Birthday Girl

March 1, 2011 on 11:05 pm | In Haley, Hayden and Laura, Trey | No Comments

Toy Story is reality at our house!  Haley chose to have a Jessie party to celebrate her 4th  birthday with her friends and family.  We went to Shelby Farms and had the Round Up near the stables.  All of the girls were given Jessie shirts to get into the Cowgirl spirit.  The girls (and parents) all had a ball feeding the horses at the stables and having a nice picnic in the sun.  We were blessed with a window of great weather.  I was so happy that the adults got into the theme and were all wearing cowboy hats, bandanas, and/or sheriff badges.  Haley felt very special all day and can’t wait till Sunday when she is OFFICIALLY four.  She asks me every day how many more days, then says, "that’s not too long to wait!"  I could not be more proud of the little lady that graces our house.  She is truly a princess and loves to dress up to prove it.  Tomorrow is "community helper" day at her preschool and she is supposed to dress up- she kept trying to talk me into letting her dress up like a princess because they help out. :)

Trey had a blast at the party and loved singing Happy Birthday to his sister and being one of the girls at the picnic.  He dressed up like Woody and loves Toy Story too.  His favorite character is Buzz, but he was saying, "WOODY!" all day.  So cute.  He is fearless, energetic, and a ball of fun.

Hayden and his Dad have been very busy working on the house in Millington.  The progress being made is amazing and we can’t wait to use the house and the land to make some family memories.  Once the house transformation is complete, Hayden will post pictures of before and after.  The best pictures will be of our future cookouts, camp outs, and hunting endeavors.

We still have no name for Baby Girl Simons, but we’re getting close.  Haley can’t wait to be a big sister and talks about all the ways she is going to help.  The baby is moving around like crazy now and Hayden was able to feel a kick for the first time last night…she is getting strong!  We are half way through and I am getting very attached and excited about having our third baby join our family.

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Bring on Spring!

February 18, 2011 on 6:51 pm | In Haley, Hayden and Laura, Trey | No Comments

Life is good around the Simons house.  Spring is in the air, which means longer days, warmer weather and a lot more time outdoors.  Haley and Trey LOVE the outdoors.  Haley’s got a big birthday coming up.  4 years old!  Laura’s been planning like crazy to get ready for it.  We’re going to go to a place that has horses and she’s going to have a Jessie Toy Story birthday party. 

We were only able to invite a handful of people to that location so we’re going to have another small get together on March 6th – Haley’s real birthday.  Yours truly did the invitations:

Invitation

comedowncomedown I know what you’re thinking.  Wow, Hayden…you’re a whiz in photoshop.  Yes.  I know I am!

Haley’s really excited to finally be more than three and three quarters old. 

Trey has been a handful and is getting to be more and more fun.  He’s all over the place and tries to go outside every time the door opens.  Cold weather hasn’t seemed to bother him.  He just wants to go out.

We had a photo shoot the other night for Haley.  She chose to dress up in her Pocahontas outfit.  Haley wanted to dress Trey up a little so she put a bow in his hair.  Poor guy, between Haley and the new girl that is on the way, he won’t stand a chance. 

I don’t think I’ve posted any pictures of it yet, but when Trey is tired or sleeps, he sucks his middle two fingers instead of his thumb.  It’s really pretty funny.  Towards the end of the night, he was getting tired…so I got a few pictures of that too.  Cute guy!

Laura’s doing well with the pregnancy.  She’s finally over the nausea.  From here on, it will just be a waiting game.  We haven’t decide yet on “bud 3’s” name, but we’ve got one that we’re gravitating towards.  Not sure if it is going to stick though.  Only problem is, 2 of our friends have a daughter with the same name.  Oh well.

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Daddy-Daughter Dance

February 7, 2011 on 10:44 pm | In Uncategorized | No Comments

Haley and I went on a special date this past Friday night.  Germantown Center hosted a Daddy-Daughter dance.  I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but I knew the time would be great since I’d be spending it with my special girl.

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m1641 Haley was one of the youngest there.  I’d say most of the girls were between 6 and 8 years old.  They had light snacks and a chocolate fountain.  Of course, Haley ONLY wanted to eat from the chocolate fountain.  chocolate chip cookies dipped in chocolate seemed to be the favorite.  Haley wasn’t much into dancing, but we did enjoy playing some hide and seek.  It was a lot of fun to watch her interact with the other girls there.  She wasn’t scared to just walk right up to them and start talking. 

She got a special treat when she realized that here to favorite princesses were there.  Two teenage girls had dressed up as Belle and Snow White and were giving out hand stamps and perfume sprays.  Haley was in heaven.

The end of the night was topped off with a “candy bar” which was essentially a buffet of candy fit for a princess.  They handed out little baggies and Haley got to pick whatever she wanted off of the buffet.  She loved it!

So went my first of many (but not enough) Daddy-Daughter dances.  No doubt that I had the best date there!

Model in Training

January 20, 2011 on 11:22 pm | In Haley, Trey | No Comments

I think we’ve got a model in training.  Laura teaches 8th grade girls Sunday School at 8:00 on Sunday mornings.  The main service at Bellevue starts at 9:30.  Which leaves me home alone to get the kids ready.  It is a great reminder of what Laura does each morning the other 6 days of the week. 

Getting the kids ready is no small task.  I try to leave the house at 9.  If I get them ready too early, I am almost assured of them getting food, marker or something on their clothes.  So, I try to time it to where everyone’s ready right at 9.  And that means that the vast majority of Sundays we’re ready right AFTER 9.  Which puts us late.

This Sunday was different.  I had them ready at quarter till.  So now, what to do?  I had to keep them busy.  It dawned on me that I should take some pictures of our little man in his little man clothes.  We didn’t have time to set up lights or do anything fancy, but I think he may have a modeling career.  I got him to stand by the wall and un-prompted, he stuck one hand in his pocket.  Funny stuff.  We were running short on time, but I did manage to get a few pics with Haley in them.

Maybe next week we’ll get ready early again.  And Haley can have her individual photo shoot. :)

By the way, I think Haley’s hair looks better down, but I deserve some props for getting that pony tail done.  It took a SIGNIFICANT amount of effort on my part!

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Snow Days

January 17, 2011 on 11:10 pm | In Haley, Hayden and Laura, Trey | No Comments

This past week we had a little snow here.  Maybe 3 or 4 inches.  I say a “little” snow, but in Memphis terms, that’s a pretty good bit.  Enough to officially shut down the city!  In the days before the “blizzard” was to hit, I was commenting to Laura about how funny it is that so many people rush out to buy milk and bread.  Really…how much milk and bread do you need?  Of course in our house, with two kids and a wife who is a milk maniac, we always have 2 gallons on hand.  But I was sure those two gallons would last the two days we were expected to be “snowed in”. 

As fate would have it, as we were leaving church last Sunday, Laura asked me to pick up some milk from the grocery on the way home.  Apparently, we’d finished off the last of the milk we had that morning.  So…I braved the madness and stopped in Kroger on the way home.  Much to my surprise, they still had milk.  And, it was pretty funny seeing a couple of folks from our Sunday School class either in the store or cruising through the parking lot waiting on their spouse. 

The snow was a lot of fun.  A few of the 8th grade girls from the class Laura teaches came over and brought an assortment of storage bin lids and cooking pans.  I took a break from work and we all headed over to the hill by the fire station near our neighborhood.  In case you didn’t know, a rounded bottom turkey pan is the best makeshift sled.  Cookie sheets leave a lot to be desired. 

We only spent about 15 minutes in the snow, but managed to sled a couple of runs and Haley and Trey had their first snowball fight.  It was hilarious.  They stood about 2 feet apart and took turns throwing snowballs at each other.  (last picture below)

The snow managed to continue the next day and although the roads cleared up, we still had some snow in the yard through Friday. 

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Haley’s Christmas songs

January 14, 2011 on 8:32 pm | In Haley | No Comments

Quick video of Haley singing a Christmas song she learned at school for her program.

The Angels sang, La La La
The shepherds laughed, Ha Ha Ha
The donkey brays, he-haw he-haw
The crows all caw, caw caw caw

Moo says the cow, MOOOOO
Bah bah says the sheep, baaaahhhh
Mary smiles
and Joseph leaps, WHEE
How on earth can God’s baby sleep?
How on earth can God’s baby sleep?

Happy New Year

January 9, 2011 on 8:56 am | In Haley, Hayden and Laura, Trey | No Comments

IMG_8483Man, time flies.  2010 is in the can and now we’re looking ahead to 2011.  I’d heard the older you get the faster time goes.  And with kids it goes even faster.  Those words are ringing true.

Christmas was a blast.  Haley TOTALLY understood Santa this year.  Trey knew he said Ho Ho Ho.  I really think we’ve got two of the cutest kids in the world.  And yes, I know I’m biased.

Kids are so funny.  With all that Trey got for Christmas, his favorite toy seems to be a second-hand plastic tee-ball set that Laura found at a consignment sale.  Funny, because that was probably the cheapest thing we bought him.  So far, Haley’s favorite seems to be a talking Toy Story Jessie Doll that I got for her.  That’s funny because when she opened it the only words out of her mouth were, “I didn’t ask for this”.  And she put it down.  I guess what she meant was that she was surprised she’d gotten it since she didn’t ask for it.  Who knows what she meant.  She uses words that make my vocabulary sound like a 3 year old.

I’ll try to get a video posted on here soon of Haley singing some of her Christmas songs that she did in her Christmas program at school.  Quite possibly the sweetest sound in the world.

New Years Eve was probably our most uneventful yet!  We were in bed by about 10:00.

As I look back over the past year, it seems like it’s lasted an eternity.  It also seems like it lasted only a couple of days.  So far, Laura’s managed to be pregnant in each of the last 5 calendar years.  I guess that’s no small feat.  Haley turned 3 last year, Trey had his first birthday.  Laura turned…well, I won’t say.  And I turned 32.  32.  32.  Wow, I actually had to do the math on it to figure out how old I am. 

One thing I’ve realized this year is that life is short.  Really short.  I know that kids are part of the reason for this realization, but a handful of other events have contributed as well.  I don’t guess I have a New Year’s resolution per say, but I guess if I had to have one it would be to pay attention.  To everything. 

  • I need to pay attention to the little things that Haley and Trey do that are so cute…they won’t be doing them for long.
  • I need to pay attention to my wife.  She’s my support, my strength, my best friend.  I should treat her that way.
  • crystal meth comedown remedy I need to pay attention to what I say.  Words can build up or cut down.  Just because they can be used quickly doesn’t mean that the impact doesn’t last a long time.
  • I need to pay attention to the blessings received rather than focusing on the next obstacle ahead.


  • I need to pay attention to the end goal.  My goal for life isn’t to be good at what I do, be in shape, eat right or even to have fun.  These are things that (if unchecked) can actually get in the way of the goal.
  • I need to pay attention to the minutes and the seconds.  These turn into the hours, days, years and legacy that will be left behind when I’m gone.
  • I need to pay attention to the example I set.  There are little feet following in my footsteps and solidifying their expectations on how they should act throughout the rest of their lives.  They are basing this not on what I say, but what I do.

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Christmas Time is Near

December 20, 2010 on 10:17 pm | In Haley, Hayden and Laura, Trey | No Comments

It’s been a busy month since we’ve written last…obviously because we haven’t even posted our biggest and most exciting news: We are having another BABY!!  Bud #3 is growing big (about an inch and a half to date) and will be arriving in July- hopefully avoiding Kathleen’s wedding date.  We are all very excited and Haley talks about the baby a lot.  I actually got to see the baby today at my appointment on ultrasound and it was the highlight of my day.  This pregnancy was a bit of a surprise.  We were going to start trying next spring or summer, but we are thrilled and can’t wait to see what life with 3 will bring.   

Christmas is almost here and we have been enjoying the preparations.  Haley and Trey LOVE all the Christmas decorations around town and in our house.  I haven’t felt all that great but was very motivated to get all the decorations out because of how excited the kids got over EVERY single thing we pulled out of the attic.  The Christmas trees are definitely the favorite and I luckily had foresight to put the non-breakables on the bottom half of the tree because the kids can’t keep from re-hanging all the ornaments on a daily basis.

The presents have already started rolling in and the kids are enjoying their new toys.  We had Hayden’s parents here this weekend for a nice visit and then we all went to Tupelo to see the rest of the Simons family on Sunday afternoon.  It was a great visit all around.  Trey got a new train table that has been keeping both kids entertained and Haley got several new games we’ve been playing.  Her favorite right now is Kerplunk.

Hayden has been spending a lot of time with his renewed hobby of hunting ducks.  I’ve learned a lot about the sport since he’s been busy building a blind for his boat and cleaning all the decoys he’s recently acquired.  (I know you are impressed with my hunting lingo!)  He’s really enjoyed getting up before dawn with his dad and other buddies to find where the ducks are flying/landing.  His buddy Jeremy has a dog and Hayden’s got a boat so they are a perfect duck hunting pair!  I can totally understand wanting to wake up early and get out of the house to be on the hunt….garage sales help me relate to my husbands recent passion.  :)

This is going to be a great week of wrapping presents, making cookies, and spending quality time with friends and family.  Even though we’ve had hectic days, I hope we are showing our kids that Christmas is about giving more than receiving.  Haley’s got several things for Trey on her own Christmas list so I’m encouraged that she’s not to wrapped up in “wanting, wanting, wanting”…at least this year!  We hope to make a cake on Christmas to put some true focus on Jesus’ birthday- the best gift- and true reason for the season.  I hope you have a wonderful holiday.  We’ll be putting an additional post by the end of the week to share our Christmas moments and pictures.

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Missouri Hunting

November 18, 2010 on 10:22 pm | In Hayden and Laura | No Comments

About a week ago my Dad took me and Ryan on a hunt in Missouri.  It was AMAZING.  We went to a place that really knows whitetail genetics.  They breed about 120 does each year and release the offspring.  The first picture below is one of the breeder bucks they brought in.

The trip was fantastic.  We stayed at a ranch house that could handle 10 people, but we were the only three there.  The downstairs was all bedrooms and bathrooms.  The upstairs was a massive open room and a kitchen.  The weather dropped off cold for us and right as we were getting there, the rut was starting.

I saw more deer than I’d ever seen at one time in my life.  I saw the biggest deer I’d ever seen in my life.  The place was great, the wildlife was great, the food was better than great.  But best of all, I got to spend some much needed time with Dad and Ryan.  And we had serious downtime as well, which was also much needed.  I literally did nothing other than sleep, eat and hunt.  Oh, and I did watch about 30 minutes of football as I drifted off to sleep in the lazy boy on Saturday.

All in all, a fantastic trip.  Not only did we have an good time, I took my biggest buck yet (and possibly will ever get.)  It was a 151 3/8 inch 13 point.  Still not sure whether Laura’s going to let me hang it on the wall. :)

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Trick or Treat

November 8, 2010 on 10:10 pm | In Haley, Trey | No Comments

What a great Halloween!  Trey was  a Pirate and Haley was a witch.  A cute blonde haired witch. :)  We really got into the festivities at our house.  Haley helped me decorate with orange lights, spider webs and other Halloween items.  One of the funniest things about the Halloween decorations was this foam skull.  Haley carted it around the house for a day or two.  At one point, I hear Haley yell at Trey to give her something back…that it was hers.  Then I thought I heard her call him a bonehead.  I chuckled to myself and went in with a straight face and asked her what she just said.  “Bonehead”, was her response.  I asked her where she heard that word.  She just shrugged.  I asked her what a bonehead was.  You guessed it…she pointed at the skull.  She was asking Trey to give her back her “bonehead”.

Both of the kiddos seemed to enjoy trick or treating.  Laura’s guess is that this year was our last year for Haley to walk from house to house.  Going forward she’ll be running.  Trey will probably be walking for another year or two…until Haley teaches him better.  For now, though, he just seems to be happy as long as he has a sucker.

I was really proud of Haley at one point.  I saw a bucket of candy sitting out across the street at a house and I thought I’d make it a teachable moment.  We went up the hill and she saw the bucket full of candy.  No sign…no one around.  I asked her what she thought we should do…should we take a bunch since no one was looking.  Her quick response.  Was, “No, we’ll just take one.  Well, two…one for Trey.”  So sweet.

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