Friday, November 21, 2014

Christmas Decorating

I know it's only November, but our Christmas decor is already up. This past weekend we actually had no plans. We usually don't have a lot of long-standing plans, but here lately we have decided to do a lot of things last minute. This weekend we did a lot of nothing. It was actually really nice to not have anything to do. We decided that since Sunday would be our 2nd day of nothing to do, that we would put up our Christmas things. I always feel rushed this time of year because it seems like we always have somewhere to be. It was great to know that we had all afternoon after church to do it.

My tree is a collection of ornaments that my parents bought me starting when I was little. Every year, everyone got an ornament. My grandparents have continued that tradition with getting everyone and special ornament on Christmas. It is because of them and my parents that we have a tree full.

This little guy was given to me last year by the doctor that I used to work for. Each of the girls in the office got one. I think he's a neat addition for under our tree.

Another tradition in our house is our stockings. Each person has a stocking that gets filled with little treats on Christmas Eve. This is something fun in addition to the presents under the tree.

These are the kids trees. They have their ornaments that us and my grandparents have gotten them the past few Christmases. Their trees are starting to run out of room now too...I love it!

After we put up Christmas decor we made Christmas sugar cookies.

I still haven't taken down my fall decorations outside or in the dining room. I have so many cute things the kids have made that I'll wait to take those down until later.

Have you decorated for Christmas yet?

Sunday, November 9, 2014


Hello again! It's been quite awhile since I've even opened my blog. Sometimes I just get disinterested, but for the past 6 weeks or so I've just felt pretty bad. I probably have better than most pregnancies, but when I'm right in the middle of feeling very nauseous, tired and having three kids + a husband who need me, I don't feel like it's very easy. My wonderful husband has been A. MAZING the 2 months. He has reassured me that the house doesn't have to be clean when he gets home, dinner doesn't always have to be made and he picks up the slack so much. I am very, very thankful for that.
I am starting to feel better though. I'm not sure that our empty refrigerator and piles of laundry waiting to be folded reflect that, but I am. I feel like doing things with the kids again and maybe even doing some blogging. (There will probably still be laundry piled up). It's pretty amazing the amount of laundry three kids five and under can go through. 

I did want to go back and blog about a few fun things we did in October. One of the first things we did was our annual camping trip. This started over thirty years ago with my Dad and his brothers. It used to be a squirrel hunt. I remember doing that every year growing up. It was an awesome tradition. The most fun part was counting up the number of people who were there and seeing everyone sit around the fire and talk. My uncle Ben always brought his four-wheelers, my Dad would take me out to hunt--and he always brought a pocket-full of mini Snickers bars. 

Over time the hunt has evolved into a much smaller fishing trip. None of my cousins have really wanted to continue the tradition lately, so my Dad, siblings, their kids and us all go for a weekend fishing/camping trip. This year we went up on the Little Red River in Heber Springs. We are now a large family of kayaks, so that makes it really fun. 

Isn't that awesome?

We had such a great time. I got to paddle around the river ALONE :-) which is something I rarely get to do these days. I'm glad we have family that still makes time to be together and do things like this.

The other thing I wanted to blog about was Halloween. This year we had Olaf, Elsa and Anna.....SURPRISE! I'm pretty sure everyone went as Elsa this year. I hadn't planned on doing that, but Jackson wanted to be Olaf, so I couldn't pass up the opportunity to be themed.

We had fun eating with family and walking around the neighborhood Trick or Treating. Ava really got into it this year.

October was a fun month and we got to make so many memories with the kids.

In other news....

Baby 'M' is growing great at 12 weeks!

Hopefully I'll be posting more regularly. I'm excited to get into the holiday season and spend more time with family!

Friday, September 19, 2014

A Letter From My Husband

I'm so excited to say that I have a guest post for today. My husband, who is a fabulous writer, decided he wanted to write a little something for the ol' blog. It may have made me tear up a bit. I have been blessed with the most amazing husband and daddy to my kids. Enjoy!

I ran across a song yesterday that I used to listen to when I was younger, “Sweet Pea” by Amos Lee. It brings back many memories. When I heard this song before, like 5 years ago, I had no daughters but the song made me think of a precious little girl that I could just pick up and dance with. Now that God has greatly blessed me with 2 daughters, we will dance together. I love my children so much. I do often tell them and express it but rarely do I ever sit back and really think of it. They are truly a gift from God and the only regrets I have are the times that I let my selfishness get in the way of my seeing that. Many times due to my own selfishness my vision, perspective and attitude become clouded and instead of seeing this wonderful gift all I see is burden. Well that has to change. Yes my children at times can be difficult and loud and messy and crazy and maybe even scary (Ava I love you) but I couldn't imagine a life without them. In fact looking back it is those things aforementioned that I love the most the messy times after dinner when Emma and Ava look like they bathed in their dinner instead of eating it, or the times when jack is jumping from furniture to furniture like it’s a gladiatorial obstacle course. My kids are just that, kids and I hope they don't grow up but I know all too soon they will. And now to our surprise, or maybe not, God has done it again- blessed us with the most amazing gift possible, another child! It will be an amazing bundle of loud, crazy, messy, difficult, beauty and regardless of the lack of sleep, lack of alone (with the wife) time, lack of silence, lack of me time there is I endeavor to enjoy it because again, we only have so much time with these gifts before they are all grown and out of here. I endeavor to change, I endeavor to see this time of my life as the precious time it is. Although this was not how I planned it (and thank God Almighty that my life didn't work out like I planned it in my mind) but God, I will have to say, did an amazing job. I know people will have concerns and jokes to crack about my herd of children but I don’t care. For Isaiah 55 says "God's ways are above our ways and God's thoughts are above our thoughts" and that’s what I am seeking "God's way" and I will not be the man to stand in his way. I love the family God has blessed me with and I am excited to experience this journey we are on.
I love you Amanda and thank you for sticking it out with this hard headed guy. I think I'm beginning to come around. You are an amazingly patient and kind mother and wife. I love you Jackson you wonderful genius boy of mine your heart is so kind, your songs are so wonderful and your imagination is so creative. God has great plans for you. I love you my Ava Rose. You are sweet, strong and beautiful. God will use your wonderful strong will someday to glorify His name. I love you my Emma Belle. Your sweet smile always warms me up. Your continual happiness makes the world around you more beautiful. I know God will use you and bless you. And to you, new-comer I don't know you yet but I love you. It’s amazing, I don't know how but I do I love you and know God has a specific purpose for your life. We are excited to be able to share in it with you.
Always in Love
You husband and daddy
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