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Monday, December 27, 2010

Let it snow, let it snow, let is snow...

It snowed here on December 26th! So much for a white christmas, but it was close enough that it was VERY exciting!! We took Legree out in it for a few minutes. He is just getting over being sick so this mama wasn't taking any chances. I bundled him up tight in lots of layers and we were only out for a few minutes. But it was so cute to hear his "OHH WOW" "WHOOOWEE" over the snow. Here some of our pictures from our play time outside...

Baby mittens wiping off snow from baby boots, how precious is that?

That smile just melts my heart every time!

He decided he wanted to take a walk down the street...

But daddy didn't let him get too far....

Snow day is fun day!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Traditions...

I remember when I was a little girl (maybe around 10-12 range) reading in a magazine somewhere that Christmas traditions were what your kids remember about Christmas and are important. And then the magazine went on to suggest some traditions to start with your family. So, I thought to myself when I have my own family I will have LOTS of Christmas traditions. Well, we don't have LOTS of traditions, but we do have a few very important and heartfelt ones that I LOVE!

1) Christmas shirt - When I was 5 years old my Grandma Lola gave me a Christmas shirt that says "Dear Santa, I want it all!". She gave one to all of her grandchildren that Christmas. She gave them all to us in the same size: a man's extra large! A little big on a 5 year old :) But I thought it was so funny and proudly told Grandma I would wear it EVERY Christmas. And by golly, I have! It's 22 years old now and still in good shape and actually fits me instead of being like a tent on me. I only wear it Christmas eve night to bed and while we're opening presents. Then I wash it and put it away till next year. I don't want it to get to worn out. But it's so special to me because it's been with me through EVERY Christmas for 22 years. And even though my Grandma Lola can't be with us in person, I feel like I have a part of her with me every Christmas morning, and that is more special then I could ever put into words!

2) Chinese food - About 4 years ago it was just me and my parents for Christmas. My brothers were married and with their wife's family. I met Ben a month later, so I was still single at the time. So, mom didn't see much point in making some big Christmas dinner. Well, after our Christmas eve service at church we were STARVING and the only place we could find open was Chinese food. Which we all love anyways and we were right tired of turkey, ham, mac and cheese etc so we said what the heck, let's do it! So, we ate Chinese food that night and loved it. And we promised to make it a yearly tradition to eat Chinese food on Christmas eve. And that's what we do! It was so much fun this year to have Legree with us and for him to be old enough to enjoy the food too!

3) Christmas service - Every Christmas eve we, of course, go to our church service. It is always a candel lit service and we sings LOTS of Christmas hymns and have several sermonettes on the birth of our Savior. This is such a special service. This year as really hit home to me about what a sacrifice God made in sending us his only Son, for our sins. He sent us the perfect for the imperfect. The best gift of all!

4) Parents over for breakfast - Every Christmas morning we have Ben's parents and my parents over for breakfast. We eat, catch up and then they watch Legree open up his Santa presents. And then we play with him and all his toys together. It's so much fun and means so much to Legree, Ben and I to have them all here with us. As soon as they all got into the house today Legree was just squeeling, giggling and dancing with delight that all his grandparents are together. He has such a close relationship with all of them, it's so wonderful!

Some "new" Christmas traditions that we are starting as of next year....

3 presents... I've been thinking a lot about how to "explain" Santa to Legree and what's going on with Christmas. I mean it's kind of a lot to take in and next year he'll be able to understand presents etc more. So, Ben and I decided we are going to tell Legree from now on that Christmas is Jesus Birthday and that's why everyone celebrates it so much. And that Jesus loves us so much that he not only died on the cross for all of our sins, but he also sends us His Birthday presents at Christmas! He sends Santa to deliver them on Christmas eve night. And from now on, Legree will only get three presents Christmas morning. Because Jesus got three presents from the wisemen, and it doesn't make much since for Legree to get more presents on Jesus' birthday then Jesus did. We hope and pray to keep the focus on this being Jesus birthday and let Santa just be a courior for the presents. And to let Legree know he should be thanking Jesus for His birthday gifts and for the greatest gift of all, Jesus coming as man to save us from our sins.

Another tradition that I started two years ago and never really noticed till this year... Christmas ornaments that aren't really ornaments. UGH? Yeah sounds weird... but I wrote about in a previous post but for the past two years I've collected a tree topper and an "ornament" that weren't meant to be ornaments, but I put them on our tree like they are. So, I'm going to find something significant from that year and turn it into an ornament. I'm sure I'll find some interesting things to hang every year!! And in the future our child(ren) can help me find a "nonornament" and turn it into an ornament! This year I made Legree a pair of Christmas Jons jons. I just started sewing and really love it! So, since they are green and red he can't really wear them past today so I'm going to take the buttons off of them, put it on a pretty ribbon and that will be our "nonornament" for this year!

MERRY CHRISTMAS!! See ya next year Christmas traditions!!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

You better watch out, you better not pout...

Legree reacted EXACTLY how I figured he would this year...

Which is a FAR cry from how he was last year...


A perfectly imperfect Christmas

Well, the week leading up to Christmas has not exactly been what I planned. I had celebration, gatherings and dinner plans for almost every night this week with friends and family set up. All of them had to be canceled. I had plans of getting some last minute Christmas crafting done, that was canceled too. I wanted to bake some cookies, go see Santa with Legree, the list goes on and on my friends. The house is a wreck, the dishes are piled up and my floor hasn't seen a vacuum cleaner in two weeks now (not good with a toddler roaming around). So, it hasn't exactly been a picture perfect Christmas celebration week.

Legree has been sick with a double ear infection, I've got a sore throat and a terrible cough and Ben has had a Chron's flare up. But I'm actually kind of thankful for it. It's made me slow up and see what's important this holiday season. Going everywhere, seeing everyone and doing everything isn't 100% necessary. What is necessary is remembering that this holiday is a celebration of our Christ's birth. So, I've had PLENTY of time to think, ponder and pray about God's gift to us and Jesus sacrifice. I've spent A LOT of this past week praying for my family's health and to give me patience and endurance to take care of them all the while feeling like a train has hit me. I found strength I didn't know I had, found peace in imperfection and the love of my family has deepen.

So, thank you Jesus for MAKING us slow up this holiday season and refocus on you. Now, can we get better??
Here is a picture of Legree sleeping on the couch during his sickness. Legree is a GREAT sleeper if he has his bed and if he's alone. He doesn't like sleeping with us and he doesn't just fall asleep anywhere. So, this was a rare moment I caught on camera of him sleeping on the couch, so cute!
He slept on my chest before this for about an hour and a half, and then slept another hour a half on the couch by himself.

Monday, December 20, 2010

I wish...learning how to be parent

Legree is sick, which is never fun. Last night he woke up around midnight with a high fever and just miserable. We found out today at the dr. that he has a pretty nasty double ear infection. A first for our little guy! He's 18 months old and has never been on antibiotics! Thank you very much breast milk for helping us keep this away so long!!

Anyways, last night after I gave Legree some medicine I was rocking him and holding him and whispering in his ear how much I loved him and that God was there with us taking care of both of us. It's such a blessing that I know my child so well now I know exactly what he needs and wants. Last night made me think back to the very first time he was sick. It was a virus and he was about 9 months old. I had no clue what to do and I was scared to death! His temp was so high (I didn't know it was normal for babies to spike high temps) and I just felt so bad for him. I thought last night I wish I had known him as well as I do now and exactly what to do. But then I realized I never would have gotten to know him this well or know what he needed when he's sick without that first illness (or any of the other viruses that followed).

I have grown so much as a parent and in my relationship with Legree it's amazing. When he was first born I loved him, of course, but I didn't KNOW him like I do now. And I realized last night how confident I was in my parenting skills and abilities now. Something I would have never said while I was pregnant. So, bring on the teenage years! HA! Just kidding... not ready for that at all! But I know I'll continue to grow as a mother, care-giver, disciplinarian (spelling?), role model, etc for Legree and any of Ben and I's future children. This is my proudest and most important role in my life and I pray that the Lord will continue to bless mine and Legree's relationship, help me to mold him into a good Christian man and be with us throughout our years together!

Love you little guy! Hope you get better soon! Santa is on his way :)!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

When I'm sick...

My mommy let's me get away with anything!

I can't believe it, she let me sit on the couch and watch a marathon of Yo Gabba Gabba! I usually am lucky to get 2 Yo Gabba Gabbas a day and I watched all of them we had. If I so much as whimpered, she brought me more milk, a warm blanket, a soft kiss and a cuddle.
She even let me eat my snack on the couch, which is never allowed! I don't like this cold one bit, but I could get used to this royalty treatment from my mommy!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

I wonder what Jesus was like at 17 months...

Since it's Christmas and we have all these nativities up and pictures of baby Jesus, it kind of makes me wonder what he was like as a toddler. Especially seeing Legree and how he is. Not that I'm comparing my child to Jesus, I'm not... but as a parent it makes you look at things in a whole other light.

I've never really thought of Jesus of anything other then a newborn (during the Christmas season), as our Savior dying on the cross (at Easter time) and as our Godly Lord in Heaven. I've never really thought, hmm I wonder how old Jesus was when he started walking, talking, preaching the word of God. But with all the milestones, achievements, tantrums, attitudes etc that I see in Legree it makes me wonder what Jesus was like as a toddler. I know Jesus was perfect and without sin.. so can you imagine an unselfish, undemanding toddler? I just can't imagine it, but I would love to know. Hopefully one day in Heaven I can have a little talk with Jesus and get all the details!

One of my friends posted a video on her facebook page with pictures of Mary breastfeeding Jesus. I loved it to see Jesus even as a toddler in these pictures nursing from his mother. It gives me (and should give every mother out there) new incentive to breastfeed. And makes me mad at my pediatrician to demand I stop breastfeeding Legree at 1 because it's bad for his teeth. I won't be listening to him on the next one and just keep on till the baby/toddler decides he/she wants to stop! So, it makes me wonder about Mary, Jesus and their breastfeeding "relationship" if you will. Did she have troubles breastfeeding? Were her breast engorged ever? Or was Jesus the perfect little suckler? Did he ever bit her? How long did he breasfeed for? I've got so many questions for you Jesus... you just wait!

Being a parent has also made me see God in a whole new light as well. I can't imagine giving up my son for other's sins. So, I make sure now to thank God for giving us this precious gift. I always thanked Jesus for his gift of Himself, but can you imagine how hard it was for God to give up his only son?? To watch his Son up on the cross, in pain, being tortured to death, and then to have to turn his back on Him. I know He is a God to have strength to do that. As a parent, I can only imagine what it would be like to have your perfect Son (literally in this case) die for other people's sins.

So this Holiday season... I'm thankful and happy to think of Jesus in a whole new way . I'm thankful God has given me Legree for so many reasons... but right now I'm truly thankful for having Legree help me see my Lord in a whole new light. Maybe next year I'll wonder how on earth they potty trained Jesus!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Looks like a Lewis, quacks like a Ballentine...

Legree looks like the spitting image of Ben. There is no way around he got ZERO of his looks from me or my family. And I'm okay with that, I really wanted him to look like Ben. But he sure has Ballentine in his bones because he ACTS like a Ballentine. He eats in a hurry and eats a lot (deffinately a Ballentine trait). He likes to be the center of attention and talk a lot, deffinately a Ballentine trait. I could go on and on...

This morning I caught another Ballentine trait coming out in him. Now before I write it and you are reading this and don't want to hear about poop... well, then A) We probably shouldn't be friends B) Don't go any further...

So Legree was CRABBY this morning. He was clingy and fussy and didn't want to play. Totally not like him. Finally he ran off to his pooping corner (the same place he goes every day to poop). Once he was done I changed him and what do you know the crabbiness went away and he was dancing. clapping and singing like a whole new boy. Now if that ain't a Ballentine... I don't know what is!! LOL!

Monday, December 13, 2010


I had to share Legree's latest funny moment before I forget in the holiday hype. Sorry there are no pictures but my camera and computer don't want to talk to each other today to transfer any pics! UGH!

Legree is on a "gapes" (grapes) kick. That's all he wants, all the time. Forget cookies, cake or candy... he wants his gapes! Which is perfectly fine with this mama. He really eats healthier then anyone I know! The other day he was eating lunch and finished up and kept pointing and fussing for SOMETHING. I couldn't figure out what and tried everything. We were both completely frustrated because he knew what he wanted, and I couldn't figure it out! So finally he just yelled "GAPPESS!" He had never said gapes before and I think he was just desperate and said it. It was pretty cute. So I picked up the bag and said is this what you want and he just started jumping up and down, laughing and clapping his hands. I gave him more and he was so excited!

Ben has also taught him that to yell for "MAW" when he wants something or needs me to come to him. So, all I hear all day is "MAWWW". Like an ol' country bumpkin all over the house yelling for his "MAWWW". So cute!

Monday, December 6, 2010

A sense of humor...and of course, some tractors.

Yesterday Ben and I were looking at something on the computer while Legree ate supper. He was near the end and seemed quite content to finish his supper while we checked on some information. Anyways, we heard a crash a few minutes after we left... and sure enough he threw his bowl on the floor. Probably for attention because he never does that.

So, Ben promptly asks Legree "Legree, did you do that? Did you throw your bowl?"

And Legree's reply was to throw his hands up in the air and say "ME??? NOOOO!"
At least we know he has a sense of humor!

And this has nothing to do with that, but one of Legree's most favorite things to do when we go to Ben's parents house is to "read" the tractor magazines with Paw. No kidding, he runs to the magazines, picks them up, throws them in Ben's dad's lap and climbs on up. They flip through and look at pictures of tractors. Legree points and makes his motor sound. And if we ask him if he can drive the tractor he ALWAYS shakes his head up and down yes. And then we ask him if he could even drive the really big tractors and that little head goes up and down. He loves his tractors! Here's a picture of them reading their magazine...

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

A Scrooge in the house

I'm a bit of a scrooge at Christmas.. go ahead and gasp in horror all you ladies out there. It's okay. I deserve it! I don't know what it is, but I just get so frustrated at Christmas.

Mainly because it seems this holiday has become SO focused on presents, decorations and going going going that EVERYONE has lost the true meaning of Christmas. That our good and gracious God sent his one and only Son down from Heaven to pay for OUR sins. Moms, can you imagine giving up one of your children to save everyone else? Since becoming a parent God has really made me realize what a sacrifice He made by giving us his Son.

My second issue with Christmas is all the decorations. Now, don't get me wrong I love Christmas decorations I just have never been very good at it. So, it makes me mad that my house doesn't look like a Christmas Southern Living magazine cover. Not even close to it! I've had every style of Chrsitmas decorations in this house you can think of. We've done blue and silver, country style and gold. I guess I thought if I settled into a theme I'd get more into it and be willing to spend money on decorations that are only up for three weeks, but no such luck. And none of the styles looked very good anyways.

Well, last year I finally decided I'd pick a theme, go with it and start adding to it SLOWLY every year so I don't get so worked up about it. And that way I can get nicer things without breaking the bank and eventually I might have my own magazine cover Christmas. I admit it was fun to pull out some of the Christmas ornaments I bought last year to go with my new theme. And it was so sweet and precious to pull out Legree's baby's first Christmas ornaments from last year and hang them up.

This year I finally comitted to a tree skirt as my addition to our decorations. It matches my theme perfectly. Now for the big revel on the theme.... Red, green elfish like theme. Make sense? Probably to no one else but me! But most of our ornaments are red and green and a lot of elf like touches. I didn't want anything formal or to out there, so I thought this was perfect, cute, whimsy and fun for the kiddos.

So, here's some pictures of my favorites:

All of our initials are on the tree... they are all B's and L's and one lone W (Ben's middle initial).

Legree's 1st Christmas ornament, baby booties!

The REAL reason for the season..

I found this guy last year when we went to AL to see my newest nephew for the first time. We stopped at a mall to give Legree some time out of the car seat on the way home. We went into Macy's because I had never been in one before and I found this little guy 60% off. He was my inspiration to pick and stick with the elf theme! He's so cute and fun! And you pull his string and his arms and legs jump up and down.

And as I was looking at our Christmas tree this year after I got all the decorations up I noticed a tradition that I'm going to stick to every year... we have one thing from every Christmas that was not supposed to be an ornament that I have made into an ornament. Last year Ben's mom attempted to crochet Legree a hat for Christmas at my request. It didn't quite turn out as expected. But it made the perfect little topper for our elf like Christmas tree. And it has a good story behind it at least! From the year before I had gotten Kilo a little elf hat thinking it'd be funny on her. Well, she wouldn't wear it, but it fits perfectly with our Christmas tree now.

Here's a picture of Kilo's hat that is now an ornament. And our finished Christmas tree with the crocheted hat. (Oh and the empty bottom potion of our tree is to keep Legree from pulling all the ornaments off)

And it did make matters a lot more fun and easy for me with the cutest little helper around....

So, this year I am going to try and embrace the fun of Christmas and not be such a bah-hum-bug about it!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

4 turkeys down... and one chicken!

We had FOUR Thanksgiving meals this year... can you say bloated? It was SO much fun though and made me realize how truly blessed Ben, Legree and I are. We are so blessed with big, loving families and friends. Here's the low down on our meals for Thanksigiving, plus one extra bonus meal that was not Thanksgiving persay, but I'm thankful for it none the less!

1. Sunday 11/21 - Our church had a Thanksiving pot luck meal. It was awesome! I love sampling everyone else's recipes and trying out new things. I had cranberry sauce for the first time. It was yummy! But I still can't handle the canned kind, yuck! Legree had fun playing outside on the play set with all the kids. I, unfortunately, did not get any pictures from this gathering.

2. Wednesday 11/24 - This was our bonus meal with "Friends", although they are really family. We went over to Meg, Drew and Ian's house and had supper with them. We get together at least once a month to eat, and since it was right at Thanksgiving and I'm SO thankful for having this family in our lives, I had to include it. The boys had fun fighting over which one of Ian's toys they were going to ride on next. Megan cooked an awesome meal of chicken, homemade mashed potatoes and peas.. it was great to catch up with them!!

3. Thursday 11/25 - Lunch at Gigi and Papa Waters house. This is Ben's mom's parents, got that? Almost everyone was there and it was a blast! Ben's cousin Heather's little girls were there and Legree liked having the "preEE" (pretty) girls there to play with. Ava, her youngest daughter, and Legree could pass as twins! They are both the cutest little blonde haired, blue eyed little cuties I've ever seen! While we were waiting for all the food to get done, Ben's dad took Legree out to Papa's shed and he found a "Tractor". Really, just a lawn mower, but to Legree they are all the same. So the rest of the day we were chasing Legree down to the shed. As soon as he could get a head start from us, he was gone and in the shed and up on the tractor. So, the highlight of Legree's Thanksigiving day was Papa got the tractor out and took him for a little ride around the yard.

Here's a picture of Ava and Legree... and then Legree riding on Papa's lap

Saturday 11/26 - We headed off to our annual trip to Gaffney. Ben's Great Aunt Lou lives out there and still owns (but doesn't live in) the home that Ben's Grandma grew up in. It's out in the middle of no where, and so beautiful! Every year she cooks a huge spread and everyone brings some food along too. After we eat, we all head out to the woods to climb "THE hill". It's really just a big steep hill back in the woods, but it's a tradition for the kids to all climb it while we all take pictures. Legree went with us out there last year but was only 5 months old, so this year was much more fun! Legree and Ava walked around, explored and got into everything! Legree loves being outside, so this was his bread and butter. It honestly just warms my heart so much to have pictures of Legree on this hill now. I haven't been a part of this family for very long really, but this tradition is so meaningful that I feel like it's been a part of my Thanksgiving since I can remember. Whenever we talk about Thanksgiving we talk about the woods, THE hill and the creek. This is what memories are made of folks!
Here is Ben and Legree on THE hill and Ava and Legree holding hands and both pointing up to the sky at a airplane (SOOO CUTE).

Sunday 11/27- Last but not least on a turkey rampage was my parents. We had a blast there too! And their ain't nothin' like your mama's home cookin'! My Aunt Nila joined us as well, and it was so great to catch up with her. We ate some awesome food, sat around and chatted, and played with Legree. This was awesome to me because we had had such a busy Thanksgiving up this point, it was nice to have a nice relaxing day with my parents at "home". I did miss my brothers, sister in laws and niece and nephews terribly though. The holidays aren't the same without them. I guess I should be used to it by now, but it never gets easier missing your family on holidays. It makes me miss my grandparents terribly too! I wish they could have been here to spend Thanksigiving with and to see Legree and all his personality and sweetness.

Anyways, Legree had a ball and ate up all the attention from the 5 of us. He loved riding the horsey that was mine when I was a kid. And, of course, Papa (my dad as Legree has come to call him) makes it more fun by making it "buck".

And since I completely forgot to take pictures of Legree chowing down on his first real Thanksgiving meals... I took a picture the other day of him eating all the leftovers. He loved everything!

Monday, November 29, 2010

17 months young

Legree is 17 months old today! I can't believe it!! My little man is growing up before my very eyes!! I keep finding myself wishing he'd go back to the sweet little baby. But this age is so much fun too! It pulls me in two directions. Either way, he's the light of my life, so much fun and I couldn't ask for a better or smarter little boy!!

17 factoids about Legree in honor of his 17 month birthday:

1. He has never been on antibiotics (you mommy's out there no how much of a feat that is!)
2. He loves tractors more then anything else on earth.
3. When he sees Big Bird now he says "Bi Birr"
4. He can turn our camera on and flip through the pictures.
5. He still pulls and plays with his hair or my hair when he's tired.
6. He throws away his diapers after I change him (well only the pee-pee ones)
7. He LOVES watching TV, particularly Yo Gabba Gabba and can say Muno
8. He calls Ben's dad Paw and my dad Papa...why? I have no clue!
9. He thinks he's 10 feet tall and can keep up with the big kids.
10. He is about 31 inches tall and around 25 lbs.
11. He takes one long nap and sometimes one short nap during the day.
12. He can tell you where his nose, ears, belly, legs and hiney are.
13. He loves books more then toys right now.
14. He loves loves loves to eat!
15. If he sees corn in a book or in the fridge he says "Cor.. HMMM"
16. He loves his daddy and wants him most of the time. Especially as soon as he gets home from work.
17. Mommy and Legree are best buddies though and always together. We get each other and have a special bond I can't even describe!! I look forward to continuing, growing and enhancing that bond month after month and year after year.

Friday, November 26, 2010

25 days of Thankfulness... the end of the road!

Well, we are at the end of our road for 25 days of thankfulness. Thanksgiving day was yesterday and I want to get caught up. Things have been crazy busy in the Lewis household with the holidays, so I haven't had time to sit down and type all my thankfulness out. What have we been so busy with you may ask? Well, over the course of the holidays we will be attending 4 Thanksgiving meals. That has kept me busy cooking and cleaning. And I've started a new hobby - SEWING! So that has taken up a lot of my time recently. I will blog about that more VERY soon (I promise).

But for now... what I have to be thankful for continues...

21 Legree's booming laughter, it's infectious!
22 My husband's supportiveness of my newest hobby (sewing)
23 Great friends that have been with me and my family through it all!
24 The holidays, to remind us to stop, be thankful and praise God for all he has given us!!
25 God's grace... which has given us everything we are thankful for!

I will blog this coming week about all 4 of our Thanksgiving meals, but for fun... here's a picture of Legree last year at Thanksgiving and now this year...

Saturday, November 20, 2010

25 days of Thankfulness...WAY WAY behind!

So, I'm WAYYYY behind on my 25 days of thankfulness, so let me catch up quickly. I've been super busy this past week. I don't know if it's because the holidays are coming up or what but I feel like I've been GOING GOING GOING!

Now, just because I'm listing these and not giving more details does not take away from their importance to me... AT ALL! In fact, part of the reason I've been delaying posting is because I wanted to have TIME to actually write out why I was thankful for these things. Well, that didn't work. So, I'm just going to do it quickly so I don't miss out on anydays!

15 My parents
16 Ben's parents
17 Our nephews and nieces
18 God's grace and love
19 Good friends
20 Cameras and video cameras to record special memories!

Friday, November 19, 2010

50 FREE Christmas cards from Shutterfly! WHOA!

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Because I love Christmas.

Because my husband's ears perk up anytime the work "free" is spoken.

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Join their blog, and write your own for some free Christmas Cards!


I love this one


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Christmas pictures

I took Legree today to get some Christmas photos taken. We haven't had his picture taken since he was 11 months old, so I was ready to get some new ones taken! What better "excuse" then Christmas time? He was ALL over the place running around and playing. He wanted nothing to do with taking pictures. But we got a couple of good ones in between chasing him around the portrait studio!

Anyways, here's some of the pics:

Sunday, November 14, 2010

25 days of thankfulness...day 13 and 14

Time together with family - Since the 13th day of thankfulness landed on a Saturday I was trying to think of something to be thankful for that usually happens on a Sat. Well, our Saturdays are always filled with time with family. Either with just the three of us, with my family, Ben's family or good friends (that are like our families). It's easy to be thanful for a Saturday because generally everyone is off of work and can just do whatever they want. But I'm really thankful for that extra time to spend with Ben, Legree and our families. All of those times are what memories are made from and I'm thankful for each and every one of them!

Our church - We go to Hope Lutheran Church in Irmo and I couldn't be more thankful for this church. I know without a doubt the TRUE word of our Lord is preached and taught in that church, not only on Sunday mornings but every day that anyone is there! We couldn't have a better, more close knit family of believers. They are our church family and are SO very important to all of us. From the Pastors, to the Sunday School teachers to the little kids running around every Sunday everyone is wonderful and I couldn't be more thankful for them!! This is where Ben and I started our life together as husband and wife, where Legree was baptized and where we get our guidance to be good Christian family and parents. As the church continues to grow my heart just leaps knowing that all of the current memebers, new members and future members get to know the true word of God in all of it's purity and honesty! PRASIE GOD FOR THE BLESSING!!

Friday, November 12, 2010


Peek a Boo!

I see you!

25 days of thankfulness... day 12

My dishwasher- As I was loading the dishes in the dishwasher this morning I realized I am SO VERY thankful for my dishwasher!! It always does a great job, does the job I seriously don't want to do and always works!!

I HATE doing dishes... I even hate loading them in and out of the dishwasher, but that's much easier then doing each one by hand. So, today, I am thankful for my handy dandy dishwasher!

Thanks ol' trusty for cleaning my nasty dishes for me!!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

25 days of thankfulness... day 11

Our veterans - Today is November 11 which means it's Veterans today. So, I want to say I am so thankful for all those who have served and are serving our country currently. I couldn't be more thankful for their commitment and dedication to our freedoms. I can't imagine all the sacrifices they have to make to protect us. They leave their lives, their families and their homes to defend us here at home or in far away and dangerous lands.

Every year as a child my school would go to the Veterans day parade in down town Columbia. It is always on November 11 at 11:00 am. I just remember all the 11's as a kid and was fascinated by that. I remeber all the veterans walking and thinking about what they did for us. I didn't get it then as much as I do now... but their service is just amazing!

So, thank you service men and women!! We have free country because of you!!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

25 days of Thankfulness...Day 10

The warm cozy spot in my bed - There's this one spot in my bed, up under my warm covers that I love laying on and going right to sleep. Maybe it's not real, but I swear it's there! So I'm thankful for it because it puts me right to sleep everynight!

But it does make me think of those this holiday season that are without. That's been on my heart a lot recently. Especially while doing this thankful blog. I have SO much to be thankful for and there are so many out there that don't even have a bed of their own.

So, this holiday season I hope to give time, money and goods to charity to help those that don't have what I am so blessed with. I'll blog about that when the time comes. And I'll make sure Legree helps or comes along. I pray as he grows and see us doing this together as a family he will love doing it, know that God directed us to do it and be cheerful and thoughtful about it.

When I think of doing this over the next 6 weeks or so, I can't help but think of God's direction to us to give unto others! To take care of each other, teach each other, cloth each other and so on. I am reminded of these wonderful verses from Matthew 25:34-40

34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ 37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ 40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

So, as I continue to be thankful for my blessing and get a fire under me to help others I am so thankful and happy to know that if I'm helping someone that's hungry or visiting someone that is lonely it's just like giving and visiting the Lord himself!

Monday, November 8, 2010

25 days of thankfulness... day 9

A good deal - I always love a good deal! Being a stay at home mom and living on only Ben's income, saving money is always a priority around here. I'm not very good with coupons, so finding something that is a good deal without coupons is important to me!

Enter Sam's club diapers....you get 176 diapers for $32! You can't beat that! 176 diapers in the Huggie (Snug and Dry version, not the nicer Little Movers kind) brand at Sam's is $37, at Walmart that would be $35 for 140 diapers... and I wont' even compare if you bought that many at Target, Babies R Us or a grocery store... it just goes WAY up after Walmart.

Now, I know it may "only" be a $5 difference between Sam's brand and Huggies, but $5 is $5... and the $5 I don't spend now I can't put in my savings account for later. And as many diapers as a baby goes through in their diapering years, that adds up yall! And I assure you these diapers are JUST AS GOOD as any of the name brands. They hold up just fine even through the night!

Sam's Brand - about .18 cents per diaper
Huggies Brand- about .21 cents per diaper

For even more savings, try their wipes out! You REALLY can't tell a difference between theirs and Huggies/Pampers brand wipes and the savings are phenomenal!!

Sam's Club Brand - 720 wipes for $13.28 (about .018 cents per wipe)
Huggies - 600 wipes for $14.88 (about .024 cents per wipe)

Now after looking at that, think how much each diaper change costs you and the cost differences...we'll say one diaper and 5 wipes per changing...

Sam's Brand - .18 + .09 = .27 per changing
Huggies Brand- .21 + .12 = .33 per changing

So, a six cents differnce EVERY time you change that cute little bottom! Multiply that times changing a diaper 10 times a day and you've got yourself 60 cents a day! That's $219 dollars of the course of one year!! WHEW!! That's actually a lot of money!!


Sunday, November 7, 2010

25 days of thankfulness...day 8

Legree being a good sleeper- I didn't think I'd ever get to the point where I'd say he was a good sleeper, but he is! It took A LOT of work and patience to get to where we are now. But he normally sleeps 8pm -8am every night and usually takes a 2-3 hour nap during the day. You can't ask for much better then that!! When Legree was little he had reflux so we had LOTS of issues with getting him to lay down to sleep (because it caused the reflux to get worst). Finally we found sleeping in his car seat (since it kept him straight up) helped him sleep comfortably and soundly. I know it sounds weird, but hey if it got him to sleep, made him feel better and got me some rest I was willing to do it. He eventually started to outgrow some of the reflux (it still lingers today but is much more under control with medicine) but kept the great napping down! In fact, until this past month or so he was still taking two two hour long naps. (oh and he stopped sleeping in his car seat at around 6 months).

It also took quite awhile for Legree to really sleep through the night. He was a breastfed only baby so he didn't get quite as full as most babies. Regardless, when he did get up he would just nurse and go right back to sleep, so it wasn't terrible. Eventually it was just once a night and then not at all! He started going to waking up at 5, to 6, to 7 and now 8! The later time also took some work as well. Some mornings he would get up at 5, some mornings much later like 7. So I realized, hey he can go without nursing till 7 why doesn't he do it every morning? So, I read somewhere to let them cry for a few minutes. Generally when they do this they aren't really up, just in transition sleep. So, instead of running to his side as soon as he peeped, I started letting him cry for a few minutes. Generally if he did wake up early, he as back asleep in no time. And this turned out to be great because he started sleeping later and later. Some morning's he'll even sleep till 9!

I never thought when I became a mom I could say I was very well rested, but I am. I get plenty of sleep because my baby gets plenty of sleep and that's just plain good for all of us!

25 days of thankfulness... day 6 and 7

I missed yesterday because I had my hands full with a sick little boy! He is running a fever and just not feeling food in general. When Legree is sick he is a typical male and is just miserable, doesn't sleep and is a baby!

Anyways, so these are going to be short, but just as important on my level of thankfulness!

Legree's health- although he has a virus right now and isn't feeling 100% he is a healthy little guy and I couldn't be more happy about that! He is 16 months old and still has never had to have antibiotics. He only gets sick every once in a blue moon, probably from sticking everything in his mouth! So, I am very thankful for him being so healthy!

Diet Mt Dew - I know it's a silly thing to be thankful for, but gosh I am!! I stopped drinking coffee when I was pregnant with Legree and just have never gotten back into it. I don't know, I guess my taste buds changed. But I still need caffiene right?? Well, diet mt. dew is my drug of choice in that dept. I love it!! It taste so good, has LOTS of caffiene and always gets me going :)

Friday, November 5, 2010

25 days of Thankfulness... Day 5

Being a stay a home mom - I love being at stay at home mom...yall seriously, I LOVE it! It's my hearts passion and has always been. I knew before I even met Ben that that's what I wanted to be when I "grew up". Thankfully, when Ben and I got serious and discussed the matter he was on the same page as I was. That when we had kids, I would be a stay at home mom.

Now, I know this is NOT for everyone. Just like being a judge, doctor, administrative assistant or teacher isn't for EVERYONE neither is this job. I know in some families it's just not possible due to money restraints or just simply because mom loves working outside the home. I completely understand that. But for me, for Legree, for Ben and for our family it just simply works SO well! We are a much less stressful and happier family because of it. We each have our role in this family, and if we didn't have the other it wouldn't function. Each individual makes this family work. I don't feel any less of a person or a member of this family because I don't bring home a pay check. And of course Ben loves that he can provide for his family, but he certainly doesn't want to be home all day every day with Legree. I love to be the one that is there with Legree everyday. I get to teach him everything he knows, tell him about how Jesus loves him, feed him his lunch and snacks, put him down for his naps and be right there when he wakes up. And we get to spend our day anticipating 5:00 to get here when "DAAAAAA" comes home.

I wouldn't trade my job for any pay check out there. It's worth it to feel my little boy running his hands through my hair when he wakes up, laughing at me or telling me the new word I taught him that day. You can't pay for that kind of reward my friends!!

While there are sacrifices (we don't have nice cars, we don't have the newest cell phone, I can't go shopping every day, we can't take great vacation) the rewards are worth it ALL!!

I am so thankful Ben has a great job that can support our family, I am thankful to be there with my little boy everyday and I am thankful to be stay at home mom!!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

25 days of thankfulness day 4...

Legree - I guess I should follow up my thankfulness for Ben with our wonderful son Legree. I don't think I could put into words my thankfulness for having Legree in my life. Thankfully God knows my heart and I don't have to verbalize it or I may be out of luck! All I ever wanted was to be a mother and take care of my children. So, Legree really is a blessing and an answer to a life long prayer to have children. He is so much more then I ever could have imagined. He is sweet, loving, smart, charasmatic, handsome and so much more (again I don't think I can verbalize it all).

Legree came as quite a suprise to Ben and I but, again, I see God's hand in bringing Legree to us when he did. He is a wonderful child. I pray that Ben and I can raise Legree to be a good Christian man (just like his daddy). I pray that God can guide me to show Legree God's grace on us by sending His Son. I am more and more humbled every day at the sacrifice God the Father gave in giving us his Son. I can't imagine giving up Legree like God gave up Jesus for us!!

So, not only am I thankful at God's gift of giving me Legree to simply be my son... but also because he strengthened my relationship with my Lord. I pray that the God can guide me to be the best mother I can be, because Legree certainly deserves the best!

25 days of thankfulness... day 3

My husband, Ben - Gosh I don't even know where to begin with my thankfulness for Ben. I'm just simply so thankful that God blessed me with this wonderful man! God knew the desires of my heart and what I wanted/needed in a husband and he made Ben for me.. I know He did! And he timed our lives out perfectly to be together. I know that my sinful past, the heartaches I've gone through with other guys and all those lonely nights were leading me on the path straight to the man God designed to be my husband.

About four years ago I was like a little lost puppy dog. I knew what I wanted - a good Christian man to be my husband and have a family with. But, this was a lot easier said then done! Every guy I met just didn't measure up to what I wanted and I was not going to settle for anything less. At the time I was very active in my church, very close with my parents, had a few good friends that I still love to this day and I had my job. But that certaintly was not enough. I was working like crazy (12-16 hours a day!) to keep myself busy, but I was still looking for Mr. Right.

One day my mom called me and said you might be mad at me but I gave my friend Debbie your phone number to give to her son Ben. Ben's mom, Debbie, and my mom have been friends for YEARS. They met in college when they were studying to be nurses and worked together after they got out of school. They kept in touch throughout the years. They have a lot of the same back problems and health problems that brought them even closer together. Anyways, while they were very good friends they never got the family's together. They often went out to lunch or to do girl things. Ben and I never really saw each other much, but our mom's kept us both updated on what the other was doing. Finally the timing was right, we were both single and ready for relationships and looking for the right one. So, he called, we went out and the rest is history! I am still amazed at God's timing and hand in our family ties and the timing of our relationship.

I could not be more thankful for Ben. He has ALL the qualities I was looking for in a strong Chrsitian husband and father. He is a wonderful person, takes great care of our family and is always there for me. We of course have our squabbles and disagreements, but I love him with everything I have. I couldn't be more thankful for such a wonderful provider, father, best friend, and husband.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

25 days of thankfulness...

Well, it's November and that means Thanksgiving is upon us. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. Mainly because it's not as done up and over done as Chrsitmas is anymore. I hate that Christmas has become all about the presents and not about the true reason we should be celebrating, our Lord and Savior being given to us. The greatest gift of all! But I do love Thanksgiving, while the hype seems to be seaping into Thanksgiving and Halloween, it still seems to be a little bit more low key. I love that we get to get together with family and friends, share food and enjoy each other's company. The people I love the most and am the most thankful for, all gathered together. That's what it's all about! Oh and the food too!!

Anyways, since Thanksgiving is coming I thought I'd post one thing a day that I'm thankful for. Since I missed yesterday, I'll do two today.

1) The Lord's Forgiveness - I list this first because I know my life wouldn't be what it is today without forgiveness. Forgivness firstly from our Lord. He OBVIOUSLY has forgiven me for my way ward days because he has SO richly blessed me with my life now. He has given me everything I ever wanted in life! And I was such a terrible sinner and he just forgave it all! Praise the Lord!! My Lord knows me inside and out and he knows how awful I feel about my past indescretions... but I still can't believe he'd forgive me and then bless me with a wonderful life on top of that! I know that I still sin every day now and praise the Lord for his continual forgiveness of my sins. He is a good and gracious Lord and I couldn't be more thankful for his forgiveness!!

"If we confess our sins he is faithful and righteous to forgive us the sins, and to cleanse us from our unrighteousness" I John 1:9

2) Forgiveness from others- I thought since I was doing two days together I should put these two together. They go hand in hand. The Lord has, thankfully, blessed me with wonderful and forgiving people in my life. When I was living a sinful lifestyle they chose to forgive me, love me and help me move on. Mainly my parents but also friends too. I certainly wouldn't be here or know true love and forgiveness if I hadn't seen it displayed so well through other people in my life. God says.... "bearing with one another and forgiving each other, if any man has a complaint against any; even as Christ forgave you, so you also do" Colossians 3:13
I am so thankful for my family and friends that live by this verse! They have shown me how to be a good friend, a good parent and a good forgiver!!

We daily sin against our Lord and each other and we shoud each adopt the practice of forgiving each other "seventy times seven". And also remember that our Lord says "For if you forgive men their trespasses your Heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you don't forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses" Matthew 6:14-15. So, we should daily take a look at our lives ask for forgiveness, forgive ourselves, forgive each other and lift each other up in the Lord, the ultimate Forgiver!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Ladies Man

Legree and Jillian....

Legree and Kaylynn....

Don't worry bud, I won't tell them that your seeing both of them at the same time. You just want to keep your options open, I understand!! :)

Monday, November 1, 2010

To Harmon's farm we go...

To Harmon's farm we go....

We took Legree to his annual trip to Harmon's for their Pumpkin Patch. We took him last year and even though I had heard it wasn't up to par this year, I had to take him anyways... I'm a sucker for tradition! But alas, it wasn't quite as great and they deffiniately jacked their prices up WAY to high! $20 for a pumpkin? $7.50 for a hayride? You're kidding right?? So we just went and took pictures, went to the petting farm and played on the playground. Sorry, for not spending $20 on a pumpkin Harmon's... but sheesh!! I've got a baby to feed and bills to pay!!

Here are a few pictures from last year and some from this year... my how time changes things!! My little boy is growing up!!
Sitting in the same spot 1 year apart!
Legree at 4 months sitting on the horsey swing with mommy... now at 16 months, he wants to do it all by himself!
Ok, the rest are from our trip this year...