Friday, May 29, 2009

Memorial Day Weekend

We planned NOTHING this last weekend with intent of getting LOTS of yard work completed and we did just that! Shrubs manicured...heavily!! Front door and trim repainted (thanks to Jon's dad) with kick plate and new door bell installed!! Lots of flowers planted in beds, 3 hanging baskets off the back porch, various pots by the front door and also on the back porch! Square Foot Garden made and planted! We had a really great weekend being outside and the girls were able to play and play and play! They have MANY "ouchies" from falling and couple of them were pretty bad but nothing a big hug and some band aids couldn't fix! We were all filthy and tired at the end of each day but satisfied......each in our own ways!

The girls were playing with sidewalk chalk.....Kayden found a piece that had gotten wet.....she mashed it up and decided it would make some great blue gloves!!!

I grew up with my grandparents always having HUGE gardens.....loved to eat from them but quite honestly resented ALL the work involved to keep up with it, and mostly that equaled weeding!! I've grown up some and for the past couple years Jon and I have "talked" about POSSIBLY starting a small garden but it never went further than that!!! Recently my mom found a book that she graciously purchased for us on gardening in a much simpler fashion!! I read through it and decided we would give this idea a try, I must admit it was VERY simple which is exactly the point of this book!

We are going small this year and depending on the outcome (hoping for a great one!) we will plant more next year! Due to starting late we went with plants instead of seeds!

Then end result! Eggplant, 2 different kinds of tomatoes, zucchini and squash, cilantro, and red, yellow, green peppers!

We ventured out of the house on Monday (yeah for getting called off of work) and headed to Coolidge park for some water fountain play and a carousel ride! This is always fun for them but a little unnerving for me as I try to keep my eyes on them while my LOVE of people watching deters my attention!

Em HATED this fountain last year and rather chose to sit on the side and snack! This year a little braver stood by the water that was shooting out the smallest amounts possible!

Basking in the sun.....or wasn't the prettiest day!

Carousel ride! Daddy always is the chosen one to accompany the girls as this makes me quite dizzy! There is real history to this ride!

Thursday, May 28, 2009


We arrived home Tuesday afternoon to see a package sitting on our doorstep.....patiently waiting to be opened!!! I knew I hadn't ordered anything and so then the next assumption was it must be daddy!!! I was excited to see that it had my name on it and the girls were sure it was a present for them!!! We barely made it to the top of the steps, all three of us plopped down to the ground and tore into the box!!! We were soooo excited to find lots of hand-me-down clothes from the girls' cousin, Katchya, from Michigan!!! Kayden instantly tried on 3 outfits and Emery snagged a pair of PJ's! LOVE LOVE LOVE getting mail......old school style!!! This afternoon was like Christmas in May! We LOVE you Berner's and thanks for the clothes, shoes, and tights! They will be put to GREAT use!!!

My little nurturer....

Yesterday we most excitedly were able to keep our newest addition (who is not SO new anymore- 9 months old!) to the family....Lauren and her older sister Taylor....aka my nieces! The girls LOVE babies and so this poor helpless little human is malled each time her cousins are around!!! I am not a mother of 4 and so while we had a great day I felt behind ALL day! As I was busily trying to get Lauren's lunch together at 1215 (mommy says she eats at 1130) she was screaming on the playroom floor. I went in to try and console her for a second while waiting for the water to warm up and found my sweet nurturing 5 year old rocking her, whispering little shshshshsh's to her, and had covered her with a baby blanket that my grandmother had made for the girls. SO precious and loving. While I fed Lauren, she went into the kitchen and finished up the dishes.......

Lauren NOT understanding why her picture is being taken instead of putting food into her hungry belly!!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Preschool Graduate!!

So the oldest "graduated" from preschool!!! I have been saying for quite some time that although I would LOVE for my girls to stay baby's I have thoroughly enjoyed each new phase they enter......I'd be lying though if I said I love the fits/crying that accompany them!!! I have known all along that Jon will most likely cry when we take her to her 1st day of Kindergarten and I have been most sure that I will be OK!! Well NOT so sure about that now.......I balled my eyes out thru most of the program, reminded that Kayden is growing far to quickly. Some of these kids have grown up together and so for that reason too it is going to be sad to say good-bye at the end of the summer. They sang songs, recited the Pledge of Allegiance, received their "diploma's", and watched a slideshow of all the fun they have had together over the past few years.....this is when I had to steal Emery's blanket to soak up my tears.  I LOVE her teacher Ms Karen....I've said this a million times and I will say it again in 2 years when Emery joins her.....she loves/adores these kids like they are her own. She was crying as much as the parents were. She has done an awesome job of teaching these kids in fun ways and Kayden is MOST excited about starting Kindergarten in August!!! 

Singing one of their favorite songs "Tootie  Ta" the end the song (pictured below) their elbows out, knees together, eyes closed, turning in circles, bottoms out, and tongues sticking out while singing the whole song!!! Hilarious!!
Receiving her diploma
Ms Karen and Ms Jordan
We then headed back to E-kids where they had "Prom" for the kids.....they had a blast dancing, laughing, eating, and more laughing....the "night away"!!

All the frogs presented these frames to their teachers as a small thank you (it's hard to see with the picture but they spell out Ms Karen and Jordan). These are great gifts......I found the pictures here and then had them framed at Hobby Lobby (where they have lots of 50% off sales) and the teachers LOVED them! 

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Terrarium FUN!!!

With the idea from a fellow blogging friend and a visit to a great used book store on Sunday where we purchased a VERY cool 70's book we put together a Terrarium this morning!!!! On Sunday Jon, the girls, and I went to a used book store called Grumpy' name I think! The girls and I headed straight back to the kids section where we found and purchased 4 fun books straight from the 60's and then the book below from the 70's.....this one was on teaching about indoor gardens and terrarium's was one of the featured chapters!! So we found a very inexpensive glass container with lid along with a couple plants to place inside from a local nursery (I found out after the purchase we really could have found everything we needed in the woods rather than spending money but such is the learning experience)......everything else we found in the VERY SMALL woods behind our house! We had fun on the "scavenger" hunt to find things for our container along with putting it all together...not to mention it's a gorgeous day here in TN!! This is also a great time to talk to your kids about the ecosystem! 

My mom informed me, after showing her this book, that terrariums where a BIG thing when we were little (which was about the date of copyright).....even more enjoyable then to be sharing this idea with MY girls! 

Finished sitting on the kitchen table! The girls were very proud!! 
I am now on the search for a little gnome to "man" these living quarters....
I then headed out front to let the girls play while I started working on getting the front flower bed ready for some pretty flowers! I know I'm a bit late but we've just been tied up and we're hoping this coming weekend is as pretty as today to get in lots of yard work! NOT to mention the torrential rains we've been dealing with and of all things it's been in the low 40's at night for about a week now!!! Crazy weather! So maybe the weather has given me the excuse for not planting anything yet! 

My child who loves ALL insects and worms and YUCKY stuff!!! 
Excuse the nakedness but please beware that there will be plenty more "exposure" over the summer blogging months!!! My kids HATE clothes and that's one battle I choose to loose! 
Then we surprised dadddy with a trip to the recycling place to rid of our month collections! The girls have lots of fun helping! 

It's been a good day.....only 4:00 but they are both sound asleep! I'm gonna shower and snuggle up on the couch for a little nap myself! Hope you've had a GREAT day too!!!!

Friday, May 15, 2009

.....a 5 year old...

.....using her imagination in the bathroom (with bobby pins and hair ties) while patiently waiting for her mommy to get out of the shower!

I have to write down some of the things these little people say.....some are soooo sweet you want to cry and squeeze them so hard and others are soooo hilarious you could fall down on the ground with laughter! The other morning we were going to the Y along with running some errands and of course it was raining like cats and dogs! While getting off the exit Kayden said we needed to pray for safety. So while I was driving I said a prayer (with my eyes open of course!!) that God would keep us and daddy safe for the day....I also begged and pleaded that he would make it STOP raining only while we had to run in and out of stores! So after finishing up with my workout, we headed out to the car where we found the sun shining through the clouds!!! I made mention of the sun and Kayden said "all these people must be very happy that Jesus listened to our prayers.....huh mommy?!!!" Ooooo I love them so!

Mother's Day

Mother's Day this year was bitter sweet.....I woke up feeling very sad and it took me several hours to figure out why.....I miss my grandma terribly. I had many wonderful years with her but ooooo the pain of not having's aches beyond words. I, of course, am VERY thankful to be a mother to Kayden Helena & Emery Grae and so thankful to be able to love them, laugh with AND at them, have fun with them, and provide for their many different needs...I can ONLY pray that God is proud of me and that I raise them to serve him. There are many kids who didn't have a mother to celebrate and many mothers who didn't have their kids to be celebrated by so I KNOW that I have MUCH to be thankful for. Once I was able to physically be with my mom I had a little crying breakdown and then we had a very WONDERFUL and relaxed afternoon!!! I also am SOOOO thankful for my mom who has always gone above and beyond....she has been the mom AND dad in our lives. I LOVE YOU and NOTHING you do goes unnoticed!!! I also am thankful for Jon's mom who has taken me in like her own daughter and adores my kids which is ALOT to be thankful for!!!

We started Sunday morning with brunch at Jon's parents house....yummy food and we were able to eat outside with a nice gentle breeze blowing while we visited! 

Jon, his mom, and brother
We then went on to my mom's house where the kids played in and outside and we were able to have a nice afternoon of visiting and eating mom's food which is ALWAYS a treat!!!

My M-O-M!!
My sweet can NEVER imagine life with kids and now I can't remember life before them! I attempt each day to cherish the times with them and try to forget about keeping everything in my house "just so"!!! My mother can attest to the fact that I have done much better with this!! 
Lauren Elisabeth and Emery LOVING on her!

Taylor trying to teach Jon a song!!!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Pink Bandana Ball!!!

Saturday night we had the privilege to attend the 3rd annual Pink Bandana Ball. It benefits Emily's Power for a cure which you can learn more about here. We had a blast even through the sadness of what this represents.... a child lost to cancer. There is a silent and live auction, a mechanical bull to ride, digging for gems, and more! We saw a few friends there.... the evening was beautiful! 

This is Lauren, a friend of the Ransom's and also happens to work at the girls' school! We love her!!
Mom and I "diggin" for gold! Hoping for the best!!! We both actually got got a jade and I got an opal! 
Valerie and I....this ones for you Heath! We wanted you to be jealous that we were having some fun without you! Ha!!!
A great friend of ours...Marcy and of course my sister!
Had to throw this funny picture in....not too flattering but funny none the less! We were trying to get Jon to take a picture and he wasn't cooperating to well!
Much better!

Me, Wendy (which is Emily's mom and a SUPER WONDERFUL LADY whom we love), Mom, and Kristi
I think we look more alike with the passing of years!
Another friend Robert (we've been friends since high school, his married to Marcy who is pictured above) who is hilarious and we rarely get to hang out! 

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Mother's Day Flowers and Guitar Pickin'!

For Mother's Day this year I wanted to try to give the Mom's in our lives something that the girls and I could make together! I'm not a sewer......I aspire to be day but for now I have to get creative in other ways! I found a little article showing how to make these flowers and we just added our own creative touches to them! We picked paper to match each person's room colors and actually used buttons that my grandmother had (which were quite old but came in handy just for this project)! They turned out cute.....we think!

From left to right: My mom's, Jon's mom, Jon's grandmother, and my sister! 
One up close just to get the idea!
Jon is wanting to learn to play the guitar and so he borrowed one from his friend. So while we were finishing up our flower project last night the girls took turns sitting in his lap picking away!! 

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Country Music 1/2 Marathon

I've been meaning to blog about our weekend to Nashville for my 1st 1/2 marathon but just got these pictures uploaded to the computer! So here we go, get a snack, drink, port-a-potty, ect...I'm a story teller! We got to Nashville Friday afternoon and met up with (at our hotel) my high school friends/"long distance running partners" Heather & Heidi and husbands early that evening. We hopped back into their SUV and headed to the Expo to get our race packets....AKA a bag full of wasted/good trees (advertising about future races and such) along with the much needed race # to identify us and disposable timing chip....very cool.....I thought!! Mind you this was my first BIG race, I've done a few small races in Chattanooga so either I did not get a timing chip or you had to stop at the end of the race and let them take it off your shoe!! Along with reminding you that this was my first BIG race.....there were SOOOOO many people I wanted to turn around and go home, and this was just seeing people coming and going at the Expo! Very intimidating but luckily we had Heather and Heidi with us who knew the ropes and made it a very easy in/out experience! Then on to the "carb loading" meal......yah along with every other person! So we eventually ended up at an Olive Garden and at this point we were thankful for whatever pasta we could was getting late!  I was quite nervous at dinner because I envisioned an evening of eating early and then relaxing in our rooms prior to blissfully falling off to sleep around 9:00ish!!! NOT!!! We didn't get back to our hotel from eating and settled into bed until 10:45.....I'm not sure that Jon, Kristi, or I got any sleep! I was nervous that I would miss the alarm and nervous about running.....did I eat right the week before? did I hydrate well? was I going to run in the time I had set a goal to complete the race in.....who am I kidding WAS I GONNA BE ABLE TO FINISH THE RACE period!!! That 4:15 alarm went off just as we all settled into a good sleep! We managed to drag ourselves out to the car and hit the highway only to find ourselves caught in stand still traffic! Well if that just didn't send me into a frenzy but I was assured that we would make it and we enough time for some pictures and one last potty break! Nathan (Heidi's husband), Heidi, Heather, and I went off to line up with the other 31,000+ runners. Kristi, Phil (Heather's husband), and Jon were off on their bikes for breakfast and then to find a spot to cheer us on at some point in the race! I truly could have used them about 3 times but the 1 time I got to hear my named being yelled and cheered on was AWESOME!!! Now on to the GREAT part!!!! As I started running we ascended up a very small hill but enough of one where the sun was GLEAMING through the city and you could see thousands of runners say it was surreal is an understatement! I probably could have was very exciting and I'm sure that you 1st time 1/2 or full marathoners can relate! I was feeling good, I really tried hard to pace myself....not knowing what to expect.... I didn't want to start off with a bang and not be able to finish. There was a band at every mile, drink stations, and thousands of people standing on the side cheering everyone on! I took the Hammer Gel about 50 minutes into the race and knew that I would take 1 more at mile 10 along with keeping myself hydrated at just about every water station.....I even sucked on a couple orange wedges that they passed out. I was feeling really good until about mile 9ish. I got a wave of chills and knew I was gonna go downhill from there. (Let me stick in here that I have been running for about a year now, nothing serious.....just a good release for me and a good form of exercise. When Heather came to visit last year we decided we would sign up for the 1/2 marathon and do it's good to have goals. I followed a training plan for this 1/2. When I did my long runs during this training I would get those chills towards then end but just push myself to finish the amount of miles I needed to complete. I never researched or asked anyone what those chills meant and how to prevent them.) So sure enough at mile 10 I wanted to STOP. I was feeling really fatigued. I got a small wave of energy as I saw/heard Jon, Kristi and Phil cheering! Also at this point I was still doing good on time and would be able to finish in my goal time of anything under 2 hours. But it was from about mile 10.5 until the end that it was completely mental for me to continue. My body kept telling me to stop....I had to walk several times but my brain would kick in again and I would run for a little bit. It didn't help that up until this weekend it had been pretty cool outside and then all of a sudden we were in the low 80's.....people were passed out left and right....lots of people treated for heat exhaustion (on a side and very sad note a 26 y/o male died after finishing the 1/2 but cardiac related problems). I really felt at times that I was running soooo slow I really wasn't even moving....wish I could have seen that on video!!! I remember saying out loud to someone running next to me "where is the end????"......she didn't respond!!!! As I crossed the finish line I really felt like I was going to pass out and I couldn't figure out how to quickly get to Kristi and Jon so I found a grassy spot and laid down. Maybe not so smart so I got up and just tried to walk around slowly but I found myself bobbing off people as I made my way through the food line which I had ZERO interest in but forced down some water. After about 40 minutes I was able to find Kristi and Jon and couldn't have been more excited! That's when the emotions kicked in (which I thought would happen as I crossed the finish line)! I didn't finish in my "goal time" but this being my first 1/2 my goal ultimately was to finish and I did just that and came in at 2:09!!! I feel like I am giving an acceptance speech here but in all seriousness I have to really thank Jon who pushed and supported me during the weeks of getting ready for this. My girls who were troopers in going to the gym with me along with keeping me company in the garage while I ran on the treadmill. My mom who spent a few days on the river walk (at the end of my training when I needed a boost from someone) keeping me company. My sister who came with us to Nashville to cheer us on and take lots of pictures over the weekend along with meeting me at the gym during training! AND my long distance running partners Chap and Heidi!!! Love you guys!!!! In ending this, either you're still with me and thanks for listening to my experience or I totally lost you about 3 hours ago. I have to relate this experience to something and that is giving birth to a child! Although I didn't go through too much pain in the delivery of both my girls I experience painful childbirth in a different way several times a week at my job. Women will scream out "I'M NEVER DOING THIS AGAIN, THIS IS THE 1ST AND LAST CHILD I WILL HAVE"!!!! Once that baby is born there is some type of amnesia that kicks in and they have another and sometimes even another and another!!!! So while in the middle of this race I know for a fact that I said (in my head) I WILL NEVER DO THIS AGAIN, after I finished and felt better I will DEFINITELY be signing up for another one......and maybe even another and another!!!

"Carb Loading"!!!
Very fun to be with high school friends.....really like not a day had passed!!
Too early to be up! My eyes appear to be struggling to stay open!

Disposable timing chips
My GREAT support system!

Trying to be silly....anything to keep my mind off of the 13.1 that lie ahead!

Yep that's right a picture of isles of port-a-potty's!!! A good 30 minutes to get in and then I will spare you the disturbing details of what I found inside!!! 
Jon praying with me.....or really for me!
My corral 

Packed in...getting ready to start!!!
Look at all those sad water bottles screaming to be recycled! 

The picture does NO justice to the amount of people out there but an idea!!

***Please be aware of the following pictures where you will find the cheesiest smiles but people I FINISHED and I was VERY happy!!!

Right after I found Kristi and post race food!
Yay!!! My medal!!!
Post racers!

My wonderful sister who captured the whole weekend on camera!

Our meeting place....for obvious reasons....Hughes, Heather, Heidi...very little brain activity needed to find your family!
These 2 became the greatest of friends out by the pool Saturday afternoon while the rest of us rested the afternoon away!!
I had BIG plans for Saturday evening but we were all exhausted and ended up eating mexican with talking and lots of laughing involved. Then back to our hotel where we talked and laughed some the point that we received a phone call with a "noise complaint"!!!