Saturday, November 29, 2014

preparing for advent

One of my mom friends from MOPs introduced me to Truth in the Tinsel last year and we loved it.  It is a great hands on way to teach the Christmas story through the advent season.  Click HERE for more information.
This is a very easy to use "book" and you can alter it to your needs and lifestyle.  This year we will be using "The Clue" section.  This is simply a picture and word card that we put inside our advent calendar to give us the main idea for the day.  If you don't have this style advent calendar, they also provide a printable paper chain with the word clues that you can add to or take away each day!
The kids will listen for the clue each day as you read select scripture.  After you read, the kids will make an ornament that represents the clue.  We did the craft version last year and had lots of fun (click HERE for a recap from last year).  However, with Bryce in school this year and Emmy's still small attention span, I opted to use their printable supplement ornaments this year. 
I'm super excited to get started on Monday.  How will you make this Christmas season meaningful and memorable for your family?

Thursday, November 27, 2014

happy thanksgiving

We had our first Thanksgiving celebration with Jason's mom's side of the family last Saturday in Culpeper.
Bryce and Chase enjoyed taking turns shooting tennis balls to anyone who was willing to catch them.  They had fun catching them as well.

The girls are always happy to just sit and look pretty!

The highlight of the trip was definitely the ride home.  Jason's cousin Josh and his wife volunteered to drive all the kids home.  They were brave to take on all these wild kiddos!
We headed to Raleigh yesterday to have Thanksgiving at my dad's with my stepmom's daughter's families and then headed to Henderson today to have Thanksgiving with my dad's side of the family.
Nina and Pop with Bryce and Emmy.

Emmy got to meet my cousin's little girls Sallie Grace and Charlotte today and it was an instant friendship.  Bryce told me "he was too shy" to play with them.

I know my uncle Bynum and aunt Shirley are glad that we eat at the country club now as opposed to their house anymore.  Our group continues to grow!

We hope you all had a happy Thanksgiving.  We had a wonderful time and are so thankful for all that we have, especially our family!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014


We've lived in our house for almost five years and have just now made friends with some of our neighbors.  I know that's really sad, but also really exciting now!
The kids are in fourth and sixth grade, but they love our kids despite the age difference.  Bryce rides the bus with Will and they enjoy playing baseball and video games together. 

Sweet Mady adores Emmy.  She has given her lots of her old hair bows and pageant dresses.  The last time we were over, she painted Emmy's nails and they had a tea party.  This little princess loves all the attention.

We're so thankful to have friends for us and the kids in the neighborhood.

all i want for christmas is.....

....a dream lite pillow pet!
Both kids asked Santa for a dream lite pillow pet.  I went out yesterday morning and was successful in marking that off the Christmas to do list!
We made our annual trip to Bass Pro Shop on Monday night to see Santa.  Both kids had been looking forward to it and couldn't wait for us to finally pick a date to go.  I was SO proud of Emmy for making it through the experience with NO tears this year (a whole year earlier than Bryce did).

The toys in Santa's wonderland are just as good as actually seeing Santa!

Daddy's little hunter!  Of course when we asked him to shoot a pellet gun last weekend at a water balloon he refused!  That's my boy!

The girls enjoyed crafting before dinner.

Bryce was the last one done as he had to put all the perfect touches on his ornament.

These two just melt my heart!

The cousins.

This sweet girl keeps me smiling!

A look back at Santa visits over the years.

Thursday, November 20, 2014


To say I've neglected the blog this month is an understatement!  I've also failed to take pictures this month and actually capture the everyday.  Luckily, Jason had some pictures on his phone I was able to steal. 

I went to a parent-teacher conference for Bryce back on election day.  We got such a great report about Bryce that Jason insisted we go to Bruster's for ice cream!

Emmy had no complaints about Bryce's good report!

Jason was off the Friday I went to Charlotte so he went to school and had lunch with Bryce.  The kids loved it because the parent table was full so Jason got to sit with Bryce's class!

Jason was on report card duty while I was out of town.  This was the only picture he sent me.  He figured the teacher comment was the best part since he got an "M" for mastery on everything!

I went to a BLOOM party last month and ordered this tree skirt.  It came in last week and I was immediately in the mood to decorate for Christmas. 

It took me a while to decide which side to use this year.  I went with the chevron, but I may end up switching it half way through since the tree will have been up for so long!

The tree went undecorated for a few days and Bryce couldn't stand it!  We finally got around to decorating it on Friday afternoon!  I was really good about letting the kids help, but I did spread out a few ornaments after Emmy put 8 on one branch! 

The cold weather arrived a little too early this year.  I've been keeping warm with lots of hot chocolate.

I'll try not to take such a long hiatus next time!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Forest of Virtues Award - Responsibility

This little invitation came home with Bryce on Monday afternoon.
We didn't have anything like this at my school when I was teaching, so I was excited to see what it was about.

From what I can tell, throughout the year, each teacher chooses a student from class who meets the criteria for one of (6?) virtues.  Today's ceremony was for the virtue of responsibility and fairness. 

Our sweet boy received the responsibility award.  After receiving the award, he got to put a cardinal (school mascot) with his name on it on a tree that was placed in the school foyer. 

I attempted to video the ceremony, but I pushed all the wrong buttons at the wrong times and didn't actually get a video of it.  Luckily, I got the paper that his teacher wrote and the principal read! 

We're so proud!

A William's Bakery donut is always a nice treat!

We found his cardinal on the tree.

We could not be more proud of Bryce and how well he has adjusted to kindergarten.  He continues to amaze us each day and always puts a smile on our face! 

Sunday, November 9, 2014

"the mamas"

I enjoy blogging and telling our story, but I REALLY enjoy reading other people's blogs.  There are so many inspiring women out there who are just so funny and I love their blogs.  Two of my favorite bloggers are Big Mama and Boo Mama.  Not only are they women of faith, they are the best writers!  I was so excited when they started advertising their next speaking event that was held in Charlotte, NC this weekend.  I figured this was the closest they may get to me so I had to go see them.  My friend Barbara came with me and we had the best time.  The women from First Baptist Charlotte who organized the event were hilarious and I love how they referred to Melanie and Sophie as "the mamas" all weekend.
The sweet sisters retreat was so much fun.  Friday night consisted of a worship session, a message from Sophie, a cupcake dessert, and a meet and greet with "the mamas".

Melanie is the author of Sparkly Green Earrings and The Antelope in the Living Room.  They were both an easy fun read that had me laughing out loud.  I literally felt like I was meeting a celebrity!
I even got my books signed!

Sophie is the author of A Little Salty to Cut the Sweet and we both share a love for Chuy's!!  She is hilarious and I could listen to her talk ALL day long because I just love her accent and Melanie's too.

Another signed book!

The lighting was much better on day 2 so I got "the mamas" to take another picture for me!

Not only were the speakers wonderful, the praise team was AMAZING.  The lead singer was so animated and was such a good performer. 

"The Mamas" focused on female relationships and having a best friend who is always there for you.  This morning I was catching up on my daily Bible reading and this was part of my reading from Saturday (when I was at a retreat about friends).  I am always amazed at God's perfect timing. 

I had a great time getting away from my everyday with a great friend seeing amazing speakers.  If you ever get the chance to hear these ladies speak, do it.  And if not, at least read their blogs and books!  They both have books coming out next year that you won't want to miss.  We even got a copy of the first chapter of each of their books, Nobody's Cuter Than You, and Home is Where My People Are.