Monday, November 30, 2009

trimming the tree

one thing on my to do list we didn't get done over the weekend was decorating the tree.

so when daddio got home tonight we got to it.

we let the kiddos do most of the decorating.

there's quite a few ornaments at the very bottom.

daddio said this was the best tree we've ever had (even with the lights burned out on the bottom section). i agree.

& we received a call tonight from new daddy brandon that miss hayden made her debut into the world. congrats lori & brandon, we are so happy for you & look forward to meeting your little girl!

turkey weekend, big ben's first 2 parties & the circus

gracie was feeling much better on thanksgiving, so we decided to pack up & visit our families that day.
but first she had to have an indian headband just like big brother made in preschool.

she cracks me up how she always has that tongue stuck out when she is concentrating. i guess her great great grandma used to do the same thing.

her & ben worked super hard to get it just right. i didn't get a picture of them in the finished products, but they were cute! he named her running earth & his name was soaring eagle.

we headed to papaw's house for lunch. aunt peggy, cousins luke & kristen, damaw & papaw were all there.
papaw was sporting his sunglasses after his cataract surgery. he can see once again- yea!

lots of food & we had round 1 of ben's birthday celebrations. the kiddos are blessed with so many that love them, so we end up having 2 or 3 birthday parties. it's pretty much a celebration from thanksgiving to the new year!
here is his dinosaur/monster truck cake. the kiddos helped decorate it by putting about 2 pounds of sprinkles on it.

after our bellies were full & ben had tackled everyone till they couldn't take it anymore (sorry again, aunt peggy for that horrible wake up from ben), we headed to cousin monica's for another feast. some more wonderful food & family time was had.

on to namaw & poppy's for the weekend to play some tiddlywinks, pool, cards, pinball and skip rocks in the creek. big ben ended up catching gracie's illness, but he was still tough enough for his birthday party there.

he had a great time decorating for the party (spent forever on his birthday chair)& greeting all his "guestes", as he called them.
i didn't get a good picture of his cake, but it was a racetrack with cars on it. he said it was "sorta cool" at first, until he realized he could actually race the cars. then it was "awesome!"

as if the weekend wasn't fun filled enough, we had a sunday of church & the circus. ben's preschool performed at the church there. he really got into the song "i'm in the lord's army". he about hit poor amarah in the head every time he'd salute or pretend to shoot. he was definitely fired up. he enthusiastically answered all of pastor janet's questions during the children's sermon. i was cracking up at him. that kid.

after church, we ate some lunch, started to pick up our messy house & got ready for the circus.

at the circus, gracie got to ride a pony!

& ben got his cotton candy! (we were going to ride an elephant, but he saw the cotton candy guy & begged for that instead)

after that though, she was quite a grumblegort.
even through all the noise, she somehow fell asleep

she woke up happy to see a big tub of popcorn.

the circus was a bit too loud for the kiddos.

my favorite part of the circus is the motorcycle riders in the ball. this time it didn't go as planned, they crashed. but thank goodness, they were all able to get up & walk away from it. we asked the kiddos what their favorite parts were & ben's was playing with daddy & momma, trying to scare us. gracie's favorite part was the fireworks at the end - not the pony; go figure.

today, me & the kiddos slept in - hallelujah!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

under the weather

poor gracie has a bug. of course our fancy forehead thermometer would not give an accurate reading, but a momma knows. we spent all day at the mec center today getting her checked out (it's a bacterial infection they said) & had to miss ben's first preschool program. he was an indian named soaring eagle today. oh, the guilt i have over that. & he was the last one left in his class when we arrived today. i felt like such a bad mommy.

she doesn't look sick now (thanks to her motrin), but she still has a fever. hopefully this will pass quickly. & hopefully no body else gets sick & we can carry on with some of our thanksgiving fun. but, if not, that's ok. we'll still be together & have lots & lots to be thankful for.
happy thanksgiving everyone!!

Monday, November 23, 2009


we had a typical sunday around here. we are looking for a new church to call home. we've finally decided to make that move from where i grew up to a new place to grow. we tried out one of the larger churches in town. a new friend of mine i met last weekend invited us to worship with her. the sermon really spoke to us both & the kiddos loved their sunday school classes. but, this church is huge! much bigger than we are used to.. i am excited to check out some other nearby places.

after that, we went to papaw's for lunch & playing & playing & work.

gracie made a beeline for her favorite thing at papaw's. big suprise.

ben, of course, wanted to ride on it right away too. but he was patient & waited his turn. it looks like it was well worth it.

gracie can't seem to get that trike to move.

her feet almost reach the pedals.

she's got a great big brother to help her out though.

papaw has the perfect yard for hide & seek.

there he is!

the kiddos always have a blast at papaw's playing outside. i loved it growing up & so do they.

just a swinging.

time for rest.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

back home again

i had my first weekend away from my family. oh, how i missed them all so.

but it was an awesome experience for me & i am so thankful that i was able to go. the past weekend opened my heart to God & his love and forgiveness. this was what i was really needing at a low point in my life. what a blessing.

i'm back & ready to go tackle life with my loving family & God by our side.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

giddy up

all gracie wants for christmas is a horse & a piggy.

a few sundays ago at papaw's, we got some of damaw's old, old, old toys out.

gracie got to take blaze for a ride.
she really liked old blaze.

the old trike that papaw fixed up for ben was a big hit too.

i didn't realize how shaggy mr. ben was getting. what a mop top!

they had a great time horsin' around at papaw's!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

footy pj time!

it's footy pajama time!

i hated these things as a kid, but love it when my kiddos have them on. they just seem so cozy.

big brother & little sis are cuddled up & ready to watch a baby eistein dvd (they have been on a baby movie kick for some reason) & read some books.

daddio, hurry home. we don't like your late nights of work!! (but are very thankful you do it :) )

weekend at namaw & poppy's

we had a fun weekend at namaw & poppy's. daddy hung out with his buddies & momma got to hang out with the ladies saturday night. the kids went to a party at rocky & jane's, which is always a good time!
the kiddos got to play in some more leaves.
it's really fun when daddy is using the leaf blower!

the creek is always fun to throw rocks in & look for fish.

namaw helped gracie learn to throw a frisbee.

& poppy made sure to give her lots of hugs!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

dear momma

this week has been a bit stressful around here. good stress (we closed on our land yea!) & some bad. yesterday, i was starting to lose my patience with the kiddos for no good reason. after folding the mountain of laundry on our bed last night, i was done & laid in bed.
ben came in with a letter he dictated to daddio for me (i know it looks like ben wrote it, but this is justin's penmanship).

i love my family.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

with a little help

i tackled the rest of the leaves yesterday with the help of a neighbor & 2 kiddos. & gracie tackled a fear with the help of her big brother.

the kiddos were a big help with the yard & neighbor john brought out his leaf mower/vacuum and helped. i had to show a picture of that thing because it is so frickin cool. he did our side yard next to him & the area he did looks like we used a dyson on it, no debris in sight. he's a great neighbor to have; he has all the cool toys!

gracie has been afraid to go down the slide of our play gym. you can see her feet (with no shoes on, i know - bad mom) at the top of the slide as ben lands into the big pile of leaves.

with her brother behind her, she took the plunge.

& loved it!

check out ben's new do. he said he was finally ready for a haircut. his mommma thinks he's as handsome as ever!

Monday, November 2, 2009


we spent last sunday at papaw's cracking walnuts & picking them out of their shell. we all had a turn sitting on the bucket, cracking the shells on the anvil.

miss gracie was quite the little walnut picker outer with her little screwdriver.

quite a bit of work, but we all had fun sitting around, working & talking.

all pap could talk about was walnut cookies & how delicious they are. so, me being the great granddaughter i am said we would.
monday (the next day) when we went to chemo, he asked if i made them yet. no.

finally, thursday night me & the kiddos went to work. i used this recipe here. pap advised the walnuts were a bit green, so i should cook them first. i microwaved them a bit to do the job.

into the oven they went & i couldn't wait to taste our results.... the flavor was wonderful but they were crunchy- not just a little, but break your tooth kinda crunchy. we took them up to pap's anyways with a warning to be careful.

yesterday, i noticed the big bag of cookies still sitting there. i asked him what was up with that. he told me i left the shells on. apparently, there are are supposed to pick shells out of the already shelled walnuts. waay to much work for me. i will stick with the cookies in the tube for now.