Thursday, June 19, 2014

Vacation 2014 Uncle Wesley's/South Carolina

This year we wanted to visit Uncle Wesley and show the boys and ourselves what all he does and where he lives! Now when we talk about Uncle Wesley going on missions they understand a lot better.
Uncle Wesley at the moment lives in Charleston, South Carolina so we had to plan for a pretty good driving distance... and with 4 kids that can be pretty challenging or it can be tons of fun or as in our case BOTH!
First we had to find a vacation sitter to go with us and after praying and asking and begging (just kidding we didn't have to beg) Laura Calverly was so kind to say she would go with us. Laura is an awesome young lady who goes to our church and as I learned on our trip is an amazing help, way more than we bargained for. We were so blessed she said yes! Autumn is a very, how do you say, picky young lady when it comes to who she shares her love with. SO we were very very grateful for Laura. Autumn loves her!

James is a big Braves fan so we had already planned on going to a Braves home game since we were going to be close to their field in Atlanta. Even though it was several hours away from Wesley it was closer than if we were home for sure. And the plan was for all us adults to go (hence the reason for a sitter).  James and I also wanted a date night while we were out so poor Laura had 2 nights with just herself and the kiddos. We also had the beach and seeing Uncle Wesley's plane on the list of things to do. After we started on the trip Jessica and Chris (James sister and her husband who were also in our bandwagon) shared with us about going to Fort Sumter and we were so glad they did!

We liked having a few plans without really being tied to a specific schedule. It was freeing to be able to decide to just sit and relax at Uncle Wesley's apartment pool instead of constantly filling the schedule with activities or events.

On the way there we decided to make it a 2 day trip since we were privileged to be able to attend Victoria's wedding that Saturday! She was a beautiful bride and I couldn't be more happy for her and her new life ahead!

After the wedding we headed to Louisiana and met up with Jessica and Chris to follow each other to our first hotel stay. Which we didn't get to until after midnight and poor Autumn was done with the car seat at that point as were all the kids. And us adults were more than ready to lay out flat and sleep! James and I discovered that first night that a double bed we will try to never downsize to! With the 2 of us plus Autumn in between it was a tight fit and not the most comfortable. I know many people who can sleep that way BUT it was not ideal for this pregnant momma! We survived though. ;)

That next morning after our complimentary free breakfast we headed for the second leg of our journey. Which was much better after some leg stretching and at least a little sleep. We ended up making it to Wesley's by supper time where Wesley had supper ready for us! Super sweet and a great blessing. We were ready for home cooked food after the last several meals on the road.  That evening we also did meal planning for the week and sent Jessica and James to the grocery store.

Uncle Wesley's apartment was new and beautiful with white carpet, white walls and all I could think  was..."Oh NO!"  4 kids, 4 days in a sterile environment with neighbors on the other side of the wall, how will we survive?! Well I'm glad to say we did and not only survived but thrived! Ok maybe thrived is a bit of a stretch....

Justice and Dawson at the pool.

Aunt Jessie holding Autumn in the cold water.

Daddy showing survival skills ;)

We got to take 2 trips to the beach both trips were for a pretty good chunk of the day. The kids LOVED the ocean.  Justice and Dawson scared me a little with how confident they were in their own swimming skills. I am just grateful we had so many adults to help watch and go and be with them in the water. I mostly stayed in the shade with Autumn and people watched with my brother in law who was enjoying just watching the kids and chilling in the sun.  I was also glad it was early in the year we were there. So it wasn't too hot! It really was perfect. 

A friend found floating in the ocean.

The beach wore her out!

Eli people watching from the stroller on a forced sun break from momma.

The day we went to Fort Sumter was fun as well because the kids got to ride on a boat/ferry for the first time which they enjoyed. Fort Sumter was built on an island so that is the only way there and back.  Very good for older kids but I think Eli and Autumn were done within the first 10 minutes of being there. I don't think war history is really an interest to them at the moment. But James was loving it! It was definitely worth the trip though regardless of what the younger ones thought of it. Also it was right at lunch time so the kids were starving by the time we arrived back. But thankfully Wesley saved the day with a Steak and Shake not too far away! 

Had us some Steak and Shake.

The first day we went to the beach we decided to go figure out and see exactly what Uncle Wesley does first. The base was on the way to the beach so really it was perfect. First we had to get clearance, check. Then drive around a little before the kids saw many different planes and already started getting exited. By the time we made it to Uncle Wesley's plane they were ready to climb up there and see what all cool things there was to see. We weren't allowed to do too much as far as pictures and video goes, understandably. But we did get some and the kids and daddy loved pushing buttons and making the back of the plane OPEN up! It was pretty impressive. So proud of our little brother for all he has become. He's grown to be such a responsible, kind young man. Who happens to also fight for our country. WAY TO GO WESLEY!!

Autumn walking into Uncle Wesley's plane...

Autumn thought the plane was pretty sweet.

Dawson my poor claustrophobic one pretty much parked on the steps of the plane. Even though it was a huge plane he needed fresh air.

Up to the cockpit.

checking out the back of the plane

then again after it was opened to show how they load and unload

Can't remember what was so interesting but must have been important.

All the boys strapped up but it was too hot up there for this momma so I only got a picture of Eli.

For date night we found a spot known only in Charleston which is what we wanted. No chains something unique to the area. Jessica, Chris, James and I double dated for supper. It was very nice getting some time away to just ourselves. Then we went shopping in the same open buildings where they used to buy and trade slaves. Very sad... You can see the roof of one of the buildings behind us in the picture below. Then behind that a church. 

Date night downtown on the rooftop!  

Uncle Wesley has the coolest pictures from his travels!

Before heading home our last day with Uncle Wesley was spend traveling to Atlanta, then that night we had the game. It was also a date night. So SCORE! Not often we get 2 nights in one week. One blessed momma right here!

Braves WON!! Whose that good looking guy next to me? A cutie for sure!

On the ride home there was no air flow to the back except through the front windows! But everyone did very well considering and still had smiles on their faces.  We originally had a fan blowing the air from the front into the back but the fuse or some wires must have blown/broken because it just stopped working... Thankfully God gave us an over cast kind of cooler day on the ride home.

The kids loved the pool at the apartments, they loved the beach, they loved Uncle Wesley's awesome plane he rides in. They had a blast! James and I loved seeing them love everything, we loved getting to see the Braves play PLUS a date night! And mostly we loved playing games and seeing family we don't usually get to talk to face to face with. Over all it was an amazing vacation.

And I left this one for last because it's one of my favorites! This was from inside Uncle Wesley's plane.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Autumn's birth story....

Where do I start? I guess I will start with the awesome family gathering we were having! Reed and Heather had come down to visit and we were all going to go watch "The Avengers" which had just come out I wanna say that week. Doug, Melissa and the kids were here too.  Chloe was going to be leaving for Montana shortly after this get together so it was kinda a lets get together while we still can kind of thing. 
                                      This picture was taken the day before she arrived. :)

I wanna say the movie was around 1 and I had prayed asking God to let me have Autumn while Reed was still in town ( I had been having contraction on and off the last couple weeks before, my body getting ready for Autumn) So I knew I could go in to labor any time. But I also prayed the Lord wouldn't ruin our family trip to the movies with water breaking or anything like that! 
During the movie I had many good contractions again I wasn't thinking much about them even when they were breath a little deeper ones because like I said I had been having contractions for 2 weeks been there done that. Although even though I didn't know my mom and James were looking at each other every now and then in the movie and talking about my contractions. 
We left the movie and Mom made me go home right away to rest, just in case anything happened later I would be better rested while a couple of the family went grocery shopping for a few items to add to our planned steak dinner!
Well once I got home around 3-3:30 lo and behold I started feeling the contractions harder and they were closer together. I was never checked for dilation (at my request). This whole time still not believing I was in labor because I had felt these before and they weren't "different" enough.  Mom knew, James knew, every one knew but me I think. I probably didn't think it was real until around 5 or 6. When I started feeling like I wanted to get in the birth pool. I even told Mom I don't think I'm far enough along but I want in the pool and she said then get in girl! She knew I was probably well enough along if I was asking to get in.

              Mom and Melissa were both awesome helping to relieve some of the birth pains. 
Side note....Our upstairs air conditioning didn't work that's why we had a fan in the stairway...

Anyways I don't know when but other family and a few friends were called/texted to go ahead and start heading towards the house. My Mom in law brought snacks and drinks and all kinds of goodies for adult and kids alike because she's just awesome like that. Not everyone made it by the time she arrived because you know they had their own lives they had to get in order before they could come. But God knew who all needed to be there and they were there.

Autumn was born at 7:15 after breathing through I think 2 contractions before she pushed herself out. Weighing in at 8 pounds and 21 inches long. 

                                                 This was one of the first pictures taken...

not sure how old but still within the first 24 hours...

All the kids not just siblings wanted to hold her....

Dawson, my can't wait to be a daddy of his own one day, holding baby sister...

Autumn Joy Lynne (The Joy of harvest overflowing) 

Monday, June 2, 2014

It's been close to 3 years since I wrote my last blog! Wow how things have changed. Just to catch you up....We did have a girl just as Justice had prayed for. A healthy beautiful baby girl, Autumn Joy Lynne. Which means the joy of harvest overflowing.
and here is a current picture. She is playing with her birthday presents. 2 years old! WOW!

 She is so talkative and active! Her brothers were never this understandable at her age. A girl is definitely a totally different experience. Took me a while just to get used to changing a girl diaper. She has been such a blessing even though she brings drama and sass she has also brought joy and happiness! We love her so much, all of us!

We are now expecting a little boy, Maddox Liam. My due date is July 21st.  I am so not ready, lots of purging I want to do before he gets here but also have a pretty busy schedule between now and then so we will see what all gets done.

Chloe (my sister) moved in with us the end of last year and has been a huge blessing to us! She allows us date nights and when we recently went on family vacation I came home to a clean house! She is super sweet!

I will catch you all up on our vacation on another blog spot. Also on Autumn's birth story and many other things in between!

My goal is to keep up WAY better with this site.  Hope to catch you all up! Including myself!


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

It's been a while...

So yes, I haven't written in a while. But things have been a bit crazy. :)

Every Tuesday and Thursday evenings I have 5 extra kids I watch so their mommy and daddy can take a EMT class together.
 AND mostly I have been feeling poorly on account this is number 5 in 5 1/2 years and it's taking it's toll. I'm not the spry young thing I used to be. ;)  But God is good and His timing is perfect. We've trusted Him with our children and I know He will give me strength. Already I am starting to feel better. More energy and less nausea as the days go by. I am quickly approaching the second trimester, one of my favorite parts of pregnancy! Should start showing soon!

Justice is still convinced we are having a girl and I have decided to stop correcting him. (we don't know what we are having, well besides a baby that is) I am praying his faith is increased and Lord willing that is what the Lord blesses us with. Justice says we already have clothes for her cause Karis won't mind the new baby using her's. :)

We have been not so faithful with school mostly because of my pukiness feeling. But it surprises me how much they still learn in the 2 days a week we have gotten in. The good thing is they love to learn. :) I pray my attitude helps them to continue to see school as fun.

This is where we are right now....

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Number 5

Justice asked to pray for lunch again so of course I said sure. "dear Jesus, help me to obey and listen to my momma and daddy. Help us to have another baby and that we have a girl, cause we already have boys. and bless our food and Jesus help us to be nice to our Jesus name, Amen" He has been praying a very similar prayer for the past month or two now. But that day it made me cry.

I decided to just take a pregnancy test, I knew it wouldn't be positive but I just couldn't not after a prayer like that! So after putting the boys down for their nap I broke down and took it....

I  I

for those of you who have never taken a pregnancy test two lines is positive...
God said yes!

When Justice woke up I asked him what it was he'd been praying so hard for. He said
"Jesus"..Well yes you prayed to Jesus but what did you ask him for? "Ummm...a baby girl."
Well Justice I don't know if we are having a girl but momma does have a baby in her tummy! "REALLY?! How do you know? did you take a picture?" No baby but I did take a test and it told me we are going to have a baby! "really?! I'm so glad momma!" :)

The next thing was to tell James. I wanted to do something different since I had always just been straight out. So instead I wrote Big Brother in May on all the boys bellies. (which is harder than you would think because they are all very ticklish-ed!) And when James got home from work they all lifted their shirt. Well I lifted Eli's and it took him only a second before a BIG smile came across his face. When he looked at me I was showing my tummy which had #5 written on it. Needless to say Daddy was exited.

We decided to tell grandma the same way since we would be seeing her the next day. I was able to get a picture then...

So for all you who are maybe thinking....Do they know what causes that? Don't you already have your hands full? 5, Wow?! How are you going to be able to pay for college?

Our answers......Yes we do and we really enjoy it! ;) Yes my hands are full, full of blessings! and as far as college they will just have to get it the same way everyone else does, earn it! Through good grades and lots of work.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

August a BIG party month!

Well it's been a while since I last wrote so I thought I should catch up! 
The beginning of August brought Brooklyn and  Eli's birthdays! We went to Doug and Melissa the first weekend to celebrate Brooklyn's birthday and also Natalie's belated birthday since they were in the process of moving during Natalie's. The girls had cute cakes and I think they had a lot of fun! We also were able to meet Joey's girlfriend Hannah. A sweet young lady who has actually been a friend of the family for a while but whom we just recently got back into contact with. She is so creative and made some beautiful pictures to hang on the girl's walls.

We then had Eli's 1st birthday at our house the following Monday. Grandma made the cutest little cupcakes inside mini ice cream cones! I will post pictures as soon as I get my hands on some. We had Eli's favorite, spaghetti for supper and everyone joined us.

Then just this weekend was Joey surprise birthday party at El Chico!  And thanks to Hannah it was a huge success. She thought of it all! Like I said such a creative young lady! He had family and friends from church. James and I really enjoyed seeing some friends from our old church who we hadn't seen it was seems like forever! All in all it's been a big birthday bash this month!

In between Eli's and Joey's birthdays we all loaded up and headed to Sarah's apartment to see Wesley for the weekend! He was able to leave the base so we made a little family reunion out of it. There were a lot of people crammed into a small space. We stayed up late every night playing the XBOX mostly the guys played baseball but we also tried to compete in a dancing game, it was lots of fun and even more laughs.

 The nights were rough because Eli didn't sleep well between a weird place and teething. Poor Sarah had a rough night too because we kicked her out of her bed the first night then the second night we switched rooms and Olivia was kicked out of her bed. So not much sleep for the babies nor their parents.

 Grandma and Papaw stayed at the motel as well as Jessica and Chris. So we had access to an indoor pool which we swam in for a couple hours! The boys had a blast! Justice almost drowned because he kept jumping into his little round floatie but missed it one time....very scary. James was out of the  hot tub and right there with him in less than three seconds it seamed, while Justice was able to keep his head above water. We were really proud of him for that. He had been practicing swimming almost the whole time before all that so that was a blessing! Papaw was also out of the hot tub super fast which I think hurt his body a little especially mixed with all the emotions! I think though this Momma was the most shaken. I hate water to begin with.....just saying.

Sunday we all attended Tim and Sarah's church and enjoyed worship together with Tim as the lead and then listened to a good sermon. The kids got to play in water again only this time it was in the form of a huge home made slip and slide and several other sprinklers. :) After church we all went to lunch together. Then finished packing and got home about supper time.

August has been a blast with all the family and friends we have been surrounded with!