Fairfield Glade

I realize I haven't said much about where we vacationed. We stayed at Fairfield Glade in Crossville, TN. It was a great vacation. F. G. is a golf course community, that's about it. It's exactly what we needed this time of year. No deadlines or projects to get done. Just spending time with the family.

The kids enjoyed watching the Chronicles of Narnia on the laptop.

Laney worked on her typing skills.

The boys (and I) watched football.

And then there was exercising. LOTS of exercising. Ron was in heaven getting to go to the gym twice a day. He even let Laney help him with sit ups.

This was our home for 5 days.

The Minister's Treehouse

While we were in Crossville, we decided to check out what might be the largest treehouse in the world. It's 10 stories tall and was built by a minister who said he "had a vision" and God showed him how to build it. He says he has 40 more years to go before it's complete and hopes to live that long.

Horace Burgess started building the treehouse in 1993. And I can tell you after going up it that it is NOT to code. Over half way up, I looked down at the "floor" and noticed the 2 x 4's were not at all correctly attached to the floor joists. I quickly decided I had had enough. I grabbed Sam's hand even tighter and told him we were heading back down. Ron, Freddie, and Luke came down as well. We were all nervous we'd fall through at any moment.

There is a church inside the clubhouse. As scary as it is, Ron thought it would be an amazing place to worship our Lord.

Here's a view coming down the stairs. The boards along the wall were signed by all the visitors over the years.

As we were leaving the property, I saw this beautiful setting with the horse and red barn.



the boys decided to play in the snow their first morning on vacation. it didn't last long. sam especially didn't like getting wet. but thanks to their boots, they kicked around in it a few minutes before heading inside.

a "Laney and Pops" sequence


Christmas at B and Pops'...

Me and the kids went to B and Pops' house for lunch Saturday. We got to spend time with family and eat some yummy "Upside Down Tacos". Not a traditional Christmas lunch, but it may become a new tradition. It's low-stress for sure!

Merry Christmas to all!

After reading several other blogs, it looks like we were not alone in our adversities the week leading up to Christmas. It started with a huge hawk deciding he would fly right into the side of my car. Oh. My. Goodness. It was freakish. I don't think he survived, but I didn't wait long enough to find out. I sat there dumbfounded for a few minutes before leaving him in the street as I drove away. What was I to do? Those guys are unpredictable. Meanwhile, while waiting for Direct TV and DSL to be hooked up, we went without the internet for 4 days. They hooked up DSL and somehow unplugged/cut our phone line. It was luckily only out for the day. Later that day, I called Alagasco to check on a suspicious smell. Sure enough, we had a gas leak. We went without an oven for 4 days before leaving for vacation. We just got back today to welcome the service man in so he could fix it. He just told me the part will be ordered and will arrive in 7-10 days. So, no oven for more than a week. We noticed it still smelled like gas when we got home today. So we called Alagasco again. After a crew of 6 men and their mini-excavator found the leak, they fixed it and were on their way. I got the stomach virus and was sick all day Christmas Eve. Ron got it and was sick all day Christmas. Even with the illnesses, we managed to have some good family time. We just did "family time" in shifts. And we were able to enjoy Christmas for what it really is. 'Cause it's not about me cooking a great meal in the oven...it's about the gift of our Lord, Jesus Christ.


the leaves

Ron cleaned up all of our leaves last weekend. Dave was here and helped make a big pile for the kids. It didn't take long for boys to be boys and get good and dirty. Laney was another story. She just walked around on her tippy toes and watched the show.

to the mall

erin and i took all 5 kids to the mall for a fun outing the other day: pictures with santa, a ride on the carousel, and chick fil a. it was fun (except for the 45 minute line we waited in to see jolly ole' saint nick). and sam was a complete angel while talking to santa. last year, when asked what santa was going to bring him for christmas, he replied "santa's dead". whoops. so we tried explaining it again this year. the "real" saint nick has passed on, but people still like to pretend. so let's don't tell anyone that "santa is dead" this year.
i didn't get a picture of luke on the carousel. i was trying too hard to keep laney from falling off. she often pokes her lips out when she's trying to talk. here, i imagine she's trying to tell me how beautiful the lights are...
i took a picture of sam and laney in the mirror across from us. how sweet to see her hand holding on to him.


Laney's stocking

Some of you may remember last year's post on finishing Luke's Christmas stocking. I finished it 2 days before Christmas. I worked diligently for a good 8 or 9 hours the week before Christmas. These things are not a joke. They take time. So after taking a picture of Laney last year holding her unopened bag which would be her stocking I said to myself "I'm not waiting until the last minute to get her stocking finished". And so I worked on Laney's stocking and got it done back in the Spring. Or so I thought. I just took out the kids' stockings and found Laney's is STILL in the bag, unopened. I guess I'll be spending a good 8 or 9 hours working on hers now. It'll be worth it. I still have the homemade stocking I grew up with. I am getting more sentimental every year...


iPhone images - sick Luke

Luke woke up Thursday morning and made it clear that he had the same stomach bug Sam had just gotten over. Sam threw up and missed school Tuesday...it hit Luke Thursday. I took pictures of him throughout the morning while he slept it off. He was pitiful...

7:26 am

7:41 am
kitchen floor

8:02 am
carseat, taking sam to school

9:11 am
other end of couch

11:27 am


Christmas in LA and MS

We spent last weekend "doing Christmas" with Ron's family. What fun! I just hate that I left my camera at home. I had planned on getting some great shots... maybe next year.

Aunt Bekah and Uncle Big Mac had fun with the kids.

Luke and George had a blast eating out of the nut bowl.
Sam had painted an ornament for Baba Dee. They have such a special relationship; he adores her! So he was right there while she opened it up.
Pajamas were given and the kids were sweet enough to pose in front of the tree.
Bekah found the cutest dog prints. Each of our kids got a different one. I can't wait to frame them and put the three up. Where should they go? Ron thinks over their beds. I think all three together would be much cuter. Like in their bathroom or something. I guess we'll see...
Luke got a teeter-totter and has played with it every day since. Laney even plays on it by herself by sitting in the middle.
We had a great time visiting with the whole family. It's crazy to think that Christmas day is just a week away.