Bike Adventure

Last night Jake, Jack, and I went for a bike ride on the greenway in Ashland City-it is one of the “Rails To Trails” greenways, so it is nice and flat. It is beside the river, really shady, and just a great places to ride bikes. We rode just over 10 miles! Jack did great-he’s a trooper :). We finished up the night with dinner at McDonalds and then stopping by Mama Judy’s for some blackberry cobbler. πŸ™‚ It was a good night.

Fourth of July

We celebrated the Fourth for 3 days around here-ha!

Wednesday night (the 3rd) we joined our church family and watched the fireworks in Hendersonville. It is always fun to go-the kids have a blast running around with their friends before the fireworks start, and Hendersonville really does put on a great show! It started raining almost the SECOND the fireworks were over! But the show was great! We stopped at Sonic for 1/2 price milkshakes on the way home…because why not?

 

The morning of the Fourth the kiddos and I went to the parade, per tradition. It’s cheesy, but we all love it, just because. It was HOOOOTTT.

 

We came home, and Josie and I made our traditional red/white/blue strawberries while the storms rolled in.

 

Luckily, the storms cleared just in time for us to go to the Johnson’s for our annual fish fry. This year we got there early so Jake and I could help cook the hushpuppies. It was great night full of yummy food, friends, family, and water fun for the kiddos.

 

Chad had to work on the Fourth, so Friday night he had the family over to shoot fireworks off at his house…because Chad never misses the chance to blow stuff up! πŸ™‚ He introduced my kids to their first Roman candles….because of course he did.

 

Happy Independence Day, y’all!

Summer Things

We’ve been soaking up summer around here, trying to squeeze every minute of fun out of it that we can. Here are some of the random things we’ve been up to.

 

We have had SO many pop up storms this summer! More than normal, it seems.

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Shirley got to come to dinner one night. πŸ™‚ It was such Β beautiful night to sit on the porch after dinner, and we all love our Shirley!!

 

Jake and I had an adventure in Nashville one night. As part of his Father’s Day gift, I got him tickets to one of the Nashville Soccer Club games. So the kids stayed with Grammy and Pappy, and we went to the game. When we got there, the game got put on a lightning delay. But, they were play the Vandy baseball final game on the big screen, so we made the best of it! Finally, after and hour and half of lightning delays, we decided to go get dinner somewhere and come back, because every time we saw lightning, we knew there would be at least a 45 minute delay. So we got crepes, and then found a yummy no bake cookie dough place for dessert…where they were also playing the Vandy game-and we got to see the end when Vandy won it all!!! Woohoo!! Then we went back to the stadium. We got to see the first half of the soccer game…..and then the bottom dropped out, it started to rain, and the game got put BACK on a lightning delay. We just hung out under the cover and talked to some of Jake’s soccer kids who were also at the game. Finally, at 11:30, they called it. Even if we didn’t get to see the whole game, it was a fun night, and an adventure we’ll remember for a long time. πŸ™‚

 

One Saturday Lindsey and I had a very impromptu girl’s day, and Josh, Jake and the kiddos hung out at the farm and went down to the swimming hole. Then Lindsey and I met them over there with dinner food and we all grilled out and hung out around the fire. It was a great night. Sometimes impromptu hang out days are the best!

 

Last week I took the kiddos to the skate park. Jack has been dying to go back, and they get a free session for good report cards! So we took advantage. πŸ™‚ They had fun, as always, and Jack started learning how to do the half pipe on a skate board!

 

There have been lots of movie nights. Jake and the kids’ goal is to watch all the Marvel movies this summer. πŸ™‚

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I got to meet my friend Robin for brunch yesterday because she was in town. We don’t get to see each other often, but we always are able to pick right back off where we left off. πŸ™‚ Love you!

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This girl leaves for church camp tomorrow, and we are all going to miss her!

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There have been lots of summer chores….Jake and I have been working on trails at the farm for my cross country meet; LOTS Β of gardening; Jake cleaned off the roof; lots of mowing; I’ve been doing some cleaning that only gets done in the summer…just the normal. πŸ™‚

 

Now on to more summering….. :).

Weekending

This was a fun weekend. It turned out differently than what we had planned, but it ended up being great.

Friday night Jake and I went out with some friends to Germantown Cafe and TopGolf. We had been wanting to try Germantown Cafe…but neither of us were very impressed. The company was great, the food…not so much. We probably will not be back there.

TopGolf was a blast, but a MAJOR storm came through while we were there. I only took one picture, and one of my friends snapped the other two. πŸ™‚ Jake was there, but only his shoulder made it into the pic. πŸ™‚

And then the weirdest thing happened right we were about to be done golfing….they came over the loudspeaker and evacuated everybody! We had no clue why were were all being evacuated, and it was pouring down rain outside, so it was a pretty abrupt end to our friend date! We found out the next morning that there had been a small electrical fire caused by the storm.

When Jake and I got home that night, we had no power…TONS of people were without power in RobCo.

Saturday morning is where our plans went a bit awry. We had planned to go to the lake and spend the night on an island. I already had it booked and everything. But it was pouring down rain, and they were forecasting more storms for that night, and maybe Sunday morning, too. So, we used our best judgement (after MUCH hand-wringing on my part), and decided against it. The best part was, we had never told the kids, so they weren’t disappointed anyways! They had a fun day with Nana and Shshr (they had spent the night with Nana). After it stopped raining, Jake and I went over to the farm to work on my XC trail a bit, then cleaned up and went to get the kiddos. Josie had been invited to spend the night with the Roses, so we were taking her there, and we ended up staying for dinner and hanging out with them all night. It was a great, impromptu way to spend the evening! I didn’t get one picture. Except this one:

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Sunday, to make up for NOT going to the lake, we decided to have a “staycation” and do something else that has been on our summer bucket list: Wave Country. We picked up Jo in the morning, and then headed over-we stayed from open to close, and had a blast! We are considering getting a membership next summer.

We ended our “staycation” day with dinner at Cracker Barrel and treats at Dairy Queen, and made it home right before another storm hit.

 

It was a great weekend, even if it didn’t happen just like we’d planned. πŸ™‚ The planner in me sometimes has a hard time letting go and changing plans mid-flow….but I’m so glad we did!

Climb Nashville Camp

Jack has been literally counting down the days to this day for two months. This is the first day of Climb Nashville Camp for him (a week long day camp)! When he found out about the camp, he wanted to go so much that he was willing to put all $175 of his savings towards the fee. So we told him we would cover the rest, and signed him up. He has been SO excited! I can’t wait to hear all about it when I pick him this afternoon :).

Skiing Memories

I was going through some old pictures today, and found these two gems.

This was a time camping that we got SEVEN people up behind one boat, skiing!

My mom on a slalom, Ricky Smith on regular skis, Chad on regular skis, me on a slalom, Chris Clinard on regular skis, I think Jason Smith on regular skis, and Shshr on a slalom (I think). And Pop was pulling us, of course. πŸ™‚ This is one of my BEST camping memories! So glad Mrs. Nancy got this on camera!

 

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Birthday

Just realized I forgot to post Josie’s birthday pictures with her birthday letter!

Most of the celebrating was done at her party, of course, but our birthday tradition is candles in a donut tower, which is just what we did :). We had to change up the tradition just a bit, though, and pick out the donuts the night before since we had to be at church at 7:30.

Normally we don’t do birthday presents, we do birthday outings instead. But this year our girl actually had a present in mind that she wanted (and she very rarely has a specific something in mind), and we couldn’t think of a great idea of somewhere to take her…so we broke tradition and bought her the present-a hover board!! She has LOVED it, and the rest of have, too :).

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After church we hit up the Mexican restaurant in Greenbrier to celebrate the birthday girl AND her awesome daddy :).

Then we had a long, lazy day. Jake and I took a long nap, and the kiddos played with the hover board until time to go to VBS at Mee-Maw’s church :).

Happy birthday, sweet girl!

Toothpick

Life is never dull with Jack. I was just sitting here on the couch, working on some photos, watching a cross country documentary, when I hear screams/cries of panic coming from upstairs. I sprint up the stairs, with no clue of what I’m going to find….and I find Jack, with a toothpick sticking STRAIGHT out of the bottom of his foot. Yes. A toothpick. The kids had been using the toothpicks to do “magic tricks.”

So, I pull the toothpick out (because…..I thought Jack would probably stop freaking out so much if he could stop seeing that sticking out of his foot….and I was right.) I took him downstairs, put some ice on it, and called the doctor, just to make sure there wasn’t anything else I needed to do. They just said to clean it well and watch it for infection. Hopefully that’s the end of it!

Boys…..

11

**Preface to say…this is a few days late. Josie actually turned 11 on Sunday, but I got back from ACCS conference on Saturday evening, and Sunday was Father’s Day AND Josie’s birthday…..so I’m just a bit late. πŸ™‚

 

Dear Josie,

How can you be ELEVEN? Because I think it was just yesterday that you were “performing” your dance moves in our living room with your princess dress and your toy microphone. You definitely can’t be almost a teenager. Yet, here we are, and I am writing this letter. So. I guess I must face the inevitable. You are getting old! πŸ™‚

You had a big year with a lot of changes and exciting things happening. In the essence of being honest, though, it was a hard year, too. 5th grade was tough….and I think both of us knew it was going to be. Having me as a teacher for two years was rough…but it was also made your life a little easier in the responsibility realm of things. So, fifth grade was a year for you to learn some independence and responsibility. And it was a struggle sometimes. You are SO smart and capable…..but you are also a big time procrastinator. However, you and I both learned some lessons. We (and your Daddy and you) had some great conversations. Some big, grown-up type of conversations. And this definitely isn’t the end of those conversations. It is only the beginning.

BUT. Something awesome happened this year, too. The BEST thing. You decided that you could no longer live without Jesus in your heart. You were saved in December during one of our family Jesse Tree devotionals. You were baptized in January, and that has gone down in the memory books as one of my favorite parenting moments yet. You are now my sister in Christ!! And that is definitely the BEST thing that happened in your tenth year of life.

Here are some other things that I want to remember about you this year:

-You are a wonderful mixture of girly-girl and toughness. You love getting dressed up and the more glitter and sparkles, the better. You love having your hair curled and braided and you are always excited to get to play with makeup. Ballet is your favorite activity-you live for it. You still love playing with your dollhouse- Calico Critters are your favorite toy right now. You can almost always be found working on some kind of art project, and you are always singing and making up dance routines…. But you also love being outside and getting dirty and playing rough. You always prefer sitting with the boys at lunch because you just find the things they talk about more interesting. You love fort building and hunting with your Pappy and shooting bows and arrow or BB guns. You love to hike and camp and kneeboard. I love your fun personality and the person you are becoming.

-You are sensitive. Hormones are raging, and you are much more in touch with your emotional side than I ever was (or still am!). I’m actually really happy for you about that….but it makes for some tough moments (or days) sometimes! We have both found that sometimes the best thing for you to do when you are upset is to just go take a shower. You always get out of a shower feeling that all is right in the world again. πŸ™‚

-You would try ALL the activities if we’d let you. But you really love the ones we’ve settled on you doing. You love Mrs. Shumate and after school art. Your print-making piece got third in the district this year. You were disappointed that you didn’t make it to state again..but you were also able to learn an important lesson about being happy for your friends. Ballet is the perfect activity for you. It was amazing to see how much you had learned at your recital this year! You also started guitar back this year, and I’m so glad you did. I love hearing you sing and play, and we were excited about how excited you were about it.

-You love performances of all kinds. You love to BE in performances, and you also love to watch them. You loved going to Vandy games with Nana and Shshr this year. Ta took you to TPAC to see the Little Mermaid. She also took you to see The Nutcracker ballet (which I think is the performance you’ve been the MOST excited about). You got to see your very first real concert-Lucinda Williams-with Shshr, and you still talk about what a great time you had!

-As hard as 5th grade was, you also had some great times, too. Your favorite things about this school year were: getting to wear a skirt instead of a jumper; Mr. Brown playing football with the class; fort-building with the boys at playtime; your shield project; Medieval day; science class with Mrs. Layman (you LOVED her as a teacher); getting to perform “All is Well” at Christmas Vespers with the upper school-you got to sing the descant, which you thought was really special; and going on a field trip to a farm.

Little girl, it has been a BIG year…and I suspect the years are only going to get bigger from here on out. Stay little. Keep loving make-believe and imaginary things. Relish in them now while you can. I love your sweet heart and mind and spirit. Happy Birthday, sweet girl.

Love,

Mommy