Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Joy to the World!

Merry Christmas from the Hassells! We pray that your holiday is filled with joy because the Lord has come!

Joy from Jordan on Vimeo.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Poker lesson

Benton taught me a game this morning. Not sure where he picked this up.

Poker from Jordan on Vimeo.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Fall Festivities

Fall has brought quite a few fun opportunities to us this year. Next week, we take on the biggest activity yet: our first real road trip as a family of four. We're headed north to visit family for Thanksgiving--a car ride that typically takes 10 hours one-way but could no doubt be substantially longer this time around. We leave one week from today and my checklists and packing lists have already begun. Does it sound like I'm anticipating disaster?

Anyway, there's a lot to document from the last few weeks so let's get to it. Halloween brought not only trick-or-treating, but also a neighborhood Fall Festival. (Or, as Benton adorably says, Faw Festibul.) I can't get over how incredibly blessed we have been by our neighborhood and the people who live here. God is so good! This cute little festival is just one of the sweet surprises we've had since moving into Hillside. It was so fun to see all the kids come out. And we were glad Nana and Papa Joe got to come along with us to see the babies in their costumes. I present to you: hot dog and hamburger.

Benton was really looking forward to his first official year of trick-or-treating. We went out with our friend Ben and his son Henry (the lion) and our friend Gabriel (the soccer star). Benton loved knocking on doors and filling his pumpkin with treats. I am very impressed with how accepting he has been of our candy-in-moderation rule. He has one or two pieces of candy a day and he willingly shares with Mom and Dad. What a good kid. Parker didn't get all the fuss but she did act like quite the little ladyburger and let us drag her along.

We also went to a birthday party for some friends of Benton. These precious girls were in his daycare class last year. They had an adorable Dr. Seuss party on a beautiful day. Our kids didn't want to cooperate with the photo op, but don't the birthday girls make a perfect Thing 1 and Thing 2?

Last week, Granny CC and Pawpaw came to town for the weekend. Benton got to show off his new house and then we went to the local Japanese steakhouse for dinner. I'm not sure what he liked more: the aquarium, the fire or the fried rice. He ate everything. Including the soup and salad. 

Last Friday, Brack had his school Fall Festival. After the neighborhood event, Benton knew what to expect and was looking forward to playing games and getting treats. Coach Hassell did not disappoint and we had another great time. (P.S. Obviously that green dinosaur t-shirt is the official garment of the fall. I need to get my kid some more long sleeved options.)

And finally, the one fall event I have most been looking forward to, a visit to The Rock Ranch. This was our first time visiting although I've been trying to get us there for awhile. Of course, Saturday was the last day they were open to the public for Fall Family Fun Day. It was seriously a perfect day and well worth my anticipation. The weather was gorgeous, it wan't super crowded and the activities did not disappoint. Plus, where else can you ride a pony, drive a tractor AND eat Chick-fil-A Ice Dream? Good day. If you're in the metro Atlanta area and haven't been, you should check it out during a family day next summer or fall. Nana and Papa Joe came to play with us, too.

So thankful for my sweet family and the memories we are making. I'm overwhelmed by how much God has blessed us. I pray that I remember that continually and will remain content in the Lord, even when the madness of the day-to-day begins to creep in and threaten my joy. Oh what a gracious Father!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Morning talk

Benton has a cough right now and it's especially active at night. After getting up a few times last night with coughing fits, he was sleeping in a little later than normal today. I went in to check on him and climbed in his bed beside him. I put my hand on his back and he opened his eyes. This is the conversation that followed.

Benton: "You're hurting my back."

Me: "Oh, sorry. Can I hold your hand?"

B: "No, this hand is for picking up toys."

Me: "Right. Well, how do you feel this morning?"

B: "I feel great. Do you hear the rooster?"

Me: "I do. You know, it's library day. If you want to go to story time we need to get up and eat breakfast. Do you think you're ready?"

B: "Not yet. I just wanna stay home today."

Me: "Sounds good."

B: "Now follow me and let's find something to play with. Oh, did you hear the rooster again? I think he's cold out there."

Just a little glimpse into our morning. I love this boy so very much.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Chicken chaser

Remember me telling you about the chickens next door? Benton has always been excited about them and has been known to tell people they are his pets. (Example: "Benton, do you have a dog?" "No, I have chickens.") When one gets out of the coop and visits our backyard, he'll yell "Hey, chicken!" and run around near it. But I've never seen him get too close. It seems he has a healthy fear of what would happen if the chicken decided to come toward him instead of running away from him.

Until now. Our five-year old neighbor showed Benton that the chickens really can't run all that fast and they're pretty easy to catch. After watching his friend once or twice, Benton is now an avid chicken chaser. In his words, "Chickens are nice."

Poor chickens.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Playing catch up

I'm attempting to catch up on a month's worth of blogging in this post. I won't make any excuses for being so behind, but I promise I have some good ones. Like having my gallbladder cut out this week. (Ok, I'll make one excuse.)

Brack turned 29 in September. Two years ago, he instituted a new goal to run his age in miles each year. This year's birthday run took place on a local track -- 117 laps later, he reached 29 miles. Here's his post-run picture with his two cheerleaders.

As soon as postseason Braves tickets were available, we knew we wanted to take Benton to see the wildcard game in Atlanta. We took him to a playoff game against the Giants a couple of years ago and we knew he'd appreciate the excitement of the postseason atmosphere even more this year. Parker stayed with the grandparents and Benton got to really enjoy the fun at Turner Field, including the worst call ever and angry fans throwing their beer cans. We were heartbroken with the season ending like it did but were glad to be part of the big night, especially seeing Chipper Jones in his last game.

The next day, we went up to Rome for Mountain Day at Berry. For some reason, I didn't take my camera to the mountain. Conveniently enough, the Coosa Valley fair was in town that weekend. I somehow tricked Brack into taking us and it ended up being a lot of fun. The weather was perfect, the kids were behaving and the rednecks were minimal. I even achieved my goal of getting Brack on a ride with Benton.

Highlights for Benton: feeding the camel, eating a chocolate-dipped banana, bumper boats and the monkey show. Parker enjoyed people watching with her mom.

We're so glad fall is here! I'll try to post again before winter.

Friday, September 28, 2012


Parker looks a lot like her brother did at three months! Especially when she wears his clothes.

Sunday, September 9, 2012


Some snapshots from our world the last few weeks:

Weight check in the produce section. (At a bargain for $1.99 per pound!)

Lazy evening with technology. Laptop, TV and iPad. Surely we all went outside shortly after this.

Braves game on Labor Day weekend.