Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Florida or Bust...

This past Thursday our family ventured down to Florida to visit my younger brother, Jordan, and his wife, Kim. They live in Niceville (until they PCS to their next duty station) which is just a few minutes from Destin. We packed up and headed out Thursday morning and arrived there around 8 hours later. The kids were literally PERFECT throughtout the ENTIRE drive down. No whining, fussing, fighting, screaming, crying, etc...They were just so well behaved! And for those of you wondering, NO, I did NOT have to adminster Benadryl to make them like this :)
Anyways, when we got there, we spent that evening in enjoying a home-cooked meal and hit the sack pretty early that night. On Friday, we set out for the beach for Easter pictures while my brother was at school (he's in the ARMY and is currently in EOD school which is basically learning how to disable bombs/IED's/etc...) So, we spent a few hours at the beach doing pictures and letting the kids play in the ocean and sand. They both loved the sand so much! Well, Chloe didn't much like it when Brody came and laid down right on top of her sandcastle, but that's what little brothers do so... After the beach, we grabbed lunch and went home to rest for a bit and then when Jordan got home, we headed out to a seafood restaurant with live music. It was YUMM-O! After that, we were all tired and came back home and crashed...sort of.

Brody loving on Aunt Kimmie while bird watching

Chloe ended up getting sick while we were there and had to be taken to what I thought was an urgent care center but turned out to be an off-site ER for the hospital. Imagine my surprise when they asked for a $200 copay instead of the normal $25. WHEW!! Anyways, she was given an inhaler and antibiotic for bronchitis and we were sent on our happy way.

In the hospital

The next stop was the Gulfarium where we saw penguins, otters, and sharks. We also were able to watch a dolphin show and sea lion show. Brody LOVED this so much. He kept clapping and saying "WOW" everytime the dolphins would jump. He was absolutely adorable. After that, we headed home and the guys went out to a shooting range while the girls and kids napped. That was pleasant! We ended up staying in that evening and playing Trivial Pursuit on the Wii. Unfortunately, the Blevins lost, but we WILL be having a do-over when we visit them next.

Chloe getting all dolled up by Aunt Kim

Brody finally made it into Uncle Jordan's boots

Uncle Jordan holding Brody up to see the otters

the touchpool with stingray, horseshoe crabs etc...

On Sunday, we went to church with them and I must say that we heard an amazing sermon about Jesus and the cost of taking up the cross. After that, we came home, ate lunch, and said our goodbyes. I am quite certain that the worst part of the entire trip was the very last part. I hate saying goodbye to them!!!

Let's go to church already!

Thank you Jordan and Kim for having us and all of your hospitality. We miss you guys already! Oh and Kim, thanks for taking their Easter pictures for me. They turned out just how I wanted...nothing staged or cheesy - just them being themselves.

Playing Catch Up

Oh boy do I have a lot of catching up to do. I cannot believe I haven't blogged anything in 3 weeks, or maybe I can because our family has been BUSY!!!

First of all, the weather has been absolutely wonderful (for the most part). We have spent any afternoon above 55 degrees outside enjoying the fresh air. The kids are enjoying our walks/stroller-rides through the neighborhood, riding on their bikes, scooters, wagons, etc..., and playing with sidewalk chalk. We've also visited several local parks and have had a blast watching Brody climb and maneuver around the playground equipment this year. I remember that this time last year he was sitting on the blanket with me and playing with his infant toys while Chloe rode her bike and scooter. Now he is right up there with her. We also enjoy playing with the ball outside and playing chase. This is going to be a fun summer to be outside with the kids.

We also have been busy with playdates with our friends. Chloe has become good friends with another little girl named Zoe. She is also 3 years old and has a brother just a bit younger than Brody....and two older sisters. Anyways, we have been spending time them, our friend Kelly and her son Cross, Lorrie and her son Braydon, Erin and her sons Kirk and Braxton, and Sonya and her kids Natasha and Cedric. We are so blessed to have great friends here with kids the same age as our kids.

Last week we went to Opry Mills for some shopping and met up with Sonya, Nat, and Ced at the Aquarium Restaurant for an amazing lunch experience. The kids especially loved seeing all of the fish, sharks, etc... while we were eating. I thought I would never get Brody to come back to his seat when it was time to eat. After that we went over to the Opryland Hotel and rode the boat through it. That was great fun too. And the best part (for me at least)...the kids rode for free because they are all under 4!!! Unfortunately, I forgot to charge my camera battery so I have no pictures of our fun day. However, we will be doing this again so I promise pics next time.

For now, I must go get ready for my day. I am dropping the kids off at school so that means packing lunches and school bags. I will be back later today though to update the blog again with details of our wonderful trip to Florida to visit my brother and his wife this past weekend. And...I do have pictures to include with that post.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

New Things Are Happening Here

Ok, so there are several new things that are going on in the Blevins Household. Let me just go in order of each family member...

1. David - had a marvelous 2009 year in his business. Despite the economy, he had a double digit sales increase meaning we won a cruise. We just found out the details and I'm so much more excited about it now. We will be going to the Eastern Carribean...St Thomas, St. Maarten, and Nassau Bahamas. It's a 7 day excursion and each port will be a FULL DAY. Chick-fil-A is giving us $400 to use at these ports however we want (YAY!!!). The ship is the Oasis of the Seas which is the largest cruise ship ever. Even bigger than the Titanic which does secretly make me a tad bit nervous. Anyways, we are thrilled about this time that we will have together. My parents will be watching the kids so that will be some good bonding time for them as well. Other than that, 2010 has started off great for his business as well and we are praying that God continues to bless the business, his employees, and the customers who are so very loyal to come eat with us.
Link to pictures of the cruise ship we will be on...AMAZING TO SEE.

2. Kelly - has started couponing. It has become an obsession and game to save the most money for our family as possible. I got started at http://www.southersavers.com/, but I have now also started going to http://www.faithfulprovisions.com/. I love both sites, but the second one has great recipes on it, and good tips for couponing and grocery budgeting. Last week I saved 54% and this week I saved 30%. My goal is to stockpile 6 months worth of detergents, soaps, toiletries, diapers, wipes, canned foods, and any other non-perishable items that my family uses. Of course the key is to get these things when they are the cheapest and when you also have a coupon. Eventually, I want to also stockpile meat but we need a seperate freezer for that.  Health-wise, I'm doing good. Some days I feel absolutely fantastic with tons of energy, and other days I am completely worn out. I'm listening to my body though and resting when I need to rest which does help. It also helps that my dear hubs has let me sleep in a few mornings lately...even until 10 one day!!! Haven't done that in at least 4 years. It was glorious!! Let's see, I have also cut out all white flour, white sugars, high fructose corn syrup, artificial sweetners, and potatoes from my diet. These things are full of toxicities and they have been shown to feed cancer cells.

3. Chloe - IS POTTY TRAINED!!! It literally took 2 days. And no, I didn't stay home all day for those days either. I simply waited until she was 100% ready...and when I accidentally ran out of diapers :) Seriously though, I tried back in October to train her, but I was more training myself by making her go every hour or two and watching the clock like crazy etc... She was doing okay but she was not that into it. However, the day I ran out of diapers (3-4 weeks ago) she went right into panties and hasn't looked back since. It was the easiest experience of my life and I really attribute it to the fact that she was finally ready. Chloe has also started taking dance lessons. She takes tap and ballet for an hour each week. The ballet is a bit slow for her but she likes it okay. The tap is where she REALLY lights up. She absolutely LOVES tapping. She has made a friend in class named Abigail and let me just say that Abigail is the only little girl I have ever met that is more stubborn and dramatic than Chloe. Whew!!!

4. Brody - is getting so big! Poor baby though is being treated for his first bout with strep throat. He was pitiful this past weekend with a temp of 104.5 and just pure misery. He's on the mend though and is back to being somewhat less whiny and more playful. He absolutely LOVES playing with his sister whom he has nicknamed "Coco." He will play babies, dress-up, house, blocks, cars and anything with her. He just wants to be with her always. He's started singing a lot now and his favorites are Wheels on the Bus and Itsy Bitsy Spider. I never knew an 18 month old could have such a vocabulary. Tonight at dinner he said "more ketchup" although it sounded like this "mo kec up." He will have mini-conversations with me. For instance...
Brody: Where daddy?
Me: Daddy's at work
Brody: Daddy work???
Me: Yep
Brody: Wanna go there.
So, if I haven't said it lately, I could totally eat him up. He is a pure joy!!! And pics of my sweet Brody will be coming soon. I haven't taken any in a while (shame on me!)