Saturday, December 31, 2011

Merry Christmas!!

We were awakened bright and early on Christmas morning by these two sweet faces:

Thankfully they waited until at least 6:00 to wake us up. We have a strict rule in our house that the kids can't come downstairs on Christmas morning until Mommy and Daddy are up too. Caitlin calls my cell phone to let us know that they are up, and we meet them at the stairs.

They were so excited to see what Santa had brought them that they could barely wait for 2 pictures!!

WOW!!!! Look at all that!

Next came stockings.

Then it was on to the BIG stuff! We give the kids 3 presents each just like Jesus got 3 presents from the Wise Men.

Brady even got a small gift!

We surprised Caitlin with this purse she had only looked at once and never even asked for!

Caitlin gave Harrison his very own Angry Bird. Can you tell he was excited?!?

Daddy got custom floor mats for his car--he's been wanting them for over a year now.

And I got a big pile of neat stuff: a scarf I had been eyeing, a Vera Bradley lunchbox with a matching lanyard, and some cool running accessories. That was after I got to open my new pajamas on Christmas Eve. Randy didn't follow the 3 present rule for me!

Caitlin had to model her presents: new purse, Ugg boots, and Hollister jacket.

After opening all those presents, my Daddy picked me up and we rode to my sister, Dana's house. Together all 3 of us shared a special, but not so fun, time.

We visited my Mama to wish her a Merry Christmas. I sure didn't think I would be here last Christmas!

Daddy and I then came back home to finish preparing Christmas dinner.

Brady was really hoping for a bite or two to fall his way!

Grandmother and Grandaddy came over after their church service, and we got to open even more presents. They gave Harrison a new 3DS that he has been wanting.

And Caitlin got exactly what she!
We then sat down and ate a delicious (if I do say so myself!) meal of turkey, dressing, macaroni and cheese, green beans, corn, rolls, deviled eggs, and I really don't remember what else was on the extremely full table! We were so stuffed, but we did have room for Caitlin's "Happy Birthday Jesus" cake that she always makes for us.
I am so happy that I got to celebrate Christmas with all my family even though it was bittersweet because all I really, really wanted for Christmas was to rewind time back to last year when my Mama was still with us.

Christmas Eve 2011

We had a very busy Christmas Eve. Caitlin, Harrison, and I started the day by baking our annual Santa cookies. We made so many that we shared some with our neighbors. Then I got busy cooking in the kitchen for our Christmas Eve dinner over at Pa-Pa's house. We took our yummy vegetable dishes over to his house, then made our way to church for the 4:00 Christmas Eve service. I was excited to go to that because it's my very favorite service of the entire year. This year was even more exciting because we got to experience the service in our Grace building. Last year was the first year the Grace building was open, and there was no 4:00 service held there. It was every bit as moving as I had hoped!
Then it was off to be with family.

Annual Christmas Eve picture of the cousins (plus Wally the dog!)

We started off opening stockings. These are so special because Ma-Ma sewed their names onto each one.

They found lots of goodies in them!
We then took a break and started eating. We had turkey, ham, cranberry sauce, green beans, corn casserole, sweet potato casserole, and I know there was more on the table that I am forgetting!
After stuffing ourselves, it was present time!!

Randy was more than pleased wtih the money he got!

Caitlin was super excited to get gift cards (which we have already spent!).

Daniel was happy with the Under Armour toboggan we got him. I like this picture because it shows that Uncle Scott was really there. (For some reason, he didn't make it into any other picture!)

Stephanie is such a crafty girl that she was more than happy to get a gift card to Michael's to buy craft supplies.

Can you tell Harrison loved his Big Al pillow pet?!? He has slept with it every night since he got it!

Pa-Pa suprised us with matching Bath & Body Works sets.

And here is my sweet Daddy and sister with me!
We reluctantly left my Daddy's house to go home to get ready for Santa.

After changing into pajamas, we left our cookies and milk out for Santa.

And my precious babies actually sat and posed for one more Christmas picture.
Then it was off to bed to wait for Santa!!

Sunday, December 18, 2011


I have a confession to make....this year....I am a Scrooge!!

I do NOT feel like listening to Christmas carols. I do NOT feel like shopping for Christmas presents let alone wrapping them. I do NOT feel like baking Christmas goodies. And I do NOT feel like decorating for Christmas.

However I have this sweet class who is very much in the Christmas spirit....

And luckily they make me laugh each and every day with their silly antics.

I also have these two precious darlings who do deserve one of the holliest, jolliest Christmases ever thanks to our horribe, awful year...

So even though I feel like crying ALL.DAY.LONG most days while hiding in the bed, I don't! I get up and make each moment count.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Black Friday

Or I should say...Marathon Shopping Experience that Started on Thanksgiving Night!

Randy and I continued our annual shopping tradition of heading out about 7:00 on Thanksgiving Night to do some Christmas shopping. In the past, we have gotten all of our kids' presents on this night/day. We came very close to matching that accomplishment this year, but there were some things on Caitlin's list that just couldn't be bought at our local stores.

After dropping off Caitlin and Harrison at their grandparents' house about 7:00, we headed to our first store...

Both Randy and I stood in line until 10:00 for different wish list items. While I was waiting in line (on the floor), I saw several people from church, our neighborhood, and Blogger friends (Hey Jennifer!). It was really fun! We left there and headed to..

for some great deals.Then it was off to...

Let me just say that on this crazy night of shopping, our local Wal-Mart was much more tolerable and more organized than this place! We were shocked!!
All that shopping and deal-stealing had made us more than a little hungry (We hadn't eaten since lunch.). So we made our usual pit-stop at...

And the omelettes were just as delicious as last year! Let me just say that this is the only time of the year that we eat at Waffle House. It is much too greasy for me, but I make the exception this one time!

We were energized at this point, so we headed to...

to get a few more things on Caitlin's list.

It was a whirlwind night, but I haven't been so happy to see my nice, warm, comfy bed in a long time! I'm glad it only comes around once a year because this old girl couldn't handle that marathon any more than that.

Happy Thanksgiving (a little late!)

Yes, we did celebrate Thanksgiving in our family even though I haven't said anything about it!

We drove down to my cousin, Olivia's house in Helena with my Daddy riding shotgun. I knew if we didn't take him with us that he would end up only staying about an hour with us, and I just couldn't stand the thought of him home alone.

We got there about 11:00, and some of us immediately headed to the backyard to play in the treehouse while some of us helped finish up cooking. Since I was still a little under the weather from my day-surgery the week before, Randy ended up baking our contribution: a carrot cake. It was so delicious, and he got lots of compliments on it. Now I know to let him bake all our goodies!!

After we ate a HUGE meal with Olivia, her daughter, Laci, Aunt Bobbie, my sister and her family, and a close family friend, we decided to take a long walk to hopefully shed some of those thousands of calories. We then came back and finished watching the football game along with a good dose of chatting thrown in!
Our annual family Thanksgiving picture

And just us grown-up girls: Aunt Bobbie, Olivia, Laci, Dana, and Me

We really had a great time with our family! I just wish we could see them more often than holidays!