Monday, June 11, 2012

Moving In

Ready for his first day of work on the new job!

Danny was awesome to drive up to Virginia with Nate so the boys and I could stay in Texas to wrap up school and move-out.

The Basement

The Family Room

The Dining Room

Trey's Room

Master Bedroom

Joshua's Bedroom

Master Bedroom

My Baby Turns 9!

My Joshua turns 9 today.  I can't believe it's been nine years since he entered our lives, completing our family of four.  This is my youngest, my baby, my sweet boy and I am so very proud of him.  His laser blue eyes can absolutely sear my soul and his quirky sense of humor always makes me smile.

He may have my blue eyes but his personality is all from his dad.  He is truly Dad's mini-me ... with a million wonderful qualities.  He is logical and intuitively understands more than many adults I know.  He has an amazing memory, 'gets' math, and has a wonderful way with words.  His dry sense of humor is always entertaining us, but he desperately avoids the spotlight.  He is competitive and works hard to do well.

He makes up his mind quickly and is firm in his beliefs.  He has a great way of weighing pros and cons then sticking with the results of his decisions.  He is instinctively frugal and practical.  I think he was four years old the first time he asked me, "Mom, you've already gotten 'X' number of items in the grocery cart; do we really need that?"  He was like a little budget-conscience following me around the store!

He is also incredibly mature in his thought processes.  One night not too long ago, he asked to get his library book and put it in his backpack.  Since he was already in bed and it was after bedtime, my immediate response was 'no.'  To this, he said, "Mom, can I please explain to you how my mind works?"  Intrigued, I agreed.  He explained it in this way:

"Mom, it's like my brain has folders.  When I go to bed, I check all my folders.  If there is something I need to do, I cannot check off that folder and it's hard for me to go to sleep.  If you will let me put my library book in my backpack, I can check that off my folder and not worry that I will forget it in the morning.  Can I please put my library book in my backpack so all of my folders will be clear?"

How many grown adults cannot articulate their thoughts as well?  Well, of course, I had to agree to let him do it and told him I appreciated how it explained it to me.  That's my boy.  I love this child with my whole heart and am daily grateful that I get to be his mom.  Happy Birthday, precious boy!

We arrived in our new home on Joshua's 9th birthday and took him to a restaurant called "Generous George's Positive Pizza Place."  The boys got to make their own pizzas and enjoyed ice cream sundaes for dessert.  Happy Birthday, Joshua!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Time with the Taylors

The best part of our trip from Texas to Washington DC was our stopover at Fort Campbell to see our dear Army friends, the Taylors.  Frienship forged in the chaos of deployment stands forever strong, as we demonstrate with this wonderful family time and time again.  Our kids are fabulous friends and we love seeing them grow up together.

Paul and Amy were gracious to allow us to stay overnight on our way to our new home and we had an absolutely marvelous time.  The big kids camped out in the backyard while little Ella entertained us all.  These girls are so precious to us and we were so excited to see them again.

Amy is the ultimate hostess and a better bed-and-breakfast you would be hard-pressed to find.  The men got to shop-talk and catch up while the ladies shared stories and memories and filled up on girl talk.  We love this family and can't wait to see them again soon.

Thank you, Taylors, for a fantastic visit!

Absolutely LOVED our Time with the Taylors!

The big kids are ready for bed.

Miss Amy checks on our campers.

More fun memories for the Cook/Taylor kids!

Little Miss Ella was the star of the show, for sure.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Another Round of Goodbyes

Leaving Texas -- our home state and the place we've been stationed for the past 7+ years -- has not been easy on any of us.  With all of our immediate family members along the I-35 corridor in Texas and my boys having spent a majority of their lives here, it's truly home to us. 

Due to some military-kid-miracle, Trey attended only one elementary school (Kindergarten through 5th) and spent his first year in Middle School with many of the same kids he's known since he started school.  Joshua enjoyed a local private Kindergarten and spent 1st - 3rd grade at the same elementary his brother attended.  Our neighborhood, library, sports program, swimming lessons, and basically all daily life events have been steady and familiar for years.  Giving that up to enter a completely foreign area will be a challenge, for sure.

Now, we're in the process of trying to see everyone one last time before we head to the great unknown in Washington DC.  One priority is always to see Trey's best friend, Madi.  They met in Kindergarten and even though she moved to Denton, Texas after the 3rd grade, they still remain close friends.  They talk frequently on the phone and she is the only person he texts with other than his parents.  We enjoy her parents as well so it makes it fun to get together.  This trip, Madi's dad brought her to us and she was able to spend a night and the next day before we met her parents to return her on our way out of town.  It was a sad goodbye, but we're planning on future get-togethers whenever we can.  After all, it's never officially 'goodbye' but just  a simple 'see you later.'

Trey and Madi, best friends since Kindergarten.