Saturday, December 31, 2011

Christmas Day

(Finally getting to Christmas Day just in time for 2012!)
Christmas day was so busy yet so fun! The boys slept in to 7:00. (and yes, sadly that is sleeping in for them!) They were DYING to see what Santa brought them.
Down the hall they went. I have to say this was the best Christmas morning we have had yet. Jackson was SO excited about everything. I think he followed everything with "I have wanted this my whole life." whether it was his light saber or the pack of underwear he got.

Hudson really enjoyed the wrapping paper.
After playing with our toys and eating breakfast, it was time to get ready for church. We had our own Christmas miracle happen when all 4 of us where able to get ready for church in under an hour-and that includes all 4 of us taking showers/baths!
How handsome are they in their Christmas church clothes?
We quickly came home, changed clothes, and hit the road to see Jason's parents in Brownsville.
We ate a yummy lunch and opened more presents. (Our boys are def. spoiled!) Hudson got a light saber from Mamaw and Papaw just like Jackson's
The weather was so gorgeous that we played outside for a long time with our new presents....had to get a little Jedi practice in.
There may have been some accidents, but all Jedis have to learn how to use the force. 
We watched movies, played Wii and enjoyed visiting with each other. 
 I looked down and realized Hudson CRASHED. He slept in the floor for over an hour. We left and headed back to Memphis, exhausted but so full of joy. We had one of the best Christmas weekends ever!

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve, we went to my parent's house. I'm telling ya, I love those 3 boys so much!
My family (minus my grandparents): my parents and my sister and her husband. We got there early so the boys could "open" their gift from my grandparents. They were so excited to see that Nanny and Gaga gave them...
 a TRAMPOLINE!!! (and I am excited about this too. Nothing is more fun than jumping on a trampoline)
 They jumped and jumped and jumped...
 ...til Shawn and I kicked them off so we could jump. =)

We came inside and ate dinner-lasagna and Olive Garden salad. Then it was time for the boys favorite thing, opening presents.
The boys got so many wonderful things. (Thanks for spoiling them) =) Here they are opening their new Wii! We watched some Christmas movies, made gingerbread houses and then it was time for us to leave. We had to get home before Santa got there. I love holidays cause that means I get to spend time with our families.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

A New Tradition

I am all about Christmas. I love jam-packing everything I can into the month of December. The Friday before Christmas, we decided to go look at Christmas lights when Jason got home.
Everyone got comfy in their pjs and I made us all hot chocolate (and chocolate milk for Hudson) and a little baggie of Christmas cookies for snacking on.
Even Jason wore his pjs. =)
We got in the car, cranked up the Christmas tunes (and the heat) and off we went.
Jackson had a blast pointing at EVERY SINGLE house with lights.
I love this cove near our house. Everybody goes all out. Apparently Clark Grisswold lives here. We had so much fun and really enjoyed each others company. This will now be added to our family list of Christmas traditions.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Silly Little Guest

(I have several posts to do to get caught up.)

The month of December, we add an extra member to our household. He is cute and small and an elf. Our elf Max comes to watch the boys and report their behavior to Santa. This year Max was very mischievous!
He got into our frozen treats. I think he missed the cold of the North Pole. 
 And turned our milk green!
He even put Jackson's underwear on the fan.
The day before Christmas we found him sitting by the boys nativity. I think he was letting the boys know that Santa and elves are fun and all but the birth of Jesus is what Christmas is really about.

Christmas eve we had to say goodbye to our little friend. We will miss the little guy, but can't wait to see him again next year!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas from the Haynes family!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas Q and A

I have seen several blogs do fun little Q & As this year. So here is a little bit about me and the way we celebrate Christmas.

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? Hot Chocolate mixed in with coffee. It is so yum! Egg nog makes me gag!
2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? He sets most of them under the tree and a few are wrapped.
3. Colored lights on tree/house or white? Right now we have white. I do like colored though...maybe next year.
4. Do you hang mistletoe? No...I don't need mistletoe. (ha!)
5. When do you put your decorations up? After Thanksgiving...but they stay up forever. After Christmas, I am so lazy and just "can't seem to find the time to put them up". I honestly think my house looks better decorated for Christmas so I don't want it to go back to normal.
6. What is your favorite holiday dish? All of them =) Ok, so I have to narrow it down to one? If so, then I guess turkey. I love it and for some reason never make it other than at holidays.
7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child? I don't know if it is my favorite but it is one of the most memorable (and the one we laugh about the most now!). When I was in elementary school-probably 2nd grade-my sister and I both asked for Guinea Pigs for Christmas. On Christmas morning, my parents would always go downstairs before us and make sure that Santa had come. My Dad went to check and with a little panic in his voice called up to my Mom, "Sheila, please come in here." My sister and I freaked out. We thought "That's it. Santa didn't come. We were just bad enough for him to forget about us." Turns out the pet guinea pigs that Santa had gotten us had died under the tree and they were trying to figure out what to do with them. The Pet store at the mall sold "Santa" guinea pigs that were not ready. The next day, my dad may or may not have had some words with the pet store manager. When the pet store manager refused to do anything for him, he also may or may not have pulled the dead guinea pigs out of the box for the whole store to see. Gotta love my Dad!
8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? I can't remember.
9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? Well, kinda. We go to my parent's house and have Christmas with them, so yes we open gifts there. Santa and our family presents are saved for Christmas morning.
10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree? I LOVE our tree. It has those big white bulb lights on it and is decorated with the boys homemade ornaments! It's perfect.
11. Snow! Love it or Dread it? Love it if I don’t have to drive in it and can stay home with my boys and play all day.

12. Can you ice skate? I can barely walk without tripping on something. What makes you think I can ice skate?
13. Do you remember your favorite gift? Probably an old school Nintendo! Loved Tetris, Duck Hunt and the original Super Mario Bros.

14. What’s the most important thing about the Holidays for you? Spending special time with my family is great but the most important thing is the birth of my Savior.
15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert? I LOVE all desserts, I don't discriminate!

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? I love all the new traditions we are staring with our boys. Setting out their Little People nativity and talking about the Christmas story, going to Alpine Village, going out and looking at Christmas lights at night, and of course our silly elf Max that comes stay with us for a month.
17. What tops your tree? I switch every year. Last year was gold "ting-ting" but this year is an angel.

18. Which do you prefer giving or receiving? I love giving. This year I am making a lot of my presents and I am so excited to give them, I have worked so hard on them!

19. Candy Canes: Yuck or Yum? Not really a fan. I would much rather have a chocolate bar.

20. Favorite Christmas show? Movie? How much time do you have? I have so many favorites. This year we have watched a lot of Elf and The Grinch Who Stole Christmas. When the kids go to bed, Jason and I watch Christmas Vacation!
21. Saddest Christmas Song? I find the sad songs annoying and turn the channel. I think Christmas Shoes is the worst....SO annoying!

22. What is your favorite Christmas song? I love Oh Holy Night and anything by Mariah Carey. I'm not a Mariah fan for her normal music but her Christmas songs are awesome!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Christmas Fun

December has always been busy, but for some reason I feel like this has been a busier December than most. I feel like every day brings a Christmas party or something that is due for a Christmas party/ performance. (Note to self: Must get organized!) This weekend was a busy one-but we had a blast!
Saturday morning was a treat. Jackson has been BEGGING for pancakes. So I decided to break out the handy dandy Bisquick and we had reindeer pancakes. (Thank you pintrest for the idea!!! You made 2 boys super happy with these bad boys.)
Saturday night, we had family date night. We went to Alpine Village. This is quickly becoming my boys favorite thing to do at Christmas time. Jackson has been asking for months if we were going to go this year. If you are in the Memphis area, next year please look into this event. It is so much fun, and completely free!
 Jackson has his ticket and is ready to go!
 No trip to Alpine Village is complete without pictures in the Snowman. Here is Hudson the Snowman...
...and Jackson the Snowman.
Our first thing to do at Alpine Village was Santa (of course) I have to say this is the best picture we have ever gotten! Please feel free to check out the last few years...2008 & 2009 and 2010. (I think 2008 and 2009 are my favorite-they are hilarious!)
 We made our magical reindeer food
And played in the snow.
Hudson was hilarious. If someone threw snow on him, he would stand there for a few minutes cleaning himself off. It never failed, that as soon as he got clean someone would throw snow all over him and he would have to start cleaning himself off again. He was SO frustrated (Check out the face in the can see the frustration written all over him!)
We met a shepherd and he told the boys how worshipped Jesus on the first Christmas. They listened so closely to every word that he said.
We also met the 3 wise men. They showed the boys the gifts they brought to Jesus. (I love hands-on learning!)
Sunday morning we went to church, ate lunch and then home to take naps. We had to be well rested because Jackson had his first Christmas program. The preschool choir at our church sang in the evening service. I have never heard anything sweeter...those precious voices singing praises to our Lord.
Jackson did so well. I could tell he was a little uncomfortable but he sang and even smiled!
Monday was a normal day around the house complete with running several errands to get things for Jackson's school Christmas program. That night we had Grinch quesadillas (idea from Kitchen Fun with my 3 Sons). I may begin to make faces on all their food because they ate every bite! We are enjoying the holiday season-trying to soak in every bit of it since it is so cram packed with busy-ness!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

St Jude Half Marathon

In January, I got the bright idea that I was going to run a half-marathon. Hilarious, right? I mean this was coming from the girl that could not run around the block one time. (I'm dead serious about this!) I started training in March and yesterday I did it-I completed the St. Jude Memphis Half-Marathon! It wasn't pretty by any means but I set my mind to complete it and I did! (I am also the girl who has no belief in myself and quits something when things get tough...and this training has definitely been tough!)
Friday, my sister and I went to the expo to pick up our packets and bags. Oh my word, this is when reality set in. This was really happening.

Saturday morning, I woke up at 3 am unable to sleep. My stomach was in my throat, my hands were shaky. I laid in bed staring at the ceiling scared to death! My alarm went off, I got ready and before I knew it Shawn and her husband were outside my house to pick me up.
We parked and hung out in the Peabody Hotel lobby to stay warm. (This helped keep my mind off what was about to happen, have mentioned how nervous I was?) We did some people watching, met some of my friends from work, and actually got to hang out with Elvis and Priscilla. Uh-oh, time to head to our corrals...
We saw some friends at the start and got to visit with them....
...but we kept moving closer to the starting line the whole time we were talking. When I got close enough to read the sign I got a little choked up. It said "Get run for their lives". It hit me then why I was running...for those sweet little kids of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. My eyes welled up but there was no time to cry, we were running. My first 6 miles, I was doing really well. I was running faster than I was used to training (rookie mistake!)

(video of running through St. Jude. Sorry it's so shake...I was running!)
 We ran by the river, through Beale St., by the pyramid and then through the St. Jude campus. I loved running through St. Jude. There was so much energy-so many people there cheering us on! I gave so many high fives my hand hurt. There was also parents outside holding pictures of their sick children (be still my heart). And get this, they were calling me their hero! I am anything but a hero. They are the heroes!
At mile 6, we took our Gu Chomps (little energy fruit chews) and I could feel myself hitting the wall. I had never taken Gu before and it did not settle well with my stomach. I got sick feeling and then realized that my entire body was in pain. I kept going but could feel myself slowing down. By mile 9, I was full out walking. I got another burst of energy around mile 11.5, and started running again. 
My sweet husband and boys were waiting for me near the finish line. I was SO looking forward to seeing this sweet face.
 When I saw them, I got a little emotional! It was so good to see them and my parents there cheering for me and supporting me on something that I have worked so hard for.
I did it. I FINISHED! My time was terrible, but I don't care. I did something that 6 months ago seemed to be impossible!
I am so thankful for my sister who pushed me when I thought that I would just sit on the curb and let Jason pick me up (oh yes, those words came out of my mouth). Ha!
My sweet husband Jason and me!
Jackson made me the best sign. He worked so hard on it! He even drew me complete with a ponytail. He also made my day, when we got home he kept telling me "Mommy, I am so proud of you!".

So there you go, I did it! What I learned through all of this:
1. That I am stronger than I think I am and can do way more than I give myself credit for!
2. That if I can do it...anyone can. 
3. And next time, I will train MUCH harder! (and yes, I just said next time. I'm not quite ready to hang up my running shoes!)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

1st Day of School in November?

Jackson had his first day of Jr. Kindergarten Tuesday. Yes, I realize it is November and school has been in session for 3 months. Jason and I had been discussing lately-public school or private? We have been going back and forth. If we go to public school, we need to sell our house and move to a little bit better school district and if we go private, can we afford it? We had been praying about it and found what I feel like is the perfect school for our family (and it is a private school if you were wondering) however it was VERY hard to get into. We have been on a waiting list for 3.5 months (Hudson is still on the waiting list for his class). Finally, while Jackson was in the hospital, we got the call we have been waiting on. A spot opened up in their Jr. K class! YEA!!!
This weekend we went to get all his supplies and his super cool, new camo backpack. Tuesday, was the day...the BIG day! The first day at his new school. He was so nervous (and so was his Mommy!).
Jason took the boys to separate schools for the first time ever. Jason said that he was really shy when he dropped him off. (Knowing Jackson's personality he will probably be shy for at least 2 weeks and then he will be his normal self-he takes a while to warm up to new situations.)
When I picked him up, I took him to get yogurt by himself! It gave us a chance to talk about his day just the two of us-this was such a BIG deal to Jackson. He leaned over once and rubbed my face and told me he was having a great "first date" with me. (Where does he come up with this stuff?) I am praying he had a wonderful day today so that I can stop worrying the whole time he is gone. I get so nervous for him!