Tuesday, December 27, 2011


Christmas is over and now we prepare to celebrate the beginning of a new year. I sit here amazed at how fast time is passing by me. I can not believe Joe and I turn 30 this year and that we have three beautiful blessings, Josie almost 6, Jolie age 4, and Joel 1. We are blessed beyond measure. This year has not been near as crazy as last year was, thank you God, and all in all I would say 2011 was a good year. I pray for an even better year this 2012, and that we continue to become a closer family learning about and serving God. I pray that you all have had good and happy holiday celebrations and that the new year brings you blessings and good health. We are so blessed by all of you in so many different ways and are grateful to call you our family and friends.

I think we got to see almost all of our Alabama family at some point or another which as Josie would say, "was awesome." Aunt Mona had dropped off some presents for the kids one day while we were at work and school so we made a trip to her house to visit with her and Chase. The kids were being sooo goofy that night but we had a blast and laughed so hard at our silly monkeys.

Friday when we had Christmas at the Burdicks. Angie, Becca, Quint, Sheila, Caden, Ansleigh, Joe's grandmother (Gigi), MeMaw, Paw-Paw, Josie, Jolie, Joel, and I gathered for food, presents, and fellowship. Joe had to work and got there just as everyone was leaving.

The next morning we made our cookies for Santa and cupcakes for Jesus' birthday. We let them make their own colored icing and top them with sprinkles. We had a lot of fun. That afternoon Chris, Crystal, Elias, and Annaleigh came over for our Christmas together time. We ate dinner and all 9 of us headed to church for one of my favorite Christmas traditions, the candle light service. Josie and Elias did great holding their candles as we sang Silent Night.

After church we went to visit with MeMaw and Gigi before heading home to get ready for Santa. When we got home the girls' snow angels had brought them presents. All three kids had new pjs and slippers. There was also a book "God Gave us Christmas", and a speical key for us to put out for Santa since we don't have a fireplace. The kids put on their pjs since the girls' nightgowns came with matching nightgowns for their baby dolls we had to find the perfect baby doll for each girl to put the night gown on. After that we started getting everything ready for Santa. We put out the special key, we put the reindeer's food outside so that they could refill their energy while they waited on Santa, and lastly we put out Santa's milk and cookies. Then we all snuggled as we read "God Gave us Christmas." It was a great book that taught us that Jesus is much more important than Santa and that Santa can be hard to find but God is always everywhere and God gave us the best present of all.

We always invite the grandparents to our house each Christmas so that they can see the kids open their presents. I had told everyone 6:30 a.m. so I got up at 6 to start on breakfast for everyone. The kids were up at 6:10 so they hung out in the girls' bedroom until 6:30 a.m. Other Mama, Pap-Paw, MeMaw, Paw-Paw, and Gigi were there to see them open their presents.

This is Joel's area from Santa. Santa left everything unwrapped because he knew that Joel is not into opening presents. He got a coupe car, a horse punching bag thing, an outfit, some trucks, a push lawnmower, a Veggie Tales DVD, a trutle shape sorter, a book and dog that when you read the book the dog makes sounds, and a stocking full of goodies. From Joe and I he got a shark hooded towel, camo boots, a book, a toy dog that plays music, another outfit, a pop-up tent, and some more trucks.

This is Jolie's area on the couch from Santa. Her presents are wrapped in blue. Santa brought her a princess scooter, a Mobigo (a handheld gaming system like a Leapster), some games for her Mobigo, a shirt, a Lala Loopsy doll, some nuts, an electric toothbrush, a barbie car, a new lovie, a mini walkman, and a stocking full of goodies.

This is Josie's area on the couch from Santa. Her presents are wrapped in pink. Josie and Jolie got all the same presents except Josie got a notepad instead of a lovie. Santa knows that they would fight and be upset if someone got something the other didn't. Josie's scooter is different colors of pink, purple, and blue and does not have any characters on it.

Joe and I got the girls hooded towels, two shirts (one Alabama and something else on the other one), baby dolls, books, bath sets with their favorite characters, batons, vet set that included a stuffed kitty, and I can't remember what else.

This year they also got to buy presents for Joe, their siblings, and me, and got to wrap the gifts themselves. They both did a great job buying for their siblings, Joe, and me.

After all the gifts were open and we had some breakfast we got ready for church. We had been told that the children could come in their pjs and that church would be casual so we put some leggings on the girls and loaded up for church. After church we went to Nanny's house for presents and lunch with Other Mama, Pap-Paw, Kevin, Ami, Sydney, Shelby, Aunt Pam, Uncle Mike, and Nanny. We got there about 11:15 and stayed until a little after 2. I never pulled out my camera :( Between eating and Joel getting sleepy I never had a chance. The kids got some great presents and had fun playing with Sydney and Shelby. We got to see Uncle Ben, Aunt Tiffany, and Tanner for a few minutes before we left Nannys and headed to MeMaw and Paw-Paws. Uncle Lynn, Aunt Holly, and Gigi were there so we got to visit with them for about two hours before they left to head home and we left to head home. Joel tried to take a nap at MeMaw's but I guess he could hear too much commotion and was not having it. We got home about 5 that evening and Joel slept from 5 that evening until 6 something the next morning. The girls played with their toys, and laid down to watch a movie in their room. They passed out watching the movie.

Needless to say, we had a fabulous Christmas.

Yesterday Joe worked while the kids and I tried to clean up and put up all our new toys. I got some of the Christmas decorations down, but still have a log way to go. After Joe got home and after naps we ran to K-Mart to exchange Josie's Mobigo, the touch screend didn't work. After that we we ran to Dollar Tree. Jolie had gotten Josie some slime for Christmas, and Jolie really wanted some. After that we headed home for dinner, baths with all their fun new bath stuff, and bed. They only have preschool 3 days this week, today, tomorrow, and Thursday and are off again Friday and Monday. Josie goes back to school on Tuesday, January 3rd.

We hope everyone has a happy and blessed 2012!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Second Weekend of Christmas...

Christmas Weekend 2 down, 2 to go :)

Before I tell you what all we did this weekend, there is something else I want to share. This past Sunday during the sermon our preacher spoke about a couple that had just had a baby and how having newborn babies close to Christmas can intensify the feelings of Christmas for us. I can attest to that. Christmas of 2006 I was very pregnant with one Josie Madelynn. I remember a lot of Sunday mornings crying during the service as I looked up front to our beautiful hand crafted nativity scene that sits on the communion table in front of the pulpit. A lot of Sundays I put myself in Mary's shoes. Carrying a child that you were so excited to meet yet nervous about being a first time mother. Just thinking that the one who came to save me, the one who has loved me from my very first breath, came into the world in the exact same way Josie was about to. I also would become very sad for Mary knowing that she would have to give her son up, knowing that the child she carried was hers but not completely. I think as long as I live, I will remember how emotional that Christmas season was for me, and how that makes Christmas mean so much more now. Jesus is coming, prepare the way!!

Okay, now on to our weekend. Friday night we had MeMaw and Paw-Paw over for dinner. After dinner we all loaded up into our van and drove around looking at Christmas ligthts. It was a really nice evening and everyone enjoyed the lights.

Saturday morning we played around the house until it was time to head to Wetumpka. Christmas on the Coosa (The "Coosa" is a river that runs through Wetumpka) is a big deal in Wetumpka, and also a family tradition. My family always went as children, and we have always taken our kids. Tons of people come for all the festivities which include vendors, bouncy houses for the children, a race, car show, performers, petting zoo, a street parade and top the night off a boat parade and fireworks. We first walked across the bridge to downtown to look at all the vendors, and then we headed back to the church to get ready to be in the parade.
Here are the kids with balloons someone gave them:

Our church had a float in the parade and the theme was our 175 birthday. We had people walking beside the float and the kids rode on the float. Our walkers included people dressed in Scottish garb to represent our Scottish heritage, ladies dressed in antebellum dresses, and Joe, Joel and I dressed in regular clothes representing the modern family. We pushed Joel in a car that Pap-Paw got Josie for her first birthday. That thing has been the best. It has lasted through almost 6 six years and 3 kids. We all had a blast. Joe and I took turns pushing Joel and handing out silly bands and candy to kids who watched the parade. After our float finished the parade we walked back so that the kids could see the end of the parade.

Here the girls and Caden are waiting for Santa to come through the parade:

Ansleigh riding in Joel's car while the parade was finishing up:

After the parade, we decided we needed to eat. We had worked up quite an appetite with all the walking, so we went with Quint & Sheila to eat Mexican. After dinner we went and played at a nearby park until it was time for fireworks.

Sunday morning Josie sang in the Childrens Choir at church. She had a big fan base sitting in the pews watching her: Other Mama, Aunt Sheila, Uncle Quint, Caden, Ansleigh, MeMaw, Paw-Paw, and of course Jolie, Joe, and me. She did a great job and actually sang. We were all so proud of her. After church the kids and I played in the nursery while Joe had a short session meeting. Here is a picture Other Mama took while we waited:

After that we had lunch, took naps, and headed back to church to go caroling. We rode the float we made for the parade through the streets behind the church stopping at various houses and singing to the people who came out to listen to us. It was a lot of fun. After that we had a hotdog supper at church.

The kids have a lot going on at school this week with Christmas parties, field trips, and PJ days. In fact, the kids got to open their presents from Aunt Debbie, Grammy, and Gigi early so that they could wear their new pjs to school this week. They were so excited about all their gifts.

We found out yesterday that Joel has croup. He woke up about 4 a.m. Tuesday morning barking and had really raspy breathing. Joe took him to the doctor and the verdict was croup. Joe stayed home with again today so he could get some more rest but he already sounds so much better that he did yesterday. The rest of us are working on colds, but otherwise doing good.

We are not sure what all this weekend entails. The Town of Elmore has a special thing for the children Saturday night with Santa, sleigh rides, goody bags, and refreshments, so I think we are going to try to make that. We also have our shopping to do and hopefully going to the Zoo to see the lights. Joe works this weekend so that makes making plans a little more difficult.

Hope everyone is enjoying the season!