Thursday, September 29, 2011

Happy Birthday, Daddy!

Today we celebrated one of the most special people in our lives, daddy!
The cards the kids made for Daddy. Elsie's, Jackson's & Ansley's.
Jackson has this thing where he wants to sound out words
"all by myself," and no help from mommy. He's getting better! For
now I'm super proud of his "HPB BTDA ERC card! :)
We are so lucky to have such a dedicated, loving, hard working, Christian man in our lives to lead and guide our family everyday. The kids and I spent the morning making some cards, an oreo mud pie (daddy's favorite) and planning a special supper to help make his day special. Eric has to be at work at 5:30am and he gets off at 1:30 from that job, and then he usually stops by the house to grab some water and a snack before heading out to do some side jobs which he is gone to until 8ish or so. For some reason the kids decided it would be fun to fill some water balloons full of water to throw at daddy's truck when he stopped by before leaving again, but they were nice enough to not hit him directly with them! :) While we were outside playing with some sidewalk chalk, Jackson wanted to write daddy a Happy Birthday message:

When daddy finally made it home from working, we had a delicious supper & yummy oreo mud pie,

Check out Ansley's face... perfect! :)

We never have a problem with Elsie clearing her plate

and then we did our nightly bedtime routine and took a quick picture of the birthday boy and his three children that just adore him:

Happy Birthday, Eric! We are so blessed to have you in our lives... we love you!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Our Disney Vacation!

On Sunday, September 11th, our family headed out (at 4 in the morning!) and we were on our way to Walt Disney World! I don't know who was most excited about this trip... the kids, or eric and I! We were so thankful that the kids slept close to half of the drive down.  When they woke up they were great and passed the time away by playing on their ixl's (an awesome Christmas present that Mamaw Di & Papaw Fred gave them last year,) and really loved opening and playing with their gifts that Gramma Winkie & Grandpa David sent.

(Gramma Winkie had the best idea ever for travelling! She gave each kid a backpack, and then wrapped ten little gifts and put into each one. There were Princess & Toy Story gummis, cups, Pez Dispensers, beach balls, coloring fun packs, disney toys & stuffed animals, and so much more. When the kids would start to get bored it was time for another present!)

When we got to our motel, Disney's All Star's Movies, we went to check out our room that was right by the fabulous pool, and then went to see the awesome Toy Story section. For those of you that know Jackson any at all, you know how obsessed he is with Toy Story, so you can imagine how excited he was to see this!

Ansley Kate and Bo Peep

Look at Jackson on Buzz's foot! He was SO excited!

Jackson, Ansley & Woody

The kids with Rex

The kids taking a spin in RC
On Monday we spent our first day in the parks at Magic Kingdom, and it was magical! Ansley was so excited to meet all of the princesses, and when she would meet one she would just twist her feet, and hold her hands so sweet, and just admire them! Jackson on the other hand, he wanted nothing to do with them, did not want their autograph, and refused to get his picture made! I told him in a few years he is going to regret not getting his picture made with all of these beautiful princesses!

Cinderella really wanted her picture made with Jackson,
but he wanted nothing to do with any of the princesses!

Ansley and one of her favorites, Belle

Jackson was more than happy to get his picture made with the cartoon characters though, and of course was most excited this day about getting to meet Woody and Jessie.


Elsie on the other hand, she wanted nothing to do with any character and tried to run away from them as fast as she could. It only took once or twice of this that we didn't even attempt to put her near them without eric or I holding her.

Elsie was NOT a fan of Mickey, Minnie, or any other character! :)

We got to the park even before they opened, and left when they were closing, (which we did the next three days also). The kids did great the entire day, and we were especially grateful that they decided to take a nap in the stroller while we were trying to get to the bus to take us back to the hotel, because the monorail broke which caused quite a hold up trying to leave the park.
Look how sweet they are! Everyone loved little Elsie's leg propped up on Jackson.
Favorites of the day: Jackson- It's a Small World ride; Ansley- Meeting the Princesses; Elsie- She loved all the rides!

The next day we went to Epcot.
We had told the kids on Monday that they could pick out one thing each to get on this trip, and Jackson kept saying he wanted some Mickey Ears. Well, because I am a "wait and make sure you don't see something you want more," kind of person, I ended up waiting too long to go back and get his Mickey Ears on Monday, and all the shops were closed. So, first thing after meeting some more characters (Mickey, Minnie, Donald & Goofy) we went and got him his Mickey Ears! It was no surprise that Jackson chose the Woody Mickey Ears, and of course Ansley went for the princess ones, and Elsie looked just adorable in her Minnie Mouse Ears.
We got to meet even more princesses and characters, ride all the rides, and visit all the different "countries." Jackson especially loved the ride with Figment, Ansley once again loved meeting the princesses and the Nemo ride, and Elsie also loved the Nemo ride. Another thing that shocked us about Elsie, everytime we would go to meet someone she would grab onto mine or eric's shirt and cry if we tried to put her down, but while we were at Epcot and waiting to see Alice, she was trying to get out of my arms so she could go to her! So, I guess one of Elsie's favorites was meeting Alice in Wonderland.

Princess Aurora & Ansley Kate

Ansley & Belle

Elsie was excited to meet Alice in Wonderland
Some of my favorite moments of the day had to be when we were meeting The Beast and when Ansley didn't get his autograph she says to him, "Do you not know your alphabet?" and then went onto more important questions like, "Where is Belle?" I also loved when Princess Aurora tried to convince Jackson to get his picture made with her, and since he refused to she got up, went over to him and asked if she could at least give a five. Jackson obviously wants absolutely nothing to do with a beautiful princess. :)

Sorry Princess Aurora, no fives from this guy

According to Ansley, The Beast doesn't know his alphabet ;)


On Wednesday we went to Disney's Hollywood Studios. Tiffany had told us that we needed to get there early and to go straight to the Toy Story ride to either get in line or get a Fast Pass. So, we got there about 30 minutes before the park opened and were looking at a park map while waiting in line. Jackson had his own park map and instantly spots the "Toy Story" ride and says, "Mommy! I want to go here first!" We soon realized that he and everyone else that got there early were headed straight for the Toy Story ride. Thankfully we were able to ride the ride 3 times that day, and never had to wait in a really long line.

Jackson & Daddy riding Toy Story Mania

Ansley had problems keeping her 3D glasses on

We then went to do one of the main reasons of going to Disney... MEETING WOODY & BUZZ! Jackson and Ansley were of course super excited, Elsie still wanted nothing to do with these weird looking people. :)

Jackson & Ansley with Woody & Buzz


But Elsie really loved watching the Disney Junior Live show! 
Elsie loved the Disney Junior Live on Stage
There were so many things that we loved about Hollywood studios; A Broadway Style Beauty & The Beast show, an Extreme Stunt Show (daddy especially loved this), The Little Mermaid show, Pixar Parade, and eric and I even got to ride a couple of the bigger rides by doing the parent swap since the lines were so short. But, I believe one of everyone's favorites for the day was the Fantasmic! nightime firework and water show. It was amazing! Out of the 3 parks we were able to go to, this was by far my favorite nighttime show.
Our 4th, and final day at the parks we spent at Magic Kingdom again. It was "Magic Hours" on this day, so we were able to get in the park an hour earlier than it opened and headed straight towards Peter Pan's Flight, rode a couple more rides, and then went to get in line for Ansley to meet Rapunzel. (We tried on Monday but the line to meet her was 1.5 hours long!). I guess it was worth it though since meeting her and later Tinkerbell (which Ansley and I waited for 55 minutes to meet... ) were her favorites of the day.
Thankfully Tinkerbell's Nook was close by to a couple of rides, so Daddy, Jackson & Elsie (who didn't care if they missed out on meeting Tinkerbell) were able to go ride some. On their 3rd time on Aladdin's Magic Carpet, Eric said that Elsie fell asleep and stayed asleep through the 4th time they rode it.

Surprisingly Jackson's favorite thing of the day, (and one of his favorites from the entire trip), was meeting Tigger and Pooh! Pooh kept putting his hands over Jackson's eyes and had Jackson just giggling! He was really wanting to see Tigger hop, and was okay that he just "hopped on his feet and not on his tail."

                                   And of course he loved driving the cars with daddy!

Elsie loved the parades, and was so sweet just waving away (the characters must be okay when they are further away)  :), and she loved any and all of the rides. I was so glad that she too seemed to have a wonderful time every single day, even though she was so young. She was non-stop smiles, giggles, pointing and gibbering away.

So, as you can see, it didn't matter if we were riding some rides:
dancing in a parade in the middle of the street:
or just playing around in one of the parks:
we were just so excited to have a week away and to be able to spend so much time together as a family.
                                                 What a MAGICAL vacation!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

I Will Follow

You know when you have one of those moments that you just want to freeze time and etch that moment into your heart & mind? I had one of those moments last night.
 Lately, when we are doing our nightly bedtime routine, the kids have been wanting to listen to Chris Tomlin's, I Will Follow and Mercy Me's, Move while brushing their teeth, putting on pj's, etc. Last night Jackson was sitting at the computer listening to the song, I Will Follow, and just singing away. Ansley was standing not too far away from him, dancing along to the song. Elsie was sitting in the living room floor and I noticed that she was trying to stand up, and I could tell that she wanted in on the dancing and singing that her brother and sister were doing. She had on a gown that her feet kept getting caught in and was having problems getting up. I walked over to her, held out my finger, and she looked up at me with her eyes just shining and a smile so big that it would make any person's heart melt, and grabbed a hold of my finger. I picked her up and put her down beside Jackson and Ansley and she instantly started dancing with them. I stood there watching my three beautiful children dancing and singing along to a song about following God, and my heart was filled with joy. Then I started thinking... Life can be tough. Life can be hard. But, no matter what, through the great times and through the really though times, God is always there- a light unto our lives. When we are down and feel that we can't stand up on our own, I am so thankful that we can always look up. Look up and see that God is holding his finger out to us to grab a hold of. He will pick us up and help us get to where we need to be going. Unfortunately most of our problems are a lot bigger than our feet stuck in a gown, and it will take a lot longer than just a few seconds like it was with Elsie's problem to overcome it, but I hope I will always look to God with trusting eyes. After all,
"In You there's life everlasting
In You there's freedom for my soul
In You there joy, unending joy
and I will follow....."

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Ansley's 3!

Today, September 1, 2011, our sweet little Ansley Kate turns three years old.
It's crazy to think that it has been three years since I was walking up and down our road on August 24th, which was my due date (and birthday!) knowing that there was no way she was going to come on time (so what if I did shed a few tears.... ha!). I just didn't realize that with her being my 2nd she would still be 8 days late! But, after getting to the hospital and having a very quick labor and delivery, I didn't mind at all that she was so late, because to us, she was just perfect!

Ansley Kate, a few minutes old. She was posterior, ("sunny-side up"), and when they broke my water they caused those scratches on her face. Look how close they were to her eye- yikes!

  Ansley was a wonderful baby, rarely cried, slept great, and an awesome eater, and today at three years old, she is still a wonderful little girl. She never went through a horrible "terrible two" phase, has always been easy to discipline, and still loves to climb up into my lap and snuggle up. She is definitely our little princess, that loves her baby dolls, dancing, dressing up, and painting her fingernails, and "finger toes".

Ansley Kate- 1 Month Old

Ansley Kate- 1 Year Old

Ansley Kate- 2 Years Old

Ansley Kate- 3 Years Old

It is so hard to believe that our little 7 lbs. 9 oz. blue eyed, beautiful baby girl, is now a big, independent 3 year old that we are so proud of and thankful for.

Happy 3rd Birthday to our little Princess, Ansley Kate....

We love you to the moon and back & pray that every day will be full of love, smiles, laughs, and that life will be a wonderful dance for you.

Here's a little video of Ansley after her birthday party on Sunday, enjoy!