Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas 2012

Merry Christmas from the Cliftons!  We hope your holiday has been very Merry and Bright, and without any broken bones, because ours did consist of the latter.  On Sunday afternoon Mark broke his collar bone while he and my dad were out on a bicycle ride.  They were on their way back at the end of their ride, about 100 yards or so from the yard when a dog from a neighbor came after them.  Mark took a swing at him, which caused him to fall off his bike and onto his shoulder, hence breaking his collar bone.  We went to emergency room and were told what we already knew, it was broken and that we would need to see an orthopedic surgeon.  However we couldn't get in until after the holidays. So here he is, all slung up, looking at christmas presents that all have to do with working out which he cannot do for a while.  Poor guy.

We went to my grandparents house on Christmas Eve and this was just one of the many games we played called "Headbands"

Our Christmas tree this morning.  It was a small and sweet Christmas for the Clifton's this year, and while I debated even putting up pictures, I wanted to remember this year, what it has meant to be halfway through it so far, and how  this year looked. Reid had a wonderful Christmas anyway and we enjoyed watching him open presents.

He opened candy first and that was all he was interested in the whole time.

He loves to sweep, but adult brooms are too big and he often gets mad at them, so I got him a toddler broom!

Lastly he got a sandbox.  He wasn't that impressed, but he will be.

It also snowed this Christmas!  Reid had a blast playing in it.  I will be uploading pictures tomorrow from our Christmas stay in Tyler!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Belated Update

I know it has been a while since I updated.  To be honest our life has been crazy, and I have just not been in the mood for an update.  I feel as if I cannot be completely honest yet still, and so that makes me not want to write anything.  However, I know I will look back and wish I had more evidence about this time in our lives, especially as children are concerned.  So I will try to be as upbeat and positive as possible, even if it is not exactly how I am feeling.

Reid is now 2!  I honestly cannot believe it!  Seriously, when did this sweet bouncing baby boy grow up in to a toddler?  It floors me to think I have a 2 year old!  Am I old enough to have a two year old even?  He has learned to do so many new things too.  You always hear about the "terrible twos" (and not to say my kid is an angel, because he is far from it and we DEFINITELY have our struggles) but hardly anyone tells you how much fun two can be!  He is such a sponge, soaking up everything and anything we can throw at him.  He can talk in (mostly) complete simple sentences.  He is still one of the most coordinated kids I know, running, jumping, and throwing like a pro.  He has recently discovered the "run fast" and "get you" game, which he squeals with delight any time we play them.  He enjoys reading stories, and seeing family.  New playmates are always the best, and he badgers people until they play with him.  He is still sleeping in his big bed, not getting out until we go in a get him in the mornings (I attribute this wonderfulness to blanket time training!).  He is getting pickier with his eating habits, something I hope goes away soon.  He loves sweets, starches, and carbs, (and some fruit lol) so we are working on other foods.

"New Baby" is in week 25 in utero, and doing well.  For those of you who don't know we are having another little boy.  We have decided to name him Kason Lane (call him Kase at times) and are so excited about his arrival.  Of course we are nervous about going from one kid to two, and about "starting all over" again, we are ready to experience all the fun things we have already experienced with the Reid-Man.  I go in again in the middle of November to do the glucose test and to get another 4D ultrasound.  I am excited because this go around he will be so much bigger and we will see his little features better.  I am also excited because Mark will get to come with me since it is during Thanksgiving Break.

Speaking of Mark, he is doing pretty good. He starts clinicals this week, something he so is excited for. These past 3 months of class have been brutal, and he has been studying non-stop, taking tests constantly, just swamped in general.  He is still the best daddy, and now that Reid is a toddler, now has a constant shadow and little buddy following him around.  He travels to Shreveport on a daily basis, and stays with friends there two nights out of the week.  Makes for some lonely nights, but thankfully I have wonderful family to keep me occupied and fed.  Reid misses him too when he is gone which is never fun.  Hopefully this 5 week break, when all of us will at least be in the same city will be just the boost we need to make this final push into Christmas Break for him.  Please be in prayer for him, as he finishes, as he drives (that gas would go down too), and as he continues to lead our family like always.  I am continually impressed by what a wonderful parent he is and he is becoming.  I couldn't ask for better.

As far as I am concerned, I am doing ok.  Work is stressful, and ALWAYS busy.  Luckily I have a pretty good group of kids, and I feel a little bit more like I know what is going on this time around.  I do so miss being at home with my baby boy though.  I am glad to have had the time with him that I did.  I am ready for thanksgiving break so I can be with him all day again!

Well that is about all.  I will try to get some pictures up here pretty soon!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Change Is a Comin'

Hello fellow readers!  Please join me in welcoming myself back from the depths of nothingness, with no posts to speak of for months at a time.  Hopefully though that will all be changing because I am currently typing this from my bed!  Yes you read that right my bed, the Cliftons have internet in their house after two years.  Can I get a whoop, whoop?  So now hopefully posts will be coming much more often.

So everything has been changing around here, and it has been happening for a while.  That is actually part of the reason I didn't write as frequently as well because I couldn't share what was going on, since most of it had been up in the air the past year.  However we now know what it all should look like for the most part, so here goes a long post kind of breaking that all down.

The first thing needed to know is that Mark has stepped down from his youth ministry job at the church.  This was so bittersweet because we knew what God was telling us to do but it was so hard to leave a group we have watched literally grow up and mature right before our eyes the past three and a half years.  We saw this group of kids go from the faithful 10 that were left still meeting when we came, to a group that has anywhere for 70-90 students on a Wednesday during the school year.  We left with a church behind us, loving us and sending us out.  It was a sweet time, one we will not forget.

The reason Mark left though was to go back to school for a year to earn his Physical Therapy Assistant degree (PTA for short).  This has been something a year in the making with taking prerequisites and applying to get into the program.  140 people apply, 50 interviews are conducted, and 20 get in.  Mark happened to happily be one of the 20!  What a wonderful accomplishment just to get in, I was so proud of him!  So he started school with a summer session at the beginning of July and just finished it yesterday.  He knows he will have an "A" in one class and thinks he might in the other, which came only from hard work and studying every night.  The school is located in Bossier Parish, Louisiana, which is about an hour and fifteen minute drive from our house.  He goes everyday 8-4:30, and will stay with friends a couple of days throughout the week to cut down on gas costs.  We are excited he will be done 1 year from now (instead of the usual 2) and are ready for him to start doing this new found joy.  He is essentially doing this so he can help lead worship for a church plant/church that can't pay their ministers, and take care of our family.

All of this is good and well except for the fact we had no income.  This was a disheartening situation for a little while, not knowing what was going to happen.  It was looking like we would be living with my parents for a year and just not spending ANYTHING and try to make it off of what we have saved.  However, the Lord had other plans and last week I was accepted for a job to teach 1st grade at a school in Marshall for this upcoming school year.  The Lord is good and knows what we need.  This was a hard decision for me though, simply because I absolutely love staying home with my little guy, it is where I know God has called me to be.  However, this opportunity arose and we felt like this is what we should be doing.  It will be so hard to have to leave Reid everyday, but I know it is for the long run and betterment of our family, so it is becoming more and more ok.

Getting a job may not be as easy as you were thinking it would be, for one very specific reason (and not that I was out of the profession for 2 years).  This is the reason right here :)

Yes, that is a picture of my uterus with the newest little addition to the Clifton family!  We are so excited and beyond thrilled to be expecting this little one!  We went to the doctor at 10 weeks and everything looked great!  It was so funny to watch this little one being so active.  Reid was never very active in my belly, so much so I would worry until he got the hiccups (which he did a lot) and let me know he was still ok.  I don't think it will be the same with this one if what we say on this first ultrasound was any indication!  Granted we never saw Reid at 10 weeks only at 6, 16, and 24, but this baby was moving around like crazy!!  Kicking legs and flailing arms, and trying to do back bends to move its big head.  We have dubbed him/her "new baby" until we know for sure what it is.

This pregnancy has been different so far, which I find funny.  I have felt much much more queasy this go round than I ever did with Reid.  I haven't thrown up, but I have wanted to, which I was never an occurrence the first time around.  I usually start feeling nauseous around 5:30 in the evening (or at least more intense nausea that is) and that lasts until I go to bed and happen to fall asleep.  "New Baby" also has an aversion to sweets, which if any of you know me at all, know that this is strange indeed.  I love all things chocolate, gooey, and yummy, so to have those not make me feel good is sad.  And the strangest thing is I am having to reroute my brain because it still says a double stuffed oreo is the best thing known to man, but if I eat one I am reminded New Baby does not think so.

If you ask Reid if he wants a baby brother, baby sister, or Mama to have a baby he will reply to each with a quick "No m'am" or "Nope".  I think he has another thing coming poor guy.  He will get better.  He will point to my belly if you ask where Mama's baby is (and his own if you ask where his is).  He is doing so good, getting so smart, and so independent.  He knows all his colors, can kind of count to 10 (with help), loves to swim, loves shoes, balls, and is just a great little guy.  Here are a few pictures of him.

Swimming with Daddy and Ty

He loves to wear these baskets on his head

Came out of his room with his bag and football and told me "Me go-go!"

First night in his big boy bed!  He is so grown up!
Oh I almost forgot, in the middle of all this, we have moved to a rent house my grandparents own.  The house we were living in was part of the salary package with the church so we had to move out.  Our new place is bigger which is nice, a room for everyone! I will post pictures was a I get them.  Here is Reid's room with his big boy bed!

Sorry for the poor quality of pictures, they are from my iphone.

Monday, May 14, 2012

This Year

Wow, I know it has been a while, a very long while, since I have said much of anything.  A lot of things have been going on around here, stuff that I am anxious to write about, but haven't made the time to do so.  This post will not be the one where that happens either, sorry to say.  All in good time my dears, all in good time.

What you should know is that our family is doing great.  Reid is growing like a weed, which has me finding myself wishing I could stop time most days.  I am still absolutely loving getting to stay home with this great little guy, I literally thank God daily for this blessing.  We have had many fun times with our families, including 42 games, easter, weddings, you name it we have done it!  I could not ask for a more flexible kiddo, he really goes with the flow well.  I am so enjoying sleeping through the night and having a toddler.

I know this is a just a jumbled mess, but that is how I am feeling at the moment.  Hopefully my next post will be a little more thought out.  Until then I will leave you with a few pictures and videos.  The videos are from our church wide easter egg hunt.  I wasn't there so Mark took them for me.  The pictures are of an Easter get together we had with friends and family.  The cute little red head girl is Genna, Reid's buddy and she is adorable!  The next are just some we took on Easter afternoon.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Read about Reid: 17 Months

Ok so it has been quite a while since we did one of these, but that is ok, because now you will see how much he has learned.

Just so y'all know, I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE the toddler stage!  I honestly didn't think I would at all, but it really has been a joy.  He is doing so much more, is able to understand most of what I am saying (though I cannot say the same for him, he is babbling stuff like crazy, but I have NO IDEA what any of it is), can follow simple commands, plays with toys, loves to read, the list goes on and on.  So without further ado, here is what Reid can do at the moment

  1. The boy can throw and ball and throw it well.  He throws it hard and is pretty accurate.  Mark nor I taught him that, but he has a natural follow through, which I think is pretty legit.
  2. He is GREAT at kicking a ball.  He kicks left footed always and once again kicks it HARD.  I think he takes after his daddy.  Mark never taught him how to kick, but says he "approaches it" (I think, he isn't here so I can't ask) which means he basically walks up and kicks through his stride (does that make sense), doesn't stop then swing his leg.  Apparently that is a pretty good skill.
  3. He can shoot a ball too! He got one of those little Tyke basketball goals for Christmas from my grandparents, a gift that was supposed to go to their house as soon as it was opened, but alas, he received it and played with it for 3 SOLID HOURS!  People that is a record for anything to hold his attention, especially 3 hours worth!  Needless to say it came to our house and is still here.  We play with it everyday at least once, if not 5 times.  
  4. He is getting MOLARS.  Oh they are the devil, seriously, I hate them SSSOOO much.  They hurt his little mouth and his gums get SSSOOO swollen it is ridiculous.  I feel bad for him because on those days he is just super cranky (though he sleeps great at nap which is a plus).
  5. Speaking of naps, we have been down to just one afternoon nap for a while.  He usually goes down about 1 or so and gets up around 3ish.  Nap time is nice, always.
  6. He loves books and definitely has his favorites.  His absolute favorite is "Where's Spot?" a lift the flap book.  He can read that over and over and begs for it (and we hide it. . . often. . . there is only so much finding of Spot we can take).   Another favorite is "I Love You Through and Through" which has a little boy with a teddy bear (bee-oor), but this one he likes to read with "Babby" otherwise known as Abby.  She is one of our youth that is over regularly and he adores her!  Adores her so much he said "Babby" before he said "Mama" or "Grammy".  Anyway, it is no big deal to go and find him sitting by his bookshelf pulling out countless books, and reading them to himself.  So cute!
  7. He has recently started to like T.V. some.  To him the T.V. is called "Memo" because he watches "Elmo" aka Sesame Street while he eats breakfast in the morning. He doesn't ever make it the whole hour, just maybe the first 20 minutes (if that) but he likes it.  Another favorite is Barney.  We bought a portable DVD player that hooks to the back your headrest for the car and seriously that sucker is worth it's weight in GOLD.  Makes long drives so much easier.  Lydia, Jenni, Meagan, seriously you should invest, you will thank me later!
  8. He likes to dance.  Seriously, he has some moves.
  9. We started talking about colors today.  He can say "Blue" (bwoo) and "Green" (geen).  
  10. He knows where is eye, ear, nose, mouth, chin, cheek, hair, tounge, knee, belly button, fingers, toes, and foot are on his body and can point to them accordingly.
  11. He knows so many words and learns new ones everyday (hence the word "geen" today).  A few things he says new are: bear, rock-rock (ock, ock), Scott (cott), dog (da), bird (bawr, kinda sounds like ball, but it's bird), banana (na-na), Nina (Mark's mom), Gi (my mom), Papaw (my dad and grandfather), Pops, Poppy, Noni, and Ballou (ba-oo, my grandmother), juice (he somhow rolls his J and is sounds something like broosh, but in a weird way), bath (bah), shoe (kinda sounds like juice), and a few more I am sure I don't remember.
  12. He can blow his nose when I ask him too (great skill to have!)
  13. He can also blow hot food.
  14. He can use a fork and spoon and will not let us feed him anymore for the most part. 
  15. He loves to sing and makes up his own tunes and words.  
Well there you have it.  I know I haven't put everything on here, but I just wanted to commemorate where we were at this point in life.  It is a sweet precious time, one I wouldn't trade for the world!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Some of 2011 Christmas (I'm behind)

So I am SSSSOOOO sorry to have had such a LONG LONG LONG time in between posts.  I don't know what has gotten into me (actually I kinda do, but more about that later, and no I am not pregnant lol), but the important thing is that I am back now.  A lot has happened since the last post, namely Christmas and our boy getting older.  It is so crazy how much he has grown and how smart he is getting!  Seriously, this stage is so much fun, and he learns something new everyday. . .

Here are a few pics of Christmas Morning at our house.

Our Tree

Morning Sleepy Head! He wouldn't open his presents since he got these balls he had in his stocking!

Big Boy Cheesin!

These next few are of the annual "cookie party" we have at my mom's friend Lisa's house.  It used to be just me and my brother decorating cookies with Lisa before she had kids because she loved to do it and mom didn't.  It has since grown to include all of the "Princess" kids.  The "Redneck Princesses" is the term my mom's friends use to describe themselves.

Reid and his cousin Ty 
Reid and his Aunt Lori

Cutie Patootie!

My Hubby and Bro

All the Kids

The princesses

Throwing a ball.  All day, every day affair.

Hubby's Bomb

Bro's Tin Man