Merry Christmas!!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas from the George Family!

Bethlehem Marketplace

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Though I may love Santa, I realize the real reason for Christmas is to celebrate the gift of Jesus Christ. This is why we couldn't just visit Santa, we have to talk about Jesus and learn about Him. What better way than to go visit Bethlehem as it might have been when he was alive? I must add that Cian was up very late the night before and had a traumatic day with Santa that day but he did get a nap before we left for Bethlehem, or the Bethlehem Marketplace at Southeast Baptist Church. (I didn't take any photos so all the photos here are stolen from the Southeast Baptist's web site, sorry)!

When we got there we had to wait in the sanctuary for a bit before we could go in. The shepherds who were in a tented section had cold feet because they had on sandals and it was snowing so they had to take a break to thaw. Cian thought the sanctuary was a playground and wanted to crawl under the pews and run around. This was not ok and we had to visit the bathroom once. He may or may not have had a little spanking and had to stand in the corner. And I may or may not have been caught spanking my child in the church bathroom by a family.

When we went in we were greeted by shepards with their flock who told us about a baby who had been born that was rumored to be the savior of the nations. As we entered the city we had to sign our names for the census, that is why we had traveled there after all. They asked us where we were from and when we said Murfreesboro they asked if we came by foot or boat. Let's just say that it was a long trip. We entered the city and were greeted by the friendliest camels who wanted to love on us and chew our jackets. There were also many people selling things in the marketplace. These included food, fabric, pottery and metal. There was also someone squishing grapes for wine. (Not going to say this was my favorite section but...). Our money was not recognized but there was a place to exchange gold or silver for their currancy. (They didn't really take your gold or silver). While we made friends with a camel we saw some young guys in jail, they told us they were there for spreading the word that a savior had been born. Apparently the Roman soliders walking around weren't too keen on that idea. (They weren't too keen on much).

We walked through and heard an announcement about what happened in the city that day. We then went and talked to an inkeeper about staying for the night, but there wasn't any room, anywhere. He told us that a family had come the day before and he didn't even have room for them but they stayed in his stable and they were there still. They had a baby while they were there and he was rumored to be the son of God. The inkeepers daughter was precious, maybe three years old, and she was telling us there wan't room for us to stay there. After meeting him we went and had a man write Cian's name in Hebrew. (I have to add that Steve threw this away the next week because as usual I left it sitting on the dining room table. So what if it was going to stay there for a month, I wanted to keep it). We went into the stable next and there was a donkey, a sheep and a family with a brand new baby. We went over to look at the baby and I told Cian, "Look, that is baby Jesus" and my sweet little angel said, "Don't like that baby Jesus". Oh great, yep, we need to be here. I told him that Jesus loved him and he said it again, "Don't like that baby Jesus." Wow.

Well we left the manger and walked back through the town so Cian could see the camel again. Actually he dragged me back through the town to the camels. We stopped to eat some cheese and then stopped at the wine press. Cian wanted to eat grapes, and he was a little greedy about them. You would think his parents hadn't fed him lunch, wait we didn't. After eating more than his share of grapes they started giving him some to throw. He loved this! Cian was able to throw the grapes into where the girl was stomping them with her feet. We stood there for a good five minutes tossing grapes in. As we were tossing the Roman soliders came out to block the street leading into the manger. We asked why we had to wait and they gave us mean looks and short answers, blasted soldiers. While we waited an older lady was talking to us and talking about Cian. Cian took one look at her and said, "Lola". Which in Cian speak means Yoda. I pretended like I didn't know what he was saying and just kept the conversation with her going. In his defense she was pretty wrinkly and had a hooded jacket on. Her skin was not any shade of green though.
We were able to walk through and see baby Jesus again and then we headed out of Bethlehem. There was a wooden cross on the way out and I stopped to thank God for the gift of Jesus. I don't deserve it and can never do enough to warrant it but the gift is there nonetheless. Grace has been granted to me time after time. I have more blessings than I know what to do with and this time of year makes that very apparent. My little family is the best blessing I could ask for. Though Steve may not have gone with us and Cian may have cried and screamed and said he didn't like Jesus they are still a tremendous blessing. We are not perfect but we are the perfect gift to each other year after year. Merry Christmas!
If you want to see some good photos you can look at Mary Leigh's blog here: (She is a mom who remembers her camera always!)

Visit With Santa

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

On Christmas Eve every child waits with anticipation for the morning to come. The excitement, and trying and trying to fall asleep to no avail because you can't wait to see what Santa brings you. Christmas is so magical for a child and I have such fond memories that I couldn't wait for Cian to meet Santa for the first time. We had practiced what Cian was going to ask Santa for, he kept saying Big Foot which is a toy he is afraid of but loves to look at when we go to any toy store. We watched Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer and Santa Claus Is Coming To Town to get him prepared for what Santa looks like. He has seen photos and can pick Santa out in a crowd.

We have a Santa Brunch at SRCC each year and I haven't taken Cian before but I thought this year he just might be ready. Christina, of Eternal Treasures Photography, was taking the photos and she has taken photos of Cian before so I thought this also might make him more comfortable. I thought wrong.

We walked in and he was just bebopping along. Cian saw Santa and was ok until I asked him to go talk to him and sit on his lap. He was not going anywhere near that man in the red suit. (I might add that Santa was super friendly and had a great beard, black patent leather boots, a belt buckle that said SC and a great wife, Mrs. Claus). Like any good parent would we tried to coax him to Santa with a candy cane. I am so not above bribery. Cian did get close enough to grab the candy cane and then he went the other direction. Ok, guess I was going to have to bring out the big guns, mom was getting in Santa's lap. I showed him that it was ok and he was willing to get close to us. Then he was willing to sit on my lap. The outcome was very good.

I mean isn't that such a sweet Santa photo? You can see the candy cane in his hand, I think was his security blanket. Well that went so well that I thought we would try putting Cian in Santa's lap by himself. My plan was to run over, plop him in Santa's lap and run away before he could realize what was going on. Well, Cian was way faster than I gave him credit for and this is what happened:

Cian booked it! He was taking his candy cane and making a break for it! When Christina sent this photo to me I laughed out loud for a good five minutes. Then I looked at it later and laughed again. I might be cruel mother but this was too funny! I am fairly certain this picture will come out on Cian's dates and you better believe if he has a slideshow at his wedding this puppy is making the cut.

The poor guy did feel better after I consoled him and we went home and took a nap. I hope Santa will still come to visit...

My son thinks I am Wonder Woman

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Yesterday Cian and I braved the crowds to so some last minute Christmas shopping. We were out off and on all day long and there were a few tantrums, some hitting, some throwing of the checkbook resulting in receipts all over the floor and some stress. You know, your typical shopping session with a toddler.

We were looking at DVDs at one of our last stops and we picked up a SuperFriends DVD. Cian pointed to Wonder Woman and said, " that mommy". This warmed my heart to know that my son thinks I am wonder woman. Even if he doesn't know who she is yet, I am a super hero to him right now. On the days when I feel like I have given everything and it isn't enough and he isn't listening to me or I feel guilty because we haven't played, read or spent enough time together I can remember that at this stage in his life I am Wonder Woman. Thank you Cian for making a crazy day of shopping better, even if you don't realize it.

I should add that he also pointed to Robin and said, " that daddy", which made me laugh. He pointed at Superman next and said, " that daddy too."

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

Monday, December 13, 2010

All around our house!

We love Christmas in our house. As soon as Thanksgiving is over we are listening to Christmas music 24/7 and ready to get our house set up for Christmas.

Steve is always excited to get the outside lights up. He has to have a strategic plan and all the lights have to be straight and no random lights. You know, the ones that hang randomly or droop in the middle of a window. I am glad he is this way and likes to put them up because I get to reap the benefits!

I love decorating and having our house Christmasy. Each decoration means something or has a special memory. The same with our tree. Each year we get a dated ornament we can put a photo of our family in. This started the year we got married because a couple of our friends bought us an ornament that said "first Christmas together"and had a place for a photo. I have to admit that the ones from 2008 and 2009 still have the family that came in them though. I will get us in there someday... My mom also bought my brother and I each an ornament every year with plans to give them to us when we got married and had our own tree. The ones she bought me are mice. I love putting these on our tree because I have memories of putting them up as a little girl too. I would love to do something like this for Cian.

I wanted to make Cian a part of decorating our tree this year so when it was time to put the ornaments on I made sure Cian came in to check out all the goodies we had to put on the tree. We put Charlie Brown Christmas on TV and had music playing in the background. It was the pefect litte scene for ornament hanging. The first ornament I gave him to put on the tree was one of his baby's first Christmas ornaments. He held it up to the tree like he was going to hang it but then said "weally high". He wanted to hang all the ornaments really high! I would give him ornaments with hooks on them to hang and he would just walk around with them and lose the hooks. Not exactly the perfect scenario for ornament hanging but what did I expect with a two year old. It could have been worse, we only lost two ornaments.

Daddy helping Cian hang the ornaments "weally high"
The star, the finishing touch Our little Jedi beside the finished tree. (Cian had a little eye infection, hence the red eyes).

All in all, I am excited with our decorations and budding family traditions. Here are a couple of my favorite decorations:
Nativity set that was a wedding gift from a couple that always inspires me
Angels that belonged to my Mamaw Dot and Popie. I used to play with these all the time as a little girl.

Tree Lighting

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Last week we went to the tree lighting on the Square in Murfreesboro. This is the second year we have gone and it has been a lot of fun both years. On the quaint little square in Murfreesboro they had a stage set up in front of the Courthouse and a giant tree next to it. There were people performing Christmas Carols on the stage and Santa even came to visit. There were people in a reindeer and snowman costume walking around and they had free carriage rides! (The line was super long so we didn't actually take one). Once Santa arrived we did the countdown and the lights on the tree came on.
Cian was excited to see Santa on stage but when we walked over and got close to him he didn't really want to give Santa five. Something about the portly man in the red suit with the white beard definitely makes my kid nervous. I just don't think he has realized the guy is going to bring him toys. I think Cian's favorite part about the night was running around in the grass with his cousins.
The tree lighting is so fun and I hope to make it one of our Christmas traditions each year.

Bill and Karen

Rob, Caleb and Steve

Cian and Mommy

Tracy and her kids: Luke, Taryn, Olivia and Caleb

Our winter ready family


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Yes, I know it's December and time to move on to Christmas but I felt I couldn't move on before posting about Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is such a great time to be with family and take a moment to remember the blessings that God has given us all year. I mean, the turkey is a good part too. I feel like we have so much to be thankful for. In the midst of all our troubles and the troubles of the world we have blessings. I have never once had to wonder where my next meal would come from or if I would have a roof to sleep under. That roof may not be too spacious or the meal may not be five star, but they are always there.

We do every other Thankgiving with Steve's side or mine and it was the year for my family. (We saw some of Steve's family but I don't have any photos, sorry)! I started the day off with the Chattanooga Turkey Trot 8k race. (That is about 5 miles). This race helped me justify the overeating I knew was inevitable. We ate lunch over at my Aunt Paula's house and boy did we eat! I wish I had gotten a photo of everyone there, but I did make sure to get one of Cian bugging my dad while he is trying to take a turkey induced nap.
After lunch we went to my brother and his wife Bonnie's house for dessert and my mom's side of the family from Atlanta came over. My grandmother was able to come from the nursing home so this was a treat!
My immediate family

We tried to get a photo with the great grand kids that were there, this is the best we could do! Cian, Ruby, Luke, Mamaw and Tyler.
Friday after a two-h0ur power yoga class with my cousin Wendy we took Cian to see Mamaw at the nursing home and he wanted to lay in bed with her.

The nursing home is somewhat depressing but Cian always hams it up. He love to walk up and down the halls and talk to everyone there and they always love to see him!

It was a great weekend packed with seeing family and visiting old friends and it was wonderful. I can't wait to see everyone again for Christmas!

Big Boy Bed

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The week of Thanksgiving we decided to put Cian in a big boy bed. By we I mean Steve decided it was time and I cried and whined because this was a fight I was not ready to fight. Cian had been crying a lot in bed lately and not wanting to go to sleep. I was fairly certain that this was because he was afraid of the dark. Steve thought it was because he didn't like his crib. Bah, that's crazy, I said. It is right?? right?? Well we converted Cian's bed. By we I mean Steve converted Cian's bed and I watched and took photos. While we were doing it Cian loved jumping on the mattress and the bed. I thought this was a good sign.

Steve taking the crib apart
One little monkey jumping on the bed

We got his crib transitioned and it was time for bed, the moment I had been dreading. I was honestly picturing him getting up and running around his room and then running out to find us and refusing to go to bed. I thought we would have total insanity on our hands and we would be up half the night just sitting beside his bed and putting him back in it. I would be lying if I said we put him to bed at his normal bedtime that night, we put the kid to bed tired! We read him a book, said his prayers and kissed him goodnight. The nightlight was on and he had all his friends in bed with him. We quietly snuck out of the room and went to wait. We waited and the screaming didn't come! There were a few, mommy? and daddy? questions from his little self but no complete meltdown. In fact, he didn't try to come out of his room once! I was amazed and realized I was definitely wrong about the dark thing, it was the cage of a crib the whole time!

Tucking in his friends
Testing it out

I have been amazed with Cian since he was born at how he will all but tell us when it is time to do something. He got rid of his pacifier and semi-easily gave up his bottle. He started wanting to do things himself like brush his teeth and now he was trying to tell us that he is a big boy and ready for his big boy bed. I have been the one not ready for the change.

Since last week Cian has done pretty well in his bed. There have only been a couple nights that were difficult and only one where we ended up on the couch together. Success!

Time for night night

Veggie Tales Live

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The week before Thanksgiving was a busy week for us. We had a doctor's appointment, I went to see Harry Potter, I worked a wedding away from SRCC, we went to a skating party and we went to Veggie Tales Live! (Not in that order) Cian just loves Veggie Tales and Bob Mano and Cumber. (Bob the Tamato and Larry the Cucumber). I was a bit nervous about how he was going to do since he has never been to a movie, much less a live show. We got there and immediately hit up the merchandise stand. (Yep, I have always been a sucker for the merch). I resisted the urge to buy each cd and movie they had there. Cian wanted to wear this bob mano hat and wouldn't take it off so I bought him a hat and a t-shirt. The hat was promptly taken off as we found our seats. Good thing he didn't do that before we bought it...

I got there early to get a good seat but wasn't very bright because I spent the "early" time shopping and didn't get into the sanctuary until about 15 minutes before the show was supposed to start. I wandered around aimlessly looking for a seat near the front (yes, I tried to sit near the front for veggie tales when I normally sit near the back for church). I couldn't find a seat that wasn't occupied by a coat or a purse (I felt like Forrest Gump, seat's taken) so we headed up the steps to the stadium type seats. This is more my comfort territory anyway.
We found a seat in the middle of an aisle near some kids Cian's age and he immediately went over to try to talk to a little girl. She was scared and her mommy was giving me the eye. I told them he was just friendly and her mom seemed to be ok with him going to sit by her daughter. That is until he tried to hit her. Oops. The show started and Cian was somewhat captivated for at least 5 minutes. It was actually pretty great and I was singing the songs and dancing in my seat but I think I must have embarrassed Cian because he wanted to sit by everyone else. The little girl and the woman on the other side of us who had a sleeping newborn and a video camera. I think Cian got in the way of both of those. Her video sure will be cute with Cian yelling Bob Mano in it though! The lady in front of us was taking pictures and Cian kept looking at her camera screen and saying Cumber or Bob Mano when he saw them in the photos. I think I got him to sit down for an entire song and then it was time for intermission. We walked around during the break, this was a big mistake. I don't think Cian had realized there were stairs he could walk up and down until this point. When it was time for the second half to start we made our way back to our seats. I could tell the video camera lady was excited to see us back to our seats. This time Cian made friends with the little boy in front of us.
He also decided that he wanted to go sit with them instead. (I think I must have stunk).
Much to his dismay he had to sit with me. The second half was just as entertaining for me, I sang and danced in my seat but Cian kept asking to go to the stairs. I thought that maybe he wanted to go down them and dance with the kids in the aisle so when there were just a few songs left we got up to go down the steps. Well, mommy was fooled. He didn't want to dance to "The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything", he wanted to walk up and down and up and down the steps. If you heard a kid screaming that was mine, because his mean mommy wouldn't let him walk up and down the stairs in a dark theater. The show ended as Cian was crying at the bottom and we headed home to go to bed. I should point out that he screamed for something to drink the entire way to the car and when we got there I gave him his water from Chick-Fil-A only to realize that he has poked a hole in the styrofoam cup and the water had leaked out all over the cup holder. I didn't realize this before I gave it to him so it also leaked out all over his seat and his clothes. This makes a tired toddler very happy.
We made it home and got in jammies and managed to get a smiling picture with the bob mano hat. I would count the night as a success with a few glitches.

Cian's Birthday Party, The Details

Monday, November 29, 2010

So, I'm a planner. I am also a party blog junkie. These two things combined make me crazy and over the top when it comes to birthday party planning. I am definitely not alone in this. The theme was "What are Little Boys Made Of"or "Spins and Snails and Puppy Dog's Tails". The colors we went with were greens, reds, brown, tan and just outdoorsy boyish colors. Without further adieu...I knew I wanted to do a dessert table, that was actually the second thing I decided about the party. (The first was the theme). I have been looking at Amy Atlas and lots of other party blogs and it seems that dessert tables are what all the cool kids are doing. Our table cosisted of an amazing cake from Signature Cake by Vicki, cookies from the Signal Mountain Cookie Lady, dirt pudding cups and jars of gummy bug candies and oreos. (I used Christmas oreos because the red matched the red in the party colors). The cake stand and the stands I used were tree stumps. The tops came from Hobby Lobby and the bottoms were from Nick, Mary Leigh's husband. Steve's dad actually put them together. The table cloth is burlap left from a wedding. I mod podged scrapbook paper onto some letters from Hobby Lobby for Cian's initials on one of the stumps. the board in the back is just a piece of carboard covered in fabric.
We had favors for the kids and the adults. I called these Es-cargo. The adult favors were mason jars with cookie mix. Mary Leigh is a saint for putting these together. The kids favors were brown paper bags with gummy earthworms, dog noses, gummy bugs and tatoos in them. This stuff was ordered from Oriental Trading. We made the pennant banners with the names on them and the plain ones to hang around the party. We got the artwork from Dana Hale and used the puppy and the snail on the favors and for all the food cards. Instead of doing party hats we had dog ears for the kids/adults to wear.

So I have to say we served all junk food. This is not like me but it went so well with the party! The menu was: hot dogs, puppy chow, snips of snails chips, critter crunch, snail's garden veggies and bug juice to drink. I threw the veggies in as an attempt to make something healthy...

The invitations also came from Dana Hayle's etsy shop. She designed them as well as the thank you cards below. (Sorry to spoil it for those of you getting thank you cards, they are coming this week).
I had so much fun planning the party with Mary Leigh and I can't wait to see it come to life again when Bates has his birthday in January. I would highly recommend finiding a party buddy that you can plan with and do the same theme--it helps with both time and money! (My sister-in-laws would be good party buddies too).

Cian's Party was also featured as the party of the day at Catch My Party. You can see the feature and some more photos here:

Cian's Birthday Party, the party

Monday, November 22, 2010

Cian in his two birthday shirts. Auntie Nina made one and Mary Leigh's sister made the other. Yes, he had a wardrobe change.

After all the planning and crafting, Cian's second birthday party finally arrived! We had the party on November 13th. The theme for the party was "What are little boys made of?". What are they made of you ask, why snips and snails and puppy dog's tails of course! I have to admit that I went a little overboard with the decorations, etc. but that is what I do right?? It's only overboard if you consider spending countless hours neglecting your family so he could have a noteworthy party overboard. That's not bad right? Seriously, I didn't spend as much time this year with his party as last year because I had a friend to share the crafting with. Mary Leigh was a lifesaver and it made the work much more fun! I will save the details post for tomorrow but today I will show you all the wonderful family and friends that were there. Amanda and Daniel came from Birmingham and my parents, my aunt and Ben and Bonnie came up from Chattanooga.

We had enough sugar there to keep a kid going for a week. I am still eating candy and cake for breakfast. This might also be because I haven't gone to the grocery store in a few weeks.... Tracy was nice enough to let us use her house for the party since ours is not quite big enough. Her kindness resulted in the loss of one swing and a broken bed. (It was actually just the drawers under the bed but that doesn't sound nearly as dramatic).

The kids on the swing before the bottom ripped off

As soon as Steve and I got there to set up Taryn wanted to put on the puppy dog ears we had as "party hats". Being the sweet aunt and uncle we are, we said she couldn't wear one until the party started. This didn't stop her from being persistent. It also didn't help that I let the cat out of the bag and told her there was a dog nose in the favor bags. I didn't however let the dog nose out of the bag. (duh dum chhhh).

Cian, his cousin Taryn and Kylie (babysitter's daughter)

So far we have gotten lucky two years in a row and the weather has been warm enough to play outside. We grilled out this time and all the big kids were able to go play four squares.

Caleb and Kyle (cousins) playing basketball

Justin! He took the time out from being a rock star to baby birthday with us. (insert shameless plug for the Protomen here. But really, Justin is awesome).

Paul and Bianca--they are awesome too!

It was fun to see Cian open his presents this year because he could do it a lot better than last year. My child now has more toys than he can play with. I think this means we can go light on Christmas this year. I told Santa to keep this year small and add on to next year.

Will was a great helper with the gifts
Testing out the new drum

Ben and Bonnie, Bonnie has her kitty ears on

We had a really good time! I had to leave after the party to go to work so Steve had to do most of the clean up. (No, it wasn't on purpose).
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