Thursday, November 11, 2010

conversations with the kiddos = LOVE IT!

Well, it's now November and I STILL have a gazillion pictures that I really want to post from SUMMER... and of course, there's HALLOWEEN pics that need some attention, too! But, gah, Blogger is so tough on a girl with a bunch of pictures! Does anyone else ever have a problem with uploading pictures to Blogger? OMG! It takes sooooo long! And, THEN, it is a pain to move them and get them positioned the way you want them! There MUST be an easier way! C'mon Blogger-Execs... with ALL of this new-fangled modern technology available, there has GOT to be something you could do to help us snap-happy folks with our photo uploads!!! For crying out loud!!!

Ok, I am stepping down from that soap box now.

Since I don't have a lot of time (like, ever!), I won't be posting pictures today. A'hem, sorry about that. Instead, I want to share some "stories" and some recent "conversations" from my precious, ever-so-talkative, and too-darn-cute children.

I love listening in on kids' conversations. I love when I am invited to participate in conversations with kids, especially when they are MINE! Isn't it funny how their conversations somehow seem eerily similar to things we say ourselves ?? sooooo funny....

The Leggett children apparently have the gift of gab. I think they got that from their Daddy. Well, maybe just a little influence from their Momma too. I've posted about the developing talkative nature of my kids before here, and here, and here, and my absolute favorite eavesdropped conversation ever is right here (Jax and his friend Brandon on "sisters").

Well, here's some more little tidbits to add to the list!

**It was the first week of school (yes, I realize I have not posted pictures yet, but I just can't hold the stories in any more. Refer to above soap box.) and we were headed home. Joy was whipped out and was fighting sleep from the moment we got in the car, so I was trying to keep both Jax and Joy talking as we made the trek home.
Me: "What did you have for lunch today?"
And, Jax spoke up for the both of them: "wellllll, we had three things for lunch. We had ham - that's the protein, Mama... and we had.... uh... um... we had.... well, I can't remember what else we had, Mama, but we had three things. And, Aubree is in my class!"
Me: "Oh, wow! I didn't know Aubree is in your class this year."
Jax: "Yes, she is. I told her she's my girlfriend. ... But I didn't even tell her Leslie is my girlfriend... " {silence}
and Jax continued, "oh, this ain't no good!"

**We have the greatest conversations while riding to and from school, it seems. I guess the distractions are kept to a minimum, so there's really only Chattering for entertainment. One afternoon as we were traveling home, we crossed some railroad tracks. Jax squealed from the back seat, "OH! LOOKY! We're crossing a ... ummm... a.... um.... a... a.... um, a ... train system!!!!!" That's my boy! - creative and original!

**During yet another ride home from school, we passed a garbage truck. Jax immediately noticed.
Jax: "Mama, I think that was G.I. Joe. That MUST be a FAKE garbage truck cause it's G.I. Joe's truck in disguise!! And did you know Batman has buddies? Yeah! And there's one that's a cowboy and one that's really big, and uh... that's it I guess. But do you know who Stretchman is?" Whew! Yeah, I know - being worn out from a long day's work hoping for idle conversation doesn't mean a thing to this kid; he demands thought and contemplation... and very quick answers, or else he just moves on to his next thought without you! ha

**Josh was able to go on a quick hunting trip to Arkansas in early October. As he was leaving he told Jax, "Take care of Momma and Joy while I'm away." Jax nodded. "You're the man of the house while I'm gone," Josh told him. Without hesitation, Jax blurted, "Does that mean I'm the BOSS?" Oh, lordy.

**Not long after that hunting trip, Josh and Jax were preparing to go 'coon hunting, and take Jax's new 'coon hunting puppy, Blue Thunder (I know, I know - pictures coming soon). Josh and Jax were discussing what they needed to take, etc. and Joy commented, "Doy toon huntin, Daddy," [translation: Joy 'coon hunting, Daddy], indicating that she wanted to go with them. Josh explained to her that she could not go this time; it was dark and cold, and even misting rain a little bit. Jax said, "don't cry girl! You gotta stay here and take care of things. You're the GIRL of the house now!"

**Mid-October announcement from Jax: “I want some rocks for Christmas”
Me: “Oh?!! Okay, we’ll have to tell Santa. He can probably handle that.”
Jax: “I want space rocks and ocean rocks.”
Me: “Oh. Ok. Hhhmmmm.”
Jax: “How is Santa gonna get the space rocks, Momma?”
Me: “Hhmm. That’s a good question. I think you should ask Daddy!”

**Jax (to Joy): “you need a boyfriend, girl.”
Daddy/Josh: “Ooooh, no. We don’t want her to have a boyfriend yet – he’ll try to smooch on her and such!”
Jax: “Then, who will she marry, Daddy?”
Josh: “I don’t know. She’ll have to do all of that kind of stuff when she’s …uh… forty.”
Jax (astonished): “Woah! Farty?! Farty is a long time, girl! It's gonna be, like, farty-million years before you get big [old enough], girl! Woah, it'll be all the way til next summer!!!"**Joy has been more interested in the "Pincesses" [Princesses] lately, especially Snow White. She got the movie at Halloween, and we have played it a few times. She doesn't just sit and watch, but she does listen and view some of the scenes as she plays. One evening, the Snow White movie was playing, and Jax, being the very observative child that he is, asked, "Momma, why do those little dwarts [dwarfs] say 'Hey Ho' every time they are walking?"

**11/4/2010 - Jax wanted Joy to play "cop" with him. Jax said, "Joy, you be the bad guy."
Joy: "NO!"
Jax: "Well. Just turn around and put your hands behind your back then!"
Joy: "NO!"
Jax: "Ok." {pause} "Order in the Cot [court]! Order in the Cot!!!"
Joy: "NO!" "Not today, Jax!"

**One evening, I was cooking supper and Jax was just insistent that he was going to help. I told him that I had everything covered, but he kept on. He wanted to help me peel potatoes. I explained that the potato peeler I was using was actually just a knife in disguise, and that he could cut his fingers easily. He continued to beg and plead and he appealed to my soft side when he kept saying, "I just want to help you, Momma". So, again, I explained the potential dangers of the Peeler, and then gave him instructions and a demonstration on how to use it and how to avoid injury. He did very well operating the Peeler, and did not get even so much as a scratch. He peeled two potatoes, and he announced, "I got the hang of this, Momma!" He was so proud. "Good Job!," I said. Jax replied: "You can count on me!" and sweet little Joy, who was playing in the other corner of the kitchen, never missed a beat; she began, "ooonnne... twooooo... th-reeeee...." I love these two.

**One night I was rocking Joy and all was quiet - it was just the two of us.
Me: "I love you"
Joy: "I wuv shoe too." [I love you too]
Me: "That's so sweet, Joy."
Joy: "Doy wuvs Daddy." [Joy loves Daddy]
Me: "What? You love Daddy? Well. What about Mama?"
Joy: "Doy wuvs Mama." {pause} "Too."
Me: "I love you too, Joy."
Joy: "Aaaaaaannnnd. Doy wuvs Dax." [Joy loves Jax]
What a sweetheart! ~ She melts my heart!

**Each day when I pick up Joy, she runs up to me and says, “Joy’s Mama!” as she has her arms stretched out for me to pick her up. One afternoon, I decided to question her a little more.
Me: “Who is Joy’s Mama?” (Joy points to me.) “What is Joy’s Mama’s name?”
Joy: “Neisha”
Me: “What is Joy’s Daddy’s name?”
Joy: “Josh”
Me: “Who is Jax’s Mama?”
Joy: {long pause} “Daddy can!”

Oh, how I love my little chatterboxes! I could go on, and on. These two precious gifts are priceless!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

summer snaps: feel the love

Here's a few more summer memories in .jpg format - an impromptu photo session
of Jax and Joy doing what they do best - PLAYING! I am sooooo thankful that they play together so well. Jax is great big brother - he is constantly looking out for her, and never takes the opposing side. Joy looks up to him for sure - she wants to do everything that he does; and I do mean everything! (Did I mention that we are potty training?!!) They make childhood look so much fun. And, oooh, the energy! Where does it all come from? Oh, if I only knew the secret.
I love these kids - they have captured my heart. I wish I could just "freeze" them, and freeze these times. I would give up my right arm before I would willingly give up just one these memories. Priceless.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

she made a discovery

This:Causes this:
And this:I think she was trying to make herself look like this:

And, although a MESS was definitely made in a matter of just a few short minutes, her Mommy couldn't help but LAUGH and snap pictures to freeze the memories of her exploration and discovery!

Here's to budding artists!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Summer Reading Program

Jax participated once again in the library's Summer Reading Program this year. Joy also benefited from the many books we read this summer even though she was not officially old enough to sign up for the program. Both kiddos enjoyed every visit to the library this summer, where they explored books and puzzles, made crafts, met new friends, and encountered all sorts of creatures (even snakes!), both real and imaginary. Jax got a variety of prizes for his participation in the program and for reading 33 books over the summer. Here's a few of our favorites from our summer reading list!

We're Very Good Friends, My Sister and I, by P.K. Hallinan. This was a great story about an older brother and his younger sister. Jax and Joy really are great friends and playmates, so I enjoyed reading this book to them. We love P.K. Hallinan. We own copies of both My Daddy and I and My Mommy and I as well as I Know Jesus Loves Me by Hallinan, all of which are excellent children's books with a Christian message.

We also enjoyed John, Paul, George & Ben by Lane Smith. This was a very cute book about some typical "boys" who turn out to be real characters significant to our country's history, John Hancock, Paul Revere, George Washington, and Benjamin Franklin. It was a comical tale of each, implying how their childhood may have been an early indicator of their adult successes. Cute and educational; love it.

A really cute book about morality and character development, Do Unto Otters by Laurie Keller is another one of our favorites. We love Laurie Keller! She has written many unique and appealing children's books, and we are looking forward to reading more of them in the future.

Lizard's Home was also a great book to promote empathy, fairness, and prosocial behaviors. We enjoyed George Shannon's book about Lizard, who finds someone else has taken over his home and he responds to the situation with cleverness, rather than aggression. A great lesson-based book; I guess you could say it is a fable.

And, my FAVORITE book that we read this summer was Who's That Tripping Over My Bridge? by Coleen Salley. This story is based on the traditional story of the 3 Billy Goats Gruff, but the author puts a unique CAJUN spin on it by setting the story around Baton Rouge and including south Louisiana traditions and language in the script. Jax and Joy both giggled and snickered all the way through this book, even when we read it for the 472nd time!! If you ever get the opportunity to read this book to your child, I recommend it! This would be a great preface to a planned daytrip to New Orleans or Baton Rouge with your kiddos, especially if you will be participating in mardi gras events. Just typing about this book makes me want to read it the 473rd time! It is so creative!

Of course, we could NOT go through the summer without some Eric Carle books! He's a standard on our list of favorites! Joy also enjoyed Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr., Bear Snores On by Karma Wilson, Bambi Gets Lost by Albert Miller, and Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown. Margaret Wise Brown is another one of our all-time favorite children's authors. Bambi Gets Lost is actually an old book that I had as a small chap. I am thankful that my kids now have most of the books that I enjoyed so much when I was a little girl, thanks to my parents and sister for holding on to them when I'm sure it would have been simply "easier" to just give them away.

We are always looking for recommendations for good children's books! Please share your favorites with us!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Summer Update

Well, it's October. I guess I should update you on our Summer activities sometime soon - before next summer gets here. Poor Josh had to work throughout most of the summer, but he did manage to take a little time off here and there. I got even more confirmation that I made the right decision when choosing a career in Education - I am so blessed to be able to spend the summers at home with my babies. Jax and Joy stayed busy and kept me on my toes. I began the summer with a long "To-Do" list, and I ended the summer with a long "To-Do" list. I had great intentions, but I'm okay with the fact that I actually marked off very little from my list. It will still be there when my kids are grown. We didn't do anything super-duper-spectacular, but we did have a FUN summer, and that's all that counts.

In May, my youngest nephew, Travis, graduated from high school, the same school where my sister and I graduated (but many years apart, ha ha), my parents graduated, and my grandparents graduated. My grandmother (which would be Travis' great-grandmother) graduated in 1933 ~ isn't that such a neat tradition?!! I am so proud of Travis; he's a great kid. I'm so slow getting these pictures up, he has already moved on to the next "big thing" in his life - he's in college! He started 13th grade at Southwest in August, but really, it's okay that he didn't choose Co-Lin; really, it is. I'm just glad that he's in college... I mean, 13th grade!
We were reunited with an old friend again at the beginning of summer. This is the third year that we have seen this frog hanging out around our back patio. I'm pretty sure it's the same one because I have pictures of him from each year. We don't see him (or her - ??!!!) in the winter months, but he can usually be found on the patio near the steps and my potted plants in the spring! He really is photogenic, don't you think?

Vacation Bible School was in June and this year's theme was cowboy/western, Saddle Ridge Ranch. I helped with the crafts for the 2's & 3's, and 4's & 5's. It was hectic, but tons of fun too. I love our kiddos at Calvary Baptist! Here's a few pictures of my two from the commencement service following a full week of lassoing good times:

I almost forgot! Josh and I managed to plan a "weekend getaway" for just the two of us on our anniversary weekend. We have never done that - not since the kids came along, so this was our first time to leave them overnight. It was a real treat. I really had forgotten what it was like pre-kids. We were both a little apprehensive about actually leaving them, but we did it! (insert Dora theme song here, ha) We knew they were in good hands with the grandparents! I think the kids enjoyed their break from us as well! We had so much fun on Pickwick Lake (TN), we didn't even take one picture of us together! As a matter of fact, I really didn't take any pictures at all --woah-- that's not like me - guess I got carried away with the "getaway" mentality! We got to see Crossing Dixon perform, and I did take a couple pictures of the band, so... here's all I got to share from our trip:

Father's Day. Why is it so challenging to get ONE freakin' picture of your husband and the kiddos on Father's Day? UGH - we tried, but NO ONE was cooperative. This is the best I got:
I think he had a good day anyway. I know I saw him getting lots of hugs and kisses so that should make-up for the lack of photo quality. ;-)

One day during the summer, we managed to slip off to the park while Daddy was working! We met some friends and got some energy out that morning! It was very HOT, which made it tempting for me to jump in the sprinklers right alongside the kiddos! Here's a few snaps, but I didn't get many, because I didn't want to damage my camera - it stayed in the car most of the time. That turned out to be a good thing afterall, because a HUGE rain ended up running us off- it came out of no where and drenched us all!

Jax finished up t-ball in mid-June, and was oh-so-sad about the end of the season. This year was his first experience with organized (well, you know) sports and he absolutely LOVED t-ball. He was SUPER-proud of his trophy from Coach Haygood. We are proud of him too! He actually used the tee only once during the entire season; he hit from the coach's pitches all other times. Way to go, JAX! We can't wait for more ballpark Q.T. next year!! Yay for T-ball memories!!!

Joy wasn't old enough for "organized sports" this year, but we did notice a few "trends" in her likes over the summer. First of all, her LOVE for SHOES escalated!!! She is STILL a shoe fanatic! Y'all hear me? !! This child is obsessed with shoes! Her favorite "toy" is a basket of shoes! She puts them on; she takes them off; she puts more on; and this continues all day long if we let her! Actually, she is now beginning to take interest in the entire "dressing up" activities - not just the shoes. But shoes are definitely her FAVORITE! What a Southern girl! Here's some of my favorite pictures of Joy immersed in her "dress-up" play activities!! (Keep in mind that she had no help putting this stuff on! - she is Miss Independent!)
1. Stealing my shoes:

2. been in my closet again:
but, seems to think a pair of her own shoes would be better:
3. a family-contributed outfit: Jax's superhero mask and t-shirt, my underwear (hard to see with that long t-shirt on, thank goodness), and Josh's socks (pulled all the way up to her little hiney!)! This outfit was of her own making, with components supplied by her sneaky little robbery of my laundry basket! You have to fold clothes fast with Joy around - she'll still 'em in a heartbeat!
This girl brings us so many laughs and good times. Our JOY!

We also opted for swimming lessons for Jax this summer. He was very interested in learning to swim, so we began the search for a teacher. Finally, we were able to coordinate schedules with Mrs. Leah Brister, and she was absolutely wonderful with Jax. He does have a touch of stubborness at times, and even though he really wanted to learn to swim, there were some times that I wondered if this would ever be achievable. He started swimming lessons on a Tuesday afternoon, and by Friday, he had it perfected! The best part was getting to see him feel SUCCESSFUL and so PROUD of himself!!
Practicing with his floaties:

Diving off the diving board:
Explaining to Daddy how long he can hold his breath, and how he has learned to swim underwater:

Of course, Joy got some pool time too this summer! She isn't as fond of the water, but I hope that is just a phase for her. After she gets warmed up, she enjoys splashing about but she doesn't venture too far away from Momma or Daddy, especially in the big pool.

Coming soon ~ more SUMMER pics (!), and coming not-so-soon: Fall pictures. Y'all know how slow I am - There's no sense in denying it. I'm just hoping I can get our Beach Vacation shots up before it snows!
Thanks for stopping by! Until next time...

Monday, August 2, 2010

Excited about the two E's

We're excited about our latest discovery.
I'm talking about "Scrabble" Cheese-It crackers!
Both Jax and Joy love them for a snack. Although they are not the healthiest snack in the world, they definitely rank much higher in the "healthy" category than many of the snack picks my kids would choose! Plus, these crackers have been a great tool in reinforcing letter recognition and sounds. We really like making the letter sounds before eating them, or spelling out words with a handful, or simply spelling out our names before gobbling these yummies up! As you can tell from the photo, some are better at self-control than others! ha ha

Thursday, June 17, 2010

See it in Color!

Have you heard Jamey Johnson's song?
The name of it is In Color
It's a great song... I love it. I love the tune, but what I love best is that it tells a story. The song's story is that of an old man who is looking through some black-and-white photographs with his grandson. He tells the grandson about each picture, and he follows each description with "you should have seen it in color"... Of course, color is an analogy for reality in the song and it is so true - some things, you just don't "get" unless you were there. Black-and-White photos are better than nothing, but color is so much better.

Today as I was driving home from Vacation Bible School activities with my children, I heard the song. Music really gets me thinking, especially when the little voices in the back seat have zonked out due to a morning chocked full of hyperness and energy at VBS! Since I was not being bombarded with questions, I was able to listen to every word of the song. Again. I've heard it a million times, and I love to sing along - I know every word; and this time, I thought of the same thoughts as the last 999,999 times I've heard the song: 1)I sure wish I had a living grandpa (or grandma, for that matter) who had albums of black-and-white photos and coordinating stories to share with me for hours and hours; and 2) wow, I've got a BUNCH of pictures I need to print/share/frame/put in albums before my grandchildren come along - and along with that thought I always get an overwhelming feeling of urgency. And, today, as I listened to the song, I thought one additional thought besides the standard two: 3.) I need to post some pictures (in color) on my blog before the stories that go with them become irrelevant, insignificant, or the worst, yet most likely fate: FORGOTTEN.

So, here I am. I realize that I will probably never "catch up" on my blog. And, even if I did, I'd probably find myself in this same predicament again at some point in the future - "keeping up" may be even harder than "catching up". Therefore, I have decided to let go, and quit holding out for that elusive "FREE TIME" to blog about each individual picture or story. I've decided that it will never happen, and I'm just getting further and further behind. Most of you just want to see the pictures anyway. You're probably like my eldest child, who loves to look at the pictures, but doesn't care so much about reading the text that goes along with them. I guess he likes to make up his own stories to go with the pictures that he "reads". Oh, and have I mentioned how much JAX loves to read words? LOL - I'm glad he's not taking on ALL of his Dad's habits. ha ha. Anyway, here's roughly the first half of 2010... in pictures...

~ okay, okay, I just couldn't help myself ~ ...annnndd, just a FEW words!

She loves to "cook" and "serve" her latest recipes to everyone in the house, hungry or not! (13 months old)
In January, our family grew. We added four additional feet to our home... TOBY! He's a rambunctous black lab, and the kids loved him immediately. He will never "replace" our precious first child, Max, who came up MIA back in September of 2009, but he sure does give us lots of love and slobbery kisses.

Like father, like son. Jax definitely has the Leggett trait of placing the hands behind the head to relax and to sleep. Oh, and he's a little like his Mama too, because that little orange bear there was one of my favorites when I was a child! ("Teddy Freddy") Hey, I gotta take every chance I get to stake claim. hee he hee

We live in Mississippi, yes, the great Southern, hot, humid state, but by some freak of nature, we have gotten SNOW several times in the last 2 years. Wow, who would have ever thought? The last several times it has snowed significantly, I have not gotten to go out and really play in it, because it always 'happens' to snow on days of major events in our family. It snowed for Jax's 2nd birthday, snowed the day we brought Joy home from the hospital, and on Joy's first birthday... you see the trend... so I was a little, uh, tied up with each snow occasion and didn't get to "play". The February snow day (2010) was a little different - no event for me, so I actually got to take the kids out and play WITH them in the snow! I think that was the first time I had ever really gotten to play in the snow - it didn't do this when I was a kid! I got lots of pictures, but I'll just share a few favorites:

Jax, 4yrs&1mo; Joy, 14mos

Poor little thing! I had put soooo many layers of clothes on my petite little Joy, that she could barely walk, and in all of the pictures, she looks just plain FAT! Oh well, she was WARM and that's all that matters!

our new yard security officer:
Jax had heard about the snow for days (on the radio news, at school, etc) and he made SURE we were prepared... we purchased a whole bag of carrots, that no one in our household would eat, just so we could have a nose for our snowman IF it snowed. Well, I'm glad that our purchase wasn't wasted! It was a fun experience. But, I'm glad it's gone. I don't like cold weather OR snow enough to do this very often. Ok, so enough snow for MS for a while, ok weatherman?!!

If the Feb snow day hadn't happened, we would have never known about Toby's many talents. He can balance snow flakes on his nose perfectly....

AND, Jax's personal favorite of Toby's feats... he can ...
make the snow turn YELLOW!!! hhhhhmmmmm..... amazing little doggie!

Our precious family friend Jessica brought a ton of authentic mardi gras beads to us, and boy, who would have ever thought they would have provided SO MANY hours of entertainment!
In February, we went to the Dixie National Rodeo. Jax especially liked the bull riding, the rodeo clown & his car, and CHRIS YOUNG. Joy really enjoyed the "horsies" and pointed each one out numerous times. She also snagged her daddy into buying her this pink cowgirl hat. Hours of entertainment right here: (14months old)

Chris Young, who happens to be one of Jax's absolute favorite country singers, was also performing that night at the rodeo. After the rodeo, Jax got to meet him, sing to him (!), and get his autograph and photo! How cool is that! Chris Young's popular song, "Black Dress" is one of Jax's favorites --he knows every single word. He has no idea *what* he is singing about, but he does know the song... and he sang a few bars for Mr. Chris Young here:

They complimented each other on their hats and boots, and shook hands until next time. What an impression Mr. Chris Young made on this little fellow! Thanks, Chris! Jax can't wait to see him in concert again.
February was somewhat of a break compared to the busy, busy, busy months surrounding the holidays, and the just-as-crazy fast-approaching Spring Fever months when a million activities crank up for everyone in this household in every way. So, without further ado, let's move on to March, shall we?!!!

The annual Trike-A-Thon for St. Jude Children's Hospital - What an awesome experience! BOTH kiddos took part in the Trike-A-Thon this year. I just love this little event that the Co-Lin preschool/daycare hosts each year. I so want my kids to have a caring, giving spirit and I think early events like this really help set up the basis for excellerated empathy development. They are both too young to have a full range empathetic expression/understanding, but that will come with time. They are old enough to understand the bottomline, and that warms my heart. Jax pushed his little legs to ride so hard and so fast... "for the sick kids" he'd say. He didn't understand that the physical riding of his bike wasn't going to "fix" the sick kids, but that's ok... he made a connection, and that's what counts in my opinion. THANK YOU to all of our friends and family who so graciously pledged money for this oh-so-worthy cause. You know who you are, and we love you for ALL kinds of support that you have provided for us in these endeavors.

We got a brand new nephew during Spring Break, John Parson. He's a spry little guy, and really wasn't that upset - I just couldn't resist posting the "crying pics" - I think they are soo cute!

One of Joy's favorite past times is "cleaning". Wow. I speak the truth, folks. She says "wiping"... and she likes wiping so much that she schemes and plans the perfect times (when I'm in the bathroom, on the phone, or otherwise distracted) to attack the nearest "wipe" sources... toilet paper, baby wipes box, and her personal favorite, Kleenex tissue. Geez, where does she get this?

Jax has been collecting soda cans for recycling since last summer. Well, I have always saved them to avoid the guilt of being wasteful, even before Jax came along, but I usually just passed them along to some worthy organization trying to do anything possible to raise funds. That is, until last summer. I changed the "cause" but the new one is just as worthy! Last summer, I decided it was time for Jax to have a few "chores". One of his little chores was to stomp the cans and put them in the bin. He continues this, along with a couple other very minor chores to this day. He doesn't know they are "chores" though. He actually likes stomping the cans and "collecting" them for "BaCycling". So, I figured, since he was doing all of the "work," he should receive the reward. He had no idea there was going to be anything more to this collection than just knowing we were recycling. During Spring Break, we finally took our collection to the Recycling Center, and Jax got to cash in for the very first time. He earned nearly $25 for his collection; quite a chunk for a 4-year-old. He was very surprised that he got "paid" but he was super excited. This has been a great educational activity - he's learning about recycling and his (and, OUR) duty to avoid wasting when possible, AND he's also learning about money, management, and saving! As a matter of fact, he's done an excellent job hanging on to his cash stash - he STILL hasn't spent it. I think he has forgotten about it actually, but I know he will remember soon. He's still pumped about the collecting part, and he knows we will take another batch to the Recycling Center soon... I think its going to continue to be a great project for him for a long time. Yay for Bacycling!!! ;-)

Spring Break also seemed like a great time for Jax and I to school Joy on the basics of the Southerner's diet (Cookies, Cakes, Candies, and CUPCAKES), and more importantly, how to create the delicacies, as well. We even showed her the real oven - not the microwave that she normally sees me cook with; ha. The resulting cupcakes did NOT look like the picture in the book, but they were yummy nonetheless. Big messes, but big memories. Priceless!

March also brought 3 MORE additions to our family - Jax got 3 little beagle puppies. I think they were intended to be Josh's newest hunting-dogs-in-training, but Jax definitely claims them as HIS hunting-dogs-in-training. What is cuter than a couple kids with some little beagle puppies?!!! I know, I know. You just have to say "awwww". Cute, cute.



Just saying Easter wears. me. out. No, no. I am wrong. Let me try again: it wears me SLAP out! My readers from the South know JUST what I mean. Throw that SLAP in there, and you know that's some serious business, LOL.

We attended several Easter gatherings and Egg Hunts over a couple weekends, and THAT's what wore me out. All in all, though, Easter Sunday itself was a great day of worship and visiting with family (all sides and extensions!). Let me just post a FEW SELECT PICTURES. Since the Easter season was so hopping (pun intended), we'll let this part of the blog be the "make up your own words to go with the pictures" section. ha, ha. Go ahead! - Give it a try! I think you're going to see that it is really not hard at all. As a matter of fact, I bet you have some pictures of yourself or your kids involved in very similar activities. See? It's a Cut-and-Paste activity!

Here are the pictures:

Now, these are the cutest set of pictures. Ever! I think so anyway. I wanted to do a separate blog post with these photos, but, you know what I said about that earlier. Although it is tempting, I'm still trying to be realistic here. I hope this series makes you smile. They make me smile and even laugh out loud every time I look at them. Wow. I love these kids.

subtitle: How to Eat a Chocolate Bunny...

Ahh... simple pleasures. That last one is my favorite. They loved their Chocolate Bunnies. Thank you, Easter Bunny! :-)

April also brought us a start of a new chapter... T-BALL!!! I thought Jax would love T-ball, but Josh was a little hesitant about signing him up. So, I did what any mother-who-knows-better would do, and I signed him up anyway. ha. Well, guess what? They BOTH loved it. Jax loved playing, and although he is slow to admit it, Josh loved going and watching him play, even practicing with him. T-ball is so cute, and Jax was a cute little T-baller, if I do say so myself!

these shots were taken before the very first game:
Joy, of course, thought she was just as big as they were. She was a good little sister/cheerleader!

Pep talk from Coach Haygood:
Team photos before the big game begins:
in the dug-out; Royal team bats first!
Concentrating ...

and a last-minute pep talk from Daddy !

He hits the ball, second pitch! No tee needed for this little fella!

On third base! so excited!
...and coming into Home... with congratulatory greetings from both coaches! Yaaay Jax!

April also brought Jax's very first school field trip! The 3's and 4's preschool went to Hattiesburg, to the zoo, and guess what, PARENTS were invited to attend. I had been to the zoo in Hattiesburg a bunch of times when I lived there during my college years. Josh said the heat was just too much, and he wasn't wanting to take off of work. So, what did I do? Yeah, I did what any willing parent would do! I cancelled my classes (treat for them) and I tagged along with Jax and his class (treat for me) to the zoo - I wouldn't have missed it for anything. They were SO CUTE! That morning, they were beyond excited. I just had to break out the video camera before they even boarded the bus and left the parking lot -- they were just too darn cute with all of their excitement and frolicking. I didn't get any snapshots of the departure, though. But I did get one sneak peak at Jax on the bus. Oh yeah, excited beyond measure.

Here's some snaps of a few of Jax's new friends from the zoo:

This was the sweetest, friendliest little guy.... He just showed out for the kids, and you could tell they loved the attention just as much as he did!
Then, just like all friends do, Jax had to try on his clothes! bwaaa haa haa haa

And, here's Jax checking out the home of his new Prairie Dog friends....
Jax-the-mini-politician, never meets a stranger. I think he was the only child to even notice the "conductor" of the little train that toured us around the zoo campus before we had to head back to Wesson. Within seconds, they were big friends, and before I knew it, he was showing Jax all of the controls on the little engine car, and he even let Jax blow the train whistle. I love that he dresses the part; cute,cute.
The kiddos had a GREAT day at the zoo. I had a GREAT day at the zoo, too. I'm so glad they let me tag along. It is so wonderful, and refreshing, to get to see the simplicities of the world -through the eyes of a child. We ended our day at the zoo with a carousel ride. ahhh, nice.

Soooo.... this post is getting to be longer than I expected. I think I'm gonna stop right here, since it has taken me a couple months to get this far... and, maybe I'll pick up with May in the next post. I hope you have enjoyed the pictures. I tell ya, if you think these pics are grand, you should have seen it in color! ;-) Until next time...