Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas Eve

On Christmas Eve we ventured to Millie Branch for our annual gathering with the Carmichael Family at Aunt Kaye & Uncle GG's house. After grazing of some fabulous heavy hor d'oeuvres, we had our traditional gift opening which always includes a few surprises. This year was no exception. Uncle Charles seemed to be the main "victim" this year with an autographed collector's plate from President-elect Barack Obama among a few other items.

Aunt Kaye went all out as usual and the house was so incredibly decorated. It looked like something from the pages of Southern Living Magazine. I don't know if these images really do it justice. It was just beautiful! Yes, there are SIX different trees!!

Before we left the kids changed into their Christmas PJs in hopes they would fall asleep on the way home. ;) Here's a cute pic in front of the tree.

The rest of the pictures can be found HERE.

Christmas at Nana & Pop's House

The Sunday before Christmas we drove to Alexander City for a nice afternoon with my parents and family. Mom prepared a wonderful lunch and the kids had a great time playing together. The "big" kids even enjoyed some "Wii" time! Everyone got lots of wonderful presents!

We couldn't resist a few family pictures. ;)

The rest of the pictures from our fun day are HERE.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


I was inspired by my friend Suzanne's recent post of Christmas cards from years past so here's ours! It's neat to see how our little family has grown!


2006 - a folded card


I can't remember or find what we did for 2004 (I was pregnant with Katelyn that Christmas) but here is the picture we included in our card for 2003 - the year we got married. It was taken at Blue & Meredith's wedding.

Friday, December 19, 2008

FBC Breakfast in Bethlehem

Katelyn's last day of school for the Christmas break was Monday. They had "Breakfast in Bethlehem". We all brought breakfast foods and the K4-5 class performed the Christmas story. After breakfast we went back to the classroom for some songs and opening of gifts. It was a fun day!

Here are a few of songs they sang for us - too cute not to share!!

"Let's Get This Day Started"

"The Wiggle Worm"

"Days of the Week"

Click on the thumbnail below for more images from the party.
FBC Breakfast in Bethlehem

Every time I visit Katelyn's class I am always so impressed with what they are learning. Thank you Mrs. Bamberg and Mrs. Edwards for all you do!!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Christmas on the Coosa

On Saturday, Katelyn got to be in her very first parade with her dance class. She had a great time! She was such a big girl going all by her self while Mommy and Daddy watched from the street!

Owen enjoyed his first parade too. Even though it was right in the middle of what normally would be his nap time he was wide awake taking it all in!

More images from the parade are here -

Gigi's Dancing Dolls

On Friday night Katelyn had her Christmas dance program. This was a short program giving them an opportunity to perform and get a feel for being on stage before the big spring recital. Our little "Suzie Snowflake" had a wonderful performance! We were so proud of her!

My dad was so sweet to video this for me. We were pretty far back and didn't have a tripod so I thought he did a great job! He got tickled during her part so pardon the jumpy screen at times!

The rest of the images from the evening are here -

Fresh Air

While we were decorating the outside Owen enjoyed some fresh air in the front yard in the exersaucer. He sported his newborn cap now much like a skull cap! Hey, it kept his head warm! :) I love the contrast of the bright colors with the browns.

Here he is in mid scream! AAHHHH!!!

Of course Sister had to get in on the action!

A little wrestling action with the puppies!

Decorating - Round 1

Christmas decorating seems to be quite an ongoing process around here. I've decided that if I don't get it done the weekend after Thanksgiving it is exponetially harder to get it finished. That has definitely been the case this year. The skinny tree upstairs was in place and lit for several days before I was able to get the ornaments out of the shed. There were many times I asked myself "do we really have to decorate it?" but Katelyn reminded me OFTEN "when are we going to decorate the tree Mommy? During nap time I unwrapped all the ornaments and she helped me place them when she woke up. The upstairs tree is the snowman tree with all the snowman ornaments I've collected over the years.

My sweet husband HATES putting lights on the house. But a with a little coaxing from his hard-to-resist 3 year old he obliged us this year! Thanks honey! They look great!

Here's the finished snowman tree before Katelyn picks it apart over the next several weeks. She can't seem to keep her hands out of it!

Now if I can just find the motivation to do the downstairs tree!

Splish Splash!

Now that Owen is sitting up he especially enjoys getting a bath! He has always LOVED the water and now he'll just splash and play and have a good 'ole time! Too cute!

Frazer Children's Worship Arts Christmas Program

This has been a busy holiday season for performances by Katelyn. She starting going to the Children's Choir at Frazer in September and their first performance was last Sunday night. She got up on that big stage and was not shy one bit! She did a fabulous job!

I also took pictures for the Frazer Family News that night. The rest of the images from the program can be found at

Tacky Light Tour

Our friends, Michael and Marcilla Gross, started a fun December event many years ago called the Tacky Light Tour. They would rent a 15-passenger van and invite several friends to go on a tour of Montgomery to see the lights. It was so much fun! We decided to do an "Elmore County" version this year with the Faulkners after our weekly dinner outing last Friday night. We did venture into Montgomery to see a few annual favorites. We had a great time although Owen was in rare form and it may have been our last restaurant visit for a while until he can learn to stop screaming in public!! ARGH!!!

The Capitol tree was nice this year. It was absolutely FULL of lights!

We couldn't miss seeing the infamous house on Boultier Street in Old Cloverdale. It is truly amazing just how many lighted and animated displays one can get in such a small space. It's not that it is so pretty just amazing to see how much stuff can be squeezed in and plugged into one space. These images no where near do it justice!

This house was actually my neighbor when I lived in Dalraida. Our backyards adjoined. I will never forget the first year Meredith and I lived on Hillman Street coming home on the first night he turned on the lights. There was a glow through the neighborhood and my jaw dropped! When you turned off all the lights in our house at night you could still see to get around!! He was a good neighbor and turned everything off a a decent hour. His display has definitely grown over the years as well.

Wetumpka Tree Lighting

Last week Katelyn got to perform with her class at the Wetumpka Tree Lighting ceremony. They were so cute dressed up like different animals. Katelyn's ears kept flopping down so I'm not sure if she was a cow or a donkey. She was so excited to get to perform. It was FREEZING cold that night but she didn't mind. She sang like a bird!

Oh Boy!

While at physical therapy last week Owen decided to show off a little bit. Ms. Brenda had him down on the mat with a toy and he was determined to get it. So determined that he made a debut performance of the army crawl! Yes, right there with an audience he started to crawl! Up to this point he had been pretty much rolling anywhere he wanted to go but during this session he focused on an object and pulled himself to it all the way across the mat. I was excited to have my little video camera there to capture these first moments! I don't know that I'm ready for this crawling stage yet!! WHY right here before Christmas?!??

New Dimension in Child Management

We have entered a whole new dimension in child management. Owen is on the cusp of growing out of the infant carrier. He is so long that his feet just kinda hang out the end and the whole combo weighs a TON! I have a love/hate relationship with the carrier. I love that he is "contained" and I can just sit him down anywhere if needed. I love being able to use the carrier stroller and not have to carry him when I need to run in somewhere. I love being able to leave him asleep when running errands. I HATE the incredible weight of it all and trying to haul that heavy thing around. Well, those days are quickly coming to a close and I'm going to have to start hauling the little guy in on my hip. Goodbye naps on the run. Hello to having to carry a "shopping cart cover" everywhere now. Hello to cranky baby when he wants to sleep and I need to get a few things done while we are in Montgomery. Hello to Mr. Wiggle wanting to get away and explore everything. We did a trial run into Sam's Club last week. It was Owen's first time sitting up in a shopping cart. I wasn't expecting this little adventure so I hadn't even pulled out the shopping cart cover yet. Guess I gotta go dig that out of storage!

Of course, Katelyn couldn't stand all the attention and had to jump in!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Seven Months

So, yes I'm still a little behind on my posting but I'm slowing catching up! Owen turned seven months old on December 2nd. I think we may have gone through a brief growth spurt because I was shocked when I did his stats this month! He had gained 20 ounces and a little over 1 1/2 inches in length. WOW! We go to the doctor on Tuesday for his follow-up flu shot so I'm going to get them to weigh and measure him too for confirmation. He is becoming quite the active little critter. He is no longer happy sitting in one place watching the world around him! He's got to roll over to the action and taste it (everything goes in his mouth for further inspection!). His vocal cords are definitely maturing as seen in a previous post. His screaming sessions are very shrill and pronounced. You can even hear him from the yard. I'm so sorry Mark and Earline!! He's eating like a little piggy loving everything I have given him. I've tried him with puffs but he's still wanting to swallow them whole just yet. His sitting skills are continuing to improve. We are still going to physical therapy every two weeks for his torticollis and mild tightness in his legs and feet. He is making very good progress - each visit just gets better and better.

Here's the monthly progression...

Friday, December 12, 2008

The Mercer Family Elves

I just couldn't resist doing this again this year! We had to add Owen!! :)

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Katelyn's got BLING!!

She finally did it...Katelyn got her ears pierced!! Along with her new do' I asked her if she would like to get her ears pierced just like Mommy. She said "Can I get some bling?" We went to Claire's in the mall after your play time with her friends. She sat up in the chair like a big girl. Our friends Abbie and Mrs. Emily were there to cheer her own and help me document the occasion. Luckily there were two girls there that could pierce so she was able to get both ears done at the same time. It went very fast and she didn't cry until several moments after it was all over. I think being tired and almost naptime brought it out in her. We shopped a little and before we left the store she was all smiles and ready to show everyone her new earrings! I'm so proud of my big girl!!

Thank you Emily for taking these great pictures for me!!

Play Time at Eastdale Mall

What started out as an impromptu visit to see Santa turned into a wonderful playdate with friends at Eastdale Mall last week. Our official monthly playdate was not scheduled until the following week but several of us gathered a week early and play we did! The kids loved to ride the train and the carousel. The mall is a fun place for little ones this time of year. We cause quite a stir with all our little ones running around!

It is always so much fun to try to get these guys together for a group picture! HA! HA! But later I'm always so glad we did!

Visit with Santa

Last week we headed out to Eastdale Mall for the annual Santa visit and picture for Mommy. After Katelyn's first shy moment with the Santa at Bass Pro Shops, she was determined to give it another try. She kept telling me "I'm not going to be shy this time Mommy!" She was so excited. Of course Owen just goes with the flow and loves everyone. He was just as happy as he could be with Santa. I'm sure that will all change next year much like Katelyn's second visit with Santa! (click here to see that original post)

Brand New Do'

For some time we've been trying to let Katelyn's hair just grow mainly only getting her bangs cut. At Katelyn's last trim appointment, Ms Kim at Short Cuts in Millbrook suggested that if we wanted her hair to thicken up and grown better she really needed a major cut. I thought it over a couple of days and decided it was time. Here's our sweet angel before...

Yes, looking back at this picture she was looking a little "scraggly". Katelyn loves to go see Ms Kim and couldn't wait for her new haircut. She hopped up in the chair and sat as still a statue. You could tell she was trying especially hard not to wiggle from the excitement building inside her!

What a total transformation!! I love it! It looks so much healtier now. She is just too cute and super sassy now!! Of course when we got home I had to get a few more snaps!

Home Plate

Our cousins, Adam and Lindsey Mikell, recently opened Home Plate Baseball and Softball Indoor Instructional Facility in Millbrook. It's really neat! We got to join them when they shot their most recent commercial. It will air locally on EPSN on Charter and Bright House networks. If I can get a copy of the final commercial I'll see about posting it here. If you love baseball or softball you definitely should check them out! 334-207-9333 - 101 Penser Blvd, Millbrook, AL