Sunday, July 22, 2012

2 years old!

It is hard to believe, but Esther is 2 years old today. Time has flown by, but it is hard to even remember our lives without her. She is such a blessing to our lives and we are so thankful God brought her to us. She was such a easy and happy baby and she has turned into smart, funny, ornery two year old. I won't lie, things are not always rosy (her being a toddler and all), but overall she is a terrific kid. 

We had a good day celebrating her bday today. Josh asked her what she wanted for breakfast this morning and she asked for eggs and a waffle with peanut butter. She got a cupcake for snack, which she loved. She also "blew out the lights (candles)" while we sang happy birthday. We asked her what she wanted to do today, and she said "go to Sam's". So Josh took her to Sam's Club this afternoon. She is easy to please! We ended up singing happy birthday at her request several more times.

Things Esther is doing these days: 
  • Talking up a storm. She talks in full sentences and picks up new words daily. She repeats everything we say.
  • Loves to help--unload the dishwasher, help with laundry, pick up, put away groceries, etc.
  • Loves Clara (most of the time). She asks for her first thing every morning and likes to play with her.
  • Loves being outside--riding her tricycle, helping Josh in the garden, walking through the pasture, giving the dogs treats, blowing bubbles
  • Still loves books. We read dozens of books everyday. She is starting to memorize several of her books, so she turn the pages and will "read" them to us. She likes to tell us "be careful with the pages"
  • She knows all of her letters, numbers, colors, shapes, and animals. She says her ABCs and counts (to 20) mostly correct. We are working with her on counting objects, and she is picking up on that.
  • She has started singing more. Current favorites are ABCs, Twinkle Twinkle, Jesus Loves Me, and today-Happy Birthday.
She really is a lot of fun and she keeps us on our toes. Of course she comes with the normal two year old challenges though! We love her so much and are thankful she made us a family. We are looking forward to many more amazing years with her.

Here are some pictures of Esther throughout the past two years.

Here she is eating her birthday cupcake today.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Old Woman

Margo turned 30 today!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, July 09, 2012

Look who's.......crawling?

Clara has been rolling and turning for a couple months now.  The past few weeks she has been rolling with purpose going wherever she wants to get something.  But today she started crawling/scooting/army crawling in a forward direction.  It is not pretty but we think it counts, see if you agree.

Sunday, July 08, 2012

Anniversary Trip

If you would have told me that for our 10 year anniversary trip that we would spend 3 days in Memphis,  I would have laughed.  Don't get me wrong,  I don't have a problem with Memphis but it is not where I would have thought we would go for such a big milestone.  After all we have previously been to places like New York City, California,  Mexico, Hawaii.  But it turns out when you have two kids under 2 things are a little different.  We wanted to go somewhere without the kids but we did not want to go too far away from them.  My parents agreed to watch the girls for us and the only big city within a few hours that we had not really "experienced" was Memphis,  so that is where we went.  We had been to and through Memphis plenty of times but never really stayed there and did the Memphis things.  We dropped the kids off at my parents and stayed in Memphis from Thursday to Saturday.  It was weird not having the girls around but it was nice to get away just Margo and I and do whatever we wanted without having to follow their schedule. 
We did several fun things and ate at some good places.  Trying to find good local places to eat is one of our main things to do when we travel,  I always research it a lot. Our first stop once getting to town was to get some barbecue at Central Barbecue which was really good and is consistently rated as the top bbq place in Memphis.  The best thing was their ribs and the fact that they served Schlafly beer which is my favorite brand and we can't get it in Arkansas.  Next we went to Graceland.  It was very interesting to see but pretty ridiculous that it is such a big deal. The coolest thing there was his airplane. And I wish I had all the old furniture. That night we went down to Beale Street and hung out and listened to some music.  We stayed at the Hampton Inn that is a block from Beale so we were really close to everything.
The next day, Friday was our actual anniversary day.  First we went to the National Civil Rights Museum which is housed at the Lorraine Motel where Martin Luther King was shot and killed. This was really really good.  It was our favorite thing we did.  It was a lot better than I was expecting and really impactful.  I would recommend everyone who goes to Memphis to go there.  For lunch we had Gus's World Famous Fried Chicken and let me tell you that was some really good chicken.  After lunch we went and toured Sun Studio which is where a lot of famous musicians got their start and recorded like Elvis, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, and more.  It was cool to see but the tour was kind of dorky. After that we went and saw a movie at a sweet theater.  That night was our official anniversary dinner.  We went to a fancy restaurant called Restaurant Iris.  This is rated the top restaurant in Memphis and maybe even in Tennessee.  The Chef was named best new chef in 2009 by Food and Wine magazine and is considered one of the best chefs in the south.  The main dish that I had was featured on the Food Network show "Best Thing I Ever Ate" a couple years ago. The restaurant and meal was really really good and I was super full when we left.  Everything was good...appetizer, main dish, dessert, and drinks. With how big of a deal this place is I was hoping that it would be the best meal I had ever had but it was not. However it was definitely in the top 3 I think.  
The next day we went to Mud Island which is on the Mississippi.  There is a park there that has the Mississippi river museum and a scale replica of the Mississippi River, that is what I wanted to see there.  Every 30 inches of the replica equaled a mile of the real Mississippi.  It had running water coming from all the tributaries and showed were all the states, bridges, and major towns were along the river.  It opened up into and acre pond that represented the Gulf of Mexico. It was really cool and I am glad we checked it out. It is those types of things that I really like to check out when we travel and hope to check out with the kids when they get older.  After that we had lunch at a Dim Sum restaurant before heading home since we can not get Dim Sum in NWA. It is always a good sign when you go in an ethnic food restaurant and you are the only caucasians in there.  The food was good and we got to try a couple things we had never had before...chicken feet and beef tripe (cow stomach).  
So that was our trip in a nutshell.  It was fun and good to get away for a few days but it was good to come home and be back with the girls.  

Here we are at Graceland

National Civil Rights Museum

Sun Studio

Mississippi River replica

Friday, July 06, 2012

Wow, 10 Years Ago Today

Just a couple of clueless kids.  Crazy.

Tuesday, July 03, 2012


Today is a sad day. If you keep up with the news you know that Andy Griffith died. A lot of kids and people have fictional heros like Superman, Batman, Don Quixote, Rocky Balboa, the list goes on and on. Well Andy Taylor (Andy Griffith's character on the the Andy Griffith Show) has always been one of mine. I watched reruns of that show almost as far back as I can remember. Even today if I come across a channel that has it on I almost always stop. I even own all the black and white seasons on DVD that I go through and watch every so often.  I always looked up to his character on the show and hoped that I could be like him. You probably have heard of the book "All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten". Well, I have been known to say, All I really need to know about parenting, I learned on the Andy Griffith Show. I always list the Andy Griffith show as one of my top 3 favorite shows of all time. It as truly great.
Here is a clip of one of Margo and I's favorite episodes. This clip is kind of long (8 minutes) but it is worth watching. The first part is really funny and the second part has a great parenting/life message.