Saturday, November 28, 2015

Thanksgiving 2015

Annabelle’s class collected canned goods and food items to put together a Thanksgiving basket for a needy family.

She was assigned green beans and used the change she’d gotten from her Aunt Betty Ann’s change jar on Halloween to pay for them herself. IMG_3797She was precious counting out her coins at the grocery store. IMG_3801

Thanksgiving is always a hard time of year for us. It never fails, when the calendar rolls over to November, my heart just aches more than normal for our Cooper. I always dread the anniversary of the day our lives were turned upside down and forever changed. The whole month is just difficult. I’m sure it will always be that way. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about him and miss him and wonder what he’d be like now. Our busy lives keep us going and distracted most days, making it easier to keep the brokenness tucked away nicely. There’s just something about November, though, that brings it all back. It’s hard to believe it’s been 8 years now. So much has changed and so much life has been lived and with every year that goes by, it feels like we’re that much farther away from him. Of course, there’s always the fear of people forgetting him, too. To me, November just stinks. But, God is good and He gives us exactly what we need to face each day- even the darkest of them. I’d been having one of my “bad November days” and I was in the car later that afternoon. I looked up as a semi-truck passed by to see my boy’s name in big letters across the back. It was so sweet to have been missing him extra hard that day and then to see his name on some random truck. God is so good to know our hearts and know what would touch them and then give us little things like that. IMG_3528

This was the first year, since Cooper’s accident that we did a big Thanksgiving. For the past 7 years, we’ve always just done lunch with my parents, usually out of town somewhere. They made sure we were okay before they went to my brother’s for the week this year. We assured them, we were fine and we thought about going, too, but decided we’d lay low again and just be home. As the week went on, DW said he really thought we should go down to the creek with the rest of his family for their traditional Thanksgiving lunch, which is what we had always done in the past before Cooper’s accident. I think it was probably the third stranger who said something to our kids about Thanksgiving and the fact that they didn’t really know much about it that lead to his decision. One lady asked the kids if they were looking forward to Thanksgiving that week and what their favorite Thanksgiving food was and they just kind of stared blankly at her.

I agreed with DW and we packed up our indians and spent the day at the creek. IMG_4188It was beautiful weather and it was nice to be outside and enjoy a big traditional Thanksgiving meal with some of the extended family. IMG_4208

The kids loved running around and sitting by the water, and only one of them fell in. I’m sure anyone who really knows us, knows which one it was. :)IMG_4198

We are so thankful for all of our many blessings.


Friday, November 20, 2015

Straight A’s

AB got her first report of First Grade, it was straight A’s! IMG_3008
Grammy (Pop was out of town) took her to dinner and a movie to celebrate that night.
She was also excited that Pappy & Nie-Nie gave her some money to add to her wallet. She’s big on having cash lately, and it cracks me up that she keeps track of how much she has spent and how much she has left. She gets that from her Daddy. Ha.
Mamie was sick that weekend, so a couple weeks later, we all went out to celebrate.
Annabelle picked dinner at Red Robin and then we surprised her with an appointment to get her ears pierced! She’s been begging to have them done for over a year now, so we decided if she was that serious about it, she deserved it.
Grammy was with us, thankfully, and she handled Tucker and Maybree while DW tried to keep me from passing out. Meanwhile, AB sat up in that chair like a grown-up and never even cried. She did so good and she has loved having them pierced. IMG_3632IMG_3642
We’re so proud of all of her hard work this first 9 weeks and are excited to see how much she learns and grows the rest of the school year.
Mamie put in to have her ears pierced, too, but Momma wasn’t ready for that. Her Daddy took her into Claire’s while we were at the mall, though, and got her some “clip-ons.” IMG_3634

Monday, November 16, 2015

Gator Homecoming

I took the girls to UF’s Homecoming parade for the first time a few years ago. I braved it without DW, but decided afterward that I didn’t want to do that again. :)

It hasn’t really worked out for us to go back since, but this year the stars all lined up and we got to go together, and even Pappy & Nie-Nie got to go with us.IMG_3464

I checked AB out of school early (she can thank her Pappy, who gave me a massive guilt-trip about it. ha-ha) I wasn’t going to get her from school, but in the end I was glad I had. She loved it and I would have hated for her to miss it. IMG_0488 

We were invited to a tailgate party at a bank on University and we got to watch the parade from their office. The balcony was the perfect spot to see everything. IMG_3465IMG_3457


The best part was when it got too hot on the balcony, we could go inside and watch it from the big windows. IMG_3455

We all had our favorite entries – mine was the Gator bicycle! IMG_3458

Mamie’s was the butterflies IMG_0485

and Tucker just loved it all. IMG_0486

It was such a fun (& H-O-T!) afternoon with my favorite Gators. IMG_0481

AB (& her doll, “Georgia,” who’s been to every game that AB has) got to sweat it out the next day with her Daddy at the game. IMG_9161


Thursday, November 5, 2015

Halloween 2015

Having two little girls, there’s never a lack of dressing up around our house. IMG_2190

But we seemed to take it into double time in October.

The month started with our county 4H Halloween party. AB and her Daddy carved a pumpkin for the pumpkin carving contest. It turned out great, with the 4H clover on it. Sadly, I didnt get a picture of the finished product.  IMG_2086Clubs from the county all set up different activities and the kids had a fun time going from booth to booth. IMG_2116IMG_2119Our club (which we started in October), set up a corn dig where kids could dig for prizes and also a fun photo booth. IMG_2121IMG_2191IMG_2153

The Friday before Halloween was book-character dress up day at school.IMG_2970 AB chose “Bad Kitty” as her book this year.IMG_2980IMG_2991 The costume was super easy, which is always a plus. AB loved that she even had a tail. Ha.

The Fall Carnival at school was a lot of fun for both the girls. IMG_2320

Our church hosted a family night the Wednesday before Halloween and members were invited to set up their trunks for a trunk or treat. Our kids’ costumes this year were the Wizard of Oz, so it made perfect sense to just go with that for our trunk theme. The girls casted the other parts and I searched Pinterest for some inspiration and ideas. It turned out super cute, but the highlight was definitely all of the costumes. IMG_2907Maybree was Dorothy (Dor-fee) and she was adorable going around saying, “There’s no place like home!”IMG_2911 Annabelle was the wicked witch of the West, Grammy was the wicked with of the East (complete with the house that had fallen on her). Pop considered himself lucky that he was in Mexico that week and missed out. Ha.IMG_2922 I was Glenda (‘Belinda’, as Mamie calls her) the Good Witch, DW was the tin-man,IMG_2909 Kelsey was the scarecrow, Nie-Nie was a flying monkey (yes, she had wings and a TAIL), IMG_2913and Pappy was the Great & Powerful Oz (cowboy edition). IMG_8457 Tucker-Boy was the Cowardly lion. Call me biased, but I’m certain there’s never been a cuter lion. IMG_2923



It was lots of fun and I’m so glad my family are such good sports. IMG_2915

Halloween night, was the Georgia-Florida game. DW was in Jacksonville for that, so I took the kids over to Carrie’s and we had fun trick-or-treating in Trenton.IMG_3072 Tucker was sick, so he stayed with Grammy. We’ve never gotten to trick or treat with Allie and Whitt and the kids all had the best time. We stopped by a few houses before hitting Pine Grove’s Trunk-or-Treat, which was also a huge hit. Lots of cute trunks and we got to see lots of sweet friends we don’t see often.

Tucker and Parker had both been sick for Halloween, but we couldn’t let a year go by without them getting to Trick or Treat together, so the next week, we dressed them up and went to a few of our families’ houses on our road. It was November 3rd, but they didn’t know the difference. :)IMG_3391IMG_3380


At Aunt Betty Ann’s, along with candy, they got to reach in her change jar and grab as much change as they could. DSC_4434She counted it with AB and Mames and then told them she wanted them to take their money and do something thoughtful for someone else. They loved this.



We certainly got our use out of our Halloween costumes this year! DSC_4130DSC_4063

I wonder how much longer I’ll be able to convince them to coordinate?!?!? DSC_4220