Friday, August 11, 2017


After a month of having two 7 year olds Ella finally turned 8.  For her birthday she requested ice cream cake, and that she wanted to make it herself.  And shrimp for dinner.  DONE and done!

Her birthday adventure was a visit to the Creative Discovery Museum.  One of her favorite places to go!


So the baby went and turned 7 on us.  I guess that means he's not really a baby anymore.  Between #7, first grade, and those big kid front teeth coming in he's definitely not looking like a baby anymore.

His birthday request was Star Wars, again.  And a water balloon fight.  Easy enough!

And Wyatt's birthday adventure this year was to visit the College Football Hall of Fame.  I'm not sure the other 2 kids enjoyed it, but Wyatt thought it was awesome!

Friday, April 21, 2017

end of an era...

Our last family walk with Gus.

[this is a repost from facebook]

I spent most of last night and all morning lying on the floor beside Gus. This was fairly similar to what I would do most every night of his first two years with us, over twelve years ago. But last night was different, of course, because I knew it was the last time I’d have this chance.
In my eyes Gus has been what I would consider the best friend one could ever hope for. And in his eyes, I could never do wrong. His love was unconditional. He’s been a constant companion since his first day home with us, when it was Julie and I, and our cat Willie.

He’s been there since we began our roller coaster journey to becoming a family. He was there when we first brought home our little Wilson, probably none too thrilled that he would now have to share the spotlight. …And share it again, as we brought home our sweet Wyatt. …And yet again, when we returned from halfway around the world with our sweet Ella. He was there when we packed up and moved from one house to another, and when each of the kids took their first bus ride to school.
He had an endless supply of energy in his early years, when it took a few walks a day before he showed any sign of being tired. But as he grew older, and as his energy waned, he became mostly content to just lay around the house all day. Whether it was inside on his bed, on top of one of the cool air vents, on the front porch, back porch, or out in the grass. It didn’t matter. As long as he could find a decent place to rest, he was happy.

When Gus hit the ripe old age of 12 back in January, I just had this feeling that this year would be his last. So upon finding out the very next month that he had cancer, it didn’t really come as quite a shock. In the back of my mind I had already begun preparing myself for the day when we’d have to say goodbye, just not this soon. But last week it became clearer than ever that the time had come. So I reached out to our vet Saturday and arranged a time for them to come out to the house. On Saturday night I sat in Wilson’s bed and told him everything that was going to happen. I sat there holding him as he slowly cried himself to sleep, marking the first time in ages he had fallen asleep without a book in his hands. While part of that makes me want to laugh, the other part makes me realize that he loved Gus just as much as I did.

I’ve cried many times over the past week, but nowhere near as hard as this morning. Watching Wilson kiss him goodbye before getting on the bus, and then holding Gus as he slowly drifted off, telling him I loved him for one last time.

As I mentioned earlier, Gus spent his entire life being a best friend. I always promised myself to never let him get to the point where he was suffering. I think making this decision for him was the nicest thing a friend could do. And I’d like to think Gus knew that too. -Chris

Sunday, March 26, 2017

birthday adventure {Wilson}

This year instead of birthday parties we're doing a family birthday adventure.  Will's the first one up.   But let me back up first....Will has always had a bucket list.  We finally took time to write it down.  Not pictured is his animal bucket list.  Beluga whales and polar bears are #1 and 2 on the list.  So this years birthday adventure tackled the #1 animal...the belugas.

Off to the Georgia Aquarium we went, a few weeks early, to celebrate his birthday.  And to see the belugas.  And the whale sharks.  Turns out the whale sharks were way more impressive to him than the belugas.

We all agreed the Sea Lion and Dolphin show were our favorites.  Will talked Chris into the splash zone section of the dolphin show, while the rest of us sat up a little higher.  Thankfully so....they were SOAKED!

I loved this kind of birthday party....I hope the trend continues!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

where's that checkered flag???

It's time again for the Awana Grand Prix (pine box derby) race!  Wyatt was VERY determined to win.  And Ella was determined to have a really cool looking car.  Chris got to work on learning how to make a piece of wood race at top speeds.  Meanwhile the kids chose their designs.  Wyatt wanted a red sports car with flames.  Ella requested a purple Batgirl car, completely with Lego Batgirl driving.  In the end, Wyatt won the first heat, beat out Ella in the second heat, and went on to be the overall winner of the Sparks (age group).  He raced in the final Grand Prix but came in second.  Still he was pretty proud of his Sparks win . And wore the most adorable grin the entire afternoon.  Ella was pretty thrilled with her 3rd place trophy for best design.  It was a winning afternoon for our household!

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

some one has a new accessory

It was time for Ella to join our glasses club.  As Wyatt puts it "I'm starting to feel left out!".  But Ella isn't truly excited about wearing them just yet.  But she was amazed at how much better she could see.  She made it through her first day of school with them, and said it wasn't too bad.  She picked this pair because the inside of the frames are pink and neon green.  They are perfect for her!

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Daddy-Daughter night

Daddy-Daughter Date night at church!  Ella loves this event.  But especially loved that they got to paint each others nails, haha. Such a fun night for these two!

Monday, February 27, 2017


Valentines Day included 3 candy-filled parties.  Lots of hearts.  And burning off all that energy at the Trampoline Park!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Falls'giving (flashback)

The actually falling of leaves occurred closer to T'giving this year.  The kids favorite fall activity of all is jumping in a big pile of leaves.  It's all they talk about from the second that very first leaf drops.  And they want to do it over and over.  And it seems that Gus loves it too.  He's always right in the middle of the pile.

But our favorite fall activity....the Thankful pumpkin.  We use one of our small pumpkins and write on it all November long.  Most days the kids are eager to participate.  This might be *my* fave family thing we do.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Build it

We love the free build days at Home Depot.  We don't make it to all of them, but the kids have a blast when we do.  This month it was a gingerbread man box.  Which is now holding some rare valuables in the kids rooms ;)

Monday, February 13, 2017

flashback to Oct

Happy 4-0 to big gift was tickets to see Adele in Atlanta at the end of Oct.  We had AMAZING seats and it was incredible!  And the best part....when it rained down confetti at the end of the show.  And as I told Chris "I do not ever have to go to another concert in my life.  This was perfect."

Saturday, February 11, 2017

CNY (it's the year of the rooster)

It's the year of the rooster!  Ella (in)patiently waited around for CNY festivities.  Her favorite CNY activity, other than the food, is making dumplings.  One day we will attempt making them at home. I promise!

Monday, January 09, 2017

Flynn Flyer antics {2016 edition}

Our elf, Flynn Flyer, came back for the holiday season once again. Full of antics, as always.  And totally charmed the kids as usual.  It was not unusual to overhear a kid quietly talking to Flynn when they think no one is paying attention.  Ella is the one most likely to leave Flynn notes.  Almost daily she had a note laid out near him.  And some days he answered her.  She misses him the most when he leaves us on Christmas Eve.  But I have a feeling he'll be back next year.

He made a grand entrance this year.  He greeted the kids in the car one morning before school.  And he wrote ALL over the car windows.  I'm still working on cleaning the windows off!

Saturday, January 07, 2017

snow day!

We had our first snow day off of school Friday, but no snow.  But Saturday we woke up to a snowy white yard.  I must say that waking up to the squeals of discovering a snowy lawn is so much sweeter than those of Christmas morning.  Our snow was only a dusting...just good enough for snow angels and some really bad snow balls.  But we made the best of it.

Thursday, December 08, 2016

Thankful pumpkin

Shockingly, the Thankful Pumpkin is one of the kids favorite things to do. We missed a lot of days this November. And the kids are still trying to fill it up. But I hope we do this every year. 

Friday, October 28, 2016

battling the dark side

All Wyatt cared about was the Galactic portion of our trip.  Poor kid had to wait until Thursday to experience Jedi Training.  We got to the park before they opened to line up and secure a spot for all three kids.  Thankfully, we were early enough to get a spot.  If we hadn't, we fully planned on going back the next day to try again.  So glad it worked the first time though.

Ella was the first to go.

Then Wyatt.  I fully expected him to chicken out once he saw the bad guy up close and personal.  But he stuck with it and battled the dark side.  And loved it.

Last up, Wilson.  He had been studying the moves and had it down pat.