Thursday, November 24, 2016

a visit with santa

We dressed up and headed to Bass Pro Shop on Monday to beat the crowds and visit with Santa.

The kids had fun making their Christmas lists this year.  Bryce has gotten really good at picking a few things he loves and it makes shopping easy.  Before looking at catalogs, Emmy wanted tape for crafts and stickers.  Easy, right?!  After taking a look at the Target and Toys R Us catalogs, she wants everything over $100, ha. 


The cousins!

We have gone to Bass Pro shop to visit Santa every year since Bryce's first Christmas.  It's a fun tradition and we enjoy eating in the restaurant afterward because the kids get a free meal coupon!  My mom and Nanny joined us this year and even got their picture taken with the kids and Santa!

a few other things

I had a little me time last Saturday so I started decorating for Christmas.  I usually try to have it all up before Thanksgiving because I like it to be done when we get back into town.  This tree just makes me so happy.

The kids have trees in their room and I decided to get them new and more personalized trees this year.  Bryce picked a white tree.  He already had baseball ornaments and tree skirt and a red star so I got red beads to go with the white tree.  I love how it looks kind of like a baseball.

Of course Emmy opted for a pink tree!  Such a girly girl.

Just a sweet picture of my big boy!

Waiting in car line one morning before school.


We went to our first Friendsgiving last weekend.  A friend from high school and his wife (far right) started hosting this event last year and we were excited to be able to go this year.  I think I heard there were 64 people there once all the kids and spouses were counted. 

Excited about a Hokie win!

They have Santa come and he hands out personalized stockings for each of the kids.

It was a fun surprise for our kids because we didn't tell them and they didn't know to expect it since they hadn't gone last year.

They were very good this year, Santa.

He's pretty fun to take to a party!

Everyone brought a dish to share.  After looking through what others were bringing, I noticed the cranberry sauce was missing.  I don't personally like cranberry sauce, but it seems like a Thanksgiving staple to me.  I found this cranberry apple casserole and it was delicious.

Unfortunately, Friendsgiving took on a whole new meaning this year when a friend gave the stomach bug to the crowd.  The last I heard, about 17 people who were there ended up with the bug, including Jason and Bryce.  They were both down on Tuesday, so we thought it best not to head out of town yesterday so we're home and finding our way through this Thanksgiving!

party girl

Emmy has made so many friends at school this year!  Her little friend in the middle celebrated her birthday at Pump It Up last Friday. 

Her other little friend celebrated her birthday at the skating rink on Sunday.

Emmy has been skating a couple of times before and she was doing pretty well by the time we left.  

Love this sweet girl of mine.

stone soup

Emmy's school had their annual Stone Soup program last week.  Jason, my mom and I went to watch her sing and have lunch with her. 

Bryce's class made the same candle holder when he was at Kitty's Kids.

Love our girl.

This was at Bryce's first Stone Soup performance in 2012.

And his second year of Stone Soup in 2013.

Love these memories!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016


Garth Brooks was in town last weekend!  When the concert date came out, we knew we wouldn't have a chance to go because we were going to be out of town.  When the date rolled around to purchase tickets, he ended up adding 3 more shows.  It was too overwhelming to try to plan it with our trip so I just let it go.  However, our neighbor ended up getting extra tickets to the Sunday afternoon show and we knew we could be back in town in time!

When we walked through the doors to our section, we were in a prime spot for pictures!

Turns out our seats were right above us!  

He put on an amazing show from beginning to end!

He sang all the good ones!

The crowd was amazing!

Trisha got the spotlight and had her own little mini concert.  So good!

I just had to throw this in for good measure!


wintergreen weekend

Jason and I hit the road last Friday for a weekend away with friends in the mountains!

We met up with the rest of the crew at Devil's Backbone for dinner.

Jason was a good sport to put up with us girls!  The other husband who was joining us had to work the Richmond marathon on Saturday so he didn't meet us until Saturday night.  Watch Ya' Mouth was a big hit.  

We had a list of wineries we wanted to visit on Saturday.  We started the day off at Veritas.

Our next stop was King Family.  After our tasting, we enjoyed lunch and a bottle of wine.

I probably should have taken pictures of the wineries, but the scenery in the background of our pictures is just as good, ha!  This was our third stop at Pollak Vineyard.  

Jason isn't much of a wine drinker, but he enjoys sweet dessert wines.  He got his own bottle and had a little man time while we did our tasting.  

We stumbled on a new winery that we decided to try because we had a little time to kill before meeting the last husband!  The scenery and setting of this winery was very different than all the others, but we really liked it!

Our final stop was Bold Rock Cidery!  

The gang was finally all together for one last stop of snacks and drinks!

We headed back to our condo for chili and then called it an early night!  This has become such a fun tradition and I look forward to it each year.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

amish country

We took a trip to Amish country this past weekend!

We made many trips to PA when I was a kid so we tried to recreate some of those memories for the kids.  One of them being staying in a train car!

The kids thought it was great!

Here is a view of the inside.  Those beds were more comfortable when I was a kid!

We ate breakfast in a dining car.

There was a petting zoo at the hotel that the kids enjoyed visiting each day.

Emmy keeps talking about this pregnant goat.

There is so much farmland here.  It's such a peaceful way of life up there.

I was interested in the covered bridges on this visit.  Most of the bridges weren't functioning.  

We happened to find a bridge to drive through on the last day.

I never managed to get a picture of the standard Amish buggy.  

We went on a buggy ride.  I was bummed because it was more like a covered wagon from the Oregon Trail than an Amish buggy but the kids liked it and Jason said it was better for viewing the scenery.

Our driver was raised Amish but eventually left that way of life, but he was very knowledgeable and answered many of our questions about the Amish and Mennonite. 

Strasburg railroad was right down the street from us and the trains came right by our hotel.

We got out and took pictures in one of the covered bridges.

We were there on Sunday and not many things were opened.  Jason had been told about Lapp Family dairy farm and wanted to visit.  We stumbled on it on Sunday and saw that they opened early on Monday so we made our way there before heading out of town.  

The kids were stoked to have ice cream for breakfast.  It was so good!

The kids each got a few Amish souvenirs to bring home.

We had a great trip and hopefully made some lasting impressions and memories for the kids.