GSUMC Easter Egg Hunt

As we mentioned the first of the week, Saturday was the church Easter Egg Hunt. We were scared it was going to rain because we were scheduled to have a major storm system come through. We even went down before the boys got home to check to see if the ground was dry! Luckily, it was, so on with the hunt! The boys were at Grandpa & Grannie's house, so they met Bo at home while Tanner went to the church early to set up the refreshments & hide eggs. The turnout was great...we got to mingle with our friends while the little ones had a blast running around & playing. Paul & Jan got roped into chasing Harrison, but from all the photos of them having fun, it doesn't look like it was too bad! And since we know you're dying for more photos, we'll post a link to the all the Easter photos in our holiday recap next week.


Note to Self

We just read this online this week (ironic, we know), and it really spoke to us. The article talks about an iphone, but it's really talking about anything that takes our focus....the computer, the tv, a wii, a book, or even a monogramming machine. We know that we're guilty of this sometimes just like everyone else. But it's certainly a reminder of where our focus should be. We've definitely made some strides in this category, but we need to keep making these boys our priority with every little choice. As the saying goes, "the days are long, but the years are short".  We hope this speaks to you as much as it did us!

Dear Mom On the iPhone,

I see you over there on the bench, messing on your iPhone. It feels good to relax a little while your kids have fun in the sunshine, doesn’t it? You are doing a great job with your kids, you work hard, you teach them manners, have them do their chores.

But Momma, let me tell you what you don’t see right now…..

Your little girl is spinning round and round, making her dress twirl. She is such a little beauty queen already, the sun shining behind her long hair. She keeps glancing your way to see if you are watching her.

You aren’t.

Your little boy keeps shouting, “Mom, MOM watch this!” I see you acknowledge him, barely glancing his way.

He sees that too. His shoulders slump, but only for a moment, as he finds the next cool thing to do.

Now you are pushing your baby in the swing. She loves it! Cooing and smiling with every push. You don’t see her though, do you? Your head is bent, your eyes on your phone as you absently push her swing.

Talk to her. Tell her about the clouds, Mommy. The Creator who made them. Tickle her tummy when she comes near you and enjoy that baby belly laugh that leaves far too quickly.

Put your eyes back on your prize…Your kids.

Show them that they are the priority. Wherever you are, be ALL there. I am not saying it’s not ok to check in on your phone, but it’s a time-sucker: User Beware!

Play time at the park will be over before you know it. The childhood of your children will be gone before you know it.

They won’t always want to come to the park with you, Mommy. They won’t always spin and twirl to make their new dress swish, they won’t always call out, “WATCH ME!”

There will come a point when they stop trying, stop calling your name, stop bothering to interrupt your phone time.

Because they know…

You’ve shown them, all these moments, that the phone is more important than they are. They see you looking at it at while waiting to pick up brother from school, during playtime, at the dinner table, at bedtime…..

I know that’s not true, Mommy. I know your heart says differently.

But your kids can’t hear your words, Mommy. Your actions are screaming way too loudly.

May our eyes rest upon those we love, first and foremost, and may everything else fall away in the wonderful, noisy, sticky-fingered glory of it all.



Future Family

Our Sunday School class has been watching an amazing series called Future Family. It's by Andy Stanley, Dr. Charles Stanley's son, and it is really life changing. Our class has watched all the videos, and we're in the process of going back and discussing each one. There are 6 parts to the series, and they discuss everything related to a family...from dealing with issues in your family when you were growing up, to what type of legacy you'll leave to your great-grandkids, and everything in between. There's even one lesson solely devoted to parenting tips (lesson 5).
One of the lessons (lesson 4), is about conflict within family. That's definitely a topic everyone can relate to! As Andy Stanley says, if family conflict hasn't visited you yet, it will at some point. This message was extremely powerful for our the end of the video, most of the men & women in our class were crying. The takeaway for us was two main things. First, God forgives with no strings attached, so we can't demand more of people than God does. So no bringing up past junk! History is just that...old news. Just apologize, forgive, and move on without bringing it up again. Secondly, as Christians, we are required to forgive and do the right thing. It's not optional. Even if it feels like the mended fences are just on our side and nothing gets better. We have to do the right thing anyway. These are some hard rules to live by, but we're certainly going to try!
 These are just a few of the many things we've learned from this series. We have learned where some of our friends are coming from, and to cut them a little slack. We have learned to put things in perspective when it comes to disciplining...not everything is a big deal. We have learned the difference between an "ideal family" and a "real" one. We've learned that the way we act & react to situations will definitely influence our children, and our children's children. As Andy Stanley said, "Actions don't merely speak louder than words, sometimes they echo into the next generation". That's quite a statement, and one we don't take lightly. Because if nothing else, the boys in the picture below will grow up knowing the unwavering love of family, and hopefully we'll be the type of parents they'll want to be when they have little ones of their own!

To learn more about this series, or to watch episodes (please, please do!), visit


Harrison's Baptism

A few weeks ago, we had Harrison's baptism ceremony. We ended up having to change weekends at the last minute due to our Pastor being out of town, and the weekend that worked best for us just happened to be Bluegrass Sunday (which is why the podium looks a little old-timey). It couldn't have worked out better, though, because they sang all Baptist hymns so we felt like we were back in TN! We even decided to embrace the country theme and enjoy brunch at Cracker Barrel!
We were so blessed to have friends and family there to witness it, and we know those of you who weren't there were with us in spirit. We wanted to commemorate Harrison's big day, so we also took photos of him in his baptism outfit. Here are some of our favorite pictures of his celebration, and you can see more HERE.


Weekend Update

This weekend was predicted to be a washout with thunderstorms & yuck, but somehow we lucked out and had great weather that we just had to take advantage of!
Saturday morning was the church Easter Egg Hunt that Tanner helps organize. We were all watching for any signs of rain, but we ended up staying dry and having a great time! It probably didn't hurt that our beloved Pastor Jody went out early and checked the ground to see if it was dry. Somehow her prayers usually end up answered! We'll post photos of the egg hunt later this week.
All the hunting made us tired, so afterwards we headed out for a yummy lunch with our friends the Bodifords. We went to a new place for us, and it was really good! It didn't hurt that we had a private room & were surrounded by 5 TVs all playing different sporting events....all the boys were distracted while the girls talked monogramming!
On Sunday the weather was amazing, so we got out and played! We headed down to show the boys the dinosaurs, then headed over to play in Grandi & Granddaddy's yard. We stayed until after dinner, and headed straight home to bedtime. Add in scoring DMB tickets and booking our group's camping getaway, and it was a great start to Spring Break week!


Week In Review

This week we:
planned, planned, planned for the church Easter Egg Hunt this weekend
made a game-time decision to sign Hampton up for MDO again in the fall
reserved our spot for our first camping trip this year
delivered baby gifts to several friends & church members
played outside lots & lots
picked up the boys' sandals & found them the cutest tiny TOMS ever!
caught up with several friends
Bo had to have a root!


Who's Your Daddy?

Harrison has started talking, using words for his favorite things...."cra-cra" for his beloved cheez-its, and "Tah" that he uses for Thomas the train, as well as every other train & car. The cutest is "Daddy", which he says perfectly, but uses it for everyone. Mommy, Daddy, Grandparents, and his favorite nursery worker Mrs. Pam are all his Daddy. He definitely has inflection right, though! He will say it so excitedly when he first sees you, or he has a heart-breaking way of saying it when you leave. He might not know everyone's name just yet, but he sure does know how to let you know he loves you!


Fairhope Arts & Crafts Festival

Somehow every time we head to a festival, we end up at a park, and the recent Fairhope Arts & Crafts Festival was no different. We enjoyed strolling the festival, window shopping the booths and people-watching in the beautiful weather, and we finished up at a huge playground in Fairhope. The boys played until the park got a little too crowded for our taste, which ended up being perfect timing to grab a quick dinner before heading home. As always, it was a fun, leisurely way to spend a few hours!


9th Annual Easter Egg Hunt

You may remember this post from last year when we told you about our 2 sets of friends that host a joint annual Easter Egg Hunt.  Well, this year was even bigger & grander than last year's event!
The weather was amazing, and we were told by one of the hosts that it's been beautiful every single year they've hosted it. They boys had a fabulous time and were so well-behaved, which meant we had plenty of time to catch up with our friends and their families. The highlight was the Easter Bunny's arrival on his kayak, which is quite the kickoff for a fun event. We can't wait to see how the big plans they have for next year's event turn out, although we don't see how they can make it any better!


St. Paddy's Day Recap

Yesterday was nothing if not a green blur! It started with a little celebration breakfast including polka dots on the windows, ribbons on the light fixture, and green pancakes. Then, we quickly got dressed & headed to church, and afterwards the store. We made it home in just enough time for lunch before the Bodifords headed over to hang out while Tanner & Krystal headed back to church for a one hour meeting that turned into two. Tanner got home, the Bodifords left, and Bo and Hampton raced out the door to arrive fashionably late to a birthday party. They got home just in time for dinner, bath time, and bedtime! It was a great, fun day but definitely a busy one!
We did manage to snap a pic of the boys in their green along with the radioactive-looking green pancakes before the craziness started. We posted this photo on Facebook yesterday, along with a cute Irish blessing. We found another Irish quote that wasn't as uplifting, but was hilarious, so we thought we'd leave you with it today...
“May those who love us, love us; and those who don't love us, may God turn their hearts; and if He doesn't turn their hearts, may he turn their ankles so we'll know them by their limping.”


Zoo Trip

On our most recent zoo trip, we gave the animal puffs another try. Hampton hasn't really gotten into them in the past, but this time was a success. It didn't hurt that he had hungry furry friends that were very willing to gobble them up. However, Harrison was more interested in keeping the puffs for himself!


Orange Beach Festival of Art

On Sunday, we headed down to the Orange Beach Festival of Art. A favorite local band was playing that we wanted to hear, but the boys were way more interested in heading to the playground. You can tell by the photos who won out! We had a great time enjoying the weather, taking in the booths, playing at the park, and walking the pier. We've promised Hampton many more trips to the park this summer, so this is probably the first of many posts from there this year!


Just A Swingin'

Now that the weather is getting warmer, we're taking advantage of Grandaddy & his yard! We think he probably doesn't mind too much!


Our Day

Here's a little peek into our day. It's been filled with Baby Einstein, Thomas, blocks, cars, trains, books, Mommy, the human jungle gym, and more CheezIts than we'd care to admit! In other words, it's been pretty great!


Worn Slap Out


Camping World

Over the weekend, we met P&J at the RV store to pick up the boys. They had some work done on their RV, so we took the opportunity to be nosy & check out some of the big new campers. They were very impressive, but Hampton seemed to be more mesmerized by the rocks. He played non stop with the "mommy & baby rocks", while we dreamed of warmer weather and fun new camping trips!


Week In Review

This week we....
Were up early & late with 2 sick babies
Celebrated Mommy's birthday
Caught up with several friends & family members
Priced, tagged, dropped off, and shopped the semi annual consignment sale
Watched "Splish Splash Splosh" over & over & over
Worked on monogramming orders
Were healthy enough for MDO & church on Wednesday...yay!
Visited Granddaddy & Grandi
Started spring cleaning
Dealt with our wacky weather
Had dinner with Grandpa & Grannie
Played lots of trains
Made a mess eating cake!