Category Archives: holidays

Easter 2014

Hope everyone’s Easter went well. Ours did. Sunshine and so so pretty out. All the kids were well and we got to spend the day with friends. Not much more to say :) – below are a few photos from the day…

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Pre-Egg Hunt photo to keep with Tradition.

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Remember 2013′s? :) – our 1st year in GA.

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Reed caught on quick, he did so good. Was so cute to watch him.

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Reed running towards an egg. Cutest.Thing.Ever!!

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Does anyone else have little ones who point with their middle finger? :) Reed never uses the index finger. Its humorous.

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For some reason all my older boys looked so thin and tall to me this year! They grow to fast.

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Reed wasted no time breaking into the eggs.

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& to end a fun day, a bottle of milk is always a must :)

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Used

Most bloggers do their “christmas” rants before Christmas. I think I am the type to do it after… maybe because this season seemed oddly busy and I truly had no time to write. In this post ill throw in Christmas photos throughout, just to spread them out some ;-)

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*The boys stockings btw, small snippet on those. I purchased the two BLUE pottery barn stockings years ago on sale for like $7.99! They only had two designs though, so I opted to just get two that year, thinking the next year they’d have a new design. WELL, since then I have yet to be able to find the blue ones :( – so Caleb and Reed are using my old stocking and a stocking my mom made. Which works… but I did still want Caleb and Reed to have a stocking with their name on it to match… so this year I found the same design but in red. So I got those coming, got them after Christmas too marked down. I am not really into monogramming much, just not my thing… but stocking to me do look very cute with the child’s name on it… SO yea, thats just my lil spill on our stockings and why two have names and two don’t. Oh and yes, thats cash in the stockings. My dad gave me some dollars to put in there for them. So I listened and obeyed ;-) *

ok…. back to the post ;-)

ED9A6439So! Christmas has come and gone, to a degree – my parents arrive tomorrow… so the boys will get to experience the fun of grandparents coming with gifts – but for the most part, our Christmas is wrapping up… Ive actually taken down some decorations… I am the type who enjoys cleaning the Christmas stuff out fast… while I love it when it goes up… by the end of Dec. I am ready to see it go. That is exactly why you will never, EVER see me put up a tree before thanksgiving ;-) – id be so sick of it. I think this has something to do with my OCD side.

This Christmas we scaled down a bit…. For the last 2 years we were being poured into by our church family… the 1st Christmas in Georgia my husband had no job… our church basically paid for our Christmas. So amazing and such a surprise. We didnt ask or expect it. 2nd Christmas here, same thing… even though my husband now had a new job (although not a great paying one), the church blessed us beyond belief with an amazing offering of love, that we were able to use to bless our kids again… and honestly we had a lot left to help pay for groceries that entire month.

I think the out pouring of their love, made us want to just love on our kids heavily those two years, and I think we went a bit overboard ;-) – which had its season I suppose? haha.. I’m justifying our big Christmas’ those two years. None the less, we knew we had to stop doing that much.. we knew our kids were getting to the age where showering them with a mass amount of gifts would in our view, send the wrong message, as to what Christmas truly was about.

As a believer, you all know where I stand. As cheesy as the saying can get, Jesus is the reason for the season… and we want our boys to know and understand that fully.

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Which is why we choose not to do Santa…. not because we think he is evil… I grew up with Santa :) and obviously turned out just fine. We just came to the decision that it was a distraction for our children and neither of us felt right telling our children he was real, when he really wasn’t.

SO our boys know WHO Santa is. They know all about St. Nic :) – we have our own fun Christmas Traditions. We do still do stockings (can’t help it, I love how they look hanging up.) We also chose This year we also made the decision to only do THREE Gifts per kid… kinda goes in line with “Baby Jesus only got 3 gifts, then again he wasn’t a BABY by the time the wise men got to him ;-) – an more than likely it wasn’t CHRISTMAS then, but you get the point…that in itself is a blog post…” We also did stocking stuffers… but they are small gifts, so I don’t include those in the “3 gift rule…”

I thought Id list out the gifts our boys got, for those curious :)
[this may give other moms ideas for future gifts? It is in no way meant to show off, brag, etc... although I don't find this as being showy at all... but it never fails, someone reading this will ultimately think something negative, it is what it is :)]

Caleb (who is 9)

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1. A Bearded Dragon (we had the tank, so thankfully did not have to purchase that. I got his bearded dragon on sale for $29.99 – typically these range from $75-150.00!) – His name is August and so far he is doing beautifully. Caleb ended up getting this gift early btw… after a week or more keeping him hidden in my closet, I gave up. I was scared Id kill the poor thing. He btw is so cool! With his dragon we did include the gear he would need to care for him…. heat lamp, bulbs, basking spot, that sorta thing. I think the total cost was around $85.00 once we added it all up… which I think is a great deal on an awesome pet he will have for a long time. Comment below btw if you want me to do a “how we care for his dragon” post ;-) – I will admit, I really like him, he’s very cool.

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2. A book about weapons – He is into the history of them, loves reading about how they are made, etc… this book has amazing illustrations!

3. A Wooden Sword/Shield – From THIS ETSY Shop (cannot praise this guy enough, he did a great job! He painted and custom made the swords for the boys)

(We also threw in a Lord of the Ring small Lego set for Caleb (It was one of the 20 dollar sets) Since he didn’t have the Dragon to Open on Christmas Day, I wanted him to have that “3rd” gift experience… so I guess he got 4 gifts… but it was partly my fault he couldn’t get the bearded dude on Christmas Day… soooo yea, he got the lego set too.

Taite (who is 7)


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1. A Walkie Talkie Set (which can be used with all the boys, its a very nice one, we didnt want something cheap that only last a year and we’d waste batteries on. This one has a charging station, so no need to buy batteries, ever. Also came with a head set, very cool and they have used it great so far. Oh! and its water proof. We didn’t want them dropping it in the creek by accident playing and breaking them. I think the mile range is like 29 miles!)

2. A Small Drill with screws and a hammer – I got this at Harbor Frate down the road, was $9.99 for the drill, 2 bucks for the hammer and like a $1.50 for the screws. Its the perfect size for him! He loves drilling things into piece of wood. Its cordless too and has a charging battery included.

3. Sword/Shield - Matches Caleb’s – from same shop.

Owen (who is 3 1/2)

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1. His 1st big boy Bike - It was just a $50.00 one from Walmart, he picked it out – we kept it hidden at a neighbors.

2. Helmet

3. Sword/Shield Set

(Owen got a couple extra stocking stuffers, since the Helmet wasn’t the coolest gift to get, more of a “must” for a new bike rider. If you can’t tell from the photos though he was super stoked to have the new helmet. Wore it half the time he opened gifts.)

Baby Reed


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He was SO SO SO CUTE, when he realized inside the paper was a toy. Priceless smile.

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He only got 2 gifts ;-) – he didn’t even know what was going on… so why lavish him with all 3 just yet ;-D

1. A toy phone, he loves phones. – was one from walmart? I think 5-10 dollars? I honestly can’t remember what I paid.

2. A toy Police truck that makes sounds (he’s into buttons) – Tonka I think?

and, thats it ;)

Joint Gifts

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- A $5.00 BIG WHEEL (Its a HUGE Big wheel, I can’t remember the name right off… its SOLID metal. I found it on amazon after finding it at a thrift shop. It was $250.00 new on amazon!!) – Our neighbors kept this hidden for us and even cleaned it up and blew up the front tire. SO nice of them. It works great. Has been a huge hit. Not to shabby for 5 bucks.

- Lord of the Rings Wii Game

- Some Bible DVD’s (we collect the NEST series for them, they love them – got them 3 combined to add to the collection they have already).

… and thats it.

All of the gifts I was able to pay for this year with my photography business. Our budget is tight… so so so thankful the Lord has provided a very busy season for me in my photography. I have been blessed with an amazing flow of steady clients. In fact I’m booked through January already and the inquires keep coming.

For my Christmas my husband blessed me with a fun pocked camera called a Canon G9. I linked him to some listings on Ebay for them… I wanted a pocket camera that was NICE and fulfilled my “professional side” without being to much gear to carry. While I love my professional Camera… what I do not like is lugging it around with 4 kids alone… it is worth more than my 1st car… the last thing I want to do is have a kid kick my diaper bag or step on it and break it… so I try to never use it for “personal use” outside of the home… unless its a “special event” or something. SO this G9 will do a little better than my iPhone ;-) – so far I love it. Here is a photo taken today actually while on a bike ride with the boys…


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& He got me a Zyliss Garlic Press. Sounds lame, but its awesome!! can press the garlic with the peel on it. Used it tonight for the 1st time and can’t imagine pressing garlic without it :) – a great price for one that does such a good job too btw…

So to wrap this post up…

What I guess I’m trying to say is….

IMG_5707Despite no Santa.

Despite no Elf on the Shelf.

Despite some of our gifts being thrifted :)

Our boys had an amazing Christmas and I think got PLENTY of gifts.

They do not lack in anything they need… and I think our society we live in makes you feel guilty almost if you do not lavish your kids in gifts at Christmas time…. while there are seasons for this, I think to continually overload our children with so much they can’t even remember what they got… the whole idea of Christmas becomes a big distraction onto materialism…. and the whole purpose for it is forgotten…

I just want to encourage everyone to pray about Christmas when it rolls around… each families “gift amount” may not be the same as ours… and that is ok! Some may give much less… some may give much more. Some gifts may cost a lot – some may cost a little. We each have to decide what is right and the Holy Spirit I do believe will guide us and give us direction in that area…

Thankful for this Christmas… Thankful we had well kids, no fevers, no throwing up… and a husband who was able to get off from work for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. SUCH A BLESSING!! Last year he did not have that luxury …

Hope everyone else had an amazing Christmas!!


Oh and we do get the boys Jammies. One pair of these was thrifted btw ;-) – no shame.
The boys specifically asked me for FOOTIE Jammies… and have worn them every night since.

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Blessings…

~Drea

Thanksgiving 2013

ED9A8086Im kinda behind on posting these photos :)

We celebrated thanksgiving this year on wednesday instead of thur. Travis had off tues/wed so we had no choice :) – it worked out. With his crazy job schedule and its often 3 week changes in days off, you do what you got to do.

Our thanksgiving was SO COLD. It actually snowed some! For georgia that is so rare this time a year. I think it got down into the 20′s that night… brrr!

We enjoyed a sweet morning where Travis cooked up breakfast. Southern style. Bacon, sausage, eggs, biscuits. That sorta thing. Whats crazy though is I am not a breakfast person… at least not that type of food. I would much rather have some french toast or a bowl of honey almond cereal ;-) – not really a sausage and egg kinda person… but the boys love it, so thats what we did. I had a biscuit ;-) _ and moved on.

After breakfast we trekked on over to a local tree lot and grabbed a christmas tree. It was SO incredibly cold out though that I was unable to stay out long with Reed to help choose… so Travis did the picking and he came home with a gigantic 8 foot tree! Its huge but beautiful. If I had my choice though I would have chosen a 5 foot one or invest in an artificial one… but having a “real” tree for him is a tradition he loves… so we will continue to do so until something prevents us from doing so.

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We decorated the tree. Enjoyed a 2pm meal with turkey, ham, mash potatoes, green beans, stuffing and of course some gravy. I purchased Travis a made pecan pie… JUST for him – I HATE PIES! gag … (yes I’m so weird), so instead of wasting time and money I went the easy route and bought his already made ;-) – and for the rest of us I made up home made donuts.

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We finished our evening just spending time together and staying warm. SOME of us even got a nap in (not me!)


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Hope everyone had a safe and sweet thanksgiving!

*I have since added a bow to the top of our tree (the star wouldn’t fit), also my mom brought her quilted tree skirt! so thats new and also added some candy canes and few other small touches to the tree. Will post an updated photo soon enough ;-) *

Adjusting Holidays

With Travis’ new line of work… I have come to realize almost every Holiday that rolls around, will be spent alone.

Last Christmas and Christmas Eve was an eye opener for me no doubt. I got pretty depressed during those days… and one thing that really made it worse was getting on facebook on those days and seeing people post photos of themselves together with their entire family… while I sat alone with my boys.

Yeah, not a great memory of mine.

In fact, that is all I remember… how hard it was.

While I do not believe we will have many Christmas’ like that one… maybe one more, at the most… I will say, in the mean time, one thing I have learned is to adjust the holidays to fit our schedule. The world around us may not do that for us :) – but we can try and make it work despite the crap hours and ‘never ending no off day’ schedules.

So since the 4th of July was out, Travis worked… we waited… We celebrated our 4th on the following Sunday.

… and you know, it was just fine.

We maybe didn’t get to go out and see a really big fire work display… but we were together as a family… and that is what mattered.

Cool thing with waiting too is that fire works were 50% off. ;-) – soooo we saved money too! hah…

Here are a few memories from our small belated 4th of July celebrations.
*Reed btw was asleep during all this time, so he is not in any of the photos below*


We started with those “popper” things, you know the ones you throw on the ground and they pop.

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They were small but they were very loud :)

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Few Christmas Memories

I thought Id post a few Christmas photos before time got away with me :)
I will be totally real though in admitting this was not an easy Christmas for me. While we were blessed tremendously… not having Travis around for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, was hard… I know I could have it worse and he could be over seas for a year like a friend of mine’s husband… but either way, it was a very different Christmas for us all…

Thankful for the memories… but… I do pray Travis is off next year for those two days… Im sure that will be easier said than done.

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Our boys requested the Stuffies.
A toy they saw on a commercial.

I am usually against those… but this one actually is really cute!

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Our main gift this year was something kind of last minute.

Any Guesses? :)

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To those familiar with the Wii, you may recognize the thing Caleb is holding.

A friend of ours gave us the Sky Lander’s DOCK with figurines and game for the Wii. From what I understand that was no cheap gift! Her son no longer played it, so she gifted it to us. Thing is, we had no wii :) – so as the days led up to Christmas, I began doing some Craigs list searching… and less than a week before Christmas, I found one. It came with A TON… and at least 10 games. The price was great. Had I purchased everything new it would of cost us more than double. So I am happy with the deal I found :) and the kids are loving the Wii.

I really like that we can play netflix from it too. It is def. going to be one of those things I have to monitor their time use on… but I think it will be a great incentive for them to get their school work done so they can play it.

So “yay” to Craigs List finds!

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Reed was last to get up :) – the boys had fun opening his gifts for him.

He sadly woke up with a little bit of a cold today though :(

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So he spent most of the day resting…

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My mom made some sweet hand made items for the boys. They are always special to them.

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Thank you everyone who helped us give our boys such a great Christmas.

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