Wednesday, December 17, 2014

it's that time of year.....

we are running full speed over here.  i'm not a huge fan of this time of year, but we are having fun despite the craziness.

wes' class visited a nursing home a week ago to sing a few songs and hand out cards, candy canes, hugs.  the residents LOVED them!

reed's class visited a tree farm.  they also made a quick stop to deliver their angel tree gifts and see santa!

the little people put on the best christmas program at our church.  i was in charge of the dancing, so i was too busy to get pics.

but this kid definitely entertained everyone.  he went back forth between being bored and being really into it!  plus, his scarf had a mind of its' own!

since we are all running full speed.....wes decided that he would run full speed.  into a tree.  face first. with his eyes closed.  i can't even pretend to understand boys.  this resulted in him getting stitches.  again.




sour patch kids make everything better.  especially when mama lets you eat them in the bathtub!

if you'll recall, he has done this on multiple occasions.  and he has yet to win a fight with tables, mailboxes or trees!!  two years ago, it was at almost the exact same time of year.  except he took on a mailbox instead of a tree.

i'm hoping this isn't a christmas tradition for years to come!!  fa-la-la!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

my decorators

the little people took over the decking of the halls this year.  well, they took it over after we put up the first tree and realized that only half of a tree wasn't going to cut it.  after 10 years, that poor tree bit the dust, and i found us another one!!  so once the new tree found it's home and proved that he had lights that would work, the little people took over.  they loved their yearly ornament.  they all got the same one this year.....a lego santa that they had to build themselves!  

reed hung up our daily scripture verses.

wes kept his duty as the manger scene setter upper.  (he's explaining how and where the people should go.  it's a very exact science.)

and as usual, everybody is all up in mary's business wanting to see baby jesus.  

i guess that makes sense.  if you're going to go see baby jesus, you want to SEE baby jesus!

so now we are ready to celebrate!  come on, christmas!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

thanksgiving at the beach

thanksgiving has come and gone, and before we jump headfirst into all of the christmas craziness i need to back up and give thanksgiving it's due!  before we left town for rosemary beach, we had a few parties at school.

and then we spent the week at the beach with the henson side of the family.  it was a little unusual to be playing in the sand and the waves on thanksgiving morning, but it was definitely better than somewhere cold!!!  we had a house for all 16 of us, and the heated pool was worth it's weight in gold.  they spent hours upon hours in there everyday.

and we made our way to the beach regularly!

we hired a professional to get some beach photos.  then we ran from the rain and the storm clouds to find some beach that wasn't yet wet.  i haven't seen the finished products yet, but some pics caught on the iPhone look promising!

we had to endure one rainy afternoon, but downtown rosemary wasn't a bad place to do so!  we hung out in the toy store, ate some good food, saw a great christmas show, and of course made a stop at the sugar shak!

reptile man even found a playmate that was searching for some sunshine between the clouds!

we spent thanksgiving morning at the beach.  and then made our way to seaside for lunch and playtime.

we spent lots of time walking around, biking, and i even let the master birder tell me about a few birds on the walk.  (i didn't have to touch them, and they didn't attack me so i guess that was ok.)  anna, holly, and i even found a place in alys beach that we are going to buy when we figure out how to come up with several million dollars.  these two guys weren't digging that idea....

but they did spring for dessert at le crema! i guess that's the next best thing. yum!

we had a great time, and after we catch up on our sleep we'll be ready to do the month of december!  or maybe i'll just sleep until january and skip it all together!  :)

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

catechism champions

at our church, our kids spend wednesday nights studying the catechism.  there are 150 questions that that impart biblical truths and explain what it is that we believe.  learining and memorizing these may seem like a chore.  and is.  we spend many mornings in the car repeating and repeating and repeating some more!!  but i can't tell you how invaluable it is for my kids to know these truths.  when a question arises, we go back to the basics that they already know and work from there.  it really, really helps!!

this past sunday, william and his friend, clay, earned the distinction of catechism champions.  they gave all the answers to each question to the children's committee.  those plaques were well deserved!!  

looking forward to seeing the little brothers up there holding those same awards one day soon!  way to go, guys!

psalm 119:11 - i have hidden your word in my heart that i might not sin against you.

Friday, November 14, 2014


a few weeks ago chase and i took on chicago.  he has to take a test every 10 years to make sure he's still competent, and this was his year.  he passed!!  i never doubted him.  anyway, since his test was in chicago, i decided to tag along.

the first night, we had to stay in a hotel that was near the airport because his test was the following morning at a testing center nearby.  i had assumed that i would get up and walk around outside, find a good restaurant, see some things, etc. while he was testing.  yeah, well......let's just say that the airport neighborhood isn't the nicest place in the world.  chase forbid me from even going outside.  not that i wanted to after passing the projects on the way in.  so......that first day i finished one book and started another!!  after lunch, he showed back up, and we packed it up and headed to downtown where we stayed for the rest of the time.

not a bad view from our hotel room!!

it was sunny and beautiful like this for one day.  chicago is not a warm place, people.  i wouldn't dare go visit any later in the year than we did.  but, we did make the most of that one sunny, warm(ish) day!  we did the architectural boat tour on the river.  this was the number one thing that people told us to do, and it was really interesting!  somebody wrecked and sunk a barge on the south fork of the river the day before, so that portion was closed, but the rest was pretty neat.

trump tower.  it is curved to mimic the river, and it has different levels that are the same heights as neighboring buildings to pay homage to it's neighbors.

this building took up many city blocks.  i couldn't even get it all in the frame!

 my favorite....i don't remember the names of the different styles of buildings, but this one mimics the river and sky by reflecting it's surroundings.

we rented bikes that afternoon and rode along the lakefront trail.

lake michigan is beautiful.  but as you can see, the sun was already starting to disappear.  we rode north for a while, but it was starting to get cold riding into the wind.  so we traded out bikes at a divvy station (you have to check in every 30 minutes at a station or get charged extra), and headed back south toward the navy pier.  it was much easier riding with the wind!!

navy pier

we got back on our bikes and headed to millennium park to find the bean.  as we were crossing a bridge, chase made mention of the fact that there were no cars on it.  either direction.  as we got across and down to the street we wanted to cross, we figured out why.  obama was in town for a dinner of some sort, and so we put our lives on hold for about 45 minutes while we waited on his entourage to pass by.  see how happy i am about that????

nonetheless, we finally made it over to the bean.

and under the bean.

then we walked down to the crown fountain.  i kind of think the artist that designed that one might be a little messed up.  i didn't even a take a picture.  it had this video board of faces that kept changing and the water would squirt out of the people's mouths.  okie

we were headed to the buckingham fountain, but from a distance we saw that it was dried up.  they had closed it down for the year one day earlier, so we just waved at it and headed back to the trail for our trek back north.  y'all.  spin class doesn't prepare you for riding north on the chicago lakefront trail into 90 mph winds in 30 degree weather with no sun.  i probably could have walked faster than my bike was traveling.  after about a mile or two, chase got in front, and i rode about one centimeter behind him to try to avoid the wind.  didn't help.  the waves were huge at this point.  they kept crashing over the wall, and i thought the husband was a goner at one point.  my hands were frozen solid.  and do you remember that scene in dumb and dumber where harry and lloyd were riding on the little scooter and snot was frozen to his face??  that's pretty much what it felt like.  but we definitely got our workout in for that day!!

we did lots of walking around and eating.  let's face it....that's why we go on vacation.  to eat.  chase makes fun of me when i take pictures of my food, so i didn't do it this trip.  much.  but this was a pretty cool little appetizer.  candy bacon.  and worthy of picture in my book!

we also had the obligatory chicago deep dish pizza.  i can describe it in one word....gross.  i don't know what on the earth those people think they know about pizza, but it doesn't even come close to lost pizza.  or heck, pizza hut for that matter.

but we did have really, really good meals.  our two favorites were tavern on rush where we both had filets that just melted in your mouth.  i promise, you barely even had to chew!!  and we found a cool, fancy, little italian place called prosecco where everything was awesome.  champagne, imported cheese, avocado shrimp salad, calamari, veal.....look it up if you go.  it was yummy!!  we also went to EATALY.  i could live in there.  two stories of everything italian that you could ever want.....minus canolis.  guess i'm going to have to go back to boston for that!  however, the most unique dining experience belonged to the purple pig.  they lay claim to "cheese, wine, and swine."  you order one thing, they bring eat it, and then you order the next thing.  they had these things called "smears" so we tried a few.  the greek yogurt, sea salt, strawberry preserve and pistachio smear was my favorite (and i don't even like half of that stuff)!!  they also had pig bones sawed in half that you could scrape the marrow out of with a spoon to eat.  i passed.  i didn't figure they wanted me to vomit on their floor.  but, it's definitely a place to a try if you're ever up there!

we managed to see one broadway production while we were there.  the million dollar quartet was fantastic.  it is about the night that elvis, johnny cash, carl perkins, and jerry lee lewis got together for a jam session.  the music was phenomenal.  even the grandmas were up dancing in the aisles!!

the last day we were there, we went to see the panoramic views of the lake and city atop the hancock building.

(if you'll look at the lakefront trail in the previous picture, you'll see how the waves are crashing over it and understand what i was talking about above!  the lake loses it's pretty blue green color on the ugly weather days, too!)

as i said, we did LOTS of walking.  we walked the magnificent mile several times.  i'm sure most people could do some serious shopping while there.  i didn't buy anything.  well wait, yes i did.  i went to one of the best shopping destinations around, and i bought a pair of socks.  i only took ankle socks with me, and when i felt that cold air, i realized i needed a warm pair of TALL socks!!  i guess i made my contribution to the economy of the city through the restaurant business!

now we're back home and anticipating the next testing destination.  i hope it's somewhere warm!