Beach 2016

Beach 2016

Monday, March 28, 2011

Christmas with the Hogans...

Well it is always nice to go home...even when everyone can't be there! It is still hard for me to believe even almost 2 and half years later that my mom will not be there when we get there. I sometimes pretend she will or is just in another room. Her things are really all still there and it gives so much comfort. My dad is ALWAYS thrilled to have us there and it really lifts his spirits when the house is full of the noise from grandchildren. This year of course we had one more in the bunch.

We arrived to Charlottesville with 5 minutes to spare at Katie (my sister) and Haley's (my niece) church Christmas performance. They were reading together for the Advent Candle Lighting and then Haley was in the Christmas Pageant. It was a wonderful service and even better because it was at 5:00 and not later that night. We enjoyed the service and the time to slow down to remember Christ is the reason for the season!! My dad and sister Laurie were also there for the service. After church we all headed back to my dad's where the cooking began...we enjoyed lots of yummy appetizers and deserts. A few last minute additions did not make the cut since Todd could not find a grocery store open and Wal-Mart had police out in front stopping all new customers from entering. As always we had plenty to eat and did just that! Emily got some fun play time with Bridget, Laurie's dog!!

The next morning we got up and opened presents youngest to oldest of course, our family tradition! Then it was off to fix our traditional Christmas breakfast! The biggest part of that tradition is the Oyster Stew...something my mom and dad always made for Christmas morning. It was not always enjoyed by us 4 girls but slowly over the years we have all grown to appreciate the taste and some even enjoy it but we always have to have it because it just wouldn't be Christmas morning without it!! Anne & Eric and their children joined us that afternoon for a Christmas Day dinner as well as spending the night to have some more family time! It was a great Christmas...was even white!!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Christmas at home...Emily's 1st Christmas

EMILY JANE'S first Christmas....

It is VERY hard to believe that this was Emily's first Christmas! It is hard to remember life without our sweet little girl! We celebrated on Christmas Eve morning so that we could go be with my family in Charlottesville for Christmas morning. It is a little challenging fitting in all the celebrations but we are thankful to have so much family that that is our biggest problem. This was a little more of a frugal Christmas but still very special. It was fun to see them so excited about VHS video tapes that they like to watch on a 13" TV from my mom's may even be 9"...but it is different and fun! Most of the tapes I picked up at Goodwill, which is even better! The big gift this year was a lego table (2nd hand) and some cool new lego sets. They were excited about everything. Emily got a new "car"...the boys were concerned that she only got that but she was thrilled!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Christmas card photo shoot 2010

Well we started on the kitchen counter believe it or not. I saw something on a talk show about how that was a great way to take a picture of kids, up close and personal. I didn't quite think through the wiggles of the 10 month old and the slippery fingers of the 4 year old and all the other things that could go wrong on 4 feet in the "air". So because I didn't get to capture Ryan's great smile we had to forgo getting the Christmas card picture on the 1st or maybe 2nd shot I can't remember. We moved onto the traditional shot in front of the tree and tried to work around the bright light coming in our picture window in the living room. The kids were great and had some really funny poses. Todd went through and counted I think we ended up taking 40 pictures...which I would never share...but I did pick my top favorites and then ended with our actual card! It is one of my favorite things to do is to take pictures of my kids and our family. I cherish the pictures I have from growing up and wish I had more.

So hopefully one day my kids will be thankful that they have all the pictures I have taken and will continue to take through the years!!

Final Christmas Card Picture 2010!

Christmas with the Warrens...

Christmas with the Warren's came a little early...with shift work schedules, out of town trips planned, and oh yeah the other side of everyone's family we needed to celebrate a little early on the 23rd not too early but still a good time! The evening started off with the family picture...we set up the tripod and started the "fun" the 3rd or maybe 4th picture we were enjoying whatever Uncle Jon was saying...say cheese...say Christmas tree...say "Jon & Michelle are having a baby", you know all the usual things!! WAIT...what did he just least that was what Carolyn (Gram) said or at least her face did! It was a wonderful surprise and we were all thrilled for them. It was over at that point for the picture...tears began, then hugs and then all the talk of how long they have know etc. It was great!! So the next Warren grandbaby will arrive on July 15th, 2011 or at least that is the ETA for now.

After the initial excitement we then sat down for a delicious meal and then onto presents. I have a few pictures below highlighting the gifts from aunts and uncles as well as a great picture of Emily and daddy; I couldn't resist getting that one! The teapot from Aunt Valerie was a hit with Emily...and daddy too, he was very impressed. The Star Wars dart guns were also a hit for the boys from Aunt Valerie and Uncle Brannon. Equally as awesome were the "paper" guitars from Aunt Michelle and Uncle Jon. All in all it was a wonderful night and we'll be so excited to have a cousin on the Warren side!! Congrats to Jon & Michelle!!!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Trip to see Santa...

We had a wonderful trip to see Santa this year! It was an unique opportunity to actually visit the "real" Santa. He is a good friend of Grandbob's and so we were able to have him all to ourselves. As you can see from picture #1 Emily was REALLY not sure about this guy, picture #2 shows Emily sure she doesn't like this guy, but by picture #3 he had won her over! It was an awesome time, Santa shared a few stories of how he named the reindeers and how he got his red suit. By the end of the time Emily started to crawl over to him, play with the bell on his boot and then eventually sit on his lap for the perfect Santa picture. We could not have had a more special time! We look forward to seeing him again next year! Thanks Gram & Grandbob for setting up this special visit!

Ryan's Christmas Program

Ryan was NOT excited about having to wear a tie and a dress shirt for his program but managed to pull it together for the big show! The kids were all great and did some wonderful songs with a lot of enthusiam. Ryan was pretty good but I think by the end was ready to chat it up with his friend next to him. Hopefully I'll be able to add some video later on, but for now I am happy to have the post up and documented!!

Time for a tree...

It is that time of year...time to go pick out our tree. We get a fresh cut tree each year and have a lively discussion on when we are going to get an artificial tree. I have managed to stay strong for 12 years and so far we are still happily married inspite of that strength. Who knows one day I may buckle and give in...but don't tell Todd that! We had just finished watching Adam in the Christmas Parade on the boy scout float and then we stopped to get our tree! This was Emily's first Christmas tree outing so of course she had to get out and pose for the picture. The kids always seem to have a great time and Todd trys to be a good sport!

Salem Christmas Parade...

Adam got to be in the Salem Christmas Parade this year with the Cub Scouts. They have a float every other year in the parade and this was the first time Adam got to participate in the parade. It was a last minute decision for him to actually be on the float but the decision was made in time! We watched outside the Salem Church of Christ and were able to enjoy some homemade cookies and hot chocolate as we anxiously waited for Adam to ride by. John Robert, Adam and Zabien posed for a quick picture before I left them on the float. Even though we were right at the beginning of the parade route it took them quite a long time to start coming through. The evening was frigid to say the least...Ryan and Emily managed to hang on until Adam and the boys passed by...however were very ready to leave after that!!

Thanksgiving in Salem...

We alternate being in Roanoke and Charlottesville for the major holidays so for this year Thanksgiving was going to be spent here in Roanoke. We were brave and actually decided to host the Farmer/Warren Thanksgiving celebration at our house in Salem. This was also the first time in our 12 year marriage that we cooked the turkey, what an adventure. It turned out great or at least I thought so and a few others too!
We only have a few photos...being the host I guess Iwas slacking off a little. We had a wonderful time and food and fellowship. We managed to have 3 tables end to end to give us one big happy table.

We heard funny stories and managed to really share with each other. Check out some of the lack of food for sure!! This was also Emily's first Thanksgiving...she was worn out pictured above and then helped me the next morning "sweeping" under the chairs.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Ryan turns 4...

Ryan has been very excited about Legos and all that they we decided to have a Lego Birthday celebration!! We had a great time of food and fun! Ryan got lots of fun lego sets as well as some other really cool gifts!

Ryan has a very sweet heart and was genuinely pleased and thankful for each of his gifts!!
The Lego heads were made by our good friend Madeline and they were a hit! He posses for a picture with his friend Lillian!! We had all of our families there to celebrate...he is pictured with Grandpa Hogan and also with Gram & Grandbob! The family also posed for a very funny picture!! Mommy seems very excited!!

Time to Catch up...

Well what have I been doing? I'm not quite sure where the time has flown but I will take this time to update the blog...with quite a few events!! It has been a busy few months but lots of here we go!

This was Emily's first Halloween, she was a strawberry and not just any sister Katie made that for her daughter Haley, 12 years ago!! It looked so cute...the only thing missing was Haley to hold her for a photo!!

Adam was Darth Vader and Ryan was Storm Shadow...(however he was a Teenage Muntant Ninga Turtle for school)! These costumes are tough choices!!