Friday, December 30, 2011


On Wednesday we decided to take a quick overnight trip to Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg and use our Dollywood season passes one more time before they closed for the season. While we were on our way there and two of the five of us got sick (me and Elsie) before we even made it to Bristol, one might think we might reconsider the trip and turn around, but we kept going. After searching for a while for a hotel at a reasonable price that actually had vacancy, we found one that ended up being great (Shular Inn). We were carrying our bags into the room when I looked at Jackson and just knew he was sick. (You can read Jackson whenever he isn't feeling well- all you have to do is look at his eyes and you know if he has a fever or not!) I take out the thermometer and sure enough he is sick with a fever of 101.6.  We asked if he felt like going to Dollywood that night to see the lights and he said he did, so we went for just a little while to see the lights, watch an ice skating show, and let Jackson ride his favorite ride, the cars.  By the time we went to supper and got back to the room, all 3 of them seemed to be feeling fine, so despite it being 9:45 we decided to go to the pool. We were going to make the most of this one night trip! :)
Who doesn't love a little pool time at 10:00pm with 3 kids!
We let them swim and play until about 11:00, when we made them go back, take a quick shower, and go to bed so we could spend the next day at Dollywood. Then, that is when it was evidently Ansley's turn to get sick. She cried off and on all. night. long! The next day we asked if she felt like going to Dollywood and she said yes, but all she did that day except ride one ride, was sleep in the stroller while being all bundled up. She never complained once though, and even gave me this sweet smile!
Even though it was a quick trip full of off and on sickness, we had a great time just getting away for a night and spending some quality time as a family.

          Jackson loved all of the Christmas decorations!                                          Me & my baby girl driving the cars

            The kids with daddy                                                                                    Elsie enjoying the carousel!

BUT... I would highly suggest to NEVER go to Dollywood/Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg the week after Christmas. I have never seen those places so crowded- it was crazy! :)

Monday, December 26, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Simply put, I love Christmas! Christmas has always been my favorite Holiday, and it is so much more than just about the presents. I have been so blessed with an amazing, large family, and I love this time of year that we can all just get together and spend time with each other while celebrating the birth of our Lord. Here is a little glimpse of this years wonderful Christmas (sorry for the picture overload!):
                    Elsie helping with decorating for Christmas!

Ansley & Jackson picking out a Christmas tree! (Elsie decided to snooze instead.)

<--My cuties!

Ansley & Abigail got a new fairy costume from Gabby & Austin, and immediately had to try it on!

Mamaw Ollie & Papaw Hoover with their great-grandbabies                             Mamaw & Papaw with all the grandkids

                            Carter & Jackson                                                                           Gingerbread house is completed!

It was Jackson's turn to put the star on the tree this year!
Mamaw Pearl & Papaw Nulan with the grandchildren & few great grandchildren!

    Ansley showing off her princess fingernails             One of our Christmas Eve traditions, sleepover in mommy & daddy's room!

  Jackson was SO excited to get Smokey the Firetruck!                                    Santa brought Elsie her very own iXL player!

Santa brought Ansley a princess bike!                                                       Ready to go worship our Lord on His birthday!

Our family on Christmas day

The kids with Mamaw Di
& Papaw Fred on Christmas Day

The kids with 3 (out of 5) of their great-grandparents                                 Elsie modeling her new scarf Aunt Jessica made

Jackson & Papaw Fred working on his barn set                                                          Ansley Kate feeding her Baby Alive

           Christmas with the Cliftons/Leftwichs                                The kids with Grandpa David, Gramma Winkie & Uncle Marshall

               Elsie and her Christmas goodies!                                                                Ansley Kate showing off her new toys

As Jackson kept saying, "I racked up!" :)
I hope you all had a wonderful and blessed Christmas! Happy Birthday, Jesus!!!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Wisdom from a 4 year old....

I was telling the kids that Christmas is only a couple of days away, and they needed to help me clean some. Jackson responds with, "Yes, and Christmas is so important because that is when Jesus was born, and if he was never born then he couldn't have died to take our sins away." So proud of my smart boy!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Christmas Play

Today at church we had our Christmas play, and of course it was precious... how could it not be with a bunch of 3 and 4 year olds out there! Here is a clip of the very beginning of the program, with some of the kids singing The Friendly Beasts. I was very proud of my precious donkey and adorable rooster, and all of the other sweet barnyard animals!

Elsie had practiced her part, (saying "Merry Christmas") and had it down perfect, until she was on stage and had the mic, and then she just wanted to babble non-stop! If I can find the video that my sister recorded, I'll have to post it as well!

Saturday, December 3, 2011


So I never really like to get into heated debates about certain topics, but there is one topic that I am very passioniate about, and that is abortion. I can remember years and years ago my mother buying some earrings that were the actual size of a 10 week old (is that right, mom?) baby. At the time I know I didn't fully comprehend why my mom loved and wore these earrings, I can just remember thinking that they were amazing and I couldn't believe anyone had feet that little! Now I know that she wore them to represent to everyone that she was pro-life. As the years passed and I began to fully understand what exactly that pair of little feet earrings represented, it was never a question about which side I should choose. Pro-life or pro-choice? As I began having children of my own, and suffering a heartbreaking miscarriage, my thoughts and feelings on abortion became even stronger. I can remember hearing and seeing Jackson's heartbeat at 7 weeks, and it was honestly one of the most amazing sounds ever. (Of course the same is true with Ansley and Elsie's!) There was a baby, alive, inside of me and depended on me to keep it safe. How amazing is that?

A few nights ago I was on my computer, really late (like usual), and I see a post on Hope Pregnancy Center's (in Boone) facebook page. They had a post that said:

"Need one more motivated woman to join 9 others and participate in the 3rd annual "Ten Amigas Social Networking Fundraiser" for Hope PRC. The goal is to use social networking sites like FB and personal email to raise $1,000 for the center in just 2 weeks. Msg me if interested. We use an online software program that makes it really easy and efficient. Prizes go to top 3 fundraisers and we all celebrate at Dos Amigos after it's over. Best yet, you give women with unplanned pregnancies real choice, not abortion by default."

I felt like I should send a message asking what exactly I would need to do and to let them know I was interested. But, then I started thinking. I am HORRIBLE at fundraising. I was the kid in elementary school that would maybe sell only one or two raffle tickets at the Fall Festival. I despise asking people to buy something or to give money to me for something. How in the world am I... ME.... going to raise $1,000? I don't know why, but I sent the message anyway. I knew I would wake up and have a response saying that someone else already filled that spot and I would be off the hook. I went to bed and prayed and asked God that if this is something I should do, then let that spot still be open, and to help me not stress if I don't make the $1,000 goal. I woke up in the middle of the night and it was still on my mind, so I continued to pray. When I woke up first thing that morning, I said yet another prayer. By the time I got on my computer late that morning I had a response back, no one had filled that spot yet! That is when I said, "Ok Lord, I'll do it." So, my goal is to raise $1,000 in 2 weeks (which is now only 11 days away). As soon as I sat up my fundraising page and posted it to facebook, I immediately had two sponsors, and as of right now, I have awesome 6 sponsors with a total of $465.00 raised. I am so grateful for those people that have donated to this wonderful fundraiser. I know that this is a tough time of year to be giving money to fundraisers, but like I said, this is something that I am very passionate about, helping protect unborn children.  No donation is too small, and I appreciate anything that you may be able to give. If all you can do right now is forward this link to other friends and family members, I appreciate it greatly!

Here is the fundraising link:

Thanks so much!

(Mom- do you still have those little feet earrings?)        :)