Saturday, February 28, 2009

A Trip to the Zoo!

Photos by: Jessica Chapman

We took Camden back to the Jacksonville Zoo as a surprise for his 3rd birthday. He had a ball!! We made a day trip of it and everyone had an awesome time. Of course, I'm always the photographer, so I'm (again) not in any of the photos- we've gotta work on that.

Ella enjoyed the zoo too!

Photos by: Jessica Chapman

Sliding at the Zoo Play Park

Photos by: Jessica Chapman

A Carousel Ride

Photos by: Jessica Chapman

Animal Carousel

Photos by: Jessica Chapman

Camden had a BLAST on the animal carousel. He and Joe rode twice. In every photo that I took of Camden riding, he has this cute little grin on his face. Adoreable.

Ella's Elephant

Photos by: Jessica Chapman

For some reason, Ella has a few stuffed Elephants - a small collection if you will- and one is even named ELLA THE ELEPHANT. So, at the zoo today, we had to scope out an Elephant, for Ella. :)

Friday, February 27, 2009


Thank you, Camden, for the three magical years that we have had with YOU as part of our life. You are a passionate, energetic, lovable little man. You make us laugh all the time and you challenge us in ways that we never thought possible. ....And we love you for it... from the bottom of our hearts. Happy Birthday! Love, Mom and Dad :).

Practicing Holding up a 3.

Photos by: Jessica Chapman

Now that he's three we had to practice showing a "3".

Dirt Cake for a Bug Party

Photos by: Jessica Chapman

Camden, checking out the dirt cake and cupcakes that Mommy made for his birthday. :)

Pirate outfit from Granddaddy and Gee.

Photos by: Jessica Chapman

Cam had a lot of fun with this pirate outfit that was in his package from Granddaddy and Gee. Also in the package were a TON of books, which we read most of tonight before bed. He was also thrilled with the package that everything came in- which was his very own Wall-E duffelbag/suitcase with his name embroidered. AWESOME! Thanks Gee and Granddaddy :). (But of course he thanked them over and over again for the sword... go figure...) :)


Photos by: Jessica Chapman

All of our bugs, finished! We enjoyed making them.

Bug Party Crafts!

Photos by: Jessica Chapman

Thanks Ms. Stephanie for supplying all of the bug crafts for our party! It was lots of fun!

Listening Game from Gabby!

Photos by: Jessica Chapman

7:30 AM on his Birthday

Photos by: Jessica Chapman

Good morning, Camden! Happy Birthday!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

food! glorious! food!

Photos by: Jessica Chapman

She is eating baby food now on a regular basis! And it's bittersweet for me. She is still wearing her 0-3 month clothing at six months, now, so, to me, she continues to be much like a newborn! However, it is changing now that she's eating food at breakfast time and dinner time. I'm excited and sad all at the same time.

Joe is in Orlando so its just the kiddos and I. I planned on requesting a movie that I wanted to see from Netflix this time around, and it worked out perfect- I'll be watching Mamma Mia tonight since I still haven't seen it and I know he wouldn't be interested. Yay!

Cottage Quilting Bee - Emily the Strange

Photos by: Jessica Chapman

This was fun to work on because I am usually a traditional quilter. This called for non-traditional though.

The Emily the Strange block. Very non-traditional & "artsy".
I was inspired by the fabric painting in this month's edition of Quilting Arts, so I had fun with red threads on the plain black block.

Because, Apparently...

Photos by: Jessica Chapman

there are not enough toys in this toy filled house to entertain them, they decided to play for two hours with the TOY BINS instead. Wearing the small ones on their heads and pushing the large ones around... Okay? As the oldest of three sisters, I'm not getting the "boy stuff" these days. I'm learning though.

Loving these faces lately!

Photos by: Jessica Chapman

Monday, February 23, 2009

Happy Birthday Daddy!

Photos by: Jessica Chapman

Well, here it is... Joe's special birthday surprise. This was illustrated by Joni Walker. I met Joni through Etsy. She purchased a custom order Abe Lincoln pillow for her son's bedroom. After looking at her shop, I fell in love with her art and custom illustrations. She does great work, and so, I came up with the idea of getting a drawing done for Joe of he and Camden playing catch. This fictional area is our "someday" house with a sandlot in the backyard.

One of the things that Joe treasures is playing catch with Camden. It's a father, son thing- and being a kid who never had a dad to play catch with, one of the "special" things that he always talked about sharing with Camden is a game of catch. He and Camden both love baseball so much so I thought this would be a very cool birthday gift for Joe.

Joe now has an office at the capital building, so this will hang in his office. (Although I'm very sad to see it go!)

I have posted close ups of the people below, so you can see each person.

Joni is a published author and illustrator of Christian children's books. To see more of her work, go to: or to view her etsy shop, go to


The best Daddy in the world.

Photos by: Jessica Chapman

My Camden

Photos by: Jessica Chapman

This is the lovely Ella. I just LOVE this. The little birdie is perfect.

Photos by: Jessica Chapman

This is me, taking my usual stance.

Photos by: Jessica Chapman

Busy Busy!

Photos by: Jessica Chapman

Sorry for the quietness on this blog lately. We have been busy busy!

Joe's mom had open heart surgery on Friday, so we have been keeping his brother Daniel since last Saturday. Joe had his annual baseball draft this past weekend, so the kids and I had to get out of town so that all the folks from all over the country would have room to sleep and have fun. It's his one weekend a year that he gets together with them, so I don't mind at all... He is a great father and husband and is not one that goes out with the guys much so I'm okay with one weekend a year! We had the house decorated with balloons and had it all ready for his draft. They had an awesome time.

We spent the night at Stephanie's house on friday night and went to check on Nana and Pop on Saturday. We had a busy weekend, and I didn't stop for a moment - even at nighttime! Needless to say, on Sunday when we all got home, I took a much needed nap!

Joe's birthday was yesterday so we arrived back in time to celebrate with him. He got the most amazing gift from us, and I'm going to post pictures a little later on. I'm having trouble getting our other computer to connect to the internet and that's where I post photos from. I don't have time now to fool with it so I'll have to figure it out at naptime. I can't wait to show it off, though. It's awesome. He also got a new shirt and tie - I just love shopping for him at Kohls. I made coconut shrimp, fettuccini alfredo, brussels sprouts and garlic bread for his birthday dinner.

And what about this photo of my Ella Bella? Can you believe she is six months old? Amazing. We got down the exersauser from the attic that Gee and Granddaddy bought for Camden forever ago. She is LOVING it.

Joe's mom is doing better and we are praying for her recovery daily. Daniel is anxious to get back to see her, and I'm ready for things to calm down a bit too. So, we are hoping for a speedy recovery. For everyone!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Jamberry Jamberry Jamberry Jam

Photos by: Jessica Chapman

Photos by: Jessica Chapman

Yesterday, we read Jamberry by Bruce Degan. We talked about all the different berries that they use to make jam. Then, for our morning snack, we had toast and blackberry jam. The boys loved it.

Our Valentines Day Picnic

Photos by: Jessica Chapman

Our Valentine Party

Photos by: Jessica Chapman

Man there is nothing like friends and chocolate at 8am!

Photos by: Jessica Chapman

Photos by: Jessica Chapman

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Valentine from Granddaddy & Gee

Photos by: Jessica Chapman

Valentine from Gee

Photos by: Jessica Chapman

Quilt - Finished

Photos by: Jessica Chapman

It is done. It is beautiful. It is ready.

The Tiny Seed

Photos by: Jessica Chapman

Today we read "The Tiny Seed" by Eric Carle, a book that Gabby sent to Camden on his first birthday! We talked about Spring coming and played with our gardening tools. The boys had a lot of fun raking and shoveling and doing things that us grownups call "work"... LOL :)

Blueberries for Sal

Photos by: Jessica Chapman

This was our art project for Blueberries for Sal. We counted our blueberries. Sal had four blueberries in her bucket and ate three at one point in the story, so we counted four Blueberries and placed them in the pail, and counted three for the side for her to "eat".

Happy Valentines Day!!

Photos by: Jessica Chapman

Photos by: Jessica Chapman

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Ella in the tub

I swear, I took a photo of Camden when he was a baby in this SAME tub and he looked EXACTLY like this... minus the earrings. lol.

Blueberries for Sal- Our book for an upcoming activity!!

Ella's 1st time with organic baby food

Making progress on this one...

Serious bed head.

Sleepy and sick baby girl.

Friday, February 06, 2009


February052009 010, originally uploaded by SunnyNole.

The boys played tee ball in the house yesterday - it has been way too cold for us to go outside for morning play so we have been playing sports in the house. We have all sorts of sports equipment, Hockey, Tee Ball, Basketball, even Golf!

Yesterday, the boys chose teeball... and they hit balls all over the place and laughed their heads off. Which is fine with me. Joe has been playing ball in the house since I met him. After all, when I met him, he had a full sized ping pong table gracing the center of his living room. Classy, I know!, really, we never intended to enforce a "no ball in the house" rule with Camden.

So, the boys play teeball in my living room on cold days, and it's perfectly fine with me. Don't you just love their matching hats? That was their idea.

A new project is underway.

February052009 013, originally uploaded by SunnyNole.

A new project is underway. This one is a quilt with "wings"... birds, butterflies, bees, & dragonflies that is. I know... How do I have time for this? Well, early morning hours, naptime, and nighttime. So, when I'm not with the kids, I'm in the sewing room. This will be a gift for someone special. I have each block planned out just so.

The reasons for my winged friends? Well, they are beautiful... but also,

The Butterfly is the symbol for renewal & rebirth.

The Dragonfly represents protection and good luck.

The Bumble Bee reminds us of the power to overcome the impossible.


It is said that the Hummingbird brings love as no other medicine can.

Yes, this quilt is going to be a special one. And I'l be at work on it every break that I get in the coming days.

More photos soon.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Valentines Photo Shoot - The Out-takes Part 1

February042009CAMDYL 007, originally uploaded by SunnyNole.

Ok- we did our Valentines Day Photo Shoot this morning... and the boys were TOO FUNNY. I plan to share some of the out takes leading up to our final photo which was the perfect one. Because, although the final photo is the best... it's NOT the funniest... and some of these are just pretty darn funny. So, here's Dylan, trying to help Camden smile BIGGER because they were both giving me a piddly little smile and I kept saying SMILE BIGGER GUYS! Dylan is just offering Camden's face a little help... too cute. -xox-

Sneaky Sneaky.

February042009 013, originally uploaded by SunnyNole.

If you are holding Ella and holding a drink and she thinks you're not looking, she will TOTALLY try and sneak a sip. LOL.

Another Perfect Day?

Okay, a friend commented to me that I make it seem like everyday is a perfect day at my house with TWO two year old boys and a five month old girl. So, here's the truth. Yes, Joe surprises me with ice cream on the hard days. Like yesterday. After phone call #4 to Daddy, he knew he had to stop and get me a special treat. I had had enough. LOL.

BUT- MOST days are perfect. I am very much a scheduled type of gal, and so if I stay on my schedule and we have no surprise interruptions, we are pretty much smooth sailing all day. Sometimes there will be a few bumps in our day or a meltdown (or two), but we don't let this "ruin" our day. We just pick up and move on to the next thing. It is no secret that kids are better behaved and get along better when there are short, planned activities and smooth transitions into the next activity if someone starts getting fussy. So, we like to "do" a lot. Play with leggos, playdough, bake, make art, sing songs, have outside time, etc. And when someone starts getting fussy we just pack up and move on to the next activity. Plain and simple. And each transition is like a game. If no one wants to clean up, we make it a "race" to see who can clean up the fastest. (Okay, I have to admit, I usually win...)... LOL. But anyway, it may seem like things are perfect and this is easy- but I do have to admit it's not always so. We do have our days when Ella is not cooperating or someone screams loudly and wakes her up from her nap early, or when two boys are jumping on the couch after being told a number of times not to, etc. And those days we just continue to get by. Those are the days that I live for 1pm, when the boys go down for their naps.

Yesterday was a fine example of a "harder" day. Camden was not being cooperative, Dylan didn't feel well, and Ella is teething. So everyone was pretty whiny (including me)... I talk to Joe throughout the day each day and he KNEW yesterday was hard for me. SO, he came home with THIS TREAT... yum. And once our kids were in bed, we sat and ate our ice cream and watched a great movie. The perfect ending for a "no so perfect" day. But, hey, that was our one hard day this week, so the rest should be smooth sailing! :)