Thursday, December 31, 2009

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

What a great year! 2009 was full of great things- especially James' return from Iraq & KG birth. Plus so many other great moments- K learning to read, K & C retiring their training wheels, T's first haircut, trips to the beach, Disney, & to visit Grandmollie, seeing KG change every day, T turning into a little boy instead of our baby, Thanksgiving with most of our family together, the excitement of the boys about Christmas, & all the other priceless moments. We have truly been blessed. I pray that in the coming year we thank God daily for all our many blessings and that we try to show more of Christ & less of each of us!

Here's some pics from the last couple weeks

the boys doing a toast for New Year's Eve after watching Rudolph's Happy New Year & enjoying jiffy pop and sugar cookies! They were so excited for our countdown by the Christmas tree- complete with party noisemakers and hats!
KG visiting Great Grandma today.
the boys in their snowgear- they made some snowangels today.
KG with her Daddy & her new Minnie
a picture may be worth a 1000 words but there's now way it could capture the boys' excitement
3 generations together New Year's Eve! we didn't take pics at Brian's work but the boys loved visiting him there
check out the boys in their awesome new aprons (thanks Aunt Janelle!) and new hats
how do I explain this picture? they had a big project with plasma cars, Uncle Brian, and rope
the boys decorating their gingerbread tree- I missed the pics of making gingerbread cookies with Nana since our camera had an accident
James putting the Christmas tree together.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Ikea is fun

Friday we decided to make a quick trip to Charlotte Saturday. What a great trip! Who knew Ikea was so great- a playspot for the kids, shopping with just the 2 little ones. KG loved her backpack ride. big breakfasts for $2 each. and we got furniture we like & saw snow & snow scrapers on the way there & home. If we just had one a little closer, we'd be there a lot!

Here's the boys proudly sporting their new costumes courtesy of our dear friends. The costume/ present box came at the perfect time. We'd been home all week with 4 sick little kids when the box arrived with lots of fun stuff- even a pilgrim costume!

KG happy as can be as we headed on our walk today- this is a well-used backpack- KG is the 6th user!
Here's the boys super excited to see Fireman Santa driving around our neighborhood today. T was sleeping but big brothers loved seeing Santa, the firetruck, and the candy.
Baby girl is getting big & getting some curly hair too!
We were so thankful today for good friends who brought us soup & cookies tonight when we couldn't make it to the cookie exchange. How sweet & yummy! We really are thankful for good friends & family.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

13 years!

yesterday James & I celebrated 13 wonderful years of marriage. Our celebration was a little different this year than past years- six of us eating tons of yummy food at Cheesecake Factory. well, KG only had bread but the boys feasted on lots of bread, bananas, corndogs, french fries, chocolate milk, a few bites of our cheesecake (J- red velvet and K- white chocolate caramel yumminess as James called it), and part of their ice cream. Very sweet celebration! I'm so thankful we could be together to celebrate together.

We've had a good December- we're working on developing our own family traditions. We've been doing lots of fun Christmas crafts and baking. Besides decorating our tree, reading lots of Christmas books, and singing lots of Christmas stories, the boys also made beaded crosses, gingerbread cookies (which I burned), went to story time at the Poe house, made applesauce ornaments, painted pinecones, made pomanders (cloves in oranges). We've spent lots of time enjoying this season with friends and we're looking forward to seeing family in the coming weeks. We've enjoyed our advent calendar each night- the boys are a little more excited about the chocolate about the stories we read but they're still getting that this season is really about God sending His Son as the little baby in the manger.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

More Thanksgiving Pics

Papa & Kayleigh sharing a special moment at Fascinate-U while the boys made victorian Christmas ornaments.
another pic from our Dickens Holiday- the downtown Fayetteville Christmas season kickoff.
check out the kids' beautiful new Christmas outfits from Nana & Papa.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

"Complaining distorts reality. Thanksgiving clarifies it." I don't know who said that but it's really true. I'm glad we have a day set aside to remember to give thanks. Thursday was a nice day of lots of family together, very yummy food, and lots of pilgrims, turkeys, and Indians. We're very thankful that James is back home. I know it's hard for all the families with loved ones far away especially over the holidays.

Here's our little pilgirm boy- he picked out his clothes and made his hat himself along with hats for everyone else. When it was time for bed he picked out pilgrim PJs.
Here's Papa Turkey
Try to guess what temperature our Thanksgiving was- Papa's shorts or Nana's ski jacket?
Here's our pilgrims and indians.
Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

the reveal...

the wait is over (and the hard work). James worked super hard- I got pretty tired too. We've learned from experience why tile installers (and underground sprinkler installers) get paid a lot. Wish we had the before pics to show how much better it is but trust us way better! Here's our new bathroom

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Busy weekend

here's what your bread looks like when you try to do too many things at one time- 4 tired kids + baking lots of bread, pumpkin bread, pumpkin brownies, spaghetti squash, and spaghetti sauce = dough everywhere and a super messy kitchen
here's what you get when you let your 5 year old use the camera for the first time- he was copying Bob taking pictures of himself in his book.
you know it's a good friend when they help you when they're sick!
our adorable baby girl

the boys shaking up their omelets in a bag
guess who took this pic of me & James painting the bathtub
our oven fried chicken turned out super yummy- we broke tradition Friday night and had chicken and waffles (homemade pumpkin waffles.) we ate tons of both.
baby girl in her new pose
our old bathroom- I can't wait to put up pics of our new bathroom- James is working so hard on it and it really looks good!

here's a couple of yummy recipes from this week
Oven fried chicken
Pumpkin brownies: brownie mix + 2 cups of pumpkin puree. follow directions on box minus 5 minutes.
we picked persimmons from a neighbor's tree. my Mom had persimmon pudding growing up so we tried it again. it was really yummy but a lot of work.

I don't have pics from our babysitting night last night but the kids were super cute. I took KG and C with me. C did great- he was super all night- sweet, calm, loving, helpful, polite. He told me the whole way home "Mommy I shared nicely with 8 kids" and "Ms. Vicky said I was super tonight." I was so glad I went- K & T had special time with Daddy and I got to see my 3 year old boy be such a super boy!

Marbles Fun

We went to Marbles last week with some friends. The kids loved the free IMAX movie- Animolopolis- very cute. Dr. Suess meets animal kingdom- I had never seen those red crabs. The Christmas Island red crab, Gecarcoidea natalis, is a species of terrestrial crab endemic to Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean. Although restricted to a relatively small area, it is estimated that up to 120 million red crabs may live there, making it the most abundant of the 14 terrestrial crab species on Christmas Island.
the kids all had a great time- here's K doing the science time
one of our pirates aboard the ship
the boys were super excited to see a Mr. Potatohead character and the new exhibit
the kids inside the block house they built- it was very hard to keep up with the 2 year old demolition crew
T can drive and clean
what a fun day! We sure wish Marbles was closer!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Pumpkin Days

We're enjoying the fall weather (well, not the last couple days' rain) but the beautiful fall days before this. Our "big" boys are both riding on 2 wheels now and we've enjoyed seeing the fall decorations around the neighborhood and already baked six pumpkins. Today we roasted pumpkin seeds (with Worcestershire, seasoning salt, and butter), baked pumpkin bread, and made pumpkin chili and pumpkin soup (which was very yummy). For lunch we had meatloaf sandwiches on homemade whole wheat bread and southwestern pumpkin soup- I think T had 3 bowls full and still wanted more.

Southwestern Pumpkin Soup

3 cups chicken stock
1cup whipping cream
1 15-oz. can pure pumpkin
3 tbsp. dark brown sugar
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
3/4 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
Chopped Fresh Cilantro for Garnish

Bring chicken stock and whipping cream to a boil in a heavy medium pot. Whisk
in canned pumpkin, brown sugar, cumin, chili powder, coriander and nutmeg. Reduce
heat to medium and simmer until soup thickens slightly and flavors blend, about
15 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle soup into bowls and garnish
with cheese and cilantro.

James had eye surgery Monday morning- he's been very sleepy with the tons of medicine after the surgery but is glad he won't have to wear glasses anymore. We were really glad my Mom could come up to visit and help us as I chauffeured James to his appointments. We had a great visit to Cape Fear Botanical Garden Saturday morning- beautiful day out and beautiful spot. Nana will probably need to make up for lost sleep when she gets home since boys woke her early each morning.

Here's pics of our bathroom renovation project- we'll start tiling this weekend.

This is the cake K picked out when he won the cake walk- he was so excited!
More bathroom work- James did almost all the work but the boys and I did help a little. I wish I had a pic of all three boys in the tub covered in dust trying to scrape off the horrible wallpaper.
Our family of pumpkins
soon to be pies :)