Field Day PGS Style

On Friday at PGS, Thing 3 and Thing 4 had field day.  For an hour each grade level was out on the field visiting various stations.  The theme was "The Wild West".  I was assigned to the "Cowboy Wash".  There were two buckets, each filled with wet water and clothes.  The children had to take a piece of clothing, all wet and soggy, run to the clothes line and pin it on the line.  Then the next child had to take down the clothing and run it back to the wash bucket.  It was hysterical.  The PE teachers organize this event every year.  They did a fantastic job. 
Here are some photos from the fun day.

Reeves' Place

May 30th is Grandpa Ron's birthday.  In honor of his day we spent the afternoon out at his and Mema's place.  The place where Things can fish, ride in the paddle boat, chase fireflies, climb trees, play in the tree house, chase ducks and geese and have bonfires.  Things 2 and 3 brought friends.  They fished and learned the ropes.

Thing 3 and Kendall

Thing 2 and Alexa
And now some fishing photos.  We did have some weather that sounded oh so wonderful on the tin roof we were under.  The Things and friends thought it would be fun to fish from the paddle boat so they braved the rain drops.

And by dusk, after dinner, the Things and friends wanted to swing and climb the tree house.  And that is exactly what they did.  Grandpa pushed them on the swings, right into the trees.

Fun, fun!
Time for cake and icecream by the fire.

Did I forget to mention that Grandpa and Mema have a "pet" duck?  LC.  He is Grandpa's shadow.  He climbs on the deck, let's you pet him and shakes his tail feathers.  Show off.

And that what was the end to our Sunday.  Thank you Mema and Grandpa.

D2 State Tournament

This team was very busy this weekend.
They participated in the TSSA D2 tournament in Hendersonville.  They placed 3rd. 
It was a great showing for the team and I am so proud of Thing 1. 
In Sunday's game Thing 1 had two assists, one of which was headed in by her teammate Hannah, to win the game, in the last minute I might add.  Impressive! 
It was definitely a team effort all weekend.  They were told by Coach Tommy that they saved their best for state.  Quite a compliment.  And although we believe we should have been in the finals these girls are champions in my book!

PGS Athlete Awards

Thing 1 and Thing 2 with Coach Jeffords
Coach Jeffords offered for the Things to live with her while we were in Turkey. She made very clear that she did not want to have to experience more than one soccer season without a Hanson sister on the field.  So sweet. 

Thing 2 receiving her certificate

Thing 4 receiving her medal
It was a special night.  Ms. Cochran created a video montage of all the sports, complete with photographs and music.  And in addition she made a CD for all the athletes to have as a keepsake.  The soccer season was full of memories.  It was the first time the Things have played on the same team.  That was a joy to watch.  Their team made it to the Championship game and fought a good fight.  Below is a photo of the PGS Girls Soccer team for 2009.  Way to go Pioneers!

A Couple of Firsts

This lovely lady, my Aunt Robin came to visit us, for the first time.  While here we toured downtown Nashville.  There behind her is LP field, where the Titans play, a sculpture of some sort, the Cumberland River and a beautiful Tennessee sky. 

The purpose of her trip was to watch her daughter, cousin Kayla play in the BIG tournament in Decatur, AL with Lubbock Christian.  So, she flew in Thursday night and last Friday the Things and I played hookie and joined her in driving to AL to watch cousin Kayla.  No dice.  The Spring time rain poured down on the South and games were cancelled.  We were, however, able to spend some time with Kayla before she headed to the batting cages with her team.  No rest when you have games to win.  We ate breakfast together, met some of her fellow teammates, checked Aunt Robin into her hotel and walked the local mall.  Then the Things and I went on to Georgia in hopes to be back for the championship game on Wednesday. 
We received the dissappointing phone call Monday evening, no more games.  LCU was out of the tournament and a devastated cousin Kayla headed back to school Tuesday morning and Aunt Robin came to Franklin to be with us. 

We made the most of our time together.  Tuesday we lunched at Mellow Mushroom.  A must for any visitor of ours.  Then of course there was the usual soccer practices, running around and awards ceremony for athletes at Poplar Grove School.  Aunt Robin witnessed her god-daughter receive an award for Best Offensive Athlete for the girls soccer team and Thing 2 was recognized with the entire team.  So special. To top off the evening Aunt Robin also saw her first fire-fly.  Also known as lightening bugs.  The excitement was not containable.  Simple things my friends, simple things. 
Wednesday we were in Nashville returning the rental car and decided to make a day of it.  We walked Broadway and visited this place on 2nd street.

Although we didn't actually venture in, we did see it.  That was a first. By then our tummies were rumbling and we stopped in BB Kings for some BBQ.  It is what you eat afterall.  We shared a delicious pulled pork sandwich and Aunt Robin sampled these for the first time:

Yes people, those are fried pickles.  And that's all I have to say about that.  Amen.  There is nothin' else like them. 
We walked and found a historical site I had not yet seen.  Fort Nashborough.  It sits right on the river's edge.

Eventually we made it home but only after a stop in Tootsie's and The Stage for  a taste of live country music.  We even heard an original song.  Not to mention we were the only ones in the place. 

The Things were waiting for us and we did homework, played and ate dinner together.  Everyone's "low" around the dinner table was "Aunt Robins leaving tomorrow".  So sweet.  And what would a visit to Franklin be without a trip to Sweet Ce Ce's?  So for dessert we took Aunt Robin for another stop on the "eating tour with the Hansons".  The Things favorite place. 

I just adore Thing 1's face in this photograph.  Does she look happy or what? 

Well, at least we were.  We ate yummy frozen yogurt with too many toppings.  Mmm, mmm.

As we were enjoying our treat those Spring time thunderstorms made their appearance yet again.  Only this time much more tamely.  And when we looked out the window of the shop this is what we saw:

You could even see the indigo in the rainbow.  So amazing and so beautiful. 
And that my friends is how the trip of firsts with Aunt Robin ended. 

Thankful Thursday #29

Today I am thankful for,
279. Bubbles
280. Thing 4's soccer coach and team
281. Kicking the soccer ball with the Things
282. Unexpected International phone calls
283. Aunt Robin
284. Road trips
285. Pictures
286. Friends
287. Live music
288. Chocolate chip cookies

Flooded...With Thoughts

Can I just complain here for a brief moment?  Would that be alright?  Is anyone capable of stopping me?  Didn't think so.  I know, I shouldn't whine or even utter a complaint but I am only human.  One individual human whom at times falls so hard and far I can't even help myself.  There will be no masks today, no super-woman costume to put on.  Just me in all my fraility and junk.

I am overwhelmed.  Hard to believe, yes I know.  Perspective has been lost for sometime and I just can't seem to find it.  My Things are healthy, Husband Jared is safe and I have Jesus.  What is there that I should be anxious about?  The answer is NOTHING.  Nothing at all.  Except that we are moving to a foreign country and there are about a zillion things on my to do list, not enough hours in the day, school is almost over, there is a going away party to plan, furniture to sell, a vehicle to sell and oh yeah, laundry and Mama duty still to deal with. 

And speaking of perspective I just don't know how military spouses do this, or single parents for that matter.  I miss my husband.  My Things miss their Daddy and this week is evidence to prove that.  We are having an emotional one.  Why hide it?  This is us, in all our realness.  I yell, I cry, I pound my fists with frustration.  And then I catch a glimpse of perspective.  All of this is fleeting.  Only of this world.  Gone in the snap of a finger.  Yes, I have to deal with what is in front of me, but has He ever left my side before?  Why would he now?  He knows my heart in all it's ugliness.  Those temper tantrums I have behind closed doors.  It's there, exposed.  Thrown out so we can move on. 

Move on I will do.  Well, all of us will eventually.  Move to Turkey.  Everything on my list will eventually be crossed off.  For now I am not going to tie myself in knots.  I will let go.  I will be in the moment.  I WILL end this pity party.  All of this placed in my path is a gift in some form.  All opportunities either to be grateful for or to grow from.  I want to be here.  I want to be in this. 

Thank you for reading.  This is my journal.  A chronicle of my life with Husband Jared and the Things.  Sometimes i just have to lay it all out there.  Pound my fists a little, shake my head in confusion.  For how could I understand, His eyes are not mine and His ways are not of this world.  Thankfully He loves me, and He loves perfectly.

Thing 4 is the Champion!

Well his team is anyway.  TNFC '02 Blue Boys competed in the Atlanta Peach Cup Classic this weekend in the U9 Silver division and they are the champions! And the siblings were champions of the sideline!

Don't you just love this?  Or maybe it is a face only a Mama could love.  Either way, it's stinkin' cute.  I'm just sayin'. 
Game by game recap to be posted tomorrow.  Or not.  Maybe just some more photos. 

Thing 4 and Butterflies

This boy...

makes me smile.
On Thursday Thing 4's class released the caterpillars turned butterflies that they had been studying in class.  We had a picnic lunch and then stood in a circle to watch the winged beauties fly to freedom.  Thing 4 and his classmates named each and everyone of the caterpillars. They knew which one belonged to whom and as they flew from the netting that was holding them in the children called their name and waved goodbye.  That or chased it to the ground and proceeded to capture said butterfly.  Again.  Thing 4's came back to say farewell. 

And then off they flew, hopefully to safety.  And off we flew to flee the incoming storm.  Thankfully we all made it inside to safety and a memorable day was had by all.  Even the butterflies.  Hopefully.

Thing 1, Before & After

Here she is before
And here she is after:

Almost a year and a half later.  More attitude, a 13th birthday, and straight teeth.  That's Thing 1 and her beautiful mug.  Love you girly.

Thankful Thursday #28

Today, May 20th, I am thankful for:
269. The ladies in the picture above, known lovingly as the "Bible study Babes"
270. Thing 1's straight teeth smile
271. Aunt Robin coming to visit today
272. Kayla playing softball somewhere close so we can see her
273. Laughter in my family van
274. Thing 2's artwork
275. Thing 3's speech about the blood drive
276. Thing 4 holding my hand 
277. Seeing Husband Jared via SKYPE
278. Seeing Niece Autumn make sweet baby faces

Missing Them

I miss these house guests.  Alot.  Really alot. 
So much so that my coffee just doesn't even taste the same anymore. 
Thank you and goodbye.

Thankful Thursday #27

Today on this Thursday, May 13th, I am thankful for;

259. receding flood waters
260. sunshine
261. benefit concerts and telethons
262. soapy smelling Thing 4
263. water guns
264. exaggerated story telling by Thing 2
265. grateful texts from Thing 1
266. Thing 3's attention to detail
267. bagels and cream cheese
268. Bible study

Goodbye Polo but only for now

Yesterday we said tearful goodbyes to this dog, our beloved Polo.
Not forever goodbyes, but for 18-24 month goodbyes.  I am usually the first person to claim a dog is just a dog.  In this case though I have to be the first person, or maybe the second or third to make the distinction here that Polo is not just a dog.  I mean look at that face.  And those eyes, those I know that you are taking my kids to a foreign land eyes.  Yes Polo, you are right.  But this is not forever.  I promise.  Ok, I don't usually make promises.  But he won't remember right, he is a dog afterall.  You do remember what Mary Poppins says about promises.  Well, let me refresh your memory.  "Promises are like pie crusts, easily made and easily broken".  True, so true.
Almost five years ago we adopted this pup from the animal shelter.  We rescued him, really he might have rescued us.  So dramatic and so not true.  He turned our lives upside down.  Literally.  Two parents working retail management and 4 Things under the age of 8.  WHAT WERE WE THINKING?  Well, I had made a promise to the girl Things that when Thing 4 was potty trained we could have a dog.  And lo and behold, we were in PetSmart buying Thing 2's fish food and there was Mohammed.  Such as he was named by the original owner.  My heart melted.  I turned to mush and I said yes.  Then when Husband Jared came to see him I turned out the best pouty lip I have and pleaded with him to help me keep my promise.  After all it was a celebration now that all the Things were out of diapers.  Woo hoo!  Soon to be named Polo came home with us the next day.  And ever since then Thing 4 and him have had this special relationship.
Here they are, love at first sight.  Polo became the protector and every morning since the first snuggle of the day has belonged to Polo.  Not Mama.  Be still my crushed heart.  And most recently, actually the day of departure this is how Thing 4 began his day.
Oh my how they have changed.  And thankfully my bedding has too.
So on Tuesday morning I loaded one crate, one sad, confused dog and a weepy bunch of Things.  We made our way to the cargo desk at BNA and checked our Polo in.  We kissed, hugged his neck and fixed his mohawk.  And then he crawled into the crate and the door was shut.  It wouldn't be until hours later we would hear from his new caretakers, Nani and Poppi.  He arrived safely and soon enough he was acquainted with his new home. 
 This, this is what I was sent last night.  Poppi and Polo taking a nap.
Well, either napping or missing the Things.  Poppi said Polo sniffed the house and looked everywhere for them.  He has new Things to take care of now.  I am sure that he will be spoiled as the newest resident at "Stuck Hotel".  I am also sure that we will soon be "Skyping" our dog once in Turkey. After all, who could resist seeing that fu man chu beard, his knowing eyes lined with eyeliner and the long wispy hair hanging from his ears.  Not me.  I must be one smitten dog lover. 

Istanbul not Constantinople

Husband Jared sent this picture early this morning.  It is Besiktas Football Stadium, (not American football), and the Bosphorus River.  Amazing.  And yes it is Istanbul not Constantinople. 
He is safe and already at work in Turkey.  Travel pictures and stories to come.

Soccer, a mother's day salute and a husband in flight

The title does not flow, I know that.  It does however sum up our weekend and the upcoming week here in the Hanson household. 

As usual there were a total of 14 Thing games this weekend between Bowling Green, KY and Brentwood, TN.  We came home with one medal winner, and 3 other Thing champions, at least in our book.  I was pampered with not 1 but 2 honorary dinners of my choosing and 1 special breakfast.  Not only the food but homemade cards, jewelry and stories from my Things. 

The weekend was spent together.  One parent, two Things each, a cooler of snacks and drinks, blue skies, smelly soccer gear and worn uniforms.  A true sense of satisfaction came over me this weekend as I sat and watched our Things play.  It always is a family affair with us.  The sibling Things want to support each other, Husband Jared and I want to cheer from the sidelines and wrap our arms around them when they run off the field to us after the match.  It is a huge part of our lives.  It is not however, our life.  These memories we make and the love we share while living this life given to us, that is it. 

This is mother's day for me.  My Things, my husband.  Husband Jared leading by example.  Showing them how to honor their mother.  How to love.  How to give.  Self sacrifice.  I am grateful.  And apparently I have really big lips.  Take a look at Thing 4's rendition of his mama.

And now Thing 3's version:

Just something I like to call artistic license. 
The Things of course did cause these Mama eyes to burn with salty discharge when I read these:

They each wrote stories.  Thing 4's included details as to what makes me mad and Thing 3's had a funny story, what I would wish for, where I'd like to travel and her idea of my perfect day.  Oddly enough, she was quite accurate.  I guess the apple really doesn't fall from the tree. 

And in honor of the soccer here is a picture of our tournament champion, Thing 2.

And today husband Jared is on his way to Turkey.  There he will finalize our living arrangements, work extremely hard, we're talking 7 day work weeks, from early morning until late in the evening, and tour the country from Istanbul to Izmir to Ankara.  No complaints though.  This is the next step in the journey.  I will hold down the fort here, well me and the Things anyway. 

Thankful Thursday #26

Today, May 6th, I am thankful for:
249. community
250. church
251. safety
252. flowers
253. safe flights
254. Things 1-4
255. card games
256. sedation dentistry
257. a niece named Autumn
258.  my camera

Meet Ms. Autumn

At approximately 5:48am this morning, May 5th, 2010 Autumn Arlene Horel entered the world. 
Take a gander.

Jeff and Natalie are the proud parents of this bundle of joy.
And today they allowed us the honor of meeting their daughter. 
All the Things had the opportunity to meet their cousin.  Ever so carefully they washed hands, sat still and straight and cradled Autumn in their little arms.  Salty discharge was shed by this Mama.  So sweet.

Thing 1, the Professional.  Is it me or does that baby look like a doll? 
Or is it that my girl looks so old?
Thing 2, all smiles from ear to ear.

Thing 3, not so relaxed.  She takes her job as older cousin very seriously.

Thing 4, I had to help support Autumn's head.  He wanted to be right next to her at all times.  Touching, talking to her, stroking her soft hair.  He loves his cousin.

Well since I am being a bit self indulgent here, take a look at this photo of Husband Jared and myself when we snuck over to the hospital this afternoon.  I could hardly stand to wait until then but we did.  I waited patiently for the OK from the new parents and then we brought lunch and chowed.  What a treat for my soul.

And now one last peek at the angel girl, Autumn. 

Mama and Baby are doing well.  Daddy too.  Tired.  Exhausted.  Exhilerated.  Proud.  Swollen hearts.  With emotion that is.  They make a beautiful baby.  That I know for sure.