Thursday, September 10, 2009

School Days

Well it is official, both of my babies are in school now. WOW...where does time go? Blake started 1st grade on August 20th and Ava started 3 year old preschool today. They are both loving school and having a great time.

Mr. Blakey's first day of 1st grade!

Miss Ava's first day of 3 year old Preschool!

Friday, July 31, 2009

So Many Reasons Why I Love Blake

It has seemed like a really long summer, but at the same time it has gone really fast. Needless to say Blake and I haven't gotten along 100% this summer, so I thought it would be good for me to remember all the reasons why I do love him to death and can overlook the things that drive me nuts.

  • His "Blakey" colored eyes! The doctor says they are hazel, but I still prefer "Blakey" colored.
  • The way his eyes sparkle and twinkle when he is laughing and being nothing but ornery.
  • The way he calls Ava "big girlie"
  • The way he complains about having to watch Ava's movies, but yet after she is long gone he is still sitting there glued to the screen.
  • When he climbs in bed with me after Ryan leaves. He says he is not tired, but minutes later he is sound asleep.
  • The way he talks about Jesus and thinks He is pretty cool!
  • The way he masters any electronic device he touches.
  • When he always chooses fruit before anything else to eat.
  • His ears. They stick out just a bit, but they are perfect to nibble on.
  • The way he hates yet loves it when I make his toes "pop".
  • The way he still drags along his "blue blankie" even though he will be in 1st grade.
  • The amazing things he has taught Ava whether I wanted her to know them or not. She is one smart cookie and I really owe the credit to Blake.
  • His favorite game to play on Wii is the original Mario Brothers. I find that hilarious!
  • The way he rescues me from frogs.
  • His "see through" skin. You can almost see every vein in his body. We think it is pretty cool though. But he asks me way to many questions about it.
  • And my favorite of all... Even when we have a bad day, he can't wait for me to tuck him in at night, kiss him, and tell him that I love him. Thanks Buddy! I love you too!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Blake's 6th Birthday Party

Blake really lucked out this year. He ended up having 3 separate birthday parties. One at school, one in Mississippi and then the one here. It was nothing but Transformers too! I feel like we have a Transformer toy store in our toy room. And it is the darnedest thing, I can't transform those things for the life of me. Instruction booklet or not, it just doesn't happen for me. Now Ryan, he gets a hold of them and can just about transform them with his eyes closed. Must be a guy thing. Anyway enjoy some pictures!

This is only like his 3rd birthday cake!

Some of the party participants.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Sunday, June 21, 2009

The Last Few Days Update

Well I did so well the first 8 days. The last few I guess I just kind of gave up. We are home now, but I will give you an update on the last few days of vacation. On Thursday we drove to Corinth, Mississippi to see some of Ryan's family. Corinth is a very historical town. Some very important parts of the Civil War took place there. They have plaques everywhere. It really was fascinating. Friday night we celebrated Blake's birthday with the relatives we hardly ever see. I think we all had a good time except Blake. The restaurant was a Mexican place that likes to celebrate birthdays with huge a sombrero and cake in your face. Well Blake didn't go for that. The waiter went to put the cake in Blake's face but he pushed it away. Well good ole' Mom picked it up and smashed it in his face anyway!! I loved it!! Blake crawled under the table and claimed he was "NEVER COMING OUT"! That changed when he heard there were presents and a Transformer cake he could eat and not wear. We headed for home Saturday afternoon. First Tara and her boyfriend, Michael, took us to tour his old Firehouse in Corinth. Blake loved it. He even got to slide down the firepole. Our last stop of the trip was Lambert's Cafe in Sikeston, Missouri. If you have never heard of it check out the website The are the home of the throwed rolls. Yes, they actually throw your dinner rolls at you! It was a blast! And the food...Oh my goodness! I have never seen that much food in a long time. They just keep bringing it to you. If you are ever down in Missouri, you have to go. Well enjoy the last of the vacation pictures. Until next time~

My little Confederate solider boy.

Blake's reaction when they started singing.

Ava and Blake sitting on one of the firetrucks at the Corinth Firehouse.

Ava's attempt at catching her roll.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Day Eight- Cochran 2009 Southeast Tour

Another day come and gone and I am really starting to run out of things to say. Eight days of blogging is hard! Anyway we were in Nashville all day. Went to the Opry Mills Mall and toured the Opryland Hotel. WOW!! What a hotel. I felt like we were back at Disneyworld instead of in Nashville, TN in a hotel. They even have a boat ride inside the hotel. The kids were dying to do it. It was actually fun. Nothing exciting but very informational. Not a lot of pictures tonight, we really didn't take that many. Plus the camera is acting up. I think it "ate" to much sand at the beach. Until tomorrow~

Can you believe this is in a hotel?

Yup this too!

What a bunch of goof-balls.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Day Seven- Cochran 2009 Southeast Tour

We finally made it out of North Carolina. Don't get me wrong it is a very nice state, but we have been in it since Thursday. We are slowly making our way home and drove through the Appalachian/Great Smoky Mountains. They are beautiful! Another one of those moments when you can really see how awesome of a God we serve! We are here in Nashville, Tennessee now until Thrusday. I will keep you posted. Until tomorrow~

What a view! Not quite to the top, but pretty close.

Here we are at the top. There was a rest area here. Thank goodness for "real" bathrooms.

Ava and I standing in a Mountain Stream. That water is COLD!!! It felt really nice though. I wish we would have had a picnic lunch today, there were so many great spots we could have stopped at.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Day Six- Cochran 2009 Southeast Tour

Day Six, already!?!?! Seriously why must all good things come to an end. Anyway not much to report today. We had to leave the beach today. I soooo didn't want to go. I think I could just live there, but I really do hate that sand gets EVERYWHERE. And I can still taste salt from all the water that I "drank". We had a slight tragedy today, but all is well. To sum it up for the sake of the readers, Blake and I almost drowned in the ocean and I lost my glasses. Yes, the glasses that I so desperately need to see any sort of distance are floating in the Atlantic Ocean. If that is the worst thing that happens on this trip, I will be perfectly fine with it. Here are some more pictures for you to enjoy. Until tomorrow~

Seriously, the first thing I saw this morning when I woke up. It was amazing. We fell asleep to God's natural sound machine, the ocean.

Okay, so not the most amazing picture, but I like it. I am laying on the blanket on the beach and this is what I saw when I looked up. Thanks for letting us borrow the umbrella Mom, it came in handy.

We stopped to tour the USS North Carolina. This battleship was used during WWII. It was huge! Blake and Ava loved that it was a big maze.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Day Five- Cochran 2009 Southeast Tour

BEACH DAY!!!! We have been waiting for this day for a long time. I am just so sad that it has come and gone already. The rain had us a little worried, but it really wasn't a big deal, just a few drops here and there. I had such a great time with the kids! Ava and I went in the ocean first. I have never heard her giggle so much. It was so sweet. Then the water got in her mouth and that was the end of that for Ava. But she dug and dug and dug in the sand! The rest of us were out in the ocean and there she sat digging. She LOVES finding shells. We have 2 buckets full right now and hopefully can go out again tomorrow morning for some more. Blake loved the water too despite the "horrible taste". Him and I went way out and floated for a while. It was just awesome. With your back turned toward the "beach" all you see is nothing but water. It really makes you stop and appreciate things a whole lot more and realize what an awesome God He really is! After supper we hit the beach again. Ava digging for more shells and Ryan and Blake looking for Lord only knows what in the ocean late at night. Well the Lord gave them 5 crabs and a little fish. Ryan only got bitten twice. I can't believe that I am actually sitting on the balcony of our room typing this out and listening to the ocean. I never want this moment to end. Until tomorrow~

Ava and one of her prized possessions, a shell.

Blake totally loving the water.

Ryan and Blake's newest friend. And no, he is not coming home with us.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Day Four- Cochran 2009 Southeast Tour

Okay, I apologize now, but this is going to be short. I have been outside in North Carolina hot weather since 2:00pm. My family is all in the pool, while I do this, so it is going to be short sweet and to the point. The best news of all.... HE DID IT!!!! Praise God!! Blake did so well! He smiled for pictures, he walked down the aisle (with no frog, that is a story in itself) and had a great time at the reception. He even caught the garter. I promise to post more pictures later, because the wedding was just gorgeous. For now this will have to do. Until tomorrow~

Kolt and Blake.

The happy ringbearer himself, Mister Blake.

And Miss Ava, being well, Miss Ava

Friday, June 12, 2009

Day Three- Cochran 2009 Southeast Tour

Day three and all is still well. We slept in and took it easy this morning/afternoon. We ate lunch at a mall in the food court and then walked around. Well Blake came upon this huge trampoline thing and just had to do it. Thanks to Nana and Papa he had some of his own money and paid for it himself. See below picture. We had the rehearsal dinner tonight. The place is beautiful! I will try to have pictures tomorrow. Kolt and Stephanie (the groom and bride) bought Blake the coolest shirt ever! I just had to take pictures of the front and back to show you. Until tomorrow~

Blake and the best $7.00 he ever spent.

The front lapel of Blake's shirt.

The back of the shirt. Seriously one of the coolest shirts ever!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Day Two- Cochran 2009 Southeast Tour

Day Two went again surprisingly well. We are now in Apex, North Carolina. The rest of the family is either on their way as we speak or are here at a different hotel. Let me just say the Appalachian Mountains are beautiful! We had so much fun driving through them. We were such tourist with our faces pressed against the windows. We made it into Cary, North Carolina about 5:30pm to get Blake to try on his tux. He looked so cute! I am still just keeping my fingers crossed that he goes through with the whole "Ring Bearer" thing. We grilled out at my Uncle's house in Raleigh and it was so great. I really enjoyed seeing everyone. Even managed to squeeze in a few rounds of Rock Band (sorry Angie, I thought of you though!). Until tomorrow~

This was at a rest stop right inside the Virginia state line. It was so pretty there.

This is a view from the driver's side window. No I wasn't driving and taking the picture, just reaching my arms and camera in front of Ryan while he drove!

Ava wanted a picture of her and her 2 blankies, so here you go.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Day One- Cochran 2009 Southeast Tour

Well it has officially began... The Cochran 2009 Southeast Tour. 11 states, 11 days, over 2500 miles, and over 40 hours of total driving. Today was day numero uno and so far so go! We surprised Blake with an early birthday gift. A gameboy (thanks Teri and CJ). We gave it to him around the Peoria area and didn't hear a peep out of him until we stopped for lunch outside of Indianapolis. Another friend (thanks Angie) gave us some games to borrow for the trip. I tell you Blake is going to be no problem at all on this trip. He is so into the whole electronic scene, as long as the batteries don't die, we will be fine. Ava did pretty well too. Thanks to a vehicle with TV's and a DVD player, she is pretty good to go too! Our first destination was Georgetown, Kentucky. I must say I really didn't think to hear the "southern" draw yet, but the waitress at supper tonight had it bad! Speaking of supper, it is really the only picture we took so far. I will try to do better for the rest of the trip. Until tomorrow~

The infamous "Big Boy". Blake picked the place and said "Yeah it's good, let's go again" Ryan and I say, "Maybe not"

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

What a Storm!

WOW! For those who read this living in this area that was one storm last night. I know it was a little more intense here in Knoxville than Galesburg, but still WOW! We just made it in the house from grocery shopping when it got really dark and then the rains came. It was more like buckets and then the hail. It was so cool to see it bouncing in the front yard. Once the rain stopped the kids and I went outside to collect some of the hail to show Ryan. Here's what we all found...

Blake's newest friend! I am actually the one who found him and then went running and screaming back up to the house. I can't stand frogs. They just gross me out. We had to wait for Ryan to get home to take the picture. There was no way I was getting that close for a picture.

The kids each took out a cup to fill with the hail. It is hard to tell by the picture, but it was pretty good size.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Home Sweet Home?!?!

We had a great time this past weekend. We were able to go to Madison! It was so nice to go back. We did the Race for the Cure up there. I always wanted to when we moved up there, but it just never worked. The weather was perfect, the walk was beautiful, and the kids, well they were kids. It made us want to move back soooo badly. We even found a house on the walk that was right on the Lake. It was a 4 bedroom, a slight fixer upper, and available for the low low cost of $350,000! ha ha Now I remember why we left, the cost of living is so crazy! Here are some pictures of our trip.

We had to stop during the race for this great picture of down town Madison. We just love the Capitol!

My Boys! We just finished Farmer's Market around the capitol and started on our way down State St.

Some of us just can't handle all the excitement!

On our walk we came across this cute little place. I at first thought what a great "book shop" then started thinking how great all "my" books would look in there. Come to find out it WAS a book shop. I just fell in love with it and had to take a picture.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Happy Birthday Baby Girl!!

Ava turned 3 today! I remember the day she was born like it was yesterday. Where does the time go? She had a sweet "Princess Brunch" today with 3 of her little friends. They all dressed up in their best dresses and had brunch, made flowers, made necklaces, opened presents, had lunch, and then cake. It was such a sweet cake! I loved the way it looked. Here are some pictures from the day...

The birthday princess and her "blankie guy"

3 of the 4 "princesses" that joined us at the party. If you notice they are all 3, all have blue eyes, and long blonde beautiful hair that has never been cut. Watch out world!!!

The beautiful cake

Monday, May 18, 2009

My New Hobby!?!

Ryan has 3 employees at work that are having babies. Yes 3 out of 15 employees, I sure hope there isn't something in the water!! Anyway I wanted a fun gift, unique yet still usable. So I decided on diaper cakes! I did some research and found some "how-to" videos online. Well surprisingly enough they aren't really that hard and actually a lot of fun to make. I even tackled the "washcloth lollipops". I was quite pleased with the turn out and just had to share.

The babies are all boys, but I didn't want the cakes all the same, so I chose a blue one, a yellow one, and a orange one.

This one is my favorite. I just love the way it looks!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

The Graduate

Well as hard as it is to believe, my baby just graduated from Kindergarten! I can't believe it. It was a wonderful ceremony and very entertaining thanks to Blake! Did you know that diplomas make great telescopes? And if you concentrate hard enough your tassels on your hat will fit into the diploma as well. One looks great with the diploma stuck to the side of their head! Oh and I can't forget to mention, ties on shirts conduct music wonderfully and are such a fashion statement when tucked under your arm! Yes, it was quite a night! Enjoy some picutures...

This would be the picture of Blake trying to get his tassel in the diploma. I just noticed when downloading this picture that the little girl beside Blake is doing the same thing. Okay so who started it first?!?!?

The happy graduate and his bubbles from his teacher.

This is a picture of Blake and his teacher Mrs. Boyd. One of the best teachers in the world!!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

Okay so I am a day late! But right now in my life, that is still pretty good. I thought I would share with you what I received for my gift. I got a hammock!! I have always wanted a hammock and now I finally have one. They are so cool! I can't wait to get the chance to "relax" in it again. I put the term "relax" in quotes because it really isn't relaxing especially when Blake and Ava are around. I laid on the hammock and the fighting began. "It's my turn" "No, it's not it's MY turn" "Mommy, let me up" "No I want to lay there" "MMMMOOOOOMMMYYY!!!" See what I mean, oh well, it is still nice despite the arguing.

My new hammock!

The view from my new hammock.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The Early Birthday Gift

Well Blake finally got his wish, well sort of. He has been begging us for a four wheeler for his birthday. Those things are not cheap! Ryan was sent on a mission for lunch the other day and found the "perfect" gift. There it was sitting at a garage sale! Although it wasn't a four wheeler Blake still fell in love with it and just had to have it. It needs a little work, but other than that I think it will work out great for him. I have a feeling I will be praying harder than I ever have this summer.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Newspapers Here We Come....

Wow, between TV (see an older post) and now the newspaper, I am everywhere all of a sudden. It sure would be nice to get paid for all of this like REAL celebrities do! Oh well, small town girl in a small town world. We were interviewed by the Western Family Magazine because of our "unique" situation at Galesburg Christian School. As I am sure most of you know, Ryan and I graduated from there and now Blake attends the same school. He is the first "second generation" student to enroll. You can check out the article here: Once there you should be a red bar highlighting a few topics. Make sure it is on Home. Under that click Western Family Magazine. Once there click anywhere on the cover and it will download the magazine for you. We are on pages 20 and 21. Don't you just love Blake's face!?!?! He was having a major 5 year old moment. Doesn't he just look so happy to be there! You just got to love him right? I mean what else can you do!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

The Surprise Party

Well for those of you reading this who don't know what I am talking about, I planned a Surprise Party for Ryan's 30th Birthday. I am VERY happy to report that it worked. Everything went according to plan. The guest were there, the food, the cake, and then Ryan. All in all we had about 30+ people. Not bad for my first Surprise party. I am so glad I had it, but at the same time I am glad it is over. Do you know how hard it has been not to slip up and say something? I have talked to so many people and wanted to tell Ryan part of the conversation, but couldn't. How frustrating! The cake was absolutely amazing! A huge "Thank You" to Clarice and Antonio! The cake was made to taste and look like a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup (Ryan's favorite) and it did! I think everyone LOVED it! You just have to love something different. For those who couldn't make it, we missed you and wish you were there. Enjoy some pictures from the evening instead.

The amazing Chocolate and Peanut Butter Cake.

Notice from the side it looks like a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup. How cool!

And of course you have to have the picture with the 30 lite candles!

And last but not least, the surprised birthday boy himself, Ryan!