Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!

We didn’t host a New Year’s Eve party this year.  It may have to be an every-other-year thing – the years when we don’t travel so far.

However, our wonderful friends Jamie and Heather had us over for a small party, along with our friends Justin and Sarah.  We had pizza and brownies, the kids ran around, and we just generally enjoyed each other!

The babies, Chase and Meredith, were both a little out of sorts (although you can’t tell in this picture).  Both teething.


Kids’ table for dinner:


Jason and Jamie eating their pizza and having some man talk, I guess:


Happy new year from our family!  We have had a really great year and we are so grateful for the Lord’s blessings.  Can’t wait to see what 2012 brings!


Christmas at Pops’ and Mimi’s: day 3

On our last day at my parents’ house, we spent some of the morning at a nearby mall with the goal of getting some of Russell’s energy out and having fun.  Mission accomplished!


Sweet Mimi paid for 2 rides for Russell – the bus ride (above) and the race car ride (below).


Bass Pro Shop had a huge fish tank – Russell loved it!



Russell and Mimi decorated cookies in the afternoon.  He had a great time – did a little decorating and a lot of eating Smile





Meredith did some reading with Jason, some playing, and some crawling around.




On day 4 (Thursday), we drove home.  We had an awesome trip – soooo much better than the last one (in June, for Russell’s birthday).  Both kids slept well (a miracle in itself!) and ate well, and no one got sick – well, except for the thrush Meredith and I have again, but that doesn’t really count!  We were sad to leave but will see most everyone again in a couple weeks for my grandmother’s birthday!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Christmas at Pops’ and Mimi’s: day 2

On day 2, we did a little baking and more visiting with family!

I meant for us to bake a birthday cake for Jesus on Christmas day, but somehow it slipped my mind.  So I packed up the cake mix, icing and candles and brought them with us to Georgia.  Russell enjoyed this project.


Jesus had a Funfetti birthday cake Smile As we couldn’t put 2,000 candles on the cake, we opted for 5.  Uncle Jef lit the candles while Russell tried to burn himself on them (not pictured!)


“Happy birthday, dear Jesus, happy birthday to You!”


Aunt Jane (my mom’s sister) came to visit for a couple hours!


More presents!  These ones were from Uncle Jef and his girlfriend Sejal, and Aunt Jane and her family.  These children are so blessed to have so much!




The boys men inspecting the new cars while the kids play:




Day 2 of our vacation was a great day at Pops and Mimi’s house!  I ended the day with a few photos of their tree:

1) Christmas tree light bokeh – easy to achieve using MF:


2) Shot wide open, overexposed per the meter, slow SS:


3) Similar to #2 but a close up.  I love this one because it’s a pretty Nativity ornament.  “Where meek souls will receive Him still, the dear Christ enters in!”


Christmas at Pops’ and Mimi’s: day 1

We left bright and early Monday morning to go to Pops and Mimi’s house – in our BRAND NEW (to us) minivan, which I love! (Well, as much as anyone can love a minivan!) This was also Meredith’s first time in her big-girl car seat – what is happening to my baby?


The drive was okay. There were some rough times, as we expected. But we kept Russell mostly entertained with DVDs (another parenting thing I swore I’d never do – DVDs in the car) and Meredith was able to sleep a little.

We pulled in to my parents’ house around 2:30 pm – way past naptime and Russell doesn’t sleep in the car, but he’s at the age where a late nap isn’t the end of the world. So we made it even later by visiting and opening Uncle Jon’s presents!


After nap snack – this girl would much rather feed herself now than eat baby food!


Day 1 was pretty uneventful - just recuperating from the long drive. Day 2 coming up next :)

Thursday, December 29, 2011


Christmas day was very low-key.  We popped my family’s traditional strata in the oven to cook while opening presents, and in the afternoon we packed for Pops’ and Mimi’s (my parents) house, where we stayed the 26th through the 29th.  So on Christmas, we enjoyed a quiet day - time with the four of us in the morning, and with Paw Paw and Kacki in the afternoon.

Stockings from Santa!


(The goldfish were in Russell’s stocking – she loves his stuff.)


And here they are with some of their presents from us:


Sophie the Giraffe.  I couldn’t wait to give her this; Meredith is very picky about what she wants to chew on, but she needed some teethers she would use since her first tooth is finally in, and I think others will be close behind!


Russell’s car city is a big hit!


Meredith’s first purse – it includes a mirror, key, fake dollars – super cute Smile


I love spending this time and making memories with my husband and children, having fun together and celebrating Emmanuel!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve was a big, busy day for us!  Paw Paw, Kacki, and Nannie came over around 11 and we all visited for a bit (in between preparing our big lunch):



Sooo much good food for lunch.  Kacki brought the ham, pineapple cheddar casserole, broccoli casserole, and lemon pie, and I made strawberry salad, corn pie (my Mama Addie’s recipe), rolls, and fudge.  Yum!



After the kids’ naps, we went to the 4 pm Christmas Eve service at church.  We came home and took a few photos of the kids in their nice Christmas outfits.  I could not get a pic of them together for the life of me – Meredith would start crawling away immediately when I put her next to Russell!



Then the kids opened TONS (and I mean tons) of presents from Paw Paw and Kacki and Nannie.

Russell with his first present of the year – a dump truck from Nannie!  He loves it!


Meredith was much more impressed with the wrapping than her baby doll – typical – but she did decide later that she enjoyed chewing on the baby’s feet.


More presents.



We so appreciate all the presents, and the kids just loved them.  And more than that, we loved spending all day with family, eating an awesome meal and enjoying each other’s company.  Most of all, we know – and Russell is understanding too – that Jesus is Who we celebrate at Christmas.  We pray to have a faith like Mary’s in Luke 1:38 when she said, “I am the Lord’s servant.  May it be unto me as you have said.”