Tuesday, November 29, 2011

thanksgiving at the farm...

this year we spent thanksgiving with my family at my parents farm.  it was an extra special year with my family because my dad's entire family was there.  his brother and his family traveled all the way from florida to celebrate with us.  and his middle brother drove up from houston.  it was very special for my grandmother to have all her boys and their families all together.  however, we did miss my mom's parents.  last year both of them were seated at the thanksgiving table and this year they are in heaven.

our long weekend was spent hanging out at the farm and loving to chance to spend quality time with family.  we even convinced them all to take a family picture.  (yes, this group takes some convincing to smile for the camera.)
we also...
watched some football.  go cowboys!!  (mark and aunt laura were happy.) sorry lions! (uncle pat and timmy were not so happy.)
prepared three turkeys for the thanksgiving meal (baked, smoked, and fried) along with tons of yummy sides.  all the turkeys were delicious, but my favorite was the fried. yum!!

uncle sean (the professional chef) did some cooking as well.  he makes the BEST green bean casserole and some really good gravy too!

jack loved dessert- and there was plenty of it.  his favorite part was "helping" beat the whipped cream for the pies.  the boy loves dessert!!!

oh, one of the most exciting events of the weekend was one of my dad's cows gave birth to a calf on thanksgiving!!  my dad named her "pilgrim" but the kids and i are calling her "cranberry."  we think that is a much cuter name. ;)

most of all, i loved having a break from our routine and getting to spend lots of time with these two (and mark)...

this thanksgiving we had so much to be thankful for, but here are a few of the specifics... the chance to spend time with extended family, a table full of delicious food prepared with lots of love, laughter, friendly competition at the shoot range, cool fall weather, friends that we consider family who were able to gather with us, good dinner conversation, gram lois' homemade rolls, smiles for the camera, time to relax, and for the chance to thank god for our many blessings while praying together as a BIG family.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

a kindergarten thanksgiving...

olivia's kindergarten class hosted a big thanksgiving feast complete with, 

darling pilgrim and indian costumes...
o chose to wear her pilgrim costume.  i am pretty sure she was the cutest pilgrim in the room.
some fabulous entertainment...
the classes combined to sing all their silly thanksgiving songs.  my favorite was the turkey song with the turkey mask as props.
a long table full of yummy food...
o and daddy making their way through the buffet table. 
and "tables" full of friends and family to share it all.
just one of the many "tables" (butcher paper on the floor) that were surrounded with friends and their families.
it was a special time that caused me to really reflect about what i was thankful for as each child shared what they were thankful for this thanksgiving.  olivia got very nervous when it was her turn to speak into the microphone, but i was able to snap a picture of her writing and artwork to share her thoughts.  
"I am thankful for my mom and dad and God." (i love this picture because mark is wearing his favorite color-orange- and jeans and i am wearing black- 90% of my wardrobe.)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

a week of awards...

and it is only wednesday!!!  her birthday is over, but we continue to celebrate olivia this week.

monday night, her soccer team had a team dinner to celebrate a great fall season.  at the end of the dinner each of the girls were presented with a trophy and the coaches told them what a good job they did this season.
christman telling her how proud he was of her and the way she played all season.
coach john, o, and coach christman- the best coaches!!

first good look at the trophy!!
our last game is this saturday.  to be honest, i am looking forward to a break from weekly practices and games, but i am going to miss getting to see olivia shine on the soccer field.  i am also going to miss all of her sweet friends and their parents.  hopefully team lyon will be back together in the spring for more soccer fun!!

but wait, there is more!!!  yesterday, olivia's school celebrated all the achievements of the second six weeks of school at their award assembly.  jack and i were there because last week ms. pattillo sent me and email saying that olivia would be receiving the principal's award.  this is a BIG deal!  only one student from each class is chosen to receive this award each six weeks.  ms. pattillo said that o was selected because "she always works very hard and does her best work AND she is very helpful to other students in our class."  to say that i was proud of her is an understatement.  :) (sadly, mark had an important meeting and couldn't be there.)  sorry for the poor photography- forgot the good zoom lens.
her name was called!!
ms. kirpatrick giving her the award.
her teacher, ms. pattillo, o, and her principal, ms. kirpatrick
what a fun week!!  so proud of you o!!  we love you and it brings us such joy watching you accomplish great things!!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

the rainbow art party...

i promise the birthday posts are about to end, but you can't turn 6 without at birthday party!!!

olivia started asking last year for an art party.  she LOVES art!!  last year i talked her out of having the party at our house and doing the american girl store with the women in our family.  that was a blast, but o has not forgotten that she wanted to have an art party at our house.  i decided that since she had been asking for over a year that this was the year for the rainbow art party.  it was so much fun to plan because olivia was very involved.  she helped decide on the projects we would do, the food we would serve, and she even created the game we played all by herself.

we prepared everything for the party...

the invitation
the food table
the party favor bags & game notebooks
the welcome sign to direct our guests to the party
rainbow cake in mason jars

5 minutes before party time our first guests arrive...
abby, the birthday girl, and kk
as we waited for all the guests to arrive the girls were busy coloring, drawing, and making jewelry...

next it was time for the main event, let the owl painting begin...

 then it was game time and a group picture in the backyard...

 and finally... happy birthday, cake, and ice cream!!
love this smile while everyone was singing to her!

making her wish...

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

olivia's REAL birthday day...

started with a birthday breakfast.
eggs (her favorite) and cinnamon biscuits, and a candle of course.
i am in disbelief that she is SIX!!!
then daddy, rara, and b brought her chick-fil-a for lunch at school (i had to work) AND she bought her whole class an ice cream treat to celebrate her special day.  oh, and her principal wished her a happy birthday on the announcements in the morning and gave her a birthday pencil.  (that was a BIG deal to her.)

after school, chrissie picked her up.  they walked back home and were able to spend some time together and chrissie gave her the BEST birthday card, a beautiful purple princess crown and wand, plus a really neat princess puzzle.  i think the best part for o was getting chrissie all to herself for about an hour.  :)

o and chrissie-- they love each other so much!
once i got home, we headed to mcdonald's where pop, rara, abby, kk, and jack were waiting to celebrate o some more.  we walked in and they started singing "happy birthday!" and we all ate some ice cream together.  then the kids played for a little while before it was off to the next event.

"happy birthday to you!!!"
we came back home to find uncle sean and nana at our house.  uncle sean was working on the chair to go with the desk that nana and gramps gave o.  he also brought a barbie birthday gift for o.  she loves anything barbie!!

b stopped by and brought part 2 of olivia's birthday gift from she and pop and to wish her a very happy birthday.  in addition to the awesome american girl bed, pop and b gave olivia some money to go shopping and buy some new clothes for school.  the money was not in a card, but b hid it in a "quilt making kit" so o had to dig through all the pieces and find it.  it was so cute and o is excited to make the quilt too!!

to end the night, we continued our tradition of going to benihana with nana and gramps.  this year uncle sean was able to go with us too!!  dinner was yummy (as usual) and olivia had her third serving of ice cream for the day. :) (only on your birthday is that close to being acceptable.)

 as olivia climbed into bed that night, i wished her a happy birthday one more time, and she responded, "mommy, i think this is the best birthday i've had yet!!" i think i might have to agree.  :)

our sweet olivia!  we can't believe that you are six years old today.  you have so many people in your life that love, support, and celebrate you, but no one loves you more than your daddy and i.  our hearts grew bigger six years old when we saw you for the first time and they have not stopped going since that moment.  you teach us about compassion and how to love others by your example.  you challenge us in the questions you ask and your perspective on life.  you are truly a gift from God.  we are so lucky that He chose us to be your mommy and daddy.  we love you so much!!  can't wait to see what you will accomplish this year.  happy birthday!! 

Monday, November 7, 2011

baylor homecoming is...

friday night bonfire with family...
o, kk, j, and abby.
jack and pop happy to be together watching the bonfire.
our whole family.  not a great picture, but had to include it.  :)

early saturday morning snuggled up together at the parade...
so fun that it was cold this year and we could all snuggle together under our baylor blankets waiting for the parade to begin.
sarah, christman, and me.  we are waiting for the parade to start too!

photo opts after the parade on the beautiful baylor campus...
our future baylor bear?  love this pic.  the building behind her are where i spent most of my college days.
our little family.

taking a piece of the parade home with us...

the girls were so excited that they were given a piece of one the winning floats from the parade.
a high-five and picture with bruiser...
the kids always love the chance to talk to bruiser and pose for a pic.

cheering on the bears to another victory at the game...

hate that this one is blurry because it is such a cute one of o and mark.
"sic em BEARS!!!!" says jack with his foam bear claw.  thanks pop for the bear claw.
baylor homecoming is one of the most fun weekends of the fall for our family.  we love seeing friends from our college days, running to familiar faces everywhere we go in waco, and we LOVE make lasting memories with our bowlin/fifer family.