Wednesday, December 31, 2014

new years eve

We had a great time ringing in the new year with our friends the Shipleys again this year!  Barbara pulls out all the stops and does everything up just right for the kids to have a fun night!
There was a little reflection time.

There was a little goal setting.

There was lots of toasting.

There were plenty of props and photo ops!

More toasting.

Lots of drinking.  They loved the sparkling grape juice!

Most of all, memories were made.

Thanks for hosting Shipleys!  Here's to many more great memories in 2015!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

top 10 in 2014

2014 has been a great year full of wonderful memories for our family.  While the year had its lows (loss of friends and loved ones, surgery for me, etc.), we stayed focused on God and what He is doing in our lives and how he constantly reminds us that He is with us!

In no particular order, here are some of the highlights from 2014:

1. Lots of SNOW

I blogged about snow HERE, HERE, and HERE oh and HERE.

2. Emmy turned 2

I blogged about it HERE, HERE and HERE.  This sweet girl's smile and personality bring us so much joy everyday!

3. Bryce turned 5

I blogged about it HERE, HERE and HERE.  Bryce continues to amaze us with his intelligence and keeps us laughing with his witty personality.
4. Bryce loves baseball

Bryce played his second season of spring and fall ball.  He loves the game and he's a great listener on the field.  We've seen lots of improvement this year!  I blogged about it HERE, but apparently dropped the ball (no pun intended, ha) this year when it came to documenting baseball.

5. We spent Mother's Day at the beach

I LOVE the beach and I'll take any excuse to go, even if it is for the boys to see monster trucks on the beach!  Check out our trip HERE.  We were fortunate enough to go to the beach two additional weeks over the summer too!

6. Kitchen renovation

Updating our kitchen is something I wanted to do since we moved in almost five years ago.  The time and motivation were finally right!  Check out the details HERE.

7. Bryce started KINDERGARTEN

It was hard to let him go, but he was ready and we LOVE his teacher!  Check out all the details HERE and HERE.

8. Emmy started gymnastics

I did gymnastics for a short time, but it wasn't for me, but I've always loved it.  Emmy has completed two sessions and seems to really be enjoying it.  She will start up her next session next week.  Check out some pictures HERE and HERE.

9. Running Series

While baseball doesn't require much running, we quickly realized Bryce's love for running.  When a flier came home from school about a running series, we signed Bryce up right away.  Emmy even ended up running in the last two races.  I think we will be putting the kids in the spring series as well.  Bryce even ran in an annual race at his school to honor a dear friend of ours who passed away this summer.

10. Neighbors

We are coming up on living in our house for 5 years and we are excited to have finally met our neighbors and made friends with them.  The Jacksons live down the street from us and we have enjoyed getting to know their family.  Our kids love theirs, and we have so much fun with their parents! We have also become friends with their new next door neighbors and we're really enjoying all the get togethers that keep bringing us together!

We were so blessed in 2014 and we look forward to many more great memories in 2015. 

Sunday, December 28, 2014

all caught up

As the weekend winds down, I'm finally getting caught up from the holiday.  Jason has to work tomorrow and Tuesday so things will feel a little more normal as our routine will get back to normal.  I just wanted to post the last few pictures I found on my phone from the weekend. 
We went to our neighbor's house on Saturday to watch the Hokies play!  It sure was nice to end the season with a WIN!!
  Bryce enjoyed helping Jason drive home.  Shhh!!  Don't tell!  It's only four houses down our street anyway! 
I was so excited to give Emmy this matching baby doll pajama set for Christmas.  It took me 2 days to convince her to wear it.  She loved it and asked to wear it again tonight!  Bryce has one more week of break left and we hope to fill it with fun things like the Children's Museum, Science Museum, Jumpology, and roller skating!

Friday, December 26, 2014

high school friends

Each Christmas we try to organize a gathering of all of our high school friends while everyone is in town for the holidays.  This year we were able to get 5 of the 8 guys together. 
(From left: Matt, Justin, Jason, Zach, Jonathan E.  Not pictured: Jonathan H, Russ, Cameron)

Bryce was the oldest of the eight kids and one of only two boys.  I managed to get a picture of him with Matt's son, Caleb while he wasn't locked in his room playing Legos!
This has been a very difficult year for our friend Zach.  He lost his wife unexpectedly over the summer and then lost his mom to brain cancer last month.  It was so great seeing him and his sweet little girl Avery!

Emmy was so excited to have girls to play with in her room.

As everybody tired out, Emmy and Jonathan's daughter Julia took some time to watch a cartoon on the iPad.  I wasn't able to get a picture of her younger, on-the-run sister, Annabell.
I somehow managed to not get a picture of any of the women or Justin's sweet girls Avery and Sutton.  Even though the pictures are lacking, the memories and laughter were not.  I'm so glad this group has stayed close all these years!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

merry christmas

The kids came in ready to go at 6:30 this morning!  They both asked Santa for pillow pet dream lights this year and were very excited to find them under the tree.
It seemed to be a stuffed animal kind of Christmas for Bryce and he loved it!

Hours of fun with the marble run.

We weren't up long before we were off to the next stop of the day. 
The kids waited very patiently to open presents after breakfast.

Jason's cousin just had a baby and the kids were excited to finally meet her and add a fifth child to the mix!
Both boys got very fluorescent sweat shirts. 

MeMa gets a new M&M dispenser every year and the kids were obsessed.

MeMa and PaPa with the grandkids.

My babies.

We went to Jason's grandparents' house next and then to my parents' house.  Emmy didn't last long there!

Bryce couldn't wait for Emmy to wake up because he had this waiting at home for him!

First up was a little dig for dinosaur bones!

I asked my parents for Hunter boots this year and I had so much fun shopping with my mom for them.  She even took the kids shopping to get boot socks for me!  So spoiled this year!

I may have even turned to Pinterest to style my Christmas day attire.

And Jason's dad may have made fun of me because I asked Jason's sister to take additional pictures of us because the first ones didn't show my boots.  You could say I'm a little obsessed!
I'm not sure I ever shared our Christmas card picture on the blog.  We were pretty proud of our picture this year.  Aren't they adorable?
Merry Christmas from our family to yours!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

christmas eve

Bryce was excited to open the last clue for our Truth in the Tinsel Advent activities this morning.
We immediately went downstairs and made our last ornament, the cross.  Jesus' birth is so important, but His death on the cross and the events following, are what give us hope!  I have had so much fun going through this with both kids this year!

Hanging the last ornament on her tree.

The last ornament makes for a full tree!

The kids were excited to finally decorate our Christmas cookies after breakfast.  I was pretty pleased with all the fun icing colors I mixed up for them!

Bryce could have done this all day!

So proud of their creations.  They both chose to leave their star cookies for Santa!

My family has always opened presents on Christmas Eve so the kids were excited when it was finally time to go to Nana and Pap's.  We had a yummy meal before opening presents.  Bryce was super excited about Emmy's sleeping bag that he crawled right in with her!
He was even more excited when he opened his own sleeping bag next!

Even Macy enjoys opening presents.

When we finished at my parent's house, we headed to church for our Christmas Eve service.  Since Christmas Eve is on a Wednesday this year, it only made sense to have a camel start the show!  Jason was the rear, ha!

The kids performed one of their songs from their Christmas play they did at our hanging of the greens service earlier in the month.

Bryce was asked to read the Christmas story again for this service like he did at the hanging of the greens service.  I just love this picture.  It's a family affair (Jason holding the mic for Bryce and our niece and nephew as Mary and Joseph).  I'm so glad our family is so involved in our church and that they are understanding the importance so early.

Bryce and his friend Aiden sat in front of us and I just couldn't resist this picture. 

The kids couldn't wait to get home from church and go to bed.  I had told them we could start a new Christmas Eve tradition this year.  I thought it would be fun for them to have a sleepover in Emmy's room with their new sleeping bags!  They loved it!

It took them a little while to get to sleep, but they did great!