Monday, October 31, 2011

My Lil Sweet Pea

I know what you are thinking.  Is this lady posting another fall post?  Well, I grew up in a family that made much of holidays.  So during the fall we visit pumpkin patches, carve pumpkins, and go trick or treating (not to mention make all kinds of yummy pumpkin treats).  And I have to blog about it all!  Especially since it's Emerson's first time for all of these festivities!  Our wonderful international students joined us for carving.

Brody the Razorback Football Player

My Little Sweet Pea

A pea pod, snow white, a ladybug, a monkey, and bullwinkle!

 Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Happy Days

I know I have said this before, but I just love the weekends.  This past weekend started out pretty fun by going to Mama Carmen's coffee shop and Hobby Lobby with my friend Din.  We got supplies to make wreaths and this is how mine turned out.  I'm pretty pleased with it!

The night continued with a stay-in-Thai-takeout-movie-night.  I love nights like those.  Saturday morning we "slept in" until 7 and ventured off to the Farmer's Market!  It was a little frigid outside, so we parents had our coffees in hand and Emerson was decked out in his panda hat and mittens. 

We left the market with a baking pumpkin, apples, lettuce, and cherry tomatoes.  I'm not going to bore you with how amazing the lettuce was.  But, seriously, so good. and tender. and probably the best lettuce I've ever had.  Definitely going back to that lady.  I'm still trying to figure out what to make with my pumpkin.  It will be my first time making a pumpkin treat with a real pumpkin (not from a can). Then we went home for some play time.

Daddy picking Emerson up by his overalls!
That night we had some good friends over for reubens and fire pit s'more roastin'.  Sunday morning was a great day at church and a restful afternoon with naps all around.  It was the perfect kind of Sunday afternoon.  It even included pumpkin bread.  It was just a good weekend worth remembering.  I love the brisk fall days and the quality time with my family.  Feeling blessed.

ps- my little boy is 7 months old today! 

Friday, October 21, 2011

A few of our favorite things!

Happy Friday, friends!  I normally don't sit down to write while Emerson naps, because I usually feel like I have more important things to get done (ie shower).  But today I decided to write while I was feeling inspired.  There have been a few things I've been meaning to tell you that I have kept forgetting to write about.  They mostly fall into the category of our favorite things. 

Emerson's favorite things as of late:
-Favorite toy: a big blue ball.  He can sit across from us and roll it back and forth.  It's so fun that he is old enough now to interact and play games with us.

-Favorite object of interest: Brody.  Emerson has grown to love Brody.  And to be honest, I think Brody has found a liking for Emerson too.  Emerson will smile and laugh at Brody and try to get to him.  And I think Brody actually likes the attention he gets from Emerson.  He will tolerate (maybe even welcome) it when Emerson tries to touch him or chase him.  I think it's good for Emerson to grow up with a dog in the house.  Who knows, maybe he will be a lover of animals, like his mama was growin' up. 
-A favorite new trick: high fives.  Emerson gives high fives now.  What a cool dude.
-Favorite goal: crawling.  He wants to crawl so bad.  He can roll across the room to get from point A to point B.  He can creep in circles.  But he cannot crawl on all fours yet.  He will hold himself up on all fours, but when he tries to move, he falls down to his tummy.  We'll see if there is any progress in the next few weeks.

Amber's favorite things as of late:
-The cooler weather.  Love, love, love cold weather.  Don't get me wrong, I don't want to skip fall weather.  I love the 60-70 degree temps.  But I am already trying to instill the love of cold weather into my son.  It's just so invigorating when you are outside in it.  And it feels so good to walk into a warm home from it.  And it inspires you to eat lots of comfort foods.  And it is just so good to cuddle up under a warm blanket with a loved one. 
-Emerson's stage right now.  If I could keep him on the schedule he is in right now, that would be great.  I'm trying not to get my hopes up though, because he seems to change schedules every two weeks the last several months.  He wakes up around 6 or 6:30.  And then he is up for three hours, down for 1.5 or 2.  Up for three hours, down for 1.5.  Up until bed time around 7:30.  This is such an improvement for us, because he used to wake up at 5am and go to bed at 6:30pm.  I love having the morning and afternoon naps.  We'll see if it sticks.  We do have the time change coming up :(  Also, Emerson has been very content lately.  Even in the car.  It's pretty nice having a happy baby.  I still love staying home with him and I feel so blessed that we are able to do this. 

Well, that's all for now, folks.  I hope you have a splendid weekend and enjoy the gorgeous weather we are supposed to have.  Go do something fun.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Our Little Pumpkin

This past weekend was filled with fall festivities.  We did a little crafting at the War Eagle Craft Show on Friday and a little pumpkin patchin' on Saturday.  I went to the craft show looking for some holiday decorations.  I left with these two pieces that I love.

This is on an old screen.  We have it hanging above our couch.  It adds more of a fall feel to our place.

I love anything snow related.  I think I should start building a snowman Christmas decoration collection :)

Saturday morning we went to a pumpkin patch that had lots of fun activities.  There was a corn maze, a corn box (like a sandbox), a petting zoo, a tractor ride, and of course a pumpkin patch.  It was fun for Emerson to get to see a lot of the animals we read about in his books.  I wonder if he made the connection.  Emerson was not a fan on the cornbox and he actually acted a little scared of the pumpkins at first.  But his favorite parts were definitely the tractor ride and the little piggies.  The pigs had several piglets which kept running around real fast and squealing and Emerson was smiling at them.  There were cute, I have to admit.  It almost made me want a pet piglet.  Almost.

I want THIS pumpkin!


Monday, October 17, 2011

Autumn Treat

Hi friends.  I got this quick, simple recipe from my sister that I have to share with you.  It is a great fall treat and only takes minutes to prepare!  People will be impressed when you tell them you made homemade caramel corn.

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup corn syrup
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
2 bags popped popcorn (butter or plain)
1 large paper grocery bag
cooking spray 
1.  Combine margarine, sugar and syrup in saucepan.  Bring to boil and boil 2 minutes.  Remove from heat and add baking soda, salt and vanilla.  Mix well.  
2.  Spray large paper grocery bag really well with cooking spray.  Put popcorn in large paper grocery bag.  Pour sauce over top.  Shake well.  
3.  Place in microwave and bake 1 minute.  Remove bag and Shake.  Repeat 2-3 times until evenly coated.  Spread on three large greased cookie sheets to cool.

Enjoy the fruits of your labor.  

PS- When you feel guilty for eating so much in one sitting, just remember that popcorn is whole grain!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Little Rock

Ok, so I am a few weeks behind on posting this.  Oops!  But we went to Little Rock a few weekends ago and I documented the trip and wish to share it with you.  This was our first time to take a trip as our own little family and stay in a hotel together.  I was a little nervous about staying in one room, but the layout of the hotel room ended up being perfect!  The bathroom was large, so we were able to put Emerson's pack 'n play in there so Caleb and I could spend the evenings together after Emerson hit the hay.

We actually went for Caleb's work, so we arrived on Thursday and Caleb had meetings that afternoon.  It was nice for Emerson and I to be able to get settled in the hotel room during that time.

After a nap, we went to the Arkansas Children's Hospital to visit one of my youth girls who had back surgery recently and is recovering.  It was such a blessing to see her. 

When Caleb finished meetings that evening we ordered a pizza and watched back to back episodes of Big Bang Theory.  We don't have cable so we take advantage of it when we do.

Friday morning Caleb had meetings so Emerson and I stuck around the hotel for a little R&R.  Then we hit up Starbucks and I have to recommend their new seasonal Salted Caramel Mocha.  Way better than that pumpkin spice latte everyone is raving about.  Savored every sip.

Then it was time to pick Caleb up from the office and hit the big bridge that goes over the Arkansas River.  It was a gorgeous view and great weather.

Back at the hotel, Caleb konked and Emerson thought that was boring.

Then it was off to the downtown area for sushi!  That night we enjoyed a little rest and good conversation after Emerson crashed.

The next morning we hit the Clinton museum.  It was neat to see... I do have to brag for a moment and tell you that my grandpa was Bill Clinton's first band director!  Neat, huh?  They even had some of Clinton's sax music on display.  And they had a temporary lego exhibit which was pretty cool.

After that we wrapped up our trip by swinging by the farmer's market, grabbing some grub and hitting the road just in time for Emerson to nap on the way home.  It was a good trip and I look forward to many more vacations with our little family.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Half a Dozen

Emerson is 6 months old (and has been for a few weeks now)!  I have much to write about to catch up on my blogging.  Oops!  We have been traveling the last few weekends and our weeks have been fairly busy.  So now I am here, updating while Emerson naps. 

This month Emerson is...
1. Kissing galore.  He started this last month, but I forgot to post about it.  He squeezes my cheeks real hard and gives me a big open-mouth kiss.  It's bliss.  Except for the fact that he often pulls my hair out when he does this.  Ouch.
2.  He is acting interested in crawling lately. He will walk his hands forward, but can't quite push himself forward with his feet yet.
3.  He still loves to eat. 
4.  No teeth yet.
5.  He is pretty content to play by himself and entertain himself for awhile.  Sometimes I think he is getting bored with his toys though. 
6.  He loves books.
7.  He went through a recent phase where he woke up at 5 or 5:30 AM everyday.  I'm glad we're transitioning out of that phase now! 
8.  Most of the time he is really sweet and happy.  He has a sweet, loving personality.  He does have his off days, though.  Especially when he is sleepy!
9.  He tries to pull up on objects if he can get a good grip on them.  We don't have a coffee table or anything that's a good height for that.  But if I set him by Brody's dog cage, he will try to pull himself up on that.  Getting close!
10.  He learned how to throw a ball the other day!

I can't really think of anything else at this point.  Here are a few pics.

Doing a little laundry basket cruisin'

Everything goes to the mouth

catching up on some e-mails

Emerson playing with his buddy Caleb Braschler

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Happy Birthday, Blog!

Happy Birthday to my blog!  One year ago today I decided to start this blog.  I wanted to chronicle our pregnancy and birth of sweet Emerson.  I hope to continue using it to record special family happenings.  I hope this blog will share stories and memories of our family as it continues to grow and become what God wants it to become.  Some of my favorite memories of this past year include:

1.  My smooth, enjoyable pregnancy.  What fun it was to anticipate the incredible change we were headed for.  A fun experience to have with Caleb.
2.  Seeing God's faithful provision financially
3.  Emerson's arrival... the labor experience was better than I could have hoped for.  Emerson was perfect and healthy.
4.  Transitioning into parenthood with Caleb.  What an amazing, humbling experience.  Especially experiencing the love parents have for their children.  Wow.
5.  Getting to know our little boy as a person.  Discovering his sweet personality and watching him learn about the world around him.  Also, getting to see my husband as a father and also a provider, since he started his job in May.

This has been a blessing-filled year and I hope this next year is just as good, or even better (if at all possible)!  I can't wait to see how the story unfolds on the "pages" of this blog!  Happy birthday, blog!  Expect to see several posts coming up, as I have several things to write about!