Saturday, July 24, 2010

Catching up

Wow, so I've been really absent from updating this blog for the past two months...and so very much has happened! Here's a very abbreviated photo tour of May, June and July:

We had one very special little princess turn three!


Have made several trips down to the beach, which is about 2 miles from our house!

Ride bikes and play at our playground everyday.

Lovey came to visit for the arrival of Jack and took the kids to pick strawberries and have ice cream at the harbor.


We had a very special Fourth of July visit from daddy, complete with a new trampoline, lots of time outside, and playing with our cousins!

Jack's gotten stronger and fatter everyday! He has a really *tough* life ;)

Michael started soccer in July and has had a love/hate relationship with the game...he gets really frustrated and then really excited within a matter of five minutes.

We have even ventured to the pool a few times, but it just hasn't warmed up enough to be real enjoyable.

We took the kids to Lake Elsinore to ride on the boat and play on the beach with Aunt Nicky and our cousins, Mason and Kayden. It was HOT-105-but the water felt good and they swam until they passed out!

Jackson got his first pair of jeans;) and is already wearing size 3 month clothes! He is gonna be a chunk! Michael also learned how to ride a skateboard and I am just waiting for our first ER visit...

And in one surprising turn of events, Stephen bought us a chocolate lab puppy, named Gunner, in Oklahoma. While I am very excited and the kids are thrilled, I don't know that I am 100% OK with adding a puppy to our already chaotic house..he's awfully cute though!

It's been a wild three months, with Stephen being in Oklahoma, Jack's arrival, Savannah's birthday and the adjustment to having three babies. The end of July and August bring more soccer games, a trip to Oklahoma, and the promise/hope of some more sunshine and warm weather!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Meet William Jackson Howell, "Baby Jack"...


Baby Jack made his grand entrance on June 4th at 5 pm, weighing in at a tiny 6 lbs 2 ounces and 18 inches! The Lord truly blessed us that Stephen was able to fly in the night before I went to the hospital and be here for his birth. Michael and Savannah were thrilled to see daddy and meet baby Jack...it was a very special weekend to say the least!

Overall, Jack's delivery was relatively easy but not without complications...seems that my babies DO NOT like to be induced and just like my labor with Michael, Jackson's heart rate kept plummeting as each contraction came. After a few hours of very intense Pitocin contractions, they actually stopped the medication all together to let him have a little recovery but it also basically stalled my labor completely.

They very slowly started the medication again, gave me an epidural, and encourage me to rest. Stephen and I just prayed that the Lord would deliver him quickly and without any further complications, and although they were telling me to try to sleep, I held my breath and fought back tears as I watched his heart rate drop with every contraction. Thankfully and with God's mercy, the second half of labor went very quickly and our baby boy arrived within 2 hours!

While the sex of the baby was a surprise, we were both SHOCKED to find out our baby was a boy...Stephen and I both thought this baby was a girl and I would have bet money on it!
We chose the name William Jackson after my much beloved grandfather, William Kinkella and Stonewall Jackson, one of the most gifted tactical commanders in US history. Savannah quickly named him Baby Jack and it has stuck!

Jack has been the sweetest addition to our family. He has the best temperament, sleeps {relatively} well, and just loves to be held. Michael and Savannah have done surprisingly well adjusting to the new baby, especially with daddy being gone for five months. Michael is definitely the helper and Savannah is the nurturer.

We have adjusted pretty well so far. Everyday is a different challenge with a four year old, three year old and newborn...we are counting down the days until Stephen comes home in September and praying I don't lose all sanity before then:)

Here's a few more favorite pictures from Jack's first month:

Sunday, May 9, 2010

One of the Greatest Mother's Day Gifts...


It's incredibly hard to believe that three years ago, this little bundle of sunshine was my Mother's Day gift. Our sweet Savannah Grace came home from the hospital on Mother's Day and has continued to be one of the most precious blessings I could ever have hoped for.

Even more amazing to me is that in a little less than four weeks, this tiny newborn will be a big sister and our comfy family of four will grow to a family of five! The Lord has blessed us in so many ways!

Savannah Grace, as you turn three years old tomorrow, I want you to know several of the things you remind me of everyday:
1) Smile, and smile often. You sometimes even manage to smile while you are crying, pouting and throwing a fit.
2) Laugh and be cheesy! You will belly laugh until you snort, then say "what that noise?"
3) Dance and twirl, even if there isn't any music...and sing as loudly and off key as possible!
4) It's perfectly acceptable to leave the house wearing pink high heels, a tutu, superhero cape, a tiara and carrying a sword. Let the people stare, they are just jealous they can't pull that look off with such charm!
5) Nothing in the world warms my heart like a full body bear hug from you...even at 3 years old, you are still my "Baby".

I love you sweet girl and all the "shun-shiny" you have brought to our lives!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Beautiful Pictures from my Uncle David...What a gift!



My wonderfully talented Uncle David took some pictures of Michael and Savannah this month while we were visiting San Diego...here are just a few of my favorites!


Sunday, January 17, 2010

"Camping"

Its definitely too cold and rainy to go camping in the woods, so Stephen took Michael "camping" in the playroom last night. They bought little lanterns and found the sleeping bags and it was all Michael talked about the entire day!

Pretending to go to sleep after we set the tent up.

He told daddy that the sun was going down at 5 and it was time to camp, then was ready for bed at 6, patiently waited until 7 to set up the tent, and cordially agreed to take a bath before bed...he was so excited, he probably would have done anything we asked him too!

Ready for lights out! Can you see his little smile behind his thumb...

I made pancakes with strawberry sauce and bananas for breakfast! But apparently Savannah was still bummed she didn't get to camp too...Who knew pancakes could be so sad!
video