Wednesday, August 24, 2011

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

It's hard to believe that Jackson and Gracie have started Kindergarten this year. Just a week or so ago I was telling Amy that I remember when we would watch them climbing all over the booths at Zaxby's when we met there for dinner on Wednesday nights.

So in honor of these two little buddies who embarked on a new journey a week ago today, here is their friendship in pictures!:

(Well, a few pictures anyway!)

Jackson, at Gracie's 2nd birthday party (he is about 15 months old here)

A scrapblog page I made of some photos from Zaxby's! They look so little!

Gracie and Jackson last year, at the fair

We were at the zoo and ran into Jackson and his Nana and Tata! I don't know why he wasn't happy about having his picture taken...

Gracie & Jackson at the museum this July

These two kids are so special and I love them to death. They are the best of friends, and Gracie told me once that she would marry Jackson...if he didn't love Auburn so much. But his mom is too stubborn to ever change that!

I hope they have an awesome year in Kindergarten and that they will be friends for a long time. Being from a military family I know how hard it was to move constantly and make new friends. Hopefully Jackson and Gracie will be friends for life!

Which means I have to put up with Amy forever!!!

Seriously. I'm only kidding!

Monday, August 22, 2011


Sorry for the lack of posting. We had a busy week!

Gracie had a wonderful first day of Kindergarten, which I got to hear all about in the car on the way home Tuesday. By Friday morning she was dragging. I am sure most of that had to do with the fact that they have PE and she's adjusting to all of the physical activity.

She said she slept during nap because Mrs. Beale wore her out! She is excited about going back this coming week.

We also signed up for gymnastics on Thursday night. I had wanted to find something outside of school and church for us to do, and this was the perfect opportunity. The class isn't too early or too late, so it won't interfere with routines at all. And I am hoping Gracie will enjoy it. We will have to wait and see! Her first class starts this Thursday.

James had his two year check-up right after we dropped Gracie off for her first day of Kindergarten. He weighed in at 28 lbs, 8 oz, and that ranked him 50% for weight. Of course his big head is in the 95%!

And speaking of his big head, the photo above is his eye one week after the accident. It had been almost a full second week and the black eye is almost gone. Most of the glue has peeled and come off and the wound is healing nicely. The swelling is completely gone.

Hopefully as he grows the scar will get smaller in size and not be as noticeable.

Happy Monday, folks!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Another First

We left the house at 7:15 AM today. The Princess began her first day of Kindergarten. I am so excited for her because I absolutely loved school. At the same time it's almost bittersweet because here we are at another milestone.

And I have a love/hate relationship with those. It is a blessing to watch my children grow and experience new and wonderful things, and another blessing to be able to share in those things. But once you have reached that milestone there is no going back. Only moving forward.

I look forward to hearing all about her first day of school and promise to share more of those details later this week!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Kindergarten Open House

So in between James celebrating his birthday and giving his mother a mini-stroke with a banged up head and a trip to the ER, Gracie was having her Kindergarten Open House.

We were lucky enough to get the first teacher we requested, at the suggestion of some very dear friends from church. Gracie received a letter in the mail that was from her teacher and we spent time buying school supplies, picking out a backpack, and shopping for school clothes.

I had started to wonder how nervous I might actually be the night of the Open House. When Gracie went to Victory Baptist, we had some experience with Open House for K4. But this felt totally different. And it really wasn't all that different. Okay so it's a new school, new faces, new teacher, new-WOW! I think I just made myself a nervous wreck.

And Gracie is not usually shy. She can talk your ear off if you give her the chance. So she's walking right beside me through all the hallways leading us to her classroom, and when we get to the door she freezes.

"I'm nervous." I hear her peep out. So to keep myself from getting nervous, I just shuffled her through the door and tried to help her find her seat. We were greeted by Mrs. Beale, who knew Gracie right away (which totally surprised Gracie!).

Mrs. Beale went through some information for the parents, and then took the time to sit down with the kids and talk about classroom things like rules, and activities, and then read them a story about the first day of school. She also had a surprise for the kids in their cubbies which turned out to be just a bunch of cute little things in a personalized paper bag. It also gave the kids a chance to figure out which cubby was theirs!

I explained to Mrs. Beale when we got ready to leave that I had to get her picture with Gracie so my family living so far away could meet Gracie's new teacher! She was happy to help me out.

Gracie really seemed to like Mrs. Beale. She had lots of fun things to tell the kids, and they really enjoyed the story and meeting their class pets. Mrs. Beale loves gardening and also told the kids that her parents loved science, so it's one of her favorite things to learn about.

Gracie said she liked her classroom.

And that she's excited about Kindergarten.

And that she can't wait to come back the first day.

And that Mrs. Beale was really nice.

And then we discovered that Mrs. Beale is an Auburn Fan.

Oh, well.


Thursday, August 11, 2011

Birthday Party Post

We had James' second birthday party this Saturday at home. We had lots of fun spending time with family and friends, and enjoying the super-sized swing set that Mawmaw ordered especially for James!

And we also got to enjoy Aunt Kayla's present! It was a sand and water table that I was very surprised to see that even the older kids enjoyed it.

And of course there was cake and snacks! Since the kids were fairly young, I went with simple things like chips, dip, and Goldfish crackers. I took the advice of an old friend (by old I mean how long I've known her, not her age) and set up a craft table. The kids weren't quite old enough for games and although the craft table wasn't a huge success, it was a time filler.

The party was a lot of fun and I am glad that so many friends and family could make it to help us celebrate!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Two Years

It always seems like it goes by so fast. Afraid to blink because you might miss out on something special. I always felt like helping to care for my sisters (being almost 12 years older than they were) had prepared me for being a Mommy to someone else in the future.

I don't think anything could have prepared me.

And I was certain when my second pregnancy mirrored my first that I was expecting another girl. So when the ultrasound tech told me she recognized "little boy parts", I asked her to make sure.

I wasn't having a boy. What was I going to do with a boy? I didn't know anything about them!

And then I remembered what I told Gracie when she was devastated with the news that the baby sister she had prayed for was in fact a boy. "We don't have control over stuff like this. God gives us what he wants us to have."

I think God gave us exactly what we needed two years ago today. When at 7:51 AM on August 10, 2009, all 8 lbs. and 8 ounces of James Edward Nelson made his screaming appearance into this world.

It was so unexpected. While we had a hard time with some colic issues in the beginning, James really seemed like a pretty laid-back baby. And for the most part he has turned into a laid back toddler. He likes to make people laugh. He is very sweet in terms of sharing hugs and kisses. He follows his big sister around so much she might as well have a shadow.

The first time I talked to my mom and she had seen a picture of him at birth, she just kept saying: He looks just like you!! People who have seen me with James call him my Twin or my Look-A-Like.

He likes to sing. I don't mean he knows the words, but I can tell there are certain songs he picks up on. And he loves, loves, loves to stand onstage at church with a real microphone (not the fake one they try to pass off) and mimic the other people who are singing.

Unlike his big sister James will eat just about any vegetable or bean you put in front of him. He doesn't appear to be a fan of meat unless it involves a cheeseburger or chicken nugget. He loves raspberries, yogurt, and macaroni and cheese. He wants anything you have. He likes to walk around the house in other people's shoes and talk on any sort of phone you have available. He usually doesn't like talking on the phone when there is a real person on the other end of the line. He thinks our computer's name is "Tina" (or maybe that's just because we talk to Aunt Tina on Skype and he has made the association).

We just recently moved into our big boy bed and James appears to be doing really well with that.

He has turned into a character over the last few months. And his verbal skills have improved tremendously since he had surgery to place tubes in his ears back in May.

This post is to celebrate one of the most wonderful ways God showed me that sometimes what we least expect can be one of the best surprises. I received that surprise two years ago today, when one little boy changed my heart.

"I pray that God will fill your heart with dreams.
And that faith gives you the courage to dare to do great things.
I'm here for you, whatever this life brings.
So let my love give you roots and help you find your wings."
Mark Harris (Find Your Wings)

Happy Birthday, sweet boy. Mommy loves you!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Good Enough

I had a God moment coming home in the car. It was today. The day before James' 2nd birthday. The day that we spent a few hours in the ER to find out if we needed stitches for a gash just above the right eye.

They ended up gluing the wound instead. James and I had a quick lunch in the hospital cafeteria, and then we packed up in the car to head home.

I glanced in the review mirror, my mind jumbled with a billion different thoughts. My sweet boy, his fresh wound now bandaged tightly with what the nurse called "Miracle Glue" was sound asleep.

I do that alot. Watching them sleep. I always just sit and stare in awe. And today it finally dawned on me. Like I said, I had a billion thoughts racing through my mind. I was coming down from the stress of the injury. A whiny toddler at the hospital. Frantic to see that the situation would resolve itself.

So I guess with this unexpected injury, his second birthday only a day away, and Gracie's first day of Kindergarten on the horizon, my emotions got the better of me.

And I thought about Mary. I wondered if Mary ever felt the feeling that I feel so many times when I look my sweet children in the face. A song recorded by Amy Grant called "Breath of Heaven" spells it out for me:

Do you wonder, as you watch my face
If a wiser one should've had my place
But I offer all I am
For the mercy of your plan
Help me be strong, help me be strong

I look at the two sweetest, smiling faces I have ever seen and wonder what was so special about me that God blessed me in being their mother. I know that I can't protect James (or Gracie) from everything in this world that might hurt them. And I know that I am only blessed with the opportunity to raise them while they are with me.

But it amazes me that God thought enough of me to give me the opportunity to raise them. And care for them. And protect them as best I can. And sometimes that might be hard to do, or it might find me tired and struggling to just get through the day. But if in the end my kids are loved, they show love, and they learn as they walk this life that they have a Heavenly Father who loves them more than I do....then it is worth every single bump. And bruise. And I welcome every single God moment that brings me to a different understanding.

I look forward to watching them grow and learn, to witnessing firsthand the things that God has in store for their lives. I had tended to look at growing up as moving forward too fast. And sometimes it still hits me that way. But I am excited to see what God has in store for them.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

More Beach Fun!

These are just a small handful of my favorite "on the beach" pictures that Jessica and I took.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Just the Boys

They loved the pool, we love them. Some cute pics of the boys :)

James was fascinated by the people outside the pool around us who wanted to relax and lay down on the chairs instead of climbing into the water.

So I guess he thought he'd just find out what all the fuss was about.

Still not impressed, he decided it was time to get back in the pool!

Seriously. Any cuter and he might KILL me!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Beach Trip Pool Pictures

Internet Explorer has been giving me fits for days when I tried several times to upload these photos, but I finally got them up!

The hotel where we stayed in Panama City had a WONDERFUL swimming pool on site. James seems to love swimming and being in the water (read: the first time I made him get out, he cried like I broke his heart) so we spend lots of time in the pool.

The water was only 3 feet deep in most areas, which gave Gracie just enough room to convince us she could "swim" (only because her feet could touch the bottom!)

James and I spent alot of time near the steps, although he would "jump" from the side of the pool and let me catch him. Then his aunt Jessica let him go under one time!

Trying to take pictures of three small children (specifically, two boys who would rather be doing other things than looking at the camera) always turned into some goofy expressions. Jacob looks confused...

And along the same lines of the first picture....James is more interested in SPLASHING! Imagine that.

Jacob has got to be the biggest ham when it comes to cheesin' for a picture. We love him!