It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!!!

To my little Santa babies,

I love Christmas so much! I love celebrating the birth of our Savior, I love the joy that comes with this holiday, the food, the décor, the traditions and mostly, I love the magic of the season and to see it through a child’s eyes. That is why Christmas is so much fun with you kiddos! And this year was the most fun yet! Hayley, you are at the age where you are starting to understand Santa, and can learn about the story of Christ’s birth. And Will, it was special for you since it is your first Christmas!

This year we have continues so many family traditions, added new ones, and got to experience so many fun things! Here is a recap of Christmas 2016:

Picking out our Christmas tree: (tradition) Every year we go to a Christmas tree stand to pick out our tree. This year it took us two days, 3 tree tents, and 2 garden nurseries all in the poring rain before we found the perfect one! But I looked beautiful in our house!

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Christmas Book present (tradition): After Thanksgiving I wrap all of your Christmas books and you get to pick one out from underneath the tree every night, unwrap it, and read it for your bedtime story. You love this!

The Kindness Elf (new tradition). This year Joy the Christmas elf came to our house to help us spread Christmas cheer and report back to Santa every night when she flies back to the North Pole. She tells Santa every night if we have done a good job spreading Christmas cheer to our friends, family and those in need. She asked us to do things like decorate our Christmas trees to spread joy at home, decorate cookies with our friends and exchange Christmas presents to put our friends in the holiday spirit, and donate our old toys to less fortunate boys and girls to spread Christmas cheer to them. You were so sweet going through your stuffed animals and picking out the ones that you wanted to give away. We took them to the Providence house donation center to be given to other boys and girls and you were sad that you couldn’t actually see the boys and girls to give them the toys, you are sweet with such a loving and compassionate heart. I pray you never lose that! On Christmas Eve, Joy went back to the North Pole with Santa and will be back next year!

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Hand and Foot Pint ornaments (tradition): Every year I make an impression of your hand and foot print in salt dough to hang on the tree. Will, this was your first year to do it! I cherish these ornaments, as well as all of the ornaments we collect throughout the year from all of the places we go. I have also started another ornament tradition this year. I have started needlepointing and I am going to make a needlepoint ornament every year. This year’s ornament is a Christmas tree with candy on it.

A trip to the Gaylord Texan: We had so much fun last year at the Gaylord that we have decided to make it a tradition! We got to go see Santa and you kids sat on his lap. Hayley, you told Santa what you wanted for Christmas- “A pink bicycle, a Barbie, and a little toy baby car”. You both loved Santa! We saw the toy trains, a life size gingerbread house, and sit in Santa’s sleigh. We also got to go to downtown Grapevine and watch the Grapevine Christmas parade. It was a cute parade, but not something we will make part of our tradition. Hayley you loved watching the floats and bands, and Will you started crying half way through so I took you back to the car. The next morning we woke up, had breakfast and went to see ICE! Since the tickets were sold out the day before (when we wanted to go), they told us to come back and they would take us to the front of the line for free! We went first thing that morning and we were allowed to go in by ourselves, before anyone else, and we had our own private tour of ICE! Hayley, Daddy, PawPaw and I (Will you stayed out with Grammie…it was too cold for you…9 degrees…burrrr!) went in and had so much fun! Hayley you loved the ice slide and you did it over and over again! The ICE exhibit was so beautiful and magical and it was so much fun to see it all by ourselves. After we went through the ICE display, we got to go snow tubing (indoors) and you had a blast! We had a double tube (you had to go with an adult) and we went probably 10 times. You loved it. You also got to throw real snow balls at the snowball booth. We finished off our trip in the gift shop to get an ornament and a loll pop for Hayley for the drive home. Great memories were made!

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Roudolph nose
Roudolph nose

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Decorating Cookies with friends: This is going to be our new tradition and a great way to spread Christmas cheer with our friends! One night we invited Aunt Cait Cait, Conly Rose and Christian over to eat dinner and decorate our cookies. Hayley, you and Conly Rose had so much fun decorating your cookies with red and green icing, sprinkles and candy. You had more fun eating them too! Will, you and Christian got to wear matching Christmas jammies and yall were so cute! We love spending time with our friends!

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Decorating a Gingerbread house with Mommy and Grammie: Another new tradition! One night Grammie came over and we all had fun decorating a gingerbread house! (Will you were cranky and went to sleep). I made homemade gingerbread dough from scratch and put the house together before hand so all you had to do was decorate. You had a blast deciding what you wanted to put on your house, decorating it, and mostly eating all of the candy and marshmallows (you ate a TON of marshmallows!). You ate so many pieces of candy and half a bag of marshmallows that I thought you were going to get sick! But you didn’t! We put the finished gingerbread house on the buffet by the breakfast table and your eyes lit up every morning when you saw it. So much fun!

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Playing on the playground at  school with your adorable Christmas outfit!

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Decorating your tree: We got you a pink tree this year so that brother can have a tree next year. You LOVE decorating your own tree, watching it light up, and showing it off to everyone who came over.

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Dressed alike in your matching nativity scene smocked outfits for church. You two might hate me for dressing you alike one day, but I don’t care because it is TOO CUTE!!!

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Christmas photo booth fun at dance class!

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Songs of the Season: Grammie got us girls tickets to see Songs of the Season at Shreveport Community Church. It was such a great show with so many talented people! You loved it! We also saw Santa on the way in. (We also saw “Gloria,” the Christmas production at our church, but I didn’t get pictures of that.)

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Exchanging presents with your friends: You and Conly Rose exchanged Christmas presents one day at lunch. YOu got her (and Christian) matching Christmas PJ’s and mommy made har a Conly Rose look alike pillow. She gave you a personalized Frozen pillow that you love so much and sleep with every night.

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Getting nails done for your Christmas play: CaitCait and I took you and Conly Rose to get your nails painted for your Christmas production at school. You got red nails with white candy cane stripes. You were so proud of your nails that you showed everyone you saw! Will, you were so bored that you feel asleep in the baby bjorn. Ha!

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Christmas program at school: Hayley, your class (and the preschoolers at Mother’s Day Out) put on a Christmas program where you all sand Christmas songs. This was the cutest thing I have ever seen! You stood up there and sang Jingle Bells, the Reindeer hokey pokey and a song that you all jumped and danced to. You were so adorable dressed like a reindeer and were not scared at all to get up there in front of everyone. We were so proud! After your program your class had a little Christmas party with lunch and Christmas treats! Grammie, PawPaw, Gappy, Grandma and Daddy all came to watch you sing and see you at your party in your room. I am so glad that you love your school so much!

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That afternoon after your Christmas program it was a beautiful day so we played outside. We had fun running and playing in the beautiful weather! (Yes, I dressed your two alike again…its so cute!)

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Chrsitmas at Grammie and PawPaw’s: We celebrated Christmas with them the weekend before so that Uncle Bobby and Aunt Dee. We celebrated Uncle Bobby’s birthday that Friday night and Hayley you helped him open all of his presents. The next day, we went back over to their house and opened presents and ate a yummy brunch! Hayley, you got a singing Minnie mouse, board games, alphabet sets, books, and a play broom set. Will you got a singing Marine Corp. bear, a toy dump truck, a tractor with animals, toy tools, and a little chair. Hayley you love brother’s dump truck and tractor almost as much as your own toys! It was a fun weekend!

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Christmas Eve: You woke up Christmas Eve morning to your Christmas Eve box (another tradition). It had your outfits for Christmas Eve church, your matching Christmas Eve jammies, aprons for baking cookies, mix for baking cookies (flour, sugar, chocolate chips), hot coca, plate and cup for Santa’s cookies and milk, a Christmas craft, and your Christmas Eve book to unwrap. I made breakfast (snowman pancakes) and then Hayley, Nana (who came in town for Christmas) and myself made chocolate chip cookies for Santa (while wearing your Christmas Eve apron)! You love baking and had so much fun making the cookies to leave out for him that night. That night we went to Christmas Eve service at church and then came home to eat dinner and eat birthday cake (a birthday cake for Jesus). You two put your jammies on, we put out cookies and milk for Santa and carrots for his reindeer, and then unwrapped our Christmas Eve book. Y‘all then went to bed to wait for Santa to come!

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Christmas morning: Santa came!!! You two must have been so good all year long! He brought Hayley the pink bicycle she wanted, two small Barbies, little toy cars, puzzles, blocks, a ball shooter, a dress up Peppa pig, a writing tablet, art supplies, cloths, matching swimsuit and jammies for you and your bitty baby and more! Santa brought Will some baby toys, a water mat, a play activity horse, a drum, gummy stick teether, a camo alligator, clothes, shoes, and more! Nana brought you clothes, blankets she made you (Hayley got a Minnie Mouse and Will go a Winnie the Pooh) and she even gave you my old rocking horse! Nana. Gappy and Grandma all came over that morning to watch you open presents and we had our traditional Christmas breakfast of Scrambled Eggs, bacon, homemade biscuts, cheese grits and fruit salad! Yum!

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Christmas night: Nana left to go back home and we went to Gappy and Grandma’s house. Uncle Ryan and Aunt Jessie were there and we ate a delicious Christmas meal and opened presents! Hayley got a bike for their house, a tutu, Octonaut toys, a magnadoodle and a wagon to share with brother. Will, you got a bouncy play gym for their house and clothes. We had a fun night and then we left to go home and go to bed. It was the best Christmas yet!

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Will- Seven Months (12/23/15)

To my sweet, little loveable boy,

It has been such a fun month! We celebrated your first Thanksgiving and (since we are in December) are doing fun things to celebrate Christmas all December long! We have already taken you and sister to the Gaylord Texan to see ICE (you waited outside with Grammie) and to  sit on Santa’s lap. You  are so easy going and laid back that you had such a great time, even though you cannot do much.

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Thanksgiving was a fun day at Grannie and PawPaws! Uncle Bobby and Aunt Dee came in town and we all cooked, ate a lot, and spend lots of time together. But since you are still so small, you didnt get to eat any food at Thanksgiving 😉 But right after the holiday, I started you on baby food! We started with rice cereal for practice, and then moved to sweet potatos, carrots, green beans, green peas, mangos and pears! I make all of your baby food so it is organic and fresh and you have liked everything I have given you. I hope you will not be a pickey eater like your mommy and your sister 😉

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The weekend before Chrsitmas we celebrarated Christmas at Grammie and PawPaw’s with Uncle Bobby and Aunt Dee. You got a little chair, toy dump truck and toy tools. You had a great time!

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You are developing into a little boy more and more. You are sitting up better, grabbing at toys and picking them up, putting everything you can get your hands on in your mouth, and you love walking in your little walker! And as always, you are such a happy baby!

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A warm December allowed us to have a park day.
A warm December allowed us to have a park day.

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Ready for church.
Ready for church.
Silly kiddos
Silly kiddos

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You always want to push your belly up and lay down. Ha!
You always want to push your belly up and lay down. Ha!

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We love you more than you know!

Mommy

PS- still no word on your sleep apnea 🙁

 

Will- Six Months (11/23/15)

Baby Will,

Happy half birthday sweet boy! My little infant has suddenly morphed into a little boy! You are sitting up! not great, and not on your own too long, but you are getting htere. You are still pretty wobbly ;). You are also rolling over from your front to your back because you still refuse to do tumy time. Now, since you can roll yourself over, you have figured out how to get out of doing tummy time. As soon as we put you on your tummy, you automatically flip back over. You are so strong willed already!

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You are getting so big that you are outgrowing your swing (which I hate because that is how you take naps) so I have been transitioning you into taking naps in your crib. You have done pretty well! Now if you will just start sleeping through the night again! Momma is tired!

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"blowdrying" baby Wills hair
“blowdrying” baby Wills hair

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This month you got your first haircut! Most babies barely have hair on their head at your age, and you are getrting your first haircut (even despite some of it falling out!). We took you to Joseph Guin Salon (where i get my haircut) and you did so well! You sat in my lap while he trimmed up the sides (it was growing down past your ears) and around the front (you lost a lot of hair in the back so there is no need to cut that). We even saved some of your haor for your baby book. You look like such a big boy now!

Before:

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After:

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I keep thinking you are teething because you keep chewing on everything in sight, but no sign of a tooth yet.

This month you got to celebrate your first Halloween! Hayley wanted to be a princess (Cindawewa….aka Cinderella) so I decided you could be her little sidekick and go as GusGus (Cinderella’s chubby little mouse friend). I made both of your costumes and you were by far the cutest little mouse I have every seen! When we put your little hat on we couldnt help but laugh the whole time. You were too  cute! On Halloween night, Grammie and PawPaw came over and we ate and then took yall arounf the block to trick or treat. We out you both in the stroller and you were just along for the ride while Hayley ran up to all of the different houses to get candy. It was a hot and humid Halloween and the mosquitos were really bad, so halfway through, Daddy took you home. It was a fun night.

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The craziest thing happened this month. One Sunday we went to church like we always do. As usual we took you and Hayley to Tiny Town (the nursery) while we went to Sunday school and church. Halfway through church we got paged to come to your room (they give you pagers incase of emergency). So we jumpped up and ran to Tiny Town and met you, the nursery volunteer, and the nursery directors in the lobby of Tiny Town. They said you had fallen asleep when they were rocking you, so they put you in the crib to sleep, but you woke right back up (typical). So, the volunteer picked you back up and just let you sleep in her arms while she rocked you. While you were asleep, your sock had fallen off and another volunteer noticed that your foot had turned a lottle blue. She then went to wake you up and you didnt wake up imediately, and then when you did, she said it sounded like you gaspped for air. By the time we got to you, she was still holding you and you had fallen back asleep and were acting normal. They explained what happend and I judt thought maybe your diaper was on too tight (you were grwoing out of size two diapers but I was finishing up the pack before switiching you to sixe 3s). I also assumed you were just sleeping very hard and that is why you did not wake up right away. But just to be safe, I called our pediatrician to talk to her about what happened. She didnt seem too concerned, but wanted to check you out the next day. Later that night, after I put you to bed (all the while a little nervous), the doctor text me and asked if your face had turned blue during the episode. The nursery worker said your face looked “off color” but not blue (whatever that means). I told the doctor what I said, but becuase she thought to ask that and because of what the nursery worker said, I began to get very worried. I didnt sleep all night (and for MANY nights after this) and got up the check on you every hour our two (I’m exhausted).

We went the the doctor to check for heart murmurms, holes in your heart, circulation problems, and ulimately she decided you needed to undergo a sleep study. So, we schduled a sleep study and went in on a Tuesday night. It was a miserable process for the both of us. We had to drive there (in Shreveport) in a terrible storm, you had to stay up past your bedtime, they had to hook up all kinds of probes to your body, legs, and the top of your head, put in a nose canula to measure your breathing (which you hated the most). They had technical problems with the equiptment, had to put in a second nose canula on top of the one you already had taped to your face, they kept waking you up after I finally got you to sleep with about 150 cords strapped to you, and you could not get comfortable because of all of the stuff they had you stuck to. Then, you woke up in the middle of the night beacuse you were hungry (like you always do) and I had to battle cords to try and get you to nurse. You couldnt breath through your nose because of the nose canula. You screamed and were mad. Eventually, at about 3:45 in the morning when I couldnt get you to settle back down, they let us go home. Thank God! It was a terrible night! For the next few days we pushed them to get results for peace of mind. Your Daddy and I were supposed to go out of town that weekend to an LSU game in Baton Rouge with friends, so we wanted to know that you were okay so we could leave. We kindof felt like all of this was unnecessary, but we wanted definate answers. Friday came, and it was time for us to leave out of town but we still had no answers. After reassurance everything was okay, we dropped you and Hayley off at Grammie and PawPaws and left out of town (I cried when we left…emotional momma). We got about an hour south of town when they called with the sleep study results. We pulled over in the side of the road to talk to them because the news was not what we expected. They told us that within a 6.5 hour period, you stopped breathing 52 time. 52 TIMES!!!! We were scared and worried to say the least. So we turned around, called our friends to tell them we were not coming, and went home to get you. They told us they believed you had sleep apnea and that the first step was to get you into see an ENT doctor, so we imediately called and got you an appointment that afternoon. The ENT doctor was so reassuring and told us that he thought that the sleep study was flawed and inaccurate (beacuse sleep studies on infants are inconclusive at best….so he says). And he also told us that even if it was accurate, in all of his study and cases he has seen of apnea, it was not that bad (on a scale of 1-100 you scored a 9). The ENT check you over and determined you did not have obstructive apnea (large tonsils, tounge falling back, etc) so the next step is to rule out central apnea (something in the brain that doesnt tell you to breathe while you sleep). He told us that he would check with other doctors he works/has previously worked with and would get their opinion. He personally called me that next Monday to reassure me that he thought this was nothing because you exhibit no other signs of apnea, such as grouchyness or tiredness during the day. You are hte happiest baby. And since we have never seen you have an “episode” like you had in the nursery, he believes that what acually happened in the nursey that day may have been over-exagerated to us. Our next step is to get in to see a pediatric neurologist to rule out central apnea as well. You act like nothing is wroiong with you at all so that eases our minds. But in the mean time, we borrowed and Angel Care bed monitor from Aunt CaitCait that you sleep with every night. It has a motion sensor under your matress that alerts us with an alarm if you stop breathing for longer than 20 seconds. So far it has never gone off. All we can do now is just continue to pray for your health and I do all day every day!

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I love you so much!

Mommy

A Fabulous Fall!

Pumpkin patch, carving pumpkins, Corn maze, State Fair, Halloween, Thanksgiving and so much more! What a fabulous Fall we have had!

To kick off Fall, we went to decorate pumpkins at Ellis Pottery with Conly Rose and Harper. You got to pick out your own pumpkin and decorate it with stickers, flowers, hair, eyes, etc. We even do to snap a few pictures and Hayley, you got to sit in a toy airplane.

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Hayley you competed in your first swim meet at the Swim School. You got to swim across the pool and back two times (with the help of the instructors). You did so good! We are so proud of you and how far you have come swimming! You were even given a ribbon for your participation!

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Although we all battled being sick in September and October, once you felt beeter we took you to the Dixie Corn Maze. You had so much fun! You got to play in a silo full of corn kernels, jump on a big blow up blob, ride a pony, slide down the giant corn chute, and run through the maze cut out in the corn field. You had a BLAST!

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The weather has been beautiful lately (although it has been warm a lot). We have had several park days to get out and enjoy the nice weather. This day, we went with Conly Rose and Christian. Y’all love playing together!

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We had watch night at dance! You love dance so much! It makes my heart smile to see you learning and having fun!

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We took yall to the pumkin patch to take pictures and pick out pumpkins to carve. We let you pick out your very own pumkins to bring home and carve. We also took picture of you two and we got some cute ones, and some pretty funny ones too 😉

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You were not really into carving pumpkins. You took one look at the ‘guts’ on the inside of the pumpkin and decided it wasnt for you. Too ‘yucky.’ Ha! But you did like to watch some, but spent most of the night running around the house. You liked the finished product the most. Daddy carved the jack-o-lantern and Mommy carved the Minnie mouse.

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We took you to your first Louisiana Tech game! We left baby brother at home with Grammie and PawPaw and went with the Alford’s to watch the Tech football game. We walked aroud before the game to different tail gates. We went in to the game and you were interested in the game for about 5 mintues. Ha! But we didnt expect more than that. But you did love eating pizza in the stands, running up a nd down the stairs to our seats, eating Dip and Dots ice cream, and running up and down the ramp at the stadium with Krislyn. We had a great time!

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The State Fair came to town and you went THREE times! The first time, Grammie and I took you and Will. You were scared of the animals at the zoo, but dud ride some of the rides in the kiddy area, although you were scared of some of the rides, and would get on some of them and change your mind before the ride got started. But you really acted out (pitching fits) when we made you leave the first time we went, so Grannie took you back one day after she picked you up from school. You had so much fun and were more comfortable withthe rides. Daddy and I also took you back one more time. You had fun riding more rides. Your favorite was the swims and the carousel. You liked to ride the “crazy chicken” one on the carousel. You even played the rubber ducky game and won both times! (I think everyone is a winner though). Fun times and great memories!

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The week before Halloween Aunt Cait Cait and I took yall to Pumpkin Shine on Line. Hayley, you were in a bad mood when we got there 🙁 You didnt want to go walk and see the pumpkins and you acted scared of everything (pumpkins, people, noises, etc.). But after a while you wamed up and you and Conly Rose were running around and having a great time. You even pitched a fit when we had to leave. You even passed out on me (again!) because you were so upset to leave. But overall, we had a great time!

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At Mother’s Day Out, you and all of your little friends got to dress up like Pilgrams and Indians for the day. Hayley you were the cutest little Indian I ever saw!

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And mommy made your class a Thanksgiving treat..Turkey oreos! You loved eating yours.

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Thanksgiving was wonderful! We spent Thanksgiving at Grammie and PawPaw’s house. Uncle Bobby and Aunt Dee came in town and we spent the day over at their house. Grammie, Aunt Dee, and I all split up the menu and spent the day making and/or finishing up our dishes for Thanksgiving lunch (late lunch). I made cornbread dressing, homemade cranberry sauce, and rolls from scratch. Hayley, you even helped me by basting the finished rolls with butter. You love to help in the kitchen and I hope it continues into a love for cooking. Later, after lunch, we ALL took naps! It was a great day to reflect on all of our many blessings and thank the Lord for all of them. We have SO MUCH to be thankful for! A wonderful family, our health, amazing children, a prosperous year, a roof over our head, food on the table, and our wonderful Lord and Savior. We want for nothing, and there are very few people in this world who can say that. I hope you always know and cherish how truely blessed you are, even in hard times. I pray you will always know where your blessings come from and thank Him daily for them. “Praise God from whom all blessings flow.” (2 Cor. 13.14)

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I am most thankful for my husband, my children and the love that we all share. With my whole heart, I love you!

Mommy