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let’s talk turkey

Since Christmas is less than a week away, I figured it was about time I posted our Thanksgiving pictures.  We drove up to Illinois over Thanksgiving for a few days.  The first person we got to see was our little nephew/cousin, Landon.  He has the biggest, cheesiest grin of any one-year-old, and I love it!


This was Dave’s first time meeting Landon, so they had a lot to talk about.  They started with some stretching.thanksgiving2013_02

And then a staring contest.  They’re good buddies now.


The next day we woke up to temperatures in the teens, so I decided it would be a perfect opportunity to take some pictures of my family outside.  However, I forgot that my husband was raised in Phoenix, and he turns into a popsicle when the mercury drops below 45 degrees Fahrenheit.  Doesn’t he look toasty and warm here?  Maybe not.thanksgiving2013_04

My mother tried to console him.  “It’s ok, Dave, once you lose feeling in your toes, you’ll forget all about how much your face hurts.”thanksgiving2013_05

Plan B.  Leave the coats on.thanksgiving2013_06

Since we consider ourselves to be true Southerners by now (who can’t handle the Midwestern cold), we rushed back to Tennessee the next day and celebrated Thanksgiving at MeMe and PaPa’s condo in Nashville.  (Next year, they’re going to have to make room on the couch for two more… Sabrina now has twin baby sisters!!!  Stay tuned for pictures of the babies as soon as they get out of the NICU!)thanksgiving2013_09

After stuffing themselves with turkey and pumpkin pie, the girls worked off some calories by doing a little Twister.thanksgiving2013_07

And finally, as tradition requires, the girls finished Thanksgiving with a little tackle football (indoors, and minus the football).  It doesn’t matter how much MMA training Parker has, when these girls gang up on him, he doesn’t stand a chance.thanksgiving2013_08

And there you have it!  I’ll be back soon with the Christmas update!



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Harry & Hermione

Look who came to visit!  It’s Harry Potter and Hermione Granger!


They are such sweet little Hogwarts kids.  And they are the best of friends, as long as Harry does exactly what Hermione says.


Hermione can be a bit bossy.  I’d listen carefully, Harry.


When you don’t follow her instructions, you get an elbow jammed into your ribs.


Harry looks so innocent, doesn’t he.


But photobombing your sister is not very sweet, Harry.IMG_4840-October-05,-2013

Dude.  She noticed.


And this brings us to the end of our little Halloween photo shoot.  Harry has made Hermione mad.


He must suffer the consequences, which I’m sure involve some kind of evil spell.  Nice knowing you, Harry.


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A peek at December

We started our winter break off by decorating gingerbread houses.

If there’s one thing we know how to do, it’s indulge in sugary candy (and give bunny ears, yeah, that’s a big thing with both of them now).

The sugar high lasted all the way through until Christmas morning.  Torin scored big with her new purple disc chair, and Parker got a new kicking/punching bag.

I attempted to take a few more wintery pictures of them in the backyard the next day.  I like the back-to-back shots so I can compare their height.  The back-to-back pose, however, usually lasts about 1.3 seconds.

This is how it usually goes.  First, there’s the death grip on the hand.  He thinks I won’t notice.  He figures I’m focused on the big smile that he’s flashing and not paying one bit of attention to the super squeeze that he has put on his sister’s delicate fingers.

But the sister soon retaliates against the death grip by trying to knock him over with her bony rear end.  It’s a classic move that results in full-on combat between their posterior portions, all while they are still holding hands and remaining back-to-back (so “technically” obeying how I asked them to stand).  At that point, their exasperated mother yells something like “Seriously?  Stop it!  Are you ready to go inside?  FINE.”

Ahh… the memories.  :)  Think they’ll still act like this when they’re 28 and 30?

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Thanksgiving 2011

We spent a few days in Illinois last week… I didn’t take very many pictures because it was hard to hold my camera and a piece of pie at the same time.  I did, however, take the camera to Torin’s first concert at Great-Grandpa Marlin’s nursing home, which was the highlight of our trip.  She played for 10 whole minutes and had the entire crowd singing along as she played “Home on the Range” and “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.”  I’m convinced that she totally would’ve gotten a standing ovation if any of these older people could’ve stood up on their own.  I see more nursing home concerts in her future!

The weather was rainy and yucky while we were there, but that didn’t stop the kids from practicing their daredevil stunt moves on the four-wheeler at MeMe and PaPa’s.

We also helped feed the cows while we were there.  This big girl was after my husband…

…and I was not about to stand in her way.

Torin came to the rescue and lured her away with some fresh pears.  And then I went back inside, put the camera down, and ate some more pie.

On Thanksgiving Day, we enjoyed dinner with Grandpa Bob and Nana, but I was too preoccupied with the cheeseball and the bacon-wrapped-brown-sugar-coated-weenies to take any pictures.  :)  The end.

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A Halloween preview.

Torin will be going as a hula girl.  But she’s not JUST a hula girl… she’s also a book character.

She’s got this grand plan to take Molly along trick-or-treating with her so they both can collect candy.  We’ll see how that works out.

The funny thing is, her grass skirt outfit came with a coconut bra.  I am happy to report that she is way too modest to wear it.  She is even embarrassed to have it hanging in her closet.  :)

Parker is going as Indiana Jones.  He and Harrison Ford look a lot alike, don’t you think?

He’s just as rough and tough as the real Indiana Jones.  It’s just really, really hard for him to keep a straight face.

He’s got a whip, too, so look out.

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Resurrection Rolls.

I know I am a rookie compared to some of you moms who have been making these things for years, but honestly, last Easter was the first time that I’d heard of resurrection rolls.  We certainly didn’t make them where I grew up.  Maybe it’s just a Southern thing… I love how Southern women can find any excuse to roll something in butter and sugar.  Regardless, it definitely will not be our last year to do this – they were fun and DELISH!!!  In case you haven’t heard of them, here’s what you do.  Preheat the oven to 350 and get out a can of crescent rolls.  I put two triangles together to make a rectangle, and that seemed to make things easier.  You’ll also need a package of big marshmallows, some melted butter, and some cinnamon & sugar (mostly sugar).  Then you call in the kids.

Give each child a marshmallow.  This represents Jesus and His purity.  Have the kid dip the marshmallow in melted butter.  This represents the role of embalming.

Then dip the buttered marshmallow in the cinnamon & sugar.  This represents the spices used to anoint the body of Christ.

Finally, wrap the coated marshmallow tightly in the cresent roll.  Bring the sides up and seal the marshmallow inside.  This represents wrapping Jesus’ body after death.  (Totally off-topic, but it made me a little sad to notice that both of my kids are working easily at the raised kitchen counter without the need of a step-stool.  When did this happen?)

Place the rolls in the oven for 10-12 minutes.  The oven represents the tomb (pretend like it was 3 days and 3 nights).  When the rolls are done and have cooled, open the rolls and discover that Jesus is no longer there.  The marshmallow melts and the crescent roll is puffed up, but like the tomb – it is empty inside!  How cool is that!?  Torin and Parker loved it.  Dave ate a couple of tombs himself, so I think he liked it as well.  :)

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Operation: Easter Surprise.

We egged some of our friends today, and it was soooo much fun!  Armed with 85 candy-filled plastic eggs, Torin & Parker snuck up on each house, scattered the eggs, slapped a sign on the front door, rang the bell, and then ran as fast as they could back to the getaway car.  House #1 was our biggest challenge.  Fearful of getting caught, Parker decided to wear a mustache to disguise himself as he stealthily made his moves.

Ruuuuuun!!!  House #1 was sort of a half-success.  We saw one of the children peeking out the window as we sped off, and we think she recognized the getaway vehicle (probably because it is the same as the carpool vehicle).

House #2 was much less stressful.  As luck would have it, I happened to be on the phone with the Lady of the House earlier in the morning, and she mentioned that they were leaving soon for a doctor’s appointment.  Score!

No one was home.  House #2 was a total success.

House #3 gave us an unexpected twist.  We pulled our undercover car up to their driveway only to discover that they had a yard full of landscapers working (gasp!)!

We remained undeterred.  After nodding at the landscapers and and giving them the universal wave which means “Don’t mind us, we’re just here to scatter some eggs, and we promise not to mess up your mulch, por favor and gracias,” we went about our business.

Uh-oh.  The operation almost came to a screeching halt when the kids couldn’t find the doorbell.

Finally found the bell!  House #3 was another success!

And finally, House #4.  This house gave us something that we hadn’t exactly planned for – lots of barking dogs who were freely roaming the cul-de-sac.  We don’t believe that the homeowners were there at the time, so we’re just praying that the neighborhood dogs didn’t get into the Reece’s eggs and the Kit-Kats after we left.  Otherwise, we may be in BIG trouble.

Success again!


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