1:52 PM

The State Fair of Texas!!!!!

Posted by Courtney |

I love the State fair! It brings joy to my life, for real! I know some people hate it and think it's boring. NOPE, NOT ME!!! I enjoy every minute of it! My husband loves it too, thank God or we would be in trouble :)

Yesterday, we decided, would be a perfect day to go to the fair. On Thursdays if you bring a Cinemark movie stub you get in for free. We like "free" considering we have so many kids. Things get mighty expensive for a family of 6. The day started off at 5:45am for me. I have been working with Brad Shull doing a Daycare photo shoot all week. He has been needing to pick me up by 7am every morning to get there by 8am to start. Now those of you who know me, know that I am NOT an early morning person. I just don't do mornings but I managed to get up and and be some what awake by the time I got to the photo shoot :) Go me!!!! I'll write about my work week in another blog later.

I got home around 1:00pm and started getting everyone ready for the fair. We had to meet my parents, Austin and Hannah and Preston at my parents house at 2pm. But before that we had to get Ashlyn out of school early cause we were not going to have a wonderful day without her, school or no school! 

By the time we parked and got inside, it was about 3:30pm. They smell of all that fried food made me hungry immediately! On a side note: why is it that fairs believe that everything is better fried? They had fried, green beans, fried cheese cake, fried peanut butter and jelly, fried lattes, fried pickles, fried cookie dough, and list goes on.  While I do believe that a lot of things are better fried, NOT EVERYTHING IS GOOD FRIED! Fried peanut butter and jelly?? Are you serious???

The kids had a blast! There is nothing like seeing their little faces light up when they see something they have never seen before. I'm sure every parents mission is to show their kids new and exciting things. Mine is for sure. I now fully understand when people refer to parents as "living vicariously through their children". I can get a little obsessed with making them do things that I loved to do as a child. I hope I'm not scaring them :)

The day was filled with lots of eating, playing, eating, walking, eating, watching shows, and did I mention EATING???? We have a few traditions at the fair. We always have to let the kids participate in the Backyard Circus, walk through the farm, visit the ginormous petting zoo and eat at the food pavilion. Here are some pictures of the day! The whole group!
Judah Boy
Kadyn PromiseMaddy PaigeAshlyn RoseMom and DadPrestonAustin and HannahThe Petting ZooI can't believe they weren't scared!!!The girls participated in a "Pee Wee Stampede" They were so cute :)Judah had fun watching his sisters perform.. Backyard CircusThey were butterfly ballerina'sMy little FarmersTaking a restThe Texas state Fair has really upgraded on their parade quality! It was actually good this year. The girls LOVED it...Kadyn couldn't see so I had to put her on my shoulders.The last thing of the day was the Illumination Sensation show! Gigi and Ashlyn enjoying the showNathan and PrestonJudah loved the show tooKadyn wasn't sure about the fireworks, so Poppy had to hold her.Everytime the fireworks would shoot off, Kadyn would put her head on Popp's shoulder and suck her thumb. She was nervous.Ashlyn wanted me to take this picture. This is how she wanted to pose. My little want to be model..

By the end of the day, I was exhausted and so were the kids but it was a fabulous day. Another State Fair in the books! 

1:25 PM

Date night!

Posted by Courtney |

Last Saturday, Nathan and I went out with some friends, Anthony and Tracee Smith, for a double date! It was AWESOME!!!! We totally needed this night. Things have been so crazy lately and we haven't really gotten to just unwind and relax. This night was designed especially for that. 

Anthony and Tracee had rented a limo for their daughters 16th birthday. The limo was going to take her and her friends to dinner, then just wait for them to get done. Well...Anthony said let's not waste precious limo time (since you had to rent it for a 4 hour min.) and have it pick us up for dinner too. How fun is that right??? So Nathan and I dropped off our kids and my mom's house, then went home to wait for "our limo" (said in a British accent) to pick us up. 
Here we are waiting for the limo...Don't we look cute?!?

The limo arrived and off we went "in style" to our restaurant! It sort of felt like we were celebrity status! Oh yeah :-) They took us to Cacharel in Arlington. We had never been there before and let me tell you, IT WAS AWESOME!!! I never knew that such a fancy restaurant existed in Arlington! It's a French restaurant with such elegance. I ordered the Caesar salad, Duck, and chocolate soufflé for dessert. Wow..Amazing!!!! We just love hanging out with Anthony and Tracee! It's nice to be with people that you can be "real" with. We never run out of things to talk about either. They are such a sweet and Godly couple! Thanks guys! We love you :)

So that's our date night!!! It's not everyday a limo picks you up to take you to dinner. I could definitely get used to that!

2:03 PM

Oh sweet Victory!!!

Posted by Courtney |

I think I finally accomplished what I thought was the impossible!!!


I honestly didn't think it was going to happen but after 24 hours of non-stop trying, he gave in to the bottle drinking! The bottle that finally did it for him is called, "First Years, Breastflow Bottle" http://www.toysrus.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2815318

It simulates the breast perfectly, which kind of tricks him into thinking it's the "real thing" :)

I tried a new formula too, "Carnation Good Start". I heard it tastes most like breast milk, although I still thinks it smells like dirt. Poor baby. no wonder he didn't want to drink it! But at least he got over it! I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. Now when I leave for Belgium, I don't have to worry about him not eating.

This is how I did it. I put breast milk in a bottle and gave it to him. He at first started screaming thinking it was going to be "the dirt" formula but then some milk went into his mouth and he immediately started gulping it down. Well because he was so hungry, he ate it really fast and wanted some more. I then put some formula in the bottle and offered it to him again. He cried and refused for a second but then conceded to the taste. Thus I had the VICTORY!!! He tried refusing a few times after that but would always give in. So far so good :)

I have to be honest and say, it's kind of hard for me to think that I will not be nursing him any more. I have never nursed a baby this long and for some, this isn't long at all (I guess I'm just not the long nursing type, don't judge me). He is 81/2 months old already! The longest I nursed any of the girls was 6 months. I feel pretty good about the fact that I did it for that long. (pat on back). It does make it hard when I know he likes it so much though. That's the sucky part. I really do enjoy nursing, but it was just time.

Now the hard part is here...the part where your milk drys up. Oh my word, my boobs are hard as rocks right now. I guess better now then when i am in Belgium but it seriously hurts like crap! I hope they dry up sooner then later cause I can't take much longer of this. It's painful people!

Thanks for all the advice and words of encouragement! I really needed them.

And thank God there is VICTORY in the Watkins house! Woo HOO!!!!

10:43 AM

Before and After's

Posted by Courtney |

WoW!!! I can't believe that we have been in our house for 13 months. In some ways it feels like we have been here forever and in other ways it feels like we just moved in. 

About 16 months ago, my sister saw that a house got put on the market which was 4 houses down from her. She imediately called me (as she did everytime she saw a house for sale close to her) demanding that I check it out. You see, we had been praying for God to give us a house on the same street. And even though I prayed for this to happen, I just didn't know how we would find a house that was in our price range and within walking distance of each other. 

Well with enough prodding from my sis, Nathan and I checked it out. When I walked in the front door, I immediately knew this was OUR HOUSE!!! I just had so much peace about it. Now, it was in pretty bad shape and was definitely NOT "move in" ready. Even with all the work that I knew needed to be done, I still wanted that house SOOOOO bad. It's an almost 3800 sq. ft house because, (get this people) It has a fully finished out basement! Can you believe there is a house in Texas with a basement??? It's awesome! There are 5 bedrooms, 2 bath's, 2 living rooms, a dinning room and a huge laundry room. I have to say it was perfect for us.  

We met the owners who had lived in that house 57 of it's 58 year long life. It's always nice to know that only one other family has occupied your house. That means it's probably a pretty good house. Of course the owner's loved us and told the realtor that if we made an offer to give it to us. We of course made an offer for 100k and was accepted! I still think that was a steal considering the amount of house we were getting. The closing process went well and soon we had the keys to our New House!!!!

Then it was time to get to work. And boy did we work HARD!!! flooring had to be ripped up and walls had to be re-textured! Walls had to be knocked out and doors had to be replaced! Then there was the painting...panting walls, cabinets, doors and floor vents. A lot of work but well worth it. Now, can I say it is completely finished???...NO!!!!! But we are getting there slowly but surely. I wanted to show some before and after pictures to give you a clue of all the work we have done. 

Kitchen before...

Kitchen After...

Living room Before...

Living room After...



So here I sit 13 months later, loving my house and enjoying every minute of it! And even though there is still so much work that has to be done...I look at these pictures and can appreciate all the hard work and elbow grease that went into making my house a HOME!!! I am truly grateful!

9:43 AM

I need some tips...

Posted by Courtney |

So, my dearest Judah boy needs to be weened from breast milk LIKE NOW. However, he refuses to drink formula. I have tried switching formula's, tried getting a bottle that simulate the breast...and still no luck. He literally screams the entire time. I am so frustrated. I probably wouldn't ween him yet but I am leaving for Belgium in 19 days and he's not going with me. 

Have I mentioned that I am so frustrated right now. I  have tried putting half formula and half breast milk in a bottle, I have tried letting him get GOOD and hungry before I offer it to him. I just don't know what else to do. 

I would appreciate any advice anyone has to give. This has to happen soon or whoever keeps Judah while I'm gone is going to hate me by the time I get back. SERIOUSLY!!!!!

Any tips???