There were some pretty rough storms that swept through during the Christmas holidays. This one hit while we were in Carthage, but Darren had told me about it on the phone.
This tree is in our front yard area and was just completely pulled up.

Thankfully, no damage to our house or anything was done, but I wanted to keep these pictures to remember.


I can't believe I forgot to add this in earlier, but am glad I remembered it before I ordered my blog book for the year.

On December 9th, Isaac lost his first tooth!
He was quite proud of himself and was actually the one to do it. He said he just pushed it out with his tongue, which tells me it had been loose for quite some time, but that's ok. Losing teeth was not one my favorite things to experience as a kid, but I know it's just part of the process.

Isaac was excited to put it in his little tooth box and place it under his pillow that night. The tooth fairy did indeed come to visit and since it was his first tooth, she left him a whopping $5!
He's already looking forward to losing more teeth, but like all things with kids, it's bittersweet for this Mama. I don't want to think about my sweet baby losing all those pretty little baby teeth!

A funny note on the side though is that the next morning as I'm walking Layla into school, she turns to me and says "Mama, I think one of my tooths is loose too so maybe we need to pull it".

Merry Christmas!

Some kids I know must have been really good this year because this is what we awoke to on Christmas morning........
We are definitely blessed beyond what we deserve, but I'm very thankful for all that we have.

Santa brought the girls matching ladybug hats.....
....and the boys matching beard hats.

We hung around our house with our new toys and treasures and then had some brunch before heading to Darren's folks house for the afternoon.

Darren's brother Derek and his family arrived later that day and we had dinner and presents there too.
Overall, it was again, a wonderful Christmas with lots of love and memories.
I'm grateful for the true reason for the season too and am thankful that my children know the true meaning of this precious holiday and that it's not just about Santa and the presents. I'm thankful that He blessed me with these two precious children and my prayer is that I will always teach them in a way that pleases Him so that they too will forever be children of God.
My prayer is that they always keep those truths close and always keep the Lord first in their hearts.
I know He will take care of them.

Christmas Eve

So, we arrived in Carthage on Sunday evening, December 22nd. We pretty much just hung around and visited with family most of the time we were there. I noticed that Isaac seemed a bit warm on Sunday evening, but just gave him some Tylenol before bed thinking it was just a bug or something and he would be better in the morning.

Boy was I wrong.

When he got up on Monday, he was absolutely burning up with fever and you just tell that he felt miserable. My Mom had to work, but she had gotten my grandmother to take her that day just in case we got up and Isaac was worse. I'm so thankful that she did. Me and the kids got dressed and headed out for Lebanon to a walk-in clinic at Walgreen's. We arrived a little after 9:00 and got checked in, but there were several other people there already waiting so I didn't have the best feeling about things, but I didn't know what else to do. My baby was obviously sick and I had to get him well. After a couple of hours (yes, that says hours) they finally called us back to get him triaged. They checked his temp, which was 103 and also tested him for the flu, but the medical assistant said it would take a bit for the test to process and that we needed to go back out to the waiting area until they were ready. By this time, it's almost lunch and none of us had even eaten anything, but I was afraid to leave because I didn't want to lose our place so we waited some more. The little medical assistant came back out about an hour later and said Isaac was positive for the flu, but they would get us back as soon as they could.

So there we are.....sitting in the waiting area of Walgreen's with a flu positive child running a 103 degree temp who is miserable and just wants to go home.

Needless to say, this was not a very happy Mama at that point.

FINALLY, we got called back and examined by a nurse practitioner. Let me start by saying I work with several nurse practitioners that I would trust my life with and are extremely competent, but this one??? Let's just say that I was always taught that if you can't say something nice you shouldn't say anything at all so I'm just not going to say anything at all about the nurse practitioner we saw.

Anyway, she prescribes the Tamiflu and at my request, prescribes it as a preventative for Layla as well and we finally walk out of Walgreen's at ten minutes until four.

Remember, we had been there since a little before nine that morning so needless to say, we were completely exhausted and starving so the first thing we did after leaving was grab some food. We then hit the road back to Carthage and stopped at the pharmacy to get their meds before going back to Mom's house. Stunned only begins to describe my feelings when they told me the total for those 2 prescriptions of Tamiflu........my total was over $300! Yes, it stinks and is completely ridiculous, but I really didn't have any other choice at that point in time.

We finally made it back to Mom's and just crashed. It had been a completely exhausting day and we were just worn out.

Darren arrived at my Grandmother's in the afternoon on Christmas Eve, which is where my family always gathers for dinner. This is the only time of year that I get to see a lot of these folks so I always look forward to it. Again, we tried to get pictures before everyone started to arrive and Layla was somewhat cooperative this time, but refused to get in the family photo we tried to get so we just completely missed out on a family shot for Christmas 2013.

Better luck next time I guess.

These photos here of Layla are a perfect reflection of her personality. She is a little firecracker who keeps us on our toes all the time, but she is a hoot and I can't imagine our little family without her!

Uncle Patrick and Laura


After opening gifts, we loaded back up and headed to Savannah. It's a long drive and it's usually pretty late when we get in bed as we have things to prepare when we get to Savannah, but it's important for us to have our own little family time on Christmas morning with the kids and their Santa stuff so it's completely worth it.

Thanksmas 2013

Thanksmas weekend for us came a bit later this year than usual. With Thanksgiving being so late in the month of November and then the state playoffs in early December, the only available weekend we had was the weekend before Christmas. We didn't mind though and it all ended up working out perfectly so I really can't complain.

I will say though that this post will be full of pictures so get ready!

Me and the kids packed up and headed to Papa's house on Friday, December 20th. Darren had to work the next day on the 21st so he was just going to come up once he got off work. The kids did great on the ride up there and of course, once we arrive, they were wound up after being stuck in the car for a couple of hours.

After waking up the next morning, the kids just couldn't stand it and were able to talk Papa into letting them each open a gift. I can't remember exactly what these things are called, but they are foam like pieces that you can put together and build lots of different things with. Isaac decided to do a crown so he could be king and of course, Layla followed suit and had to have one so she could be a princess.
King Isaac

Princess Layla

Layla even let me wear her crown, but just briefly!

While we were waiting for Daddy to arrive, I decided to try and get some Christmas pictures of the kids. Isaac has finally reached an age where it's no trouble at all to get him to cooperate and do well for pictures. Layla on the other hand is the complete opposite, as you can tell by the ones I attempted to get below.

Isaac holding Papa hostage
We were super excited when we learned that my brother Patrick was going to join us this year for Thanksmas. Being in nursing, his schedule doesn't always allow for things like this so we were very thankful for his presence this year. The kids enjoyed their time with Uncle Patrick too. 

Finally, it was almost time for presents, but we had to get in a few family pictures first.

Once the pictures were out of the way, the craziness began! Christmas with the little ones is one of the best things ever and Isaac and Layla are both at a stage now where it is just so much fun! I'm so thankful for these sweet babies and the joy they have brought. Can't imagine life without either of them!

Isaac is really into Legos so he was thrilled when he got a new set. He immediately sat down and began working on his new project and didn't stop until he was finished. I am so amazed by his determination and hope this is a characteristic that he doesn't lose as he ages.

The finished product.
Finally, it was time to start settling down for the night and preparing for bed.

snuggle time with the princess......one of my favorite pics

The next day, there was time to get outside and enjoy the weather before having to load things up. Papa caught lots of good shots of Isaac and Callie Grace outside. Layla preferred to stay indoors and play with her new toys.

my monkey boy

Callie Grace

Finally, it was time to pack up and go. Darren's folks had brought him to Murfreesboro where I met them so he headed back to Savannah in my car because he had to work on Monday, the 23rd.
Papa then loaded me and the kids up and met my Mom in Murfreesboro for us to ride back to Carthage with her. Darren was then going to come to Carthage on Christmas Eve so that we could all ride back home to Savannah in the same vehicle. Confusing yes, but it worked.

Anyway, Thanksmas weekend was a success once again. I'm always grateful to get to spend time with family at the holidays and I'm glad we have come up with a plan that seems to work for us all. Here's to many more Thanksmas' to come!


Ok......please forgive me......but for some unknown, crazy reason, this lady failed to take many pictures at all over the entire Thanksgiving weekend.

I know.......crazy, right?

Not exactly sure what I was thinking, but I guess it is what it is and I can't go back and fix it so.....

Anyway, as usual, me and the kids packed up and headed to Carthage for the Thanksgiving weekend. We arrived on Thursday just in time for dinner. My Aunt Carol and cousin Casey were able to join us from North Carolina this year and getting to see them is always a special treat. I wish my cousin Haley could have come with them too, but she was pregnant at the time and so I completely understand the hesitation about distrance traveling.

It was a wonderful, relaxing weekend and it was good to be back home for a bit. We didn't go out or do anything specific, mostly just spent time together, which was the main thing to me anyway.

I did manage to get a LOT of my Black Friday shopping done online though so I was glad to get some of that knocked out.

The only pictures I seem to have taken were these, which we did after church on Sunday.

 I assure you that we tried to get several pictures with Layla included and she was just not having it this day, as you can tell by these, which were about the only other ones I was able to get of her.

We headed back to Savannah on Sunday afternoon as usual and will return again once the Christmas season has arrived!