Blogging and Praying that I never forget these days . . . .

Parsons Thanksgiving

November 24, 2012
Again this year we enjoyed Thanksgiving at Uncle Tony and Aunt Linda's Farm.  It was definitely cold this year, but we all still had a great time.  The men enjoyed some time at the gun range.  The women enjoyed to warmth of the barn or the fire.  The kids had fun riding the go cart, golf cart, and power wheels.  We all filled our bellies with some great turkey and all the fixins.  Then we played a great game of Minute to Win It.  It was wonderful to relax and laugh together after our stressful fall.  Our family endured a lot this year as we faced my scary heart surgery and lost our grandfathers.  It was a time to be extra thankful for the bond we have as a family.
The Parsons Gun Range

Dad, Jon, Jay, and Josh

Max loves to shoot the guns!

Time to EAT!

Birthday cake for the October birthdays in the Parsons Family

Bebe and Mary Kate

Buckethead:  Each team must bounce three balls into the can on one partner's head

Face the Cookie:  One team member must move a cookie from their forehead and into their mouth without using their hands.

Bobblehead:  One team member must obtain 125 steps on a pedometer while bobbing their head

Hanky Panky:  One team member must remove all tissues from a box using only one hand

Elephant March:  One team member must use their elephant trunk made of panty hose and tennis balls to knock over a row of cups on the floor.

Junk in the Trunk:  A team member must shake 7 balls from a tissue box attached to their backside with a belt

Suck it Up:  Each team member must transfer one of each color skittles onto their plate using on the suction of a straw and their mouths

This Blows:  Each team must use the air from a balloon they blew up to knock all their fifteen cups from the table

Defying Gravity:  Team members must keep a balloon in the air without using hands or feet

And the winner is Josh and Zak . . . but wait . . . confessions after the game revealed that the scoreboard was tampered with . . . Josie and Uncle Tony actually completed all the tasks!  Congrats!

More Gymnastics

November 21, 2012
Kerrigan and Mary Kate are both still enjoying their gymnastics class.  They are both learning to listen to Coach Lisa and wait their turn.  They are being challenged with walking on the beam, jumping on the tumble trac, and forward rolls.  This week Coach Lisa started working them on backward rolls. We sure did miss Emmalynn at today's class!  It is going to be so much fun to watch these girls grow up together.

Thanksgiving in NC

November 17, 2012
Since Jay's sister's family cannot make it home for Thanksgiving this year, we went for a visit.  Shannon and I cooked Thanksgiving on Saturday so our families could celebrate together.  We had a great time relaxing and catching up with them.  We even started our Christmas shopping during our stay with them.  We cannot wait until they are home for Christmas. Max and Mary Kate really miss their cousins when they are not home.

Kindergarten Field Trip

November 16, 2012
On Friday Jay and I attended Max's first field trip.  We went to the Discovery Center in Murfreesboro.  Since my brother Jon wasn't on shift that day, he agreed to take Mary Kate while we did the field trip.  She had a great time visiting the Volunteer Fire Dept that Jon works at on his off days for Murfreesboro Fire.  Then Jon and Josie took her shopping.  She told me that they went and got new lipstick (one of her favs right now).  Jon laughed because he said as soon as they went into Target she pointed out the popcorn and blue slushies.  Lol.  No, I never get them that, Uncle Jon, I don't know what you are talking about!  Hahaha.  My kids definitely know their routines, even when it comes to shopping at Target.

After dropping off Mary Kate we headed over to the Discovery Center to meet the buses of Kindergartners as they rolled into town.  They were all so cute as they piled off the buses.  Since their school doesn't have busing this was most of the kids first time on a bus.  They were all excited about the ride and the upcoming day.  The center had all kinds of learning stations that the kids could get their hands on stuff to see how it worked.

The first room was full of fossils.  Hannah and Max dug through their box and compared it to the pictures on the information sheet.

In the next room we got to learn about and pet several types of animals.  Mrs. Miller liked touching the hedgehog.  It was funny the way it flinched each time someone touched it.  When it flinched it made all of us jump.

Another room was a learning experience with a screech owl.  He was a little fellow with big eyes.  Max was pretending to be an owl when I snapped this picture.

Once outside the kids all stopped and posed for a group photo.  Our next station was learning about pond animals.  The instructor had a corn snake for the kids to pet and multiple other water creatures.  Then she gave us each a net to catch tadpoles and fish in the pond area around the center.

Ella, Max, and Nate taking a break for lunch

Claire, CallieBeth, Talan, and Nate looking in the pond

Baylor, Max, and Will Barrett playing in the water tables

Mckenna and Jennifer riding the bike

Max dressing up like his MFD uncles

Bye, Bye Binky

November 13, 2012
Yes, the time has come for Mary Kate to say goodbye to her dear friend the binky.  I have been thinking about taking it away for a few months now, but have not been committed enough to go through with it.  Jay is out of town this week so I decided to go for it and surprise him.  I knew if I could make it through the nights he was gone we would be over the hardest days and nights.  I prayed he wouldn't be upset and give it back when he got home.  Deep down I knew he wouldn't, but since she is potty trained this is kind of her last "baby" thing.  It is hard to get rid of all the baby stuff when you know she is your last one.  I took the binky away on Tuesday afternoon following her nap.  She got it for the last time at nap that day.  We talked about it all evening to pump her up.  Max and I told Mary Kate that she was a big girl like Dora the Explorer (her most recent craze) and that Dora didn't have a binky.  We discussed what kind of reward she wanted for "no more binkies" as she started repeating.  She declined the offer for a new baby doll and decided she wanted more earrings.  Done!  We told her that we would go earring shopping if she didn't use a binky.  Mary Kate called each set of grandparents and told them the plan.  She was all on board until it came to bedtime.  Each night Jay rocks her until she starts getting sleepy or until she goes to sleep.  They rock while Max and I snuggle in the chair.  I always struggle with her when Jay is gone because I never rock her; that is her and Jay's time, just like snuggling is mine and Max's time.  So as we started to rock she first cried for Jay and that soon moved to the binky.  She repeated "I want my binky" in between sobs for the next 45 minutes.  By this point Max was begging me to give it to her and he was actually up looking for the stash.  Thank goodness I had collected  and  hid them.  After 45 minutes we all moved to my bed to sleep.  Our kids don't regularly sleep with us, but they know it is a treat when Jay is gone that they get to sleep with me.  We all got into the bed and she continued to whimper.  She was not throwing a temper tantrum anymore, but she continued to ask for it.  Eventually, with in the next hour she fell asleep as so did Max and I.  She slept all night and I never heard a peep until she opened her eyes on Wednesday morning.  The first thing out of her mouth was "I want my binky."  Max and I just told her no  and that we didn't have binkys anymore.  She pouted and asked for it a few more times while we all got ready.  I kept her really busy on Wednesday and decided to skip the nap for my sanity.  My plan was that she would be really tired at bedtime and the crying would be less.  I think the plan worked because she only cried for a few minutes and it wasn't even a temper tantrum.  She fell asleep quickly, but she woke up probably three or four times in the night asking for it.  I just gently patted her back down and told her that we didn't have any more binkies.  Thursday morning was the same as Wednesday and she wanted one when she first woke up, but I didn't hear anything about it again until bedtime. During the day we went and she picked out two new pairs of earrings.  She was so proud of them and thrilled to tell her Daddy.   That night she was super tired because I had again skipped her nap.  She asked for it a few times, but didn't cry or throw any fits.  On Friday, Mama Nora, her babysitter told me that she took a nap like a champ with no problem.  We are now two weeks past the mark and have had no set backs.  She has found a few around the house and brought them to me.  She fused a little one day wanting the one she found, but after a minute of two of whiling for it she went on about her business.  I am glad we are over this hurdle for our household.  It was really hard to take Max's away so I haven't looked forward to reliving it with Mary Kare, but she did great and we all survived.  Jay was a little saddened just like all the grandparents hated to see it go, but I think they are all proud of her.  Onto the next challenges!

Holly's Baby Shower

November 10, 2012
A few weekends ago we got the opportunity to have a celebration for Holly.  She is expecting our new niece, Charlotte Anne, in January.  My other sister in law, Holly's sister, a friend, and I planned the morning of festivities.  We had all kinds of fabulous food trays.  Each one had a different tasty treat to nibble on throughout the morning.  My mom brought some very sweet petite fours for dessert.  Holly's friend, Erika, planned some baby trivia games for everyone to play.  We had a great time with lots of laughter as we tried to figure out the answers.  I cannot wait to see Charlotte model some of the outfits she was given at the shower.  They were all so tiny and cute.  Holly received lots of nice gifts that will be useful once Charlotte arrives.  It will be fun to have a new baby in the family.  We are all super excited to meet her!

Mom, Holly, Jerrill, Rachel, and Mamo

Mary Kate and her "boyfriend" Logan

Go Flames