Friday, December 28, 2007

Green Bean Casserole

We had one terrific Christmas...

It was wonderful to see most all of our families and share a meal with everyone. Have I mentioned we live close by to most of our family? Add that food is most abundant at every family function, so you can only imagine the food before us at Christmas.

I can't begin to look at another green bean casserole for a long while!

We are still cleaning up from the holiday, and are still enjoying our family visiting from out of town as well, so this is a short break in my "blogging" silence to wish everyone (yep - all 3 or 4 of you!) a Happy New Year!

I am not sure when I will be back to tell the funny tales of our Christmas yet, so until then I thought I'd at least post a cute picture of both EJ and Cub on the night before Christmas!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

The best gift of all...

It happened last night, after their baths...

I got their pajamas on and prepared for bed, or "night night" as they refer to it.

As I was picking up the towels I looked over - and there were my babies, sitting all hugged up together on the couch.

Now that is a fantastic Christmas gift!

Good thing my camera is never far from reach....

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Cub's turn!

Today was Cub's turn at Christmas fun! He and I attend a "Mommy and Me" class at our local library called Laptime, and today was their party. He loves to go "to school" and play with the play doh, train table and really enjoys the matching game with "Miss" Valerie.

The library is really a special place for him. He is not "shy" really, but he is certainly a "Mommy's Boy" - I love watching his own personality appear as he discovers new things at every session. He is much more outgoing initially than his sister, but has also been known to hide behind my legs as well.

His vocabulary is blossoming daily... Today he said "Cubby do it" instead of "I do it!" ... I did a double take as that is one of the first times I have heard him say his name. My heart fluttered at how sweet it sounded!

He calls EJ "Sissy", but a few days ago I heard him say "Elizabeth". Yes, he really did! Okay, so maybe only I could have picked up on it, but that is a hard name to say for a little guy! He made a great effort...

He LOVES to draw. "I write" he'll say, asking for a marker. (He LOVES them!) No markers allowed at this house - I learned my lesson on that, but I will give him some crayons and he will be content for a long while...

His little giggle is engaging, and I love to tickle him just to hear it. If only I could just bottle it up and give to the Grandparents for Christmas...

At the party today I teared up while he was coloring his art project, a Christmas tree. I asked him if he wanted me to open his glue stick, and he said "No Mommy, Cubby do it"... I said okay, and he said "It's okay Mommy... I big!"

What an Angel!

There she is - our little Angel.

It was excellent... the best Christmas musical I have ever seen!

Yeah, I know... of course I would say that. But it's still true!
I am still smiling - she is still singing, and we're all so proud...

P.S. - I took her to the Dr. on Monday for the rash... it looked a bit more red (?!) and I wanted to make sure she was okay. They said she had "Fifth's", which is common in children and by the time the rash appears the contagious stage is past. I guess I can expect Cub to wake up with it sometime soon!

Christmas red...

Whew! What a weekend...

Saturday evening we attended a terrific holiday party... the couple who hosted this affair are friends of ours from WAY back - probably early grade school. They, like Geoff and I, ended up married with kids. People were there I'd not seen in awhile, and it was great to catch up with everyone again.

During the party that I noticed a few red splotches appear on EJ's face. At the time I just assumed she was playing so much with the other kids that she was probably flushed with excitement...

Sunday morning, and the day of the church Christmas pageant, she awoke to find her cheeks covered in a red rash. And I do mean RED. It wasn't raised, and she wasn't scratching at all, but boy was it really, really red. I immediately asked Geoff to call Nana (his Momma)... she's a nurse and I always value her opinion on such things. ( She's been like a Mom to me for a very long time - I truly value her opinion on everything actually!)

Thing is, she lives in Charleston, S.C and she wasn't able to see EJ's cheeks and properly diagnose from what we told her. About this time I discovered the rash was also on her upper body and down her arms as well. She had no fever, and she seemed fine otherwise, but we just didn't know what to do exactly.

Never one to miss out on a bit of attention, she was becoming a bit weepy...

I remembered the Children's Music Director is a nurse... So, we all got dressed and went on to church... Mrs. Holly thought it might be an allergic reaction to something EJ ate or touched... she is very sensitive, and since there was no fever, so we decided the show must go on!

I admit my initial fear was she wouldn't get to be in the play, and that may have broken my heart, as well as hers. She is shy, but she has come so far... I knew she really wanted to be in that pageant, so I was relieved she was able to give it a go...

The kids did a small preview during the church service of that night's performance... it was adorable, and EJ sang and danced as if she wasn't bothered by anything. Geoff and I were waiting for her to take that leap from the stage, but she never even gave it a thought!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


I have so much I want to write about... the weekend party and children's programs at church were wonderful, and I don't want to spoil it with a quick post. I hope to do that later today or maybe tonight...

Meanwhile, Christmas is getting closer and I took a small detour last night. Mom is having the big Banks Family Christmas at her house Christmas night, and all before that she is remodeling her kitchen and cleaning out furniture from her dining room. That includes a desk of mine that I was "storing" until I painted the place it was going over here at our house.

I am now a spotted color of blue from working on that into the wee hours of the morning - I can never seem to paint with out also wearing it! I LOVE the color - it took the guy in Lowe's and I a long time to pick out just the right shade... My house is a wreck, laundry is piled high (again!) and I have bread to bake for EJ's dance teacher tonight, but I keep looking at the room I just painted to see if it has changed...

Nope, still blue!

Okay, I will be back to tell you about our little pageant angel, the red rash, and other assorted tidbits from the weekend... I was so proud and can't wait to share!

*Edit 12/20/07 Here is a picture with the desk now in place.... yep, it is in a closet, which is now my own little hideaway... we need more room!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Kids Christmas Trees

EJ and Cub each have a tree in their room this year. Last week they got out the ornaments to decorate their trees, and as bad as I wanted to, I didn't help.

Well, okay... I did give a few "suggestions" as to where they might like to place the ornaments, but they really hung every one!

Cub's tree is actually a mix of a few things... there are John Deere ornaments, airplanes and some Santa's on there this year. "Cub" is a nickname from the J3 Piper Cub airplane, which has a lot of meaning for us, hence the planes on his tree. Thing is he only wanted to "fly" the planes instead of hanging them, but they finally came in for a nice landing on some of the branches... I think he is born to fly, as is his Daddy.

The John Deere tractors are also near and dear to our heart... Cub loves to watch Uncle BB and other family members plow the fields around our house, and Grandiddy is in charge of a big tractor pull every year. So you know Cub had to plow a few rows of carpet with the ornament tractors before they made it safely on his tree. He is very excited to have "Cub's Tree". He says "I do it!" and is super proud of his decorations.

I believe I must have mentioned it before - EJ's favorite color is PINK. Her tree is made of pink feathers and white lights... "just like Cinderella's!" she exclaimed. I can probably imagine that Cinderella might have a tree like this, and so I nodded in agreement with our sweet little Princess.

She was in pink heaven as she placed every pink ornament on that pretty pink tree... she even has the picture of Cinderella and herself sitting right there beside it. This photo was made at Disney World last summer, and she is very proud that she has actually talked with the princess... (She was truly so incredibly star struck that she could hardly breathe, but bless her heart she did manage to nod her head and smile).

We have now called "Cinderella" to tell her all about the pink tree (I have great friends!) and have wished her a very Merry Christmas.

Merry Christmas Yall!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Just because...

Joy to the World...

Geoff, Momma, Cub and I attended EJ's Pre-K Christmas program and party yesterday morning... her class (all 4 and 5 year olds) were just precious singing "Joy to the World" and "Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer"...

Of course I would say that, right?! Well yall - it happens to be true!

EJ is a very shy child (seriously!), especially when she's in situations with lots of people, and I was a tad bit "afraid" she would see us sitting there, make a giant leap from the stage and run to hide behind my legs...

She sang her little heart out! She also was on cue and did every motion to the songs that the music teacher taught them. It WAS precious, and we were so proud... our little girl is growing up.

Now, if we can hang on with the "big girl" stuff through Sunday night's performance as one of the angels at our church musical...

I know it seems as if EJ is getting most of the attention this season, but I promise Cub isn't left out... He's just young yet to be in school. He still had a grand time himself at the program.

It was a bit tricky getting him through the performance - toddler boys don't want to sit for very long, and he was "ready to go!"... but when we got to her classroom and he saw the TOYS, he was just fine. He drove every truck, tractor and fire engine in there, and then went back and did it again. He and the other "little" kids (the siblings of her classmates - all boys actually) found every puzzle and mound of building blocks, and they were in construction heaven.

He made numerous structures with those blocks, then joyfully made them all crash down... that was his favorite part of the day, no doubt about it. Like I told yall - he's "all boy" .... and he too is growing up so quick.

That is why I write in this blog now - so I won't forget my surprise at our little girl, in pigtails and a homemade shirt, singing from her heart instead of hiding behind my legs. Or that our son (who looks much older than 2 I know) has a glorious giggle as blocks come crashing down around him... I can't imagine now that I would forget these sweet times, but just in case I will continue to make time to write about my babies.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Another warm December

Today is just one of those days... I am really trying to get the house cleaned up from making a mess with holiday decorating. I also have the neglected housework from our busy weekend ahead of me today as well. It's these times that I feel like scrooge to my kids... they want Mommy to come play with them, but I won't because of the laundry?!

So, I am thankful today for the good 'ol south. The weather here is gorgeous (high 70's at least, but feels like late spring), and that means EJ and Cub are now happily playing outside in their sandbox, swing set and clubhouse. I am not feeling guilty about them watching hours of Playhouse Disney on T.V., and they are having the time of their life making sand castles and driving toy bulldozers.

Now, back to that "guilt free" laundry...

Really, it's so nice out there, maybe I'll just go join them and play in the dirt again myself...

Sunday, December 9, 2007

With Visions of Sugarplums...

Yesterday we took EJ to see The Nutcracker... She has been taking tap/ballet for about 2 years now and we thought she might enjoy it.

She was absolutely thrilled! She loved the costumes, "snow" falling and got to see the "real"nutcracker... and she was starry eyed at the beautiful ballerinas. I love seeing all things Christmas through my children's eyes...

Everyone was all dressed up in their Christmas colors, and EJ was proud as a peacock in her Nutcracker sweater from Aunt Lee!

For months EJ has been practicing very hard with the Children's Choir at our church. They are putting on a musical next week... she is to be one of the angels at the manger. She knows most all the words to the songs by heart, and it's music to my ears when she sings them.

Cub is still a bit too young to participate in the play, but he has been having a lot of fun in the nursery with his friends while the bigger kids practice. He gets LOTS of attention there, and he loves it... sometimes he doesn't want to leave!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Cookies with the kids...

It's now officially Christmas at our house... we have gone and found the perfect tree, it's been decorated with all our special ornaments (as well as the pink feather tree in EJ's room and the white John Deere tree in Cub's room), and the baking has begun! Yesterday the kids and I made 2 dozen sugar cookies for a Cookie Exchange at Aunt Reynie's house last night. Well, I actually made the cookies during their naps, and then they excitedly awoke to the idea of decorating them with all those sprinkles and colored sugar. Cub, being the curious sort by nature, just really wanted to stick his fingers into the frosting and see what it felt like, but I am quicker than I used to be! After he understood the concept of "decorating" he did a great job, in the 2 year old kind of way. Of course, I thought it was one of the best decorated cookies ever....

Not to be outdone by little brother, EJ jumped right in and decided she wanted to mix the sprinkles and sugar in together... I was very impressed with her creative logic as she explained it all to me, and the cookies were beautiful! She was only a little miffed that we were not using her MOST favorite color, which is pink of course, but that was soon forgotten when she was able to eat a couple before supper. ( Okay, I know, I know, but it's Christmas!) For the record, they both ate all their supper... and who knows how many more cookies at the exchange that night!

Next week we plan on another baking session, but this time we'll mess up "Momma's" kitchen making good 'ol southern Buck Eyes.... yummy! You can't go wrong with peanut butter and chocolate... I love Christmas!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Tuesdays and Wednesdays are usually the busiest days during the week... that being said, I am in a rush to complete a few other things before we head out to our Wednesday night church activities. Still, I wanted to show yall a picture of my birthday present from my husband...

I love it!!!

For about 4 years now Geoff has been giving me parts of the Nativity set from Willow Tree, but it was complete last year. So, I was even more surprised when he came home with this new Mary, Joesph and Baby Jesus last night. It will have it's own special place in our home as well as the original nativity.

Thanks Hon!

Monday, December 3, 2007

I'm just going for it...

I have been considering this for awhile, but have never gotten up the nerve to actually sit down and write in a blog. When I was pregnant with our first child EVERYONE said that I needed to make sure I took the time to write about the experience, and then make sure I wrote about all of the "firsts" of the baby's life. Hmmm...I tried, but most are on stray pieces of paper in who knows how many piles somewhere. So, it's now about 4 1/2 years later and we have 2 children. I am determined to write here and share the joys of raising these two sweet "monkeys" as my Diddy lovingly refers to them. I must start somewhere, so here goes!

I am happily married to my high school sweetheart Geoff, and we have a preschooler and a toddler. They are two years two weeks apart. July is what I call the birthday season around here! Elizabeth is very inquisitive, loves art and animals and ALL the Disney Princesses. Cub (I'll save his nickname story for later) is what they call "all boy". He kinda thinks he IS Buzz Lightyear and can climb on anything and everything in the blink of an eye.

We live in the corner of a pasture on family land, across the field from my parents and up the road from my brother and his wife. My Aunt and her family live up the road a bit more... many call this "the compound", and it does fit. My Grandma lived in the house a field over from us, and that is where my Diddy and Aunts grew up. I am just glad to be around so many people I love. Geoff's family is here as well... just 5 minutes down the main road, so we are very blessed. I am sure if you continue to read this blog at all you will come to "know" many of these wonderful folks (not that I expect anyone to continue to read as I am sure it may be boring!?) and many more family and friends. Although I will not probably name all names and such... I don't want to upset anyone!

Okay, I'm done for now! Look at that ... I wrote my "first" post for this blog! Whew, that wasn't so bad... and I made a first of my own.

P.S. - Thanks Reynie for all the help getting started!