A Real Alabama Summer

 

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It has been a pleasure to see my little boys having a true “Alabama summer” this year. They’ve always spent a couple of weeks per summer here, but this year, when it’s all said and done, they will have spent one week shy of two full months!!

The funny thing is that our version of an Alabama summer looks a whole lot different than what a “Yankee” may envision. Now I mean no ill-will towards our friends from other regions. I love my Yankee friends. However,  the fact remains that we have lived all over the country, and we have noticed a great multitude of misconceptions about “The South.”

One might be tempted to think that an “Alabama summer” means that my boys have been spending all day out in the country, doing things like “mudding”, fishing, playing bare–foot, swimming in a “crick”, catching fire-flies, and shooting rabbits.

Well, I hate to burst your bubble, but we don’t actually have a farm or even live in the country.  (It would be so cool if we did, though!!) Both sets of our grandparents live in very average American neighborhoods.  Alan is from a classic southern small town. My parents live in a small city.

-“Mudding” is more of a teenage activity, which I have never participated in. I believe it’s where you drive a pick-up truck down a muddy dirt road.

-Fishing would have been great, but it just didn’t happen this year–not yet, anyway.

-Playing bare-foot:  YES!!  We did do that–every single day, myself included.

-swimming in a ‘crick’–that’s what we call a creek– I did that a few times as a kid, but my children have yet to experience it. I’m sorry, boys. One day!! Instead, Mom took them to Water World, where a sudden summer storm came up, soooo we’re going to try again tomorrow!

-Catching fire flies:  We don’t really have those at my parents’ house. Alan’s parents’ house has tons, so maybe we will do that next week.

–Shooting rabbits:  Seriously? They are 1, 3, 7, and 8. They rarely even shoot water guns. However, I am okay with them giving hunting a try when they are older.

What makes our summer great is that the boys get to spend endless hours of quality time with their grandparents. Family time is so extremely important. They also get to have a break from the pressures of school and extracurricular activities. I get a break from the pressures too! Plus, we leave here with freshly renewed Southern accents. 😉

Basically, an Alabama summer isn’t much different than a summer anywhere else in the U.S., EXCEPT that it is insanely hot: wet, sticky, suffocatingly hot. If you want to enjoy the outdoors, water actually has to be involved.

So here’s what our Alabama summer REALLY looks like:

 

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He tends to have a very serious expression for photos.

 

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This is “Fun Land”, which I mentioned in my previous post: Glitter, Fun Land and Life in Limbo.  This is the brain child of Joshua and Caleb. They confiscated Granddaddy’s sprinkler, and all of our summer entertainment problems were solved. This has provided DAYS of fun.IMG_3967

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He did the slip-and-slide a couple of times, but he needs one or two more years before he’s ready for Fun Land.IMG_3970

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Yesterday, the boys collected toys, called it armor, weapons, and helmets, and had a great time running around the house as knights. The most hilarious part was listening to them. I hear this from another room:

Joshua: (whack)

Caleb: Nope! Try it again!

Joshua: (whack) (whack)

Caleb: Nope! I didn’t even feel anything. This helmet is amazing. Hit me again!!!

 

a few hours later….

Joshua: oooooowwwwwww!!!  ow ow ow ow!!!

Caleb: (whack)

Joshua: Owww!  Stop it! You hit too hard!

Caleb: But you said….

I walked in to find Joshua rubbing his arm, holding a flimsy paperback book.

Me: Joshua, a paperback book will never work for armor.

Joshua: It isn’t armor. It’s a shield!

Me: Well, that will never work. You need something hard and plastic.

Joshua: *still smarting* yeah…..

Dan, Joshua, and I went to eat at Joshua’s favorite restaurant: Olive Garden.

 

 

I took them to Adventureland. We played arcade games, rode go carts, bumper boats, played golf, and ate hot dogs and Dippin’ Dots. At the end of the evening, as we sat in a booth, eating our Dippin’ Dots, Joshua brought tears to my eyes. He said, “Well, this was really fun, coming here, with you.  Thank you for bringing us here, Mom.”

*instant happy tears in my eyes*

Caleb chimed in, “Yeah, thank you for bringing us here.”

Daniel echoed, “Yeah. Tank you bringing here, Mommy.”

🙂 Pure happiness!

Last night was not too hot at all. It was probably 75 degrees–the perfect weather for putt-putt.

Wishing you all a very happy, bare-foot, summer!! We will miss you so much, Nana and Granddaddy!!!

 

Psssssst!  Don’t forget to give me a vote for Top Military Blog 2014 at Voiceboks.com! Voting ends July 31st.

East Coast to West Coast in Only 6 Weeks!

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planning, planning, planning!

So much has happened this past week.  Once our military orders arrived, all systems are GO, GO, GO!  You know all those stereotypes about men?  You know what I’m talking about:  “When men are sick they lay down, but women keep working,” and other such derogatory thoughts our society has attached to our males?

Well, let me tell you, Alan blows all those negative sexist remarks out of the water.  That’s right.  I said sexist.  Everyone’s so quick to call female stereotypes ‘sexist,’ but making fun of men is perfectly okay.  What’s up with that? Maybe you haven’t noticed.  I certainly have.  Being the wife of a high type-A, thorough planner like Alan, plus being the mother of four little boys, makes me a little more sensitive to the negative things our society likes to say about our men.

My husband, sick as a dog, plus recovering from surgery, has gotten more done in the day he got ‘request for orders’ than most healthy people could accomplish in a week’s worth of time. Alan, you are AMAZING!!!

Want to know his secret?  This is how he got this move plan running so quickly:

1.  Before he even secured the orders, he got me the smartphone I wanted, complete with synchronized Google Calendars.  This is my Mother’s Day gift.  I love it.  I used up my whole data plan in two days.  Oops.  There’s a learning curve to these things! But with this phone, I can be a touch more organized.

2. He sat down with me and even managed to get my UNDIVIDED attention to discuss EVERY DETAIL of our moving plan.  You name it, it is planned for on the calendar.

My undivided attention is about impossible to attain! I am never doing less than two things at once, and I’m often doing more than that.  C’mon, ya’ll, there are four little boys here!

3.  He went down to the orders office armed with a dozen Dunkin’ Donuts.  Plus, he’d dropped by and schmoozed with those ladies in advance.  Ha! Good job, Alan!

4. He went straight from the orders office to setting up the shipment of household goods. He whipped out the Google Calendar and managed to get the exact dates we had planned for.  Success!!!

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5. On Saturday, we had our Yard Sale!!  We got rid of tons of junk this weekend!  But actually, I may never do a yard sale again:  sunburn, people wanting to buy all of my stuff for $1, and Daniel playing tug-of-war with kids that were buying the toys he really never plays with.  No thank you!  Never again.

Everything is running like clock work! At least I can claim the Yard Sale accomplishment as my own.  Remember “The Great Clean Out”?  I have gone through almost every drawer and cabinet, so I’ll be taking credit for that part.  : )

 

When we rolled into DC, 5 years ago, it was just Alan, me, Joshua, and Caleb.

 

….and I was 10 pounds heavier…deployment weight.  Can any other military wives relate to the deployment weight??  What causes that?  Ugh!

But look how cute the boys were:

Awww!  That was back when they let ME pick out their clothes.

And we’re leaving the D.C. area as a slightly larger group:

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How far we have come!

I can’t believe we’re only 6 weeks out from our biggest move yet!

Here are a few quotes from our crazy week:

It was POURING RAIN the other day, and I had to get all of the children into the car.  As I was buckling Joshua in, he said, “Mom, I will buckle Daniel in so you don’t have to keep standing out in the rain.”

*heart melting in my soaking wet spot*

: )  Thank you, Joshua, and that’s why you’re the one we’re going to send to college. ; )  (I’m just kidding.  Caleb often voluntarily unbuckles Daniel for me, so he will get to go to college too. Yes, that’s what you go by!!!)

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and bringing the funny as usual….

Caleb walked into the kitchen and said, “Whatever you do, do NOT talk to the toilet.”

“Why not?” I asked him.

“Because, it copies you.”

Daniel immediately ran to the toilet and started shouting into it.

Just another day in the House O’ Boys!