Wednesday, November 30, 2011

2011 family christmas card


FRONT:



BACK:

growing like weeds

as tradition would stand, every year around each of the grandkids birthdays, pawpaw would measure their height against the corner wall of the lakehouse. since everyone has been so busy, thanksgiving was the best time in which he had the opportunity to put both abby and lyla who have late summer birthdays (july and august) up to date.

truth be told, i always love when my dad does this because although i am aware that they have grown, it is nice to see just how much and especially in comparison to each other. for example, at one time abby, carson, and lyla were all around the same height. it wasn't until this last year where lyla has definitely taken the lead for being the tallest at age three. i could hardly believe it. looks like we'd better make more wall space for when baby jemma and grant take their turns. gotta love it...

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

christmas decorating...

Monday, November 28, 2011

tutu cute

Saturday, November 26, 2011

opryland's "a country christmas"

saturday morning, we woke up to a dreamworks character wake-up call. lyla answered the phone and it was shrek himself. he gave her a special greeting of good morning and then told her to listen closely as he let out the longest nastiest burp ever. it made lyla laugh and even abby heard it too as she sat beside her. that was definitely a fun unique way to start their day. soon after getting ready, we headed down to the restaurant where we ate a shrek breakfast feast and were told to "eat, stink, and be merry." here's what it all entailed:

Hear Ye! Hear Ye! Become an honorary Ogre and join Shrek, Princess Fiona and friends for a fairytale feast fit for a king. Discover a Magic Fountain bubbling over with intoxicating chocolate potions. Solve riddles and puzzles to earn your ogre ears. Shrek, Princess Fiona and friends will visit you tableside for hugs and photos.

it was really cute and the girls absolutely loved it. even the waffles were shaped like the big lovable ogre, and everything was delicious. it was the sweetest thing watching our girls get so excited since they adore all things shrek. even puss in boots made an appearance. it was awesome. here are some pics...after breakfast, we headed over to the ICE! exhibit where the dreamworks theme was "merry madagascar." inside there were 2 million pounds of larger-than-life colorful ice sculptures and incredible 20-foot-tall ice slides. upon entering, we were all given a shnazzy little blue parka to wear. they even had baby jem-jem's size. it was too cute. she was bundled up so nice and warm that she instantly fell asleep. it was perfect.

furthermore, we walked inside and relived the story of how alex the lion and his friends saved christmas after santa and his reindeer crashed into the island of madagascar. the ice sculptures were absolutely amazing and going down the slides were SO.MUCH.FUN. every single one of us (minus the baby of course) got to enjoy going down the slides multiple times. here are some pics...after having fun at the ICE! exhibit, we made our way over to do some gingerbread decorating with gingy (another fun character from the shrek movie). this was a really fun laid back activity that we all enjoyed. abby and lyla picked out a gingerbread house ornament to decorate and they really took their time with each placement of the gum drops, red hots, sprinkles, etc. they were having so much fun getting crafty and eating a couple of pieces here and there while jay and i enjoyed watching them.

also, gingy made an appearance himself where the girls immediately ran to him for a heartwarming hug. i have to admit, i thought gingy's entrance in and out of his house was perfect...if you've seen the movie, you will know why. it jut makes me chuckle to myself. here are some pics...after decorating their own beautiful gingerbread houses, we packed their masterpieces up and walked over to the 48-foot-tall christmas tree located in the delta atrium. we knew this is where santa was located and wanted to let the girls tell him what they wanted for christmas as well as get a picture with him. jay jokingly told abby to tell santa that she wants auburn to win their game that was about to start (iron bowl championship), but unfortunately, santa can't work miracles and auburn lost. instead, abby requested for an all american girl doll and lyla requested for some make-up. here are some pics...after pics with santa, we stopped to eat lunch and watched the iron bowl for a bit. the game was nothing worth sitting through and the girls were still so excited to be there that they repeatedly told us, "please can we go on another adventure!" so that we did. we opened up their dreamworks character passports and map to enjoy a scavenger hunt along with some meet and greets.

we strolled through shrek's beloved swamp for a face-to-face encounter with the green ogre and ogress; explored the island of madagascar where we saw gloria the hippo and later the two penguins. then we discovered china's ancient valley of peace where po, the kung fu panda, has become a true kung fu master. with each character and clue they found, they received a stamp on their passport. the puzzle was solved and the girls were rewarded with coloring books, crayons, and the final magical beans. they were so excited and thought it was the coolest "adventure." here are some pics...exhausted yet? almost. after the scavenger hunt throughout the resort, we decided to partake in another activity that was low-key: the scenic boat ride. we cruised around where our tour guide gave us bits and pieces of info regarding each area within the resort. we passed by beautiful waterfalls and it was a nice relaxing break after the scavenger hunt. here are some pics...lastly, time for dinner had arrived. our many many adventures throughout the day had rendered us starving. jay let me pick out the place and of course i chose my favorite...italian. loves me some pasta. i ate the scallops and sweet potato raviolis in a basil cream sauce and O...M...G...it was amazing. i know it may sound a bit weird, but it was the best thing i've put in my mouth is a really long time (go ahead...insert a "that's what she said" joke). jay enjoyed his steak and the girls enjoyed their pizza as well.

the cutest thing was watching lyla constantly trying to blow out the faux candle that was in the middle of our table. she couldn't wrap her mind around the fact that it wasn't real. after dinner, we walked around a bit more in the garden conservatory and made our way back to our room for a good night's rest. there was definitely no rocking babies because we were all wonderfully exhausted with many memories that were made. we had such a great experience that opryland has now been claimed as our annual family holiday vacation spot, griswold style!