Saturday, November 28, 2009

Show Us Your Life- Christmas Traditions

Over at Kelly's Korner, this week's topic for Show Us Your Life is Christmas Traditions. One thing we do as a family is attend the candlelight Christmas Eve service at church. It is very moving. Our church has two services, one at 6:00 pm and one at 11:00 pm. We usually try to make it to the 6:00 service so the kids get into bed at a decent time. We have special music, then we all get our candle and make a circle around the sanctuary. We sing Silent Night as everyone is passing the lights around. It is a beautiful sight to behold. Two years ago, a very good friend of ours, Rhonda Ellis, used Mac as "Baby Jesus" as she sang a beautiful song. When I get a chance, I will upload the video of that.

Another Christmas tradition we have is that the kids and I bake Jesus a birthday cake on Christmas Eve. I let them make all the decisions about the cake...the flavor of cake, icing, even the decorations. On Christmas morning, we get up and sing Happy Birthday to Jesus, then they get to eat the cake for breakfast. Not the greatest breakfast, but I never want my children to forget the real reason for Christmas.

Momma, we don't argue ALL THE TIME...

This is what I saw when I walked through the living room last night. Emma was playing on Randall's iPhone, and Mac was watching her. They were laying in Randall's recliner. I couldn't resist taking a picture!!

First Trip to Fuji's Japanese Steakhouse

Last night for my belated birthday dinner, Randall took me to Fuji's. Although we had been a few times, we had never taken Emma and Mac. They were both so excited about going. Emma was a little afraid at first, but then she warmed up...she order hibachi shrimp. She LOVES fried rice. I already knew this from the last we went and I had let her share my leftovers. Mac liked the soup...once it cooled, Randall let him drink it through a straw.

Emma and Randall waiting on our order to be taken.
Momma and Mac waiting on our order to be taken.
The "fire" to start the grill.
Emma watching our hibachi chef cook.
Mac watching.
Emma going to town on her fried rice.

Christmas Lights

Every year, Emma, Mac, and I talk Randall into putting up Christmas lights on the house. Even though it's a lot of work (I want them to be perfect, which means they have to be VERY straight!!), Randall does it each year to make us happy!! I don't have pic of the end result, but I will take one soon and post it.

Emma helping Daddy put up the lights.
Mac and Emma both trying to help.
Randall putting clips on the house.
Emma and Mac sitting by Santa out front.

Black Friday

I am never one to get up early and shop for Black Friday, but there was one thing I was going to buy for both Emma and Mac, so I headed out to Wal-Mart at 5:15 Friday morning for the good deal. Since we have a minivan, I decided to get both kids a portable DVD player. Emma sits in the back, and Mac sits in the middle, and they are getting to the stage where they like to watch different things. Two of these just seemed like the obviously choice. The Phillips 7" Portable DVD players were on sale for $49 (a savings of $30.88, as stated on my receipt). I also purchased carrying cases for both players at $10 a piece. Hopefully they will love these. We had a dual screen DVD player in the past, but it's seen its better days, so hopefully we've made a good choice.
After Wal-Mart, I headed out to JCPenney since I was out and pretty sure that the rest of my family was still sleeping. I bought both kids an outfit a piece to go ahead and wear now (Emma has very few pants she can wear), and another outfit for Mac for Christmas.


On Thanksgiving, we spent lunch with my family and dinner with Randall's family. I didn't get any pics at Randall's mom's house because my battery died on me. We had a great, but very busy, day!!

At Momma and Daddy's house, we had a great spread, including deep fried turkey...the only way I eat turkey. YUMMY!! Aunt Debbie made me a pumpkin roll for my birthday (which was Wednesday) and Memaw made Becca a pecan pie for her birthday (which was Thursday). Growing up, Thanksgiving was when we always celebrated the granddaughters birthdays because mine is November 25, Becca's is November 26, and Kristie's is November 30. We missed Kristie, David, Izzy, Mekhi, Aunt Rita, and Uncle Bob at our Thanksgiving!!

Here are a few pictures I took.

Emma in front of Grammy's Christmas tree.
Mac in front of Grammy's Christmas tree.
Emma holding the newest addition to our extended family (at least until Miya makes her debut in January). This is baby Charlie. Charlie is Cody and Brittney's baby who was born in August.
Mac isn't so sure what to thin of Charlie.
Now Charlie isn't so sure what to think of Emma.
Mac wanted to hold Charlie until we put Charlie in his lap.
Becca helping Emma and Mac.
Momma and Aunt Debbie
Becca helping Mac with a puzzle.
Gramps and Randall watching the turkey as it deep-fries.
Memaw Nova
This pic is hard to see, but it's Ricky, Grammy, and Pepaw on the couch.
Puddin taking my picture taking her picture!!
Mac and Aunt Debbie
Emma, Randall, Charlie, and Mac
Hope you all had a Happy Thanksgiving!!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Emma's Thanksgiving Feast

Wednesday, November 25, Emma's kindergarten class had a Thanksgiving Feast with all the fixin's. Mrs. Amy asked Randall to smoke the ham, so that was our part for the feast. Since school dismissed at 1:30 that day, I was on short schedule and my lunch was a little early. I decided to give up my lunchtime and head to Westside for Emma's feast. I didn't really get to stay for the actual eating time, but I did get a few pictures. Mrs. Thompson (another kg. teacher) had painted all the kids up to look like Indians.

Mackenzie, Chandler, Emma, and Mary

Chandler, Emma, John, and Mackenzie

Emma's class patiently waiting to be told what to do next...Mrs. Amy complimented Emma on how she was one of the first students to sit like she was supposed to!!

My little Indian

Cleaning up centers getting ready for the feast.

Monday, November 23, 2009

National Prematurity Awareness

November is National Prematurity Awareness month. If you know me or have read my blog long, you know that this is very close to my heart because Mac was born at 28 weeks. This is a wonderful poem that has helped me through times of wonder and self-pity.

Did you ever wonder how mothers of preemies are chosen?
Most women become mothers by accident, some by choice, a few by social pressures and a couple by habit. This year thousands of mothers will give birth to a premature baby. Did you ever wonder how mothers of preemies are chosen?

Somehow, I visualize God hovering over Earth selecting His instruments for propagation with great care and deliberation. As He observes, He instructs His angels to make notes in a giant ledger.

“Armstrong, Beth, son. Patron saint, Matthew."

“ Forest , Majorie, daughter. Patron saint, Ceceila."

“Rutledge, Carrie, twins. Patron saint… give her Gerard. He’s used to profanity."

Finally, He passes a name to an angel and smiles, “Give her a premature baby.”The angel is curious. “Why this one, God? She’s so happy.”

“Exactly, “ smiles God. “Could I give a premature baby a mother who does not know laughter? That would be cruel.”

“But does she have patience?” asks the angel.“I don’t want her to have too much patience, or she will drown in a sea of self-pity and despair. Once the shock and resentment wear off, she’ll handle it."

“I watched her today. She has that sense of self and independence that are so rare and so necessary in a mother. You see, the child I’m going to give her has his own world. She has to make it live in her world and that’s not going to be easy.”

“But, Lord, I don’t think she even believes in you.”God smiles, “No matter, I can fix that. This one is perfect. She has just enough selfishness.”

The angel gasps, “Selfishness? Is that a virtue?”God nods. “If she can’t separate herself from the child occasionally, she’ll never survive. Yes, here is a woman whom I will bless with a child who comes in a less than perfect way. She doesn’t realize it yet, but she is to be envied."

“She will never take for granted a spoken word. She will never consider a step ordinary. When her child says ‘Mommy’ for the first time, she will be witness to a miracle and know it. When she describes a tree or a sunset to her blind child, she will see it as few people ever see my creations.
“I will permit her to see clearly the things I see - ignorance, cruelty, prejudice - and allow her to rise above them. She will never be alone. I will be at her side every minute of every day of her life because she is doing my work as surely as she is here by my side.”

“And what about her patron saint?” asks the angel, the pen poised in mid-air.

God smiles. “A mirror will suffice.”

Catching Up With Emma

Last week, Emma's teacher, Mrs. Amy, sent home turkeys that needed to be "dressed." We were to be creative and find ways to dress are some of the turkeys.

(the bunny rabbit one is Emma's...we decided it was dressing up like the Easter Bunny to hide so it wouldn't be eaten!!)

I can't say enough about this picture. The kids on the right are students from the high school. They come to Emma's class once a week with their Spanish class to teach the kids a few words. The reason I think this is special is because this is the entire reason I decided to become a teacher! In high school, Srta Nielsen took us to McRae Elementary to teach a class once a week. Until this time, I was set on being a physical therapist. This all made me rethink what I wanted to do...obviously, since I am now a teacher, you see what an impact this made on me!!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

It's beginning to look at lot like Christmas...

at the Martin household. I know, you're probably thinking it's a little early for all this decorating. If Randall would let me, I would've done all this November 1st, but as it is, he is getting ready to go to deer camp, so I like to decorate then. However, this year, I was ready, so as soon as he got all the decorations out of the attic, I started in. I love this time of year. Emma amazed me as I was working on all this stuff the other day. She said, "Momma, you know what is so special about Christmas?" When I asked her "what, " she said, "It's Jesus' birthday, and we get to make him a cake!!" She is so right!! We make sure we bake a birthday cake for Jesus each year, and that's usually what we eat for breakfast on Christmas morning after we sing "Happy Birthday."

The fireplace...I am still looking for the "just right" red candles.
Our stockings and nativity set...the nativity set is a ceramic set that was made by Memaw many years ago!!
The top of the entertainment center. The small Santa on the right was my Memaw Johnston's (she was actually my great-grandma).
The mantle...I got these unicorns every year for 5 years for Christmas, and I love to use them to decorate. There are also lights in the ivy.
The arrangement on my dining table. I tried to be creative. For those of you who truly know me, you know how much of a struggle this is (and how much it bothered me that my ornaments in the bowl didn't lay just right)!!
The Christmas tree and mantle. I was really hoping to get a new tree (I want a fuller tree), but I haven't found that "just right" one yet!! I'm still looking, though!!
Santa and Mrs. Clause are ceramics that were made by my mom the year I was born!! I love them, and when she said she wasn't going to use them to decorate anymore, I told her I wanted them. Hopefully I can hand them down to Emma one day!
My collection of Christmas plush...the kids love these!!
My snowman table. The snowman on the bottom lights up.
As the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons come upon us, we just wanted to say...

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Trip to Memphis

Last week, Randall and I decided our family needed a little getaway. Emma and I were both out of school on Firday, so we headed to Memphis Thursday to spend the night.

Lights reflecting on the Mississippi River before we crossed the bridge into Tennessee.

I loved this we were heading to the hotel, we passed these three crosses.

After checking into our hotel, we headed to the Neely's Bar-B-Que(yes, from Food Network). Randall and I were a little nervous by the look from the outside, but once we were inside, it was wonderful. The food and atmosphere was great, and the price was even better...we all 4 ate for about $35.

Randall and Mac at Neely's.

Emma and Momma at Neely's.

Daddy's ribs.

Momma's BBQ salad.

Mac eating his pickle sprinkled with BBQ seasonings!
Emma sharing Daddy's ribs.
Daddy and his two kiddos.

On Friday, we got up and headed to the Memphis Zoo. My kids love animal!!

Daddy's favorite...white tigers.
Momma's favorite...the Meerkats!
Ok, another of Momma's favorites...TURTLES!!
Mac's favorites...MONKEYS.
Emma's favorite...PANDAS!!
Sibling love...they were looking at the animals together!
We loved the baby giraffe.
The polar bear was swimming. Emma and Mac loved it!
Mesmerized...they are watching the polar bear !
Mac, Momma, and Emma at Teton Trek.
Sharing a blue raspberry shaved ice.
Waterfall at Teton Trek.
Panda Mac
Panda Emma
Another shot of the white tiger.
Mac was zonked out...and this is as we were pulling out of the zoo parking lot to head home.
We had a great time in Memphis. We are talking about going back for the lights at the zoo!