Thursday, December 27, 2012

Tinney Christmas

After celebrating Christmas morning at our house we headed up to Chattanooga to join in the festivities up there. The kids were excited to get to see their cousins (and Charlie's first Christmas) as well as show off their new stuff to their aunts and uncles. All of us pitched in and got Lolli and iPad this year. The box had arrived at our house weeks before and the kids were SO excited to finally get to give her the present. Secretly I think they thought she'd let them play games on it all the time- haha!!! This year seemed to be the year of homemade gifts. The kids each got a "pillow pad" from Aunt Sarah and Uncle Bo and they enjoyed getting to hang out on it in their new Tee-Pee Aunt Crickett and Uncle Adam gave them. Catherine got a new "girly" guitar from Lolli and Pop and you can see her new hippy style as she relaxes and just plays some music. Harbin (not pictured) was too busy being an elf and handing out all the presents for me to even catch a picture of him opening his. He takes being the oldest cousin very seriously and did a great job making sure all the presents went to their intended recipients. We did Christmas at Ma and Da's house on the 26th and boy you can tell the family is getting big. I believe the presents were almost overfilling the family room! Probably the funniest thing of the evening to me was Ella opening her clothes. Each year Ma gets the girls matching outfits and we all know it's really more a present for mom. However, this year, Ella was SO excited about her new clothes she just put them on (and insisted to do it herself) and wore her new shirt over her Christmas dress for the entire evening. It was just cute to see how excited she was about new clothes- I guess as a third girl, you just don't get a lot of "new" stuff. Christmas was awesome this year. Don't get me wrong, I love babies and I cherish the moments when my little ones were really little ones, but this year was so fun. The kids had such a heart of giving and it was awesome to see them more excited about picking out presents for each other, wrapping presents for aunts and uncles, and giving presents to grandparents than about opening their own. They all took the time to enjoy each gift and I really just think this was a wonderful phase with all of them during a great Christmas season. The mom.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas Morning

Christmas morning started about 6:30 in our house when Harbin woke up and got the girls. Because of the renovation, our tree was in the dining room, but Santa had no problem finding our stockings and leaving us some goodies. The girls got a HUGE Barbie playhouse, Harbin got Lacrosse gear- a helmet and pads and Ella got a doll cradle. Santa also left behind candy, toothbrushes, and other assorted small gifts. Now, you would think by now, after 4 kids and 8 years, Scott and I would have learned that really, Santa's presents are good enough. I mean, the kids start playing with them and really don't care to open up anything else. But, no, of course we still got them stuff- too much stuff- and suddenly we were covered in wrapping paper and presents and I have no idea where everything was getting buried! Probably the coolest thing was watching the kids give each other their presents. Each year I let them pick out presents for one another. Usually I get a 40% off Hobby Lobby coupon and kind of steer them in the direction of a "crafty", "consumable" gift. But this year, that wasn't enough for Harbin. Instead he and I constructed American Girl beds for the older girls. Catherine has an official American Girl doll and Lydia will likely have one soon. The beds are SO stinkin' expensive and I saw a tutorial online about making them on your own. Harbin and I worked late multiple nights in a row and finished the beds, but unfortunately we never got around to painting them. We decided the girls would like to paint them themselves anyhow. Harbin and I also managed to surprise Scott with a new Lacrosse stick. He'll be head coaching the high school boys this spring and we figured he needed a stick of his own. We bought a relatively generic stick at a sporting goods store, but had the head re-strung in orange and white. And to top it off, I hadn't even noticed that the pattern on the stick itself was a chemical molecule of some kind. I just thought it looked kind of like a small lattice pattern, but when Scott had me look close, sure enough you could see the chemistry (he sees the chemistry in everything!). We had a wonderful Christmas morning and each year it seems so amazing how our family is growing and our tim together is so precious. Our mornings last longer each year and the kids just are a joy to get to watch on such a fun and exciting holiday. Merry Christmas! The mom.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve was a little more low key this year than it had been in the past. We spent much of the afternoon working on the renovation and installing the recessed lighting and plank ceiling in the dining area. As you can see, our Christmas tree this year was "movable" and you just never knew where it would end up. We continually moved it around as we needed to get to the ceiling. The good thing is that the ladder was already in there when we put the star on top! Mom and Jonathan were traveling back from Florida, so we did a small celebration at their house with Matthew, Christina, and Kristen. We enjoyed an evening of opening presents, hanging out and getting freaked out by Matthew and the mask Harbin got from Great Aunt Ruth!! It was just so FREAKY! Too realistic, I guess. After heading home, the kids put their Christmas lists in the fireplace to "burn up to Santa" and they opened their Eve present of pajamas. We tucked them into bed and wrapped the remainder of the thousands of presents we had yet to wrap. The mom.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Light of the World...

and of Lake Lanier. This year was the first time we have ever been to the famous Nights of Lights at Lake Lanier. Usually it's pretty expensive per carload and we've always had tickets or discounts to other light shows. However, this year, Scott's students were so sweet and before school let out they gave us a coupon for admission as well as money to cover the added cost plus a few "fun" things when we were there. We started the evening with dinner at a very delicious Mediterranean restaurant. We were told they had great music on Friday nights, but the band was on vacation and the belly dancer was filling in. Oh, if you could have seen the faces on my little girls when she walked out. They were in awe of her dancing and the jingling of her belt and all of it. Ella said very loudly, "Mommy her boobies are spark-e-wy. I like her." It was a little embarrassing, but truth be told, she had on a very sparkly top that pretty much only covered her "boobies", so I guess the 2 year olds description was pretty accurate. After dinner we met up with some friends of ours, the Brantley's, and piled into their Suburban for the lights. The kids thought it was "so cool" that they didn't have to be buckled up to drive the 3mph through the light show. The lights are quite amazing and there are miles of them. I definitely think the adults "oooohhed and ahhhed" more than the kids. We finished up the evening by roasting marshmallows by the fire and visiting the little shop (which is really a HUGE shop with TONS of people). It was practically snowing that evening (well, it was snowing if you ask the kids because they do make fake snow as you drive into the lights). Either way, real or not, it was COLD. We tolerated the fire for as long as we could before piling back up and heading to our van. The evening was cold, but fun and the kids had a blast being with their friends!!! Much thanks to Scott's chem students for "making us go" this year! The mom.

Friday, December 21, 2012

10 years and counting

Scott and I celebrated our 10 year anniversary on December 21st. It's hard to believe the time has gone so quickly. Some days I feel old, some days I feel tired, some days I feel like there's kids all around me and yet I am just not sure what has happened to the time!! Just the other day I was discussing with a friend while going through her wedding pictures. I said I wished ours were digital so that I could have a wedding album that seemed "touchable". She was SHOCKED that our wedding was shot on real film. I remember in that day, digital photography just wasn't accepted practice for a professional photographer. On our actual anniversary I woke up to the kids taking me on a scavenger hunt. I went around the house, outside the house, and even up to the school. Finally, the hunt revealed my anniversary gift in the toolbox in the garage. Scott has totally surprised me and gotten me a diamond anniversary band. Now, I must admit, normally I am not a jewelry-kind-of-girl, but this was the perfect gift for such a special anniversary. And, he managed to keep the whole thing a total surprise which is quite amazing because I am a very difficult person when it comes to surprises (I ask too many questions). I got Scott an antique Hamilton pocket watch from WWII. I thought it would be a kind of romantic gift with some history tied in (which Scott loves). That evening we went out with the kids and some friends to see the Magical Nights of Lights at Lake Lanier (see the next post). It often seems that because our anniversary falls just a few days shy of Christmas, we usually celebrate just the two of us between Christmas and New Years. This year, we'd hoped to do something big, like go to Jamaica, but Scott's return from Kuwait in July was delayed and then in November we spent a large chunk of money selling the Snellville house (yes, I know, usually someone pays you to buy a house, but welcome to today's market). Money and time were not on our side for a big trip this year, so we opted for a shorter, less expensive overnight getaway on the Delta Queen- a retired steamboat docked in Chattanooga on the Tennessee River. We checked in just after Christmas celebrations and left the kiddos with the Tinney's. The weather was super, super, super, COLD and it was a nice warm little cabin on the boat. We spent our day just walking around downtown Chattanooga and spent our evenings at dinner and enjoying the boat. It was a much needed relaxing time with one another. I must admit that I am most definitely married to the most amazing person who is my best friend. We've had our ups and downs throughout 10 years of marriage, but who doesn't? We love each other unconditionally, and I know that my husband is the love of my life who cares for me, provides for our family, and is the most wonderful father to our children. Many people questioned my decision to get married at only 19, but I am glad I followed my heart because I couldn't ask for a better life!!! Happy Anniversary! I love you, Scott Tinney! Mrs. Tinney

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Christmas Shoes

and ugly Christmas sweaters. Our annual YoungLife Tacky Prom was a blast as always. The kids have a few high schoolers they enjoy hanging out with and as you can see from the pics, they just kind of make themselves a part of the group. We played a lot of crazy games this year, and we found out just how competitive high school boys can be. One game involved a long tube with Egg Nog in it. The guys were supposed to blow into each end and the one that breathes or gives up first gets sprayed with the liquid. However, these guys wouldn't give up...simultaneously they passed out from not breathing!!! It was absolutely nuts, a little scary, and after we realized everyone was ok, quite hilarious. High schoolers never cease to amaze me!! The mom.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Christmas Cookies

It's becoming a tradition to decorate cookies at Grandma's house each year. Last year was special because they decorated cookies while I snuck out and picked up daddy from the airport on his vacation from Kuwait. The year before was interesting because the kids were sick and we just kind of decorated at our house, snotty noses and all. This year we were able to decorate with cousins and both Mommy and Daddy were there to watch. As usual the kids had a great time decorating, but this year Lydia REALLY enjoyed herself. Harbin sort of decorated what he wanted to eat and Catherine had fun until William was done and then she wanted to go hang with the boys. Ella just wanted to eat the icing...right off the knife. Lydia however sat intently working on many, many cookies. She decorated even when everyone left the table. She continued decorating even when Scott and I took the kids to pick up a few things from Lowes. All-in-all she decorated for 3 hours--straight. No moving. No changing tasks. No break. Just cookie decorating. I know she wants to be a doctor when she grows up, but I suppose if that doesn't work out, she could work in a bakery because she obviously LOVES it!!! The mom.