Monday, May 31, 2010

Remember today

We are heading out to World's of Fun today! I won some tickets from a facebook giveaway a few weeks ago, but even better- Derek gets in free today with his military id. Way cool! I think we may head out to a movie this evening too. Who doesn't love a day off?!?

As you are enjoying an extra day to your weekend, be sure to take some time to remember what this day is about-- Remembering the men and women who've sacrificed to protect our freedoms.

I have always felt passionately about supporting our troops and until just a few months ago, I've always supported from the sidelines. But now, we've entered into the life of a military family. I am so proud of my husband for making such a huge commitment to serve our country. I am grateful of all the soldiers that continually serve here at home and overseas.

I wrote a post a few months back about how being a solider and being a parent of a teenager can be pretty thankless jobs. At the end of the post, I included several ways to support some soldiers- check it out and chose one to do today!

This is the only pic I have of Derek in anything Army- his PT clothes. I promise that a uniform picture will be taken soon and I'll share!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

The January Pool

Last winter, Derek and I were on a routine trip to Walmart when I happened to see some cool summer stuff on major clearance. Derek questioned, probably even mocked just a little, the fact that I wanted to purchase a pool in the midst of the worst winter the midwest has seen in years. But now that we have an awesome little pool sitting in our driveway that is now selling for $30 (we payed a whoppin' $3!), he thinks it's pretty cool.

Jackson helped fill it up with water.

He's got a deer in the headlight look on his face-- but it was the only pic I had of him actually looking at me. Little stinker.

The pool came with 4 inflatable butterflies that velcro onto the palm trees. How handy! I love that the pool has a top to help keep the sun out, but it still allows enough sun through to help warm up the water. Needless to say, Jackson loves his pool. He's played in it now four times in the past three days- and once, he even climbed in his regular clothes. He refuses to sit in the water, but he likes to splash water everywhere. I'd say it's a pretty good investment for only a couple dollars!!


Friday, May 28, 2010


 ... my new blog!!

So this is it!! This is my birthday present! Well, the blog is free, but the design- it's my gift from Derek! Isn't it just so cool?!

First off, a shout out to Katie at Fancy Pants Design for not only designing, but installing my new design. She is a stay-at-home-mom in Nashville doing some design on the side, and I just love supporting other SAHM's when I can! Another shout out to my friend Kate who put up with my many emails of potential blog names, 'yaying-or-naying' the options! Of course, a big thank you to my hubby as well for putting up with my blog talk and for proofreading my posts!

Second, I have added a few extra features to my new blog- including a third column. For those prefer getting my blog updates via email, there is a place to enter your email address in the upper right-hand corner. For the technology-challenged readers (I won't name names!), it's really easy- once you enter your email and type in the validation code, you will receive an email asking you to confirm your subscription by clicking the link they provide. As always, you can follow via the widget box and I've recommitted my relationship to Twitter so you can find me there too! I've imported all of my old posts so it's all here on one site.

Lastly, the reason for the new blog started out because I wanted to expand a little bit and to make the blog a little bit more fun. I started getting readers that I don't know personally and I just didn't feel comfortable with having our full names attached to so much personal information. 
The concept of the blog is simple: as a family, we have several hats to juggle between these days! As we prepare for Derek to leave for training, for Julie to arrive, while I continue to take classes, teach Sunday School, and continue to be a good wife and mom-- we just have a crazy, busy life and I just love it. We invite you to join our adventure and we hope to see you around!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Walking, Talking Miracle

It was only a few short months ago when the doctors gave us news that my cousin Katelyn didn't stand much of a chance to survive her cancer treatments. I went with my mom up to Mayo Clinic the weekend things took a turn for the worse, but by the time we headed back home, Katelyn was improving miraculously- even though she still had a long way for recovery.

This past weekend, our entire household was preparing for Laura's graduation party and out of town family was arriving sporadically. Everyone was so surprised when Katelyn walked through the door after Grandma that afternoon. It was the real Katelyn, the one we all used to know: The girl with a big smile and ready for a hug.

Back in March, Katelyn's victories were sitting in a chair for thirty minutes at a time and getting out of bed to take a shower. These days she is out of the hospital and back home in Iowa (when she's not visiting Grandma) and is a walking, talking miracle. Katelyn still has major issues with not being able to eat and she showed me where she has a pump in her belly so she can get nutrients that way.

Here's a couple pictures of Laura and Katelyn, who have always been good friends since they are close in age.

Be sure to tune in tomorrow for a big surprise... My birthday present is almost finished!


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Falling Down

Jackson really outdid himself with his latest boo-boo. Between a fight with the concrete and his forehead, the concrete definitely won. Considering he's had three major falls on concrete in the past five days, I'd say he's looking pretty good.

In other "falling down" news-- Jackson loves to play Ring around the Rosie and is so dramatic about falling down. This is what the kids want to do all day. I have considered purchasing a CD with this tune, so I don't have to sing it over, and over, and over, and over.....

Isn't is super cute how signs and asks "more, more" each time??

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Are you my Daddy?

While Jackson's vocabulary is increasing everyday, he continues to call every man "Dada" and every older man "Papa." Sometimes it's just a person in a book and sometimes it's random men at the grocery store. The National Guard picnic this weekend sure threw Jackson for a loop when there were several "dadas" and they were all wearing the same PT uniform-- he'd walk over to someone and look up, then realize that it wasn't really Daddy at all! It sort of reminded me of this book:

Of course, this leaves an image of Jackson walking up to different men while Derek is gone asking, "Are you my Daddy?" Oh well, it's not the worst thing. He'll come home and Jackson will adjust and never know the difference.

Anyway, the picnic was fun and we all ended up winning some loot from the raffle. Derek- a mug, Jackson- a hat, and I got a sweatshirt!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Dear Laura

I spent almost an hour searching for the perfect graduation card. I ended up buying one, but as I began to write in it, it just wasn't what I wanted. (I thought you were supposed to be the indecisive one.) No card captured what I wanted to say, so I decided to write one myself.

Congrats on your wonderful achievement! Everyone is so proud of you. There was a point in time when I wondered if this day would ever come-- i.e. the double-spaced-incident and the closed-until-spring-incident too, but you've proved that despite some of your airheaded moments that you really do have a good head on your shoulders. Especially since you graduated with academic achievement. Way to go!
More than that, I am so proud of the person you've become. You are so kind, so thoughtful, so compassionate. Truthfully, you are just the kind of person who's fun to be around, which probably has something to do with getting voted the "Girl Most Likely To Make You Laugh" in your graduating class. It was no surprise that you were nominated as Homecoming Princess and Prom Queen because you are nice to everyone you meet.

I treasure our friendship. When I answer the phone, "What. Do. You. Want?" when you call me at some ungodly hour at night, deep down (or not so deep) it makes me feel good that I am the person you call. And even though I continue to tease you about the time we drove home from Grandma's and you spent the entire 75 minutes filling me in on the drama about your junior prom that went a little something like this:
Well, so-and-so is clearly trying to sabotage the evening because we had already decided as a group go to such-and-such a place for dinner and then he called and made plans elsewhere. He is trying to RUIN EVERYTHING! So-and-so is going with so-and-so and she doesn't even want to go with him. It is just going to RUIN EVERYTHING!
I did actually care because it was important to you. I loved helping you with graduation announcements and with your party. Even more, I love when I come over sometimes and we just sit and talk for awhile. It seems that the older we get, the age difference gets smaller and smaller.
I have to mention what a good aunt you are to Jackson. I always knew you were excited to have a nephew (not as excited as if he had been a girl, but excited nonetheless), but I had no idea that you'd be so crazy about him and especially not so quickly. He was barely two days old when you told me that nearly everybody at your school had seen the pictures of him and you came down to visit just so you could hold him. Now that he's older, I know you have fun taking him over to see your friends just to show him off. I hear about "Worwa" all of the time. He just loves you.
So congratulations on your high school graduation. Your whole life awaits you. You will have a blast at Mizzou. I'm not sure they are quite ready for your dedicated levels of team spirit and spunk, but campus will definitely be a happier place with you there.  Continue to love the Lord, work hard, remain happy-go-lucky and you will succeed. And you will make the world a better place as you do.

Love you!
Your Big Sis, Amy

P.S. When did you get so gosh darn pretty!?!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Vacation, pt. 2

The boys got the rental car picked up, our car to the shop Wednesday morning so we could still participate in some vacation activities and not let the mishap ruin the trip.

Houston Zoo:
We made it to the zoo in early afternoon, so a lot of the animals were resting and taking naps-- lazy things! The zoo did have lots of animals I've never seen before.We did get to see the zookeeper feed the lions though and hear him talk about the different lions in the zoo. That was pretty cool.

What's a Texas breakfast without a Texas waffle??

Visiting NASA was the most anticipated attraction and it did not disappoint. I really can't even explain all of the really cool things that we saw and learned about because it would just sound dumb. So, you should really just plan a trip down to visit it yourself.

NASA's control room until the 1980s with the flag that's been on the moon.
 So they have these full size, fully functional models of the the parts of the space station so that everything can be tested and the astronauts can get lots of practice before they go up to work on the "real deal." This is Grant in front of the space shuttle.
 Brad and HanNah in front of the Zarya, which is the Russian part of the International Space Station.
The astronauts lifestyle is definitely not for me. Sleeping in a bag, exercising two hours a day to minimize the damage that living without gravity causes, strapping yourself down just to use the potty... oh just thinking about it makes me cringe!
Derek is taking a look at the largest rocket ever built.
 This is the actual piece that the astronauts came back to earth in from one of the Apollo missions (can't remember which one!) Too cramped for me!

We had a great vacation. Granted, with one speeding ticket ($150), two no seat belt tickets ($150 each), and car troubles ($825) it turned out to be a bit more expensive than planned.... but it was so nice to get away and do some really cool things. For all of the places in Houston, we purchased a CityPass and it was a great deal. We'd definitely recommend it!! And kuddos for us for planning the trip before tourist season started-- it was perfect!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Vacation, pt. 1

While the boys are off taking care of the car issues and we are stuck chillin' in the hotel, it seems like an appropriate time to update the blog and share some pics from our trip so far.

Woo hoo! We made it to Texas.
Brad and HanNah

First stop: Galveston
The fabulous view from our hotel- the pool and the beach
Enjoying the beach!
Ate dinner at Landry's
(Caesar salad counts as seafood right!?! The dressing is made from anchovies, at least...)

Next Stop: Houston
Museum of Natural Science
Health Museum 
(lesson learned--Derek has more unique features than me)

The aquarium
Derek's checking out the sharks overhead.

After the aquarium we headed out to the movies. Derek and I went to see the movie Losers while Brad and HanNah saw Robinhood. We then headed back to the car, all got in and hear a loud popping sound. Derek diagnosed it as a problem with the shock on the back right tire. We then proceeded to spend a good hour in a Chipotle parking lot trying to figure to out how to get back to the hotel. All the rental places were closed, a taxi would have cost an arm and a leg. Thankfully HanNah's friend from college came to get us! The boys have the rental and are taking the car to the shop and hopefully it will be ready by tomorrow so we can head home. 

Despite the car issue, we're having a great time. It's even been nice just lounging in the hotel this morning/afternoon reading a book, watching tv, and of course updating the blog. I think the plans for the rest of the day include shopping and maybe the zoo.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Girls Night Out

A major perk of having mediocre (at best) sports teams is the promotions they have in order to get people to attend the games. So last night, I went with a group of girlfriends up to Kauffman Stadium to celebrate Girls Night Out with the Royals. I was pretty excited just to get a free t-shirt!

 So, I was even more excited to find more treats once we got there! I enjoyed some chocolate covered strawberries, a hand massage, perfume samples, vitamin water, raffles. I still haven't figured out what the Weed Killer booth was all about- maybe they signed up for the wrong night?? But the best thing of all-- a wonderful, relaxing massage.

Of course you look ridiculous sitting in this chair, but I won't complain-- even if she did ask me if the finals I mentioned were from high school. Nope, that was eight years ago. The massage was wonderful and the three minutes went by too quickly.

I didn't get back to my seat until it was the third inning, but I didn't miss much. The game was pretty uneventful until the Royals unleashed their A-game in the 7th inning-- they scored 5 runs! Not much more happened in the game after that, but we enjoyed (not) the couple in front of us and their very public displays of affection. They will never know the laughter they brought to us as I am sure they will be the butt of our jokes for some time to come.

And of course, there were Friday Night Fireworks after the game just to make the night even more fun. It was a blast and well worth my $13 ticket!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Let's face it....

.... this is not the worst thing you've caught me doing.
(a quote borrowed from Iron Man)

But it is rather humorous. It's just a little reminder of how much they pick up on the things you do! Next time, I'll try to make sure a more many kind of deodorant is within arms reach.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The coffee table

So when you break the glass in the Mommy's coffee table...

It's okay... it's kind of like having a basketball hoop.

It's fun to look for things that you've throw in the hole...

And when you reach as far as you can to get the ball that you dropped...

You might just fall in. Which is kind of fun too.


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