Friday, June 25, 2010

Father’s Day Weekend

This father’s day we got away for the weekend and left Shepherd with the grandparents, Cookie and Kimbo. This was Shepherd’s first time to stay the night away from home without his parents! Taylor and I left Friday afternoon and went to Dallas for a wedding. One of my Theta sisters, Evy, got married Saturday evening and had just a picture perfect wedding! We had such a great time seeing our old college friends and exploring downtown Dallas.

So how did Shepherd do? Great! Jack and Sawyer, my nephews, are less than a year older than Shepherd and he got to spend a lot of time playing with them. They actually spent most of their time fighting over Bob and Larry, Shepherd’s stuffed Veggie Tale characters. Shepherd was spoiled by his grandmother; he got lots of bottles and lots of yummy treats!

**Shepherd is eating a popsicle. He loved it and was being very silly!

**Shepherd with cousing Sawyer
On Sunday, Taylor and I were able to attend The Village Church and hear Matt Chandler preach. He was amazing! The worship was great also! Then we hit up the outlet malls in Allen, TX. Taylor got some new clothes for father’s day and we headed home.
During our car ride home, I asked Taylor what are the best things about being a Father and he gave me 3 things:
1. JOY! Shepherd brings so much joy to our lives! It is amazing watching him learn, grow, and discover. We are always amazed that we can just sit and stair at the little guy, and be so entertained. (Creepy!) It brings us joy to see how God can take two people and create our baby boy in our image, just as we are created in God’s image.
2. LEGACY! Taylor and I get to leave our legacy through Shepherd. The one way that we can truly impact our future is the legacy that we leave behind in our children. We want Shepherd to know, love, and serve Christ. We pray that God will send him a Godly wife, that he will get to have a family, and never experience divorce. We also talked about praying for the 5 generations that will follow us, hopefully we can leave a legacy that will affect our great great grandchildren.
3. FATHERHOOD! Taylor’s eyes have been opened by the father son relationship. Taylor’s understanding of God’s love for His children has grown, just as Taylor has grown in his love for Shepherd. For example, the first time Shepherd reached out for Taylor and embraced him with a hug, was a big deal! Taylor was so excited that his child wanted him and wanted to be held by him. Taylor later told me, that God feels the same way. God is so thrilled, so excited when we reach out to him, to pray, read our bible, or just be quiet and enjoy the comfort of our Father’s arms. There are many other “fatherhood” moments that have been revealed to Taylor through our little son, but I will let Taylor share those with us at a later time. :)
So overall, we had a great weekend and a nice father’s day. I am so thankful that Taylor is such a wonderful father to our son!

**The bride and groom with my Theta sisters

**Taylor at JFK Memorial

**Julia in downtown Dallas

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Father’s Day Gift = FAIL

So, I had this burst of creativity and courage to do a finger paint craft project for father’s day. I had someone coming over to the house in about 15 minutes and I decided that Shepherd and I could make three father’s day cards (and one Ya Ya card) by the time my guest arrived. Ha! Ha! Shepherd was dressed in a cute outfit and I decided that I really did not have the time to take his clothes off. Another Ha! Ha! moment! I put a bib on him, and got the wet wipes ready to go. My plan was to be super careful, and clean his little hands up as soon as we were done. I painted Shep’s little hands, stamped them on all of the cards, wiped him clean, SUCCESS! We did not make a mess, I was such a proud mom! It was nap time, so I made Shepherd a bottle, put in a Veggie Tail Video, and propped him up on the couch. I figured I had about 10 minutes to finish up the cards, Shep could finish his bottle, and I would be done in time to put Shepherd down for his nap and my company would arrive. Yes, that could happen in a perfect world.

So about 5 minutes later, I looked in the living room to make sure that Shep was doing okay, and sure enough, he was not on the couch! I was sitting at the kitchen table and I looked down to find my little guy covered in paint!!! My sneaky little guy, snuck into the kitchen, grabbed the paper plate and paint brush off of the kitchen table and managed to paint his face, his outfit, and the floor. I just started laughing! Then I reached to grab the paint plate and paint brush from Shepherd, and the permanent marker in my hand drew a line across Shepherd’s forehead. More laughing!!! Then I heard a knock on the door, even more laughing!!!

Here are some pictures of our finished work. I am sad to say that I did not manage to get any pictures of Shepherd covered in paint, with permanent marker on his forehead, and a guest over.
**Shepherd pointing at his beautiful artwork

*Notice how Shep's lower lip hangs below his pacifier, I have no idea why he does this, but that is how he prefers his paci

**Finished Product

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Slime Time

This week our church, CCF, has hosted a Vacation Bible School all week long from 5:00p-7:00p. The theme is “Slime Time” and we have been going over the book of Daniel. I have never seen so much slime in my life! This slime puts the show “You Can’t Do that on Television” to shame. (Does anyone remember that show, or does that mean I am getting old.)

The kids have had such a blast! You can really tell that a lot of work has gone into the planning of this VBS! Our high school youth kid have been putting on the outside games and they have been very creative, very messy, and very slimy! I have been taking my nephew Alexander, and we have had a good time being silly and getting dirty. This week has reminded me how much fun it is to play with first through fifth graders! If I could pick a job that I had to work at for the rest of my life, I would be a permanent summer camp counselor for elementry school kids. There is nothing better than hearing little kids sing and laugh!

Shepherd has been attending the nursery all week and he loves hanging out with his buddies. He has two really good friends, both named Eli! Our church building is really large and you have to go down several long hallways before arriving at the nursery. As soon as we walk into the church, Shepherd wants me to put him down, and he will lead the way to the nursery. I just can’t get over it! There are several turns that have to be made and he knows just how to get there to see his friends. He obviously did not get his mother’s sense of directions! Here are some great pictures from the week!

**Jonathan, our children's pastor getting Slimed, by Jake.

**Dana, my sis, checking in Alexander, my nephew

**I was teaching the kids how to play, "Do This, Do That"

**Obstacle Course

**Head count

**Don't pop the balloons!

Farmer’s Market and Fresh Herbs

Every Tuesday and Thursday, Siloam Springs has a farmer’s market. Shepherd and I love to take a walk downtown and pick up some fresh produce. It is always so difficult to decide which booth to buy from; there are only two organic farmers, so I try to buy from them. This week, we bought some green beans and potatoes and my mom got me some fresh onions. I am also growing an herb garden myself of rosemary, basil, parsley, dill, and oregano. So what was for supper this week? We had garlic pork tenderloin; potatoes with parsley, garlic, onion chives, and rosemary; and green beans cooked in garlic and bacon. I made a sun-dried tomato sauce to go on the pork. It was delish!

Happy Health Baby

Ever since I quit nursing Shepherd in March, he has had a lot of sickness. Two rounds, of RSV, two ear infections, C-Diff from the antibiotics, strep throat, and Stomach Flu. Prior to that, he only had one cold. If you are able to nurse your baby, give it your best shot, because it will save you tons of money on formula and tons of money on doctor’s bills! Plus all the stress that comes with a sick baby. We also found out that Shepherd is lactose intolerant.

We have finally gotten Shep well, thanks to summer and switching to Almond Milk. I have been trying to get Shepherd’s immune system built up, so we started the gummy vitamins and the gummy immune system vitamins. These things are great! The Poly-Vi-Sol vitamin drops were a nightmare, it was like trying to get your baby to swallow black tar! Shepherd even refused to take the drops in juice and applesauce. I really like the Immune system vitamins because they have 10 mg of zinc, vitamin C, and vitamin D. We also started doing shakes in the morning. I usually mix Soy yogurt, blueberries, strawberries, 1 probiotic capsule, and flaxseed meal. The little man loves it! Here are some pictures of our morning snack!


**Finished Product

**Happy Healthy Baby!

Mother-Of-The-Year Award

Last weekend, I was officially awarded the mother-of-the-year award! I have come pretty close to receiving this award in the past, especially when I caught Shepherd about 2 months ago, standing in my bedroom with my razor in his mouth. Yes, no cap on the razor, and the blade side was in his mouth, thankfully, no damage was done. So why this weekend? Well, we stayed around in Siloam, took Shepherd’s one-year old pictures on Saturday and went out to the lake on Sunday. Shep fussed all weekend! He was just so cranky! Normally, he is a happy and giggly baby, but something was different. We were not home much and it was an extremely hot weekend, I just assumed the crankiness was due to being out of his routine and being a little overheated. We took Shepherd out on the boat for the first time of the summer, bad idea! He was not a happy camper! Sunday evening we were leaving the lake, and I finally had the bright idea to check and see if he was teething. Wow! Two of his back molars had broken through the skin, and a third was about to come through! I cannot believe that I let my little guy teeth all weekend with no Tylenol, Ibuprofen, orajel, or teething drops. We had an hour drive home and I did not have any medicine with me. So guess what Shepherd got?!! His very first happy meal, and boy it made him happy! Now, we do not believe in feeding our little guy a lot of processed food, especially after watching Food Inc. and Supersize Me. But everything is okay in moderation, right? And our little guy sure deserved a treat!

**Shepherd's first time to drive the boat! This was an attempt to make him happy.

**First time to drink a juice box, Shepherd's day is getting better


**Hooray!!! French Fries!

**The best part, the toy!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Time Is of the Essence

I read a poem this week that really impacted me. It challenged me to spend quality time with my son.

Now is the time to get things done…
Wade in the water,
Sit in the sun,
Squish my toes
In the mud by the door,
Explore the world in a boy just four.

Now is the time to study books,
How a cloud looks;
To ponder “up,”
Where God sleeps nights,
Why mosquitoes take such big bites.

Later there’ll be time
To sew and clean,
Paint the hall
That soft new green,
To make new drapes,
Refinish the floor—
Later on…when he’s not just four.
Irene Foster, “Time Is of the Essence”

This poem helped me recognize that I really need to enjoy every moment of Shepherd at age one. This week I tried to keep us outdoors as much as possible.

Here is Shepherd’s current schedule:
6:30am – Awake and Rearing to Go
7:00am – Breakfast
8:00am – Walk or Exploring
9:00am – Nap
11:30am – Awake from Nap and Lunch time
12:30pm – Activity
1:30pm – Nap
3:30pm – Snack time
5:30pm – Supper and time with Dad
7:30pm – Bath Time
8:00pm – Bed Time

As you can see, Shepherd naps almost four and a half to five hours during the day. This gives me a lot of free time to work, clean house, and meal plan. After reading Foster’s poem, I decided that I was going to be better at getting all of my chores done while Shepherd is sleeping, and when he is awake, I want to be actively involved with him. This week we tried to stay outside as much as possible and keep the TV off. The weather was very nice, because it was overcastted all week, but did not rain. This type of weather is very conducive to my fair skinned child.

Every morning around 8am, we would go out into the culdesac and explore. Shepherd loves walking around, pointing at bugs, and getting bark and rocks out of the neighbor’s flower beds. I find it very funny that Shep has no desire to stay in our yard, he runs as fast as he can out of our yard, and only explores the neighbor’s yards. One time, I took my eyes off of him for a second, and he managed to find the only mud puddle on our street. He sat down in the puddle and had a great time. (He got an early bath that day) He also managed to find an ant bed, I saw him bending over with his hand on the ground, but did not realize that he was letting tons of ants crawl up his arm. He was quite facinated with these little creatures, while mommy was quite frantic to get them all off. Thankfully, he did not get any bites. Boys will be boys!

We went to the city pool for the first time this week. We were there about two hours and Shepherd cried for the first forty-five minutes. My goal is to get Shepherd ok with the pool before July. We start swimming lessons in July and I do not want to be that mom with the screaming baby. Once Shepherd finally got use to the water, he had a great time walking around in the baby pool. We even started practicing on how to put our face in the water and blow bubbles.

This week I also tried to let Shepherd spend a lot of time in the backyard pool. Shep and Paisley love splashing around. Here are some pictures Shepherd in his best bathing suit!

D8 Night - Across The Border

Taylor and I love spending time with our precious baby boy, but it is nice to get out every once in a while and have a date night. Thursday night we decided that we were due for a date and we had quite an adventure! We decided to do something different and go to Westville, OK and eat at Phil’s Country Fare. Phil’s is a well known steak house in a town with a population of about 1,500. Westville is just across the border about 25 minutes South of Siloam Springs. I love Oklahoma, but there is something very foreign about Eastern Oklahoma. I always feel like I need to lock my car doors when driving through the small towns. Let’s just say, these towns are very different from Siloam. When I read the reviews for the Phil’s, it said, “terrible service, very red-neck, but great food.” I would have to say that the reviews were true, except for the service part. Our waitress was pretty good, even if she only had 2 top teeth. We ordered the fried mushrooms, despite our attempt to normally eat healthy, the restaurant is known for their fried mushrooms, and we wanted the full experience. We then shared a steak; it was so large that we were able to eat it for supper the next night! I thought Taylor described the décor of the restaurant very well, “Country bumpkin in the early 80’s.”

Then the night got even more interesting. We took a walk downtown and looked at all the abandoned buildings. It always makes me sad to see abandoned movie theaters in small towns. We were on our way home and found out where “Worthless” lives.

REALLY? Who paints that on their garage? I cannot imagine what our neighbors would say if I painted a donkey on our garage and wrote, “Home of Worthless.”

Then we came upon the Holy Ghost Tent Revival, they had the Gospel music blaring. There is something so small townish about an “old school” tent revival.

We finished our evening by taking a shortcut home on dirt roads and finding Taylor’s favorite fishing spot on the river. Successful date night on a quiet summer evening!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


Taylor and I really enjoy our neighborhood; we live in a culdesac and have wonderful neighbors. Friday was the last day of school, so we decided that it was the perfect time to have a block party. We decided to invite the entire neighborhood and have the party in our circle. We grilled out hamburgers and hot dogs, played washers and volleyball, and even had several water balloon and egg competitions. Block parties are such a good way to meet new neighbors. My oldest sister Dana and her family actually moved into our neighborhood the day of the block party, it is a good thing that we already know this new neighbor!

**Taylor, Clark, Robert, & Bob showing off their grilling skills!

**Shepherd and the Harrisons enjoying some supper & shade

**Everyone love a water balloon toss on a hot summer day!

**The Egg Races were a little more competative

**Taylor sure loves washers! Especially on his OSU washer boards!

**Shelly, Cassie & Julia

Shepherd’s 1st Birthday

I still cannot believe that an entire year has gone by! Shepherd was born on a beautiful sunny day, May 21st, 2009. He has been such a blessing and a joy! He has enriched our family and added even more love to our home. We had Shepherd’s first birthday in the park and about 50 of our friends and family joined us. We had a very rainy May and thankfully we were able to spend one hour in the park with no rain, as soon as the party ended, it started pouring. We grilled out, ate cake and even had a piñata! (Thanks to the Aichele Family) Shepherd was not afraid to dive into his birthday cake! The cake fun ended when Shep spotted his new car from Cookie and Kimbo. From then on, he had only one agenda, and that was to ride in his new car. We had such a great time with our friends and family celebrating this precious life! Hope you enjoy some pictures from the party.

**Aunt Lulu took this picture! Isn't it great!
**Shepherd blowing out his first birthday candle, okay, maybe watching his first candle being blown out

**First taste, YUM!

**"I should turn one every day!"

**Clapping from excitement!

**Getting full

**Sheph loving his knew car, and not wanting to share with the other kids.

**Cousin Ellie kissing cousin Sawyer, this needs to be on a greeting card!

**Shepherd partied out, getting ready to go down for his nap. I just love those baby blues!