Tuesday, August 25, 2015


Today is Matthew's first payday from Picsolve. After a year of unemployment and a job that paid significantly less, today is a huge answered prayer for us. Over this past year we have learned a ton about how to be better at managing our money, so this raise will really mean a lot to our family (and to our savings account!!). 

So how did we celebrate today? 
We played at the splash pad at Legoland

We ate dinner at Babe's (one of our faves!)
We visited the candy shop and walked around downtown Carrollton. Such a fun day!!

Friday, August 14, 2015

God Knows Best

This is LONG but it's something I want to remember! Not that anyone reads this but me!
In January of 2014, Matthew found out he would be laid off at Citi. He was in the first round of many rounds where thousands if people would lose their jobs.
February 14th was his last day and he got paid/kept his insurance through April. He also received a severance package. We decided to use the severance money on school for Matthew. He has always regretted not getting back into the medical field and it seemed that this was his chance. We expected that he would go to school throughout the summer and have a job by September or October at the latest. With Matthew drawing unemployment, we could make it until then. 
Meanwhile, I had some big changes going on with my job. In July of 2013, Matthew and I decided that I would resign from teaching and run an in-home daycare so that I could be home with the boys. Well in July of 2014, a job opening became available at our church. It sounded like the perfect job for me. I would be working part-time doing the things that I loved: planning lessons, organizing classrooms, recruiting volunteers, teaching kids about Jesus...so it may have seemed crazy for me to take a bit of a pay cut (because we would have to pay for some kind of child care now) when Matthew was unemployed!! Well God knows what He's doing, even when it seems crazy or even impossible. 
Fast forward to April of 2015. Matthew had STILL not been able to find a job! By now, we were anxious and worried, and Matthew's unemployment had ended so we were completely strapped financially. Finally, Matthew was able to find a job through Texas Workforce Solutions. It wasn't exactly what he wanted to do, but it was a job and enough money for us to get by on. 
Now fast forward about a month. Matthew hates his job. He's not a good salesman, and he feels directionless. He was depressed at home and anxious to go to work everyday. So he was honest with his employers and with me, and he began looking again. His employers were such a huge blessing to us. They understood his work concerns and even said they'd help him find another job. They wanted to keep him on with their company as long as possible. 
I still remember the day that Matthew texted me and said that there was an opening for a manager of a company called PicSolve, which is the company that takes pictures of families a inside of Legoland and the SeaLife Aquarium.  I remember thinking, that would be cool but I don't want to get my hopes up. I had really gotten burned during that year, hoping for things that never happened. Long story short (ha!) Matthew ended up getting the job! And he loves it!! And he's really good at it from what I've seen. It's just the perfect job for our family. He's off a couple of days with us during the week. And of course daddy is a hero because he gets to see the octopus every day!
The ONLY downfall is that they are giving Matthew and his team six months to be successful. At the end if that time period (which may be sooner than six months actually), they will decide if they are going to keep the program going or not. So we are praying about that!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Our Life Should be Documented and I'm Bad at That

I'm trying not to think about the fact that I haven't really documented the last two years of our lives. I'm going to cut myself some slack because 1) blogger didn't not have an app that I was aware of and 2) I have been busy raising two little handfuls. And I do take lots of pictures so hopefully that'll be good enough for them (and me!) when they're older. 

This will probably be a very long post but I'm trying to make up for lost time! Here are some things I want to remember about each of the boys at this stage in their life.

Samuel: loves octopuses and any sea animals. It's funny...when he likes something, he loves it. He knows so much about octopuses right now. He reads about them, pretends to be them, has several octopus toys...he also loves sweets, playing in the water, watching movies (Dumbo, Mr. Sherman and Peabody, and Bubble Guppies are some of his favorite things to watch), and he loves to play pretend things. Samuel dislikes having water poured on his head, eating meals (this is getting better), pooping, and taking naps (sometimes). Samuel is truly a very smart boy. Like I said, when he is interested in something, he learns everything he can about that subject. He has known all of his letters and sounds for about a year, can write all of his letters, and can write his name without help.

I know he'll hate me for this one some day, but it sums up our poop struggles perfectly.
And here is Samuel pretending to be, you guessed it, an octopus.

Okay, onto Luke. Luke loves the water. That boy could play in the water all day long. He loves baths, the pool, playing in the water in the backyard, the splash park, puddles, pouring his cup of water/juice/milk on himself...he is crazy about water. He also loves to copy his brother. If Samuel does something, you can bet Luke will try to do it also. Luke has major energy and he loves to explore. You cannot trust him to stay by your side anywhere. He will run from you in a heartbeat so we've learned to hold his hand at all times or put him in a stroller. Luke dislikes sweets, specifically cookies and ice cream!! Crazy, I know. He is our good eater but he would rather have meat and potatoes than dessert. Luke also hates being contained. This makes car rides oh so fun! Luke used to struggle with sleeping at night but that has gotten much better since we moved him in to a toddler bed. Now, Luke is smart too but just in different ways. He could care less about letters. He has recently started saying more words and he says more complex sentences now. He is my big-hearted guy. He cares if someone is hurt or sad and it makes him sad as well.

Stay tuned for more blogging! This is so much easier in my phone! Yay!!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Five Months

I am so late on posting about Luke's fifth month and this post will not do it justice. My six month post will be much better!

Luke turned five months old on October 6th. He is so much fun! He loves to smile and laugh, is very ticklish, and watches his big brother all the time. Here are some stats from Luke's fifth month:

-Luke is wearing mostly 9 month clothes and size 3 diapers.
-Luke still wakes up several times per night. I've cut out the midnight feeding and now I just usually feed him once per night at around 3. He still wakes up around midnight but I get him back to sleep after lots of crying!:)

He is a cute little sleeper, though!

Still loving bathtime!

Luke is already our little explorer. We will put him down in one spot and turn around and he'll be somewhere else. He will roll and scoot (just a tiny bit) to get to something he wants to investigate.


I just LOVE that these two have each other. They are already best friends!

Luke is my cuddle bug for sure. He is such a GREAT cuddler!

And daddy and Luke enjoy napping together:)

Getting so big!

 Luke loves his turtle we got at Sea World.

We love our little guy so very much!!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Sea World

A few weeks ago, we took our first family vacation to Sea World. We all had a great time seeing the animals but most of all being together. Here are some highlights:

Here's our beautiful hotel. Our room was on the fourth floor overlooking the pool.


 When we got to the hotel on Saturday, we found out that they had upgraded our room to one that had a balcony. The boys loved hanging out outside. Saturday night they had a movie at the pool. We stayed for a bit and then went up to the room, gave baths, and watched the rest of the movie from the balcony. What a fun treat! Then Matthew and I got to hang out out there after the boys went to sleep. So much fun!


 The hotel had a beautiful pool with a little splash pad for the kids. Samuel LOVED the splash pad and enjoyed swimming with Daddy. Luke and I hung out on the side, watching the action.

 Here are the boys, ready and excited for our first trip to Sea World! (Luke is resting up!!)


 We rode a shuttle from the hotel to Sea World. I think Samuel was more excited to ride the "bus" than anything!

 Samuel loves looking at fish!


 We watched the Shamu show both days. Samuel and Luke were both amazed at the whales (as were Matthew and I!). They really are incredible creatures!

 Luke LOVED being outside all day!

 It took a lot to get a good family picture!

 This one's pretty good!

 Looking at the dolphins

 Meeting Franklin

I can't wait for our next family vacation!!

Activities with Samuel

I want to keep up with and remember the activities I do with Samuel during the day so I'm going to post them. I will probably edit this post whenever we do something new. Here are a few things we've done so far.

 We made a Fourth of July painting with cookie cutters. Cookie cutters are a great way for little ones to paint without getting extremely messy. He loved this!

 I wrote upper and lower case letters on paper plates and construction paper. Samuel is pretty good at matching them.


 We started making a letter book. We would decorate the letter on Mondays and then make pictures that start with that letter during the week. I've stopped this for now but I plan to come back to it.

 Samuel has played with stamps a couple of times and had a good time.

 Here's an activity where Samuel matches magnetic letters. He LOVES this one if I only bring it out every once in a while.

 We made a monster out of construction paper and tissue paper. Samuel loves monsters!

 Then we baked monster cookies!


 Samuel sorts construction paper shapes inside the shapes on the floor. Funny story: as I was taping the shapes down, I had done the square, circle, and triangle. I was about to do a rectangle when Samuel asked, "How 'bout hexagon?" Ha so cute. Of course, then I accidently did an octagon. Oh well.

 Samuel loves playing in the tunnel that Cammy and Out-paw gave him for his birthday. He also enjoys putting all of his stuffed animals inside with him!

Here, Samuel is doing some toy puzzles.

Samuel loves coloring with Color Wonder.

I found some dot letters online. Here, Samuel is putting a dot of paint in each dot on the paper. We will also try dot stickers and little pieces of paper.

 Samuel's favorite thing to do is to make a mess!:)