November 26

We started our trek home today, but only made it an hour and a half up the road. We stopped in Nashville today to spend the day with Adam's family. After dinner we went to Opryland Hotel to see the spectacular Christmas display. The entire hotel is decorated inside and out with lights, plants, and all things red and green. It's just beautiful.

Grayson used his "noculars" to look at the displays outside

Throughout the hotel were Dreamworks characters from various movies. At the end of the night after we had walked through everything, Grayson asked to go back and see the hippo from Madagascar

and Shrek and Fiona. We are making baby steps with characters. He's at least interested in looking at them, but he did not want to give Shrek a high-five and said he was scared of him.


November 25

Today is Black Friday, and I am spending it at the house with the boys while everyone else in the family is shopping. This is so odd for me as I am typically out with the female crew finding deals all over town. But without much (if any) shopping to do this year, I decided to sleep in and keep it low key. So, we played outside with the cat that keeps hanging around and we went to the park.


November 24

Happy Thanksgiving!

We started the day with turkey handprint and footprint paintings,

played some soccer,

found a stray cat to love on,

went to Jack Daniels distillery to see the whiskey barrel Christmas tree,

and did what any normal family in TN would do to pass the time, cousin cock fighting. I'm not sure who came up with this idea, but since there was money involved for the winner, we participated. This is supposed to replicate the cocks who wear razor blades around their ankles to kill their opponents.

It got a little competitive, but we all survived. We also had a great meal and enjoyed the time with family

November 23

Just another LONG day of driving, but we made it and are exhausted!

November 22

We have made this long road trip to TN many times and have found the best indoor playgrounds along the route. We like to stop at a Burger King 2 hrs down the road because it claims to have the "world's largest indoor BK playground". I think it might be. The boys still need help with it, but giggle their way to the top (approx 25 ft) and then slide down. This stop usually lasts at least an hour!


November 21

We're almost ready!!!

November 20

It's nice knowing friends who are just a tad older and have great toys to hand down! Yesterday the boys got this little climber and slide. Perfect size for them and with winter on its way it will give them something more to do inside. Thank goodness I cleaned the basement.

Obviously, they are still enjoying is today!

November 19

When I couldn't get the boys out of the kitchen while I attempted to wash some dishes, I started them on some good fine motor activities which should have lasted a good bit of time. Three minutes later I had to throw them in the basement!

Grayson's activity is beautiful for an OT, but his W-sitting is a PT's nightmare!

After G had his picture taken, Neylan wanted his done. OK!


November 18

Six days until Thanksgiving! We are excited to see lots of family and have a little break from home. My great little idea to count down until a holiday has not been so exciting to the boys. When I ask Grayson to take one off, he sweeps the whole door clean. So, I end up doing this activity by myself. Well, I'm excited to be counting down!

November 17

We made this cute cupcake stand in Renew (my mommy group) this morning. It was so easy and cheap (but I won't give away any secrets- unless you want them!)


November 16

It's that time of year again. Time for Operation Christmas Child. Adam and I started putting together OCC shoeboxes when we got married. We always have fun going shopping and packing one box for each family member.

I hate to say that this year I really struggled with this project. Although it is a fun project, it costs a bit of money to purchase everything and then pay for each box to be shipped. We are so financially strained right now, that anything over and above our bills really has to be thought about. So, I procrastinated because I knew we really couldn't afford this venture this year. But as the deadline (today) got closer and closer, I felt more and more convicted. This is something we have done for the past five years and something that changes lives of little ones across the world. We have learned that when you have a passion for something, God can make it happen in a big way. We were very blessed to be provided with 2 bags full of items to fill the boxes with that were supposed to be packed a week earlier by a different group. We added a few things to these items and were able to pack 6 boxes with all that we had. Talk about the loaves and fishes! We even had a few things left over. I was so excited to see these boxes packed that I am happy to pay for all of them to be shipped. When I thought about who these boxes go to and that the gospel is shared with each child, I realized I cannot turn my back on this. It could be my child that receives one of these boxes. Unfortunately, we will not be able to provide any presents for each other or for the boys this year (and that's ok- they have more than they could ever need), but six kids who have much less that our kids will receive a shoebox full of items to restore their hope and will get to hear about Jesus. Now, that's what Christmas is really about.

I challenge you to support Samaritan's Purse and Operation Christmas Child this year

November 15

Creative project number 2. I wanted to do a little Thanksgiving countdown for the boys. So, this year I will start small. I found these foam characters on clearance last night and put magnets on the back. Each day the boys can take one off to countdown the days until Thanksgiving. If this goes well, we will start with a Christmas countdown after Thanksgiving.

November 14

So, I have to confess that I have become totally addicted to Pinterest. It has such great ideas for everything you need an idea for. On the flip side, it's made me feel like the most uncreative pediatric occupational therapist ever. So, I will just start stealing ideas and trying them at home or with my other kids. So, I'm starting today. It's getting cold outside, so I have to start some fun indoor activities.

So, in an effort to be more creative, here we go- with smiley face toast for breakfast. It was a hit- well, at least the bananas were. They both picked those off and left the entire piece of toast. Oh well. I tried!

I must have a lot of energy today, because along with an effort to be more creative and give the boys some structured activities indoors, I decided to clean during nap time. And might as well start big! So, the basement was my project. This is how we started.

I got it all cleaned and rearranged just as Neylan woke up. After all of this work and a long day at home with the boys, I left Adam tonight to run to Hobby Lobby (you know, to buy some stuff for my great new ideas from Pinterest). When I got home, the basement looked just like this again. I didn't even have a chance to take an after picture. Wow! What a waste of 2 hrs cleaning.

November 13

What?! My little Asian just devoured a full plate of RICE and veggies and chicken. I tried to outsmart him with the veggies, so I chopped them with my chopper and mixed it all together with the rice. He loved it and ate it all. He never eats rice or veggies. Success!!!


November 12

This morning we heard of a special guest appearance at the bookstore. So we went and got to meet Clifford, the big red dog!!! He helped read two books to the kids and then stayed around for pictures.

Grayson is still scared of large characters, but with a little coaxing and a friend to go with, he went to have his picture taken. He did not want to stay by Clifford's side long, so I had to snap quick. Neylan, on the other hand, had no hesitation and was waving at Clifford before we had our turn, walked right up to him, snuggled into his belly, and had to be convinced to come down.

The rest of the afternoon Grayson talked about how he was scared of Clifford. Nope, still not ready for Disney World yet!

November 11

Frequently at work we have various donations from companies. Sometimes things are overstock or out of season. The best part- we get to grab them! So, today when I went in these lightbulbs were out for grabs. Not sure where they came from, but I know this package would not be cheap. So, I grabbed one for us. We haven't completely switched over to these new lightbulbs, but had a few in various places in our house when we bought it over 4 years ago. And they are still burning!


November 10

The boys do a good job together in the tub now, so I can leave momentarily to grab something if I need to. So, tonight I went to gather everyone's pjs and when I came back, Grayson says "Look Mom, I am wiping my knees to make them feel better".  Oh, ok. Guess I should not have the wipes container so easily accessible from the tub!

November 9

Tonight was Gray's first night to wear the new jammies I got him (you know, the ones that are warm, but don't have feet in the bottom, because that's scary). He loved them because they have the number 2 on them and the best part- they have a pocket!

November 8

So, in an effort to transition to a big boy bed as smoothly as possible, we took the advice of one of Adam's co-workers and are starting by just lowering the drop side on the crib for a while. This will allow him to get in and out when he wants, but still very much looks like his bed. It did not take long for him to figure out how to climb in. He's pretty excited that he can do this now.

He simply climbs up and flips over the rail


November 7

The barber shop opened for a short time tonight and all 3 boys got their Thanksgiving trim.

November 6

KC experienced a first last night- an earthquake or two! It shook the house enough to wake Adam up. Just look at the destruction that was left in our house! The boys can barely move with the toys strewn everywhere.

Oh wait- this was the result of the natural disaster makers that run through this house everyday!

October 5

The break didn't last too long- the boys showed up to swim tonight. They had a blast in the pool, stayed for dinner, ran around the hotel for a bit, and then went home exhausted.

November 4

Woo Hoo!! A weekend away from the boys. It's scrapbook retreat weekend! I have been looking forward to this for a while. This mama needs a break! So, I started working on Grayson's baby album. And I only got this page done. The creative juices were just not flowing and I was moving slowly. Gotta do better tomorrow.


November 3

Grayson convinced Adam that this was how his outfit was supposed to work. So, we went with it.

And to complete the ensemble- the jacket. Handsome!

He wore this around for a few hours