Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Merry Christmas!!

We didn't get a book read every day, but we came pretty close. The past several days have been very busy for us...we went to Pigeon Forge for a couple of days just before Christmas. We were able to spend some time with D's mom, an aunt & uncle, some cousins and their families. We stayed at the Middlecreek Valley Chalets in Pigeon Forge TN. If you're looking for a nice place to spend a few days in the mountains, this is a place you should seriously consider. After the Christmas Eve service at Smoke Rise Baptist Church, we went to MK's aunt & uncle's house in Decatur GA for our annual family & friends Christmas Eve dinner - I think someone told me there were about 35 people there. Linda, Michael and the girls came in on Christmas Eve and stayed until about 6:30pm Christmas night. Tom, Camille and the kids came in for Christmas Dinner. All in all, we had a good Christmas! It was so nice to be able to visit with family.

We hope that you all had a truly blessed Christmas! We look forward to hearing from each of you in 2008!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Christmas Reading - Day 18

We read 3 books last night - although they were mainly for Emma since Daniel fell asleep in D's lap during the first one.

I Want a Dog for Christmas, Charlie Brown! by Charles Schulz

Snowmen at Christmas by Caralyn Buehner
Snowy's Special Secret by Guido Van Genechten

Monday, December 17, 2007

Christmas Reading - Day 17

Once again, no reading tonight. We went to a Dessert Drop-In and got home way too late to read before bed. We'll make up for it later I'm sure.
In the meantime, here are some cute pictures from the other day. Daniel came in with one of Hunter's diapers, saying that his bear needed his diaper changed. So, here are the kids with the bear after they put the diaper on by themselves (they actually did a great job!).
Check out Daniel's outfit! These are some baseball pants that they put on him at school whenever he has an accident. Last week, he had an accident just about every day. Finally, I sent him to school with the baseball pants on, hoping that he would keep them dry since he likes them so much. It actually worked; we haven't had an accident now for about a week!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Christmas Reading - Day 16

I went to the library today to see if I could find some additional Christmas books for our readings. Today's reading selection was My Penguin Osbert by Elizabeth Cody Kimmel.
I'm sure you all know how literal toddlers and preschoolers take everything you say. Well, this book is about a little boy who learns to be very specific when he tells Santa what he wants for Christmas. If you're looking for a fun book to buy for your little one this year (or a fun book to read to your child), this is a good, fun book to read. Happy reading!!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Christmas Reading - Day 15

Today's selections are A Child Was Born by Grace Maccarone.

and Bear Stays Up for Christmas by Karma Wilson. This one is definitely the kids' favorite one.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Christmas Reading - Day 14

Today's selections included Room for a Little One by Martin Waddell.
and Bear Stays Up for Christmas by Karma Wilson.

Christmas Reading - Day 13

Last night's selection was God Gave Us Christmas by Lisa Tawn Bergren.
It's a cute story about a little polar bear cub whose Mama teaches her about how and why God gave us Christmas.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Christmas Reading - Day 12

The kids received Christmas gifts from their Awana/Cubbies teachers tonight. One of the gifts is a book entitled Solomon and Friends Learn About Christmas.
It's a cute little story that teaches what Christmas is really all about. Throughout the story, there are what they call "Wonder Paws" that have a question for the reader to answer. For example, the first one reads: "Why is Christmas so special?" I like the fact that the story not only teaches about the true meaning of Christmas, but it also helps you to make sure your child is paying attention and learning the lessons that are being taught.

Christmas Reading - Day 11

Ok, so we don't really have a reading for Day 11. We had a great visit with a friend last night. After dinner, the kids fell asleep before we had a chance to read a story. So, I guess we'll have to make up for it tonight. Instead, here are a couple of pictures of our little angel in the Christmas program at her school this morning.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Christmas Reading - Day 10

Tonight's story was The Crippled Lamb by Max Lucado

I almost had to have D finish reading the book because I got very choked up a few times. It's a story about trusting in God, knowing that He has a plan especially for you, and knowing that you are never alone.

Christmas Reading - Day 9

2 books again Sunday night - looks like there may be a pattern developing here...

Jesus and The Very Best Birthday
by Sunny Griffin

AND The 12 Bugs of Christmas
by Troy Schmidt
(based on the characters from
Max Lucado's Hermie: A Common Caterpillar)

Christmas Reading - Day 8

Saturday night we read 2 Christmas books
Bear Stays Up for Christmas
by Karma Wilson
AND Disney's Beauty and the Beast
- The Enchanted Christmas

Friday, December 07, 2007

Christmas Reading - Day 7

OK, so we cheated a little and let CBS do the "reading" for us.
Instead of sitting down and reading a book or two tonight, we watched "Frosty the Snowman" and "Frosty Returns." What would Christmas time be without Frosty?

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Christmas Reading - Day 6

Tonight's story was the good ole 'Twas the Night Before Christmas" by Clement C Moore.

Daniel fell asleep on the way home from dinner and Emma was supposed to go straight to bed when she got home. So, I tried to pick a story that wouldn't take long to read. I'm sure we'll read it again before Christmas gets here.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Christmas Reading - Day 5

Tonight's story came from The Golden Christmas Book again. We read "The Cratchits' Christmas Dinner" by Charles Dickens.
It was a little difficult to read because it was written in an old English style of writing (a bit over the kids' heads). You know the story from "A Christmas Carol" - Bob Cratchit worked for Scrooge and his youngest child was a crippled boy named Tiny Tim. This story is basically just about the family getting together for their Christmas dinner, not the whole Scrooge story. In fact, Scrooge was not even mentioned at all.

That's 5 down, 20 more to go!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Christmas Reading - Day 4

Tonight's story, once again, came from The Golden Christmas Book. It is a story called "The Cuckoo in the Clock" (author unknown).
It's a cute story about a cuckoo bird that complains all the time about not being able to see what happens all around him. The only time he gets to see "the world" is when his little door opens every hour and he has to go out and "cuckoo" the right number of times for the hour. "...there was only one thing that annoyed the cuckoo almost to death--and that was the rule that each time he cuckooed he must also bow." The animals (both real and make-believe) get together and decide that for Christmas they are going to hold the door open for the cuckoo as long as they can so he can see as much as he can. He ends up cuckooing and bowing 54 times!

Christmas Reading - Day 3

Monday night's story was "The Promise" by Maude Lindsay from The Golden Christmas Book (mentioned in Day 1's reading).
It's a story about a harp player who was asked to play for the king. The harper's family didn't want him to leave. He left but promised to be home by Christmas Day. The king enjoyed his playing so much that he wanted him to stay; so much so that he promised to give him many things. The harper would not stay, he vowed to keep his promise. On his way home, the weather became very snowy and icy. Alas, the harper kept his word and made it home by Christmas day.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Christmas Reading - Day 2

Last night D read the Christmas Story to the kids (Luke 2:1-19 NAS). They sat so still and did a great job of listening. I'm hoping to help them to really understand what is the true meaning of Christmas. Daniel made a paper chain at school to count down the number of days until Christmas, plus we have an advent calendar that gives us a different verse to read each day.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Christmas Reading - Day 1

Believe it our not, we actually have our Christmas tree up and decorated, and it's only the first day of December!! We still have a few things to put out but we're pretty close to being finished with our Christmas decorating for the year!! Woo-hoo!!!! The kids helped decorate the tree. They feel that the ornaments should be placed all together (on the same branch or two) and only on those closest to the bottom of the tree (of course that's about as high as they can reach without tipping the tree over). Here are some pictures to show their placement of decorations...

And here's a picture of the final project . . .

The next item on the list is to take our picture for our Christmas card. For those of you who normally receive a Christmas card from us, you know that they usually don't get mailed until about a day or two before Christmas, if not actually a day or two after Christmas; if at all. Every year I say we're going to get them done early, but that never seems to happen. I am determined to have everything done early this year so we can sit back, relax and enjoy visiting with family and friends.

At our MOPS group meeting a few weeks ago, someone suggested reading a different Christmas story each day in December, leading up to Christmas. I thought I'd give it a try. So, of course I wasn't even home tonight for our first story so my mom read to the kids. I have a book called "The Golden Christmas Book" from when I was a very young child (yes, they had books in print when I was very young).
Anyway, this book has stories, songs, poems and riddles for Christmas. My mom said they read several pages from the book tonight, but the kids weren't too interested in the "Pegasus and the Star" story.
If anyone out there is interested in doing this with us, please let us know. I'll try to post what story we're going to read each night and if anyone has any suggestions for good Christmas stories, feel free to let me know. I had really planned to start with the true Christmas story, but forgot to say anything to my mom, so we'll probably read about Christ's birth tomorrow night.
Stay tuned for more!

Friday, November 30, 2007

Thanksgiving Travels

Here's a summary of our Thanksgiving travels:
Tue, Nov 20 - We drove to Franklin TN and spent the night with my brother and his family.
Wed, Nov 21 - We drove to Indianapolis IN to spend Thanksgiving with D's mom and grandmother. We stayed downtown, right across the street from the Indiana State Museum; about 4-5 blocks from the middle of downtown where you'll find Monument Circle.
Thu, Nov 22 - We went to a restaurant called Charbono's, in Avon IN, for our Thanksgiving meal. Every year for Thanksgiving, the restaurant sends invitations to area churches and schools for their free Thanksgiving buffet. The employees and their families come in to serve the customers. One of the invitations was given to D's grandmother, so we all attended - along with D's grandmother, mom, aunt, cousin, mom's best friend & her mother. The meal was excellent and the company even better.
Fri, Nov 23 - This morning we took the kids to the Children's Museum of Indianapolis for their Jolly Days Winter Wonderland exhibit. We took a lot of pictures at the museum and I'm still in the process of adding them to the photo gallery so keep checking back if you want to see more pics. In the meantime, I've posted this slideshow to show a few of my favorite shots from the whole trip.

The last time we were in Indianapolis was about 3 years ago for Christmas. We went to Children's Museum then too - I think everyone had a much better time this year. Friday night, we walked down to Monument Circle to see the lighting of the "tree;" along with about 100,000 of our closest friends. Once they turned on the lights, we started walking back to the hotel - just in time too because the fireworks started while we were walking. While the kids love to see fireworks, the noise is much louder when you're downtown and it's all bouncing off the buildings. Daniel doesn't care much for loud noises so it's a good thing were already on our way.
Sat, Nov 24 - After breakfast, we headed back to Franklin TN. My parents came up for the night as well.
Sun, Nov 25 - We all went to church with Tom & Camille on Sunday morning so we could see Hayden & Sophie get baptized. After lunch we drove to Madison AL to visit with the Spears family. Carrie fixed a wonderful supper and we had a great time catching up with them - the kids all had a great time playing together as well.
Mon, Nov 26 - We met the Spears at IHOP for breakfast then headed home. We did a lot of visiting during the Thanksgiving holiday, but we that's just one more thing for which we are thankful.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!!

The kindergarten classes at Daniel's school have a program they do each year called Turkey Tunes. My parents went with Emma, Hunter and me to see it this past Monday morning. It's a really cute program. This video is just a clip of what I think was my favorite song they did. It's not the best quality, but you get the idea...
And here are a couple of pictures from the program as well...

Emma's class had their Thanksgiving Feast on Tuesday - mom and I attended. Here is a picture and short video from her program as well. The picture quality's not that great because I was actually too far away. In the video, you don't see Emma until toward the end (she's the 3rd one from the left - blue denim jacket on).

I really love watching the kids perform with their classmates. It's such a blessing to watch them grow and mature - my prayer is that they will come to know the Lord early in life so they will not remember a time without Jesus in their life, that they will become mighty witnesses for God, and that He will use them greatly to increase His kingdom.

We give THANKS for:
T - Treats - like ice cream for smiley faces, cakes for birthdays
H - Happy homes filled with family and love
A - All the ways that God has taken care of us this year
N - New friends at church and school
K - Kids and all the challenges that come with raising them
S - Salvation and Special times with friends and family both near and far

We want to wish each one of you a truly Blessed Thanksgiving holiday!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

My dancing stars

These videos were too cute not to post them - I hope they work. Our kids love to watch dancing with the stars. They especially love to dance along. In fact, they actually try to do the same steps they see them doing on tv, usually. The other night I had the camera handy and caught them dancing along. The first video is Daniel asking Grammy to dance with him. In the second one, you'll notice it takes Emma a while to get started, but eventually she joins in.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Buddy Walk 2007

We participated in the Buddy Walk Atlanta for the first time last Saturday. We couldn't have asked for better weather! There were more than 1500 people registered to participate - and I think they were ALL in front of us in the lunch line. Although we had to wait quite a while for our lunch, the kids were very patient and we all had a great time. There were several things for the kids to do - inflatables to jump in, bean bag toss game, train ride, etc. Here's Emma at the hula hoop booth. I think the favorite for the day was the train ride though.

There were several items sold at a silent auction and about 30 or more raffle prizes - of course we didn't win anything. Entertainment was provided throughout the day by Chris Burke, the young actor with Down syndrome who starred as Corky on the ABC TV hit series "Life Goes On"; along with his lifelong friends, Joe and John DeMasi.

Here are some pictures of the kids enjoying the music and just relaxing...

We truly appreciate all who have sponsored Daniel for this event. For anyone who might be interested, online donations are still being accepted through October 31st. Thanks again!