Productive Day

I LOVE having productive days, and yesterday was one of those. Since my new couch was coming, I wanted all the Christmas decorations down so I could get the living room dusted and vacuumed really well. I got all that done, plus our massive give away pile into my car to take away today (we always do a major clean out of all closets and other areas around Christmas), ran 2 miles with Jake, made baby food for Jack, folded 2 loads of laundry, cooked a yummy dinner, and started Jack’s first year scrapbook (which I do digitally, then print). A great day if I do say so myself! Oh, and I am officially in love with my new couch :).

Birthday fun

Yesterday was my sweet hubby’s birthday, and we had such a fun day! 

We started out the morning with a french toast and sausage breakfast, complete with a candle and the “Happy Birthday” song sung by Josie :). She also made her daddy a sweet card with a picture of the whole family on it.

Singing “Happy Birthday” (and yes, Josie is in a princess dress…she has not taken it off since Christmas Eve-if we are at home, she is in that dress!)

Blowing out his candle 

After breakfast, we loaded up our couch to take to Casey’s house (my Christmas present is being delivered today…a new couch! Yay!! ) After we left Casey’s, we decided to stop by Thomas Drug’s in Cross Plains for some lunch. We have tried to go there several times, but they have always been closed, so we wanted to take advantage of being in the right place at the right time! They are famous for their milkshakes, so Josie and Jake got milkshakes, and we all got some yummy sandwiches…I love that Josie and Jack can share lunch now-they got a grilled cheese. 🙂 OH, and great news-someone else in my family finally likes pickles! Jack ate an ENTIRE dill pickle spear, and wanted more! 🙂

Last night Mom and Dad kept the kiddos so that Jake and I could go on a birthday date. First we met some sweet friends for dinner at Fuji…YUM-I love that place. Then Jake and I went to see Mission Impossible 4-it was a good movie….movies like that always stress me out, though! 🙂 It was great to be out with my hubby-thanks Mom and Dad! 🙂 Happy Birthday, Jake! 🙂

Final Christmas Gathering

Wednesday night we went to our final Christmas gathering of the season, with our friends at Bob and Shane’s house. It was a great night of good food (thanks, Shane!), catching up, and watching the guys play the Wii. We were laughing at how much our little group has grown over the years-there are so many little kids running around now! A lot can change in just a few short years. 🙂

Jack, checking out Eve 

Diane and Lana

Katie, making some cool configurations with her dominos

The youngest member of our group, Lily

Pretty girl

Liam and Emily

Most of the gang, watching Andrew play the Wii


Emily….who makes me feel SO old-I remember when she was born!

Silly Eve 🙂

Josie LOVED playing with Emily

Jake and Lewis

Having Emily there was like having a built in babysitter-the girls loved her! 🙂

Brian, showing off his dominos skills 🙂

Thanks for a great night, everybody!

Just finished running with Jake. We took it easy today, since this was my first time running since having pneumonia, and his first time running since spraining his ankle. We went 1.75 miles in about 19 minutes-not too bad. I felt pretty good, but I did have to hit my inhaler when we got back. Felt good to be running again, though! Thanks Mama Judy for watching the kiddos for us! 🙂


I forgot to add in my Christmas post how sweet and gracious Josie was opening all of her presents, from everybody. After she opened, she got so excited and said “this is just what I’ve always wanted!” with a humongous smile on her face. Then she would immediately say thank you and go give the gift-giver a big hug. We were so proud of her for being so gracious. We are trying to teach her to be gracious, but sometimes that is hard since she is only three! Well, she did perfect this weekend. Sweet girl :). 

Christmas Day!!

Christmas Day started bright and early…..for Jack and I, anyways….he was up bright and early before 6:00….I had to WAKE Josie up after 7:00, so we could get the day started in order to get to my parent’s house on time…she was just too worn out from all our festivities the day before :). 

Of course, I had asked Santa to NOT come to our house this year, per Josie’s request (she was absolutely TERRIFIED of Santa this year, and so scared that he would come to our house and find her room-she  didn’t want anything to do with him), so instead of Santa presents, Josie and Jack just got their presents from Jake and I this Christmas morning. 🙂 We try to not go overboard with Christmas presents…our kiddos are so blessed to have a ton of people buying for them anyways, plus we desperately want to make sure the focus of Christmas stays on CHRIST and giving, instead of just “getting.”

Josie had only asked for one thing for Christmas: a baby doll carseat. So we of course got her that, plus a new little outfit for her baby doll Ella that she loves so much. Then she got a few stocking stuffers: a ballerina necklace, some chocolate goldfish crackers, a couple of books, a new CD with the “La-dee-da” song on it (her FAVORITE song they sing at church), and bath bubbles. 🙂 Stocking stuffers are fun!

Jack got his very first wooden train. Jake and I thought we would start it now, and then we can just add to it bit by bit. 🙂 In his stocking he got a new bib, some yogurt snacks, an “Atari” t-shirt, a ball, a “Peek-a-Boo” book, and some Gerber puffs. 

Making a BIG cereal mess while we were waiting on everyone to wake up….

Josie’s present (that purple box is new tissues for her room-she is ALWAYS asking for a tissue!)

Jack’s presents…

Sleepy Josie opening presents…

Reading his new book….

Jack playing with his new train…

New carseat!

In all our Christmas morning excitement SOMEBODY discovered the step stool in the bathroom….

After we finished with our present opening, we all got ready and headed to my parent’s for our Christmas morning breakfast with my Dad’s family. We always have a HUMONGOUS breakfast cooked by all the guys (with help from my mom 🙂 ). After our super yummy breakfast, we all headed up to my parent’s cabin for a church service-we sang songs, prayed, had the Lord’s Supper, and Andy taught his a short lesson from Act 2 about the gifts God has given us :). A great way to celebrate the reason for our holiday :). After our church service, we let the kiddos open a couple of gifts (we don’t really exchange presents at this family gathering, some of just get the kiddos a small present). 

All the guys cooking-Kyle joined in this year on the bacon, and Alec even helped Andy with the fried oysters!

Stephanie and Grandaddy-we were so blessed Grandaddy was feeling well enough to come!

Beth, Cameron, and Josie eating at the kid’s table…

Jack PIGGING out…..AGAIN….

This is where we had church….

All of Andy and Christie’s kiddos…

Andy and Christie…

Sweet girl….

Presents for the kids….

Jack was starting to get REALLY tired…the weekend was taking its’ toll….

After all the family left, we did our Christmas gift exchange with just my immediate family (which is growing all the time!)- Chad, Lesa, Mom, Dad, Casey, Kyle, and us :). 

A purple “shoot gun” from Grammy and Pappy!

Jack was starting to get fussy while we were opening presents, so Pappy fed him his very first oatmeal cookie……:). 

My furry little niece….

Grammy and Pappy got Jack his Lifetime Sportsman’s license, just like they did for Josie on her first Christmas….Yay!

After celebrating Christmas with my family, we headed to Mama Judy’s for some yummy chili and potato soup, and so we could visit with her on Christmas. (which I didn’t get any pictures of-oops!) We didn’t stay terribly late there, because we were all tired and ready to be home. 

After we got home, I let Josie sing “Happy Birthday” to Jesus, and blow out a a candle for Him. This was something I had planned to do first thing in the morning, but Josie slept late and we ran out of time-I will have to plan better next year! I think it is a fun thing to do to help little ones remember why we celebrate Christmas-Josie loved it 🙂

I hope you all had a blessed and wonderful Christmas! We did, and a big thank you to all of the very awesome people in our lives that helped make it special :). Happy Birthday Jesus!

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve started bright and early with our annual breakfast at Mama Judy’s. YUM is all I have to say about the food. It is always SUCH  a good breakfast- cranberry tea, biscuits, eggs, ham, muffins, fruit, and sausage balls. Jack INHALED some sausage balls, muffins, and biscuits. He was ALL about the food this weekend-boy loves to eat! 🙂 Josie was not so into the food, but she always loves Mama Judy’s cranberry tea-it is a special treat for her :). 

After breakfast, we got our traditional “cousins” picture and opened presents…….

Finally a good picture of ALL the grandkids! 

Josie was so excited to get these find a picture books from Mee-Maw!

Katie with a pretty new necklace…..

Jack even started ripping some of his presents open himself….he liked tearing the paper, but he always started playing with whatever was inside before we could get the rest of the paper off :). 

Matthew got a percussion set!

2 peas in a pod….

All worn out…

Playing with Josie’s new cupcake set! Have I ever mentioned how much I LOVE Melissa and Doug toys?

Jack loves his Mee-Maw 🙂

Carley was excited about getting the game “Perfection.”

After the festivities were over at Mama Judy’s, we left there and went straight to Nana’s. We at a snacky lunch waiting on everyone to get there, and let the kiddos play with some of their new things they got at Mee-Maw’s. Jack loved his new walker, and Josie got to play “CandyLand” for the very first time. After everyone got there, we had a YUMMY steak dinner (thanks, Nana!!), and then we opened presents. I loved getting to hang out with my family-it is not very often that we ALL actually get to be in the same place at the same time. 

Looking at the cute “sisters” book Shshr made for Mom, Ta, and Nana

Jack loved this balloon-he played with it for half the time we were there!

Pappy reading Jack a Christmas book

Trying out his new walker….(thanks, Mee-Maw!)

Playing Candy Land for the first time…

(one) of Nana’s trees…..

Josie and her two favorite people-Jackie and Lesa!

Josh and Chad….

Justin, being goofy 🙂
Opening presents!
Josie got a “zoo” from Shshr-she was SO excited!! 
I think this was Jack’s favorite present-a ball tower from Jackie and Josh-he has played with is a TON already! Thanks, guys!
Josie got a new scooter that she LOVES…..but I think Jack loves it even more then she does-we couldn’t keep him off it! 🙂 
Josh was giving Jackie duck-call blowing lessons….
Josie, modeling her new princess dress she got from Nana (which she had had on ALL day today, too)-thanks, Nana!
Nana with a very sleepy Jack….
We discovered Jack LOVES duck calls….such a boy! 🙂
Christmas PJs!!
We had a wonderful day. We are SO very blessed to have so much of our family close by so that we get to visit with them on the holidays-I couldn’t imagine spending the holidays by ourselves, which I know is the reality for so many people. Jack and Josie (and Jake and I!) got so many nice gifts; even though that is NOT what this holiday is all about (and we are trying so hard to teach that to Josie!), we are so blessed to have a family that loves on our kiddos so very much. 
Next post: Christmas Day! 

Christmaspalooza 2011

“Christmaspalooza” is what I have dubbed our Christmas festivities this year. Christmas, for us, this year started on Friday. 

Friday afternoon Josie, Jack, and I went to our annual girls gathering with the Fentress ladies. Normally we meet at Susan’s, but this year we met at Mama Judy’s so everyone could see her new kitchen. We had yummy lunch food, and all the little girls had a blast playing together and putting on “shows” for us. 🙂

Carley and Jack

Lots of talking and catching up going on! 

Susan and a sleepy Caroline…

The little girls had a blast sitting at their very own table!

Putting on a “show” for us….Jack was NOT real happy to be stuck in the middle…

Katie, Mama Judy, Liz, and Carley

Sweet Matthew…

After our girls gathering, I swung by to pick up Jake, and we all headed to his Dad’s for our Christmas dinner/gathering with them. Cindy fixed a wonderful dinner, and the kiddos all enjoyed opening some presents. Jack opened his very first Christmas present, ever. 🙂 

All the kiddos in the floor….

Jack opening his very first Christmas present 🙂

He was really excited about this one-he started playing with it before we even got all the paper off! Thanks, Grandpa and Cindy!

Next post: Christmas Eve!