Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Numero C-I-N-C-O

Happy Birthday to you,

Happy Birthday to you,

Happy Birthday dear Cader,

Happy Birthday to YOU!!!!

We plan on celebrating in grand style this year with a "Hoop It Up" Basketball party on the 9th!

You stole my heart 5 years ago today when I laid eyes on you for the very first time. You were so tiny with a head full of coal black hair! I loved to just sit with you in the rocking chair while you held on so tightly to my finger with your sweet, delicate hands.

Since then I've had the privilege of discovering FuN-NeW things to love about you each and every day for the past 1,825 days!

It is something I will never grow tired of...

I love you always,


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Your a COLD one, Mr. Grinch!

We've heard the stories of the Gaylord Texan's ICE exhibit for several years now, so we decided to check it out for ourselves on Sunday afternoon!

And it didn't disappoint.

This year, ICE tells the story of The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, by recreating scenes from the book in intricately carved, larger-than-life ice sculptures set in a walk-through world.

Here are a few fun facts about ICE:

the number of types of ice used in the construction of ICE! ~ Clear “glass-like” crystal ice – so flawless that it is compared to Waterford Crystal – makes up 80 percent of the sculptures ~ “White ice” blocks, which are more like compacted snow, make up 15 percent of the sculptures ~ Colored ice, which is dyed brilliant colors, is used for highlighting and accenting the remaining 5 percent of the sculptures

DEGREES that is! The temperature inside the exhibit.
Don't worry though, they provide HUGE blue parkas to keep you warm!

the approximate number of days needed to hand-carve the ICE display

the number of artisans from the City of Harbin (China) Tourism and Development Commission, who sculpt the attraction by hand

the number of LED lights frozen within ICE

the number of ICE blocks hand-carved and transformed into our winter wonderland

That's the amount of ice it took to create the exhibit this year!

Oh and I'll throw in one more TIP...wait till after Christmas Day to visit, like we did.
You can thank me for that little jewel next year when you don't have to wait, like some folks did,
in line for 2 hours.
And now my favorite stanza from the Grinch theme song...
ah, hem!
"You're a monster, Mr. Grinch,
Your heart's an empty hole,
Your brain is full of spiders, you have garlic in your soul, Mr. Gri-inch,
I wouldn't touch you with a thirty-nine-and-a-half foot pole!"

Monday, December 21, 2009

A Shepherd Boy

Our church put on a nativity play this year called "Miracle on Main Street."

Cade played the role of a shepherd boy.

He looked very grown up this year on unafraid, so comfortable,
so B-I-G.

You did a super job little man!

"Angels we have heard on high"

Ray, you were the perfect Joseph

Hanging with the angel band!
My shepherd spied me...furiously snapping photos of him
"For unto us a child is born,
to us a son is given;
and His name shall be called,
Isaiah 9:6

This Christmas let's remember the true giver and the gift.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Way Back Wednesday

Can I just say it for the record...

I love posting on "Way Back Wednesdays."

It is so exciting to dig through my photo archives and look at all the treasured
moments we captured on film.

Today's photo is from December 2007, 2 years ago today.

This was Gracyn...all 8 lbs. and 6 oz. of her.

Having been blessed with one healthy little boy and a brand new baby girl truly made it a

December to remember!

What is it in your life that's making THIS December one to remember?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


I'm BEHIND!!!!!!!!
Normally at this point in December, I have...
- mailed out my Christmas cards
- completed my Christmas shopping
- wrapped most of my gifts
- planned out my holidays
This particular year, I cannot check any of those things off my list.
But you know what I'm NOT going to do,
You know what I AM going to do,
take it one day at a time.
It will all get done before December 25th and no one
will be all the wiser.
Except for my loyal blog readers, of course :)
Just keeping it real on truthful tuesday...what are you behind on?

Monday, December 7, 2009

Ree and Me...a recipe for fun!

Thursday night my friend Jennifer and I loaded up the Tahoe, set the GPS, and headed south to Austin for a book signing with none other than the pioneer woman herself!

That's right kiddies, we got to hob nob with the undisputed QUEEN of food blogging,


What a fun night. We arrived at the bookstore around 6 p.m. and by 7, you couldn't stir 'em with a stick! It was packed. Ree briefly came down and did a quick Q&A session with the crowd then proceeded to sign copies of her first cookbook, The Pioneer Woman Cooks. Which is chalked full of down home yummy southern recipes and beautiful photography and stories...just like her blog!

My favorite question that someone asked was,"How many packages of butter does she go through in a month!" In true Pioneer Woman form she replied, "That's too personal of a question, I'd rather not answer that!"


Let me tell you that she was as delightful in person as she seems on her blog! She even hooked everyone at the book signing up with a free t-shirt which her husband a.k.a. Marlboro Man toted to the event! only dilemma is what to cook first!

What's that?

You have never even heard of The Pioneer Woman?

Well good grief.

Crawl out from beneath that rock and go visit:

She ROCKS!!!!!

Oh and if you want a great Christmas gift for the chef in the family you can pick up her new cookbook at a great price from!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Terrific T-W-O

Gracyn Avery is TWO!!!!

My sweet little ladybug celebrated her second birthday!

Time really does fly by when your having fun.

I made a banner to hang over our fireplace with one photo from each month of her life over the past year! You could really see just how much she has changed and grown into a toddler by following her progression through the months.

Come on,
Follow me through the past year.

December/January 2009







You are a ray of sunshine in our lives. Your beautiful smile and hearty laugh bring happiness to the hearts of all your friends and family. No one can resist giving you a squeeze or stealing some sugars from those sweet cheeks!

You love your brother...he is quickly becoming your favorite toy! Both of you are at just the right age to really truly begin playing together and becoming the best of friends. I love to hear Cade whisper all his giant plans and schemes as the two of you entertain each other in the playroom.

You love to put on pajamas {or any random clothes you can find around the house, for that matter}. You love to wear your shirt over your head with your arms still in where your tummy shows.

You love to be read to, to be held and cuddled, and you absolutely could not survive without your soft "piwwow" at bedtime.

You love to carry around your sippy cup full of "pom-gwanit" juice, your purse, and your "chip-chap" --translation -- chap stick!

You love to eat raisins, applesauce, bananas, green beans, turkey roll-ups, mozzarella sticks, rice, popsicles, beans and almost anything else we put on your plate!
I LOVE to hear you say, "Hi Mommy" every morning when I walk into your room...
like you've been waiting for just that moment. I love to hear you call Cade "bubby." I love when you say "do it myself." I love to watch you splish-splash in the tub. I love when you prance around in your pretty dress up shoes that brother gave you at your party. And I love to hear you talk to you babies in such a gentle way.

My sweet 2 year old girl, I love you with all that I am.

Party Pics & Party Peeps

Chocolate covered strawberries on cookie sticks!

You wearing your "pwetty, pwetty" shoes from bubby!

Happy Birthday to you, Gracie girl!
I anticipate the next 12 months of your life will be filled with many more memorable moments.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


-The most useless thing to do…. ……..Worry
-The greatest Joy…………… ……Giving
-The greatest loss…………….Loss of self-respect
-The most satisfying work………Helping others
-The ugliest personality trait…………Selfishness
-The most endangered species………Dedicated leaders
-Our greatest natural resource……………Our youth
-The greatest “shot in the arm”……….Encouragement
-The greatest problem to overcome…………….Fear
-Most effective sleeping pill…. ….Peace of mind
-The most crippling failure disease…….Excuses
-The most powerful force in life………………Love
-The most dangerous pariah………………A gossiper
-The world’s most incredible computer… …..The brain!
-The worst thing to be without………………. Hope
-The deadliest weapon…………………..The tongue
-The two most power-filled words……………”I Can”
-The greatest asset………..Faith
-The most worthless emotion…..Self-pity
-The most prized possession…………….Integrity
-The most beautiful attire………………….SMILE!
-The most powerful channel of communication…. …Prayer
-The most contagious spirit…………. ….Enthusiasm

Friday, November 20, 2009

Fun Fridays...My Favorite Things

I randomly came across this clip the other day and had to post it!
It's my absolute FAVORITE SCENE from the cute movie,
My Best Friend's Wedding.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Shining in spite of the scars

I read an incredible article the other day about this soldier.

Spc. Logan Burnette

He was sitting in the back row of 30 seats on Nov. 5, waiting to see a doctor for a final review. Hurry up and wait. Just another day in the Army.
Out of nowhere he overheard {who we now know was} Major Nidal Hasan shout
"Allahu Akbar"
before he began firing on a building of unarmed soldiers and civilians.

In an attempt to thwart Hasan, Spc. Burnette stood up and threw a folding table at the shooter. In response, Hasan aimed at him and a bullet tore through his left hip,
his abdomen and upper and lower intestines.
Burnette took another bullet to his right hip. Which is still there to this day.

The article stated that Burnette didn't know if or where he was shot and tried to stand up.
More bullets came and he got hit in the left elbow, knuckle and pinky finger.
Burnette fell again and crawled to a nearby cubicle.
He continued to drag himself across the floor and finally made it to the front door
and low-crawled five meters up a hill to another building.
Burnette made it to the front door, and a staff sergeant – he wishes he could remember his name – grabbed him by the collar and dragged him into an office.
The staff sergeant locked the door and performed first aid.
Burnette could still hear gunshots exploding in the nearby building.

There were a lot of heroes that day, Burnette said after tearfully recounting
his experience to the Killeen Daily Herald.
"By no means did my actions take precedence over anyone else's", he said.

He even added matter-of-factly:
"There are a lot of heroes still in Iraq and Afghanistan."

Here's what really struck me about this incredible story...
When asked what his goals were, Spc. Logan Burnette replied,
"Recover and return to duty as soon as possible."

I am so struck by the profound sense of loyalty and duty
our men & women in uniform show each and every day
of their lives.

Let's remember to smile at them.
Let's remember to thank them.
Let's remember to find ways to honor them as the holiday season approaches.
And most importantly, let's remember to pray for them and their families.

This event was a violent reminder that none of us
gets to choose how we die in this world,
but we do get to choose how we live.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Way Back Wednesday

My Precious Cowboy...

with a black eye!March 2006
Fayetteville, North Carolina