One of the fondest memories I have as a child (well, teenager) is that of my sister, my self and my cousins, Leanna and Ben, piled up on the couch together watching I Love Lucy re-runs and laughing hysterically. Our favorite was the VitaMetaVegimine one, no telling how many times we watched that episode! We were a close knit family for many years, there are 15 siblings in my dad's family so we really had no choice! I wouldn't of had it any other way, our cousins were our best friends, our compadres, our "I won't tell if you wont tell" partners in crime. They are easier to get a long with then your siblings, most times, since you don't live under the same roof. And when you are young (and sometimes old), cousins are what make family reunions and Holiday get-together's worth going to! And that is the way it should be, since cousins are bound by blood and a lot of times a last name!
Pretty much everyone who reads this blog of mine knows that Jon and I live away from our families. Our parents, our siblings, our aunts, uncles, grandmothers and cousins. We both come from big families, close families, so it has always been our mission to ensure that our children are close to their extended, far away families. Every chance we get, we scoot over to Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and up to Middle GA to see our beloved families. And every chance they get, they come visit us! James and Audrey average seeing at least one set of cousins about every 2 months and it seems that our mission is being accomplished. Whether it is Hannah and Matthew or Harrison and Isabella, the 4 compadres pick up right where they left off! Families are the ties that bind and we are so thankful that our beautiful children have cousins of their own that they can make lasting memories with!
Monday, May 24, 2010
My nephew Samuel turned 1 year old this past Friday, May 21st. Hard to believe an entire year has passed since I posted pics of his tiny new born self! He has had a pretty tough year with almost a constant sickness of one thing or another AND swallowing something that wasn't intended to be swallowed.....so we are hoping and praying for an easier year for the little guy! (and his mama!)
He enjoyed his cake, I think it's safe to say!
He enjoyed his cake, I think it's safe to say!
The kids and I went up to my sister's on Wednesday afternoon so that we could attend Hannah's kindergarten program, graduating her to the 1st grade, on Thursday morning! It was cute and I was so glad to be able to go. And the kids really enjoyed the cake and chips at 9:00 in the morning!!
Again, so hard to believe how fast a year flies by and how much our children have grown.
Posted by Amanda at 11:20 AM
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Last weekend we made a quick trip to New Orleans for Jon's brother Will's graduation. It was a big deal #1 because it's just a big deal when someone graduates from college, such an accomplishment! And it was a big deal #2 because he graduated from the very prestigious Tulane University! Not to brag too much but he did graduate with a cumulative GPA of 3.0, finishing his last semester with a 3.6. He started his college career at Georgia College and State University in Milledgeville, GA and transferred to Tulane after 3 years in GA. He initially moved to GA because Jon and I were living in Gray, GA at the time which is right down the road from GCSU and it was an adventure for him to move away from home. Plus he got the bonus of living close to his brother (and attending college with him for the 1st year!) who had moved away from home a few years previous. We left Gray in 2007 and moved to our current city of residence but Will stayed on in Milledgeville for a year. He's a cool dude, our William, and we are all so very proud of him!
On to the events of the weekend. We arrived in New Orleans Friday night about 10:30 EST and the kids were past exhausted. In fact, Audrey fell asleep about 10 minutes before we got there and James was trying his darnedest to stay awake. He was soooo excited! The graduation was to start at 9 a.m. the next morning so needless to say it was slow starting for us but we made it to the Super Dome with 30 minutes to spare. Score!! If you have ever been to New Orleans then you know it is a happy place. A party place, which is not necessarily a bad thing all the time! They know how to have a good time and Tulane's graduation ceremony was no exception. From the moment we arrived there was a Jazz band playing on stage and they were so good(not surprised, just remembering how much I enjoyed it)! While we were walking around trying to find seats Audrey said "Mama, I hear that sound" and started swaying back and forth to the tune! And I don't know of another city in the USA who would dedicate a big chunk of a private university's graduation ceremony to the city's NFL Super Bowl Champs. WHO DAT!!!
There were lots of people who spoke, as like any graduation, and Anderson Cooper was the key note speaker. It was neat getting to see/hear him in person and learn that he was born in Mississippi, who'd a thunk it?! He kept his speech short which was nice. A theme throughout the ceremony with the all the speakers was "Always bring New Orleans with you", since there were people represented from almost every state in the US and something like 47 countries in the graduating class, so many of the students were leaving the city. It's a good theme for people saying goodbye and the funny part is that they were quoting part of a song by Lil' Wayne, who is a famous potty mouth "gangsta" rapper who's home town is the Big Easy!!!
All in all we were there for almost 4 hours. Not complaining mind you, just saying it was a challange to keep all the kids happy for that long. My kids got a cokes and pretzels out of the deal! But I must say, they were all champs who held out until just before Will's name was finally called. Mr. Ronnie and Ms. Susan had arranged for a luncheon at Le Pavillion (a very old, very beautiful, very special hotel) and there was close to 2000 graduate names called that morning and Will was just about the last one. So, we were a little late to lunch!
It was such wonderful weekend. We made lots of fond memories and we are so thankful that we were able to attend such an event! I didn't get as many pictures as I would of liked to. Didn't get as many of Will as I needed to so I am disappointed with that. But, by the time we got to lunch my kids were so rambunctious that I had to give most of my attention to them so that curtains were not pulled down, crystal and china were not broken into a thousand pieces and keep them from being trampled by waiters, who in turn would have broken their necks and sent food flying in all directions! I was the first to leave and it was pouring rain so I didn't get any pictures outside the hotel. Still, so disappointed in that. But the important thing is that William graduated from college and we were all there to celebrate with him!
Posted by Amanda at 7:58 AM
Thursday, May 13, 2010
It's been fun having two at once. Even though it's been excruciatingly hard at times, it has been and continues to be a fun ride! It was hard having to feed two babies in the middle of the night, hard having to load two babies into the car, hard having to wheel a big double stroller every where I went (go). Hard lugging 20, then 30 then 40 now 50 lbs around on my hips (FYI, that doesn't happen often any more!)
Hard having to listen to two babies scream bloody murder at the top of their lungs (remember my ear muffs?!), hard having to give two babies a bath and making sure one didn't kill the other by accidental drowning. Extra hard wrestling two babies in church by myself (granted I had help 75% of the time but still), hard having them tag team me in the middle of the night. Hard potty training two at once, hard, hard, hard. Wait, didn't I say it was fun having 2 at once?
It's been fun having 2 at once because it brings me twice the joy. I get twice as many kisses and hugs, twice as many giggles and smiles. 4 arms instead of 2 to squeeze me around the neck. And having 2 at once gave my children an instant play mate. An instant best friend. Someone to play pretend with all day long. Someone to laugh with, to cry with, to protect. They have always had each other. They don't know what it's like to be bored or lonely. What a blessing for them and for me. I don't have to "entertain" them every hour of every day! Oh how I pray that they are always this close!!!
Posted by Amanda at 8:52 AM
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Jon's parent's, brother and grandmother came in for the weekend to "celebrate" Mother's Day with us. We had a wonderful time but, as always, the hours flew by far to quickly. It seems that as soon as they got here, they had to turn around and leave. James and Audrey enjoyed having lots of people around to do just what they wanted, as usual!
Posted by Amanda at 12:11 PM
Monday, May 10, 2010
Friday, May 7, 2010
If it were possible to stay outside all day long, our children would do it. They love to be outside and I love for them to be outside. Certainly makes the mess inside the house not as big. And that is the great thing about the Spring and Summer months, isn't it? The more time the chitlins stay outside, the less of an opportunity to destroy the inside which in turn means less work for me!!! Okay, less housework for me!
Please do ignore the ugly, strange looking thingymajig in the background. That would be our very old, very broken air conditioner. If you look real close you can see the shiny new one behind it. And it is shiny, looks like it should be inside and not out. But then for the price we paid for it, it better be shiny!!!
This is their new sandbox. The sandbox that we filled up with sand from the beach. Yes, it's true and if you would like to hear the details on that story be sure and ask me the next time you see me, it's quite hilarious. Redneck but hi-larious!
Posted by Amanda at 8:13 AM
Monday, May 3, 2010
When I got home from the gym tonight I was greeted by a little girl on her way to the bathroom. Her face lit up like a little glow worm when she saw me and almost as fast as it lit up, her bottom lip poked out and very pitifully she said "Mommy, sing Amazin Gwace fo me." I obliged of course and put her back to bed. Not a minute later she was up saying she had to go tee tee and when I peeked around the corner to check on the validity of her statement, I saw her sitting on the toilet, with her pants up. "Uh Audrey, baby, if you really have to pee you might want to pull your pants down first."
Posted by Amanda at 9:30 PM