Wednesday, December 30, 2015

November & December

For November and December we did many of the usual holiday activities.  

One of my favorite things is taking the boys for our Christmas card picture in November.  I like to have my Christmas cards in the mail on black Friday!  The boys are usually cooperative to a point...

For the past few years we have gotten together and walked around the lake on Thanksgiving morning.  This was our largest crowd yet.  We had a great time!

Right after Thanksgiving, Derek and I took our FIRST TRIP EVER away from all four boys!  We went on a cruise!!  We flew out to California and cruised to Catalina Island and down into Mexico.  

A view of Catalina Island at sunrise.

Here I am on the boat with LA in the background.

While down in Mexico, we got to hold a lion cub.  Her name was Chanel and she was about 5 months old.  The power in her paws was incredible!  A local group was raising money to help make improvement to a zoo nearby.  The best thing about Mexico was the fish tacos!  They were SO GOOD.  Derek was not adventurous enough to try them.

Immediately after coming home from the cruise, we jumped right back into "normal" life with 4-boys and took them to the Pullen Park Holiday Express with some friends.  Derek and I were both very jet-lagged, but managed to do it somehow!

Ever since Maverick was born, we have gotten a live tree.  Here I'm unwrapping the growing-too-fast collection of ornaments for the boys to help decorate the tree with.  There is hardly any room for ornaments that were Derek's or mine.  I'd love to have a second tree, but I'm not really sure where it would fit!

In mid-December, I had a baby shower for my sweet friend, Kim.  She is having her first girl and is super excited to say the least!  I made her the cake we are about to cut and it was quite the under-taking.  I think it was FIVE layers of my grandmother's wedding cake recipe.  When I started it, I didn't think it would take so long, but then I ended up spending a good part of a day (and night) working to finish it.  Oh, and our kitchen sink facet broke in the middle of this process, so that certainly didn't help!

Here are the gingerbread houses that we decorated with family when they came to visit in December. We had so much fun!  Hopefully this will become a tradition!

Here's Joel and Ruby.  She is a cute little doll!

Christmas morning and the boys were excited to see what Santa had brought!  Of course there is usually always one (or two, three, or four) that is unwilling for a photo-op.  Guess who that was below....

We had a lovely Christmas and everybody was so thankful for their gifts.  The older boys are really showing their appreciation more with thank-you's and hugs instead of the "gimme, gimme" attitude we are hoping to teach them not to have.  

Saturday, October 31, 2015


Hello Faithful Readers.  I have fallen WAY behind on blogging....

I will be posting "catch-up" months until I can get back on track...

October is always a busy month.  I don't remember much about Octobers as a child other than the fair and Halloween.  How did they get so busy for my family?  

We had multiple visits to pumpkin patches where we picked out so many pumpkins I didn't know what to do with them all!  We had had rides and train rides and played in corn pits.  Lots of fall fun for sure!  Here we are at Savannah's birthday party catching a train ride!

Of course Halloween is the big finish to October!  This year my boys wanted to be SCARY!!!  I was perfectly fine that my sweet 2-year-old was not on board with the new plan and he chose to be a frog.  I was his princess of course.  Too sweet!

Don't we make a precious pair?

Dad and Maverick were matching skeletons.

I also helped my good friend, Heather throw a surprise 50th birthday party for her husband.  It was a lot of work, but a good time as well.  

We got these vintage glass bottle cokes and I had my favorite cookie baker make up some cookies.

My favorite 2-year-old is posing with some pumpkins at yet another pumpkin patch.  This one is just up the street from our house and we went there for pictures and to pick a LARGE carving pumpkin.

 Another fun thing we did this October was take a trip down to Charleston, SC.  My cousin was getting married so we decided to make it into a vacation as well.  We took the boys down for a few days ahead of the wedding and explored all we could in the Charleston area.  Here we are at Patriot's Point exploring the Vietnam exhibit.  I was so proud of myself for actually walking through the submarine there on display.  I have a little claustrophobia but was able to do it for my boys!

Here we are at the wedding!  My cousin, Jenny was the Maid of Honor for her sister.  Her daughter, Chloe was one of the flower girls.  

The wedding was on an island that we had to take a boat to get there.  The only bad thing was that we wanted to leave before the rest of the group (earlier bedtimes for this crowd) and we ended up having to wait about 1 hour for the boat to come back to the dock.....slight miscommunication, but it turned out fine in the end.  I guess!

One of my favorite things about NC Octobers is the fair!  I wouldn't miss it.  This family of 6 is proving to be rather expensive though!!  Derek had just gotten home from a business trip and was tired, so we didn't actually stay very long.  I didn't get to walk through many of the vegetable and art exhibits like I would have liked to, but we'll hopefully do a little more next year!

Our budget allows the boys to play one game each.  They chose very carefully!

Our gracious neighbor allowed us to project a movie on their garage door for Brighton's birthday party.  It was so much fun for the kids.  They had a great time and the weather was perfect!

Can't believe seven years have gone by already!

Finally to wrap up October postings, I can't forget about our newest family member.  Lexi turned one in October.  She is a very sweet girl.  We are fostering her for a local breeder.  It will be interesting to see how we like this experience.  I know we will miss her when she is away taking care of her puppies though!

Lexi wishes she was a lap dog.  She thinks she still fits!  Ha!

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Boone Family Reunion

God works in mysterious ways.  Where did this phrase come from?  God was surely at work today for my family, especially my father.  Today was the annual Boone Family Reunion at White Oak Church near Nashville, NC.  The boys had a good time and got silver dollars from their great Uncle Warren.  My dad had been out of town that weekend, and didn't think he would come to the reunion, but came home early.  

Since our car was full, Derek's grandmother (Alice) rode with my parents, along with my dad's aunt.  On the way home Alice started feeling sick and asked my dad to pull the car over.  He took the nearest exit as he certainly didn't want her to get sick in the car and she was already heaving from the backseat. Luckily, Uncle Warren's house is right off the exit and he was already home from the reunion so they stopped there.  While everybody waited on Alice, Uncle Warren told my dad that he had something for him.

It turns out that my grandfather (My dad's dad) had given his then 12-year-old brother-in-law his Navy issued knife when he got home from WWII and was married in 1944.  This knife was the only thing he had with him when his ship was sunk during WWII and most likely saved his life.  He had to defend himself against Japanese men in the water and also sharks.  My dad and I had both heard stories about my grandfather's WWII time, but never knew anything about the knife or that my great Uncle Warren had it.  Our entire family was just amazed about how God worked to show that knife to my dad that day.  Uncle Warren had never mentioned it to my dad in all the years he's been alive, or even at the time of my grandfather's death in 2003.  He gave the knife to my dad who treasures it and I know how it is a great reminder of the sacrifice his father and many others made for our country.  

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Gender Reveal Party!

I had the privilege of throwing my first gender reveal party for my best friend, Kim.  She was super excited to find out the gender for baby # 2 and I was more than excited to be the one to surprise her and her entire family with the news.  It was a crazy busy day (like always) for me the day she got her ultrasound and so she dropped off a sealed envelope on my porch with the ultrasound picture inside.  She assured me that neither Jon nor she had peeked at the results.  I went inside my closet to open the envelope because I didn't want my face to show anything to the boys.  They couldn't be trusted with this secret!

I had just two days to make all the final preparations for the party.  Luckily I had planned out everything I would need boy or girl.  The big day arrived and I came over early to help put out the decorations.

Kim got this cute cake made, but it was not for the "reveal"
Everybody had pizza and salad and wrote their name down on Team Boy or Team Girl.  I think it ended up being tied for each side.  Kim had wanted an element of confusion for the reveal...

Originally I had filled up pink and blue balloons as well as some gold balloons with rainbow confetti. You could see the rainbow colors through the balloons so we decided to change that to black.  The balloons were filled with rainbow confetti and also a handmade scratch-off ticket that revealed the gender!  Everybody assumed that the confetti's color inside would reveal the gender.  One, two, three....POP!!!

I had prepped the crowd to scream out the gender as soon as they knew.  Even though the confetti was RAINBOW color...a few excited people screamed "It's a Boy!"  Kim knew that the real reveal would be the scratch off tickets, but with people screaming "It's a Boy!" she was confused....had somebody looked at a ticket already??

Then, Kim's Dad grabbed a ticket off the ground and yelled out, "It's a Girl!"  Kim looked at me, "Really?"  I nodded.  She burst into tears from excitement as her Dad showed her the ticket with the pink elephant proving he was telling the truth.  What a fun party and a super-fun memory!!  Can't wait to meet this little princess!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015


Grandaddy Bob took the boys for a fun morning of fishing at a friend's pond.

All three big boys got to go this time, so Maverick was excited to join in the fun!  As you can see, there were no record-breaking fish caught today, but many memories were made, and that's what counts!

Maverick had a blast and probably ended up with the largest catch!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Happy Birthday, Charlie!

Today we celebrated Charlie's Birthday at Pump It Up!
There was a large crowd of kids and they all had a blast jumping on the inflatables.  
Oh to have their energy!

The birthday mom, Heather, requested that you dress up like super-heroes.  I wore my Robin T-shirt (and cape) left over from Halloween.  Unfortunately, many parents thought I worked there because of this.  I'll take it as a compliment though because all the "workers" are teenagers/college students.

I thought this picture of Jamison spying through his mask was just too cute!  Notice his purple cast?

Charlie and Maverick are best buds.  

Monday, August 10, 2015

School Days

WOW!  Summer really flew by and another school year is upon us.  I can't believe how quickly time is going by.  Slow down, please!

I let these two pick out their outfits for the first day.  

Chandler is now the top of his classroom in the 3rd grade and Brighton has moved in to the classroom next-door and is the youngest in a mixed age class.  I'm so glad we are at the school we are.  It has been such a good fit for our family!  

Both of the boys just love to read, and Brighton's reading is really starting to take off.  The boys have also asked to join the chess team this year.  We didn't allow Chandler to join last year because it would have been too complicated for our family with scheduling.  

Here's to a great school year!

Saturday, August 1, 2015

MOPS Pool Party

Another school year is fast approaching which means another year of MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers).  Hard to believe that I've been a part of MOPS for 9 years!!  MOPS will always have a special place in my heart because it is where I have made friends that were in the same phase of parenting as I was.  Sure, there were a few moms that were a little older and wiser that I have learned many tips and tricks from, but for the most part they were right there in the thick of it with me.

This year for the first time I am co-leading a group.  It is a lot of work, but well worth the payoff.   I decided to host a pool party and cook out for the leadership team and their families.  We all had a great time.  I have known the co-leader for many years, but this is the first time I'm working hand-in-hand with her.  While eating dinner, her husband told me how glad he was that I would be sharing the workload with her, and how relieved he was that she'd be supported in this ministry.  It really meant so much to me that he'd tell me that.  He also scored points in my book for pointing out how cool the collage is in the guest bath (a picture Derek doesn't care for!).  

I can't wait to see what this year of MOPS will bring and how God will be used to form friendships and tell other moms about Jesus' love for them!

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Meet Ruby!

The time had finally come for our family to meet the latest addition to our extended family.  Introducing Ruby Thompson!

Ruby is super adorable, can't you tell?  The necklace she is wearing was something special I picked out for her supporting our local Birth Center Boutique.  It is a "teething necklace" made out of baltic amber.  Erin, Joel, & Ruby came for a long weekend and also Aunt Elizabeth too.

We had a great time and hope to see them again soon!

Even Great Aunt Edith was able to come over one night for dinner.  Here are all the cousins together.