Saturday, December 31, 2011

Goodbye to 2011 and Final 52 Home

     A year ago I couldn't imagine having a year's worth of stuff to write about, but as I look through my past blogs I'm very grateful I got it all down.  Everyone in our family is another year older, wiser, and crazier.  As our children grow we are enjoying them more and more.  We were very blessed to have spent an entire year in the same house.  If you know my husband then you know what a huge accomplishment this was for our family!  Which brings me to my last photo for my 52 Home project:

This is a photo of our house taken by Jeremy just this morning.  Can you tell what's missing from this photo?  You guessed it, a "for sale" sign.  We will once again be selling and building.  This has become one of Jeremy's favorite activities over the past few years, and we are all along for the ride.  He did promise me 2 Christmas's in this house and as of last week he has kept that promise.  So, beginning tomorrow we are on the market once again.  So, if any of you are looking for a wonderful 4/5 bedroom home, in a great family friendly neighborhood, in Muscle Shoals, Alabama we've got the one for you!  All joking aside, this has been my favorite house that we've had.  We tend to cling to each other more than the actual structure of a house for our "home", so we always have fun building.  Yes, it's stressful for me because I'm the one that has to do all the packing up, not to mention the unpacking when we finally get into the new place, but we always settle in pretty quickly.  The kids are already trying to pick their room colors for next time!  I thought this last post would be filled with the retelling of the past year, but we are already looking so forward to the next one that it's all I want to write about.  All in all 2011 has been very good to us.  We have had our share of struggles and losses, just as any family does, but we have weathered them and come through them together. 

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas Day 2011

     Christmas morning we woke up around 6:30 a.m.  In all our years of having children, we have always had to wake them up on Christmas.  I guess we are all so worn out from Christmas Eve it's hard to get up, even on Christmas.  Everybody came in to the den to see what Santa brought, and to open presents.  Even Everett was excited this year.  Mainly because most of the gifts he'd opened so far had had trucks in them.  Every time we started to open a present (no matter who's it was) he would be right there to help them.  We could ask him what it was going to be and he would always say, "truck".  Jackson was 12 pages into a new book he opened before we even turned around.  Parker was running around like a madman, not knowing what to rip into first.  After all the gifts were opened I noticed Mia with a long face and I asked her what was wrong.  She said she just wished she had a sister.  Now, I know that she has been praying for a sister since before we had Everett.  I don't know if she expected God to answer her by us announcing we were pregnant again on Christmas morning, but by the look on her face I suspected that's what she thought He might do.  I told her (once again) that we were not planning on having anymore children, but that she was right in her thinking that God is in control of our lives, and we never know what He might do.  I also reminded her how much she really does love all those brothers and about all the girl time we get to have, and will have in the future.  She perked back up after our talk and reminded me that she would just continue to pray for a baby sister.  We grabbed a quick bite of breakfast and got ready to go to Grandma's.  We got there around 9:30 and we opened presents and ate lunch there.  Jeremy's grandparents came over after their church service got out, so we got to visit with them too.  After lunch we dropped off what we had gotten from Grandma's and headed to Pop and Nana's.  They were just about to eat lunch when we got there, so we talked and the kids played before we were ready to open presents.  When everyone was finished we let the kids open their gifts.  It was so funny to see all their reactions.  Parker and Ezra screamed every time they opened something, and had to run around the room and show each other what it was.  Nana had put everyone's gifts in huge bags, so the kids were literally climbing in them to get to the loot.  After all the craziness subsided the kids started getting out some of their toys.  And wouldn't you know, the mini Nerf guns that Pop had bought everybody is exactly what they spent the next hour playing with.  Even Everett got his out and tried to shoot it.  He couldn't quite figure it out, so he'd load his then throw the whole thing at whoever ran by.  We also played a few Minute to Win It Christmas games that afternoon.  We played Don't Drop the Ornament (they had to toss an ornament back and forth while moving backwards and the team that was the farthest apart won), Snow Day (they were blindfolded and had to feel through a pile of hats, gloves, coats, and scarves to put on one of each), and Christmas Cookie (they had to get a cookie from their forehead to their mouth without using their hands.).  It was a really fun day as always.  It reminds me of all the Christmas's I spent with my cousins when I was a little girl.  We're all grown now and scattered out across the state with our own families, so we rarely see one another.  I hope when our kids are grown that they will stay close, not just during holidays, but always.

Pics from our house:

Pics from Grandma's:

 Pics from Pop and Nana's:

Jackson diving to the bottom of his bag

A heated game of headbandz

Flying his new helicopter

This looks sweet, but really he just didn't want anyone else sitting in his chair.

Minute to Win It - The Christmas Edition:

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas Tradition #7

Christmas Cookie Baking.  There's nothing more to say.

Blessed with Family

     Many times we feel like we are spending the holidays house hopping, but we often forget to be thankful for it.  It's because we are blessed with these huge families that we get to go from house to house, seeing everyone and being together.  Our Christmas officially began last Friday.  Jeremy's dad (Jerry) and his wife (Debbie) came up from Montgomery to spend the night with us.  It was a short visit, but we were glad to get to see them for Christmas.

     Also that evening we had Christmas at Anita's house with Jeremy's side of the family.  We are very fortunate that all of them live close by, so we always enjoy this time.  Jeremy's aunt Kristi played a game with the kids.  They all sat in a circle with a wrapped gift, and as she read the story they had to listen for her to say "right" or "left" and pass their gift accordingly.  They had a great time with this.  The kids had drawn names, so they exchanged gifts.  The adults played Dirty Santa this year, and it was so much fun.  And there was so much food we could have all eaten twice!  Jeremy's Memaw's world famous hash brown casserole was there.  Okay, so maybe it's only famous in our world, but that's the one that matters most, right?  There was ham, chicken, chips and cheese dip, beans, pigs in a blanket, pizza crescents, and tons of desserts.  We always have a great time at Anita's, and we had to wrestle the kids into the car when it was time to go.  They are never ready to go!

Devan and Everett

Lots of cousins = Lots of fun

Jackson and Parker with Meme

     Saturday was Christmas Eve, and it was busy and fun.  We had breakfast with Jerry and Debbie, then opened presents with them.  While they watched Elf, I had to make a run to Wal Mart.  How I always end up at Wal Mart on Christmas Eve is beyond me, but there I was as usual.  Jerry told us that he had never seen Elf, which we considered a crime against Christmas.  This is one of our very favorite movies and we can be found watching it anytime of year!  We said our goodbyes to them around noon, and headed down the street to Pop and Nana's for lunch.  My grandparents on my dad's side were here from Hamilton and we all grilled hamburgers and gave them their gifts.  Only in Alabama will you find folks grilling burgers on Christmas Eve!  We spent a few hours there, then headed home for a little down time before our big night of cooking that evening.  I have already posted about our Christmas Eve fun, so I won't repeat it here.  After we were all exhausted from our night, we went home and put on our pj's.  We set out our cookies for Santa and sprinkled reindeer food on the lawn.  Then we all settled in and anticipated tomorrow.