Monthly Archives: July 2008

5 Months







Ben turned 5 months old on Saturday (7/26)!!  We had so much fun taking these photos!  As you can see, he was mostly interested in trying to suck on his cool plaid pants, the fuzzy wuzzy dots on the rocking chair and his yummy fingers!!  I bet you can’t guess what he’s been up to lately!?!  That’s right…exploring everything with his mouth!  He has even started this new thing where he puts his fingers in his mouth and blows.  It makes this interesting noise that he finds quite fascinating!  Click here to listen for yourself!

When we were visiting my friend, Sonya, in Arkansas, Ben got to play with a cool mirror attached to the inside of the crib that he napped in.  He really seemed to like playing with it!  So when we returned home I picked one up for him.  The first day I decided to hang it at the end of the crib where I usually lay his head when I put him down for nap time and bedtime.  When I put him to bed that night all he wanted to do was play with it so I had to take it out of the crib.  Needless to say, he was not a happy camper.  The next day I moved it to the opposite end of the crib.  Now it works out much better for everyone!  Check out this cute clip.

Last but certainly not least, tonight he rolled over AGAIN for the second time all by himself!!  This time Jake and I both got to see him in action!


Filed under Ben, Orlando

Mama Mia

Last night I met up with some of the mamas (Katy, Christy L., Christy S., Carissa and Debra) from playgroup for a fun girls night out!  We left the kiddos at home with their daddies and we went to watch Mama Mia.  The theater was packed with women (not surprising) and I did see at least two men.  My guess is that one might have been on a first date trying to woo his girl and the second was an older gentleman who most likely lost a bet to his wife.  =)  The movie was hysterical and a real treat for many of us that hadn’t been to a movie in what feels like a really long time!  So, if you haven’t seen this movie, call up your girlfriends and go see it!!  Just be prepared to have the song Mama Mia stuck in your head for the next 24 or so hours!

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Filed under Friends, Orlando


Here’s the salsa recipe that Amanda (Jake’s sister) asked for.  Is it homemade???  Well, we consider it homemade because #1) we make it at our home =) and #2) it doesn’t come from a jar.  However, some might consider it semi-homemade since we do not use all fresh ingredients (i.e. canned tomatoes).  But you could certainly use fresh tomatoes!  Either way, this salsa is super tasty and I’m sure you’ll love it too!  It is aways a favorite around our house!  Hope you enjoy!!

5 Simple Ingredients:

1/2 bunch fresh cilantro (pulled from stems and washed)

1/8 red onion

50 shakes Lawry’s garlic salt

1 can diced tomatoes

10-12 jalapeno slices



Combine all ingredients in blender on “chop” until it reaches your desired consistency.  Voila!  All done.  How’s that for easy!?!  Enjoy with your favorite tortilla chips! 

Note:  If you decide to double the recipe, I’ve found that after you add the second can of tomatoes it is best if you add the additional ingredients “to taste” instead of adding double of everything else otherwise it will come out too garlicky and with too much red onion.  One additional tip, I use the Del Monte diced tomatoes with jalapeno and then I don’t have to add additional jalapenos.  Oh, yes, I’ve only made this with Lawry’s garlic salt and it is the only one I would recommend for it to taste just perfect!  Can you tell we take salsa very seriously around our house!?!  =)  Bon Appetit!  


Filed under Food, Orlando








On Sunday, Jake and his trusty helper, Ben, put together the ExerSaucer!  We want to say a BIG THANKS to Uncle Matt and Aunt Yvonne!!  This is one of the toys we bought for Ben with the gift cards they gave us when he was born!  Click here to see the fun!


Filed under Ben, Orlando

He Did It…

He did it!!  Ben rolled over from his back to his tummy today for the very first time!  Here’s how it all went down…I put him on the play mat next to me while I was checking e-mail this morning.  I could hear him making his usual coos and squeals, but then I heard a different noise, so I looked down at him and there he was…ON HIS TUMMY!!  I was kind of bummed I missed the actual rolling part, but I was so ecstatic to see him on his tummy I didn’t care.  I immediately jumped up and started clapping.  It’s a wonder I didn’t scare the poor thing half to death.  I did manage to snap this cute shot of him looking up after the roll.  Way to go Ben!!

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A is for Arkansas (Part Two)

Now for the rest of the story…

On Wednesday morning Dad drove Ben and me to Fayetteville where we spent the rest of our time while visiting in Arkansas.  Our next stop was Grandma and Grandpa Hamilton’s house.  Ben immediately took to a cool toy with a steering wheel that Grandma pulled out of the toy box.  He LOVED this thing!!  Click here to watch the video.








Jake arrived on Friday evening and we were super happy to see him!!  We had lots of fun relaxing out on the covered back porch.  Ben loved it out there!  One day he cried when I took him inside and didn’t stop until I took him back outside.  He seems to be an outdoorsy kind of guy already! 















Ben was quite the little talker while we were there.  He was willing to strike up a conversation with just about anyone that wanted to talk.  Click here to watch a fun time with Ben and Uncle Tim.  He also enjoyed bath time and we were thankful to have lots of helping hands!!








Other noteworthy highlights from our time in Fayetteville:

  • We ate at Acambaro TWICE!!  Acambaro is my favorite Mexican restaurant in NWA.  It is so yummy and cheap!!  Thankfully they still have a few restaurants open.  You can click here for the story.
  • Jill, Candice and I got a pedicure while the boys played a round of golf.  Thanks, girls (they treated me to an early birthday present)!!  My toes look lovely!!
  • On Thursday, my mom and I went with Tim and Candice to the doctor’s office for an ultrasound!  They received confirmation that they are for sure having a girl!  It was so awesome to see her moving around!  She is very active…hmm, does that remind you of anyone else you may know (her mama)?!!
  • I got to see one of my best childhood friends, Dawna!  She came running up to me at church and said she had just seen Jake in the hallway and about had a heart attack she was so excited!  It was so great to see her and her two beautiful daughters, Kaylee and Macee!

On Sunday after church we took a drive out to the land that we purchased in January.  Tim and Candice own the lot next to us and our hope is to one day build houses next to each other there.  We also got to meet our next door neighbor.  He and his wife are in the process of building their home now and it is super nice.  It seems like we already have great neighbors and we look forward to building out there one day in the future!  The first pic here is our property and the next pic with Ben shows the home going in next door.








The night before we left, Sonya, Andrew and Laynee along with my Mom and Bill joined us over at Tim and Candice’s house for a little Rock Band action.  It was so much fun and hysterical to watch everyone!  Ben even fell asleep while we were playing…who knew he would find two electric guitars, a drum set and a karaoke singer soothing!  (I would show you pics and/or video here, but someone (cough…Tim…cough) has yet to send them to me…I was out of space on my camera).  No pressure there Timmy!  =)

My Dad picked us up bright and early on Monday morning for our drive back to the airport in Springfield.  It was so nice to have Jake fly home with us!  Thanks again to our friends and family for the wonderful time!  We love you and miss you bunches!  We want to give a big thanks to Grandpa Hamilton too for the awesome pics he took of Ben that I used for this post!!  Ben had a very fun first trip to Arkansas!  Here we are on the plane ride home.

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Filed under Arkansas, Ben, Family, Friends

A is for Arkansas (Part One)

We returned from Arkansas on Monday afternoon and we were exhausted!  We played very hard and had a great time visiting with friends and family.  It was certainly hard to say goodbye and we miss them bunches!  We are already planning our next trip back in October for the Arkansas v. Florida football game.  Ben and I, along with Dakota, held down the fort at home this week while Jake traveled to Tampa early Tuesday morning and was there for the week to help open a new campus.  We were so happy to see him when he returned home on Friday evening!  Here’s a recap of our trip to Arkansas.

First things first, Ben was a trooper (with a capital “T”) on the airplane.  I really appreciate all of your prayers and could certainly feel them throughout the entire trip!  I sat next to the nicest lady!  She was returning home after visiting her grandchildren for a week so she was happy to have us sitting next to her.  Across the aisle was a man and his wife who was pregnant with their FIFTH child!  Ben was quite the center of attention.  He was all smiles for our neighbors and they kept commenting on how content and happy he was to be sitting on his mama’s lap!  As we got off the plane we got lots of ohhs and ahhs about what a great baby he was!!  As we exited the elevator and rounded the corner, we were so thankful to see Opi and Omi waiting on us!








That afternoon we met up with Jill, David and Khloee for some fun 4th of July activities on the square in downtown Greenwood.  Jill bought a TON of fireworks and we had fun shooting them off.  Jill and Tim have always loved fireworks.  When we were kids Tim would line them up (most likely in alphabetical order) on the trunk in his bedroom days in advance of shooting them off!  I was always more of a sparkler kind of girl (as demonstrated by Khloee below).  Ben was fast asleep long before the fireworks festivities began.









The next day we took a tour of the home my Dad and Linda are building.  They have beautiful windows that line the back of the house offering a spectacular view of the lake down below.  It is a beautiful home and we cannot wait to spend time there!

On Sunday afternoon Lindsey (my step-sister) and her husband Dustin came up to visit.  We also met up with my Aunt Elaine and her family for lunch.  The following day my Dad and I drove to Mena and I got to visit with my Aunt Kathy and Uncle Steve.  Ben also got to meet his cousin, Hunter!  It was so awesome to see everyone!  I wish we would have had more time to spend together! 

The following day I hosted a “Baby Sprinkle” for Sonya at a local restaurant!  We had a great turnout and had a blast!  It was so much fun to be together with such a wonderful group of women and it was a fun way to honor the upcoming birth of Sonya’s second baby!!  (It was also nice to go out without spit up on my shirt or in my hair, not to mention that I wore sequins on my shirt.  The last time I wore sequins was to my high school prom 12 years ago…yes, that’s right I said 12!)


Filed under Arkansas, Ben, Family, Friends, Holiday

Dinner With Friends

A couple of days before Ben and I flew out to Arkansas our friends Ryan and Nichole came to visit us for dinner.  We had guacamole burgers, pasta salad, chips and salsa and chocolate cookies with peanutbutter chips.  It was tasty!!  They are such a cute couple and we had a great time catching up!!  They gave us a very nice gift card to honor Ben’s birth!  Thanks, Ryan and Nichole…it was put to good use!!  We also gave them a few gifts for their little girl on the way!!  We know they are going to make great parents and we can’t wait to meet the baby!!  

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Filed under Ben, Friends, Orlando

Happy Birthday Landon!!

My nephew Landon turned 9 years old yesterday (July 15th).  He is one of the coolest kids I know!  About a year ago my dad asked him what he wanted to be when he grows up and he said, “a paleontologist”.  When my dad asked him if he knew what a paleontologist was Landon replied, “yes, they study dinosaurs.”  Too cute!  This is a picture of him at Christmas last year.  We got him an excavation kit.  He loved it!!  Happy Birthday, Landon!!  We love you and miss you lots!  Can’t wait to see you sometime soon!

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Arkansas Or Bust!!







Ben and I are leaving on a jet plane tomorrow (we’ll be back on July 14th) headed for Arkansas!!  Jake will be joining us for the last weekend of our trip.  We can’t wait to see our friends and family!  We have lots of fun things planned and will blog all about it when we return home.  If you are a praying kind of person we would greatly appreciate your prayers for a safe flight and drive from Springfield, MO to Arkansas and that Ben would do okay on the flight (i.e. not spit up on the person sitting next to us or cry the entire flight).  Also, it has been a bit of a traumatic couple of days (48 hours) for me.  I started feeling really bad last night…severe abdominal pain.  I went to bed hoping to sleep it off only to awake about every 45 minutes still in severe pain.  This morning I got in to see the doctor and was sent for a CT Scan (STAT)!  Turns out they found kidney stones!!  Fortunately, I have managed to get us packed between periods of being doubled over in pain.  My pain medication is starting to help me out and I am headed to bed right now (we have a 7:50 AM flight).  I am so thankful for my wonderful husband who held my hand during the night to help calm me down and who was my handsome chauffeur as we drove all over town today to the doctor’s office (twice) and imaging center with our sweet son who seemed to really enjoy the adventure.  Even through all the pain (and tears) it was awesome to see God answer so many of our prayers today!!  I have to give a big shout out to my family that prayed continuously and called often to check on us…THANK YOU!!  On a much lighter note, Happy 4th of July!!


Filed under Ben, Family, Friends, Holiday, Orlando