Sunday, December 29, 2013

Church Today- Remembering Mom

Our old church back home, sent us one
of these hymn books to remember
Mom by...sweet keepsake :)

Today was Family Service Sunday at church today...we have the kids stay with us for worship and service, every 5th Sunday of the month. As Taylor sat, right up next to reminded me of sitting next to my Mom in church. I can still smell her perfume, hear the sound of her voice singing those old songs out of the hymn book. I remember getting bored and digging through her purse, she didn't like that at all, but she sure had some neat things in there! Thinking about that now, it was probably the normal things that I would carry in my purse now- cough drops (but since her's was cherry Luden's, I thought they were candy), a little memo pad, pens, chapstick, hand lotion etc. Not so "neat" things to me Looking through her Bible was interesting too...I remember the bookmarks, pictures, and little notes that she had in between the pages.  Even some funeral announcements, church bulletins, and little cards sent from loved ones were tucked in there.

I know that this is probably not what I was "supposed" to remember from years of Sunday morning services...but it is...I sure miss my Mom and am grateful to her for taking me to church.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas Day 2013

Well, Christmas day technically begins at 12pm, right?  Well, mine did...Blake could NOT sleep at all, I let him crawl in bed with us, he just layed there with his eyes wide open. Then Taylor woke up, I coaxed her back to sleep, but everyone was up and down for the entire night...too much excitement!  We were up and ready to see what Santa brought by 6am...

Look what Santa brought!!  Even Sophie got a new toy!

Pokémon poster

Pokémon Poster for Tay too!

Santa even wrote Baby Taylor a tiny Christmas Card!

Bubby got the Hobbit book

This little girl couldn't be happier with her Baby Allison bedroom!

Baby Allison even got a new kitty!

WHOA!!  Is that Nerf gun big enough?!?!

The famous flyin' monkey!

After playing with the gifts from Santa, we all just hung out in our jammies! Every year, we start making our Christmas "formal" dinner. This year, we broke tradition, I was tired of cooking and really didn't want to plan the whole day around roasting meat and timing things around when it would be threw together a Mexican Fiesta!  It was wonderful, we made chorizo scrambled eggs, warm buttered tortillas, left over layer Mexican dip, my brother's famous home made salsa, chips, and cheesy dip!  I do believe that we have a new tradition on our hands. Next year I will prepare a Mexican egg bake the day before and we won't even have to scramble eggs on Christmas day! I already can't wait!

Blake said grace over our Mexican Fiesta Dinner &
Happy Birthday to Jesus :)

We ate around brunch time, snacked on leftovers, nibbled on the sweets, and just played!  We all watched Christmas Vacation, the kids were especially busy playing Minecraft, Billy and Danny played football on playstation, Aunt Sissy played with Taylor a bunch!   They tried out the Easy Bake oven, making teeny little chocolate chip cookies!


Sofa pup played with the toy Aunt Sissy brought her and got loved
on a bunch! She just loves to be held!

I feel especially blessed, being able to hang out with family...thanks God, for giving us your Son!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas Eve 2013

It's finally Christmas Eve! The kids ran, like they have every morning this month, to open the advent calendar. I folded a note inside that said that they may exchange the gifts that they got each other. Yay, they get to open a present!  Usually they wait until later in the day to open something, but since Billy had to work until the afternoon, I figured it would give them something to play with and keep them busy.

Blake loved the Diamond Minecraft Sword that Tay picked for him!

By the look on her face...she loved her new hand made Pokemon binder!

I spent the day making snacks and desserts to take to church and to eat when we got back home. We never do a real dinner, just finger foods. Billy got off an hour early, so he was home by 2pm.  We planned on doing our family gift exchange before church, they could hardly wait and Billy was the same way! He and the kids planned The Best Gift Ever for me!

I started it off by playing "find the pickle" and Taylor found it first, so she got to open the 1st gift! This was a new thing and rather fun! They usually get three or four gifts from us and it always includes a book, game, and a toy.

see the look on his face? Billy put a ball in the box,
"along" with the real gift...which was a struggle
to get worked out...Daddy tricked!

One happy kid...he got MineCraft for the pc!!!
He has been wanting this for a year now!

And now, for the very best part....we headed to church for a small candlelight service, where we met Aunt Sissy, Uncle Danny, and Aunt Susie!!!  The kids have been more excited to see them, than to open presents! After the service, we headed for the house, the boys went to rent a wii game to play, and then we exchanged gifts, ate, ate, ate, and played!

Opening Aunt Susie's gift, they went through each pokemon card,
then hugged her and thanked her to make sure she felt special

OMGOODNESS....the easy bake oven from Aunt Sissy and Uncle
Danny...she has been wanting one of these!

So happy that he is still into Legos! Thanks Aunt Sissy & Uncle Danny!

Cheers! They both drank iced tea like Uncle Si
This was an especially blessed holiday, not just because of the wonderful gifts, but because of the family we got to spend it with! Mostly because of the REAL gift that we all get to freely receive....Jesus!!!  Merry Christmas!!!

Best Gift Ever!!!

Some background...I, personally, do not like to receive gifts. Period. Some people just say that, not me. I like to give gifts, but getting them makes me uncomfortable. Maybe, because I do not like surprises, I like things planned out and expected. I realize I sound quite boring, and that must be what my husband thinks too, because he tortures me at Christmas! He will talk for weeks about how he has my gift picked out, repeating, "Honey, you are gonna love what I got you" or "I can't wait to give you your gift".  If he is going to get me something, maybe it could be something I have been eyeing at the store, but just can't make myself splurge...ya know, a pair of boots, new purse, kitchen this year, I made a list for him.  It had genuine items that I really would like to have: new salt & pepper grinder, hands-free soap dispenser, kitchen rugs (nice ones), small pearl earrings since I lost one of mine (they can be fake-BECAUSE I LOSE THEM!), warm boot slippers.  ANY of those would have been fine. He just looks at my list and says, "Nope, I got ya covered." I was thinking, "You really should look at my list, if you are gonna spend our money on me, USE THE LIST!!"

Anyways, there was a lot of last-minute sneaking around, by Billy and the kids.  I couldn't imagine what they could get for me that wasn't on the list...I even reminded Blake to tell Daddy to just get me some pearl earrings if he wanted to get me a "special something"...and he did! Along with the most awesome gift he has ever surprised me with...

I was handed a tiny square, obvious wrapped jewelry box, by a super excited Taylor. She said, "Oh, Mommy, open's just what you wished for!" I was surprised to find no pearl earrings inside, but instead, a tiny homemade card with a seashell on the front. It was a shell from our last beach vacation that was pretty much, a flooded wash-out, The card read: Anna Maria 2014...oh, he must have wrote the year wrong...NO HE DIDN'T...because inside it read, "Pick a date, our next family beach vacation awaits, courtesy of Sullivan Travels.    All I could say was, "Really?!?!?!?"

I was about to start crying, but then he and the kiddos brought out a hand made picture frame around one of our beautiful beach sunset pictures! It was decorated with the shells that we found on Anna Maria last year. The sand dollar that Billy found with his pinch-toes, while swimming was front and center with 4 perfect little clam shells on each corner. He even drove to my dear "artist" friend, Karen's house, and asked her to paint the "Anna Maria" on it! The other sweet new pearl earrings were attached in the holes of the sand dollar!  I can't believe that they did this for me...a thoughtful hand made memento, the chance to spend quality time together....this truly was The Best Gift Ever!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Visiting Santa

This was our annual trip to Bass Pro Shops to see Santa!  The kids enjoy getting to shoot things up, tell Santa their wishes, and see the giant fish tanks! I love letting the kids just be kids, enjoying all the holiday excitement!

Monday, December 2, 2013

New Series- church today

I am adding this series to my blog because EVERY Sunday, after church...I have so much to say about what I learned.  I used to just keep notes on our church pamphlet, but why not have them on my blog to be able to go back through and remember these wonderful tidbits?!?!

First off,  God works through the pastors at our church...

Kevin really put the bible in perspective to me...
in the OLD testament, we were judged by what "we" did.
in the NEW testament, we are judged by what "he" did.  That is so simple and TRUE!  He died on the cross for us and that is ALL we need!  It is finished, we are loved by him and saved by grace and grace alone!  Thanks God!


Sunday, December 1, 2013

Tucking in my boy

Tonight was the first school night, after a  l-o-n-g,  holiday weekend. Blake asked if I would take him up to bed tonight. I agreed, asked him to go on up and read for a few minutes, while I finished up last minute school stuff.  Knowing that I still had a lot to do before bedtime, I planned on making this a quick, "tuck in".  I went in his room, straightened his crazy crooked blankets for him, then leaned down to kiss him on the cheek. I told him that I loved him and that I had stuff to do downstairs, he replied, "awww...Mom, can't you just lay down with me for a few minutes?" How could I NOT? growing boy still wants me to lay down by him...I should soak in every single second of it. 

I lay there and watched him close his little eyes, and at that moment, I forgot about the boy who was almost 10 years old and saw only the little fella that was just a bouncing toddler, what feels like just moments ago.  How could time have gotten away from me? There he lay, his eyes like slits, his lips still heart-shaped, like the day I brought him home from the hospital. He let me rub my finger over his eyebrows, I used to do that when he was little, to help him fall asleep. Lately he doesn't want my help with anything that requires me messing with his body. I tried to help him clean out his ears and it was a disaster, same with helping him get the shampoo rinsed out, that we realized was still bubbly on his wet head, after the shower this morning! 

I am so blessed, I thanked God for giving him to me and for making me realize how important it is to slow down and soak moments, like these, in.