Thursday, May 28, 2009

What a day!

We started our Thursday at Mudslingers. Lee says that he loves it every day, so I know he won't be happy that tomorrow is his last day. Sometimes he gets shy and won't participate in events, but judging from how filthy he is when I get him each day, he is participating a lot! I can't wait to see what they have made. Matt's cousin, Lisa, and her girls are visiting from Oregon this week, so Nam organized a painting party at Studio J for all the kiddos this morning. Hayes chose to paint a skateboard, so the other boys followed him and also chose skateboards. The girls were more creative, and each one chose something different.
Lee is getting started with some green.
He started out being very careful with his paint and painted the wheels different colors, but by the end, he was just kind of slapping the paint on the white parts.
Paul is making his skateboard colorful too!
Here is the "big kid" table. From left and going clockwise are Hayes, Lily, Grace, Carly and Shelby.
Hope got to come too, although we kept her paint-free. She was happy to entertain the crowd with a round of pat-a-cake during snack time.
Here is the group after they finished their projects.
We headed home to get ready for the rest of our day. It was the Quota Club's turn to serve supper at the local Soup Kitchen. Lee tagged along while I delivered my food, helped serve and took pictures. I loved that he was able to be a part of something like this. The ladies are always so great to include him, and I think he learned a lesson on giving back. We talk often about not wasting food. We're not always successful, but I like to think that he will remember those less fortunate than us when he is being wasteful, whether it is with food or water or energy. I have noticed lately that he is being more attentive to turn the water off while brushing his teeth and turning the light off when he leaves a room. The seed has been planted, and I hope it continues to grow.
After leaving the Soup Kitchen, it was off to the T-ball fields to watch Paul. Lee is hanging out here with his snack.
Paul got 1 turn to bat and run the bases before the rain came! We hurried and packed up our things and ran to the car. I'm not sure Paul ever knew we were there. We'll have to catch another game soon.
Our last stop of the night was at the GED Graduation, for which the Quota Club sponsors the reception. We provided snacks afterward and enjoyed meeting the graduates and visiting with each other. I had the pleasure to serve with an amazing and selfless group of women, who are always looking for ways to do for others. This same group helped to raise $5000 this year to provide scholarships to 5 local students. Especially in the current economic crisis, I think that's incredible. I was honored to be the chairman this year, and being able to present those scholarships yesterday was a moving and rewarding experience for me. As I left the meeting, my heart was so full of love for my little club and hopeful for the projects to come. With Lee going to pre-school in the fall and inevitably getting more involved in activities, I'm not sure how long I'll be able to participate, but I know for sure that I have gotten far more out of my membership than I have given.

Lee is 4!

**WARNING** This is a ridiculously long post, so grab a drink and snack, and get comfy.
Here is the new four year old! He looks ready to take on the world, doesn't he? He has been participating in a pottery class this week, so he was thrilled to get to wear his birthday shirt to show his friends. The whole time we were getting ready to leave, he kept asking, "Am I 4 yet?" So at 8:49, while we were en route to class, I confirmed that he was officially 4 years old. Later I told him the story from the day he was born, and he liked that.
After Mudslingers, Subo, Paul and Hope hosted a mini-party for Lee at their house. We ordered a pizza and then enjoyed cupcakes. Lee loves to blow out candles, so this was a real treat!
After lunch, it was play time! First was a friendly game of Hungry Hippos.
Then it was movie-time.
Hope decided she needed her own chair. I don't have a clue why Lee needed so many blankets.
Then it was lego time! Thanks Tusas for a fun-filled afternoon!
Lee could hardly wait for Daddy to get home to open his presents. He got a new Cars shirt....
....and some Cars rain boots. He's trying to dance in them here, but they're a little too heavy for dancing. Since it has rained every day this week, he has had plenty of opportunities to break them in.
A new book all about birthdays!
These might have been the highlight. What can he possibly do with Flo, Ramone and Mr. The King?
Oh I knew he would have a plan for them! These are not all Cars characters, but he doesn't know that. He gives them all a name he chooses anyway.
Mr. The King is his favorite! He even insisted on taking him out to supper with us.
After supper, we enjoyed some play time outside.
We borrowed this slide from Paul to use at Lee's party this weekend, and Lee has enjoyed it this week.
I'm this many! We had an exhausting but wonderful day. It seemed to fly by, so I'm glad we have the party to look forward to on Saturday. It has only been a couple of days, but so far I really love the age 4!

Monday, May 25, 2009

An afternoon with Daddy

Lee took this one of Matt.
Jill and I went to Jackson for an afternoon shopping trip, and Lee decided to stay home with Matt. I knew they had been up to no good the minute I walked in the door. They were each wearing a walkie talkie and used them as their only form of communication with each other, even if they were a few steps away. Matt thought it was great fun too. He had been grilling and left Lee inside watching a movie, so they talked back and forth over their radios. All of this was funny to me until I heard that Lee had paged his Daddy to come to the bathroom and wipe him. Then I knew they had taken it too far. There were many more eye-rolling moments that they shared with me, but I'll leave you with pictures of them proudly displaying their gear.

Good little helper

Lee has been such a good helper lately. Here he is using his mini-broom and dust pan to sweep. He loves it. Subo has a dust buster, and he usually asks to use it when he's at her house. Maybe I should have put one of those on his birthday wish list.

A few months ago, I couldn't fold a load of laundry without him in the way wanting to help. So one day, I showed him how to fold a wash cloth, and he was hooked. Now he can fold small towels and his blanket too. I usually sort out the washcloths just for him to fold. You can see in the video the huge pile that he already folded. Earlier today, Matt was folding some towels, and apparently he used his chin, and Lee thought it was hilarious. That's what he is telling me on the video that Matt used his chin and looked like an ostrich.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

When I grow up....

This picture is from our trip to the park last week, but I don't like a post without a picture!

Tonight, Lee and I were playing outside, and we noticed a group of teenagers leaving our neighbors' house. He asked if they were grown-ups. I explained that they were high schoolers, etc. This led to the following monologue from Lee.

"When I'm a high schooler, I'm going to be a tackler for the Patriots. That's all I'm going to do...tackle, tackle, tackle. Then when I'm a grown up, I am going to do many different jobs. First I'm going to play basketball, next will be bird watching, and then when I get old, I'm going to be a gymnasticker. (a gymnast, I assumed) I hope you and daddy will fly on my airplane to watch me do all these things. You can bring Buzz too, because it will be my own plane. But there will be a sign at the door that says, 'No cats allowed!' I kinda like cats, but daddy is allergic, so I won't allow them on my plane. Does all that sound fun to you Mommy?"

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Choir program

Tonight was the graded choir program at our church. I was so nervous as a mom and as a teacher. With 3 year olds, anything can happen at any time. I have to say that I could not have been more pleased with Lee or the 3 year old choir. Thankfully, we had no injuries, no one fell off the stage, no one cried, and I think all but 1 child sang. It was so precious. I say this at the end of each year, but I am really going to miss this group!

Lee's best friend, Paul, brought his family to watch Lee. Lee spotted Hope when he sat down and started giggling. He was so happy to see Paul after the program. Lee's grandparents, Nam and Pa and Mawmaw also came to watch him sing.

Matt promised ice cream if Lee did a good job and behaved, so we were off to Dairy Delight after the program. Two other kids from Lee's choir were there with their parents too. We thought it was funny that we all had the same bribing/reward tactics. It was a fun night!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Hair issues

After my shower, I often leave the towel on my head while I do my makeup. This morning, Lee disappeared for awhile and reappeared like this. When I questioned him, he said he wet his hair and needed a towel on his head like Mommy.

Last night after his bath, he wanted to comb his hair on his own. He did a crazy part that he claimed was a little like mommy's and a little like daddy's. We were laughing at him, and he said that he liked to comb his hair where you can see his forehead. I wish I had a picture of it. You should see how wild his hair looked this morning from all the crazy parting last night.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Saturday in the sun

The sun did shine off and on today, so we got out to enjoy it. My "care takers" would only let me wander around and watch them having fun, but I did have my camera. Here are some of the fun things they did.
Lee helped Mom plant the hibiscus bush he got me for Mother's Day.
Gator time!
Matt washed the car and said I wasn't allowed to drive after dark any more. He also mentioned something about the bugs in Obion County being as big as birds. I'm not sure what he meant....

Lee thought washing the car sounded like fun, so he got his own soap bucket and washed his gator.
Here he is showing off the garage he built this morning. I liked the way he was doing his arms like Vanna White.
Since we weren't leaving the house today, Mom didn't curl her hair. While they were outside, Lee asked her why it wasn't curled. She told him why and asked if it looked bad. He said, "Well, I just haven't ever seen it looked like that before." It was a good day, and I am feeling really good. I feel better when I am up and moving, so I expect to feel even better tomorrow.

Friday, May 15, 2009


Mom came to stay with us for a few days while I recover from my gall bladder removal. (We're still not using the "S" Lee has been in full entertainment mode. While they were in the waiting room, Lee announced to the entire room that his mommy works at Dairy Delight. Matt said, "Lee, she does not." And he quickly rebutted, "Except she does!" Maybe he wishes I worked there, so he could get ice cream any time he wants. He and mom were waiting on the back porch for us to get home. Mom saw a white SUV coming down the road, and she said, "Lee here they come." He looked up and said, "Mawmaw, that isn't a Nissan!" And it wasn't. I'm sure there are many more funnies from the day, but my favorite is about our neighbor's dog, Little Jake. Little Jake is a barker, and he usually runs when he sees Lee. Lee desperately wants to pet him, but he just runs away too fast. Today, they were outside playing, and Jake came over to play. Lee told me later how he wished he could pet Little Jake, and maybe when he is a 12 year old, he won't be scared of little boys anymore.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Super-Date Night

Matt and I usually have a date night once a month or so, where we leave Lee with the Tusas and go to dinner and maybe a movie. Most of the dinner, we laugh and contemplate what Lee and Paul are doing. However, last night was the date night to end all date nights! We missed Lee a lot, but somehow in our excitement, we didn't spend a lot of time wondering what mischief he was creating for his grandparents. We had a nice dinner downtown Nashville, but the main fun was seeing James Taylor in concert! He was at TPAC, so it was an intimate concert, where other than a dozen ovations, everyone stayed in their seats and just enjoyed the show. He was brilliant, funny, and just as talented as ever. It went down as one of the best concerts I have ever attended. Most of you who know me well, know that I rarely leave the house without my camera. Well....the last time we visited TPAC, I nearly had my camera confiscated for taking Lee's picture before The Wizard of Oz. So yesterday, I contemplated taking my camera "just in case." Knowing how tempted I'd be to take an illegal picture, I decided to avoid temptation and leave the camera at home. As luck would have it, cameras were allowed not only inside TPAC, but also inside Jackson Hall! Everyone around us snapped pictures like crazy. I was crushed, although I did make a weak attempt at a picture with my cell phone. It was lame. So, I'll just have to live with the memories created instead of pictures to look back on in the years to come.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Fabulous Weekend

This was one of the best weekends ever. On Friday night, a local club was hosting a fundraiser for their club projects. Due to the never-ending rain, it was moved from the winery to a member's barn. It was one of the nicest barns I have ever seen. I'm pretty sure no livestock has ever entered through those doors! The event was called a "Bucket Bash," and we had a delicious supper of shrimp, salad and baked potatoes served in a sand bucket. It was a darling theme. There was also a band, and since the weather had cleared, we got to eat outside. Aside from the surprise lightning scaring us half to death, we had a great time. Jill and I left a few minutes early to catch a late movie. We saw "The Ghosts of Girlfriends Past" with Matthew McCaugnahey. It was a cute movie, and he was handsome as ever.

On Saturday, the sun was was shining, so we enjoyed a day in our yard and spending our day as a family.

On Sunday, I got to eat breakfast at church with Lee. Some of the Dads served the moms and kids. We were each presented with gifts the kids made. Lee made a flower and painted a canvas for me, which is just precious. At home, he and Matt gave me their gifts. They got me a hibiscus plant, that my neighbor, Jason, will hate because I plan to plant it at my mailbox:-) They also got me Michael J. Fox's book, Always Looking Up. Then, Matt and I cooked supper for his mom and family. The weather cooperated for most of the day, so Matt enjoyed hanging out around the grill with the other men. We had a fun afternoon with the Hayes family. I left the crew here and headed to Obion County for my brother's baptism. He and his family have recently started going to the church where I went as a little girl, and it's the church where I was saved and baptized. (Actually, when I went there, we had no baptismal, so I was baptized in Reelfoot Lake.) I knew it would be an emotional night, but I had no idea the blessings that were in store for me. I pulled into the parking lot behind the people who always picked me up and took me to church. I was overwhelmed with emotions when I saw them. "Would they remember me? Should I introduce myself? Should I just keep walking?" It had been 15 years or so since I've seen them. We both exited our cars at the same time and when our eyes met, there was an instant connection. There were lots of hugs and tears and chatter. We walked together, and they wanted to show me the new all purpose building before we went to church. When I went there, there were probably 50 or so people who attended. There wasn't much need for an all purpose building. I knew that was not the case when I walked into the sanctuary. It was full of people, some who were members when I went there. I couldn't believe I was so filled with nervousness on my way there. I didn't know if I would remember anybody or if they would remember me. Every bit of that vanished the moment I walked in. The sanctuary had been completely remodeled to accommodate the growth over the past few years, but I instantly felt like I was "home" and that nothing had changed. The songs were old songs from old hymnals that I haven't heard in years. It felt so good to hear those words and songs again. There were several specials sung, and two were from teenagers that were insanely good. I sat there in that pew, surrounded by family and friends, and it was such a blessing. I panicked after the first song, when I realized I didn't have any tissues. So far, I had been able to dab away the tears in a fairly graceful manner, but I knew that wasn't going to be the case for long. So I asked my sister in law if she had any, and she said no. I knew I was in trouble. After the first special, I was a mess. Daddy finally came to the rescue and remembered he had a hankie in his pocket. After the beautiful music and stirring message from their pastor, it was time for the baptisms. I get emotional over any baptism, but this was my brother! I tried to pass my camera to Shay, because by the time it was Joe's turn, I could no longer see. There were several people who were baptized, so I was pretty certain that by the end, I was going to have to leave immediately. The pastor did a great job and presented a very moving service. My 18 year old cousin, Chelsea, thought I was a wacko for being so sentimental, but she didn't help matters. I had just received her graduation invitation a few days before, so I was pretty emotional seeing her and knowing that she is about to head off to college. Her mom told her she would understand one day why we were so emotional. She just shook her head at us. True to the southern Baptist tradition, when there is a function, there is also food. I had to take a few moments to compose myself and clean myself up before going to the fellowship hall to visit. It was such a fun time reconnecting with some old friends and meeting new ones. It was evident that the Lord is working in Walnut Log! I was so proud and humbled to see how the church has grown. I could go on and on, but you get the picture. It was the perfect ending to my already awesome weekend.