Okay...you know it's time to wash the car when you walk out of the mall and someone (namely 3 high school boys who are sitting in their car laughing at you) has written in blue chalk on the pavement below your car...WASH! Needless to say, we drove straight to the car wash.
Matching sleeping bags that they had to get in right away!
Every year we go to Randy's parents (a.k.a. Grandmother & Grandaddy) for lunch on Christmas Day. They are such good cooks! We always have such a tremendous feast that could really feed an army. Caitlin and Harrison said we needed to open presents first this year because they weren't ready to eat lunch yet when we got there. So open we did! There were so many presents. Wrapping paper, bows, and boxes went everywhere! It was kinda funny--Harrison wore his new Rock Band t-shirt that Santa had brought him, and Randy got Rock Band 2 from his parents as his big present! And Harrison's big present was a drum set. We threatened to leave it there (with Harrison)! Caitlin and I didn't get musical presents. We got what every girl wants--clothes! It was so much fun just being together and enjoying each other's company. The only blemish on the beautiful day was as we were leaving. We dropped our camera, and it broke!!! But I've been telling Randy that we needed a new one, so I guess that's my way of getting it replaced!
Then it was time to open presents from Mommy and Daddy. Caitlin and Harrison get 3 presents from Mommy and Daddy just like Jesus got 3 presents from the Wise Men. Of course, Mommy and Daddy got a few presents also. It was more fun to see the looks on their faces when we opened up what they had picked out for us! Even Brady the Dog got a new bone!
Opening the first present with the Surprise! in it.
Checking out the clue on the computer
Opening the ottoman to find another clue
Can you believe there's a present in the refrigerator!?
Wow!! Bean bag chairs!! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!
Caitlin and Harrison (unbeknownst to each other) bought each other a bean bag chair. Well, Randy and I did not know how we were going to wrap these huge things! So I had the idea of having a Scavenger Hunt for them. My Granny used to do this for me when I was little. We came up with clues, and I wrapped each one up in a box. After they went to bed on Christmas Eve, Randy and I placed them around the house. Then on Christmas Morning they both opened their present from each other at the same time. It had a note in it that said, "Surprise! It's time for a Present Hunt! Go look on the computer." So they had to hike up the stairs to look at the message on the computer that told them to look in the ottoman in the living room. There was another present to unwrap. This note told them to look under their Christmas tree upstairs. They found another present with a clue that told them to look in the refrigerator. There was a present inside the refrigerator! This clue told them to look inside the big Christmas tree. Inside the tiny box was the last clue that said to look in the movie room. Caitlin and Harrison ran to the movie room and found a High School Musical bean bag chair and a Wall-E bean bag chair! I hope they had fun hunting for their presents!!
Randy and I were so excited about all the presents, we actually woke up before the kids! It was really a good thing because we were able to get all the cameras ready plus ourselves before they came bounding down the stairs! Actually we have a major rule in our house--before they can come down the stairs on Christmas Morning, they have to tell us they're awake on the baby monitor. Then Randy and I come upstairs and get them. We are both afraid we are going to miss the excitement on their faces when they see all their presents for the first time! We had such a good time seeing what Santa had brought. Santa is a very smart man because he brought two of several toys so that there would be no fighting!
All the grandkids--Daniel, Harrison, Stephanie, & Caitlin
Woo-hoo!!!! An Alabama Flag!
Whoa!!!!!! GeoTrax Airport!!!!!!!
The Happy Dance of Presents!
Every year we go to my parents (a.k.a. Ma-Ma and Pa-Pa) on Christmas Eve to celebrate Christmas with my parents and my sister and her family. It always goes like this: open stockings, eat turkey and all the fixings, open presents, and then let the kids play while the adults talk. We always have a lot of fun especially because we are all together. The only sad note was my parents' dog, Chester, had just had throat surgery last week, so he was not feeling very well. After we left my parents' house, we went to our church's Christmas Eve service. Usually we go to the early 4:00 service, however we had to rearrange our schedule for my brother-in-law's work schedule. We were a little worried about taking Harrison to the service because he has never sat with us in the sanctuary before for an entire church service. Randy predicted it was going to be a natural disaster. We were very pleased with how well behaved both of our children were. When we went to the front to take Communion, (Harrison's first time) he looked at me, Alan (our Senior Pastor), and Alan's wife, Carla, and said, "I don't want to eat this!" It gave us all a little laugh. We then got to pass the gift of light throughout the sanctuary. It was so beautiful to see the sanctuary lit up with all the little candles. That is my favorite service!
Every year since Caitlin was two years old, we have made a "Happy Birthday Jesus" cake on Christmas Eve. I want her to know the true meaning of the season, and I think this is one fun way to make her realize why we celebrate Christmas. Harrison helped last year with our cake when he was two, so he was excited to help this year. Well they both decided that we needed to make cupcakes this year! The only problem was that they decided on Christmas Eve morning that instead of chocolate frosted cupcakes, they wanted colored cupcakes. So off to Target we went to get white frosting in all the Christmas Eve madness! But Randy felt sorry for me, so at least I got a lunch at Jason's Deli out of it! And, of course, he helped us frost the finished product.
We decided to go ahead and make our cookies for Santa tonight since we will be so busy on Christmas Eve. When Caitlin and Harrison went to see Santa, he made a request for chocolate chip cookies and that is what we made! I think this is the only batch of cookies we make during the entire year that they only sample one cookie each. I think they are afraid Santa will get mad at them for eating his cookies and not leave them their presents! However, I can tell you they turned out wonderfully delicious!
After supper tonight, Randy made a roaring fire to warm us up since it was so cold outside. Whenever we have a fire, Caitlin and Harrison always ask to have s'mores. We usually tell them, "Not tonight." Well, we just happened to have the necessary supplies on hand, so we figured, "Why not? It is Christmas Vacation." Of course, the best part is eating them and getting so sticky.
Yesterday my best friend, Shannon, and I got to go out to lunch together-just the two of us! That rarely ever happens. Usually we have our children with us, or we get together at one of our houses with our families. But since we are both out of school for Christmas vacation as are our husbands, we got to act like grown-ups!
Caitlin earned a Monaco movie gift card plus a Free Kids Meal at Red Robin Restaurant for doing all her lessons for Breakout (her Sunday night Bible Study) this semester. Since her two best friends, Sarah and Madelyn, earned gift cards also, the moms planned a Mom/Daughter Outing so that they could use them together. We all met at the movie theater after church today to see The Tale of Despereaux. (We have not quite finished reading the book, however Madelyn is already done with it.) It was a great movie. Afterwards we walked down Bridge Street to Barnes & Noble to do a little browsing and shopping. Boy, was it cold! You can never have enough layers on when it's 35 degrees! Then it was time to eat. Or maybe we were just ready to get out of the cold. Either way we had such a fantastic time today with our friends.
Okay...we just got our new phone books delivered. The first thing wrong is that we're supposed to only be listed under "Hollingsworth, J" with no street address so that no unwanted parents or students can find us. The second thing wrong is...OUR NAME IS MISSPELLED!!!!!!!!!!!!! And there's not a thing they can do to fix it. Oh, well. I guess there are worse things than a rainy Saturday before Christmas when you find out even the phone company doesn't even know who you really are!
Ashlyn drew Harrison's name for the gift exchange.
Ashlyn, Riley Beth, Harrison, Ms. Rita, Dayton, & Jacob
We got to decorate our own cookies!
Harrison had his Christmas party at his babysitter's house, Ms. Rita, on Friday. I asked him on Friday morning as we were driving there if he was excited about his party, and he said, "I don't want to go to a party. I want to go to Ms. Rita's!" He absolutely loves Ms. Rita, but he does not like sharing her at all! He is usually the first one there and gets cuddle time with her which he says is his favorite thing. He had fun with his friends at the party, and he even got a new Magna Doodle and football.
On this day 16 years ago, my beloved husband, Randy, asked me to be his wife. I will always remember the way he asked me. It wasn't done with flowers, candy, or in an expensive restaurant, but it was done from the heart. I love you, Randy!
Caitlin and Harrison have been asking me for weeks, "When are we going to make Christmas cookies?!" So yesterday I pulled out all of the supplies, and I let them loose in the kitchen. Actually neither one of my children like to be dirty for very long, so as soon as they got a little flour on them they were running to the sink to wash their hands! They did a great job making little stockings, Christmas trees, angels, bells, and candy canes. The hardest part for Harrison was waiting for the cookies to cool off to decorate. He kept asking, "Are my cookies dry yet?" The green icing didn't turn out to be as dark as I wanted it to be, but the kids used it anyway and loved eating it. Of course the best part was eating the decorated cookies. Daddy tried to eat them all! He ate one of Harrison's cookies, and then asked who was going to get the cute reindeer Harrison had decorated. Harrison answered, "Not you!" Funny boy! After we finished, we made mini homemade pizzas and cheesy bread and then had Family Movie Night. It was a fun Saturday night!
I wear many hats, but the ones I am most proud of are wife, mom, and teacher. I am married to my college sweetheart and the best man ever, Randy, and we have 2 beautiful children, Caitlin and Harrison. We are so blessed by God and try very hard to give back to our community. I teach first grade to some of the best students in the world. Some days I feel like I'm going crazy, but with God's help, I know I can make it!