Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas Recap

A quick overview of my week last week -
Sunday night continued our tradition of going to Garvan Gardens with some friends and afterwards they came back over here for soup, salad & dessert.

Tuesday my parents came into town & we went to meet my brother Lance & sister in law Kristin. We met up at Playtime Pizza for lunch. Lance & Kristin moved to North Carolina this past summer so we had not seen them in a while. We enjoyed catching up with them again. I had to go to a Doctor's appointment for me (everything was good) and then take Alexis to the doctor (ear infection). I ended up taking Avery to the doctor Wednesday and she turned out to have an ear infection too. I was pretty surprised b/c neither of them has acted especially fussy lately but Alexis had a fever that prompted me to take her.

We did a little shopping but mostly stayed at the house (out of the rain) and visited & played with the kids. Wednesday Nathan and I smoked a turkey and had all of his family over with my family to eat that night and play games. We had 5 couples so we played a game called Couplez. It's sort of a Christian version of the Newlywed game. (Thanks DeBusks!)

Thursday of course it was still raining but we made the best of it. I was so glad that my Christmas shopping was done on Monday so I didn't have to get out it that mess. Our church's Christmas Eve service got cancelled but we played games & watched The Nativity Story. After Kaleigh went to bed we stuffed stocking & put out all of the presents.

Christmas morning we had breakfast then opened stockings. Then it was time for presents. That was a lot of fun, of course. The twins just had the best time walking around through all the chaos & carrying things around the room. I was glad to see that Kaleigh had not gotten gift crazy. She still wanted to stop & play with things instead of just asking for "more presents". We had to prompt her to keep opening. We had our Christmas lunch then Lance & Kristin had to leave. My parents went to a movie and I ended up falling asleep. That evening we went to Nathan's parents for Christmas dinner and more presents.
I'll post more pictures later from the Statton's house.

Saturday, December 12, 2009


I have done an awful job of documenting the babies' milestones, but they are hitting a big one right now. I want to make sure we know when it happened. Alexis has been taking steps for a while now, but just this last week is walking all over the place. It is so cute to watch. She looks like a little old woman with her tiny shuffling steps! Then last night my parents were over and we were sitting around with the kids and Avery decided she wanted some attention. So she stood up and took a couple of steps. She just beamed when we cheered and kept doing it until she was taking 7 or 8 steps. I loved literally seeing our praise & belief turn into a success for her. What an important lifelong lesson in raising kids.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

The other night I went with some friends to see New Moon, and a couple of people were asking about what other books I read. I do love to read and thankfully I read fast, since I don't have tons of free time to do it. I'm pretty much a "lazy" reader, meaning if I have to keep rereading a page to grasp it's meaning, I probably won't finish that book. I also read mostly fiction, with a few parenting, marriage, or decorating books thrown in for well-roundedness. But this blog will pertain to fiction.

Lately I've been reading Jodi Picoult. I definitely like some of her books better than others. My two favorites are probably Salem Falls and Nineteen Minutes. I'm about to read Picture Perfect. For laughs, I like to read Sophie Kinsella's Shopaholic books. If you've seen the movie, the books are way more hilarious. They are a little absurd, but that's part of the fun. Not as funny are some of Barbara Kingsolver's books, especially The Poisonwood Bible. I really liked that up until towards the end. It just lost momentum completely. But it was worth reading. I initially get most of my book ideas from book clubs, like Oprah or Target, or bestseller lists, then go from there.
Nicholas Sparks books are also usually pretty good and easy to read. It's amazing how many of the books I like end up getting made into movies. I guess that's just the thing to do these days. What sparked the discussion with my friends was "Lovely Bones". I liked the book but it was waay overhyped in my opinion.
In the Christian category, I like anything by Karen Kingsbury and most books by Francine Rivers.

So, if you're looking for something to read, maybe this will help you. This is kind of an "obvious" list. If you want more obscure books, I've got those too.

Monday, December 07, 2009

This past weekend Nathan put up shelves in our laundry room. We just needed more storage space for food, cleaning supplies, appliances, etc. Although he didn't quite finish, he got a lot done. The part that is left shouldn't take too long. We had a very busy weekend, with doing that. Friday night was our SS Christmas party. We had a gift exchange of mostly gag gifts. I say mostly b/c it was supposed to be a gag gift but a few were really nice. We ended up with a $5 Sonic gift card which was great and a chocolate monopoly game. Very cool. I brought a 70's/80's book & cd set. Nathan's was pretty funny. Our class normally does an ornament exchange and his tradition is to buy a photo ornament & put a goofy picture of himself in it. This year we got a frame with 8 pictures and he put 8 4x6 pictures of himself in it! I'll have to get a copy of the picture of it.

Saturday Nathan was working on the laundry room and I took the kids to a Christmas party in Benton that we found out about through HIPPY. The kids got to sit on Santa's lap and I actually got a pretty good picture of all three of them. Kaleigh told him she wanted dress up clothes & blocks. She is getting some dress up clothes but I haven't gotten any blocks yet. They also served lunch, had several nice crafts & gave the kids books, hats, gloves & pillows.

After the party we came back here & Kaleigh and I helped Nathan paint the laundry room and he went to work on the shelves.

Sunday we had to clean - it was getting unsafe for the children. Then we put up our Christmas tree and put out a few decorations. It was a full day of work as well, but fun work.

I was thinking back to all we have done since we got the house. I say "we", mostly Nathan, but I have helped as much as possible considering the pregnancy and the 3 kids. We've painted our room, the living room, kitchen, the twins room, Kaleigh's room and the laundry room. We pulled up the carpet & prepped the floors, installed wood floors, put up a curtain rod, built a workbench in the garage, built shelves in the laundry room, and started organizing junk in the basement. We've also had a lot of help with all that. What we still have to do is paint both bathrooms and the new baby's room and install some kind of slide out shelves in my pantry. Oh, and the small matter of the basement. I won't talk about that right now. I just think it's amazing how much we've been able to do in such a short amount of time. It probably helps that we don't have tv yet and just got internet. I'm so glad to have such a handy, hardworking husband.

Here's my promised pregnancy picture and a picture of the girls playing. They climb up in this little toy then scream b/c it's not big enough for them both. Alexis has just been sitting in there all day like a little queen.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

? Week Checkup -

I finally went to the doctor today. As they say, every pregnancy is different, and this one is definitely way different from the other two. Especially the twins, of course. With Kaleigh, I was busy working, moving (twice!) and getting ready for my first child. I was starting from scratch with baby stuff and of course I always knew what week I was in my pregnancy and how long I had left. I was fairly paranoid about what I did, ate or drank, etc.

Then, the twins. That was just a whole other ball game...

Now this one. I'm so laid back this time around. Probably a little too laid back. Once I got past the sickness & started feeling good, I got caught up in all the changes in our life and taking care of the three kids I have already. Mostly it's a huge blessing & an answer to prayer that I'm feeling good enough to not know exactly how far along I am and how long I have left. With the twins that's all I could think about. God had his hand in that whole pregnancy also, but it was a trial for us - to say the least. He took us through the fire and back again. This time around He is blessing me with a much easier time overall and good health and energy.

But I am so laid back that I missed one doctor appt and waited 4 more weeks to make another. So today I went back after over 2 months. Everything looked good, but something kinda funny did happen. I was getting weighed by the nurse and she kept moving the scale up, up & up. She said my weight and I said "yes, I'm finally gaining weight". She looked back at my records and said "Well, it looks like you've gained 27 pounds so far. We usually like to see our patients gain between 20 and 25 the whole pregnancy." Then she mentioned something about maybe watching it. I just sort of smiled & nodded, knowing that I'm not going to change anything. Mainly b/c she wasn't taking into account that I started out at least 10 pounds underweight. Also, after what I went through with the twins I developed almost a food phobia. I'm so glad to have my appetite back that I don't really care if I gain 50 extra pounds. Still, my belly is pretty big. I'm about 30 weeks along. It makes me wonder what I will look like at the end of the pregnancy! I'll post a belly picture soon.

Monday, November 23, 2009

What a difference a weekend makes!

Sorry I haven't been able to post for a while. We have internet off & on right now so I'm going to give it a try.

The title of this post is referring to our floor. Nathan took off Friday and his dad & Ben came over to help with it. This room is majorly transformed. I will take more pictures once we have furniture in place but I'm loving it. I also love that we did it ourselves. It's so satisfying.

The "before picture, with the lovely green carpet.

With the carpet pulled up. Even Kaleigh got in on the action!

Laying the floor - it has to be perfect of course!

The almost finished living room. I love it! The babies seemed to like it too. They just crawled around and around. I should add that as much "help" as the babies and Kaleigh were, it was a huge help when Nitzia watched Kaleigh for us and Patti took the twins most of the day on Saturday.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Okay - I think the consensus is that we are still good people & had a right to be mad. Lisa, you're right about the heaping coals of kindness, but I'm still gonna have to pray about that one! Because the charity had done so much work loading stuff already, we let them take a lot. That's also why it makes me mad that she called Nathan greedy. It makes me want to demand everything back if she's going to call us greedy anyway!

But moving on, we've managed to get a lot of work done this week, with some help and some loong hours put in by Nathan. The entire LR and our bedroom have been painted and Kaleigh's room just needs another coat. We're still working on getting wallpaper down out of the twins' room.

Here's a couple more pictures. Kaleigh's room is the yellow. I think it's adorable, but doesn't match her bedding at all so we had to paint. The last one is the view of the kitchen from the front door. This is truly an OPEN floor plan. I think it will be a lot of fun.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

House Drama

Please read if you have the time!
I've got to write this post to vent, and I also want honest input.

We were able to close on our house Monday after a long wait (yay!) The situation was a short sale and a divorce situation. Everyone had already moved out but there was a lot of stuff still left in the house. After we got the house on Monday, we went over Monday night to start working. The first thing that had to be done was clearing the upstairs so John Paul kindly came over and helped Nathan cart stuff from the garage and almost every bedroom to the basement. They spend about 5 hours doing that and we cleaned up. We really didn't look through the stuff closely, but a lot of it was in good condition, there was some furniture that we could use, baby things, etc. Tons of clothes and other stuff that we just barely looked at and threw in trash bags and figured we could go through later and keep some, have a garage sale, and/or donate to a charity. In the meantime, it was all stacked neatly in the basement. I should mention that Claire (our real estate agent) had warned us to change the locks b/c of the situation. We were planning on doing this, but weren't able to on Monday.

So Tuesday we pull up to the house around 3:00 and see a Uhaul parked in front of it full of stuff. After looking closer, we discover that it is the stuff from the basement. We find out that the previous homeowner told this local charity that they could have the stuff and she came over and let them in the house. Now I was absolutely appalled. I am still mad when I think about it. Nathan was about ten times worse. They had almost loaded everything, including a lot of the furniture that we were going to use, and we told them we were sorry but that it was our stuff and it needed to go back in the house. We ended up letting them keep about 10 trash bags full of stuff. We donate to charities regularly but I like to get a tax deduction for it when we do. Also at this point we had no evidence that they were even from a charity. We also found out later that about $50 worth of our stuff had been taken as well. The whole time I am thinking to myself "what is the Christian thing to do here?" But still feeling very violated. We immediately pulled off all the doorknobs and took them to get the locks changed. In the meantime while I was gone, the previous homeowner showed up. Nathan talked to her and she claimed that she thought she had until Wednesday to get the stuff out, which I think was a lie. First of all - how do you not know when your house has gone from your possession? Secondly, everything had obviously been moved and cleaned. It was in nowhere near the condition it was left in.

Now we go to today. I had calmed down but I'm mad all over again. Nathan went to the charity which I won't mention at this point but may later and asked to get some things back that they had taken which actually belonged to his dad. They said that they didn't have them, the previous homeowner had those things. Then the lady who owns or runs the place starts into Nathan telling him how her guys spent all day working on this and it cost them money and he was greedy to take stuff back from a charity! Until that point we had been sympathetic to the charity knowing that it was an unfortunate situation, but not really our fault! Nathan listened to her rant then asked her how she would feel if she went home and saw two guys coming out of her house that she didn't allow in, loading stuff into a truck?! She didn't have much to say about that. She did say she was going to notify the papers about the whole thing. HA! I'm sure they'd get a twisted view of it too.

So I sincerely want to know what you think. What would you have done?

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Little Bo Peep and her Little Sheep

This year for Halloween I wanted a themed costume for the girls. I kind of borrowed this idea from my friend Candice. I pieced together Kaleigh's costume from borrowed items, thrift store, garage sale & stuff we already had. We have several events & birthday parties to go to and dress up for. The first one was a community event in Benton. They had little games and inflatables and even horseback rides!

Alexis's new trick. She just stands up!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Kaleigh's Birthday & Misc

Kaleigh had a great 4th birthday party. We decided to do a musical theme this year. Unfortunately, our pictures were not so great. You know those expensive cameras - one little setting gets off and everything is blurry. She loved it though and that's all that really matters.
We had a little trailer ride rigged up for the kids. I think that was probably the highlight of the party. That and the Dora pinata getting completely decapitated! We also had a musical squares game and a little obstacle course set up for the kids.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009


We had the babies' party on their actual birthday, October 1st. A big part of the party was taking pictures of them and watching them dig into the cakes. They liked the icing but didn't get very messy. If you are on facebook, I'm going to post a lot more pictures on there. Just so you know, Nitzia embroidered the onesies for me and I made the hairbows (Nitzia taught me how). Nathan said he thought that was the most crafty thing I've ever done!

Stay tuned for more posts coming up telling about our trip to Texas for the reunion at the Texas Children's Fetal Center and an impromptu 2 day trip to the beach at Galveston!

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Happy Birthday Avery & Alexis!

One year ago today God blessed us with two more precious little girls. Honestly, this year has gone by pretty fast.

Here is an update on what the girls are doing now:

They are both crawling really well.
They can pull up on anything & everything and do so often.Both are good at picking up cheerios - still working on more "slippery" types of solid foods.
Recently we discovered that they will actually sit still for 30 minutes and watch Baby Einstein.
They babble a lot, especially Avery. Favorite words are mama, dada, baby, & meme.

Avery loves to be around people and beams when getting attention. She is sweet & calm on the whole, but she can throw a fit when it's time to nap and she doesn't want to! She babbles a lot and likes to pick up every little speck off the floor and put it in her mouth. She is a little more passive than Alexis, but if they are fighting over a toy, she will almost always win b/c she doesn't give up easily!
Alexis is active and loud. She likes to explore and seems to be a leader, doing a lot of things first. She's also quite the drama queen. I can usually tell the girls apart from their cries. Alexis's is loud and angry, Avery's is usually pretty sad like. Alexis can be very cuddly too, especially at night right before bedtime.

We Love you Avery & Alexis.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Fall Fest

Saturday was Bryant's annual Fall Fest. It started with a parade then would up at Mills Park where there were food booths, things for sale, businesses giving stuff away, singing & dance performances, small competitions, that sort of thing. I enjoy just walking around looking at everything & being outside.

The parade was probably the highlight for Kaleigh. Poor thing though - she takes after me way too much. Instead of just enjoying herself, I think she was just stressed the whole time about getting candy. And candy she did get!

We entered the babies in a baby crawl contest. There was only one other baby - and Avery & Alexis came in 2nd & 3rd! You do the math. They just decided not to move. Go figure! It was still cute anyway. Isn't that the point?

There was lots else to do & see.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Oh Boy - Another Girl!

We got our ultrasound on Wednesday, and surprise surprise it's another girl for us! I would have been shocked had it been a boy. I would love to have a boy but I know God has His reasons for giving us another girl and I'm fine with that. We were very happy to see that everything looked great and she was measuring right on schedule. I've started to gain more weight recently. I will try to post a belly shot soon. We've got a lot coming up - all the girls' birthdays and our trip to Houston for the Texas Children's Hospital reunion.

We do have a house - sort of... The papers are signed, and our closing date is the 30th, but only time will tell when it will actually happen. Things are already delayed with trying to get the electricity turned on for the inspection. Still, it's a great house and I will wait as patiently as possible. I can't wait until it's actually ours and we can get it fixed up & move in. I will put up before & after pics & probably be asking for some decorating advice!

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

A Day in the Life

Avery & Alexis have gotten very mobile & mischev
ious. Things are rarely dull around here these days.
Alexis likes to
pull up on things and then cries when she can't get down.
Or when she lets go & falls on her bottom.

They are both crawling & exploring and many times end up stuck somewhere.

Avery has a funny face that she likes to make since we always laugh when she does it.
Don't be offended if she makes this face at you sometime.

And of course big sister Kaleigh is never far away from the craziness!

Thursday, September 03, 2009

New Home Wish List

Nathan and I have a couple of "must haves" for a new house -
  • at least 4 bedrooms or 3 with a room that could be a bedroom
  • a garage
  • a good backyard for the kids to play in
However, Kaleigh has quite a different kind of list -
  • A house with stairs - not on my list
  • It needs to be pink or purple - hopefully her room will suffice
  • A trampoline - maybe
  • A deck she can eat outside on - this sounds nice
  • lots of trees and if it doesn't have them "we can bring them and she will carry a small one".
  • A new baby in mommy's belly - I'm hoping she means the one already in there
  • A new Daddy - What?!!? I asked for clarification on this one. Are we talking about replacing our daddy? "No, we just need another one because we keep getting lots of babies and we need somebody else to help take care of them." (I love how she phrased that, like we keep going to Wal-Mart and bringing babies home or they just appear. She then told me she was just kidding about the new daddy.)

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Officially Homeless with 3 kids & one on the way...

Okay, don't feel too sorry for us. We do have quite a comfortable place to stay, even if it's not ours. We were glad to officially sell the house today and get to really looking for a new one.

We wanted some family pictures in front of the house and waited until the last possible moment and took some this morning.

And lastly - this little bit of funniness. Kaleigh wanted to pray the other night for her friend Noah. So she started off her prayer "Dear God, thank you for Noah and for his best friend - Me!" It went on very appropriately, but I was smiling the whole time. She is an interesting little person.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Home Update

We've officially moved out of our house and are now living with Nathan's parents. We don't actually have to be out until the 29th, but we set moving day for yesterday. We had a lot of great help from some friends & family. Thanks guys! Now we just have a bunch of odds & ends to get out. Thankfully the appraisal & inspections went fine, so things should continue smoothly.

We found a house we really like & made an offer, but of course it's not a simple situation. It's in a short-sale, which is kind of pre-foreclosure. We heard nothing on the offer. Not a yes or a no or a counter. Somewhat frustrating b/c until we have closure on this house we probably won't find anything we like better for the price. We took Kaleigh to see the house & asked her if she liked it. She said yes and we asked her how much we should pay for it. She said "Hmmm, I think maybe 3 dollars". Then she said she would give us the $3 out of her piggy bank. Isn't that sweet?

Then yesterday we had the funniest conversation where she informed me that she doesn't want to move, she likes our house. Then she said "Okay, we can move. But we have to get a house with stairs". And if it's ugly we can paint it pink and purple so it will be pretty. I'm thinking we probably won't let her decorate for us!

Saturday, August 15, 2009


We are so glad that God allowed our house to sell in such a short amount of time. That can be a stressful & trying ordeal & we were spared much of that. Thank you all for praying for us. Now we are looking for a new place to live & trying to make the best decision in that regard.

We have looked at a few houses. Some were absolutely awful but we did find some we really like. In typical Nathan/Shelly fashion, I'm ready to buy one today, and Nathan wants to think about it and look some more and keeps thinking of things wrong with them... This could indeed be fun.

We will miss our sweet little house. It was our first home together and the only house our children have ever been in. I did tell Nathan a while back that we needed to move b/c I had bad associations after my bedrest here, but now I will be leaving with good memories.