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Category Archives: holidays

St. Louis Zoo & the Arch.

We extended our Memorial Day holiday for a couple more days so we could go to the St. Louis zoo and the Arch!  Here are the kids in front of the zebras… both of my kids are appropriately dressed in stripes.


Standing at the base of the Arch.  You can’t see it in this picture, but there are tiny windows at the top.


The kids are at the very top of the Arch here.




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Memorial Day in my hometown.

The flag pictures were taken on the lawn of the courthouse in Mt. Vernon.  Torin liked the courthouse… I told her that I used to work there and she thought that was kinda cool, but even cooler was the fact that there’s a REAL JAIL in the basement!!!  She begged to go see the bad guys.  (Should I be worried about that?)



These were taken on the campus of my high school.  We did this on the spur-of-the-moment.  She really should be dressed in black & orange.


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St. Patrick’s Day.

Our morning conversation…

Me:  Torin, remember when we went to Chicago last summer and saw the Chicago River?

Torin:  Uh-huh.

Me:  They dye the river on St. Patrick’s Day every year and turn the water bright green.  Wouldn’t that be funny to see?

Torin:  [Bewildered.]  How many people are going to die in the river this year?


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The Christmas shuffle.

 Christmas Eve started very early for us this year.  Like 6:00 a.m.  Fortunately, Santa knew that we were leaving on the 24th to head up to Illinois, so he came one night early to our house.  The kids hopped up, ran down the stairs, and started tearing into the gifts.

Note for next year:  throwing a quick hair clip in first would be a nice idea so she could actually SEE was she’s opening.


SCORE!  We got some really great gifts from Santa and some awesome loot from Dave’s side of the family!


After we finished at our house, we drove to the O’Dell grandparents where we opened more fabulous gifts and ate way too many sugar-coated pecans.  And we took some more pictures.


And took even more pictures…


Then we went to PaPa and MeMe’s house where someone was very excited to get an electric knife:


And someone else was not quite so excited to get a bell:


I was just adjusting her outfit.  Honest.  I was not playing dress-up with a doll:


How many people does it take to open one pair of headphones:


After MeMe and PaPa’s house, we went to Aunt Becky’s for another feeding – this time it was turkey, sweet potatoes, and my favorite Texas sheet cake.  Then we went to Uncle Wayne and Aunt Sally’s for… RIBS.  Lord have mercy.  Bryan and Travis had been grilling them all day, and they were gooooood.


While I was changing into my stretchy pants after all that food, Torin was busy plotting her wish list for next Christmas.  It’s never to early to start.


There’s no way I could post all of our pictures on the blog, so I posted all of them here in case you want to see more!

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They’re home for two whole weeks? Is that really necessary?

Today was the last day of school before Christmas break, so you know what that means… CLASS PARTY!  Dave had the day off from work, so Torin chose him to go with her to help decorate her gingerbread house at school.  This was the fabulous creation that they came home with. 


Parker and I couldn’t just sit at home while the other two were off digging in a tub of frosting, so we made our own gingerbread men while Daddy and Torin were at school.


After school was over, we had to go somewhere to release some energy (given the sugar rush and all) so we drove over to Ms. Jennifer’s house (their favorite place) and jumped on her trampoline.


Here’s Parker and Aaron on the trampoline with two first-grade girls.  The boys loooooved it.  :)


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The best J ever.

Parker’s preschool program was this morning.  Friends, let me tell you, it was nothing less than a Christmas miracle.  For four years now I have watched him cry, hide, pout, and/or misbehave while onstage.  This year, however, my child proudly walked to his place in the dead center of the stage, flashed his killer fake smile at me, and proceeded to actually sing and participate in the program.  I almost cried.  And thanks to my 70-200 mm lens, I was able stand in the back of the auditorium and take these pictures instead of having to fight the swarms of mothers elbowing each other for a spot down front.





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Thanksgiving in Mt. Vernon.

The kids and I spent a few days in Illinois this week.  We came back on Thursday because I had plans to be at Belk’s at 5:00 a.m. on Friday.  I love Black Friday.  It’s just me, my mother, and a few thousand other people who haven’t showered.  I mean, who doesn’t love standing in line for 45 minutes to get a half-priced bottle of body lotion?  I thought about waking Torin up so she could experience the thrill, but I decided to let her sleep.  Maybe next year she can join in the fun.

Here are some pictures of our family from this week!

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