December 28

We were able to catch up with more friends tonight and the boys had friends to play with too. Thanks for dinner, Brant and Allison. It was great to see you and catch up.

Dance party!

December 27

The boys spent the day with Mimi and Papa today and got to do many fun things. Mimi was brave and pulled out the fingerpaints!


December 26

Whew! The festivities are over and now we can relax a little more. We got to visit with our friends, Josh and Rachel, today. It's always great to catch up with friends and the boys had fun too. 

December 25

Merry Christmas!

We had a busy day, but a great first Christmas with Neylan home

Santa visited this morning and brought lots of noise makers! The boys love the harmonicas and are catching on pretty quickly to how to play them
 After church, lunch, and naps we headed to the Fosters for their big Christmas dinner. Brandy, Grandnan and Uncle Dick's dog came for the festivities
 Grayson and Neylan sat at their little table for the big dinner

During the meal we played several games while waiting on the next course. I actually won the game where we filled in Christmas song lyrics

Cherry made a little memorial area for the three wonderful women we have lost recently. They will be missed greatly, but are still very close to our hearts this season.

December 24

This morning we went to the Foster Christmas party. This year was a little different in that it was a brunch. Every year something is done for the kids and Mimi reads the Christmas story from Luke 2. Denise read a book called Happy Birthday Jesus. (If only I had known, I could have brought our beautiful cake to share!)

 Ready to open presents!

Grayson got a doctor kit, so if you are feeling a little under the weather, he'll give you a shot
 Uncle Ben and Neylan opened a present together 

Halfway through the opening Grayson said he was hungry. So, we stopped for a snack break.
 One of Grayson's big presents was his art box. He got so many crafty items to make hundreds of projects and creations. He got some waterpaints, which he had never used before. So, another break was taken to paint a  masterpiece. 

Shelf's last hiding place for the year was with the snowman on his tricycle. They may ride off to the north pole together at the end of the day

December 23

 Tonight we were able to go to a party with long-time friends of Adam's family. We haven't seen this group in two years, so it was a nice reunion. There were twins the same age as Grayson that helped keep our boys entertained.
When we got  home from the party, my family was ready to do our white elephant exchange. Neylan was quite intrigued by the singing fish (his interest did not persuade us to steal it for him though)

 And Grayson liked the binoculars (although these binoclars doubled as a flask). We didn't steal those for him either. 

Shelf was caught in the fruit bowl this morning. He must love bananas!


December 22

Today was "Cousins Day"

We spent the whole day together roaming around and being spontaneuos. We started the morning with breakfast at Pancake Pantry and ate until we were stuffed beyond belief.

Our next stop was Ober Gatlinburg. Our original plan at Thanksgiving was to go skiing all day, but it's so warm there is no snow. So, we took the tram to the top of the mountain, rode the alpine slide, went ice skating, and saw the wildlife exhibit.

After our ice skating adventure we decided it would be fun to go to a hockey game, so we started researching. We found out that tonight is "Ugly Christmas Sweater night" at the game and the winner receives $1000. That was motivation for us. We then spent the afternoon shopping in thrift stores to put together the perfect outfits. 
We didn't win, but we had a great time. The Ice Bears did win and we think we now have a new tradition- "cousins day" and hockey games
Shelf found a nice high spot to perch himself and observe all that went on today with the old folks (since the young bunch was out and about)


December 21

We made it to our warm, Southern destination EARLY this morning and are completely exhausted, but had enough energy to make a birthday cake for Jesus. I let the boys help decorate (maybe not the best idea, looking back). So, in future years our cake will be prettier. Thanks, Kristi for the idea.

We made a chocolate cake to represent the dirtiness of our sins, white icing to reresent the purity that covers our sins, a green M &M ring to represent the everlasting love of God, and 12 candles that represent the light that shines in us 12 months of the year. I decided to wait to make this once we got to TN so that we could have others help us eat it. But, after the masterpiece was complete, no one was eager to dig in. I can't imagine why?!

Shelf has straightened up in the last week and was allowed to make the journey with us. He found his way into Santa's sack today.


December 20

What a busy, busy day. With our sick day yesterday, nothing was accomplished towards getting us ready to go home. Thank goodness I was back to 100% today. While I continued to run around, Daddy got some cuddle time in before bedtime tonight

Grayson looked all morning for Shelf and once he found him he said, "Shelf playing in the snow" and Neylan looked, pointed, and said "mess"

December 19

Today was a very tough day. I think this was the first day during our marriage that we both were quite sick. Fortunately the boys spent the day at daycare while Adam laid in bed and I laid on the couch. The stomach bug/flu-like yuckiness struck us. So, after the boys came home we did as little as possible and took turns taking care of them. I fixed dinner while Adam laid on the couch, then Adam gave them a bath while I laid down. They finished the night by watching a movie on the couch. What a day I never want to happen again.

Shelf found a new friend to sit with today

December 18

Shelf wandered over to Neylan's room and hung out with the farm animals for the day


December 17

I bought 2 acorn squash a little while ago and finally got around to doing something with them today. I roasted them with butter, cinnamon, and nutmeg and then made a squash and apple mash. Pretty tasty.

Shelf spent the day in Grayson's room. He found a book to keep him busy all day- I Spy Little Christmas. I hope he found all of the items

December 16

The boys got a fun package in the mail today. Mimi and Papa sent them ornaments. They were very excited to open them and put them on the tree. Neylan's is a penguin and Grayson's is a Toy Story ornament with Buzz and Woody.

Shelf took a ride on Rody today

December 15

Today was another non-stop busy day (at least for me). We had our Christmas Renew meeting this morning. Had a great time there. Headed home for lunch and naps and then we had the changing of the guard. Adam came home early and I headed back out the door for party number 2, my work Christmas party at 4:00. As soon as that was over, I headed to party number 3- Bunko. My day ended around midnight when I finally got home and in bed. All three events were lots of fun and I came home with four great gifts from the day.

Only got this one picture of our bunko group

Shelf found his way downstairs today and was caught playing with the blocks.