Christmas isn't nearly as crazy as it was a few years ago since everyone is growing up. We had a great one though and really enjoyed the family time. It's not often we get to just hang out and relax. Even though Christmas was on a Sunday this year, we didn't attend church because Cara was just not having any of it. We opened presents (which Cara didn't like at all), ate our traditional Christmas dinner - lasagna - and watched Evie and Cara play with their new toys. The weather was so warm we actually needed to use the air conditioning. And Cara refused to get in the group picture but wanted her picture taken with Daddy. She's such a Daddy's Girl! Happy Birthday Jesus!
Monday, December 26, 2016
For our homeschool tweens Christmas party we went to the Peabody Hotel in downtown Memphis. They have ducks that swim in the fountain and then go up the elevator to live in the penthouse. It's a Memphis tradition to watch the ducks load into the elevator and head up. Sounds funny I know, but it was really fun. The hotel is very old and very fancy and beautiful. After watching the ducks and taking photos, we headed across the street for dinner. It was such a fun evening!
Tim is on the board of the Salvation Army, so we were asked to take a shift ringing the bell and collection donations outside a Walmart. Annie and I took the 1st 4 hours and had a great time. People were so generous and kind, and who doesn't want to sit in the beautiful sun wishing everyone who passes a Merry Christmas?
Evie's preschool put on a little Christmas program and it was darling! She dressed up like a Christmas tree and sang songs and wore a star headband and sang more songs. She mostly just stood there staring at the parents, which was so cute. Of course I'm the nana, so I get to think everything she does is adorable!
Our homeschool group does some activities just for teens, and this year the Christmas party was an Ugly Sweater Party. There were some pretty bad sweaters there, but Annie won the prize for the ugliest. It was a horrible sweater vest about 3 sizes too big that we found at Walmart. The party was great
One of Cara's favorite things to do is to go on walks. She'll go and go. I never cease to be amazed since when we started her adoption process, we didn't think she'd ever walk. Or talk. Which she also does all the time. Emily (and Ellie, Annie and Ashlyn) are so good about taking her on walks pretty much everyday. What a miracle this child is!
Since we're new to the area, we're trying to learn about the local history. We're especially happy that there is such rich African American history down here. Much of it is very sad, of course, but it's also important to know. To learn more, we decided to go on a tour of African American history sites in the downtown Memphis area. It was called "A Tour of Possibilities" and was great! We loaded into a big van (my dear friend Ginger watched Cara and Evie for us) and drove around and learned so much from our amazing tour guide and business owner "Queen". It was so great I hope we get to do it again!
With our homeschool group, we filled shoe boxes with toys and books and other fun things to send to kids in need for Christmas. We did it last year too and it was so fun, and of course gave us moms a chance to talk about service to others not just at Christmas but all year long
Seriously, how are we old enough to have been married for 32 years? I'm so glad I've had all this time though with such a wonderful husband and father. He's such a huge blessing in my life, and I thank the Lord everyday that I'm his wife. Here's to thirty two more!
Saturday, December 24, 2016
Friday, December 23, 2016
Cara has many trips to various doctors, and we've been very fortunate to find some great ones here in the Memphis area. Here she is with Emily at the pediatricians office. They have this fun little climbing tower inside and I can barely get Cara to come down!
In May, Emily's cheer team went to Nashville for the state championships. We stayed for a couple of days and did some fun things. Here are a couple of pictures of her at the American Girls Doll Store where we had lunch and in front of a well-known fountain. She and I went with her friend Riley and her mom and we had a great time!
Cara loves dolls and her favorites change all the time. Except for Elsa! She's loved her Elsa doll for months now and is showing no sign of that changing. I even bought another one exactly like it to take the place of this one when it falls apart. Tricks you learn when you're a mom!
In April we went on a field trip to Parkin Archeological State Park in Parkin Arkansas with our homeschool group. It used to be the homesite of the Casqui Tribe. It was so interesting! Emily loved it so much she wants to go back. Maybe we'll have an archeologist in the family!
Our homeschool support group does tons of fun and educational stuff. It's really helped ease Emily's transition from public school into homeschooling - which she begged to do. We've been to the opera, the orchestra, the Pink Palace natural history and local history museum (multiple times), the planetarium, the zoo and had many social get togethers and community service projects. And this is by no means a complete list. We also hosted a craft club here at our house that was a big hit. These are a couple of pictures at some activities. It's a great group!