Sunday, December 27, 2009

Trent Family Christmas

I don't think that I have mentioned that Jack has stayed sick. He had a fever on the Tuesday before Christmas, but we called the doctor who said it sounded viral. "Let it run its course." I am so tired of that quote.

Anyway, Jack seemed to get worse instead of better, so I had to take him to Saturday clinic on the day after Christmas. Luckily, it was pretty dead at the doctor's office, so we got back pretty quick. Come to find out - Jack had an ear infection and bronchitis. We were prescribed medicine and headed home.

My brother Ken and his family and my parents (Nanny and Papaw) came up the day after Christmas to do the Trent Family Christmas. Trent was SUPER excited to have another round of presents. Matt started a big pot of red beans and rice that morning while I was at the doctor with Trent. Nanny and Papaw arrived first with Ken, Amanda, Hannah, and Hollie arriving shortly after. We visited for a few minutes before Trent motivated us to open presents.

Jack loves the tickles and hugs he gets from his Uncle Ken.

Trent and Jack again had a ball opening presents. I think that they like ripping the paper the best. We enjoyed watching everyone's reactions to their gifts.

Nanny and Papaw really liked the blog book too.

Hannah and Hollie liked their iPod shuffles from us.

I got a "bonus" from my parents for killing my first deer. Ha Ha Ha!

The finale was Jack's gift from Nanny and Papaw. They made his gift with their own hands. It was awesome. Jack really didn't know what to think, but Trent enjoyed riding it for him.

Don't you love this Brontosaurus?

We enjoyed red beans and rice, pepperoni bread, and lots of family time. It was another great Christmas!

Jack loves his cousin Hannah. He likes to close her cell phone when she is texting. :)

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Gatewood Family Christmas

This year the Gatewoods came to our house for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Scott and Nana and Pop arrived on Christmas Eve. I decided to make the big Christmas meal that night so that I could enjoy my Christmas day without having to spend the day in the kitchen cooking. Everybody arrived, and we sat down to dinner at 6PM. Matt fried a turkey, and it was super delicious.

Matt preparing the turkey.

Check out the spread.

Trent loves "Thanksgiving food" and he cleaned his plate

Trent and Jack love their Pop.

We enjoyed the food and company, but then it was time to start preparing for Santa. This year I sent the ingredients for reindeer food to Trent's school for his class to make it. Trent took his ziploc bag of food outside and threw it in the yard for Rudolph and his friends. You can tell that it wasn't very cold this Christmas Eve by the flip flops. :)

Trent feeding the reindeer

Then we went inside, and Trent started to make Santa's plate of goodies. It took me awhile to convince Trent that Santa eats at every house and we didn't have to leave him a whole meal. He finally settled on three cookies.

The two frosted ones were made by Trent and his Nana.

I talked to Trent about writing a letter to Santa around Thanksgiving, but we never got around to doing it. Well, Trent did NOT forget about that conversation. He wanted to write a letter to Santa. I told him that Santa was already on his way, but Trent kept on and on. He is hard-headed like his Daddy. :) We finally compromised and he wrote Santa a thank-you note. Here is a picture of his great work.

I just told him how to spell the words. He did all of the writing by himself. Pretty good for 4, huh?

It is a Gatewood family tradition to open all of the presents on Christmas Eve and only have Santa stuff on Christmas Day. Well, my family (the Trents) do everything on Christmas Day. Matt decided to try and pressure me into opening early this year, and he got Trent in on the pressure. I finally compromised and said we could each open one gift on Christmas Eve. This made Trent happy, so all was well.

Trent and Jack posed in front of the tree before we opened the presents.

Trent got a cool guy named Joey. He is magnetic and you can change his clothes like paper dolls. Trent loved dressing him as the police man and the super hero.

Here is Trent with "Joey"

After we did the presents, we tried to get the kids settled into bed. BUT, before we got them settled, Trent reminded me that we had to read the Christmas story. I was so proud of him for remembering. I got my Bible, and I read the real Christmas story aloud to the whole family.

Then we tucked Jack and Trent into their beds.

Jack cuddled up with Barney and his Lovey (from Madison, Susan, and Mark)
I remember always being so excited at Christmas that I couldn't sleep that night, but that didn't seem to be a problem for my boys. Trent didn't wake up until after 8AM, and we had to wake up Jack. I had hoped to get a picture of Trent's first reactions to his presents, but he came in and woke us up to say Santa had come.

Here is the spread that Santa left

Jack liked everything that Santa left for him.

Trent was scared to open the Wrestling box that he got from Santa. I had to go over and open it. Once he saw what was in the box, he couldn't stop talking about it.

We all got up and watched to boys play with their Santa stuff for awhile, and then it was time open all of the other gifts.

Jack liked the bows, and Trent enjoyed opening both his and Jack's presents.

Brodie loves squeaky toys and tissue paper. He had a ball opening his presents and playing on Christmas Day.

Santa brought Brodie an armadillo toy.

This year Matt and I got my blog published into a book. I uploaded my blog to and it turned out great. Here is Fran's reaction to the book. (Sorry Fran, I have to show both sets of parents and their reactions.)

Nana loved the book.

We had to take several breaks to clean up all of the wrapping paper and tissue paper messes. The boys got lots of cool presents. They were super excited.

Jack got a Radio Flyer rocket from Nana and Pop.

Uncle Scott got Trent a Nerf gun, and Trent LOVED it.

Thanks Scott for beating out Santa again. (Just kidding.) Trent lined up all of the wrestlers he got and shot them with his new gun. He had a blast.

It was hilarious to watch him stand up all of the wrestlers and start firing on them.
We ate leftovers and lazed around the whole day.

At some point we couldn't find Jack. He was in his room playing with all of his loot. :)

Scott stuck around to watch a movie before he headed home to Illinois. Nana and Pop headed home late in the afternoon too. We had a wonderful family Christmas!

Side note: At some point during the festivities, I noticed Rudolph and Trent's nativity set (or "God Stuff") by the fireplace. They looked like they had been put in time-out. Don't you think so?

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Anniversaries and Hindu Weddings...

We have been so busy this year, and for the first time our anniversary kinda caught up with us. Our friend Artee got married on our anniversary, so we booked a room at the Hilton (using the wedding party rate), and we attended and thoroughly enjoyed our first Hindu wedding. Here are a few highlights.

On Thursday night (December 17), we were invited to the Henna Dance Party. We had no idea what to expect, but it was fun. First, we sat down for our first Indian meal. The food was super spicy, but I still managed to eat it. I wanted to take in the whole experience.

After we ate dinner, two of the couple's relatives did a dance for us. It was beautiful, and the sounds were incredible. Their bracelets jingled along with the music and their saris were beautiful, too.

After the dance, the happy couple went up on the platform and played a game. They each had a blue card with an H on it for Harsh and a pink card with an A on it for Artee. They were asked questions like, "Who is the better cook?" and they held up the letter of their choice. It was cute.

After the game, I went and got in line for my henna tattoo. All of the women were getting henna on their hands. Most of the Indian ladies had it on their palms and top of their hands, but I chose to just get the top of my hand done. Here is a pic from my experience.

This is what it looked like when she finished.

I know that I told you that this party was on Thursday night. Well, we didn't get home until after 11, and I had to teach the next day. When I woke up on Friday morning, I had to squeeze lemon juice on my henna and scrape off the "puffy paint." Underneath that was the actual tattoo.

I had a long day at school, but I finally made it home about 5. Nana and Pop (Matt's parents) came up to keep the kids, so we could enjoy the wedding experience. They got to our house on Friday night. We ironed and packed for the next day because Trent had a basketball game at 9AM on Saturday morning. I will save that for another blog entry.

After the game, we rushed home to change and get our bags to head to the Hilton. Here we are before we left.

We arrived at the Hilton, and everyone was just standing around. We met up with our friends and visited while we waited. After a while, Harsh rode up on his white horse. Change that, in India it is tradition for the groom to ride up on a white horse, but Harsh rode up in a white Escalade limo. There was a lot of dancing and singing, and then the groom walked in along with the priest (Maharaj).

Here is a picture of the Maharaj.

Then the groom went into the ballroom with both sets of parents. There is a large portion of the ceremony that does not involve the bride. We sat for a few minutes, and then I went with several of the girls to see Artee. She was so beautiful. She had henna on her hands, arms, feet, and legs. It took her 15 hours for all of hers. After going to see Artee, I returned to my seat with Matt where he was drinking what looked like milk. They were given a milk, fennel seed, sugar, and other ingredients mixture while we were with Artee. I tried it, but I am not a big fan of licourice, so I let Matt have most of it. Then it was time for Artee to enter and start her part of the ceremony. Here are a couple of pictures with Artee.

This is when Artee entered.

This is from part of the ceremony. The priest is sitting on the floor and both sets of parents are there too.

Instead of trying to explain the ceremony, I am putting what we were given. (Hint - If you click on the picture, it makes it bigger and easier to read.)

One of Artee's relatives came over during the ceremony and said that lunch was ready. We said that we thought the ceremony was almost over, but he informed us that his wedding lasted 4 hours, so we decided that lunch sounded like a good idea. We walked next door and helped ourselves to our second Indian meal of the wedding weekend.

Again, it was spicy, but good.

When we walked out after eating lunch, Artee and Harsh were doing their walk out to the limo. Here is a great picture of them.

After the wedding, we headed upstairs to rest for the night's festivities. I took a nap while Matt worked on his fantasy football stuff. Luckily, I woke up at 5PM because Matt had dozed too. It was time to head down for cocktail hour. We went downstairs and enjoyed the company of our friends with free drinks. :)

After cocktail hour (or hours), it was time for dinner. We sat a table with several of our friends including Joey.

Matt and Joey

Matt and I (Eleven years ago at this time, we were arriving in New Orleans for our honeymoon.)

Then we had dinner. Our first two meals did not have meat, but there was chicken at dinner. It was super spicy, but it was good.

After dinner, they passed around these little packets. I am not sure what it was, but it was spicy.

After dinner, the happy couple made the rounds. Then the dancing started. It was an interesting mix of American and Indian music. I loved how they started an American song and got all of the American guests on the dance floor. Then they would change the music to Indian. It was great.

We really enjoyed our first Indian wedding experience, and we are so happy to share an anniversary with Artee and Harsh.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Trent's First Basketball Game

Today was Trent's very first basketball game. He was super excited. He was up at 6:30 this morning asking what time we were going and where his uniform was.

He is in a 6 and under league with some of his best buddies Parker and Logan. I think that Trent might be the youngest kid on the team, and you can really tell...

We got to Singleton Community Center at about 11:40 this morning. The game was supposed to start at noon. I got Trent into his uniform, and he was ready. Matt, Jack, and I sat in the bleachers watching all of the kids warm up for the game.

Jack is patiently waiting for the game to start.

Trent's team is the Bartlett Blue Wave. He is number 9.

The game started with the tip. It was super cute because the ref threw the ball up, and the kid on the red team jumped up and caught the ball. Then the ref explained to the kids that they had to hit the ball, and the game began. Red won the tip.

Trent started the game as a bench warmer. It was so funny to watch him over there by himself. He would be staring into space, playing with the drawstring in his shorts, sitting Indian style on the bench, etc.

It was great to watch the game. Of course the refs were very good about letting the kids double dribble or travel. As long as the kids were trying to dribble down the court it was ok. Both teams were super cute. At the end of the first quarter the score was tied.

Then Mark (the coach) put Trent into the game for the second quarter. Here's the huddle before the start of the second quarter.

Trent did ok playing. Mark just tells him to try to get the ball. He is still a little too immature to understand how the game works. Plus we haven't had much time to work with him because it has been so cold. At the end of the second quarter, the score was still tied...

At halftime, the refs line the teams up for free throws. Whatever they make counts on the score. Trent really tried, but he just couldn't get the ball to the goal.

After the half time shots, the red team was up by 1 point.

In the 3rd quarter the kids seemed to be getting the hang of it. Please keep in mind that the red team played a game last week. Our team had a bye our first week. The score was ok after the third quarter.

Our team really tried hard in the last quarter. We scored a goal and the kids seemed to be having a ball!

Aren't they the cutest?

Look at the blue wave hustle!

An action shot right by the bleachers

In the end, the Blue Wave lost, but the kids had a great time. And that's what really matters...