Mostly just picture posts for the unforeseeable future. Blah but it'll have to do. Sorry, Texas.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


A couple of presents sent by far away cousins (ok, it was technically the Aunts) arrived at our door several days after Brooke's birthday. Both gifts just happened to be ordered and shipped through Amazon. I think we learned that they do not ship quickly...Something to keep in mind for future reference. And yes, they absolutely came perfectly packaged like this right off of the post office truck. Since postage has gone up so much, they should provide complimentary gift wrap from their truck, right?

This was a great surprise to come home to after school. It was definitely a bonus for Brooke to get to open more presents after her actual birthday and the party had passed.

Brooke loves art stuff and started playing with this great stuff right away. It was a good thing she had this to occupy her because it took soooo long to get those dolls and all of their accessories out of the box. Why do toy manufacturers insist on torturing the parents? Seriously!
This little statement was on the back of the doll box. I guess it is supposed to be the "Moxie Girlz" motto. It's a great thought of inspiration, but I'm not sure how having these dolls is supposed to encourage young girls to believe in it...Especially when the age of girls that still play with dolls don't even understand it. Whatever...They sure are cute though.

Great gifts...Only thing that would have been better is if a cousin had shown up at the door, too. It seems like Brooke asks me a couple times a week how many more days there are until Christmas. We have to remind the kids that each day that passes is another day closer to Christmas and cousins. I'm sure it will come much faster than we think.


We kept Brooke's birthday party very simple but, I think it was still very special to her. She originally thought it would be just our family since that's how we did it for Cole's birthday. However, we had just moved here barely a month before his birthday and didn't really know anyone yet. Luckily, we've been able to get to know a great family that has kids similar in age to ours (there is a previous post about them) and we invited them to the party. It's been a lot harder for Brooke to understand why her cousins can't just come over. The concept of everyone being nearly a 10 hr drive away just doesn't register to her yet. Needless to say, Brooke was very excited that a friend was coming to her party. The kids played and played and went in and out to jump on the trampoline even though it was a little chilly outside. They all had a good time together while Nathan and I got to enjoy conversation with other adults. Awesome!
Nathan officially laid down the law and said that from now on I must have the cake done the day before the party if I insist on making it. I'm sorry, I always have this vision and then things just never seem to go my way. Maybe one day I'll take a cake decorating class and actually have all the necessary tools to get the job done right...Not likely though.
No surprise...Cole and Jamison went straight for the video games.
They have this obsession in common.Justin, Rachel, and 3 week old Audi.
This baby is smaller than both our kids were when they were born.
It was so strange and yet so sweet to hold that teeny little thing.Look how cute Brooke looks here. And then there's Jamison suffocating on a cup in the background...Typical boy.

Awww...Sweet girl.
I don't know what it was, but something sure was funny.

Carrington picked out these Hannah Montana and Lilly dolls all by herself. Brooke played with these for 30 minutes straight after they left.

I think this look was captured during the many bright flashes of the camera that I blinded everyone with continually. I can't help it...I just love pictures.

News flash: Nathan secretly dreams of being a pop star.

Saturday, October 24, 2009


October 9th Brooke turned 6 years old. That sounds so big to me.
I'll save a sweet story for later and just get straight to the pictures.

I had her big present waiting for her when she woke up so she could have something great to open before school. Yes, it is covered with a party table cloth. She thought it was awesome.

Nathan was already at work and had to miss her reaction to his manual labor from the night before.

It's a huge dollhouse! I wish we would have thought to get this a long time ago with how much she loves to play with her dolls and talk to them...Better late than never I guess.

She was so excited to see all the presents covering the table. She had to wait all day long to open them so Daddy wouldn't have to miss out.

At school the kids rotate days to bring snacks for the class. Her teacher tries to schedule the kids to bring snacks on or near their birthday. I took her brownie/pumpkin sugar cookie snacks up to her school along with some lunch from Chick-fil-a (at 10:15 so it was really breakfast).I had her dollhouse waiting for her in her room after school and she played with it immediately. The colors of it match everything in her room perfectly.Brooke was very excited after school and waited patiently for Nathan to come home and open the rest of her presents. She has been asking for a scarf for some reason so she was so happy to finally have one. She wore it for hours on end.

She opened a big bag full of clothes but was ecstatic to see a High School Musical bag at the very bottom. She loves Troy (Zac Efron).Nana sent her some cute cowgirl clothes. This shirt says "All horses deserve to be loved by a little girl." She thought this was her on the shirt at first.

We couldn't have a Hannah Montana birthday (party the next day) without getting Hannah Montana the Movie.

Singing with her Hannah Montana phone. This is part of the conversation with her 6 yr old cousin Carley back in Texas. It was really sweet.

Nathan and the kids watched the Hannah Montana movie while I started making her cake for the party the next day. I took a few videos of it for the kids to watch later on.

Happy Birthday to our precious little girl! We love you!

Sunday, October 18, 2009


Cole officially made it to his first belt graduation. However, we've come to realize that anyone and everyone gets their next belt as long as they pay their monthly dues and show up on graduation day. Cole started karate right after a graduation day and worked hard for 10 weeks, 5 days a week. We make sure that he pays attention in class and give him pointers afterward if he isn't doing a move quite right. Then we see that kids that only started 1 week before graduation and have no clue about the moves got the next belt. What kind of crap is that? That's so unfair to the kids who have put in the time and effort the full term and know all the moves.

We figured that at least the kids would do their forms individually and have to show that they've mastered most of it in order to move up at graduation. Nope. They just did the forms as a group about 15 times in a row while being lead by an instructor. What's up with that?

So, apparently these kids don't have to work hard to earn something that is supposed to represent respect, honor, and dedication. It's simply given to them no matter what. Or maybe it shows that enough money gets you what you want even if you don't technically deserve it. How does this not completely send the wrong message to the kids?

Another reason it really aggravates me is because even though there are a lot of these ATA schools around the country, they are not every where. And if we get transferred somewhere that doesn't have one, a different school is going to think his belt status is a joke and he'll have to back track and re-earn them. Ugh, I could go on and on about how angry this makes me, but I'll refrain...For now. Ask me about it and I'll probably go off and tell you how I REALLY feel. :)

If my child was athletically, socially, mentally or physically challenged I might feel differently and appreciate this system. But the fact of the matter is that my child does not have any of those challenges...And I'm very grateful for that. Cole is quite the opposite in that he is very athletically talented and most sports just seem to come naturally to him (I'd like to say it runs in the family). This will probably actually pose a problem in the future because he won't be able to do every sport and will have to make some choices.

Now for the upside to the karate saga: A few days before graduation one of the instructors (that is not part of the school's family business) pulled Nathan aside and told him that he sees great potential in Cole. He said he noticed how well he has been doing and feels like he is ready to do much more...AND that he wants to make Cole a state champion for his age level. This coming from a 4th degree black belt World Champion meant a lot. He wants him to start in the leadership program which will allow him to begin training in weapons and sparring. That's what Cole is really interested in doing but normally you have to be at least a camo belt to do that. He would be doing this 2 belts ahead of schedule...If we pay double the money for it, of course.

It was such a huge compliment and we are so incredibly proud of Cole for working so hard. That recognition from Mr. Ingram put the biggest smile on Cole's face and proved to him that if he works hard he will be rewarded. And ever since that day Mr. Ingram has let Cole lead the class on forms to see how he does under the pressure...Cole loves being in the spotlight so he doesn't mind.

Saturday, October 17, 2009


Not sure...But I think Brooke might need a bigger bike.
Probably so since she has grown a little in the past 3 years. With the exception of the purple bag and the string things, this bike has lasted beyond expectation. Aww...She's so little.
Brooke’s 6th birthday is coming soon and it looks like she may need to get a new bike earlier than Christmas. A bike is such a great Santa Claus gift but the weather is so nice here right now. We’ve heard that the winter weather will be much colder and for longer periods of time than what we’re use to in Texas. Brooke has been casually mentioning wanting a bigger bike…And not her brother’s. He rarely cares about his bike until he sees her taking a joy ride on it. Then he “suddenly” wants to ride it. Typical sibling, right?

My parents just happen to be passing somewhat nearby us on the way to and from my dad’s softball tournament in Georgia and decided to detour through Jackson for a couple of quick pit stops. On their way back, they happen to have the same idea of a bike for Brooke’s birthday and wanted to go ahead and surprise her with it a few weeks early.

Grandma and Grandpa took her to pick out a bike in the middle of a downpour. She was so excited and did not expect it at all. It has been raining so much that she hasn’t gotten to ride it as much as she would like, but when she does, she absolutely loves it! She’s the type of girl that loves the wind in her face and blowing her hair when riding a bike (or a horse if we could find one to ride). Thanks Grandma and Grandpa!!!


The kids were invited to their first birthday party here. It's so fun and exciting for kids to go to parties, however, it's generally the opposite for the parents. Since Nathan is really the one that is friends with the dad, he said he would take them and I didn’t have to go. What?! Did I hear that right? I did? Awesome!!!

It didn’t bother me one bit to skip out on a kid party that was at a senior citizen center in a small town 30 minutes away (no offense to the party throwers). It was actually kind of funny because they ended up being there hours longer than expected…And Nathan can’t stand birthday parties. He especially can’t stand our own kids’ birthday parties. Don’t get me started on that one.

He attempted to take a few pictures at the party, but he doesn’t care to be a photo fanatic like me. And that’s okay because then I can make sure I’m always the one taking the pictures and thus avoid being in the pictures.The very next evening while Brooke was watching a movie and eating black olives, she suddenly mad dashed in the room and annouced that she found her tooth on the floor. She never even felt it come out...Thank goodness she didn't swallow it! That tooth had been ready to come out for weeks. It was practically lying flat, but she was suddenly freaked out to have it pulled. Nathan tried to get it out with the dental floss on Labor Day, but she got so scared that he gave up out of pure frustration. We thought it would be cool for her to lose her tooth that day since she lost her first tooth on the Fourth of July.FYI: Brooke's hair is back in a ponytail because she said her tummy hurt right when I said it was time to go to bed. You never know exactly what that means or if it's even true. However, I figured out what that meant and that it was in fact true when those black olives resurfaced at 3 a.m. Hmmm...Maybe eating the whole can wasn't such a good idea after all.

Friday, October 16, 2009


We were lucky enough to spend our Labor Day weekend hot and sweaty and bitter. Our air conditioner decided to go out not only for the holiday, but was totally useless for 11 days straight. The kids both happened to get sick during that time. At one point Cole had a fever of 102 and it was 94 degrees in the house. It was absolutely miserable and so very frustrating. Since we rent the house the situation was completely out of our control. The owner of the house could have had it repaired within a couple of days but chose to depend on a 2 man crew that he is friends with regardless of if they rarely returned phone calls or showed up when they were supposed to.

If someone doesn’t provide the service that you are paying them for…Seriously, call someone else…And quickly!! I won’t go into all the “heated” mess we had to deal with while the A/C was out, but I will say that even though the noisy window units may have briefly given us a lovely white trash status, they do actually work fairly well.

Don't get me wrong, I do understand that sometimes things happen that are out of our control, but when a situation could have easily been prevented if people weren’t too ignorant to realize what needs to be done…That’s when I get very upset and am no longer understanding.

In the 6 months we’ve lived here, we’ve noticed that people are just not in a hurry to do anything around here…But they are always doing something. Maybe if we had a fishing boat, a four wheeler, camouflage trim on our vehicle, a lawn mowing side business, or were constantly working on anything in the garage...We might fit in a little better.

It was actually cooler outside than inside the house so, the kids tried to cool off and have a little fun.
Needless to say, this time for us was not spent smelling like roses. :)