December 2011 archive

Christmas

Every year our Christmas has a different feel. This year we spent Christmas morning with just the 4 of us and it was oh so sweet. I loved watching Christmas experienced through Gress. We talked about why we celebrate Christmas and although I am not sure his 4 year old brain can quite grasp the real meaning of all of that, I know on his level he gets it. I am looking forward to the day he really does get it and Christmas can really be more about that moment in time. This year, the kid in him loved opening the gifts and playing with all of his new things. And sweet Mcree loved the bows, the ripped paper and the little things that had nothing to do with gifts. As I sit here looking around at all of the decorations that will soon be tucked away for the year, I really want next year to be more about Jesus and celebrating His birth and Him in our lives during that time. Isn’t that what Christmas is really about?

Soon after Christmas, we drove to Birmingham to see family. We got the chance to hang out with Rad’s family and got to see Kaye and Maggie before Maggie was on a 4 month tour with the Shrek Musical. We loved hanging out with Grandmommie and PawPaw and Uncle Gee and Aunt Bonnie. I loved the shared meals, quality puzzle time, great conversations, and ping pong tournaments. And I loved watching Gress and Mcree get loved on by his Grandparents and cousins. We also got extra time with sweet Katie after Maggie left and Gress and Katie were like brother and sister at times. While driving to see old friends while we were there, Katie and Gress were having conversations in the backseat and she said to Gress, “Gress, you don’t have to tell me, I know everything?” And Gress said, “well I know everything about the Bible. I know about baby Jesus being born in Bethlehem, and about the shepherds and the wise men, and about David and the big guy, and about the King that wanted the young boys killed, I know everything.”  It was pretty funny to be an observer of all of that!

It had been too long since we had been to Birmingham. And even longer (4 years) since we have seen the Hutto Family. Brent Hutto is a long time friend of Rad’s and we love being around their great kids. What an amazing family and the girls were so very sweet to our kids while we sat for 2+ hours at Crackel Barrel catching up.

On on our way back to Savannah, we had a quick stop off to love on sweet Layla. Mcree just giggles at her and Gress just wants to cuddle with her.

Our hearts our full this Christmas. We are so grateful for this last year and what God has taught us. We are excited to see how God uses us this next year to glorify Him.

Here’s wishing you a moment of reflection to see how you have grown this last year and smiling with anticipation about what the next year holds.

Friends

My heart smiles big when I get to catch up with friends. Hal, Sarah and Rundle came for a visit (away from their family Pecan Farm) Christmas Eve. We loved watching the boys play together and LOVED some quality time! THANKS Lanier’s for taking the time to come to Savannah.

Luckily, Sarah loves capturing the moment as much as I do so, with dueling cameras, we got a group photo! Also, I love taking people’s portraits so that you can look back and remember that moment in time and see how you have changed and grown. THANKS Sarah for letting me capture your beauty that day!

Laundry

I used to be able to follow through with tasks….back before I had little people trailing messes behind me. Laundry is one of those things that gets washed, dried, re dried, re fluffed, re fluffed, put on the bed, moved, put back on the bed, folded, put into baskets, moved again and finally put away….GEEZ! I can’t seem to follow through with a load of laundry.

It is so cute to watch Mcree stare into the washer with fascination. He even kisses (ok or open mouth slobbers) the front window. Just yesterday I realized he knew how to do laundry. Not only were clothes taken out of the washer, but he outright added cycles and stopped the washer mid cycle. Looks like my laundry cycle of getting it done just got even longer.

Traditions

We found ourselves with an overcommitted schedule this last week and I just sighed, knowing that I really wanted to savor this week leading up to Christmas. I didn’t feel I could relish in these moments if I was so busy. I didn’t want to miss out on the traditions we were setting in place for the boys to remember. One of those favorite memories is getting in the car, sipping on hot cocoa or eating candy canes and driving around to look at lights while listening and singing to Christmas music. We drove around last night, music blaring and found some homes that you tune your radio to and watch an amazing animated light show synched with the music. I think Gress loved it the most. He practically stuck his whole body outside of the car and danced, played air guitar and wiggled around to the beat of the music. Mcree watched him and got silly too throwing his little body around while giggling. We also took lawn tours of people’s amazing holiday displays…and unbelievably, one house was serving coffee and hot chocolate. I love watching my kids in awe and love knowing that these memories will (hopefully)  be ones that they remember for years to come.

On a side note, Rad was sillily dancing to Debbie Gibson’s version of “Sleigh Ride” and Gress said, “Dad, you shouldn’t dance like that because you should concentrate on the road.” My laughing at the crazy dancing only made him dance more!

After we had seen all the lights, I asked Gress what his favorite house was and he said, “all of them. But I really loved the house with the baby Jesus in the manger.” 🙂

My sis

I can’t remember the last time I was with my sis on her actual birthday. I got the lucky chance to spend the day with her this time.  I took a short trip to Atlanta to see her and let the Gress and Mcree (and me) get to hug on Layla. It is so easy to be around her and because we have the same sense of humor, we laugh a LOT! We were squealing with excitement watching the sea turtle catch fish, and we laughed out loud interpretive dancing to the african music during lunch (don’t worry, no one was around). Mcree and especially Gress love Layla! So that was sweet to see all of them together! I also love watching my sis be such a sweet mom. We also belly laughed the whole way through our karaoke singing later that night. LOVE YOU KARIN! Wish we lived closer!

 

Ahhh, the Farm

My heart beats a little faster at the thought of going to the farm. I know Gress’ does too. There is so much to love there. First of all the “farmer” and the “farmer’s wife” (affectionally called by Gress), aka Andy and Melissa. They are genuine, loving, teaching, God trusting people we are so lucky to call friends. We try to go weekly but life has gotten so busy lately that we haven’t been out in a few weeks. This last Saturday we ALL got a lesson in something. Should I save the best for last….yes I think I will.

First off, Gress collected the eggs from the hen’s nesting boxes. We have gotten to see a mama and her chicks grow up over the past months, and Gress has learned how to fend off Mr. Orpington, the charging rooster. Later that night he was singing nursery rhymes to his eggs and wanted to push them around in a stroller (just before we fried one up!). Gress is learning about seeds, and how to grow vegetables. He likes hanging out in the field, plowing, throwing dirt, and getting dirty. They have a greenhouse there and it smells horrible to most because of the chicken manure combination in the dirt. Gress walks in and says, “it smells good in here.”  I just smile. Gress also learned about bunnies, known on the farm as “meat rabbits.” These aren’t pets, they are specifically bred for eating. I have started to learn that life on a farm is very functional and EVERYTHING on this farm is bred or there for a purpose. They compost all of their scraps. Apparently the farmer has been teaching Gress about this. This morning he looked at me and said, “mom, we should compost this banana peel. Can we start composting?”

For lunch we had a homemade soup from vegetables saved from the summer’s harvest. Everything in the soup was grown by their hands. It was complemented by grilled cheese with homemade bread. Are you salivating yet? We shared the meal in their welcoming home, next to the Christmas tree that is from the farm. I giggle a little because Melissa jokes that it is more like a twig but, I smile, knowing how the farm is changing her view on life…and mine too.

One of the cooler things Gress learned about was bees. The farmer sometimes wears his bee keepers outfit but because Gress and Rad were helping him out, he so graciously went to the hive without it. Gress was in charge of smoking the hive. OH SO COOL. While all of this was going on, I was riding on the handle bars of Melissa’s bike as we were laughing out loud while touring the farm looking for treasures in the many out buildings, abandoned busses and hidden places that Ms. Urbanna so abundantly hoarded. Where was Mcree? Sleeping. It was nap time for him and his buddy Elijah (who Gress and Mcree LOVE!).

Yes, I surely saved the best for last. The WHOLE reason we went to the farm was so that Rad could assist in castrating the 5 wild baby hogs. The farmer needed help and after watching a short youtube video on how to do that sort of thing (THANK YOU YOUTUBE!), Rad and him attempted to catch the wild hogs, and do the surgery. We are talking wild pigs here. Not some little piglet you see on Charlotte’s Web. Apparently the catching of the pigs was quite humorous. Gress was front row for the whole shindig. When I went to check on him he was so matter of fact about the whole thing. It did take some explaining about why you have to do that, but I think he completely understands. There is something so amazing about him being amongst men, these brave guys, willing to step in and attempt something for the first time. I love these life lessons.

We ended the night with a walk to gaze at the stars with a cup of hot chocolate. More than just my belly was warm that night. Being with nature, with animals, learning about dirt, bees, where our food comes from, laughing out loud, building a friendship…and getting back to life’s basic needs really puts perspective on the “things” I THINK I need. THANK YOU Williams Family for teaching us more than just life on a farm!

 

Santa

The boys went to see Santa at Bass Pro Shops. Not sure what was cooler…all the trains, guns and gadgets you could play with or seeing Santa. I wasn’t sure how Mcree would do sitting on some hairy mans lap but he did great. He kept staring at Santa in awe. See for yourself…and make sure to notice the deer in the background! 🙂

Nana

We got to see Rad’s mom, aka “Nana” 2 weekends ago. She came to visit Savannah and we had lots of fun hanging out. We even went to see Santa. The boys loved hanging out with her. Gress always laughs out loud at her silliness. THANKS Sara for coming to visit!

Boys

This little boy is fun, silly, ticklish, approachable, loving, fearless, cuddly….and I can’t wait to see who he becomes.

And this big boy is caring, sensitive, welcoming, smart, helpful, and loves his little brother. He will even give up sleepless nights to be in the same room. Apparently someone taught him to pose. 🙂

Some of Gress’ funny sayings..

Gress: “Mom, I love God so much. When I see him I am going to run to him so fast, and give him a hug. I wish I could fly there. Why can’t I fly?” Me: “Because God made your body to walk.” Gress: “and run, and do hand stands.”

When I asked Gress what he was thankful for he said, “I can run really fast, I’m really strong and I have good toys.”

My Mom

I promised myself last year that I would have all my Christmas shopping done and Christmas cards shipped by December 1st. That wasn’t the case this year. I had nothing done by the time my mom came a week ago. LUCKILY, my mom is superwoman and helped me get it ALL done. That’s right, ALL DONE! THANKS MOM! Thanks for coming to see us, for loving on us, and for stepping in to help me with EVERYTHING. You are amazing! I could NOT have done it without you MOM!

We did manage to have lots of fun during her visit. We visited the Gingerbread Village via the water ferry and Gress and my mom made their own Gingerbread House. We also visited the new SCAD Museum of Modern Art.

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