Saturday, December 31, 2011

Relaxing with Pops

John Chris and I packed and loaded the truck with all our suitcases and the boys' new toys. It was time to hit the road for the trip back home. Reed was obviously worn out. I didn't think he would even make it to the truck before falling asleep. We had a great visit and hope to see everyone again soon.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Christmas in Ruston

After a couple days at home, he traveled to Ruston to see more family. The boys once again had a great time visiting and opening gifts. Gigi gave Ryland a set of four trucks, which he loved.
Reed got a baby doll and a piggy bank. We think he was a little confused about the baby doll at first. Maybe he thought it was a real baby?

Ryland couldn't wait to get the Hummer remote control truck out of the box. He was so excited.

Reed got his very own cars, so now he doesn't have to take Ryland's. Which we are sure won't happen any more. Haha.

Reed modeled his alligator hat.

Ryland and Lizie

Uncle Jeffery and Aunt Emily gave Ryland a camera. This is the perfect gift for our budding photographer.

Cooper was right in the middle of the fun. Reed loved the gift bows. He is such a "gift"!

Ryland helped Gigi open her gift. He loved to tear the wrapping paper off! Such a helper.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas in Texarkana

We headed to Texarkana for some family Christmas time with my side of the family. The boys love the total craziness and all the noise. Since my brother broke his foot, he is in a wheelchair for a while. Ryland wasn't really interested in going for a ride at first, but he eventually warmed up to the idea.
Nana and Reed enjoy playing on the floor.

Ryland was in full silly mode with his hideous SpongeBob shirt on. He loved Nana's snowing Christmas tree.

Reed loved all the scattered snow. It was a constant fight to keep it out of his mouth.

Ryland, Reed, and Ally with the great grandparents, Poppy and Grandmother Sue.

Family shot

The boys loved their new toys.

Ryland's favorite toy was the ride on track hoe. Since he is really into tractors right now, this was the perfect gift.

Birthday Party for Jesus

A new family tradition for Christmas is having a birthday party for Jesus. After we finished lunch, we enjoyed bright colorful cupcakes and sang Happy Birthday. It was a great way to celebrate the true meaning of the holiday and remind us why we celebrate Christmas.

Merry Christmas morning

John Chris and I were so very excited to see the boys this morning. Reed was the first to wake up, so we both ran upstairs to get both him and Ryland. Reed was oblivious that Santa came to visit and perhaps left some new toys.Ryland, on the other hand, was quite happy and excited to go check out the surprise.

Santa even left Ryland and Reed a note. Too cool!

Daddy quickly got into the fun with the Lincoln Logs. They built a stable right next to the race car track.
Reed liked all the cool toys, but he was hungry for a little bottle while he played.
We enjoyed Ebelskivers for breakfast. I purchased a pan about two years ago and thought this would be the perfect occasion to give it a try. We made half with cut up pears and the other half with grape jelly filling. They were delicious!

Santa was really cool since he left this handy vacuum for Ryland. I love that my child asked for a vacuum. He eagerly wanted to put it to use. The entry way was the perfect spot to check it out. Ryland loves it!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve was somewhat calm and relaxing this year. We slept in, worked on the bathroom a little, and finished up some last minute Christmas projects. We attended service at church and enjoyed the wonderful Christmas music. Ryland's favorite part was holding his own candle, and Reed enjoyed flirting with the mother and daughter behind us. As you can tell from the cheesy smile and facial expression above, they were in a very silly mood when we came home.
We made chocolate chip cookies for Santa and sprinkled reindeer food in the backyard. Right before bed, we said our good-byes to our elf, Tom. This was a little sad, but we will see him next year. Time for bed!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Bathroom demo

I am loving it already. The bathroom is about 75% demolished, and we are excited for how large the space is beginning to feel. The slate has to be chipped out, and we will get started on electrical and plumbing.
The boys have wanted to be right in the middle of the action. It took all three boys and Cooper to complete the vanity cabinet. They all want to be in the garage that has turned into a workshop.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Bathroom project begins

Good bye ugly half bathroom and wet bar! We are officially getting started on this renovation. This area is one that we have wanted to tackle for a few months, but it just hasn't happened.

It is a step back in time for us. All the rooms around this area have been redone, so this one sticks out like a sore thumb.
We are getting rid of more pickled cabinets and trim, nasty flaking slate floors, gold hardware, and cultured marble counter tops. The biggest change will be the addition of a full bathroom. Since we are removing the awkward wet bar, we will be able to add a bathtub. Here we go again!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Reindeer that Saved Christmas

The local mom's group set up a play date for the kiddos that was something different. We headed to Artie's playhouse to watch "The Reindeer that Saved Christmas". I had never heard of this theater, and I was excited but nervous to take the boys.

We ordered popcorn, drinks, and candy then took our seats. It is a small theater that had about 4 rows arranged in a large square around the stage area. The boys were a little antsy before the show, but they quickly settled in when the play started. The actors were children and made the show very interactive. Ryland "played" along, and Reed sat contently watching all the action.

It was one of the best activities we have done, and we plan on coming back very soon. Our day was summed up perfectly by Ryland. "I want to come back again and again, mommy."

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


Ryland wanted to color today and just regular colors wouldn't cut it. He wanted markers. I was hesitant but agreed. He worked on a Christmas tree picture and told me he wanted to give it to Brad and Chanda.
We decided to send the picture with a thank you note to them, so Ryland got very serious about coloring the picture. He did a great job with the markers and was so proud of his finished tree. He was excited to fold it and drop it in the mail. He is getting so darn big.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Going Potty with Cooper

What a sight! Ryland was playing in the backyard with our dog, Cooper, and they were having the best time. They play chase, modified fetch, and they love to wrestle. Ryland thought he would go pee pee like Cooper, so he dropped his pants. Before I knew it, Ryland was going potty with Cooper. I grabbed my camera and caught him in action, and I love Cooper's reaction. He is just staring at Ryland.

Friday, December 16, 2011

"Handy" Elves

The boys and I made a fun Christmas plate keepsake at Sunshine Glaze. I have never visited this hands on artistic studio, and I love it. The boys got their hands painted and pressed on the plate. While I painted the elf hats and collars, Ryland painted his very own tile. He told me it was a dragon picture, so I am guessing it was abstract art. The boys cooperated until the black outlining started. It got a little nuts, so we had to rap it up quickly. I was very unsure of what the final product would look like, and I was pleasantly surprised when I picked it up. I had a great time with them and want to make this a new Christmas tradition.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Shopping with little boys

Christmas shopping with 2 little boys is not the easiest thing I have attempted. I say attempted, because after today's trip I am not sure if I will be able to pull this off. We stopped a few special places and then headed to Kohls. After wandering around, picking out a few gifts, taking 3 trips to go potty, and making sure no extra toys got added to my cart, I was done. We got in line to check out when I noticed Ryland checking out the mannequin. He jumped right up on the platform and started checking out her legs and under the dress. I dug out my phone to snap a picture when the ladies behind me in line started giggling. Reed then died out laughing too. Ryland noticed we were amused, so the behavior continued. I finally had to tell him to get down and get back in line. Silly boy!

Christmas cards 2011

Our Christmas cards have arrived, and I am totally pleased. The print and paper quality look awesome. The only problem is half our order is missing. Oh no! I am hoping to get more sent overnight. Christmas card drama 2 years in a row.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Trains at Northpark

John Chris and I took the boys to see the awesome miniature trains at Northpark. I have heard the display is amazing for the past few years and thought the boys would enjoy the outing. The foyer had several trains lined up on the wall, and Ryland was really interested.
A few shots of the train display.

We all enjoyed admiring the trains and the extensive set up. Even though the 30 minute drive was a little stressful, the experience was well worth it. We are sure to visit again!

Playgroup at Bass Pro Shop

Our play group headed to Bass Pro Shop to enjoy the Christmas festivities for children. John Chris was off work, so he stayed home with Reed. It was great time for me and Ryland to be silly and have fun.

Ryland rode a reindeer on the carousel.
Ryland and his friends check out all the huge fish.

I thought this moment was so sweet. Ryland and Trent sitting on the rock watching the duck, until I saw them throwing bark at the poor duck.

No fear! Ryland climbed right up to pose for a picture with the big bear.

The store had a large setup of Christmas toys by Santa. Ryland was very interested in the train set.

I knew the fun was over when Ryland started getting a little fussy and rubbing his eyes. He wanted to pet the shark, but then he was too tired to actually reach out his arm.