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!