Sunday, December 29, 2013

Top 10 of 2013

I like to make my last blog entry of the year be my Top 10 events.  So here are my top 10 of 2013:

10. Kevin discovered a new passion and hobby and became a bee keeper.  We are super excited to see how much honey we will have come spring.

9. Our family took a trip to Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida in June.  We had a wonderful time!

8. Kevin, Ava, and I spent a week in Guatemala doing missions.  A life-changing trip for sure!

7. Ava started 3rd grade!

6. Elia started 5th grade!  They are growing up WAY too fast!

5. My nephew, Austin, was baptized.

4. Team Black Friday made the news as well as the Commercial Appeal.

3. Kevin got a new job as the Arlington Parks and Recreation Director.  He starts January 2!

2. Kevin had a major heart scare.  While this would not be considered a Top 10 event by itself, the feelings and gratitude that came from it certainly made the list.  He is my whole world, and I do not want to take him for granted for 1 second!

1. I completed a half-marathon.  After a lot of roadblocks, I managed to stay dedicated and finish the 13.1 miles!

Adina Wiseman has challenged everyone to come up with one word for the year 2014.  I have put a lot of thought into this, and I have come up with the word "committed".  This word says a lot.  This year I plan to commit to everything with a full heart.  This includes school, kids, family, exercise, eating healthy, and worshiping God!  Here's to a new and committed year!!!  Happy New Year!

Christmas 2013

The Christmas season started out with a visit to see Santa at Bass Pro.  This was a bittersweet visit because Elia has decided she is too big to see Santa now.  (Actually, Elia thinks she is too big to do a lot of things these days.)  Ava had a great time seeing Santa and doing all the fun things Bass Pro had to offer for free!

At school we finished up with a faculty lunch and some grade levels even sang songs.  Here I am with my partner in crime!

Our plan was to have my side of the family over to our house the Sunday before Christmas.  Our plans quickly changed when Kevin had to make a quick trip to the ER.  His blood pressure shot up dangerously high.  After many tests and hours at the ER, we were allowed to go home.  This whole day gave Christmas new meaning and reminded us both to slow down and enjoy the little things and to not take anything for granted.

Our family plans got moved to Monday night, and we still had a blast!  My cousins and I made several attempts at a good picture.  

We managed to get one without any photobombing.

After dinner, it was time to play White Elephant where everyone bring a crummy gift they don't want.  Our family has played this game for years and years, and every year we cannot remember all the rules.  I honestly think we invent new ways to play every year.  Here is Beth trying to convince us all she knew the right way to play.

Aunt Nancy got a GIANT coffee cup that Beth stole from her.

Next came our fun, but goofy, games we always like to play.

Miley hung out on the stairs with Grammy!

Nana and Pepaw opened their presents.  Pepaw better share his chocolates with Nana.

I love this picture of Nana and her kids.

That night we chilled out at home.  Miley took some time to love on Elia, her best friend.

The next day was Christmas Eve day, and we went to Grammy's house.  Nana was hilarious.  I was taking a selfie of the two of us and she couldn't figure out why she could see herself in the phone.

She finally got it!

Then we got one with us and Jason.

And me and Kevin!

We tried to get a picture of all 4 grandkids but only managed a couple at a time.

Papa read the Christmas story out of the bible.

Then it was time for presents!

We always give Papa Jelly Bellies every year so we can pass them around while we open presents.  It has become a tradition.

LOVE this stained glass my mom got for us!

FINALLY got a picture of all 4 cousins!

Then we sang Happy Birthday to Jesus, ate dessert, and headed home to get ready for Santa.

We usually go to a candlelight service and dinner at Huey's on Christmas Eve.  This year we decided to keep things low key and stay at home as a family.  We played games, watched A Christmas Vacation, and ate Mexican take-out.  It was a perfect night!

Miley was worn out and ready for Santa to come!

We checked the Santa Tracker and decided it was time to get ready for bed.  Of course, we had to leave out cookies and milk for the big guy.

The rule for Christmas morning is that the girls cannot wake up until the sun is up.  It was barely up at 6:30 so they were ready to see what Santa brought!

Santa left a scavenger hunt that led to an ipad for Ava and an iphone for Elia.  I wasn't able to get pictures of the girls because I was trying to video and the camera kept getting full.  They were very excited about their gifts!  Then they headed upstairs to find a new foosball table in the playroom.

Elia already texting on her new phone.

Elia checking out her stocking.

Opening presents from each other.

And more texting!

Miley was patiently waiting for her turn.

She loves her new Garfield!

I LOVE my new frame Ava made for me at school!  I thought it came from one of those boutique stores until Ava told me she made it in class at school!

Ava went to check out Cami's new karaoke machine!  I see lots of singing in their future!

Then Cami, Dalton, and Carol came to our house to check out our loot.  Carol loved Agnus and Gru.

And Jason loved Flutterby Fairy!

After hours of playing with new toys, it was time to go Kevin's family's house.  Ava looked cute in her sweater from Grammy!  

The girls got very sleepy on the way over.  (One day soon, I hope to have lots of pictures of Elia.  Remember she is too old for everything including pictures.)

Ava and me taking at selfie!

Grandmother liked her new blanket with pictures of all her grandkids!

The day after Christmas we went to the mall to spend our gift cards.  Ava loves her new cover for her ipad!

I will leave you with some pictures of our elves from this year.  While they were loved while they were here, all good things must come to an end and it was time for them to head back to the North Pole on Christmas day.  Our elves names' are Zach and Mabel.  Poor Mabel's hair is a mess because Miley would try to eat her when we weren't looking.

Here they are with the baby Jesus from our nativity set.

They decided to hang out with ET in the car and hitch a ride to school with us.

Zach and Mabel tried to make rainbow loom.

The next day they brought new rainbow loom rubber bands.

Here they are sitting with Santa.

Two day left until Christmas!