Life with the Shirley Family

Life with the Shirley Family

Monday, June 28, 2010


Well, on our trek across the USA, we just finished visiting Illinois. At least Chicago! Which is the only place in Illinois that any of us have ever been to. I got to visit the city in high school, but the rest of the family has only been able to visit the airport-and 9 hours is enough time to do it justice!

Interesting things we learned about Illinois--Ronald Reagan was born there-I thought he was born in CA. They do not eat ketchup on their hot dogs in Chicago; only mustard with lots of other things we didn't try like neon green dyed pickle relish. The fire really did start at Mrs. O'Leary's house (she denies that she started it in the barn, but it did begin at their house). Deep dish pizza is not too hard to make with the right recipe that does not involve kneading dough! And Magnolia trees grow in the southern part of IL.

So no trip for this state, but lots of fun finding Illinois/Chicago foods. Since VBS is this week, I think we will just hit the High Seas and visit the USA another time!


Monday, June 21, 2010

Mud Thoughts

Nathan and I spent our afternoon digging up crab grass in our backyard and replacing it with sod. He said that boys like to get dirty, and he was right. But since I was also filthy, no pictures of him after he was armpit deep in wet, sloppy, suction- producing mud. But he did unearth some clay in our yard (actually it has a lot of clay in it) and made a note for me. It is nice to be thought about in mud!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day Dave!

My children have a great Dad! They are so fortunate to have a father who is interested in what they do, and even though his work schedule doesn't allow him to attend every event they are involved in, he gives of his time as much as he can. Playing ball in the yard; wrestling on the floor; making up silly names for each other; and of course taking the boys fishing!

Each year we (or I at the beginning) make a photo book for Dave. It has as many pictures as I have of the boys and Dave, and then we make up a song to go with the pictures. The songs have been parodies of songs like Yankee Doodle, the Thomas Theme song, and now songs that Nathan picks. This year he wrote the song to the tune of "Love is Here" by Tenth Avenue North. The title is "Daddy's Here".

Daddy's here, Daddy's now, Daddy loves to play with us and we go fishing. Daddy's here, he loves us so. Daddy is always on our side, 'cause Daddy's here. Daddy's here, Daddy's now, Daddy loves us and we play ball. Daddy's here...he rocks! and we build stuff.

Don't try to sing it! But Dave loves his books and I hope he knows how much love we put into making them for him. He deserves to feel special on his special day!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Good-bye NC

Well, our last day in NC began with Nathan not feeling well; so off to Target to get some meds. I figured it was just being tired and having a cold, so we drove to the USS North Carolina to tour the battleship. But after getting a view of the outside, we decided that Nathan did not feel well enough. So we hit the road and started driving down the coast toward Ft Fisher. Before we reached there, however, we stopped at Carolina Beach State Park to look for Venus flytraps. Having no good ideas of what I was looking for, and Nathan wanting to go back to the car, we had no luck.
One lady told me that the Venus flytrap looked something like this, but was not this...I should have paid more attention in Botany!

So back to the car. No stopping at Fort Fisher, but after another ferry ride, we ate lunch and walked around the little town of Southport. It is an awesome little town with lots of neat stores. I really need to spend more time there.

The Ferry ride

The town of Southport

After leaving Southport, Nathan did feel up to stopping a the Museum of Coastal Carolina in Ocean Isle. It is a small museum, but the boys really loved the touch tank and the fish nibbling on their fingers.
Camden putting together the turtle puzzle
The cool underwater exhibit...Camden's shirt was still wet from the touch tank...more like dunk tank for him!

Enough "education" for the day...we went putt putting next! It was funny watching Camden's "swing" and then his moving of his ball to right near the hole. After hitting it the first time, he would pick it up. Nathan would tell him to put it down. Camden would then put it down right near the hole. Nathan would tell him to put it down at another place, but Camden would reply that he did not want to; he wanted to put it here. I was laughing too much to make him play right! We stopped keeping score!

Well, all good things must come to an end. And we had to really head home with only a stop for dinner in Pawley's Island. It was a fun getaway. And yes, Nathan has already asked for a trip to Colorado to ski when we do the CO book. Maybe...


Monday, June 7, 2010

Our first full NC day

Well, our "educational" day started out at 5:45 for me when Camden woke up with a soaking wet diaper. After finally getting him back to sleep, Nathan woke us up at 8. And off we went. Waffles at the hotel fueled us up for our trip to the children's museum. This is what I have found out about children's museums after having been to two in SC, two in NC, one in TN, and one in CA. They are a lot of fun the first time you go to them; the kids like them no matter when you go; and they all pretty much have the same stuff; just with a different and regional twist.

Some type of boat...

an art room (and our drying art work is still there!)...

a place to play doctor, dentist, etc...

an outdoor play area (actually not all have one of these)...

dress-up clothes...

and of course a grocery store!!

But it was fun and the boys would have stayed longer, but we were on a mission. The next stop was a battlefield. I am sure it is in the middle of nowhere, but my directions left us really in the middle of nowhere.

So no battlefield...but we were close to the ferry to Fort Fisher so we took a ferry ride. I think it is so cool to have your car on a boat! After landing, we went to the south most NC Aquarium. This is a really nice aquarium. The boys enjoyed looking at all the fish; although Camden was very apprehensive about sitting close to the scuba diver as he came to the side of the aquarium.

A walk on the beach; dinner at Carolina Beach; a dip in the pool; and Clue rounded out our evening.

One more day and the drive home will conclude our NC field trip.


Sunday, June 6, 2010

NC or bust

I have done many crazy things in my life, and this is just one of them. I have taken a field trip with the boys to NC. Nathan has been getting these state highlights magazines and I thought it would be fun to focus on one a week (or 2) and learn about that state. Since he had one for NC, I thought it would also be fun to take a "field trip" to NC! (It would really be fun to take a field trip to Colorado, but my couponing money can only go so far!) We only have 2 days, so we drove as far as Wilmington and I am now sitting in a Sleep Inn typing on my blog while my boys sleep.

Today we left Charleston and drove to Calabash for dinner. It was very yummy! We toured the docks and the huge souvenir store. Since Dave and I had just been there recently, it was all quite familiar! After buying a few items (like PJ bottoms since I left mine at home), we hightailed it to Wilmington.

I am not sure why there is an Amish looking buggy in Calabash

Tomorrow I think we will tour Wilmington; a few museums; maybe a boat ride; maybe visit the USS North Carolina. Then drive home Tuesday through Fort Fisher and see the aquarium and fort. We will see what happens in the morning. This is a fun trip, so we will just go as the wind blows!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Musical Beds

One thing we have managed to do in our family is to keep the boys from sleeping in our bed; but we have not been able to manage to keep them in their own beds! Depending on the night, Nathan and Camden may be sleeping in one of several different places! Nathan has bunk beds, so he has his choice of up or down; this decision is usually made by which bed has clean sheets on it. But since he says his bed is so hard and not comfortable, he will often sleep on his floor (because we have such comfortable floors!).

The comfortable floor where Nathan often chooses to sleep

His bottom bunk that was not an option tonight due to stuff being on it!
Having to sleep in the only spot available...poor guy!

Then Nathan discovered that he really thinks the twin bed in Camden's room is very comfortable. This bed is in Camden's room as an extra bed for when we have a houseful of guests. Usually this is Grammie's bed, but then Camden started putting his bear, Coco, to sleep in this bed, so it became Coco's bed. Nathan was then told he could not sleep in Coco's bed.

Then Camden decided he did not like his bed...a toddler bed. So now he will often sleep in Coco's bed; or if he starts out in his bed, we will check on him and find him in Coco's bed; or he starts out in Coco's bed and ends up in his own bed. It is a little confusing. And distressing for Nathan who is now stuck with only 3 options for sleeping...and of course he has the most uncomfortable bed in the house!
Camden's bed that he has decided he does not like

Sleeping like a baby on Coco's bed

Thursday, June 3, 2010

National Running Day

Yesterday, Wednesday, June 2, was National Running Day and to celebrate Camden and I went running of course!! He loves to run and it is so cute. Even when he is running where he is not supposed to (like out of the gym and around the corner and into people!), I don't always have the heart to tell him to stop because he enjoys it so much. Eric Liddell said that "God made me fast. When I run, I feel His pleasure." I don't think I am as fast as he was or as 90% of my former track team was, but I do run pretty fast. And I enjoy that feeling, at least for a short sprint! I can understand why Eric Liddell said that on two levels. One in the running itself and second in watching Camden run. Just like my Heavenly Father likes to see me enjoying things that He gave me a talent to do, I also enjoy watching my children doing what they do well; and for Camden it is running.

One final thought. I have two sons. One doesn't like walking. The other can't stop talking! What a pleasure to see their differences!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Life is good at the beach!

I have never been a real beach person (something about sunburn and sand), but I have learned to enjoy relaxing times at the beach, especially evenings. We went out with another family recently to the beach one afternoon/evening to practice surf-fishing...well they fished, I played!

Dave teaching Nathan the finer points of surf-fishing
Nathan bored with fishing, so he started playing!

The most fun was going to the very end of Folly Beach, looking out at Morris Island Lighthouse, where there is a wall that the waves pound up against. It was a free water/splash park! The kids sat underneath as the waves cascaded over the wall and hammered their heads! Lots of fun and laughter!
Morris Island Lighthouse

Nathan, Camden, and Taylor
Camden enjoyed the water!