Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Conference Weekend TATOR PICKIN'

Over Conference weekend the kids and I went up to the HOLLER!! The kids had their first experience of what in these parts they call "TATOR PICKIN' " They loved it, but more so... they loved just getting dirty, well and maybe sitting on Papaw's tractor!!! Thanks to Mandy she corrected me on the proper terminology of "Tator Pickin'" and thanks to her also for the pictures.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Some kids speak first, my kids...... they run first!!!!

Sleeping Zombie and Dracula!!!

This is how I found Jaxon sleeping last night!!! He was such a little "Zombie" I couldn't even get him to wake up to climb back on his bed. How he climbed under Ashton's crib... I have no idea... but he was obviously tired.
Payton came home from school today with Dracula fangs. As you can tell, she walked around all day scaring us. She was pretty steadfast in not sharing those teeth with Jaxon, but by the end of the night, his puppy dog eyes softened her enough to let him have them for about 10 minutes. We might have to splurge on a pack for Jaxon. I think I saw them at Wal-Mart today for around one dollar. Anyway... CRAZY KIDS!!!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Payton is Southern!!!

Last week as we were walking home from picking Payton up from school, Payton and I were having a conversation. I asked if her homework packet was in her school bag and she replied with this. "No Mom, it AIN'T in my bag." OHHHHHHHHHH MY GOSH!!!! I FLIPPED!!! She probably thought she said a bad word because I stuck my finger in her face and said "You don't ever say that word. That is not a word!" Hopefully my message was loud and clear after me in her face for 5 minutes enforcing that saying that was soooooooo wrong. Well this morning she got out of the car walking into the school and she turned around and said "Mom, I won't say ain't, it isn't a word." The influence of the southern accent and lingo is so strong especially now that she is in school. She comes home and says her alphabet exactly how her teacher pronounces it. Once I started thinking about it, when I moved to Australia, I too quickly picked up on the Aussie accent and lingo. I guess that is what happens when you live somewhere long enough. We have gotten some good laughs out of it though, that is for sure!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Jaxon and Mommy!!!

I tried sitting down with Jaxon to take a picture of him and I together and he kept closing his eyes and laughing hysterically!!! Then it turned into a game he would close his eyes make a face and ask to see the picture. By the end... we settled on an Eskimo kiss!!! This is what Jaxon and I do when Payton is at school, and Ashton is taking a nap. What a crazy kid!


Ok.... I have to admit... I get sick and tired of always cleaning up after my kids!!! Now... many know that I enjoy cleaning... but I enjoy even more having a clean house. Now with three small children around it is rarely clean. Today before we headed out for church we had some styrofoam shredded throughout our entire living room from the kids. When we got home tonight at 5:30pm that was the last thing in the world I wanted to do. So... I told Payton that because she made the mess she was going to clean it all. I instructed her to pick up the big chunks first and that she would be vacuuming the rest of the small mess up. Harsh consequences turned into pure delight!!!! She had a blast!!!! And she was so proud of herself. I was too! She did a wonderful job. Now... I just have to swallow the urge to go and make the design in the carpet how I like. :)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

SNACK TIME and Honesty!

This is what Payton and I made today for her snack at school tomorrow. Last night shortly after I put Payton to bed she came out of her room sobbing. I asked her what was wrong and in a muddled sound I could barely make out a few words. "Sorry Mom, I will never do it again." I had to ask her to calm down, stop the crying and tell me what she did. Well the story finally came out. Yesterday when she was at school, she was at her reading station. She was turning the page of a book called "Cats for Sale" when the page ripped accidentally. She must have forgotten about it until bed time because she was stricken with guilt. I sat her down on her bed and told her I was proud of her for coming to tell me what she did, but that we needed to tell the teacher. I offered to tell the teacher for her (first time offense only) but encouraged her to do it so she will be able to see the consequences of always being honest. I told her that if she was honest with her teacher and told her the truth of what happened that she would be happy and very proud of Payton for telling her the truth. But if she didn't tell, than someone else might get into trouble and that would make for a big problem. She would end up getting into trouble for not being honest. So when I gave her the option she said " Mom, I will tell her." So when I dropped her off at school this morning, she got out of the car and turned around and said "Mom, I'll be honest by myself." She was blessed with the gift of guilt just like her Daddy!!! What a blessing that is to me as her Mom. She is such a good girl!
The pumpkins are called "Cake Pops" you can find the recipe on www.bakerella.com


Anyone who knows little Jaxon will know that he has been inseparable from his blanket since he was 5 months old. He never took a binki, he never took a stuffed toy, the only thing that would ever calm Jaxon down and give him security was his blanket. And.....Austin and I made him throw it away!!!!!(Might I add though, it was pure "spur of the moment" by Austin.) Now... if it was a regular blanket.. it wouldn't have been that big of a deal, but he sucked on those dang tassels. Austin feared he would be sucking them at age eight. No Finklea will have their son made fun of for being less than MANLY! His blanket was always a conversation starter for bacteria infested objects. The only time his blanket was ok to hold was right after it came out of the dryer. I don't know what on earth possessed us to do it this weekend but we did. And guess who cried. NOT JAXON! It was me. I held it together until he went to bed, but I cried like it was my blanket. Now... I wasn't the only emotional one... Austin almost shed one tear. I couldn't figure out why I was getting so emotional about it, and after Austin and i discussed it we came to this conclusion. It is because Jaxon was only took to that one thing. That was his world. He never woke up or went to bed without it. He never left it anywhere! Now this last year he has had to make the step in leaving it in the car, and sometimes even at home, but as soon as we walk through that door, his blanket is right back in his mouth. We did replace it with a blanket that had NO tassels. And it made it all that much better because it is Bumble Bee from "Transformers." He has asked about it since, but hasn't cared much! He has done great with out it! I guess I am the one that needs to grow up. Austin tried to work the same trick with Ashton this weekend and the binki.... I WAS NOT HAVING THAT!!!! That one will have to wait until I AM READY!!!

Saturday, October 10, 2009


Jaxon has been influenced by our "Southern Holler" friends....Well, maybe it is just because he is a boy! We made a visit to Wal-Mart today and before going into the store, we decided to change the boys diapers. (FYI JAXON IS POTTY TRAINING.) Austin had Ashton laying down in the car, and I had Jaxon standing upright just outside the car. I told Jaxon to pull down his pants so I could take his diaper off. And yes... everyone could see. But thankfully we were parked in the very back so no one was walking by. Well in that same instant when the cool breeze flew past Jaxon's "YOU KNOW WHAT" he had the urge to pee. So, as a good boy he said "Mom, I go potty?" Now... side note or I should say question; when a child is potty training, do you tell them NO when the really want to try? My decision was NO. So.... in the middle of the parking lot Jaxon did his potties, while Payton so graciously blocked so no one could see. WE LAUGHED, AND LAUGHED, AND LAUGHED all the way into the store. And boy was he proud of himself. That may have been a huge mistake. But... we'll see. We thought this story was worth blog material. :)
Jaxon just finished using the real potty chair
Payton enjoying her second fudge bar.
Ashton just after finishing his second fudge bar

Friday, October 9, 2009

Thursday, October 8, 2009


Tonight I was playing with the kids, and I called Jaxon "Buddy." He turned around and said "Mom, I'm not your buddy, I'm your baby."

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

My Patriotic Girl

Payton is learning about many things in Social Studies. She has learned about the White House. She has learned about George Washington. She has learned about the Flag, and Betsy Ross. And....she has memorized the Pledge all by herself. I AM A PROUD MOMMY!


Ashton has learned how to smile for the camera!!! He had a great time posing for me, but I think Jaxon had an even better time! Since Payton is at school, Jaxon and Ashton have become little pals. Who wouldn't be a pal to a REAL LIFE SUPER HERO? Jaxon...is a different super hero everyday. Don't get it wrong or he will have a melt down. Yesterday and today he is sporting around tooth picks in between his fingers. He is WOLVERINE, but as you can tell last week he was Superman! I got those pajamas for him for $3 at Wal-Mart. Best $3 I have ever spent. Ashton is starting to get into the super heros too. He growls deep in the back of his throat every time he sees anything that resembles, engines, cars, trucks, dinosaurs, wrestling, and super heroes. CUTE BOYS!!!

Friday, October 2, 2009

How are the kids?

Payton is doing well in school. I just went to parent teacher conferences last week and when I asked "Is there anything she needs to work on?" The teacher looked at me like I was crazy and said "Are you kidding me, she is wonderful, I feel like I need to pick up the pace just for her. She is an absolute pleasure to have in class" As a mom, that made me proud. She really is a good girl. She is definitely getting some attitude that is for sure, but overall she is so sweet. Isn't it true that children are always better behaved when they are away from their parents? Payton is learning valuable lessons. Lesson #1 Modesty. Payton started discussing with me a few weeks ago how someone that she knew was being immodest. She was scooping her chest while she was explaining to me how this person was being immodest. I was trying to help her understand the lines of immodesty, and she turned to me and said "Mom, I'm not IN MODEST I am OUT MODEST." I started laughing and said "YOU SURE ARE." Lesson #2 Motherhood. It is a scary thing when you start to see your child mimic your parenting behavior. A good 85% of the time she is home now she is saying things to her brothers like "Was that a good choice?" "Do you want a time out?", "Do you need to have soap in your mouth? We don't say those words." (She even says that to both Austin and me.) "Do you need a spank?" "You make my heart very sad when you make choices like that" "or the most recent, "The ELVES are watching boys." Now I look at that and it becomes overwhelming to me the negative she must see come from me. And then she redeems my mothering in small moments when she says things like: "I am so proud of you honey." (speaking to her brothers) "Mom, we forgot to say our prayers." "Mom, who is my favorite mom in the world?" "Mom you are the bestest mom in the world." It makes for great self reflection when I see her mimic me like this. KIND OF SCARY!!! We were saying prayers last week before the kids went to bed and Payton asked to say the prayer. She said her regular prayer meaning her same routine, and in the middle of it she said "Please bless mom that she will be pretty when she comes and picks me up from school because I like it when mom is pretty." When she finished her prayer I asked her why she said that. (Wanting to know if I have already embarrassed her.) She said " I like it when you're pretty, and my friends like it, and my teachers like it." I still don't know the reason for the fervent prayer, but makes me try really hard to wear makeup when I take her to school. I am always together by 3pm, but the 7:50am thing is a little bit harder for me. Jaxon is changing every day!! This summer Austin was quite concerned that Jaxon would was behind and also needed speech therapy. Now granted, I have to give him credit. He mostly would see Jaxon at the end of the day during his melt downs. But, I didn't have the same concern. Yes, his speech isn't the greatest, but... I had a feeling he would start doing better when Payton left for school. And.... he is doing great. Even to other people they can understand him more. We are doing "SCHOOL" while Payton is at her school and while Ashton is sleeping. He calls it his "BATMAN AND SPIDERMAN SCHOOL." He tells his Daddy every day on the phone that he did good in BATMAN/SPIDERMAN SCHOOL. When we take Payton to school every morning Jaxon will wave goodbye and say "Bye Payton, I wub you. Hab a good day at school. I go to BATMAN/SPIDERMAN SCHOOL." Payton will then turn around and get down his throat telling him he doesn't go to school. Then the saga begins.... every day on the way home Jaxon cries, trying to convince me that he does go to school. Good thing it is only a five minute walk... once we are in the door, he is distracted by something else. Jaxon now is not only into Spiderman and Batman, but he also LOVES Superman, Ironman, Wolverine, Transformers, TMNT, and Power Rangers. He plays superheroes ALL DAY LONG!! He knows all of his basic shapes, and knows how to count to 10. Now... the letters are another story... we are still working on that. But he is making progress and he is a fabulous big brother. Him and Ashton are little pals. They wrestle all day. They are going through MONSTER withdrawals. (MONSTER is the name Payton made up for a game they play with their Daddy. MONSTER=WRESTLING.) Ashton....OHHHH BOY!!! HE IS A TURD!!!! At least he is a cute one though. He has officially become the child that will cause Austin and me to go gray very early in our life. With in the last month he has almost died 3 times and has been taken to the emergency room once. Story#1 We were at our friends the Sclaters. All of the kids were playing on the furniture in the front room and had managed to take off every cushion and pillow possible and throw them on the floor. It become a jumping pile. I turned over just in time to watch Ashton, (who doesn't know how to jump off of even a 1 inch step yet) jump off of a chair with his body horizontal in the air on to............... HARD WOOD FLOOR!!! As I stood there watching this all in slow motion all I could think was "What an idiot." I Know... horrible thought for a mother to have, but that was my thought. All I said was "OH MY GOSH, that hurt." When I picked him up he had blood gushing out of his mouth, only to find...... his bottom teeth had cut through his bottom lip almost to come through on the other side. I waited out to see if this would be the inevitable "FIRST TIME E.R. VISIT." The bleeding stopped, thanks to the binki and no E.R. was graced with his presence that day. Story#2 The day we were all getting ready to leave for Cleveland for my Girls Weekend, I was on the phone with my sister, and Austin was loading the car. I walked out of my room to find Ashton dumping an entire 150 fl oz. bottle of TIDE on his head. I yelled "OH MY GOSH I HAVE TO GO," and hung up the phone. Austin turned around and said " $#%@!&^$*&@"(ha ha ha) We rushed Ashton into the bath tub to save the poor pathetic child from my $20 Tide with Downy Laundry detergent from running into his eyes. Now I can't say it didn't miss his mouth, but we did reroute the flow to just barely running over his lips. After that experience... he smelled beautiful for days, and was very clean I might add. Poison control was not graced with our phone call on this day. Story#3 I decided to take the kids to the park. We picked up Pizza for dinner and met our friends. We were playing and were having a good time. I ran over to the tire swing to push Payton, Jaxon and their little friend Kailyn on the tire swing. I pushed a little to hard for little Kailyn and it scared the poor thing to death. While I was lifting her out and feeling terrible for scaring her, I heard a not so comforting sound. I turned around to see Ashton lying on the concrete floor. He had fallen off of the picnic table. He didn't cry until I got to him, so it knocked him out for a minute, but as soon as I picked him up he was crying. H started looking funny, and coughing and then..... HE PUKED all over me. That scared me!!! So thankfully Tamsyn was there to take my other two kids, and I ran to my car. I buckled him in and was off. Now a trip that should normally take 10 minutes took me no longer than 5. The entire 5 minutes in the car Ashton was trying to close his eyes and sleep. I got him into the E.R. and they got him in right away, only to make me wait 25 minutes before we actually saw the doctor.( But... oh well... at least he is ok now) He went in and had a CAT Scan and was strapped down to a Papoos.(basically a straight jacket for kids) Poor little guy was scared to death. The CAT Scan was clear and no bleeding. The diagnosis was a concussion. But he was soon to get over it. The next day... he was at it again. So.... I have basically come to the conclusion that Ashton will be the worst of them all. Payton we thought was bad, but I think Ashton will out do her. Ashton has just learned how to smile for the camera. I will post pictures later. He is a sweet boy, and loves giving Payton and Jaxon hugs and kisses. We sure love our little kiddies!!!


Ok, so after almost two months of not blogging I have much to tell, so...I will just fill you in with the highlights. The last part of August we were going to receive a special visit from Austin's parents for the first time since we have lived here. A few weeks before their arrival Austin got a phone call from his parents saying they were not going to be able to make it. Bob was going to be going in for a Sextuple Bypass Surgery. So.... basically he wouldn't be able to make the flight. I am happy to report that he doing well. Hopefully in the future they will be able to reschedule a trip out here. Around the same time we got another call from Austin's mom who told us our brother in law had been in a motorcycle accident. He had quite a bit of damage and was in ICU for quite a few days. Although there was nothing we could do being so far away, we had lots of prayers extended to our Father in Heaven. We are so grateful for both Dave, and Bob's recoveries! They are still not 100% but, they are on their way back. The power of prayer is real, and I know that the Lord has his hand in ALL THINGS. I believe my last post consisted of telling of Payton's bully at school. Well, after a few weeks of trying to figure out what was wrong with Payton, we finally pinpointed it. After her first week of school I told Payton that I would be leaving for a few days to go to Cleveland, Ohio for a GIRLS WEEKEND!!! She seemed to take the news ok, but after that point, she didn't want to go to school. So after much discussion between Austin and I, we decided to take the whole crew up to Cleveland. We did have to make one pit stop though, Cincinnati, Ohio. That is where we picked my mom up. She flew in for the girls weekend, and also to do a conference down where I live. So... after a fabulous weekend ( I will be posting about that as soon as I get pictures from my dad) we returned home with Grandma Colleen. I thought for sure that Payton would be ok now going to school. But... she still hesitated. Here is my conclusion...She was initially upset because she was experiencing something called separation anxiety. (very common in children starting school) Also... I think it runs in the blood. I dont' know how attached Austin was to his mom, but I sure was to mine. I remember every time she would leave I would sleep with her robe. So... poor Payton didn't have a chance. Now even with us being back home with my mom, she was still very reserved about the idea of school. Everyday she would ask me, and still does "Mom, what are you going to do today?" I figured out that she is afraid she is missing out on something fun at home. So I tell her "Well, I will probably clean, and Jaxon and Ashton are going to clean too, and have naps." So... life at home doesn't sound so fun! I am happy to report Payton loves school. So much so, the other morning I thought I would be sly and sleep in and take her late to school. Well it doesn't work out so well when we look out our front door and she can see her school. She saw all of her school friends being dropped off, and she wasn't even ready, she was still in her PJ's. So.... she came in to my room and got upset and told me she was going to be late. I guess I can't get away with that!! Such a responsible little girl! To make it fun for Payton at school we decided to make treats for her class one day. These are the treats: Now... On to Austin. Oh wait... Who is Austin? I once was married to a guy named Austin!! Ok, just kidding. But it is kind of true. Austin is in rotations now for medical school. He has already gone through, Emergency Medicine, Psych, Pediatrics, and is now currently on OBGYN. So in the last four months I see Austin on Friday nights, Saturday, and Sunday. He leaves Sunday nights usually and will head back to his dorm room. At this point in his rotations, he is still undecided about which specialty he will want to pursue, but it is leaning towards OBGYN. He is loving his rotation now. He will be on call for the next 2 weekends. So.... I will basically not see him for 3 weeks. Unless... I go visit him. But it is better this way. He gets to focus and spend all of his spare time studying. This will probably continue for the next year and a half unless we can come up with a new idea. The kids miss him. We went to visit our friends the Pierson's the other day before they moved, and Stewart came in and said "Its obvious that Austin is never around, Jaxon just asked me.. Are you my daddy?" We started laughing. When Austin comes home on the weekends we try and have as much fun as possible. I try and make sure there is no work to be done so all we need to worry about is playing. A few weeks ago we had A SLEEP OVER. I know... I felt like I was in high school again. But we really did. We went up to the Holler and slept over and had a blast. That is old news though, because every time we go up there we have a blast. I am even going up there tonight to have another sleep over (minus my husband). But Austin had his first experience "critter huntin'" and caught himself a squirrel to make squirrel gravy. He loved it!!! He just has to get the lingo down, explained to me about the skinning of the squirrel but called it "de-furring the squirrel." We spent the Saturday going on a four wheeling expedition. We went to the top of the mountain to see the entire valley. We went on a little hike to see Sand Cave. What a beautiful hike, and beautiful day. The weather was perfect and the kids had a blast, the only thing for me that was a little off, was wearing flip flops on a hike. Not that I intended for it to be that way, I just forgot normal tennis shoes. My muscles were sore in very interesting places the next day. Here are some pictures of our fabulous adventure: