I LOVE this time of year! and Christmas Card Photos


Until recently, I thought I had it all figured out...what type of picture I had planned to take for our Christmas card this year, that is.

But this past Wednesday, I got off work a little early (you know, to get the holidays going as early as possible), so Jim and I took Jake out to the georgeous campus of UA and played for nearly an hour in piles and piles of leaves. Naturally I had my camera handy, so I started snapping away. By the time all was said and done, I had pictures that have officially become my favorites that I've taken of him since...well...the last time I took pictures of him (probably a month or so ago...long time...I know).

I've decided to share a few with you here. But I won't share them all. Of course not, because I don't want to spoil the surprise of which ones will be on our Christmas card that you'll get to see soon enough.

Oh how I LOVE this time of year! Especially when it means I get to do something out of the ordinary, like play in the leaves and snap colorful photographs of my favorite little boy!

A New Phase


Since I became a mom, one of the most comforting words I have come to know really well is the word, phase. Phase....meaning, this won't last forever; this too will pass; I will in fact live through this!

When Jake was an infant, I remember my mom telling me that she could only give me concrete advice about one thing. And that was, "He will change." Boy was she right! He definitely changed, sometimes from one day to the next. And in some cases, one day was not too soon, like him outgrowing acid reflux. And, of course, there were changes that were not as welcomed like me being able to shop for hours while he slept peacefully in his pumpkin seat attached securely to his stroller. (By the way, did you catch all of the things in that sentence that are totally out the window?! Shop...hours...slept...attached...securely...stroller. Gone! Hasta LaVista! Phase is over!)

And now Jake is in a new phase. The "I don't like" phase. Or, as he would say, "I don't wike" phase. Some of the things he doesn't always "wike" are completely random such as a song, a noise, a movie (what he calls anything on TV or DVD), a toy car, a cup, a shirt, and most recently...a man. Gasp! Oh no he didn't! It was all good until the last one in that list. Until then, I have just somewhat ignored these little outbursts or just played it off like, "Okay. Well, which one do/would you like?" But now suddenly I feel a heart attack coming on as I imagine us being in public and him pointing to someone and saying, "I don't wike that man!" Needless to say, I immediately feel the need to get this under control. I'm not really sure that I can because of his age and ability to understand why he shouldn't always say what he feels. And I also don't think that he always means what he says at this age. By him saying, "I don't wike that man", he may not mean that he truly doesn't like him as a person, but maybe he doesn't like something he's doing or his tone of voice. And with his toys, he may truly like that toy but as an altrenative to something else he wants to play with more, he doesn't "like" that one in the moment.

So my approach after this recent moment of self expression was to talk to him and try to explain why we don't say that we don't like someone (i.e. it could hurt their feelings, God made that person and loves him/her just like he loves us, it's neither nice or kind to say something like that about someone). He seemed to get it at the time, but I'm not so convinced that the next time he doesn't like someone, he won't just come right out and say it.

So for now, I'm looking forward to the winds of change to blow through and practicing therapy on myself and repeating over and over:

This won't last forever...

This too will pass...

I will in fact live through this!



my post from a few weeks ago about our trip to All Fired Up?

Well, they recently gave me a call and guess what is now hanging on our Christmas tree?...

Yes! It's Jake's ornament that he made all by himself. I'm in Love with how it turned out, and it's now my favorite ornament on our tree!

By the way, this let's you know what Jim and I have been up to yet again tonight. We got busy putting some of the finishing touches on our tree after we got Jake to bed. We knew it would be best to wait for him to fall asleep because naturally he would be busy under our feet calling out repeatedly, "I help you!" Believe me, I would love to have his help. But in this case with so many breakable and fragile things, even I'm nervous about me touching them. I can't wait to see his reaction in the morning when he sees so many pretty things dangling from it now...especially his very own ornament.

I'm sure from now on, having him make an ornament for our tree will be a yearly tradition for as long as he enjoys it. I think it will be so amazing to see how his creativity grows through the years and to look back at each one and remember what a great time we had doing something so fun together.

But for now, I'll enjoy this one.

That'll be an easy thing to do, don't you think?

Short...but VERY Sweet

This post is going to be a short one just for me to share with you something Jake said very recently.

It was actually last night, and it started with us putting up our Christmas tree. I came home to wreaths all over the garage and Jim searching for suction cups to hang them on our outdoor windows, the attic ladder down and insulation in the hallway, and storage containers of ornaments and decorations all over the den.

We first started with what needed to be done on the outside and then moved to the inside. While Jim and I hung the wreaths, Jake played busily and rode his 4-wheeler in and out of the garage.

As we made our way inside, he watched us move the dining room table to a different area of the room to make a spot for the tree. After that, he got busy playing with his trains, so he wasn't really watching what we were doing.

After a little while, he walked back in. And when he saw the tree all put together and aglow with white lights, his eyes got big, his jaw dropped, and he said, "My Chwi-mas Twee! I so excited!"

It was priceless and melted me and Jim completely!

Our Future (Possibly) Crimson Tide Football Player


Is he the future of the Crimson Tide? Could he be? My thoughts on that subject will come later in this post, but for now I want to share with you how we spent our Sunday afternoon.

Yesterday, the weather conditions were not ideal for a day outside - especially not a day outside waiting in line with an almost three-year old. But when you're waiting in line to tour the Alabama Crimson Tide football players' locker room, to "play" football in Bryant-Denny Stadium, and to see Big Al (their mascot), weather conditions simply do not matter (at least they don't if you are Jim or Jake). These two will brave anything to get this close to Alabama football! So ideal weather conditions or not, yesterday was the big day (the much-awaited "Stadium Tour" put on by the Big Al Kid's Club), and we went for it.

We arrived 30 minutes prior to the persons in charge opening the gate, and to our surprise, there was only approximately 75-100 people in front of us. You might be thinking, "That's still a LOT of people!" But mind you, when I heard there would be concessions available, I was scared. I just knew we would be one of 500 people trying to see THE locker room and THE elephant. But fortunately, the line was manageable, and we were in it...safe and sure we would see what we had come to see.

As we waited in line, Jake played with his football as did most all of the other kids waiting in line. Watching him play definitely passed the time away for all of us, and before we knew it, the gates opened wide. We made our way inside, checked our names off the list, and went straight to the locker room.

Jake had so much fun (and so did we) looking at all the lockers and who each belonged to, thinking about players from the past, and sitting on their stools. Jake decided the stools were better used as drums. Of course, right? There's always a dual purpose for everything with a toddler.

As we left the locker room, Jim and Jake each took a turn hitting the "W I N" sign.

We then made our way out onto the field to have some fun out there while we waited for Big Al. And as you can see, Jim and Jake had a BLAST playing football together. Their faces were lit up with huges smiles practically the entire time!

After we all played for quite some time, Big Al made his appearance, and Jake was no less excited than he had been all morning when we told him who we were going to see that day. As we waited in line to give Big Al our hugs and "peanuts" (the pretend ones in Jake's pocket), Jake kept waving and saying "Hello" as he paced in and out of the line so he could get an idea of how close he was to him. He waited so patiently until it was his turn. But the first time around, he just wasn't sure of being in Big Al's arms all by himself. So Jim went with him for Round 1, but we all decided it was worth a Round 2 of meeting Big Al up close. So we waited in line a second time, and sure enough, Round 2 was a complete charm!

After we met Big Al, it was time to say goodbye to the stadium where the Tide rolls in and 90,000+ fans come to watch them play each week. I have had the opportunity several times to be on that football field - the first time actually when I was carrying Jake - and now I can add the locker room to my list. Which brings me back to the question that I posed earlier...will Jake be a future Alabama football player? I can't help but wonder and dream for him since he is still too young to have ambitions of his own. It's a question that I don't know the answer to yet. He may never even want to play football. And that's okay too. But whatever his desires are in life, I pray that he seeks God first because with Him all things are possible. So reach for the stars...and a football...as often as you'd like, Buddy! Daddy and I will be your #1 fans no matter what!

New Look


Yep, it's about to happen! My blog is about to get a new look.

Since I started my blog, I've just been using a "freebie" template that I have loved, and it has served me well. But I have known this one would be temporary as I seared for a more "custom" look. The new design isn't completely custom nor is it completely exclusive to my blog, but I still love it, and I'm super excited to show it to you. The designer, Leelou Blogs, is adding the photo of my choice and the name of my blog to the header. As soon as she has this completed, she'll send me the link, and believe me, I'll upload it right away.

So be looking for the new look! I can't wait!

Panic Mode


Tonight Jim and I experienced true Parent Panic Mode...one of those moments when the adrenalin was running, emotions were high, and fear and worry were written all over our faces.

Our night started with me leaving work to pick Jake up from school. I got there, and he was excited as usual to see me. I gathered his things, made a pit stop at the potty, and loaded him into the car. I then got a call from Jim saying he was leaving work, and he would meet me at the mall. We had talked about what our plans would be after work, so we had our left-over train tickets from the weekend in our possession ready to enjoy a night together at the mall. We met up around 5:15 and made our way to the food court. We had a great dinner together and then headed straight for the train. Jake went round and round the track for the longest, waving each time, and having great fun the entire ride.

After his train ride was over, we went to do some shopping. Jim decided to try on some pants and made his way to the dressing room. After a minute or two, he poked his head out and asked me if I could find him another size. I, of course, was happy to. Jake, at this point, was out of his stroller and was playing with a small car he brought home from school. When he heard Jim's voice, he immediately started running in the direction he thought it was coming from which was around the corner from where we were. I called for him to come back as I tried maneuvering the stroller to where I needed to look for another size in the pants Jim needed. By the time I got to where I thought Jake was (literally only moments), he had completely disappeared!! The sales lady was right there with me, and she had even been talking to Jake, asking him questions like what his name is, how old he is, etc. She, at first, asked me what size Jim needed and began to go look for the pants he wanted to try on. But when she realized that Jake was officially missing, she was running frantically with me looking for him. Jim then began to yell from the dressing room asking me if I had found him. I told him, "No! He's lost!" He quickly got dressed and came out to help us look. In the mean time, the sales lady called security to help us locate Jake. I decided to go back out into the mall and look near the fountains where he likes to throw money and at the Santa train station to see if he had gone back there. He was no where to be found at either of those places! I literally ran back to the department store we had been in, and when I got back, I saw Jim holding Jake. And can you guess what he had in his hand?...an Alabama football. He had been looking at all the footballs on display, and by golly if he didn't go find one he could reach and play with.

Jim nor I have ever experienced Jake being "lost" before tonight. It was one of the worst feelings I have ever felt in my life. And what was so shocking is that it happened in the blink of an eye!

After we made our way home and I had regained calm, I called Jake's Grandma to tell her what had happened. I asked her to help me find a specific verse in the Bible that talks about how God always knows where we are. As she read it to me, I felt the comfort of God wrap around me like a blanket. Hebrews 4:13 (NIV) says, "Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight...". Wow! How amazing is that? Nothing...that means no one or no thing...is hidden from His sight! What a comfort it was to know that the One who created Heaven and Earth knew exactly where my son was...that He was protecting him while we were searching to find him.

One of my favorite chapters in the Bible is Psalm 121 (NIV). It says:

I lift up my eyes to the hills—
where does my help come from?

My help comes from the LORD,
the Maker of heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;

indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.

The LORD watches over you—
the LORD is your shade at your right hand;

the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.

The LORD will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life;

the LORD will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.

Tonight, I am thankful. Thankful that Jake is sleeping soundly in his bed with his favorite blanket in hand, the smell of lotion on his skin, his music playing softly while I type these words. Thankful that tonight, Jake was found, but he really wasn't lost at all. He is never hidden from the One who created him. Oh what tears and joy this brings to me!



Since I start blogging not long ago, I've been wishing with all my might that I had started doing this at Jake's birth. It wasn't long before I started thinking...no, I wish I would have started when I got pregnant...no, maybe when we were trying to get pregnant...okay, you get the idea. So because "Back to the Future" is just a movie, and time travel does not really exist, I've come up with an idea. I've decided to start my own version of time travel on my blog. This will be me going back in time and sharing stories or pictures from "way back when", whether that be 3 months ago or three years ago. I'm really excited about it because this will give me a chance to reminisce and a chance to share with you how far we've come and the special (and maybe not so special) moments we've had along the way to get to where we are now.

So in honor of this new thing called "Rewind", I'll start by sharing some pictures of our first trip to the Grand Ole Pumpkin Patch when Jake was just 7 months old (just because it is still the season for giving thanks and pumpkins and turkey projects at school, etc.).

This was a first hand experience for all of us. Jim nor I had ever been to the Pumpkin Patch, and of course, neither had Jake. My family had been the weekend prior to us making our trip, so we sort of knew what to expect. We knew what activities there would be, but what we didn't realize was just how much fun we would actually have. We first spent some time looking around and taking lots of pictures. We were amazed at how many pumpkins there were literally everywhere! And what mommy could resist putting this cute face next to the cute pumpkins?

We then made our way over to wait for our turn to ride the tractor out to the pumpkin patch to pick out our pumpkins.

As we rode through the "forest" to get to the pumpkin patch, we saw lots of different "scenes" as if we were on a haunted hayride.

We finally arrived at the pumpkin patch, and what made it so great, was that it truly was a pumpkin patch. The pumpkins were actually grown right there! They were lying everywhere, already cut from their vines so they would be easy to pick up and take with us. We had so much fun as we wandered around looking for the perfect pumpkin for each of us. Jim and I took turns carrying Jake, carrying pumpkins, and carrying the camera.

After we had chosen our pumpkins and made our way back to the main area, we headed straight for the petting zoo which Jake absolutely LOVED! He wanted to touch, pet, and help feed every goat, sheep, and pig available to him. Jim and I both got so many laughs at watching his face light up with joy as they came right up to the fences. I think by far this was Jake's favorite part of our day!

After we left the petting zoo, we took advantage of a few more photo opportunities and then ended our day. We all had such a great time...so great that now we have made it a family tradition to visit a pumpkin patch every year to celebrate the beginning of our favorite time of year.

And now, I leave you with a few of my absolute favorite photos from our day...Enjoy!



One day last week, Jake brought home a sandwich bag with six small acorns inside of it. Since the beginning of October, "Fall" has been the theme with all things colored orange, brown, yellow, and red with talk of pumpkins, turkeys, and giving thanks. With this being the case, my guess is he, his teachers, and classmates all took a little "field trip" and ventured out into the great outdoors to see what they could find as it related to Fall.

Since the acorns have arrived at our house, they have been a topic of conversation and play. They have been thrown, eaten (not really, of course), hidden, and rolled back and forth like little balls, all to ultimately return to their home in the sandwich bag.

Yesterday, they happened to come with us while we spent some time outside, but this time the game was a little different.

Jake decided he would put them all in his shoe and transfer them back and forth. This went on and on until he decided it was more fun to throw them after all. I capitalized on the opportunity, and we decided it would be best to let the acorns return to their home outside where they belonged. So we all said our last goodbyes, and Jake had fun throwing each one "away". I'm happy to say the acorns have found their home outside once again...but not without a picture for memories sake...of course not!

Fifth Disease


Has anyone else ever really heard of this before...or at least until you had personal experience with it? I, for one, have not. I never remember having this as a kid, nor do I remember my sister having it. Fifth disease was completely unknown to me...until last week.

It all began when a co-worker started talking about her daughter having "Fifth's". She described all of the symptons and how her daughter had each one, but she had no idea what it they all added up to. She talked about how she complained of a sore throat, but that's really nothing unusual. Then she noticed she had red, rosy cheeks on a particular afternoon, but chalked it up to her playing outside in the nippy air. In the mean time, she noticed a classmate of her's, and she had rosy cheeks. My coworker asked her why her cheeks were so red...was she feeling okay, and the little girl replied that her mom said she has Fifth's Disease. One day Lauren had even complained with having itchy arms, but she was certain it was the sweater she was wearing that day. All of this still didn't put two and two together until Lauren broke out into...gasp...THE RASH! She knew then exactly what is was because she had read up on it when her daughter's classmate told her about it.

All of this brings me to last week. Remembering back to last Saturday...you know, our most perfect day when we took pictures on the railroad tracks...I recall that Jake had very red cheeks when we got to his grandma's. I made mention of it, but went on thinking he may have just been warm while riding in the car. One afternoon after school, Jim commented about him having rosy cheeks, but we both figured it must have been because he went outside that day. Moving ahead to Thursday, I sent him in short sleeves thinking it was going to be warmer than it actually ended up being which made me think the rash he had on his arms was just chapped skin from the cold. This brings me to Friday morning, and as I'm listening to my co-worker tell me this story about her daughter having Fifth's Disease, I realize then that this is possibly what he has. I'm sure my eyes got bigger and bigger as she talked, and by the end of our conversation, I told her to be assured she's not the only one who has never heard of this and "let it go" because they didn't know what it was. I was right there with her having never heard of or having seen this before until I had personal experience with it.

As soon as I saw Jake Friday evening, I immediately took off his shirt, and I got complete confirmation that he, too, has Fifth's Disease. According to a medical sight I read, he is now uncontagious because he has broken out into the rash. Apprently, it is contagious up until then. The rash could last several days or longer and may get worse before it gets better. In fact, it is now progressing as the website described and has moved to his legs. We don't plan to make a trip to the doctor's office since it seems there is nothing much that can be done for it because it is viral. He also seems to have no complications from it and is now beyond the contagious stage. It looks like now all is we have to do it wait out the rash portion of it.

Once again, I have learned something I never knew before. Oh the joys of "mommy-hood"! There is truly never a dull moment!



Tonight it was storytime for Jake and I. Once dinner was behind us, and he had had his bath and was ready for bed, I decided to let him choose several books he wanted to read, we curled up in his bed together, and I read each one aloud as he followed along talking about things on each page.

One of the books he chose is called "That's Not My Tractor!" It's one of those touch-and-feel books with all different sorts of surfaces...smooth, shiny, scratchy, etc. We had so much fun reading this one, especially when we got to the part where it says, "That's not my Tractor! It's seat is too scratchy!", and of course the tractor has a red, scratchy (velcro) seat. We pretended the scratchy seat on the tractor was hurting us, and the mouse sitting on the back of the tractor with his hands over his mouth was gasping because we had hurt ourselves. We both laughed and laughed at each other as we took turns rubbing our fingers on the scratchy seat and saying, "Ouchy!"

They say laughter is medicine for the soul, and when I'm sharing it with Jake, it's even more than that. I can listen to the sound of it, and it makes me laugh right along with him. It's truly contagious, and so is he. Yes, our storytime, was the perfect end to what turned out to be a really great day. Thank you, Sweet Boy, for sharing your day and your giggles with me. YOU are medicine for my soul!



I treated myself!

I treated myself to a long, quiet bath and some "me" time.

I only have two things to say about this...I REALLY needed it, and "Thank You!" Dora the Explorer. For whatever reason, Jake LOVES Dora the Explorer. Yes, he really does. As he would say, "Doh-wuh" is truly one of his favorites. He stays glued to the TV every minute her program is on. Nevermind that "Go Diego Go!" is the boy version of her show...nope...it's all about "Doh-wuh" in Jake's world. But whether it's Dora or Deigo he likes, I approve of him watching either show, so I'm happy to let him spend a little time in front of the TV. After all, it buys me some time to wash dishes or catch up on laundry or lay out his clothes for the next day.

But not tonight!

Tonight I treated myself! Truly I did!

Ahhhhh...I feel so much better. Now if I can just get a great night's sleep, I can tackle tomorrow in better spirits and with more energy than I'm left with at this very moment.

Livin' for the Weekends!

This past weekend was absolutely no less than GREAT!

We started out with a nice quiet evening at home Friday night. Jim and I watched a movie after Jake was settled in to bed. The movie wasn't so great, but the time we got to spend together totally made up for it.

On Saturday, Jim had to spend his day on campus (as he normally does when Alabama is playing football on their home turf) taking responsibility for tailgating activities with the cadets and walking them into the stadium for them to present the colors before kickoff. So Jake and I were left here with no plans at all. We quickly decided to get in the car and go to Grandma's...why not, right? The weather was perfect, and the Mistletoe Market in Prattville was calling my name. We got ready as speedy as we could and took off on our hour and a half drive. We got to my parent's house around 10am, and, first things first, we made our way to a set of railroad tracks five minutes from their house and had a quick photo session. I had been wanting to do these types of pictures of him for quite a while, and Saturday was the perfect day. Grandma came along with us, and even she had fun. Here's how a few of them turned out...

After we took pictures, Grandma, Jake and I loaded ourselves into the car, and headed into Prattville. We first had lunch at a pizza buffet (yummy), then went to the book store to let Jake play while we shopped. While we were there, we met up with my sister and niece which helped me finish up the last of my Christmas shopping (yes, I am completely done other than putting together a photo book for my mom of our Mother's Day beach trip that we took this past May). I only had one last thing I needed to get for my niece, and my sister helped me make just the right choice.

Once we left the book store, we made one more stop at Target, and then we finally arrived at the Mistletoe Market. I never even really buy that much at those things, but I LOVE to look at all the different booths and see such a huge variety of things under one roof. I usually end up buying something I ordinarily wouldn't (like the new Vera Bradley change purse I got) which, for whatever reason, makes me feel warm and fuzzy.

After we had finished doing our shopping there, we walked across the street to a local park and spent about half an hour letting Jake and Emily play and feed the ducks. It was definitely the perfect end to a great outing with my family.

Jake and I then took Grandma home, and we made our way back to Tuscaloosa. We wanted to make it home before daylight, but most of all, we wanted to make it home while the football game was still being played to avoid huge amounts of traffic. After all, Highway 82 is called the "Highway to Heaven" by some, so it is very well traveled, especially during football season. And we did make it home...just in time to see the last quarter of a very great ballgame.

On Sunday, we spent lots and lots of time outdoors. Jim cut grass for what should be the last time this year. We also did lots of other small project outside while we had the opportunity. That afternoon, I had a photo shoot with one of my coworkers, Kelly, and her husband, Terry. I enjoyed seeing her outside of work and also meeting her husband who I did not know until Sunday. We all had a great time together, and their pictures turned out great.

All in all, it was a great weekend. Our spur of the moment trip to Jake's Grandma's, shopping with my favorite shopping buddies, a win for the Crimson Tide, and a successful photo shoot was just perfect! Yep, it was one of the best weekends by far!

The best birthday gift...


I could ever have received was...

Jake singing Happy Birthday to me...of course! Which he did quite well, I must add! I even got it on video, so I can look back any time I want and see my sweet boy singing his heart out to the tune of "Happy Birthday".

In conjunction with Jake's wonderful vocals, I also enjoyed Krispy Kreme doughnuts and peanut butter dessert brought in to my surprise by my coworkers (yes, they are amazing), some new accessories to add to my camera bag (ahhhhhh), a trip to one of my favorite places...the mall, phone calls and cards from home, birthday wishes out the ying yang, and dinner with my two favorite people in the world; I've truly had one of the best birthdays I can remember! I'm definitely off to a great year in the making!

Happy Birthday to Me!


Yes, today is the day...my Birthday. Thirty-three years ago today, my mom gave birth to me at a hospital in Montgomery, Alabama at 2:35 in the afternoon. Words can't fully express what days like today mean to me. I'm completely overwhelmed with appreciation, love, friends and family. As I think about what this past year has meant to me and the amazing possibility the coming year holds, I also think about something and someone else. On this day, my Birth Day, I can't help but think of my mom and what today was like for her exactly 33 years ago. I imagine what she was thinking, what she was feeling, and what was probably going on around her. I think about these things and about her, because now I am a mommy. I fully understand now why today is as much of a celebration for her as it for me. Today is the day we both celebrate my life. Today, she is doing the same thing I do as I celebrate each of Jake's birthdays; she is reflecting, remembering, reliving the day her baby entered the world and the years gone by ever since. I'm glad that after 33 years, I'm still her "baby", and most of all, I'm glad she's the one I call "Mom". Thank you, Mom, for your love, for your sacrifice, and for giving me more reasons to be thankful than I can count on this birthday and every birthday.

One Cool Dude...or Cat!


Jake has recently become obsessed with wearing his sunglasses...inside, outside, in the car. You name the place...he wants to wear his "shades". He loves to put them on and say, "I can't see you!", and play sort of a peek-a-boo game. This has been going on for about a week now, but tonight was a little bit different. I was in his bathroom straightening up after his bath when I heard him say, "I a coooool cat, Mommy!" I turned to look, and there he was wearing his shades. It definitely put a huge smile on my face and gave me the comedy relief that I needed for the day. And I think we all know who is responsible for teaching him that one! So here's to my coooool cat...Thank you, Baby, for making mommy smile today! I love you more than you'll ever know!

Before We Say Goodnight


Before we say "Goodnight!" each night, we have made it a ritual in our house to read a devotion and say a prayer with Jake. At the end of every day as we're getting ready to settle down for the night, Jake is quick to say, "Read my votion"...so that's just what we do. And believe me, if there's a night when we've let bedtime come later than normal, and we're tired, Jake still won't let a night go by without reading our "votion". The book that we read from is called Blessings Every Day by little blessings. This was actually a gift from his Grandma, and we LOVE it! It's designed especially for small children with great illustrations and wonderful lessons about being a friend, what to pray for, being thankful, etc. Even I look forward to another day and another devotion. Most of all, I know I'm spending the best minutes of Jake's day with him talking about the most important thing he'll ever learn about...God.

All Fired Up!


Jake and I got all fired up at "All Fired Up" this past week (about Christmas...what else?). We went to our local pottery painting place and got a head start on Christmas gifts and something special for our Christmas three this year.

We met Laura, one of the awesome employees who work there. She and I looked through books to find the perfect design and picked out paint colors while Jake colored at the small table they have just for kids.

We first started with a Christmas plate for my mom. Laura did a super job getting the perfect handprint right in the center of the plate!

I then let Jake paint his very own ornament to hang on our tree this year. Laura gave him a WHOLE bunch of red and green paint, and he covered it from end to end. I think he used every paint brush provided to us in the process. He definitely had loads of fun, and so did I watching him create his masterpiece.

All in all, it was a great night of fun! Our tree is sure to look the best it ever has, and Grandma is most definitely going to love the special give her baby boy has made just for her!