Saturday, May 29, 2010

A Long Pit Stop and the Rest of the Journey

When we left Arkansas, we headed north to Missouri to visit my side of the family for a few days. We are always busy, busy visiting family when we are in Missouri. I have a lot of family members and they all seem to want to see us. :-)
However, we did get a rare treat....a visit with a friend from college/Army. Eric Minor was at Lindenwood University, was in ROTC, and graduated with Brian. I haven't seen him since then, and Brian saw him a bit while he was in Iraq the first time around. Eric is stationed at Fort Leonardwood, only an hour from my hometown. He was visiting family in St. Louis the same day we got into town, so he stopped by to visit for a bit before heading home. Brian's dad told us to take a picture of the boys and I am so glad he made sure we did this!
While in town, we threw my sister, Amanda, her baby shower. I wanted to make sure she got one and this was the only time I knew it could happen. It was a little earlier than they are normally thrown, but it turned out really cute and she got SO many great things for the baby. One of the best things was that we got to see some family members we rarely see!
I didn't take many pictures while in Missouri. I try and just enjoy the moments sometimes instead of recording them. :-) It's something that's hard to do at times, but it's nice at the same time.
When we left Missouri to get to North Carolina, we ended up going right by Fort Campbell. This was our first official duty station, where we first lived as a married couple. This was also where Austin was born. We decided to make a pit stop there to show Austin where he was born and the house that we brought him home to. Here's our little two bedroom duplex on post.
We tried to get in touch with some friends that still live there, but I have the wrong number for her. Sorry, Jen! Maybe next time!
Our drive to North Carolina wasn't too bad. We stopped for the night in Knoxville, TN since we didn't want to put the kids through a REALLY long day of driving. Brian drove the Tahoe with the dogs and Austin and I drove the van with Colten and our bags. I originally thought that Austin would switch back and forth between the two cars, but he's all about Daddy lately, so he stuck with him.
I was very surprised at how good Colten was. We had switched him around to forward facing for the trip. It was something that I knew had to happen if I was going to be the only adult in the car with him. It is so much safer to stay rear facing for as long as possible, so my plan was to keep him that way until I couldn't anymore. This trip changed my plan a bit and there's no turning back now...he loves it too much and I know car rides won't work if we switch him back around! Anyway, he watched movies when he got really cranky and took his naps (although, they were a little later than they normally are) pretty well. He played with toys, ate snacks and laughed at Mommy.
We had traffic in Nashville and that's pretty much it. The stop for the night worked well and everyone seemed to get some rest for the next day of driving. We had a wonderful view for most of the day. Driving into the Smokey Mountains was awesome.
After we got out of the mountains and into North Carolina, we had fields of wild flowers to look at. I don't know how many times I wanted to pull over, wake Colten up and take pictures of the boys standing in the middle of a wild flower field. They were gorgeous!!!
When we finally pulled into our driveway and got out, we realized that it was HOT in Spring Lake! About 95 degrees. We got in the house, cranked up the A.C. and unloaded the car. The kids and dogs were running wild around the house! It was funny. We headed to our friends' house for dinner (Thank you so much Oliver Family!). It was so good to be in our house!!! We are making our house a home now and hope to have pictures of it up soon!

OH, and I just have to post this picture of the geese that have been eating in our backyard!!! When our fence goes up, they probably won't be visiting us anymore, but it's pretty neat that they like it right now. Of course, Abby and Koa go nuts when they realize they are out there, but the babies are so cute and it's neat to see that the adults take turns standing guard while the other eats.


Friday, May 28, 2010

U of A Graduate

I have a lot of catching up to do! We've had so much going on and I want to document it all before I forget!

One of the first things that had to happen before our big move was for Brian to graduate! I am so proud of him for all his hard work in school. He ended up with a 4.0 GPA. I know he says the graduate classes were easier than his undergraduate classes, but he had to balance family and school; something he didn't have to do last time around. I know at times, it was hard to work in another room when he could hear everything going on in the main part of the house. The kids weren't always the quietest or the best behaved when he was taking tests or doing homework (which is why I tried to take them out of the house when he was doing tests).


The department put on a great lunch for the graduates and their families. Brian's parents, his brother (John), and his Aunt Nancy came up to see him graduate and we had a great time eating and visiting.

After the lunch, we had some time to kill before Brian had to be at the arena to check in for graduation, so we went to the Razorback store at the Student Union to browse. They had a sale on all Adidas merchandise since they are switching over to Nike. We left with more than enough and while we were shopping, Yaya had taken Colten out and gotten him to sleep a little. It was definitely time for his nap and Brian and I were amazed that she was able to get him to sleep. He's usually really hard to get to sleep at the age in public.


A little bit after Brian left to check in, we headed to the arena to get some seats. The hard part was going to be keeping the kids from losing it. Of course, Colten had to wake up just as the ceremony started. :-) Typical, right? Anyway, all the graduates filed in and the ceremony started. Can you spot Brian in the picture below?


I brought my zoom lens to the graduation, but with the lighting, it was pretty hard to get a good shot. This is about as good as it was going to get of him getting his diploma. Not bad for the seats we ended up getting!


This is about one of the only pictures we have of him in his cap and gown with us. The boys were getting hungry (as were the rest of us!) and we knew it was either A. get pictures and have cranky kids or B. get dinner and enjoy the evening a bit more. We chose B. I have to say that part of me was screaming to get more pictures, but it just wasn't possible. As we were driving through campus, I kept seeing all kinds of places I would have loved to get some shots...but the Mom in me was saying to get the kids some food pronto. :-)


After dinner, we went back to the hotel and took a few pictures. I probably could have had Brian put his cap and gown back on, but I think he was a little more comfortable without it. Of course, by now, Colten was tired, but Yaya holding him made a much better picture than the ones of me holding him. Trust me!


Aunt Nancy had to leave after dinner, so we had to get a picture of her and the graduate!


Do you see how tired he looks? He was a trooper though! He really does surprise me at times like this. When it's important, he can doing great on little sleep.


Overall, a very good day. I know we will miss the school, especially the sports! Of course, I had a year and a half to get some shots of our family around campus and never got around to it. I think the only pictures I really took on campus were of us at sporting events!

Congrats Brian! Your family is so proud of all the hard work you did. We love you!!!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Connected Once Again!

It's official...we have internet! Yay! We also have a land line, which is important as well since our cell phones do NOT work very well in (or around) our house. In fact, Brian has had to do most of our business standing at the end of our driveway. I refuse to go all the way out there and usually talk on the phone while sitting in the garage, on the front porch or leaning against the window in my bedroom. Sounds like fun, right?

So, we got here on the 15th. Since then, we have been busy, busy, busy! Things were going pretty smoothly at first. Movers came on Monday, cable was hooked up on Tuesday, we had appointments for the fence, phone/internet, and security system. However, that's about as smooth as it was going to get. The fence guy, last we heard, was having medical tests run. The phone and internet was supposed to be hooked up last Friday and we had to keep calling them and pestering them to get it done. The security system was waiting on the phone company, so now that should be done quickly (they are the only ones who have been on time for their appointment), but since the phone guys were here so late, I have to wait until tomorrow to call the security company for another appointment. We are supposed to get blinds installed, but they had to order the color we wanted. We had a guy come out today for a bid to get sod and possibly irrigation system installed in our yard (the front is already sodded, but our HUGE back yard is nothing but a big sandbox with weeds sticking out all over the place).
As you can tell, a butt load of money is being poured into this house already! LOL. The joys of owning your own home...especially one that was just built. We love it though. The downstairs layout is awesome. I do wish it was one story, but nothing out here seems to be. I told Brian that I think we'll lose 10 pounds just going up and down those stupid things! However, all the sweets I am craving will probably not help. :-)
Speaking of that area....Aiden is doing great! He is moving a LOT now and growing so much! Brian has felt him move for a few weeks now, but Austin was able to feel him the other day and you should have seen his face! He is REALLY excited about having another brother. Whenever he says 'Good morning' or 'Hi' to me, he also says it to Aiden. He gives me a hug, then has to give Aiden a hug. It's so cute. Colten has no clue what is going on. He's just not old enough to understand it all. His world will be rocked in September.

Brian will be signing in to work on Tuesday. The days of being home all day are coming to a close. He'll in-process for a few days, then start working with his unit. He's supposed to go to Airborne Schoole at some point, but we don't know when that will be. We've talked to Austin a bit about this since it's been so long since Daddy has had to go to work! The days will probably be long since he won't be coming home after PT or during lunch very often. He'll be gone for 12 or more hours every day and I know the kids will not like this change. Of course, neither will Mommy! I rather enjoy the fact that when I am irritated or frustrated or just plain tired, I can send Daddy to deal with it. :-)
I know, this is another post without pictures. I need to get them uploaded from the camera. I have all kinds of pictures to post and just haven't felt like getting on the computer since I wasn't able to get online! :-) I'll get them posted in the next few days. As for pictures of the house, I'll get those taken soon. I want to get a few more things done around here before showing everyone what our stuff looks like in here!
Can I just say how excited I am about having internet again? Of course, it means I will have to resist the computer when I am supposed to be working on getting things organized. Yeah, I am not so good at temptation like the internet!

Goodnight all...see you again tomorrow!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Missing Us?

We're still here....just busy, busy! Our internet gets hooked up on Friday morning...thank goodness! I am so ready to be "connected" again!
So far, we have the kitchen boxes completely unpacked. The living room is pretty much set up, but we have alot of knick knacks that need places since we don't have the built in shelves we had in the Arkansas house. The dining room is full of picture boxes since we haven't even thought about hanging anything!!!
The kids are loving the house. Colten likes the stairs a bit too much and we have to have a gate up at all times at the bottom so he doesn't climb them all the time. We are currently working on trying to find a gate that works for the top of our stairs. Austin finally got his trampoline that he's been wanting and Brian had time today to put it together. Austin will be out in the backyard all summer.
Abby and Koa will be much happier when we get a fence (and so will Brian and I!). The fence SHOULD be installed next week, weather permitting. Other than that, the dogs are adjusting fine. Toby seemed to like sitting on the stairs when we first got to the house, however, the next morning, while letting the dogs out, he wanted out as well. Since he was an indoor/outdoor cat in Arkansas, I let him out. We haven't seen him in 3 days. We're hoping he's just busy exploring the woods and fields and will be back soon. Austin asks about him every now and then, but we are staying would be nice for him to show up soon though.
Everything is getting set up pretty smoothly! This area is weird to us since when we moved in, it seemed like everything we needed came to our door! The security companies, trash companies, blind companies, etc all watch for new residents and compete for your business. It has seemed pretty easy to get things set up so far.
Baby Aiden is doing fine as well. He had a bit of a sugar high on the way to NC since I am a HUGE snacker in the car. He is moving all around and kicking like a soccer player! Austin has been hugging my belly and giving Aiden kisses all the time now. I think he's a little excited about another baby!
Well, I guess I'll get some pictures posted after we get internet. I'm just thankful for friends letting us use their computer/internet!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Internet...Oh How I Miss Thee!!!

You don't realize just how much you use the internet until you have very limited access to it! All I have to say is that I miss the internet very badly. I miss the interaction on Facebook. I miss checking on the blogs I enjoy reading. I miss checking my e-mail.

Most of all, I miss posting on here! I have graduation pictures that need to be posted and a few pictures after that that I would love to share! However, it will have to wait until we get to North Carolina and get internet access. Boo!

On a great note...I'm going to have another NIECE!!! Amanda found out today that she's having a girl, so I get to buy some girly dresses for my niece! It will be a nice change to the boy clothes I have always bought for MY kidlets!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

A Boy and His Razorback

Here's a picture I took last night. I had to...even with the chance of waking him up. I just couldn't pass up this photo opportunity of a boy and his Razorback!!!
Colten has definitely latched on to a stuffed Razorback that we have had since before Austin was born. He loves his Dee (what Austin calls that blue blanket next to Colten), but he wants his Razorback to sleep with as well. Sometimes, when I give it to him before going to bed, he'll put his arms above his head and say, "woooooo" like he's calling the Hogs. It's so cute!

Today, we are busy with graduation activities and getting ready to head out of Arkansas and to Missouri for a few days before heading to North Carolina. I may be out of the loop more since the hotel we are staying at tonight doesn't have internet and I probably won't have a lot of time to get online in the next few days either. I'll try to post a few times least to get some Graduation pictures posted!
Hope everyone has a great weekend!!!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Last Diamond Hog Weekend

This past weekend was the last time we'd be able to attend a Razorback Baseball game. We made the most of it and Brian went to all three, while the boys and I went to Saturday and Sunday's games.
On Saturday, we grilled hamburgers and ate there. The kids love being at the games and have so much fun running around and playing with the other kids.
Daddy's cheese burgers were excellent!
Of course, I think Colten's favorite was the bad-for-you Cheetos that we let him have sometimes.
Austin seemed to agree, but ate his cheese burger so quickly I thought he had dropped it on the ground! One second I look over and it's there and the next second it's completely gone. Hungry kid!
Want to know what these kids were watching? Nope, not the game! Something MUCH more exciting! They were watching ... wait for it.... ice melt! :-) I think they did this for about an hour. They'd go and get big chucks of ice, put it on the concrete wall in front of the fence and then watch it melt. Not my idea of fun, but it kept them entertained.
Austin has been Calling the Hogs in public for a while now. Colten has been Calling the Hogs a bit as well, but won't really do it in public. He has more fun watching everyone else do it. It's funny though, he'll put his hands up in the air and say, "woooooooo!" He also LOVES his stuffed Razorback when he's going to bed. He reaches for it and hugs it tight when we put him down. Daddy's so proud!
I'm ONLY putting this picture up because I like that both of our kids love Ribby the Razorback! I look awful and fat (not pregnant!). However, it's a memory nonetheless and I need to get over myself! :-)
The weekend was great and it got us out of the hotel we were in both afternoons. The kids came home exhausted and slept really well both nights. We are going to miss these kinds of weekends when we move!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

High Flying

What goes up...

Must come down!
Colten loves to be thrown in the air. He's getting heavy though, so he doesn't get quite as high as he used to! Daddy even commented about how heavy he is, but still threw him quite a few times for me to get some pictures. Colten laughed the entire time.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Football Player in Training?

At the end of April, the Razorbacks had their Spring Game and there was RazorFest all afternoon before the game started. We took the kids to RazorFest for a bit before the game and did a few of the activities. I think Austin favorite activity was the football activity that the Fayetteville H.S. football players were running.
He did great running through the ropes,
Breaking through the pads,
but probably needs a little work on how to throw a football. Guess we've been working more on baseball than football, huh!
After a short down pour, we got some seats to watch the game.
Everything was wet and yucky, but the boys didn't seem to mind.
Colten was even clapping for the team as they came out of the locker room.
We made it through the first quarter, but the kids were driving me crazy and we had already been there for a few hours, so we left. I know Brian wanted to stay for more of the game and I offered to just take the kids to a playground for them to run around so he could watch more, but he said that wasn't necessary.
We went home with some tired, but happy kids (and a happy Daddy since he got two shirts and a hat on sale at Hog Heaven). Can't wait to see how the Hogs do this coming football season!!!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

We'll Call Him...

We've kept it secret for long enough. We picked out a name and have told close family and now it's time to tell everyone else. :-)
Our third son will be Aiden Parker
We are excited to give this little guy an identity and refer to him by name now. If you're wondering where we got the name, we just tried to come up with names that we liked for his first name that went with our two other crazy boys' names. Brian and I sat down one night and talked about all kinds of names and then each made a list of 5 names, crossed off the ones that one of us didn't like and then picked which we both liked the best. For his middle name, we made a list of all the names we thought sounded good with Aiden and then let it sit for a day or so before making the final decision. The process was actually pretty easy and I'm so glad we have not had any big debates over any of our kids' names!
I'm over half-way done with this pregnancy and can't wait to see what our little Aiden looks like! Until then, I'll just enjoy the kicks and flips he does in there and the time we have left with just TWO kids! :-)