Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Special Post - Uncle Blah Blah

Blaine came home over Memorial weekend and it was awesome to have him home! Courtney has been kinda shy around 'new' people lately but she took right to him. He got to spend a lot of time with Courtney and Stefani was nice enough to let us pick Ethan up for the night so he got to play with Blaine and go to church and lunch with us on Sunday. Blaine loved being home - I know because he said so but he was not negative about going back to training. We had a wonderful weekend of hanging out and just having family time. He went to Directions with us Sunday morning and left saying "they" are funny. "They" being Matt. :-) He liked the group though and even paid attention to the message! Here are some pictures of him and the kids from the weekend.

My little models:
Saying bye bye to Uncle Blah Blah....I wasn't sad until posting this picture!
Blaine is very honorable to be serving our country and preparing to fight for our freedom. He is an amazing brother with the biggest heart he could possibly have. He would have taken Courtney back in his bag if he thought he could get away with it. We look forward to him coming home in September and thank everyone for their prayers to keep him safe and strong.

Memorial Weekend & More's time for an update! We have been sooooo busy! Courtney and I went down to my parents house in Greers Ferry last week. She had a great time as she got to spend time with a lot of family! 9 people! She has a favorite for now, that is here Auntie Shannon. She is very comfortable with her though she does love everyone. She spent many minutes giving kisses. My Grandma was in town to (her Great Grandma who needs a name for Courtney to call her...poll?!?!) and one night Courtney was going to bed and making her rounds of giving kisses. We made it to Great Grandma and she gave her a kiss, then she leaned back down and gave her another, and another, and another and yet another. That was the highlight of our trip. :-)

Here is one kissing extravaganza (notice Great Grandma smiling in the background of each picture).
Nana's turn: (is she going to eat Courtney's face off?)

Auntie Shannon's turn:

Bopa's turn:

This is classic. OH - she started walking Friday at my parent's house! Not just walking when I wanted her to, but walking EVERYWHERE ALL THE TIME! Who would have thought.

Some quality time with Bopa:

Cousin Alina playing mommy:

This is just creepy!
More quality time with Bopa:

Our gorgeous daughter!

Ethan in his sword drills. For those of you who don't know what they are; the kids sit up on stage with their Bible. The teacher says a book in the bible and they have 10 seconds to find it and stand up. This is for Mathew; Ethan was the first to stand up and he was so proud.

Getting his medal:

Courtney and Daddy playing ball - in the house! Daddy was laying on his back tossing the ball in the air, so Courtney laid down next to him and was trying to do the same.
A rarity! We had a looooong day and she finished her bottle with her eyes closed and was out. I could have stayed that way all night long. I miss the days where she would curl up on my chest and sleep.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

An Array of Thoughts

Fun, laughter, deep thoughts, tears, good times, humbling, rough times, easy, difficult, new, uncertain...the list could go on. These are all things that can describe our life and happenings right now. Today Paul's mom left to go back to CA. Her and her friend Janice came out to visit the kids and us for a few days. I am so blessed to have an amazing mother in law that I not only get along with but look forward to having visit. She is a great inspiration as a wife, a mother and woman. No, she is not perfect, and she'll be the first to tell you. But she lays it all out for the Lord to handle and that is very admirable and inspiring.

Paul and I have been having some rough times financially lately as the construction market has done nothing but go down for the past year and a half. Financial problems lead to disagreements, which lead to arguments, which lead to fights, which leads to....God. Everything leads to the Lord. It's especially difficult after months of no end in sight, but when Paul and I get together and look to the Lord; the fights, arguments, and disagreements all go away. We can deal with this, we can handle this, the Lord will not let us down.

Ok, where was I going...Life is so unpredictable, but it is what it is. Since this rough time in our life, we have gotten closer to each other ; why? Because we've gotten closer to God. Paul drew this illustration he learned years ago...God is on top, wife on the right, husband on the's a pyramid. Moral of the story, the closer we get to God, the closer we get to each other. We may not understand why we're having the troubles of life right now, but we don't need to, God is leading.

We have our children, they are healthy and happy. We have our mother in laws, they are helpful and loving. We have each other, we are strong and in love.

Back to what I am good at (other than trying to talk about stuff I don't know what I'm trying to talk about); pictures!
Here is my Mom with me and Court. She was here to visit last week for Courtney's 1st birthday and we had a great time. She got to see Courtney walk on her birthday, she got to hang out with me at the mall all day getting her hair done and shopping for new outfits (hope it wasn't that bad), she got to go to FBCS with us and experience the "Directions" connection group; always and experience with Matt!

80's child?

Me experimenting...finally!

Us with Paul's mom.

At the park where we figured out he just needed a bigger glove!

Also at the park. Ethan just walked up to these kids and asked if he could play soccer with them. Next thing we see, they are all huddled making plays like they are in the World Cup or something!

What type of caption is this supposed to have?

Janice's camera captured the true look of our purple (nameless) tang.

Again, thanks Janice. We REALLY like this picutre.

Having fun after the game.

Well, I'm off to my parents house at the lake with Courtney tomorrow. Looking forward to more family time. Grandma is coming out...she's a riot!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Tribute To My Husband

Last night when I was uploading more pictures of Courtney; Paul asked if I was going to put anything up about us. Hey, what a thought, there is more to life than my baby girl?!. As many of you with small children know, it is very easy to get wrapped up in our precious little ones and at times even neglect our husbands. (sorry for spilling the beans that we can be aware of this :-)) Although our husbands are proud that we are good Mamas and are so proud of our children, they don't like when we forget them; though most of the time they won't say anything and just smile when we show them yet another update on the blog of the kids. Sooo, here is to my husband, who loves me more than I deserve at times. Who is a wonderful Daddy and now, more than ever, my best friend. He is so thoughtful and sweet, makes me feel like a queen (even if it is of NWA), still a queen, tells me I'm beautiful and is trying the hardest ever to be a Godly man, father, and husband. Without him, Courtney wouldn't be, without him, I wouldn't have anything to 'blog' about in the first place. So here is a little about him and what he loves to do.

Can we say MR BUFF?!?! Paul has been going to the gym for a few months now. Can I say "WOW". I am blessed to say my husband looks better than when I met him.

These are some of Paul's toys. He is a big RC car buff (no, not muscles anymore) and is really good at racing them. He does all his own paint jobs and builds custom parts and pretty much makes it the best out there before he moves on to the next one. Here are two of his recent ones where he did a Big Foot body and a Bounty Hunter body. I forget to tell him, but I still get impressed with his creative skills.

Building houses; a living and a hobby. This is my favorite house he's done so far. This is a house he built up in Rogers; he also designed the brick work. At first I wasn't so sure I liked it, but it really has grown on me. So much that when we are able to build our house closer to the school, I want to do a similar brick scheme.

Our 'fishies'. This is the most incredible thing in the house! Paul built this (the whole half wall actually) after our trip to Hawaii last year. He went scuba diving this his brothers and couldn't stop talking or thinking about salt water fish. He'd always wanted a tank so I said what the heck. It's amazing! We've gone through out share of fish but we have a pretty stable tank now. The tank is self sufficient other than adding water at times. All the plumbing and controls are built into the wall so they aren't an eye sore, and it's in the perfect spot as we can sit on the couch and look at it. Courtney has really gotten to enjoy it too. She used to sit in front of it when she would sit still in a bouncer and now she stands up next to it and looks at her 'sisheez'.

Every saltwater tank needs a Nemo. This is a maroon tang and yes, his name is Nemo.

This is Paul's favorite fish. He traded our yellow tang in for this purple tang. We think he has mental issues as he freaks out about once a night; swims really fast to nowhere, his eyes dilate and he just flat turns into a freak. Ethan is in the process of naming him, it's a looooong process.

This, is Shrimpy. Not so difficult for Ethan to name. He is a cleaner shrimp and literally cleans the purple tang. It is quite fascinating to watch.

Here is Nemo in an anemone. Are you supposed to name an anemone? Paul was so cute when we got this fish. He wanted a clown fish that bedded in an anemone soooooo bad. So when Nemo was headed towards the anemone Paul would get all excited and start yelling in excitement. When it finally was in it, I swear he jumped up and down and called Kyle to tell him. He made me take pictures with my phone because it was near and send it to Kyle to show him. It was pretty cute.

Another of the many hobbies Paul has. This is his newest, and cheapest one! :-) Building models. He started this a few months ago and has built some pretty neat stuff. My favorite is this Camaro. This is his favorite car and he wants to get one when they come out in 2010. He's on the list to get one, so I better get a job!

This plane is incredible. The detail is not given credit here. This took Paul about 2 weeks to do as every piece of wood is individual and had to be cut out and glued together. It turned out crazy good. It now hangs in Ethan's room. Eventually Paul wants to hang a bunch of planes and paint his room gunmetal grey and black.

This is the truck collection. More monster trucks and the black one is 'for me'. It's similar to the Back to the Future truck - they are all awesome. The stickers apparently are very difficult to put on and Paul is so critical of himself but they look like they came like that. (perfect)

Last but not least...THIS is how sweet Paul is. I had Courtney 3 days before Mothers Day last year. So this was my 2nd but 1st Mothers Day as Courtney is now old enough to 'do something' for me, with the help of Daddy that is. For those of you who are new moms, you know these are the best gifts ever! Paul took Courtney out in the garage and got her to 'write' on this for me. And I know from experience that this was not an easy task. Then he is so sweet in what he writes. What more could a mom/wife want?

In conclusion. I love you, Paul.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Clumsy Ones

So Courtney turns 1 and now she looks like we abuse her! She is getting confident beyond her ability I guess. Over the past few days she has busted her bottom lip open, bruised her cheek, bruised her eyebrow, and today she busted her top lip! 2 bruises and 2 busted lips...I promise we are still good parents. :-) She doesn't seem to mind and it doesn't look THAT bad until I look at the pictures. We are not leaving the house like this!

Little miss Courtney with her baseball hat on (mama lil' girl) looking at the "Da" (dog).

Our dog isn't that big, is he?

Closing the door. She minds very well when I ask her to close it, she even watches her fingers. :-)

This is what she does when she doesn't want to walk. She's not throwing a fit, she thinks it's funny.