Jesus conquered the grave

The flowers are starting to bloom on our weeping cherry and saucer magnolia!

They'll probably be full tomorrow, and so very pretty on Easter. Although I LOVE snow in the winter, and I LOVE laying out in the summer, Easter is probably my favorite day of the year. Aside from the pretty eggs we color, the fabulous candy, our beautiful new outfits, & the Easter lilies, what a WoNdErFuL day to celebrate Jesus Christ's victory over death. His resurrection symbolizes the eternal life that is granted to all who believe in Him. Most, but not all, Christian churches observe Lent. The purpose is to set aside time for reflection on Jesus Christ - his suffering and his sacrifice, his life, death, burial and resurrection. What a special time.I've found that such great,new habits are formed during lent! Not just giving up a food ,or Internet, or TV show,or whatever, but your personal relationship with Christ getting stronger, learning new truths in the Word, and just spending time with our God. Everything about this celebration and season fits so perfectly with spring time. Spring AND Easter are so beautiful!

Of course, when you think of Easter, you think of maybe the Easter cantata? The music is always beautiful.I always think of the song " Up from the grave he arose"--> You always have that old lady in church that will sing the offertory every month ( in a smaller church). I remember growing up we had an 'opera style' type older lady who would sing....and that line of the song ALWAYS got me! It's so hard to hide laughs in when you're 8. Sing that part in your head with an 'opera' type HIGH pitch, shaky voice!

Last year the youth group did the Lifehouse 'Everything' skit on Easter. WOW! Click here to see it. No matter how many times I see it, or who I see preform it, it is amazing. I'm anticipating another great Easter service, and am so looking forward to church on Sunday. And looking forward to a great meal at the house after!

My chains are gone, I've been set free
My God, my Savior has ransomed me
And like a flood His mercy reigns
Unending love, amazing grace


I love Tuesdays!

Since I've become a Stay At Home Mom, I really don't have a 'weekend' to look forward to. I don't wake up every Mon. morning, and dread the work week, looking forward to Friday. WHICH, by the way, Really annoys me. I hate to read on people's facebook that they can't wait until Friday afternoon. I understand how jobs are annoying and not always where we want to be, but I really believe in enjoying each day, being thankful for another day to be alive, not wishing my life away, and making the best of it. A few months ago, Tuesday became my favorite day. I started doing a cycling class at the Y--which I LOVE. I also really enjoy watching The biggest Loser, and I also REALLY love $.45 wings at BW3's!

Today was Landon's last Tuesday swim lesson. We finish his lessons on Thursday =( Last week was NOT a fun week at lessons. I believe that most of it had to do with the 2 new teeth he has, and the 3 that have broken through. YES, 5 new teeth in the last week and a half. Just about 2 weeks ago, he only had 4 1/2 teeth-the regular 1st 4 that come in, and a 1/2 of another. He has added a full molar up top, another tooth on the bottom, and his other 3 molars are poking out! He was doing everything wonderfully in the pool, except for kicking his feet and moving his arms.(The main purpose for this class is to get the acquainted with the pool)FINALLY today he laid over the noodle, kicked his arms and legs, and smiled the entire time. He had a great attitude today, and it made me very happy =) I love that during his lessons, there is a class in the other end of the pool. It is mostly seniors. Half the time during class, they are focused on their instructor, and then the other half of the time, they are looking at Landon and smiling. I love that he has like 50 'grandparents' who enjoy watching his swimming lessons. When they are done, some of them get into the hot tub, and Landon will climb out on that side of the pool to tell them all "Hi!". And then after lessons, so many of them talk to him,say how adorable he is, how well he did in class, and how they could tell how much he enjoys swimming. It's so fun, and I'm glad he can bring joy to other people's morning!

Luke had his review and rating this week for work. We have been praying about this for a long time now. We are so grateful for everything we have been blessed with, Home Depot being such a great company for Luke to work for, and for me to be able to stay home with Landon. Like most couples (I hope), this was an issue we discussed before marriage. There was never any other thought besides that I would stay home when we had children, and most likely go back when they entered school-- to pay for their Private schooling. We were a little hesitant for me to stay home once we finally got to the point, and I did go back for about 4 months. It was the best decision for me to get tenured, get summer pay, and have another chunk of one of my loans paid off. After that, we took the plunge into living off of one income, knowing that God would provide all of our needs, and never doubting our decision. It has been an adjustment, but we love it and believe it is for the best for us! And all this to say that Luke got the highest rating he could get at his review. This means he is eligible to take the test that will allow him to interview for his own store =) I'm so happy and proud of all his work. When he started with the company as an hourly associate, he made a goal to be a manager in 5 years.....well it's been about that long, and he is as close as he can be now!

This sign is from Pineapple willy's last summer. And in 24 days, we'll be back on the beach! Luke has 2 weeks of vacation left he has to use by August, but he can't use them in the spring. So we'll just go for a long weekend like we did last year--Friday night, Saturday night, Sunday night, and come back Monday afternoon. He is going to use 1 of his weeks to work on the flooring & deck on the house, and use the other the first week in August to go back to the beach. We found a place last Spring, stayed there in July, and LOVE it. Luke talks ( and stalks the Internet) weekly about moving to a store down there, and buying a 3 bedroom condo there. If you know me at all, you know it Sounds Great to me!!!! We stay at the
Origin at Sehaven The beach works out great with us, even having Landon. Luke enjoys a few hours in the sun, beach, and pool. but at some point, his idea of vacation--relaxing in a bed or watching TV-- works perfectly with Landon taking a nap, and mommy getting to lay out in peace and quiet. I love that he always tries to squeeze in little trips like this! He knows I LOVE the beach and sun, and it keeps us sane to get away for a few days. The weekend we are there, is my long run of 10 miles. This makes me a little bit nervous, but I am glad there are treadmills if I get bored running it all outside. I'm doing good with my 'late' training. Once I get past the first 2 miles, I'm good to go! This is all mental for me, and I WILL meet my goal! I am excited though that I will get to run to and around Pier Park. I have been using www.mapmyrun.com to find different routes for me to run during the week or for my long run when I don't use the treadmill at the Y. So we won't have to drive around and around the beach until we find a 10 mile route I like.
This was a long and random blog, but now it's time to go to the park with my Landon! Luke will be home shortly after, and then I'm off to lift, cycle, and tan!


March Madness

If you want to know what our house has been up to since Thursday....
The only time any of our TVs have left CBS was when Landon asked to watch 'Veggie'-- we watch Veggie Tales once a day. He loves it. But he has also learned to point at the basketball games, and yell (mumble) at it. Everyone knows that I'm a Louisville fan. And everyone knows that Luke isn't a big basketball fan--he will watch me play, watch games with me, and watch UL play . He is about as big of a basketball fan as I am baseball....baseball was NOT allowed in our house on TV growing up =)But he does, like about everyone else, really get into the NCAA tournament when he can watch. And yes, Louisville lost to Cal in the first round...shocker. After his year of bi-polar playing, who expected anything more? Of course, we all hoped, and KNEW they could win......it was just their night to not play. Sosa ....ah whatever, so happy he is a senior at this point. I told someone that I was so glad this season was over--I've never had more heartbreaks in a year! At least this year's tourney is crazy, and almost EVERY game has been unbelievable and exciting.


Swimming lessons

Luke got up early today to go watch Landon in his swimming lessons. OF COURSE today is the 1st day that Landon was not happy throughout about 60% of swimming =( I know he has about 3 more teeth trying to come through, and we have had a few sleepless nights. He actually slept all of Monday night, but his teeth are bothering him, I'm sure. It doesn't help that he instantly spots a ball, and that is ALL he wants to do is throw the basketball in the pool.

Luke tried to take some pictures, but they aren't really 'allowed' in the Y. He got a few until the other baby showed up. So, we didn't get Great ones of him going under or jumping in from the side, but we got a few.

Landon can climb out of the side of the pool ( he uses my leg some to push off of), and he has now transfered that skill to climbing up on the couch. He gets SO proud of himself when he climbs on it. He also tried to climb out of the bathtub last night--he had one leg all the way up on the ledge =) We usually throw some sort of toy out of the side of the pool for him to climb up and get. Then he will jump back into the pool. The first few times he would stand and hold onto my hands, we count " 1, 2, 3" and then make a big loud deal of noise ( like sucking in air) every time, and he smiles & jumps in. Right before he hits the water he closes his eyes, and shuts his mouth. He does so good. Today, he sat on the edge and jumped in. One time I started him standing, but when I got to '3', he sat down and jumped in that way.
His teacher said the main difference in his ability 'checklist' and the 10 month old that is in his class is that he needs to be able to kick when he is floating/hanging on to whatever he is using....he kinda just freezes, finds the ball in the pool, reaches towards that way, and yells BALL.
He didn't want to float on his back today.He just wanted to squirm sideways, and go get the ball.

He got excited today when the baby got to class.

He is easliy distracted by the deep water class in the lap pool.

On a side note, we all went grocery shopping yesterday. We have been staying in an ok budget for our groceries. We spend about $75-$85 for about a 2-2 1/2 week period.Kroger has a March Madness sale going on now, where if you buy 8 items, it will take $4 off your total. So we shopped in multiples of 8's yesterday, keeping track on the top of our grocery list. We got some GREAT deals on pasta sauce and noodles, oscar meyer sandwiches, mott's apple juices ( $.99), and frozen french fries. In the end, we thought we were at 40 items that were participating in the sale....but after it rung up we were only at 39 =( But instead of us going back, getting another juice, and changing the reciept, the CS lady just put $4 back on our debit card! This was our total ( take away $4, and add $4 to savings!)
We're still learning how to make the best use of coupons and sales, but this was a good day for us, and saving pretty close to 50%. We are working to get better!


To finish is to win!

I officially signed up last week for the Derby Mini Marathon! I only have 39 days now left to train, so I won't be worrying about my time at all this time around. I will only be pushing to run 8 miles, and if I have to walk the rest, I'll be OK with it. I'm hoping since I know the course so well (not from running it, but driving it so much growing up) it'll be easier for me to just keep running! I just need to get past the two hills in the first 2 miles. If you want to come cheer me on, check out this page for suggestions.

I think maybe also you could park at my grandpa's shop and walk over to 4th street. I read somewhere that there are texts you can receive on updates to where your runner is at. For those not familiar with the race/course,here it is.

You can also look at the route here.

On another note, Landon had his 15 month check-up last week. He is 20 1/2 pounds, almost 31 inches tall, and I forget what his head is! His weight is back above his curve ( which is 3%, and he is now 5th I think), his height is still 31%--like it was at 12 months, and his head is like 15%. His Dr. said he seems to be very verbally advanced, that makes me happy. I had been worried a few months ago that he wasn't talking like other kids his age. Of course, it was after he was around a girl his age, and everyone knows girls do things sooner. He said the fact that he can say 'eye' and point to an eye is great. Landon has been LOVING swimming lessons.He goes underwater perfectly, he is trying to float on his back, can hold onto the edge of the pool by himself and climb out, and can jump in from the side holding onto my hands. Luke doesn't have to work tomorrow morning, so he is going to take a few pictures for me. I'll try to post them tomorrow!


Our #1

ma MA?"

This is the wonderful sound we wake up to every morning. Landon no longer will sit and play in his bed for a few minutes. The second he wakes up, which is at a decent time at least, he starts yelling for 'MA'. =) We so full and busy these days, But what a beautiful way to start each day!
Landon seems to be growing up and changing all the time.He is running all around the house. We shut the bedroom doors, gate off the upstairs, and he has freedom to run wherever he wants! Since we have nothing out that he can't get into,it is starting to get hard going to someone else's house with him. He is too young to know that everyone elses house isn't babyproofed, or to know what he can or can't touch. And he is smart enough to remember what he shouldn't be doing, as he points to something and says 'No!' He is very good at following directions though.When we tell him it's time to put his shoes on, he plops down wherever he is and waits =)And when we say it's time to go bye-bye, he runs to the gate and waits to leave.
He sometimes will say "mama" and "dadyyyyyy'', but it's usually 'ma' and 'da'. He is picking up a few new words each week. He says quite a few words including: mama, daddy, down, sit, dane do ( thank you), Pa with a BIG emphasis on the P ( please), cheese, out out out, ouch,eye,SH ( shoe), bath , bubbles,bye-bye, hi, no--while shaking his head like crazy, yes, baby, dog, MINEY(mine),ball, ba-ball (basketball), and today he learned to say button and potty.
We start swimming lessons on Tuesday the 9th of March, and will go Tuesdays and Thursdays for 3 weeks. We are so excited! He also goes for his 15th month check-up on the 11th. He has stayed right on track with his weight, except for when he had the stomach virus, and has slowly been jumping farther up off his chart for height and head circ. We will see where he is at!