My word, it's been a while since I've done a Tuesday Ten! It's been sheer craziness 'round here, and I honestly don't know why. Just busy livin' life, I suppose. Here's a brief breakdown of what we've been up to the past month or so.
The boys gained a new baby cousin, Kai David, seven weeks ago. They were smitten. Kai is Brig's first encounter with a baby -- he's always been the baby -- and he affectionately calls him the "bay bay." So sweet.
Nana B with all THREE grandsons
Naturally, the fall season calls for carving a pumpkin or two -- something Harrison looks forward to every year. This year, I was able to let him do the majority of the work, all but the cutting. It turned out great!
That is some serious concentration
This little pistol of a boy loves to climb in -- and on -- anything he can. I'm honestly not surprised he hadn't found the dryer sooner...
Our church hosts a county-wide fall festival every year and it is so fun. The kids love the bounce houses and games, and the adults love the food!
Brothers -- in coordinating pumpkin shirts!
I was able to tag along with Harrison's kindergarten class for a field trip to the pumpkin patch, followed by a fall party back at school. It was the prettiest day and all the kids had such fun. He and his classmates even took turns carving a pumpkin for their classroom.
Scooping out the junk....eww!
Halloween! These critters loved dressing up and trick-or-treating with their pals. I already had the monkey costume for Brig, and after much persuasion for Harrison to agree to be the Man in the Yellow Hat, it was a no-go. He was set on being a "monster truck race driver," so that's precisely what we did. And Brig was Curious George all on his lonesome. A few weeks before we trick-or-treated with the boys, Justin and I attended a costume party thrown by some friends as Shrek and Princess Fiona. Even when you grow up, getting dressed up is still a blast!
Mama and the 'monster truck race driver'
Mama and a wiggly Curious George
Princess Fiona and Shrek
(Disclaimer: Harrison snapped this photo. Shrek is squinting at the flash and Fiona is too busy explaining how to work the camera to strike a pose. Hey, it works.)
Every year since Justin and I have been married, we've participated in Operation Christmas Child. OCC is a ministry that collects shoeboxes and distributes them to children in all parts of the world. We pack a shoebox with small toys, school supplies, candy, and toiletries. Then the folks at OCC include a 6-week discipleship book in the shoebox and hand deliver them across the planet to poverty-stricken children who wouldn't have otherwise gotten anything for Christmas. And more than the toothbrushes and toys, these children are taught about Jesus through the discipleship course. They, in turn, tell their families about the love of Christ. Entire communities are changed through the work of OCC. It's something very dear to my heart and now that Harrison is old enough to understand that Christmas is so much more than presents, he is a big helper in our shoebox packing. It's something we look forward to every year. After we packed and wrapped the boxes, we prayed over them and for the children who would receive them and that they would accept Jesus and go tell their families. I have no doubt that heaven will be much fuller thanks to the work of OCC.
We've got a potty-trainin' nearly 2-year-old in the house! Brig's been doing super on the potty for the most part, but there are not-so-great days. I would have never guessed this pistol wild child of mine would be so good with the potty. I'm so proud of him!
He's covering his face because he didn't want his picture taken....he he.
My best friend Susannah and her husband welcomed two perfect baby girls to their family last week -- Payton and Ashlyn. They joined big sister Meghan and big brothers Logan and Weston. The twins are sweet as can be and just perfect. It's such a miracle when one baby is born, but to see TWO perfect healthy newborns is just unreal. What an amazing God!
I rescued two Cracker Barrel rocking chairs from the dump last week. These were my mother-in-law's chairs, which were previously white. Both chairs were worn and one had some rotten wood. My handsome handyman of a husband repaired the rotten wood. After sanding them and adding two counts of satin black enamel paint, I am in love! Total cost: $15.00 (for paint). These are so comfy and look great on my little porch. The Little Mister rocking away in these pics isn't too bad either.
***After a long break from blogging, I'm back -- and very glad about it!***
We're recovering from a busy Thanksgiving weekend full of food, shopping, and fun. More about our holiday shananigans in tomorrow's Tuesday Ten. But for today, it's Memory Monday!
For today, I'm going to jump back a little further than one year ago to TWO years ago. We were a family of three at that time and anxiously awaiting baby Brig to make his appearance. We celebrated the holiday, but opted for no shopping. Instead, we packed for the hospital, tied up loose ends for the nursery, and put up Christmas decorations. And it was perfect timing because the Monday after Thanksgiving, we welcomed our sweet pistol of a fella Brigdon David Chapman to our family, and we have never been the same.
Who am I? I am a wife, a Mama, God's child and still trying to figure out the rest. I am blessed with a wonderful husband -- truly my "better half" -- who is the lover-of-simplicity, non-detail-oriented person whom I am trying to be more like. We live small-town life in the woods of North Florida and enjoy it much. When I have time for myself (not often enough), I like to work in my yard, do crafty things, and shop.
I can't think of another phrase used to describe my husband Justin than "My Better Half." He is truly just that. Aside from the values we are exactly alike in, there are an enormous amount of things that we are counter opposites. All in all, we complement each other well. If there's one thing I've learned over my years in marriage (and am still learning...work in progress), it's that it is hard and takes effort on both parts. However, the good times definitely outweigh the bad. I'm blessed beyond measure for this man who works so hard to provide for our family and be the hero that our boys deserve. He is the down-to-earth, simple life loving person that I'm striving to be more like. I'm grateful that he loves me for me, at my best and at my worst. He makes me laugh and fills our home with joy. I, quite possibly, could go on and on like a lovesick 14-year-old. Thank you Justin for being you and loving me and adoring our children. I know they see Jesus in you and am proud to call you mine.
Tears come to my eyes when I think of my growing family. It took about 3.4 seconds after delivering my first child to realize that this is what God put me on the planet for. With that joy, also came the overwhelming realization of the responsibility that entails...which is still at times overwhelming! To my boys, I am beyond blessed to be called your mother. Hearing the pitter-patter of your little feet first thing in the morning makes my day. My life has been enhanced beyond measure just because of you. You are my Heart.
Harrison Reid is my first-born and there is no truer boyish boy! He is rowdy, rambunctious, and all things dirt and trucks and tractors. He keeps us rolling in laughter with his anecdotes and jokes and silly sayings. My sweet-souled boy. He is now a big preschooler and no doubt this little blog will fill up quickly with stories and photos about his days. I love you, Harrison, and thank you for making me a Mama.
Brigdon David is (at this point) my baby and the sweetest, happiest baby - though I am a tad partial! Even at 9-months-old, he has a good little heart and that gummy smile can bring tears to my eyes. I think back to my pregnancy and how we longed for this baby to be a girl, and were surprised when we were told he was a boy. God created this child, this boy, for our family. I could not imagine our life without him. I love to watch Brigdon interact with Harrison and had no idea how blessed I would be by their love for each other - even at their young ages. Brigdon, thank you for being my baby. I can't wait to fill the pages of this blog with your little life story. God has big things in store for you.