Monday, September 28, 2009

Everyday Happenings

A "runny nose" has turned my normally cheerful, sweet, pleasant one-year-old into a screaming, tantrum throwing, hitting, screeching, fussy, irritable little person. Yikes! Help! I seriously do not know where my sweet (most of the time) little Ivory has gone. If you see her anywhere--please bring her back to me! I see glimpses of her for sometimes as long as an hour, but, alas, it does not last. If this is teething, yikes! She only has four so far. I'm keeping my fingers crossed (actually praying rather hard) its not allergies like her momma...heard to many nightmare stories of the years of that malady. Unfortunately, with the Strouds out of town, no family who lives in town (*hint, hint* Gma & Gpa), and Daddy having a full load of work, Ivory and I were on it alone this week. And did I mention I've been sick, too? What a week--Yikes! Thank God for prayer--cause otherwise this momma would have lost it! Today was a little better, so I took these photos during one of those "peaceful moments":
And because I spent a paragraph complaining, I thought I should spend a little time explaining what God's shown me I have to be grateful for:
  • Ivory's not always this fussy--she's normally a blast!
  • We're not in the hospital and she doesn't have an ear infection
  • I have the privilige of being with my daughter always--and I'm not having to stress about taking off work to be home with her while she's sick
  • My husband is doing an amazing job painting our house (pics soon to come!)
  • God spared my husband this sickness
  • I've still had the energy to cook and have actually made some delicious, nutritous meals
  • We could afford groceries to cook delicious meals--some can't
  • Ivory has an early bedtime!!!
  • I'm actually used to her early rising now and awake automatically on my own at 6:25AM
  • She's *usually* cheerful when she first wakes up in the morning
  • I have a beatiful family
  • Most importantly: I'm redeemed and loved by the one true, holy, pure, incredible God.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


Today Ivory and I went to visit some dear friends. The Mom, Patty, (my dear friend/other-mom; not pictured per her request) was with me through Ivory's entire labor & delivery. Mrs. Patty is Super-Mom--really. She has 8 of her own children and mothers and ministers to many others. She also manages to find time to rise early, exercise daily, be active in her church, serve widows, teach character in local schools with her teenage chidlren, go on overseas missions trips with her family, cook, scrapbook, teach aerobics, care for horses, cat, dog, whatever-animal-happens-to-be-in-the-house, teach Bible Studies, homeschool her children, serve her husband, etc.--and is an amazingly relaxing, fun, humble, real person to be around. And she's in better shape than me--with 8 kids. She inspires me. And she supplies me with adorable hand-me-downs her 2-year-old outgrows. I appreciate her vulnerability with me and how she teaches me with her life--good & bad. I thank God for bringing so many amazing women into my life. She's the mom I call when I have those "new Mom moments" the, "Ahh! I don't know what to do" times. Actually, I usually call my mom first, then she tells me to call her, since her youngest is a little bit younger then my mom's.

Two of her girls were the flower girls in my wedding and her youngest son the self-proclaimed "ring-barrier" or "flower boy."

I was actually at their house when I happened upon a sight that revealed to me I was falling for Jason. I looked outside one afternoon and saw Jason & Dillon laying on their bellies reading a book together and my heart just melted. It was about an hour later when I was driving back to college in my incredibly sweet mini-van when it hit me that I was quite taken with this man. I'll never forget that night.

So, many thanks to this family for nuturing me and my relationship with my now husband of 3 years & 4 months.

Ivory *loved* all the attention she received. well as all the new toys & places to explore.
Gabby was only a little older then Ivory when I first met her. She's ten now! And a beautiful, sweet girl--with LOTS of spunk! Guess that's what happens when you have 5 older brothers!
Danielle used to come and stay with me in my dorm room and we'd have movie nights, popcorn, sweets, truck rides, and any other crazy thing my college girls & I could cook up for her! She was such a little girl then, and now she's a lady. She is a fine horse(wo)man and has 6 students she teaches to ride. She has a love for animals and missions. I'm excited to see where she ends up one day because God's already doing amazing things through her.
Dillon was a sweaty little toddler who used to run & give me hugs when I'd arrive. He also would catch frogs & put their albino rat down people's shirts. He once held a bag in front of their Gator (passionate Gator fans here) birdhouse and bumped the poor, unsuspecting bird into it and brought it fluttering into the house for all to see he'd "caught a bird." Poor thing probably later died of heart failure. He's growing up too, now too mature to run up and give me hugs...or even speak to me too much in front of his "manly friends." But, I've gotta say, he's still a little cutie to me (but don't tell him I said so).
The rest of the kids have moved away, were in college classes, taking a nap, serving in ministry, or otherwise engaged during our photo session.

So, here's the rest of the kids -Brent (2nd born) & Holly (Bryce's wife) + 2 cousins + Junior (currently living with and unofficialy adopted into the family while he works on his nursing degree and then returns to Haiti to serve his native land) = extremely busy, diverse family

Monday, September 21, 2009

Beach Vacation

The Lord blessed us with gorgeous weather, a fantastic place to stay (a gift!), and wonderful time together as family. We stayed from Thurs-Sun. A beautiful, relaxing vacation.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

My Husband

I have been tagged by Heather to share the 411 on my husband! I decided, why not? I love talking about my sweetheart!

1.What is his name? Jason Allen
From My Husband
2. Who eats more? Probably about even...I might eat a little more. I definitely eat more often.
From My Husband
3. Who said, "I love you" first? My sweetie did--but I immediately followed suit!
(no, this isn't where he told me I love you first, it was on a beach--at sunset.) From My Husband
4. Who is taller? Jason's 1 inch.
From My Husband
5. Who is more sensitive? Probably even on this one, he might be a little bit more.
From My Husband
6. Who does the laundry? I do.
With help, of course! From My Husband
7. Who sleeps on the right side of the bed? JAB.
From My Husband
8. Who pays the bills? That would by my breadwinner.
From My Husband
9. Who cooks more? That would be me. And he's very supportive of all my endeavors--good & bad.
From My Husband
10. Who is more stubborn? Unfortunately, me. He is in all the right ways (when it comes to truth).
From My Husband
11. Who is the first to admit they are wrong? He is nearly always first to admit his wrong. I want to be more like him!
From My Husband
12. Who has more siblings? Even. We both have 3 siblings.
From My Husband
From My Husband
13. Who wears the pants in the relationship? My man!
From My Husband
14. What do you like to do together? To name a few...kayaking, spelunking, hiking, bike riding, beach trips, shopping, white water rafting--adventures!
From My Husband
15. Who eats more sweets? Jason probably likes sweets more, but I have a weakness for chocolate--particularly Godiva, something my husband indulges me in every Christmas!
And as great as Godiva chocolate is, gotta say baby-in-a-bag is even better! From My Husband
16. Guilty Pleasures? He likes anything dangerous or adventurous. He particularly likes shooting hist paintball gun at trespassing neighbor cats.
From My Husband
17. How did you meet? At The Baptist College of Florida due to Christina & Neil's conniving...
Wacky Wednesday 80s day in my dorm: yes, he saw me like this (and worse!), and yes, he still married me. From My Husband
18. Who asked whom out first? We went to a park together and sat down under huge oak trees draped in moss and he told me a romantic story he created about a Spanish conquistadore rescuing a beautiful brunette princess with green eyes (me!) and then asked me if he could pursue a relationship with me. {sigh} I promptly went home and recorded the entire experience in my journal--and didn't sleep a wink all night.
From My Husband
19. Who kissed who first? He asked for our first kiss when he asked for my hand in marriage. {pitter-patter goes my heart}
And we haven't stopped since! From My Husband
20. Who proposed? He swept me off my feet!
My great, great grandmother's ring. Jason drove 10 hours (in one day!) to get this ring so he could propose to me. From My Husband
21. His best features and qualities? Too many to list here that's for sure! Qualities: Sampling: passionate (about His Lord, his family, and his ministry), honest, diligent, intelligent, creative, persistent, many more, that will do for now. Features: I adore his eyes! He also has great muscles!
From My Husband
22. Tag you’re it. Who do you tag? hmmmm...I tag the sorta-newlyweds Sarah, Stephanie, & Emily. Oh, and I tag Lynne!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Angel Food Ministries

This is an AMAZING resource for buying groceries. I actually haven't tried buying/eating food--yet. But, I will be trying for the first time this month! I'm very excited. You can get enough food to feed a family of 4 for a week for only $30! You can also get extra boxes of meat, produce, or other things. I think we'll also get the 7lb. meat box for $23 (includes steak, ribs, sausage, hamubrger steaks). And maybe the fresh fruit & veggie box for $22 (it has a lot of food, too!). I'll let you know how it goes in case you're interested in trying this if there's a distribution center in your area. It's available to anyone, and is basically just discount food. It's usually hosted at churches. You can pay cash at the site or order online with a credit card. You just pick it up on a certain day of the month. Nice, huh?! We now have a location right across the street from our church! Yay! I could *walk* to get my groceries its so close! Maybe that would be a good use for Ivory's wagon...

Anyways, just wanted to put a little plug for that for those trying to save a few (or a bunch of) bucks! (click on the title of this post to go to their website for menus and locations)

Okay, so I just realized I'm too late to order for September! Man, this happens to me every time I try to order! Must plan ahead...will try for next month!

Dad is working VERY HARD to prep the house for paint (a job that continues to grow daily!). Hopefully, we'll get to paint next week!! Yesterday, Ivory thoroughly enjoyed watching Dad work. She probably watched him through the window for 20 minutes or more as he sanded and scraped...sanded and scraped...sanded and scraped...

Baby Steps

She took 6-7 steps Sunday. Now, this is all we get. She's so much more interested in crawling. Oh well, it'll come.

Monday, September 14, 2009

First Steps

Yesterday Ivory took her first steps! And no, we didn't catch them on video. Hopefully we'll see a repeat soon and will get some footage for those anxious to see!

Friday, September 11, 2009

On Walking

We bought the following in high hopes of aiding Ivory's walking...

Dad also spends lots of time helpin' Ivory strengthen those chubby little legs!

DINO-mite Party

Ivory was invited to her first birthday party! It was a dino-mite party for our friend Lawson who turned 4. Lawson's Mom did an amazing job hosting the party & creating the dinosaur "cave." The pictures do absolutely nothing to give a glimpse of how great it was, but they do capture a little of the fun Ivory had. Ivory had an absolute blast! Between the strobe lights, inflatable slide, dino hats, dino clickers, remote control dinosaur robot with flashing lights, moving limbs & blinking lights, great food (remember this girl loves to eat), balloons, and kids--she was practically in baby heaven. She was giggling and squealing just climbing the giant slide with dad--imagine her glee when she rolled/slid down it "on her own" from Dad to Mom. Picture a wide open mouth and loud squeal of delight and you've just about captured her delight.

New (to us) Wagon

We are super excited about our recent gift of a wagon! A sweet mom in our church passed on her kids wagon for Ivory to use. We've been wanting a wagon, but it's been on the "list" of things to buy...eventually. As you can see--Ivory loves it--maybe as much as we do! {smile}

From 09.September-Ivory

From 09.September-Ivory

From 09.September-Ivory

From 09.September-Ivory

From 09.September-Ivory

We also spent some time enjoying our bounce-a-roo from Nana & Grandaddy. She actually enjoyed bouncing (enjoyment usually requires swinging) in it this time!

From 09.September-Ivory

We also received a tiny trike, which I'm sure Ivory will enjoy in coming months. We praise God for generous brothers & sisters in the body of Christ! We are blessed beyond measure with a very generous and thoughtful church family. And not just because of physical or monetary gifts, but kind words & consistent love & support. While like any church, ours has its flaws, I'm honored to be apart of a church that does such a great job of showing Christ's love!

September Happenings

One of our teenagers, Tatianna, brought her 5 month old cousin over, Anniston, to meet us. Isn't she gorgeous?!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Church Events

Launching this:

From Blogspot

And planning this:

From Blogspot

Consumes my free time during naps these days.

Ivory 101

I realized the other day that I've kept up with picture postings, but very little journaling of Ivory's development, idiosyncrasies, and other such details.

Thus, random facts about Ivory as of late:


  • confuses eat with more (sign language) & will only sign the correct sign when she wants to. Which leads to the next point...
  • is as stubborn as ever--but cuter then ever.
  • throws tantrums often. gets disciplined often. catches on pretty well.
  • wants Mom's 100% attention 96.7% of the time.
  • signs: milk, apple (sort of--it sometimes resembles more of an open handed scratching of the upper cheek/ear), bed (one handed)
  • points to her head, tummy, nose (she especially loves pointing to Dad & Mom's nose), toes, and mouth when directed--most of the time
  • immediately cheers for herself upon finding & pointing to the correct body part
  • still laughs best for daddy
  • walks on her knees, yet is completely disinterested in moving on her feet
  • loves books. I leave a book in her bed always and she will often hand it to me when she wakes up and wants me to read it several times before getting out of bed. She also drags books out & looks at them for long periods of time or hands them to people to read to her. She especially loves books with flaps, like the ones she received for her birthday and the set of small books (Peter Rabbit treasury) handed down from cousins Bella & Alex.
  • can find & identify cats in almost any setting. Yesterday, she screamed ca at the top of her lungs upon sighting Angel (our cat) on the back porch.
  • in addition to cats, identifies anything else exciting as "ca".
  • still adores animals of any kind. She thoroughly enjoyed playing with my friend Jennifer's cocker spaniel puppy, Nora, while Mom & Dad took the youth group on a canoeing adventure.
  • holds up one finger when asked, "How old are you? Can you say one?" -- when she wants to.
  • has four teeth.
  • is less fun while teething & pacifier weaning.
  • passionately loves swinging in any form. She especially enjoys the pink swing Mommy & Daddy bought for her birthday. Swinging outside cures almost any ailment. Seriously considering hanging another one inside...
  • acts like a complete wiggle worm / fuss budget in church lately.
  • possesses a definite attachment to her crochet blankets (she has 2 favorites: one pink, one multicolor. Made by Mrs. Feral, a lady from church & my older sister, Sherri). She likes cuddling up to them, dragging them everywhere she goes, sticking her fingers through the holes, laying on them in the oddest places as well as her bed, and being wrapped up in them.
  • still thoroughly enjoys eating. Whenever she sees me cooking, someone eating, or finds food in her diaper bag, she begs for food with "please, eat, please, eat!"
  • completely tunes in to Sesame Street in the morning. She is so focused sometimes she misses bites of food I try to feed her--that's serious focus for this food-loving-kid.
  • thinks Elmo is her best friend & enjoys making her stuffed Elmo dance as well as dancing to the elmo songs on her musical Elmo from Grandma & Grandpa C.
  • believes washcloths make great hats & loves taking people's hats off & watching them put them back on, over and over and over and get the point.
  • talks on the "phone" (phone, fork, hand, etc.) constantly, "hewo, hewo, ya, babble, babble" hand it to mom to talk. Over and over and over...we do this often.
  • says "hewo" every time a phone rings--yes, even in the middle of church service.
  • acquired a deep interest in rubber ducks, bath time, and pooping in the tub (4 is the current running total...).
  • actually picks up a few of her toys every now and then.
  • helps put her arms through her clothes as I dress her & swaps things from one hand to the other on her own while dressing / getting in the carseat--such a big helper.
  • grows cuter & bigger every day!
  • misses her grandparents, aunts, uncles & cousins!!! (or maybe it's Mom who misses their entertaining skills)
  • is extremely excited about playing in the leaves with her cousin Carter & all the other family this fall! (well, I'm sure she is, she just hasn't verbalized it yet)

Sunday, September 6, 2009

School Pep Rally

Ivory went to represent at the school Pep Rally last week.

She enjoyed visiting with one of her favorite cheerleaders & babysitters, Aliya...
who also happens to have very shiny pom-poms.
She also played with one of her favorite football players, who happens to claim the status of "brother"...
...and has a great hat.

She also had the exciting oppotunity to meet the gator mascot. Too bad we had to go home to bed before seeing the big bonfire!
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