Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Our Year in Review

What an amazing year 2009 has been in the Alexander home. Jamie and I are so blessed and thankful to our Lord and Savior from whom all blessings flow! As we looked back at our Christmas pictures from last year, we realized just how much our three children have grown and changed.

Christmas 2008

Christmas 2009

They bring such joy and laughter to our home and we must admit, sometimes a bit of temper and stong-will. But even for the latter, we are thankful - it just means they are normal children!

Eli turned 10 this year - the double digits. He is in the fifth grade and making all A's - even with very little help from the parents! He is our soccer champ and his U10 Chelsea Sting soccer team won the Division III Governor's Cup State Championship in November!

True to family tradition, he bleeds crimson & white! He can quote you the entire Bama starting line-up, offense, defense and special teams accompained by each players height and weight. I am sure it will not be long before he trades in his soccer cleats and shin gaurds for a football helment and pads. (Mom of course thinks he should be the kicker. At least then she will know that if her little man gets hit the other team will be penalized for it!)

Another major accomplishment for Eli came in November when he was awarded his black belt in Tae Kwon Do. It only took us four years to get there but Eli's hard work and determination finally paid off - he made it! We are so proud and feel safer with him around!

What a blessing you are to our family! We are so proud of you!

Jill, our little princess, turned four in April this year and she is really growing up! She is in her third year of pre-school and loves going each day to see her friends! She is into all things "girl" - Barbies, baby dolls, nail polish and lip gloss, and of course Hannah Montana!!!

Halloween 2009

She also loves changing clothes at least six times a day just to make sure Mom doesn't run out of laundry to do! She started taking gymnastics earlier this year and looks forward to Friday of each week for her class! She especially likes the bars because they get to use the "chalk." Somehow she manages to get it all over her - she says this makes her look like a real gymnast!

Jill also played one season of soccer and enjoyed that as well, who knows, we may have another soccer player in the family!

But as for now, she informed me that she wants to try dance, but ultimately, she wants to be a Crimsonette. She loves to play with Mom's old baton and of course she must do that while wearing a two-piece swimsuit because that is as close as she can get to a Crimsonette uniform. One thing is for certain, with Jill, if she wants something, she WILL get it! This little girl has enough drive and determination in her little pinky to move mountains! What a blessing she is to our family! We are so proud of you!

Our "baby" Luke turned two in August and he is truly the laughter in our home. It amazes me how much personality such a little fellow can have! He has a smile that can light up any room!

Luke is the last little one at home with Mom now but come August 2010, watch out Little Lambs Mom's Day Out! He begs to go everyday with Jill but Mom just isn't ready for that step yet! We have made other big boy strides though. As I mentioned earlier, he turned 2 in August and by November he was fully potty trained. No more diapers in the Alexander home. I am sure Huggies feels the loss! Luke also moved out of the crib and into a "big boy" bed.

All three Alexander babies used that crib so it was a little sad taking it down for the last time but Mom has moved past that now and is happy to know that her little ones are growing into such precious independent children.

As for Mom and Dad, we are doing great as well. Mom has finally been able to pick up running again and Dad has been back on the bike too! Getting back into shape really is a great stress-reliever!

Jamie's work can be stressful at times but he really enjoys his job. God has blessed him in Southern Company and we are so proud of him. He works very hard to provide for our family and give Mom the opportunity to be just that...Mom, the best, most rewarding job on the planet!!! I am blessed by my amazing husband and wonderful children everyday!

Bring on 2010 - the Alexanders are ready!

Monday, December 28, 2009

An Alexander Christmas

We had an amazing Christmas here in the Alexander home! We love this time of year and this year all three of the kiddos got into the Christmas spirit! Luke only wanted one thing...A John Deer Tractor! Jill said she only wanted one thing as well..."39 Barbies and a DS and an I-Pod and some Twinkle Toes and"...you get the picture. Eli wanted an IPod touch and a bow and arrow but little did he know Santa had a much bigger, more exciting surprise in store - an Alabama Football helment autographed by the entire team including the Coach! Here are a few pics of Christmas morning...
All the gifts beneath the tree - BEFRORE the little ones had a chance to "dig in!" (Boy do I need drapes on those windows. Jamie may wish he hadn't taken this photo!)
Santa must have been full by the time he got to our house because he only nibbled at the cookies we left - or maybe he is counting calories :-)

Luke on his John Deer!

Jill's docking station for her new pink I-Pod!

The Helment!!!!

Santa was good to all of us this year! Mom got a beautiful ring that she cannot wait to show-off from her "Santa" - he is the BEST! Dad got a new chimenea for roasting marshmallows and I guess you could count the new truck he got a week before Christmas - he gave that one to himself!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas at Grammy & Poppa's

This past weekend we loaded up the Suburban and headed to Tallassee for a little Christmas celebration with Grammy & Poppa, the Giles family and the Bryant family. Yes, if you are counting that means all 7 grandchildren under one roof and that means LOUD! It also means lots of laughter and fun sprinkled with a few hugs and kisses! While we were in Tallasse we were able to enjoy Dalton and Dylan's birthday party at Pump It Up! I cannot believe they are now 6 and 3. It seems like yesterday they were itty bitty little babies. How time flies! (Pictures of the party will posted a little later - haven't got that camera in hand.) For now, here are a few pictures from our Christmas celebration.

Mom and Dad managed to sneak in a picture - alone!

Grammy and Poppa!
The Girls

We tried a family picture - Jill & Luke were not too thrilled with the idea!

Opening presents - An Alabama football helment with jersey, shoulder pads, and football pants. "Hang on, Nick, I comin'!"

Dylan and his new Bible Man sword.

Eli's set of books - 39 Clues.

Jill showing off her Hannah Montana video camera.

Dalton and one of his many gifts.

Anna Beth and Katie waiting for the "GO!" so they could start!
A fun time was had by all and we all made it back to our own homes safely. We love and cherish the time we have to spend together with our family! Donna, Ashley and I look back with such fond memories on the time spent with our Aunts, Uncles and cousins and we want our little ones to grow up with wonderful memories of their own. Merry Christmas to all - We love you!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Big Boy Luke

The past couple of months have brought big changes in the Alexander household and they are ones that Mom & Dad are so excited about. The first big change (or maybe I should say end of changing) is that Luke is now fully potty trained! Way to go Luke! He even sleeps in big boy underwear - amazing if you ask me! The second big change is this...

We took down the crib for the last time. Luke now sleeps in a "big boy" bed. He has done great! As you can see from the picture, we still have one more hurdle to jump and that will be the hardest for Mom and Luke - the taking away of the pacifier. With Eli and Jill we took the paci cold turkey when they each turned two, but for some reason this has been especially hard for Mommy this time. Maybe because he is the last one or maybe because I know I can have a moment of silence if I give it to him, not sure which it is but I will get there soon - promise!

Our elf, JingleMint is also doing well. We found him in Jill's stocking this morning. We figure he must be checking to see how much it can hold without falling off the mantle :-)! I am sure Santa has lots of goodies to stuff in there on Christmas Eve night!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Santa is a BAMA fan!

Here in the Alexander home, we were pretty certain that Santa was a BAMA fan, afterall, he wears the right colors! But for those of you who need further proof, we thought we would share this picture with you. This is how we found our elf this morning when we woke up...
He is sitting atop our Chirstmas cookie jar holding an Alabama shaker. Looks like he is as excited about Alabama's Mark Ingram #22 winning the 2009 Heisman trophy as we are!!! Now all the Alexanders want for Christmas is a National Championship!!! Roll Tide Roll!!!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Polar Express 2009

Last night we took Eli, Jill & Luke to ride the Polar Express in Calera. We rode to the North Pole, had cookies and milk on the train, saw two elves, and most importantly, saw Santa and Mrs. Claus!!! What a magical train ride! We had so much fun. I think the kiddos thought that since we rode the Polar Express last night that this morning must be Christmas - they were all three up before 7am!!!!! Oh well, we have plenty of time today to get lots of Christmas presents wrapped and goodies baked. Enjoy the pictures from our little trip...

Santa & Mrs. Claus

One of the Elves - they had to tell her all about our Elf, JingleMint!

Yummy chocolate milk and cookies served by the Polar Express Chef!

Our Conductor with Luke (ringing his bell)
Jill with her shiny silver bell - we could all hear the bell ring!!!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

An Autograph for Eli

Jamie flew to Orlando this afternoon for a business meeting tomorrow. While boarding the plane he called me to inform me who was on his flight - none other than Alabama's own #22 Mark Ingram - candidate for the 2009 Heisman! He was flying to Orlando for the ESPN awards tomorrow evening. Jamie was fortunate enough to get his autograph despite the two armed security gaurds escorting Mr. Ingram from the airport. Eli is flipping out, even though he already has a signed Ingram football card. For Eli, the sun rises and sets in Alabama football. He has been taught well!

Jamie managed to snap a quick picture of Ingram signing the autograph - a little blurry but Jamie said they never broke stride so this was the best he could do :-)!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

What Makes Me Happy?

I have been tagged by my good friend Shelly to share 10 things that make me happy so here goes. Most will probably come as no surprise!

#1. I am a child of the KING!

#2. My dear sweet husband who I love more than words could ever express!
#3. My sweet Eli
#4. My only daughter Jill

#4. My baby boy Luke

#5. Alabama Football - and the fact that my team will be playing for the National Championship this year!!!!!
#8. My Family (The Stephens, The Giles, The Bryants, The Alexanders, The Lancasters, The Wilkersons, The Grays, The Fendleys - I am so blessed!)
#7. Facebook :-)
#8. My I-phone
#9. Christmas - my favorite time of the year
#10. My wonderful friends - you know who you are!!!!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Gatlinburg Get-away 2009

We had a great get away in Gatlinburg this weekend. We traveled with Nanny and PaPaw (the Alexanders) as well as the newly engaged couple, Aunt Leesa and (soon to be Uncle) Aaron. We stayed in a beautiful cabin at Gatlinburg Falls and got to enjoy the first snow fall of the season! We couldn't have asked for more perfect mountain weather!

We hit the road at 8am on Friday morning headed to Gatlinburg and arrived at about 4pm. One must remember, we were traveling with 6 adults and 3 children - one of which is a newly potty "rained" 2 year old (that is what Luke says). Once we arrived we checked into our cabin "Endless Views" and then headed to downtown Gatlinburg for the 33rd annual Gatlinburg Christmas parade. The kids loved seeing all the floats and bands and Jill really loved seeing the majorettes twirlling fire. It was really COLD but we were so packed onto the sidewalks that it wasn't too bad. Seeing Santa at the end of the parade was a great beginning to the Christmas season.

Jill and Dad enjoying the parade.

Luke taking in the parade, "Mommy, it's COLD!" He said with lips shivering.
Leesa and Aaron at the parade. Looks like the big day will be July 17th - a summer wedding and we cannot wait!
Eli, Jill, & Luke standing on the deck of our cabin.
Playing in the snow. Burr it was cold!
Making a snowball. Wonder who got hit by this one...
Eli enjoying the snow.
Christmas card picture attempts...

Inside the registration lodge at Gatlinburg Falls - the place we stayed. They had it decorated beautifully. Our cabin was also GREAT!!!
Another Christmas card attempt...
Posing with Mom before heading back inside to watch Alabama beat Florida and win the SEC Championship. One step closer to Alabama's 13th National Championship!!!
While driving through Cades Cove we saw no less than 60 deer. This was one of the big bucks we saw. He just stood there and let us make his picture. He knew he was on protected property! Luke said this was Rudolph.
Another deer standing beside the road. We were close enough we could have reached out and touched her.
Eli ice skating. He has been ice skating twice and he skated like a little pro! This was taken at Ober Gatlinburg.
Jill's second time ice skating and she did pretty well.
Mom's arm was exhausted after four times around with Jill but she did a great job. We had such a wonderful trip. It was a great kick-off to winter and the Christmas season.