Monday, January 26, 2009

Pirate Parade

We journeyed over to Tampa this weekend for the Annual Gasparilla Children's Parade! My Uncle and Aunt live within walking distance of the parade route and have a party every year for the kids. We had a great time. The kids had a blast playing in the bounce house and then walking down to the parade to catch the ever so coveted bead necklaces! As we drove home from the festivities that night with a bunch of worn out semi crankpots, we marveled at the irony of it all:

50-55 minutes driving (one way) with 8 people crammed into an SUV filled with strollers, food and entertainment for the "long" trip ...cost: $55 (food, gas & parking fee)

Standing in a mass mob, filled with pushy people out to steal your booty(which is probably only worth a nickle) that has left welts on your face where the boyscout standing a mere 2 feet away from you, has hurled it at a record land speed of 60mph; for slightly over 3 1/2 hours...cost: $weekly podiatry appointments to save your blistered and bunioned feet in hopes of not losing a limb.

Navigating your way through the massive residential streets in which we must fold in the side mirrors in order to avoid the cars parked on both sides of the road only to find our way to a restaurant that serves something other than chicken mcnuggets and doesn't require an overnight long wait to get in...cost: $150 (food + professional hair coloring to erase the effects of premature aging)

Waking up the next day to go to church dressed in our "Sunday Best" with remnants of painted on mustaches/beards/scars, that, shy of sandblasting our poor young children's faces, refuse to wash away not to mention the welts from those sparkly weapons of mass destruction ...PRICELESS!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

More Than Meets The Eye!

Brady has decided he wants a Transformer party this year for his birthday! And, he wants it at the skating rink...which means no fun party games or decorations, because all they'll be doing is skating! So instead I have to funnel my creativity into something else! And of course that means the invitations and cake (well cupcakes)! I know it would be a whole lot cheaper and a lot less time consuming to just go out and buy some pre-printed party invitations...but where is the fun in that? His birthday isn't until February, so you'll have to wait for the cupcake pictures until then, but here are the invitations.

I made the faces out of art foam. I traced the pattern and then used an exacto knife to cut. I already had some really cool silver(metallic) card stock that I was going to use for christmas cards, but I still haven't gotten around to making those yet! :-)

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Elvis' Birthday! (check back for pictures)

I know all of you out there already knew that today was Elvis' birthday. But there is another important thing that happened on this day 15 years ago. I said "I do" to the most wonderful man! And in just a few short weeks it will be 17 years ago that we met for the first time.

Every night I go to bed and and thank the Lord above for giving me this God fearing man, who takes care of me and the kids better than I could have ever hoped or dreamed for. I often get those emails from friends where you answer questions about yourself and there is always at least one asking "where you'd rather be..." I can honestly say I have everything I could wish or want. I am living my "happily ever after"!

As with all married couples we go through trials and tribulations, but it only makes us stronger in the end. And I am so thankful that I have Matthew to go through those trials with. Thank you for all these years you have given to me, I love you more and more each and every day.

Happy Anniversary!

Monday, January 5, 2009

"Winter" Break is over!

Today was the last day of "winter" break for the kids. Back to school tomorrow they go! And when I say "winter" I do use that term very loosely! We spent half the day at the park where the kids played in their shorts and t-shirts as sweat rolled down their faces! When we got in the truck to leave the park the temp read 95 degrees! I'm sorry, to all my Northern livin' friends who suffered through the ice storm last night. Now granted it wasn't actually 95 degrees (that was probably just the heat index...that's the opposite of wind chill for all my Yankee's out there), it was actually around 85! So we left the park and headed to the civic center for some ice skating! Yes, you heard me correctly! Now here is where my Yankee friends get to make fun of us...just watch the video of all the Floridian's out on ice and you'll see what I mean. Abbey picked it up pretty quickly, Brooke and Brady didn't want to stray too far from the wall, but they both did well. We all skated for a good 2 hours straight. Me thinks me ankles will be hurtin tomorrow!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Christmas Pictures

Christmas usually ends up being a 2-3 week event in our family. Between traveling and trying to coordinate every one's schedules, we just know to plan for a very busy December!

We had a wonderful time up in Alabama the week before Christmas visiting with Matthew's parents. We went to Bro. Tim McCool's church in Gordo or actually I think it's a town called Echols(sp). Sis. Tracey (in case some of you haven't heard) had her 5th child on Dec. 17th...a little girl named Lila Cecelia. So she was still at the hospital and we weren't able to see her. But we did get to visit a short bit with Bro. Tim and the kids had a blast playing with the McCool kids.

The Tuesday before Christmas we left Alabama and drove to Macon with Matthew's parents to visit some more of Matthew's side of the family. I don't think we have been up there since before Brady was born, so it was nice to visit and catch up!

We then drove home on Christmas Eve, stopping at every Hess gas station along the way looking for the 2008 Hess Truck for Mom and Dad to give to Joshua. Unfortunately we had no luck! We were also on a mission from Mom to find Hoover Corn Meal. For some reason you can't find it down here...but we did find it at the Harvey's Supermarket right outside of Tifton...I think! I'm am expecting a plate full of yummy fried cornbread any day now...I think the 3 five pound bags I bought for her will cover her until our next trip up to GA!

Christmas morning we woke up in our own beds...aaahhhhh! And saw that Santa had visited our house! The kids both got bicycles from Santa. Abbey also got this fun karaoke game for the PS3. It has all the hit songs from Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus, High School Musical, Camp Rock along with a few other unknowns (at least to us)! So, Abbey, being the rock star she is, loves this game!

Finally, on Saturday, we had the Miller family gathering! The kids scored some more loot and I think we all gained another couple of extra pounds from the good food we've been livin off of for the last few weeks. Brady is still asking people if they have presents in the back of their truck! It has become a great teaching tool. Brady now knows how to spell the word "over"! As in, "Brady, I've told you 300 times, Christmas is over...O-V-E-R! There will be no more presents until your just 2 short months"! I think I will adopt the rule of 1 in 3 out in the toy area!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

My New Year's Resolutions:
1. Read the bible the whole way through, again. (I did this a few years ago and I'm ashamed that I haven't done it since)
2. Do better about staying in touch with people (make more phone calls, visit, etc.)
3. Try to be better about blogging (this is for my in-laws)!

The Lord has blessed us abundantly, far more than we have ever deserved! I pray that I will be able to continue to serve Him as He would have me to do! I know that I will fall short daily of his glory, but I also know that "His Mercy Will Endureth Forever"!
I wish you all a wonderful new year full of many more of the rich blessings that He has given to us! We look forward to seeing all of you at our upcoming church meetings at Little Union. We have our January meeting with Bro. Sam Odom. Then in February we will be hosting the annual Florida Fellowship Meeting. Please feel free to contact me for any information on either of these meetings.