Category Archives: Family

Summer update

Wow, I can’t believe its been almost 2 months since I’ve updated the site.  We’ve been really busy!  This past weekend we held our annual summer party and we had a great time.  I think we had around 35 or 40 people show up throughout the afternoon and the kids definitely enjoyed the pool.  Peyton enjoyed playing with all of the kids that came out.  She tried to keep up with the much older kids and with no nap, she was worn out by 9pm.

In other news, we have been busy doing some improvements around the house.  We have cleaned out our two front flower beds and we’ve put in new bushes.  I had some friends help me paint the house back during May and I’m sad to report that there are still a few places I haven’t finished… gotta get those soon.  But for the most part, we have cleaned up the yards pretty well and clean out most of our flower beds.  Most of the beds had kinda gotten out of control.  All of the bushes had over grown and we’ve been trying to tame them for a couple years now.  We also have been busy painting and freshening up the inside of the house too.

Peyton has had a few birthday parties to attend lately with friends.  She always enjoys herself at those.  We had one in June at a farm in Calabash and though it was hot, Peyton really enjoyed some of the animals.  She wasn’t crazy about the pigs or the goats, but loved the horses and the sheep.

We enjoyed fourth of July activities around Conway this year.  We hung out with friends on their boat for the annual Riverfest festival.  We had a great time that afternoon and we watched the fireworks show from the boat – that was really cool!  We hung out with the same friends again on the fourth and enjoyed food, a few more fireworks and lots of fun again that day.

Peyton is also really enjoying the pool now too.  She loves to get in and go swimming.  She can float on her own (well, with the help of inflatable arm floaties) and she likes to kick.  She doesn’t venture far from me or Jen when we’re in the pool, but she enjoys switching between the floats and splashing around.

I’ve talked about how social Peyton is and that definitely hasn’t changed.  She has moved up into a new classroom in the daycare.  She is back with all of our friends (who are older – but only by a few days) who had already moved up.  She loves being back in the class with them and talks about them all constantly at home.  Peyton has also started asking to see some of her other friends from time to time.  I guess we’ll be busy arranging play dates soon enough so that they can get together.

We haven’t taken any trips since our trip to DC in May, though we are planning a trip end of August for a work conference.  I’m excited and we’ll be visiting family in San Francisco area.  I’ve never been to the west coast – Las Vegas last year was the furthest west I’d ever been – so I’m excited to see something different.  We’ll spend 5 days in the city and then the next 5 days a little further North in Tiburon.

So, that’s what’s going on in our world right now.  I’ll try and post some photos soon from some of our recent events.


Washington DC trip to see the grands

Sorry for my updates being few and far between.  Life with a two year old is pretty hectic, but I’m just making excuses.  We spent the end of last week in Washington, DC, visiting Jen’s parents.  Peyton had a great time and Grandma and Papa Coffin’s house.  On Friday, we visited the National Zoo and Saturday we visited Gravelly Point Park and National Harbor in Maryland.  We had a great time seeing the grands and spending some time with friends in the area.

I’ve edited together a couple videos from our trip – one from the National Zoo and one from Gravelly Point Park.  I’ve posted them both on YouTube and on our MobileMe gallery (links at the top of the page). Photos from the zoo are here…

Peyton is doing really well.  She’s expanding her vocabulary every day – sometimes to her mother’s and my dislike.  She’s learning a lot and she continues to be very social at daycare.  We have had a couple incidents where she has bitten another child at daycare, but hopefully that won’t be happening again.  She was disciplined both a school and at home and we believe she learned her lesson.  Even when playing now, if Jen or I even seem like we’re biting, she’ll stop us and say “no bite.”

Our baby girl has also developed a big love for animals.  Elephants are her favorite.  She saw her first elephants several months ago at the circus.  We visited the circus again the following month after she begged to see the elephants, again.   So, the visit to the zoo was nice for her to see the elephants.  She also liked the tigers and panda bears.

She’s also mothering her dolls now.  She likes to put them to sleep (under every kitchen towel, sheet, or blankey she owns).  She’s also been heard disciplining them.  I came into the living room one day to find Tigger, her doll, the elephant and a bunny all in “time-out”.  I asked what they had done and they’d bitten (ding, ding – I think she got it!).

There should be more things posted soon.  Jen and I celebrate our 7th wedding anniversary on June 1.  We don’t have any special plans, as of yet.  No special trip or anything planned, though we’ve got our fingers crossed for maybe making a trip to California in the fall…

Fall update

The leaves are turning outside and fall has officially arrived – colder temperatures and all.  The time change has thrown the family for a loop…  Peyton’s schedule hasn’t adjusted.  So I guess, we’re adjusting to her.  Though, she has gotten better as the week has progressed.

We’ve had a busy month in October…  The last weekend of the month, we went to Cheraw for a BBQ at my parent’s church on Saturday.  Everything was delicious.  The following day, my mom threw Peyton a birthday party with the family.  We had a great time.

We’ve had a lot of visitors over the last few weeks, too.  Marolyn and Harry came into town for a week while Jen was in Columbia, SC, for work.  Peyton and I were able to go to dinner with them, although, I dont’ think I was good company – I was too busy keeping up with Peyton.  We know next time to block Peyton into a booth – works out much better…  The same week, one of my friends Leigh Ann came in from Chesterfield too.  I was able to have dinner with her and, let me tell you, booth is the way to go.

Jen’s parents came in this past weekend for Peyton’s Conway party.  They were able to stay with us for several days and spend time with Peyton.  She’s grown a lot since they got to see her last time. We ate out at Outback with Brett and Trina (Peyton’s Godparents) as well as Janet and Jim on Thursday for Peyton’s birthday.  Friday night, we went to Brett and Trina’s for trick or treating in their neighborhood.  Sharon and William and Brianna (B&T’s Godchild from Cheraw) came in town and they all got to go around the entire neighborhood.  Everyone had a really great time.

Janet and Jim went back on Monday…  Janet will be very busy now through Inauguration.  She’s going to be swamped with paperwork for the transition at the federal DOT.  Jim is keeping busy  working some and with his model airplanes.  Both of them are doing really good.

Jean and Emily Crawford came into town, also, last weekend for Peyton’s party and for a visit.  They were able to see where Jen works and Jen gave them the grand tour.  They also got to spend time with Peyton.  I visited our PF Chang’s for the first time with Emily and Jean on Monday night.  They stayed at our local bed and breakfast, The Cypress Inn, and loved it.  I think Jen and I will need to reserve a room sometime for an anniversary or something.

I start a new work schedule on Monday.  I’ll be working 7am to 4pm.  I have traded schedules with one of my co-workers who was previously working this schedule.  It didn’t work out for him because he was working too many evening hours in addition to his normal business hours.  So, hopefully it will work out for me.  I volunteered for the schedule change.  I’m hoping it gives me some more time in the evenings to do some things that need doing around the house or around town.  By the time 5pm rolls around now, its dark and I can’t accomplish anything.  Wish me luck!

Personal finances…

I wouldn’t normally even blog about this topic.  I think its a very personal one for me…  But, over the past year and a half, we have made numerous changes to how we handle our money.  Almost two years ago, my close friend Kevin gave me a series of CD’s from a guy named Dave Ramsey.  I have to admit, those collected dust in my house for almost a year.  But, I did finally listened to a couple of them.  As I had started them, one of my co-workers and friends (my next-cube neighbor at work) began taking the entire Financial Peace University series with others of my friends through their church.  Frankly, I liked what I was hearing from them when they were talking about it at work, so it peaked my interest.  So, I worked my way through the series with Jen.  And it has made a huge impact in our personal finances.

The first thing that Dave advocates is getting rid of your debt.  I’m glad to say, we’re very close to our goal of having only two debt payments per month – our mortgage and my student loan payment.  By next May, our car will be paid in full and we’ll have met our goal.  That’s a huge personal accomplishment for us!

The second is one we are tackling tonight…  Getting rid of credit cards.  Tonight I had a monumental realization.  We HAVE over $50,000 in available debt credit on 6 credit cards!  $50,000 dollars…  It blows me away.  So, we’re canceling those — tonight!  After tonight, we’ll have only one major credit card, and a Victoria’s Secret card my wife won’t part with… because of the “free panties” – so we’re keeping that one.  We also have a couple no-interest accounts that aren’t paid up yet, but those will be closed in just a couple months, once they are paid in full.   Once those are paid, I’ll finally OWN this desk I’m using to write this post…  Anyways, I digress.

I may not ever post about this again, but finding out how much available credit we had just sitting around unused was a big impact to me – and that juxtaposed against our accomplishments over the past year was something to mention.  I may post more later, or maybe not…  It is a rather personal topic for me…

Peyton’s TWO!

Peyton turned two on the 30th and she’s changed a lot in just a year.  She is walking and talking now.  She’s actually more at a run speed than walk these days.  She’s into everything. The talking is a great thing, so far.  She’s able to tell us what she wants most times and she’s able to finally let us know what she’s thinking.  Its really cool!

She is doing amazing at her day care.  She’s learning so much every day – from the teachers and other children.  She’s doing pretty well with colors.  She knows her numbers up to 10.  She’s got her ABC’s down too (well, except that LMNO letter…).

Our little girl is a singer, too.  They’ve taught her “the Wheels on the Bus” and “Tinkle Tinkle Little Star”.  She’s also learned the ‘Barney’ song.  So, I’m hoping she’ll keep those musical genes that she got honest.  Granted, they passed over me once puberty hit, but I’m hoping she’ll take after both sides of my family and their musical abilities.  No one in my generation seems to be using that talent – so maybe we’ll have a little superstar come out of Peyton’s generation… 🙂

She’s inquisitive, too.  She loves to learn about every little thing.  Forunately, its not “Why” followed by “Why” with a little “Why” on the side…  But she will ask you questions trying to learn about the world around her.  “Where’s the air-pane going, daddy?”  – “Look, mommy – a toot-toot” (a train…).

She celebrated her birthday with two parties.  We had one with all of my family in Cheraw and a second with family and friends here in Conway.  Some photos from the parties are posted below… Hope you enjoy.  Videos to come!!

A long two weeks

I have been putting off writing this entry for a while.  I started it last Sunday and never completed it and then everything turned upside down again on Tuesday.

Its been a long two weeks in my family.  We’ve lost two amazing family members in the past two weeks.  Needless to say, its been a tough couple of weeks while trying to continue some normalcy at work while coping with our losses.  Both of these individuals were amazing Christian role models in my life and simply amazing, giving people.  The world is certainly worse off without them. Continue reading A long two weeks

Gallery down

So, maybe I watch too much TV.  But, I’ve made the decision to remove our online photo gallery from this site and instead share our photos using PicasaWeb and the MobileMe Web Galleries.  These both have features for us to protect and share our photos with family and friends, while maintaining some privacy.  I want to ensure that Peyton is protected and photos of her aren’t just floating online for anyone to see.  I hope everyone understands.  If you’d like to get access to the Picasa gallery and you know me, just email me and I can share it to you…