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Ava Elisabeth: December 2009

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Christmas Eve at Memaw's

Every Christmas Eve we go to Memaw's and the entire Brandies side gets together. We are a fairly close family and really enjoy being around each other. This year I believe we had 45 people in attendance. We used to have it at Memaw's house, but as she has gotten older its harder to have it there, so we moved it upstairs above the store. Its not quite as comfortable, but it is much easier.

Luke received not 1, but 2 laptops and Ava wanted them, he tried his best to protect them from her.

He kept saying "No Ava!" - I don't think she listened, because she kept following him around the entire room. He finally spotted a couple of her toys and wanted to play with them, so his mom made him share his laptop with her. And of course, at this point, he was happy to oblige. So cute!

In this room we had 3 different sets of 5 generations. Its neat to be able to think that Ava is chasing around her 4th cousin trying to get his Christmas gift. I know that next year, when the newest little babies are Ava's age, they will be doing the same thing to her and we can say that 5th cousins are chasing each other around. Not many families can say they are that close with extended family.


Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Christmas with the Parents/Grandparents

The Tuesday before Christmas we usually go to Adam's parent's house to do Christmas with them. We always travel back on Christmas Day, but we exchange presents that Tuesday so there aren't as many people around. Prior to arriving I let Adam know he would be in charge of the picture taking since I would be opening the gifts with Ava....the next day when I was getting the camera ready for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, I realized he took a total of 3 pictures....Needless to say, he no longer bears the title photographer.

Usually we go to my parents house Christmas morning, but our Christmas day has turned into such a circus, we knew if we kept the current schedule we wouldn't be able to enjoy the time with Ava and our family of 3. So after much debate, we planned to head to Mom's on Christmas Eve, prior to going to Memaw's. I have to say, Ava loved all her gifts, but this one stole the show....
My sister bought her a fourwheeler. The only mistake we made was letting her see it first. After she hopped on it and realized she could push a button and move, she no longer wanted to open any other gifts- they didn't compare to this automatic thing!

She was timid at first- and still kind of is- which is okay by me, since I know it will not be long before she is holding that button down wanting it to go faster!

Ava also received a pink guitar that is just her size

Christmas Eve worked out great doing Christmas with my parents. It made Christmas day go a little smoother and we actually had more time with my parents than we would have on Christmas day, so Ava was able to play with all of her toys.


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A Winter Wonderland

St. Augustine has an event during the Christmas season where they turn the ampitheater into a winter wonderland. The event is free to get in to and you just pay for the different parts you want to do- which we thought would be great for us, since Ava isn't able to a lot. It was really cold the night we decided to go, so we bundled up and headed out. After we go there, we realized it may have been a waste of time... there were soooo many people that Ava wasn't able to do anything! Kids were running wild all over the place were pushing Ava out of the way when she was trying to walk into one of the little elf houses. At that point we realized, we just need to leave- so we did. It might be something we attempt on a week night when it won't be as crowded and also when Ava is around 5 or 6 years old and can get around a little easier.

Blowing kisses good-bye


Monday, December 28, 2009

A Concert and a Calzone

The week before Christmas we went over to Leslie and Grant's to celebrate Grant's birthday. His birthday is actual on Christmas Eve, but everyone is always busy then, so we did it the weekend before. We made Calzones and had a competition to see who's looked the best. Adam is insists that he won, but I think mine looked the best....

Ava decided she wanted to be a rock star and play the guitar- much to her Daddy's delight :)

After dinner we had a concert in the living room- I'm not sure if this group would have rocked in a real show, but Guitar Hero sure did think they did. Lol!

After seeing other people play, Ava decided she wanted to try her hand at the drums...she looks like she was born to be there, doesn't she?
Then she decided she wanted front row seats to the concert...

At some point during the evening, Leslie and Grant gave her a gift for Christmas and this is what she does with it...pulls it around the living room like its a rolling suitcase. haha!
After I end up opening it she decides she wants to wear part of it as a scarf.... so cute!

The wonderful cake that Leslie just 'thought' wasn't blog worthy....little did she know :)


Sunday, December 27, 2009

I have my own book!

For a Christmas present to myself, I had my blog printed into a book. I had thought about letting Adam wrap it as soon as it came in and put it under the tree for me to open on Christmas morning, but I couldn't wait to open it I knew that morning would be focused on Ava and I wouldn't be able to enjoy looking at it like I would want. That might be a tradition I start next year..... I wanted a way to be able to keep a hard copy of everything I journaled so Ava could read it many many years from now. I researched different sites knowing I didn't want to sink a lot of money into it since I planned on making it a yearly thing, but also knowing that I wanted it to look great. (Some of the sites I looked at woujld have cost $ way I was paying that.) I finally decided on I had to do a lot of work myself - it imported the blog, whichever posts I wanted, but I organized from there. I knew there were certain pages that I wanted bigger pictures or more pictures. I am extremely happy about the way it turned out and can't wait to see next year's finished project. I really hope that Ava enjoys looking back at the story of her life.


Small Group Christmas Party

Our small group had a Christmas party on December 16th. We wanted to get all the kids together and let them play so we decided we would decorate gingerbread houses and/or cookies. We played a Christmas movie in the background and had Chili to eat with all the fixin's :) We were missing one of the couples in our group and their 2 kids, but wanted to get a picture of all the kids there together. It will be fun to look back on as they grow up. This was the best picture I had with all of them looking towards the camera.

Gabe and Ava sitting with me watching the movie...notice the powdered sugar all over Gabe. While we were sitting here, Ava kept rubbing Gabe's hair- I think she was wondering why she didn't have any....

Chloe and Kate

Chloe played with Ava the entire night and I know Ava really enjoyed it.

I just have to brag on my small group- they are a great group of people and I feel like we became instant friends. Its amazing how God works in lining up other people who have been through similar things in life, experienced some of the same things you have and without you even realizing it, place you in a small group together- to do life together. I'm sure I will eventually elaborate on that in another post.


Saturday, December 26, 2009

Cookie Monster

Ava and I made cookies a few weekends ago. Saturday was a wet, chilly day, so I thought it would be fun, since I had been wanting to anyways. This would also be a trial run to see how she would do for the Christmas Party we were having on Wednesday night.
She loved helping me bake them, however, when it came to decorating them, she was more interested in eating think its safe to say we are parents to a cookie monster :)


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Ava's Last Game

Ava attended her last Jaguar game and it was a cold one- FINALLY! She looked too cute in her winter Jags outfit.

I have to brag on her for a few- she is such a great baby! We haven't had any problem taking her to any of the games and so many people comment on how well behaved she is. (hoping that doesn't jinx me!) Adam and I have truly been blessed to have such a good child. We had said at the begining of the season that we wanted to continue to have season tickets- even with Ava being born- but it wasn't going to interfere with us going to church and we wanted her to be in church. One of the main reasons we had her come to every game was because by the time we were out of church (especially on mornings I was a small group leader) we wouldn't have time to bring her back and drop her off with someone AND make it back to the stadium. We want her to grow up understanding the importance of being involved in church but also understand that just because we are involved, it doesn't mean we can't enjoy the game. We didn't want to send her to church with grandparents because she needed to go to her church, so the only other option- take her with us. I am so happy we have.

Here she is waving to Jaxson DeVille- She LOVES him!

Sundays have been a great family time. Thank you Lord for allowing us (all 3) the opportunity to attend the games and still remain faithful to you!
I know that one day- many, many years from now she will tell her kids and grandkids about the games she went to as a child and hopefully the fact that we remained committed to church will stick with her as well.


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Annual Christmas Parade

Every year, the first weekend of December our town has their Annual Christmas parade. This year, it was wet! I actually waited until the last possible second to head uptown for fear that it would start raining again. Because it had been raining the entire week, I think participation in the parade was slim and Adam's favorite part (the shriners and their cars) weren't in the parade.

Ava went to the parade last year and wore an outfit very similar to this one only it was pink instead of red...this year she was much more interactive. She would wave to every single person that went by and when she wasn't waving she was clapping. I think the parades at Disney helped prepare her for this one.

About half-way through the parade it began to wasn't super bad- except for the fact it was cold outside so it made the fact it was raining a little worse, but we walked from Nana's house and we knew her wood-burning stove had the house nice and warm, waiting for us to stop by. The parade finished and I must say I was very disappointed. Last year's was much better and I'm sure the weather had a lot to do with it, but maybe next year- the Jack-in-the-box will be back in action after several years of retirement and maybe Ava will be the first person to "crank" it back up- haha!!! (That was a hint mom and dad!)

Ava Elisabeth: December 2009

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Ava Elisabeth

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