Life is a test. We are not present on earth to just exist; we are here to learn. Life is a lesson. Love one another unconditionally. Love thyself unconditionally. We spend our whole lives learning to do this. Some succeed and some never have a clue. I'm trying. Love my fellow man. Don't react and don't always have to be right. This is one I'll have to work on for the rest of my life. Appreciate each day and recognize positive and negative as a part of life's experiences. Look around me and see life at it's best. The joys of living come as you strive to achieve your dreams. Its the quality of each day that is important, not the distant dream once achieved. Teach and nurture my children. You can never give them too much love. -Randa Jex 1/1/94

Thursday, October 31

Balloon Races 2013

Balloon Race weekend is one of my absolute favorite times of year in Natchez and this years weather, although not ideal for balloon flights, was absolutely gorgeous. 

Zach often reminds me when I complain about the heat that I only have 3 degrees where I am comfortable and then I'm either hot or cold. Well this weekend it was in those three degrees all weekend, add an Ole Miss victory over the LSU Corndogs and we were some happy folks.

Oh how times have changed in this picture. Five years ago these 3 friends from college-- Rob Connor, Zach, and Kellen-- would have been starting off a long evening of Balloon Weekend bar hopping.  Fast forward, all three guys each have 2 kids (one still baking), one of which is sitting atop their shoulders.  So cute!

You will begin to see a commend trend with Madeline all weekend.  Girl can sleep through anything--fireworks, bands, carnivals, etc.  She spend her time snoozing in the back of the stoller.....

While curious little Austin studied everyone and everything going on from the front of the stroller.  He was a little scared to even get out at one point...don't worry kid, "Carnies" frighten me too.  We watched as hot air balloon inflated and lifted off  just feet from us{what they are looking at below}, enjoyed fireworks over the great Mississippi River, and of course made time to ride some rides.

G Pa came in town Saturday and celebrated his birthday with us.  We lounged on the bluff listening to music and eating good food.  It was the most beautiful and relaxing afternoon.

Austin LOVES him some Uncle Kel!

Cheerleader Madeline napping.....

and yet again....

But she woke up to sport her new hot air balloon overalls!

Sunday, Austin, Maddy and I were up earlier than everyone so we jumped in the car, grabbed donuts, and headed to the mall to watch the balloons float by.  Typically we can see them from our front porch but this year due to the wind, they were lifting off and flying away from downtown.  Austin waved from the backseat and said "Hey guys" to every balloon and then as soon as one would pass he would say "I want to see some more Mommy" like I have a magic wand that brought them to us.

Happy Halloween to all my Boos!

Tinkeybell {as Austin calls her}

Since the weather tonight is supposed to get ugly, we made the most out of Halloween last night.  I am so glad my kids are still young enough where they don't really know what is going on or what day is the actual holiday because they are never disappointed.  Well here is the family costume.... It's just too much fun and humbling to appease your children's requests and dress up Halloween as whatever their little heart desires.This year my good friend Dianna gave Austin a cute pirate costume and since he is always saying "wanna watch pirates mommy" and loves Jake and the Neverland Pirates we thought it was a idea. Last minute Zach and I decided to join in on the fun for our churches Fall Festival. He went as a pirate and I was Captain Hook's assistant, Mr. Smee.  It had become a joke around the house for the past few weeks that Mommy or Daddy would go as Smee and he would just fall out laughing so I decided to actually do it.

Jake the Pirate, big scary pirate, Tinkerbell, and Mr. Smee

His favorite part of the night was sword fighting with Daddy

Austin and His buddy Thomas hugging it out, they both went as pirates,

Wednesday, October 2

Big Mommy Fail

This weekend I was doing the weekly Sunday routine which includes washing sheets.  I was cleaning the house and kept thinking “where is my phone” but I ask myself this question about 73 times a weekend so it didn’t feel unusual.  Usually it is upstairs in one of the kids’ rooms and I am downstairs so I just tell myself I will get it on the next trip upstairs. So I searched all the rooms upstairs with no luck.  Right about that time I hear the washing machine finish and my stomach sinks.  I immediately “know” where my phone likely ended up but I don’t want to believe it till I see it.  Sure enough, there she was amongst the wet sheets in the washing machine. FAIL.

Soaking wet, won’t turn on……then my stomach sinks….I haven’t backed up anything on this phone since August. HUGE FAIL. 

I was sick. I ran to the kitchen, muttering choice words under my breath I’m sure, and grabbed the first box of rice I could find. Dirty rice, whatever, it will work.  After a few hours in the rice, it miraculously turns on.  I quickly upload all the media from the phone and then put it back in the rice overnight.
Even though I rescued the memories, I still feel like a total idiot especially since I had nobody to blame but myself.  I couldn’t get onto the toddler for seeing if a phone would float in the toilet  or be frustrated at the baby for using it as a chew toy and soaking it in drool.  Nope this one was all on Mommy and Mommy was so mad at herself.  Fast forward a few days…phone totally works!  There was some visible water under the screen but that dried out and the smell of Jambalaya (from the dirty rice) eventually went away.  The only long term effect I see is the battery life is forever stuck on 1%, even when it is fully charged it will still say 1% so It’s like I am living on the edge.

I am a proud new owner of a larger DropBox account and a Lifeproof case, in the event that “mommy” happens to my phone again.

So thanks to my resilliant iPhone, here are some pics and videos of little lights of our lives.

Daddy makes Austin a box house.  Mommy throws in trash after 2 days because cardboard attracts roaches. Thank goodness we have not seen any critters to prove the theory.

Maddy get's all dolled up for Mary Blair's amazing 1st Birthday party (more to come on the magazine spread from the party)

Maddy sporting her fall Owl PJs from Uncle Hunter and Aunt Rachel.

The kiddos love when G-Pa comes to visit!

And Mommy loves the adorable clothes he brings
G Pa is a sucker for Osh Kosh and how cute are these!!! Can't wait for the weather to cool off a bit so the kids can wear these cute overalls!

Austin looks forward to mom and dad's house every day after school when we go pickup Madeline.  He spends a good 20 minutes everyday exploring and playing outside with Papa and then comes in to give Gwammy love and read books.

Safety first when driving mommy's car! 


3 out of 4 of us were struck by the stomach virus, but a sick day full of snuggles made us all better

I am starting to realize that everyone is right, they MAY look a little similar!

New DIY book shelves for hallway by kids rooms

Austin has entered a phase where he wants to carry his "babies" everywhere.  Here he is "riding to Gwammy's house" with Clyde riding up front, Bonny in the back, oh but don't forget the backpack and hat...forget the pants.  Funny guy.  This morning he had to have Bonny, Clyde, Bear, Micky, Puppy, and 2 blankies.  Goodness, this boy has a posse. 

Maddy has been sitting unassisted for the past week or so. 

Austin is a big boy and now walks Emma all by himself the entire time.  (he used to either ride in stroller or want to be held 1/2 way through walk)

He was wearing his Superman PJs so he had to learn how to fly since he would be saving the world soon. And boy oh boy doesn't this world need saving.

He not only learned how to put his shoes on all my himself {we will be working on finding the correct feet this week} but he also has learned how to color his belly button orange.  What a genius!

I will post soon about milestones for each of the kids, they are both growing up so fast.  Austin blows all of us away daily with his speech and memory.  It's so funny to hear what comes out of his mouth, thankfully...still all sweet.