Wednesday, August 25, 2010

happy day

i can officially announce that my best friend from high school is engaged!  the wedding is october 9 at the pavilion in shawnee mission park.  apparently the original guest list had over 1,500 people, but they cut it to only have 500 attendees.  even though i am very excited for my friends' relationship, i am not really a fan of weddings (anymore).  it's funny that before i got married i loved going to weddings and now i dread them (mainly because i have a 1 year old who does not sit still).  actually children under 11 years old are not allowed at this wedding/reception (see trimming the guest list), so i'm not 100% sure what we're going to do with parks since my whole family is invited.  dread is a strong word and i don't mean to complain because i'm sure the day will be very fun, but all of the drama that surrounds weddings can be so consuming and frustrating, and i have to constantly remind myself to have a good attitude and give my time and gifts generously.

in the spirit of positivity, here are a few pictures of heather and me...(it's too bad i lost all of my scanned photos from junior high and high school...we had some good ones!!) 
the day james and i got engaged!  heather and my sis drove down to arkansas from lawrence!
at our wedding rehearsal! (gosh my arm looks fat. i was 5'7" and 130 do my arms always look fat? i'm blaming it all on 10+ years of gymnastics muscle turned to fat :))
at the top of a 14'er we climbed!
we love the muscles pose, haha. 5.3.08!
here's to a special upcoming day for my friend where i will remember that my bridesmaidal duty is to be the best support i can be!  love yall.

Monday, August 23, 2010

school time

parker is officially starting "school" this fall.  as much as i'm a big believer in kids being kids and playing all day long, i also think a lil' structure is healthy, so september 9th parker begins his school days journey at pinnacle hills' "kids day out." (thanks for being pc, monster church, since james is the one getting the 'day out').  my next door neighbor (who taught kindergarten for 10 years) is going to be one of the teachers and offered to take parker every monday and thursday from 9am-1pm.  she is so excited about the classrooms, curriculum, activities, etc. and easily convinced me to enroll parks.  every day the kids will enjoy a full schedule of:

*music class
*finger play (play dough, finger paints, etc.)
*Bible story
*secular story
*playground time
and lots of free play!

teachers send home a list of milestones to work on each month, which the kids are evaluated on during play to see how they are progressing.  as much as it sounds scary to measure children at 1 year old, the overachiever in me really loves this and appreciates the partnership in my child's growth and success.  when the children get older activities are geared toward getting them ready for kindergarten like writing and scissor skills.

they also have all kinds of fun parties like pumpkin picking and i'm sure parker is going to love the social interaction (he really thrives on being around other kids).  anyway, the first month goals are:
1. walking on his own (check)
2. pushing, pulling and dumping things (check)
3. turning pages of a book (semi check)
4. saying "more" in sign language.  what?  i haven't taught p any sign language, so for the last 3 days james and i have worked vigorously on getting parks to sign more and he is already a pro!  i was super surprised how fast he picked it up.  our next word is "milk," which he needs to learn by november, so we have plenty of time!

here is a lil' video of james practicing with p:

love yall!!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

water baby

parker loves LOVES the water.  he loves splash parks (are these a fairly new phenomenom or was i just clueless before having p?)
he loves dunking himself in the water (a little scary for mom and dad.  he thinks he can swim).
loves playing under the mushroom
loves going down waterslides
seriously he went head first down the slide 20+ times. good thing it was a cool evening and we were the only ones at our friends' pool!
he loves swimming in lake michigan (FREEZING lake michigan).  he would not stay out of the lake even though his lips were turning purple and his legs felt numb.
last but not least, here's a video of our fearless little swimmer with grandma betty. 

i would love to raise all boys because they are too much fun!!!  love yall.

Monday, August 16, 2010

parker cleaning the fridge

it's monday.  parker and i went for a long walk tonight and stopped and talked to several neighbors.  having a kid is such an in for making new friends!  until i upload more pictures from my camera, i give you a video of parker finding a cool spot to hang out in this 100 degree weather!

love yall!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

15 month stats

we are home from wisconsin.  hopefully lots of posts to come.  i just realized i never posted parker's 15 month stats!  (this makes it so much easier to go back and fill in his shutterfly baby books at the end of the year)

height: 34" (>98%!!)
weight: 28lbs (85%)
head circum.: don't remember, but around the 50%
4 teeth (ha!)  he just got a 5th at 16 monhts

oh what a joy he is.  love his smile, laugh and crazy energy.  muah lil' guy!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


my mother in law (who is watching parker this week) commented that parker is a very advanced crawler.  she took him to a playland and said he was crawling all over the towers that the other toddlers his age could not climb.  i've never really compared parks' crawling skills to others, but i think part of the reason he started walking late was because his crawl is so efficient.  parents claim life totally changes once babies start walking because you have to chase them everywhere, but to our surprise, the week parker started walking was no different than than the week before.  when p was 11 months old he could climb up and down the staircase and crawl to a door, stand up, open the handle and crawl into the other room.  playing on the playland at the gym really helped him master his climbing skills.  now if i could just teach him how to point to his nose! :)

pictures of parker in action at a bentonville park:
looking at the slide
going down head first!  the slide was not very slippery so i let him repeat this cyle several times (don't worry, mom, i stood at the bottom of the slide every time)
love yall!

Monday, August 2, 2010

finance article: federal income tax

i've been reading some interesting finance articles lately, and this stuck with me: nearly 47% of americans paid no federal income tax in 2009! can you believe that?  (and that is just all of the people who filed returns).  now i am not complaining about all of the nice deductions and credits, especially for parents, but this seems a little unnerving.  actually it just kind of makes me want to not work...and have another baby.

with current tax laws, a family who earns $50,000 annually with 2 kids pays no federal income tax!  this seems a little unfair to tax payers without children.  here's the breakdown (copied from the article):

$50,000 income
(11,400) standard deduction
(14,600) personal exemptions ($3,650x4)
=$24,000 taxable income
fed. income tax on $24,000 is $2,769

+$2,000 in child tax credits (1,000 for each kid)
+800 making work pay credit

=+31 back from the government. 

something about that just does not seem right.  $50,000 is not a poverty income.  the top 10% of earners in the u.s. pay 73% of the income taxes collected.  i would be so frustrated if that was me.  everyone wants the best education systems, health care, public safety, etc. yet half of americans pay no fed. income taxes to fund them!  something interesting to think about...

in other news, i really miss parker.  can't wait to see him again on thursday! 

doesn't he look grown up in this picture??  love him.  love yall.  sweet dreams.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

the places you'll go

most of you know james and i are psuedo models (read not glamorous at all), but we enjoy seeing where the pictures pop up.  i wanted to share a few recent locations:

1. sarah (san fran trip) saw us on a commercial for 1-800 lawyers in north carolina with a caption that "over 50% of marriages end in divorce."  nice.

2. erin (san fran trip) sent this link: (i'm the 2nd from right on the top row in case you couldn't tell) hahaha

3. english teacher friend sent a link to this photo of teaching material where thousands of high school students might write narrative essays about our photo (let's hope they don't say we need help from 1-800 lawyers :)).
4. recently engaged high school friend found this pic on the website:
5. a local gift store, melody's choices, has a picture of my bridesmaids and me in their clear glass frames.

6. if you google, "couple kissing," this picture comes up on page 2 (it is an ESL lesson--love the caption).  don't ask me why one of my guy friends googled "couple kissing" at work.
7. college friend saw this frame at michael's and bought it for us:
8. last but not least, a facebook chat convo (i rarely chat with anyone) from tonight with one of my college friends about a pic he saw:

Aaron: hey
Me: yo
Aaron: so get this, kinda out of the blue, but it was crazy
Me: k
Aaron: so i'm at my grandma's house in NE Ohio
and she's that crazy excentric granma that cuts all the pukey cheesy little poemy article things out of the newspaper and posts them on her fridge
Me: lol
Aaron: and im getting something out of the fridge
and looking at the myrid of things on her fridge
and i see this clipping from a local newspaper
and it's one of you and james' wedding pics
with a little marriagy poem thing

Me: that is hilarious! did you do a double take?
Aaron: yeah i couldnt believe it
cuz it didnt have your names on it or anything
and this isnt even a large newspaper...some po-dunk local news paper for something called a "doyelstown" ohio. anyway, i got a kick out of it, thought i'd share...

i really need to make a scrapbook of these because it is getting a lil' crazy.  love yall!  happy monday!