Tuesday, June 26, 2012

He's A Big Kid Now

Shane did it!  He graduated and life is forever changed, for all of us. 

We had a graduation party for him in Tennessee because we don't really know anyone to invite in our current town.  It was a BIG surprise and we totally kept it hidden from him.  Even his 9 year old brother managed to keep the secret for months.  All was a success!

Here are some pictures.....
He has NO idea.....he's just walking up texting.  He thinks he has come to a party for our friend Mike.
He looks up!

Getting a clue...
Who is here?
Proud Nana
Mason was so proud of his big bro!

It would be nice if I was capable of taking a good picture.

LOVE this girl!
Shannon and Shane....she helped so much with this.  There is no way I could have done it without her....and it was her idea after all!
Lol.....at least Caitlynn looks good!
These two were in love with each other in elementary and most of middle school....but now they are more like brother and sister :)  Love her!
Grew up with these kids!
The Redmans

Tucker has to show everyone how strong he is by picking them up.

Go Bucs!

This is Jessie....she was in the very first preschool class I taught when she was a toddler.....she is so much fun and has so much personality.  She always liked Shane but now she is old enough to have a full blown crush.  She kept asking him out and wrote "Call me, Jessie" on his autograph frame.  I love her entire family!

 Su Mei and Chels
Mason and Caleb enjoying the amazing bar b q by Kari Roy


 There is a story behind the syrup and waffles but I don't know what it is.
Some of the girls he was in forensics with in Maryville.

My girls!  They have all been praying for us through all of this crazy stuff we have had going on.

We stayed in Maryville until Sunday after lunch....then met Nana and she followed us back to 'Bama.  When we got back it was time to pick my mom (Mimi) up from the airport.  The boys had 2 more days of school and then Tuesday is the big day!

 Shane and Mimi

 Pre graduation dinner at PF Changs
 Isn't he handsome?
 He was SO grouchy.  I couldn't even look at him as we were standing in line b/c I was trying to keep from wearing him out.  18 year olds are no picnic, people.

 With his granny's
 Before graduation.....he always finds girls to hang out with.
 There he goes!
 That's him.....I just missed him!
 Well.....good luck world!  Here he comes!

Monday, March 19, 2012

They Take and Take and Take

I am sure you have heard of "filling up your love bucket."  Well, mine is E.M.P.T.Y.  Truth is...it's been empty for quite some time now.  As a wife and mother, I just feel like I don't have anything left to give and when I feel like that everyone suffers.  My husband tries...and does all he can....but he works 60 hours a week....he is probably feeling pretty empty, too.

But...the children.....oh, the children...they take and take and take and take.  A little "thank you" without any manipulation to get something they want would be SUPER!  I'm tired....tired of their stuff all over the house, tired of them looking at me like I have lost my mind when I ask for the 1400th time to take the trash out, tired of all of it.  Sick and tired.

I once tried to go on strike.  The joke was on me....because these boys do not care if the dishes are washed, their clothes are clean, there is pee all over the bathroom, the floor is vacuumed, the furniture is dusted.  It lasted months, because I'm pretty stubborn, but it was a waste of my time and just meant it was all a bigger mess when my strike ended.

Many times I have prayed that it goes back to them when they have kids, but who am I kidding?  Their wives will be the ones suffering.  They will get to go off to work every morning and avoid the mess and drama.

Sometimes I think that maybe I just wasted my time giving them chores.  It would be a lot easier to just do it all myself and never expect any help.  Teaching them how to do laundry and clean the bathroom is a lot of work...for me.  Even with my older two all of their chores have to be supervised.  It's just ridiculous.

It isn't just the cleaning and the chores.  When I get home from grocery shopping today...I will have to hear that I didn't get any food.  There will be great gnashing of teeth!  They don't like their clothes, we have the wrong tv, they want smart phones, we don't do anything fun, etc. 

At the end of the day...they want hugs, and to lay down and talk and fill them with encouragement.  I'm just too tired after telling people to do what they are supposed to do!  But as mom's...we don't have a choice.  It is ALL on us. 

When they don't turn out right...who gets blamed?  You guessed it....MOM.

Thursday, March 1, 2012


We got a dog!  I know, I have lost my mind.  I have always had this overwhelming guilt that I have a house full of boys and we have a cat.  Something about it just seems wrong.  We do not have a tough, killer cat (although we did have one long ago), we have a sweet, angelic, scaredy cat. 

In the past we have gotten a couple of dogs and several of them ran away.  A couple I tried REALLY hard to find....put signs out, notices on petfinder.com, checked the shelters.....but one I just kind of said "Thank you, God" and went with it.   We had the craziest, crack head dog a couple of years ago and we gave it to someone who lived on a farm.  Truthfully, we haven't done real well in the dog department.  We have had our cat as long as we've had Mason so we are not complete failures as pet owners.

This time I just kept looking on Craigs List and rescue websites.  I wanted a dog that was at least 3 years old and potty trained :)  Chris was super picky every time I showed him a dog.  I just wanted to make sure we got the right behavior and he wanted cuteness.  We have different ideas of what cuteness is.

I went to Bunco with a friend from church and the lady whose house we had it at she had a golden who was adorable.  He had a stuffed animal that he carried around in his mouth and he was adorable.  That made me want to work harder at finding one.

One day I was on Craig's List and I found her!  They said she was a Golden/Lab mix that was black, potty trianed, well behaved.  The owner was a single mother who was downsizing and had 2 dogs and was getting rid of one....the other she had for 11 years.  We drove way out to the middle of nowhere, Alabama to check her out.  She was sweet from the very beginning....and so we brought her home.  Her name had been Ebony but we didn't like that so the boys chose "Abby."  It is close enough that she answers to it.  She really is super sweet and does have manners!  The only problems we have had is when we crated her she freaked out and turned into Magnito from X-Men and demolished her bed and bent the bars on the crate.  So, now she has free reign at night....but has never made a mess.

The only con so far is that we feel like we can't go anywhere and have to worry about being gone forever and the shedding.   I could really do without more hair being everywhere.  My own head of hair sheds enough for all of us.

Here she is......

Just in case you're wondering.....the people in this home who swore they would take care of her and do ANYTHING to get a dog.....are not the people who take care of the dog.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Bye 2011....Hello 2012

I haven't updated in so long....I seem to start off every post by saying that...lol!

We had such a wonderful Thanksgiving.  Our only Thanksgiving in Florida was so lame with our dinner at Cracker Barrel (delicious but the company was grouchy).  This year we got to spend it with the whole Redman clan and it was exactly what Thanksgiving should be.  It has always been my favorite holiday.....I am sure a big part of that is that I get to eat awesome food but I have never had to cook...I hate to cook but love to eat.  As a kid all of my favorite Thanksgiving holiday's were on Long Island with the New York cousins.  So many great memories and I know my kids feel the same way about Thanksgiving with their Redman cousins.

This year every single Redman was there except for my nephew, Brett, and his wife, Amy.  They live in Texas and are newly married with fairly new jobs and can't just run around the country over every holiday.  In other words....they are grown ups now.  My mother in laws brother, Lindley, his daughter and her husband also got to come and eat turkey with us.  It was just filled with family and we appreciated it more than ever because we had to miss out last year.

Almost all of the Redman's got up to do the Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving morning.  I even got up...but I went to be the paparazzi and Shane went as the pack mule.

Rick and Barry frying up a Turkey.....Gary isn't in the picture but he was cooking, too!

Oh, there's Gary.

Sue stirring the gravy (a very important job!).  She wasn't very happy with me for taking this picture but isn't she cute?

Big Chris and Little Chris.....or old Chris and young Chris :)

Tucker and the only girl cousin, Lexanne.  Ten boys and one girl.....the testosterone is off the charts!

I love him <3

Shane and Garrett....he is the biggest Packers fan that ever lived.

Chris and his favorite uncle, Lindley.  Now...we could argue that he is his only uncle....but he is pretty great regardless :)

Shane and his Aunt Tammy

After we eat the big feast.....and it is a FEAST...everyone plays games.  This year Apples to Apples was a favorite.

 Lexanne brought her boyfriend, Jon.  We LOVE him.

Since this was the first time in 10 years that we have all been together, Nana wanted family pictures.  Since I love pictures I was all for it.  A real photographer took beautiful pictures but I took some of the process.  My favorite pictures are the ones that capture what is going on behind the scenes.

This is Gary, Chris's oldest brother and his wife, Sue.

Shane and me

 Mason and Joseph

This picture is probably my favorite from the whole weekend.  It just makes me laugh.  Poor Tammy......surrounded by boys her whole life.

My baby

The Boones Creek Redman's

Our nephew, Nash...he is so much fun.

We scheduled Shane's first college visit at East Tennessee State for the Monday after the holiday.  It was a great visit to a beautiful campus.  So exciting for Shane.

Over the month we had some different school things go on.......

Mason played someone important in the class Thanksgiving play.  I just can't remember the important persons name right now.  I'm old....most of the time I can barely remember Mason's name.  He did a great job...that I remember.

Tucker played Batman in his drama class play.  He was too funny.  When did he get so ripped?

Mason was Joseph in the children's choir performance at our church.

Scott, Rose, Austin and Caitlynn came in for Shane's birthday!!!!  We were so excited...it just made Shane's birthday extra special.   So blessed to have such wonderful friends.

PF Changs.....it was so yummy.

We also went and found our Christmas tree over the month.  We always get a real tree but I am wondering if we need to rethink that next year.  We just never know what to do with it when we are done.....it's a pain in the tush.  

We got Tucker a gift and wrapped it up in a Victoria Secret box.  It was pretty funny when he had to open it.....and find something that was unrelated to lingerie.  Torturing 13 year old boys is pretty awesome.

Mason had another Star Wars themed Christmas.

We had another exciting year in 2011.  The last few years have been filled with big changes for us.....most of those we have not welcomed.   We are happy to be somewhere that we think we will be able to stay for awhile.  I am praying it is 10 years so I can keep these boys in the same school until they graduate.  Overall, it has been another great year for our family.