Sunday, December 27, 2009

Branson Trip

My mom has started the tradition of not getting us gifts for Christmas instead, she takes us all on a trip. For us, this ideal. We have the viewpoint that no one really remembers what they got last year, let alone 3+ years ago, for Christmas but most people can recall memories from trips they've taken. Because of this, Brad and I don't get each other much for holidays or birthdays and instead save up that money to travel with! I'm glad my mom has decided to do the same!

Even though 2 of my brothers live in the same town as us, between families, work, and school, it is hard to get all of us together. Now that Aric goes to school at Vandy, we only have a couple of times a year that we all see each other. Needless to say, much advance notice is needed to pull this one off!!! Luckily, it worked for EVERYONE's schedule this year!!!
We use this time to open our Christmas gifts. We have been drawing names for a long time now and this year was even more fun because Aric and Kellen's girlfriends names were thrown in the hat!!! This year was a bit more tricky though because there was no list. Why? I have NO idea! I felt bad for the girls since they didn't know us all that well to know what to get us but I have to say everyone did a good job picking out gifts this year! (I do think I'll try to get a list together for next year though!)
The kids drew names as well!!! Troy got Addyson's name and thought that meant he got to help her open up her gift as well!!! : ) Luckily, Addyson welcomed the help!
She loved the pull froggy he got her.
We never really have a lot on our "schedule", it is mainly time to catch up, relax, and eat, drink, and be merry!!! This year mom found a big condo that could fit all of us (instead of 3 separate hotel rooms) and had 2 living rooms for us to hang out in together! We ate breakfast and dinner at the room and everyone did a great job of pitching in! Kaitlyn even did dishes for the first time!!! : )
The first night there was Kellen's birthday and Owen's half birthday!!! We celebrated with lots of yummy desserts like this cheesecake Kellen is cutting!!! While Owen was excited to celebrate his half birthday, Kellen wasn't so thrilled about having to share his special day!!! ; ) He was a good sport though and humored his 2 year old nephew but made sure he got the first piece of cake!
At night we hung out after the kids went to bed and played games!!! It was so much fun! Made me wish we got together more often! Not sure what the 2 crazy cats are doing in the above picture but I can say that it involved drinking "something" out of an ice cream scooper followed by drinking pancake syrup.... Brad comes up with the craziest ideas!
After a long day I found Addyson asleep on daddy's chest!!!! So cute!!!
Thanks mom for the great Christmas present!!! It was a wonderful couple of days!

Two and a Half

Happy Half Birthday Owen!!! I can't believe you are two and a half already!!! You are growing up so fast! It seems like just yesterday we were bringing you home from the hospital. Now you are a big brother and Mommy's big helper and you do both roles very well..... when you want to! You like to help with the laundry (folding towels, putting clothes in the dryer, and filling up the laundry basket with dirty clothes) and dishes (loading and unloading the dishwasher). You also like to go shopping with mommy, especially when Addyson stays home with daddy!!! Those mornings we usually go get lunch and have some good one-on-one time. Daddy and Addyson are never far from your mind because you'll always ask (several times) where they are.You are very kind hearted and always concerned when someone is crying or it looks like someone might have an "owie". You ask "what happened?" and are quick to give one of your kisses to make it all better! When someone sneezes you say, "Bless you". When Addyson wakes up in the morning you ask her, "Addyson, did you have a good sleep?" just like mommy asks you! You love to snuggle especially after waking up from a nap!! Mommy really loves it when you come and sit in her lap as you wake up!

You are a good sleeper. We have a great bedtime and naptime routine which consists for reading a book, talking about your day, and saying a prayer. After that we turn on your music, leave you with a book, and you read yourself to sleep! Some nights you sleep through the night but most nights you come and sleep on a mattress at the foot of our bed (Once you are in our room you sleep through the night). You are a good eater some days, you'll eat anything and everything we put in front of you, and other days you don't want to eat anything but crackers and cereal. Your favorites are black bean quesadillas ("tacos") with guacamole and sour cream dippy, pizza and salad (you often eat more salad than pizza!!!!), and mommy's homemade chicken noodle soup! You love almost all fruits, even mangos and kiwi, and most veggies, spinach is probably a favorite. And you love to drink your milk!!!!!!!!!! All in all you eat a pretty balanced diet with occasional sweets! : )
You are a little entertainer. You help make Addyson smile when she is sad or make her laugh when she wants to be entertained. You are very musical and like to play the drums and piano! You can often be heard singing your ABCs, Baa Baa Black Sheep, or Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and sometimes a mixture of all 3!!! You are also our little composer and make up your own songs (most of which, only you know what you are singing) that you like to sing at the top of your lungs!!! : )
You are very creative and love to play pretend. One of your favorite things to play right now is "going shopping". You take your shopping cart out "shopping" and come back with yummy things for us to eat (usually what mommy doesn't have in the house and you remind me that we need to go shopping for) like grapes, cheese, tacos, hamburgers, and fries. Addyson plays this game best with you because as you had it to her she opens her mouth and then she chews because she thinks you really put something in there. It is a perfect "team" game for the 2 of you! You also love to draw and paint. You will tell us what you are drawing (which we are very thankful for because we would have guess wrong ; ).
You love to read books!!! You often fall asleep with a book in hand and sleep with it all through the night! If we take it away, you wake up looking for it!! We can often find you "reading" to yourself a book you know saying many of the words!! You can pick out the letter "O" and know that Owen starts with "O". You can tell people that you are two and a half when they ask how old you are. You know a lot of shapes; circle, triangle, heart, star and are working on your colors; you know blue, green, black, brown, orange, yellow, and red (most of the time). You know A LOT of animals (probably more than the average 2 year old), too many for me to list. Nammie took you to the zoo a couple of weeks ago and was very impressed when you told her there were flamingos in the exhibit you were looking at, told her the monkeys in the monkey house were lemurs, and knew the camel was the big animal with a hump on its back. You make your mommy proud with all the animals you know and the sounds they make!!!
Happy Half Birthday Little Man!!! You make your mommy and daddy so proud!!! We love you so much!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Our White Christmas

The last time Fayetteville had a winter snow storm on Christmas morning was back in 1975 so you could say we were pleasantly surprised to wake up to a White Christmas!!! To have the sun shining off the newly fallen snow was a great backdrop for a wonderful morning with our family! It made for great pictures of our new house as well! ; )

After admiring the snow from our bedroom, we headed to the living room to open presents!!! Owen couldn't wait to get started!
He went right to the presents so we ended up opening the stockings after all the gifts were open! Santa usually fills our stockings with lots of yummy treats which Owen wanted to open up right away! Since it was Christmas we didn't put up to much of a fight against that so Owen had a Little Debbie Christmas tree cake and Chex mix for breakfast!! Just what every kid dreams of!!

Poor Addyson has been teething for the past week! She is getting all 4 top teeth in at one time! Ouch!!! She has had a fever the past 2 nights but luckily felt pretty good this morning but not at her best. She wasn't a huge fan of opening gifts which Owen was very happy about! This meant he got to help her open all of her gifts!!! Addyson was a fan of tasting all of the wrapping paper! :)Grandma and Grandpa got her her first purse!!!! I was really excited to see this one! I had been eyeing one but ended up passing on it! Now I'm thankful I did!!! This is a Melissa & Doug purse which is much nicer than the one I was looking at! Owen did a good job of helping show her all of her gifts!After all the craziness had calmed down, Addyson and I sat and looked at her photo album of family I made her! (Look at the mess in the background! Owen didn't open gifts by ripping big pieces of wrapping paper off, instead he tore lots little pieces which made for quit the mess!!!) It was nice to sit back and enjoy the morning with her!
Owen and Addyson also got a chalkboard from Grandma and Grandpa. Here he is our, little artist at work!
Poor baby girl was tired from all of the excitement. She laid her head down for a little rest. I'm a bit sad that she doesn't feel very good today. I really wanted her to have a great first Christmas but to her (and every other baby out there) it was just another day and she didn't feel like she was missing out on anything. To her, being surrounded by her family, snuggling with mom, playing with big brother, and smiling at dad makes it a great first Christmas!
After opening gifts we sat down to our traditional Christmas breakfast!!! We make the breakfast casserole that Brad's mom made every year and it is SO yummy!!!! A plus to this tradition is that it is SO easy to make and doesn't create a lot of dishes! We can make it the night before and then let it bake in the morning while we open gifts! After opening gifts, which works up ones appetite, the casserole is done and ready to be eaten!!! Addyson could barely keep her eyes open long enough to eat!
After breakfast, while Addy napped, Owen and Brad went outside to play in the snow!!! It was dry snow so it wasn't great for packing but they worked really hard to make a snowman!!!
I sat in the den (in the warm house), in the peace and quite, and took it all in!!! Sitting back and surveying the "damage" from the morning, while watching the boys play outside, and knowing I had a sleeping baby in the crib, made me realize all I have to be thankful for! What a wonderful Christmas morning!
Here the guys show off "Crosty" the snowman!!!! Merry Christmas Everyone!

Christmas Morning

This morning I was the first one up.... how did that happen???? The kids slept in, actually they slept through the night. When they sleep through the night I get up and worry. I got up at about 5:30 and went and checked on Addyson, who was sound asleep in her bed, and Owen, who was curled up asleep in his bed but by then I was awake. All my stiring ended up waking up Brad so there we sat, 5:30, awake, and waiting for the kids to get up so we could open presents!!!

We pulled everyone into our room so we could all get ready and Brad could go turn on the Christmas lights (and start the coffee!!!) and film us walking out! Before we left the room Owen was very excited to talk about the idea of Santa coming while we slept last night!

Did Santa come???

Opening presents

I just love his excitement!

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas from our family to yours!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Getting ready for Santa

To get ready for Santa tonight we had to do a few things! First off, we watch a personalized video from Santa. Owen was so excited to hear Santa say his name! We then found Santa and his reindeer on the Santa tracker to see where he was! We saw that he was getting close so we went outside, in the new fallen snow, and spread food for the reindeers. Owen had made a special packet of reindeer food at his school that was oats for them to eat and glitter so the food would sparkle on the ground and make it easy for the reindeer to find! What a cute idea. He was excited to put the food out but also wanted to quickly come back inside since it was freezing out there!!! Hope the food makes it easy for Santa to find our house! ; )

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas Thanks

A new tradition I am starting is our "Giving Thanks" stick. I made this vase by etching the words "Giving Thanks" on the side and hope to use it at Thanksgiving time to decorate it with leaves labeled with different things we are thankful for. At Christmas, I want to use it to display all of our wonderful family and friends we are thankful for!I wish the lighting was a bit better but you get the idea! I think next year I'll need to use 2 sticks!! We have lots of friends and family to be thankful for this holiday season!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas Crafts

I had a list of Christmas crafts I wanted to do with the kids this year but I didn't realize how crazy things were going to be between the move and the holidays so we didn't get everything done. I'm embarrassed to say we didn't get around to baking cookies.... I just never made it to the store to get all the ingredients we needed. Oh well.... we did other fun projects and Owen doesn't know my list of things we didn't get to! : )

A MOMS Club activity was making plates! There is a mom that makes a plate with her kids every year and I thought it was a great idea so I started this year. We let Owen do his own thing and he came up with this very colorful masterpiece!!! I helped Addyson a bit (and so did a couple of other moms) and colored her hands and a foot to make a Rudolph plate! I think this will be neat to display every year!
Another project was making bird seed cover pine cones. I remember making these as a kid and was reminded about them when I read Amanda's blog (thanks Amanda!).

Since we are surrounded by pine trees it was easy to find pine cones for this project! After gathering them, I showed Owen how to spread peanut butter on them.
I'm not sure if he ended up eating more than he spread but it sure looked like he did! : )
After covering them cones in peanut butter we rolled them in bird seed. Next year I will be doing this part outside!!! I didn't realize how messy it would be! Especially with a 2 year old in charge of it and that 2 year old covered in peanut butter which made for an awful mess!!!Despite the mess, we were very happy with our finished product and we hope the birds are happy with it too!
This year I thought it would be neat for Owen to decorate some ornaments! He really enjoys painting and, as you've read in previous blogs, I love to have an ornament (or 2) that are special to each year so I thought this would be a perfect Christmas craft!
He had so much fun painting them and I am so happy with how they turned out! Can't wait to see what he paints next year!

Santa Visit

This picture needs no words but I do want to tell you about our visit. Of course we pick one of the busiest nights to go see Santa so we ended up waiting in line, well I'm not really sure the exact time and it is probably better that I don't wear a watch! Let's just suffice it to say we waited there well over 30 minutes and probably closer to an hour. We were there long enough for Addyson to get tired and Owen to see enough kids before him cry that he wasn't sure keen on the idea of sitting on Santa's lap even though earlier today he said he was going to see Santa. Of course, in his mind, he can SEE Santa WITHOUT sitting on Santa's lap!

I get the great idea to let Addyson go first so we can get one good picture with her and Santa and then we are going to do a "sneak attack" with Owen, drop him on Santa's lap and run so they can snap a quick picture and Viola! Well not such a great idea. What you get is the above picture! First of all, Addyson DID NOT like sitting on Santa's lap. She was holding on to me for dear life when we walked up to him. The minute I put her down she cried (and she doesn't cry much so you know it must have been bad!). I say this so you don't think she was crying just because Owen was. So they took 2 pictures and then we put Owen down who started screaming the minute he got within arms reach of Santa. Poor Santa! I should probably say Poor Owen and Poor Addyson as well!! Before long Owen had slid down (he shirt was up to his head) so his feet could touch the ground and Santa was still holding on. At this point I was afraid he was going to drop Addyson, wouldn't that have been a great ending to her first Santa visit! We quickly aborted the mission, gave Addyson her yum yum, and Owen a candy cane and all was better!!! Owen happily waved good bye to Santa and Addyson was happy to be back with her momma and eating her favorite treat! Tonight, as we were talking about our day, I asked Owen if he cried when he saw Santa and he informed me that it was Addyson that cried!! : ) He must have been the one that was sympathy crying! ; )

Monday, December 21, 2009


I love our Christmas tradition my mom started for us as kids where she gets us each a personalized ornament. Sometimes it has our name on it and sometimes it doesn't but somehow represents us that year. I'm glad that the tradition carries on with our kids!

Here are Owen's and Addyson's ornaments for this year! Thanks mom, we love them!

Opening his....

Helping Addyson open hers....

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Santa came early

Owen has been asking for a "brown present" from Santa. Not sure exactly what he had in mind BUT Santa came today while we were eating supper and delivered this new, BROWN bunk bed!

We are one step closer to getting Owen's room set up! In the corner is a book shelf I got when I graduated high school!!! This shelf has been many things in its life (in our last house we used it to store our pots and pans) and now it has been painted to match Owen's room and will be used to hold his books!

I think Santa will be bringing Owen some more things for his new Sports Themed room!!!! Stay tuned for more pictures!

Friday, December 18, 2009

8 months already?!?!

Can you believe Sweet Pea is already 8 months old? I can't believe we are already starting to plan her 1st birthday party! Is it just me or does time fly with your second kid????

Addyson is a very active and very happy baby girl!!! She is always on the go or looking around to see what she can get into!!!! She likes to pull up on everything and cruise up and down the couch or around big toys and she often lets go and can stand on her own for several seconds. She is not a big fan of having help to walk. I try to get her to hold my hand and take a few steps but she sits down right away. I guess she thinks she can do it better by herself!!! She is already a very independent woman!!!!Because she is so independent she is very good at playing by herself. The only thing I have to be careful about is watching what she puts in her mouth.... well she puts EVERYTHING in her mouth, so really I just have to make sure that what she puts in her mouth is safe. She recently discovered where we keep the dog bowls so she can been seen chewing on a piece of dog food, nice Addyson, nice! Paper products seem to be one of her favorites to chew on!
She is a good eater and still a very good nurser. When we sit down to eat she is ready to sit in her chair and eat with us! Black beans are one of her favorites, actually I think it is her #1 favorite food to eat. Can a kid eat too many beans???? She also like sweet potatoes, peas, guacamole, noodles, spinach, and a new found favorite is asparagus!!! She is not a huge fan of fruits which in our books is good because she is developing a taste for the salty foods instead of sweet foods!!! She loves to pick up the food off her tray and eat it! I have offered her some local organic baby food and she spits it out in disgust! Guess it is hard to eat pureed, plain food when you are use to picking up yummy, whole foods off your tray and eating by yourself! After her favorite dinner of black beans she looks like she is growing a beard!!! : )
Addyson continues to be Owen's biggest fan but it is getting a bit harder to keep him from wrestling her or taking away every toy she wants to play with. It doesn't help that she puts every toy in her mouth and he doesn't like her to "eat" his toys. She recently started "kissing" more. She leans in towards the dogs and gives them an open mouth kiss on the head. It is really cute! Here she is giving Owen a nice, big, slobbery kiss!!!
She is becoming more verbal. She has her little squeal she does and she also says "dada" and "nana" (I'm trying really hard to make it sound like "mama"!!!). She has a great personality and am looking forward to see how she grows this next month!!!