Saturday, December 31, 2011

A Look Back ~ 2011

We had a busy and fun 2011! What fun it is to look back at this blog and see what all we did. Here are some highlights from the year.


We had the biggest snow storm in years. It was crazy and tons of fun!



Sam had tubes put in his ears.



Reese had her hair cut for the first time ever.



Reese and Sam really started playing together.



Sam gets his first haircut.



Reese has her first ballet recital. Precious!



We spent a wonderful week at the beach. We love the beach!



Reese started preschool for the last time. I can not believe she will start kindergarten in 2012.



Sam enjoyed his new alone time while Reese was at school.  He also missed her!



We had tons of fall fun!






We rode the “Polar Express” in Chattanooga.



What a wonderful and blessed year we have had. I can’t wait to see what 2012 looks like!! Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Pottery Painting

A while back we bought a deal from Living Social for a local pottery painting place. I thought it would be fun to take Reese there to spend some special time with her. Well, on December 19th I realized it was going to expire that day so off we went at 5:00 to paint some pottery. It was stressful. Not the fun time I thought it would be. Sam was with us and in a stinker mood and they closed at 6:00 so we had to hurry. Reese picked out two star ornaments and got to work. (I only got a picture of Reese’s star.)

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She really enjoyed it and I hope I can take her back another time…alone and not in a hurry.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Princesses and Mickey

Remember when we wrote letters to Cinderella and Mickey? Late last week we received a response from those. They were not exactly what I thought we would get back but the kids were excited. We hung them up with our Christmas cards and they are still there now.

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Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Wrap-Up

We had a wonderful Christmas filled with family and lots of love. However, I didn’t take many pictures. The weekend went by way too fast if you ask me.

Friday started our Christmas weekend. Reese and I made cookies for Santa and I cleaned up around the house. Santa requested chocolate chip cookies so that is what we made.

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That afternoon the kids had just woken up from their naps and were snuggling up on the couch to watch a movie and eat at snack. I was in the kitchen cleaning when we heard the garage door opening. We were so excited to have Daddy surprise us by coming home around 3:30!! He had some last minute shopping to do and asked Reese if she wanted to go. She, of course, was very excited to do that so it made Sam want to go, too. That was my first Christmas present! Ha! I had three whole hours to myself. I cleaned the downstairs and then sat down to enjoy it. That night we had pizza and movie night picnic style and watch some Christmas specials we had Tivo’ed.

Saturday morning we headed to church. Our church held service on Saturday morning instead of Sunday. After church we headed out to my parents house. The second we walked in the door Reese was busting at the seams to open presents. So it wasn’t long until we were doing just that.

My parents told them to close their eyes while they brought all the presents in to the family room.

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Look at that sneaky Sam with his eyes open behind his hands.

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Reese tore in to her presents.

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While Sam took each present to Gigi to have her help with opening. Each present he opened he got the most excited look on his face.

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After presents Sam hung out with Tommy. They played ball, airplane, and Sam climbed all over him.

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The kids were spoiled by all of their gifts and so were we.

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Before we left we put the kids in their pajamas. We drove to go see some lights and then headed home. Reese was the first one to go to sleep. She was worn out! Sam fell asleep a little while later but much closer to home. Reese woke up as we were getting off the exit to our house. When we got home we quickly put out the milk and cookies and then took the kids to bed.

The one thing Reese asked Santa for was a “coloring castle”. Seriously, if there is one thing that was made for Reese it was this gift! It has everything to do with Princesses and art. It is her dream house. Santa knew Reese would not want Sam to color on her castle so he brought Sam a Mater to color on. I am not sure Sam was as excited. He was, however, very excited about his little power wheels.

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Reese was the first one to wake up at 7:45. She snuck in to our room, climbed in our bed, and then whispered, “Santa came!”. We told her we had to wait until Sam woke up to go downstairs. Around 8:00 he still wasn’t awake so we started making a little noise to wake him up. It worked. Reese ran in to his room and squealed, “Sam! Santa came!”.

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However, he was not thrilled to be awake yet. We tried to get the kids to sit here to have their picture made but Sam was not having it so I had to help.

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They were both thrilled when they ran downstairs to see their gifts. After seeing all of Santa’s gifts it was time to open up presents from each other. Reese bought us gifts at her Secret Santa shop at school again this year. Those were the first gifts we opened. Lance and I died laughing when Sam opened up his Princess white board from Reese. It was sooooo funny! Sam just went along with it and said, “Ooooh! Princess!”. He seemed just as excited as Reese was.

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After opening gifts we ate breakfast, played with our new toys, and enjoyed some time together. Then it was time to head out to Lance’s family. I thought I took a lot more pictures than I did there but as I looked through them I had one picture of Dalton and six pictures of Sam. Ha! Apparently we were having too much fun. The kids were once again spoiled (as were we).

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Sam’s favorite gift was this Rock and Roll Mickey. Reese received tons of arts and crafts from everyone this year and will be loving that all year long!

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We had such a wonderful time with all of our family and feel so very blessed. Not only for all the gifts but for the real reason for this season!

Today we were in our pajamas until 4:00! It was so awesome! We took down all of our Christmas decorations inside and reorganized some of our kitchen. The house is still a wreck though! I need to figure out where all of the new stuff will go. After that we headed to the mall to have my new watch sized and then to Hobby Lobby for some Christmas shopping. We bought some decorations for next year and some frames for some canvases we have. It was a perfect day to finish off a wonderful weekend.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas Happenings

I haven’t updated all of our Christmas happenings so here you go.

The Saturday we were back from Disney we went to a local parade with our neighbors.

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We had Lance’s friend from high school, Eric, and his family over one night. The kids all played very well together and were so silly.

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Last Friday the girls in Reese’s class had a cookie exchange. They were so cute together and had a lot of fun.

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They also played a game where they each received a gift.

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Sam even had a blast with all of the girls which means I got to have some mommy time with the other moms.

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This is the kids watching the light show at the house lights we went to see last weekend.

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Tuesday Reese had her Christmas show at school. I only brought my small camera so I didn’t get any good pictures. That is Reese in the top row in the center. They sang several songs and Reese was so funny. She was very excited during the show. When she sang you could see every word she was saying. If she didn’t know the words her mouth was still moving. It really just sounded like the kids screaming as loud as they could more than singing but it was precious.

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After the show they had a little Christmas party. When we got to the room they were doing a craft.

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I was assigned cupcakes to bring so I went with these cute reindeer cupcakes from Pinterest.


Once they were done with the craft and eating, it really got wild in there. The girls in her class are just silly!

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They love each other so much and play so well together.

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Today was Reese’s last day of school. I swear this has been the longest week ever. I am so glad she is finally home with us for two weeks. Today they had pajama and a movie day. She was very excited to wear her pajamas to school. Since Reese was leaving her pajamas on, Sam decided he wanted to leave his on too. I was totally fine with that and we have had a lazy day around here to go along with the pajamas and rain.

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I LOVE these two little monkeys. I was trying to be creative and have them spell out LOVE but it just didn’t come out the way I was hoping. Sam’s little arms are just too short. Ha!

We are looking forward to the upcoming weekend! Family and fun, here we come!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Monday, December 19, 2011

Two Funnies

Last night when we got home from Chattanooga, Lance went in to the office to get some things done (he is still trying to catch up from our Disney trip, I think). I decided to take the kids to dinner and then to see some Christmas lights a friend had told us about. There is a man in a neighborhood with tons of lights set up to music. It was pretty impressive and the kids enjoyed it.

As we were pulling out of the neighborhood Reese said, “That was fun, Mommy! Thank you!”. I told her that was sweet of her to say and then she said, “I love you more than bananas!” We had a good laugh about that and then tried to think of more things that we loved each other more than.

Once we were back home I gave the kids a bath. Our shower nozzle is one of those that you can take off so that we can spray Reese’s head full of hair easier. When doing this it causes tons of bubbles in the tub so I always have them stand up to get sprayed off when we are about to take them out of the tub. As I was spraying Sam, he covered up his private area and said, “Oh, my peanut!”. It was so funny! We have never called it that before, I have always used the correct term with him, but we may have a new term now.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Riding the “Polar Express”

Saturday we went to Chattanooga (or Chagganoota, as Reese would say) to ride the “Polar Express”. We did a package deal through the Chattanooga Choo-Choo for a nights stay in the hotel, a train ride, and several activities. The kids had fun and we had fun watching them. My parents came, too, so that added to the kids excitement! The only problem we had was that none of us remembered a camera so all of these pictures are from our iPhones.

The first thing we did when we arrived was go to the Elf’s Workshop. Also known as Reese’s Heaven. It was eight tables set-up with different crafts. There were elves at each table to help the kids with their craft. When I asked Reese if she needed help, she would say no. When the elves asked she would let them help her.


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Sam was happy to have Gigi there to help him. I was surprised at how entertained he was by all of the activities, too. He was NOT entertained by the elves though. He wanted nothing to do with them.

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The last table the kids went to was to write a letter to Santa. Once the letter was written they put it in the box to be sent to the jolly old elf himself.

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After a few poses in front of this wall painting, we headed to see Santa.

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The lady who was working the table for Santa had this precious Yorkie. He was so chill and the kids loved him. If you have been around Reese and a dog at the same time, I know you are shocked by this picture. However, she is coming around to small dogs…and this dog was tiny and wrapped in a blanket looking like an elf. Who could pass up a chance to hold him?

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Sam, once again, was not interested in Santa so he hung back while Reese went to see him.

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Santa was sweet just like a Santa should be. While we were standing in line Reese said, “Mommy, that is not the same Santa.” I told her Santa must have a bunch of helpers because he can’t be in different places all the time.

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Granddaddy and the monkeys being silly in a telephone booth.

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Next we were off to a model train museum. Nobody was that impressed…especially Reese.

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After a quick break in our rooms we headed downtown to get some Mellow Mushroom for dinner. When we were leaving Reese said she wanted her picture with this statue. As I was taking her picture she yelled out, “Papa Johns!”. That got a few giggles from people around.

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Finally, it was time for our reason for the trip. The Tennessee Valley Railroad has its own version of the Polar Express.

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We dressed the kids in their pajamas (just like the movie).

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We waited for a while before we could get on the train and Sam looked like such a big kid with his hands in his pockets and hood up.

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We got on the train and even though we were not the first ones in line the fronts seats on the train were open and they sent us to them. We shoved the six of us in to four seats because we didn’t want the kids walking back and forth while the train was moving.

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Sam was a little grumpy during the ride but seemed to enjoy parts of it.

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They served milk and cookies, read a story and sang some songs.


Once we made it to the “North Pole”, Santa climbed aboard to greet the kids. Since we were in the front seats, Reese was the first to get to say hello. She was super excited that he picked her up and held her. We have a video of it but I haven’t loaded it on YouTube yet. She was too cute. Sam was, once again, not interested.


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After we were back to the hotel, they had a story time with some elves. We had an option of an Elf Tuck-in. That is where they come to your room to read you a story and tuck you in. I am so glad I did not choose that option because Sam would have freaked. I ended up keeping Sam in the room and getting him to sleep while everyone else went to the story time.

This morning we had breakfast at the hotel and then my parents headed home. We killed some time at the mall for a little while and then went to visit some of Lance’s family once they were home from church. The kids were wild and crazy there but we had a nice visit.