Summer in the South. I say I despise being hot… and I honestly do but I can’t think of a better time to be a Southerner than in the Summer. Alabama summers are hot and humid, yes, but the days are LONG and easy and the nights are even better. You can hear crickets chirping and watch lightening bugs and since you don't have to come in until the street lights pop on... you can stay out pretty late since it doesn't get really dark until after 8:30!. This summer has proven to be one of the best so far. We have been trying to pack in as much as we possibly can into each weekend and I would say that we are doing pretty good so far. This past weekend was a long holiday weekend to celebrate the 4th of July. The South, being patriotic, long weekends, and family… I mean all of those things just fit together perfectly.
Thursday night I decided to get all of the house work and yard work done so that we could really relax and enjoy our long weekend together. We all pitched in and got a LOT done to the yard. My parents came over to help too. My mom watched Samuel and helped move our vehicles around and my dad helped John chainsaw trees down that were damaged in the recent storms. We had several LARGE trees with damage so we needed help. We got a lot of things done in the yard that needed to be done and some things done that we just wanted to get done. I went and picked up dinner and desert for everyone and we all ate together. After that, it was pretty late and we had work the next morning so we all showered and headed to bed. I was happy though because I knew that the next day began a long and fun weekend.
Friday. At 4:30 I was literally in my car headed down the highway to get my boys picked up! I was so ready for us to all get home and get our weekend started. As soon as we pulled up to our house Samuel began asking to get his slip and slide out. OK, he got this slip n slide for his birthday back in May and it was still in the box. I know, the horror! So, I decided to be a cool mom and set it up in our side yard. The boys played on it for a few minutes and then just as quickly as the excitement came it was gone. The new had worn off. They had each hurt themselves slipping and sliding (I don’t know what they thought they were going to be doing on a “slip n slide”) and they were hungry and DONE! So, I did what any good mother would do…I took the opportunity to put this little adventure to rest. I dried them off and we went in and made one of their favorites…mini corn dogs! One day I am going to get back to cooking a meat and three vegetables and a roll (Sam and Callum’s favorite part) but just not right now! That is just a benefit of the summer: Easy Meals! So, after our feast of corn dogs and chips we decided to find a movie to watch. We all hovered around and watched a Will Smith movie (hey, Will Smith movies just go with the 4th of July!). After that Haley, Kobe, and Samuel decided that they wanted to go to my parent’s house. It was after 8:30 but it wasn’t technically dark yet so to them it was still day time. I agreed and carried them, loaded with movies, popcorn, and candy to Nana and Poppa’s house. John and I decided to indulge in a little guilty pleasure while there were no kids in the house: Glee—Season 2 arrived on Netflix that very day!
Saturday. When John and I got up we headed to my parent’s house. We had agreed to help do some housework and yard work with them on Saturday. I worked in the house helping my mom get some chores done and helping her clean and John and the kids helped outside. Once finished helping out I went and got everyone lunch and picked up a few things for the weekend and picked up each child something special for being such a big help over the past couple of days. I got Samuel Hot Wheels, Kobe Pokemon cards, and Haley had been wanting some sunglasses and a big pack of her favorite gum since she was leaving in a couple days to go to the beach with some of her family on her mom’s side. After lunch, we were tired! We all went home and decided we needed to rest. Samuel and Haley played a game together, Kobe and I watched Space Jam and John worked on his phone and new Tab. Kobe and I fell asleep for a MUCH needed nap. We all woke up just in time to shower and get ready to go to Buffalo Wild Wings for the UFC fight. We had the *best* time. We just hung out and talked and enjoyed the fights together. It was definitely a very fun night. We got home at a reasonable time and got plenty of rest for church the next day.
Sunday. Sunday morning was like every other Sunday morning. We got up and all got dressed for church and headed out the door. Except, I usually make cinnamon rolls for breakfast and we had star shaped donuts in honor of the 4th of July. They had icing and sprinkles…and were pretty good if I do say so myself. After church we decided to try two new things. 1. T-Bones Grill and 2. A Media Fast for 40 days. We had a delicious lunch at T-Bones and while we ate we discussed what fasting media would be like. We would give up our Facebook time, TV time, PlayStation/game time, and Internet time. We would replace this time that we would have spent using media with parying/conneting with God and spending more quality time as a family and getting our family,helath, and house in order. Pastor Bill gave us a little helpful brochure that gave us 40 things to do in 40 days to improve your health and on the opposite side it showed things to do instead of using “media”. The kids weren’t so thrilled. It started immediately when we got home. We normally come in from church and watch movies, play on the computer, PlayStation, and nap. So, this day was a little different. I made some goodies for our church picnic that we were going to that evening and John played Battleship with the kids. After that…my favorite part of Sunday…NAPTIME! We woke up just in time to pack our car down, get fireworks, and make it to the picnic just in time. I got baptized at the Freedom Party. I was so nervous! I am so thankful for a sweet and great friend, Rachel, who prayed for me and told me how proud she was of me. I am not a fan of water in my face so it was a big deal. Rachel’s little boy got baptized as well and he had the privilege of being baptized by his grandfather (her father). It was the sweetest moment that I believe I have ever witnessed. My good friend, Tabitha got baptized that day too and so I was glad to be able to stand with her and share that moment together. It was a very happy occasion and one that I will remember forever. After that the kids got to swim and play games and the adults did too. We talked and hung out and it was such a fun time. Samuel got into the pool (for the first time without me or John) and had such a great time. I couldn’t believe he was so good at it and wasn’t afraid at all! We had to beg him to get out just to eat! He spend the majority of the night in the pool with Kobe and Haley. Haley eventually decided to join the youth group in a game of volleyball and seemed to really have a great time. Finally, it was the moment we had been waiting for: FIREWORKS! We all lined up and sat down together and watched the fireworks and OOOHHH’d and AHHHHH’d and then John got out his surprise for all the kids: Sparklers. They had so much fun with those sparklers. As we were leaving Nana invited the kids to spend the night at her house again… they couldn’t have been more thrilled! So, John and I dropped them off and headed home with Haley. We got her all ready to leave out around 3:30 in the morning for the beach. We were all so tired but a good tired. We had a great time and knew we would rest very well.
Monday. Began at 3:00 A.M. and not because Haley was telling us good-bye either. My phone rang at 3 AM. That is not the best feeling in the world, especially when your kids are not at home. It was my mom calling to say that Samuel had a nightmare and couldn’t be consoled and wanted his mommy and daddy. I got on the phone with Sam and tried to console him and he just wasn’t having it. He wanted us and he wanted us NOW! So, since Haley was due to leave in about a half hour I stayed there to tell her good bye and John left to get Samuel picked up. Sweet Sam. Bless his little heart. He was terrified when he got home he immediately snuggled up to me and kissed me and told me he loved me. It wasn’t the way I thought my day would begin but I would take it. Haley left for the beach and we slept in a little bit. Once we were all awake we ate breakfast together and Sam brought out the Batman Cave and Joker set. My dad came and got Sam and took him back to his house and John and I decided to do one of the things on our list of suggestions from Pastor Bill. We cleaned out our closets! They look so nice now. I am so glad John motivated me to do it. It is like we got a brand new space! We hung them according to what type of shirt (and I broke mine on down into colors) and pants and separated them with shirts on the top racks and pants on the bottom racks. It is so organized and I absolutely love it. We also DEEP cleaned our kitchen and laundry room. It is so nice to walk into those rooms now. I am trying to clean (really clean, organize ,and simplify) one room a day. It is turning out nicely. After that we decided to “pal around” for a little bit and then headed to my mom’s. My mom made potato salad and baked beans, my dad grilled ribs, and we made corn on the cob and two kinds of homemade ice cream. And of course, we cut up some tomato for Kobe... you know he thinks he has to have a fresh tomato with every meal in the summer! I had never made homemade ice cream so my dad showed me how. We did it together and that was fun. After dinner was all cleaned up we had a Family Movie night with my parents and watched a HORRIBLE movie that John has been dying to see: True Grit. Well, the movie was OK but it was S-L-O-W moving. We snacked all throughout the movie on cupcakes, ice cream, popcorn and candy. After the movie we decided to pack it up and head on home. On our way we found the “cheap seats” to the fireworks display at the river and enjoyed watching some of those fireworks. I liked the spot because it wasn’t crowded…in fact only one other car was there. Everyone was happy as we made our way home and once all the sparklers had been “sparkled” and the poppers had been "popped" it was time for bed.
It was a great weekend. I think it is one we will remember for many years to come. When I think of the past few days only one song comes to mind at it is this one:
Sunday In the South by Shenandoah
Millworker houses lined up in a row
Another southern Sunday's morning glow
Beneath the steeple all the people have begun
Shakin' hands with the man who grips the gospel gun
While the quiet prayer
The smell of dinner on the ground
Fills up the mornin' air
ain't nothin' sweeter around
I can almost hear my momma pray
Oh Lord forgive us, when we doubt
another sacred Sunday in the South
A ragged rebel flag flies high above it all
poppin' in the wind like an angry cannon ball
Now the coals of history are cold and still
but they still smell the powder burning and they probably always will
and on the old town square under the barber shop pole
they set me up in the chair
when I was 4-years old
I cannot almost hear my papa say
wont you hold still son stop squirmin’ around
another southern Sunday's comin' 'round
I can almost hear the old folks say
you'll make it big one day and leave this town
it's another lazy Sunday, back around
I can feel the evenin' sun go down
and all the lights in the houses one by one go out
softly in the distance nothin' stirs about
and the night is filled
with the sound of a whippoorwill
on a Sunday in the south alright
And the Star Spangled Banner, of course! Once again... I got all caught up in the activities and took ZERO pictures.