Sunday, November 29, 2015

Advent Week 1

I can not tell you how excited I was that we were asked to the family to light the first candle of the Advent season this year.

I vaguely remember doing it as a child with my family, but I had been hoping that I could do it as a mama each year when I see the families go up at church.

I didn't know how to get "on that list," so I never asked.  So, you can imagine I practically yelled "yes!" when our new associate pastor called the house last week and wanted to know if we were willing.

Now, you people know me, so you know I had to plan our outfits. And, I did score big on that. But, just because I like to make us look matchy-matchy, doesn't mean that all 4 of us didn't know what we were doing and why.

It was a special moment for me as a person, and a special moment as mom, and something very special that we participated in as a family.

I asked my friend Nikki, who has done a great deal of stealth church photography for me for several special occasions this year (you all know I am "that mom!") to take the DSLR for me again, and once again she did awesome!

We even did family pictures after.

This was a special Sunday that I will never forget.

 ***Ignore my shoes, I am 9 months pregnant and they aren't fitting into anything dressy! I'm lucky I fit in that dress!***

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Chewey Is Out Of Surgery

Chewey is out of surgery and in recovery with his human bu his side.

A hysterical little boy ran to way to close to bedtime to report that Chewey had lost an eye.  And, I am not exaggerating when I say hysterical.  These two are inseparable even at age 6--and any injury or potential harm to Chewey is a BIG DEAL.

Mommy put Thomas in the "waiting room" and went back for surgery. Daddy gave him his stuffed bear from when he was little to keep him company while he waited.

It didn't take long and he was once again reunited.

It was a "close call," but Chewey has had several of those over his lifetime, and each time Doctor Mommy has been able to fix him all up!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Thanksgiving Not-A-Party

Because baby brother already put his mark on this day, I couldn't be with big brother at school for his"not a party" for Thanksgiving.

Thanks to new food regulations this year, parties and celebrations have to be reinvented. 

I didn't volunteer to be a room mom for the first time EVER this year, as I knew it wasn't fair to commit with a baby on the way.  But, one of the room moms was my co-room mom last year and knew how much I was missing it, so she invited me to come and do a craft.

Well, my OB wouldn't budge on cancelling my appointment and I couldn't move it.

I was thankful that the same room mom took a picture of my handsome and texted it to me. Not the same as being there--but it was a nice surprise.

T Minus 22 Days

Time is definitely dwindling. 

People keep asking if I am ready.

No, I am not ready. I don't think I ever will be. Every time I cross something off my massive "before the baby gets here" list, I add 2 more things.

I guess you are never really prepared for motherhood--so I will have to do what I do with the two I have now: adapt and overcome.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Thomas' Time Line Project

It was Thomas' turn!

Gracie had to do the same project when she was in 1st grade with Miss. Anderson,

This mommy was so excited to get to help make a timeline of her little man's life.

Thomas picked out the events that were most important to him, and I printed pictures at Walgreens and then we made the coolest time line ever!

He did the gluing and all the writing himself, I just helped add that special "crafty" touch.

He will present his timeline to the class at some point this month.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Little Disapointments

Jeff isn't the champion.

Thomas, like his father before him,
and his father before him have all rooted for number 24.

This was Jeff Gordon's last race and he had a chance to win it all and take home 5 National Championships.  But, he came up short.

I'm not sure who was more devastated: Jeff Gordon, daddy, Papaw.... or Thomas.

I snapped a picture of the very sad 6 year old racing fan, and I put it on Facebook.

One comment-er said something about life disappointments being worse, and it made me think.

Yes, a professional driver losing a race is small in comparison to world hunger and unemployment. It's not even a blip on the radar in most people's lives that are full of downs and frustration.

But, he is 6.  I have no plans to rush his world along by pointing out how meaningless one highly paid man coming so close to winning it all before retirement is compared to all the horrors in the world.

I have learned over the years that I am in the minority for many, many things in parenting.  I helicopter, I shelter, I coddle--I do so many things that today's parents cluck their tongue at--and maybe I am doing it "wrong," but I am doing what is best for me and my family.  And, life is hard people--super hard. It is bitter and cold and lonely and full of so much hate and inequality.  Wouldn't you rather go back to a time when you didn't have to think or worry about life's disappointment?  When the biggest let down was no desert, or an early bedtime, or your favorite player losing the game?  There will be time for the big stuff. He will learn that sports are "fun," but not a real concern in his world one day. But for now, I have no problem that he feels sad for a man he has never known, will never know, but has rooted for since he was old enough to understand NASCAR.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Friday Night No Siblings Night

It was a super great night for Gracie, and a pretty nice night for Thomas.

Gracie had been invited by 4th & 5th grade best friend Clara (who now goes to a different middle school than Gracie :( To go with her and her mom to the local production of the Sound of Music. 

Well, when Gracie found out about a girls night, she was over the moon.  I made sure to take my camera out when these two girls saw each other for the first time in many, many months.

They have been talking about middle school life and consoling each other since September via the phone, but their in-person reunion was priceless!

So, while the girls were out having a fun Friday night, Thomas got a night all to himself--and without a sister to harsh his mello.

Daddy ordered Thomas' favorite: Taco Bell and we watched a movie and played his new favorite game Muppet Yatzee.

Now, Gracie was up until after 10 as the production was a long one, but Thomas was only up sightly later than his weekend bedtime.

We need to plan more nights like this. Of course with a new sibling coming, it will be even harder for one-on-one parent time.

Highest GPA!

Oh by the way mom...

I got 2 awards today at the Wizard's social.


I sent in food for the social, but since it is at the end of the day I couldn't come to school because I have to get Thomas off the bus.  Well, apparently the "social" is their way of celebrating the end of the 9 weeks and to honor top students.

Not only did she bring home an award for getting all A's, but she also earned one for having the highest grade point average in her Language Arts class!!!  I am so proud! I mean I am always proud--but this is pretty awesome!

Way to go Gracie, I am so sorry I wasn't there to see it in person!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Last Wednesday Night Teaching

Tonight was my last night teaching the Wednesday night 1st & 2nd graders, and I'm glad I had the experience.

Of course when the session begins again in January, they will have to do it without me, but I am sure more people will step up to the pate.

I typically had 4-5 kids each week, and they were fun.  Exhausting, but fun.

This week we talked about the armor of God and I found some fun things for the kids to do to help them remember--like making their own shields.

And, since one child missed last week, I had to make sure that she was included in the photo opportunity they all had to show they were children of God. I put all the pictures together in one collage.

Another sticker for me. I am proud that I put myself out there and took advantage of the opportunity.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Happy Birthday Patrick & Peyton

Happy Birthday Patrick & Peyton!!

(and thanks for inviting Bryce too--because I miss him like crazy!) 


New Sunday School Class--Still Helping

It was my first Sunday as helper in the "big" kids class today.  Now that Thomas is in 1st grade, he is in the first thru 5th grade Sunday School class--and guess who the semi-permanent teacher is?!!

Mrs. Jo!!

I loved getting to help her and see my Thomas with the big kids.  His friends Rebecca & Rosie were in the class with him today, and it made him seem less "small."

Crossing the Jordon River

Friday, November 13, 2015

40+ Days Of Survial

We may have had a frustrating middle school week(s!!!), but today we are celebrating their survival!

One 9 weeks down, 3 more to go.

Usually we don't make a big deal about report cards (because I am seriously suppressing MY issue with THEIR grades)--but we made an exception tonight.

Not only had Gracie (and mama) survived 40+ days of this nightmare known as middle school--but she finished it with all A's!!  She was sure she was going to flunk everything, and she saw that she could still shine beyond the turmoil.

We are super proud of our Gracie!

And, we are proud of our Thomas too. He got an excellent report card too. He doesn't get grades yet, but all "S's" are as good as all "A's" in first grade.


Thursday, November 12, 2015

Middle School Mom Frustration

Can't wait to make it a whole week WITHOUT a Middle School meltdown!

Babies I can do,
sleepless nights I have handled,
every illness kids can bring home from school I have conquered,
broken bones in BOTH children I have survived,
I have earned stickers for refereeing sibling rivalry,
 unraveling green-eyed monsters

--but this middle school nightmare is by far the hardest challenge for me as a mom.


I love surprise school visits. 

And, by "surprise" I mean not because mama forgot something! :)

I needed to drop something off in the teacher's lounge today, and Thomas' class happened to be outside for recess.  Photo (and hugs) opportunity!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Veteran's Day 2015

Happy Veteran's Day from The Shipley Family to:

Uncle Brian.....Marines

Cousin Isaac...Marines

Cousin DJ ......Air Force

Cousin Ryan....Air Force

Saturday, November 07, 2015

Home Depot For Veteran's Day (Week)

This was one of the cutest wooden projects we have done!

Veterans' Day jets!!

There was no budging Thomas from using his sticker pack to make and Army plane, but Gracie knew that a Marine plane was the best way to go since Isaac is currently serving as a Marine (in Japan) and Uncle Brian was a Marine too.

Their cousin's DJ & Ryan recently enlisted

in the Air Force, and there were Air Force stickers, but like I said, there was no convincing him not to use his favorite color: green.

Friday, November 06, 2015

Mommy Fails Again

I didn't even make it a full week before I had to return to elementary school.

Yup, I failed again.

I am thinking that I am going to have to get used to it--but I really don't want to.

I had his lunch packed, his snack packed, his water bottle, I remembered the library book.

But, I forgot the homework folder.

Good thing I came in. Thomas was not only relieved, but he received his (fake) $1 for turning in his homework on time.

Parenting is hard. It is harder with half a brain.

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Mommy Fails

I am having a LOT of those lately!

In the past few months I have forgotten:

permission forms, field trip money, to make dinner, to thaw meat for dinner, library (school) books, homework folders, Thursday folders and so much much more.

So, you would think that when Thomas' teacher called me from her cell phone this morning to tell me I had forgotten Thomas' snack that I would have rolled with it.

Nope, each time I fail my children it hits me hard. And that feeling doesn't dissipate.

Garren says that my "pregnancy brain" was this bad or worse with the last two, but right now it feels so amazingly out of control.  Me not finding my keys, or forgetting to actually push the button to start the dryer is one thing, but letting my kids down is excruciating to me.

I think all moms experience "mommy guilt" regardless of how many kids they have, but mine is really raw right now.

I rushed into the shower and hurried a baggie of Cheese-Its over to my 1st grader.  And, no, the teacher would not have called me over a snack, except she said he was on the boarder of tears.

The crisis was resolved and he got his snack and an extra hug from mom.  And, besides the fact that he wanted me to stay with him at school today, I left him (and Chewey) with smiles.

Parenthood is hard, motherhood is really hard, and mommy failures are excruciating on a mommy heart....and unfortunately, a part of life.

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Our New Favorite Game

I scored this Muppet's Yatzee game at Goodwill this week for $2.

It looked cute and I thought the kids would enjoy it.  I had no idea how much!  We all 4 played it last night (as Daddy is a Yatzee expert and I don't think I have ever played).

Well, it didn't take long to catch on, and Thomas fell in love with the game. I think something about shaking stuff and slamming it down on the table appealed to him ;)

He begged Gracie and I to play it with him tonight and we obliged. Daddy was busy at work with election returns, but we had to text him when Thomas not only got a "Yatzee," but won the game.

After dinner he still had 20 minutes before shower so he asked for another round.  Gracie was done, but mommy played with him, and sure enough the little stinker won again!

 I think this might quickly become our go-to family game.

Election Day 2015

Daddy is back in politics just in time for Election Day. But, really, I don't think it would matter.  He has ingrained in us the duty to always vote!

We hope you took time to do the same...or someone quilted you...which ever works ;)

Meanwhile I have to share this gem from Thomas' parent/teacher conference yesterday:

Thomas was the only kid in his 1st grade class who knew what Election Day was. So his teacher tells me she allows him to explain to the class: "it's when the Elephant team and the Donkey team have a race to see who wins."

Parent/Teacher/Bryce Day

The kids were out of school today, so Grace and I made a plan to let our boys have as much of the day together as possible.

And, we were true to our word!

I took the kids to her house and made my conference with Mrs. Tapper at 9:30, and then I hung out with all 4 kids while she took her conference with Mrs. Houston.

Before she returned from the school we were up to 6 kids total for a day of fun.

Bryce, Emmy, Taylor, Chase, Gracie & Thomas all had a blast playing together at the Whitlocks and then loading up for fun at the bowling alley--which we had practically to ourselves!

2 bowling games, a plate of cheese fries, 2 pitchers of drink, 8 token each and we called it a morning.

We headed back to Bryce's house for lunch and more fun in the very hot sun.

I knew it was supposed to be warm, but that sun was intense!

It wasn't long before all the kids were hot, tired, and starting to get a little cranky. But, the day was a success and those best buds soaked up every minute they could with each other.