Thursday, December 15, 2011

Our Gingerbread Barn

Every year the kiddos beg me for a gingerbread house and I always fall for it and buy one from Wal Mart. It never turns out the way it is supposed to and I find sticky icing all over my kitchen for days. Sooooo, this year I had put them off and put them off and thought I would get away without having to do this lovely holiday craft this year.... WRONG and it is all MY fault!!!

I was in Tractor Supply the other day just browsing (don't you all go in Tractor Supply just to browse?) and came upon a gingerbread barn kit! Well, we spend so much time at the barn that I thought this would be perfect for our family... WHAT WAS I THINKING?!?!? Perfect in theory, but a barn goes together just like the house does and it does not work! Within 5 minutes of getting the roof on the barn, it collapsed. (Fortunately no horses or ponies were injured in the making of our gingerbread barn.) What you will see below is a very lovely, very sticky open air gingerbread barn which by the way, Jamie and I did 90% of... where were the kiddos you might ask - well they would run in and check our progress, stick on a piece of candy or two, then head back down to the basement for a much more exciting time...

Merry Christmas from our barn to yours!

Monday, December 5, 2011

It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas!

The Alexander Crew just loves this time of year!!! We are counting down the days to Christmas and were so excited when Santa, the big man himselft, made a stop at our house this past Saturday! He read the kids "Twas the Night Before Christmas" and let them tell him exactly what they want for Christmas. He also made a very special delivery... our elf JingleMint! The kiddos have been looking for JingleMint since Thanksgiving and have been so worried that he might not come back. They were thrilled when Santa pulled him out from behind his back and handed him to Mom! Now to be good for 20 more days - can we do it?!?!?

JingleMint is back!!!

Santa told the kiddos a very big secret... He told them the name of his sleigh! Do you know what it is???

Thursday, December 1, 2011

A Girls Trip to NYC!!!

When Jill and Katie were itty bitty, we told them that when they were 6 we would take a girl's trip to New York. Well guess what happened this year... they turned 6!!! Donna and I could not have been more excited. This was one promise we did not mind keeping! So on Tuesday, November 22, Donna, Anna Beth, Katie, Jill and I boarded the 6:15 a.m. flight to New York City, New York! After a little delay in Birmingham due to fog in Charlotte, NC, we were on our way. We made it to New York shortly before noon and we hit the ground running.

Now, I have to apologize because the pics are in no particular order as I am trying to do this post quickly. We were in New York from Tuesday to Friday and we packed as much into that short time as humanly possible. Donna and I laughed each morning as we re-charged ourselves with a Starbucks and Motrin. And by the time we made it back to our hotel each night, the girls would almost fall asleep before their heads hit the pillow. As a matter of fact, Jill and Anna Beth almost missed dinner on Tuesday night when they nearly fell asleep at the table. And on Thanksgiving night, Jill was less than impressed with the dinner so she did fall sound asleep. Hope you enjoy the pics and I apologize for the poor quality of them as many were made on my phone...
Top of the Rock... (Rockefeller Center). The Empire State Building is directly behind us. We decided to do Top of the Rock verses The Empire State Building as there was no line. We walked right up, bought our ticket, hopped on the elevator and made the quick trip to the top. It was freezing and very windy but the view was UNBELIEVABLE!!!

No trip to New York would be complete without a hot dog or soft pretzel from a street vendor. Here the girls are enjoying theirs.

One of the beautiful catherdrals. I wish I could remember which one this is.

This was our ride to the airport on Friday. The girls flipped when they realized the limo was for us!

Ice skating at Rockefeller Center. Behind us you can see the famous Christmas tree. At this point the scaffolding is still around it but on the day we left they were starting to take it down to get ready for the lighting.

Anna Beth enjoying the ice skating.

And little Katie enjoyed herself too!

We had to stop in Toys R Us so the girls could ride the Ferris Wheel. Jill, Katie and I rode in the M&M car while Donna and Anna Beth rode in the pink Barbie car. We hit Toys R Us on black Friday so you can only imagine what a mad house this place was!!!

On our first night in New York we went to see Mary Poppins... AMAZING!!!! Even though we had to walk 1.3 miles back to our hotel in the freezing cold rain afterwards, I would have done it all over again just to experience this show. Poor Jill and I didn't even have our big coats as my big suitcase didn't make on our flight. My scarf had to act as a shawl for Jill and by the time we made it to the hotel I could wring out her socks. But she was a trooper!!! We got my suitcase around midnight that night and I studied the NYC map so as not to feel so lost again. By the next morning we were good to go!

One of the girls favorite things about our trip was the American Girl Store. We had brunch there on Wednesday but of course we had to go shop as soon as we got there on Tuesday. All three girls got the Girl of the Year, Kanani. We loved shopping all three floors of this store and if the girls could have, they would have bought the place out!

The girls inside Radio City Music Hall waiting to see the Rockettes Christmas Spectacular. What an amazing show it was!!! The girls were not able to take their Kanani dolls to brunch on Wednesday because it was raining so they were so excited to be able to take them to the show.

The Nativity scene at the end of the Rockettes Christmas Spectacular had to be my favorite part. They had live camels, sheep, and donkeys.

On black Friday we apparently were glutens for punishment and decided to hit Macy's. Standing outside were 4 of New Yorks finest, members of the NYPD. They gladly posed for a photo with our sweet girls. Macy's was unbelievably crowded but so worth the experience. The girls loved seeing the wooden escalator and we rode it all the way to the ninth floor.

Windows outside the American Girl Store.
Our trip to the Plaza hotel to shop at the Eloise store. While we waited for the store to open we took a bicycle "rickshaw" tour of Central Park.
Of course one of the main reasons we went to New York at this particular time was to see the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade. We got to our spot around 6:45 a.m. and had to wait until around 9:15 for it to make it to our location. The wait was tough but the parade was worth it! Ironically, in all of New York City, we ended up watching the parade next to a college friend of my sister's!!!

I had a blast with you three sweet girls! Where are we going next?

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Jill's First Horse Show

It has been awhile since I posted so this is a catch-up post. On October 29, 2011, Jill participated in her very first horse show. Her division was pre-academy as she has not been riding a year yet. We could not have been more proud of our little girl - she was AMAZING!!! And Painted Perfect, aka Billy, the love of Jill's life, did pretty great as well. He is a beautiful little pony and Jill has fallen completely in love with him! Enjoy her day in pictures...

Early on Saturday morning getting ready for the parade of future equestrians...

They just don't get any cuter in our book!

During walk/trot Jill was in the ring with seven other riders. Jill is on the paint.

One of my favorite pictures of the day. She looks so professional.

Jill's ribbons - 3rd, 8th, 10th and 1st

After the show, the farm has a costume class. Jill is an American cowgirl and she is riding a pony named America!

We are so very proud of you Jill Taylor! We hope your love for riding and horses never lessens and takes you places that today you only dream of!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Twelve Years, REALLY??!!

I can hardly believe that my first-born will turn 12 on Thursday!!! It seems like just yesterday I was holding you in my arms while we exited Huntsville Hospital but it also seems that I have loved you forever! You will never know just how much your Mom and Dad love you, Eli David. You are one special kiddo and I know that God is going to bless you beyond your wildest imagination! Keep dreamin' your dreams and reaching for those stars. Remember, "if the hard work pays off, the easy work is worthless." Invest your time and continue to be a young man after God's own heart!

My Beast! Never give less than your BEST!

Be goofy and have fun!!!

Work hard...

and play hard :)!

Happy 12th Birthday, Eli!!!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Sweet Summertime

Summer is in full swing and I absolutely LOVE this time of year! June is crazy busy for us but by getting everything done in June we will have lots of time to spend with our cousins in July! School got out on May 26 and the next day we loaded up and headed to the beach for a week! Jamie and I love the beach however our kiddos were done with the sand after about 3 days. We will have to work on them as the beach is Jamie and my favorite vacation destination. I would have loved to get a few pictures of my children on the beach but after years of enduring this form of obvious torcher they balked this year so this is all I got...

After the beach, the next thing on our schedule was Infinity Sports camp at our church. Eli has done camp since 3rd grade and this was his last year to be able to be a participant. Next year he hopefully get to work because he will be a YOUTH! Jill will get to participate next year and she has already decided that baton will be one of her sport tracks.

We had 134 participants and 5 of these kiddos prayed to receive Christ. I had the honor and priveledge of praying with one of those!!!

Because Jill wasn't old enough to participate in sports camp, Aunt Donna saved her so to speak. On Wednesday, we met in Trussville and she took Jill to spend a little time with Anna Beth and Katie. While there, Jill was able to go to their VBS and she loved it. She was also able to help her cousins with a lemonade stand. I am so glad that we live close enough that they are able to spend time together. They are the best of friends!

While Jill was away, Dalton and Dylan came and spent a few days with us so that Michael and Ashley could have some time away to celebrate their 10 year anniversary. I wish that I had pictures to share from their visit but for some reason the camera never came out. I guess becuase we were too busy sword fighting, "falling" in the lake, and swimming in the pool to worry with pictures. We loved having those boys here and I am so glad that they are all such good friends!

This week Jill has been attending VBS at her friend Avery's church and she is having such a great time. She is in a class with three of her friends and Avery's mom, Lori, is their tribe leader. The theme is Pandamania and it is so COOL.

Now all that is left for June is horseback riding camp for Jill and our church's VBS. I love all the fun things we are getting to do but I must admit I am looking forward to a little more down time in July!