Friday, March 30

Bath Time

I'm pretty sure it's required of every parent who blogs to put up bath pictures of their kids. I'm not sure why, but I am compelled to do this by an unseen force. So, here are my kids taking baths.

No, she's not bleeding to death. It is colored dye that doesn't stain. Kids toys are miraculous nowadays. I'll post about WHY she needed a bath later. It's a great story.

Would ya' look at the fat rolls on that girl!

Wednesday, March 28

America Digs DEEP on their Retardation

I have no words to describe American Idol tonight.

Oh wait....

Maybe. I. Do.

(warning: the post is filled with raging bitterness)

Bumbo Madness: The Office

While Allison took Emma to the doctor yesterday, I got to spend some time with Brooklyn at my office. After making the rounds and stopping productivity by about 100%, I decided to get down to some REAL work: Bumbo Madness pictures! I didn't have a real camera, so I had to use my cell phone camera instead. Thus the crappiness of the picture.

Sunday, March 25


Saturday afternoon, the fam went to visit Josh & Margo at their farm. The purpose of our visit was threefold: To see the Hale's and all the progress that's been made on the farm, to do several Bumbo Madness: Farm Series shots, and to entertain Emma with all the animals there (it's like a trip to the zoo for her). The highlights of the evening:
  • Josh caught a brim from his pond and let Emma touch it.
  • Josh found a spotted salamander near the pond. Emma touched it.
  • Lots of Bumbo Madness shots!
  • Great dinner! Brown beans, cornbread, & fried potatoes. If I were wearing overalls, it would have finished off the country feeling. It was great!
  • The meltdown of both my girls as we inched them closer to sleepless-induced insanity.
While we were doing a fishing shot for Bumbo Madness, we were having a hard time getting Brooklyn to look at the camera (shocker...she's only 6 months old). Brooklyn LOVES her big sister and pretty much watches Emma wherever she goes. Having asked Emma if she'd go over to Brooklyn and help her look toward the camera, I got to snap the picture to the left. For some reason, I absolutely love this picture! Just two sisters looking at something we can't see. It's a secret they both share together. I'm glad they get to grow up together and be friends.

Bumbo Madness: The Fisherman

I would like to take this opportunity to announce the launch of! It's pretty much the worst site I've ever seen, but that's all the more reason to go look at it!

You can view the gallery of BumboFun photos and even submit your own photo to be shared! (send photo to John @

Now on to the goodness that is Bumbo Madness:

Saturday, March 24

A Loss in the Family

We have recently experienced a death in the family.

My Xbox 360 was pronounced dead at 9:20 PM tonight.

I think I'm actually too sad to cry.

Friday, March 23

Checked Off My List

I find great satisfaction checking things off a "To Do" list. It has been amazing to me how long it takes me to get things done around here. Keeping up with the day to day chores plus cleaning hardly leaves me time to do the "extra" stuff. That includes the "to do" things that I actually find joy in doing. I don't paint very often or very well, but when I do it is very therapeautic. I sketched out this canvas before Brooklyn was born. (about 6 months ago) My Mom painted some of it for me while she was here helping out in October. Since then, the painting has been sitting in our dining room. I can finally say that as of yesterday, the task is checked off my list! I had no idea it would turn into a 6 month project, but it did. Now, I can move on to the next task at hand. No telling how long it will take me to catch up on printing pictures out and putting them in an album.

Thursday, March 22

Nate & Emma

Nate McGooden has been a bachelor all week while his wife and kids are kicking it on the beach. He came over to join us for our Wednesday Night Lost & American Idol watching event. While I was grilling the burgers, Nate played with Emma on the trampoline. It was quite amusing. I'm not sure exactly what they were playing, so I'll put my own captions on the pictures.

Just Jumping

The King Is Crowned

The King Is Uncrowned

The Slaying of the King

The Victorious Queen

Wednesday, March 21

American Idol Stuff

Melinda Doolittle rocks. At the end of tonight's show (she was the last performance), Simon asked her is she really is as nice as she seems. A few nights ago, I was watching The Soup on VH1. They did a mock infomercial on the Melinda Doolittle School of Humility. Here it is in all its raging genius:

On another note, I made the worst mistake in my entire life (and probably here on out): I accidentally voted for Sanjaya. I'm so sorry. I have asked God for forgiveness (He's getting back to me on that one, by the way) and ask your forgiveness also.

You can read the whole story on the TV Addicts blog.

Tuesday, March 20


Well fed and super sleepy.
The true picture of
being content with

Bird Party

Emma and I went out to the front yard this morning to draw with chalk on the sidewalk. When we walked out a huge amount of birds flew over our heads. This was our conversation:
Emma: Mom, look at ALL the birds!!!
Me: I know, there are a lot of them.
Emma: Wow, they must be going to a party!
Me: (laughing) I bet they are!

A side note: We were in our front yard and Emma was dressed like the picture seen. I was still in my pajamas. I'm sure we were a sight to see!

Monday, March 19

Brooklyn Laughing

For the most part, parenting is pretty fun work. Watching kids grow up and discover new things (Brooklyn) or learn how to navigate a social situation (Emma) is pretty amazing. Brooklyn hasn't shown much interest in sitting up (must be spoiled by the Bumbo) or rolling over yet. However, she has recently found her feet and rolls to her side while playing with them. It's only a matter of time before she's running around in the backyard with Emma and Belle.

Until then, we get the simple joys: laughing at her older sister shaking a loud toy over and over and over again. Allison thinks the funniest thing about this video is Emma's rats nest hair. We're not sure how she does it, but that girl wakes up with some WHACKED hair.

Weeknd Fun

The weekend was beautiful here, so we took the opportunity to enjoy it outdoors again! Looks like we weren't the only ones, either.

Nothing too special went on, but I did build a fort in the living room for Emma. She and I split popcorn and watched a movie in the fort. It's amazing how excited she gets when I build a fort!

After blowing off thing indoors, we ate lunch with Aaron & Allyn Elleman at the mall. While my girls took naps, I went on my photo tour. Then after naps, Allison and I went on a dinner date to Hugo's in Fayetteville. We chatted briefly with the Harkey's. This marks the second time in a handful of dinner outings were we've seen the Harkey's. I think they're following us, which is kind of creepy. Cut it out, Brett.

Of course, this date was the reason Allison and I could not attend the 3rd Annual St. Paddy's Day NWA Blog Bash (which really needs acronyming...ASPe mornDNWABB). Maybe next year, guys.

The morning was kind of weird. Emma crawled in bed with us around 2:30 and rubbed Allison's back for a while. Then we kicked her out. The other girls woke up around 8:30-8:45, so it threw off our church schedule and we skipped (SOOO going to hell). Around midday, we packed up and went to Tyson Park in Springdale to play around. We spent a while on the different playgrounds and riding bikes (and taking pictures, in my case). While the kids took naps, Allison pulled weeds (God love her!) and I finally took down the Christmas Lights on the house ( March). The Hannon kids came over to eat and hang out while Sam & Amy went to Community Group. They all played and ate outside, which is the best part of daylight savings time: the long evenings.

I hope everyone else had a great, outdoorsy weekend! Especially since it's going to rain all week long. Here are the pics...

Saturday, March 17

Photo Tour: Local Streams

In my efforts to learn how to take pictures correctly, I decided to spend some time taking pictures of spots around the neighborhood. More specifically, I spent time in the creeks and streams around Johnson. As a kid, I absolutely loved exploring creeks. I could have spent all day just walking up and down the creeks around my house when growing up, and got pretty close to doing just that.

It was fun to climb down into the creek beds and take some pictures. As I drive through places, I make mental notes of landscapes and objects I would like to photograph. Here are some of the shots I took today. My main focus was learning how to take good long exposure water shots (so you get the fuzzy-looking water). Hopefully, there will be more Photo Tour posts in the future.

My favorite part of the entire time was when I was coming up from the creek bed near the Carley & Main Street intersection in Johnson. A redneck shouts "Catch `em all!" at me. Keep in mind I'm in jeans and a polo with a camera in one hand and a tripod in the other. I quickly yell back at him "Does it look like I'm fishing?". He flipped me the bird. I laughed.

Like the Groom on his Wedding Night...

The Razorbacks started strong, but quickly lost their steam.

Friday, March 16


I love my Bradford Pear in the back yard. Each Spring, it amazes me to watch the buds form and then quickly bloom. The end result is an amazing density of blossoms covering the tree. This is middle-of-the-bloom, so I'll post a full-bloom shot later on.

Thursday, March 15

Fat Rolls, Fat Rolls Everywhere!

First of all, I have to say this: Daylight Savings Time is KILLING me! I can not get back on a normal schedule of sleep. Since I'm not tired at midnight, I thought I should post some stuff about Brooklyn.

Fat Rolls
Babies are cute (for the most part). A big reason they're so cute is because they are chunky balls of fat and smiles. Brooklyn was sitting in her bumbo recently and I noticed that she had fat rolls on her arm. I started counting...and ended at 4! 4 freaking rolls on her arm! That's about 2 rolls too many, but it's still pretty cute. If you click on the picture to make it larger, you can count 3 large rolls: wrist, elbow, and bicep. The fourth is actually near her shoulder, which doesn't seem natural to me, but I'm not a doctor. She's right at the 50th percentile on weight and size, so I'm not alarmed...just amazed.

While in her bumbo, we usually give her some rings to play with. Every time you put the rings in front of her, Brooklyn's eyes get really big and her arms go flying out in front of her like Frankenstein. She slowly moves her hands in closer for the choke-hold and seizes the rings. They are immediately inserted in her mouth for the next 10 minutes. For some reason, I really think her Frankenstein pose is really funny. So I will put the rings in front of her, she strikes the pose, I laugh. I then take the rings away before she grabs them and repeat the process over and over again until Allison tells me I'm being mean. I'll see if I can get some video of it for everyone's enjoyment.

Wednesday, March 14

A Mommy Moment

I just had a "moment" with Brooklyn. One of those moments that I think I will cherish in 20 years when she is out on her own and I am missing my girls being at home. Emma was taking a nap, so it was quiet time for Brooklyn and me. I fed her and she fell asleep while she was eating. I took that opportunity to close my eyes too and rest for a few minutes. She stirred and opened her eyes and immediately smiled. She laid so still and listened to me talk to her and play with her perfect little toes. Maybe it was particularly special today because my heart is hurting for a special person in my life. My aching heart has made me really cherish my time with my girls today. I take them for granted way to often. They are truly miracles from God.

Tuesday, March 13

Golf Update

Two things on my golfing radar this morning:

The LPGA just moved in next door to my office. The LPGA is actually playing a tournament here in Northwest Arkansas this year. The NW Arkansas Championship will be played at Pinnacle Country Club September 7-9. Depending on the field, I might just be going to check this out! Michelle Wie or Annika Sorenstam could be some fun players to see.

Razorback Golf Course
I heard on the radio (104.9 the X) yesterday morning that Razorback Golf Course has recently been renovated. The great thing about Razorback golf course is the location. It is very accessible. However, that's the only good thing about it. It's a terrible course. So, if by "renovation" they mean "we ripped up every shred of earth and build an entirely new course the RIGHT way", it might be worth a visit. I expect they mean more "We actually cut the pasture grass and added distance markers and got new tee box markers (little Hogs!)". If you know anything more about it, let me know!

Sunday, March 11

Father-Daughter Hike / Outdoor Day

I was catching up on some All Sides of Life posts this past week and noticed a story on hiking. With Allison recovering from a long week of sickness and mothering, I decided it would be good to take Emma out on an adventure! I called up Murray Williams and invited him and his daughter, Mary Hadley, to go with us. I'm not sure how to write this blog shortly...I'll try to be brief.

We all met at McDonald's by the Springdale Airport and ate breakfast. Loaded up my car and headed out toward War Eagle Mill (WEM). On the way out there, Mary Hadley (MH) and Emma began chatting up a storm. Murray introduced me to TomTom. I fell in love with it. I want one.

Our first stop was War Eagle Mill. We took several pictures of the water wheel, the river, and the geese. The girls chased the geese a lot. They also climbed a hill under the bridge several times. We went into the mill to browse and grabbed some flavored honey. Note: it's 4/$1.00...and 2 is all one person needs. Number 3 is overkill.

After an hour or so, we loaded up the car again and decided to go over to Beaver Dam. So we drove up to Eureka Springs and ate lunch at McDonald's. While we were there, Murray picked up a local publication that gave us some ideas of things to do around Eureka. We pinpointed Lake Leatherwood and decided to go there. This is where we started our hiking. When we entered the forest, we notified the girls that this is officially "hiking". Emma kept calling the forest the "jungle". We told her that this was, in fact, a forest. She looked at us very seriously and said, "No, these are trees". It's hard to explain to a 3 year old that a large group of trees IS a forest. Murray did a pretty good job explaining it, but Emma lost interest in the conversation and started looking at the bark hanging off trees. We hiked for about 1/2 mile then turned around and hiked back along the lake. Lots of throwing rocks into the lake occurred at this point. We played around the swimming area for a while then loaded up the car again.

Our next stop was Beaver Dam. Murray and I had a lot of fun with saying the word "dam" over and over again. Men never outgrow their inner 10-year-old boy. Never. Dam! We drove over the dam and snaked around to the parking area below. The girls enjoyed climbing over the boulders while Murray and I took more pictures. There were lots of people fishing, so we had our hands full reminding the girls (specifically Emma) to be quiet so we didn't disturb them. We left pretty quickly, though, since Emma yelled "I have to go poo poo!" pretty loudly. We rushed back to the car and hurried to the Dam Store (again, we had a good time with that one). Of course, the "urge" had left Emma, so we got some snacks. We ended up driving home (by way of Rogers) and calling it a day.

All in all, we drove about 100 miles, 6 hours of play time, ate at McDonald's twice, and got to spend some great quality time with our girls. It was a pretty amazing time. We all agreed (especially the girls) that we should do this again sometime soon (the girls meant NOW, despite their tiredness). In fact, based on the ridiculous amount of fun I had, I may be the initiator of a Father-Child Nature Day during each of the 4 seasons from now on! So, if you're a father and your kid can walk and skip a nap, stay tuned: the next phase is coming!

You can see my pictures of the trip here.

Saturday, March 10

What is a sick day?

I have new sympathy for my Mom. When you become a Mom you start to realize all the sacrifices that your own Mom made for you through the years. The main sacrifice that sticks out in my mind now that I am a Mom is that fact that Moms just don't get sick days. This week is the first time that I have been sick with 2 kids. (besides a cold) I had full blown fever. Not 99.9 fever, but 103 spikes from time to time. Besides the fever/chills and a mega headache, I felt fine. No cold, cough, stomach bug, ear problems, nothing. After almost 48 hours of off and on fever, I decided to go to the doctor. Come to find out, I have a urinary tract infection. I had no sign of that, but there you go. My point of the blog is to see if anyone else out there thinks that the government should fund a babysitting/cleaning service for Moms who are sick? This seems like a great idea to me.

John has always been very helpful when I have been sick in the past. Unfortunetly for me, I picked the one week that he HAD to be at work to get sick. So, I bucked up and did my job. As I mentioned, I would have spikes of fever that would result in chills and headache. I was thankful it was not constant, but it came all of a sudden. God did bless me by giving both children SUPER naps this week and SUPER behavior. Thank you Jesus!! Emma really came through for me and what a blessing it was. John helped a lot when he got home from work, but he was tired to from long days too. On Thursday night, my sweet hubbie brought me a big bouquet of daisies (love them!) and thanked me for all I did this week despite being sick. It made my week!

We did get to get outside in between my "episodes". The fresh air felt good and it is so good for Emma to be able to run around. The girl has some energy to burn! I think this might be one of the first pictures of me and both girls. Don't you like our shades?

I am feeling a lot better today. Better than I have all week. I do still have the headache from time to time, but no fever! Brooklyn and I are having a day to ourselves. John, Emma, Murray Williams, and Mary Hadley are on a little outing right now. They went to War Eagle Mill to a nature trail and are now in Eureka Springs doing something. I feel sure there is a blog to come on that.

Just Swingin.......

Since it was such a nice week outside, we decided to try Brooklyn out in the swing. She really liked it. She was smiling and laughing up until the point I got the camera out to video her. Oh well, I have the memory in my head.

Friday, March 9

America is Retarded

Read about why American is Retarded on the TV Addicts blog.

Thursday, March 8

Another Loud One

Brooklyn is now 5 months old (as of Tuesday, actually). She's been an extremely easy baby thus far. Very little crying. A decent sleeper. Very smiley. And very quiet.

Allison and I were both kind of happy that she was all of the above, but REALLY happy that she was quiet. With Emma in the house, there's very little silence (or peace). We were thinking Brooklyn might be the "quiet one" in the house. You know, more of a replication of Allison's personality (Emma has my loudness, in case you were deaf or dead).

I think that is all about to change...

2 For 2!!!

I absolutely detest the Claw games you find everywhere. You know the games: the claw that drops down on on the unsuspecting stuffed animal, only to have the weakest grip ever and slide right off the animal shattering the hopes and dreams of little girls and boys. Yeah..that game.

Tonight at Neighborhood Market, I upped my winning streak to 2 in a row! A few months ago, I snagged some critter at the Springdale Hastings. Tonight, I snagged a yellow Easter Bunny. Emma was ecstatic, as was I. This was the conversation on our way out to the car afterwards:

Me: Emma, do you love your new Easter Bunny?
Emma: I do! But he's crying!
Me: Oh no! Why is he crying??
Emma: Because he misses his mommy!
Me: Oh...I bet you're right. But YOU can be his mommy now!
Emma: (said as if my statement was the stupidest thing ever) But Daddy, I'm not a bunny!

It's hard to argue with that line of reasoning.

Rocket Ship

Emma: Mom, I'm going poo poo!!!
Me: I'm coming, hold on. Don't get up. I need to wipe you.
Emma: I went.
Me: Wow, Em, that is a big one. You must feel better.
Emma: It was big. Look Mom, it looks like a rocket ship.
Me: (Laughing and wiping)

I'm not sure where she got this hobby, but she consistently likes to tell me what shape her poop looks like. (she is normally pretty right on) The first time was close to Christmas and she told me it looked like a Christmas tree. I'm sorry this is a gross post, but those with kids will understand the humor. According to Aunt Amy, this all makes Uncle Sam very proud!

Monday, March 5

Sunday, March 4

Birthday Celebrations

Over the past couple of weeks, it's been one birthday party after another. Add to that, it has been their 30th birthdays, so it is pretty much our last hoorah.

Allison's 30th Birthday
I threw Allison a big surprise party for her 30th. My sister hosted the party at her house, and all the kids (18 in total) were at my house with several babysitters. Logistically, it was difficult for the guests to drop off kids, get around the corner and get inside within the 30 minute time frame I allowed them. Anyone with kids knows time frames don't work. Ever.

We walked into the house, and everyone yelled surprise! Allison isn't a fan of the spotlight, but the big crowd slowly dispersed and became many smaller groups, much more agreeable with Allison's spotlight levels. It was a great night, and Amy (my sister) decorated the house wonderfully. We had Whole Hog Café BBQ and a cake from Rick's. It was a great evening.
(pictures courtesy of Brooke Robinson)

Brooke's 30th Birthday
You can read all about it on Brooke's blog. All I will say is yeehaw, and it was a great evening.

My 30th Birthday
First of all, I was out of town for work on my 30th birthday. So I got to spend an enjoyable evening with 9 people I met 2 days prior. Though not the worst way to spend a birthday, it wasn't ideal. Allison, my sister, and my parents had a Cookie Bouquet sent to my hotel room, so it was in my room when I got back from the day's training. It was really neat and warmed my heart.

Since I couldn't celebrate on my birthday, Allison threw me a "Guy's Night" party on Saturday night. She spent the day cooking, getting the house ready, and packing up the girls to spend the night at my sister's house. Tons of work from a loving wife. She even made my favorite cake: yellow cake with chocolate icing, and put it on her new cupcake tree. We played Loopin' Louie, Nintendo Wii, Halo 2, and poker. We finished off the evening by watching Miami Vice. Around 1:30 AM, Allison called to let me know Emma wasn't sleeping well over at Amy's house. So I went and picked her up and brought her home. She zonked out, so the guys continued watching the movie. We wrapped up around 3:00 AM, which is WAY later than I normally stay up. It was a great night, despite the fact that I'm now 30.