Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The Nutcracker & Christmas Programs 2014

This was a very exciting year for us to go watch The Nutcracker because Ansley Kate was a gingerbread kid (which is one of my favorite parts of the ballet), and it was Elsie's first time dancing on the "big stage." She played a kid in the toy store, and both girls (and all of the dancers) did a fantastic job. I still am so amazed at how a little local dance company can put on such an amazing, wonderful ballet with fantastic choreography, costumes, props, etc.
Ansley in her third Nutcracker- this year as a Ginger Kid

Here are some pics of Elsie in her debut in The Nutcracker. How precious are these little gals!

Vada Belle insisted that she, too, was going to go dance on the "big stage" and be in The Nutcracker like her big sisters. Before going to Elsie's dress rehearsal, Vada Belle had to put her hair into a bun, put on a hand me down ballet costume, and had to show off some of her moves to us.
 My Beautiful Little Dancers

The kids were really excited that Mamaw Di, Gramma Winkie, and Uncle Gerald came to watch them in the ballet:

Jackson and Ansley Kate had their Christmas programs at school a couple of weeks before Christmas, and had a great time singing some of their favorite Christmas songs.

We also did a short little Christmas play at church, and Jackson played the role of Joseph, Elsie was Mary, and Ansley and Vada Belle were angels. Before church that morning Elsie got her purse and Minnie Mouse heels to wear with her Christmas dress, and everyone got a little laugh out of when she propped those Minnie heels up on the manger scene during the play. Who knew Mary wore heels!
I decided that since our first visit with Santa didn't go so well this year (since Vada Belle wanted nothing to do with him and Elsie had an ear infection and could of cared less about meeting him at that moment), that I would take them to a local bank so they could meet him again. This time it went much better, and Vada Belle even walked up to him and sat on his lap! Jackson told Santa that he wanted a boomerang, Ansley asked for some Merida Lego's, Elsie only wanted a Tiana dress, and Vada Belle just kept her fingers in her mouth the whole time. 

Thursday, December 4, 2014

November 2014

November Moments:

Elsie, Vada Belle and I enjoyed pretty fall days outside while Jackson and Ansley were at school:

Voting in the November Elections;  
Vada Belle somehow climbed to the top of the kitchen counter to sneak candy out of the candy bucket- little stinker!
Elsie and Vada Belle "cooking" and Elsie snoozing with her Cinderella and Prince Charming;
Vada Belle loves to read books in her bed, but she can be very picky about which exact book she wants to read. One night I asked Eric to go give her a book, and when I went to check on her this is what I found. Eric said he got tired of asking, "this book?" so he just gave up and gave her all of them. So funny. 
The kids love packing shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child, and this year they wanted to each pack their own box before we went to church and helped pack boxes there. They were so proud of their boxes, and had a great time "designing" the box and praying for the child that would receive it.
Ansley helping with the grocery list; Vada packing shoeboxes at church, Jackson and Elsie dressing up, Jackson with his cracker creation (he is definitely his father's son); Jackson and Caleb reading some books

We also made our second batch of molasses for this fall, and ended up with 32 gallons between the two batches.
We took the kids to visit Santa, but Elsie and Vada Belle were not a fan and wanted nothing to do with him. Elsie wasn't acting herself at all, so I ended up taking her to the doctor a couple of hours after this to find out she had an ear infection.
We spent Thanksgiving once again with so many of our family members at my mom and dad's house. As always, there was more than enough food, lots of fun stories being told, and the kids were entertaining as always.

Just a couple of days later we celebrated Papaw Fred's birthday! The kids loved having their cousins here to play with for several days. 

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Halloween 2014

Once again our kids came up with a theme that they wanted to do for Halloween. They went back and forth between a couple of ideas (which was all them), and they settled on doing "The Little Mermaid" theme. So, here we have Ariel, Prince Eric and his dog Max, Flounder, Sebastian and Ursula.
On Thursday, October 30th, we went Trick or Treating at the dorms at ASU. Vada Belle was all about running down the dorm hallways and getting candy from the college students- that girl loves her sweets! They also had a princess party in the student union, and at first Jackson refused to come in. One of the girls told him there was plenty for guys to do and that he could just come in and get his face painted and then walk back out. He thought the shark she painted on his face was pretty cool, thank goodness.
 Flounder, Ariel with her dingle hopper, Ursula and Max the dog

We went to several of the local church's Trunk or Treats, dropped the big kids off and let them run into many houses by themselves (this is the first year that we've really been able to do this so they were thrilled), and we went by the local high school for their trunk or treat. By the end of the night we had plenty of candy to last us a long, long time.
The kids already say they know what they are dressing up as next year for Halloween. We love dressing up and seeing so many of our friends and family on Halloween!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

October 2014

Some October Memories:

Ansley Kate lost her very first tooth on October 5th, 2014. Eric, Vada Belle and I were actually in Hickory, and Jackson, Ansley and Elsie wanted to stay at Mamaw Ollie's house. Ansley has had this loose tooth for quite a while now, and somehow Mamaw and Bella finally convinced her to just jerk it out. She was so excited when we came to pick her up.
-Vada Belle sweetly sleeping
-One day when the little girls and I went to school to eat lunch with Jackson and Ansley, Elsie jumped out of the car and said, "Hold on, mommy! I need to take a picture of this beautiful tree." What have I created?! :)
-Elsie and her sweet friend, Bailey, at Bailey's Frozen birthday party
-Elsie riding on their new ride from their Clifton grandparents
When Eric told some friends (back in the summer) that had to find a new home for their pet pig, Vidalia, that we would take her, I was at first not very happy. Soon enough, the kids and I all became pretty attached to her and she was a wonderful pig. The only problem with her though, was that she was too smart and would always find a way to escape from her pen. Eric had worked and worked and tried many different things to keep her from getting out, but she always managed to figure out a way to escape. It seemed that every time we would be gone out of town somewhere, that is when she would get out, and she always went straight to the antique store by our house or to the highway. When we were trying to deal with our flat tire on our van on the day we were leaving Disney World, Eric gets a call from our neighbor saying that our pig and puppy kept trying to come into the antique store. Eric posted a status stating, "Free pig. She loves people, puppies and shopping" but we couldn't get anyone to take us up on the offer. He ended up taking her to the farm sale before she got hit by a car, and the kids and I were all pretty bummed about it.
 Ansley Kate and Elsie had watch day at dance, and we loved watching their sweet little classes do ballet and tap.
We also had several gatherings and celebrations for friends, Fall Festival at school, and we went to Lazy 5 Ranch with a group from church.
We went to Lazy 5 Ranch on October 26th, which was also Mamaw Dianne's birthday, so all the kids celebrated her big day with her while we were all together.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Fall Pictures 2014

For the past two years I've taken the kids to a couple of places near our house to take some fall pictures, so I had to do it this year, too. I decided to go back and look at the blog post from the past two years, and my heart is aching with how fast they grow while at the same time bursting from pride and love I have for them.  Just a reminder of how fast time does go by, look at these two posts first:

Pictures from this year:

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

September 2014

September was such a crazy and busy month with so many exciting things that happened, like Ansley turning 6, going to Disney World, camping trips, and school happenings, and then there were some heartbreaking moments like the passing of our sweet Nala Mae. Here are some other moments from our busy September:
The weekend after we returned from our Disney trip, we went on our annual camping trip with Eric's side of the family to Adventure Camp. We got to spend lots of times laughing with cousins, playing games and we celebrated all of the September birthdays while we were there.
 Ansley absolutely loves riding her bike, and she decided she was going to take it on this pretty steep hill and ride down. She had several successful trips and then all of a sudden her little bitty bike (which probably isn't made to go down hills such as this), lost control and she had a pretty nasty wreck. She was trying so hard not to cry when it happened, and I saw it all happen like it was being played in slow motion and there was nothing I could do to stop it. When she stood up and tried to run to me, I noticed her limping a little and when I grabbed her, that is when the tears started. She had some pretty nasty road rash on her chin, knees and hands, and her thumb was pretty swollen, too. She was a trooper though, and didn't complain much at all.

Jackson's 2nd grade class took a field trip to The Apple Orchard, and I enjoyed going along with them. This was the same apple orchard that I use to take my students to when I use to teach, so I enjoyed being out with that age group again. They then took all of the second graders to the park for a picnic lunch and some playtime.
 A few random moments including picnics with Elsie and Vada Belle while the other two were at school, all three big kids sleeping in Jackson's bed (I don't even know why we have a bed for each kid since they were always piling in bed with each other), Ansley with her giraffe project she made at school, Vada Belle with Asa at the park, and Eric with the kids celebrating his 34th birthday.
Jackson came down with walking pneumonia, but thankfully after a trip to the doctor and some medication, he was better before that weekend, which was great since we went camping at New River Campground with some of my family. I ended up taking Vada Belle to the doctor the morning that we were leaving for our camping trip, and she had an ear infection and pink eye. We decided to leave her with my mom for the first night of the camping trip since it was going to be pretty cool that night, but she brought her down pretty early the next day. We enjoyed nights hanging out by the campfire, short hikes during the day, and the kids even hopped in the kayak for a little fun with Jennifer and Leslie.
 What a wonderful month September was!