Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A Little Bit of HISTORY.

As I've gotten older, the history behind my family has become more and more interesting to me. I've wanted to know how my grandparents met, where they met, what my great-grandparents were like, etc., etc. It's kind of a big deal when you think about it. I'm so grateful for the legacy they have all left - and I feel a responsibility to carry on that legacy with my kids - and pray that it will filter to their kids and to their kids, etc. It's so ironic, too, because right now, we are living in Columbus, GA. We are about 10 minutes from Phenix City, AL where my maternal grandmother (Nana) GREW UP! How crazy is that?! I mean, what are the chances we would even be stationed at an Army base near so much of my family history! So, while my parents were in town, we took a little stroll with my Mom down "memory lane." I know I treasure all the memories I have of going to my grandparents houses while growing up, and it was fun to get to see my Mom re-live those experiences and hear the stories of visiting these places when she was growing up.

This is the sign for Girard Baptist Church. The building is still there, but they have built a new church building, so it didn't seem as though this building was used as a church facility anymore. THIS is the exact building my Nana and Papa (Mom's parents) got married - over 60 years ago!
The church. Amazing. 10 miles from my house right now.
This is Sandfort Road .... the road where Nana grew up. It is right around the corner from the church.
This house was Nana's grandparents house (my great-great grandparents)! Still standing. It was right next door to the house where she grew up.
AND this .... this is where my Nana grew up. In fact, her Dad built this house 80 years ago! Built it with his own 2 hands. I just think that is so cool. It's still there - and it looks pretty good, too.
My Mom was telling us all about the house - and her memories going and visiting her grandparents there as she grew up.
Just a little history about Nana. When Nana was 6 years old, her mother died of pneumonia. She was 34 years old. The antibiotic for pneumonia was approved just a few short years later. When she died, she left a husband and 3 small children behind :-( So, her sister (Aunt B) married their father - and they raised those children together, and she loved them as her own.
More pictures of the house - and the barn/shed that Mom said they used to play in for hours! I think Mom and Papa were pretty surprised it was still standing.

One last picture of the house.
This is where Nana went to school. Okay, well ... obviously NOT the same building, but this is the high school where she went.
What Central High School looks like in 2011. I wish I had a picture of what it looked like when Nana went there.
After driving around Phenix City for a little while, we headed to the cemetery where Mom's grandparents are buried.
Marielle was Nana's mother. My Mom's middle name is Marielle, as well as Julianne's middle name (and I'm pretty sure Susan's - our cousin- middle name, too).
Asa Dudley. Nana's Father. My great-grandfather. So cool.
Aunt B. This is my great-grandmother's sister who married my great-grandfather when her sister passed away to help raise Nana and her siblings (but I'm sure you caught all of that earlier).

(Not quite sure why Jake is just waving away).

In closing (like I've written a sermon or something), the song that has been going through my head recently, as I've been thinking about this legacy that has been left is an old song by Point of Grace.

Livin' the Legacy (Point of Grace)

My father knew it
And his before him
And it goes way back down the line
They had a vision
A prayer for the future
For what I would believe in time
Now I'm not perfect
Life's not easy
But I wouldn't take the world for what they gave me

I'm living the legacy
Walking the path that the faithful have laid down
I'm living the legacy
Finding the hope that my fathers found
I'm standing tall when I'm on my knees
I'm living the legacy


Friday, August 26, 2011

Mimi & Papa Dee!!

Have you ever had expectations for something, and it didn't quite go as expected?! Well, my parents were here last week - and I had been so looking forward to them getting here and having every single moment filled w/ doing something and showing them all around this area. It didn't quite go as planned. The boys were both sick ... and then I was sick by the end of the week, so we pretty much spent the majority of the week in this tiny (but LOVELY) apt. So, we may not have been able to do everything I was hoping to do, but at the same time ... it was SO NICE to have them here to hang out with, since we were stuck inside - AND it was probably really nice for my Dad to be forced to relax :-) If you know my Dad, he is such a hard, hard, passionate worker, so I'm glad he was able to sit back and relax a little bit! In reality, I don't NEED to have every minute planned when hanging out with my parents, b/c I enjoy their company so much, I really don't care what we are doing. AND .... we were able to "sneak" in a little bit of "out of the apartment" fun, too :-)
The boys were excited to see Mimi and Papa Dee when they woke up Monday morning!!
Building the Island of Sodor with Mimi.
Jake was PUMPED about his new Angry Birds shirt ....
and angry birds :-)
Bread bowls from Panera Bread ....
Like brother, like brother :-)
By the end of the week, we were heading out to Chuck E Cheese!
Trying to get a picture with the boys .... :-) You can tell I was the only one who wanted this picture to happen (probably because I actually had real clothes on and my hair out of a ponytail) - ha!
Jake w/ Mimi and Papa Dee...
These blocks continue to get so much mileage.

Relaxing and trying to get better ....
Jake is always up to something....
Mimi and Papa Dee getting ready to leave :-(
Cole was NOT happy about Papa Dee leaving. He was reaching out for him and crying his eyes out. I think he just might've left with him. It was GREAT having them here! I'm thankful for the effort our families make to come see us in all these different places we live :-) It means a lot to all of us!!
BUT, speaking of unexpected things .... we are thankful that the boys and I are going to get to make an UNEXPECTED trip to VA (and Beaufort along the way - yay) in a couple of weeks that wasn't planned, but is going to work out. So, I guess I'm just trying to put off saying "bye" to family as long as possible before heading out west.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Puzzle Time!

We like us some puzzles in this house! Jake liked them from a young age - still loves them .... and Cole has really been showing an interest in the past couple of months. What I especially love about Cole working the puzzles is how excited he gets with every piece he fits into the puzzle (just like Jake always was and still is). PLUS, I love that when Jake isn't trying to work the puzzle FOR him :-), he is REALLY good about encouraging Cole and cheering him on. So, here is Cole working a puzzle yesterday afternoon .... :-) Now, if we could just get him to say the names of the animals while working the puzzle.

Monday, August 22, 2011


Not sure if I've ever mentioned this or not, but ..... I LOVE FAMILY! I am especially loving lately that we've had so much family visiting (and still to come) - and that we are close enough to be able to SEE family! I'm well aware that we are about to head back to the west coast desert - and seeing extended family especially, is hard! So, I'm treasuring up all of the moments now!!
My cousin Anne Marie, who just got married back in May and now lives in Greenville, SC, came to see us 2 weeks ago. Her husband, Mark, is a football coach at Furman, so with college football starting, his schedule has been crazy (i completely understand crazy work schedules), and she came to see us for a couple of days! We had such a FUN time - and the boys were definitely enjoying all the extra attention. One night, after the boys went to bed, Chris had to write a paper, so Anne Marie and I went to Starbucks and hung out for a couple hours - and that was perfect, so between that and playing with the boys, and playing cards with Chris another night, it was a perfect visit. We are looking forward to heading to SC in September to see a Furman football game! I just LOVE family :-)

Anne Marie and Jake at the playground ....
Dancing with Cole....
So sweet - LOVE this picture!!

Trying to get both boys in a picture (not always an easy task) :-)
Sweeet :-)
Dance party with Jake, of course :-)

AND here is a little LIFE IS A HIGHWAY action :-) Good times - Anne Marie was a great sport!!! :-)

School Update

School has been .... amazing. Most of you know that I was pretty nervous about it - mainly because our track record with Sunday School is poor, so I was really hoping preschool wouldn't be a challenge every day to get him to go. It's also one of the reasons I went on and started him even though we are only here for 2 more months. I wanted him to start REALLY understanding the concept that I would be coming BACK for him. Plus, like I already mentioned in a previous post, HE IS SO READY. He thrives on friendships and interactions, so I had high hopes, but just had really been praying it would be a smooth transition. Well, IT HAS! I honestly couldn't have asked for it to have started out any better. He LOVES it. He was sick last week and had to miss Wednesday, and he couldn't want to go back on Friday. My parents were in town, and we all dropped him off - and he just ran right in and started talking to his teacher, etc. It makes ME so excited that HE is so excited! He loves coming home and showing us the art projects and telling us all about what he has done. He even told us one night at dinner how they say the Pledge of Allegiance after snack. I figured he knew what he was talking about, but I asked his teacher, just because I was curious, and yep .... after snack :-) He already got his first scraped up knee on the playground but told me "No crying, b/c I am tough." :-) Even just today before lunch, I asked him to be the one to pray .... and he started singing this prayer. He then told me that is what they do at school. LOVE IT! I love that he is remembering it all, soaking it all up, and I just LOVE that he randomly brings stories up from school. I think Jake is actually even going to be sad when we have to take a little preschool hiatus on our way out to California :-) Here are a few more school-related pictures.

This is Jake helping me back his M&M cookies the night before his first day .....
The note I put in his lunchbox the first day. Now, he likes to write HIMSELF a note for his lunchbox - ha!
2nd day of school. I promise (i think) that I won't make you look at a picture of him from every single day of school :-)
Ice-cream cone after school, compliments of Aunt Katy who sent him a Chick-fil-A gift card :-)
There's a good picture of his scraped up knee, too!!
I'm sure there will be many more stories to come, but I really want to say THANKS to everyone who has been out there praying for a smooth transition! I was preparing for lots of resistance, but it hasn't been like that at all ... it's been SO ENJOYABLE, and I know that's because so many people have been praying for that for us, so...THANKS!!!
*(On a side note, since we've all already been sick, I'm pretty sure it's "build up immunity" year for us in our family as far as school goes) :-)

Carnival Time.

Jake has an imagination. That is putting it lightly. It's so .... imaginative, though ... ha :-) I mean, really - there is no better word to describe it. He is so creative. He understands he's living in reality, b/c he will say "my pretend so and so", BUT it cracks us up ... the stuff he comes up with. So, a little over a week ago, Jake wanted to put on a carnival for Chris and me. We couldn't enter the room until we gave him our "pretend tickets". We played all sorts of games - and he had the exact places we needed to sit for his concert. It was honestly one of the most fun nights we've had. I love how Jake lets Cole be a part of it .... and Cole just goes with the flow (most of the time) :-)
Here they are on their stools during their performance. Cole was about to jump off into the crowd of fans!

And you didn't think I'd leave you hanging w/o a video OF their performance, right?! This is Jake's made-up song. Oh, Jake .... I love love love you!!

This is Jake's song about cockroaches, b/c he knows how much I LOATHE them, and he thinks it's funny, so of course he would make up a song about them :-)

Already can't wait for our next carnival :-)

A Little of This ... and a Little of That ...

So, we've had a few special visitors in the past 10 days, but I will post pictures from those visits soon. Here's an "inside" look into what has been going on when we don't have company around...

Mr. Romantic texted a message for me into the XM station I listen to a lot at home .... Not quite sure what that ? is all about, though ;-)
Barnes & Nobles Story Time. They do this every Thursday, which is perfect since Jake is in school on Wednesdays and Fridays, we are still able to go to story time, too. Jake LOVES going .... Cole, well ... let's just say he doesn't quite like to sit still long enough to listen to the short stories :-)

Coloring at Story Time.
You wouldn't know that Jake thinks the WORLD of his Daddy or anything?!?!!!!!
Cole PASSED out. He sleeps hard core at nap times.
Cole, of course, continues to find "extra" uses for all the toys we have.
Cole sees Jake wearing his back pack on a very regular basis .... so Cole has started wearing one himself. I hate to break it to you, Cole baby, but you are stuck with me for a little while longer. At least until I can "break" myself of calling you Cole BABY. :-)
Why wouldn't they be doing this at 5:50AM?! I mean, don't your kids?!?!?!!!!