Summer Playdates

We've had a couple of fun playdates with friends this summer.  For the first, we went to Courtney's house to play with Saylor.  Kendall and Hays came too {Hunter was sick and stayed with his daddy}.  We were so busy talking I failed to take many pictures, but I did get a few...
 Miller LOVED Saylor's big sandbox and the slide in his baby pool.  He also LOVED the pizza we had for lunch :)

Last week we went to Lori's mom's house to play.  We had so much fun and hope to do it again soon!
 Hays & Hunter
 Sweet Turner enjoying one of the many baby pools Lori had out.
 Nicki & Mia
 Hudson came to play for a few minutes after he finished his swim lessons.  Sorry the picture's blurry!
Miller always has fun borrowing Turner's Jumperoo.  This was one of the only non-blurry pictures of him in it since he was usually going a hundred miles an hour in it.
We're so thankful for these sweet friends and hope to have them over to our house soon once we finish getting the back yard and porch fixed up!


Paint, Pudding & Pizza

Hello friends!  I hope you've had a great weekend!  I spent most of mine looking at this...
and these...
It was actually a little therapeutic to be outside all day, painting, and listening to praise music on Pandora.  About halfway through I'll admit I felt a little like Tom Sawyer.  Only none of my friends came by for me to trick into helping me.  While I was busy painting, Bryant and Miller spent some quality time together.  Apparently they covered themselves with stickers and ate chocolate pudding.
I also interrupted a game or two of truck-riding-dodge-ball.
About ten minutes after I finished the second coat on the porch, I heard some serious thunder heading our way.  Bryant helped me haul the boards that we took off of the porch {the ones that cover the edges of the screen when we put it back on} down to the garage since I still needed to paint them.  I had just started painting them when the bottom fell out.  I was hoping that the paint job I just finished wouldn't be totally ruined since the rain wouldn't be hitting it directly.  I worried about the stairs since they're not covered.  My fears were multiplied when I saw this...
We took the drainpipe {is that the correct term?} off so I could paint behind it and the water was conveniently directed right on top of the steps.  Woops.  Thankfully, off all the things to have to repaint the stairs are the easiest by far.  I haven't had a chance to fully examine the outside rails of the porch, but I think they are fine.  I still have another coat to put on the boards in the garage and then Bryant has to hang the new screen, put on the new door, and reassemble said boards.  I also want to do another coat on the floor once the first one dries thoroughly.  I'll be sure to get a picture of it when it's all finished.

Since I've been busy outside, we've eaten our fair amount of junk/fast food this weekend.  We ordered pizza tonight.  Big boy Miller didn't want me to cut his up for him.
Miller also had steamed cauliflower on his plate and he asked for THREE helpings of it.  Let me break it down for you, baby boy had PIZZA in his hand and he CHOSE steamed cauliflower.  He didn't just eat the veggie, he INHALED it and asked for more.  I'm one  proud mama.  Bryant and I were cracking up and decided to take a picture to show him when he's eight.  He'll probably hate cauliflower then and beg for pizza.


You know you're almost 30 when...

a new fridge excites you and makes your day.
I. am. obsessed.


Family Get-Togethers

Monday morning Miller and I loaded up and went to Birmingham for a quick trip.  My aunt Linda {my mom's sister} was in town from Texas and they decided to have a mini reunion of sorts. 
Back row:  Donna {mom's cousin}, Linda {my aunt}, June {my great aunt, my late grandmother's sister}, Carol {mom's cousin}, Barbara {mom's cousin)  Front Row: my mom, Debbie {my aunt}
Here's the second & third generation that was there.  Back row:  Morgan {my cousin}, Miller, me, Austin {my cousin}, Brandy {Austin's wife}  Front:  Preston & Sawyer {Donna's grandsons - this makes them my third cousins??  Is that right?}
Joe, Randy, and Martin.  A few of the husbands who married in to the crazy Stuckey family.  Yes, I did in fact say Stuckey.
Austin was sweet enough to share his cake with Miller.  He was getting some good practice in since he and Brandy are expecting a baby girl this Fall!

After Miller had his nap, we loaded up again and headed over to my dad's house for a belated Father's Day dinner and to spend the night.  Miller had so much fun playing outside with Poppy & Cissy until dinner.
 He wasn't quite brave enough to try out the big slide yet.
He even helped them do a little yard work.  In his swim diaper.  Somehow I failed to get any pictures of him in the baby pool.  It had a little slide and was FULL of new water toys!
This morning Poppy & Miller played outside a little more, watched some cartoons,
 and Miller helped earn our keep.
Before we left town, we decided to grab lunch at one of my favorite spots in Birmingham: O'Carr's.  Miller ate a little chicken salad and a TON of fruit.  He loved it!  Poppy got us a piece of chocolate swirled cheesecake to top it off.   It was deeeeeelicious!
 After lunch we met up with Gran and Aunt Linda at the Summit for a little shopping.
Miller was asleep by the time we made it to the interstate.  I could have been, too!
The older I get the more and more I appreciate these family get-togethers.   I love hearing all of the old stories and reminiscing of my childhood.  We really need to do it more often!  And of course, it's always fun to see Poppy & Cissy.  Thanks for a great night!


Father's Day Weekend

Hello friends!  Happy father's day to all you daddy's out there!  We've had a great weekend and hope you have too.  Gran & Pop came up to visit and Pop got roped into a few projects {as always}.  The biggest one involved fencing in a portion of our backyard to make a safe play area for Miller.  Pop & Bryant worked so hard on Saturday afternoon to get it put up {and move the swing that was in the way.}
 Sorry ladies, he's taken ;)  Bryant did most of the digging while John put on the finishing touches.
 The final product:

The fence is on either side of our screened in porch and blocked by the retaining wall on the back side.  It doesn't give us a huge play area, but it's definitely an improvement!  Next weekend, we plan to repaint the porch {which we've been saying we were going to do ever since we moved in} and from there we hope to lay a little sod.  A small perk of the tornado that came through is that we have a little more sun coming through to our backyard so grass may actually grow now.  Pop & Gran gave us the fence for Miller's birthday {a little early} and we are so grateful!  It is the perfect gift for a little boy who loves to be outside and for a mama who is so very tired of chasing him to keep him from falling down the steep hill or from running into the street.  Thanks, Pop & Gran!
Pop & Gran left on Sunday morning when we left for church.  Miller & Bryant watched a little "Trucks" and "Rocket" while I got lunch ready.
Papa Frank & Betty Jo joined us for lunch to celebrate Father's Day.  By the time we got around to pictures Miller had already been stripped after being covered in brownies.  Plus he was a little squirmy and ready to play.  Shocking.
After lunch, I put Miller down for a much needed nap and Bryant got to spend the afternoon out on his hunting land.  After coming home to play outside with Miller and eat dinner he is fishing on our lot right now.  Hopefully it makes up for making him work like a slave yesterday!  Haha!


VBS 2011

We've been VBSing around here this week.  Sorry for the lack of blogging.  I've been teaching a class of about nine first graders {it varies from night to night} and Miller hangs in the nursery with "Bake" and "Sayee" {also known as Blake and Sally}.  I NEVER remembered to take a picture of Miller with them, but he loves them!  Here's two quick stories to prove it:

1.  VBS started at our church on Sunday night.  On Monday afternoon, I mentioned that we were going to church and Miller parked himself next to the door to leave and chanted, "Chuwch Bake Sayee" for about ten minutes until we left.

2.  Today he was coloring in his high chair working on a few cards for Father's Day.  As he colored each one I would tell him who it was for.  After we finished all of them he looked at me and said, "Bake".  I asked him if he wanted to color a picture for Blake and he got so excited, which in toddler language means yes.

Sally told me she took a cute video of him in there with them so I'll be sure to post that when she gets it to me.

All in all it was a great week!  It is such a precious opportunity {and huge responsibility} to teach the Word of God to such sweet little hearts.  Truth be told, I got a little teary-eyed a few times listening to all of those tiny voices sing to Jesus.   I pray that seeds have been planted this week and I'm thankful to have had a small part in it!


Yummy Recipe!

I was hesitant to put the name of the recipe as the title for fear that you would turn your nose up and not read on.  I promise these really are good!  And they're healthy.  Twice the reason to try them.
Carrot-Zucchini Muffins

1 cup flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 egg, slightly beaten
3/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 medium carrots, shredded
1 medium zucchini, shredded

Combine first seven ingredients in a large bowl.  Make a well in the center of mixture.  Stir together egg, orange juice, and butter.  Add to dry ingredients, stirring until just moistened (will be thick).  Fold in carrots and zucchini.  Spoon into greased muffin pans.  Bake at 400 for 18-20 minutes.  Remove from pans immediately and cool on wire rack.

Can be frozen up to 3 months.

I also threw in about a fourth a cup of flax-seed mill just to boost the nutrients even more.  The jury...
the verdict...
Miller LOVES these!  I'm talking asks for them {he calls them "pink" because the first one he had was in a pink liner} and eats two every time.  To me, they're pretty good.  Probably because I'm a sugar junky.  If I were making them for me, I'd probably up the sugar a little bit.  Maybe to 1/2 a cup.  My intent was to make a healthy breakfast or snack for him though so I'll leave it alone.  This recipe made two dozen so I might double it next time since they freeze well.  I'm all about cooking in bulk and freezing.   I should note that my friend Jessica sent me this recipe.  I think she got it from one of her friends.  Just didn't want to mislead anyone into thinking I turned into Rachel Ray or anything.  Give 'em a try!


Best Laid Plans

I had big plans to videotape bedtime prayers tonight.  I set up our tripod and Flipvideo in Miller's room before bedtime hoping he wouldn't notice it.  Whenever we try to tape anything he does, he clams up as soon as he sees the camera.  I even snuck in his room before bedtime to hit the record button.  It started out okay, but about halfway through prayers he saw the camera.  See for yourself...
Normally, Miller names just about every person he knows when we pray.  It is so sweet!  It amazes me that he can remember everyone in our family without prompting.  I wanted to capture this moment, but I guess I'll have to try again.  Maybe I need to use a hidden camera next time  :)



Twenty-two Months

As you may, or may probably not, have noticed I never got around to the monthly post last month.  By the time I realized it, I decided I might as well just wait.  So here we are.  Twenty-two months old.  To quote Leo from Little Einsteins, "I CANNOT believe it!"  {Can you tell that's a favorite cartoon around here?}  It seems crazy that I'm already thinking about Miller's 2nd birthday.  Here are some updates on our little Miller Man...
Vocabulary:  Miller's vocabulary continues to flourish and it brings us such joy to hear him learn new words and phrases.  A few of our favorites are "tetitopter" {helicopter}, "are do?" {Where are you?}, and "tank to" {Thank you.  It should be noted that he pretty much only says this when HE is giving something to someone.  A little backwards, but it's still progress.}  On a bittersweet note, he now says "milk" instead of "guk".
Sizes:  4 diaper, 6.5 shoe, 18-24 month clothes
Sleep:  Miller is in a pretty good sleeping phase right now.  {And I'm sure I just ruined it by blogging about it.}  He still goes to bed around 7:00 and sleeps until at least 7:00 a.m.  He's been known to sleep as late as 9:00 or so these days though.  He takes one nap around 1:30 and sleeps for an hour or two.

I hope it's just a phase:  Right now Miller LOVES stuff animals.  Until recently, he hardly noticed them, but now he is all about them.  When we read before nap and bed, he wants to get all of his animals out and set them around him while we read.  He also wants to carry some type of creature with us wherever we go.  Usually it's "baby", "dog", "bear" or "bee".  I'm trying to keep him from getting super attached to any one animal {for fear that we will have some serious meltdowns if anything were to happen to the beloved animal}.  I'm also trying to pick my battles and make reasonable boundaries.  Usually the animal is allowed to sit near him while he eats and he can take it in the car, but we try to avoid lugging them into restaurants, etc.
Other tidbits:  Miller is really into hiding right now.
 He is {kind of} eating off of a plate with a fork or spoon.
 He looks like this most afternoons after playing outside with daddy.
 Needless to say, a bath is now a necessity every afternoon.

Miller Man, we love you and watching you grow brings us such joy!  We are so blessed by you!