Monday, November 30, 2009

Thanksgiving 09

Thanksgiving week has been a whirlwind of activity for us. We were so blessed to be able to celebrate with family and friends. Stan and Kayti hosted all 44 of us on Thanksgiving Day. What a crazy, fun, delicious time that was! Aunt Jen and Uncle Danny made the trek down from NC along with Jamie, Ambre, Christopher, Gabby, Haley, Annabelle, James and Cameron (the matched set). My girls were thrilled to pieces at having their little (and big) cousins here and all to themselves.
On Friday, 22 of us ventured out into the maddening crowds at the outlet mall in St Augustine. Have you ever tried to keep track of a crowd that size on Black Friday?! Our mall stamina was tested to the limit. Thankfully Theresa had the great idea of taking the group to Cracker Barrel for supper. It was the perfect end to a crazy day.
Saturday we gathered again, this time at my our house to celebrate Papaws 80th Birthday. We surprised him with a wonderful family tree cake made by Christopher and Ambre who had a little help from Mimi and myself. It was a group effort. Kayti dragged us all out into the yard to take family pictures. Meanwhile a "roll in the grass down the hill" party broke out among the younger set. We dined on delicious Country Style Spaghetti (an old family recipe made by Aunt Jen) salad and garlic bread. Afterwards we all sat around the TV and cried while watching a beautiful slideshow of Papaw with all of his kiddos through the years.
What a wonderful way to spend a weekend. I'm exhausted, but given the chance to do it all over again, I would in a heartbeat.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Turkey Girls

All the girl cousins at the Thanksgiving Day feast.

Haley and Gracie

Samantha and Abbie

Gabby and Gracie

Annabelle, Holly and Haley

Gabby, Haley, Annabelle, Gracie
Abbie, Holly, Samantha, Caitlin
Precious Girls!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Never pass up a chance to celebrate. My cousin Bo passing through because of work and Theresa's birthday was reason to celebrate for us this past weekend.

Bo was headed back home to South Carolina after being down in Tampa for the Log Cabin Trade Show. Papaw was proud as punch to have his oldest grandson here.

Aunt Kayti and a few of her most faithful fan club members waiting for the cake to be cut.

Theresa (Gaga) was spoiled with her favorite German Chocolate Cake made by Uncle Stan, a pumpkin pie made by Holly and Wendi's pumpkin cheesecake. Holly and Uncle Stan traded the leftovers and we've been grazing on German Chocolate Cake for 2 days. We've heard that Uncle Stan enjoyed a pumpkin pie breakfast yesterday. No worries, we left Papaw and Gaga a big plateful of dessert too.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Home School

Let's take a little peek into the girl's school day. Shall we?

UhOh! I've been caught red handed counting on my fingers.

Maybe if I give her a winning smile she'll overlook my finger counting.

Finger counting paid off, I know the answer!!

Ummm Mom, Can't you see I'm busy here?

Whatever, I'm just going to ignore you with the camera to your face. I've got learning to do.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

My Personal Assistant

Gracie's way of helping me stay on top of things. Who needs a Google Calendar when you have a Gracie?! She even knew where to strategically place the note so I'd be sure to see it.

Friday, November 13, 2009

New Furniture

Bless her heart, Holly has been so patient. For years she's been sleeping on hand-me-down furniture. On Wednesday the Rooms To Go truck pulled up and unloaded her new room full of bedroom furniture. She has big plans for a John Deere themed room.

No, Snickers did not change colors. That puppy is Carly who belongs to our neighbor. Holly is dog sitting her until Saturday. She's a sweety.

Furniture: Holly and Carly approved!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

I think there is something on the mantel that Hobbes wants.

The Greater Dane

We asked Hobbes what he wanted to be when he grows up. He told us he wanted to be like Sam. Sam is the well behaved, 7 year old Dane who lives two doors down. He's a good role model for our bouncy boy.

Sam outweighs Hobbes by at least 50 pounds. Every time they play together Hobbes bows down to Sam's Great Daneness. At least he knows his place.

Monday, November 9, 2009

I'm Perplexed

Photo taken from my front window.
Maybe Meals On Wheels has had to make a few cut backs?

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Free To Breathe

Lee and Holly have faithfully been getting up before the sun for over 6 weeks to hit the road running. Yesterday that training with dad time paid off for Holly.
They ran Holly's first 5K. A little more than 3 miles.

Holly was a bundle of nerves and excitement here before the race. She said she had several goals including but not limited to no crying, no puking and not finishing last.

And they're off.... some where in that crowd.
It was a beautiful day for a run if you enjoy that kind of torture. Evidently over 700 people here in Jax find it enjoyable. At least that many people turned out to run in the Free To Breathe 5K which benefitted lung cancer research.

There they are over on the left coming in to the home stretch. Lee reports that Holly was the official race cheerleader. Every time they would pass someone who had stopped to walk or seemed to be struggling she'd shout out some encouragement. "You're doin' great! or You're half way there, don't give up!" What a kid. She's mine... so proud! She also made several friends along the way chatting up strangers. At the finish line there were lots of hugs with people I've never seen before. I think running must bring out the best in her strangely enough.
Finished! Yatta!!!
Her goal was to finish in under 36 minutes. Her official time was 32:57 I think. Lee finished right behind her but Holly's new buddy was blocking him in this photo.
He's a great dad! He could have left her to run on her own and finished 8-10 minutes sooner but he trotted along right next to her the whole way. He did not even let getting passed by a few stroller moms get to him! What a guy, AGAIN....So Proud! He laughed later about thinking that Holly would need encouragement to finish strong. As it turned out she was the one doing all the encouraging to her fellow racers.
They finished 231 and 232 in a group of about 700.

My strong finishers
Me: So Holly, would you do it again?
Holly: Absolutely! When's the next one? I'm ready!
I think she's got the bug.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Friday Funny

To get you ready for Christmas. It's coming soon!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Hey Ya'll

We decided to extend the vacation just a little bit on the way home. Stopping in to see Paula and have some good ol southern cooking seemed like the perfect end to a wonderful weekend.

Father and daughters in front of The Lady and Sons.

I don't mean to wave my own spatula BUT I think I could hold my own in the kitchen with Paula. I will quickly admit though that these desserts were WELL worth the jaunt off of the interstate. I bow to Paula's skills in the area of sweets. We had banana pudding, peach cobbler and Paula's gooey butter cake. My word it was good!!

The Lady herself was not there in the restaurant that day so we had to settle for the cardboard version.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Mountain Vacation

I recently posted that we just celebrated Lee's parent's 5oth wedding anniversary. For their gift we decided along with Lee's sisters to take them on a mountain getaway vacation. We found this beautiful cabin in Helen, Georgia. It could not have been more perfect. The location was gorgeous and the cabin was big enough for all 15 of us to spread out and get comfortable.

The cabin had 3 floors with the basement floor equipped with a pool table, a ping pong table as well as a dart board and big screen TV. Lots of sibling/parent/child rivalry went on in that room. Lee and Pattie duked it out at the ping pong table and we're still not exactly sure who won that match!

The Fall colors were wonderful to see.

Grandma and Granddaddy got lots of chances to snuggle with all of the grandkids.

This was my favorite spot with my friend on my shoulder. Thankfully he was the only bear we saw over the weekend.

Oh wait, Lee can be a bear in the mornings I guess. The little ones got a kick out of Uncle Lee the bear.

Aunt Pattie and Uncle Isaac took the breakfast KP duty every morning and they did a great job. They kept us full with scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, cinnamon rolls and coffee. For the rest of the meals we took turns cooking. Believe me, we did NOT go hungry!

Katie Rose was a bright spot in our mornings!
It did rain for most of our weekend but we did not let it dampen our enthusiasm. Some of us even got out in the cold, wet weather to explore the little town of Helen. Bless Uncle Rob for being the only fellow willing to tag along!
Helen is a cute, little Alpine inspired village in North Georgia. Who would have figured?

We took a carriage ride through the town. Afterwards Bella got to feed Wilbur (our carriage horse) his treat. She was a little unsure at first but who wouldn't be? That horse had huge teeth!

This is Damian the fudge guy. We think that he probably has a fan club. I know that my girls would join that club. The chocolate might have a little something to do with that.

The men kept us fed with freshly grilled meat. Go Meat!!

Because it was so wet outside, we could not build a fire in the fire pit on the grounds of the cabin. Instead, we got a nice fire going in the fireplace inside. The kids (and a few adults) had fun making smores. Yum-O! See, I told you that no one went hungry on this vacation.

Guess who won the family monopoly game?!

Our weekend ended on Sunday with a clear beautiful day. We went back into town on our way home and did a little more exploring. Of course we went to see Damian the fudge guy. We had to have a couple of pounds of fudge to bring home and share!
It was such fun to just relax and have fun with family knowing that no one had somewhere else to be or other things to do.
Happy Anniversary again Doris and Gary!
Your family loves you!!