Family of 4 Announcement

We've had an exciting couple of months with the anticipation of announcing that we are expecting. Gary had been dreaming of making a video of Cooper announcing our news. He did a great job and Coop did an amazing job acting and being patient with us asking him to do things over and over again.

So if you haven't seen the video yet take a look and enjoy!!
Merry Christmas Coop

To answer a few questions:
I am due June 21 2013. I have been feeling great. I'm getting past the completely exhausted stage and that feels so good. I do have a cold today and yesterday but to have not been sick the past 12 weeks it's hard to complain about a runny nose and headache.
Cooper is excited. His prayer lately has been, "Dear God, thank you for my mommy and daddy who take care of me and thank you for my new baby that will be here after my birthday. Thank you for our blessings. Amen."  MELT. MY. HEART!!!
We will still be in shop so we'll share a room with the babe until we built and move. We will hopefully if everything goes alright with the bank will start that in the spring so that's exciting as well. We are trying to decide on house plans.
Gary is excited to have a baby to snuggle with. And I'm excited to see our family grow. Our prayer is that this pregnancy continues to go smoothly without complications. So far so good. The doctor plans to monitor more closely after the 20 week ultrasound which makes me happy to have the extra peace of mind.

Thank you for your continued prayers and excitement with us.

From Coast to Coast

Life has been crazy and is about to get even crazier. I wanted to just give up on blogging but that's not very nice for the peeps that want to see all these pictures and hear about all of our adventures. So I thought I'd tell you about our Coast to Coast Summer.

We went to see Kirk my brother and his family in Oregon. It was a beautiful trip, some of the most beautiful scenery I've ever seen. I hope to go back soon and have Gary with us. My Dad, Erin and Nana went as well so we had a house full everywhere we went. We were a traveling party it seemed. 

 Coop and Trip enjoyed the sand no matter how chilly it was!

CHEESE! - At Tillamook Cheese Factory.

On our way down the coast to Kirk's house we saw some beautiful things. We stopped at this lighthouse. It was incredible.  

Coop and Trip playing with the outdoor kitchen. 

Kirk had this motorcycle in his shop and Dad was itching to get it running. With a little tinkering he did and the boys we happy he did! It took Trip a little convincing to ride but liked it when he did. The boys are yelling WEEEE-EWWWW!!! Trying to sound like an ambulance or firetruck. We were just glad neither came! 

The Round-up is county fair where Kirk and Aimee live. It's a big deal. The boys had so much fun going there. Looking at the animals, eating treats and riding rides. Coop was unstoppable. He loved all the rides, a little too much. It made us nervous at times the rides he got on alone! Trip liked the jungle house that had ropes to climb and slides.  

Round-up had church on site in the sale barn that Kirk's church hosted. He lead worship with the praise band and he also brought the message and did a fantastic job. 

The boys enjoyed a super hero lunch and playtime.

We had a wonderful time! I can't wait to go back. Family time is never long enough. Thanks Kirk, Aimee and Trip for letting us bombard your house for so long! We love you.

A few weeks later Coop and I headed to the other coast and went to see the Florida fam while Gary was hunting in South Dakota. 

Coop and PawPaw making Jer's birthday cake. Coop of course loved licking the beaters and bowl. 

Gram and PawPaw were good sports playing with Coop in the water at the bait shop. He's a little fish and didn't mind the salt water, he swam in it like any pool.

 Jer helped Coop fish several times. He LOVED it! It was quick fishing so he had so much fun pulling in fish after fish. 

We finally made it to the beach once again he was everywhere! He would've surfed had he been able to stand up on it. I hope he continues to love the water. 

Cooper is obsessed with "cars with no windows" convertibles. So he was thrilled to get to take rides with the top down. This was his first ride. 

Having coffee with Pawpaw and watching cartoons. 

One of our several rides on the carousel. 

We were riding somewhere and this is what Coop looked like. I took his picture and he wanted to see it. He didn't even know a lens was missing until he saw the picture. Silly boy. 

St. Augustine has a few tourist trains so we took a ride. It was as fast at Coop had hoped so we didn't stay on the entire time around town. We got off at the marina where we saw this pirate ship and watched the turtles eat the moss. 

"SINGING IN THE RAIN" We had a few pop up storms so Coop made the best of it and played in the rain.
We had such a great time in Florida. It was hard to leave as usual but we look forward to our next trip… probably after we are a family of four!!
Stayed tuned. I'll post the short video we made to announce the news in case you haven't seen it.
Thanks for hanging in there with me and looking at so many pictures in one post.

Have a Merry Christmas! Hope you have all your shopping done and are able to enjoy some family time and remember 'Jesus is the reason for the season'.


What Wearing Pink Means To Me

As most of you know October is breast cancer awareness month. This year I had the awesome and God appointed chance to do something different to recognize the month. I just got back from Florida this afternoon (pics from that to come later) but while I was there I was able to run a 5K - Pink Up The Pace, for breast cancer awareness.
You see, for several years I've worn a pink streak in my hair for awareness but more importantly for a sweet sweet soul, my Grandmama's best friend Ms Janelle. We had the privilege of having her in our family for as long as I can remember. She's always been around when we went to visit the family in Florida. She always had us over for a meal and swimming in her pool. However the reason I hold her so near and dear to my heart is because she was one of the most beautiful Christian women I've ever met. She prayed my family through everything, including the birth of Cooper and the adventure we went through getting him here. I've always said she was the only Jesus my family knew. Living in Missouri and my family living in Florida there is a disconnect when it comes to certain things so my prayer always was that if I couldn't be the one to witness to my family and show them Christ's love that He would put someone in their lives and Ms Janelle was always that person. A sister in Christ and a kind loving woman she is the reason I wear pink and the reason I ran this race. When I found out that there was going to be a 5K while I was in FL I was so happy but then when I found out what it was for I was ecstatic! How awesome to run in her honor and memory IN FLORIDA where she lived?! I told my Mom that I would probably cry the entire run because this is a cause that I feel strongly about. I didn't cry the entire race, I didn't cry even most of the race but I did wake up with tears in my throat and had to fight them when I showed up that morning to see a sea of pink from the 3000 participants that had joined to raise awareness and find a cure but when I really had to compose myself was when I was running behind a little boy, maybe 9 years old, who's hat had hand written on the bill, "I'M RUNNING FOR MY MOM".   I. ABOUT. LOST. IT! I was literally whimpering, had an ugly cry face, and was crying while running. I had to tell myself to pull it together or I'd never finish this thing because I had just started. How many Moms, Grandmas, Aunts, Sisters, Daughters, and BEST FRIENDS were people running for that day? More than we can even count I'm sure. So what a blessing to be a speck in the giant "SEA OF PINK" for the day.
But one more thing, I wasn't just a speck for that day, I have pink hair again this year. This year I dyed it instead of wearing an extension. I wanted to do something different and was able to do this for pennies with the help of a stylist friend who got me the dye.
I know dying my hair pink or wearing a bracelet isn't what it's all about but it's my way of feeling like I've done a little to show I care and I care for those touched by this.

Some pics from the event..

 At the packet pick up they had a pink fire truck. Coop and Gram waited patiently while I stood in line to get my number and shirt so we needed a picture of them by the truck.

After the race.  
Coop wanted to run the race with me (I found that out after the fact) so we cut through and ran across the finish line again. Everyone cheered for him and he was so excited. 

 He's showing his muscles after our run. This was in effort to get him to leave. I told him to pick a runner to have his picture taken with. :)

The sea of pink.
I'm standing by the tree.

We miss you Ms. Janelle. Thank you for touching our lives and the lives of others. We love you, it was an honor to run for you. 


Top Notch Vacay

As most of you know Gary works out of town a couple nights a week making for very long weeks for Coop and I so we've recently joined him in Washington Mo for a few mini vacations.  Cooper thinks these are top notch vacations because of a few things : Waffles, Fruit Loops, the Disney channel and a POOL! All things we don't have a home so it's a nice change of pace to get away and stay in a hotel with fun new things. Not to mention there's a Target right across the road which is a haven for me AND a Panera down the road therefore making this a top notch vacay for me as well. Not to mention that we get to spend way more time with Daddy than we typically would. 

We had a great time this past week doing all sorts of things but I'm sure Cooper's favorite is swimming. He'd go at any hour if we let him. He is quite the brave swimmer these days to say the least. We tried out some new muscles- floaties that we had gotten on our last trip to see G instead of the life jacket we had been using. He did great and took his braveness to a new level. Check out these videos for yourself!

Notice he's swimming with his eyes open the little fish. He enjoyed coming up and saying I saw your belly and feet or I saw you waving at me!

He had zero problem jumping off the edge either once we got him to try it one time. Now he is FEARLESS!!

Here's some pics of the muscle man!

After a morning stop for a bagel and coffee at panera we asked for directions to a park and set out.
Had fun even though we wore the wrong shoes and had to keep putting his flipflops back on. This mama is too cautious to let him play without shoes there.  

Here's the happy boy eating all his favorites for breakfast. Waffles, fruitloops, sausage and even orange juice. Hey we're on vacation right? 

Our summer travels are only beginning, we went to see Daddy because our BIG trips start a week from today to see Uncle Kirk, Aunt Aimee and Trip in Oregon so check back soon to see our adventures!!

Happy Birthday Molly! We love you and hope you have a great party. Can't wait to see you in your new birthday outfit!!! 


Super Cooper Turns 3!

3 Years ago this silly monkey was born. What a fun ride we've been on. He's the light of my life. He still makes everyday worth waking up for. Everyday is an adventure, whether we are learning a letter, watching a PBS show, playing outside for hours in the hose until what one would think our well is dry or eating cow shaped peanut butter sandwiches we have a great time together. When Daddy's home from work it's even more fun! 

Celebrating his special day was no different. We had a house FULL of people on the morning of his birthday. His Gram, PawPaw and GiGi were in from FL and friend Phil and Anita were here from Kansas City were here to see them, therefore every floor, couch and bed we could find was full. Gary and I slept in Coop's floor on an air mattress so when we woke up we thought it would be fun to sneak out just the 3 of us and get donuts for breakfast for a special treat. We quietly make it to the bathroom and headed out the door. It was fun to sneak out…now that I think of it maybe that wasn't something we should teach…hmmmm. If it's for donuts at 8 am I think we can manage. Let's move on. 

 Super Hero Party

Our very own Super Hero!

We had fun making every detail super hero-ish.  

We had super hero cake, cupcakes, even water and juice that had super hero powers. 

 We had some very special guests including Nala, Cooper's new puppy. She was a good guest who even wore a cape, she slept most of the time. I won't complain about that! 
My mom and I made capes for all the kiddos that came. I cut their letters out but Gram did all the cutting and sewing of the capes. Thanks Gram! I'm so glad I had so much help getting the party ready!

Coop I hope you had as much fun as we did having your party! We sure do love you! 


NINE Years of Love and Marriage

Last week-June 6th, Gary and I celebrated 9 years of marriage.  I absolutely cannot believe it has already been nine years. Time has completely flown by. To celebrate we flew in a few babysitters from Florida because we're fancy like that…that's not the whole truth, my Mom, Jerry and Grandmama flew in for Cooper's upcoming birthday and happened to come in on our special day.  So after G got home from work we got ready and headed out to dinner and some shopping. We went to one of my very favorite restaurants Haruno for sushi and steak for G. 
We had a great dinner and time together. We had to double duty our night out because we hadn't gotten Cooper the rest of his birthday present so we also shopped for him then finished our date with Andy's frozen custard. Everything was delicious and wonderful. 

Our lives have been anything but dull these years of marriage. We've had fun, had rough patches, laughed, cried, rejoiced and thanked our Lord for ALL that He has given us. I hope and pray that our marriage is a testament to the love the Christ has for each of us. We are truly blessed. 
We are especially blessed by being a family of 3 with this little man. He's the light of our lives. 

Thank you Gary for the most amazing 9 years of my life! You are a wonderful husband, man and daddy we could ever ask for. Thanks for working so hard to give us the life that we have, for providing everything for us and allowing me to stay home with our little monkey. 
I love you more than anything. 


That's What Little Boys Are Made Of

What are little boys made of?
What are little boys made of?
Slugs and snails and puppy dog tails.
That's what little boys are made of. 

Cooper has been proving more and more that he is ALL BOY lately. We've had all sorts of boy adventures and gross stuff from catching lizards, snakes and frogs to splashing in the mud he's done it all with pure joy. -Has this mama? Not so much but I'm glad he's enjoying these things. 

Bass Pro is one of Coopers favorite places. He's telling a big fish story here. He knows the store and can tell you where every fish, turtle and alligator is. There are rare trips to Springfield when he doesn't ask to go to there because he typically sees the billboard as we pull into town. Thank you Bass Pro for such good advertising that even an almost 3 year old can be lured in by it! 

This week we went to the zoo looking for J things. Last week we did Z so it was a good excuse to go for 2 letters. Z for Zoo and Zebra and J for Jumping animals. We had a great trip with beautiful weather. Courtney and Betsy got him this cute monkey shirt, he was thrilled to sport it to the zoo. 

Coop absolutely loves trains so our trip to the zoo was complete with a ride on the express. 

Riding the rails!

Our next boy adventure is playing in the hose or sprinkler. This week we added a pool. Pool side is where I worked on most of this post… by pool I mean a green turtle sandbox that we put water in. That counts right? I WISH! Hey it keeps him happy and busy and I get a little vitamin D from my lounge chair. I think it's a win win. 

We've had fun watching our garden grow. We already have tomatoes on one of the plants. He enjoys watering it and unfortunately tiptoeing through it. Hopefully when the plants get bigger he'll understand. 

I ran in my first functional 5K last weekend so the boys had the morning and afternoon together. I came home to these flowers they picked while riding the mule checking out the hunting grounds. 

He begs to watch movies on the computer which to him it means watching PBS kids.org clips of his shows he watches already but it keeps him happy and busy for a short while. Doesn't he look like he knows what he's doing? He gets to play with our iphones but we don't let the work happen on laptop just yet. His time will come but he's still a little rough. 

Here's where my BOY is ALL BOY!

After an afternoon outside with G, Coop came in with his "buddies" to show me… 3 lizards, a frog and a little green snake...

...that currently resides in a jar in our kitchen. This mama has caught more bugs for a snake to eat than any mama cares to! 
For breakfast on this morning it had ants! I'm pretty sure his time is limited but we've had luck thus far. I'm not sure if it's eating any of the bugs but it's still alive. 

He caught his first lizard this week all by himself! He did it like a pro. He was so excited and so proud of himself. We had to call Daddy to tell him. He played with it for a while then said he was done and let it go. Crazy kid! 

Having fun with Coop and Mama! 
At the end of the day after hands are washed, chickens are fed and put to bed, snakes have their bugs and the mud is washed off and out of the tub I still cherish every single boy adventure he takes me on. We have so much fun and I wouldn't have it any other way. 
Coop you keep your mama hoppin but I sure do love you and enjoy every second together.