Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

Even though I was sick in bed with a terrible cold/flu, Son & the kids still managed to have fun :). And even though I was sick, it was still nice to be in Pensacola and around family (especially since they all took such good care of me)!

Son & his Aunt Yen carving the meat -  I did manage to sneak a few pictures before I was confined to my room :)

My precious loves, Lincoln & Lilo.  They are getting soooo big!!

The kids table - impossible to get them to all smile and look at once ;). We missed sweet Jaeden, but look forward to seeing him soon on our Christmas trip!

I hope everyone else had a wonderful Thanksgiving!!  Now, as soon as I make a full recovery we will be in full Christmas preparation mode :)

Thanksgiving Feasting

Collin & Grace have already enjoyed two Thanksgiving Feasts.  The first event was at their Tuesday morning Mom2Mom class at church.

They looked adorable in their Turkey shirt :)

Up next was the Thanksgiving Feast at school.

Collin and Cohen being silly ;)

My littlest pilgrim :)

They are practiced and ready for the real Thanksgiving Dinner in Pensacola next week!

Pictures With(out) Santa

So this is how our 2013 pictures with Santa turned out...

Two cute kiddos in Christmas pajamas, but something is missing here...

I can't quite figure it out...

Oh yeah!  Where is Santa?!?!

Poor Grace was terrified and refused to be within 50 feet of Santa.  I knew there was huge potential for a problem, and had worked all week to talk about how nice Santa was, and that if she asked him for that Princess Sophia backpack she really wants he would bring it to her.  She insisted she was ready to sit in his lap for a picture...until we walked in the door.

At that point, no amount of bribery, pleading, begging or threatening could get her anywhere near St. Nick.  I even offered to hold her in the picture, but she was so genuinely afraid that I decided to do the only thing I could think of...I asked Santa to leave the room.   

Yes, I did.

Once Santa made his exit, I was finally able to convince her to sit with Collin for a picture.  Notice her face - she kept her eyes fixed on the door, waiting for Santa's return.

Collin, on the other hand, was thrilled to see Santa and sit with him!

Collin asked for a two-wheel scooter and "mud".  I have no idea where the mud came from.  I tried to get him to ask for other things, but he insisted that a scooter and mud were all he wanted.  Later I asked him about the mud and he replied, " you know, to play in mud outside"!  Sweet silly 100% boy!!

I love both of my silly babies, and am so blessed to spend all my time with them :). We are all so very excited about Chtistmas!!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Officially self-diagnosed "Disney-Crazy"

This past April we took Collin & Grace to Disney to celebrate their 4th & 2nd birthday.  We didn't even make it past guest relations & into the first park without owning our very own Annual Passes.

Months prior to the actual trip, while researching & planning, I distinctly remember telling a friend, "We are going all out on our trip because we will never be one of those Disney-Crazy families with passes who go all the time!"

Well, trip #1 came and was fabulous, and ever since then we have been hooked.  I guess I am now a "Disney-Crazy" momma :). Four trips later and I think it's official!

It's hard to explain why I love it so much - especially since I haven't even been on a single roller coaster or thrill ride (unless you count Goofy's Barnstormer), but seeing Disney through the eyes of the kiddos literally gets me teary :). 

Seeing Collin run up to Donald, and Grace to all things Princess...watching Collin LOVE every single second of the Toy Story rides...Seeing Grace's face when Belle walks out on stage...experiencing how excited and thrilled by every parade float that goes never gets old (at least not yet)!

We have 5 more months of Disney memories to make & we plan to take advantage of all we can!

There is truly something magical about that place :). It is such a blessing to be close enough to make quick trips as Son's work schedule allows.  While Texas will always be my "home" I am taking full advantage of my Florida-Resident status & this is one perk that is hard to beat!

Have a Magical Day!

(Okay, that was cheesy, but I love it so it stays :))

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Happy Halloween

These have to be the cutest Trick-Or-Treaters ever!

We had a fun family night and collected way more candy than we can ever eat!  Including the three bags I purchased to hand out...then not one person came to our house!

Collin was so brave and walked right up to the tables we visited...Grace was terrified by any adult in costume and clung tightly to mommy.

Their favorite parts of the evening included:

1.  The man dressed in a gorilla suit chasing the older kids :). Collin loved watching...Grace was terrified.

2.  The glow sticks I bought them to carry.

3.  Seeing all of the other kids' costumes.

4.  Candy, candy, and more candy!

Monday, October 28, 2013

In Grace's Words

"Mommy, I love you more than a bear!  A bear is scary!"


Grace came inside from playing with Son & Collin...

G: "mommy, come outside"

Me: "in a minute"

G: "but you are a girl and I am a girl.  And the boys outside are playing football!"


Friday, October 25, 2013

Big Girl

I cannot believe how quickly by baby girl has grown.  She was looking especially grown-up today wearing a messy bun hair-do left over from a trial run in her Princess Sophia costume.

She is growing into a stunning beauty.

This picture is of her waking from one of the last naps she will ever take in her crib.  Her "big girl bed" was delivered today, mommy is not ready for this!

Sweet Big Brother Moment

Something that melts my heart like nothing else is Collin being a sweet big brother.  

Perhaps it is because I never had a brother or an older sibling, or maybe it's just because I love both of them so dearly, but my heart bursts in moments like these.

I had finished baths and asked Grace to sit in her chair and wait for me to come read her a book.  I was cleaning in the kitchen and heard Collin go into her room and ask, "do you want me to read you a book?"

Priceless moment :). I love these two!!

And yes...I did stop them mid-book to remove the blanket from the back of the chair because it didn't match the chair ;). Then continued taking a million pictures, creating memories for them!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Trick Riders

As the weather cools we are spending more and more of our "stay home" days outside, something that we all love.  Collin and Grace both love riding bikes/trikes, and one of their favorite activities lately is "doing tricks".

They love putting on shows and performing together.  Collin reminds me of myself because he makes detailed plans of exactly what each person will do, then gets upset when the other "actors" do not follow his script.

Collin has many trick moves that he loves to incorporate into the shows:

Standing on the back of the big wheel & turning the wheel with his hands...

Anything with no hands...

Standing on the trike on one foot...this picture looks much more dangerous than the actual trick did at the time!  Mommy should have asked him to get down instead of snapping pictures!!

And don't forget about Grace, who is never more than a few steps behind big brother :)

Trying to turn the wheel with her hands...she couldn't quite reach.

Standing on one foot...again, bad mommy failing at safety watch!

Last, but not least, riding off the (very gently sloping) curb...

Love these babies and their "tricks" :)

Saturday, October 12, 2013


This week Collin & Grace participated in their first ever Trike-A-Thon at their school!  They had a blast and mommy was able to watch the whole event.  We talked it up before at home, so they were both really excited to "race"!

Gracie's group included all of the two's classes at the school.  She ride her tricycle for half of the event, and then switched it up by pushing a baby stroller in the second half :)

 Her teacher made them all team shirts and gave them matching sunglasses - of course Grace had to be purple!

Taking a "thirst aid" break with sweet friend Braxton.

Class picture - we LOVE Mrs. Rice!!

Collin's group was next and included 3 of the Pre-K classes.  He stayed on his bike the entire time and was more serious than his sister.

He had a blast weaving in and out of his little friends trying to go faster and faster. He is my competitive little boy :)

Waiting not-so-patiently to get back on his bike after the lemonade break.

VPK Lunch Bunch Class Picture :). We LOVE Mrs. Padgett & Mrs. Acree!!

What a fun day!

Nails By Grace

One if Grace's favorite things is to play "paint nails" - and honestly it's one of mommy's favorite activities too!  Today I let her paint my nails and I think she did a great job for a 2 1/2 year old!

 Fortunately it is peel-off polish!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

My kids don't do that

You know those hilarious pictures that you see of kids covered head to toe in diaper cream, baby powder, lotion, and other substances that are to be applied by mommies only?  Well, that's not my kids.  I survived over 4 years without any such pictures of my own kids, and honestly I just thought that it would never happen to me...

I am not by any means trying to say that my kids don't make messes...they do...really really big messes.  They even got into the diaper cream, baby powder, and lotion before.  But my kids are not quiet and I instantly ran into the room as soon as I heard that "so loud squeal because we are doing something that is totally forbidden" laughter coming from down the hall and caught the mess before it got out of hand.

Not this time...

I was preparing dinner and the kids were supposed to be playing in their rooms.  I could hear Collin playing and just assumed grace was with him since she is never more than a few feet behind him.

I started to smell something minty and became suspicious...walked to the kids bathroom...and found this.

Of course the first thing I did was grab my camera.  I have to admit that it was really hard to keep a straight "you are in trouble" face while snapping pics of this messy girl.  And it was probably pretty confusing to her because once she realized that I wasn't taking pictures because I was happy she turned into this...

From this day forward I can no longer rely on the fact that I don't hear conspiratory laughter to tell me that all is well.  Apparently they do occasionally operate alone!

By the way, that WAS a brand new tube if toothpaste...and 2 days later I am STILL trying to wash the toothpaste residue from her hair.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Happy VBS Week

This week is Vacation Bible School at our church and we are all ecstatic!  Here are the sweeties before our first day - love them so!!

Collin James has turned into quite the little picture taker & always suggests poses for them.

"Take a picture of me kissing Gracie!"

"Let's dance!  Mommy take a picture of us dancing."

I love how Grace's shirt turned out.  Even the extra small VBS shirt was huge on her so mommy made it into a pillowcase type dress :). I also made mine into a sleeveless shirt and added some ribbon trim for fun.  It was fun...until my sewing machine needle broke...then I realized that I had no spares...and it was 10:00pm the night before VBS...

I love sewing but hate hand stitching, so my cute idea for my shirt got cut short and I finished putting the pieces back together with as little stitching as possible.

Today was day 1 and I was able to tag along with Grace's class for some of the fun.  But for some sad reason I didn't get any pictures of her except for this one if her back at one of the music stations in the experience room.

Fortunately one of her teachers took this one of her...she LOVED the goat :)

Tomorrow I hope to be able to tag along with Collin's class for some of the fun with him!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013


The past several Wednesday nights at our church have been a series on Faith by Reverend Blount.  I have learned many things about faith during this series, but tonight was especially meaningful.

He was speaking about worship and that if you are not passionate about worship one possible cause could be that you aren't trusting God for the big things, maybe you trust him for the small everyday things that require faith, but are you really trusting that he is going to keep his big promises too.

While I feel that I am passionate about worship, it hit home with me that often times I continue to worry about the "big things" and try to control them on my own.  I always pray for them and pray for God's Will...but one of the points if tonight's message was that God makes promises to us and we can have faith that He will fulfill them!!

It really made me examine my faith in His promise regarding my children.  There are many things that are easy for me to trust God with, but I continue to struggle with worry when it comes to raising Collin and Grace.

How can I be sure they will be become Christians?

How can I make sure they will not be influenced negatively by others?

How can I guarantee that the will excel in school/sports/etc?

How can I make the right decisions on their education and activities?

The answer to all of these questions is the same...I cannot.

But if I am willing to have faith, God can and He will!!  What an awesome realization!

Don't get me wrong, parenting still comes with its share of responsibilities, but once I realize that ultimately it is God and not me who determines their future I can rest in His promises for my children.

Here are the promises I am putting my faith in today!!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Pinterest Day

Today we were unexpectedly home and due to a sick little one we were unable to leave the house this morning...which was the perfect opportunity to try some if the Pinterest projects that I had been wanting to do!

First up was painting flag shirts.  It was simple since I already had all of the supplies:

Plain white shirts
Red & blue paint (I wanted fabric paint but didn't have it on I just won't be able to wash and reuse these.)

They were super simple & turned out so cute!  Now I wish I had gone to another store to find the fabric paint...I guess we will just have to make more shirts another day :)

Next was a "Harmony Jar" idea I found on Pinterest.  Basically the idea is that any time they fight or argue with our another or are unkind they have to pick a task from the jar (in our house this will be in addition to other already in place).

I got my sticks ready and sat down to explain the concept to Collin & Grace.

They immediately both were begging me to pick something from the jar - not exactly what I was expecting.  I decided to let them just to see that it isn't always something fun.

Grace went first & picked "make the other person's bed".  We went in Collin's room and they both had a blast making the bed!  What?!?!?

Next Collin picked "read each other a book". I made them each go in their room and pick a book to read to the other person.  Collin picked one he already had memorized & I helped grace "read" hers by telling Collin what the people were doing in the pictures.  Again they loved it!?!?!?

I decided to stop letting them draw things and reserve it for bad behavior (even typing that it doesn't make sense but that's what I thought I was going to do...bad mommy brain moment).

Collin asked, "so if we do something bad we have to do another stick".  I was annoyed that my plan wasn't working and just said "yes". 

He then proceeded to punch his sister and say, "now do I get to pick a stick?"

So needless to say he DID NOT get to pick a stick.

During nap time I re-evaluated my plan and decided to use it as a reward instead since they both loved it so much...duh!!

So far we have danced to silly music, helped mommy clean the kitchen, said 3 things we love about the other person & given hugs & kisses.

I would say it was a Pinterest semi-success but hope that it still accomplished it's ultimate purpose of making them closer and more compassionate to one another :)