Sunday, January 22, 2012

the 25 dates of christmas

yes... you read that right. for christmas, i decided to be creative and cost effective, so i decided to do 25 dates of christmas for nate! no, we didn't go out on 25 dates, but each day i gave nate some sort of date or did something special for him. one nite i cooked dinner then we watched a movie, i made him personalized christmas ornaments, cool socks, massages, picture frames, youtube dates, etc. i think one of my favorites was when i surprised him and the kids and when they got home one nite, i had created a mexican restaurant in our kitchen! complete with (cowboy) hats, morrocos, and salsa music! :) the kids really loved it!!

my other favorite is a simple black frame. the paper inside reads: i love you because... and we take turns writing on the glass (with a dry erase marker) things we love about each other! it stays on my bathroom counter and i love writing nate little encouragements, as well as reading the sweet things he says about why he loves me! :-)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

more christmas fun

ok... this is the next to the last christmas post! :) i'm tellin ya... we had like 14 christmas celebrations this year! i'm all for them, and we had so much fun, but it will wear you out!!
on christmas morning, after we did santa at home, we loaded up for the day and headed to church. with sword and ET in hands, remember?

after church we headed to huntsville... where all 3 sets of nate's grandparents live! (they all live within like 10 minutes of each other.. crazy but convenient once we are in hunstville!) the first stop was nanny's house! we missed having nanny on christmas eve at meme's but we really enjoyed spending some time with her christmas day. the kids got all sorts of fun gifts that they loved!

 meme and g-daddy are always there to help with new toys, thank goodness!

after nanny's house, we headed down the road to big g-daddy's... where i FAILED to take ANY pictures. geezlouise... what was i thinking?!? we ate a late lunch then hung out for a while. actually, i supervised the kids outside b/c they were W.I.R.E.D. my goodness! guess that's why i didn't take pics. anyways, it was great to see big grandaddy and visit with him!

last stop of the day, mamaw and pawpaw's house! this is the big shabang!! there's always tons of family there, cousins, aunts, uncles, more cousins... love it! we always hang out and have fun for a while. then we eat the best dinner ever until we are so stuffed we can hardly move! after dinner, pawpaw gathers us around and passes out the christmas story, along with some commentary he wrote. we take turns reading the different passages from the bible. it's a great way to celebrate the birth of christ with the whole family, and remember what the reason of christmas really is!

all the kiddos stay in there while we are reading... some even took turns helping to read this year! so sweet! the younger ones... well they did whatever they could to entertain themselves, and those of us watching them! :)

after the christmas story and prayer, it's always time for presents! we go to the den, where it's pure and utter chaos!!

nate helped pass out the presents! i love the pic of mamaw with hers all stacked up in her lap!!
AND... i love the pic of me and page... LOVE LOVE LOVE it! so festive with my red shirt and her green one! ha!

these last pictures are so special. i am so glad that i took time for the boys to get pictures with mamaw. how sweet are they? notice the sword and ET in the first pic... i mean, how can you miss them!?
and the second one is just PRECIOUS!! we love you mamaw and pawpaw... so thankful to be part of the family.

the last christmas celebration was the day after christmas! we went to meme's for christmas with the renfroes! we ate a delicious lunch, then the little kids got to open their presents! the boys got more transformers, batman cars, and playdough pizza makers! fun stuff! :) then the adults played dirty santa... where scarves were def the gift of the day!

love our family!

best we could get of the boys... but hey. i'll take it!

we decided to take a pic with all the girl cousins!
from left to right: me, alexandra, caroline, rach, and shannon

oh, i almost forgot. it was also a big day for caden... he lost his FIRST tooth! :)
you can tell... he's pretty excited!

what a fabulous time full of fun, food, and fellowship with family! :)

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

christmas morning!!

the boys looking through their stockings! trace woke up at 5 am, but we made him go back to sleep :) at 6:30, when both boys were standing by the bed yelling that santa had come, we decided to get up!

lucas was SO funny... he KISSED each of his gifts! :-) trace loved his thundercats castle... and daddy got a new coffee mug with the boys handprints on it. actually... truth be told, we were at a pottery party, and trace went first. he did his cute little green handprints, but then lucas REFUSED to even have his hand painted. i had already gotten trace to do his, so i couldn't leave a big empty space... so what's a mama to do? grab the closest kid with a similar size hand, paint it blue, get the handprint, and then write lucas, 2 yrs beside the cute little hand! ;o) thank you sweet isabella for filling in!! of course, lucas didn't surprise me.. he's so stubborn i wasn't a bit surprised! i however, surprised myself, by not having a come apart or beating him! haha. i've learned to choose my battles... and handprints were not worth it! plus, we will forever remember these pieces of pottery! :))

SO.... this was the best gift for lucas... an ET plush doll. i know, i know, it's crazy wierd that my 2 yr old loves ET like he does... but he saw parts of the movie at bitsy and poppi's and became OBSESSED! above is the picture when he opened it! just makes my heart happy to see his sweet face with such a big smile!

i mean... look how happy he is! i just LOVE these pics with his facial expressions!

for trace, this was the THUNDERCAT christmas. i didn't realize how important the SWORD of OMENS is... but apparently... this sweet 4 yr old boy could have gotten NOTHING else for christmas and been very happy and content!!

the minute he realized what he had opened, he was so excited! he learned out how to flip out the side parts, and how to make the sword long and how to make it say "thundercats HO!" and "give me sight beyond sight." stuff mama still can't figure out! ha. boys... and their swords!!

and... THIS is what mama got!! nate picked 2 of my favorite pics from our recent family photos, and drew them. he did something different this time. he's been drawing for over 7 years, and has drawn close to 100 portraits, and he has always drawn in just black and white. this time, he decided to take a chance and color the eyes with colored pencils... ohmygosh i LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE them!! nothing more special than a handmade heartfelt drawing by my incredibly blessed and amazingly talented husband of my sweet and beautiful boys! (that's a lot of adjectives!)
it didn't take us too long to open and clean up presents. it's a good thing, b/c christmas morning was just the beginning of a super long day! first stop: church. so... we got ready and loaded in the van, and off to church we went... with ET and the sword of omens in hand of course. no really... i'm serious! #momofboys

Monday, January 2, 2012

santa clause is coming...

oh.... you better watch out,
you better not cry,
you better not pout,
i'm telling you why...


he's making a list,
and checkin' it twice,
gonna find out who's naughty or nice...


 he sees you when you're sleepin,
he knows when you're awake...
he knows if you've been bad or good,
so be GOOD for goodness sake!

what a L O N G day for everyone... we left the house at 8:45 christmas eve morning, and got home about 6:30 that nite! we unloaded the thousands of gifts we opened earlier in the day and tried to semi organize them! they played for a little while and then, we made yummy cookies for santa! after that, they joined daddy in watching his ALL TIME fav christmas movie: a christmas story! (i have no idea why, but i hate that movie. every part of it gets on my nerves!) notice the pic where lucas has a blanky on his back like a cape, and trace is zoned out. yep, they are watching a christmas story with daddy! then, it was bedime! right before bed, we started a new christmas tradition. meme bought the boys a book that tells the (real) christmas story, and she read the story and recorded herself. the boys LOVED it... all they had to do was turn the page, and meme started reading! so above is a pic of nate and the boys right before bedtime. super sweet!!
i know the kids were so excited about santa coming... usually they talk and play for at least an hour once we put them to bed... but we told them santa wouldn't come until they were asleep, and that did the trick!! :)

shortly after, mama went to bed... knowing the boys, particularly trace, would be up at the butt crack of dawn christmas morning!! (she was right...)

fun at meme and g-daddy's

after chrismas eve brunch at bitsy and poppi's, we headed to meme and g-daddy's house for more food, and more fun! :) we tried to put the kids down for a quick nap.. ends up mason and lucas were the only ones who fell asleep, but they were the ones that needed it most! :) we had steaks and baked potatoes for a late lunch.. oh my. they were DELISH!! grandaddy is the master of the grill! of course after the kids had their short rest, they were WIRED! they barely ate and they probly asked us 85 times when we would be done eating so they could open presents! anxious much? they make it all so fun though... i so love the excitement of the kiddos!! :)

we tried several times to get a good pics of the kiddos... yeah, it's so much harder than it sounds. or looks!! i still love them though, and we will never stop trying! :)) 

they were pumped up about presents, and there's a good reason for that. probably b/c meme and g-daddy spoil them like crazy!!!!! not complaining, jus sayin! ;o)
the kids racked up! this was the barbie christmas for the girls! and unfortunately, the boys liked playing with them too! ha. mason and lucas were loving some CARS2 tracks, remote control cars, and guns! the big boys got nerf footballs, tons of thundercat stuff for trace, and caden got his big boy toys! :) and sweet t... well he just got the cutest clothes ever, and some fun new toys. the kids were going banana sandwich opening their gifts! they oohed and ahhed over everything!
we usually go to a family christmas eve communion service at church. this year it was just a come and go service, and so we decided to do our own family communion at the house of hebrew (aka grandaddy's house!) ha. it was super sweet... i loved seeing grandaddy lead it and hearing him explain what it's all about, and he was able to talk on the kids level where at least the big kids understood it. it was just a really cool thing to do with our family. after we had all taken communion, we each prayed with our individual families. since trace recently accepted christ, it made it even more special.
we had a super fun day... long day but so fun! def wouldn't trade our family and the special times we get to spend together for a million bucks!
we tried again to get a good shot of the 7 kiddos... and i def think this one is good! :)

from left to right- caden (5) kenley (5) trace (almost 5) 
timothy (1) laura grace (4) lucas (almost 3) mason (almost 3)

 and we finally were able to take another group picture.. i love this! 

hope your christmas and time with family was as blessed as ours!