Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving Memories

We had a wonderful day yesterday making great Thanksgiving memories! The day started off with our traditional holiday breakfast. This year, Caroline got to actually enjoy it (although she liked her blueberries more). Then on to cooking. I was in charge of the chocolate pie. Cooking is so much more fun with my little helper...even if it takes 10x longer ;-)

Spreading on the whipped cream
Final product
After cooking, we moved on to a Thanksgiving craft. Caroline wanted to make something special for all of her family so we decided to paint handprint turkeys. Caroline LOVED it when I painted her hand different colors then laughed like crazy when she made her handprint on the paper.

The final product
Caroline showing off her artwork
"Happy Thanksgiving!!"

My two moms. Words can't even express how much I love these two women. I'm so blessed to have them in my life. I don't know what I would do without them and am very thankful for their unconditional love, generosity, and thoughtfulness. Not to mention, they are both fabulous cooks and made the most delicious Thanksgiving meal yesterday...yum!
Caroline and my bro (Uncle John)...he's got some super white teeth in this picture :-)
I love me a pretty table, especially when it's covered with yummy food
This Thanksgiving was extra special because it was our first holiday to celebrate in Matt's parents' new home, all together in the same city. We are so glad they moved to Dallas this year. Matt's mom graciously hosted and we combined our two families for an extra fun time...Caroline was in heaven :-) Clockwise: my mom, aunt Jean, Nannie, Matt's dad, my bro, Matt and Matt's mom (Caroline was napping)

After Caroline's nap, she got to have her Thanksgiving dinner. Then Matt's mom took her into her room and shut the door. We didn't know what was going on until Caroline came back out wearing this:
Sneaky Niki...she had bought this Giants cheerleading outfit and was saving it for a Thanksgiving day surprise. My family didn't like it so much. Matt was thrilled :-)
We spent the rest of Thanksgiving watching football, hanging out, playing 42 and laughing at Caroline, our little entertainment for the day. My heart is full of gratitude and thankfulness to God for all of our many blessings. One special blessing is my best friend, Shae's, sweet baby boy was born yesterday. They had an extra special Thanksgiving and we are so happy Smith has arrived and is healthy, perfect, and so adorable. I can't wait to meet him!!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Weekend at the Ranch

Last weekend, our friends, Jason and Laura, invited our community group out to Laura's parents' ranch. We had fun hanging out, riding the kubota (see below :-), talking/laughing around the fire pit, making smores, grilling out yummy food, shooting guns at targets, playing games and going "spotlighting" to look for animals late at night. It was great to get away and enjoy some fresh air and beautiful Texas countryside for a weekend.
Our fam
Matt acting out a cameo during an exciting game of Turbo Cranium
Another pic during Turbo Cranium...Matt was the "puppeteer" and Jason was the "puppet" I can't believe I got a clear picture of this b/c I was laughing so hard!
Jason, loading up the gun for us to shoot the target (don't worry, the kids were asleep during this activity)
Matt, taking aim and firing
Laura, doing the same
Laura and Lauren, checking out the target
Caroline and Laura (or "Wawa" as Caroline calls her ;-)
Jason, Parker, Matt and Caroline going for a ride in the Kubota (it's an all-terrain, hunting vehicle...kind of like a cross b/w a golf cart/four wheeler on steroids)
Look closely, in the middle of this pic is a beautiful buck
Jason took Lauren and me out for a ride on the Kubota and gave us a great tour of the ranch

Caroline playing with Ben
Sweet Parker saying "cheese" this kid
The Matthews Family...Laura, Parker, and Jason...enjoying the fire outside
Ben and Lauren, singing a funny song together
Me and my handsome hubby
What a wonderful weekend! Thanks for hosting us, Laura and Jason!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving Week

Here is a recent video of Caroline doing a bunch of random stuff. Matt taught her a little "phrase" in French that she likes to say over and over. Matt's parents taught her how to "sing" Sweet Caroline. Also in the video, we had a family bible study the other day that was (so conveniently) about obeying your parents and Jesus. So that's what Caroline is talking about. Happy Thanksgiving week to everyone!! We are so thankful for Caroline and all of the joy and laughter she brings into our lives!!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Fun at the Park

We've been having the best weather lately so we've been trying to spend as much time outside as we can. Yesterday, we loaded Caroline up in the stroller and walked to the park near our house to let her play.

Her favorite thing at the park...the slide!

Climbing with Daddy

Pretending to "drive"

"I love the park!!"

Practicing going down the stairs while holding the rails
Quick pose with mommy

Caroline's 2nd favorite activity at the park...swinging!
Unfortunately, our fun park outing ended with Caroline falling really hard and biting THROUGH her lip (yes, I said through). I have never seen so much blood come out of a child's mouth before. Even though Matt and I were freaking out on the inside, we both stayed surprisingly calm. I'm just glad Matt was with me! We rushed Caroline home and called our pediatrician's nurse on call. She told us if the puncture wound was really small (which it was) and if the bleeding stopped on its own, then Caroline wouldn't need stitches. Luckily, the bleeding stopped shortly after we got home and, after putting some ice on Caroline's lip, the swelling went down. Today, her lip already looks like it's healing nicely. We know it could have been a lot worse and are so thankful we didn't have to go to the hospital. There is never a dull moment with a 19 month old :-)