Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The City and Our Kids

Last Saturday was spent at Railroad Park on Saturday for our sweet little friend's birthday party. It was supposed to rain, but miraculously the rain held off just long enough for everyone to enjoy the celebration.

We all really do love being there.  The wide open spaces, the trains, the gated playground it really is the perfect little oasis in the middle of the city.

London's Birthday

London's Birthday

London's Birthday

And as the history shows, we were at the same place exactly a year earlier.

And also, I die at how little they were on our first visit.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Pre-Rain Sunshine

It rained for most of the weekend.  But on Friday there was sunshine. The ground was still (and now only more) so soggy, that meant sidewalk chalk and bikes it was.

For two short months a year there are 2 years between each of their ages.
Sidewalk Chalk

Also, nicknames are cool. You should get one.
Sidewalk Chalk
I'm not sayin' he is going to be president, but just I'm not sayin' he isn't either.

Sidewalk Chalk
You know, cause he's cool like that.

Sidewalk Chalk
And with the sky so blue and clear, that means it was far too sunny for C Mac to look at the camera.

*Post inspired by a great local photographer Grethel Van Epps.  I took pictures with my cell phone, but (yippie) my camera battery charger has been replaced, so I'm hoping to try this again with our real camera soon.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


Memaw and Dandy

I know how incredibly blessed the boys are to get to know their great-grandparents.

I hope when they are all grown up they will remember the wonderfully comfortable and fun visits. I want them to look back and when they see dominos, a trolly car, remote controlled lamps, grapico, sunkists, or a garden gnome happily be reminded of Memaw and Dandy.

What a great-grandpa won't do for his great-grandson. Dandy, who hasn't been feeling great, getting down on the floor with his two year old great-grandson.  And later, going down into the basement because of Walker's request to see all the "interesting stuff."
Memaw and Dandy

And sometimes the outtakes are just as good the "good" one. Priceless.  They are all priceless.
Memaw and Dandy

Memaw and Dandy

I love everything about all these people.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's 2012

The chocolate, the hearts, the glitter, I love it all.  Valentine's day, for me, has always been a fun crafty holiday that comes with a side candy. Score.

I've never taken it too seriously.  Just another day to get to eat an extra dessert, spend more time in arts and crafts, and force the boys to draw with pink and purple. Presents are nice, but not necessary.

As the boys and I have been crafting and preparing for Valentine's we have been talking about love through the lens of Jesus.  What a wonderful reminder of love this has been for me. I mean it's been good for the boys and all, but I'm pretty sure God was having me teach myself this lesson.

Jesus love never holds back.  His love is LAVISH. It is a box of chocolates and flowers and dinner out and breakfast in bed and jewelry, it's everything. It's lavish on the big holidays, on the hallmark holidays, on the third Tuesday in August and every day in between.

We could not want for nothing more than the crazy love he has poured out on us and desires to pour out on us daily.  Hallelujah!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Post I Should Be More Embarrassed About

But, I'm not.

No really.  He's the third kid. And if I've learned anything, I've learning the rules change as this parenting thing goes along.  What's important to myself and my family changes. The love is the same, if only deeper, but the details are a moving target.

There are huge benefits and some disadvantages to every spot in the birth order.  This is a post about the advantages of being (currently) the baby.

This is Colin. He's 2, and this is him using 2 iPads at one time.

I did not give him 2 iPads, but he commandeered them and I took a picture instead of stoping him. Because, come on, it's funny.

When he wants to use the iPad or iPhone he wanders around the house saying, "Where go my iPad (or iPhone where appropriate)?"

We correct him, but he still claims ownership.

Colin calls ketchup "dip."  He also calls chocolate syrup "dip."

When I get the milk out in the morning he follows behind saying, "Need dip. Need dip. Thank you."  The thank you is of course because I put the chocolate in his milk, everyday. Don't judge. I prefer to call it a protein victory as opposed to a sugar fail.

Walker and Eli were not allowed to touch our phones at two years old or have sugar or any regular basis, but this one is the baby. My my, how things change.

Thursday, February 2, 2012


Oh the pitfalls to learning to read the English language. It is really amazing that any of us learn to read.

And the cold hard truth is that being from The Great South doesn't make it any easier.

In college I worked with a first grade struggling reader for one of my courses.  One of my lessons was teaching the short e and contrasting the sound with the short i. You know, in words like pen and pin and ten and tin.

I spent a ridiculous amount of time saying those words into a mirror and trying to hear the difference myself.  You try it.  No really, I'll wait.  Go ahead try and hear the difference in the short e and short i in those words.

Oh, you don't hear it? Now make yourself a beginning reader still trying to learn how to isolate sounds in words. Impossible.

At this point Walker is just breaking the reading code and following the simple rules he has learned. I am treading lightly.

With our curriculum we are getting to the point where Walker is reading words on his own.  One of the assignments is to choose a word from a list and write the word and illustrate it.

My view today: Today's lessons have tested us all, but we have survived. Even with some success. #febphotoaday

The first word he chose - Don.  He asked me how to draw it.  I told him to draw Don however he wanted to.

I come back in and find him coloring wildly with a red and orange crayon.

School Days

Me - "Umm, buddy? What are you doing? How is this a picture of Don?"

Him - "You know, don,  like when the sun comes up and it goes from dark to sunshine."

Me - "Right - dawn" - Well - (I say to myself - dawn, don, dawn, don)  - and ever so slight difference, but "yes dear that is exactly the word those sounds make.  Good job."

Some days I feel like I am banging my head on the wall.  Like the progress we are making is so slow he might never be an independent reader.  But here - I see the light breaking through the darkness.  He decoded, matched the sounds with words he knows, and assigned it a meaning. That is reading folks.

We will work on the more complicated vowel patterns like the /aw/ at some point. For now, I'll encourage my little southern reader as much as I can.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012



Time keeps marching on.

Even this deep into it we are still discovering what this whole "one flesh" thing is all about.

Our tenth anniversary was spent wining and dining and indulging as just the two of us.  This year was spent with our little family.  Our little physical representations of one flesh drinking chocolate milk and eating sandwiches.  There was him and me and now there is them.

It is pretty amazing.

This year has been quite the adventure for us individually, as a couple and as a family.  So much has been stretched, molded and changed. But, back at our anniversary, back at the moment for reflection we are that much closer than we ever dreamed possible.

I love you more each day, my dear.

To all the years yet to come...

*Top photo courtesy of Synergy Photography.
*Second photo, just to have a little reminder of how we spent our eleventh anniversary.