Sunday, June 10, 2012

Happy 4th Birthday, Ally Claire

Dear Ally Claire,
Where to even begin my little lovely?  You are such a blessing, such a delight.  I've said it on here and I'll say it again so that you'll never question it.  I prayed you into existance little one.  I always wanted to be a mama.  I hoped I would be blessed and that I would get the experience of having both boys and girls, but if I'm being honest, and you know that's my way, I REALLY wanted a little girl.  You are ALLLLL girl!  Make no mistake about that.  You love all things girly and frilly and fluffy.  One of my favorite quotes from you this year was, "Mama...all it needs is sparkles and glitter!"  Pink and purple and glitter and crowns and princesses and nail polish and "spray" and bows.  You are sure to let me know when your "tip toes" get chipped and need to be redone.  You still cling to your purple Hippos that you've had since your "unfortunate incarceration" in the NICU (see links below), but you have allowed other animals to join the throng.  Not long ago, you fell out of bed at night and it was no wonder, you had so much in the bed with you, just like your big brother Luke.  I told you they pushed you out of bed!  You didn't seem to buy it.

But just because you are girly doesn't mean you aren't tough.  You give your brothers just as hard of a time as they give you.  You don't mind being a little dirty and playing outside and you still prefer that your hair look like a "cave woman's" most days.  All in your face and the bigger the better.

And smart.  My goodness you are so smart and verbal.  Luke's teacher thought you were older than you are because of how verbal and conversational you were when we went to have lunch with Luke's class at school!  You are really good at naming your numbers and can count to about 40, but those letters are giving you a hard time.  You're getting there, though, even if you DON'T want my help...with ANYTHING Miss Independant!

But sometimes being that smart has its downside.  You're also quite sassy in attitude and in speech!  You're my child so i doubt you'll outgrow it, but hopefully you'll learn to tame it a little and know when to use it to make people laugh or show boys that pretty girls can be smart, too!

I love you so much, Lucy.  I can't turn my back on you for a second.  Not just because you're into everything, but because if I do, I'll miss it and you'll be in school!  You'll be the hardest to let go of because you're the baby and because like I'd always hoped, we are so close. My hope is that you will continue to grow up strong and healthy, smart and sassy and that you'll always be beautiful and blessed.

Our family wasn't complete until you came along and I'm so thankful that you did!!

for her hard beginning...start here: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6  Just click on the numbers. the posts are pretty short.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

take me out to the ballgame...

another baseball season has come and thankfully gone!  don't get me wrong...out of all the sports my kids play, this is by far my favorite.  but it is a huge time committment, especially when you have two in two different leagues.  plus, we live in the county, so our games aren't in one place.  they are all over and Limestone county is pretty wide!

we start practices in march and this year we had 4-6 practices per week between the two of them.  (and i'll admit, sometimes we skipped a few of seth's b/c no 6 year old needs to be practicing 3x a week.  i mean, hello?)  last year...before the tornadoes came through...we had a set schedule.  but that changed when some of our baseball fields got ruined and we are down a location in which to play.  that also meant less places to practice.  anyway, we made it through march and with april came our games.  TWENTY SIX OF THEM!  all over God's north Alabama creation.

this little girl was there for every practice and every game (some how we avoided them being at the same time all but once i think!) and do you know that they had the nerve to complain when i made them skip games to go to her little 1 hour end of the year preschool program?  i think i may have given them a right good guilt trip.  i've been that little girl and it's not always fun being dragged here and there, but she went and didn't say much to the contrary (unless i haven't brought the appropriate amount of snacks.  that's a different story.)

the boys did really well this year.  luke only struck out during his first game and he got hits every at bat, every game after that.  and he could really crush it!  he's actually going to baseball camp week after next from 9-2 M-TH and I hope he likes it and learns a few things because next year he'll move up into the kid pitch league.  (how did he get that old??)  he played 2nd base and really loved it and did a great job.  his team was set against several of the number one teams around the county so he got worked hard, but he never complained (they only won 2 games, bless 'em!)

seth played short stop...sort of.  it was his first year at that position and i kind of feel like no one really worked with him on what to do (plus the fact that there is a pitcher that stands right in front of him) but he did what he could and was a go-to hitter, earning the nickname of "crusher".  both coaches wondered what was so different in these kids from last season to this.  the only thing we know of is that they were a year older and had been doing kung fu for several months.  they are learning to move their bodies in different ways and their cores were stronger going into the season (which now that we're back in KF, i can tell that they lost some of that strength during baseball).  but who knows?  (i am certain it has nothing to do with the fact that their mama can still get out there and pitch to them help them with their batting stance and throw with them in the yard!)

now...for any of you mama's out there who get sick and tired of ball park food and hate burning up...i have a couple of things to talk about.

first of all...see that little red wagon and that green sportbrella? 

we have at least 4 chairs to haul around with us to any ballgame.  plus equipment (bat bags or buckets, etc.)  i'm not a pack mule.  enter the best wagon ever.  it is made of a sturdy canvas, it folds up, has a cover and two drink holders, and will pull through the deepest gravel even all loaded down.  we're going to try it at the beach this summer, too!  i found mine at Sam's, but they also have them at K-mart.  we could fit our chairs, the sportbrella, a bat bag, an activity bag, a small cooler and a picnic basket in that thing and it just kept on going!

that part umbrella-part tent it at Sam's, but you can get them most anywhere now.  SO worth it.  especially if you DO have two games in one place and don't have anywhere to cool off in between (or if the game is at 1 and you have to be there at 1230 and you won't leave until sometime after 2!)  seriously...

and lastly...out of all of those games, there were three in which we ate something from the ball park or picked up fast food.  the rest of those games (23 for those of you still reading and keeping up) i took food from home and saved a jillion dollars by doing so.  do you know that those crazy people charge at least a dollar for a bottle of water and you can buy a case of 48 at Sam's for less than $4?  it ain't rocket science folks.  i won't drone on and on about what all i took, but if you want to know, you are welcome to email me.

we made it through another year and next year they both move up in age groups.  can't wait to see how luke does learning to slide and steal bases and let kids throw balls at him (while his mama cringes.)
ps...Sam's did not pay me to endorse their store or these products, but dang it if they would send a gift card for doing so, that would be awesome b/c we shop there at least bi-weekly!!

Saturday, June 2, 2012


so...let's go back a little bit.  the beginning of this story started when my boys were in their respective 4 year old pre-K classes.  one of their field trips was to go bowling.  micah went on each of those trips because i always had a younger child or two at home when the trip came around so i didn't get to see how much my kids LOVE to bowl. 

last summer the boys spent a week with my parents while little sister and i went to camp.  during that time, aunt sherri introduced us to (you can also go to and they have a free bowling program for kids, as well.)  at both of these places you can sign your kids up and they can bowl 2 games for free every day of the summer.  did you hear that?  TWO GAMES FOR FREE EVERY DAY OF THE SUMMER!!!  people, that is quality indoor entertainment when it rains or is one thousand and sixty four degrees it tends to get in these parts say around the end of june.  you pay shoe rental and that's it.  this summer, we are signed up through both programs.  we could bowl half the day away folks.

so...that's the history.  what am i leading up to?  (man, my story telling skills are rusty!)  a few months ago, after micah's project manager at work got them together and they went out to the arsenal for some team bonding over bowling and a pizza buffet.  so the next time he had a day off and the kids were out of school, we loaded up the whole family and went bowling at the arsenal.

folks, that was a good time!  i can't lie.  the facility out there is awesome! i mean, the bumpers are in they go up and down on their own depending on who's bowling!  they even have a little alligator/dinosaur thing for little sister to use so she can bowl like a pro, too!

the pizza was as good as any buffet pizza can be and the staff was super nice and helpful.  i have to say, after this past week's experience, we were spoiled by bowling on the arsenal.  but hopefully we'll be at a little bit newer facility next week (as in one that was built in this century) and have an awesome time since we plan to enjoy some free bowling every week this summer.  give it a try!  it's good fun!

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