Friday, December 31, 2010

Christmas 2010--WHITE CHRISTMAS

The days leading up to Christmas are very busy for the Dalrymple family. We stay busy baking cookies, making Gingerbread houses (out of foam this year), looking at Christmas lights, visiting family and friends and  last minute shopping deals. Being in Alabama, I love getting together with my best friend and her kids to make cookies for Santa. Of course their interest in cookies is overtaken by the urge to play in James room :) but we managed to get a few done for Santa's plate.
The 21st we went to my mom's house to do Christmas with our nieces and nephews. We kept it simple with Domino Pizza which was SOOOOOOO yummy to me. It is always a fun time where I can actually relax, laugh and be myself. When you get us all together in one room there is no telling what is gonna be said :). Both boys loved their gifts from MawMAw and the cousins. Our goal was to make real gingerbread houses but time slipped away so we just put on hold.

The 23rd we went to Shawn's sister's house in Harvest for Christmas with Papa (Shawn's dad). Initially we were to host but things just got hectic here and Shawn felt best for us to do it there. The meal was delicious and something I am going to try soon. We had Spasagna (spaghetti noodles in lieu of lasagna noodles). It was sooo good! Then we did gifts to and from Papa. Each child got a reel for a fishing rod, except James got binoculars since he got a reel for his birthday in November. James was SO excited with them b/c he had been wanting some for a while. After the festivies were done there we went to Gran's to spend the night for Christmas at her house on Christmas Eve. Of course Ethan had to be stubborn and not want to sleep which made for a VERY long night. This mommy doesn't work well on little sleep, finally he zonked out but was up bright and early.
That morning we just hung around the house. James, Shawn and Ethan went on a "snake hunt" around Gran's pond with his binoculars. He was so funny, I love his creativity. Of course I was hoping they didn't REALLY see any snakes! After a battle at nap yet again with Ethan it was time for Santa to make his grand arrival at Gran's. All the kids sat on Santa's lap...yes even the BIG kids :). Ethan still wasn't sure of him but sat with me for a family shot. We all were so excited that Gran and PaPaw bought each family a Wii game console and accessories.  Not sure if the adults or kids were more excited.  James got a Buzz Lightyear Wingpack from the Tucker's and Ethan got a book and outfit. We draw names so that we aren't buying for 5 kids each time. 

After that excitement we hopped in the van for the drive back to Florence. James knew he had to be in bed so Santa could come. Once we arrived home our friends the Conner Family called and said Santa stopped by to visit and asked James to come. So James and I hopped in the car and visited. Ava was so afraid of him she wouldn't even look up. James ran right over and gave the Jolly Man a big hug and proceded to tell him what he wanted. I loved it! When we got home Shawn and James tracked Santa on the radar. We saw he was coming soon so we put out his cookies and milk and James ASKED to go to bed :). 

 The boys woke up to some good stuff. But I think James was more amazed at the SNOW on the ground!! Yes we had a WHITE CHRISMAS in Alabama!! It was beautiful. Stocking filled with goodies. James got a remote control helicopter, tool bench, blocks, camera and so much more stuff!! Ethan got a CARS ride on (which he is terrified of), lots of Elmo stuff to include a chair and guitar and jammies. After opening gifts we had biscuits and gravy and then decided to make a snowman. Whew, it takes 10 minutes per child to get dressed and they only stay out maybe 15...glad we don't live in cold climates year round. This year it seems we didn't go all out which I kinda hated at the end of the day but the boys were thankful for what they got which is all that matters.  That night we hosted dinner for my family but due to the weather only my mom, my sister and Shawn's dad were able to make it. But it was delicious if I say so myself. I made a red velvet cheesecake that was yummmo! 

My favorite part of the season is that James can tell the Christmas Story in his own words. He understands God sent his Son Jesus to die on the cross. I love it more than any present under the tree. I hope Ethan is as enthusiatic as James when it comes to Bible stories and learning...knowing Ethan probably not. Ethan is still my hard headed child for sure!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Chattanooga Choo Choo

As part of James birthday present we bought Polar Express tickets for a train ride in Chattanooga, TN.  I initially wanted to stay at the hotel so we could get the "full" experience of Elf tuck in and all the jazz but after seeing the cost I wasnt' sure it was in our budget (come to find out I was WRONG...about the same for what all we paid) so we decided to go camping with the camper.
We stayed at the KOA which was nice but it had rained the night before and it was so messy. There was a nice playground and sandbox that the boys enjoyed. They also had a jumping a trampoline but much more fun! Shawn and I even had to take a try on it. :). Ethan giggled as he jumped and James wore himself out jumping on it. I will admit my breakdown because camping is so confined especially when the weather isn't cooperative...I wished I was in a hotel to bask in the relaxation :). But we made a fire and roasted marshmellows which the boys enjoyed a lot.

Friday morning we went to the Chattanooga Aquarium. James LOVES sharks and fish of all kinds so this was right up his ally. He got to pet a sting ray, catch a butterfly, see penguins, stand in a shark cage and so much more. Ethan just took it all in and pointed at things and would get excited.

We rode the Polar Express on Friday night. The Train Depot itself was pretty neat with all the trains and Christmas lights. We boarded the train and James got a window seat of course. We rode a few minutes down the track and then they read the Polar Express Book while handing out chocolate milk and gingerbread cookies. James loved it. Then we waited for Santa to board the train and make his way to us. James waited ever so patiently and told Santa his list (which I think has changed with each Santa). Ethan just screamed and clung to Shawn like "please don't make me visit him". James enjoyed it which is all that matters. But we learned that it is just not much of a train ride which is what we were hoping for so we probably won't be doing it again for a while. :)
Then the next day we went to Chattanooga Choo-Choo hotel and visited the trains. James loved seeing all the gears and what it looked like inside the train. We also did the Elf Workshop which was a craft station set up. James made about 7-8 different crafts which he loved. He loved the glitter and glue a lot. Of course I loved it because I love crafts.  We ate at the Garden Restaurant and it was so delicious. We followed it up by goign to the candy store there and splurging on yummy treats. By the time we were done this it was nap time and both boys zonked on the car ride back to the camper.  Later that night we hit Toys R Us to do some shopping! James was in hog heaven!! We don't have that store where we currently live so all the toys sent in to la la land!! He picked out a boat for Ethan...although secretly he wanted it so we grabbed 2 to be their presents from eachother.

After my normal meltdown of the camper :) was a good trip. James loves trains and this will be another memory for us in our scrapbooks. We are so fortunate to travel and do things together as a family.

Monday, December 13, 2010

James is 4!!

It is still hard for me to believe that James is FOUR years old! Hard to believe that 4 years ago I gave birth after 28 hours of labor (from start to finish) to the perfect little baby boy. I get a little misty eyed at the thought of how fast time seems to go. We spent the first 15 months of your life alone in North Carolina while Daddy was in Afghanistan. You were my world then and you are my world now. I am such a proud mommy.  It seems that time is going too fast and before I know it he will be in school :(. James has been the best baby and child so far. He has the most wonderful caring and loving heart I have ever seen on a child. Don't get me wrong, he is ALL boy but has a kind sould. He is very sensative to others which is so sweet. He is also a funny little squirt who is very animated. The things he says and how he says them will keep you entertained for hours! I must say that he is quite the athlete too. He has played two sports, tball and soccer, and has excelled at both of them. I am so proud of him and proud that he gives it his best each time despite if he they win or lose. James is also so smart and enjoys learning. He attends MMO 3 days a week and always is bright eyed ready to learn each morning. He can write his name and loves to draw his family. He enjoys doing crafts and playing outside. He learned to swim this past summer and would jump off and swim to the side. He amazes me how fast he picks up on things. He definitely is the child everyone dreams about :). James has adjusted so well to having a younger brother. He loves him so much and to see him give Ethan hugs and kisses makes my heart melt. I hope they continue the bond and are best friends throughout life.

James, you have brought more joy to our life than ever imagined. You have shown us what unconditional love is. I truly know that I would lay my life down for you and that I would do anything to keep you from hurting in any way. How God sent His Son to die for us is something that hits me hard often especially now being a mom.  Our hopes and desires are that you will continue to learn and explore God's word and accept Jesus into his heart one day. You are already asking questions and it thrills us. We hope you continue to enjoy learning and get excited at new things. We see such a bright future in you.

We are going to Polar Express in Chattanooga for your birthday present. Too many schedules to work around to have a big party. But Gran came to Florence to eat with us at Demo's. Aunt Andrea and Maw MAw joined us for dinner at our house on your birthday.

I just pray I can be the parent you deserve because you are more than I deserve for sure. I love you sweet boy!

About Me

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Shawn and I have been married almost 10 years. We married right before he commissioned out of college so we have gone thru military life together. Not always easy but makes you appreciate the time together. We have one son, James, who was born in Nov. 2006. Ethan was born July 2009 That's it for us! Two is a good number.


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