Sunday, August 30, 2015

Kids Week In Tennessee

The kids are home!

I did miss them, but I'll be honest and say that I really got a lot of stuff done without them here.

And, they didn't miss us at all. Oh, they made a fuss when we picked them up today--but really, we know they were beyond spoiled.

And, Mamaw was so kind to take pictures of their week--and lets just say they had an epic week!

 Visiting with Jolee and a wade in Horse Creek.

NASCAR Speed Park in Pidegon Forge. 

 Riding lawn mower fun with Papaw. (It doesn't take much to make Thomas happy)

Epic playground stop.

Tons of shopping and a visit to the salon with Mamaw.

Camp fire, hotdogs & S'mores.

And those are just the things mama got to know about.

It was a pretty awesome week for our two. And I know they are excited to visit again.

Puppy Sitting

I wasn't able to stay lonely this week without the kids. The neighbor's up the street went on a 4 day vacation and asked me to take care of their dog.  She is several years old, but tiny, so I call her a puppy.

I was supposed to let "Darkness" out twice a day and make sure she had food and water. But, I'm, a sucker. So, twice a day she came down to my house and got spoiled and petted and played with before heading back to her house.  She may have even been cuddled in the bed since I went and got her when Garren got up in the morning--which is SUPER early for a mama with no kids.

I took several cell phone pics, but she is so dark, and so fast, I only really got one to come out well.

She is precious, and the kids were slightly jealous when I texted them to let them know Darkness was in the house.

Yes, they want a puppy.

No, we are so not getting one! No matter how much Candice begs ;)

Friday, August 28, 2015

Mama Goes To Middle School

I went to drop off Gracie's middle school immunization form (proof of), and while I was there and without her, I decided to get a few things cleared up.

First, they are not allowed to wear backpacks in the hall. Backpacks are to be kept in the locker at all times and students are to carry their books from class to class. It was explained to me that there are just too many students in the hall and there is an overcrowding/danger issue with them.

Second, rising 6th graders will get their locker assignments and their combinations to try on Open House next week.  Relief for a nervous new middle school-er!

And, third, 6th graders are NOT allowed to have cell phones during the day.  They are required to leave them in their lockers during the day. I decided to ask about this one after my friend Jill was frustrated with her son's school for telling him and his classmates to use their phones for assignments.  Well, apparently teachers here do have students use their phones for certain assignments as well, but I was reassured that she would not be the only student without a phone and that teachers have computers in the classroom and/or will pair up students with phone carrying ones.

Now, she has a "phone," and by "phone" I mean my old iphone. But, basically it is a glorified MP3 player. I have no desire to turn the phone function on and get my pre-teen tethered to a device that so many of us American's are addicted to.

So, next week is Open House, and her official status as 6th grader will be cemented. Like turning on her phone, I don't know that I will ever be ready for this. Good thing she is. One of us should be.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Gone To Tennessee

This mama just drove three hours and dropped off her most precious possessions for their first solo Tennessee trip--ever.

If you are keeping score at home, this is the farthest (geographically) that my children have EVER been away from me.


2nd full week away from me this summer.
5th time EVER being away from me for 11 year old Gracie
3rd time EVER being away from me for 6 year old Thomas

We gotta stop adding to these numbers people--this mama's heart can't take it!

Now, I am well aware that Mamaw & Papaw will not only take great care of my babies, but spoil them rotten as well. But, that didn't stop me from having to choke back the tears at our half-way point goodbye.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Yorktown Tradition, Year 3

This is a tradition that can never end!

Year three of the Whitlock's & the Shipley's day trip to Yorktown Beach.

I get a little credit, as I was talking to Grace three summers ago about a list I found in an Richmond mom magazine about hidden places for kids in the area. She had been to Yorktown, but wasn't all that impressed. However, she had been to a "beach" across the bridge. Well, since that first trip--we have all been hooked! Each year it is the most relaxing, fun, perfect day of the summer just the 6 of us. We vowed after the first August trip to repeat it again annually, and we have kept that oath!  It is such an awesome day each time, and this year did not disappoint either!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Chewy Goes To Chuy's

Well, he tagged along, but we went to celebrate our neighbor Michelle (Cheyenne's mom)'s birthday.

Ordinarily Chewey is not allowed to leave the house unless it is to go to:

a) church
b) story time at the library
c) doctor/dentist office
d) grandma's house

But, you have to admit that the idea of Chewey getting to eat at Chuy's was a lot enticing.

We are glad he enjoyed it, and also that he was there to celebrate a big day!

Postcard Project Revisited

20 states left! Thank you so much to everyone who has sent Gracie, and later Gracie & Thomas postcards for our now 9+ year project. Today we plotted out all the places you've been on a large US Map, and while we practiced geography, we also learned that we have 110 postcards from 30 states and 12 countries! We love getting these postcards and learning about where you visited and what you did--so keep them coming. And, if you live in, or visit these 20 states regularly--we would love to fill in our missing areas and have all 50 marked off:

Washington (state)
New Mexico
North Dakota
South Dakota
New Hampshire 

Sunday, August 16, 2015

God Loves Chewey Too!

I had to snap a picture of these two after church today.  Thomas was so excited that Chewey was included this morning during Sunday School.  Each child was given a sticker that said "God so loved:" and then their name.  Well, Chewey was not left out.  I love it. And so does God.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Food Exceitment

It doesn't take much to excite us Shipley's.

Even if it is the bulldozed ground at the site where the Zaxby's is scheduled to be built.

We thought about standing in line and waiting, but then we decided to dine at the brand new Panda Express!!

Panda makes for one happy mama. The prospect of a Zaxby's makes for an ecstatic daddy.  And, two new fun food choices just makes the kids smile.

Sunday, August 09, 2015

Gender Reveal For Baby Shipley #3

It's a....

I didn't want to ruin the surprise in case you hadn't already seen the video on Facebook.

This afternoon's gender reveal party was everything I wanted, and I had the best time!  (Well, obviously excluding poor Gracie's meltdown).

Grace, being such an awesome friend hosted the party that I threw for myself at her house, and made it super classy and awesome.

She had the sealed envelope since our ultrasound on Tuesday.  I had the technician fill out a pre-made card, and she sealed it with lots of tape.

I lost count of how many people begged Grace to tell her what was inside BEFORE the party.  Clearly people in my life are crazy curious!

 I think I might share all the pictures from our afternoon. It was so perfect!  (well, for all of us but Gracie)

Joining The Church

Eh, it only took us 4.5 years.

As you may know we were supposed to move to Virginia Beach this summer, but when our prayers were answered and we were allowed to stay, Garren I both knew that the first thing we needed to do was officially join the church.

I have done Bible School, taught Sunday School and am the coordinator for the MCEF Children's Closet--but we never actually joined the church officially.

It was partly having to stand in front of all those people, and partly my loyalty for Strasburg. I had been waiting to go "home," for all of these years, and I knew that wasn't going to happen, and I needed to rejoice with the people who were currently caring for and loving us.

So, we did.

And, yes, we so wore coordinating outfits!

 (Officially got to check off the  "member" box this morning)