Sunday, September 27, 2015

We Faired Well

The White County Fair in Searcy on Moster Truck night is a tradition for we 3 Lee's. It's a 1hour 20 min drive for us. Randall's plane from Iowa landed in Jonesboro around 5:00 and we ran home for him to change his clothes....he picked his best redneck shirt for the occasion to ensure he fit in real good. That's my man! LOL . We rolled in right as it started, after stopping off at the Bulldog in Bald Knob for supper, of course. 

This guy was more into the rides than the monster trucks this year. He was so fun to watch. Everything was exciting to him. I love living life through him sometimes. Oh, to be a child. 

Dude would not ride this last year and this year he took the front seat with a smile. So cute! 

He smiled the entire ride and put his hands in the air and everything. We got such a joy out of watching him. 

When Henry walked up the steps to that slide and went down by himself I shed a tear. Crazy, I know. This boy is blooming right before my eyes in so many areas. It's overwhelming at times. His daddy and I are so proud of how brave he has become. 

We always take a selfie at the a White County Fair and usually in the petting zoo for some reason. We love seeing "Llama Llama red pajama" each year. It's a book we have read since he was 2. I love that he will always think of that book everytime he sees a llama for the rest of his life. He's my funny boy. 

What's a visit to the fair without seeing someone you know! We ran into a sweet friend of my mother-in-love's and Julie's boys former Sunday School teacher while living in Augusta. We love Tammy and her crew. Henry had scored a Gideon Bible and was showing it off. I loved this picture. 


And then we faired it up in Jonesboro with friends the following week at the NEA District Fair

Quinn and Henry buddied up for Buddy night. Quinn is 8 and so sweet to Henry. Henry loves him. We go to church together and his parents are good buddies of ours. James and Emily had extra passes and invited us to go with them.  Randall was shelling corn in East Tennessee that night so we faired on without him. 

This is what we saw all night.... Hand in hand. Precious. We couldn't keep up with them! 

Henry said this was his favorite ride of the night. They laughed so hard and smiled the whole time. 

I loved this because Henry wanted to do bumper cars at the a White County Fair but no one else was in line. Pure excitement to get bumped by Quinn. He laughed so hard. 

I still laugh with snort and all when I see this picture. James and I had to ride the big Ferris wheel with the boys.  (Emily couldn't ride with him because she's having a baby! ) So, in true Lee/Adair fashion, we cut it up the entire ride. We sent this to Randall and he sent us a picture from his combine. Emily was on the ground acting like she didn't know us. I love having Jesus-loving friends with a large sense of humor. 

Oh but these guys.... They were the best part of that Ferris wheel ride. They loved being high over the midway. They said the ride wasn't long enough. The good ones never are. 

Emily snapped this of us before we got off. Such fun. 

We faired so hard we wore her out. I told her earlier that day I keep forgetting she's pregnant! Lol.  I'm so excited for my friend. 

Henry found the slide again at this fair and loved it. They went down it 4 times. Henry saw several new friends from school and it was cool to see how friendly and outgoing he is with all of them. I love this age because there is no bias, prejudice or inhibition. I wish it could always be like that. 

When you are at the fair calories don't count. My swollen hands told me different the next day, but it was worth it! My daddy always bought me a carmel apple at the fair so I took this to send to him. He loved it. I have great fair memories with my daddy. 

Feeding the animals carrots in the petting zoo. Henry was so funny to watch. He had never done that before. Quinn helped him use all his carrots. We would have been there until breakfast if not. He fed  "llama llama red pajama"  the last of his carrots and that made him happy. 

We are so glad they asked us to go with them to the fair. Henry will have great memories of the fair now because of Quinn. I enjoyed laughing on a Monday night with friends and watching our boys have fun. 

This guy talked me into paying to play a game before we left. I started feeling bad about him not ever experiencing it. So I caved.  The lady tried to keep my change and when I called her out on it she awarded Henry with this little ole Nemo instead of the big prize he probably should have won. I reminded him that this is why we don't pay to play the games. Ha! He loved it though just like it was a giant Nemo, so that's all that matters. 

 I went with $55 to the fair that night and came home with $1.50. I have no idea how people with more than 1 child afford the fair. The excitement on their faces, dirty hands, sweaty heads and muddy feet and fair stories for days make it worth every dime though. 

....And just like that we enjoyed our fair season. It's always a fun way to usher in fall. 

Abby Jo 

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Let's Go Racing, Boys!

Several months ago Randall saw a $99 NASCAR experience deal online at the old Memphis International Speedway. He had me purchase it for any Saturday in September. Today was finally the day. Henry was so excited and he was convinced that he was going to be his daddy's 1 man pit crew. He was hoping he might get to change a tire. Oh, to be a 5 year old boy. Just precious. 

The speedway used to have several large races but now it simply houses the Rusty Wallace Racing Experience for guys and gals looking for speed. Driving up to it sort of reminded me of present day Dogpatch USA. That's not a good thing. We found where we needed to be and felt better about the situation, thankfully. 

Others were already on the track driving. We stopped and observed them for a while. We were sizing up the cars hoping Randall wouldn't get a "root beer" car (what Henry calls beer bc he has no idea what it is. He is really quite sheltered and I'm really quite ok with that). Henry wanted him to get the yellow Dollar General car. As you will see, he did indeed get a "root beer" car. 

Randall had a 45 minute class to sit in. Henry and I stayed on the track watching the others who were driving. Henry tried on his daddy's helmet as he was getting suited up after his class. Henry was none too happy to hear there was no need for him in the pit crew area. 

Randall chose a ride along option with a pro driver before he drove the car himself. After sitting in class and the instructor scaring them all into a pro ride along and an extra insurance policy....they were all lined up at the registration desk adding to their tickets. I said that instructor needs to come sell houses because he's got game! Suckers. Seriously, those cars go fast and the pros are driving on the track alongside them to give them the "experience". Not leading them like the Petty driving school.... These pros drive all around them on the track. It's intimidating and the ride along makes them more confident. I was glad Randall got "sucked in" because it really did make him feel better about getting in the car alone afterwards. 

Henry loved coaching his daddy as he got in the car with the pro driver. He liked looking like he was in a pit with the tires beside him too. Henry Lee was on cloud 9 in that environment and he honestly thought Randall was on TV in a NASCAR race. He wondered who all might be watching and went down the family and friend roll asking me. I just went along with him. You are only 5 once and most daddy's never do this or only do it once. This is the good stuff that gets stored up tight in his childhood memory bank.
 ( His wife will hear about this 874 times if he turns out anything like me. I replay my best childhood memories so much randall feels like he lived in Sutton Estates with me.)

Our Big Daddy was all ready to get in and take his 8 laps around the track. I made him pose for me. He was a good sport about it. When we were newly married we watched NASCAR races on Sunday's because we didn't have cable and he grew up watching it on and off. I had never watched races. My daddy watched golf on Sundays and napped through it. Anyway, my cousin Hollye and her husband watched NASCAR because they wanted to and used to say they thought Randall looked like Kasey Kahne. I never really saw the resemblance but today I said "pose like you are "Kasey Kahne". It's a wonder he did it. I embarrass him from time to time. Can you Imagine that?! 

He got secured in the car just like a NASCAR driver would. It gave me closterphobia just watching it. 

He looked like a natural. He really enjoyed it and by lap 4 and 5 he was flying on the track. Henry would wave and say "He isn't waving at me!" And "wow, he's really speeding!" It was fun to watch him drive. 

That's my #2 in that "root beer" car, ladies. Step off! ;)
I told Randall before he drove that I really felt like I should sing the national anthem and kiss him before he gets in the car. He made me assure him I wouldn't do either.
 It was a fun experience and if your man likes speed and racing, you should give him the gift of adrenaline one weekend!

We spent 3 hours at the race track. We were hungry and thirsty. Henry asked if he could go to Huey's and color on the wall. He said it had been awhile. So, we did. 

We took a shortcut through the Peabody lobby for a little A/C action. It was hot today. Randall decided to get "duck headed" in the gift shop. Henry did not care for that very much. He doesn't do masks well. 

Randall snapped a picture of me with the ducks in the fountain. I posted it so you would know I was really there today because there was no other proof of that. I love my little family and the fun we get ourselves into. 

Abby Jo 

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Celebrating Another Year Together

12 years ago we celebrated my 25th birthday at the lake as newlyweds with our new newlywed friends, Mandy and Charlie. She made me a monkey bread birthday cake full of candles. 

She also made me a birhday breakfast feast and I knew I'd be friends with her forever. We had fun that weekend thinking we were on top of the world and big stuff with all four of us finally using our degrees in good jobs. We were so young and carefree. Such simple days. 

We rode the jet ski on my birthday and laughed all day. If only I could get those arms back that I thought were fat back then. If only. I've held my baby with those arms since then and done a lot of reaching and digging to get where I am today, so I'll accept what they look like now, I reckon. 

By my 26th we were celebrating in our newly built home and had added another couple to our group. Mandy and Charlie had also just purchased their first home. We were growing up a lot that year and super excited about it. I had the best homemade cake with the cutest candles and friends standing with me in my new red kitchen. 

The years have come and gone and Mandy and Charlie moved away and we moved away. All those sweet times as newlyweds were distant memories we held close in our hearts and often remembered with a smile or laugh. Then last year God moved them back to north Mississippi. They have had two children and we have had one. We live 90 minutes from each other, with Memphis as an even quicker meeting point. It's simply the best! 
So, Mandy had us over for my "birthday eve" and she made me a beautiful angel food cake and a wonderful meal to celebrate my 37th. 

Laughing with Mandy is my favorite. It's like we have gained all those years back and we have met each other right where we are. She and her crew came after my thyroid surgery in the spring and helped care for me and cook and distract me for a couple days. That meant so much to me. We all four sat in the den and watched our favorite movie together after all those years and laughed so hard until my incision hurt. God has blessed me with many precious friends. I'm glad he saw fit to bring this girl back to me to cook for me again. She can do it up in the kitchen and we laugh so hard. Laughing is my favorite. My birthday has been special for many of my adult years because of Mandy. 

Yet I have to say my most memorable birthday as an adult was this one. My 24th and my favorite cake made by my other sister, my cousin Hollye. I lived in Memphis with my aunt and uncle as a new college graduate and a girl lucky in love. This birthday held suprises I only wished would come true...and this tiny little cutie in the corner helping me blow out that trick candle. They all knew and I had no idea when this picture was taken that things were about to get real...

13 yrs ago I turned 24 and my first and only love proposed to me with a light up ring box with the perfect platinum marquis inside, along with his proposal written in this engagement journal. This trumps every birthday before this and after. I landed the best gift in him. 
I am one blessed birthday girl. 

Abby Jo 

Celebrating Little Ole Me

Tomorrow is my birthday and I've been reflecting on all my other 36 Birthdays. 
I grew up in a house where birthdays were celebrated big. Not big in today's standards, but big in the children of the 80's / early 90's standards. It was all about me from sun up to sun down. I woke up to singing by all 3 in my nuclear family. They all sang it different but they always blended. 

 Opening presents before school at the kitchen table, maybe my dad would come eat with me for school lunch some years, if not, mama put a note in my strawberry shortcake or rainbow brite lunchbox (with thermos) and the evening meant presents from grandparents and aunts that came by mail. I got to pick my supper and on the monumental years I could invite a friend to go out with us. 
I remember getting a 10 speed for my 10th bday and riding it out of the Walmart in the Quarry shopcenter ( when it was THE Walmart.) The patentals had put it on lay away so I got to release it from hostage and ride it from the stockroom to the car. Hello...big time. I rode it down to the cove in front of our house to show my cute and fellow garbage pail collector friend named Chris, and I fell over the front of the bike into their yard while his family sat watching from their bay window and his dad had to come dry my tears and help me up. All while my nuclear 3 watched from our yard. Humility was ever present in my childhood. 

 When I was 11 I got to take "ole Erica from the block" to Juan's  with us (Julie, is your mouth watering now? Mama are you gagging?) and I received a fabulous, large Kirk Cameron poster. I still picture it like yesterday. I so loved that boy before he even loved Jesus like he does. 

I had a sleepover when I turned 13 with a random group of girls and we "walked the mall" and waited up to watch Julie get her goodnight kiss on the porch through the crack of the curtains and laughed until she came in yelling for Mama to make us stop (Daddy was broadcasting an away football game. I'm sure he wished me Happy Birthday at his sign off. He always did sweet things like that.) 
I remember going to Tulsa to eat at Casa Bonita while Daddy whacked the moles for prize tickets and then off to Toys R Us to spend birthday money. I bought real roller skates and glow in the dark spoke charms for my purple huffy (must have been before my 10th b'day) 

When I turned 16 I got to drive to pick up Melissa and Rachel for Red Lobster on a school night in the Corsica, our family car. Hello, cool! Mama said "don't you drive down wildcat mountain road. You go all the way down Rogers and turn by the Old Mill" Mama, in case you never knew... I forgot up you told me that until I was halfway down wildcat mountain road and I almost peed my pants from fright. I still tense up reliving it. I made it though. (That street has a real name I'm sure. But I only knew it as that)

 I remember great fun and a few parties but nothing like we plan for our kids in this era. I felt just as special as any child could feel. I always had cake with candles and my mama or granny usually made it. I was important, celebrated, valued and a gift to my family. It still makes my heart swell. I loved my honest,  neighborhood feel good movies are made about,  working class, Jesus loving childhood. I love how my family reminded me how special and valued I was to them because I was just simply born. We are all specially designed by the Maker of life and bring value to our families in our own special way. What a joy to know that in  every fiber of my being and to feel that all my life. Thanks to my people for always celebrating me for exactly who I am...little ole me. 
(I want to do a post about the childhood sister and I had soon, so I'll save the rest of the rant for that.) 

1 more day of 36. Man, that sounds old!
Abby Jo 

Friday, September 11, 2015

School Days. Golden Rule Days

The new school year is in full swing and the Fab Five are having a fantastic start. 

Henry Patton started Kindergarten this year at Valley View. He is enjoying it so far. He has lots of old and new friends with him. His teacher is a great fit for him too. We are so proud of how brave he is becoming. 

(Julie, we really need a school picture of our best girl! This is the most recent one I had of her up close from July)
Anna Kathryn started the 6th grade at Beavers Academy. She is so bright and sweet. We are loving watching her bloom into the beautiful woman God has created her to be. 

Samuel Charles started his senior year at Watson Chapel as a full time student. He is playing football and baseball. Watching him develop into a Godly young man who puts his convictions first is very inspiring. This year is going to be full of cheers and tears watching it all unfold for our first born love. 

David Robert and Daniel Stephen started 9th grade at Beavers Academy and Watson Chapel. They are taking science and playing football at WC. The rate these two are blooming makes my aunt head spin! These two are the most thoughtful and funniest guys around. God's got big plans for them. As I often recite by phone "don't be in junior high!" Because junior high stinks...and they can now attest to that! 

Abby Jo

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Ode to Summer 2015

Henry learned how to ride a bike this summer while he stayed the night with just Papa. Nana was on a trip and we had gone to the Tim McGraw concert for the night. We were so excited to get back to Papa's house to see it! Henry lost his first tooth and learned to swim without any floaties this summer too. He is so big. 

We had another fun trip to the Caribe in Orange Beach. It's our place. We try to go somewhere different but when it's time to book something we just can't break away from it. Henry loves it too much. I love the carefree days we have together without many distractions. With our work, there is never total distraction unless we get on a cruise ship or go to a remote island somewhere. And that isn't happening any time soon! 

I love taking this boy on adventures. He is my favorite. 

We had fun at the "Blue Angels Museum" as we refer to it. We visited it before we checked into our condo. We always try to do an outing before check in because we never want to dress and leave the water once we are there. 

We had fun beach time with friends while in Orange Beach. Nothing like beaching at the same time as some of your homies. 

It was a fun-filled fast trip the the beach this year. We have not traveled around this year like we have in years past. So, this trip was much needed. Life moves too fast. I love being able to stop and soak my guys up. 

I had fun all summer covering up the ole thyroid scar. I would often hear "your tape is loose again". ha! This scar is nothing compared to what lots go through, but it has been a burden in the sun! Henry is still so grossed out by it and when I cover it in gel or creme he says "yuck! Scar juice!" We have to laugh at it. Bless it and me. 

Henry and I spent a few days in Fort Smith. We had a fun paint party with precious friends. I made a Christmas door hanger in the middle of summer. It's what I do! Cross my Art is a fun place if you are ever in that neck of the woods. 

 Henry had a fun visit with Marmie in the Fort. I love making memories with him in my old stomping grounds. We rode rides and played in the splash pad. 

These two rode the trolley while I shopped downtown. It turned out to be a long ride full of history. Henry could probably pass a test on the history of Fort Smith now. It was an impromptu outing that morning and turned out to be one of the best times. I love my mama. 

We had a fun end to summer break in Memphis the weekend before school started with our Skutt clan. I love being in Memphis with my people. It's one of my most favorite things. 
Julia Kathryn ran her first race. You don't need to check your eyes. You read right. Craziness becomes us as we age! Stephen has become quite the runner and has dropped a lot of weight. He's catching up with a Randall on this running and waist size, I tell ya! Randall is trainimg for his first full marathon this fall. Both of our houses are running crazy right now! 

Being at Aunt Babs house laughing and eating is always a fun time. We are normally laughing at each other. We do that well, yet we love well. Love is fierce in this group. 
Ending the summer full of family, friends and fireworks was the best. I may have teared up at the fireworks and acted like it was firework dust. It was perfect sitting on the Bluff at the Redbirds game on a quilt with my guys and church buddies as we said farewell to these carefree days of summer. 

 And we ended summer for good on Labor Day at Nana and Papa's with a final swim, a long 4 wheeler ride and Henry riding a bigger bike than what he started summer with. I may have shed a tear and blamed it on dirt in my eye from that 4 wheeler ride. Summer is over but our memories will stay with us forever. 

** two observations I made looking over this post: 
1.  It looks as though I wore that navy love shirt a whole lot and I really only wore it like 3 times all summer. Randall hated that shirt. So funny it's on in most of our summer pictures. Lol! 
2. I already miss my white shorts. I almost put them on today but decided I couldn't dishonor my Meemaw's memory like that ... and my sister would slap me silly for it. 
Abby Jo