Whew...this past week has been packed with craziness, but overall, we had a nice Christmas. We headed to Sikeston/Kennett for a few days at the end of last week to spend time with Justin's family and then spent Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in Bolivar with my family and family friends. The kids got so much stuff that this week has been spent organizing and putting away toys they no longer play with. It is still a work in progress. :) I haven't had time to edit any pictures yet and to be honest I wasn't very good at taking a lot of them, but I will post them when I get the done. I almost have all the Christmas decorations put away and plan to finish that up this weekend.
These are a few pictures from our church Christmas party this past Sunday. Both of the kids did great with Santa and it appears they might get one more chance to sit on his lap this holiday season on Sunday.
Whew! That's all I can say after our weekend. We had a lot to do, but in the end it is all worth the memories we are making as a family. Friday night, Makenna and I had a girls night. We first headed to McAlister's for dinner, or as Makenna likes to call it the sweet tea place. We then headed to my school to see the annual December production put on by the talented WMS drama club. This year the show was Charlotte's Web and all I can say is WOW! It was incredible and Makenna thoroughly enjoyed it. To wrap up the evening we headed back home, got in our jammies, snuggled in bed, and watched the Christmas episode of Punky Brewster. I absolutely loved that show when it aired when I was young and I randomly found the dvds of season 1 and 2 at TJMaxx for $3 each. Justin made a lot of fun of me, but Makenna and I love to watch these shows. For me, it brings back memories of how I wanted to be like Punky and have her colorful coat and shoes, and for Makenna, it is just a show she enjoys. I think part of the reason she likes it is because she knows it was one of my favorite shows, but I really don't care--I have a Punky watching partner and that is all that matters.
Saturday morning we did some chores around the house and then we headed to Silver Dollar City mid-afternoon. We met Nana, Shelby, and Shelby's mom, Lori, there and we all had a great time. The City is so pretty all light up for the holidays. I did take a few pictures that I will post once they are edited.
Yesterday was church in the morning and then last night we had our annual church Christmas party. Each year we "adopt" a foster kid, or two, or three, to buy a $20-$25 gift for. This year our family purchased a gift for 3 children and it is so cool to go shopping as a family for these gifts. Of course, Beckham is too young to understand, but Makenna is now to the age that we can explain what it means to be a foster child and why we are buying toys, etc. for someone other than her or Beckham. Our church provided a gift for aroudn 130 kids and groups, etc. donated an additional 100 toys to be given to foster families. Santa and Mrs. Claus also made an appearance and we just had a great time hanging out with our church family. Once again, I will post pictures when they are edited.
Tonight, Makenna had her first ever Christmas program. She has been super excited for this and she has even practiced the songs several times at home to help her prepare.
The rest of the week is pretty laid back for us, but I do have a goal to be done with my Christmas shopping by Saturday. I just have a few more things to mark off my list.
Since we had Makenna Justin and I have often discussed traditions we want to have for our family. I am very much about family traditions, so this is something that we have both decided is going to be an important aspect for our family. Sure we definitely have our traditions during holidays, but possibly my favorite tradition we have established so far for our young family is movie night. At least once a month we try to have an evening we let Makenna--and someday it will have to involve both children--pick at a movie. Sometimes we all gather in our bed and watch the movie and other times Justin grabs a pizza on his way home from work for dinner and then we immediately follow it with a movie, popcorn, and soda. Tonight was our pizza, popcorn, and movie night and we have all been excited for it all week. Unfortunately, Beckham hit the sack before the movie began because he didn't have an afternoon nap, but we are definitely looking forward to him being old enough to join in on the fun. Tonight's movie of choice was actually on TV...
We absolutely love Good Luck Charlie and the Christmas movie was definitely worth watching. It is one show that we can watch with Makenna that is a good family show so when we learned that tonight the Christmas movie was going to air we mark the date on the calendar as a family movie night. If you haven't checked out the show I would highly recommend it. The actress that plays the mom is honestly one of the funniest I have seen.
Today Justin and I are celebrating six wonderful years of marriage. And while our day didn't go exactly as planned, all in all it has been a decent day. We had planned on getting up and heading to my school where they were having a craft fair and breakfast with Santa where you could get pictures taken the Jolly St. Nick himself. Well, those plans changed about 1:30 this morning when Makenna woke up sick. :( We had planned on taking the kids to see Santa, dropping them off in Bolivar to spend the day and night, and then heading to Branson to shop and have a nice dinner. When we all woke up this morning Makenna felt better and since she hadn't have a fever we decided to not go see Santa (which she was very upset about), but to still head to Branson after dropping off the kids. Well we had just got to Branson when my mom called to say Makenna had started running a fever. We decided to just "play everything by ear", but by 5 o'clock her temp reached 102.8 so we decided to finish our dinner (we had just ordered our food when we got the call) and head to Bolivar to pick the kids up. We just got home a while ago and Justin has taken her to the walk-in clinic to get checked out. And of course, just before they left we took her temperature and it was normal.
But the day was not a total loss. I did manage to get a few new pairs of shoes that I was needing and we also found a very unexpected gift. I am now to proud owner of...
A Silver KitchenAid Pro 500 Series Bowl-Lift Stand Mixer
I have been WANTING a KitchenAid stand mixer for several years, but it wasn't anything I NEEDED so I hadn't really looked at them. Justin and I had talked about it maybe being a gift at some point, but it really wasn't anything I had pursued because like I said it wasn't a need, just a want. Well, today we ran across an amazing deal on them and I couldn't pass it up. It was such an amazing deal that we also bought my Mom one and have already given it to her as an early gift so that she can use it for all of her holiday baking. I am so excited to start making bread, cookies, and other yummy food with it.
Also, another major event occurred today--Beckham took his first steps. He has been taking tiny half steps or walking while holding on to something or someone for a while now, but today he took 2 steps unassisted. We knew it was only a matter of time. So, watch out world, because it he is as fast of a walker as he is a crawler we have some major trouble on our hands.
Well I guess two weeks later is better than never, but here are some pictures from Beckham's birthday party. I am trying out some new photo editing software so it has taken me a while to get familiar with it and get the pictures edited. Now, I just have to decide if I want to "bite the bullet" and purchase the full version of the software. :) Anyways, enjoy the pictures.
He cried when everyone sang to him
He then cheered up when he tasted the icing
The birthday boy with cake all over his face
Opening his first gift
Of course he had unsolicited help from his sister
Opening more gifts
Getting tired of opening presents
Playing with his new toys with his cousin, Cooper
Here are some pictures of Clifford and Emily Elizabeth on Halloween. Both kids had fun trick or treating in Bolivar, going to Tailgate and Treat at the church I grew up in, and doing our church's Trunk or Treat on Halloween. They also got way too much candy.
Wow! What a busy, but wonderful weekend we had. Friday, I was out of school so I spent the day getting ready for Beckham's 1st birthday party, which was on Saturday. Between cleaning and baking I had a lot to do, but I figured my little boy only turns 1 once so I better do it right.
Saturday morning we all got up early to finish cleaning and I began baking all the appetizers and snacks for the party. I got a lot of new recipies off Pinterest and I am so glad they were a big hit. I will share the recipes in another post. Guests started arriving in the early afternoon and the party officially began at 2. We were blessed to have family and friends come to help us celebrate and Beckham got his first taste of cake. I will definitely post some pictures after I get them edited, but we did eventually have to his smash cake away from him so he wouldn't get sick. We then opened his presents and he got some new toys that he loves to play with--a riding firetruck, stacking blocks, LeapFrog Transportation Frig Set, PJs, Mizzou bear and blanket, books, etc., etc., etc. He had a wonderful party and it is still hard to believe our little guy is 1. Like I said I will definitely post pictures when they are edited--we have just been too busy to have time to do that.
Sunday, we planned on going to church, however, we were almost there and realized we didn't get a pacifier for Beckham so we turned around and went home. We could have gone to second service, but we needed to be in Bolivar to do our annual Halloween activites there before heading back to Springfield for our small group. So, Makenna was upset about not getting to go to church, but she soon was happy when she got an abundance of candy. Makenna (aka Emily Elizabeth) and Beckham (aka Clifford the Big Red Dog) got more than enough candy and we still have to go to our church's trunk or treat festivities tonight. :)
One year ago you came into the world and completed our family. We didn't know then how much more lively you would make our lives, but we definitely wouldn't have it any other way. You were first called "Bubs" by Sissy, then "Buddy" and now you are affectionately called "Bubby" by us all. You are full of spunk and often put Makenna in her place when you don't like what she is doing. However, it is very apparent at just 1 year of age that you love you sister very much and she loves you so much, too. You really enjoy playing with her, especially with her kitchen, and watching her favorite TV shows with her. You can say Daddy, Mama, Nana, Sissy, hi, bye, what, uh-oh, huh, no, yes, and more and you also imitate many sounds. You LOVE to eat just about anything, so it is a good thing you have 6 teeth. You are almost ready to walk, but we think the fact that you are the fastest crawler many have ever seen is holding you back just a bit. We don't go for your 1 year check-up until Friday, but you weigh somewhere around 22 pounds and you are wearing 12 months clothes.
Beckham, you are the light of our lives and we can't wait to see how God gifts you and blesses you throughout your life. Thanks for making this past year so special for us and we thank God that he chose us to be your Mommy and Daddy. Happy Birthday! We love you!
Whoa! What a great weekend we have had. Friday evening Justin and the kiddos spend the night at home while I chaperoned a school dance--that was the least exciting part of our weekend. Saturday morning Makenna had a 8:30 soccer game and then we headed off the Branson for a night away. We shopped, swam at the hotel, and shopped some more. Today we headed to Silver Dollar City and just pulled in the driveway about an hour ago. I will be sure to post pictures when I have them edited, but now we must get ready for small group.
The circumstances Justin and I have faced or people close to us have faced over the past week have really made me reflect on how much I worry about the small things in life and get a "woe is me" attitude. So, if nothing else but to remind us to be grateful for what we have I want to get the following list down in writing.
1. Instead of feeling like a failure as a parent because Makenna got a naughty note sent home for pinching a friend in the face at preschool, may I instead learn to appreciate and acknowledge the developmental, intellectual and spiritual progress and growth I see daily in both of my children. May I also remember to thank God daily that he chose me to be Makenna and Beckham's mom--what an incredible gift!
2. Instead of constantly worrying about the balance of our bank accounts, may I instead be thankful that God meets each and every one of our needs.
3. Instead of complaining about the tons of tasks, etc. that are involved in my job, may I instead be thankful just to have a job that also comes with a high degree of job security. May I also remind myself that I have a wonderful group of co-workers, several of whom are my closest friends.
4. Instead of getting annoyed when Justin forgets to do something the is on his "honey-do" list, etc., may I instead be thankful that I have a husband that loves me and our children unconditionally and that we have a stong family that is centered around our Heavenly Father.
5. Instead of getting annoyed by the seasonal allergies I suffer from, may I instead be reminded that I don't have a life-threatening illness or disability, nor does anyone in my family. They to shall pass.
6. Instead of trying to control every single aspect of my life, may I instead surrender everything to Him who deserves my complete devotion, admiration, love, etc.
7. Instead of worrying about turning the big 3-0 next week, may I instead use this milestone to reflect on the past three decades of my life, learn from the mistakes I have made, and look forward and make goals for the remaining ones I have left here on this earth.
I have told Justin that we will not be celebrating my birthday this year due to the fact that it is the first anniversary of my 29th birthday and I am not doing so well with that. He told me a while back about the possibility of going on a mini-vacation to celebrate, but then we decided it would be foolish to spend so much money to go to our destination for just a few days because I can't take off any longer than that. So, yesterday he allowed me to order a few things I had been wanting and then we are going to take a longer vacation this summer when we can be gone for about a week--and we will be taking the kids. We are almost certain of our destination which I am incredibly excited about and I will be sure to share the details once they are finalized. And of course one of my gifts will certainly come in handy to capture the memories of our first family of four vacation...
Yep, I am finally getting my camera upgrade. I have loved my entry level DSLR camera, but I think I am going to LOVE my new Canon 60d. It should be here on Friday. And yes, I did sell my old camera on Ebay and it is currently in transit to Russia as we speak.
Whew...that's about all I can say. For the seven years I have been teaching, the first two weeks of school have always been the busiest/craziest, but this year it seems to have intensified. Between writing lessons plans, doing my responsibilities as a team leader, writing tests for our curriculum, learning how to incorporate new technology into my classroom, and so on and so on, I feel like I haven't had time to breathe for the past week and a half. Well, I literally haven't been able to breathe some days due to my allergies, so that has just added to the stress and chaos. Most days, I am counting it a success if I have time to get dinner on the table and tuck the kids into bed. I am hoping to have about 1 more week of the craziness and then having things settle down a bit, but it appears my schedule is pretty packed all fall. I simply have to remind myself that this too shall pass--I just can't wait to be on the other side.
Yesterday was Makenna's first day of preschool. Well, technically the preschool doesn't start until Thursday, but it was her first day of going to the daycare part so we just counted it as her first day. Thankfully, she has LOVED the first two days and she didn't want to leave when I picked her up today because she was playing with her friends in the "clubhouse" (aka: a Little Tykes house on the playground). It is very reassuring that she tells us about her day with great excitement and that she has made some new friends. She already knew 2 of the boys in her class so that has helped, but she has already met some other kids that she plays with as well. Hopefully we will continue to have good days, but it still hard for me to believe she is already in preschool. I really don't know what I will do in two years when she starts kindergarten.
Today is the last day of summer vacation. On Monday, I go back to work, Makenna starts preschool, and Beckham goes back to daycare. Where has to summer gone? Last night was "Meet the Teacher Night" at Makenna's preschool and she seemed very comfortable there. She loved the playground and thought her teacher was very nice. It will be so different taking her there every morning instead of dropping her off with Beckham, but I know she will enjoy school.
Now for some pictures I haven't posted yet--some of Makenna at her last night of soccer camp (it was crazy hair night) and some of our recent trip to the zoo. We only visited a few animals at the zoo because it was SO hot, but Makenna got to do what she wanted--feed the giraffes and see the new baby giraffe.
Justin and I were married on November 19, 2005 and are the proud parents of two children, Makenna (1/10/08) and Beckham (10/25/10). I am a middle school math teacher and Justin is a TSR for a banking software company. We simply enjoy living life together doing the things we love.