Life with the Shirley Family

Life with the Shirley Family

Monday, January 31, 2011

New I come!

I am leaving for NYC this Thursday morning, rain or snow! I am celebrating my 40th birthday by meeting my sister in the Big Apple for a weekend of good food and good shows and lots of walking to see all the sights! I am so excited!! The problem now is how to stuff all my stuff in this one suitcase!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Family Time

I love having family time, mainly because I love my family!! I grew up with a family that valued time together and we are trying in our family to do the same. But last weekend I received a rare treat that makes me value my family even more. I had the whole weekend to myself! Dave and Nathan went on a father-son retreat and Camden got to spend the weekend at my parents. I spent the weekend scrapbooking, watching sappy movies while scrapbooking, and ordering take-out. Who knew you could order Outback cheese fries online, pull into their parking lot, and they will bring it out to your car without you getting out! It was lovely!

I had some nice me time, and just about the time I started missing my boys, they returned. Dave and Nathan got home first, then Nathan and I drove to meet my parents and retrieve Camden. We decided to meet at the Francis Beidler Forest since I had a pass to get in for free for all of us. After exploring the swamp, we inquired about a restaurant nearby where we could get supper together before heading home. Seeing that we were in Harleyville, the choices were slim. The restaurant they recommended was actually in a gas station right by 95. Although the food was decent, it was still a gas station. Dad went up to pay and I told him that he wasn't paying for ours, to which my mom replied "Happy Birthday. In case we don't see you again before your birthday, this is your birthday dinner." Yeah!

Our family has many such memories. Growing up we were sometimes "forced" to have family time. Especially when we were in high school and didn't always want to hang out with our parents. My dad at that time owned a ServiceMaster business and would often have contracts that involved cleaning businesses after hours. One family night involved all of us cleaning a church together. That may be a fun memory now, but at the time we, my sister and I, were not too excited. That was a little like a birthday dinner at a gas station! But my parents did not disappoint and came down the next Sunday to go on a birthday lunch at Carabba's. Much better atmosphere! And another good family memory!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Charlestowne Landing

We bought a tourist in your own town pass this year which gives us an opportunity to visit lots of different places in Charleston during the month of January. Camden and I visited Charlestowne Landing one afternoon after I picked him up from preschool. We had a great time looking at the animals, and then taking the walk to see the "pirate" ship. Although it really wasn't a pirate ship, that is what Camden called it since he is really into the Veggietales pirate movie right now. It is always fun to explore places and learn about our history, but the most fun I had today was walking beside my four year old and holding his little hand in mine.

Getting close to a black bear.

What a big Indian head!

Hanging out on the "pirate" ship

This is what happens to little boys who are too cute!

Who knew there were oranges in SC!?!

Friday, January 7, 2011

The last day of Chirstmas

Our last Christmas celebration was in Memphis, TN, the week after Christmas. Since Dave had no more vacation time, I drove the boys to Memphis with my mom and we spent the week there with my sister's family. The kids had a blast playing with their new toys. Paper jam guitars introduced them to KISS and pillow pets and snuggies kept them comfie at night.

Camden and Josiah had great fun together!

My sister, me and my mom

Camden and Ashton


I want to rock and roll all night...

We also had fun eating BBQ, fried chicken, catfish, and fondue. We went shopping with and without the kids (Ann Taylor with them is not too fun though!). And of course we had to take them to get their picture taken! (This is getting easier at least as they get older.)

Mom with all of her grandchildren

Ashton and Nathan
Our after picture taking picture taking!! It is an addiction!

We also went to the zoo to go ice skating. And since it is not an ice skating rink with a few animals around it, as the lady at the front gate told us, and we had to pay zoo admission, we walked around the zoo in the rain to see whatever animals were out.

Camden's new favorite pose!

All in all we had a fun filled week! It was a great way to finish out the Christmas time of year!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

How to make a long trip longer!

Just add snow!

I live in Charleston, SC and I do not see snow much. I grew up seeing snow a few times a year, most years, but have lived here for 15+ years so I am in snow withdrawal. So the day after Christmas, when snow was forecasted in Charleston, I hit the road with Nathan and Camden to make the long 12 hour drive to Memphis.

We were about 30 minutes out of Charleston when the snow started! We stopped at the first rest stop we could in order to see the flurries because I thought that would be the best we could see.

But then the snow kept coming! It was great! So we stopped again...

and again...

and we even stopped on the side of the road to make snow angels. The snow was not a problem for the roads, but the trees on the sides of the roads kept getting prettier with leftover snow from the previous day.

And then I noticed the signs for Spartanburg!! I am not supposed to go to Spartanburg! I am supposed to take 20 from Columbia. I was so distracted by the snow that I totally drove past my exit without thinking. I knew how to get to Atlanta from there, but I had added 1.5 hours to the trip! But we saw snow!! And lots of it! The trip was long, but the snow made it fun. On the way home we made it in 12 hours, but with the rain, it seemed longer. I would take the snow any day!!