Thursday, December 31, 2009

Christmas Morning. . .

I'm not sure exactly how to describe all this because I will not do it justice. There is a peace that snow brings, and when you combine snow and Christmas morning, it is just amazing. This was my first white Christmas in many years ~ since I was in first grade! I kept telling the boys, "Remember this. Look outside. We probably won't have another white Christmas for a very long time!" Erik and I slept in a little bit, and when we came downstairs, this is what welcomed us. . .



There was a fire in the fireplace, snow outside, and Cecilia all cuddled in a blanket!!!

It was wonderful, so wonderful. Here is the view from the front of their house. . .


And, here is the view from the kitchen/living room area. . .


Here is a cozy cute couple. . .
My big boys woke up before the rest of us, so they did what they always do. They wandered out of the bedroom and down the stairs. The only person awake was Kelly. When my mom got up later, this is what she found. . .



The boys got some good cuddle time with Uncle Kelly!!!

The first thing we did that morning was act out the Christmas Story. This is a family tradition. It dates all the way back to Kristin, Kelly, and I acting out the story as my Daddy read from Luke when we were little kids! Now I get to be a spectator and watch my boys act it out!!!


In case you can't tell, the cast went something like this. . . Avery was the angel. Peyton was Mary. Erik Daniel was baby Jesus. Joshua was Joseph. Lijah was a shepherd, and, JCT a wise man. . .



Next. . . playing in the snow. . .

A Magical Christmas Eve. . .

Wow! Have we been busy here at the old homestead!!! My goal is to finish off my Christmas posts today, so that I can start posting about things that are happening now instead of three weeks ago!!!!


Christmas eve morning we woke up to my silly brother ready to make breakfast for everyone!!! Here he is with Miss Avery. . .

His specialty. . . M&M pancakes. . .


My little chef-to-be. . .


My brother loves to grill on his Green Egg. If you haven't seen a Green Egg, it looks exactly like you would expect it to look ~ a large green egg!! Anyway, Kelly grilled us a yummy moist and juicy turkey on his Green Egg. . .



Cecilia made the most amazing homemade peppermint ice cream! I kinda staked my claim on it and ate the majority of it!!!! Yummo! Elijah opted for chocolate. . .



And, now for the magical part. . . The weathermen confirmed that snow was headed our way! So, we made a quick run to Target before the rain turned to sleet then snow! I bought boots for me and the boys, so that we could play, play, play and not worry about wet tennies!!!


Kelly has a Santa suit he bought when his girls were little. He uses it often for his friends. They'll call and ask him to walk around their yard, so their kids can giggle and squeal! Kelly eats it up! So, of course, he offered, and we accepted. As Erik and I were tucking the boys in, Cecilia, Peyton, and Avery ran up the stairs and into the room where the boys were going to sleep. They were giddy and excited saying that Santa! Was! Outside!!!! Cecilia threw open the window and began yelling to Santa who was walking around in the front yard. This is what the scene looked like ~ with the snow beginning to fall. . .

The boys watched as Santa left something on the doorstop, waved, smiled, and walked to where he could no longer be seen. Everyone ran down to see what Santa left for them. . .





Peyton and Avery wrote the note and picked out the happy from Santa during our trip to Target! After all the excitement we all lingered downstairs a little bit longer. . .

The boys wrote notes to Santa. Here is Joshua's. I thought it was so sweet because he mentioned his Grandma. . .



After a little cuddling, the boys headed back up to bed. . .


So much fun awaits them. . .

Christmas - Part 2

So, after a fun morning at Wonderland, and a yummy lunch of Chick-fil-a, we headed back to the van to drive up the mountain to Fayetteville!!! Everyone was very, very excited! Here are a few pictures from the rest of that day!


My sweet sister-in-love, Cecilia, and I. . .The kids immediately began to play the instant their feet hit the concrete of my brother's driveway. My big brother lives in a beautiful home on several acres of land. So, the boys had lots of room to play, not to mention a go-cart to drive. . .and a JUMPOLINE (as Lijah called it) to jump on. . . The pretty blond girls on the trampoline with my boys are my sweet nieces! Love them!
That evening we went to the Mellow Mushroom for pizza, but before we left the house Cecilia wanted to get a picture of the four boys on her front doorstep. Here they are. . .Here we are feeding our faces. . . Peyton, the oldest of my brother's girls, loves babies, so she took great care of my little boys!!! Here she is with Lijah. . .My brother is very kid-friendly! He is silly and fun and the boys love him. Here is Uncle Kelly with Avery, his baby girl, and Joshua. . . Peyton loved on all my boys, but she took a special liking to Eriky D. She carried him around and played with him the whole time we were there. He really liked her, too!!!!

And, that concludes our first day at my brother's home!!!

Christmas Part 1

The temperature outside is very cold. I've only been out a few times today, but I know it is freezing because it is 3:30 and the edges of our pond are still frozen. I love it. The boys have not asked one time today to go outside. They are now snuggled on the couch and chairs and floor watching the movie The Velveteen Rabbit. I am sipping coffee and enjoying a fairly relaxing afternoon. Joshua is home today, and I am savoring my last weekday with him for a while. Since all the boys are focused on this sweet movie, I thought I'd use this little window of time to post some of our Christmas pictures. Christmas Break has been such a sweet, sweet time. Our family has been able to slow down and recharge a little. Erik and I have gone out on several dates, and we have had a good bit of quality family time. The big boys (Joshua and JCT) have decided over the last two weeks that they are, in fact, each other's best friend. And, I have never been more thankful for my husband and my boys. Nothing like a little time-out to make you ready and excited to be a part of life again!! Now about our little Christmas vacation. . .

On December 22nd we drove to Little Rock to see Nana and Poppy!!! We had not been to Little Rock in well over a year, so the boys we slightly excited on our drive to their home!!! The plan was to drive to Little Rock on the 22nd, then caravan with Nana and Poppy up the mountain to spend Christmas with my brother's family in Fayetteville!! The best part was that the forecast called for a Christmas snow in Fayetteville!!! So, much to look forward to. . .

But, first here are a couple of pictures from our day and a half in Little Rock. . .

Joshua and Poppy. . .
The boys in Santa hats ~ so excited about Christmas coming!!!!!Me and the love of my life sharing a secret or a kiss ~ I don't remember which. . .A bedtime story read by Poppy. . .The next day my mom took the boys to a wonderful little place called Wonderland. The boys go every time they visit! They love, love, love it!!! There are so many different areas to play in that the boys could stay all day. . .




But, they couldn't stay and play all day!! We had a little drive up the mountain ahead of us!!! We were all very excited! I was excited to see my big brother who I love so much and was missing badly!!!! And, I adore my brother's wife, so getting to see both of them and their sweet girls was such a huge treat!! It had been way too long!!!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

One Christmas, Two Christmas, White Christmas, Blue Christmas

We had a wonderful Christmas both at my big brother Kelly's home and at our home several days later!! I am so anxious to post pictures of our Christmases, but unfortunately the thought of it overwhelms me! I didn't take pictures while we were away ~ rather I relied on my mother to take plenty of pictures for me. And, she excelled as per her usual and took over 400 pictures!!! And, the crazy thing is that 200 out of the 400 are amazingly great ~ blogworthy as Erik would say! But, I'd be attached to my computer all day long if I tried to upload 200 pictures, so I am going to slowly weed through them. . . Who knows when I will get it done. Oh, heavens, Erik Daniel just fell asleep in my arms as I am typing this!! How sweet! Let me go lay him down, and I'll be right back. . .

Okay, he is sleeping soundly in his crib now, and my hands are more free to type!

I think it began on one of his trips alone with his Daddy. . . Erik discovered that Joshua's favorite station on XM radio was the Elvis station. And, from that time on, Joshua has shared his Daddy's love and respect for the King ~ as all good southern boys should! My brother Kelly and his daughter Peyton, also, love Elvis. So, this Christmas we left their home with two new Elvis CDs and a hand-me-down Elvis costume that Peyton once wore to her Elvis birthday party. We hardly watched movies the 6.5 hour drive home ~ instead we listened to our new Elvis Greatest Hits CD. And, last night the boys decided to put on a show for Pop, Erik, and I! They were so cute that I had to video them! I couldn't choose between two of the videos, so I am going to post them both. They are very short but cute!!!

video

I love Lija in this one. . .

video

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Things

This post is actually quite overdue. I took several of these pictures a week or more ago. Thomas found his way back beneath our tree for another year of driving in circles over and over again, bless his heart! Note that Curious George is taking a nap under the tree!!! Things like that make me love my life! I had no idea he was under there when I took the picture! Just like the rest of my house, there are stray toys here and there! Take for instance, the time I found a toy polar bear in my freezer!! Oh, life is never boring and always smile-inspiring around here!!!





And, here are our new stockings. I finally bought the boys "real" stockings this year. In years past I just used a hodge podge of stockings given to us over the years. Now they have their own stockings with their names on them, and I am getting Erik and I stockings to match theirs!!!






Last Thursday was a blur!! I went from Joshua's school Christmas party (Where I have to laugh because Jesus' dad was there, and he is the man that takes carry-out orders at our local Mexican restraunt. So, as I was leaving, I wished Jesus' dad a Merry Christmas, but quickly added, "I'm sure I'll see you before Christmas! I have to have my cheese dip!!" To which he said without hesitation in his Spanish accent, "And, your quesadillas, yes?" I laughed all the way to the car because he knew my order!! Now that is funny!) to the house to change and bathe and feed dinner and then I ran out the door again to take JCT to his preschool Christmas program. Then, I ran home put the boys to bed, said a few words to Miss Megan, our faithful sitter, and then headed back out to our church's Deacon/Staff Christmas Party! And, I was beginning to feel a little sick, so I was a bit worn out by the time I got home!

Here are a couple pics from the special evening! I hate Erik had to miss seeing JCT sing!

JCT is on the far left in green, middle row! And, Afton is 6 kids over! The pretty lady standing next to him is his teacher Mrs. Nina. We love, love, lover her!

Okay, now this next picture took my breath. Not because it is a fabulous picture or because JCT or I look great or anything. Rather, it is because I look old. I'm not just a little girl pretending to be a wife and mom ~ playing house. No, I am really 34 years old. I am really aging. I have wrinkles!!!! I don't look like a college girl anymore! I look like a thirty something year old woman!! I feel like a kid, but I look like a mom! And, the thought just blows my mind. . . Check out my crows feet. . .








You can't see it very well with the picture this size, but trust me they are there ~ lots of them ~ smile lines, huh? But, my reaction when I saw them was not one of disgust.

I actually smiled.

Growing old is part of life, and I am not immune to it. I am aging, yes, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing! All the years ~ the courtship, engagement, wedding, pregnancies, the children, the lessons, the long nights, the worries, the busyness, all that is my life ~ that is what I see when I look in the mirror and see those silly lines! They say I've been there, I've lived life, I've experienced life to the fullest, and that is a huge, huge blessing!

I have the same feeling when I catch a glimpse of one of the grey hairs in Erik's head or his beard, and I think to myself, "Wow! We are really doing it! We are really growing old together!" I guess the best way to sum it up and move on is to say that when I see those little signs of aging it makes me feel blessed to have lived, loved, been loved, and walked through life hand in hand with my sweet Savior every step of the way. Could anyone ask for anything more?

I digress, now here is a pic of me and my big boys. . .






And, my sweet girl, Afton, (well, technically she isn't mine, but I love her like she is!) wanted to be in a picture with us. . .






After the program, Santa came and talked to each child. I'll end with a sweet picture of JCT and Santa. . .




Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Pop's Little Buddy. . .

I'm not sure if it is that they share the same warm brown eyes or the same warm loving personality or what it is, but there is something special about these two. Erik Daniel hasn't seen Pop since Thanksgiving, but as soon as Pop was in Erik Daniel's view, but still a good 20 feet away, he began reaching for him. He loves Pop and prefers him to me or Erik when he is around!! Erik Daniel just wraps his sweet little arms around Pop's neck and hugs tight! You couldn't pry him off no matter how hard you tried!!!!



I took about 8 pictures like this, but these 3 were my favorites!

Little does Erik Daniel know it, but he gets to see his Pop again in less than a week!!! Yay!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Little Christmas Happies. . .

Making salt dough ornaments at Christmas time is becoming a tradition around here!!!! I moved the benches and chairs away from the table in the kitchen so that the boys could stand and work. I thought this would be easier for them. They loved getting to roll the dough! Here they are. . .

Rain, Erik Daniel, and Elijah just kind of walked around watching us. Elijah helped cut out some shapes with cookie cutters, though!!!

Then, the next day after school I sent the boys up to find white t-shirts and Santa hats. While they were gone, I set up the table for painting. When they came back downstairs, I told them that they were in Santa's workshop and that they were elves!!!! They had toys to paint!!!! They ate it up!

Here is the table. . .



I think it is easiest when doing crafts like this to have one paint brush for each color and let the children take turns. Using one brush and having to rinse it out every time they want to change colors is time consuming, and the colors end up getting mixed up and watered down. The painting went really smoothly. No major messes or catastrophes this afternoon!! Woo Hoo!! :-)

Here are the cute little elves. . .

Precious. . .


Lijah even painted in his own little controlled environment!


In fact, here is one of his ornaments! I love it, and it will hang on our tree until his wife steals it from me or I give it to her or whatever. . .


After the boys went to bed that night, I put on the finishing touches, and I think they turned out just fine!!!


The ones that they gave away to their friends, I wrapped up and the finished product looked like this. . .


Here is a quick picture of the happy I made for Joshua's class this year. It is a bag of hot chocolate, some marshamallows, and a candy cane. . .

My photo
Hi! I live in a sweet country home overflowing with love, laughter, and little ones. I have been blessed to journey these days beside a man that I love, respect, and admire. He is my soul-mate and best friend. Together we are seeking to raise our seven children to be lovers of God, to be wise and discerning, and to be all that our sweet God created them to be. I am in the goldfish and cheerio stage of life, but I am keenly aware that these days are slipping right through my hands. This blog is my attempt to keep our memories safe for years to come.

 

Designed By:

Munchkin Land Designs
 
Designed by Munchkin Land Designs • Copyright 2012 • All Rights Reserved