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S: October 2009-September 2011

FC: It's the little things that make life beautiful.

1: Just after Jack turned 1 year old we attended a pirate's birthday party for his friend Eli. It is hard to believe a year has already passed. He is walking like a pro and making all kinds of noises that are soon to be words.

2: We went to Rocky Point in October of 2009. We had a corral that helped to contain our little wanderer. Jack hated having sand on his hands. I think he gets that from his Mama.

3: We tried to celebrate Halloween by doing some fun things outdoors. Unfortunately, Arizona is still roasting in late October so the word 'fun' didn't truly describe our activities during this particular Halloween.

4: Jack had the chance to dress up twice for Halloween. The first time he was a chicken and went to Ms. Robin's for the day, and the other time he was a kangaroo. We went to a party and all dressed up. | The morning of his daycare party we met our good friends Julie and Steve for breakfast at the Farmhouse in Gilbert.

6: Jack is always the entertainer. He is funny and loves to put on a show. Jack adores Morgan and Emily, his cousins. He thinks that any kind of ball was made just for him, especially basketballs, and he is terribly attached to his stuffed monkey. He loves to be read to, and is often caught wearing Daddy and Mama's shoes. He is an absolute delight and a beautiful boy on the outside as well as the inside. We are so blessed!

9: Holidays are always fun with a little child around. It is so delightful to watch Jack as he opens presents or just experiences something new with a new day. During the holidays there were many celebrations. The gingerbread house activity at Ms. Robin's is always a favorite.

10: Christmas is always a huge event at our house. Most commonly we spend Christmas day at Grammie and Pop's, opening presents and eating. In order to bring in some English tradition, Grammie purchases Christmas Crackers each year, which should explain the crowns. Grammie also tries to think of something unique for the entire family to do together. Christmas of 2009 we all went to the circus. It was so much fun. We think this is when Emily decided she wanted to run off and join the circus. It was a quaint family circus and quite enjoyable..

12: We had a few visitors from the UK in January and February of 2010. Uncle Simon was our first. He stayed for over a week. Jack really took to him. We were so thrilled Simon was able to meet and spend time with Jack. We went to a rugby match where Daddy was playing and actually got hurt. Kate also came for a visit. Naturally, Jack loved her. This was his second time seeing Kate. We went to Scotland to visit when Jack was only 9 months old. Our first attempt at potty training happened during this time as well.

13: Jack's best friend, Gavin, turned 1 in February. We attended his party. Jack loved the cake, but needed a fork, unlike Gavin who just dug in and went for it.

14: Jack loves his food. There is not much that this child will not try. His favorite breakfast is eggs and toast, and let's not forget bananas, or as he says it 'bunanas'. He is a good eater. There is not a picky bone in his body, thank goodness. | He also is a basketball fanatic. He would shoot basketballs for hours each day if we would let him. He gets his love for the game from Uncle Russ and Pop. He is bound to be a good player.

15: Spring break of 2010 we went to the Renaissance Festival and the Phoenix Zoo. The zoo became a favorite and so we decided we needed a yearly membership.

16: The Children's Museum is another fun day out for us. There are so many things for Jack to do and he loves each one of them. It is an interactive place for kids to go and play. Grammie and Pop went with us this spring break.

17: The day finally arrives that you have to give your child their first haircut. It is sad, but inevitable. This was Jack's lucky day. Sadly he had to endure it twice. Mama's cut left a bit to be desired so Grammie had to shape it up the following day.

18: Jack finally discovered how to take his jammies off. We think he needs a little more practice, but he will get there. We just fear the day he learns to take his diaper off.

19: Easter brought about two different outfits. Mama thought the first one fit, but it turns out that Jack had grown more than expected. | Jack got an Easter basket filled with all kinds of stuff. He loved the crayons the most.

20: Jack loves playing with Bonnie and Clyde. Bonnie tolerates him and Clyde ignores him. It is a good thing they have a gentle nature.

21: In an effort to get out of debt we decided to get rid of one of our pricey cars and buy, for cash, a used (very used), Mercedes. We bought it off of Ebay. What a fancy ride it is!

22: Aunt Sonye came to Arizona to see Grammie and Pop. We went over to see her. As you can tell Jack was not initially keen on having his picture made with her. He finally warmed up to the idea and gave it his best cheesey grin.

23: Jack has become quite the little swimmer. His first year of swimming involved crying every lesson. This year he has adjusted and only cries the first few minutes. He has learned to swim to the step and also turn over and float for survival purposes. ISR is an excellent tool for him to have since we live in Arizona and pools are a dime a dozen.

24: Jack got his first taste of life without a diaper. He seemed to be impressed with his new Toy Story underwear. But will it last? Time will tell. | Dear Mama and Daddy, I am getting to be such a big boy. I am wearing underwear and feeding myself. I would ask that you don't leave these underwear on me too long so that I don't have an accident. I love you, Jack

25: And then there is the NO underwear look. I am pretty sure this will not be acceptable in public.

26: Jack went to his first basketball camp in the summer of 2010. He was a little in the way, but he scored a purple and white basketball. Uncle Russ is the coach at Grand Canyon University and was running a camp at a local school.

27: We had Jack dedicated in our church in the summer of 2010. He was almost two and we felt it was time that we recognized who had entrusted us with his life. We knew God had given this precious gift to us and we wanted to make sure we let our friends and family know that we were committed to raising him with the understanding that God should come first in his life. It was a special day.

28: Again with the food!

29: We went to the Children's Museum with Gavin, Jack's best buddy. | 4th of July was hot but fun. We went to Gavin's Grandma's house and rode on a boat.

30: In July of 2010 we met up with Auntie Lou and Cousin Will in Beverly Hills, California. We went to the Santa Monica Pier, Rodeo Drive and down Hollywood Boulevard. We had a wonderful time. Auntie Lou's mum, Ev, was there as well.

32: The fall festival at Mama's school was so much fun. Jack was able to roll around on the floor, jump into hula hoops and color pictures. He had a sweaty old time.

33: In July of 2010 we bought a new house. We started working to make sure it was perfect before we moved in. Stuart and Dana would go over after school and on the weekends and Jack would come as well. This is the time when Jack became good friends with the local babysitter, Disney was its name. We would park him in front of the video and Finding Nemo would begin. Grammie and Pop spent most waking hours at the house until we were able to move in September,

34: September 11, 2010, we were able to move into the house. It was hectic, but such a relief to get out of that condo. The dogs liked their new outside home and Jack loved his big bedroom as well as his gigantic playroom, the loft.

35: Shortly after we moved into the new house Jack turned 2 years old. We had many celebrations, like we always do. He opened presents on the morning of his birthday. We bought him a tricycle. He could hardly reach the peddles. Grandma and Grandpa bought him a huge basketball goal and Granny and Granddad Tom bought him a Jumpoline.

36: Jack's birthday was celebrated two times. The first party was just family and then we had his and our friends over for a celebration. The theme for his party was Finding Nemo. He was spoiled and exhausted at the end of it all. He also officially started potty training 3 days before his birthday. Ms. Robin gets total credit for any successes he has in the potty world.

37: Halloween continues to be fun for Jack. Although we did not go trick-or-treating this year, we did go to the festival down at our local park. Fortunately, Jack didn't want to play any of the games. He just wanted to play on the playground, which was fine with us. Jack dressed up as Dash from the Incredibles. We bought him some glow-in-the-dark jammies, but when he went to sleep the first night he wore them they scared him so we didn't get good use out of them.

38: We often walk down to the park in our neighborhood. Jack sometimes rides his tricycle and we always bring a ball. Jack loves the park. The challenge is getting him to leave.

39: Often, Morgan and Emily come over and spend the night. We try to do activities that everyone will enjoy. This particular time we made and decorated Christmas cookies. I think Jack and Emily may have eaten more frosting than they put on their cookies.

40: Thanksgiving Day brought the Turkey Bowl. We went to watch Daddy play American football. It was cold that morning so we all had to bundle up. Daddy did really well. We are always so proud of him. | Jack didn't watch much of the game. We spent most of our time trying to keep him off the field. He was running all over the place.

41: In the middle of December Stuart received his Masters Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Northern Arizona University. We traveled to Flagstaff for the ceremony. It is a great accomplishment and, again, we are very proud of his hard work.

42: A Christmas celebration was held by Ms. Robin and Mr. Russ at Tumbleweed Park. There are too many of us to meet at their house anymore. The kids ate, did a craft and played at the park. And of course, Ms. Robin passed out her presents to the kids.

43: Do I like Santa? | Yes or No?

44: Grammie and Pop pulled off another fantastic Christmas event for us. Gran and Granddaddy were with us this year. We went up to Sedona and rode on a trolley around the red rocks. It was chilly! We had lunch at the Cowboy Club and visited the Chapel of the Holy Cross, a church built into the side of the red rocks.

46: Getting good Christmas photos to send out Christmas cards can sometimes be a challenge, especially when a 2 year old is involved. However, we didn't have much difficulty this year. He was a little trooper and was very cooperative.

48: Christmas morning was fun this year. We woke up and Jack came downstairs to see what Santa had left for him. We had talked a lot about Santa coming and we even left him cookies and milk. Jack discovered that Santa had eaten all his cookies and drank all his milk. Santa brought Jack a train set that I hear he had trouble putting together. He also brought him monster trucks. Jack was ready to watch a movie after the first gift. He wasn't as impressed as we had expected. Oh well!

49: As usual, Jack was spoiled. He received many gifts that he will enjoy for a long time. | We drew names again this year. Our theme was "All about the Movies". Without buying a movie, we had to relate the gift we gave to a movie. It was so much fun! | Grammie and Pop got all the grandkids sweatshirts from Pittsburg State University.

50: Tricycle, tricycle, tricycle. I want to ride my tricycle. I want to ride my trike. I want to ride my tricycle. I want to ride it where I like.

51: Morgan and Emily came over to spend the night. They had some fun with Jack's Mr. Potatohead. They also had fun playing with Jack at the park.

52: Jack loves everyone, but he is especially fond of Pop. Pop does silly things with Jack that make him laugh. He 'wools' him, which none of knows why, but Jack loves it. He also helps Jack with his basketball skills.

53: It is certain that neither Gavin nor Jack will be pleased with the fact that these pictures made it into a photo album. However, they are the best of friends and we saved Gavin's mom from having to take him home and bathe him at the end of a night at our house. The fear is always that the boys will fall asleep on the way home and then a bath is not an option. | RUBBA DUB DUB TWO MEN IN A TUB?

54: Literacy Day at Daddy's school brought about Daddy dressing up as Fred from Scooby Doo. His team had mysteries as their theme. Daddy drew all the posters and now they are hanging in our loft. | Scooby, Scooby Doo, where are you?

55: Jack's latest trick is taking his underwear, unworn of course, and placing them on his head. Batman seems to be perched up there in this photo. What a character! | Dear Mama and Daddy, I like my look here. However, I would like a variety of 'hats' to choose from if that is okay. Maybe we can buy some more soon. I love you, Jack

56: MARCH 2011 | Grandma and Grandpa came to visit us for a little over 2 weeks. We went to Mary and Mack's cabin, the Grand Canyon, the zoo, Canyon Lake, and Tombstone. We had many wonderful meals and Jack loved playing with Grandma and Grandpa. We made the most of their visit.

58: When we went to cooler weather with Grandma and Grandpa it was great. Jack was able to wear his cowboy boots. Actually he insisted wearing them every day while they were here. They bought them for him for Christmas.

59: We also went up to Mary and Mack's cabin for a few days. We dropped by these cabins in Greer to eat lunch. The lodge has since burned to the ground. | Grandma baked with Jack while she was visiting. I am pretty sure he stuck his hands in this banana bread batter on more than one occasion. Tasted delicious!

60: We met Uncle James, Auntie Lou and Will in Anaheim to go to Disneyland. It was a short visit, but we all had a great time. Jack, of course, loved every minute.

61: We did as much as we possibly could in the day we were there. Jack was exhausted at the end of the day. | I T' S A S M A L L W O R L D A F T E R A L L

62: APRIL 2011 We headed to Vegas after our quick trip to Disneyland. We stayed in the Planet Hollywood Towers, a time share that we had purchased a while back. It was plush. No big money came home with us, but no big money stayed there from us either. Whew!

63: After a bit of a heartbreak when we did not get a child we had been hoping for to become a part of our family, we decided that maybe we could help out the foster care system by taking emergency care children. | Jacob and Jaliyah Moquino came into our care on Friday, May 13, 2011. They quickly became a part of our crazy lives, and made it even crazier. They were so sweet and lovable. We feel very blessed to have had them in our home for the time we did. | This is what it looks like in the morning at our house!

64: One of our outings with Jacob and Jaliyah was a morning at the zoo. We went early so that we could see a number of the animals before it got too hot for the animals and for us.

65: In the middle of June we went up and camped on the Rim with the Lewis family and the Braseltons. We decided not to take Jacob and Jaliyah, and boy were we glad. There were no showers and it was dirty! Jaliyah had some breathing issues and the forest fires were out of control so air quality was not going to be good for her. Jack was able to fish and get as dirty as he liked, that is until Mama got after him with the wet wipes! We brought all of our own food and it was by far the cheapest vacation we have ever been on.

66: Jacob and Jaliyah were reunited with their grandmother on June 23, 2011. Although they were only with us for six weeks, they will be in our hearts forever. They helped us to learn and grow as people and as parents. Jack told us he would be sad when they left, and we think he was.

67: Since we only had a week of vacation left before Dana had to go back to work, we decided to take another camping trip. This time we headed to San Diego where the temperatures were in the low 70s, compared to Arizona's 110s. We decided a 'cool' camping trip would be great. We were right! It was awesome! Jack enjoyed the camp's park. The entire campground was like a resort for campers.

68: The bicycle adventure was fun, but difficult. | Jack enjoyed the ice cream. | Jack loved the S'mores! | Our camping set up was great.

69: A Day at the Beach! | We took Jack to Mission Beach and ended up riding rides at Belmont Park. Jack loved the carousel as usual and then discovered the boats. | After the rides and the beach, we ate at Joe's Crab Shack, overlooking Mission Beach. | Mission Beach was fun for Jack. Of course Mama hates sand, but had to deal with it. | Daddy and Jack were about to hit the waves.

70: We saw each show and spent time in the Sesame Street play land. Jack loved the rides. But as always, the lines were long. | Sea World was very entertaining. Jack liked the shows much better when he watched them on video when we got home than he did when he saw them live. I think it was all a bit overwhelming for him.

71: Jack wanted to feel the sea lions. However, we had to be careful to keep the fish from the seagulls.

72: We spent 4th of July at Vicki and Ryan Meyn's. The Rawcliffes were there as well. The kids had a great time. We played with sparklers after baths.

73: Gone Fishin'! Jack and Daddy had a day out at Saguaro Lake, then up to Tortilla Flat for some prickly pear ice cream. Yummy!

74: Jack's first day at Grammie's school was July of 2011. | Jack was very excited about his new school.

75: On Tuesday, August 9, 2011, we got a call from Nancy Scott asking us if we wanted a new born baby girl. Naturally we said yes. Millie Audrey Grace was brought into this world on August 6, 2011, and became a part of our family on August 9, 2011. What an angel God had given us to raise. We are so blessed to have her in our lives.

76: We brought Millie home on August 10. She weighed 6 pounds, 13 ounces when she was born. | Because she was premature by 4 weeks she didn't have enough body fat to keep herself warm. We had to keep her wrapped up.

77: Her first bath was a little scary for Mommy because she was so tiny. She weighed almost 2 pounds less than Jack did when he came home from the hospital. | Grammie and Pop fell in love with her immediately. She brightens up all of our days. She's a blessing from God.

78: Jack loves his baby sister. However, he thinks we got her at the post office. He did come to the hospital when we picked her up, but obviously got a little confused.

79: MILLIE'S TUB EXPERIENCE | She was not exactly thrilled with the bath tub experience.

80: Jack's 3rd birthday was a Scooby Doo themed party. We pinned the tail on Scooby, had a case to solve and broke a Scooby pinata. We can hardly believe he is already 3 years old.

81: Jack got a lot of great gifts for his birthday. He got boots from Grandma and Grandpa, which he LOVES more than clothes, obviously. On his birthday we flew to Kansas for Mommy's 25th high school reunion. He was really excited to ride in a plane. Millie? Not so much.

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  • By: Dana T.
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