work from home

Question:  Do any of you SAHMs do any kind of work (that pays) from home?  I still want to give the majority of my day to my kids and homemaking, but lately I've been pondering the idea of doing a little work from home. Nothing major, but maybe something that could bring in a couple hundred dollars a month--not looking to break the bank or anything.  Recently, I've been selling tons of stuff on Craigslist. I've made about 1K and it's been nice to have a little extra cash to put away for emergencies, vacation, odds and ends, etc.  But there's only so much that I can sell around here.  Graham said one day he's gonna come home to an empty house! :)  It got me thinking...and that might be where it ends. I'm interested to know what kinds of jobs (social media management comes to mind) might be available for a gal like me.  Suggestions?  Thoughts?  I'm all ears.


Thanks, Miss Fitzgerald!

In one of my previous posts, I promised a video of AG singing "Summertime".  I also included a video of Edy singing it.  I crack up when she says, "and the cot says, 'Hi!'" (and the cotton is high).  And, I couldn't leave out Miss Joyful--she's smiling like crazy and just starting to coo a bit.  Enjoy!

  "Summertime" by AG from Leslie Hale on Vimeo.
  "Summertime" by Edy from Leslie Hale on Vimeo.
"Smiles" by Joy from Leslie Hale on Vimeo.



Just a little recap...
  • The girls emptied their piggy banks for the Nigerian Grain Fund. 
  • Joyful is getting chubby!  She's completely out of newborn diapers and most newborn clothing :(
  • Graham, this is your life! He loves his girlies.
  • Basically, our summer attire has been swimsuits!
  • Do these bloomers make my butt look big?
  • After taking a little "maternity leave", we are back to school each day!  AG is doing great.  I'm so thankful that she likes "school".
  •  Graham got a fire pit for Father's Day.  We have spent our nights grillin' hot dogs and s'mores!  YUM!
  • I live for little moments like these.
  • I've been teaching my girls to sing "Summertime" (the Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong version).  I'll post a video soon.  AG is just too funny trying to mimic Miss Fitzgerald's bluesy voice.  It's classic.
  • As my good friend, Amy, would say...Have Mercy!
  • I took this pic on Monday (6 weeks old).  I was reminded of how blessed I am to stay home with my girls now.  I went back to work when AG and Edy were 6 weeks old and it was like taking a dagger in the heart.  I am thankful that I didn't have to leave this little girl!



One of the perks of being the firstborn...sharing in the joy of both sisters' arrivals.

{AG with little sister, Edy Rose}

{AG and Edy}

{AG with littlest sister, Joy Tatum}

{pretty awesome perk if you ask me}


baby dedication

Sunday was our baby dedication service at church. Graham and I were so thankful to be a part of this special service by bringing our little Joy before the church and publicly committing to love her through praying for her and training her up in the ways of the Lord.  During this service, the church also committed to pray for our family as we humbly take on the task of raising this special gift the Lord has given us. 


I can't help but be reminded of Hannah when I think of my children.  They are blessings and I am so very humbled and thankful that the Lord has entrusted them to me.

I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of him.  So now I give him to the LORD. For his whole life he will be given over to the LORD. I Samuel 1:27-28

Check out the big sisters' dedication services:
AG's baby dedicaiton and Edy's baby dedication


No.1 D-A-D

I'm blessed to call you my husband and these three girls are blessed to call you their daddy.  Thank you for being here, spending quality time with us, teaching us about our Lord and Savior, and loving us unconditionally.  You are truly wonderful and we love you so much.


Your Four Girls

Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day to our wonderful dads...

{Graham and his daddy}

{my daddy and me}

We love both of you SO much!  Have a wonderful Father's Day!



Nicknames--do you have one?  I guess in some ways I do.  I have always been called Les by the people closest to me.  My brother-in-law has always called me Lester and I don't think twice about it.  Graham has several little silly names his family calls him, but I just call him Graham.  Actually, we are that couple that over uses Babe.  It's probably so annoying to everyone else, but it's hard to change something you've done for over 10 years.  

We've never considered ourselves "nickname people" but ironically every one of our kiddos answers to about 3 different names other than the name written on their birth certificate (technically, Joy doesn't answer).  So...I guess we've morphed into "nicknamers".  We don't give any thought to our kiddos nicknames; they just emerge from our lips and stick.  Nothing planned.

Ava Grace entered this world in 2007 when her name was the no.1 most popular name for girls.  I had loved the name Ava for years and wasn't changing the plan.  I still think Ava is one of the prettiest, daintiest, sweetest names and it fits perfectly for our firstborn.  To combat the popularity of her name, we gave her an equally lovely middle name that flows off the tongue perfectly when paired with AvaDouble name?  Again, I've said it on the blog before...we aren't "double-name people".  But, alas, all three of our girlies have been given a double-name.  So...I guess we've morphed into "double-namers", too.

Ava Grace soon became loving known as Peanut.  We called her that for most of her first year.  From time to time we still refer to her as our little peanut.  She likes it!  For the most part, she's AG, Ava Gracie, Ava G, or Ava Grace Mermaid (long story). She answers to every single one.  Now that she's writing, she gets lazy and just writes Ava at the top of her papers.  I have told her numerous times that her name is Ava Grace.  She'll roll her eyes and say, "I know Mom, but Ava is just easier."  Hmm...I will win this battle! *smirk*

Next up, our Edy Rose...
After giving Ava Grace a double name, I had no intentions of giving any of my other children double-names.  When Edy came along, I was just fine with calling her by her beautiful name, Edy.  In fact, I really wanted to name her Edythe, but Graham gave an adamant, "NO!" to that.  I still secretly call her Edythe from time to time...she doesn't like it either.  After her birth everyone, I mean everyone, called her Edy Rose.  It stuck.  She's got a double-name.  We've really embraced the whole "southern kids with double-names" stereotype.  Edy's nicknames:  Edy Rosebud, Rosie Rosebud, Edy RoRo, RoRo, Ro, Rosie. The list really could go on and on.

Now enters our little Joy Tatum…
Again, I have been on the fence about the double-name thing, but when you have two children with double-names it just feels unnatural to slight the third-born.  Mostly, I just call her Joy, but my girls always call her by Joy Tatum.  It wasn't long before we started in with the nicknames.  Remember, we aren't nickname people! I jest.  Joy's nicknames (so far):  Joyous, Joyful, JoJo, Josie, Dumplin', and Doodle Dumplin' (my momma still calls me that one).

There you have it!  The nickname post I promised!  Was it everything you hoped it would be?


What {not} to Say

I just read a fantastic article over at Rage Against the Minivan that I just have to share.

Ever wondered what {not} to say to your friend struggling with infertility?  Here's the article for you!

Although we struggled with secondary infertility and our journey was a lot shorter than most, it was still hard nonetheless.  Check out our story, HERE.  There weren't a lot of people that knew about our situation (until my public post), but most of the ones that knew were very considerate.  But...I can tell you that we (mostly me) got just about every "what not to say" comment in the book.   The hardest comments for me were the ones pertaining to the fact that we already have children.  People just didn't understand why we would want to subject ourselves to the pain of infertility if we'd already been blessed to conceive and birth two healthy kiddos easily.

*Don't even get me started about the comments I got after my miscarriage.  My silent thoughts: I'm a Christian and I am totally aware of and affirm God's complete sovereignty.  I don't need to be reminded of it during this trial.  Just to be clear, God's sovereignty is very comforting, but it's not always a  needed response when someone is hurting.

Anyway, the guest blogger over at RATM says it better than me so go read the post and let me know what you think!  Oh, and pass it along!



I think I'm on to something with these (phone) photo collage catch-ups.  Quick and easy

  • First trip to Wal-Mart with all three girls was a success.  We've already made it back a second time.  We are definitely starting to find our groove as a family of 5.
  • my little Rosie all ready for sister's recital *swoon*
  • my little Joyful looking perfect *double swoon*
  • my little AG all "Toddlers and Tiara-fied" for recital *triple swoon*

  • I absolutely love our church and the emphasis put on equipping believers.  We just started a class/course (Fellowship Bible University) which is geared to furthering us along in our sanctification.  The first course is What Christians Believe and Why and we are going through Wayne Grudem's, Bible Doctrine:  Essential Teachings of the Christian Faith.  I have already learned so much and am looking forward to growing more and more.  For information or to listen to the classes, click HERE
  • Rainy Days and Mondays Always Get Me Down...
  • Gaga came to visit!!!  So glad to have my mom for a few days.
  • one of my favorite hymns

  • sprinkler fun
  • Gaga and Joyful out on the town
  • My rose bush makes me smile.
  • banana pops, swimming, and relaxing
  • glad to have "Mommy Time"

  • How incredibly sweet are my girls?  Gotta print this one!

  • Somebody is a tummy sleeper! Joy would much rather be on her tummy than on her back--it is what it is.



A little friendly comparison...



Can it be possible?  Little Miss Joy Tatum is ONE MONTH OLD!

I'm back to taking monthly pictures of another little blessing!

 (Can't decide if I should take a monthly pic with or without the bear.  Thoughts?)
What's going on with Joy?
  • loves tummy time
  • loves bath time
  • can lift head for a little bit while on tummy
  • focus on faces
  • eats 7-8 times a day
  • sleeps 4 and sometimes 5 hours at night between feedings
  • naps about 4 times a day
  • loves the bouncy seat
  • just recently cut out a night feeding (Whoohoo!)
  • just starting to smile at my face (melts my heart)
  • a content little sweetie
AG's first month post click HERE.
Edy's first month post click HERE.


newborn photos

My friend and photographer, Ashley, did it again.  I just love our family photos and Joy's newborn photos:



Dance Recital 2013

AG finished her first year of dance.  She was in a ballet and jazz fundamental class. We have been playing it by ear to see if this was something she would enjoy.  She has absolutelty loved it.  These last few weeks, she has been getting a little burned out.  I don't think she understood the concept of recital.  Boy, was she ever surprised!

She loved all of the hair and make-up. And the performance--well, it was the icing on the cake!

Na got to go with us to the recital and I was sure thankful.  She was a big help.

Joy was all geared-up for the night.

Edy was in awe.  absolute. awe.

AG was in her element. I'm not exaggerating one bit.  She loves performing!

jazz dance:  The Monkees

Isn't she gorgeous in her ballet attire?

ballet:  Ma Belle

finale:  Feel this Moment

AG and Edy both cried when the recital was over.  AG wanted to go back on stage and Edy wanted to watch more dances.  I am thrilled that they liked it so much.  I guess we will be signing-up for lessons in the fall.