Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Ringing In 2014



We are ready to welcome in a new year here at our house. 2013 was a wonderful year, yet new beginnings are always exciting. I have not blogged much lately because I am too busy to sit still and write. I vow to do better in the coming year. I do miss it and being still is always my goal, yet rarely achieved. Bring on 2014! 


We scored these fun glasses at a 5k we ran in Memphis last weekend. It was a night run through the light display at Shelby Farms. We ran as a family and got cool stocking caps and shirts. We have had fun with the glasses tonight, for sure. They glow in the dark! It doesn't take much to excite us around here! 


13 years ago tonight, Randall and I met on a blind date. It is always fun to celebrate that fun time and now that we have Henry it takes on a new meaning. We went to eat Mexican food and came home early to ring in the new year! We had a parade of our very own all through the house. I love our crazy life and look forward to what lies ahead! 


Happy New Year, friends!!

Abby

Friday, December 27, 2013

Christmas Fun!

Christmas started last Saturday for us. We drove to Jonesboro to have Skutt Family Christmas with Daddy, Connie, Aunt Babs, Uncle Joe, Hollye, Matthew, and Claire. I hadn't seen any of them ( except the Lee's) since last SFC. It's always great fun to open gifts and play a little dirty Santa. We laugh loudly, and we laugh a lot! So fun!
We also take a lot of pictures. This is one of MANY! Aren't we cute!

We then headed to the Fort for some more Christmas fun. We got to worship with our home church Sunday morning and it was wonderful. I love those people! Abby, Randall, and Henry came and spent time with us too. Somehow, I didn't get a picture of Stephen's parents. We went to a couple of movies and ate countless meals. 
Our Christmas tradition is brunch on Christmas morning after we open presents with mom. She makes eggs, biscuits and gravy(the best gravy ever), sausage, and garlic cheese grits. Oh my, the garlic cheese grits. Yummy!
We had an excellent Christmas celebrating the birth of Jesus with our family. I hope you were able to have a great time of celebration and reflection on our Savior's birth.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Rejoice!

Merry Christmas from our home to yours! 
 Abby

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

It's Christmas Time

Well, who knew it would be weeks until we blogged again? You'ld think we have a lot going on, or something! (I don't, Abby may)
We've been enjoying Christmas shopping, being with friends, and sitting in our living room with our Christmas tree. Delta Church had a float in the Christmas parade, and that was loads of fun. Cold, but fun! 

Anna spent the night with a friend last night. Angie, Audrey's mom, said that when Anna was decorating the candy cane cookie she said she was going to decorate it as a J for me. The preciousness of this child is too much for me!
This is Audrey, Anna, and Audrey's brother Nick. Audrey also has three brothers, no wonder she and Anna are such good friends! 
I can hardly stand Anna being gone. She is my sidekick and her not being in the house is just weird. I don't think I'll let her spend the night with anyone again. Just kidding! Maybe!

We're in the final days of Christmas preparation. We're finalizing plans, buying gifts, making goodies for neighbors, and going to read The Best Christmas Pagent Ever, and watching Christmas movies ALL the time. But we're not forgetting Jesus! We know, love, and share that Jesus came to the world at this time to be our salvation. That fact is the very foundation of our family!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

All Aboard The Birthday Polar Express

 

Can you believe Henry Patton will be 4 years old tomorrow?! Neither can we. We celebrated his birthday last weekend with his first all boy party, polar express style.


I had so much fun preparing for it, as you can probably tell! My mother who is never at a loss for words said it looked like Polar Express threw up in my house. She was SO right and we loved it!
We had a breakfast pajama party with 7 three and four year old boys. It was such a fun time.

 
I had his pajamas monogrammed with a train and his name. He loved them and I liked how they sort of looked like the ones on the movie. Henry loved all the bells I had everywhere. There is no doubt we believe at this house. We had the jingle loud and proud!
 

I had his invitation made from a shop on Etsy and I was very pleased with them. One of his little friends came to the door ready for me to punch his ticket. It was so cute. I ran to get a hole punch and punched it for him.

Every good party has to have goodies to take home, of course. I ordered train whistles, train conductor hats, made train smoke out of white cotton candy, I had bells for each child and a fun photo prop station.

I purchased these on Etsy and had them printed. I am excited to use these all season long for my various parties and get togethers. So much fun!


Henry loved the conductor hat. I loved how much fun he had at his party. It was worth all the work just to see him smile, hear him squeal in excitement and have him say, "Thank you for my party, Mama".


I set up tables in the kitchen for the boys to sit at to eat. I had fun decorating them. I used fabric to cover them and got balloons. I had fake snow, bells and tableware. It was easy and cute.

 
I made snowmen out of donut holes, icing and fruit roll ups and put them on a lollipop stick. I also had sausage balls. It was cute, but 3 and 4 year old boys don't eat when they are all together, so I threw most of them away!

The cake was SO cute. Note: eating cake at a breakfast party is not normal. We had lots left over. I had the girl who made his fireman cake last year make this one. He loved it.

 
Happy Birthday to my Christmas and train loving little boy, Henry Patton. I cannot believe it has been 4 years since I kissed those cheeks for the first time. What a blessed 4 years it has been being this sweet child's mama!
 
Abby


Friday, November 29, 2013

Thankful



This year was Thanksgiving together. About every 3 years we end up eating turkey together and for that we are thankful. Stephen has this new fancy camera so he was all photo snazzy and for that we were also thankful....or at least for the most part!


We had Thanksgiving in Little Rock at our great aunt's house. It was wonderful to have the original four together for a short bit. Sadly, it is rare for us to all 4 be together, and especially with Mawmaw. We are a busy people with lots of life to live. Sarah and Zach are brother and sister, and belong to our mother's sister, Janet. We all grew up together in Fort Smith. Sarah and I are 11 months apart and Zach is the baby of our group...his wife is having their first baby this coming spring. Much to be thankful for!

 

 Pioneer Woman ain't got nothing on AJ! My BLT cheese ball fronting like a turkey. Not Pinterest worthy, but hey, I attempted it. Stephen found great humor in my turkey and provoked me to pose with it and if you know me...it doesn't take much provoking! He knows me well. I am most thankful for a brother-in-law who knows... and still laughs at me with the love of the Lord!


 If this doesn't make you smile, then you don't have a pulse. I am so thankful for a family that hugs. Whether you want a hug or not, you are getting one. This is Julie being hugged. If you don't have a grandmother who smiles like that when she hugs you, then come see ours, she will take you in. I am most thankful for a family who doesn't quit loving.

 
I am so glad I made this pretty girl an aunt. I got to be one before her and I always hated she had no idea what bliss it was to be aunt to her four children. I am so thankful she gets to be my Henry's aunt and he gets to love her like we all do. I know she is secretly thankful there is not 4 of him....God love my offspring! How thankful I am to know she loves him like her very own.
 
 
Cousins. Who isn't thankful for cousins?! This is our cousin Sarah's youngest daughter, Molly and she is 2 years older than Henry. Since she is petite and he is a monster they look like twinkies. They have not seen each other since Henry was a baby. Mawmaw reintroduced them and told them they were cousins. They took off and never looked back. I love how they just knew to love each other. I am so thankful for a legacy of love and the laughter of children in our homes.


Laughing cousins are the best cousins. Anna and Sarah's oldest, Grace, are the same age. They have been bonded since birth. They see each other very seldom but pick up right where they left off. I am so thankful that these two can make special memories together just like we did, and in the basement of Aunt Suzy's house, just like we did. It made my heart so happy to take this picture of them literally squealing with laughter. I am so thankful for these special times and how they evoke precious memories in my heart.
 

Playing Bible games on the ipad before the great feast. I am SO thankful for a family who loves Jesus and how they help direct my baby toward Him. It is such a joy!


I am MOST thankful for this turkey. I love this man of mine. He is such a wonderful compliment to me, a #1 daddy, and a great leader for our home. He is awfully cute too.

 
I had to end with this photo of my sister and her handsome crew. I cannot imagine doing life without this beautiful woman. My mama (which I got no photos of at this get together, as if!) and daddy did a good job with this one! I hope I am half the woman she is some day. I am so thankful for a sister who takes pride in letting the world know she has loved me the longest!


Abby

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

A New Kind of Tuesday

Tuesdays have become my Monday lately. It seems that they are full of angst, crisis, and tears. I don't know why, Stephen thinks it's crazy, but it's true.

Last Tuesday was a humdinger. It was the worst one ever, I'm pretty sure I didn't like anyone that day. But today was different. 

I woke up, and went about my normal morning rituals. When I sat down by Stephen on the couch I mentioned that I looked bad. I mean I said, "I look bad!" He looked at me, rubbed his head like he does when he can come up with no words at all and walked out of the room.

I thought is was weird, but continued to read the paper. He came back in, sat beside me, and told me to never say that again. 

I cried. I'm crying now just thinking about it. It was such a sweet thing for him to do. He reminded me that he loved me, no matter how I looked. And that I wasn't to say it again! 

I pray that moment in time stays with me for all of my days. It spoke volumes to me. As I sat there I thought that this was the best Christmas present, and it had been delivered two days before Thanksgiving! 

I don't talk about Stephen much here. We have our ups and downs, just like everyone. But our love is steadfast and true. And sometimes its little moments like this one that remind me.

I hope you've had a great Tuesday!

Ps. He left to brush his teeth so he could talk to me! Morning breath grosses me out BAD!


Sunday, November 24, 2013

Frosty Fun in Nashville


Frosty the Snowman is the theme of ICE! at Opryland this year. We did Shrek last year and decided we needed to do Frosty this time. We drove over for it one day last week. It is 5 hours from our house.


Henry loved the slide and went down it alone. I was so proud. He got stuck inside. It was comical watching him shake, scoot, rock, etc trying to move down. Everyone cheered when he started moving again. He was smiling so big. He was proud.


We loved the red ice train. This display is so impressive. I have seen ICE! three times and I am always overwhelmed at the detail and mystery of how they make all this stuff out of ice!


The had a NYC display and Henry had to drive the taxi, of course.


We went in the middle of a week day so we had the place to ourselves, for the most part. Henry got to ride the train and ring the bell the whole time. We also rode the boat in the hotel, which we had never done before. It was fun to not have to fight the crowds.


I rode the tea cups with him and taught him how to make it spin fast. It was so funny. We were both so dizzy we struggled to stand up when it was over.


A Country Christmas at Opryland was a fun outing with my boys. We went to the mall afterwards and ate at Chuy's. We were headed to a hotel room when Randall persuaded me to let him drive home instead. We got a dozen HOT Krispy Kremes, Diet Cokes, put Henry in his jammies, and headed for the house. We got home at midnight and were so glad to wake up in our own beds. We are odd, but real...I like it. Memories.
 
Abby

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Christmas Movies Galore

I love Christmas movies. Do you? I've watched my share of Lifetime and Hallmark Christmas movies the last couple of weeks. Some of them I just adore and could watch over and over, and others I'm pretty much ok with never seeing again. Ha!

I love that they all end up with a happily ever after ending, thank heavens Nicholas Sparks doesn't write Christmas movies. Can you even imagine? Santa's sleigh would probably run over the girl, or the guy would die in some horrible house fire due to bad Christmas lighting. Oh, Nicholas please don't write Christmas movies!!

Anyway!!

Some of my favorites are...

5. Christmas with the Kranks. Stephen and I read John Grisham's Skipping Christmas to each other for years before this movie came out. It was a fun little tradition we had. We would read it on our way home for Christmas, oh the memories. This movie is a hoot. Sweet, funny, and touching. Love it!

4. Family Affair. I had never seen the original of this movie until this year. Robert Mitchum was such a hunk! I usually love the remake better than the original, but not in this case. But I know I'll watch both of them whenever they're on!

3. Shop Around the Corner. Do you know this one? Jimmy Stewart. You've Got Mail is taken from this movie. It's quaint and funny. We love it!

2. Miracle of 34th Street. Well,  of course I mean it's a classic! Both the original and the latest one, the one made in the 80's not so much.

1. Elf. Will Farrell as an elf! Of course! It is so funny, we laugh until we can hardly breathe.

1. (I can have two #1's) Christmas Vacation. Duh! Is there a better one? No! My kids quote this movie all year long. They crack me up!

Honorable Mentions

Christmas in Connecticut. Stephen's favorite and it is really great, I probably should have made a top 10 list instead of a top 5 with two #1's.

A Very Merry Mixup. This is new this year, I think, and we really like it. Such a fun little situation the characters find themselves in. If you get a chance to catch it on Hallmark, DVR it.

Deck the Halls. This one has Matthew Broderick and Danny Devito. So funny and I also like Battle of the Bulbs on the Hallmark channel. 

So, which ones are your favorites? 






Monday, November 18, 2013

Time Passes

Today is Monday. Trash day on our road. The trash is typically taken out Sunday night so that we don't miss the trash truck. At our house, the trash can is filled to overflowing by Sunday night, we can't risk missin the trash truck.

We're doing school and I just heard the truck go by. It seemed that I'm the only one that heard it. I was overcome with tears (I'm blaming it on lingering effects of the flu) and memories. 

It used to be that the kids waited on Monday morning for the trash truck to come by. As soon as they heard it, they were off to the windows and then out the door to watch extra close. We made friends with the trash guys. The kids took turns taking them drinks every week and sometimes brownies. At Christmas we gave them little gifts and at Thanksgiving we wrote them thank you notes. 

I always told the kids that they had what we honk of as a yucky, stinky job but without them, our yard and neighborhood would be yucky and stinky! 

Today when the trash truck went by and I reminded them of how they used to get so excited, they just smiled at me. Like I was a crazy, emotional woman. Luckily, Samuel wasn't here. He had driven himself to his biology class.

Time passes, oh so quickly!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Flying High

Well, as you probably guessed would happen, I'm not the only one in the house that has fallen ill. That sentence must not be grammatically correct, because autocorrect kept changing ill to I'll. It did it on that sentence to. I wonder why it doesn't like the word ill? (And it did it again! Ugh!)

Stephen came home yesterday with a fever. That meant 5/6 of us were down. Samuel is the only one that is standing strong! Poor guy. He's having to do everyone's chores, run all of our errands and at the same time stay away from us. 

We've made memories though. Anna and I have watched way to many Christmas movies for the middle of November. David, Daniel, and I have texted each other from opposite ends of the house. And Stephen and I have laughed while laying in bed at the hilarity of this sickness. And let's not forget that we are relying on Samuel, our brand new 16 yr old driver, to pick up meds and go to the bank for us.

I love doing life with these people, it is what God intended for my life and I'm forever grateful!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Flu has Flown in

After church Sunday I suddenly felt BAD! It was weird, I had felt fine all morning and then after church I had no energy to go anymore.

I went home and went straight to bed, I didn't even turn on the tv and that isn't like me at all! Stephen got Wings To Go wings for supper and I didn't even eat them. That's when I knew something was wrong because I'm in love with buffalo garlic wings! 

Yesterday I felt bad but acted as if I didn't, but crashed last night, and i've stayed crashed since then.

Samuel took me to the doctor's office today and sat with me for 3 hours. Three hours! They finally swabbed my nose with the longest swabs known to man and announced the flu was indeed among us! Oh glory!

I got home, finally, to find Anna and David coughing and alternating between being dizzy and being chilled. It seems I've infected my home. Luckily the doctor sent home prescriptions for everyone in the house, so they've begun Tamiflu just like me! 

Sunday night I got in bed to find the note above. I can hardly stand the sweetness of that dear child. She just came in crying because she was sad that I was sick and she misses me. Does it get anymore pitiful than that? 


Stay clear of the flu people, it's bad!!
S





Sunday, November 3, 2013

Beach Memories

We had an awesome time at the beach this week! Don't my people look happy?!
We went on a dolphin cruise. It wasn't something Stephen and I were real excited about, but the kids had wanted to go for the last couple of years. It was so fun! It was a beautiful day, the temperature was perfect to be on a boat, and the dolphins put on quite a show.
I have always loved the beach, and counted it as my happy place. But I found out this week that November at the beach is really my happy place! Watching the waves roll in while laying on the beach in my yoga pants and monogrammed sweatshirt is perfection! 
All four of the kids braved the cold water day after day. It rained, the waves were huge a couple of days, and the red flags were out, but it didn't stop them from getting in the water. A big thanks to Stephen's parents for letting us tag along with them to the beach!

Halloween at the Beach

We're at the beach for a few days of R&R. We usually try to come once a year, but didn't make it this summer, so it's better late than never!

My observations of the beach so far are these:

1) The sand isn't hot! 
2) My family is the youngest on the beach, and that includes Stephen and myself.
3) It's windy.
4) The waves are big which makes up for #5
5) The water is COLD!
6) There are hardly any beach chairs on the beach. Maybe two per condo, which makes the beach look deserted, which I love. ( can I have a sentence like that? With two "which's) in it)
7) There are no airplanes toting banners in the sky.
8) The sky, sun, water, waves and sand are just as beautiful in late October as they ever are.
9) Shrimp and steak are as yummy as in the summer.
10) I love my family on the beach!

And Stephen just added #11) "it's like an air-conditioned beach"


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

My Fave People


Can you stand the cuteness in this picture?! Yesterday Anna and I were in Rogers at the Arkansas Baptist State Convention. I am the team leader for the Ministers' Wives Network and our annual luncheon was yesterday. The luncheon is one of my favorite days of the year. I get to spend it with women who "get" me! We have one common bond and it is so fun to get together with them.
This is our team. These girls are creative, fun, and they put up with me. Which is a huge deal, trust me! Our luncheon is more of a conference, it lasts from 9:30-3:30. This year we had Kathy Litton as our keynote speaker, and Judy Martin and her daughter Kelly Stamps (of Kellys's Korner blog) spoke about being a preachers kid, and the mother of one. It was a really great day! I'm so ready to begin planning for next year!

And could I look more like my mother in these pictures? Love ya Mom!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Pumpkins, Races and Sweet Faces


Last weekend Henry and I headed for some fun in the Fort with friends and Marmie. Luke and Henry had fun playing in the pumpkins and Melissa and I had fun watching them. They are a handsome handful.


When did this child get big enough to wear boots and a belt?! He is growing up so fast and I love it and mourn it at the same time! He is hilarious and truly my child though. His poor daddy deserves a medal for putting up with us!


We always have fun in the fall doing harvest related activities.  I count it all joy to make special memories like these with Henry. I hope his love for all things "holidays" will mimic mine. I am trying my hardest to make it take! ha.


Spending a few days with the beautiful creation and her baby boy was medicine for my soul. Seeing her twice in 6 weeks could create a habit...a good one. This is my soulmate and forever best girl for life. I seriously could not imagine 1 day without her being a text, call or FB msg away. She gets me and where I am in life. I can txt her 1 word or just one line and she knows where I am at emotionally, spiritually, physically. Never have to explain, wonder or question this one. She is one of the best gifts God saw fit to give me as a little girl. I will praise him forever for it too.


Because we are a pair, we did the Color Vibe 5k together. She asked me back in August to come home and do it with her. We had great fun. It was colder than all get out but it was fun to get colored up and walk through the shadiest areas of our hometown together.

 
Our buddy Trish also joined us with a few of her friends. We had so much fun being goofy and taking these pre race pics at packet pick up the night before. I love a silver friend so much. I appreciate the gold ones greatly, yet the silver ones are just medicine for the soul.
 

Mama and Henry waved us in at the finish. Henry loved all the colors.


One of the highlights of my trip was seeing this blast from the past. Erica and I grew up in the same neighborhood, church and school. She was two grades behind me but it never mattered. We were partners in lots of crime. We met up with our kids and my Mama at the nursery/pumpkin patch close to our old stomping grounds. It was so much fun to see we are just the same, just older!


The best part of the visit was loving on this sweet thing...my Mama! Henry had so much fun playing and loving on his Marmie. She told him stories and he rubbed the jewels on her blouse. It was a fun-filled weekend with lots of my favorite people.

Abby