Saturday, December 31, 2011

Christmas Celebrations

We were beyond blessed to share the joy of Christmas with many loved ones this week.  We spread four family gatherings over an eight day period.

The first gathering was with the Parmer clan (extended family on my mom's side).  Here are the cousins in attendance along with our significant others and children.  Some of my most wonderful childhood memories include these fun people.  We have gotten together serveral times a year since we were all tiny tots.  It has been a special joy to welcome new spouses and babies into the family over the past few years.

Here is Memaw with her four great grandchildren (ages 5, 2, 1 & 3 mos).  I have so many happy memories from holidays at Memaw & Papa's house and count it a major blessing that my kids now get to spend time with her.

We enjoyed Christmas lunch in Troy at Grandpa James' house.

Among other fun goodies Owen loves his new camera!  He says "Cheese" :)

Next we traveled to Big Daddy and Lita's house in McGregor for dinner.

Lita shares a birthday with Jesus so she got some help blowing out the candles!

On Friday we traveled to Comanche to visit with Grandpa Ed, Grandma and more family.  The kiddos enjoyed playing with their cousins and we were all blessed to receive so many new toys and goodies!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Morning

Experiencing Christmas morning through the eyes of children is truly a blessing!

The kids were so excited to see what treasures Santa had left for them.  Emma claims she heard reindeer on the roof :)

These kiddos were definitely on the "nice" list and loved their new scooters, inflatable sports toys, books, movies, clothes and other goodies!

This little guy still uses few words but there was no doubt that he asked Santa for a car this year!

Our princess and her brand new flashlight

 And this was number one on her list for Santa.  A new hot pink tablet!

Christmas morning is such a special blessing.  Each year it consists of matching pajamas, french toast and enough joy to last all year long. 

"Behold, I bring you glad tidings of great JOY!" ~Luke 2:10

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Eve Sillies

These two had a major case of the sillies on Christmas eve.  I'm not sure whether it was from sitting quietly in church for half an hour or the fact that Santa was on his way :)

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Fabulously Five

Five years ago Emma surprised us 3 weeks early!  I guess she didn't want to miss Christmas :)  She was born on a Monday evening while the Chicago Bears played on the delivery room television.  I will never forget the weekend beforehand when my feet swelled like crazy and we literally finished piecing the nursery together hours before my water broke. 

Wonderfully One!

Terrifically Two!

Totally Three!

 Fantastically Four!

Fabulously Five!

I can't believe Emma is five and that we have been parents for half a decade.  She has been looking forward to being five for months and now officially calls herself a "grown up kid".  At her annual check up this week she weighed 47 lbs 14oz (90th percentile) and was 43" tall (75th perc).  Dr Dewbre said she looks great!  After a rough 4 year old check up, Emma was beyond thrilled that this check up didn't require any shots!  She now wears size 5/6 clothes and wears a size 12/13 shoe! 

Most days Emma wakes up early and happy.  She hasn't napped regularly since the age of 19 months and would stay up all night if allowed to.  She loves school and her other activities (including soccer, t ball, gymnastics and Cubbies).  She makes friends quickly and begs to see them often.  She is extremely curious about the big world around her and asks questions  She has started reading and recognizing many words.  She is extremely competitive, a social butterfly, a good big sister and always wants to be the leader.  She is adventurous but cautious; sassy but sweet; silly but polite and tender but tough.  Her favorites are as follows:            Game........hide and seek
TV show.......'Good Luck Charlie' on Disney and 'Martha Speaks' on PBS
Food............Broccoli (seriously her answer!)        Drink.............Sprite

"Before you were born, I dreamed of you, I imagined you, I prayed for you. Now that you’re here I hope for you, I love you and I thank God for you."  ~Author Unknown

It's fun to be a girl!

Hair bows, ruffles, painted finger nails and more;
Sweet little girls are of dreams and fun galore

After her 5 year old check up this week Emma got her ears pierced!!  We had been talking about it for quite some time.  A Pre K friend has hers done (peer pressure starts early)!  We watched another lady get hers done and then Emma chose diamond studs (14K gold cz) "just like mama".  Of all the colors, she said that those would match any outfit (afterall, she must keep these in until Valentine's Day). 

The whole experience was a little nerve-wracking for all of us.  She was very emotional at first and I reassured her that it was totally fine to wait until another day if she so desired.  I was a lot older when I had mine done, simply because I was a weenie.  We didn't want it done when she was a baby and we wanted her to make that decision.  She was adamant that she wanted it done that day.  After one last pre piercing glance in the mirror, it was show time!  I knew she would need them done at the same time and thankfully that was possible!

We were both glad to have daddy there to hold her hand :)

She was such a BIG girl and we were proud of her bravery! The hardest part has been cleaning them three times each day. She is so looking forward to putting her Christmas money toward a pair of sparkly Hello Kitty earrings and hearts for Valentine's Day.  Oh Emma, you're growing up way too fast....

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A visit to Santa's Wonderland

Yesterday was Jarrod's last day of school before the holidays.  We celebrated with a visit to Santa's Wonderland near College Station.  It was our thrid family trip there and the last time was in 2009.  Owen was itty bitty! 

This abundance of bright beautiful trees welcomed us! 

Ready for some fun :)

So glad we headed straight for the hayride.  This place has become so popular that there are lots of lines!  The hayride is breath taking and is truly a highlight of the overall experience.  It is over one mile long and includes displays such as Candy Cane Lane, gingerbread houses, an elf village, the Alamo, the manger scene and the resurrection scene.

There was ongoing live entertainment on several different stages throughout the evening.  One performer asked for children to come up to help him sing 'Jingle Bells'.  Without hesitation, Emma leaped at the opportunity to sing in a microphone :)  That one Christmas carol eventually turned into about ten before I finally pulled her off stage! 

Another huge atraction is this gigantic flag and stage.  God Bless Texas!

The petting zoo was a big hit with both kids.  Emma became a little alarmed because the goats acted aggressively hungry. 

Owen was hesitant at first but quickly started petting each animal in sight :)

We enjoyed meeting the new Marhall Frostbite!   The kids were nervous so the whole family took a photo :)  On the way home Emma proudly told us that meeting him was her favorite part of the entire night.  She even gave him a huge bear hug after our photo.

The long line was well worth visiting with cowboy Santa!  I was shocked that both kids warmed up to him so quickly.  At first Owen kept his distance and just shouted "Car, car" across the room.  He has made it clear that he wants Santa to leave him a car under the tree.  We were also excited to see real live Prancer, one of Santa's famous reindeer!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Masters for two!!

This weekend we traveled to Abilene to watch my brother and sister in law both graduate with their masters degrees from Hardin Simmons Universtity! 

Natalie earned a master of arts in religion. 

Joseph earned his master of divinity. 

Upon the conclusion of the ceremony everyone headed across the street to the alumni wall.  This area contains the name and degree of every single graduate....even from the early 1900's! 

So glad we made the trip.  We are so proud of these two!

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.”  ~Dr. Seuss