Thursday, December 27, 2012

Merry Merry

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

from our 

LARGE and CRAZY family


The real deal.

For the first time in several years, my entire family was together on Christmas Day.  Twenty of us.

9 grandchildren.

2 awesome grandparents.

4 in-laws.

And a puppy.

The original Fab Five.

What originally began as this, has morphed into quite a bit larger and louder family.

{This is me and my 4 siblings recreating a family photo from the old days.  I am the oldest, and my brother Will (sitting on my lap) is the youngest (but biggest)}

My parents had a photographer come out to the house on Sunday afternoon to try and capture some family photos.  It was a zoo.  But we were amazed at the good pictures he was still able to capture!

My sweet nephew Beau.

My handsome nephew Wyatt (and Caleb's very best friend)

Eveley with her cousins Layla and Anna Lea (her very best friends)!

My sweet nephew Reese and the new family puppy.  He was a huge hit.

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Monday, December 10, 2012

We Interrupt These Festivities

Since we had just moved into our new home last year (and had 6 month-old twins, a 2 and 4-year old), the holiday season took us a bit by surprise, and we just tried to enjoy them in the least chaotic way possible.

But this year, we have all been eager and excited to decorate and celebrate Christmas.

The tree went up early, thanks to all of my elves.


(Eveley dressed her, in case you're wondering...)

We pulled out the Christmas bling.


We have a mantle full of stockings (beautifully made by my talented sis, Carrianna)

Some festive art to keep us intentional about the true meaning of Christmas

A fun Christmas banner

Our Advent Calendar (it's been a little tricky doing this without implementing treats or candy...) 

The annual nativity set (made by my dad) with a special, magical. flying angel addition (think of this as our Elf on the Shelf...I do what I can)


But in the midst of our fun Christmas preparations, we paused to celebrate another beautiful and wonderful gift -- Caleb Robert.

I have a 4-year-old boy.

And if anyone tells me 4 is the new 3 (which was the new 2), I may punch you in the face.  The toddler/tantrum train has got to be nearing its end.

My sweet Caleb was a beautiful gift.  He was born on my paternal grandfather's 85th birthday, and Robbie was born on my maternal grandfather's birthday.  Just a little trivia for you.

Along with several friends, we spent the morning at the local indoor bounce playground because I expected December to act like December.  She did not and so we spent the rest of the 75-degree day grilling burgers and playing in the backyard.


It was a fun filled day that ended with a big chocolate and snow-covered cake. ;)  Who knew a gluten-free, sugar-free, dairy-free cake could taste so good?  I heard no complaints!

We love you, sweet Caleb, and are so thankful for these past 4 years. We pray you will aspire to a reputation like that of your namesake, Caleb from the Old Testament, who was said to be a man who "wholly followed the Lord".  

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Monday, November 12, 2012


On August 23, 2003, Bob and I made several vows to each other and to God.  We promised to love and support each other regardless.  In sickness and in health.  In poverty and in wealth.  In good and in bad.

But, as if that wasn't enough, Bob also vowed to his good friend (and ultra athlete) that he would run a marathon at some point.

He has talked about the idea for the past few years.  And I have nodded and appeared to participate in the conversations.

But this summer, he decided the time was right.  We joined a family athletic club, and Bob began training for the Richmond marathon.

He was completely dedicated to his training and our new nutritional lifestyle greatly helped him get in tip top shape.  He was even able to complete many of the long distance training runs without using his asthma inhaler (a first in more than 10 years).

I also will admit that I believe his great desire to train (which involves spending several hours most days of the week running) may have been influenced by the crazy house he was allowed to escape.  But I will give him the benefit of the doubt. 

The marathon was Saturday, and I took the older 2 kids to watch.  We made some crazy signs and were able to give him a high five at miles 13 and 20.



He had a lofty goal of finishing the 26.2 miles in 4 hours.  And he blew that goal out of the water by finishing in 3.55. 

The kids rushed to greet him and see the shiny medal.

Then we "celebrated" at Chick-fil-A with some grilled nuggets and fruit.

It was a long day.  I was exhausted!  :)

He is already signing up for his next one.


We love you, Daddy, and are so very proud of you!!

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