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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

It really is true, isn't it?

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Band of Brothers

I am at home with a stomach bug and found this on TiVo. I decided to give it a try. It's really, really good! Unfortunately, David deleted a few of the episodes, but I have seen through Episode 6 (of 10). I'll have to get the others on Netflix.

If I didn't feel so bad, I never would have given it a try. Who knows what could be next? Dirty Jobs? Survivor Man? Somehow I doubt it...

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas 2008

Something else fun about Christmas in Mississippi - 75+ degree temps! In Canton at cousins Nina and Carey's house, the kids enjoyed a dip in the hot tub and then some wading in the pool after lunch.

Brennan, Thomas, Taylor, and Ellie at the Boatwright's house

Flying kites in Canton

Natalie and Grandma Nan

Brennan and Misty. The good thing about having all boy cousins - they marry well! I had a great time catching up with Misty and Blair.

Finally, this is what happens when you're inside catching up and leave the uncles and cousins in charge. They let the 8 year old go on the roof to get the new frisbee back!

We had a wonderful trip and enjoyed seeing everyone! Wish it could have been longer.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas #3

When we travel south for Christmas, one of the exciting parts of the trip is the numerous Christmas celebrations we get to enjoy! Last night was our 3rd Christmas so far this year. We celebrated with my Mom's side of the family. We had our traditional gumbo for supper, and it was absolutely delicious. My mom also made a pumpkin roll and an apple crisp cheesecake for dessert. YUM.

See Thomas and Danielle (oldest and youngest grandkids) above.

Playing hide and seek - Brennan is the seeker.

The great grandkids and my grandmother

Shelly and me with our grandmother, Mawmaw

We had a good time visiting with my Aunt Ellen, Uncle Justin, and cousin Scott as well. And we especially love the balmy weather!

Happy Christmas Eve!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Santa Comes Early

Santa made a special stop last night in Columbus. We enjoy our trip south each Christmas to see all of our family in 4 different cities. It's a whirlwind trip but we really love it. Especially the boys. And while I wouldn't want to miss that trip, I'm also not willing to give up the Christmas morning experience here in our own home.

So each year Santa comes early. We have our own Christmas Eve and then wake up bright an early to find Santa has come. Our tree is downstairs and our stockings and Santa gifts are left upstairs by the larger fireplace. It's a great tradition and is perfectly fine with all of us that it doesn't exactly line up with the calendar.

Just a few photos that completely define Thomas and Brennan for you. First - Thomas.
Yes, his eyes are lighting up because Daddy got him a Physics Workshop.
The only thing he asked for this year - "The Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull Lego Set - the big one!"
And dinosaurs. Thomas still wants to be a paleontologist. He loves all things dinosaur - this is a pop-up calendar for his wall.

And Brennan.Yes, it's a Chia Pet. They saw them on TV and loved them. Brennan is into Garfield now that he's reading the comics and recently got a Garfield comic strip book from our book exchange party.
He LOVES to cook and write his own recipes.
I made the boys their own piano composition paper. Brennan immediately went to work on a new piece.

And can't forget David. Of all of his gifts, he was most thrilled with the chocolate covered raisins.

And I'm going to enjoy my new pashmina and jewelry just as soon as I decide to change out of my very comfy pajamas!

Merry Christmas to all (a little early!)

Hark! The Herald Angels Sing

Last night we attended our church's "Lessons and Carols" service. I have been looking forward to it since I first heard about it around Thanksgiving. It was a musical service where the full choir in their deep red robes with white scarves (don't know the name of those scarves!) led the congregation in a number of carols. I love Christmas Hymns and there just aren't enough Sundays in Advent to get them all in. And since we don't make it to church each and every Sunday (sorry!) then we definitely don't get to sing them all. But yesterday we went twice, so I think we're caught up.
We really love our church home - First Presbyterian Church. We found it after 2 years of church-hopping - looking for a place that fit us. We attended a service after Brennan started pre-school there 2 years ago. Their pre-school program is terrific and Brennan was invited to attend as a Bartholomew County student who could benefit from the interaction with other 4 year olds in a traditional preschool. I credit FPC Preschool and the teachers/therapists that Brennan had that year as one of the reasons he is doing so well today. Prior to that experience we were not sure how Brennan would fare in a mainstreamed educational environment.

FPC had a lot of what we were looking for. David likes traditional services, Thomas needs a social outlet of a good sized youth group, Brennan needed Sunday School teachers who are willing to get to know him, and I needed a place to get involved and feel welcome as a family. Enter FPC.
Our church is not that large, but I still don't know everyone after 2 years. It's pretty dynamic and there are a lot of little kids for a church its age. The church was built in 1885 in downtown Columbus next to the impressive Library and Visitors Center. It is known for its social responsibility and gifts to the community. Su Casa Columbus, where I am a board member, was started through FPC. Love Chapel - our community food bank - was started there, as well as a number of social movements such as the Human Rights Commission and Civil Rights were organized through FPC over the years. Of course - this greatly appeals to David and me.
Brennan's favorite feature is the organ, built in the 50's in Germany and transported to Columbus 40 years ago. It sounds wonderful in the cozy sanctuary.
The Columbarium

We feel blessed to have found a church that we enjoy so much and feel such a part of. And the carols service last night was a wonderful way to celebrate OUR Christmas Eve (Santa came last night for us!)

Enjoy your final Christmas preparations. I'll send out pictures of our Christmas morning later today!

Sunday, December 21, 2008


Our babysitter, Lauren, got a beautiful gift for her 15th birthday last month. Grandpa got her her very own horse! Dreamer is beautiful and gentle and the boys can't WAIT to ride her when it warms up. Having ridden 3 or 4 times, they feel certain they could just jump on take off.
Thomas and Brennan LOVE visiting Lauren's house behind us because they not only have a horse, a trampoline, a playground, and a cabin, but they have 4 goats and 2 miniature donkeys! (See Toby above). We'll have to take more pictures when it isn't 18 degrees and windy outside.

But our favorite person to visit there is Lauren.Our only question to Miss Robin and Mr. Troy is - how are you going to top that for the Sweet Sixteen next year Mom and Dad?

Merry Christmas Lauren!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Happy 16th!

16 years ago today on a rainy Saturday in Starkville, David and I got hitched. I completely disassembled our wedding scrapbook in order to scan some memories from the past. Thomas and Brennan enjoy looking at the photos every year though so I'll have to do some quick reassembly.

David's Groom's Cake

We miss you Aunt Betty!

Sisters - Bonnie and Shelly

David and J.T.

Daddy and Bonnie

Amy and Bonnie

Donna, Christopher, and Daniel

Bonnie and Jeanne

I'll also have to link these to facebook because Hilary, Joe, Scott, etc. will enjoy these ghosts from Christmas Past.

Bonnie and Hilary - engagement party

David and Scott

Juan and Hilary

Shelly, Jay, and J.T. - Engagement party

Juan and Hilary Bachelorette Party

Catching the garter

Of course, no Christmas wedding is complete without Santa handing out your lingerie at the bachelorette party (Juanca)

The boys are spending the night with their friend Trevor so we'll have to go out to dinner and celebrate this evening.

Love to all of our family who made that day so special, and the 16 years since.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Snow Day?

Can you call it a Snow Day if there was no snow? We woke up to some serious black ice on the driveway, but no snow. Still - no school. Or going in to work for Mommy. Which was fine by me after the last 2 weeks.

I had a lot of work to do (thank you, thank you to whomever invented Wireless!) But found time to do a couple other important things.

And this

We made cookies for ourselves, an upcoming cookie exchange party, and Santa. The boys had a great time listening to Christmas music and decorating. I barely helped. And surprisingly enough, they didn't eat them all!

I'll take a Snow Day any time I can get one :)

2008 Christmas Tea

My dear friend Kari and I hosted our annual Christmas Tea on Sunday. Being the good friend that she is, Kari not only brought teas, lemons, and two very yummy dishes, but she brought me a gift - a new teapot/warmer. I'll have to invite her over more often!

Kari and I both moved back to Columbus 4 years ago. This is our 4th Tea together in Columbus, and I've now co-hosted the event for 10 years in Memphis, Mexico, and Columbus. It's always a great time to catch up with friends, make new friends, eat some delicious food, and take a breather from the holiday hectic-ness to enjoy the season. (Click any photo to enlarge)

Elise and Baby Claire

I have very creative friends, as evidenced in the ornaments they selected for the ornament exchange and their holiday dishes.
Toyi's cheese spread

Elise's coconut cake

Some of the dishes that arrived early

Some of the beautifully wrapped ornaments

Angelina's beautiful decoration

The Tea was especially wonderful this year given the busy weeks I've had at work lately. It was so great to relax, chat, and enjoy the Christmas holiday a little bit. Thanks to all the ladies who made the day so special.

See you next year!