Sunday, December 30, 2012


As I slowly wrap my head around being a step mom to a teenage girl, I keep thinking about the values I want to pass on to Baylee.  On several occasions I have mentioned the value of good girl friends and being a good girl friend!  I think this is one of the most important pieces of wisdom I could instill in her; make and keep good friends.

As a crazy 7th grader, I became friends with Laura, Tanna and Tara.  In the moment, we were best friends who always had fun and kept each other out of trouble! Looking back I think God had such a strong hand in bringing us together and keeping us together through the years and miles between us.  I tell Baylee often that the friends she chooses now could potentially be the friends she stands beside during their weddings and the hands she holds while in the delivery room.  Great friends are irreplaceable and although we each have great friends in our lives outside of one another, no one will quite know my heart as these women do, through 20 years of life experiences shared between us. 

We were able to leave all the kids, except sweet Audree,  and grab a bite to eat last night.  We took this picture and sent it to Tara all the way around the world and she immediately replied back!  It was neat to have all four of us there, even if it was only through texting!!  I love technology!!  Even though we are 20 years older and are now wives and mothers, we still laugh and talk and reminisce like we are 13! 
I heard this song on the radio and it made me think of the four of us many years ago.  We didn't want to escape or get away from our lives, but we did stay up late and talk and dance and laugh and I truly believe that is what kept us from falling into all the normal teenage mistakes.  I am so thankful for these women and the time, effort and love we have put into preserving our friendship through the years!

Flashback photos...1998

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Christmas with the kids

Friday night I got the boys back and we were finally able to have our Christmas with Richard and the kids. Richard is running a fireworks store over the holiday so we had to have it at the store, but it was still fun! I cooked stew in the crock pot along with cheesecake brownies for dessert and we opened gifts in between customers.

Teague got a new set of monster trucks, which he loved!
Troy got a new hoodie...and red and black on top of that! Wreck 'em Tech!
Koby has been wanting the game Operation, so he was surprised to see that when he tore into the wrapping paper!  I remember playing that game when I was little so it was neat to see that they still made it!
Kelby got a nerf gun!
Baylee got a few shirts and this LOVE decoration to match her brown and turquoise room.
Richard got me a some new workout clothes and a new camera, which I was in desperate need of ever since my other one died!!  I got him a new Otter Box phone cover and a new hoodie. 

Richard and I went in together and bought the kids a ping pong table.  With him working at the fireworks store, it was the perfect place to put it together and keep it hidden from the kids.  I think he and Charles got in plenty of ping pong practice during the slow times at the store.  The kids liked it and I think it will get more and more use as they get older!!
We also had Richard's father in law engrave each paddle with their names so there would be no fighting over the paddles. 
 The kids loved all their gifts and I think that is my favorite part of Christmas, watching their faces when they open surprises!  

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas with the Pippens

We spent Christmas Eve at my aunt's house.  We had appetizers, stew, corn bread and lime in the coconut drinks that my aunt learned to make from her friend in the Virgin Islands... and they are fabulous!  Before dinner, we decided to make a video of us singing Feliz Navidad for my brother in the islands.  It turned out pretty good.  This is the still shot of all of us!

After dinner, we played You've Been Sentenced.  It's a game that requires a little thinking, but it was a lot of fun.  Amber was the round 1 winner and Sonja was the round 2 winner. 
Christmas morning we always have candy cane coffee cakes.  Mom usually makes them, but the last two years I have made them.  They were yummy and they are just what I crave while we open gifts.
 Ever since I have been little we pass out gifts and then open them one at a time going around the circle.  When I was little, this was very annoying because we just wanted to open them all real quick, but now I really enjoy the slowness of it all.  We started around 9 this morning and got finished a little before noon.  There's gift opening, coffee drinking, coffee cake's really nice and never rushed. 
Dad got a fish made out of a tree.
 I got a Keurig!!
 And Amber and I got a recipe book that my mom made with all her favorite recipes typed out, organized and put in alphabetical order!!  I am excited to have all my best recipes all in one spot now!!

Amber and I had a lot of fun taking lots of pictures throughout the day!
 And we even got to experience a white Christmas.  A little before lunch is started snowing and snowed for about 4 hours.  It was really beautiful!!
We sat down for lunch at about 3pm and mom did an outstanding job on the meal.  It was a 6 course meal that started with soup followed by salad and then sorbet to cleanse our palates.  The main course was beef tenderloin, bourbon carrots, green beans, smashed garlic potatoes, and rolls.  Dessert started with chocolate wine served in edible chocolate cups followed by pie.  It was wonderful and since we stretched all that food out over 2 hours we didn't feel stuffed after eating it all. 

It was a great Christmas day!!  I am looking forward to getting the boys back and celebrating again with them soon!!

Christmas with the Hollingsworths

This year I will be having many Christmases over many days! The first started at the Hollingsworth's house on Sunday afternoon. Lynette made a wonderful mexican dinner and then we opened gifts. I got a stand of coffee mugs and some coffee with a few kitchen towels that I was in great need of! We also enjoyed scratching off lottery tickets. Although the only winners were Richard and his brother for only small amounts, the anticipation was fun.

Richard's brother, Brian, Ashley, Auri and their new baby, Austyn.

My wonderful new mugs!

Many more Christmas blogs to come!!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Baylee's Christmas Band Concert

Baylee had her 7th grade band concert last week. She plays the saxophone and it was really neat to hear the band play some Christmas carols.  We hear her practice every now, but to hear all the band play together was beautiful! 

Baylee and her BFF's!!  They all looked so gorgeous!!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Pony Party

We were able to go to Brylee and Cerly's birthday party a few weekends back. They had a pony party and it was so much fun!! There was a bounce house, rainbow ponies to ride, and face painting.  I think I had as much fun as the kids since I was able to see a ton of old friends that I don't get to see on a regular basis.

 Here the boys are with one of the birthday girls!
Here's Troy on the pony, but Teauge would not get on it. 

Troy decided he didn't want face paint, but an arm tattoo.  She did an amazing job on all the paintings!!

Troy, Teague, Caleb and Karis enjoying their cupcakes!!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Christmas Program

Troy, Kelby and Koby had their Christmas program earlier this week. The kindergarten classes did a short presentation of Jesus' birth in the manger and Koby's class did several great Christmas carols. Troy and Kelby were both shepard boys and stood right next to each other. At one point while they were supposed to be singing Silent Night they were having a small sword fight with their staff's. Lol...but overall they did great!

Troy is the one in the white and Kelby is standing next to the girl speaking.

All the kindergarteners