Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Our friend in Alpharetta, Edith, wanted me treat me to a manicure/pedicure before Baby Philip arrived - SO FUN! Thank you!!

She arranged it with the salon and I just had to decide when. Not knowing exactly when he will make his appearance, I went ahead and got my nails and toes done today. I figured the pedicure would last a few weeks and if I have to go back and get my nails redone, then I guess I can suffer through another manicure :-)

Right before my friend Priscilla had her baby in July, she went and got her nails painted blue in honor of her new little boy. I thought that was cute so I opted for blue toe nails as well. Needless to say, Jackson thinks my blue feet are funny! I think they look cute and it will be fun to see the reaction from the nurses when I deliver Baby Philip!

Phone Call to Mimi

Last night after dinner, Jackson wanted to call Mimi and Pop Pop. Luckily, they were home and he wondered around the house for 10 minutes talking to Mimi. I think she understood about 25% of what he was saying!

I told her I would take a picture of him as he was talking with her. She had no idea this handsome stud was on the line!!

We had a little accident and had to take his pants off after dinner. Though he didn't mind the pants coming off, he wanted to keep his "Run Fast" shoes on!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Family Outing

With only a few weeks left to go, I decided it was time to get some pregnancy pictures. My neighbor took beautiful shots of Wesley and me when we were expecting Jackson, but this time around we decided to go cheap and let Sears capture the moment.

I scheduled our appointment for 10:00 this morning hoping we would all be in a good, photogenic mood. Near the top of Wesley's "I really hate doing this" list, is getting pictures made so I knew we had to be fast.

Thankfully, the photographers worked quickly and Jackson was a little angel. The pictures turned out pretty good. I don't expect we will put any of these out on display but I wanted to have some for Philip's Baby book.

Here is a sneak peak:

After the picture session, we headed to the food court for lunch and a fun ride on the carousel.

We ended our family day by having our friends Kate and Ben and Todd and Ashley (plus kids) over. We kept it very casual and ordered pizza. All four kids were playing together so nicely that the adults were able to enjoy a little friendly competition. We played Wii and then a DVD game that ended with a surprise victory from the girls! YEAH!!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Philip's Nursery

We finally finished the nursery! I really love the way it turned out. All it is missing is one thing - Baby Philip!

Pregnancy Craving

With both Jackson and Philip, I have had the same pregnancy craving - a sausage biscuit from McDonalds. With Jackson, every now and then I would stop the McDonalds on my way to work and indulge in this little treat.

This time around, I decided that once I had to start going to the doctor once a week, I would run by McDonalds after my appointments for breakfast. Each time I have enjoyed a sausage biscuit and a medium Coke. Yummy!

I didn't think much about this until yesterday when my friend Kate came over. We were fixing lunch for the kids and she said she wasn't hungry. Turns out on the way to my house after her doctor's appointment (she is pregnant too), she had run by a McDonald's for her craving - a sausage biscuit!

I thought it was so funny that we shared the same craving. Then, our friend Ashley who was also over at the house, confessed that was her craving too when she was pregnant!

I guess my seemingly innocent craving is a popular one!

Today, I really splurged and got the entire Sausage biscuit meal - biscuit, hashbrown, and a Coke. If all goes as planned, I only will have a couple more doctor's appointments so I thought I would live it up while I could!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Jackson and Flash

I had to post this adorable of Jackson and Flash. Flash had just returned from the vet where he was put under to get his teeth cleaned. He was so relaxed, he just laid around all day and Jackson decided to join him!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Shower for Kate and Baby Jack!

Yesterday morning we had a church shower for Kate and Baby Jack. It was so much fun! Katey did most of the planning and organizing. I just came a little early to help decorate.

Kate is the one of the most giving people I know and Katey and I wanted to make sure everything was perfect for her shower. She deserves the best and more! Hopefully, we did her proud!

Here are some pictures from the morning:

We decided to do a brunch and several friends helped out with the delicious food.

Katey made the adorable diaper cake

I was in charge of the drink station. It was so much fun to pull out all the crystal items I haven't used since I got them for our wedding.

The Mom-To-Be opening all her presents.

One of our friend's daughter, Clara Helen, joined us for the morning and it was so fun to see her get excited about all the gifts.

Clara Helen had fun making hair accessories out of the gift bows. Here is Katey modeling her first creation.

What a great turnout!!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Belly Shots

Since I was all dressed up this morning to head to Kate's shower, I decided to get some shots of me all pregnant. 3 more weeks! Yeah!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Our (failed) attempt at a romantic night out

Earlier this week, our friends Edith and Larry asked if they could watch Jackson for us so we could go on a date tonight - Of Course!! Thank you!!

Wesley and I were both very excited about a night out, and planned on getting dinner and going to a movie. After dropping Jackson off, we realized neither of us were really hungry. There was no use spending too much money when we didn't want anything too heavy and we knew popcorn would be on the agenda later.

Hindsight 20/20, we now know that decision – the decision not to go grab dinner - is what turned a perfectly romantic night out into well life. Here's what happened:

1. Instead of fun times at a restaurant, we ended up at Babies R Us taking back a few things for Philip.

2. Instead of dinner out, we ran through Burger King and each brought a cheeseburger into the movies - great complement for popcorn, huh?

3. We were the first to arrive at the movie and decided on the perfect spot. About 10 minutes later, the next couple came into the empty theater and where did they decide to sit? 2 seats down from Wesley!

It took both of us a minute to register that out of the entire theater, this couple wanted to be right next to us. We were finally over it, when the next couple in came and sat 1 seat down from me. Not cool at all!

4. After picking up Jackson and heading home, the rest of the evening consisted of Wesley and me sitting on the couch waiting on the doctor to call back and counting fetal movements.

Seems my big belly looks just a pillow and Jackson decided to forcefully fall back on his "pillow" leaving me in pain and worried that he had just broken Philip's legs!

After consulting with the doctor and feeling Philip move all over the place, we realized Jackson's accidental plunge into my belly did no harm!

It just confirmed that with a 2 1/2 year old and one on the way, a romantic night out is harder to accomplish than once was!! Oh well, that’s life and I wouldn’t want it any other way!

Let's Color

Jackson has a new favorite activity - coloring. This child could color day and night. He loves using crayons, markers, pencils, pens, highlighters - anything that will allow him to make circles! See he doesn't color like most kids - scribbling lines across the page - instead he loves to make circles over and over again!

I think it is very impressive, but all the circles kinda creep Wesley out a bit. He has a theory as to what the circles mean, but I think his idea is what is creepy! Something about what Jackson sees in his dreams - sounds to me like Wesley has seen TOO many Sci-Fi movies!

Anyways, Jackson loves to color and make things. I love to see the pieces he brings home from school and love to watch him creative at home!

He brought this worksheet home from school on Tuesday. I was so impressed with how he filled in each grape with a purple circle!!

Creating at home with his huge bag of crayons!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Visit from my family

Last weekend the Benders came down for a visit and this weekend, my family came down. Mom, Dad, and Emily got here early on Saturday to spend a couple of days with us. (Susan wasn’t able to come because Joshua and Caleb had their first basketball game Saturday.)

The main objective to their visit, other than just hanging out, was to finish Philip’s nursery. Wesley had painted the room, and I had organized what we had, but my mom was coming down with some special treats. She made the crib skirt and had figured out something cute for the window treatments.

After lunch, Wesley took charge of Jackson. His special assignment – somehow get him down for a nap with Mimi, PopPop and Emmie in the other room. It wasn’t easy but he succeeded!!

After Jackson went down, we all began working on the window treatment. Mom, Dad, Emily and I got it ready and Dad and Wesley put it up.

Wesley joked how many Jablonskis does it take to make a window valance? The answer: 4 on the bathroom floor! (it was the only room with enough clear space for us to stretch out the fabric!!)

Neither tasks were as simple as we had once hoped but once the window was done we arranged a few other things in the closet, decided on sheet colors, and then went downstairs to open some gifts they had brought from home.
Look at all these gifts!

Emily gave us some adorable clothes; my Aunt Alice had made Philip some booties using my Grandmother's pattern; and Mom and Dad showered us with tons of "Philip" items. She and Dad also gave us some other necessities including a new double stroller for the boys! How wonderful!
Clothes from Emily

Beautiful gown my mom made

The "Manly" diaper bag for Wesley

Philip's taggie blanket. Jackson has one like this that he loves and sleeps with every night. I wonder if Philip will like his as much?

Philip burp clothes

We opened all Philip's gifts while Jackson was asleep because we knew he wouldn't be a fan of Philip getting all the presents. Once he woke up, it pretty much became all about him. My dad treated us all to dinner at Jackson's favorite - Chick-fil-a. Then we went for an after dinner snack of a Krispy Kreame donut. We all ended up enjoying this treat!

It was a quick visit but so much fun. What was more exciting was knowing the next time we would see them was when Philip was here!! Not too much longer!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Let It Snow!

Call me a critic but I never believe the weathermen when they say it is going to snow. I hate getting up in the morning hoping that there will be a blanket of white just to find a wet yard where it has rained all night long. Instead of disappointment, I always just assume that the weather men are wrong and have it in my head that it is going to rain.

Here in Atlanta, they started predicting snow on Wednesday night. Schools in Forsyth County decided to do Early Release Thursday to prepare for the big winter storm. I couldn't believe the decision was made before the first snow flake even fell!

Anyways, I picked Jackson up early from school and we waited to see if anything would happen. Sure enough it did! After Jackson (and I) woke up from a nap, it started snowing and actually began to stick.

It was too cold for Jackson to go out and play but I did snap this picture of Wesley out in the beautiful snow.

I guess sometimes the weathermen are right after all!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

A Heavenly Thank you

The doorbell rang this afternoon and on my front porch was a delivery from Edible Arrangements. I had no idea who could have sent us a gift so figured it was a mistake. I checked the card and sure enough it was for me!

I recently finished my time with Heavenly Ham and over the past two months, I have been training two employees to take over my responsibilities. This surprise gift was from one of them! Jennifer just wanted to thank me for all the time I had put into making sure she was ready for the transition - How sweet and thoughtful!!

The arrangement was beautiful and delicious. I highly recommend this place if you ever need to send a gift. It is better than flowers because you can enjoy looking at it and eating it!

Look how pretty it was before Jackson, Wesley, and I tore into it!!

Thank you, Jennifer!

Monday, January 4, 2010

The original Philip Bender

When Wesley and I were first discussing names for our new baby, we had a little trouble coming up with a boy’s name. The girl’s name was easy. We were going to reuse the name we had selected if Jackson had been a girl.

For the boy’s name, I had one idea and he had another. I suggested Philip and Wesley wasn’t sold on it. I just asked if we could run it by Jackson. We were in the car driving to Nashville and I told Jackson to say “Philip”

His reply: “Brother’

That’s all it took to sell Wesley on the name Philip!!

After we settled on Philip, Wesley reminded me that Philip was also his grandfather’s name. Wesley wasn’t that close to him and I never had the opportunity to meet him, but it was still neat that our little boy would share names with his great-grandfather.

This weekend while Jack and Lynne were in town, I decided it was time I found out about the original Philip Bender.

Saturday night after we put Jackson down, I asked Jack to tell me about his dad. I am so glad we had this time to share stories about the original Philip Bender.

Jack shared about his upbringing in Downy, California with his parents – Philip and Velda. He told about his move after high school to Abilene. After college, Jack never returned to live close to his parents but when he and Lynne were settled in Atlanta right before Wesley was born, Phil and Velda moved to Atlanta where they stayed until Jack’s mom passed away.

During our conversation, Jack shared all about his father. It was a very colorful story and not the traditional story like others in our family have. It was fascinating though to hear what this World War 2 veteran went through during his life.

The last thing Jack said that was then echoed by Lynne was that Philip Bender was a man of integrity. Wow! You can use a lot of words to describe a man, but what a strong testimony to their character to say they were known to be a man of their word.

Hearing that made me so glad we have chosen to name our newest blessing Philip Bender. He will know that his name carries with it the idea of integrity and that is a wonderful characteristic to be known for!

Phil and Velda Bender

Weekend with the Benders

This weekend, Wesley's parents came into town. They wanted to spend some time with us before Philip's arrival and celebrate Christmas with us.

As soon as they arrived, Wesley and Jackson wasted no time asking if we could open presents! We all sat down and enjoyed watching Jackson get all excited about his new videos, clothes, and microphone!

Wesley and I too were excited about opening the gifts. Especially the one with Mickey Mouse on top! We read the letter attached to the present and were ecstatic that 2010 will bring the next Bender Disney Vacation!! We all went in 2005 and had a blast! I know this trip will be so much fun as well!!

We're going back to Disney!
Saturday, Jack and Lynne offered to watch Jackson so Wesley and I could go to a movie. We have wanted to see The Blindside so we took them up on the offer. Wesley and I loved the movie and I know Jackson had fun with his Grammy and KD.

Watching TV with his Da-da and KD

Coloring with Grammy

We're going out!
After the movie, we came home and made a hamburger dinner. Jackson's favorite thing is helping people cook so he loved helping KD make the fries, Grammy make the guacamole, and Da-Da grill.

Chopping Sweet Potatoes with KD

Mixing up the guacamole with Grammy

Sunday, we all went to church. We were starting new adult classes this week and we all went to a class called Crazy Love. It is being taught by two of our friends, Waylon and Brad, and it was wonderful. Lynne even commented that she can't wait to read the book they discussed in class.

This is not the best picture but it was the best of what we had. We couldn't get Jackson to cooperate. Of course, when Grammy and KD had him, he cheesed it up for the perfect picture...

After services and a quick meal, Jack and Lynne packed up and headed home. A few hours later, we welcomed Wesley's brother Joel and his family. They were passing through and stopped for dinner, more presents, and a fix-it session!
How many Bender boys does it take to fix the dishwasher? 5 I guess!

It was great to be able to spend time with the Benders and celebrate this happy season with them.

Friday, January 1, 2010

The last week of 2009

After a packed weekend of Christmas celebrations, we were ready to relax a little bit and enjoy a low key week. Well, I take that back, I was ready to relax and enjoy a low key week. Wesley was ready to get to work.

We had a list of house projects that early Monday morning, Wesley began working on. First on his list was cleaning the garage. It took him two days to clean out and organize all that was in the garage which is quite amazing considering we had just done a mass cleaning in September.

Also on the list was to caulk the kitchen counters. Wesley tried to tackle that by himself, but Jackson soon got in on the fun! I hope it is true that two hands are better than one :-)

It wasn't all work for the week. We also enjoyed some fellowship with friends. On Tuesday night, we went over to the Underwoods house for dinner. My parents went to UT with Edith and Larry and ever since we moved to Georgia in 2004, they have taken us in. It is so nice to have a place to run for a home cooked meal with people who have known you since you were little! Wesley and I love spending time with them and so does Jackson!

On Wednesday night, we met up with the Mahadevaiah family for dinner. We met this lovely family in 2004 as well. Minutha was the first teen Wesley met when he started his job and we have loved watching her and her sister grow up over the past 5 years.

The girls gave Jackson his first suitcase - an adorable rolling bag in the shape of Lightning McQueen. Huge hit!

New Year's Eve was pretty quiet around here. The church was hosting a party but since it didn't start until 8:00 we decided to head to dinner with our friends Katey, Waylon and Alayna. We got in early and I actually crashed around 9:00. I think Wesley stayed up to watch the UT game and a movie, but think even he feel asleep before the ball dropped!

Looking back on the year, we have so much to be thankful for. Wesley and I are most thankful for our sweet little Jackson and excited about what is ahead for our family as we welcome Philip in a few short weeks!

Cheers to a great 2009 and prayers for blessed 2010!