Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Christmas Time's A-Comin'.

Since Lynda was leaving last Saturday morning and the woman just lives for Christmas time we decided we should have a Christmas Breakfast to introduce our new Elf on the Shelf, Mr. Penn, to the kiddies. Her house is always spectacularly decorated and you feel like you're walking right in to the North Pole. So bringing in Christmas with Lynda was a must!

 It will be our first year to do the Elf on the Shelf tradition and it's already off to a great start! Well, except  for the mornings where one of the kids come in to wake me up and I have to trample over them to race into the kitchen, plopping the elf from one out-of-reach spot to another. But, other than that ...

Friday morning we put away the Fall and Thanksgiving decor and transitioned into Christmas in the Boonies.

Yeah, that's a shower curtain being used for a table cloth. We're classy over here.
I couldn't find any of my table cloths!! It did the job and the kids didn't care ... So whatevs.

We made Red Velvet Pancakes, Bacon, and of course, hot chocolate. The kids thought this was all too fun.

Blurry, but we're all here ... even Mr. Penn himself if you look high and hard enough.

Then we read the Elf on the Shelf book that was pretty darn cute.

Immediately following breakfast we found Dalton standing on his chair making Christmas requests! Silly thing ...
Then I ordered them all downstairs for a Christmas PJ pic ...

You'd think with both Lynda and I taking pictures we would have gotten a great pic ... this is the least blurry with the most smiles.
Shoutout to The Toggery for their precious pj sets! They have TONS of great options for all sizes! You can also purchase your Elf on the Shelf and all the accessories there. One stop shopping for birthdays, school uniforms, babies, Christmas or just every day cuteness. Hands down my fav children's store. Evuh.

As the day went on Lynda, Avery, and I went on a little Black Friday expedition- more accidentally than anything else. But at 3:00 in the afternoon it wasn't bad at all. We started off at Barnes and Noble looking for one of Dalton's Christmas happies, but were soon drawn to the aromas of coffee beans at Starbucks where I snapped this pic of my favorite shopping buddy.

After we were good and revved up from our caffeine splurge we ran by Hobby Lobby to find the crafty things for our oh-so-non-traditional tree.
Yes, this happened.

We didn't bring any Christmas stuff to PA since we expected to spend most of December in Arkansas and honestly I have no idea where we would squeeze a  big tree in this little house. So the felt tree was born (Thanks Pinterest!) ... I don't think Lynda would have been able to return to Arkansas without knowing a Christmas tree would be up in the house. Mission accomplished. The kids really have had a great time decorating and re-decorating.

One Pennsylvania Perk we've been enjoying is the snow fall! We see flurries almost every day, and have  had some accumulation a couple days as well ... so fun!

We love watching from inside ...

and out.

And snuggled up together.

Ready for a month full of celebrating our Savior!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving 2012

Turkey Day 2012 went off wirhout a hitch and I was definitely pleased and content with our first Thanksgiving in Pennsylvania. Def want to give credit where credit is due ... so if I was receiving a ribbon for participation I would like to start out by thanking Lynda Boone for coming to Pennsylvania for the holiday. She has a bigger servants heart than anyone I know and is the biggest encourager to me. So glad she was here.
Also, lets thank Danny Knox for cooking a fabulous bird. That took quite a weight of my shoulders and I'm thrilled that I didn't have to tackle that. It was Delish!!

Lynda and I cooked most of today. We made chicken and dressing, Paula Dean's sweet potato casserole, yeast rolls, roasted veggies, cranberry-apple salad, and Lynda's famous mini cream pies: chocolate and coconut. Yum. O.

Earlier today we woke up and watched the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade, ate a yummy breakfast and drank hot chocolate (at least until it turned quite the mess!).

Then we got ready to go out and take some family pics. We were planning to go to our favorite park but it was closed ... Arg. So we went on QUITE an adventure for picture-taking-land ...
Finally we found some! It was way too close to nap time and they weren't on their best behaviors. Nothing like threatening spankings to make your crying, fit-throwing pre-schoolers to throw on their most angelic faces. Clearly that didn't work. I think we finally got a couple decent shots ... Kinda.

We came home for cooking for some, playing for a couple, and napping for some that shall not be named.

It was a scrumptious feast and I'm thankful for so many loved ones (new and old) to have spent time with today.

Thanksgiving love all the way from Pennsylvania.

-Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Another Arkansas Visit

At the end of October a horrible super-storm, called Sandy, was going to sweep across most of the northeast and was predicted to cause unprecedented power outages through most of New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and surrounding areas. Local and national news stations were inundated with critical warnings of crazy wind damage resulting in weeks with out electricity and heat. Yikes.

I. Was. Freaking. Out.

Even days without power seemed like a nightmare with three children. No laundry machines, TV, dishwasher, fridge, electronics ... "Oh My" doesn't really cover it. Maybe that sounds spoiled ... I hear ya. But going "cold turkey" literally for an unknown amount of time sounds awful.
On Sunday, October 28 we had a pow-wow with the Knox fam to discuss whether we should stay in PA or travel back to Arkansas to outrun the storm. I tried to stay quiet, since I obviously always think an Arkansas trip is necessary. Aaron was ready to pack and go too, until he talked to the people he worked with and they said with all the storms he would be needed the moment the storm was over and so he really didn't feel the freedom to take us home. And since all the airports were already closing, driving us home and flying back wasn't exactly an option either.
We finally decided to stick it out. Dun dun dunnnn ...

BUT, in Little Rock my dad had been hunting all weekend and upon returning home and hearing all the details of the storm he called Aaron to see if he could fly up and drive me and the kids home ... (do you hear a celestial choir breaking into a Hallelujah chorus? I sure did).
This was at 10:00 Sunday night and by 10:25pm he had booked a flight to Cleveland, Ohio (a five hour drive from our home in Pennsylvania) leaving out early Monday morning. And around 7:30 the next morning the kids and I set out ...

But, along the way Dad's flight from Chicago to Cleveland was cancelled because of the weather, so he hopped another flight to Dayton, Ohio. Another four hour drive ... but the kids did great! So thankful for movies, dum dums, and GPS!
By  the time we  finally met up with my Dad I was so happy to see him I could barely stand it.
He may as well have been wearing shining armor.

Love my daddy!

Aaron was staying safe at home ... thank goodness!

**Please notice the guns tucked into the lifejacket(s) hooked together.

We ended up driving straight through the night ...
We pulled into LR around 4:30am. Dede was ready to play! They all stayed up for about an hour and then laid back down. Sweet babies.
I woke up to this precious sight ... I love home.

Lisa tried to come see us at 4:30 since she was  up about to head to work anyway ... I talked her into waiting a few hours. I just love her oodles! We laughed about having matching phone covers, if that doesn't say besties I don't know what does!

We laid low on Tuesday ... there were lots of naps.

Wednesday was Halloween! So we made the rounds ... starting with Maw's office.

I love these little gremlins.

Then we went to Rachel's for some trick-or-treating ... these stinkers were there.

And these cowboys and Indian ... candy high. And poor Sawyer was still jet-lagged from the trip. Worst mood ever. That's as dressed as I could get him.

Rachy and I. We said we were Friday nights of past and present ... cheerleader and a deer widow.

I sure like him.

We got to see lots of family and friends.

Super fun pizza playdate at the Osborne's. Gee whiz I miss them.

Dinner with my PLU's ... you were missed Amy!

We also got to vote back in our actual town for the 2012 Presidential Election.

After a close race, Barack Obama was re-elected as the 44th President of the USA ... God Bless America.

Moving on ...

We spent a lot of time at Krista's Corral next door ... Avery even took her first horse lesson!


One of my favorite pasttimes is eating out ... really eating in general ... but especially eating at my fav hot spots. And this trip we ate at almost all my faves. I may have gone to Big Orange four times. Obsessed. Sayre, PA is not exactly known for their culinary arts ... I know you're shocked. So getting my fill (har har) was a must.
We ended at Chick Fil A ... how does a state as big as PA not have one?!?! AH!

I already miss this booger more than words ...

For the last few days we went to Paragould to stay with the Bolen crew ...

Then we stopped in Nashville, to meet baby Greer and hug my sweet Cabbie's neck ...

My fabulous mother-in-law rode home with us and is staying with us for Thanksgiving. That made it MUCH easier to leave Arkansas.

We'll be back soon enough for Christmas ... can't wait!
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