Sunday, December 31, 2006

Another year. . .

It was time for a change. I'm in a blue mood for 2007. Started out pink in 05, green in 06. I'm liking the blue. It is wild to think 2006 is over! Thinking about this time last year: I was LARGE pregnant and anticipating the arrival of our precious boy, Hayley had only been walking for 3 months, we had just moved to our new house, and so many more changes were ahead of us. I'm anxious (in a good way) to see what 2007 has in store for our family of 4. I was taking the ornaments off our tree today thinking about this time next year and how very different things will be around here. Jack will be weeks away from turning 2 years old and Hayley will be almost 3 1/2. It's hard to imagine!

Our Christmas was wonderful. It started out w/ Tra's family and ended up with mine. It was the first time since 2003 that I had gotten to be w/ my family for Christmas at my parents' house. It was SO good to be with everyone again. 2004 Tra was too sick to travel and 2005 I wasn't allowed to travel. It was fun w/ Tra's family to see all the kids. None of them were terribly "into" Christmas this year. I thought Hayley would be more into it, but she so was not. She IS enjoying her new toys though---even if she seemed like she could care less at the time she opened them. One of my favorite memories of this Christmas was being at Richland Hills on Christmas Eve morning for the candlelight service and there were about 5 baptisms afterwards. Hayley always goes to her class during service times but the kids don't have classes at the Christmas Eve service, so she had never seen a baptism until then. It totally left a huge impact on her. I think she has talked about it every day since. She'll randomly say, "Remember when that boy got ba-tized? He just JUMPED in that water and got soakin' wet!" And I'll say, "He said, 'Hey everybody!! I. . " and she finishes w/ ". . .love JESUS!!" Last night she brought it up again and she said, "And then it will be Hayley's turn to jump in that water!" I told her I couldn't WAIT for it to be her turn! SOOOOO precious.

I'll end this post w/ some of my favorite things Hayley has said lately. Obviously the baptism thing was one of my favorites!

"I need a wipe-a-towel!" (paper towel to wipe off her hands/face)

She'll cover Jack's head w/ a blanket and say, "Jackin in the box. . . PEEK-A-BOO!!!" The other day Tra goes, "Hayley in the box, peek a boo!" She goes, "Not Hayley!! JACKIN!!" Jackin???

Jack threw his sippy cup off his high chair the other day. She walked over calmly, picked up his cup, put it on his tray and said, "That's not a good idea, Buddy."

If she sees something out of place she'll laugh and say, "Where did come THAT from???"

We pass a donut place we go to occasionally and she says w/o prompting: "Donuts are too sugary. They'll make my tummy hurt. They're not good for you." I followed that statement the other day w/ "Yea, they're not healthy." She followed that with, "No. But M&M's are healthy!"

We were at my cousin's wedding and she went up to this little boy who was about 6 and patted him sweetly on his arm and said, "Hi little boy! You're so sweet!" You know that "little boy" loved that!

I could go on, but I'll stop for now. Praying for an extra BLESSED 2007 for all of us! Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Catching up. . .

I can't believe it has been so long since my last post! This time of year is too crazy. I'm finding myself looking forward to the new year and slowing down a little! But at the same time I want to savor every moment of this Christmas w/ my 11 month old and 2 year old! Hayley is understanding a little more about Christmas this year but not 100% into it, of course. She loves decorating and re-decorating the bottom half of the Christmas tree. Most of the time half of the ornaments are missing. I'll find them random places like under couch cushions. : ) We've finally made the successful transition to the big girl bed. Grant it, we do lock her in her room for now, but it works and we all get sleep. We've had lots of family time this month w/ my side of the family. One of my cousins got married 2 weekends ago and last weekend was our family Christmas lunch w/ my dad's side of the family in Dallas. It was interesting as usual.
Jack is going to be 11 months on the 23rd. I can't even believe he is almost ONE! He is an absolute JOY in our lives. He is the happiest kid I've ever known. He LOVES his sister and vice versa. He is happy w/ his style of crawling (army crawl) and has no desire to do things like everyone else does them. He loves naps, wheels, and playing outside!

I'm assuming I won't have a chance to blog again before Christmas, so Merry Christmas everyone!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

The saga continues. . .

Yesterday at naptime Hayley mastered the art of climbing out of her crib. She did it over and over and over. It is actually very impressive---she can get out of it in a matter of seconds! So as of naptime yesterday she is officially in her big girl bed! Once she went to sleep last night she stayed in bed until 6:30am! I know it will just get easier and easier as the days go by. Hard to believe I have such a big girl already!! I'm so proud of her, but not nearly as proud of her as she is of herself! : )

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


From Judy (my mom):
I have officially declared November 7 "Peggy Baldwin Eat-More-Pie Day". Mom would have been 82 tomorrow--what better way to celebrate than to give ourselves permission to eat a big old piece of pie and make a toast (with a cup of coffee, of course) to her on her day!

Anyone who has been craving a bite of something sweet, here is your chance to indulge with no guilt! My mom sent this email out yesterday. We will be having my grandma's infamous Chocolate Merangue Pie over here this evening. She is dearly loved and missed terribly, but oh what a time she is having right now with our Jesus and the other saints who have gone ahead of us. I don't know if we will celebrate our earthly birthdays in heaven anymore, but it is a sweet thought that this is her first b-day with her mom in a really long time. So join us in having a little pie today in memory of my sweet grandma!

Monday, November 06, 2006

One step forward, two steps back. . .

At 3:00am last night I put Hayley's crib back together. Let's just say thunderstorms and a yucky cough do not mix with transitioning to a big girl bed. And sleep deprived mamas are just no fun. We're all looking forward to a good night of sleep this evening. Stay tuned for round 3---whenever we get gutsy enough to give it another try. : ) I'm open for any suggestions from other moms out there who have had smooth transitions, or rough ones that ended up working out eventually with no one harmed in the process. : )

Sunday, November 05, 2006

My Little Tigers!

I have a very hard time getting into Halloween. Part of it is that I was raised with a mother who talked every year about how SHE hated it. I didn't understand what the big deal was as a young child, but now I totally appreciate her perspective on the "holiday." I really don't want my kids participating in a holiday that promotes evil. I have some friends who don't participate in any way during this holiday---no parties, no Fall Festival, nothing. Tra's family didn't trick or treat when they were little. We did, but we never wore scary costumes. I'm glad the churches in the area do Fall Festivals so that there is a safe place to go where Christian music is playing and there are not SUPPOSED to be scary costumes. ( I saw one this year and wanted to ask the guy to remove the mask.) It is fun to see the little kids in cute little costumes. This is one of the first years that I not only understood completely why those who choose not to participate don't participate, but I have great respect for that decision. I guess the bottom line is that you have do do what you feel convicted by the Holy Spirit to do with your own family. And to my friends who do not do Halloween---you know who you are---I am very proud of you for sticking with your convictions and graciously declining all parties, festivals, etc. The Lord has enabled you to do that without anyone else feeling judged in any way--at least from my perspective.

Anyway--on to another subject. HAYLEY!! We have had a huge weekend over here. We removed the front rail from Hayley's crib and tried the big girl bed again! This time, IT WORKED! She kind of has a hard time getting comfortable with going to sleep, but once she's out, she's out for good! The first time we tried this she was up ALL NIGHT, literally. It was awful. This time, she has slept w/o tears until 7am for 2 nights in a row!! We are so proud of her and are excited about this new transition and how smothly it is going.

One more funny Hayley story---one of her new favorite words is Hallelujah! We were watching "God Made Christmas" (DVD) the other day and one of the songs on it is Handel's Messiah and I, of course, sing along with it. So later that day we were strolling through Target (getting a new blanket to put on her big girl bed) and she was singing, "Halle-loo-uh! Halle-loo-uh!. . . " over and over and over. It was so precious! Christmas is going to be extra fun this year! I can't wait!

Monday, October 23, 2006

More Than a Mailbox. . .

Is anyone else out there tired of waiting in LONG lines at the post office? If you live in the Keller area I have found a GREAT solution. . .More Than a Mailbox in the Albertson's parking lot off of 377 and North Tarrant is the GREATEST place ever to mail packages. I walked in, there was no line, the lady politely asked how she could help me and SMILED, I handed her my item to ship that was not packaged, she took it and immediately went to find a box and carefully packed it FOR ME without any grumbling, I paid, she gave Hayley a lollipop and we were on our way! It was almost too easy. And as a bonus for all you scrapbook lovers, there is a ton of scrapbooking stuff in there---a whole wall of paper, stickers, etc. It's no Scrapbook Warehouse, but definitely has a good selection of stuff. They also have a table with books for kids to play and some toys. I will never go to the post office again!! This place is incredible!

My baby boy is 9 months old today. I do not have any pictures b/c my camera is broken and is the item I shipped off today. I REALLY hope we get it back by Thanksgiving!! Anyway---back to Jack. He seems to change every day lately. Last week he started crawling. He does the army crawl thing where he pretty much drags his legs behind him. I saw him do it for the first time and started boo-hooing! I have not been too emotional at Hayley's milestones for some reason. Jack's, on the other hand, I just can't hold myself together. I think it is b/c it just doesn't seem like he should be this old! Time has gone SO much faster with him than it did with Hayley when she was at the baby stage. He is such a JOY to all of us and I can't imagine my life without my happy baby boy!

Anyone else not looking forward to the time change this weekend? Before children, it was GREAT! Fall back--you get an hour more to sleep! But to my dismay last year, I realized Hayley got up at 7:00ish in the mornings, which is now 6:00ish after the time change. Her little body clock didn't automatically change. So this Sunday could be the first of many days for awhile that we are eating breakfast by 7:00 and it feels like it should be naptime at 9:00am! : )

Speaking of naptime, ours is over. : ( Time to begin the 2nd half of my day! Thank you, God, for naptime!!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Good-Bye Paci!

Last week was a monumental one at the Willbanks' household. Hayley bid farewell to her paci after never sleeping a night or a nap without it for 2 solid years. She has a chipped front tooth (a whole blog entry in itself) that is now very sharp. She gnawed halfway through her paci after her nap the other day. I hadn't planned on weaning her from it yet, but when I saw she could actually bite through the thing and potentially swallow it, I realized I had no choice but to tell her to throw it away and say good-bye for good. I have been AMAZED at how easy this transition has been. She still asks for it at bedtime but doesn't pitch a fit when I tell her they're all gone and we had to throw them away. She goes to sleep just fine. It has been wonderful to have it be this easy! She'll say, "I want paci and blankie! (And then looks at me with a silly face and says in a silly voice) Not paci!! Just blankie." I told her she could keep blankie when she sleeps as long as she wants. It will be interesting to see how long she holds on to that. My baby is growing up! I have a feeling Jack's thumb will be another story. : )

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Waiting Patiently. . .

To read about a real-life encounter with an angel, click on Courtney's Blog.

Summer has a similar story on hers too.

I LOVE it when the Lord reveals Himself to us in such sweet, wonderful ways. He must know we are all needing faith-building this week. It is so hard to see friends hurting!! Our sweet friend Christine has been in the PIT over the past couple of weeks. It is very hard to pray for God to heal and have to wait and wait and wait on His timing. But we all know that He is Faithful. He loves Christine and Matt and Jack, the Tyndalls and the Pinsons. He will never leave them or forsake them. He does hear our every cry to Him about precious Christine. He has provided her with this new team of doctors in Dallas who are hopefully as I write this finished with her procedure and she may finally get on the road to full recovery. We love you, Christine!! We love being available to help you and your family out during this time too. So many of us have talked about it and what a complete JOY it is to get to cook for your family, sit with you, keep Jack, or whatever we need to do. You are loved more than you know and you are prayed for multiple times each day (if not each hour of each day!!) I have no doubt that the same angels (if not Jesus Himself!) that Hayley and Ava have talked about this week are just as visible to your sweet Jack---especially during this time while you are away from him. As God is healing you, He is also providing your baby with a peace and a comfort we can't even begin to see or imagine! Praising Him for who He is and thanking Him in advance for answering our prayers for you! He's got you and has already begun to lift you out of the pit. We will be anxious to literally hear the new song He puts in your mouth, dear friend! May this time be used to bring others to fully know the Lord and His power and strength by seeing how He works in YOU!


Psalm 40:1-3
I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the LORD.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Catching up. . .

Lots to catch up on for the month of September. We had a small group over for Hayley's birthday this month---it was originally scheduled for her actual b-day on Aug. 30 but she got a stomach bug the night before, so we had to reschedule for later. I was glad we did---it was a fun day.

It is strange to me how blogger has good days and bad days with uploading pictures. Today is apparantly a bad day.

Anyway, on with my news from the month. Tra had a routine CT scan and all looks great! Praising God for another good report!

Jack had surgery Thursday to remove the cyst above his eye. He had to go under, but the surgery was only 20 minutes and he was an angel waking up from it. I was prepared to have a very unhappy baby, but he just snuggled down and ate his breakfast and went back to sleep! He is recovering really well too. The big bandage came off Sunday and the tape covering the incision comes off next Thursday! Thank you, God for a successful, uncomplicated surgery.

I am so excited that I get to keep my nephew, Scout, every Wednesday morning starting next week!! Tara is going to start BSF and Scout gets to come play with his cousins! We are all very excited and can't wait to spend Wednesdays with Scout. It is a perfect set up---they only live 3 miles away from us.

Tra is going on a work retreat this Thurs-Sat. and I am taking the kids to Austin Thursday through Sat. to see my parents and Papa Jack and Betty (my dad's dad and stepmom) They haven't seen Jack in person yet! Should be a great week! More pictures coming soon. . .

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

2 Peas in a Pod

I love these kids! I love it that they not only look close to identical, but that they also have similar facial expressions! It cracks me up. They are watching either BOZ or The Wiggles on tv in these pictures. I promise they don't do this all day. In fact these pictures make me want to limit the tv even more than I already do. : )

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Happy Birthday, Hayley!

My baby girl is officially 2 years old as of last night at 9:31 pm. I had a little party planned for her and some of her friends/family yesterday at 11:00, but Tuesday night around 7:00 I was holding her in my lap while she was throwing up. It almost seems as if we are living under a little gray cloud of sickness as of about 2 years ago. Poor Hayley has had one thing after another for awhile now. We made the decision to cancel the party that night---no one wants to be in a house where a tummy bug is lurking. (Including me!!) She only got sick twice and was back to normal yesterday afternoon so it was just a 12 hour bug. We slept together on the couch Tuesday night and she actually went to sleep around 4:00am and was up playing with her toys at 7:00.

It ended up being a great birthday. I was super bummed not to have the party, but she was of course oblivious that anything would have gone on at all. My mom was here and they made banana bread yesterday morning. Then, while she napped from 10:30-1:30 I decided to go ahead and keep the balloon order b/c everyone needs balloons on their birthday!! When she got up from her nap she was so excited to see a living room full of balloons. Not ONLY were there balloons, there was a "Wiggles" balloon and a "Mickey Mouse" balloon! So funny what little it takes to totally make a toddler's day!

It is amazing to think that two years have gone by since I held that little 9 pound baby in my arms. Someone asked me if I was sad that she was 2---absolutely not!!! I LOVE this stage with her! Although it has its challenges (what stage doesn't?) every day is so much fun and filled with so much laughter and so much joy. I look forward to watching her grow this year and being amazed at how fast another year will go by. I'm enjoying each day, even the not so good days, as my heart continues to overflow with thankfulness to my God for the blesssing of my Hayley Brooke! I love you sweet girl! You are precious to me and even more precious to our God!

Friday, August 18, 2006

A Big Step. . .

It is a big day. Tonight we are leaving Hayley and Jack with their first non-family/friend real live babysitter. Tra and I have committed to start going out on dates every other Friday. I have been praying for awhile that God would lead us to a babysitter so that Tra and I could have more time together and not feel like we are imposing on our friends/family while we are out. God was faithful to lead us to not just one, but TWO girls who live minutes away from us, who are extremely reliable and responsible, and who are sophomores in high school! We get them both for 3 whole years!! I met them at church and already love them both dearly. I just finished typing out the 3 pages of instructions for sweet Jessica. I am a little nervous, but I know that everything will be just fine. I'm very thankful for cell phones. How did our parents leave us with babysitters and not have a way for them to be contacted most of the time?? YIKES!

I am so excited about being able to look forward to our new date nights. It is VERY easy to see how I could get so wrapped up in my kids that I could start putting them before Tra on my priority list. It is something I really struggle with and have to make a conscious effort to work on. My parents had date nights frequently growing up. I remember watching my mom get ready and putting on her "pretty" clothes and putting on her make up and smelling the scent of her perfume. I remember feeling really bummed out that they would leave, but the positive about that was that I felt good to know they liked going out together. It made me appreciate the times we all had family nights together too. I also remember, for the most part, liking my babysitters. It was kind of fun to have new routines when my parents were gone. I know they left instructions, but would you really be a fun babysitter if you followed them completely?? : )

Alright---time to go and figure out what to wear on my date tonight!!

Monday, August 14, 2006

Doctors. . .

Rejoicing today that we live in an area with such wonderful doctors! Hayley had her first appointment with her pediatric urologist today and we loved her. Not only did she answer questions about Hayley's refulx, she also solved a problem that we needed solved about a year and a half ago. I even remember blogging about this problem a LONG time ago---Hayley's constipation issues. Without being too graphic, the x-rays that we were looking at today showed that she is SEVERELY backed up. We were given a prescription for her constipation as well as hope that we should have a much happier baby girl once that junk gets moving. Hayley is a pretty happy kid overall, but some of you who have spent a lot of time with her lately might see what I'm talking about when I say she has random moments of extreme clinginess/ fussiness/irritability. It has just seemed so strange b/c it isn't "typical" for her. As I told the dr. today, I know she is almost 2 and that 2 year olds tend to be fussy sometimes, but I am anxious to see how she acts once her poor little tummy feels better. For more detailed info, feel free to inquire in person. I'll spare the random readers the description of my kid's bowels. : )

We take Jack to his surgeon on Thursday for a consultation. He has a cyst above his right eye (left if you're looking at him) that he was born with. It keeps getting bigger and will continue to do so. So between the 2 of them, we will most likely be doing 2 surgeries in the next few months. Tra and I need to decide what to do for Hayley---we do have an option of no surgery YET but it doesn't seem like a great option. What would I do if I didn't have full confidence in my God right now? I know He will give us wisdom in our decision making and that He will bring them both through their surgeries triumphantly. (if He doesn't heal them before)

I'm so thankful for my healthy babies and God continues to gently remind me that He is in control and keeps my perspective in check. The other day after walking through Cook's in Fort Worth and seeing some REALLY sick babies, I asked Him, "I know I've gone through some tough stuff, but how could I EVER handle having such a sick, sick baby?" Immediately I felt like He said, "You would handle it just fine. I would carry you right through it, just like I always have before." It was a sweet moment. What a MIGHTY, LOVING, PRECIOUS God we serve!

Sunday, August 06, 2006

News. . .

Pictures are on the way of our night at The Wiggles, but it might be a week or so before I get them up. Check out Courtney's blog to get a report. It was so much fun!!

The big news of the week around here was that Hayley went tee-tee in the potty for the first time this week. She has a little "Winnie the Pooh" potty that several times a day she will ask to go sit on. She strips down, takes her diaper off and says, "I need to poop on the potty!" This has gone on for a few weeks now. We've done lots of running around with no clothes on lately. It's too exhausting to put her all back together, only to have her strip down within minutes. Well, one of my college roommates (Rae Hanan Boswell) was over with her little girl Macy last Tuesday (Aug. 1) when Hayley was sitting on her potty. After I told Rae that I hoped she didn't actually potty train until closer to 3 b/c I don't want to have to deal with stopping EVERY place we go to go "potty" I heard a noise coming from the bathroom. She did it! She tee-teed on the potty! We celebrated with her and called daddy and her grandparents to tell them the exciting news. She went twice the next day---once she came running out yelling, "I DID IT!!!!" and the other time she just went and then went about her day without telling me she went. I discovered it later when I was in the bathroom. It is apparantly not something she is 100% ready for b/c she hasn't gone since Wednesday. Ohhh, the things that we mommies get excited about. : )

Finally, for anyone interested there are pictures of Jack and Hayley up from his 6 month sitting. They can be found at Password: tra
I love Kristin, our photographer (and most of yours!) She is awesome. I am always amazed at how she totally captures their little personalities. It's hard to believe we're over halfway through his first year!

Friday, August 04, 2006

5 years ago today. . .

. . . at 2:00 in the afternoon I became Mrs. John D Willbanks III. (or as most of you know, Mrs. Tra Willbanks) I will never forget those double doors opening, everyone standing, and being so overwhelmed by the multitude of people at our wedding. I remember my dad whispering, "Walk slow---we're only doing this once." I got so overwhelmed by all of the people (around 600) that I didn't even see Tra until I had already started down the aisle. My "words of wisdom" to all brides are to take a minute before you begin walking down the aisle to stand there, take it all in, look down to see your groom (who is breathtaken by you, by the way), and THEN start your walk down the aisle to him. Our wedding was perfect---even with the whole unity candle fiasco. Five years ago as I was preparing to stand at that altar and promise to God, Tra and all of our friends and family that I would honor him and love him for better, for worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, in good times and bad until death parted us I sure didn't realize all that would entail in our first 3 years of marriage, much less 5. What a joy it is to go through this journey of life with my best friend. What a blessing it is to know that he loves me in spite of all of my faults and weaknesses. What a precious example he is to me of Jesus---who knows even MORE of my faults and won't only love me in spite of them, but who died for me because of them so that I could spend eternity with my Father in Heaven.

I wonder if Hayley would mind if I popped in our wedding video this morning instead of watching The Wiggles??

Monday, July 31, 2006

It's OVER!

YUCK. I am so happy to have that test behind us. Hayley was a trooper. There were a couple of times that I thought I was going to lose it. She was crying sooo hard laying on that x-ray table as they were prepping her. Then later when we were trying to get her to tee-tee the dye out I was next to her ear whispering, "Can you whisper?" hoping it would help her calm down and relax enough to go potty. She started whispering through her gasps of air (she was soooo worked up by now), "Mama, hold you. Mama, hold you." Keep it together, mama! It was almost too much for my heart to take. I was so thankful Tra was there with me. He held her little arms and had the idea to put her hand in warm water to help her go potty. YEA, daddy! What ever would we do without da-da?? Afterwards we went to get the meal of choice for Hayley---DONUTS!! Whatever she wants, she gets today. This afternoon after naps (mom included in the naps today) we're going to go ride the ducky merrigoround at the mall and have "Chicken and spinach" for dinner from Boston Market. (her favorite dinner) I'm trying very hard to help the worst day of her life so far be just a little bit better.

Thanks for the prayers, advice, calls and emails! I'm so thankful for my wonderful friends/family who prayed for us (again) and who would keep praying again and again. What would I do without you?? Tara--thanks again for keeping Jack for us. He always has fun with you and Scout. (and Dwight when he's home!)

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Random Thoughts. . .

Diet Drinks---Over all I hate them. I drank Diet Coke for years but never really liked it. I just didn't want to get cavities or gain weight from drinking Coke (which I LOVE). I was so excited to have an excuse not to drink Diet Coke when I got pregnant with Hayley and I started drinking Root Beer or Sprite b/c no caffeine. Well, recently I've discovered Diet Root Beer. If you like Root Beer, you would like Diet Root Beer too. I think it is the only diet drink that tastes almost exactly like the real thing. No caffeine, no sugar, and not quite as sweet as the real root beer but that's one thing I like about it.

It is funny to me that with Hayley I couldn't wait for her to do the next new thing when she was a baby. Now with Jack it's totally the opposite. I'm not ready for him to start crawling yet or sit or do any big boy things. Of course when he does I'll be thrilled, but selfishly I know that my job is about to get 10 times harder when he starts moving around.

Hayley and Jack are now napping at the same time for 2 and sometimes 3 hours in the afternoon. I need to start using that time for rest and eat it up while I can, huh?

Jack started sleeping through the night last month finally and I feel like the old Shelma again. Last week he went to bed around 9:00 and woke up every morning at 8:00! Whoo-hooo! Thank you, God for my little sleepers!!

Tomorrow morning Hayley has to have a VCUG and a sonogram on her kidneys b/c of a urinary tract infection she had a couple of months ago. I keep getting really nervous about it and have to keep praying for God to take the fear and replace it with His Spirit of Peace!! I could use more prayers though---so lift one up for me if you will! The VCUG requires her to have a cathedar and they fill her bladder up with dye and watch what happens on a screen. I know several of my friends have had this done with their kids and they all survived it. I'm still dealing with some serious anxiety though.

We get to go to The Wiggles this Saturday! Who will enjoy it more---Hayley or mommy?? : ) I can't wait! John and Courtney are going with us and we're taking Emma with us too. Should be lots of fun!

Sunday, July 23, 2006

SIX months old??!!

Is my baby boy REALLY six months old today?? It's just so hard to believe that he is already so grown up. I love my little Jack. He loves people---no matter who you are, if you have 2 eyes, a nose and a mouth he'll give you his big gummy grin. He loves to be held---something I prayed for and I'll admit sometimes ask myself why I thought I wanted that?? I do love it. He LOVES his sister. It is so cute to watch him as she walks (or runs) by. He'll immediately focus on her and smile and giggle and squeal. I was telling Tra the other day that I bet he totally wears her out once he's able to get around. She's such an independent player---I can hear it now, "MOM!! Will you tell him to leave me alone????!!" Although she sure loves her little brother. Sometimes when he's napping she'll be playing and randomly say, "I wanna go get Jack-ee!" And when she comes into the living room after a nap or in the morning and Jack is playing, she'll say excitedly, "Jack's awake!!" So sweet. She has always liked to give him his "pappy" (pacifier) from the 1st day he got home from the hospital. He actually stopped taking one around month 3. He has taken after his mama and is a thumb sucker. (I don't suck mine anymore.) Nevertheless, he'll take it from Hayley---even upside down---and suck on it for a little bit before spitting it out. (To which Hayley gives him an exasperated, "Jaa-aack!" What a blessing this little boy is to us each day. I'm so thankful for this
precious gift in our lives! Happy birthday, buddy!

CARROTS!! I can't believe you've been holding out on me! This stuff is delicious!

Some families have bedtime stories. Ours has "Laundry Basket Derby" several nights a week. The dog to the left is Sam. We got him my senior year of high school and he now lives with my granddad. We were dog-sitting at the time. We love Sammy, but we're VERY thankful that we do not have a dog full time. Jack was cramping Hayley's style here---she doesn't get to go as fast when he joins her.

Jack loves his BUMBO seat! What a great invention. He likes to sit in it and watch The Wiggles when Hayley watches them at breakfast. No Baby Einstein for #2! He's jumping right in to the big kid shows.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Happy Anniversary!

Two years ago yesterday was one that will be etched in my mind forever. Tra had surgery to remove the lemon sized tumor in his colon, and when the surgeon talked to Johnny and me (and Tra's granddad) afterwards he said, "From what I can tell it appears to be a malignant tumor. . ." I knew right then that my life had changed dramatically. The embrace that my precious father in law and I shared immediately after and the tears we shed together over the love of my life and his firstborn precious son was such a powerful moment. I just wanted to stay in that hallway and not move. I didn't want to have to go out in the waiting room and have to hear all of the, "We're so sorry" "What can we do for you?" But when we walked out after semi-composing ourselves and approximately 30 or so people were there, the sweetest thing happened. Someone said, "Let us pray with you." It brings me to tears as I remember holding hands with my sweet friend Julia and with Johnny as many prayers were lead on behalf of Tra and our family. How incredibly thankful I am for such a strong community of believers who encouraged us and lifted us up during that HARD time in our lives. And not only were those people in the waiting room during the surgery, they were also at Aly and Matt's wedding on this day 2 years ago. Sweet, wonderful friends who rode that roller coaster of emotions with us. It was such a wonderful day---strangely wonderful. Only God could give us all such joy as we all got dressed and took family pictures with beautiful Alyson as she and Matt prepared for the biggest day of their lives so far (besides the day they accepted Christ, of course).

I know it is hard for her because every year on their anniversary, there is not only talk of their special day, but also the "this time 2 years ago, Tra was in surgery, etc, etc." My prayer for Aly and Matt and for our whole family is that although we will always have the memories of Tra's surgery, as the years go on that we will just be thankful that the Lord carried us through it and that we will be able to truly celebrate this precious, wondeful union between Alyson and Matt.
Happy Anniversary, sweet sister and brother in law!! I love thinking about your beautiful wedding and the greatest reception I have ever attended! Isn't God the greatest---to not only give you each other but less than 2 years later your precious, beautiful Adalyn Kate! I love you 3!

"Many, O LORD my God, are the wonders you have done. The things you planned for us no one can recount to you; were I to speak of them, they would be too many to declare." Psalm 40:5

Friday, July 07, 2006

Snip, Snip, Snip!

Yesterday Jack got his very first hair cut! Yes, I know he's only 5 months old. But as everyone can see from the "before" picture, he was actually way past due for his first trip to "Cool Cuts." Nana got to go with us---she took the pictures while I held Jack in his cool car! Hayley keeps wanting to touch his hair---what's left of it. Pretty cute----

My mom is FINALLY taking me to get his hair cut! YES!!!

This is more fun than I ever imagined!! This is the coolest chair EVER! Please make it look better than my comb-over, lady!

Uhhh, not quite what I had in mind, but definitely cooler. Dad would love this look! Don't mess with me!!

I'm gettin' hungry! My mom hardly ever feeds me.

Thanks mom and Nana! I love it! Let's go get some lunch!

Saturday, June 24, 2006

He's Here!!

Sanford Parr Goodwin "Scout" was born this morning close to 8:00am. He is a healthy 9 pounds and 7 ounces and 21 3/4 inches long. Mom and baby are doing great! Tara was still in recovery when we all left and went to breakfast this morning, so I'm anxious to get back up there and hug her neck! He is absolutely beautiful, as you can see. We are so excited he is finally here!!

Sweet baby Scout! What a beautiful boy!!

Proud papa!

Excited family! We couldn't stand to wait in the waiting room, so we all piled outside of the surgery area!

Friday, June 23, 2006

My First Nephew!

Tonight is the last night Dwight and Tara will be sleeping in their house alone! She is having a C-section in the morning at 7:30. It's crazy how anxious I am about it and it's not me going through it. What joy these sweet babies bring into our lives.

My little Jack is 5 months old today. It's hard to believe he is out of the itty bitty baby stage and moving on to becoming his own little person. He smiles most of the time and loves to play in his exersaucer. He loves to be held---not just by me but by anyone who is breathing. He also loves remote controls, cell phones, anything electronic. Such a little boy for ya. I can't wait to see him and his little cousin play together soon! I'll post ASAP about the arrival of sweet baby Scout!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Father's Day

We had a wonderful Father's Day dinner with Tra's family on Saturday night at Riatta in Ft. Worth. It was my first dining experience there and I enjoyed it! The food was great and we had a room all to ourselves, so it wasn't a big deal that Hayley wanted to walk around and play. Sunday was nice to have just the 4 of us. I am so thankful for all of the dads in my life. The Lord has blessed me beyond measure with grandfathers, my own dad, my sweet father-in-law, and of course my favorite dad---the father of my children. He's the best dad. He gets home from work and immediately starts playing with Hayley. The first thing she usually asks in the morning before I even get her out of bed is, "Dada?" I'll answer, "He's at work." She responds, "Oh man!" She LOVES to have her dada home. It is so sweet to see her adore him and so sweet to see him love her so much. Here are some pictures of our Father's Days!

Happy "Poppy's" Day!

Happy 1st Father's Day!

Happy "Almost a Father's" Day
(Any day now! Hurry up, Scout!)

"So Happy You're Not a Father's" Day

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

1st Day of School

My baby girl's first day of "school" is tomorrow. She is going to Young Children's World at our church every Thursday from 9-2. Today as I started packing her lunch box (which they make much cuter than the ones I had growing up) I got a little sentimental and teary thinking about how fast time is going. I'm hoping I hold it together tomorrow when I drop her off at class. I hope she likes it, and that she eats her lunch, and that she lays down during nap time, and that she has a fun day. I'll post a picture of her first day of school picture tomorrow. Her aunts Aly and Abby got her a first day of school outfit that is SO cute. I am going to miss having her around tomorrow, but at the same time I'm looking forward to having some one on one time with my Jack! More tomorrow. . .

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Easier said than done. . .

I was just looking at the title of my blog site trying to think of a title for this blog entry. It has not been easy to rejoice over the past several days. Hayley finished 10 days of antibiotics for a yucky ear infection that she got on our vacation to Florida (which could be a whole entry in itself---I'm sooo far behind) this past Friday and Saturday night started running a fever of 102 while we were in New Braunfels for Tra's family reunion. Today is Tuesday and this morning her fever was over 104. It hit 105 Sunday night. So rejoicing is not what my spirit feels like doing right now. It's hard having a sick baby. Even harder having a sick baby AND another baby to feed, hold, etc. I am rejoicing today over the fact that I have my sweet husband at home every night to help me with the kids---my healthy husband! More than once I have thanked God for His timing with Tra's cancer. It was hard enough going through all of that with one baby---but TWO?? It is just such a huge blessing to have Tra feeling good. Thank you God!

I know Hayley will be fine and even tonight she started getting a little bit of her spunk back. We'll know tomorrow if it is a bladder infection. It's possible it is some sort of viral thing. We've had lots of sickness around here in the past few months and we're ready to move past it and enjoy our summer!

We had a great vacation with our friends in Florida 2 weeks ago. Hayley LOVED the beach. Even though we were sick (Hayley's ears, my stomach bug one day, and Tra's allergies) we enjoyed our time with our precious friends and the crazy, long days together. It was fun sharing routines and watching our kids interact together. They were all sooo good. Here are some pictures:

Monday at the Gulfarium

Two hours later at the minor emergency clinic---Hayley's first ear infection : (

All 5 beautiful blue-eyed babies! Love these kids!

First family beach photo!

My beach babe! What you can't see is her pants---soaking wet!

You cannot take 2 year olds to the beach for a picture and expect them to stay dry! Ohhh did they have fun! This is John Critz playing in the water with Hayley.

Here is Julia (and Addie) trying to keep Jack under control. Too bad he isn't more content!

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Easter Pictures

We had a fun Easter weekend a couple of weeks ago. I look forward to Hayley and Jack truly understanding the meaning in a few more years. Mimi and Poppy got them the matching outfits. The weekend after Easter, Hayley and I had the yucky stomach bug while Tra was out of town. Thank you again to Julia and Holly who came to my rescue when it hit Hayley and I was having to feed Jack and console her every 30 minutes or so. Tra came home early from his guys' weekend of canoeing/camping and I have never been so
happy to see him. We thought he dodged the bullet, but he was hit with it this morning. That thing is brutal. I haven't been that sick for as long as I can remember. Next weekend my youngest sister is graduating from St. Edward's University in Austin! I'm excited because we're going down and so are Angie and Adam (my other sister and brother in law who live in California)! We haven't seen them since Christmas and I miss them a lot. My granddad is also headed down as well as my cousin Erin and her husband Heath! It will be the first time my family has all been together at the same time since my grandma's funeral in December and before that I think it was August at Erin and Heath's wedding. Hopefully everyone will be well and we'll have a special weekend!

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Adalyn Kate!!

We have had quite a busy month! Our first niece/cousin made her debut in Houston on April 13 around 12:15am. This is precious Adalyn Kate Booth! She is so beautiful---just like her mommy. She was 6 lbs 11 oz and 20 1/2 inches long. Aly is doing so great. She was out walking 2 miles the week after she had Adalyn. We are sooooo excited because Matt starts his new job in DALLAS this coming Monday! Whooo hooooo! Our first nephew, Scout, should be here in early June. We can't wait to get him here so we can all play together!

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Fields of Grace

"The heart of salvation is the Cross of Christ. The reason salvation is so easy to obtain is that it cost God so much. The Cross was the place where God and sinful man merged with a tremendous collision and where the way to life was opened. But all the cost and pain of the collision was absorbed by the heart of God. " --Oswald Chambers

Yesterday afternoon I was cooking dinner at 2:00 while Hayley was napping and Jack was just hanging out in his bouncy seat when the song, ". . . dancing with my Father God in fields of grace. . ." came on. How can you NOT dance when you hear that song?? I am SO NOT one to dance either. But yesterday, I know it was the Spirit prompting me to put down my spoon, turn the stove to low heat, pick up my baby boy and dance with our Father! It was the sweetest time as I had the privilege of bringing my son before the Lord and dance---all 3 of us---in our living room. As I put Jack down after the song was over I was overcome with thankfulness and such JOY for all that God has blessed me with. To name a few---my husband and precious children, both of our families who love each other and love Christ and share that common bond, so many friends who also encourage me and share in my joys and sorrows, Tra's health after the year of pain he suffered through, a church home to belong to and serve Christ in and raise our children in. Those are just a few. Sometimes I get down on myself for not having a "quiet time" every day, and even though I believe that is important to work on, God showed me that times like I had yesterday with Him are just as important. It is so awesome that with ALL of His children somehow He makes time just for me. It makes me want to be on the look out for more "meetings" with Him b/c in the busyness of the day it's easy to miss them!

Friday, March 31, 2006

Special Day. . .

Today is what would have been my grandparents' 60th wedding anniversary. My sweet granddad had to go through his first anniversary without the love of his life today. It was hard on my heart---I can't imagine how hard it must have been on his. I can't WAIT to see the 2 of them together again in heaven. Come quickly, Lord!!

Some of us from church went to the Botanical Gardens today to take pictures of our kids. It was HOT outside---none of us were prepared for that. For some reason I thought I could do an outfit change with Jack and Hayley and take pictures of them. It didn't quite flow as smoothly as I pictured it. I did an outfit change for Jack and left his clothes on the bench at the gardens! Sweet Chesley called on her way home to tell me she grabbed them for me. I had a stranger come ask me if she could watch Hayley for me. Apparantly I wasn't doing a very good job in her opinion. : ) As crazy as it was, it was fun to be with friends and be crazy together. 3 of us had older ones who were wanting very badly to jump in the pond and get wet. : ) The other 4 girls have kids that are still stationary and not running around just yet. Not much longer and they'll be off! I need to download the pictures---I'll work on that sometime this weekend and put some on my blog.

Jack is now almost 10 weeks old. Hard to believe how fast it is going with round 2. He is still only getting up once a night for the most part and on occaision will go all night. He is such a little chunk! Hayley was tall and skinny (and still is) so to see chunky legs and a thick mid-section is so new and so fun! Hayley's latest sweet story is that she came up to Jack while I was feeding him the other day, put her head down on his head and said, "I hud doo." (I love you) It's the first time she said I love you to anyone on her own without us saying it first. Totally melted my heart. I also love it when she'll go, "Hey buddy!" (I say that all the time.) And when he cries she'll run over to him and say, "In cye Gack! Papy, papy??" (Don't cry Jack! Paci, paci?) As exhausting as this is with both of them sooo young right now, it's soooo worth it. What blessings these precious children are to me!

This is Garrett Walton in his cute little Easter outfit! The 2 pictures above are of Jack Pinson and Hayley taking a break from trying to get INTO the water and probably scheming how to get away from their mommies so that they could get into the water. (the mommies won!) And the picture at the top is of John Critz and Hayley looking down at Jack and a bunch of plastic eggs. They are so cute!

In this picture, Hayley had been with me in my room and I realized all of the sudden she wasn't there and I panicked because Jack was on the couch where she could get to him. (He isn't rolling yet---I know I shouldn't leave him there.) Anyway, I ran into the living room and this is what I saw! She had climbed up on the couch and was just patting his head watching the Wiggles on tv. So SWEET!!

Handsome boy! Like father, like son!

A picture with mama and her babies! It's funny how few of these there end up being. : )

Monday, March 06, 2006

I LOVE my kids!!!

Could they be any cuter?? What precious gifts we have been blessed with. Jack's eyes crack me up in this picture. This was on one of the cold days we had in February. We loaded up one morning to go to Starbucks so mama could get a cup of decaf! Oh how I look forward to being able to get regular loaded cups of coffee from Starbucks again!

I took Hayley and Jack to Austin last Thursday to see my parents and sister, my granddad, my aunt and uncle from Alaska and 2 of my cousins! It was so much fun getting to see everyone. My dad got to hold Jack for the first time and see him for the first time since he got a glimpse of him in the hospital the day he was born! I'll have to post a couple of those pictures later---so sweet. The trip down was quite comical. As I hopped on 35 and started thinking about the reality of what I was doing I kind of panicked! I had to stop in Waco and feed both of them and myself (ha) and that was CRAZY!! I am not a fan of breast feeding in public places (other people don't bother me---I'm just not 100% comfortable about it myself) so I decided Luby's might be the perfect place to eat lunch. I got in okay, got Hayley in a high chair and got help getting the food to the far corner table by the windows hoping Hayley could be distracted by the birds outside and that I could feed Jack discreetly. By the time we finished, Jack had blown out a diaper (severely) and they both had macaroni and cheese in their hair. Hayley had apple juice soaking her shirt as well as a diaper that needed changing. I wanted to cry, but I couldn't help but laugh! The scene in the bathroom was great---my stuff was EVERYWHERE!! I'm trying to change Jack's clothes and diaper PRAYING he wouldn't pee on me (or anyone else in there), it was seriously 100 degrees in that place too. I was sweating like a dog occasionally grabbing Hayley away from all of the unsanitary things she was continually reaching for and trying to help a lady with an oxygen tank get in the door in the midst of the chaos. Needless to say, I was happy to get them back in the car and get to my parents' house! I was very thankful for the portable DVD player and Baby Einstein in the car. Jack didn't make a peep in the car the whole way---Hayley is another story. Tra flew down on Saturday and we all drove back home together on Sunday. The scene in Whataburger Sunday was a whole different story. Very calm, cool and collected. OH how we LOVE dada!! He is the greatest!! (for more reasons than the fact he is another set of hands!)

So I survived the first road trip with 2 kids. That's a milestone. Jack is now only waking up once at night to eat. Last night was his first night in his big boy bed (his crib) in his OWN room upstairs! He did great! He went to bed at 11:30, woke up at 2:30 and ate, I put him down and laid down on his floor for a second (ha) to make sure he went back to sleep and I woke up around 4:30 on his floor. I went and got in my own bed and went to get him a little before 7:00! He is the best baby! He is starting to smile as of a week and a half ago. We are all loving him more and more as the days go by. He is 6 weeks old today! Time is flying by just as I knew it would. We can't wait until our next visit to Nana's and Big D's house!!

Monday, February 20, 2006


It is very hard to believe that 30 years ago today I entered this world. It has been a great birthday. My little Jack slept through the night for the first time last night, so I was able to sleep from 11:30 until 5:00! I love that kid. And then Hayley decided to take a morning nap for TWO hours this morning as well as her afternoon nap. My mom got to come today too! I don't know who was more excited. . . my mom, Hayley or me! She brought one of her infamous carrot cakes (yummy!) and she brought me several new outfits for my transitional stage of post-pregnancy body. (Such a LOVELY stage.) Tra is taking me to dinner tonight while Nana watches the kiddos. Should be a great evening! I'm looking forward to my 30's. I think they'll be some of the hardest, yet most rewarding years of my life.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Frustrated. . .

It is very difficult to meet everyone's needs right now. I think it's normal to feel this way, but I'm feeling a little inadequate when it comes to being a wife AND a parent. They are both full time jobs and if I'm doing a good job with one I feel like I'm not with the other. How I WISH I were perfect with both. It makes me realize how much I need the Lord because I really couldn't do this on my own. I am very thankful to have such a wonderful husband and 2 precious children---even though at times it wears me out.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Who Needs Sleep Anyway??

Well, I survived my first day with Hayley and Jack and me---just the 3 of us. Nana left on Saturday morning and of course Saturday night Hayley was up throughout the night with a high fever and a cough and runny nose. And when I say "runny" that really doesn't describe it accurately. I don't understand how a little nose like that can contain SO much snot! Yuck. So I've officially been initiated into motherhood---up throughout the night with a newborn who is hungry AND with sick big sister. Might as well start the craziness immediately and forget the "smooth" transition. Although as nervous as I was to be alone with them by myself yesterday, it went surprisingly well. Not only were we alone, but we went on our first outing together by ourselves to take Hayley to the doctor. I'm carrying her in one arm and Jack's carrier in the other. I wondered how that would work, but it does! I'm hoping Hayley is feeling better today.

Poor Tra---he gets home and by the time we get Hayley down and Jack fed, I'm OUT on the couch. I make it through the day without being completely exhausted, but by the end of the day I'm worthless. I miss my husband! I might sleep in our bed for 2-3 hours at night. I know this is just a short phase in the big scheme of things and before I know it I'll be back in my own bed again and off the couch in the living room. He is so wonderful. He not only helps with Hayley giving her baths and getting her ready for bed, but he cleans up the kitchen, picks up toys, tupperware, etc. that Hayley scatters throughout the house during the day, takes out the trash, holds his little boy and tries to give me opportunites to rest. I adore him and don't tell him enough how thankful I am for him and for all he does around here AND for working so that I can be home with our precious kiddos. That's another thing---he leaves for work around 6:00 each morning so that he can get home to help out by 5:30ish.

Well, here we go with day 2 of just the kids and mom. I hear Hayley waking up---doesn't sound happy this morning. My mom sent me this quote the other day and I LOVE it:

I believe in God, and I believe in human decency. But I firmly believe that any man's finest hour--his greatest fulfillment to all he holds dear--is that moment when he has to work his heart out in a good cause and he's exhausted on the field of battle. -- Vince Lombardi

What a BLESSING to be a tired, exhausted mama!

Monday, January 30, 2006

John D Willbanks IV (JACK!!)

Our sweet baby boy was born at 4:57 pm on Monday, January 23 after a mere 9 hours of labor. We went in a little before 8:00 that morning and I was between a 1 and a 2 when they started the pitocin. I was only dilated to a 3 until about 3:00pm when I was at a 4. (Got the epidural at 1:30 and it was GREAT.) Then at 4:30ish I was like, "I'm feeling a TON of pressure!" The nurse checked me and I was a 9. She said she'd be back at 5:00 to check me again, but I had to call her back in at 4:35 because I really thought he was going to come out right then. She came back and I was a 10 and READY to push. My doctor got there right after I started pushing and in 15 minutes he was here!

He was so cute and looked just like his sister. He had a head full of hair---not quite as thick as Hayley's but still a good amount. He was having a hard time breathing, so they had to take him to the NICU for about 3 hours. It made us very sad that he had to be taken away from us for that time, but at the same time I couldn't feel THAT sad because I knew he was going to be okay and I thought of all the parents that have to send their children to the NICU for much more serious complications and THAT made me even more sad than seeing him go for the short 3 hours.

He is such a good little baby. He is nursing like a champ and sleeping really well so far. Hayley is adjusting really well overall. My mom has been here since last Sunday and staying through the end of this week. I want to cry when I think about her leaving. Tra does too. : ) We were talking about how Hayley is going to have a harder time adjusting to Nana not being here than she is to her new brother. : ( Austin is not very far away though, thankfully. Here are a couple of pictures of our new addition. It's amazing how we are already SO in love with our little Jack!

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Jack's Birthday. . .

Well, the big day is quickly approaching. I am scheduled to be induced this Monday the 23rd at 8:00 am---a week before his actual due date. My doctor decided to induce to make sure Jack is not as big as Hayley was---9 lbs. My prediction is that he will be somewhere in the 8 lb. range. It's hard to believe that this time next week I will know what he looks like and be able to hold him and hug him and kiss him! I will also be home from the hospital and working on the adjustment from one to two kiddos and from sleeping all night to not sleeping much at all. My mom is going to be here for the week at least. I'm so so so so so thankful that she is able to come and stay with us. She is the greatest. She'll play with Hayley and help with cooking and do all kinds of stuff around here without me ever having to say a word. Moms are the best.

I'm excited about getting this show on the road. I'm not even all that anxious about the birth itself this time around. I guess because I pretty much know what to expect and I know I can not only handle the pain, but live through it. : ) I am hoping that this time around my epidural will work a little higher up than my legs. With Hayley my legs were totally out, but I could feel all of my contractions. Whoops! My anesthesiologist's name was Dr. Needleman---kind of ironic. : )

The next time I write, hopefully I'll be holding little Jack OUTSIDE of my stomach and at least 20 pounds lighter! Ahhhh, to be able to roll over onto my stomach at night again and see all of my legs when I look down and no more heartburn as I'm drifting off to sleep. I can't wait!!!

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

3 Little Monkeys

Hayley, Emma Russell (Muh-Muh) and Ava Walters (Baba) enjoying an afternoon playing in Emma's backyard before Ava moved to Abilene. This was the closest we got to getting all 3 of them to peek through at the same time. Very tricky.

Learning to share is always an adventure!

Hayley loves Baba. She is going to miss her when she is gone, but we look forward to lots of visits!

Enjoying a snack of goldfish. Little did we know that Ava stuffed the majority in her mouth somehow when we weren't looking! Silly girl!

We love you Chad, Summer and Ava and miss you a ton already! Looking forward to your next blog entry so that we can see how you guys are doing in Abilene!

Happy New Year everybody! May we all be aware of the many blessings God provides for us EACH day of 2006!