Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Buddy the Elf!

On Thanksgiving Day, our elf arrived in the downstairs plant in our hallway. He had his book with him and Hannah found him first. She asked, "what's that?" So, we read the story about our elf and how he is a helper for Santa and how he is watching the girls for good behavior. We also talked about how we do not touch him and the girls took that very seriously. Hannah says, "the book says, don't touch him."

They had a hard time deciding on a name, so I helped them name him Buddy after one of my most favorite Christmas movies, Elf. I bet there are a million "Buddy" Elf on the Shelves out there!

Buddy even followed us on our trip to the mountains where he and Gibby and Owen's elf, Leroy, got into some trouble. They decided to play with some of the toys and get into a Christmas cake and leave crumbs everywhere!

Buddy has also hidden in a lamp, in our chandelier, and this morning he was holding my keys on the wall keyholder.

I am so upset that I did not get pictures with him on the first day. I am going to try to keep up with some! Emma has found most of them in the mornings since the first day since she is usually up first. She just cracks up at him. I have used the "I bet Buddy is watching you" phrase quite a few times since he has arrived and Emma quickly corrects her behavior, taking it very seriously - so like me. Hannah likes him, but I am not sure she is taking him so seriously - typical Hannah. She just likes his tricks!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Christmas Card

Our Christmas card this year incorporated previous years Christmas cards. The black and white photos are from 2005, 2007 and 2009. We couldn't find a card to fit all of them we we chose some that show a big change from today.

Here is the front:

Here is the back - silly picture

Oh Christmas Tree!

This morning we went to get our Christmas tree. Although, it was a little weird getting it when it was almost 70 degrees today. We went out for breakfast, got the tree, got it home and it is done!

making sure it smells good!

Hannah with her new Minnie ornament
Emma with her new Tinkerbell ornament

done!! complete with wrapped presents!

The Polar Express

We boarded our train to the Polar Express around 4:45. It was somewhat crowded, but the weather was great. We didn't have to worry about coats, hats, etc. As we were leaving the soundtrack music to the movie was playing and the servers were dancing in the aisles with the kids. They did a good job of getting everyone excited. The, the "hot chocolate" song started and they began to serve the hot chocolate in really cute souvenir mugs. They also gave out cookies. After some more music, they read the Polar Express story to the kids. The conductor came around and punched all the kids' tickets too. After we got to the North Pole, Santa came on the train and gave the kids a really nice bell to keep.

outside the train station
on the train
whole family
our happy helper with hot chocolate
asking what the kids want for Christmas
tickets please!

Aside from one of the hot chocolate mugs spilling on my Coach purse and me losing my camera for a few minutes it went really good. The kids were excited and it lasted just long enough so they would not get antsy on the train. I really liked how the music was incorporated and how the servers did a lot of entertaining for everyone. On the way back we sang Christmas carols. It was very cute and we all had a nice time. A big Thank You to Nana and Dadoo for the trip. It was not our traditional way to spend Thanksgiving, but a very memorable trip for the kids.

scenery and train
Gibby and Emma
Hannah hyped up on hot chocolate and cookie - see the mug on the window? See my coach purse? yup - spilled all over it

showing Nana her bell

We left around 12:45 on Saturday and got back around 8:45 that night. Hannah had a few meltdowns on the way home. Neither one of them slept but my bag of prizes still came in handy. We were all exhausted from the long ride, but we had a very nice time in the mountains!

Thanksgiving 2011

This year Thanksgiving was at mom's house. We woke up, finished packing, made our cranberry casserole, cleaned, loaded car, watched some of the Macy's parade and then went to visit Granny for awhile. She said she was not going to come to mom's to eat, but she later changed her mind. So, the girls and us visited with her for awhile and watched some more of the parade. My sweet grandmother is not looking like herself due to the cancer, but I wanted her picture with the girls and they were having such a fun time there.

Gigi and the girls

Then, we went to mom's and had lunch with the family. We did our annual polyanna drawing. We ate way too much. I then was giving Emma a cupcake, went to put sprinkles on it and shook it without knowing it did not have a top to the container. So, sprinkles were everywhere and my dear sister was giving Emma sprinkles with a spoon as I was trying to clean up the mess.

Andy and Dad

We hit the road to the mountains around 2:30 for our trip with the Hamricks. We stopped twice and were there by 9:15. The girls were surprisingly excellent in the car. I had a "prize bag" with water pens/coloring pads, suckers, books, new DVD's, a little Snoopy stuffed character, etc. Emma was so funny when she would say, "Is it prize time yet?" We got to the mountain house and and the girls were sort of wired from the car ride. Hannah was talking nonstop. Mawmaw was so happy to see them and we stayed up for awhile talking. The next day would be our Polar Express day!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Emma's Preschool Thanksgiving Feast

Emma had a really cute Thanksgiving feast at preschool on Tuesday. I was able to get there near the end of it because I was able to leave work a little early. They were making their craft when I got there.

E with the turkey
Hannah wanted her pic taken when I got home :)

More Catching Up

Friday I got home from my conference in Richmond and when we were all back under one roof we headed to see my cousin Hunter play basketball! Yes!!! I am so glad it is basketball season! Hunter is a junior this year - cannot believe it - and he is such a good player.
the girls playing with Whitney at the game
end of the game - Emma showing off her skills

Saturday we took out our Christmas decorations. CUTE story - We have one container of Christmas "toys" like the Little People manger scene. Emma was pulled the manger out of the box and said, "look mommy! where baby Jesus was born!" We were like, "yes Emma, good job." Then, she pulled out the Mary figurine and said, "look! this is Mary - baby Jesus's mommy." Again, Bo and I were so impressed. Then, Hannah pulled out the Joseph figure and said, "look!!! A pirate!!" And then Bo and I were rolling on the floor laughing! Hannah always has some way to bring humor to our lives.

After decorating we went to the Norfolk City Lights Parade and Grand Illumination. The girls loved the parade as I expected. Their favorites were the little dogs that were dressed up in Christmas outfits. They got a kick out of them! The weather was chilly but not too cold. Of course we had to fight the traffic out of Norfolk, but Bo and I always say, it is one night out of the year and the girls just have a blast.

Chick Fil A float
up and dancing as Santa goes by

Sunday was go, go, go again. Emma and I went to church with mom at her church. Then, we had some last minute errands to run before hosting Dawn's baby shower at 3:00. The baby shower was very nice and Dawn got some beautiful things. That lasted until about 6:00 and then it was home, dinner, bath and bed. And.....I am pretty sure I fell asleep on the couch that night. I was exhausted.

This week has been nice at work since it was a short week. However, our family has received some very sad news about my grandmother. She has a biopsy done yesterday and after the doctors met with her, my mom and dad today they told us that there is a very large tumor on the kidney. The cancer has spread and surgery is not an option. The doctor also told us she is not a candidate for radiation because the tumor is causing so much bleeding. She will start some chemo next week to slow the process, but we know it will not cure it. I have seen her health decline in the past three weeks of knowing something is just not right. She is in the hospital tonight to get a blood transfusion and she is running a fever. I have a lot of emotions running through me right now. I have not slept well and it is hard to think these holidays coming up with her may be her last. My life is always so busy and taking care of the girls keeps me going nonstop. When they go to bed at night and the house is quiet my thoughts tend to occupy me. I am sad, angry, frustrated and upset. This is the closest I have had to come with this disease. Cancer has affected people I know, but not a relative this close to me. I had my own cancer scare this summer but seeing it with someone who is already fragile and older makes me very upset. We know there is not much anyone can do. I am reminded this Thanksgiving for having wonderful, loving grandmothers. I am also reminded how thankful we are to have good health and not take our days here for granted.

The girls are watching the Polar Express right now. They are excited for our trip tomorrow. We have a very busy day ahead. We will stop and see Granny when she is home from the hospital, eat lunch with my mom's family and then hit the road for our 7 hour journey to the Polar Express!

Thursday, November 17, 2011


Wow, I have seemed to slack off from blogging last week. Since I am in a Marriot tonight - alone and in peace in quiet, I guess I can catch up.

Tuesday the 8th - Our school system had "staff development day." I actually had to present this year because of my new job. A third grade teacher was doing a session on running records and so I was teamed with her to teach how technology can be integrated with running records. I have been appointed as a running record resource and have even had to sit in on a leadership meeting to help our school with a uniform way of taking running records. I have to say, although it has been more work, I have enjoyed it. I am excited that my position can make a difference in our school and that my ideas are so accepted.

Friday the 11th - we were out of school for Veterans Day. The girls had their little buddy Brayden's birthday party that morning. After that I had my college sitter lined up for the day and I had a wonderful afternoon and early evening to myself. I finished more Christmas shopping and got a massage. Funny story when I got home - I had actually had some meat and veggies in the crock pot so when I got home I fixed the girls plates. It was beef stew, and my sweet, precious two year old told me, "mommy, this looks like poo poo." OMG - I was dying laughing inside.

Saturday 12th - Bo and I are having an ongoing debate about the Christmas tree ALL day. I think I am ready to convert to an artificial. My selling points: 1. Hannah's allergies 2. Less work 3. I can have everything decorated and finished before our Thanksgiving trip 4. Because we have to run extra heat downstairs I wont have to worry about a real tree dying and making a mess 5. I always have to "care" for the real tree b/c Bo is out of town and I am tired of dealing with it

Bo's selling points: 1. Artifical trees are gay 2. Artifical trees are "ghetto" 3. No smell of a real tree 4. Half the fun of Christmas is cussing and dealing with the real tree lights and mess
UGGGGHHHHH - so after fighting this battle all day, I guess he has won - I have not bought a fake tree yet

We also had our Christmas card pics taken!! Moreover, cards were ordered, have been delivered and the girls and I have already labeled the envelopes!!! I will wait until after Thanksgiving to send them though :) Here are some previews!

just a cute one with Andy

After pictures we went to have dinner with the whole fam at Outback.

Sunday the 13th - Sunday school, church, second Sunday lunch, cleaning the house, etc.

This week has been crazy. I have not blogged about my grandmother recently been diagnosed with cancer. It has been really difficult to see her health decline so rapidly. My mom has been to every appointment with her. My sister has helped me a lot with the girls in the past two weeks. There are still several unanswered questions, but I just hope we will get some positive news soon.

This week - I only had a three day work week. I left bright and early this morning with two other LMS's for our VEMA state conference in Richmond. So, that is why I am in a hotel tonight. We have had such a great time. Tonight we had a special reception at the state library. The catering was outstanding and we also got to meet some authors who were doing book signings. I attended a few sessions today and learned some things that I can do in my library and I also learned I am performing very high with my technology lessons and my media center blog. It has been so much fun. We will attend a few more morning sessions and I will be home tomorrow for a very fun filled weekend with the girls!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Jessica Simpson in Raleigh/Weekend

So, we made a quick trip to Raleigh this weekend. Bo ran in a 5K Saturday morning and we left after that. It was the only weekend we were able to do some Christmas shopping with Bo's family. So, the girls took Emma and Gibby to Crabtree mall. While we were there Bo calls and says that Jessica and Ashlee Simpson were there. I was like, "okay, sure." But, the very next store we were headed to was Belk and people were everywhere. Then, we saw photographers around her promotions. We found out that they were upstairs and if you spent $50 of her products then you could go upstairs and meet them. I hopped on it like white on rice, since she has always been one of my favorites since college. I can easily remember me and Kristin Allan driving around campus singing her CD to to the top of our lungs! So, of course I waited 40 minutes in line to have a one minute conversation with her. Emma actually talked to them more than me or Gibby. They asked Emma all kinds of questions and Ashlee talked about her little boy. They gave us all individual autographed pictures with our names on them. We even got a Jessica Simpson makeup bag with her perfume and some rhinestone earphones as a free gift. I was pretty happy - never expected that to happen! We couldn't pose for pictures with them, so Mary got these pictures of us just talking to them.

Later that night we went to get some pizza with the boys, Hannah and Owen. Then, we went to get some yummy doughnuts! It was a quick, busy weekend, but there is never a dull moment with all of us together!