk. Again the weather has just been amazing so we were all thankful for that. Calvary had their Open House that night but we had decided as a family to skip it since we were out the house Monday. I hated to miss it but I knew with a busy week ahead and me working most of the day it was in our best interest. 
Wednesday was yet another whirlwind day! I got called in to sub again for kindergarten. I really enjoyed it though! I love that age and that class. I felt more with it and we had actual lesson plans to follow so I felt the day went smoothly. They were learning the letter G and the number 4 plus we talked a lot about pumpkins and their pumpkin patch field trip. I also read Charlie Brown and the Great Pumpkin to them. I also always love catching up with the other women that work there. After work I came home to enjoy 3-4 hours alone. I really needed the rest time. I had to lesson plan though and get geared up for that night with church. I honestly wanted to skip but I knew my kids really wanted to go and I knew I needed to be there for my little class of k-2nd grade girls. It was a good night. There was a smaller crowd there but my kids still had fun. 
Thursday was another OFF tot he Races kinda day! Well the day began with Awards for my littles! Now having 2 in school that are able to earn Awards the day is a HUGE deal! Colby earned Perfect Attendance and a Reading Award and Lindsay earned Alpha Honor Roll. I was super proud of them both! It was also fun as always to gather as a school family. After it was over Lindsay's teacher approached me and said she wanted to talk to me. I was nervous about what this would entail? Well I have had this suspicion that she has breast cancer. Well she had asked me and another mom to hang out. Once she got the kids to class she revealed to us that that was indeed true. So hard and so emotional. After that I had to get myself together to go teach music. I had to do a really abbreviated schedule at Aurora. I only taught the 4 older classes and for shorter time frames. It was good to be back though and see my friends there. That afternoon I had a short break between work and getting back to pick them up! Then more whirlwind! So that afternoon began Kickball season again. Colby had his first game. As tired as I was I really enjoyed it. The atmosphere was so fun this year! They had cheerleaders out there and more spectators plus the after care kids came out to watch as well. Colby's team also won! Lindsay loved hanging out with some of her friends in Aftercare as well! As if that wasn't enough we left after the game and went to my parent's house so the kids could do homework and eat dinner. We had Scouts that night. It was fun being back over at my parent's house and I know they really enjoyed having us mid-week like that. Its such a comfort to go back home! That night fortunately Scouts was super quick! basically all they did was turn in their popcorn money and Melody had a few announcements. We were all happy to get in that night and get to bed! 


Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Old Friends and Singing

The weekend was a much welcome sight after a VERY busy fall week! Friday evening we didn't do much...just our usual movie night. Colby was supposed to start Piano lessons but they got cancelled. I was honestly a little relieved b/c after being away from home most of the week it was nice to come home. We had white beans for dinner and just enjoyed being together. We watched the Charlie Brown and the Great Pumpkin movie that night. 
Saturday it was nice to sleep in a bit and also move a tad slower. We did have a park playdate scheduled so couldn't dilly and dally to much. We made it to the park right at 10. We met up with Lindsay's little friends Layla and Claire. It was so fun getting to hang out and catch up with the moms. Layla and her family will be moving in a couple of months so its very bittersweet now when they get together. Lindsay has known Layla since she was 1. Anyway we stayed about an hour and a half. It was a nice day but very hot! The kids and I ran a quick errand to the grocery then picked up Chickfila and came home. We relaxed and watched football and mostly rested that afternoon. Colby did have some reading homework so we did work on that a bit. Lindsay also worked on letters and handwriting. That night we had spaghetti for supper. We once again got to eat as a family. We took a walk after dinner too which was nice! 
Sunday was a different day for us. Well my preschoolers were singing at Aurora so I had to go there for that. Lindsay also tagged along with me. The boys went to church at Calvary b/c Austin had counting duties. I hated we all couldn't be together. Anyway the morning went great at Aurora. I just love that little church. We had like 20 kids show and participate so that was great and fun! They did amazing! After church Lindsay and I went to pick up Colby then we came home to eat lunch and watch the SAINTS game. Austin finally got home around 1. We all napped and then just relaxed while we watched the game. That evening Colby had some more homework so he and I mostly worked on that. We also took breaks to get outside. 
It was a lovely weekend! We weren't too busy but we were also busy enough. I also feel we got some rest in which is always nice as well! 

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Fall Full Steam Ahead

So this week as I suspected we jumped back into life with full force. 
Monday everyone was back at school/work. My only thing was grocery shopping so it was very nice to have the majority of that day with the house to myself. I mostly caught up on laundry and putting away stuff from the beach. 
Tuesday I had my Bible study. We ended our first study. We mostly had a time of Fellowship which was nice. That afternoon was pretty busy as well. Lindsay had a haircut after school and Austin had Men's Group. She had a 4:00 appointment so after that we decided to go ahead and pick up dinner. I came home with the kids we ate then started on homework. We finished homework about 6:15 and from there I sent them outside to play. With the days getting shorter I am trying to make sure they still go outside and play even if its just for a few minutes while I clean up for dinner. 
Wednesday was a SUPER busy day for me. After I dropped the kids off at school I had to run to Rouses to pick up a cake for Lindsay's class and also pick out her snack for the next day. I then ran the cake and supplies back up to their school. They were celebrating her teacher's b-day but with all I had going on I wouldn't be able to return that afternoon for it. Then I was able to come home for just a short bit before my haircut. I always love getting my haircut but I also dread it in a way b/c it takes up so much time! Especially having an 11:00 appointment right smack in the middle of the day. Anyway I do love my stylist though and she and I always find a lot to talk about. Well I didn't get home until 1:30 and I hadn't eaten lunch yet and I was greeted by the termite people. They were here until about 3. It was just a hectic day and I was so tired. We also had church that night. I wasn't super excited but I knew we needed to go since we had missed the week before. It of course ended up being a good night though. Its always fun to visit with others and see my kids have a good time with friends. 
Thursday was another CRAZY day for me. Well its of course my music day. I also had lunch plans with Carly from the church. She and I had a nice lunch at Parrot Pete's. I really enjoyed the time but by the time I got home it was after 2 and I had a very short window of time before heading back out to pick up the kids. Thursdays are also crazy b/c its SCOUT night. So we always rush home have to get through homework and dinner in about an hour and a half time frame. Again I was exhausted. I know though how much Colby loves scouts and I do it for him. So we all ended up going that night. They did a lesson on First Aid. We had a smaller crowd but Colby was happy to just see his best friend Nijel. 
Friday I was so relieved it would be a slower day for me. I had to rehearse with the kids at Aurora but then I was able to come home and enjoy the day at the house. It helped me unwind after a crazy, busy week! 

Friday, October 13, 2017

Hurricane Nate or Lack Thereof

So as you recall we had to head home early from the beach Friday night. So Saturday we got up early and began our Hurricane Prep. We didn't have much to do just pick up a few things and secure stuff around the patio. The day was lovely though b/c we were all 4 home all day. It was nice to not have anywhere to be. We got to spend time outside since the weather really never got bad here. We also watched tv and got to be lazy! It was honestly nice to have a day with no obligations. We hunkered down that night and nothing happened here. Praise God for putting his hand of protection on our city! 
So Sunday we were up and at em like normal for church. Since there was really not Hurricane here church went on as normal. We went to first service and it was a beautiful time of worship. After church we ate lunch together at Olive Branch. Once again we spent the afternoon around the house. It was again nice to not have anywhere or anything to do. I was super thankful for this "pause" in life. Fall can be so busy and I am thankful we had the "Break" from activities! Now I hope we are geared up and ready for a return to the crazy! 

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Destin 2017

Well we just got home a couple days ago from our annual beach trip. We chose once again to go in October since the kids had a 3 day fall break. This year Randall and Elizabeth couldn't go due to a wedding they had to attend. We decided to invite Austin's mom to go with us since we would have extra space in the condos. 
So Tuesday Austin drove to Picayune to meet his sister and mom and bring his mom down to NOLA to go with us on our trip. They got in about 3:00. I was pretty much running out the door to go pick up the kids when they arrived. I got the kids and got home and we were able to visit a bit. It was a pretty busy afternoon/evening though with all the packing and trip prep. We ordered pizza for dinner though and were able to visit then and we even took a walk. Those parts of the evening were nice and I think Linda enjoyed herself. 
Wednesday we were off bright and early! We had a light breakfast and left about 8:45 for the beach. We drove and stopped at the Mississippi Rest Stop to get up with my parents. As always the kids were great travelers. We also stopped again at the Alabama stop. It was nice breaking the trip up and having time to stretch our legs. We also stopped at the Florida stop and at this point we let Colby ride with my parents the rest of the way. He was sitting in between Mawmaw and Lindsay and I think he just felt cramped plus he and Lindsay had started to squabble some. We stopped for our usual lunch at Ruby Tuesday. The lunch was yummy and we were then set to get to the beach. We got to the condo around 3. There were a few mishaps though with checking in but we were finally all settled and unpacked about 4. Ofcourse the kids were dying to get out to the beach so we dressed in our swimsuits and headed out there. We were smart this year and brought along our camping chairs so Austin and I set those out and we were able to sit and read while the kids played in the sand/water. From there we took them to the pool and then went upstairs to get cleaned up and ready for dinner. My mom made us another amazing meal. We had honey baked ham, mac n cheese, and green beans. I think everyone enjoyed it. It was nice to sit around and visit and spend that time together. By about 8 the kids were super tired so we brought them back and got them ready for bed. 
Thursday we were up bright and early and ready for another day! Well actually Austin was up early...I slept until 7:45! I think that's the latest I have slept at the beach since having kids! We all got up and got dressed and went over to my parent's condo for our infamous breakfast. We had a big breakfast of pancakes and omelets. It was so yummy! After helping clean up we got in our swimsuits and hit the beach. It was interesting this year b/c the entire family came down. Austin's mom joined us along with my parents. It was nice visiting with everyone. The kids were so happy and content playing in the sand. We stayed out about 2 hours before heading to the pool. We all swam for about 30 min then we went up for lunch. We had lunch out on the patio. After lunch Austin had to run an errand so I took the kids back to the condo. Colby had some homework to do so he and I worked on that while Lindsay did some crafts. After they watched tv and I took a nap. Once Austin got back he and Colby went back down to the beach. Lindsay relaxed and I showered. That evening we decided to try something new and went to LuLu's for dinner. I was happy we tried a new place. It was really yummy too! We all loved it! It was a nice evening of good food and visiting! After dinner we decided to take the kids to The Track. It was mostly Colby that wanted to go and drive race cars. Lindsay wanted to go to the mall...I was with her. We at this point started hearing reports that NOLA was going to get hit with a hurricane over the weekend so we decided we would go home a day early. I was glad Colby got to drive his cars before we left. He drove the rookie car and also rode with Austin on the Wild Woody. Lindsay wasn't really interested in anything there but we finally convinced her to ride the carousel. That night we stopped by my parent's condo for cookies before bed. It was an exhausting much later night as we were trying to figure out our game plan for the next day. 
Friday we got up and ate breakfast with my parent's as usual. We had a yummy breakfast of sausage biscuits and eggs. After breakfast we went on down to the beach. We had promised the kids we would spend half a day out there before heading home. We spent 2+ hours out there. The weather was just amazing and the kids were having the best time! I so hated to leave! Finally around 11:30 we decided to go on up. Austin stopped with them at the pool to cool and rinse off and I went upstairs to start getting our things together. We all got dressed and got our stuff loaded up. We ate a quick lunch at my parent's condo then headed out. We stopped in Alabama at a Starbucks. With traveling in the afternoon like that after lunch and a full morning we were all dragging. It was a nice refresher and kept us going until Picayune. Yes, Picayune...we had to drive Austin's mom back to meet up with his sister on the way home. Originally they were supposed to come to NOLA and stay at these cabins but their reservations got cancelled due to the hurricane. We got in to Picayune right about 4:45. We visited briefly with Wendi, Shelbi, and Maggie then hit the road. We decided we were all hungry that we would stop in Slidell and eat dinner in hopes that the traffic would also die down. We stopped at Red Robin. We enjoyed it! It was nice to get out the car and have a little downtime. Once we got back in the car it took us way longer then expected to get home due to crazy NOLA traffic. We were so happy when we finally got home around 7:30. We quickly unpacked and got the kids bathed. We let them unwind and play though until about 9. I think we were all happy to see our beds that night! 
It was once again a great trip! A different trip but still great nonetheless! Can't wait to go back! 

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Slow Weekend

So this weekend has been one I needed. It seems like since school started we have always had something on the weekends. We've either been traveling, having friends over, birthday parties, weddings, etc. Anyway this weekend I was super happy to not have any plans. 
Friday night we had a nice night in. We had a spaghetti dinner and celebrated together that Austin got a new job! He will now be the GM of a hotel! I am so happy and excited for him. God's timing has been amazing as well. Anyway it was fun to have that night in. We watched BFG for our movie night. It was almost 10 though before we got our kids to bed. By that time everyone was tired and cranky. I think we were all happy to have a little downtime that night and go to bed. 
Saturday we had a FREE day. We really had a lazy morning around the house. I also tried to get some stuff done. Plus I slept in for the first time in awhile. It was almost 8 when I got up. We had to bring Colby to my parent's house though for the USM game. I had decided to let him go up to the game with them and Austin for the weekend. We had hoped to do that a few weeks ago but the timing wasn't right bc of all his school work he had. Anyway so this week they haven't done much at school due to his teacher being out with the flu so there was definitely no homework due. I am sad his teacher has been out but honestly its been nice to have a break from all the work. The first 2 months of school we worked so hard so I have enjoyed a less hectic week. Anyway we got him dropped off at my parent's house and visited with them for a bit before Lindsay and headed out to do our own thing. I wasn't really sure what we would do? I mean we had the whole day to ourselves. I had contemplated something big like the zoo or City park but honestly we were so late getting started and it was already like 90 degrees so I just wasn't feeling it. She really wanted to go to the mall...I debated that too but I knew she wanted to go to the big mall across the river. I would have liked to take her there but due to our late start I felt like by the time we got there it would be super crowded. Anyway so we settled on a more low key day close to home. I told her we would start out by going to the Farmer's Market to pick out some pumpkins. On our way there I thought about their little friend Ella. She's actually Colby's friend but she gets along great with Lindsay so I wondered if she was home if she would like to hang out with us awhile. My heart really goes out to her b/c there aren't a whole lot of girls her age at our church/school so I try to reach out to her. I also know being 1 of 4 kids she often probably feels like she's just along for the ride. She's such a sweetheart and is always easy to please. Anyway so it turned out she was home and her mom said she would love to spend the day with us! we got our pumpkins and fall decor then went to go pick her up. my original plans were to go to Hobby Lobby and Chickfila with them. Well traffic was awful so by the time we got on Manhattan I figured it was lunchtime. So we went on to eat lunch. Well while we were there I noticed I didn't have my debit card. Thankfully I had a $20 bill in my wallet and that was enough to cover lunch. I got really panicked and worried about where I left/lost it. Well I thought to call the Farmer's Market and sure enough I had left it on the counter there. Thank God for honest people! They had set it aside for me. So we ate lunch then went to pick that up. While by the time we did that I was ready to just come on home. We got here about 1:30 and the girls had a blast playing. They played princess, made some Halloween art, and ate chocolate cake. We left at 4 to bring Ella home. Once Lindsay and I got home I made dinner for us and we watched football. I got her to bed at a decent time and enjoyed some quiet time! 
Sunday was easy getting just the girls ready for church! We arrived super early! The boys met us there. By the time we got out of church it was Pouring rain! Austin went to get us lunch and I came on home with the kids. Streets were already starting to flood so I was anxious to get home and hunker down. We ate Popeye's and watched the SAINTS play. We mostly had a relaxful afternoon. After the game we did do some chores and Austin did yard work and we decorated our front door for Halloween. It was a fun family afternoon. We then had waffles and omelets for dinner! 
I am thankful for the weekend to re-coup after a couple busy months! This upcoming week is a short week of only 2 days of school then we go to the beach!! 

Friday, September 29, 2017

The week of sickness and not much going on....

So this week has been an overall quiet week. I've had a lot of downtime which has been nice. I've had my regular routine things like grocery shopping, Bible study, Wednesday night church, teaching music, and scouts but that's been about it. I feel like we've settled into our fall routine and currently we aren't nearly as stressed/tired as we were a couple weeks ago. We've been busy but not SO busy that we are overwhelmed by it. The school was supposed to have WalkAThon on Friday but it got cancelled due to an overwhelming number of students/teachers coming down with the flu. I was sad but also relieved to have a quieter day. I will be going up there shortly though to bring Colby's class pizza. That should be fun! I hope to get a peek at both of them. Its always fun to see them in their school atmosphere. So with everyone sick I also haven't seen much of friends which is a downer though. I am looking forward to a fairly quiet weekend though. The boys will probably be going to Hattiesburg for the football game and Lindsay and I will hold down the fort here. I am looking forward to girl time and also the quiet that comes with that! We've been praying hard that we stay well and also that the illness stops and everyone who has gotten sick quickly heals! Next week things hopefully will be a little more normal but they also have fall break so it will only be a 2 day week for us! 

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Lessons and Weddings

So Friday started in the most awful way. Well actually it started nicely but quickly went downhill. Colby woke up in the most terrible mood and I ended up letting loose and screaming at him for 10 minutes straight. I ofcourse felt so bad later on but when he has a bad attitude and is disrespectful it just gets to me. I was also hormonal though so I am sure I was more edgy then normal. Well anyways we pulled it together and tried to salvage the morning before getting them to school. It was Lindsay's Career Day! She was so excited. She looked adorable. She chose to be a "boat person" aka sailor girl. After dropping the kids off I had to go by Aurora and drop off a recipe and also pick up Colby's scout book he had left the night before. Then I had to go by the grocery and get a snack for Lindsay b/c of course Friday was also her snack day. I felt bad not being more prepared but with the crazy of the week that was all I could do! I got that dropped off to the school then CAME home! It was so amazing to spend the day at home. I really try hard to schedule one day a week where I come home. It really helps my sanity but also I can be productive around the house. I've realized that God blesses me with those days and I need to use them. I have also learned the importance of being still and having slow days. 
That afternoon I looked forward to having the kids home and us not having anything on the agenda! The kids were in great moods and I just enjoyed our time together. I cooked tacos that night for dinner and Austin got home in time to enjoy that with us. After dinner we played outside for a bit then came in to watch our movie. We decided on The Good Dinosaur. 
Saturday it felt amazing as always to sleep in a bit. Even though I really only slept until like 7:15 it was still nice to slow down. The kids and I had a pretty lazy morning. We were able to even work on school work. Colby had a very light amount of homework so we focused on his reading and questions then I even had him do some language review. I am trying to keep up with that but not make him feel like he's doing work all the time. Lindsay also worked on letters and phonics. She loves doing school papers so its not a struggle at all with her. She enjoys it so much! We took it easy and then had lunch around 11:30. Austin also got home about that time. We had a 2:00 wedding to attend and had a babysitter coming over so we tried to spend the morning straightening up around the house and also getting ready for that. 
Katelynn our babysitter arrived around 1 and we headed out the door. The wedding was for Stephen and Courtney. Stephen is our children's pastor so it was important that we go for this. The wedding was very sweet and pretty and the reception was nice too. It was also nice to get away for a few hours just the 2 of us. We got home right at 6 which was in time for some good college football games. I was pretty exhausted that night so by the 3rd quarter we headed the kids off to bed and we were actually in bed early ourselves as well. 
Sunday we were all so happy to not have any major plans other than church. We went to first service. I have so been enjoying my time back in church. After many years of serving in various children's ministry roles its been so good for my spirit and soul to be back in church. This is not to say that I don't want to get back involved. I am actually hoping to talk to our children's pastor next month about starting to teach every other Sunday upstairs. Anyway the study of Joshua has also been amazing and so impactful! After church the kids wanted to go to New Orleans Hamburger and Seafood. It was a yummy lunch then we came home to watch the SAINTS play. It was a great game! We enjoyed our afternoon around the house. We got some work done but also relaxed and hung out as a family. We had breakfast for dinner and then took a walk! 


Saturday, September 23, 2017

Another Week full of Fun and Busy

Wow so here we are another week almost under our belts! I feel like they are flying by! Anyway Monday started our week out well with Austin being off! I went grocery shopping then came home. He and I spent some time together. We took a walk then came home and hung out. He picked up salads for us for lunch so we ate those and watched tv. I love stay home/low key days with him! That afternoon he picked up the kids. I enjoyed a little bit more of quiet before the crazy! Colby had a lot of homework so I worked with him on that while Austin cooked. That night we had a nice home cooked meal of ribs, mac n cheese, green beans, corn, and corn bread. We were able to spend time outside as well! I love our Monday afternoons b/c the rest of the week is always crazy! 
Tuesday it was back to routine. I had Bible study and the kids had school. It was a good morning learning and fellowshipping with the ladies. I am also thankful for the couple hours I have by myself at home after. That evening Austin worked late but he didn't go to his Men's Group so he was home a tad earlier than normal. The kids and I had a low key night though and also again enjoyed some outdoor time. 
Wednesday was full on BUSY! So the kids had Parent Visit Day at their school. I always enjoy this day. I cannot believe this was my 5th one. It was Colby's 5th and Lindsay's 2nd. My mom also joined us again this year since Austin had an interview that morning. I hate for the kids to feel left out so it works out well that they can both have an adult visitor for the entire morning. We started the morning in Assembly. I tried to go back and forth to both their tables and see them and their friends. Fortunately both of their tables are near each other so that made it easy. Well once it was time to split off into their classes I went with Lindsay and my mom went with Colby. We started the morning with Chapel. The Chapel was very cute. Kindergarten has chapel downstairs with the preschool still. My mom got to see Jumpstart Chapel. After that we went back to the kindergarten room for class. During that time my mom got to see Colby in class and in computer to take a math test. Lindsay's class worked on phonics. I enjoyed watching all the ways her teacher is teaching them how to read. They sounded out blends and then had a chance to make words with some cut out letters they had on their desk. It was fun and interactive! After that they went to library and Colby's class went to PE. My poor mom got to go to PE with both of them. Library was fun...their theme this week was camping so she read "Going on a Bear Hunt" with them and they played a couple games after that. Once that was over it was time for my mom and I to switch. From there she got to go outside with Lindsay's class for PE and I went upstairs to see Colby's class in action. During their class time they reviewed math. They did a Mad Minute then played a game. It was fun just seeing the class in action. I really love his teacher and classmates this year. They all just seem so sweet. After that his class went to library. Again they read "Going on a Bear Hunt" and a couple other books I hadn't heard but they all were about outside or camping. I think some of the kids were a little bored but I think it was a nice downtime for them. I think even big kids like being read to. By the time that was over it was time to say goodbye. I was able to sneak a peek at Lindsay too before I left. It was a fun morning but I was exhausted when I got home. Not to mention I got home around 12 and then had to eat and I felt like most of my day was gone. I did appreciate my parents getting the kids though b/c that extended my day a bit. That night we had church. The kids are always excited about that even though it makes for a long day. I am glad they love going to church. They also love the friend time. They both lucked out and had their best friends there that night. Such a blessing! I taught the girls class. That night we combined k-5th grade. I felt like they "got" the lesson and things went well. I can tell though some of the 5th grade girls are "over jumpstart" its the same look/feeling you get with the 5 year olds in clubhouse. They are just bored and ready to move on to something else. 
Thursday another full day! Well I got asked that morning to sub instead of teach music. I was a little disappointed but figured it would be fine. And it was there were no major issues all morning until the end. I subbed the 2-3 year old class. Its basically got 2 1/2 year olds up to early 3s. Well there are still several in there wearing diapers so I had to change 2 dirty diapers which really isn't my thing! UGH I couldn't do that every day! Anyway the kids were cute though and mostly well behaved. At the end of the day though I had the kids in circle time and they were all doing so well. Well the class across the hall uses the little potty between my room and the other room. Well kids were coming back and forth so I didn't think too much of it. One little girl from my class said she had to potty but then she said someone was in there so I was just like wait until they get out. Finally she went in so I assumed whoever was in there was finished and out. Well in the process her mom came to get her. Well I really didn't know any of the parents so I was like oh she's in the potty. Well then she came out and behind her came another little girl from across the hall. That little girl had her panties and shorts down to her ankles and acted completely oblivious. Well I felt so bad that I seemed so flustered when that mom got there. So after she left I was making sure her little girl didn't leave anything and then I am trying to usher the little girl back across the hall. Well as I cross the room I see water everywhere in the bathroom and it slowly seeping under the wall. OMG she flooded the bathroom. So I quickly got the director and got all the kids across the hall so they wouldn't slip down. Whew! That was quite a way to end the day. I was so anxious to get home and relax after that. I didn't have long before it was time to go get the kids. We came home and did homework and I started on their dinner. It was scout night. Well the night before Lindsay didn't sleep well and she hadn't been eating well so I really felt like she needed a night home. I had told her if Austin was able to get home in time that she would stay home with me. We usually all try to go to Scouts since it is a "family atmosphere" but I felt it was in our best interest to stay in. I was so thankful! She and I caught up around the house then I worked on Bible study while she played then we just kinda relaxed and hung out until the boys got here. Well they got in and Colby was in an awful mood. Apparently he had forgotten his book there and Austin was telling him the importance of responsibility and he got all upset. Anyway from there I was definitely ready to get them all to bed! LONG day!