Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Lots of updates...

I posted three new blog entries below (playing catch up!), so be sure to scroll down to see them all.

Company Picnic and Halloween

Merrill Lynch hosted a family company picnic on Saturday, October 30th. It was a lot of fun! They had some awesome bounce houses which Hampton loved playing in, lots of food, balloon-making clowns, lots of fun music, etc. We wore matching T-shirts that day, so we had a friend take a family picture of us. It was a very fun day!
Of course, the next day was Halloween. After church Sunday evening, we went to a friend's house (the Nunezes) and took the kids out trick-or-treating. Hampton was a "Surfer Dude." There were lots of kids there, but I only posted one picture of Hampton with his buddy Eli. It was a lot of fun!

Hampton is THREEEEEE!!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU! Hampton had a great birthday this year! He had a "Star Wars" birthday party at the park, and it was a blast. So many of his friends from church came. They had a great time playing at the playground and enjoying some cake and snacks afterwards. Of course, I made things interesting by forgetting the forks!! Lots of kids were covered in blue cake icing, as you can imagine! Oh well...

When Hampton woke up, I took his picture, and tried to get him to hold up 3 fingers, but he couldn't understand what to do. The picture resulted in his holding up his fists! Too cute!
His big present from Mommy and Daddy was a bicycle! It has training wheels on it, and it's perfect for him. He was a little afraid the first day to ride it, but once he rode it the first time, he was hooked!! I had to buy him a new helmet because he had already outgrown his other one (big head!). Of course, he got tons of other presents - so many that we spread them out for about 3 days of opening! He has great friends. Now, we are going to sort through his older toys and have a lesson in donating.

Anyway, on to the pictures...

Wannado City...

...where a kid can do what they wanna do!

A couple of weeks ago, I took Hampton to Wannado City. This was our second trip. We LOVE Wannado City! We invited Hampton's friend Gavin, his mommy Ms. Abby, and his baby brother Blake to come along with us. They had never been and loved it too! Wannado City is really something that you have to's hard to explain, but it's awesome! Kids can participate in different career fields and earn "wongas" (money). It's literally like a real city built especially for children. There is a fire station, dentist, bank, courthouse, beauty salon, bakery, carnival, city bus system, circus, archaelogical dig site, airport, etc. The kids can "work" and play at all of these places. Anyway, here are some pictures from our day.

Hampton and Gavin waiting to be an airline pilot for Spirit Airlines.
Hampton and Gavin waiting to be a baker and bake their own chocolate chip cookie!

The carousel!

Hampton shopping in Publix. He always shops strictly for produce!

Hampton and Gavin on the Ferris Wheel (they're in the top right car).

Monday, August 16, 2010

Potty Trained!!

I am pleased to announce that Hampton is potty trained! (Can you hear "The Hallelujah Chorus" in the background? Or at least "I'm So Excited" by the Pointer Sisters? I can!)

We followed a method called 3-Day Potty Training. Three Days?! know. I think he started understanding the concept at the end of the third day. But he wasn't fully potty trained in 3 days. More like five. But I'll take five days over two weeks or more any day! In the past year, I've tried to begin potty training him a few times, but he just wasn't getting it. Now, I know that I wasn't being as drastic as I needed to. You see, this method requires that on day one, you throw away all your diapers and pullups. Throw them away! No more diapers. Period. Not even at night. YIKES. Gutsy. But throughout this process I learned that DRASTIC was what we needed. If Hampton was given one opportunity to wear a diaper again, he would go back to his old ways!

Anyway, to spare you all the details, I'll sum it up by saying the first 2 days were horrible, he started seeing the light on day 3, and by day 5, I'd say we were 95% there. The last 3 days have been COMPLETELY accident-free (we're on day 11 now!), and if he has one, it's usually at naptime when he might have fallen asleep without using the bathroom. And now, he just goes to the bathroom himself. No fanfare. Just pottying like a big boy. We love it.

Now, I just have to get used to finding all the bathrooms while I'm out somewhere so when he tells me he has to go, I can quickly find one!

That's the big news in the Usher House. Nothing else interesting is going on. When something interesting comes up, I'll let you know.

Thanks for reading.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Trip to Alabama/Trip to Illinois/Father's Day

We have been busy since my last post! We have done a lot of traveling, and it's good to be HOME! So here's the quick run-down...

The last week of May, Clint flew to Peoria, IL to interview for a management position there with Merrill Lynch. Hampton and I flew to Alabama the next week, and Clint flew down to meet us in Birmingham. There, we stayed one night with Clint's great aunt and uncle, Doris & Marion Cruce. Their daughter Kathy took Hampton to see her horses. He loved feeding them carrots! This was Clint's week to volunteer at Boys State, so he drove on to Tuscaloosa and we drove to Montgomery for the next week.

When we got to Montgomery, we immediately began playing at MawMaw and PawPaw's house!! Hampton has his own bedroom there now, so he LOVED paying in his room and showing it off to anyone who came over. He has his own bed, toys, play table, chairs, lamp, everything! Hampton helped his PawPaw cut grass and enjoyed playing in their backyard. We went to the children's museum (ArtWorks), which is always a hit! Of course, we had to make a stop or two by Dairy Queen, the mall to ride the carousel, etc. We also made a road trip to Tuscaloosa to hear Daddy speak at Boys State, where we also saw Hampton's Nana and Pop (Clint's parents).

Later in the week, Hampton and I had more family visit us! Uncle Wes, Aunt Nenny (Jennifer), Justin, Griffin, and Graysen came to Montgomery. We loved going to the zoo with them, back to ArtWorks, the mall, and then Hampton's FIRST FISHING TRIP! He reeled in a nice one (a "big one," according to him!) pretty quickly! He caught a cute little bass. He was SO happy! We sure didn't like saying goodbye as we drove back up to Birmingham to spend one more night with Aunt Doris and Uncle Marion before flying out the next morning.

Week three was back to Peoria, Illinois as a family. Clint wanted us to go with him for his second week there, so Hampton and I stayed busy while Daddy worked. We had lunch with him one day, we explored the Peoria Zoo, went to the Lakeview Museum of Arts and Science to see a very cool LEGO exhibit by artist Nathan Sawaya. We all caught a cold at the end of the week, so we spent a couple of days in the hotel room that ended up looking like a "cave" with all the blinds closed and no room service for a while!

But we survived. It was questionable for me for a while because the plane ride home was absolute torture for sinuses protested the airplane pressure! OUCH! So now, we're back home. We have received word this week that we will not be moving to Peoria. We were initially disappointed, but we know that this is God's way of closing a door on something that is "not for us." We are looking forward to whatever BETTER thing He has in store for us!

Father's Day was great! I was able to snag a couple of pictures of the guys before we left for church that morning. They both looked sharp (or "shark" as Hampton says)!

Love to all!

Adrienne (for the whole fam)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Jesus Loves Me

Sorry it's been so long since I've posted. Every time I start to post, I literally don't know where to begin. Since I posted, we have had company. My brother Gerald came to visit us for a week or so at the end of March. We had so much fun, and Hampton LOVED having Gerald here to play with him! Last week, Clint's mom, dad, and grandmother came to visit for a long weekend. Janell (Hampton's Nana) ended up staying for the rest of the week to help us do some purging in the house. It was lots of fun having her here, though we worked very hard each day. Hampton was such a good boy as he entertained himself most of the day. But each day, he and Nana did something special together, even if it was only for a few minutes.

Most of you know that we have been in limbo waiting on information regarding a job transfer for Clint. In fact, the last post was all about this. Well, ever since then, we've been not-so-patiently waiting for SOMETHING! We finally received word today that he has been invited to interview in Peoria, Illinois. Wow! Illinois? It's about the same distance from Montgomery as Miami is but obviously in the opposite direction. He will be going for a working interview, so he will be working in the office as if he has the position before it is actually offered (if it is offered to him). We are certainly praying for the Lord's will in this. I am simply grateful that Clint has a job right now! Any move to any location will be a little scary. All change can be scary. But as my previous entry title states, "I do not know what the future holds, but I know Who holds the future!"

Here are a few pictures from the last few weeks (months), and I also am trying to post a very cute video of Hampton singing "Jesus Loves Me." What great truth in such a simple song. Jesus loves me. Yes He does! And for that I'll be eternally grateful.


Tuesday, February 9, 2010

"I don't know what the future holds, but I know Who holds the future!"

Posts on this blog usually center around Hampton, but this one will be a little more personal. I just need to share a few things that have been on my heart and mind lately. Within the last week or so, Clint had his annual review at work. We knew this would be a very critical meeting for his career, and it has proved to be just that. Critical. But first, a little background...

Before we moved to South Florida, we were told we would be here for 18-24 months and would be relocated again. Shortly after moving here, Clint's management team began discussing the possibility of his attaining a permanent position here. Of course, we desire to be closer to our families, but this sounded attractive because we were settling in here, making friends, etc. And the possibility of finding a city closer to family was a slim one. So we have been setting our hopes on staying in South Florida.

But God now has other plans.

Clint was not offered a position in his current office at his review. He was sorely disappointed in this, though we knew in the beginning that it was the original plan. I am disappointed too. I have made some of the most incredible friends here that I could ever imagine. They have become our family. I never realized how difficult it must be for military families or others who relocate on a regular basis. Until now. I guess after the first move, it gets easier. Or so I've been told.

But even though I'm disappointed that we will not stay here, there is a part of me that is SO excited! I have learned through my move here (the story of which would need it's own blog!) that God doesn't shake things up in your life unless He has something bigger and better for you. God doesn't make mistakes. His timing is always perfect. He is always looking out for our best interest. He loves us and cares about every single little itty-bitty detail of our lives. He is in control, and if He can keep this magnificent universe in motion, He can certainly see me through the next few months.

So, I can't wait to see what He has planned next!! He met (and exceeded) every need we had in our move here, and He will do it again!

There we are. I have no clue WHERE we will be moving, or WHEN we will be moving. Please pray with us and for us. He will be traveling to another office in the country (location also unknown) soon, and he will be interviewing for position(s) that are open. Please keep us in your prayers in the following ways: 1) favorable location in the country - close to family and friends, 2) wisdom for the decision-makers in Clint's relocation, and 3) peace and wisdom on our part as we go through the scary part of transition.

Someone told me recently that it's times like this that I can one day look back on and tell our kids how awesome our God was in bringing us through!! That's what I look forward to. And I promise not to wait years to tell my kids. I will begin right away telling everyone I know how my Jehovah Jireh has DONE IT AGAIN!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

"I Wanna Be in Pictures!"

We took this video at dinner tonight. Hampton was being so silly! He wasn't wearing a shirt because he wanted to "take shower." We talked him into waiting until after dinner (since he asked while I was cooking!), but he refused to put his shirt back on. I decided that battle wasn't worth fighting, so...

Anyway, here's a video of a not-so-typical (well, probably typical) dinner at the Usher House.

Christmas 2009 and beyond...

It's been brought to my attention that I needed to update the blog, so I guess I'd better snap to it! HAHA! I'm sorry I haven't kept current on it. I'll try to do better.

We haven't had too many interesting things going on since Christmas around the Usher house. That is by design!! We had a nice, quiet holiday this year. Hampton enjoyed Christmas, though he didn't really understand what all was going on. We Skyped (video called) Mom and Dad while we opened presents, so they could see Hampton's excitement.

A few days after Christmas, my dad and brother (Hampton's PawPaw and Unka Jerl) came to visit. We had so much fun, but we forgot to take pictures!! We were so upset with ourselves everytime we'd forget our camera. Time just flew by too quickly. We enjoyed visiting the International Game Fishing Museum. We saw an alligator, fed Cheerios to some of the fish (not sure if this was "legal" or not!), and saw a few iguanas. We found lots of iguanas around town while they were here. We also went to the park, drove around downtown Fort Lauderdale and the A-1-A, and just played a lot here at the house.

So here are some pictures from Christmas and snapshots I've taken since...enjoy!!

Hampton fell asleep in the chair drinking milk (just too cute!)
Some of our Christmas decorations

Our stockings...(from L to R) Lexie, Clint, Adrienne, Hampton. Veggie Tales on the TV!

Hampton in front of the tree on Christmas morning

Hampton got Play-doh for Christmas, and he loves it!
Adrienne's "Mickey Mouse in doh"

Is this a "Clint Usher" look-a-like or what?!!

Hampton being silly

Brushing teeth after bathtime