Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Happy Birthday AnAn

Friday the 23rd was my sister Anna's birthday, so we spent the weekend in Barnesville celebrating. We went down on Saturday morning and Terrell and Daddy played golf while us girls and the little man went out to lunch and took an afternoon nap. (The picture below was taken last year on Anna's birthday when Garrison was only 5 and a half months old.)

For supper we all went down to Macon and ate at the Wild Wing Cafe and then shopped around a little before heading back to my parent's house. Garrison enjoyed the trip to Macon and especially enjoyed his meal at Wild Wing. We keep waiting for that appetite to decrease, but no sign of it yet. He's going to be really expensive to feed when he's older if he keeps up this pace.

Once we were back at the house, Terrell and I got Garrison ready for bed and settled in before Anna and my parents got home. He did pretty well letting me lay him down awake. Terrell had to go back in once, but he after that he just cried, whined, or talked off and on. We tried to be really quiet while we waited for him to go to sleep, but we kept hearing him off and on and knew he was still awake. Finally, as it was getting later and later, we decided we needed to go ahead and do cake and ice cream and presents... just very quietly. We ended up "whisper singing" 'Happy Birthday' to Anna. It was hilarious! We were all laughing throughout the entire song. I guess one day we'll have to tell Garrison that he made us whisper sing to AnAn. Then we gave Anna her presents and finished watching the Braves game and tried to be extra quiet while we waited for Garrison to finally fall asleep.

Sunday morning we woke up and went to church and then my mom fixed a huge meal for us to have for lunch. Garrison enjoyed Granna's home cooking like the rest of us and even after eating too much for lunch we still had leftover cake and ice cream from the night before and a pie for dessert. Since Garrison didn't get to enjoy the sweets on Saturday night, we gave him cake and ice cream for dessert after lunch. He doesn't get sweets often, so he was loving his dessert.

In the picture below Garrison is giving AnAn a kiss. Anna taught him how to give kisses over the weekend and we think he's getting the hang of it.

Sharing his cake and ice cream

Helping AnAn eat her cake and ice cream....

Garrison and AnAn dancing to some music in the "playroom" at Granna & Papa's.

This is a picture of Anna dancing with Garrison last year.

Sunday afternoon the guys went and played golf again while we stayed home and let Garrison take a nap. He took really good naps both days and so did we. It's rare that I get to nap, so I enjoyed having one two days in a row. Anna had to leave mid-afternoon because she was meeting friends to celebrate her birthday with them. Whenever we make plans to celebrate our birthdays, usually the weekend before or after our actual birthday, we always call it our "birthday weekend" because we like to celebrate throughout the weekend. I hope Anna had a great birthday weekend and that she enjoys her gifts... remember you have 2 more coming! Daddy and Terrell brought Wendy's home for supper after golfing and then we headed back to Covington after a really fun birthday weekend for Anna.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Water Fun.... Or Not

Yesterday was sort of a lazy day for us. We were home all day and even though I worked during nap time, while the little man was awake we were scrambling for stuff to do. After playing with all his toys, vacuuming, letting him color (which he wasn't too interested in doing), and reading books I decided that after his afternoon nap and snack we would have a little water fun. I had read about the activity before and it's pretty common for preschoolers. So I pulled out a couple of beach towels and the two best little containers I could find and filled them with water, plus a couple of toys. He was thrilled we he saw the surprise waiting for him (below) and it made me excited because he seemed so excited.

Things went really well once I got him sitting in front of the containers and showed him what to do and how he could play with his toys in the water. He splashed a little and moved the toys in and out of the water and for the most part the floor and Garrison were staying fairly dry. Then, I decided to give him a small cup so he could fill it up and pour it out. Not a good idea. I put the cup in the water and then he took the cup out and emptied it right into his lap.

Okay, so no harm done. His shorts were drenched, but everything else was fine. Time to strip down to the diaper and wipe the floor dry under the towel since it was a little damp now too. Garrison played for a couple more minutes and seemed to be having fun. He kept splashing and then got his little spoon and stirred the water. (If you're wondering about the towels and why the set-up is the way it is... originally I had one container of water on each towel. That was until I realized all the water being splashed and played with had no where to go except onto the hardwood floors. Then I decided to move them both to 1 towel so there was room for water to escape and if Garrison got wet he would already be on a towel too.)

30 seconds later, things are still going good.

Bailey decided to come over and check things out too.

Next comes the turning point of our water fun... As you can see, Garrison now has a big spoon that he's filling with water and dumping out. 2 seconds later he fills it with water again and then dumps it all onto the floor. About 10 seconds later as I'm trying to clean up the water on the floor he somehow pulls over the blue container of water. The entire blue container of water. It all happened in slow motion and there was nothing I could do about it. Tons of water went spilling all over the hardwood floors and a half naked toddler went walking right through it. He did slip and fall once but was okay before I grabbed up the other container and put it in the sink and then tried to use the beach towels to cover the pond on my floor.

Water fun wasn't fun anymore. I had a huge mess to clean up and Garrison wasn't listening too well. Eventually I was able to get all the water up (even the water that went under the oven), and all was well, another memory made. But, I decided the little man isn't quite ready for water fun... or maybe mama isn't ready for it. Next time I'll be waaay more prepared and we'll set up in the bathroom, in a bathing suit, with towels everywhere. Our lazy, boring day turned into a full-blown adventure after all our water fun. Soo I'm thinking I'm going to give Garrison some time to get a little older before I attempt this again, and like I said, I'll be way more prepared.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Premier's National Rally

I spent last Thursday, Friday, and Saturday (July 15th-17th) in Fort Worth, Texas for Premier's National Rally. Let me start by saying that it was an amazing experience and I'm so thankful that I decided to go. But, before I go into some of the details from the trip I have to mention that going to the Rally was an extremely difficult decision for me.

I struggled with it for weeks and prayed over it and talked about it with Terrell (and Elizabeth and my mom), and prayed some more and cried some more before making a final decision. I struggled with the decision for 2 reasons. One was leaving my little man. I wouldn't just be leaving him to go down the road a few miles, I would be leaving him to get on an airplane, go out of state and into a different time zone, and to be away from him for 3 days (the longest I've ever been away from him). It was a traumatic experience just thinking about it. The second reason the decision was so difficult was because I would be flying/traveling by myself. (I have flown to Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, Rochester, NY, and Honolulu, Hawaii.... but always with my youth group or my parents or my husband.) Flying alone and making my way through 2 airports was a huge deal to me. Everyone else from my group of "Premier girls" were flying out on Tuesday or Wednesday. Well, that was out of the question for me. I knew I didn't want to do that when the actual Rally didn't start until Thursday morning and I was already having a breakdown about the thought of being away from Thursday through Saturday. So my only option was leaving out Thursday morning and flying solo. After praying about it some more (again) I felt like God was granting me the courage to go ahead and attend the Rally and that leaving on Thursday morning (by myself) was the best compromise. That way I would be able to experience almost the entire Rally, but I would only have to spend the night in Fort Worth for 2 nights instead of 3 or 4 like everyone else. Okay, so the decision was made and it was one I was at peace about...except for one little breakdown I had when the reality started setting in. Once I was able to think clearly again I just started praying and I literally felt the weight of all my worry and tension and doubt be replaced with peace and calm. Then I knew this is what the Lord wanted me to do and through Him I'd be able to leave Garrison and Terrell for a few days and travel to Texas by myself.

I didn't sleep much at all on Wednesday night, but Thursday morning Terrell and I were up before the crack of dawn so we could make it to the airport on time. My sister Anna spent the night with us Wednesday night so she could be at home with Garrison when we left. Terrell walked me into the airport up until security and then tried to remind me of the direction I needed to go and my terminal and gate number. We said goodbye at security and I was shaky but okay. I made my way to my gate, took a bathroom break, waited to board, and then made it on the plane and in my seat without any trouble. The flight was actually pretty quick and before I knew it I was in Fort Worth waiting on the curb for the Super Shuttle to take me to my hotel. Whew! I made it without any hiccups or drama!!

Elizabeth met me at the hotel and I literally just left my bags in the room and then we walked down the street to the Convention Center so I could check in and get my name badge and all that good stuff. Fort Worth is central time so I was there about 11:00 central time and hadn't missed too much from that morning. When I went in they were actually introducing the new line of Fall jewelry (it's beautiful!) and after that we all went to lunch which was served in a huge room there at the Convention.

The rest of the day consisted of trainings, testimonies, awards and recognitions, entertainment from the Ron Lawrence band, and then one of my favorite parts of Rally~ Premier Around the World. All of the ministries and missionaries supported by Premier were introduced. The missionaries who were able to be there actually walked across the stage and introduced themselves and told what country they were serving in or what city in the United States they were serving in. It was amazing to see just how many ministries and missionaries Premier supports and to hear the names of all those different countries. Then 4 or 5 of the missionaries gave a short testimony about where they serve and what they do and how Premier has helped them and provided for them over the years. I feel SO blessed that the company that I'm a part of is doing so many great things to help spread the Gospel and that as a jeweler I'm helping them do that. My favorite part of all was when Joan Horner (Premier's co-founder) asked one of the missionaries from Argentina to sing "I Pledge Allegiance to the Lamb". (I remembered this song from middle school... it's by Ray Boltz). He had a beautiful voice and he sang the verses in Spanish but when he got to the chorus he sang in English and the entire arena of 9,500 ladies (and some men too) sang with him...

"I pledge allegiance to the Lamb
with all my strength
with all I am
I will seek to honor His commands
I pledge allegiance to the Lamb"

It was amazing. I think half of us cried through the song and I still get chills remembering it. It was so moving and once again I was reminded of how Christian based Premier is and that this business and company is God-ordained. The rest of the night was great too because Andy Horner (Premier's founder) spoke and he is such an inspiration to all of us. But "Premier Around the World" and singing the Ray Boltz song was the highlight of my first day there.

The next day was really great too. We enjoyed some amazing entertainment, training, and testimonies again. My favorite part about Friday I think was hearing all the testimonies of how Premier has touched and enriched lives and made such a difference for so many. Everyone who spoke was such a great testimony not only to Premier, but to God's faithfulness and love. Our group joked that we were at a revival instead of rally. We all grew closer to the Lord and came away so blessed from everything that took place. I also loved when Beverly Terrell (an Executive Director who has been with Premier for 22 years) came out to train and had us sing "This is the Day that the Lord has Made". It was just amazing. That's the only way I can sum it up.

Saturday was probably my favorite day because I knew I would be in Georgia later that night, and it was Patriotic Day. We all wore our red, white, and blue and the arena was decorated and there were men and women in various uniforms all over the place. There were special performances, guest speakers, and recognition of all those serving in the Armed Forces. They even had fireworks inside the arena. One of my favorite parts was when the choir was singing all the different songs for the Armed Forces and those who were there would come on stage. When they got to the Marines' song, 2 Marines dropped down from the ceiling onto the stage. Everyone went crazy when that happened. I loved the history lesson from Rick Green about preserving liberty and returning to the principles of the Declaration of Independence. And, I really loved Andy Horner's "Lest We Forget" speech. He told his entire story of immigrating from Ireland to Canada, how he met Joan, their move to the U.S., and how they eventually founded Premier. Then his daughter came up and we all sang "Count Your Blessings". Again, it was like being at a revival....amazing.

The Rally ended at 4:30 central time on Saturday and then we were all off to the airport. (Thankfully it worked out for our group to be on the same flight home.) Since our flight didn't leave until 8:30 we took our time at the airport and ate at Chilli's for supper. We arrived in Atlanta about 11:25 PM that night. Terrell picked me up and as soon as I got home I went in Garrison's room to look at him and make sure he was okay. I also silently thanked God for taking care of us both while we were in different time zones.

I am very thankful that I went because it was such a blessing to me and I know my implementation of what I learned will be a blessing to my business. The biggest thing I took away from the entire experience was literally belief in Premier. Belief that Premier is an honest, Christian company that puts people before profit, belief that Premier supports minintries and missionaries around the world, belief that Andy and Joan care about each and every one of us, and belief that I can make my business anything I want it to be. I also came away feeling as though I had just seen firsthand the heart of Premier... honoring God, serving others, and enriching lives. It was a great experience and I'm looking forward to Terrell being able to go with me in the future.

Speaking of Terrell... he was so great while I was away. He always kept me updated on Garrison and how things were going at home. He was extremely supportive and encouraging and I'm very thankful for that. He made the entire trip (and separation anxiety) much easier on me. And, I'm really thankful to Anna for spending the night Wednesday and keeping Garrison part of the day Thursday, Ms. Kathy for relieving Anna on Thrusday and keeping him on Friday too, and my parents for coming and giving Terrell a break on Saturday. Daddy played golf with him while mama kept Garrison and they spent the night Saturday so Terrell could pick me up at the airport. I'm really grateful for everyone's help and support and knowing that Garrison was well taken care of gave me peace of mind while I was away. So thanks everybody!!

Bedtime update: We've had all of our bedtime issues resolved for the past few weeks. We finally figured out that it helped for us to give him his less-than-half sippy cup of milk in his room instead of the living room and that if he did cry once we left, it was only for 30 seconds to 2 minutes. We just timed him and it never lasted longer than that and after about the 3rd or 4th night, he didn't cry at all. We did eliminate the morning nap, but only for a few days before it was back. It was just way too obvious that he wasn't ready to give it up quite yet. He was soo tired and even seemed exhausted before lunch time. So we're going to wait on him to tell us when he's ready. We'll see how he does once preschool starts...that may officially get rid of the morning nap.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Trip to Cartersville

Saturday was Terrell's Granny's 88th birthday so we all went up to Cartersville, GA to celebrate, take her out for lunch, and spend some time with her. We met everyone at The Fruit Jar restaurant and had lunch together and then gave her her birthday presents. She is still just as active and funny as she's always been since the day I met her. She loves her grandchildren (especially Terrell...her only grandson until she became great-grandmother to 3 boys) and has a great sense of humor. She seemed to really enjoy getting to see Allison and Garrison and spending time with the rest of us too. We had a fun trip and were thankful we could celebrate with her. Below are a few pictures we were able to make after lunch.

The three of us with Granny... Garrison wasn't interested in looking at the camera.

Being still for a few seconds
Giving Granny her birthday gift... or trying to take it back, not sure which.

Allison with Granny, Garrison, and me in the background

Terrell with his Granny

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

4th of July Festivities

We had a busy but fun 4th of July weekend filled with lots of "festivities". We are so proud to be Americans and enjoyed celebrating our country's birthday with each other, friends, and family. I want to remember it all so this post is a little lengthy...

This picture was taken last year on the 4th and boy has the little man changed a lot in a year. He's still just as handsome/cute/precious as ever to us!
Something I decided to do last year on the 4th of July was to make a dessert called Chocolate Chip Delight. I heard about it from one of the girls I taught with and decided that it would be the perfect tradition for me and the kids to make for the 4th of July every year. It's really simple and something that small children can easily help with. (That's what I loved about it... nothing complicated, no huge mess, and something my kids will love to do... hopefully). The recipe has you dip chocolate chip cookies in milk and then place a layer in the bottom of a casserole dish. Then you put in a layer of cool whip, then another layer of dipped cookies, and so on. Then you can top it with whatever you want and chill it overnight. I think Garrison and his future sibling(s) will love dipping cookies and helping me top it with M&M's and licking cool whip off the spoon. Anyway, last year Garrison was on a blanket in the kitchen floor when I made it since he was only 5 months old. This year I really wanted to include him a little and see what he thought about it. So Friday afternoon we attempted to make Chocolate Chip Delight. I decided since he probably wouldn't dip the cookies and then just turn them over to me (without taking a bite or wanting to eat it himself) that I would let him dip his own cookie and eat that cookie while I dipped the cookies for the actual dessert. I showed him how to do it first and then he took over...

First dip by himself

This is so yummy and I have it all over me!

He did really good dipping the cookie in the milk and eating it until the cookie starting breaking off into the milk and he started trying to grab handfuls of milk. Then once he realized he'd pretty much finished off the cookie he thought it would be really fun to splash in his milk. Soo...

This is what he looked like when I took the bowl of milk away from him. It just broke his heart. But only for a minute...

I started laughing at him because he was splashed with milk (it was sprinkled all over him, his high chair and just a little on the carpet) and he actually had chocolate in his teeth (if you look closely you can probably see it in those bottom teeth) and as I'm looking at him I have a moment of "what was I thinking attempting this... this was a crazy idea!" So he started laughing because I was laughing and I had to get another picture. As this point the dipping of cookies and making of the dessert was put on hold and I got Garrison, the high chair, and the carpet cleaned up. Once all of that was taken care of I got back to the matter at hand and let Garrison play in the kitchen floor.

He decided to whip something up himself.

This is what else he did while I was working on the dessert. He brought his huge stuffed animal dog into the kitchen and decided to rest. haha!

Finally... the finished product. This was a rush job, so not my neatest work with the cool whip.
Friday night the 3 of us went to Applebee's for supper and then had a relaxing evening at home watching the Braves game. (It's kind of funny because last year on the actual 4th of July, the 3 of us went to Applebee's for supper.)

Saturday morning I had to meet with a hostess and her husband to talk about her upcoming show and Premier's business opportunity. They were both really interested (especially the husband) so we're praying about what God would have them do. After that we went to Chick-Fil-A for lunch before heading over to Snellville to do some shopping. We got a pretty good bit accomplished and were worn out when we got home.

Sunday morning we drove down to Barnesville so we could go to our home church and then spend the rest of the day with family. I grew up surrounded by just about all of my extended family and attending cook-outs and family gatherings on every holiday, plus a few in between just to get together. It's what always made our families so close-knit and fun. Time with family was such a priority to my parents and grandparents that now it's just been passed along to me. I want this instilled in Garrison as well so it's always been important to us that we see family often and spend time with them. So, on the 4th of July we had a great time grilling out with our families and celebrating the birthday of the great country we're so blessed to live in.
When we got home from church, Garrison helped AnAn put cool whip on the "Almost Better than Baseball" cake.

Then he got to taste the cool whip. We decided that he liked it.

After about a 2 hour nap, Garrison woke up and we got ready to grill out. My Granny and PawPaw arrived first, then Terrell's parents came over, and then Nanny. I was happy that everybody got to spend time with Garrison and that we could all be together. Garrison got plenty of outside time between his grandparents and great grandparents. Thankfully it wasn't too hot. He is one loved little man and pretty spoiled when he's surrounded by all his grandparents.

He was ready to help Papa grill in the picture below. We had a ton of food and it was all delicious... I know that I ate too much and I'm pretty sure Garrison did too. We had hamburgers, hotdogs, wings, baked beans, corn on the cob, chips and dip, cake, and homemade ice cream. I think Garrison had a little bit of it all. The cake and ice cream were probably his favorites.

The best family picture we got that day.

Monday was Terrell's day off work since the 4th fell on a Sunday this year. It sure was nice to have that extra day. We were able to get a lot of stuff done around the house and Terrell was in a cleaning mood. (I love when that happens!) He straightened up the whole house and then vacuumed the whole house, plus did 4 loads of laundry... yay! Then that afternoon we went with our neighbors/friends Ryan and Katie to the movies to see Eclipse. So fun!! We loved the movie and getting to go on a double date. Then we went out to eat at O'Charley's for an early supper before heading home. Thanks to Terrell's dad (Pops) for spending the afternoon with the little man while we went on our date. We had a really fun weekend and I'm excited that I'll be able to look back at this years from now and remember everything we did.