Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Avery Reese turns 6....WHAT!?!?

I still can't believe my baby girl (who I just brought home from the hospital the other day) is 6! She is my favorite 6 year old; she is loving, serious, playful, sassy, and kind. Her love for Christ is so awesome. Just the other day my parents asked her what her favorite present was; do you know what she said? Christ dying on the cross for her! Is she 6 or 26?

She really wanted a Frozen ice skating birthday party.....but she doesn't know how to ice skate; so we opted for a gymnastics party. She had so much fun celebrating with her friends. One thing about this little girl is she loves her friends!

What a fun group of girls!

Happy Birthday Avery Reese, we love you!!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Thanksgiving 2014

Our Thanksgiving tradition is to alternate whose family we spend Thanksgiving with. Both families are unique in their traditions and I love these experiences and the memories with my kids and Brad. So this year was our turn to visit my family in Rogers. It is always fun to see my parents, my sisters, and my nieces and nephew. (I also try to sneak in some girl time with my best friends).

For the past several years, I have participated in the NWA Turkey Trot 5k.....alone, since I am the only runner in the family. Well, I changed things this year! I recruited my husband, my youngest sister and her husband. We had a blast and burned some calories for that extra piece of pie.

2014 Turkey Trotters

Thanksgiving is my mom's favorite holiday! It is one of the reasons I love to visit her during this season. She enjoys cooking the (entire) meal and hosting family and friends. It is such a happy time to be back home.

My mom, my sister youngest sister Katie and her husband Nate

Both of my kids adore mashed potatoes (not sure where they get that)

Unlike our neighborhood, my parents live in an established area with big trees and my kids thought it was so much fun to play in the leaves. I just love this picture; it captures pure joy and their innocence. 

Our elf "Charlie" always shows up the weekend after Thanksgiving, so this year we had to smuggle him to my parents for a special arrival. Hudson just loves trains (wooden trains, electric trains, train books and especially the Polar Express movie). Branson puts on a production just like the Polar Express movie so we knew we just had to take the kids. So that morning Charlie brought the kids Christmas pjs and train tickets! They were ecstatic!

Meeting the conductor

Surprise visit from Santa. Hudson sat on Grandpa's lap almost the entire ride.

It was such a neat adventure!

What a wonderful weekend with family and friends (and train rides).

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Big Announcement!!!

Brad and I have prayed and thought and discussed and prayed some more over the past 9 months. We have finally decided to share our news with everyone........

We are expanding our family! But not in the way you might think. In February 2014, I was encouraged by a good friend of mine, Delta Bost, to attend a Jen Hatmaker conference at our church. Let me just say that she is AMAZING! She began the conference with her story and when she showed her adoption video I lost it.  That very night I came home and told Brad we were adopting. (Shockingly, he thought I was crazy and not on board with my idea). I kept feeling a tug on my heart and just knew this was God's plan for our family. I gathered information, searched blogs and agencies, spoke with friends and tried to get Brad on board, but it just wasn't enough. So I gave it to God, I knew if this was our journey then God would be the only way to Brad's heart. I didn't bring up the word "adoption" for months, but IT was every where we turned. Every sermon seemed to mention adoption, tv shows plots were about adoption, songs on the radio and then Avery began praying for a sister that "didn't look like her".  Brad was convicted!

We had a little weekend getaway for our anniversary in May and Brad told me he was ready to adopt. We have begun the paperwork chase and now the waiting game. Through much thought and prayer, we have decided that international adoption is best for our family. We have decided to adopt a female toddler from China.

We ask for support and prayers for our growing family. We hope you are just as excited for our family as we are!  God is so good.  And by the way November is National Adoption Month.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Hudson's 3rd Birthday Party

I really can't believe my sweet little baby boy is three! I am in complete denial, despite the fact that he is completely potty trained, sleeps in a big boy bed, feeds himself and really only needs me to cook his food and drive him around. But he is my he can't be three!

But he is, so what did I do? I threw him a dragon party because that is what he loves (and I love him).
I was not really excited about hosting a dragon party; I mean I don't know much about dragons and they aren't typically cute. But I did my research on Pinterest and found some fun ideas. Happy Birthday Hudson!!

Brad's dad painted this amazing larger than life dragon for Hudson (he loved it)

 I found these great foam shields along with some knight party hats and of course Toothless party blowers. 

 I cut out swords from foam board and had the kids decorate them with dragon stickers and crayons. They really enjoyed making these swords their own.

Two cuties making their swords

I found these adorable fire-breathing inflatable dragons for the kids to play ring toss, but that was difficult as Hudson carried all three around for most of the party. 

He loves his dragons 

Later the kids were able to use their swords to 'slay' a real (pinata) dragon. This was so much fun to watch.

We also played Pin the Tail on the dragon. My dear friend Amber painted this awesome dragon for the party.

Group photo (these are the cutest dragon slayers I've ever seen)

Party food for a Knight

It was really fun planning the menu complete with Fire Balls, Dragon Dip, and Fruit Swords

We also served Knight Ships, Fire Torches, Dragon Scales, and Dragon Nuggets

Hudson's favorite was this fabulous Dragon cake.  So cool!

Hudson received some great gifts

Thank you to all of our friends and family who came to celebrate this special boy with us. He had a fabulous time at his dragon party. We love you Hudson!!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Back To School

Is it just me or did summer fly by? I was blessed to be able to stay home this summer with my adorable kids. We had so much fun together during these lazy days and we just were not quite ready for the early mornings, schedules, late nights with homework and making lunches.

But my kids love school and we were excited for the adventures Kindergarten and Preschool were going to bring this year.

Isn't she the cutest little Kindergartener?

 Our little family (love them)

Hudson insisted on holding her hand while she walked into school

Brad and his mini me's

Mrs. Neff and Avery Reese

One last family photo

Avery is really enjoying Mrs. Hart and Mrs. Neff and all of her new friends. She loves Kindergarten so far.

Hudson was not really into taking first day photos

He warmed up once in his class when it was snack time

Hudson really enjoys his new teacher, Ms. Miranda and his new friends. He is excited to go to school every morning. 

I decided to throw a "Back to School" dinner. The kids had a blast and the food was so much fun to eat. Next year we may have to invite a couple of friends over to join the fun.

Table set up included a globe, scissors, markers, mini milk jugs, and chalkboards

Who doesn't love cupcakes and I incorporated apples with gummy worms (they loved them)

The kids enjoyed drawing before dinner was served

What a sweet face


My kids love cupcakes!