Sunday, December 20, 2009

My baby boy ...

... isn't a baby anymore. Today he's four. Happy Birthday, adorable, sweet, yet mischevious little devil of a child, Preston. We love and adore you more than you'll ever know.

Ten Years

It's been 10 years since we said, "I do." Wow. It seems like yesterday. We were definitely made for each other as we are very different, but also very much alike. I couldn't imagine life without you.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Fall 2009 Soccer

This fall we tried a new soccer league - a competitive soccer club. It was such a great learning experience for Kennedy. Most of the teams they played were much older and and the girls and boys (it is a co-ed league, though there are only girls on her team) were much taller and bigger. It was so fun to watch and we're looking forward to the spring session. Kennedy has also asked to play indoor soccer beginning in January, we're still undecided, but guess we'll need to make a decision soon.

Just wanted to say ...

I know there's much catching up that needs to be done. I'm working on that, but before I do, I can't let today go by without sharing photos of my seven-year-old Kennedy with you. (Seven!!! How in the world did she get that old?!)

Happy birthday to the first of the two most wonderful gifts I've ever received ... sweet, beautiful Kennedy.

Caring. Affectionate. Considerate. Passionate. Responsible. Loving. Mature. Accepting. These are just a few of her wonderful traits. We are so thankful for her and all of the joy she brings to our lives.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

It's been a while ...

Yes, I know ... I'll be back soon ... hopefully ... until then, enjoy the new pictures of the kids in the header.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

P's Big Day

This past Wednesday, P. went to his first day of preschool at our church. He has been waiting for this day since last year, when K. began kindergarten. He was so excited and could hardly stop playing and talking with friends to tell me goodbye. He LOVES school and that makes me so happy.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

My Angel

It is very often that I call K. "angel" or "my angel." I do it so often that she believes she is a true angel sent to us from God. Who's going to argue with that? I can't say enough just how blessed I am to be K.'s mom. It is such a gift.

Recently she has become more aware of her cleft lip and palate, but only because other children (usually older children) have asked her about her scars (which truly are very minimal). In my explanations to her I tell her she was born with a broken lip that was shaped like a heart and that God gave us very special doctors to repair her lip to help her to eat, drink and speak more easily. She is completely satisfied with my response, which is the complete truth, and is so proud of her cleft. We tell her it only makes her more special.
At the end of her kindergarten school year, she met an adult at her school who was also born with cleft. She came home that day to tell me that she had met another special angel from God and she worked at her school. And added, "Can you believe it?" I was pretty close to tears.

This year she'll most likely have to deal with a lot more questions as she'll begin seeing an orthodontist soon and another surgery will be scheduled in the not-so-distant future (possibly within the next couple of years depending on growth, etc.) She has lost several "baby teeth" and her permanent teeth are arriving in all sorts of crazy directions.

I hope her confidence in herself only grows and that she'll be able to answer those tough questions like the angel she is. I couldn't be happier that she is proud of such a minor thing (her scars) that makes her different and that she is accepting of everyone and the things that make us all different. I wish more people could be just like her, including myself.

First Grade

Our sweet girl is now in first grade. The first day of school was Aug. 6, which, in my opinion, is way too early. She had a great day and is so excited about what this year will bring. She is also very, very happy with her teacher, who was also my third grade teacher at a different school just a mere 23 years ago. I survived the day emotionally, but I'll admit - it wasn't as easy as I thought it would be. I had to fight very hard to hold back the tears. I can't stand that she is growing up so fast. P. starts preschool in Sept. He is more than ready to go. In fact, he tells me he wants to just go on to kindergarten. When that happens, be prepared - I'm going to be an emotional wreck!

Here's our girl on her first day:

At the beach with the Armstrongs

In mid-July we took a nine-day trip to Florida. We spent the first four days in Seacreast by ourselves and spent the last five in Okaloosa Island with Mimi, Poppy, Aunt Les, Trey and Syd. We had so much fun and I have lots of pictures to prove it. The highlights included: getting caught in a storm on Seacrest Beach and having to wait for our "tram" (aka golf cart) in the pouring rain - it really was fun for all of us; watching the kids play in the fountains outside our condo; K. and P. perfecting their wave riding skills; Syd telling me to "c'mon, get in water, Brani!"; playing Rook and dominoes every night with Les and Trey; hunting for sand crabs with Poppy and the kids and their flashlights on the beach at night; taking the children out for their first putt putt golf game; and attempting the perfect beach photo of the entire family (see previous post).

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Summer Vacation

We're baaaack! Well, sort of. It's been a while, but for good reason ... we've been busy. Just when I thought things were going to slow down, it seems as if they've sped up. With two children, and yes I know people survive with many more, the days just aren't long enough. So far this summer we've enjoyed:

  • Picnics with friends

  • Birthdays (my nephew's, papaw's and R's birthdays)

  • Art Camp (K. only)
  • A trip to the beach for me with friends (and no children!)

  • New hair cuts (Preston got a mohawk that lasted a week - he wasn't a fan, but it was CUTE!)

  • Most weekends in the pool at Mimi's & Poppy's
  • Nine more days at the beach (five spent with the entire Armstrong family) - another post and 700 pictures more later, just kidding, I won't post all 700

  • Short trips to see friends
  • Vacation Bible School
  • Spending time as a family
Hope you too are having a great summer. Here we only have one more week until school begins for K. and another month until P. starts preschool (and I have an emotional breakdown). We plan to have as much fun as possible until then ...

Friday, May 22, 2009

Field Day

Ahhh...the joys of of those joys is Field Day. K. was so excited and talked for days about "that race, you know, the one where you put your feet in a bag?" The sack race. It was so fun to watch these adorable children participate in the events without an ounce of jealousy over who won and who lost. All participants were showered with applause after each event. I sure wish that would last...but I do know better than to believe it will. I am so thankful for K.'s school for allowing the parents to enjoy this day with our children. By the way, K. did win first place in "that race where you put your feet in a bag."

Violet, the newest family member

Here she is...our sweet Violet.

Violet is a pure bred Brussels Griffon and came to us from our friends who have two of their own and then had four puppies. We were hesitant to get another puppy after our last experience (remember Rosie?), but did the research and chose a dog we thought would best fit our family. She's of the "toy" variety and is so darn cute. She is house broken already (we've had her for a week and she has had one accident) and will climb in her crate on her own for a nap and for the night. She loves to chew, but mostly she LOVES to curl up in someone's lap and be loved.

I do feel guilty for not rescuing a dog from the shelter, but at this time and without a huge yard in which a dog could run and play, choosing Violet was the best thing for us. By the way, Rosie now resides (as of last November) in Knoxville with a 12-year-old boy who has a big backyard in which she can go crazy (because that dog is CRAZY). Maybe I won't feel guilty afterall, I did rescue Rosie. Right?

Recital 2009

K. beautifully danced with her friends and classmates at the Armfield Dance Academy's 2009 Recital last weekend. She takes both ballet and tap, but says her passion is hip hop (a class is offered by our good friend, but she is not yet old enough to enroll)...go figure. She loves to dance and we love watching her. I can't begin to tell you just how beautiful this child is both inside and out, but I will certainly show you just how beautiful she is on the outside...

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Soccer, Grandmother and the Orange & White Game

Random, I know, but all of these things filled our weekend. We were very excited to pick up Grandmother and enjoy time with her this past weekend. She was even able to watch Kennedy play soccer on a very beautiful day. I am very sorry that I did not get more pictures of her with the kids, but hopefully I will remember to do that next time. After K.'s soccer game we (just R., the kids and I) drove up for Fan Day at UT and the Orange & White game. We arrived too late for Fan Day, but ran into Smokey (actually two Smokies) as they were coming out the back gate of the practice field. This was the first trip to Neyland Stadium for both the kids (we like to enjoy the football games without having to worry about the kids being too hot, too tired, too cold or too bored). They had a great time and hopefully K. can make it back for a real game this fall. P. is still too impatient to sit through an entire game. He fell asleep in my lap after the first half of the game. It may be a couple more years before he attends a real game.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


We have too much junk, especially K. and P. A week ago I decided to clean out K.'s room and get rid of all of the unnecessary items and pack up the "heavy" winter clothes. I got in way over my head and ended up spending six hours in her room. I ended up with two storage containers of clothes (one to store for next year and one to pass along to our cousin), three trash bags of toys to donate, two bags of trash and a bag to send to the recycling center. I can't believe it was all in K.'s room, with the majority of it in her closet. Here's proof of the mess and the finished project. I didn't do before photos because I forgot, but as I stood trapped in the (empty) closet I yelled for K. to bring me the camera.

I did the same to P.'s room just a week before. I didn't take pictures while I was cleaning out his room, but I was able to donate five bags of toys to our church after I finished. It is so nice to declutter, yet K. and P. still have too much stuff for the spaces they have. Here's pictures of P.'s room. He has new bedding and will soon have a new bed (for now he is sleeping on K.'s trundle - I couldn't take the whole crib look anymore and the changing table, which was never used, was taking up space). I have also bought a few more organizational items that I need to put in there. I LOVE a clean and organized house.