Saturday, November 29, 2008


We were so busy but so blessed over the Thanksgiving holidays. Wednesday evening Matt's brother, SIL and their 5 children arrived. Taylor, Caleb and Madison were thrilled. They had been counting down the days until "the cousins" arrived :)

Thursday was filled with much cooking and eating! We enjoyed turkey with all our traditional trimmings. I cooked the turkey with turned out quite good I might say. In the past few years I have gotten the privilege of cooking the turkey....I enjoy cooking the turkey. Last year I didn't cook it as we went to Matt's sister's house and had smoked turkey which was great but I enjoyed being able to cook the turkey this year :)

Our trimmings consist of broccoli cheese casserole, sweet potato casserole w/ pecan and brown sugar topping, green beans, dressing, cranberry sauce, rolls, macaroni and cheese and numerous desserts (this year it was apple pie, pecan pie and chocolate chess pie...yummy)!

The table before everyone sat down and consumed the food (there is something wrong with spending 2 days cooking and then it being gone in 30 minutes :)

The kids enjoyed playing together so much and the only tears were when they had to leave. Kelsey and Shelby cried and Caleb sulked and informed me that their stay wasn't long enough.

The kids playing nicely

Shelby, Kelsey and Caleb writing what they are thankful for on the "thanksgiving board"

Caleb got a new haircut :)

Just kidding! He got the same haircut he normally does he just ask Aunt Gabby to "spike it" and she obliged :) He LOVED it!

Sitting with Daddy and showing off the "new do"

Nana and her boys

Speak no evil, See no evil, Hear no evil

Friday morning Matt's twin brother, SIL and their daughter arrived! Baby Hannah is just so sweet. Everyone just wants to hold her and love on her since they will be moving at the end of December to a place not so easy to get to on a regular basis (right now they are only an hour and half away).

Shelby and Madison loving on Hannah

Aunt Gabby loving on Hannah

Taylor loving on Hannah

Friday after noon the youngest 8 went to the park for awhile. It was so nice and they really enjoyed getting to go to the park together.




New picture

This is the best picture I could get of the kids right now and since my SIL has been bugging me about taking down my "pool" picture I decided to do it. I am planning on getting a better picture of them in front of the tree to add to my Christmas background but they were in no mood for that tonight :)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Matt's new toy

After being without a camera for over a month Matt finally has a new one. It arrived today and it is super nice. I can't wait to figure out all the new functions this one has (he already has)!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Thanksgiving List

I was tagged from Cindy's blog. If Cindy didn't tag you then I am. Post to your own blog or leave a comment on mine! Happy Thanksgiving :)

3 of my Favorite Thanksgiving Foods:
1. sweet potato casserole w/ pecans and brown sugar on top
2. broccoli cheese casserole
3. cranberry sauce w/o berries

3 Thanksgiving Foods I usually pass up:
1. dressing/stuffing
2. dressing/stuffing
3. dressing/stuffing

3 Things that Thanksgiving isn't Complete Without:
1. all the kids in our family running around and playing
2. football
3. FOOD!

Where do I celebrate Thanksgiving?
We used to have 2 Thanksgiving dinner every year on the same with my family and one with Matt's now we alternate each year

3 Things I do over Thanksgiving Weekend:
1. play cards
2. go to the movie
3. shop!

3 Things I am Thankful for This Year:
1. An awesome God who has great plans for me and my family even though I don't know what they are
2. Matt, Taylor, Caleb and Madison (and all the rest of my family)
3. a wonderful Church family

Sunday, November 23, 2008

What are you?

I found this little quiz from Renee's blog and thought it was fun. Give it a try and let us know what part of Thanksgiving you are.

Matt's results

You Are Mashed Potatoes

Ordinary, comforting, and more than a little predictable

You're the glue that holds everyone together.

Holly's results

You Are The Stuffing

You're complicated and complex, yet all your pieces fit together.

People miss you if you're gone - but they're not sure why.

I thought it was amusing that I was the stuffing as it is the only food I don't eat at any holiday. I never have liked stuffing in any form. I hear my mother-in-laws is great..she makes it from cornbread in a pan which Matt's says makes it dressing not stuffing but I think that is just a technicality. In the 14 yrs I have been in this family I have never tried it and don't plan on doing so in future (no offense to the MIL if she reads this I just don't like stuffing/dressing)!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

This boy can sleep anywhere....

Sunday, November 9, 2008


Every year we go to the Lain's for Halloween. There is the same bunch there every year and we always have a blast. It is our family tradition to go there and my parents always attend. It is special for the kids to get to trick or treat with their Grandparents. This year my sister's new husband, Chris, got to join in on the fun. Matt had to work this year on Halloween (this is the first year he has missed trick or treating with us since Taylor was born 8 1/2 yrs ago) so Chris got to fill in as official Madison carrier :)

We start our evening of festivities by roasting hot dogs over a bonfire which is always a big hit! Then it is off to trick or treat. The Lain's live in a pretty big neighborhood with lots of hills and the houses are kinda spread out. Dorian hooks a trailer behind his vehicle, piles it with hay and blankets and we are off! The kids enjoy this part so much. Nobody's legs get tired well except Madison whose short legs can't handle the hilly driveways that well which is where Chris came into the picture :)

After getting enough candy to last until next Halloween we head back to the Lain's for some marshmallow roasting and some candy testing before calling it a night. We always have so much fun and love that they Lain's open their house to us all year after year.

Cinderella, The Spanish Princess and Spiderman before leaving for the Lain's

Caleb admiring the bonfire

Taylor and Caleb

Aunt Hope and Taylor

The trailer full of kids at the beginning

Aunt Hope and Madison

Caleb and his good friend David

All the kids (and a few adults too) outside one of the houses

Chris, Hope, Pops, Madison and Caleb

The kids with their individual containers of candy

Isn't this just ridiculous! (Ignore the dirty carpet it got cleaned after this picture was taken)

Friday, November 7, 2008

Fall Festival

I am so late on getting things posted these days.

Our Cannon Rebel is at the moment broken. We aren't sure if it is fixable. It had to be sent out and the wait it pretty long. The owner of the small camera store we deal with said it would be anywhere from 6-8 weeks before we get it back :( It takes about 3-4 weeks for them to determine what is wrong, if it can be fixed and then they call to ask if you want them to fix it. Then it takes about that long for it to be fixed and get back to us. Depending on what it cost to fix it we may just buy another, we would only need the body as all our attachments are still good. Isn't that wonderful, just in time for the holidays. We have a little Cannon power shot but it went on a trip out of the country for 10 days so we pulled out my in-laws old digital from the prehistoric days...just kidding. It is pretty old but still works unfortunately we can't find the cord to be able to download the pictures to the computer so we have to take the SD card (that shows how old it is right there) to a store and have the pictures put on a disc. I haven't been great about doing that in a timely manner.

However, now I have all my Halloween pictures back and can blog away about our trick or treating experience/Fall Festival.

The kids enjoyed themselves very much and ended up bagging about 3 lbs of candy apiece. I think the older 2 went around the trunk or treating at least a half dozen times (ok, maybe I am exaggerating a little but they had so much candy and I do know they went around more then once along with the other kids). They enjoyed some games and face painting in the gym before the trunk or treating. I didn't get many pictures b/c the card got full. I didn't want to erase anything b/c I wasn't sure we had downloaded them (the pictures on there were October/November 2007).

Madison and Melanie (they went around the gym together the whole night holding hands)

Amy and Coy (this one is blurry but still cute)

Clara playing the bean bag toss game

Caleb got a spider painted on his face

Spiderman and Cinderella (not sure why Taylor isn't in the picture)

Once Madison saw the Cinderella costume she wouldn't hear of anything else!

I am not sure why I have no pictures of Taylor that night but I did get plenty of her Halloween night and they will be in the next post.

Thursday, November 6, 2008


****disclaimer: the views expressed in the following post are those solely of the author. they do in no way represent everyone and in no way is the author wanting to change anyone opinions. the author just wanted her feelings to be recorded since she uses this as a journal for her children*****

After a day of "moping" that my Presidential nominee didn't win and lots of reflecting on both Tuesday's and Wednesday's reactions to everything going on as well as my own feelings, I feel that I can write about how I feel without offending anyone since that isn't my intention.

I was sad to see John McCain not win but also wasn't surprised. I cast my vote for my nominee and that is the wonderful thing about America.... other people are able to cast their votes for who they want (we do live in a wonderful country where we have so many freedoms and for that I am very thankful).

I didn't stay up and watch the election process. Throughout the day I would tune in to see what was happening but truly I was so tired of the politics that I just didn't want to see it continuously. I knew that I would find out who won regardless of whether I watched it all day or tuned in Wednesday morning. At about 9:00 or so it was evident that unless something big happened (which wasn't likely) that Obama would win so I turned on HGTV and watched home renovations shows (got some great ideas in case Obama follows through on his promises and "spreads the wealth around"..hahaha :)

I woke up Wednesday morning and heard the news. I also heard so many horrible remarks that made me so sad, I mean we are no longer living in the 50's or 60's. I didn't realize there were people who were still so "bothered" by someones skin color (I realize after hearing some people call into the radio station I listen that racism is still here and that makes me sad knowing my kids are going to witness that when we tell that the God made and loves everyone regardless of skin color). To me the race was never about "the color of their skin" but only about their political views/moral values. I could have cared less if one of them was the color of a Umpa-Lompa from Willy Wonka :)

We really discussed politics with Taylor this time around. They were really involved in this race at her school and so we decided to be open with her about why we supported McCain. Taylor had the opportunity to participate in 2 separate mock elections (one at school and one at the area wide girl scout lock-in) and at both of these McCain won. Both her and Caleb were a little sad when they found out McCain hadn't one but we were then able to use this as a great teaching experience.

We talked about McCain's speech (not Obama's though as we haven't watched it yet (isn't the Internet awesome that we can watch the speeches the next day and not have to stay up until 12:45) and how he said "they people had spoken and they hadn't picked him but that he would respect our President and stand behind him and support".

We talked about how God tells us in the Bible that we are to respect our leaders. We also talked about how ultimately God is our leader and that we only need to concerned with pleasing him not society. Caleb listened very intently, I am not sure how much he really understood about the whole election process but he was very serious while listening to us. Matt's mom told him that we should pray for Obama, that he would make decisions that would only benefit America, that he would surround himself with Godly people and that God could use him to build back up our country. At first Caleb wasn't too excited about praying for someone other than our nominee (in Caleb's eyes Obama was the "enemy" since he wasn't who we were rooting for) but he gradually warmed up to the idea :) I think he equates politics and sports, like we don't root for Alabama or Florida b/c they are UT's mortal enemy :)

We really stressed to Taylor about how awesome it was that she has been able to witness some amazing historical things in her short lifetime....9/11, the war following that, first black/bi-racial (take your pick on which term you want to use) President. I told her things like this would be in the history books and she was actually getting to experience them. I told her it was a great day in America.

As the next 4 yrs gets underway I pray that Obama follows through on the promises that he made (and if he doesn't that America will pay attention to that in the next election). I pray that he makes wise decisions about the people he surrounds himself with and places into different positions throughout his cabinet. I pray that he appoints judges who have good morals since those positions do not have term limits. I pray that he brings us out of a recession. I pray that he can unify a country that seems very divided at the moment and can show other countries how wonderful America really is. I pray that whatever he does concerning our military in Iraq that he does it so that it puts them in the least harms way. The military is dear to my heart since I grew up a military brat and I am so thankful for the men and women (and their families since they willing give them up for months or years at a time) who put themselves in harms way to protect my rights.

The people have spoken and Obama is going to be our President for the next 4 yrs and I too will stand behind him and support him in that role (though I won't always agree with him and support his decisions, I mean I haven't up until now and that isn't going to change just b/c he is the President) but I will give him the respect he is due as our Country's leader.

I thank God daily that we live in such an awesome country b/c even with all the problems right now we still have it really great! And now I am ready to see some change!!!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Dollywood Again

Over the kid's Fall Break we made a trip to Dollywood. We try to go at least once a month and we knew the fall decorations would only be up a little while longer (they close for the 1st week of Nov to put up Christmas decorations). We enjoyed riding a few rides we hadn't ridden before like the Bumper Cars, The Swings, The Scrambler, The Piggy Parade, The Flying Bees and The Ducks. I think the kids liked the bumper cars and the swings the best.

Caleb said the music on this ride was loud and annoying :)

Madison riding the Bees

Madison riding the Piggy Parade

Madison riding the Lucky Ducks

Taylor loves to ride The Shooting Star. This time Madison and Caleb rode too. I think the picture of Caleb riding is on my dad's camera.

Caleb and Matt on the Veggie Tales Rollercoaster

The kids in front of a tree of pumpkins

This scarecrow was "scaring" people. Taylor knew it was real but we convinced Caleb it was fake. Then someone walked up to it and was going to take a picture. The guy moved and put his arm around the woman and Caleb was in awe. He was afraid just totally amazed that it was real.