Monday, April 21, 2008

JC Turns 9

Although I am late posting this, it is really not a complete post because we have yet to do the annual birthday dinner (where the birthday person gets to pick the place to eat) and he hasn't had his party (he will do that in May). But I wanted to post some things now before it got too far away from his actual birthday.

It is hard to believe that 9 years have gone by since he was born. There is an almost 7 year difference in him and his older brother. We had two miscarriages between them. So as you can imagine, we were thrilled to finally have this little guy in our arms. Funny thing is when we were first pregnant with him we found out that there were two sacks. But after two weeks we were able to see that one of them was empty and that little one didn't make it. So JC knows that he has someone in Heaven waiting to meet him someday. We have taught him that God knows us before we are born and that He makes us in our mother's womb so he knows that his sibling is with the Lord.

His older sister had just turned 12 when he was born so she was and always will be like a second mom to him. He was a big baby. He weighed 8 pounds 14 ounces. He came after only 3 hours of labor. Not too bad! His older siblings took MUCH longer.

From the beginning he was a very special baby. He was able to brighten everyone's day with his smile. He is still very good at that! He is one of the most active kids I have ever seen. He loves to climb trees and do most sports. He loves music, too. His dad got him something very special for his birthday this year!

John took him to Guitar Center so he could pick out what he wanted. He was allowed to pick a regular guitar or the bass and he had his choice of colors. He was so proud when he came home carrying that box that held his new pride and joy. It is a beautiful blue bass with a lightning strap. His dad has already started teaching him things and he goes out to the music room and works on it several times a day. So now, all three of my guys play the bass guitar! How funny! Of course, there is one difference between JC and the other two, he is RIGHT handed instead of left like them.

Until next time...blessings to you.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Our "Honeymoon" in the Poconos

Since the ceremony went so well and beautiful I had no doubt that our trip would be just as wonderful. Little did I know that getting there would be the part that would be tricky! I booked through a cheaper company because of the prices. I got a great deal and they even had flights out of DFW instead of Love*Field and that is closer for me. I didn't know that it wasn't actually that company that did the flying. They subcontracted with another company. We chose to fly into Philadelphia instead of the airport that is an hour closer to the resort because that company doesn't fly into that airport. And that flight was only one stop in Chicago. The other airlines had many stops, 2 or 3. We decided to have my sister drop us at the airport and get someone to pick us up on Monday to save having to park and ride. Good thing we did...What a nightmare that would have been. Our flight was supposed to go something like this... Take off from DFW at 6:35 a.m. Thursday morning, layover in Chicago and then land in Philadelphia around 1 p.m.

I had stayed up and finished packing while he took a cat nap. My friend stayed over until midnight talking and then I packed. He got up about 3 a.m. and we texted my sister so they could come get us to take us to the airport. We got to the airport at 4:20 a.m. since we have always heard we need to get there a couple of hours early. When we walked in we saw that there were signs everywhere saying that ATA had filed bankruptcy at 3 a.m. that morning. If you booked through that other company to call that number. So we did and they got us got us back on track. We got breakfast with Sherri and Raymond at IHOP before heading to the next airport. We now had to drive to Love*Field after all. The flight was to leave at 8:55 a.m. with two layovers. We changed planes in Kansas and then went on to Chicago and then to Philadelphia. We finally landed in Philadelphia at 5 p.m. Then drove for two hours to the resort. We managed to get there before they stopped serving dinner, which was a blessing!

We ate a delicious dinner. Dessert was Snicker cheese cake! YUMMY! We were able to go eat dinner and then check in. That is one of the great things about a resort, you feel so pampered and taken care of. We stayed at the Caesars Pocono Resorts: Pocono Palace in PA. It was wonderful! When you drive in there is a sign that says "You are entering the land of Love!" We never did get a picture of that. The weather was colder there than we thought it would be. It stayed in the mid to high 40's most of the time. We booked the Garden of Eden Apple room. It was wonderful! Did I say that already? I took the virtual tours of all the rooms before I booked it and that was the room that really looked the best for us.

The bathroom was nice, double sinks, separate toilet, and a nice sized shower. It even had a small refrigerator. We put bottles of water in there.

You could get bags of ice from the lobby or you could call for them to bring you some if you forgot!

Yes, this is a large, heart shaped Jacuzzi tub built for two! It was nice! Finally a tub that is long enough for my 6'2" husband to sit in and not feel cramped. The tub was in the room with the couch and small table and chairs that we ate breakfast served in our room.

We had our own in-room pool! And sauna (but we didn't use it) just inside that mirrored door that I am standing in front of. The water was warm, not hot and not cold. The kids thought that was awesome that we had our own pool. There is a mural painted on one wall like a beach and mirrors on the other side. There were glass walls and door on the side with the ladder going into the pool. That door leads into the bedroom. The bedroom had a huge TV and fireplace. We used the fireplace two of the four nights we were there. It is only for looks so it doesn't give off the heat, just the mood! We didn't watch TV except when we were trying to figure out the weather. Whenever we were in the room I would put one of our CD's into the Bose system that played all over the room. We brought 5 or 6 different ones and it really helped us to relax and enjoy our time away from everything. 

On Friday after breakfast we filled out our "breakfast in bed" order to be sent to our room the next morning. We did that every morning except the first because we were too tired to think about it. We would then come down to the dining room around 10:30 and eat the breakfast buffet as our lunch. They said we could do that, so we did. It was a wonderful buffet with fresh fruit, muffins (I only had eyes for the chocolate ones, yum!), pancakes, french toast, pastries, eggs, all the breakfast meats, etc... You could get any kind of juice, too. On Saturdays you could get champagne with your breakfast, lol! Just two little cups but still. We said no, that was just too funny! 

Friday after breakfast we headed into town to check out the outlet mall. We were hoping to find something to bring home to the kids and our friends. It was raining that day so we bought an umbrella so we could walk around the outlet without getting too wet. The weather there was cold so John did not bring a coat. He only had that grey sweater to wear over things. I didn't care for that much. It is an old sweater and he needed some new things! So we began our search for a coat. At one of the last shops we came to we found the brown coat he is wearing. It was regularly $80 but was marked down to $20! And did you know there isn't sales tax on clothing in PA? I didn't until then. Wow! Great deal! We got back to the resort and he got coffee and I got some hot cocoa in the cafe.

Since we are both taking online classes we took my computer (left his at home, next time, we take both!). I tried really hard, not hard enough, to finish everything before I left but that wasn't the case. There was only Internet access in the cafe but I think it was better that way. We couldn't focus on the computer for very much of our trip. We did spend a little time there but not overly much. We took turns and kept it at a minimum. I think we were very considerate of each other. The reason I say we take both next time is so we can both get our work done at the same time and then be done! But we each were able to occupy ourselves while the other worked, never complaining or gripping that we were taking too long.

On Friday night, after we finished up our school work in the cafe we headed back to the room to get ready for dinner. As you can see, our bed was a huge king sized round bed. It is called their "blush" bed. Super soft and it had 5 or 6 king sized pillows, too!

On Friday night, after we finished up our school work in the cafe we headed back to the room to get ready for dinner. As you can see, our bed was a huge king sized round bed. It is called their "blush" bed. Super soft and it had 5 or 6 king sized pillows, too!

After dinner we went to play some pool. While I was working on school that afternoon he went exploring and found the upstairs game room that had putt putt, video games and pool tables. Only the video games cost money. So we played pool before the band and comedian show started.

He beat me six straight games! We really had fun and intended to do it again but never made it back up there. It was nice because it didn't cost anything and it was a quiet room with softer lighting.

Saturday afternoon we decided to check out the pool. It was a lot more fun than he thought it would be and let me know that a pool in the room was a great idea! All in all, he liked my choice of rooms. So he passed up the room tours that went on that day. He said we had the room we liked and didn't need to see any of the other ones.
After a very relaxing and lazy Saturday afternoon it was time to get ready for our special Saturday night dinner, Strip Night, In honor of the New York Strip Steak! He and I both got a 20 oz. Porterhouse steak! It was wonderful and he pretty much ate the whole thing! We were both stuffed that point but had dessert anyway! I think that is why we didn't go play pool that night, just too full! But we did go see another band and comedian at 9. This band was pretty good and the comedian was funnier than the night before.

The photographer took pictures at dinner and then put us in a heart frame to pick up the next morning at the gift shop, for a fee, of course.
She also took couples to different pictures spots and took 4 or 5 shots. This fireplace was in the lobby and had a gas log. It was so warm and inviting.

This piano is in the cafe and we watched couple after couple come in and get their picture made so by the time we did it we knew how to pose already.

This is our favorite. It was taken with a black backdrop and I love it! You can see my ring! Not very well, but it is still nice. And totally romantic.

Sunday was our last full day there. We did a lot of school that day and just walking around a bit, even though it was cold outside. This was right outside the back door of the lobby. You could get fishing poles from them and fish off the peer below. It was very pretty there even though it was cold and the trees had nothing on them. The water would be rushing at times and still at others. Very pretty.

While we were there we had watched a man that was 73 years old do charcoal sketches of the guests. Finally, after watching Mr. Kim sit in the cafe as we worked Sunday afternoon, I realized if we didn't do it then we would not have another chance to. So I asked John what he thought and he said if I wanted to do it then I should. So I asked Mr. Kim how long it takes and then told him we wanted to do it. So he started with me while John finished up his school work. It took about 45 minutes for him to draw me. He talked to me the whole time and kept making me laugh. He asked lots of questions while he drew me. John came in the room (which was the lobby where the fireplace is) when he had about 15 minutes left on my picture. Then I sat there and watched Mr. Kim draw him. It was amazing to watch him. He didn't stay in one spot the whole time, he would move around and do a little here and then a little there. Then he would come back and do more in the first spot.

This is the finished product. We are going to frame it and hang it in our bedroom. Some people gave us cash so that money went towards this picture. That night we had a great roast chicken and I had cheese cake for dessert and he had caramel apple pie! Yummy! We chose not to go to the evening entertainment that night but to go back to the room instead. We ordered a large breakfast to our room the next morning since we would have to leave for the airport shortly after that, before the breakfast room opened. I ordered some extra chocolate muffins to take with us so we had that for "lunch" on the plane.

It took two hours to get to the airport and then we were on the plane by 11:55 a.m. and stopped in St. Louis but didn't get off the plane. Then we arrived in Dallas at 3:30 p.m. We were twenty minutes early but Steve was there early to get us so we got our luggage and headed back to the house. We had to pick up our car so we could drive to his house and get our younger two kids. It was great seeing them!

So that is our trip. We had a great time and would recommend this resort to any married couple, young or old! The meals and entertainment were included and if it wasn't so cold a horse back ride would have also been included. We got the tickets to go but it was just too cold! Thanks for letting me share it with you!

Until next time...blessings to you. 

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

25 Years Later....

On April 2, 2008: We did it all over again.....

The boys went up the side isle with Bro. Bobby. Then the girls walked down the center isle together (Jenni was just too shy to do it alone).

When everyone was on the platform they watched John and I come up the isle together. Some of our pictures came out blurry so I don't have any for some things. But we make do with what we have and are grateful for them.

We renewed our vows, Sandy sang "I'll Be Here" and then we exchanged new rings!

I love my new ring!!! I wish I had a picture of his ring, too. It is so pretty!

The Kiss!

Here we are, again!

We choose to have just our four children in our "wedding party" this time. It worked out perfect because we have two girls and two boys! God does things so complete! They all looked so nice in their dressy clothes. We were very proud of them!

The younger kids did so good at standing up there. JC was almost like a statue at times! Jenni had that cute smurky smile a lot! We are very proud parents!

Sami had to get a few pictures with her sweetheart, Tim!

My baby sister, Sherri came all the way from Alabama with her wonderful husband, Raymond. They came early and helped me get so much done. It was wonderful having a few days to spend with them. We went out to eat a few times with the kids and they really enjoyed getting to know their aunt and uncle better! We love them so much!
They make such a sweet couple! She and I spent a LOT of our time finding her that cute dress to wear. She looks so beautiful! I took her and Sami to have manicures and pedicures that afternoon. Then we had someone come to the house and do our hair, including Jenni's. I hope they all felt pampered and loved because that is what I wanted!

Sandy is one of those special people that comes into your life and makes things feel complete. She has been my "mom" for the past 10 years or so. I don't know what we would have done without her in our lives. She and Steve have been the grandparents to our younger children that they never had. She sang "I'll Be Here" during the ceremony. I couldn't have ask for a better person to sing that song for us.

The best man and bridesmaid from our first ceremony 25 years ago came! Suellen and Richard thanks for taking the time to be here for our celebration! You are loved!

Time to cut the cake! They tried to get us to feed each other and shove it in each others faces but I really wasn't into that! We just wanted to cut it and give it out for all to enjoy!

The cakes were fabulous. Kristi Walton made the brides cake and Cathy Huff made the grooms cake! They tasted so good!!! And they were so beautiful! More than we could have asked for!

We had many special people attend our celebration. Tim Musgrave was one of those. These three worked at an apartment complex Bible study ministry through Mission Arlington together on Friday afternoon's for many years.
Jenni's Teacher came. Thanks Ms. Kirkpatrick

Jackson and his family were there, too!

Jenni's bff and her family were there! Hi Kamryn!

Several of my daycare families came. Too cute!

JC had everyone captivated. I am not sure what he was telling them but all eyes were on him! I just thought this one was too funny to pass up.

A friend put together a video that was played during the reception. 

These were the highlights of the ceremony and reception. On my next post I will tell all about our honeymoon that was 25 years in the making! We didn't have one before. Thanks for letting me share this with you! It was a very special night! Thanks to all of you who had a hand in making it that way, there are many!

Until next time...blessings to you.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

25 Years Ago......

I married my best friend! On April 2, 1983 John and I got married. He was 21 and I was 17. Yes, that is very odd and odder still that we made it through all the things that couples go through and are still going strong all these years. Here are a couple pics from that time. I will post some from this year and our trip in two seperate posts. Thanks for stopping by.

I grew up with my wonderful grandparents as parents. They gave me everything I ever needed and much of what I wanted.

It is hard to believe 25 years have gone by. Stay tuned for the vow renewal ceremony and then our honeymoon trip! 

Until next time...blessings to you.