Friday, December 30, 2011

Christmas Eve & Christmas

Hunter woke up to a big surprise! Spooky Bill brought an early Christmas present from the North Pole!

Thumbs up for a job well done, Spooky Bill! I took video of him opening it and as you probably guessed, it was his Xbox 360! I won't lie, Brett and I were pretty excited about getting it a day early too! After we played for a few hours, it was time to go to Granna's for lunch/dinner!

Thanks to Hunter and Kase, the Christmas Tree turned out beautiful! :) The kind of cake only moms love!

Brody getting in on the cake fun! He had the hard job of tasting the frosting! Lucky guy!

Still frosting, sprinkling sprinkles, and everything else you can imagine! Kase even ended up getting his foot in the frosting! They had a great time decorating it together.

Still tasting! He definitely got my sweet tooth! :)

What a mess! Glad we were at Granna's house! After cake decorating, we had Lasagna for dinner and the kids were pumped about opening presents!

Hunter patiently waiting to open his gifts! He kept saying, "Now, can we open the presents?"

Kase tearing open his first gift! He was a big help with opening Kinsley's presents and so was Brody! Those two kept pulling out all the tissue from her bags! After presents, we loaded everything up to head home.

What a cute boy! I think he made the nice list!

Making reindeer food! This was the first time we made reindeer food and cookies. I found a recipe on the Internet and it's super easy to make. A new tradition to add to Christmas!

Sprinkling the food for the reindeer to eat-we have to take care of them too! He didn't even make it to the grass before he started throwing it everywhere! Needless to say, thank goodness for rain!

Look at him go! He was so excited, he ran outside with no socks or shoes on- Mother.Of.The.Year! We were out there at the most two minutes, so he was fine.

Santa's milk and cookies! From the looks of it, I think he enjoyed them! :)

Santa stopped by our house and left lots of goodies for the boys!

I must say we are fortunate in the fact that our boys like to sleep! We didn't get up until 9:15! I can remember waking my parents up at 6:00! Hunter is obsessed with Cars and Cars 2, so this was definitely on his list!

Brody digging in his stocking! This boy loves chocolate!

All smiles for another Cars 2 present!

Tearing into his presents! When he finally got the hang of ripping the paper, he didn't stop! I think he liked the wrapping paper more than his gifts!

Still sleepy!!! What a yawn! After presents and eating our traditional breakfast casserole, we got ready and headed up to Brett's grandparents house. They live on the lake, so we took Hunter's new fishing pole and tackle box he got from Papaw!

He caught one!!!! I was so proud of my little guy! What an exciting moment to share with him!

Growing up, my dad took my sister and I fishing all of the time! He was quite the fisherman and we loved riding in the boat! I even have my very own bass mounted-it's in our garage on a shelf. I can remember being Hunter's age, fishing with my parents, and now here he is, fishing with us! A surreal, exciting, makes you want to cry moment!

His first bluegill! He caught four and he's still talking about them!

Papaw and Hunter! Papaw came running down from the house when he heard that Hunter had caught a fish. When we headed down to the dock, everyone was still eating Christmas lunch. The rest of the family came down there later too! They were so proud and excited for Hunter!

Uncle Calvin and Brody! This is who Brody is named after- they share the same middle name! I absolutely love them and couldn't ask for better family members! We are extremely close to them and I'm thankful to have such wonderful people in my life since my family lives so far away.

Present time! These kids are spoiled! After gifts, we made the drive back home and we all were exhausted! We had a wonderful Christmas with family and celebrating the birth of Jesus!

We are going to spend New Years Eve with friends and we are looking forward to 2012! Also, happy birthday to my sister who is turning 29* tomorrow! ;) See you all in the new year-cheesy, I know!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Eve of Christmas Eve

Let the Christmas weekend festivities begin! We started off at Papaw Eddie and Nanny T's house on Friday night. Papaw Eddie and Mamaw Rachel (Eddie's parents) joined us as well. We had Honey Baked ham and turkey and every side dish imaginable! The kids had a great time opening presents and being with their grandparents!

Brody tearing open his first gift! Of course he needed a little help from Daddy at times!

Sweet Kinsley at her first Christmas with Eddie and Teri! She is such a doll baby! Edwin (Brett's brother) and Lea Anne drove down as well to be with everyone for the holidays! I didn't get a picture of Kase, but he was there too!

A Little People dump truck for Brody! He was so tired by this point. When we left, he didn't even make it to the end of the street before falling asleep!

Hunter opening his Kinectamals game for the Xbox 360 he was hoping Santa would bring him! I wonder if he got it?! ;)

Looking good in his Bumblebee mask from Transformers!

Brody had a good time with Papaw!

Kinsley and Nanny T playing with her new glow worm! I had one of these when I was little too!
I didn't get to take a lot of pictures since we were busy with the kids and Brett and I kept passing the camera back and forth! We had a great time and Congrats to Brett's brother, Cory on his engagement to Jessica-we are so happy for them! We got home, the boys went to bed, and Mrs. Claus stayed up wrapping gifts! Next stop was Granna Viv's for Christmas Eve!

When we got up the next morning, Spooky Bill (brownie points to Hunter for such a creative name) had brought an early Christmas gift with him! Can you guess what it is?!?!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A Candy Maker's Witness

This weeks Tasty Tuesday doesn't include a recipe, but I'm sharing something fitting for it! For the past two years at school, Hunter has come home with a candy cane and this story attached to it. I had no idea it's significance and symbolism to Jesus Christ. It touched my heart and I've never forgotten it!

A candy maker in Indiana wanted to make a candy that would be a witness, so he made the Christmas Candy Cane. He incorporated several symbols for the birth, ministry, and death of Jesus.

He began with a stick of pure white, hard candy. It was white to symbolize the virgin birth and the sinless nature of Jesus; and hard to symbolize the Solid Rock, the foundation of the church, and firmness of the promises of God.

The candy maker made the candy in the form of a "J" to represent the precious name of Jesus, who came to earth as our Savior. It could also represent the staff of the "Good Shepherd" with which He reaches down into the ditches of the world to lift out the fallen lambs, who like all sheep, have gone astray.

Thinking that the candy was somewhat plain, the candy maker stained it with red stripes. He used three small stripes to show the stripes of the scourging Jesus received by which we are healed. The large red stripe was for the blood shed by Christ on the cross so that we could have the promise of eternal life.

Unfortunately, the candy became known as a candy cane - a meaningless decoration seen at Christmas time. But the meaning is still there for those who "have eyes to see and ears to hear."

Our prayer is that this symbol will again be used to witness to the wonder of Jesus and His great love that came down at Christmas and remains the ultimate and dominate force in the universe today.

From our home to yours, Merry CHRISTmas!!!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Katie's Graduation

This past weekend I went to Morehead for my sister's college graduation! I didn't take many pics-her husband was on camera duty and I just wanted to enjoy the time with my family. She graduated magna cum laude, which she is rubbing in my face, since I just graduated with cum laude honors! :)

While I was there, we ate at my two favorite places- Pasquales and Mellini's! If you are ever in the Morehead area, I highly recommend both! After graduation, I rode through campus and it has changed so much! They've torn down the first dorms Brett and I lived in (Regents and Wilson), which made me kind of sad. I'm getting old, huh?!?! It honestly made me sad since that is where Brett and I first met. They've also remodeled areas, changed the sorority area, and you can no longer drive in front of the student center- big deal for a small campus! Seeing all of the buildings where I had class, dorms, and places I worked just brought back a flood of memories! What a great time! Have I really been out of college for six years?!?!

Congrats Katie and I'm so proud of you! Thanks mom for everything while I was there and I enjoyed staying up late, seeing as though I'm not able to do that with two, little boys at home! Love you both very much!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Breakfast Casserole

So, I have been terrible at Tasty Tuesday these past few weeks! I've been so busy with the boys, preparing for Christmas, trying to get my shopping done, visiting family that I have neglected my blog! I wanted to go ahead and post a recipe tonight because I know I won't have time tomorrow. I make this breakfast casserole every Christmas morning and it's delicious! I've made it part of our tradition and it's so easy!

P.S. I had to include this sweet Christmas picture of the boys! They melt my heart!

Breakfast Casserole

-Spray your glass dish with non stick spray. I use my bigger Pyrex dish- too tired at the moment to go look at the measurements! :)

-First Layer: Six slices of bread-rip into pieces covering bottom. I use more than six-I just keep ripping up bread until the bottom is fully covered

-Second Layer: One pound of sausage-brown and drain

-Third Layer: Two cups of cheese-sprinkle on top

-Mix in bowl: six eggs, one cup of milk, salt & pepper. Pour mixture on top of cheese.

- Bake at 350 for 40 minutes

Enjoy and who knows, maybe it will become a tradition in your house too!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Santa! Ho, Ho, NO!

Happy Holidays!!! It's hard to believe that Christmas is right around the corner! I still have so much to do and I haven't even wrapped one single gift. I have been busy making other things though!

My first deco mesh wreath! My childhood friend, Erin made these last year and I fell in love with them! I was bound and determined to make one of my own and I must say I was pretty impressed with myself! :) I've made five so far to give as Christmas gifts! I'm quickly becoming addicted to Hobby Lobby!

Our mantle! If you look close, you'll notice that Hunter's monogramming is different. I purchased our stockings at Pottery Barn when I was pregnant. I didn't find out until after Christmas what we were having- I came extremely close to having Lily monogrammed on it since I just knew I was having a girl! Luckily, I didn't and my neighbor monogrammed his name on there for me. When I had Brody, his stocking was one of the first things I purchased. It's a little different in design, but they're all from a similar collection.

Our Christmas tree! If our tree survives Christmas, it will be a miracle! Brody enjoys pulling all the ribbon off and tugging on it. I've lost count as to how many times I've had to fix the ribbon and branches!

Our Christmas ornament for this year! When Brett and I got married, we couldn't find an ornament series we liked, so we decided to get a personalized one each year instead. When we take the boys to Bass Pro to see Santa, we always stop by the Christmas Place to get our ornament.

When we got to the Christmas Place, they had a little, steam train you could ride! Hunter was in heaven!!!

Staring in amazement! This train has been running for over 100 years!

Hunter wanted Brett and Brody to ride with him! Brett was beyond thrilled! :)

There they go! Look at the steam!

I just love Hunter's face in this picture! He would have stayed on the train all day if we would have let him!

The train obsession continues! This is at the front of the store and he immediately climbed on it. Normally I would have made him get down, but it made for such a cute picture! :)

We've also made it a tradition to drive through the Smokies Stadium each Christmas! Shadrack designs the light show and synchronizes it to music. It's so neat to watch and we look forward to it each year!

When you arrive at the end, they have Santa's Village set up with a petting zoo, rides, and food! Yes, I had a funnel cake! Brody enjoyed the animals and Hunter kept telling us he was scared-he's never liked petting zoos! Luckily, this one was small with only llamas, sheep, ostriches, goats, and camels.

Trying to give the llama his paci!

And of course, they had a train! I was the lucky one who got to ride this time!

It was a tight squeeze in this little train car!

We finally made it back to Bass Pro to meet Santa! Our bass pass to see Santa was at 7:00-we picked it up at 3:30. It's always a long wait there, but it's worth it! We had other things to do, so we didn't mind. He is by far our favorite Santa and I love everything they have to offer the kids! I love the reindeer next to his house!

This was the first year Hunter walked up to him and sat on his lap! We usually have to take a family picture, but he overcame his fear and we were so proud of him! He told him that he wanted presents and trains.

Brody on the other hand was less than thrilled to be on his lap! Love his heart!

We've been enjoying Christmas movies, hot cocoa, and making crafts for grandparents! I realize I've missed Tasty Tuesday twice, so I promise to get a recipe on here sometime this week! Only 19 more days until Christmas!