Our Carli is a Blessing - A Gift From Heaven Above

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Friday, November 30, 2012

Hays' Family Thanksgiving

Black Friday we did not go shopping.  :)  Naggy and Pappy came to spend the day with us and we had lots of things to accomplish on our agenda.  First and foremost was cooking!  The girls were a great help to Naggy and Pappy with the cinnamon roll making.  They did a pretty good job of helping.

When their assistance was not being called for at the cinnamon roll making station the girls came over to help me make some yummy acorn cookies.


Saturday morning we all headed to Rockwall to have a Thanksgiving feast with Naggy's side of the family.  I did not do a very good job of taking pictures - oops!  The girls played the entire time we were there.  They enjoyed getting to spend time with Isabella.  I am pretty sure they never stopped moving.  I know they didn't eat more than a couple of bites of food before they ran off to play again!  We had a great time visiting with family and letting the kids entertain themselves.  Ava did an awesome job being a big girl and had no accidents the whole Thanksgiving weekend! 

Playing with Aunt Carolyn

Daddy, will you help me?

The girls had a blast in Rockwall.  They were so not ready to leave!  But when we got them in the car, they were both asleep within five minutes! 

Thanksgiving weekend was great!  We enjoyed being home on Sunday and resting before a normal week hit us.  Ava was thankful for getting to take a nap for the first time in four day, she won't tell you that, but her chipper attitude that afternoon was proof enough!

Ready or not, here comes Christmas!

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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Thanksgiving Day

We spent Thanksgiving day in Alto with Grammy & Pa.  It was an "off" year so most of our extended family were spending the day with their other families so we had a small crowd.  The girls enjoyed getting to help in the kitchen, spending lots of time with Grandma and playing with Uncle Tone's girlfriend, Danielle.  We had a great day, with some really yummy food that Grammy cooked up.  Sometimes small and simple makes for a great day!
Grammy did most of the cooking for the big meal, and I was on clean up duty.  At one point, I was kicked out b/c too many helpers can really be a hindrance.  So while the girls helped Grammy with the sweet potato casserole and cherry pie, I took a break!

We were so happy that Uncle Danny brought Grandma to Thanksgiving.  Grandma was in Conroe with Aunt Betty but came up to spend the weekend in Alto.  Have I ever mentioned what a special relationship Carli and Grandma have?  They snuggled, played the iPhone and read books.

Ava got in on some Grandma loving too.  Ava won't sit still long enough to cuddle though.  It could have been that she really needed to take a nap but stayed moving most of the day so she would not accidentally fall asleep!

Ava even convinced Pa to share his iPhone so she could play a game.

We got to meet Uncle Tone's girlfriend, Danielle.  The girls were a bit shy at first but they warmed up quickly when they convinced Danielle and Uncle Tone to play outside with them.  Later Danielle played the piano and the girls enjoyed attempting to help her.  I was amazed that Danielle could continue to the play the song even with her little helpers throwing in random high and low notes!

We headed home about 7:30 to meet Naggy and Pappy at the house.  We weren't in the car two minutes and Ava was out.  She slept all the way home and didn't even wake up when we put her pj's on.  We had a great Thanksgiving Day.  Thanks to Grammy for the wonderful food and to Pa, Uncle Danny, Grandma, Uncle Tone & Danielle for the great company!

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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Pa's Baby Chickens

A couple of weeks ago the girls randomly asked if they could go visit Pa's baby chickens before we went home from work.  Carli really enjoyed seeing so many baby chickens but I think it kind of freaked Ava out. 

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Thursday, November 15, 2012

Grandfather's Dollhouse

When I was five, my Grandfather and Grandmother gave me a dollhouse for Christmas.  Grandfather had built it and Grandmother had decorated it.  I played with it a lot.  When Keith and I came home to pack up my things after we had married, I insisted on packing up my dollhouse and bringing it with us with the dream of fixing it up for my kids to play with one day.  Well, the day finally came six years later on Carli's 4th birthday.  Keith and I did a little remodel on the dollhouse and got it fixed up for her and Ava to play with.  I was pretty excited to get to give it to her and when she asks who made it I get to tell her about my Grandmother and Grandfather.  Pretty special.  :)

After living in our hot attic for six years, the contact paper that had decorated the walls and floors pretty much had fallen off. I did not think to take a before picture until we had pulled all the paper out.  The beds were part of the original furniture I had as a child.

Here is a semi in progress picture before and after we added the floors and painted the outside.
I struggled with what to do with the outside because I wasn't sure what room the dollhouse would end up in.  We went with a gray.  With Naggy's help, we painted the base coat in a flat gray and then did a design in the same color but with glossy paint.  If you click on the picture to make it larger you may can see the designs.  It is really subtle but really neat when the light catches it.  The roof has a chevron pattern, the middle has an A on one side, a C on the other and Hays on the back and the bottom is a simple design. 

Finally, here is the after.  The top story is meant to replicate the girls room now.  We reused the beds that my Grandparents had given me with the dollhouse.  We also reused the bathroom fixtures.  Grammy made the rug for the playroom/living room or whatever the girls deem it to be.  Grammy and Pa also gave Carli some of her dolls and really neat car to go with them.  Naggy and Pappy provided the kitchen furniture.  Carli used some of her birthday money to buy a few more dolls and dog furniture.  Right now the dollhouse is in the living room by the fireplace.  The girls play with it every day.  We are very pleased with the result and the use it is getting!  I only wish that my Grandfather and Grandmother could have met Carli and Ava and been able to enjoy watching them play with the dollhouse as well.

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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

A Blessed Weekend

November sure seems to be flying by fast!  I can't remember the last time we spent a full Saturday at home but that is okay.  It isn't like we have been forced to be away from home.  We have had the awesome blessing of spending time with people we love and helping them out.  That makes for some pretty awesome weekend...maybe a little tiring but worth it!  :)

This past weekend was a good one.  We got to celebrate some amazing people in our lives, even if we weren't able to spend the day with them.  Saturday was Pappy's birthday.  Ava insisted on calling Pappy on Friday night to let him know that we had bought him a new chair for his birthday.  :)  We have had two dining room chairs at our kitchen table since July.  The girls have their own toddler chairs.  We finally bought the other two chairs so that when people come over the visit we don't have to drag out the folding chairs for us all to eat at the table together.  The girls quickly decided that one chair was Naggy's and one was Pappy's and they just had to let him know!  We were gone from home all day Saturday so we didn't get to call Pappy on his actual birthday but the girls made it worth the wait when we called him on Sunday afternoon and the talked for almost 10 minutes without much help from us!  We are very blessed and proud to call Pappy ours!

At the beginning of the month, Uncle Tone finally heard that he had passed the Bar on his first try.  We were all so excited and proud of him.  He has been blessed with a good opportunity to work in Rusk.  We are all very happy to have him back so close to home after he has been well over a six hour drive from home for the last seven years!  He was sworn in on the 7th at the Cherokee County Court House and then on Monday, the 12th, he was sworn in by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court in Austin.  Pretty awesome!

Saturday we all loaded up and went to Alto/Rusk to help out with various tasks for the day.  I spent the day with Uncle Tone in his new office painting and getting it nice and dignified.  :)  Keith worked on computers and Internet stuff at Grammy and Pa's house and the girls pretty much ate up most of Grammy's attention.  Carli asked Grammy at the end of the day if she could come back and spend the next day with her again.  I think they had a good time! 
Anthony and I started painting at ten and we finished about 8 that night.  Not too shabby and the office looks much better.  Anthony was in charge of rolling and I was in charge of trim and cutting in.  He told me more than once to be careful with the desk b/c it was a little shaky...this heed of caution coming from the educated lawyer painting while standing on the top of a filing cabinet, despite the two available ladders in the room.  :)  The desk later met its demise when someone, who shall remain nameless, decided to stand on the desk as well in an effort to reach an air vent...hmmmm....
I really enjoyed my day with my little brother.  It had been too long.  
Sunday was my Grandma's 85th birthday.  Oh how we love our Grandma!!  We called her Sunday and the girls each told her Happy Birthday and that they loved and missed her a lot.  Can't wait to get to see her again this week and over Thanksgiving!  
With the weather not being hot, but cool the girls are loving playing outside every afternoon.  They are getting good use out of their playset and most days play really well together.  I love hearing their conversations, I don't understand half of what they are saying but the endless giggles and even the occasional skirmish is music to any Momma's ears.
And one last picture before we end this rather long post...my children have inherited their mother's sweet tooth.  We get it honest - Grammy's favorite breakfast is a chocolate chip cookie and banana.  :)  So when it got a bit chilly outside and we needed a break from playing, the girls and I made some no bake cookies for the sheer pleasure of being able to lick the bowl.  It is so yummy...and we may have left a little extra chocolate in the bowl so we would have more the lick.  :)

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Saturday, November 10, 2012

Playing with Cousin Weston

My cousin Dionna, her little boy, Weston and her parents came to East Texas last weekend.  We made plans to meet up in Canton for a day of shopping.  Don't laugh, I did plan a shopping trip, I just didn't buy anything.  :)  Canton was crazy!  There were so many ppl there that the cell phone towers weren't working!  Made connecting at Caton a bit interesting but we got it done.  I have an amazing husband who decided spending a day with his girls was worth the pain of going to Canton.  Without him, I am not sure either Dionna nor I could have really even talked!  Yeah, my husband is awesome.  :)  He said he would never go back though.  Ha! 

The night before we told Carli that she was going to get to spend the day shopping with Cousin Dionna and Baby Weston.  She responded, "YEAH!  Momma, what is shopping?"  Keith was so proud.  :) 

The girls did amazing.  They minded and wanted so badly to just play with Weston.  I am pretty sure that lunch was their favorite part of the day b/c we actually quit moving so they could hold Weston and play with him!

Carli was trying hard to get Weston to understand how to play the iPhone!

We had instructions to look for a rug for Grammy.  There were lots of rugs, but not anything that Grammy would LOVE.  Carli was convinced that Grammy would LOVE this shaggy orange rug and insisted on me taking a picture and sending it to Grammy just in case!

The girls insisted on helping with Weston.  They wanted to push the stroller.  They wanted to help feed him.  They wanted to hold him.  They wanted to walk by the stroller and hold his hand.  It all was a bit difficult given all the ppl but we made it work and the kiddos were happy.  So we can't really complain!!

On Monday, Dionna had scored some free tickets to the water park at Lake Palestine so we packed a lunch and went to spend the day with them.  Dionna had sat through this long information session at the timeshare to get the free tickets and told at least four ppl she was planning to use them on Monday.  Not one of them told her the park was closed on Mondays!  We were all disappointed but the kids had a blast anyway and we got some good visiting time in.
We took the kids to a little playground down the road from the cabin and the girls wore themselves out while Weston explored the dirt.  :)

It was great to get to spend some time with Dionna and family.  We missed seeing Ron but he was working hard at home finishing up a project so he could start another.  Next year Keith said he would watch the girls at home alone before he goes back to Caton...I could deal with that!  When our friends asked Carli what she did last weekend, she tells them:  We went to a really really big garage sale.  Pretty much.

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Friday, November 9, 2012

Ooey-Gooey Fun!

On Tuesday's and Thursday's when the girls get home from school at one, I immediately go lay Ava down for a nap.  Once Ava is snoozing, Carli and I usually try to do something fun for a four year old.  Sometimes we just color and read books.  We have played outside a lot, we cook and clean (seriously, she thinks this is fun).  But this last week we decided to make something fun in the kitchen.  Carli immediately named it "Ooey-Gooey Stuff."  It was just Corn Starch and water with some food coloring.  It was very entertaining.  Carli played with it for a good  hour and I made a pumpkin cake.  :)

She kept saying, "Ooey-Gooey, Ooey-Gooey."

Yes, it pretty much got everywhere but it was super easy to clean up.  When Ava got up from her nap, she played with it a bit too.  She was intrigued but thought playing outside was much more fun!

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