Monday, December 29, 2008

Little Car Birthday

This year on birthday Andrea surprised me with a special outing.

She scheduled babysitting for our kids and we were off to who knows where! We ended up driving in a part of town I had never been before, so I definately didn't know where we were going.

We ended up stopping at a little known gem in Nashville... Lane Motor Museum! I hadn't even heard of this place before, but it was really cool.

Lane Motor Museum in Nashville, Tennessee is one of the few museums in America to specialize in European cars. Approximately 150 cars and motorcycles not typically seen in the U.S. are on display.

Afterwards, we at at J.Alexandar's, which was my first time and hopefully not last!

Thank you Andrea, for such a great evening out on my birthday. It was definitely a great and wonderful surprise.

ICE Exhibit

Our neighbors were so nice to share tickets to the ICE exhibit at Opryland. Almost everything in the exhibit is made out of ice, the theme was How the Grinch Stole Christmas. There's even a slide made out of ice!

Christmas Day

Elijah and I tried really hard not to emphasize receiving presents this year. Instead, we really talked up the joy there is in giving presents. Abby got to pick out a present for her Daddy, Mommy and Enoch. She was so good at keeping the surprise! I think she had a lot of fun with it.

Abby woke up about 7 and came into our room, she didn't remember that it was Christmas morning. After we reminded her, she was so excited, she said, "Mommy, you get to open your present from me!" It was so precious to see that was what she was so excited about. So, Elijah and I opened our presents from her first. She knows her mommy well. When Elijah asked her what she thought I would like, she said, "food." When he asked what kind of food, she said, "pasta!" So, they got me a gift certificate to my favorite restraunt, "Maggianos!" She also knows her Daddy well. When I asked her about what to get him, she said, "a computer!" I asked for another idea and she said, "coffee." She likes to help make Daddy's coffee in the mornings on the days he works from home. So, Elijah got some Starbucks coffee and a gift card. Abby knew just what to get Enoch, too. Pacies!

I think one of Abby's favorite gifts she got was her new Children's Bible, "The Bible in Pictures for Little Eyes," by Kenneth Taylor. She kept wanting Elijah to read her story after story. He asked her several times if she wanted to open another present or keep reading, but she wanted to keep reading. It was nice to be able to take time in opening presents and play with each one as it was opened.

Moni and Pawi joined us for Christmas morning, too. We had applenut coffee cake, sausage cheese balls and hot chocolate with whipped cream for breakfast. Pawi and Moni offered to buy Christmas lunch from Kroger, so I didn't have to cook!

In the afternoon, we had Christmas dinner at the Guinness home. We had such a nice time eating, visiting and playing games together.

The Saturday after Christmas, we went back to the Guinness home to have a late Christmas with their friend, Miss Franklin. It was such a joy to watch her open her presents. She especially loved the new coat we got her and the Bible on CD from the Guinness family. I really think she felt how much God loves her!

Christmas Eve

We enjoyed a small quiet Christmas at home this year. On Christmas Eve, we attended a service at church. Afterward, we had our "Happy Birthday, Jesus" party at home. Abby thought this was really fun. We spread out a blanket in the living room and had our party in there (this was really big, because Abby is usually not allowed to bring her food into the living room). I made some yummy food: shrimp bisque (thanks Barbara for the recipe), baked brie and gingersnaps, little smokies, grapes, cheese and crackers. We sang "Happy Birthday" to Jesus before we ate the red velvet cupcakes. We also watched "White Christmas."

Throughout the season, we've also been doing an advent wreath where we light a new candle each Sunday leading up to Christmas. We've also had great fun reading one page each night of "The Advent Book." Each page of the book features a door that opens, 25 in all for each day of the season, that tell the Christmas story.

Skelton Visit

We went to visit Andrea's aunt and uncle in Colombia, TN. We enjoyed our conversation as Carmack told stories of what it was like growing up on a farm with no electricity during the great depression. Carmack is suffering with pancreatic cancer. Please pray for him and his family.

Gingerbread Party

We got together with two of Abby's friends, Grace and Ainsley, to make "Gingerbread houses." These were healthier versions, instead of candy, we used pretzels, dried fruit and chocolate chips. The girls had a great time together, we're so thankful to have good friends!

Piggy Bank Pottery

We went to "All Fired Up" with the Talley family to paint a piggy bank. The plan is for Abby to add coins to the piggy bank all year long so that next Christmas, she will have money to fill a shoebox full of toys for a needy child.

Abby and Grace had a great time giggling and laughing while painting their pottery.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Elf Yourself Disco Style

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

We didn't get around to making a Christmas card this year, but we were able to Elf Ourselves again...

The guys at OfficeMax teamed up with JibJab this year to make ElfYourself much better than last year.

Check out our current video for this year above and make one of your own!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Christmas Preschool Program

Abby had several supporters who came to her Christmas program at the Mustard Seed Preschool. The children in her class sang "Silent Night" in English and in Spanish. We consider it a success, she didn't cry or try to run off the stage! Pops and Nana (Abby's maternal grandparents) drove TWO hours one way to watch her in this 15 minute program! They were so sweet to bring flowers for her after the program. Moni and Pawi (Andrea's grandparents) also came and showed their support for Abby. We all went out for ice cream after the program.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Opryland Hotel Lights

Pops and Nana and Moni and Pawi joined us as we viewed the lights at the Opryland Hotel. Remind us never to do this right before Christmas on a weekend night. The traffic was horrible and it was packed inside the hotel. Plus we went there during dinner time, bad idea, we were all hungry and the cheapest thing they had was an $8 hamburger. What we saw was beautiful, though!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Baby Jesus Bible Class

Description unavailableImage by Ushlambad via FlickrAbby has been helping me teach Enoch about Baby Jesus. We've been using the Palma Smiley curriculum that I had prepared for Abby last year. It is so sweet to hear her singing the songs about Jesus to him. He smiles when he hears the songs and tries to hold onto the toys (baby Jesus, Mary, Joseph, angel, wiseman, camel, donkey, sheep, etc.).

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Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Enoch @ 5 Months

Enoch is such a social little guy. He loves to watch people.

Almost every time we pick him up from the nursery at church, the teachers comment about how they've never seen a baby that smiles so much. I think he gets it from his daddy.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Christmas Cookies

We made and decorated Christmas cookies to share with Abby's preschool class.

Later we also made an extra batch to share with our neighbors. We loaded the cookies in the wagon and made deliveries to our neighbors.

Thanks Kasie Birdwell for the great recipe!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thanksgiving in Searcy

This Thanksgiving we drove to Searcy, AR to visit my parents and relatives.

It was almost like a mini family reunion with all my Dad's brothers, their family, and my grandparents too. Since we were all still getting into town on Thanksgiving we waited until Saturday to have our HUGE Thanksgiving meal.

It was good to see everyone and we were pleased that Abby had a good time too. Everyone was oohing and ahhing over Enoch. He is the cutest little baby... I may be a little biased, but nahhhh he is :)

Thank you God for family, friends, shelter, and good food!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Fun with Friends

Abby had such a fun time playing with her friends Bethany and Nathan.

We are so thankful that Abby has such good friends.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Enoch's Baby Dedication

We were privileged to dedicate Enoch to the Lord with our Fellowship Bible Church family as witnesses.

We were sent the video of the dedication. I am trying to get it into a format where I can post portions of it, but as of now the above pictures gives the idea.

We dedicate little Enoch to the Lord. We pray that God will give us the wisdom, strength, and patience to raise him to know and love the Lord. God has blessed us with two precious children and we love them dearly.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Walls of Jericho

We learned about Joshua and the City of Jericho. Abby loves to act out stories.

This time we used our blocks to make the wall and city and used her doll house people as the characters in the story.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Circle of Safety

Andrea and I attended a Tedd Tripp seminar last month and since then we have been teaching Abby the meaning of Ephesians 6:1-3

"Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 'Honor your father and mother' — which is the first commandment with a promise — 'that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.' Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord."

In order to teach these concepts, we put an old table top on the floor and labeled two parts with "Obey" and "Honor" and the other two parts with "Go Well" and "Long Life".

We explained that when she obeys and honors her Mommy and Daddy that she moves into the Circle of Safety and then things go well with her and she will have a long life.

For the next week or so we repeated these concepts and tried to reinforce them with games, practice, and rereading the verse.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Enoch @ 4 Months

We continue to be pleasantly surprised at how sweet and easy going Enoch is. He goes with the flow and hardly ever complains.

He is still in the first percentile for weight, but has gained some. We've finally put away the newborn clothes and pulled out the 3-6 months clothes.

Enoch is such a joy to our family!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Enoch's Surgery

We are so thankful that Enoch made it through the surgery well and has recovered so quickly.

I was a little surprised at how emotional I was when it was time to hand him over to the nurses when he would go under anesthesia. God was so good to send a friend from high school/college that I haven't seen in years to take him back to the operating room. I was at peace as I handed him over.

Praise God for taking care of our little boy! Thank you for all of your prayers. They are truly appreciated!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Center Hill Chalets

This weekend we stayed at the Center Hill Chalets in Smithville, TN.

Several months ago, I won a weekend away at this lake house as a 1st place prize for loosing weight in our neighborhood.

We stayed the weekend with Andrea's parents and had a great time there. It was good that I recently upgraded to the iPhone 3G because the GPS came in very handy finding the lakehouse for the first time at night.

We had a great time playing games, hiking around, eating great food, and resting :) Unfortunately, I was sick for the whole trip so most of my time was getting a lot of sleep to feel better.

Thank you Melissa Eubanks (Realtor, Co-Owner, VP) for providing the Center Hill Chalets for our family!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Preschool Fall Fun

Abby's preschool had "Harvest Day" last week. The children went out on the nature trail and found pumpkins with their own names on them in the pumpkin patch. Parents were invited to join the class for lunch as they ate "stone soup" based on the story they read that week. Abby and I made pumpkin sugar cookies to share with the class. I had a sweet mommy moment as we were frosting the cookies at home. She looked up at me with the sweetest smile and said, "Mom, I love you. Thank you for making the cookies." Those are the Mommy moments I live for! She was so proud to take those cookies to school and share them with her friends and teachers.

I will admit I have not been doing much of our "home preschooling" the last few weeks. Even though we haven't done anything "official," I've tried to incorporate the things she's been learning at school in our day. She's had lots of opportunity to learn while helping me with every day tasks like cleaning, cooking and grocery shopping. Maybe we'll get back into it soon, but I'm trying not to put too much pressure on myself for now. I've been focusing on nursing Enoch and making sure he has enough to eat.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Fall Family Fest

We went to the Family Fall Fest at the Western Hills Church of Christ.

Abby dressed as Elmo and Enoch was the cutest little clown you've ever seen!

The church had hot dogs and chili for dinner, then trunk or treating, a hayride and smores.

We had a great time there with the Tally family.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Chattanooga Here We Come

Pops and Nana (Andrea's parents) joined us on a trip to Chattanooga to enjoy the fall foliage. There is so much to do there.

We had so much fun at the Children's Museum. The Aquarium was amazing and we watched an IMAX movie there, as well. We also rode the incline railway up Look Mountain.

We hope to visit Chattanooga again soon.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Enoch @ 3 Months

Enoch is three months old!

He is the sweetest, happiest, easy going little baby I've ever met. He rarely complains. He is so happy, that I didn't even realize that he hasn't been getting enough to eat.

We went to the doctor and he weighed less than he did at his two month visit, he's in the first percentile for weight.

I didn't think it was possible, but since I've been feeding him more, he's been even happier! He smiles, laughs, coos and rolls over. He loves to watch Abby. He's also started laughing just a little bit-it's the sweetest sound!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Chuck E. Cheese Reward

We went to Chuck E. Cheese to celebrate Abby's success with potty training.

She had a great time and loved getting the tickets and prizes.

Abby is so independent these days. She can get herself completely dressed all own her own (even her tights)! She can make her bed and clean her room. She also helps with some chores around the house.

We're so proud of our big girl.

Gentry Farms

We went to Gentry Farms today.

We all had a great time together. Abby enjoyed playing in the pretend country café, the farmer’s market, the hands-on loom, the lincoln logs, a hayride through the historic farm, a stroll inside a straw maze, watching the friendly farm animals, playing in grain troughs, swinging on a tire swing, and more. Enoch slept in the sling happily the whole time.

We went to the farm last year, but Abby seemed to enjoy much more this time around. Abby got to pick out a little pumpkin for herself. We recommend the Gentry Farms if you haven't been yet.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Mustard Seed Preschool

We are so excited for Abby!  She gets to go to the Mustard Seed Preschool next week!

We weren't really planning to send her to preschool, but I started looking into it for next year not expecting to get in since the school year has already started.  We got on the waiting list and a spot opened up!

She will go two days a week from 9:00-1:00. I heard the director of this preschool, Diana Beach, speak last year at Mom's Together and was so impressed with her. At that time I thought if we ever send her to preschool, I would want it to be that one.

We are so thankful that she will have the opportunity to learn there. It will be nice to have a little time to run errands, focus on Enoch and plan for the preschool we'll still be doing at home the other three days a week.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Sonic Golf

This evening we went out with our Community Group to eat at Sonic and then headed over to the Europa Go-Karts & Golf to play next door.

We all had a great time of fellowship, prayer, and fun! Abby had a blast running from one hole to the next. She got one of the holes in 3 strokes... way to go Abby!

After Abby, Bethany, and Nathan played some video games and skeeball they won 5 tickets and cashed them in for 5 peppermint candies, which they divided among themselves.

It was fun had by all.

Triple Coupon Savings

Harris Teeter had triple coupon days this week. That means they will triple your coupon up to 99 cents. So, a .75 coupon is worth $2.25. If you have a coupon for an item that happens to be on sale that week, you can get it free, or you can actually make money on it. You are only able to use 20 coupons per day, but I had a stockpile of coupons, so I went back every day of the four day sale. I was able to save $183! You can see all the things we were able to buy in the pictures.

I want to thank Kelly from Fellowship Bible Church who spoke at a Mom's Together meeting a few months ago and introduced me to the idea of couponing in a whole new way. She is so inspirational. She has turned this into a ministry by teaching other women how to be better stewards of money and cut our grocery budgets. If you're interested in learning more about how you can save money on your groceries and toiletry items, visit the money saving mom blog.

First day: spent $15, saved $51
Second day: spent $22, saved $44
Third day: spent $38, saved $52
Fourth day: spent $51, saved $36

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Preschool: Week 6

This week we learned the Bible story of Jacob and Esau, the letter D, and "Peas Porridge Hot" nursery rhyme. We reviewed shapes and our five senses. I was pretty busy couponing this week, so we had some catching up to do on the weekend. Elijah did some of the activities with her, thank you!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Edwin Warner State Park

We spent Friday evening at Edwin Warner State Park. We had the best time!

There was a little pond where we could see minnows swimming and big rocks to jump across the pond. Unfortunately, Abby fell into the pond and her clothes were soaked. We did have extra panties and shoes with us, but no extra clothes. We didn't want wet clothes to spoil our evening, so, she ran around in her underwear the rest of the night.

There was an organic garden, we called it our secret garden. We all enjoyed smelling the different herbs and finding vegetables: tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, squash, and okra. There is also a new play area for children at the park. There was a small cedar log cabin, a sand pile and a huge pile of dirt with a slide on it. Abby had so much fun playing in the dirt and sand and Elijah and I got to talk a little while she played. We'll definitely be going back soon!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Enoch @ 2 Months

Enoch just had his 2 month check up at the Doctor and as of 2 month 1 week old he is 23.25 inches long and weighs 10 lb 9 oz.

As for milestones, he is rolling over from his tummy to his back and he is smiling and cooing more often.

Abby loves him as always and he is such a blessing to our family. I love you son!

Harpeth River State Park

We went to Harpeth River State Park which is very close to our house. We made the short hike to the river and ate our picnic and then threw rocks in the river. Abby and Elijah ran around the trail together.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Fire Station

Our friends, the Guinness's were kind enough to invite us for their home school field trip to the fire station. We had a great time! Abby and I didn't do too much preparation before the trip, so I'm not sure how much she understood. This was apparent when we were half way done with our tour, Abby asked, "Mom, where are the firemen?" She didn't realize they were the ones who'd been talking to us the whole time. :)

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Preschool: Week 6

This week we learned about the letter "C", Abraham, Sara, and the promise of Issac. We also talked about feelings and emotions. This was a good time for that since Abby's been having some major tantrums lately. We talked about what we can do when we're angry and practiced. She loves to "practice."

None of us got much sleep this week since Abby has been dealing with nightmares and Enoch doesn't sleep through the night yet.

We didn't get everything done this week, but enjoyed what we did do.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Emergency Room Visit

Today was a very long day. We just got back from the Emergency Room with Abby. I picked her up a little too quickly by her hands and she immediately was in pain.

We decided to wait for 3o minutes or so to see if it was just something minor, but time didn't seem to help any. She couldn't even more her fingers!

Anyway, after 3 or 4 hours at the hospital after much waiting, x-rays, etc... the Doctor popped Abby's radius back into her elbow joint (that's my un-medical explanation). She said that it is a pretty common accident and it may happen again before the age of 5.

It felt so awful to see her in pain and unable to do anything. I am so thankful for doctors. Praise God that she is fine and well.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Preschool: Week 5

We learned about the letter "B", Noah's ark, and "Rub a Dub Dub" nursery rhyme.

Elijah and Abby had fun doing the sink/float science experiment together and Abby and I especially enjoyed acting out the Noah's ark story.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Preschool: Week 4

This week's Bible story was the "Fall of Man." The letter of the week was "A."

We played name bingo, numeral jump, sorted Uppercase A's from lowercase a's using different fonts, and many other fun things.

Our favorite thing of the week was acting out the Bible story with Daddy during our devotional time at night. Daddy played the part of Adam and Abby was Eve. I played the part of the snake and God's voice. We used our fake tree and put red pom poms on it for the fruit.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Enoch's First Swim

Enoch had his first swim in the bathtub with me today.

He didn't seem to mind too much about having his ears under water. I was impressed at how well his little body floated in the water. He is very buoyant!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

First Dance Class

Abby had her first dance class today. She is enrolled at Fellowship Bible Church's School of Dance.

All the little three and four year old girls looked adorable in their tights, leotards and little ballet shoes.

Toddler Photography

Abby got a real digital camera for her birthday from her Aunt Alissa and Uncle Mike.

She has really enjoyed using the camera. We went all around our neighborhood looking for picture subjects. She has a good eye for plants and flowers ;) So far she has taken over 200 pictures.

The above is a subset of her first photos.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Camp Pops and Nana

My parents hosted their annual "Camp Pops and Nana."

My sisters, their husbands and children all came to stay for a week. Abby stayed from Sunday through Wednesday without me there and she did great. I joined them on Wednesday after a few days at home with my sisters helping out with Enoch. Abby had so much fun playing with her cousins, Zack, Trey and Joshua.

Some of the highlights of the week included a trip to a zoo, flying model airplanes, swimming in the little pool and playing in the big sand pile. Pops and Nana even made special shirts for all the kids.

Thanks everyone for all the fun!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Enoch's Milestones

Enoch has reached three milestones all in one week!

He smiled, cooed and rolled from tummy to back while Andrea and Abby were at Pops and Nana's house.

It's hard to believe he's already six weeks old!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Abby's 3rd Birthday

Abby's 3rd Year Video
from Elijah Manor on Vimeo.

Today Abby turned 3 years old! We had her party at our neighborhood pool and the theme was Ariel from the Little Mermaid movie.

Thanks for everyone who was able to come to the party. We have truly been blessed by family and friends. I hope that we can continue our wonderful relationship. God bless you all!

In addition to the above video, I made 4 other minor themed videos that can be viewed below.

Friends 02:03

Preschool 05:10

Pops & Nana 02:00

Dancing 03:35

Friday, August 15, 2008

Preschool: Creation

We started Abby's three year old preschool curriculum. We're still using Hubbard's Cupboard (Joyful Heart Rhyming Times: Bible and Rhyme), but this year it will be three days a week instead of two.

Last year the curriculum was more theme based each month. This year we will work our way through the Bible. Each week has a different Bible story and a nursery rhyme.

The first two weeks we covered creation.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Parnell Visit

Andrea's Aunt, Uncle and cousins came to visit. They got to meet Enoch for the first time. Abby had so much fun playing with Ron, Beth and Moni while Andrea took Enoch to the doctor. We missed you, Heath and Caitlin!

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Enoch @ 1 Month

Enoch is now 1 month old. Its amazing how fast kids grow up!

Our neighbors across the street, the Thorntons, took the above photo of Enoch. We were blown away with how good it turned out. We look forward to the other pictures they will send. I will upload those as well when we get them.

They do great work, I would recommend them if you are looking for some awesome photos! Their business is called Thornton Photo, check it out.

Friday, August 08, 2008

New Honda Odyssey

With the help of Todd from we are the proud owners of a 2003 Honda Odyssey EX-L!

We are also excited to share that we were able to pay for the van in cash! The principles we learned from Dave Ramsey's class helped us understand that cash is the way to go.

It is so nice to have room in our vehicle again. The 2001 Saturn SL2 was getting pretty cramped in the back with two car seats installed!

If you are on the lookout for a slightly used vehicle that is in extremely good condition with a great price, please check out Todd at Not only is it a great deal, but he is a stand up honest hardworking man. He will hook you up with what you need and make sure you are pleased.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

5000 Hungry Hippos

Enoch had his first "Family Fun Night!"

We read and acted out the story of Jesus feeding the 5,000. Elijah played the part of Jesus, and Abby was the boy who provided the 5 loaves and two fish. Enoch and I, as well as a bunch of stuffed animals, were members of the crowd. We gave Abby a basket of 5 slices of bread and two fish sticks.

After "Jesus" prayed, miraculously, enough fish sticks and bread appeared to feed the whole crowd. We discussed the concept of sharing and talked about ways we can share what we have with others.

Last we played the game, "Hungry, Hungry Hippos." We tried to relate the hunger of the hippos to how we hunger after Jesus. I know, a big concept for a little girl and baby, but it will sink in some day!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Abby's Drawing

I continue to be impressed with Abby's artistic abilities. I think the four things she loves the most is drawing, dancing, reading, and playing pretend.

Abby had no assistance whatsoever when she made the above drawing. I am very proud of my little girl. She is truly a blessing from God!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Car Wreck

Andrea and Enoch were in a car accident while on the way to a doctor's appointment when Enoch was two weeks old.

They were merging onto I40 when the pick up truck in front of them came to a complete stop on the interstate. She was able to stop behind him without hitting him, but the metro access bus behind them was not able to stop and slammed into her car pushing her into the truck in front of her.

I drove them to the emergency room to get checked out. Thankfully, Enoch is just fine and Andrea left with a sore neck. The car was totaled and we are looking for a replacement car.

It has been stressful dealing with insurance companies and the inconvenience of having one car, but we are so grateful that everyone is safe. Praise God! Thank you for your prayers and support.

Label Me Thankful

Even before Enoch's birth and even more since we have been overwhelmed with the love of our family and friends.

We have received flowers, numerous meals, childcare, a load of boy clothes, and listening ears. God has truly blessed us with wonderful family, friends and coworkers. Thank you!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Enoch's Birth

This is the day we have been waiting for the past 38 weeks... Enoch is born!

We arrived at the hospital at 6:30 am after Andrea's contractions started around 3:30 am.

Enoch was born at 5:23 pm and his measurements are 7.5 pounds & 19 3/4 inches. He had some water on his lungs, so he was transferred to the transitional nursery for several hours so they can carefully observe him. I stayed with him while he was away from Andrea. In the end, everything turned out fine and Enoch was reunited with Andrea around 9:00 pm.

We are currently in room #7702 at the Nashville Baptist hospital. We should all be back home on Friday.

Andrea is recovering well, she is just trying to get all the rest she can.

If you want additional updates feel free to check my twitter status (account is not necessary) or facebook status (account is necessary).

For more pictures go to my Enoch's Birth Picasa Web Album.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Sister Love

Abby is so looking forward to being a big sister.

Although she already loved babies as it is, she seems like she is paying much more attention to her baby doll recently.

She has been talking to it, feeding it, putting it to sleep, etc...

Andrea has been helping Abby know how she can help when Enoch comes. They have been practicing with her baby doll and as a result Abby knows what to do and where to get it.

I am so excited to have another child. I'm excited to have a son. I love my family. Thank you God!

Friday, July 04, 2008

4th of July

We had a great 4th of July this year.

Abby participated in the neighborhood parade again. We decorated her red wagon with flags, etc... I think Abby's favorite part of the parade is the watermelon at the end ;)

I grilled out ribs and bratwurst, we ate more watermelon, played scrabble, and then watched the fireworks.

I don't know if it was just me, but it seemed like there was a lot more fireworks going off in our neighborhood than last year. They were going off all around us.

For more pictures go to my 4th of July Picasa Web Album.

Monday, June 30, 2008

June Preschool

Although Andrea has been pregnant and on bed rest for most of her 3rd trimester, she has still consistently been doing preschool activities with Abby. The theme for this month was Bubbles!

They did numerous bubble activities, made bubble crafts, read bubble books, sang bubble songs, etc...

The part I liked the most is when Abby and I hand washed her little car outside and when we drove through the Car wash at the local gas station.

For those of you who are interested, you can view the details of Abby's Daily Preschool Program for the month of June.

For more pictures go to my June Preschool Picasa Web Album.

Friday, June 27, 2008

The Monkey's Treehouse

We have been missing the play area that was in the Bellevue Mall.

Recently a new play place has been built in Bellevue called The Monkey's Treehouse. Its not free like the mall's play area was, but it has much more to do and the price is reasonable.

Andrea invited some friends to play with Abby and I came by after work to play some too ;)

For more pictures go to my Monkey's Treehouse Picasa Web Album.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Pool Fun in the Sun

I have been enjoying the neighborhood pool this summer.

As you can see from the above picture, Abby has been enjoying it as well. She has become quite brave and trusting in the water. She launches off the edge of the pool like a rocket!

The pool is also a nice respite for Andrea. Its been nice for her to cool off and relax in the refreshing water.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Father's Day

Andrea and Abby took some footage for Father's Day and I just put it all together. Thank you Andrea and Abby! I really do love my family.

I am blessed, and I am so looking forward to Enoch's arrival!

Saturday, May 31, 2008

May Preschool

Our themes for this month were Babies (human and animal) and Flowers & Gardens.

I've been on modified bed rest, so I wasn't able to do very many of our activities this month. Abby has really been missing preschool. We did a few preschool type activities, they weren't really related to the theme, though. Some of those ideas came from a book called, Slow and Steady Get Me Ready and also Cullen's ABC's.

We did learn the names of animal babies (pup, kitten, calf, etc.). There were some new ones I learned: did you know a baby fish is called a fry?

Elijah took her to the zoo to see real animal babies, I hated to miss this trip.

We also talked about human babies, nice timing since Enoch will be arriving soon.

We went through a bag of objects related to babies and talked about what they were for. This was great preparation for being a big sister. In the bag we had: diaper, bottle, bib, burp cloth, rattle, pacifier, onesie, diaper cream. Now when I need a burp cloth, Abby will know what I'm talking about!

We really didn't get to the flowers and garden part, but Abby did get to plant some herbs and water flowers when she was at her Memaw and Papa's house.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

8th Anniversary

Happy anniversary to a wild and crazy couple!

To celebrate our 8th anniversary, we went out for a change. Since Andrea has been on modified bedreset we haven't been out much lately, so it was nice to have some alone time together. I'd like to thank my Mom for taking care of Abby while we were out.

We went to Kyoto Japanese Steak & Seafood House and then went to watch Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

I am so fortunate to be married to Andrea. She is a devote Christian, a wonderful wife, and a great mother.

I am living Proverbs 5:18. After 8 wonderful years, I am still “Rejoic[ing] with the wife of thy youth.”

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Family Drawing

Family Portrait

Lately, Abby's drawings have started to resemble something. Here is her drawing of our family.

Click on the above photo and then hover over the different areas of the drawing for explanations.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Family Fun Night: Homeward Bound II

We had another Family Fun Night last night.

We watched the movie "Homeward Bound II." The first movie was much better than the sequal. We had to fast forward through some dog fights and dog napper parts, but overall it was good.

We were able to relate the theme of this movie to God. In case you haven't seen it, the movie is about 3 pets that get lost from their family. We talked about how when we disobey God, we are lost from Him, and how happy God is when we return to Him.

It was neat because earlier in the day Elijah had lost a penny, when he found it, he rejoiced and related it to the "lost coin" parable in the Bible.

We also recalled how earlier that day Abby had lost the flashlight she was playing with and we talked about how sad she was when she couldn't find it. But later that day, she found it and we "rejoiced!"

That's just how sad God is when we are "lost" from Him and how happy He is when we return to Him.

Yes, we realize this is an advanced concept for an almost three year old to understand, but if nothing else, she understands what the word, "lost" means now. We're just trying to plant seeds!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Visit to Papa & Mema's House

Abby and I went to visit my parents in Arkansas this summer. Andrea wanted to come to, but she is on bed rest due to some complications with her pregnancy. We missed her while we were gone.

Abby and I had a great time while at Papa and Mema's house. We planted flowers, baked muffins, stirred lemon-aid, made ice-cream, played, played, and played.

It was a memorable time made by all. We hope to seen them again in the near future.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Enoch Ultrasound: 30 Weeks

Since I've been "at risk" for preterm labor, I've had many ultrasounds during the last trimester. Here was a really good picture of Enoch's profile at 30 weeks. I had one last week where I could see him yawning several times. It is so amazing to be able to see him before he's born!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Tea Party

Nana invited us to join her for the Freed-Hardeman University Tea Party, a fund raising event.

This was our third year to attend and we plan to make it an annual tradition for the three of us.

We had a great time! Abby enjoyed getting dressed up in her pretty dress and shoes. At the tea party, there was a little tea set for her to play with, dress up clothes, croquet and an art activity (decorating pictures of victorian dresses with ribbon). She got to taste lemonade, cucumber sandwiches and several sweet treats.

Abby even got her picture in the local paper!

God's Story

We attended Fellowship Bible Church's yearly Express weekend. We enjoyed seeing and experiencing all the wonderful artwork, music, and dance that were lifted up to glorify and praise God!

I put the above video together to capture 4 pieces of artwork that Seth Conley painted during this weekend's 4 services. The paintings depict the story that God's paints throughout the Bible... creation, fall, redemption, and recreation.

I was touched by the paintings and wanted to share it with you all.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

April Preschool

We had two themes for preschool this month: bread and birds. The first two weeks we had fun learning about how bread is made and different kinds of bread. We especially enjoyed learning about birds. I was amazed at how much information she retained about birds (specific names, the things birds eat, why they have wings, and naming the different parts of a bird).

For those of you who are interested, you can view the details of Abby's Daily Preschool Program for the month of April.

For more pictures go to my April Preschool Picasa Web Album.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Bird Feeder

Abby and I went to Centennial Park today while Andrea was at the Fellowship Bible Church Woman's Retreat.

We picked up a $1 bag of white bread from Publix and headed to the park. We had a lot of fun feeding the ducks, geese, and birds.

By the end of our bag of bread we were surrounded by a hungry swarm of feathered friends.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Abby & Joshua

Anna and Joshua Neal came to visit Tennessee for the past couple of weeks.

They stayed with Pops and Nana in Jackson for part of the trip and stayed with us for the other part. Anna and Joshua were a joy to have in our home. The kids had a great time playing together, smiling, and hugging each other.

I was so impressed and pleased to watch how gentle and loving Abby was towards Joshua. She is going to be a great big sister to Enoch.

Monday, April 21, 2008

myhealthIQ Robot Dance

This is my second installment of the myhealthIQ dance series. As you can see Abby and I had a great time filming this dance.

Once the new season of So You Think You Can Dance comes on, I hope to have more frequent dance installments to share with you all :)

Sunday, April 20, 2008

First Home Haircut

Andrea gave Abby her first home haircut today and she did a great job.

She gained encouragement from a Mom's Together talk at Fellowship Bible Church and from her hair stylist who gave Andrea some great tips and tricks of the trade.

We saved lots of money and the result turned out great. I am so proud of Andrea!

Church Left Building

Fellowship Bible Church had a special Sunday last week... the building was closed!

We were all encouraged to live out our Faith in our community. On Saturday we helped a neighbor of the Guinness family move a lot of firewood. It was great to be helping a family in need and to share our love of God with others.

The next day Andrea and Jill picked up food that Publix donated and brought it to a woman in need. It was encouraging to see how God was working through this whole experience and to open our eyes to the needs around us.

On Sunday evening the whole church met at Crocket Park for a night of praise. It was a great way to praise God for the great things He did that weekend.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Sherbet & Charades

Tonight was another Family Fun Night.

We started off by eating Orange Sherbet that Andrea made in the powerful Vita-Mix machine.

Then we proceeded to play charades in our living room. The above video details the events of the game. It was like a zoo entered our home! We all had a great time playing together.

Later Abby showed me some dance moves and we played on the floor.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

MacBook Pro

Well, I have taken the Mac plunge! I know many developers who wouldn't even consider making the switch, but over the years I have seen the light and have changed my ways!

I was looking for a better computer to work on video, pictures, etc... and I am sure enjoying working on the MacBook Pro. Andrea and Abby also like using the Mac!

Sure, I still use a PC for work, but when I come home I use a Mac :) If I got real serious I could even get VMware Fusion and run Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 and any other PC program on the Mac.

Even if you don't like Macs, you have to admit those Mac Commercials are pretty funny! LOL

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Miss Patty Cake

Today we drove down to Memphis for a Miss Patty Cake concert!

Miss Patty Cake is an entertainer for children and she sings and teaches about Christian principles. Abby has several of her videos at home and she really enjoys watching them.

Abby was excited to go see Miss Patty Cake, and was even more excited when we arrived in Memphis. We bought her a Miss Patty Cake dress and she wore it during the show.

After the show Abby got to sit in Miss Patty Cake's lap and got some pictures with her. Miss Patty Cake was very nice and encouraging. Although it took a little while to stand in line, I was very impressed how Miss Patty Cake took her time with each child and didn't rush through everyone.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Biggest Loser Winner

This is my third post on the blog!

I want to brag on Elijah for a minute. He participated in the "Biggest Looser" weight loss competition in our neighborhood. He has worked very hard at exercising and eating healthy and has lost 27 pounds over the last three months. He has also lowered his cholesterol.

We are so proud of the hard work he's done. Not only does he get the benefits of a healthy body, but he also won first place overall and first place in the men's.

He got $300, a $50 gift card to a sports store, a free one hour massage (which he's kindly offered to me), and the biggest surprise of all was a free two night stay in a beautiful cabin near Center Hill Lake in TN!

Congratulations, Elijah!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Alligator Mouth

We enjoyed another "Family Fun Night" together yesterday. Abby and I had a rough afternoon together, I'd kept her out too late when she needed a nap and she was having trouble using kind words with her friends.

We decided to do a little devotional before we played our game (the alligator game where you push the teeth down and try not to get "bitten" by the alligator). Elijah read us a few scripture about the tongue (Proverbs and James). One of the scriptures talks about putting a guard over your mouth. So I got out "Mouthy Mouth," the mouth puppet I used to use in speech therapy, and asked Abby what do we use our mouths for? She said, "To eat." I said, "Yes, what else do we use them for?" I was thinking to talk, she stood up and said, "To stand up and PRAISE the Lord!" with her little hands lifted high. I almost cried, it was so precious! That is after all why God gave us our mouths isn't it?

Anyway, so we talked about how are mouths can either give blessings (Kind words) or curses (unkind or mean words). Mouthy Mouth gave us some examples of kind words and unkind words and she had to tell which was which. When Mouthy Mouth used unkind words, we put a guard over our mouth-literally putting our hands over our mouth. I think she got it, later that night she told her Daddy, "NO!" in an unkind way, she immediately covered up her mouth!

After this, we played the alligator game and dominoes. Then we made popcorn together. It was great! We hope you'll have time to have a "Family Night" at your house soon, remember to share your ideas with us! For more Family Night ideas see the Girl Talk blog.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Baby Boy's Name

Before Abby was born Andrea and I both agreed on her name, but with our son we never did fully agree on a name. I was pleased the other day when Andrea honored me by letting me select our son's name.

After much study, prayer, and consideration, I have come up with a name that I think will bring honor to God and give our son a name to be proud of and to live up to.

Enoch Joel Manor

Enoch \e-no-ch\ is pronounced EE-nuk. It is of Hebrew origin, and its meaning is "trained and vowed, dedicated; profound". Once Enoch is born, we intend to dedicate him to God, His plans, and His purposes.

Like Elijah, Enoch was the only other person in the Bible that didn't die and was taken directly into Heaven. As in the following reference, Enoch was mentioned to "having pleased God".

Hebrews 11:5 reads...
"By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death, and he was not found, because God had taken him. Now before he was taken he was commended as having pleased God."

I chose Enoch's middle name, Joel, because like my name it proclaims the name of God. Elijah means "My God is Jehovah", and Joel means "Yah(weh) is God".

I have enjoyed the name Elijah and I hope our son will enjoy his name too.

March Preschool

Abby and I had a great time in Preschool this month. We didn't get to all of our planned activities, but some of the biggest hits were making our picture of Humpty Dumpty, sorting pom poms into egg cartons, and the cross craft activities.

We used "Ressurrection Eggs" to teach about the days leading up to Christ's death, his burial and resurrection. We also watched the "Miss Patty Cake DVD that explains the resurrection eggs more at a preschool level. Abby loved these videos and it was so precious to see her singing the songs along with the video. She could explain all about the donkey, who rode on it, the city where Jesus was going, what the people said, "Hosanna!" and that they waved palm branches as he passed. During our night time devotions, we pretended that daddy was a donkey and Abby was Jesus, she rode on his back and I was one of the people in the crowd yelling, "Hosanna!" and waving paper palm branches. One evening the three of us took a walk down by the river in our neighborhood and we saw a thorn tree, I've never seen anything like it before. This was the perfect opportunity to show her what the crown of thorns was made out of. She was able to touch it and see how sharp it was and she would say that the crown hurt Jesus. The cross craft activities done this month were real eye opening to her, every where we went she was seeing things in the shape of a cross, she'd say, "Look, Mama, a cross!" with a big smile on her face. She could tell me who died on the cross and answer questions about why (for our sins) and if Jesus did anything wrong? (No). She liked to pick out her baby and toddler Bibles to read before nap time, she wanted to read the stories about Jesus on the donkey, the cross and the resurrection. We explained that Jesus was buried in a tomb, sort of like a cave, and she could tell us that the stone was rolled away, the tomb was empty and that Jesus is alive!

We also had the opportunity to participate in an Easter egg hunt at "The Meadows" nursing home. It was so sweet to see Abby interact with the elderly residents. We also had Easter lunch here, the food was provided by my grandfather Pawi (from Kroger). Thanks, Pawi!

I am so thankful for the teachable moments we had this month and for the wonderful resources we have available to us to teach Abby about Jesus at such a young age. On Easter Sunday we had our family over for lunch. Abby passed a "resurrection egg" to each person and we all took turns opening the eggs and reading a description of how it related to the story of Christ. This was a wonderful preschool month! I love watching her grow and learning new things.

For those of you who are interested, you can view the details of Abby's Daily Preschool Program for the month of March.

For more pictures go to my March Preschool Picasa Web Album.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Baby #2's Gender

The day has finally come for Andrea's 20 week ultrasound.

Abby is going to be the proud big sister of a healthy baby boy (the above pictures make that fact real obvious)!

Everything checked out fine with the ultrasound and things seem to be on track.

It will take us a bit longer to figure out his name. We wanted to wait until we knew the gender before we thought about it too seriously :)

Please continue to keep us all in your prayers.... Andrea, myself, Abby, and our baby boy.

Backyard Picnic

It was a beautiful day outside today in Nashville. I worked from home today and during lunch we decided to have a picnic in our backyard.

We ate from plates and cups that Abby passed out from her little picnic basket.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Game Night

We decided to have another special family night, but we don't want to make movie nights a common experience. So, we tried a game night.

Andrea and Abby made popcorn again and we played Leap Frog Dominoes. The first level of dominoes is to match the color ends of the pieces. We had a great time playing together.

If any of you have any good ideas for family nights together, please share them. We would love to try them.

Friday, February 29, 2008

February Preschool

Andrea and Abby had two themes for our preschool this month.

They first learned about Valentines and tea parties. This was the perfect time to talk about love and the different ways we can show love to others (hugs, kisses, sharing toys, kind words, giving gifts etc.). They invited our preschool friends over for a Valentine Tea Party. The girls had a great time decorating hats, singing I"m a Little Teapot, Ringing around the Rosie, marble art and of course having cucumber sandwiches and "tea."

The last two weeks in February, Abby and Andrea learned about Doctors and germs. Their theme Bible story was the Good Samaritan. They had a great time acting out the story, we took turns being the hurt person and the Good Samaritan. Abby also had pink eye this month, so there was a great opportunity for talking about germs and hand washing.

There were so many fun activities.

For those of you who are interested, you can view the details of Abby's Daily Preschool Program for the month of February.

For more pictures go to my February Preschool Picasa Web Album.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Movie Night

Well we decided it was time to have our first movie night with Abby and introduce her to the wonders of Disney & Pixar.

Before showing the movie Andrea and I did some internet research about the sea creature names and made a matching game for Abby.

Andrea and Abby made popcorn and I pulled out the gummy bears.

Abby loved watching Finding Nemo, as do many young children. To be on the safe side, we made sure to fast forward through the scary parts (shark attacks, etc…).

It was a great time had by all!

Do you have good ideas of how to make a movie night an educational experience as well?

Saturday, February 23, 2008

The Birdwell Family

Our good friends, the Birdwells, took a mini-vacation from Arkansas to Nashville.

We were honored that they wanted to visit with us during their vacation.

We enjoyed catching up and sharing our hopes, dreams, and talking about the wonders of parenthood.

Even though we hadn't seen them for over 2 years, we talked about how nice it was to pick up with friends right where we left off.

We love you Birdwell family. God bless...

Monday, January 28, 2008

January Preschool

This month Abby and Andrea learned about our five senses.

Actually, they learned about this in November, but didn't get around to all the activities because of the holidays. They had their friends over for preschool on this topic in January.

Andrea am feeling much better and was glad to be back to doing fun things with Abby. They had a great time!

For more pictures go to my January Preschool Picasa Web Album.

Saturday, January 26, 2008


Well, it was time to say goodbye to Abby's pacifier. We first decided to snip off the tip of her paci to minimize it's allure. Then we proceeded to give paci a ceremonial sayonara at Build-A-Bear.

Abby picked out a bear skin, inserted her paci, stuffed it, and then cleaned the bear. She knows exactly where the paci is... lodged in bear's left leg :)

We were impressed how smoothly the whole process went. Since then she has had some issues sleeping during naptime, but we have been surprisingly pleased how well she has been sleeping at night... even the first night! Praise God!

All that worry over what turned out to be nothing!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Jesus Loves Me

Before I lay Abby down to sleep at night, I have been singing Jesus Love Me with her. We started to shout the song so that Andrea can hear us :)

The above video is of Abby singing Jesus Loves Me with a lot of energy!

Monday, January 21, 2008

The Jones Family

Will and Lisa Jones stopped by our house on their way back home to Searcy, AR.

I used to attend Harding University and work at ALLTEL and Acxiom with Will and I met his wife, Lisa, during their dating period :)

We enjoyed opening up our home to them and it was great to catch up. God bless your family!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Playing in the Snow

This was Abby's first real experience to play in the snow!

Although it didn't snow much we made the most of it this morning. We made two little snowmen, played around in the snow, and then she warmed up with hot chocolate in the house.

I thought it was so cute when after making the first snowman she said, "Little snowman wake up!". She really loves Frosty the snowman :)

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Nana to the Rescue

Andrea has been feeling much worse the last several days due to her first trimester of pregnancy. I've been trying to come home early, work from home, etc... but we needed some reinforcements.

The carvery has come in! Nana to the Rescue! Nana came down after work on Friday and she has been cleaning, washing laundry, taking care of Abby, and the works!

Hopefully we will be able to upkeep what she has done after she leaves.

Also, we hope that Andrea starts feeling better. Please continue to pray for her.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Biggest Loser

I have done it again... I have added a lot of weight onto my short frame.

It helps to have some sort of goal for me to lose weight, so it worked out well that I heard there is a Biggest Loser competition in our neighborhood! Each person contributes $20 and the pot is distributed between the winners. There are group exercise events on the weekend and its a good way to get acquainted to neighbors and have some accountability.

I have never watched the Biggest Loser TV Show, but Isabeau (a runner up from last season) just moved to our neighborhood and she will be helping out with the weekend training classes!

My goad is to lose 34.4 lbs by April 1st.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Alesso Post New Year

We went to Searcy, AR to visit with my parents, sister, and her family after the New Year.

I haven't seen my sister and her family for about 3 years! That sure seems like a long time.

Abby got to meet her cousins for the first time, and boy did they have fun playing together!

It was really good to catch up with them and just hang out. I hope we can see each other sooner next time.

A thanks goes out to Will and Lisa Jones who graciously let us sleep at their house while we were in Searcy. It was greatly appreciated!