Wednesday, February 25, 2009

It's Official...2nd Lieutenant John Russell Wright

This morning, Russell went before a board of high-ranking officials in Montgomery, AL to be interviewed for a potential upgrade in his military status to 2nd Lieutenant. I asked permission to snap this shot of my favorite two men early this morning and then blog about it. :) Russell agreed. I mean, how could I resist...a gentleman in uniform, holding a baby! What is cuter and sweeter than that!?!? Praise the Lord, the interview and commissioning ceremony went well, and Russell is officially a 2nd Lieutenant in our U.S. military!!

"I'm proud of you for following the Lord's leading in this, Honey, and where He leads you, there we (your family :)) will follow!"

RCC's First Baptism

Our church, Redeemer Community, had its first baptism this passed Saturday evening. I'm excited that a good couple friend of ours, Ben & Virginia Pittman, celebrated in proclaiming their faith in Jesus Christ!

Ben & Virginia, we absolutely celebrate with you guys! I share with you one of my very favorite verses that is so applicable to what you guys have just experienced and will continue to experience as you seek the Lord's will for your lives...

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!"
2 Corinthians 5:17

Looking forward to continuing to grow together in our Lord!!! See you at community group!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Rhys' First Photo Shoot

Our sweet friend, Britney, who is studying photography, came to visit the day after Rhys' birth and to bless us with Rhys' first photo shoot and our first family pictures!
Britney surprised us with a wonderful visit this passed weekend! Rhys and I were flying solo, as Russell was off at drill, so we had a great visit with lots of fun and yet another photoshoot...hopefully to be posted soon!!
"Thank you for spending the entire day with us, Britney...we could never get enough time with you...and for blessing us with sweet memories through your amazing talent! We love you, Aunt Britney!! :) We look forward to our next visit!!"

Happy 1 Month, Rhys!!

Rhys is one month today!
He is progressing and growing at a great rate, according to his pediatrician! We had an appointment this passed Tuesday morning, and Rhys weighed in at 8lbs 9.5oz, measured 21.1 inches in height and 13.6 inches in head circumference. (At birth, he weighed 7lb 8oz, measured 19.5 inches in height and 13 inches in head circumference, so he's growing well!)

In just one week, praise the LORD, he gained one whole pound!! Even the doctor was astonished, and he said that we could start letting him sleep up to 5 or 6 hours at night, now! YAY!!! Last night was the first night that I'd let him go 5 hours :)...first mommy and all, I guess I just needed to go a few more nights of more frequent feedings. Sleeping longer last night was NICE!!! I think we'll stick to the longer nights, now, as long as Rhys continues to adapt to/cooperate with that! Dr. Simpson also said we could start stretching out his day time feedings, so I'm feeding Rhys anywhere from every 3 to 3.5 is amazing what an extra half hour can do for Mommy! So, again, I praise the Lord for this progress, as I continue to enjoy my days and nights (although sometimes very tiring :)) with this little chunky monkey...

Rhys is using his muscles so much these days!! A girlfriend was visiting us this afternoon, and Rhys rolled over right before our very eyes!! That's right! He rolled over from his front to his back on his one-month birthday! :) I think he was just tired of his tummy time...I'll try to catch it on video next time!!

We love you, Rhys!!! Happy 1 month!! I want to say that I'm proud of you for eating and growing so well, but it is the Lord who allows for that, so we praise Him for the good report from your doctor! Kisses all of your face and neck!!! :)

Love you, Mommy

Baked Potato Soup & Granola Bars

When we got home from the hospital with Rhys, Jenn had these wonderful eats waiting for us at the house! This Baked Potato Soup is actually a Cooking Light recipe, and the granola (snagged from her blog :)) is made with healthy ingredients, too! Anyways, we loved these treats, and I've actually made this granola twice in the last few days! So, try them and enjoy!! "Thank you, Jenn!!"

Baked Potato Soup

4 baking potatoes
2/3 c all purpose flour
6 c milk
1 c shredded cheese
1 tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
1 c low fat sour cream
¾ c chopped green onions
6 bacon slices, cooked

Cook potatoes and peel.
Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup. Place flour in large dutch oven; gradually add milk, stirring with a whisk until blended. Cook over med heat until thick and bubbly. Add mashed potatoes, cheese, salt & pepper. Remove from heat. Stir in sour cream and onions. Cook over low heat about 10 minutes (do not boil)

Granola Bars/Squares

2 1/2 cups crisp rice cereal
2 cups uncooked quick-cooking oats
1/2 cup raisins
1/4 c dried cranberries
1 small package of sunflower seeds
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk chocolate morsels

Combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl; set aside.
Bring brown sugar and syrup to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring constantly; remove from heat. Stir in peanut butter and vanilla until blended.
Pour peanut butter mixture over cereal mixture, stirring until coated; let stand 10 minutes. Stir in chocolate morsels. Press mixture into a 13- x 9-inch pan; cool in pan on a wire rack. Cut into bars.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Hand-Painted Pottery & Play Date!!!

Yesterday morning, Rhys and I picked up our neighbors, Holly and her little girl, Evie, and we all went to one of our friends' home to decorate pottery with our babies' footprints and handprints, while socializing up a storm! :) We really had a great time, and I can hardly wait to get our finished product - a decorative plate with Rhys' name and prints on it!!

Sweet Rhys was such a great sport!! Below, he's definitely crying and fussing, probably thinking, "Mommy, I was snoozing away, just as content as could and my paci...and you had to let some lady that I don't even know uncurl all my little fingers, put some kind of gunky, wet, cold paint all over the palm of my hand and then press it onto that cold plate!" Sorry, son, but one day you'll appreciate knowing how tiny and precious your little prints are!!! :)
Miss Jamie was so quick, yet articulate in her work! Above, she's putting light blue paint on Rhys' feet and, below, she's pressing his cute feet and toes onto our plate! (It does look uncomfortable...sorry, little guy!)
Below, all the fun different pottery pieces we could choose from... (Lauren, that quilt is so pretty!) Lauren and Georgia should see the rest of this beautiful family! All blonde hair and huge, beautiful blue eyes!!
Below, my neighbors, Holly and Evie (2 months). This was our first, hopefully of many, chances to get together!! We had a great time starting to get to know each other!!
Below, Katie & Andrew came to play!!
Of course, sweet Jenn and Rollins (I missed getting a picture of Christian!! Sorry!!) got to come, too!
Rhys and I enjoyed our first mommy-baby creative outing!! Looking forward to the next!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

A Happy Valentine's Evening!!!

Once married with child :), it's highly possible that you will NOT be spending a quiet, romantic Valentine evening ALONE with your significant other. Those days are most likely slim to GONE :) for us for a while, but we absolutely made the MOST of our 'romantic' night with two other GREAT couples over a yummy dinner and, yep, you might have guessed it...a game or two or three or four ;) of JOKER!!!

We had a BLAST!!! The gentlemen grilled out, while we ladies prepped the side dishes. We were finished with dinner by 6:30, and after my last bite, I said, "Joker, anyone?!?!" :) to which everyone agreed, helped me clear the table of dishes, and the games began! The guys won the first game, but the ladies came back with a vengeance! ;) (We're really the sweet ones here!!)

It was about 9:30, and I challenged the group, "Wouldn't it be neat to play a game without talking at all and making your moves as fast as you can!?" My challenge was taken! We played a FUN round of no talking, but we had some pokes and gouges (not really any gouges!! :)) and lots of grunts and groans, and the girls STOMPED the guys!! That game took less than half the time it normally takes us to get through a game! Russell didn't even ask, he just set up the board for one more game! No one complained! Another game of funny sound effects later, and the girls stomped the guys yet again! The guys were NOT happy, but we all had a fun time (especially the girls...did I just say, I mean, type that?? ;) Am I rubbing this in a bit too much?? Aryvia wouldn't be happy with me here! :))!!! I think we're guaranteed a rematch from these guys, which I very much look forward to!

Our FUN neighbors, Aryvia & Kate!!
Of course, our FUN friends, Shegun & Mary!! Our Valentines evening family picture :) We LOVE it!!! We praise the LORD for this sweet addition!!!Below, everyone watching the master swaddler, our very own John Russell Wright, and not another peep was heard from the babe until the next feeding time! "Good job, Hun!"
We love you, friends! So, when's our next game night!? :) (I think I'm beyond obsessed with this game, but I don't think I'm alone here!!)

Community Group Outing

So, this passed Thursday night, our community group ventured out to "C-Town," as Ben and Virginia call their homestead's town (aka, Calera, Alabama), where we enjoyed a fellowship evening over pizza! Russell and I truly love our community group, and we look forward to each Thursday night to be with them. Typically, we meet at one of our homes to specifically cover the message from the previous Sunday evening at Redeemer Community Church, and every once in a while, we'll throw in a social evening over dinner! We had a grand time...
(Left to right) Virginia, Emily, JP (standing) & his wife Megan, and Ben (Virginia's husband).
(Left to right) Ben, Chase, Jimmy and Audrey.
Below, Jimmy holding one of the Ben & Virginia's two dachshunds, Bobo. Jimmy loves dogs!! :)
Then again, my husband does, too! Lulu & Bobo became quite curious, then protective over little Rhys! It was really sweet to watch.
Poor little guy...Notice he's just wrapped in a blanket without an outfit! Mommy didn't get his diaper on tight enough again (TWICE that evening!), so we went through two outfits and then had to improvise with a blanket. :( Sorry, Son! We've repacked your diaper bag with more outfits and diapers for mishaps like that!!
Overall, everyone enjoyed a great evening! "Thank you, Ben & Virginia, for letting us come out to your place!!"

Saturday, February 14, 2009

First Ventures with Rhys...

Russell went out of town this passed Monday morning through Tuesday evening. I drove for the first time in three weeks on Monday, since before Rhys came into the world! I was a nervous wreck...thought I'd forgotten how to drive for the first few minutes in the car. I know I looked like a little old lady, hunkered down in her seat, face almost pressing against the wheel! :)

Anyway, we thankfully survived the drives of the day! :) I got to spend a nice long morning with my best friend, Ashley, at a nursing mom's group then over a nice long walk. After running a couple more errands, Rhys and I went home, both ate a snack, then napped! Soon after, we were treated to a nice long evening visit with my sweet girlfriend Natalie (below). A big THANK YOU to both of you for filling my and Rhys' day and evening with lots of love and help! :)
Natalie snapped this shot of me holding the babe in this cute front carrier! :)Then, we had some floor time to stretch out and play! Rhys has definitely taken a liking to his "Soothie" paci!! Great name...sure is soothing to him (and to Mommy when he's fussy!!).I was a little nervous about being solely responsible for little Rhys while Daddy was out of town, especially because the little guy had some congestion, but the days and night went by fast! We were all praising the Lord together for that, and we loved it when Daddy got home!!

On Thursday, we visited my family at their store...Baba Nili (above) enjoyed holding Rhys while taking care of business! :)Of course, Aunt Soraya loves any time she can get with this little bambino! (Can't blame her! ;))I sneaked in a quick power nap before our evening plans, and Russell sneaked Rhys into my lap??? :) and got these cute pictures.Sweet Bronwyn (left) brought us dinner that evening and stayed for a nice visit, holding little Rhys and evidently eating up each moment of that! Emily was meeting up with us for our evening plans with our community group, and she was so sweet, too, to bring us dinner the night before! She and Jenn fixed us yummy Jambalaya!! "Thank you, ladies, for our yummy dinners!!" :)

More on our community group get-together to follow...

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

More Fun Visits!!

Shegun & Mary were SO sweet! They came to visit one Friday evening and brought us a couple of huge trays of yummy sandwiches and veggies!! "Thank you, guys! We enjoyed those treats so much!!"
Below, Sam & Emily Hawes brought us lunch from Panera and spent a good afternoon with us and another great couple from our church.We just have the BEST neighbors!! This sweet group of ladies put dinner, dessert and lots of wonderful gifts together for us and Rhys about a week ago. I met most of these sweet ladies walking in our neighborhood. Now, they can hardly wait for me to walk with Rhys in his stroller...they don't really care to see me's all eyes on Rhys! :) I'm thankful!
Below, Miss Faye!! I love her!! We worked together at Mountain Brook Community Church, and we're neighbors!! "I love you, Miss Faye!!" Another one of my favorites...Miss Marcie. I also know this wonderful woman from Mountain Brook Community, and she has become like family to me, as well! We were blessed through her visit and prayers over us this Sunday, and she cooked us a huge pot of Tortilla Soup! It's thawing in our sink right now! Can't wait to try it!! Yum! She also brought us a package of very thoughtful! I don't even want to guess how many we go through in one day! :)This sweet couple, Tyler & Allison Fuqua, brought us a yummy dinner, and they were so great to stay and eat with us! "Thank you, guys!! We loved the poppyseed chicken casserole, the yummy green beans and fruit dessert! You guys are wonderful, and we are loving getting to know y'all!"

Dave & Carrie Tyson came to visit last Saturday, and they are officially in Hawaii as of this evening!!! Yay!! Dave is in the military and has just been assigned duty in only one of the most beautiful places in this world!! "Thank you for the flowers and yummy sweet treats, guys!! We hope to visit you once you get settled...or maybe once we get settled!! ;) We are praying for you guys! Love you!"And just because I love the men in my life, I must share pictures of them together...
Russell pushing Rhys in the stroller, while I get my neighborhood walk in for the day. :)

Above, outfit #1, just before we realized that Mommy failed to tighten the diaper well enough to prevent leakage. :(
Below, outfit #2, after Daddy took over the diaper change! :)
More pictures of the good-lookin' men in my life...

(P.S. No worries...Russell is supporting Rhys' neck and head in the above picture! ;))

I know I haven't blogged much lately, but I do keep the camera close at hand for mostly picture posts. We are doing great...staying very busy!! I cannot imagine having twins! Whew! One is a sweet handful!!

I drove for the first time in three weeks yesterday, and Russell was out of town, so I had to take Rhys with me, and I was a prayerful nervous wreck! :) (Is that possible? Or is that sinful? :)) We had a great day together, and we're excited that Daddy is back home!

I go back to work tomorrow for just a couple of hours, but I'm really looking forward to the outing and to visit my co-workers! I praise the Lord for His provision of our friends and family, and it's been very neat to see how they have come together and loved on us during this sweet transition as we've become a family.

A BIG THANK YOU to everyone! We love you all!