Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Anyone still here?

You know you haven't visited your blog in a long time when typing in the url you say to yourself, "Now what was the name of my blog again?"  So I guess anyone reading now hasn't forgotten!  It has been a very busy holiday season and this has been the last thing I have thought about.  Of course being pregnant doesn't help either.  Naps are not optional for me right now.  And you know what?  I'm completely okay with that because I know in less than 6 months sleep will be a luxury!  Thankfully, the second trimester has proven to be much better in terms of fatigue and sickness.  I was finally able to return to a normal routine around Thankgiving, which was perfect timing! 

In family news...the boys are doing well.  Thomas and I started doing "school" again the beginning of the month and I could tell how much he had changed just in the six weeks we had taken off.  He understood directions quicker and our activities seemed to "click" with him.  Thomas LOVES to do school.  In fact, he asks most weekends if we can do school. I guess when school consists of playing games, using blocks and magnets, and jumping around any kid would want to do school!  He does know all his letters now as well as the short vowel sounds and most common consonant sounds.  I am debating on whether or not beginning to teach him to read in the spring.  He is eager to know and the book I have seems fairly simple and easy lessons of around 10 minutes. 

Josiah has changed a lot too.  He is into everything!  Thomas was not a climber, but Josiah climbs on everything.  A couple of weeks ago, I found him sitting on top of the train table with all the trains and tracks thrown on the floor shouting, "Mama!"  He knows how to climb up, but has not mastered getting down.  Even though he is into everything, he still does NOT walk independently.  *sigh*  He will walk holding our hands and practically runs behind a push toy, but refuses to let go.  Josiah is a very stubborn (but lovable) child and when he doesn't want to walk, he just lets his legs go limp.  The ladies in our church nursery call him "noodle legs."  We go back to the pediatrician next week for his 18 month well check and I'll see what he has to say. 

Baby Culbertson is doing well.  I'm 17 weeks pregnant and everything is normal.  I haven't felt movement yet, but it should be soon.  I have an ultrasound scheduled for Monday, January 10th.  We are hoping to find out the gender, as long as baby cooperates.  Thomas is convinced he is having a sister.  In fact, the past week he has been saying there are two babies - a boy and a girl!  I hope he isn't prophetic about that last statement!

Well, I've rambled long enough.  Below are a couple of pictures from Christmas. 

The boys listening to Josh read about Jesus' birth on Christmas morning. 

Josiah looks like "Ralphie" from A Christmas Story! 

Future Employee?? This was the gift they both loved the most. 

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Another Addition!

If you are friends with me on Facebook, you already know our good news.  We are expecting again!  Baby #3 is due the same time Josiah was due - the exact same date actually (June 8)!  I'm really hoping this baby decides to come a few days before his birthday, because I really want my kids to have their own special day.  Of course, we are very excited and a little nervous too about being outnumbered by kids! 

Thomas is very excited, although doesn't completely understand what is going on.  He thinks the baby should be here now.  We were talking about the baby earlier this week and he said, "Mama, you just pretending."  When he does refer to the baby he always says, "she".  We don't have a preference either way, but I would be thrilled for the boys to have a sister. 

While baby is doing fine, I feel awful.  I think the worst part is the fatigue.  Nausea was something I dealt with in the other two pregnancies (and still feel with this one), but the fatigue this time around is overwhelming.  I honestly have never felt this tired in my life.  Right now, it is all I can do to take care of my boys, cook dinner, and do the laundry.  Thankfully, the boys still take a nap every afternoon which allows me to nap as well.  Any other ladies experience such fatigue with third pregnancies? 

I do want to post some pictures from our trip, but I have to find the energy to go through 400 pictures.  Hopefully, in the next week or two, I'll get them up.  Don't expect much activity on the blog until the 2nd trimester comes. 

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Vacation & Sermons

I have been MIA on the blog for a couple of weeks because we had the pleasure of going on vacation last week!  It is such a tremendous blessing to get away and we don't take it for granted.  Josh and I both talked about how blessed we are that the Lord allows us time to rest and gives us innumerable gifts we don't deserve.  When we think about our brothers and sisters around the world who are suffering in ways we can't even imagine, it is even more humbling to think of the blessed life the Lord has given us. 

We went to the mountains of North Carolina and the leaves were at their peak!  It was absolutely beautiful.  Most days we had clear blue skies and beautiful fall colors surrounding us.  Thankfully, we were able to find a cabin to rent, although I learned my lesson to begin looking for a place more than 3 weeks before we want to go!  The cabin was on a mountain and our first trip up there was a little harrowing, but Josh figured out exactly how to navigate and the rest of our trips were smooth.  We were able to do some fun things with the boys as well and they had a great time.  Thomas' Missions Friends teacher told me that he couldn't stop talking about how he went to the mountains tonight. 

I'll try to post some pictures in the next couple of days.  I have been so busy trying to get back in the routine of life, that I haven't even taken pictures off of the camera.  In the meantime, I wanted to tell all my blog readers who aren't Facebook friends, that my husband's sermons can be found online if you are interested in hearing him preach.  You can listen to two different ways:

1.  Go to http://www.npbcfamily.org/ and click on "Resources" and then "Sermons" and they are all right there.
2.  You can subscribe to the podcast through iTunes.  Just search for "New Prospect Baptist Church." 

Monday, October 11, 2010

Blog I Follow

There are a couple of blogs I read on a regular basis, but aren't on my sidebar and I wanted to highlight them for any of my readers who might be interested. 

1.  They Are All Ours - This blog is written by a sweet couple who served at a church I attended during my Junior & Senior years of high school.  He was my youth minister and she was his sweet, godly wife who had three children (all fifteen months apart) at the time.  They were both such an encouragement to me to continue to fight the good fight and I was thrilled when I found them on Facebook a little over a year ago.  I was even more excited when they finally started a blog a couple of months ago.  Mostly, Joy writes out of her triumphs and failures of a being a pastor's wife and mom of eight children.  Since I just began this journey of being a wife and mother, I find her blog very real and encouraging.  Joy is one of those women who I wished could be a Titus 2 woman in my life.  I would love if she lived right down the road from me, so I could come over and just observe and learn from her as she cares for her family.  I encourage you to check out her blog - you will be blessed! 

2.  Elizabeth Esther - I found this blog through another blog.  Anyone else ever do that?  Someone that I enjoy reading (and who is a believer) recommended her blog and I decided to take a look.  Elizabeth Esther is a woman with a large family as well (5 children), but she comes from a very harsh and abusive fundamentalist background.  There are MANY things on her blog that I disagree with, but I read it because I need to read things I disagree with as well.  I remember my OT professor in seminary, Dr. Daniel Block, telling us, "For everything you read you agree with, you need to read at least two things you disagree with."  The comments in Elizabeth's blog are always lively and she intentionally brings up subjects that are tough.  She is Catholic now, but really wrestles with her past.  One of the other reasons I enjoy reading her blog is because she is an excellent writer.  Check it out if you want to read something you are likely to disagree with! 

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

4 Years

Josh and I celebrated our 4th anniversary last Thursday, September 30th.  We decided since we didn't have a newborn and we weren't on a family vacation (both of things have happened for at least 2 of our previous anniversaries) to take an overnight trip.  My parents were kind enough to come from Georgia and watch the kids for us (we certainly didn't have to beg them to come!).  I was able to get my hair cut and fixed on Thursday afternoon before we left.  I don't know if you are like me, but the hair stylist always makes my hair look better than I can.  She curled it really cute and sprayed half a can of hairspray on it, but Josh loved it and so did I. 

We didn't go too far for our overnight trip.  Thankfully, we have a beautiful city with a great downtown not too far away and decided to go there for the night.  I have always wanted to stay in the Westin Poinsett on Main Street because it is a gorgeous hotel.  We checked in around 6pm and then went to dinner at a great restaurant right across the street.  It was so nice just to have time alone without any interruptions.  If you have/had small children then you know interruptions are the norm, so it was especially lovely for us to talk and even hold hands!  I forgot how much I miss holding hands, but with two small boys we never have a hand free.  After dinner we walked down Main Street and ended up in a nice toy store where we gathered some ideas for Christmas (can you believe it is less than 3 months away?). 

The only downer to our trip was our room at the Westin.  We had turned on the air to 73 degrees when we got there around 6pm and when we came back around 9pm, it was at 75.  Josh turned it down to 66, but two hours later it was still on 75.  After calling the front desk a couple of times, we asked to move to another room because we weren't going to stay in a nice hotel and burn up.  Unfortunately, they didn't have another room available with a king bed, so we were moved to a room with two double beds.  We both were really looking forward to sleeping in a king bed (we have a full size at home). Thankfully, they willingly reduced our cost. 

We are so thankful for the chance to get away.  It really is great for our marriage to have time just to be alone.  It feels like we are dating or newlyweds again (especially considering Thomas was born a month shy of our first anniversary).  Most of all, I'm thankful for my wonderful husband.  God gave me more than I had even prayed for in Josh and I'm honored to be his bride. 

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Josiah's First Haircut

This morning I finally relented and decided Josiah could have his first haircut.  He has been called a little girl a little too much lately (although if he were a girl, I already knew the perfect place to put a little bow in his hair!).  Originally, I had said he had to walk before I would cut his hair, but at 15 months he still isn't walking.  Any tips from my readers about how to motivate a child to walk?  He will walk if we hold his hands, but he really just wants to crawl.  Since he is 23 pounds now, I'm really hoping he walks soon. 

We took him to the sweet girl who cuts my hair and Thomas' hair.  He sat on my lap because we knew he would be squirmy.  Turns out he wasn't as squirmy as he was upset.  He cried through most of the haircut!  Thomas has such a laid back personality and when we cut his hair at 13 months, he sat perfectly still without me holding him.  However, Josiah has a completely different personality than his brother and while we knew he wouldn't sit still, we didn't expect him to cry.  Below are some pictures that tell the story. 

This was his move throughout the haircut!
Looking to Daddy and Thomas to save him!

Still not happy, but looking like a big boy *sniff, sniff*

Amy let him touch the "peanut" that she was about to use around his ears.

Josiah's reaction to the "peanut."

All done, but still not happy!

Monday, September 20, 2010


For a few months now, I have been looking for ideas to start doing preschool activities with Thomas.  He just turned 3 in August and my plan has been to start a more structured learning time with him at three.  A couple of months ago, I was reading Money Saving Mom and she was giving her top 15 picks for home school aids.  One of her top 5 was the Letter of The Week curriculum by Confessions of a Homeschooler.  I clicked over to see what it was all about and after reading some things and looking through some of the material, I was hooked! 

The Letter of The Week curriculum has activities designed for your preschooler for every letter.  A short list of some of the things I have done with Thomas for letters A - E (we are on letter E this week):
  • Puzzles
  • Lacing Cards
  • Magnet Pages
  • Floor Numbers
  • Do A Dot
  • Color Puzzles
  • Color by Number
  • Cutting
  • Graphing
  • Patterns
  • Letter Matching
There is a wealth of activities and Thomas never gets bored.  Every morning he says, "Mama, are we are going to do school today?"  And when we have finished for the activities for the day (she also has pre-made lesson plans for each week), he usually says, "Mama, can we do just one more?"  What I love most about it is how much he is learning.  His letter and number recognition has improved dramatically (especially numbers) just by playing fun games using numbers.  He is also learning the sound of each letter to prepare him to read. 

This wonderful program only costs $10!!  You download everything and then print out what you want to use (I have used just about everything for each week).  I did buy a Xyron 9" Creative Station on Amazon (I got it really cheap with some gift cards) to laminate most of the material since I plan to use it again with Josiah.  Of course I have had to replace some ink cartridges, but again I got a great deal on a big pack :-). 

Whether you are homeschooling preschoolers or older children, I really think you would enjoy the Confessions blog.  She has tons of resources and I have found so many other things I want to buy to help Thomas learn. I'll try to get some pictures up sometime soon of Thomas working hard! 

Friday, August 27, 2010

ESL Ministry

A few years ago, when I was in another country, I had the opportunity to teach English as a Second Language (ESL) to primary school teachers for a week or so.  I had never done anything like it before, but really enjoyed the interaction with the students and especially the opportunity to share the gospel.  There was much fruit from teaching ESL and in fact one of the students, who was not a believer at the time, now feels called to pastor!  ESL is a great way for an English speaker, who doesn't know other languages, to meet and communicate with people from other countries and languages. 

This summer, Josh has preached on being a missionary in our community.  He wanted to provide our church with opportunities to do missions where we live.  I immediately thought of ESL and Josh and the mission team agreed it would be a good time to try it.  I wasn't quite sure what I was getting myself into, but I'm learning as a I go! 

Thankfully, The North American Mission Board has a book on how to start an ESL program in your church and it has been so helpful! The book has everything in it for student registration and placement testing. It suggested we do a short devotion at the beginning of the class and one of the members of the Hispanic ministry, who speaks decent English, is sharing the devotion in Spanish. I have no idea what he is saying, but I pray for those who do.

We meet on Thursday nights at 6:30pm and have met for three weeks.  The first week we had six students (5 men and 1 woman), the next week we had 10 students (6 men and 4 women), and last night we had 19 students (I've lost count of men/women)!  All of our students are Hispanic (there is a significant Hispanic population in our community) and they are from Guatemala, Mexico, Honduras, etc.  Some of them know enough English to hold down a job, and a couple of the new ladies last night knew almost nothing.  Thus far we have had everyone together with me as the only teacher, but that is changing after this week.  With so many students at different levels, it is impossible to know if everyone is getting it or if I'm belaboring some of the curriculum for the more advanced students.  

We are using the curriculum Word By Word Picture Dictionary and I really like it.  The teacher's guide spells out what to do and that is very helpful.  I am also supplementing with curriculum that a friend from seminary created.  Right now we are just doing the basics: alphabet, personal information, numbers, time, money, etc. 

If you think of it, please just pray for the Lord to use this ministry for the advancement of the gospel.  Last week, our family went out to eat and we ran into (almost literally!) a student from the class, her child, and her boyfriend/husband (no one is married but they use marital words).  We were able to talk to the couple for a while and the student, Senia, even asked if I would invite her to church sometime!  I invited her right then, but she was unable to come on Sunday because of sickness.  Please also pray for me and the other teachers to have much clarity and encouragement as we teach.  I'll try to provide an update once a month on the ministry.  Thanks for your prayers!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Thomas Turns 3!

On Saturday, August 21st, our oldest son turned three!  In some ways it seems surreal that I have a three-year-old.  I remember his birth as if it happened yesterday.  I started having contractions early on Monday, August 20th, 2007, but Thomas didn't make his appearance until Tuesday, August 21st, at 9:29am.  Even with Josiah, I was in labor a long time, but not that long! 

Thomas has been such a blessing to us and sometimes I have called him our "guinea pig" since he is our first-born.  There are so many things to learn with a first-born child and so many things you do wrong.  I'm just glad children don't remember the infant years!  Thomas has always been such a sweet baby and now a boy.  He is quite shy and timid when he first meets people, and it takes him a while to "jump in" with the other kids.  He is very observant and is a people-watcher.  Thomas has an expansive vocabulary now and we realize that he listens to everything we say and understands much of what we talk about.  While we have to watch what we say, we also have the opportunity now to share the gospel with him more and more.  He has learned the first five catechism questions and is working on Scripture memory (he knows Ephesians 6:1...we quote it a lot!).  Thomas also loves to read the Bible.  Most of the time, we read The Big Picture Story Bible because it has lots of pictures and points to Christ throughout. 

We did have a party with our families on Saturday.  He was so excited about his party and his cake.  I made him a Lighting McQueen cake from Cars and he loved it.  He loved all his gifts, and especially a big box of cars my brother gave him.  His gift from us was visiting Thomas the Train last month (although Josh did run to the store to get something for me and came back with a Cars puzzle for Thomas).  Below are some pictures of our fun filled day! 

Thankfully, family was eating the cake, because there was definitely some saliva in his blowing out the candle!
Excited about his gifts!
Sweet Josiah enjoying the festivities!

Friday, August 13, 2010


I recently read David Platt's book Radical: Taking Back Your Faith From The American Dream and I would highly recommend it.  Through reading this book, my eyes have been opened as to how I love this world more than Christ.  This book is very challenging and while it is a short book, it isn't something you can read in one sitting because it is so convicting!  As a Christian, I am called to take up my cross and follow after Christ.  David Platt fleshes out in real, hard hitting ways what that means and how it is contrary to the American dream. 

If you are looking for a great review of this book, visit the Search & See blog.  Pastor Wil Owens is much smarter than me and does a much better review than I could ever do!  After you read his review, go to Lifeway or Amazon and purchase Radical! 

Monday, August 9, 2010

Thomas & Thomas Meet!

Right after we returned from vacation, I received a flyer in the mail advertising Thomas The Train coming to North Carolina.  Josh and I talked about it and decided this year would be the perfect time to take Thomas.  He loves to watch Thomas the Train (and loves that they share a name) and we knew it would be such a fun trip for our almost 3 year old.  We decided not to take Josiah since it would be a long day and he wouldn't care anyway.  He had more fun with Grandma and Poppy then he would have with us! 

We drove up on Thursday evening, spent the night in a hotel, and went to see Thomas The Train first thing Friday morning.  Thomas was memorized by it all!  While we were standing in line waiting to take his picture with Thomas, I asked him what he thought about Thomas the Train and he said, "He's not talking Mama."  He always talks on the movies and so I told him, "Maybe Thomas is shy like you and he doesn't want to talk right now."  He agreed that had to be it!  Thomas got scared when the train blew off steam, but he certainly wasn't the only one!  Children all around us started crying at the noise! 

Besides the 25 minutes train ride, they had four stations for the kids to rotate through and then they got a prize!  Thomas played at a couple of train tables, played in sand, played with bubbles, listened to a Thomas the Train story, and even watched parts of a movie.  We also went to see a train museum with lots of model trains as well.  Of course, there was a gift shop and Thomas picked out a new engine (Charlie) for his birthday, as well as a book. 

This was a perfect trip for Thomas.  I told Josh this was such a better use of time and money than going to Busch Gardens!  The weather was perfect, all the children were around Thomas' age, and he had a blast.  Below are some pictures of our fun day! 

Excited about riding the train!

Playing with the sand...he could have done this for hours!

Love the serious face!

Train museum

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Music & Mama

I thought I would give a quick update on the latest things happening with the boys.  Thomas will be three next month and I honestly can't believe it!  He is getting so big (and he tells me all the time, "Mama, I'm getting tall.").  When I tell him that he is still my baby, he says, "Mama, I not your baby.  I'm a boy."  *sniff, sniff*

Anyway, on to what this post is really about!  In the last couple of months we have really noticed his love for music.  As I type this, he is playing with a book that plays classical music.  Thomas enjoys all kinds of music and even loves to sing now.  He knows all the songs to Josiah's toys and has picked up many of the children's songs we have taught him as well as some hymns.  Currently, we are working on "Holy, Holy, Holy."  I need to record him singing it, because it is so precious.  Josh found an old book of nursery rhymes at his parents house (with sheet music) and plays it often.  Thomas loves to sit with him at the piano and sing along.  On a side note, he also likes to dance to music now and I think that has much to do with his friend Savannah - she has demonstrated some moves to him! 

Josiah also loves music and as soon as he hears it, he begins to move his head.  Of course he can't sing along yet, but he looks so cute bobbing his little head to the beat! 

The biggest difference with Josiah is his recent attachment to me.  Yes, he has always been attached, but now he is going through a hard phase of separation anxiety.  Anytime I leave him in the nursery now, he cries.  And it is a sad, hold your breath, kind of cry.  They tell me that he stops crying after a few minutes, but it is still hard to leave him.  Even when I worked in the nursery a couple of weeks ago, he would not let me put him down.  Therefore, I was of no help to any other child, because I was busy holding my baby.  Thomas never really cried after me and he preferred Josh and I equally, whereas Josiah really prefers me over Josh.  Maybe it is the difference in being the second born?  I don't feel like I treat Josiah any different than Thomas, although I do have to comfort him a bit more when Thomas pushes, pulls, or hits him (that is another blog post!). 

Our hope is that Thomas & Josiah both will continue to love music and they will desire to play the piano like their daddy one day!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Potty Training Update

Three months ago (exactly!), I wrote about my struggle to potty train Thomas.  While things aren't perfect, they have improved!  He does great telling me when he has to pee-pee and very rarely has an accident (even at night).  His favorite place to potty is on the grass!  This is actually very convenient when we are running errands.  More than once, I've stopped at a church or an empty parking lot and let him go to the potty.  You don't have to worry about finding a potty indoors when you have a little boy and you don't have to worry about aim when he is outside!  :-) 

Unfortunately, our struggle isn't over with the other part of potty training.  He would still rather go in his pants than in the potty!  Is this frustrating?!  Absolutely!!  He has been wearing underwear since my last post and we talk everyday about how he needs to go in the potty and not in his pants, but he still won't do it.  And yes, he is very aware of when he has to go.  He never does it in public or in front of us.  Normally, he goes into his room and comes back out a few minutes later to tell me what he did. 

I really don't think he is scared to go in the potty, because he has went a couple of times.  He did it last week because I found him right before he went in his pants.  While he didn't want to go in the potty, he did with no problem.  I often wonder if this has become an issue of disobedience or if he just isn't ready yet.  The big three-year-old birthday comes next month and I really would like him to be completely potty trained! 

Any advise from my blog readers? 

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Josiah's One Year Picture

We went a couple of weeks ago and had Josiah's picture made.  And of course, they turned out wonderful!  One of the many things I like about our photographer is how he can take the mosquito bites and the runny noses out of the pictures! 

The photographer took us to the same spot where we took Thomas' one year picture. It is neat to compare their pictures and to see their similarities and their differences.  Thomas looks so much like Josh (and everyone tells me how much), while I think Josiah favors my side of the family more.  Josiah also is a little more plump than Thomas was at this age; I'm sure it has to do with Josiah eating everything that is put before him while Thomas is such a picky eater. 

Here are the pictures of my precious baby! 

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Cloth Diapers...Again

A couple of years ago, I decided to try cloth diapers.  They sounded like a great idea and so I took the plunge and bought 3 Bumgenius diapers and 6 pre-folds, 2 covers, and a snappi.  If you know anything about cloth diapers, then you know that is not nearly enough to last for more than a day.  I used the Bumgenius at night and a pre-fold during the day along with disposable diapers.  To order a complete supply of Bumgenius pocket diapers would have cost a little over $200 and I just wasn't willing to invest that much money.  When I became pregnant with Josiah in the fall of '08, my nose was so sensitive and my stomach so queasy, that I dropped cloth diapering all together. 

I have thought about going back to cloth, but dismissed it because I just didn't want to spent so much money, and I can get disposables pretty cheap with sales and coupons.  Recently, some blogs I normally read have talked about cloth diapering all around the same time.  One of my friends, Meggan, even did some follow up posts after I asked her some questions about cloth diapering.  Two coupon sites I visit, Southern Savers & Money Saving Mom, both had posts about the difference between cloth and disposables and a parenting site I visit had a guest post about cloth diapers as well.  It was actually through reading the comments on the parenting site, that I decided to take the plunge into cloth again! 

One of the comments gave a link to Kawaii Baby diapers.  I went to the website and discovered they had pocket, cloth diapers for $6.99 each!  Bumgenius diapers are $17.99 - what a huge difference!  After talking (and beginning an email chat) with the lady who left the comment on the parenting site, I decided to buy 10 cloth diapers and it was only $67 (shipping was free).  And you know what?  I love them!  The 3 Bumgenius diapers are velcro, but I chose to go with snaps this time and I'm really glad.  They are super easy to use and I have even taken them to church.  Josiah is now exclusively cloth diapered and we are saving more money! 

I do plan to buy 10 more, because that would give me 23 pocket diapers and I need them.  Josiah usually goes through 6 diapers a day right now and that means washing diapers every other day.  I would like to have enough diapers to wash every three days.  Many people have also told me that cloth diapering promotes earlier potty training; I sure hope that is the case!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

A Wedding & Vacation

Our family just got back from a week long vacation and it was wonderful!  There weren't too many activities planned and we were able to relax most of the week.  We went to Treasure Island, FL, and while we normally don't travel that far (the trip took around 12 hrs!), this year we had a wedding to attend.  One of Josh's cousins got married and Josh's parents, his niece and another cousin, and our family decided to attend the wedding and then make a vacation out of it.  We found a great house to rent with plenty of room on Treasure Island and thoroughly enjoyed every minute.  If you are ever vacationing on the FL coast, let me know and I will give you the info for the house. 

The FL coast was also beautiful.  The Gulf's water was really pretty and thankfully, the oil has not moved that far down.  Thomas really liked playing in the sand, but wasn't crazy about the waves.  He liked being in the ocean, but not on the shore.  We didn't put Josiah in the ocean, but he did get in the pool and loved it.  He instinctively knew to kick his legs and looked like a little tadpole in the water! 

Josh and I had heard a few months ago that Busch Gardens had just opened a Sesame Street mini-park within the park and we thought it would be fun for Thomas.  In hindsight, we should have taken into account that the heat index would be over 100 and having two small children who both still need naps.  We were also very worried about Josiah because he was so red and hot.  We were constantly blowing a fan on him and spraying him down with water.  Thomas did have a good time, but we spent a few hours riding a train around the park and trying to see an Elmo movie in 3D (it was canceled several times).  We should have spent the day in Elmo land, because that is what Thomas enjoyed the most.  He rode the rides and played in the water. 

We had a great time learning to play poker at the house where we stayed.  They had a poker table complete with cards and chips.  Josh's dad knew how to play, so Josh joked that "the Baptist deacon taught the Baptist preacher and his wife, as well as two underage girls how to play poker!"  We played poker almost every night after the boys were in bed and while I didn't win very many games, I still enjoyed it! 

I'll admit this vacation was hard to leave.  The only time we truly ever get away is when we are on vacation.  Because we do live right by the church, Josh never truly gets away from work.  He heard a pastor say a few months ago that when he and his family moved out of the parsonage into their own house, that their family's stress level decreased remarkably.  We aren't moving anytime soon, and I'm very thankful for our home, and will continue to strive for relaxing vacations! 

Mr. & Mrs. Culbertson at the wedding. 

Josh and his dad kayaking in the inlet.  We all had a lot of fun in the kayak with our experienced guide, Josh's dad!

Thomas riding a hippo at Busch Gardens...he loved it!

Our sweet baby at Busch Gardens. 

Josh's wonderful parents!

The girls and Thomas.  He had a great time "playing" with them all week. 

My wonderful friend, Elizabeth, came to visit!  She lives only an hour and a half away from where we stayed and it was wonderful to have a day to catch up with her.  We have been friends since our freshman year of college.  A true and sweeter friend you will not find!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

First Birthday!

We celebrated Josiah's first birthday on Saturday, a day early.  Originally we had planned the party outside at our house, but it was so hot we moved into the church (benefit of living next door to the church).  We invited family and some close friends to help us celebrate his big day.  Josiah was oblivious to it all, but he sure did enjoy his cupcake!  He tried to put the whole thing in his mouth at once!  When we opened gifts, he got a little upset.  I'm not sure if it was all the people and the noise, or Thomas eagerly putting every gift in his face - maybe a combination of all of it! 

At one year, Josiah still only has 2 bottom teeth.  He is not deterred by only two teeth because he eats anything we give him.  Now I mainly feed him table food: peas, green beans, lima beans, corn, potatoes, squash, carrots, etc.  Thomas has always been such a picky eater and it is so nice to have a baby that will eat anything.  In fact, we have to stop giving him food because he will eat as long as food is there. 

Josiah finally mastered crawling the week before his birthday!  He has rocked on his knees for months now and scooted backwards, but the kitty inspired him to crawl.  He finally found something he really wanted!  Now he follows me from room to room and it is so cute!  He's not pulling up yet, but I'm sure that will be soon! 

Here are some highlights from the party:
First taste of cupcake
Putting the whole thing in his mouth!
A very happy baby!
Love this picture!
This is when he was happy opening gifts....
And this is when he is not!
Thomas takes over while Josiah rests on mama.
I love that sweet boy!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Rite Aid Paid Me!

Yes, that is right: I made a profit shopping at Rite Aid!  Here is everything I got: 

Total before sales & coupons: $64.78
Total out-of-pocket: $14.18
Total rebates: $15.99
My profit: $1.81

From the picture you know that we will at least be clean shaven and smell good!

By the way, I will be posting pictures of Josiah's first birthday party soon.  The stomach bug has hit Thomas and me.  I'm recovering, but he just got it today.  Praying Josh and Josiah don't get it and spraying lots of Lysol!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

New Haircut

Josh and I decided that we needed to cut Thomas' hair short for a variety of reasons.  One is that he is so hot natured and sweats all the time so a short cut would help keep him cool this summer.  Another reason is that his hair is so unruly.  Between the cowlicks and the crazy crown on his head, his hair is always sticking up somewhere, so I took him to get it buzzed this morning.  I will admit that I had to hold back the tears when she was cutting.  She said to me, "Dianna don't you cry!  If you do he will get upset."  So, I held it in but he just looks so different to me and much older too.  Here is his new cut...for now. 

He looks so grown up to me! 
Look at that grin!
He found this hat in some stuff of mine and has wanted to wear it ever since. 

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Working With Daddy

Last week, Thomas had the pleasure of going to work with Josh.  He talks about going to work and has wanted to go with Josh before.  Since Josh was going to clean out some things in his office, he decided Thomas wouldn't be too much of a distraction to go with him.  

Thomas made sure to take his phone and keys, just like daddy.  You can also see that Josh took some crayons, just in case!

It was very nice for me, because Josiah napped most of the time Thomas was at work.  Josiah and I went over to see all the work Thomas had done before lunch.  When we got there Thomas had managed to color all over himself, but other than daddy being a little flustered, I think it was a great day!  Oh, and Thomas got to see the church's bathtub too! Below are some pictures of Thomas demonstrating what he had done all morning. 

Thomas working on a sermon?

Taking messages for Daddy.

I think he even decided to preach a little too. 

I just love this picture, even though he looks like such a big boy!

Sweet Josiah came over to hear Thomas' "sermon."

Work day is over.  He wants mama and a nap now!