Monday, March 30, 2009

All Things Jackson

I really think that I could write a book on "All Things Jackson". He loves to cuddle, read books, dance, play and explore. He also loves to climb. He has always been fascinated with door knobs, keys and cellphones. He has no fear, he will "work" with something until he gets it right, he never gives up and he never backs down. Jackson is his own little man!

Today, Jackson and I had a great day together. We ate breakfast, we sat down and read books together, he got out his shoes and socks to put on, he picked out his snack, he carried his own bag and his very own set of keys when we walked to the restaurant to meet Jason for lunch.

Jackson also pulled his rocking chair into the kitchen, climbed on top of my kitchen cabinets and got the "sweets" basket off of the TOP of the refrigerator!!!!

He also pulled down the kids' art basket, full of all kinds of craft projects.

He also found his way outside because someone forgot to lock the door. We found him playing in the neighbors' driveway. Fortunately we were close behind!

And, Jackson took the entire (new) roll of toilet paper and stuffed it into the toilet! At least he didn't flush!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Huv Oo

Tonight I found myself rocking Jackson to sleep. I had laid him down only a few minutes earlier and heard his little cry. I scooped Jackson up in my arms and we rocked and rocked. I rubbed his back and kept on rocking. He held my hand and played with my necklace while we continued to rock. His hands found their way into my hair and he ran his fingers through my hair. I rocked him for a long time and I didn't want to stop. I looked at his big eyes and told him how much I loved him. I thanked God for his life. And I told him again that I loved him. Over and over again. And in his sweet little voice behind his pacy, I heard, "Huv Oo". Over and over again.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

I'm Calling In Sick

I need a personal day! Jackson exhausts me physically and Joshua and Abby Kate exhaust me mentally. If only I could call in sick...

On Tuesday, Jackson threw his plate of Beefaroni on the floor. Beefaroni went all over my beige carpets, the kitchen walls and the tile floor in the kitchen. I don't know if I will give him any food that is red anytime soon. Yesterday morning while I was getting ready, Jackson threw my hairbrush in the toilet. This morning, Jackson decided to also throw the container of wipes in the toilet. I guess that I need to find a safety lock for our toilets. There is no telling what else will end up in there. AND, he is working on his 2 year molars! Oh happy day!!!

I don't know what stage we are entering with Joshua and Abby Kate, but I am not liking it one bit. They are driving me (and each other) crazy by constantly nagging each other. They have also been fighting with each other non-stop. Normally they are the best of friends, but these past few days have been torture for me. The other day I made them sit down together and hold hands until they were happy and giggling and nice to each other. I don't know if I should constantly break up their fights or if I should let them work it out. Right now, I'm doing a little of both. I get in the middle of it when it goes a little too far, but I also try to let them work things out on their own if they can.

I love my babies with all of my heart, but I need a time out! Its just been that kind of a week around here. At least tomorrow, Jason and I will get to go out for lunch with Jackson. I'm thinking Olive Garden! And tomorrow night, we have Parents' Night Out at church, so we get to go out on a date! Woo Hoo!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Tide Has Turned

After Jason and I returned home from our honeymoon, we stopped off to visit with our families before moving 4 hours away. We had so much fun sharing our videos from San Diego and Los Angeles with our families. Because of the time difference it never really worked out for us to call home. We learned towards the end of our honeymoon that my parents had placed their home on the market and they had 3 offers above their asking price within a couple of days. On day 3, they sold the home that they had built when I was in the fourth grade. I was very shocked and a little sad that my childhood home would no longer be ours, but I was happy for my parents nonetheless.

I was able to spend one final night in my bedroom (with my husband of a week - talk about weird!) before we moved on to our new apartment. Jason returned to the Hendersonville Church that night where the youth ministry was having one final goodbye for all of the summer interns. I stayed home with my parents packing those last minute things to load into our cars.

My parents had the best going away gift waiting for us (as if they hadn't done enough already) . While we were away on our honeymoon, my parents had gone to Sam's Club and loaded us up with all the essentials. I'm talking shampoo, toliet paper, paper towels, a laundry basket, Tide, Downy, bandaids, toothpaste, toothbrushes and loads more. I absolutely LOVED this gift from them (I'm just a simple girl like that).

That box of Tide lasted us six months easily, but every six months I returned to Sam's Club to buy more Tide. Five years later, our laundry doubled with the addition of our twins. Jason and I frequented Sam's more often during those early years buying plenty of diapers and Tide. Then we added another baby to our party and the amount of laundry has reached the level of insanity! I don't know what it is about our party of five, but there is never an end in sight with the laundry! If I don't do at least one load every day, before I turn around I will have four loads piled high waiting to be washed.

Gone are the days of a massive box of laundry detergent lasting me half a year. My wonderful $27.85 box of Tide now lasts me two months tops!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Our Trip to the Aquarium

On Saturday, we visited the Chattanooga Aquarium with my parents. PawPaw and Nana had never been to the Aquarium in Chattanooga and the last time that we visited, Jackson was only 4 weeks old. The kids loved getting to spend the day with their PawPaw and Nana. They had so much fun looking at all of the fish. Abby Kate loved the sting rays, but more importantly she loved watching her Daddy feed a shark in the sting ray tank. I think that she told everyone at church today about her Daddy feeding a shark! Even though the shark had no teeth, she is one proud little girl. Joshua's favorite was the penguins and Jackson loved watching the baby turtles. We all had such a fun time together!

Warning: Lots of pictures below!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Guys' Night Out

Jason and I have had the best time spending one on one time with Joshua and Abby Kate. A few weeks ago, Abby Kate and I enjoyed our Girls' Night Out to the circus and on Tuesday night Jason and Joshua enjoyed their Guys' Night Out to see the Harlem Globetrotters. I asked Jason to write this entry for me so that I could have it for my blog book. I am so glad that we have made the time to spend with each child one on one. We all truly treasure those times and we've made some great memories along the way.

Joshua and I had a blast at the Harlem Globetrotters game Tuesday night. Or, as Joshua would say, the "Chlobetrotters". I guess "Harlem Globetrotters" is a mouthful to try and say!

We loaded up and made our way to the VBC for the big game. Joshua was really interested in the "other" team that the Globetrotters would be playing against. "Who are they? What are their names?" When we pulled into the parking lot, he said, "Wow, Dad! There's like 50,000 people here!"

As we were standing in line, we ran into our friends Allen and Katie. Joshua and Allen are big buddies and they enjoyed talking before the game. We entered the arena and quickly realized our seats were at the very top...the next to last row! The steps were so steep and there was no handrail, so I had to carry Joshua all the way up to the top. But we could still see the action from where we were, so we were pleasantly surprised.

Our favorite part of the night was probably watching the teams warm up. The Globetrotters did all kinds of trick shots and fancy dribbling moves. One of the players (a tall forward nicknamed "Highrise") put on quite a show by dunking the ball, hanging on the rim, and then lifting his legs up over his head until he was dangling upside down. Joshua thought that was really cool! We rooted and cheered for the Globetrotters as they defeated their enemies, the Washington Generals.

Best part of the night: On our way into the game, he turned to me and said, "Dad, I love you for taking me to see the Harlem Chlobetrotters."

Jackson's outing is coming up soon.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Our Day at the Zoo

Last year, we took a trip to the Birmingham Zoo during Spring Break. Today we continued our Spring Break tradition of visiting the animals. I think that all of Alabama decided to visit the zoo today as well. Every Tuesday, you can get in to the zoo for 1/2 price. With a family of 5, we love 1/2 off days. Jackson is really fascinated with animals right now, so I was really looking forward to this visit to the zoo with him. The weather was perfect and we had such a great time with our friends. Here are some pictures from our day at the zoo.

Joshua and Jackson getting ready to see the animals.



Petting a goat

Abby Kate and Jason

Such fun times together

Jason and the boys

Enjoying the sea lion show with Joshua
(The sun was just a bit on the bright side).

Sunday, March 15, 2009

A Getaway

This weekend, I attended the Beth Moore Minister's Wives Conference in Nashville. What an amazing blessing this conference was for me! My friend, Kera, told me about a free ticket giveaway to this event a couple of weeks ago, so I signed up. I received an email last Monday congratulating me for being randomly selected to attend this conference. Thank you Kera for thinking of me!

This conference was incredible, but it was all the more special because I went with my dearest friend, Alisha. Alisha and I met at Lipscomb some 12 or 13 years ago. Both of our (then) boyfriends were the interns for the College Street Church in Lebanon. We instantly formed a friendship that has grown all the more through these years. There are so many special memories of the times that we have shared together. I am so thankful that God has blessed me with such an incredible friend who is also a minister's wife.

Some 1,200 minister's wives all gathered together to hear words of encouragement from Beth Moore. Jason and I have been in ministry together for almost ten years, and this is the first conference of its kind that I have been a part of. I'd never had the chance to hear Beth Moore speak, but she was really incredible. She spoke from the book of Galatians and had such wonderful encouragement for all of us wives in ministry with our husbands. This weekend was just a wonderful time for me to get away and focus on my spiritual life.

If you ever have an opportunity to hear Beth Moore speak, I strongly encourage you to. I am hoping to get some of her books here shortly. Have you read her books? If so, which ones would you recommend?

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Splurge or Hoard

I love chocolate! I love all kinds of chocolate! If there is chocolate in the house, I will eat it. In an effort to not eat a lot of chocolate, I've stopped buying it. There are a few occasions where I will crave something full of chocolate and indulge.

I think that my love for all things chocolate is from my Daddy. I remember my Daddy stashing away those BIG Hershey's bars in the cabinets. For the holidays, we were always given the best chocolate. I have a special place in my heart for the Valentine's Day, Easter, Halloween and Christmas candies. Whenever my brother and I received our special holiday candies, we made sure to hide them away in our bedrooms in hopes that Daddy wouldn't eat any. Our candy seemed to last forever, because we would only get a few pieces after dinner every night. One night after enjoying a great meal from my mom, I asked for a few bites of my Russel Stovers Solid Milk Chocolate Easter Bunny. When I brought it back to the table to eat, I realized that more than half of my bunny was missing. I was completely confused and my Daddy couldn't hold in his laughter anymore. He had eaten a few bites of my bunny when I was at school earlier that day. To this day, I laugh so hard when I think about my Chocolate Easter Bunny.

For Valentine's Day this year, I bought Jason a bag of the Nestle Crunch Heart Chocolates. They are his favorite Valentine's Day treat, so I always pick up a bag for him. Jason stuck his bag of chocolate up on the refrigerator in our "sweets basket". I had completely forgotten about his stashed candy and was surprised when he pulled out a full bag of chocolates the other day. He has been eating on this one bag of candy since February 14th. This might be the norm for you, but for me it is not. Chocolate doesn't really last long if I can see it (that's why I don't buy it anymore).

I am fine with Jason having his stash of candy on top of the refrigerator, but I was shocked by what he told me yesterday evening. I don't know how long he has been wanting to tell me this, but he called me a "chocolate splurge(r). He then proceeded to tell me that he was a hoarder when it comes to chocolate. I was shocked that he would ever call me a splurge(r)!

So do you splurge or hoard?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Passionate Child

When Abby Kate was only a few days old, Jason and I were told of the "fight" our little girl had in her. My child proved her strong willingness at the tender young age of 5 months. Abby Kate has spent the last 4 years showing us her "fight". She is my passionate child.

Last night before heading out to Bunco, I was helping Jason get the kids bathed and their clothes picked out for today. Yesterday, the weather was just perfect with an 80 degree temperature and a slight breeze. We spent the majority of our day outside in shorts and short sleeved tops. I had heard that the weather was supposed to get cooler toward the end of the week, so I helped the kids pick out their clothes for the next day. Joshua and Abby Kate picked out a short sleeved shirt with pants.

Before going to bed, Jason checked the weather for me and found out that the temperature was going to be a little cooler than I had thought. We decided that the kids probably needed to wear long sleeves and a light jacket in the morning. Well, I had to break the news to my dear sweet Abby Kate this morning. I knew exactly how she would react. I knew that she would spend the next 40 minutes having a melt down. And that is exactly what she did. Lots of tears were shed, lots of questions were asked, and a little attitude came out of my sweet baby girl's mouth.

Yes, Abby Kate has a lot of "fight". Her battles always last 40 minutes. She can hold a grudge like no one else. She is stubborn. She is strong willed. She is full of passion. She is full of life. She is full of determination. She is definitely my passionate child.

It is my prayer that I can shape her will and protect her sweet spirit.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Of All The Things To Break...

I broke the handle off of our door leading into the house from the garage. I'm not really that strong, but then again, maybe I am.

At first I didn't realize that this would turn out to be that big of a repair. Then I was reminded that this door has a key lock. I like having one key that works all of my locks.

There's the front door lock and the deadbolt lock.

There's the back door lock and the deadbolt lock.

And, then there's the door lock that I broke. That door also has a deadbolt lock.

This is going to cost more than I thought...

Monday, March 09, 2009

Sunday, March 08, 2009

A Melting Heart

Me: In the kitchen making Jason's favorite meal for dinner, enchiladas and fresh corn from last summer.

Jason: In the bathroom bathing our stinky little Jackson from a day's play outside.

Jackson: Enjoying every minute of play in the bath.

Abby Kate and Joshua: In the playroom picking up the toys from the day.

Abby Kate: (In a very loud voice) Joshua, I just love you so much!

Joshua: I love you so much too, Abby Kate!

It's in these moments that I find my heart melting!

Thursday, March 05, 2009

A WalMart "Amen"

This morning, the kids and I made a quick stop off at WalMart. I found myself pushing all 3 kiddos on the buggy through the aisles listening to them singing songs about Jesus. "Whose the King of the jungle? Whose the King of the sea? Whose the King of the universe? And whose the King of me? His name is J-E-S-U-S! Yes! He's the King of me".

They also quoted their favorite (as of right now) passage of scripture to all the shoppers that would listen - "Come and I will make you fishers of men".

We got lots and lots of smiles and we even got an "AMEN"!

I absolutely LOVE hearing my children talk about Jesus to anyone and everyone that they come in contact with.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Girls' Night Out

Abby Kate and I were able to enjoy some girl time this weekend. We had the best time together; just the two of us. Friday night we attempted to go to the circus. I had been working the consignment sale all day and had asked Jason a couple of different times if I should have him order us tickets online, but he said that we should be fine. Before we headed out Friday night, we grabbed a quick bite to eat and found ourselves sitting in traffic to enter the parking garage for about 30 minutes. When I paid to park, I asked the lady taking my money if she had heard if they were sold out or not. She said that they had been sold out for quite awhile now and handed me back my money. I felt really bad for Abby Kate and told her that we would definitely come back. Since the circus was out, she told me that she wanted to go to the mall. We shopped around for a little while and stopped off at Claire's to buy some rings that Abby Kate had picked out. We sat down and ate a little ice cream and then she played until it was time to head home.

Friday Night

Trying on the latest fashion at Claire's!

Fortunately, I was able to find tickets to the Sunday afternoon show. Abby Kate and I had the best time together at the circus. She loved seeing the tigers, and I loved the elephants. I have to admit, I really did not know WHAT to expect. I did not expect to be sitting there in fear for the performers. It was pretty amazing, but I found it a bit BUSY!!! If the boys ever want to go to the circus, I think that Jason will have to take them. I enjoyed it, but don't think that I will ever go back. For now, I will stick with the zoo and the aquarium. :)

After the circus, Abby Kate and I enjoyed a nice meal at Olive Garden. I had so much fun sitting across from my beautiful little girl and talking with her. She is growing up so fast. I am so thankful for the memories that we shared on our Girls' Night Out.

I loved how they held onto each others tail.

At the circus!

Such a happy little girl!

More elephants!

Oh, did you notice the new glasses? I went to see my good friend, Jennifer the other day and found out that I needed glasses for my eye stigmatisms. I'm still trying to get used to them, but I am loving not having headaches anymore. Before I started wearing my glasses, I was having (at least) 5 headaches a week. Now, I think that I've had about 1 headache each week. I guess that those 5 years of not getting my eyes checked really caught up with me.