Sunday, September 28, 2008

Zachary's Birthday Party

For all of you who know me, know that I love to host parties and get togethers. Kevin can't believe how much I enjoy doing this so I started asking Z about his party theme a couple months ago. Whenever I asked him what he wanted he said, "Choo Choo Trains & Par-tee Cake". So that is exactly what I planned.

Kevin & I hosted Zachary's 2nd Birthday party on Saturday night. Zachary had the best time and so did his parents. Surrounded by our family and best friends we shared dinner, cake & cookies, gifts, and fun memories. Zachary wanted to have a Choo Choo party so that is what Kevin and I did. We served Pizza at his request because it is his favorite food.

Last year, a very special friend of mine made Zachary's birthday cake. It was awesome. I did not know how I was going to find a cake as cute & special as Julie's monkey cake. So I asked around to several of my friends to see if they knew of anyone that made yummy & cute cakes. My dear friend Julie H. from church gave me the name of a super "sweet" lady named Stacey. I wanted to give a little shout out to Stacy the Cake Lady because we LOVED Zachary's cake & cookies. If you ever need a special order cake or cookies this is the lady to call. I am going to post a link to her blog...just in case you want to contact her. Thanks Julie H. for the recommendation and a big thank you to Stacey for the Choo Choo cake & cookies.

Here are the photos from the big birthday party. Thank you to everyone who came to celebrate with us. We had a wonderful time. So did Zachary. Also an extra thanks to Mel who came 2 days after Chemo therapy. I know it was a lot for you to come. It would not have been the same without you. Lastly, thank you to everyone near and far for all the birthday cards, gifts, well wishes, and phone calls. Zachary felt extra special because of all the love he received. We love you guys!

Click on the album to view pictures from the party!
Zachary's 2nd birthday

Friday, September 26, 2008

Two years ago today.....

On the way to the hospital...9 easy hours later....
Zachary Kevin after his birth

This is Zachary less than a day old. He looked so much like Kevin.
Going home from the hospital
Fresh from Heaven with his NINA
3 days old

Happy Birthday Zachary! We love you, Mommy & Daddy

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Zachary Kevin at 2 years!

Zachary listening to my iPOD.
This is a post to share 10 facts about our little 2 year old, Zachary Kevin.

Zacharys Favorite things....

10. Food. Zachary eats almost anything. He loves whole tomatoes, raw onions, PIZZA, Chinese noodles, "Donalds" Burger & Fries with Apple Dippers minus the caramel. He loves to eat. He does not turn his nose up to almost anything...except Sloppy Joes and Stuffed Peppers ( which is okay because I am not a huge fan of those two items either). Zachary has always been a good eater except for his dislike of breast milk. Once we got him on to formula we could not stop him.

9. Pre-school. Zachary absolutely loves his teachers Miss Nikki and Mrs. Jen. He talks about both of them all day long. He thanks God for them every night before he goes to bed. Z also enjoys his friends or as he would say the "kids" at school.

8. Zachary loves DIRT. He like to pretend that his snacks are dirt, that his toys are dirt, and that his bath water is dirt. He loves to scoop, pour, and pile anything like Bob the Builder does.

7. Zachary's favorite items are Choo Choo trains, Bob the Builder DVD's, & Curious George.

6. Zachary loves to get the mail. He is just like me. Daily we got to the mailbox right before nap time. He thinks it is extra cool when we get the mail directly from our mail carrier and her mini mail truck. He carries the mail back to the house all by himself and sorts it for me. It is a "red letter" day when he gets something for himself.

5. Zachary can count to 10. If Kevin or I start him on one he says all the numbers and yells the number 10. Not sure if that is something he does at school but he thinks it is hilarious.

4. Zachary loves going to church. The entire way there he says, "Jesus". When we pick him up from Sunday School he does not want to come with us. If we drive by church he cries because we are not stopping.

3. Zachary loves sport "games". I think this is because of High School Musical, but he loves to play "hoops" and he loves to toss a football. He also likes to attend football games or watch them on t.v.

2. Zachary does not let you forget prayers. Before nap, before bed, or before we eat he always reminds Kevin and I that we need to pray. It melts my heart to see him talk to Jesus.

1. Zachary loves his Paw Paw Marv, Maw Maw Karen, Grammy, and Poppy SO much. He often asks to call them on the phone or drive by Walgreens to visit Pops. He can't wait to see them or have them take them home with them. What a blessing. He also loves his aunts and uncles. His best friends are Elliott and Charley.

As I think about the past two years with Zachary I am so amazed. I am totally enjoying this stage because he is our little buddy. He loves to help us, he loves to be praised, and he loves to go to new places. I love watching the wonder in his eyes when he learns a new word or sees something new. It is amazing to be the mommy of a wonderful, active two year old. Thank you God for this opportunity.

Mommy's little helper

This morning Zachary has earned the title of "Mommy's Little Helper". I decided it was time to re-pot some mums for our front porch. Zachary was so excited to help. He loves DIRT and he loves to SCOOP. So I set him up to help. I really thought he was going to be more of a hindrance but to my surprise he really helped me a lot. While I watered our newly planted mums in the window boxes, Zachary put dirt all around our mums. The ironic thing is that Zachary picked out his shirt today way before I decided to do this project. It was perfect for the occasion...GOT DIRT?

Zachary working on a project
Got Dirt??
M ommy's little helper
Notice how hard he is concentrating on keeping the water flowing. Look at his mouth.
Cleaning up our mess.
My fall flower boxesWindow #2

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Fun Family Date Night

So I know you guys are all wondering about our family date night on Friday...okay maybe you are not wondering but I am going to share anyways. First we met Mel, Ryan, and Charley at Buffalo Wild Wings for dinner. We had a mini-birthday party for Mel since we did not get to celebrate with her on her big day. The kids were FANTASTIC! For some reason they do really well at this restaurant. It might be the loud TVs or the wonderful Mac-N-Cheese but they always are very good when we eat here. After dinner we headed downtown to enjoy High School Musical. Zachary could not wait to see the "show" and watch the "game". For those of you who are not familiar with HSM you won't understand those comments. Zachary is truly a HUGE fan of HSM. Anyways his eyes were glued on the stage throughout the entire show. Charley liked it too. After the "Get'ca Head in the Game" scene Zachary yelled out "more". Then in the second act he loved Winner the Wildcat. When the mascot was on stage he clapped and clapped. When the Wildcat was not on the stage he yelled "cat, cat, meow". Kevin almost had to take him out because he wanted the cat. As soon as Kevin told Zachary he was going to leave he immediately stopped because he did not want to miss a thing.

Zachary at dinner
Charley at dinner.

Charley & Zachary in the parking lot. Aren't they adorable?
Waiting for HSM!
Kev, Hil, and Zachary on the front row of the balcony. We can't wait to see the musical!

Mel, Ryan, and Charley getting excited to see the show. Charley was brave enough to get a picture with Winner the Wildcat. Z was too scared.

We had a wonderful time at the show. Zachary loved his birthday present from Aunt Rachel, Uncle Matt, and Elliott. Thanks! We really enjoyed our time with Mel, Ryan, and Charley. Since Mel is having chemo treatment we don't get to see her as much so we jump at the chance when we can all get together. Please say a prayer for her as she has her fourth chemo treatment this Wednesday. Then only 4 more to go.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Guess where we are going??

YEAH! Zachary can't wait to see the "SHOW". Check back for updates on the night. This is his birthday present from Aunt Rachel & Uncle Matt. All I have heard him say is "show" and "Get in Game". As an added bonus we are going with Mel, Ryan, and Charley. It's going to be fun!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Open Season

I am sure a lot of you do not know this but today is "Opening Season for the 2008 Deer Hunting for bow hunters". Yeah...I know whoop-ti-do but it means a lot to a very important person in my family. Kevin has been dreaming about this day for the past two weeks. Seriously! Our basement has turned into a war zone with hanging camo clothing, camo boots, the bow & arrows, camo painted buckets to sit on, and all sorts of crazy stuff to help for a successful hunt. I guess it is similar to a fully stocked scrapbook room. I really don't get what the big deal is but Kevin's heart beats a little faster in the fall to hunt. Again, a guy thing. However, I had to post this because this blog is about our family...hunting included. Anyways, my wonderful grandparents, Ruey & Freddy are so gracious to let Kevin and his father hunt on their land. Thanks Ruey & Freddy. Being that today was the big day, Kevin did not schedule patients. Again, it is a big day. Kevin & his dad went out this afternoon. Low and behold at 8 p.m. I got the call that Kevin shot a doe with is bow. My father-in-law also hit a doe with an arrow but they could not find the animal. Sad, I know. Anyways, I decided to not post the pictures of the doe on the blog. But for memory sake I will post a picture of the guys on their return. They had a blast!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Busy day for the almost birthday boy!

When I looked at my day planner for today I thought, "WHAT WERE YOU THINKING, HILARY?" I booked two of Zachary's least favorite things to do back to back....Haircuts and Professional Photos. AHHHH! Before we left the house, Kev and I said a prayer that I would be able to manage these tasks and have a great time doing it. God was good.

First, I took Z to his hair appointment at Cookie Cutters. If you do not know what Cookie Cutters is let me tell you. It is a hair salon for kids. The child picks out what car, airplane, or transportation vehicle they would like to sit in while getting his/her hair cut. The child also picks out what DVD they would like to watch, or for older kids what Nintendo game they want to play. Zachary chose the airplane and of course a "Choo Choo" movie...Thomas the Train. Usually Z gets ticked the moment they put the apron on. In fact the past two times getting his hair cut my mom has taken him because he does better for her than for me. Last time my mom had to hold him on her lap, not in a vehicle, but in a regular salon chair. By then end of the cut my mom and Z were covered in little pieces of hair. This time Z was PERFECT! He got a balloon, lollipop, and he went down the slide. Task #1 checked off the agenda.

Next on the list was birthday photo shoot. Zachary's birthday is less than 2 weeks away but I wanted to get his picture taken a couple weeks before so that I had his pictures to display at his party. Another sidenote...we always go to the same photography studio in town, Owens Photography, except for his birthday. I like the cheesy stuff for his birthday so we have gone to Sears for his first birthday and now for #2. Of course when we walked into Sears they were not ready. I said a quick prayer that Zachary would be good and pose for his mommy. When we set foot into the individual photo room Z hopped right on the backdrop. The backdrop was the color of dirt. Z thought he was standing in Bob the Builders dirt pile. This was a blessing from God. He loved it. The first 5 shots went off better than I have ever seen Zachary do. I normally am jumping all around trying to get him to cooperate & smile. I actually sat in a chair and relaxed while he did all the work. When the photographer was done I wanted to change his shirt and take a couple more....not a good idea. Zachary lost focus and did not want to take any more photos. The nice photographer let us take a lap around Sears while he took care of some things. When we returned Zachary jumped right back in and finished up like an angel. I was so proud. I know it is silly but when you spend money on photos you don't want bad pictures and you don't want to leave the studio with an upset son and mommy.

The next big task was previewing the photos. Zachary did great! He sat in his stroller and drank my bottled water while I decided which proofs I wanted. I was fully prepared to come back tomorrow when Z was in preschool but I did not have to. Anyways long story short when we got back home from our morning errands we were exhausted. Zachary did AWESOME and I was able to check two big things off the calendar. The bonus was that they gave me his photos today and that I did not have to wait for 2 weeks...of course I paid a little bit more but it is worth it. Without further are Zachary's second birthday photos and new haircut. Enjoy!

Our big boy!

Choo Choo Look who is almost 2!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

For Mel

Yesterday was Melody's 3rd Chemo Treatment...only 5 more to go. As you all know Melody continues to be an inspiration to all for. Even though Melody is going through one of the worst times of her life she continues to smile, laugh, and give all the glory to God. This is amazing. I know that on the days following chemo Mel feels terrible and sometimes wants to disappear. So today I am going to post her some photos to smile about. Hopefully, these photos will cheer her up just a bit. I found these when I was organizing my photos.

Murder Mystery Dinner. Mel, Wasson (as Surelock Holmes), Tommy, & a peek of Jason Hill (aka Jungle Boy)

Just the girls...Freshman Year LPA Mel & Hil 1994 I thought we looked good?

8th Grade Dance at Hickory Hills (What are we doing with our hands?)

Getting ready to go to McCarty's for Murder Mystery Dinner

Mel and Hil in movie theatre booth Freshman Year
Please note the thickness in my eyebrows...scary! Why didn't someone tell us?

If you want to read Mel's blog about her breast cancer story click here.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Neat website to try....

I came upon this new website that I wanted to share....

At this website you can enter your first and last name. Immediately it will tell you how many people in the USA have the same name as you. I was going to post my results but due to privacy issues I am not going to. Instead I will tell you that there are 11 people with my same married name and only 1 other person that had my maiden name. Pretty Cool. Check it out here if you wish.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Labor Day Fun

On the Sunday of Labor Day weekend, we went out to Kevin's parents house for a yummy Labor Day dinner. After dinner, a surprise guest arrived at the front window. It was Chief the 31 year old horse. Zachary and Elliott were so excited. Papa Marv got Chief all fixed up to see the boys and he even put his saddle on him. Chief gave horsey rides all around the front yard. While we were taking lots of photos, Karen said that Chief has given rides to Jeff (Kev's brother), Kevin, Jeff's girls, and now Kevin's son & nephew. Yes, this horse is older than Kevin. You could see the twinkle in Chief's eye when he was walking around with the boys. He was back in his prime. After the horse rides we then got out the 4 wheeler and John Deere tractors to take rides on them. Then Zachary & Elliott wanted to "scoop" the dirt and feed the dogs. Meanwhile the moms went inside to bathe the boys while the dads got out their bows to shoot at the targets. After all activities with Papa Marv's "toys". We all went inside to eat MaMa's Home Made Banana Ice Cream and brownies. It was a perfect day of fun and family.

E & Z waiting for Labor Day Dinner

This is the photo of the boys looking out the window for their surprise

This is what is on the outside of the window...Papa Marv and Chief the Horse

E & Z on Chief the Horse

Zachary riding Chief

Elliott and Papa Marv with Chief

Chasing bubbles in the yard

Waiting by the barn to see the John Deere's

Z and Papa Marv on the lawn mower

Matt and Elliott on the 4-wheeler going super slow!

Scooping dirt

Elliott enjoying MaMa Karen's home made ice cream!

Zachary says YUMMY!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

E- I-E-I-O

MOPS update: This morning went AWESOME at MOPS. Thanks to everyone who said a little prayer. God is good! We had around 43 Mothers of Preschoolers and around 50 little MOPPETS. The energy in the fellowship hall from all these amazing moms was contagious. God was glorified today at FBCO.

Here are the delayed photos of our Labor Day weekend.

This past Saturday Zachary and I went to the Wilson-Rutledge Farm with Grams, Aunt Rachel, and Elliott. If you have not heard of this farm then listen up. It is one of the best kept secrets in Springfield. This farm is a new part of the Springfield Park Board. It is an animal farm to learn about farm animals and see the surroundings of farm life. My mom pointed out that when she was a kid almost everyone was raised on a farm or had relatives that lived on a farm. In todays world most kids have never been to a farm. This is the perfect place to have an afternoon of fun with your kids, grandkids, or your spouse. Zachary really loved the miniature pony's, where Elliott took a liking to "Irene the Dairy Queen". We ended up at the "barnyard" play ground where both boys played until their hearts were content...or until we got too hot to take it anymore. We had a great afternoon. Next time we have to take our fishing pools, the dads, and grandpas.

Zachary loving on a miniature pony

Elliott's first time to milk a faux cow. "Irene the Dairy Queen"

Zachary's turn to milk Irene.

Check out this Barnyard Playground. The boys loved it!

Zachary posing by a cat....he LOVES animals!

Elliott showing off his sliding skills.
Monkey See Monkey Do. Zachary's turn down a slide.