Monday, December 29, 2008


Here are some pictures of our new family member in a doggie suit. His name is Pongo. We adopted him from the Henry County Animal Shelter. This organization gets animals from the "pound" and fosters them until they find their forever home. We found Pongo on The adoption process was much like adopting children-applications, vet checks, interviews, etc. After much anticipation we were able to take him home Monday December 22nd. It feels like he has been here forever because he fits in so well. Although we miss Stella so much we sure love the fact that Pongo is potty and leash trained! He is so loving and the best snuggler around!!

He loves to hang out with you while you watch TV.

He does this little dance when he wants you to play fetch with him....too cute!

He is about 12 pounds...Cricket is 8 pounds but Pongo stands about twice the size of Cricket!.
Dont' you just want to kiss him!
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Christmas Eve

Here are some pictures of our Christmas Eve fun. We usually eat a big meal and then decorate cookies. This year we did it for lunchtime which turned out better so we were not so tired at the end of the day! This tradition started a few years ago when Suzanne Puckett called us up and wanted to bring over sugar cookies for the kids to decorate. It was so much fun we kept doing it. This year they had plans with her parents on Christmas Eve so we just did it with the missionaries. After we decorated all the cookies we divided them up and took them to our friends. This was the first year we did this and it was a lot of fun. I think we might try to incorporate that into our Eve traditions for next year.
After delivering cookies we came home, had a little dinner and I sewed up the kids Christmas PJs. They always get new ones to open on Christmas Eve. This year they knew what the fabric looked like so I got them a shirt that was a suprise. Sophia's shirt says "HAPPY" because a few weeks ago I was brushing her hair and she said "i just can't stop smiling! I am just so happy!" She didn't have anything in particular to be happy about....she was just noticing that she was always happy! Nate's shirt has no just matched his pants;) Those PJs are made from fleece which is not ideal for 70 degree winters!
Another tradition for Christmas Eve is reading the Christmas story. We all sit at the table with a candle. One person picks their favorite carol for us all to sing. Then they light their candle. The next person picks a song, we sing and light his candle. It goes on like this until all candles are lit. Then we sing "Silent Night" followed by reading about the birth of Jesus by the candle light. That is always nice.
Now the kids are ready for bed and Richard and I started wrapping and arranging the gifts. On Christmas morning the kids open their Santa gifts first and then we eat breakfast before opening the rest. The last picture in the collage is the letter Santa left Sophia and Nate.
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Sunday, December 28, 2008

Cookies for Santa...part 2

Nate stepped in to help with the decorating part. Here is he whipping up some

yummy butter icing!!

Look at that CUTE dimple!!

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Cookies for Santa! Part 1

A Christmas tradition we have had for a few years is making and decorating cookies on Christmas Eve. This year Sophia's friend Sarah was here for the fun! They had a blast playing with the dough....

hmmmm....I think this needs more flour!

Santa won't care if they are tough!

Only one casuality!

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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Here is one of my favorite decorations...I tried to upload this for the last post but didn't know how to do it from Picasa and Kodak!
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It's beginning to feel like Christmas....finally!

I had a hard time this year getting into the Christmas spirit....I think it had a lot to do with the Christmas music that started to play in the middle of NOVEMBER! I got sick of hearing Rudolph and White Christmas even before December rolled in! Richard put up the tree and most of the decorations...I kept saying we didn't need to get out all our decorations this year....I just didn't want to deal with the extra clutter!! But now I am enjoying them and even put up a few recently!! yay me!;)

Fia and Nate love to see all the ornaments from the years past. We buy a new one each year and try to have it symbolize something of that year. This time we got a crab since we just ordered 4 dozen for RIchard's family visit this weekend. We also go to the Christmas Village at Callaway Gardens and paint a clay ornament. That is always fun.

The first weekend in December Richard's choir "Sons of Lafayette" had their Christmas concert. It was so nice to hear spiritual carols instead of all the secular ones! This really helped to feel the real reason for this season.

isn't he cute;)
Hope you all are feeling the joy of this season!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Who said they could grow up!?

I was creating our Christmas card tonight and was shocked at how much the kids have grown up since this picture was taken in May. We took the picture below this evening and I was amazed at how Fia's face had changed. Nate too!

Cookies for BREAKFAST????

A couple weeks ago I was out with Fia and Nate about 10am. I wasn't home when they ate breakfast and they were getting hungry for real food! Here was our conversation:

me: Didn't you eat breakfast this morning?
them: yea
me: what did you have?
them: cookies!
me: Who gave you cookies???
them: Dad!

So I got them something to eat and when I got home I questioned Richard about poisoning our children's young bodies with so much sugar in the morning....(totally kidding! i am sure those blasted poptarts have just as much sugar as the cookies they were eating! and i push the easy poptarts frequently! )

me: Why did you give the kids cookies for breakfast?
Richard: I didn't give them cookies for breakfast!!!
me: they said you did...
Richard: Well....I was eating cookies and they said, "Dad can we have some cookies?" and I said, "yes".

Whew! At least he wasn't GIVING them cookies for breakfast! He was just sharing cookies with them!

This story deserves a big hardy har har

Thursday, December 4, 2008

rollin' rollin' rollin'.....

keep those posts a rollin'!

I meant to add this to my last post....I added 5 posts yesterday so be sure to scroll down!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

A very occasional tag....

1. Wrapping Paper or Gift Bags? wrapping paper for sure! much cheaper although bags are easier....but then I would worry about having to recyle them and find a place to store them for next year!
2. Real Tree or Artificial? fake! All growing up we had a 4ft. fake tree that my mom grew up with. She would take off the decorations after Christmas, leave the lights on it, drape a sheet over it and cart it down to the basement where it would stay until the next year! We have had 2 real trees in our married life. One DIED with 2 weeks left until Christmas which was such a hassle to undecorate and then redeocrate! I just prefer fake!
3. When do you put up your tree? whenever we get a free moment....I prefer it to be later than sooner....
4. When do you take down the tree? Christmas day! Ready for it to be gone by then!

5. Do you like eggnog? not really
6. Favorite gift received as a child? i remember getting a big doll one year
7. Hardest person to buy for? My Dad
8. Do you have a nativity scene? a couple
9. Mail or email Christmas Cards? mail but there are some really cute ones on Jib Jab I want to do!
10. Worst Christmas Gift you ever received? In 4th grade we brought presents to do a gift exchange. I got socks wrapped in a hamburger helper box. I hope i didn't make a face because I knew the girl who brought it was poor...but I remember thinking "socks???"

11. Favorite Christmas Movie? How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The new version!
12. When do you start shopping for Christmas? when I know what my children want
13. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? don't have one thing in particular but Richard loves those italian bread things with the fruit and nuts? it is like a cake-like fruitcake
14. Lights on the tree? there any other way?!
15. Favorite Christmas Song? Christmas bells
16. Travel at Christmas of Stay Home? stay at home! this was a rule we set early in our marriage! We want to be home to watch our kids open their presents ALONE!
17. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer? I think I could....and you know I just discovered today that it isn't DoNner but DonDer.....all those years I was singing it wrong!

18. Angel on the top or a star? can't has been a bow and a star and lots of other things.
19. Open the presents Christmas Eve or Christmas Day? New PJs on Christmas Eve and the rest the next morning.
20. Most annoying thing about this time of year? I agree with some others who have answered this list....the Christmas music that started BEFORE thanksgiving and that is the same 10 songs over and over and over and over!

21. Favorite ornament theme or color? all the ornaments that are theme or color. that is too hard to keep up with!
22. Favorite Christmas Dinner? we never did anything growing up and I don't do anything now. We prepare and eat a nice breakfast after unwrapping Santa's gifts.

23. What do you want for Christmas this year? a nice set of knives in one of those wood blocks....and then i might need a first-aide kit close by....I have been sawing at my food for so long it scares me a little to get nice sharp knives!

24. My Favorite Christmas Gift Received Ever? Richard suprised me with a digital camera about 7 years ago....that was pretty cool...although the greatest gift is watching my children open their gifts. We are so fortunate that we can buy our children gifts at Christmas.

Family Photo Shoot

Every we come for a visit Grampie likes to take pictures. Almost everytime he will get out his "backdrop" and hang it from the curtain rods in the living room. It has taken years for us to get use to and actually look forward to this event....and we would love it even more if Grampie would send us all these pictures from years past! hint, hint

So here are a few shots of our latest photo shoot. While Grampie was setting up the camera I was shooting pictures with mine.
Here we are gathering together in front of the bedsheet...I mean backdrop. Notice the enthusiastic look on Forrest face!

Since Grampie wasn't ready yet my family jumped up to get some shots. Of course Nate had to be difficult.
Ummmm....I wonder where Nate gets it from?

I can't believe how big Sadie and Sophia are getting! Don't look at those shirts for too long! The print will give you a headache! here is the best shot of our family....and it isn't great! Nate was being difficult and all I wanted to do was punish him...but that would mean he would fight anymore pictures! *sigh*

So when we all were being crazy he didn't want to participate! He is covering his mouth because he is SMILING! Can't let anyone know that! I think this will be our Christmas card picture with the caption "We wish you a Crazy Christmas" or "Crazy Holidays".
Here is Trudy's family....I can't get over how tall Fo is!

So cute!

Just another family shot....I didn't get any "normal" ones with my camera:) Maybe Trudy will post one on her blog??!!

Sure wish Rachel could have been in this shot!

Oh....look....more crazy shot! Nate looks pretty good here! Maybe we could photoshop his head on one of the group shots that he was being difficult?

So if you ever go to my parents house for a visit be prepared for a photo shoot before you leave!!

Turkey Day

We have never been a very traditional family....there are not many things we do over and over each year....but we have succeeded in having Thanksgiving every year together for about 3 years now!! We just may have a tradition!!

Usually Thanksgiving is about turkey and all the trimmings....well we(Trudy and I) decided that since we don;t like turkey(never can get it right) and we were going to do something different. There were lots of ideas thrown out and in the end we (again TJ and me) decided to have baked potatoes and soups(chili and beef stew). There are so many food allergies in my brother's family(pork, corn and wheat) so this would make it easy for the majority to eat without worry! Well....when Richard found out we weren't doing a turkey he got pretty sad:(. He questioned why everyone wasn't in on the menu...and my response was because we(you know who) are the ones who cook and since we cook we get to make the decision! ha! After another hour of pouting about not having turkey we stopped at a grocery store to pick up a turkey breast....which turned out very just might make a comeback...and we found out that Richard wasn't the only one who was sad about a Thanksgiving sans turkey!:)

Anyway...all of that to say we didn't have a traditional dinner. All we look forward to is seeing each other so we took the focus off the food and just enjoyed visiting.

So Wednesday afternoon we headed out to Trudy's house and Frankie and his family left Knoxville Thursday morning 5am and stopped by Granny and Grampie's first. Everyone converged to Trudy's around 1pm for lunch. I didn't get any group pictures because we were getting those at Grampie's the next day....but Josh got sick Thursday evening and they had to leave the next morning without the annual family shoot! I will take more pictures next time!!

But here are a few shots of the weekend...

Luke spent the night at Trudy's house so we met them in Huntsville while we were shopping.
Poor Kayla was cramped in the back with all the Christmas presents:) I bet she didn't notice though as long as she was reading! She and Luke read as much as they breathe!

Granny doesn't get around like she use to so we got a wheelchair for her while we shopped at the mall:) Nate....he is determined NOT to smile!

I love this picture of Luke(12 1/2) and Josh(4) and Mariam (6).

Dear Santa....

I love that my children still believe......

Sometimes Santa has dropped off their presents earlier so we could wrap them....but it is OK for parents to be Santa's helpers.

Big Girl Party

This year Sophia had great ideas for her birthday party. She wanted it to be a dance & spend the night party! As we were making the guest list it kept getting longer and longer. Before I knew it we had 7 girls and 2 boys invited! I knew all the girls and figured it would be never know when you get that many girls together what might happen! But it was a stress-free party(aside from the screams that naturally come from 8 and 9 year old girls). Everyone got along so well which is also great since not everyone knew each other.

The school had their thanksgiving dinner that day and the kids begged me to check them out after lunch. I did on the condition that they help me clean and decorate. They promised and did exactly that! Nate loves setting the table and arranging the party favors and drinks. Sophia took care of the decorations.

We bought everyone masks and these glow-stick-bendy-sticks that could make necklaces and earrings and bracelets. Those were a big hit. Then we had hot dogs for dinner. (when Fia and I were talking about her party I said we would just eat pizza....she said everyone has pizza on their birthdays. She wanted lasagna:) We did have lasagna for her birthday dinner just not with 10 of her closest friends! )

She wanted me to make a disco ball cake....well I am pretty creative but not that creative Fia! We just cut up her invitations and stuck the dancing people in the cupcakes.

Smile Fia....oh is Richard too:)
Presents! Oooooohhhhh! Aaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhh!

Then we turned on Hannah Montana and the Jonas Brothers for a little dancing!

It is hard to get pictures in the dark!

The present we gave Fia was the High School Musical Dance Party game for the Wii. It was a big hit with everyone and pretty funny to watch!

More fun to watch the adults try it!

After dancing and gaming the girls watched Journey to the Center of the Earth and then settled down to sleep. At 11:00 I turned off the TV because I knew they would be up early the next day and I didn't want to send home cranky girls!! We ate cinnamon rolls for breakfast and then everyone was gone by 9am. It was such a nice party I hated to see all Sophia's friends leave!
This was the first year Sophia had concrete ideas about how she wanted her party to go. It was fun planning it with her and taking her ideas. She sure is growing up!