Wednesday, November 26, 2008

6 hours of fun...

One long standing tradition in our household is Santa at Phipps and riding the Pink Pig. Growing up, the real Santa was at Perimeter Mall and you would go and stand in line for over 4 hours to see him. He was worth it though! Then he moved to Phipps Plaza and we would still go - but you would stand in line to get a number and then stand in line once your number was called to actually see him. Now, in October, you get online at midnight and book your reservation for Santa. Crazy, I know, but it's tradition. So, Melanie and I have started a tradition of getting our reservations together. Yesterday was our day. Melanie came by and picked us up and we loaded 4 car seats in Melanie's van and headed out. We had to stop at Arlington to pick up Allie and finally were on our way. We planned to get there in plenty of time to eat and get the kids changed into their far, so good. We checked in and started making our lists for Santa. Allie and Avery went first. They both loved him and were adorable sitting on his lap. Next was Ethan and Nina's turn. At first, Nina was trying to run to see him and then when she realized that I was encouraging her to go, she dropped to the floor. Ethan walked right up and sat in his lap - he's always been a lover of the Claus! I put Nina in his lap and walked away and you would have thought her world had just been turned upside down....but all of a sudden, I turned around and she was laughing. He spent a lot of time talking to them and they both seemed to enjoy the time with him. Ethan told him to make sure to bring his toys to Atlanta and not Memphis. It warms my heart to carry on this tradition with my kids because I have such fond memories of the real Santa!

This is when the fun begins...Melanie and I both thought that while the kids were dressed up we could try for our Christmas card pictures. So we walked down to the atrium that's all decorated and tried, noticed I said tried, to get pictures. It was quite amusing to say the least. Melanie, my Mom and I were all worn out and to quote Melanie, she said, "I just need to do this at home so I can yell!" Well said, Melanie, well said!

So we packed everyone back into the van and drove across the street to ride the Pink Pig. The kids all enjoyed it! Melanie's sugar was low, so I drove home and we needed to stop for a drink or we pulled into The Varsity and all got chocolate shakes for the ride home! Yummy! It was a fun evening - if we hadn't tried to get pictures, it would have been an easy evening! I'm so thankful I have a best friend like Melanie that is willing to do fun and crazy things together! Here's to next year....
Mommy and Ethan making his wish list
While Allie and Avery were in line, I tried to get pics of Ethan and Nina on the stairs - didn't work and this was the best I got.
Nina crying as I sat her in Santa's lap and walked away
Then Nina laughing!
Reading of the lists
He's not such a bad guy after all!

Allie and Ethan after Santa
Trying for a group picture
Adding the trouble maker to the group picture...she did not want her picture taken

The pictures below will speak for themselves....

Other than the candy cane all over Nina's mouth, it's the only good one I got
Allie and Ethan - oh, and Allie got 3 sips of Diet Coke while we were trying to get pictures. Avery got nothing (according to Melanie)
Nina and Avery playing in the atrium
Nona and Nina riding the Pink Pig togetherAllie, Ethan and Avery on the Pink Pig

Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Black Friday to everyone!!!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

I'm hooked....

So, I've gotten into this sewing thing. I mean, I've really gotten into it. Since Ethan was born, Mom and Randi have "helped" me sew different things - from his bedding to multiple bed skirts and curtains. I've always liked "helping" them (meaning, make salsa and have Chick fil-A tea and M & Ms at their disposal), but have really never wanted to do much on my own. I guess I've been a little scared. Well, a couple of weeks ago I purchased an embroidery machine. My intention is to be able to monogram for friends, etc, and pay for my machine. But in the meantime, I went to this Christmas market with some friends and we started looking at some of the children's clothes that were there. I began thinking that I could do make these things. I mean, how hard can it be? Sooooo, it's started and I'm hooked. Thankfully we had our church Focus Group meeting at our house tonight so I HAD to clean the dining room. I've taken it over with fabric, 2 machines (sewing and embroidery), ironing board, thread, needles, patterns, etc...But I've had a great time. I've made several little SIMPLE pillowcase dresses for Nina and they are adorable. I've made a couple a line dresses for her and I also made some pants for Ethan. I was a little freaked out by those, but they turned out really well. I made them outfits for Thanksgiving and then I started thinking, oh, Hunter is going to be there too, so maybe I should make him a john john. So the other night about midnight I cut it out and the next morning I sewed it. I've still got to get a friend to help me with the buttonholes, but it's really cute. I'm just sewing really simple things, but I've had so much fun and I've realized that hey, I can do this!!

I was just telling Ethan that this time next Sunday night we'll be in Georgia. Can it really almost be Thanksgiving? I'm hoping to have at least 2 trees up and decorated this week, but we'll see. The holidays are rapidly approaching!!

Something cute from our house lately has been Ethan's prayers. He always wants to say them and it's really funny because he always says the same thing. At mealtime, it's thank you for the food and all our friends and family and if you remind him to say thank you for something else he says that's for nite-nite prayers. Lately he's even branched out of his comfort zone and started it with Heavenly Father instead of Dear God. And then the other day out of the blue he asked God to help his baby teeth fall out so he could have big teeth like Daddy's. Mark and I about fell out of our seats laughing. Then at night it's always Now I lay me down to sleep....and then he says Thank you God for Chris and Melanie, Allie and Avery (they are ALWAYS at the beginning) and then Nona and Poppa, Ro Ro and Pa......and then at the end, ALWAYS at the end it's thank you for Courtney and baby Hunter, Landon and Heidi the doggie. Amen.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving. It will be bittersweet at our house, but we know we have so much to be thankful for, so we'll be thinking of that instead of what we've lost. But the table will not be the same!

Movie night - Ethan asks me to make a pilot (how he calls a pallet) on the floor and pop popcorn. Although this evening Nina was more concerned with the tiny M&Ms that went in the popcorn.
Ethan in his Poppa clothes - as he's begun to call these type clothes.

We had to take Mark's car into the shop for an oil leak so Ethan has been all into fixing things. I came outside and Ethan had asked Mark to jack his Jeep up so he could fix the oil leak - notice he's putting paper underneath....

Oh yes, very proud of his work!
Nina has found that she loves to play underneath my bathroom sink....and has also found that the lipstick lids come off....needless to say I've thrown several Clinique sample lipsticks away and washed my white bathmat several times. Now the lipstick is put up!
Ethan and Nina today after church in their outfits I made

Ro Ro made the green and red pants and sent them to Ethan. I put the trees and E on his shirt and my Mom got the dress for Nina last year. A joint effort on Santa clothing for sure!

Hunter's john john

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Halloween Weekend

Pumpkin Patch

We've had a great weekend of fun! It started Wednesday morning at our local pumpkin patch. I met Amy, Arinne, Helen, Kelly, Mitzi and Anna Reid along with all the kids - Hudson, Riley, Eddison, Ivy, Claire, Gracie, Sydney, Macie Mae and Charlie. The kids had so much fun playing in the yard for a long time - they had swings, slides, tractors, playhouses, and this huge Noah's Ark wooden play set. Then we went on a hayride through the pumpkin patches and the Christmas tree farm. We stopped and the kids were able to pick a pumpkin out of the field. It was a gorgeous day, but very cold! After we played some more, we took the party to Chick-fil-A. It was a little crazy with 7 Mamas and 11 kids....but we survived!

Macie Mae and her pumpkinMitzi and kids on the hayrideHelen, Kelly and Arinne with their kids Ethan, Nina and Gracie - I had made this cute dress for Nina, but it was so cold, so she wore a pink sweatsuit

Ethan and Nina in the pumpkin patchNina was soooo tired from not having a morning nap, so she's in a daze - I already have visions of Christmas card picture drama!I thought this picture was so funny - both of their expressions were funnyThis is the dress I made for her - not too bad for my first attempt!Nina with one of MANY suckers consumed during the weekend!

I helped with Ethan's preschool Fall party Thursday morning. The kids had a great time! They were so cute dressed in their Halloween costumes.
Halloween story time
It was kind of sad looking at him sitting at his little table....he's getting so big!

Trick or treating...
Our princess turned into a witch - my parents had bought this for Nina last year after Halloween, so my Mom brought it for her to wear Halloween night. She was a cutie! Like I said, Nina had MANY suckers.....she clinched this one for a long time and wouldn't let it go for anything Nona with her knight and witch on Halloween
Ethan and Nina really got into trick or treating this year. Ethan loved running from house to house and Mark was proud of his technique and abilities to run and get as much candy as possible! Nina enjoyed going from house to house too and loved saying "thank you" to anyone that would listen.We ran into these kids at the main neighborhood attraction....Lucas and Sophia are in Ethan's preschool class and they live in our neighborhood so the kids loved trick or treating for awhile together. Sophia and Bella (the younger sister) have named about 7 of their baby dolls "Ethan" - see Melanie, it's not just your kids.... Taking a break and eating dinner at Donnie and Cathy's houseEthan decided he was done!

Auburn/Ole Miss game

We went to Oxford, MS early Saturday morning for the Auburn/Ole Miss game. Mark and I had not been to Oxford before - what a lovely town. We could live there! We went with the Maunds. Kathy's Dad went to Ole Miss and they have season tickets, so we joined them for some tailgating before and after the game. I have NEVER seen tailgating like this before. The Grove is full of tents - tents that have iron chandeliers hanging down from them. Tents that have printed signs of the names of the groups that tailgate together. Silver, crystal and catering trucks everywhere. It was crazy! And the girls dress up big time - they all had short little dresses on with HIGH, HIGH heels or boots on. Like I said, I've never seen tailgating like this before. I was dressed like a Mom. Even though Auburn lost, we had a fabulous time! It was such a gorgeous day to be outside and at a football game! War Eagle!
Mark and Ethan walking through The Grove on the way to the stadium
Waiting for the game to begin
F-16 flyover that was incredible. They flew over and then circled around and came back across the field and right over us and right at the edge of the stadium went straight up kicking in the afterburners....which Mark said they aren't supposed to do. Worth the price of admission for sure! Amazing! Ethan before the game started - he loved it and did really well!

Mark and Mitzi Baker were also at the game - so Ethan and I walked around the stadium to see Gracie. She was so cute in her dress that Mitzi made!Madeleine and Adam playing with Ethan Tailgating after the game - great food and great company!Ethan loved playing in this pecan treeThe Maunds and the Nobles - we had a great time together, even though Marion and Adam were wearing Rebel colors!!!

We had a fabulous time this past weekend. The kids, Mark and I loved having Nona here! Thanksgiving will be here before we know it and we'll be together again! Tonight as Mark and I were straightening up the house, I had to resist the urge to put Fall things up to prepare for pulling out the Christmas decorations....I spoke my thoughts and Mark put his foot down (not too hard though). I'm going to enjoy Fall for a few more weeks!! Hope everyone has a great week!