Saturday, November 30, 2013

5th and final Thanksgiving meal

We had our final Thanksgiving celebration tonight with Jason's mom's side of the family.  This year was her youngest sibling Judy's turn to host.  She and her husband live in Colorado.  Instead of the whole family going out there, they came here and hosted dinner at their family's church.  She was a missionary in Yemen for many years before meeting her husband and returning to the United States.  They had an area set up called a mafraj (living room) that the kids enjoyed playing in!
These three were so cute when it came time to say the blessing.

One of the great grandkids brought his ride on train and Emmy hijacked it and had a blast being pulled around the gym on it!

There were at least 60 people there!  We had a wonderful time visiting with family near and far! 

And not to worry, we had the VT/UVA game on while we were there even though I wasn't that interested in the game since Duke had already won their game earlier in the day, knocking the Hokies out of a chance at going to the ACC championship game.  I was more worried about the score of the Auburn/Alabama game.  We got home just in time to watch the AMAZING last play Auburn made to WIN the game!!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

thanksgiving 2013

We headed out Wednesday morning to Raleigh to spend Thanksgiving with my dad's family.  It was a rainy travel day so we did exactly what we would have done at home, cuddled under blankets, watched a movie, took a nap, and read a book!  Bryce was glued to the Planes movie, but Emmy eventually fell asleep.  They were great travelers!
I'm so thankful that Jason drives on road trips.  Time in the car is just about the only time I can sit and relax.  I never can relax at home because there is always something to be done.  I started this book Wednesday on the drive down and was able to finish it the same day thanks to some down time and people to entertain the kids!

We have eaten Thanksgiving lunch at my uncle Bynum's house in Murfreesboro for as long as I can remember, but the last two years have been different.  We actually didn't get together with the whole family last year, but this year we did, just a different location.  I think my cousin Emily and her family were the only ones missing this year.

This was the best the kids would do for a picture!

I am so thankful for all of our family that we will celebrate with before the weekend is over!  We also had dinner with my stepsisters and their families on Wednesday night, but I wasn't able to get a picture.   

Monday, November 25, 2013

all I want for Christmas......

We headed to Bass Pro Shop tonight with Jason's family for our annual Santa picture.  The kids were all smiles when we got there!
Bryce and Emmy were excited to see Chase and Taylor when they got there.  Still all smiles!

Things took a turn real quick once we got to Santa.  Emmy started crying right away which sent Taylor into hysterics and she jetted!

I'm the mean mom who made Emmy stay for the picture even though she clearly wanted to run with Taylor!  I love that the Santa picture is free (unless you want to buy a package) and they basically pay you to get your picture taken because the kids get a coupon for a free meal at Islamorada Fish Company.  These pictures are seriously priceless though!   

We took pictures after dinner so we could get all the kids in the same picture!  They were too busy practicing their silly faces so we had a hard time getting a good shot.  They were just glad to not be sitting on Santa's lap!  The kids didn't even tell Santa what they wanted for Christmas, ha!
I clearly had not planned to be in the Santa picture this year!  I thought for sure they'd be fine, but you'll notice in the next set of pictures, Bryce didn't sit happily with Santa until his 4th Christmas!
A look back at our Santa pictures.

Friday, November 22, 2013

5 on Friday

I was so behind on blogging last week so I skipped 5 on Friday, but I'm back with Darci and the girls this week with some fun things for you.  Enjoy!
ONE:  Spirited Art Painting We had a ladies' night out for our church last night at a painting studio and it was so much fun!  I went back in the spring with some girls in my small group and we loved it.  We had been trying to get back there but couldn't find a date and a painting we liked that coordinated with everyone's schedule.  We decided to host a private party so we could pick our painting and the day.  We needed 12 other people so we opened it up to friends and church members and ended up having a great turn out. 

TWO: Chick-Fil-A Peppermint Chocolate Chip Milkshake  I've been counting down the days until its return!  They came out Monday and I got my first one of the season on Tuesday.  There will be many more of these in my future this holiday season! 
THREE:  Theo and Beau  I was watching Hoda and Kathie Lee the other day and saw the segment on Theo and Beau.  These two napping buddies are the cutest thing I've ever seen.  I've seen them all over my Facebook this week.
FOUR:  Bryce the star and a prize I posted one of Bryce's lines from his play at church on Sunday and had hoped to post the other, but I never got around to it.  Jason was so proud of Bryce and his accomplishment that he thought he deserved a surprise.  Bryce was cool with that idea!  Jason came home with the Planes movie for him on Tuesday and he couldn't have been happier.
and yes, we have our Christmas decoration up already!
FIVE:  Christmas Movies So many people have been posting about their favorite Christmas movies this week so I thought I'd join in.  Here's my list from last year when I posted about the same thing.  Now that we don't have cable, we can't watch Christmas movies all season so I've tried to invest in them as I see them at a good price.  We just got Elf the other day for $7.99 at Target!!
In addition to last year's list, we also enjoy How the Grinch Stole Christmas (original) and Frosty the Snowman. 
Happy Friday everyone!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Stone Soup 2013

Bryce had his second annual Stone Soup Thanksgiving program at school today.  Jason was even able to join us this year! 
I think we've found his calling.  Bryce is so shy and passive, but put him on a stage and he comes out of his shell.  He sang and danced around to all of the songs.  There is a video at the end of the post so you can see what I'm talking about!

It wasn't hard to spot his place at the table!  I didn't get a picture of the centerpiece, but Bryce was super excited about it.  They made candle holders out of beans.  Bryce has been talking about it all week and couldn't wait to bring it home!
Preschool and baseball friend, Henry.

Best buds, Bryce and Thomas!

The three amigos.

This girl had a blast!  The red oreo was probably her favorite part!  Can you tell?


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Story

Our church has been doing a 31 week church-wide sermon series and small group study called The Story.  As a culmination to the study, the kids performed the stories from their perspective this Sunday. 
Our little star was shining on Sunday.  For such a quiet, reserved kid, he did a great job breaking out of his shell. 
Bryce had two lines that we have been practicing for the past few weeks.  At first, I wasn't sure we'd get him to memorize them, but as time went by, he got better and better.  I am so thankful to Thomas' mom for getting one of his lines on video.  I was so busy watching him and saying the lines along side him, I barely even thought to get Jason to snap this picture of him!

He worked so hard on this and we are so proud of him!  He did just as well with his first line too!

Bryce could not wait to swing his sling around for the song "A Boy Named David".  Of all the songs we practiced for the program, this was by far, Emmy's favorite song,
Emmy got to make her debut as the kids sang "Jesus Loves the Little Children".  She was so funny when she got on stage.  They originally put her between two other girls, but she found Taylor and went and stood beside her!

She clapped and danced right along with everyone else!

Jason and I look forward to going to our small group each week, but it's such a blessing that our kids look so forward to it too!
Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.
Proverbs 22:6

Monday, November 18, 2013

lots of fun and no time to talk about it

Here's another attempt to catch up on pictures I have to show for all the fun we've been having these days!  Way back on November 6, we headed to the park after school for some playing and a picnic because the weather was so nice.  These two have so much fun together!
Thomas and Bryce are always so kind to include Emmy on play dates!

Bryce was rocking the monkey bars and thought he had mastered them.  That was until I was actually there for him to show me and he fell off. 

He took a hard hit and you can tell from his chin in this next picture that it wasn't pretty!

I just love an unseasonably warm day in November.

The boys were back together again last Tuesday for a play date at the Children's Museum.

I love that the train ride at this museum is free.  The kids were able to ride it twice and loved it.  I on the other hand, am not a fan of the sharp turns and was done after the second ride!

After the museum, we made a trip to the candy store and then out to lunch before heading home for much needed naps.  It actually snowed a bit that day (just flurries) which made for a great nap day!

I am so thankful for their friendship and the friendship I've formed with Thomas' mom!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

fall fun

Bryce has been patiently awaiting the day we could rake the leaves in the front yard.  Most of the leaves have fallen so Jason had planned to cut the grass and clean up the yard for hopefully the last time of the season on Saturday.  Bryce was excited to share in the excitement with Chase. 
Flying leaves make the best pictures!
They had so much fun! 

and a video for fun

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

operation christmas child

Each year our youth group participates in Operation Christmas Child.  Sunday night we unloaded the church bus at Dollar Tree and the students stormed the store in search of the perfect gifts to send to a special child who ordinarily wouldn't get to experience Christmas.  My MOPS group is also participating in Operation Christmas Child so since Bryce is at the age now that he can understand giving to others and he's old enough to pick out reasonable gifts, we decided to do a box as a family.  We took the kids to Dollar Tree yesterday and let Bryce pick out gifts for a 2-4 year old boy!
He had a great time picking out toys for the little boy.  He and Emmy may have also gotten a football for themselves.  When we talked about this at home, we told him he and Emmy wouldn't be getting gifts because we were doing something special for someone else.  However, Jason has been looking for a nerf football to throw with Bryce so it kind of just happened.  Oops!  But it didn't take away from the experience and the purpose of it.

Emmy was a big helper.

Bryce took over once the basket got too heavy. 

The organization has guideline and suggestions so we tried to get a variety of things.  We got some essentials like soap, socks, toothbrushes,  a rag and a flashlight and then Bryce picked out some fun things that will hopefully put a smile on a little boy's face.  He got a coloring book, markers, monster trucks, a police car, a football, a whale, a Mickey Mouse bag, and dum dums (Emmy had carried them off somewhere before I snapped the picture).

I wrapped the plastic bin and Bryce helped fill it.  I took a picture of the kids and Bryce made a Christmas card for the boy and we taped the picture inside so he would know who sent the gift.

This is such a great organization and a fun tradition to start with our kids.  It's so important to us to teach our kids the value of giving and not focus on receiving at Christmas.  Sure it's fun to get gifts, but Jesus was the best gift we could ever be given and we need to remember to honor Him first during the Christmas season and not just focus on the things we want!

And don't forget to do good and to share with those in need.  These are the sacrifices that please God.
Hebrews 13:16 (NLT)