Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Thankful for November...

Well, we somehow survived the madness of October and we were very thankful for the slower pace of November! This fall has been absolutely GORGEOUS! We live in a tree FILLED neighborhood and it is just so beautiful this time of year! Mamo was so looking forward to watching the leaves change and was sad when they all the leaves fell to the ground!


We had lots of fun playing in them...

and making pictures with them..

and raking them...

and just laying around in them....
We can't wait until next fall!! (and the real bonus is our HOA cleans up all the leaves for us!)
Thank goodness cause I have never, ever seen so many leaves in my life!

It's November and yep, we are still playing football folks! Robby started practice in June or July and we are still going!!! We even had practice on Thanksgiving day! CPA is advancing to the playoffs folks.

I heart this. and for more reasons than playing football. You see, Robby is a freshman which pretty much makes him "bling candy" on the side lines. But it's ok. There is a pecking order (as it should be) that needs to be respected. He understands his role on the team and helps the key players get better. He works out hard in the weight room. He is so much bigger than he was in June when they started practicing. Its really amazing to Philip and I both. He is getting bigger (not bulky), but more like becoming less of a kid and turning into a man right before our eyes. It's funny, but we are all getting so much more out of football than we all signed up for. Robby practices after school EVERY day and is at football from 2:15 or 2:50 until 7pm most days. That is a long practice folks. They teach so much more than football though. You see, they are teaching him to love and honor Jesus on and off the field. To God be the Glory! Soli Deo Gloria! Philip and I loved picking up Robby on Thursdays after practice. Thursdays they held devotion and had someone come in and speak to the team and build them up with a biblical eternal perspective. It was one of Robby's favorite things to talk about when he got in the car with us. Sometimes it was ex- Titan players that showed up to share their testiomony with the boys and sometimes it was a shoe shine guy that grabbed the heart of one of our coaches many years ago. These men were all shaping our sons heart, his head, and his body by teaching him its not all about winning the game on the field (they want to win - dont get me wrong), but that the glory first and foremost goes to our Lord and Savior off the field. Philip and I have been so thankful for our coaching staff. They weren't what we expected of a HS football coach-- alot of what Philip told Robby to expect went right out the window actually. Yes, there was a pecking order - but they built these boys UP everyday-- no cursing- no badmouthing- no pinning our players against each other. They built up a STRONG team and they demonstrated RESPECT and the LOVE for Jesus while doing so. This is now why I LOVE CPA football. For my son that is soo motivated by sports, I know that even though he is gone a lot with this program that they are teaching him how to be a man, and here he  clearly has amazing role models leading the charge.  Another one of Robby's favorite things was Friday Senior devotions. The Seniors were led to share their testimony with the team-- talk about getting to REALLY know someone- on and off the field and what their home life is really like. There were tears shared and friendships for life built during these moments before game day. Since we made it to the playoffs, they actually ran out of Seniors to share, so the coaches one by one shared their life stories with the boys. I have heard so many of these stories and I can tell you this-- There is no other Coaching staff that can touch them. They built a STRONG team who played well on the field, the built strong relationships in the field house and they were led by STRONG men of Jesus who set the VERY BEST example for our son and his teammates.
After each Victory and Loss, the boys dropped to their knees and prayed for their victory and for the other teams loss. Plain and simple- they gave God the Glory and no we weren't always playing Christian school teams. They prayed with Metro, the country schools and the Christian teams we played. We made it to the semi finals and suffered a hard loss. A HARD LOSS. It was so close.

Robby said that was the longest ride home- lots of tears being shed by grown men and boys. Lots of Seniors were crushed to have come so far and have lost so close to a victory. Our coaches stopped the bus and let the boys eat again, get off the bus and horse around. It made for a very late arrival time back at the school, but once again our coaches were teaching, and shaping and responding to our boys needs in that moment. I think a lot of boys grew up so much in that moment. The transformation Robby described was beautiful and full of Gods grace. It was a great year and I look forward to football next year- and this time going all the way to a CPA VICTORY!

     Robby, Josh and Scotty-- they all came over from Sunset this year to CPA! :)

And I never got a pic of Robby in his football  jersey (he ran to the field house to fast everytime.) I was so mad!! We were heading to Milan,TN for the semi-finals. We had so much fun with our new CPA friends at the games... We cant wait till next year!

Alright-- we have a few more firsts and then they will be coming to an end. But we have our FIRST Thanksgiving to celebrate as a family of 5! Mamo had a Thanksgiving Dinner at school that daddy went to with him for that! He loves hid daddy coming to lunch! He dressed like a cute little Indian! His mama made this cute vest and Cailtin made his Head-dress.

He was so excited about having a TURKEY for Thansgiving! My sweet sister ended up in the hospital over the holdiay, so we quickly changed gears and my dad and Susan came to our house for Thanksgiving lunch. (Jenn is doing better, but friends PLEASE continue to pray for her constant healing.)

Mamo and my dad made the yummy turkey....

and we had lots of fun eating dinner and playing with some of our cousins that could make it...

Philip invited our neighbors across the street to join us, cause they didnt have any Thanksgiving plans. We all had such a nice time! We are blessed beyond measure. Praying for my sweet sister, Jennifer, who had to eat Thanksgiving dinner at the hospital. Her sweet husband and daughter joined us for  Thanksgiving lunch and took her a plate to her room! I know she enjoyed my sweet potato casserole!!!:)

I wished ALL of  my brothers and sisters could have been here, but it just didn't work out this year. Maybe next year! :) We were also missing Philip (he had to work)- that is the downside to his crazy/great hours...But its ok- he was home by 7 and we fattened him up with our Round 2 of the Thanksgiving leftovers!

Cailtin had a performance with Concert Choir at the end of the month that was actually the kickoff to the Christmas season. Practice everyday and long days the last week. It was wonderful and she looks so pretty. Why oh why does she have to grow up? We are so proud of her and love her beautiful voice! (Our tree goes up the day after Thanksgiving every year!)

Philip also had a birthday this month and we celebrated with dinner and a movie! He couldn't wait to get us all to see the Muppet movie! Kermie the Frog was his favorite stuffed animal when he was a little boy... aww how cute- his mom still has it! We all had a great time! It was a great day!

           Happy Birthday Philip! You are my very best friend!!

Monday, December 26, 2011

October happenings...

October 1st someone got his very first Halloween costume. He definitley wanted to be a cowboy- its all he talked about for months. But then you take a 4 year old into Party City to see hundreds of different costumes and you realize pretty fast that once they tell us they are OUT of the cowboy costume, then very quickly he wants to be Anything and Everything that he sees. He decided on the policeman costume. Oh my word. Is there any policeman out there this cute? I think not.

Robby, Caitlin and Mamo are all doing great in school at CPA. Robby really likes CPA (WHEW!). We were praying that he would adjust quickly-- we knew going to a new school in high school would be an adjustment, but he had adjusted GREAT! Robby has football everyday and is very busy with all of his Honors classes! He is really learning  how to study! He made a 3.8 his first quarter, so we were SUPER proud of him! He had to make a cell project for his Bio class and it had to be a 1x1x1--that is a foot wide and tall. Hmmm.. this is his SUPER sized cake he made. He got an A!!!

Cailtin is also doing great in school and loves it! She is really growing in her confidence this year and that makes us so happy. When we first transitioned over here to CPA, she wasn't very trusting of some of the kids here. She has learned that this really IS a different environment and she has lots of friends that are girls and boys. Caitlin also recently performed in a BRAVO production of OLIVER! It was a LOT of work and we were very proud of her!

Mamo of course LOVES school! He has the sweetest teacher and he has made so many new friends! He talks about them all the time and his favorite thing to do after school while he is waiting on his Big sister's school to be out is to play with his friends at the SECRET hideout. Its a bunch of tree like shrubs in the breezeway at CPA and ALL the preschoolers take it over right after school is out everyday! He is learning sooo much and his teacher says he is such a big helper! He goes to preschool 5 days  a week, so he feels all grown up- just like his Robby and Caitlin!

Another NEW milestone was our first High School Homecoming Dance. The freshman were told the FIRST day of school about Homecoming and that they needed to find a date. It was funny, because I was sooo nervous when I picked up Robby from his first day of school. When I picked him up and I asked how it was all he could tell me was that he had to have a date to the Homecoming dance (that was in October- this was August mind you). He looked as pale as a sheet! He said "Mom, I don't know ANYONE here!!" It was a lot of pressure, but he asked a friend that he used to go to Sunset with that he had known since 2nd grade. She started at CPA last year. Robby also was lucky enough to have 2 other boys from Sunset start CPA this year!

Homecoming has defintely changed since we were in school. The dance was a seperate night from the football game and it was dressy attire. And they all went out to eat at a nice restaurant before the game. They had a great time and Philip and I still refer to the whole thing as PROM. At least we know what to expect next year!

October is Birthday month for our 2 oldest kiddos. Cailtin turned 13-- officially a teenager. Do y'all remember how the middle school years for girls is hard? She has a great school with great friends, but it is still just hard being 13 year old girl! She is no longer the "baby" of the family. She isn't old enough to do some of the things she would like and she is too young to be a "little girl".  She is kind of stuck in the middle and I am so thankful that we receive some guidance from her school on "raising middle schoolers!" She is stil adjusting to her hormone changes, the birth order change and figuring out where she fits. I remember feeling the SAME way! I thought Philip and I were going to turn GREY when Robby was in middle school! Glad we all survived it is all I can say!

Caitlin celebrated with friends with a sleepover - which is her favorite thing to do in the whole wide world! :) So much fun to hang with your friends!

 They ate, laughed, sang, had smores

 and were just silly girls!

 Love her friends! This was also her first sleepover with a little brother.
 We all survived it! LOL

So- next we have Robby's 15th birthday! That is driving Permit age folks! Yikes!

 My sweet sister just happend to be selling her car, and we offered to pay half of it. He jumped on that offer. He has been saving for his car since he was 7 years old, so he was able to sport the second half and pay for the needed repairs!

 He is quite proud of his purhcase and we are relieved. I have a company car (no learning to drive that one) and we really weren't looking forward to him learning to drive the BUS- I mean XL Envoy. This is a much better learning to drive situation! Believe it or not, he still hasn't taken his permit test yet-- CPA football takes precedence and he is there everyday Monday - Friday from the minute class is over until 6 or 7. That offers no time for taking  a permit test apparently. The boy is dedicated. That is all I can say. We offered for him to miss a practice, but it hasn't happend yet!

Pumpkin Patch time with some of our cousins!!! This was Mamo's first pumpkin picking event and we went to a really cool place. and you will LOVE his pumpkin find!
Cousins Logan, Sam, Addie and Claire were all with us for our first trip to the Pumpkin Patch! This place was great! He loved to petting zoo and they had so much stuff for the kids to do!
We take up the whole train! This was Mamo's favortie thing! The tractor ride was AWESOME!
Big Sis Cailtin was a little too BIG to ride the train, and to do some of the other little kid stuff. (Again, we are at an awkward age)-- so mama got her some lemonade and a little sugar made things a little better. She was a GREAT sport pal-ing around with all the littles.

In this picture Mamo is giving his "I am done smiling for you mommy smile".
It's his scary smile. But cute of Caitlin :)

Off now to find our Pumpkin.... we tell him he can have ANY pumpkin he wants...That is a BIG decision for a little boy who is 4...
(here is his scary smile again).. He is exhausted and ready to go home. So are We. :)

And this my friends was the prize winning pumpkin that he selected. He had the above pictured pumpkin and at checkout he changed his mind again! Here it is! Out of all those pumpkins he picked a Green Gourd! and he kissed it the whole way home! He was so proud of it!

Let the carving begin! Our BIGS aren't too BIG for carving!
and the little one was busy painting his small pumpkins!

Caitlin, our very artistic child set out to do a carving of Copper on her pumpkin. I was a little skeptical. This looks hard.
but she worked hard and it turned out like this. AMAZING!

And I worked on these! Old Fashioned Pop Corn balls to hand out to the trick or treaters! I figured since we were in a small neighborhood and we all know each other that homemade treats were acceptable! They were Oh, so yummy!

Trick or Treating here we come!

So, this was the craziest fullest month ever. Between schoolwork, Homecoming dances, football games, soccer games, play practices, play performances, 2 birthday parties, our first pumpkin patch outing, Halloween costume shopping and trick or treating we were completly exhausted! Philip and I  had a blast with all 3 of our kiddos! They definitely keep us BUSY! We sleep REAL good these days!! :)