Thursday, December 16, 2010

Christmas Stockings

I’ve been struggling with this decision for a long time; purchasing Christmas Stockings. I’ve looked online and in stores and I haven’t been able to find a style that I like.  If I did find one that I like, they have initials on the. I don’t know how many children we are going to have. Furthermore, I don’t know what gender these imaginary children will be so I can’t pick names out in order to purchase a stocking with an initial. It's so frustrating!
SO, I believe that I have decided to make our stockings.  They will not be done this Christmas of course. I’ll have an entire year to work on them for next Christmas though.  I’m very excited about this new project and will certainly let y’all know how it’s going.  I’ve seen several tutorials on making your own Christmas stockings. I particularly like the tutorial that can be found here.  I believe that this is the one that I will be jumping into. (This is much to my husband’s dismay; it gets on his nerves when I am working on something; even though he hunts probably 8 out of every 10 days. The two days are when he is at work haha.)
The pictures below are stockings that came from the tutorial over at Cluck Cluck Sew.

Here are pictures of our beautiful stockings. I painted Kyle and my stocking when we first married. The middle stocking is Anna Kate's. They are "hung on the "mantle" with care" which is what Kyle said when he was hanging them on our wall over our heater. haha Sometimes I just let him do whatever he wants to do. I'm not as strong a fighter as you are Elena! Plus we had nowhere else for them to go.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Well LaRae y'all survived...

I cannot tell you how many times I've heard that phrase; or “we didn’t do it that way when you were a child.” I cannot for the life of me understand that logic. I guess I really can because I feel the same way about children’s cartoons when I was a kid and cartoons now. Cartoons now are stupid, slightly vulgar (due to the writers putting dialogue that adults wouldn’t mind listening to and kids wouldn’t pay attention to), and the characters are rude and impolite. Cartoons when I was a child were about helping others (Care Bears), doing something wrong and suffering the consequences, learning life lessons, etc.

I do not take that approach when it comes to the health of my child though. I know that the debate over stomach/back sleeping is still raging and that currently back sleeping is recommended. I realize that medical opinions change. I understand that medicine advances from year to year, probably day to day really. I don’t know why adults around me cannot understand that. I was talking to my mom when I was pregnant. It was at our Christmas get together in 2008 and I said “I REALLY want a diet coke.” She said, “Why can’t you have one?” I said, “Well, the doctors say that you should avoid drinks with caffeine in them or diet drinks that contain aspartame.” My mother’s response, “That’s just silly, they didn’t say anything like that when I was pregnant with you or your brother or sister.” To which I said, “They also didn’t know to tell you that it was bad for the baby if you smoked during pregnancy.” Let’s not even talk about the moms of the 60’s and 70’s that were doing drugs while they were pregnant.

So I have taken a new approach to these unsolicited golden nuggets of knowledge. I smile and nod. That’s it. I can’t make myself agree with everything that people tell me anymore just to please them, knowing that it’s  really going in one ear and out the other. I just smile and nod. I understand that most of them have had many more children than me. That they have raised productive well adjusted members of society (hopefully); but how did they get to where they are? I’m sure that they received plenty of advice themselves. However, I’m betting that most of their knowledge came from jumping into this great big world of parenting and either doing things right and/or MAKING MISTAKES. Things change all the time. I’m sure that the way that my parents raised us was different from the way that their parents raised them. If I were doing something that would be harmful, I would expect to be corrected or advised on what I should do. When it comes to parenting styles and other decisions that we make that impact our children’s lives, I think that maybe we should all follow the mantra “To each their own.” As long as a parent is doing what he/she feels is best for their child, what’s the big deal?

What precious jewel have you received from an elder?

Monday, December 13, 2010

You make me smile

Sometime when I'm at work (wishing that I was at home with Anna Kate) I look at pictures of her to make myself feel better. I have them plastered all over my office and she fills up my digital camera.Today I didn't have time to write much, so I'm just going to share with you a couple of pictures that made me smile.
I love this kid!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Toys, Toys, and More Toys

One thing that Anna Kate is definately not lacking in her wee little life, toys. The sweetie pie has more toys than a toy store. (I exaggerate, but you get the picture.) She has so many toys that there is no way that she could ever play with them all. Do you wanna know something funny? She hardly plays with ANY of them.

Anna Kate has always been interested in taking objects out of something and putting them back in, over and over. She doesn't really make a connection with many of them. As in, she never cries for a toy. There are a couple of toys though that if she sees them she wants them. The kitchen that stays over at her Grammy and Pops' house is definately one of these. Grammy and Pops got the kitchen for Anna Kate right after Christmas last year, I believe because it was on sale. She has played with it ever since.

Anna Kate pulled up for the first time on this kitchen.
There are a couple of dolls that she likes, but she definately doesn't have to have them. The thing that I was most surprised that she loved? This snail...
Thanks to Matt and Lisa and their sweet babies Whitney and Max, Anna Kate received this hand-me-down snail. SHE LOVES IT. She sits on it and watches t.v. (when her Daddy will let it stay in the living room). She rocks when she's trying to keep herself awake. She rocks her baby dolls with her. It's pretty precious.

Now Christmas is here again; time for the celebration of the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It is also the time for Anna Kate to receive so many Christmas presents that we will not know what to do with all of them. I'm so thankful that we have an abundance of family members and friends who spoil our little girl. I just don't know where it is all going to go. I guess it isn't the worst predicament to be in.

Have a GREAT weekend everyone!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

O' Christmas Tree, O' Christmas Tree

Sunday afternoon after church Kyle and I decided that we HAD to go cut our Christmas tree. It was so cold and Anna Kate and I were both so tired; however, if we hadn't gone to get it then we still wouldn't have one. So we piled up in Kyle's truck and headed to Daviston to Oliver's Christmas Tree Farm.

When we got there the guy who does the tree cuttin' jumped on his 4-wheeler and met us down at the lot. This freaked Anna Kate out a little bit. She wouldn't let me put her down to begin with but eventually got brave and wanted to walk with us. We examined trees finding just the right one. We narrowed it down to two. How did we decide you ask? We let little pincess choose (I didn't misspell that, read it just as it's spelled pin-cess). She was so excited and had to pose with her tree. The excitement lasted until...the tree guy broke out the chain saw to cut down the tree. I was attempting to take a picture of Anna Kate and Kyle at the time. She was  not having it. She wouldn't take her eyes off that saw. (I'm guessing to make sure that it didn't start coming towards her.)

Strike a pose!
After we got our Christmas tree we stopped by Kyle's grandparent's house (Nana and Daddy Gaines) because they live right beside the tree farm. Anna Kate was so glad to see them. Immediately when we walked in Anna Kate starts saying "can can" which means candy. She knows right where it is and heads for the cabinet. This is clear evidence of how the day goes when she stays with them on Monday and Tuesday. People tell you that you have to set rules for your children. I've found that when it comes to grandparents (regular or great) they are going to do whatever they want to and just not tell you. So Anna Kate got her Starburst. I have also included a picture of her sitting in the Cozy Coupe that first belonged to her father. I have no idea how she convinced them to bring it in the house. I'm thinking that it didn't take much though.

Trying to open her Starburst.

Now we have our tree. It's still sitting in our living room, naked as the day we brought it home. Maybe sometime before Christmas I'll have a chance to decorate it. We're shooting for this weekend at some point.
It will be interesting to see if Anna Kate will leave the ornaments on it. We shall see...
2010
2009
2010 (not really a good one she was watching that chainsaw)
2009
It's amazing how much she has grown in a year. What am I saying, I can't even believe that it's been AN ENTIRE YEAR!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

No tubes for us!

Yesterday Kyle, Anna Kate and I went back for a checkup at the Ear, Nose, and Throat specialist. This checkup was to see if Anna Kate’s ears still looked ok (i.e. no infection) and that tubes were unnecessary. Well praise the Lord, Anna Kate doesn’t have to have tubes. She’s had a cold the past week and a half and I was worried that fluid was going to collect in her ears. Thankfully I was wrong. The actual checking of the ears was not a pleasant experience. Anna Kate doesn’t like people/objects/anything touching her ears. SO, when the doctor started heading toward her with his ear checking instrument we went into complete panic mode. This forced me to have to put my daughter in a sleeper hold. I’m talking full on WWE Smackdown style. She was not pleased, as you can imagine. After the doctor was done, she was immediately fine. Well enough to turn her charm on for the receptionists and records clerks anyway (which resulted in Anna Kate scoring a lollipop).
On a lighter note, I’ve discovered that my daughter loves to pose. She goes around wearing everyone else’s shoes but her own. When you ask her to see them, she sticks one foot out and throws her hip out. How a one and a half year old knows to pop that hip, I have no idea. Below are a couple of prime examples of my little model in the making.

Dranmama purchased these precious rain boots for Anna Kate. They're a little big so she trips a lot. (That part is pretty entertaining, just kidding, well maybe)


I just thought that she looked cute in this one!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Christmas Card

I ordered our Christmas cards yesterday. I know it's a little late, but I hope to have them out by the end of the week. I think that the picture looks good of all of us, especially Anna Kate. (except maybe my hair, it was windy)
Grammy has a few really good ones of Anna Kate on her camera. I'll have to borrow it and put them up. She is laughing and smiling so beautifully.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Office Lunch Craft Time

Ever since my sweet baby girl has been born my craft/sewing time has been very limited. I can’t imagine why though. It’s not like a baby ever changes anything. She doesn’t ever want me to pay attention to her. (Insert sarcastic tone) SO, my craft time has pretty much been limited to office lunch time, some afternoons when Grammy will watch Anna Kate, some weekends when I go to my momma’s house, and every now and then when Kyle will keep her occupied.
Here's a little glimpse into my office lunch craft time and just some stuff that I’ve made since I got my sewing/embroidery machine.
 I made Anna Kate's birthday banner at lunch and finished it the day of her birthday thanks to Katie and Kelli


                I was pretty pleased with Anna Kate's Easter Basket.



I am currrently working on a cow costume for a girl who works with my mother-in-law.


I think that it's turning out pretty well.










Bow holders. They are so handy.


I inevitably look like this for the rest of the day, or have thread or fabric scraps stuck to me.


While others have pens and pencils in their office supply organizer (aka a cup) I have plenty of paint brushes.

Friday, December 3, 2010

The Celebration of Christmas



Wednesday night we went to the Christmas show at SU titled "The Celebration of Christmas". It was wonderful. However, as everyone always says, they weren't as good as we were when I was there. (na nana nanana.)
She was pumped.
Before the show started we got to see several friends that we haven't seen in a while. Mrs. Sherry Sprayberry and Lori Daniel sat in front of us. We saw Alyson Carden Mitchell and April Bryant. These two precious girls and I were in the show choir together. We had a blast and it was wonderful getting to see them even if it was for just a few minutes.

 Then it was time for the show to begin. Anna Kate's eyes lit up as soon as the curtains opened and the show began. She did really well. She even tried to help the choir sing; which really pleased those around us I'm sure. During intermission (or as Kyle calls it "half time") we got to talk to our cousin Molly. Anna Kate LOVED all of Molly's jewelry. Molly even let AK wear her engagement/wedding band set. This made me A LOT nervous.

AK has on Molly's ring and necklace. She has a thing for jewelry.

The show was good. It was good to see Mrs. Caldwell's touch back in the show. So glad that she is back.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Glory Days...

When I hear people talking about the glory days of their youth they are often referring to a childhood memory or maybe even high school. They can remember people, places, smells, etc. I had a wonderful childhood. I also loved high school. (Go Aggies!) However, when I think of the glory days of my youth I am taken back to good old Southern Union State Community College.
Now I know it hasn’t been too awful long that I was at SU; but I’m feeling a little reminiscent because tonight I am returning to that wonderful campus to see the Southern Union Sound perform the 2010 Christmas Show. I AM SO PUMPED! I love going back and seeing people that I haven’t seen in a while. I love watching the show. It is usually (when Annie-poo was there anyway) a Christmas spectacular that would rival the Rockettes!
I would proudly wear that stupid green dress again if I could perform in Brazeal one more time.

I know what some of you might be thinking: “How could anyone love Southern Union that much?” Let me tell you, I DO. I loved the people (faculty, staff, and my fellow students). I love the small town atmosphere.  Most of all, I have been so blessed with the friendships that I made while I was at SU. Being a member of the Southern Union Sound was a dream of mine since I was a little girl. When I went to watch my sister Danna perform in a Christmas show I knew that I had to be a part of that.


This was the day that Stephen split his pants! Priceless!!


I always felt like I was a part of something special when I was a member of the show choir. Children’s faces would light up while we were performing. We received standing ovations. It was a blast. I hope that the current and future members of the Southern Union Sound realize the impact that they have on their audience’s lives. What an impact they have had on mine since I left Southern Union. Music is such a blessing and to see a group of people with a passion for it perform for 2 hours is such a treat.
I am also excited that Anna Kate will be attending tonight’s show. I think that she is going to love it just like her mommy!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

My Girly Girl

Anyone who knows me knows that I’m not really a “girly” girl. Don’t get me wrong, I like to look pretty. However, I’ve never really worn makeup or done much with my hair. I blame my momma. She never really did either of the aforementioned tasks either. (On a daily basis anyway) My being allergic to mascara doesn’t help matters. Have you ever seen someone with full makeup on and no mascara? It’s a bit strange.
I think that is why I am so shocked at this prissy little princess the Lord has blessed me with. Grammy gave her a set of makeup brushes to pretend with and she spends her afternoons applying imaginary blush and eye shadow to her precious face.  Even though she still takes them out of her hair, Anna Kate has begun “demanding” that she have a bow in her hair. Personally, I think that it is because she has been watching “Your Baby Can Read” and one of the new words she is learning is bow. Never the less, she likes a bow in her hair, makeup on her face,  and now this:


That’s right folks, she wants her fingernails painted. I came home from work week before last to see little chick’s fingernails this beautiful shade of pink. Grammy had painted them while waiting for Aunt Katie to pick her up and take her to her grandparents’ house for the day. Anna Kate was SO proud of them. If someone asked her to show them her fingernails, she sweetly held out one finger to display the cutest little painted fingernail known to man. The first couple of days she would look at her hands and it was almost like it startled her to see something on them.
I guess I’m going to have to learn how to do more “girly” things so that I can share them with this sweet little gal!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Catch Up (Not to be confused with Ketchup)


I guess it’s time to play a little catch up! I was the recipient of an amazing gift; AN ENTIRE WEEK OFF! It was wonderful.  I got many things completed that I had been “meaning to get to”. Although I didn’t get to everything, I was pretty proud of myself for what I did get done. There was lots of laundry, cleaning, hanging out in pajamas with Anna Kate. We cooked and sewed. LOTS OF BOOK READING. It was fantastical. We tried to get as much playing outside in as we could before the cold snap hit. I think that if Anna Kate could live outside (and it was warm year round) and be naked she would be one happy baby. I don’t know if all babies like to be naked, but this little chick loves it! Too bad it isn’t politically correct to traipse around in her diaper wardrobe.  

Apparently this is the new face we are making. I don't know where it came from.
Thanksgiving went really well. We had an amazing time with family. Anna Kate enjoyed being the center of attention. Who would have ever guessed? Anna Kate went to spend the night with Kyle’s momma, aka Grammy, and his grandparents on Wednesday night. It’s a tradition that Grammy goes and spends the night with her parents to prepare the food for the holiday meal. I used that time wisely. I finished an outfit for AK, just in time for Thanksgiving. She could have cared less. It made me feel good that she looked cute though.
AK in her sweet "Turkey Fan" shirt and Minky Dot Ruffle Pants

Friday was a day of filled with bittersweet emotions. The Auburn Tigers pulled out the Iron Bowl win. This fact did not sit well in the Jackson household! I kept my mouth shut in fear of losing my life. (Just kidding) War Eagle! Sadly though, the Lineville Aggies did not survive to play another week. They fell short to the Reeltown Rebels in an exciting and heartbreaking 28-21 loss. The Aggies played with heart and never gave up. I am so proud of you boys!
 Anna Kate chomping down on delicious ribs during the Iron Bowl
Saturday was spent hanging out with Anna Kate, lunch with the family, my Momma hanging out with Anna Kate while I sewed, and going to have Thanksgiving with my dad and sisters. We had a blast, but I was wiped out by the end of the night. My sister, Casey, came to spend the night with Anna Kate and me Saturday night.  On Sunday we went to Sunday school and church. Grammy, Katie (Kyle’s sister), D.J. (her fiancĂ©), and I were on the list to keep the nursery. I adore keeping the nursery. You can’t beat a room full of sweet babies and kids. 
We have recently discovered Anna Kate’s love of Barney. You know that giant purple dino guy. Pray that we all keep our sanity. It’s already hanging by a thread seeing as how we have been watching the SAME DVD for the past week. She also has a favorite part of the show that she wants to see over and over. Help me! I just have to remember, this too shall pass.
Hope that all of you had a Happy Thanksgiving and lots to be thankful for!