Friday, October 28, 2011


I've been meaning to get in on the Insta Friday fun for a while but by the time I get my act together to get pictures up and ready, it's Sunday. 

So me. A day {or two} late and a dollar post short.

This is like Insta Friday times 2. Plus One. 


1-Happy kids going down the slide at Chi-fa-way
2- My little dinosaur set to roar it up at the squadron trick or treat fest
3- Cupcake baker, little dinosaur, race car driver, and a cupcake.
4- The best way to cruise the car loop pick-up. Quiet car.
5- Meeting Jeremiah for lunch and seeing a flurry of activity. There were 4 total circling.

6- Daddy and baby watching the biggest hit some balls
7- Got in Jeremiah's car to drive over to concession duty at the ball fields, and THIS GUY scared the life outta me. It's the search and rescue dummy they use to practice on, but I'm still not sure why dude needs to ride shotgun. Oh, the looks I got driving around the O-Dub.
8- Not as yummy as the Starbucks one, but pretty good, AND a fifth of the price. That'll do, pig, that'll do.
9- It's not weird that I took a picture of a fried jalapeño. We were running around town well into dinner time and stopped at Arby's for sandwiches. And jalapeño yumminess. I think this one loved me.
10- Tyler's ball team celebrating Clay's birthday. And in case you are wondering, the signs they are throwing up translate to "We are good Christians boys who just want to eat a darn cupcake and stop posing for pictures."


11- Evie at the doctor for her sick little ears. And just before shots. Poor baby didn't know what was coming.
12- When the binkie is dropped, you make do.
13- They were so cute, I had to share their costumes twice. You understand.
14- My BIRTHDAY BOY on his BIG BOY BIRTHDAY BIKE! He feels like the king of the world. Oh gosh, that smile? Kills me.
15- Our morning post-breakfast routine. Whatever she eats- peanut butter toast, apple sauce, pancakes, bananas- it all winds up in her hair. Drives me bonkers. She's not a fan of the sink bath either, so you'd think she'd learn, right? Right?

Happy Insta Friday friends. I am off to Jack's Bouncy House Baseball Birthday Party! I'll share some pictures soon!


Want to get in on the Insta Fun? Click on the link below!

life rearranged

Three Years

It's 11:31pm  and I am sitting in bed holding back the tears.

Three years ago, at this exact time, I was a mess of stress and worry, uncertain of what would happen the following day. October 28th. The day when the doctors were to take my sweet baby boy from my belly. 

I was scared.

I know as Christians we ought not fear. I know that fear comes when my face is not pointed towards Him. I know, I know, I know that His plans are perfect, as is His timing.

But my human heart was being dragged down by the what-if's. My head was filled with the images and facts google returned when I searched my son's genetic condition

What should have been an exciting, anxious, and amazing night was not. I was terrified of not having a baby to hold in my arms the next afternoon.

The anxiety seemed to swirl around and build intensity within me through the night and the next morning. I tried to be normal and act normal. We dropped Tyler and Kaiti off at school. We saw friends who told us they were praying for our boy, who wished us luck, and who hugged us away. We held hands and prayed in the church parking lot before we drove to the hospital.

Then we arrived. More out loud praying, more silent praying. Praying when the nurses came to get the IV, praying when Jeremiah left to get suited up, praying when they went through what would happen when he was born. Praying when the NICU team came in to introduce themselves and tell me how it would go.

I prayed. I bit my bottom lip, I willed the tears away, and I prayed.

And then they wheeled me in, my husband gripped my hand tight and I closed my eyes. I silently spoke to my mom because I knew her angel wings had carried her into that room.  And then I asked God to protect my baby boy.

And He did. 

The doctors announced that he was close. Then he was born.

I asked Jeremiah if he was okay, and choking on joy, Jeremiah said "He is Perfect!"

I have never breathed so heavy in my entire life.

He still had to go to the NICU. He still had complications. His insides were all jumbled and it made things difficult. His heart still did it's own thing. 
But really, he was perfect.

And now this sweet boy is going to be THREE!

Every birthday, my heart goes back to that place. And then I fast forward to now. I remember each and every worry, and then I think about something ridiculous Jack did today. Today at the commissary, Jack went up to an older lady who was putting some bread in her shopping cart and Jack cocked his head and did that thing with his eyes where he can melt a grumpy grown man in 2.4 seconds. He pointed to her loaf of bread and said "I haff summa dat?"

I remember the fear, but I KNOW the laughter. I feel the joy he brings and I have the smile marks to prove I'm his mama. 

I am so thankful that God gave me this boy. The boy we were warned might not take a breath on earth is so bubbling with life, it spills over on to those around him.

 I tell you what, this boy is one of a kind! (inside and out) 

Happy Birthday Sweet Boy! I am so thankful that God gave me you!


If you're new around these parts, you can read about Jack HERE.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Jack &co. O' Lantern

Guess where we went tonight? 

I bet you'll NEVER figure it out!

Go on......give it a whirl.

I'll give you a hint. It starts with a "P" and rhymes with Lumpkin Latch.


Still can't figure it out??

Okay....we went to a little Pumpkin Patch. A church down the road does a little patch every year and while I'd love to take my kiddos to big patch in a big field, this is just super convenient. So we let them run and pick out some pumpkins. 


I guess Tyler was not in the 
stop-looking-at-pumpkins-and-take-a-group-picture-with-your-siblings-AND-HUG-YOUR-SISTER-LIKE-YOU-LOVE-HER mood. 


Jack didn't pick up on the frustration. This is so them in a nutshell. The easy-to-please goof ball, the affectionate sweetheart, and the serious, thinking, on-a-mission child.


And while I was snapping pictures of her siblings, this little one was grabbing up all the miniature pumpkins and throwing them at her daddy. I kneeled down and told her that's not what we're to do with little pumpkins. And then she gurgled some sounds, batted her eyes at me, and chucked another pumpkin at my toe, turned and hobbled away, laughing.

In her defense, we had just played catch in the front yard. 

Lesson of the day: Do NOT wear flip flops to the pumpkin patch. 

Friday, October 21, 2011

super heroes wear dog tags. capes are so last century.

Meet my husband. Internet world, Jeremiah. Jeremiah, internet world. 


Now, I thought I'd show you. At least, show you part of what he does.

Just in case you're new to these parts, my husband is a US Navy Rescue Swimmer, which falls under the larger category of Naval Aircrewman.

He's done SEAL team insertions, medi-vac type stuff, counter drug ops, anti-piracy operations, and search and rescue missions. If someone needs help, off he goes. 

All of that requires training.

I kinda figured.

When they are not out doing their job, they are training to do their job. The past two weeks have been loaded with all types of training. I asked him to take the camera along to capture some of what he does last Wednesday. My kids got a kick out of seeing these pictures. And since this is basically my family scrapbook, I figured I'd share them here, as well.

--These picture are of HSL-48 Aircrewmen conducting first-aid training--


That amazing guy right there^^ is my husband. Cute, isn't he?!?!! He was playing the victim that day, which is why he is holding a bag of fake blood, and has that weird hand-thing.


Here comes the good guys, ready to save the day! 


That's my husband's ride, also known as an SH-60 Bravo. Just the sight of it has been known to give me chills.


That little white helmet poking out of the window is one of the AW's. I think he is probably looking for a Taco Bell. 


Their chariot.


The first 2 guys are the aircrewman, the 3rd guy with the visor down is one of the pilots, coming out to assess the scene.


Checking out their "victims" figuring out who is worse off. 


Apparently exposed intestines trumps hurt hand. Off to work they go, stabilizing their "patient".


~bow chick a wow wow~

oh wait, was that inappropriate? sorry 'bout that. 

They were just checking for injuries. In case you were wondering.


Here is Mr. Icky-Intestines, also known as AW2 Todd. The guys got him all set, stabilized on a *medevac litter, ready to fly to help.

*my husband told me that's what the red thing is called. I had no idea. in fact, I said "litter? as in kitty?"

Training complete.

Not too shabby for a Wednesday, right?

I think all I did on Wednesday was match socks and sweep up dog hair. Woo.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The BEST thing about Second Grade!

On the first day of the school year, Tyler burst into the car, so excited he could hardly contain himself.

"Mom, you know what the coolest thing about 2nd grade is?????"

Me, so excited and proud that my son LOVES school and values his education, lost in a fog of pride over his eagerness to learn new things........

"What, buddy? What's the best thing about 2nd grade?"

He squealed,


{WHHOOooooosssshhhhh <<<< the sound of my mama-pride deflating}

I joke. We are very proud of our son, who eats up math problems like it's a little bitty cheez-it. Who is constantly formulating and thinking about what comes next. Who remembers just about every single thing he reads and can recite the information back to you days later. Who uses what he read to formulate his own opinions and think of new solutions. Who is often too smart for his own britches and needs to be reminded that facts are just a part of the story. Who is always, always, always paying attention and storing away. 

So this gerbil.......

Tyler had been asking us since day one if we could bring him home over the weekend. He wanted to have this little creature in our house, to show his siblings the pet that gets to learn with him everyday.

Tyler's teacher had told the class some things about Gerby.But for my son, learning tidbits about "Gerby" was not enough (it's gender was ambiguous, but we think we cracked it! --not literally of course!) He wanted to learn all about gerbils. He read and read, and then read some more. He devoured every thing he could find about gerbils, and then shared the information with us. At the dinner table. It was just as lovely as it sounds.

He learned that gerbils like grass, are most active during the day, are mammals, are related to the rat, and they generally live about 3 years. He told us that some have red eyes, some have dark eyes, that they do not grow very big, and that they like to burrow and dig tunnels.

Clearly, he was into this gerbil. We told Tyler we'd love to host Gerby for a weekend visit. So his teacher packed up Gerby's suitcase and sent him off with us. 

The kids LOVED this little thing! Evie could not stop squawking over him, from Friday afternoon til Sunday night. She could hardly handle the excitement. Kaiti and Jack fought over whose turn it was to hold him. Tyler pet him but wasn't as interested in holding him. Once Gerby pooped on Kaiti's hand, Tyler was content to let his siblings hold Gerby. He's a smart kid.

Here's a video we got on Friday of Evie going crazy over Gerby.

Suffice it to say, we might be gerbil shopping sometime soon.......

I apologize in advance to the entire gerbil population. If you see the Nelsons coming,


*just in case there is a group out there that protects the best interest of the gerbil, please know that I was kidding, and that gerbil received more love and attention in 72 hours than I have received in the past 72 days. heh heh heh.

Monday, October 17, 2011

candy coated rain drops

my love
do you 

dream of

you're the same, my candy rain.

Last night was so lovely, even the parking lot looked magical in the setting sun's light.




I am really going to miss this place.

*Ten bonus points if you can match the yogurt cup to the Nelson :)

**Ten more bonus points if you can guess the flavor of the amber-colored yogurt at the bottom of the picture

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Hippy Skipper


it happened to me. 


don't think it ended there. 

oh no.

the auto-correct fun fest continued.....


Wednesday, October 12, 2011


be a blessing.

be a bringer of kindness.

be the reason for someone's smile.

be the reason for lots  and lots of someones smile. 

be a rejoicer in happiness. find a reason to exclaim, not complain.

be a giver. give now, give often. of your time, of your heart.

be obvious, generous and undoubtable with your love.

be the girl you're mom would be proud of.

be purposeful, be intentional.

be joy.





be a bringer of light in the darkness
be the very best of who you are every single day.


{go be a blessing to someone today}

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

on family size

Here's the thing about my family size.
I don't think we are a large family. In fact, I feel like we're little.
I am not talking in comparison to other families- though, if I was, I'd still be on the mark, because just about every family we know has 3 children. And we just have 4.
But just looking at my family size, I do not think we are what you would consider to be a big family. At all.
I don't think we'd qualify as big until we hit 8. So, see? We're barely even medium-sized.

I'm writing this post because...well.. really I just thought once it's out there, my friends will hopefully understand,
my perspective. On why I think we are a little family and why I'd welcome more. 

Here are the questions I tend to get, and the answers I try to share. (sometimes I give a more curt answer...usually because I can see visible eye-rolling or the 'are you flippin' serious, woman' look)

Q: Don't y'all have a TV?
A: Yes, we do. 

Q: You know where those come from, right?
A: Yes, we do.

Q: Are they all yours?
A: All except for that one. We found him wandering out in front of Cracker Barrel.

Q: Are you going to have any more?
A: I'd love to.

Q: You know they have a way to prevent that, right?
A: Yes, but I so appreciate you reminding me.

Q: Aren't your hands full?
A: That really depends on the day.

Q: Are you trying to build your own football team?
A: Yes. That's what we are doing.

I'd rather offer up some other answers to those questions, but I try to take the polite road :) Because, after all, I would never approach a couple with one child and ask them straight away if they were going to have another. So it's slightly off-putting when people say that stuff to us...but I know most of the time it's innocent and without judgment.

I have always wanted to have kids. 8 of them. People would say to me, 'Oh, you just wait 'til you have one....that will change.' To the people that told me that, I say, nope, it sure did not.

The thing is, I am limited in how many babies I can have thanks to my c-sections. So, unfortunately, I don't think there'll be ten of us. I would love to have more, though. Nothing makes my heart leap more than when I see my kids playing together, hearing their conversations, watching one help another, or being witness to those moments of love that they share when they don't think anyone is watching. In those moments, I feel like my heart will burst right open.


Yes, I am aware that they cost money to raise. But I also know that He always provides. And we can always, always, always make do with less. I would love for my kids to go to college, but if that is not the path they choose, I am okay with that-- so long as they do something. My husband isn't really with me on this one, but I think that the individual cost of college should not be a factor when choosing whether or not to grow your family. I really don't. 

There you have it. We are small. We know where babies come from. We know what it takes to provide for them.

And we do have a TV. We also know how to turn it off ;)

Monday, October 10, 2011

I caught you!!!

I made a little challenge for myself this weekend. Because preparing for a big move and taking care of my people leaves tons of extra time everyday. heh heh heh.

My challenge was pretty simple though- to actually use some of the ideas I have pinned to my boards on Pinterest and embark on a pinject once a week. (isn't that cute? I just made a word!) I have used a couple of the recipe ideas and so far all have been hits. Which is great because I have heard a couple sad stories about 'pinterest gone wrong' (so I'm paraphrasing here) and I am sure my day is coming. FYI....those that have pinned the monkey bread recipe from biscuits-- those got a bad review.

Sidetracked. Bringing it back in.

This weeks project was a cute idea I saw (and pinned) that focused on positive reinforcement. It was a cute little project and seemed like a good fit for where I am right now with the kids. With school work, sports, and trying to maintain a tidiness as we prepare to move, I feel like they tend to get called out for their less than stellar moments more than they do their wonderful ones. And that needs to be remedied. 

Enter the jars. The "I Caught You Being Great!!!!" jars. We already have a way of tracking follow-through on responsibilities and such, so this is all for the extra stuff. These jars are for those little moments when we catch our kids going out of their way to help, be kind, do something thoughtful, or maybe just pick up something without being asked. When we "catch" them, we will put a big star in the jar, and when they have so many stars, they can redeem them for something special. Jeremiah and I still need to talk about the reward system and what the stars will equate to, because once we say it, we have one child who will hold us to it. Those of you who know my kids know exactly which one I am talking about :)

To make this little project:

Jars or glasses, something clear so the kids can see their stars
Ribbon or Twine
Card Stock or Scrapbook Paper, for labels
Frame or stand, to announce what the jars are for

I used hurricanes that were part of the table centerpieces from our wedding reception I had stored away. (you say hoarder,  I say tomato non-waster). I got those out and cleaned them up (though apparently, I did not clean them up because they look a little spotty.)


I then typed up the "I Caught You Being Great!!!!!!" along with my kids names, and then printed them up on cardstock. I did not do a jar for Everleigh because she is super obedient and is always going above and beyond what is asked of her. Or because she is just 1. It's one of those.....

Then came the cutting out. I was going to use my sizzix and a big flower shape, but Tyler wanted to do the punching out so I let him choose. Apparently, punching something is more fun than crank, crank, cranking some paper.


The thing about letting kids build their confidence while helping mama with a kinda have to let go of how you envision the finished product. In all fairness to Tyler, I did not give much instruction about centering the punch out over the words. There was quite a bit of space on the top of this one. So to remedy this, I hot glued a rolled flower I had in my stash from hair-pretty making, to make the punched-out phrase look a little more balanced. 


Then Tyler cut out their names. I told him to use neat shapes, and he did! Then we glued their names on to the scalloped circles we had already cut out from scrapbook paper. I laid some felt down because the patterns were a little busy. And also, I had planned on using the felt to make some flowers for their name tags, but I realized Evie had been napping for almost two hours and I wanted to get the main part of the project done before I got carried away.


Then we moved on to the backing for the "I Caught You Being Great" scalloped circle. Since I glued the rolled flower to the paper, I took the glass out of the frame to allow for the dimension of the flower. I used the plastic/glass thing as my template to cut paper for the backing. Tyler took this picture for me :)


Some more hot glue, and the frame was complete.


The I got my ribbon out to attach the the kids names to each jar.

I have no idea what that black triangle this. Really. No idea where that came from.


Yay! A project done within a naptime.....and that's after I did dishes, helped with homework, and cleaned the kitchen up. Go me!!

I originally put them on a tray, but thought it was too crowded, so I took them off.



And let me tell ya'-- it's already a hit! My kids are so eager for me to 'catch' them, that one is sweeping and one is folding laundry. Sweet!!!

Do you have pinterest projects you've done lately that you'd like to share? If so, I'd love to know about them!!!

Okay, I gotta run. I have some stars to cut out!

I am linking up to:

Tutorials and Tips

Friday, October 7, 2011

just about fwee

This rough and tumble, chubby-cheeked, wild-haired, full-of-bounce, irresistibly adorable (I'm allowed)


silly little boy


will soon be three.


Tell me, please, how can that be?


I just want to eat those freckles with a spoon. So thankful to be this kid's mama!


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