Wow what a weekend!!!!

So much happened this weekend! It was amazing and crazy. Saturday was incredible to start our Community Makeover project. I will let you read more about it on Tim’s  page. He has a better way of making things sound. I was lucky enough to get to take a few pictures. You can see all of them if you go here.   Here are a few of MY favorites.

This is Cobe helping with bricks! There were so many to move.


Everyone working diligently and then Tim turned on Camp Rock…run girls run!

 Kristen could NOT get that darn thing open. But it was fun watching her try.


The kids getting dirty.


Bella is mad about something. Her pouty face is so funny!


The day is finished and we are going insane….it is worth it!



There is so much more that took place this weekend. I will have to write more about it soon. It involves two of my most favorite people.


Dancing Queen

Tonight was a Delilah night. For some reason when it rains I like to light candles and listen to Delilah. There is something comforting in this for me. Anyway after the family sat down and watched Wipe Out (a family favorite) we all sat doing our creative things…coloring, playing game boy (which does not happen too often, but we just found it after losing it since Christmas), downloading pictures…etc. I thought to my self, “we need a little Delilah”. My husband is not so much a fan, but he was down with it tonight…okay, well he didn’t complain anyway.

A passionate love song came on and my 8th grade nostalgia kicked in. I wrapped my arms around my husbands neck and asked him to dance. Now I must mention that my daughter and I have this game. She runs to Tim and kisses him with all the love a five year old can give. Then she says “mommy?” Which I then look with pretended anger to see her kissing “my man” and I run and try to give kisses to Tim while she tries to kiss him first…vice versa. The game originated from when Cayden was little and was learning to “give loves”. It was our way to get her to kiss Tim. Now it is an ongoing thing which can last many minutes with Tim usually being the first to call it off. So tonight when she saw me dancing with our man, the game went in to play, only this time dancing was the prize. Finally after giving Cayden a few minutes of dancing time with daddy I made her dance with Cobe while I finished out my dance. This did not make her happy. She crossed her arms and went to the chair to pout. It was a little funny, but I needed a moment with “my man”. So I promised her that she could have the next dance, and when “Some Guys Have all the Luck” came on she danced like a star with “her man”. I naturally took out my camera. I don’t want anyone to forget the days that Tim was number one in her life.

I got a second dance in afterwards and she wanted to take a pictures of us. This is as good as it gets.

I grabbed this next picture. It is different, but I like it because it represents how tiny this little child is and how much she loves any time she gets in her daddy’s arms, dancing, sleeping, kissing, you name it. I just like that thought. I wish time could stand still for moments like these.

P.S. Though Cobe did not make these pictures, I promise he was very much a part of this. He just preferred to watch from the couch…while playing the gameboy we just found for the first time since Christmas.

Fwends Foevuh!

Little did we know on June 16th, 2003 when Bella Foust took her first breath that Cayden Grandstaff’s (who took her first breath shotrly after on June 27) little life would be so influenced by such a character. Most of their lives they have known each other, which presents opportunity for perceptive conversations like the following. Today was unlike any other as  we were drove from my house after Sunday lunch.  This conversation took place:

“We’ll be best fwiends forevuh” -Bella (said only as Bella could say)

“And ever and ever…” -Cayden

“And when you die first or if I die first we will still be best fwends”-Bella

“And even up in Heaven we will be best friends”-Cayden

“And when I get Marwied (married) you will be in my wedding”-Bella

“And when I get married you will be in MY wedding”-Cayden

“I wonder who my boyfwend will be when I get marwied?”-Bella

“Maybe it will be Tanner (age 19)”-Cayden

“YEAH!!!” Squealing with excitement-Bella

“Do you know what your last name will be if you married Tanner?”-Me


“Bella Locke”-Me

“What will my name be if I marry Tanner?”-Cayden

“Cayden Locke”-me

“Hey you should marwy Todd (Tanner’s brother-21) and I should marwy Tannuh (Tanner), then we could be Bella and Cayden Locke”-Bella

“Yeah, then we can live together!!!!” -Cayden

Easy as riding a bike!

We received an amazing blessing. We bought a trundle off of Craigslist and when we went to pick it up the family gave Cayden a big girl bike. Our street is extremely hard to ride on so even though Cayden has a tiny bike she has not been too motivated to ride. Well this day was different. She wanted to learn “without training wheels” so she could ride her “big girl bike”. Tim happily took on the job of trainer. I gladly took pictures and watched the event unfold.

Tim started her out nice and easy. Teaching her to pedal AND look forward at the same time.

Then it happened and she was off on her own.

Here she is practicing on her own…she made sure it was on the grass so she would not get hurt.

She had to stop often for a water break!

Now she was off for a shot on the “big bike”

She tried the helmet for a few seconds, but then was over it!

She did do well on the big bike, but cannot take off on her own, so she went back on her little bike until Daddy can help her again.  She is ready to conquer the world…Okay well not quite…she still is having a bit of trouble pedaling and watching where she is going.

Yummy Yummy blueberries!!!

Some of you may think I am crazy, but I have never picked blueberries. They are one of my favorite fruits, but I never knew it was so easy just to pick them and then eat them. Weird I know. Well when I was in Memphis my mom had some friends from church hand her an entire ice cream carton filled with fresh delicious blueberries.  Tim, the kids and I ate them on everything. We ate blueberry muffins, blueberries on the waffles, blueberries in the cereal, in the yogurt, on top of the wonderful 4th of july cake I mentioned….you get the picture.

When I got back in town I tried to figure out a place we could go to pick blueberries ourselves. The store bought one are just not the same. Then the other night I was taking pictures of this adorable family on her parents property. Her parents Lynn and Keith, started talking about their blueberries and told me that any time I wanted to come pick blueberries I could. I really did freak out. I just think first of all how neat it was that these amazing people would open their house to me like that (without hardly knowing me) and then how amazing God was to give me this little treasure.

My kids (also never having picked blueberries and still getting used to this concept of things NOT bought in a store) and I got up the next morning and went to pick blueberries. It was so much fun and I am already baking my second blueberry pie. I know Lynn and Keith will probably never read this, but THANK YOU so much for giving us this memory. My kids are still talking about it!!!

Miss Universe watch out!

Since I can remember I have LOVED watching the main pageants on television. I can remember when Gretchen Carlson won Miss America in 1989. I can vividly remember her aqua dress with beads and the way she played her violin. I even met miss USA 1989 (also a Gretchen) and tried her crown on my head. In my heirloom box is her autograph. I dreamed I would one day be one of them. Quite often growing up my best friend Simone, my twin sister Tonee and I would put on pageants of our own. Tonee always claimed Miss Universe (she had to always be the top), I was satisfied with Miss America and I am sure Simone was stuck with Miss USA. We seriously put on a full out pageant for our parents and even at times the neighborhood. We had an intro number, a swimsuit competition, a talent and then the crowning. As I got older I held on to the dream of being Miss America. Part of my dream was filled when in second grade I was crowned Little Miss Riverfest….oh wait it gets better…My junior year I was crowned Miss Riverfest 1995 (Please know I will not be offended if you laugh). My responsibilities included attending the Riverfest activities, attenting area parades (riding floats and convertibles) and best yet I was the 1996 town Easter bunny. I really did have fun doing it, but we laugh quite often now.

When Tim and I first got married and the pageants would come on I would get lonely. So my husband would quite nicely watch the pageants with me…OK I did make a competition out of it. It made it more motivating. I hate to say it, but every year Tim would often pick the winner within the first 5 minutes. I never felt such joy as to the morning in February of 2003 when the nurse told us we were having a girl. We had lost a child shortly before she was conceived, and to know that the child inside of me was a girl was so emotional. I cried and that night I held my belly and wished so hard that she was in my arms and I could put pink on her. So when she was three months old I dressed her up, placed a crown on her head and sat her on the bed for her FIRST ever Miss America pageant on TV. Of course it made the baby book!

Here and there we would watch pageants on TV, but she was so little that toys were more important. UNTIL, Miss Universe 2008. The minute it came on TV we both started squealing. Of course Cayden had no idea what could be so exciting and then she saw. It was like we were both engulfed in the magic. The costumes and corny moves….I LOVED IT…and so did she. It wasn’t long before she ran to her room and emerged in an elegent Barbie evening gown, but something wasn’t right. So I ran to my closet and reached high on the shelf. I then turned to her and placed my Miss Riverfest crown on her head. I then was required to announce her arrival. “Ladies and Gentlemen, boys and girl, it is my privilege to announce to you, wearing the 1995 Riverfest crown…MISS UNIVERSE 2008…Cayden Reese Grandstaff…” (And Tim cheered loudly).

Of course it wasn’t long before she was mimicking the contestants.

And then welcome the swimsuit competition (most pics I cannot post…mom look for your email.)

Then we changed back in to the dress for the finality of the pageant. Before Miss Venezuela was crowned my little princess was asleep.

This night was fun for me. I actually felt like a little kid watching the show with my daughter. Do I want her to grow up to be a pageant queen…NO. I knew a few and wasn’t impressed (Miss Riverfest doesn’t count :). I just want to enjoy Cayden and I want her to dream big and be what she wants. But selfishly it was a gift for me. A chance to think back to what I was like when I was little. A chance to get excited again. Thank you God for my little girl, who at times I consider my miracle.

More than the rain….

I love the rain. I LOVE THE RAIN! When it rains outside I get so excited. I light candles and play Delilah or some old Christmas records and just enjoy being inside my safe home. Recently my son has not loved the rain at all. In fact it is one of the many things that he has added to his list of fears in the last two months. Storms are definitely at the top. As much as my love for rain is strong I know with each storm (which has been every night this week) there is going to be drama. I have read up on this fear and Tim and I have done a great job of handling this telling Cobe he “has what it takes” to take on the rain.

Today it rained. On the way to church Cobe had a melt down…when we walked him to his class, he had a melt down. He didn’t want us to “leave him”, that and “the rain” was about all he could handle. He finally pulled it together and went to class (due mostly to the fact that a close friend of ours is his teacher). During church I got so excited when it thundered. I almost wanted to leave early just so I could slip some jogging pants on and cuddle under blankets, but we didn’t. When we picked Cobe up, he was happy and felt good that he had made it through class, and actually had fun.

As the rain continued I got the urge to go to Kroger and get some Diet Coke. Cobe and Cayden happily agreed to go if I bought them a donut. Well after we got into the store (parking on the back of the lot…of course) it decided to pour rain. Worried about Cobe being fearful I tried to make a game out of our “little adventure”. I tied a bag on his head just like a pirate would wear (Not over his face, although I was worried how many comments I may get). He felt cool and he was confident about running to the car in the storm with me and his “pirate look”. Caydens hat/bag was a bonnet like pretty girls would wear. It was like all of the sudden he could face this fear. He was trusting me and my words and though I could see slight fear behind his eyes he was willing.

We headed out but found out it was lightning. Since his other top fear is the fear of me leaving him, I could not run to the van and pull it up so we ended up calling Tim and having him get us and bringing us to the van. He is the most awesome husband for doing this. Although I did hear comments.

It may sound silly, but I feel that we battled more than the rain today. Cobe battled some of his fear today and I was so proud of him. He is feeling real good now. He is even counting the seconds between the lightning and the rain. I am just so thankful for this moment and the Kroger shopping bags!