Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Family Beach Pictures

Joshua, Jason, and Abby Kate

I am still finding it hard to believe how big they are getting.

Our family

Joshua, Abby Kate, and Jackson

Jackson and me

Giving kisses

Jackson walking to the ocean

Joshua and Jason

Joshua and Abby Kate

Joshua and Abby Kate

Abby Kate, Jackson, and Joshua

Just the two of us

I can't get enough of my little man!

Abby Kate and Jackson

Peek-A-Boo! Where is Jackson?

There he is!

The sunset at Fort Morgan

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Our Trip to the POOL

Who goes to the beach, only to spend the majority of their time at the pool? We do, we do! Jason absolutely LOVES the ocean! Jackson is our thrill seeker, so he LOVES the ocean too! Joshua and Abby Kate loved looking for seashells and we all enjoyed walking along the beach. However, the majority of our "swim time" was spent up at the pool.

One quick story about our trip down... It was an absolute nightmare! Joshua and Abby Kate were fine, but little Jack just did not want to be in our van. He screamed and cried pretty much the whole way. He undid his seatbelt countless times and threw every pacy, blankie, and toy that I handed to him down on the floor of the van again and again! Can I just say how sore my ribs have been for spending the last 5 years bent over the armrest trying to reach for "the fallen objects"! We stopped to grab a quick bite to eat for lunch and Jackson begged for more milk. We actually had to go to 2 gas stations to get him some milk - what gas station doesn't sell milk? Jackson thanked us in his sweet little voice for his milk and we were on our way. I don't think that we were 15 minutes down the road that Jackson started screaming in pain and pointing to his chest. Then it hit! Jackson had his first "real" vomit! I know that it must have scarred him to no end, but we immediately pulled over and tried our best to clean him up. Have I mentioned that Jason has NO sense of smell? Fortunately he didn't have to suffer through the horrible stench in our van the rest of the way down, but the rest of us did. We made it to Gulf Shores and stopped at the grocery. Jason was surprised to find the nastiest diaper on Jackson when he picked him up. Once again, he needed a change of clothes and to be cleaned up. Once we got to our condo, I spent about 30 minutes cleaning every nook and cranny of his carseat, while the cover washed. We stuck the seat outside overnight and tried our best to air out our van. I am happy to say that the smell is gone and the carseat was clean (he stuffed his poptart down in the seatbelt holder, so now there are crumbs everywhere). It will not be a story that we will forget anytime soon. We've had our fair share of upset tummies around here, but nothing ever prepared me for that! As far as traveling with milk goes, I think that we will stick with water now. I don't think that I can bring myself to buy milk from another gas station again!

I guess that wasn't really a quick story. :)

Anyways, here are some pictures. Can you tell a difference? Thank you, Brooke!

Joshua just had to have his picture taken in front of the big pirate ship, but the sun proved to be a little too bright for him.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Summer Lovin' of' '09

Well, for the first time in about 2 years, my blog is definitely not feeling the love from me. This summer has been a blast and has been filled with so many fun and memorable times. But, there have been other "loves" for this month of July...

Jason and I found out at the beginning of last summer the importance of buying a new bottle of sunscreen each year. This year, we made our sunscreen run to Target in search of the perfect bottle. If you know me at all, you know that I have very sensitive and very WHITE skin. I always joke and say that I have two colors, white and red. I have never tanned and I probably never will. For years, I always bought the highest SPF and stayed my bright white color all summer long. I would always lather on my sunscreen and if I waited too long to reapply, I would burn. A few years ago, I decided to use a tanning sunscreen with a lower SPF. I don't know why, but I have not gotten burned since I made this switch. For a little added bonus, I have actually gone a tad shade darker than my bright white. I am always so proud of my "tan"; that is until I hold my arm up to Jason's. He gets so dark and I just have to pretend that I am really tanned too. At least Abby Kate and Jackson got Jason's skin tone; poor Joshua is just like me. Now that I've bragged about this sunscreen, watch me get burnt!

Another love of this summer has been listening to "our" songs with the kids in the car. They love it when I crank up the volume and we all sing along and do a little dance in our seats. I'm sure that we have gotten a lot of stares and probably some laughs out of everyone watching us as we drive down the road. Sometimes you just have to have a little fun and not take yourself too seriously.

I recently bought the pink bottle of Johnson's baby wash for bath time. I have always used the yellow all in one bottle of Johnson's, but the pink bottle was really calling out to me in the store. This is also the bottle of baby wash that Jackson decided to dump out all over the floor in our bathroom once we got it home. I LOVE this baby wash and I love bathing the kids with it. I have even been found lathering up lotion on all 3 of my kiddos after bath time (even though 2 of them are now 5 - just don't tell their friends). I know that in a few short years bath time will not be the same (sniff). Anyways, I really love this baby wash and will probably keep buying it until my kids realize that they are using baby soap.

I've loved pulling my hair back and having lots and lots of ponytail days. I am hoping to get my hair cut sometime soon, but I am definitely not ready to lose the convenience of the ponytail. Also, my hair has really started to get more and more wavy. I've always had a little bit of a wave, but my stylist told me that the older that I get, the wavier it will become. Because my hair is a little bit longer and the wave is definitely harder to fight, I have really found the best style right now is a ponytail. The good thing about my hair going wavy is that I don't have to do a thing to it. I just wash, comb, and go.

Joshua and Abby Kate have really taken off with trying to learn to swim. We have spent a lot of time up at my parent's house and they are always so good at teaching the two of them to swim. This year, my parents bought the kids these "Safe T. Seal" swim aids. They are really great and the kids have so much confidence without the bulkiness. I am so impressed with the both of them.

This summer we decided to take part in our 2nd summer of the Reading Program at church. I have really treasured our times of curling up on the couch and reading with the kids. This year, we have really been able to talk about the stories and feelings of the characters. We have also learned more about the men and women in the Bible. I have loved sharing Bible stories with the kids and loved discussing the "lessons" that we should take away with us. I think that some of the kid's favorites have been the story of Joseph, Jonah, and Moses.

I haven't really had the time to read a book this summer (in fact I think that the last time I actually read a book was on our cruise last year). I have been able to pick up "The Five Love Languages of Children" at different times throughout the summer. I have really enjoyed reading it and it has made me more aware of the different ways in which our children want our love to be shown to them. I am still working my way through it, but I have really enjoyed learning what I have so far.

These are just a few of the things that I have been lovin' in the summer of '09. I am afraid that our summer is coming to a very quick end. I have loved every moment of it and have so many wonderful memories of the times that we have spent together.

What's your summer love of '09?

Saturday, July 18, 2009


Welcome to my 500th post!!!

This month has been a very busy one for all of us. This has definitely been our busiest summer and I am sure that it will continue to get busier with each passing year. We have celebrated all of our birthdays one right after the other and I am just now seeing past all of cake and presents. I am so far behind on thank you notes, but hopefully I will get those crossed off of my list soon. We have traveled quite a bit, and have really enjoyed every minute.

I am so happy with our 2009 savings to date. We have saved $1,427.48 in shopping the sales and using coupons. It is amazing how much money can be saved if you clip coupons and use them with the sale items and at stores that double your coupons. I used to do ALL of my shopping at Wal Mart, because I thought they were the cheapest. Have I mentioned how much I can't stand that store anymore? Seriously, when I was a teenager all I ever wanted to do was go to Wal Mart with my family. I loved looking around at all of their "stuff" (and this was the old regular Wal Mart). I was so in love with the place. Now the mention of Wal Mart makes me cringe and I try at all costs to avoid the store completely. If I need a basic for the week that is not on sale, or that I don't have a coupon for, I settle for Wal Mart. I love a good sale and I love working it out to get the best deal possible. Just the other day I got back $12.50 in ExtraCare Bucks from CVS. That's FREE MONEY!!! I really don't know how I scored that deal, but I am very excited about my FREE MONEY!

My little garden is doing quite well. I have picked 6 cucumbers off of my one plant. My green beans and okra are still working their way up to producing, but if they don't come through, I might just have to visit a little market to stock up and freeze for the winter. We have cherry tomatoes coming out our ears. And my one Big Boy tomato plant has given me 2 big tomatoes. I'm having a hard time keeping someone's little hands off of them and the worms away. Our watermelon didn't come up, but I guess that we didn't really have much hope for it anyways. Jason and I are already talking about ways to improve our garden for the next year.

Does anyone else watch WipeOut? We just started watching it this summer and we love it! The kids really love it too. We always have to keep the volume turned down low and just watch the action, because some of those people don't really use the best words. The other day Joshua and Abby Kate were playing their own version of WipeOut with each other. It totally cracked me up.

Since we have been in and out of town so much, I am finding it hard to actually prepare meals. I love to cook and I can't wait for things to slow down a little bit so that I can get back into the kitchen.

The other day Jason and I watched an "Everybody Loves Raymond" episode. I really do miss that show!

The other night while driving home, Joshua and Abby Kate were talking about where we live and where their Nana and PawPaw live. Joshua chimed in and told us that "Tennessee is a nice place to live. And I think that Alabama is nice too, but it is a little hot!".

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Abby Kate and Joshua at Five Years

Joshua and Abby Kate are FIVE!!!

It is so hard to believe that our babies just turned five years old. It seems like only yesterday that we were sharing the news that we were expecting a baby with our families at Christmas. I will never forget seeing two little "blurbs" on the ultrasound screen as our doctor was trying his best to describe to Jason what exactly we were supposed to be looking at. I still remember the look of shock on Jason's face when our doctor told us that he thought that there might be two!! I, on the other hand, couldn't contain my laughter at the thought of having two babies!!! I will never forget leaving the doctor's office that day and then following back up a few short days later to actually determine that we were in fact having TWO babies! Our families and friends were so happy for us and we were just as excited.

The babies came much earlier than we expected and we sat surrounded by our family and friends 7 weeks earlier in the hospital. We were thrilled that we were blessed with two precious babies. Those first few days were pretty rough and we couldn't wait to bring home both of our babies. The doctors and nurses at the NICU were some of the best and we will always be grateful for ALL that they did for our babies.

August 7, 2004, we were finally all home together. These last five years have gone by so fast. I am amazed each day at both Joshua and Abby Kate. I am so grateful that God blessed us with these two precious children. They are both so full of life and the love that they share between them is very special. I love watching the two of them play together. They share so many "melt your heart" moments throughout the day. They both have such inquisitive minds and are eager to learn so much.

Abby Kate loves all girly things. She loves playing dress up, loves playing with her new kitchen (thanks PawPaw and Nana), with her babies, and she loves arts and crafts. She is such a sweet big sister to Jackson and is always looking for ways to help him. Abby Kate loves reading books together and she also loves to pretend to read books to her "class" (we think she wants to be a teacher someday). She also loves helping out around the house.

Joshua loves all boy things. He loves playing with his superheroes, watching baseball (he knows so much about the players and the game), playing cars, playing ball and learning how to ride his new Diego bike (thanks PawPaw and Nana). I would say that he is slightly obsessed with sports, but that is okay, because we kind of all are. Joshua is passionate about his play and loves making Jackson feel a part of his play. He is also a big helper around the house and loves getting down on the floor for a good wrestle with his daddy.

Abby Kate and Joshua, we have been so blessed! We love you both so very much! Happy Birthday!

Fun Facts about Abby Kate

Favorite Color: Pink
Favorite Food: Chicken Nuggets
Least Favorite Food: Green Beans
Favorite Treat: Gum and Cake
Favorite Princess: Belle
Favorite Things To Do: Open presents on her birthday and Swing
Favorite Restaurant: McAlister's Deli
What she wants to be when she grows up: A Momma

Abby Kate's "Ariel" Birthday Cake

Abby Kate waiting to blow out her candles


Fun Facts about Joshua

Favorite Color: Red
Favorite Food: Chicken Nuggets
Least Favorite Food: Raisins
Favorite Treat: Chocolate Candy Bars
Favorite Superhero: Spiderman
Favorite Thing To Do: Play catch with a baseball
Favorite Show: The Movie, Cars
Favorite Restaurant: McDonald's
What he wants to be when he grows up: A Cowboy

Joshua's "Baseball" Birthday Cake

Joshua's smile couldn't get any bigger as he waited to blow out his candles

Jackson and Jason

Jason and Joshua

Nana and Abby Kate



Joshua and his John Deere "Tractor"

Princess Snow White

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Washington, D.C. Pictures

I uploaded all of the pictures from our anniversary trip to D.C. on Facebook. If you don't have an account for Facebook, let me know and I can email you the link.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

D.C. - Day 5

For our last day in D.C., Jason and I decided at the last minute to go back to Nationals Park and catch another game. We had originally planned on visiting Mount Vernon on Father's Day, but the ballgame sounded more appealing. We are hoping to go back one day, so Mount Vernon will be on that list, along with about 100 other things.

We got to the park a little early and we were actually able to get an autograph from one of the Nationals pitchers. Joel Hanrahan (a relief pitcher for the Nats) joked around with Jason about his "Tennessee" hat he was wearing. "I don't know if I can give an autograph to a Tennessee fan," Hanrahan said. Jason asked why and he said, "I'm a Florida fan." We also saw Ross Detwiller, a young pitcher for the Nationals that had pitched Saturday night's game. We almost got his autograph, but right as we got to the front of the line, he had to go over to the other side of the field.

Jason at Nationals Park on Father's Day

Getting an autograph from Joel Hanrahan

Posing with "Abe", one of the Racing Presidents

After the game, we made our way over to Arlington Cemetery. We visited President John F. Kennedy's grave and memorial. We also visited the Tomb of the Unknowns and saw the changing of the guard.

President John F. Kennedy Grave

The changing of the guard
In 1921, the Tomb of the Unknowns was established. The sentinel maintains vigil around the clock at the Tomb of the Unknowns. The sentinel paces 21 steps alongside the tomb, pauses for 21 seconds, and then the sentinel returns. If you look closely in the pictures, you can see the paths that have been made along the concrete from the sentinels that have kept vigil over this tomb since 1921. It really is amazing to think of the honor and respect that is given to that one tomb, that represents so many unknowns.

Tomb of the Unknowns

After leaving Arlington Cemetery, we walked the bridge across the Potomac River over to the Tidal Basin. We visited the FDR Memorial and the Jefferson Memorial. Afterwards, we walked back around to the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial.

Walkway to the Tidal Basin

The Washington Monument reflecting in the Tidal Basin

The FDR Memorial

Jefferson Memorial