Saturday, December 27, 2008


For everyone, it seems Christmas has been a busy time this year. Rachel started us out with her cute self in a Santa hat. That is our Christmas tree in the background. Poor thing barely got decorated. The girls hung lots of beaded bells around the bottom. Then they'd take them off again. What they didn't take off got knocked off by either them or the dogs.

Somehow in all the craziness, we ended up in two different church productions. We don't really go to either church! How did that happen. The pastor's wife at a 'start-up' church close to our home asked if Rena could be an Angel in their Christmas musical. We'd been to this church a couple of times and the pastor and his wife are super nice. How could I say no. They wanted the twins to be in the musical too, but that just didn't happen.

Rena looked beautiful and she did a fantastic job, despite only being able to attend one rehersal. Little did I know when I said yes that she was THE angel. Ah, the pressure!

Rachel and Riley hung out in the audience with me. They enjoyed a little snack before things settled down. It had been a busy afternoon with no time for dinner. Rena and I had to go to a birthday party and I had to hire a babysitter to watch Ray and Riley because Blair had to fly to Chicago. We got back from the party, changed clothes, woke the girls up and headed to church.

The weekend before we had to be at the church where we go to preschool. The 4 year olds were playing the handbell in the service. It was great! (That's Rena on the far left) I also really liked the church.

Then Rena's class and the twins class had their Christmas parties. Rena's class put on a little play. Rena got to be the Innkeeper. I LOVE their preschool. She was very excited about me coming. I was excited too, because I didn't have to divided my time between her class and Rachel and Riley's class. Unfortunately, I forgot I would actually have the twins with me. And then, my wonderful neighbor Cheryl stepped up and offered to watch the twins and bring them to school with her when she came for her son's party and hour later. It worked out perfectly for me and I owe her bigtime!

Once school got out we had to find ways to entertain ourselves. Rachel was the only one up and she was playing and I was on the computer. She came up to me looking like this. God this kid cracks me up. She has a great sense of humor and she's sooooo full of life. She's going to be the one that keeps me on my toes.

Riley has dug this princess dress out of the dirty clothes more than once. This dress, that was Rena's Halloween costume when she was 2, is Riley's favorite. I'm sure in her eyes, it is the most beautiful dress in the world. In reality, this dress is well past its prime. The seams are splitting, the tulle has shrunk and the hem is frayed. But you know what, I think she's beautiful in it. Most times. In the picture below, she's kinda sporting the bag-lady look. The dress, of course is on. Then there's a blue can kinda see the hood. Then her winter coat. There is a blue and red scarf poking out the back. The hat is quite fetching, especially the way she has it pulled down almost over her eyes. The pink striped mittens are a nice addition. And no outfit would be complete in our house without inappropriate footware. I made her wear socks since it was so cold and then let her chose shoes. Yes, those are purple flipflops. I thought I had put all of those shoes away. Guess not. I think what gives it the whole baglady feel, though, is the umbrella stroller and the need to be wheeled around the neighborhood.
No one will ever be able to say I didn't give my children creative freedom.

What blogpost would be complete without a DAMN DOG update. This was a bag of trash I had hanging off the cabinets where I had been preparing dinner. Jake decided to explore just what was in the bag.

As the mother of so many dependant children, it's necessary sometimes for me to call in reinforcements. Thank goodness I've made some good friends here in podunk Georgia. My friend Betsy offered to watch the girls at the Mall, no less, while I ran to pick up a present I'd forgotten. What a saint she is. and she even managed to capture this image of all three girls in the same frame and all looking happy. Not an easy feat.

We pulled Christmas off without a hitch, really. Here's the aftermath.

Riley got a Cinderella barbie.

Rachel got the bike she wanted!

Rena finally got the fingernail kit she'd been asking for.

The flower fairies watched it all from the tree.

Rachel, sporting her new sunglasses.

Riley, dressed as a fairy princess, complete with wings and tierra.

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Thanksgiving and beyond

This Thanksgiving, we stayed home. Usually we go to Biltmore and I really missed going this year. Nobody came to be with us either. So, we celebrated Thankgiving with just our family. It kinda took all the fun out of it, but it also took ALL the pressure off. I still cooked a big meal and we ate in the formal dining room, which completely baffled the girls.
I dyed some pasta and had the girls make Native American necklaces.

They had a great time and it turns out that Blair is pretty good at it too! He and Rena had some bonding time over their beading.

The day after Thanksgiving we did head to the mountains of North Carolina to cut a Christmas tree.

It was a brief, overnight trip to Dillsboro and then cut our tree in Waynesville.

It was nice to get away, if only for the night. And it was beautiful! The girls had fun running from tree to tree trying to decide which one would be ours.
After we finally decided, we got to watch them cut it for us.

How exciting.

This place was really beautiful and next year, I'll know that I should have the girls ready for a Christmas picture.

This year, well, I'm just behind.

After that, my Father and Brother came to visit. I was really excited to have them here. My brother only came when we moved in 3 years ago. My father's been here a couple of times. We had a great time together and their visit was over too soon. The first night, my brother and I stayed up well past midnight drinking wine and talking and laughing. I'm still behind because of it! My brother spent most of his time in my kitchen. It was great! However, cleaning in this house is futile.
My dad and I got to spend some time together too. It's always so easy being with them.
And fun. My family is just funny. My Dad and brother were both confused by the Pampered Chef can opener. After I showed them how to open a can with it, my father was determined to figure out HOW it worked. I'd like to know that too.

The girls had fun too.
Grandaddy read to them...
and they helped him put together a play kitchen for the playhouse outside.
I loved hearing him telling them how to build it. Rena and Riley were interested.
Rachel just wanted to watch tv. All the excitement was too much for Rena and even though she didn't want to go to bed, the Sandman found her anyway, right in mid-sentence.

Now, the downhill to Christmas!