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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.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Swimming

Ethan finished his first season of real swimming lessons. He and I did a Mommy and Me class when he was little but since then he has not had any formal lessons. This summer, he took a one week class and although he experienced some major anxiety, by the end of the week he was jumping off the side of the pool and swimming to one of the teachers. We cannot wait to see how he progresses as the summer goes on! Ben and I definitely have to work with him on his kicking but he at least has the right idea.

His teacher, Jamie, told us at his last class that earlier he had said to him, "You're doing such a great job, where did you get your big strong muscles from?" and Ethan replied without so much as a thought, "From God up in heaven." Talk about bringing tears to a Mommy's eyes! We are so blessed to be able to talk to him about what an awesome God we serve and do little things to build his faith. I pray that his heart stays in a place that is so open.

Here's a short video of one of his jumps. Caden is hilarious at the end because evidently he wasn't too thrilled with the attention Ethan was getting and told him he had to go to Time Out :-)
video

Now we are trying to reinforce what he has learned so that he doesn't forget what to do. Many of our evenings from now on will look like this...

  

And then there's this one who is completely fearless already...

Thursday, June 27, 2013

ZooAtlanta

We recently took some friends and headed down to ZooAtlanta for the morning. I love that Ethan is old enough to walk and that soon Caden will be, too. But thankfully, we took another friend his age so they rode in the double stroller together.

Ethan and Sam checking out the flamingos
 Caden and our little friend Sadie with our big friend Lauren
 Being silly :-)
 After a long morning of checking out the animals, it was finally time for a lunch break!
 After lunch, we headed to our favorite stops: the train...
 and the carousel
Can you tell that by this time everyone was hot and tired??? So we loaded up and headed to get ice cream to celebrate Ms. Beth's birthday and cool off. It was a great day at the zoo but I'm sure the ice cream stop was enjoyed most by all!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Mimi and Aunt Wanda Weekends

As a present for my birthday and Father's Day, my mom decided she wanted the boys to take the boys for a weekend at her house. IT WAS AWESOME! I thoroughly enjoyed my weekend of sleeping without a monitor beside my head and not having to break up constant disagreements between brothers.
So, on Friday we headed to meet Mimi in Oxford. In order to beat rush hour through Atlanta on a Friday afternoon we had to leave around noon but it was totally worth it because we got to bounce and play while we waited for Mimi to arrive.



Once Mimi met us, we had dinner and a celebratory birthday cookie, then went our separate ways. I got back home early enough for Ben and I to go to the movies. We slept in Saturday, ran a few errands, and headed down to Turner Field with some friends that afternoon to watch the Braves play. That night, Ben went with some guy friends to hear a band play and after church Sunday morning, I headed back over to meet Mom and pick up the boys while Ben went to play golf. It was a wonderfully relaxing weekend and we enjoyed every single minute. Of course, we missed our boys but it definitely made us realize the importance of taking a moment every now and then to rejuvenate.


Then last Saturday we went down to Aunt Wanda's for dinner and Ethan was allowed to spend the night. They love Aunt Wanda's backyard and the boys always have a blast playing when we visit. That night, Caden went back home with us and Ethan got special one-on-one time with Aunt Wanda. Then Sunday afternoon, we returned to pick up Ethan after they got in a little more playtime.


We are so very thankful for loved ones that care so much about our little ones!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Weekend Project: Playset

This weekend, Grandad and Uncle CJ came to help Daddy and Ethan put together a playset for our backyard. Ben and I have been looking at them since we moved, but we have kept putting it off since we have a playground within walking distance from our house and it seems that we always play in the front yard. But at Ethan's end of year party, I was talking with his teacher, Ms. Beth, and she asked if we had a playset. I explained that we did not but that it was a purchase that we had been considering. Beth said that she would love to give us theirs if we would come get it. WOW, how generous! First, I love that she thinks so much of Ethan that she would have thought to offer it to us out of everyone in his class. And second, to simply give it to us. We were excited at the thought but I begged to buy it from her. Ms. Beth was so sweet that she wouldn't allow us to give them anything...so watch out, Ms. Beth, there will be lots of treats coming your way next year as we try to say Thank You for you and your family's amazing generosity!

Saturday morning started bright and early and Grandad, Daddy, and Uncle CJ headed over to Ms. Beth's to take it apart and bring it back to our house. By the time they got there Beth's husband, Rich, had already started taking it apart for them. Rich was so kind and thoughtful to help! We have been so blessed to have great people come into our lives since we have returned home. Within an hour, they had everything apart and loaded! Once they got back to our house, the put together process began and Ethan COULD NOT WAIT to help!! Unfortunately, we had a birthday party that afternoon but as soon as we got back, he ran inside to change clothes so that he could be a big helper!

So much was accomplished on Saturday that everyone relaxed that evening and we had a low country boil to quench those big appetites! We are extremely thankful for Mr. John who also came by to lend his carpentry skills to our project and Uncle Mike who was on hand with the leveling process. Sunday morning came and it was time to finish up. After a quick trip to Home Depot, we headed back with brand new equipment and the wood for a new tree house roof. Finally, Ethan had his moment to step in and help!

Big Boy!
 
 
 Look at those strong muscles!!
 
 It wasn't too much longer until Uncle Gary came by to assist with getting the swingset side anchored and then it was complete! Before we even got the equipment hung, some of our little friends were already in the backyard ready to play. The tire swing under the tree house is a huge hit!
 
 Even Lucy has learned to climb up the ladder and slide down the slide. We're trying to get a video of it. So, keep a look out for that to come soon :-)
It's not the biggest or the fanciest, but it was given with the purest of hearts and built by those that love us the most and we wouldn't have it ANY other way!!!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Park playtime

We recently spent the evening with one of our little friends at our favorite local park. It was a great way to expend some energy before bedtime!
The wild one...
 The monkey...truly
 
 
 Love this one!
 Our sweet friend 

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

More Summer School

We've been busy at "school" the last few weeks. Lots of activities, playtime, and outings! Here's what we've been up to:
Practicing our writing skills
 
 Gross motor skills ;-)
 Mess free painting
 Strolling and riding our bikes to the park for a picnic
 After picnic playtime
 
 Using fine motor skills to create a picture without drawing
 Sidewalk chalk painting
 Giving rides to our friends

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Our Happy Place

Last week, we took our neighbor friends to our(Ethan especially) happy place, the Dekalb-Peachtree airport. The kids loved playing on the playground and watching the planes take off and land.

Our crew
 
Peek-a-boo
 Just-a-swingin'
 Ethan & Sophia
 Caden
 Sohpia & Sam
 Sadie
Watching the planes
What a blast!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Memorial Day weekend at Mimi's

We spent last weekend at Mimi's house loving the summer weather! We left early on Friday and met Mimi, Uncle Chad, and Aunt Ashley at the SEC tournament to watch Brett play in the Alabama/LSU game. Then we went with Mimi to eat dinner and headed to her house for the rest of the weekend. The boys loved playing in the caterpillar sprinkler although Caden wasn't the least bit interested in it until after we had taken him out of his swimsuit and put his play clothes back on.
Uncle Chad joined in the action and helped them out when the sprinkler needed adjusting.
What a good sport!
 And for some reason Caden was fascinated with "watering" the wagon
 Sunday morning we headed to Mimi's church with her. Ethan wasn't the least bit concerned because as soon as he saw their play area, he said "Mommy, why don't I just stay here while you go to your church?" And, of course, Caden was excited about anything that Ethan got excited, too. So, it was a great experience for them!
What a great weekend!