Thursday, March 8, 2012

Construction Party

Well, my baby boy is officially not a baby anymore!  For his second birthday we did a construction theme- which is so oppositely-fitting because he loves to destroy more than construct!!!  He and Miles can certainly make a huge destructive mess!!  Miles often hears me say that our house is a disaster (emphasis on the middle syllable!) and I'm reminded of my mom telling the story of us being at the car dealership when Clif was just a baby, so I would have been around 3.  We were in the office of the car dealer and I propped my elbows up on the car salesman's desk and proceeded to tell him what a mess our house was!  I'm sure my time is coming for Miles to proclaim it to the world!!

Anyway...back to the party!

I have found that I love finding mom-owned shops who will design invites for you and send the PDF file- that just fits my style so much more than having to do a headcount before-hand ordering!!!  (I have recently figured out about myself that I am more of a "big picture" kind of person than a "details" person- I'm sure some already knew this about me--- like the ones who put me in charge of Rush- I sure can delegate- but don't ask me who/where to order the chairs and linens from!!  Which is crazy- because Jared can be such a micromanager!! I guess opposites DO attract!!)  

Once again...back to the party...

So I found his invites from Let's Party NOLA.  I bought the cutest Christmas coloring sheets from her back at Christmas for the boys to give as gifts to their friends and classmates for preschool.  So I did the invites and coloring pages- all customized for Owen's party- and she made up gift tags and a sign (which I could have had blown up and printed at an office supply store- but didn't do).

Construction Party Invitation
of course this isn't his invite- but a pic from her etsy site

I'll let the pictures do the rest of the talking and add commentary as needed  =)

the birthday boy!  he and miles spent the night with meme and jimbo the night before!

owen's birthday is the day after mom's birthday!  

completely entertained by his big brother!

say cheese!!!

great mama came up to celebrate mom's and owen's birthdays!

welcome to the construction zone

i asked jared to bring home some boxes for the kids to build with-- my den was completely filled with boxes for them!

food table--- i wanted to make cute little signs for each one-- the cheese its were going to be road signs, the pretzel sticks were going to be 2x4s, the fruit was going to be on kabob sticks to resemble a stoplight (strawberry, pineapple, grape), then carrot sticks for caution cones.  party favors were oreo balls- or chocolate covered wrecking balls!

the fantastic cake from andrea!

road way with little tonka trucks

construction with blocks

both the boys would have been perfectly content just playing with all the balloons all day!!  


build it up--- just to knock it down!

so insulted that jimbo is trying to feed him his cake!

that's better.

pacifier in-- he was done!  glad our party guests in the background were still enjoying the party though!

We had invited several friends- but I need to make mental note of the time of year his birthday falls--- flu season!! Over half of our guest list wasn't able to make it because they were sick!!  And not just the sniffles kind of sick!!  Flu, fever, strep, stomach we were glad they all stayed home!!  And of all the little boys my boys have to play with- it was funny that our two guests were precious little girls!!  We still had a house full and really enjoyed the day celebrating my sweet two year old!  Owen, however, was done with it all right around noon and he did go to his room for a nap before the last guest left!  

This precious child has such a soft spot in my heart--- as do each of my children- but each are unique unto themselves.  What is unique about Owen's is partly that he's my baby boy.  I think I'll always think of him that way.  We were so expectant with every stage of Miles' development.  I've taken more of Owen's developments in stride.  He has made me a more nervous mother as well though.  He hasn't yet developed much fear about getting hurt by anything.  He will jump before I'm ready to catch him, ask me not to spank him before I've even threatened it, hugged and kissed me when I'm not begging asking for it, and run off before I even realize he's gone!  (If we were to ever switch churches- it would probably be to a smaller building simply so there are less places he can run off to and hide!  =P)  Where there are times I expect him to be capable of doing all the things Miles can do, I find myself holding him back from doing things as well!  He will march himself up the stairs to bed at night when he's tired.  He loves to brush his teeth.  He would watch Toy Story (1,2, or 3) seven times a day if I would let him.  He's always hungry.  We have had to move the medicine cabinet, candy stash, most of the food in the refrigerator, and markers up to high places in the kitchen that can't be reached even by standing on top of the counters (except meds- it's now in bathroom closet).  He has a contagious laugh and hearing him and Miles laugh together is one of the best things in the world.  I love that they have "built-in best friends" in each other.  I pray that they will always be this close, but also confident to have the outlets they need to express their individuality.  The sweetest words to my ears these days has been "Owen, you're my best friend"- even if it's followed 2 minutes later with fussing at each other, because generally, even that is followed by playing and resolving of whatever was wrong!  

Okay okay---- I'll quit going on and on.  

Happiest of birthdays to my precious 2 year old.  Thank you, Lord, for this precious life you've entrusted me with.  May I always be a faithful steward of his life in leading it to You.  

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Spring is in the air!!!

Can you smell it?!?!  Oh wait...don't breathe in too much- you might get sick...I am so thankful that the really sick bug hasn't hit our house- we've just had ear infections (which are a pain, of course), but I'd rather deal with those than worry with the flu or pink eye that seems to be making it's way around to everyone!!!  ***fingers crossed that it won't hit our house***  

Now...I'm going to take a minute to get on my {safer home} get ready...=)

  • Did you know that of the approximately 100,000 chemicals on the global market, less than 10 percent have been tested for health effects?  That means that the products you buy at the grocery store/target/wherever are filled with chemicals that effect YOUR allergies and skin?  

  • The companies that sell the products on the shelves aren't concerned about providing you with safer products for your home (even the *green* ones); they are concerned with their shareholders.  End of story.

  • Did you know that there is a better way to shop for the products you need in your home?  We "switched stores" almost 2 years ago and I can't tell you how much money I have saved the hubs by testing out this or that new product or even just the impulse shopping I do when I peruse the aisles!  I'm sure you've seen that cartoon on pinterest!!

I have 100% confidence that my kids aren't being exposed to harsh or harmful chemicals by using safer products in our home.  I'm 100% confident that I am not being exposed to them either when I clean the house!  

I'll have a *real* moment with you--- Owen is into e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g.  He climbs on everything and thinks the world is his jungle gym- especially my kitchen counters.  He recently got a hold of the kitchen cleaner spray bottle that was on top of my bar counter.  (He has a fascination with spray bottles now that his fingers are strong enough to pull the trigger- we have a water spray bottle we spray the boys' hair down with in the mornings)  Anyway-  he of course got trigger happy with the spray bottle- except it was pointing towards his chest!!  He got the cleaner all over him!!  If that had been a bottle of cleaner I bought at the store with chlorine or bleach in it, we would have immediately had to take him to the hospital or call poison control!!  Of course I carefully watched his skin over the course of the next few days, and you know what- he didn't have one bit of aggravated skin from it!  

Here's a brief video that shows how awesome the EcoSense line is we use in our home!  


Of course I'd love to share this info with you!  Let me know when a good time would be for you to swing by my house to see the products for yourself or if you'd like to invite a few friends over for me to share with all of you how you can convert your home to safer, more eco-friendly products!!  ***and fyi- I don't sell these products- you would do your own shopping directly from them- I have just found that I am passionate about safer homes and getting other people to love it, too!!  I can share all the ins and outs with you if you like!***

Okay- so now that I'm off my soapbox----

Do you have any big plans for spring time?!  I'd love love love to plant some things with the boys this spring- some easy things- flowers and maybe even some fruits...I saw something on pinterest (of course) about how to do strawberries in a pot.  Maybe blackberries, too??  I don't know--- any suggestions?!  

Here's a few pics of my cuties~~~


how cute is she?!  she has started rolling over...when I put her down...which is hardly ever.  =)

I don't have a good one of Miles right now--- my next post will be about Owen's CONSTRUCTION birthday party!!!  It was great!!  

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Burritos and Babies and Blocks

I long to be the housewife/stay-at-home-mom who has the house spotless and the oven dinging as soon as the dear husband walks in from a long day of work...


I'm not there yet...

and it's okay!  I kept three children alive all day today, did some laundry, held a screaming baby for almost an hour (which can easily feel like 3), everyone got naps, had some constructive learning time with the boys, and then I got around to dinner!

Here's what we had:

Beefy Bean Burritos
(adapted from Deep South Dish)

2 Tbsp oil
1/2 large onion chopped
2 cloves garlic (pressed or chopped- I love to use my handy dandy garlic press)
1 lb ground beef

Saute your garlic and onion in oil for a few minute, then add ground beef.  Brown and drain.  Then add the following spices (or use a packet of taco seasoning) and a can of rotel tomatoes.

1 1/2 Tbsp chili powder (more or less to taste)
1 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp cajun seasoning
1/2 tsp oregano

This combination of spices made it just right for the boys and Jared- I like things a little spicier, so if I had made this just for me I would have added a little more of everything!

Let this all simmer for about 5-7 minutes.

Heat 10 soft taco shells in microwave (so they don't tear when you roll them up).  Spread a spoonful of beans (I used black- recipe called for refried), sprinkle with cheese, add meat mixture, and roll up!  (I learned tonight that I'm a terrible roller-upper-of-the-burritos!)  Arrange in a baking dish (spray with cooking spray first), cover tightly with foil, and bake for about 30 minutes on 325. (I did 20 on 350 because it was getting late!)

We had apples with this- chopped and cooked in the skillet with a little butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon- yum!!

I have found lots of things recently on pinterest (duh) that I've wanted to do with the boys on Tuesdays and Thursdays while we're at home.  I have found lots of free units, but today I needed something I didn't have to print out and prepare, plus with Molly Claire not being on such a great schedule right now, I knew I wouldn't have the time to sit with Owen to really help him. Something we did today was patterns with blocks.  This entertained them longer than .2 seconds- so I consider it a success!  Owen didn't so much follow the patterns as build- but it kept them entertained while I cleaned up dishes.  I found it quicker to use Publisher to make the patterns rather than draw and color- although that would have been good to have Miles help me with coloring and picking the patterns to draw.

(Open document, draw table 1x6, fill in each square a different color, print, cut into individual little sheets, model how to build blocks with pattern, let them go)

Miles even found that he could make a really tall tower by building the patterns on top of each other!  Also, instead of just giving them the whole big bucket of blocks, I gave them each a smaller container with their own blocks- Miles had longer ones, Owen had shorter ones just to differentiate.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Finding Freedom ------>

You see that button on the right there??  The "Finding Freedom Team" button?  

Let me tell you a little about it...

Two years ago, a sweet teacher friend called me up.  One who I had gotten to be close friends with while we lived in Tuscaloosa (which is saying something- because we didn't have many friends at all while we lived in Tuscaloosa =)  She knew I was working part-time at that time and about to have another baby (Owen) and wanted to share with me what she had started doing.  She had found a work from home opportunity that she really believed in- not a gimmick or a party-based business or keeping up with inventory- but an opportunity with a debt-free, green-living company.  Little did I know at the time just how important the green living part would become to me with small children!  

After Owen was born, I looked back into it and joined her.  The team that we're a part of is the Finding Freedom team- a group of people looking to find not only financial freedom, but time freedom, freedom from store brands, etc...  Our Team supports families in healthier choices for their families and homes, while supporting them in finding success in business, primarily with a legitimate career that allows us to work from home and build a solid, lifetime residual income provided security for our now and retirement security.  The company we partner with is an International Wellness Company BBB awarded and next to none!


If you're interested in knowing how simply switching stores can make a positive difference in your family's life- I'd love to share info about Melaleuca with you.  Seriously- you're already spending the money somewhere- you're just switching the place you buy your everyday products from to a safer company with much healthier products.  I mean-  even the plastic bottles are made with 25% post-consumer recyclable materials!  The value of a membership with Melaleuca is also well-beyond just the products! 

If you are interested in joining me in spreading the *green* love and earning some extra income, you can check out a webcast with me to see if this is an opportunity to take advantage of!  Our compensation plan is awesome and so very rewarding!  You can even check out our team on facebook to put real faces with real results!  

So there's my spill---- I'm sure I'll post again and again about how much I love this company- seriously- it's such a relief knowing that I'm not exposing my children to awful chemicals and being responsible for what they come in contact with at home.  Plus- I'm not cutting coupons or having to drag all my kids to the store to buy those everyday household items!  I'm shopping wisely and from the convenience of my own home and computer!  

What a Week!!!

Whew...mid-week--- I didn't know that we would make it to the weekend!!!  Even a sweet friend looked my way Wednesday night at church and asked if I was tired and going to make it!  HA!

The week started out pretty normal--- except Jared was home from work most of the day, which was nice!  Then Tuesday we took an uneventful trip to the park to meet some friends.  Audrey has two little girls, so it's fun to be around and watch little girls play and see what I have to look forward to with Miles!  We go to church together and her youngest and Miles are in the same preschool class.  We love going to one of the parks here because it's mostly enclosed (one way in one way out) so I was able to let Owen just kinda wander about on his own which was fun to watch and observe!

Then Wednesday came...
(lots of this is details about our day--- 
you don't have to read it- I'm writing most of it for 
myself because I do plan to do the blog book one day =)

Started out fine...but different from our normal routine.  I am doing the James study by Beth Moore right now and usually attend on Thursday nights, but knew I couldn't go this week, so I went to the Wednesday morning session.  So that meant Owen going to childcare- no big deal- right?  We enter the church- he automatically thinks we're there for supper because we came in at the gym like we do on Wednesday nights for supper.  We walk back to nursery- he thinks we need to play hide and seek.  So he hides in the (dark) bathroom behind the door.  Finally get him to his room- he cries like I've left him to play with alligators.  We finish up, race back to pick Miles up from preschool- of course Owen falls asleep.  We get home and I try my hardest to transition him from car to bed- pretty successfully.  However, Miles is like the loudest bathroom-goer in the history of the world---- singing, opening drawers, slamming toilet seat down, having conversations with whoever will listen- and Owen's room is right next to bathroom.  So both kiddos are up from quiet times by about 2-ish.  Which makes for an extremely long afternoon around these parts!

Luckily it was a beautiful day and unseasonably warm out, so we load up in the wagon.  Now...I say that like it's a simple task.  Getting shoes on two rowdy boys- one who didn't get his nap out and the other who acts like he has had 10 red bulls when he doesn't get a nap (figure that one out)- is quite a feat.  Then getting them into the wagon at the same time with balls and buckets to collect rocks, then throwing the balls out because there's not enough room, then needing water (because you know they're thirsty when they ask for water- not juice), then realizing the baby (who is already in the baby front-carrier) needs socks on...needless to say- just a simple wagon ride is an adventure...

Then off we go.  But Miles is very particular about just which rocks we can collect.  So he navigates us around.  Then we run into a new neighbor and her puppy.  Owen has an ever-living fit because the sweet puppy looked at him.  (again...didn't get nap out!)  So I try to have a pleasant conversation with new neighbor above the crying!  We finish up talking and head up into our cove (uphill--- in high-heel boots- because by the time I realized I had on regular-people-shoes, boys were already loaded up and baby was in position- can't change shoes).  I decided it would be a good time to go meet another new neighbor!  To our luck, she has a little boy the same age as Owen!!  So much fun!  She kindly welcomes us in and the boys are able to play!  It will be fun to have a sweet little friend right down the street for Owen!  It's then time for us to head home, so I let the boys run down to the house and our new friend follows suit!  New neighbor and I stood in my driveway and talked for a little bit while boys are picking up the balls that had previously been thrown out of the wagon.  I looked up to get a location on each one--- Owen isn't on my radar!!!

He had gone down the hill to get one of the balls.  When I looked down over the hill, I realized he had fallen into the ditch that was full of standing water and was under water!!  (remember I still have baby in front carrier and have my boots on...)  {panic attack}  New sweet neighbor (who is also a nurse, praise the Lord) rushes down and gets to him for me!  Bless him- wet to the bone, nasty green stuff all over him!  And now her tennis shoes and pants are wet from going in after him!  It definitely scared him, but not enough to keep him from getting in the bath to clean up!  (not before tee-tee-ing all over my kitchen floor, though after I sent him in from getting all his wet yucky clothes off in the garage!)  And I need to see to fussy, hungry baby who somewhere in the mix got taken inside.  And get Miles off his bike riding around the driveway singing "Owen went swimming...the "Juice" went swimming" (new nickname I'm not particularly fond of...Owen James...OJ...Juice).

But dad-gum-it- I'm gonna make it to church because that was our dinner waiting on us!  A good, wholesome meal that we weren't going to get otherwise that day!

Whew...we finally made it and at the end of the day, we were all alive.  I had successfully kept all of our children alive that day-- but that was the first day one had truly challenged that task!

So seriously- if you start seeing gray hairs on me- you will know why.  Just give me a few bucks and offer to keep my kids while I go get it done  =)

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Chicken Parmesan Pasta

I have GOT to go to the grocery store TO-day!  Anybody with me?!  I mean...Miles had pear juice and Owen had water with breakfast!  Not even any milk!  So I had to get a little creative with supper last night...

I had seen this recipe on pinterest that looked soooo good:

Chicken Parmesan Casserole - Assembles with raw chicken and croutons, bakes 35 min.

It is made with raw chicken and croutons.  I had already cooked up some chicken breasts over the weekend to have on hand this week (frozen chicken breasts, onion, garlic, tad bit of water and chicken boullion in crock pot for 4-6 hours= fall apart chicken great to throw into any recipe).  And I had some spaghetti sauce in fridge that I needed to use up, along with a bag of croutons in pantry (we're not really salad eaters).

So I tweeked the recipe some and here we go:

(I cooked this up in an 8x8 pan- I've learned that (for now) a 9x13 dish is too much for us.  8x8 is just right with just enough leftovers for the next day.)

cooked, shredded chicken (I used two chicken breasts and this was almost too much chicken)
pasta (I used rotini, you could use penne or whatever you have on hand; I also only used about half a box)
2 cups spaghetti sauce (make your own or use the jar)
1-2 Tbsp basil
1 garlic clove pressed
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 cups parmesan cheese
2 cups mozzarrella cheese
5 oz bag garlic croutons

Boil your pasta according to box.  Mix pasta, chicken, 1 cup parmesan, and sauce.  Put olive oil and garlic in bottom of dish and spread around to coat.  Pour pasta mix in.  Sprinkle with basil, rest of parmesan and mozzarella cheeses.  Spread croutons on top and press down.  You can sprinkle more cheese on top if you want.  Bake at 350 for about 25 minutes.  Serve with garlic bread and maybe some green beans!  (I didn't have either---I'm telling you- I have got to get to the store today!!)

fyi--- croutons reheated are n.o.t. good- pasta is great next day- just leave the croutons off  =)

Here are two ways I love to make green beans that are sure to get eaten up!!

Quick Green Beans:
1 can green beans
1-2 Tbsp Cavendar's seasoning
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 Tbsp sugar

Mix all ingredients in a small saucepan.  Heat to boiling.  Cover and reduce heat.  Let simmer for about 10-15 minutes.

Great Green Beans:  (from Mississippi Magazine) (I usually half this!)
6 cans green beans, drained
1/2 stick of butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup crumbled bacon

Put green beans into a 9x13.  Melt butter, stir in brown sugar.  Pour over green beans.  Sprinkle with bacon.  Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes.  Prepare to be thanked and asked to bring it to every function from now on.  =)

How do you make your green beans?  Do you ever tweek a recipe with stuff you have on hand at home?

***there's another great recipe on my pinterest page that calls for fresh green beans- we had them for Christmas eve dinner and they were fantastic!  Those may be on the menu for this week, in fact!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Miles turned 4... 3 months ago...but since I finally figured out I can put pics on here (see...I do have blonde roots...just can't afford {money or time} to keep the blonde in the rest of my hair right now...=)

We had an awesome (if I do say so myself) campout for Miles birthday!  I had my pinterest board filled with ideas on his campout party like four months before it happened- mostly because I knew Molly Claire would be making her debut appearance within weeks, or even days, of his birthday!  (She came right on time, though!  His birthday is Nov 1, so there's a good two weeks between!)  I made his cute little invites (which I don't have a pic of- but they're similar to this one).  The catch for the party was that the boys' dads had to come camp out with them! (I'm crazy...but not crazy enough to have a bunch of 4 year olds to my house to spend the night with a newborn in the house!)  We had two of Miles' sweet friends and their dads come over for hot dogs and ribs and s'mores cake!!  Plus you know I had plenty of other snacks for everyone!  Those poor kids probably had stomach aches after they left the next morning!  We blew up balloons and put glow sticks in them and they went hunting for them in the empty lots around our house.  They watched movies on the big screen we borrowed from the church in the back yard.  And you know Owen was right in the middle of it all thinking he was as big as they were!  Here are some pics from the party!  Also at the end two of my faves from Miles actual birthday.

campground ----->
smores cake!

around our "camp fire"
Jared and the birthday boy! (notice the tents in the background!)
if you only knew how fitting this pic of owen is...
movie time!   the boys with their goodie sacks filled with a flashlight, snack mix, gloves, and a hat

Owen got so tickled at Miles blowing out his candles!
My precious first born!

ha ha ha ha----

last pic as a family of four!

I really did do a load of laundry.
sweet baby about 2 months old!

New family picture!

My side of the family on Christmas!!

Has it REALLY been 5 months since I last posted?!?  I guess that tells you where blogging has been on my priority list!

Soooo....we had a baby....Molly Claire Darby was born Saturday night, October 15, 2011 (can't remember the exact time--- know I have it written down, but that would require me to get up and I know I would be distracted by something and wouldn't come we'll just say it was right before 11:00 that night)  after a long day of just being a family of four about to bring the fifth into the world!

I had my regular weekly checkup the day before and ole Dr. Tinker said probably no baby- so we set an induction date for later in the month.  I left so disappointed!  So ready to have this sweet little pumpkin in my arms (and, truth be told, out of my belly!!)  I had been having irregular contractions the same way I did with Owen, but had not progressed any.  I woke up Saturday morning with a full day ahead!  Miles had a soccer game, we had a trip to Cedar Hill Farms planned, then Jared had to go back down there for a club-wide soccer family night--- so no time for a baby that day--- at least not until Jared got finished with his party!  We had a fun day- I just knew all day that we were going to have this baby before the weekend was over!  In fact, while we were on the hayride (yes, I went on a hayride...and pushed Owen in the stroller all over that farm), I had someone take a picture of us and told Jared it was probably our last picture as a family of four!  We went on home and I tried laying down knowing that the contractions would probably ease up...let me tell you what...those contractions quickly went from 7-8 minutes all day long to 3-4 minutes as soon as he left to go back to the farm!  Luckily my sweet mama was smart enough to come on down to the house before Jared left!  I called Jared around 6 and told him to come home...NOW!  So I casually threw a load of clothes in the washing machine, took a quick shower (you don't want your hair to look dirty in pics)- of course Jared gets there while I'm in the shower, so he thinks we can sir-ree!!  I told him to get it into gear and let's head out!  On the way, he later told me that I was speaking in tongues and talking to myself (talking to myself- yes, speaking in tongues- no, praying we would get to the hospital in time for me to have my epidural so I wouldn't be eternally mad at my husband for making me wait on him all day to have this baby- yes.)  And let me just tell you, there is no short way to get to Germantown Methodist from a.n.y.w.h.e.r.e.  I did a little hyperventilating in the car because I was so worked up, so I had a catch in my side along with the contractions--- not really making it so easy to breathe!!!  So while they got me all hooked up, the sweet nurse (who I was being very kind to- because they hold the key to how quickly you can get your meds) gave me an oxygen mask to help me get calmed down and breathing normally.  Jared came back in the room to find the incubator and all the baby stuff ready, me up on the bed hooked up to everything with an oxygen mask on holding my hand up indicating just how far along I was  (for those of you who care--- I was half way to ten and fully ready)  My kindness to the nurses was on my side because they hooked me up with the anesthesiologist quickly (like within the hour of us getting there- so f.y.i.- they can get that bag of fluids going quickly for you) and we were good to go!  The doctor on call wasn't my doctor- but I'm telling you- I didn't care!  Not only because I was ready, but because her name was Dr. Mann and she drove in on her Harley- complete with leather jacket.  oh yes.  My mom and Jared were there with me when she was born; Dad came in soon after!  We had a sweet first night and did actually get a little sleep!  Big brothers spent the night with Jared's parents and came to the hospital late morning on Sunday.  We had several visitors and went home on Monday.  (I had insisted the entire pregnancy that I would be staying two nights in the hospital- not just one like we did with Owen!)

And you know what?  Life did not stop.  It all of a sudden got faster!  (Except on those days when we have no where to go!)

Miles is loving preschool!  We love his teacher and are so very thankful that he gets to learn in such a great environment!  He is constantly impressing us with his knowledge and growing vocabulary!  This week, we have gone to South Carolina and California and NYC on the "train" that he and Owen are always making out of anything they can think of (mostly chairs and pillows).  He also was telling me just today about how "Chaster" helped save God's people from the man who wanted to get rid of God's people.  I asked him if he meant "Esther" and he told me "no...chaster...with a c-h"  =)  He and Owen play so so so well together- I am so blessed to have boys who love each other so much!  Miles has told Owen at least twice (that I've heard) in the last week or so that he is his best friend.  It's not always picturesque, but it really is more times than not!  The playroom hasn't been straightened up all week- but for me- it's a picture of how well they play together and love being around each other!  

Owen all of a sudden turned into the biggest handful a few months into my pregnancy with MC.  He had always shown signs of being such a laid back child, never in a hurry for anything!  And this is still mostly true--- it's just the in-between times that wear me out so!  He is an expert "baby gate breaker outer", loves to run the water in the sink and brush his teeth (at any given time in the day- which is great- I'm hoping he likes the dentist better than Miles), is already an expert at "rolling" things (gets that honestly from his mama...i still would love to go roll a house- but I'd have to do it before 11...I'm too tired to do anything after 11), the best taste-tester out there (anything from candy to turnip greens), very determined, and fiercely protective of his little sister.  The first night home, we had MC in the infant seat letting the boys look at her.  It got Jared all nervous (I was ready to send him back to work the next day =), so he picked the seat up to take her to the bedroom and you would have thought we had taken candy away from Owen!!  He got so terribly upset!  I can probably count the number of times he's ever done something that might hurt her- and that's not been on purpose- just sitting on her to get a reaction out of me or poking her face or something.  He went through a period of only kissing her- no one else- not even me!  Poor baby girl has had snot (or candy or food) on her head since day one!  I love the times I find little hot wheels in the seat with her, though!

I'll post a few more Owen stories as they come to mind...and I'm still working on getting Jared to sync my phone so I don't lose all 800+ pictures/videos that are on it...wouldn't that suck!!!!!

And I just realized all the pics my mom has taken and shared with me on picasa, I can't post to here because I'm not the owner of them?!  So sorry!  I'll work on that...=)