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Friday, December 30, 2016

Shorts and Tank Tops

Serving dessert to kiddos at a Children's Home on Christmas Day.....showing Jesus' love!

Goober did a great job scooping pudding!
This will be our third trip this year where we have had to hit up WalMart and purchase clothing to wear. The weather just hasn't cooperated and where ever we go we bring an unseasonal cold or warm front with us. However, it has made playdates and bike riding a whole lot of fun!
Sleigh Ride at Santas Village

Snowing ..check out Little Man's excitement!

A solo violin for Nana!
Since being at my parents home in South Alabama we have seen aunts, uncles, cousins, 2nd cousins, college friends and their babies, and still haven't seen them all. Tuesday my Aunt Robin and Uncle Carl came over and we showed them all of our new loot, impressed them with our bike riding skills, tattoo parlor, virtual reality toys and new van :). The kids were very excited to give them the things we had been collecting for them on our travels and from our hometown as they visited us back in November and earlier this year as well.
I may have become a little obsessed with Debbie's green tomato salsa while in Huntsville..I ate it on everything!

Date Night with my handsome hubby!

Later on that night my cousins and their 14 month old came over. We still call him Baby even though he is walking and dancing and talking. The kids love playing with him and we also had a Pie in the Face Showdown competition. It was a great time--I always love hanging out with my cousins as we can just sit and talk and still leave with stomach hurting from laughing.
Pie in the Face with cousins!




Wednesday we met up with some of my college girlfriends and their kiddos. We had lunch together and then headed over to an inflatable play area. Ribbit and Savannah were instant friends and noticed right away that they were missing all the same teeth. They played the entire time together!! Noah and my two boys also hit it off and I was thoroughly impressed with Noah as I watched him run circles around Little Man...no other kid has ever worn our Little Man..like ever!!!!

Nannie watching a snorkeling expedition!

Haybales with the cousins!

We spent all day today with my parents, finally opening Christmas presents and eating a big breakfast together...after I got in a quick run with my bestie from high school and college! Then we drove over to Eastern Shore and spent the day touring the USS Alabama Battleship, USS Drum Submarine, the Aircraft Pavilion and the tanks. We were tired and hungry!!! Hibachi was on the meny for dinner and the kids enjoyed watching their food being cooked in front of them...everyone left full and ready to snuggle at home. We are now watching How the Grinch Stole Christmas, after playing three rounds of Story Cubes!!!
Christmas morning with Lolly and Captain



MY KIDS ARE SUCH OILY KIDS!!! They each got their own diffuser from my parents and HAVE NOT STOPPED TALKING ABOUT THEM. They each got super excited to set them up here at my parents house, pick out their oils to run  while they are sleeping!!! They all also got new blankets and even though it sounds like I am cussing I always say "they are the blankiest" kids ever!! They could live in blankets...which is perfect since my parents got them all blankets they can wear....a mermaid blanket for Ribbit, a shark that looks like its eating you for Little Man, and a Jedi Robe that looks like a huge snuggie for Goober.....they are all actually wearing them right now.
Look at my cute nephew with his Christmas clothes on!

Big family picture before church


Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Traveling South

We left Huntsville yesterday and began the drive South....first we stopped and ate lunch with one of Adam's closest friends and his family from high school. We love to meet up with this family any time we are in town as they have 3 kids who are close in age to ours. We normally go out on a double date but this time we brought all the kiddos and it was amazing to see how much they have grown. They were all good friends by the end of lunch and Little Man was dripping wet from fishing pennies out of the fountain for his new friend Hannah :).

Ribbit in her favorite climbing tree in Lolly and Captains neighborhood.

And incase I haven't mentioned it yet, which I am not sure how, MY NEPHEW IS HERE! He was born on December 21st at 8:30 at night..8lbs 7 oz. Baby, Mom and Dad are doing great! I can't wait to go see them as a new family of 3....the lip on this little buy is the cutest!
Hard to believe that my little brother is a DAD!

Look at that perfect little gift from God!

Then we headed to Birmingham to visit Uncle Jason and Aunt Erika's new apartment. Its really big and they have a great scenic view. The kids of course loved seeing all of their pets and watching Ratatouille with Aunt Erika. We got to my parents house about 7:30 and stayed up talking and catching up until we heard the motorcyle...thats the cue that Papa is home so they "scared" him and then we all settled down for bed.
We all chose a hat to wear from Lolly's collection to go see Santa in..the boys may have scared him!

Gingy!
We asked the kids what their favorite part of the Huntsville Christmas was and there are their answers:

Goober-Riding bikes at the church
Ribbit-Looking at the christmas lights on the houses
Little Man-same as big brother of course!!!, and watching Moana
Adam-seeing relatives
Kinzie-Watching Goober give Nana a solo violin concert!

Everyone in our family got new rides this year....We must have been good!
We are waiting for Aunt Robin and Uncle Carl to arrive this morning and have plans to meet up and play with college friends and their kids tomorrow!

We are all sweating to death in our long sleeve clothes as the temperatures have been in 60s all week long!!!

Monday, December 26, 2016

Merry Christmas

Our time is Alabama has flown by so far.

-We attended Adam's 15th High school reunion. I knew 1/2 of the people who came though as he is pretty good about meeting up with his buds when we come to town and I have been able to get to know 2 of the other wives pretty well. It was funny to look through yearbooks and hear them talk about their time in high school. I was impressed at how quickly Adam resumed his role as class clown and friend to all....making his way to talk to each person and asking about their lives. We stayed in a hotel downtown that night and I was excited to have access to a treadmill since the next morning called for rain....but WHAT AN AWFUL RUN....I couldn't find a dang thing on the TV besides the news and after 8 miles my knees and brain said QUIT. I can now proudly tell you everything that Trump thinks about Putin and Israel...how to correctly return holiday gifts and how Al Roker likes his coffee...meh.

18 miles with these ladies...marathon training is hard but Carrie and I have super supportive friends!

At the DFW national cemetery....saluting the flag.

Laying wreaths on the soldiers tombs.

Meanwhile, Goober won his basketball game and even made an awesome lay up as he was being fouled!

-We spent Christmas Eve at Nannie and Papas house and as usual it was a lot of fun. The weather was on strike this year and it was very warm....which was great for the kids. They played in the haybales, picked up pecans (aka ammo), played pieface on the porch and thoroughly enjoyed being cousins. We all laughed as usual, ate good food and caught up. Ribbit was sooo excited to play Dirty Santa as she remembered getting her coveted blanket in that game last year. Sadly, her cousin stole her blanket this year :) but she quickly recovered when she realized she got a barbie doll whose hair you can dye!!
Baby boy was awestruck over the Sea Monkeys he got and can't wait to make them come alive and feed them!! Goober immediately opened his magic trick set and started showing off his card skills. We were also introduced to the game LipLess and had a great time laughing at one another.

-We came home and the grown ups watched Elf (well those of us who could stay awake :) and waited for Santa to come!
We bought a new minivan last Saturday as we didn't feel safe driving our old one to Alabama anymore.

Caroling with our Sunday school class....on the one COLD day in Texas :)

It was Collins birthday so we stopped and sang carols and the birthday song to her!

Love our church family!

-He came and brought the kids new bikes...JUST LIKE they had asked for. After a few spills and getting used to the new kickstands I think we declared the new presents a success. We had fun watching each other open gifts and hear how excited the kids got. Then we headed to the stockings which had the BEST GIFT OF THE DAY....FLARP!! The boys got this goo that when you press it, makes FART SOUNDS. Add on the fact that they were dressed like Superman and Mario and it was hysterical. Of course, the dollar store toy gets the most attention.
Advent....this picture was taken .5 seconds before Little Man's hair caught on fire...he is now sporting a much shorter hair do :).
We made Santa paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies..that are the bomb!!....a tootsie pop, peppermint Christmas tree and a card!

-We made it to the 10:30 church service which was a sweet time of carols, hymns, scripture and prayer. The kids did well.....I of course started sneezing my brains out and had watery eyes the whole time. I quickly came home and made a pill with lemon, lavender, peppermint and oregano oil and within 20-30 minutes was dried up..thank the Lord.

-After church we headed to a shelter where local homeless families and children can stay. They had 23 kids there on Christmas Day and some of their parents. My kiddos made them dirt cups  with chocolate pudding, graham crackers and gummy worms. They gladly assembled them and handed them out and then started playing with them. It was hard to tell if the kids there appreciated it or if my kids understood the important of helping others or showing God's love in little ways but you never know what seed was planted.
Santa is always so kind to swing by our home in Texas a few days early. Ribbit got her LARGE horse, the boys got their Easy roller and Star Wars gear!

They all love dressing up so they also got funny costumes...this was the scene in our kitchen about 10 minutes after opening gifts....hehe, morph suit, large mustache and easy roller...everything a 12 year old boy needs!

Watch out for our fighter pilot!

We spent most of the afternoon at Nanas and again had a great time. Ribbit took her glitter tattoo set and gave tattoos to everyone. Nana had set out a table full of gifts for the kids and they could choose what they wanted....my kids went to town...but as sweet as they are they grabbed presents and then asked for wrapping paper and started wrapping them for others. Ribbit gave Adam and I a huge box full of things she thought we may like. We ate great food, caught up on life and just like Christmas Eve the two littles fell asleep in the car after a looonnng fun day. We came home and sat around the table playing with another gift they all got...Story Cubes..it was neat listening to them come up with their own creative part of the story.
Before we left for Alabama, Goober went to an awesome birthday party at ifly!

Sweet 6th graders and a our friends the Williamsons from church.


Goober did a great job flying and got to spin and go higher in the tunnel.

Next up, a scavenger hunt through Southlake Town Square...he has a great group of friends!

Merry Christmas...He has come!

Friday, December 23, 2016

Alabama

We are here..arrived around 6 am on Thursday morning....after a loooonnnnggg Wednesday...needless to say we were exhausted after driving through the night. The kids did great on the drive and slept most of the way..except Little Man waking up and blurting out sentences like "in case of emergency I have my spear to throw at them" and "I am letting my brain rest".

My 8th grade LHS group went to serve at the Operation Christmas Child processing center.

This was on a Christmas gift from one of my sweet 9th graders who I have taught for 3 years....I admit I teared up. Her mom always text me if she thinks Avy may need some special encouragement throughout the day!

We also kept getting text updates from my family as my nephew was born at 8:30 on Wednesday night after my sister in law, Micah, went in to be induced on Tuesday night. So far we have seen him through pictures and facetime and we are all in love...he is just perfect and the parents seem to be smitten, as they should be!

From left to right we have Tacky Sweater Day ...So Goober made a J on his shirt for Jesus and used tape to attach some ornaments. Ribbit wanted her hair straightened for PJ day...she looks way too old! and Little Man is always game for a picture!
I finally got all of my Ceramics students pieces in the upstairs Gallery...its only 10 of each students best work...I have some really talented kiddos!

Our Marathon shirts came in! They are perfect....can't wait until Jan 8th!

The day we left, Wednesday I got in a nice quick 8 mile run with Carrie...we are a little nervous about continuing our marathon training while we are apart for 10 days so we are trying to stick to similar workouts. Goober and I also went to a birthday party at ifly, the indoor skydiving place and then on a scavenger hunt around Southlake town square with other 6th graders.....no wonder my feet ached all the way to Alabama.

Little Man won the Daniel award for the month of December...we are so proud of his hard work!

Little did we know what Ribbit was also being awarded the Daniel of the month for her grade as well....We were stoked!

Yesterday we went to the movies....the girls and Little Man went to see Moana and the boys went to see Rogue 1. Moana was fine, but Disney has lost a little bit of my trust as they let in a "son of a " phrase in the movie which is totally inappropriate for a kids movie. The boys seemed to like Rogue 1 but we are all sworn to secrecy since we all want to see both movies.

Ribbit was the "technical slide person" for the first grade play since she didn't want a speaking part.Her teacher let her choose her costume and she very carefully chose a DONKEY...haha, she hee hawed as she turned slides and did a great job!

The cutest class play.

Trying to ring their reindeer noses...even Miss O got in on the fun!

Building their snowman snack!

We also went to Santas Village last night which was great since last year we got rained out. The kids played in the snow, wrote letters to Santa, made a reindeer ornament, decorated cookies, went through an ice maze, took pictures with a Gingerbread Man, a teddy bear and in a sleigh. We also got hot chocolate which we had to have by the end of the night as temperatures kept dropping.
Jack. Goobers friend since Pre1st got to come to the christmas party after being out of school for almost a month due to an unexplained virus.
Playing Minute to Win it games at the 6th grade Christmas party!


We saw an old college friend of mine too. He and I were in the same college ministry and he dated my roommate for a time. It was neat to see his sweet family of 3 and introduce him to my family. Tonight we are heading to Adam's 15th high school reunion and staying in a hotel in downtown Huntsville...should be fun!!!

Making Jingle Bell sticks at the PK4 Christmas Party!


Merry Christmas, He is coming!!