Sunday, August 30, 2009

Sipsey Wilderness Hike

Russell and I just celebrated two years of marriage!! A sweet friend kept Rhys all day Saturday so that we could escape the city and head up to the Sipsey Wilderness area for a good day of hiking! We got 8 miles in, lots of good time together and out in nature, and I'm sure we'll head back out there for more hiking and camping come COOLer weather!!!

Look at the colors of this worm! Turquoise (my very favorite color!!) and terracotta- and black-colored tentacles. We were amazed at how pretty and large it is!

So, for the last week, I've been pondering over how I would cutely and romantically say, during the hike, "Hey, hun, after we're finished, we can go pick ticks off of each other!!" Being an anniversary trip, I thought that might be a cute and appropriate statement. :)

Well, little did I know we'd LITERALLY be picking ticks off of each other both on the two-hour drive home and once we got home! I promise I picked at least 30 off of myself on the ride home, probably 15 off of Russell. Once we got home, at least another 15 or so off of each of us! I was DISGUSTED on my way home...couldn't get home fast enough to get a shower! Such a romantic anniversary treat...coming home to sit on the bathroom floor with a flashlight and tweezers to pick ticks off of each other! We'll laugh this one up for the rest of our lives, but we're both still paranoid when we feel the slightest hint of movement on our skin!

A great future camping spot!! Hint, hint, Ryan, Chris...a good boys' trip! :)

Go in the winter time...less ticks, hopefully! I think I'll be turned off from wilderness hiking for a good while. Ugh.

Sewing Project #2

Thank you, Aunt Kristie & Cousin Sierra, for Rhys' new changing station!! :)
To minimize the cluttered look below, we decided to make panels!


A huge THANK YOU to Jenn for helping me measure, cut, iron and pin the panels and then showing me how to do the ties. I got all the cut and pinned panels home, and my sweet Russell helped me {he knows SO much more than I about sewing!!} with the rest!
I'm already excited about my next sewing project!!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

My First Sewing Project

A wipes case
My sweet friend, Jenn, partnered :) with me last week to walk me through my first sewing project! She suggested this fun and fairly easy diaper case as a beginner's project! She even 'through in' the fun fabrics!! I look forward to our next sewing project, hopefully this week!! :)

Fun Visit with Aunt Tami

Russell's sister, Tami, came in town for a great weekend visit!! She was such a great sport to help Russell with the floors her first day in town! "Thank you! Thank you, Tami!!" Then, we moved to more fun activities! Like playing with sweet Rhys, shopping through the fun Homewood Village and Whole Foods grocery store, playing Joker and Uno, yummy cooking and eating. Then, today, we got to go geo-caching and hiking at the Preserve! Tami is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO good with Rhys! She's great with children!
Rhys loves his Aunt Tami! Oh, I forgot to mention the toy store! We went into a hobby and toy shop in Homewood, and we were like kids in a candy store! Russell is trying out a "Jack in the Box" with Rhys, above. Even the little boy in the background is enthralled with the excitment. :) Rhys likes all the colorful, musical toys!

Tami is so laid back and fun, and I am thankful for all the fun adventures we had with her this weekend!! We look forward to the next visit!

Happy 7 Months, Rhys!!!

Rhys!!! Happy 7 months, Buddy!!!

You are my sweet companion each day, big man, and I love it!!! My heart is so full of joy as I care for you and try to help you learn as you grow! I ask the Lord how I could be so blessed to spend my days with you!!! You sure are growing up fast, and your daddy and I LOVE being a part of your life!! We praise the Lord for your sweet life and for the opportunity to raise you, in hopes of your coming to know and love our Lord for yourself. You are such a handsome little fellow!

You are so fun & interactive!!
I enjoy watching you play with get so excited and animated!! You can hardly contain yourself!

Rhys, you are doing so much at 7 months!

You love to EAT! You've eaten carrots, butternut squash, sweet peas, sweet potatoes, green beans, prunes, pears, avocado, oatmeal, rice cereal and now multi-grain cereal! I'm giving you finger foods (little cookies & puffs) today!! :) I think you'll enjoy eating from your fingers.

You nap two times a day, once in the morning and once in the afternoon, and usually for a good, long time! We try to get out around lunch time to run errands, visit with friends, go to the library, go swimming...something fun! You are ready for bedtime by 7:00, and you sleep until sometime in the 6:00am hour, but you're so good to just talk to yourself until Daddy comes in around 6:45 to read you a Proverb for the day. Then, I feed you a bottle and breakfast at 7:00, and we get our day started!

Your favorite activities and toys are your exersaucer, a walker with lots of fun sounds and lights, time alone in your playpen a couple of times a day with fun, soft toys, Baby Einstein dvds on occasion, and Daddy and Mommy have recently noticed that you delight in the company of dogs!!! Hmmmm...a doggie may be in our future! We'll see!
Sweet boy, Daddy and Mommy love you!! Happy 7 months to you!! Hugs and kisses all over your handsome face!

Floors Are In!!!

Finally, a house update!

Since the April flood, we have new carpet upstairs, as well as on the stairs, and we chose to go with hardwoods for the downstairs. Russell did all the prep work and laid the woods himself last week with the help of a gracious co-worker (Thank you, Gary!!) and Russell's sister (Thank you, Tami!!). Our home feels like home again. "Thank You, Lord!!"

Before Pictures:
Notice the concrete slab on the main level below... That's what we've gotten to live on for the last four months. It's been so uncomfortable, and my joints have been so achey!

Main level half bath:
Main living area, looking into the kitchen:

Another view of the main living area:
After Pictures:

New foyer, leading to living area:

New kitchen:

New living area:

We are very thankful to "have our home back." Going through this whole renovation process has been tedious and taxing in a lot of ways, especially with an infant. This all started when Rhys was 3 months old. He turned 7 months yesterday! WOW!!! It's been more than worth it, of course...not just because of the updates to the house, but because of all that the Lord has graciously taught us in the process. Namely, we are not to find our 'comfort' in worldly things, but in Him alone. We are thankful to have the comfort of our home, but He is our true Comforter.
"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort..."
2 Corinthians 1:3

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Thank you, Aunt Tami!!

Aunt Tami knitted Rhys his very own blanket and gave it to him during our weekend visit to LA. I still cannot get over how PERFECTLY it matches his crib-set comforter!!! She knew the colors of his nursery, but has not yet seen it personally, nor has she seen the sailboat comforter. Take a look... Amazing!!
Even included a sweet 'name tag.' :)
Says, "May you be constantly covered by the prayers of family and friends & always warmed by their love." {Makes my heart melt.}
Rhys likes it. :)
This picture is for you, Tami. ;) Sorry we didn't get one made over the weekend!!
We even used it during our little 'photoshoot' yesterday!! :)

Thank you, again, Aunt Tami!! We appreciate YOUR love and constant prayers, and we look SO forward to your visit next week!!! YAY!!! :)

Carrots...It's What's for Dinner

We got busy in the kitchen and made some yummy, homemade {cheap!!} fixins for Rhys!! I didn't know baby food could be so easy to prepare!!
First, steaming the carrots took maybe 15 minutes... Second, pureeing was fun! Be sure to add plenty of water so that it becomes very liquid-like...
Third, poor mixture into ice cube trays...
Fourth, serve it up! :)
Fifth, :) hopefully, you have a happy, healthy, satisfied baby!!

Rhys does love his carrots!!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Photo Shoot for Fun, Aldridge Gardens, August 2009

My very sweet friend and I meet each week with our boys for accountability, catch-up time, and there's always bound to be some fun involved! We try to get creative each week in our time together. This week, we took our boys to the Aldridge Gardens for what we hoped would be a fun photoshoot. It was SO much fun, and Ashley is incredibly talented!!! God has given her this amazing talent in photography, and I LOVE the moments she was able to capture while Rhys is this sweet 6 months of age!!

More here.

Thank you, Ashley!! Love you!

Fun In the Sun...

We got to head to Louisiana for more fun with family over the weekend!
LOTS of pictures!!!

Of course, the first to love on Rhys...Aunt Tami!! And Rhys LOVES his Aunt Tami!!!! Rhys is evidently a dog person...very much liked Zeke, a very LARGE mix between Lab and Irish Wolf Hound!! Zeke is very sweet and obedient, well trained by Russell several years ago.
Time with Papa!! Rhys was SO entertained by Zeke! When he's on his jumper at home, he's mostly whiney, wanting our attention, but with Zeke right there in his face, he was so content and excited!! Does that mean we need to get a dog?!?!?
Rhys is literally jumping forward to Zeke below, trying to get closer to him!
Aunt Tami is teaching Rhys to be efficient here..."Use your hands and your feet to hold your bottle, Rhys!!" :)
And, of course, lap time with Grandmom!!
There's Papa again!
Then, we headed over to Russell's cousin Kristy's house for a fun day!! Jason & Kristy have three beautiful children, and they all let us come over to spend the day and evening with them...

We caught up inside and played with the kiddos...Kristy could not get enough of this little man!!! :) I love that! Doesn't every parent want others to go 'goo-goo-ga-ga' over their child!?!? :) Kristy has won my heart!
Then, we took the fun OUTside, to their SWEET pool!!! This pool is a salt-water, not chlorine, pool so it was like walking into soft, silky water, which was refreshing for the MANY hours of swim time!

Below, Brandon is diving, and, I promise, this child was in the pool from 1:00 that afternoon until about 7:30 that evening, with maybe a 30-minute break to eat a quick snack!! Unreal energy! I need some of that! :)
Katie had a great side jump that I finally had to catch on camera!
Mallory jumps with all of her might here. These girls are truly precious, and all of their children are so mindful!! Russell and I admire and appreciate how Jason and Kristy are raising their children to know and love the Lord with all their hearts, and this love evidently flows into the lives of others. This family held nothing back from us...their home is their guests' home!
Little Sierra Grace, Russell's little sister's daughter, was such a big girl jumping into the pool!!!Rhys got in some pool time just before a fabulously LONG :) nap!!! {Looks like he's screaming here, but he really loves the pool, and he's learning how to kick in the water!}Russell's 'kid' side definitely came out... He was in the pool from 1:00 to 4:00/5:00, NONstop!!A fun game they play is "Match."

One person swims to the bottom of the pool, 'places' a match on the pool floor, swims back to the top, and as the match rises to the surface, everyone seeks it, and all who find it JUMP to it, flailing and kicking and splashing along the way! :) Goal: To grab the match first, and call out "Match!!!"

Below, Jason, Russell and the kids TOTALLY got into it! Kristy did, too! In fact, she can 'out match' them all!! :) She's one tough cookie!Rhys got more time with Grandmom. :)
And just for fun...
We pass this sign each time we head to LA, so I finally grabbed my camera and snapped a shot! Great name for a town!I just got creative while playing with my camera here... Great subject, interesting camera setting...Hmmm...still deciding if I like it. Just different.