Sunday, February 10, 2013

Happy Early Valentine's Day!

     This year I have been so busy at work. New boss, difficult class, all digital classroom setting. ROUGH!! This has left me very little spare time to blog. I haven't totally given up though. I want my kids to have a place to come back to and remember memories. Life is staying busy. These two are a blast. Amber and Micah have been coming over at least once a week and the kids and I have both cherished the time we've been able to spend together. WE LOVE THEM!!! I have been busy working on making things for my booth in University Pickers. Emily and I have had such a great time and it has been an honor for people to be so interested in our store and our craft. It feels good to be liked!!! :) Track has begun. This means I am sooo busy. Not a spare moment. Now until April will be a complete blur. I am so anxious for the summer and warmer weather!  

Just the other day my little T-man decided it would be a good idea to flush a clementine. That was fun. We never got it out. He is every bit of the stinker he looks like in this picture! He will be starting soccer in March. This will be his first sport. We are going to put him on the swim team this summer too. It's the best way to learn how to swim! Kaylen has been swimming on Tuesday's and Thursday's to keep it up so she's ready for this summer. She's also still loving the violin. First grade has been a blast for her and her teacher is trying to give her hard enough work so that she can stop getting straight 100's. I am glad! I would rather her have worse grades and actually learn more!!! She loves her brother and he looks up to her so much. He is always saying how he wants to be like her. They both warm my heart and are more than I could have asked for. Coolest personalities ever!!! (but I'm probably a little bias!!!)

Here are their valentine cards. I am stapling them to a baggie of hershey kisses. Of course, I got the idea from pinterest! 

Friday, January 11, 2013

A letter to Kaylen

Dear grown-up Kaylen,

I wish you could know the 7 year old you the way I do. You honestly amaze me. We just had your birthday and we went downtown and cooked in a professional kitchen with 9 of your friends. You are a princess. You love to look cute and wear frilly things. Recently you have switched your favorite color from pink to blue. Now it is all things blue. Although you are a girlie girl with your appearance, that's as far as it goes. You only play with the boys at school. You are the co-captain of a spy club. This is a very big deal right now. You play spy games every day at school. It is you and 3 other boys. And although you play with boys you are still so very innocent and you don't know what it means to really like a boy yet. They are all just good pals. These are the best days and I am cherishing them.

You are such a pleaser. You want to impress people by how good you are. You always strive to do the right thing. You aren't perfect and sometimes you mess up but in your heart you want to do right. You are an old soul. You are just as happy with a book as you are playing with your baby dolls. And reading, that's your passion. Just yesterday you told me you wanted to be a writer and illustrator like Eric Carle. You got a 5th grade level book for your birthday (Diary of a Wimpy Kid) and read it in 4 days. And you read some other books while you were reading that one. I'll never understand how you can hop from book to book like that. I made you take an AR test to see if you comprehended it before we watched the movie. You made a 100. I was completely amazed. I have no idea how you learned to read like you did. You are competitive like your parents but in a different way. I think a better way. You are competitive more within yourself. You constantly want to beat what you did before. You don't care much for picking out your own clothes or having your own style. You're happy to let me do that and I'm so happy to do it! You started taking violin about 6 months ago. Learning is actually a challenge in this area but you enjoy it. We set the timer and you go and do it. You want to do your homework everyday. I never have to tell you to do it. You get excited about it. (I have to say, it's kinda weird to me... I was soooo not like that!!!) You have a gentle spirit and you are nice to others. Sometimes you act silly but that is as kid like as it gets with you. We are swimming twice a week at the Y. Also you love to play at the gym every day after school. Oh, and your awful at cleaning your room! No organizational skills in you at all. I'm afraid I may have passed that along to you but we can't be perfect, darling. I hope as you grow you will remember to enjoy life and not take it so seriously. You don't have to excel in everything. If athletics aren't your thing or music or a certain subject or art... that's okay. I fear that you put too much pressure on yourself to live up to a higher standard than everyone else around and I want you to always know that I love you just the way you are. Bad handwriting and all! You are my sweetest joy and I am in awe of your goodness. The things I most love about you are how you love the Lord, treat others, love and care for your brother and help the family. I pray that your daddy and I can be the parents that God has called us to be for you. I love you and am so very proud of you just the way you are!


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Tripp is Tonsil-free!

Tripp was having some difficulty breathing at night. He snored pretty bad and also had a little sleep apnea. So that resulted in taking those over-sized tonsils and adenoids out. We went in for surgery and my little guy looked so small and he was such a big boy! Here he and his daddy were playing angry birds together.

 This is right before he had to go back. They asked him if he'd like to ride in the bed or walk and he just got up and grabbed the nurses hand and walked right out. He never looked back for us. He had no idea where he was going or if we were with him or not. So much for not going anywhere with strangers!?! That part was definitely harder on me than him.

 After the surgery was over they came to get me and the guy bringing me back asked me if this sweet little guy who was about 5 that was smiling up at me was my child. I said no and he said, "Then you better hurry...." He pointed around the corner and this is what I saw. Tripp was flailing his arms and legs and screaming in a hoarse voice that would crush anyone's heart. The two nurses trying to contain him yelled at me to get in the bed with him. I did and we went to a private room. 30 minutes of this. He opened his eyes about two times. One time he looked at his IV in his hand and said, "Why?". Another time he said, "You're the meanest." Not sure who that was directed to... maybe just everyone who made him feel so bad.
 So when the pain medicine kicked in and gave me this... I was pretty thankful!!! 

The recovery really is up and down for about a week and a half. He puked up blue jello all in my car once. Had many nights of tears and didn't eat much of anything. I can say we survived and there were also many smiles too. I really enjoyed the three days of snuggling I got. He wanted his momma more than usual and I will cherish every moment of it! He loved this dancing Mickey his friends Cohen and Rylie gave him. He danced with that for days! He wouldn't let his sister do anything. He was sooo mean to her. And he was sooo emotional! He would storm off and pout over everything! It was exhausting! This last pic was while his little face was still swollen but he was happy anyway. I'm glad we are on the other side of the healing!!!

Just one more thing that me and the little guy have in common... no tonsils! K and Allen have theirs! :) Love ya, buddy!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Weight loss..

I'm putting this out there for my friends who are still working to meet their weight loss goals.  I keep this paper in my pantry as a reminder of where I was and where I don't want to go back to. I got these pictures from a race I did two years in a row. It's a little backward in that it goes from right to left. In the course of that year I changed my diet and increased my exercise. I also went through an acupuncture program that was the catalyst for change for me. I think I've continued to improve since 2011 so these images are a little out of date but they do show progress. I know I have a few friends out there going through the acupuncture process right now. All I can say to that is, stick to that diet and try to change your habits for a lifetime. I feel so much better than I ever have. I also have noticed that I am almost never sick. I've caught a few things but even they have been mild. I take a daily multivitamin and my protein intake is fairly high due to a morning shake, nuts and evening meats. I don't eat fried foods at all. No soft drinks. No bread. I do eat carbs though. I love sweet potatoes. I also am a confessed fan of sweets. I try to do natural sugar substitutes but my indulgence probably comes in that area. I also believe in having cheats. I'm definitely not perfect in my diet. I try to make sure my breakfast, snack and lunch are always perfect. That gives me freedom at dinner to have something I really want. I also try to only have one cheat a day or less. As far as exercise goes, my goal is 5 days a week. I usually hit that. If I miss one during the week, I'll pick up a Saturday morning class. I hate doing that so I try not to miss! :) These pictures are a bit on the embarrassing side so I hope they are inspiring to someone still on the journey. I will forever be in this lifestyle and if I can ever help anyone, I want to. I know what it's like to work hard and see no results. I did that for years. I thought I understood how to eat healthy but I had no idea. 

So the far left is 2011. The middle is (gulp) 2010. The far right is 2012.

First Days

 I officially have a first grader. She has no front teeth and she is beginning to become her own little person. I love her so much! She really is a treat. I can't get her to focus for more than two seconds on anything unless I give her a book and then she's lost for hours. She'll read in the car and wont even know I've stopped the car. One thing we are working on this week is responsibility. She is not naturally neat. I've made her organize different areas of her room. Last night was her clothes. She had to take all her clothes she stuffed in her drawers and hang them in her closet. It took her all night long! sigh. She loves to please others and tries hard to get positive points in class. I really never worry about her in school and that is a huge blessing. We talk about ways we can be kind to her classmates and help others.She still lets me make clothes for her and she is proud to say that I made them. I love that. 

 This is the second day of school but I made both of these outfits so I thought I would add this shot in too. She's such a cutie with those missing teeth!!! :) Also she loooves wearing something on her ankle. Hairbands, anklets, whatever she can find...
 Now this one worried me about his first day. He was one of two kids that cried buckets on his meet the teacher day. I saw him about 6 that night and asked how it went and he said he didn't like his teacher or school. sigh. This boy. I talked to him about being a big boy the next day and his lip quivered and he said he didn't want to. Well, I'm not sure what happened but he shocked me with all smiles! He is a hoot. He is all about having fun all the time. He loves the Backyardagains. Kaylen did too when she was younger. He loves to put his little (usually dirty) hands on my cheeks and give me fish lips. He also loves pile-ons. Usually it involves him pushing me down and jumping on me and screaming for Kaylen to come and make a sandwich. He hates to eat. Hates it. Will not do it! We call dinner a snack. He will gag if you make him eat anything that he thinks looks remotely gross. Even if it isn't healthy. I thought boys were supposed to be eaters!!!! He has energy for days. He never stops moving until he goes to sleep. I am about to call the ENT because he snores and I am starting to think he may have some sleep apnea issues. He wakes with nightmares a lot and always has had these issues. It's so sad.

 Bye buddy! You never cease to amaze me! Just when I think you'll zig you zag. Thanks for always keeping me on my toes!

Thursday, August 23, 2012


I loved our family pictures this year! Every summer I get family pictures made and then I put together a 16x20 collage of the images. I hang them up around the house. I love being able to see the change in the kids from year to year. This is a great age for them. Kaylen has really grown up and is developing such a great personality. Tripp is, well, I just shake my head when I think about that kid. He's a mess!

 9 years strong!!! :)
 My little ones are so sweet together. When we pick Tripp up after school he gets so excited to see Kaylen. He really misses her through out the day while she's at school. In this shot you can see Kay's front teeth... they only lasted a few more weeks.
 Kaylen is really as peaceful as this picture portrays her the majority of the time. She reads for hours. She stays up extremely late at night reading after we put her to bed and never wants to get up on the morning. She is not neat. Her idea of cleaning her room is stuffing her things in a hidden place. She wants to please others. She loves doing well in school and helping her classmates. I can't break her of using the word for inappropriately. she says I am going to put on shoes for I can play outside. I say SO or SO THAT a million times a day!

 This is what my silly little man is like. I love this shot. It makes me laugh just like he does. He says the funniest things ever! He is in to calling people babe or baby. The other day he told me, "You're freaking me out, baby!" He is always saying something crazy like that. Also he is really great at giving very specific compliments such as noticing when I put make up on and telling me my face looks pretty or when I paint my fingernails that they look pretty. Also things like I had a migraine for about a week. One morning he woke up and came into the bathroom where I was getting ready and asked me if my head was hurting. He really is a thoughtful little boy.

 This was right after Kaylen got stung by her very first wasp. She is still terrified to go anywhere near anything that is flying. Sigh. I hope that ends soon.

 Tripp was trying to cheer K up and get her to take more pictures with him.
 When she was finally coming around he decided it was too little too late... he was done!
We had a wonderful summer and I have loved every minute with them! I really can't believe how much they have grown and I'm so glad I get to be a part of their lives! They are the coolest!!!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Where Have We Been All Summer?!?!

Mostly we have been in the water. My pictures are out of order but we started this summer with a trip to the beach and that is where Tripp decided he wanted to use the potty. Biggest blessing ever!!!! It was a breeze. I did nothing. AT ALL! And after Kaylen and the years of struggles, I am ever so grateful! 

We have gone out on the boat a few times. Been to the pool almost every day. Swim team has been a big deal this year! This was my first year to be the swim rep for our pool. It has honestly been quite the task. I've learned a lot and I equate it to teaching. Your first year you make all your mistakes and learn how you want to do things the following year. It will be much better next year. Kaylen has been swimming about 3 hours a day - 5 days a week. No lie. We put her in extra lessons to work out a few stroke techniques. I have to say, she has improved immensely. She seems to really like it! City meet is this weekend so we'll see how she does. 

Here are the kids on the jet ski with Allen. They were on the river. Tripp really wants to ride a lot. Kaylen will ride but has never been as excited as he is. 
My least favorite activity is when they all want to play on the banks. They love it but it makes me nervous. I am always afraid they are going to chew on fish bones or step on a drug needle or something. I also have an irrational fear of snakes... so I can just see them coming up on one. They love  getting all dirty and have a blast!  
Rylie and Kaylen are still the best of buds. Rylie came over one night and they had a photo shoot. They were cracking me up with their poses. I had to reign them in a little. These two are so silly! 

 Rylie is a toe pointer! She's pretty good at it too!!!
 These are pictures from our long weekend trip to the beach. Allen had to work a conference and so we all went down with him. Our kids adore the beach. They were so good the entire time and we had a wonderful time!
 Here we are in a really big chair like everyone always get pics of. Only problem was it had rained and we didn't actually want to sit down. :)
 Here is Kaylen facing some major fears. She wanted to do this but some of the obstacles were a bit much for her. I'm so proud of her for doing it anyway.
 And just in case you aren't sure why she's so scared... here is how high she really is:
 Here is my child that doesn't have any fears. He'll do it by himself, thank you very much!
 Best picture I have of him... he has 4 straws in his mouth. Sigh. Such a boy!
 The kids loved swimming in the ocean. Adored it!
 Sweet Kaylen - always a girlie girl!
 What?!?! A smile from Tripp? Amazing!!!
 He loved playing in the sand and was so well behaved!
 Allen went out into the water with his mom and Kaylen.
 Ever year we try to do a name picture in the sand.
 This is the closest I got to Tripp looking at me! He also kept wanting to mess up his name in the sand. Little stinker!!!
 Thanks to Allen's work, we had an awesome room for the conference. This was our view from our balcony. Only thing is that we were high up and I felt like Tripp could have gotten through those bars. Made me so nervous.
 Also from our balcony. It all looks better when you don't pay for it too! Just sayin...
 Okay now we're back in Bama. These silly girls were wide awake. They told me they were going to pretend to be asleep. Rylie actually cracked her mouth open. Too funny!
 Here is a little pool day. The girls both happen to have the same extremely scandalous bathing suit. They loooove to wear it! Sigh.
 Tripp calls this his cradle. He has sort of claimed this float and likes playing in it the most.
 This is an unedited pic but I love Tripp's face in it. Happy kid!!!
 This is one of my favorite pictures of Kaylen. She is such a beautiful little girl. (of course, I am biased) In all honesty, her beauty shines through in her personality. I wish I could take credit but she was born with such a sweet spirit. She is gentle, quiet and caring. I wish she was a little more competitive but may still come. She has her faults but I am proud of who she is becoming.
 I tried to find a decently modest picture of us ladies since we are almost always in bathing suits. These are some amazing friends! I am blessed to have such beautiful and fun friends!
 This is starting the pictures from Amy's lake house. Her dad (with the help if Jeremy and other relatives and friends) built the most amazing place on Smith lake. We are so grateful that we get invited!!! Here are the girls getting ready to tube. Now, don't be fooled, Kaylen HATED it! She did end up liking it by the end of the weekend but it's not her thing. Rylie and Andrew would spend hours back there if we'd let them. I am proud of Kaylen for giving it a try even though she was afraid. I am a strong believer in facing your fears and she is a brave girl!
 My besties!!! I don't think I would get through the days without these two. God has been gracious to place them in my life!
 And here are our little ones. I have so many great shots of them sitting on these steps. They were ready for bed and waiting for the fireworks show from the dads. It did not disappoint! Well, actually the really loud ones scared some of them but they can't feel bad about that! It was awesome!!!!
 Ok... this is a random shot of the girls under the boat on the river. Smith lake would be offended if I let people think it's water was that green. These two do love to play under there though.
And now we're pretty caught up. I plan to take the kids to cathedral caverns in a few weeks and also have a trip to the beach with our youth group coming up. Summer is always jam packed full of fun! See you all soon!!!