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...