Friday, November 18, 2011

Our first family vacation

A day at Sea World!
The spectacular entrance to Sea World!
At the end of the summer, we really needed a little getaway. So,on a bit of a whim, we pulled some long hours to get orders caught up and planned a quick trip to Sea World.
The trip there was an adventure in itself.  My in-laws were joining us on the trip so we had a mini caravan and lots of potty stops!  The driver side window in our car broke...I mean literally fell into the in a Walmart parking lot my husband and his dad took the door panel off and rigged the motor components with things we had handy: plastic, cardboard off a legal pad, & scraps of duct tape.  I don't know why I didn't take a was pretty sad looking!  As we drove, the wind would loosen the tape and it would flap frantically against the window, the window would begin to slide down and in addition to the flapping it sounded like a wind-tunnel...a bit nerve-racking along with normal kid noise, but honestly all we could do was laugh. Thank God for duct tape, right?

Loving on their brother
 The motel was a welcome retreat when we arrived!  The girls had their own beds in their own room!  We spent a lot of time just relaxing with each other and visiting with MeMe and PaPa down the hall from us.  It was such a welcome break for us all.  We brought the movie Soul Surfer and watched it one night.  Our girls LOVE that movie.  They get all teary and sentimental--not about her losing her arm, but at other sweet moments between the dad and daughter--I love seeing their sensitive side.

Such beautiful creatures!

Since Jessie's parents were with us, we got to sneak over and ride a roller coaster--the Manta!  It was quite possible the best roller coaster I've ever been on...then again, maybe it's just been too long since I've been on one.  There was an aquarium under the roller coaster, featuring the manta ray of course.  There were lots of other neat little sea creatures in there too (see my additional pictures below).

12,000 pounds!!
The last time I was at Sea World my baby sister was 5 years old (she's now 19).  Now I have a 5 (nearly 6) year old.  Unbelievable!  So, a lot has changed since I was last there.  The arena for the killer whales was new and HUGE...and I miss the trainers being in the water with the Orcas.  Shamu stadium wasn't the only thing that had gotten bigger in the last 14 years.  Tilikum was a beast!  The picture doesn't do him justice...he was ginormous!

Our all time favorite part of the day was the dolphin show.  I don't have pictures because we sat front & center in the splash zone.  But it was amazing!  The girls also rode their first roller coaster.  Granted it was a kiddie coaster, but they loved it! They kept their hands up in the air. They each rode it several times, taking turns with who they got to sit beside--mom, dad, and their MeMe.  I do have some more fun highlights from the day below.  We stayed one extra day in Orlando, played in the pool and just enjoyed ourselves before we had to return to our normal routine.  It was a trip we would love to do again.  Maybe next time we can venture into dolphin cove.

Ready for their first theme park!
Family Pic
A Cute & Corny little show
Finding Nemo ;)
that weed looking thing is actually a type of seahorse!!
...risers.  Love them! 

Thursday, November 10, 2011

7 months and growing

Wesley you are getting so big!  You are squeezing out of you 9 months clothes and probably pushing 22 pounds.  But you are every bit as sweet as you are squishy!

Your sweet little "ma ma", "da da" and "la la" sounds complete your current vocabulary.  However, your grunts and growls are what we find most entertaining.

You have a mouthful of 8 teeth!  Did I mention you're still nursing--ouch!

You adore your sisters.  Abby mothers & carries you around like you're hers.  She says she wants to have a baby like you when she's a mom...we'll see if she's still saying that when you're mobile.

You're favorite place to hang out is your jumparoo...or anywhere mommy is in sight.

When you see your daddy you grunt with a grin, because you know he'll grunt back at ya for a little game back & forth.  You are ticklish everywhere, even the palms of your hands!

You sleep great, although you're an early riser like your sisters--making that cup of coffee a necessity for mommy (sometimes 2).

I wanted to write a little update to you because in a matter of weeks, or even days, I know you will be on the move and I will have a hard time remembering you playing on your little mat or cuddling peacefully in my arms.  You have been up on your knees rocking and scooting backwards, so I know it won't be long before my little Wesley is on his way and life as we currently know it...will change.

I know those changes will be great and fun and a bit more challenging, and I look forward to them.  It comforts me to know that no matter how big you get you will always be my baby boy.  I love you Wesley boy!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Armed and Adorable

I mentioned in one of my very first blogs, Change in Seasons, about my husband pursuing the police reserves program.  I'll admit it was something I was very uneasy with at first.  I knew classes were to begin right around the same time Wesley was expected to arrive last spring.  Thankfully, there was a delay that put the classes off just long enough for us (me really) to recover and adjust to our new life with 3 children.

Jessie attended classes 2 nights a week for nearly 4 months and some Saturdays.  He studied a lot and attended his classes faithfully, while working full time, and running the machinery for our side business, and being tremendously helpful with the kids as always.  He didn't view it as a sacrifice so much as an investment in his dream.  He has a strong desire to help others and this is something he has talked about for a long time.

As I said before, I wasn't settled with the idea at first.  I was worried about the time the classes would take, getting three children ready for bed 2 nights a week all by myself, and lots of other selfish thoughts that didn't serve any purpose whatsoever.  I was stopped in my tracks one day...I was so upset and was whining and venting my frustrations out loud (no one else was around) and a supernatural peace literally came over me and God just quietly told me "you need to support your husband".  I called Jessie immediately and told him that I would support him through this.  And after I obeyed the Lord--just like that--my heart changed.

Last month we got to go to his ceremony to be sworn in as an officer.  I am so proud of him!  He has to get 200 hours in as a reserve officer.  He is eager to get started!!  One of the things he said he has been most impressed by is getting to know the people he will serve with.  The other reserve officers, and some of the officers who taught their classes, he said, are so strong in their faith.  He would come home from classes telling me about some of these guys and he was just excited to have the opportunity to work alongside them.  Being in the reserves does open the door for a potential full-time position when the department is ready to hire.  In the meantime, Jessie will serve loyally and enjoy every minute of it, like a little boy living his childhood dream.

Friday, November 4, 2011

"It's a busy life, but it's our life"

Life as we know it is just plain busy.  I have documented our lives the last 2 months with pictures and intentions of posting the script to support it, but time has not been on our side.  We've just been--busy!  The daily routine of raising 3 children, one of which is a nursing-napping infant, a new doggie, homeschooling, running our home-based business; not to mention meal-planning & cooking & cleaning & laundry....thank God we're not doing this alone!!  I MUST rely on Him to help me through moments of chaos as they arise.

I was playing around with the format of my blog page and noticed that I used to actually write a lot more.  I love writing.  I think when I have moments to process my thoughts I am not too bad at it.  As one who is guilty of saying things off the tip of my tongue, writing actually gives me an opportunity to formulate my thoughts and say things just a bit more gracefully.  I can remember when I was young--highschool & college--when I couldn't seem to find the words to pray, I would write a prayer out to God.  Somehow it helped to put it on paper.  I still have a few of those scrap paper prayers stuffed in my old Bible.

So as time permits, I will post of the events that have occurred even in just the last 6 weeks.  And if you are interested in following along, please do so.  I'd love to know who is reading along.



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