Friday, December 28, 2007

Christmas 2007

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas with your families and I'm looking forward to hearing all about it! So while I wait for your updates, I'll give you the low down on ours.

Last weekend we went to N. Alabama for Christmas with Jeff's family. Anna Kate was so excited to see her cousins Trey, Adam, Tucker and Tatum. The kids played while the adults grazed the 'snack' counter (sausage balls, cocktail sausages, mexican cheese dip & chips, various chocolates, nuts, cajun dip and pepper jelly with cream cheese and crackers.) Shortly after that we headed downstairs for a surprise for the kids.......Santa was stopping by. Santa was a little late and the kids were on the brink of being out of control (they didn't know why we were all sitting around waiting). Finally he came and the kids went NUTS! Tatum (the youngest) freaked out. The three boys were squeeling with sheer delight and Santa had his very loud 'Ho, Ho, Ho' going strong. With all of that, Anna Kate was a little rattled and resulted in Jeff holding her. She would have nothing to do with Santa. However, I really do think she enjoyed him being there because she has talked about it ever since. After that we opened gifts and headed upstairs for a steak dinner (YUM!).

Anna Kate received the following gifts:
* Tinkerbelle Costume
* Dora Art Studio
* New Doll Stroller & Baby
* Pink & Purple Basketball
* Clothes
* Hair Bows

After dinner it was time for baths & bedtime. We were all exhausted and slept like logs. Sunday morning we ate breakfast, packed up and headed back home. Below is a slideshow of our trip. Again, thank you to MeeMee & Popsy Lee for having us and to everyone else, thanks for the great gifts!

On Christmas Eve Jeff's mother and aunt came down from Montgomery. It was so nice to see them and have the time to visit. Aunt 'D' helped Anna Kate with her art. They painted, colored and cut paper. Her gift(s) for the day was the Rose Petal Cottage, oven and washing machine to go in it. I cannot explain how giddy this child is over it. She set up 'camp' in the den for 2 days and then last night I finally made room for it in her playroom. Sorry, I digressed a little - Jeff smoked a spiral cut ham on the grill and deep fried a turkey for our meal. 'E' and 'D' brought the rest and man oh man was it some good food! (D, don't forget to send me the recipe for the corn salad and pineapple/cheese casserole please.) Shortly after lunch Anna Kate zonked out and that's where our day ended. They needed to get back before it got dark, so they left. We had a wonderful day and Anna Kate thoroughly enjoyed the attention!

That night Anna Kate thought Santa would enjoy cupcakes rather than cookies, so she helped me make, bake and decorate them. She was so excited! After that we went outside to put the reindeer food down and she and daddy looked for Santa in the sky. Soon it was time for her bath but before that we had one last thing to do to prepare for Santa's arrival. Preface: Elaine, Diane, Jenny & Mom....take a deep breath....Anna Kate got a hair cut. Her hair is just like mine in that it's very fine but very heavy so the longer it gets the stringier it is. She had seen a few pictures of her friends that got their hair cut and decided she was okay with her being cut. I know my daughter well enough to know that she would have not let a professional do it, so I bit the bullet, rolled up my sleeves and went at it. She is so stinking cute!!!!! Okay, now you all can breathe again ;-) After bath and a few more minutes playing in her new cottage she was fast asleep dreaming of Santa and Rudolph. Again, below is a slideshow from the day. (click on it)

And finally, Christmas Day. Now, any other day and Anna Kate would have been up at 6AM but for whatever reason she chose to sleep until 8:00. Jeff and I laid in the bed just waiting for her to wake up. (We also know her well enough to know that you do not wake her up or she will be e.v.i.l. You let her wake up on her own.) After she got up we walked into the den. There Anna Kate saw what he left her. She walked closer, put her hand on her hip and said, "See mama, I tooold you Santa would bring me a bicycle!" Let me just say that she woke up Sunday morning saying she wanted Santa to bring her a bike. We had not yet been informed of that so I had to scramble on Christmas Eve to find the one she did, but I lucked out and so did she! Here is a list of what Santa brought her:

* Disney Princesses 12" bicylce with training wheels
* Baby Alive Magic Potty doll
* Fisher Price Karaoke system that plugs into the TV so she can watch herself
* Tinkerbelle lantern
* Disney Princesses bike helmet and knee & elbow pads

She also received a multitude of My Little Pony 'stuff', books, Barbie computer game, Candy Land game (for preschoolers), Barbie pool, Elafun game, Playskool Bee Hop game, a ton of art supplies and stocking stuffers. She was so overwhelmed with it all that she just kept buzzing from one toy to the next. We let things settle down and she took a nap, then my mom and dad arrived. It was SO good to see them! They brought Anna Kate the rest of the furniture/appliances for her cottage. So now she has the cottage with an oven, sink, washing machine and nursery furniture. All she needs now is her very own lounge chair. She also got a new jewelry box and a variety of other small goodies. We really did have a great Christmas! Now you can click on the last slideshow of this post.....

My parents left yesterday morning and took Anna Kate with them. They have arrived home safely and I just got an email from mom that said Anna Kate had a good night. So now Jeff and I are kid-free and lost without our little 'Spunky Monkey'.

Until next year.......HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!


Thursday, December 27, 2007

Kid Free & Lost

Phew, it's over and we had a great Christmas! Anna Kate got everything she wanted and then some. I'll post about that later, but I just wanted to say a quick thank you to all our family and friends who sent cards, gifts and good wishes our way. We are truly blessed to have you in our lives. It was so great to visit with family and we hope to see you all soon.

On to the title of my post this afternoon - my parents left this morning and took Anna Kate with them. Jeff & I are going to Atlanta for New Year's (Auburn bowl game at the Dome) and since she is out of school until January 7th we decided it would be easier for mom and dad to keep her until the 1st, when we'll pick her up on our way home from Atlanta. I have never been away from Anna Kate this long. Sure, it will be nice for the house to be quiet for a night or two but it won't be long before I want her back home. In fact, when I crawl into bed tonight and she's not there to grab a handful of hair to twirl (pull) I don't know if I'll be able to fall asleep. I do have big plans for the time she is away though.

1. Clean playroom and weed out old toys
2. Load new toys and Rose Petal Cottage in playroom
3. Clean/straighten the house
4. Take down Christmas decorations (I know it's supposed to be bad luck, but I want my house back!)
5. Pack for our New Year's trip
6. Laundry
7. Grocery shop
8. Spend my Christmas money!!!!!!

See, I'm not just going to sit on my rump and veg while she's gone ;-)

Stay tuned for tonight's edition of 'Enchanted Tales'.........


Wednesday, December 19, 2007

A Little Christmas Party

Anna Kate's class Christmas party was this morning. When I arrived the children were outside playing. Mrs. Brandy (her teacher) directed me inside to help the other mothers get ready for the party. We put up the decorations (balloons), set the table with Santa plates & napkins, put juice boxes out at each place setting and then filled their plates with cookies, brownies, chips & dip, cupcakes, rice krispy treats and chocolate ice cream. The kids were bouncing off the walls when I dropped Anna Kate off this morning so you can imagine what it was like by the end of the party = tired, cranky and on a sugar high. WOW! They had big brown bags (decorated) filled with all their goodie bags, candy, and arts & crafts they had made throughout the month. Oh, and how can I forget Anna Kate's gift.......if I knew which parent purchased it, I would take it by there and let their 3 year old get in it in the middle of the living room like Anna Kate's daddy did. It is a cosmetic case FULL of various shades of eye shadow, lipstick, fingernail polish and glitter dust. Oh my heavens, I came home to a Tribal Warrior this afternoon. Jeff let her paint her fingernails purple (up to her knuckles) all by herself (OMG!). It was all over the kitchen counter.

So now, here I sit after cleaning up glitter dust, gel eye shadow and lipstick off of the coffee table, as well as scrubbing purple nail polish off the kitchen counter with polish remover and bathing my little warrior, ready to post the pictures. When I look at them now I can't help but to chuckle. Do you have any idea how difficult it is to get nine 3 year olds to sit/stand in front of the Christmas tree and smile? You're about to see...... (as usual, click the image to enlarge it)

This one makes me laugh. I'm not sure what Anna Kate is doing, but it appears as though she's trying to escape while Jacob (the little red headed boy) sprawls out in the front.

Try #2 and still no one wants to cooperate

Munching on Christmas goodies


Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Rock & Roll, Christmas Elves and Good Will

That got your attention I bet :) It's been such a busy few weeks and sitting down to update my blog just keeps getting pushed to the bottom of my 'to do list'. However, I am making myself take the time to do it tonight.....complete with a few pictures.

Anna Kate had her first school mate birthday party this past Saturday. The invitation said to come in your best Rock & Roll outfit. I think I was more excited about dressing Anna Kate than she was. I put her in a denim mini skirt with pink leopard print, tight leggings and a shirt that said, "I'm A Cute Chick". I also tied her hair up in pony on the top of her head (you know, in honor of her mama's 80's upbringing.) She insisted on wearing 10 jelly bracelets (also something I did back in the day) and hot pink high heels adorned with multi-colored beads. Upon our arrival at the party she was greeted with necklaces, more bracelets, rings and tattoos. Those girls were so cute prancing around the house like a bunch of Diva's. When it was time to leave I believe a hurricane hit. It was pouring rain and of course I left my umbrella in the car. I had no choice but to throw Anna Kate on my hip and take off running. By the time we made it to the car, got in and closed the door we were literally dripping. We looked like we had just gotten out of the shower. Not to mention it was freezing cold. I took my jacket off and covered Anna Kate up with a blanket and turned the heat on. She was asleep within seconds. Bless her heart. She had 'partied' hard! None the less, she had a wonderful time with all her little friends.

Here she is right before leaving for the party (click to enlarge)

And this week, Christmas Elves have been busy getting things ready for the various activities we have in the next 7 days. Monday night we had our Sunday School social. Our class adopted a needy family (single mom with eight children) to provide Christmas for. We all purchased gifts for our assigned child and met at our Sunday School class teacher's house to wrap the gifts (we also munched on 10 Little Ceasar's pizzas and heavenly lemon and chocolate desserts.) I was amazed at the generous gifts. Four of the eight children will have brand new bikes to unwrap. When we finally finished all the wrapping and stepped back to look at our work, I was overwhelmed with how much we provided for this family. We're supposed to deliver the gifts Christmas Eve afternoon. I can't wait to see their reactions. I'm sure it will be an emotional moment.
Tomorrow Anna Kate has her class Christmas party. I was assigned cookies to bring, so I had to make, bake and decorate those after dinner. I came home at lunch today, turned the fireplace on (it's freezing here!) and finished putting the goodie bags together for the kids. Inside I put Christmas candy, lolli pops, a Christmas pencil and a Christmas bendy straw each. I didn't want to load them down with candy since they'll have plenty of junk food at the party. Then I punches holes in the top of the bag and card and tied the card to the bag. They really turned out cute. Jeff won't be able to attend the party but I'm taking off work to attend and you know I'll have my camera (*note to self-charge camera battery.*)

Here are the goodie bags (click to enlarge)

Here is the card I made and printed to attach to the bags (click to enlarge)

Well that's it for now. I don't plan to update again until after Christmas. We are headed to North Alabama this weekend to celebrate Christmas with Jeff's family. Christmas Eve will be spent with his mother & aunt when they come to visit and then my parents are making the trip down on Christmas day afternoon for a few days. I'll update after things settle down a bit. So if I don't talk to you before Tuesday, I hope you all have a wonderful, happy, fun, safe and merry Christmas!!!!!! Ho Ho Ho..........


Wednesday, December 12, 2007


Last Friday night our Sunday School program hosted an auction for the missionary fund. It was catered by a local business and guests brought something to be auctioned off with all the funds going to the charity. There were things there from home decor, professional services, handmade tables, paintings to vacations. I donated one photo session limited to six people. With my photography business being new and all I was nervous it wouldn't sell at all. To my surprise it went for $150! I was shocked!

Here is the certificate I provided.

Anyway, we bought a handmade cherry cutting board for $55. It's gorgeous. There was a weekend at a condo in Destin, FL and had we had time to think about it a group of us could have big together on it, but it happened so fast we didn't have a chance. Oh well, maybe next year. We had a good time though.
We are all so excited for Christmas to get here. Every night Anna Kate does or says something that will make Jeff & I think 'oh man, she's going to love that (insert specific toy or item that applies here)!' We want to give it all to her now! I think she's in for a pretty big Christmas this year. So far she's got the Rose Petal Cottage with the sink, oven, washing machine and nursery furniture. She also has a Fisher Price kareoke system with two microphones and sing-a-long cartridges. (You plug it into the TV and it puts the child(ren) on the screen. She is such a diva and I know we will be subjected to many, many, many hours of 'Anna Kate in concert' for years to come.) She also has the Baby Alive Magic Potty doll. Don't ask me what I was thinking when I bought it, but Jeff has already given me the sole responsibility of cleaning up any 'mess' she (the doll) makes outside of the potty (again, why did I think this was a good idea?). She has a couple of board games, Barbie and her swimming pool w/ accessories, two books, a computer game and a co-worker of Jeff's finally found that Bee Hop toy/game we were looking for in Atlanta, but the rest seems to have slipped my memory. Suffice it to say, she has plenty.

Jeff's Christmas gift from Anna Kate & I came Monday evening. UPS delivered it at 8:30 that night. It must have been shipped directly from the manufacturer so Jeff saw what it was all over the box. Well obviously it's out of the box and ready for installation now. It's a Sony home theatre surround sound w/ HD DVD system. He is so excited!

My Christmas gift came last Friday. I knew what it was because I picked it out, so what was the point in letting it set there in the box for 3 more weeks? It's on our bed now and looks beautiful. I hope to get enough Christmas money to purchase the throw pillows and some coordinating drapes for the windows.

Well, that's all for now. I plan to upload some video of Anna Kate singing some of her very own singles. She has us announce the following before she comes out on stage (the hearth), "Ladies and gentlemen, here comes the girl who is going to sing and dance for you!" and then we have to clap and yell for her..........such a diva.


Tuesday, December 4, 2007

MIA Bee Hop

Why can't I find this?

I have looked in every Walmart, Target, Toys-R-Us and KB Toys close to me and I can't find it. I KNOW it exists because I saw it at our local Walmart less than 2 months ago. Anna Kate really, really, really wants this for Christmas and it would help if it were readily available in stores. So if anyone sees one, please let us know.


Monday, December 3, 2007

Ho Ho Ho!

We took Anna Kate to see Santa Saturday. She was so excited! She gave him a big hug and then climbed up in his lap. He began talking to her, asking her what she wanted for Christmas, all the while she just sat there in complete amazement. Her eyes and smile were enormous. I literally saw a twinkle in her eye. It was so exciting to see her truly, 100% believe. I have video footage of it, but I haven't had the patience to upload it yet. I keep forgetting how to do it and I don't want to get the manual out you'll have to wait a little while longer on the video :-) Sorry. But in the meantime, here is a picture. And for the record, despite how he looked, I don't *think* Santa was stoned.