Sunday, May 30, 2010

A Tradition!

Last year, our small group from church planned a few get-togethers with hopes that they would become yearly traditions. The first event was a Memorial Day party at Katey and Waylon’s. This afternoon, we all got together for the 2nd annual Memorial Day Picnic so I guess we can officially say, “We have a tradition!”

The afternoon was full of amazing food, fellowship, and lots and lots of laughter.
The girls - Kate, Katey, Priscilla, Leanne and Ashley
Jackson brought his 4 wheeler and took Tucker out for a spin. Tucker has a much larger truck that he and Jackson usually ride on. He didn't bring it tonight so I guess they thought this would do!

Waylon took the kids around on the real 4 wheeler after dinner.

A table full of HAPPY kids!

Jackson loved the cupcake. He opted to go with his tongue instead of a napkin to get the last of the icing off !

Emily and Ryan were in town this weekend so they got to join the fun as well. I think they enjoyed it but as you will see from the pictures below, it wasn’t all fun for them. Somehow, they got roped into child watch duty. With a group of 9 children, all hands are needed on deck and Emily and Ryan were no exception :-) Thanks for the help, guys!

Funny story, at one point, all the big kids and men were out rain playing. After a while, a wet Ryan looked around and said, “Wait, I don’t have any kids. Why am I out here?” He then proceeded to join the dry females on the porch!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Last Day of School Party!

Mrs. Kristen posted some pictures of the last week of school. The first two are from Tuesday and the last are from the end of the year party!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Last day of Preschool

Yesterday was Jackson's last day of 2 year old preschool. It has been a wonderful year full of growth. Since September, his vocabulary has grown; he is playing with others instead of just by others; and he knows his colors, shapes, letters and numbers (well, except for #3...he has difficulty remembering it's in there!).

There have been behavioral bumps along the way. With a class of 10 boys and 2 girls, that is to be expected but we have used those bumps to try to figure out what works for Jackson as far as discipline goes. It is still a learning game, but rewards and consequences seem to encourage him a little more than time-out.

I am so very proud of him and all he has accomplished this year. Can't believe my little man already has one year of school under his belt!

First day of 2 year old preschool

Last day of preschool
His backpack (barley) made it through to the last day!

Waiting in line for drop off. (If we arrived early, he was allowed to get out of his seat and wait in the front with Mommy. He really love that!)

Jackson was blessed to have two amazing teachers this year. Mrs. Kristen was the head teacher and Mrs. Shirley was her assistant. We are going to miss these wonderful ladies over the summer and next year!

Jackson with Mrs. Shirley

Jackson and Mrs. Kristen

The last activity of each day was time in the Ball Room. Jackson loved using this time to ride on the bicycles! Usually, when I peaked my head in the room before I picked him up, I would find him riding around.

On his motorcycle
I love it when I can tell Jackson is smiling even when all I see is the back of his head!

I am thinking a tricycle for his 3rd birthday! I know he will love it!
On the last day of school, they had a huge party. Pizza, water time, and a face painter. Here he is showing me his fish - he just couldn't remember what side it was on!

I can't believe when Jackson started school, we knew we would welcome a baby in Feb. but didn't know it would be a little boy! Now, here is our little 4 month old, Philip! I loved having some time alone with Philip while Jackson was at school, but I am really looking forward to having both my boys with me all summer!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

First Sleep Over

Tonight, Wesley and I have been working hard to get our house ready for weekend visitors. Emily and Ryan are coming down and until right now, there was no way we would let even family see the upstairs of our home.

Since we were cleaning our room and Jackson's room, we had to put Jackson down for the night in Philip's room. I really didn't think he would go to sleep, but he settled into his sleeping bag and quickly cashed out.

Here's a picture of my precious boys' first sleep over! I pray they are the best of friends so hopefully, this will be the first of many nights spent together.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Knoxville Visit

Jackson, Philip and I made our first solo trip this past week. On Thursday, after preschool, we packed up the car and headed to Knoxville. Our friends from Alpharetta, the Underwoods, had invited us to the rehearsal dinner and wedding of their son, Justin. Wesley was unable to make it due to a work trip in Colorado but I was honored to celebrate this exciting time with them.

The Newlyweds - Justin and Beth Underwood

Jack and Lynne graciously offered to watch the boys Thursday for the rehearsal and Friday for the wedding. I know Jackson and Philip loved this time with Grammy and KD.
In addition to the wedding, we were able to visit with friends and family while we were in Knoxville. Lynne’s cousin Mary Jo and her friend came to visit Friday for lunch. Saturday morning, the boys and I went over to Allison (Hayes) Keener’s house. She is one of my high school classmates and also a new member at Jack and Lynne’s church. Small World! I enjoyed visiting with her and Jackson loved playing with her boy MJ.

MJ is 4 months younger than Jackson but on the high end of the growth scale!
They got along great and were big buddies by the end of the visit.
Sunday, we were able to attend our first service in the new Hardin Valley church building. This congregation had been meeting in a school for four years and moved into their building on Valentine’s Day. It is a beautiful building that will be used in great ways in the Hardin Valley community.
Grammy, Jackson and Philip waiting on the car outside the church

After church, we went to see Paw-Paw for a few minutes. He looked great and it was nice to spend some time with him. I hadn’t been with him since Thanksgiving.

The rest of the time, the boys spent playing and playing with Jack and Lynne. Jackson followed Jack around all weekend. He had a great time with his KD!

Jack is showing Jackson a furry caterpillar on the porch.

Philip set up shop in Lynne’s lap for the weekend. He even shared his first belly laugh with her!

Of course, Grammy's lap also had room for Jackson too. Here he is showing off the new Star Wars pajamas she bought for him.

Thanks Grammy and KD for a wonderful get away!

I have to end with a huge shout out to my fabulous sister-in-law Abby. She was so awesome and let us drop in on the way to and from Knoxville. They live in Chattanooga and it is the perfect place to stop to feed Philip and let Jackson run around with his cousins Trent and Luke. Thank you, Abby!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Sunday was Baby Dedication, I think...

Several weeks ago, we learned that Philip's Baby Dedication at church would be May 16. I was so excited about this day because of all the wonderful memories I have of Jackson’s Dedication. It was a beautiful celebration.

I should have known that something would go wrong when the four of us arrived early to church Sunday. Not only were we there early, we were dressed to impress. My mom had made the boys adorable matching outfits. I was sporting a new dress, and Wesley was wearing a suit and tie.

We took our places in the second row and waited for the service to start. Jackson would join Wesley, Philip and me on stage for the dedication. I had been talking to him about his responsibility– to accept and hold Baby Philip’s new Bible – and thought he was ready for the role.

They called Philip's name and he and Wesley walked to the stage. I whispered to Jackson to follow. He had other plans. The clapping from the congregation scared him and he began crying and holding on to me for dear life. It was obvious he was uncomfortable going up there.

I had seconds to decide what to do. I could either take my place on stage with a screaming child or I could walk to the side. I chose to walk off. Thankfully, my friend Cory was sitting in the front and opened her arms for Jackson. I handed him over and walked back towards the stage.

For some reason I had in my head that Wesley had positioned himself on the far end of the stage so I walked up the stairs – concentrating on walking not on where I was going– and stopped by the tall man on the end. Right before I settled in, I looked up and saw that it wasn‘t Wesley but my friend Ben! Whoops…luckily no one noticed my mistake, and I headed over to center stage with Wesley and Philip.

I had just taken my “so glad that’s over, now let’s get on with this” breath when Philip, darling Philip, decided to show the crowd what he had for breakfast. It went all over him, all over Wesley, and ended in my outstretched hand. Gross!

I looked around for help. Kate was next to me but all she had to offer was a smile and a “we will laugh about this someday” look. Thankfully, another mom near the front went through my bags, found a burp cloth, and walked it to the stage.

I was cleaning us all off when I heard some commotion on my right. I turned and Mr. Jackson was back. He came running across the stage and I was so glad to see him. He wasn’t as glad to see me and wanted his DaDa who was holding Philip. I had to pry him off Wesley’s leg and hold onto him during the final prayer.

Once it was over and we were heading back to our seats, Jackson decided he loved being up on stage and made a grand exit jumping down each stair. Thankfully, my biggest fear – falling while in front of a large crowd – didn’t happen and we safely made it back to our row.

We sat down and contemplated keeping the boys with us during the service. We quickly thought better of it and bolted out of the auditorium with both boys.

After dropping them off at the nursery, we settled into our seats. I took a few minutes to catch my breath and realized that:

1. The whole ordeal seemed worse in my head than it actually was.

2. All the experienced moms and dads in the crowd could sympathize. Who hasn’t had their 2 year old breakdown at the worst possible moment?

Most importantly, our experience provided an excellent example for Rocky’s sermon “From Diapers to Diploma.” He worked into his speech that no matter how good all the expert books are for first time parents, even they can't tell you what to do when your baby throws up during Baby Dedication! Good Point!

After all was said and done, I have pictures to prove we were there, but really I have no recollection of anything that was said on Baby Dedication. I guess Philip’s official! What I do know, is Wesley and I are committed to bringing Jackson and Philip up in the Lord and we couldn’t be happier to have such a loving church to walk with us on this journey!

I can't believe Katey snapped this picture right as I was catching Philip's spit up!

So glad Jackson had to entertain him until we are done!

The Bender Clan after the festivities of the dedication

A proud Mommy with her boys

Philip and Mommy

I am so blessed with wonderful friends at Grace Chapel. It is so much fun to "Do Life" with these girls. Here I am with 2 special friends Katey and Kate.
Philip and Jack are 6 weeks apart. I can't wait to see them grow up and be big buddies like their brothers.

Happy Boy!