Leaving Tennessee

We had a great week in Tennessee. So thankful for time spent with family that we don’t live close to … here are some final photos first.

First up is what happens when Mommy tries to climb through a tunnel designed for toddlers.

This is Madilyn’s Christmas dress from her Nana. So pretty:

The church put on a Christmas program today … The children were originally supposed to do it last Sunday but the big snow caused power outages so there was no service. Thankfully for us we go to see it. Here’s Jorah and her speaking part.

Madilyn was mesmerized … she loved the play.

Here’s a shot of Madilyn when she asked to wear Mommy’s hat and scarf:

Finally, my sweet Mommy who means the world to me!

Flying out tonight … let the dieting begin!

Thanks to Jeff who took pictures!

Christmas Day

Christmas Day Madilyn and I decorated a gingerbread house, tree and cookies. We wrapped up the cookies to give to her second cousins at Christmas dinner. The Peters’ family met and ate at the church fellowship hall.

Jorah and Madilyn

Daddy and Madilyn

Madilyn eyeballing the dessert table.

Nana cutting the desserts.

Mammaw and me

Uncle Chris and Madilyn

Hey … there’s Uncle Jonathan in there …

The Christmas tree rotated! It was too cool.

Madilyn matched Denny and Alonna’s girls, Brooklyn and MaKendra. It was so cute.

More from Tennessee

We visited Uncle David and Aunt Cindy’s house Christmas Eve Eve … decorated so beautifully for Christmas.

Their grandbabies on the steps with Madilyn. Second cousins!

Beautiful Emma is growing so fast!

Cutie Jorah hugging Madilyn

They gave Mom a UT Snuggie!

Madilyn got cute books and puppets. I ate lots of cookies and fudge. A good time had by all.

Queen of the Fairies in the Gingerbread Kingdom

Aunt Pam and family gave Madilyn a play dress-up fairy costume … which Madilyn adores. She told us that she’s the Queen of the Fairies! Hey, if you’re going to be a fairy, you might as well be queen.

She also got an apron with her name on it … It’s a little big, but it still does the trick. We made our first gingerbread house together. She was a pro! By the way, the cute white Christmassy bucket is from the DeVores and she has played and played with it. It’s the perfect container for all her little princess and animal figurines.

licking the icing

sampling the candy …

a job well done.

Christmas Is Here!

I’ve neglected the blog … it’s already Christmas! So here’s a big blog post recapping our Christmas activities this month.

First up … a pretty dress on a beautiful girl by our Christmas tree which Madilyn helped decorate:

Same dress, same day, but by the beautiful trees in the church lobby.

Then …. we got sick. Madilyn and I both suffered through colds earlier this month. Thankfully they passed quickly. Daddy snapped this shot of us recovering on the couch together.

That weekend was our annual Christmas service, for which I sang (or tried to sing) in the choir. I’m on the back row toward the right.

Madilyn got a few early Christmas presents too. This one was from her friend Sydney: a cute pink stuff animal and an adorable Dora and Boots bag. She loved them both.

She also got some nice books and super cute penguin pajamas from a sweet lady at church named Sis. Bobbi.

Meanwhile I put the final touches on Madilyn’s gift – including this monstrous box with her big Christmas gift! No peeking!

Madilyn’s Mother’s Day Out program put on a special Christmas program for parents on Thursday. Jeff took off work to come see his baby girl in her first performance. She and all but two others stood like wooden soldiers … hands in their mouths or noses and didn’t sing or act out a word! They all had stage fright. (They did a repeat performance Friday and they all did a better job, Madilyn included.) We were so proud of her! They sang “Teddy Bear,” “Jingle Bells” “We Wish You A Merry Christmas” and some song about Mary on a donkey. It was sweet. Madilyn had ornaments and all kinds of things she had made in class for us. We got to make a craft with her – a nativity scene – and have cookies and punch. It was a great day!

That night we headed south of Orlando to the Disney town of Celebration. We saw “snow” falling, had dinner, took a train ride and saw Santa Claus! She loved Santa … it was definitely a better experience than last year.

Friday and Saturday we exchanged more gifts with friends. First Rosa came over and gave Madilyn a baby doll that she promptly named Baby Jesus.

Then the DeVore family gave her a cute Winnie the Pooh puzzle book. She loves it! We had yummy cookies then went to the hospital to meet our new friend, Hal IV born to Tracy and Hal Lawlor … He weighed 8lb 15 oz! A big boy!

Sunday morning Madilyn wore a pretty Christmas dress for our last service before Christmas.

I met them in the parking lot (I was at church early to sing) so I could fix her hair 🙂

After church she decorated a “Happy Birthday Jesus” birthday cake for Christmas, which we took to Mimi’s house for our family Christmas dinner.

Then we headed off to Mimi’s for the afternoon and had wonderful food and fun times with Madilyn’s cousins!

Baby Kate

Baby Dane



Uncle Gordy and Aunt Pam

Uncle John

Mimi and Baby Dane

She got all kinds of princess stuff, plus a cute outfit, a sleeping bag and a Veggie Tales DVD. We came home and crashed … while Madilyn took her nap, Daddy and I played Santa Claus and set up the gifts. We didn’t have any out before so this was a big surprise for Madilyn when she woke up.

Mimi came over to help us open gifts.

A princess rocking chair from Nana!

Opening the big gift ….

A Madilyn-sized basketball goal!

Playing “spa” with Mommy

Shootin’ hoops …

Finally, we read the story of Baby Jesus from a beautifully illustrated children’s Bible. A good Christmas indeed … and there’s more to come!