Saturday, December 14, 2013

What I really want for Christmas...

 DISCLAIMER:  I saw a similar article as this on FB one day, so the idea is certainly not my own, but I laughed so hard when I read it that I thought I'd create a similar blog post that is my own. 

Dear mom and dad, 

I know you are having fun shopping for Christmas presents for me and my big brothers but if I may, here's a few suggestions: 

Forget about getting me any plastic keys.  I'm way smarter than you think...I know they aren't real.  I want real ones.  In particular, I want the exact ones that you need to drive the car.  The extra set won't do. 

Forget about stacking cups or building blocks.  I'm perfectly happy dissecting the contents of mommy's makeup bag - I especially like the ones I can get open.  And the powdery stuff that makes a big mess?
- yes please.  I'll take two of those. 

Since you are always asking for help with chores, I'll take a broom.  And I guess a mop.  But again, no need to get me a toy one.  I like the big super size ones.  The dirtier the better too. 

I'll also take any trash can filled with trash.  The one in the bathroom is my favorite though.  Just wrap up that for me, but make sure it has dirty toilet paper and Kleenex in there.  Those are my favorite. 

And while you're at it, that cool contraption on the bathroom wall with the fun rollie paper?  I want that really bad.  I really like it when I can roll the paper all the way into the kitchen or even to the living room. 

Oh and don't even think about getting me a toy cell phone or remote control.  I'll take your iPhone - the one in the pink case...and all the TV controls.  I don't really like the ones that sing cute songs or have Mickey on them.  I like the ones that really make the TV go on and off.  You know, the big great ones?  I really like the red button - I think you call that the record button or something.  I want a real one with lots of red buttons.  I like recording stuff. 

Oh and for the grand finale, please oh please get me my very own Wii U cords.  I love those more than anything.  And I really like the one with the white paper sticker on it.  Please please please can I have that? 

Thanks and I love you bunches,
Baby Joshua

Thursday, December 05, 2013

He's BACK... and some other stuff

Guess who's back??? Chipperson, our trusty little Elf on the Shelf.  Y'all - the boys have been talking about Chipperson for at least two months, preparing for his arrival, speculating about his shenanigans, and writing him little letters to take to the North Pole.  I love all the magic.  It's so fun!  So, Chipperson made his debut by flying to Cave City first.  He sent the boys on a scavenger hunt around Grammy and Pa's house and they finally found him drinking out of the pancake syrup bottle.  They were so cute!  Jacob wrote him a note that said, "please hide up high so Joshua can't get you!"  PRECIOUS!!!  Then, Chipperson found his way back home to Shelbyville, but before stopping at our house, he made a pit stop at the Shelby County Community Theater to catch Jacob in "The Christmas Carol" on opening night.  The next morning, a program from the show and a little note was included and Chipperson was hiding in our Christmas card basket.  Since then, that little rascal exchanged our stockings for underwear, played tic tac toe on our bathroom mirror and ate a bunch of brownies.  Wonder where we'll find him next? 

And just some other stuff I just don't want to forget...
* Joshua says "Ho Ho Ho"  all the time and it is so cute.  Any Christmas decoration he sees he says it. 
* Each morning when I go get him, he makes sure to tell me all his words - "ho ho ho" "bye" "Ba ba" "uh oh" "mama"  "hi"
* He is into throwing his food off his plate and it makes me crazy - he's still a pretty good eater, but it seems like we only have a three minute window to give him some food on his tray
* He hates getting dressed!  He gets into everything - it's nothing for him to go in a room and come out with the most random stuff in his hands.  Hilarious!
* JONATHAN IS READING!!!! Really well - it's precious!  I love hearing him read and working so hard
* We have a meeting tomorrow at school for an IEP for him to get speech services.  It makes me sad, but I know it will help so much. 
* He recently went to a princess peacock birthday party.  There was one other boy there, but he totally held his own.  I love that they have such good friends that are girls. 
* Jacob has really enjoyed his role as Tiny Tim in the Christmas Carol at the SCCT.  He does a great job!  I'm so proud of him.  I think he has a little acting bug!
* He continues to love school and thinks his teacher hung the moon - the other day, I got my hair cut and colored and he said, "it almost looks like Mrs. Fallen's..."  I knew that was a huge huge huge compliment!
* They are both slightly obsessed with making Rainbow Looms for others
* The big boys are actually "into" playing with the boy.  It's cute - the favorite games are peekaboo and hide and go seek.  Joshua craves their attention

Monday, November 18, 2013

Catching up

Man, it is so hard to keep up with everything these days, but I know if I don't keep up with this blog, I'll be so disappointed one day.  So... here's the Halloween re-cap.  Halloween is such a fun time for our family.  We love all the fun HAPPY stuff about Halloween.  I could skip the yucky scary stuff.  :-) 

Oh sweet Taz - you earned this nickname.  You can destroy a room in just a few seconds, but you have the BEST, most lovable personality!  Your smile is truly contagious.  We were surprised how well you did with your costume - you didn't mind it at all!  This was the weekend before Halloween - you guys went trick or treating at JCC.  :-)  You had your first sucker.  I think you fell in love.  
One of our family traditions... going over to visit Mamaw and Papaw and helping (just watching really) Papaw carve the pumpkin.  This year - a Scooby face.  

It's a Looney Tunes fest here - the cutest little Sylvester, Taz and Bugs ever.  Jacob's ears just wouldn't stand up very well, so mommy did emergency surgery with a couple of rulers and hot glue gun.  Yep, mommy can fix anything with the hot glue gun.  

Of course, Halloween wouldn't be complete without a family pic!  Can't believe we are all actually looking at the camera.  
Grammy and Pa always love being here for Halloween.  Such a treat that they live close enough to be so involved!
Trick or Treating with some of our closest friends - a new tradition for us, I hope.  It was awesome!  We hit every house in our neighborhood that was open.  We are blessed with great friends! 

Almost done, Taz...  poor guy.  He felt awful all day (had croup) - even went to the doctor that morning.  :-(  But of course we had to go to our favorite neighbors... the McTales family.  

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Happy Birthday Baby Joshua! (TAZ!)

I cannot wrap my hands (or heart) around the fact that my baby is now one.  It's been an unbelievable year!  Baby Joshua gives us so much joy - it's like God knew exactly how our family needed Joshua to feel "complete."  He fits in perfectly and I cannot imagine one single day without him.  Life is so busy with three sweet boys.  We are busy volunteering at church - teaching, pastor search committee for daddy, deacon meetings...  We are busy with homework and back packs and lunch boxes.  We are busy with play dates and helping out our teachers with special projects.  We are busy building legos and playing superheroes and putting on plays at home with multiple costume changes.  We are busy with diapers and finger foods and balls.  Lots and lots of balls.  :-)  We are busy with slobbery kisses and sweet hand holds.  We are busy parenting and trying to teach these kiddos about Jesus and His mercies.  We are busy failing at that last part, but we try.  And we pray.  And we pray some more.  We are busy.  But life is SOOOOOO good. 

I'm a little late for this, but Happy Happy birthday baby Joshua!  I'm so afraid the busy-ness of our lives is going to make me forget how precious these days are for you.  So here we go - lots of things I just don't want to forget about you:

  • You smile all the time!  Seriously - you never ever cry (except in church lately... hmmmm)
  • You are an amazing sleeper - you go down at about 8 and sleep until 7:30 or 8.  We don't even have to rock you or anything.  You love to sleep with your little bear, green blankie and about 4 pacis.  You also have a glow worm in your bed and you've learned how to push his tummy to make him sing. 
  • You take two naps a day - one at about 10 and one after we get the big boys at about 3 or 3:30. 
  • You weighed 20.8 lbs and were 29" long at your appointment.  You are a little smaller than our other guys were at this age. 
  • You took your first steps on October 1.  You are still a little wobbly, but oh so cute.  You are walking all over the place. 
  • You are down to two bottles a day, morning and night.  If you see one during the day, you really want it bad - but you are easily distracted.  :-) 
  • You love balls - it's your most clear word. 
  • You are a great eater - you eat almost anything, except blueberries and celery.  I don't blame you bud! Your favorites I think are gravy and biscuit and chili. 
  • You have a cute sense of humor - if I put something silly on my head, you think its hysterical.  When I throw a ball and catch it, you think it's the greatest.  And of course, you laugh all the time at your brothers. 
  • When changing your diapers, sometimes you hold the diaper cream.  You can get it open.  Hope it's not too bad for you if you get a little in your mouth. 
  • Whenever we are hanging out in your room, you sneak over to your bed and get your blankie and paci out.  I've been working in there a lot lately, going through clothes and getting your new big boy clothes all ready. 
  • You love cords - especially the Wii U cords. 
  • You love to open cabinets and dump out the contents.  Actually, you like to dump out the contents of anything. 
  • You understand "No No" really well and seem to be a good listener so far. 
  • You love going to Ms. Erin's - your face lights up when you see her. 
  • You finally got a new big boy carseat.  You feel like hot stuff in it. 
  • You are going to be the Tasmanian Devil for Halloween.  It really (for real!) may be the cutest thing I've ever seen. 

  • You have the craziest hair!   Some cute curls!  :-) 
  • You lean in and give kisses when I ask.  It melts my heart!
  • You like to turn off the lights in room. 
  • When you wake up and we come get you, we say, "drop your paci" and you thrown it in your crib (or across the room if you choose!).  In the mornings when you wake up, you don't even cry.  You just sort of sit there, play and wait for us. 
  • You just started to put your hands together when we pray before dinner.  It is so cute!
I have to say, I think you are my momma's boy.  The big boys are most definitely daddy's boys, so I'm secretly glad.  I'm so grateful that my part time work schedule allows me to be with you so much during the day.  I wouldn't trade places with anyone for any reason. 

I love you to the moon and back and more than that!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Scooby Dooby Doo - where are you?

Have I ever mentioned that I love being mommy to God's three little gifts?  Well, I do.  Sometimes, admittedly, I feel like my head may spin off my head with frustration with all the messes and the occasional arguing that occurs at my house.  Ahem...  BUT, I love it.  Last weekend was one for the record books, let me tell ya. 

For Jacob's 7th (yes - my baby is almost 7 -WHAT??) birthday, he requested a Scooby Doo Party.  And a slumber party.  So, I got busy planning.  We decided to have part one of Scooby-palooza at our church.  Y'all - it was Scooby city in there.  Here's the front door. 
Just inside - yep, that's right, Jacob's very own Mystery Machine - made by his Papaw!
There were Scooby Snacks (Jacob helped me name everything... Scoober-iza, Scoob-tato Chips, Mystery Juice and Scooby Cakes.  We also had cheese balls - I just couldn't bring myself to call them Scooby Balls or better yet, Shaggy balls... Ha!!!)
A fun photo booth with special little props
A Mystery Machine painting project (we split up the kiddos in 3 teams)
Then, the teams had to help solve a mystery... Jacob's presents were taken by a mysterious villain.  The teams had to follow clues around the church to help solve the mystery.  The final clue was tied around Daddy's leg - he was the villain.  It was hysterical to watch the kiddos try to catch him.  Finally, the last clue led Jacob to the Kids Studio for presents. 
Not sure who had more fun... Daddy, the villain or the kiddos.  :-)  Jacob said this was his favorite part.  It was a lot of work, but so totally worth it. 
Finally, the night ended with individual shots in the photo booth with Jacob and all his buds.  And then, yep, for part two of Scooby night, we had a sleepover at our house.  7 kiddos came over.  We watched the Scooby Doo Movie, played a few games, did legos and went to bed.  Girls in one room, boys in another.  :-)  Yes.  We did have a co-ed sleepover.  Hee hee!  The kiddos were amazing.  All asleep by 11.  We got them up early and all went to church with us the next morning.  Jacob was a very happy little boy and kept saying, "this is the best day ever!  Thanks for working so hard on my party mommy."  Yes, yes,  I'd do it all over again to see that smile.  I love my job as m-o-m.  Thank you Jesus! 

Sunday, October 06, 2013

36 things

(this bloggy post is LONG overdue! - It's been in my saved drafts FOREVER - was gonna add pictures, but text only is all I've got today!! - but here's to remembering the little things and blogging more often!)

I had a FANTASTIC birthday.  I am one blessed momma.  For real!  Here's to 36! Just some facts...
1.  You never ever get to turn off "Mommy" - sometimes I wish you could, but the thoughts, the worries, the feelings of being mommy never go away. 
2.  I'm not complaining - I love my job as mommy, but the constant feelings of "am I a good enough mommy?" or "wonder how they are feeling right now?"  or "hope they are enjoying reading today at school."...never.go.away. 
3.  Being mommy of three boys makes me totally outnumbered.  Not that I wasn't before, but sometimes I just need a little more estrogen and a little less testosterone.  Ha!
4.  I clean the bathrooms in my house, but I'm ready to pass the torch.  I mean, I can promise you that I AM NOT THE ONE WHO GETS PEE ON THE FLOOR AROUND THE POTTY! 
5.  My house can be clean one minute and totally cluttered the next minute.  How does that happen? 
6.  On days that I work (Tuesdays and Thursdays), I feel as though I miss out so much on the boys' lives.  I'm so grateful for my part time work schedule, but those days sure are long. 
7.  Jacob had a really yucky bike wreck tonight.  In the grand scheme of things, it wasn't too bad, but when you see your baby face down on the concrete, your heart will stop and you might accidentally pee your pants.  I was a little concerned that his permanent teeth were damaged, but all is good.  
8.  I'm really grateful for new friends God has placed in my life over the last year. 
9.  My hubby's watching football.  Blah - I'm trying to enjoy it with him. 
10.  Year 35 brought exciting news of a new baby!  Here's to never having that news again. 
11.  Year 35 also brought us to the hospital with our sweet baby for breathing problems.  Here's to NEVER ever being in the hospital again with our sweeties. 
12.  Jacob is in another play at the Shelby County Community Theater.  Fun times. 
13.  Jonathan is really enjoying kindergarten and is working so hard on his reading! 
14.  We affectionately refer to Joshua as "TAZ" - short for, you guessed it, Tasmanian Devil.  His personality just fits the description.  He's into everything!
15.  Billy is still working in Shelbyville - thank the Lord.  That is such a huge blessing for our family.  Our gas expenses too! 
16.  Joshua is a bottomless pit.  He eats anything and everything in sight.  I sometimes wish someone else could feed him - just to expose him to all the things the picky Stover crew never will. 
17.  I love running - but not by myself.  I'm running about 15 miles per week.  It feels good.
18.  Billy and I are 100% totally addicted to the show 24.  I know we are about ten years late to the party, but we just happened to find the reruns and are loving it so much!
19.  Jacob's play was time consuming, but so amazing.  It was called "Jack and the Giant." 
20.  The songs from the play continue to run through my head.  Especially, "fee fee fi fi fo fo fum." 
21.  Parent teacher conferences were successful - boys are doing great!
22.  We are excited to be having another niece in a few months.  We are thrilled for Kelly and Shawn. 
23.  Joshua opens the cabinet in the kitchen with his plastic bowls and plates and completely empties its contents - at least 20 times each day.  TAZ!!
24.  Billy and I are teaching 1-3 grade girls again this year at church.  We are really enjoying it.  For some reason, God's got me camped out in the Old Testament.  Enjoying seeing how all the stories flow. 
25.  A gallon of milk spilled in our van last week.  It reeked - still does, but is better!  Did you know that a bag of charcoal under the seats neutralizes odors???
26.  It does not seem possible that my baby is almost seven and Joshua is almost one.  I just want to put on the breaks. 
27.  Billy's on the pastor search committee at church - it's super time consuming, but I'm so proud of him.  Praying hard for our church.  We have SO much potential. 
28.  Every morning, we carry the boys down to our bed.  After they get their school clothes on, they watch Tom and Jerry - I love how it makes them laugh. 
29.  One of my most favorite times of the day EVER is going in Joshua's room first thing... his bed head is awesome.  He smiles HUGE.  He tries to hide from me in his crib under his little blanket. 
30.  After I pick him up, I say, "drop your paci" - and he throws it back in his bed. 
31.  He also likes to turn off the light for me - when he does, he claps for himself. 
32.  Three boys = lots and lots of laundry!
33.  Joshua and I love stroller rides - but running with him is no joke. 
34.  I'd really like to work on publishing a book full of social skill practice activities.  I do a weekly social skills group and love it, but I'd really like to formalize all my ideas into a book - anybody know how I could/should get started?
35.  Joshua loved to put the pegs of his little puzzles in his mouth and it's so cute.  I distinctly remember the other boys doing the same thing! 
36.  I am so blessed.  I love my life!  I pray that I would not allow the enemy to steal my joy as I live life in the trenches of a busy momma! 

How's that for some random thoughts???

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

10 months old... 10 facts (and some bonuses)

1.  You LOVE to eat - seriously.  Anything we give you, you seem to love.  I'm trying to teach you the sign for more, but you do this really cute arm swinging thing when you want more. 
2. You had a scary allergic reaction to cottage cheese yesterday - you immediately broke out in red bumps/splotches.  I called your doctor immediately and they totally freaked me out - told me to watch for blue lips, decreased breathing and such.  But, you were fine in a few hours.  :-)  No more cottage cheese for you for a while. 
3.  You got introduced to Wick's pizza - oh my word.  YOU devoured it.  A chip off the ole block - mommy and daddy LOVE Wicks pizza so much. 
4.!!!  You are keeping me on my toes - if I look away I might find you in the cabinets, inside the laundry baskets or up the steps.
5.  Yes, you at ten months old can climb the stairs.  Fast. 

6.  You have crazy hair - when you are hot and sweaty or it's really humid outside, it's a little curly.  Super cute.  You may need a haircut before you turn one. 
7.  You almost always have your mouth open.  It's so cute.  It's a half smile/half surprised look. 
 I love it. 
8.  You say "ma ma ma ma ma ma ma ma ma " over and over and over all day long.  Occasionally you say "aba" and "dada."  But mostly, it's "ma ma ma ma ma"
 9.  Your little photo shoots are getting more and more difficult.:-)    You are growing so big and so strong.  I love your sweet little personality.  You are such a laid back easy-going little dude. 
 10.  You now smile big time whenever I get the camera out.  It's like you "get it."  I got out the little red car for you and you feel like hot stuff.  It occupies you for a good 30 mins or more. 
Oh buddy, how we love you so.  Your brothers adore you and are always going to watch out for you.  I love the way that you bust out laughing spontaneously at the most random things.  You love it especially when we dance.  You love it when Jonathan does the hula.  You continue to be an amazing sleeper - not the best napper, but nighttime is awesome.  You talk A LOT more when the big boys are at school than when they are home.  You do not like to ride in the car, unless mommy is sitting right beside you feeding you puffs.  You are crawling everywhere and pulling up and trying to cruise around on furniture.  You prefer finger foods over pureed foods, but still enjoy those too.  You love to dump things out of buckets or baskets.  You still put EVERYTHING in your mouth and get pretty ticked if I have to get something out.  You are an amazing little dude and I'm so grateful I get to be your mommy.  I'll never ever tire of you crawling up to me and saying "ma ma ma ma ma" and reaching up to be picked up.  I love that.  So much.  At your nine month check up, you weighed 19 lbs and were 24 inches long - somewhat smaller than the other little men were in our house at that age.  I'm still pumping milk for you, but only 2 times a day now.  You are getting about 1/2 formula and 1/2 breast milk.  It has not been a problem for you.  Though I know it's best for you and certainly less expensive, I am so ready to throw my pump in the street.  It's been a huge sacrifice and I'm ready to be done.  :-)  From where I stand, 10 months is pretty awesome.  XOXOXO

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Lump in My Throat

I'm sitting here with my computer in my lap and what do I hear?  Silence.  Wow - not what I'm used to.  The big boys are (gulp) at school and the baby is asleep.  I don't hear a peep in this house.  And I don't like it.  Don't get me wrong, I've been cleaning and playing with my third little sweetie today - and I love that time.  But, admittedly, I've looked at the clock a ton of times wondering is it 2:20 yet? 

I've got a big ole lump in my throat today.  This feeling has happened several times in my life - always a sign of change.  I remember feeling this way the first night I was away at college - laying in that twin bed wondering what was in store for me...  I remember feeling this way the first night I was in Africa 9 years ago - laying in a strange "bed" wondering what was in store for me.  I remember feeling this way the night before my wedding (although it was a very happy lump in my throat that night!!!) - laying in my childhood bed wondering what was in store for me.  I remember laying in the hospital bed on October 13, 2006 wondering what it would be like to be a mommy - wondering what was in store for me.  And again on May 29, 2008 - the night before I would be a mommy again - wondering what it would be like to love two beings with all my heart.  And yet again, on a hospital bed on October 11, 2013 wondering what life with three amazing boys who give me the title mommy.  Last year around this time, I laid on the floor beside my boys' bunk beds wondering through tears, how this momma would make it with Jacob going off to school.  And darn it, that same feeling is back today.  I'm sitting here on my bed, with a big ole lump in my throat wondering - how in the world is it possible that both my big boys are in school today.  Yep, today, I'm the proud momma of a first grader and a (GULP!!!) kindergartener.  And I'm wondering - what's in store for my littles.  Y'all, I'm missing my babies.  I know they are in great hands and I feel great about the school they are in and I know they will love learning new things.  Jacob is so excited.  I love his exuberance about learning and exploring.  CAN'T WAIT TO HEAR ABOUT HIS FIRST DAY OF FIRST GRADE!  Jonathan is another story...  he is so sweet but for some reason seams a little more vulnerable than Jacob did this time last year.  I know he's quite a bit younger and maybe it's his sweet little speech delay, but whatever it is, I'm more worried about him.  He was super excited though, so that makes it easier.  Last night, the lump in my throat was HUGE.  Before bed, I was feeding Joshua and trying to read to big boys and do worship.  Joshua wiggled out of my lap and guess who was quick to crawl in... yep, my sweet Jonathan.  He crawled up in my lap and asked me to hold him.  Then, while I was reading a story to them, he brushed my hair the whole time.  I mean,  I held him extra tight and snuggled him a few more minutes than usual and prayed the whole night long.  Literally.  I don't think I slept more than a couple of hours.  Today, I snapped some pictures, wiped his face and fixed his hair and sent him off to kindergarten. Seems unreal.   Praying he has a fantastic first experience with learning. Praying he doesn't feel lonely or afraid.  Praying that he won't have trouble with his belt or pants button if he needs to go potty and that he will be able to open his straw okay on his juice box and that he knows exactly what to do at the end of the day for car riders...  oh God, help me not worry.  They both have wonderful Godly teachers and I'm so grateful for that!   Praying God surrounds my boys with great friends who also love the Lord and make good decisions.  Lord, they are yours.  Use them for your Glory.   May they always be willing to be light in a dark world and true salt of the earth. 

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Random Rundown

Whew - it's been a crazy busy summer.  Can't believe it's already halfway over.  We have been so busy living life and having fun, that I haven't had time to document on the ole bloggy. 

We've been doing a lot of this...  and guess who loves it?  Joshua is a little fish.  He loves it!
We also spent some time at the good old Shelby County fair.  The boys have so much fun.  And guess who that pretty princess is - yep, our niece won Miss Shelby County Teen.  So proud of her!

We've also been busy playing the new Wii U - Jonathan's birthday present.  They LOVE it.  Mommy, not so much, but the rest of the crew could play it all day long (if we let them, which we don't!)

Mommy and Daddy snuck away for a little date night to see one of his co-workers get married.  The Kiddos got to hang out with Grammy and Pa.  I tell you what, there's something magical about grandparents.  There is nothing.  I mean nothing that the boys can ask them that they won't do.  :-)

AND.... drum roll, please.... MOMMY got to party like a middle school kid!  I went to see New Kids on the Block with some girlfriends from church.  We had a blast.  Let me tell ya, those guys are still fun to watch.  We were joking about how old we were and how old the New Kids are... doesn't matter.  I'm still a super fan! 

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Happy FIFTH birthday Big Bad Jon

omgeee, I'm running late.  Such is life with three boys, I suppose.  Or maybe I'm just in denial about this post.  My baby is 5.  Wait. a. minute.  What???  Yep,  Jonathan turned the big F-I-V-E on May 30.  I just can't believe that he's already five years old.  My goodness.  Where to start on this momentous occasion...
Here's a few tidbits about the birthday boy- a list of fives if you will...
Jonathan's five favorite foods:
  strawberries, blueberries, yogurt, ice cream and barbecue fritos
Jonathan's five favorite games:
  Super Mario on the Wii U,  Mario checkers, Mario memory match, Sorry, Hide and Seek
Jonathan's five favorite TV shows:
  Tom and Jerry, Sonic X, Looney Toons, (okay - that's only three... he really watches anything his brother wants to watch)
Jonathan's five favorite places to go eat:
  McDonalds, Snappy Tomato (which he calls Papa Tomatoes), Steak and Shake, Zaxby's, and Little Caesars
Jonathan's five favorite places to go:
  HOME (he loves being home!), Mamaw and Papaw's, Grammy and Pa's, anywhere with Daddy, and the park

Here's a few highlights from his birthday celebration...
First, we went to Chuck E Cheese on his "real" birthday.  He was so excited to get a Wii U from mommy and daddy, Grammy and Pa and Mamaw and Papaw. 

Then, he had a few friends to play at the Discovery Gym.  A fun time (and awesome Mario cupcakes) were had by all.  I made these cute little mustaches for everyone for a picture.  So cute! 
Little buddy, here's praying that your 5th year is all you hoped it could be.  You are a wonderful and sweet boy.  It nearly rips my heart out to believe you are already 5 years old.  It feels like just yesterday that we surprised everyone at Jacob's first birthday party with a shirt that proclaimed he was the big brother and that I was pregnant with you!  You have a great and funny personality and sometimes I just love the things you say.  You make us laugh all the time.  You are growing so big and starting to become a little more independent of your brother.  You go to your own class at church now with no problems and handle activities that are only for "k and up" like a champ.  You are a quality time guy for sure.  The first thing we hear each morning is "what can we do?"  Jonathan, keep on learning about and loving Jesus.  Remember he will never leave you or forsake you.  Neither will we.  I love you forever, I love you for always. 

Closing a chapter

This one's been in the bloggy cue for a while... (I have a lot of catching up to do!!!)

I've probably said this 100 times on the old bloggy, but oh my goodness, I wish time would just stop moving so quickly.  We are in transition around here, I guess you could say.  Jonathan finished up preschool (forever - sigh!) last Friday and Wednesday, Jacob finished up his Kindergarten year (sigh!)  Oh my goodness, how is it possible that I'm the mother of a first grader and a kindergartner and a much too old 7 1/2 month old?  

Jacob had a fantastic year at Painted Stone and I'm so proud!  He had the best teacher ever and really really flourished.  Okay - totally gonna be that braggy mommy for a minute...hold your ears if it makes you gag.  Ha!  He was a model student.  He had great behavior (stayed on green all year!) and was kind to his peers.  One of my favorite pictures I have of him at one of my trips to his classroom was him randomly helping one of his peers tie his shoe.  He is a fantastic reader - I loved watching him read stories to his classmates.  He loved doing his homework (may be a nerd, just like his mommy!) and was super motivated to earn special treats and to pick from the treasure box at school.  He scored so well on the standardized tests.  They made him nervous.  He enjoyed all his special area classes but music was his favorite.  He played outside for recess and loved it.  Sometimes he even got to play on the "big kids" playground.  During indoor recess, he often did art and would draw some of the cutest pictures and write funny stories.  I loved reading his writing and trying to decipher his spelling.  He has a strange habit of putting an apostrophe at the end of every word he makes plural.  It's cute.  At the beginning of the year in his writing activities, his teachers would try to get him to expand and write more sentences, he would embellish his stories with sentences like, "they are.  They really are.  Yes they are."  He gets in quite a hurry when he writes, which makes me nine kinds of crazy, so I'm constantly telling him to slow down and remember to write the letters the way his teachers do.  He tries to write in cursive - which kind of looks like chicken scratch if I'm honest.  :-)

Here he is with his super sweet and super awesome teacher, Melinda Haggard.  Can't say enough good things about her!

Kindergarten awards day. 
Jacob grew and changed a lot this year.  He is more obedient and helpful at home and a great big brother to both his brothers at home. I'll always remember his kindergarten year as the year with no teeth.  Seriously - almost his entire year was without his whole row of front teeth.  SO CUTE!!!! He is a typical silly boy - doing silly, impulsive things that get him in trouble.  And he is SOOOO messy. But, for the most part, he does so well.  Jacob grew and changed...So did mommy.  I tried to cherish the time I had with him, because it felt so limited.  That was the biggest adjustment for me - not seeing him as much.  On the first day of kindergarten, (y'all remember...) I was a hot mess.  Well, I had nothing to worry about - he was great!  I am grateful that summer is here - we have a whole list of fun things planned.  I hope I can not be too busy to soak in all the precious little moments we can share.  My prayer is that I can truly enjoy all of my kiddos every single day.  I also hope first grade is just as fantastic as this kindergarten! 

 Here he is on the last day of school - took pictures like this on the first day of school too....

Friday, May 24, 2013

Ode to Chester

this post is a tad late... ahhh, the story of my life it seems.  Jonathan has had a fabulous year at FBC preschool.  It's hard to believe it's over.  Last Friday, we said goodbye to some fabulous friends and teachers that have helped shape my boy's life and began an early love for learning.  Jonathan loved preschool - especially "riding bikes" and "playing basketball with Walker."  Those were always the highlights.  If I pressed more, I could usually find out what he had for snack or what songs they sang and what was the Bible story of the day/week.  He's a man of few details though.  :-)  Our preschool pick-up conversations usually went something like this:
Mommy, "Hey buddy, what was your favorite thing about preschool today?" (I learned early that I can't just ask "how was preschool?" - all I get then is "fine.")
Jonathan, "Playing with Walker." 
Mommy, "Cool - what did you guys play?" 
Jonathan, "we rode bikes and played basketball.  Then we played with Eli and Lincoln some too."
Mommy, "What about Molly Kate?" 
Jonathan, "umm she's a girl so she don't like basketball but I play puzzles in the room with her."  
Mommy, "what else, buddy?"
Jonathan, "Can I play your phone?"

Alrightythen... my few minutes is gone.  Sweet sweet boy.  I do typically get bits and pieces about his day at random times during the day.  I need to be better about stopping what I'm doing to listen to him.  I feel like I say, "just a minute..."  TOO MANY TIMES.  I know guilt is not from the Lord, but man, when I think about this, the guilt almost strangles me.  Oh Lord, help me be less busy and more attentive so I don't miss any of the details of his life when he's willing to share them. 

One of the highlights of preschool is getting to bring home the classroom stuffed animal, Chester Bear.  Jonathan got to bring him home twice.  He made every move we made.  It was totally adorable.  :-) 

Here's Jonathan with the preschool director, Jan Wonderlich and his sweet teacher, Linda Ashby.   Both are WONDERFUL women of the Lord and have loved on my boys with all their hearts.  I am so grateful. 

Saturday, May 11, 2013

In my house, I am the:
milk pourer
milk cleaner upper
boo boo kisser
Band-Aid opener
milk maker
bottle giver
diaper changer
bootie wiper
backpack packer
lunchbox maker
question answerer
snack maker
popcorn popper
fort maker
grocery shopper
meal maker
bike helmet fastener
shoe finder
cheek kisser
sock matcher
clothes washer
nail clipper
swing pusher
stroller pusher
carpool driver
craft maker
paci finder
homework checker
silly song singer
dance party creator
prayer warrior


All of these things are in my job description... I am mommy.  And I love it.  And it's the BEST job in the world.  I love being a mommy and am so grateful that three little people on this planet call me mommy.  I know I'm far from perfect and I pray every day that God would guide me and help me be exactly the mommy they need.  Happy Mother's Day to all you wonderful mothers - especially my awesome momma.  I love you.  Thanks for helping shape me into the mom that I am. 

Friday, April 19, 2013

6 months... growing like a weed

Baby Joshua is six months old.  Can you believe it???  Time is going so fast.  Here's the highlights.  Joshua weighs exactly 17 lbs, and is 26 3/4" long.  Both in the 50th percentile.  He got his six month vaccines on Wednesday and has been a little fussy/feverish since, poor baby.  He is generally so happy and pleasant.  What an incredible blessing he is to our family.  He is absolutely the light of his brothers' lives.  I cannot believe how much they love him.  No one makes him laugh like they do.  Seriously.  He loves it when Jacob says (yells!) "There's my smile" and jumps in his face.  He also loves it when Jonathan puts his foot on his belly and pretends to fall on him.  Lord help us all if he ever
actually falls on him.  It makes me nervous, but the belly laughs that result are so worth it.  I'm convinced that there is no better sound on earth than that of a happy baby laughing.  Joshua started eating some solid foods this month.  First sweet potatoes and then bananas.  He liked them both.  Next up??? avocado... that's sure to be some DIRTY bibs and clothes.  :-)  Joshua started rolling over and sleeping totally on his belly.  That makes me nervous, but there's no sense in me changing it.  He's pretty darn content.  He is an incredible sleeper!!! He sleeps from about 8 or 8:15pm to 8 or 8:15pm.  We still wake him up at 10 or 11 for a dream feed.  What a sweet boy.  He is enjoying being outside watching the boys run around and jump on the neighbors' trampoline.  He doesn't like the sun in his eyes.  He is all into his toys and can
transfer them from hand to hand. He also has started sitting up on his own - he can hold on for about 15 seconds before making a face plant. He's right on target developmentally.                        

                          It's getting harder and harder to get his month-by-month update pics :)
see, he's totally trying to stand up...
or lay down on the job...
or scoot and roll (speaking of rolls, check out those thighs!)
Whatever he's doing, I'd say he is just about the cutest thing ever!!!