1, 2...10


On Wednesday, Parker came him with a runny nose and woke up with it again Thursday morning.  By the time I picked him up that afternoon, he was coughing too, and I got the whole, "I don't think he feels too good." speech from Sarah.  After he spent part of the night coughing, I kept him home yesterday, made an appointment for him to see our pediatrician, and he found one infected (left) ear.

Antibiotics...1 day and counting (to ten).

put your hands up


Over the past week and a half, I've slightly lost my crap.  I'm in a major funk; I've been so negative and ranting about making some major changes.  I wonder if I thew my hands up and screamed (like so) it would make me feel better - get me back to being me.

Oh he definitelty thinks his booster seat is the best seat in the house (He'll even walk over to it and pat the seat while he waits for me to sit him there when I finish putting his dinner together.), but when he's done, he. is. done. 

By the way, his new fave snack is blueberries.  Jim and Jake made a pit stop at Publix on the way home from the pool on Sunday afternoon and brought home a clear, plastic box of them.  He hasn't been able to eat "just one" since.

Poolside (where we've been)


Out of the past two weekends, we've spent three out of four days at the pool to try and give Jake a ton of practice at what he learned in swimming lessons.

We've been having him wear a little Superman life vest to keep him above water while he worked his arms and legs.

Yesterday, he asked if he could take it off and do some real swimming without it, and he did awesome.

I think once he gets a little more strength and stamina, he won't need a vest at all.

Way to go, Buddy!  We are crazy proud of you! (Even Parker - he gave his big bro a hug yesterday when he saw us do the same after Jake made that first jump and long stretch of no-vest swimming half-way across the pool.  Totally priceless!)

Most Popular


Our bird feeder really is the most popular thing in our backyard.  And not just with the birds but Jake too.  The night we brought it home, waiting to hang it up the next morning was not an option.  He was waaaay too excited, so he and Jim hung it out there by the light of the moon and our spotlights.

Weeks later, the birds are eating it up, and so is Jake.  He still goes nuts when he sees them putting it away or waiting along the top of our fence for their turn when all the little ledges are taken.

a little bit of chalk and a whole lot of sidewalk


Before they "helped" Jim wash his truck on Father's Day, we broke out the box of sidewalk chalk so they could make some "art" in the driveway.

Jake drew a bunch of fish and some of his Star Wars character toys, and Parker made the best chicken scratches ever and taste tested the blue stick to see if it might be as good as the cheese puffs he was still wearing on his face from dinner.  At this point, the box was looking pretty good to him too.   

He's definitely that kid that'll try anything at least once.  Hel-lo trouble!!

from Father's Day


I'm really not sure who had a better day...........


or him.

Reason 1001 why we think he's an amazing, incredible, awesome dad:  They're his pride and joy.  And they know it.

Love you, Babe!  I hope your day was as great as your smile said it was.  

with love and scotch tape


This past Sunday I took the little boys with me to my parent's for the day to have a little "family reunion" with pretty much every living relative on my mom's side of the fam.

When we got to there, Jake had a gift waiting for him on the kitchen counter from my niece, Emily.  She's a fan, like Jake is, of playing the claw? machine at various stores, and this was one of her winnings from the one at K-mart.

He not only came with a hole in his tummy that turns him into a puppet, but a green silly band and a handwritten note:  From. Em....to. to. Jake  - all secured with scotch tape, of course.

four wheelin'


Oh my word they had the best time doing this!  

We figured Parker was ready since for a few weeks now he's been climbing on and off with no help and holding on to the handlebars like he's actually going somewhere.

So we gave them a practice run in the garage to see if they could both hold on and stay on while Jake steered and gave it the pedal power to make it go before we let them race around our side yard.

Jake got so tickled at Parker trying to change the gears and turn the key and wheels, and when Jim took the safety off so they could ride in second gear and not just first, he couldn't stop giggling.


Michelle Duggar on Having 19 Kids and Zero Expectations


One of the best and most therapeutic things I've learned as a mom is to let go of my expectations.  I've never really had any for things like their career paths (I believe with all of my heart they were created by God for a purpose.  My prayer is they seek and find what that purpose is and fulfill it.  I pray they love Him with all of their hearts, souls, and minds and experience real joy - whatever else it is in this life that brings them that.) or even in some ways their behavior (After all, they have minds of their own and are who they are.  And then there's developmental factors thrown in too.). 

But when I'd make plans, and they fell through.........I'd lose it.  And not so much as when Jake was Parker's age and younger as more recently.  I think it's because I knew my time with them was much more limited which made it that much more valuable.  So when I'd plan something for us to do as a family or ask for a few hours of my mom's time to watch the little boys while Jim and I went out for dinner, and those things for one reason or another didn't happen, the disappointment I experienced was overwhelming.  Not.  Good. 

So I let it all go and chose to expect only the unexpected.  It's working like magic.

I absolutely love what Michelle Duggar said about this.  I read this recently and can't help but share....          

"One of the things Jim Bob and I realized early on in our relationship was the idea that we have expectations that we sometimes can't live up to.  We all have ideas about what we expect from our loved ones, and this is something Brother Elmore, who is our preacher and pastor at our church has talked a lot about.

As a mom I could have an expectation of a clean house (or a semi-clean house) so I can at least walk down the hallway without tripping over toys, or the expectation of a good night's sleep of eight hours.  Whatever those expectations are, our pastor has explained, may be way up here in the clouds, but our actual reality may be down here with what we're dealing with, and everything in between is frustration.  And you can find yourself getting very angry and put out about the way your life is because you've got all these expectations of how you thought it was going to be, or what it was like when you were growing up.

When we realized early in our marriage that we needed to give those expectations to God -- we needed to yeild our right to a clean house, to a full night's sleep, to whatever it is that we think we deserve or should have -- and say, "Lord, I'm not going to have these higher expectations that may not ever actually get reached.  I'm going to give this to you, Lord, and if you allow anything to happen, that's good.  I'm going to praise you, and I'm going to be grateful and yield my expectations to you."

And here's what I think happens if we don't do this and we don't learn this lesson in our relationships:  We're going to withhold praise, and we won't be able to praise our spouse or our children because they're never going to meet our expectations.  We're always going to have this attitude toward them that "You're irritating me.  You are a frustration in my life.  You are causing grief."  So we need to be able to set aside ourselves and our expectations.

And yielding our expectations doesn't mean we don't need to make goals.  Setting goals and making plans is different.  But giving up expectations gives us a grateful spirit -- we're not discontent with where we are in life.  And we're not always grumbling and complaining about the way things should be -- it really does create a spirit of gratefulness in our heart."

Swimming 101


This week Jake started something new - swimming lessons.

He took them over a year ago every Saturday for a month. But it was cold out - which means we couldn't continue to work with him - and we barely made it to the pool all Summer.

Fast foward to now, and he's still not at a skill level where I would say he really, really knows how to swim.

The session he's in right now is Monday through Thursday for two weeks straight.  We thought consistency would be the best thing, along with warm enough temps outside to be able to give him some practice on the weekends.

He totally reminds me of me at his age...he absolutely loves, loves, loves the water.

And Parker - well, he just loves eating his snacks while we watch Brother swim.

What he doesn't love is the fact that he can't get in with him or reach the shark? dolphin? that hangs from the ceiling close to where we always sit.  He points, reaches, and squeals, I have to say "No", and then he freaks out.  

I'll just be glad when we have a real swimmer on our hands, and I don't have to freak out about him being near big pools of water.

A sucker at the end of every class....YUM!!!!!!

Four's Company


Summer Camp is officially in for Jake as of yesterday, and his drop-off spot at his school is now the gym versus the lunchroom (which has completely rocked his little world...He loves it!).

When Jim dropped him off this morning, they walked in to a blanket spread on the floor with three little girls sitting on top of it.

They spotted my baby, and one of them (Blakeney, I think) said, "Jake, we're having a picnic!  And you can come."

"If you want to know how much I love you, count the waves." Author Unknown


Recently Jim and I took a mini-vacation, just the two of us.  We borrowed the TLC of my parents, left the little boys for a weekend, and drove down to the beach.  When we lived less than three hours away, we made the same weekend trip at least once (sometimes twice) a month from April through September.  We'd stay on base for less than forty bucks a night, eat real cheap, and fill our floorboards with sand from Friday night to Sunday afternoon. 

This trip we thought we'd do something we've never done before - we took a cruise out to Shell Island.

We saw pelicans protecting their nests...

fed potato chips to seagulls from the back of our boat...

and pulled up close to St. Andrews State Park to watch the dolphins.   

I went crazy!  Absolutely crazy!

And I'm pretty much crazy about him. 

Our two days of just two was much needed; but to say we definitely missed the twenty toes we made sitting next to us in the sand would be an understatement - a case of the wishing-they-were-here's hit us just after dinner that first night.  Always right?  The great news is going to their grandparents' is a little mini vacation of their own.  Getting to eat a hot dog bun and a pack of gummy snacks for breakfast just because you asked for it?...they barely knew we were gone at all.