Thursday, May 24, 2012

A Decade

Tomorrow, May 25, Eric and I will celebrate a big occasion.  Ten years and 3 sweet boys later, I still love hanging out with my best friend.  He is such a great husband and the best dad I've ever known.  I have always called him the "exception to the rule" and feel lucky to be his wife.

We plan to spend the day in New Orleans on Saturday--browsing art museums, eating the best food ever, taking a carriage ride through the French Quarter, and ending with beignets and cafe au lait at Cafe du Monde.  I am beyond excited for this big date.  Meanwhile, we are planning a bigger trip for the fall after getting settled in a home.  Big city or relaxing beach??  To be decided...

I am looking forward to the 10 years ahead together with our family and the adventures to come.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Summer is Here!!

We did it!  We actually homeschooled from March to May, and it worked.  Homeschooling was never on my radar, but when our move occurred in March it was the best option.  Since we didn't know what district we would be buying in,  Eric and I hated to start Ethan in a new school in March and possible another new school in the fall.  So I filled out the necessary paperwork (which is ridiculously easy), borrowed curriculum from my mom and sister, and jumped in.  Ethan did so great, and he actually enjoyed it.  I am so proud of him!!  I was a little worried because in GA homework was not his favorite thing to do.  I soon realized it was because he had been at school all day and was tired.  By starting first thing in the morning we had completed all subjects by lunch.  The time is so focused with only one.  I rarely was met with resistance.  He is such a good student (like his teachers have always told us).  Graham did great too.  I couldn't be as creative as his 4 day church preschool, but I tried.  He would do science and social studies with me and Ethan. I'm pretty sure he knows more about the Cherokee Indians and solids, liquids, and gases than most 4 year olds:)   I was worried that Noah would be a challenge.  Most days I read books to him and played trains while Ethan and Graham were working.  He would also sit at the table and "draw, draw".  All of them loved music which was sitting in a circle and singing fun songs.  Our version of lunch and P.E. was fun too--daily picnics at the nature center followed by the playground and playing tag. We are still not sure where we will buying a home but have narrowed it down to two areas; one with the best public schools and one where a hybrid homeschool program is our only option.  It is relieving to know if we go we option #2 I can do it and so can the boys and that it will only be 3 days at home.

Busy at work

Our daily version of P.E.

One of our science projects
But now summer is here!!  It's time for swimming, snowballs, vacation, and relaxing.

History and Symphonies

We have been on the road a good bit lately so this past weekend it was nice to stay around Jackson...  but in true Whitfield family form it was still packed with activity.  On Saturday we ventured to the MS Agriculture Museum.  It has been a REALLY long time since I have been here (junior high honors trip to be exact:)  It turned out to be a lot of fun.  The museum had a huge model train display, and my little Noah loves trains!  They also have a historic old MS town complete with a filling station, general store, doctor's office, working cotton gin, barnyard and church.  The boys were really into it.  It felt very "Southern" sitting on the porch of the general store drinking root beer out of the bottle and eating candy sticks.  The magnolias and gardenias were in full bloom--smelled delighful!

Baby birds in the 2nd gourd from the left

After the museum we drove around looking at houses (a frequent activity) and Noah fell asleep.  The nap continued at home until the late evening (poor little fella).

Ethan and Graham thought this was hilarious.  He normally doesn't take such a late nap so we knew he was going to up late.  So we googled events for the evening and found out the MS Symphony Orchestra would be playing a patriotic concert for Armed Forces Day on the historic square in Canton.  We loaded up with our picnic blanket, snacks, and drinks.  The weather was so beautiful.  The kids actually loved hearing the symphony.  Sadly, the camera battery died.  We did get a few nice iphone shots to capture the moment.

The rest of the weekend was spent swimming, playing at playgrounds, visiting churches, and just relaxing.  It's beginning to feel a little more like home around here.

A much needed mini-vacation

My mom is retiring from teaching after 32 years!!  When we were invited to her retirement banquet at her school in Atlanta we decided to make a mini-vacation out of it.  My family is always up for a trip so we threw around a few ideas.  We love the Highlands and Cashiers, NC area, but the weather did not want to cooperate with that idea.  So we headed to Sevierville, TN to the Wilderness at the Smokies.  To be honest the Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg area is not my favorite mostly because I am not a country music or Nascar fan, and I am loyal to Colorado and the Rockies.  But it turned out great.  We had a deluxe suite with plenty of room for us all with a crazy special deal since we visited during the low season.  The kids LOVED it.  And the Smoky Mountain National Park is really beautiful.  The Wilderness at the Smokies is a huge lodge with 2 outdoor water parks and an indoor water park with slides, wave pool, surfing, etc.  We would definitely go again during the low season.  The cousins had so much fun riding water slides and hanging out.  We ended the trip visiting Gatlinburg.  Of course the kids thought the tacky shops and mini-golf were awesome:)  On our drive out we stopped and played in the river in the National Park.  It was a nice ending to a really relaxing trip.

We headed back to Atlanta to celebrate my mom's retirement.  Her coworkers did such a lovely job.  There was singing, dancing, and crying.  She is going to be missed.  It was touching to see how many lives she has touched.

 A new chapter begins...

Catch up time!!

Before starting a blog I couldn't understand why some of my fave bloggers would go missing for a while.  I would think it can't be that difficult to blog on a regular basis.  I take it back now.  Life got busy.  Somehow at the end of the day uploading photos didn't sound like a good time.  I'm back, and it's time to play catch up.

Let's start with a fab party weekend in South MS.  It was bittersweet as we celebrated my nephew's 2nd birthday. My bro-in-law and family are headed to Quantico followed by flight school followed by several years all over the world.  We are proud of him but will miss them.  The weekend was also special because my mom came into town on the train to ride back to Jackson and stay for a few days.  While near the Gulf Coast we made a quick visit since she has not been back post Hurricane Katrina.  They are making progress.  The new homes are lovely but is still shocking and sad how much destruction occurred.  The kids love the water and the freedom of the beach.

Birthday Boy

Such a cute cake by Amy

Bro-in-law, Steven with new little one, Evie

Sweet girl

Sis-in-law, Amy

I'll be back!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Friday Finds for the Home

Summer Party

It is heating up here in Mississippi.  As summer approaches, I have been thinking about "cool" activities to keep us busy.  We will be spending a lot of time at the pool--that is for sure.  We have started the search for a  house here--a fun and challenging experience.  There is not a lot of variety in house style here.  When you are married to an architect, that can be an issue.  We are trying to keep an open mind knowing Eric can put his design spin on whatever we choose. A nice sized yard is important with 3 boys, and  I am drawn to a screen porch.

So while browsing Target tonight I came upon their this new casual dinnerware.  Love the colors and patterns.  It would be fun on my new screen porch:)   For a different look I am also a fan of the Moroccan casual dinnerware found here.


While speaking of parties--we are headed to my in-laws this weekend for my nephew's 2nd birthday party.  His cousins are excited!  We are ready for pool time, food, and games.