Jan 15, 2012

Baby It's Cold Outside...

Friday morning we woke up to the words every child loves to hear....

School is C - L - O - S - E - D!!!


I'm sure you could guess it was due to mother nature...

providing plenty of snow for us to play in!!

We made snow angles.

We giggled!

We had lots of fun!  After playing in the snow we went inside for a warm cup of

hot-chocolate piled high with marshmellows!!

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Jan 11, 2012

The Middles... and Their Hearts....

When Jordan, our 18 year old, text Curtis and I saying, "I need to talk to you and

dad, together, tonight, it can make a parents heart skip a beat!  When that same

teenage child, who is in his senior year of high school and has been excited for

years about his senior spring break trip with the guys tells you "I really want to

deepen my relationship with Christ and I would like to go serve God in Haiti with

our church youth group during my spring break trip"; that same heart that skipped

a beat, swelled with joy, excitement and pride! 

Jordan is VERY excited to be traveling with 39 other wonderful people in our

church who are going to Haiti to work in three orphanages, help build and paint

buildings and share the message of Christ and His love!  We couldn't be more

excited for the experience Jordan will have and how God will use him during this


As I shared in our Christmas letter, Nicholas has transformed before our eyes

since moving home!  This child has gone from a quiet child who enjoys golf and

hanging with a friend or two, to a social butterfly!  He managed the middle school

football team and is managing the basketball team in an attempt to get to know

others.  He has grown 6 inches in the last year!  More than his social and physical

growth I'm excited about starting to see spiritual growth with him too!  Nicholas

text me yesterday and it started out by saying "Mom I need you to do me a

favor".  I'll be honest, I was thinking it was going to involve bringing him a turkey

sub from Subway as he had an away basketball that evening.  When I went on to

read the text it said "will you pray for Andrews' mom because she is having a

really serious surgery and she needs our prayers".  I was shocked!  I was excited! 

I immediately prayed for Andrews mom, their family and the medical team.  We

couldn't be more proud of Nicholas and the young man he is becoming! 

Jan 6, 2012

Yum! Cheesecake!

We've had the cheesecake from Cheesecake Factory and it is delicious....

We had a delicious chocolate cheesecake during our China Playgroups New Years

Eve get together....

But everyone once in a while the simple homemade Jello brand cheesecake totally

hits the spot!  And the smiles that come from licking the spatula...priceless!!!

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Jan 4, 2012

Dressing "Dylish"

Gabriella had been counting the days down until she was able to return to school,

 quite a contrast to the boys who would have increased Christmas break

indefinitely!  The night before returning to school she came up to me

and said "Mommy, we need to pick out a dylish outfit for me to wear to school

doo-morrow".  I almost fell over!!!  She was worried about dressing "dylish aka

stylish" at age 4!!!!

She asked for pictures after her coat was on however she did wear a very "dylish"

long black, pink and white sweater with a tie that her cousin Keenzie gave her for

Christmas.  She chose to pair it with a black shirt underneath and her beloved

 jeggings that she calls her "soft jeans" that she has five pairs of and wears

almost everyday!  She topped it off with her new little Ugg boots and of course

 the black headband and pink flower in her hair! 

 After school we had a girls day and went out for lunch at one of her favorite

places, Chick-Fil-A; then did what all girls do with Christmas money their

grandma gave them...we went shopping!  Gabriella scored four new sweaters, four

 shirts, 2 cute valentine  day shirts, tights and socks!  Gotta love the after

Christmas sales!  Thank you so much Grandma "Joe" she enjoyed her shopping

trip very much!!

Jan 2, 2012

The 2011 Christmas Marathon...

Nicholas carrying Gabriella down on Christmas morning is turning into a very

sweet tradition!  The truth is Nicholas was up VERY early Christmas morning and

 he couldn't wait to wake his sister up!

Gabriella's Christmas list changed many times through the Christmas season,

which honestly I loved because she is a very happy and content little girl.  The

"things" she wanted most were to bake cookies together, shop

together, wrap presents together, send Christmas cards out together (she's a

great envelope sealer:),  spend time with Daniel who was in town from North

Carolina and visit with her  family.  However, one item that did get repeated on

her several list were a Dora kitchen and she was very excited when she opened it!

Nicholas on the other hand made it crystal clear in what he wanted for Christmas

and that was a new set of golf clubs.  Nicholas has grown A - L - O - T the last

year and truly needed a new set of clubs. 

He told Santa that he would like Taylor Made clubs and between Santa and

Grandma and Papa his wish came true!

He was a very happy boy!!

Alphie was another item that occasionally landed on Gabriella's list.  She enjoys

learning and playing with him; which for our little I.T. girl who is a whiz on the

computer it's nice to see her playing with something a little

more simplistic:)

So this is something "Mrs Claus" saw on a midnight trip to the North Pole with

two of her elves, she  thought that any little girl would LOVE to open this on

Christmas morning....and she happened to be right!  The

princess barbies were a big hit!

Our favorite present under the tree was this one.  Gabriella brought it home from

pre-school the last day beforeChristmas break and was SO,  SO proud and excited

to put it under the tree for us!!  Inside was the most beautiful handmade angle

you have ever seen!!

After opening gifts at our house we drove 2 hours south to Papa and Grandmas. 

It was wonderful to see all my siblings there and we always have a great time

getting together!

Lovin their smiles in this pic:)

Daniel, Jordan and Papaw:)

The UGG tradition began the Christmas before we traveled to bring Gabriella

home from China.  Papa and Grandma decided that Gabriella and mommy needed

 matching UGGS.  We both LOVE our UGGS however Gabriella grew out of hers

 this year so they decided she needed a new pair and she LOVES them:)

After leaving Papa and Grandmas we then drove an hour east to Curtis parents

and had a very nice visit with them and our brother and sister in law!  As we

simply tried to pack too much in during one day, most of the family had already

left for home. We then drove  two hours north to return home.   When we lived in

central IN it was easier to do everything on Christmas day, however we have now

learned that if we want to  truly enjoy Christmas, and the meaning of the season,

and spend quality time  with our families,  a Christmas marathon is a definite

memory...and one that will need "adjusting" for the years to come.  Praying you

 all had a very Merry Christmas and  Happy New Year!!

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