Sunday, June 26, 2011

Rachel, Adde, and Payne come to Franklin

During Spring Break in March, we drove to Franklin to visit with family. Justin's sister, Rachel, her little girl, Addelyn, and her adorable son, Payne, had come in town from Washington. We LOVED seeing them and hanging out with everyone. It was so fun to see James interact and play with all his cousins now that he is a little older. In this blog, I am posting the play time pictures. Next blog, I will post the more "posed" pictures.

Playing on Nonie and Pop's swing set

Ruth and Adde having a blast!

James and Josiah = buddies

Maybe one day James will attempt this :)

Little Addelyn has no fear! She just loved jumping from hay bale to hay bale in Nonie's garden!

Justin tried to get James to jump the hay bales too...umm..maybe next year!

The Fish cousins have a "truck" as James calls it. Really it is their mule and James loved sitting in it!

Taking a ride on the mule! Justin and Rachel even joined the kids.

Uncle Justin plays hard with the kiddos

James and Lydia were best buds too

Having a two year old conversation ;)

One indoor activity consisted of the girls pushing James around in the shopping cart :)

Even though James wouldn't attempt the hay bales, he still LOVES to jump everywhere else.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Like Father Like Son

This post is a little bit of the past and present. It is Father's Day 2011, and I wanted to share about how amazing Justin is as a DADDY.

First of all, here is Justin as a little boy.

How sweet is that face?
He has always looked up to his father in many ways. One way that you know your son admires you, is if he tries to be like you.

Here is Justin watching his dad mow the lawn.

And here is Justin walking step by step behind his dad, mowing the lawn with him.

Well, here is Justin (as a Daddy now) with James walking step by step behind him mowing the lawn.

We have a pretty nice size back yard, and James follows Justin for hours, right behind him, making every move his daddy makes. He even lifts the lawn mower on the back two wheels to turn it around like Justin does.

It's usually about 100 degrees outside when they are doing this, so I make sure they get their popsicle breaks!

Mowing the front yard... watching daddy once again.

Getting lined up with daddy

James rarely takes his eyes off Justin :)

What a little trooper. You can't tell, but he is sweating bullets out there in the heat. But he could care less, because he is going to follow his daddy.
Like Father, Like Son

I knew before I married Justin that he would be an incredible father. And he has even exceeded my expectations, and I know he will keep surprising me more and more as we have more children.

I had to be in the hospital for over 6 weeks on bed rest when I was pregnant with Reese. I can't tell you how many people told me how amazing Justin was doing as he handled James like a single parent. Yes, we also had incredible help from friends and family, but Justin took on so much on his own. He worked full time in the day, and became full time daddy in the evenings and on the weekends..... preparing meals, changing clothes, changing diapers, instructing discipline, dealing with tantrums, bath time, bed time, play time, scheduling, and the list goes on and on. These things are hard when you have TWO people needless to say he stayed pretty busy. After putting James to bed, he couldn't just crash and sleep. He had math lessons to plan, papers to grade, preparations to make for the next day with James' schedule, bags and lunches to pack, dishes to wash.... and then, he needed to call a distraught, worried wife and have a long discussion with her reminding her that everything was going to be ok. I cry right now thinking of it all. Justin stayed so strong through it all. Just so our little baby girl could stay put in mommy's womb for just a few more weeks.

Justin, I can't tell you how much I love you. I am so proud of you, watching you help raise our two sweet children. James and Reese are so lucky to have a daddy like you. I am so thankful that we both had amazing fathers to look up to when we were kids, and I am so thankful we still look up to them now. (Thanks Papa and Pops!)
God, the perfect Father, has richly blessed our family.
Thank you Lord, for such a beautiful gift.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Cleaning Swap

I have a very sweet friend named Amber. She lives in my neighborhood and is one of those friends you always wonder how you would live without. Amber is so generous, so helpful, so kind......I am always learning from her. She helps me strive to be a better person.

Amber and me

One of her amazing ideas was to start Cleaning Swap Monday! (And to those of you that have a friend that lives close by, I suggest you do this!...Esp if you have kids!) Everyone knows that once you starting having children, you tend to put other things on hold, like the dishes, laundry, mopping, dusting. Some days I can't think straight because my house gets so dirty.

On Mondays, Amber and I take turns cleaning the house and watching the kids. I bring James over to her house by 6:30 or 7 am. She watches him with her kids, while I go back to my house (all alone!) and clean for about 3 hours! With NO DISTRACTIONS! Then around 10am, she drops her two kids and James off at my house. I watch the kids, and she has a few hours to clean! We try to get it all done before afternoon naps! It is incredible and gets our week started off on the right track.

The bonus is that these three kiddos love each other and play hard together! They are best friends! Here are some pictures of them playing at my house while Amber takes her turn cleaning.

James and Taylor play in a plastic bin.

Law hanging out just as happy as he can be :)

Hugs and Kisses!

Having lots of fun!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

And We're Back!

Wow, what a journey we have been on these past three months!

Here is our reason for taking a break from the blog world:

Reese Laney Payne
Born on May 27th, 2011
Weight: 6 lbs 4 oz
Height: 18 3/4 in

I stopped blogging when I had to go on bed rest in the hospital for 6 weeks. Reese was born almost 4 weeks early at 36 weeks and 3 days. We are so in love with her, and James has been an incredibly sweet older brother :)
I have sooo much I want to share about my sweet baby girl, but I want to blog in order, and I don't want to skip some precious moments of James before Reese came into the world :)
So just know that these next posts will be catch up posts from the past three months. I will try to post quickly and on a regular basis so that I don't stay behind!