Our Story

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Ben and I met in 1996, began dating in 1999 and married in 2001. Now 20 years and 2 children later, we have returned to where our life together began. Ben works for the Federal Reserve and I have the privilege of staying home with our two precious boys.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Stone Mountain Laser Show with Mimi

We love our Mimi weekends! Especially Ethan! From the time that Mimi walks in the door to the time that she leaves, Mimi is wrapped around Ethan's little finger...and they both know it :-) And of course, as much as Mommy and Daddy try to discourage it, Mimi spoils hers grands rotten; case in point, the picture below. But Mimi loves every minute of it and proudly lets us know every chance that she gets. 

After late Saturday naps, we made a trip to Stone Mountain to watch the laser show. It doesn't start until sunset (9:00pm in the summertime) so the boys were out extremely late. It was the latest that they had ever been up. I'm pretty structured when it comes to bedtime so I wasn't too sure if meltdowns would ensue, but they were champs and both stayed awake talking the whole ride home as well. Bedtime: 11:45pm! Can you believe it! And we even made it to church on Sunday :-)

Stone Mountain is like Georgia's own mini Mt. Rushmore and they project a laser show set to music on the side of the mountain where the sculpture is during the spring, summer, and fall evenings. Ben and I had taken Ethan to the laser show back in October and he wasn't too thrilled with it, so I was anxious to see how he would do this time. Well, he had a blast playing and running around the blanket before the show began, but as soon as the music started his anxiety took over. So, Ethan and Mommy spent the rest of the night strolling around the park away from the show. In his defense, the music does get a little loud and there are intermittent fireworks throughout the show. Remember, this is the little guy who watched Pocahontas in the car while the rest of the family watched 4th of July fireworks. Anyway, I was told that Caden loved every minute of it and bopped his foot along to the music. Sometimes, I have a hard time believing they are brothers.

Here's Mimi and Ethan before the show with his new prized possession. You can see Caden trying to crawl out of Ben's lap in the background. We have definitely reached toddlerhood with this one; not the least bit interested in EVER staying still.

This is my attempt to get everyone smiling. Ha! I could dream, couldn't I. Ethan's new light stick reminds me of something I would see in Harry Potter in this picture and the little girl next to us was having a blast blowing bubbles.

While Ethan and I strolled around the park I found one of the gift shops still open. They had a brand of Christian t-shirts that I had not seen before called Kerusso. Well, since Mommy had to find a way to waste some time and this was an air-conditioned building, we had a win-win situation and all walked away with new t-shirts. Each shirt has a verse on it.

Mimi's was Faith, Hope, and Love. For now there are faith, hope, and love. But of these three, the greatest is love. - 1 Corinthians 13:13
Mine was So Glad I'm a Christian Mom! I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13.
Ben's was Dad- Keeper of the faith. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.--Joshua 24:15
Ethan's were John 3:16(need I say more) and Search Rescue: He's on Patrol for Your Soul. Jesus came to seek and save the lost. Luke 19:10

They didn't sizes small enough for Caden, but I rationalized that he will soon be wearing these anyway...probably before Ethan outgrows them with the way he is eating :-)

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Our 3 Year Old Birthday Boy

Today our big boy turned 3 years old! It seems like yesterday that we were at Baylor surrounded by loved ones anticipating his arrival. The last three years have been extremely busy for us and that fits Ethan's personality to a "T"...always busy! This child does not believe in sitting still and today was no different. We started with a special birthday breakfast of his favorite...homemade pancakes! Then Ethan was nice enough to let Caden take a nap, but as soon as naptime ended for little brother we were off to the park for a picnic lunch and some playtime in the July heat :-)

Our day in pictures:
Beginning to master the monkey bars

In true Ethan style, a temper tantrum, even on his birthday

Blowing out the candles on his "little" cake after the boys' afternoon naps

 A trip to the mall for a pizza dinner and dancing in the food court

Then ending our evening with a ride on the carousel with sweet friends

Happy Birthday big boy! We love sharing your sweet hugs and kisses! You are a bundle of energy, excitement, and drama every single day and we can't wait to see what God has planned for your future. Mommy and Daddy love you so much!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Ethan's 3rd Birthday Party

Even though Ethan's birthday isn't officially until tomorrow, we spent Saturday celebrating his special day with friends. He has been super excited about his birthday party because we had it at the Dekalb-Peachtree airport. He and his friends were able to play on the playground and watch the planes take off and land in between birthday festivities. We wound up with a ton of pictures, but with party set-up and everyone showing up, things were so hectic that I didn't get a chance to take pictures of the food table, the cupcake tray(which was super cute!), centerpieces, decorations, etc :-(

It was hot, but everyone seemed to have a great time. We scheduled it early before things got super hot and I realized that this was the first birthday party that Ethan has had that did not involve the spray park. I've decided that for the next few years, we'll either return to something water related or have it indoors to stay cool! We are so thankful that our friends and family drove all the way down to Chamblee just for him! We had a great turnout and everyone had at least a 45min-1 hour drive just to get there! We would never have planned a party that far away and were simply planning to take  him down to the airport on his actual birthday and  have his party on the weekend at home. Then people began to tell us that they would be happy to drive down for him. So sweet!

Birthday boy in his birthday shirt holding his loot after playing "Lost in the Clouds"

We filled a baby pool with 144 small airplanes then laid a layer of shredded paper with white polyfill batting fibers over it and the kids had to dig around to find the airplanes "lost in the clouds"

Then I showed everyone a picture of an airplane die cut and the kids went on a Plane Hunt to look all over the playground area to find 12 others that had been hidden

Going on a Plane Hunt
 After that, everyone received their own paper airplane that Ben had made for them in advance and we had several paper airplane races...the farthest, the highest, do a trick, etc.

On your Mark, Get Set, Go!

Ready, Aim, Fly!

Everyone then climbed to the top of the viewing area so that we could get a picture of the whole crew. All you can see of Ethan is his airplane. He was not into getting his picture taken... we definitely have hit the 3's. And I thought the 2's were bad!

 Singing Happy Birthday after eating lunch. Subway party platters for the adults and Uncrustables with pretzels and apple slices for the kids.

Here's his little airplane cake. I just put plain cupcakes around it, but looking back now I should have surrounded his cake with the cute party cupcakes. They had the most adorable fondant toppers on them that I ordered off of Etsy and they looked exactly like his cake and covered the entire top of the cupcake(the candle is blocking one of the wings on the airplane). We even had some made with his initials on them and they looked awesome arranged on the cupcake tray with the airplane toppers...that I didn't get a picture of :-(

Mimi totally rocked the birthday party! I couldn't have done it without her! She drove over from Alabama just for the party. I put a quilt down for Caden and she hung out and entertained him while Mommy and Daddy were in party mode. You can't tell from the picture but he had his own little airplane outfit as well. This was taken toward the end of the party and he was 2 hours past his morning nap but still had a half smile :-)

 After the party wrapped up, we made it home in time to get cooled off with a bath and have naps! Which gave Mommy enough time to get changed and everything unloaded and put away before he woke up ready to open presents.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

July 4th

Ethan checking out pictures with Aunt Trish.

We made it home just in time to take a quick bath and pack a cooler & snacks to go see fireworks with some of our neighbor friends. ALL of the pictures that I took were horrible, but this shows a little of their excitement before the show began.

Caden's face watching the fireworks was priceless!

Ethan, however, was terrified and ended up watching Pocahontas in the car while everyone else enjoyed the show :-)

A Weekend at the Farm

Last weekend we made the trip to LA(Lower Alabama) and spent the weekend with Grandad, Granny, and Grandpa. This is a visit that we have been planning since we moved home last October but due to numerous scheduling conflicts we had not been able to get there until now. The farm is a busy place! I am so glad we were able to go and the boys absolutely LOVED every single minute we were there! I remember holidays and summers spent with my grandparents as a child and I am so grateful that my children get to have the same experience that I did. My grandparents are very active and run every part of the farm themselves. But several years ago, my Dad felt led to return home to help my grandparents and hopefully relieve them of a little of their work while he runs his agricultural building business. I documented every part of our entire weekend. My apologies, in advance, for total picture overload :-)We look forward to MANY more visits to the farm! 
We started our morning with Ethan helping Granny feed Payton. Ethan was not the least bit intimidated and giggled when Payton started eating carrots out of his hand. 

After a carrot snack, Ethan had to take Payton his feed...

And give him a few pats on the back.

Next, we took a ride on the mule to go check out the cows. This was one of Ethan and Caden's favorite modes of transportation around the farm! They would even climb up and sit in the mule when it was parked just to let us know they were ready for a ride.

Driving past Granny and Grandpa's house on the way to the cow pasture
Lots of memories here :-)

Checking out the cows. They were hilarious! They would back up as Ethan and Granny walked toward them but as soon as they turned around the cows would start walking up behind them.

Another favorite mode of transportation around the farm. Ethan was on cloud 9 that Grandad let him drive the tractor!
See ya Mommy! 

Mommy and Daddy " just a swingin' " (Anybody remember that song?)

Oh yes, there were an endless number of vehicles with wheels and Ethan drove every one of them! 

He even had a little time for toys his own size! 

And doing a little digging.

After a day on the road, Caden was able to catch up on a little of this.

Such sweetness! 
In the afternoon, Daddy and Grandad took Ethan to the Aviation Museum. Hello! Heaven! This is the boy that has an airplane themed birthday party planned at the airport! Daddy did a fabulous job taking pictures!

No time, Daddy, I have airplanes to see! 

They even got to sit inside a CH47 Shinook helicopter!

Of course, Grandad had to stop by the gift shop and buy one for Ethan.
He and the helicopter were inseparable. He tried to put in the bathtub with him, but did succeed in taking it to bed :-)

Cutie pie hanging out

The boys had some time for a little sprinkler action

 And even a little drink of water

Then Grandpa took them for another ride on the mule.

And we stopped to check out the chickens this time.

A little while later, the boys got changed and we went across the creek to check out the bulls in the other pasture. There's about a hundred head of cattle on the farm. We took Grandad's truck across the creek but Ethan was more interested in riding with Grandpa on the mule. Ethan got to pet one of the bulls. As we were finishing up with the cows, one of the bulls snorted and Ethan asked if we could go see the elephant next. Grandpa said that he didn't have an elephant, but Ethan was adamant that Grandpa take him to the elephant because he had just heard it!

Caden was fascinated watching the cows from the truck.

Caden is always interested in what's going on in the kitchen!

Getting his grub on!

We ended the weekend taking the boys to church. Grandad loved showing off his grandsons and I have to say that Ethan and Caden did pretty well sitting in big church for the first time. But, boy, was this Mommy stressed!

Less than an hour into the trip home, they were out! 

What a wonderful weekend!