Of all the things I’m thankful for, I am thankful for my wonderful little family. They make my heart so full on a daily basis. Even when we’re dealing with crappy situations…like a stressful move, financial stress, or dogs who’ve been poisoned and are sh*tting and vomiting everywhere…we just put our heads down and push through. The kids giggle, my husband gives awesome hugs, and all is right in the world.

Today we’re getting together with wonderful friends we’ve made here in Fayetteville for the Holiday, and tomorrow I plan on making a Beef Wellington for our family. It’s so good, and I haven’t made one since last Christmas! Far too long. Maybe some other people will join?

The kiddos are getting so big so fast. Bennett has started to master the stairs, both up and down. I practice with him daily, spotting him the whole way. But he’s getting pretty good! I still feel anxious about it, but I figure the more I let him practice the better he’ll get. I really hate gates. Plus, it’s good gross motor skill development.Stair climbing

He also got a pretty rad early Christmas gift from one of our good family friends. He giggles the whole time he rides it! Pretty adorable.IMAG6866_1

And the box was fun too:


McKenzie is also doing very well. She’s at school most of the day and has been doing great! She had an all “on grade level” report card, so that’s good since we were a little concerned at the beginning of the year. Her writing skills and reading have developed very well so far. I really like her teacher, and the school is wonderful. And she’s had 100% on all her spelling tests for the past 5 weeks. That’s my girl! For her good behavior, we like to reward her with a special breakfast at IHOP every Friday morning before school:IMAG6739In other news, Bennett got his first haircut a couple weeks ago! He was suffering from chronic bed-head, so we needed a change.


And the move into the new house has been really stressful. Even though it’s only 2 doors down, it’s still a matter of being in-between places, and taking apart and putting back together two 2,000 square foot spaces. Not to mention the kitchen in the new house STILL isn’t done. I don’t like how the cabinets are turning out, so we are looking into cabinet “refacing”—which means using existing cabinets, but adding new veneer and doors. It basically looks brand new for half the price.

But it’s been a rainy, crummy week. And as I mentioned, the dogs were poisoned by eating some wild grapes in the yard. Wow, that was stressful, scary, and expensive. Just horrible all around. Plenty of drool, vomit, and diarrhea. They’re fine now, though, $1700 later (ouch). But we believe pets are family, so it is what it is.

Here is a photo of our new backyard on this rainy day from our kitchen window. You can tell we’ve cleared much of the brush and over-hanging trees. We opted for a black chin-link fence, so the view of the woods/trees and creek remain unobstructed. Based on the dead patches of grass (where the brush used to be) you can tell we got about 15 more feet of yard by clearing it out before it was fenced! Visitors welcome anytime. ♥ Love to all, Happy Thanksgiving!backyard

And Buzz at featured on of my posts in his blog: 9 Parent Sanity Saving Rules for Elf on the Shelf! Because making Mr. Elf bendy is the best thing ever. Check it out. =)