Friday, April 26, 2013

The Stings Of Love


Henry loves his Hollye. I think he thinks she is mine and Juju's sister, and I am totally cool with that! Henry had so much fun eating ice cream and shopping the dollar bins at Target in Memphis with her, while Randall and I had our pre-cancer spots frozen off at the dermatologist. A little annual event at our house. Fun times. Henry loved it, so that made our stings and ouchies bearable.


We met up with them at Target. Henry was entertaining everyone and had Hollye in stitches. He is truly a funny guy and runs his mouth nonstop (Hollye said she wonders where he gets it?! ha). He scored these blue sunglasses and put them on upside down and performed "chicken, airplane, soldier" in the entrance to Target. I love the laughter he provokes in all of us.


Before we headed back over the bridge to go home we stopped at our favorite BBQ joint for a late lunch/early supper. The Commissary is the "bomb-dot-com" and the banana pudding is not too shabby, as you can tell in the above photo. I love the flexability of these days and the memories we are making in the stings and dollar bins of life.

Abby

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Anna's 9th birthday

After about 15 days of Anna waking up each morning with a countdown of how many days until her birthday, the day finally came.



When she woke up on Saturday as precious as I've ever seen her. She came into my room with a sweet smile on her face, so excited about being 9!

We all ate donuts for breakfast and watched as she opened her presents. She was so cute! We then headed to Beebe for Awana games. She enjoyed being with her friends so much. She didn't have a party this year because we were busy with other things, but she managed to have a pretty great day.

As our tradition holds, she chose where we ate dinner Saturday night. She first chose El Chico and then switched to Outback. We were all very pleased! However, I have a deep deep love for El Chico so that would have been terrific too.

Happy Birthday Anna, we love you so very much!

Julie

A Little Spring Fling


I love the weekends in the spring. They are usually really random for us, not knowing if Randall will be planting or  be at home. It all depends on the weather and lately we all know what that has been like, so he happened to be home all weekend. We all enjoyed going to an opera about Noah's Ark on Friday night at  First Methodist (this is where Henry goes to school).  We then had friends over Saturday night. We love our church and the friends we have made. We grilled burgers and I made a fruit pizza. I must share that recipe sometime. I was left with a clean pan after supper. It was wonderful and super easy!


Sunday after church we headed to the Little Rock Zoo. We had never visited that zoo. Randall and I grew up going to the Memphis Zoo and that is the only one we have ever visited. We decided to branch out and take Henry. We loved it. It has just enough animals, more compact and easy to walk with a 3 year old and a stroller.


Henry was so cute admiring the zebras. Just like his mama! I love a zebra, you know. Henry wants to be just like his daddy. Hat, glasses and all! I love it more than words. If there was ever a man to be like, his daddy is the man. God give me a keeper of a man!


Henry has an inflatable pink flamingo "mink a mingo" from Bible school last year. He has beat it to death and it no longer holds air. He saw real live ones and he was most excited. He was talking about them in this photo...always talking, just like his mama!
 

Henry and I went to ride the train and Randall headed to get a funnel cake. He came back with some cotton candy for Henry. He had never tasted it and Randall wanted to introduce him to it. He loved it, of course. I just snickered thinking about my Peep trying to find me cotton candy at the arena where Jerry Clower was performing when I was little. He missed the whole first half trying to find me pink cotton candy. I loved that man and hope Jerry has performed the first half for him in Glory!


The zoo trip ended with a little photo in a cowboy hat, on a red tractor, in a field of corn. It gets no better than that, I say!


That speck of black is me in front of our state capitol. I have lived in Arkansas my whole life (except for about 6 years when I lived in Oklahoma while in college and in Tennessee and Mississippi after we married) and I have never seen it except from the interstate. Isn't that sad?! Randall insisted I see it and he take my photo in front of it. It was funny stuff.

We left Little Rock and headed to see Randall's grandmother at the nursing home and then we stopped and ate at the Bulldog. Henry and Randall are big fans of shrimp night and it is strawberry shortcake season, so we all scored big. If you are in Bald Knob during the spring, you must stop and get a shortcake and Sunday night is always fried shrimp night.


Now we are into another week of planting, swimming, and preparing for new things around here this spring. I look forward to what this next weekend might bring our way...you just never know around here!

Abby

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Bring on Birthday Week!


In honor of birthday week for Anna, David and Daniel, I pulled up some old digital files on my computer. I found this one with Claire in it. It was at my house in Byhalia. They all spent the night with me and we made every large mess known to man. It was a fabulous time and such a precious memory.

So, now on to sweet birthday memories with my favorite niece and favorite twins. I have not missed many of their birthdays. I have several pages in a scrapbook of birthdays, pre-digital days, so these are all I have on my computer. They are too cute for words!

 
Anna loved ducks at this age. I believe it was age 3. Henry's age now. Hard to believe. I made her birthday hat and the hats for all her little friends. It was such a heavy little hat. I have no idea how she held it on her sweet little head. I miss that chubby little face!


I belive this was age 7 for David and Daniel. I made this cake. Yes, I did. I have no idea how I ever did it, but I did. I rock. I am the best aunt EVER! They had a Blue Angels party and asked for this cake. I think I laughed in disbelief, but I made it happen. Mama helped me alot with it, so I have to make sure she gets SOME credit! I put sparkler candles in the back for the exhaust flames but the wind was so bad that we could not get them to light. It looked cool though and they looked super cute in the t-shirts I bought them for their birthdays.


Oh, the little princess of the family. She requested this cake for her 4th birthday. It was fun to make and super messy. I think Julie left Star City with pink sprinkles still in the grout. I hope she did anyway. (did I just type that...I did. Slap me!) The crown on top of the cake blinked purple and pink and Anna had a matching one for her little head. It was a fun little celebration for our little princess.


This was the year David requested a soccer cookie cake. This was also the year I was newly pregnant and had acid reflux like the devil! Oh, I was really tired too. I knew I had never had success with making a cookie cake so, I cheated and had Kroger make an undecorated cookie cake for me. I then decorated it so I would not have aunt guilt. I am not sure if he knows the truth yet!? This was the first time I had made two seperate cakes for them. They wanted different kinds of cakes and Julie thought they each deserved their own. Not a good year to start that trend, I say. Sweet little birthday boys.


This is what Daniel chose that year. A big orange 8. I thought it was the cutest and funniest request for a cake. He was so excited with it. I even colored the cake orange. I covered it with Skittles too. It was easy for me. 1 color and 2 rounds. Daniel is so funny. I love his little sense of humor.


Oh, the princess! Anna requested another princess cake for her 5th birthday. She had a spa party and the whole bit. I did a tiered cake for her in her favorite colors...pink and purple. She requested it be tierd, by the way. She is ALL girl and sassy as it comes. I love that girl. I was also newly pregnant at this time and prayed as I added more and more pink to that cake that God was making that baby in my belly a boy!


So, the 9th birthday rolled around and what did they do...they BOTH requested cookie cakes. I had a fussy infant at the time and just called Kroger to do the whole thing! ha. I asked the bakery to not put any stickers on the cookie trays so I could front like they were from my kitchen. I still am not sure if the boys know or not...?!


They had the cutest sports party at church. It got real messy. I loved it. It was Henry's first birthday party to ever attend. What a sweet little memory.


Can you tell I had an infant and traveled 3 hours with this cake? This 6 year old smiled just as big, thankfully. She asked for a pink cupcake cake. I produced it, but it may have been the saddest looking cupcake cake ever.

I thank God for these look alikes.  They were soaking in my tub with bubbles up to their ears. I love that the simple things make them smile.


I thank God for this little toot of a girl. This may be my most favorite picture of her. She was refusing a photo. I am so glad we have her in this sea of boys. She is the soft God knew we needed.


So, last year they came to my house to celebrate and I had one cake for all 3 of them. This year they are not coming, nor did they ask me to come. I think they are calling Kroger on their own now! I just love these children and I am so excited about another year to celebrate them and all the ways God is going to bless them in their new year.

Happy Birthday Week To You!!

Abby

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Batman Boy




Riding home from school this week, while stopped at a stop light, Henry proclaims  with a huge smile on this face, in an excited tone and loud voice:

"I'm going to be Batman with my face when I grow up. I'm going to have a mask. See. Like this." (while making mask eyes with his hands)

I assured him he was already my little Batman because he in fact was wearing Batman underwear. He then tried his hardest to try to see the back of his underwear while buckled in his car seat. I love these little moments in the car with this sweet child of mine. Never a dull moment and always full of laughter.

He proclaimed this about an hour after the bombing in Boston. I thought of how many real life Batman's there were at that moment helping the hurting. So, when Henry says he is going to grow up and be Batman with his face, I truly believe he will. I pray that he will be a helper, a real life hero.

Henry of course has no idea what happened in Boston this week, but one day he will be aware of the unnecessary evil in this world. I hope he remembers to always be Batman with his face, mask or no mask. That little face is bound to do good, I just know it.

Abby

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Lessons In Love

 
 "I want to get more trucks out, Mama...please?!" My house is dominated by toy trucks. I pulled only these out of the garage and he sat there and whined for the ones in the den, his bedroom closet and in his toy cabinet. Yes, he has that many spots in the house full of toys. It is pitiful, really. His face was priceless as he whined. I had to capture it, of course.
How can this not be enough? I guess we are all guilty of wanting more than what we have in certain areas. I cannot get too mad at him about it because I have the same problem sometimes. It is funny how our children teach us lessons. I could do without all the whining, but I am sure God feels the same way about me at times. Ouch!


I want to lock this image into my heart forever. Henry LOVES to push and race his dump trucks. This is his largest one and the most fun to push. He giggles and screams with each step. I love his excitement for the simple things. It also teaches me a lesson about slowing down and soaking up the little mundane things in life.



 Walmart. I dislike this place in a LARGE way. Henry LOVES it. His Daddy was gone planting and we were at home playing after supper. He begged to go to walmart. BEGGED. I knew I needed a few things so we loaded up and went. I am not one to jump out in the evening. I am like a hermit after supper. He wanted to wear his Daddy's "football game hat" and ride in the big side of the cart. He had big plans. I made sure it happened. He was happy...and I got the few things i needed. Sometimes it is fun to step out on the wild side (sad that this is wild...I live such crazy life, I tell ya!) and makes a fun memory. We then drove home the long way, per Henry's request.


This is growing in my flower bed. It is what we call the "Aunt Mitt" because it is from my mother's great-aunt's yard many moons ago. My Mawmaw has had this plant for years. She gave us a little bit of it about five years ago and here it is...still going strong at our house . I love the history of it and the love that comes with it.

Abby

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Running Fun

 
 
 

We started our weekend with a little 5K Friday night in downtown Memphis. We decided to do it last minute and had a fun time. I love a night run, especially in the Bluff City. Good times, good times. The start line was on Beale and ended in front of Gibson Guitar and FedEx Forum. Henry liked running by the river the best. I was disappointed in my time but Randall reminded me that it was 7 minutes faster than the Elvis 5K last August. I was all grins then. The simple things, I tell ya.
 
 

I love these small people. These are Henry's Sunday School friends. We had extended session this week and they all wanted me to take their picture when they saw my camera in my purse. It thrills my heart to know they are learning to love Jesus together. What a blessing it is to go to church!


Henry loves working the puzzles at church but will hardly touch the ones we have at home. Children are so funny that way. I love this little face and all the smiles it brings me each day. We had a fun weekend and hope you did too!



Abby

Friday, April 12, 2013

Wee Little Man



You might not think my child is as funny as we do, but since this is our blog...we will pretend you do. I teach his Puggles class on Wednesday nights at church and videoed this little funny. They were acting out our little song and having me sing it over and over again. It is truly the simple things in life!

Abby

Thursday, April 11, 2013

This is How We Roll


This is Henry's room. He does not like to play in it alone, but he LOVES to play in there. We have a Sunday School Songs CD we keep in his CD player. He makes us turn it on every time we play in there. I enjoy watching him play and sing but we can get stuck in there for hours. He holds us hostage! So, on this day Randall was working from his laptop and playing. I was sitting on his bed. Parenting is a big ole job of multi-tasking. I love it more than words.


We are so excited about spring weather! We were working in the yard and I knew it was quite in Fort Henry.  I looked up to find our little H man playing his games on his daddy's phone. Hey, at least he was outside and not sitting on the couch playing with it on this pretty day!


I then captured this photo on my camera and love it. He got in out of the sun and kicked back in his chair. Henry is loving that guitar shirt I scored brand new at a resale shop in town for 2 bucks. I was pretty tickled with it too. I love sharing my bargains with the world. I am like my Meemaw in that respect!

Henry rode up front while Randall drove his truck to the backyard. It was exciting times for Henry. I think he is starting to look more like his daddy and especially when he wears his hat. I love a fun, pretty, spring day at home with these two boys of mine. Simple and fun are how we like to roll.

Abby

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Shop Boy


Henry loves playing in his Papa's shop. We were all in there the other night and I glanced over and grabbed Randall's phone off his hip. Priceless.


Henry digging for the tin of matchbox cars. He loves anything with wheels, just like his Papa.


Score! What a fun photo op in Papa's shop, and Henry had no idea I was snapping away. It was the best of the best! We are so thankful Henry has a Papa and a Grandaddy that love him to pieces.
 
Abby

Sunday, April 7, 2013

It's A Splash

video

Henry was so excited to go to his first swimming lesson. We told him he had to learn how to swim or we couldn't go to the beach this year. It was sort of a lie, but we knew we had to have some motivation for him to learn. If you know Henry, you know it takes some dangling carrots sometimes. The beach and pools that we swim in there are the best dangling carrots for him. It is the best place on earth, according to him.


This is how the lesson began. Henry on the side kicking the water, as she instructed, and repeating over and over, "I'm done. let's go!" If you know Henry very well, you can just hear it in your head and can't help but laugh. Randall and I were laughing so hard.



 Henry decided that this swim lesson might be fun after all and since we promised him ice cream on the way home, he knew he better participate or it would be a no ice cream ride home. I loved this picture. His excitement beams through. I love that face.

He learned to kick, make big arm circles, blow bubbles in the water, and go under water real quick and pop back up. He really got into it toward the end and was showing out to the man swimming laps in the lane next to him. It was funny and the man swimming laps cheered for Henry. It was cute stuff.


 He and Kate had a fun time in the water. She was very good with him and he trusted her within about 5 minutes. That is pretty big for our little Henry! I think he would swim into a lagoon full of sharks with her already! I am excited to see how the second lesson goes later this week. I am so excited we found great private lessons for him and they can be held at our gym. I feel blessed to happen upon Kate through our local swim team.

Abby

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Easter (From The Other Sister)

 
 Our Easter week began with a little "egging" fun. We placed a dozen plastic eggs in the yards of two friends. 11 of the eggs had coins in them and 1 of them was left empty, to represent the empty tomb. They loved it and their children filled their piggy banks. It was fun and thanks to Pinterest, I had a free egg printable to tape to their doors with a cute little message on it.


Henry had his annual Easter sonrise breakfast at school on Thursday morning. He was all decked out in his Easter shirt. My friend Amy makes the cutest things for us. He was the only one in Easter gear besides one little girl in his class. It made me laugh and realize these days of personalization are coming to a bittersweet end. I will rock the monogram until I just can't or he asks me not too...so hang with me and love me through the end.

After his party I had a little interesting eye procedure and while I was there Randall texted me and said we would go south for the night to check on the corn. So, I had no time to think about my post procedure pain and instead I rushed home to prepare a few things for Easter and pack up H and me for our little trip. He loves a hotel. Here he is riding on the luggage cart in his carseat. Rotten love. He had to take his carseat in because we were in Pine Bluff and Juju was picking us up the next morning while our little daddy went to check on his corn in LA. Yay!


I love these faces. I missed our oldest face. We dropped him off at work. He works on a berry farm. I thought it was a dairy farm these last 2 weeks and was surprised when we dropped him off amongst berries and not cows. Oh, how they all laugh at me. I can't help it.

We ate at Taco Bell for lunch after visiting our favorite resale store in the country. It was the best lunch I have had in months. I love these people.


We played at Juju's house and waited for Randall to come pick us up to head home. Henry loves going to their house because it means banging on drums, playing with leggos, playing with army men and getting away with most everything under the sun. I loved this photo. He may play hard to get with his Juju but he thinks she walks on water...trust me.


We came home and got ready for Easter at our house. Randall and Henry went to run Saturday errands as usual and came home with this beautiful plant for me. Henry picked it out himself. It was my "Easter basket" and I loved it so much.


The Easter Bunny did not come to our house. Henry is terrified of the Easter Bunny. Henry asked us if we could stop him from coming to see him. He still wanted a basket though. So, we gave it to him from us and he loved it. Rex was the only toy he did not have from Toy Story so he was thrilled to get a talking Rex from us. We got it brand new in the package at the resale in Feb for $11 and it cost $26 brand new. Score! I loved not having to do the whole Easter Bunny tale with him. It was easier and a lot less simple.


Here we are all ready for our Easter celebration at church. Our self portraits are always interesting and are never really fabulous, but this one is probably the best one so far. I usually put the camera on the living room mantel and we say "cheese" real fast before it shoots.


After church this little buddy was ready for our "bunny booty cake" that I made. He talked about it all the way home in the truck. He had to pet it after he washed his hands from nursery germs, of course!


I have cooked and hosted Easter in our home for 10 years now. All of our married Easters. I love it. Tablescapes and cooking are so fun to me. This was my table for Easter lunch. I used my Meemaw's fine china and my Fiestaware. It was a very chic look I thought!


We had my dad and Connie join us and Randall's parents join us. They all went to their church services and then drove over to eat. I love having them close enough to do that. It is a blessing. Henry was excited to have them all here at one time. He showed out, played fast, and crashed hard that evening in his bed. Randall trimmed back some of our trees on Saturday and Henry insisted this photo be taken in front of the branch pile. So as any good grandparent would do...they all went and stood there and smiled. Oh me.


I was so thrilled to see my daddy walk up the steps to my house without a cane. This old man of mine is coming around with that new knee. He is still in pain and hobbles a bit, but it is quite the accomplishment to be walking unassisted up my steps I think. You go Daddy-O!


Henry went on an egg hunt in the yard after we ate. It was a sight to see. His daddy had to coach him a little bit a few times. It was fun to have him at the age where he can really find them and gets the concept.


I love Easter and all the little traditions we have and all the meaning it holds for us as Christ followers. It is one of my favorite holidays.  I am packing away all of my Easter decor this week. That means no holiday decor in this house until harvest/Halloween. Whoo hoo for simplified living!

Oh, and my eye is fine. I had a cyst removed on my inner, lower eyelid. It hurt like nobody's business!

Abby