Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas 2009

What a memorable Christmas it was!!!!

In our family, Christmas is usually really drawn out because we have so many family to celebrate with and at different times. So it's good that it lasts even longer before it's all over.

First, we went to visit my Aunt Ann and Uncle Phillip in Greenwood last Saturday for Christmas. We had a good time visiting them because we don't get to see them very often. They gave Alabama the cutest stuffed gingerbread girl, some cute clothes, and a sweet bear that says her prayers. I forgot my camera, so I don't have any pictures. :-( We also received our CD's from my Daddy that he recorded for me. He's still working on the gospel one but the first one turned out pretty good!

Christmas Eve, we had lunch at my Mama and Daddy's with my Granny, Aunt Judy, and our cousin Larry. Alabama opened some of her first Christmas presents from Granny and Aunt Judy. She got a blue Care Bear bunny, a snow globe (which she dropped and broke even though it was plastic. When we went to Walgreens to get a new one, she broke it in the store! ha! we have one now that she can play with NEXT year.) a set of little books, a beautiful snow globe ornament for 2009, some money, and a christmas bear. They were so sweet!
Then we were off to our Christmas Eve service at church which was beautiful! I loved the new format and the music was wonderful. The candles, music, Christmas story, church family, Lord's Supper, and cold night all made for a perfect Christmas eve. The only thing a little crazy was there was no nursery of course so it was hard to entertain Alabama the entire time!

On Christmas Day, Alabama woke up at 7:15 and so we got up and went to see what Santa brought!! I've been looking forward to this for so long! It was so much fun!!! She got a Laugh and Learn Barn, a caterpillar, her first Cabbage Patch doll named Sydney Sage, an Elmo cloth book, a train with animals that sings, and a steering wheel. In her stocking she had socks, a pair of tights, Yogurt melts, and her first toothbrush. (Those yogurt melts are like candy for babies! She can't get enough of them!!!) She didn't know what to think of it all. She pulled everything out of her stocking, but didn't play with all the toys too much at first. Now, she loves them!

We always cook breakfast for our family on Christmas morning so this year we had a delicious breakfast casserole that we actually put together the night before and baked that morning along with some cinnamon rolls. My Nana and Ralph came and she brought Alabama a really cute yellow pull-along car that she really has had fun with. Mama, Daddy, Alicia and Audra came over and Alabama showed them what Santa brought her! After breakfast, we went to their house and opened some gifts. Alabama got a Red Rider all terrain wagon from Santa and some cute clothes from Aunt Katie and a Tigger and a cheetah toy from Aunt Lee Lee and two Sesame street DVDs from Big Mama and Poppa.

We really had to hurry because we were supposed to be at Georgia's by 12 for Christmas with Adam's family. It was not much fun having to rush and I hope we can plan to space it out a little more next year. We had a delicious dinner that Georgia and Chris made and then opened some gifts with them. I wish I had pictures of the table, but Georgia had it set so pretty and had the cutest napkins from Williams-Sonoma with the 12 Days of Christmas on them. I got "5 Golden Rings" of course! ha! We took our time and opened all the gifts. The funnest part for me is watching everyone open their gifts that we give them.

Alabama was given this sweet crocheted baby booties ornament from her Grandma and Grandpa. They also gave her some new earrings to wear!

Anna bought with her own money the pink pillow in the picture above for Alabama. I thought that was so sweet of her!
Aunt Georgia and Uncle Chris gave her a Fisher Price learning purse which is so cute! She loves to take everything out of it!

Even before we opened the gifts, she was a tired little girl! So much excitement during Christmas really wore her out!

I thought this shirt was so perfect for her to wear on Christmas because besides Jesus, she's the best present ever!!!!!

After leaving Georgia's, we drove to Gibson to Bo and Kathie's to spend time with the family there. I know, it makes me tired thinking about it again! But it was a great day and I'm so thankful for our blessings and Alabama's first Christmas!

More to come of our "Christmas at New Year's" in another post!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Empty Nest

Our little nest was empty last night without my sweet little birdie, Alabama! She spent the night away for the 2nd time with her Uncle Bo, Aunt Kathie, and cousin Jenna. We took the opportunity to have a little date night to look at Christmas lights, eat at Cracker Barrell and..... come home early! ha! I was so tired for some reason and came home and fell asleep on the couch after watching the Duggars (who we LOVE!).

It's weird that I actually woke up more last night than when she is actually here! I guess it makes me nervous knowing all FOUR of them are sleeping in the same full size bed. Also, who knows how many Polly Pockets Jenna has let Alabama play with today! ha! I can't wait to get her back tonight! Miss her so much. But before that....this girl's got a lot to do. I've wrapped a few more gifts, I've got two to finish making, I've got a few gifts to pick up, make a few deliveries, and sell a LOT of baskets! I hope there are a lot of men who are last minute shoppers!!!

The reason we chose Cracker Barrell was not only because we love the food, but I really wanted a piece of their Double Chocolate Coca-Cola cake. That stuff is amazing!!!!! I found a recipe online at kopykatrecipes that I'm going to try out for Christmas. I hope it's like "the real thing baby!"

1 Stick of Butter (1/4 lb)
1 C. Coca Cola
3/4 C. Miniature Marshmallows
1 Square of Semi Sweet Baking Chocolate
1/2 C. Shortening
1/2 C. Vegetable Oil
3/4 C. Cocoa
2 Eggs
1/2 tsp. Salt
2 tsp. Vanilla
3/4 C. Buttermilk
2 C. Sugar
2 1/3 C. Flour
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1 1/2 tsp. Baking Powder
Place in a sauce pan butter, coke, semi sweet baking square and bring to a boil remove from heat and add marshmallows and stir until all is blended and the marshmallows are disappear. Set aside to cool enough to tepid or room temperature.In mixing bowl blend the shortening, oil, vanilla and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs and buttermilk and beat until smooth. Mix flour with baking soda, cocoa, baking powder and salt, add half of flour mixture to shortening, egg mixture, and beat. Scrape bowl time to time to clean the sides off so ingredients are blended in batter. Add cooled coca cola mixture and beat. Add remainder of flour and beat until completely smooth about 3 – 4 minutes. Batter will be thick.Place batter into a 13″ x 9″ x ” 2 oiled and floured baking pan.Set pan on top shelf in a preheated 350 degrees oven for 35 – 40 minutes. Check for completed baking time with a toothpick. If the toothpick comes out clean by sticking in the middle of the cake its time to come out of the oven and cool.

1 Stick of Butter
1/2 C. Cocoa1/4 C. Coca Cola (plus 2-3 Tbsp. if needed)
3 C Powder Sugar
1 tsp. Vanilla
1/4 C Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup
Cream butter, add cocoa, vanilla, Hershey’s Syrup, and coca cola, beat until smooth. Add powder sugar a little at a time and beat constantly. Scrape the sides of bowl time to time to get all ingredients into the frosting. If the frosting seams a little dry add a little more coca cola and beat well.Frost warm cake. Serve with natural vanilla bean ice cream and enjoy.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Adorable Christmas outfit

I'm linking to the Shabby Nest's Frugal Friday Holiday Linky Party to show the shirt I made for Alabama using my Cricut and freezer paper!

I bought these adorable red and white pants from a Just Ducky Originals party that I attended. They were much more than I would normally spend on pants for her, but I've really wanted some ruffle pants for a while and you feel bad if you go and don't buy anything! So, I only bought the pants and decided I could make some cute shirts to go with them. They are still fitting her very good so hopefully I can make one for Valentine's Day, too!
I've seen this idea so many places including The Shabby Nest and City Grace. I was so excited to try it but I couldn't find freezer paper anywhere! I finally found some that my mother in law had and grabbed a little of it! (I saw tonight that they now carry it at Bi-Lo in Thomson so I bought a whole roll for my self!)
The only thing I did a little differently from the other posts was that I used the Cricut to cut out the freezer paper! It's much more precise and quicker that the exacto knife. (At least when I'm the one using the knife! ha) I chose this cute Christmas tree and cut it out and ironed it on the shirt. I grabbed a plate and some fabric paint and a stencil brush and got to work. Since I was painting white paint over a red shirt, I had to do about 3-4 layers of paint. When it finally was dry,I peeled off the freezer paper and was left with a cute tree for the most precious Christmas outfit ever!

I love how it turned out and the shirt was only $5 and the paint was $.97 so it was a great way to get a custom look with only a little bit of money!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Thomson Christmas Parade 2009

Last Sunday, we went to the Christmas parade in Thomson. I was in the parade for so many years and it is fun to go see the band, the "Sparklers", the horses, Santa, the Shriners cars, and the "cars-that-their-owners-think-are-parade-worthy-but-aren't"!!! ha

Of course, it was Alabama's first parade and she was really interested and loved looking at everything go by. We had a very good spot and got to sit on the tailgate of Adam's truck. When we were little, if we weren't in the parade, we would eat lunch after church at KFC and then park in their parking lot to watch. This year, we met Leslie, Tommy, Katie, Emma, and Annalise and had them come sit with us. We helped them get the candy before the nutcase/drunk mom/weirdo and her daughter beside us took it all!

We told Alabama all the things she would be doing in the parade as she gets older. "Look, there's where you'll ride when you're THS Homecoming Queen, Alabama."

Friday, December 4, 2009

O Christmas Tree..

I'm not totally finished with all the decorations for the house, but I wanted to post pictures of our tree since I've had a few people ask about it and I also wanted to particiate in the Show Us Your Life: Christmas Tree at Kelly's Korner.

For the past couple of years since we redecorated our living room, we've decorated our tree with black/white/silver ornaments with a few splashes of red to add a punch of color. I love our tree and get excited when I get the ornamnets out every year. I also have some special ornaments that don't go with our "theme" so I put those in the back of the tree. I love to add different things to the tree like little birds or flowers or this nest.
And here is Alabama in her reindeer outfit beside the "entryway" trees. I stood in line at Michael's last year after Thanksgiving to get them!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

9 months old

Alabama turned nine months old on Thanksgiving day! What a wonderful thing to be thankful for! I definitely think that these 9 months have gone much faster than the 9 months when she was growing inside me.

Alabama, here's what you're up to now at 9 months old.

You're now a very fast crawler!

You are standing up on everything! You pull up every chance you get. You also love to get into everything...cabinets, books, magazines, dresser, closets, dog food!, and everything else you find! Wow, you are a handful sometimes trying to keep you out of things that can hurt you! The nosiness continues! ha!

You wave bye-bye with just your fingers now curved back at you. It's so cute!

You eat so many things now. You eat all kinds of baby food..even bananans now. You LOVE to eat food from our plates and will open your mouth and say aahhh to let us know you want more. Some of the things you eat are bananas, whole green beans, bread pieces, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, gerber snacks, and sometimes a bite of cake.

You finally got your first tooth!!!!! It is the bottom left tooth and Alicia noticed it first coming in. Daddy doesn't have to buy you false teeth after all! ha!

You love to see other kids and just watch them and play with them. You're such a social girl!

You are NOT sleeping good now! You won't go to sleep in your bed for anything! You still wake up around 5 or 6 usually then go back to sleep for a few more hours. Sometimes though you wake up at 2 or 3 so I just can't figure you out girl! I am really praying that your sleep patterns will get better and soon!

You're in the Creeper room at church now..no more infant room for you. Clara Kate is all by herself now, though!

You're still too skinny for your 6-12 months pants but now your 3-6 month clothes are getting too short. You've got to gain some weight girl!ha! You've got some super cute outfits that I can't wait for you to wear! :-)

You go to the doctor on Monday so I'll update what she says then!

I love you more every day! You're so beautiful and so smart and sweet!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Count your Blessings, Name them One by One...

I wanted to go ahead and post about all of the things I'm thankful for as Thanksgiving is tomorrow. I've been getting the house clean, doing laundry, doing a few projects, and going to start baking a cake but while the baby sleeps, I want to get this post in.

I have so much to be thankful for...we are richly blessed! Even though we may have a few struggles, we have far greater blessings.

I'm thankful first for Salvation...without it the rest would be nothing!

I'm thankful for my wonderful husband. I'm thankful for his love and commitment, his hardworking character, his skills, that he's a great daddy, that he loves Alabama so much, that he loves Jesus, that he's faithful, and that he's mine!

I'm thankful for Adam's job at C&C and the income it provides for us.

I'm so thankful for the wonderful gift of my daughter! I love her so much and thank God for her everyday! I'm so thankful that she's healthy, for God healing her from the jaundice when she was a newborn, for every smile and laugh that she has, for her development, for her beautiful face, that she loves me so much!, and that I know God has great things in store for her and I look forward to seeing her grow up into the godly woman she is called to be (but not too fast!ha).

I'm thankful for all that God is teaching me this year. Through bible study at Grace, church, and all the things that He uses Alabama to teach me! The comparisons are so amazing and I love growing closer to Him.

I'm also thankful that I get to be with her everyday! I know this is such a blessing and all mothers aren't able to stay home with their babies but I'm so glad that I am!

I'm thankful for great parents and in-laws! They are both so wonderful and we are blessed to have them!

I'm thankful for my sisters who are the greatest aunts and help me so much!

I'm thankful for freedom...freedom for our country, freedom to worship, freedom in Christ. And I'm also thankful for those who serve our country to make that possible!

I'm thankful for our church family at Grace! They are such a loving church and I am so proud to be member there. I'm thankful for Pastor Bill and Mrs. Leila who so faithfully serve and minister to us. I'm thankful for our new Young Couples class and the Fords who are doing such a great job of teaching and leading us.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Christmas Wreaths at Grace

The Ladies of Grace had a very fun night tonight of making wreaths and swapping cookies. I brought "Cake Balls" that I learned from Kelly at http://www.kellyskornerblog.com/. They are soo good and so very easy! I came home with an array of yummy looking treats! Can't wait to sample them.....

We also made Christmas wreaths. You could select one of the designs they prepared to make or bring your own items. I chose to bring my own things and decided it would be neat to make a wreath to hang on Alabama's room door. I don't think we will have a tree in her room so a wreath can add that festive touch that's just for her!

These are the items I started with. I just placed them all around the wreath and made the bow and then started gluing/wiring everything in place. I love how it turned out! I especially love all the little touches that make it special. Here's an "a" for Alabama, (I'm still going to paint white dots on the a)here you can see the silver baby spoon I tied on....here you notice the angel's wings and tiara. (These wings are an ornament from the ornament swap I participated in. Thanks Amanda @ http://www.celebratinglifeseries.blogspot.com/. Most of the items came from the Dollar Tree. The wreath itself was at Michael's for $1.99. The feathers that Kristine convinced me to add at the end (and I LOVE them!) are from Michael's also for about $4.00. The spoon I had already and the zebra ribbon came from Wal-Mart. The pink ribbon was part of the decorations for my family baby shower!

Here is everyone getting started on their wreath. Crystal and Danielle working hard! Crystal gluing away on her Raven's wreath. It really turned out good, actually! Here's Mrs. Kim busy, busy.

This is one of the wreathes made by the other ladies that participated. They were all so pretty!

I'm also linking to the Frugal Friday party at http://www.shabbynest.blogspot.com/ because I did all of this for under $15! Yay!

Georgia vs. Auburn

We had a fun night last Saturday at the Conleys watching the UGA/Auburn game. It was a close one, but so glad we pulled it out! Gooo Dawgs! Alabama was so happy to see her friend Lauren (even if she was wearing an Auburn shirt)ha! We need to go over soon so they can play a little better. There were just too many new people there for Lauren and she had a little cold. Anita got the cutest cake for the game! It was so funny because the cake was cut and eaten in a way that it was so chopped up at the end of the night! ha! "Miss Georgia" whose name is Alabama was chillin with the boys.Jacob and Lucas are so sweet and love to play with her! She would not go to sleep for anything while we were there! She was out before we got out of their driveway, though. Hope we can get together with the Conleys again soon!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Happy Halloween!

We had a very tiring but fun Halloween! I was so excited to dress up Alabama in her pumpkin costume! She was sooo cute! I've dreamed of this for so long, I knew I always wanted to have my baby be a pumpkin for their first Halloween, so there was no decisions to be made....pumpkin it was! We were home most of the day and around 3 we go her ready and Adam, Audra and I took Alabama to meet Haley Lamb to take some pictures of her in her Halloween Mini Sessions! I can't wait to see how they turn out!

After that we began our night of visiting family. First, we went to Adam's parents and saw them for a little while....(somehow I managed to not get any pictures there...boo). Then we went to Bath to see Bo and Kathie at their church. When we left we were getting hungry, so we stopped at 5 Guys and got something to eat while we headed back to Thomson. At Granny's, Aunt Judy and her had gotten Alabama some "treats" for Halloween! So sweet! They had a little pumpkin snow globe, a tiny pumpkin with suckers in it, and a little green CareBear! It was so cute! By the way, Alabama loved the sucker! We let her lick it a little and she wanted to put the whole thing in her mouth and suck it. It was so funny! After we got some pictures and Alabama finally let Granny hold her, we finally left for Gibson. We got to Nana's after 9:00. Who know it takes so long to trick-or-treat. We've got to come up with something different next year!

We also met Mama, Daddy, and Alicia at Nana's. Alicia brought so many "treats" you would have thought it was Christmas, not Halloween! ha! She gave her some Mum Mums (vegetable flavor), some Sweet Potato puffs, a baby cell phone (which she loves!), a stacking ring set, and super soft Tigger! Really, like Christmas without the wrapping paper! We finally drove home and we were all sooo tired we fell into bed!