Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Jackson turns 2!

This year during FVAOH, we celebrated Jackson's 2nd birthday. I can't believe my baby is 2 - where did the time go?

I am so proud of my little boy. He is so spirited, loving, fun, and always has a smile on his face. My favorite thing about him is his laughter - and lucky for me, I get to hear it all the time. He has brought more joy into our home than I thought possible. I am so grateful for the past two years and can't wait to see what Year Three will bring!

Jackson's Elmo cake

We have been practicing how to blow out candles all year and the practice paid off! He actually got the candle out!

I think someone loved the cake!

Jackson loved his presents too!

Look at this special gift - My niece Macey painted this picture of Elmo for Jackson. Didn't she do a fabulous job! We are going to hang it up in his big boy room.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


The Benders


A few years ago, my in-laws decided to host F.V.A.O.H. (Family Vacation At Our House) each summer. For a couple of days, the Bender crew gathers together in Knoxville to relax and enjoy time together. It is always a blast and this year was one of the best!

Here are some pictures from our fun:

Jackson had his first taste of the water - Here he is on his first tube ride!

He loved it so much he feel asleep!

One of the highlights of FVAOH is always Rib Night! Jack and Ron have perfected the day-long smoking adventure and they are delicious!

Don't they both look so happy!

Jackson and Trent are 6 months apart and became big buddies over FVAOH!

Our final outing of FVAOH was very unique - we released a squirrel that Jack had caught in the backyard!

Monday, July 27, 2009

A Serving Heart

There are lots of sacrificial things you can do for other people. I think my sister, Susan, topped the list though when she graciously decided to extend her week-long vacation in Atlanta to two weeks so she could help me as I battled pregnancy sickness and a two-year-old!
After Susan and Tim visited with Tim's brother in Norcross for a few days, Susan and the kids came back to Cumming to stay another week. Wesley had to go to North Carolina for work and since I was worried about how I was going to survive a week on my own while dealing with all things that come along with the first trimester of a pregnancy, Susan decided to step in and take care of us all!
I was really excited about having her and the kids back for a week but had no idea how much of a help she would be! She planned our meals, went grocery shopping, cooked, cleaned, did laundry, watched all four kids so I could sleep... the list could go on FOREVER!! It truly was a sacrificial act and she helped out with a constant smile. I owe her big-time!

It wasn't all work that week though. Susan encouraged me to get out of the house when I was feeling better so we went to the Y, the library, Catch Air, and the pool! The kids had a blast and I did too!

It was so nice to be around Susan and watch her in action. She is a great mom to Rebekah, Joshua and Caleb and is an encouraging, supportive sister!

Thank you, Susan, for all things you!

This is how the kids spent most of the week - playing together and laughing!

Jackson and Rebekah became the best of friends! They were so cute together. It was really hard for Jackson after Rebekah left. The first morning after they were gone, he woke up and immediately said "Bekah, Bekah!" He did not like it when I told her she wasn't going to be around to play :-(

Here they are at breakfast one morning. As you can see, one of them was a little more of a morning person than the other!

Jackson loved coloring with his cousins. It meant he got to sit at the big table and even use markers!

A Catch Air action shot of Caleb and Joshua

The whole crew! Caleb, Rebekah, Joshua and Jackson

A visit from the Lloyds

The first full week of July my sister and her family came to Cumming for a visit. We had the best time! Tim, Susan, Rebekah, Caleb, and Joshua came in on Monday and stayed until Thursday.

Monday and Tuesday we stayed around the house. Wednesday we ventured downtown to the aquarium. Thanks to some old vouchers we had, all seven of us (Wesley had to work and couldn't join us) were able to get in for $20 total! What a deal! The aquarium was great, and I think all the kids really enjoyed it!

Jackson and Mommy

Jackson, Caleb and Joshua beside the Great Wall of Fish!
Jackson loved being with his older cousins!

Thursday, we headed back downtown to visit the zoo. It was a perfect day to be outside and we all had a great time. After the zoo, the Lloyd crew headed to Norcross to spend same time with Tim’s brother who also lives in the area.

Joshua and Caleb as kangaroos!

Jackson and Rebekah as kangaroos!

Tim and Susan as kangaroos!

Tim, Caleb and Jackson

Mommy and Jackson at the zoo

Susan and Rebekah, Leanne and Jackson at the zoo - not the best angle but our photographer was only 5 (thanks, Joshua!)

Jackson and his buddy, Rebekah!

We were so glad to have visitors for the week and be able to show off some Atlanta hot-spots!!!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

And a baby makes 4!

Sorry for the long delay in posting. Things have been a little crazy around here the past month. I will get us back on track with some exciting news:
Wesley and I are thrilled to announce that we will be adding a new little Bender to the family in February 2010!!!