Tuesday, December 30, 2008

a bit of our Christmas day fun

The traditional new PJ's and the reading of Twas the Night before Christmas
and Santa mouse before bed...they were super sleepy, this was taken around 11:30!

John Mark loved his new video camera. He documented everyone's every move all day long! he did a great job keeping his hand steady!

Yep...worth getting up at 3am on the day after T'giving
to get this 'doorbuster'

MaryKyle was completely overwhelmed with her "real sewing machine"she stopped opening presents immediately to call her ReMaw (Who is a talented seamstress)!

It was a good surprise! She had NO idea!

As is tradition (coming from both of our Mom's)we had cinnamon rolls in the shape of aChristmas tree...too bad the tradition isn't also that Mother must wear her PJ's and have no make-up on and her hair not be fixed!

I skipped the details this year...usually I do a star, etc but just wanted to get them in the oven and done since the kids slept so late (I know crazy huh?!) as I knew they'd be
super hungry

They webcam talked to ReMaw and Papa Gene & tried to show them everything they'd gotten!

MaryKyle put on a puppet show with her new theater
ReMaw made her and puppets they sent

John Mark filmed the entire thing
(Which is saying a lot since MK
doesn't do short shows)

and Sydney tried to find a safe place to snuggle,
away from the Christmas chaos (she did get
new treats that are long gone)

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Happy 3rd B'day my beautiful angel girl!

a few days after your official 'birth' day
(5 to be exact...this is your first time to worship)

First Birthday

We didn't have much time to pull a celebration off (long story) and MaryKyle, John Mark and you had been so so sick. So Grandmama ran all around town while I nursed everyone and helped me pull off a fun celebration (fortunately on your big day everyone was finally WELL!)!! I even got the cake pulled together in a VERY short amount of time (don't look too close)!! We ate spaghetti for dinner and celebrated you that day and were so so thankful to be spending that special day with you!

Second Birthday

why is 'Bubba' wearing his PJ's??? I can't remember...hmm....he had a shirt that matched your dresses with a puppy dog on it...who knows? We got a call that morning that you weren't going to be at the house with us that day, we had to rearrange plans a bit (the joys of foster parenting). We had cupcakes and pumpkin waffles with cinnamon apples (one of your faves) after church that Sunday night so Grandmama and Papa could be with us! (you've just blown a kiss in the picture...that's your kisses face)!

at two you loved babydolls so this was just the perfect gift from G'mama and Papa...look at that smile!

you loved the steam sound on your iron!! You would push that button over and over (and over and over)

Today we will be thanking God for you once again...Since we aren't able to celebrate your 3rd year with you, we are spending the day together as a family...doing fun things to fill our day with smiles and prayers focused on you! We pray that you are having yet another HAPPY HAPPY b'day filled with smiles, love and laughter...and, of course, CAKE!!!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

ready or not....Christmas Time is here

This past weekend we headed to N'ville. We had little battery juice in our camera so didn't take many pictures over the whole weekend, but we did capture this early Christmas present! We surprised the kids and took them to ICE! At Opryland. It's 6 degrees inside and this is the last year for the Grinch theme. The kids still didn't know when we got there what we were doing. So when we walked in they just saw Grinch signs and until we leaned down and pointed out everying was made from Ice they still weren't too sure...above is their first reactions...sitting, touching rubbing, jumping up and down...amazed!! They ran from one thing to the next just AMAZED...We got lots of video footage, but again...dying batteries didn't allow for too many pictures, but we got a few....video to come later hopefully of the ICE slide, etc!! It was a fun night...albeit COLD!! But family and friends had prepared us so we dressed appropriately and the coats they give you helped tons. But then outside in 10 degrees with wind...about froze us walking to the car!


Daddy and the kids modeling the lovely blue coats everyone is given before entering...it's a sea of blue!! And as you enter you are directed to watch your children closely as it's VERY easy to lose them since everyone looks alike. We did see one Daddy who had lost his son and I truly just couldn't imagine the feeling since everyone from behind and with hoods up from the front somewhat...looked just alike! He did find him though!!

Feasting with the Who's!

The End of the Grinch - the kids were so disappointed
it was over.

But then we walked out the door and into another area where there was a nativity scene all in ice.

Instead of "whoville music" there was a recording telling the story of the birth of Jesus...to which MK was sure to tell the employee who collected our coats as we exited "um...your Jesus story is not quite right, it says the wisemen followed the star to the stable and saw the baby Jesus in swaddling clothes, but he was in a house and around two years old when the wisemen finally got to him according to the Bible" hee hee!! The lady kind of looked at her a bit baffled at first and said "well you are exactly right!"
It was pretty, even if it wasn't Biblically accurate, we could certainly appreciate the work put into making the ice look so beautiful! That's not us by the way in front, just another Mom and kids sporting lovely blue coats!
MaryKyle proclaimed the surprise the "BEST CHRISTMAS PRESENT EVER" granted she makes proclamations like that quite easily! But we did all have a wonderful evening together as a family laughing and enjoying Whoville!!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

My parents. They live just a few miles away and for some reason I'm the world's worst at having them over. I know crazy huh..? Why...no good reason!! Not a single one. I adore my parents, I think they are the best ever and I love having them so close and a big part of our lives. My husband adores them they adore him...no friction there...we just rarely have them over...stinky I know. And I am wanting to do better!! I think it has something to do with some crazy mindset that when they come over my house should be perfect (and when my Mother reads that she will either cringe or exclaim outloud how unnecessary that is! hee hee!) - nope, they don't expect that...just some silly notion in my head.
So when the kids suggested we have them over for dinner so they could read them their stories they wrote this week. Hubby and I thought that was a SUPER idea and called them immediately!

While on the phone inviting MaryKyle informed me to tell them to 'dress up'
Of course GrandMama and GrandPapa obliged. We ate on our Christmas china, used the crystal, had candles as the kids proclaimed they wanted it to be a "fancy dinner"

The dinner menu they selected was:


shrimp bites

(MaryKyle made them)

brie fondue

(everyone agreed it was better with the apples then the bread, since I can't eat apples, I have no clue, but this was john Mark's menu request)

Main Course

Grilled marinated pork tenderloin

steamed sugar snap peas (kids favorite)

twice baked potatoes

homemade yeast rolls


Christmas tree brownies

with whipped cream and sprinkles

(we just made them and lined the pan with parchment paper, lifted it out and cut the brownies with a cookie cutter in the shape of Christmas trees. MK made the brownies, John Mark did the cutting. We hadn't planned a dessert at all actually til about an hour before they were to arrive the kids decided we needed a dessert)
I didn't get a single picture...arrgghh!! Daddy did get a picture of MK with one of her shrimp appetizers she made...this was was done quickly so she could eat it (the kid could eat pounds and pounds of shrimp)...the ones she served, she put two shrimp on to form a heart and then green onions were added for
"Christmas colors"
We had a nice visit and enjoyed so much having Grandmama and Papa over.
and you know what?? I didn't even dust!!

Friday, December 12, 2008

winter wonderland...minus the snow!

Part of Christmas Tradition has been that my sister and her family comes in town the first Friday in Dec. That's our little town's Christmas celebration and very own Santa Lamar (from previous post) makes his appearance there. My niece had her first Santa picture at the first Christmas celebration 'downtown' and has now come back each year. This was a quick trip. but we squeezed in some memories to last a lifetime...isn't it wonderful you don't need long to create wonderful memories!

Greeley's first Christmas!! Oh how adorable he is, I mean who could ever resist that bundle of chubby preciousness?!
And he was loving ever magical moment of it!

yes, we're related
....by blood...now

no flat-iron involved...
no perm involved for her this is us in our natural state....

sweet cousins...they love being together!!

John Mark, like his Daddy, likes 'colored lights' and said his house was covered in them. Hee hee...when Hubby and I first got married that was a big point of discussion colored or white lights on the tree....we settled for white that have a zillion settings of different things they do...and now he doesn't care as long as I do the work....DEAL!!!

Holland just a bit proud and excited and so adorably cute I think I'll just skip the gingerbread and gobble her up instead!!

MaryKyle...she had a flower garden in the back 'yard' of her house!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

so I've not said much about homeschooling lately...although really every moment in our home is a teaching moment. Take today...I had MK in charge of holding the coupons at Kroger. While going from item to item we identified the price, the sale price, the coupon amount and if it would be doubled or not - and then what we would pay for it. The kids couldn't believe how much money we were saving by buying sale items with a coupon. They were just as excited as me at the register when they said the amount we'd saved!!

a simple page in their grammar book led us to two days working on some creative writing. It was just supposed to be some sentences using I and me correctly. But when they ugggheed and "I don't know what to write" etc....and when Mommy wouldn't TELL them what to write...they started brainstorming and got so so excited and involved in it we just kept working and then worked more on it the next day....I couldn't believe how much fun they had with it and how hard they worked. John Mark took such time and effort in even just making his final draft as neat as he could with correct spelling and punctuation and perfect handwriting!!

Oh this has been a week when hubby and I look at each other and smile and are ever so thankful,once again,for our decision to teach them at home....tomorrow we/they are cooking a 'fancy' dinner and having Grandmama and Papa over so they can read their stories to them and show them the illustrations they did to go with them!! They are so excited and planning and working to make sure it's all just perfect!! SO fun!!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Felix Lights

So last night at dinner the kids asked if we could go to see the "Dancing Lights" after dinner. Hubby and I looked at each other and thought that sounded like a super idea. Plus it's always nice to have a bribe to get the kids totally motivated to get all nighttime stuff done and in their PJ's all ready for bed. So after they were in PJ's teeth brushed, etc...we headed off to the

Felix Family Lights!!

turn up your sound!! this is the 2007 show (there's more stuff this year as usual)

Now I show this video for multiple reasons First, it's AWESOME!! If you are able, take a donation. There is a donation box at the end of the culdesac. The couple areteachers and walk on a relay for life team and all the money raised goes to Relay for Life -pocket change adds up!!

BUT the REAL REASON I post this video is, IF you do go...WATCH and learn how to park. It's simple really, but if you've never been before you might not think of it unless you see someone else do it and then you may block other's view or you might get frustrated yourself at not being able to see all that's going on in the show.

I will say a Monday night was the PERFECT time to go, the culdesac was full, but there wasn't a long line -the whole show is about 15-20 min I'd guess and I encourage you to see the whole thing because it's all different and fun! If it's too crowded we've been known to just pull out and go back the next night. all info should be on his site, but if not and you want directions from here...leave me a comment with your email address and I'll let you know how we go.

He runs it til 10:30 on weeknights and 11:30 Fri and Sat...on weekends Santa will be making periodic appearances.


hope you are enjoying some wonderful times filled with memory making with your little ones...our fun has just begun but saying "YES" instead of "you need to get to bed" was so fun and SOOO worth it for their smiles and singing Carols together in the car!! Oh in our home, it's tradition for the kids to wear their PJ's to go....last night hubby did too!! Life is fun!!!

Monday, December 8, 2008

So last night was "Cookies and Milk with Santa" at church after worship. You see out of all the churches and congregations in the entire world SANTA loves ours most and comes all the way from the north pole to worship with us each service!! He must worship somewhere right?

So each year he is sweet enough to ensure around his regular 'gigs' to plan a special time for our kiddos at church who get to love on him all year long!

I made these red velvet Cupcake Pops as my treat to take. They turned out okay for doing them pretty quick that afternoon since I didn't get to do it after the parade as I had hoped and planned (WAY too tired and Alabama and Florida were playing after all!)They are oh so yummy and always a hit...no matter what shape I make them in (even bloody brain smiley faces...ha ha...remember that?)

some friends joined us....although the only ones I got pictures of were Armida, Sebastian, and Alex....sorry guys!!

Me and Mrs C....LOVE her!!

Did you know Santa is a photographer on the side and wins contests with his beautiful photos? Well Mrs C too for that matter....but this is what hubby and Mr C did forever after the event as others cleaned and I dozed...talked Cameras!!

truly they are the best to do this for all the little ones at church (And their friends) since all these little ones are totally convinced they worship with the REAL Mr C, it would be odd to take them to the mall or somewhere to another one!! He rushes from his gig at the Marietta Square each year to make it just in time to sit down and we start snapping!!

1076 trombones in the big parade

or so it seemed....a small town parade will take whomever pays to be in it almost. And so it was a big parade with every highschool band, their bus, their equipment vehicle, and well...everyone!! I was amazed there were still people to be in the audience! but it was fun. I had this initially as one post, but decided the parade pictures were enough for one post!

MK's Brownie troop was in the parade and I got roped (love you girls...really!) into walking with them to help corral kiddos.
Did I mention it was frigid? Like spitting snowflakes frigid! Oh and let's not forget that we had to wear our PJ's....cute for the girls I guess...not so cute for me. PJ's isn't something I would prefer to be seen in by my neighbors let alone a few thousand folks from my town. JOY!
And those flannel PJ pants (had to go actually buy some)...we all know they aren't the most flattering...somehow they manage to make your rear look 5 times it's natural size...(just let me believe that okay? I want no one to burst that and tell me they show actual size)

Well someone in brownie authority land (above our leaders) told us to be there at 11:30 AM for a parade that didn't START til 2pm......so we dutiful brownies met up with our troop between 11 and 11:15 and went to gather with the other troops at the staging area to do their pre-parade brownie stuff. Only a few troops showed to join us to stand in the freezing cold for a few hours...hmmm....and so we sat until the 'smart' troops came around 1:00 to have our pre-parade brownie fun!!! but the girls were so excited they found ways to entertain themselves.....limbo being a favorite...using their scarves!! It was a fun day overall!! Even if I did have to wear unflattering PJ's for all to see!

MK told me on the way to the parade that this was a 'once in a lifetime event' to be in a parade....wonder what she'll say next year?

Mk and her best friend Taylor had matching PJ's...you can't see it in these pictures because they are bundled...but they had matching shirts that ReMaw made them too with their names embroidered on them!! You could see them as they marched as it was a LITTLE warmer and more comfortable to not have on huge coats, and just go with the 4 layers of clothing we had on.

spotting Grandmama and Papa in the crowd!

and wait...look close...there is Daddy waving!
So exciting to see those we knew along the route!

friends from church aka candy beggars :-) ha ha!! Just kidding...well sort of although the men weren't the culprits it was the Moms...who are next to them and not the in picture because I was busy throwing candy at them and fulfilling their every wish (why? because I love them and would hope they'd do the same for me if I was asking them for candy!!!!!!!)

our chauffer - trusty Kelly!! THANKS girl!! She is another brownie Mom who didn't have to wear rear widening PJ's...oh nooooo ma'am....she got to look adorable as always and stand towards the end so she could drive us back to the beginning. This is a picture of her pointing at me and laughing and saying ha ha ha look how cute I look while you look like a flannel polka dotted whale...okay really not, she's way too sweet for that (but I betcha she was at least thinking "oh I'm so glad that's not me out there...weren't you Kelly!!?? -hee hee) and here is our friend/neighbor Dave....he's so fun and crazy!! He is an officer of our local SORBA (Southern Off Road Bike Assoc) chapter and was in their group of riders...yeah I'd like to see him ride that bike off road! friends from church....Courtney and Louis!! Marching not to far behind us with the ROTC units

silly silly girls enjoying every min of their time together while we waited in our warm car for Taylor's parents to finish the parade...we were float #35 and her Mom's cheerleading squad was float #111. So we got to wrap around after completing and still see some floats and of course the Santa at the end!! Then we waited in the car belting out some Christmas carols to the radio and the girls played go-fish with a deck of go fish cards they found in my truck....ha ha....yep I drive a Mama Mobile...when you can find a spare deck of go fish cards....you know you aren't messy you are just 'prepared'

how cute are they walking down Main Street? These two think they'll die without each other and can hardly go a week without seeing one another!! They are So sweet and fun together. I tell MK all the time how very proud I am of the friends she chooses to surround herself with!

That and the SEC Championship sum up our Saturday as we didn't leave the parade til nearly 5pm (yes after arriving at 11am) We were BEAT!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

I'm a Winner!

For the first time ever I won something!

Thanks to:

Momma Findings

I won:

My snowflake ornament has already arrived and is hanging on my tree...it was a perfect item for my first win as my main tree is predominantly snowflake type things but everything on it is white, red or silver!!