Category Archives: Hobbies

It’s Been A Long Time

Joanna meet blog.  Blog meet Joanna.  Actually, we’re old aquaintances…it’s been a long time.

I took this adorable video of the boys painting at the art easel today and just had to share!  Enjoy!

A few things about the video:

  1. I love the unique technique Jude is using to paint his masterpiece.
  2. By the time Jude finished he had paint splattered all over the tile floor, his face, hair and clothes.
  3. Ben is so excited about the fall and all the festivities that come with it.  He’s painted pumpkins for the last two days!
  4. Ben and his clothes or lack there of.  Please excuse his undies in the video.  The truth is we’re lucky he’s wearing a t-shirt.  The kid hates to wear clothes.  On most days he strips down to his undies as soon as I pick him up from pre-school.  Every now and then I see him streaking around the house and I have to remind him that undies are required! 


Filed under Ben, Hobbies, Jude, Orlando

Where Dreams Come True

The morning after Ben’s birthday party, we headed down to Magic Kingdom for a few hours!  Ben, Laci and Jude had a blast grooving to the music at the Move It!  Shake It! Celebrate It! Street Party and they got to meet a few Disney Characters too!  We took a relaxing little boat ride through “it’s a small world” and spent the rest of the day riding anything that had a short (or at least a fast-moving) line! 

I’m pretty sure Tim’s dreams came true when he was the lucky one to ride in a giant tea cup at the Mad Tea Party attraction with Ben and Laci.  The tea cups make me want to puke on a good day and I was already feeling a little bit yucky.  (Long story short…I ended up coming down with a bad sinus infection the day after Ben’s party and completely losing my voice.  One antibiotic and four days later my voice returned.  I chuckled to myself when the doctor told me to rest my voice.  Try not talking with two kiddos ages three and 11 months…it’s impossible!) 

Anywho…thanks for riding the tea cups, Timmy…Ben is still talking about them!  For that matter he’s still talking about you, Candice and Laci too!  No joke.  Just this morning at breakfast he asked me if I could see the three of you.  When I told him I couldn’t he pointed to the ground and said, “See, they’re right there…just really tiny.”  So apparently he believes that you are tiny, invisible people still living at our house!  🙂  All that to say, we miss you guys!  Thanks for coming to visit!  We had a great time!

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Filed under Ben, Birthdays, Family, Hobbies, Jude, Orlando

Big Red and Sue E.

The night before we flew home from Arkansas in December, Jake and I took the boys to their first ever Razorback basketball game at Bud Walton Arena in Fayetteville!  Opi, Hunter, Tim, Candice, and Laci also joined us and we all had a great time!

Walking from “The Pit” to the arena.  Two of my favorite things about this picture…1.)  Laci, Hunter and Ben holding hands and 2.) Laci’s pig tails…they’re absolutely adorable!!  The kids were all so excited about the big game that they didn’t seem to mind the long, cold walk to the arena.

Finding tickets.  So we didn’t exactly have all the tickets we needed when we arrived at the game.  Ben was eager to help out by proudly displaying four little fingers.  I mean, really, who could turn him down?!?  We quickly found tickets, made our way inside and grabbed our seats just in time for the tip-off! 

Snacking on concession food!  Ben loves popcorn and he and Hunter are sharing a box of it in this pic.  He also munched on nachos and a hot dog!  A couple of times I heard Ben holler out “defense” even when we had the ball and he’d clap anytime anyone on our team or the opposing team scored a basket!

Cheering on our team!  I wasn’t sure how Jude would hold up considering game time was his normal bedtime.  But, in typical Jude fashion he was pretty chilled out and quite content to hang out on Opi’s lap.  (This picture really doesn’t show just how excited he was…he was bouncing, clapping and letting out little squeals for most of the game!)  I’m pretty sure he was in Hog heaven and happy to be out and about with all of us!

And the most anticipated event of the evening…

meeting Sue E.

and Big Red!!


Filed under Arkansas, Ben, Family, Food, Hobbies, Holiday, Jude, Travel

My Heart REVS For You!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Ben’s preschool class celebrated Valentine’s Day last Thursday by exchanging cards and small goodie bags.  This year we opted for homemade Valentine’s Day gifts.  We took our inspiration from a car show that Jake and Ben stumbled upon while out running errands one Saturday afternoon.  Jake just so happened to snap some cute shots of Ben standing by various cars and trucks and I thought they’d make great Valentine’s Day cards!  So, I let Ben pick out three of his favorite photos, we printed them, glued them to colored card stock and then wrote some catchy little Valentine’s Day phrases on them. 

Here are the photos and phrases we used… 

“My heart REVS for you!”

“Have a MONSTER sized Valentine’s Day!”

“Glad you DROVE into my life, Valentine!”

A special card just for his teachers…

“You make life SWEET!”  (This is a photo from Ben’s Christmas party in December.  That’s his teacher Mrs. H on the left and the assistant Mrs. B on the right.  We absolutely LOVE them both!  They are really REALLY wonderful!)

Ben decorated the back of each card with Valentine’s stickers and we attached each one to a bag of homemade chocolate dipped pretzels with heart sprinkles.

Ben had so much fun acting as the “sprinkler”.  His philosophy…some for me, some for you.  Each time he sprinkled a chocolate covered pretzel, he sprinkled his mouth!  I got the pretzel inspiration from my sister-in-law.  She made these for Christmas and Ben loved them!  Thanks, Candice!

The finished products!  Ben was really excited to hand these out to his friends!


Filed under Ben, Co-op preschool, Food, Hobbies, Holiday, Orlando, Projects

Crash of the Hard Drive

FYI to my faithful reader(s)…the hard drive for our main computer crashed about two weeks ago.  It’s the computer I use to download all of our pictures and videos for blog posts.  Thankfully we backup everything to an external hard drive so we’re pretty sure we haven’t lost anything.  Anywho, it’s in the shop and maybe we’ll have it back soon!  So for now we’ve got one lonely computer monitor and mouse anxiously awaiting the return of their precious tower with a working hard drive.  Until then no pics and videos of our precious Ben.  (sniff sniff)  By the way…he turned 14 months old yesterday (4/26)!!

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Filed under Ben, Hobbies, Orlando


Jake has been calling me the “mamarazzi” for quite some time now since I typically don’t travel anywhere without my camera and am constantly taking photos of Ben!  I came across this post on Carrissa’s blog and loved it!  This is for all of the other mamarazzi out there!!

Photos You Should Take of Your Kids

Read this on and wanted to share…

Page through a typical family photo album and you’ll notice the kids in a few repeating themes—special-occasion shots, vacation photos, and staged portraits. All cherished moments, no doubt. But why not add a little creativity into your picture taking? Here are some memories that could be just as photo-worthy.

1. The first time they dress themselves. Pajama pants, one fuzzy slipper, no shirt, and earmuffs. Sure, you’re not going to let them leave the house like that, but you have to appreciate their unique ability to accessorize. If you take a snapshot now, the “fashions” of their teens won’t look so bad.

2. A big mess. Your little van Gogh has painted your white walls with chocolate pudding. Before you lose it, take a picture. After the mess and tears are scrubbed, you’ll have evidence that those innocent eyes really didn’t know any better. And you can break out the photo when your child becomes a parent—to remind your child that no child (or parent) is perfect.

3. Your favorite feature. The head-to-toe shot can wait for prom or graduation. Instead, zoom in and capture the one or two details you love most about your kid. Snap that swirl of hair atop your newborn, your toddler’s chunky feet, or your 7-year-old’s two missing front teeth—they won’t stay that way forever.

4. Their favorite meals. Keep a separate album filled with pictures of your child’s favorite foods—everything from mac ’n’ cheese to chocolate-raspberry brownies to your famous breaded pork chops. That way, when you’re finally ready to ship them off to college, you can write the recipe beside each photo and give them the book. Whenever they need a taste of home cooking, you’ll be there for them.

5. How they see the world. Go ahead, hand your child the camera for a while (under appropriate supervision, of course). You’ll be amazed at what they’ll shoot without consideration for traditional rules. Fortunately, with the beauty of digital, you can instantly delete all the bad shots and save the good ones.

6. Photos with you. If you’re always the one with the camera, you won’t be in many of the photos. Put your spouse or a friend on point-and-shoot duty and tell them to start clicking. Tell them to catch you and the kids when no one is looking at the camera or during moments that capture you as a Mom—cleaning up from dinner, reading a bedtime story, or helping with homework.A moment of worry. Your child doesn’t even have to be in this photo for it to act as a powerful memory-jogger.

7. Take a picture of their first travel-bag packed for a big weekend away or the next-morning remains after a fun slumber party. You’ll have a record of when you were anxious about them—and how everything turned out okay. Now that’s a nice memory.

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Filed under Hobbies, Orlando

Happy Valentine’s Day…Razorback Style

I guess you’re wondering what Valentine’s Day has to do with the Razorbacks.  Well, typically I would say that the two are completely unrelated.  However, as you can see from the picture, on this particular occasion they go hand in hand.  










For some time now we’ve been teaching Ben how to call the Hogs.  It all started when he received the book, “Hello Big Red!” from his Uncle Tim.  There is one particular page that says, “Finally, Big Red arrived at Razorback Stadium.  As he ran onto the football field, the crowd called, “Woo.  Pig.  Sooie!  Go Hogs!””  Now whenever we turn to this page Ben immediately throws both of his arms up in the air with his hands over his head while opening and closing his fists…just like he’s calling the Hogs.  He also has started doing this anytime we even mention the word “Razorbacks”, while he’s watching ANY sporting event on TV with his dada and at random times like at dinner and riding in the shopping cart at the grocery store.

So here’s how the picture came about in the first place.  We decided to make Valentine’s Day cards for Ben to hand out to his little buddies at the playgroup party this week.  So in my attempt to take an ever so cute Valentine’s Day picture (which proved to be incredibly difficult because he would begin crying anytime I handed him the paper heart to hold…typically he LOVES paper, but for some reason he wasn’t digging the heart) he decided to call the Hogs and there you have it…1 Valentine’s Day Heart + 2 Little Arms Calling the Hogs = A Whole Lot of Cuteness!  The cookie treat bags were a big hit at the party too!  I posted some pics of our little project below.

















Happy Valentine’s Day!  XOXO, Ben

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Filed under Ben, Food, Friends, Hobbies, Holiday, Orlando, Projects


We decided to join the masses around the globe and finally purchased a webcam so that we can Skype!!  Wahoo!  We’d love to chat and see your beautiful faces!!  Here’s Matt from our phone call with him and Oma Leah several nights ago.  Since Matt has been working out of the country for the past year, this was his first time to see and talk to Ben.  It was so much fun!!  I heart technology!!



Filed under Ben, Family, Hobbies, Orlando