Monday, December 29, 2008

Prayer for Rex

Please keep our little guy in your prayers. We noticed a knot on him when we were changing his diaper last week and it turns out that he has a little inguinal hernia. We caught it before it became inflamed or infected so it is not a emergency situation but he is going to have to have surgery to repair it. We we to Vanderbilt Children's Hospital today to have a consult with his surgeon. All went well and his procedure is scheduled for January 13. Normally it is an outpatient surgery but since he is a preemie they will keep him for 24 hours to watch for apnea spells. Over all hernias are fairly common in premature boys and his procedure is routine.

We couldn't resist taking his picture today in his little hospital gown. It just proves he is cute in everything he wears. (We took the picture with Ben's cell phone so the picture quality is not that great).

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Recipe Wednesday- Pumpkin Treats

Since I have not been posting very many recipes lately, here are two of my favorite pumpkin treats to make... just in time for Thanksgiving.

Pumpkin Cheesecake

25 NABISCO Ginger Snaps, finely crushed (about 1-1/2 cups)
1/2 cup finely chopped PLANTERS Pecans
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted
4 pkg. (8 oz. each) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
1 cup sugar, divided
1 tsp. vanilla
4 eggs
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
Dash ground cloves
Make It

PREHEAT oven to 325°F if using a silver 9-inch springform pan (or to 300°F if using a dark nonstick 9-inch springform pan). Mix ginger snap crumbs, pecans and butter; press onto bottom and 1 inch up side of pan.

BEAT cream cheese, 3/4 cup of the sugar and the vanilla with electric mixer until well blended. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing on low speed after each addition just until blended. Remove 1-1/2 cups of the batter; place in small bowl. Stir remaining 1/4 cup sugar, the pumpkin and spices into remaining batter. Spoon half of the pumpkin batter into crust; top with spoonfuls of half of the reserved plain batter. Repeat layers. Cut through batters with knife several times for marble effect.

BAKE 55 min. to 1 hour 5 min. or until center is almost set. (Test doneness by gently shaking the pan. If the cheesecake is done, it will be set except for an approximately 2-1/2-inch area in the center that will be soft and jiggly.) Run knife or metal spatula around rim of pan to loosen cake; cool before removing rim. Refrigerate at least 4 hours before serving. Store leftovers in refrigerator.

Simple Fall Dessert Squares

1 box yellow cake mix
8 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
4 Tbsp unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
3 Eggs
13.5 oz pumpkin butter (could also use Apple butter or Cranberry relish)
2 Tbsp milk
1 Tbsp all purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease 9x13 baking pan.

Reserve 1 cup of cake mix in a small bowl.

In another bowl, stir together remaining cake mix, 8 Tbsp melted butter, and 1 egg. Pour into prepared pan.

In another bowl, stir together pumpkin butter with the remaining 2 eggs and the milk. Spread over the cake batter in the baking pan.

Add the flour, sugar, and cinnamon to the small bowl with the reserved cake mix and stir together. Using a pastry blender or fork, cut the butter until pea sized crumbs form and the mixture clumps together. Crumble over the mixture in the baking dish.

Bake until golden, about 40 minutes. Transfer pan to wire rack to cool. Cut into squares and serve.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Chloe's Identity Crisis

We have been calling Chloe the little momma because she has been acting like Rex is her baby. When he cries she goes running to see what is wrong, every now and then she feels the need to check on him to make sure he is alright, and she loves to give him kisses (we have limited them to his feet, but if she had it her way she would kiss his face and hands).

However, this evening we discovered that she may still want to be the baby of the family. This is where we found her while we were fixing dinner.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Rex Update

Ben and I realized last night that we have not been taking pictures of our little Rex... He has changed a lot in the last three weeks and we haven't even thought to document it.

We had to take him to the doctor on Monday because he had a clogged tear duct. I could tell that he really didn't feel well, but after a week of antibiotics he is back to good health. Please continue to pray for him to stay healthy this winter as RSV and Rotavirus are a huge risk for him.

We have been working with the Lactation Consultant, Kristi, and Gateway. She has been wonderful in helping Rex and I learn how to nurse. I told her that I thought that he was getting about 3oz to eat because that is what he took from a bottle. She told me that she didn't think so since newborns his age only take about an ounce to and ounce and a half and bottle fed babies tend to overeat because they get milk faster from a bottle. However, on Friday she weighed him before he ate and he was just over 6lbs 1oz... after he ate she weighed him again and he was 6lbs 4oz. What can I say he, eats like a little piggy! He is beginning to outgrow some of his preemie clothes so I am getting the newborn size ready. I still look at some of his clothes that are 3 months and up and think there is no way that he will ever fit in them because they look so big, but I'm sure he will be in them before we know it.

Today is my due date and he will be 4 weeks old
tomorrow... we feel blessed to have had him for an extra month! After thanksgiving we are going to take him to get his 1 month pictures made (it is super convenient that my dad is a budding photographer). Till then here are some pictures we took last night.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Our Little Boy is Growing

We went to meet with the lactation consultant this morning to see how Rex was doing with eating... He's a little piggy. She weighed him before I feed him and he was 5 lbs 1.5oz ( He was just 4 lbs 11oz on Monday)! That is about an ounce a day. He is for sure getting enough to eat and she said if continues to eat like he is he is going to be a chubby little thing. So much for the thought he might get more wear out of his clothes since he is so little.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

More from Baby Rex

Here are some more pictures of our little Rex. We have made a new parental discovery... what I eat affects him. I had Mexican food Tuesday night for dinner and our little guy was fussy with an upset stomach and gas all day yesterday. I'm sure somewhere along the line someone told us this, I guess we just had to discover it on our own.

Butterfly Rex
Rex's 1st Bath

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Yea! Rex is Here!

Well, if you guessed that I would have Rex before Rachael has little girl Vaden, you were right. I went to the hospital Saturday night because I thought that my water broke, they sent me home on antibiotics. I felt aweful all day Sunday, but figured I was just coming down with something. We went back to the hospital about 1:30am because I was bleeding and my water broke as soon as I got there. 17 hours later Rex entered the world. He was born October 27 at 7:08pm weighing 4lbs 13oz and was 18 inches long. Here are some pictures of his first few days.
Rex's first close-up just minutes after his birthWarming up under the bright lightsLook at all that hairOne proud DaddyBright EyesTennessee EskimoFirst PascifierGetting ready to go home...
We've been home a couple of days now are are feeling great and adjusting to life as parents. Thanks for all your thoughts and prayers. More pics and updates to come soon!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Rachael's Shower

Cindy and I hosted a baby shower for some sweet friends of ours, Brett and Rachael. Ben has been buddies with Brett since middle school and I got to know them in college, then we all ended up in Louisville at Southern together... we miss our time with them now that we are in Clarksville. Here are some pictures of the day:Instead of having a cake made, we decided to go with trendy cupcakes. A friend of ours from church made them for us... she loves to make cupcakes if anyone needs them made for their next function!
Cindy and I getting ready for the shower... it was a lot of work, but so much fun. I really enjoy organizing parties like this!
Somewhere along the way we decided that it would be fun to make cookies as shower favors... about half way into decorating them we changed our minds. We decided to take the easy way out and dip them in chocolate. My mom is the Cookie Queen and can make them look like Martha herself decorated them. I didn't inherit that talent so I will be dipping cookies in chocolate from here on out. They may not be as fancy, but they sure taste great!
This is going to have to count as my 34 week belly picture (actually I will be 35 weeks tomorrow). Rachael and I are actually both due November 23rd. Cast your vote by leaving a comment on who you think with have a baby first.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Tag, I'm It

So I have been tagged by my friend Grace on her blog. My instructions are that I am to post 6 facts about myself and the tag 6 other people. I usually don't do these "chain letter" type things but this one seems harmless enough... plus I can tag a couple of people who I haven't heard much from by way of blogs lately. So here we go:

1. Ben often makes fun of my OCD tendencies (which I have discovered that I share with all my cousins and we got it from our Grandpa). He most gets a kick out of the fact that I have to sit in the absolute middle of the movie theater (yes, I always count the seats, and sometimes the rows too) and the fact that when we go grocery shopping I have to have all like items grouped together on the counter at the check out line.

2. Fall is one of my favorite times of the year, I love every thing about it except for cold, rainy fall days. My least favorite time of the year in mid-January through February (crazy since my Birthday is in February)... If I could have it my way it would start getting warm again right after New Years.

3. Ben and I met our very first day of college in the school cafeteria at Martin. That was the beginning of our friendship that turned into a relationship over 3 years later because our pinkies "accidentally" touched.

4. My favorite number is 3... it's Ben's favorite number too. Just a crazy coincidence we discovered in college.

5. I am the only person in Ben's family with brown eyes (including extended family). Next month we'll see if baby Rex makes number 2. I know he is going to be the cutest thing I've ever see no matter what he looks like, but I secretly hope that he has my dark hair and Ben's blue eyes.

6. My favorite house chore is vacuuming because I like the sound the vacuum makes when it is sucking thing up.

So here are the rules if I tag you...
1. Link to the person that tagged you.
2. Post the rules on the blog.
3. Write six random facts about yourself.
4. Tag six people at the end of your post.
5. Let each person know they have been tagged.
6. Let the taggers know when your entry is up.
I am tagging...

Mindy, Laura T., Lori, Emily, Stephanie, & Ben

Monday, October 13, 2008

Buying Presents for Santa

Beth told me that they took Carson to ToysRUs last weekend so he could pick out some things to ask Santa for. First of all, he wanted to get a buggy to put all the things in that they were going to buy for Santa. Beth explained that is not how it works and they continued shopping. Carson was able to to pick out a lot that he wanted for Christmas and was so excited he started dancing around. He then said "Oh Mommy, I have to pee, I have to pee" and before she could do anything about it he followed with "Oh Mommy, I am, I am." He then explained that it was just and accident and they happen and it is okay. Beth soon discovered from the efficiency of the ToysRUs staff to handle to situation that this sort of thing must happen often.

Here's the question that I am posing. What do we get so excited about that we lose all since of control? What events are things are we most looking forward to? Answering these questions may give us a clue to the state and allegiance of our hearts and help us figure out if our desires have turned into sinful demands. Ponder for a moment and ask God to show you things in your heart that may need to be changed.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Don't Send Us $$ to Nigeria

I have a lot to update you all on... it's been a crazy couple of weeks for us. Most recently, someone hacked into our home computer, stole Ben's email accounts and sent out spam email (if you got an email from him at, sorry, but we are not in Nigeria, there has been no emergency, and we don't need you to send money), charged stuff to our paypal account, and invaded our privacy. We've spent the last couple of weeks wiping out our computer and changing all our accounts and sorting through the mess just like our identity has been stolen. We finally go back up and running with Internet Thursday... it's amazing how much your rely on something when you don't have it. Life lesson learned... if you have wireless Internet MAKE SURE IT IS SECURE!

All that to say, I've not been able to post, but I have some exciting things to add in the next week or two including new belly pictures and info on little Rex's development, a video from our 3D/4D ultrasound (if Ben can figure it out), and a new recipe. Stay tuned...I promise it's coming soon!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Sneak Peek 2

We still have not finished Rex's room but Jim came out on Friday to finish the wall. It looks great. Some of you have asked if Jim has a website and he does. It's The letters are from Uppercase Living, they have a lot of really neat products that look like hand painted lettering. I think that there is someone in our church that sales it (I will find out and update this post with that info), or you can find a rep in your area on their website.

We went to the doctor today and had an ultrasound. They were training a new ultrasound tech today so it was hard to see a lot this time, but it was so neat to see how much he has grown in the past 11 weeks. We got so see a close up of his sweet little face... it made us all the more eager to have him here. Everything looked great... he and I are both growing on schedule. He is in the 50th percentile in terms of weight and I have gained a whopping 22 lbs. My doctor did warn me to take it easy on the Halloween candy. I guess we will be waiting until the last minute to buy that... Since I did not have a sweet tooth before little Rex, I hope that it goes away after he comes. South Beach is so much easier to follow when you don't crave sweets!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Recipe Wednesday- Stuffed Squash

I have gotten a good response from the other recipes that I have posted on here... so I think I am going to start "Recipe Wednesday." I know I will not be able to post a recipe every Wednesday (I really don't cook that much lately), but I am setting a goal of two recipes per month. Hope you enjoy!

I got this weeks re
cipe out of Tennessee Home & Farm Magazine and tried it a couple of nights ago when we had some friends over. We liked it so much I will be making it again soon.

Stuffed Squash


6 medium yellow squash
½ cup green bell pepper, diced
1 cup onion, finely chopped
1 cup tomatoes, chopped and seeded
½ cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
½ cup Italian breadcrumbs

4 slices bacon, fried until crisp and crumbled Pinch seasoned salt
2/3 teaspoon Kosher salt
Ground black pepper
Butter (for sautéing)


In large pot, cover squash with water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until squash are tender but firm, about 8 minutes. Drain squash and cool slightly. Trim stems and cut squash in half lengthwise. Remove pulp, then chop it into small pieces. Reserve squash shells.
Sauté bell pepper and onion in butter until soft. Then, sauté squash pulp (about 1 cup) in separate pan until soft. Combine pulp with onions, peppers, tomatoes, cheese, breadcrumbs, bacon and seasoned salt. Place hollowed squash shells in a baking dish, and sprinkle the inside of each with Kosher salt and pepper.
Spoon squash mixture into each shell. Top with additional breadcrumbs and drizzle top with melted butter. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes until top is golden.

** I left out the bell peppers because we don't care for them. Also, to make it more healthy (south beach friendly) I use crushed TLC crackers with Italian seasoning instead of the bread crumbs.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Let Me Eat Cookies

I have been sweating it a little the past couple of day because I failed my 1 hour blood glucose test. I have never had a sweet tooth, but since I have been pregnant I have craved cookies and sweets of all kinds (especially things with cinnamon). How was I going to satisfy that craving if I was diabetic!?!?

Last week I took a 3 hour blood glucose test (no fun at all!) and have been anxiously waiting for the results. I got the call today and I passed! Yea! I can still eat cookies!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Sneak Peek

We have had Jim Wilcox out all week to paint Rex's room... I am super excited about the way that it turned out. We don't have the furniture or anything in there yet, but I thought I would give you a sneak peek of what's to come.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

27 Week Picture

Here is my 27 week picture, I know I forgot to take a picture for 23 week...we'll just blame it on the pregnancy brain. Rex has made great developments since my 19 week update. Last month Ben was able to feel him move for the first time. His lungs were also making large developments that will help him breath after he is born.

Right now the probably weighs about 2.5 pounds and by the end of the month (30 weeks) he will be about 3 pounds and be about 11 inches long. His little eyelids will also start to open and he will be able to see the difference between light and dark. He is also starting to make grasping motions with his hands and his taste buds are developed.

Monday, August 25, 2008

New Look

I have been trying for a while to find a new look for my blog without spending money for someone to custom design a blog template for me. I have downloaded free templates that I could never get to work and each time ended up more frustrated than before.
Thanks to Emily Doss who recently posted about her new blog look, I finally found my answer. Let me know what you think.

Follow the link for your own free blog makeover... it's super easy and super fun!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Perfect Summer Salad

With the holiday weekend quickly approaching so is the season for potluck cookouts. This salad is one of my favorite things to make and take to summer potlucks because it it quick, easy, and it is always a hit. Just note that it makes a lot, but the leftovers are better the longer they marinate.

Summer Marinated Salad

1 16oz bottle Italian Dressing
2 16oz cans black-eyed peas (rinsed & drained)
1 16oz can black beans (rinsed & drained)
1 can whole kernel yellow corn (drained)
1 can shoe-peg or white corn (drained)
1 can sliced black olives (drained)
1 bunch green onions (tops and all)
1 box cherry or grape tomatoes (sliced)
1 bell pepper (green, orange, yellow, or red)

Combine all ingredients and allow to marinate several hours or overnight.

Enjoy and have a happy 4th of July!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Peace Offering

This morning I watched Brandon and Kara's new puppy, Libby. Chloe was not very fond of her at first. I really think that she just doesn't like dogs that are smaller than her (She was scared to death of my aunts chihuahua last Christmas even though she was half her size). Chloe seemed to be getting frustrated with Libby because she wasn't playing like she wanted her to. She looked up at me as if to say "what is this thing you have brought into my house and when is it leaving?!?"

Then the most amazing thing happen. Chloe went over to her toy bucket and got out her favorite lamb toy and gave it to Libby to play with, sort of like a peace offering.
The rest of the morning they played together just fine. This made me ponder... who am I frustrated with because they didn't do something my way... to whom do I need to extend a peace offering? As humans it is so easy to hold a grudge against someone who has wronged us, hurt us, or just plain annoys us. But, as Christians we are called to forgive and show grace just as Christ has done for us. Is there anyone in your life that needs a peace offering from you?

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

It's A Boy

We had our ultrasound and doctor's appointment on Thursday and found out that we are having a boy. We are so excited! Everything looked good at our appointment and our little guy measured out one day older than he really is. We have a sweet picture of his little foot. We could see all 5 toes and they look like Ben's (the second toe is longer than the big toe). Ben could not stop looking at his own feet after I pointed it out...I think he was amazed that his son already takes after him (to read Ben's thoughts on all this, visit his blog at He has long legs (also like Ben) and we could see him sucking his thumb. They put the ultrasound on a DVD for us and I can't tell you how many times I have watched it, in awe at God's handy work.My 19th week of pregnancy started Sunday; which, according to my books, begins the 5th month. Above is a picture of what I look like at 5 months pregnant ... I'm defiantly starting to look it. I didn't sign up for one of those websites that give you progress of your baby's development each month...sometimes with those it seems more like you are growing a vegetable garden rather than a baby. But, for your information at 19 weeks our little guy is about 6 inches long and about the size of a grapefruit. Next week he should be about 10 inches long and weigh about 10.5 oz (about the size of a banana or carrot). He has also made some pretty impressive milestones:
At 3 month he developed bones and muscle and his kidneys started to function.
At 4 months his ears finished developing, he could flex his arms and legs, and his teeth were forming under his gums.
This month, his bones have become strong enough that I have started to feel him move (he actually kicked to ultrasound tech and I have been able to feel him ever since). He is growing toe nails and the hair he will be born with. He can hear now, and his taste buds are starting to form.
The Lord is defiantly amazing... the fact that he knit me together in my mothers womb has taken on a whole new meaning.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Catching Up

I know... I have not been good at blogging. We have had a whole lot going on lately. I'm sure that everyone has heard by now that we are expecting. Baby Reed is due to come November 23 (Bible Sunday). We have had two doctor visits and so far everything is progressing normally. It was so amazing to hear the little heart beat and see Baby Reed moving around, being pregnant became so much more real. As long as the baby cooperates we should find out the sex June 26. I have no mother's intuition about what it is, but last night someone in our community group told me she thought it was a boy because of the way I am starting to show. She has had two boys so she may know what she is talking about. We really don't have a preference either way, but I did see a glimmer in Ben's eye when she said that. I am starting to feel more "normal" in that my sickness seems less and less frequent, but I still have days when no matter what I do I feel exhausted all day. I will be 4 months on Sunday (I will try to remember to post a picture so you all can see the little baby bump).

Pregnancy has really changed me. I seem much more mellow and don't really like being in large groups or being touched any more. I'm sure that's a combination of hormones, not feeling well, and being tired. Oh, and my emotions have been off the charts lately. I have also discovered that "pregnancy brain" is very real. I truly can't remember anything anymore (I have had some moms tell me that they never got their brain back after pregnancy). Also, I tell Ben that the baby is already taking after him because I have become a much earlier riser in the morning and crave sweets more often. I'm sure more changes are to come.

Other than that, we have had several friends here to visit us, my brother's graduation from UT, my grandmother has been in and out of the hospital, and the regular hustle and bustle of life. It's been a busy month for sure. We leave for the beach on friday, but after that it's back to receptions, weddings, and home improvements before Baby comes.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Are you connected?

It's sometimes pretty tough to feel like you're really connected to your local church, isn't it? It's easy to get lost in the shuffle, whether you're a part of a big church or a small one. You can come and go every Sunday and yet never have much personal connection with other believers. The Christian life was not designed to be lived alone (see Genesis 2:18). We were created with a need for God and a need for meaningful relationships with people. When we choose to live life in isolation, we're missing out on so many of God's great blessings.

Our relationships aren't perfect. In fact, they're often really messy. It all goes back to sin (see Genesis 3). When you bring sinners into close proximity with each other, we tend to mess things up. We sin against each other in our motives, thoughts, and actions. At times, it's not pretty! But Scripture gives us hope that our relationships, while imperfect, can get better. They can begin to be characterized by love, compassion, forgiveness, and humility where once impatience, pride, dishonesty, and divisiveness were given free reign.

That being said, you need meaningful relationships! God knows our struggles, our pains, and our weaknesses. Amazingly, He often helps us with these struggles in the context of community - authentic, life-changing, hope-inspiring, transforming relationships. Would you like to be a apart of that? How about starting a small group with folks at your church? How about starting a Bible study and inviting your neighbors, who may or may not be saved? If we want relationships that are life-changing and transforming, we're going to have to work hard at it. It doesn't come easily, but it's worth the effort. There's the real opportunity that you'll get hurt...but, there's the real opportunity that the Lord is going to use others to change you, if you'll step out in faith trusting that He's in control. It's worth the risk. I'm giving it a shot. If you try it, let me know how it goes.


Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Brandon and Kara's Wedding

Hey guys, we wanted to post some pictures from Brandon and Kara's wedding. Here's the slideshow we put together.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Video Test

Trying to see if we can put video on the blog... thought I would start with something funny. If this doesn't make you want to have kids, I don't know what will!


NOTE: This is just a random kid on youtube... not my brother

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Settling In

I've been bad about updating the blog... I guess my only excuse is that we have been busy settling in. Ben loves his job here, which is such a blessing. God has been so gracious to surround us with wonderful, godly people everywhere we have lived and Grace Community is no different. We have met so many wonderful people who have been so kind and welcoming. Part of Ben's job as Director of Community Groups has been to visit all of the existing groups to get to know the leaders and group members. We have so enjoyed this opportunity and can't wait to have a community group of our own.

I still have not been able to find a job here in Clarksville, but I have several applications out that I am still waiting to hear from and I know that the Lord has a place for me to serve. Although I am anxious to find a job, I have enjoyed my time off work. I am thankful that I have had the time to unpack boxes and organize our little home. My most proud accomplishment is my ever shrinking mountain of boxes... below is a picture of how far I have come. I wish that I had taken a before picture, but really boxes covered our whole basement. Now I have them confined to this one little corner.

Also keeping us busy is preparation for Brandon and Kara's wedding (Ben's brother). I have a tendency to volunteer myself for jobs that become much larger as I get into them... The upcoming Reed wedding is no exception. I have been up to my eyeballs in shower invitations and addressing and stuffing wedding envelopes. It has kept my busy, but I have enjoyed it... it makes me wonder if I should be a wedding planner. If anyone knows of an opening let me know.

Check out the "Sites to Visit" part of our blog. I have added the website to our church and Ben is starting to blog there sometimes. They also have a new feature where the staff answers a funny but random question of the week... the answers are fun to read.
Made by Lena