Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Which Picture Do You Like Best for Abigail's Dedication?

I really need to turn a picture in by Friday at the latest so let me know which one you like best asap. She is wearing the dress I wore when I was dedicated and the necklace I had one when I was a little baby. She is also wearing a ring Charlie's sister had when she was a little girl, and a bracelet her great grandmother has given her recently. I am VERY sentimental...can you tell? About the only non sentimental thing she has on is the bow from Strasburg Outlet. It is a satin bow and beautiful. She is going to be dedicated on Mother's Day.

Homeschooling a 2 Year Old Active Boy

Even though it might not be the plan I have for my life, God's plan for me right now is to homeschool Jackson. It is not that I am against homeschooling, it is just a huge challenge for me in that I feel clueless in teaching little ones. I feel very comfortable teaching children who can already read (gradeschool and up), but I have absolutely no experience teaching children this young. I would love for Jackson to go to a Preschool but he will only be in a 2 year old Preschool next year because of his very late birthday (he will be 3 years old the entire year). We are very thankful that we have an extra year since Jackson lost so much time having a tongue that was completely inactive. Many days I really feel that Jackson is not teachable and that I need major help.

With all his issues, it is not God's plan for Jackson to go to a Preschool right now. I wanted to share a little bit of what I have learned on how to teach an active two year old toddler boy
  • Have a plan! Plans can be changed, but what I have found is when I do not have a plan for the day it ends up being a very hard day.
  • This is our "regular" plan for a the week. Monday Wednesday and Friday morning we go to the gym for my class 9:15-10:15. While Abigail is napping around 10:45 am we have "school" time (try to every day Monday-Friday). I make him sit in a chair and we pray and read the Bible and then we work on his speech saying flashcards. Next, we move to his tongue exercises on the highchair. After we are done working on speech, I try to play with him. On Mondays I play cars and block with him, Tuesday are bubbles, Wednesday puzzles, Thursday animals, Friday is art day--coloring, etc. Also, every other day after our "school" time we watch Signing Time dvd's that help him learn and say words. I really enjoy educational dvd's for little ones! They teach me so much.
  • I would love to have worksheets for 2 year old to work on daily...such as working on knowing and writing ABC's, 123's, and learning words. Do you know any good place that offers worksheets for 2 year olds? I bet I could call local Preschools and see where they get their sheets. Whatever you do, I think it is good to daily have "school time" that challenges them to advance in reading and writing and learning what words mean. Or maybe that is another invention I will create one day. Homeschooling worksheets for 2 and 3 year olds.
  • The very hard days are days when I choose to stay in the entire morning to get laundry done or organize their clothes. Jackson will bring me the keys to the car, and ask to "go, go, go." These days I think will get easier when we have a playset. I did not get the playset last week because they had no more in stock to order. I did get a "rain check" from Toys R Us and will get it at that price if they can ever order it. If they cannot order it in the next 3 weeks, we will probably be going the to Walmart to get it. I really believe that God create boys to want to go out and fish and hunt and provide for the family. This is hard for me because I wish he could just sit still some days and enjoy staying in the house.
  • Tuesday and Thursday morning we do stay in because therapy comes to us that morning and it takes too long to get ready to go anywhere because I am helping during the therapy time.
  • Do you have any suggestions on homeschooling 2 and 3 year old active little boys? As long as Jackson is not attending a Preschool, I must realize that I am homeschooling him. I must also realize that Charlie and I will always be his main teachers no matter if he ends up going to Preschool or not.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Great Deals---Diapers and Contact Lenes

If your area Kroger stores are running the Buy $15 Comforts baby items, Get $3 Off special, you can get 3 packages of diapers for $2.49 each! Another reason why I heart Kroger!

This is from Moneysaving mom's blog:

Here's how:
Buy 3 packages of diapers at $6.49 each
Use 3 $3/1 coupons here
Get $3 off your order
Spend $7.47 plus tax for three packages of diapers after coupons/store discount

I was only able to print this coupon one time, but I also have coupon for their diapers that they sent me in the mail because they have my information. I have tried these diapers and like them. Right now I just get them for Jackson and they last all night long with no accidents.

Also, I have found a good deal on contacts. I still have not received the contacts but so far I have been pleased with the process. I got a box of night and day focus lens for Charlie for $44.90. Our doctors office would have charged us $64.00. I did have to get my doctors office to mail me the prescription. I normally do the big rebate program right when we get our prescription (for instance get $100 off when buy six boxes). The lady I spoke to on the phone said I could do the same when I buy from them (she walked me through buying the contact lens online for the first time). I ordered them through contact lens king.

Where do you get the best deals on diapers and contacts?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Buying an Outdoor Swing Set---Please Give me Your Recommendations

I really want an outdoor swing set. Jackson has so much energy and he loves to be outside. It is a good investment for where we live since we can go outside and play from March till really the beginning of November. I spent much of last Friday really doing research on them. I looked at Kmart first and they had some toddler ones but many of them had bad reviews. Then I got to thinking that I do not want to spend $100 to $200 on a toddler one that he can grow out of in a year. So I went to Walmart's website next, and I was very surprised at how many good ones they had. They had a great wooden swing set. They all had good reviews the only catch is that we would need to assemble it which I think is possible with our brother in law's help who is an engineer. I called Lowes and they said for a playset and for them to assemble it would be $2,000. Crazy! I know you can buy a kit there and spend less, but that is really confusing to us.

So here in my conclusion for our outdoor swing set purchase:

  • We are probably going to get a swing set that does not have monkey bars because our backyard is small and Jackson will probably not even enjoy monkey bars till around 8 years old and we could always add on.
  • The picture above is of the swing set we want to get. It is on sale $379.99 until Saturday at Toys R US. You can open up a Toys R US credit card and pay zero interest either 3 to 6 months (she was not sure over the phone today) and get an additional 10% off the purchase for opening up the card. This swing set is not in stock at the Harbison Toys R US, but the can order it for us for free as long as we pay 20 percent of it or put it on their credit card.
  • I think we will purchase it on Thursday. I was going to get this exact swing set at Walmart but it was $399 but they did not sell it in their stores so it would have been an additional $150 to ship. I am glad I shopped around!
  • I am going to give Charlie an entire month to put it up with help from friends. They said online it was a two person job and a 20 hour job. That is a lot, but $1,000 for someone else to install it, is crazy!
  • Is there anywhere else you would recommend researching? Do you think I can find a better deal somewhere else?
  • What is your experience with buying a swing set and what you recommend? I really would love to her from yall!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Picture Monday

Jackson and Grand. Two peas in a pod. They could not be more similar in every way if they tried.

Saturday my parents came to Columbia to see my cousin's boys play baseball. We had a great time and Charlie was able get some sleep since he stayed up all night at the lock in Friday night.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

First Bath Together!

Here are pictures of their first bath together. They were so cute! We did try to put them as far away from each other as possible, just in case Jackson decided to start splashing.

I saw this bath seat (by Safety First) for babies the other day on another mom's blog and did some research and it is for babies that cannot sit up yet. Abigail can sit up some if you lean her forward, and she can roll over a good bit...especially from her stomach to her back. This is probably because she has been sleeping on her stomach for a while (swaddled and all). Do not report me...haha! We all slept on our stomach as babies and we turned out fine. I ended up ordering it off ebay, but I think I ended up paying $22 for it with shipping and all.

Abigail loves baths, but I have only been bathing her 3 or 4 nights a week because it takes up so much time. We were so excited to get them in the bath together and they both loved it. Now my sweet girl can have more baths! All we need is a good bath shower spray for the tube and we will be set. Have you found a good sprayer for your tub? If so where did you get it?

I will hopefully blog tomorrow about top baby costs and how to cut some of the costs. Jackson woke up with a little bit of a fever this morning, so that post might have to wait till next week. I just could not take him to the doctor when he is not really congested or having any other symptoms. I know he is teething. My doctor's office says that if a fever goes on longer than three days, then usually it is an infection so we will just have to wait and see. This does however explain why I had the worse day ever with Jackson yesterday...more on that maybe later. It was nice for him to sleep in till 9:30 am this morning which I do not think has ever happened in his entire life. Fever is the only thing that could make him sleep that long.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Fleet Feet

It has been over a year since I have been very serious about coupons. Overall, it has been a great experience. I no longer go to Walmart and give $300 a month to them for items I would buy there with no reward. More importantly, I do not hate grocery shopping anymore. It is actually fun for me and a challenge to see how little I can spend for an item.

I do still go to Walmart every once and a while, but I always use coupons. It is a fun game for me to see how little I can spend on an item. Sometimes at Walmart you can get items for under a dollar and they do match other stores deals. For instance, if I saw that Piggly Wiggly had there cokes for 3 for $10, Walmart would match that and I would only spend $10 on the 3 12 pack of cokes I wanted. Non the less, I really love Kroger because they keep track of what I buy through my card and reward me for it through sending me in store coupons in the mail, etc. This post is not about grocery store shopping, however, I have regressed.

The point of this post is to discus my shoe issues. Since I worked out the majority of my pregnancy with Abigail, I am really not that out of shape. However, recently during the classes I have felt like I could not do them anymore because my feet hurt so bad. I was talking to one of my step instructors last week and asked her advice on getting good tennis shoes for exercise classes and I told her my problem. She told me about a place in Columbia called "Fleet Feet." This tennis shoe store gets you on a tread mill and analysis what is wrong with you feet. My feet hurt so bad last week, I decided to go out there Saturday with Jackson. It was very impressed with the whole process, and she told me that I had one of the worse cases of "pronation" problems she had ever seen. My parents reminded me that I did have to wear special shoes when I was little. Anyway, I did end up getting the perfect tennis shoe for my problem out there for $100 (Brooks are the brand). I really really hated spending $100 on tennis shoes when I spend so much of my week pinching pennies and cutting coupons. This is where I think I get to obsessed and money become an "idol" that I want to protect. I have a medical problem so it is going to cost more for me to have a pair of tennis shoes. Do you struggle with finding a balance between cutting costs and feeling bad when you have to pay full price for an item? I guess that has become my new goal, not to spend full price for anything I buy.

However, if you have any kinds of feet problems or work out 3 or more hours a week, I would highly recommend this place. Bring your dress shoes in there and they will find you the perfect insole for you (they only sell tennis shoes here). She does recommend getting new tennis shoes about every 6 months. There is no additional cost for them video tapping you walking on a treadmill.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


Which picture do yall like best?

I had the hardest time deciding between these two pictures. This was Abigail's first time getting her picture professionally taken and it was my first time having pictures taken at Portrait Innovations . I was very pleased with the entire experience (way more pleased than with the Sears or Walmart). We ended up getting the seven shot package so you will be seeing more pictures on this blog soon. I was very happy with the price for that many different poses, and I got to keep the cd of all poses. I highly recommend this studio! These pictures are priceless.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter Pictures 2009

Abigail's first Easter
This is the best picture we were going to get after church. Babies were tired and squirmy.
All the girls!
All the boys! We celebrated Easter and "Pop Pop's" birthday Saturday afternoon.
Zach and Abigail hanging out. Zach and Abigail are only 2 months apart in age. Zach is Charlie's sister's baby boy.

I have decided that on Mondays I will upload pictures or video. So if you regularly read my blog expect pictures or videos on Mondays! This Monday is of course pictures of Easter. We are so blessed!

Tomorrow, I will have some professional pictures posted that we got taken on Friday.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

My King

This Easter This Speech is What Keeps Ringing In My Heart:

"The Bible says my King is the King of the Jews. He's the King of Israel. He's the King of righteousness. He's the King of the ages. He's the King of Heaven. He's the King of glory. He's the King of kings, and He's the Lord of lords. That's my King. I wonder...Do you know Him?

My King is a sovereign King. No means of measure can define his limitless love. He's enduringly strong. He's entirely sincere. He's eternally steadfast. He's immortally graceful. He's imperially powerful. He's impartially merciful. Do you know Him?

He's the greatest phenomenon that has ever crossed the horizon of this world. He's God's Son. He's the sinner's Savior. He's the peak of civilization. He's unparalleled. He's unprecedented. He is the loftiest idea in literature. He's the highest personality in philosophy. He's the fundamental doctrine of true theology. He's the only one qualified to be an all-sufficient Savior. I wonder if you know Him today.

He supplies strength for the weak. He's available for the tempted and the tried. He sympathizes and He saves. He strengthens and sustains. He guards and He guides. He heals the sick. He cleanses the lepers. He forgives sinners. He discharges debtors. He delivers the captives. He defends the feeble. He blesses the young. He serves the unfortunate. He regards the aged. He rewards the diligent, and He beautifies the meager. I wonder if you know Him.

He's the key to knowledge. He's the wellspring of wisdom. He's the doorway of deliverance. He's the pathway of peace. He's the roadway of righteousness. He's the highway of holiness. He's the gateway of glory. Do you know Him?

Well, His light is matchless. His goodness is limitless. His mercy is everlasting. His love never changes. His word is enough. His grace is sufficient. His reign is righteous, and His yoke is easy and His burden is light. I wish I could describe Him to you. Yes, He's indescribable. He's incomprehensible. He's invincible. He's irresistible. You can't get Him out of your mind. You can't get Him off of your head. You can't outlive Him, and you can't live without Him.

Well, the Pharisees couldn't stand Him but they found out they couldn't stop Him. Pilate couldn't find any fault in Him. Herod couldn't kill Him. Death couldn't handle Him, and the grave couldn't hold Him. I wonder if you know Him."

Dr. Lockridge


Go here to see the video:

I was sad I was not able to go to the service and hear Dr Estep preach but we had a ton of PALS volunteers cancel. We were right where God wanted us to be this morning, We had lots of visitors in the Preschool. Jackson class had 11 two year olds and we were able to go see a puppet show and go play with the wheel toys. I was even able to read them the Easter story from Jackson's book.

Sometimes Easter is what gets people back in church who are not regular attenders. It was great to meet all our visitors. Praise God for His Resurrection!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Riverbank Zoo Keep On Getting Better Every Time We Go!

Spring Break has worn us out! I bet you are wondering why Spring Break has worn us out. It is because all my friends who normally have to go and get their kids from school were able to play in the morning. Monday we rested but Tuesday morning I took both Abigail and Jackson to the Harbison Gold's gym because Jackson did not have his speech therapy (again Spring Break affected us). Then Tuesday night we went to Chick Fil A on Bush River Road and hung out with some families from FBC. If you read my blog and live in the area we would love to see you there on Tuesday nights where there is "Family Night" and kids eat free. Go here for more info:

Wednesday morning we went to Monkey Joe's, this new bouncing place that opened up in Lexington (we were trying to meet Ashley and her friend at 10 am, but I had to let my baby girl get her 1 and half nap out since she was so tired so we did not make it there till 11:30). I think it is going to be a great place to go eventually, but it was a mad house on Wednesday. They just opened up last week and on Wednesday kids get in for half off ($2.50). If you ever want to meet up there let me know because we really want to try it again. Bouncing is one of Jackson's favorite activities but because it was so crowed he did not want to get in the bouncing places with that many kids (I do not blame him). They did have referees at each bouncing station monitoring behavior of kids and blowing their whistles when it got too crazy. Then Wednesday night we went over to Charlie's sister house to visit with her.

Thursday morning we went to the Zoo since I looked at the weather and saw it was suppose to be perfect on Thursday morning. It just ended up being us and the Pace's but we had the best time ever! We broke out the double stroller (by Greco that I got at the twin sale for $80). We love this stroller because it is front to back and Abigail's Greco car seat fits in it. Jackson loved riding in this great stroller and he loved seeing all the animals. He was so excited to see the elephants. Then we finally made it to the playground they have there (we had never made it all the way over there before). Jackson loved it and climbed up everything and was able to get all his energy out. He had an A+ day that day probably because Charlie got to go with us (Charlie had not had a day off in over 2 weeks and since some other people from the church were going to try to come he decided to go out with us...he was actually back at work by 12 pm that day). Every time we go to the zoo, it gets better and better (which I did not think was possible)! It did take us 10 minutes to park and 10 minutes to get in because of everyone being on Spring Break and it being such a beautiful day outside. Thursday night was the Maunday Thursday service at our church. It was a wonderful beautiful service and Charlie was one of the disciples at the Lord's Supper (he had no speaking parts). I hope to blog about it tomorrow. This is Holy Week and Easter and Christmas are the most special times of year for us...more on that tomorrow hopefully.

Both my babies are exhausted today. I think it is good we stay in Tuesday and Thursday morning every "normal" week. Jackson's therapists come those morning and it is just not worth going out for such a short time. All our trips this week were totally worth it and we have had such a fun week with our friends.

Monday, April 06, 2009

EggFeast 09---I loved Heathwood Park!

Movie Monday is being replaced with picture Monday this week.

FBC Easter Egg Hunt was at Heathwood Park this year, and it was great! We had 60 people pre-register and I think more than 100 people came out. It was a beautiful day, and Heathwood Park had great swing sets for all the kids to play on afterwards. This was Abigail's first Easter Egg Hunt and believe it or not she really enjoyed it! Charlie did the devotion and was the Easter Bunny so it was a little crazy for us. Next year, my parents will be there with me to help out! Jackson definitely ran far away from the Easter Bunny when his daddy's voice came out of the Easter Bunny. It was a really good outreach event, and I think they will have it at this park again next year and pray for great weather again. The Preschool Committee does such a great job doing this event. Jackson has the Easter basket that Charlie had when he was a little boy...very special! He loved collecting his eggs and he kept taking his eggs out and putting them back in his basket.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Psalm 27

Psalm 27 (ESV)

The LORD Is My Light and My Salvation
Of David.
1The LORD is my light and my salvation;
whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the stronghold of my life;
of whom shall I be afraid?

2When evildoers assail me
to eat up my flesh,
my adversaries and foes,
it is they who stumble and fall.

3 Though an army encamp against me,
my heart shall not fear;
though war arise against me,
yet I will be confident.

4 One thing have I asked of the LORD,
that will I seek after:
that I may dwell in the house of the LORD
all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD
and to inquire in his temple.

5For he will hide me in his shelter
in the day of trouble;
he will conceal me under the cover of his tent;
he will lift me high upon a rock.

6And now my head shall be lifted up
above my enemies all around me,
and I will offer in his tent
sacrifices with shouts of joy;
I will sing and make melody to the LORD.

7 Hear, O LORD, when I cry aloud;
be gracious to me and answer me!
8 You have said, "Seek my face."My heart says to you,
"Your face, LORD, do I seek."

9 Hide not your face from me.
Turn not your servant away in anger,
O you who have been my help.
Cast me not off; forsake me not,
O God of my salvation!
10 For my father and my mother have forsaken me,
but the LORD will take me in.

11 Teach me your way, O LORD,
and lead me on a level path
because of my enemies.
12 Give me not up to the will of my adversaries;
for false witnesses have risen against me,
and they breathe out violence.

13 I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the LORD
in the land of the living!
14 Wait for the LORD;
be strong, and let your heart take courage;
wait for the LORD!

Friday, April 03, 2009

A Shelter in the Time of Storm

While I was at Southeastern, I had the privileged of meeting Paul Tripp. He along with his brother Tedd have written some of the best truly Biblical counseling books out there. The counseling classes at Southeastern were my favorite classes.

Paul Tripp has a new book just released entitled A Shelter in the Time of Storm based on Psalm 27. I was able to read a little bit of it online and it looks great. I would highly recommend it! Tripp writes,

"We really do live in a fallen world. We have not been given a ticket out of the brokenness of this world simply because we are children of God....The world we live in simply in not operating the way God intended.

There is a second thing we know for sure. There is a God of awesome grace who meets his children in moments of darkness and difficulty. He is worth running to. He is worth waiting for. He brings rest when it seems like there is not rest to be found.

But there is a third thing. You and I were not hardwired to make our way through this fallen world on our own. We were meant to exist with eyes filled with the beauty of his presence and hearts at rest in the lap of his goodness. This is what I love about the Psalms. They put difficulty and hope together in the tension of hardship and grace that is the life of everyone this side of eternity."

Amen and Amen.

Go here to order your copy:

Also I saw on the email I received that Elyse Fitzpatrick has a new book out as well for ladies entitled Comforts from the Cross. Anything written by her is excellent. These counseling books are books you will not be able to put down.