Sunday, January 30, 2011

Sarah's 11!

Sarah's birthday is January 3rd. This year, on January 3rd, the flu was still running rampant through our home, so we postponed the party until the following weekend.

By the next weekend, everyone was healthy and ready for a "Sock Hop!" We had plans for a '50's party with milkshakes and poodle skirts. Of course, being the procrastinator that I am, I had not yet started the poodle skirts... as of a few days before!

The day before the party, my mom called to tell me that Tootie was not doing well. Although we had plans to go to Memphis on Sunday, she encouraged me to go ahead and come see her. From Christmas to now, her health had begun to decline more and more rapidly. I grabbed a change of clothes, my sewing machine, and 5 unfinished poodle skirts, and hit the road for Memphis.

I am so thankful that I went. It was evening before I arrived, and I was able to spend some time with her before she went to bed. That night I enjoyed time with my mom while we finished the skirts together. In the morning, I got to visit a little with Tootie, and then I ran back home to shop and decorate for the party.

The girls looked so cute in their skirts, and I really think I missed my decade... I totally could have enjoyed skirts with petticoats, heels, and pearls... and aprons! :)

We started off the afternoon with some hula-hooping!

Marta (above) and Sarah (below) were hula experts!
Next, the girls divided into two groups and came up with a lip-sync to an oldie... One group performed "Ain't Nothin' but a Hound Dog," and the other performed "Lollipop!"Above: AnnaBeth leading the way with the Hound Dog group! Below: Hannah during the "Lollipop" presentation!

Ready for some refreshment, we took a break and had milkshakes... complete with whipped cream and cherries!

As if that was not enough sugar, we indulged in a cake that Sarah had made earlier in the week! My friend Sandy invited her over to make a birthday cake. They kept the '50's theme and made the Barbie mold with a poodle skirt! It was SO amazing!

After cake, Sarah opened presents with her friends. Then we spent the rest of the afternoon visiting, doing the twist, and playing some board games.

Happy Birthday, Sarah!

Christmas 2010

Warning: If you are bored by superfluous pictures of other people's kids, move on to the next blog! Remember, my blog is also my online "scrapbook," serving to relieve the Creative Memories Guilt that plagues me.... which is another reason I have no problem posting about things that happened months ago!

This year on December 22, I went on a long run. I ran 11 miles in "need to relieve some stress mode," and when I got home, I was pooped. I started working on a quilt for Scott's mom with the girls, but my legs were just killing me, and my head was hurting. Well, I knew I had run hard and was probably dehydrated, but this was a bit ridiculous. Finally at bedtime, I took my temperature. Yep. It wasn't the run... I had a fever... and this mama RARELY runs a fever. (Probably because my normal is 96 or 97!)

The next day, I was still running fever, and we continued to work on the quilt as I was able. However, the pressure was beginning to mount. I had to get well. Must. Get. Better.

You see, we were supposed to head to Memphis on Christmas Eve to spend Christmas at my parents' house. Since Tootie was there, I really wanted to be healthy. Also, we were going to have a family get-together on Dec. 26th with cousins and extended family... Tootie had expressed her delight at the idea of having us all get together for Christmas like we used to, and I didn't want to be the family member to mess it up!

On Christmas Eve, I still had a bit of a fever. Tootie and my parents said come anyway... they would rather take their chances. It was never spoken, but we all knew that it was most likely going to be Tootie's last Christmas, and she wanted to have us and the kids there. We loaded everything into the van, and headed to Memphis!

Hillary and Adam were there with their children, and we had our traditional Christmas Eve spread of cookies, cookies, rocky road treats, cookies, chicken dip, cookies, sausage balls, and cookies. That's what I had anyway! I think other people might have had some sandwiches or something also....

Speaking of Christmas traditions, one tradition we have developed is the tradition of Hannah Duley being the tradition reminder. She is a stickler for tradition, I am terribly absent minded, and Scott can be sort of anti-tradition at times. It works well!

So, she straightened us out on our tradition of receiving one present from mom and dad, exchanging gifts with the Pitt family, and Duley kids exchanging with each other. On Christmas morning kids would get to open presents from us and from Mimi and Papa.

The kids were so excited to open their one, super special present from us on Christmas Eve. Josh just KNEW it was something spectacular.

I had gotten them all a pair of new pajamas. (which were badly needed by the boys!) Josh was SO excited about opening on e on Christmas Eve that the Robert Crosier in me just couldn't resist a little practical joke. I wrapped up his pajamas inside his new math workbook! His little face was crestfallen when he thought his super special gift was a new math book, but
when he saw that dragon pajamas were part of the gift, everything was great! You see, this was the year of dragons and Lego at our house!
Will and Josh modeling their new PJ's!

Group shot with all the grand kids... Josh, Will, Hannah, Evelyn, Sarah, Andrew, and Levi front and center. They have so much fun together!

We couldn't think of anything for Tootie, but we decided that she might actually use and enjoy a snuggie! As much as I have made fun of them over the years, the idea had grown on me. Most of her day was spent reading or watching television, and she usually had a blanket pulled up around her shoulders. She was pleased, and used it quite a bit over the next few weeks!
Sarah made Scott a pair of East Union slippers for Christmas. I have made countless pairs of slippers, but never a pair for him! Sarah took up my slack, and he loved them!
I also got a pair of slippers... Hannah got me a pair of slipper boots that I had seen and LOVED in the mall. One night while we were in Barnes and Noble with some girls, she and Sarah sneaked across the "hall" in the mall and got them for me! They feel like soft rabbit fur!
Scott and his Girls

Evelyn is 4 years old now, and she is at the princess dress up age! She got a trunk of dress up clothes from Mimi and Papa, and wore a different princess outfit each time we saw her!
Mom and Levi reading a new book

After opening gifts, Adam and Hillary took their kids home for the evening. We stayed up and watched Holiday Inn... or was it White Christmas? Lol, we kept getting them mixed up all weekend! Regardless, we enjoyed an old Christmas movie with eggnog and more cookies before going to bed.

On Christmas morning, we came downstairs and the kids opened gifts from us and from Mimi and Papa!

Hannah and Sarah displaying their PJ's and rainboots... an interesting combination!
As we opened gifts, Scott couldn't keep his eyes off the backyard. He had spent the first week of Christmas break hunting once or twice each day, and we did NOT have a freezer full of deer meat to show for it. Now, in my parents' neighborhood, we saw a herd of deer! It was too much to bear. He went out back to get one... but then decided (very sweetly) that it would be better to spend time with us than spend the whole morning cleaning a deer!
We got several board games this year... Bananagrams is great! Hannah, mom, and I especially love it!
Later in the morning, the Pitts came back over for our traditional large Christmas breakfast of sausage/pancake bake, shrimp 'n grits, and breakfast casserole! Yum!

After breakfast, we cleaned up, dressed, and headed over to the Duleys for Christmas! When we arrived, we found out that Sharon was sick. Poor Sharon! She had a stomach bug and slept the entire time we were there. It was wonderful, but just not the same without Grandmama Sharon! We all missed her, especially the kids! For whatever reason, I did not have my camera, and without Sharon, now I have no pictures from Christmas with the Duleys!! I hate it when I do that! We ate a huge Christmas dinner and hung out with Bobby, Brian and Kevin for the day and evening.

The next afternoon, all of my mom's family gathered to celebrate Christmas with Tootie. Our kids love their cousins, and I wish I did a better job of getting them together more often. When we do see each other, they all just pick right up and have a great time together!

Milo, Roman, Josh, and Will

All of Tootie's great grandchildren...
Evelyn, Chloe, Andrew, Hannah, Sarah, Levi/
Milo, Will, Josh, Roman

Our last family picture with Tootie... This was a bittersweet evening, and I really missed Pepa.
It was nice to get to visit with everyone. On the down side, Will and Josh were both feeling poorly. That night when we arrived home, they were both running fever. I just hoped we didn't infect the entire family. Mom, Dad, and Tootie stayed well, but Hillary's family passed it around the following week. She did not hold it against us, though, and was glad we had come. Thank goodness for an understanding sister!

Kevin went home with us in order to spend the next week deer hunting, and Kay came up to celebrate Christmas with us on Monday. Little did she know that she would spend the week patrolling the sick ward! Kay always seems to be a lifesaver like that! I was still a little puny, and Will and Josh were sick. Josh recovered quickly, but Sarah and Hannah went down soon after. In the room of hacking, feverish, sometimes vomiting kids, it seemed inevitable that Kay and Kevin would catch the flu! Thankfully, they both managed to escape it!

Kay loved her quilt... even though it was unfinished! With me not feeling well, it got pieced but not quilted. Now, it can be a truly collaborative effort of 3, not 2, generations! We were all thrilled with our gifts from she and John. They got Scott a "big boy" cot for camping... it turned out to be a blessing, because we set it up in the living room, and it became part of our sick ward! I can't wait to go camping this summer and put it to outdoor use!

I did it again. This time, with the sickness going around the house, I neglected to pull out the camera, and I don't have pictures from this part of Christmas either! So, Nana, that just means you need to come back really soon. We will maybe actually feel like smiling for the camera!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Football Banquet

Scott had his football awards banquet on December 18th. We had a delicious BBQ dinner, a slide show, and presentation of awards. He did a great job on the awards, and he is VERY fortunate to have a booster club that does everything for him! They all worked so hard, and the evening turned out great. At the end of the night, they gave him a nice black jacket to wear next season! (UC football colors are black and white!)

After the banquet, I had us take Christmas card pictures... because it was my INTENTION to send cards this year... it never happened... back to that chronic over-planning thing... Maybe next year. So, Merry Christmas from the Duleys... a month late!


Coffee Shop / recital

The next week, Hannah got to spend two days baking her birthday cake with my friend Sandy. She picked out a design that looked like a Christmas gift... it turned out unbelievably well!

Saturday morning, we met a bunch of Spartan girls at the coffee shop for cookie decorating. It was a fun morning!


The girls enjoy getting chances to visit with each other... that was just as fun as decorating the cookies!

After decorating cookies, we went home with a van overflowing with girls for cake and a violin recital! My mom and dad came, and so did Grandmama Sharon! We stayed longer than I had planned at the coffee shop, and so the lunch, and cake part of the afternoon were too rushed.

Here's your lunch and your cake smile for the camera ok now everyone get in the picture ok now you can open some gifts and grab your violin and come on hurry up lets get in the car we're gonna be late!!!

I can't believe my baby is 12 years old now!!!

Why am I a chronic over-planner?

We RUSHED (putting it lightly) out of the house and to the Christmas violin recital.

Devin has done a great job with her students, and they were actually good enough to play some group pieces this time!
Hannah and Devin during one recital piece... It is hard to get good violin "action shots!" Hannah did a beautiful job, especially in her trio piece with her friend Kaelan and another girl.

(There, that's a better picture! Hannah, Devin, and Kaelan at the reception!)

I had to get post-recital pictures of family with our budding violinist...

Memphis Weekend

December 4th was Hannah's birthday and the Memphis 1/2 marathon, so we decided to combine the two events!

On Friday, Hannah took a few friends to Memphis with us. They all had parents or friends running in the race, and were excited to be spectators at the event. That night, we had pizza and ice cream for dinner... not your typical pre-race meal, but oh well! Afterward, we all went upstairs to watch a Christmas movie with Tootie. As the girls pulled out their various crafts and crochet, she could not believe how CRAFTY this group of girls was and marveled at their different creations. (I had previously informed the girls that my Tootie was the "Queen of Crochet," and described some of the things she had made.)

We all went to bed pretty early (for a slumber party), because we would have to leave the house before dawn the next morning!

Saturday morning was much warmer than expected! As I debated about what to wear, the girls packed and loaded all of their things. We headed downtown, and found the group of Spartans and Toppers.(Anna, Margaret, Kirsten, Olivia, Page, Hannah, Sarah, Claire, Julie, and Martha)

(Tuesdae, me, Olivia, and Julie before the race)

All morning, I was on the verge of tears. I can't explain it, but my heart was full of emotion. The race raises money for St. Jude Children's Hospital, and there were signs thanking participants everywhere. Seeing the signs for St. Jude, thinking about the children there (and the mothers of the children there), remembering when Sarah spent several days in a children's hospital, and being SO thankful to the Lord for the health of my children... it was a combination destined to get me choked up.

The girls stayed with Tuesdae's mom, Felesha, enjoyed a cup of Starbucks,and filled up my camera with random Memphis pictures!
Tuesdae was going to stay with us, but we never saw her after the first mile! She was feeling good and had a great race! Way to represent, Toppers! BAAAAHHHH!
That was my first time to run in a large half marathon... it was so much fun to have spectators all along the course! A drastic contrast to the Frostbite 1/2, where the only spectators are cows!

As we passed through the St. Jude campus, my eyes once again brimmed with tears. In this part of the course, parents of patients lined the streets with encouraging signs and signs expressing gratitude. The one that stuck with me most said, "SMILE... Jake always did."

About mile 9, Julie and I were very thankful for the dancing gorilla! We were pushing her pace a little, and I could tell she was getting fatigued. As we came out on Poplar, we passed the 10 mile mark, and we knew the end was near!

We finished strong, and came in right at Julie's goal!
After the race, the weather didn't seem quite as warm! We froze, wrapped up in those foil blankets, and waited on the infield of the Redbird Stadium for Roan, Olivia, Yonnea, Lynn, and several others. We stopped to pose with the Elvis impersonators who were milling around in the crowd!

After finding my girls and changing, we went to cheer for Jimmy and some others as they finished the full marathon... wow... they did a GREAT job!

For lunch, we all met at Huey's. After a 13 mile run, a giant burger and fries taste SO good!

We ordered Hannah a dessert, and we all sang "Happy Birthday" to her!

After lunch, which was really "Linner," the slumber party girls headed home with their parents. Hannah, Sarah, and I made a quick stop at the craft store for felt, and then went back home to my mom's house. Mom and dad were out of town, and we had a really nice weekend spending time with Tootie. We had cereal and leftovers on Saturday night, and just vegged out on together in the game room.

On Sunday, the girls and I went to early service and then brought back Chinese food and doughnuts (Tootie's favorites) for dessert. (These were from Sophie's do-nuts... not the VooDoo type!) We spent the afternoon and evening working on little felt creations and watching Christmas movies. It was a great weekend!