Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Christmas 2015

Thursday was Christmas Eve. We always enjoy the fact that Christmas Eve is really one of the only days during the year that we don't have to wake up and go anywhere. We enjoy sleeping in and taking it easy. We always cook sausage balls and grits. It was nice to soak it in and enjoy the morning. Once we were all dressed we decorated Santa cookies. This was a fun new tradition. My mom had actually made some tea cake cookies and I asked her for some plain ones that we could decorate. This was the first time really doing this but the kids enjoyed it. Afterwards we took them on a walk. I couldn't believe all we accomplished before 11 am. The kids played outside with Austin awhile longer. We had a light lunch and then rested. We let the kids watch a movie since we were hoping for early bedtimes that night. 
After naptime we went over to my parents. We got there around 5. We ate dinner with them and just enjoyed some good ole visiting and remembering Christmases past with them. We always also celebrate Jesus' birthday. Its a fun and special time. The kids were in rare form after dessert though. We sang some songs and ready the Christmas story. After that the kids were def needing to get home. We got home and things got a little testy due to Colby's attitude. It's the first Christmas Eve I recall getting truly mad at one of our children. It was a lesson though on how Christmas really isn't about perfection but about how Jesus came for the dirty, the sick, and the sinners. We ended on a good note. We set out cookies and reindeer food and read our Advent book. I always enjoy setting out Christmas for the kids once they go to bed. It didn't take us long at all this year since we scaled way back! We were finished and just enjoyed watching a movie before bed. 
Christmas morning we were up bright and early. I had set my alarm for 6 since I had to shower and do my hair. The kids were up shortly after. They were excited about their toys! I think they really loved their Toy Story stuff best. We got dressed and went over to my parent's house for Christmas with them. Again another fun tradition. I know people love to stay home on Christmas but honestly I kind of like that we have a reason to dress up and go somewhere. We had breakfast then opened  gifts over there. We did some more remembering and just visiting. I am so thankful we have family close by that we can make this happen. A new tradition added to this year was lunch at Randall and Elizabeth's house. We used to all do Christmas lunch with them and her family but since having kids we really haven't done it but a couple of times since they all usually go to the northshore. It was fun being at their house though and having that extended time together. The kids did really well and I think enjoyed themselves too! We had a yummy lunch of gumbo, salad, and dressing! By mid-afternoon we knew it was time to get the kids home. It had been a busy day and they were anxious to get home to their own toys. We got home and were able to relax for awhile. We took the kids on a walk and just enjoyed the rest of the day at home.
I cannot believe Christmas is over! Each year gets more fun! I cannot believe how fast they are growing up though! At 7 and 4 I just cannot believe how quickly time is going!! So thankful for this Christmas season though and that they are learning the true reason for it! 

Saturday, December 26, 2015

The Week of Christmas

So we have been on Christmas break a few days now and we have still been pretty busy. On Monday Austin and Colby took a trip to Hattiesburg for the day. Austin has started a tradition of spending quality time with each child the week of Christmas. He also takes them shopping for the other. From what I understand they had a really fun day! They shopped, ate lunch at Cracker Barrel and enjoyed time with his parents and sister and the girls! I was glad they were able to do this. Since they were gone all day it meant a girls day for Lindsay and I. We grocery shopped then came home and quickly put it all away. We had a lunch playdate with her little friend Ebbie. It was nice to start off the week this way. It has been a rainy week so I was glad they both got fun days and time to play. She had a blast playing and eating at Chickfila. We enjoyed our quiet afternoon relaxing until the boys got home. 
Tuesday was Lindsay's turn to go with daddy. We all slept in a little and enjoyed a slower paced morning before heading out in opposite directions. Colby and I mostly ran errands. It was nice to just soak up that time with him. Its amazing how their little personalities come out when they are alone. We had a nice quiet lunch as he kept saying. I love my time with him. Lindsay and Austin went to Lakeside then out to lunch as well. That afternoon we relaxed before bringing the kids over to my parents. We hadn't been able to go out for our anniversary yet due to the busyness of life with 2 kids so we decided to wait until Christmas week. They spent the night with my parents. We decided to go out to Des Families. We love eating there especially this time of year. It was nice to get out as a couple. We drove around and looked at lights before coming home and watching a Christmas movie and wrapping presents. It was like our married before kids days! 
Wednesday morning ofcourse we were anxious to pick up the kids. We got there around 9:15 to get them. We promised them a fun NOLA day. This is kind of a tradition as well. We do either right before or after Christmas. They chose the Children's Museum since the weather was kind of yucky. They had a really good time. They are getting so big and our experiences at the museum are so different now! We stayed about 2 hours before they were ready to go. We decided lunch at Jimmy Johns would round out a good outting. Our kids love that place! We got in and relaxed that afternoon before heading out that night for a Christmas Eve service. Our church now doesn't do one but our old church always has a Candlelight Service on or around Christmas Eve. This year they did it on the 23rd. It was nice being back and seeing many old faces. The kids were exceptional at church too! I was so proud of them! I am so glad they got to experience church at night. It was a sweet and memorable time. 

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

'Twas the Weekend before Christmas

This past weekend was a whirlwind but such sweet memories were made I am so thankful for it! Austin was fortunate to take off an entire week leading up to Christmas. I love that he's able to do that! So Friday I posted about our Christmas party rounds that day. Once we left Colby's school we came home for some down time. It was really nice to have everyone home and be able to catch up on some much needed rest. 
Friday night we had the kids Christmas party at church. We had all signed up to go. I was assigned the preschool. I was so thankful for Austin helping me as well. We ended up with 10 preschoolers. It was honestly the perfect number. The year before we had 20+ and it was crazy! 10 was manageable and we had 4 helpers. We got there early to get set up and allow our kids to eat since they don't eat pizza. From 6-6:30 the kids arrived and were served pizza in a classroom. It was just a time of visiting and getting to know the kids. We ofcourse knew most of them! Lindsay loved having her friends Ebbie, Mia, and Genevieve there. After they ate we went into Clubhouse. It was a neat time of storytelling and singing. They had an interactive nativity which was also neat. After clubhouse at 7 we went back to our room for crafts. We let them color a nativity color sheet while we set up the stuff for the edible Christmas trees. Once we got to that activity it kept the kids busy for quite some time! They ate and ate and ate! I thought we were going to run out of time for games. We were able to play a couple though. It was a fun night and just enough time. All the kids were picked up promptly by 8 so we were able to get out and get our kiddos home and into bed after a long day! 
Saturday we had our annual Family Breakfast. We couldn't sleep in but that was ok. It was a beautiful day for it! We met my family at Parrot Pete's per tradition. It was fun visiting and just hanging out! The kids are getting easier and easier at these type events! I love that they now like sitting by other members of the family! We took our time and visited a lot even after we ate. Afterwards we did a family SAM's trip to shop for our adopted family. We then came home to spend the rest of the day in and relaxing. It was a great feeling to not have to run off anywhere that night! 
Sunday was a busy day. We had to be at church at 8:15 b/c Colby had rehearsal for the little play he was in. I love church during hte Christmas season though. Having Colby perform in church the last 2 years has brought back so many memories to me as a child. I was always involved in little productions and loved every minute of it. I had to teach 1st service so I wasn't able to see them during that time. Luckily I had been to all the rehearsals though. It was crazy too 1st service. We had 12 kids...ofcourse the Sunday before Christmas we have a lot more kids! They were wound up too! We finally got out and were able to meet up with our adopted family. It was a crazy morning I felt so stretched. Finally we got to go in church with Lindsay and watch the first part of the service. The kids were so cute and did so well! After church we went to eat at Olive Branch. I just love eating out this time of year. I don't know something about it...just makes it more fun! We had a low key afternoon which was very nice. Another day of staying in and relaxing! 

Monday, December 21, 2015

The Last Week of School Before Christmas Break = CRAZY MOM

So this week has been a whirl wind of events and activities! Monday Austin was off which was nice. Its always nice to begin the week with him at home. It helps that he can pick the kids up from school and I get a little quiet time at home. That afternoon we brought Makyrin home. He wasn't here long so the boys really only had time to eat a snack and begin their math homework. We finished up homework then left. We had promised the kids a City Park outting. We try to go early and on a school night. Last year we made the mistake of going on a Saturday night and it was AWFUL! We will never do that again! It was nice to be together as a family of 4. This December has started off quite crazy so I really felt like we needed. It helped my mood so much! The kids really enjoyed the outting. Its so crazy how big they are getting! Lindsay didn't even need a stroller this year! We were able to ride the train and carousel. It was fun to be a kid that night! We spent a little time in Storyland then walked around the Botanical Gardens which usually is something we skip. The kids had a blast and so did we! It was a great way to start the week! 
Tuesday Austin worked so it was me with mom duty. I kept Lindsay home from school. As I've mentioned I like to keep her out 1 day a week just so we can hang out. I wanted to go to Lakeside and do some Christmas shopping. we started this tradition last year and it was just a sweet time. We got there and started our morning with beignets and coffee. She got a Build A Bear gift card for her birthday so we went in there and Built A Bear. It was her first official one she made. She loved it too! She's still hanging out with that bear so it was a good choice! Afterwards we went to a couple more stores before coming home. We had to bake cookies so we spent the rest of the morning doing that! Again another sweet memory of her helping me! That afternoon was just our normal school afternoon and evening. We did bring Makyrin home again. Once again though the boys really only had time to do homework. 
Wednesday everyone had school and Austin left to go out of town. It was a busy day for me! I left the house at 8 and didn't return until 12:30. I brought both kids to school then had a couple errands to run before meeting with Laekan about Friday night. I then had to go back up to Lindsay's school at 11 for the Parent Christmas Party. I think its neat they started doing this. It gives all the parents a time to just catch up and visit. Its also a cookie exchange. I loved visiting with friends and with some newer moms I don't know as well. Once I picked Lindsay up we came home to rest and eat lunch. I am always thankful my parents pick Colby up on Wednesdays. Especially this week since I was gone all morning. That afternoon we left our house at 5 and went to eat at Wendy's before Colby's drama rehearsal. Again another simple moment that is so sweet at the holidays just taking my sweet kids to eat. Rehearsal went really well. I am so excited and proud of the kids participating! 
Thursday Lindsay had her Christmas party. We were all excited to have the end of the week in sight! I had a busy morning with a last minute trip to Target then picking up the kids. That night Colby had a Christmas party at Cubscouts. It was fun. The kids had a blast! I love this little group of friends we all have. I love that each boy has a younger sister too! They played games and decorated cookies! 
Friday Hallelujah we made it!! It was the last day standing between us and Christmas break!! Colby had a party that day at school. Austin was off and all felt right with the world again. The weather was beautiful and it was just such a special day for our family. We got Colby settled at school and took Lindsay to pjs for coffee and a muffin. I am sure going to miss this tradition with her next year. I will still have to make time for it even after she is in big girl school. We then went to hear her sing at the nursing home. She did such a great job! I was proud of what a big girl she was! I think she enjoyed seeing her little group of friends one last time before the holidays. It was such a sweet time. This was our 3rd time to do that and oh how I will miss these sweet preschool days. It was nice visiting with other parents and their teachers. We finished there about 10:30 and headed to Colby's school to enjoy the last hour of his party. When we got there the kids were eating and watching a movie. It was nice to just visit with the teacher and his friends. Lindsay I think enjoyed it too! We have never all been able to be together as a family on the day of Christmas parties so this will forever be a sweet memory for me!! 
We made it through the final week of crazy! It was nuts but I wouldn't trade this season of life! Our kids should have some awesome memories and I know we do as well! Now to enjoy the 2 weeks off and making more memories as a family! 

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Weekend in Decemeber

Well this weekend was very low key compared to last. I was thankful b/c I think we all desperately needed the rest. 
Friday the kids both went to school and I went to Target. It was a busy day with carpool trips but I was thankful to not have to go anywhere that night. We hung out at home and watched the Polar Express for our Friday night movie. Friday was also our anniversary. We will celebrate later in the month. We were both just so tired and felt we needed to spend the weekend at home with the kids. He picked up TX Roadhouse so we wouldn't have to cook that night.
Saturday morning we really didn't get to sleep in much. We had to get going b/c we had tickets for a Santa Breakfast at Lindsay's school. Its been tradition for us to go. We took Colby when he was 2, then Austin took Colby when he was 3 since Lindsay was less then a week old, the next year we missed b/c it fell on Lindsay's b-day, we all went the following year when they were 5 and 2. Last year at 6 and 3 my parents took them b/c we were out of town on our anniversary trip. Anyway its a sweet tradition and I looked forward to bringing them again. We enjoyed our breakfast and got to visit with a lot of people. Its almost like the entire city of Algiers comes to this event. The kids got to take a pic with Santa and make an ornament. I felt like we stayed longer this time. Afterwards the kids and I had one errand to go to Barnes and Noble. I was disappointed I really didn't find what I was looking for. The kids still had fun looking around. We would have done more shopping but I was so tired and ready to go home at that point. After such a busy week I felt we needed time at home. We enjoyed an afternoon of playing and relaxing! 
Sunday Austin was off and we were all able to go to church together which was lovely. I taught...we had about 8 or 9 preschoolers. It was a good morning. Afterwards we had a birthday party to go to. It was for Callie a little girl who goes to school with Lindsay. We have known the family now for many years. I have known Katie since before Callie and Lindsay were born. It was at Chuck E. Cheese. The kids really had a good time. This was only Lindsay's 2nd time there. We played about an hour before coming home. It was nice to relax that afternoon and we even took a walk. That night Austin had a Christmas party so I tried to get the kids to bed early. This coming week is going to be super busy! 

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Mr. Jim

So Austin's parents were here for Lindsay's party and birthday weekend. Friday night we got together with them and had dinner. I noticed Mr. Jim seemed quiet and not quite himself. He's had stomach issues lately and I just kinda thought it might be that or just tired from the day of traveling and getting in late. They were ofcourse at Lindsay's party. Again I noticed he seemed a little quiet but I didn't interact with him much during the party since I was running around mostly. After the party when we were packing up and getting things ready to go Austin had mentioned Wendi and the girls wanting to see Lindsay open up her gift from them. We were headed out and I was lagging behind with the kids still talking to one of the mommas. I caught Austin running off and his sister out of the corner of my eye. I worried a bit if someone had gotten sick or gotten hurt. I thought maybe it was one of the girls or our parents had taken a tumble. I quickly moved the kids along so we could get out there and see what was the trouble. When I got there I noticed Austin's dad leaning out the car and he looked like he was going to throw up. I imagined that maybe he was getting sick to his stomach. I ushered the kids to the van. I didn't want them 1) to be in the way 2) to see their pawpaw in distress and 3) to get sick themselves. 
Anyway I got them loaded in and really had no idea what was going on. Austin came to the car with tears and said his dad was really sick. I thought he was going to have to drive them to the hospital. Well after several minutes at their car he said they were going to go ahead and try to make it home. We even called as we were halfway home and they said he was feeling slightly better. We then hadn't been home 10 minutes when they said he was worse and they were going to the ER. Within minutes we learned he was having a heart attack and they had to shock him. Austin was hysterical. He knew right away he wanted to go be with them. I hated to see him drive over by himself especially if things were really bad with his dad. I couldn't bear for him to be on the road if he got really bad news. So I decided to go with him. We had to quickly get everyone dressed again and brought the kids to my parents house. Austin and I drove over. We got to the hospital early afternoon and his dad was in the cath lab waiting to get a stent put in. We waited for about 2 hours total. Once his dad got out and put in ICU and they were all able to see him Austin and I headed back home. I was very tired and not feeling well plus I wanted to get home to the kids and spend the last couple hours of Lindsay's b-day with her. The kids and I enjoyed a quiet night together. Austin drove back to Slidell to be with his mom. They were able to get a hotel room which I was glad though. 
The next morning the kids and I went on to church. Colby was supposed to sing in church. We had thought he was going to miss most of it due to the cubscout outting but this way he got to go and sing both times. The kids did a beautiful job. Austin got home around the same time we did and we had lunch and rested. That afternoon we spent outside and playing with the kids. It was a much needed time after a very crazy start to the weekend! That next morning Austin went back up and his dad ended up getting released from the hospital. Thankfully Austin was able to come home that afternoon. We are so thankful his dad is going to be ok. He has to changed some lifestyle habits and things but with everyone's help he should make a full recovery! 

Thursday, December 10, 2015

4th Birthday Celebrations

I cannot believe my baby girl is 4! Its been a whirlwind weekend of celebrating so I will start at the beginning! Friday ofcourse both kids had school. She was also excited about spending the day with her friends and celebrating. 
I dropped her off with her cupcakes and supplies and came home to rest and clean up the house some. That afternoon I tried to take it easy b/c I have had a cold come on. My parents got Colby from school. Lindsay and I had to go pick up her birthday cake. I thought everything looked good when they showed me the cake but I was looking at it upside down and trying to hold Lindsay in my arms so she could see it. We got home and I decided to sneak one more peek before we put it away. I opened and my heart sunk when I saw her name was spelled LINZSAY. I couldn't believe I didn't catch that while we were there. I called the bakery and they told me to come back that they would fix it. I waited on Colby to get home then we packed up and left. I wasn't very excited about getting out again but I knew it had to be done. Luckily we got it fixed with no issues. I tried to show my kids calmness and grace. Yea I was aggravated but I know the people didn't do it on purpose and we all make mistakes. We did get home with enough time to relax before going out that night. I was glad I was able to get myself re-focused. 
That evening we went downtown to meet Austin's family. They were in for Lindsay's birthday and were staying at his hotel. We got there around 6. They met us in the lobby and we all went to eat at Oceania Grill. I really enjoyed the walk. it was cool and crisp and this time of year the scenery was just so pretty. We had to wait awhile for a table but once we got settled the evening was nice. I mostly visited with Austin's mom and Austin. Colby sat by Maggie and Lindsay sat by Wendi and Austin's dad. Its so funny how they are so big now and don't even need us at restaurants. So we all enjoyed a yummy supper and walked back to his hotel. We had the idea to walk over to the Ritz and check out their Christmas decorations. I remembered they had a life size gingerbread house. The kids all loved looking at it but especially Lindsay. She sat there and gazed at it for a good 10 min. This was truly a perfect start to her b-day weekend. We went out to the Courtyard for a bit to let the kids run around. It was such a beautiful night! 
Saturday morning we were up early. We got ready for the party and headed out about 9. We got to the park and got things set up. It was a GORGEOUS Day. The kids enjoyed running around and playing. We had about 15 kids there. A few of Lindsay's school friends then several friends from church came. I thought Storyland was just the perfect birthday setting. I am so happy we settled on that! The kids could be free to play and the adults had a nice place to visit. Everyone seemed so happy and truly seemed to be enjoying the day! I enjoyed visiting with everyone and it was nice not having to worry about our house this b-day season. The day took a turn after but I will post about that later! I think our girl had a terrific birthday though. She enjoyed opening all her gifts at home. 
The next day we played with more gifts and went to church. Colby sang in church so that also made for a sweet day! 

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Girl Time and Rehearsals

So this week has been a week full of busy! Christmas preparations and birthday celebrations are well under way. Monday we decorated and grocery shopped. Tuesday I went to Target and got some of my Christmas shopping done. Wednesday my mom and I had a lovely outting out to Lakeside together. It was fun to just go somewhere alone with my mom. Its rare we get that! We finished up the kids Christmas and Lindsay's birthday. That night Colby had rehearsal. The kids are singing on Sunday and then doing a skit later in the month. I am so thankful he gets to be involved in this type stuff. I loved children's choir when I was little! Lindsay and I hung out and watched. It was nice to watch and visit with other moms. I am kind of thankful my teaching is over for the semester. I love doing it but it also takes a lot out of me. And this winter I am trying to focus on resting a little more and less stress. 
Thursday I kept Lindsay home from school. I keep her out 1 day a week mostly for my sanity. Doing the carpool thing 4 times a day is wearing on me. I love her little preschool so much and I would love to leave her there one more year but I just can't. I need to give myself more time. Anyway so I keep her home so we can hang out. Plus since she started the year at 3 I figure she doesn't necessarily need all 5 days! It was a sweet time baking cupcakes with her and just playing. 
That evening Colby had Cubscouts. It was a Pack Meeting so we all went. It was neat to see his Den perform and share so many things for the group. I love that he's gotten so much more confident in just 1 year! They also discussed the evening on the ship. It was a great night! 

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Thanksgiving 2015

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving this year. I felt like it was very relaxing and low key. Austin was off on Thanksgiving day which was nice. He's only been off maybe for 2-3 of our kids Thanksgiving Days. It was nice having him here and first of all being able to sleep in. It was also nice to be able to have the Macy's Day Parade on while we were all getting ready. He was frying the turkey this year so that consumed most of his time. I got things ready in the house and got the kids and I dressed. 
We left for my parents house around 11. We got there and went to work getting food prepped. Randall, Elizabeth, and Mrs. Eva were already there. This was the only guests this year and honestly I enjoyed it. The only other small turkey day we have had was the one before Lindsay was born. The kids have gotten really good at letting us visit and participating in things like writing what they are thankful for and singing songs. We ate lunch and dessert and just enjoyed some good quality visiting. The kids were chomping at the bits though to get outdoors. We had a lovely day with highs in the 70s. We ended up spending about 2 hours in Brechtel park. It was so neat. The kids rode their bikes and we all talked and reminisced. I loved that this year we got outside and got active! It beat sitting inside watching football and yawning! I think it wore the kids out too. Once we got back it was time to start thinking about heading home. It had been a long and busy day! But such a sweet, wonderful day!! So thankful for the time together.