Our Story

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Ben and I met in 1996, began dating in 1999 and married in 2001. Now 20 years and 2 children later, we have returned to where our life together began. Ben works for the Federal Reserve and I have the privilege of staying home with our two precious boys.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Jesse's 40th Birthday & New Year's Eve

Right before Christmas we went up to celebrate Jesse's 40th birthday. Jesse flew down from Virginia to celebrate Ben's birthday with him so we were excited that his birthday fell while they were in town visiting for the holidays and we were all able to celebrate with him. The boys LOVE going up to Jesse's family's land and always have a blast!
First up - Feeding the cows
 Then Mason was kind enough to take Caden on a ride on his dirtbike while Carson took the boys on long rides on the 4-wheeler exploring the woods.
 Then we came in for birthday presents and dinner. 
A fun time was had by all!!
After Christmas, we headed back up there for New Year's. We were planning on celebrating down here, but changed our minds and decided to go up there instead. The boys had so much fun getting into a Popper fight with Carson and Mason!
Then some sparklers
 Bottle Rockets
 Roman Candles
Some upside down tickle time
Followed by getting ready for the big stuff
 Lots of the big stuff!
After all of the fireworks were done, we headed inside to watch the ball drop before heading home.
What a great New Year's Eve!

Christmas Visit to the Farm

A couple of days after Christmas, the boys and I headed down to the farm for a few days. We exchanged gifts with Granny, Grandpa, and Uncle CJ and the boys were so excited with their new gifts!
 The next morning we went down to the chicken houses to check out the birds,
 Then went back up to Granny and Grandpa's to play for the day. I knew it was going to be warm but I really should have brought shorts for the kids to wear! Caden found his red wagon to pull all over the farm with Granny and...
 Supergirl Callie and...
 Batboy Ethan got to work on other things :-)
 Pair that with plenty of rides with Grandpa on the mule... 
 and a little time with Payton plus...
 some playtime on the Loader...
 Followed by finishing up our time on the farm with fireworks 
 And it made for a perfect visit!
We LOVE the farm!

Christmas Eve & Christmas Day

Mimi came into town so that she could go to Ethan's Christmas party and Caden's Christmas program. She also brought presents when she came since we missed my family Christmas weekend because Ethan had a stomach bug. So her first night in town we opened presents from Uncle Chad, Aunt Ashley, MawMaw, and Mimi. Thankfully, Mimi was able to take our presents to them when she left.We also got to have cookies and milk Christmas light rides twice this year and sadly I didn't get pictures of either night :-( Our first ride was with Mimi and we ventured through some neighborhoods between here and Suwanee. 
The other night was with the Martin's and the Brown's and we had a great time packing into the car in PJ's. Thankfully, Zac offered to drive our car so Ben and I hung out in the cargo area quite comfortable :-). Between 6 kids and 4 adults, we had a lively crew and saw some great Star Wars lights set to music as well as a couple of other highly involved light scenes. Everyone sang songs, had hot chocolate and chocolate milk, ate cookies and peppermint crunch, and had a good ole' time! Another day we had a cookie and gingerbread day with our crew of 6 kiddos and they had a blast decorating gingerbread houses and cutting out cookie dough, then decorating the cookies. 
After all of our Christmas activities, it was finally Christmas Eve! 
The boys got up a little before we did that morning and when we came downstairs, Skippy looked like this. I'm pretty sure that he didn't return from his report to Santa and intentionally lay upside down in the tree so there was a mighty debate about whether or not Santa was even going to come visit because if Skippy loses his magic, then Santa doesn't come. After doing a little investigating, it appears the boys shook the tree but didn't touch the elf :-/ I'm telling you, they keep us on our toes!
Later, we attempted a picture before Christmas Eve service at church. 
Take 1...
 Take 10...
 And Take 15...I give up
 After church and dinner that night, we exchanged gifts with the Martins's. The kids were so excited!
And then it was time for PJ's and bed :-)
A sneak peek after Santa finishes up at our house 
 The next morning 2 excited little boys woke up ready to see what Santa brought!
 Even Lucy was excited about her new presents!
 We were so happy that Mimi was able to spend Christmas morning with us!
 After a little playtime, the boys ate reindeer and snowman doughnuts
 Later that afternoon, we headed to Gainesville to see Ben's dad and Lynda. I was pooped by the end of the day, so picture taking was not my best.

Friday, January 6, 2017

School Christmas Parties & Shadowbrook Program

Ethan's Christmas Party
The last week of school was a busy one! Ethan's party was Monday, Caden's school program was Tuesday, and his Christmas party was Wednesday. Since I am Room Mom for Ethan's class, Sunday was a long night of prepwork since we had been so busy that I hadn't been able to prepare in advance. Thankfully, Mimi was in town to help :-) We made a snowball toss game, pin the body on the snowman, made sugar cookies for the kids to decorate as snowmen...see the theme ;-). Then we bought snowmen tic-tac-toe boards for the kiddos to play with while eating and in between centers. They also made snowman clothespins, ate snowman doughnuts and snowman bananas, had snowman popcorn cups, and drank snowman milk. The kiddos did great and made it through each center on their own without any direction from us! I was well prepared to group them and rotate each group through the centers but I didn't even need to do so. What a great group of kiddos!
Snack time was first...
 With a little tic-tac-toe,
 Followed by some Snowball toss,
 And sugar cookie decorating.
A little brotherly love :-)
Then made some snowman clothespins
 and played Pin the Body on the Snowman 
 Great fun was had by all!

Shadowbrook Christmas Program
Shadowbrook has a young, new pastor that wanted to create a video Christmas card this year that included the Shadowbrook students. What a fun idea! Caden is 2nd row center right next to Santa Pastor. But he spends the whole video doing a disappearing act. He's hilarious! Now you see him...
 Now you don't...just 2 little hands. His teacher said she couldn't watch the video without laughing the entire time watching him repeatedly disappear and then pop back up a few seconds later :-)
 The next evening Caden had his very last Shadowbrook Christmas program. For 5 years, he has stood still onstage without participating. This was the last one and we were hoping he would change his mind for this one.
 And he did! Hand motions! It's a miracle!
 And each year the Kindergarten class closes the program with the Nativity. Caden was the Wiseman who brought the myrrh.
 Love that sweet boy!
 The whole nativity by Kindergarten
 Cheese faces at the end :-)

Caden's Christmas Party
The next day was Caden's school Christmas party. Since Caden went to Ethan's party, he asked if Ethan could go with him to his party so Ethan checked out early and went with me.
 I wasn't able to get many pictures of the party because I was asked to lead a candy cane building station:-( but the kiddos had fun!
Yay! Christmas Break can finally begin!