Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Hills

It was sunny and 70 in Decatur today which makes me one happy lady! I loaded up the girls (in their matching vests from Grandymommy & Pop...SO cute!) and headed to 'the hills' for a picnic and a little fun...

Have I mentioned how hard it is to take a picture of all 3 of them?
What's Towns' face all about??

Cate's obviously done with it...

They hurried through lunch to get to this...

When sliding down on cardboard boxes got old, Cate caught on to a new way to get to the bottom of the hill...

Baby doll in the basket? Check...

Now it's time to roll!

Not sure if I've told you this before, but my 1 year old is the wildest one in the bunch...

The other two quickly followed suit...

The only bad part about riding down the hill is getting back up!

Now it's Bet's turn!

While we were busy laughing about the older girls riding down the hill on the baby toy, Cate was back at the picnic spot getting into the chocolate chips...

And my Diet Coke...

Thanks girlies for a super fun day!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry, Merry Christmas!

When J & I went to see the Rockettes a few weekends ago, we were pleasantly surprised to watch the last scene of the show. They portrayed The Living Nativity, and as it was being acted out, this is what was read:

He was born in an obscure village, the child of a peasant woman. He grew up in another obscure village, where He worked in a carpenter shop until He was thirty. Then for three years He was an itinerant preacher. He never had a family or owned a home. He never set foot inside a big city. He never traveled two hundred miles from the place He was born. He never wrote a book, or held an office. He did none of the things that usually accompany greatness. While He was still a young man, the tide of popular opinion turned against Him. His friends deserted Him. He was turned over to His enemies, and went through the mockery of a trial. He was nailed to a cross between two thieves. While He was dying, His executioners gambled for the only piece of property He had - His coat. When He was dead, He was taken down and laid in a borrowed grave. Two thousand years have come and gone, and today He is the central figure for much of the human race. All the armies that ever marched and all the navies that ever sailed and all the parliaments that ever sat and all the kings that ever reigned, put together, have not affected the life of man upon this earth as powerfully as this "One Solitary Life."

Hope everyone has a MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Monday, December 15, 2008


The girls decorating the gingerbread house (in keeping with tradition)...you can see who's doing all the work! Towns is eating the icing and Cate is eating the candy off the gingerbread house as fast as B is putting it on!

We accomplished everything we set out to do this weekend...and we're still recovering! The girls made their annual gingerbread house, and the pictures crack me up every single year! Cate couldn't get in on the action this time last year, but you better believe she was lending a hand this year! I love how each girl has their mind set on one thing, and each one is different from the rest. Towns only has icing on the brain (nothing's changed since last year)...

Bethany is the only one who really gets down to business...she wants it to look as perfect as the picture on the box!

And Cate, well, she just enjoys undoing everything everyone has worked so hard on!
Here she's taking over the spatula and (unnecessarily) trying to add more icing to the gingerbread house...

After all B's hard work, this is the finished product!

It was so cute...until Cate got her little fingers in it while no one was looking!

Since the girls were already on a sugar high, I figured why stop there? After lots of left over icing and candy, we moved on to cake at Braxton and Madelyn's 4th birthday party! The party was in the gym at our church which meant all the fun bikes and toys plus a bouncy slide! Yours truly was thankful for a venue in which to let the wild ones run around for a couple of hours...

Towns shed her shoes and bow in desperate attempt to be the first one in on the action!

Cate even got a turn on the slide, thanks to her Bet!

Towns was loving the tricycles...because she didn't have to do any work!

That pushing the big sister around business is for the birds...Cate finally wised up and realized she could ride a tricycle too!

Saturday night we headed downtown to enjoy all the Christmas lights from the tour of homes and the Living Nativity at our church (actually, we walked up right as it was over - just our luck)! No pictures from this...only memories of my husband letting all the kids hang out of the sunroof in my car. I know...SO illegal! But they had a blast and we were only going 10 mph!

Sunday we took the 'dreaded Christmas card picture' as Bethany says. I'm not sure why I go into it every year hoping like crazy it's going to go smoothly. Because I know it's not. It's always an utter disaster, and I know how it'll all end...everyone ill and in tears!

Attempt #1...

Great of Bet and Cate...not great of Towns.

Attempt #2

Good of Bet, ok of Towns, not great of Cate.

Attempt #3...

Could be cute if Cate wasn't yelling at me in this one.

Attempt #4...

We've officially run out of patience and have entered meltdown mode.

Let's walk over to the bridge (J's idea) and see how that goes...

Hmm, still not so good either.

If all else fails, at least we got a good one of B by herself...

All the crying and complaining was worth it, though. If I'd waited just one more day to do the picture taking, Cate would have looked like this in our Christmas card...

See that poor baby's forehead? Please don't even ask...I'll start crying again! She was upset for a whole 30 seconds after it happened. I, on the other hand, have cried for 2 days!

I'll leave you with one more...after the girls' pictures I tried to get one of all of us...hysterical! If nothing else, it's good for a laugh!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


The picture above is a computer drawn version of the picture I took last night of Bethany at her Christmas performance at dancing....right down to the red and white polka dotted bow. I did add hot pink fingernails. Hers aren't really hot pink, but I was on a roll. I sure did have full intentions of getting everything on video. But being that I'm the teacher and J was trying to keep Towns and Cate from stealing the post-performance refreshments, it just didn't happen. I did manage to take one picture before we left the studio and somehow lost it on my camera. Sick is what I am about that one. So for now, let's pretend that the Bethany you see above is the real deal. Way to go last night, Bet! You did fantastic!!

This one's really for me so I'll never forget the conversation Towns and I had today in the car....

Towns: How old do I have to be before I can be a Mommy?
Me: Pretty old.
Towns: But how old?
Me: I don't know exactly, but I really want you to stay little forever and never grow up {.1% kidding, 99.9% serious}
Towns: {giggling under her breath} Mommy I can't stay little forever, I have to grow up...that's the way God made me!
Me: I know, I know.
Towns: So that means you can't cry about it...

Next up, Merry Christmas to me...look what I just found on eBay! Chi O cookie cutters?! Seriously. OOCer's, I'll give you one guess as to what treat you're getting from me wrapped up in cellophane with red and yellow ribbon next year to spice up the FCOF! Hooty Hoot!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

McClendon Family Christmas Spectacular

Last night Bethany pulled out all the stops for the 1st Annual McClendon Family Christmas Spectacular! If you've ever heard me talk about this girl and how she loves to throw something together on the spot (be it a party, parade, music video for a song she's written herself, a play, or a Christmas program) , you can only imagine how it went down! The front porch was the stage, and we noticed several neighbors across the street out on their porch watching the show...which didn't disturb the performers in the least!

This was the program B printed for the audience (J, Cate and myself)...not sure if you can read it, but it gives a rundown of the program festivites and it was all pulled together at the end with the reading of the Christmast story! Click on the picture to enlarge...

The girls dressed themselves in red and green...so festive!

Cate ended up joining the ensemble...she didn't want to be left out! She provided the dancing while the girls sang...after she made her way up the stairs, of course!

Thanks B for getting us even more excited about Christmas!

On another fun note, we were at Parkway Place Mall in Huntsville one night last week and discovered these fantastic things as we were about to eat dinner...

Of course the girls had to give it a go a time or two while we were there! Bethany was mastering back flips like it was her job, and Towns was in heaven...she was bouncing so high that she was probably 4 feet from the ceiling!

Poor Cate wasn't at all happy about not being able to have her turn at it...hence the face you see in the picture!

Speaking of the little Bug, she's really come out of her shell lately. Not that she really needed to...she's always had a very big personality! But she's starting to repeat everything we say and it's hysterical! My current favorite is her saying 'cheeeeeese' every time she sees me pull out the camera...which is approximately every two seconds! She's still a fiesty little thing, though. Her daddy swears that it's her defense mechanism since she's so tiny! We all know one thing is true...no one will ever run over Cate-Cate! The girl can hold her own like you wouldn't believe!

Here are a few more for good measure...the girls were having a ball playing in the neighbor's leaves yesterday!

As if this wasn't already the longest post in history, I'll leave you with one more...my new friend that hangs around my neck! Do you think he's a bit over the top?! I do, but I love him!