Saturday, November 26, 2011

Here Comes Santa Claus...

Well, we were supposed to take family pictures this morning for our Christmas card, but it rained all. day. long. I had no idea it was going to rain. Our plan was to take the kids by the city mall to see Santa while they were all dressed up for pictures. Since we had already told Madison about Santa last night, we knew we still had to take them. This is Madison's first look at Santa.

Look at her cutting those eyes at him. She's trying to figure that old man out!

Madison was quite intrigued by Santa, but Logan went hysterical. He wasn't a fan, to say the least. Poor kid. He was scared to death!

Santa took Madison by the little finger and was quite taken by her. He said she looked like Cindy Lou.

Best Buddies already! I think he forgot to ask her the most important question of all...

Have you been a good girl this year???

Daddy jumped in the pic to try to get one more shot of Logan & Santa.

He still has a pouty lip.

I ordered the kids' matching outfits from Bizzy Bee Quilts in town. I thought they turned out pretty cute! Having two little ones 18 months apart sure is tough, but it's super fun dressing them alike. Worth it? Mmm, probably not, but might as well enjoy it!
Leaning in for some sugar!

Two cuties!

Now, on an honest note. I got really bent out of shape this morning when I realized we weren't going to be able to take our family pictures. I mean, if we didn't take them today when would we do it? Our Christmas Card wouldn't be mailed out the first of December and life would be doomed? Sounds silly now, but at the time that's exactly how I felt. And on Thanksgiving Day, we were supposed to eat at noon, but we didn't end up eating until 1:00pm! My brother misunderstood and thought we were eating at 1. Again, I got bent out of shape. Over food. Good food, I might add, but still. Just food.

I really hope that in all the hustle and bustle of this holiday season, that I just step back and take a look at everything around me. The holidays are supposed to be fun and enjoyable and a time to visit with family. But, I personally get frantic with all that there is to do and all the events that are to be attended, that I sometimes forget to enjoy the holiday season. I hope to allow myself to enjoy this Christmas season.

Santa is fun, but Christmas is not really about him. I want Madison to know what Christmas is really about. We'll be taking Madison to see the Living Nativity again that our church hosts each year. I also hope to start a few new family traditions!

Let's enjoy this holiday season...

Friday, November 25, 2011

Gobble 'Til You Wobble

Our prissy little turkey!
Handsome Fella!

It was our year to spend Thanksgiving Day with my family this year, so we headed out to my parents' house at noon. We took our Christmas pics out in the yard beforehand.

My MIL and I made the kids these adorable little turkey shirts. I followed a tutorial online. They were pretty simple to make. The hardest part was towing the kids around with me Wednesday morning from store to store to find those solid colored tees! Ahh! Do you realize how hard those are to find? Margaret stitched the edges of the turkey for me and they turned out great! I really would love to be more crafty and make the kids all kinds of cute things, but I just don't think I can make the time. I did see a sewing maching in the Black Friday Wal-Mart ad for $49 and thought just maybe I needed to asked for it for Christmas, but I thought, who am I kidding here? I will never have the time!

I know I am very partial, but this little boy is so handsome to me.

I could just eat his chubby little cheeks right up!

Christmas card family pic for the Newtons!

Turkey #1 + Turkey #2 = A Big Hot Mess!!!

Madison had a big time running around the yard in the leaves. She definately burned off her Thanksgiving meal. Too bad she couldn't have burned off mine as well!

Yesterday evening, we headed over to Gabe's parents to visit with them for a while. The cousins had a big time together.

Grammy, Papa, & the grandkids

Shelby & Madison

Sadly, the gym is closed until Monday! (Sigh!) I have some serious working out to do! Ha! ;)

Hope you and your family had a wonderful Thanksgiving. We have so much to be thankful for!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

4 Years Ago...

4 years ago tomorrow, I married the love of my life. I really never dreamed that I would marry someone as great as you, Gabe. I guess I always hoped for it, but maybe didn't always believe it would actually happen.

You have given me a wonderful life. You work hard to provide for our family and spend time with us as much as you can. You have given me the privilege of staying home with the kids and though at times it seems like a curse, I know that it is a blessing. Thank you for allowing me to do this.
In February of 2009, you gave me a beautiful baby girl.

And very shortly after in 2010, you gave me a baby boy.

I thank you that you are not giving me a baby boy in 2011! Ha! Thank you for being a wonderful husband and father to our kids. I love you.

Happy Anniversary!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Childhood Friends & Chili

Oh, the Woolsey Girls, as my parents always referred to them! We always said, Dad, they have names! I was good friends with Lindsay, in the back next to me, and my sister was good friends with Leslie, on the front right. I have lots of fond memories of these girls. Our families used to camp together and spend lots of time on the lake on the Woolsey's ski boat. We used to tube and ski for as long as their Dad would let us. We also used to go out to eat after church on Sunday nights at Pizza Inn. I believe it is now either Goodwill or the Salvation Army. I would always get Lindsay to order a chocolate chip pizza. We also spent a good deal of time fighting, but I'll skip over that part! Mr. Woolsey (their grandpa) turned 90 this past weekend and they threw him a great birthday party at Comfort Inn. I decided to go, mainly to see these girls, but also because I really do think a lot of their grandparents. They've been married forever and are such a sweet couple. Leslie recently got engaged so we talked about wedding stuff and that was fun.

I came across a good chili recipe on a blog the other day. Thought you might enjoy me sharing it with you!

Mom's Chili

2 lbs ground beef
1 yellow onion, chopped
1/2 tsp dried oregano (may delete this ingredient next time simply b/c I don't like to bite into dried herbs)
2 cans Bush's Chili Beans, Mild (don't drain)
1 regular-sized can diced tomatoes (don't drain)
1 regular-sized can tomato sauce
1 can of Rotel (don't drain)
2 packages of Chili Mix (mild)
2 Tbsp brown sugar

*I also added almost a whole can of water to make the chili more "soupy."

optional toppings: cheese, corn chips, green onions, sour cream, etc.

Brown beef with the chopped onion. While cooking, add the dried oregano. Drain the beef.
In a large pot, combine the beef mixture, beans, tomatoes, tomato sauce, Rotel, and chili mix. Stir well and allow to cook on low for 25-30 minutes. Stir occasionally throughout. Halfway through, stir in the brown sugar.

Serve with all the fixings. Enjoy!!

Monday, November 14, 2011

R-E-D with a little bit of H-O-T

It's a little hot here today! But, we should be used to this because it always gets hot again after we've had several bits of cold weather.

I took Logan to the doctor this morning because he has had bad drainage for 5 days. The doctor said he didn't think Logan had the stomach bug, but that his drainage is causing him to throw up. Sounds good to me, but it's probably still a good thing I've kept him cooped up in the house. You just never know.

Since it was so warm today and we were up and out bright and early, I decided to take the kids to the church playground. That's actually a pretty big deal for us because I don't take them much. I'm not really an "outside" girl. I prefer the indoors! We occassionally play out on the front drive, but only occassionally. The kids had fun and Logan is getting really good at playing on the big kid equipment. I think he can handle the big stairs by himself without toppling down. That brightened my day a little. It's major work for this momma at his stage in life right now!

Both kids are napping and I need to be sterilizing and cleaning a bit, so I better hop off here!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Stomach Bug!

Yes, the stomach bug has hit our house! I got a call from Logan's MDO Director this past Thursday to come pick him up because he had gotten sick at school. Yuck! Every mother's worst nightmare! He really doesn't act like he is sick. When I've gone to get him out of his bed each morning the past couple of days he's had a little pile in his crib. Nothing more than collaborated milk, but still, let's face it. It's throw up! He's been happy and normal acting during the day. Yesterday, he didn't get sick at all so I thought we were on the road to recovery. I had planned on taking him to church this morning. But...when I walked into his room this morning I smelled it. You know the smell. He had another small pile in his crib. So, I guess it's not over yet. Hopefully he will be well by Tuesday so he can go to MDO. This momma needs to get out of the house. We've been home bound since Thursday!

But, that's not all. Last night I found Gabe in the bathroom. He never actually got sick, but was nauseated. I made a trip to PDQ at 2:00am to get some Sprite for my dear honey! I'm so not a compassionate person (when people are sick,) but I guess I had a little mercy for him last night. God definitely did not call me to be a nurse!

My parents took Madison to church this morning and I stayed home with my sick boys. Hopefully today will be the last day of sickness!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Ponytail Holder, Picasso, & Festival of Tables

This cute little girl informed me with a panicked look on her face the other day that she had just put a ponytail holder up her nose! (The clear plastic kind.) Somehow I remained pretty calm and held down one nostril and had her blow! Out come the snotty ponytail holder. Whew! That could have been a trip to the ENT. I asked her why she stuck it up her nose and...she had no answer! Just glad she immediately told me.

We might have a little Picasso on our hands. This girls loves to paint. I let her paint her mini pumpkin after I had the pumpkin painting party at my house a while back. She loved it so I bought her some washable paints and she paints in her highchair pretty often. It's really not too messy. I just have to wash her hands and wipe down the highchair after she gets done. The paint always washes right out of her clothes if she gets any on her.

We had a Ladies Night at our church the beginning of November called "Festival of Tables." Each table hostess is responsible for decorating their table with a centerpiece and dishes. I always decorate a table each year. It's a lot of work hauling everything from home, but it's a great reason to pull out that china that hardly ever gets used! I love eating from fine china. I mean, it's all about the presentation, right?

Tables can be decorated in a Fall or Christmas theme. I always go with Christmas. It's a little fancier and goes well with the fine china I think! We enjoyed a yummy dinner, entertainment by a high school violin player in our church, a craft demo, and a guest speaker.

Our Sunday School class filled three tables. I was glad so many girls came this year! Here is was my table.

SS Class Table #2

SS Class Table #3- They had a cute owl theme.

It was a fun night!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Half Marathon & Fall Fest

I'm still playing blog catch-up...almost there. Gabe and I recently ran the Soaring Wings Half Marathon in Conway the last weekend in October. It was my first half-marathon. Gabe has ran a full marathon before. My goal was to run it in under 2 hours and by golly I was determined to do just that. I finished in 1:59:52. Gabe finished in 1:50:02. Great times!

Running Buddies

Saturday night we went to our church's Fall Fest. They had pony rides and a gym full of inflatables.

This picture took LOTS of effort! But hey, it's all worth it in the end, right? RIGHT?

After about an hour of fun, we headed to Ed and Margaret's for my birhthday dinner...and Gabe's late birthday dinner. Dinner was great as always!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Playdates & Parties

Back up to last Friday...whoa! I'm way behind on blogging and I have to rewind a few days because we've been up to some fun stuff lately. It's been busy around here and I know with the holidays approaching it will just get busier! Last Friday morning, we loaded up and traveled to Ft. Smith to attend Eli's Halloween Costume Party. Pictured above is one of my childhood best friends, Lauren and her son Eli. Lauren is due with her second son mid December. Why she decided to pull off a party, I have no idea, but she pulled off a heck of a party!

Eli the "cow"
Madison the "giraffe"

Logan the "frog"

I love throwing parties and I love attending great parties! I didn't know this about Lauren, but "she can throw a party!" I mean, anyone call throw a party, but a great party is all about the details! It's all about the presentation, right? ;)

I'm assuming Lauren made all of the food. She had green rice krispie treat "Frankensteins," mini pumpkin muffins, "mummie" wrapped hot dogs, fruit, cupcakes, cookies, chili for the moms, AND veggie chili. Now, I didn't partake in the veggie chili, but I'm sure some moms were all about it!

LOTS of decor!

Trick-or-Treat buckets for the kids to decorate and take home.

I did count heads at this party. Around 20 moms and 35 kids. Can I say, OH MY GOSH??? I would literally freak out if I ever had 35 kids in my house. Talk about, HOUSE WRECK!!! But, the crazy thing was that it actually stayed under control. Lauren has a huge backyard and about half the crowd stayed inside and the other half stayed outside. The kids also seemed smaller than Madison so that made a huge difference. I mean, I would NEVER in my right mind invite 35 two year olds inside my house. There were many crumbs of food on the floors inside, but besides that everything pretty much stayed in tack. A job well done, my friend!

Russellville Girls

Emily, Maggie, & Molly

Stephanie, Audrey, & Stella

Pretty sure I probably got the twins mixed up!

And, we missed Breanne!

I was exhausted by the time we finally pulled out! Playdates and I go round and round!

But, the fun wasn't over yet! Oh no, we had a birthday party to attend that night for Madison's friend, Anna Kate, at the Jump Place in town. Cinderella and Snow White were there!

Madison wasn't quite sure what to think at first, but she liked them as a little time passed!

A fun, filled day!