Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Memories

Okay, this is for you Becky and all you readers out there who actually know me and my family in person. My friend Becky did this on her blog and requested her blogging friends also do it, so here it is. I'm going to change it a little. Please don't write anything TOO embarrassing!

1. As a comment on my blog, leave one memory that you and I had together or that you have of the kids. Or of Jim, if you want! It doesn't matter if you knew us a little or a lot-- or just from blogland-- anything you remember!

2. Next, re-post these instructions on your blog and see how many people leave a memory about you. It's actually pretty funny to see the responses. If you leave a memory about me, I'll assume you're playing the game and I'll come to your blog and leave one about you.

Enjoy!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Reagan's Wedding Day

No, we aren't marrying her off already! But she has recently appeared in her first wedding, as a flower girl! And a super-cute one, I might add!

We really weren't expecting much from Reagan, and luckily neither were Jim's cousin Josh and his now-wife Erin. We thought we might get some cute pictures of her, but there was little hope that she would actually walk down the aisle. After all, she's barely 2!

Bud and KayKay came to visit that weekend and watched the boys on Sat. while we took Reagan to the wedding, a couple of hours away in McMinnville. We had to be there early so Jim could set up to run the music at the reception. And we would be staying late, until the reception was over. It was a challenging day for Bud and KK, but they and the boys all had a great time. Thank you Bud and KayKay!

We managed to get there, get set up, and get Reagan dressed in time for pictures. She wore the same dress she wore at Easter, one we bought then specifically for this wedding. She was somewhat cooperative for the pictures. She looked beautiful in her dress, of course!


She was in love with her flower basket! She screamed if you tried to take it from her, so we didn't! I practiced walking down the aisle with her and managed to get her to do it by herself too. We were all shocked that she did it and praised her like crazy!
There was a cranky period before the wedding started (the wedding was smack in the middle of naptime!) but it wasn't too awful. Then it was showtime! Reagan had spent a good little time flirting with the slightly older ringbearer (seriously, she kissed him so much it started to make me nervous), so I hoped she would at least walk down the aisle with him!
The music started. The doors opened. Reagan stepped out...and the ringbearer did not! Instead he took one look at the auditorium full of people, turned around, threw his ring pillow, and refused to take a step.
Hey, ringbearer, are you coming?
Reagan looked at me, I looked at Reagan, and then I smiled really big and said, "Okay, Reagan, go on, walk to the steps!" She thought about it for a split second, and then SHE TURNED AND WALKED DOWN THE AISLE ALL BY HERSELF!!!!!!
She paused a couple of times to turn and look back at me, but she actually walked all the way down the aisle like it was nothing. When she got to the stage, she leaned way over to place her basket down and then crawled up the two steps to the stage.
At that point she no longer knew what to do, so she just sat down... in the middle of the stage! Cousin Caleb went and picked her up and stood her by the bridesmaids, but then she noticed that she had dropped a couple of petals IN THE MIDDLE OF THE STAGE and rushed to get them. And then she sat down again IN THE MIDDLE OF THE STAGE!!
By now the bride has almost finished her own walk down the aisle and is just steps away from ascending the stage, a path that would take her quite naturally through the MIDDLE where Reagan has set up camp. So I rushed over and grabbed her myself and brought her to the pew and handed her whatever she wanted for doing such a good job and to distract her from the fact that her beloved flower basket had been left behind.
The whole incident reminded me of my own wedding, when the son of some family friends tripped and fell out into the aisle right in front of me! I had to move my skirt so his dad could pick him up out of the floor!
Cousin Josh and his beautiful bride Erin

Cutting a rug at the reception
We are still so proud of the great job Reagan did! She was amazing!
Our trip home that night, however, was really not great. But it had nothing to do with Reagan; she was asleep in five minutes and slept the whole way home. Long story short, there was a really bad wreck on the interstate and they had the whole interstate shut down and were re-routing traffic along really lengthy detours. We hit the road around 10; we didn't get home until around 3 in the morning!!!!

What an adventure! We were so glad to be a part of Josh and Erin's wedding, and we wish them a lifetime of love and happiness together!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

What We Do for Fun

I hope this brings a smile to your face!

video

Reagan was not hurt in the filming of this video.

Monday, July 21, 2008

A Few Fun Pictures

Just a few random shots of the kids.


Zachary, a boy with skills
Jonathan doesn't let the weather affect his sense of style
Zachary, having a BLAST in the pillow tunnel Daddy made
Playing nicely together, at least for the moment

Saturday, July 19, 2008

My Next

The way children learn and process language never ceases to amaze me! This is one of my favorite things about this stage of their lives. I love all the new words, new phrases, and new ways of making words work for them.

My favorite new phrase of the kids' is "My next!" This is what they say when they want to be next for whatever the current activity is. I love it because grammatically it makes so much sense to their little minds.

I say, "Your ball." They say, "My ball."
I say, "You're next." They say, "My next."

As far as they are concerned, "your" and "you're" are the same word with the same meaning, so "my" makes perfect sense! I love it! I've never heard another toddler say this before, although I'm sure it is not unique to my children.

As a side note, although I had to struggle with many a teenage student to teach them the difference between "your" and "you're," I sincerely hope that my children's English teachers will not have to do the same.

For now, I'm not worried about it. I'm enjoying it for all its cuteness!

And We Were Sick Too

Yes, in the midst of all the travel, birthday festivities, and company, we also had some illnesses to deal with.

Zachary had an eye infection, then he came down with hand/foot/mouth disease (which is not nearly as bad as it sounds). The disease gave him an ear infection. The antibiotic for the ear infection gave him diarrhea which turned into a horrendous yeast infection/diaper rash that lasted forever! It was truly awful!

And Reagan had pink eye.

I think that was it. It was mostly Zachary, but it was enough! What a month of sickness June was! We've been totally healthy for a couple of weeks now, and hopefully it will stay that way for a nice long time!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Airplane!

The weekend after the kids' birthday party, Uncle Clay, Aunt Carey, and Cousins Tyler and Avery came for a visit. It was a much anticipated visit because I had never seen Avery before! She had just turned 4 months old, and I couldn't wait to get my hands on her! I was also excited for the kids to have some playtime with Tyler, now that he is walking and can keep up with them a little better.


We had an absolute blast! It was so much fun to watch the kids play together and chase each other all over the yard! And I loved getting to cuddle a little baby again!





Tyler loved the swing set too!





Pretty little Avery!

On Sat we all got up early and took the kids to Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies. JonZReaTom had never been to an actual aquarium before, but judging from other fish tank experiences, we thought they'd like it! And they did! Unfortunately, they also got tired of being confined to their strollers and got kind of fussy towards the end of the trip. I think they'll enjoy the aquarium even more when they're old enough to not have to ride in the strollers.




Thomas, enjoying the ride for the moment
Notable Aquarium Experiences:
1. We were surprised and delighted to run into friends, Steve and Suzy, while there. A treat for us all!
2. While traveling through the main attraction, a glass tunnel through the middle of the largest fish tank, we pointed up above us to draw the kids' attention to the large sharks swimming above our heads. Thomas looked up, pointed at the shark, and said, "Airplane!" He called all the sharks airplanes for the rest of the visit. Too funny!




Not the plane I want to ride on!




Clay and Carey, Me and Jim, and all the children




Reagan LOVED having Avery around! Anytime they were in the same room, Reagan spent a good portion of her energy pointing at Avery and squealing, "Be-bee! Be-BEEEEE!!!" She also liked to poke Avery in the face. "Be-bee eye?" We worked a lot on teaching her NOT to do that.






Zachary, Thomas, Tyler, Jonathan, and Reagan, putting that table to good use
On Sun we got up early again and hit the road to Jasper for the Harris family reunion. They get together every year, but Jim and I had never gone before. I'm really glad we went this time even though it was hectic having the kids there. We got to see a lot of family that we don't normally see, most of whom had never seen the kids before. I hope we can make it every year!


While in Jasper for the reunion, we paid a visit to Gammy and Granny Kat. Here's Gammy with all her kids and grandkids!



Sidenote: At the reunion, Aunt Jayne gave each of the kids a set of Go, Diego, Go plastic animal figurines. One set was water creatures and included a hammerhead shark. Thomas lifted it in the air and proudly proclaimed, "Airplane!"

Monday, July 7, 2008

Party Time! Excellent!


And now, FINALLY, the birthday party! Here's what we did:

We swung!



Still loving the swing set!



We had seats of honor!



Jonathan, Thomas, Zachary, Reagan


We bounced!

Abby, loving the Bounce House



We slid!

Abby







Zachary



We lounged in the sun!

Cris and Carter


We cuddled!

Reagan and Granny Kat


We swam!

A FULL pool!







David



We took pictures!

Jonathan lends me a helping hand




We smiled for the camera!

Jonathan







Thomas



We ate!

A FULL table! (clockwise, from the top) Reagan, Thomas, David, Carter, Jonathan, Zachary, Abby, Cami



We opened presents!

Thanks, everyone!




We blew bubbles!

Reagan

We learned to say Papaw!

Jonathan shows Papaw his new toy




We let them eat cake!

Aunt Jayne's cake




My cupcake-cake for the kids


We ate the candy first!

Zachary LOVES candy!



We tried to steal our brother's candy!

Give me some of yours!



We got messy!

Notice the icing smeared across his chest from where he wiped his hands!




We had a great time!

Birthday parties are AWESOME!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Happy Birthday, JonZReaTom!

June 20 the kids turned 2!!


What did we do to celebrate? Well, we started off the day by going to the DOCTOR'S OFFICE! Yea!! Jonathan and Zachary had their 2-yr checkup that morning, poor things! Luckily, there were no shots at this checkup, just a finger prick. They both got glowing reports! Sort of. Zachary weighed 27lbs, a good average weight. Tiny Jonathan weighed only 21.5 lbs, a loss of half a lb since 6 months ago. We've been a little concerned about his size lately because he is so obviously smaller than the other three. His height and head circumference measurements were both on track, so that was good. And the blood work from his finger prick came back normal, so that was also good! Molly suggested that we increase his fat intake, and asked if there was a history of thyroid problems in our family. Well, there is, on Jim's side...



...so what else did we do to celebrate our birthday? Took Jonathan to the HOSPITAL!!! Woo-hoo! I took Jonathan to Children's Hospital after the checkup so they could draw some more blood and test him for thyroid problems.


It turns out his thyroid is fine, so probably Jonathan will just be the small one. Or, who knows, he could hit a growth spurt any day now, start eating everything in sight and gain 10 lbs in the next 6 months. You never know!

Surely, THEN we did something fun for our birthday! Well, actually, no, we ate lunch and took a nap.

BUT THEN we got up and did some fun stuff! Here the kids are during the very seconds that they turned 2!





I LOVE being 2! Jonathan

I'm 2? Does that mean I start getting my own way now? Zachary

Mom, is this 4:30 picture really necessary? I'm busy! Reagan

Hey! Did you hear I'm 2?

After playing outside, we went in and played with the brand-new Play-Doh that Aunt Jodie, Uncle Jeff, and our cousins gave us for our birthday. It was the first time the kids had ever played with real Play-Doh! They didn't really know what to do with it, but we managed to have some fun!


Notice the hospital arm bracelet, the envy of his siblings that day!



That was about it for the actual birthday. It might not have been the most fun day ever, but that was okay because the next day was PARTY TIME! Stay tuned!

Where do Texans Go on Vacation?

They go to Canada!


(Well, okay, Suz, some of them go to Lake Tahoe!)


But where do Canadians go on vacation?


Knoxville!!!!!



Luanne, Jim, and Matt with the kids


Right before the kids' birthday, we were delighted to welcome our friends Matt and Luanne for a visit to the Harris House of Quadruple Fun! I have known Matt since the SECOND GRADE! How crazy is that? He and his wife Luanne live in Canada, and we hadn't seen them since way before the kids were born. It was so great to see them again! And Matt's dad too, who made the drive over from Memphis to get in on the quad-action too! Well, and to see his son, I suppose.


We had a great visit and hope they can come again soon! We're not quite ready to take the kids to Canada to see them! Maybe, someday!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Happy Birthday, America!

We hope you all had a wonderful day celebrating this great country of ours!

Thanks Austin! These balls are great!

We celebrated the 4th by playing in the pool! Yea!

Jonathan, showing off his pool-climbing abilities

Zachary, waving to his fans


Reagan, all smiles, as usual


Thomas, trying to figure out the watering can



After swimming, we did a little swinging and took some really fast rides down the slide!




Then it was time to get back in the pool!
Later, Jim made us all dinner, hot dogs for the kids and ribs for the adults. Yum! Then, we discussed the idea of taking the kids to see the fireworks. Jim knew of a spot near one of his cell phone towers where he thought we'd be able to see them, without attempting to fight the downtown crowds and chaos. It was a tough decision. Were the kids old enough? would they enjoy it or be scared? Would it be too late for them to be up? There was also a question of weather. It looked like it might rain. We decided to keep the kids up late and see how their moods were and watch the weather. At 9:00 Jim checked the radar one last time, and we decided to give it a try. So we loaded up the kids in the pajamas into the van headed for Jim's special spot. When we got there, we had a pretty good idea that you could see the fireworks from there, judging from all the other people who were already there! we found a spot to park, set up the kids' chairs, got them each settled and began pointing out the random fireworks that were lighting up the skies around us, while we waited for the real show which we expected would start ANY SECOND!!



What fireworks? I don't see any fireworks!

A half an hour later we loaded our four whiny, annoyed, tired, crying children back in the car and went home, having STILL not seen the big fireworks show. It was very disappointing and frustrating. As it turned out, the fireworks extravaganza had been delayed an HOUR due to lightning downtown. In fact, I believe they evacuated World's Fair Park for a period of time.
Oh, well. It was a nice idea. It just didn't work out too well. Next time, we'll be better prepared!
Happy 4th of July!