Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Meet Clarence

Saturday night we decorated our tree. It seems to have triggered a bit of North Pole activity. Sunday morning we woke up to this.

There was a little green and red elf hanging from our chandelier! On the table was a letter introducing him as Clarence, our family's elf. According to the letter, Santa Claus knew we decorated our tree and he sent Clarence to give him daily reports on the yahoos. Santa said that from now on, every year after we put up our tree, Clarence will arrive from the North Pole. He'll spend the days listening and watching the boys and then, at night while we're asleep, he'll travel back to the North Pole to give Santa a report on the boys. The letter also said that only mommy and daddy can touch Clarence, or he will lose his special elfin magic. We've already heard of another family who's elf had to go back to the North Pole because one of their boys touched him and he lost his magic. We are really hoping that doesn't happen to Clarence!

Santa really emphasized in his letter that Christmas is about Jesus, and that he (Santa) is just another fun way to celebrate Jesus' birthday. He also ended the letter by telling us that each morning, Clarence will be in a new watching spot, so for us to have fun finding him each day. Andrew has waked up both mornings and immediately begun the search. Yesterday we found him on top of the tv cabinet, and today he is on the mantle in the living room. Santa also mentioned that elves love to make mischief so to watch out for any of Clarence's messes. Hmmmm. Wonder what that means?

I think Clarence has been able to give good reports so far. Hopefully he will be able to do so the rest of December! Here's a close up of our new little friend.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Fanksgiving 2010

We hosted Thanksgiving dinner again this year. Gigi and Papack, Nana and Pop-O, and Granny and Grandaddy joined us for a yummy supper. Nana brought vegetable casserole and sweet potato souffle. Gigi brought squash casserole, cranberry salad, and the pickle assortment. Granny brought rolls, ice and tea. I made the dressing, green beans, and collards, and Brent did his awesome turkey. We had apple, pecan and pumpkin pies for dessert with whipped cream and prailine sauce. None of it was very good, but we all did our best to completely stuff ourselves so no one's feelings were hurt. Of course I am kidding, it was all delicious.

The collards were a new addition to our menu this year. They are Brent's absolute favorite, and Andrew has really taken to them this year. As he was shoveling them into his mouth, he kept saying, "These cahwords are delicious! They are my favorite vegetable! I wuv cahwords!" He even ate a second helping!

Here are a few pictures from the afternoon and evening. This was Jonathan's last first holiday, and he did great until around six o'clock. So he ate his first turkey and dressing on Friday. Dressing was a big hit, and I think he'll grow into everything else.

The weather was nice enough to sit on the deck for a bit while Pop-O opened his birthday presents.

We used our dining room for the first time! We borrowed a couple of tables and pushed them together to make one humongous table. It was so nice to all sit together.

For dessert, Grandaddy got to eat on the red plate, so his picture is now in our Red Plate Book.
I always take orders for dessert and then we just serve everyone at the table, rather than going through a line again. The most popular choice each year is a "sampler platter" with a small piece of each pie and the toppings on all the slices. I started with Grandaddy and he wanted just apple with a bit of prailine sauce. Then Granny said she would like just a taste of each pie with the sauce on top. Andrew was listening carefully to her and when I asked him what he would like, he said, "I want what she said!" Since it was a holiday, he got his request. Our boys don't have much sugar, but they do get to enjoy special occasions. Coleman wanted only pecan pie, and he did a pretty good job with it too.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Blessing Tree

A few weeks ago, Brent took Andrew and Coleman on a hike. They were tasked with bringing home pinecones and some branches from the woods. We are decorating with the pinecones for Thanksgiving and Christmas, and will make our birdfeeders in January. We used the branches to make our Blessing Tree for this year.

I stuck the branches into a flowerpot with styrofoam. Then, we made construction paper leaves in different colors. Each night before we eat supper, the boys each name something new that they are thankful for. We write their thoughts on a leaf and tie it onto the tree.

They have both contributed really good thankful thoughts this year. And, there have been things a little more in line with preschooler thinking. Some of our best ones have been family members, our food, God and Jesus. Then we had things like our trip to the fair and Star Wars games and lightsabers.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Family Hike

Saturday we went on our first family hike. We have some woods just across the street with very good trails. Brent, Andrew and Coleman have been several times this fall, but this was the first time Jonathan and I went with them. Andrew and Coleman picked out walking sticks on one of their earlier hikes. Brent leaves his walking stick at the trail head each time, but the boys are afraid something will happen to their sticks if they leave them behind. So, their walking sticks stay on a shelf in the garage.

A group shot at the trail head. Coleman had just tripped over a big rock and hurt his feelings, so he is a little pouty in this picture.
Taking a break on a fallen log

Mr. Happy loved hiking!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Flashback Friday

Last year, before Jonathan was born, we took the boys to Build-a-Bear. I wanted them to make a bear for Jonathan to give him when he got home. Somehow our good camera was forgotten, so we made the pictures with Brent's phone. Then when we got home, I forgot to upload them to the computer and do a post about it. I rediscovered the pictures when we uploaded Brent's phone the other day, so here is the post a year later.

It was a really fun thing to do, and Andrew especially understood that they were making a gift for the baby. He and Coleman chose a dark brown bear. We also recorded Andrew saying, "I love you Jonathan," on a device that was stuffed inside the bear's hand and can be pressed and plays Andrew's voice. Here they are waiting to get the bear stuffed. You can see Jonathan in this picture too!

The girl was explaining something to them and they listened very carefully.

Who knows.

helping stuff the bear

This was their first trip to Build-a-Bear and they were fascinated with the stuffing machine.
They also got to "wash" the bear with an air bath and give him a good combing. We didn't get any pictures of that because I think someone was losing interest quickly. We brought the bear home in his box and put him in the nursery to wait for Jonathan. I am so sad that we didn't get any pictures of the boys giving him to Jonathan. Brent was on call the day we came home from the hospital, and it was a little crazy. Andrew and Coleman couldn't wait to give the bear to their new brother and played the recording over and over for him.
Jonathan absolutely loves teddy bears right now. He lights up when someone hands him one. He smiles especially big when he hears Andrew's voice saying, "I love you Jonathan!" Here he is giving his bear a hug and a kiss.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Phone Photos

Recently, Brent downloaded all the photos from his phone onto our computer. Apparently, we need to do this more often. I was amazed to see photos from before we left Winston Salem on there! Here are a few of the 100+ shots he took.

Andrew at the library in McDonough.

This was right before we left NC. Look how little Andrew looks!

That same week. What happened to those two little boys?

One of our Thursday playdates with our sweet friends Carly and Joiner.

This was during the move while we stayed at Gigi and Papack's. Coleman and George were having a little quality time.

When we go to church with Gigi and Papack, Mr. Bruce is always so kind to play and sing for our boys after the service. This particular day they sang "Jesus Loves Me" and then Andrew asked for "Do Lord." They both clapped and sang right along with Bruce.

Sometime after we moved in, Andrew was caught playing with the trashcans, and I was caught with my hands on my hips. Total shocker I know. Can you spot Jonathan in this pic?

Playing with the sand table.

One naptime last December.

A morning at the Children's Museum. These boys love a walkie talkie.
It seems we did get a picture of Jonathan in a Varsity hat on his first trip.

Our little daredevil.
I found a few more pics that I'm hoping to post tomorrow in a Flashback Friday.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

High Karate

When I pick the boys up from school each day, I check their backpacks while we are still in the parking lot. I can't wait to see what they've been up to that morning. Andrew has been taking karate on Wednesdays this fall. When I opened his backpack yesterday, it had his white belt inside! Apparantly this means that he is now an orange belt! He was very excited to put it on and give us a little demonstation yesterday.

I believe this is what he called the machine gun kick.