Sunday, November 30, 2014

The Dallas Arboretum in December

There may not be flowers blooming like in the spring, or pumpkins lining every side walk, but the Dallas Arboretum has made a big effort this year to make things really fun for all.
They built 12 of these structures and have them all throughout, each showcasing one of the twelve days of Christmas.  I think this one was the two calling birds. 

Not only was Santa there, but he brought Vixen along with him, too!

The kids thought seeing a real reindeer was cool, but opted out of standing in a long line to see Santa Claus, when, as Jackson put it, "that's not the real Santa Claus--the real one is coming to our house next weekend."  Such a wise little guy.

Much to our surprise, they still had some pumpkin houses up, too, along with these silly scarecrows.

One of the main reasons we went, though, was to finally visit the Children's Adventure Garden.  I think a better name for it would be "Outdoor Perot Museum."  It was so neat, and since it was 77 degrees outside, it was the perfect day to be there.

The kids climbed on top of this enormous ant...

through this big fall tree...

inside these huge eggs...

which was a big hit...

played in this baby tree house...

and even helped baby sister ride on this ladybug!

She was so happy to be able to get down and explore, too.

There was lots of rock jumping,

but Miss Cami thought it was safer to just stay put in her area.

Next, we were off to the big tree for some more fun.

These monkeys loved climbing,

and got up as high as they could go.

Then they would let go and land on the bottom--thank goodness no small children were taken out with this stunt:)

After that, we went over to the water area, where they got to shoot these water hydrants,

learn about how a lock system works,

and practice turning this water crank.  We did the wind tunnel, too, and they got to see how 77 mph wind feels like. 

They got to explore caves and then see how the 7 continents used to all fit together a long time ago and was called Pangea.

They also got to make it hail and see how water evaporates back into the air by using this hands on tool,

but Maddie's favorite thing was making her very own water tornado! 

We had such a nice, pleasant afternoon with our family.  It might have taken us a year to get there, but it won't take near that long to back again.  We had no idea what we'd been missing!

Some day...

little sister will be big enough to help, too!
I had the cutest little elves come decorate my tree this weekend!  Love this time of year.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Turkey Day 2014!

Such a great day!  And we got to host it!  Which meant a bit more work, but we didn't have to run all around the metroplex, either.  Hallelujah!
The kids were ready to gobble till they wobbled.
Aunt Lyndsie came through with many delicious cookies and even made personalized turkeys for the kiddos, in addition to the snickerdoodles, pumpkins and fall leaves. Yum, yum.

Memaw channeled her inner Martha Stewart, and made these adorable cookie and candy turkeys.  So darn cute!

We sat down for lunch around 12:30 and the feast began.

Miss Cami must have sensed it was turkey time, because she woke up right then, too.

We pulled her chair over to the big table and then proceeded to stuff our bellies.  A lot!  It really was the best meal that I can remember.  We had turkey, ham, green bean crockpot casserole, sweet potato casserole, mashed potatoes, skillet mac and cheese, cherries jubilee, deviled eggs, and let's not forget the amazing dressing, either.  Everything was so good!

This little one had some soft veggies and turkey, but her mama forgot to give her the best part--sweet potato casserole.  She would have loved this dish that was made by her Gigi.

Since kids, (well, at least our kids) don't really care for big holiday meals, they were all about some dessert right after lunch.  They loved their special cookies.

Baby sister loved her bottle.  She showed Uncle Scott that baby's aren't so tough after all!

Jackson had been all over the idea of a turkey bowl game right after lunch.  Before they ran outside, though, I rounded everyone up.  I am so thankful for our party of five.

Long-legged Lila looks so tall, and pretty soon big brother will be taller than his mama!

Everyone enjoyed getting to visit a little bit after lunch.  Cami played some patty-cake with Meme...

and the girls played lots of Barbie.

Then we all went outside to watch the football game.  Go Boom!

Boom, Scott and Poppi played this fierce-looking team of three.

Daddy was the quarterback and tried hard to get the ball to Jackson before Boom got him.

Go Daddy, Go!

It was a beautiful day, perfect for drinking a glass of vino in the warm sunshine and laughing at the silly guys.

There was even a guest appearance by two cheerleaders! 

Soon after, Memaw and Poppi left for Fort Worth.  I know they are thankful for these little turkeys.

This year, I am thankful for so many things:
Three healthy, smart children.
A hard-working husband who loves me and the kids more than anything.
Long hugs from my sweet hubby.
"I love you, Mama" from Jackson and Lila.  All the time.
Snuggles from Cami and rocking her to sleep.
My parents, who are there for me in a pinch, every time.  Y'all are awesome!
Our church, our schools, and great teachers that go above and beyond.
Good friends, some old and some new, but so many who are there for us.
Our family--great grandparents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins.

We are blessed!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Neighborhood Love

We've been talking for weeks about baking some goodies and delivering them to our neighbors.  It always sounds like a good idea until I try to make 6 dozen cookies with three kids!  During dinner time.  But alas, we finally bit the bullet and made the chocolate chip cookies last night.  It was challenging, and had a high degree of stress thanks to a mostly hollering 10 month old, but I'm so glad that we persevered!  The cookies turned out great and we hope they are enjoyed by all.
We attached a little note to each bag of cookies and took them around to our neighbors today.  It was a good chance to talk to the kids about why we're thankful for nice people that live near us, and we got to catch up with some neighbors that we hadn't seen in a while.

I do think I had the cutest two delivery service workers around town!

When we got to the last house on our street we just had to take a picture with Ms. Gay's adorable sign!

Ms. Gay didn't mind one bit and in fact had many goodies for us!  She made us a sock-it-to-me bundt cake, some peanut butter cookies, popcorn and homemade salsa.  Love this sweet lady!
Maybe one day I'll bake that much:)

Big day for my big girl

Our sweet little girl is growing and changing every single day.  No joke.  Last week she was happy just sitting still and playing with some toys. 
This week, she's crawling everywhere and standing for long periods of time, too!

Big sister was so impressed.

The kid is also not afraid to try any food, either.  She liked the corn tonight, but loved the white cheddar pasta shells.  She had two helpings of each!  If her brother had been here, he would have been blown away.  Turns out he's not the only Hays child to have extreme loved for pasta.  
  She even planned ahead and saved some for later on her chin.

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