Sunday, December 30, 2007

The Nutcracker

What a wonderful day with my Mom and Jenna. It was their first time, my second. We went to Mary Mac's to eat (an Atlanta tradition) and then to the Nutcracker at the Fox Theatre. It was such an amazing production. The dancers and sets were fantastic. The best part was watching Jenna's face and explaining the story to her. She did very well and, hopefully, we can go back next year. Thank you so much Mom. I loved sharing this with you!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas at the Fire House

Daddy had to work Christmas Day so we had Christmas dinner at the fire station. We had really good food and a good time with all of the guys and families at the station. We're thankful Daddy didn't get a call the whole time! It really stinks that Daddy had to work but we made the best of it. He has gotten out of it for several years. A special thank you to all of those people that work on holidays-policeman, fireman, medical field. movie attendants, gas station attendants, etc.. We thank you very much!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Santa Came Early!

Christmas Eve morning we had a big surprise at our house-Santa came early. Because Daddy is working today (Christmas Day) Santa decided to come early so Daddy could enjoy all the Christmas fun with the family. Boy, did we have fun. The kids were so excited to get their presents early. Mom and Dad were excited that they didn't get up early Christmas Day (Jacob is usually up by 3:00a.m)! Jacob was elated to get his cell phone (from Santa). We enjoyed the morning, lunch and presents at NaNa's. Jared's face was priceless when he opened the Wii (from NaNa nd PaPa) and Jacob's was priceless when he opened the I Pod. And Jenna, she was happy with EVERYTHING! She acted so excited at every present. We ended the evening at church with Aunt Debbie. What a beautiful service and the music was incredible. My favorite-Oh Holy Night was breathtaking. What a privilege to worship on Christmas Eve. We headed back to NaNa's for Happy Birthday Jesus cake. I just love Christmas!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

I Got One!!!

To Wii or not to Wii, that is the question. When Jared said that is all he wanted for Christmas we said-no way. Too expensive. We have 3 kids to buy for. etc... NaNa steps in. That's all he wants. We will get it for him. That was December 1. No Wii to be found. In my quest to keep this year simple I said I would help find one only if it would fit into my schedule. No getting in line at 4:00a.m. with the rest of the world. That is not what Christmas is about! NaNa was looking too. No Wii to be found. She prayed. I said I couldn't pray for something like that when there were so many starving children out there who could use all that money for food-right? She still prayed. We still looked. Last Wednesday I walked into Wal-Mart to get contacts and reluctantly went to the back. I knew what they would say-no Wii. What? There's a line. They are getting some. I prayed! A lady in front of me left. The shipment came about an hour later. They got 16. I'm 15 in line!!!!!!!!!!!!!! When I got up there to pay the man said-last one! I feel so sorry for the sweet lady behind me who did not get one for her GREAT Grandson but I was not giving mine up-Ha. So, I can't tell you how many times I missed getting one by 30 minutes. My mother-in-law would tell you that prayer works. Accorning to Pastor Ronnie today, there is no such thing as luck. Guess he's right. For a "spiritual" lesson in hunting for a Wii, see Chelle's post.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Another Friday Fun Day

What a cute movie! We all went to see Alvin and the Chipmunks yesterday and I highly recommend it. Very good family fun.

Friday Fun Day

Last Friday (I'm out of order because I have so much to catch up on), Jenna and I had our first annual cookie bake. I have been trying to do this for years but I could never get the boys to get into it-Ha. We had such a great time-we baked and baked and baked. My sweet friend Penny gave me the adorable snowman mixing bowl stuffed with cookie cutters, kitchen towel, and sugar cookie mix the Sunday before for Christmas so we were good to go! Don't you love the apron? I picked it up on a major sale.

Magical Nights of Lights

After seeing Santa we headed to Lake Lanier to see the lights. It was very good and our favoite part was the live nativity scene. A local church takes this on and provides a very short program and free hot chocolate. When we were getting out of the car Jenna asked, "Is this the real Mary?" to which Jacob answered: "No, she's in heaven with her son." Wow! Of course I knew that but for some reason that really made me think. As a Mom, she watched Jesus go through so much. Now, she is spending eternity with him. It's so funny how we forget, or do not think about, the most simple things.

Ho Ho Ho

Thursday we took the big trip of the year-to see Santa. We hit is just right and did not have to wait very long at all. As you can tell, Jenna did not want her picture taken becasue she was so excited to see Santa. On a sad note, the boys did not sit on his lap this year. I have to admit I can't believe we got them to do it last year! The cutest thing was Jenna carrying her catalog to sit in Santa's lap. It was just adorable. Now, I would like to vent a minute. I would have a picture of this but they will not let you take pictures with your camera unless you purchase a "minimum package". Usually I ignore this and do it anyway but Jenna needed my help with the catalog. So, I broke down and purchased a 5X7 for $10.00 because the picture was a classic. She was so cute sitting his lap with that catalog! Does anyone else think this is a racket? Since we have been visiting Santa for 12 years, I KNOW it has not always been this way. Last year we went to Nordstrom's where not only did you walk right up, they gave you a FREE picture. They only do that on the weekends. We did have a great time but I am going to call the mall and at least vent to the manager or something-in a nice way, of course!

Someone's Having a Birthday

Every year I look forward to the Bright Beginnings Preschool Christmas musical. It is so fun to watch and there is nothing like preschoolers to bring the true meaning of Christmas. Jenna was totally into it again this year and sang her heart out. Especially when they sang :"Glory, hallelujah." Sticking her tongue out at the boys, however, was not so cute (but pretty funny). By the way, that is a REAL bow on her head! Thanks Melody Haynes, our music teacher and my dear friend, for all your hard work.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Christmas Fun

For the past several years at Christmas we have gotten together with our good friends the Lowery's and the McDaniel's. We rotate houses each year and this year we went to the McDaniel's (Sunday, December 2-I'm way behind on blogging) We had a great dinner then roasted marshmallows by the fire pit outside. Penny and Stephanie and are dear friends that I work with at church. I don't know how many people can say they have such wonderful people to not only work with, but can also count as dear friends. There is no way the preschool could run as smoothly without them. And I could not ask for better friends!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Presents for Sabrina

Each year we try to adopt a child to buy presents for. This year The Loganville Community Ministry Village at our church sponsored 76 foster children for Christmas! We picked out a 4 year old girl named Sabrina. Jenna and I shopped for her, wrapped presents, then went to the Christmas party tonight at the church. We were sad that Sabrina was not there but it was such a joy to see all those children.
They had a visit and a gift from Santa. On Christmas morning, Sabrina will unwrap all the gifts we bought her. Jenna and I had a great discussion about what a foster child is and how fortunate they are to have a loving family to live with.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Scream Free Christmas

I came acroos this geat article by Hal Runkel at ScreamFree Parenting. Just wanted to share it with you as we all try to keep our focus on the true meaning of Christmas!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Christmas Traditions

Seems like there is a common theme this season with my friends and bloggers. That is to keep our focus on Christ and have traditions that help us do that. Our family has many traditions that I have been evaluating and making sure they keep us focused. Here are some of ours:

1) Birthday cake for Jesus-this is one of our favorites!

2) Church on Christmas Eve. I would have to say that this is my favorite. The candle light service is beautiful and I always feel great after the service.

3) Christmas story-Daddy reads the Christmas story on Christmas Eve right before bed. This is a very special time for us.

4) Christmas books-some of our favorites are: The Crippled Lamb, Small One, Legend of the Candy Cane, Twas the Night Before Jesus Came, Tale of Three Trees, Benjamin's Box.

5) Christmas picture-this is the biggest hassle of the season-honestly! We have a picture taken with my niece Mandy and we have get our schedules, clothes, etc.. all together. While we are all dressed I get pictures of my kids for all my relatives. This year, I decided we would do our best and I would just chill out and take some myself to ease the hassle. After all, it is all worth it for our precious grandparents, aunts and uncles, etc..

6) Our christmas tree-I wrote in another post that we do not have a fancy tree. I love a simple tree that the kids decorate. It has all kinds of ornaments that we have collected over the years.

7) Christmas cards-I LOVE doing Christmas cards. I look forward to it every year as a way of looking back and thanking God for all he has done for us! It also helps me keep in contact with friends I don't get to talk to a lot. We also keep a basket on our kitchen table for the cards we receive. We pull one out at dinner and pray for the family that we picked.

8) Gifts-anyone that knows me can tell you I love giving gifts. It is a joy for me. I actually start the day after Christmas for friends and family. I enjoy buying for the kids and planning out their gifts. This year, Disney World was most of our Christmas so it has been pretty easy. Christmas morning we have 3 gifts for each child to represent the gifts that were brough to Jesus.

9)Nativity Set- this is the highlight of our decorating. We talk about the Christmas story and waht it means to us. Jenna is really into it now-the boys not so much. It's OK becasue there was a time when they enjoyed it and I have those memories.

10) Christmas at PaPa's and NaNa's-we just walk next door to a wonderful dinner and lots of fun opening presents. This year Daddy will be at the fire department so we are going to have to get creative!

Thanksgivng 2007

For the third year we spent Thanksgiving in Kentucky at my brother's farm. What is so neat is the farm is on the road that my Mother grew up on. I watch my kids playing with all the cousins and think about all the times we did that at my grandfather's house! This year Aunt Jonnie and Auncle Don (they live in South Carolina) joined us. Aunt Jonnie brought a huge dinner bell which helped call all 18of us to dinner. The weather ended up being great and the food was great too.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Churchill Downs

Last week while in Kentucky we had the opportunity to go to Churchill Downs where the Kentucky Derby is held. Even though I grew up in Kentucky I have never been. It was really fun and we all enjoyed watching the races and hearing about a little bit of Kentucky history. Of course, we didn't win any money but the whole experience was fun! Thanks Mom for working that out!

Thanksgiving Feast

I'm catching up a little on my blogging. The week before Thanksgiving Jenna had a Thanksgiving feast at her preschool. Preschool programs are so cute. It was a good reminder to: "Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise." !!