Sunday, December 27, 2009

December Cheer

Our month has been full of "non-traditional" school stuff. The pictures below will only include some of our winter fun, but I'll share the highlights first:

- wrapped up Owen's school with scoring a 100 on his semester review in math! Way to go o-man!
- Tate gave us the gift of potty training...yippee!!!!
- hosted our 2nd Vinson Boys' Ornament Exchange with lots of friends (33 kids, 12 moms)
- baking cookies for BIble study teachers and local firemen...this was our 3rd yr going
- driving around to see the holiday lights
- went to the Murfreesboro Parade with friends
- Owen went with his scouts to a local potter and made his own dish...video below...it's awesome!
- attending the FSM Cowboy Christmas Party and doing some square dancing and learning poker..thks Jerry!
- Chad starting his doctorate program
- hosting my mom a few days before Christmas and treating her to ICE..an amazing ice sculpting that depicts the Charlie Brown Christmas Story...it was all of 9 degrees in this place- crazy cold!!
- enjoyed the slowness of our Christmas morning in our own home, although we missed seeing family
- the boys loving hot chocolate with their Christmas breakfast
- watching lots of holiday movie specials
- the Sunday after Christmas we loved on others by taking candy canes to 2 local assisted living homes and gave lots of big hugs and smiles to the residents. I'm sure this is something we will continue as a family, because the boys really enjoyed seeing their faces light up when they were handed a treat.









video




Owen on the ice slide




"Tate our little politician" - shaking hands, huggin' and wishing meeeerrrrrrrry Christmas-

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Nature's Beauty





About a month ago, our family took a day trip to enjoy the beautiful nature in TN. We found this natural bridge about an hour from us which was amazing. We hiked two short trails that day and then had lunch at a local joint. It was a great way to spend Daddy's day off.

My profile

Ok, so tonight I was trying to update my page a little bit. Well, it had been a while since I had changed my profile, so while Chad was sitting near I thought I'd get his version of my profile.

"a loyal, sensitive, compassionate friend, wife and momma who is resilient to adversity, observant to the needs of others, loves life, outgoing, outspoken, and a lot like Tate (a.k.a snuggly) ...."

Sweet....

Community Group Dinner

THis past Wednesday we had the fun of hosting of CG's Christmas dinner. We had 14 adults and 10 children and a bunch of food. It was so great to watch these children play, eat and love on one another. We were all so surprised how well they all did together...they actually all sat and ate together...grazed some...and then back for dessert. All the while, the girls had one table and the fellas another. I'm so grateful for my small group and the sweet things we get to do together.
This fall we helped a new family at church move to a new home and this week we all had the privilege to go shopping for a family that we adopted for Christmas. We not only got them Christmas but were able to treat them to lunch and pay their bills. I don't know about ya'll, but there is something special that happens in your heart when you give to someone w/out anything in return...a stirring of pure generosity. I wish I was like that all the time, but if I was honest...I'm not.


Saturday, December 5, 2009

Vinson/Parker Thanksgiving

This year, Poppy, Yaya, Aunt Chel-belle, Uncle D, Aunt Jenna and Isabella came to our house for Thanksgiving. We had such a fun and cozy :-) time playing monkey in the middle, biking, watching Derek enjoy the wii ( we really think he was trying to burn off all he had eaten since he boxed by himself for an hour or more), sewing with Jen, sharing Thanksgiving with the Pattons, and celebrating Christmas early. My favorite part was just having everyone around in enjoying the hub-bub of 11 in one house for a few days. FYI, the little girl in the above picture is our niece sitting with the boys. Here are some snapshots of our fun!
Tate's surprise

Griffin's surprise

Owen's surprise

Poppy and Tate

Josh P. (home from Navy) and Tate

Jeff Patton and Isabella

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Ferguson Thanksgiving/Christmas in Gatlinburg, TN














Here are a few of the 150+ pictures taken in 4 days of fun. My mom and brother's family traveled west to Gatlinburg,TN to spend some much needed time together. We stayed in a wonderful facility that had a fun playground, putt-putt golf, and indoor and outdoor pool. And needless-to-say, that is where we spent most of our time together. We had a blast! The boys and Hallsey all faired the outdoor pool, while the rest of us just enjoyed the hottubs :-) We also went biking one morning and then hiking in the Smokies another day. The weekend couldn't have been more wonderful to be outside. We had two condos for the 11 of us, so space and "down time" was a must with these nonstop cousins.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halloween 09

Breakfast helper
"Pumpkin" - actually butternut squash muffins w/ pumpkin seeds topping
2 transformers and a pirate
Cutest pirate costume!

Our morning started with "pumpkin" muffins that I actually used smashed butternut squash and were topped with cinnamon/sugar crushed pumpkin seeds and a glass of milk. yummy! They were so moist and delicious that I got a round of thumbs up.
The costumes above were taken on Thursday when we went to the Fall Festival at the YMCA, but Griffin changed his mind to be the red power ranger on Saturday night. AND the pirate costume was a garage sale find, and he loved saying, "ARGHHHH"

Skeleton Studies

Sample of Owen's labels on his skeleton
Painting on "glow-in-the-dark" paint
the boys' new best friends
So with the seasonal fun, we decided to make a science, math, and writing activity consume the better half of one afternoon naptime. A local homeschool mom shared the idea to measure out the major body parts of the boys and recreate a skeleton of themselves. So we, measured the head (both ways), spine, width of shoulders, hip width, shoulder to elbow, elbow to hand, thigh, knee to foot, and then foot. I had previously cut out 1" strips to use as "bones", so then we just cut accordingly for each measure. Owen and Griffin labeled their bones (yes, Griffin labeled all his bones as long as there was a model) and then we stapled, painted and then hung the finished products. A great afternoon activity this time of year!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Back in Action



Well, it has been almost a month since I have really mentally thought about meals for my family. I had surgery a month ago and with my mom here and then gracious meals from friends, I have been grateful to receive their love through food. (the boys have enjoyed it also)
So, I'm back...trying to create meals with color, creativity, and fun, which isn't always easy for me. In Owen's school work and scout requirements we studied the new food pyramid, and meals have brought on a new discussion. They all want to know which is the grain, veggie, fruit, bean, and especially fat or sweet on their plate and are quick to let me know if they are lacking something.
So there's my first meal back....Dinosaur Kale sauteed with almonds, Veggie Stir-fry with rice, and Almond crusted Chicken with homemade honey-mustard sauce....it was a good night back!