Sunday, May 29, 2011

Kensington Cottage

Welcome to Kensington Cottage...
 On September 15, 2008, when Andrew came out and said, "It's a girl!", my mom said, "I'm going to build her a house."  Well...she did (or at least she paid someone to).  Kensington Cottage has been my mom's special little project for over two years.  Yesterday, was the big reveal.  This house is SPECTACULAR.  Custom built, every little detail is hand crafted (seriously...other than the shingles, every.single.detail was built by hand).  It has power, lights, doors and windows that open and close, and of course, air conditioning (it is Texas, right?).  This is my mom and dad's labor of love for their grandkids.  (Smith gets to play inside too:)).  Come on in and check it out...

 Dutch doors make things so much more fun!  Kensington's waving "hi" from inside.

 They are saying "come in and see the interior!".

 The savvy mantle that also has their A/C unit.

 Each kiddo has his/her own toy box.

 We found out Mr. Tab would be gone this Memorial Day weekend, so we invited our good friends Erika, Ebby Lee and Nixon over to celebrate with us!

 I took this picture as it was getting dark.  I wanted to capture the front porch lights and the little lamp glowing from within.

 The lovely thing about Kensington Cottage is that it's right next to Lovie's pool :).  So, we swam too!

 Papa Jay and Smith on their float

 We love our Lovie!

 Dude!  This little guy LOVES the water!  He has no fear!  This is very different from having a little girl.  Smith would jump right in like it was no big deal.  He mastered kicking under the water and was full-on ready to dive off the deep end if we'd let him!

 Ebby Lee relaxing before dinner

 Kensington too

This was the best picture Jenna could get of the kiddos together.  Kensington wouldn't keep her finger out of her mouth.  What's that about??  I love these little guys!

Yesterday was a great day!  We had 27 people at our little party.  They were 27 of my very favorite people!  Thank you so much Mom and Dad for hosting us.  Most of all, thank you for making my kids feel so special and so loved.  We love you!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Last day

Here was Kensington back in September on her first day of pre-school...

 And here she is this past Tuesday on her last...

Before she got dressed for her last day of school, Daddy and Smith went and bought them both donuts for breakfast.

I'm pretty sure this was Smith's first donut and I'm positve it won't be his last.  This boy loved him some donut!

We love you Kensington!  You did so great at school this year!!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

More tornado news (updated at 6:21 pm)

**Updated at 6:21 pm: we heard this today from Andrew's brother Jonathan but Fox News and CNN just broke the story, over 1500 people are still missing in Joplin.  An apartment complex housing over 600 people was wiped away and as of now, no residents have been found.  Please be praying for the search and rescue teams as they uncover survivors and/or the deceased.

Original Post:
I just have some bits and pieces of information regarding Sunday's tornado.  First and foremost, our family is so grateful to be alive but that being said, they're exhausted and overwhelmed with the amount of work ahead of them. 

My father-in-law is an electrical engineer for the power company in Joplin and I'm pretty sure he hasn't slept since Saturday night.  He has to get power restored to the city, and I can't even imagine how overwhelming that must be.

My sister-in-law and I have cried together several times today.  She has been at the site of her medical practice since the wee hours of the morning trying to figure out how to move forward.  A make-shift clinic will most likely be set up so that she can treat patients.  Her biggest concern is getting insulin to her many insulin dependent patients.  She has a thriving practice with many, many patients and the thought of re-building her office space and in the mean time, caring for her patients is a huge, huge burden.

To put a few things in perspective, my sister-in-law's brother and his wife are both physical therapists at a neighboring hospital and since physical therapy isn't in the forefront of any one's mind right now, people in that profession have been instructed to work in the make-shift morgue they set up at the university.

Even though I am not from Joplin, my heart breaks in a really intimate way for that town.  This is where we spend our holidays, birthdays and fun weekends.  There are several really cute stores that my mother-in-law and I shop in that are completely gone.  If you've been reading my blog long enough, you've probably seen at least a dozen posts including Pizza By Stout...our very favorite Joplin restaurant...gone.  Gone.  Family owned and operated, leveled by the tornado.

Today, I felt kind of guilty walking through Hobby Lobby.  Here we are, going about our daily lives, when the people in Joplin are trying just to survive the day.  Then, I went to Kensington's pre-school party and sat next to a lady who also has a 2 year old in the class...back in January, when she was 7 months pregnant with their sixth child, her husband died suddenly at the age of 37 (later they found out he had lung cancer that went undetected...and no, he didn't smoke).  So, she's a widow in her 30s with 6 kids...good grief God...that's a hard one to handle!

So, I say all of this to say, we are so blessed.  So many people are dealing with so much right now and if the worst of my problems are that my 2 year old doesn't like to go #2 in the potty...well, I'm a very fortunate gal.

For I know the plans I have for you says the Lord.  Plans to prosper you and not harm you.  Plans to give you hope and a future.  Jeremiah 29:11 


Monday, May 23, 2011

Tornadoes in Missouri

I have had so many sweet and thoughtful emails and texts regarding the devastating F-4 tornado that blew through Joplin, Missouri yesterday at five o'clock.  Andrew's family is thankfully all ok.  All of their homes are undamaged.  That being said, Joplin, Andrew's home town, is pretty much destroyed.  The hospital where my sister-in-law is a doctor was obliterated.  The daycare that our niece attends is gone...several teachers at my nephew's school are unaccounted for and the death toll will be rising well above 100.  The tornado wiped out a Walmart and Academy Sports (among many, many other businesses and homes) killing people who were there just doing some Sunday afternoon shopping.  My sister-in-law and brother-in-law have been actively working to help (her at the make-shift hospital and him pulling people out of Walmart) since the storm.  Please be praying for the city of Joplin.  I have always said that Joplin is a great town.  There is so much character and history many wonderful, mid-western people...this is very, very sad. 

For pictures and more information, click here.

Thank you!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Getting ready for church is exhausting!

The four of us get dressed and out the door early every single morning of the week but for some reason, Sundays are the hardest.  By the time everyone wakes up, eats breakfast, gets dressed, puts shoes on, does hair, puts shoes back on, grabs Bibles and are out the door....we're exhausted.  This morning, I asked Smith what he wanted to watch while I got dressed and he said "Tangled", so I put it on, sat him down and 5 minutes later, this is what I found.  It's just exhausting getting ready on Sundays!


Saturday, May 21, 2011

16 months, 3 days

16 months and 3 days...that's how old Kensington was when Smith was born.  Up until that day, those 16 months and 3 days had been the very best of my life.  Now, exactly 16 months and 3 days later, I can say that the latter was even better.  It's funny how 16 months and 3 days can change your life...twice.  Here's to another great 16 months and 3 days.  Love you babies!
 Day 1

 16 months and 3 days later
I love these two!

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