Why It’s Never A Good Time For Me To Talk On The Phone

Oh no. There it is again. I hear it from across the room. “This Love” by Mandi Mapes starts playing. But it’s not from my iTunes library. It’s the ring tone on my phone. My phone is ringing and in 5 seconds someone is expecting me to pick up and give them my undivided attention.

“Hello?” I say. And then the person on the other end of the line speaks those infamous words…… “Is now a good time for you to talk?”

“Hmmm” I think. Is now a good time for me to talk? I assess the situation. My almost 3 year old is crying and whining because she was playing on my phone when it started ringing and I took it away right in the middle of her oh so extremely important game. Because she can’t play on my phone any more she decides to open up a big bag of M & Ms and ignore my death stare as I mouth, “PUT THOSE BACK.” She skillfully evades my attempts to take them away while I try not to let the person on the other end of the line know what’s going on. My big boy is running around the house shooting the nerf gun at his little sister which in turn makes her scream and run for cover behind my legs. He’s also suddenly “DYING” of hunger and begging for a snack. I motion to my 3 year old to share her M & Ms with her brother but she refuses, at which point I give in and give them both a good sized bowl of the sugary snack in hopes of 5 minutes of quiet. My baby wants to simultaneously nurse, grab everything in my hands (i.e. my phone), pour out the whole bucket of her brother’s {tiny} legos and start eating them, and screech at the top of her lungs when she doesn’t get her way. My almost three year old is now yelling at me from the bathroom that she has pooped and needs me to come wipe her. Is it a good time to talk? Hmmmm……

At this point I have two options. I can either decided to hold the conversation right at this very moment, or I can say I’ll call them back during……oh I can’t even say it….. during the {SACRED} nap time. *GASP* Give up the only quiet time in my day? I just can’t do it.

“Sure!” I say. “Now’s a great time to talk!” (Not really, but it’s as good a time as any.)

And then I lock all the kids in the playroom – works like a charm! =)

Can I hear an AMEN from any other Mamas out there? Please tell me I’m not the only one who’s children suddenly need complete and undivided attention in every. single. aspect of their lives as soon as the phone rings?!?!? Don’t leave me hanging here!!!

Oh, and by the way, this doesn’t mean don’t ever call me. Just please don’t freak out when you hear screaming in the background, our conversation is interrupted 20 times in a span of 10 minutes, or you hear me say something like, “I will wipe your butt in a minute!”

These sweet kids? How could they ever give me trouble when I’m on the phone?
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A Smiling Sea Lion and Two Jenny Dogs – Our Trip to Orlando!

Last weekend we took a mini vacation to Orlando and went to IKEA and SeaWorld. The kids had a blast (mostly at SeaWorld, not at IKEA because Eloise was too short to go in the kid’s play area so we didn’t let Isaiah go either). We are glad that we decided to go with the season tickets (again, to SeaWorld, not IKEA =) so that we can go back again for more fun!

Most of our pictures are from our second day in the park as we spent half of the first day at IKEA and also it rained most of the first day.

Can’t go to Orlando without a trip to IKEA!
If you know Isaiah you know how much he LOVES his Jenny Dog. Jenny Dog goes with him anywhere and everywhere (along with his blanket “boo”). Well, at IKEA we found another Jenny Dog and Isaiah wouldn’t leave the store without it! So, now we have “old” Jenny Dog and “new” Jenny Dog and they BOTH have to go everywhere with him!
Sweet girls. 
Isaiah loved this coaster and rode it several times. We tried our hardest to squeeze Eloise past the height checker and get her on, but they caught us! Her hair brushed the top of the measuring pole but they were sticklers and wouldn’t let her on. She balled!! =( 
We had a plastic bag over Eloise’s cast to keep the rain out. Surprisingly it stayed pretty dry, even though she jumped in a few puddles! 

Sweet girl napping in the park. 
We saw three amazing shows! This is Shamu, the killer whale. 
My two little loves!

Brave boy!

And, I’ll leave you with something that is bound to make you smile. This sea lion was cracking everyone up trying to get people to feed her by smiling this cheesy smile!!! Then after she got fed she would do more cheesy smiles! It was hilarious. I got this photo after Isaiah threw her a fish. We couldn’t stop laughing about it. Can’t wait to back to SeaWorld and see her again! =)
Don’t tell me you can look at that and not smile. =) =)

Christmas 2014

Alright, so here’s some pictures from Christmas 2014. Better late than never, right? We moved into our new house on December 14 and then my parents came a week later to spend the holidays with us so it’s been busy over here! But I’m trying hard to catch up on posts (starting with my Christmas post) and have several more in the works (including a house tour!).

 

Poor Olive…. or is it poor Santa!? =)

We had a great Christmas this year! Simple, but good. We decided to go small on presents. It’s so easy to get caught up in thinking we need to buy so much (especially for our kids). But with the budget stretched especially thin with having just bought and moved into a new house we couldn’t spend alot this year. That’s ok, though, because presents are not the reason we celebrate Christmas. We celebrate because Jesus was born to save us from our sins. We celebrate to spend quality time with friends and family. We celebrate to remember what an awesome gift we’ve been given through Christ!

My three Christmas cuties!
The kids and their cousin, Gavin.
Christmas Eve!
As per Hutcheson tradition, the kids get to open their stockings on Christmas Eve. =)

 

 

 

 

 

On Christmas Eve we went to see some amazing lights in a nearby neighborhood with my parents and sisters. It was alot of fun!
Oh my!!! Look at that pout when she wanted to open a gift Christmas morning but it wasn’t her turn yet! Lol!
Ironically the pout disappeared when she opened her present. =)
Isaiah wrapped up a picture of himself as a baby, then gifted it to himself, then opened it up saying, “Oh!!! A picture of me as a baby, how cute mom. Look at me, I was so cute”. We were cracking up!
You can always count on Drew to make an amazing face on Christmas morning. =)
Like I said, we totally went all out this year on presents…. my husband got me cheese popcorn!!!
A gift for Meema.
New gloves for Papa (can you tell he doesn’t live in Florida?)
A gift for Janae!
I think Meema liked her gift! (A bird feeder)
Isaiah wrapped up a gift for Eloise – some of her own old toys. =) And then he opened it for her on Christmas morning. Lol!
One of Isaiah’s favorite gifts – A Nerf Gun from Meema and Papa. Isaiah could not understand how in the world Meema and Papa knew what he wanted most for Christmas! 😉
Adelynn got body spray!

 

 

Pacis and sippie cups for baby Livy!
That little pony tail!! ❤
Olive got her first baby doll!
Another of Isaiah’s favorite gifts!
Opening up gifts at Mimi and Grandpa’s house!

 

It was a wonderful Christmas and we all got more than we needed! We were so blessed to be able to spend lots of time with my parents and little sisters as well as Drew’s family. Thank you, Jesus, for coming as a tiny baby to save us from our sins. We are so unworthy and yet so grateful. Merry (late) Christmas!

The Hutcheson Family’s Top Ten Best Moments of 2014

I’ve been a little MIA lately and I apologize! We moved into our new house the middle of December and a week later my parents and little sisters came for a visit! Christmas with them was wonderful and I will try to post some Holiday pictures soon. They left yesterday and now I’m back to trying to unpack and get settled in this new house!

I am feeling overwhelmed with all I have to do and have hardly had time to sit down, let alone blog. I had wanted to write a Christmas post and put up our Christmas card but never got to it! =( Drew’s hair is so long and I desperately need to cut it but haven’t had the time. My family is seriously living on Pop-Tarts and oranges as I try to pull it together enough to make meals! =) Life is crazy but I know it will settle down and soon enough we will be comfortable and at home in our new house. Anyways, I just wanted to pop in to wish you all a (belated) MERRY CHRISTMAS and a HAPPY HAPPY NEW YEAR!

 

God has been {SO} faithful to us over this past year and I wanted to take some time to post our top ten best moments of 2014. 
To God be the glory!

10. We vacationed at Myrtle Beach for the first time over the summer and had a great time with our extended family.
9. We realized how much we LOVE Chick-Fil-A now that we live near tons of them!
8. Drew finished his first semester of grad school!
7. Isaiah turned 4 years old! What a funny kid he is and always keeps us laughing!
6. Eloise turned 2 years old! This sweet little girl (with a big attitude!) is so snuggly and loving. We are so glad she’s in our family.
5. Drew and I celebrated 5 years of marriage. So thankful I have such a great partner who points me to the Lord as we navigate this crazy life together.
4. We moved to Florida! Drew never ever thought he’d move back to his hometown of Jacksonville but we are adjusting to life in the South and learning to make a home wherever we are!
3. We bought our very first home! We are so thankful for how far God has brought us since this time last year when Drew had no job and we had very little to our name. Only the Lord could bring us this far.
2. Sweet Olive Kay joined our family in April! Praise the Lord for a quick and easy delivery and a healthy baby. She brings so much joy into our lives!
1. Everywhere we went and in everything we did the Lord provided for our every need, going with us every step of the way.

Happy New Year!

 

A Non-Traditional Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving was a little different for us this year. We closed on our new house the day before Thanksgiving so things were a little crazy around here. =)

But, we still had time to get together with family, have a (semi) home-cooked Thanksgiving meal, and break our new house in with an attitude of {GRATEFULNESS}!! We spent most of the day painting but also took some time to eat and visit. We wore yucky paint clothes, ate on paper plates, and had no TV to watch a football game. It was a little non-traditional but we had fun!!!

Did you expect a table and fine china!?!? Sorry, none of that around here!
This is what a kitchen looks like when you host a Thanksgiving dinner the day after you close on a new house.
I’ll give you one guess who’s room this is. And (though I do like pink) it is NOT mine. Drew’s havin none of that.
This Thanksgiving we are thankful for our new home!
I am also thankful that the Lord gave me these four people who bring so much joy into my life:
My incredibly handsome hubby (he looks good even in paint clothes).
My adventurous Isaiah.
My adorable Eloise.
My sweet sweet Olive.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

The Hutchesons are Homeowners!

That’s right…. We just bought our VERY. FIRST. HOME! Wahooo!!!!

I’m so excited to take you on a picture tour of the house but I don’t have time right now! We’re busy painting and doing a few projects before we officially move in mid-December. I promise more pictures will come soon, though!

So excited… We have the keys!

We are so {grateful} to the Lord for his provision in our lives and so excited to get into a place that has more than 1 bedroom and 875 sq feet of space. While we’ve enjoyed our little apartment since we moved to Florida three months ago, the kids are anxious to have a little more space to run! =)

The kids have LOTS of room to run, both inside and outside, in our new house!

We were originally scheduled to close on the house in October (will tell you that story later) but our closing date got pushed to today… and what wonderful timing. With tomorrow being Thanksgiving, what a wonderful blessing we have to be thankful for!!

And, if you’re in the market for a Realtor in the Jacksonville area, Kimberly King is A-MAZING. Seriously, cannot say enough good about her!!
“But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve…. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” 
Joshua 24:15


2014 Family Pictures

I try and get family pictures done every year and for the past three years (ever since we’ve had more than one child in our family) I always leave the session thinking WHY IN THE WORLD DO I DO THIS TO MYSELF!?!?
Not only is it stressful coordinating everyone’s outfits and trying to get everyone to look perfect and STAY looking perfect before the session, but during the shoot the kids are running all over, someone gets dirt on their white shirt, someone doesn’t want to smile and has a meltdown, someone spits up babyfood all over, someone cries because they’re cold, someone cries because they’re hot, someone’s hungry… ALL the children want to do is play instead of take cute, sweet pictures that help us look like a perfectly put together family. It’s pretty much impossible to get all the children to look and smile at the camera at the same time and every year, by the end of the session, Drew and I are pretty much exhausted and swear we’ll never do it again.
But THEN… I get the pictures. And no, they’re not perfect. There is not one picture where everyone is looking and smiling. In most pictures one kid has a goofy look on their face. Usually (if the kids are smiling) they’re cheesy smiles. In some pictures one kid is a blurr because they were moving.  But you know what? They’re {REAL}. They are pictures of what {REAL} life is like for us with three young children. They represent a far from perfect and yet completely beautiful time of life that we’re in.
And so, we’ll continue taking family pictures every year. We want to remember how our children and our lives are {now}. And someday we’ll be thankful that we didn’t wait until everything was “perfect” to take pictures and make lasting memories!!
To see our 2011 family pictures click here.
To see our 2012 family pictures click here. (This was before we could show Eloise’s sweet face!)
To see our 2013 family pictures click here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pictures taken by the lovely Kimberly at Kimberly Renee Photography.

How to Pack a Shoebox

It’s that time of year again! Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child time! Have you ever packed a shoebox for them? If not, this year would be a great year to start!

Not familiar with Operation Christmas Child? The cute video below will fill you in on this great organization!! (And even if you know what Operation Christmas Child is, the video is still pretty cute to watch.)

Need more information? Check this out:

How to Pack a Shoebox

  1. SHOEBOX

    Use an empty cardboard or plastic shoebox (average size). You can wrap the box, lid separately, but wrapping is not required.
  2. BOY OR GIRL

    Decide whether your gift will be for a boy or a girl, and the age category: 2-4, 5-9, or 10-14. Download and print the appropriate boy/girl label. Mark the correct age category and tape the label to the top of your box.
  3. FILL WITH GIFTS

    Fill the box with a variety of gifts that will bring delight to a child (see Gift Suggestions below).
  4. INCLUDE $7 DONATION PER BOX

    Help cover shipping and other costs related to delivering your shoeboxes to children overseas by donating $7 for each gift you prepare. You can give online to discover the destination of your box. Or, you can write a check to Samaritan’s Purse (note “OCC” on the memo line) and place it in an envelope on top of the items inside your shoebox. If you are preparing multiple gifts, please make one combined donation. Note: Follow Your Box is only available through online giving.
  5. PRAY

    Ask God to use your gifts to show His love to the child who will receive your shoebox.
  6. DROP OFF

    Place a rubber band around each closed shoebox and bring it to the drop-off location nearest you during National Collection Week, November 17–24, 2014. Visit our Drop-off Locations pageto find the closest collection site. Or, call 1-800-353-5949.

Collection dates this year are November 17-24 so you still have time to get a box together! To find drop off locations in your city click here. The boxes get shipped all around the world!

Need some gift suggestions? I’m glad you asked!!

Gift Suggestions

  • TOYS: Include items that children will immediately embrace such as dolls, toy cars, stuffed animals, kazoos, harmonicas, yo-yos, jump ropes, balls, toys that light up and make noise (with extra batteries), etc.
  • SCHOOL SUPPLIES: pens, pencils and sharpeners, crayons, markers, notebooks, paper, solar calculators, coloring and picture books, etc.
  • NON-LIQUID HYGIENE ITEMS: toothbrushes, bar soap, combs, washcloths, etc.
  • ACCESSORIES: t-shirts, socks, hats, sunglasses, hair clips, jewelry, watches, flashlights (with extra batteries), etc.
  • A PERSONAL NOTE: You may enclose a note to the child and a photo of yourself or your family. If you include your name and address, the child may be able to write back.
  • DO NOT INCLUDE: Used or damaged items; war-related items such as toy guns, knives or military figures; chocolate or food; out-of-date candy; liquids or lotions; medications or vitamins; breakable items such as snow globes or glass containers; aerosol cans.

This year was fun for our family because Isaiah and Eloise were old enough pick out exactly what they wanted to get their little boy and little girl for Christmas. We took a special trip to the store just to buy presents and everything they picked out, we bought! It was hard for them to understand at first, especially Eloise, that they were not picking out gifts for themselves but for someone else. But once they got the hang of it, they were running around the store and putting toy after toy in the cart all while saying things like, “That little boy will LOVE this” and “Mom, that girl must be a princess, she needs this.” I loved seeing their excitement to give!

This year we made two boxes, one for a girl age 2-4 and one for a boy age 2-4. We included things such as a barbie doll, toy cars, notebooks, glitter gel pens, books, combs, beads, hair clips, coloring books, stickers, socks, toothbrushes, washcloth, headbands, candy… and more! We also included a hand written card for each child and a picture of our family. I chose the option to pay the $7 per box shipping charge online here, which will allow us to track our boxes and see which countries they end up in! How cool!

Not feeling like you have the time to put a box together this year? You can fill up a virtual shoe box online in just a few minutes! Click here for more information.

What better thing could we teach our children this Christmas season than how to GIVE rather than GET??

 

Cutting the paper to wrap our boxes. Please note that this is not required, just something we wanted to do. If you do decide to wrap the box, make sure to wrap the lid and the box separately.
Eloise and Olive packing up a box for a little girl.
Isaiah’s card for his little boy and a picture
Isaiah’s box!
Eloise’s card and picture.
Elle’s box!

Halloween with Iron Man, Cinderella, and a Ladybug

The Hutcheson household had a great Halloween this year! We had Iron Man Isaiah, CinderEloise, and Little Livy Ladybug at our house!

The day started out fun when we took the kids trick-or-treating at Drew’s work. They were passing out candy at his office and the kids had a blast meeting everyone and getting lots of candy. Isaiah even got to meet the REAL Iron Man and he was beside himself!

Isaiah and the “REAL” Iron Man!
Iron Man and Cinderella
Then the day got even more fun when we went to a Halloween party at a local church and the kids got to play games, bounce in bouncy houses, ride a mechanical bull, dance to Let it Go, see a Transformer, and meet the REAL Cinderella!! =)
This Transformer was awesome!!! 

                                                      //www.youtube.com/get_player

Incredible Transformer costume!

Little Livy Ladybug!
Princess CinderEloise
Fun on the mechanical bull!

                                                      //www.youtube.com/get_player
        Isaiah rode the mechanical bull and actually stayed on quite a while! He wasn’t too sure about it though…


                                                                             Drew didn’t stay on quite as long. 😉

Grandpa and Mimi came for the fun too!
 

This was at the very end of the night. Eloise had not had a nap and was pretty much in Zombie mode. She couldn’t pass up a chance to dance to Let it Go, though!

Eloise got to meet the “REAL” Cinderella!
We tried…

Happy Halloween!

Pumpkin Patch 2014

Yesterday we made a little visit to a nearby pumpkin patch. It’s a tradition of ours to take the kids to a pumpkin patch each fall and let them each pick out a pumpkin. Isaiah was so excited all day long… He couldn’t WAIT for daddy to get home from work so we could go! Eloise caught onto Isaiah’s excitement but I don’t think she had any idea what a pumpkin patch was because she was too little to remember last year. But all the kids had a blast and we found some perfect pumpkins that we are going to work on carving sometime soon. =) Krispy Kreme donuts on the way home made for a perfect evening.

What fall traditions do you have for your family?

Let the pumpkin picking begin!

 

❤ The cuteness!!!! ❤

 

I promise you, we TRIED to get a good picture… after about 10 shots, cheesy smiles, and silly gestures, we took what we could get. 😉

 

 

 

 

 

So thankful for my family!
Leaving with pumpkins in hand! (Daddy carried the big one!) It was a fun evening!