A couple weeks before Christmas we added a new member to the family. He is silly, likes to chew things up (the boys new motivation to keep their toys picked up), energetic, LOVES the water, and a good boy. I am pretty sure he is a lab mix, he was at the Paulding County animal shelter and we were told he was a stray. When we brought him home he had no idea how to go up and down stairs, so he had to learn that pretty quick and he had kennel cough which went away on its own after about two weeks. The day we got him and were driving away from the shelter we started discussing names. After shooting down a bunch of names (none of which I can remember anymore) Dave mentioned how he looked like Bolt, and Caleb insisted that should be this dogs name. So here he is for your viewing pleasure, the super dog, super hero: BOLT…..


Christmas 2009

The REAL Christmas Day

Dave got home Christmas Eve around 8 pm. I had everything packed and kids dressed in p.j.s for the trip to Tennessee so the minutes Dave pulled up in the drive way we were ready to go. About 40 minutes into the trip it started raining pretty hard but it only lasted about 30 minutes. At this point the boys were still awake… I was hoping they would sleep in the car but as it turned out Caleb stayed awake the whole 3 hour drive and Leland was up until the last hour.  We got to the hotel around 11:30, got checked in and tried to get everyone settled so we could get up early and head over to Dave’s  Aunt’s house. However, Leland wasn’t very tired since he had taken a little nap in the car and Caleb was antsy and excited. So we stayed up ’til 1ish. Leland woke us all up at 6:30 am, then it was time for the boys to have baths, get dressed, and eat some breakfast at the hotel. Finally we headed over the A.J and U.D.’s house.  We visited, took Caleb to see the alpacas, lamas, and guinea hens, then later on we had dinner and opened presents. After that Dave and Sheldon went hunting with there metal detectors for anything interesting they might find. While the boys were doing that I showed Jennie how to use her moby wrap that we got her and Abby, I also tried out some things with it I had never done before. By then the boys were CRANKY and we needed to go home. We had a fun trip an enjoyed seeing everyone.

Christmas 2008

So we really opened presents on Christmas Eve but the kids are too young to really know that we did things a day early… no big deal.

Christmas Eve 2008… Well, Not Exactly

Dave had to work Christmas Eve and we were leaving that night to drive to Tennessee so we did things a day early.  Basically we opened presents Christmas Eve instead of Christmas day. This is what things looked like the night before we opened presents.

Christmas Photos

We usually go to target to get Christmas pictures done but this year I decided to take the pictures myself. As most of you know I do have a little experience and have taken a couple college classes in photography. However a digital photo class is something I was never interested in, so basically I know the just of posing and color co-ordinating but once it is uploaded to my computer, cropped and resized my skills are at a stand still. Another problem is that I have a VERY basic digital camera and the photo program I have is hmmm…. more than lacking. Apart form all that the pictures didn’t turn out too bad.

Caleb was my first victim… I mean subject. He was such a good sport about it and said “Merry Christmas” for all the shots.
Man that kid needs a hair cut! Oh well, maybe I’ll just let it grow out and see what it looks like long haha.

Getting Leland to stay in one place was REALLY a challenge!

Hurry Caleb kiss your brother! Click click. Good job boys!

The resolution to getting Leland to stay in one place was a little… no A LOT scary! I had Caleb sit on a stool and hold Leland in his lap while Dave is below them hoping no one falls.

Cute though don’t you think?

For my last task I had to figure out the self timer on my camera (something I had never used before). Try to get everyone in the picture in the 10 seconds allotted and smile.
Okay so everyone but Leland in smiling but that was a little unrealistic.. at least we are all in there.

Merry Christmas!

Twinkle, Twinkle Little House

We finally got to decorating the outside of the house this weekend. I changed this a bit from what we normally do and still have some more things I’d like to add but I am liking it more this year than years past. Before we get to that though I want to explain the improvements to the “train yard”. Basically I painted the sheet of ply-wood that the train is on and added some snowmen… just wait ’till next year though I am hoping to have a couple houses and maybe a pond with ice skaters.

For the most part Leland has been good about not touching the trains or tree, he does need reminding now and then… like in this picture.

Oh, Mommy pleeeeaaaase can I touch it?

Usually we would have those trendy, annoying ice-sickle lights around the top of the porch but I decided to go with the more classic multi-color big bulbs instead. The garland with lights around the railing are the same but I changed the bush lights from multi-color to white this year.

I want to get some candles for all the windows and a small tree for the “play room” window ( second story, window to the far right)


On my Dads side of the family they have a tradition of putting up elaborate trains sets under the Christmas tree every year. So a couple years ago my parents decided to send us a train track plus accessories to keep this tradition going. This year I finally got around to putting it together. Ours isn’t extravagant or elaborate yet but as the years go on we will add a little house here and some deer there so eventually it will be a great train yard.

I am thinking that I don’t like this cotton snow stuff too much so I might just paint the wood white and add some of the cotton snow stuff in some places.