Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Happy 100th day!

Today was the 100th day of this school year.  Wow!  The time is passing quickly.  Carter has been excited about this day for a while now.  Most schools that I've been involved in do something special to celebrate this big day.  I wonder how it all began?  

David and I took Carter and Summer out to lunch today, just the four of us.  What a strange feeling to have our other two little ones absent.  Tilly and Story were at MDO at our church.  On Tuesdays and Thursdays I have these two all to myself for a few hours, and they usually help me clean our house!  Today, we tackled and organized the playroom, no small feat!  They were so proud when it was over!

Carter got this cute crown at school today, and he has not taken it off up until he had to leave for Upward basketball practice with his rock star Coach!

My handsome fella on his 100th day of school.  

I have to share about this bag of treats just to reveal about the nature of his little heart.  Carter got 10 bags of goodies, each bag containing 10 of the type of treat.  He got gummi bears, marshmallows, pretzels, skittles, m&ms, coco puffs, goldfish, and a few other treats.  He shared every single bag with his sisters.  I wish I had taken pictures of this.  First, he and Summer shared a few goodies before our cleaning spree.  When the two little ones came home, he had them all sit at the table, and he shared every last bit of his treats with his sisters.  What a precious boy!  Thank you, Carter, for demonstrating to your sisters how to share!  We love your sweet, sweet heart, and we are so proud of you!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Story's 18 month check up. Two months later.

Story turned 18 months old in November, the month after we moved to Hattiesburg.  Before we moved, I asked around the church for recommendations for a new pediatrician.  I called our first week in town, and they were booked with well check ups until just this week!  So, we were a little late.  

Look at that precious face!  Oh, she's just the sweetest.  

She was loving the brightly colored walls and pointed out all the animals to me with great animation!  

She loved exploring, especially the books.  Truly, a girl after her mother's heart!  

One of the things that made leaving ATL so very hard was our beloved pediatrician, Dr. G.  I never dreamed we would find another to compare, but after meeting Dr. B.  on Tuesday, I think we are going to be just fine.  He was wonderful!  Story is a picture of health, and we are so very grateful.  She weighed 25.8 pounds and is 34 3/4 inches tall.  There were not any percentiles given, which I thought was a little odd, but I didn't question.  Because we were two months late getting her checked out, it is hard to compare her stats with her siblings.  Story got two shots and took it like a champ.  She was even better after the purple sucker.  
Story, we love you up, sweet girl.  We love how cuddly you are, how animated and talkative you are.  We love how you think you are just as big as your siblings and how you think they hung the moon and stars.  We love how you give sweet kisses and wrap your little arms tightly around our necks.  We love how you always offer us a bite of your food and how you run from us when you know we are going to put you to bed.  We love how you perfectly complete our family!  

Thursday, January 12, 2012

10th anniversary trip to New Orleans.

I mentioned earlier about David's parents coming to keep the children, so that David and I could go away for a few days to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary.  I still can't believe it's been 10 years already.  Wow!  We've acoomplished much in our 10 years, too.   Anyway, we have been talking for a while about what to do for our big trip.  I just didn't feel comfortable going out of the country or even flying, so after serveral talks and Papa and Gigi graciously offering to keep the children at our house, we went to one of our most favorite places in the whole world.  New Orleans!  We had not been back there together without children since we lived there, and it was really a treat!  Sunday after church, we hit the road.  

This was our first stop in Picayune, and it was most appropriate.  During our seminary days, we ate lots of Popeyes chicken, where two could dine for $5.99.  That is not the case anymore, ha!  We checked into our hotel, rode around for a while trying to decide where to eat, and we ended up at this place.  

Mulate's is one of our favorite eats.  Our first time to eat there was during seminary when David was interviewing with First Baptist Atlanta.  We ate crawfish corn chowder and salad.  It was delicious!  

Monday, we wanted to find a place to watch the UGA game, and our plan was to eat at Voo Doo BBQ on St. Charles, another favorite.  But. . .they were watching the Nebraska/S Carolina game, what!  So we left, and drove around like mad looking for a place.  We ended up at Serranos, which was also a favorite place of ours.  They willingly changed the channel for us, so we were most content to eat chips and cheese dip and watch the dawgs play.  Sadly, it didn't end up as we had hoped.  

Monday night we treated ourselves to a fancy dessert at Mr. B's on Royal Street.  It was so yummy!  I had bread pudding and Cafe Au Lait.  David ate the pecan pie.  

During our stay, we were able to go to the Sugar Bowl thanks to a good friend here in Hattiesburg.  We didn't really care for either team, but we sure are not about to turn down the chance to go to a college football game.  In the Superdome!  Some of our good friends from First Atlanta, Kevin and Casey, are huge Michigan fans, so we took this picture for them!  

Definitely, without a doubt, my favorite, favorite thing about being away with my love for a few days was our daily walks around the quarter.  Every morning, we got up, put on our walking clothes, and walked and walked and walked.   A couple of days, we even went twice!  It was great, the weather was perfect, and the company was oh so sweet.  David never went in the St. Louis Cathedral while we were in New Orleans for seminary, so we went inside and walked around.  Beautiful.  

The quarter does not offer the nicest bathroom facilities, so David helped me sneak into several restaurants, ha!  This was one of them.  I just loved the name!  

Each day when we walked, we had hopes of having beignets at Cafe Du Monde, but the line was always halfway down to Jackson Square, but finally we got it!  

And they did not disappoint.  I don't know if you can go the big easy and not stop here.  

There is no small amount of cheap entertainment in New Orleans either.  We see these street dancers every time we are here, but we've never stopped to watch, so we did.  It was nice to be able to be spontaneous with our time.  That's a rare treat for us!

Our last night in New Orleans, we got an upgrade from the seminary hotel, to the Renaissance Arts Hotel on Tchopatoulis (pronouced chop-a-tool-is), just blocks from the Superdome.  Thank you, Papa and Gigi, for hooking us up!  It was such a trendy place to stay.  We loved being in the middle of all the action on Sugar Bowl night.  

And here's our view during the big game.  We had a great time.  The game itself was not that great until the end.  In fact, we left at the start of the 4th quarter and walked back to our hotel.  We ended up watching the rest of the game in the restaurant at our hotel.  The Michigan band played and marched down the street right in front of our window after the game.  What a fun night!  

And here we are, 10 years ago on January 5, 2002, in Statesboro, Georgia, at Pittman Park United Methodist Church.  Right after we were married, we lived in Marmaduke, Arkansas, for two years.  Then, we lived with my mother for a few months in Elberton, Georgia, before being called to seminary in New Orleans.  After seminary, we were called to Atlanta, Georgia, where we have lived for the past 6 years before this October, when we were called to Hattiesburg, Missisippi.  During that time, we also worked MFUGE twice in Nashville, Tennessee, and once in Mobile, Alabama.  And then, there are our four little blessings, Carter, Summer, Tilly, and Story.  If you had told me 10 years ago that I would have four children in 48 months, I would have told you that you were crazy!  Now, we're the crazy ones, crazy in love!  So thankful for 10 years with David.  Thankful for our life together and the sweet family we are building along the way.  Oh, how I look forward to the next 10 with great anticipation.  

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Christmas with Papa and Gigi.

Papa and Gigi came to see us the weekend after Christmas.  They arrived Saturday just after lunch.  The girls went down for a nap, and the boys went out to the hunting land to show Papa where they spend a lot of time.  We cooked another Christmas meal to share, and after we ate, we opened our presents together.  
Look at all those gifts!  You can see our little tree in the background.  We put all non-breakable ornaments on it, many of them being ornaments the children have made.  So sweet!  
I promise Story does not sit around and eat candy all day everyday!  She does love it, though!  It's funny because she calls everything cake, and she says it in a big southern drawl, where it has two to three syllables, ha!  
Another sweet smile from Tilly!  I think her favorite part of opening gifts is the stocking.  
All four gathered around looking at their stockings.  
Gigi holding up Carter's Captain America costume.  Our children love playing dress up, so we bust out these costumes often.  Thank you, Papa and Gigi, for coming to spend Christmas with us.  
The second reason for their visit is coming up in another post.  They kept our four children for three nights, so David and I could go away to celebrate our tenth wedding anniversary!  What a treat!  

Monday, January 09, 2012

Christmas, 2011. Just us.

I have taken a little break from the blog, and I have to be honest and say that I've enjoyed it. I love blogging, love it, but over the holidays, it was so nice to just enjoy being with my family and not pressure myself to keep up with the posts!  That being said, let's catch up!  
We had Christmas at our house this year, just us.  We made the decision once we had children to make sure we woke up at our house on Christmas morning.  Sometimes, that is tough to do because all of our extended family lives in other states, so we definitely miss them.  However, we are loving the traditions that we are making with our party of six.  Christmas Eve, we had a beautiful service at church.  The music was wonderful, the pastor was pretty awesome, and we just loved celebrating this special season with our church family.  Side note just for me, we did not make it through the entire service.  I was sweating trying to keep all 4 children still and quiet, and I think I used my bag of tricks up a little too soon, so we hung out in Daddy's office for the remainder of the service, ha!  We do Santa at our house.  That can be kind of controversial among some believers.  We read a great article by Mark Driscoll about the very subject, and if I can find it, I will add a link to it for you.  For us, Santa is the sprinkles on the sundae.  Not necessary, you can definitely do without it, but it sure does make it fun!  Our children know without a doubt that Christmas is about Jesus, period.  I am thankful for this head knowledge they have.  Oh, how I long for their hearts to make the connection, too.  
Christmas morning, I think we were up around 730 or so, not too early.  We always make the children wait on everyone before running in to the den.  Here's Carter Christmas morning.  
This picture does not do it justice, but Summer and Tilly were so. much. fun. to watch on Christmas Day.  They were excited about everything!  I loved watching their little faces gleaming with excitement.  
Story snagged some one's Reese's pieces early on, and she didn't care about much else the rest of the day.  She was just content with her candy!  
Here's a sweet picture of Tilly.  She is smiling here because she got her "very own Barbie." Translated to mean, one that she does not have to share with her sisters, ha!  We had a wonderful Christmas.  During nap time, David and I prepared an awesome Christmas meal.  We had baked ham, sweet potato souffle, green beans, cranberries, rice casserole, and rolls.  Delicious!  I failed to take any more pictures, even ones of us as a family.  I will have to do better next year.  
I do have one more memory to share.  Our tree.  Oh, our tree.  You might remember our earlier post about going out to the tree farm to pick out a tree and how we came away with two.  Thank goodness we got two.  Our big tree was so big, too big for our house.  It ended up undecorated in our foyer all the way up until Christmas Eve.  Lame, I know.  Christmas Eve David and I got the bright  idea to have Santa decorate the tree, so David and I put ornaments all around the front of the ginormous tree.  We even discussed how maybe that could become a tradition, to have Santa decorate the tree, maybe even in silly ways like using all the socks around our house that don't have a match!  We shall see!  

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Happy 10th Anniversary!

Happy 10th Anniversary to David and me!  
We just got back from a fabulous getaway in the Big Easy, so there's definitely more to post soon!