Thursday, December 31, 2009

Decade in Review:

2000 - I graduated high school and started at Mississippi College
2001 - Matt and I begin dating
2002 - I transfer to Union University; my parents divorce.
2003 - Matt and I get married.
2004 - I graduated from Union, and Matt and I move to Peoria.
2005 - We move to Alabama.
2006 - Julia is born!
2007 - We start househunting; Hannah Montana invades our home...
2008 - Audrey is born!
2009 - Matt leaves Summerville.

This list isn't exhaustive. There are MANY other pertinent events that occurred during the last 10 years, but the items listed are what immediately came to mind.

Matt did his own "Biggest Moments of the Decade" post in case any of you would like to look at it.

Happy New Decade!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Santa's Elf has arrived

My girls were definitely spoiled in the presents department this Christmas. Thanks to grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and Santa... we now have ALOT of new toys in our house. Shockingly (said with sarcasm) we couldn't actually transport all of it with us when we left TN earlier this week. So Meme and Pop (a.k.a. Santa's elves) volunteered to drive down to visit just 48 hours after we left - bringing with them all of the items we couldn't fit in our car. Meme got sick (FEEL BETTER JIMMIE KAY!) but Pop arrived mid-afternoon.

... the trunk before we unpacked it.

...the living room after we unpacked Pop's van. Remember, we carried as many TN presents with us Monday that we could; plus there's all the fun stuff Santa left. We have SOOO many new toys in this house now.
Some toys are going to go (and STAY) outside for us to use when the weather is nice. Some toys (like art supplies) will be brought out during the year as needed. Some toys were opened immediately.
Thank you, family, for your generosity to all of us this Christmas!

What happened to his mommy?

Is it bad that I just stuck my 3 year old in my room to watch a tv/movie while she "rests?" I hope it's not too awful, because I do it pretty regularly. What makes today's movie a good bit worse than usual is b/c she insisted on watching "Bambi". Since she's never seen this movie before, I'm expecting her to come out loaded with questions and/or tears at any moment.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Polly Pockets

These things are rather entertaining (so far) but look at the size! The pieces are ridiculously tiny!!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Merry Christmas!

We have had a wonderful few days in Jackson visiting with so many family members, and we still have more to go! Since the majority of people who read this blog are family members, I wanted to make sure and say a big "THANK YOU!!!!!!" for all that you've done for us this week. Thank you for the gifts you gave, and thank you for the time we were able to spend together. Matt and I have fabulous family members that are so wonderful to our girls. I love seeing them bond with extended family! Just a few memories:
* Cousin Luke's "low 5's"
* Uncle David's 'superbaby' stunts
* Uncle Jacob =wrestling!!!
* Aunt Donna's tickle monster vs. Julia's flashlight
Good grief, I'd love to list so much more (but it's late... and I'm tired!)

Our extended family is so precious. They aren't around us for the day-to-day life happenings, but when we come 'home,' they're there. In this time of so much uncertainty and potential (hopeful) changes in our lives, it's nice to know that some things - the love of family - will never change.
Thank you.
We love you.
Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Santa Came!

As always, Julia came into our room around 6:30 this morning. I wasn't sure if she had noticed Santa's presents in the living room, but since she immediately fell back to sleep next to me I assumed she had not. An hour later I heard Audrey waking up. As I was slipping out of the bed, Julia woke up and said, "Did you see what's in the living room?" I told her that I hadn't been in there yet. She said "Santa gave me a bike." Apparently, Julia had walked by the living room saw some presents there and then went back to sleep. What child does this?? Wouldn't most children have gone in there to scope it out and/or come wake up their parents to tell them about it?? Oh well, we spent plenty of time this morning checking out the new toys...

After breakfast, Julia headed outside to try out her new bicycle. While Matt took Julia outside, I took Audrey to her bed. All the excitement of the morning apparently exhausted her. She was asleep again by 10:00.

Meme and Pop - notice the phone below. She was riding you around while she talked.

and a Santa morning picture of the parents...

Monday, December 21, 2009

Santa's Coming Tonight!

Just a couple of pictures we took as the girls were putting out cookies for Santa!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Smiling for Sunday School

I haven't really talked much about the church we've been attending during our time of "transition." After visiting a few others, we settled months ago at FBC Opelika. Julia has really enjoyed her class from day one. I remember getting teary when on our 2nd or 3rd Sunday to attend Julia was greeted with squeals of excitement as soon as she entered the room. She has teachers that seem really nice (Dr. David and Mrs. Kristine) and friends that she talks about (Audrey is the name of one of them - that's a big deal to our 3 year old... to have a sister named Audrey AND a friend named Audrey.) Today, Julia came out of class with presents in tow. She was given an ornament to hang on the tree and a pink mock turtleneck that had a 'J' embroidered on it. I'm sure it will be worn this next week while we're in TN.

Audrey, on the other hand, took a little bit longer to warm up to her class. The first month or 2 was rather rough. TEARS were shed upon drop-off, but once it was time for pick-up she always seemed to be doing fine. There is one male teacher for which she has a particular fondness; she is always hanging around him when we come back. (I walked up once to see him lying in the floor just letting toddlers climb on him... perhaps his obvious willingness to play has something to do with her affection.) Audrey got over the crying stuff mid-November and has been great ever since. Today, I went to pick her up and she wouldn't even come to me at first. She stood at the other end of the room cocking her head with a sly grin. I had mixed feelings about this... as great a feeling as it is to have your child run to you with open arms, it's also a great feeling to have them so enjoy their time with friends.

Yay for good times at church! The sad thing is that Matt and I are hoping that our time at our new church is as short as possible!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

It's NOT a snowglobe!

Did you know that 2 glowsticks and a lightsaber can entertain a Daddy and his daughters for 45 minutes straight?

We all had fun trying these glowsticks out in Audrey's darkened room tonight, and it was amazing how quickly bedtime came! Julia started off mistaking the word 'glow' for 'globe', and consequently began calling the sticks 'snow globes.' She continued to do this the rest of the evening b/c she could tell it was annoying Matt.

I'm glad that Santa has a few more packs of these glowsticks ready to put in the girls' stockings!

Friday, December 18, 2009

and just one more...

Making Ornaments

The girls and I spent some time this morning making ornaments. Below is a closeup of a spirally Christmas tree, and a coffee filter snowflake that Julia made. I had forgotten how EASY those snowflakes really are to make.

All of our new ornaments

Close ups of regular ornament that Audrey wasn't too excited about coloring. Another Christmas tree, and our pipe cleaner candy cane.

It's amazing how little these girls like to color. Only one of the ornaments we made involved coloring, and they acted as if coloring anything was beneath them. All Julia wants to do is use her scissors, and all Audrey wants to do is mess with the glue.
I originally went looking for glitter to help fancy up some of these ornaments; THANK GOODNESS I didn't find it. I can assure you we made plenty of a mess without it.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree...

Since VERY few people other than the 4 of us actually get to see our Christmas tree, I decided to do a blog post about it. (Thank you, Christy, for the idea!)

Here is our beautiful Christmas tree. It's not very big, and it is pre-lit so putting the thing up is a breeze!!! We always add icicles to make the tree sparkle even more! I'm a big fan of the 'family' Christmas tree. The fancy ones that are decorated with coordinating ornaments are pretty, but just seem too impersonal for my taste (no offense if that's what yours looks like... your house, your tree, your decision!) Please also notice that surrounding the foot of the tree are those dag-blamed Hallmark snowmen that sing. Matt's mom (Meme) gets at least one for the girls every year. Julia and Audrey love them.

Now, on to ornaments. My favorite ornaments are the ones that have family pictures in them. I even bought some new ones a few weeks ago for Matt to give me on Christmas. They were 3 really pretty glass photo ornaments from Bed, Bath, and Beyond for a total of $2.75 (last year's clearance.) Here is one with a picture from last year:

I like this ornament b/c it's jingly.

Matt has alot of ornaments that I always threaten to not put on the tree. Here are a couple of examples:

And of course... we have to have a couple of Hannah Montana ornaments. One of them actually sings a song. The other 2 we have are Hannah photo frames. I'm planning on putting pics of the girls in their Hannah attire in them, but for now we just enjoy seeing Hannah's picture.

Now as for Baby's 1st Christmas ornaments... we have 10 or so for Julia, but only 2 for Audrey, and one of Audrey's I messed up. It was supposed to be one you personalize, but I wound up not having a thin enough pen. I couldn't fit her entire name on it, and wound up having to repaint the white part countless times... I wound up with her initials on it, and it looks bad. OH WELL!

My favorite 1st Christmas ornament for Julia: this one opens up to reveal a picture and a piece of paper that folds out telling all about Christmas 2006. What we did, presents she received, her response to all the festivities, etc. This one is her favorite as well.

Yet another one from Julia's first Christmas.

I mentioned to family that I wanted them to be on the lookout on Clearance aisles for 'First Christmas 2008' ornaments since we had so few for Audrey. Matt's mom wound up ordering some on the internet. (I can't believe I didn't think of that myself!) I'm looking forward to seeing them!
Happy Countdown to Christmas!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Eat your vegetables!

Typically when I serve green beans, I do so from a can with just salt & pepper. Sounds delicious right? Well, no - they're not. They're edible, but our family really just always takes the token (smallish) helping and then we move on to the more preferred sides. Tonight, I decided to actually fancify my green beans up a little. I drained them and put them in a casserole dish with a tiny amount of margerine and a little brown sugar. Then, I microwaved some bacon (just a little to lessen the necessary baking time) and placed it on top. The whole process took about 2 minutes. 30 minutes or so baking, and WOW what a difference! Matt ate 3 helpings. What? Did I just say that?? YES - Matt had 3 helpings of a green vegetable! Now, these fancified green beans definitely have more sugar, more fat, more "bad stuff." However, the flip side is that my family is actually eating green beans! Next time I might try it without the bacon. That will still leave the green beans sugary, but not nearly as fatty!

Hello, SANTA!!!!

Matt joined us for our trip to the library this week for our Christmas Party. Audrey didn't want to go anywhere near Santa, but she did want to stand around and stare at him. Julia was interested yet hesitant.

Julia showing off the teddy bear Santa gave her.

Here is Audrey avoiding the camera (seriously, she refused to look.) Her outfit looked really cute. I was even able to put her hair up in a little hairband. It was so small that with the hairbow in you could barely see the little mini ponytail! My baby's hair is finally getting a little longer. Of course, as soon as she saw Santa she wanted her 'bee' for comfort. 'Bee' = pacifier.

One of the librarians was taking pictures too, and I've asked her to email me pics she got of us. The teenage boy that volunteered to take our family ones for us didn't do such a hot job. He was too far away and didn't zoom. I should have known - how often do you see teenage boys walking around with a camera in tow? (answer: rarely, if ever) Oh well, it was nice of him to go out of his way to volunteer.

Wrestling Mammy

I'm not sure how it happened, but my children's favorite pastime is wrestling. This past weekend, my mom (Mammy) was the lucky victim.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

I've resorted to posting about food.

My mom's in town this weekend. I always get a little nervous cooking for company b/c of this one little quirk I have: I don't measure stuff, or rather I measure rarely and when I do actually measure an item it's done in a very haphazard manner. Things usually turn out well, but there's always the uncertainty.

Tonight I decided to make potato soup for dinner: soup because it's cold and rainy today - potato because I had a big bag in the pantry of the starchy vegetable that needed to be used. I also liked the idea of putting it in the crock-pot midday. Come dinnertime all I really had to do was get some cornbread in the oven; the rest of my time could be spent with Mammy.

When dinner was served, I felt a little nervous b/c I wasn't really sure how good the soup was (I hate blandness) and I was iffy on my cornbread (it took longer to cook than I was expecting.) Once the food cooled off a little and I was actually able to taste, I think it turned out pretty good. I wasn't really sure what Matt thought about the meal, but Julia promptly raved, "mmmm. It's good Mommy!" I said "thank you," but my thoughts were actually, 'Ahhh, thanks for the compliment child, but you dip your grapes in ranch dressing - I don't know that I trust your opinion.'

A few minutes ago I checked facebook and saw that Matt had mentioned potato soup and cornbread as being the perfect dinner for a cold/rainy day like today. Thanks Matt. I took it as a compliment since Matt is certainly not in the habit of posting references to my meals. Yay... now... what to have for lunch and dinner tomorrow... hmmm.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Another month, another HAIRCUT!

This morning was the 3rd time I've cut Matt's hair, but it was just the 1st time I've done it and not had an "oops." Yay me! He always gets so tense while I'm cutting his hair. It's like he doesn't trust me! (wink wink) Seeing him tense up just makes me nervous.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Over at the Mobley's

Audrey helping Mrs. Wanda roll dice

Julia wrestling Rachel

Snuggling with Michelle

YAY! Last night, we were able to break out from our hermit like existance and socialize with some good friends of ours, the Mobley's. The Mobley's are friends from our former church, and we hadn't seen them in a long while. While the adults hung out in the kitchen to talk and play games, Julia and Audrey played in the living room with their girls, Michelle and Rachel. I can only assume from the many squeals that a good time was had by all. I know that my girls think the world of Michelle and Rachel, and that we all miss seeing this family 2 or 3 days a week like we used to. I think it's wonderful to have such a fabulous teenager and preteen for my girls to be around and look to as role models.
As for the adults...gosh... it was just nice to feel like we had friends again! Not that we ever weren't friends with them or that we don't have other people we count as friends... it's just... well... I guess things often get pretty lonely around here.
The one negative of the night is that we wound up staying there until after 10:30. My girls typically start getting ready for bed at 8 and are tucked in by 8:20. There wasn't much whining last night since Julia and Audrey were both so excited to be over there. However, this morning the effects of our late night began to show. Audrey slept until 9:45 and went back down for a nap less than 4 hours later. Julia (Miss I think I'm too big for a nap) is currently in her room WHINING pitifully instead of resting. Of course, I guess that's not really all that unusual after all.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Red Alert

Allright. This morning, Matt headed out early to get some reading done and the girls and I lounged around the house. About 9:30, I logged onto facebook where I receive a message from Matt saying that we are going to have company this afternoon. "Ok, no problem!" It sounded like fun. Then 5 minutes later... a new message. Our company is probably going to be arriving any minute. "Uh-oh. Now that's a problem."

Maybe I'm one of the few people who lives like this, but our house isn't always visitor ready at the drop of a hat. I've never in my life been a 'neat freak' and now that I have children, keeping a clean/straight house is even harder. Don't get my wrong, we don't live in a pigsty. We just LIVE. When Matt messaged me about our coming visitors, we had 1 load of laundry sitting in the corner, another pile of sheets in the chair, a small mountain of toys in the floor, pillows scattered everywhere, hairbows here and there, bags of unwrapped Christmas presents stashed behind the couch, and the girls folding table with their breakfast remains sitting in the midst of it all... and perhaps I should add that this was just the living room... and perhaps I should also add that we 3 girls were all still in our pajamas.

OF COURSE, I immediately thrust Audrey out of my lap and took care of me first. Change clothes, brush teeth, DONE. On to the next task.. I moved the clean clothes and sheets into a big pile on our bed. (They're still there!) I had Julia put up the bows, and Audrey was in charge of the pillows while I took care of most everything else. After a 30 second vacuum job, the living room looked presentable. Whew. Of course... we still had to take care of the kitchen, the girls' rooms and their bathroom. (I pretty much always plan on just keeping the master bedroom door closed.) But we did it.... the 'illusion' of clean. No dusting necessary!


We waited.

Matt returned home, and all 4 of us waited.

Guess what.

We're still waiting... 12 hours later!!!!!!!!!!

They never showed.

Oh well, at least my house is (kind of) straight!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Sick of Blog Backgrounds!

After spending WAY TOO MUCH TIME today and tonight searching out a new blog background, I am now so sick of it that this background WILL stay up until after Christmas. Listed below are some of the thoughts I had that led to so much time working on this blog...

* This background isn't very Christmasy after all
* This background is too old looking
* ...too wide
* ...too boring
* Allright - good background.
* Old picture, let me update it
* Allright done.
(a few hours gap)
* Oops, Christy has the same background... can't let that happen.
* Background just isn't Christmasy enough.
* ... too 'blah'
* ... too boyish
* oooooh - I can put snow on my blog!
* Allright, decent background.
* This new picture looks funny w/ my new background.
* UH - my camera somehow made the new new picture vertical
* YIKES! - my camera somehow made my face huge
* DOUBLE YIKES! - my camera somehow made my face CRAZY huge!
* ok, it's done.... finally

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Audrey's late night

Tonight, about an hour after she had originally gone down, Audrey decided she was going to wake up and scream. Now, I've always talked about how wonderful a sleeper Audrey is, and this is still true to a point. Lately, though, she's had a little more trouble than normal... 2 year molars perhaps? Or maybe she's going through some separation anxiety stage? I don't know. It doesn't really matter why. The point is that after I went in there to calm her down, she calmed down but was crazy wide awake. So, we went into the living room and spent an hour or so with some 2-1 AUDREY time!

I'm not sure where she got the scratch. I'm also well aware that she looks like a little boy in these pajamas... a Beautiful little boy.

As an update, she is currently in her bed, and the cries have settled down into whines. In the words of the great AMY K... "bless it."