Sunday, November 27, 2016

Snapshot Sunday

Christmas Traditions

Thanksgiving is a whirlwind of traveling, trying to see everyone in one day. It starts early and ends late, and makes all of us a little cranky. The weekend after Thanksgiving is when we move into more holiday traditions. We go to the tree farm down the road and cut down our Christmas tree. We invite the family to join us.



Pappy wanted a picture of him with the boys (Connor looks a little scary with the saw) ...



Pappy and Daddy with the boys ...



The boys ...



Group shot ...



Sawyer trying very hard to convince Daddy to share his phone (he was over the Christmas tree a long time ago) ...



Group shot ...



Sawyer still trying to work Daddy for that phone while Connor cuts the tree and Xander watches ...



The boys pulling the tree back ...



Family picture before they shake it and wrap it ...



Decorating at the house ...







And Xander's request for red, blue and green lights (we took down the art on his art wall and strung the lights on his art wires - and by we, I mean Josh) ...

Christmas Comes Early



After our car was broken into a few months back, and the boys beloved iPads were stolen, we decided that an early Christmas gift was in order for the twins. New iPad minis and wireless headphones for all (Connor still has his new cell phone from the summer and his Kindle, so he just got the new wireless headphones).

I'd say the boys are pretty happy with their early Christmas.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Thanksgiving

Our usual double Thanksgiving ... around the state in a single day. A really, really long day. Bruno is also not a fan, since he has to tag along and hang out in the truck all day ...



Cousin Austin is the best (he has a cell phone, and he shares)!



Second Thanksgiving with Daddy's family (where they like to play games) ...

Friday, November 18, 2016

Painted Pumpkins

As we get close to Thanksgiving (and Christmas), it's probably about time to think about getting rid of the painted pumpkins ...

This one is my favorite, a white one Xander decorated by melting crayons at OT ...





Mountains

There are two places that always feel more like home than anywhere else to me. The first is on the water, often at the lake where Grandma and Grandpa live, but pretty much any body of water any time. And the second is the mountains, particularly the Great Smoky Mountains. We vacationed there several times each year while I was growing up, and Josh and I try to make it there at least once a year as a mini-retreat from the crazy, busy everyday that is our life raising three boys with three very busy and often conflicting schedules.

Josh surprised me by planning this trip and hitting up Grammy to keep the boys for me. It's been a busy summer and busy year ... lots of houses under construction for him on his "off" days from the fire department, lots of client work for me early in the year. The twins finishing up elementary school, including the requisite IEP meetings (and heaven help us middle school transition planning) and Connor starting middle school this year.

So we left on a Tuesday and spent four days away from it all ...

Our first hike was to Abrams Falls off the Cades Cove loop trail ...








Our next trip was to Andrews Bald off the Clingman's Dome trail ...














And then we had to say farewell until next time ...



Home. The water. The mountains. Being outside and away from it all for just a little while. So thankful for the moments when we get to do that together.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Indoor Swimming Pool

For years, the boys have loved the indoor swimming pool that Grammy started taking them to in their hometown. It's not too far away, about 30 minutes on the interstate, but in cold weather or around the holidays, the drive can easily turn into something more.

We've watched with eager anticipation as our side of town finally saw the plans for a new YMCA come out of the ground. It's been years of planning and fundraising, but it was completed in October of this year. And because Daddy is a firefighter, we get a family rate that's reasonable.

So the boys have a new indoor swimming pool that's just a few minutes from our house. We had to take the swim test, which was interesting to say the least. Connor and Xander passed with flying colors. Sawyer can swim, of course, but following a lifeguard's instructions, well that's another story. So he passed with a slightly lower level, but is still allowed on the slide (which is all any of the boys really care about anyway).

Our first day enjoying the new indoor pool ...

Xander floating and getting ready to splash those of us standing at the end of the pool deck (Connor underwater on the left) ...



Happy Sawyer ...



Happy Sawyer sliding ...



Still happy ...



Happy Xander after sliding ...



Still happy ...



The blur that was Connor sliding ...



Connor on the kiddie slide across the pool ...

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Twelve

Family birthday dinner at home. Chicken and dumplings, green beans, sweet corn, and macaroni and cheese (his choice). Followed by cupcakes and a birthday cake (because that's just how we do things around here) ...



The grandparents with their cameras ...



Xander helping blow out the candles ...



Opening presents ...



And posing with the stash ...

Garbage Day



The boys say who cares about "Election Day" or Connor's birthday. Tuesday is trash day, and since they're home from school, they actually get to watch the crews pick up the trash on our street. That's a big deal, apparently. Even Bruno had to check it out with them ...