Monday, January 16, 2017

Happy Birthday, Gigi!

Happy Birthday to one of the best!
These girls LOVE their Gigi and couldn't wait to celebrate with her.

We had a big Italian Cream cake...

sang "Happy Birthday dear Gigi!"

and then gave her cards (homemade from Lila), 

and gifts.  I'm sure she appreciated Cami unwrapping her new Kendra Scott jewelry!

We love you, Connie/Mom/Gigi.  You are a very special lady to so many people.
Cheers to YOU!

Monday, January 9, 2017

Snow Day!

It snowed! It snowed! It actually snowed!  It was freezing on Friday, as in 18 degrees, when the kids went to school.  There was a small chance of some snow flurries in the forecast.  Cameron was convinced it was going to snow, though, and what do ya know?  

She was right!  Around 1:00 it began to come down, slowly at first, and then big, heavy snowflakes.

Time to put on our polar bear outfit!

"Mama, let's go catch some snowflakes!"

I couldn't say no to that, so we did:)

It was so cold, though!  We warmed up by the fire and waited for the big kids to get home.

A few hours later, snow was covering our backyard!

Three very happy kids.

J was the only one in ski pants, so he zipped down both slides.

This little girl loved swinging in the snow...

but soon insisted on putting on ski pants just like Bubba.
Nevermind the fact that the smallest size we have is a 6, a mere three sizes too big for her!

There was a short snowball fight that ended with snow in the face at close range (any guesses who may have done that?)...

but all was forgiven after they got some hot chocolate to warm up their tummies.
Everyone loves a good snow day once in a while!  We're hoping we get a few more this winter.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Happy New Year!

 New Years Eve--we've gone big, we've gone small.  Going small is where it's at!  No set menus.  No outrageous prices.  No fighting the crowds to get a drink at the bar.  Blah.  It may have taken us a while, but we're finally learning.  This year, we hosted three other families who all live in our neighborhood and it was just perfect.  
Everyone brought yummy appetizers and desserts and Jared made his famous chili.  So easy--and good!  Lila was so ready to spend the evening with her friends.  Her party hat went on early:)
Since the college football playoffs were on, we decided to make it a little more interesting.
Each square was $4, making each quarter worth $25.  

We watched Clemson beat Ohio State on the TV outside.
Lila was the only winner from our family--way to go, girl!

  Miss Madison arrived just in time to go swimming.

Tucker and Jackson were the first two in...
but very soon we had a hot tub full of happy kids.
Everyone was all smiles all night long, whether we were outside...

making s'mores...

doing sparklers...
or shooting off Roman Candles in our cul-de-sac!  

Our laid-back night was so nice.  Well, I guess it's all relative.  Not sure any event that has 12 kids all under the age of 10 can be called "laid-back," but it was still a great time.

Since we had a few sleepy heads in the group, we decided to celebrate at 11:00 and watch the ball drop in New York.  5, 4, 3, 2, 1!

Happy New Year!  These kids loved their sparkling cider.  Loved it.

After our first celebration, I suppose Cami didn't feel quite fancy enough.  She insisted on changing into her Rapunzel dress, Ariel shoes and a crown.  The girl knows what she wants!

An hour later, all 12 kids were still awake, so we watched another countdown and had more toasts.  Happy 2017!

We are all looking forward to a new year full of new adventures.

This and That

End-of-Year Recap

We managed to decorate the gingerbread house before Christmas.  Go us!  Four kids, one house.  Next year, we will at least have two houses.

One of my favorite sweaters got washed and dried.  Bummer for me, but a win for Lila!

We figured out how to get the drone working and J became an expert drone-flyer in no time at all.

Liftoff!  This thing takes videos and can cover a lot of distance very quickly.  So cool.

Lila's loving her new bike, too, and is able to zip around our neighborhood with so much ease now. 

We've all been enjoying Jackson's new ping pong table.  He has challenged his dad, but not beaten him yet. He did beat Boom Pa, though.  It was such a heated game!

We enjoyed a fun night out in Fort Worth a few days after Christmas.
We had dinner in Sundance Square at Del Friscos Grille.

with Andrew, Maria, Lyndsie and Scott.  
Then we walked a couple blocks to the Bass Hall to see Robert Earl Keen in concert.

It was a fantastic show!  Such a great night--thanks, Memaw and Poppi!

I brought the Emersons dinner last week and got to snuggle with this little cutie for a while.
Baby Vivian Wren is so precious!  I just love me some good baby time.

By mid-week, Elsa was in her element.  The temperature had begun to drop, so it was the perfect time to wear her new blue Frozen coat and ride to the bus stop.  Little did we know, a few days later we would actually get SNOW!

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Merry Christmas

The most excited little girl on Christmas morning--Miss Lila Grace!  This girl came bounding into our room at 6:00 am and began jumping up and down as she sang, "It's Christmas, it's Christmas, it's Christmas!"  Even though we were pretty tired, we could not deny her the excitement of the day.  A little while later, we all ran out to the living room to see the gifts that Santa had brought.

One of the first things she saw, even in the dark, was that he had brought her the American Girl Doll she'd asked for.  Introducing Lea--she's so cute.

He also brought her a new bike!  

We let Lila wake up Bubba at 7:00 and he was over-the-moon-excited to find that Santa had come through BIG TIME for him, too.  A new, giant-sized ping pong table was in our house!  He also brought Jackson a drone, Madden 2017 and FIFA 2017.  Wow!

After the big kids checked out all of their loot from Santa, we began opening gifts we had bought for each other.  The first ones I opened were the gifts they had bought me from the Holiday Store at school.  Jackson got me a cute Mom key chain and Lila got me a pretty silver heart necklace.
So sweet and some of my very favorite gifts.

By 7:45, this little goofball had woken up as well.  She didn't want to come down at first, but when Lila showed her that Santa brought her the "puppy dog with black and white fur" that she'd asked for, she perked up.  Then she saw the mini-trampoline and literally ran across the room.  One of my favorite moments of the day.

Get it girl!
This girl loves all things Frozen right now, so she was very happy to get a new ice blue coat, as well as three talking dolls from Frozen--Elsa, Anna and Kristoff.
Holding Elsa and Anna while jumping on the trampoline--combining her loves.

Such big smiles--the magic of Christmas really is amazing.

Daddy and I gave the kids a few more gifts.  Jackson was thrilled to get sunglasses, since his had broken during the end of last season, and Lila loved her new personalized stationery.  She is always writing us sweet notes, so I thought she might really enjoy this more grown-up gift.

We gave J some new cologne (since he's so big at the age of 9!) and they gave me the new Juicy perfume that I love.  We will at least be smelling good in 2017!

After the gifts were opened, we moved on to their stockings.  They were overflowing this year with books, magazines, DVDs and candy.

Jackson and Lila got some sweet aviator sunglasses.  J surprised Lila with a handmade gift that he'd spent hours coloring.  Cami was just as happy as all get out with her Maren Morris CD and Trolls candy machine--this girl's jam is My Church, so she was thrilled to have it at her finger tips now!

A little bit later, Lila and Cameron came downstairs wearing their new gear.  Lila had received this new USA soccer jacket and was wearing her new USA soccer shirt and red shorts underneath it.  Her daddy had bought her new shin guards, so those were on as well!  Miss Cami was dressed in her new Elena of Avalor nightgown, and was wearing her two new princess necklaces with it.

The last gifts they exchanged were the ones they had picked out for each other.  Cami gave J Blitzball, J gave Lila a new basketball and Jackson gave Cami a new farm puzzle.

This may very well be Tyson's last Christmas, but he's still hanging in there.  He got a new haircut and now we call him Max since he looks like the little dog from How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

We all cleaned up and zipped over to Gigi and Boom's to celebrate with them.  Lila was so excited about the gifts she had bought at the school store, that she insisted on giving them first.  Boom got  a very cool keychain that doubles as a measuring tape.

Time for more presents!

Cameron loved her new BIG Barbie doll...

Lila was thrilled to get the other American Girl Doll - Rebecca- that was on her wish list.  Maddie got clothes from Justice and this cool purple necklace, and Jackson got a new Fitbit!  

While these girls can appreciate nice gifts, they still love the small ones just as much.  Case in point, this "L" emoji pillow and light-up "M" brought some of the biggest smiles to their faces.

Jackson shouted, "oh yeah!" when he opened another Cowboys jersey.  He's a huge fan of the Cowboys quarterback, Dak Prescott.  Anyone else notice that he's this close to being as tall as Gigi?

Maddie, Boom and Gigi liked the canvas print that we gave them, as well as the 2016 Yearbook...

and Papaw enjoyed looking at his new 2017 calendar that I created for him.

Time for lunch!

The kids get very little out of holiday meals, so this princess was playing with her new scepter about half-way through the meal.  

A few hours later, after the girls had taken their naps, we were at Memaw and Poppi's house for dinner.  This girly got a super cuddly unicorn from Aunt Lyndsie and Uncle Scott.

They got so many other great gifts, including light-up chess, Princess puzzle and a new locker.

Memaw loved her new snuggly blanket from Lyndsie and Scott:)

I really should have taken a picture before we picked up all the wrapping paper!  This was the after, as everyone was starting to check out their new gifts.  Lila was playing with her horse and Jackson was trying his best to win at Perplexus.

As far as Christmas nights go, it was very laid-back.  So nice!

Before Andrew had to leave, I snapped a brothers pic.  We missed having Aunt Maria at Christmas this year, but were thankful we got to see her the night before.

My little bookworm.  Reading one of her new books, while snuggled up in her new mermaid blanket.  Love it.

Ta da!  So proud of her fancy princess.  She asked for me to take her picture with it, by the tree.

We made it!  Another Christmas is in the books.  It is such a magical holiday, but so exhausting at the same time.  Thank goodness I've got this guy by my side.  He helps keep me sane and reminds me of what's truly important this time of year.

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