Sunday, December 19, 2010

Santa and "Samuel-san"

As the days creep closer to the 25th, we are definitely feeling the holiday excitement grow! I took the kids to see Santa this past week, so they could officially relay their list to the man from the North Pole. It was sweet, but honestly...after a 35 minute wait, having to leave to go to karate (before seeing the man in red), then going back to wait another 45 Christmas spirit was running a little thin! However, I can say that looking at the precious faces of the children, with their eyes full of belief and excitement, I was teary-eyed a few times!

Here are my precious little ones... (I love how Lily Clare has her head turned!)

And speaking of karate, let me introduce you to Mr. Yellow belt...Samuel-san! Sam has been working very hard and has passed his first belt test! Congrats big guy; we're very proud of you!

I hope everyone is having a wonderful Holiday season and is enjoying this special time of year!


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Sharing some gingerbread love!

With temperatures in the 20's over the weekend, we decided on some indoor activities, and one of those activities was building a gingerbread house. Sam and Lily tag-teamed this activity and created a beautiful, sugar-laden structure! (And piece by piece, I'm noticing it disappearing on a daily basis.)

Oh my goodness...could Lily's expression be any more precious?!?!

The gingerbread architects!

There is no "I" in "team"...but there is in "Icing"!


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

And the fun continues!

This weekend, I took Lily and her friend, Abby and Sam and his friend, Dawson, to Build a Bear workshop and it was sooo fun! If you're not familiar, Build-a-Bear is a store where you pick out a stuffed animal shell, stuff it, fill it with a wish and take it home to love! Such an incredible (easy and $$$ making) idea! Here's a picture of the lovies that the crew picked out...

Today was Lily Clare's Christmas program at her school. She was wonderful! She had a speaking part and spoke so clear and loud! (Fellow parents will know that doesn't happen very often when a child is placed in front of a microphone!) And the funniest part...Lily and her best buddy wore the EXACT SAME DRESS! Now as an adult, that would be a nightmare, right?!?! But as a 5 year old girl---perfect! They were so excited!
Oh, childhood is so much fun!

Lily with her dramatic self!

The fashionistas! (Actually - they kinda look like Siamese twins!)


We "with" you a Merry "Chrithmath"!

I believe I have failed to mention that Lily Clare is asking for her two front teeth for Christmas!!!


Family and fun!

So, it's been a busy holiday season, so far! The weekend after Thanksgiving, I was fortunate enough to be able head to Savannah for a "Girls Weekend" with some of the girls in John's family-- his mom, aunt, sisters and cousin. And it was two full days of fun! We did lots of shopping, some incredible eating and had huge amounts of laughter! I know that I've said it before and I'll say it again....I'm so fortunate to have such a great relationship with my husband's family. I do not take it for granted! You hear so many stories about the dreaded "in-law visit"; and I'm so lucky to not have that feeling at all! (Ha! Maybe they do about me?!?!? Who knows!!!)

Me with John's sisters!

My mother-in-law and me!

We had an incredible dinner at The Pink House! That's us in front of a beautiful fireplace!

This is John's sister Debbie choking me because of our restaurant dispute. (We didn't get it either, just thought it was funny!)

The gang-
Me with Johnny Mercer! I can't remember if I was helping him with "Hooray for Hollywood" or "Jeepers! Creepers!"

We were able to watch the Lighted Parade from Cynthia and Amber's balcony -- so fun!

Last week, Lily and I met Mom for a little holiday shopping. We went to a wonderful mall that is certainly a kids dream (if that's possible) and Lily had a blast as we window shopped!

She did a little sharp-shootin'!
I flirted with a Lego Darth Vader!
And Lily found another thing to add to her Christmas List!

So with the Christmas season in full swing, we are definitely trying to take it all in and not get too overwhelmed! We're having fun!

Ho Ho Ho~

Monday, December 6, 2010

Do you want instant chills?!?!

Then listen to this.....

O Holy Night

(I apologize for this being a link and not a video -- but blogger hasn't cooperated with me the past couple of days.)

The voice of an angel singing one of the most beautiful Christmas carols of all! (Gives me chill bumps and teary eyes every time!)

As we are caught up in the hustle and bustle of errands, travels, etc., this song can make us all relate the joy that "weary world" felt when the "new and glorious morn" came -- and that the true meaning to this hectic month is to praise that "Holy Night!"

So take a minute to listen and soak it in!

Oh Night Divine~

Monday, November 15, 2010


He who thanks but with the lips
Thanks but in part;

The full, the true Thanksgiving

Comes from the heart.

~J.A. Shedd

It's a simple thing to teach your children; it's something that we have to repeat to them and remind them to say on a regular basis; it's two small words...but they should be backed with gratitude when being said..."Thank You".

I wait for a few seconds to see if the kids will says these words at the proper times. Usually they do, but sometimes I'll have to prompt them with the "And what do you say?" question. These two words are commonly heard, but is there really feeling behind them? Is it coming from the heart?

I even catch myself just saying them, not feeling them. Today for example, I said it with feeling and it struck me. With Sam being sick, I asked one of my fellow preschool moms if she would mind driving Lily to school, so I wouldn't have to get Sam out in the rain. She said that she would be happy to and when she came to get her, she said that she would bring her home, too. "THANK YOU"! It's a little out of her way, but she insisted that it wouldn't be a burden. For good friends, I am thankful!

I made a Thanksgiving garland to decorate our foyer and had the kids write what they are thankful for. I wanted to make it more elaborate, but this was all I could muster up. I think it's cute and it's a reminder of what this season is about.

Sam's list included: Mom, Dad, Bear and God. (Poor Lily got left off -- I guess God - or Bear - took her place.)

Lily's list included: The beach, Disney, flowers and God.

So now, as I walk by my stairs, I'm going to remind myself to make my "thank you's" heartfelt and full of gratitude!

Thank You~

P.S. As I sit at my desk, this is my view...

I am thankful for God's beauty, right outside my front door!

Home with a sicky

That's the reason why I have time to get caught up on the ol' blog. Poor Sam fell victim to an icky stomach bug yesterday, so little man has to stay home with me today. But, it's rainy and chilly outside, so I'll definitely take this opportunity to stay in and be productive.

Let's see, where did I leave off?!? Oh....

Our neighborhood had a scarecrow contest again and it brought out smiles as we drove around! Not a whole lot of participation this year, but the one's that played a part were great! Here are some of the best:

There was a juggling clown...

Linus waiting for the great pumpkin...

Our creation -- E.T!

But the winner was....the "mooning gardener"! HA!

This was the first year that the kids really got into carving the pumpkin. Usually they get grossed out at the cleaning of it and leave the room for me to finish. But this year, they helped pick out the design and helped me gut the big guy. Don't worry, I did the carving.

The kids wanted a scary face this year! Boo!

Then we seasoned and toasted the pumpkin seeds. They were delicious! Thanks to a recipe from Emeril!

Halloween brought everyone out for the traditional chili dinner before the trick or treating rounds. And once again, Lily was photographed with her 12 male companions. (Sam is the fierce ninja.)

Luckily, when it came time to trick or treat, she was able to walk with two pretty Indian princesses and a creepy/evil clown!

And the evening was a success, don't ya think?!?

Now the jack-o-lanterns and the witches are put away and we move our focus to all of the things that we are thankful for. And there is sooooo much for which to be thankful!

On to Thanksgiving~

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Every lady wants a castle....

Did you know that I drive by this on a regular basis?!?!

It's sits just around the corner from our neighborhood! Quite the interesting sight to see! Rumor has it that it was built by a loving husband (who was a truck driver) for his wife. The house comes complete with a moat that is actually a pool and smiling gnomes that smile at those who pass by!

Here's a little more info and more pictures if you are interested!

Fairy tales can come true~

P.S. I guess I should mention, not that you wouldn't totally assume it -- the kids LOVE it!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Watching the colors change

It has been a hectic past few weeks, but all good, fun things! I'm in the van a school, to the preschool, to the gym, to the grocery store, to the dry cleaners, to the after-school activities, etc., etc. But one thing about this time of year that makes my driving around so wonderful is the beautiful changing of the leaves! Sometimes I'll be stopped at a red light and I'll be in complete awe of my surroundings. The beauty just amazes me (and makes my "shuttle service" a little more bearable!)

We've been up to a lot of fun things the past few weeks. Let me catch you up!

We went to the infamous "Burt's Pumpkin Patch" up near Amicalola Falls. This place has the largest collection of pumpkins that I've ever seen! Colors, shapes, sizes -- you name it, they have it.

Lots of orange.....

John's muscles always come in handy....

My three punkin's!!!

After our trip to the pumpkin patch, we drove through some back roads and forest service roads and did a little hiking in the woods! The fall days have been perfect! Here are some of the sights...

We happened upon this "wildlife viewing field" and I snapped a shot of my own "wildlife"!

Before my time, but does anyone remember seeing this truck coming down the street?!?

I guess they never made it back to fill up the tank.....

Lily Clare had a sweet little Halloween celebration at her preschool. It was a western theme complete with a hay ride, petting zoo and - oh yeah - rain. So they had their trick-or-treating inside, but that didn't spoil the fun!


Lily and her friend, Claire!

Yes, she is brushing a pig!

I know I have more to post, but that's about all I can gather up right now. I need to focus my attention on the CMA's!!!! (Sugarland makes me nauseous; Kenny Chesney makes me giddy!)

Check ya tomorrow~