Thursday, July 20, 2017

Picture of the Week - 7/20/2017

I'm back again from another week away from home.  This summer is kicking my butt!  Monday I'm off to Dallas...  at least that trip is just a one-nighter.  

I missed football evaluations this week.  (I missed a lot more than that...  but I'm not gonna dwell...)  

Here's a fun picture from the evals.  Don't tell anyone, but I'm pretty sure Spencer is proud of his little brothers.  It's so crazy that my LITTLE boys are both playing football this year.  It's also a pretty obvious reminder that we're sending Beck to REAL school on a REAL yellow bus exactly 2 weeks from today.  Super crazy!

I'm exhausted.  I'm gonna go crash.  Then, after a good night's sleep, I'm going to work hard to cram as much summer fun as possible into this weekend.  GO!


Thursday, July 13, 2017

Picture of the Week - 7/13/2017



This parenting thing...  why didn't anyone tell me it was so full of difficult decisions.  So. Much. Gray...  I really like things Black and White. Right and Wrong.  

There have been a few situations recently that have caused us to stop and THINK and try not to over-react.  These situations have really tested our resolve to look at the big picture and not focus on quick wins, easy way outs, and short term harmony.  As I think I've mentioned before, we conscientiously try to remember that our goal as parents is to build good, capable, well-adjusted and HAPPY people.  

One of the things that Bob and I have purposely considered when making decisions is that we really want our kids to be confident and capable.  This is not the same as cocky...  and we have MANY conversations with a certain 14 year old about remaining humble.  But confidence is one of those traits that 1) you can build and 2) you will reap rewards from for your whole life.  I want my kids to believe they can do whatever they put their mind to do.  And *I* believe they can do this.  Of course there are some limits.  None of my kids will play in the NBA.  But when it comes to trying new stuff and working toward reasonable goals, I want them to GO FOR IT.  I never want them to look back and think "man, I wish I had done xxxxx, but my parents discouraged me from trying."

So this all leads us to Spencer's recent purchase of a truck.  In Georgia, you get your learners permit at age 15. You have to have it for 12 months before you can get your limited driver's license.  (Aside - I can hardly believe we are having serious conversation about one of my kids driving a car.  Sigh...  our time with him is nearly over...)  This gives Spencer roughly 15 months before he will be able to jump into a vehicle and drive it as his own.

A long time ago Bob and I decided that we wanted to help with the purchase of our boys' first cars, but we didn't want to GIVE it to them.  We told the boys that whatever they had saved up for a purchase, we would double.  So if they worked hard and saved 10k, we'd shop for a 20k vehicle.  If they spent money on video games and crap and had only 2k to spend, they their car purchase budget was 4k.  Fair enough...

Spencer got it in his head a few months ago that he wanted to start shopping around.  The app LET GO has been his favorite place to browse.  He's found some ridiculously cheap options - most of which didn't run - some of which had moss INSIDE them.  We've talked about these, but not super seriously.  Then he found this 1969 Chevy truck and he got more serious.  He independently reached out to the owner to find out more.  He did a TON of research about the truck and what might be necessary to fix it up.  

He decided he wanted to go look at this thing in person so that he could decide if he really wanted to buy it.  It has an engine, an improvement over some of the options.  It does not have a seat.  It doesn't currently run, although it does turn over.  It is missing the ENTIRE truck bed.  

He saw it.  He kinda fell in love with it.  He wanted it.

Now comes decision time for me and Bob.  Do we let him do this.  It's pretty risky...  if he can't get it running, it's essentially like throwing away $4400 - half of which is ours. No one wants to throw away money.

But then we looked at the upside.  

First, if it fails, then it's a relatively safe failure.  If the boys aren't allowed to try and fail with the safety net of family behind them now, then when would they EVER be ready take a worthwhile risk.  (This is not to say that we will change our minds and buy him a car if this doesn't work out.  That's not on the table...)  

Second, he's already proven that he can do the research required to figure out what to do.  Can he actually, physically DO these things?  No idea...  we're about to find out.  If he does learn these things, this is a whole new skill set that he's not going to get in any other way.  It's a good opportunity, in other words, to build knowledge and skills that will likely come in handy for the rest of his life.  

Third, if he succeeds and get the truck running, he will have built a great deal of confidence in himself and his abilities to work hard for something he wants.  Because this is going to be hard work... that truck is a hot mess. 

I'm honestly not sure why, exactly, he chose this route.  His friends think he's crazy.  Bob and I laid out the reality of the situation.  And then he decided to do it anyway.  And we're supporting this decision.

I'm sure some of you reading this will think we are insane for letting him make this purchase.  It's a hassle, it's a risk, and at the end of the day, he may not have anything to drive - and we REALLY need another driver in the family.  

But some of you may understand that this kind of decision, this kind of risk taking, this kind of unconventional facilitated training/learning, this kind of unconditional support is exactly what I want my kids to remember about how they were raised.  It's exactly the kind of thing that we think is missing in today's society.  Work hard - get rewarded - sometimes you win - sometimes you fail.  

It's life.  And it's ugly and hard.  And it's beautiful.  

Stay tuned for Truck updates over the next 15 months.  :)




Thursday, July 6, 2017

Picture of the Week - 7/6/2017

Greetings!

I hope everyone had a safe and happy 4th of July!  I have kind of a love/hate thing with mid-week holidays.  I love the extra "free" day, but then it's back to work the very next day.  Schedules are strange.  Half the world seems like they are on vacation right now.  

We had a very nice, relaxing Tuesday.  Got up.  Yard work.  Then pool time.  Cook out.  Cards and beers with my parents.  It was awesome!  Would have been awesomer if we didn't have to work the next day!

Every day I get to look back at old pictures taken on the same day in years past.  I use Timehop, which I'm pretty sure I've talked about before.  I also use Amazon Prime photos, who recently added the same functionality.  (Incidentally, if you are a Prime user, it's free and a pretty cool way to store/protect all your pictures.)  

It turns out that one of my all time favorite pictures of the boys was taken on July 4th 4 years ago.  So of course, I made the boys recreate it.  Pretty crazy how much they have all changed in 4 years.  You know who was the most difficult of them all in the picture taking process.  Willow!  She was terrible and had Bob totally flustered.  LOL

Enjoy this little bit of then/now!  

Next week I'm off on a tour of Sacramento and Phoenix.  I'll have to leave at o-dark thirty on Monday morning and won't be back until around midnight on Thursday.  YUCK!  Have a great week everyone.  I hope yours is a little more restful than I think mine is going to be...

2017

2013

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Picture of the Week - 6/29/2017

Holy cow - June is over.  How did that happen?  

This past week has been a whirlwind of company and business travel and kids going a million different directions.  I guess that's what you get when you try to fit in ALL the things that go along with summertime!

Here are a couple of pretty low quality pictures from Bob's cell phone.  I don't know that I took a single picture all week.  Oops!

The little boys have started Jiu Jitsu.  If you've ever heard me talk about Jocko Willink, that's why.  He wrote a book called "The Way of the Warrior Kid" and now Zane and Beck are throwing themselves into learning Jiu Jitsu.  Know what...  I kind of love it!  There's definitely something different you get out of participating in an individual sport that you don't get out of team sports.  Both have valuable lessons and I love that the little dudes are so willing to work on this.  Also, they are actually pretty good at it.  Zane is a rule follower - which fits very nicely with the discipline of martial arts - and he's relatively athletic for his age.  He pays very close attention to learning new moves and once he gets some direction from the coaches, he remembers all of it.  Beckett is less about the discipline and actually spends a fair amount of time with his nose on the mat in the Jiu Jitsu version of "time out".  But he's also very strong for a 5 year old and when you combine that with the fact that he's very aggressive and kind of nasty and absolutely fearless...  he's got the right stuff to be really good.



One of the pictures is Beck showing off his muscles in the pool.  While we were at the beach, my mom taught the boys to snorkel.  So I got them some snorkel gear for our pool and they love it!  Pretty cool to see them and it has REALLY improved their swimming ability too!  Win win!



The last picture is Beck and Quinn playing video games.  Yes, they've played a LOT of games this summer.  Probably more than they should, but they enjoy it and sometimes you just need to let them do something that will keep them happy and quiet for a while.  (Remember we are often working from home before any judging occurs!)  One of the things I love about this picture is that it so accurately captures this relationship between #2 and #4 that's really blossomed this summer.  Those two are buddies.  Quinn takes care of Beck.  Beck adores Quinn.  They almost never argue.  It's (at least at this moment in time) the best relationship between any of the boys.  I'm sure things will morph and change (because they have before...) but for now I'm really enjoying watching those 2 together.  



If you might be wondering why Spencer isn't in any pictures it's because he's been gone pretty much since last Saturday morning.  He went away on a church trip with 900 other high school kids (ouch...  just referred to one of my kids as a high schooler...) to Panama City Beach.  They stayed in a resort with their small groups and seem to have had a great time.  It's impossible to get any kind of details from a 14 year old boy, but he said he'd go back next year, so it must have been good.  He got home last night and then turned around at 5:30 this morning to go to a football camp over in Rome, GA.  This is the last of the planned trips he's got for the summer and my guess is that he'll now be singularly focused on getting ready for the football season.  I imagine the weight bench in the basement is about to get a workout...

Have a very safe and happy 4th of July everyone!  Happy early birthday to my sister.  We aren't really sure WHAT we are going to get into over the weekend or for the holiday, but I'm sure it'll be full of summer fun!

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Picture of the Week - 6/22/2017

Here are my favorite pictures of each of my boys from vacation - and a priceless group shot too!

We had a great week!  
The boys had a great time.  They all fished and swam and jumped waves.  The little guys were SO DIFFERENT this year than last year.  They weren't timid at all!  (It would have been slightly more relaxing if Beck had been just a *little* timid and at least stayed where he could reach!)  They learned how to snorkel and swim in the pool too.  No more floaty vests for us!  Wow!  We've been dragging those things around to all water-related activities for like 7 or 8 years!  I won't miss em!

We played games and drank wine and ate oysters 3 times!  We kicked back and just enjoyed the down time.  Nowhere to be.  No schedules.  It was lovely!

As much fun as we had, it was pretty hard to hit real life again this week.  The boys are all over the place - different activities, different places, different times.  Work is work.  I suppose they call it the grind for a reason.  I'm off today for a short overnight to TN and then heading to Orlando for a conference on Sunday.  Vacation seems almost like a distant memory already.  I suppose we just need to start looking forward to the next adventure!

Have a great week everyone!








Thursday, June 15, 2017

Picture of the Week - 6/15/2017

Greetings from St. George Island Florida - aka the Forgotten Coast

We are having a great vacation!  I was really worried the weather would be a problem - and it was the first day we were down here - but it's not been an issue since!  We've dodged some storms and had to adjust our "beach routine" a bit, but we're rolling with the flow and having a blast!

More pictures and stories later...  I want to get back to doing nothing.  :)

Here's a picture, taken at 2:20 today from our deck.  This is why they call the place the forgotten coast.  I love that there are so few people here!  It's just beautiful and relaxing and exactly what we needed!


Thursday, June 8, 2017

Picture of the Week - 6/8/2017

Happy June!

So you guys...  I totally forgot to do a Picture of the Week last week.  I have no good reason (old age, forgetfulness, too many things going on don't count).  I just plain forgot.  I wasn't traveling.  I was working from home.  No special meetings.  Nothing out of the ordinary.  Oops!  I didn't actually remember until SUNDAY.  How crazy is that!  Oh well... I'm human, moving on.

This week was the second week of our summer break.  The boys all seem to be settling into the new routine.  Bob, on the other hand, has had to purchase a Taxi sign and spends FAR more time doing shuttle service than anyone should have to do.  Poor dad!  This week was the start of high school practices and Spencer is in his glory.  Between the football and lacrosse conditioning sessions, he is up there 4 days a week.  If/when he adds wrestling, he will be better off to just take a sleeping bag.  

He's not doing wrestling yet (because of the shoulder), but has returned to full use for all other weight lifting/training activities.  He lifts every day.  His shoulders are already impressive.  He's kind of a beast.  Here's a picture of him from yesterday following his LAST appointment with the shoulder surgeon.  He's very pleased - hence the cheesy smile!  He got his official clearance to return to conditioning.  (Which is good because he actually cleared himself, with input from his physical therapist 2 weeks ago.)  The only thing he can't do, just yet, is contact.  The surgeon asked that we wait until July to do that.  Timing is perfect!  He will be beefed up and ready for football practice!  (And I won't even tell you how much he's eating right now...  that's a story for another day...  it's a LOT!)



Last Saturday was the first "Summer Saturday" for our lacrosse program.  It's a free event that our coaches organize and run to help share the sport with kids who may not have ever tried it.  It's also a good way for our existing members to get out for a little bit on a Saturday morning to play through the summer.  We went up there and turned it into a family event!  Spencer was a referee (which he's never done before), Quinn shagged balls, and the little guys played.  The pick up game included kids as old as rising 6th graders and as you as... BECKETT.  He was an absolute riot.  His skills leave much room for improvement, but his attitude and spunk are as good as anyone else on the field.  He did not think twice about jumping in there with those big kids.  It was SO funny!  He's #93 in this picture.  You can see how little he is in comparison.


Sunday we leave for our week at the beach.  The weather forecast looks dismal.  Lots of rain this year.  So we're packing cards and games and movies and hoping for the best.  

Have a great week everyone!

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Picture of the Week - 5/25/2017

I'm feeling particularly blessed today!

Lots of good stuff happening lately - and MORE about to happen!

I'm blessed to have 4 good kids who have had a really great year.  Ups and Downs - of course.  Stresses - Yes!  Challenges and drama and more yelling and punishing than I would prefer, but taken on the whole, WAY WAY WAY more good stuff than bad this school year.  It's time to say hello to high school and good bye to day care.  Moving on and growing up and making their mom proud along the way!

I'm blessed to have my parents HERE and ABLE and WILLING to jump in on this crazy ride.  They are keeping the boys for us this weekend so Bob and I can go on an anniversary trip.  I know it's not easy to step in the the Bovenizer-variety chaos, but they do it with a smile on their faces (at least that the beginning) and reassurances to go and not worry.  So we will do JUST THAT!  We're gonna GO and have a great time celebrating 20 wonderful years as Mr. and Mrs.  

And I'm especially blessed to be going through this whole life journey with Bob.  It's hard for me to imagine a more perfect partner.  I can't fathom anyone else better suited to deal with ME.  (I may not always be the easiest person to live with!)  I thank God for putting Bob into my life!  Some things are just meant to be!

Here's a fun picture from our wedding day (May 24, 1997) and today (May 25, 2017) waiting for our plane to take us up to Portland, Maine for a big adventure.  

Have a very safe and happy Memorial Day weekend.  Kick off summer with a BANG!





Thursday, May 18, 2017

Picture of the Week - 5/18/2017

Middle of May - nearly the end of the school year - almost summertime - and we're gearing up for all kinds of fun!

Let's start with a countdown that Bob and I have had for a year...  next week we get to go on a grown-up trip to a place we've never been to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary.  I'm so ridiculously excited!  We're heading to a resort in Cape Elizabeth, Maine.  We have very few plans outside of our pre-purchased tickets on the "brew bus" to visit local craft breweries.  This trip marks a pretty cool milestone - and also survival of another school year.  So excited...  more on Maine next week!

And then there's Spencer, who's got just 6 (officially) days of middle school left.  In reality, it's more like 4...  one day is the 8th grade picnic and I am not going to even TRY to make him go to school on the last day.  Hard to believe he's done with Vickery Creek Middle School.  It treated him (and us) very very well.  He's ready for high school.  He's MORE ready for the summer and has big plans to get himself back into "football shape".  He wants to work out, lift weights, train, condition and eat.  He's got a goal to spend just about every day in the HS weight room - and between the football, wrestling and lacrosse teams, there are plenty of opportunities.  He also wants to put on 20 lbs of muscle weight.  So we are stocking up on eggs and protein powder and chicken and muscle milk.  I'm guessing my food budget will be getting bigger at about the same rate as he does...

Quinn is wrapping up 7th grade in fine style.  He's not flashy and not making any big leaps, but he's the epitome of slow and steady wins the race.  He's become known around our neighborhood as the "responsible Bovenizer" - which is accurate - and has several little jobs lined up for the summer.  He'll be dog sitting and garden watering and stuff like that.  He's got a few summer camps lined up, but for the most part I think he's looking forward to some downtime - and probably too much video gaming.

Zane killed first grade.  He had a really awesome year.  He's reading chapter books and does math in his head and generally blows me away.  His sweet teacher is moving from 1st grade down to kindergarten next year and has told us she's going to try to get Beckett.  We've ALL warned her that Beck is not Zane...  really, really not Zane!  

Beckett is also changing schools and next week marks our LAST WEEK of daycare.  READ THAT AGAIN!!!  After more than 15 STRAIGHT years, we will be day care free.  I. Just. Don't. Know....  Beck and Zane are going to a couple of different places over the summer.  They are doing a couple of weeks at the Y camp - where they will get exhausted and filthy doing real summer camp stuff - and they are doing the rest of the summer at a camp hosted by our elementary school.  I'm guessing there won't be too many kindergartners in the Whitlow summer camp.  I imagine it's mostly for kids who are already at the school.  I am not the LEAST bit worried about sending Beckett.  He's so so so ready to move on and up.  He is a 15 year old dude in a 5 year old body.  Attitude for days.  Last weekend at his last lacrosse practice, he became the enforcer and TOOK OUT this annoying little kid who was bugging everyone else.  He also won every face off he attempted.  He's a special dude.  Here are a couple fun pictures of Beck.  One is him before school one day looking way older than 5 (and yes, that IS a fidget spinner) and the other is him sporting his cool "I just joined the pack" t-shirt from kindergarten orientation.  

Good stuff!

Have a great week everyone - I know we will!  (Even if I will be in NC doing a sales demo on our anniversary...  boo!)



Thursday, May 11, 2017

Picture of the Week - 5/11/2017

Greetings from New York City!

I think it's probably been somewhere around 25 years since I've been in NYC.  Maybe more like 27...  I think the last time I was here I was in high school.  Goodness...  time flies!

I don't remember NYC being so crowded.  I actually don't remember it being so big either.  And, now given the gift of perspective, I can say that it's a really cool city.  The limited amount of time I've spent here between yesterday afternoon and this evening has confirmed for me that 1) I could never live here and 2) that's a cool place to visit.

This Sunday is Mother's Day.  I think it's also the first "free" day we've had in weeks.  I'm SO looking forward to hanging out with my boys and just enjoying a day together.  I asked them on Tuesday to take a picture with me as my gift for Mother's Day.  They all happily agreed and we marched outside between everyone getting home from school and heading back out for evening activities.  Here's my "gift" of my Gifts.  Love.  My Heart is FULL!



Have a great week everyone!  

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Picture of the Week - 5/4/2017

The photographer for this week's pictures was Beckett.  Not even kidding...  

One night at Zane's practice he was flipping himself back and forth, up and over the chain link fence.  For a while, I tried to stop him from climbing the fence, perching on top, and leaping back off.  I was certain he would fall, he would bleed, or he would rip his clothes.  He's done none of those things.  He HAS ignored all my requests for him to stop.  SO now I just let him go.  And he's a VERY VERY VERY skilled fence climber.  I'm so proud...

Anyway, so he was climbing the fence, like a monkey, and I was standing there beside him and he started asking for my phone - which I never give him.  He wanted to take pictures.  I resisted for a while, but that child can be very persistent.  And I'm very old and tired.  HA!  So I caved and handed him my phone.  I asked him to be careful and figured I'd just delete all the pictures he took.  Don't you know that he got some great ones!  At one point he was laying on his belly in the middle of the field while the team was doing their post-practice huddle.  He took the picture here of that huddle and while he was doing it I actually looked at the parents beside me and said "that's gonna be a cool picture".

He also took the picture with the cool sunbeam in it.  No idea how he managed that one, but you can see me in the background on the "parent side" of the fence.  LOL

My lesson - sometimes it's a good idea to just say "yes" and see what happens.  




This weekend is the end of our spring 2017 lacrosse season.  It's been a bit of a mixed bag.  Beck and Zane have had a great season.  Spencer's has sucked because he's been sidelined through the whole thing.  Quinn's has been OK, but not great.  He's gotten a lot better and worked on his skills, but his team hasn't had a great season.  By this time in the season, every year, I'm just ready for it all to be over.  This year is no exception.  I'll be glad when we can throw all the nasty pads in the wash and call it done for a bit.  It's time for us to just stop and breathe for a bit.

Have a great week everyone!  I'm off to NYC for a couple of days next week and Spencer officially starts freshman football - although he can't participate in anything yet...  dumb shoulder.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Picture of the Week - 4/27/17

2 fun pictures today - no deep thoughts or long, rambly stories.  

Someday soon, I will get back to the long, rambly stories and attempt to share all the stuff bouncing around my mind, but for now...  just cute pictures!

Bob actually took both of these while I was traveling this week (crossed Montana off my "yet to visit" list).  The first is Beckett on his way to school.  He insisted on doing his own hair.  All my kids need hair cuts - badly.  I adore this picture.  It reminds me SO much of a cartoon character.  That child has more personality in him than should be allowed...  he's awesome.



The second picture is from the youth lacrosse night at the high school.  I love this event and am SO bummed that I missed it this year.  The lacrosse booster club always does SUCH a great job.  This was at their "photo booth".  They also had raffle drawings and contests and kona ice and face painting.  Tons of fun!  And each of the boys won something.  LOL  I'm quite certain the crowd was very pleased when they ran out of Bovenizers to call!  We cleaned up!



Have a great week everyone!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Picture of the Week - 4/20/2017

Here are some funny pictures of 3 of my 4 boys.  I, sadly, don't have a ridiculous picture of Quinn at the moment...  which really just means I'm now on a mission!

Some info about these...




Zane - He's got the thickest, most awesome hair.  Seriously...  people will be jealous of his hair for years to come.  It's just wavy enough to be beautiful and it's thick and, honestly, lush.  Lucky boy...  

Beck - I think half the pictures I take of Beckett are with THAT lacrosse field in the background because we spend half our life at Sawnee Mt.  Last night we were hanging out, watching Zane he he took my hair out of its ponytail and insisted I give him one.  Between that, the location, and that goofy missing tooth, it may be one of my favorite pictures of him ever.  


Spencer - HA!  I can't wait to use this at his HS graduation.  He insisted on wearing the ears with the tiara if he was going to wear ears.  LOL  He's actually quite hilarious when he's actually speaking to us!  :)

Have a fun and crazy week everyone!  


Friday, April 14, 2017

Picture of the Week - 4/14/2017

Running a bit late this week.  Sometimes the days just FLY by!

Yesterday I was in Norfolk, Va and got home last night.  It was one of the more enjoyable business trips I've taken.  The weather in Norfolk was gorgeous.  The client team was SUPER nice.  I got on an earlier flight home and every single Delta employee I ran into smiled and chatted.  Then, I got to my car to start home, sure I'd be stuck in traffic forever since Atlanta is essentially broken due to the bridge collapse.  I DID have to take the long way home, but I ran into almost zero traffic.  It was A-MA-ZING!  So yeah - all business trips are not created equally!

Last weekend we took the boys up to the North Georgia Mountain Zoo.  I'd seen flyers about this place for years, but we've never been there.  And we really didn't know what to expect.  North Georgia Mountain Zoo started out as one of those "rent a zoo animal" places that served parties and events.  It's been a "real" zoo since 2010.  I was so impressed with the place!  It's SUPER hands on.  We enjoyed the reptile house and the various tours.  Really a fun day - and the weather couldn't have been better.  Yay for family time!

Here's a picture of Spencer with a Llama.  I don't get a ton of Spencer pictures.  He's usually too cool to be bothered with my photo pleadings.  He really liked the Llamas.  LOL

Tonight Bob and I are stealing a "date night" which will include a trip to Target to buy Easter Basket stuff.  Nothing like last minute...  Tomorrow we've got lacrosse games and then Easter fun with my family on Sunday.  Yay for family time!

Have a very Blessed Easter everyone!


Thursday, April 6, 2017

Picture of the Week - 4/6/2017

Happy Spring Break week!

Our plans for Spring Break were much less exciting than the 90% of Forsyth County who went to the beach this week.  Seriously - everyone is there away!

We didn't travel and stayed close to home.  (This is payment for spending vacation days - and dollars - on the annual Buckeye cruise.)  Despite dealing with bad weather for several days, a stomach flu that has made it's way through 4 of 6 of us, and a certain teenage boy giving us the silent treatment, we've had a pretty cool week.

I dig not having to race around in the evenings and spending every night at the park.  Being home and hanging out with Bob is pretty fun! 

Here's a list of things we have accomplished this week:
  1. Beckett can now ride a bike without training wheels
  2. Zane can now jump rope more than 20 jumps in a row
  3. Our front yard now has flowers and color and looks loved
  4. Our front porch chairs now have RED cushions - I was clearly very tired of the dull, neutrals
  5. Our back porch cushions have been replaced with less nasty ones - which Rooster is trying hard to make nasty again
  6. We spent a day in Chattanooga and visited the Tennessee aquarium, which I still like better than the Atlanta version (which is actually good because you can't get downtown from our house after the I-85 collapse
  7. While in Chattanooga we went to Lookout Mountain - which was very cool (see picture) - and drove past Rock City (which was very touristy and not deemed worth stopping)
  8. We added a snake named Tyrone to the family (Spencer's)
  9. Spencer and Quinn have watched eleventy-million movies
  10. Zane has eaten everything in the pantry
  11. We have gone through 8 gallons of milk since last Friday
  12. Bob and I have managed to keep everyone relatively happy and have, collectively, only taken 3 days off work.  (Little boys are now hanging with my parents for a much appreciated change of scenery.)

All in all - it's been a really good, albeit somewhat odd, week.  I love the idea of a spring break (and fall too) that's actually a break.  Not sure we'd feel as nice and refreshed if we had tried to manage a week at the beach instead of hanging out at home.  Although a good tan WOULD be nice!