Saturday, July 5, 2014

4th of July

I love the 4th of July!  It may be in the top three of my favorite holidays. I have always had a strong patriotic pride and I'm not entirely sure why.  My uncle has served numerous times over in Iraq and Afghanistan, and I am eternally grateful for the sacrifices he has made.  That is the closest person to me that has served in the line of duty that I can think of.  Even so, I am thankful for all the other men and women who have served and are serving our great country so that I can have freedom.  May we never forget to also be thankful for the families of our troops too.  They sacrifice more than we could ever imagine.  So although we usually celebrate the 4th as a fun holiday to barbecue and relax outside, I hope we take time to remember why we get to do that, without fear.

Yesterday, we had a pretty chill day at home. Jody went fishing with his dad and the girls and I just stayed here and cleaned for our company coming that afternoon.  My parents and my Papaw came and Jody's parents came up to eat supper and just spend time together.  Jody smoked ribs and we had all the fixings.  We were definitely not lacking in the food area! Of course, we never do. ;) While everything was cooking, we sat outside and let the girls play in the garden sprinkler.  I think they had more fun with that than they would have with any other high dollar kids sprinkler.  I love sharing the simple joys that I used to do when I was their age! It makes for the best memories. Soon all the food was done and we stuffed ourselves full, but still made sure we had room for chocolate covered strawberries and homemade chocolate ice cream! YUM! For the chocolate ice cream, I always use the Wendy's Frosty copycat recipe that has been floating around the Internet.  It is delicious and so simple! Just a can of sweetened condensed milk, an 8 oz carton of cool-whip, and a half gallon of chocolate milk.  Mix it all together and pour it in the ice cream machine! Seriously. SO GOOD!

My mom and my Papaw.  Love them!

And my daddy! Love him too!

He's the best Pop-up!


After supper, Jody, the girls, and I headed to watch the fireworks at a church in the next town over.  They put on a huge show every year and this is our third year to go.  We love it because it's free, and so amazing! Last year and this year, we backed Jody's truck into a parking lot across the highway and sat in the back of the truck and watched them. It's a great view!  A friend met us over there and we just sat in the back of the truck and visited, waiting on the show to begin.  When it started, Brailyn was super excited, but Lainee was not so enthused by the noise.  It is very loud.  So I ended up sitting in the truck with her watching them through the window.  She loved them in there.  She kept saying "wow" and "wook mommy! firewooks! Pity(pretty)!" Any time I would open the door she would start whining and shaking her head saying "uh-uh!" Jody said Brailyn loved them.  She kept her hands over her ears the whole time and Jody said she was yelling at them about how pretty they were. :) We had a great time as we do every year, and Lainee was asleep within about 10 minutes on the road.
Waiting on the show to start!

My sweetheart!

My firecracker! :)

We aren't the best at taking firework pictures but they were amazing!

Each year with my girls gets better and better and I would say this has been the best one yet! Can't wait for next year! Or maybe I can. ;)

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Bridgestone DriveGuard Tires Giveaway!

Go check out Kelly's Korner Blog for a chance to win a set of Bridgestone DriveGuard tires! Kelly is discussing how we keep organized in our busy hectic lives.  It can be difficult sometimes, but luckily I don't have much of a social calendar.  It's pretty much me and the girls all day everyday and all we have to work in is fun things! I love our life right now and I wouldn't change a thing.  I know it will get busy soon enough, so I am savoring our time right now.

I'm receiving one extra entry for this post!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Father's Day and Mother's Day!

Since we are blessed by two precious girls that are the reason we get to celebrate these holidays ourselves, I wanted to do a recap of both.

We have both been blessed by amazing Godly parents who we get to celebrate each year, but I don't know that we know just how important and blessed we are to have them, until we have children of our own.  Now, it seems even more special to celebrate these days and our parents because of our two blessings.  Of course, we enjoy getting to celebrate each other, and helping our children understand the importance of letting mommy and daddy know how much we appreciate them, and making things and buying presents is a fun way to do that.  Most importantly though, just spending time with them and showering them with affection and thinking just of them. So here are our Mother's Day and Father's Day 2014!

Mother's Day

We spent Mother's Day at my parents' house this year.  We usually try to switch out years and go down for Mother's Day one year and then Father's Day the next.  So, we went to see my mom.  The kids love going to Gramma and Pop-ups! This year was my mom's first year without my Nanny on Mother's Day.  I was especially glad that we were down there for her this year.  God works these things out long before we can even imagine.  We had a great weekend, and just had lots of downtime to enjoy each other!  I wanted to take Mom to see the movie Mom's Night Out, but it wasn't playing at any theater near us.  Bummer! Jody and the girls bought me a Polar Fit watch that I wanted and that I love! and they colored some pretty pictures for me! Here is a picture recap!

My sweet pumpkins!

This was my present! I put it on for a day of cleaning houses and this is how many calories I burned! WOOHOO!
This is an older picture, but this is my Nanny.  We miss her everyday.

Me, my babies, and my mom

Father's Day

We spent Father's Day here this year.  We woke up that morning at 6:52 with a "HAPPY FATHER'S DAY!!!!" form Brailyn.  We took Jody his favorite breakfast, sausage and biscuit, in bed, then after we all got ready for church, we had time to open presents! The girls were so excited! We got him some gloves, a thermometer, and a meat injector for him to master the art of smoking meat and barbecuing! Then the girls made him a photo book, or I did anyway, of pictures of them and Jody.  I asked Brailyn a series of favorite things questions about her Daddy, and she did such a good job! She is a total mess.  Then we made him one of his favorite desserts, strawberry delight! Brailyn was especially thankful for that surprise. ;) Oh, and she bought him a pack of Rolos from Super One Foods for Father's Day.  She was so proud of the gift she picked out, and I think it may have been one of his favorite gifts. :) We had an amazing day at church, and even got to hear Daddy sing his first Sunday morning special at church.  He did AMAZING and it made the day even more special.  then we celebrated that night with his dad by going out to eat, which is always a highlight of Brailyn's Sundays, when we go out to eat with Neena and Papa! Here is a picture recap of Father's Day!

Breakfast in Bed!

Are they not precious?!?

Daddy and his girls headed to church!

We made some special memories!  My prayer is to always stress the importance of letting people know you love them and care for them to my girls.  Presents and material things are not the most important way of doing so, but just being there and thinking of them is!  I am so thankful for the Godly examples our parents were and still are to us.  I pray our girls will say the same about us one day.  I am beyond grateful for Jody, and the Godly example he gives to me, and I can already see him setting for our girls. He is the best daddy in the world, and Braiyln and Lainee adore him and I'm pretty sure he is pretty fond of them too. ;) We have been exceedingly abundantly blessed! 

Saturday, June 21, 2014

~6 AMAZING Years~

Happy Sixth Anniversary to my wonderful husband!

Six years ago today, I got ready and walked down the aisle to the most handsome man, with tear filled eyes, and a heart full of love for God and me.  I often wonder why God blessed me so.  I had prayed since I was a young teenager for God to give me the man He would have for me.  One who would love me unconditionally, but one who would love God more and lead me the way God lays out for him to do according to the Bible.  Little did I know, God would give him to me only after he made me pay $75 for an accounting book for me to use that next semester in college! :) (I think Jody and God were in cahoots on that one.) He answered my prayers and then some when He gave me Jody.
One of my absolute favorite pictures from our wedding day!

Mr. and Mrs. Jody Almand! 6-21-08
I love being married to Jody.  He makes me laugh till I can't breathe sometimes, Brailyn always wants to know if I am "cry-laughing!" She thinks it's too funny!  Sure, we get mad at each other from time to time, and sometimes it takes us a little bit to simmer down, but then it's over and he has me laughing again.  I am so thankful that God blessed me with him.  These past six years have been amazing, and packed full of life.  From newlyweds, then all of a sudden, parents just six months after our one year anniversary, to new fun family vacations, then not quite three years later becoming the parents to another beautiful baby girl! And let me just say since she entered the world almost two years ago, life went form what we thought was crazy busy, to extremely busy! Little Stinker! We have truly been blessed in these six years! I love sharing this wonderful, busy, full life with my best friend! He is such a wonderful Godly example and leader to our family.
Just babes while we were dating!

The story of out life! :) Actually, right after he booked our Honeymoon!

Honeymooners in Branson!

Always kids at heart! Fun times on our honeymoon!

Headed to the hospital to become parents for the first time!

Brailyn Amber, 11-7-09

Here we go! 

Baby dedication! Mother's Day 2010

Our beach vacation to Galveston before we became a family of 4!

Last night as a family of 3!

Headed to the hospital to meet Lainee!

Lainee Elizabeth, 8-14-12

Our 5 year anniversary!

Family Fun!

Our latest family picture! 6-7-14

I'm ready to see what the next year has for us, and all the years to come! I'm sure there will be plenty more "cry-laughing!"

Love you Babe!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Cubbie Bear and Brailyn

We finished our AWANA year at church in May, and Brailyn finished her first year of Cubbies! If you are not familiar with the AWANA program, it is a program for children ages two or three all the way through sixth grade.  AWANA is an acronym for Approved Workman Are Not Ashamed.  It places a heavy emphasis on scripture memorization, application, and discipleship.  We. Love. It.

This is our second year of AWANA and the first year that Jody and I worked in the program.  This was Brailyn's first year to have to learn scriptures.  She did amazing! She finished her first book and learned 23 verses. I think.

We started working with Brailyn the summer before she turned three on learning scriptures. The first one she learned was Genesis 1:1. We would try and learn one a week or one every two weeks.  She had memorized three verses before she started Cubbies.

We believe that scripture memorization is very important. The Lord tells us over and over again how important His Word is.  In those moments when we can do nothing else, can't even think, if we have God's Word hidden in our heart it will help and comfort us.  This is why we are working so hard with Brailyn and will when Lainee is ready.  The AWANA program and Brailyn have really helped Jody and I learn more too.  It's never to late!

So here is our Cubbie Girl from the beginning of the year and her last Cubbie night of the year!

Brailyn saying her memory verses last night!

Daisypath Anniversary tickers

Daisypath Anniversary tickers