Monday, May 31, 2010

God Bless The USA

Today, I am thankful for all the servicemen and women, past and present that have served to make this our great country. I am humbled to be surrounded daily with present day heroes. They live in my neighborhood, next door and in my own house. I am thankful for Jason's 3 safe returns from foreign wars and extremely thankful for the comrades that kept him safe. These men and women will have my everlasting respect. I feel lucky to have lived this life to show me how truly thankful I should be. Some people in this "Army Family" of ours will celebrate the memory of a loved one today who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.


The photo above is very special to me. It is a flight to remember fallen comrade CPT Kimberly Hampton during Jason's 1st deployment to Iraq. He is flying the aircraft that falls off to the right to commemorate the loss in the unit. It is called the missing man formation.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

It's MY party! (well, the 1st of 3 anyway!)

Around here we like to celebrate birthday week. I hadn't planned on doing anything special for Lincoln's 1st birthday until we got to Alabama. Then I thought about Jackson, he'd be sad if we did nothing. He might not even believe me if there was no party. And then there are all of our friends that will be leaving this summer and I thought what better way to get to see some of them. So we decided, a simple sandwhich, cupcake and park party.
We chose all our friends favorite new park, Butner Park. It has a nice spongy bottom for "don't wanna walk yet" crawlers too. We had a great 2 hours of play and cupcakes. I think an entire box of baby wipes(remind me to blog about the infinite uses of baby wipes) was used during the party. Thanks to all our friends(Caroline & Annabelle, Gannon, Gavin, Landon, Reed & Jenna) for making this day special for Lincoln!

Lincoln turns ONE!

Lincoln is ONE! It's hard to believe THIS was his story just one year ago. It was my first year of blogging and I'm so happy to have those memories captured forever. As always, Thanks to Nana for the one year photo shooot in downtown fayetteville.

Happy Birthday to my crawling, clingy, crybaby boy! I love you, Lincoln.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

It's the little things

Me: This week as I'm cleaning house and putting away laundry, I saw that Jason had brought his green uniform home and I hung it in the closet. You see, a new army "thing" is to have you #1. Fill out this awful blue book with all the "what to do IF..." you know all the lovely last wishes expressed. #2. Turn in your green uniform with all the appropriate medals and patches attached. That way they'll be ready for the "what IF...". Yeah, depressing. So, you can imagine the relief I felt to hang that uniform back in the closet...FOREVER! The little things.

Lincoln: He has taken a single half step towards us in a meek attempt at walking. I'm not rushing these things.

He is going to be TROUBLE! He likes to climb on chairs and stand up on them. He's not afraid. He highly dislikes the gym where I go to run on the treadmill. So, while I'm in there, he's in the childcare room crying. He really got my number recently when he decided to climb on the little chairs in the room. He figured out that he could climb up, and I'd come in and pull him down. After a few times, he systematically climed up on the chair, stood up and pointed his fat little finger at me right through the glass window where I was running. He was taunting me to come and get him.

This week for the first time, I walked into the kitchen and Lincoln pointed at me and said "Ma-Ma!" Yes, I was excited. He did it so deliberately. The little things.

Jackson: He finished his T-ball season this week. They recieved a trophy for playing. A trophy that WE pay for. Everyone gets one and no one could have been more excited about it than Jackson. He really thinks it is him on the top of the golden plastic stick. He comments on his hat and how his name is on front. Last night, he brought it to us from his room and told us that while he was asleep we could look at it and then before we went to bed, we should "sneak" it back into his room. Twelve times after he got up to check on it, Jason told him to go ahead and take it back to his room and go to bed. A trophy...the little things.

Jackson likes to talk about God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. He told us last week after church, that the Holy Sprit is the wind. I guess that's about as close as a 4 year old can comprehend.
He likes to tell us about what he knows about heaven. He talks about the golden road there and also says there are mudholes of every different color! But when Jason asked him other questions about what heaven looks like, he calmly said "Nobody really knows yet."
He was discussing the hierarchy of Jesus being in charge of us. He says I'm in charge of him, he's in charge of Lincoln and Jesus is in charge of all of us. He thought about it for a minute and said "Jesus must be 5." I guess any age older than him is just OLD.

We were in the car talking about different dinosaurs we know of and he said one of them weighed 100 pounds! Sadly, I confessed that I weighed MORE than 100 pounds and he said, "Wow, that's A LOT!"
I acted sad and said, "I thought I was a skinny mom."
He said, "You're not skinny,mom, but you're pretty and I love you."
The little things.

(a few more from Jackson, he's the talker in the family)
He was playing with a little people Noah's Ark set on his bed and the girl figurine fell between the bed and the wall and he said, "Oh, No! We lost Ms. Jesus!"

At sonic, we were ordering happy hour drinks and he told me he wanted Coke-a-lola. This is straight from my dad who calls soda Coke-a-cola, rather than just coke.

Discussing the alphabet before his daddy returned from Afghanistan I asked him what things start with letters.
The letter was H.
His answer H-h-h.....Hodgie!
The letter was W.
His answer W-w-w...WAR!
Yep, he's an army brat!

While making a tent with blankets in my bathroom recently, I finished making it including specifying where the "door" was. Then he asked me where the front porch was! Only my little Alabama boy would think even his tent needs a front porch.

Jackson got into a little trouble at his hourly care center for an incident with another little boy. He NEVER gets into trouble but I walked in and caught him in the middle of the argument. So, I made him call his daddy and tell him what happened. He said he would get a spanking when daddy got home from work. He cried while he told him. When they got off the phone, I asked him what daddy said. He said that he would spank him when he got home. Then he was still sniffling and said, "Will you go ahead and spank me when we get home? Cause you're spankings don't hurt and daddy's do."

Jason: He doesn't like me blogging about his little things. He finds it insulting! Ha.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

My first Wordless Wednesday!

Just to clarify: This is a "baby monster dragon".

Married Again!

Last weekend we went to a marriage retreat in Myrtle Beach, paid for by the army Chaplains corp! We were provided, hotel, meals, and childcare for the sessions. We also had free family time. In the intro session, we played a little newlywed game. Jason and I were one of the 4 couple contestants.
My Questions about him:
#1. Jason's high school peers would have voted him most likely to _____________.

#2. If Jason were a superhero, would he be the "good guy" or the "bad guy"?

#3. What would Jason say is his best physical attribute?

My Answers:
#3. ABS

His Answers:
#1. "Um, I don't know....Party?"
#2. Bad Guy
#3. Ummm, my butt? (knowing full well, I was going to say Abs but he didn't want to sound
like he thought his abs were good.)

My questions and answers don't even matter because he didn't not get even one of them remotely right. It was an exercise to show the differences in the way men and women listen to each other.

At the end of the weekend, we had a vow renewal service. It was very informal but he thought it was important to renew our vows. It was a beach affair and we did it as a group. It was nice to make the promise again to spend forever together.

The walk from our condo had a family of ducks that Jackson chased every time we passed by. By the end of the weekend, I think the ducks had caught on and started chasing him instead.
Scuba Steve is about to hit the water park during family time. Lucky for us, they provided some extra childcare that happened to coincide with Lincoln's nap.

He did get to check out the sand in the afternoon. He liked the sand and the toys but the ocean was still a little scary. It kept coming up after him and he didn't like that.

You might wonder if that is Jackson or Jason in a retro picture 26 years ago. Man, those 2 are just alike!

This was the water park at our hotel. It was nice and pretty fun. I'm more a fan of the lazy river behind it. I guess the name says it all.

Strawberry Fields Forever

This year marks our 4th year to pick strawberries. We have been picking them since we discovered their deliciousness when Jackson was 5 months old. Now Jackson joins me in picking the biggest ones. All for the purpose of covering them in chocolate, making them into pies or freezing them for future smoothies all summer. Below is a strawberry picking adventure from 2007.

Lincoln likes to double fist most of his food. Strawberries are no exception.
This is one boy, on a mission.
Paw-Paw and Nana were here to join us this year. Hence all the great pictures! Did I ever mention how lucky I feel to have a mom as a photographer?

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Forever and ever, Amen

I've been in a week long search for the perfect gift. What do you get someone who deserves everything but has it, could buy it or doesn't need it?
All of the traditional gifts are out. She MAKES my photographs, so pictures are out. She arranges MY flowers, so flowers are out. Sure, I've already given her what she probably had ME for...grandchildren but it just doesn't seem like enough. How can you say a proper thank you to the person who gave you life?

She brought me into this world with the intention of staying home to be my mother. She never thought "oh, I'll work and put her in daycare." She learned to smock so that she could dress me in the latest kid fashions and boy did that carry over to my fashion sense! Before I could remember life as an only child, she gave birth to my forever best friend in the form of a sister!
She made our childhood, enriching, exciting and memorable. She was PTO mom, homeroom mom, VBS/Sunday School teacher, and field trip mom. She was always present at every event that parents could be involved in. She was THE one, that made sure we were in church from the time we were born.
When we needed our space to develop our own identity, she had the foresight that we were gonna be college girls one day and it would take some funding! She went back to school when we were independent enough so that she could help provide us a great college education. Further teaching us the value of an education, she became a teacher to others and gained her Masters.
She was encouraging in high school for being involved and how it would effect my future. She was also good at laying down my moral foundation and always offering great advice. She led me by showing me what Christ would want for me. Now, that's not to say that I TOOK her good advice all the time. And each time I didn't, I failed. Something I've learned in my last 30 years. Momma is ALWAYS right!
Sure, sure. We went through our years when I'm sure I said I'd never grow up to be like her, or I didn't want her to be my mom. Ashamedly, I think we all go through those years. I'm just glad we came through them and I realized that she was ON my side and one day, I'd hope to be just like her.
She was my biggest cheerleader in college. She helped me financially, and in my educational pursuits. And even with her reservations, she was accepting of my choice in marrying a military guy living in NEW YORK at the time.
She helped me plan every single detail of my dream wedding. It was everything I ever hoped it would be and it was all thanks to her. I'm pretty sure, I attained the bridezilla term a few times but she helped me keep it together.
I'd be a lot richer if I had a penny for every mile they have driven up to NC for me. I can't even count the trips they have made.
She has endured 3 deployments right along with me. At times, I think they may have been just as stressful on her because she wasn't only worried about her son-in-law at war, but worried about the daughter that loved him too.
It was 5 years ago on mother's day that I gave her a card with what we now know was the best present I could have ever given her. It told her I was going to be making her a Nana in December.
She was there when I became a mother myself. She was the delivery coach and photographer. She knew EXACTLY what to do and made it immensely easier on me. I was happy to be in Alabama and going back to her house with my first born son for the holidays.
She taught me how to feed and bathe my own son while also adhering to my method of sleep training for him. She taught me to parent and respected my own parenting right!
When I became a mother for the second time, she became a Nana for the second time. She went above and beyond mother when she was birthing coach, photographer, and Internet liaison for Jason to see his second son born. I was not able to talk to him like I thought I would be able to (um, I was giving birth) so she made sure he was up to date. We lived there for the summer while I learned to mother 2 children and I don't think I could have made it those months without her. She gladly did the 3 or 5am feedings while I slept. She also got up with Linc so that I could start running again and loose the baby weight in record time for me.

And after all that, the buck doesn't stop there. She is continually my seamstress, making/fixing things for me and the kids. She is my photographer. Can you imagine the amount of money Jason would be out if I didn't have her? She is my decorator/floral arranger. She's helped arrange most of the decor in my house. She's my unpaid babysitter. She drove up to NC on Mother's day weekend to photograph my family AND babysit while Jason and I spent the day in Raleigh and went to a concert that night. She will also watch my kids while Jason and I go to Mexico for a week this summer, ALONE!
Her Christian example has been consistent AND ever growing. When God said, "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6" she defiantly did her part. She gave me the greatest gift of living life as a Godly woman. She was always a wife to my father teaching me to be a wife first. She was always a Godly mother, making sure I knew the reasons her actions was love. She taught me by showing me the love of Christ and made sure I knew Him. She has always told me that this is the best gift I can give my own children.
What I do know is there is no gift worthy of all that she has given me. I will forever be indebted to her. But I can say: I will love her, forever and ever, AMEN!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Google It

On the way to my MOPS meeting on Wednesday, I was having a conversation about how different Jason and I were in the aspect of getting out the door in the morning. I prefer to have the kitchen spotless, including coffee made for the following day, beds made and laundry started. I also try to put up my cosmetics and hang my towel along with tidying the kids rooms/clothing.
Jason, well, as I was discussing on the phone, he takes the "Tazmanian Devil" approach.

As always, Jackson was listening to my conversation and when it was over, he asked me...

"Mom, what is the 'mania devil?"

"Oh, the Tazmanian Devil?"

"Yeah, the manian devil"

" Well, to be quite honest, Jackson, I don't know exactly what it really is"

Then, Jackson says to me...

"Well, Google It then"

Yep, my 4 year old has made it official, Google is now a verb. Definition by Jackson's dictionary.

Google-v. (def.) to look up on the computer.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

If the bowl fits...wear it?

Lincoln LOVES to play in the tupperware cabinet. What kid doesn't love to scatter bowls and lids all over the kitchen and leave them? He recently learned that the bowls fit nicely on his HEAD!

Come to think of it, Jackson also liked to put bowls on his head! About seven months seperate their ages in these photos.

Oh boy! I'm really in for it aren't I? These two are little clones of their daddy already. Good thing digital photos have dates ingrained in them. I might never know which is which.




No, wait...PEEK



Now I know I'm in for it. I keep thinking "Double, Double Toil and TROUBLE !

Play ball....or pick dandylions

Jackson is finally old enough to play T-ball. This was his first offical game. We missed the first one because it was well, only the most important day of the whole year(the day daddy came home). He looked cute in his uniform and his first hit was a solid base hit.
He ran to first without hesitation. He even knew to toss the bat.
He took second like a champ! But then there lies the problem. On second base, apparently, there was another little boy, on the other team that he found to conversate with. They were having a nice little chat about um, I don't know, monkey joes, snacks afterward or all the dandylions they could be picking in the outfield. As they continued the conversation, the guy now on first approached second base and there Jackson stood. Now, they were sharing the base which isn't legal even in T-ball! So with alot of encouraging, Jackson snapped out of it and ran to third base.
There he found someone new to talk to. His coach. She was inside the coaches box and he wanted to know what the chalk was for on the ground marking the field. Leave it to MY son to find an adult to talk to even in the middle of his T-ball game.
Now, he's ready to take home plate!
I was too far away to get any pics of the outfielders. I was also too busy yelling at Jackson to GET UP! and PAY ATTENTION! Yeah, yeah, I know, it's T-ball. I know they are just learning. But, Jackson and the players around him seem to find picking dandylions in the outfield or twirling like ballerinas much more interesting than fielding the ball. That pesky glove is SUCH a bother when you are trying to help out the grounds keeper with weed control. Either way, they are adorable, all running around, in the wrong directions, to the wrong bases/dugouts. We'll work on the fielding, maybe next year we'll have a first baseman. For now, we have a little slugger!