Turkey, squash casserole, macaroni and cheese (that Mom paid me $20 to make for her), pound cake, lemon curd, Italian wine (?), caesar salad, broccoli, fudge, cigars, Marge Simpson, reserved seating, and these crazies:
That pretty much sums up Wednesday night's Thanksgiving meal.
We headed out to Stone Mountain earlier this week. In case you can't tell, Mom was super stoked about the trip. Actually, I think she had a pretty decent time, minus the rain. It's hard to complain about a little drizzle, though, because it kept the crowd unbelievably light, which is almost unheard of during the Christmas season.
And thank goodness there weren't a ton of people around, because Harris was beside himself with excitement. Running, jumping, leaping, spinning...you name it, he was doing it. Ben and I had to ask him to "act human" more than once.
Christmas is soooooo much fun through the eyes of a four-year-old.
We were able to see The Polar Express 4D movie, play in The Great Barn, hop on the Christmas Train Ride, take in the two million lights (or whatever it is they advertise), browse through a couple of shops, and visit with Santa all in less than two hours.
Harris asked Santa for a remote control Buzz Lightyear and a green bicycle. He then informed me that Santa's response was, "okay."
Babe would have preferred to not see Santa. Had she not been hyperventilating, she would have asked for a "Rosie train."
Sweet Sam simply had no clue.
One of the new discoveries this year has been mistletoe. I'm thinking I might need to carry some with me at all times, seeing as how even Ben can't resist its power...Harris isn't the only one who managed to score a kiss at Stone Mountain!
Other than the small amount of PDA I was able to drag out of my husband, I think my favorite part of the evening was singing Christmas carols with the kids while riding the train. We LOVE to sing, and it's even more fun now that Harris and Hadley know the words to quite a few songs. "Rudolph," "Jingle Bells," and "The Twelve Days of Christmas" are some of our faves, along with "All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth."
We're getting quite a bit of use out of the iTouch and Pandora these days.
We've eaten our first fried turkey of the season...and man, was it good.
While The Babe is still a little unsure about turkey goodness, her big brother ate that stuff up like it was nobody's business. Once he learned the tactful art of "grazing," there was no stopping this little guy.
In addition to eating, we spent a lot of time laughing, talking, and taking pictures.
Dad and Cody took the cake on all three, though, when Dad decided to announce that he was thinking of asking Mom on a date. C'mon, Babe...
I almost peed in my pants. Partly because of what Dad said, but mostly because Cody, in that moment, was the spitting image of Pop.
The kiddos spent quite a bit of time enjoying the absolutely beautiful (and warm) weather. They began by playing some type of game involving guns and sticks out in the woods, but ended with jumping off the wall over and over and over again.
It started out with the adults simply coaching Harris and Raven on their jumping technique, but ended up as in all-out family affair.
We even got a little preview of Ben's upcoming political campaign! Can Roy Barnes do this?
BeBe doesn't think so.
I think it's safe to say our holiday season has gotten off to a great start.
Ben and I were treated to a lovely Thanksgiving meal yesterday afternoon courtesy of Harris' Pre-K class. I love, love, love getting the chance to see him in "action" at school. According to his teacher at his early release conference just a couple of weeks ago, Harris has become quite comfortable in the classroom. Academically (which is a funny word to use when talking about four-year-olds), he's in the top of his class...HUGE props to Ms. Ginnell!!! He's still got a little bit of growing to do emotionally, but his teacher says he's got good friends and is quite an independent little guy.
I'm defining "independent" as "crazy." He has very few serious bones in his body.
The school donated a turkey for each class, and parents contributed all kinds of side dishes and desserts. I made homemade M&M cookies (which are pretty much the only thing I know how to bake) and totally heard another mom talk about how delicious they were! Had I been in any other setting, I would have pulled out my phone and tweeted that junk all over the world. Seemed a little inappropriate in the Pre-K room, though.
Anyway, Harris chowed down on some turkey, mashed potatoes, fruit, rolls and jello. I think he's learning to like Thanksgiving.
We really couldn't ask for a better preschool (or daycare) experience. Harris has grown leaps and bounds socially over the last few months...I guess in this season of thanks, Primrose is pretty high on the list.
And, most importantly, now that we've had at least one official Thanksgiving meal, Ben is on board with getting ready for Christmas, so I'm super stoked. It is, after all, the most wonderful time of the year. :)
My sweet Harris has been learning about service at school this month. Because his school is participating in a canned food drive, we decided it would be a fun idea to have Harris "earn" his cans by serving others. He has worked so hard over the last three weeks to gain stickers, each of which has translated into a can of food he got to select on our last trip to Publix. He has such a servant's heart...my prayer this month has been that God would continue to grow that desire in my little guy.
...the county fairground just became a little more redneck.
Or perhaps it's just my family that's headed in that direction...
Either way, we had a great time cashing in our free coupon and riding through the "largest LED light show set to music in the surrounding area" or something like that. Harris and Hadley found the entire experience to be completely awesome. Harris, in fact, spent the majority of the time wiggling like crazy and busting a move to the holiday music in the back of the van. When I asked him to settle down, he said, "I can't help it, Mommy. I'm just so excited!"
He really was.
The highlight of the evening, though--by far--was when we parked Big Red and headed into Santa's Village the animal showing arena to visit Santa. On our way to see the Big Guy, Harris noticed the "spider jump" station and was, for some reason, jonesing to get his bootie on the trampolines.
Auntie was nice enough to buy tickets for the kids, even though I had a few hesitations about my sweet boy and the "spider jump." I honestly expected him to get to the front of the line and completely freak out, shed some tears, and cling his little body to mine. NONE of that happened.
There was zero hesitation on his part. Absolutely none. My brave, confident kid climbed up on the trampoline, listened to the instructions, and let the "spider jump" man fling that four-year-old body high, high, high into the air.
He even did back flips. Over and over and over again...
We couldn't stop smiling.
Babe, on the other hand, had much more fun running back on forth on the carpet than she did actually playing in the moonwalk.
She's cute no matter what she's doing, though. Unfortunately, she knows it.
Even though Ben is adamantly opposed to celebrating Christmas before he's had an official Thanksgiving meal, I'm gonna go out on a limb and say the evening was a fantastic way to kickoff the season.
Especially because I thought Santa was going to fall out of his chair when we told him that Jay would like a picture with all his Sister Wives. (I am, for the record, the trophy wife.)
Last Saturday, Harris got to attend his very first "G-Dawgs" game! Ben and I had been talking it up for weeks, and Harry was more than ready to head out on Saturday morning. Even though he's had the opportunity to watch most of the away games with us on television, I'm not entirely sure he knew exactly what he was getting into, and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little worried about how the afternoon would go.
To say the day was awesome would be an understatement. Even with the super cold temperatures, Harris was a trooper and really didn't complain any. He had a blast rocking his G-Dawg hat and jersey, and loved hanging with his peeps, eating marshmallows, wrestling with Big Cooper and Chase, and playing "bean bags" and football at the tailgate.
I think it's safe to say the only thing he really wasn't a fan of would be the potato pancakes...
The entire walk from our tailgate spot to the stadium follows a train track, which only made the whole experience even better in Harris' eyes...he jumped and ran and laughed and yelled and held hands with anyone who'd let him hang on, and that crazy kid did a better than decent job of keeping up.
Once we made it into the stadium and to our seats, Harris was pretty mesmerized by the action. And by action, of course, I mean anything and everything other than the game. He watched other people, he sang along with the band, he asked a lot of questions about touchdowns and kicking and points, and he kept his eyes glued on the cotton candy man. In fact, his running commentary on the location of the cotton candy had Ben and I laughing out loud: "Look at the cotton candy man. He sure is close to us. That cotton candy is so close. I love cotton candy. Oh dear, the cotton candy is getting farther away..."
We bought the boy some cotton candy.
Because Ben is super awesome and earned a letter at UGA, we got to head onto the field during halftime. The boys had an up-close view of the halftime show and even got to give high-fives to the players and coaches as they ran off and back on the field.
Not too bad for a first game.
We finished the second half sitting with Harris' friends, where the boys kept themselves entertained with a pair of binoculars and the rest of us soaked up every second of the win.
On the way back to the car, Harris looked at his friend and said, "I love the G-Dawgs game. I want to come back on another Saturday. Do you want to come back one Saturday, Tanner?"