Monday, March 23, 2009

Memphis Trip!

WARNING: Lengthy post with LOTS and LOTS of pictures!

To begin, I want to give a great big thank you to my dad who bravely drove to Knoxville, left his car behind, and drove my van-full of children (and me) to Memphis! Thank you! Thank you!

We arrived in Memphis on Friday afternoon, and although our descent upon the cousins' "territory" was a little overwhelming at first, all the kids quickly adapted to the new arrangements, and they really had a blast together the whole time we were there!

Playing Ring-Around-the-Rosie

THE highlight of the visit--climbing up and mostly sliding back down the stairs in a massive group of screaming, laughing children

The kids' table

A couple of days we went to Jojo and Jeff's house to play. Happily no one threw up there like they did on our last visit back in the fall. Yuck! This time there was nothing but good times for everyone!

Daddy Bud pulling Thomas and Kallen (Thomas insisted on wearing Kinley's helmet!)

The kids, especially Zachary, LOVED riding around with Kinley in her jeep

They also desperately wanted to drive themselves. Unfortunately the only driving skill they have is mashing on the gas pedal--no braking and no steering! So if Kinley wasn't driving, we disconnected the battery and ruined ALL the fun!

And of course, we did a WHOLE LOT of playing at Bud and KayKay house! There were lots of toys and balloons to play with and a cat to terrorize inside (Poor Puddin) and bubbles and balls and hills to climb outside!

Bud helping Zachary slide down the hill

Thomas gets a turn

Jonathan's turn!

Kinley's turn

Our sweet cousins, Kinley and Kallen

Reagan having a blast

My very photogenic Jonathan

Hard to believe that a little over a year ago, Kallen was in a half-body cast that immobilized her legs! You can't tell it now!

Super bubble fun!

A game they could all play together

One day we even all descended upon George and Nancy at Kirby Pines, and they bravely allowed us to all eat in their dining hall. The wait staff was incredibly patient and attentive! The kids' favorite part was the big staircase where they posed for this picture.

(back row) Kallen, Zachary, Kinley
(front row) Thomas, Jonathan, Reagan

This is only a sampling of all the pictures I took while we were in Memphis. My sister also got some really great ones, which I will post as soon as I get them. If you can't wait, you can go read her blog: The Perkins Girls!

We had such a great time visiting all our family in Memphis. The kids did really well adjusting to a new place and new routines. They even adjusted decently well to sleeping in the big twin beds. It was certainly a better experience than last time!

We also enjoyed getting to see some friends and making a couple new ones! Thank you Mom and Dad for all the work you did to make our stay a good one! We love you!

It was a really great visit, but a long time to be away from home, so the kids and I were very happy when Jim showed up in Memphis after his long week of house renovating! We missed him so much while we were gone! And what a treat to come home to a beautiful "new" house!
Coming soon...another house project and...

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Our New Home

No, we haven't moved. It just feels like a new house with all the work Jim (and Rusty! Thank you Rusty for all your help!) put into it while the kids and I were in Memphis. A BEAUTIFUL new house! Take a look!



This is our living room, and i LOVE it! The blue is so perfect, and it looks great with our furniture. I can't wait to pick up some new decorative items to go with this new color! And also notice the baseboards. Jim replaced the old ones with new taller ones, and they look SO GOOD!


Notice the gorgeous trim Jim put in across the top of the cutout area of the wall that goes from the living room to the kitchen. What a difference it makes!

This isn't the greatest before picture of the eating area of our kitchen, but it's the best I could do. I wanted one with the furniture still in the room, and Jim only took pictures after removing the furniture.


Isn't this gorgeous! Look at that chair rail Jim put in! It looks so pretty I'm going to have to find another home for my china cabinet because I don't want to cover up the walls or the window!

Here's a shot of a project Jim ran out of time to finish. He intends to make a bunch of frames like the one here to go on the wall below the chair rail. It's going to look great!

I just can't put into words how much I love what Jim has done! And the pictures don't do justice to how beautiful it is! I am so proud of the job Jim did and so blessed to have such a talented hubby! And his talented friend!

Monday, March 16, 2009


Right before we headed across the state, the kids got new haircuts IN AN ACTUAL SALON!!!! It was the first time for a salon haircut for everyone except Thomas whose uncooperative hair has necessitated prior trips. THANK YOU SO MUCH KIM FOR GOING WITH US! And bringing a camera! Your help was invaluable!

All in all, the kids did incredibly well! Much better than I expected! They were so good to sit in the chairs and wait their turn, and even when they got excited and wanted to see what was happening to their siblings, they were good to stay in the waiting area and not run all over the place. We only had one meltdown during a cut (Zachary), but that was mostly solved when I pulled out a sucker and handed it over. He was much more compliant after that!
Despite the look on Reagan's face, she never cried during her haircut. She cried AFTER it! I'm not really sure why, but when she was done and I got her down from the chair, she started crying and kept saying, "No! Haircut! I want a haircut!" Very strange!
Jonathan sporting his new 'do
Zachary, before the meltdown
This picture cracks me up because the man in the poster on the wall looks like a real person looking over the hairdresser's shoulder. He's having such a good time!
Yes, the kids were great, and afterwards Kim and I took them to the food court at the mall for lunch, and they were great then too! They are getting so big! I'm so proud of them!

A New Friend for Reagan

Well, this is a belated announcement, but we would like to welcome into the world this beautiful little bundle of joy...

Kennedy Elizabeth

Isn't she so pretty? And look at all that hair! We are so happy for our good friends Josh and Cris on the birth of their daughter and know that Carter will be a great big brother to her! We're also glad that when we go over to play with Carter there will be a girl for Reagan to play with too!
And we would also like to thank Melissa and Charlotte for watching the kids one night so we could go to the hospital and meet the little princess in person!

We Love to Read

Well, the kids and I have just returned from a somewhat last-minute, but lengthy and busy trip to Memphis. My apologies to anyone who would have liked to have seen us and didn't get to. But more about that later! While I sort through all the pictures we took while we were gone, and all the pics Jim took of his home improvement projects in our absence, I will try to entertain you with some catchup pics and stories.

First, a note on nakedness: To clarify, when my kids say they are naked, they aren't TOTALLY naked. They still have their diapers on. That is naked enough!

Now, here are a few shots of my budding "reader" Zachary. Recently, he has started "reading" books by himself or to his siblings. I haven't been able to actually hear what he's saying when he does this. I think mostly he just turns the pages and points to pictures.


"Reading" to a bespectacled Jonathan

"Reading" to Reagan

Jonathan has done this too, but I don't have any pictures of him in the act! However, I HAVE overheard him "reading" to himself. His story went something like this:

Once upon a time there was a bunch of stuff...

Thrilling, I know. We'll have book deals in no time! Happy Monday everyone!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Talking with Toddlers

Like most toddlers, my kids love to be naked. Fortunately for me, they are not the stripping sort of children who take their clothes off whenever the mood strikes them throughout the day, but there are definite times of day when they deem it okay to take off their clothes. When they wake up in the morning and when they wake up after a nap, they often feel that clothes should be removed. I'm not sure why, but they do. And anytime clothes need to be changed, like time to get dressed in the morning, they are much more eager to remove the old clothes than they are to put on the new ones. But I have to say that by far their favorite naked time is nighttime when we're getting ready for bed. Almost the second their feet hit the floor after dinner each night, they begin declaring that they want to be naked. Once they have removed their clothes, they love to run about the house joyfully declaring their nakedness to all who might not have noticed.

"I'm naked!"

Well, it was during that portion of the evening yesterday when Zachary chose to amuse us with the following conversation:

He picked up Reagan's toy phone and, speaking into it, said:


Oh, yes, you can be naked.

Yes, I am.

Okay, bye!

Yes, they love to be naked, and apparently they think everyone else should too!