Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Through the Lens...

Here are just a few of my newest favorites through the lens of my camera...

Joshua and Abby Kate watching a Cardinals game together in St. Louis.

Abby Kate took this picture of us on our ride down from the Arch.

A picture is worth a thousand words...
This story will just have to be told later.

The Arch 
"The Gateway to the West"

Love this picture of one of the elephants at the St. Louis Zoo!

After a hot day at the zoo, who wouldn't jump at the chance to get completely drenched in a waterfall with your mother's approval. I love the look of pure joy and fun on Joshua's face!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Rewind: Stitches (April 14th)

There once was a time when Jackson got stitches....

We were able to visit Seattle this year for Spring Break. (I look forward to sharing about that trip and posting some of my favorite pictures here soon.) After we got home from our trip, the kids and Jason were outside playing while I was inside the house catching up on our never ending laundry pile. I was sitting on the floor folding another load of laundry when I heard Jason bust through the garage door screaming for me and Jackson screaming in pain. I immediately felt my stomach sink as I knew whatever it was, it wasn't good.

I met Jason at the sink and instantly saw that Jackson had cut his head. Jackson had been riding his bike around the driveway and ran into Jason's tailgate. The truck tailgate is hardly ever down. Jason had been to Lowe's earlier that day and had bought some mulch that he hadn't unloaded yet. Jason had been outside with the kids and could tell as soon as Jackson cried that something had happened. Jackson got off of his bike and when he called "Daddy" and came into Jason's sight, the blood from his head started gushing out. There was blood EVERYWHERE! (When we got home, you could see the blood trail that had led from outside, through the garage, and into our house.) Jason immediately started putting pressure on Jackson's head and we talked through what had happened - all the while trying to calm Jackson down. When Jason pulled away from apply pressure, we took a good look at Jackson's wound and knew we were headed to the ER. You know, I've always had those moments where the kids get a big boo-boo and there is a lot of blood and you sit and wonder if you should go to the ER...well, I think that when they need stitches, you know. I grabbed some clean cloths and we all headed over to the ER. I was able to call a family friend and line them up to take Joshua and Abby Kate when we got there. I sat in the back of the van holding Jackson and applying pressure. The twins were so upset and were really worried about Jackson. They were the ones crying all the way to the hospital. By that point, Jackson had stopped crying and was just quietly lying there trying to move the cloths off of his head. We got to the hospital really fast and were instantly attended to.

The nurses that came in to look at Jackson felt confident that the doctor would just glue his incision closed and we'd be good as new. They were telling us all the good reasons why glue would be the better route (because of the scar) and practically had us sold on it. Once the doctor came in, he told us that Jackson would be getting stitches. He explained that the glue probably wouldn't do the trick with it being right there on his forehead, and he was afraid that it might open up again. Well, we didn't want that and the doctor didn't either. So, they prepped him for stitches. He got 4 stitches and did great. Jackson was back to his normal self the next day.

This is a very blurry picture of his gash.

While they put the numbing gel on his gash, he feel asleep waiting for the doctor to come in and stitch him up.

All stitched up and ready to go home. 

Poor baby

On April 21st, we headed over to our doctor's office to get Jackson's stitches out. 
He was such a BIG guy and was SO brave!

His scar is looking better each day. If his scar gets bumped or touched he does still complain. Hopefully over time, the pain will go away and you won't even be able to see his scar. But, he does proudly wear his scar. 

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Our Fishy Day

I took the kids back to Chattanooga today to visit the Aquarium. We never tire of aquariums or zoos, so it was a perfect way to enjoy another hot summer day. We enjoyed a picnic lunch before hitting the aquarium and took our time watching the fish! 

 "Mom, take our picture."

 Jackson was a good rule follower remembering that you are supposed to touch the sturgeons with 2 fingers. He didn't touch one, but liked watching them.

 Today was the first time that we saw the divers feeding the sting rays. The kids and I were so engaged in watching these guys eat their meal. It was really cool!

 We took an ice cream break between the River and Ocean Journeys. Sweet moment here: Jackson knocked his ice cream cup off of the table and it landed on the floor (ice cream side down). He was really sad, but Abby Kate quickly made him feel better by giving Jackson her cup of ice cream. It's great to see these sweet moments between the kids. 

 Joshua made sure and got every last drop of his ice cream. No clue what was left on his face.

 My 3 little cuties

 The kids were a little braver this trip and actually touched AND fed the sting rays!

 We always love the penguins!

 I asked for a picture and they posed like this all on their own. 

The kids wanted to get their feet wet. I told them not to get their clothes wet. Well, Joshua and Abby Kate followed my rule, but not Jackson. He squatted down in the water and was drenched in a matter of seconds. Unfortunately, I did not bring a change of clothes!

 My beautiful little princess

Joshua's "surfer dude" pose

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Seven Years!!!!!!! How Can It Be?

I cannot believe that I am a momma to not one, but two, seven years old!!! Wow!!! Where did all the time go? We've had fun celebrating birthdays these last three weeks. We headed up to Nashville the day before Joshua and Abby Kate's birthday. My parents had dinner and cakes for us and we were excited to celebrate all three kids' birthdays with family.

Joshua and Jackson each had their own chocolate "Cars 2" cake. Abby Kate is a white cake lover and was tickled to have a "Tangled" birthday cake! They've been begging for these themes for weeks now! My parents came through big time for each of them.

After dinner and cake, Jason and I took the kids out to a drive-in theater. This was a first for Jason and me. The kids went to their first drive-in last summer. We watched Cars 2 again and it was AWESOME!!! Definitely a fun experience for everyone! Since the show doesn't begin until dark, it definitely made for a late night.

We woke up the next morning to two VERY excited birthday kids! They were so eager to celebrate their birthday. Jason went out and got us doughnuts with chocolate sprinkles for breakfast! Afterwards, we set up the kids' birthday presents. This year, we didn't wrap anything, but set it all out like Christmas. And, it definitely seems like Christmas when two kids get birthday presents. This year, we were able to give the kids SEVEN gifts in honor of their seventh birthday. They loved every minute of it!

After our gift time, we headed out to lunch at Chili's with Tara, Micah, and Hope and then the kids were eager to head to the toy store to spend a little bit of their birthday money! And, going into a big toy store with 3 young buyers is very time consuming. However, they loved every minute of it.

We had so much fun celebrating Joshua and Abby Kate's birthday! I can honestly say that these seven years have flown by. I have enjoyed each stage that they have been in. It goes by too quickly! I feel more than blessed to be the mommy of 3 adorable children! They are my pure joy!

We love you Joshua Alan and Abby Katherine!

Jason and his boys

My two little men

Joshua is very proud that he is now SEVEN years old!!!!!!!

Abby Kate is excited to be SEVEN, and it seems like she is going on seventeen!!!!!!!

Jackson is a very happy FOUR year old!!!!

I LOVE this picture of Abby Kate! 

Joshua showing off one of his presents!

Abby Kate has been BEGGING for a Bitty Baby stroller since Christmas! 
It was definitely the highlight of her birthday gifts!

My sweet babies! Hard to believe that they are now 7, 7, and 4! I am one blessed momma!

Monday, July 04, 2011

Summer Fun

I can hardly believe that July is here! We are all having a great summer and each day is filled with more excitement. Jason was gone for a couple of weeks in June for his doctorate of Ministry that he is beginning. We are all so very proud of him and the work that he will put in to this last level of school. I have already begun the countdown to 2014, where Jason will become a Dr.! While he was away, we had some fun of our own here at home.

We went swimming! I am amazed at all the kids can do now in the pool. Joshua loves running into the pool with a cannonball, he can do front and back flips underwater, he loves going under water to get the dive sticks, and he is a big time swimmer. Abby Kate is the fish of the water, she loves to swim under water, loves going under to get the dive sticks, loves jumping in the pool, and would spend all day in the pool if she could. Jackson is coming around to the pool now. At the beginning of the summer, I referred to him as my "1st step pool boy", but now he loves to venture out into the water with his float and loves jumping into the pool (into your arms). They have learned how to do so much more in just a few short weeks in the pool.
Abby Kate and Jackson

Abby Kate and Joshua

We enjoyed a fun week at VBS! This was Jackson's first year to go and although he was really not sure about it, I think that he had fun too. Our VBS wrap-up was during class Wednesday night, and Jackson was so proud of all the songs that he had learned and made sure that I was doing the right hand movements to all the songs. I think that he had fun correcting me when I didn't quite get it all right. I helped out in Elementary crafts and enjoyed getting to help Joshua and Abby Kate each day with their crafts.
Joshua and Abby Kate working on their pillowcases.

After Jason returned from his two week long classes, we wrapped up our t-ball season with a cookout and pool party. Joshua was so excited to get his trophy from his Daddy. I am so proud of the sacrifices of time that Jason makes to get out there on the field and coach Joshua. And, I am very proud of our little ball player! He is the best 6 year old t-ball player that I know!
Jason and Joshua after getting his trophy for the season

We helped Grandmother celebrate her birthday! Jason's mother was one of six children. Jason is one of 13 grandchildren and grandmother has 23 great-grandchildren!

I think this is a cute picture!

We were also able to celebrate the 4th with some dear friends. July 4th always has a very special memory for me. 7 years ago, my parents came down for a cook out and after they left, Jason took me out to watch fireworks in the back of his black Ranger. It was only 2 days later that we welcomed TWINS into our family! Special memories for this blessed momma!
Stacy and me in our pink shirts!

Jackson found a tree to climb in while waiting for the fireworks to begin.

Joshua also had fun hanging out on a tree.

My love!

Joshua and Abby Kate waiting on the fireworks to begin!

Happy 4th of July!