Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A Time to Reflect

The hustle and bustle of Christmas has now passed. Our home is still decorated for Christmas, the trees are still up, the wreaths are still on the windows, the Christams china is still being used. To me the week after Christmas is the perfect time to be STILL and to REFLECT on the year- all its blessings and its sorrows. One of our Christams traditions is to write in the annual Christmas book important details of the year. We enjoy reading the entries each year and then adding the current year's information. This book was started with Lauren's first Christmas in 2004 and has space for 20 years. I like to think she will treasure this book when she is older and remember people and events of the past.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Taking a Walk

Poppy Ellis, Lauren and Bella (the dog) are enjoying a stroll up and down our driveway. Weather was very mild this day. It is fun to watch Lauren walking Bella on the leash since they are basically the same weight. Bella is good enough NOT to pull Lauren down. Bella initially was not friendly to my dad (protective of Lauren) but quickly warmed up when he petted her head and talked to her. She really is a good dog and is learning some commands.

Ringing the Bells

My dad and stepmom came to Arkansas from Atlanta for the past few days. Dad joined Lauren and I in ringing the bells for the Salvation Army- we had signed up in November to ring at the mall- not sure Lauren's bell stopped ringing for very long. We had a good time and were pleased with the generousity of the shoppers and their good spirits despite the off and on rain. We will be ringing again next year.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Pictures with Santa

Our church hosted their family dinner at the masonic lodge which is beautifully decorated each Christmas. After dinner the congregation sang Christmas carols and Santa entered the main hall. Lauren was one of the first to line up to eagerly tell Santa what she wanted..... a life sized Barbie!!! Here are some pics with Santa- the other children are friends of ours - the children's father is currently on his way back from Iraq - he has been overseas since August- he should arrive Wednesday. The children would not sit with Santa unless Lauren sat with them- you can see we have Lauren strategically positioned to be cropped out!!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Lauren's Piano Recital

Despite the piano being quite large for Lauren and the hvac vent over the piano coming on and blowing pages- Lauren did well for her first recital in front of 45-50 people. Yes- she played jingle bells waaayyy too many times- but hey- she is five-she was on a roll. She started lessons in September of this year and practices daily- for those of you that don't know Cliff's side of the family is very musical. Most of them play instruments and several play by ear.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Hand Smocked Insert

Really should have had this entire dress completed a week or so ago-life got in the way. Anyway- it is ready to be sewn into the jumper today- should be ready in a few days. Feeling my time is limited when it comes to picture smocked garments for my almost 6 year old. Maybe two more years???

Monday, December 7, 2009

"I can't believe we have a dog!"

We decided to get Lauren a dog. This sweet lemon colored beagle mix 11 month old girl was on craigslist- FREE- she came with a huge crate, leash and a bag of food. Bella is house broken and crate trained and loves to sniff and fetch toys ( she can't quite grasp the idea of letting the object go). It is funny to watch Lauren walk Bella on a leash- they are the same weight- I am proud to say Lauren has really taken the responsibility of learning to walk her on the leash with gusto and has yet to be pulled down!!! She stands her ground.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Handmade Collar

Photo of a handmade collar that will be attached to a dress for Lauren.

Packing food boxes

Here are some pics
of Lauren sorting and packing food boxes at

Friday, December 4, 2009

Thanksgiving Day

My dad's side of the family- minus my brother and his family- came over for Thanksgiving day.

Cliff successfully smoked a turked- it was delicious- and the rest of us pitched in the various side dishes. here are a few pics from turkey day.
It seems that if you are hosting you forget to get pictures of the whole group when they are present- I regret that I did not get group photos and will do so next time I have a group of people over. Really overlooked that and I am sorry.

Thanksgiving Hayride

Cliff's side of the family celebrated Thanksgiving with our 3rd annual hayride around the farm. We have been fortunate to have good weather for the event.

Here is a picture of Lauren and I before the others piled on...

and one of Lauren playing on a hay bale


Quick shot of the tree in the music room. Some of the ornaments were from my childhood dating back as early as the 70's- thanks to all of you that comment- that wasn't so long ago!!!

Thinking the tree looks really pretty at night in the spicy red room and green sofa.
And yes- there are no window treatments in this room- the house is sitting on 6 acres with lots of trees- nice view during the day without screens or fabric to obscure.

Happy Birthday Cliff!!!

Lauren's first words this morning.... Let's give daddy his car present.....
She picked out this remote control car over a month ago and has been patiently waiting (very difficult for her) for this day to arrive. Needless to say- Dad was thrilled with his present from Lauren and they had fun playing this morning.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Girl's Day Out

Here are some pics of our day- we have officially been adopted by meow the kitty- she sleeps on our back patio-Lauren loves hugging him/her.

On the way to the bank we stopped at a horse farm that was hosting a club riding day and you can see pics below of AC and Mattie the horse- we even have video of AC getting vacuumed by his owner- don't have to tell you lauren loved this place and wants to go back tomorrow.

Next we had a picnic lunch at the park with friends from church- the kids had so much fun playing and riding bikes and scooters and he ran into another little boy we had met last weekend out with his mommy too!!! This must have been the weekend for dad's to be out of town.

Friday, November 13, 2009


Joel 1:3- Tell ye your children of it, and let your children tell their children, and their children another generation.

This bible verse came to mind when we planted our amaryllis bulb this year (paperwhites too).

We had a lesson on the parts of a bulb and its requirements to grow and bloom. Thinking Lauren's favorite part was observing the dirt coir expand and then chopping it up until it was dirt soup!!! Bless her heart- she wakes up in the morning in anticipation of the bulb blooming- I have explained and shown her on the calendar that it takes 8-12 weeks for the amaryllis to bloom. We will see when she grasps that concept. Meanwhile the paperwhites will bloom quicker and we will measure both types of bulbs for growth (part of homeschooling) for some fun holiday lessons.

We have also been busy making some Thanksgiving crafts that can be used for decoration- I tell myself - her working on these is more about the process and not necessarily the product!!

Here is a pic of her with the amaryllis and a shot of her voluntering at the humane society (the puppy's name is Mary).

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Jingle Bells

Lauren received her Christmas piano book last Tuesday and had started practicing Jingle Bells without any help. Here she is after church.... not perfect.... but considering she has been taking lessons for 8 weeks and taught herself the song- we are pleased with her progress and self motivation.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Happy Birthday Katie!!!

Sam and Jennifer could not have asked for better weather for an outdoor birthday party in November. Believe the high in sunny Arkansas today hit 73 degrees. Katie celebrated her 4th birthday at Pinnacle Mountain today. Kids were everywhere and everyone had lots of fun- Lauren woke up remembering that today was THE day- when we arrived both girls hugged each other and ran off to play. Here are some pics from the Tinkerbelle party. Notice how much Mckenzie has grown!!!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Writing a friendly letter and spelling test

Rough draft of a friendly letter along with spelling test.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Barbie Girl Video

Not quite sure where she learned these moves- maybe she was born with them.

Catching Up AGAIN

Here are some pictures from the past few weeks.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Chilly Harvest Festival

The past two days have been filled with activities. Yesterday we went to Playtime Pizza with some our friends. The kids had lots of fun eating and playing and winning scores of tickets on the games....

Saturday morning, Lauren and I met cousin Katie and Aunt Sam and Jennifer at the Horticare Harvest Festival. Cold, cold, cold. The girls enjoyed the hayride and various carninval games. Tiger the cat was also attending.

One of our last stops of the day was to Whole Foods to sample the various apples and vote on our favorite- Lauren had a made up mind to vote for Honeycrisp and stuck with her vote. Here she is standing on the haybales among their pumpkins and gourds.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Catching up

Sorry we have not posted in some time- we are making a more concentrated effort to get unpacked/organzied at the country house and get the city house ready to put on the market. Also have stepped up Lauren's piano lessons and her reading since she really enjoys them.

During this time-Mark has been admitted to the hospital with diverticulitis and possibly hypoglocemia (sp). Jordan also celebrates a birthday this week. Happy Birthday Jordan!!!

Will post pics of the weekend activities that are scheduled- we have a cheese and an apple party and a fall festival to attend-thinking she will get another use out of her cat costume- she is thrilled.

Still trying to figure out Christmas/December plans this year- wanting to make the trip to Atlanta and possibly visit Callaway Gardens and skip over to Savannah is the weather cooperates.

Well- out the door to get some work done and then get ready for Girl's Night Out with some women from church. Cliff and Lauren will have a daddy/daughter date.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Family photos

Okay Grands- here we are - going to church this past Sunday- had to take indoor shots- rainy and cold here

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Proper Way to Wear Knee Highs

Lauren's class at Comm Central was instructed to bring a toy horse to school since they are beginning to study the Ancient Greeks and Romans. She wore a horse shirt and knee highs that matched in this manner......

I tried to tell her that the socks go below her knee- she matter of factly stated-"but they are knee highs- they go to the high part of my knee"- I had no reply.

Here is a pic with Cliff and Lauren

and a later pic in the day of Lauren wearing the candy corn bishop I made her- she is in front of beauty berries- bet Grandma Jean knew that already

Sewing Projects


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