Thursday, December 22, 2011

Mickey Mouse?

     This little girl is now three! When she came down Sunday morning wearing this dress Howard told her she looked like Mickey Mouse.
     At church an older lady came over and commented that Alexa looked so cute. Alexa hotly replied, "My don't look cute! My look like Mickey Mouse!". Is she daddy's little princess or what? :-)

Thursday, October 27, 2011

It's a Girl!

Meet my niece, Evey (pronounced E-V) Magnolia! She is the tiniest, cutest little bundle. Alexa was totally taken with her and didn't want to stop holding her.

The cousins. (You try to get 5 kids to cooperate at this age when time is limited!) :)

The new family of four. So happy for them. Congratulations Peter and Kendal!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Last Vacay Post

First off, my sister-in-law is in labor so I am excitedly waiting for word on whether I have a new niece or nephew (I'm thinking it's a boy this time). I'll be back soon with the news!

To wrap up our vacation...We spent the first 4 days of our vacation at the shore home of friends of ours. They graciously let us stay there and we had a wonderful time. We were two blocks from the beach which was great with the kids. Our house was beautiful. We were very pleased.

Chase's first reaction to the beach was to run screaming from the tide as it chased him up the sand! He can scream. Like a girl. And he did. The first day at the beach did not go well! By our last day there, we were able to take the kids out into the water as long as we were holding them. They loved looking down through the tide for sea shells that were being washed up.

We built the big sandcastle in the picture and relaxed on the beach. Alexa is not a big sand person so I took Tanner and her back to the house and she spent a long time playing in the kiddie pool we had while Chase and Howard got to play on the beach for a while.

It was a really great time. We visited an awesome zoo, spent a day on the local boardwalk where the kids rode on some carnival rides and relaxed on the beach and at the house. We needed the R&R and are so grateful for the place and the memories we made.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

A little bit more about our last

     Well things don't go as planned too often anymore! I have such good intentions but life so often interrupts my plans these days!

      We've been fighting fall colds/viruses.

     Howard is working end of year crazy hours.

     I am a busy mommy trying to keep us all in some semblance of order. My time on the computer is most often what has to go to get things done so I am not anywhere near as up-to-date on here as I want to be. (sigh)

     It's all good. I love this very crazy stage of life for us right now so I am trying to roll with it all.

     Back to our vacation! We went to a "Please Touch" museum one of the days. The entire museum is dedicated to encouraging kids to learn through play. We spent over 4 hours with the kids here and they weren't ready to leave! There were just so many things for them to try and do! The very best part for them was the child size grocery store. There were aisles of foods they recognized, child size grocery carts, a seafood/meat counter, a bakery, etc. The kids were encouraged to role play by being the shopper, cashier, deli man, etc. At the checkout when they ran an item over the "scanner" it would beep like the real thing. Once you were done shopping all the items had to be put back on the shelves and you started over again. I think Alexa shopped her own cart and just about any other persons she could find. She was in heaven! It was such a great opportunity to let them be kids in a public place. We loved it and can't wait to go back again some time.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Day at the Park

We spent one of our last days of vacation at a park we visit about once a year, as it's pretty far from us. We had just started our walk on the bike path when we startled a doe and her baby and a third deer. By the time I got my camera out and on they were all spooked but it was so cool. We were much closer before they ran but of course I didn't have my camera out!

The bike path winds for two miles to a small waterfall. Chase loved sending leaves, sticks, you name it down the small waterfall.
Chase rode his tricycle with the inflatable tires on this day. He did 4 miles on that little bike! We were blown away by his stamina!

It turned out to be a very breezy and cool day at the lake so Alexa complained about being "freezing". I had to wrap her in the baby's burp cloth to try and warm her up! Our little guy was dressed appropriately and was as smiley and good natured as ever. (Oh I love this picture of both of them!) :)

We just so happened to show up on a day when the local sail club was having a meet. You could hear the horns blasting and watch the boats line up and sail their way across the water in sprints. The kids thought that was very cool. We packed a picnic lunch and ate after our walk. It was just a fun, outdoors event for us.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Catching Up

     It's been a pretty busy summer. These last few weeks have been filled with fun for us. I'm going to try and work backward through our summer season so that I can catch you up on our goings on through a series of blogs. We'll start with our anniversary I guess! Howard and I celebrated 7 years on September 18. Our anniversary came at the end of a week long vacation our family had taken. We went to a great Italian restaurant for dinner while the kids stayed home with my brother's family.
     Howard bought champagne that we tried later that night. Not our cup of tea. We've tried several champagnes over the years and haven't been impressed. I don't drink (ever) and so I do not like strong alcohol flavor and Howard just wasn't impressed with it. Anyone have a favorite they can recommend for next year?
     It was a sweet day for us. Seven years have flown by. We look at our three kids and just can't believe how much our lives have changed since we said our "I dos". Next up, our vacation!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


He's now a child of God! He made the big decision on Aug. 14. We have talked about this before but I tried to keep the pressure off about it because this needed to be his decision alone. After our regular bedtime routine he made a comment about Jesus living "here" and he pointed to his heart. I replied that yes, Jesus does live in our hearts but we need to ask him to live there and when he was ready someday he could do that. His reply was as serious and certain as I've ever heard him, "I'm ready now, Mom.". Wow! I tried to lead him in the most simple prayer possible and then we shared smiles, high fives, giggles and tears (mine of course!). The best part is the assurance I have seen in him that Jesus now lives in his heart.

I haven't shared much about our summer, we've just been sooo busy but this was worth posting on here!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

New Website!

Not for me, for my parents! They have been working on it for a while and it is finally ready. It presents itself so much better. The cabins are now named for grandkids or family and it makes it much more personable. Be sure to check them out !

Thursday, July 7, 2011

4th of July

We made last minute plans for the 4th with my brother's family. We didn't plan an elaborate menu but made what we wanted to eat and shared it. It turned out to be a wonderful mix of picnic food. Soooo good!

      The kids went swimming. The adults played pinochle while the kids all napped and badminton.

     We had popsicles for dessert. With the heat they were the perfect treat!

     The kids did some early evening sparklers and threw snappers in the driveway. After dark we did more sparklers and Howard set off small (legal*) fireworks he had bought. We then all trooped to the back yard to enjoy a neighbors fireworks display. *It is illegal in our state to set off fireworks that go off the ground.

      He celebrated his first 4th and seemed to have a good time. He ate, slept and played in the grass. :) He got his first tooth on Saturday which made him feel much better too!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Summer Blooms

My sister-in-law brought me this beautiful bouquet of flowers for the 4th. It's brightened every one of my days since then. I'm sure it wasn't a big deal to her but it is a very big deal to me. :)

Monday, June 20, 2011

Happy Father's Day

     We've decided the two older kids are big enough to start choosing their own gifts for us on Father's/Mother's Day.
     Chase and Alexa both put a lot of thought into their gifts this year.
     Howard is wearing the hat light Chase got for him. Chase had seen a commercial for a baseball hat with built in lights months ago and said that Howard could use one when he takes out the trash in the dark, etc. The hat has a night vision setting as well as two white light settings. Howard actually used it at work yesterday and really likes it.
     The kids picked out a NASCAR shirt for Howard together so he's wearing that in the picture although you can barely see it.
     Alexa said she wanted to get Howard a Winnie-the-Pooh bear for his car so that he would have it with him when he went to work (he's been working nights lately and the kids miss him a bunch). I couldn't find a small Winnie-the-Pooh so we settled on a bear with a Phillies jersey for his car instead. She was absolutely delighted when daddy left for work waving the bear at her!
     We celebrated on Saturday due to Howard's work schedule. We went yardsaling in the morning because that's what Howard wanted to do. We got a few good deals on some things we've been looking for and headed home for a day together. We had daddy food for dinner, ribs, corn on the cob, garlic bread and homemade Kandy Kakes.
     We are very blessed to have Howard in our lives. He is a wonderful provider, comforter, and friend. We are a family because of him, and I, for one, am so grateful.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Four Months!

This time around the baby days are flying by. Our little guy turned 4mos. old yesterday! He is such a happy baby! Our days are full of smiles, coos and babbling which I can't get enough of. :)

He just had his 4mos. check up and weighed in at 16lbs 3.5oz and 26 1/2 inches long. He's a big boy! At this point it looks like we finally have a blue eyed baby. (The older kids take after daddy so it's about time one of them gets some of my attributes!:)) His eyes are the coolest blue and I'm not just saying that because I'm his mom!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

A Mother's Heart

I know I have mentioned her blog before. I've never met her but I love her. She puts words to the feelings my heart so often can't express. I am often humbled, challenged and encouraged from reading what her heart is pouring out. On the eve of Mother's Day I read this and even now I understand the bittersweet she talks about. It's been said that once you have children your heart walks around outside your body for the rest of your life. Your children are forever pulling away from the moment they are born and it is wonderful and painful all at the same time. I would not trade it for anything.

Saturday, April 30, 2011


This is one of the few pictures we took for Easter that turned out okay. Wrangling three kids to sit still and look at the camera is near impossible anymore! Alexa was refusing to stand and it was raining outside so this was the best we could do. Oh well!
     We had an Easter egg hunt earlier in the week in preperation for the bad weather. We hid eggs around the yard and the kids found loose change and mini candies inside the eggs. There was a chocolate bunny waiting for each of them on Easter morning as well as a sandbox from their Me-Mom and Pop-Pop. Once we get sand for the sandbox we will be set for outdoor play this summer. For dinner we visited Howard's side of the family, which was nice.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

She... potty trained!
     It took a full seven days but we made it and she is doing so well. We're so proud of her!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Cherry Pie

We spent our weekend celebrating my baby brothers 25th birthday with my first sour cherry pie and ice cream. Yummy!

Sunday, April 10, 2011


Had an impromtu photo session with the kids the other day. I LOVE this picture! I'm so blessed to get to be mommy to these awesome kiddos! :)

Friday, April 8, 2011

Tennesee Visit, part 3

This is the super cool loft my parents have in their house. It overlooks their main living area.

      This is my mom's new kitchen. There are labels on all the cabinets so that as we unpacked we knew where to put everything. (And people wonder why I'm so organized!)

 This is a view from under their loft looking into the living room/great room.

      I didn't take a picture of my parents deck because it was cluttered with moving boxes but it is HUGE! They have a full wraparound deck and a part of it is also covered. The kids had a blast running back and forth on it the whole time we were there.

      Someone had just unpacked the box of kids books when I snapped these photos. I couldn't even get the kids to look up!

      My parents house. The office is the small room off the right and the rest is their house.

      We took a hike in the Cherokee National Forest. Absolutely beautiful! I would have loved to be able to spend a lot more time hiking. It's something I love to do and can't very much with the kiddos. The kids did great on the hike but tired very quickly.

      This was the view at the start of our hike looking up the Hiwasee River. Gorgeous!

      We had a 78 degree day when we hiked and the following day got up to 83 so we had some amazing weather while we were down there. Loved breaking out the shorts!

      Chase started out the hike very hesitant and by the end was an accomplished pro. :) He was thrilled to take home two pinecones and a hickory nut that he insisted was an onion. (Oh I love what little kids come up with!)

     Alexa didn't want to hike at all and as soon as we were back at the car she climbed right inside. We have such a girly-girl and she definitely doesn't get it from me!

     It was such a bittersweet time with my parents. Tanner won't be anywhere near this size the next time we all get together so everyone was trying to soak up the time we had. I love how seriously Noni is watching Mom talking to Tanner.

      I love this picture of Chase and my dad. We were taking a walk around my parents property checking things out.

     This is a picture that will go in Tanner's scrapbook. It captures perfectly the emotion of the visit for me.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Tennessee Vacation Anyone?

     If you have any interest in visiting southern Tennesee why not consider Mountain Stream Cabins? (This is a shameless plug for my parents business by the way!)

You can get away from it all in comfortable, cozy cabins nestled in the woods. You can choose from 4 cabins that sit creekside or 2 private cabins that sit deeper in the woods atop the property.

     Each cabin comes equipped with its own hot tub and a picnic table where you can enjoy even more of the outdoors in a semi-private setting.

     Each cabin has a spacious wrap around deck just begging for you to cozy up with a book, cup of coffee or nature watching.

     The cabins have a semi-open concept. There is a small bathroom with tub/shower combination.

      The bedroom features a queen bed as well as a set of bunk beds that are both doubles.

      The cabins each have a wonderful rustic feel enhanced by the wood detail and loft style ceilings.

      The living areas are simple and comfortable. A few of the cabins also offer pull out sofas for added sleeping capacity.

      There is a fully functional kitchen in each cabin offering you the ability to save money and enjoy all the benefits of home cooking while still getting away from it all.
     So plan to book your next vacation to Tennessee. You can reach Mountain Stream Cabins through their website, to get away from it all!

     The family photos will be coming tomorrow!