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Saturday, July 25, 2009

So, there IS such thing as a free lunch?

Unreal. We met a friend for a play date recently at the Jessamine Early Learning Village playground here in Wilmore. Around 11:30 A.M., a lady entered the pavilion and started setting up some food. My friend informed me that every week day until the end of July, children under the age of 18 could come between 11:45 and 12:45 and receive a free lunch. No joke! This town is full of little surprises like that. It's like God just throws little prizes at us every once in a while that are so unexpected. Evidently, the Learning Village has a government grant because of the amount of free lunches that they serve during the school year. So basically, the gvt. pays for free lunches to continue throughout the summer, too. You just basically show up with your children, and they are served! No questions even asked!!!!! The lady there said that over the past wk they had served 20 ish kids during the day--I guess numbers had dwindled in July. Crazy! Needless to say, Jon David, Luke and I stayed. In their lunches was a PB and J uncrustable, a fruit cup, chips of their choice, a cheese stick, baby carrots, crackers, a cookie, and their choice of juice or milk or chocolate milk--sorry for the extensive menu. I just couldn't get over it, as you can see.
Now, I realize that technically, the lunch is not free. I know that taxes pay for this. But I gotta tell ya, it's nice to be on the receiving end. It's interesting to be on the other side of government programs. I've never been big into politics, but I'm thankful for what we are benefitting from right now.

What else? Well, I'll be 35 wks on Monday... hard to believe. My belly is starting to feel a little cumbersome. I cleaned one of our bathrooms today, and let's just say that the tub was definitely more of a challenge than it normally is. Gestational diabetes has not turned out to be that big of a deal, thankfully. I have gotten used to it--more or less. I still have my moments, though, like when I drive by Bruster's... or Dairy Queen, or the other day at Panera Bread when Don was eating a chocolate croissant, and the boys were boys eating chocolate chip cookies... Yea, that was a hard one.

Today, Don said "Jon David, your attitude stinks." Jon David retorted (and yes, he was being sassy) "I don't smell anything." Wendy, I think Don's "better than being a dumb alec" (sp?) quote has finally come back to bite him...

We are staying busy with Don's school, the boys' swim lessons, and getting settled into the new house--which we really like!! Hopefully, we will tackle the baby's room soon. Don has also kept busy helping one of his friends out with youth week at his church.

I have to throw in a quick blurb about the weather, too. I don't think the temperature has gotten above mid 80s since we have been back from Georgia. In fact, Wed of this wk, it rained, and we went with Don to the youth even that night. We were in an outside, covered pavilion. I had on a T-shirt, capris, my poncho, and Don's rain coat over mine, and I was still cold. COLD!!! Yes, you read correctly! I think the temp dipped under 70! It was probably 7 P.M. ish. Ha! Yes, swim lessons were canceled. There is a part of me that is very annoyed that we are not able to enjoy going to the pool ALL the time, and that the boys shiver their little backs and booties off during their evening swim lessons sitting on the edge of the pool. However, how perfect is it that this "unusual Kentucky summer" (according to the locals) happened to arrive during the one summer of my entire life when I am pregnant! Thank you, Lord! Again, another unexpected blessing. I need to work on being more grateful, and less whiny. I'm just such a sucker when my kids don't seem perfectly content... Yea, I know, I need to get over it. :)
OK, another interesting aside: When we first moved to CO, we proceeded to have the worst winter that they had had in years and years (we had several crazy blizards back to back, and snow fall reached record levels). So we move to KY at the end of Jan of this yr. in a snow and ice storm: same thing. Everyone says "oh, this is the worst winter we have had in years!" And now the summer... And I have also heard that we may be in for another bad winter. Oh well, only God knows. But all I gotta say is, wherever we move next, watch out! On the bright side, if we move to FL, maybe you guys would be in for a nice break from the heat! :)

Well, I'm not used to posting w/o pics. I figure a sabatical might not be bad, since I have a sneaking suspicion that in a little over a month, we might be flooding blog posts with pics again. I can't imagine why? ...

Later!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Recap: the fourth and more

OK, before I officially start this post, I would like to make a statement about blogging. I realize that to some, our life might seem pretty dang hunky dory most of the time. True confession: would I really like you to think that? Well, yea, kinda. The real truth: it's not always that way. Other real truth: God is good, and I give Him full credit for the good that happens in our life. You take a situation like what happened to the Prathers -- my sis and bro-in-law's good friends from Georgia who died in a car wreck -- and there is literally no way to make sense out of stuff like that in my mind. Why do we have such a different life? I have no idea. But I accept it as a gift from God, praying and hoping that He will continue to give me that precious gift.
Um... we had an awful parenting moment on the long drive home from Columbus, GA. But I have decided not to go into detail about it, since my children are getting old enough to be embarrassed by strangers and even family or close friends recounting what we might think is a hilarious story about them. Anyway, know that we have our moments too. Our family is FAR from perfect. But I am going to save my child from potential mortification (is that a word?).

Official beginning of post :): It's hard to believe that we've been back in Wilmore almost two weeks already. Our trip down South was very memorable. We had such a great time with all of the friends and family that we were able to see. We ended with a bang--literally. The jeep ran into a tree. I think it did it all by itself! Can you believe it? One of the fenders over a wheel came all the way off, and the license tag came off too. Right now it's being held on by duct tape. I think this makes us official red necks. :) For real, though, mad props to my husband for keeping his cool when this happened. It happens to the best of us, and I was amazed at his self-control.
All fender-benders barred, our trip could not have gone any better. We LOVED all of the relaxing time we had as a family. We came back feeling very refreshed, and ready to hit the ground running again--which we did: we started moving into our new rental within 3 days of our arrival. But first, a few more recap pics as a farewell to Mimomo and Bepops. Aside from JD's unique choice of expression, the following pic is of Mom's newest addition to her front porch area: the bistro table that she has been looking to get for a while. It's very cute!

The last week-end that we were there, Bepops put up the tent in their wooded area in the backyard. The boys LOVED it of course! It was so much fun for them to set up the inside with a sleeping bag, flashlights, etc... Bepops even extension corded a box fan out there for them. I don't think they know the meaning of "roughing it" yet. :)

And of course, we had to do a few small fire works for the fourth. We also enjoyed an evening meal with the Verdier, who arrived just in time for the celetration. It was great to see them.


Below: Bepops jumping to avoid an explosion. :)


OK, Mel, this pic's you: The following pic was taken by an anonymous photographer. Don and I were holding sparklers. But because of the way the pic is carefully cropped, we simply look like we would like to lead you in the Caulley version of "We are the world"--that will be my only Michael Jackson reference in this blog. :) I mean, can you say "Tah dah!! Here is the Caulley fam?" :)



We arrived safely back in Wilmore on Sunday evening. Don started Greek classes the very next day, and thanks to our landlord giving us our new house key on Tuesday, we started moving boxes immediately (well, Don did--no, I did not do any heavy lifting). It was possibly one of the smoothest moves we have had, believe it or not. I think part of it was that we already had a lot boxed up (from before our trip, and in storage, etc...) and also that we did not necessarily have to box everything up. And since our big move day was Saturday, it was so nice to have three whole days before hand to just move stuff over. I would put stuff in boxes, and Don would move them over there in the evenings during the boys' swim lessons. Wed, Thur, and Fri mornings, I went over there and got the kitchen done with shelf paper, etc... By the time Saturday came, the kitchen was pretty much done already. That helped a lot!!!! And a HUGE thanks to the people who showed up to help with the actual move on Saturday, and to my two friends who kept the boys during the day for me that day, too. That helped soooo much!

The boys have been loving going to the YMCA pool in the next town over. They have also been taking swim lessons there in the evening.


Don came with us to the swim lessons tonight. Unfortunately, right before Luke's lesson, Luke must have swallowed too much water or something. He lost his soft taco dinner that he had so much enjoyed...you guessed it, IN the pool. They had to evacuate the pool, and cancel all of the 6:45 lessons. I felt so bad. By the time Jon David's lesson came, though, everyone was back on schedule.

Friday, July 3, 2009

T-town, and intro to fire works!!
















Don and I mosied over to Tuscaloosa for old time's sake for a few days. Mom and Dad kept the boys. It was GREAT! I quickly fell into making plans as a no-kids wife again. It was a nice break. I really missed them, though. I think Luke having been sick the day before we left made me miss them even more. But Mom said they didn't even get sad once! Amazing. I wasn't sure whether to wish they had missed me more, or to just appreciate the time away... Well, OK, the time away was wonderful. THANKS SOOOOO MUCH, MOM AND DAD! We had a great time visiting with friends, going to church. Memories came flooding back of so many different times and events that have helped shape us there. Good times. I kind of regret not taking more pics, though!



When we came back, we went to dinner at Tim and Sarah's house. Tim is the youth minister at Chattahoochee Valley Church. They are so sweet. The food was great, and they had even bought fire works to entertain the boys! Jon David and Luke have seen a fireworks show before, but never the "real" kind that you do on the driveway. You know, the kind where you hold the sparklers, throw the noisy ones on the ground, etc... It was fun watching them discover that. Except for the beginning when the first "eyeball" really freaked Jon David out. I think he was afraid it was going to get him. He was standing off by himself, and couldn't get to one of us without walking right past it. The look on his face was sheer panic. It was kinda hard not to laugh, actually. :) Daddy took charge and helped him get over it. Sweet boy.

At the end of the "show," everyone got a sparkler. Sarah had bought a lot. BeePops accidentally lit the last bunch at once. It was funny. Way to go BeePops! :)
Oh, and to top the evening off, I got stung by a wasp on the ear. Ouch! Sorry, Mel, no interestingly red and swollen ear shots. Heehee.

On Thursday, we went swimming at one of Mom's friend's houses again. The boys are really beginning to get comfortable in the water. Luke has started swimming too! I am really proud of him. It's a small step, but at least he's heading in the right direction. Jon David enjoys swimming to an adult, retrieving objects from the bottom of the pool, and most recently, attempting to dive in from the edge. You can see this in one of the pics. He hasn't quite gotten it yet. But we're proud anyways, of course.
There is one random pic of Jon David hanging from a rope--that is at Mom and Dad's church playground.

video

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Fun times at Mimomo and BePops'
















We have had SUCH a great time in Columbus. The boys have loved playing with all of Mimomo's toys--the ones that we had when we were little (little legos, playmobile, lincoln logs, transformers, agravation, and little people...) and newer ones too. They have loved playing in the bouncy fun slide/pool in the back yard, that Mom and Dad borrowed from church, and running through the sprinkler. Not to mention exploring the woods, playing in the shed in the back yard, and playing hide-and-seek inside!

During the first full week that we were here, Chattahoochee Valley Church had something called Super Camp for first graders and up (through fifth I think). Jon David surprised me and went from the first day to the last! He loved it. They had a youth group from Tennessee helping out. The atmosphere seemed really good. There was a good teen to child ratio. They had indoor games, bible stories, and crafts in the morning; then lunch; then a movie; and water games in the afternoon--by far Jon David's favorite. Mr. Benny, the children's minister, is amazing. For the water games, they had kiddie pools, noodles, water balls, a gynormous (one of Luke's new favorite words) water slide--JD's fav of the water stuff-- and even a water balloon catapult. Jon David had a blast. Unfortunately, Luke was too young to go, but Mom and I found other things to do with him during the day. We went swimming at two different pools--thanks to Mom and Dad's Chattahoochee Valley church friends!!!! They both really enjoyed themselves. Before Jon David made the decision to go to Super Camp, he said to Luke " It's up to you, Luke, if I go to Super Camp or not." (I had told him that Luke might be sad if he went.) Luke said "Oh, sure, of course" -- implying of course he would be OK. :)

Jon David declared that it was "the best super camp ever." Mr Benny, if you happen to read this, THANK YOU SOOOO MUCH!!! He came home singing songs like "peel, banana, peel peel banana..." and "the fruit of the spirit's not a watermelon, etc..." Mrs. Belinda, I don't know what we would have done without you, either!

BTW, the last pic of Luke eating pizza is from one of the days that we went swimming during Super Camp. Luke befriended a sweet girl named Amaya. Their personalities are so much alike (easy going and calm), that they barely talked to each other at all for the first thirty minutes of swim time. After a pizza lunch, however, they warmed up to each other. Luke came up with a game, explained the rules to Amaya, and proceeded to tell her that since he came up with the game, he got to start. At the end of the game, he declared himself the winner. (The game consisted of seeing who could squeeze in a small area of the pool. They made the area smaller and smaller, and since Luke is smaller, he won.) It cracked me up that even though she is two years older, he asserted himself and took charge. It was almost like since Jon David wasn't there to be the "it" man, Luke filled in. :)

Summertime, and the livin' is easy!!















So on Saturday, we continued on our South traveling ventures to Columbus, GA. Monday morning, we headed to Callaway Gardens. There was so much to do there! First, we went swimming in the lake and ate our picnic lunch; then put-put golf (Luke's favorite); then the Circus!!; and finally the butterfly pavilion. We had so much fun. Thanks Mom and Dad!!!!!!!

Spoiled by grandparents, and lovin' it!!!

Multiple posts ahead!! Having trouble with getting the pics in the right order... Not sure how else to do this.







After our time at the beach, we headed back to Grandma and Grandaddy's for a few more days. Grandma bought a pool, complete with goggles and water guns. And Grandaddy bought the movie Bolt--Jon David's new favorite. According to Luke, it was the "best day EVER"!!
They had a great time swimming and watching. Don and I got spoiled too. The last night we were there, we went to see some good friends--Vincent and Angela, and their three boys. Jon David and Luke stayed with Grandma and Grandaddy. It was a treat to be out on our own for an evening. Thanks for spoiling us Grandma and Grandaddy!!

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