Thursday, July 31, 2008

Calling All Offenders

Are you a construction zone speeding offender?

In town, we have a construction zone on a stretch of highway where the posted speed limit is 65 MPH. Several months ago (and I do mean SEVERAL!), this section of highway was being expanded. The construction signs went up and so did the "new" speed limit. It went from 65 to 45 to 55 to 45, all within a few feet. Everyone on the roadway obeyed and there were times when one lane was closed down forcing all of the drivers to merge. I was amazed at the GREAT lengths cars would go to in an effort to avoid someone merging in front of them! When the roadwork finished, we all returned to our normal speed limit of 65, even though the construction signs were still posted. Clearly the roadwork is done! We have not seen a construction cone, worker, or paving truck within the past several months, but the "REDUCED SPEED AHEAD" signs are still there with the 65, 45, 55, and 45 MPH signs. I have tried to reduce my speed, but when I have cars that are passing me going 70 MPH, its hard. Or when I have cars speeding up to my van and then having to slam on their breaks because I am going a good 25 MPH UNDER what they are going, it becomes a little too scary!

This week our Sunday newspaper had an article about this specific stretch of highway. The writer of the article stated that even though there is NO current construction taking place, if the signs are posted the work is not complete and if you are caught speeding, you WILL get a ticket! Apparently there is a lot of paperwork that has to be processed before the construction signs can come down. I understand that! I understand that the work has to be processed and signed off on. The part that really bothers me is that I am trying my best to go the posted speed limit, but I honestly feel that I am putting my family in danger when I am going 25 MPH under what EVERYONE else on the roadway is going!!!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Menu Ideas - Lunch

My kids love sandwiches! We can really put away the bread, peanut butter and jelly. There are only a few other menu items that my kids will eat at lunch. Both Joshua and Abby Kate will eat all of their sandwiches if it is the only item on their plate. Sometimes I feel like I have to hold off on the "other stuff" until they eat their "main dish". Our lunches are pretty routine. I would love to hear what you all do!

Today's Menu Idea - Lunch

Peanut Butter Sandwiches

Jelly Sandwiches

Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches

*They love to tell me how they would like their sandwich to be cut. Joshua prefers big or little triangles. Abby Kate usually likes squares or rectangles. On occasion, Abby Kate likes her sandwich "like Daddy's" (no cuts, just bread on top of bread).

Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Any kind of Chef Boyardee microwaveable meal (Joshua's favorite - he is my Italian food lover)

Mac n' Cheese (Abby Kate's favorite)

Chicken Nuggets (I have not done this in a long time. Don't know if the nuggets have "real" meat.)

Hot Dogs

Peanut Butter Crackers (The kids consider this a big treat.)

That is really about it! Sounds pretty bad, doesn't it? When the kids were younger, I always gave them a meat, veggie and fruit at lunch. I don't know if they would really go for that nowadays. Yes, I know that it is all about what you present for them to eat, but sometimes it is just not worth the fight. I feel like if I were to offer them that kind of a meal now, I would need to plan out a menu for lunch. Does anyone else do this, or do you just give the kids what they want? I don't know, I grew up on sandwiches everyday and I think that I came out just fine.

Sunday, July 27, 2008


The kids and I returned from a fun week in Nashville. Jason was able to come up Thursday night after work and spend Friday and Saturday morning with us. On Wednesday the kids and I spent the day in the pool. My mom and I got away later that afternoon and shopped a little. I got some great deals at the outlet mall. Tara and I headed north on Thursday to get some corn and tomatoes. On Friday we went to Opry Mills to Build-A-Bear. The kids received Birthday Bear Bucks and they both got to experience all things Build-A-Bear! Here are some pictures from our trip.

Jackson loving the pool!

Abby Kate showing off her new swimming skill by kicking herself around the pool.

Jackson was worn out after spending the morning in the pool!

Joshua loved jumping in the pool to PawPaw!

Joshua swimming all by himself!

Jackson's form of entertainment while Tara and I shucked corn.

Abby Kate modeling her new *winter* pajamas!

Joshua's Build-A-Bear teddy. Joshua's eye was swollen from a mosquito bite from the previous night.

Joshua, Aunt Tara and "Joshua Bear"

Abby Kate bathing "Butterfly"

"Lil' Vol" 

Our "cool" little Jack-Jack

Friday, July 25, 2008

Shucking and Canning

Yesterday, I headed up to Scottsville, Kentucky with sister-in-law, Tara. We went to buy ears of corn and canning tomatoes from the Amish. We were definitely outnumbered with 5 kids, but they all did so well and enjoyed the task of finding corn. Tara and I ended up shucking, silking, cutting, boiling and bagging 192 ears of corn. After finishing up the corn, I became a little too ambitious and decided to core, cut, puree, boil and can a case of tomatoes. Tara and I worked so hard and now we have a nice supply of tomato puree and frozen corn. I really enjoyed the whole process, but it was a lot of work!

Thursday, July 24, 2008


I headed up to Nashville to spend some time with my parents Tuesday evening. The kids love their Nana and PawPaw so much and I realized the other day that we had not been up to see them all summer long. I got to my parent's house around 9:30 Tuesday night. It took quite awhile for everyone to calm down for bed. I think that we were all so excited to see each other. We finally went to bed about 11:30 late Tuesday night.

Yesterday we spent the day in the pool! Can I just tell you how proud I am of my little kids! My parents had bought the kids these little "Learn to Swim" swimsuit with floaties. (I don't really know how to best describe it. It was a swimsuit and float-suit all in one. Pretty cool!) When Abby Kate got in, she found her swim ring and started kicking all around the pool by herself. Joshua started out his morning on the steps. I eventually pulled him on out into the water and he found his swim ring and started kicking all around the pool by himself. At one point, I asked Joshua if he wanted to jump in to his PawPaw and he said yes. Well, once I got him out and told him to jump, he didn't budge. I picked him up and "helped" him jump to my dad. He absolutely LOVED it!!! After that, we decided to see if he could "swim" all by himself. Guess what? He did!!! Joshua spent the rest of his time in the pool swimming and jumping in all by himself! Before we went in for lunch, he swam from the end of the 3 foot area to the stairs!!! I am so proud of him! Abby Kate had a lot of fun kicking her way around the pool in her swim ring, but before the day was over, she was swimming with the noodle.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

A Night at Our House

Last night I was able to capture some video of the kids. Here lately the most requested song in our house is "Barbara Ann" by the Beach Boys. Kind of crazy if you ask me! Joshua and Abby Kate love to sing this song all the time. I also got Abby Kate saying her books of the Bible. She made it about half way through the Old Testament. It had been awhile since I had asked her, so I was really impressed that she remembered that far back. Anyways, I hope that you enjoy!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Menu Ideas - Breakfast

I feel like I have been in a meal "rut" for several years now. I wanted to take some time and find out what everyone else is doing for their meals. I am trying to really change the foods that I offer my kids by giving them more healthier options. Please give me your feedback, because I think that we will all learn something new.

Today's Menu Item - Breakfast

Cereal ~ Unfortunately my pantry is stocked with all of the "sugary" cereals. I plan on finishing these up and then I will not buy anymore.

Cereal Bars ~ These are used the most when the kids need to get out the door to school.

Poptarts ~ I used these a lot last year on the way to school.

Eggo's Mini Muffin Tops ~ I just found these in the freezer section the other day. I think that the kids like them and they are easy to warm in the microwave to save time.

Eggo's Mini Pancakes ~ Another quick microwavable meal.

Cheese Toast ~ This is what the kids had for breakfast today. I think that they enjoyed it!

Muffins ~ When the time allows, I love making muffins for the kids and myself. We all love it!

Homemade Waffles ~ These are my family's favorites!

Sausage Balls ~ Yum! I usually find that I only make these around the holidays.

Eggs and Bacon ~ Hardly ever happens!

Unfortunately, my kids only prefer cereal, cereal bars or poptarts for breakfast. I don't want to give them this all the time. On the days that we have school, these options seem to be the best for time. Also, when my kids wake up, they want breakfast immediately! To take an extra 15 minutes to make something is just pure torture to them. I would also love to incorporate in some fruit too!

So, tell me what you usually serve and what you would like to serve. Maybe this will give us all some new ideas. I feel like sometimes I get caught making the same thing because I have not thought beyond the routine. I can't wait to hear your ideas!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Some Thoughts

I don't know if any of you have ever checked out the Melissa George Neonatal Memorial Fund link on my blog page. If you haven't, please take a moment to check it out. Jason and I feel so blessed by all of the doctors and nurses that took care of Joshua and Abby Kate when they were in the NICU. Every year, we have made it an effort to give back to the hospital that cared for our premature infants. Just the other day, I visited the NICU and dropped off some of Abby Kate's and Joshua's preemie clothes for other families to have and use. One of Abby Kate's first outfits was from a family that had done the same thing with their child's preemie clothes. That outfit is one that I will always keep and cherish. Just riding up the elevator and walking down the hallway to the NICU brought back a flood of memories and tears to my eyes. Those days in the NICU were some of the hardest days that I have ever faced. We will forever be grateful to the doctors and nurses that cared for our babies when they needed it the most.

For the past three years, a "Swim for Melissa" benefit has been held to raise money for the Melissa George Neonatal Memorial Fund at Huntsville Hospital Foundation. Last year, they raised $117,000 for the NICU! The money that is raised at this year's event will go towards the purchase of the state-of-the-art Giraffe OminBeds for critically ill premature infants in the Regional Neonatal ICU. Last year, the Memorial Fund was able to buy three of these special beds. Since November 2005, the Melissa George Neonatal Memorial Fund has raised $435,000 for the NICU!
My friend, Anna, also delivered her babies early. Her triplets were born at 31 weeks and spent 4 weeks in the NICU. Their family is participating in this year's event by raising money for the Melissa George Neonatal Memorial Fund. Please visit their webpage and help them reach their goal of collecting money for the "Swim for Melissa" benefit.

On to some other thoughts...
  • In an effort to lower our electricity bill (this month's bill was about $50 higher from June), we raised our thermostat two degrees. It now sits at 79 degrees and we are adjusting pretty well. What do you keep your thermostat on?
  • Today Joshua found a bug by the front door. He called me over to check it out and so I went to pick it up and put it in the trash. He told me that he would be "my bug catcher". I gave him the paper towel and he picked it up and put it in the trash can. He sure was proud and told me that he would take care of all the bugs for me!
  • Jason has been out of town all week. My grandmother came down to help me out. She was such a great help and the kids just adore her so much! Thank you Mimi!!!
Here is Jackson's latest trick (and he's only 13 months old)....

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Our Little Titan's Football Player and Cheerleader

This year the kids agreed on a Titan's themed birthday party. They came up with the idea all on their own. (I was personally pulling for a Western - Cowboy/Cowgirl theme.) However, they are both independent thinkers and they both have their own unique likes and dislikes. I was excited that they agreed on something together and Jason and I got to work on all of the other ideas to incorporate into the party.

We sent out the invitations to family and friends with the Gameday (date), Kickoff (time), and Stadium (place) printed on them with the Titan's logo. All of their friends came decked out in their favorite team jerseys or cheerleader outfits. We played some football music and some of their favorite songs during the party. We welcomed all of their friends and family with some football and cheerleader coloring sheets. Next, we let the kids play a football toss. We had some adults hold a hoola hoop in the air while the kids practiced their football throwing skills. After the football toss, the kids decorated some megaphones with some craft foam letters, shapes, and some football stickers. After the kids decorated their megaphones, Jason "tatted" up all of the boys and girls with some football tattoos. Joshua and Abby Kate had requested pizza, chips and goldfish for their meal. They both got SO many presents. (It's at those times that I have to remember that it is just overloaded because they are twins). We all sang Happy Birthday to Abby Kate (she is older by one minute!) while she blew out her FOUR candles on her Titan's "cheerleader" birthday cake. Joshua was up next and he enjoyed having everyone sing Happy Birthday to him as he blew out his FOUR candles on his Titan's "football player" birthday cake. We were all pretty tired after the party, but it was worth it!

Our little Titans!

Saying "Thank You" for all of their presents!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Joshua turns FOUR!!!!

Fun Facts about Joshua

Favorite Color: Red
Favorite Food: Marco's Cheese Pizza
Least Favorite Food: Pork Chop
Favorite Treat: M & M's
Favorite Superhero: Spiderman
Favorite Thing To Do: Go anywhere
Favorite Show: Dora The Explorer
Favorite Restaurant: McDonald's
What he wants to be when he grows up: A Baseball Player for the St. Louis Cardinals

Turning THREE!

Turning TWO!

Turning ONE!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Abby Kate turns FOUR!!!!

Fun Facts about Abby Kate

Favorite Colors: Pink, Purple, White and Blue
Favorite Food: Marco's Cheese Pizza
Least Favorite Food: Green Beans
Favorite Treat: Gum
Favorite Princess: Ariel and Sleeping Beauty
Favorite Things To Do: To play with her friends and color
Favorite Restaurant: Rosie's
What she wants to be when she grows up: A Family Doctor

Turning THREE!

Turning TWO!

Turning ONE!

Four years ago today, Jason and I walked out of the hospital with our precious baby girl! Today I visited some friends at the same hospital and got a chill walking through those same hallways that we walked four years ago to bring our precious little girl home. Abby Kate, you've come a long way baby girl!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Our Little Walker

Jackson took his first steps on Saturday, July 5th. He is enjoying "showing off" his new skill. Here is a little bit of video that we shot of him taking some steps the other day! I love his laugh!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Christmas in July

It's official; the Christmas music has already started in our house! (This is by far the earliest that we have ever pulled it out. I guess that's the great thing about iPods.) Of course, we will not keep listening to it, but it sure is nice to have that warm Christmas feeling in the middle of summer. I am really looking forward to Christmas this year with the kids. It should be a lot of fun!

Only 167 more days until Christmas!!!


Here are some teasers for the weekend.

*Guess who's walking???

*Time for Jack's first haircut.

*Joshua and Abby Kate are celebrating their birthdays with family and friends this weekend. Be on the lookout for our little Titan's football player and cheerleader.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

No Time

* To go to the grocery store.
I think that I have been "big store" shopping once since the summer began.

To stop and fill up my van with gas.
My gas light has been on the past two times that I have had to stop to fill up.

* To take my van into the shop.
Something crazy is going on with my engine. I just hope that it doesn't hurt the wallet too much.

* To work on my school assignments.
I currently have every point allowed for a perfect grade. I hope that it stays that way. It is my new challenge.

* To go to the gym.
I gave up going to the gym awhile back. I just didn't want to take away from my family time by going when Jason got home. Now I am desperately wanting to work off some weight.

* To enter in debit receipts.
I don't know why we don't just go to the bank and get out some cash. It sure would save me some time on entering in every receipt.

* To get things together for the kids' birthday party.
When I take all of the kids out to the store, I find that I cannot think for one second. This drives me absolutely crazy.

* To eat!
I can't tell you the last time that I actually ate breakfast and lunch. At least the kids are getting fed.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Does Anyone Else Find This Funny?

Our LifeGroup has been studying, Dr. Chapman's "The Five Love Languages" on Sunday night. This week's love language was "Physical Touch". One of Dr. Chapman's ideas in meeting a spouse's need for physical touch is when "riding down the road together, reach over and touch your spouse on the leg, stomach, arm, or hand". I find the "stomach" touching a little funny!

Monday, July 07, 2008

Jackson's Twelve Month Pictures

Last week, I took Jackson in for his twelve month pictures. He definitely made me work a little harder this time. We took pictures for a little over an hour. You can view his pictures online at Click on clients and enter in our last name. If you do check them out, leave me a comment and tell me what you think. I will comment later about my favorites.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Joshua and Abby Kate Are 4!!!!!

Joshua and Abby Kate are 4 years old today!!! I can hardly believe that it was four years ago that Jason and I were blessed with twins. Every day is such a blessing!

Jason and I decided to plan a trip for Joshua and Abby Kate to Dollywood. We left last Thursday night and spent the night in Knoxville. We arrived at Dollywood early Friday morning and had a blast!!! Here are some pictures from our trip!