Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A new addition... a Greek Tortoise

Guess what Santa brought us this year?? 
A Tortoise, a less than two inch Greek tortoise to be exact! 

Let me introduce you to our newest member...Spike Franklin Smith
I never thought I'd adore a reptile but I DO, he is so tiny and cute.

Gavin carries a stuffed turtle to school in his pocket most days and 
this little one is just about the same size.

 I'm acting like a first time mom, worrying about how he is acting, pooping, sleeping and eating. I'm so much more comfortable with the human kind of babies at this point. On to a new learning curve...

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve at the Waffle House

Our annual tradition of Christmas Eve breakfast at the Waffle House in our PJ's 2011!
We arrived later than normal, about 9:30, the littles were happily playing with their birthday presents so we got to sleep in a bit.
Two years ago Santa rode up on his Harley and the littles were thrilled to see him, last year he had already eaten his breakfast, but he did leave some notes behind for us. This year when I asked if he had already come, the waitress pointed over my shoulder and there he was in his red overalls and big smile! Was Camille ever excited! Gavin and Aiden too. 

 We enjoyed our breakfast...

 Camille was having a hard time containing her excitement!

 Santa waved her over, put her up on the counter and chatted for a bit.

 Gavin just couldn't believe he was there.

 And the most perfect poster that reads "A Holiday Tradition"
Oh the MAGIC of CHRISTmas! Thank you Jesus for coming into this world and filling our hearts with joy so that we can have peace in our hearts to ENJOY the small moments in life!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Happy 5th Birthday Gavin

Gavin's first photo of his 5th year!
 How appropriate he has piggy in his hands at the side of our bed. His first stop each morning.

 Sneaky, our Elf, decorated the kitchen in Green for Gavin. He got a little tangled up in the streamers.

 Timmy and Tommy turtle in his pocket with a yoda ribbon and a 5 yr old ribbon.
 Going to school

 Gavin's teacher decorated the room for him!

That night our family took Gavin bowling for the first time. 
It was a good idea to see if he would like it before his party this weekend! 
Happy Birthday sweet boy we love you so much!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Tea Party

My Mom and Sister-in-Law, Heather, were in town to see Aiden in the Nutcracker so we passed off all 3 boys on Geoff then the girls went out for tea.
 Camille brought her own mini tea set

 Our server brought our her water in this adorable tea cup with a lemon slice on her saucer

 She was a dainty little girl and loved being the center of attention.
Though we need to work on the pinky finger lift!

 Gently tinking her spoon on the side like a pro

Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Nutcracker!

Aiden performed as a Party Boy in the Nutcracker with the Georgia Ballet Company this year! He did a great job and Geoff and I are so proud of him. He was in three different shows and was on stage for about 25 minutes with two of his best friends!

My favorite part that Aiden was in is in the beginning as the party goers walk to the party the snow begins to fall. Aiden pretends to make a snowball and throw it at his friend Steve, whom falls down then jumps up to tussle with Aiden. They then get escorted off stage by their "dad". Aiden said his favorte part was when he got to disrupt the party by blowing horns with the boys. I wish I was able to take some photos of the performance but cameras were not allowed. So here are some of the past 3 days back stage, before and after the show.

After his first show


The boys had to entertain themselves back stage
I think they look quite handsome in their costumes

Camille in anticipation for her big brother to come on stage.

After the show we were happy to see some wonderful friends from church

Baba, Aunt Heather and Tristan all came into town to watch Aiden in the Nutcracker

One of their positions in the boys dance.

 Again playing back stage making paper airplanes

I don't think Aiden would have taken to flowers after the show. I decided he was lucky to be invited to be a part of such a wonderful show so Lucky Charms cereal was his reward for a job well done!

Monday, November 28, 2011

The first of Christmas Tradtions

A few years ago the littles received a Disney Christmas train from Gramps that was his last Christmas with us, he passed away the following month in January. That last Christmas with him was so joyous. He managed to get out of his wheelchair to climb our 13 stairs, he ate wedges of oranges with Aiden and munched on pistachios. He "rested" his eyes a lot always denying sleeping, even if he was snoring! He was such a laid back man in his later years.

Apparently the train has become a tradition, it wasn't intended to be, but it sure did happen! All year long the littles ask to bring the train out and my answer is always no, mostly because it is a bit fragile and a PAIN to put away. The year long anticipation makes it their first request once they see us pull down the Christmas totes! Sure enough it happened again this year, when we announced it was time to decorate they asked for the train immediately.

This morning Gavin and Camille laughed and giggled together as the train went through the tunnel they created with our coffee table. They never met their Great Grandpa and I'm not even sure they know this train of joy came from him. I need to make sure to tell them.

Thanks Gramps for continuing to bring JOY into our lives.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving Party

From my childhood, my favorite Charlie Brown special was the Great Pumpkin but as an adult, watching them again with the littles, I fell in love with the Thanksgiving one. An impromptu party where "Chuck" graciously hosts his friends that invited themselves over and the special is usually followed by the Mayflower one which is my ALL time fav. It is filled with accurate historical facts, faith and fun.

We recently borrowed the movie from a friend and Aiden casually said "I wish we could have a dinner like that one Charlie Brown made"... an idea was born! Our party had similarities and differences it was quite impromptu (as we should be out of town right now) and different as our guests were invited, each boy picked 3 friends to come watch and Camille was joined by her BFF Ruthie and her family.

In case you don't remember, Charlie Brown said all he knows how to make is cold cereal and toast. The menu chef Snoopy landed on was buttered toast, popcorn, jelly beans and pretzel sticks. Guess what we ate?

 I just couldn't stand it, I had to throw in some fruit and veggies... though completely optional. Each and every kid did opt out!

The agenda for the afternoon was to first watch A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving

 Next each child took turns cranking the popcorn popper as the 
smell and noise of popping corn filled the air

 We all gathered hand in hand and blessed our food. Snoopy even joined in!

Gavin had the honor of throwing the plates to each guest (just like Snoopy). 
I can't even explain how excited he was to do this! Then the boys served our guests "dinner".

Then we all had our feast of all feasts! 
It has already been requested to happen again next year, I think that sounds like a good idea.

Tomorrow we will all pile into the minivan (instead of an old green station wagon) and sing "Over the River and Through the Woods" as we travel to Grandma's house...

Happy Thanksgiving week!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Oreo Turkey Dessert

Our family was invited to a friend's new home for a dinner get together. I offered to bring dessert, I think these Turkeys I found on pintrest turned out super cute! Why did the kids get the labor intensive chocolate laden dessert and all I brought for the adults was a store bought cake. Good thing our hostess made some decadent pumpkin bars as well as a delightful dinner. We had a fabulous time laughing all night long and catching up with friends.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Rainy November day with Tornado Warnings

The high was to be mid 70's today, it is November right?!? I woke up kind of grumpy, it was just one of those things when plans don't work out as I had hoped in my head and our family is having to alter what we want to do for what we need to do and have committed to do. Such as life but it still had me out of sorts.  Gavin, Camille and I go to bible study on Wed. I really didn't want to be grumpy so I put on as happy a face I could muster, tried not to be short with the kids and moved on with the morning.

Bible study was great and got me back on track in a much better mood. We are studying in Hebrews Ch2:1 "We must pay more careful attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away." How easy it is for me to drift from Jesus to not stay grounded in who he is and what he has done for me. One of the points in the lecture was: Spiritual drifting begins by neglecting the salvation that securely ties believers to the Lord Jesus Christ. He is my anchor I want to stay securely tied to Him and when I don't pay attention I begin to drift. I was thinking how my own selfishness makes me drift from my kids, family, friends all those that are important to me.

Today I'm going to be intentional and pay attention to who Jesus is and who he wants me to be. My husband and the littles often get the brunt of my moods and feelings... Today is an intentional day to show them love that Christ showed me. Guess how it manifested itself? Through paper airplanes just spending time playing!  We have a wonderful book that shows step by step instructions on how to build 10 planes.

We built 5 different models and had to make two of each so Gavin and Aiden would have their own. We were also in the middle of a tornado warning so distraction for Camille was key, she gets really scared in storms. Finally the storms passed and the sun came out, I felt safe enough to put Camille down for a nap. Then Aiden and Gavin had a grand time with plane races, trick wars and other stunts. After nap time Camille and Gavin began playing as they often do, they are two peas in a pod!  I heard muffled "Mommy, mommy where are you?" I honestly thought they were in the basement for a moment then realized where they were, and played along until they popped out of the ottoman together.

For dinner we made a pizza menu of all the topping options we had at home, took orders then took turns making our own pizza on gluten free crust. It was a huge hit and it was a great ending to a not so great beginning. We had fun just hanging out together.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Halloween 2011 Peter Pan

This was the earliest our family theme was decided upon! After we saw Peter Pan, 7 months ago, Aiden announced that was what he wanted to be for Halloween. I immediately gave it a two thumbs up. Here we are as Captain Hook, Wendy, Peter Pan, TickTock Crock and Tinker Bell. My mom again made up some wonderful costumes! She is amazing behind a sewing machine... I did make Tick Tock Croc's tail though.

 Precious Camille as Tinker Bell.
Her tutu was made from 4 large sparkly squares alternating them so the points varied then attached to a waistband. Her vest has individually sewn leaves, some sparkly and some not. Dollar store wings, little tennis shoes sprayed green with a pom pom (the tink slippers were too uncomfortable for trick or treating). And of course her hair in a bun.

 Gavin as Tick Tock Crocodile
Don't you just love his santa jammies turned inside out... Why is it so hard to find green sweats?
My mom made his Crocodile head I altered it to fit on his hat, and I made his tail all by myself (I'm quite proud about that, I've always joked that I'm great with a glue gun but don't get along well with sewing machines... that is until now) His clock was from Party City, my mom also made his claws from socks. I figured out a way to hide the bright red band on his ankles by tucking them into his socks see the last photo from Halloween Night.

Aiden as Peter Pan
My mom again with her magic made his shirt, hat and boot covers. I got the honors to add the red feather, found a belt at a garage sale and a dagger at the dollar store.

Captain Hook was made in full by my talented Mom. The coat is amazing, I wish now that it wasn't made out of felt so it would keep well for many years. The neck ruffles were 2 layers and sewn on binding to tie around his neck. She made the hat from a pattern but did the boot covers free hand. 

Wendy was the simplest. A store bought blue night gown, slippers, teddy bear, big white bow in my hair. For my necklace, I found a large acorn drilled a hole in the top, added a jump ring from my jewelry making days then put it on a cord. Remember the acorn saved her life from the lost boys' arrow. That pesky Tinker Bell always stirring up trouble!