Mr. Reeve

Teach teacher teach

 

They call him Mr. Reeve… which is SO strange to me because my husband has been the only Mr. Reeve in my life for the last twenty plus years (I know what some of you are thinking but no, his dad was Dr. Reeve.) However the kids in Will’s fourth grade class at Dunbar Elementary School in Memphis, Tennessee don’t know or care about any other Mr. Reeve. (Their loss honey, their loss!)

I’m pretty proud of that oldest son of mine. He has done some amazingly wonderful things in his 23 years and the latest one is teaching at an inner city elementary school. His first day with students just happened to be the day Matt and I were in Memphis to pick up Luke (who spent his summer working at SOS in Memphis for the second summer.) I can’t tell you how excited we were to be able to go see Will in his classroom and hear all about how his first day went. Naturally, Luke and Matt were a bit unruly acting… no different than the nine year olds that Will spent his day with… yeah, no surprise there.

I found it a bit surreal to see my son, who just yesterday set off for kindergarten, in HIS classroom, in what has become HIS city, fulfilling HIS dream. Will is a realist and no, everyday has not been all glitter, unicorns and rainbows. But for every bad day there have been two great days. He’s learning that just because you are called to be somewhere, it is not necessarily going to be easy. There are always going to be challenges and trials but hopefully those are going to be followed by victories.

So to you my firstborn son. Congratulations on entering the real world as a gainfully employed adult. By the way, you now get to pay all your own bills… including your cell phone and car insurance. What? Oh, you are quite welcome son!!

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I Lied…

Sweet Matthew

I’ll never forget the day I heard words coming from the mouth of my son that I would have bet the farm I would NEVER hear. Matt was about four years old at the time and I’m not really sure what was going on, but I’m sure it went something like this.

I said, “Matt, did you do so and so?”

Matt emphatically replied, “No ma’am.”

To which I replied with all the motherly stern I could muster, “Matt, don’t lie to me….”

Matt then looked at me with his sweet little cherub like face and said, “But mommy, I lie to you all the time.”

I don’t even have the words to tell you what went through my mind. And his four year old little self was SO SERIOUS. His expression truly looked like he was thinking “poor woman, she thinks I tell her the truth….tsk, tsk.”

Finally after I gathered my small amount of remaining wits, I did as any good mother would do, I sent him to his room and told him I would be back to talk with him as soon as I stopped laughing.

Apparently, I lie to you guys too. I told you I’d pick my blogging back up and I didn’t. Oops! But I think I’m back now. There will be some breaks now and then. Especially considering the fact that the boy in Memphis is moving in his new house soon. And you know how I love to control help my boys.

Just so I don’t lie again, let’s just take this one blog post at a time, k? K.

Yes, I Am Still Alive

May Adventures

Yes, I realize I have been silent for some time… I’ve kind of been half too busy, half too lazy. Keeping it real people, keeping it real.

Here’s the thing, all my boys are typically home for May so all I do is focus on spending time with them along with doing all that I can to assure that Tim’s end of the school year goes well. This year Luke and Matt were home all of May and we all traveled to Memphis with a nice stopover in Nashville for Will’s grad school graduation. We finished off May by heading to Charleston to see our beautiful niece Rachel marry Robert and y’all it was all a blast!

So before I turned around it was June and I was shipping off Luke to Memphis to work his second summer at Service Over Self (check it out here, a GREAT ministry!) and Matt off to Greenville to serve on Furman’s summer orientation staff. Obviously, Tim and I then headed off on a few vacations and adventures of our own.

So as July hits I assure you, you will get tired of hearing from me! Enjoy your fourth and stay cool….

Living in Memphis…

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My oldest son is a home owner… what?!?!? Now don’t get your hopes up about it being a grand place that you can go spend the night in just yet. As of right now, it has no bathroom, kitchen or even an attached front door. But what it does have is tons of potential and a pretty fantastic owner.

Will has essentially settled in Memphis Tennessee where he will be teaching the fourth grade in an inner city school starting this August. While I don’t love that he is going to be living nine hours away, I do love that he knows what he wants to do and is not afraid to do it. So now that he has his dream job, he decided the next item on his list was to buy a house. (Obviously, making a list of life goals is a first-born thing… being a youngest child myself, I never made a list of life goals, heck I don’t think I’ve ever made a list of anything other than groceries!!) But my Will is a quintessential oldest child. He makes lists and actually does the things on them… I know! How crazy is that?!?!?! So this amazing child who graduated from Georgia Tech in only four years (even though he changed his major and managed to be on the Dean’s list his last five semesters), got his master’s degree in one year (and somehow got not only the schooling paid for but also got a stipend to live on) now has a fabulous home right near his new school. Y’all, I could not be more proud of this guy. He was truly a joy to raise and even though he was our practice child for all intent and purposes, he turned out AMAZING and I only wish I had two more just like him (I kid, I kid! I’d take three more just like him….)

It came as no surprise to me when I was on the phone with him recently and I was teasing him about not getting to see him more often when his Wendy side came out. He quickly said “I’m just doing what you raised me to do MOM!!” Ahhhh…. How I love that boy!

Blink and They Grow Up On You…

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It seems like just a week ago he was going to pre-school for the first time. How is it possible that he’s now graduated from Georgia Tech with his undergraduate and Union University with his Masters? Oh yeah, and he has a job… a real job. You know the kind with benefits, a 401K, retirement plan, insurance and responsibilities. Better him than me!! I kid, I kid. Super proud of this guy.

After getting his undergraduate degree, Will knew that he wanted to get his masters in Urban Education because let’s be honest, he has been drawn to Memphis Tennessee since the first summer he went there with our church for a mission trip (I blame you Roy McVeigh!) Teaching has also been on his radar since he was in middle school and since he worked as a tutor at GT it just solidified his love for teaching (it also convinced him he wanted to work with younger kids… ones who weren’t quite as stubborn as college athletes.) Will found a graduate program much like Teach for America, only in our opinion better, called Memphis Teach Residency (read about it here and feel free to support them as well!) The beauty of this program is that they mentor and coach you through your one year graduate program and then see you through your first three years of teaching. Who wouldn’t love someone to walk you through your first few years as an adult?!?!?! Great program full of great people and Will is blessed to be a part.

You know I’m proud of all three of my boys but I feel a bit sorry for the younger two. Not only did Will graduate from GT in four years, with honors, he has now graduated from grad school and he’s been financially independent for almost a year… and he’s not quite 23. Yep, he’s set the bar pretty high. Good luck with that Luke & Matt…

Oh the Places He’s Gone

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Yes, he is still in France; yes, he cut off the curls; yes, he’s seeing the world and loving every minute of it; no, as of right now he hasn’t lost anything other than his phone and one credit card (that being nothing short of a small miracle people); yes, we hear from him often.

Sunday afternoon has become my favorite time of the week. Why you ask? Because that’s when Luke Facetime’s us to let us know how his week has been. (And can I just be honest? I want to be Luke when I grow up.) Every time he calls I am reminded of the Dr. Seuss book, “Oh the Places We’ll Go” because people, he has done some goin! I won’t bore you with the details but thus far he has been to Paris, Austria, Germany, Greece, Italy, Amsterdam, Prague, Belgium, and I’m sure I’ve left some off. The places he has gone are great, but seeing him re-live those trips every Sunday when he tells us about them?? Priceless!! There are things we do for our children that bring us far more joy than it will ever bring them and that to me is the greatest part of parenting.
I’m thankful we can give him this opportunity but I won’t lie… I’m ready for him to get home. It’s one thing to have Will in Memphis and Matt in Greenville where I can always road trip but a whole other thing to have Luke a very long plane ride away. He’ll be home in just over thirty days and I have to tell you, people, I will be one happy mama.

Pulling Tim into the Smart Phone World

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We were out of town this weekend visiting family since my two stateside boys are on spring break. Somehow the conversation turned to cell phones and we realized how short of a time they have been in our lives. Tim got his first BAG PHONE back in the late nineties and not only did it weigh 100 lbs but it was difficult to get service. Also, it was only for dire emergencies… we would never have used it to just chat. Just like today… NOT!!

My first cell phone was a small white flip phone and I really did not want it or any other phone. (We’ve discussed how much I abhor talking on the phone, WHY would I want one with me constantly?!?!) But Tim, who seriously likes talking on the phone, surprised me with one around 2005 and now like the rest of the world I panic if I leave the house without it. Times have changed and as a whole, we rarely use our phones just to call people. The best cell advice I was ever given was from a friend who also has three sons a few years older than mine. Leigh told me to get unlimited texting for everyone in the family. She explained that boys will text a hundred times more than they call. BEST ADVICE EVER!! Because my boys text a million times more than they call… they are their mother’s sons after all!

We’ve all come a long way in my family with everyone in our family having a smart phone… well, except for Tim. He still has an old fashioned phone and now he’s the one kicking and screaming not to enter the smart phone world… not because of principle mind you, no with Tim it is purely an economic decision. But he’s softening. His coworkers harass him endlessly because he’s the only person in his entire high school without a smart phone (well, maybe I exaggerate just a bit…I think there is one ninth grader without one) and now that Luke can Facetime me from Europe and Will can Facetime me from Memphis anytime they want he’s almost ready to jump on board. Yep, nothing like your kids to force you into spending more money…

In My Swagger Wagon

The Swagger Wagon's 2012 Senior Trip

The Swagger Wagon’s 2012 Senior Trip

I still drive a minivan only we call it the swagger wagon. Yes, I realize that I have no children at home and one would think that by the time all of your children are out of the house that you have earned the right to drive a nice adult car but then the van comes in handy and you just can’t part with it. Y’all, this swagger wagon is practically family at this point, I mean it has taken us on vacation to Florida every year since 2007, moved one child to Georgia Tech four times, another two times, one move to Furman, gone on the senior trip with the class of 2012 (without me- yes my son and his friends begged to take it), moved a child to Memphis, brought home some amazing antiques inherited from my darling mother-in-law and taken us on more road trips than I could ever name.

No one sets out to purchase a minivan when their kids are out of car seats, but as I was searching for my next car in late 2006, I realized that with the length of my oldest son’s legs at the time, there were very few choices he could fit in. It was a light bulb moment people! As we tried to squeeze all three boys in the back of a smoking hot candy apple red Volvo, I quickly noticed that Will’s chin was resting on his knees and decided maybe we should pursue something a bit roomier. Right then one of the boys saw a van with the sliding door open, a drop down TV/DVD combo and heard the words, “You can even plug in any video game system and play while you travel.” It was game over at that point. Game…Over… To humor the kids we walked over to check out the vans and I realized that not only could my long legged son fit comfortably, but there were enough seats to keep them all separate. It’s the little things in my life people….

Many times we have discussed getting rid of the swagger wagon and each and every single time I think about how handy it has been. Plus, when you buy a van with half grown kids, you can afford all the whistles and bells. Can I say I really love my heated leather seats? Not as much as Tim but if I’m being honest, on some super cold days it’s been close people….real close.

He’s A Lot Like Me… Bless Him!

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As my children grow older, I see more and more of myself and Tim in them every day. My oldest son, Will, is very much like me… poor thing! We share a love for reading, are consummate rule followers and when we are invested in something, we give no less 110%.

I love it when my boys are home, whether together or separately. Will, who is currently in Memphis, Tennessee getting his master’s degree, was home for a bit by himself and I noticed something about myself. I spend far more time reading when Will is home. Maybe it’s because he’s a reader too and will plop down on the sofa across the room from me and crack open a book. Maybe it’s because he is uber low maintenance when it comes to… ummmm… everything. Maybe it’s because he leaves no mess in his wake!!! Whatever it is, I LOVE it! How many women get to discuss book likes/dislikes with their son? How many sons/moms favorite store is a bookstore? How many women share a book collection with their son? Yes people, Will is a lot like me…

The other thing I noticed when Will was home is how dedicated to his craft he is. I had no idea at 22 what I wanted to do for the rest of my life (well other than be married to Tim of course) and here Will is not only knowing what he wants to do, but knowing where he wants to do it! Will’s heart has been stolen by urban education. He wants to make a difference in the lives of inner city kids. As I write that I think “WHO ARE YOU SON AND HOW CAN YOU BE SO SMART????” and then I think, well obviously he’s my son…. I kid! I kid! But seriously, I can hardly believe how amazing he turned out, after all everyone knows the first child is the practice child (I said being the baby in my family!)

What a joy it is being mom to this guy… at least 99% of the time!! I say this often, it is never dull in our life and that’s just the way I like it. Now excuse me while I try to think of something nice to say about the other two…

Random Friday Musings

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  1. Today is my dad’s birthday, so if you see Greg make sure you wish him a happy birthday. Happy Birthday Daddy!!
  2. Will got home from Memphis last night so my nest is full…and messy…and my fridge is empty…and I wouldn’t have it any other way!
  3. Anchorman 2 is out… wonder how long before I get to hear my boys reciting every one of the movie lines?
  4. Why do boy’s dorm rooms smell so bad?
  5. Robin Thicke is the son of Alan Thicke… you know the dad on Family Ties?? WHAT?!?!
  6. James Marsden, who I may or may not have actually met in person while on a girls trip in Atlanta, may have the most beautiful eyes ever. Well, other than my husband of course. Of course…
  7. How can one boy coming home from college for the break have so much stuff and have it ALL OVER THE HOUSE in just two short hours??? Yes, I’m talking about you Luke Reeve!
  8. Why can I think of thousands of things I want until someone asks me?
  9. Did anyone ever really care who let the dogs out? Whose dogs were they anyway?
  10. Why is there a difference between “for sale” and “on sale”?
  11. Speaking of which, why can’t car dealers just tell me how much they want for their cars? I don’t haggle over milk at the grocery store or my mortgage payment…just tell me how much the car is and I’ll pay it if I want it. DONE.
  12. Rett and Gini are getting married tomorrow…unless Gini gets around our family and realizes she doesn’t want to sign on for all this! So y’all hide your crazy at least until after they’re hitched… then go wild. Seriously, can’t wait to begin celebrating with them tonight!

p.s. It’s almost Christmas Day so you might want to start your shopping. I might want to start mine too… I might…