Celebrating Summer

May was a busy month! With the school year coming to a close and the temperatures rising, it was a wonderful month to celebrate in the great outdoors. There were water slides and airplanes and camping trips and lots of friends to help us kick off summer.

David’s final pinewood derby race was held this month. He placed in his pack race in March, and that qualified him to race in the district race in April. He placed 10th there, which qualified him for the council race in Tupelo. There were 10 heats to qualify for a trophy and David qualified on the very last heat. We were all so nervous for him! He placed 10th overall, and was the only Tiger scout (first year scout) to qualify!

And just when we thought we couldn’t be any prouder of him during the race, THIS happened:

The scout leader was asking the kids who placed 2nd and 3rd if they were happy with their race and each of them said that no, they were disappointed they didn’t win first place (even though their trophies were taller than they were). As we were leaving, David looked at us and said, “Well, at least I got a trophy!” Even in last place he was appreciative of his achievement. It made Stuart and I both SO PROUD.


We celebrated Mother’s Day with a lovely day at home. Stu made an awesome dinner–lobster, steak, stuffed mushrooms, and salad–and we all spent the day enjoying each other’s company. It was quite lovely.


Claire, one of my best girls, scored her PhD this month. There was lots of celebrating (read champagne guzzling), and we got to hang out with her family, who are all quite wonderful people. The Seamans are so proud of her gigantic accomplishment! We hope she’s rich soon so we can spend some quality time with her on her yacht. In the Caribbean. What?

claire grad

Stu had his annual Mancation this month. The boys spent a few days camping on Spring River in Hardy, Arkansas. Occasionally, I think I’d like to be a fly on the wall for these adventures, but then I think I’m probably better off not knowing what they’re doing OR talking about.


On top of being better off not knowing what they’re up to, I got to sleep next to another very handsome man while he was gone.  Dave and I watched Jumanji, Madagascar, and E.T. He said Jumanji freaked him out so he needed to sleep in my room. I obliged. He also said that his favorite part of E.T. was the cuss words. Clearly he’s my kid.


The Tiger Scouts were invited to a cookout by the Wolves, so we hit the park for burgers and dogs and cake and water balloons. The water balloons didn’t last very long, so the kids were filling up bottles and cups and whatever else they could find to splash each other.


First grade had their final field trip of the year. Mr. Doug gave them a tour of the University-Oxford Airport, then they hit the park with Miss Kim for a little R&R. There were secret decoder books and popsicles and nature walks. The kiddos had a great time.



The school’s end of the year party was a hit with Dave. I mean, what about a giant, bouncy water slide is unlikable?!


I mean, unless you’re the best guy in the world who feels obligated to monitor the kids so they don’t kill each other, it’s a perfectly wonderful time!


The last day of school was emotional for me this year! David had such a wonderful year in the first grade, and his teacher was just the best. He’s grown so much this year, and we owe so much of it to Miss Kim’s patience and wisdom. She’s been such a gift to our family, and we ADORE her. The school year ended with an Award’s Day program, where he received medals and certificates for Headmaster’s Honor Roll (straight As), perfect attendance, Spanish poster contest, and the Snicker’s Award (for always making first grade laugh). So, so proud of our little dude.


The first day of summer vacation was filled with friends. We got to see the Stricklands…


And hang out with Captain…


And play video games with Ashton and Cameron.


And then we went camping! At Tishomingo! Again!


We needed a cooler that would hold all our food, so we bought this one. Surely that’s big enough, right?




This time around, one of our favorite families went with us. It was the first camping experience for the Stricklands, but it was a smashing success! And that means that there’ll be lots more Seaman/Strickland camping trips in our future. That makes us happy!








After we dropped the van at the shop on Tuesday, we went out for a little frozen yogurt and shoe shopping. It was nice to spend the afternoon with the boys in the middle of the afternoon on a work day.


Finally, Stuart started watching the Star Trek movies with Dave. As you can tell from this photo, taken during the viewing, David thinks it’s riveting material.


We can’t wait to see what the rest of summer has in store!

And now, as usual, your obligatory furball photos.




Agreeable April


The manic Mississippi weather still drove us a little crazy in April, but the rain finally let up enough for us to enjoy some warmer temperatures and fun outdoor activities.

David and I hit Avent Park and Sno-Biz to celebrate the end of a week-long ban on digital media. I’m having a hard time waiting for summer break; I’m excited about having lots of afternoons like this.


Claire and I went to the Butch Anthony opening reception at Yalo Studio. The art was unique, to say the least, and I wanted to buy most of the pieces. Here are a few favorites.


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When we got home from the gallery, there was a dance party in the kitchen.


We had our first truly amazing spring day in April, which instigated an impromptu cookout with some of our Water Valley friends.

(Photo Credit: Claire Mischker)

first cookout 13

Note to self: days of running around with the kids of Water Valley is a sure-fire way to get a little quiet time on the weekends.


Dave’s school held their 4th annual egg drop. It’s a little science experiment wherein the kids must build a box that will secure an egg to keep it from breaking during a fall. If their egg survived the fall, they got special little ribbons. David and Stu created the cushiest container EVER (consisting of a plastic Easter egg, a ziplock bag, a small box, and about half a roll of toilet paper.)


Success! David’s egg was safe and sound inside his little box. The fake smile is a sure-fire indication of his excitement over his success.


Stuart and I chaired the 7th annual OUS Eagle’s Classic golf tournament this year. It was a stressful process, but the whole thing went really well. We raised right at $4,000!


The last weekend of April was Double Decker Festival in Oxford, and the final show of one our favorite Oxford bands, Blue Mountain.



Dave broke it DOWN to “Midnight in Mississippi, which was super fun to watch. I love that he enjoys music just as much as Stuart and I do.


Being the social butterfly he is, he made a new friend while we were there. Nothing brings kids together like the joy of Minecraft.


We had planned to go the Dave Matthews concert the next day, but the threat of bad weather forced us to sell our tickets to some friends. Instead, we went to Memphis, had lunch with Mom and Aunt Connie, then hit the bowling alley.



That night, he had a surprise visit from a couple of his friends, which also featured a Minecraft session. Not surprising.


Stuart and I celebrated our 8th anniversary this month, too. He took me to tapas at Ravine where we ordered half the menu (I’m not exaggerating.) It was nice to have a night with just the two of us. Those are few and far between these days!


And, once again, here are your obligatory animal photos.

I was working one morning and heard several crashes and clatterings. This is what I saw upon entering the dining room. The cats had been playing on the dining room table and the table-cloth slipped out from under them. Everything that was on the table fell on the floor.




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This is our fish tank. The giant pleco in the top left corner is Darth Vader. He’s nearly as old as David, and it seems sometimes like he’s about the same size. Dude is HUGE.


February’s Follies

February was a busy month for us, and March doesn’t promise to be any more relaxing. Big things are happening in the Seaman family!

Our favorite local joint, the Crawdad Hole, started serving up oysters this month. We’ve been taking advantage of their lovely little dining room, brown bagging champagne and vodka and beer and enjoying Friday afternoons with our favorite locals. It’s a new tradition I hope will continue throughout the year.


Valentine’s Day was very special  this year. Instead of having a traditional Valentine’s Day party at school, David’s class went to a local nursing home to pass out handmade cards and play bingo with some of the residents. But the kids did exchange treats when they got back to class.

poppin vday

The Tiger Scouts were responsible for the opening ceremony at the pack meeting this month. David carried the flag and led everyone in the Pledge of Allegiance. (Sorry that top picture’s blurry. It’s the only one I took.)



I started crocheting this month. I watched a bunch of YouTube videos and taught myself (sort of). I’m still learning, but I’m having a great time. Now, if I could only figure out the art of granny squares…




This month was also the annual auction at David’s school. We worked our tails off to get everything ready and we had the biggest year ever, raising $37,000!

auction decor

stu mask

auction couple

I got crazy this month and whacked all my hair off. Now I have a cute little red pixie cut and I can’t believe I ever fooled with blow drying, straightening, etc. It takes 2 minutes to do my hair every morning and I couldn’t be happier with it.


David’s Spanish teacher selected his poster to represent the school at a state contest! He got a trophy and awesome letter, and we can’t wait to see his work!



And if that wasn’t awesome enough, he placed first in his division in the Pinewood Derby! He placed 3rd in the open division; his car slipped off the track in the next to last round. But Stu timed all the cars and David’s was the second fastest of the day! At one point, the dad of an older cub scout mentioned that David’s car was super fast this year and that we still had SEVERAL years to make cars. He could be UNSTOPPABLE by the time he graduates to Boy Scouts! (Please notice in the bottom photo how much older the first and second place winners are!)





Finally, February’s obligatory cat photos!


valentines cat

big face

The First Month

January has just flown by! It seems the older I get, the faster the years pass. I think this is especially true since David was born. Every day I look at him and wonder how he could be 7 years old, how on Earth it happened so fast, and what happened to the adorable, chunky little toddler who lived on Matchbox cars, goldfish, and Pixar movies.

These days, Dave is living on chicken nuggets and LEGOs and Doomsday Preppers. Other things David loves currently?  The History Channel, Border Wars, Little Debbie Cosmic Brownies, YouTube, NASCAR, and football. And I’m endlessly proud of him; he is such a good kid.

Anyway, there were lots of fun things in January!

David and I made a cake and he decorated it with all the sprinkles we had in the house. It was, as I’m sure you can see by the picture, quite crunchy. But it was so delicious that I polished off all but a couple of pieces in a matter of days.


Look out, Peeta! There’s a new cake decorator in town!

As I mentioned earlier, David really got into Doomsday Preppers this month, so we’ve been catching up on all the episodes we can via DVR. Sometimes, we snuggle on the couch and talk about how crazy those preppers are.


We’ve been working on repainting the house. After 7 years, a kid, and a cat who enjoys scratching her nails on the walls it was time. We painted  the dining room and kitchen before Thanksgiving last year, but still hadn’t gotten around to painting the trim. A couple of weeks ago, I finally got motivated to start painting again, but the universe had other plans for me. I opened the paint can to find this.  I exchanged it for a different brand, but lost the motivation to paint. Maybe this weekend; probably not.


This was a cold, rainy month in Mississippi. And while I usually hate the winter, after four long days of rain the sun came out and we got the most beautiful sunset I’ve seen in ages.


And just when I was beginning to love the mild Mississippi winter it got icy and rainy and gross. The  upside to this was that we got a couple of snow days out of the deal. It was nice having Dave home in the middle of the week. We watched lots of tv and were generally lazy. Dave spent a lot of time on Lego.com and YouTube.



January has also been a colorful month for David and me. My dear friend, Chrissy, gave me a huge box of hair chalk, and Dave and I have tried several different-colored stripes. Stuart remains unimpressed.




In school news, we got report cards. Just as I’ve known all along, Boy Wonder is a genius.


And if that wasn’t wonderful  enough, David won the Eagle’s Eye award this month. It’s an award given to a student each week for setting a good example for his or her peers.


Adventures in Boy Scouts continues. Last week, the Tiger Scouts practiced the flag ceremony so they can conduct it at the pack meeting next month.


Last weekend, they toured the Oxford police station.


For those of you not in the know, our son (like many kids his age) is a hoarder. He won’t ever let me throw anything out. I finally got tired of looking at all the crap and cleaned out his room. With his help, we got rid of over half his toys! I’m in the process of cleaning out our closets in the hopes that we’ll have enough stuff to have a yard sale in the spring.


Once his room was clean, we rearranged all his LEGOs. And this is the result. Did I tell you we have a moratorium on new LEGOs?


I’ve been doing volunteer work at David’s school, and this week, I had the privilege of working in his classroom. I got to see first grade in action and it was so much fun. They all broke into pairs and took turns reading stories out loud to each other. It made me want to sit in on his class every single day.


Incidentally, David’s teacher, Mrs. Kimberly, lets the kiddos listen to music while they’re working. While I was in class, “Down to the River to Pray” by Allison Krauss came on. The kids were all singing along and it was pretty much the sweetest thing I’ve ever heard in my life. I *may* have had something in my eye.

And, finally, I think we all know this post wouldn’t be complete without some obligatory Squeaky Kitty photos.


Squeaky Kitty loves work as much as I do.

Squeaky Kitty is entirely too adorable.

Squeaky Kitty is entirely too adorable.


Squeaky Kitty is also very cuddly.


Whew! Once I started going through my January pictures I realized we’ve done a lot of stuff this month! Hopefully all of 2013 will be as wonderful as the beginning!

Ringing in the New Year

This was a New Year’s Eve of firsts!

This year, Stuart, ever the pyromaniac, decided that this was the year he’d pass on his knowledge to David, who has never been more excited about anything in his life.  Now, I know that it’s actually daytime in these pictures, but we knew it was going to storm after dark.  So, in broad daylight, the boys set out to blow up all the things.


New adventures require the Indy hat. And sometimes, wellies.



This was also the first year that David was allowed to stay up until midnight, so I made some fun activities for him and some friends who were at the party we attended. I put little activities in these cute little bags and we did one each hour until midnight.


We started with a movie and popcorn, which lasted for about 30 minutes before the kids were tired of sitting still. Later, we made party hats and noisemakers to use to ring in 2013.



By the time the third craft rolled around, we were all pretty much over the crafting, so we went outside to start the fireworks extravaganza. In a constant drizzle–the weather was just atrocious once it got dark.


We took Dave home just after midnight, even though he swore he wasn’t the least bit sleepy. It took him about 30 seconds to pass out after he got in bed.

It was quite a lovely way to ring in the new year!


First Day of First Grade

David, age 6

Favorite color: red

Favorite food: chicken nuggets, french fries

Favorite toys: Legos

Favorite television shows: Wipeout/Fear Factor

Favorite songs: Dynamite by Taio Cruz and Tonight Tonight by Hot Chelle Rae

Wants to be a police officer when he grows up

Big News!

In the middle of a discussion about why it’s important NOT to pry Legos apart with our teeth (because you may, ahem, swallow the grill to your favorite Lego patrol car), David discovered that he has his first loose tooth!  He’s been waiting for this for quite some time–several of his friends at school have already lost teeth–and he’s stoked that the Tooth Fairy will be making an appearance soon!