The Village People Private Concert

grayson - "daddy! daddy! look, they're dancing!"

me: "i don't know sweetie . . . are you sure they're dancing?"

grayson: "yes, I put them each on a stage"

I doubt the inventor of Lincoln Logs saw that one coming.

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Merry Christmas!

"And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Luke 2:8-12

"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." Isaiah 9:6

Celebrating sweet baby Jesus today, the Messiah, the good news that causes great joy! Merry Christmas!
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Shutterfly Rocks

With an entire assortment of codes, coupons, and credits, I just ordered $120 worth of shutterfly gear for $3 out of pocket. Long story short, it's way past my bedtime, but totally worth it. Here's a preview of one of the free cards I made. Word on the street is that I might get a $25 gift certificate out of this...

Dotty Holiday Monogram Christmas Card
Get custom photo Christmas cards online at Shutterfly.com.
View the entire collection of cards.


A Whole New World

Justin caught Finley pulling up at the play kitchen a few weeks ago, so proud of herself. She had been pulling up to her knees for a while, but then finally figured out how to stand on those wobbly feet.

It took her a while longer to figure out she could stand up in her bed. Thankfully she figured out very quickly how to sit back down.

In other baby news she has made the jump to almost all finger foods now. Sometimes I give her a jar of mush if I've run out of things-that-can-be-cut-up-into-soft-small-pieces, but she pretty much turns her nose up at it. Favorites include mac n cheese, corn, peas, lima beans, peaches, pears, bananas, pancakes, and yogurt. Those eight teeth are hard at work. She will also really drink out of a sippy cup now. We've been sticking with water so far but it's just about time to try out whole milk.

She is babbling much more now, saying "mama" and "mah" for Maggie. "Dada" comes out on occasion, and something like "deh deh" sometimes comes out for Grayson (Gray-Gray). She also loves to take a burp cloth, cover her face, and then pull it down herself to play peek-a-boo. She's not picking up on any sign language yet, except for this one "sign" she makes that looks like the sign for "hot". We can't quite figure out if that's what she really means (we sign it when she tries to touch our blazing hot oven), or if she is just playing with it. She signs it at odd times.

She also seems to crawl mostly on hands and knees now instead of army crawling on her belly. And occasionally she lifts one hand high into the air and looks at you. It's hard to resist giving an almost 11 month old a high five.
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Fall Photo Shoot

The maple tree across the street has yet again been a faithful spot for our annual fall photo shoot. Wrangling two this time was a bit trickier but I hired Daddy this time as the sit-them-down-right-there...actually-bad-light-right-there-instead...or-how-about-over-there assistant. He can also make them laugh for the camera like no one else can.

2009 found here
2008 found here

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Happy Birthday Harper!

I was just back tracking through Picasa to see what I needed to catch up on here on the blog (how about the majority of our summer including a beach vacation?!). More recently though, at the end of October we got to take a family day trip to celebrate our dear friend Harper turning one!

Sweet girls. Harper turning one means that Finley is not too far behind. I really cannot believe it.

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Trip to Shu-Shu's House

I'm not sure who loves reading time more...Shu-Shu doing the reading or Grayson being read to!

Finley liked it too...

Shu-shu, Grayson cracking up, Finley squirming off the couch, and Great-Mamaw

We had such a fun time. I know this will be hard to believe but Grayson (at 3 years old) still sleeps in a crib. She loves it and has never attempted to climb out. Why change a good thing?! Even crazier, up until this weekend, she has slept in a pack n play whenever we travel. Have I mentioned before that she is in the 97th percentile for height for her age? Um, yeah. She never complained once about the pack n play being too small but seeing her curled up in there made me start to feel like we might get busted for child neglect. Or that she might bust a leg through a side one night by accident. So we decided this weekend we would sleep her on a pallet on the floor. She did great. Her pallet was in our room and she woke up when we came in to get into bed. Good thing, because she was burning up and covered in sweat. I panicked and thought she was running an outrageous fever. Then it clicked that we put her to bed in my sleeping bag. I used my bag for camping and backpacking, probably too insulated for sleeping in a heated house. Oops. Moved her under blankets instead and she slept like a champ! Maybe a big girl bed will be in her near future after all.
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She'll be comin round the mountain...

Apple picking was a stop on our way to visit Pop-Pop and my extended family in Cashiers. Grayson had a blast cooking with my Aunt Julie, exploring the apple trees and grape vines with Pop-Pop, opening purple bean seeds with Aunt Judy (saved to plant in our garden next year!), and "smelling trees" on her walks through the woods with Uncle Mark. We also had so much fun with my cousin Stacy's children on Saturday night for dinner, as the kids played and helped Aunt Julie in the kitchen.

I promise Finley was there, although she was only pictured in one group shot here. And Pop-Pop, you were there too, right? (wink, wink) Not sure how you got left out of most of the pictures too!
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Apple Picking

Mid-October we met Aunt Ali and cousins at Sky Top Orchard for a picnic lunch and apple picking fun. There were only a few apples left on the trees but I had fun picture-taking as Ali and Justin hoisted the kids up for turns to pick. It was such a fun place and we had perfect weather. If you go, definitely try the homemade apple doughnuts...mmmm. And we are still eating the apples from the fridge! Pink Ladys and Fujis were our favorites this year.
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Now getting four children to smile at the camera was a whole different ballgame. It's a happy time with cousins in town for a visit!
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Costumes Continued

Seriously, I could not decide which pictures to post. If only they took pictures this well all of the time!

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I couldn't choose just four pictures of the girls in their costumes so I've got to load multiple posts. Amazingly, there were too many good ones! They were hamming it up for the camera. Maybe it was because they have a silly daddy who was jumping around behind me.

Look at those cheeks!

Sweet flower

Whenever anyone asked Grayson what she was going to dress up as, she would respond in one long fast run-on sentence: "I'mgoingtobeabeeandFinleyisgoingtobeaflowerandMaddieisgoingtobeabeeandTaylorisgoingtobeaflower..hahaha!" Our good friends dressed their girls up as the same duo without us even talking about it ahead of time. When Grayson found out she thought it was the best thing in the world.

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Justin's 30th Birthday Cake:

"Smith Island Cake" from the Cake Mix Doctor Returns cookbook (with a few variations):
-yellow cake mix poured into 7 disposable cake tins
-layered with homemade chocolate frosting topped with chopped up snickers
-topped with same chocolate frosting that was not-very-pretty-because-I-poured-too-much-on-top-and-it-hardened-too-fast
-inside of the cake was thankfully still picture-worthy
-tasted much, much better than it looked from the outside!

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