Water Park

After our summer cold spell, we are having some nice warm days and we decided to head to the new Aquatic Park to check it out.  This place was great!  They had a toddler water play area, a big train to climb all over, lots of slides, and a lazy river.

While we were all in the lazy river, Jax was bumped by one of the tubes while wiggling his very, very, very loose tooth and out it came!  He was so excited that he has now lost teeth at school and at the pool!

We were enjoying a yummy watermelon slushie.  

We had a great time today and it was a great day to spend it at the pool.  I loved the lazy river the most-for obvious reasons.  Nothing like floating in a circle!

Mother's Day

When I think of Mother's Day, I think of flowers, homemade cards, and I love you's.  There are pictures of moms and kids on all the social networking sites.  For one day, motherhood seems picture perfect.

But then real life happens.  Not even a week later, Julie wakes up at 1am projectile vomiting.  I have to do not one, but two loads of laundry in the middle of the night.  My pants were soaked. Julie's hair was covered in it.  (How?!)  And so I have to give her a bath.  With her crying (and let's face it-maybe me too!) it's a wonder that Jax and Justin sleep soundly with all the commotion.  After that is all done and she is cleaned up, she asks me in a pitiful voice to sleep on her bedroom floor in case she needs me.  And I do because I want to keep my eye on her.  Bonus:  her room is closer to the washer and dryer....

And then when I do wake up in the morning and hop in the shower, I see that I had throw up all on my pajama shirt that I didn't notice at 1am.  Nice.  I SLEPT IN my kids throw up all night long.  Gross.

Or say you are working on a Pinterest inspired project outside and Jax and Julie find the paint that you were using.  And the paintbrush that had gone missing all day long.  I knew Julie has swiped it earlier in the day, but of course she had no recollection of that.  Anywho-those kids thought it would be great to paint the driveway and my landscaping rocks.  And I do think they were a little surprised to see that I was NOT HAPPY that there was paint everywhere.  Including their nice clothes.  I thought Jax's jeans were a goner.  They were brand new and he had only worn them a couple of times.  But thanks to Pinterest I found that a lot of rubbing alcohol and light scrubbing with a toothbrush got it all out.  Whew.  The paint on the driveway came off as well.  The paint on the rocks?  Not so much.  I like to think they are "unique" now.

And that's motherhood.  It's messy, fun, exhausting, frustrating, and joyful.  I get slobbery kisses from Julie as she wraps her arms around me and tells me, "I never let you go."  Jax gives me spontaneous hugs (when no one is looking!) and when I give him a kiss goodnight he always says, "Ew!" and wipes it off.  Which makes me give him more kisses.  He may act like it's gross, but he secretly enjoys it.  I think.

It's many dinners of spaghetti, chicken nougats or mac and cheese.  Watching Frozen for the umpteenth time or singing along to "Let it go" in the car.  And then realizing Julie is NOT in the car and I've just enjoyed all the Frozen songs by myself.

But mostly, motherhood teaches me that I don't have it all together and that daily I need to rely on Jesus.  A verse that gives me a great illustration of this...

As apostles of Christ we could have been a burden to you, but we were gentle among you, LIKE A MOTHER CARING FOR HER LITTLE CHILDREN.  1 Thessalonians 2:7


I love the funny things that Jax and Julie say:

One day we went to McDonalds that Justin used to work as a teen.  As he was reminiscing, Jaxson asked why we weren't going inside.  I told Jax that Daddy was having a trip down "memory lane."  Jax asked, "Can I go to?"

During Holy Week, I was telling Jaxson about Good Friday and what it meant.  He ended up calling it Happy Friday instead.

Julie said I couldn't give her kisses.  So I said I would just lick her instead.  She laughed and said, "I'm not a Popsicle!  I'm just Julianne!"

Jax likes to pretend to be a wrestler.  His current wrestler name is The Finisher.  He weighs 255lbs and his signature move is somersaults to knock his opponent out!

We watched The Middle and in the episode Axl didn't have any money on his food card at college.  He ended up having to put the food back in the buffet.  A couple of days later Jax asked if I could send money to college so he can eat.  He was very worried that he would have to put the food back.  I then realized that he was talking about the episode we just watched!  I assured him that WHEN he goes to college we will make sure he has food!

Jaxson and his friends at school always seem to have girlfriends.  But last Friday after the field trip Jax told me that his girlfriend "broke up" with him.  I asked him if that made him sad.  He said it didn't and that he has a new girlfriend now.  (Hello-rebound!)  I asked when he got this new girlfriend.  He said, "Thursday."  Ok.  So he got his new girlfriend Thursday.  His old girlfriend broke up with him on Friday.  I asked him if he thought maybe she broke up with him because he got a new girlfriend while he had the old girlfriend.....he didn't seem to catch my sarcasm. 

Potty Training Extravaganza

Toilet training is going so well with Julie.  All the motivation she needed was a pink lollipop and pretty underwear.  I actually was pretty confident in her and trusted her to even go by herself.  It was so nice for me to give her some independence.  And I got a break!

However, we have had to clarify some things with her regarding using the bathroom.

Julie loves to flush the toilet.  After multiple toilet pluggings we figured out that Julie was sticking a whole bunch of toilet paper in it.  And by a whole bunch, I mean that the entire bowl was filled with toilet paper!  Solved that solution by removing the toilet paper off the roll and rationing it for her. 

But my favorite is when I caught her flushing the toilet and then sticking her hands in the bowl as if the toilet was some sort of water table.  She was having all sorts of fun with the water going down.  That was an ick factor times 10.  I felt like I needed to Lysol her hands.  I refrained, washed her hands, and then gave her a big talking to about how our hands do not go in the toilet.

Funny how I even had to utter those words to her.

I'm sure she will come up with more ways on "how not to use the toilet."  I guess the bathroom is one big play land with her.  Sheesh.


On Saturday we let the kids have their Easter baskets and hunt for eggs.  Two reasons for this really:

1.  With Justin working at a church on Easter, it makes it hard to squeeze this in when we need to be somewhere early.  We are not morning people.

2.  Then I'm done with it.  And the kids can munch on candy and play with whatever they got for Easter the whole day on Saturday.

(I love how Jaxson is wearing his wrestling belt here!)

And then it was time to hunt for eggs!

I realized I didn't get much pictures of the kids getting eggs.  I think it is because they are so fast now.  Julie still needs a little help, but Jax was off and running to collect as many eggs and he could.

Which is the main reason why we made the rule that Julie gets the pink and purple eggs and Jax gets the blue and green eggs.  Then every body gets the same amount of eggs.  Unless you can't find them all.  Which in our case, we are missing about three that were filled with chocolate.  And it's been 80 degrees out.  Oops!

After all that running around, we had the kids play outside all day with their new sidewalk chalk and bubble toys. 

On Sunday, we got up and got ready for church!  Today we planned on being at both campus'-the church plant and inner city campus.  Both were great services-it was great to see people getting baptized!  Funny story at at the inner city campus.  In the middle of the service the pastor went up to baptistry to get ready for the baptisms.  He changed into a white robe.  After church Jax asked us why the pastor was trying to look like Jesus.  I had a good laugh at that.  Jesus does wear a white robe in a lot of children's Bibles.

(Here's proof that the kids do actually like each other!)

After church, we headed to Justin's parents house to eat lunch with family and do another egg hunt.  All the cousins were prepping for this event by using rocks and water cans to practicing hunting down eggs!  It's amazing what their imaginations come up with!  It must of paid off because they all found lots of eggs when it came time to find them!

We had a great Easter weekend. 

Christ has risen!  He has risen indeed!

Earthquakes Vs. Tornadoes

On Thursday, I had my first "Tornado Warning" while living in Arkansas. 

The weather people here can't predict the weather.  They get really excited about these spring storms, but they are so unpredictable that you just have to wait and see what happens.  And while we were in a moderate risk all day long, nothing happened around us.  The air was humid and soupy.  It was awful feeling.  But no storms.  As the day went on, more storms came through north of us and I thought we just might get away with not having anything. 

But I was wrong.  I was asleep for about an hour when the loud thunder woke me up.  The lightening was crazy.  The sky was constantly lighting up.  Julie woke up about this time and was so scared.  I grabbed her and tucked her into bed with us so she would feel better.  As we started to relax, I heard sirens.  Which I figured were the tornado sirens people had told me about them.  It surprised me because I thought they were piercing loud-like a fire alarm.  Surprisingly, they were sort of quiet and not high pitched like I imagined. 

Anyways, I did remain calm, but told Justin that maybe we should turn on TV and see if there was a tornado near us.  He was half asleep and responded, "It's raining out. If there was a tornado, it wouldn't be raining."  Ah, he's so comforting.

After some prodding, we all got up and saw that the "rotation" was headed this way.  See?

We were in the path!  I was ready to go to our "safe place" but luckily the rotation fell apart before it came near us.  But after that fell apart, we got a severe thunderstorm warning.  It said that it would be here around 12:57am.  And at 12:55, our power went out.  Which probably meant the storm was here.  It was still so crazy out there.  That thunder was so loud!  I tried to get a video of the thunder and lightning together but you can mostly just see the rain pouring off our roof. 

With all the thunder I didn't realize that it was super windy out.  A wind gust brought a lot of rain inside the house!  I got soaked with the rain. Or else I would have tried to get a better video.  This one would have to do. 

I grabbed our lantern/flashlight which delighted Julie.  She was in love with that thing and using it all over the house!  We headed back to bed and I hoped the power would come back soon.  And it was back on in about 2 hours.  I was shocked.  That was fast.

Meanwhile, Jax slept through the whole commotion.  I have no idea how he could do that. 

As I was driving Jax to school the following morning, we drove by this on our road.  This is about 3 houses down from us.  It used to be a corner of a pretty tall fence.

Lots of trees were down around town.  But our town did not receive the worst damage at all. Towns south of us got the straight line winds that clocked up to 85mph!  That's just crazy.

After my first experience with this spring storm, I think I do almost prefer the tornado warning over the unknown of earthquakes.  I grew up living in a earthquake zone and had been in a handful of minor earthquakes.  But we never knew when they would shake.  At least with this storm, we knew exactly when this storm would come and where it was at pretty much at all times.  That was pretty handy.

Spring Break

I think we can all agree that Spring Break just wasn't long enough.  We had a busy couple of weeks leading up to Spring Break, so Justin and I made the executive decision to rest!

And it was glorious.  I slept in everyday.  We went to the lake.  Jax and I watched Scooby Doo Mystery Inc. which is the 2010 series.  Can we just say...hilarious!  I forgot how much I used to love this show and try to figure out who the bad guy was!  Towards the end of the week, we made it to the River Market to eat at Gus' Fried Chicken.  My goodness.  That is some of the best fried chicken and greens I have ever had.  (Says the girl from the Pacific Northwest!)

After that yummy (and probably unhealthy) lunch, we went out the park so the kids could run off some energy.  We knew a storm would be coming in and we were glad that it hadn't started to dump rain on us yet.

The tulips were everywhere!  I absolutely love tulips...

The kids and me.  Surprising how we actually all took a decent picture.

I tried to get a picture with Justin and the kids but it didn't happen.  And it actually wasn't the kids, it was Justin.  He was having some sort of allergy issue by the tulips and would not look at the camera.  But both kids were looking at the camera the whole time....who knew that the 34 year old would not say "cheese" while the kids smiled on?!

I think the icing on the cake for Spring Break is when Jax picked up this DVD...

Jax loves wrestling.  And Jax loves Scooby Doo.  So when he saw this DVD he HAD to have it!  And it actually was pretty good.  Poor Daphne didn't want to go to Wrestle-mania so Justin was laughing and saying that was me.  Yup, sounds about right.  And I even solved the mystery of who-dunnit.  Maybe I should become a cartoon detective?

Anyways, Jax is back at school now.  And Spring Break gave me a tiny taste of how much I am really going to enjoy Summer Vacation.

The Lake

We went over to the lake on Friday.  Jax didn't have school and Justin's family was over there camping. 

The kids immediately went and threw rocks in the lake.

Julie took it pretty seriously and sat down for a while as she collected rocks in her bowl.

The tree balance bar was fun to walk from and jump.

Jax couldn't wait to go fishing.  He had several bites but didn't real any fish in.

We went to a Minute to Win it show at the amphitheater in the afternoon.  Jax had to use toilet paper to make a hummingbirds next.  This was right up his alley-just the other week he unrolled a whole toilet paper roll between his room, Julie's room, and the hallway.  After he unrolled the toilet paper on stage, the ranger asked Jax to scrunch it in a ball.  Jax misunderstood and thought he had to roll the toilet paper on the tube.  Hilarious.  He finally got it and scrunched it on a ball.  He made the nest in time and won the grand prize!

We had a great time and didn't get back until late that night.  I'm sure we will be headed back soon.  Julie's favorite part was throwing rocks in the lake and Jax like walking up the tree balance bar and jumping from it and fishing.

Rock Climbing

Jaxson went to a rock climbing birthday party this weekend.  He was so excited to go and couldn't wait to climb. 

Jax chose to climb the kid's wall most of the time. 

He's a cautious kid, so when he got about 2 feet off the ground, he was pretty proud of himself.  And we were proud of him too!

Poor little Julie.  She wanted to rock climb too.  However, you have to be at least five years old to climb.  So she was a huge cheerleader for Jax.  Periodically, she would go over to the wall and touch it. 

At one point, she went over to Justin and told him that she was now five so she could climb. 

After not being able to convince us, she did get into the chalk (cause everyone else was using it to climb!) and was very proud of herself that she was ready to climb-just like everyone else!

The kids had a blast.  I'm sure that we will be heading back up there again soon!

36 Months {Julianne}

Julianne is 3 years old!

She started out this month by crawling out of her crib.  One morning, she just opened her door and came in to tell me good morning!  And that was the end of me sleeping in ever again.  Because she was now getting up with the sun.  Which was about 6:30am.  And she wouldn't take her naps either.  So I had one very sleep deprived child because of her refusal to sleep.  One day when I told her it was time for quiet time, she looked at the clock and told me, "let's just change the clock."  But sleep catches up with her when she least expects it!

We have bought her black out curtains and that seems to help a bit.

We also did a makeover on her room.  I found out that the crib she was sleeping in was recalled.  I went online to find the instructions to convert it to a toddler bed and I couldn't believe when I found out it was recalled.  I ended up calling the store that we got it from and getting a full refund.  So I ordered her a twin size platform bed which is going to look really cute.  In the meantime, she sleeping on a mattress on the floor and doesn't seem to mind one bit!

Julie is a busy girl.  One day I caught her on her princess phone while playing on the iPad!  She was in a very important conversation with one of the princesses...

She loves her shopping cart and will load that cart up with all sorts of trinkets.  Julie told Justin, "I shopping Daddy."  She was wearing a Tinkerbell shirt and so Justin commented to her that she looked like Tinkerbell.  She answered, "Yes Daddy, I do."

Julie loves to play Lalaloopsies.  Most of the time she will come up to me and ask, "Now play with me mama?"  And how can I resist?  It's funny to watch her imagination work.  Most of the time one of the lalaloopsies was having a birthday party so we would get the party together and then sing happy birthday to the little figurine.  She loved that so much.

And while she is a girly-girl at heart, she does not mind getting messy in the dirt!

Happy Birthday Julianne!  We love you so much!