Thursday, May 28, 2009

Gardening Growth

This year Jason and I decided to start a SMALL vegetable garden. I have been wanting to do this for some time now and we finally have the time to devote ourselves to a garden. This year we planted cherry tomatoes, "regular" tomatoes, green beans, okra, cucumber, strawberries, and watermelon. We have mint, rosemary and parsley already growing in our flower beds. We are still hoping to add some flowers to our beds soon. We have all enjoyed watching our little seeds and small plants grow and we will hopefully enjoy some fresh vegetables soon.

Roses are one of my favorite flowers. I think that they are so pretty. We have about 7 rose bushes around our house.

This is a rose bush that we have around the side of our house. This rose bush has gotten so big over the years.

A close up shot

Rose bush
This rose bush was about half the height that it is now at the start of Spring. It has really taken off.

Jason and I transplanted our strawberry plant at the beginning of Spring. It has done really well in its new home. The other day I had a lot of berries on it that were almost ready to pick. Apparently the birds decided to pick them for me.

Green beans
Jason and I quickly realized that we need to enlarge our vegetable bed after planting several seeds. Since this is our first year of gardening, we only planted a few seeds to see how they (and we) will do. I am also the only in the family that will eat green beans, so I guess that I will be freezing what I can't eat this summer.

I've never really made okra, but I love it. I wanted to try my hand at growing okra this year. I am also the only one that will eat okra.

Its not summer unless you eat cucumbers. Cucumbers are my favorite!

I just found this picture too cute.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Beach Retreat 2009

Our family was invited to the JR High Beach Retreat this year. We had such a great time last year and we were thrilled to have the opportunity to go back. The kids have grown so much from our last beach trip. This year we headed down a day early and had so much fun at the beach and in the pool.

Jason made my birthday extra special this year. The night before my birthday, Jason headed out to Target for a gift with all 3 kids. On Friday, I woke up to Abby Kate and Joshua singing to me. They were so excited to give me their gift. Jason said that they had all picked it out ON THEIR OWN. I got a pack of Frappucino's (which are my favorite), a Dove milk chocolate bar (which is also my favorite), and a bonus 4 pack of ChapStick (which I can't live without). The kids even picked out my birthday card. They were so proud and I enjoyed every bit of it! For my birthday this year, I got a new purse and another present that is on special order; so I'm still waiting for it. I think that I have a hint as to what it is since Joshua decided to tell me. :) Later that night, we had dinner at Sea n' Suds with Corey and Alisha. I loved every minute of my "beach birthday"!

It is amazing to see how the kids enjoy the beach each year. I have such fond memories of Joshua and Abby Kate's first beach trip and Jackson's first beach trip last year. This year the kids really enjoyed the pool more so than the beach. I am the exact same way when it comes to the beach. I like it, but I would rather swim in the pool. Jason, on the other hand, LOVES the ocean water and has the best time riding the waves. Jackson probably loved the ocean the most. As soon as we were near the water's edge, he took off for the water! He loved it! It was so precious to see him giggling so hard at all of the waves crashing around him as Jason held him. Joshua loved running up to the water and then running back to the shore as soon as the water would reach him. He also found lots of seashells that he enjoyed throwing into the ocean. Abby Kate preferred the sand. She got out in the water a little bit, but really enjoyed the safety of the sand much more.

There was one moment when we were all out in the ocean water together and a huge wave came and crashed down on all of us. Jason was coming back in from being out in the water with Jackson. I was meeting Jason half way and he was going to take out Abby Kate and Joshua. I looked up for a brief second and saw a big wave coming and quickly grabbed Jackson's arm and told Jason to do the same. Jason grabbed Jackson and helped me pull him up and also reached out for Joshua who was hanging on for dear life. Poor Abby Kate didn't grab onto my arm soon enough, so she got knocked off of her feet. It was at that moment that all 5 of us stood in the middle of the ocean screaming, grabbing for each other, and holding onto each other for dear life. I'm sure that we were quite the funny scene to all those walking by watching our family of 5 fighting the waves of the ocean.

We all had so much fun at the ocean and the pool this year. Joshua, Abby Kate and Jackson love the water and we spent every moment that we could in the water. Abby Kate and Joshua picked right back up with where they were last year with swimming. Jackson continues to show NO FEAR when it comes to anything, including the water!

We took some family pictures our last night there. I am hoping to get those up soon! Until then, here are several beach snapshots!

Ready for the beach!

A little hesitant to get in all of that water

Checking out the waves!
They were huge!

Abby Kate preferred to stay away from the water.

This is one of my favorites of Jason and Jackson!

Jason and Jackson

Joshua loved feeling the sand wash out from underneath his feet.

This is another favorite picture.

Jackson held onto Jason like a little koala bear after catching a wave!

Abby Kate and Joshua at the pool!

Check out those poor babies that are waiting for the rain to pass!

Jason, Abby Kate and Joshua at the pool

Jackson waiting for dinner at Sea n' Suds

Celebrating my birthday!
Thank you all so much for all of your kind words and birthday wishes!
Can you tell that we snap when we are trying to get the kids' attention for a picture? Joshua is taking after his daddy.

Jason and Jackson waiting to eat lunch at DeSoto's. DeSoto's is our family's favorite restaurant in Gulf Shores! Apparently they have really good seafood. I wouldn't know since the only seafood that I eat is hush puppies. :)

Monday, May 25, 2009


Yep, we're going to the doctor!

Yesterday afternoon while we were all playing out at the pool, we all noticed how swollen Abby Kate's foot was. She hasn't complained one bit about it, but we are thinking that she must be having some kind of an allergic reaction to something. Her poor foot is still swollen and it looks so bad. Hopefully we will get some answers tomorrow and we can get something to help make the swelling go down.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Happy Birthday Sunny!

Today my sweet wife turns 31 years old. So I've hijacked her blog again (just as I did last year) to let all of you know about her special day. Sunny, I can't begin to tell you what a blessing you are to my life. I am so thankful that God gave you to me and that He's blessed our life together in so many ways. You wear so many hats (wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend) and you wear them all so well. Happy Birthday!

This picture is one of my favorites of the two of us. It was taken probably 8 years ago at Impact, a summer camp at Lipscomb. Our dear friend Lucy (who was in our youth group at the time) snapped this candid shot of us in Bison Square. The reason I love this picture is because it captures what I see when Sunny looks at me. I've always loved that about her: the look of purity and joy and warmth that I see shining through her. I know I don't deserve to be looked at by someone so beautiful. But I'm so glad that I have a wife that loves me and sees things in me that nobody else can see. That look right there tells me she loves me, that she believes in me, and I know just how blessed I am to have her in my life.

So happy birthday, Sunny! I hope this year is one of the best years of your life. "Baby, you're the greatest!"

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Proud Tee Ball Momma

Joshua and Abby Kate had their first tee ball game of the season this past Tuesday night. We are playing for the Marlins this year. Last year we asked both kids if they wanted to play; Joshua, of course, said yes; Abby Kate said no. But after the first game of the season, she started talking about how much she wanted to play. So this year, they're both on the same team.

I love watching my kids play ball! Joshua just loves the game! He pretty much knows all of the "big" baseball players and watches them on Sports Center. He is always open to watching any baseball game that is on TV. I've had to put a ban on all balls and bats in our house, but my little Joshua will still find a way to play the game inside. For his birthday last year, he received some baseball bases and he loves setting them up in a circle from the playroom to the living room and back to the playroom. He has found the last few balls remaining in our house and hits them with one of Jackson's mini bats that he got with a Little Tykes toy. Joshua just loves baseball! I am one proud momma when I see the way he loves and plays the game.

Abby Kate is so excited to be playing tee ball this spring. When she is on the field, you will find her grinning from ear to ear. She has done so great this season and I love hearing Joshua praise her. The other night on the way home from practice, Joshua told her just how great of a job she had done with hitting the ball. Those are the moments that just melt my heart. At the start of tee ball practice, Abby Kate had been hitting right handed. We're pretty sure Abby Kate is right handed since she does a lot with her right hand, but here lately I've noticed her using her left hand when she's using her scissors. Throughout our practices, she has tried to hit right handed, but she pretty much has been trying to hit it to the backstop. Last night, we tried something a little different - we let her hit left handed. It worked! It was so much more natural and she got in some pretty good hits. We know Joshua is a lefty and Jackson eats and throws with his left hand; if Abby Kate ends up being a lefty, we'll be 3-for-3! Or Abby Kate may be like Jason, who is actually right handed but he's always batted lefty. I've really enjoyed the happiness that Abby Kate has about tee ball. She is one of two girls on the team and I'm so happy that she is playing this year!

Abby Kate #2

Joshua #9

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Baby Blue Eyes

I took this picture of Joshua at tonight's tee ball game. It's one of my new favorite pictures of him.

Monday, May 18, 2009


Jason and I are going to Washington D.C. for our anniversary! We are very excited about our trip and are really looking forward to getting away. Thank you all for your suggestions about where we should go. All of your suggestions were very tempting. We have visited Asheville, Charleston, New York, and San Diego before. Jason and I definitely want to go on an Alaskan cruise one day when we can afford to do it right. My parents are on an Alaskan cruise right now and I am so happy for them and can't wait to see their pictures. We really wanted to go to Boston, but we couldn't get tickets to a Red Sox game without selling all that we own. I still want to go to Savannah one day and hopefully Hawaii, too.

We are now planning our trip and we can't wait! Once again, we are looking for any and all suggestions from those of you who have been to D.C. before.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Strawberry Pickin'

I took the kids out strawberry picking yesterday morning. I have never picked strawberries before, but had been thinking about a trip for a little while now. The kids were so excited and we had a pretty eventful time together.

Joshua and Abby Kate each had their own approach to finding and picking their strawberries. Abby Kate jumped right in and knew exactly what to do. Joshua stayed with me and eagerly searched for the perfect strawberry (according to my criteria). Jackson's first pick ended up in his mouth, as well as the two other strawberries that he picked. After chewing on his strawberries for a few minutes, he quickly spit them out, and he made the funniest faces while he was trying to spit!

We were able to pick a little more than half a gallon before it poured down rain. When we arrived the sun was shining brightly and as soon as we headed out into the field, the rain clouds began rolling in. It must have been a sight to see all 4 of us running in to the cabin when it started to pour. I had to put my camera up under my shirt (yes, I will do anything to protect my camera), Jackson on my hip and the strawberries on my other arm. Joshua ran in front of us and I kept telling him to go on up to the shelter, but I guess that he didn't feel like leaving Abby Kate, Jackson and me out in the rain alone. Abby Kate ran behind screaming the entire way! I have to admit, it was pretty hysterical! I think that Abby Kate is terrorized of picking more strawberries now. When I told her that I wanted to go back, she said that she didn't want to go because she didn't want to get drenched again!

The strawberries that we picked are the best I have ever had. They are so red, plump, juicy and sweet! No sugar needed for our strawberries. Unfortunately I found out that I am the only one who will actually eat the strawberries, so I guess that I will just have to finish them all off.

Abby Kate jumped right in and started looking for her perfect first pick!

I shared this photo yesterday. I think that it is so funny!

Abby Kate showing off her first strawberry. Joshua was searching for the perfect place to start picking.

Jackson decided to taste his first pick!

Joshua was so eager to learn how to pick the strawberries. He was so proud of each strawberry that he picked!

Picking and eating strawberries

Joshua made sure that he found the best strawberries to pick!

Not the best picture, but it shows the rain that was minutes away eagerly waiting to drench us!

Strawberry Pickin' 2009

We were all soaked!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Just Had to Share

I took the kids out to pick strawberries this morning. This is the face that I got when I asked for a picture! It is so Jackson!!!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Free Money

The other day we received a check in the mail for $60 from the water company. After our overuse of water, I was very excited to have a $60 check to put towards our bill.

The only problem was that it was from our previous water company that we used over 2 years ago at our old house. I thought it was pretty strange to be getting an overpayment check from the company that we used to use, but I gladly accepted it. I was holding out hope that they had heard of our water ordeal and decided to "help us out". It was all very wishful thinking and I knew better! :) I didn't cash the check because I thought that it might be some kind of a mistake. The check sat in the bin on my refrigerator and then the water company called. They had made a mistake and asked me to destroy the check. Unfortunately, I had to do just that!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Potty Training????

Jackson has been going potty for awhile now. He always go potty before his bath and after his bath. Last night when we got home from church, I took off his diaper and he ran straight for the potty and went! The past two mornings, he has also gone potty after he comes to get me. These are all very encouraging signs and I am trying to figure out if I should go for it!

I know that he understands and is so happy when he goes, but he is a month shy of being 2. I just don't know if he fully gets it yet, but I don't want to pass up an opportunity if he is ready to be trained.

I am wanting to know if anyone else has potty trained their kids before the age of 2? I know that potty training is a long process, but I am willing to put forth that effort if it will be worth it. I would love to hear what all of you mommies, nannies, etc. think.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

The First Practice

I wanted to share this quick picture of Joshua at last night's tee ball practice. He was so unbelievably serious when he posed for this picture.

Abby Kate is playing tee ball this year, too. I took a lot of pictures and you can find a few of them over at Jason's blog.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Out Back

This evening before dinner, we were finally able to go outside and play. It has been raining here forever and it has started up AGAIN!!! While we were out, the horses that back up to our property decided to come over and see what all of us were up to. Of course, I headed inside to get my camera and take a ton of pictures.

Jackson LOVES horses so much! He is constantly looking for them when he wakes up, goes down for a nap or to bed at night and while he is playing throughout the day. He absolutely loves farm animals and this was the first time that he got to see the horses up close this spring.

He loved looking at the pretty horses, but didn't really care to pet them like Abby Kate and Joshua did.

Down by the fence

That is one big horse!

This is the "Daddy" horse according to Abby Kate and Joshua.

Shaking his hair
After Jackson saw this horse shake his hair, he did the exact same thing! It was too cute!

Such a beautiful horse!

3 horses checking out my 3 kids

Got an itch?

Bye for now guys!