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30 December 2010

Caroline and The Backseat

Today Donald and I took the kids to the mall to make our Christmas returns and enjoy some Christmas money.  He took them and I shopped!  Caroline hung with me for a bit in her big girl dress coat and "Ugs".  We had so much fun trying to decide how to best spend the $1.79 that she brought in her fairy purse.  She carefully chose a necklace with a "C" charm after her wise momma declined a menagerie of lip glosses and nail polishes.  Gotta love Claire's.  It was a great afternoon topped off with a run into Starbucks with my little miss.  This afternoon I was acutely aware of how she has grown.

On the way to the mall Caroline announced that she and Jackson are "BFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFs!"  How does she know what BFF means?  Regardless, that was music to my ears, especially since these two sibs don't pronounce their love for one another often.  It got me thinking about how I've heard some of the most treasured comments and surprises from Caroline float forward from the backseat.  Almost as if I could plot points of her growth on the wall of our minivan right next to where they happen.   For instance, in the fall of Caroline's kindergarten year she climbed into the van and announced that she met the boy she is going to marry, like she was announcing that she'd like jam on her toast. I was shocked that the thought had even occurred to her!  Since then she has decided that she's going to marry her brother instead, which suits me just fine.  At least I know the boy!

From the dark depths of the minivan there have been so many moments, and questions, and songs, and temper tantrums... But here is a memory that is especially dear to me.  About a month ago she climbed onto the backseat and just happened to mention while buckling in, "I made someone a Christian today."  Poor thing didn't know she was going to get an inquisition.  I was shocked, tickled, scared, proud, amazed.  My 6 year old, sitting at the cafeteria table had shared her heart with a girlfriend, then prayed with her to ask Jesus into this little darling's life.  Still in awe.  I don't have the guts to even find out what some of my more ambiguous friends believe.

No big deal, Mommy.  I am just making an impact and planning my wedding with my BFF. 

Indeed, you are, little girl!  Impacting your momma and her driving in ways you know nothing about.  Needless to say I'm looking forward to 2011's backseat commentary from my little miss!

Caro and her "BFFFFFFFFFF!"

08 December 2010

Amoeba Love

I told Donald the other day that I have "amoeba love" for Karis; the kind of love that could just wrap itself around the unsuspecting, little edible and swallow it up whole.  Yep, that's how I feel about my little babinski.  She's such an EASY baby and smiles, smiles, smiles.  PRECIOUS.

My Amoeba Love

At her 4 month appointment Karis weighed 14.13 pounds (75th percentile) and was 24 inches long (50th percentile).  Her head was a whopping 90th percentile.  I'm afraid she comes by her big head naturally.  (Some of you will get that -)

Let's see, Karis slept through the night just before Thanksgiving, rolled over on Thanksgiving Day for the 1st time, and can completely delight herself by pondering her fingers.  She also loves to grab her toes and smile at me with a look of sheer accomplishment.  We adore her!

Caroline and Jackson are super big-sibs: 
          -holding her until she squirms --not a long wait
          -making silly faces
          -jiggling whatever baby contraption she is in (Jackson)
          -reading to her (Caroline)
They are a HUGE help when I need a diaper or burp cloth in a pinch, which seems to be often.  As we say in the south, they have taken to her like bees to honey.

I would be remiss if I did not also mention "Dad of the Year".  He is still getting up with Karis when she wakes to change diapers, reassure her, or bring her to me when we cave at 3:00 AM.  He is pretty incredible in the waking hours too.

More Amoeba Love

11 October 2010

Fall Photos

Hard to believe it's almost mid-October!  Karis and I had a virus for a couple of weeks which has thrown me way out of whack.  We did make it to Connie's photo party last Thursday where these pictures were taken.  It was a gorgeous afternoon at Pleasant Grove!  http://www.jennymphotosession.com/Fields/

Wanting to do some blogging catch up this week if and when I find the energy!
Thanks for checking in!

15 September 2010

If I Could, I Would

I had the best time the other morning answering "If I could do anything regardless of time, money, ability I would..." on a blog.  It was hard listing only three answers.  I'd love to know what you, my three friends who read this blog, would do.  Remember this has nothing to do with regrets and should be somewhat realistic.

If I could, I would...

1. Be an avid runner with a swishy ponytail

2. Travel the U.S. in a luxury RV and hike all the national parks, especially Yellowstone/Grand Tetons

3. Secretly plant daffodils and tulips all over... Wouldn't the spring be extra awesome?!
4.  Be the person that gets to name things:  roads, crayons, lipsticks, ice creams...
5.  Adopt lots of orphans
6.  Raise my kids without ever loosing my patience (probably falls into the "totally not possible" range)
7.  Be fluent in sign language
8.  Have one of those decorating TV shows redo my entire home
9.  Work for an impactful ministry like LPM
10. Collect & sell antique china, linens, jewerly in a Victorian town like Cape May, NJ -- minus the NJ part

11.  Ride in a hot air balloon

12.  Be happy to have my hubby hang deer antlers in our family room -- This should be a "I would if only I could..."  Ha!

13.  Travel

14. Have a large, flat enough yard so when you lay in the grass you can see the curvature of the atmosphere

15.  Raise my kids on lots of land with an orchard and some chickens

16.  Speak a foreign language fluently -- probably Spanish

17.  Paint landscape portraits at the beach and have a seafood restaurant sell them

Still thinking of some...

11 September 2010

Bone Marrow Drive

Melanie and Trystan

OK, perhaps my last blog was a bit dramatic.  My friend Tracey kept it real by reminding me, "It is only a cheek swab."  Ha!  So yes, the registering was very easy, andI am glad that I registered in person rather than mailing in the kit for a handful of reasons.
  • First, Melanie was there and so tickled to greet us!  It was like a party in her honor.  In fact, later that night she FaceBooked saying, "It was the party I always wanted to have."  She is amazing and a beautiful example of living from the perspective of Christ's truth for her rather than being stuck in earthly facts.
  • Second, I was really touched to see the support.  We were there for maybe 45 minutes for a 10 minute process due to the amount of people registering.  Yay!
  • Third, I learned some BIG time facts, which can explain my emotions in the last entry.  Turns out I was believing a lot of misconceptions and assumptions. I am very relieved I acted on how I was led rather than what I thought to be true. 
  • Fourth, it was the most meaningful date night Donald and I have ever had.  We left feeling even more grateful and with deeper compassion for people. 
  • Last but not least, I loved being contacted by a handful of people I reached out to that have already registered as donors.  I learned a lot and was touched by their humbleness! 
It may have only been a cheek swab and I may never get the call to save a life, but sending those cells to a Petri dish felt better than I ever imagined!

"Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behavior from their parents. Mostly what God does is love you. Keep company with him and learn a life of love. Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. He didn't love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us. Love like that."  -Eph. 5:1-2 (MSG)

08 September 2010


Last spring I met my 41 year old, elementary school counselor neighbor Melanie and her incredibly gorgeous 3 year old daughter at a playgroup.  A couple of weeks later Melanie discovered that she has Myleodysplastic Syndrome/pre-Leukemia.  A few days ago I found a flier with their photo in our postbox asking for help with finding a matching bone marrow donor.  Without any hesitation the flier states, "Melanie's continued state of wellness, actually her survival, depends upon her receiving a bone marrow transplant."  I have not been able to shake the gnawing thought of what if I were in her shoes?  What if she was my sister, my good friend, my mom... ?  

Tomorrow there will be a drive in Charlottesville to join the Bone Marrow Registry.  All it requires is a simple cheek swab and I could be the one to save a life.  To be completely transparent, I am not 100% certain I will be there.  If I knew it would be just for Melanie, I would be a lot less hesitant and selfishly so, because the likelihood of being a match and actually going through the donation process would be almost null.  But upon entering the registry you agree to donate to any patient in need.  The thought enters my mind again; what if it were my sister, my good friend, my mom.... ? 

Melanie and I ran into one another a few weeks ago in the library parking lot and I prayed with her.  So often the Lord allows people to be the answer to prayers.  How often have I felt so incredibly blessed and casually looked for ways to give a little.  I think I am being invited to put action to my words, to be actively engaged rather than usually passive, to be like the Savior who got His feet dirty for me.  Hard choice, because I know I don't have to -- but I get to.

  • Date:  Thursday, September 9th
  • Time:  5:00-7:00 pm
  • Location:  Courtyard North by Marriott Hotel (behind Toys R Us)
  • Phone:  866-301-4650 x7385

You can also have a swab kit sent to you directly. 
1-866-301-4650 x7385

"But look! A king will rule in the right way, and his leaders will carry out justice.

Each one will stand as a shelter from high winds,

provide safe cover in stormy weather.

Each will be cool running water in parched land,

a huge granite outcrop giving shade in the desert." 
-Is. 32 (MSG)

07 September 2010

Labor Day Weekend

"Come to me all those who labor..."  If Jesus didn't come to save us from our soul's labor, I'm not sure why He came.  Goodness knows my mind has travelled back and forth to twisted  land this week over a close loved one's turmoil while dealing with a 3 year old boy who wants to disassemble nearly every household assembled thing.  There are bigger worries in the world, but when it rains in your little corner it pours.  I am so thankful God is true to His Word and in His perfect timing brings refreshing when trusted for it.  This weekend my family had a ton of fun and I needed it. 

To start the weekend off Jacks and Caro went to their first Fluco football game with Donald and Grandpa.  Caroline's favorite part of the evening was when "the team we were cheering for got two home runs."  You  catch her drift, I am sure!  Jackson liked the blue boy with the blue hair that waved the flag.  Caroline tells me this was the mascot.  I'm guessing a "Flying Fluco" is up for interpretation.

Fluvanna vs. Madison

Saturday Caroline had her first Upwards soccer game which was SO FUN!  I never played soccer.  I was a total ballerina.  In fact, the idea of kids kicking at my shins never really appealed to me, so I was especially proud of Caroline for getting out there and going for it.  She reminded me of a sheep dog bouncing off the ground outside the mess of kids on top of the ball, hollering and pointing in the direction they should be moving.  My favorite quote of the weekend came from Caroline about what she and her pal were doing on the field:  "Talking about nothing for no reason." 

Saturday evening we went to the Valentines' annual Labor Day cookout.  This is no ordinary cookout.  This is an all out event with a hundred people at least, professional bouncy houses for the kids, frozen drink machines, food, food, food!  This year's theme was a luau and it was delicious!  It was especially great to catch up with old friends from Central Elementary.  There was a moment when I thought how fortunate I've been to spend the past 15 years sharing life with the same people.

After a great morning at FUBC on Sunday we took naps then  moseyed up the street to a neighborhood block party.  The kids had a ball sledding down the Hersmans' dirt hill!

Jackson, Ben, Bella, & Caroline

Monday afternoon we headed to Fredricksburg to surprise Mom.  One of our highlights was pulling over in Orange to watch the skydivers land.  I really think I'd like to do that some day.  In fact, I've planted the idea for Donald and I to take the plunge on our 40th.  Someone hold us to it!

Mom is one of the unfortunate laborers who is fortunately employed that had to work on Labor Day.  You should have seen her face as Caroline surprised her and her clients!  It was something between sheer delight and utter terror!  Priceless, and I wish I had been prepared with my camera.  While there my undemonstrative Donald plopped down on one of the leather sectionals on display and the words "Stop it!" rolled out of his mouth like water from a fire hydrant.  It CRACKED me up. I've never heard him react that way, but apparently it was pretty comfortable.  After spending some time with Mom, doing a little sales shopping at Khols, and eating too many rolls at Ryans we rode home into a beautiful sunset --feeling refreshed. 

"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows." -James 1:17

03 September 2010

Big Happenings Around Here!

This was another big week of firsts for the Fields Family!

Karis had her 1 month appointment (at the tender age of almost 6 weeks old).  She weighed in at 10 pounds 5 ounces, which is a weight gain of 2 pounds 5 ounces. She also grew 2 inches and is now 22.5 inches long. If you are a stat fan that places her in the 75th percentile for length and 50th percentile for weight. She took her shot like a trooper; didn't even accept the lollipop her big brother suggested as a reward.

She still sleeps through most of the day, but will hang out for an hour or so in the morning and a little longer in the afternoon and is most happy in our arms. She does like to fuss right around dinner time until she's down for the night. She sleeps from 9:00ish to about 1:30 a.m. which is her longest stretch, but I have the darnedest time putting myself to bed which I suffer for later. After her 1:30 feeding she usually wakes up at 3:30 and 5:30.

I love her big eyes. They seem to open so big and bright, but maybe that is in direct relation to her sweet cheeks getting rounder and rounder, pushing up on her eyes.  Ha! Someone told me last night that she has my eyebrows which is kind of funny considering you can hardly see hers and I have to pencil in mine!

Let's see some things I especially love about Karis right now: how her hair fluffs after I wash it, her extra soft baby hands, how the bottom of her toes look like baby peas, all those baby sounds (nursing, sleeping, waking up), how I can take her anywhere in her car seat and she sleeps, and when she protests about being in her swing she cries in sync with the motion of the swing... My girl has rhythm!

Six Weeks Old

One Month Old

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Wednesday Jackson had his 1st field trip.  His preschool class met at Fruit Hill Orchard and everyone picked a peck of apples.  He was so excited and ate more than his share, that's for sure!  We had a great time and learned how apples grow too.

Our good buddies from church also go to school with us.  Momma Kat is a national superstar.  You should check out the show she produces with her husband:  www.redarrowtv.com/pics.html

That very same day...

Caroline came home with another missing tooth!  It fell out on the bus ride to school.  She wrote the Tooth Fairy a letter asking for "sum mashic dus."  The Tooth Fairy was apparently all out of magic dust, but she did leave two Sacajawea coins this time!

02 September 2010

This One Is For My Friend Erin...

Know what today is?

902010 !!
Gotta love fashion!

21 August 2010

Kisses From Katie

I am so humbled my heart hurts.  Sometimes my eyes need to refocus on something other than my place in the world.  Tonight I am left wondering how else I could be, should be, want to be spending my blessings and the minutes of my life --  http://kissesfromkatie.blogspot.com/ 

Lord, have mercy.

20 August 2010


While I was saying my goodbyes to friends at our Wednesday night church dinner, Caroline ran to me and threw her little chin up in the air to reveal a huge smile with a great, big gap!  Her eyes were as wide open as her mouth, and her hand was high in the air carrying her front baby tooth in a plastic bag like a new trophy.  It took me only a second and then I realized what a big moment this was.  ...The first day of kindergarten, first kiss, off to college, wedding day, loosing your first front tooth -- all biggies in my book.  When I asked her how it happened, she blurted, "Jackson knocked it out!!" which made it all the more fun.  Apparently Jackson was running toward her and landed with some body part in her face, and voila!  Of course the Tooth Fairy was prepared and left a shiny Sacajawea coin under her pillow.  We're loving the new whistle her words have taken on as well as her new look!

New Sister, First Grade, 6th Birthday, Lost Tooth...
It's Been An Exciting Month

First Firsts

Whizzzzzz--  Watch out, there life goes!  So much to catch before it wiggles away...

After a hearty breakfast of chocolate chip pancakes our little miss started her
1st grade adventure. 
Can you guess which parent dressed which kid?

It was a family affair! 
Daddy went to work late and even Grandma joined in the fun. 
Here we are making the trek to the bus stop at 7 a.m. 
(Jackson might be afraid of my postpartum early morning look.)

Big step!  No big tears for Mommy this year, just a big tug on the heart strings.

Hi-ho, hi-ho, it's off to school I go!  Delighted to be sitting next to Bella.

Super start to a fresh season!

Grammy picked Caroline up from the bus stop and said the first words out of her mouth were,
"It was awesome!"  =Whew!=
Caro's favorite part of the day was telling her teacher that she's a Christian,
and having her teacher reply, "I am too!"

Jackson's 1st day of preschool was the 13th.
He was sooooooo excited to go to school and have a big boy backpack!

Kissing Karis good-bye.

Flying Jacks to the "vinvan".

Jackson's first hook experience caught on film!

Time for me to leave.  I can do it.  I think I can, I think I can...

Jackson said he really liked school. 
He played with planes and looked for "Bailwee" from VBS most of the time. 
Ms. Allie said he was very good with playing play dough and is really creative. 
(I got a chuckle out of that.)

Ms. Allie is the big sister of one of my former second grade students.  How is cool is that?!

18 August 2010

Happy 6th Birthday, sweet Caroline!

August 17th, 2010 was your 6th birthday!

Grandma walked you to the bus stop and tied a Cinderella balloon to our front door for you.

After I read to your class in the afternoon,
we left school a smidge early to find your old friend Avery waiting for you at home! 

Your Menu Requests: 
Hamburgers For Dinner
Lemon Cake With Lemon Sherbert For Dessert

Making a Wish!

You were thrilled to get your Princess Zhu Zhu Pet.

Your sudden interest in the solar system has won you a PINK telescope!

Great Grandma Barber sent you some "fun-ds"!

Grammy wrote you a letter asking for a special date to go toy shopping
 and a promise to end your time together with a sweet treat!

A day later we celebrated 1st grade style with mint brownies and grape juice boxes. 
(Chocolate and wine go together, right?  You are a little young for that so we compromised...)

Look how much you've grown and changed in a year, little miss. 
Your momma's heart just wants to bust at the thought of how precious you are!  
You amaze me. 
"I love you more!"

16 August 2010

Laughables From Today

After singing "Old MacDonald" today, I asked Jackson what he would have on a farm...
     "Portipines, and a TRUCK!"

Laying in bed with Caroline tonight I was showing her how she would be 5 "fingers" old for only a few more hours.  Then grabbing the teachable moment I flashed my 5 fingers 7 times plus my pointer finger to show her how many 5s there are in my age, stressing how she will be 6 tomorrow and I will be 36.  (I was shocked myself at how many times my hand had to open and shut to get to 35!)  She then said...
     Caro:  "You're not young, " with a bit of an exasperated sigh and smile.
     Me:     "No, I guess... not."
     Caro:  "Wow!  That's like a 'Heads up!'"

04 August 2010


Karis is two weeks old today!  I am still amazed at how elusive time is.  I wish I could just grab it by the collar and hang it on a hook for a bit.  I have treasured these 14 days the best a woman on prescription narcotics can.  With perfect timing my head is slowly coming out of the clouds as my body is trying to get a grip postpartum. It has been really, really easy for the most part.  A few nights in the hospital accompanied by lots of loving visitors and doting nurses, then onto a week at home with my very attentive and loyal Dunk'n Donuts patron of a husband, not to mention all of the TLC from my nearest and dearest friends and family.  A big thanks to the hubs who has helped keep the house maintained and kids entertained too.  I have been showered and powdered for company, and even made a large grocery run with all 3 kiddos (and my dear mom).  But, it happened today. 

"It" would be that brick wall that made its appearance.  I ran smack into it while being whooped by the up hill battle of getting everyone dressed, fed, and just doing the usual morning chores while the minutes ticked closer to noon than I liked.  When at that time what to my watering eyes should appear, but a miniature sleigh and -- oops, that tricky pain medicine!  ...When a really good friend (who looked so calm and together) brought us a delicious chicken pot pie with all the fixings. 

I had to laugh as I was caught partially dressed, baby in arms, kids looking halfway homeless, and laundry piled high after only a day!!  It was my disloyal mind's fault too!  My own mind betrayed me these past two nights powering up auto pilot and flying into the land of list making and conversations (that should actually be held with another person) until the wee hours of the morning.  Making it worse was wondering how my beloved husband on one side and my precious newborn on the other could sleep so well while me, the Queen Bee, struggled to catch a wink.  Thus, I hit that brick wall pretty hard.

If only I had remembered at that crucial moment that God has encouragement lined up and ready to march into the trenches with me.  Hence, my really put together, sweet smelling, even kinder friend who providentially brought the pot pie by at just the moment I needed a happy diversion.  She was so gracious and reminded me that, "This is life." 

Ah yes, this is life and I am happy to be caught in the middle: in the middle of my beloved husband and precious 2 week old baby girl, in the middle of two bigger kiddos wanting their mommy, in the middle of being loved on by my loved ones, in the middle of blessings and purpose and laundry piles.  I believe I can see that brick wall crumbling and a few zzz's awaiting me.  Whoohoo!!

01 August 2010

Ten Things About Karis

I just heard Karis giggle for the 1st time! She was sleeping in my arms and woke herself up. Be still my heart!

Number One: Shake A Leg
Throughout the last couple months of my pregnancy I would feel this spastic vibration for a couple of seconds every now and then. I wasn't sure what it was, but now I know for certain. Her little leg likes to give a shout out to the world without notice. It's pretty cute. Let's just say she has a head start on the Hokey Pokey.

Number Two: Barn Yard Phonics
I think her favorite letters are "N" and "Short E" -- She likes to remind us of their sounds whenever she feels the need for a little attention. That and since day one she has had this cough that sounds like a duck's quack, unusually loud!

Number Three: Sweet Cheeks
Karis has the most adorable, teeny, tiny bumm! Must be a gene from generations ago.

Number Four: Ice Cream Diet Only, Please
She is not a garlic fan at this point, but there is always hope! Until that day I guess I'll just have to tough it out with my Breyers. Poor, poor me.

Number Five: Favorite Place
She loves the outdoors! Nature is baby Valium in my book.

Number Six: The Eyes Say It All
Karis goes out of her way to let me know that she loves to be held by me. I feel like a million bucks when I pick her up and she calms down instantly, focusing on my face like I am her hero! Then humbles me the next second as her gaze wanders to my bangs and her little brow furrows as if to say, "Mommy, second day hair just doesn't work for you."

Number Seven: Speaking of Hair
She thinks so highly of her daddy that she dons his hairdo!

Number Eight: Ear Prints
The tops her delicate ears have these little dents like someones fingertip rested there for awhile. Too darling for words!

Number Nine: Darling Digits
Piano playing fingers and tree climbing toes! There's nothing more precious than your baby grasping your fingers and her toes curling at your tickle, wondering where in the world they will go.

Number Ten: Sweet Dreams
She must have the best dreams! Little coos and ahs along with crooked grins and wide smiles. Oh, to sleep like a baby!

27 July 2010

She's Here!

Karis Elizabeth
Karis is one week old today! Our sweet baby girl arrived as scheduled at 8:13 a.m. on July 20th. She weighed in at 8 pounds flat and 20.5 inches long. To our delight Karis earned the reputation of being a very mellow baby in the nursery. YES! On the day we left the hospital a nurse even welled up as she said goodbye to her. Of course, I welled up too, as in, I really have to leave this little haven??

How has this week turned into a beautiful memory already?! Leaving behind the thoughts of a sore body and weepy eyes, I'll (hopefully) only remember lots of snuggling and visiting with loved ones in the days to come! I'll think of funny instances too like when Caroline repeated verbatim the lactation consultant's instructions for encouraging "let down" and when Karis tinkled on my sister's hand as she was ooing and ahhing over her teeny bottom. Of course, my heart is busting with moments like watching Caro's and Jacks' enamored faces, Donald whispering in my ear upon delivery "You got your Karis," breathing in her baby breath nose to nose as if we're in our own little peaceful bubble, and those first sleepy grins with the miniature quivery lips. I could go on and on. Ahh, sweetness.

Naturally, her name has sparked some interest, so here's the inside scoop. Karis is pronounced like "Paris" and is my best second grade phonetic spelling. Charis is a Greek word which is translated grace. Basically, when you read the word grace in the New Testament it was penned charis. I suppose in my heart there is something about the thought of Paul, for example, saying and writing that word 2,000 years ago under the direct inspiration of Karis' creator Himself that thrills me.

If you're still curious, grace is interpreted to mean a free, undeserved gift, most specifically Jesus' sacrifice of Himself for us, and the empowerment of God given to every believer in Jesus as their savior. On a less inspiring note, Elizabeth is my middle name and means "an oath of God; a worshipper of God". Wow. Now that I have thought that through her name could seem very religious. Eww, Lord, let it not be!! Our precious gift of grace is named out of my sheer love and delight for Jesus. That and I could not think of another middle name in all those 9 months!
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02 July 2010


Despite my holey swiss cheese moment and Caroline's 24 hour bug, June was a fun month!

Caro and I had a fun girls night out to celebrate the end of a very accomplished kindergarten year. She dressed in her favorite new dress, fanciest pearls, and Cinderella slippers. Her momma was lucky to slap on some mascara and find her flip flops, but the owner of the ice cream shop was so taken with Caroline's beauty that he gave us a free sundae! Love my girl so much!

Making a Father's Day frame -- It was "fun" keeping them painting on their designated sides of the frame.

We made a chain to help us countdown "Sandwich's" arrival on July 20th!

The kids drying off at home after playing in the sprinkler at Reese's 2nd birthday party. Notice the big boy underwear? Yes, the seemingly impossible has happened! Jackson is officially potty trained. Yes, yes, and YES!!

We had a lot of fun at our church's Vacation Bible School. Here Jackson is receiving his 1st certificate! Next to the reward of seeing my kids celebrate and grow in God, I had the joy of being the snack lady, so I was in charge of organizing stations of M&M's, mini marshmallows, and chips to name just a few goodies for theme related snacks. Tough job, but someone had to do it.

Aimee and I picking out potential boy middle names. You can tell by the way I'm holding my book that we got far.

Amy gave Tracy and I a joint shower from our church. These ladies are so precious to me. From my point of view they are the real gifts. They are generous with their love and encouragement!

Here's the belly at 8 months pregnant. Looks like it's made out of Silly Putty. My sister exercising her Bionic Woman hearing.

The kids are over the top with excitement!

The Millers had a BBQ to celebrate Brent's 30th birthday. Watching Donald coach our little man was a highlight. Seeing Jackson throw a football was a first for me. Of course, Donald is holding strongly to the hope that Jacks will be 6'4, weigh a ton, and play for the 'Skins, right D?

These kids have spent HOURS together through the years, from the church nursery to get togethers. They are like cousins. Only wish the rest of the crew could have been there.

Regardless of Caroline's sinister look, it's this doggone Easy Bake Oven that is evil. Caroline was so eager to make her daddy a "cookie" in it for Father's Day. Between you and me, I am so eager to help this lovely gadget find it's way to the trashcan a little prematurely.

D's Father's Day was a little defunct. He wanted to nap and watch the College World Series but then I was able to do the same, which made a quick trip to Lazy Land. We made up for it the following evening by making him a surprise dinner. Just want his quote to be recorded for all time, "This is the best meatloaf you've ever made!" Whoo-hoo, way to score with a loaf of meat!

This is the desk set the kids made for Donald. The picture was taken on Father's Day, so it made the frame. It rather cracks me up. I'm as proud as a peacock!

Father's Day Kiss

I found an afghan my family used as a kid. Guess where? Yep, in a box in the basement! My grandma made this. To accessorize Caroline or the couch?

While digging through the basement I found a ton of teaching material! We had fun with a M&M Counting Book. A good reinforcement for shapes, colors, pattern, counting for Jackson, and adding, subtracting, multiplying for Caroline. Notice the monster trucks made a visit.

Here they are on a bit of a high afterward!! I hope the math skills sunk in as much as the sugar.

I don't make homemade treats very often so these were a big deal. My momma would be proud... Blueberry lemonade popsicles.

We had a power outage for about 12 hours after a big thunderstorm. I jokingly told my friends it was like I had post traumatic stress disorder when the lights first went out. My memories of 3 days without power this past winter rose like the mercury in our thermometer. I must have fired up every candle we owned. I’m sure our house would have been 5 degrees cooler if I had just gathered a flashlight or two. The next day Caro and Jacks kept us entertained with Caroline's dancing to Jackson's piano accompaniment.
Shocker of the month: My friend Melissa sent me flowers out of the blue for ZERO reason other than to love on me! When the delivery man came to the door before I even said hello I asked if he was sure he had the right address. Then I went on and on to Caroline about how sweet her daddy is! Even today it makes my heart smile. (Donald still counts as sweet too. He says he's taking notes from Melissa.)

The basement family room is under way! Sheetrock was completed today!

The last days of June were gogeous -- low hunmidity, tempts. in the 70s!! I savor having my quiet time in the morning on my deck before the kiddos get up. So thankful for this gorgeous weather!