Wednesday, December 26, 2007

A Wii-ful Christmas!

We had a wonderful Christmas and spent lots of time with family! Banks woke up around 6:30 on Christmas morning and was dying to open his presents from Santa (Santa always wraps our presents). I held him off until about 8:00 when I told him he could go wake up Mary Reese. Both of them ran into the room and dug in! Banks was excited to open his zip line, hot chocolate maker and Spiderman alarm clock. Mary Reese was thrilled to see her Princess bike, Princess dress-up trunk and Princess alarm clock (do you see a theme with her?)! One of the biggest hits of the day was the Wii that Santa found at the last minute hidden in the bottom of his sack! We all had a ball playing the golf and bowling games before heading out to Popsy and Gigi’s house for breakfast! When we got to their house, they had a special present for Banks and Mary Reese…a TRAMPOLINE! Both of them jumped right on along with all their aunts, uncles and cousins. Everyone, including the adults, had a blast. After a delicious breakfast and a very competitive game of BINGO (that is right…instead of buying gifts, we buy BINGO prizes and play to win), we headed home for a little rest! All the grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins came back over to our house for Frank Stitt’s Beef Shank Soup and Christmas Eve leftovers. Uncle Christopher drew Jody’s name for Christmas and luckily found the last copy of Tiger Woods Golf for the Wii (thanks to Uncle Nicholas hitting all the Targets and Best Buys in Birmingham to secure it)! All the men in the family had a ball playing it! This morning we headed over to Debbie’s for a delightful breakfast and more presents! I think we are officially stuffed!!! We hope everyone else had a very Merry Christmas! Here is a slide show capturing the highlights over the last 48 hours...enjoy!

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Tuesday, December 25, 2007

The Table

I forgot to post about the funniest comment last night. We were at our Christmas Eve church service and the minister was giving the meaning of communion, he was talking about it being the Lord's table and what the bread and wine symbolize. All of a sudden, I hear Banks from the other end of the pew saying "Mommy, we can't eat here, we have dinner ready at our house." The entire pew behind us just cracked up! Banks always has a one liner when I am least expecting it! But...he was obviously paying attention to what the minister was saying!

Hey Santa

Today was a busy day in our house. We hosted the Murphree Family Christmas Eve dinner at our house and had some very special guests, so we spent all day getting ready! I let Banks and Mary Reese make sugar cookies for Santa. They did great with cutting out the cookies but we ran out of time and didn't get them iced! Sorry Santa! Maybe next year you will get iced cookies but hopefully we got points for them being homemade. They also helped me set the tables. I brought down their Pottery Barn table from the playroom and let them set it with their plates and silverware. We were trying to come up with a centerpiece for their table when I remembered I had the small green aluminum tree, so we added that to their table and then Banks decided he wanted to decorate it. I didn't have any extra ornaments laying around, so I got all the ornaments off the big tree they have made in their school years, a drum Jody made one year in school and the infamous scrap material ball that I made in kindergarten (maybe I will get a picture of it on the blog tomorrow). They had a very festive table and they did it all themselves!
After a delicious and delightful dinner of standing rib roast (my first time to cook made me kind of nervous cooking $100 worth of meat for the first time!), smoked ham, scalloped potatoes, mac and cheese, green bean bundles, roasted root vegetables and rolls, the kids opened all their presents. Afterwards everyone hit the dessert table! We had a pecan pie, caramel cake, strawberry cake and a fresh coconut cake with a Nana Cooper dollop of icing on top! It was all very yummy!
Jody and I always exchange our gifts on Christmas Eve. I think he was actually surprised about his gift this year...a Big Green Egg! I got a new end table, earrings and a necklace! Before the kids went to bed, they put out a tray of sugar cookies for Santa, 2 carrots for the reindeer and a glass of chocolate milk (Banks insisted that Santa requested chocolate milk this year). They were both so exhausted, they nestled right in their beds! Hey Santa...Banks is dreaming of a zip line, some trees for our backyard to hang the zip line from and a hot chocolate maker. Mary Reese has visions of riding a pink princess bicycle with a purse on the front and a bell! We hope we are both on your Nice list this year! Guess I better get nestled in so Santa doesn't pass up our house this year...I think I just heard is sleigh bells approaching! Merry Christmas to all and to all a Good Night!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Family Gingerbread Night

Tonight we went to the country club for the 2nd Annual Gingerbread House Family Night. Banks decided he wanted to make his own it was boys against the girls...can you guess which one is the boys and which one is the girls?
Inspite of the natural disaster to one of the houses...a good time was had by all. Santa even make a guest appearance after dinner!
Today was the last day of school for both Banks and Mary Reese until after the first of the year. I think they are excited to have a few weeks off but I know their teachers are ready for a break! I finished up my shopping today and all the presents are wrapped under the tree (the same tree whose fuse blew on the extension cord, so only about half the lights are working. Hopefully by Christmas they will all be back on again)!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

3 Year & 5 Year Check-ups

Mary Reese and Banks had their annual well visits today. Mary Reese weighed in at 33 pounds and was 39 1/4 inches tall. Banks weighed in at a whopping 55 pounds and was 47 inches tall! Mary Reese was very brave during her flu shot. Banks on the other hand cried like a baby! He did have to get 2 more shots than Mary Reese! Anyway...they both checked out healthy!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Happy Birthday Christopher and Nicholas!!!!

Happy 30th to both of you! Sue has some great stories about you on their blog. Just one more...When they were babies, Mom and Dad had us all at the mall (I think they must have been on something)! This lady noticed they were twins...probably due to the fact of they gigantic double stroller which I think is still in the storage building. She asked my dad what their names were because she had twin sons as well. He replied back "Christopher Daniel and Nicholas Owen because they were born very near to Christmas and the middle names are their grandmothers maiden names." He said she got this disgusted look on her face because she couldn't believe they didn't name them rhyming names. Her sons were named Herman and Thurman. Just think could have been married to a Thurman Owen Willis!!! Anyway...Happy 30th Birthday to Christopher and Nicholas!!!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Weekend Company and Toys-R-Us

This weekend we had a very special guest...can you guess who it was??? CAMP!!! He came home with Jody on Friday and stayed with us until Sunday morning. He slept with Banks on Friday night and started out in Mary Reese's bed Saturday night. Sometime in the night I woke up and in my bed was Mary Reese, me, Banks and Camp! He went everywhere with pick up dinner in Madison, to look at Christmas lights and even to the grocery store. We had a great weekend with him and both the kids cried when he had to go home. I have to admit, it has been very strange at home today with out him here! Hopefully he can come stay with us again very soon!

Now onto Toys-R-Us...Pizza Man and Aunt Belinda took Banks and Mary Reese on their annual shopping trip to Toys-R-Us last night. They let them pick out 2 toys each - 1 for their birthdays and 1 for Christmas. Banks picked out an airplane and a set of toy cars from the movie Cars. Mary Reese picked out a Barbie and a new pair of Barbie shoes. Both Banks and Mary Reese look forward to this trip every year and hope not to be forgotten about next Christmas when Pizza Man and Belinda have their own grandchild! Thanks Pizza Man and Aunt Belinda for indulging them!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Santa's Village

Banks and his Pre-K class went to Santa's village today via a short bus. I just chuckled to myself when it pull up to get them. At Santa's village they sang Christmas carols, learned a elf dance, made crafts, saw real live reindeers and even heard a story from Mrs. Clause. Here is the class picture in Santa's sleigh. I am glad when got the photo op since he is about to load it up with presents for all good little boys and girls...I hope mine are still on the good list!!!

Thursday, December 13, 2007


Patrick had a chocolate lab named Camp who he adored (I know the feelings were mutual). Camp was in the truck with him during the accident but survived. Thank you to Jason Gantt and Jim Greene who found him in that field…I know that meant the world to Sue and David. Thank you Dr. Ashwander for checking him out to make sure everything was alright. It still amazes me that someone who was wearing a seatbelt didn’t survive but a dog who was not walked away unharmed, but I guess that was God’s will and not something for me to understand right now. Jody brought Camp home to spend the night with us on Tuesday night. (Side note: Camp is the most well behaved dog I have ever met. I told Jody the only way we could get a dog was if we sent it to Patrick for a couple of months to get trained.) The kids were thrilled the next morning when they discovered our over night guest. They called me at work and I could just hear their excitement. Last night when we were all unloading out of the cars, I asked Banks “Who was at our house when you woke up?” The told me “Camp” and then preceded to tell Jody and me that Patrick told him he could have Camp. I asked him when Patrick told him this and Banks replied back without missing a beat “last week.” Jody and I just stared at each other with a puzzled look on our faces because at this point we had shielded them from the tragedy. Later that night, Jody finally told both of them that Patrick had been in a really bad car accident and had gone to live with Jesus. It was interesting to hear their reactions. I didn’t think Mary Reese would really understand what was going on and I thought Banks would be devastated. After Jody told Banks what had happened, Banks said that the ambulance was supposed to take him to the hospital. Jody told him it did but Patrick had still gone to live with Jesus and watch over us always. He told Jody that Patrick was in heaven with Lilly (our cat) and Bob (Nanny Nan and John B’s cat) and that he would miss him. Mary Reese, on the other hand, cried herself to sleep. They both loved Patrick but will always know that he is watching over them. Thank you all for being so supportive to the entire Murphree family. Your thoughts, prayers and company have kept everyone going during the past week! Please, please take the time to donate blood to Life South in Patrick’s name. They used almost 30 pints of blood on him, so it is so important to us to replace that blood! Also, please consider becoming an organ donor. Patrick was and I would be interested to know how many lives he saved by selflessly giving up the things he no longer needed!

Monday, December 10, 2007

All Aboard!

This weekend Debbie treated Banks and Mary Reese to a ride on the Polar Express. So Debbie, Aunt Stacy, the kids and I boarded a train in Chattanooga and traveled through a magic tunnel to the North Pole where Santa was waiting for us. On the way to the North Pole, we ate gingerbread cookies baked by “Chef Debbie”, “Chef Thomas” treated us to a chocolate drink and Mary Winter read us The Polar Express (of course). On the outskirts of the North Pole we passed Santa’s warehouse where he keeps all the toys until Christmas Eve. When we arrived at the North Pole train station, Santa hopped aboard and rode with us all the way back to Chattanooga. On our trip back, he went from car to car and visited with all the children. Banks told Santa he wanted a zip line, some trees for our back yard to hang the zip line from and some construction trucks (I thought we had everyone imaginable). Mary Reese told him she wanted a Princess bicycle. When we got back to the hotel (we stayed at the Chattanooga Choo Choo), three elves came to read them story and tuck them into bed! Banks and Mary Reese had such a good time and hopefully Santa will bring them everything they asked for! On a much sadder note, please continue to pray for the entire Murphree family. If you don’t already know, Jody’s first cousin, Patrick, was killed in a car accident. Patrick was like a brother to Jody since they were both only children.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Happy Birthday Banks!

Today Banks turned 5 years old! It is hard to believe that 5 years ago he made is debut 3 days earlier than I planned (for those of you who don't water broke late the Friday night before I was scheduled to be induced on December 10th). Ms. Davis and Ms. Byrd assigned him snack day today, so he and I made cupcakes last night. This morning we stopped by the grocery and bought birthday cake ice cream mini cups. His teachers said he has been so excited all week because it was his birthday week. For their sake, I hope he is back to normal next week.
Tonight we celebrated at Rosie's Cantina. They brought him sopaipillas for a birthday treat! I have a cute picture of him but I must have left the cord to download the pictures on my desk at work. I will post it when I get them downloaded. Tomorrow we are off to the North Pole on the Polar Express for a visit with Santa! We are all so excited and can't wait to tell you all about it!!!!
Happy Birthday Banks! We love you!!!!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Mar Fights Back!

Every Christmas season since Mary Reese has been born, I have a picture of Banks manhandling her during our Christmas card photo shoot session. The first year, our friend Sloane Bibb was kind enough to take our pictures and captured “the body slam” picture. The next year, Kristi Villarreal Borden and I took them to the rose garden at Delano where “the squeeze” picture was taken. Last year it wasn’t the actual Christmas card photo shoot but it was around that time (I was trying to get a picture of the two of them in the matching hand knitted sweaters) that I captured “the choke hold” picture. Well this year, Mar finally fought back! None of these pictures actually made the Christmas card but were in the running! I think when they get older…I will have to do one with a collage of all the “rejected Christmas card pictures”!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Christmas Parade

Tonight we (Banks, Mary Reese and I) rode in the Decatur Christmas Parade for my friend's store (Eloise and Henry). It was the most adorable float in the parade! All the kids wore their letter sweaters and had the best time waving and yelling "Happy Holiday" to everyone watching. It was freezing cold but everyone stayed warm buddled up under all their layers and wrapped up in blankets...everyone except Banks. He did have on a turtleneck and a pair of pajama pants under his sweater and pants!

Friday, November 30, 2007

Deck the Halls

Last night we decorated the Christmas tree. It feels so early (tomorrow is just December 1st) but our neighborhood has a Christmas tour every year and it is next it has to be done by then! A friend of mine said she drove by and could see us decorating our tree and that we looked like such a cute family. Glad they couldn't hear me saying "Don't touch that ornament." or "If you break that I am going to have to beat you." I am pleased to report that all the ornaments safely found their perfect spot on the tree! Today Mary Reese and I worked on the outside. We got 3 Magnolia wreaths made and the garland hung around the door but then I hit the creative wall! Maybe tomorrow or Sunday I will be more inspired then I will post those pictures! Also, Monday night we will be riding in the Eloise and Henry float in the Christmas Parade. Hope to see you there!!!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Pirates and Princesses

Yo Ho and Once Upon A Time we had a Pirate and Princess party for Banks' 5th Birthday and Mary Reese's 3rd Birthday! We had all our friends over for dinner, cake and ice cream! It was a cold and drizzling afternoon so Sarah Laine was sweet enough to let us borrow her bouncy house for the sun room (thank goodness the couch had not come in). After cake and ice cream, we busted 2 pinatas! I always LOVE to see the kids diving for all the candy. We gave out Pirate Treasure Chest cookies and Princess Crown cookies as party favors to all our friends. We had so much fun at out party...we hope you did too!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Happy Holiday!!!

Murphree Family as elves

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

We hope everyone has a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving. We hope everyone has lots of delicious and delightful food to eat. Here is a picture of Mar Mar helping Debbie mix up the dressing. Do you think we have enough?

Monday, November 19, 2007

Switched at Birth…kind of

I did the look-a-like meter like on my brother/sister-in-law’s and Jennie-Marie’s blog and found the results quite interesting especially since everyone says Banks is a mini-Jody and Mary Reese is a mini-Andrea. When I did Banks compared to Jody and myself, it said 21% more like Jody and then equal when I did different pictures. Then I did Mary Reese thinking it would be about the same results except in my favor…well it came up an equal mix both times. Then I got to thinking about Mary Reese. I always say she is my sister’s child brought to me by mistake (only when she is acting sassy or bossy though)…so I did her compared to Stacey and Jody. The meter said she looked more like Stacey by 6%. Then I compared me, Mary Reese and Stacey…guess what it said???
I have been right all along! Stacey, I will have her bags packed to go home with her real mommy after Thanksgiving! Just Kidding!!! I love you Mary Reese.

School Lunches and the Turnip Green Patch

Banks Murphree had a busy weekend! Friday at his school was Alabama/Auburn Day, his day to bring snack and Thanksgiving Lunch. We got to eat Thanksgiving Lunch (at 10:15 AM) with Banks at his school. He was so proud to be the line leader that day! Of course, I had to pack his lunch because he didn’t want the Thanksgiving meal BUT Mary Reese yummed it up! I will have to admit, the lunch wasn’t half bad…it was just SO early. Yesterday, he went with Debbie and Pat Smithson to my Uncle Steve’s turnip patch in the country (Somerville) where he picked a “mess” of turnips and radishes. As soon as he got home, he very lovingly washed his pickings (in the bathroom sink)! I cooked the turnip greens late last night and will let him try them tonight. We’ll see how he likes them! It always amazes me that the pot is overflowing when you start and barely full when they are finished!
We got the final pieces of furniture moved in this weekend (except for the couch on order). Our house is finally starting to look like a home. I have some pictures left to hang and we are swapping out all of the light fixtures on Wednesday! We hope everyone has a wonderful and safe Turkey lots!!!!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


The art of the “Dip-a-dee-doo-dah” hairstyle started when Banks was a baby and he has passed that skill down to his sister. They always think it is hilarious and get so tickled at each other…well last night was no exception!
We closed on the new house 1 week ago today and we have enjoyed every minute there! They love to take a bath in my new whirlpool bathtub/small baby pool. I love it because it has one of those shower sprays which makes washing their hair and rinsing them off a breeze! The entire Murphree family has also enjoyed getting back to eating dinner at our house. Mary Reese says every afternoon that she wants to eat dinner at our new house…even she was tired of eating out! Hopefully this weekend I can get the remaining room unboxed and all the pictures hung on the walls! Time is flying…2007 is almost gone! Honestly, I can’t believe Thanksgiving is next week (but I am ready for all the delightful food). Before you know it…it will be Christmas morning…and I haven’t even started shopping. YIKES!!!!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Happy Birthday Mary Reese!

Today is Mary Reese’s 3rd Birthday! The party started on Friday when Kristi Villarreal Borden (our old babysitter) came and got her and took her back to Corinth, Mississippi for the weekend. Kristi, Chad, Miss Johnnye, Mr. Norman and Miss Vonda planned a birthday weekend complete with a trip to Toys-r-us and a birthday cake! At Toys-r-us, she picked out some Barbie high heeled shoes that light up and play Here Comes the Bride and Disney Princess make-up. Kristi said she wore her new Barbie shoes to church on Sunday. Sunday night, we had all the grandparents and Uncle Christopher over for hot dogs, pink iced cupcakes and ice cream (It was our first “dinner party” in the new house). Mary Reese got a new Princess TV, Barbie cash register and Holly Hobbie DVD. She was THRILLED!
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I spent the weekend unpacking and organizing! All I have left is the guest bedroom (which is full of boxes from the attic and random stuff from the upstairs of the old house), the basement, the garage and the hanging of the pictures!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Just around the corner!

Officially…yesterday we became homeowners again! The new house is just around the corner from our old house. After closing, we immediately started moving closets and the children’s toys. They were ecstatic when they ran upstairs and all their toys were neatly put away in the toy closet and their clothes were organized in their new closets! We also got all the art and lamps moved and most of the stuff out of the kitchen. The Orrs and their 4 kids came by last night to get their last load. It was wonderful to hear all 6 kids tearing through the house having the best time! Their youngest two are the same age as Banks and Mary Reese…so a big time was had by all! I hardly slept a wink last night, I guess I was excited and anxious about today. I kept going over furniture placement and listing all the things that need to be moved in my head. The movers are coming in a few hours to get the big stuff. It will really feel real when they get all the furniture moved over and the beds set up! I wish I was like Samantha from Bewitched and could just twitch my nose and it all be done!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Renting and Peanut M&Ms

We are officially RENTERS of our house, which is extremely weird! We closed this afternoon on our Canal Street house and the new owner was nice enough to let us rent it until we can close and move into the new house. On a side note, the girl who bought our house is nominated for a Grammy (Best Contemporary Blues Album). Her competition…Eric Clapton. Kind of cool (especially for our small town), huh??? You can check out her website at Then on Wednesday afternoon we close on Oak Street and on Thursday morning, the movers come! It should be a fun filled week! Please say a little prayer that everything continues to go smoothly and that the children adjust easily to the new house. Also this weekend…Mary Reese decided she liked wearing big girl panties and using the big girl potty! We were even brave and didn’t wear a diaper to the Decatur/Austin Football game! Taking a little girl to a public restroom is totally different than taking a little boy! She did great all weekend with realizing when she needed to go to the bathroom and letting us know that she needed an M&M after she went (I bribed Banks with York Peppermint Patties…her candy of choice is Peanut M&Ms)! At this rate, we might even be potty trained by her birthday. Way to go Mar Mar!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!

I feel like we have been celebrating Halloween for a week! Sunday afternoon, we went to a party given by the Jacksons, Wallers and Taylors! The kids had a blast bobbing for apples, finding prizes in the haystack and busting a piƱata! On Tuesday night we went to the Halloween party at Decatur Country Club. They made bats out of their hands (so cute), competed in a sack race and ate ghoulish things like goblin fingers and mummy toes with brew ha ha punch (chicken fingers, french fries and Shirley Temples)! Growing up my family always celebrated Halloween with the Smithsons and the Nichols. Here is a picture from one Halloween – Dama Nichols (Miss Piggy), Chuck Smithson (Kermit), Nicholas (Smurf), Christopher (some Star Wars character??), Ginny Smithson (Cat) and me (Surfette). ***Notice we all have matching handpainted buckets.*** I am not sure where Charles Ryan Nichols and Stacey were while this picture was being taken. By the way, if anyone finds the belt to the Miss Piggy costume in the Hickory Hills neighborhood…please let Susan Nichols know! Anyway, we have started a similar tradition with the Barnetts, Bibbs, Bronaughs, Godwins and the Lawsons. We rotate houses and everyone brings a portion of the meal…then we take the kids trick-or-treating! This year we had a fabulous Yummy Mummy Appetizer (thanks Jill), chili and Sam Barnett's famous cheesecake!!! We even had a hay ride to go trick-or-treating! I never know who is more excited about all the candy – the kids or the adults??? This years cast of characters: Colwell Bibb and Banks (Troy Bolton from High School Musical), Mary Reese (Minnie Mouse), Frances Bibb (Bee), William Barnett (Ninja Turtle), Leland Barnett (Bride), Addy Lawson (Bunny), Evans Lawson (Darth Vader), Liza Bronaugh (Princess Leah) and Max Godwin (Auburn Tiger). Thanks Barnetts for having us this year…we enjoyed it! I do feel sorry for all the school teachers out there today...I know mine stayed up way past their bedtimes and ate way too much sugar!
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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

“The Dental Chair”

Our blog description says “...created to keep all our friends and family up to date on the happenings of our chaotic lives!” Let me just give you a glimpse of last night at our house!
First, Krystal (our loan officer) was so sweet and made a house call for us to sign all our loan papers for the new house. The kids were bouncing off the walls and we were trying to listen to her. All I need to say is THREE RING CIRCUS! But thank you Krystal for making a house call after working hours! After we went to Debbie’s house to eat a delicious and delightful meal of chicken vegetable soup and cornbread, we came home for what we thought would be our normal bedtime routine. I was in the kitchen trying to make a snack for Banks to take to his class and 2 Sour Cream Pound Cakes for his teachers as their Halloween Treat. I am almost done cutting out the orange Rice Krispie Treats in the shape of pumpkins when I hear Jody yelling at me to come to the bathroom. Mary Reese busted her chin open when she fell from the side of the bathtub. So you would think we would load up and head straight to the emergency room, right???? Just in case you didn’t know, the dental office serves many more purposes than a place to go to get your teeth worked on. All of my family has experience “the dental chair” from getting stitches in our chin or getting your arm x-rayed there first to just make sure it was broken (Stacey). So naturally we called Popsy and he met us at his office. Mary Reese was the bravest and most co-operative almost 3-year old girl I have ever seen! After getting 3 stitches in her chin, she got a trip to the Treasure Tower! Thanks Popsy for saving us from the Emergency Room! Thank you John B. for coming to get Banks and getting him to bed! After finally getting home around 8:30, I still had 2 Sour Cream Pound Cakes to cook and realized I had forgotten to buy the plates and napkins for Mary Reese’s Halloween party. So, I got the first cake in the oven, called Stephanie (she was thankfully at Kroger) to buy plates and napkins, and was getting the stuff measured out for the second cake when I smelled something burning. I thought the pound cake had boiled over onto the bottom of the oven, but I quickly realized the oven was on BROIL instead of BAKE. So my Sour Cream Pound Cake was burnt on the top and runny the rest of the way through! I had to pour it out and start from scratch! Needless to say, I only got 1 cake made last night and will have to make the other one tonight! Thank you Steph for always coming to my rescue! The chaos continued this morning when Jody called to say the Huntsville Branch of Gulf Eagle Supply was burning to the ground! He was trying to get the kids to school, deal with the electricians that were fixing a few minor things at our soon to be old house and get to Huntsville with the spare keys to their trucks. Luckily no one was there when the fire started and the cat got out alive! Welcome to our world, don’t you wish you could join us!!!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Halloween Preview

Thursday, October 25, 2007

We've been Booed!!!

We were beginning to wonder if anyone was going to boo us this year! Tonight we went to watch the Austin Homecoming parade (we love a parade) and then to eat Mexician. When we got home...we had been Booed! Tomorrow we will have to get busy and boo two more friends but you will never know who! Thanks to whoever booed us...we have no clue who you are!

We’ve grown 43 inches!

Every year on their birthdays, I mark Banks and Mary Reese’s heights on the back of the basement door. Since we will be in the new house before each of their birthdays, we did it one last time at the Canal Street house! Banks has grown 2 ½ inches since his birthday last December. Mary Reese has grown 4 ¼ inches since hers in November. The Canal Street house will always be special to us because it was the first house Jody and I bought, and we brought both kids home from the hospital to that house. Overall Banks has grown 24 ½ inches and Mary Reese has grown 18 ½ inches for a grand total of 43 inches in that house! I guess we will have to find a door at the new house and start our tradition there!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

And these are a few of my favorite things…

They always tend to have this song on during the holidays, so with the holidays coming up…here goes my list: (I am taking a break from the boxes, tape and newspapers for a minute, can you tell?) 1. Anything made by L’Occitane - I got hooked on these products a few years ago. One of my friends got married in Atlanta and we stayed at the Four Seasons…they had L’Occitane products as their complimentary bathroom products. Some of their products I am addicted to are: the lip balm, the hand and foot lotion, the Olive daily face cleanser, and the entire Immortalle line. Jody loves to the Cade After Shave Balm. The stuff is on the pricey side but will last a long time (the facial products will last me 6 months, so averaged out it is not too bad). I usually stock up on this when we go to Indianapolis to visit one of my brothers and his family…but there is a new store in the Summit (can also buy online at! Make great stocking stuffers!!!
2. Johnson and Johnson Bedtime Bath and Lotion - When I was pregnant with Banks, my Aunt Carol gave me a big tub full of the Johnson and Johnson products and this bedtime bath and lotion was included. The bottle says “makes babies sleep better” and I will swear by it! I still soap and lotion mine down at night with this stuff before I put them to bed and they smell FABULOUS (even still the next morning). I have gotten several of my friends (even ones without kids) addicted as well. Santa always leaves a bottle of this in my children’s stockings!
3. Momagenda - One of my friends gave me one a few months ago for a treat (thanks Steph) and I don’t know how I have ever lived without it! It has monthly views as well as weekly views. The great thing about the weekly one is that I have a row to keep track of my schedule and then the kids have their own rows so I can keep track of them. Another great thing…it comes in 5 wonderful colors! Mine is the green one pictured above. Love it, Love it, Love it. Would make a great gift for any mom!
4. Fontaine Maury Plates - My kids think these are the best thing in my kitchen! They love setting the table because everyone in my family has their own plate with their name on it (the best part is…they are doing a chore and don’t even realize it!). We even have some with The Murphrees on them for our guests! They come in a variety of choices including solids, stripes, plaids, dots and prints with tons of clip art and “monogramming” options…so they are totally unique! I got my mother a set for all the grandkids to eat off of at her house. I get mine at Eloise and Henry ( here in Decatur. They have also become my new birthday/wedding/Chirstmas/whatever present…I always get a great response when I give them! FYI – The Pottery Barn Kids silverware goes great with them!
5. Big Sky Granola - One of my all time favorite snacks and breakfast treats made with lightly sweetened oatmeal, whole almonds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and sesame seeds! Just yummy! Thank you Stacey for introducing me to this! The bakery is located in Birmingham but the Publix stores down there started carrying their products. Stacey use to keep me supplied until they stared carrying it in our Publix (usually right when you walk in the door). You can also buy it online ( Great for snacking on during all that holiday shopping! Way off this subject, we got a second offer on our house last night! So we now have a back up contract should for any reason the first one not go through (we don’t foresee any problems but it is nice to have a Plan B)! So say a little prayer that everything with the house selling and buying goes smoothly! As of right now, we will spend our first night in the new house on November 8th!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Field Trips, Football and BOXES

Friday I spent the day with Banks and his class at Tate Farms in Meridianville ( If you haven’t ever been…GO…it has something for all ages. He was so excited because he finally got to ride on the school bus! It was so cute watching his class and all the kindergarteners load up on the bus. When we got there (at 10:00) they had their picnic lunch…I still can’t imagine eating lunch so early. After lunch we were assigned a tour guide, Ms. Ashley, who was will our class the entire day. We got to do so many fun things like “swim” in a huge pool of dried corn kernels, go through a hay bale maze (way to go Ms. Byrd for leading us through without getting lost), jump out of a barn window onto a huge pile of hay, pet the animals and go on a hayride to pick a pumpkin! Banks decided to ride home with me and before we got back on the interstate, he was snoring! As soon as I got home with Banks, we got the kids settled with Jody’s parents and headed to Tuscaloosa for the weekend. All of my old college friends always try to meet up at one game a year. Lori and Bill graciously opened up Hotel Orrell for the weekend! Lori was so sweet and cooked dinner Friday night for us, Bethany and Justin, and Amy and Bobby. We all went to bed early because we knew Lori would have us on the quad way before 8:00! We tailgated before the game with Lori, Bill and their Tuscaloosa crowd (thanks for letting us crash again)! The game was FABULOUS! Jody and I had great seats again this week…50 yard line, 32 rows up, behind the Alabama team with Van Tiffin 2 rows down in the next section! After the game, we hung out on the quad before loading up and heading back to Hotel Orrell! I guess we are all getting old because we were all asleep before the end of the LSU/Auburn game! Banks and Mary Reese spent Saturday afternoon and night with Popsie and GiGi. They went out to the house they are building and roasted hot dogs and marshmallows in the outdoor fireplace. Banks also learned how to operate a digger that was out there. So as soon as we arrived back in town, he had to show us! After getting home and getting the car unpacked, I started packing up for the big move. I got all my cookbooks packed (don’t think I will be doing much cooking in the near future), most of the den and cleaned out several pieces of furniture that the movers will move with all the stuff in it! My sister reminded me tonight that the one good thing about moving is that you tend to clean everything out and start fresh!

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Thursday, October 18, 2007

“First” Common Thread

What does getting your first report card, going to your first school Fall Festival, and buying your first pair of blue jeans on your first trip to Old Navy in Decatur have in common? This are all things the Murphree family did this afternoon!!!! Banks got his FIRST report card from Pre-K and he scored pretty good. (Maybe all those York Peppermint Patties that he has been bribing his teacher with had something to do with it?) They don’t get grades only S – Meets or exceeds expectations, P – Progressing toward completion of skill or N – Needs improvement. Banks got a lot of Ps with a few Ns. His Ns were things like: takes care on one’s own needs, follows school rules, practices self control, identifying the Table of Contents and Title Page in a book, reciting his address (he just knows we live on Canal Street…we will wait until we move to master this task), reciting his phone number (I asked him his phone number tonight and he said 555-3245. I guess that is better than 867-5309, right?) , using scissors appropriately (since he has cut several articles of clothes, several sets of sheets and the skirt on the table beside my bed…I don’t encourage his use of scissors), holding pencils appropriately (I am afraid to say that he has inherited my left handedness) and uses glue bottle and glue sticks appropriately. Ms. Davis did comment that he “works hard and shows a lot of enthusiasm about things in the environment.” Banks-Caddell was suppose to have their Fall Festival tonight. It got cancelled after about 30 minutes because of the severe weather threats (it still has not rained a drop tonight). He did get a free arm band to do all the games because he sold so much wrapping paper (thanks to all of you who bought). They are rescheduling…so he will get to go to his FIRST Fall Festival. BUT I did stay up late last night to make a Sour Cream Pound Cake for the cake walk...I wonder what they are doing with all those cakes? Tomorrow is Banks’ FIRST field trip to Tate farms. He has to wear his Banks-Caddell Pre K t-shirt and long pants. His jeans from last year were floods on him so we headed to Decatur's FIRST Old Navy on their FIRST day open in search of him some new jeans. He found some and Mary Reese decided she needed a pair too! I wasn’t quite ready for her FIRST blue jeans but she does look pretty stinking cute in them! She looks like she is almost 3 going on almost 23 with her jeans, fleece pull over and flip flops! She could have been an Old Navy Poster Child! We also got to spend a little time with Baby Carter! Tomorrow I am going on the field trip with Banks. As soon as we get back, Jody and I are headed to Tuscaloosa for the Alabama/Tennessee game. Every year all of my college friends try to meet up for 1 game and this is it! I will post the field trip and football weekend pictures when I get back. After that it is down to business – the packing MUST begin!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Perfect Timing!

It looks like our house has sold and the timing couldn’t be any more perfect! Last week we had 2 sets of serious lookers and thought we were getting 2 offers in 1 day. We did end up getting an offer on Saturday, we countered back on Monday night and they countered back immediately and we accepted. We are still trying to settle on a closing date with both houses but it will be some time between November 7th and November 14th! Looks like we will be in the new house just in time for Thanksgiving! Say a prayer for us that these transactions will go as smoothly as possible! So if you are bored one night and are dying to pack up things…grab a box and come on over!!!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Flip Flops in October???

If any of you know Mary Reese, you know she has a shoe fetish. She LOVES shoes, especially flip flops and high heels. Last year for her birthday, my mother bought her a box set of all the Disney Princess shoes at Costco. Well, one night (before her birthday) we were over there and like always Mary Reese went to “Debbie’s” closet to try on all her shoes. A few minutes later we heard her coming into the kitchen saying “Me, Me, Me!” but weren’t real sure what she was talking about. We quickly found out when she rounded the corner with the box of shoes in hand. Needless to say, she got her birthday present a few weeks early! This summer she developed a deep love for flip flops…she wears them with everything (even her beautiful French hand sewn Easter dress but it wasn’t worth the battle). Yesterday when I pulled up at the house, she came running to the car sporting these purple sequin wedge flip flops that she and Nanny Nan bought yesterday. She said they were just like mine…which they do remind me of my Yellow Box ones. Honestly, I don’t think she is going to retire her flip flops for the winter. So if you see her out in the middle of winter with her flip flops on…I am not a terrible mother and she does own tennis shoes, clogs, nice “church” shoes and other weather appropriate shoes…she just prefers flip flops!

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Homecomings 2007

Yes...I meant Homecomings. We started celebrating Thursday night with the Decatur High Homecoming Bonfire and Pep Rally. The kids had fun cheering for the Raiders and watching the bonfire. Friday we picked Banks up from school and headed to Tuscaloosa. We drove down the strip and ate at Mellow Mushroom before we headed over to the quad for Alabama's Homecoming Bonfire and Pep Rally. They had everyone on a stage attached to the front of the library. Mary Reese and Banks loved seeing the cheerleaders and Big Al. Jody almost ran into Nick Saben coming out of the bathroom! The kids had a ball watching the HUGE bonfire, dancing to the band and cheering with the cheerleaders. Big Al was even riding around in a golf cart! Banks got a new jersey...his Brody one was too small!!! Saturday we tailgated on the quad with our friends Lori and Bill Orrell and all their friends from T-town (Thanks for letting us crash your tailgate)! The kids got their faces painted...Banks got Big Al and the Alabama A while Mary Reese got a pink heart (imagine that) with Bama written in it. They were great at the game and loved cheering and keeping their eyes out for Big Al. Mary Reese was infatuated with the cheerleaders. Towards the end of the game...we walked down by the field so they could see everything close up! Mary Reese was asleep before we got off campus and Banks wasn't far behind her... they were exhausted!
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Sunday, September 30, 2007

Smith last "summer" visit

We spent this weekend at Smith Lake realizing that summer was close to an end (I know that technically it is fall...but it has been in the mid to high 80s around here). We had the car loaded when we picked Banks up from school. When we got to his school his class was outside eating snack...he had everyone sitting in a circle and was asking them one by one if they had a life jacket. If they answered "yes" then he said they could come to the lake, if they answered "no" he said they couldn't. When we got there we were all amazed by the amount the water has gone down since our last visit. Banks is standing next to the seawall in the first picture...normally all this is under water. The kids swam for a little bit on Friday and Saturday. Banks and Jody swam on Sunday...and I didn't even put on my suit! The water was a little chilly for me! Saturday morning the kids and I were down by the water and we saw 2 deer run through the woods...then a dog came chasing after them. We spent a nice and relaxing family weekend eating, taking boat rides and resting. Here are some pictures from the weekend...if you have never been to Smith Lake...the water is beautiful!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Let’s all go to the Fair!

Last night we made our annual trip to the Morgan County Fair! Both of our kids were so excited to get there…I barely got dinner in them! Honestly, I didn’t think Mary Reese would ride anything since she didn’t ride on anything at the Kiddie Carnival a few months ago. But she was right behind Banks in line for every ride! I think their favorite ride was the new safari train…I think they rode it 8 times! Jody took Mary Reese to ride the train again because she didn’t want to ride the carousel, I thought Banks was going to jump off the moving carousel when he realized it! When that carousel finally stopped (I don’t think it was completely stopped), he jumped off and ran to the train ride…but there were no seats left. He was heartbroken! We topped off the night all sharing a caramel apple…how else would you end a night at the fair?
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On a sadder note…I have been following this truly amazing family’s blog (, which I found through another friend’s blog, for a week now. I have been in total awe of their faith and strength during these extremely trying times in their lives. While my family was happily getting ready to go to the fair last night, they lost their precious 8-day old baby girl to Trisomy–18. Please remember to pray for this family…they have inspired me!