Friday, May 30, 2008

Beach Snapshots

Here are some snapshots from our beach trip. I will post more pictures within the next few days!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Check Your Statements

Today, I saved our family $30.00 by checking our statements. We were overcharged on a dinner at Chili's, billed a late fee with L.L. Bean, and charged for a service we had not set up on our cell phone. After looking over each statement closely and making 3 phone calls, I am happy to report that we should be getting back $30.00.

We are back from the beach and I hope to have up some pictures soon.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Let's Play A Little Picture Catch Up

I've had such a great birthday! Jason surprised me last weekend with a trip to Nashville to have dinner with my family. We ate at Olive Garden, which is my favorite!!!! My parents brought me a birthday cake from Becker's Bakery. My family has been eating their cakes since my Daddy was a baby!

My mom and Abby Kate

My Mimi with Jackson and me

I cannot even begin to tell you how very excited I am to have my Digital SLR! I have been wanting one for such a long time! Now I will really have some fun with my photography!
I got a different lens from the one in the picture. Mine is quite a bit larger and I also got a couple of filters to use as well!

Abby Kate checking out the two white horses that came up to the fence in our back yard. 

Joshua and his buddy Lawson!

Playing with my camera! I still have a LOT to learn!

Our little Cardinal!


Joshua loved playing ball. At one point during the game, he came running off the field saying that he did not want to play anymore. The coach, AKA - Dad, had put him in the outfield position and he was not too happy with that move! I, being the good mother that I am, grabbed him by the hand and pulled him back out to the field to play ball. He got over it pretty quickly!

Jackson's little nest in his bed

Check out what I can do now! Yep, I climbed up there all by myself (and then I didn't like it and I wanted down. But mom ran and got the camera instead.)!

I wanted to thank you all for my birthday wishes! I have had the best day today! I also loved reading what Jason had written for me on my blog and on his. Tonight I was treated to dinner at Rosie's and some ice cream at Marble Slab. God has truly blessed me with such great family and friends.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

I've Been Tagged... my friend Anna. Here goes nothing...

*Maybe I should...go to sleep.

*I love the smell of...roses, candles burning, a roast in the crock pot, a clean house and clean laundry.

*People would say that too organized and a bit of a neat freak.

*I don't understand why...I can't let the mess just go!

*When I wake up in the usually takes me a long time to get going.

*I lost my will power to...go to the gym. I don't want to leave the house as soon as Jason gets home.

*Life is wonderful with...chocolate! No, my great husband and my three kids!

*My past made me...grow (even though it hurt).

*I get annoyed when...someone cuts in front of me in line. I still have not gotten the courage to speak up.

*Parties are not...for grown-ups, they are all about the kids!

*Dogs are...a lot of work.

*Cats are...snobby. Plus, I'm allergic!

*Tomorrow I am going to...go to the beach!

*I have a low tolerance for...people that are not genuine.

*I'm totally terrified of...snakes!

*I wonder why I thought my life would be...what? (I don't get that one!)

*Never in my life...would I have ever thought I would be so blessed to have married my best friend and have the children that I have!

*High school was something that...I was glad to see end.

*When I'm voice quivers, my stomach hurts, my face turns red, and I usually have to go to the bathroom.

*Take my advice...enjoy every moment that you are in!

*Making my bed is...something that I used to do every day until I married Jason. He could care less about the bed being made, so it usually only gets done if we are having someone over.

*I'm almost always...trying to meet one (if not all) of my kid's needs (at the same time).

*I'm addicted to...Chapstick!

*I want do my grocery shopping!

I tag Jason, Tara, and Amy D....ONLY if you have time and want to! :)

Thirty Reasons I Love My Wife

Hello everybody. Jason here. I've decided to hijack Sunny's blog today with a surprise birthday post. Happy birthday!

30 Reasons I Love My Wife:

1. She loves Jesus!

2. She loves me!

3. Abby Kate

4. Joshua

5. Jackson

6. She's a great cook.

7. She watches LOST with me, even though it's not her favorite show.

8. She pours herself into making our home a place of joy.

9. With all that she has to do during the day, she still makes time to read her Bible most nights before going to bed.

10. She has the most tender heart of anyone I know.

11. She legitimately enjoys going to baseball games with me. (When I realized this when we were dating, that was the moment I knew I wanted to marry her!)

12. She always makes an effort to make my birthday or our kids' birthdays really special.

13. Thanks to her, I'm now a Christmas music lover. (Although September is still a bit early to start listening, in my opinion!)

14. Every time before I leave for work or when I get off the phone with her, she tells me she loves me.

15. Laundry. Loads and loads of laundry.

16. And the folding of the clothes. Seriously.

17. She loves taking pictures so she can savor all of her memories for years to come. I just think there's something romantic about that.

18. She has an uncanny ability to remember EXACTLY where we parked when we're leaving Wal-Mart.

19. She's also incredibly fast at solving word search puzzles. She could solve two or three in the time it takes me to do just one.

20. She's also really great at the card game "Speed". Don't play her; she'll wear you out.

21. She truly takes delight in our children.

22. She loves to serve in quiet, "behind-the-scenes" kinds of ways.

23. She loves spending time with me.

24. She's perfected the art of homemade pie crusts. Mmmm....

25. Thanks to her, I'm addicted to American Idol and Survivor.

26. She loves her parents, grandparents, brother, and other family members.

27. I love listening to her pray.

28. She always sits through my classes and sermons even though she's heard me talk about most of this stuff all during the week as I'm getting prepared. I know that has to get old, but she does it anyway!

29. She puts up with me and all my idiosyncrasies.

30. I love her for just being who she is and for letting me share life with her!

Happy Birthday, Sunny!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Too Much to Write

I seem to have a few too many ideas of things to write this week. This week I am turning ___!!!! I can hardly believe it, but (it's just another number). This past weekend Jason surprised me with a get together with my parents, brother, and grandmother. I also got the BEST PRESENT EVER!!! I will post about it in a few days. Also, I have been tagged by Anna and I can't wait to get around to posting that too. Tonight, Joshua has his first tee ball game, so be on the lookout for pictures. GO CARDINALS! I also got some pictures of the kids out back with the horses. But for now, I will leave you with a few thoughts while I have a few minutes...

Why is it that both of my kids now think it funny to ask the person behind the counter if they are a boy or a girl? It has become quite embarrassing to say the least!

We still love playing the "What letter starts with ___ game".

Joshua and Abby Kate's last day of Preschool is tomorrow. We are all looking forward to some fun summer time activities together!

Who wants to cook when it is so hot outside?

This Sunday in Bible class, we looked at Ephesians 5:1-2. "Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God." One example that was drawn from this passage was in reference to our children. Our children want to do everything just like Mommy and Daddy.

Joshua is a BIG Daddy's boy! Jason is his hero! I even remember watching the way that Joshua would look into his Daddy's eyes when he was in the NICU. Joshua absolutely loves Jason with all of his heart. Everything that Jason does, Joshua is quick to follow. One night on the way to church, Joshua was talking to me about wanting to go up in the sky in a rocket. I told him that he would have to become an astronaut to ride in a rocket ship. The more he thought about it, the more scared he became about being so high up in the sky. Joshua then told me that his Daddy would go with him and that they would have a great time. Joshua then said, "Mommy, when do I get to turn into Daddy?". I told him that he would one day be a Daddy, but he did not like that answer. Then with the sweetest voice ever, he said, "No, when do I get to turn into Jason?". How precious is that!!! Joshua just can't wait to be called by his Daddy's name.

Joshua's desire to be just like his Daddy just fills my heart. And it also causes me to think that I should be just as devoted to imitating God as Joshua is devoted to imitating Jason. I should want to imitate God and be called by my Father's name, too!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Jackson at Eleven Months

18 pounds, 4 ounces, 27 1/2 inches

I can play peek-a-boo.

I can clap.

I love to make "Indian" noises.

I am cruising!

I can stand alone for just a second before falling on my bottom.

I don't like being told no. (Tears well up in my eyes and my little lip starts to quiver!)

I love to unroll the toilet paper.

I broke Mommy and Daddy's toilet seat lid.

I like to imitate sounds.

I am using my signs very well.

I have 8 teeth and have just started working on my molars.

I love bubbles.

I am on the GO! (I won't sit still for pictures any more!)

I love to eat Cracker Barrel's biscuits and Olive Garden's breadsticks.

I get really fussy when I have a dirty diaper.

I love to give kisses. (Especially to the girls!)

I love to make messes.

I love my YoBaby yogurt.

The other night, I went to Praise and Prayer with Mommy in my stroller and held her hand during one of the songs.

I'm very independent. I like to play on my own and do things for myself.

I love going into Joshua and Abby Kate's rooms and playing with all of their toys.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

"I Need YOUR Help!"

*Hang in here with me while I try and explain the situation and ask for some advice!*

Jackson has just about gotten too long for his snug ride infant car seat. He has yet to reach the recommended max weight limit. Every time I buckle him in, I am finding it harder and harder to get his little straps over his shoulders. It is time to move up!

Joshua and Abby Kate stayed in their snug rides until they were 18/20 months old. When I moved them into a new car seat, I purchased the Eddie Bauer front facing car seat/booster seat combo. Their car seats hold a weight of 20-100 pounds. When they are at booster seat weight/height, I can simply use the lap belt from our van.

Here are my options...

I can buy a "regular" booster seat for Abby Kate and let Jackson use her front facing car seat. In order to do this, I would have to wait for Abby Kate to gain 4 pounds and turn 4 years old. She will be 4 in a couple of months and there is no telling how long it would take for her to gain 4 pounds. Jackson would have to weigh 20 pounds (getting him weighed today) and be 1 (which will happen in a few weeks). To me he seems too little to be forward facing in a straight back car seat. He still takes naps in the van and I would hate to have his little head not be supported.
*Approximate Cost of a Booster Seat - $40.

I can buy a convertible car seat for Jackson. I have done a little bit of research on these and I like what I see. I could still keep him rear-facing (but for how long), or he could be switched around to face the front if the car seat is a little reclined. Also, I would not have to wait on weight/height gain for Jackson and Abby Kate. The only thing is, is that, I would potentially be buying 2 more car seats/booster seats. The convertible car seats go up to a weight of 40 pounds. But maybe by the time Jack would need a booster seat, one of the older ones would be finished using theirs. (Which brings up another question - How long to kids have to stay in booster seats? I've seen 4'8" is the magical height to not have a booster seat, but there are some 6 year olds that are not that tall.)
*Approximate Cost of a Convertible Car Seat - $80 and up.

After writing it all out, I think that I am leaning more towards a convertible car seat. I have a coupon for $10 off a car seat at Babies R Us, so I will probably drag Jason out with me to the store this weekend. Clearly I've never had a convertible car seat. I am wanting to hear all of your opinions. Is there one that you would recommend over the others? Would you keep him rear-facing, or would you turn him around? What do you think?

**I emailed out Joshua's tee ball schedule. If you want a copy, just let me know and I will send it out.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Our Vacation

Jason and I were able to get away last week. We went on a 5 night Western Caribbean Cruise with Jason's sister, Tara, and her family. Our kids stayed at home with my parents. It was a huge help having my mom and dad come down to our house to keep the kids. After Jason's graduation on Saturday, we made it back home and went to church Sunday. Jason and I spent the rest of the day Sunday getting everything ready for us to leave. We met Jason's family at the interstate and rode down to Mobile with them. Between the seven of us, we had quite a van load of luggage. Once we arrived in Mobile, we boarded the boat and got settled into our room. Our room was spacious enough for the two of us with an ocean view. We made it up to the Veranda for debarkation. After the hours of being in the van and waiting in line to board the ship, we were thrilled to be "cruising".

We spent our first day at sea lounging at the pool. I was able to finish up my Nicholas Spark's book that I had been putting on hold. We got a little dressed up for Formal Night.

Our first port was in Cozumel, Mexico. We had the best shore excursion possible! We visited the Nachi Cocum Beach Resort. I had never seen ocean water that was SO blue. It was so relaxing being on the beach. Jason and I ventured out and did a little kayaking. Jason did most of the work. There were moments that I loved it and then there were moments where I was just scared for my life. I am not a fan of the ocean, but Jason just can't get enough of it. They also had a pool and a "swim up to it" drink stand. I was able to open the newest James Patterson book and read on the beach.

Our dinners on the boat were absolutely incredible! Dinner was a big production each and every night. The food was SO delicious and I just loved the atmosphere. If we wanted, we could have had a five course meal each and every night. My favorite meal was the aged ribs. It actually tasted like a really good roast. Our waiters made the evenings so much more personal.

Every night we were greeted by a new "towel" animal. Our stateroom steward would come in each night while we were at dinner and turn down our bed and make us a new animal out of our towels.

We ported at Calica, but Jason and I did not plan any shore excursions for the day. We did get off of the boat and we walked around for about 30 minutes. We were not impressed with the port at Calica. It is a newer port, and unless you have an excursion planned, there is not too much to even look at. We spent the rest of the day lounging at the pool reading our books. I actually ended up reading 3 books during our trip. I honestly cannot even remember the last time I read one book, much less three!

Jason and Freddy, the Carnival Cruise Mascot.

A picture of the water at the back of the boat.

Our last day at sea.

We had the best time ever. This was by far the best and most relaxing vacation that we have ever been on. We are so thankful to Tara and her family! We are so appreciative of the sacrifices that my parents made for enabling us to have a vacation without our three little ones. The timing of this cruise could not have been more perfect! The kids did great with my parents, but I know that my mom and dad were pretty worn out from our crew! We got the biggest hugs from Abby Kate and Joshua when we walked in the door. I am so happy that Jackson was able to go back to our feedings after he had a week worth of bottles. Jason and I really enjoyed this vacation. I was really not sure how I would like the cruise, but I absolutely LOVED it. I cannot wait to do another one!

Cozumel at Dusk

I will post the rest of my pictures soon! 

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Beaming With Pride

On Saturday, Jason graduated from Lipscomb University with his Master's of Divinity. He took 27 classes and received his degree for his 81 hours of schooling. I cannot even begin to tell you how proud I am of you Jason! As you walked across that stage in the Allen Arena to receive your hooding and certificate, I found myself smiling and beaming with pride.

Graduation Day, May 2008

Graduation Day, May 1999

Lipscomb University

Joshua wants to be just like his Daddy!

Jason and his boys

The best family picture I could get.

Abby Kate and Joshua

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Things That Bother Me

  • Story time at the library being cancelled for the 3rd time!!! I just wish that someone would have kindly told us that last week instead of saying that we would be having it this week. It is no easy feat trying to get 3 kids, dressed, fed, and out the door on time (and I have to get dressed in there somewhere too). And gas in not cheap these days! At least, we were still able to return our books from last week and check out some others.
  • Gas prices!!! Today I pumped $40 into our van. I have not put that much, at one time, into my van in months. Sad thing is, is that I only got half a tank out of that $40. Four years ago when we got our van, I was shocked at the first full tank I pumped. It cost me $40! On the news last night I heard talk of the government dropping the federal tax on gas for the summer months. I hope that happens. I know that if it does, we will hopefully be some of the ones taking advantage of that by traveling.
  • People that drive 10 mph UNDER the speed limit.
  • People that ride your tail when you are going 5 mph OVER the speed limit. And then they get over into the other lane to pass you, only to find that they have to hit their breaks and get right back behind you to pass the car that is in the other lane.
  • Bad customer service
  • The weeds that have grown back in my flower beds. I only pulled them 2 weeks ago!