Thursday, October 31, 2013

Annual Boo at the Zoo trip!

I haven’t blogged in months, but going to Boo at the Zoo for the third year in a row put me in the blogging spirit!

Boo at the Zoo 2012

Boo at the Zoo 2011

I just can’t get enough of this handsome Gamecock.


We waited at the gate for our Boo friends!


Then I switched from camera to phone.

Little Bunny Foo Foo, a football player, and the good fairy!

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The kids had a great time trick or treating as usual.  Then, we passed the dance floor, and James went running out there.  He danced at Boo at the Zoo when he was little, but I didn’t know if he would feel shy now that he’s older.  He loved it so much that we stayed there the rest of the night.  He was cracking us up, and it’s these videos that I really wanted to share!

Callie and Chloe went to trick or treat some more while James danced the night away.  They came back though! :)

This one is my favorite!

Callie and Chloe went trick or treating again, and James carried on dancing.  He was making up his own moves and following the lead of the bigger football player in front of him. 

James, I hope you always “dance like nobody’s watching.”  You are so full of life and make me smile everyday! 

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Another great Boo at the Zoo trip, Grangers!  I’m looking forward to sharing another season of holiday traditions with y’all!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Taylor Swift “22” Parody - “32”

Taylor Swift’s song, “22,” completely reminds me of myself at 22.  It’s fun, flirty and carefree.  But the reason I even watched this video {at the age of 31} is because of 22’s parody – “32.”  Here are the two video’s.  I laugh out loud every time I watch the parody.  Enjoy. ;)

Monday, April 8, 2013

Easter Sunday Sermon

If you’ve talked to me since Easter, you’ve probably heard how much I loved Pastor Brad’s Easter Sunday sermon.  Like so many of Brad’s sermons, this one really spoke to me.  It touched me on several levels.

First, he is reminding us that “God gives us life.”  He says you can walk through life in one of two ways; you can think “you deserve everything you have” or you can think “everything you have is a gift.”  I have felt so guilty since my miscarriage that James doesn’t have a sibling, and his third birthday only reminded me that he’s getting older.  I decided while listening to this sermon that I am not going to look at James as ‘my only child that does not have any siblings’, rather James is ‘my happy and healthy gift from God.’

Brad ends the sermon with a story about one of his friends who died from cancer.  The cancer stories get me every time, but this particular cancer patient loved and appreciated every day that he had on earth.  It really touched me to think of how someone could die so peacefully with himself and his family.

Brad says that he went to the hospital right before his friend passed away to pray for him.  And after he prayed, his friend prayed for him.  That is what my grandfather {James’ namesake: James Washington Ratliff} did right before he died.  A minister came to the hospital to pray for my grandfather and afterwards my granddaddy laid his hands on the minister and said “now let me pray for you.”  The minister said he had never had anyone do that in all of his years of prayer.  Justin didn’t have the opportunity to meet my Granddaddy, but I’ve told him before that that particular story sums him up.  He was respectable, giving, witty, humble and I only have the fondest memories of him.

So I started balling in the church at the end of this sermon.  It’s not unusual for me to get choked up during one of Brad’s sermons, but I definitely had snot running from my nose to my mouth.  I was so embarrassed!  However, it’s these humbling moments with The Lord that really seem to make the biggest impact.

Here’s a link to the sermon.  I’m not sure how long it will stay on the website, but someone please let me know if you are not able to listen to it.

I am the Resurrection and the Life

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

This is the deal…

The days of James repeating everything he hears has begun.  Here’s what he said on the way to the grocery store today.

“This is the deal, Mommy.  We gonna go to Publix, and when it’s time to leave, I want you to be a good listener.  And don’t cry.  Just be a big boy.”

By the way, I have never told him that crying doesn’t equate to being a big boy.  There’s just no telling what will come out of his mouth these days.  Then again, I’m sure he’s heard it somewhere.

3rd Annual Strawberry Farm Visit

Three years in a row we have been blessed to visit The Cottle Strawberry Farm with The Granger Girls!  We got an early start this year and can officially say that strawberries are in season!


As usual the girls did what they were supposed to do, which is pick strawberries…


While my all-boy child did everything else.


James did actually pick strawberries, but NOT ONE went straight into the bucket.  He took a bite out of every single strawberry he picked.

Strawberry Farm '13

I just tried to keep him from throwing the remaining halves across the strawberry field.  He really is such a rascal.  I’ll look back and laugh at this stuff one day, right?


In the meantime, I welcome these sweet girls into our daily lives.


We may not have known that we were starting a tradition three years ago, but it’s definitely one that we’ll have to keep!  We love you, Granger girls!


Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Happy Easter

What a great day.  Not knowing how to explain Easter to James, I decided to tell him “On Easter we celebrate Jesus!”  Lately I’ve been trying to ingrain this in his mind.  Here’s our typical Easter conversation:

Me: “James, what do we do on Easter?”

James (eyebrows raised): “The Easter Rabbit gonna come to my house and weave a basket of eggs.”

Me:  “That’s true, but who do we celebrate on Easter?”

James (yelling): “JEEEEE-SUS!”

Well that “Easter Rabbit” did come to our house to fill James’ basket.  Only with much more than eggs. :)  Mostly books this year and art supplies, but plenty of other goodies as well.  Like usual, the basket was filled with WAY more than planned.


I didn’t take tons of pictures.  We had a nice morning of Easter goodies, breakfast, watching James’ new Peter Pan movie, and getting ready for church.

It doesn’t happen often, but when James decides he doesn’t want to wear something, there is no getting around it.  I fight A LOT of battles with him, and I mean it when I say this is a big fat loss for me.  He boycotted button down shirts for his entire second year.  I knew I had to play my cards right, which gave me the perfect excuse to buy him a soft and cozy, white linen shirt.


He wore a new shirt, new pants, and new shoes.  I couldn’t risk a belt even though it bothered me that his shirt wasn’t tucked in.  And I had to hike his pants up after this photo.


James has a new camera of his own so, Justin and I stood at the doorstep while he supposedly took a picture of us and told us to “say cheese!”


He followed us around all morning saying “say cheese,” “wook at me,” “that’s a gweat picture” and “that’s the goodest picture.”  He also repeatedly said, “Mommy, don’t touch my camera.”  I told him that wasn’t very nice then, I realized he was repeating what I’ve been telling him for years.  Oops.

He hasn’t quite mastered keeping still while taking pictures.  He took about twenty pictures of me, and here’s the best one.

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James kept asking “Mommy, do you have your camera?”  which prompted me to get a fab pic of my hubby.


We weren’t able to get a family pic this Easter, but these two boys made up for it.  (If only I didn’t still have the birthday wreath on our door… how embarrassing!)


So much to be thankful for this Easter, especially Jesus Christ himself.  Happy Easter from our family to yours!


Saturday, March 23, 2013

Happy Birthday, Connor!

James’ best friend turned three today, and we were so excited to celebrate with him at Edventure!  It was a party that was meant to be on the smaller side, but ended up having a GREAT turn out! 

James’ favorite part was making the fire truck and Dalmatian crafts all prepared by Connor’s crafty mommy, Lindsay!  The glue itself was such a hit that I’m going to have to let the Easter Bunny know…

Connor's bday1Connor's bday

It was a fire truck theme with hats to match… I could just eat this little boy up!


There was a guest appearance by Fireman Josh.  Fireman Josh is sometimes at Edventure, and Connor is a HUGE fan.  James on the other hand is lost in emotion between feeling star struck and frightened.  This is the first time James “faced” Fireman Josh as opposed to hiding his face in his Mommy.


We sang happy birthday to Connor and filled the kids up with sugar, in true birthday party fashion! {This is one table, pictures taken three ways.}

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We then had free play throughout Edventure, where we spent the entire time at the Clifford exhibit. :)  This was such a great birthday party, especially on a cold, rainy day!  Don’t be surprised if I do this next year… These two three year olds approve!


Happy birthday, Connor!  We are so blessed to have you and your family in our lives.  I am so proud of you for the little man you are growing up to be.  Thank you for including us on such a special day!