Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Celebrate Christmas 2014

We had another sweet Christmas with our families this year!
Christmas Eve is always celebrated with my side of the family.
 We have been doing the same Christmas Eve traditions since I was a little girl! It's a special night for our family for sure! 
 We all met at church for a beautiful Christmas Eve service and then headed to my parents for
hors devours, Christmas treats, and lots and lots of presents! 
As soon as everyone finished up, the kids were begging to get into all the gifts!
 It can get a little crazy for sure, but that's just part of the fun!
 This picture of some of the little ones is so sweet! 
They had fun tracking Santa throughout the evening. When he got close to our house, it was time for us to head home and jump in bed so he could make a special stop at our house:)
(We took some other sweet pictures of everyone on my sister's camera, but somehow she lost ALL of her Christmas pictures. Such a bummer!)
The kids went straight to bed as soon as we got home and were asleep pretty quickly. We didn't see anyone until 8:00 or so the next morning!
 This year Jake didn't really have anything particular that he was hoping for, so Santa brought him a few surprises! I think his most favorite was his new Razor scooter!
Sissy was so happy to see an American Girl doll under the tree for her and a NEW bike!
Parker wanted anything Spiderman and he also got a NEW bike! 
 And this was my sweet Emery Caroline's FIRST Christmas!
She got new jammies:) 
After Santa's gifts were open, Matt's parents stopped by for Christmas breakfast.
They brought some gifts for the kids and spent some sweet time with us.

After spending some time at home playing with all of our new things, we headed to my parent's house for Christmas dinner. We ate and played games and just enjoyed the rest of the day being together!
Merry Christmas 2014!

Friday, December 26, 2014

Twas' the Days Before Christmas

Before I share about our wonderful Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, I have to back up a little and catch up on all of the Christmas fun we did leading up to the big day!
As soon as the kids got out of school, we started to cross some of the big things off of our holiday fun list:)
Our first stop was making a special trip downtown to see the Singing Bears!
I don't think we did this last year, so I am glad we fit it in this year!
I LOVE taking my kids downtown! There were lots of decorations displayed all around the city which made things so Christmassy!
We made our way to Founders Hall where we saw the bears and then we had fun looking at the GIANT gingerbread house!
We also got to visit Santa a few times this year. We like going to the Great Wolf Lodge for their story time and snowfall.
My kids are not big fans of sitting on Santa's lap, however Sissy did manage to make a very quick visit!

Parker sat on his lap, but made it known to us all that he was NOT HAPPY about it:(

Another one of our favorite "Christmas must do's" is of course our annual trip to McAdenville. Matt and I went on our first date there 15 years ago and we have been every year since!
This year, the night we went was very crowded, but we did run into this big guy and my precious Emery Caroline got her picture made!
This tradition is so special to me! I love that we can take our family there each year and it's something we all just LOVE!

Each year we also get everyone together for a cookie making day at Mimi's!
We have done this Christmas tradition for many, many years too! We did it when we were little over at my Grandma's house and it is fun to do it each year with all of our little ones now!

Frosting and sprinkles may be everywhere, but it is one of the BEST days we share!

And of course we all enjoy the final product when we get together on Christmas Eve;)
Some of my favorite days are the ones leading up to Christmas.
So thankful for such a sweet bunch to share them with!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

A SWEET Tradition

One event that we were sure not to miss this year was Gingerbread Lane at the Ballantyne Hotel!
 We have been the last several years and always look forward to going!

SIXTEEN of us all met up for a fun Christmas evening out!
 We all love to walk down the halls of the hotel and pick out our favorite houses and scenes!
We saw a few Frozen themed gingerbread houses and also one that looked like the Billy Graham Library! They are all so well done!

After spending some time at the hotel, we all loaded up and went to Wendy's to grab a bite to eat together!

And this is probably one of my all time favorite pics of these two girls!

Such sweet smiles after a sweet evening together!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Merry and Bright!

 For the past few weeks we have slowly been getting into the swing of Christmas!
We have done a few things here and there, but have been waiting until the kids were finished with school to do some of our big and most favorite things!
We actually skipped out on a few things we have done in the past and then enjoyed some new things this year too (the Christmas light parade)!
We of course had fun one evening decorating our tree. This year we kept thing VERY simple!
Mainly just some lights and special ornaments!

We have also enjoyed two beautifully done Christmas programs at our church!
The music at our church is one of my most favorite things!
This year was a little extra special too because Matt, Emery, and I were asked to play Mary, Joseph, and Baby Jesus in a sweet little play at Jake's school. This made a sweet Christmas memory for us:)!
Matt and I (along with Parker and Emery Caroline) did some Christmas shopping one morning and the kids and I have had some fun baking and crafting too!
Yesterday Brooklyn had her Christmas party at her little preschool. The kids all wore their pajamas and then had a waffle breakfast and book exchange.
Today we joined Jake at his school for a Christmas chapel and then his class party!
Now that we are officially on CHRISTMAS BREAK...Let the BIG Christmas fun begin!
It's the MOST wonderful time of the year...

Friday, December 12, 2014

Emery Caroline: 3 Months

Today Emery Caroline is 3 months old!
We all LOVE this girl!
She is THE SWEETEST blessing ever and is SUCH a good baby!
She has been SLEEPING ALL NIGHT since she was about 10 weeks old. She loves to sleep with her arms up by her head:) We moved her to her crib a few weeks ago.
Before that she just slept in a pack n play in our room.
We give the last bottle to her around 8:30 or 9 and then lay her down for bed. She sleeps all night and will usually wake up between 7 and 8! Because our days are all so different she is not on a real schedule, but will usually take a good nap in the morning and then will sleep again in the afternoon and she dozes off again in the evening.
She's just a good sleeper!
 She still loves her milk and doesn't miss a meal:)
She eats every 2-3 hours during the day. She drinks 6-7oz at a time.
She still does not smile very easily, but is getting better at it! We try to get her to smile ALL THE TIME! Ha! It's kind of crazy since she is such a content baby! Oh well!
She is starting to coo at us and will "talk" to us and tell us "stories":)

She is wearing some 3-6 month clothes, but fits much better in 6-9 month:)
She is wearing a size 3 diaper. She has brownish eyes and has pretty dark hair.
She loves taking a bath more than she used to and I have seen her sucking her hands a lot lately!
She loves to look at you when you talk to her and will follow you with her eyes!
 She doesn't cry too much! Really only if she is hungry or too many kids are in her face! Ha!
We all love sweet EC, but I must say Parker is her biggest fan! He is constantly in her face! He kisses her ALL. THE. TIME, rubs her head and wants to feed and hold her at any chance he can get!
Happy 3 Months, Emery Caroline!
We love you!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Happy 4th Birthday Celebrations!

This girl has been celebrated ALL. WEEK. LONG!
Turning FOUR has been SO much fun for her:)
We got to celebrate our girl with each of our families!
We celebrated with Matt's family last weekend while our Florida cousins were here and we celebrated with my family while we were all together for Thanksgiving.

She also got to celebrate her birthday at preschool with her teacher and class. Parker, EC and I brought in donuts for a fun birthday treat!
We celebrated again on Friday night with some of her best girlfriends (and their mama's) at her FROZEN party!
We kept things pretty simple and just had dinner and birthday cake at our house!

What a sweet time these girls had together! I hope these girls will be friends for a long time!

 Today (her actual birthday) we finished up the celebrations by enjoying lunch out together as a family!
I can not believe that you are FOUR years old today! I remember the day I found out that I was going to have a baby girl and I was so excited! You are a precious gift to US and I am so thankful for you. You have the sweetest personality and are always so fun to be around! Everyone loves "Sissy":)
You love all sorts of girly things like princesses, dress up, nail polish and sparkles! You love to draw and play baby dolls too! You love pre school and are learning so much these days!
I am thankful that you are growing up to be such a precious girl!
May you learn to love Jesus even more this year!
Happy 4th Birthday, Brooklyn Bear!
We love you!
Daddy, Mommy, Jake, Parker, and Emery Caroline

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Our Thanksgiving Celebrations 2014

We had a wonderful and very busy Thanksgiving this year!
The Lord has richly blessed us in so many ways and we are so grateful!
I am so thankful for the amazing husband that I have and my four sweet kids...
I am thankful for my Salvation. I am thankful for Matt's job and the opportunity for me to be at home with my kids each and every day! I am thankful that Jake is attending a Christian school this year. I am thankful for my cozy home and reliable cars. I am thankful for a full pantry and refrigerator. I am thankful for my girlfriends! I am thankful for our health and for the giggles that fill my home!
I am thankful for the blessing of a new baby this year and that these girls can be sweet sisters!
Another one of the biggest blessings in our lives is our family.
This year Matt's brother and his family from Florida made the trip up to NC to be here with us!

 We are thankful for sweet cousins to spend time with...

My parents traveled to Michigan over Thanksgiving, so we celebrated with them later on in the week.
All the girls...

I am SO THANKFUL for my mom! She loves my family so well and is a true treasure to all of us!
And my sisters...I LOVE having them so close. I am so thankful for their love and friendship!

"Thank you Lord for saving my soul.
Thank you Lord for making me whole.
Thank you Lord for giving to me
Thy sweet salvation so rich and free!"
Happy Thanksgiving 2014