We celebrated Thanksgiving down at my parents in Fort Smith. Mom, Dad, Katie, Brooke and Jerod were there and Grandma and Grandpa, Ginger, Kevin and Eli joined us for dinner. We had a wonderful time. It is always good to catch up with Family. I want Abby and Mia to love family gatherings as much as Greg and I do. At our Thanksgiving we go around and tell what we are thankful for. Abby participated for the first time and said me and Honey and her daddy. It was precious. Mia, on the other hand was pouting in my arms because she had just been spanked for spitting on Aunt KK's face. Nice Mia, Happy Thanksgiving to you to.
Abby and Mia love love love being at Honeys. It is even better when the Aunts are there because they get undivided attention 24/7. They hardly speak to Greg or me, we pretty much have to reintroduce ourselves as their parents after a visit. That being said, we had a couple of first this year. Abby and Eli became fast friends. It was fun for abby to have a playmate for the day that could really do what four/five year olds do. They ran all over the house, did a craft that Honey provided and played out in the leaves. They wore themselves out and were sad when Eli had to go.
The other BIG first was that Abby actually crawled up in Bop's lap on several occassions and let him read her a book and just hang out. Now for those of you who dont understand the significance of this, let me give you some history. Bop is Brooke's husband Jerod and he has been around since Abby was very little. However, until about a year ago, Abby could hardly look at him let alone sit in his lap. I personally think that she had a little crush on him and was just too shy to look at him. Anyway, last year Bop brought some glue to fix one of Abby's barbies and the ice broke. However, she has never just up and sat on his lap or even hugged him. I walked into the room that night and low and behold the two of them were in the chair and Bop was reading a book to her. Even bigger, that was not the first time that day that she had done that. Way to go Bop. We knew all along that Abby loved you, thanks for waiting her out. You are a great Uncle and we are so thankful for you.
I am thankful for all of my family. My parents, Grandparents, Sisters, cousins, Brother-in-law, husband and kids. I take them all for granted too much. Abby and Mia, I hope you will know the joy of family coming together to fellowship and celebrate holidays your whole sweet lives.
Our supper club decided to have a family affair and attend the Lighting of the Fayetteville Square on the 17th. We have been eating together once a month (give or take) since Spring of 2000. When we started there were only two kids, now there are 13. 9 of them made it to the lighting (Fr. row Sydney, Mia, Abby and Ben. B. row Jack, Will, Matt, Baileigh and Drew). The kids have a great time together. Abby follows Sydney around like a puppy dog. Mia, well, she just enjoys not having Abby's full attention. The lights were beautiful and a perfect beginning to the holiday season.
We played one friday at Kari's house and you would have thought it was Christmas the way the girls reacted to the leaves in the yard. I could hardly get them out of there. I look at these pictures though and I smile because this is childhood. This is one of those experiences every kid should have (and hopefully have more than once). They loved running and jumping in the leaves, throwing them at each other and hiding in them. Abby's allergies flared up within minutes, but she did not care. Not a care in the world, just two little blonde sisters enjoying fall. It doesn't get any better than that.
After the program, Abby and I went to Red Robin for lunch, HER FAVORITE. She loves to go up to the bar all on her own and order a milkshake. Of course, I let her and watched her from the place we were sitting. She was so sure of herself and would look over every once in a while and just smile at me as if to say, "I have it covered mom, dont worry". We then took off to do some Christmas shopping. At TJ Maxx she decided she needed some lipstick and insisted she apply it herself; of course. You can see what a fabulous job she did. She looked in the mirror, pronounced it perfect and looked like that until bath time that night. She can make me laugh so hard some times.
Abby, you never cease to amaze me. You are smart, funny, self assured, compassionate and mischevious. I love being with you, holding your hand, listening to your stories and enjoying your company. Thank you for all the joy you bring. I Love you.
Abby had her first ever school program November 15th at her school. The invitations they made for the program were turkeys made from their handprint and painted by them. It was adorable. For once I was on time to something and was able to get a front row seat to watch her. I was totally one of "those" parents, waving at her, telling her to look at the teacher, taking pictures, motioning for her to get her shirt sleeve out of her mouth. I feel sorry for the people around me. Ha. Anyway, the kids came in and sang about 5 or 6 songs. My favorite was Albequrque is my Turkey. The kids couldnt quite prononouce Albequerque but it was too cute. They also did a little jazz retelling of Goldilocks and the three bears. Abby was awesome. She is growing up so fast and I marvel at the person she is becoming.
We went with the Harts to Branson last weekend to see the lights at Silver Dollar City. Abby, Mia and Claire have a great time hanging out together. The tent was our attempt to get them to take a nap while they were watching a movie.
As you can see from the unhappy faces in the other picture, they did not get the nap. For the life of me I cannot figure out what these two are unhappy about. I get tickled every time I see the picture. We rode lots of rides. Mike rode the most with these two. He took them on the pirate ship, the tea cups and the haunted house. Greg and Mike rode this spinny thingy ride that about made me sick watching them. They also rode the giant barn swing and about made me and Lisa cry we were laughing so hard. They looked like they were going to cry they were so scared. Even the kids thought there was something wrong with them.
Mia finally rode the ladybug by herself. The last time she rode this she screamed and cried the whole time. Later that night we let the girls decorate cookies. Mia loved the icing, which is no big surprise.
:ater we watched the Christmas tree light up while we sipped very very hot chocolate. It was a great night to get us in the holiday spirit!!
Abby's lifelong friend had her fifth birthday this weekend. It was a Fashionista birthday complete with stylist, accessories and a catwalk. This was so up Abby's ally. It took us about an hour to decide what we were going to wear. Abby, of course, wants to dress to impress. Anna's mom, Rebecca, knows how to throw a party. There was a place for the girls hair to get done, makeup applied, nails painted and jewelry put on. Abby walked in and headed to get made up. I am not real sure she talked to me the rest of the night. She was too busy getting gussied up and running around with her friends. Isnt that how life for a four year old is supposed to be!After all the girls were appropriately accessorized, the fashion show began, mc'd by Anna's daddy, Larry. Each girl was introduced and then did their thing down the runway. They loved it!!!!! I think Abby came down the runway about ten times. Needless to say it was a great party and Abby did not want to leave nor did she want her blue eyeshadow washed off that night. Another great adventure in Abby's little life. Thanks for letting me be along for the ride Abby, I sure love it!
Second children are just different in more ways than I could have ever imagined. Greg and I get so tickled sometimes at Mia's stubborness (it can exasperate me beyond words as well). This is one of those "tickled" times. Greg and I told Mia it was time for nap on Sunday afternoon. She told us no it was not time. We were in her room and she took off running from us determined not to take the nap. She decided to hide from Greg so she got behind the couch where she often likes to hide. This time though she thought she would fool us. She layed down on the floor and hid her head under the couch. I wish I could have been in her head as she thought that one through. "Ha, they will never see me with my head hidden!" Never mind the rest of the body stretched out on the floor for us to see. Needless to say, Greg and I could not stop laughing. Mia, you bring such delight to us.
We had such a great Halloween this year. The girls could not have been more adorable and we had so much fun having pizza with our friends and then taking the kids out for a night of fun in the neighborhood. The Youngs, Smiths, Harts, Nantzes and us all joined up for pizza at the Smith house. The kids love being together and the adults always like the time to visit and not have to worry about their kids. Honey joined us for the night as well. After stuffing ourselves on pizza and salad, we got the kids together and costumed them up and headed out for the night. We had an angel, snow white, winnie the pooh, Jo Jo the clown, nemo, buzz lightyear, a monkey and two firemen rounding out the group. Two wagons, two strollers, a bunch of kids, plenty of group pictures and a few adults later we headed out to gather candy from strangers.
Abby and Claire led the pack. I was amazed looking at her at how big she had become. I didn't have to hold her hand or walk right next to her, she just did it all by herself. Everytime Abby and Claire got candy they came running back to Honey so she could shine the flashlight into their buckets and see how much loot they had recieved. Honey enjoyed every minute of it.
Mia was hilarious. What a change from a one year old in a stroller to a two year old who realizes what Halloween is all about. CANDY. Mia was all about grabbing her bucket and walking up to the door and saying "trick or treat". It did take some coaching to say thank you after she got the candy, but eventually she got that down. I think the hilight for Mia was when she got a tootsie roll pop and was allowed to eat it and trick or treat. Her costume still has sucker slobber on it and we had to do some serious washing of the hands and face when it was all said and done.
We are so blessed to have such wonderful neighbors. Walking behind my friends, watching our kids play and laugh together, parents watching over other kids, I was just thankful to God for what he had provided for us at this time.
After some great trick or treating in the neighborhood we headed up to Grandma and Grandaddy's home to scare up some treats there. The girls rounded out their festivities with pudding from Grandma. What a perfect night.
Girls, wherever we are we are always going to have fun. I love you and so enjoy watching you experience life. Thank you!
Tuesday, October 30th, was Abby's class Halloween party. After many weeks of discussion, she finally decided the night before the party to be an angel. Luckily, I had all we needed to make that costume a reality. She could not have looked cuter. I am telling you that I love having a blonde hair, blue eyed girl. She rocks. Anyway, we got all dolled up and were off to school where we took part in the school parade, trunk or treating in the parking lot and games and snack in the playroom. What a great day! Abby was not pleased with me for missing the party last year, so I was there this time with bells on. I love to watch her in a different environment with other kids. She has so much fun at school and loves playing with the other kids. It is so hard to believe that she will be starting kindergarten next year. She looks so old already and is so smart. Anyway, we had a great day celebrating and I would not have missed it for the world! I love you Abby the angel!!!!!
Big Man, or J.D. as he is otherwise known, played with the girls today. Abby and Mia love him. Bless his heart, he is the only male cousin we have and they think he hung the moon. Abby and J.D. are the closest in age of all the cousins and they are so much fun to watch. They had a great time playing outside. Mia showed us that she can ride her trike, a surprise to all of us. We always love to spend time with the cousins!
Mia is all about the disney princesses right now. She LOVES Cinderella and asks to dress up in Abby's cinderella costume about three times a day. Sometimes you can find her playing with disney princess characters and humming the song from Cinderella, "so this is Love". It cracks us up and reminds us of when Abby fell in love with Cinderella at about the same age. Abby would go around saying "bibbity bobbity boo" to everything. Anyway, the other night Mia got all dressed up in her costume and insisted that Daddy dance with her to "So this is Love". It was precious. Greg said later he would love to learn the song and sing it to her at her wedding some day. How sweet is that. Can you imagine what Mia will think when we see the princesses at Disney this Christmas. That is going to be great. Mia and Abby, I love that you love the same movies I grew up with. I loved those movies when I was young, but I think I love them more now watching you guys dance and sing to them. You are the cutest princesses I know.
Today we went to a pumpkin patch with some of our neighbor friends. It was a beautiful day and the kids had a great time picking out pumpkins. Abby found lots of pumpkins to take home and "helped out" with the younger kids. I love to watch her with her friends. They make up games and run around and just have the best time. I love the picture of Abby and Claire. Those two are peas in a pod. Mia took a while to warm up to things. Notice the only group picture she is in, she is crying. She finally realized that she could get a pumpkin and set her mind to picking the right one. We had a picnic, the kids lounged in the sun and then decorated cupcakes made by our friend Caleb and his mom Michelle. I love the fall. It was a good day with the girls!