Monday, December 26, 2016

Christmas 2016

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!

The Peabody Hotel

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!


These 3 are so cute together and such good friends.  They didn't even plan to match, but just ended up that way.  I'm so glad my kids have great friends who I actually like them to hang out with!

Ringing the Bell

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 Christmas Program

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!

Ugly Sweater Party Dec. 2016

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
, and I'm so glad the homeschooled teens in this area are such a fun and active group!

Going on Walks

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!

Cara is 8!

I'm a lame-o mom sometimes and forgot to get a number 8 candle, so she got a sign this year.  Can't believe our baby is 8 already!  She had her usual chocolate silk pie and got new clothes.  This girl LOVES new clothes.  Happy Birthday beautiful girl!

Memphis Tour

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!

Shoeboxes Nov. 2016

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

Halloween 2016

This year Emily and Ashlyn were superhero cheerleaders, Evie was a butterfly, and Cara a lady bug.  We went to our church Trunk-or-Treat and carnival.  Much fun was had by all!

Pumpkin Patch

Our homeschool group went to Tom's Farm to visit the pumpkin patch and go on hay rides.  This group does so many fun things, and we had a great time as always!

Zoo! Oct. 2016

October is such a beautiful month here that we decided to head to the zoo!  We had a great time and the weather was perfect.  The zoo in Memphis is just the right size for seeing in an afternoon.  What a fun day!

Beautiful Annie

I'm blessed with 6 beautiful daughters.  Unfortunately, most of them don't like to have their pictures taken, so I grab the chance whenever I get it.  I was so glad Annie let me get this picture!

Cutie Cara

My other little cutie pie!  I'm so blessed to have these adorable, happy little ones in my life!

Cutie Evie Sept. 2016

I just can't help but take pictures of this little cutie pie.  She's such a fun 3 year old!

Thirty Two Years!!!

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!

Brantley's 17th Birthday!

On Aug. 24 Brantley turned 17.  He wanted a quiet day with lunch out with me so that's what we did.  I can't believe this 5'8" young man was a 24 week preemie.  You'd never know now!  Happy Birthday handsome!

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Hug Time August 2016

Emily is a great big sister to Cara and a great Auntie to Evie!

Marq is 16!

I don't get too many pictures of Marq lately so I was glad to get one on his birthday.  He's such a handsome young man!  Happy Birthday honey! 

Selfie Time

This is the first time I attempted a selfie, and I invited my honey to join in with me.  It's not great, but I guess it could be worse.  At least it's a good picture of Tim!

Too Cool July 2016

With her hat backwards and sunglasses on Cara is too cool (and cute) for words!

Ashlyn is 12!

Ashlyn is a sweetheart and so very goofy.  There's never a dull moment when she's around, and she makes me smile everyday.  Happy Birthday cutie pie!

Friday, December 23, 2016

Annie is 16!

She's now old enough to drive and date and I swear just a minute ago she was that spunky darling little 2 year old just joining our family.  Happy Birthday sweetie, we're blessed and so grateful to have you!

Still More Sushi

Brantley and I once again out to lunch at our favorite sushi place.  Yum!

Family Bowling June 2016

We hadn't been bowling as a family for years, so we decided to go.  We had so much fun that Annie ended up joining a league!

Amazing Jumps

Emily is an amazing jumper.  Here she is doing a straddle in our backyard.  This is from the ground - she's not on a trampoline.  What a cheerleader!

Trip to the Doctor

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!

Pool Time!

Our wonderful friends the Weavers share their pool with us all summer long.  Here are 2 of their girls and 2 of ours having a great time!

Spring Awards Assembly

Ashlyn continues to do a great job in middle school.  At the spring Awards Assembly she got the Citizenship Award, Exemplary Achievement in Writing, Social Studies, and Language Arts.  Way to go girl!

State Cheer Competition

Emily's team did great and took 2nd at the state competition.  Good job girls!

Trip to Nashville

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!

Cool Cake

Annie doesn't love having her picture taken, but at least I got a picture of her cool cake!  And yes, it was as yummy as it looked!

All That Hair!

This little girl has so much hair.  It's amazing and adorable and we love it.  I'm just glad her mama takes care of it!

Evie is 3! May 2016

On May 14th Evie had her 3rd birthday!  It seriously seems like 10 seconds ago she was born.  She's adorable, spunky like her mama, and just so much fun!  I love being her live-in nana.  Happy Birthday dolly!

Fun at the Mall

Emily and I went to the mall and they had this jumping contraption there.  Of course Emily wanted to give it a try.  She's so much more coordinated than me - I would never give it a try!

First Place!

Emily started doing cheer in January of this year (2016) and as in all things athletic, has become really good at it.  In fact, in her first regional competition her team took 1st place!  Good job honey!

Favorite Doll

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!

Parkin Archeological State Park April 2016

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!

Silly Girls

Having some fun with sunglasses...............

Ready for Church March 2016

My girls look so cute all dressed up for church - I just had to take their picture!

Homeschool Fun!

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!

Emily is 12!

Almost a teenager!  She's still tiny, but so much fun and she has the kindest heart.  Happy Birthday beautiful girl!