Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmastime is here!!!!

You know this song. The precious little tune that has Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Linus and all of the gang singing along!
As I listened to this song today, I just couldn't believe that tomorrow is Christmas Eve! The build up to the "big day" is about to be over. I really can't believe it. It's been a busy holiday season, but seriously, if it weren't, it just wouldn't feel right. I love making the treats for the kids school parties, the handmade goodies for the teachers and neighbors and shopping for just the right gift for the family. So, come Dec. 26th, the sadness starts to set in.

This has been one of those short Christmas seasons, where the calendar only gives us three weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas. But I look at all that we've done in this time and it seems longer! Here, take a peek...
The kids had a great visit with Santa and made sure they relayed their list of wants to him! (A loooong list of wants!)

We had a fun night with Aunt Janet watching the Radio City Christmas Spectacular and a fun evening downtown!
I had fun waiting in line for the coveted Zhu-Zhu pet for Lily Clare! (I guess I'm glad that she can't read this!)

Our neighborhood held it's annual ladies ornament exchange and it was as fun as ever! Plenty of food and an overabundance of fun! What a great group of ladies!
Lily Clare discovered a new way to smile!
Have any of you seen reindeer in person?!? They are so magical!

This past weekend we had a super Givens family Christmas gathering!

Sam and Lily built gingerbread houses. And I'm not sure if the houses or their stomachs received more candy. But they had a blast and the results are beautiful! Oh, did I mention who was the brains behind the engineering of the houses.......

(John and Tony, please don't be mad!)

Tomorrow is Christmas Eve and it's "THE" night of magic! We will host some of John's family and then we will head to Chattanooga on Saturday for the Moore gathering! So, I do get to stretch out my celebration through the weekend.

Until I catch you up on the last of our Christmas fun, I will leave you with this...

Taking it in~

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Darn those Sappy Commercials...

I'll admit, I'm a sucker for sappy commercials, movies, greeting cards, etc. And now that it is the holiday season, it seems that all of these things are twofold. Every time I turn on the t.v., it's a Christmas movie, a Hallmark commercial, hey, even those coffee commercials can make me choke up! So with the garlands hung and the lights twinkling, my emotions are on a roll.

One of my favorite Christmas movies (albeit not sappy) is Christmas Vacation. You know the one with the wacky Griswold family, with the house glowing all the way to China and the lovely relatives with the RV!??! So anyway, this movie makes me laugh out loud (lol!), but there is one scene that makes my tear ducts go to work. It's the scene where Clark gets closed up in the attic and finds the box of old family movies. He sits there for a few hours watching his favorite family memories play out - even old Clark gets teary-eyed in this scene.

This reminds me of when my dad would bring out the projector and our old 35mm home movies. I loved the nights we would all sit on the floor, eat popcorn and watch past vacations and Christmases roll on the "big screen". As I think about those old movies, it makes me think about my current life. And makes me really hope that I'm living my life worthy of being filmed. O.K., so maybe the times when I grumble under my breath or roll my eyes at something the kids are doing, I hope my back is towards the camera, but otherwise, I hope I'm leaving some precious memories worthy of a good family night in front of the video screen.

Smiling for the camera~

P.S. This is the song playing while Clark Griswold is watching his family the way, it makes me cry, too! Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Thanks, I needed that!

Every day, Lily Clare comes home from school with some great crafts! Today was no different! This precious little wreath is made from 100's of little Lily Clare fingerprints!

So cute!

And how did her teacher know that I needed to read these perfect words!?! (You can click on the picture to enlarge it.)

Some things just hit close to home! Thanks Mrs. Jeri and Mrs. Diane for this perfect piece of artwork for a mom who needed it!

Trying to get out of my dither~

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

It's official,.....

the Christmas season is here!!!

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving in Alabama with tons of food and some great family time. And this year, we threw in a little flag football, as well! Who knew we had such skilled athletes in the bloodline?!?!

Sam provided the centerpiece for the Thanksgiving meal!

Tony, was this the "Statue of Liberty" play?

Once we made it back home, we were ready for the Christmas decorations to shine!!! So we worked all weekend and now the house is ready for Jesus' birthday celebration and a much anticipated visit from Santa!

December 1st marked the arrival from our elf, Tweet. The kids put out graham crackers and water in hopes to lure him in; and low and behold, Tweet was on our mantle Tuesday morning! (He's journeyed into the kitchen today.) This little elf will help keep an eye on the kids and report his findings to Santa. Yay Tweet!!!!

(I just love how Lily Clare whispers when she's around the elf. She doesn't want him to hear everything she says.)

As for me, I'm off to do some Christmas shopping and start thinking about all of the Christmas treats that need to (I'm not sure that "need" is the correct word!) be baked!

Ho, ho, ho~

P.S. I have an awesome video of my mom and me performing a cheerleading stunt. I need to work on making it into a photo... more to come! Go team!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

The busy life of a Cub Scout!

So last week was "the week of the Cub Scout"! Sam had us running non-stop with duties, electives, contests, etc. But what is so great, is that Cub Scout activities are always about something good! Even better, Lily Clare thinks she is a Cub Scout too, so she jumps right in and listens to the lessons and helps Sam with his projects. Giving us a double whammy in the child rearing sector of parenting!

Saturday went a little like this...

At breakfast, we reviewed some electives -- Faith, Cooperation, and Decision-making. We started with reviewing our Faith and how it plays a role in everything else, ie: cooperating with others and making the "right" choices in our actions. We used the ever-popular WWJD (What would Jesus do?) analogy for Sam to use in helping him in making decisions. He (and Lily) thought that was a great trick to help them in the future. Let's keep our fingers crossed!

Next, Sam and I headed out for a productive jaunt through the neighborhood. We had advertised to our 'hood that Sam would be collecting food to donate to the local food pantry. We asked that they place food items on their front porch and we would come around to pick it up! (Lily was really bummed that she didn't get to join us.) Using my awesome trait of multi-tasking (yes, I brag), so we decided to pick up food, deliver our popcorn orders and pick-up litter, all at the same time! Off we went!
Ms. Alison is a wonderful neighbor and helps us whenever needed!

"Mom, hurry, this box is heavy!"

First of all, our neighborhood is THE BOMB! They loaded the car down with so much food, it was crazy! And it wasn't the 2 year old can of creamed spinach or the dusty box of tapioca instant pudding, it was peanut butter, canned chicken, toothbrushes, toilet paper, etc! Just awesome! And even better, some of the neighbors left little notes of encouragement for Sam, thanking him for his hard work and telling him how proud they were of him! So sweet! The end result...he collected the most food items in his Den and over 10% of what was collected in the Pack, as a whole!

He also delivered his popcorn -- (let me brag, again) ... he was the #1 popcorn salesman in his Den, for the 2nd year in a row! And he picked up a grocery bag full of trash! (This was not his favorite part of our trek.) But he did it all while I drove the car and only assisted! I was so proud of him!

He had a Den meeting on Sunday and a Pack meeting on Tuesday, and that surely earned us -- I mean him- some badges!

CSM (Cub Scout Mom)~

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Halloween, Part Deux

Two things I forgot to post....

We had our annual neighborhood ladies night Halloween gathering and had a great time! This year, I dug out an old disco outfit from my "Chattanooga Food Bank Disco Cruise" days and attended the party as a Studio 54 VIP! HA!

Can't you just here the Bee Gee's playing in the background?

When we host the Neighborhood Trick-or-Treat Kick-Off party, we have some creative fun for the kids. You know how at Easter kids love to hunt for eggs? Well, we put a little twist on that and have the kids hunt for Body Parts, gummy body parts, that is.

I've done this the past two years and the kids love it! We hide the candies in the front yard and send the kids out to find them. We also hide some larger prizes, too.

Who knew a severed finger or ear could be so much fun!?!?

A little twisted, I know~

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A little of this and a little of that!

I've really been such a slacker on my blog. We've just gotten into such a schedule, that sitting and typing hasn't really fit in. But I'll try to be better! So here goes...

Halloween was a blast! I just love this holiday, because kids love it and adults can jump right in and get silly, too! I helped with Lily's party at school and the little ones were so precious!
I read a book to her class and look how cute my audience was!!!

We host the neighborhood get together before we head out to trick or treat and it was as fun as always! This year we had the adults dress-up which added some new fun! Here are just a few...

John and I were - can you guess? - Swine Flu!

We had a banker and a T.A.R.P fund!

And some cheerleaders!

And of course the cutest of all....(Yes, that would be Lily Clare with 10 boys. One day she'll love this, right?!!?) Anyone with a 4 year old girl want to move to Alpharetta??? Please?!?!?

And let me brag about our neighborhood kids. Look at how polite and well trained they are. These great kids take their shoes off at the door without being asked! Even on Halloween! Impressive!

We've been enjoying this beautiful Fall weather! But as I type, we were just hit by the heaviest part of "Ida" and lost power for about an hour. However, last week we had some great hiking weather!

Last, but by far not least, on this Veterans Day, a big THANK YOU to all of the service men and women who have given their blood, sweat and tears for our freedom! It is such a privilege to live in this great country and we owe it to these brave men and women! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Playing catch up~

P.S. A little gift from God...

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Sam's doodles:

At least I know that he's been listening to something in church! (This was his drawing from church this morning.)

(Click on picture for a larger view.)

Proud of my Rembrandt~

Monday, October 26, 2009

Fall Fun!

This past weekend marked the Third Annual "Moore" Girls weekend in the mountains! We had a wonderful getaway full of massages, giggles and some incredible scenery! (No, we weren't giving each other massages, we hired a massage therapist to come to the cabin!) Janet hosted us at her cabin in Cloudland, Ga and we had a house full! "Girls" ranging from ages 25 - 71 all bonded and relaxed and enjoyed our time together. The weather decided to cooperate and gave us some incredible views to take in!

The beauty of Cloudland Canyon:
The unbelievable view from Janet's deck:
The girls:
God's gift that He had waiting on us when we arrived on Friday:

Now that I'm back to reality, we're getting ready for the big Halloween weekend ahead of us! I decided to take the kids to the local pumpkin patch for some picture takin' and was so surprised to see that almost all of the pumpkins were gone! I did get some cute pics, I mean, how could I not?!?!

After that, we walked around the nursery and gift shop. I felt the kids deserved a little treat, so we had some hot chocolate. Then Sam did the cutest thing. He was adamant about buying me a treat! (Big guy collected some reward money for having straight A's!!! Yea Sam!!! And it was burning a hole in his pocket!) So, he picked out a plant for me to keep in the kitchen! So sweet! I kept telling him that everyone had given him money to spend on himself, but he said he wanted to buy me something because he loved me so much! (And darn it, I didn't have a tape recorder to tape that statement and play it back over and over!) How sweet is that???
And how appropriate is it that he bought me a Hen and Chick plant!
So next, we need to carve the pumpkin, buy the candy, finish the costumes and be ready for the neighborhood party that we'll host on Saturday. Oh the fun that is about to happen! And here's our entry into our Neighborhood Scarecrow Contest...
Introducing Officer Moore!

Happy Fall Y'all~