Sunday, November 28, 2010


We had a lot of fun this weekend decorating the house and yard for Christmas. I'm still not done but thought I would share what is done. I caved this year and let Matt put up a 12 foot Santa in the front yard. I shouldn't say caved. He would have done it regardless. The kids LOVE it and they are only young once. It does kind of overshadow my wreaths on the windows but oh well!
My mom was kind enough to let us borrow her ornaments again this year to put up in the formal dining room. These have a lot of meaning as they were the ones I grew up with. She also has a lot of train ornaments from Hallmark and some are interactive with the bells and whistles, etc. Both Jake and Landry Grace LOVE this tree. Here they are checking out the different character ornaments. LG got so excited when she found Snow White.
And here is the final project:
The second tree in our den is a collection of different ornaments. My friend Tracey was changing themes on her tree one year and gave me a lot of her ornaments. Thank you Tracey!!!
Wonder if those presents will make it until Christmas!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

I hope you had a great Thanksgiving! It has been a whirlwind week for us and I tried to document as much as I could with pictures. In previous posts I mentioned the family turkey business. They have been doing this for 19 years and I never have posted many pictures of the process. This is also documentation for my children to look at one day, so I tried to capture some of the day's activities on camera. Obviously this was the first year to do turkeys without Papaw. It was more emotional than I thought it would be. Customers that I recognized from previous years would mention Papaw and I would start tearing up. I know it was especially hard for Matt, Mark, and Aunt Lou as well. But we also know Papaw would be giving us choice words if he knew we were down here sulking. Matt and Mark did a great job of carrying on the family tradition of frying almost 475 turkeys and selling out early Tuesday. The kids had a ball hanging out with GiGi and then coming down to the shed where the turkeys were being cooked to help out with all the customers.
As hard as this Thanksgiving was, we are still so thankful for the memories we have of Papaw. If you knew Ralph Tyler, then you know that he was truly one of a kind! We shared more laughs in the short 9 years that I knew him than most people. Cherish the time that you have with one another. You are certainly never guaranteed tomorrow. We didn't have a clue this time last year that Papaw was sick..nor did we at Christmas. I do make a point to talk out loud about him so that the children can hold on to the memories they have.
Matt made the comment last night that he just wanted to be half the dad to his children that his dad was to him. Over the past 8 months, I have seen my husband struggle and rise above many challenges our family has been faced with. He never complained although I know he worried. His strength and dedication to our Lord and our family is evident in everything he does. I am just so proud to be married to a wonderful man that loves us and although he isn't perfect, none of us are, he is making his daddy so proud. I love you Matt!

Here are some pictures behind Matt's parent's home where they fry the turkeys:

Jake and Landry were having a ball on Tuesday hanging out!
This is the walk-in cooler where the turkeys are kept after injection of the Cajun dope the Saturday before they are cooked. They cook all day Tuesday and Wednesday. It took approximately 29 hours to cook all the turkeys.
Here is a batch of them after they have been cooked:
There are 4 fryers, each can cook 4 turkeys and they cook for 55 they can cook 16 an hour.
And here is Jake waiting for customers.....
And then Landry Grace is just looking cute!
Here is Matt and our beloved helper "Boo" bagging one of the turkeys. Boo made Landry Grace's prayers one night last week. He was so proud!
Uncle Mark and Boo getting business taken care of.
Tuesday night I came back to Ruston to deliver some turkeys and take the kids to Barnes to get their pictures taken with Santa. What I love about Barnes is the "Santa experience". They can take their time with him and it isn't as rushed. This was the first year Landry Grace sat in his lap and talked to him. They loved it! She does look as though she is petrified of seeing him here and she was. Luckily she snapped out of it!
WARNING!!! J and L were playing in the den on Tuesday morning when Jake came screaming to me. He had jumped off the couch with the roman shade cord around his neck(at least that is what I gathered from his explanation) . This is what resulted. TIE UP YOUR CORDS! I took for granted that my children were old enough to know better. WRONG
These are from Thanksgiving Day. I wish I'd gotten more with family but didn't. It was a tough day.
Landry Grace being silly!! And below they are playing in the tractor out in the country.
Thought this was cute of Jake playing on the farm equipment.
More to post soon. I normally have my Christmas decor out before everyone else but there was no time this year. Tomorrow I plan to conquer that task.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Christmas Card

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Sunday, November 21, 2010

Thanksgiving Program

On Friday we received our first dose of trying to balance our time between our 2 children. Their classes at school had Thanksgiving programs, but the times were staggered so really it was fine. Landry Grace did great and sang all of her songs. After the program her class had a feast before dismissing at 11:30. Jake sang all of his songs as well but was a little more "off task" during his program. The teacher in me wanted to scold him, but the mom in me held back. Mrs. Renee has done a fabulous job with him this year and her personality jives so well with his. He absolutely ADORES her and we do as well. Here are some pictures from the program:

Jake has never been a dancer until recently. He was busting some moves out on Friday. Love it!
And today I attempted some Christmas card pics. Don't know what I was thinking but did get a few good ones. Not going to use this one so I thought I would share.
The countdown is now on for my marathon in Dallas(2 weeks from today). I don't actually feel that I have prepared for this one as well as the other 2 that I've done. That being said, I went over to Shreveport yesterday and ran in a low key half-marathon. Didn't have any expectations other than to test my fitness. I ended up running with a guy I used to coach with over in Bossier and surprised myself by running 1:35:24(according to my watch) which was 7:16 avg per mile. I felt really relaxed up until the last 2 miles, the last mile being well under 7 minutes. We kept gaining on the female leader who, in my opinion, took out extremely hard. She beat me by 8 seconds....really didn't care at that point. I wanted to be done! So the race was a confidence booster I suppose, but a marathon is much different from a half. We'll see! I hope to qualify again for Boston(3:40 or better) in 2 weeks and that is really my only goal.

As for this week, we will be splitting our time between Ruston and Bossier. Matt and his brother will be frying turkeys all day Tuesday and Wednesday plus we will be doing Thanksgiving over there. I plan to be over there a lot to help collect money when customers come to get turkeys. The kids also love hanging out at Gigi's so it should be a fun week. My parents are headed to Atlanta to celebrate with my sister and nephew. We hope you have a blessed Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


We live in a world that can be so bogged down with negativity....I am so thankful to serve a loving and most gracious God who gives us way more than we deserve. I took this snapshot 10 minutes ago as the kids were having a fun and playful moment. God reminded me not to take the small things for granted. They were having a blast and I happened to catch it on camera. Thank you Lord for my 2 blessings!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Beach Pics!

We finally received our beach pictures in the mail on Thursday so I thought I would share. We are running out of space to put even small pictures so I guess this should be a sign. There are a few things more important in my life than my pictures. Love love love my pictures!! The ones from the beach this year were ok. Landry Grace was going through a "silly grin" stage so the ones of her I'm not crazy about. Jake's, on the other hand, I am totally smitten with! Michelle got some great ones even thought he was really acting out the entire photo session. But that's life with a 2 and 3 year old. Enjoy looking at them.

The kids spent the night in Bossier with GiGi and we are making the most of our "children-free" 24 hours! I slept until 9am....amazing!! and we are catching our second movie at 12:40. So thankful for my parents and mother-in-law for being so wonderful to our babies.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


It's been a great 32nd birthday! When Landry Grace woke up this morning and was reminded of my birthday, she wanted to know where the party was and what kind of cake I was having. It took both kids a while to wake up in order to sing "Happy Birthday"! I did have to go to school so that was a bummer but didn't have to wake up for an early morning run so that was a huge plus.

On Monday of this week, Ms. Renee-Jake's teacher, called from school to let me know Jake had read his first book. I absolutely believe in the importance of capitalizing on his eagerness to learn and this, of course, was a milestone! So during my lunch break I went to his school and listened to him read. This meant sounding out the letters in Book 1 of his reading series and I was oh so proud. He'll get the hang of blending the sounds together soon enough. After school we headed for a "celebration snack" for his hard work. I tried to get him to work on his book and sight words at home but he was not as eager in that setting. Didn't push him too much. I absolutely LOVE Montessori. It has been a wonderful experience for our family thus far!

Landry Grace, on the other hand, is our social butterfly. She can name all 25 kids in her classroom and of course each one is her "best friend". Early on she would get upset if someone didn't play with her(or so she would say) and we had to have several talks about having multiple best friends and not just one. All the kids seem to really take care of her as she is the youngest in the class with the exception of another girl with whom she shares a birthday. What are the chances? Her learning is coming along and she can recognize multiple letters but not near all of them. My brother Brian's girlfriend had turkey outfits made for both kids and here is a pic of Landry Grace in hers. Jake wasn't ready and I was in a hurry for school. How cute is this?!
And this is tonight's picture outside of Log Cabin. The balloon man is there every Thursday night and is well worth the tip we give him. They are taking their balloons(Jake-Sponge Bob and LG_a snowman) to Show and Tell tomorrow.
Lots going on this weekend with a dreaded 22 mile run and 2 birthday parties plus Matt in Bossier getting ready to fry some turkeys. We'll make it...only young once!

Sunday, November 7, 2010


Sorry to disappoint those who read this blog. I don't have too much to report from this week. It's been busy with no slowing down in sight. Activities seem to pick up this time of year for some reason! I'll start with our families celebrations:
November 11: My 32nd birthday
November 28: My dad's(Big D) 64th birthday
December 5: Running White Rock Marathon/Matt's running the half in Dallas(change of venue)
December 5-6: Taking the kids to Great Wolf Lodge for birthday celebration
December 7: Matt's 34th birthday
December 10: Landry Grace's 3rd birthday
December 13: Our 7th wedding anniversary
December 15: Jake's 4th birthday
December 21: GiGi's 5*th birthday:)

Then you add the fried turkey business into the mix for Thanksgiving and Christmas and you have yourself a party. Matt and his brother are going to cook 450 for Thanksgiving and have regularly sold out the past 10 years. They don't cook as many for Christmas(300-350) but still cook a lot.

Fun stuff!
I somehow managed to misplace Landry Grace's ballet leotard 2 weeks ago so that gave me a good excuse to shop for another. Found this yesterday in Monroe. Too cute not to share!And this is just another picture from this week. To say that LG is our strong willed child is an understatement. Oh the stories I could share!