Life with the Shirley Family

Life with the Shirley Family

Saturday, December 25, 2010

A Shirley Christmas

Our Christmas is much like most people's with lots of traditions we adhere to each year. But in addition to traditions, I also like to try new things and maybe through this, start new traditions.

One thing we like to do is do something special on Christmas Eve. This year we were fortunate that Dave was off on Christmas Eve so he could be involved! So we went to see the 4-D Polar Express Experience. I would highly recommend this! It was really neat. That night we went to our church's candlelight service and then tried something new for dinner; we went out to Outback! I really liked this new venture!

Going home after dinner we read the Night before Christmas; did our Advent activities; and got the kids to bed. We did not and never will break the tradition of waiting until Christmas morning to open our presents. Nathan wants to open one gift on Christmas, but this will not be happening. The boys get PJ's, but that is it! No gifts until after Santa visits.

So after the boys got in bed and were asleep, we got busy getting ready for Santa. First there is the scavenger hunt throughout the house looking for hidden, well, objects. Then the last minute wrapping (thank goodness that Santa does not wrap his gifts!). And the putting together of things. Then off to bed to await the arrival of Mr. Claus. This year he forgot to read the instructions on Nathan's gift which said his Pocket Rocket had to charge 18 hours before riding it for the first time! Uh-oh!

The next morning we got to sleep until about 7:30 before Nathan woke us up. He is not allowed down the hallway until we check and make sure Santa really came and turn on the tree and get the cameras ready! Nathan isn't too thrilled about this rule either! But we are not going to miss the excitement that will all too soon be gone as the years go by.

The boys waiting to go into the living room

The toys that made Camden much more excited than his bike!

The bike that made Nathan yell with joy!

Finally paying attention to his big boy bike!

Dave gave Amy an Ipod

Amy gave Dave a GPS

Present opening involved one new thing. We have always talked about the true meaning of Christmas, but this year we bought a present for Jesus. We bought him a chicken! (World Vision gifts)

Nathan is my giver in the family. Camden may grow up to be as giving, but for now, it is all Nathan. He wrote a list of all the gifts he wanted to buy or make for people and made sure all the family members were covered. (didn't matter that we drew names; he had to also get everyone something!) He made Camden a blanket; gave Dave a Wii fishing game; and gave me a set of books.

He also gave me a little figurine of Big Baby from Toy Story. This was a joke, but Camden had other ideas. We have a Precious Moments nativity set that is missing a Baby Jesus. Not anymore! Now we have a scary looking Jesus with a tattoo! Real nice!

Camden learning to ride his bike

This year we went to Dave's parents for lunch and gift exchange. The kids had fun playing with their cousins and I had fun not having to cook dinner!

Dave with his mom and brother

Nathan and Camden with their cousins

Nathan made his Gramma a blanket also
It was a fun Christmas! Now to get to bed so I can drive to Memphis to celebrate one more Christmas with my sister's family!

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

On the first day of Christmas...

We celebrated Christmas early this year. Well we started at least. Since my parents have moved to Columbia a few years ago, we have been able to see them on Christmas day every year. This year, however, they are going to Memphis to be with my sister's family on Christmas day. So we went to Columbia to have Christmas with them last weekend. It was a fast trip, but full of fun. We opened gifts, went out to eat, and went to see the zoo lights. I can get Dave to go to these since he can walk and not get car sick!

Camden always enjoys playing with my old Fisher-Price castle!

Nathan got a ripstick!

Nathan drew Dad a picture for his Christmas present

Nathan made Mom a blanket-he had her fooled into thinking that he could only make two this year and that she was not one of them. She was surprised!

Amy gave Dad a digital picture keychain-the perfect gift for a grandad!!

Columbia Zoo light fun!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Our blue kitchen!

We seem to always be in the middle of a project at our house, and this time it turned out to be bigger than planned. Several months ago (well during the summer sometime!), I got so tired of the wallpaper in my kitchen I started peeling it off the wall behind my sink. This was actually motivated by the ants that seemed to be finding a way into my kitchen from behind my sink. I figured if we caulked real good, they couldn't get in and if I am caulking, why not take wallpaper off just on the wall behind my sink and just paint that wall. I stopped this in order to help with the finishing touches on our bathroom. Then when I got back to the project, I decided to go ahead and take the wallpaper off the entire kitchen and paint the whole thing. (We have grand plans to replace cabinets, but have to wait for that)

Well this went well (especially since my friend Becky came over to help pull it all down), until I pulled the paper off of the wall under my bay window that had apparently leaked in the past. Black, mildew, holes, yuck! This was about 2 weeks before Camden's birthday party which was to be at our house! The only thing I wanted was for the black walls to be removed. The rest would look like a project in process.

This happened and by Thankssgiving the wall was replaced. Then came the dreaded drywall work! Dave HATES to drywall! But he did it, right in the middle of Christmas decorating weekend! Needless to say, I did not do much decorating near the kitchen or else it would have been covered in a layer of drywall dust. That stuff goes everywhere! But Dave finished his dreaded work and then the fun of picking a color was upon us. I had tacked color swatches to the walls to help us get an idea of what to paint. I wanted blue to begin with, but Dave was adament about not having a baby blue kitchen. Also, we had to have it coordinate with our tan and rust red living room. Why doesn's blue go with red and tan I kept asking. And finally, he realized that a greyish blue was not baby blue and he could live with that!

Yeah! I have my blue kitchen! (Well only half so far!) Now what to with those cabinets...

Monday, December 13, 2010

2010 Christmas Pictures

Nathan and Camden willingly submitted to our annual Christmas picture taking session. They actually were very nice about it and even suggested some poses. Nathan wanted to sit on the mantle and Camden wanted to lay on the floor in front of the tree. It was quick and fun and here are the results.

Well, only one at a time can look good!

That's a sneaky look!

Really, one more picture!

I told the boys to look at each other...Camden listens well!

Finally, they both are smiling good at the same time!

Sweet brothers!

Sitting with the Christmas village

The End

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Thanks to my sons' choir teachers

I want to thank my children's choir teachers for all they do. It was awesome to see both of them sing in the Christmas play at church tonight. With all the wiggling and the yawning, I am surprised the teachers could get any singing out of the kids at all. But the kids sang and even if I couldn't hear them from the stage, I have heard them at home singing their songs again and again. But what was really great about this years' songs, was Nathan's solo. We went to our neighbor's Christmas drop-in and Nathan, being the usual talker, ended up telling one of the grandmothers about his solo. The next thing I knew, the lady was quieting everyone and announcing that there was a performance. Then with all eyes on him, Nathan sweetly sang "You can know Him". I was so proud of him because it was hard to sing in front of people that were not expecting a Christian song. But he was able to do so because he was given the opportunity to sing a solo in the church's Christmas program. So thanks to the ladies who take time each week to teach my children songs about Christ. You are truly appreciated!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

On turning 40...

and I do not mean me!! It seems strange to think that I am married to someone who is 40! For so long 40 has been a long time away...but not anymore. I want to repeat, I am not 40; that will not happen until next year! But since Dave has reached this milestone, it has me thinking. Looking back on my life, I remember when my mom turned 40; I was almost out of high school! I am nearing 40, and I have a 4 year old at home. Something is not right here. That is one reason I am in denial. And I have enjoyed my 30's. I became a mom at 29, but it has been in my 30's, that I really had the job. And in my 30's, I feel like I have kind of found myself in a sense. I no longer was a young chick out of college trying to make my mark in life. I had matured in a good way in terms of styles and preferences. I learned how to dress in a way that makes me feel good about myself. I started working out regularly and have reaped the physical rewards of feeling better. I even started being able to fix my hair without perms or having it terribly flat. I learned to accept the body I was given and maintain it. I branched out and learned new things like quilting. I have been living in the same town for this entire decade, which is a miracle for me, so I have made some good friendships. Overall, life in my 30's has been good.

But all good things must come to an end; or so they say! So I celebrated Dave turning 40 by sending him on a guys' fishing trip. Who cared that there was sleet and snow coming down on them while they were fishing? Who cared that they had to stand in freezing cold water to fly fish in December? Who cared that they had to thaw their fishing lines in the water? Not Dave! Not when he caught the biggest fish of his life! So to him I say "Happy Birthday!" You are the best and deserve to have a grand weekend to celebrate your life. Here is to the next decade of your life. May it be as fun and may you not forget that I am still in my 30's and you are married to a younger woman!?!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

More Fall Fun!

Well, Fall is almost finished! My fall began with Nathan's birthday in October and ends with Dave's on November 30. After that, the pumpkins get thrown out and the Christmas decorations get hauled down from the attic.

In the busyness of this Fall, we did have fun, though! After Nathan's birthday, Fall festivals and Halloween took center stage. Camden had a Fall festival at his preschool complete with a pinata (yes, very fallish) and a hay ride.

Camden loves to have his picture taken!!

He also got to dress up in his Halloween costume at school and he went as a cowboy. Why a cowboy? Well, he is into Toy Story and Woody (although he wanted to be Mr. Potato Head or Buzz), but Nathan was a cowboy at his age, so Camden gets to wear his costume!

For the church Fall Festival, however, he switched to another of Nathan's old costumes, a lion. Nathan was supposed to come up with his own super hero costume, so he decided to go as a hero who saved animals from poachers. Thus the reason we sent Camden as a lion who needed protection.

But as usual on Oct. 31 in Charleston, it was too hot for an animal costume! And there were horse rides at the festival! So we changed into his cowboy costume! If for nothing other than the picture!

And what Fall would be complete without a trip to the pumpkin patch! I love the pumpkin patch. It is so much fun finding the right pumpkin (that is a task I leave up to the boys, so the right pumpkin is not always the nicest looking!) and running through the hay maze. This year, they did more crawling through the cracks than finding their way out of the maze! We also took a hay ride out to the cow fields. They gave us food to feed the cows, but I thought Camden would be scared of them. The driver told him to not be because they were just like bigger dogs. My only reply to that is that he is terrified of dogs! But to my surprise, Camden had a great time with the cows. He was more into putting the food on the rail and watching them get it with their super long tongues, but he was right near them. Nathan of course let the cows eat out of his hand. We had fun, even if the cows made your hands feel icky!!

Our last night of fun before Camden's birthday, was Nathan's school Fall Fundraiser. I was not in charge this year, but 2nd in command and in charge of the carnival. We had a successful fundraiser (almost $8000! and a smartboard on the way!), and the kids seemed to have a good time at the carnival. I was glad to be involved, glad it is over, and was happy to arrive at Camden's birthday party with my sanity intact.

Apple bobbing was very popular with those who wanted to get wet!

Now to make it through Dave's big 40!