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Ava Elisabeth: January 2013

Friday, January 25, 2013

Christmas Sunday



Christmas Sunday we decided to go to Access Church. It has been a year since we left. They moved to a new campus and it was even further way (it would take us about 45 mins- to an hour to get to the new location and they were going to 2 services, which would me more time spent at the church, which isn't normally a problem, but when its an hour drive away it just isn't practical. Plus I knew that if we were going to be involved it wouldn't be the wisest thing to do. It is one of the hardest decisions we have ever had to make. If I were to be honest, we miss that church and those people so much! Adam and I both wish there was some way we could make it work and we probably could right now, but as Ava gets older we knew it would only become more difficult.

The worst part was leaving my small group girls. I loved those girls dearly. I cried and cried leaving them- I still get teary-eyed when I think about them (I am right now!). I started with them the end of their 3rd grade year and now they are 7th graders- growing so and beautiful girls- inside and out! Frankly I was a little bitter that I wasn't going to get to watch them grow up- I still plan on having a front row seat at their graduation 5 years from now...(hint! hint! girls- I expect that reserved seat!) :)


Naturally one of the first things I did was try to find the girls. I knew they were serving during the first service and would be in the Transit for the second service, so I figured I would definitely catch them at some point. Luckily I caught a some before the service and we stole Sara from her job in Waumba Land for a few minutes afterwards. It did my heart good to be able to hug them again! Ava was of course just thrilled to see the girls and her old Waumba Land teachers. Mrs. Lynn will always have a special place in her heart.

Adam still plays at Access about once a month, so he sees everyone at least that often, but it was a nice idea to celebrate a special Sunday with a place and people who are special to us. Now, if only we could tie a rope around the place and pull it closer...



After church, we headed downtown for the Jaguar game. Ava was excited her buddies Brody and Trevor were going to be there. She loves going to the Jag games (despite our horrible season) but it is wayyyy more fun with her friends beside her!


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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Christmas Happenings

Keeping in line with our Christmas lights theme of this year, wait? it wasn't our theme? hmmm...someone should have mentioned that to me on like December 1st!

Adam, Ava and I headed out looking for some of the best displays around town. This house was in Springfield, it was one of Ava's favorites. This house and the one on Crystal Springs Rd that had an animated light display.



This one in particular had so much to look at- we sat there for a while looking at everything and I'm certain there were a few surprises we missed.



Ava gave these cute gifts to her teachers at school for Christmas. I wish I could say I came up with the idea all by myself, but that would be a lie. I saw it on Pinterest, of course. She helped me pick out the candy and I printed off the Redbox logo and wrapped ti around$2 and stuck it inside with some chocolate and popcorn.


Ava also told me what kind of drinks to get. Her teachers thought it was something else when she knew exactly who drank what kind of drink. The had a good laugh about it with her when I told them how she was with me in the grocery store and asked her what each teacher, by name, would like for their drink and she told me exactly what they would like- she was right with all of them and it even worked out great that one of them had forgotten they drank their last coke that morning, so she opened it a little earlier than her movie night and drank some for lunch! :)




Our elves: left to right: Adam, Ava, Stephanie

We took some time one afternoon to color our own version of Twinkle Toes :)




We are always so busy for Christmas that we don't take the time to make cookies from scratch for Santa. (Sorry Santa!)

When my child would just rather decorate anyways, its an easy choice to get the pre-made cookie dough and let her go to town the sprinkles. Somehow I'm pretty sure Santa doesn't mind!




Regardless of using pre-made cookie dough, there are plenty of other things to make/bake for various get-togethers, Ava and I are sure to wear our matching 'Hostess/Hostess-in-training' aprons.



Speaking of being busy. Ava is supposed to be taking a nap one afternoon while I'm busy cleaning up, and this is what I walk in her room to find.... there is some napping going on in here but it isn't by the one who was supposed to be napping and her room isn't getting much cleaner...ha!

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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

A Spot of Tea


The week before Christmas my cousin, Martha, called and invited me, Ava, and my mom to have tea at Jekyll Island Inn & Club. As soon as I heard it, I knew Ava would enjoy it! I mean a real life tea party? We may never go back to the pretend tea we have around the house! ha! Before we left, she was wearing her veil and carrying a bouquet around the house- I guess she was preparing for a wedding we had after Christmas...



Mom, Martha, and Ava


The sweet girl who was our server brought a high chair for Ava's doll- which made the whole experience even better in Ava's mind!


We had some delicious blueberry scones, which I didn't take a picture of... and some tea sandwiches and miniature desserts. Everything was delicious and the tea was great. Ava loved the sugar swirl stick :) She even drank her own cup of tea- just like the big girls!


After a nice time of tea we walked around (followed a bride taking pictures). It is such a nice place, we even saw a beautiful sunset.



While I was taking pictures, Ava walked over and took a break on one of the big oak tree limbs that hangs low to the ground. I think she has been here before :)



We had such a nice time, Ava and I both want to make a trip back, soon! Thanks to Martha for a nice evening, Ava even got to break in the DVD player in her knew Tahoe :) On the way home, despite my best efforts, Ava fell asleep pretty quick- a sure sign she had a lot of fun! :)

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Monday, January 21, 2013

Henderson Family Christmas


We always get together with Adam's parents and Brian and Kristin a few days before Christmas to exchange presents between all of us. Ava was super excited since she was itching to open presents.


I love this age. Everything is so magical and fun and opening presents is half the fun- she doesn't care if they are for her or not, she just loves to open them! (of course, she is also 4 and would love for every present to be hers as well!)


She got lots of great gifts, including a Barbie goes Camping, am I the only one who thinks 'Barbie' wouldn't be caught dead in a tent? haha!




See what I mean about opening your presents for you?


She gets excited about jewelry- she is a girl after her mama's heart!


So maybe you remember last year when we gave my dad a gift certificate, but we wrapped it in this prank box? Well, we did it again with Brian. I hate giving gift cards- H.A.T.E. it. Every gift I give has a lot of thought that goes into it- probably too much- I stress over Christmas gifts, but I also want to give people what they want, so it make it a little more fun to open, we decided to wrap Brian's gift card in this 'Toe Tunes' box that I had saved from last year. It's always so funny watching someone open it because you can tell they don't really know what to think but you know they don't want to hurt your feelings. We tried to keep a straight face until he actually opened the box and found his gift card :)


We had a good time and it made Ava even more excited about Christmas- especially since she knew it wasn't but a few days away.

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Friday, January 18, 2013

Zoo Lights


The Zoo was open after hours and had lights, a train ride, animals that you could see, and a big party with jump houses. Mom wanted to go and Grammy and Big Papa were in town so they joined us, along with Jackie. Apparently the theme of our Christmas this year was 'Let's see how many light exhibits we can see...' We seemed to go all over the place in search for lights, including the zoo! ha!


We weren't sure what to expect, but I can honestly say it was the biggest disappointment! It cost $$ to get in, members were able to buy discounted tickets, but only by a $1 or $2. Then, once we got in everything else cost money! We bought our tickets for the train, but thought we would ride it last, we would go check out everything else. So we headed on, come to find out, all the animal exhibits were either blocked off or they weren't out, all except the giraffes, who you could barely see since it was dark and they weren't really close. The lights weren't anything spectacular, a few trees decorated and the party on the great lawn... well that was a mad house. I think it took 15 minutes for Ava to go down the bouncy slide twice. We didn't even attempt the bouncy house. What a let down for a 4 year old :(

The icing on the cake was the train ride. After we explored all there was to explore (which wasn't a whole lot) we headed back to the front to catch the train. Once we sat down, the told us that it would take us to the back platform and everyone would have to get off....WHAT?! I asked a worker as she came about it, saying we were about to leave and had already walked through the zoo, but she told us that everyone has to get off and no one can get on from the back platform. I let her know they should have had some type of signage letting people know that.

Adam was so aggravated by that point and I think that is when we decided we wouldn't be doing any after hours events at the zoo if this is what they are all about. GRRRRRR!


The evening wasn't a total waste, we were able to spend some time with family- it can't be all that bad if that is the case!


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Thursday, January 17, 2013

Okefenokee Christmas


So apparently the ho-hum feeling we had towards White Springs wasn't going to deter us from trying out Christmas lights other places, as evidenced by the fact our next night of light-looking was in the Swamp....

We really didn't expect much, but we thought, hey, why not?! right? Maybe that is why the evening turned out so good.

Jenny's parents and my mom accompanied all of us. It turned out to be rather chilly, which goes perfect with Christmas light looking.



We walked in and headed towards the back and saw Santa while we were there. I don't take Ava to see Santa because I'm just not going to torture myself, torture Ava, and pay a ridiculous amount of money to have a picture of my child trying to escape from Santa. So when we saw him, Brody and Trevor walked right up and sat with him and told him what they wanted for Christmas. This is what happened when I tried to get Ava to do the same.

Now, don't get me wrong, some of those screaming kid Santa pictures are funny, but when I have so much else to do that isn't something I consider 'enjoyable' so it gets cut. This was perfect- no line, Adam took the picture, and she still didn't even look at him! Ha!


After Santa, the kids went for a train ride. Brody hopped in the engineer's seat, then Ava the one behind him...we all joked because Trevor ran and hoped in with Brody instead of Ava...if this was a few years from now, we don't think he would have done the same! hehe!


They had so much fun looking at the snakes (behind the glass) and we visited some old Showbiz friends (anyone else remember Showbiz?) Apparently they have taken up residence in the Swamp. IMG_2901

We walked around and looked at lights and then saw the train getting ready to depart.


I was actually very impressed with the train ride, it was quite long and had a lot of lights to see along the way. The kids all seemed to have fun, which really does make it so much more enjoyable!


Our engineer for the ride was Santa himself!


After the ride we headed to see the big alligator, I believe his name was Old Roy. He was huge! The kids (aka Jason, Brody, and Trevor) decided to stick their heads in his mouth.


I think Brody wins the prize for what I would call the most accurate impression of a terrified face! ha!




Ava decided she didn't want any part of it and would only pose for a picture in front of him.

We stopped at Zaxby's to grab a bite to eat before we all headed home. We had a really good time- I think its safe to say it was worth the drive and the entrance fee and we will do it again next year!


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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Ava’s Christmas Dance Performance



Ava's dance class had their Christmas open house and put on a show for us :)



Ava's favorite activity each week is her time spent in dance- she loves it!



It helps that her sweet friend Ana Brook is dancing right alongside her. These 2 girls are like 2 peas in a pod!

The girls all showed use some tap moves they have been working on and even tapped to a song using the bells.




After tap it was time for Barre work.



There isn't much sweeter than seeing these littles do their ballet dances.




After barre work, they performed a dance for use- they all did such a big job!





After their dance each girl was called by Mrs. Johanna and presented with a Christmas card and small gift. Then they were able to have a 'Snowball Fight' (aka cotton ball throwing).



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Ava Elisabeth: January 2013

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Ava Elisabeth

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