Thursday, December 31, 2009

Last Day of December

Happy New Year's Eve! The weather outside was frightful (cold and wet), but that didn't stop our party of five from getting in one last Christmas tradition before the New Year. First thing this morning, we loaded up and headed to Lenox Mall. Today is the Chick-Fil-A Bowl here in Atlanta, and I have to be honest when I tell you the large amount of obnoxious orange we saw all over the city was nauseating! Ha! Anyway, I had just had to share. Last year, during the week of Thanksgiving (Papa and Gigi were visiting), we took the children to ride the Pink Pig for the first time. This was something I enjoyed doing with my family as a little girl, so I am thrilled to pass along this tradition to my sweet babies. Our schedule did not seem to permit time for us to enjoy the pink pig before Christmas, so we settled for going after. It worked out perfectly! There was hardly anyone in line, and we barely had a wait! Again, forgive the large number of pictures, as we do not have any grandparents close by, and we are confident they love seeing as many photos of the babies as possible. Happy New Year!
Waiting in line for our tickets!
So excited about the pink pig!
Going inside, waiting our turn to ride.
David really captured the essence of Tilly in this picture! Sweet girl does not like to be held or sit still! She is on the move!
Well, that's a little better. Smiling at Daddy and waiting our turn. We were first in line!
The original pink pig!
Carter with ticket in hand and ready to ride.
Mommy and Tilly. I literally had to hold her down because I really think she would have jumped ship!
This year was her first time to ride. Last year she was too small, so Papa sat out to watch her while the rest of us rode. You can see more of that here.
While we were riding, Summer kept saying, "Mommy, this is a lot of fun!" She is so sweet! Daddy, once again opted to be our photographer. We are so thankful to him for capturing the special moments in our lives! We love you, Daddy!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


Christmas has been such a special time for our family. We began our holiday in Arkansas with David's family and headed home to our house on Christmas Eve. The rest of our time has been spent being together as a family, taking time to see my side of the family, and just enjoying being together. Below are some pictures to give you a better idea of our adventures. It has been such a sweet Christmas season for our family, lots of memories and traditions in the make for sure. Now, it's time to prepare for the New Year, which means so many exciting things for our party of five. Best of all, we will welcome a new member into the family! How thankful we are!

Opening presents from T and Hart on Christmas morning.
Summer checking out Hundley. She is still not so sure about him.

T helping the children open their presents. Not that they really need any help with that though! Ha! I guess she is probably telling them which is which!

Summer trying on her princess clothes. This was a princess Christmas for her. She loves it!

The babies on their new stools (we had to break down and buy matching ones because well you know how it is!) from Santa watching George. Carter in his new George pajamas from T and Hart. During nap time on Christmas day, Carter changed his own clothes so he could wear his new pajamas!

This was one happy boy on Christmas morning!
Tilly wearing Summer's princess clothes (Ariel) and sitting in her new rocking chair!
Summer LOVES her hats! Love that sweet smile!
Helping Gigi open her presents. She had lots of helpers this day!

The biggest surprise on Christmas morning! Welcome to our house, Hundley!

At the mall playground with my sister's family and Mama.
We got to see them several times over the break and we are so thankful for our time with them!

Summer striking a pose on the airplane. Haleigh barely hanging on the background!

Mama watching all the grandbabies riding the train at the mall.

Mommy and Tilly. She did not want to miss out on any of the action!

I love this picture of Carter! He is so animated and passionate in most things he does! Precious!

Mommy and all the babies on the train! What fun!


Friday, December 25, 2009

It's Christmas!

And she gave birth to her firstborn Son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened. But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all people; for today in the city of David there has been born to you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger. " And suddenly, there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased." Luke 2:7-14 (NASB)


Thursday, December 24, 2009

It's almost Christmas!

Whew! We arrived home safely from Arkansas. There were many moments this morning when we questioned if we would even make it out of Little Rock, as the city was flooded and parts of I-30 were completely closed down! After driving down some questionable back roads and eating McDonald's more times in one day than I care to count, we pulled into FBC Austell just in time for David to walk into church and lead our Christmas Eve service without a minute to spare. Amazing! Thank you, Lord, for another safe trip home. We had a wonderful time with Papa and Gigi, Cory and Juie, and Aunt Karen and were so sad to leave this morning. Thank you for being wonderful hosts to our party of five. David and I are especially thankful for our many dates! What a treat! Tonight, as I type, Tilly is already down for the count, Carter and Summer are playing so sweetly together, and David (text just came in) picked up the newest member of our family, Hundley. You can see a previous post about him here. The video and camera battery are charged and ready for his debut in the morning! It's almost Christmas! We are so excited. Even more exciting than welcoming Hundley into our family is celebrating the birth of the One who quietly made His debut so many years ago so that we might live! Happy Birthday, Jesus! It's almost Christmas!
Gigi with the children on Sunday before church.
Papa and Gigi with Carter, Summer, and Tilly in their Christmas clothes all ready for church!
Carter so excited about some candy canes or candy cans as he and Summer call them.
Summer sportin' Gigi's rollers in her hair - so cute!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A Birthday Celebration

Monday, we celebrated my birthday! The celebration began with my sweet children and husband serenading me around the breakfast table, so precious. Not long after, David whisked me away for my day of fun. We are ever grateful to Papa and Gigi for watching the children, so we could have many dates (a rare treat) during our visit to Arkansas. We shopped til we dropped and then enjoyed a yummy lunch at McAllister's. After lunch, we had dessert at TCBY. Those are hard to find these days. Have any of you had the eggnog frozen yogurt? It is DIVINE! After lunch we headed to Hot Springs to shop some more and waste some time before our final birthday celebration. For supper we went to Colton's, one of our favorite eats in Arkansas. Surprisingly, there are no Colton's in Atlanta, so we thought it was a great choice! After supper and Italian cream birthday cake, we went to Garvin Gardens to see the lights! What a fun ending to a perfect birthday! I am so thankful to my family for making my birthday so very special!
Love this picture of me with sweet Summer!
Carter and Summer loved the lights!
Carter and Summer
Come on, Mommy! This way!
Sweet babies!
Oh, WOW!
Daddy on photographer duty grabbed a group picture!
Little Miss Tilly bundled up in the stroller. She did not want to miss out on the fun.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas at the Capitol

My husband, David, is from Arkansas, and we have been there for the last few days celebrating Christmas with his family. Friday, when the children and I got out of school we hit the road to AR. Papa and Gigi have been wonderful hosts, and we have been able to do so many fun things during our visit. A tradition in David's family is to walk through the state capitol during Christmas to see the lights and decorations. Being a lover of family traditions, I was thrilled to start a new one! Here are some pictures of the capitol or "castle" as Carter and Summer called it! Merry Christmas!
The front of the capitol - so pretty all lit up!
My honey and me! Isn't he handsome?
Flags out side the capitol.
I love this picture of Tilly and Gigi.
My husband, the stellar photographer.
Carter, Summer, and Tilly under the tree at the capitol.
Making our way through the castle!
The decorations were so pretty!
Another shot of capitol. So thankful for our time in Arkansas with Papa and Gigi. So thankful to introduce our children to new traditions.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

O'Dell Christmas Card 2009

Sending out Christmas cards every year is something I LOVE to do! I look forward to it and think about throughout the year. Every year is very different in our family, and every year there are so many things to share. Once Carter was born, our lives were changed forever, and we seemed to have much more to share. This proved to be more true after the immediate births of Summer and Tilly. As a result, in addition to our Christmas card, we began our tradition of writing a Christmas letter as well. For most of our married life, David and I have not resided close to our families, so this has been a neat way to keep them updated on our ever changing lives, before I entered the blog world, of course! Now our families and everyone else knows more than they want to about our party of five! So, onto the Christmas card. I was unable to copy my actual card from the site where I ordered them. I am sure it's because I am not the most technologically savvy. However, I did upload the pictures I used, so you will get the gist. Because our children are so small, they change often. I wanted their pictures to be as updated as possible, so two weeks ago we took our pictures at church with the beautiful Christmas decorations. All four pictures are on our card this year. Below the pictures is our Christmas letter. They have all gone out in the mail, but for some of you this will be a sneak peak because perhaps, yours has not arrived. For others, we don't know each other except via the blog world, so you will just get to know our family a little bit better! Merry Christmas!
Summer, Carter, & Tilly
Carter (age 3)
Summer (age 2)

Tilly (age 1)

Dear Family and Friends, December 2009

Is it really time for another Christmas letter, meaning another year has passed? What a year this has been for our family! There are so many wonderful blessings and stories to share, but for the sake of a single page, I will try to keep it brief!

In just a few short weeks, David and I will celebrate our 8th wedding anniversary; what a ride it has been too! Eight years ago this Christmas, I was a nervous bride, so excited to be starting my life with the one God handpicked for me. What a lucky girl I am to be married to this special fella! He never ceases to amaze me with his love and selflessness towards our family. Throughout this year, David has completed all but one class for his Doctorate of Ministry coursework at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. In the coming year, he will be writing his project in ministry design and should be all set to graduate May 2011. David is in his third year of pasturing our church, First Baptist Austell. What an exciting year it has been for our church family as well! We would love to have you visit our newly renovated sanctuary; it is breathtaking!

The children have probably changed most of all in this last year. We celebrated Carter’s third birthday in May, Summer’s second birthday in July, and Tilly’s first birthday in August. Boy are they growing up fast! Carter now stands at 42 inches and weighs 37 pounds; Summer is 38 inches weighing 35 pounds, and Tilly is 31 inches weighing 22 pounds. Carter and Summer are attending school together this year at The Heiskell School, where I have been teaching for the last five years. Don’t you wish you could be a fly on the walls of our car to and from school; it’s a riot! So many milestones have been reached during the last year for our three children: walking, running, potty training, memorizing Bible verses, singing songs, reciting pledges, and many more. Our children play together so well and truly love each other. What a blessing the three of them are to David and me. Is there any greater joy than being a parent?

Our greatest surprise of the year came during Labor Day Weekend when David and I discovered that once again we were going to be parents! What an honor! We are thrilled to welcome a fourth O’Dell baby into our family this May. As of yet, we do not know the gender of this baby or its name, but we are ever aware of its presence! What an awesome time of year to be anticipating the birth of a child! Our hearts are indeed full; our quiver will be too!

Thanksgiving was extra special this year. We celebrated David’s birthday by driving to Portal, so we could spend the holiday with Mama and so he could hunt! Thanksgiving Day, David downed his biggest kill to date, with Carter standing at his feet! I don’t know who was more excited, David or Carter. The horns are now proudly displayed in our home, much to my chagrin. The weekend after Thanksgiving our party of five loaded up and successfully found a beautiful Christmas tree for our home. What a perfect end to a wonderful week together!

Now, for the season we have been anxiously awaiting, it’s Christmas! That means so many things around the O’Dell house: the Christmas program at school, the Christmas cantata at church, singing Christmas songs, decorating, driving to see the lights, Mother/Daughter tea, riding the pink pig, just being together as a family, and talking of the baby Jesus. Recently at church, I was struck by a great epiphany; so many people were just not ready for Him. For hundreds, even thousands of years prophets had been speaking of His coming, yet, most were not prepared. I mean there was not even a room to be found for His birth! Once He arrived, many, experienced Him and saw Him perform miracle after miracle firsthand, and yet, still did not believe. Today, we have churches, pastors, Bibles, fingerprints of Him on our own lives, and yet, so many are not ready for Him. My prayer for my family this Christmas, is that we will not be caught up in the traditions of this season, but that we might ponder His birth and the One who sent Him so we might live. Will you join us, for He came for you too? We pray your family will experience Jesus this Christmas like never before!

With love,

David, Heather, Carter, Summer, & Tilly