Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Family Christmas!

We celebrated our 11th anniversary with a Family Christmas! With people spreading out accross the country, it was the date that worked for all, and we enjoyed spending the day with our family. Lane and Josh brought their new puppy and their kitty, which of course the kids loved!
 Will got a lottery ticket and about killed Josh with stretching out the anticipation, HILARIOUS!
 We had a great time hanging out, exchanging gifts and eating yummy treats!
 Austin, my baby...sigh. So cute. And sweet Annie with G-ma!
It was a great day at the Kucharski's home!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas at Nana and Papa's

We had a wonderful night celebrating Christmas at Nana and Papa's house! It was a picture perfect night!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

More Christmas!

We visited Papa Kenny and Grandma Dorothy at the rehab center where Papa is getting stronger every day. Our family filled the room, giggling, opening gifts and enjoying a Christmas visit. Not the first pick for a place to celebrate Christmas, but we made it work! :)

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Morning!

Sleepy smiles, excited eyes, Grammie and Grandaddy waking up with us, Santa gifts, stockings, and cinnamon rolls....Happy Christmas Morning!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Grandaddy's Birthday!

This year we celebrated Grandaddy's birthday with a visit to the Santa Train! It was a perfect way to celebrate the man who loves trains!

Face painting, balloon art, exploring the old train station, and cheering as the real train pulled in with Santa waving! So fun! Everyone went on the train to take their turn telling Santa what they wanted for Christmas, and of course that they'd been good!

This was a great day and we'll definitely be doing this event again!


Friday, December 17, 2010

Dance Time!

This sweet girl loves to dance! So much that it didn't even phase her to be the only girl from her dance class to perform! Miss Ami won the teacher of the year award for dancing with Annie so she wouldn't be all alone. We love Miss Ami! Annie did a wonderful job clogging and had a great time!


Thursday, December 16, 2010

3rd grade concert

Ellie did an awesome job in her 3rd grade Christmas concert! We love hearing our sweet girl sing!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Christmas Cookies!

An evening of decorating cookies sounded like a great thing to do with my girls and Grammie! We enjoyed icing and liberally decorating our cookies with tons of sprinkles, marshmallows, and candies! The best part was leaving the mess behind! :)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Be an Encourager.

What does it mean to be an Encourager?

For some reason I can't stop thinking about this tonight. Perhaps it's because the last few months have been tough for me, and with Christmas just around the corner, our lives are in hyper-drive.

Or maybe it's all the mashed potatoes I ate for dinner talking...

I digress.

Anyway...An Encourager.

Tonight I was remembering the words of a fellow mom. Not someone I know well at all. Barely an acquaintance really. I think it was about a year ago when she stopped me in the hall at Annie's preschool. I had just dropped off Annie, and Ellie and Austin were already at school, so I was alone as I hurried out of the building. This woman called out my name, and I turned around with my "always a friendly face" smile on and greeted her. She smiled sweetly and seemed a little nervous as she said, "I just want to tell you something..."

You are a wonderful mother. I watch you, and I just really felt like today I was supposed to tell you that. I've been meaning to say it for awhile. You really are. You are doing a great job.

I thanked her, gave her a hug, told her how sweet she was, and thanked her again. That day I walked a little taller, and had a little more patience.

She was an Encourager.

And today as I remember that, tears fill my eyes, because...Wow, it still touches me that she told me that.

So many times as a mother of some really great, but sometimes really difficult kids, it's the negative stuff that gets my attention.

The nasty look from a stranger at the grocery store, the loudly spoken comment from a shopper at Target, the direct condemnation from an old lady at McDonald's, the glances and whispers from acquaintances at the pool, the disappointed face of a once loved teacher...When you add that all up, it's crushing.

But she was an Encourager.

She's not the only one. There was the kind old lady at Bass Pro who told me she'd survived, and I would too. The man at Wal-Mart who reminded me to be thankful even in the midst of a tantrum. And of course, there are the kind, uplifting words of my family and friends. Without them I don't know how I would survive sometimes.

I guess what I'm trying to say is Be an Encourager. Make someones day. Smile at the exhausted mother, hold the door open for the older man, or even tell someone how great they are. Speak kind words, and watch someones face light up.

"Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you."
2 Corinthians 13:10-12

Adoration Parade

Our wild and crazy group of friends collected again to watch our towns fabulous Adoration Parade. Nana and Papa hosted us for dinner before the parade. We then trekked down the street a little to set up camp as the parade route had changed this year, and no longer went in front of Nana and Papa's house. We found a great spot and had an awesome time cheering for the bands and floats and just hanging out together!


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

SO much fun!

A few weeks ago we took our little family bowling.

To be completely honest, I was a little worried it might not be a good thing. I mean the thought of Ellie, aka: child who doesn't like loud noises, and Austin in a room of very heavy balls, were definitely some valid reasons to be concerned. However something in me really wanted to try this little venture, so I brushed off my concerns, convinced Jason everything would be ok, and decided to go for it.

We met some great friends at the bowling alley, ordered some pizza, and settled in. Things started off well, all the kids were having a blast hanging out and cheering each other on, and then...

Things got even better.

I gotcha there, didn't I?! You thought I was going to throw in a horrible/crazy/someone got injured twist, didn't you?

I could scarcely believe it myself, but the evening was just pretty perfect. I told Jason at the end of the night I think that was the most fun we've ever had as a family. Seriously!

And of course, I had my camera, so...

SO much fun! And we'll definitely be doing it again!

Oh and I thought the matching shirts added a nice touch too! Sometimes it's fun to be cheesy!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Kindergarten Santa Night!

For the second time we got to attend Kindergarten Santa Night! It's been three years, so we were very excited to go back. At the front doors we were greeted by a real reindeer, VERY exciting for the kids! Inside there were delicious cupcakes, fun crafts, and of course, Santa!!! I love that our school does sweet things like this!


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Fall Family Pics!

Lane squeezed in time this last visit to take some awesome family pics for us! As always, it was a challenge, but she did great! Thanks Laney!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

SDC Christmas

As always, we love Silver Dollar City at Christmas. Mom went with us this year to help me survive all the fun. :)

We had beautiful weather, which of course is always nice. There's just something about going to SDC that makes it really feel like Christmas.


Monday, November 15, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Howdy Y'all! I, Woody, would like to tell you that we had a GREAT Halloween!

Yes, we had a lovely Halloween! I missed my sea friends, but it was so fun to trick-or-treat on land!

Dr. Ellie was wonderful to look after all the animals. Especially Delilah the Bumblebee.

Oh my, what a group of characters!

Ariel, Cleopatra, Toothless the Dragon, and a pro basketball player. Yes, we have quite a diverse group of friends!

Ya need a hand with you car partner?

Happy Halloween!!!

Shutterfly is Fabulous!

I am excited to tell you about an amazing deal with Shutterfly right now. The are offering 50 free cards to bloggers who would like to give them a shout out...which I am happy to do! You can do it too! See... Bloggers get 50 free holiday cards from Shutterfly. Sign up: http://bit.ly/sfly2010: http://bit.ly/sfly2010 ...Yay!!!

I've been using Shutterfly for years. I use it to back up my pictures, kind of like an external hard drive. I use it for printing, either through mail, or at Target, and I think the quality is great! I've done several Christmas cards through Shutterfly over the years too. Click here to see there wonderful selection of Christmas cards. I think the first year I did a photo card, and I loved the ease of designing it! Shutterfly has all kids of cards though, not just photo cards. Click here to see some beautiful things!

The next year, if memory serves me right, I went a little fancier, 'cause apparently that year I was feeling fancy. :) I did a stationary card, and I loved it! Beautiful designs, fantastic quality, and again, easy to do!

We've done some Shutterfly photo books over the years too, and I always love them. If you want to be praised for being the best gift giver EVER, just give Grandma and Grandpa a Shutterfly photo book for a gift. I have, and I love the excited reactions from them! Something I am excited to try this year is the Shutterfly desk calendar. I have someone in mind to give one to, and I think I'll be ordering one for our home too! Click here to check them out!

I think my favorite thing about using Shutterfly, for photo books, cards, gifts, storing pictures, etc...is how easy they make it. It's so user friendly, even I can do it! :) I also love, love, LOVE the beautiful Christmas card designs. They bring out new ones every year, and every year I am torn between several new and beautiful cards! Seriously, check them out! And I'm not just saying that for a promotion, I really do like their website. Their service is fantastic too, my cards and pictures always arrive super fast, and it good condition.

SO, Ready? Set. GO to Shutterfly...

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Fall Soccer Twenty-Ten!

Annie played soccer again this fall, in what was I'm sure, the warmest fall soccer season EVER. It was a great season, and she loved her team! They were the STARS, and they played great! Our Awesome friend Janelle even got the girls on the team special Star soccer socks! That's right, soccer can be fashionable too! Here are some of my favorite pics...


The Star Socks..in action!

Playing hard!

The Huddle. Thanks Coach S, for another great season!

Four Awesome soccer friends! These four have been friends from the time they were born! (annie had her face painted like a cat, from her fall party at school, at our last game!)

And two Awesome soccer cousins! It was so fun to see our cousin play too!

We can't wait for next year!