Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Lula Mae got a dollar from her Franny yesterday. (Franny is my Mom. Since Lula Mae was the first grandchild she got the privilege of "naming" her) Today I wanted to teach her about money. She thinks that money is just something to hold and play with at this point, and I just don't like that. I think the earlier you begin explaining financial things to kids, the better (in an age appropriate way of course). I want my kids to understand the importance of money and that since God blessed us with this money we need to use it wisely. I know the picture is hard to see, but it gives you an idea of what we made.

The big bag is Lula Mae's "bank". Inside of the bank are 3 different "accounts". We talked about how you give to the church first, savings second and then to your spending account last. So we took her dollar and broke it into change. Then I showed her how to divide her money between the bags. I will say, she was not thrilled and whined and pouted through a majority of the activity. She thinks she should just hold and play with her money.... and well, that just isn't going to happen. I think over time she will think it is fun, but right now she is protesting. The next time I go to the Dollar Tree I need to pick her up some pretend money to play and practice with. On Sunday I will let her take her church bag with her to give in the offering and I think that will perk her up a bit. I want my kids to have a good foundation of money so that perhaps they won't make the same mistakes that Charlie and I did. I think that this along with them seeing us work towards a debt free life will really help them succeed when they are in charge of their own finances.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

My Boy

I feel like I am constantly updating you on Lula Mae, and never tell you about Jayce. hangs head in shame So today is all about my boy. Jayce just turned a year old, and I still just can't believe it! He is growing up way too fast! He is quite a tiny little guy... even now, weighing 17 lbs and being only 27 inches tall. He takes after his Mommy I guess! He is a smart little man too, but he likes to keep it a secret. He is reading about 6 or 7 words.... when he wants to! Stubborn I tell ya, stubborn to the core! From the day he was born he has been quite attached to me. I guess I can't complain about that ;-) unless of course I need to get something done....

He is a cuddly little guy. He just loves to be held in general! He like to know someone is right there I guess. He is much more affectionate that his sister.

Some times he seems more needy than his sister. He is just 100% different than Lula Mae which I guess I was not really prepared for when he was born. I knew they would be different, but I thought some things would be the same.... WRONG! This guy is totally unique in what he likes, what he needs, what he prefers.

His favorite thing? Putting things in his mouth! It has been since he was able to get things to his mouth on his own!

No really... everything goes straight to the mouth!

E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G! He also really loves eating paper. We call him our billy goat. If he gets his hands on any paper product, he is going to eat it! Even cardboard... he will just gnaw on it until it is soft enough for him to eat! I can't leave this child alone with a book. Lets just say he really enjoys a good book ;-)

He sleeps with a stuffed Pluto so when we got to meet the real Pluto, he just laid all over him. He didn't want to let him go! He is quite the animal lover actually. He loves Eric and Heahter's dogs and is really loving out new cat. He is so gentle!

This boy is an outdoors-man. This may be the one thing he and Lula Mae have in common. Both my little ones love to be outside. I loathe being outside by the way... yep I'm that girl! While we were waiting to see the Fantasmic show at Disney Hollywood Studios... aka: THE most amazing show in the world... Jayce joined in on doing "the wave" with everyone. I think he would have a fun time at a ball game!

Typically, Jayce is grouchy. He has been since birth. I am not saying he is a bad baby, just cranky. There are times when he is super happy, but they are not that often. He isn't always crying... but whines a lot. When he smiles, I try to praise him and bask in it while it lasts. He has his good days where he is happier than normal, but for the most part I see this a lot...

This is his usual face. He is such a somber baby and keeps a serious look on his face most of the day. When I look at him I feel like he has an old soul. I feel like he is going to be a person who feels others pain. I feel like he will be one of those guys who is great to talk to and is always there with a shoulder to cry on.

I pray for his spirit daily. I pray so many things for him, but mostly I pray that he knows Jesus and loves him with all of his heart, all of his mind and all of his soul. Jayce could use your prayers too if you are a prayer warrior. Shortly after he was born he was diagnosed with reflux. Since then he has been on medication to help control it. Typically at a year a child is ready to be weaned from it... not sweet Jayce. He still needs it or he has horrible choking fits and grunts because the acid is hurting his throat. Pray for healing for him. It is getting better, but I want so badly for him to be medication free, for once. Also, he has eczema. It started off as just a few spots on his legs. Slowly it has covered his legs and feet. Then it creeped onto his arms... to his belly.... and now covering his neck and back. He scratches constantly and often has tiny cuts all over if I fail to trim his nails the moment they grow at all. I feel like my sweet baby is never comfortable. We just got a higher, stronger medication to put on him, but it is one of those things where I just want him to not need it at all. I want him to be normal and feel good. I know that God will heal him in His time, but I would ask you to pray for healing for him in this too. I think these two things kinda lead him to be a bit more grouchy.

I feel like Jayce needs me differently than Lula Mae did at his age. If I were being honest, I would say he needs me way more. I feel like maybe he will need me more for the rest of his life. I love this little guy to much! He knows just how to melt my heart :-)

So this is how Mr. Jayce is right now. Growing, changing and learning so fast!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


In December our contract with Direct TV is up (Woo Hoo!). This is one time that I am like, "Come on December! Hurry it up!". Father Time please don't take that literally, okay? Today I called and downgraded our package to help lower the bill. Canceling our service before the contract is up would cost us about $500 so we are just trying to ride out our contract as cheaply as we can. I was hesitant to downgrade though, I will be honest. There is only one show my husband watches... River Monsters. There is also only one show I watch (when there is a new season on).... 19 Kids and Counting with the Duggars. The package that I wanted to downgrade to, that just happened to be the most basic package they offer, would mean dropping both of the channels that these shows came on. I didn't know what my husband would say, so I brought it up to him and to my surprise he was all for the downgrade. I wish I could be more like him sometimes. I wish I could just say "that doesn't matter at all" the way he can. I am working on it though. I grew up, not spoiled per say, but fortunate. I kinda want my kids to live a bit more primitive than I did. I don't want them to think that TV is everything, I want them to see TV as a privilege they get. I always thought I could never live without TV, but I am learning that I really really can, and that I really really want to. Cable is just so expensive and just feels like a huge waste to me. I like having PBS and Disney Junior, but I know I can find little clips for the kids to watch on the internet too. Plus we have DVDs that the kids love, and we have Netflix so we can keep new DVDs coming that we think are appropriate for them. So why be tied down to a bill! I feel good about our downgrade, but I really can't wait to be able to cancel our service all together.

I am slowly, and I mean s-l-o-w-l-y, learning that less is more. I am learning that we need to lead a more simple life because it is biblical. At the same time, I am learning how hard living simply can be. Funny how God does that, huh? Making things that are so necessary seem so impossible. When I see my daughter satisfied with the simplest things (empty paper towel roll, a few books, junk mail, crayons and paper, a bowl and a wooden spoon) and my son satisfied with just having my attention and a hand full of toys.... I know living a simple life is necessary and so incredibly possible.

What do you do to help you live a simpler life? Any tips?

Monday, May 23, 2011

Could We Add More Hours To The Day Please?

I am in the process of trying to make a vacation slide show of all our pictures. There are so many and I want you to see all of them! But posting that many photos would take.... well f-o-r-e-v-e-r! So, I thought I would just show you a few comparison photos for now.

Lula Mae's 1st birthday morning

Jayce's 1st birthday morning

Lula Mae swimming with Daddy 2009

Lula Mae swimming with Daddy 2011

Riding the carousel 2009

Riding the carousel 2011

Downtown Disney September 2009

Downtown Disney 2011

Now I am off to work on the budget, work on plans for Lula Mae's party this weekend, do some laundry, clean up a bit.... oh the list goes on! I hope your week has started off great!

Thursday, May 19, 2011


I am not a political savvy person. I don't really know the difference between democrats and republicans. I can't tell you what bills are being discussed or who the senators are. I don't watch the news or read the paper. If it isn't on the Yahoo News for the day, chances are I don't know about it.

But, I am not this guy....

...and I do know that the US got Bin Laden. Actually my husband and I watched the President do his speech about the whole shebang that late Sunday night. As a military wife I feel the need to be excited and glad that this has happened. Part of me is. Some of me is glad that the 2 deployments my husband has been on have a purpose. A piece of me knows that all the families who lost precious loved ones in the 9/11 attacks have a since of closure now. Deep down I know that he was doing horrible things and needed to be stopped.

What bothers me the most is that people are saying "justice was served".

What bothers me is that there were people in front of the White House jumping, shouting and cheering knowing that Bin Laden had been killed.

What bothers me is that people don't seem to care about other people.

As a believer you are called to love everyone. Not everyone except terrorists. Not everyone except child molesters. Not everyone except people who don't have the same beliefs as you. Everyone. I know it is hard to wrap your brain around that.... but if you are a believer you really must. I am not saying you have to love what Bin Laden did, I am just saying you are suppose to love him and be worried about his salvation. Because guess what... God gives justice, not us. Here is a thought....

“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye." Matthew 7:1-5

To God, a sin... is a sin.... is a sin... is a SIN! So the person who gossips falls short in the same way as Bin Laden. We ALL fall short of the glory of God. Every single one of us. This may be tough for you to think about too but, if by chance Bin Laden was saved (obviously that is a very slim, slim, slim chance considering his life) then he has been forgiven for ALL of his sins. How would you feel to see him in heaven worshiping God with you someday? If you are a believer you should be joyful about that. A believer should want everyone, no matter who they are or what they have done, to know Jesus as their savior and have everlasting life.

I hope this is making at least a little bit of since because I feel like I am going around in circles! People who profess to be believers need to set a good example for those people who still have not found the Lord. If the lost people of this world see us reacting in different ways, we will stand out.... in a good way! Don't assume we brought Bin Laden to justice, know that God did. Don't celebrate a mans death if you are not certain that he knew the Lord, that is just not right. Don't hold unforgiveness in your heart.

I am a proud military wife, but when it comes to this I feel very torn. I am very proud of our military and the fact that they have accomplished what they set out to do. I hope someone out there gets something out of this. I feel better knowing that I have said it.... and considering it is my blog I don't really care otherwise. Please don't leave me crazy hate mail just because you don't agree with me on this. My blog... my opinions... try to remember that.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

All I Have Is Prayer...

Heather finally wrote about what she and her husband have been going through. She used her blog as a journal (for the first time in a long time) and really spoke her mind. She let things out that I was sure she would hold in. I feel like now it is okay for me to do the same thing. If Eric or Heather asks me to delete this, I will with no question. This post is for me, but since it is their lives I must use caution. You can read her post here if you want to be up to speed on what they are going through. I will warn you, it isn't easy to read. It is not some sugar coated, watered down post. It is real life and it is deep. As I have watched these two people that I love so much go through this, I have been amazed.

Amazed by Gods grace and mercy.

Amazed at how Eric and Heather are dealing with what has been laid in front of them.

Amazed at how badly I want to understand, but never will.

Amazed at how my flesh feels about this whole situation.

Amazed at how my spirit is dealing with everything.

My flesh is weak and feels broken and depressed for them. My flesh is mad. My flesh hates this. My flesh questions God. My flesh wants to rationalize this. But what can I say, it is my flesh and it is rotten. A lot of me hurts still and has not recovered fully. A little piece of me wishes none of this had ever happened.

Then my spirit breaks in and gets control.

My spirit is strong because the LORD is my strength. My spirit is joyful in all things. My spirit know that God makes no mistakes and does all things for a reason. My spirit is okay with not knowing why God allowed this to happen. My spirit is not broken, instead it is stronger and more focused. My spirit is the only thing that has kept me from walking away from the God I love.

Today I am grateful for the spirit God has put inside of me.

I have cried happy and sad tears for them. For 3 years I wanted to hear her say the words "I'm pregnant". Finally she did, and honestly I was more excited when she told me she was pregnant than I was when I found out I was pregnant (no joke. Yes" mother of the year" material I know.) I was also more crushed by their loss than I think I was by my own heaven born baby (yeah I know, I am just clean sweeping that mother of the year award with this post, huh? oh well. Honesty isn't always pretty.) Nothing has made me question my faith more than this. Nothing. Unfortunately, a lot of this stems from selfishness.

I want to see them pregnant

I want to throw them a baby shower

I want to stand outside of the hospital room and listen for the first cry of their baby

I want to hold their baby

I want to see them kiss their baby

I want to see them hold their baby and cherish their baby

I want to hear all the stories of how the middle of the night diaper changes went horribly wrong

I want so much for them.

I am selfish and I am learning to leave the planning to God. I know God wants all of this too, He just wants it in HIS time. His timing is perfect, mine is not. Right now I want to be able to do so much for them, but all I can do is pray. It feels like I am doing so little. It feels like I am ignoring them and not grieving well enough for them. It feels like it can't be enough. I know deep down though that my prayers are enough right now. God is enough for them. I see it on their faces. I know they are struggling in their own way, but they are strong... and growing stronger. I know they are trusting God fully and are being obedient to Him. I will never be able to wrap my head around all of this, but I also don't need to.

One thing is certain, Heather and Eric are parents. Their sweet baby is sitting with Jesus and waiting for them. My sweet friend Heather is a Mommy and my cousin Eric is a Daddy. Nothing can ever take that away from them.

Sunday, May 15, 2011


The service today was amazing. I adore my Pastor and appreciate his honesty. If you never sit in church thinking "oh man, that is so me" and then feel yourself almost turn red with embarrassment then you may not be listening well enough. I love all of my pastors sermons, but some of them really hit on a very personal level. For me, I need that. One thing my pastor said today is ringing in my head...

If the world loves you, you may not be living right.

Ouch. How incredibly true! Ever since Lula Mae was born Charlie and I have often been questioned or criticized for our parenting. Too many times we hear....

But don't you want your kids to be normal?

Marriam-Webster defines normal as: a) according with, or not deviating from a norm, rule or principle. b) conforming to a type, standard or regular pattern.

Do I want my kids to be normal? No. I don't want my kids to be raised by society and what it sees as normal. I don't want my kids to have no respect for authority the way that the upcoming generation seems to be. I don't want my kids to think that they are in charge of their lives with way society is teaching kids today. I don't want my kids to be self centered and close minded as the kids I see being raised by society. Not at all.

I want my kids to learn to be obedient of my husband and myself, as well as other adults, so that they will learn to be obedient to God. I want my kids to know that God is in control of their lives and they just need to trust Him in all things. I want my kids to think of others before themselves. I want my kids to look at people of other races, beliefs, sexualities, economical levels and abilities and see that we are all the same. My pastor brought up a great point today by saying "We are all in need of our Savior Jesus Christ.". So often we focus on how different we are, when we should be focused on how alike we are. Most importantly I want my kids to be focused on God and loving everyone around them.

My kids may not watch Sponge Bob or listen to the newest rap songs. They may not ever go to public schools and sit for 8 hours at a desk being taught to pass a test at the end of the year. My kids may never get to do some of the things normal kids get to do, but I feel confident in how Charlie and I are raising our family. Being normal isn't all it's cracked up to be if you ask me. Normal people don't worship with everything they have. Normal people don't live a life that brings glory and honor to God. I want my kids to worship God to the fullest and live a life that lives up to God. If that means they won't be normal, oh well.

The world may not love the way Charlie and I raise our kids, but I am not out to make the world happy.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Happy Birthday Little Miss

Has it possibly been 3 years? It feels like just yesterday the baby swing swallowed you whole. It feels like only last week I was cradling you in my arms, feeding and changing you every hour or so. It does not seem like you should be 3 yet.

Your sweet little features were so tiny and delicate. Every tiny piece of you was perfectly made. I stared at you for hours, soaking up every ounce of babyhood I could. I adored every stage (even the hard ones) because I know each one was a gift. Every tough stage, every easy stage.... brought its own joy and happiness.

I look at you now, at 3 years old, and I wonder how you got so big. I feel like I treasured all the little moments with you.... and yet I still feel as though it went too fast. Your features are still delicate, just not quite so tiny anymore. I still stare at you and notice how perfectly you are made.

God has such big plans for you. Watching you grow a heart for Him brings me so much joy. I am so blessed to be able to call you my daughter. Your spirit may be strong willed, but it is exactly what God wants. He is helping your Daddy and I shape you into what He desires. I pray for you without ceasing sweet girl.

I love your laugh, your hugs, your kisses, your curiosity, your artwork, your passion, your concern, your sense of humor, your love for learning, your bubbly personality, your curly hair, your petite stature, your determination...... your everything. I love you so much. You look so grown up with a pony tail in your hair. I feel like this is your last "baby year". I plan on continuing to soak up the last little bit of your babyhood. These past three years with you have been the most rewarding and the most amazing. You are so smart and astound me on a daily basis. I love having you read to me and get down right giddy hearing you recite all 9 of your bible verses and the first 20 catechism questions! This next year will be full of fun and learning too I am sure, and that makes me smile.

Happy birthday Lula Mae. You are so loved!

Friday, May 13, 2011

And This Is Where A Title Goes... If You Can Think Of One!

Ready for some randomness???? GO!!!!

Yesterday was a special day. My husband and I celebrated our 4th wedding anniversary. 4 years! We are off to a good start :-) He surprised me with flowers and a very short but sweet card (very much his style... which I love!). The kids and I went and got him a new weed-eater and sprayer for the yard. Nothing says I love you like a couple of gifts that are going to put you to work. I am not the best gift buyer.... not at all! Tonight we are getting away for a delicious and romantic meal at our favorite restaurant, The Melting Pot. We go there for every special occasion. He proposed to me there :-) Fondu here we come! I am excited to get to spend time with him alone. We are not good about making time for us and we need to get better.

There are a few things coming up that make my stomach a little queasy. I have already taken away all of Jayce's pacifiers... but I have not taken away his paci-bear. It is his best friend. Paci-bear is this pacifier that has a stuffed bear on the end of it. It was a lifesaver when he was a tiny little guy, but now it is time for it to go. He is one so that means no pacifiers.

He really loves this little guy though so I know it is going to be a tough week or so. Starting next Saturday he is history. I can't decide if I should cut the paci off and give him the bear, or just take the whole thing away. Not sure which one would be less traumatic for him. I have a few days to ponder that though. I am a firm believer in weaning the paci at one year though so paci-bear really must go. Sorry Jayce.... I still love you :-)

No only that, I have started to wean the bottle too. He only takes 2 bottles now instead of 4. His lunch milk is in a cup and his snack is now a juice/water cup instead of milk. I am crossing my fingers that the morning and night bottle will be gone in the next few weeks. Lula Mae was quite difficult to wean so I am hopeful that Jayce will be a little different. Only time will tell I guess.

PLUS.... I am a huge slacker and haven't moved Lula Mae out of her crib yet. I know, I know... tomorrow she is 3 and she still sleeps in a crib. She really loves it though. She has never tried to climb out or anything and hasn't really expressed and desire to sleep in a big bed yet. Well, I guess it is time to move her to a toddler bed. sigh. I think we will do it the same night that we take away paci-bear. Lets just all be miserable at one time, right?

Well, that is what is going on right now, in case you cared.... even if you didn't care I was still going to tell you!

I hope your weekend is wonderful Bloggy buddies!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

We're Back!

Yes, vacation is over and we are home. I am trying to get everyone back into the swing of things. We are getting there. Overall our trip was a huge success. The ride down and the ride back were great! Lula Mae is slightly depressed that we are home.... only slightly. We all enjoyed ourselves! I am so glad to be home, but I sure do miss Mickey! Here is a sneak peak of our trip...

Can we go back now? sigh.

I can't wait to get caught back up on all of your blogs. I hope you have all been great!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Happy Birthday Jayce

The day before we went to Magic Kingdom in September of 2009 I get the positive test. I was so excited to tell Charlie in our favorite place. And this is how you began Jayce.

Then you grew and grew and grew. You gave me no sickness (sweet boy!) but nearly ruined my bladder with infection after infection (shame on you!). Overall my pregnancy was great. Sure towards the end I had trouble getting off the couch and had nothing that resembled ankles, but still it was great!

At 8:41 on May 4, 2010 you were born. Jayce Moreland had arrived! All 7 pounds (even) and 19 3/4 inches of you were perfect. Your labor was fantastic and your birth was even better! I enjoyed every moment of it! I also loved that every doctor and nurse that walked in the door wanted to know if you were a c-section baby because your head was so round. Nope :-) I just got you out fast!

Our family of 4 was together after 8 and a half long months of waiting.

Your sister was intrigued by you. She was pretty in love too (secretly).

Once we were home I began preparing you for your birthday trip to Disney World. Your blood cells are probably shaped like tiny Mickey Mouse heads.

I began taking a million pictures of you... and I haven't stopped!

When you have something so sweet to photograph why would you want to stop?

You and your sister bonded well.

And you began to grow....

... and change. And you began to look just like your momma.

You just kept getting bigger. We finally got your reflux under control and you were a much happier little guy.

Your first vacation was not so fun for you. You are your mothers child... the beach is not your favorite place in the world (mine either darling!).

Is it possible that your sweet face got cuter?

It was not long before you were attempting to get on the move. Scooting around came naturally to you. This is when your adventurous side came out :-)

Your best friend is your sister.... or at least you think so. She is starting to wonder about you getting into her toys and other things. She is rethinking this whole "big sister" job all of a sudden.

Crawling didn't last long and you went for the upright position. Standing up and cruising was so easy for you. Not to mentioned it was your favorite thing to do!

Your poor eczema kept getting worse and worse. Then, your dandruff started up. You are going to be my sensitive child for sure.

You just got so big so fast, looking like a little man. Could it be that my baby was really about to be walking?

You have grown so fast little one. You are such a boy. You love to explore, nothing seems to stop you or hold you back, you adore hats, baths make you giddy and being outside is your very favorite. You love to watch your sister play and love even more for her to play with you. Your laugh is musical and your smile is mystical. The fact that you can whistle is hilarious. I love to listen to you snore over the baby monitor. You are reading more words than you let on, but I'm okay with that.... you can be shy about it if you want. You love to play rough with your Daddy and to hug and snuggle with your Mommy. I am so blessed to be able to call you my son. God has given us an amazing year with you and I pray that he gives us many more. I pray that your heart is focused on God and you learn to serve others. I pray that you walk the path God has laid for you. I am excited to watch you grow and see what God has in store for you. I love you more than words can say.

Happy First Birthday Jayce!

I can't believe it has been a year....

Monday, May 2, 2011

On The Open Road!

Well Bloggy buddies, we are on our way to the happiest place on earth!

To see one of my best-good friends, as Forrest would say.

To visit my home away from home.....

Disney World.... HERE WE COME!
I LOVE the smell of vacation in the air... especially a Disney vacation!

It will be a trip of fun memories I am sure of that. The last time we went to Disney World I got to tell Charlie were were expecting Jayce. Now, we get to celebrate his first birthday there. How neat! We rent a house when we do Disney so we have a private pool, which I am sure will be fun for every one but me. The kids will get to enjoy Mommy and Daddy, we will get to enjoy them.... I just can't wait! Goodbye bills book, goodbye house work, goodbye school, goodbye army! This family has left the building! We are so blessed! Please pray for a safe journey for us. Also, pray that I handle the pool with my kids okay. I want so badly to enjoy it with them, but just the thought of it really makes me nearly throw up. I will come home with a billion pictures and lots of stories.... so be ready! Have a great week Bloggy buddies! I will catch up with you when I return!