Saturday, October 31, 2009


Our family had such a great time at this year's FunFest at church. The kids had a blast getting candy and playing! Our Children's ministry does such an incredible job with our families! I feel so blessed to be apart of a great church family.

Jackson and Abby Kate

Jackson and Joshua

Our family

My little SpiderMan

Snow White

A Star Wars Storm Trooper

Jason and his little Star Wars buddy

Jason and princess Snow White

Sunday, October 25, 2009

10 Inches

Abby Kate has been wanting her hair cut for close to a year now. At first, I really didn't want to cut her hair. Before her first haircut, she had several loose curls and I was very sad to see them go. But, we really didn't want to see her with a mullet! So, over the past 2 years, she has had only one small trim. We've talked about her hair and she was really ready for it to go. It took Jason and me a little while to warm up to the idea. I finally agreed that if she had enough hair to cut, that we would donate it to Locks of Love. Our family, like many, has lost dear loved ones and friends to cancer. Jason and I talked about what Locks of Love is with her and asked if she would be willing to donate her hair. Of course, she wanted to help and found that through donating her hair, she could do a little something to help someone fighting through cancer.

We finally set the date, and this Friday, Abby Kate sat like the biggest little girl in the salon anxiously awaiting that cut! She beamed with pride as her hair was sectioned off and that first cut was made. Jason and I looked on with pride in our hearts and fought back the tears as we watched our little girl make the decision to help someone else.

She LOVES her new hair cut and has already told us that she wants her hair cut again to donate.

10 inches!!!

Abby Kate was SO excited and happy to have her hair cut!

Abby Kate's new haircut!

Abby Kate, Momma and Daddy love you so very much and we are so thankful that God blessed us with you. It is our prayer that one day all of the little girls, little boys, mommas, daddies, grandmothers, grandfathers, aunts, and uncles will not have to suffer through cancer!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Movin' On Up

Jackson finally figured out how to climb out of and into his crib last Wednesday night. While tucking Joshua and Abby Kate into bed, I heard Jackson's crib toy "singing". I knew that I hadn't turned it on and quickly ran to find Jackson climbing into his crib and grinning the biggest grin. After getting all of the kids to bed, I started cleaning up around the house and was surprised to find our little Jack Jack standing right beside me. I bet that he got out of his crib 15 times before finally going to sleep. Each and every time, I walked him back to his crib, laid him down, and left hoping that he would drift off to sleep. It took quite a long time, but he eventually fell fast asleep.

The next two nights were pure torture to me. Jason was away for the nights at a preaching conference, and I was left at home to make sure that Jackson did not escape. One night he came running into my room at 10:30 while I was on the phone with Jason. He scared me silly and finally went to bed.

I am a very heavy sleeper and that is not always a good thing. When I wake up, it takes me awhile to figure out what is happening and what I need to do next. I am not really a morning person any more and would much rather sleep in until 8:00. Oh well, those days are long gone. Anyways, I was awoken on Saturday morning (I had been looking forward to Saturday morning all week long) to the noise of Jackson on the kitchen counter. He was raiding the kitchen cabinets and I was in no mood to be awake at 6:00. I put him back to bed and was quickly awoken again by the sound of him playing with his noisiest toys.

If you know anything about Jackson, you know that you have to keep your eyes on him at all times. He is the sweetest little boy, but he definitely likes to figure things out. He will work at something for hours (if need be), to get his way. He is definitely determined and I know that determination will pay off one day. Jackson is also very curious! Jackson can not be left alone! At all!

I have been dreading the transition of Jackson's crib. I was hoping that once he figured out his crib, that we could just lower his mattress to the floor and that would buy us some extra time. Seeing as how he could climb out and climb into his crib, I knew that this was no longer an option. If he could climb into his crib from the floor, lowering the mattress would not work. Seeing as how we didn't want Jackson climbing in and out of his crib, we decided to go ahead and convert his crib to a toddler bed. I definitely did not want my little guy falling and getting hurt.

The last few nights have been pretty exhausting. We put up a baby gate on Saturday night. Jackson opened his door several times before drifting off to sleep. He was found raiding the refrigerator at 3:00 AM on Sunday morning. Jason was up with Jackson four different times the rest of the morning. (Jason is the lighter sleeper of the two of us.) Sunday night, we put a safety lock on his door knob and raised his baby gate up a little higher. The newly adjusted baby gate took all of about 5 seconds for him to climb over and then squeeze under right in front of us. We put a lever safety lock on the door knob and thought that we had succeeded. Monday morning we were proved wrong when Jackson somehow miraculously appeared in our living room out of his room that was baby gated and safety locked. Last night was much better. Jackson stayed in his room and did not escape this morning. Each night is getting better and better. I know that these transitions take time. Hopefully we will all get adjusted to this new phase very soon.

When Jackson saw that his crib had been transitioned, he immediately looked at Jason and said, "Daddy broke my bed! My bed broke!"

Friday, October 16, 2009

Getting In Trouble

Yesterday on my way home from school, I got pulled over by the police.

It has been 5 years since I was last pulled over by a police officer. Five years ago, Jason and I were about a mile from our home after visiting Kingsport, when I got stopped for speeding (5 mph over the limit). I was several months pregnant with the twins and really had to go to the bathroom, so my foot got a little heavy. Fortunately I was given a warning and was sent on my way home to the potty. Before that, I had been stopped on a Saturday morning while living in Kingsport. I was given a warning and urged to go and have my address changed on my license, since we had recently moved. The only ticket that I have ever received was in my hometown a week before Jason and I got married. I worked as a 2 year old teacher at a childcare center in town and on the way home, I just couldn't go the 35 mph that was required for that road. As soon as I passed the police officer, I KNEW that he was going to come around and get me. I IMMEDIATELY pulled off on the shoulder with my hazards on and fought back the tears. It was my first time to be pulled over and I didn't know what to do. It took me forever to locate all of the important documents (and to figure out what my registration was), but I eventually was handed my ticket and sent on my way. It was only after I pulled back onto the road that the tears began to stream down my face.

Now that you know all of my traffic violations history, I will tell you what happened yesterday. I got pulled over for "improper passing". Yesterday, I did what I have been doing on a daily basis for years now. I just didn't realize that I was breaking the law. One of the roads that I turn off of to go home gets very congested and the light is very long. Technically where I was sitting in traffic was double lined and 2 laned. There were 2 cars in front of me, and then the turning lane was right beyond them (2 car lengths up). I patiently waited for the oncoming traffic to end, and then I passed those two cars to land my spot in the left hand turning lane. I had timed it perfectly in an effort to make that red light and not have to wait for another complete cycle. While I was hitting my brakes, I noticed the massive super-duty police truck off to my right. My heart and stomach immediately sank. I just had this gut feeling, you know. I sat there as he pulled over behind me and put on his lights. I didn't know if I could move or not, but he kindly informed me (and all of the other cars around me) to pull over with his speaker. So, I turned left into a parking lot and the questions began from my two little ones in the back. I got out my license, insurance card, and registration and sat patiently while he ran my tags. The police officer was extremely kindly and treated me very nicely. The kids were the ones giving me the third degree. They wanted to know what I had done wrong. Why the police officer was behind me. If we were going to have to go to jail. If I was going to have to pay them money. If I had my money ready to give the officer. Why I had to give him my license. What an insurance card was. And the list went on and on and on. I finally had to tell them to please stop asking me the questions, and eventually to sit there quietly. I was humilitated and embarrassed. I think that the whole town could see how bright red my face was. I embarrass easily and I knew what every person in every car around me was thinking.

The officer let me go on a warning and I got the clarification on the "rules" of that part of the roadway. The funny thing was that while I was sitting there, 2 other cars did the exact same thing that I had just gotten pulled over for. And today, the car in front of me did exactly what I had been pulled over for yesterday.

When pulling out, Joshua and Abby Kate asked me if I was going to tell PawPaw and Nana. That seriously made me laugh out loud. Later on that night, Joshua told me that I should have gotten a ticket because I broke the law. That was really funny coming from the child who doesn't really follow the rules around here. I guess that he thought that I needed a harsher from of punishment than just a warning.

My lesson has been learned. I thanked the officer for all that he and the others do to protect all of us. I am very grateful that we have men and women that step up into that role to keep all of us safe and well protected.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Newbies - AKA Wish List

I am a huge Harry Connick Jr. fan! I have loved his stuff since my days at Lipscomb. Nothing can compare to his Christmas albums and I can't wait to get this new cd of his. I don't really buy much music these days, but when one of my favorite artists puts out a new album, I go old school and buy the cd from the store. There is just something about heading out to Best Buy and picking up a new cd to listen to over and over again. I love any and all Harry Connick Jr. albums, so I was very excited to see this new album make its debut.

Several years ago, I picked up one of those music samplers from Hallmark and Michael Buble was the featured artist. I had just recently seen Down with Love and he had one of the featured songs. Its the kind of song that makes you want to learn tap and dance around to his music. I absolutely fell in love with his voice and purchased one of his cds. I really love his songs, Everything and Home. Now that he has a new one out, I am anxious to grab it and make it one of my favorites.

As you may recall, I love Nicholas Sparks and all of his books! I fell in love with The Notebook several years ago, and I have been a devoted fan since reading. Jason has always been the one to get me the latest book and he did not fail this time. The Last Song is sitting on my side table waiting to be read, and I can't wait. Now I just need time and a good day to relax, curl up in the rocker and read Sparks' latest book.

Monday, October 12, 2009


A few weekends ago, Joshua and I headed up to Knoxville to watch the Vols play Ohio. We had an absolute blast! I love taking my little man to a game and creating special memories for the two of us.

I have to admit, I almost turned around and drove back home after being on the road for about 30 minutes. It was pouring down rain! I hydroplaned about 3 times in 30 minutes and saw a truck skid across 3 lanes of traffic into the ditch. I have a big fear of car crashes and the rain was coming down so hard that I did not think that I could drive all the way to Knoxville in the rain. I had already accepted the fact that we were going to get drenched and actually considered it an honor to take my son to a football game even though we were going to be soaked to the bone.

Joshua talked and talked and talked the entire way. Around Chattanooga he got really quiet and I sneaked a peak to see my little man sound asleep. We arrived in Knoxville, walked to the stadium and couldn't believe our seats! They were incredible! We were 3 rows up from the bottom! Joshua sat wide eyed! We decided to hit up the team store and grab a quick bite to eat before returning to our seats. Once we were back in our seats, not a SINGLE drop of rain fell the rest of the evening! It was amazing! And, we won!

Jason got us a hotel in Knoxville for the night. I was so thankful to not have to drive back home at 10:00 at night. Joshua had to keep things a little interesting in the hotel, so he turned on the heater and that made the smoke detector go off in our room. It took me a minute to really register what it was (I almost bolted out of the room and down the fire escape), but apparently some dust had settled on the unit and caused the smoke detector to go off. He lasted in his big bed about 5 minutes, before snuggling up with me for the night.

We had such a great time! Go Vols!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Personal Space

We all long for our very own "personal" space. Don't you just love all of those "space invaders" that we all find out in public. You know, the person that just can't back off while standing in line. Or when you find yourself all alone on an aisle in the grocery and soon you look up and you have 2 or 3 space invaders that are curious to see what you are looking at. Please tell me that I am not the only one that notices these things. They seriously drive me a little nutty at times. I always "move on" and then look back at the person who just had to check out what I was looking at. Oh yeah, they go away in about 5 seconds of me leaving.

Anyways, the point that I am getting at is that we all need our space. It is a very healthy thing to need your space and a place to call your own. That brings me to Abby Kate. As you all know, Abby Kate is my passionate child! She is extremely passionate about whatever she deems of most importance. Right now that is her bedroom and all of her toys. I am all for giving Abby Kate her personal space. I think that children should have their own space, a place to put their things and the right to "govern" their property. However, every day we find ourselves constantly breaking up arguments over Abby Kate's room and her stuff.

Some days, Abby Kate loves to have her brothers come into her room and play with all of her stuff, and then there are days were we might as well lock up the door and not let anyone in. She has actually requested this, even if that means that she doesn't get to go into her room. I don't really know what to do. I don't think that she should overreact when her brothers come into her room, but I also feel that she has the right to be protective and a bit bossy over her room and her toys. I am completely torn on the situation and what to do about her room.

What are your thoughts?

Thursday, October 08, 2009

That Was A Blur

The past week has been such a blur!

On Monday of this week, I went in for an endoscopy. I have had several of these over the years and didn't plan for anything other than to sleep all day. My throat was pretty tight, so they were able to go in dilate and stretch my throat. I slept through most of the day and managed the pain with some of the pain medicine that was prescribed.

Tuesday I woke up hoping to feel normal again, only to be forced back to bed because of the sick feeling that I felt. Jason was also scheduled to go to Atlanta to see U2 in concert. He had been planning this for close to a year! I was planning on tackling my to do list and hopefully cleaning this house of mine that has been neglected since the start of school.

Unfortunately I took a turn for the worse and wound up in the hospital. I was thoroughly tested and given medicine to manage the dehydration, pain, nausea, and persistent (and pounding) headache. Long story short, we think that I had a reaction to either the anesthesia or the pain medicine from Monday's procedure.

Anyhow, I have spent the past couple of days in the hospital and I am now home resting well. I am so grateful that I didn't have any esophageal tears or other gastro-intestinal issues. I am also thankful for a family that can run at any moment to take care of the kids, friends that can step in and help us out with the kids, and family and friends that call and stop by.

I have 4 more days of Fall Break left. I am hoping to use those days wisely as soon as I get my strength back. :)

Oh, and I also owe Jason a big one! He missed U2 for me! Suggestions???

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Beyond Frustated!

About a year ago, Joshua went through a series of tests at UAB. One of those tests was an MRI. Insurance paid their part and we were left with the balance. I am so thankful for insurance. We were left with a balance of $493. Pretty high, but considering that an MRI costs thousands of dollars, I was thankful.

Time went on and we continued to pay our way through our bill. The bills kept coming and I always turned around and mailed out my checks. I have been doing this for OVER A YEAR NOW!!! I seriously thought that we were finished with our bill, but a random $160 statement arrived in the mail yesterday! Seriously??? What is going on with my account? I actually pulled out all of my bank statements from the past year and added up all of my checks that I have paid on this account and the total was quite shocking. $618!!! What are they doing with my money???

Back at the beginning of the year, we were threatened to be turned over to a collection agency because they were claiming that we hadn't been paying on our account. Several calls, bank statements, cleared checks, and faxes later, they realized that they had made a mistake and stopped threatening us with calls to turn us over.

Now, I am beyond frustrated! I am simply not understanding the billing department. I don't understand why I have paid this hospital $618 and now they want $180 in addition to that, when our bill states that we only owe $493! Why are they trying to charge me an additional $305?

I want my money back! I want an explanation! I want to know why this office is not managing my account correctly! It seriously makes me not want to visit that hospital again! I am beyond frustrated. If I have to, I will drive back down to Birmingham, demand to speak with someone about my account, and not leave until I have a check in my hand for my additional $125 that I have already paid! I simply do not understand and I want my money back!

There, now I feel much better... :)