Monday, November 30, 2009

Have You Elfed Yourself Yet?

This has been another one of our traditions the past few years. I get to make the elves and then the family gets to laugh at just how silly it is. The kids get such a kick out of it. I tried to paste this on here directly but the people at Office M*x have gotten pretty smart. In order to load in on a blog or youtube you have to purchase the download. So...just click here : MY 5 ELVES :)
*a little hint, if you run your mouse over the bottom right hand part of the screen after you press play you can enlarge to full screen :)

Sunday, November 29, 2009

It's Tradition!

After pouring for hours over these ads my mom, sister and I comprised a plan. A very ingenious plan of attack. Which store first, for what items, and who stood in line for the entering or exiting. We were brilliant...well, not really but it sounds good, right?
I know what your thinking...why in the world would three otherwise bright women do this to themselves? Well, the answer is easy. It is tradition. Mom and I have been out early on Black Friday since my big kids were little. Back then the deals were really good and the crowds weren't quite what they are today and most stores only opened at 7am. This year we started on Thanksgiving while the men were watching the Cowboys we cut out to go to OldN*vy. My sister cleaned up. Y'all for the record I did ask about the college kid working. He said he had to stay in town anyway so he volunteered to work and it made him feel good to see people so happy. Well, I believe I may have ministered to that dear boy right there in the check out line. See...there was spiritual purposes for my visit ;) Oh, you know I am exaggerating.

So, as I was saying...we left our warm little houses at the stroke of 3:15...AM!! To go and get in the midst of it...and boy did we. At the store only one entrance was opened and it was roped off. The crowd was 6-7 people wide and went on down and around the entire strip mall. It was busy. Mom had made her way up to some friends and scootched (can you belive spell check says there is no such word as scootched???) in with them, when she flew by my sister jumped in as well. Y'all - I just can't do it. I stood out there about another 10 minutes before I finally made it in. I had a keen sense of accomplishment waiting for my turn and not making the people behind me wish I had slept in. We were at Koh}s first and we made out like bandits, except for the fact that we actually paid. My sister grabbed the hot ticket items we were wanting and stepped in the check out line and held our spot until we made it up there with the rest of the goods. It worked perfectly. We walked right up to the check out and were just in time to head over to Tarjay. Again, we did fabulous! Our checkout wasn't as timely but it did keep us from heading over to Wally world anytime too soon. But we did hit W*lgreens for some good decor and candles and B*th & Body Works. From then we went and unloaded our finds. People please understand, we were in my sister's SUV and there was no room to spare. Seriously, boxes were turning her hazard lights on, bags were held in place by arms, heads and other appendages. It was a sight. If I could have managed, which I couldn't I'd have taken a photo for proof.

Anyhow, we dropped off things, picked up my baby nephew, my youngest and eldest daughters and headed of to the big town to shop! We stayed out until 7:30 and were plum wore out. We all hit the hay and had sweet dreams of deals and smiling little faces. And as morning broke we all stayed in bed extra long and enjoyed the day at home...NOT!! We hit it again! And, guess what? Yep, we are going again today! I love the sense of accomplishment as we cross each person off the list. Then I will have the time to bake, listen to Christmas music, watch Christmas movies, make crafts, host parties, wrap, decorate, spend time family and all the other traditions that we enjoy.

And for those of you worried I have completely fallen off my rocker. I have not lost sight of the true meaning of Christmas. I have just managed to get what I would get anyway at a really good deal and enjoyed some really good female bonding with my momma, my sister, my grandma and my two girls.

For the record, my hubby, Hunter and Hope are not all alone sitting at the house waiting on us to return with empty bellies and other needs from me. They are all at the dear lease...which is also tradition!! See, Big Daddy and his crew are happy and having a ball camping, fishing, and hunting - Momma and her crew are happy and having a ball gabbing, shopping and eating food we didn't even cook! It is our family tradition :) Gosh I love this time of year!!

And just for baby girl - a shopping momma's dream :)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Outside gathering...


our centerpieces
complete with pumpkin patch pumpkins.
Grumpy and Hunter carving the turkey
Ninnie and her man The tired chef
Precious Baby J
Grumpy enjoying his job way too much
The three amigos
Both of my grandmothers, how many kids do you know with two great grandmas?
Two of our girls
Well, it is that time of year seems to get here faster as each year passes. It is what most of us describe as the beginning of the holiday season.

Thanksgiving...what do you think of when you think of it? I think of all the blessings that have been bestowed upon us, all the struggles we have been through, all the things that we take for granted day in and out...and of course the food. When I asked Hope what she was thankful for the first thing out of her mouth was family. Family. There is so much meaning in that one word...and at this point in her life she really has no idea the magnitude of the word.
A little off topic here...but I will get to the point, promise :) We took Faith and Hunter to see Blind Side (the movie) this week while they were out of school. It is a fantastic movie about a true story. A story about family. I won't go into all the details but if you haven't seen should. It was one of those really soul rocking movies. There is one line in the movie that totally got if you don't want to know off now or move to the next paragraph. Sandra Bullock's character is talking to one of her well to do friends over lunch. Her friend says, "You are changing that boy's life." And with a smile she replies, "No, he's changing mine." I love it!! I not only love it...I am blessed to live it :) Truly there is not a day that goes by that I am not thankful for the two beautiful girls that we are fortunate enough to call our daughters. It is one of those things that you can describe as a blessing all day but until you have lived it...I am just not sure you will ever completely understand. But, I hope for each of you that it will be an experience you can realize - through your own family or friends. I am thankful for family. And I don't want to forget our two older kiddos...the ones that the Lord gave us in the beginning of our marriage. The exact two he knew we needed to shape and the ones that would shape us as well...even though sometimes I am not sure which shape I end up exactly ;) I am not only thankful for our immediate family but that of extended family as well. We are blessed.
We hosted our family here for dinner. My mom cooked most of the food, well all but a couple of things. Oh, I almost forgot...I am thankful that mom knows how to cook :)

Monday, November 23, 2009

A Season Come and Gone...

Faith had an awesome season this fall. She was on a team that truly challenged her and grew her as a player. She formed new friendships and at the end of the season you could tell they were all starting to gel as a team. She loves soccer and her moving to Sparta FC upped her game and her passion. We had a blast watching her and cheering her on. All of us, even Hunter went to a lot of her games. We had the ankle injury that caused her to completely miss 4 games. She is still healing. The break really couldn't have come soon enough for her to just go to once a week practices. Faith plays up an age bracket and therefore most of her teammates will be on JV or Varsity teams during our time off. She already looking forward to going and watching them. And she is excited about the upcoming Spring season...which doesn't start up again until late March. So, until are some of the pics from the season. I am terrible about action shots. When Faith has the ball I am so caught up in watching her that I forget to snap the photos. She really is more active than these...ha! Oh, I also get a tad distracted by two of her die hard fans....they love watching their big sister!

See ya back late March!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Happy 15th Birthday Hunter!!

Fifteen years ago today I woke up at about 6:30am. Because my water had broken. I also took my first ambulance ride. I was transported from one hospital to another. A hospital equipped to take care of a 31 week preemie. Because my darling little boy had begun making himself known and was not going to hang out and wait the way the doctors had hoped he would. Officially you were born at 11:19am by emergency c-section. Your heart rate dropped and they couldn't get it to stabilize so off we went. You were born weighing 3lb 8oz. You had a hard time. You endured some major surgeries, in fact at one point the surgeon told your dad and I not to expect you to pull through the surgery. But, thank did :) You spent your first 9 weeks in the NICU and about a good year of hard work to recover completely. But ever since then you have been growing strong and to look at you today one would never even know the difficult start you had.

You have been such an amazing gift to us. You are probably one of the most loving boys I know. You aren't too cool to tell your mom and dad you love us in front of your friends, or over the phone or in general public. You always have big hugs for us and the company we are in doesn't stop you. You are very affectionate and we like it. You still like to be tucked into bed and like to talk for a while with your daddy before you drift off to sleep. You are a great kid. You are kind. I get to witness you holding doors open for the elderly, rushing to the aid of a woman who had fallen and seriously could not get up without your help, mentoring younger boys in the neighborhood through skateboarding and just randomly mowing our lawn or a neighbor's lawn. You love your family...all of your family. And you enjoy telling them.
Your passion lies in the outdoors. You live to camp out, hunt, and fish. You know more about rifles, shotguns, pistols and 4 wheelers than any kid I know. You have always been your dad's shadow. You have been hunting with him since before you turned 3 and have developed such a love for it. It is your time with your dad and you eat it up. You still like skateboarding and golf too. The skateboarding ties you to your friends and the golf links you to Grumpy :)

I can not believe it has been 15 years. You have been a true joy in our lives. Sure, you are a typical teenager and there is some sibling rivalry that exists - nobody is perfect. But, I can tell you are the most wonderful son a mother could ask for. You were perfectly placed in this crazy family of ours and I can not imagine a day of life without you. You have made us so proud to be your parents. There is not a boy in this world loved more.

I guess it is only fair to tell you since it all started with you and your first trip to the deer lease....

I love you more than all the stars in the sky!

Monday, November 9, 2009


Faith played one pretty great game on Saturday. She went to block a goal and intercepted a real powerful kick in the side of her foot. She also took a hard fall and rolled her ankle. She looked like she stopped, dropped and rolled. She had to be carried off the field by her coach and was crying...which is pretty unusual. She's tough, really, she is. She swelled a good bit that night, we iced it and bought a compression sock for her. She had another game Sunday morning. Which I advised against. Her coach made her prove that she could run on it...she made it through...with watering eyes. She is determined that way. She played about 5 minutes and he pulled her out. He knew she was hurting. He asked her about going back in during the second half and she wanted to. She played about 10 minutes and even had a 50/50 with a girl and ran a bit better after the impact. I was floored. I think she was on a Motrin high. Her poor ankle knew not what it was enduring. By this morning, her foot was so swollen it looked foreign and her bruising made its way to the surface. She is still bruising. It looks like it is going to turn out real pretty.

We took her to the doctor, she ordered xrays. No fractures thank God. But she did diagnose her with a grade 3 sprain. She is on crutches through Thursday, has an air cast that she has to wear from now on and gets to be re-evaluated on the 19th to see if her season is completely over. Truth be told, she has been walking on it. Grimacing a bit while doing it but she has managed. Her doctor wasn't impressed. She basically said in order for her to heal she needs to get off of it. She will miss at least 4 games, which she feels like is the end of the world. There is a slight possibility she may return for the last two games. Here are the pics I forced her to let me take. One day when she is sharing her injury story with her kids, she'll thank me for the photographic evidence. Ha!
I can not begin to explain this. It is just not the same as the 3D version we see. It is much more puffy and bruised. There are shades of red, purple and yellow...pretty, huh?
There is little form to her ankle, it goes from her calf to a big ole swollen mass.
It looks bigger than a tennis ball...her foot is swollen everywhere, even on the sole and the top.

She is not looking forward to the next few days at school on fact, you could say she is dreading it.
The worst part is she has such a strong desire to play soccer. To sit there and just watch will probably hurt worse than her ankle. She sure will look pretty doing it though.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Pumpkin Patch...

So we finally made it to the pumpkin patch for Hope's field trip. It was this past Wednesday. Remember my disappointment last time? Well, I won't even mention that our Kindergartners waited an hour outside for our buses to arrive. Apparently no one thought to book drivers...go figure. Oh, I guess I did mention...

We took a hayride, played in a tree house, went through several mazes, roasted marshmallows (only two per kid - which turned out to be one too many), played in the hay and even watched a film on growing pumpkins. Hope had a pretty good time. Although if you asked if she wanted to go back she'd tell you no. The place was packed full of schools. The place reminded me of Roloff Farms from Little People Big World...not quite as cool but they are on the right track. Even so, they charged $7 per person...a tad steep if you ask me.

I guess the bonus was instead of the kids getting one pumpkin to take home they all got to choose two. So she chose another one for her "baby sister" Love. Too sweet :)

It was nice just being there with siblings were allowed to go. Which in retrospect, it benefited Hope, I was able to be solely focused on her.

Here are the pics...
I love her posture in this pic...reminds me of her dad.
Climbing the ropes
Choosing her pumpkinsMy sweet girl :)
Her pretty pumpkins

Sunday, November 1, 2009


This year all 4 kiddos were with us for the trick or treating. Well, we really only go to family and their surrounding neighbors that they know. We have a lot of family here in town, which we love. The kiddos enjoy trying to psych out family to see if they can figure out who they are. This year only Totsie bought Hunter's costume...he was totally caught by Grumpy. The little girls loved getting dressed up. Love was asking to wear her little costume for weeks and she was just as precious as I had imagined she would be. I love having a girly girl :) Hope was in Spidey fashion. She was a bit emotional from a big and early day but did well. We had a costume issue with her eye mask hence the reason for the hand drawn eyemask with webs. We improvised, she loved it, it worked. Faith enjoys dressing up. She really wanted an old lady mask to match Hunter or even a wig. I bought an adult witch costume that looked like it would was a one size fits be honest, I don't know of an adult woman that could have fit all her body into it. And if she could, I don't believe she could breathe. When did one size fits all become women's size 0? World, when will you get it? Sizes 8-12 would be much closer to fitting "all". Enough of that...she ended up picking things out of her closet to "make" a costume. She came up with the "hick" girl. Which to be honest, she totally has researched. She was one of the hickest kids I knew. She went from dresses and sandals to boots, jeans, tennis shoes and shooting at turkeys in our own backyard. She is funny. I love how she took the little girls under her wing and took them trick or treating. So sweet with her sisters :) Hunter digs dressing up. He did a mask and Big Daddy's suit coat. He doesn't feel too cool to do it and the little girls love it when the bigger kids are dressed up. We enjoyed him, his humor and his silly personality.

I guess the best part of the night for me was watching Love. She just cracks me up. We would get to a house and she would start saying..."Me, me, me, k?" Which meant she wanted to knock on the door. She would march up there, knock on the door, and then when it opened she would run back to us as fast as she could laughing the whole way. She was so tickled. Then she would go back and say "tick teet" and then "naynk oo" She was pleased with her cute little self. And really to think about it - it is pretty cool. You knock on a door, say a few words, and get a treat. How cool is that? I personally want to send a shout out to all those people who let us come and trick or not only made my kiddos night - there are some memories that Big Daddy and I have of our kids that we could not have had without you. :0)
Our sweeties
Love as Dorothy...dontcha love the shoes?

Spidey Girl
Cutest superhero ever
Our country bumpkin...the boots were later exchanged for her cousin's cowboy boots.
Such a pretty thang
Hunter...crazy kid
Our 4 kiddos
Aunt Jan and Uncle Greg...great costumes - Aunt Jan, you can totally rock the short, black hair!
Uncle Kevin and Aunt Julie...someone could use a teeth cleanin'...just saying.
The group before Aunt Jan and Uncle Greg got there. Now you can see Bambi (the witch) and Paw Paw (hillbilly mechanic?) and Bella (BJ)
My oldest and youngest girls
My chicks in the middle
All 3 girls
Hope took over passing out candy at Totsie's. She liked this every bit as much as trick or treating.
Within 5 minutes of our last stop...about 9:15. There's no place like home :)