Sunday, November 29, 2009

Family Pictures

Last Saturday, we celebrated Thanksgiving with my side of the family. We had Jill Ross come over and take some family pictures while everyone was together. All of these photos were taken at my parents house. Who knew an old barn door would be a great back drop for the pictures. I was so pleased at how they turned out. I thought I would share a few.

My immediate family

My sister's family
Jerry, Julie & Nathan

My family
Shawn, Amy & Gavin

My brother and sister-in-law
Clayton & Jodi

Grandparents and Grandsons
Tony, Terry, Gavin & Nathan

Nathan & Gavin

My mom, me and my sister and brother

My moms side of the family
All 16 of us
and Jade (my parents dog)

My family!

Here are some of Gavin...

and a couple of Shawn and I...

There were 170 pictures in all, so those are only a "FEW".
Thank you Jill!

Saturday, November 28, 2009



I would like to say Congrats to my best friend Mandy who had her second little bundle of joy Jacob Austin on Tuesday. She is currently living in Pennsylvania and I am in Texas, so needless to say, I don't get to see her as much as I would like! She also has a little girl Breanna who just turned 2 on the 15th. I am so excited for her and her husband Jake. I wish them nothing but the best! I know this will make their holiday season a lot better.

The reason they are in PA is because her husband is interning at a church there... You can read some great blog entries from him if you click on the blogs.

Here is a picture of Mandy and I from this past summer, we took our kids to the zoo in Tyler.
Mandy and I have been friends since we were toddlers. I miss her being close, but I know they are doing what God had planned for them.

and here is a picture of her precious little girl, Breanna.

Sorry the only picture I have of Austin, her newest addition, is on my cell.

Congrats Mandy and Jake!

Christmas Traditions

This week I am participating in Kelly's bloghop Show us your Christmas Traditions.

”Show Us Your Life with Kelly's Korner”

Shawn and I have been married for almost 9 years. We began our own traditions for Christmas when we married, but since we had our son Gavin, we have added even more traditions.

#1- We always buy each other and our son an ornament each year that
represents something special that happened that year.

#2- We always decorate the tree the week of Thanksgiving.
(see pictures below of the tree decorating this year)

#3- Making Christmas cookies

#4- Leaving milk and cookies for Santa and food for the reindeer outside
(reindeer food is made of oats and glitter so they can see it!)

#5- We always go with my family to look at Christmas lights
and to go out to eat. (This is a tradition I have done every year
since I was a child)

#6- On Christmas Eve night we always open one gift each
(new pajamas for us to wear for Christmas morning)

We have many more traditions that we have started these are just a few.

MckLinky Blog Hop

Thanksgiving week...

I was fortunate enough to be off work the entire week of Thanksgiving. It was a much needed break! My goal was to get my house cleaned and decorated for Christmas, as well as rest. We also had Thanksgiving with my family the Saturday before, and on Thanksgiving day with Shawn's family. I am thankful for our families. Although the holidays have not been the same since the loss of my grandparents. I miss them all very much!

Yesterday, Shawn was off too so we decided to go to Longview and do a little shopping. I got a few gifts, and we bought 3 doors for the house that we are remodeling. We went to Olive Garden for lunch, which I LOVE! It was nice to spend the entire day together! Something we don't get to do often because of work and because of Shawn working on the house every weekend. I did take Gavin to get his picture made with Santa in the mall. That has become a yearly tradition. I would love to share a picture, but my scanner is broken at the moment. So unfortunately, this post will not have any pictures... I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


As a child we always had traditions when it came to putting up our tree. We ALWAYS had a real tree, my dad would go cut one down and bring it home. My grandparents who lived next door would come over and we would decorate it that night. My dad would always put the lights on, and then my sister, brother and I along with our parents and grandparents would decorate. I remember this always being such an exciting time of year! Another tradition that we had as kids and still continue today is the family would pick a night close to Christmas and go out to eat and then drive around looking at the Christmas lights! I love traditions and was so excited to start our own when I got married in 2001. One of our traditions is we buy each other an ornament every year that represents something that happened that year. Since our son was born we do the same with him. I love getting all the ornaments out and remembering all the great times we have had in the past.

This season to me is always fun. I love the lights, the music, the excitement of the children (and adults). I love directing the Christmas play at my church. More than anything it is a reminder of a baby sent to this world, born in a stable, laid in a manger. A baby who was sent to save the world. I know him as my savior Jesus Christ. There is no greater gift that the gift that Jesus gave us when he died on the Cross. I hope that Christmas has that special meaning for you as well. After all Jesus is the reason for the Season.

What are your favorite Holiday Traditions???

Thanksgiving Cupcakes!

I bought this book a few weeks ago. I thought it would be fun to make Thanksgiving cupcakes with my son and nephew and my sister. We went over to my moms house this morning. We gave the boys several tasks to do...

The first thing they had to do was mix the batter for the cupcakes...

Then they separated the candies for decorating.

Then they put the peas (green skittles) and the carrots (orange starbust cut up) on.

Here is what they should look like...

...and here is what ours look like! I though they did a pretty good job! The pumpkin pie was my idea, it was not in the book, but I thought it turned out pretty good!

We had a great time doing this with our kids! They enjoyed eating them best of all!!! (as any kid would!)

Monday, November 23, 2009

Holidays...I love them!

Since having a child, holidays are so much more fun. Being able to experience it through his eyes, seeing how excited he gets about decorating the tree, trying to guess what is in the the presents, looking at Christmas Lights... it is all more exciting watching him. This morning we started our Christmas decorating. He was so excited to put up his tree in his room. We are going to decorate our big tree tonight when Shawn gets home. Here are a few pictures of Gavin decorating his tree.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Grandparents Day

As you know I am a teacher, and yesterday we had Grandparents Day at our school. It was so great to see all the grandparents, parents, family members and friends who came out to make the day of a child! All of the children in my class had someone to come eat with them. They were so thrilled to be able to eat with them, show off their classroom, and visit. It made me really miss my own grandparents. All of whom have went on to be with our Lord! I wanted to share a little bit about each of my grandparents.

My maternal grandfather (Grandpap) Reid Nicholson unfortunately passed away at age 52, and I was only 6 months old, so I never got to know him. What I do know is he was a man of integrity, who worked hard and loved his family. He was a rancher who loved horses and also loved to participate in rodeos. He is a veteran, who served his country. Although his life was not as long as my other 3 grandparents, he was a well respected man, who was loved and now missed by all of his family and friends! I just wish I was given the opportunity to know him.

My maternal grandmother (Grandmommie) Floriece Nicholson passed away at age 74, when I was 8 months pregnant. This was very difficult for me. I was extremely close to her. When I was a child, my favorite place to go was to her house! She was so loving, and kind. I remember listening to the stories of her childhood, when she first started dating my Grandpap, and when she was raising her children. I could listen to the stories over and over again! I remember what a wonderful cook she was. Everything always seemed to taste better at her house. Even sandwiches seemed to be better there. She was a talented seemstress, a loving wife, mother and grandmother. She was always kind and generous of her time helping others. I love her and miss her so much! I wish she could have met my son, but I know she is looking down from heaven watching over him now!

My paternal grandfather (Grandpa) Tom Watkins passed away at 87 (when I was a sophomore in high school). This was the first funeral I ever attended. It was also the first person I was close to that I lost. He was a loving and caring person. Always giving to others. He was always happy, and singing. (one song I remember him singing in his shop when I was little was ...sweet potato pie and a shut my mouth...). He was a hard worker who farmed the land and passed on his talents to my dad (who was adopted). My grandparents both were so blessed to adopt my father. He was the joy of their lives. They were so proud of him. My grandpa was a very patient man. He loved his family, and worked hard to provide for them. I miss him very much! In his last years here on earth, he was diagnosed with alzheimers. It was hard to see him not remember who his wife was, or who we, his grandchildren, were, but he did recognize my dad more than anyone. He was so proud of him.

My paternal grandmother (Grandma) Eva Watkins passed away in Dec. of 2005. My son was 1 1/2 years old at the time. (He still remembers her and asks for her often). She was a teacher for 37 years. She was a hard worker as well, she was stern, but loving. She too loved her family. She loved sharing her legacy with her grandchildren. I was blessed to have her fill out a memory book for me, where she wrote in her handwriting, various stories of her life. I will treasure it always! She also played the piano for her church (which I did as well). She was so excited that 2 of her granddaughters are now teachers as well in the public school system. I was honored to follow in her footsteps. She always expressed to me how adopting my father changed her life. She felt truly blessed to call him her son. I miss her very much!

Although I don't have any living grandparents, I feel truly blessed to have been given 4 wonderful grandparents. They are all heros in my eyes!

Now I claim my husbands Grandparents...Ed and Ann Bishop. They are both loving and kind people who also work hard and love their families, and I feel blessed to have them in my life now.

My husbands grandparents

I wish I had digital pictures of my grandparents...

Monday, November 9, 2009

Ask a Question...

This week I am participating in the "Ask a Question" blog from MckLinky... so my question is this...

Who is your hero and why?

If I were to answer my own question, I would say my hero is Nelda Johnson. She was my moms best friend when I was growing up. I always called her "Aunt Nelda". I always looked up to her. She is a wonderful singer, and piano player (and I do both of those and always wanted to be just like her!) But above all, she is they type of person who always loves and encourages those around her. I love her so much and I am not able to see her often, but she is still my hero!

Nelda, my hero

MckLinky Blog Hop

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Night out with Friends!

On Friday night went out to eat and bowling with our young couples group from church. There were six couples that were able to go. We had several who couldn't attend and we missed having them there. We ate at my favorite restaurant, The Fish Fry in Paris. We had a wonderful time visiting and having a night out without kids. After we ate we went bowling, we played two games, girls against guys. The second game we played cosmic bowl. We had a great, laughed a lot and really enjoyed getting together.

Our Group at The Fish Fry

Shawn and I

Jamie after she fell... sorry Jamie!!!

Our Couples ...

Blurry shot of Cosmic bowl...

Poor Jill... Matt ran up and scared her and she (and he) fell down...

The Guys

Our ladies