Okay...I've already gotten one email asking why my blog background is for a birthday, so let me explain for those of you who don't know me or my family very well. God blessed me and my husband with a beautiful baby girl, Caitlin, on June 15, 2000. We were ecstatic to say the least when she was born! Well...after trying to conceive for 3 years, we got pregnant with our son, Harrison, and he was born on June 16, 2005. See--God likes a good joke because I would never, ever have planned for their birthdays to be back-to-back! Since June is a busy birthday month at our house, I decided my blog needed to reflect that fact.
On this very special day, we honor those who have risked their lives for us in combat. I wanted to introduce you to two very special men who just happen to be Harrison's namesakes. The first is my grandfather or Papa, Ira Harrison Thornton. He was born to William Jefferson and Ida Harrison Thornton on May 13, 1915. He served in the US Navy on the USS LaPorte out of San Francisco. He saw many ports of call, not the least of these being Pearl Harbor during WWII.
This is a picture that ran in their local newspaper after my Granny visited him in San Francisco. My mom was only three years old when this picture was taken.
The second very special man is Randy's dad, James Alvin Hollingsworth. He was born on April 19, 1928, to James Edgar and Wilma Lewter Hollingsworth. He served in the Air Force during the Korean War.
I love that Harrison is named for two very brave and honorable, Christian men that he can look up to when he gets older.
On Saturday, we got to celebrate a happy occasion with our good friends, Joe and Lawren--their marriage! Randy has known Joe since they started Huntsville High together in 9th grade. I became good friends with him during my days at Auburn--we had weekly 90210 get-togethers. We then had the pleasure of meeting his dream girl last year after he fell madly in love with her. Randy was honored to serve as an usher in their beautiful Spring wedding at Church of the Nativity. (I was busy serving as Stage Mom to our Dancing Queen!) Then, as a family, we attended the reception at Monte Sano Lodge.
The happy couple
Lawren wore her mother's wedding gown. Isn't she beautiful in it?
Dancing the night away with my little man!! Caitlin is in the background with her "Uncle Mike." He has always been her favorite out of all of Randy's friends because he treats her extra special. Tonight was no exception!
My children were the first ones in line for wedding cake! My friend, Jolie, joked that we must not feed our children because Caitlin was first in line for the buffet line as well.
This is what happened on the way back to our table--our friend, Bryan, stole her piece of cake!! Luckily for him, she knows how to share! Bryan was Randy's first college roommate at Jacksonville State University as well as a high school buddy.
It was a lot of fun seeing friends who we don't get to spend time with on a regular basis, and it's always fun to celebrate such a happy occasion as a new marriage!
On Saturday, Caitlin had her long-awaited Dance Recital. I just can't put into words how proud I am of her and all of the hard work she put into her dancing! She amazes me each and everyday with all the things she does, but to watch your only daughter get up there on that huge stage in front of ALL those people in the audience truly wows me!! Plus she had to learn 4 dances! That means 4 costume changes in Michael Phelps' time. I think we were both worn out from just that part of the recital! The theme this year was LIFE magazine and all its many covers through the years.
Here she is with her good friends, Anna and Ansley, striking a pose before the show begins.
This is her tap routine called "Barnyard Boogie." Caitlin is a black horse on the front left side. This dance represented the cover of an Oklahoma Farmer from July 14, 1958.
This is her ballet routine--"Tomorrow" from Annie. Caitlin is on the right side. This dance represented President Franklin D. Roosevelt on the cover on January 4, 1937.
This is her jazz routine--"Glamorous." It was definitely her favorite! This dance represented the Glamorous Life represented on the cover on September 11, 1950. After this dance, we only had 3 songs to get her changed for the Finale! That means about 10 minutes. Do you know how hard it is to change a sweaty eight-year-old in under 10 minutes out of a dance costume into another one?! I really think they need to make this an Olympic event!! I didn't get good pictures of the Finale because: 1. the girls were moving WAY too fast, and 2. there were so many girls on stage at once. You only get to be in the Finale if you have had Perfect Attendance since January. It is a big honor, and one that Caitlin really strove for this year! I was extremely proud of her for making it into the Finale.
Our Family Portrait after presenting Caitlin with her roses for her star performance. This was Harrison's first Dance Recital to attend, and he did fabulous--thanks to 2 Grandpas who played with him and bought him lots and lots of snacks!
Randy actually snuck in at the last minute. We weren't expecting him to get to see any of the Recital. He was in a wedding (more of that later), and he surprised all of us!
We were invited to a friend's birthday birthday party at where else? Jump Zone!! That has got to be my kids' favorite place to go right now! We had so much fun jumping, eating pizza, cake, and ice cream, and then watching Amber open her presents. She got lots of cute "girly" things that Harrison didn't like...except for the Tinkerbell rings on the cake. Daddy just had to shake his head and laugh and say, "At least he's only three."
Caitlin and Brooke having too much fun!
My little man beside the Superman.
Cooling off with Capri-Suns and ice cream
Thanks for inviting us, Amber! We had a great time!!
Well...my Secret Mission to get the offensive magazine covered up in grocery stores is complete!! And I am proud to report that now all the grocery stores in the Madison area have plastic shields over the offensive magazine so that our children will not be reading the "B" word in the checkout line! The only grocery store that I found that already had this done was Publix, so YEA for Publix!!!!!
My sweet First Grade co-workers and I went out to eat last night at Logan's together. It is our end-of-the-year tradition. Actually this is only the second year to do it, but traditions have to start somewhere, right? I absolutely love this group of ladies. You just do not know how much I love and appreciate them! When I moved from Kindergarten to First Grade, they helped me out so, so much!!!!! I just wish I could repay them for all their kindness.
From left to right: Beth, Ashley, Petra, Nakita, Mary Beth, Jennifer, me, Thea, and Debbie
My school had the Kindergarten and First Grade Field Day on Monday. Yes, it was a very gray, yucky day to have it, but unfortunately we don't get to choose the weather. We had a lot of fun running races and just being outside ALL day! It does wear this teacher out though.
Here is my triumphant class after winning the tug-of-war championship! Can you tell how excited we were to beat ALL eight other first grade classes?!?
Then today, I got to play Mommy and join Caitlin for Field Day at her school. The weather was much, much nicer!
Caitlin's class winning at tug-of war. (Caitlin is in the purple t-shirt.)
Caitlin took a quick break from the action to pose for a picture with me.
Caitlin and Daddy
I also got to play wife today! It's always fun interacting with Randy's students, and they think it's hilarious that there is a "Mrs. Hollingsworth!"
Me and My Sweetie
So I have had two VERY busy, but fun days. I am pooped!!!! Anyone want to join me for a massage?
After struggling with infertility (not once, but twice!), I have been very blessed by God to get to celebrate Mother's Day nine times! I feel like this is the greatest job given to me, and I take it very seriously. I absolutely love it and wouldn't trade my babies for anything!
My very first Mother's Day with Caitlin. (11 months old) The wind was blowing something awful, and she was pulling my hair!
My first Mother's Day with Harrison. (Caitlin-5 years, Harrison-11 months old)
It was pretty and bright that day!
My Mother's Day today-2009 (Caitlin-8 years, Harrison -3 years)
Kisses from my babies!
I hope you have had a wonderful Mother's Day with your family!
You may wonder what these things have to do with each other...well, they all happened within the last 24 hours. First, Randy was invited to a Bachelor Party for his good friend, Joe, whose wedding he happens to be in on Memorial Day weekend. Oh, and did I mention that is Caitlin's dance recital?! Anyway, he felt as if he should go since he is a member of the wedding party. He told me this morning that it was a low-key Bachelor Party. Now is he telling me that just to ease my mind????? Then today we had two Birthday Parties to attend. These were very special friends whose birthdays we wouldn't miss for the world! The first party was Alex's. His party was at the Madison Bowling Center (fun, fun!) where we celebrated him turning five years old. He got lots of cool boy toys!
Look at the concentration in those eyes!
Look at that form!
"What's in this one?" Notice Harrison is wearing his new fish shirt we purchased at Target yesterday.
The second party was Annie's Birthday at the Ice Complex. We got to celebrate her 8th birthday with some cool ice skating!
Caitlin started out a little bit shaky, but after she went around a few times with the "walker" she was skating like a pro! She wants to go back next Saturday.
Happy Birthday Annie!
And I know you are wanting to know about the "B" word. Well after we finished partying, we had to run by the grocery store to pick up a few things for supper. Caitlin said that her legs were hurting from ice skating, so she rode in the buggy. As we were waiting in the long checkout line, she was reading all the headlines on the magazines. Luckily I spotted one before her. It had the "B" word boldly written on the front cover!! I was able to quickly place another magazine over this offensive magazine so that she didn't see it. After we paid for our groceries, I walked over to the Customer Servicer counter and asked to see a manager. I took the Assistant Manager over to one of the offensive magazines and pointed it out to her (very nicely of course). I told her that I knew it wasn't her or her store's fault that this magazine chose to print that word on their cover, but I wanted them to be aware that it was being shown at eye level to children so that they could do something about it. I told her that I am not a prude or a naive person, and I know that my daughter will one day read that word and may very well one day say that word out loud. But I choose to stay away from movies and literature (and grocery stores) that have cuss words in them right now so that she is not exposed to it.
So now I am curious if other stores have that magazine out for little eyes to see?! It think I will investigate further.....
As you know by now, I am following along with Kelly's Korner blog and inviting you into my home for part of her "Show Us Where You Live" series. Today is Living Rooms, and here is a glimpse into my well-loved space. We spend a lot of time in this room. It opens into the eating area and kitchen, so a lot of activities happen here.
This is the view from the eating area. I collect lighthouses, and my in-laws gave us this entertainment center one Christmas so that I could have a place to display my collection.
This is the view from the entryway. This couch is so wonderful because it has recliners on both ends. It was a fantastic place to recover after my hysterectomy last Spring. We use our fireplace almost every night in the wintertime. It makes the house so cozy, plus Caitlin and Harrison love making s'mores! The little end table was my Grandmother's. It has a match sitting on the side of the rocker. That has been a well-used rocker for both of my babies!
A view of the fireplace from the eating area. I really don't know what to do with the mantel. I love displaying family photographs on the table. The ones out right now include my babies' 6 week portraits, our very first Christmas together picture, and the grandkids' Christmas portrait.
Our very favorite chair and a half with my 2 babies loving on each other on it. The ottoman is great because it opens up for lots of extra storage space. Thanks for visiting!!
Well, we had to make our weekly Target run today. It was a very uneventful trip until we got home. While there, I saw some cute, cute, cute shirts and matching shorts for Harrison. He picked out a fish shirt with green shorts to match. I told him that he was going to look so cute wearing his new outfit to his buddy Alex's birthday party tomorrow. He wholeheartedly agreed! Fast forward a few hours to when we arrived home:
Caitlin has been our little "Dancing Queen" ever since she was old enough to move her little feet to the music, and I knew that I had a future dancer on my hands. Sure enough, that has been what she has gravitated towards. She has given soccer and gymnastics a try, but dance is IT!! She is in her fifth year of ballet and tap and her second year of jazz. She loves them all! We got the pictures back today of her in her recital costumes, and I couldn't wait to post them. I think she looks like an absolute doll, but I am a little biased...
This close-up is my favorite!
This is her ballet costume. They are dancing to "Tomorrow" from Annie.
She is a horse in "Barnyard Boogie" in her tap costume. There are also pigs, cows, farmers, and chicks in this number. I think we lucked out on being a horse!
The jazz number is "Glamorous," and I think every one of the girls loves it the best! They look so cute up there together with their huge glasses on!
So now we are ready for the big recital on Memorial Day weekend!
I had a really hard day yesterday which turned into a sleepless, yet crowded night in our bedroom with the thunderstorms, and then a rough day at school with 18 terrified first-graders crammed into a narrow hallway during the tornado warnings!! Wow! I'm glad it's all over for now! The bad part of yesterday stems from a conference I had with the principal at Caitlin's school. I haven't written anything so far about Caitlin's dyslexia because she has had the very best tutor who taught her how to cope with her learning problem, but some things have happenend lately that just made me want to cry. Thus the conference. Let me give you a little history: Caitlin was diagnosed in 1st grade with dyslexia thanks to her wonderful teacher who spotted the symptoms. She started working with this great tutor at my school who really turned things around for her. Caitlin had a superb 2nd grade teacher who I cannot even begin to describe for you. It was like God knew just exactly what she and I needed and placed her right in our path. Well, after that summer her tutor said that Caitlin should be fine in 3rd grade. But just to be sure that she would be well taken care of, Randy and I had an instructional plan drawn up for her 3rd grade teacher to follow. (These are called BBSST plans, by the way, and by law, it is a requirement for the teacher to follow it.) Well, 3rd grade ain't so easy!! It's down-right hard if you want to know the hard truth, and we have been having to help Caitlin A LOT every single night. Now don't get me wrong...I love working with my daughter and I know that is my job as a her parent. But I don't think it is fair to an eight-year-old to have to sit through 7 hours of school only to have to come home to 2-3 hours of work! So after everything had finally built up this entire school year, I met with the principal yesterday after school. It was a great meeting, but it took a lot out of me! I just don't like those kinds of meetings AT ALL! So...I think I need to be pampered:) Good thing this weekend is Mother's Day!!
I have been following a great blog, Kelly's Korner, and she recently started a "Show Us Where You Live" series. Every week she will pick a new room in the house to showcase. I am a few days behind (as it is supposed to be a Friday thing), but we have been trying to keep Caitlin and Harrison busy since we have been quarantined due to this Swine Flu business. Anyway, the theme this week is Kitchens. So I thought I would show you mine.
This is the view from the Dining Room. You can't really see it, but the dish towel on the oven says "Roll Tide." It usually changes with the seasons, but that one is our favorite!
I never thought I would have so much on my refrigerator, but with young children it is a necessity! I really don't like my countertops, so we are saving to get granite.
I collect Arthur Court, and here are a few of my pieces proudly displayed.
This is the baker's rack Randy's parents gave us when we moved into our house. I love keeping family pictures out on it. I try very, very hard to keep it clutter-free, but as you can see...it is a losing battle! The door leads into our laundry/pantry.
This is our eating area. We eat more than breakfast here, so I don't call it a breakfast nook! It's a very busy place as you can see. The picnic table in the corner is for the kids' crafts and Play-doh activities--helps with the mess. I absolutely LOVE the tile on the floor! That was one of the main things I pushed for when we built the house. So that's my kitchen--a place where me and my little chefs are every single day of our lives!
On Saturday (our third day off from school), it was STILL raining. We decided to break quarantine and venture out of the boring house. We went to breakfast, and then it was off to Wal-Mart! Caitlin and Harrison each had money to spend. Whew! That took awhile. After picking out the perfect ball and candy, Harrison was overjoyed. Caitlin spent hers on goggles and a shorts outfit--a girl after my own heart! We then came home, and Randy spent a good part of the day performing science experiments with them. Here they are making a homemade lava lamp...
This one shows how fast air is released from a balloon. It has a technical name, but I don't know it! After all this science fun, we shipped them off to my parents (Ma-Ma and Pa-Pa's house) so that we could go see a movie. (We needed a little adult quiet time by this time!) And we ended up running into our friends, Heather and Jason and their family. Jason has been in California working for the past 3 weeks, so it was nice to see him. After the movie, Randy and I met my parents and kids at Rosie's for a delicious Mexican meal. Yum! There we saw some more friends, Kim and her two girls. I think everyone was getting a little stir crazy over the Swine Flu Quarantine and just had to get out!
When we got home, Randy and I put up the tent in the living room so that Caitlin and Harrison could go "camping." They have been wanting to go camping for some time, but this was the best we could do with the rainy weather! They also got to watch a movie while laying inside their tent.
Don't they look like the cutest little campers in there?!
I wear many hats, but the ones I am most proud of are wife, mom, and teacher. I am married to my college sweetheart and the best man ever, Randy, and we have 2 beautiful children, Caitlin and Harrison. We are so blessed by God and try very hard to give back to our community. I teach first grade to some of the best students in the world. Some days I feel like I'm going crazy, but with God's help, I know I can make it!