Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

What a great Halloween!! We started off the festivities at our church's fall festival. For the past 2 years, Jackson has gone to this festival dressed in a funny costume. Year One he was Mac and Wesley was PC. Year Two he was John McCain. We couldn't think of anything for this year so decided to just let dress in his real costume - a train engineer.

Last night though we had someone ask us what he was going to be because they were looking forward to seeing what we had thought up for this year - ahh!! Since someone was expecting something, Wesley did not want to disappoint.

At the last minute, we threw together a John and Kate plus 8 costume. It wasn't very creative and I didn't get a good picture, but at least we can say we tried.

He wasn't John...He wasn't Kate...he really was Jon & Kate plus 8 (though after looking at this picture, he really looks as though he is wearing a bomb instead of little people labeled Jon & Kate!)

Wesley was asked to make balloon animals for the kids. Jackson loved watching him work.

Jackson stayed right in front the entire time Wesley was making the animals.

I changed Jackson before the Trunk or Treating began (indoors because of rain!) and I thought he looked so cute as an engineer!

Wesley went around with Jackson and I passed out the candy. My camera died, but luckily my friend Katey sent me this one of him collecting candy...

and this one of Wesley and Jackson checking out the loot!

Tonight, we decided Jackson was old enough to try trick-or-treating in the neighborhood. We only went to two houses, but he was so cute! He was dressed as a basketball player (something warm and easy since we were only going to a few houses).

Our first stop was our neighbor Lori’s. Jackson didn’t quite get the hang of it at the beginning. Instead of taking Lori’s candy, he tried to give her what he had collected from church! Too sweet!

He started to understand - and really like it - when he found out she had bought him a special treat - A Pop Tart!! He loved it!

We were only going to go to Lori's, but she recommended that we go to the house on the corner. She said they handed out "the best stuff." We decided to try it and well, she was right! In addition to two full sized candy bars, Jackson got a ball, a play car, and a clappy toy.

Here's what he ended up with after only 2 stops!!

Jackson's favorite part of the night was handing out the candy at the door. We ended up having around 100 kids come by! We ran out of candy three times. After the first time, we were going to close up shop, but Jackson wanted to hand out his candy (at the end of the night, all that was left of his stash were the M&Ms and the toys!). After we ran out of his stuff, we gave out Fruit Roll Ups!!

It was a great night and got me very excited about next year when Philip will be trick-or-treating with us!!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Blessings of a Dad...

Disclaimer: Only read ahead if you want to read lots and lots of bragging about my husband!

Jackson is one lucky little boy. I have decided that he has the BEST Dad! I could go on and on with examples of why Wesley deserves this title, but I will focus on two from this weekend.

Last week, Jackson became fascinated with his trains. All he has wanted to do is “Pay Tains” (play trains). He wakes up in the morning with “Pay Tains.” Wakes up from his naps wanting to play and the minute Wesley walks in the door, Jackson requests that Da-Da play trains with him.

During the day, he will ask me to play and I might sit down for a minute or two, but when Jackson asks Wesley, he ALWAYS stops what he is doing and sits down to play…for hours! He will drive the trains, make new tracks and just enjoy time with his little buddy.

This weekend, I think the two of them spent every waking minute glued to that train set. Wesley even spent nap time yesterday setting up the most impressive course I have ever seen. It is so fun to watch!

Friday Night

Saturday after nap...I think there are three different train tracks used for this set-up

Then, after he has spent all that time playing with Jackson and the trains, he didn’t blink an eye when I asked him if he would watch Jackson for the night so I could go out with the girls. He immediately said yes and made plans for the two of them.

They headed to a rock concert at the Canton YMCA (Jackson loved it!) and afterwards, enjoyed a late night snack at the Waffle House! Too cute!

Wesley loves Jackson so much and the feelings are returned ten fold. I am so blessed to raise Jackson with such a loving man and can’t wait to see how his love grows with two little boys to love on!

Thank you Wesley for being a fabulous husband, amazing Dad, and wonderful Christian leader for our family!

Girls Night Out

Katey, Priscilla, Kate, and Leanne
Last night I got together with three of my girlfriends for Girls Night Out. We get together most weeks with the kiddos but last night we went out solo. It was so nice.

We traveled down to the Perimeter Mall to dine at Maggiano’s. Oh Wow! It was delicious! We decided to order the Family Style meal and I have never seen so much food. Being pregnant, I even had an excuse to overeat and couldn’t finish all that was in front of me! At the end of the meal, we split the extras and each walked out with a bag full of take home containers.

It is always so much fun to spend time with these girls and remember we are more than just mothers to cute little toddlers :-)

Leaving with all the extra food.

Two pieces of this chocolate cake were delivered to our table (along with Creme Brulee) at the end of the meal. I think we ate three bites of it and packed the rest up!

Visit with the Kohrings

We just had the best visit with our friends Wes and Cristal Kohring! They spent almost a week here in Cumming and we loved every minute of their visit!

Our kids, Jonah, Micah, and Jackson, got along great. We did find out that Jackson needs to work on sharing before Philip comes in February. He wasn't always excited about sharing his toys, his Daddy or even his bath tub! For the most part though they really enjoyed playing together.

Why are all these people in my bubbles?
All piled into the back of Wesley's truck.
Enjoying a Bruster's Ice Cream Treat on Saturday night.

The highlight of the week for four-year-old Jonah was Wesley's air rocket. He loved playing with it - and I think the rest of the boys enjoyed it too :-)

One of the highlights of the week for me was my couponing lesson from Cristal. She has started saving major money by using coupons and taught me some of her skills. It was quite an impressive lesson.
We went out on Saturday morning and spent a little over $80 at Target, CVS, and Publix but saved $156! It was by far more than Cristal usually spends in a week but for my first time, she was pleased at our outing!

Preparing my coupons for my first shopping trip.

Our Loot:

Last night, we put the kids in bed early and the four adults enjoyed a steak dinner. After the feast, we cleared the dished and brought out the cards. The hours seemed to go by too quickly as we laughed, played and just enjoyed being with each other.

Wesley and I are so proud of the ministry that Wes and Cristal have in Arlington. They are reaching out to so many teens and I know God is using them in mighty ways. I just wish they were closer! We miss them so much and always leave our visits with them anxiously looking forward to the next one.

Friday, October 9, 2009

The Pumpkin Patch

This week, our friends the Kohrings are here for a visit. Wes came down to go to a conference with Wesley and Cristal and the boys came down to play!

We have had a great week! We have done nothing stressful. Our days have been full of playing, laughing, and maybe a few tears :-)

Today, we decided to get out of the house and take the boys to a pumpkin patch. We went to Kinsey Farms. It was a small farm but they had plenty of pumpkins and great places to take pictures.

Jackson and I bought one large pumpkin so he and Wesley can carve it before Halloween. He also got a little one and Jonah and Micah each picked out a small one to carry home.

Cristal and Micah

Cristal and Jonah

Micah - isn't he adorable?!

Striking a pose among the pumpkins

Jackson showing off his pumpkin

Group Shot!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

VOL Navy

For the past few UT football seasons, my in-laws, Jack and Lynne, have been participating in the VOL Navy. They cruise their houseboat up for a few games and then invite the family to spend the weekend on the boat.

This past weekend, Wesley, Jackson and I joined them for the Auburn game.

Though the game was not pleasant, the weekend was so enjoyable! Here are some pictures from the fun.
The Benders boat - the one in the back with the UT flags and canopy

Lynne, Leanne, Wesley, Jackson and Jack

Father, Son, and Grandson strolling through downtown Knoxville

It's great to be a Tennessee VOL fan!

Susan and Tim joined us on the boat for some tailgating.

Jackson and Wesley waiting for the band to come down

Abigail and her husband Seth also joined us for some tailgating on the boat. This Auburn/TN rival between Abigail and me has been going on for 20+ years. Luckily, she had good taste when she married, and her husband Seth is a huge UT fan as well!! One day she'll come over to the other side :-)

Jackson loved his first game. Here he is watching the band set up the "T" for the players to run through.

Jackson and Wesley all ready for the game.

The Benders at Jackson's first UT game!

On Sunday, we cruised home with Jack and Lynne. It was a beautiful cruise and Jackson loved helping his KD drive.

He's going to be a boater just like his Daddy!