Wednesday, December 30, 2009

It's over - and I am OK with that

So Christmas is over - are you ok with it? I am. Don't get me wrong - I love it when it is here, but I am itching to get everything back in order. But before I do, here is our Christmas in review...

Toby was Fantastic in his Christmas pageant at school and at church. He can't remember all the words to the songs but he can hold onto the last word in each song and belt it for everyone to hear.
I didn't get any pictures of Trey at his class party - but it was fun as well. I have to say - I love school holidays. We started out the break by staying in our PJs and lounging around. The Monday before Christmas we had friends over for dinner and Gingerbread houses. We do this every year and let me fill you all in on a little secret I have learned from doing this a few years in a row. Costco puts their Gingerbread houses on sale (usually the Monday before Christmas) and they go from being 10 something to 4 something. Sometimes it pays to purposefully procrastinate. The next night our neighborhood gathered for caroling and a bonfire. It was great and I even got Lars to join us. The drink cart and hot chocolate was a hit with the kids and they loved being with friends and being allowed to run through the street at night while singing Christmas songs. I hope to add pictures soon - they are on my father in law's camera.

Christmas Eve was nice. We had a big dinner and the kids opened their pjs and then a few pictures before we read the story of Jesus' birth in Luke. Here are a few of the kids:We told Trey to stop harassing JK or we would take away one of his gifts...

A couple things I want to remember. When we were talking about leaving a plate of goodies for Santa and his reindeer Toby asked us if we could leave a plate for the Indian. Hmmm, not so sure about that, but the next day when we saw that Santa ate his goodies Toby was broken hearted because we forgot to leave something out for the Indian. We still are confused but can't help but to laugh at that one. Also, I kept asking Trey if he thought Santa was going to come if he was naughty and he would tell me he didn't care because he would just open Grandma's gifts that were already under the tree. Nice.

Well, Santa did come and we all had a wonderful holiday.Oh the joy and fun of seeing a child's first Christmas.

By the way, Santa brought me (among other things) a chocolate bar with bacon in it - eat your hearts out! He knows me well.

Christmas day we went to Calaway Gardens for their light show - it was wonderful. Having dinner at their lodge was a bonus too! Thanks Jan - we loved having you here with us.

Trey announced that the day after Christmas was a holiday. He called it Gingerbread Smash Day. He was soooooo excited to destroy the gingerbread house (should I be worried). Here are some highlights.So now on to New Years! Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas. And from our house to yours - happy cleaning and taking down, and organizing...

Thursday, December 10, 2009

It has to be said

She is the best baby in the world. A week ago I found out she had a double ear infection. I found this out at her well visit. She never even acted like she was in pain. Now this sweet little girl has RSV. On top of that her body has broken out with a terrible rash. The doctor says it is from the RSV. But she keeps on truckin' and laughin the whole time - the same way she did when she had Swine Flu, seriously this girl is a CHAMP!

Speaking of CHAMPS - have you checked in on my cousins little girl lately? She is the ULTIMATE! Check in on her at

It's that time of year

Toby is a little nervous about Santa coming. The other night he wanted to go over a couple things with us. He wanted to make sure that when Santa comes he will not come into his room while he sleeps. (He also wanted to make sure that Jesus won't be coming into his room when He comes again, but that is a whole other discussion....) So we made our annual trip to the BassPro Shop to see Santa - it really is the only place for a true Southerner to say "Hey" to Santa - Toby decided Santa was all right after all.
We did this for Family Home Evening and met up with some other friends from church. Dinner with 22 of us was quite a treat - especially for our waitress

In other thoughts, the house is decorated and I am checking holiday traditions off my list one by one. We have decided to stay here for Christmas this year, it will be the FIRST Christmas Lars and I have ever celebrated in our own home. We hope to have his dad here to celebrate with us. The only problem is now I have to talk Lars into doing our neighborhood caroling and bon fire - he has already told me no way - rude. Jan are you in? We can leave scrooge home by himself to be visited by his ghosts of caroling pasts - I know he has them!

Goodbye Fall

Christmas time is here and so that means goodbye to fall. Around here though, it seems as though we are just hitting the peak of leaves turning and falling. We had some fun saying so long to fall and now we are ready to celebrate Christmas! Thanks to the Longneckers for a wonderful Thanksgiving! Did anyone get pictures? That must mean we were too busy eating and laughing. And maybe we were a little too busy shopping....

Thursday, November 19, 2009


Trey's school does a fantastic Thanksgiving feast for the kindergartners. The children spend the day learning and participating in activities that teach them all about the pilgrims and Native Americans. Our class was in charge of "Indian Music". The kids made rain sticks at our station and then four of us parents led the kids in songs and chants around the fire. We danced, chanted and sang for two hours straight! I loved every minute of it! By the end I had lost my voice and it was so worth it! The kids went to a trading post station, a basket weaving class, jewelry making class, popcorn and story time and a game stop as well as ours.

A funny story - I thought for sure I was suppose to dress Trey up like a pilgrim. So yesterday I got everything to make him a pilgrim costume.... thankfully the principal sent out a phone message telling students what to wear (just their filed trip shirts and jeans). If it weren't for that message Trey would have been going into school today with black pants tucked into white knee socks with a big white collar and a black hat on - I can't help but to laugh when I think of how close I came to seriously scarring the poor kid. So then today as I got ready in my "Indian" costume Lars said how funny it would be if I was the only parent who dressed up. I told him no way - I was sure they had asked parents to dress up. Well as I walked through the park and saw parent after parent NOT dressed up all I could do was giggle. Finally I got to my station and another girl had dressed up and the room mom had brought head dresses for everyone - whew now only my singing and dancing around a fake fire doing politically incorrect chants would embarrass me.

The kids LOVED this field trip. In the spirit of Thanksgiving let it be said I am thankful for the schools my children attend and the teachers who teach them and love them each day!

One Year Old

Julia Karen - you are one year old. You are beautiful. I am so happy and sad to watch you grow. You are wild and love to climb. You have three teeth and love to play with your brothers. You adore your daddy and rarely leave my side. You can say Ma ma ma, wave hi, blow kisses, clap and when I say peek a boo, you cover your ears. You are adored by so many. I told your daddy the other day that sometimes I just stare at you and can't believe that I am so blessed to be your mommy. I love you, I love you, I love you.

Toby wanted to give you a new baby for your birthday (your brothers are sad to see you grow but they love every new thing you do). We settled on a doll and you give her hugs and kisses and then throw her aside to try to climb on anything close by.

Homemade strawberry cupcakes were a must. Our friend Mrs Cindy made you a cake too. I love you JK more than you will ever know. I can't wait to watch you grow - I just hope time goes slow.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Won't you be my neighbor

If you were my neighbor you could see this each day. It's even better at night. That's when we spotlight it for all to see.
But if you were my neighbor you couldn't borrow my master bath because this guy will be living in it until Christmas.
I thought for sure I had married a lawyer....

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Halloween 2009

We had a great Halloween around here. Trey was a SWAT member, Toby was Optimus Prime and JK was the prettiest little frog ever.

Treats were devoured, doors were knocked on and pumpkins were picked. We partied at our church on Friday night and with neighbors on Saturday.
Can't wait for next year!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Life on the Farm

October is one of my favorite months around here. I am not exagerating when I say there is a Fall Festival going on weekly and towards the end of the month daily. Churches in the south are big business and that means great holiday gatherings that communities turn out for.

This year we have not had a free Saturday to make a trip to our favorite pumpkin patch, so instead we headed out last week to a farm festival that was held during the week.

Animals were there for the petting

And apparently Toby was there for the wiping

mmmm cow snot. But a little snot was not going to slow my boys down

They LOVED the horse rides.

Later a horse dance team (?) performed. And I have to say they were quite impressive. I even had the thought "I wonder if JK will want to do something like this when she gets older....
I think she might. I'll let you know. Of course you have to have a horse which brings us back to the animal snot you saw earlier. Good old fashioned ballet studio dancing is going to have to do.

So on to a week of Halloween fun. Our church is having their Fall Festival on Friday - all are welcome - I will be in charge of the photo area and a story room for the kids. My sister asked if it was going to be a scary story room. Not really, but now I can't get the thought out of my mind of the poor kids running from the "sweet" story room because Sister Longnecker scared them half to death. Why is it so fun to scare people - why?

OK I promise to you all coming to the party this friday - the story will be about a sweet pumpkin. No escapee prisoners on the lose, no men in the back of the cars and definetly no phone calls to babysitters will be mentioned in my story room. Although all of those are classics are they not.

Happy Halloween to you.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Grandma came to visit!

My mom came to visit last week. She makes everything better and more full of life. We started our weeks adventure with a trip to NYC. One of my best friends from high school was married there and we thought it was a great excuse to go to the Big City together. We had a blast - can you tell?

My mom's brother and his wife are serving as mission presidents for our church in the New York New York North mission - we loved visiting with them and seeing their world for the next few years. The missionaries in New York are lucky to have them, and we were lucky to stay with them. Here are a few pictures...They live in Scarsdale and it is FANTASTIC. A real escape from the city. Notice the license plates? You can take the man out of the farm, but you can't take the farm out of the man.... It really was a treat to be with them and hear about their adventures.

Stay tuned for more pictures of the wedding - it was beautiful.

After our adventure in NY - and it was an adventure filled with planes, trains, subways, taxis, getting lost, street vendors, and a transformation in the H&M mens bathroom, we came back to Alabama for my mom to spend a week with these guys.Oh how they love her! Trey told me just the other day that if he could sleep with anyone it would be grandma. Every night the kids would run into her room instead of ours. She took them to school, ate lunch at Trey's school with him and made sure to spoil them rotten any chance she got.

She also spoils me with energy. Seriously she is like the energizer bunny and I swear I do more in a week with her here than I do in a month without her. Here are a few of our projects:

Our kitchen began to look complete with her help. She whipped together the decor on top of our china hutch and helped me pick out the rug.
Flower bows anyone? She and I made these one night.

And now JK has her very own chair. My mom gives each grandchild a chair for them to enjoy as they grow.

All of these projects and treats taken to friends, boards painted for an upcoming trunk show as well as a fun day of shopping complete with a new scarf, plaid shirt and a halloween outfit for JK.... whew I need her around all the time!

Another thing that my mom did that I want to always remember; she planned a special night to honor Julia, Lars' mother. She made her favorite dinner of hamburger gravy and we decorated the table with Julia's favorites. Then we toasted (with Julia's favorite drink) to all of our wonderful memories of her. My mom told the kids how much she loved their other grandmother and how special she was and how much Julia loved each of them. Then we all went for a walk - the boys were told to look for things on the ground and wouldn't you know that my mom had 'planted' money along our route for them to find, another one of Julia's favorite past times. We talked all about how Julia would walk and walk collecting money as she went - the boys LOVED it.

We will keep this tradition alive.

We love you Grandma - we miss you more than you know. Thank you for spending this last week with us. We can't wait to see you again - LOVE YOU!

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