Tuesday, December 31, 2013

A December to remember

This Christmas season we tried to keep our calendar as free as possible. We had such a nice and mostly relaxing month with some fun activities thrown in. I want to remember the fun things that we did so where else to put them than the blog.

Right after Thanksgiving our elf Marble returned and the boys were so excited to see him again. Our elf is mostly well behaved and he never gets into too much trouble. He usually just hides in places around the house. There were a few nights that he did forget to change up his hiding spot but the boys didn't seem to mind. He followed us over to Granddaddy and Grammy's house one night and all the way to Alabama with help from the map Andrew drew him.

We bought our Christmas tree on Black Friday this year. We went with a real one as our artificial one has seen better days and can be so frustrating to get it to stand straight.

This year's tree was perfectly flawed with it's wild branches. The lights kept getting pulled off by Charlie, the ornaments were rearranged hundreds of times and a certain puppy just couldn't help but gnaw on the lower branches. This tree also dropped needles like I have never seen. It was a lot of work but I still loved it more than an artificial tree.

On the 1st we started our Advent readings. This has been something I have always wanted to do and this year I prepared so I had everything I needed to start on time. We used the boy's Jesus Storybook Bible and did a story each day. After the story we would hang an ornament with a symbol of the story on our little Jesse tree in the entryway. We all enjoyed this activity and the boys never let me forget about reading from their story for the day.

On the 7th we went to our rec center to have breakfast with Santa. The event was hosted by Chick-fil-a and was set up really well. I just love a well run event. For $11 we all ate breakfast and got a picture with Santa. The big boys enjoyed it but Charlie was not so sure about Santa.

We drove around looking at Christmas lights a lot. I always like to have the boys a little treat when we look at lights, hot chocolate is my go to but sometimes we'd swing by Dunkin Donuts for a donut and the boys really loved that treat! We decided against going to Lake Lanier Islands this year because the price went up again and I don't even think there are any new displays. $60 per car is a little crazy in my opinion.

On the 11th I went with my mom's group to paint pottery and loved it so much I took the boys back the next night. My dad and Ellen came along too thank goodness, that trip would have been impossible without them. The big boys painted ornaments and I made a mug for myself with their hand, foot and finger prints.

 After we painted pottery we walked next door to a nice restaurant. When I say nice I mean it was too nice for us to bring 3 little boys into. They had to print the kid's menus for crying out loud. I was a little stressed at first but the boys were very well behaved and the food was amazing. The ahi tuna and the roasted chicken were both delicious. I give The Corkscrew Cafe 2 thumbs up!

We celebrated my birthday on the 13th with a very low key day. I actually don't even remember what we did besides eat out. Perry was working so I treated myself to a no cooking/cleaning the kitchen day.

On December 15th we did the Advent readings at church. I was nervous about speaking in front of the congregation but I really enjoyed the experience. Andrew participated and recited Luke 2:13-15. It literally took him 10 minutes to memorize those verses a couple weeks before we were scheduled to read. He practiced some and was not nervous at all to speak in front of people. He really amazes me.

After church on the 15th we ate lunch then went over to the square to see Santa. It was a bitterly cold day but there was no line so the whole visit took only a few minutes. Charlie did a little better with this Santa and the boys had more time to talk to the Dahlonega Santa.

On the 18th Andrew had his school performance. He was a wise man and the show was just precious. That night Andrew and Owen performed in the preschool choir at church during the church wide Christmas supper. They both sang but neither looked too thrilled during the performance. Owen got off stage a few times to give me kisses. It was sweet, I just wish Perry could have been there to see it.

The 19th was Andrew's last day of school so he helped me make a treat to take to his classmates. I got the idea from my friend Emily and she saw it on Pintrest. The kids all got a kick out of their "reindeer noses."

On the 20th we went with Dad and Ellen to eat lunch and to go visit Santa at Bass Pro Shops. We love the little village that they set up and the best part is that it is all free. All three boys loved the carousel and the big boys loved shooting the bow and arrow. The Bass Pro Shops Santa was the best one that we saw this year by far. He definitely had the best beard in my opinion.

On the 21th Dad rode along with the boys and me so I could finish up some last minute shopping. I ran into Panera to grab some Christmas cookies and when I was leaving Santa Claus was right behind me. He was so friendly so I asked if he could come say hello to the boys in the car. He was happy to walk over to see them. Andrew was so excited that Santa came to see him in his car. It was just so sweet, I'll never forget that little impromptu Santa greeting.

Owen is mad that I messed up his initials on his shirt.

We made some great memories leading up to Christmas and I am just so thankful that we were not stressed and over scheduled. It was a nice to time of relaxation before the craziness of Christmas.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Meet Fisher

Fisher joined our family the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. We had been talking about getting a dog for a couple of years but the time never seemed right and we were not sure what type of puppy we wanted. After a couple of weeks of trolling craigslist.com and puppyfinder.com we saw an ad for some Weimapeakes in Cullman, AL. Since we were going to be there when the puppies were ready we decided to do a little research. We loved everything we read about Weimapeakes, from their active personalities to their protectiveness to their love of water.
 We decided to contact the seller and arrange to meet. I had my heart set on a female and he had 1 female and 1 male left. On the way to meet him I was still apprehensive about getting a puppy. I was so worried about having time to care for him properly. When we met the breeder we immediately fell in love with the little male. I guess I shouldn't call him little he was already 10 pounds at 7 weeks old. We paid the man and drove away with our pup.

I think I was more nervous about bringing that puppy home than I ever was bringing our boys home. I don't know what I was so scared of. We stopped 3 times from Cullman to Perry's parents house to walk him. He kept whining and I thought he needed to go but he never did. The boys decided on Fisher but we also talked about Hank, Hunter, Bo, and Joe.
The whole family was smitten when they met Fisher at Thanksgiving. He ran and played and had so much fun with his cousins, human and K9 ;) On the way home to Georgia after Thanksgiving he slept the entire way.
The Friday after Thanksgiving we took him to the vet and he weighed 11 pounds, was perfectly healthy and got a round of shots.

That night we got his crate set up and prepared for a long night. Thankfully Fisher took right to his crate and didn't even whine. He had a few pee pee accidents in the house but those were mostly our fault for not getting him out quick enough.
Since then he has gotten much better but is still not completely house broken. He's a great dog and I am so happy that we have him.
I am really looking forward to the weather warming up so we can take him to the lake. He is a natural born retriever and can already fetch. The boys love to play with him and he loves to follow them around while they play outside.
I really don't have many recent pictures of Fisher because he is always on the move and I can never snap a picture. I'll try to get some more recent ones soon.
Out of anyone in our family Perry is probably the most thrilled about Fisher, he really loves him and Fisher loves his daddy too. (It drives Perry crazy when I call him Fisher's daddy) Perry can't wait to take him hunting when he is older.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Mr. Independent

Today the boys wanted pizza for lunch and begged for Little Caesar's. I agreed and pulled into the parking lot, I grabbed the parking spot right in front of the door. I handed Andrew $6 and asked if he wanted to go order and pay by himself. He could not believe I was going to let him order and pay all by himself. He skipped through the doors clenching his money.  I saw him standing at the counter for while so I peeked my head in to see what was up. I heard him telling the cashier that he wanted bread sticks and a Coke too. I reminded him that he only had money for a pizza. He said "Oh yeah, sorry. Mom I got this,  you can go back to the car.",b
A minute or two later he came walking (very carefully) with his pizza and three bags of cookies. He said the lady just gave him the cookies for being nice.
I will never forget the smile on his face, he was so proud of himself. On the way home he was so giddy and kept saying,   "I'm so fired up!"
I am really going to try and find other ways to give Andrew the opportunity to take charge. He really thrives on an job well done.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Day in the life

I have always wanted to do a day in the life post but always forgot to take the pictures or never posted them. Last night I decided today was going to be the day! The only problem is that no two days even look alike around here. We have a loose routine but with Perry's schedule and my personality we just take the day as it comes. Next year I assume we'll fall into a more rigid routine because Andrew will be starting school.

So here goes...

Almost 7:00 I woke up (don't hate me) with 3!?!?!?! little boys in bed with me....at my dad's house. You see last night while the boys finished dinner I walked outside to walk the dog (more on the dog later) and noticed a helicopter hovering overhead. Weird I thought...well turns out on the next road over there was a police standoff with two murder suspects. I am afraid of murder suspects so I threw the boys and some things for the night in the van and went to my dad's house.

 Taking the pup for a walk this morning, the sunrise was beautiful

Andrew warming up by the fire

 fruit cup and Nutrigrain bar for breakfast

 Charlie talking about something

 Owen finally got up at about 7:40. Got him dressed and we headed out the door for school

It was a cold morning, frost everywhere but it's sunny!

See the frost, brrr....I forgot to unplug the airplane inflatable before we left the night before

I was greeted by this mess when we got home. Remember it was right after dinner when we decided to go to dad's house.

 First order of business was getting Owen fed, what's a few more dirty dishes? He chose muffins.

 The catch-all counter. I cleaned this off while the muffins were baking. 

Owen after breakfast, he was in a "hold me" mood this morning.

I nursed Charlie but he was not quite ready for a nap. 

I decided I'd put Owen in the tub to wash the grumppies away. I put Charlie in the Jumperoo and hoped in the shower. I could see both through the shower door so I don't have to rush, YAY! 

I got ready which was exciting because I wont have to use nap time to get ready for church now.

I changed Charlie and dressed him for the day. I love him in overalls.

We played in his room for a few minutes while Owen finished up his bath.

Next I picked up the living room while Mickey Mouse Clubhouse entertained my kids
I noticed that some little boys have been 4 wheelin' through my Christmas village.

I think it was about 10;15 at this point. I had to go do my least favorite thing ever, bring up the trash cans and recycle bins. So cumbersome and our drive way is so steep.

When I got back in I noticed that I was hungry, I hadn't gotten around to eating breakfast yet.
I grabbed a muffin from the pan and headed to the boys room. Does anyone else ever hide in their kids rooms to have a moment of peace?

I made Andrew's bed while I held the muffin in my mouth then I laid on Andrew's bed to enjoy!

No eating in the bedrooms! 
I do what I want! ;)

As soon as I finished my muffin Charlie started fussing and the dog started whining so I put the dog outside and took Charlie to his nursery to rock him. He fell asleep immediately.
He let me put him down in his crib! He has to be really tired to let me do that. He likes being held while he sleeps.

I finally started to tackle the kitchen, unloading the dishwasher and reloading.

Owen played trains by himself while I cleaned the kitchen.

A delivery was dropped off by a man driving a mini van, weird, I guess UPS is contracting out delivery drivers now. Who knows but he tracked mud up my drive way. (More on that later)

I rolled out some pizza dough for lunch and right as I put it on the pan I heard Charlie start to whimper. It was 11:34.

Hello Charlie!

Cheese and crackers for a quick snack.

Throwing in a load of laundry before going to Andrew's school. Owen showing me the baby Jesus Jesse tree ornament.

 Owen reminded me of my plants. We ran out the door right after this to make it to Andrew's school for chapel but we didn't make it in time sadly. 

Got my boy and we're headed home!

On the way home I stopped to snap this picture to email my HOA. It's mud on my street from the construction site that you can't see. This mud is being tracked up my drive way and into my house and I am so tired of it!

The boys and I made a Christmas tree pizza for lunch. I popped it in the oven

Then I sent out a mass neighborhood email about the mud problem, our house is really the only one affected. This was my first time complaining about anything, I was and still am nervous about the responses I'll get.

Charlie was checking in on me while I was emailing.

Pizza was done! I ate the left overs while standing and fretting over my complain-y email. I do not like confrontation!

Christmas tree pizza, Christmas goldfish and homemade applesauce for lunch. The applesauce was a little watery so the boys used straws to drink it.

After lunch I put the big boys in the bed for naps/rest. Charlie and I sat on the couch and practiced sticking our our tongues and cooing. I got a few responses from my email and called our county building department. They said they'd come look at the mess tomorrow morning. 

Charlie pulled on the tree lights while I told him no and snapped a picture. Then it started snowing inside. Can everyone see the snow that google added to this picture or is it just me? Anyway...

Owen came out of his room 6 times asking if nap time was over yet. I told him no and he asked "what's taking so long?"

I took sweet Fisher out for a walk but all he wanted to do was be beside me.

I folded two loads of clothes while the boys came in and out of their rooms, no naps today!

I let the boys out of their rooms and told them they could play downstairs for a little while. I wrapped a few gifts. 1 for our nephew, 1 for my brother in law, 1 for Perry and 1 secret Santa gift. We are mostly using brown craft paper this year. The boys love to draw on the packages. They turn out so cute!

I'm not grocery shopping this week so I kind of just threw dinner together. We ended up with spaghetti and meatballs. I had ground beef and Italian sausage in the fridge. The meatballs were great. 

We invited my Dad and Grammy over to eat with us. We love having them over to visit. I loved having their help getting us out the door for church.

Dahlonega is the most beautiful at Christmas, the lights are magical. It's a treat to go to church in such a wonderful town.

The mom's Bible study went to a paint your own pottery place on the square in Dahlonega instead of having class. It's a cute little shop and I can't wait to take the kids. I made Fisher an ornament to remember the year he joined our family.

Mug Me, it was a nice break and a great time of conversation with friends. After Mug Me I went back to the church to collect my children. They were bouncing off the walls. They each had candy canes and were delirious from not taking naps. I finally wrangled them all out to the car. 

I called my best friend on the way home and we talked about Chick-fil-a's angel trees and how they choose the kids they sponsor.

We went to my dad's house after church. I fed Fisher on a coffee filter at their house since I didn't want to dirty a bowl.

Charlie and my dad played, he's the best about getting down on the floor with the boys and really playing.

Now it's 10:54 and the boys and the puppy are all asleep and I am on my way too! What a great day it was and I am so happy to have a record of it. I wonder what a day in the life will look like 6 months or a year from now?