Monday, April 25, 2011

HE is risen indeed!

We had a wonderful Easter & hope that you did as well!
Rutledge started the celebration early with an Easter Party at preschool.
The party started with Chapel, then moved on to their activity which was making Resurrection Rolls, followed by the egg hunt.  It was a full morning!

Rutledge & his "lady" friends, Pearson & Janie Bess
Rutledge was trying to hold Janie Bess' hand & she did not want that to happen;)

So, he moved on to his other "lady" friend, Riley.

She was more compliant.

They enjoyed watching the puppet show together

Followed by a Sing-a-long that included an oldie but goldie, "This Little Little Light of Mine"

Making Resurrection Rolls!

Hunting eggs!  Each child could hunt 5 eggs.  These were "real" Easter eggs of the hardboiled variety:)

He refused to look at the camera when I asked him to show me his eggs.

We made plans to travel to Demopolis Sunday morning to attend Easter services at Trinity Episcopal Church with Matt's grandparents, Tutoo & Papa.  We did this last year & treasure the time we are able to spend with those wonderful people.  We also treasure services at Trinity Demopolis because this is the church where Matt's grandfather, mother, Matt himself & Rutledge were baptized.  Matt says that he feels like home when he is in this church & we always feel blessed when we are able to attend.
Rutledge was able to participate in the Easter Parade again this year and he had a blast!

I put out the baskets the night before to save time on Easter morning.
Rutledge has been talking about how he needed "James" a Thomas the Tank train for his train table, so, I thought "James" would make a great Easter prize!  Gaines got a new rattle & got to share his basket with Daddy's candy!

Checking out his basket!

Eating his FAVORITE candy....Reece's Pieces!

Making Resurrection Rolls for breakfast.  Here is the link with directions and the lesson.

A great project for toddlers!

My sweet boy.

With his flowers to lay on the altar.

He decided to carry his flag like a cane pole....I thought it was precious:)

Our new family pic!!!

Hope everyone had a blessed Easter!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Rodeo!

The Annual Rodeo came to town a few weeks ago & we were fortunate enough to get the VIP treatment!
My good friend, Leigha Cauthen & her family have a long association with the Rodeo.  Her daddy used to ride on the circuit when he was younger.  And, as Rutledge says, "He's a cowboy, Mama!"  And, I wish I had a pic to show his big ole' hat & belt buckle which were MOST impressive to our boy:)

Leigha has offered us tickets to the Rodeo every year since Rutledge was born, but, we felt he was a a little too young to enjoy it...until this year!  So, I asked Leigha if the offer still stood & boy oh boy, did the gal come through!

Here is a pic of Leigha & me at last years Alabama Wildlife Federation's Wildgame Cookoff!
Man! I hate looking at this pic bc it was taken right after I had gotten my fitness on last year & had myself in a bootcamp & lost 30 lbs:(  I will get it back, I will get it back!!!;)

Anywho, that's Leigha.  We have lots in common....we both enjoy the consumption of lycopene (anything product with cooked tomatoes like, salsa, ketchup, spaghetti & chili), politics, denim, boots, a good white button down, birthday parades, and beer.  I think that about covers it. 

So, Leigha & her Daddy, Big Carey, gave us the ultimate Rodeo experience.
I will have you know that there is a VIP room at the Rodeo!
Not only did we get the best seats in the house for the Rodeo, but, we had access to the VIP room, sponsored by the Alabama Cattlemens Association.  There was an open bar & some yummy snacks!  After about an hour in the VIP room, we went to our seats to get settled before the show.  Ummm, those Cauthen's have their own special section of seating....the 1st 2 rows are theirs.  Leigha's Uncle Sonny has the 1st row & her Daddy has the 2nd row.  Nice! 

1st stop at the Rodeo was the hat stand.
Rutledge got a great hat!
We had a little trouble taking pics with the glow necklace....probably should have taken it off.

Here is our fam pic!

The only good pic of the action.  We haven't gotten the hang of taking "action" pics.  All of them turned out blurry:(

This was SUCH a family friendly event and good clean fun!  Rutledge had a wonderful time and is still talking about the Rodeo!  I would like to give a special shoutout & thanks to the Cauthen Clan!  We had a wonderful time and are so thankful we had this opportunity.  This was the first outing with just the 3 of us since Gaines' birth & it was so special to have such a fun event to share with him!

Monday, April 4, 2011

3rd Birthday Par-tay!

We didn't think it would even happen because it rained every hour until his party started.  We had to clear out the carport and hang visqueen(sp) to block potential blowing wind and rain. 
The theme of the party was John Deere, of course.
I decided to go casual this year with minimal effort towards food and decor.
I have a newborn peeps, its time to get realistic.

So, we had blowing wind and rain literally right up until party time.
Then the sun starting peeking out, Praise GOD!

What could have been a sad party turned into a happy party!
The menu:
Grilled hotdogs
Snack pack chips
Baby carrots/celery with dip
John Deere cake and cupcakes

The activities:
Pin the Tail on the Donkey
Hay ride

Here it is in pics!
We started the day with a family pic.

Rutledge waiting on the porch for his guests!

A pic of "our boys" as Rutledge calls them:)  These are Sister and Cambo's boys!
Notice the lovely yet functional visqueen(sp?)...

Rutledge and his main squeeze, Janie Bess!

Simple, kid friendly food
Even more simple table decor.

The AMAZING cake that I didn't have to make;)
If you want details on this cake or any other kind of cake let me know, I'll put you in touch with who made it!

Daddy putting the candles on the cake!

The cake and cupcakes!

Singing Happy Birthday!  He was so pleased:)

Our friend Buddy with his 1st of about 12 cupcakes;)

A little pin the tail on the donkey!

The Vaughan gurls' watching peeps try to find the tail!

The end result!

Daddy coming around the driveway with the tractor for the hayride!

1st round of the hayride...we had to go in shifts!

Out in the hayfield that has no hay...yet!

They heard the word, pinata!

The John Deere pinata! Thank you to the world wide web!
We converted the pinata so we didn't have to use a stick....swinging sticks/bats and toddlers is sometimes not the best idea;)  Each child had a ribbon to pull and 1 lucky child pulled the ribbon that released all the candy!

All of the kids slammed down on their knees quicker than anything I've seen!  Ready for that candy!

I think this face tells it all.
Happy Birthday to our sweet boy!

***p.s. All of these pics were taken by the lovely Taylor Morgan.  This is the 2nd bday party we have had her taking pics and it is SO worth it!  We can actually have fun @ the parties and not worry about capturing the perfect pic!  If you are interested in her services, let me know & I will put you in touch with her!

Friday, April 1, 2011

My boy

My eldest is now 3.
Three years old.
It happened SO fast.

He is a complete joy to us and we are so grateful that the Lord chose us to be his parents.

Being a mama is the hardest thing I have ever done.
Its hard because you quickly realize that the tiny being you have been blessed with is clay in your hands.
Its your job as a parent to mold the clay.
No class in college will prepare you for parenthood.  Its definitely a "you gotta wing it" situation.
It helps to have great examples.  My mama and stepdad James and Matt's parents, set wonderful parenting examples for us and we are grateful for the lessons we learned.

But, we developed our own style of parenting along the way.  I think the core of our style is CONSISTENCY.  We strive to keep things consistent in our kids lives.....meal times, nap times, family time, and most importantly, discipline.  They always know what to expect and that makes them confident.  It also makes them adaptable.  I don't know why, but, my extremely scheduled children are extremely adaptable.  They have a certain element of "go with the flow", and we believe that is an important attribute.  The hardest part of being consistent is discipline.  When dealing with a toddler, the hardest lesson is for the parents.  Kids are CONSTANTLY testing boundaries.  Even in what seems to be the most petty of infractions, its important to be consistent with reprimands and discipline.  Letting things slide doesn't happen around this house and its SO HARD!  Some days it feels like all we do is correct a behavior and or discipline him for poor behavior.  But, I know that its paying off!  If there was 1 area that you could choose to remain consistent, I believe that discipline is the key area.

Our amazing 1st born son is a joy to parent.

It is an honor to be his mama.

I can't say enough good things about him, but, here a few.
Rutledge is very intuitive.  He gets that from me:)  He can already read body language and facial expressions like a book.  He has a caring spirit and cares for others and their feelings.  While he definitely has a dominate personality, he is learning that he doesn't have to be "right" all the time and that his way isn't always best (I can tell you that is a hard lesson to learn bc I also have a dominate personality!).  Rutledge is extremely bright and verbal, especially about anything concerning John Deere;).  At his 3 year checkup, his pediatrician said that cognitive ability, memory and attention span are amazing and he is already concerned with him becoming "bored" when he starts school.  I guess this is a good thing:)  His physical development is right on track! He started out in the 50th percentile in weight and length and is still in the 50th percentile in weight and height. 

Rutledge loves to read!  We often find him sitting in his room with a pile of books just "reading" to himself:)  This makes his book loving mama VERY happy!  He LOVES to be outside....especially with his daddy.  Praise the Lord for the time change because my boy has been missing his long afternoons outside with daddy.  Rutledge loves heavy equipment, especially tractors....of the John Deere variety;)  While we do not own a John Deere tractor, (we have 2 Ford tractors and a Case tractor), he is obsessed with the brand and that is fine with us!  He is a country boy and what country boy doesn't love John Deere!  He is also VERY project oriented....just like his daddy!  Give the boy a task and he will complete it or work very hard to complete it:)  I don't want to brag;), but, I think he has the best personality in the world.  He can be still and read books or he can be outside doing his thing!  We think its a good balance.

Rutledge, we love you more than you will ever know.  God gave us the opportunity to be your parents and by his grace we will do our best to help you be all that can be! 

Frank Rutledge Rogers, we adore you!
Happy Birthday!

Love, Mama and Daddy