I received Joseph's yearly pictures and a letter last month! I cannot get over how much he looks like me. He has grown up so much and is so handsome. I am so proud. I wish I could see him every day, but I am blessed I still get a chance to watch him grow through pictures. I can't believe he just turned 10!
Arnold surprised me out of the blue and bought me this necklace he saw online one day! He said he had to get it for me because "I love you more" is what he always says to me! It arrived yesterday and it is beautiful! He was really being thoughtful and romantic and I love it :)
It was our first year going to the Alpine Village, and we loved it! Thanks to my friend Karen for telling me about it! A local church puts it on every year and it has become very popular so we had to register for tickets ahead of time, but it was free!! They do an outreach to the public and I think it is just awesome! They decorate their entire gym like a winter village and each little shop has something inside to do or get. They put on a puppet show, sing songs, let you watch a train, make gingerbread men cookies, visit with Santa, and more. The kids had a blast. It was totally worth driving 35 minutes for us to go. They left with bags full of goodies. I couldn't get many pictures because the lighting was bad, but I got a few when the kids sat on Santa's lap and when we visited the gingerbread house :)
This was the first year at Thanksgiving that Mom didn't cook!!!!! *GASP!* They are having some re-modeling done at their house right now, so we all went up to their country club to have lunch. They had a HUGE spread of all kinds of yummy food. and the dessert bar was full of about 25 different kinds of desserts, no lie! We all had a hard time deciding and had more than one thing! Of course it wasn't mom's cooking (nothing can compare!) but it was still pretty yummy, and it was nice to spend the time with family. We took some pictures in the lobby after lunch thanks to Mom's help :)
The other night Brooke and I went out for a Mother/daughter night of dinner and shopping. Arnold and I had had a date planned but poor Rachel got the stomach bug so we couldn't go out. He stayed at home with her and Caleb while Brooke and I went out to get some Christmas stuff done. We went to dinner at Olive Garden because that is one of our very fave places! We got a booth but eventually Brooke ended up on my side with me, snuggling up beside me.. I didn't mind! We played tic-tac-toe while we waited on our food :) Then we shopped til we dropped! We went to Kohl's, Party City, AC Moore, and then hit up the mall and went to several places in there. We knocked several gifts off our list. Then I took Brooke for some icecream at Sweet Frog at the end of the night. There was a special mark on her cup and she got the ice cream for free! She thought that was the coolest thing ;) I had a great time and I LOVE that I have a daughter old enough to do things like this with now. She DID complain of her feet hurting badly at the end of the night, but I told her one day she will get used to shopping like a woman... LOL!! ;)
She asked to take a selfie at dinner, haha :)
I got the kids some Christmas PJs from the Childrens place, and when they came in the mail they had to model them and wear them that night. Arnold was making them laugh and we ended up with some adorable pictures. You can't see well but Caleb's pjs have christmas dogs on them. I LOVED these pjs!!
Rachel lost her VERY FIRST TOOTH!! I can't believe it, is it time for this already?! She was a brave girl and let Arnold finally just pull it out since it was just hanging by a thread. She told us that she expected a $20 from the tooth fairy because that's what my dad had told her (thanks a lot Pop Pop!) To note-- we did not give her that much ;) LOL!
The other day we celebrated my niece Bekah's 10th birthday! I can't believe it... 10 years already? Arnold and I had just started dating around the time of her 1st birthday. She has grown into a beautiful young lady. We went to my inlaw's house after church for some cupcakes and to give her her gifts. She loved the Ty stuffed animal we got her :)
I also got her a shirt that said "Me Plus my Aunt equals BFFs" :) I couldn't resist it when I saw it! She said she was going to wear it to school soon! We also got her some cute jewelry from Justice! I love buying gifts for girls.. it's a lot of fun!
We FINALLY got our tree up and decorated! This is the latest I think I have ever gotten my tree up, but we have just been too busy! Our second year of getting a real tree and I love it! We didn't have a day to go to a tree farm so we went to Walmart but they weren't selling them this year? So Arnold just got one down the road at Food Lion. It was actually a really pretty tree! The kids had a blast dividing up their ornaments and looking through them last night and putting them on the tree. It isn't perfect, but they decorated it and that is what matters ;) I know the tree isn't even very straight.. that is a long story.. Arnold fought with it and we eventually gave up... it is fine for now!!! ;)
BOB our elf has returned!!! The first morning he came back he brought the kids a North Pole Breakfast. He brought special plates, napkins, and cups to eat on. He brought powdered donuts and yogurt for breakfast and some raspberry lemonade to drink. He also brought all the kids a candy cane with Skittles. They loved it. It was a lot of sugar, but for a special occasion! ;)
Bob also brought the kids each a new ornament the other morning. I love giving them new ornaments every year, and when they leave home one day they will have a collection to take with them like I did!
And I guess I can't end the post without letting yall know I survived Black Friday!!! I worked 5:30pm on Thanksgiving evening until 2am the next morning. It was crazy busy like you would expect, but they did a pretty good job keeping the lines controlled for us. A few people were difficult, but no one was mean to me, so I was relieved! They catered in some food for us, so that was nice to sit down to a meal on my break. The only thing that sucked was I had a broken card reader that night and I had to keep asking people to hand me their card to put thru my machine. I can't tell you how many times people joked that my machine was broken because "it was so tired from all the Black Friday shopping madness." I also had a few people tell me they were sorry I had to work on Thanksgiving. Really? If you were really that sorry you wouldn't be out shopping would you??? LOL. Oh well. It's over now. And I got paid time and a half for that night so it was all good :)