• Christmas Traditions

    I LOVE Christmas break. For so many reasons. A big one being how much time we have had with Rad. It is great having him around ALL day for days on end! Another fun reason I love Christmas time is all the traditions we have that repeat year after year. One of our favorites is our advent reading every day and putting an ornament on our Jesse Tree branch. We also had fun looking at christmas lights last night while driving along to Christmas music.

    And today (finally after a week of little people asking over and over), the kids decorated their gingerbread houses. What little artists they are. This year they all decorated their houses on their own. I was simply the frosting spreader if needed. Mabry was so proud of herself and wanted no help adding candy to hers. I think Mcree actually consumed the most candy which isn’t a big surprise. And camo man Gress’ gingerbread house is actually a log cabin complete with Santa and a riffle. HA!

    Usually I am counting down the days to take down the tree and get my house back in order. But honestly, this Christmas seemed to creep up too fast on me and I find myself wanting more time to sit and savor the moment. I hope you get some quiet time in these next few days to really sit and remember what Christ’s birth means in this season of life for you!

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  • Generous Heart


    There is so much more to this photo than you can see, and so many things that make my heart smile. I heard Mabry and Gress playing in her room and then out she appeared dressed in her princess dress (that he put on her). She is also wearing a crown he made for her. He is constantly finding “treasures” buried in the backyard. Most of them are trash, some are fascinating pieces that no doubt carry a story. This particular piece was a black metal ornate piece that he affixed another part to wrap around her head. She was so proud to wear it.

    I love Gress’ heart toward her. He is constantly helping her, loving on her, and thinking of her. Friday was our last day of Co-op until the new year. For every assignment, extra credit, book read, handwriting completed, lots of questions answered…Gress got points that would be used to purchase things in the school store at the end of the semester. Since we have never done Co-op before he didn’t really know the weight of those points. Well, he had his chance to use his points to purchase items. Ya’ll, when he opened his backpack I almost cried. He got himself ONE THING…and the rest….they were all for us. A beautiful blue vase and candle for me, tools for Rad, a barbie and toys for Mabry, and lots of things for Mcree. I love his generous heart! He could have used all those points (because he earned them) for himself. But he didn’t. Thankful for who God made him!

  • It’s Santa

    For the last 7 years we have gone to Bass Pro to see Santa. It has been the same Santa all those years and often times when he wasn’t working on a Sunday while he was in town, he would come to church with Mrs. Claus (not dressed up of course but clearly you knew there was something special about both of them). Sadly this year, he is dying and wasn’t able to be sit as Santa this year. So when we showed up at Bass Pro and realized that this year you had to get an appointment and we would have to wait hours for the next appointment we were ok to not get a photo. That was until Mcree told us he really wanted a photo with Santa and of course Mabry really did too!  Luckily there was a GREAT mall santa with a great photographer and we were able to capture this sweet moment.

    Pretty sure this is the last year Gress will believe in the magic of Santa Claus. We really focus on Jesus’ life during this time and want those truths tucked deep in our kids hearts and want them to know the truth behind the meaning of Christmas. But to believe in a little something special makes this season really fun during these early years.

    Mabry ran up to Santa, hugged him and gave him a kiss ON THE LIPS! She said, “I wuv Santa!”


  • Reunited

    It was hard to see the girls weekend come to an end. We both realized what a true gift our time together was. Not that we didn’t want to see our families (because we truly missed them) but I think we both realized that it would be awhile before we got the chance to do this again. Both our families met back up at Serenbe and we had a nature hike, saw lots of farm animals, and shared a sweet meal together. Oh the cousins were so happy to be together. Tucking these moments deep in my heart! Thanks Rad and Ray for letting us have this sacred time together and for not sharing the chaos that might have ensued with us gone! Big hugs to you both!

    Today is Karin’s birthday! Happy 40th birthday Karin!! I’m so glad to have you as my sister!

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  • Rare Gift

    Distance makes the heart grow fonder. Definitely a statement I could say about my sister. We rarely get to be together, and when we are, there are usually kids to manage, and meals to make and a schedule to keep. It was a very RARE treat to get this last WHOLE weekend with my sister alone. We celebrated her entering into her 40th year by a weekend away to a very special place called Serenbe. There was quaint little restaurants, a beautiful movie set of a community, candlelight shopping with live acoustic music, hours in the spa (yes I said HOURS), and a special intimate bluegrass concert. We stayed in a little farm loft and slept in, and caught up on life, and laughed out loud (she is one of the few ones that can bring about my belly laugh). What a gift to me (and it wasn’t even my birthday!). I am honored she would choose me to ring in her new decade! We will definitely be planning this again!

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  • Resident Lizard Wrangler

    I love that he not only captures them from OUR SCHOOL ROOM! But that he gently holds them, examines them, and even pets them to calm them down. He has no shirt on because we were making handprints (hence the red stained hand). He has a way with these little creatures!

    There’s another lizard hiding out in our house but he has yet to reappear. He’s probably living in the Christmas tree. _mg_3194

  • Littlest Helper

    Oh this little girl loves to help. Sometimes Mabry can’t quite keep up to the speed of grocery unloading. This day we were done unloading lots of bags and I asked where Mabry was. I looked outside and she was standing in the same place holding the one item she decided to unload. She had been there for at least 5 minutes…in the same spot…wanting someone to notice that she was still there. Oh girls. You are so complicated. And sweet. And just different.  Then she placed the cauliflower on the ground and ran off to play. She has a lot to learn in the fine art of grocery management.  _mg_3204 _mg_3210 _mg_3219 _mg_3221 _mg_3233

  • Little Clan of Mine

    Our best adventures involve wet sand, a body of water and wide open spaces. The dog was an extra bonus to the day. It took some convincing to drop the to do list and have a moment together. And thankfully the kids didn’t feel the tug of what needed to be done vs what is always a great idea. I love this little clan of mine. img_0677img_0664 img_0673 img_0691 img_0704 img_0708img_0683

  • Short but Sweet

    We crammed a lot of fun in our short visit with Mimi and Cici. Rad and I even got to play a very competitive game of cards with them. Thanks Mimi and Cici for making your way to Savannah to hang with us! We loved seeing you!img_0737 img_0751 img_0754 img_0755