For the past few days we haven't been able to stand staying inside.  Sadly, I think our pool days are over but we're welcoming the cooler weather with open arms!  And doors!

Derrick has been determined to become a pro bike rider.  {I know, he usually wears a helmet.  He usually refuses shoes.}

Yesterday, when these pictures were taken, nap time didn't go so well.  As a result, bike riding time mostly looked like this:

Being in a rotten mood usually results in not being a good listener.  He went looking for a golf ball and this is what he found:

He did eventually get happy,

until it was time to go inside. 

It was Jenny Kate's fault that nap time was a bust, but she held it together pretty well.

She stopped to smell the flowers,

chased Andy,

found all kinds of things to try to eat.

She was her usual happy, busy little self.

To celebrate the cool-ish weather, we enjoyed the taco soup that was waiting for us inside.

It was a hit.

Derrick said, "Why does Jenny Kate have corn on her head?"  
"I don't know Buddy, she's just messy." I said. 
He smiled and said, "She looks like an angel."  
Ha!  I guess that's one way to look at it.

Doodie, our k-9 sweeper, patiently waited to clean up taco soup off the floor.  Parents of small children, I don't know how you survive without a dog for kitchen clean up.  For real.

Jenny Kate ended the evening soaking up the last bit of sunlight as she played with her latest obsession,

beads.  The girl is hooked, I tell you!

Thankfully, today everyone woke up in a good mood and we headed to the zoo.  We spent the morning with Jenny's sister, niece, and cousin.  They do my heart so much good! 

The animal statues were the highlight of the trip for the kids.

For me, it was brown bear being cozy on his rocks,

watching the elephants drink water ( I mean, it blows my mind that he didn't gag himself!),

and feeding the giraffes. 

I love the zoo,  I love fall, I love hanging out with friends who give me little reminders of the friend I miss so much, and I love hanging out with my babies.  Even when they're rotten.

Welcome, fall! :)



Big Brother

"It's ok, Jen.  I'll catch you."  

Oh, how I love these babies.




It's been a while, which seems to be the trend over the past several months on this bloggity blog.  Oops!  :)  I thought I should probably take the time to do a little update here since it will be the proof to our children that they did in fact have a childhood.  Especially since there are no photo albums or baby books in sight.  I know, I know.   

Here's an Instagram dump of our lives over the past few weeks:

We went to the zoo with our friends last week.  We had a blast!

These two little guys are too cute together.  I'm so happy that Derrick has found a new friend.  (And we don't think his mom and dad are too bad either! :)  Jenny Kate gets right in there with the boys.  And this picture...this is her personality exactly!

Preschool is going well.  I think.  It sure is hard to get much out of this boy!  I can't believe that started already!  He's still crying most every day when Justin drops him off, but one day last week he didn't.  When I picked him up that day I told him that daddy told me he didn't cry and I told him how proud of him I was.  I asked him why he didn't cry that day and he shrugged his shoulders and said, "I made a decision."  What?!  Unfortunately he hasn't made that decision again, but we do know it's possible now.  Stinker.

I'm back at work now two mornings a week.  It's kind of crazy how it all happened and I wasn't sure I really wanted to go, but I'm glad I did.  I'm teaching Adult Ed two of the mornings Derrick is at preschool and I'm finished in time to pick him up on the days Justin is working.  It works out perfectly and I'm happy to be needed outside of our home again.  The adult interaction is nice too.  :)

Jenny Kate is well...busy.  She's talking up a storm and repeats everything she hears.  She's finally loving baby dolls and "bah boots" (pocketbooks) and also enjoys brushing her hair.  She requests bows, leans her head towards you to put them in her hair, then promptly pulls them out.    While she's definitely developing a girly side, she still loves playing with monster trucks and she's definitely the dirtier one out of the two.  She can find a pile of dirt faster than any kid I've ever seen.  

JK insisted on her first sip from the water fountain.  She couldn't figure out what to do so she just kept putting her face in the water.  It was pretty funny!

Derrick told me yesterday that he wanted a baby brother.  But, he said that this baby brother had to be able to talk.  (I told him that he'd have to let God know about that one, and to please tell God that mommy and daddy aren't really ready for a baby brother.)  I also told him that if he gets a baby brother that is in fact a baby, and he comes home talking, that we'd probably be on tv.  He said that would be, "good and cool."

We ran our first family 5k a few weeks ago!  It was fun to do together and now when we wake Derrick up to go running he says, "Are we going to run a race?"  I finished in 32:19 and Justin was a minute or two ahead of me.  I'm going for completion and not being dead last.  I don't think I've been fast at a single thing in my life.  Speed is not my thing. 

I ran five miles!  Twice counting this morning before church!  :)  Our 12k is less than a month away and for the first time ever it feels almost doable.  I don't know what in the world I was thinking when I signed us up for that.  Running is hard!  I struggle through the first four miles until I finally feel good and then I have to go up a hill.  I kind of have a love-hate relationship with running.  I really do love it, just not so much while I'm actually doing it.  Justin ran 7 the other day so he's ready for the race!  I, on the other hand, kind of want to cry.  :)

Derrick and his buddy, Brayden, on their morning run.  Brayden's parents happen to be our running buddies so it all works out perfectly!

Derrick has started asking to run with us.  He and Jenny Kate love going running and you don't hear a peep out of them the entire time.  As soon as we finish Derrick gets out of the stroller and runs while we walk to cool down.  It's so cute and I love that he wants to run.  I'm praying that after the Fontan he'll be able to run a little bit.  (Please someone tell me that's possible!!) 

On a not-so-good note, my dad was diagnosed with cancer in his throat last week.  They did a full body scan to make sure it's not anywhere else but he hasn't gotten the results from that yet.  The plan is to do radiation.  We're praying that he does well and stays strong.  I know attitude is a huge part of the process.  My mom kicked breast cancer's butt and never let it get her down.  I hope dad does the same thing.  Every time we say prayers, Jenny Kate puts her chubby little hands together and says, "Pah pee." (Poppie)  It makes me so happy to see that.  I hope she really starts understanding that she can take it all to God,  no matter what.  We're also praying that Poppie can feel God's presence in this fight and that he'll lean on Him for rest.

I had to take this picture the other morning.  Derrick wanted to open this box for me, which according to him, required a screw driver.   He got every one of his tools out to open it and even called for back up.  I love the willingness to help, determination and team work here.  Too bad it doesn't happen all the time.  And yes, JK is wearing D's pj shirt.  Don't judge me! :)

Let's see, I think that's about everything I can think of for now.  That's everyone except for Justin.  The big thing in Justin's life right now is that he's supposed to give about a million flu shots a day so if you're local to us, go see him and get your flu shot!  He's a pretty good shot-giver, and I can say that from experience.  :)

I hope all {three} of you who still read this are doing well out there! :)  I'll try to update here more often.  For real!!





This was and is such a bittersweet milestone for me. 

It means my baby is growing up, and that makes me kind of sad.  There are days when I wish I could make time stand still and keep him three years old forever.  I've loved spending almost every single day with him, playing, reading, snuggling.  It kind of makes me sad that our schedule-free days are over for the next 9 months, but it makes me happy too.

I'm so excited for him to start this new, exciting chapter of life.  I can't wait to hear about what he spends his mornings doing at school, the friends he makes, and the things he learns.  I really am excited that he's going to gain Independence and grow so much this year.  I really can't wait!  

It's kind of shocked me, though, at where my mind has been through these past few weeks as we've been talking up school, trying to get him excited.  I remember days, weeks, dare I admit months where I couldn't let my mind think past the next day, much less to something as far away as school.  I couldn't let myself even try to picture what he might look like at this point, where he would go to school, how excited we would all be, and how much fun it would be to watch him perform in programs with his little classmates. 

And here we are.  Words can't describe how thankful I am to be able to walk him into school and kiss him goodbye, knowing I'm going to see his smiling face in a few short hours.  Not a day goes by that I don't thank God for blessing us with Derrick's life and how far He has allowed him to come.  And I pray every day for many, many more opportunities to watch my baby boy grow into the man God has intended for him to be.  

Derrick's first day of school:

Right before we dropped him off....he was being so silly and wouldn't give me a real smile.  He was SO nervous (and so was I!), but he had a good day.  :)  He refused to tell much about it, but his teachers said he did great.  He cried when we left but thankfully that only lasted a minute. 
In the car after preschool I was asking him questions about his day and all he would tell was that he ate one cookie.  I said, "Are you not going to tell me about school today?"  He replied, "No, not today.  I'll tell you Wednesday."  

It's starting already! 

Just for fun, we took these flowers to his teachers during "Meet the Teacher" time.  
(Please ignore the dirty table.  :)

It's going to be a great year, I just know it!