Category Archives: holidays

Memorial Day Fun

We had such an enjoyable Memorial Day this year! I am grateful for all of the men and women who have lost their lives serving our nation. And in honor of their memory (and Hub’s day off of work), we loaded our crew and headed down the Natchez Trace. Our good friend, Micah, joined us in the fun.

We drove all the way to the furthermost point and then made all of our stops along our way home. (Furthest point for us, anyway. The highway stretches 444 miles) The kids did surprisingly well on our little excursion. I think it was all the fresh air 😉

First stop: Jackson Falls. A beautiful little spot just 900 feet from our car

First stop: Jackson Falls. A beautiful little spot just 900 feet from our car

Micah at the top of the falls

Micah at the top of the falls

Liam soaking in some time with Micah. What a guy, that Micah.

Liam soaking in some time with Micah. What a guy, that Micah.

Daddy and Ellis girl

Daddy and Ellis girl

Finding a little snail friend

Finding a little snail friend

The kiddos enjoying some pretzels at Baker's Bluff Overlook

The kiddos enjoying some pretzels at Baker’s Bluff Overlook

Gordon House

Gordon House

The clearing at Gordon House

The clearing at Gordon House

Skipping rocks, creek stopping, and picnic-ing at Garrison Creek

Skipping rocks, creek stopping, and picnic-ing at Garrison Creek

The girl just loving the water (and the rocks). The scab on her nose is from a recent climbing misadventure.

The girl just loving the water (and the rocks). The scab on her nose is from a recent climbing misadventure.

It was such a beautiful day. The water and shade were therapeutic to me, and the kids were so curious about everything. It was just lovely to be in a secluded spot on Memorial Day. And to think, we almost didn’t go because of forecasted rain!

 

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Filed under holidays, travel

Ellis is One!!

Where has the time gone?

This little peanut is one year old TODAY:

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If life goes fast with the first child, it flies with the second!

At one year, Ellis is walking with push toys, standing alone for seconds, has cut four teeth and is adding curls to her hair with each day!

I love this girl so much. She is so dainty and sweet with an undeniably curious side. I catch her doing so many things her brother never would have at this age–dragging toilet paper across the bathroom, trying bugs and slugs (and anything else she can find outside), climbing chairs, couches, and stairs like a pro, and making a beeline to the sound of running bath water. You can find her with her thumb in her mouth at any given moment, and she has the cutest vocabulary of babble.

Though today is the day we mark one year with our Ellis girl, last Saturday morning was when we celebrated. We had family over for a pancake party. The pancakes were yummy, the weather was gorgeous, and the girl was adorable. It was a sweet celebration.

The grub, including strawberries, bananas, chocolate chips, sprinkles, pecans, and coconut toppings.

The grub, including: strawberries, bananas, chocolate chips, sprinkles, pecans, and coconut toppings

The photo collage

The photo collage

The birthday girl seated in her place of honor.

The birthday girl seated in her place of honor

Hanging outside with cousins Lily and Wyatt

Hanging outside with cousins Lily and Wyatt

Watching in wonderas cousin Sierra opens her gifts

Watching in wonder as cousin Sierra opens her gifts for her

Enjoying her new Music Parade

Enjoying her new Music Parade

So proud to push baby in her stoller

So proud to push baby in her stoller

We are grateful God placed us with you, little girl! Happy Birthday!!

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Filed under Ellis Rose, holidays

Liam is 3!!

Last week, our son had his 3rd birthday.

Can you say, WHAA?!

It’s hard to believe time can fly so fast. We’re three years into this journey, and he has made such a mark. Life has forever changed because of our sweet kid. He is such a happy, observant, creative Goose. He is a kind and caring big brother. He is so affectionate to each person in his family, loves snuggles (and wrestling, of course), and gives fantastic compliments out of nowhere (he told me this morning that I am his best favorite mom in the world). Liam is super imaginative and can have fun with anything. His language skills have grown in leaps and bounds this year, and it is so fun to listen to his ever-expanding vocabulary. My mother-in-law has commented on how well he conjugates 😉

He is one cool kid, and we are SO proud.

This year, we had a  “3” party. He’s been looking forward to turning three for quite a while (there were a few months when he thought he was 3 instead of  2), so it seemed appropriate and simple.

We had a family get together at our house with food, balloons and streamers, and cake (having friends at the birthdays may enter the equation next year).

Displayed pictures from the previous year

Pictures from his 3rd year of life

Cantaloupe and honey dew cut into 3's with a cookie cutter

Cantaloupe and honey dew cut into 3’s with a cookie cutter

Liam and cousin Sierra playing with his new work bench

Liam and cousin Sierra playing with his new work bench

Exploring with binoculars

Exploring with binoculars

The birthday cake masterpiece! Chocolate bundt cakes with cool whip and chopped peanut butter cups

The birthday cake masterpiece! Chocolate bundt cakes with cool whip and chopped peanut butter cups

Blowing out the candles

Blowing out the candles

His less-than-interested photo op

His less-than-interested photo op expression

The annual kissing cheeks  picture :)

The annual kissing cheeks picture 🙂

Previous birthday kissing pictures can be found here and here.

I let myself get so stressed about not making an awesome, go-all-out party with homemade everything, but at the party he announced it was “the best birthday I ever had”. It was a reminder to me check who I am really throwing these parties for. Cut yourself some slack, Mamas 🙂

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Filed under holidays, Liam Knox

A Family Valentine Affair

{I’m a week late with this post, but I figure I’d still post–both for documenting reasons and to give ideas for those planning Valentine activities a year in advance 😉 }

This year was the first time we included the kiddos in our Valentine’s day plans. I don’t know whether it will become a tradition or not, but it seemed like a good choice given that it can be a difficult night to find a babysitter, most restaurants are booked up with reservations, and Liam’s interest in parties and holidays is piquing.

The beautiful flowers that Daddy and Liam picked out for their girls.

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I tried my hand at some heart-shaped food:

photo 1Homemade pizza with pepperoni cut in little hearts. The boy enjoyed decorating the pizza.

photo 2My heart carrots were pretty successful (using a vegetable peeler) but the hard boiled eggs didn’t quite work (I missed the point about folding the “mold” in half).
photo 4I can tell you that the highlight of someone’s night was heart-shaped Rice Krispy Treats. To be honest, this was Liam’s sole focus and it turned the dinner into a less-than-desirable event. Turns out, toddlers and sugar are not a great recipe!

The best part of the night was the impromptu dance party that followed dinner. For those of you with small kids, let me just tell you that the Raffi Pandora station makes for a fun time. 🙂

I’m not one for crafting all kinds of cutesy things, but I’m learning because it’s exciting to the little ones. All in all, a good first attempt, I think.

 

 

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Filed under being a parent, holidays

Homemade Kid Clothes

My kids are incredibly blessed to have such talented grandmothers. Since Christmas, Liam and Ellis have been enjoying several things made for them.

DSC01511First is oh-so-cute tutu that Omi made for the girl. (not pictured: matching cousin Genevieve)

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Ellis was also fortunate enough to receive such a fun little skirt from her Mimi (not pictured: matching cousins Sierra and Lily)

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The boy was so excited to get his very own Batman cape (made by Omi) and matching mask (made by his wonderful aunt Merrill). Batman doesn’t smile when he’s got so much crime to fight, of course.

christmas card 4Luckily for us, it’s  become a tradition for my  mom to make matching Christmas jammies for all of  her grandchildren. Currently, there are 8 kids (the 3 not pictured-Maggie, Ben, and Tobias- are in Burundi).

With talent like that from both lines, I think it’s safe to say it runs in the family! Thank you, Omi and Mimi!

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Filed under DIY projects, Ellis Rose, holidays, Liam Knox

Christmas Musings

Merry Christmas, everyone! Even though the official day was earlier this week, it’s still on my mind. We were so blessed with multiple celebrations of the season, including time with each of our families. This year, we also got an entire day to ourselves with the kids. It was fun to explore what traditions might actually work in practice. 😉

Some pictures of this year’s holiday cheer:

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Some holly and pine cones at the kitchen sink window

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Our first Advent Calendar

photo 1The glorious tree (real, again, but smaller this year)

This was the boy’s first year to sing along to some Christmas carols. His favorites included: Jingle Bells, Rocking Around the Christmas Tree, Frosty the Snowman, and Little Drummer Boy. I must say, I think he’s helped to strip away some of my cynicism. I’ve never really cared for songs like Little Drummer Boy but there were times this Christmas where the lyrics would make me tear up.

I can’t seem to shake the line,

I am a poor boy, too. I have no gift to bring that’s fit to give a king (Pa-rum-pa-pa-pum’s excluded from the text 🙂 )

It’s just been such a beautiful picture to me of how Jesus emptied himself of his glory and became one of us. He made himself so relatable, even to the very lowest and most humble of people. The fact that a little poor boy could feel he shared circumstances with the King of everything breaks my heart in a wonderful way. I’m so grateful for the lowliness with which he came so that we could know him.

And as I was reading in 2 Corinthians 8, I was reminded that his becoming poor was not just so that we could relate to him (and him to us) but so that we could become co-heirs with him. Christ is made our brother by his great suffering. What a mystery! It’s not right. It’s certainly not fair. And I am reduced to tears to consider it.

Hallelujah! Happy Christmas, guys.

“Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:10-11

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Filed under faith, holidays

Deck the Halls

…or in this case, the front door.

As much as I have a passion for waiting to get in the Christmas spirit until after Thanksgiving, I may have made an exception for a “wreath” on our door. (It’s really more wintery than Christmas-y, though, so I think I’m alright) The truth is, completing any projects around here–and then blogging about them–is hard enough as it is these days, so I had to move when the Spirit hit me!

Here’s a simple idea that doesn’t cost much (my specialty!) or take much time:
DSCN0808I wish I could say I came up with this concept on my own. But, I didn’t. Pinterest.

All I did was collect some pine cones. Ahem…a year ago…okay…my mom collected them. Hey, I said it’s hard to do more than keep my kids alive!

Then, I found some ribbon at Hobby Lobby for 1/2 off (which is pretty much every other week).

DSCN0811Next, I cut the ribbon in about 12-18 inch strips and tied one end to the knot on the end of my pine cone.

DSCN0803I used a little hot glue to secure the knot to the pine cone.

DSCN0804I repeated those steps about 8 times or so, and then tied all the ribbon ends together. I hung it on the front door using one of those handy-dandy Command Hooks.

DSCN0806And, voila!

DSCN0809Now, the burning question is Should it hang higher (as seen above) or lower?

DSCN0814I realize that most of you don’t notice the difference and no one probably cares, but I need opinions, people!

Anyway, I like it. It only took about 15 minutes to make (that is, once I finally got all the supplies) and I think it adds some cheer during this gloomy time of year (yes, I am aware that I rhymed, Jonathan). 🙂

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Filed under DIY projects, holidays