Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Preschool Beginnings

I realize I've been MIA for about....a long time :) I decided to start blogging again to help me keep up with our family! I have such a terrible memory and I love being able to look back and read what I was thinking at the time of some big event. For now, I'm just going to start in the present time and if I ever find the time I will backtrack to get caught up with our life.

Tanner and I have recently started discussing what schooling we want for A when she gets that age - which I know is still a few years away, but will be here in the blink of an eye. I am thinking I would really love to homeschool because we have some amazing groups around this area. But that would mean I wouldn't be able to work...kind of a big deal financially. Anyways, for now, I have decided to do our own little homeschool preschool. She goes to "preschool" at the church in the mornings, and I know they are awesome, but being the teacher minded SLP that I am, I can't resist doing something at home, too. :) I am all about the idea of intentional play and know that her little brain is capable of learning sooo much right now. and that brings us to the topic of this post: our first week of homeschool preschool!

I am starting off with doing colors. It just seemed like an easy place to start and come up with activities. For week 1, we did the color RED. I started by gathering all of A's red toys and putting them on her shelves in the playroom.
The small basket is holding lacing beads and red sorting animals; the bottom shelf has any books about colors/red that we had in our bookshelf; the red construction paper is for putting red things on (a precursor to sorting multiple colors)
all of her random red toys

Then, I introduced the color/word to her by a coloring activity: (sorry, the picture is sideways and I'm not smart enough to figure out how to change it)

Throughout the week, we did several "art" activities:
coloring things that are red

painting a watercolor ladybug
  Activities not pictured: slicing an apple in half and using it like a sponge to paint apples, I made a red beanbag to play with, we filled the tub every night with red toys (doesn't have to be bath toys - just anything that won't ruin if it gets wet)

We also dressed in red, whenever we could - which was like once, ha. I realized that red must not be our color because none of us have very many red clothes!

We also *attempted* to make red play dough:
*note - when a recipe calls for cream of tartar...there's a reason*

Other than our planned activities, we just really tried to emphasize anytime we saw something red - outside, at the store, in a book, etc. Speaking of books, we also went to the library and checked out books about "red." Apparently red isn't the library's color of choice, either, because we ended up with random ones about tractors, barns, etc. Anything that was red, we got it.  I also made up silly songs while we were playing with her red toys. The one she liked best was to the tune of Frère Jacques
I see a red block, I see a red block
there is it, there it is.
Look at that red block! look at that red block!
It is red, it is red.

All in all, I think our first color was a success.  I "tested" her at the end of the week by presenting her with two different colors of something and asked her to give me the red one.  She still won't say "red" but she will sometimes do the sign for it.  I tried not to get discouraged because I know that just because she won't say something doesn't mean she doesn't know it.  She has a vocabulary of like 50 words, but of course never says them when I want her to! Quite frustrating for this speech path. =) We have now moved on to Blue - it was extremely hard for me not to go in order of the rainbow and do orange next, but I was afraid it wouldn't be enough of a contrast in colors for her to grasp just yet.  Hopefully, I can keep up with the blog so I can have something to look back on if we ever have another kid and need some inspiration =) 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


Chaos - a state of utter confusion or disorder; a total lack oforganization or order.

This word pretty much describes our life right now - and what our life will be like for the next couple of months.  It's a tad stressful for a pregnant lady, but I wouldn't have it any other way - because I know it's God's perfect plan for us.

A little update into the world of the Cades:

I'm 8 1/2 months pregnant (34 weeks). And feeling every single day of it. I actually have days where I feel pretty good and I sometimes forget I'm actually pregnant - until I go to turn around or bend down...then I'm QUICKLY reminded of the fact that I'm the size of a whale. Other than the normal aches and pains, my pregnancy has been great with no complications. Something we a truly grateful for. 
I joke with people about Tanner's timing of things.  Like the fact that I had been trying to get him to run a 5K for a year and then he finally decides to sign us up for one when I was 5 months pregnant. yeah. he's awesome. =) Well, this time, we decided it's a good idea to move  8 hours, across 2 states, while i'm 8 1/2 months pregnant. oh boy. Now, don't get me wrong - I'm excited beyond words to be moving back home; I'm just not so fond of the fact that it's the hottest part of the year and I am twice my normal size and waddle everywhere. So packing/unpacking and everything else that comes along with moving is seeming like a mountain to climb right now. 
Ok, here's the story. It's kind of a long get comfortable. or go ahead and stop reading. I'll never know =) 
Back in the Spring, Tanner and I started discussing the possibility of moving back close to Hattiesburg.  We weren't set on any specific area, we just knew we wanted to be closer to family.  Preferably, close enough to call in a "help, we have a kid and have no idea what to do with it" emergency. We even put our house in Hattiesburg back on the market (we've had people leasing it for the past year). We both started looking, but Tanner mostly.  His job was going to be our main source of income so it was obviously the most important.  And in his line of work (media) it's harder to find something. Well, God was closing all the doors.  It started to feel more like slamming them in our face.  I'll go ahead and say, I'm the one who wanted this the most.  I just couldn't imagine raising our baby 8 hours away from my family.  I got to experience both living away from, and living close to, my family - and I know the difference it makes.  I want our child to grow up knowing her entire family - aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents...everyone...even the crazies. =) So, the fact that God seemed to be saying "no" was really hard for me.  Even harder, was praying every single day, that His will be done and not mine.  I struggled.  Every day. Every day I had to re-examine my heart and my motives before I spoke those words.  I wanted to mean them.  And so many times I just wasn't in the mood to mean them.  I wanted my family and that was that.  But every day, without fail, by the time I fought it out with myself and gave it to God, I had complete peace that He was in control no matter what the outcome. And that got me through the day.  That calmed my fears and stopped my tears. 
So, a couple weeks ago, Tanner was in Estonia on a mission trip with church, and I was staying with my parents while he was gone.  I had a couple interviews with schools in the area while I was there (one, I knew wouldn't lead to anything - they told me the teacher ended up saying she was staying but they still wanted to meet me just for future connections).  We didn't expect the other to pan out either, simply because I'm looking at being out for 6 weeks right after school starts.  So even though they can't technically use that as a reason not to hire me, they could easily find another excuse.  But, I was thinking, I might as well while I'm here. Also that week, we got a call about our house.  The only one in 2 years! So, after a freak out moment of "i have no idea how this works" our wonderful realtor talked me through it and by the time Tanner got back into civilization, we had a pending deal on our house! And to top it all off, Tanner had a voicemail when he got home about a possible job in Hattiesburg.  His old boss had just resigned and they wanted to talk to Tanner about coming back and taking his position.  I thought I was going to go into labor.  I was sooo stressed/excited/nervous! All during this process (since the spring) I found it really hard to open up and share my true feelings with Tanner.  He's such an amazing husband, I knew that if I pressed it, he would make a move he didn't want to make and be miserable, just to make me happy.  And that's the last thing I wanted.  I/we wanted to follow God.  Anything else would be in vain. So I kept my mouth shut (most of the time) and we prayed. Over the next week - I got the school job, our house deal fell through, and Tanner got officially offered the Media Director position at Temple Baptist Church in Hattiesburg.  Hello God! A couple days after that, Tanner made a comment at lunch that went something like this: "The only thing that hasn't fallen into place is our apartment lease..." Our lease is through October and the only way to get out of it was if someone else came in and wanted to rent it. We live in a small complex, without a pool or gym or anything, that isn't really near much (except the church) so it's not like tons of people are just dying to live here. That.very.afternoon....a lady came and looked at it and wanted it. At that point, I imagine God just smiling down at us with a content look on His face like..."anything other reason to doubt?" 
And here we are.  5 days from moving back home. We both have jobs. We have a house to go back to. We won't have to continue paying our apartment rent. Completely in awe of God and His sovereignty.  Right now, at this moment, I am not stressed at all.  I know the next couple of months will be crazy hectic for us - both starting new jobs and moving and settling in and then having a baby - but I also know that God is in complete control.   We have met some AMAZING people while we've been here and are going to miss them terribly.  But we are 100% positive God is opening these doors for a reason and that gives us comfort. 

Sunday, April 15, 2012

5k for 5 months

Yesterday, Tanner and I participated in our first 5k race! I have been wanting to start doing races, in hopes of one day doing a half marathon, for about a year now.  I  could never talk Tanner into signing up for one - until I was 5 months pregnant.  For some reason, he thought it was good timing. Typical. I say for "some" reason when I know what the real reason was. Two words. Ice cream. That boy will do anything for some ice cream. The race we did was the Blue Bell Fun Run and the only thing fun about it was the free blue bell ice cream at the end! It was in Brenham, which is actually the school district I work for, so I was familiar with the area. The Blue Bell factory is in Brenham and sponsored the race to raise money for all of the school athletics. (Hence the free ice cream at the end) It ended up being a big race, with over 4,000 participants. Which is huge considering the ice cream factory is about the only thing in the town! The course was extremely hilly, making it 10 times harder than I thought it'd be. Granted, we haven't been training or anything, and I'm about 10 lbs heavier than I normally am with a baby inside of me - both of which MIGHT have contributed to the difficulty level.  At any rate, Tanner did great! I don't remember our times, but I do know that his time was faster than the male average for the race. My time was actually right around the female average - which I'm totally OK with....for now. We had a lot of fun and definitely want to do more races in the future!

                                                           my 5 month picture

this was the first of five ice creams for Tanner =)

the group from our church that did the race

Friday, January 13, 2012

storage solution

Ever since we moved into our townhouse, there has been an issue of "where in the world can we cram this?" We cut our square footage in half, so needless to say, lack of space is a major problem.  That problem got even bigger when we got a Kinect for Christmas, but have no space to move around to play it! Now, talk about sadness. To help with the situation, I decided we needed to get rid of our coffee table.  It's nothing special and it takes up a lot of space with minimal storage.  But that leaves us with another issue - no place to put drinks, plates when we want to eat in the living room (which happens quite often), etc. And we still have the issue of no storage. In comes the ottoman:

This thing has been stuffed in the corner for when we need it, which has been never since we moved in, simply because there was no space for it. Well, I decided to make it useful. It started out in one piece, so first thing was to separate the top from the bottom and strip it, which meant taking out no less than 200 staples..not kidding..whoever made it got way staple-happy. It literally took us three hours just to take them all out. 

And let me clarify that my husband helped me tremendously with this remodel. I could not have done it without his muscle power =) After stripping all the cloth and padding away, Tanner made a bottom to hold things in. 

Next step, re-cover:

Final step, make somewhere to set stuff like drink, plates, etc.:

And the thing I love the most, is it gives me a place to put blankets and pillows since we don't have a linen closet!

Monday, January 2, 2012

You + Me = 3

Whew. Now that it's out in the open (I've been waiting a while for this), I'll catch you up on our life lately! It's obviously been interesting. =) 

We are finally settled here in Bryan, TX.  We were able to find an amazing condo to rent for a wonderful price and the best part is it's within biking/walking distance of the church, our gym, walmart, and, my favorite, Chick-fil-a! Even though it took us a little while to get adjusted to the size (it's half of the size of our house in Hattiesburg), we are really enjoying it.  Although, with the new addition, we are going to have to get extremely creative on how to organize our one spare bedroom into a nursery/guest room/craft room! I'm welcome to ideas if you have any!

Our holidays were filled with traveling, family time, and more traveling.  My cousin got married Saturday the 17th in a BEAUTIFUL Christmas/winter wedding.  Isn't she the most beautiful bride you've ever seen?!

I was out of school the week before Christmas, so I rode back with my parents and stayed with them for a few days.  My grandmother isn't doing so well, so I wanted to spend as much time with her as possible while I had the chance. I had started having some nauseousness on the way to her wedding but I assumed it was just car sickness or something.  While at my parents, I continued to have the nauseousness but I also started having cramps.  Which is not a pregnancy symptom I'm familiar with so I thought nothing of it.  Then one day, I got dizzy all of a sudden and my dad said something about me being pregnant.  Again, I dismissed it, attributing it to standing up too quickly.  But, just for curiosity's sake, I looked up "early signs of pregnancy."  I still hadn't missed my period so I wasn't too concerned, BUT when I saw the list included: dizziness, menstrual-like cramps, nauseousness, and moodiness (which Tanner will affirm this one)...all of which I had been experiencing over the past 2 weeks, I freaked a little.  Finally, my friend Drew urged me to take a test.  Which I did. And it didn't work. So I took another...and it messed up too. So we went to buy more and finally, third times a charm, it immediately showed a plus sign. So, along with all the other symptoms, I added shortness of breath and freaking out to the list. Now, don't get me wrong, I was extremely excited, but I was nervous, too! I couldn't tell anyone because I wanted to tell Tanner first.  The next day, my dad drove me to the airport so I could fly back to Houston - try riding in a car with your dad for 2 hours having JUST found out you are pregnant and not having an emotional's nearly impossible.  And then try flying through a thunderstorm while experiencing 'morning sickness.' It's not on my to-do list again any time soon. I finally made it to my husband and boy was I shaking.  We had to drive an hour and a half to his parents house and I knew this was the only time I was going to have to tell him if we wanted to tell family during the holiday get-togethers. So, I begged him to drive (which gave away that I was hiding something because I NEVER volunteer for this duty) so he wouldn't kill us or someone else when he had a stroke and wrecked the car. Then when we were good and on our way, I told him I had an early Christmas present for him in my purse. He pulled out the green-tissue-wrapped tests, yes plural, and immediately starting feeling the package.  He figured out what they were before he even opened them! After he came out of his state of shock he smiled and started asking questions.  So we spent some time with his family and then drove back to Bryan to have Christmas Eve and Christmas services and then drove back to Hattiesburg to have my family's Christmas.  (Talk about tired of being in a car!) At every family gathering, we wrapped (the same) pack of diapers to let the parents and grandparents unwrap.  I was so glad we found out at a perfect time to be able to tell our families in person and for the most part, all at once! And my favorite was getting to capture the reactions to keep forever =)

As you can see, dad and grandpa were a little shell-shocked at first! ha.

And here we are at the present time and we had our first Dr. appointment this morning! He said everything looked good.  We are 5 1/2 weeks along with a due date of August 31. So far, my symptoms have been mild and sporadic, but he said around 6 weeks is when they could hit pretty strong, so I may be singing a different tune this time next week.  We struggled with whether or not to tell everyone until we had an ultrasound, but I just couldn't hold it in any longer! Everywhere around here won't even give us an appointment until I'm 8 weeks.  It's a running joke now that I may be having twins.  Well, I say joke, but it's an absolute possibility.  My dad's a twin so I have a higher chance of it and everyone seems to think I'm going to be the lucky one in the family to continue the tradition - so I'm extremely ready for an ultrasound!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Open arms

Ok, so I have heard that when you are pregnant, you are very emotional. Well I have discovered that there is no need to be pregnant for this to happen. Just move 8 hours away from your family. Vuala. Emotional roller coaster without the morning sickness. Take tonight for instance. I started bawling while painting the words "apple cider." now, one of two reasons why I am crazy things just popped into your head.(side note: ignore any misspellings and/or punctuation errors-I am typing on the iPad. I just fixed popped from pooped...) The first is "why in the world are you painting apple cider?" the answer to that is a project for my cousin's wedding. The second thing would be "why did apple cider make you cry?" I won't scare you with my thought process but it went from apple cider is what we had at our wedding to this is has been and is going to be the hardest phase of my life, I think. Somewhere along the way Kari Jobe was singing in the background about Healing Hands and I just lost it. Thankfully my cryfests have decreased in numbers but they still come...and they come out of nowhere (like I saw a principal in the hallway with a kid last week and it was all I could do to keep myself together through that therapy session because the principal reminded me of my dad with the way he was calmly getting on to him). The last month has been nothing less than chaos surrounded by chaos. The busyness has helped with the homesickness, but has added to the feeling of not being settled. Between work, praise band, choir, weekend trips, and apartment hunting there just hasn't been time to get into a routine yet. We did, however just get the keys to our new condo today! :) pictures will come soon and probably an entire blog devoted to it, but for now let's just say it is a blessing to finally have a place to call our own here. To get to the point of this rambling mess(what's new)... As I was sitting here trying to get finished with the words "apple cider" before my paint dried up without washing it all away with the Rio de Emilio, I was overwhelmed with God's comfort and warm embrace. My wandering thoughts that always lead to unanswered questions and tears were interrupted; my aching heart was stilled. What a joy it is to serve a God who cares about insignificant me. I am worth nothing....most people on this earth couldn't care less if I was crying or not. But the God and Creator of EVERYTHING cares. Woah. And he has a plan. As hard as this phase of life is for me, I can get through it with His help because this is His plan for me. Even though I have the audacity to question His reasoning, He loves me enough to carry me through and wrap a surreal comfort around my heart that cannot be found elsewhere. I know people constantly go through worse situations than I. I am so extremely blessed. My prayer tonight is that if you are going through a difficult time, I hope and pray that you have the comfort of Christ to run to. If not, please know that it isn't because He isn't there. He loves you and wants nothing more than to welcome His child into His open arms where a peace that you cant even begin to imagine is waiting.

Monday, September 12, 2011

one week

Well, it's been one week since we have been official residents of Texas.  OK, technically, it's been one week and 1 1/2 days, but this is the first time I've had the chance to sit down and write, so it's the best I got.  Life has been a whirlwind since we got here! But I thought I'd make a list of the top 7 things I've learned so far (one for each day of the week we've been here). Here is it:

Day 1 - Saturday --> Texas has some stupid rules.  The story: I had to get fingerprinted for my new job.  A set had to be given to my company and a set had to be given to the State Dept. of Education.  Well, they gave me the option of doing it electronically inside the state of Texas or they could mail me a kit.  At this point, we still had a month to go in Mississippi, so I figured the mailing was the best bet.  BONK. wrong answer.  I never received the kit in the mail and a week before we moved I called and had to set up a time to get it done electronically once we got there.  I say I called.  I did call - 27 times - but they NEVER answered. And 27 is not an exaggerated number. So I had to do it online.  Apparently everyone and their mother who lives in Texas likes to get fingerprinted because there was only one time slot open on Saturday and it was in Houston at 1:40pm.  Therefore, we had to LEAVE at 630am to get there on time.  Not to mention the fact that we had to drive through a Tropical Storm the entire way.  SOOO, we get there right on time after almost getting blown off the face of the earth and Tanner has to walk Maverick around a parking lot while I go inside.  Turns out - they would only do one set because I only had one appointment. And something about she couldn't type in the code that was on the piece of paper I handed her.  Sheesh. Let me get there at your computer and I'll type in the stinkin code! (I was not a happy camper, might I add) But, I kept my emotional breakdown to myself and yelled at her calmly asked her what I needed to do because without this fingerprint I could not start my job on Tuesday. and Monday was a holiday so they were closed. and we were from MS. and our new home was 1 1/2 hours from Houston. Ends up, we just had to drive back down there Tuesday after work (I just wasn't allowed to service kids) and get it all done. So, first memory of Texas = you have stupid rules.  But in all honesty, the lady was very nice and genuinely wished there was something she could have done about it - she even called her boss to make sure!
Day 2 - Sunday -->  First Baptist Church Bryan, Texas has some amazing people.  We really already knew this, but Sunday was just amazing.  We were overwhelmed at the opening of hearts and homes to us.  A sub-lesson under this one is Everyone needs a MeMe.  This lady at church, known as MeMe (she says she used to have another name, but has forgotten it), immediately (in the welcome line after the service) invited us over for ice cream Sunday afternoon.  Of course, my husband cannot pass up an opportunity for ice cream! While there, we had a wonderful visit getting to know a little about her and she offered to be our grandmother away from home.  I had to fight back the tears.  She reminded me so much of my great aunt whom I was named after and miss so much.
Day 3 - Monday --> Bryan has really good parks.  It's apparently a rule here in town that for every new neighborhood, or few blocks, or something like that, they have to put in a public park.  Best rule ever. (Ok, so maybe not all Texas rules are stupid) They all have a walking track, playground and splash pad! Since we both had the day off, we went and found a pretty large park and walked Maverick around and swung on the swingset.  Not kidding. =)
Day 4 - Tuesday --> I'm not good at new jobs. I am not the outgoing personality that is good and starting a new job and automatically feeling plugged in and comfortable.  I like having a history there and knowing everyone and everyone knowing me.  Or at least having SOMEONE i know to ask stupid questions like Where's the bathroom? or What in the world am I doing here?
Day 5 - Wednesday --> I take my GPS for granted.  Our phones had been all out of whack here since our carrier is a regional company (Cellular South) and had NO service whatsoever.  Well, this was the first time I drove straight from work back home.  Should be easy enough to backtrack, right? ummm, not when you are new to town and directionally challenged! Duh, Emily. Our phones are our GPS and it just so happened that mine had no service when I took the wrong turn - all 4 of them. But I eventually found my way back home =)
Day 6 - Thursday --> apparently my brain died on this day because I remember nothing
Day 7 - Friday --> I started functioning again and learned that the food options are overwhelming. Tanner's parents came in town to visit and trying to decide where to eat was so nervewracking! We had eaten at someone's house every night so far so we hadn't had a chance to try any of the restaurants.  Looking at the map of options I just couldn't handle it.  We chose a Barbeque place called Rudy's. Good choice. Definitely had the college town feel to it and made me miss those days (sort of).

All in all, it's been a good first week.  Even though I am terribly homesick, I am looking forward to what the weeks ahead hold for us.