Tuesday, November 22, 2011

November Remembered

IT IS THANKSGIVNG VACATION!!! And I am just a tiny bit excited. WOOOOOOOO!!!!!

I can't wait to eat, and cut down our Christmas tree, and eat, and decorate our house, and eat, and bake, and eat, and go see the Muppet Movie, and eat (popcorn, coke, and Junior Mints - Yes, I sneak in my Junior Mints - I mean, what kind of theater doesn't sell Junior Mints????), and eat.

But before I take pictures of all of that stuff and want to post them on here to remember, I want to post a few other things.

Last week, ML's dance class had 'visitor's week.' I took a few pictures of ML in front of her/ my/ my mother's/ originally my grandmother's vanity before we left.

I love the history of this set. I think about my grandmother getting ready for her teenage and college dates in front of this same vanity (she lived at home all through college. Ohio State was just down the street!) and it just makes me so sentimental. I have a picture of my mother putting on her makeup in front of this vanity on her wedding day.

Super cool stuff. We, the parents and grandparents, etc., got to come inside the studio and see our students perform the dances and moves they have been working on since August.

ML did very well. She kept telling me that she had to do 'a really funny dance.' Turns out it was her jazz dance. I guess the poor girl has been in 'pure' ballet so long, she didn't know what to think when they taught her the grapevine! Ha!

I do still love a good ballet position though:

She seems to like tap a lot.

By the way, THIS is what happens if you go shopping for Christmas presents right before you pick your child up from school.

She zoned in on it from the back seat like she has some kind of toy radar! :-)

The next day we dropped off our Operation Christmas Child boxes. This year I didn't let the kids go shopping with me - I just ran out of time. Instead I shopped before I picked them up from school and then dumped everything in a big pile on the kitchen island and let them pack the boxes themselves.

The next day was Thursday, the day of JR's Thanksgiving concert at school. I was lucky enough to have borrowed a lens for my camera from a good friend. I actually borrowed it for the Jr. High retreat I went on, but it ended up being a perfect week for a loaner! I photographed the retreat, ML's visitors week at dance and the concert with that lens. Many thanks David!

I would kind of like to know when I went from being the mother of a precious little child to being the mother of a frat boy????

And finally, we did something different this year for Thanksgiving. I made a mantle banner similar to one I found on Pinterest and then hung another string under the banner.

Each night at dinner we each wrote down something we were thankful for and clothes pinned it to the string. It's been kind of neat to see what the kids are thankful for! And funny to see their thought process. They went through each family member first. Then they were both thankful for Jesus. And then they moved on to the pets. Ha! I discovered that ML is very influenced by her brother, for whatever he chose to be thankful for, she was usually thankful for as well. So sweet in a way!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

November, November....

Look at me! I'm on a roll! Two posts, one week. Write it down. Ha!

So..... this is what JR looks like a LOT now......

nose in a book - can't stop reading to even walk into the grocery store, world might crash around him and he wouldn't even notice - in love with reading. And, I must admit, I love it. I loved to read when I was younger (still do love to read, but there's this tiny problem with free time.......) I loved getting lost in a book, being in a whole new world, experiencing life in someone else's shoes. Right now JR loves the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books and anything Judy Blume.

And while we're talking about JR - I want to always remember this: Whenever the kids are about to get in trouble, we use the age old tactic of calling them by their full names to let them know that their doom is imminent. As in "JR Owens, you'd better stop that right now!" Well, it seems that whenever JR wants to 'call me out on the carpet' (or emphasize something to me), he says, "Mommy Owens!" With double emphasis on the 2 syllables in "mommy." Which I think is his version of calling me by my full name. Cracks me up! Every time!

My children LOVE to take pictures with my phone. I guess this is what I look like when I'm handing them something from the front:

(I've showered this week I swear.......)

And then there are the all important feet shots:

For his birthday, JR got my old iPhone, which now functions pretty much like an iPod touch. He uses it to communicate with his friends, but he has to use my app accounts, so I get lots of pictures like this one:

And then there are the fun shots we get while grocery shopping:

One weekend, my parents and sister & brother in law all drove up to Nashville to see Wicked. LOVE Wicked! But we had already seen it in Chicago, so I volunteered to stay home and babysit. We had a Pinteresting kind of day....

made some turkeys......

and then a banner I need to photograph.

ML loves her daddy!

And we love our Cgroupies! This is some of our Tuesday night Bible Study:

Last week was a crazy one. Which meant we all went different directions a different times, so ML and I had a dinner date one night.

And one night JR's school had a Skate Night, so we laced up and headed back into the 80's. I mean, we had a great time! Including ML skating ALL by herself for the very first time!

And then, last Friday, it was time for me to head off on a weekend retreat with 174 Middle Schoolers!

Thankfully only 3 of them were 'mine' for the weekend. It was an awesome time, I've never had such great discussion before - my girls are in 8th grade now and the just talked and talked. I love them so much - they are such a blessing!

The band that played at the retreat was called The Weight of Glory and they were AMAZING! The cellist in the group had performed at the CMA's Wednesday night with Rascal Flatts - how cool is that?!

That's her on the left w/ 2 of my small group girls on the right!
Not sure how cool it was coming from the CMA's to our middle school retreat, but she certainly sounded like she was happy to be there!

Their bass guitarist is a former member of our youth group, so we were pretty pumped.

I think their CD is on iTunes if anyone stumbles upon this blog and wants to look them up!

So much more has happened this month that I want to write down, but that's all for now! More to come.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

October Remembered

Man, I wish I loved to update my blog as much as I love to read them! Facebook totally wigs me out now, so I don't post as many pictures as I used to - making this blog the only way I can share pictures with our loved ones near and far, so here goes!

There were so many things I loved about our October, but I think it's the small stuff that I loved the most.

Like Chick Fil A before school with my favorite little girl:

And buying our first set of pom poms (because, after that trip to the Auburn game - guess who thinks being an Auburn cheerleader is her future career? Guess I'd better explain that it's more of a recreational sport than a full time job! Ha!)

And crafting with the kids. We made these door hangars for our teachers.

There were football pictures:

And first ever "big" school projects - hello Ancient Egypt!

And then of course there were bigger memories. Like a trip to Disney to celebrate JR's birthday (Yes, again!)

It was fall break for our whole school district, so we met up with lots of friends while we were there!

One of the many things I love about our trips to Disney now, is that we are able to slow down and take it more as a 'resort' and do fun things like play checkers after dinner. Or ride Big Thunder Mountain during the fireworks (best thing ever!)

This picture cracks me up, because it totally captures this stage of JR's life. He loves all the Disney characters, but lately he's been trying to act like he doesn't enjoy any of the 'girly' characters. Thus, this is the face I got when we met Alice at breakfast:

ML was so excited to meet Tiana!

We made some special memories this trip. The Saturday we were there it rained ALL DAY. And I'm not just talking a little rain. I'm talking a non stop downpour. I'm not going to lie - even though a rainy day at Disney is better than any other day at 'work', it was still pretty cold, wet and sometimes miserable. But the upsides were HUGE! As in, that night we had Fantasyland and most of the rest of the Magic Kingdom all to ourselves. I don't think I'll ever forget riding Space Mountain 4 times in a row without stopping. Or riding the teacups all alone. Or being the only (totally insane, completely crazy) people to ride on Dumbo!

Seriously. The only people on the ride!

Happy Birthday Big Guy!

And Halloween arrived and ML decided 2 days before that she wanted to be Alice. Yes. 2 Days. This would be the same girl who was offered an Alice costume at least 5 times while we were at Disney, but said every time, "No, I don't want to be Alice this year." Gah!

But luckily, ML has a grandmother who loves her more than life and is an amazing seamstress, so all was well.

This is ML at the 'character parade' at her school.

I have ZERO good pictures of JR on Halloween, but he went as a Rapper. Although, he was running around so much before Trick or Treating that he was hot and didn't wear his 'rapper' hoodie, so about halfway through the night he started telling people he was his friend Ben from school. - Hysterical!

And that was October!
This is just a tiny part of the beautiful view I get to see every day as I drive over the 'mountain' to take my kids to school. It is even more beautiful in October. How lucky am I?????