Happy Birthday Ethan!

Our nephew Ethan's party was on Saturday, April 13th this year. We usually make a weekend trip when his party rolls around, but this year, Darren had to work on Saturday so we just decided to make a day trip out of it and go up for the day. 
We were ready to hit the road once Darren got off at noon. We were a bit late, but if you know us very well at all, that is quite the norm. Anyway, the kids has a ball playing outside and the weather was just perfect.
Isaac actually ended up staying the night and coming home on Sunday with Mimi and PawPaw, who had been there all weekend.
On Sunday, Darren got up and went turkey hunting so it was just me and Layla. She kept asking me "Where's Isaac?" all throughout the day. She definitely missed her brother and was so happy to see him when he got home.

Layla & Daddy checking out the chicken coop...
...and apparently while they were down there Layla decided she had to pee and just dropped everything. I guess when you gotta go, you gotta go!

PawPaw, Layla, & Daddy

Easter 2013

With my grandmother's fall and broken hip earlier this year in February along with upcoming other trips to Middle TN, we decided that we wouldn't be traveling for Easter, even though it was my turn to go to Carthage. I knew we would be coming in the weekend of the 20th for some pictures and if we had traveled on Easter, that would have ended up being 3 out of 4 weekends on the road, which is just a bit much. I was a bit down, but didn't see much way around it.
Then, I was pleasantly surprised when my Mom asked if it would be ok if she came down here for Easter. My grandmother had just been released to go back home and my aunt was still in from North Carolina helping her and she insisted that Mom come down and see us while she was there to see to my grandmother so of course, she jumped at the chance!
She came down Saturday afternoon when she got off work and when she arrived, she had another surprise for us. My brother Patrick was able to come along too! Needless to say, I was extremely happy to see them both and the kids were too. We had a great time visiting and of course, time went by way too fast, but we will be heading to Carthage soon to see them again very soon. Here are some pics from our Easter.
These were before the egg hunt at church on Sunday.

I love the Easter holiday and all that it represents. Without the empty tomb, there would be no hope for any of us. I am so very thankful for my salvation and being a child of God.


Layla wanted to play guitars the other night so she got hers and joined her Daddy.

It reminded me so very much of the time her big brother wanted to do the same thing.

Do you think they favor a bit??


 As Layla and I were driving into town for work and school one morning in mid-March, and we noticed the heavy frost from the night before. I pointed out to Layla to look out at the trees and the grass and see how they looked white on this day. I told her that it got so cold the night before that it turned them all white.
Her response was that we needed to get some paint and paint them all green again.

I couldn't agree with you more sweet girl.....

1st Haircut

On March 7th, Miss Layla finally had her first haircut. I was a bit worried how she would do because she is a very strong-willed child, but she did absolutely fantastic!
I had a haircut scheduled with Mrs. Haley Surratt and Layla came along for an appointment too. I got mine done first so she could see what was going on. When it was her turn, she was a bit hesitant, but climbed up in the chair and didn't move or make a peep! She did so good and I was thankful the whole thing went so smooth.
Thanks for such a great job Mrs. Haley! We'll see you next time!


Apparently, Layla is on a roll lately with her sayings. My mother-in-law went with us to a consignment sale in Florence over the weekend. After the sale, we shopped around Florence a bit and made a stop at Hobby Lobby. I was pushing Layla in a shopping cart and when we heard a little one start crying. As we were walking the aisles, I could tell we were getting closer and closer and finally, we came to that aisle and saw it was a little boy crying, one that was about her age. She looked at him, then back at me with this serious look on her face and said "What's his problem?"
It was all I could to to keep from falling in the floor I was laughing so hard at her and I was hoping to goodness those folks didn't hear her say that. She is such a mess!

From the South

Another funny from Miss Layla.....

It was Dr. Seuss week at school and Layla came home with her face painted like a cat. I asked her if her teacher, Mrs. Tenia, had painted her face and she said "Yep! She shore did!"

Please excuse the snotty nose!

We definitely have a true little southern belle on our hands!


February 5, 2013 was a very sad day for the Howard house. We said good-bye to our beloved lab, Cash.
Back during the extreme cold spells of winter, we would notice from time to time that Cash would have a rough sounding cough, but it would always get better within a couple of days. We figured it was due to the ups and downs of the weather so we really didn't think a lot of it. Then, Darren started noticing that Cash wasn't eating much and when I say not much, I mean it could be 2-3 days before Darren could even notice much difference in the amount of food that was in his bowl.
When Darren let him out on the 4th to clean out his pen, Cash barely even looked up at him and for those of you that have been around Cash very much at all know this is sooooo out of character for him. Usually, he's practically bouncing off the walls to get out of his pen, but this time was much different. After calling him several times, he finally got Cash to get up and come out. Before he was completely out though, he hiked his leg to pee on the fence and Darren said it looked like pure blood. At this point, I could tell it was probably pretty bad because between the 2 of us, Darren is definitely the laid back one and to see him in semi-panic mode, I knew something bad was wrong. We tried to feed him some cooked chicken and chicken broth and he barely nibbled at it. While I was outside with him, he hiked his leg again and just like before, it looked like there was lots of blood. At this time of the day though, there wasn't much else we could do. We petted him and went inside to bed and hoped he would make it through the night.
The next morning, he seemed to be a bit better when I peeked out at him before leaving for work. Had I known at the time how the day would turn out, I would have gone and loved on him much more than I did. Anyway, I knew Darren was going to get him to the vet that day so I just went on like normal. I sent Darren a couple of texts that day to check and see if he had heard anything, but he kept brushing things off. I guess I should have picked up on that sign, but I really didn't think much about it. We got home that evening and I knew Cash wasn't there, but still wasn't sure exactly where things stood. I asked Darren after supper how he was and once again, he brushed me off and said we would talk about it later. Well, of course, I couldn't let it go at that so I asked if he was gone. Darren hesitated a bit and looked at me and I just knew and I just lost it. I have never been one to do well when losing a pet and this case was no different. It just breaks my heart, which is why I would be perfectly fine if we never had another pet, ever.
Cash was taken over to the farm at Crump, where he was buried next to Darren's folks' old cocker spaniel, Scooter. I was really worried about how the kids would react, but Isaac took it exceptionally well. He had never really been close to Cash because he was always so wound up and hyper so it went much better than expected.
As for now, I am perfectly content living in a pet-free home. 

RIP Cash.......We love you!



Just a little funny from Miss Layla that I wanted to note....

We were in the kitchen over the weekend and she was helping me mix up some blueberry muffins. We were both singing and just acting silly and I asked her if she was Mommy's silly little girl. She replied "No Mama, I'm Layla and I'm awesome!!
Love this girl!!

School Projects

Isaac had his very first school project in February this year! His assignment was to make a character completely out of vegetables so this is what we came up with. Isaac even named him Mikey of his current favorite Ninja Turtle!

As you can tell, Isaac is NOT a morning person!

Princess Layla

This little lady definitely has this princess thing down pat!