Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Finally Getting Back to Blogging...

The House is finally on the market, and I think we have all had enough time now (3 weeks) to get used to our new routines to keep the house spotless and organized while we try to sell it. By the way, we have officially been on the market for 23 days now, and we haven't had a single showing. Yes - this is frustrating, but we are all just trying to enjoy having an immaculately clean house for a change...

Kristi and Melanie came over this past weekend for lunch, and they both commented on what a large study we have. Before, it was the designated storage/junk room in the house, and you could barely get to the desk. So, we have made several changes in the house to say the least.

As part of getting the house ready to sell, our realtor Jenny Carroll (who is great, by the way) suggested that we place a park bench in our back yard with a plant next to it so there would be something nice to look at from the windows in our Master Bedroom. So, Michael and Jack enjoyed a Saturday afternoon doing "guy stuff" and building the bench together. Jack was actually a big help to Michael, and as you can see, he was more than happy to get down on the ground and tighten all the bolts holding the bench together.
Jack is really such a big boy now - Michael and I were looking at him from across the room this past weekend, and Michael noticed how long Jack's neck has grown. There is really nothing left of our round-faced baby boy anymore - he is all long, lean limbs and you can see the beginning of the angles in his face, especially around his jawline. It makes me sad to think about how fast he is growing up - it is a good thing that we have another baby boy on the way!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

A Day at the Park

Jack LOVES to go the park - anywhere that he can swing, slide, climb and most importantly - RUN!!!! I think the hotter it gets, the more he wants to be outside. He is so unlike his Mommy in that way. On our last trip to the park, Jack was very proud of his newest achievement - he can now climb all the way up the curvy slide in addition to sliding down. Here is a picture of Jack at the top of the summit:

Jack also had a good time practicing his super hero flying form on the swings:

Little sister Abby also got in on the action - she really likes to swing at the park, especially when Big Brother Jack is swinging next to her. She just giggles and giggles!

Abby also took some time to hang out in the swing and check out the progress on her new teeth. Seriously, the child is 13 months old, and she still only has 4 teeth! Jack had 4 teeth when he was 4 months old!!! Bless her heart, she is constantly teething, and Dr. Harper has warned us that she is likely to cut several teeth all at one time. But don't worry Little Abby - we have plenty of teething tablets, Anbesol and Tylenol ready when you need them!

Here she is running her tongue across her top gums, feeling her new little teeth as they try to break through:

Abby says "I am WAY too cute!"

The Child Formerly Known as #3

We had a lot of time in the car on our way to Kentucky, and while we were driving, Michael and I re-started our work on names for #3. We had settled on (or Michael had capitulated to) Noah as the first name a few weeks ago, but the long road trip finally gave us the inspiration and time we needed to decide upon the middle name. I am sure that it helped to have a professional psychologist (my sister Rebecca) in the car with us! Now that we have a name, I can finally share pictures of...
Noah Christopher
These pictures were taken way back on May 8, but it has taken me this long to get Michael to transfer them to our Picasa albums so that I could post them here. It will be nice when he knows about our blog and he can post pictures himself - of course, I could just learn how to do this for myself, but that would be too easy...
For those of you who have been keeping the blog a secret, your wait is almost over! Michael will open the blog tomorrow for the first time while Jack and Abby are still with us before they leave to spend the next week with their grandparents - Hooray!

Noah's profile

Noah's Hands

Noah's Toes

Noah and I will go to the doctor again tomorrow to see whether he has continued to grow like crazy. We will also go ahead and schedule our delivery for Thursday, September 18 - mark your calendars!

Abby's First Modeling Job...

Abby's Aunt Brooke (Uncle Brian's future wife) has a talented friend with a baby business. She makes bedding and all kinds of baby items, and she needed a baby for some photos to promote her shopping cart cover. Uncle Brian and Aunt Brooke took Abby for her first official photo shoot at the local Randall's supermarket, and here are the very cute results:

Her little smile in this first one just kills me! I just can't believe how grown up she is looking in her face. There is still a lot of baby there, but to me, it looks like she knows she is having her picture made for an ad and her look says "OK - I am ready for my photo now!"

This is more like the Abby I see all the time - squinting in the sun with her scrunchy-faced smile!!! We will let you know if any of Abby's photos are published anywhere in print or on-line. I have resisted doing this for a long time, but I have decided that maybe I should let the kids do a little "modeling" when the opportunities come along. I would hate to deprive them of the chance to save for their own college educations - Ha Ha!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Catch Up!!!

I can't believe it has been over one week since my last post! The last week has been more eventful than I would have liked, but everything has worked out for the best. At the time of my last post, I was getting ready to head to Chicago for a seminar (read: lots of downtime and me-time for mommy, shopping, nice hotel, good restaurants, no stress). There were several storms in the Chicago area that repeatedly delayed my flight. While I was waiting in the airport, I received a call from my mom to let me know that my grandfather, Papa Green, had passed away after suffering a number of setbacks following a fall in April. So, the usually annoying flight delays turned out to be a blessing in disguise - I was able to cancel all my travel plans and Continental even sent someone to retrieve my bag from the plane so that I could take it home with me rather than having to wait for it to be delivered to my house the next day.

We went to Beaumont the next day (Wednesday) to be with my parents and to "help" with whatever we could. I don't know that we really helped that much, but it did give us an excuse to take Jack and Abby to see Nana and Grand Dad and give them a little break from their funeral and travel preparations. We were back in Kingwood Thursday - Michael went in to his office, and I spent the day getting ready for the 12 hour car ride to Kentucky. (I thought I would also be able to make some progress in the house - HA!) My sister, Rebecca, came over on Thursday night, and we all went to bed early to get ready for our 3AM departure in the Armada. Meemaw and Gramps were also a huge help to us - Abby and Jack spent Thursday night through Sunday with them. We were really worried about having to keep them in the car for 24 hours in a span of only three days!

We made it to Kentucky in record time - 11 hours! Rebecca and I had plenty of time to talk and catch up in the car. I had stocked the car with magazines and a picnic cooler - so we were entertained and we didn't have to stop for meals along the way. I am really getting tired of fast food, so it was nice to have our own food with us for the trip, and I think we saved at least 30 minutes my bot stopping for meals. The visitation time on Friday night was very nice - It was really amazing to see all the flowers that had been sent for Papa Green and all the family and friends who came to pay their respects. Papa Green and Mama Green were always working at something, and everyone seemed to have a story about something Papa Green had built or fixed, or the 100s of pounds of pecans he cracked and picked, or any one of the many wonderful vegetables he grew in his huge garden, or the fish fries hosted at the house following a good day fishing in his catfish ponds...the list could go on and on. The funeral the next day was also very nice, and Rev. McKinney offered several wonderful remembrances of his own from the time that he served as Mama Green and Papa Green's pastor.

Following the graveside burial service, the members of Shiloh United Methodist Church served a huge and delicious lunch, complete with bar-b-que, home grown and home made side dishes, and a limitless supply of desserts. It was probably the best meal I had eaten in weeks! We changed into our jeans and boots at the Church and went out to Mama Green and Papa Green's old farm to check on the land and see how the trees were doing. After they moved to Texas four years ago, Mama Green and Papa Green sold their Kentucky home but they kept a large portion of their land. To protect the land and provide some additional income for my grandparents, Dad has put the land into a wetlands reclamation and reforestation program, and it is really amazing to see how different the land looks now that trees are growing on it and the grass is tall. Here are a few pictures from our hike:

Thanks to all of you who have remembered us, and especially my parents and grandmother, in your prayers. Please continue your prayers for comfort for my dad, mom and Mama Green.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Making Progress

I think that we are about to fall over from sleep deprivation, but we are making some real progress in the house. We are still getting everything cleared out to get the new carpeting in, but we are going to officially list the house on June 12. Hopefully, buyers will find photos like these appealing:

Vincent did a great job on the painting in our Master bedroom - let me know if you want his number! I have to say that organizing the bookcase was a major achievement, and I am pretty proud of how it turned out. We still have lots of books, even after I took several dozen to Half Price Books, and Jack and Abby have a ton of books of their own. But Jack is an avid pre-reader, so I think we will hang on to what we have for now. Overall, things are getting better, and I think we are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel - but we still have a lot to do.

One nice thing about this whole process is the fact that you are forced to go through all your stuff and think about what you really need, and wonder why youhave hung on to some things for so long. After going through our closets, this is just a portion of what we have found that needs to be given away to someone else:

Just to give you some perspective, you are looking at 9 piles of clothes, each of which is about 20-24" tall. Sadly, almost all of that came out of my closet. Some of the shirts have been with me since high school. That means I have been moving them around with me for over 14 years. I can't even tell you when I last wore most of these things. It was just easier to pack them up and take them along, and then allow them to sit in my closet for the last 6 years. Please don't let this happen to you!!! I used to dread going into my closet because there was no room and I couldn't EVER find what I needed. Now, I can actually see what I have, and I will wear most of what is left in my closet (of course, I am hanging on to a few of my nicer things in much smaller sizes, in the hope that I will one day return to my pre-babies figure). Plus, I am sure there is someone else out there who needs these things, and will use them. So, this whole moving thing is not going to be so bad after all!

Friday, May 30, 2008

Jack's Prayer

I missed out on dinner time with the kids last night, and Michael just sent me this email with a description of what happened at our dinner table with Jack and Abby while I was away:

Last night, we were getting ready to bless our food, and Jack said “Daddy, can we thank God first and then say “God is great”? Of course, I said yes, and he proceeded to say “Thank you God for Abby, thank you God for Mommy, thank you God for Daddy, thank you God for our food, and thank you God for my pirate fork.” And then he went straight into “God is great…” I just about fell out of my chair in shock because he was so serious about it.

Then, I got up to get him some milk, and when I turned around he was out of his chair giving Abby a kiss, and before I said anything, he climbed back in his chair, and said “Daddy, here’s a kiss for you too”, blew me a kiss, and then blew you a kiss. THEN, he said “Daddy, I’m gonna give God a kiss too”, kissed his hand, raised it up high, and said “here’s a kiss for you too, God”. Amazing. I was just amazed.

See, Michael is blogging already - he just doesn't know it yet!