Monday, December 31, 2007

Christmas at Aunt Laura's!

Christmas Day, we left Mim and Poppi's and headed over to Aunt Laura's house to celebrate Christmas with my mom's family! We had a delicious dinner prepared by all the women of the family and then we enjoyed the day. Some napped, some played games like Imagine Iff... and Scrabble, the kids played on the trampoline and the golf cart. We had a lot of fun with each other. Once everyone was up from their naps, the children and Grandma Nell opened their gifts. Mikayla poses in front of Mimi and Poppi's tree before we left.
Mikayla and Drew opening some of their gifts as daddy and Poppi look on.
My cousin's daughter, Lauren opens one of her gifts.
My cousin Bryan looks on as his daughter Samantha opens her gifts.
We had such a wonderful time, but we sure were tired at the end of the day! Drew (who had not had a nap, and you may remember had been up since 3 am) and Mikayla (who had only a short nap) were asleep before we got to the end of Aunt Laura's street on our way home.

Santa comes to Mimi and Poppi's!

Santa left some goodies for Drew and Mikayla (and mommy and daddy) at Mimi and Poppi's too!
Here's a small list of some of the goodies we each received this year:
Drew - Pitching Machine, Moon Sand, remote control vehicles, and anything Spider Man
Mikayla - Make-up, anything Princess (including her pink scooter), Baby Dolls, and Barbies
Alison - Necklace, Earrings, Mini Camcorder (to fit in my new pocketbook), 3 gift cards to Cato Fashion (for a total of $225) - shopping anyone??
Craig - Clemson pullover, shirts (lots and lots of shirts), money, Vent Visors and Bug Deflector for his truck

I'm not sure we were good enough for all of this...


We always go to Mimi and Poppi's house on Christmas morning to see what Santa left over there. Poppi had come over to see what Santa brought Drew and Mikayla, and Craig and I followed him and the kids back to his house. As we attempted to turn onto their street, it was blocked by guineas. I'm not talking about one or two, I'm talking about many (which I hear is normal since they stay together).

It wasn't long before they were all out in Mimi and Poppi's yard. Drew and Mikayla thought this was the coolest thing, and Poppi went and got bird seed so they could feed them.

Santa Comes!

Every year previously we have had to wake Drew and Mikayla up so they could see what Santa brought. This year, however, Drew came into our room at 3:00 am to tell us "Santa's come, Santa's come!!" I liked it better when we woke them up! He was too excited to wait any longer, I guess. Both he and Mikayla were excited to find all that Santa had left! Drew's pile consists of a pitching machine (the blue to the far left), more Moon Sand, Power Tools, Aqua Doodle (one of those in the picture is Mikayla's), Spider Man toys, clothes, etc.
Mikayla's pile consists of her pink scooter, Baby Born, Cheer stuff, Hannah Montana stuff, clothes, etc.

Santa also brought a Smart Cycle and several games for them to share. They have both LOVED this, and have done a better job of sharing it than I thought they would!

Christmas at Mimi and Poppi's

On Monday, December 24th, we celebrated Christmas with my mom, dad, sister, and brother at my mom and dad's house! This has become a family tradition since Christmas Eve also happens to be my sister's birthday.

Drew and Mikayla got their baths, dressed in their pajama's, and then we headed to Mimi and Poppi's for dinner. After dinner, we opened gifts, and had cake and ice cream to celebrate Jennie's 21st birthday! Fun Times!!

Drew's reaction when he sees the gift he's opening is "Moon Sand". This is the one thing he kept telling Poppi and Mimi he wanted. Even reminding them of it several times - saying "Poppi, they have it at Walmart!" He LOVES this stuff - a warning for parents, it's messy!

Mikayla's reaction to the baby she got from Mimi and Poppi. She loves her babies - she has SEVERAL, but she sure loves each one!

Jennie's reaction to one of her gifts from my and dad - Happy Birthday Jennie!

Jessica (my brother's girlfriend) and Jennie opening their gifts at the same time!

Daddy and Mama love their gifts - can you tell by the faces that we are all family?

My goofy parents - you can't tell by this picture, but they really do love each other!

Craig loved this shirt so much, he began to cry - not really, but I couldn't resist!

Uncle Jonathan always ends up playing with Drew's toys. Maybe he wanted some Moon Sand too??

Christmas at Nannie's!

The whole family at Nannie's house. I wish Drew had not been pointing in this picture (he covered Claudia's face). Katie's boyfriend took the picture and everyone said "Go Tigers" to which Drew was objecting! HaHa Rob, Claudia, and Haston
Mikayla loves her watch from Nana and Papa Fred!
Drew loved his "huntin' shirt" from Uncle Chris, Aunt Julie, and Haston!
On Sunday, December 23rd, we went to Greenwood to celebrate Christmas with Craig's mom's family at Nannie's house. We met at Ryan's for dinner and then headed back to Nannie's house to open gifts and spend time together! We all had so much fun, and I wish we could all get together more often!

Christmas at Grandma's

Saturday, December 22nd, we celebrated Christmas with my dad's side of the family at Grandma's house. My dad's side of the family is huge, and we don't get to see our aunts, uncles, and cousins very often. It's nice that we can all still get together at Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. After a great dinner we spent time talking, laughing, and catching up. Opening presents is, of course, a favorite part for all the kids (because our family is so large we only exchange gifts among the kids). Such a fun get together - we should do that more often!

Time for a Change

Every so often I (like most people I guess) start thinking I need a change in the hair department. I had been thinking about what I wanted for a few weeks, but when Mikayla got a doll from one of her cousins for Christmas that had pretty red hair with purple highlights I knew that's what I wanted. Well, not really purple!! Instead, I decided to go red with blond highlights. When I got to my mom's shop for her to work her magic, I decided that I also wanted to go more drastic with the cut. When I had originally talked to mom about doing my hair, I told her I wanted the ends cut (about 2 inches). I decided when I got there that I wanted to donate my hair to "locks of love", a wonderful program that uses real human hair to create wigs/hair pieces for people going through chemotherapy or other health problems that cause them to lose their hair. I donated 10 inches of my hair to this wonderful program when I was pregnant with Mikayla, and decided that I wanted to do that again. I was really tired of the time it took to manage my long hair every day. This was confirmed after mom washed my hair and we worked together for about 15 to get it combed out. After she cut it she got to work on the color. I donated about half of my hair, and after 3 and a half hours, had this new "do". I (and Craig and the kids) have been very pleased with my new look, especially because it has dramatically cut the time it takes for me to get ready in the mornings!! What do you think??

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Grand Marshall - Parade #2

On Saturday, December 15th, Mikayla was the Grand Marshall of the Inman Christmas Parade. As Petite Miss Rising Star 2007 (she had the top score in her age group, as well as top score overall at the pageant in April) she was the first entry in the parade. Behind our car was Junior Miss Rising Star, Pre-Teen Miss Rising Star, and then two "floats" full of friends from Mikayla's dance company.
This isn't a great picture, but I love how Drew is peeking over the dash. I was pointing to Poppi and Aunt Jennie who had come out to see Mikayla (and Drew) in the parade. Mikayla's teachers, as well as others also came out to see her!
I love this close-up! Her crown is so big and heavy, we had a hard time getting it to stay on her head!

Drew had a ball throwing candy to the people who were watching. Mikayla was so cold, she didn't throw any candy. I tried getting her to wave, smile, or wish people Merry Christmas and all she kept saying was "no - I'm looking for my Poppi and Jennie". Then, after it was over, she wanted to go back through! That's our silly girl!

Preschoolers' Singing

On Sunday, December 9th Mikayla and the rest of our preschoolers sang a few songs at church during the morning worship service. The boys and girls did a fantastic job, and it was beautiful! Mikayla never took her eyes off of us and she smiled the whole time. She sang though, and did the motions. We are so very proud of her and the rest of the boys and girls!!

Christmas Lights

Working around parties and parades, Craig had to put our lights up this year a little at a time. He finally got most of them up though, and Drew and Mikayla couldn't have been happier. If you look closely enough, you can see Craig's legs in one of the pictures as he was working on the train!

Christmas Parade #1

The second Saturday in December was our communities' Christmas Parade. Even though we also had three birthday parties to attend the same day, we planned to take the kids to watch the parade and pick up candy (the participants always throw candy from the "floats").

The day before the parade, my friend Cathy, who owns The Ultimate Hobby Shop with her husband Mark, asked if Drew and Mikayla would like to ride on their "float". Drew and Mikayla were thrilled about this, of course. After we got Drew and Mikayla to Mark and Cathy, we headed to our usual spot where we met Poppi and Jennie to wait.

"Mrs. Claus" is actually my friend Cathy!

Birthday Parties

Not only is December full of Christmas parties, but it is also full of birthday parties!! This month alone we wished the following people a happy birthday: Lauren, Joshua, Trevyr, Breanna, Blake, and Katelyn! We attended birthday parties every weekend - sometimes more than one in a weekend. Combine that with two parades (read more about these in posts above) and our weekends have been pretty full - but fun! Drew watches to see if he's bowled a "strike" at Blake's party! Richie (Blake's dad) tried his best to get Mikayla to bowl, but she never would. We hope to take them sometime while we are out of school!
Drew helps Mikayla and Breanna get ready to do the "Hokey - Pokey" at Breanna's party!
Drew and Mikayla after sliding down the "big slide" at Katelyn's "Pump It Up" party!

Merry Christmas 2007

Merry Christmas to all from Craig, Alison, Drew, and Mikayla! I'm sorry I haven't been a very good "blogger" during December (last post of December 5 - not good). We have been super busy just like everyone else is this time of year. I have much to update about, and will be getting to new posts as I can during the next few days. Until then,

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

First Letter of Your Name Meme

My friend Holly at Mama Pajama tagged me for this meme. It seems pretty neat, but may be a little hard for me. You are to use the first letter of your name to answer the questions. They have to be real answers though, nothing made up and you can't use your own name as an answer. Since my name is Alison all my answers have to start with an "A" (the hard part for me).
Famous Singer: Alan Jackson
Four Letter Word: Away
Street: Alamo St.
Color: Auburn
Gifts/Presents: anklet
Vehicles: Accord
Things In A Souvenir Shop: Ashtray (not a great example - I'm not even a smoker nor do I condone it but I couldn't think of anything else for "A".
Boy Name: Aidan
Girl Name: Alyssa
Movie Title: An American Tale
Drink: Ale
Occupation: Artist
Celebrity: Alicia Silverstone
Magazine: Allure
U.S. City: Atlanta
Pro Sports: Astros
Fruit: Apple
Reason For Being Late For Work: Automobile Accident
Something You Throw Away: anything broken
Something You Shout: Alright!
Okay, so that wasn't as hard as I thought it would be.
I'm going to tag Bridget, Nicole, Theresa, Renee and Jennie to participate.

7 Random Things Meme

My friend BeccA has tagged me for a '7 Random Things about Me' meme. Here are the rules:

1. Link to the person that tagged you and posts the rules on your blog.

2. Share 7 random and or weird things about yourself.

3. Tag 7 random people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs.

4. Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

So here are my '7 Random Things about Me

1. I have a collection of rocks that I started when I was in eighth grade. This has come in handy now that I teach kindergarten and we do a unit on rocks in the spring. My children even get in on the act by picking up rocks for me all the time.

2. I have set a goal for myself to walk on our treadmill 15 minutes a day to eventually build up to an hour a day.

3. I love the itty bitty pieces of ice that some restaurants serve in their drinks. It's not crushed ice, it's more like tiny balls of ice. Sonic, Pizza Inn, Zaxby's are just a few of the restaurants that use this ice in our community.

4. I like to be an organized, but it is hard for me to be. Many times when I start organizing, I see other things that need to be done so I'm bouncing from task to task.

5. I am not a "clothes person" when it comes to me (in other words my kids have more clothes than I do). I have the same outfits I wear over and over. It's a good thing my sister is my fashion patrol - she can help me with my fashion!

6. I have 2 alarms set to wake me each morning. My alarm on my clock is set to wake me to country music, and then I have the alarm on my cell phone set.

7. I would love to have a playroom for my kids. They each have their own bedroom, but it would be nice to have a playroom for their big toys (kitchen, Thomas Table, baby doll strollers, race car tracks, etc.). Who know, maybe we will one day.

Okay, now to pass on the tag:

Jennie at Brown Eyed Girl

Theresa at Theresa's Life

Holly at Mama Pajama
The Gal Herself at One Gal's Musings

Fun at the Zoo!

Sunday night, we took the kids to Hollywild Zoo for the zoo's annual light display. This is a tradition Craig and I started before the kids were born (I am a kid at heart when it comes to Christmas), and we have continued this every year with them. It is not uncommon for our family to visit more than once a year. We all love it and we always have so much fun. There were a few changes/additions to this year's light display that we were especially pleased with.

Drew and Mikayla were all bundled up because we rode in the back of the truck as daddy drove slowly through the park. In years past, we've taken the van and slid the doors open as we rode through the park. This was the first year Craig had his big truck, and it was nice to enjoy the park riding in the back. Just so you know, you travel in a line of cars through the park (with lights off so as not to take away from the many light displays) so you are driving slow at all times.

Drew and Mikayla not only had a chance to feed deer, but they had a chance to hand-feed a donkey, horse, zebra, etc. Some of these animals are famous as they appear in commercials, movies, etc. Hence the name Hollywild.

They also have an area set up where you can park and get out of your car to enjoy a petting area, bon fire (complete with roasted marshmallow, hot dogs, hot chocolate, cider, etc.), inflatables, etc. Drew and Mikayla found this little guy (or girl perhaps) wandering around outside a cage.

Drew and Mikayla try to make their most fierce "lion faces" before we got back in the truck to tour the rest of the park! Even with these "fierce lion faces" they are still just precious in my eyes!!

Celebrity Collage by MyHeritage