Thursday, December 31, 2009

oh wow!

Merry Christmas friends! And a Happy New Year!

We had a great Christmas this year! Thanks to all of our family and friends who made it wonderful. We started our Christmas on Dec. 17th when we had the Reynolds Family Christmas Party. We decided during Thanksgiving to not exchange gifts this year and to "adopt" a few kids to buy gifts for. It was awesome and I hope we continue to do that. We played a game-boys verses girls. Boys won! I made some chocolate chip cookies and the recipe is from my great grandma! It was so fun to make a family recipe for others to eat. My grandma really enjoyed them and she asked all of my mom's sisters if they remembered them. That was really fun for me!

On Dec. 22nd, Guy and I went on a Christmas date. We try to do that every year-we've seen Phantom of the Opera, The Christmas Carol, Benjamin Button at the De Lux theater, and this year we went to dinner at Brio and saw Disney's Christmas Carol at Newport. It was so much fun and dinner was delicious. We had a coupon and free movie tickets so the night was pretty inexpensive for us. We were also celebrating Guy completing his first semester! Yeah! I don't want to brag, but he made the dean's list! woo-hoo!

The next night, we went to Montgomery Inn Boathouse for our bible study dinner! That was awesome! All the girls dressed "fancy" and we enjoyed spending time together. That is also a tradition that we started a few years ago. We missed Ben and Maria though-but not that much because they were in Hawaii with their family! Whatever!

Then on Thursday, Christmas Eve, we spent all day with Guy's family! We played Monopoly and Guy destroyed all of us. Why can't monopoly money be real money??? We had a great time visiting, snacking, and opening gifts. Braylen's two favorite gifts of the night: a wagon and a wooden train set! He loves trains right now. He says "choo choo" and pulls his arm up and down like he's pulling the whistle. He's adorable. After the Christmas Eve service, a few people came back to our house for a Christmas Eve breakfast party! We served breakfast casserole, pastries, biscuits, juice and coffee. This is also a tradition that we've done since my high school days (yes over 10 years ago!!). We used to go to the Waffle House but we outgrew it and have been meeting in different homes ever since. So fun!

Christmas morning we woke up around 8:30am (thanks to Braylen for sleeping in!) and went right to opening gifts! We surprised Braylen with another little train set that goes around a small plastic track when you press the conductor. He loves it! Each time he opened a gift he would say "oh wow!" It was so cute. He had a great time opening gifts. We skipped one tradition: we usually eat cinnamon rolls for breakfast but since we were so full from all of the delicious food we've been eating, we opted out of breakfast. That afternoon we went to my parents house and ate some more food! Mom fixed a ton of snacks and it was awesome! Once Braylen woke up from his nap, we played Wii (yes, Braylen did too!), ate our turkey dinner, then opened more gifts. We are so blessed! Braylen got an awesome table and chairs for our house and I got a sweet Vera Bradley overnight bag. Can't wait to use it when we visit Jess and Vince in Charlotte!

The next night, we went to my grandparents house for the Hicks Family Christmas. There are now 19 of us so we no longer have sleep overs but we have such a great time getting together. Grandma fixed turkey in a box (my fav) and I made oatmeal cookies for the fam-which is my grandma's recipe. Braylen stayed up until 11pm that night! He is so flexible. He had too much sugar I think. He kept sneaking M&M's all night. oh well. It's the holidays!

Needless to say we had an awesome Christmas! We hope you all experienced the Love of Jesus this year and all year around! Thanks for reading! I'll be posting our family New Years goals soon so that everyone can hold us accountable. Here are a few pictures!


Here is Braylen playing Wii
Mom reading to Braylen at his new table
Wearing his new hat!
Sitting in his wagon!




Thursday, December 10, 2009

Mind ya' bizness!

I love being a stay at home mom! What an incredible blessing!! However, it is pretty tough financially! So in order to help supplement our income, I have been trying to come up with a ton of "small business ideas" to make some extra cash on the side. You all know that Braylen takes wonderful naps everyday, so I usually have somewhere between 3-4 hours in the afternoon to be working on something. Currently I have been helping NKY YL a few hours each month. Which has been awesome! I am really excited to help grow the area and expand our donor list!

Etsy.com has really inspired me to come up with my "thing." Everyone has something that they are good at. What am I good at??? Cleaning up messes, diaper changing, peeling bananas, etc. :) I tend to be really excited about something but then it just seems to die down. For instance, last month, I learned a ton of stuff about ebay. I got all of my old-giveaway clothes into a pile so that I could take pictures of them and then I wanted to try and sell them. I uploaded one NFL football zip up jacket and had no bids. Needless to say that pile of clothes is still in the basement. ha!

Here are a few things that interest me:
-helping a family friend work on her caramel apple business (she sells over 450 every holiday season)
-learning graphic design so that I could offer personalized items (birth announcements, invitations, cards, calendars, etc) at a less expensive rate. There a people who create these items for buyers, and then they email the item to the buyer who simply prints it from their home computer.
-creating DVD/CD picture slide shows (Guy and I have created 5 slide shows for weddings and birthdays in the past year)
-creating family recipe books for people. This would work by collecting recipes that have been in the family for years and creating an actual book for them to have.

Which one is your favorite?

I don't know if any of these would work.............but I should try one of them and find out. There are so many great websites where you can advertise your "goods." Esty, ebay, craigslist, facebook.

Happy Thursday everyone!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Wild and crazy kid

I have received some really nice compliments about Braylen lately. Yesterday, a woman from the YMCA child watch told me that Braylen is into everything in the playroom! She said he is so curious about things. I said yea he is pretty crazy! And she said well maybe, but he is such a good boy! My little heart melted. I was so touched! I am so thankful that we are able to go to the y so that he can have more interactions with other young children. He really loves going there. And I am so thankful for my little wild man. He really is such a good boy.

We have our Christmas decorations out and I am so excited about it. Guy and I love having the tree up. For the most part, Braylen doesn't really touch the tree. I put a few Christmas stuffed animals and books in this little container under the tree and he loves to play with those things. We are looking forward to teaching him about Christmas. And of course taking him to see Santa will be great fun. :)

The holidays will be bittersweet this year because my sister and brother in law are moving to Charlotte, NC after Christmas. We will miss them so much! They are like our best friends and things will be different once they are gone. We are so excited for them to start a new journey and to see how the Lord shapes them into who he wants them to be. I am looking forward to visiting them many times.




Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Organization is the key to success

I had a middle school teacher who made us write "Organization is the key to success" on all of our folders. She was so right. :) I have found that if I do not have a list of things that I'd like to accomplish throughout the week, I completely slack off! Now that Braylen is taking 3-4 hour naps a day (I love that kid) it is really easy to be lazy during that time. There are so many things that I can do while he is napping. I found this blog by a very traditional, religious woman who had an awesome idea of how to organize your time as a stay at home mom. You can find her ideas by clicking here. I am going to start using her method and will let you know how it works!

Last night for dinner, I made Chicken Squares! I love this meal. My mom makes it a lot and I'm so glad that I have the recipe. It's so easy.

Chicken Squares
1 pound cooked chicken, shredded or cubed
3 ounces cream cheese, softened
Salt and pepper
1 can crescent rolls
3 tablespoons butter
Bread crumbs

1) Boil chicken for about 20 minutes until no longer pink. Shred or cube into bite size pieces.
2) Mix cream cheese with chicken and add salt and pepper to taste.
3) Roll out crescent rolls. Combine triangles to make a square (you will have 4 separate squares).
4) Add chicken mixture to square, roll up sides and pinch at the top to cover the chicken.
5) Melt butter, cover chicken square in butter and then roll in bread crumbs.
6) Cook at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes.

Hope everyone has a great thanksgiving day! "Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His love endures forever." Psalm 101

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Family

Being that the majority of my immediate family mostly lives in the tri-state area, I have never experienced having to go out of town for the holidays. We just have always been able to get together for family gatherings. Wait....... My aunt and uncle used to live in Pennsylvania for a few years and we did travel to their house for Easter. Anyways. My point is that I am excited for Guy's family to be traveling from New Orleans to spend time with us in KY for Thanksgiving! What a fun way to kick off the holiday season. My MIL is picking them up at the airport as we speak and then Guy's cousin and her husband are driving in tomorrow morning.

Last night, my sister and brother in law came over to help watch Braylen while we had a Young Life meeting. Afterwards, they stayed and we watched FOUR episodes of Lost Season 5! (check it out on abc.com!) I just can't get enough of it. That show is so good. There is a twist after each episode and I'm always thinking "did that just really happen?" All I have to say is it's about time that someone else likes to watch the show. And by someone else I mean Guy, Jess, and Vince. I've spent the last three seasons watching it alone. :( And now I have LOST friends.






Monday, November 23, 2009

3 Years and counting

Guy and I just celebrated our 3 year anniversary a few weeks ago on 11/11! What an amazing 3 years it has been! 3 big things that has happened: 1)WE HAD A BABY!, 2) We didn't move to Charlotte, 3) Guy started school again!

Looking back I just wouldn't change a thing. Yes it wasn't what we planned, but "you have to walk the rocks to see the mountain view!" I don't think I am quite to the top of the mountain yet (we still have the terrible two's coming up and 3 more years of college to get through! ha!) but I am thankful that Lord has been with us every step of the way.

Guy surprised me with tickets to the David Crowder Band concert, which was amazing! Jess and Vince saved us some seats and we had a great time. I used to follow that band a ton back in the day and being at their concert brought me back to a great time in my life. Worship has been such a huge part of my walk with the Lord. There are certain songs that I now hear and that have meant so much to me, that I can remember where I was the first time I heard it. For instance, I remember buying the Illuminate DCB cd at Starbucks (super overpriced) and listening to it on my drive home, parking my car on the street, and just replaying "O Praise Him" over and over. What a great memory! Their words of love and mercy just had such a special place of hope in my life! That was back in 2003! I actually made it in a picture with the guitarist one year on their website! Famous!

So we had a great anniversary! I was wondering what kind of gifts you are supposed to give on your three years? It's leather.......Hi, I love you, here is some leather??? :) Here are some cute ideas for your 3 years (from etsy.com of course).

A pink leather bowl


A brown leather journal


A leather pillow


Thank you Guy for a wonderful 3 years of marriage! I love you!






Friday, November 20, 2009

22 months


I cannot believe that my baby boy is 22 months now! He is the most precious gift from God and we are so blessed to be his parents.

It has been a while since I have updated our blog. We have been running around like crazy and Braylen has been growing like a little weed. He is really trying to talk more and he yells "mommy" all the time. Awesome! Before we eat our meals, he will bow his head and hold our hands to pray. Then he says "ma-men." I really believe that God is being glorified through our little boy. Despite being unable to verbally communicate with us, he comprehends things and listens to us very well. He will grab our hand and walk us over to something he wants or he will point to it. If I say "go upstairs to get your shoes," he will do just that. It is so neat to see him understand us.

Right now we are in the process of painting our living room! Finally! It has only been almost 2 years! Bah! When you are new parents, everything else takes a back seat. I will post some pictures but the fireplace wall is a dark gray/blue color and the other walls are a light gray color. Very pretty. We are hoping to finish everything by Monday night. I am excited for the change.

I am loving this website called etsy! It is a site where you can purchase people's homemade items. It is awesome. It just makes me want to learn how to be crafty!

This is a mom contact card! so cute!

Click here to go to her Etsy store!



Sunday, October 11, 2009

Monkeys and melt downs


We had a good week and weekend. Busy but good. I have been helping plan the young life banquet and worked on addressing invitations this past week. Hopefully it will all come together. Guy had Saturday morning off from class so we all went to the zoo. It was so much fun. Braylen learned how to sound like a monkey. His favorite animal is definitely the duck though. He just loves to make the quack noise. So very cute. It was Hall-zoo-ween so he was able to get a few treats before we left.

Saturday night we celebrated Jon's birthday and we all went out to eat at Smokey Bones. Braylen had a melt down! We did not know what to do. I just took him out of his chair and went to the bathroom to let him chill out. He is doing this more and more. I am starting a new book on how to train your toddler and am hopeful that I will learn a few tricks. Am I going to have a "terrible two" child? Braylen has been sooooo easy going and all of these whiney melt downs have thrown us for a loop! Any suggestions?

Even though he may drive us crazy with all of his whining, we just love him so much. He brings us so much laughter and joy. What a blessing to be his mom! I just laugh at him all day long. Tonight he even cuddled with me (for like 10 seconds but it was great).

This week we are going to the Zoo again with Grammy and aunt Amy on Tuesday and on Thursday we are going to a music class at Gymboree! It's like $40 bucks a class but your first class is free (looks like it will be our last class too because I am not paying that much money). And then this weekend is cousin Sara's wedding! Braylen is the ring bearer and I am so excited to see how he reacts! Hope for a smooth walk down the aisle with zero melt downs!

Have a great weekend!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Pumpkin Patch


After Guy's Saturday morning class, we took Braylen to Kinman Farms and we were so excited to go as a family. We didn't go to a pumpkin patch last fall so we were eager to take Braylen to one this year. We went expecting to pay full price ($7 for a hayride, pumpkin, and a walk through the corn maze) but I played high school bball with the girl taking the money so she gave us a discount! yes! Before we got on the hayride, we let Braylen go through the barn to look at all of the animals. His favorite animal??? The ducks! He would point to them and say "quack quack!" He doesn't like to touch animals. He's afraid of them so he just likes to look at them and wave.

We took the hayride over to the pumpkin patch and Braylen loved it! He would grab the hay and hand me all the pieces. When we got to the patch, we let Braylen run around everywhere and play with the "ball." He's so funny. Going through the corn maze took some time. Braylen wanted to pick up everything. He even found an old piece of corn, which of course he tried to eat. sick! At least he likes his vegetables.

We found 3 perfect pumpkins for daddy, mommy and Bray. A big, medium, and small pumpkin or as Braylen refers to it: "mum-mum." He held his "mum-mum" the rest of the time and on our car ride home. So cute.

We had a great time together! We were so fortunate to have the time to go there! Things are so busy right now and Guy has so much work to do between AWE, school and Young Life. I know that we are still getting used to our new schedule but it is pretty crazy around here. We also know that "we have to walk the rocks to see the mountain view" and that one day all of Guy's work will pay off.










Thursday, October 1, 2009

Mr. Independent

Bray is doing this new thing were he wants to do EVERYTHING by himself. I guess he's been doing that for a while. What's weird is that if I tried to hold his hand or try to fix something for him he makes this whiney noise and then bends over sticking his butt straight up in the air and plants his face in the ground. It's so funny! I don't let him see me laughing. It's like he thinks that's going to keep me away from him. classic.

I will post a picture of him doing it soon. ha!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Book worm

Went to the Y today with Braylen. He loves it there! One of the child care workers told me that he loves to sit on her lap and read books with her. She said that he gets book after book to read. So cool! That is definitely one of his favorite things to do. He loves to read Curious George books! We have one George book but I have gotten a few from the library. When I say "where's George?," he points to George on the book. He is just learning and growing so much.

Tonight Guy has class from 6-9:15pm! Bah! It's his longest class. We miss him so much around here! Jess comes over to watch Braylen while I go to bible study at 8pm. It's a busy night. What a blessing it is to have such a flexible, easy going child. :) Guy is planning a daddy and Bray "day" next Saturday when he doesn't have his class. That will be fun! It will be a nice little break for mommy too. What should I do.........

Tonight I made BBQ Chicken Pizza. So delicious! Here is the recipe:

BBQ Chicken Pizza
1 can of pizza dough (10/11 ounces)
2 boneless skinless chicken breast cut into small pieces
1/2 chopped red onion
1/2 chopped red pepper
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 BBQ sauce (I use Kraft Honey BBQ)
2 cups shredded cheddar or colby jack cheese (or less)
Garnish with chopped cilantro

1) Preheat oven to 400. Unroll dough on lightly greased pan. Bake for 12 minutes or until brown.
2) Meanwhile saute chicken, onions, and red pepper on hot pan with olive oil for around 8-10 minutes.
3) Spread BBQ sauce all over baked pizza dough. Top and spread chicken mixture over BBQ sauce. Sprinkle shredded cheese on top.
4) Bake pizza for 5-8 minutes-until cheese is melted.
5) Garnish with cilantro.

*Serve with side salad or fruit salad!


Tomorrow we are going to the zoo with Jess and Vince! Going to be a great time!



Friday, September 25, 2009

Rainy Weekend



It has been raining so much these past few days. I actually like rainy days. It's just fun to stay at home with Braylen and stay warm and cozy. It's also nice because Braylen has been loving television lately! He watches one show everyday called "Jack's Big Music Show." It's on the Noggin channel and we watch on demand. So he could literally watch it all day long! Which I don't let him so don't worry. He grabs the remote and says "Jack" (well tries to say Jack) and then sits on the couch. It's really cute. The show was canceled a few years so they don't sell anything like toys or stuffed animals-I've looked everywhere! Anyways. The songs from the show HAUNT me every night! I try to go to sleep and I'll hear "Come on everybody give your foot a tap, come on everybody give your hands a clap.........!" I've tried to switch to "Melmo" as Braylen calls it (Elmo/Seasame Street) but it's just not what he wants to watch! It is really neat to see him start to prefer certain things. He is just so smart!

I have been so interested in learning how to cook lately. I've watched a few shows on the Food Network and Jon and Peggy got me a magazine subscription to Cooks Country-which is awesome! I've also been trying to establish a menu every week for our family. My friend Jenna told me about this website moneysavingmom.com and she has a ton of tips on how to save money at the grocery store by using coupons and menu planning. For some reason, I just don't get how to do it! But I've listened to a few blogs from her so I'm going to start working on it next week. Apparently she spends $35 a week on groceries for her family of four. Including household items! wow! I'll keep you updated on how it's going. Any ideas out there?

Have a great weekend! Here is Braylen saying "CHEESE!"

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Taco Soup

Tonight I am making Taco Soup for dinner and thought I would share the recipe because it's so easy and delicious! Please who doesn't love soup in the Fall!

Taco Soup
1 pound of ground beef or ground turkey
1/4 cup of chopped red onion
1 1/2 cup water
1 can corn, undrained
1 can pinto beans, drained
1 can black beans, drained
1 packet of taco seasoning
Sour cream, guacamole, chopped cilantro, shredded cheese

Cook ground beef and onions until no longer pink. Drain grease. In a large pot, mix beef and onions with water, corn, beans, and taco season. Simmer for 30 minutes. You can also add more water or chicken broth.

Serve with sour cream, guac, cilantro, cheese

Makes 4-6 servings.




So bad at keeping up with this....

Well, I can't believe it's the first day of Fall! Time sure does go by quickly. We have had an amazing summer! We went to 4 weddings, Young Life camp in Virginia, Clearwater Beach, and on Family Camp! So many fun times and memories. We also threw my mom and dad a 30th Anniversary Surprise party! We had over 40+ of my parents friends and family come and celebrate this rare and special event! We had a great time and my parents were so surprised! What a great night!


My parents are so cute and they are still so in love. They have set a wonderful example for us. God is so good and I'm so thankful that my parents made a decision to follow him. I've just been learning so much about how the choices and decisions you make today really do reflect and change the outcome of your future. And not just for yourself but for everyone around you.

We also went on the annual Labor Day Family
Camping trip a few weeks ago to Brookeville!
We had a blast! Braylen had a great time & loved being outdoors all day long. There were two
highlights of the trip: 1) Fried oreo's!! Yum!, 2) Mom saying, "it's on the loose!"-referring to a boat that came loose and was rolling down the street. It eventually crashed into the woods and managed to not hit anything else along the way. It was crazy. Here is a picture of our family on the last day.

Guy is in the midst of trying to balance working
full-time, going to school full-time, being a dad full-time, being a husband full-time, and being a Young Life leader FULL-TIME! He is our hero! He has been working so incredibly hard for our family. He is so anxious to be a teacher. If only he could speed through school!

Next month is my cousin Sara's wedding which we are excited about. Jessica is a bridesmaid and Braylen is the ring bearer! I'm so anxious to see if he will walk down the aisle. It could go either way. He might love it and wave to everyone or he'll just be super shy. Hopefully he will get a good nap in him beforehand. For Jess and Vince's wedding, he fell asleep right before going down the aisle in his stroller. So cute!

Thanks for checking in! I will be posting more things for sure!





Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A Walk in the Park

Tonight, Guy and I took Braylen up to Central Park to walk their trail. Guy brought the back pack so we didn't use the stroller. Braylen loves to be on daddy's back! Then we took him to the playground. The boy has no fear when it comes to climbing on things or sliding down huge slides. He climbed up a slide tonight and almost fell off. He just laughed. We also ran into some friends-the Hart Family! They have 2 boys and it was good to catch up with them.

Braylen and I recently came back from our Florida trip! We had such a great time with my mom and sister. Braylen loved the ocean and the sand. He was so amazing this trip. He didn't cry or whine once! When I would say, it's time for bedtime, he would go right down. What an amazing kid! He ran right into the ocean and would laugh when the waves would knock him down. He didn't even mind the salt water being in his face. He's crazy. He also loved the sand. He would take his shovel and play with it and put it in buckets. He also liked throwing it which wasn't as much fun for me. :) He usually ended his time on the beach with sand in his hair, face, mouth, and shoes. Thank goodness for swimming pools!

Braylen was like a little celebrity everywhere we went. He would wave and say hi to everyone. Most people wanted to stop and talk to him. One time he climbed out of his chair at a restaurant, walked over to another table, and climbed up in one of their chairs. The couple ended up being from Louisville so it was nice to talk to them. At the airport, he walked up to this lady and climbed up into her lap! She was an older woman and it just made her day. We continue to pray that the Lord would use Braylen to bring joy to those who need it! Joy and kindness seem to burst out of this kid. He's so awesome.

This weekend we have our leader retreat and next weekend is Family Camp during Labor Day! Lots of things happening! Hope everyone has a great day! Here are a few pictures from our trip!







Friday, August 7, 2009

Summer Fun

We have been on the go this whole summer! We've had so much fun though! Last weekend we decided to go to Idle Wild park in Burlington to take a walk on one of their trails. When we got there we saw that they were having a "Touch A Truck" event. They had tons of huge trucks for kids (and adults) to check out! Braylen was so excited! He loved sitting in the drivers seat and "turning" the steering wheel. One trucker accidently left his keys in the ignition and Braylen tried to start it up! If he would have kept turning the key, he would have! Guy captured the moment below-

He is so sneaky! He got on fire trucks, ambulances, police cars, tractors, semi's...just about every truck you can think. We thought he might be nervous from all of the loud noises but it didn't phase him a bit. He even honked the horn a few times-even the big semi horn too. He's so cool.

On Monday we took him to the Boone County Fair. We were meeting some of our YL students there so it was a good opportunity for him to go and ride the rides. Which of course, he loved. He had so much fun. Just loving life. He just runs around like crazy. And then Wednesday we went to the Red's game! So fun! Braylen danced and waived to everyone. We taught him to say "Go!" and point your fist out in the air. It was so cute.

He has been learning and growing so much. When we say, what does a cow say? He says moo! Same with a dog-woof woof! But everything is high pitched and cute sounding. Please! Mama! Baby! Dada! so cute! We are so amazed that the Lord brought this little boy in our lives. We pray every night that Braylen would have confidence in Jesus and be so secure in his faith. Only time will tell......

On another note, Guy is starting school in a few weeks so things are about to get a bit crazy! We are so proud of him for going back. He is going to be the best elementary school teacher ever.

Hope everyone has a great weekend! We are headed to a YL 40th Celebration tonight and then Goetta Fest tomorrow! Woohoo! :) It's the small things in life that are the most fun.






Tuesday, July 21, 2009

A Much Needed Update

Hello! Hope everyone is having a great summer! Braylen is napping right now so I thought I would update the blog. It's been too long. I have the windows open and it is so nice outside. I would be sitting out there but the kids next door are screaming. Plus they are like magnets to our fence whenever we are out there. They just stare at us......weird.......Anyways! We have had a really fun summer! In June we took 9 Boone students to Rockbridge Young Life camp in Virginia. We left Braylen with my parents and Guy's parents and it was very very hard to leave him. But our trip was amazing. Perfect weather, entertainment, food, club talks, music...everything. The staff was amazing as well. Our group was awesome and everyone got along wonderfully. We are now doing follow up work with the students by having hang outs at our house (we watched a movie outside! It was cool!), campaigners, and bible studies. We really want to start Club this fall but we're not sure how that will work out.

We had a busy start to July with the holidays and back to back birthdays-mom and Vince. Also this past weekend, Guy's cousin Brooke and her husband Wayne came to visit. We went to the Dayton Air Show with them all day on Saturday and it was freezing! The clouds were out and it was really cold. Good thing my capri's rolled out into pants. Braylen stayed with Grammy (Guy's mom) so we missed him. He'll love the air show one day!

We also got our house painted! It looks awesome! We are so pleased with it. It's a lighter shade of the previous green color. We have been working hard on our landscaping and everything is looking really good. We have soooo many projects we want to work on. The landscaping on both sides of the house and the back needs a lot of work! Frankly it just needs to be removed (sorry Madden's!). We'd also like to put a small stone patio in the back by our fence so we have a place to hang out and put our fire pit! Can't wait for it to be completed. We also just painted our bathroom. I love it but Guy is not sure about the color. It's a turquoise color. We painted the cabinet and sink white so it ties together. Stop by and see it!

Braylen has been amazing! We are trying to get him to repeat lots of words right now. He actually tries to repeat things but they just don't quite come out correctly. He can "say" amen, please, ball, woof, moo, mama, and dada. We've been working on more sign language so that he isn't as frustrated when we don't understand what he is saying. With sign language, instead of just babbling when he wants something, he can sign it and show us. Our bedtime routine is the best. We give him a cup of milk, read a story, sing a song, and say our prayers. Then he says amen and puckers out his lips to give us a kiss! Soooooo precious. I could just melt everytime he does that. He has been testing us a lot more too. He's so busy and gets into everything! It's also really hard to not laugh at him when he does something wrong or doesn't listen. He's just so darn funny. When he gets mad, he literally shakes his head and makes a fist and screams. But then he laughs about it. He's crazy! But we are all learning right now and I'm sure we will figure it out.

Next month, we are going to the beach! yea! Braylen has never been before so I am so excited for him to go. It's just going to be me, Bray, mom and Jess. The boys can't get off work! I can't wait!

Next week is mom and dad's 30th anniversary! Can't wait to celebrate with them. They are so amazing and we are so blessed to have a Godly example of marriage in our lives. Thank you God for my parents!

Hope everyone has a great week! I'll be updating more often!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Zoo & Chuck

Hello! Braylen had such a busy weekend! Saturday morning we took him to the zoo for the first time! We got there at 9am (when it opens) and that was a great time to go. It wasn't crowded and the animals were top notch! Braylen was in awe to see these huge animals walking around. He was scared every once in a while but he had an awesome time. Here is a picture of him seeing an elephant for the first time.

We had packed a lunch and while we were eating a peacock came and joined us. Braylen had dropped some of us bread on the ground so the peacock came over to eat it. Braylen didn't seem to notice otherwise I think he would have freaked. Then we went to a Cheetah Run! They have this show where they make the cheetahs sprint and they explain everything about them! Braylen did not really enjoy this because I had to force him to sit on my lap! He just wanted to go play! But Guy loved it, so at least one of my boys enjoyed the show. :) Here is a picture of Guy and Braylen (my favorite picture). They were walking on the "Jungle Trails." And below is a family picture!




Saturday night Braylen stayed with Jon and Peggy while Guy and I went on a dinner date and to a wedding! We had a great time. We had made some money from the yard sale at my parents house :) so we decided to have dinner at the Tousey House in Burlington. It was delicious! We shared the spinach and artichoke dip (which was amazing) and the cream of Chicken soup (yummy). And then Guy had halibut and I had a chicken sandwich. You should definitely check it out. Very good. Then we went to Lindsey Burcham's wedding at 7pm. It ended up being a long night but we enjoyed it.

The next day we had a good time at home just the three of us. We weren't able to go to church but listened to a sermon online. You can check it out at our YL Leader Resource page and it's called "Calling." Braylen played in his inflatable swimming pool and loved it. He loves water so much. Guy let him play with the hose and Braylen thought it was the coolest. That night we decided to take him to Chuck E Cheeses since we had a coupon. Well Chuck E came out from this door all dressed up and Braylen literally SCREAMED! I mean screamed his little heart out. It was so so sad! He was so scared. I had to unbuckle him from the high chair and take him away. Poor kid. I can relate though........... took me years to get over those furry characters. :)

Hope everyone has a great week! Thanks for reading!

Friday, June 5, 2009

100% boy

What a great day today! The weather is awesome. This morning Braylen woke up around 7:45am and he was in a great mood! These past few mornings he has just been fussy and wanted to be held all day long. He was running around like crazy. After breakfast we went upstairs to change his dirty diaper. I had waited to change it until he went #2. :) He has had diarrhea these past few days, so I shut his bedroom door and let him run around a bit airing out his clean bottom. I started to hang some clothes when all of a sudden I heard this "watery noise"-like water hitting plastic or a can. I turned around and Braylen was holding his trash can and peeing into it!!!!! Oh my goodness. He had a big laugh about that when I freaked out. It was so funny. Of course he wasn't tall enough to get ALL the pee into it so a little bit got on the carpet. No big deal to him. It was hilarious. I carefully removed the trash can (after he was finished of course) and took it downstairs to empty it out and clean it. He is no doubt 100% boy. So funny. I put his diaper on after that. He's like a little doggy.

After that, we went out to do a few errands-shopping for a booster seat, sandals, a wedding gift for tomorrow's wedding, and then we met Guy for lunch. Braylen was laughing at everyone. Guy had taken him to his bible study dinner this past Tuesday and he said he was able to get a glimpse into my daily life with Braylen because like "20 people" came up to talk to him! I said you mean 20 girls? He said girls and old people. Ha. But seriously it takes me like an hour to go grocery shopping because Braylen is so friendly with everyone.

After lunch we went to pick up my new ring! Yea! Glad to finally have it back. It is beautiful and I was able to get $50 back! nice. Not sure how we managed to get money and a new diamond but not complaining.

Tomorrow will be fun for us since we are going to take Braylen to the zoo for the first time. My goal is to leave the house by 8:30am! We'll see. I'll update you on our trip and post some pictures!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Screaming

So one of Braylen's new things is to scream!!! And scream loudly!!! And scream some more. He just thinks it's so funny. It is hard not to laugh except when we are out to eat or in a public place. It's not like he's screaming because he's mad, but he does it because.....well I guess he thinks it's cool to scream. :) Who knows. He did get mad at me today because I wouldn't let him play with my finger nail clippers and he went to his little lawn mower and knocked it over. Now that was definitely hard to not laugh at. It's just amazing that he is forming this little personality. He is so full of emotion! My friend Amy told me that when her Samantha was a baby she would smile and laugh at everyone. She wasn't shy like Braylen. And Amy used to pray that Samantha would smile at the right people-to those who needed a little pick me up. I mean who doesn't love a happy baby! So I've thought a lot about that and the other day we passed an older man in a wheel chair and he had these black spots all over his face. And Braylen just looked at him and waved and smiled and said "hi!" The man just lit up and was waiving back to him. It was so cute! I really think that God uses babies all the time to minister to the broken hearted. Thank you Jesus for our happy baby!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Case of the Missing Diamond

I know that it has been almost 2 weeks since my last post but right after I wrote Wednesday's blog, I went into the kitchen and noticed that my diamond was gone!!!! I guess that I had lost it somewhere in Bellevue! I was so upset and called Guy crying. It is such a sentimental piece and so special to Guy and I. However since it was insured I was able to get a replacement diamond for free and my new ring should be ready sometime this week. So sad. :( On a side note-make sure to get your prongs tightened around your diamond once a year! Didn't know that!

Our little family has been so busy with parties, retreats, and get togethers. Last week we went to Rockbridge for a Young Life leader weekend! We had a great time! Braylen loved being the center of attention. And he loved playing with the other kids. There were 8 small/2 big kids and 5 moms from our area in NKY! Wow! Our community has grown so much. We all shared a tiny 2 bedroom/2 living room pull out couch room. Friends of ours brought a little car to push their baby in instead of using a stroller, but every time Braylen walked outside he went right to that car. He was so sneaky about it too. He loved it! The fellowship, food, worship, scenery, was great! Guy and I bought the Chronicles of Narnia on CD and it was so fun to listen to during the ride. I highly recommend it. It made the trip go by quickly. Braylen slept for only 2 hours both there and back but had a great time entertaining himself during the other 4 hours. He is such a good boy.

Braylen has been teething so he has been quite fussy. He had a 101 temperature all day on Friday but seems to be feeling better. He fell asleep in my arms Friday morning because he just felt so bad! He NEVER does that. I of course loved it but once he woke up he had a fever. Poor kid. But he is better now. He is just so much fun. He copies everything we do now! He's so observant now. Yesterday I took the garbage can out from our cabinet to throw some things away and Braylen went over, picked it up and put it right back where it belongs. Today he went into our bedroom, picked up one of Guy's shoes and then tried putting it on Guy's foot. He's so smart. Oh he also went up to this little boy at Cracker Barrel and tried to give him a hug. The little boy just pushed him. Punk.

This week we are having 2 Boone Young Life get togethers, bible study, and then a wedding to go to on Saturday. Lots to do! Can't wait to work out this week! I ate so much food over the weekend! Diet starts Monday! But for real. I'm thinking about taking Braylen to the YMCA's outdoor pool tomorrow but I'm not sure if it will be warm or not!

I will update the blog more often! Here are a few recent pictures of our sweet baby boy!




Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Bellevue

What a beautiful day! Braylen and I met with Aunt Jess and Grandma Hicks and spent the morning walking and shopping in downtown Bellevue. They have some super cute shops and Jess and I scored some awesome spring jackets from the consignment shop Bella On the Avenue. Then we had lunch at the Bellevue Bistro which was awesome. Best chicken salad ever! Braylen had a grilled cheese. Braylen was a good little shopper but by the end we had to let him out of his stroller to walk on the sidewalk. Of course he said hello to everyone who passed by. He is not shy at all. He just has so much fun doing anything. He loves being outside too. He runs really fast and makes these funny noises. Hilarious.

I was just looking at our wedding pictures and I just still tear up thinking about that day! What a wonderful day! Everything was just so beautiful. I'm so thankful to be Guy's wife!

Tonight we have our all area club for Young Life. It should be a good time and we are hoping more Boone students will come out with us. Braylen is spending time with Collin and Aunt Barb and Jeff. He will have a blast I am sure!

Have a great afternoon!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday

So one week down of the dinner challenge and we didn't do that bad. I only had to cook two dinners though. Ha. Our life is crazy. Thursday we had a rehearsal dinner, Friday Guy was the best man in Mike and Kim's wedding (which was soooo beautiful!), Saturday we did a big group hangout with friends and watched the new Star Trek (which wasn't that bad!), and Sunday we hosted the Young Life booth at the First Church Mission's Fair. We had a very busy schedule. We also took Corinne to the airport on Saturday morning so she could fly to Ireland! We miss you!

Braylen has been figuring out our bedtime schedule and has been very adamant about not going to sleep! Last Tuesday he started freaking out before I put him down and the next two nights he was the same way! Finally last night and tonight he did fine. We just had to let him cry it out, which only last for a few minutes. He's awesome. He has been the center of attention and has loved it! At Mike and Kim's rehearsal dinner, he had so much fun. And then today at the mission's fair he went around to all the other booths just waiving to people and saying hi. So cute. He even went up to strangers to give them hugs! He is not shy at all! I love that kid. I'm so looking forward to hearing him complete real sentences. His other word is "uh." It's the universal term for EVERYTHING. "Abee" has been more of a song lately. He'll sing "abee" and just sway his head or pick up his feet to dance.

Guy and Braylen bought me a Zoo membership for mother's day so I am hoping to go this week! But we'll see what happens. We have another very busy week. Monday-hang out with YL students, Tuesday-bible studies, Wednesday-All area club, Thursday-Domec's, Friday-leave for Virginia and the YL leader retreat. So much to do! God is good though! Also congrats to my cousin Ryan for graduating! Can't wait to find out if you and Jen are having a boy or girl! I think boy! Hm....maybe girl though. :)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

"Abee, Abee, Abee"

"Abee" is Braylen's new favorite "word." He says it all day long. I have no idea what it means. Up, hold me, feed me, happy.....he uses it for everything! I can't wait for him to start actually talking. It's so funny! He woke up this morning saying it.

Yesterday, after I worked out at the Y, I took Braylen to the swimming pool. We saw Bob Boswell and talked with him for a little bit and then went on swimming. Braylen loves the water and since he's been putting his hands into our toilet (YUCK) I figure I should get him into water a lot more. I dunked him a few times and he comes up all wide eyed but he laughs after wards. He thinks it fun. We came home, ate lunch, and both took naps! Braylen slept for like 3 1/2 hours! Yea BabyWise! For dinner, I cooked Chicken Taco Salad (I posted the recipe below) for me, Braylen, and Corrine since Guy was away at bible study. We had study over here at 8pm for the girls and it was good to catch up.

Today we spent time with Grandma and Grandpa Hicks. Braylen had a good time playing with grandpa while I showed grandma how to import picture onto her computer. He played with all of their toys and books. Now Braylen is napping (and coughing). Tonight we are meeting with the Domec's since tomorrow (our normal day to meet) is Mike and Kim's rehearsal dinner. Can't wait for their wedding!

We have been experiencing a difficult time in our ministry these past few days, as a former Boone County YL student, Laura Chaney, died suddenly in her dorm room at WKU. Guy and I were not her leaders but a few current students knew her well, as does one of our co-leaders, Chris. Chris is also the best friend of Laura's older brother. There have been a few prayer vigil's and Guy was able to go to one last night at the Chaney's house. It's been hard knowing what to do since we are new to the school and because YL is not that well known there. Please pray that the Lord would open doors for us to share His message of hope and love to students who are lost. What a wake up call to us all that life is short and you only get one shot at accepting Jesus into your heart!

Thanks for reading!

Chicken Taco Salad
1 pound boneless chicken
1 can corn, undrained
1 can pinto/black beans (or both), drained
1 can chopped tomatoes or tomato juice
1 packet taco seasoning
Chopped lettuce
Shredded cheese
Sour cream
Crunched up taco chips

1-Boil chicken for 20 minutes and then shred with a fork.
2-While chicken is boiling, on low/md heat add corn, beans, tomatoes/juice to large saucepan. Mix all together and allow to cook.
3-Add shredded chicken and mix in taco seasoning.
4-Top with lettuce, cheese, sour cream and chips. Other toppings: guacamole, cilantro, salsa.

Monday, May 11, 2009

30 DAYS!

So not only am I doing 30 days of dinner, I'm also doing the 30 Day Shred by Jillian Michels. I showed up to YMCA this morning and met my friends Amy and Summer and found out we are doing the shred once again. We did it for like 2 months back in Feb & March and it was intense! I wasn't following a strict diet then so now that we are making more healthy dinners at home, I will hopefully notice a difference. Dinner was great tonight. I made laughing cow chicken cordon blue-a low fat version. You can find the recipe here. Delicious.

Today flew by! Braylen was hilarious this morning. He woke up at 8:30am (it was nice to sleep in) and when I went to get him out of his crib he didn't want me to pick him up. He kept scooting away from me. He was so talkative too. So I said okay I guess I'll leave you in there. And he said "noooooooooooo!!" and pointed at me. I'm not sure if he knew what he was saying or doing but if he did I'm impressed! So then he let me get him out. He took a short nap this afternoon and then was fussy when he woke up for a little bit. After dinner, Corrine and I took Braylen to the park. He is getting more confident about climbing on the swing set and sliding down the slide by himself. Then he wandered over to the baseball field and just watched the kids play. It was so cute! But I am exhausted! I am laying here in bed while Guy meets with Stephen Saunders (a former YL student that he meets with every week). I am ready to go to sleep!

Bible study with my friends tomorrow night. I am looking forward to more accountability and fellowship.

Thanks for reading! Good night!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

We have had such a busy and wonderful weekend! Friday night Braylen and I hung out with Aunt Jess while Guy and Vince were at a bachelor party. Guy is the best man in our friend's wedding this coming weekend so he hosted a poker night at our house. Jess and I spent the night at mom and dad's house and stayed up watching "Say Yes to the Dress!" on TLC (I love cable!) and we baked a cake. Then we woke up the next morning and drove down to Butler State Park for Mother's Day activities with my mom's side of the family. It was so much and Braylen had a great time. There was this group of like 15 kids that he just loved waiving to (although none of them waived back!!). One little boy had a big wheel and Bray freaked out every time he rode by. He loved that thing! He also had a good time pushing his lawn mower around and singing/dancing to "Ring Around the Rosie." We drove home around Braylen's bedtime thinking he would fall asleep in the car but that little rascal stayed up the whole time! He just sang and laughed at himself the whole ride home. He finally fell asleep in his bed once we got home. He's so cool.

Today was Mother's Day! I tear up thinking about how much I love our little boy and how much joy he brings to our lives. He is so amazing. I'm so blessed to be able to stay home with him everyday. Guy allowed me to sleep in a little bit this morning and got Braylen up and ready. I had some time to myself to get ready for church. I feel like I am NEVER alone so that was nice. We went to church and then to a nice lunch with the Jon, Peggy, and Amy (on a side note-Peggy informed me that it's really NOT "pronounced 'dough-mac' but 'dough-MEC'. I just think dough-mac is how most people say it. However the correct way to pronounce it is MEC.). We went home to put the munchkin down for a nap and then back out to mom and dad's for the Hicks' side dinner. Braylen had a rough evening and seemed to be more fussy than normal but after he had some ice cream in him, he was good to go. He definitely got dizzy during his "ring around the rosie" dance but it was hilarious. We had a great day and I am very thankful for my wonderful MD gifts. I was reminded by a friend that it is the Lord who I should be thanking for today's amazing blessings and gifts. He is always so good and gracious and makes everything possible. May He always be the first to thank and praise everyday of our lives!

Tonight Corrine is coming to stay with us and tomorrow is day 1 of the 30 day Dinner challenge! I already planned out our week and will keep you posted with how things are going! Good night!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Day Two

Braylen is napping right now so I thought I would take a few minutes to update our new blog. These past few days have been so crazy and I still have a ton of cleaning, laundry, organizing to do. But first I need to watch the Lost episode that I missed last night! :) Priorities right?

I've been trying to keep track of how many calories I eat and have realized that I consume way too many carbs everyday! Anyone know how to stop craving them? Weight loss is so frustrating and hard!

This morning Braylen woke up at 6am! Guy had to wake up early for accountability so he went up there and calmed him down because Braylen was of course up and ready for the day (he wakes up singing by the way). So then Braylen fell back asleep until 8:45am! Yes! He is awesome. We had to go shopping to buy snacks for Guy's party tomorrow night and I asked Braylen to go get me his shoes and he totally did! He is so smart! At the store he was waving to everybody and saying "ba-bye!" He is the coolest.

Tonight we have dinner with Jon and Peggy which will be nice to catch up. And this weekend is filled with parties and Mother's Day activities! Can't wait!

Also Monday starts a new 30 day challenge that I have set up for myself. The challenge will be to not eat out at a restaurant for dinner for 30 days! I have not cooked a meal for my family in FOREVER and I feel like the Lord wants me to serve them with a good, healthy meal. I'll keep you posted with the results and will hopefully add recipes to all the meals I prepare.


Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Not sleepy

For some reason I'm not tired! It's 11:30pm and the boys are asleep but I am wide awake. We had a busy day today. This morning Bray and I went to the YMCA so that I could have some "mommy" time and when I picked him up from child watch, they told me that he had climbed on top of the table like 10 times! He is crazy. Then we went to storytime at the library. There were about 15 or so babies and mom's there and Bray had such a great time! He danced and talked to everyone there. He was not shy at all and was really in his element. Loves being the center of attention. Then we came home and ate lunch. Today he tried black beans and of course loved them. He got the juice all over his face and hair so I gave him a bath afterwards. He is just so much fun! Then we met up with my parents for dinner which was great. Bray made friends with an older couple behind us. We went shopping afterwards and I spent way too much money. Corrine (our co-Young Life leader at Boone County) is staying with us for a week or so and I needed to buy bedding for her. We organized the extra bedroom upstairs and added a bed that we borrowed from my parents and it looks so cute! I hope that she feels comfortable there.

I want to use our blog to inform family and friends what is happening with our little family. We love Braylen so much and I am excited to write down and record the crazy things that he does everyday!