December 29, 2012


We had a wonderful Christmas with lots of family around. Allison will have a hard time adjusting when it goes back to just me and her all day. My new dining room table came in time for Christmas so we enjoyed Christmas dinner at the new table. I still can't believe we had a white Christmas - it's something I always hope for but never expect here in Texas.

Allison was overwhelmed Christmas morning but by next year I think she will really get into it. She loved her new dress up box and shared her crowns and skirts with Bailey, who was a very good sport.

Allison opening toys Christmas morning
Bailey the Princess Dog
Playing in the snow on Christmas Day
My beautiful new table with Christmas Dinner

December 20, 2012

China Cabinet

Today I unpacked our wedding china and put it into our new buffet. It felt like Christmas to pull out the boxes that have mostly been in storage or packed away since our wedding. Our new table will be here in a couple days. Now I just need to find some chairs Kevin and I can agree on.

December 19, 2012

Preschool Christmas Party

Yesterday Allison had her first Preschool Christmas Party.  I love being class mom (one of two) and organizing all their parties.  We brought in happy meals for all the kids, let them decorate sugar cookies for dessert, and didn't even make it to their craft, they had so much fun with the cookies and Christmas tree.  I love seeing the kids light up when they come in for their party - one of the little girls even gave me a big thank you hug.  
cookie decorations 

Table decorations

The kids loved finding the candy canes

All smiles for happy meals

Allison just dumped her decorations on her cookie

Allison wanted to wear my 'party hat'

December 16, 2012

Family Photos

Last weekend my friend Maiella came to visit us and graciously agreed to take some family photos.  We haven't had an family photos taken except for our wedding and Allison's baby book is the story of her and Kevin since I'm always behind the camera.  Photographing a toddler is never easy, but thankfully with digital cameras we left knowing we had some good shots.  

December 11, 2012

Santa Photos

Allison is sitting on Kevin's lap here
We made our annual visit to Santa on December 1.  Kevin's office provides Santa and some kid friendly activities (face painting, cookie decorating and a puppet show).  We have learned from previous experience to be there before it opens so we don't have a long wait in line.  Allison was a little nervous at first, but at the end sat on Santa's lap.  She loved decorating a cookie and got a Santa painted on her face.

Still not sure about Santa

Waiting in line - so excited

Cookie decorating is serious business!

Cookies are just an excuse to eat icing according to Allison

Showing off Allison's face paint

December 10, 2012


The cold front came in overnight and we woke to a dusting of snow this morning.  Before Kevin left for work we took Allison out to touch the snow.  I love this time of year and the cold weather.  

Nacho Average Caroling

Braiden and Allison out caroling
Allison and daddy at the retirement center

Wednesday night our church hosted their annual Christmas Caroling - "Nacho Average Caroling."  We skipped the nachos at church beforehand and showed up just in time to get into a hay filled trailer with our friends.  The weather was perfect and Allison had the best time with the other little kids.  The caroling went to a retirement center nearby and a couple shut ins homes before heading back for s'mores and hot chocolate.  Since we didn't get back to the church until 9 we took our cranky toddler straight home, but she did get a cookie before bed since we skipped out on the treats.

(This is my first blog post on my new computer - its taken me a week to get photos transferred and everything set up.  I hope to get caught up on posts soon.)

December 2, 2012

Where is Allison?

Today's nap has been sponsored by the closet. Not sure how this happened but it's a first.

November 29, 2012

Christmas PJs

Allison's shirt says "what Santa doesn't bring me Grandma will". The tree is up and we are ready for Christmas.

November 28, 2012

Overheard at the Playground

Two interesting things happened at the playground today:

A family was on their way out as we walked into the playground. The two children (5 and 3 estimated) took an interest in Allison and came over. I thought it was cute until the younger one said "She's too little to play here, she can't be here" and his big sister agreed.  I think their mom could see the look in my eyes, apologized and dragged them out as fast as she could.  

On a happier note another family came by with their dog while we were playing and Allison went right up and introduced herself. . . to the dog (the kid was already on the swings).  She said "hi big dog, I'm Allison."  

November 23, 2012

Breakfast of Champions

Allison had an early morning breakfast of eggs then had a second breakfast with her Aunt Stacey. Breakfast number two consisted of birthday cake and a waffle. So goes life of a two year old at grandma's house.

November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

 We are having a great week in Lufkin with family.  More posts to come on the weeks activities, but I wanted to share a couple photos from today.  After getting the turkey in the oven we took Allison to a nearby playground.  She surprised us all with her ability to climb ladders and other equipment.  The weather was fantastic and so much fun to play outside.
Today was Allison's first Thanksgiving dinner.  The last two years she's fallen asleep right before we sat down to eat.  Allison didnt make it through the entire meal at the table, but it was still special.  She loved the rolls and stuffing best.
I hope everyone is spending today with family and friends and takes the opportunity to reflect on all we have to be thankful for.  I know my family has been truly blessed.

November 17, 2012

Aggies and Owls

Allison wore her maroon shirt today for the aggie game, but tonight she has owl jammies (my Rice mascot). It's so much fun putting her in college colors and wondering were she will go.

November 10, 2012

Grapevine Botanical Garden

We had a great morning at the Grapevine Botanical Garden and playground. I'm pretty sure we were the only family there not taking professional photos. Saw lots of Christmas cards in progress. Guess we need to get ours scheduled.

November 9, 2012

Family Day at the Zoo

We took our coin jar money and had a fantastic family outing Sunday.  We were at the zoo when it opened at 10.  The crisp weather meant lots of active animals.  Allison's favorite were the elephants, penguins and (much to my dismay) the crocodiles.   Then we headed to Chuys for our favorite Mexican food.  We all love their creamy jalepeno dip - we are trying to teach Allison it's not polite to drink salsa through her straw.   It would help if daddy wasn't trying to do it too.  After lunch we had a few dollars left so spent them at Barnes and Noble on a new book for Allison.  Then home for naps, pretty much a perfect day.
Counting the elephants with Daddy
Allison was so excited about this elephant
Kevin & Allison in the bird enclosure

November 8, 2012

My little girl

Today Allison picked out a pink Darth Vader tshirt, black tutu skirt with matching bow, her princess shoes and of course her princess cup. I'm not sure what this says about her or us, but the overall effect is precious.

November 3, 2012

Pecan Picking

Kevin and Allison had a daddy-daughter adventure this morning while I worked on house projects. They ended up in Alvord at Brushy Creek Vineyards. The owners let them pick pecans and take their golf cart for a drive to explore the property. Our next project will be shelling all these pecans.

November 1, 2012


Our coin sorting system
Rolled and Done!
In the last year I re-organized my wallet and started using an envelope system for my cash (the Dave Ramsey method). Keeping change for each of those envelopes became annoying and heavy - not good. So Kevin and I decided to start putting all our coins in one place. We didn't have a clear plan on what to do with them, just to get it out of our wallets. Kevin kept coins in a beer stein on his dresser so we just stuck with that. As it started adding up, every month or so I would pour it out and sort it. I keep snack sized Ziploc bags at the bottom sorted by denomination. Recently the stein threatened to overflow, so it's time to clear it out. I called my bank to ask how I could deposit or cash it out. Wells Fargo said they would give cash on the spot for rolled coins.  If I didn't roll they could send it to be counted and deposited however it wouldn't clear to my account for roughly 10 days. We have a bag of coin roll papers that Kevin's probably had longer than I've been around, but now it's finally dwindling down. Since the coins were already sorted it only took 10-15 minutes to count and roll (hint - stack them in groups of 5 or 10, then figure out how many little stacks go in each roll). I ended up with $61.50 in rolled coins, and another $10 still loose.

We decided to use the money for a family day out this weekend to the zoo and our favorite mexican restaurant.  Here is a collection of ideas on how to use the coins - all of which I love and hope to use in the future.

Family Outing - Zoo, museum, theme park, concert tickets - whatever your family can all enjoy together.  You purchase board games, a cookbook - anything that you can all play/do/use for family time.

Vacation Fund - On your next vacation have a little extra money just for splurges.  We love to research trips before we go, so find something your wouldn't have otherwise done or might have been out of the budget.

Big Item Fund (car, college, wedding) - Coins aren't going to foot the bill for college, but every little bit helps.  Once or twice a year cash out the coins and put the money into a 529 or other interest earning account - that way it has a chance to grow and go even further.  If kids are participating this money could go towards their activity/sports costs or be savings for summer camp.

Gift Fund - I absolutely love to give gifts.  I enjoy thinking about what people want, shopping for them, wrapping.  Seeing the look on someones face when they receive a gift is so precious to me.  It's also a great way to not blow your budget when an unexpected or extra gift event comes up (weddings, baby showers, hostess gifts).

Giving Fund - One of the best blessings is the ability to bless others.  Consider saving coins all year and adopting a family at Christmas, or donating it anonymously to a family in need.  You could also decide as a family on a charity to donate it to.  This can be a great teachable moment with kids.
Here is a link with more information on donating a jar to others:

There are tons of great ideas out there, these are just a few of my favorites.  I hope you are inspired ~ Lindsay

October 31, 2012

Trick or treat

Allison loved trick or treating and visiting people. We sat on our front porch for an hour an a half. Allison ran around the yard and when she got fussy we would go see a couple houses. We ended up hitting all the houses on our stretch of street that had people out front. Allison would start yelling "Happy Halloween" as soon as she could see someone. She's managed to unwrap several treats, take one bite then hand it to us so she can try the next one.

Halloween Crafts

She's so focused - love it!
Allison loves craft time at her preschool so I've been inspired to start doing crafts at home with her - trying for a couple times a week. Previously we had just been coloring together but Allison is really enjoying the diversity. I've also noticed it's great for her dexterity and hand-eye coordination as she handles the little pieces. Here are the projects that we've done since mid-October.  If you have ideas for more projects I would love to hear them.

Cotton Ball Ghost:
needed: glue stick, cotton balls, crayons, computer & printer, cardstock
link to my ghost:
Allison did something similar at preschool which was my inspiration.  I googled "ghost silhouette" images and grabbed a free one (link above).  I copied it into PowerPoint and enlarged the image, then printed it on cardstock.  Allison drew on it a little with an orange crayon, then I rubbed a glue  stick over the ghost and gave her a pile of cotton balls.  It took her a minute to figure out the sticky area, but she had lots of fun.  I wasn't sure if this would last, but the cotton balls are still holding on, and we did this one two weeks ago.

Fall Sticker Art
needed: paper, foam stickers, crayons
This is so versatile and easy.  You could use colored paper or cardstock if you want it to be more durable or go with a theme.  What's shown is just printer paper we had.  I encouraged Allison to color with some 'fall' colored crayons - oranges, browns, yellows, then let her decorate with foam stickers.  I found the fall-themed stickers at Hobby Lobby for $2.99.  It had enough stickers to make 3 of these sheets.  The other two went home with Gigi and Stacey for their fridge collection - theirs had more variety of stickers.  We used the leftovers to make one for us another day.

Decorating a Pumpkin
needed: pumpkin, stickers (we used foam stickers)
We decorated a small pumpkin with foam stickers yesterday for our craft project.  You can use regular stickers too, we had the foam ones on hand.  I really like foam ones for little hands because they don't tear easily and a have more heft for her little fingers.  Allison normally needs me to pull the backing off, so that way mommy is participating too.  She picks out a sticker, hands it to me, I peel, and then she places it.  She gets to do all the creative parts, but I'm still involved with her.  I love when we can do things together.  Afterwards we talked about the colors of the stickers and counted the different shapes (how many stars, how many crosses, etc).