Tag Archives: life with 3 boys

::thoughts:: duck dynasty

so, if you haven’t heard, duck dynasty is a pretty popular show right now. my husband and i have only watched a few minutes of it together, however, i watched a marathon with some friends one night while ben was out of town.

i’m still kind of trying to wrap my brain around what is duck dynasty. being raised in the south, and only leaving for one year of my adult life, hearing about guys huntin is second nature to me. my family wasn’t necessarily an “outdoorsy” family. we played sports, did girl scouts and boy scouts, my brother went huntin with friends or my uncle, and we did have one family vacation to fall creek falls. that was an adventure, actually. so, a bunch of guys sitting out in a field talking to their dogs and making fun of each other, just seems like status quo.

as i sat and watched duck dynasty, i thought, “man, this is really hitting close to home!” my mom makes the best rolls in the world, and my sisters and i try and learn from her. all of us have pretty modest houses. we hang out for big family dinners on sunday afternoons for a big lunch after church. we watch football, basketball, baseball, hockey, basically whatever sport is on. and i’m getting more and more southern the older i get.

i say all of this because i think duck dynasty has finally captured what southern life is. i don’t feel like it makes fun of southerners. i think that every man, woman, and child who has ever been huntin, had a sibling who goes huntin, or is the child of a hunter can relate to the duckmen and all the women in their life. there are always going to be things that any family can make fun of. every family has that crazy family member like si. and every family has one sibling who seems to be a little more successful or smart, and one that has a better personality that is a little more social.

although i don’t watch duck dynasty anymore, i can say that i thought it was funny simply because it made me thankful for my family and for the family i’m raising. what if my kids grow up and go huntin with their friends or uncles, and they start a family business, or take over their dad’s business? i would be the proudest mother in the world, as i’m sure miss kay is of her family. so, here’s to wholesome, sometimes funny tv, and one that i sure would be proud of if it were my family.

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how to fit 3 boys in one room, comfortably

our 3 boys are all within 3 years of each other. yes, we are the crazy ones who had 3 kids within 3 years. but we love it. when we first got married, we lived in this wonderful historic home that only had 2 bedrooms and a loft. so, when baby #3 was coming along, we knew we needed more room. even though we have more room now, we like our space and our kids like to be together. so, all three boys are in one room!

my husband’s step dad (dave, aka pawpaw) is an amazing carpenter. for Christmas this year, we asked him to build the boys’ beds. i was inspired by this room and sent the picture to dave.  he said “oh yeah. we can do this.” he had amazing walnut which is a beautiful wood, un-stained. he chose to stain to make them look a little more boy-y though, and i’m extremely happy with how they turned out. 


the side view of the beds. there’s a ladder on both sides, but we have one pushed up against the wall, so we use them as shelves for the boys’ “friends”, aka stuffed animals.Image

the two platform beds. these bedspreads are from target, about 2 years ago. they have similar colors now, but not the same ones.Image

the top bedspread is from target as well, which of course i can’t find now online. but i did just buy it this year. Image

this is the top post of the loft bed. i love the detailing.Image

these are from ikea. better curtain rod to come hopefully next week.Image

my husband’s step mom (aka granny) made some pretty cool canvases for the boys. these are the first edition comic book covers of spiderman, batman, and superman. pretty great for a superhero room!




my awesome friend made these for my boys after she read this post. they’re hanging above the boys costumes of more superheroes.Imageand the best picture i can get of all three beds. the best thing, all three of these are detachable and can be moved wherever we need. i’m in love.



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a birthday party :: two at the zoo

thursday, my baby turned 2. TWO! i can’t believe that i don’t have any kids under the age of 2 at this point. that hasn’t happened in 5 years, ya’ll. anyway, we celebrated our wonderful big boy with lots of parties and still have one to go tomorrow.

i’ll focus mostly on his friend party that we had here. i like to have a theme for any party that i’m throwing, so for this one, i went with the “two at the zoo” theme. i wish that we could’ve gone to the zoo to celebrate sammy, but it just didn’t happen this year. oh well. maybe next time. 

Image the big two year old. he’s one of the cheesingest boys i know.

Image with the brothers. of course, someone had to be dressed in superhero/transformer form

Image the spread for the party. the banner was made from these martha stewart animals. then, we had hamburgers, hot dogs, veggie straws, trail mix, carrots, apples, and animal crackers, along with chocolate cupcakes.

Image party animals. i made the hats out of scrapbook paper and twine. maybe i’ll post a how to soon.

Image giraffe food (carrots), bat food (apples), and bear food (trail mix)

Image “snake juice” (strawberry kiwi kool-aid and other drinks for the adults.) 

Image party elephant. i just can’t help but love this.

Image this was the best pic i got with him all day. oh well!

Image happy birthday to you, sammy!

ImageImage i think he likes it

Image party giraffe


Imagetwo of the littles playing with the party animals. 

thanks everyone for loving on my family so much!! we love you, sammy! you bring so much joy to daddy and my life. 


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New things

So, today, on a whim, my man and I bought an early Valentine’s day present to both of us. A new iPad mini. The crazy thing about getting an iPad is that I thought I knew everything about iPads. I don’t. I don’t know anything. So, I know the main apps like Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, and those. I don’t know the good apps for preschoolers and kindergarteners. I don’t know that one app you can’t live without. Please do share.

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books i’m loving right now

one of my favorite blogs, emily at jones design co., had book week this past week with a linky party. i feel like she and i would be friends if we lived in the same city.

for awhile now, i’ve wanted to do a post on some of my favorite children’s bibles, as well as some of my favorite parenting/mothering books. this might be funny, because i don’t like to read. some people LOVE it, and just drift into lala land while they’re reading. me? i need to be doing something. i have the hardest time just sitting there reading, unless i’m on the beach. then, i’ll read an entire novel in a week, when it’s hard for me to read a 150 page book in 4 weeks at home. go figure.

anyway, our bedtime routine is a pretty important part of our day. the boys love for us to lay down with them (when we can, which is most nights) and sing “my maker”, “bless the Lord”, and “Jesus loves me” (or “bible” as s calls it), and we also pray together and read the bible.

Image     Image     Image

our favorite and most loved children’s bible is “the Jesus storybook bible” every story in this bible points to Christ, and that’s just how we do church. no matter what text our pastor is preaching on, it always points to Christ. so, obviously, we were on board with this one. this bible is good for 18 month olds-6 year olds. we’ve used it from day 1 with our boys, and right now, all of them still love it, even though we’ve read through multiple times.

we also love “the beginning reader’s bible“. this bible is scripture, plus it has a “pray God’s word” section, a “remember God’s word” section, and a “do God’s word” section. so, it’s great to memorize scripture together, and sometimes do the activity the next day and be able to talk about the story we read the night before. we like this one for 3-8 year olds. since it’s straight scripture, sometimes it’s hard for the little ones to maintain their attention through the whole story. the pictures in it are wonderful, though. good illustrations are really important to us in any book we get for our kids.

the last one that we love, and that i hope we do from time to time, is “sammy and his shepherd“. this book is a fictional story that is based on psalm 23. we learned psalm 23 as a family while doing this. it was so great to see the lightbulbs go off in our kids’ heads while we were asking them questions about the story to relate it to everyday life. this book is good for 4-12 year olds. it’s a chapter book, but the chapters are only a couple pages long. however, there’s not a lot of pictures, so it’s harder to hold the littler kids attention. also, the discussion questions are pretty advanced, but can be asked in easier ways for younger kids.

i think i’ll do a different post with my favorite mothering/parenting books. this one is full enough! what do you do for bible reading time with your family? is there a certain routine you follow, or scripture reading plan? let us know in the comments!


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why i love having a 5 year old

having a 5 year old has changed our lives.

he can shower by himself.

he can pour himself juice and completely get himself a snack.

he can get his little brother up from his nap and tell him it’s time to wake up.

he can behave when we have friends over for dinner.

he can sit and watch a movie without getting bored.

he can have great conversation:

d: “that honey badger is like me because he’s gage.”

daddy: “he’s gage?”

d: “yeah, just like me. like my face.”

daddy: “oh, you mean beige?”

good thing, because the honey badger was gray. ha!

i love my little toddlers, but i also love having bigger kids that love to help their momma in everything and are really helpful. here’s to every stage of motherhood!



hi, my name is janie, and my son has epilepsy

almost a year ago, ben and i started noticing that our middle son would drop his head randomly. his eyes would roll back to the right, and then he would come back to, maybe have to be reminded of what we were talking about, and continue on. in june, we noticed that they were getting worse. he would also have random nose bleeds, but all kids get nose bleeds. we didn’t want to jump to conclusions, but we knew that something just didn’t seem right. in august, we were at ben’s mom’s house. while we were leaving, his sister said “bye, izi bear! i love you!” he turned around, dropped his head, and just looked at her. he didn’t know what she had said. i said “did you hear her? aunt hopi said she loves you.” he said “i wuv you, too!” and out the door he went. we started counting these “drops” he was having, and would count up to 50 a day. about a week and a half later, he had the worst nose bleed he’s ever had. so, i called our pediatrician. the nurse got us in the next day. thankfully, that morning, we were able to catch about 3-4 “drops” on video while i was cutting his nails. our pediatrician ordered an EEG. during the EEG, i saw about 10-12 “drops” and we knew that something wasn’t right. ben could see the waves on the test going crazy every time he would have a “drop”. we left not feeling very encouraged, and didn’t know what was about to change in our life. about a week later, i got a call from our pediatrician. “the EEG indicates that he has what’s called Childhood Absence Epilepsy, or CAE.” what? my son has epilepsy? how can this be? he’s the most joyful 3 year old i know. ok, ok. so what do we do? the orders were to start him on a seizure med and we would try to get him into vanderbilt to see a pediatric neurologist there. before our doctor’s nurse even called us back, vanderbilt had already called to see if we could come in 2 weeks. yes, of course. we’ll be there.

we started a medicine called keppra on izi. i didn’t notice much of a change in his seizures, and as we told family members and friends, they would say “they must be so little. i’ve never seen him have one.” it was such a mind boggling thing, to have to try and explain that our child has epilepsy, but not the type of seizure that everyone thinks about. honestly, this is the best type of epilepsy he could be diagnosed with. since we’ve started the keppra, it has been increased as much as it can be. he is still having seizures, and our doctor at vanderbilt wasn’t pleased with that. over Christmas break, i talked with our doctor and he said “i want to get izi an overnight EEG here at vanderbilt. could you come as soon as we called you?” mercy. “of course i can come. we’ll do whatever we need to do.” well, a week went by, we increased his meds one more time, and he was still having seizures. the epilepsy center at vanderbilt called on monday at 12:30 and said “y’all are coming from jackson, so how quickly can you be here?”

“no earlier than 4:00.”

“ok, come on, and we’ll get started whenever you get here.”

ok, call ben (who was in memphis for work), call mom, call brenda. who can stay with dillon and sammy? what do i need to pack. ok, mom is coming to stay with the other 2, pjs are packed, a change of clothes, huggie, giraffe, leapster, dvds, what else do i need? my mom got here and immediately asked if i had everything? “do you have your pajamas? do you have a clean shirt? do you have money? a credit card?” it was a whirlwind.

we got to vanderbilt, and i didn’t know where to go. so, we went to our neurologist’s office, and they told us that we were being admitted to the hospital. what? no one told me that. ok, here we go. we find admitting, get checked in, and taken upstairs. izi is on cloud 9. he has momma all to himself, and vanderbilt children’s hospital really is amazing. we get to his room and immediately doctors and nurses come in and start asking us questions. he’s such a champ. finally, a lady comes in to start putting his “wires” on him. she got through most everything without izi crying at all, until the end. but he pulled through, and was so brave. so, we sat and watched movies, and every time he had a seizure, i pushed a button. the nurses would run in and make sure everything was ok. he slept like a baby. then, it was morning, and izi was ready to go. he wanted to leave so badly, but he couldn’t. we had to stay in the room. the doctor came in and said “he has classic absence epilepsy. his EEG indicates that he had a seizure every 20 minutes, even through the night. in order to help him more, we are going to put him on another medication, and keep him on the keppra. and we’ll see you back in 6-8 weeks for another EEG.” every 20 minutes? my baby was having a seizure every 20 minutes. oh my goodness. that’s so much more than we thought!

through all of this, we’ve learned that God knows better than we do. none of this is a surprise to the Lord. he knew before the beginning of time that izi was going to be diagnosed with epilepsy. i have to trust in Him. He knows better than i do, and He wants good for me, for izi, for our whole family. all we can do now is take life one day at a time. we will constantly be watching our son, changing dosages of medication, going for more EEGs, and trying to love everyone a little more, and help other families that are going through this. it could be much worse, but for now, this is our life. our hope is that izi’s seizure activity level will come down to 0, that he’ll be able to follow directions well, and that he’ll eventually be weened off of all his medications. we WILL figure out our new normal, we WILL figure out his meds, and we WILL live our abundant life that Christ has given us.

for more info about vanderbilt pediatric epilepsy, you can go here. thanks be to God for He is doing wonderful things.


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the new year

this year, i want to be more intentional. i think that this has been brewing for sometime. as posted on my last post, we did RACKs 2012 for advent. that was my first attempt at being more intentional. since then, that word continually comes up in life. ben and i talk about what we want to do with our kids this year, what are our goals for our family for 2012, and all i can think about is wanting to be more intentional with them. i want to memorize scripture with them. i want to play more board games with them, and have more meals with them. i want to be more intentional with who they hang out, with what they see me do. i also want to be more intentional with my relationships, with what my husband and i do together, and just how we do life in general.

philippians 2:1-8 says:

Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:

Who, being in very nature[a] God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature[b] of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!

this is what i want. i want to have the same mind as Christ. in everything i do. whether it’s in a birthday party, a baby shower, a wedding, dinner with my family, taking my kids to school, taking care of sick kids, or how we run our home. i want to show others that i truly love Christ.

what are you going to do this year or even this week? if it’s too hard to think about all of 2013, start by thinking about what to do for a week, or a month. take it a week at a time. and if we mess up, we try again the next day. because Christ forgives us, and i’m eternally grateful for that.

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the most happiest time of the year

december means one thing in our family…celebrations! 3 our of the 5 of us have birthdays between december 4 and december 29. and one of the others boys’ birthday is around thanksgiving. so, needless to say, we are busy celebrating.

we also celebrate advent every year. our church celebrates with a different family lighting each candle and doing a devotional on that specific theme: joy, love, peace, hope, and Christ. the boys look forward to seeing who will light the candle and when their friends are in front of everyone, they really listen well. we’ve chosen to celebrate advent a little differently at home. in the past, we’ve done versions of the jesse tree, but this year, we wanted a more hands on approach so our kids could relate Christ to every day life. my hubby found this reading plan on his you version bible app. the boys have loved it. it really has helped us to be able to talk about the faith and following Christ in a different way, other than reading the stories they’ve heard over and over again. i highly recommend it. and lastly, we are trying (“trying”) to do random acts of Christmas kindness (RACK). i got the idea from here and thought, “oh, this is great!” but, it’s very hard to actually make myself do this every day. i’ve definitely been convicted of my attitude this season, and that’s a good thing.

all of these things are good things. they tend to make me want to celebrate more as a family. we believe that family worship or reading scripture together is very important. we want our kids to know Christ the same way that we do. all of these things make me very happy and make me want to explain Christ more to our kids.

that’s why it’s the happiest time of the year.

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this past week was thanksgiving. it has been a full, busy week. my husband works for a magazine in memphis, and they were in their busy time, but my family was in from out of town, so it kinda made everything better and easier. the cousins got to play together and everyone knows that my mom’s cookin is the best! 

last thanksgiving, we began the tradition of the thankful tree. about 2 weeks before halloween, my oldest started asking about the thankful tree and if we were going to do it again. that made me so happy and i hope to do this every year. usually we write down whatever it is the boys say, which makes it pretty fun to read through, because you have things like “hawks” and “the elmo basket” and “medicine”. ha! all i did was find some sticks that looked good together, cut out leaves and punched holes in them (from scrapbook paper), and gathered lots of little pumpkins for my vase. then, each night, we all took a turn saying what we were thankful for. i think daddy won the prize of people being thankful for him the most. i know i am!!



i also got to help out at the boys school with their thanksgiving party. this party is so cute because they sing a few songs and dress up like pilgrims and indians. i was in charge of pumpkins, the thankful tree, and a take home treat. i ended up making these cornucopias for all the kids (tutorial coming up next!). then, i found some printables that said “gobble till you wobble” which i thought was hilarious.  Image



the table scape for the party. we had popcorn, pilgrim’s hats with apples in them, chex mix, pumpkin muffins, donut hole acorns, cheese cubes, and cute little orange water that looked like pumpkins.Image

one mom made this paper bag turkey that was so fun, then we used our thankful tree and various pumpkins.Image




2012 has definitely had it’s moments, but i couldn’t be more thankful for these three amazing kids and their amazing husband. life is good.

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