Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Halloween 2011

Here's Quinn, dressed up as the "high ridin-est, rootin' tootin'-est cowboy hero of all time.....Sheriff Woody!

Some highlights (and low-lights) of our Trick or Treating adventure.

1. Quinn insisted on climbing the stairs of each house and ringing the door bell "by myself Mommy". Although he would alternate which of us got to go halfway with him!

2. He rang the bell or knocked at each house and said Trick or Treat BEFORE they opened the door....every....single....time....

3. He always said "Thank you for da Trick or Treat" as he left each house!

4. One lady said "Bye cowboy" and Quinn tipped his hat at her!  Literally lifted it up off his head and sat it back down! Don't know where he learned that!

5. He was so shocked and surprised that everybody that passed said "Hey Woody" to him. He could not believe that people knew what he was supposed to be!

6. At one of the last houses we went to, the kid in front of him got the last piece of candy. Quinn was so upset and didn't understand why he didn't get any, that the other kid's older sister offered Quinn a piece of her candy!  Such a sweet girl!

7. The one bad moment of the night was when a teenager at one house deliberately scared Quinn on purpose. He was laying on the grass and would pop up and growl as the kids walked by. His sister said "Don't do it, that's a little kid coming" (meaning Quinn), but he did it anyway.  Meanie!

8. Quinn was so cold by the time we got home we put him in a tub of warm water, gave him a bath and put him to bed!

9. First thing he said on Tuesday morning was "Mommy I ready for da Trick or Treat again!"

Monday, October 24, 2011

Cute Conversations with Quinn

If you are my friend on Facebook, then you have probably already seen these conversations posted as my "status" of the day.  But these are so sweet and child-like, that I wanted to record them here, to have that memory written down.

#1 (A fall day driving home from school)
Quinn: Mommy, yook!! Da trees gots colors on dem!
Me: Really? What do you see?
Quinn: I see red and orange and lellow!

#2 (after a long stretch of rainy days)
Quinn: Mommy, somefing happened!
Me: What?
Quinn: All da clouds are gone. It's a sunny day!
Me: Yes it is!

#3 (on a pretty, cloudless morning on the way to school)
Quinn: Mommy, its so purty today.
Me: Yes it is. Do you know who made the day?
Quinn: Uh huh....Mrs. James!

#4 (while asking the blessing over his supper)
God is great. God is good. Let us thank him for my chicken nuggets. Amen.

I know one day, before I know it, he will be big and grown and gone.

But for now, I'm going to hold on as tight as I can to these sweet moments and store them in my heart. I am so blessed to be his mommy!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Bringing Home Dixie

I mentioned in a previous post that Quinn prays for a dog named Dixie.  I also mentioned it was a story for another day.

That day is here.

Dixie is the newest member of our family, thanks to my husband!  The story surrounding Dixie's arrival has a story all its own, and quite frankly, is not one I care to get into.  Let's just say Dixie was an unexpected surprise!

Dixie was born somewhere at the end of August / first of September, and we were able to pick her up on October 8th. The guy who raised her was one of the guys Buddy worked with in Virginia, and this guy owned both the father and the mother dogs. So we knew they were well taken care of during the pregnancy, birth, and first weeks of life. Dixie is an American Bulldog.

When we arrived at Buddy's co-worker's house, this is what greeted us....11 puppies! (Not all 11 made it into the picture. And Dixie is the 2nd puppy past the metal pole in the fence.)

These are the parents. Mom Dog is Bella, and has the dish in her mouth. Dad Dog is on the right, named Bennett.

Here is Buddy, holding his new puppy for the first time.  I love her brindle patch over her eye!

You can see from the angle of her face here, that she only has the patch on one eye. It is really cute, because her eyelashes and whiskers on the brindle side are brown...and on the other side they are white.  (PS...I'm not frustrated here, but the sun was in my eyes!)

As you can see, she has adapted well to our family....doesn't take long to fit in with us!

Even Tillman, our 9 year old miniature pinscher, has learned to tolerate Dixie. He still puts her in her place every once and a while though. She is all puppy and he's our "old man", so he's not into playing and things like that. Quinn loves for Dixie to chase him through the house and outside.

Even I have to admit, she's a cutie pie. And she certainly has some funny sleeping positions!

I'll like her even more, just as soon as she learns her "potty breaks" should happen OUTside!

Friday, October 7, 2011

A Big Boy Room for a Big Brother!

Last Saturday, Quinn moved out of the nursery and into his big boy room!  We cleaned out the guest room and painted the walls. His furniture came on Saturday while he was napping....his last time sleeping in the crib.

And let me just insert a disclaimer here.  Our three-and-a-half year old has not been sleeping in a full crib all this time. We had taken the front off, so it looked more like a "daybed" with the protective guard so he wouldn't roll out.  (Back to the story!)

We got him a bunk-bed style loft. The bottom bunk is separate, so we didn't even set it up for now. Instead of having a ladder, it has 6 little stairs. The other end holding up the bed is the dresser. We liked this feature of having the dresser attached to the bed, since it wouldn't take up valuable play space, as this room isn't all that big.  Since the room already had green curtains, I picked out a "camo" bedding set!

My favorite part is the play space under the bed, perfect for his tool bench and toy box!  You can just see the corner of a rug that looks like a road, so he can play with his cars.  His first words when he saw his new room was "Oh wow Mommy. It's purty!"  (That's my little country boy!)

I took these pictures right before we had "lights out". We would always say a prayer before kissing him, but lately Quinn has been really interested in saying his own prayer.  It goes something like this:

"Dear Jesus. Tank you for da day. Hep (help) me sweep (sleep) good. Bwess Mommy, Bwess Daddy, Bwess Quinn, Bwess Tillman (our dog), Bwess Dixie (our new puppy...that's another story), Bwess Gwandma and Gwandpa, Bwess Nana and Papa. Hep me sweep good. Amen"

And this was the last little grin I got right before Quinn laid down for his first sleep in his new bed! 

He has really done well with this bed. I was afraid of him trying to get down in the night or something, but he goes right to sleep.  And the bed is sturdy enough that either Buddy or I can get up there with him and lay down, should he ever need us.  He actually likes it when we get up there with him! 

And yes, I did have a couple of tears over the idea of my sweet boy no longer needing the baby room!

Now we just need to know what new baby is so we can get the room ready. March will be here before we know it!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

My Sweet Husband

A couple of weekends ago, my parents came up for the day to see us. I asked Mom how my Aunt Linda was doing. Linda is Mom's sister, and over the summer, she was diagnosed with cancer. She was telling me that after a few rounds of chemo, she was beginning to lose her hair and had been for appointments to get a wig and other head covers.

After my parents left, Buddy and I were talking about this.  He said, "You know what, I'm due for a haircut too." And he went to the bathroom to cut his hair.

When he came back, he looked like this....

He said, "Well, if Aunt Linda has to lose her hair this weekend, then I will too!"

He shaved his head in her honor!  I called and told her about it and seemed really tickled about it.

And he's still as handsome as ever!  I love you Buddy!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

What we've been up to lately

I mentioned before that life got busy and I didn't blog as much as normal, especially with keeping up-to-date with different events going on.  Well, here's why.

I don't like to advertise on the blog or Facebook when my husband is not at home.  But I can happily say he is at home with us again! You see, for the past year, Buddy has been working out of town. His company is a local one, but his project assignments have not been. Last August we found out that him going out of town for a job would be imminent.  And mid-September, he left for Atlanta. At first he came home every week, but 6 hours home on Friday and 6 hours back on Sunday made for a tired man! Plus the job got busy, so it turned into every other week. That lasted until right before Thanksgiving.

He was home during the holidays and we got to take a nice, leisurely, snowy Christmas with both sets of parents.

In January, the out of town talk started again. Mid-January, he left for the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia....closer, but still 4 hours away. And once again, his weekly weekends home turned into 2-week stretches. And our weekends consisted of tons of laundry and precious moments together.

And then one glorious day in July, I discovered that our family was about to get a little bit bigger! 

Yes, I am pregnant with baby #2!!

But that scared me because I didn't want to be pregnant and my husband out of town. And we found out that a local projet Buddy had been involved with in the past was about to begin building again. So we started praying about it. And the Lord knows best when to answer our prayers, because in mid-August, we found out Buddy had be the LOCAL project!!!

So we have been adjusting to "living together" again....and he got home just in time for my morning sickness to kick in! Praise the Lord he was home because some days I just felt awful all day long.

I can't even begin to tell you how hard it was to be without him for so long. And you can imagine how much it broke my heart to hear Quinn say, "Mommy, I want Daddy."  So many people prayed for us during this time, and those prayers lifted me up daily. Because I never thought I could do this. At times, I felt so alone. But my God is a good God, and my God is an On-Time God. And He knew the best time to answer my prayers. Almost a year to the day, Buddy came home.

And Baby #2 should be here at the end of March. Happy Spring Break for me!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Official First Day of School

Ok, so I'm only about a month and a half behind on posting this.  Oh well.  Life has gotten extremely busy in several ways over the past few weeks. Here it is though, finally!

The post before this was Quinn's first day at the daycare at our church. One week later, he had his first "official" day of school. His K-3 class meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays and he is in the daycare the other days. So on Tuesday, August 23rd, I took him to school for the very first time. Luckily for me, it was the day of my school's Open House, so I didn't have to be at school as early as usual. I was so happy that I was able to walk him to class that first time.

Here he is in front of our house, wearing his new "Pack Pack" and a great first day smile.

As soon as we walked into the room, he saw all the toys his teacher had laid out for the kids to play with. He had never been in this room before so everything was new and exciting. He got right down to exploring.

While Quinn was checking everything out, I took a few shots of the room.

This is his teacher, Mrs.James. 

His hook for his book bag.

His name on the door. Oh, if only it had been an orange paw!

I said my final goodbye and got a hug and kiss, so I could slip out of the room before the tears began to fall. Just before I walked out, I looked back for one last look....and this is what he was doing.

He was playing. 

Not crying.

Not begging me to stay.

He was happy. He was having fun.  And he felt comfortable there.

How could I cry when my boy wasn't? And was ready to be at school?

And so far, everyday has been a fun day for him. Mrs. James says he does well in her group and that makes me happy!  I hope he will always love school!

Testing, Testing....1, 2, 3?

Um, hello out there?

Is anyone out there? Have you given up on me?

I have a slew of new posts I want to share with you all, and I hope to post them very soon.

  • Quinn's first Official day of school
  • Exciting News
  • Quinn's Big Boy Room
  • Something sweet my husband did
 Here's hoping some of you are still out sweet readers!

Monday, August 15, 2011

A new school year = A new school!!

It was a bittersweet morning at our house today.

The start of a new school year always leaves me a little melancholy.

I love my job as a teacher and I love the beginning of the school year as I prepare for the new group of students I will have.

I hate giving up my lazy summer days and precious time spent with Quinn. I know I should count myself lucky, that while I can't be a stay-at-home mom, I have the luxury of having the summer at home. What other job could give me that benefit?

While I don't go back to school for another day, I made the choice to go ahead and send Quinn to daycare today, just so he has a couple days to get used to a new school.

I am so excited that Quinn will be attending the school at our church! They have a preschool program for ages 3 and 4, and then the school serves 5-K up to 12th grade. Lord willing, Quinn will be a student here for the next 15 years!

You will have to humor this Momma who is sending a baby to school for the first time, as I will probably have a similar post next week related to his official "first day of school".  But here are a couple of cute, smiley, backpack pictures to enjoy!

Dear Quinn,
I hope you enjoy your new school. You told me this morning you were ready for "church school" and you were so excited to carry your new backpack and lunch box. You sang your favorite Casting Crowns song in the car on the way to school today. I am so proud of you! You already know your letters, your numbers, your colors, and your shapes! You are so smart already! I can't wait to watch as you learn new things at school....things you could never learn at your old daycare. You will get to learn about Jesus, and Bible Stories about other important people. You will learn Bible Verses and songs to praise Jesus with. I am so blessed to be your Mommy. You make my life so happy! I love you so much!!

Monday, July 25, 2011

No picture to prove it, but trust me...

Quinn hasn't used his paci in a month!  And I mean not at all.

Not to sleep with.

Not for nap time.

Not because he had been crying and needed it for comfort.

Not because he was bored and had nothing better to do.

And this from a boy who has been known to hold 4 of them at one time!! I actually saw him get two in his mouth and one in each hand. Usually he had three though, and would interchange them. He would also take the one in his mouth and twirl it every few seconds or so.  He loved his "na-na" so much and I've been dreading this time of elimination.

When we got Quinn packed up and ready to go to my parents for his summer trip, I slipped one of his pacis to my mom to put in her pocket, with instructions to only use it if necessary. He used it in the car but once they got to their house, Mom took it away. At bedtime, he didn't ask for it and she didn't think to offer it. The next day, he didn't ask for it in the morning or at nap, but he did ask for it at bedtime. On the third day, he didn't ask for it all, and it continued throughout the trip. Even when I went down to their house to pick him up, I thought my being there would "remind" him to ask for it....but NO!

I brought him home and wouldn't you know, we had been in the house about 15 minutes and Quinn said "Mommy, I need my na-na." 

Uh oh.

I quickly replied, "You can't have it. We left it at Grandma's house."

Quinn said, "Na-na at Grandma's?  Ok Mommy."

That's it? That's all it took? 

We should have left it there at Christmas!!

Friday, July 22, 2011

For no reason at all

That's the best reason to get flowers, I think.

I always tell Buddy not to buy me flowers on Valentine's Day due to the jacked up prices.
I don't want them on my birthday or our anniversary because that seems so "expected" and I'm a low-key kind of girl.

But I've always said, If you are going to ever give me flowers, just do it because you love me!

Well, I guess he loves me because I got these today!

A dozen sterling roses! (aka...lavender roses).  I've got such a wonderful husband and I love him so very much!

Thursday, July 7, 2011


Quinn went to my parents' house for his annual summer trip to Camp Grandma and Grandpa. I went down to pick him up a day early so we could all go on an adventure together.  We visited Hollywild Animal Park, which is located about 15 minutes from my parents.   I went there several times as a child, but haven't been in probably 25 years!  Here are some pictures from our visit.
This is the sign at the entrance. Hollywild started out as a small petting-zoo in the 40s, added more animals in the 70s, and then changed the name to Hollywild in the 80s. Why the name change? Many of their animals have been featured in movies, TV shows and commercials!

They have many animals that just wander around, like this flock (herd??) of geese that Quinn decided to follow.

Quinn was happy to see this zebra, mixed in with several goats.  One of the neatest things about this place is you can buy bags of animal chow and feed the different animals.  One thing our guide mentioned (which I already knew) was that the stripes of a donkey are like our two donkeys have the same pattern!

My dad made friends with this "ze-donk"....a cross between a zebra and a donkey. It has the body and head of a donkey, but you could see the black and white zebra stripes on his legs. The body had faint brown on grey stripes.This little fella was ready for eating and almost made off with my dad's fingers!

We took a bus ride around the park so we could feed the animals. You can see another bus behind ours. These deer are from Europe. Unlike our deer, these deer keep their spots as adults.

This little baby buffalo wasn't quite two days old. It is standing beside its mother.

These are Watusi cattle from Africa. Their horns are really sensitive and we were told not to touch them...but who would want to? Those horns are huge and dangerous!

This is Tank the Rhino. He is one of the super stars at Hollywild. He was featured in a Land Rover commercial. Our guide said that Tank totaled 7 Land Rovers before the director thought that the vehicle had been destroyed appropriately. I bet that was an expensive commercial because Land Rovers aren't cheap!

I said earlier that there were lots of animals wandering around. I probably saw at least 10 peacocks strutting their stuff. One was solid white, but most of them looked like this guy. And I say guy, because in the animal world, the males are the colorful ones! I tried to "flirt" with this one in hopes he would open up, but he didn't. Look at how long the tail feathers are! He would have been gorgeous!

And what trip to the zoo isn't complete without a picture of a Tiger?  You know this Clemson fan can't pass that up!

The only animal I didn't get a picture of was a black panther who is used for a lot of Carolina Panther Football promotions. It was pretty hot and he must have been in the shade. I never saw him.

This visit to Hollywild was a lot of fun. Thanks Mom and Dad (aka Grandma and Grandpa)!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Another Beautiful Sight in the Sky

Tonight there was a thunderstorm and lots of rain. The sky was really dark and for it to be 6 or 7pm, it seemed more like night time.  At about 8:15pm, I noticed the sky seemed much brighter. I went outside expecting to see a beautiful sunset.  Instead I saw this.

Quinn had never seen a real rainbow before so I brought him outside to see it. He said "Mommy, dat's a pretty rainbow."

Thank you Lord, for sending such a beautiful sight on this day, the 4th of July. Our true freedom is found in You, Lord, and in You alone!

Monday, June 27, 2011

VBS 2011: Nights 4 and 5

The last two nights of VBS started out the way each one had, so I don't have any pictures of that part.

On night 4, the craft was making a cowboy hat. You could paint it with glue and then add decorations.

Here is Quinn, waiting on instructions from his buddy Johnathan.  Or as Quinn would say, "Johna". Please notice Quinn ALREADY has the glitter bottle in his hands!

Johnathan had barely gotten the hat painted in glue when Quinn did this.  Notice the grins of the other worker and even the other child.....

And here's a close up the hat.  You can clearly see why my friend Kim, who is our Pastor's wife, dubbed Quinn "The Rhinestone Cowboy"!  And every little bit of that glitter stayed put!

On the last night of VBS I was able to sneak away and get a picture of the registration area. The College and Career class did a great job of decorating the entrance area as well as the stage. With the theme being "Gold Rush", the designed the downstairs area to look like a gold mine. You can't see (and pictures inside didn't turn out), but on the walls are the Bible Verses of the week stuck to the walls with glow-in-the-dark stickers. There was also some black lights to light the way, and a wheelbarrow full of "gold nuggets" and other gems. The floor was laid out to look like train tacks.

Here's a closeup of the poster on the wall. The CC Class thought of everything...down to the little details. The three men in the picture are Pastor Ken on the left, Pastor Josh (youth pastor) in the middle, and Pastor Bailey (asst Pastor) on the right.

On the last night of VBS, the boys won the Penny War! The girls did win 3 nights to 2, though. I'm still waiting to hear how much money was raised. I did hear that this year's buckets are bigger than last year's buckets! A couple of the 6th grade boys brought whole boxes of pennies. I think I heard someone say that a box of pennies was $25 worth. There's 2 boxes on top and I think another box was dumped inside the bucket.

The last craft of the week was one that the craft workers had been prepping for all week. One night they painted the bottles, one night they painted the hats. But finally on the last night we got to put together the cutest craft ever.

A juice bottle painted green....add a cowboy hat, a bandanna, some arms, facial features, and a star....

And you get a Cactus Cowboy piggy bank!  Too cute!

Overall, I think Quinn had a great time at VBS. He talked about it throughout the week. He didn't always sit still like the other kids did, but he did enjoy the different events.  I am so thankful for all the workers who gave up their evenings to work with these children. It was worth all the sacrifice to know that several children came to know the Lord as their personal Saviour thanks to what they heard at VBS!  I'm already looking forward to next year!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Show me YOUR happy face!

Quinn got a MagnaDoodle from his Aunt Kristel for his first Christmas.  I would have to say this is one of his most used gifts. He loves to draw on his "doodle".

 One day this week he drew the following picture.

Pretty cute, huh?

Do you see what I see?

On Wednesday night at VBS, I noticed some of the teenage girls that were helping Quinn's group all looking up at the sky and pointing. I looked up too and saw this.

Do you see the heart?  Reminds me of these verses:

Jeremiah 31:3  "And the Lord appeared to us from afar saying I have loved you with an everlasting love..."

Psalm 19:1 "The Heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hand."

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

VBS 2011: Night 2 and 3

Here is a recap of Nights 2 and 3 from VBS.

All day on Monday, Quinn asked if we were going to see the "Bible Show"?  I think he's getting Bible School and Puppet Show confused, but basically, that's what we are doing. The little children are getting God's Word through puppets.  When I asked Quinn what we do at Bible School, here is what he told me:

"See da cowboy with da orange Bible": One of the puppets wears a cowboy hat, and when we do the pledges, he holds an orange Bible.

"Put my corns (coins) in da blue bucket": The boys put their pennies for the Penny War offering in a blue bucket.

This is the puppet that starts the program each night and is also the one who has the orange Bible.

Each night the children have to help Mr. Sizemore "wake up" Kodiak the Bear. Then they read the night's verse to help Kodiak learn his verse.  Kodiak seems to have some memory issues, as he always begins to quote the verse from the night before, but quickly quotes the correct verse for some candy!  Quinn calls Kodiak "my bear". 

After teaching Kodiak his verse, the 3 year olds go to craft time. Monday night's craft was making bandannas. Each child got a plain white one and decorated them using paint and rubber stamps with various western images, like a cowboy hat, cactus, wagon, wolf, etc.  Quinn enjoyed painting the stamps. His new buddy, Jonathan, is helping him. Jonathan is one of the teens helping with Quinn's group.

I caught this picture of Quinn on Tuesday night (VBS #3). He is watching for Kodiak and other puppets to pop their heads up from behind the back drop. Quinn and many of the other little kids thinks this is hilarious. When any of them catch a glimpse, they all begin to squeal with excitement.

Because Quinn is in the youngest VBS class, his group is always called up first to drop pennies in the buckets for the penny war.  The girls dominated the first two nights, but finally on Tuesday night, the boys won!  Both buckets are overflowing with pennies! I've heard that VBS typically raises upwards of $1000 in pennies in one week!
Tuesday night's craft was cow print sheriff vests. We tied the vests together with yarn and then created a sheriff's badge to attach to the vest.

Somehow the 3 year olds always get done with their craft before the schedule allows. And we can't go back to the sanctuary because the older students are still having their Bible Time.  So the teens have been taking the 3s on a walk to go see the school buses! Sounds kind of funny, but the kids love it! They even open the door and the kids climb in the bus and sit in the seats. Quinn pretended to drive it! Hey, if he can "drive" a fire truck, he can "drive" a bus!
During the Bible time on Tuesday night, the puppets had 2 special guests...Amazon monkeys!  I think these guys may have been used in a previous VBS unit, and are also going with the group to New Zealand.  Mr. Hartman asked the kids if they had any questions for the monkeys. Quinn saw all the children raising their hands to ask questions and he raised his too and said "My Turn!" Mr. Hartman handed him the microphone and I thought to myself...oh my, what in the world is he going to say?

Quinn's question was "Can dey sing?"  And so the Monkeys sang Jesus Loves Me! So I took a picture while they were singing in response to Quinn's question.

Quinn is remembering and understanding more than I thought he would about Bible School. He hasn't quoted any verses and he doesn't always sit still, but he does seem to be enjoying all the aspects of VBS. I am so glad I get to experience this with him each night.  2 more nights to go....can't wait to see what is in store!