Meg's Memo

. . .writings from Wilmington.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

sunflowers

Lily brought home sunflower seeds, from a school project, back in early May. She really wanted to plant them.  Last summer we learned where NOT to plant sunflowers. They were in our backyard and only grew a few feet and then died.  Our sunniest spot is in our front flower bed, so we tried it. This year they did great! We had so much fun watching then grow, then bud and then open.

Back in early July when the first sunflower opened.

The last sunflower just opened up this morning.



Sunday, August 6, 2017

friends + donuts

These sweet friends are home, for one month, from Kenya, Africa.  The Meshaw's have been gone for 2 years already. Man, have we missed them!  We are soaking up as much time as possible while they are here.  We've already enjoyed a dinner date at Island's (this was a regular occurrence prior to their move), evening at WB, dinner at our house with other friends from Africa, and then yesterday's Britt's donuts plus Carolina Beach.  We have a few more things planned too!
We love you guys, appreciate your friendship and pray for God's continued blessing on your work in Africa!


Wren enjoyed her first taste of Britt's donuts too!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

NINE years

TODAY, we celebrated NINE years of marriage.
Tonight, we had a family date to Carrabba's to celebrate our "family's birthday." It is fun to look back over these past nine years and see how God has grown us individually and as a couple, how God has been faithful, how God has provided, how God has led and directed our family, how God has grown our family to 6.  We are so thankful that God brought us together!

Since it's a little tricky with no family in town and fostering, we did a long date this past Saturday, rather than an overnight.  We enjoyed 8 hours with each other (noon-8pm) and no interruptions. We had lunch at Epic Food, then we went paddle-boarding in the inlet, then over to Masonboro Island (so relaxing sitting on a beach and NOT playing lifeguard or constantly counting to 4...4 kids), then back.  We walked downtown a while, and had an amazing dinner at Rx.  Happy Anniversary to us!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

FLORIDA summer vacation

We just got back from a short, but very sweet, vacation to see our family in Florida.  We left home Friday after lunch. It's a solid 10 hour drive to Tampa, but we had to sit for an extra 2 hours on I-75 due to an accident.  Thankfully it was late at night, cooler weather and most of the kids slept most of those 2 hours.  We stayed until Wednesday morning. Here is some of the cousin/family fun.

The park with 8 kids!
It was a full house and the noise level was high.

Visiting Bay Cities Fellowship, the church plant Luke & Jess are starting.

A big water balloon fight plus playing in the pool.

Seeing the Clearwater Maritime Aquarium

Our little guy LOVES sharks, so he had a blast!

We also enjoyed many family meals, playing with cousins, riding bikes, Clearwater beach and helping with a few house projects. Seeing the cousins all together reminded me of growing up near Luke.  Cousins are the best! We adults loved catching up and chatting at night, after the 8 kids were in bed.  We love you, Luke & Jess!



Monday, July 3, 2017

summer sanity

Here is my summer sanity.....I mean summer school....I mean summer fun. It's actually all of those things.  The last week of school, Lily had a half day Thursday, and then just award's chapel on Friday morning, well during those two half days the kids kicked my tail in the afternoons.  I knew I needed  a summer plan, like what we've done before, and I needed it figured out by Sunday evening! I asked the girls for ideas for the daily theme and ideas of what they'd like to do, just like last summer.


I came up with this:

Last summer we did something similar, where each day we had a theme for learning. This is maybe 15-30 minutes of intentional learning per day.  Otherwise, all of the sudden the summer is half over and you haven't gotten it done or had time or made time for it. I think it works for all of us! I enjoy it, we have a plan, and the kids look forward to it.

It's evolved throughout the summer to this:



One of our writing Wednesday's


Riding the free trolley downtown

Monday, June 19, 2017

Father's Day 2017

We love celebrating Daddy.  He is a wonderful father.   
We started the morning with homemade cinnamon rolls.

Daddy always hugs & kisses everyone before he leaves the house.  Then after he pulls out of the driveway, he gives us the "I love you" sign as he heads off down the road.  It's kind of his & the kids "thing." So, for father's day, we came up with this:


 It's for his office.

A little peak of us doing the actual project while Daddy was away. We were so sneaky!

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

SEVEN



We can hardly believe that Lily turned SEVEN today.  
Unfortunately Daddy is in Boston for work, but we still celebrated here.  We started off the morning with a birthday breakfast of requested "slimy oatmeal" (ie....stovetop oatmeal). One of Lily's favorites!


We facetimed with Daddy while opening gifts.  Then we met friends at the pool to swim.  Lily loves the pool and has become quite the swimmer this season. 

We invited our sweet friends & neighbors over for dinner. Dinner party for seven. Lily picked eggs, bacon and waffles for dinner.  This girl LOVES breakfast!

After dinner we were off to night #3 of VBS. 

Happy 7th Birthday, Lily! You are loved.

Monday, June 5, 2017

18 months

This beach baby is 18 months old.
21 lb. 8 oz and almost 32" tall

Friday, June 2, 2017

last day of FIRST grade

It's no coincidence that the last day of school is also National Donut Day.  I had planned to head to Duck Donuts after awards chapel, but everyone was up bright & early so we made it there before school.

Remember Lily's first day of school? Well, she has learned so much this year.  She has had an amazing teacher, learned to love reading, improved so much on her cursive, and much more!


Wednesday, May 31, 2017

celebrating FIVE

Today, Ella turned FIVE!

Yesterday, we made her requested homemade ice cream cookie sandwiches. Ella loves to help in the kitchen.  We have so much fun together.  We mixed cookies, baked them, let them cool and then assembled the ice cream sandwiches and even rolled them in sprinkles. She really is a big helper.  

We started off the birthday celebration with requested whole wheat banana pancakes shaped like snowmen.  Then opened presents. We got Lily off to school and Daddy off to work.

We met friends at Lewis Farms to pick blueberries and of course eat banana ice cream. Then we headed to the park to play and have a picnic lunch.



We snagged some FREE tomato plants at Lewis Farms so Ella helped me pot those while the littles napped.

After school we grabbed Lily and continued our birthday festivities at the Children's Museum. Then we met Daddy downtown at Island's for a birthday dinner and we enjoyed a walk by the river.

HAPPY 5th BIRTHDAY, Ella!
You are loved.

Friday, May 26, 2017

through the eyes of a first grader

The other day, this homework came home in Lily's folder. I knew that I had to "keep" it so we remember: how her mind worked, her answers, and especially the spelling.

Translation:
Do you like windy days? Why?
No, it makes my hair knotty.

Are you glad that there are shots? Why?
Yes. They hurt, but they do help.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

mother's day 2017

Saturday morning, I came home from running and found this: 
The big girls had decorated our chalkboard for Mother's Day.  The list in the middle seemed to be prophetic for actual Mother's Day....


Saturday afternoon both girls were coughing uncontrollably with a dry cough.  Well, in our house, that tends to be a side effect of an ear issue.  I gave them some natural options and was praying it would subside by Sunday morning.  Unfortunately, we were up at 4:30am with lots of coughing.  So, I knew we were headed to the doctor once it opened at 8am.
Jake made a yummy waffle breakfast. The girls had set the table the night before. Then I opened lots of wonderful art and a few gifts: new rainbows and 3 bracelets. Two of the bracelets are wooden bangles that the big girls hand painted.  I absolutely love them! 
After breakfast, I took the big girls to the doctor, while Jake headed to church with the littles.  Bummer!  After an examination, my predictions were correct.  Lily had swimmer's ear in her right ear and Ella had an ear infection in her left ear.  We then headed to get the prescriptions....that took a VERY long time.  
We had planned to do lunch downtown after church, but due to circumstances, we just did lunch at home and then headed toward naps. After naps we played at the beach for an hour or so, no ears were allowed to get wet.  Then we ate dinner at Mellow Mushroom on the way home.  That was a hit with everyone!



This will be a mother's day that I'll always remember.  It wasn't glamorous, but it is life as a mom.  Kids never get sick when its convenient.  Thankful for these FOUR who call me mom!

Friday, May 5, 2017

sunshine & 17 months

Are we ever loving all the sunshine!  It can't get much better than Lewis Farms ice cream out on the bench in our backyard.  

#babyS turns 17 months today. She is just a peanut at 20lb 8oz but is close to her brother at 31" tall. We had well checks earlier this week.  #babyB, who is no longer a baby, is 28lb 6oz and 35" tall.  I am regularly asked if they are twins.
#babyS is a smiley girl.  She loves to do whatever her older siblings are doing.  She is a very fast walker/runner. She eats everything, but loves banana.  She recently added book, ball, and bubbles to her growing vocabulary. 

Thursday, April 27, 2017

the DREAM team

As my previous post rehashed Jake & my amazing trip to Mexico, I also MUST document the dream team.  While we were relaxing, resting, and being spoiled in Mexico, our kids were having a blast with Grandma and Great Aunt Ronda.

My mom and my Aunt Ronda, took time off of work, flew to Wilmington, and spent THEIR vacation caring for OUR four kids. When I initially told my Mom that Jake was invited on the trip, she told me to let her know the dates ASAP and she would see if she could come. She & Ronda rearranged work and life to come. This was a huge blessing!


Auntie Em & Blake came up for Easter


Ice cream at Lewis Farms

As time has passed, we continue to hear of all the fun the kids had with Grandma and Aunt Ronda. Many trips to various parks around town, ice cream at Lewis Farms, Power of Play, lots of walks, a donut date, Grandma playing the piano and everyone singing, playing games, doing Great Aunt Ronda's hair in pig tails, reading through The Trumpeter Swan with Grandma, painting and many more crafts.

THANK YOU, does not seem adequate for how much we appreciate their willingness to come and each of their generosity with their time and energy.  Any parents (especially of littles), who live far way from family KNOWS how hard it can be to find childcare just for a date night, let alone for an entire week.  Jake and I were able to relax and really enjoy the time away because we knew the kids were being loved and well cared for. THANK YOU and we love you Mom and Ronda!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Mexico

Every year, My Employees takes a Champions Trip.  You have to earn your spot on the trip (top sales, or support staff is invited to go due to their performance at work). Well, Jake was invited.  And his amazing boss doesn't just pay for him, he also pays for spouses!  SECOND HONEYMOON here we come...and did I already say it was ALL expense paid?! I also must preface this by saying we have never been on a cruise or to an all inclusive resort, plus this trip was longer than our honeymoon.  We were just a teeny bit excited.
We flew from Wilmington, through Atlanta, and into Cancun, Mexico.  
The trip was Thursday, April 13 - Wednesday, April 19.  
My mom and my Aunt Ronda, took time off of work, flew to Wilmington, and spent THEIR vacation caring for OUR four kids.....but those details will be rehashed in another post.
We stayed at Valentin Imperial Maya, an all inclusive resort.  The resort was so nice.

We enjoyed all the "US" time.  Every meal was a date. The food was incredible! We had some meals planned as a group with the 40 other My Employees gang.  We also did some meals as just the two of us, and then other meals as double dates.  It was really fun.

We did a bike tour our first morning at the resort.  That was helpful to learn about the resort and also feel like we knew our way around. Although, just a few minutes into the bike tour, Jake got a flat tire.  So our sweet little tour guide took Jake's bike and she ran while pushing the bike with the flat tire.
Another dinner out.

We spent most of our time on the beach.  It wasn't too difficult to find a cabana, so we could enjoy the ocean breeze in the shade or sun. We also played a lot of beach volleyball. We would typically head to the beach in the morning and then hit the pool late afternoon.  

We realized it was better to order a cappuccino, than the brewed coffee.  
We drank A LOT of cappuccino - All Inclusive!

Off to another dinner,

The Mexican Fiesta on Monday night.  Followed by a show.

Room Service - All Inclusive



Love having this guy all to myself for a week!
We also had SO MUCH FUN getting to know Jake's workmates.  We hung out a lot: by the pool, at the beach, during the shows and concerts.  It was very enjoyable.

So, that first morning when we did the bike tour, we learned that the resort runs a 5k race every Wednesday morning.  What? A 5k race with NO registration fee; I'm in!

I ended up placing 2nd for the women.  (Full disclosure: there were only 5 women in the race.) My time was 26:24. I got beat by a 23 year old by 30 seconds.  Maybe if I had laid off the guacamole and the ice cream....

We arrived back in Wilmington at 8:30pm on Wednesday night.  It was so great to getaway, but I was ready to squeeze my kids.  THANK YOU, to My Employees and Dave Long for an amazing week in Mexico. I am so proud of Jake for working so hard and earning this trip!