Sunday, December 31, 2017

Happy Birthday, Matthew!

On a cold New Year's Eve 22 years ago, this kid entered our lives!  He has been a blessing and a joy to raise!

This past year has been a year of many changes for him.  At the beginning of the year he moved out of our home and into a "tiny house" on our property. (I still need to do a post of the pictures!)  In the spring he graduated from college and started at another school to begin the last leg of his academic journey.  Then this fall he landed a new job ending an era of him working at Publix and the feed store which he had been doing since he was sixteen.  For some odd reason it made me a little sad. :(

He wanted to go bowling with the family for his birthday.  Myles had a leg infection so I kept the two little boys at home.

When they finished bowling they headed home for dinner and dessert.  He always chooses ice cream pie! Well, in our case it is ice cream casserole!  We are too big for a pie!

We always hang out and watch movies on his birthday.  Usually the guys pick something to watch and the girls watch in another room.

Grandpa hanging out with Elliott. He partied until midnight!

Us girls watched "A Case for Christ".  It was very good!

Elliott pooped out of the party!

 Marc and Matthew always shoot a shotgun at midnight!

Thankful for another year and thankful for our oldest son!

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Christmas 2017

Christmas Eve morning was spent at church.  The girls are involved with the music and have to be there early every Sunday.  The boys had a part for Christmas so they all headed out early.
I was coming home from a run as they were leaving so I snapped pictures. :)

Our tiny little church does such nice services.  It was televised this Sunday and it was such a pretty service.  It ended with the singing of Silent Night with candles.

Daniel, McKenzie, their babies and my dad came over for lunch.  The kids all exchanged gifts among themselves.  It is a tradition we started back when the first few were little because their gift giving always seemed to get lost in the shuffle.  It works great. It is always a sweet time of watching them have fun giving to each other.

Myles got Macheus this hat.  It is supposed to be a cowboy hat, but we all think it looks like an Amish man's hat. :)

These two have such a sweet relationship. He is little enough to be fun, but they don't fight like she does with Macheus.  :)

Oh how I love this sweet little chub!  He is ALWAYS happy!

Malachi's gifts were pretty funny this year.  He was very practical.

Mariah giving to Daniel. She gave him a work jacket, socks and candy!

                                            Snacking on some organic O's!  :)

He slept through the chaos....

                                      Sisters.... so thankful that they are so close.

Madeline bought some fun things for Mariah, one of which was fake eyelashes!  There is an older lady at our church that is really prissy (and pretty!)  She wears fake eyelashes and it has become a joke with everyone (including her!  She is such a fun person!)  Mariah is a priss too... so Madeline got her some!  She even put them on Christmas day and they looked surprisingly very pretty! :)

Matthew and Daniel headed out after we ate and they swapped presents.  They went to work on D & M's new house and then headed to see a movie they had been wanting to see.

                                                  Pop and sweet E!

He was trying so hard to be able to hear the Christmas movie.  He has declined some just in the last few months. He knows he can't see or hear much anymore.  Cherishing the time we have with him.

                                                       Love these crazy kids!

Madeline always does the extras around here.  I am so thankful for her! She made sure that we had lots of my mom's recipes made for Christmas.  Kissmas cookies are one of my favorites from childhood. (Although, I don't think I love them like I did when I was little. LOL!)

Orange balls were another one of her recipes.  My mom always made them for a Christmas brunch that she started having McKenzie's first Christmas.  We went every year and she always had orange balls because my dad and her best friend loved them.  I don't think I have ever even tried one!

A little down time before heading to bed.

After everyone left and the kids scattered to their bedrooms I stuffed stockings.  These two were for the grand babies!

All ready for Christmas day!

This is another tradition we have always done.  The kids all get a picture and then come down together.  Matthew humored me with a picture even though he moved out to his "tiny house" a year ago.
Christmas breakfast

Stockings! One of my favorite things to do!

Matthew still gets a stocking, although his is more practical these days. He appreciates it now that he is on his own!

They came over in the afternoon and the babies opened their stockings before we did presents.

She wanted a Keurig so bad and didn't think she was going to get one.  Daniel said he thought with the house that they needed to be more practical.  He later called me and told me to go ahead and get one if I wanted to.  She was excited!

She also wanted something to hang above her new fireplace.  I decided to play a joke on her and make a handmade sign out of one of our pickets from our fence.  Her reaction was priceless!  I didn't get a picture of her real sign that I bought her, but it was just a little prettier than mine. :) She is usually the jokester so it was fun to play one on her.

He was so excited! :)

Great-grandpa enjoys the babies.

Elizabeth got a new wooden tea set, clothes and books.

Ok, so this is by far the funniest present ever!  Sometime last summer Myles began an obsession with grocery carts.  Every time we would go to the store he would want to push one. Matthew use to work at Publix and Myles would say he wanted to work there one day. Last fall he asked for one for Christmas.  I figured he would forget about it but he did not.  We would see abandoned carts and he would just gaze out the window dreaming of all that he could do with a cart.  When I realized he wasn't forgetting about it I decided I better figure something out (and stealing one in the middle of the night wasn't an option. haha...)  I went to a manager at Publix and asked what they do with their carts that get damaged and she told me they had just trashed a bunch of them.  I told her my predicament and she said, "Tell Matthew to be here Tuesday evening while I'm here and to bring his truck."  So.... he is now the proud owner of a grocery cart!  He has big plans for all kinds of things and I see much trouble in the future as some of them have to do with chickens, his little brother and turning it into a go cart. :)

After the storm....
We like to do finger foods on Christmas day. 

This beautiful cake was made by a friend from church and the pedestal was a gift to me from Madeline!   I love it!  It looks vintage to me.

Our friends came over to eat with us and play games.  It was lots of fun!
Grandpa opening his presents. We usually give him the same thing... a shirt, boxers and Old Spice cologne. :)

The hats were part of the game. :)

Malachi got these cute pjs for Christmas!

That evening we spent some quiet time sitting around reading the Christmas story and talking.  I am so thankful for all of my kids and how close we all are.  They truly love each other and enjoy spending time together.  We are blessed!
I hope each of you had a Merry Christmas too!
~Until next time.....