Thursday, December 31, 2009

goodbye 2009

This New Years Eve was similar to last years, give and take some friends.
We ordered sushi, invited the friendlies, threw a movie on for the kids, and hung out around great food and conversation.
We had a new addition to the group this year, he really likes his mommy.
Hazel dropped an elbow on Ty's nose,
he quickly forgave her to shield her from the scary parts of the movie.
Happy New Year!
Griffins, you were missed!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

El Dorado

In a public restroom yesterday, Ty stated,

"I don't understand why we drove 2 hours to go to a restaurant for lunch. We're just going to turn around and go right back home."

My response, "I'll explain it to you later babe."

The public restroom we were in was all the way in El Dorado Arkansas. It was a cafeteria type restaurant that my grandparents had chosen.

Oddly enough, all three of my children were able to find something they wanted to eat.

These grandparents are my dad's parents. We don't see them much, but we think they are pretty special.

My grandpa used to love telling me his Korean war stories, and even gave me all of his medals and ribbons after I joined the Air Force. I cherish those today, I carry his medic medal in my wallet.

My grandma is the busiest body I know. She won't sit fact I don't ever think I've seen her sit on her couch for more than snapping a picture. We almost have to threaten to surprise her when we come visit so that she won't spend 2 days working on a big meal. We always volunteer to bring lunch so that she will just relax. She won't have it. If she's not cooking, then she's treating...

My grandparents, Irv and Virginia, are getting old. Recently Grandpa had a stroke and was diagnosed with Alzheimer's. What a terrible disease. I worry for them, both. I was concerned that Grandpa wouldn't remember us, me. I was concerned that the stroke would've left him handicapped.

I was surprised when I saw him. He was the same, he remembered. He looked well. He gets tired more quickly, and has a little bit harder time with a fork, but things are okay.

What I loved more than anything, was to see them holding hands. My grandma, in her natural state, rushing all over this little cafeteria to keep his plate full of the food he wanted...including a slice of lemon for his fish. I loved seeing them so happy. It's truly inspiring.

I loved seeing my dad there to help care for his parents.

On the way home from our short trip to El Dorado, (it was kept short due to the fact that Grandma was almost pushing us out the door around 3pm so that we didn't have to drive in the dark, there's no arguing with that woman) I explained to Tyler that that's just what you do...for family. Not only for them, but for us.

I am so glad we went. I'm glad I have one more picture. I loved seeing Ryli immediately attach to lady she barely remembers seeing before, there is a natural bond. I loved seeing them dote on my children. I'm so happy to know that they are proud of me as a mother.

I know we will see them again soon.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas came...

Santa came, and left a few things. The kids slept until about 7:30am, no complaints!

He was good to them this year. After presents, we invited some family over for breakfast. I didn't get any pictures of that. It was a good time, we also spilled some beans.

After some rest, and serious playtime, we went to Sue-wee's for the traditional Gumbo. Later we met the Hartzells for The Princess and the Frog. It was a lovely Christmas, surrounded of course by some really special people.


Today was full.
I followed the crowds to Target and Sam's, early. Got a few last minute items, in the pouring rain.

Then it was off to a movie with friends, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. It made me lose my appetite.

Then we made cookies and decorated them...with the same friends.
We came home around 6:30pm to continue a few of our own traditions.
Reading of stories, writing of a letter, arranging of cookies and milk, and the opening of the first present. Santa was tracked through NORAD.

Ryli: more charms

Tyler: a Ben-10 game

Cannon: a Bionicle

Children were nestled all snug in their beds, and all were fast asleep by 9:15pm.

Now, we wait for the magic to happen...

Monday, December 21, 2009

the big family party

Once a year we round up as many people, from my mom's side of the family, that will fit into Sue-wee's house as possible. Then we add a ton of food, presents, and even more people who aren't family...but may as well be, and call it a Christmas Party. Sue-wee shows off her Powerpoint skills, and we all squeeze into the room, formally known as the back bedroom, to view the show. It's always a great reminder of all of the memorable things we experience in one year. This one was a real tearjerker...we are blessed. Blake and Heather were missed this year, but the party had to go on.

Bubba turns 4...

Cannon's birthday fell on a Sunday this year, so we held the party on Saturday the 19th. Which also happened to be on the day of our big family Christmas party...we had quite the weekend.Shane is the cake master at our house.
We invited Cannon's closest friends over around 11am for some Super Hero action. The kids played Pin the Dart on the Villian, Kryptonite Hot Potato, and beat a Batman pinata to a pulp. They snacked on pizza, and the fanciest Incredible Hulk cake Shane has ever made. I think the kids had fun, and Cannon spent the day feeling special. What more could a kid want? Cannon was dressed up as the Super Hero Race Car Driver...??And because the kids didn't get enough sugar from the pinata, it was time for cake.
Candles strategically arranged by the birthday boy himself.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

4 years officially

We saved all of the family fun for the official day.
The traditional balloons, to start the morning off just right.

Dad made a special, birthday boy requested pancake breakfast.

The kids spent time doing exactly what they love best, playing in their p.j,'s...and sometimes just underwear.

Cannon was surprised with a bike, a big boy bike.

He proceeded to ride around the house, all day, in his p.j.'s. It was too cold to go outside, and too comfortable to get dressed.

For dinner, we invited Gram, Poppa, and Sue-wee for a cozy potato soup. The birthday boy was gifted a few more choice items. Some of us changed out of our p.j.'s for dinner, but turned around an hour later and got right back into them.

And that is how a quiet, family birthday party is done.
Happy Birthday, to the softest little guy I know.

Saturday, December 19, 2009


I had so much fun making this advent calendar last year...and never used it. This year I was determined, and when I heard Holly planning hers, I loved her ideas.
Instead of enclosing candy in the tins, I enclosed messages. We have done crafts, baking, cooking for the missionaries, driven through the light display at Burns Park while having a pizza picnic in the car, and more. The kids have really loved it, and hopefully I was able to tie in a few little messages about the season, alternative to a lecture...
The calendar ends on Chirstmas Eve, where they will be instructed to open one surprise from under the tree..

Tonight, it was gingerbread houses with the 2nd family...