Friday, May 22, 2015

1st Day of Summer- Ferry rides, Hula-Hooping, Jam Out Sessions, and the Beach!

Today was the 1st day of summer!

We spent the morning car ride making a 
Family Summer Bucket List. 

1st on the list was 
Riding the Ferry from 
Dauphin Island to Ft. Morgan. 

2nd on our bucket list was to 
go to the famous LuLu's. 
We had never been! 

It's amazing how a pile of sand can 
be so entertaining! 

King of the Hill!! 

Jared trying to hula-hoop!

I was actually a little 
impressed with my 
hula-hooping skills!

And no road-trip is complete 
without a jam out session! 

We ended the day at the beach in 
Gulf Shores! 

We had a fun day marking 
things off of our summer bucket list!

Looking forward to a fabulous summer!! 

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Our Mom was Awesome WAY before Pinterest!

Jessica and  I wrote this post on our blog a couple of year's ago! It's too good not to put into my family scrapbook. Everything still rings true and I am still proud that my mom "was awesome WAY Before Pinterest"! Happy Mother's Day mom! 

A week doesn't go by that I am not scrolling down Pinterest and I come across some creative idea and think to myself, "My mom has been doing that for years!".  Since today is our mother's birthday we thought it would be fun to share a few of the creative things our mother has done and taught us throughout the years. We're proud to say, "Our Mom was Awesome WAY Before Pinterest!"

1. Progressive Birthday Dinner
My favorite birthday celebration was her progressive birthday dinner. On her birthday my parents would go to the restaurant that had her favorite appetizer. Then they would go to a different restaurant that had her favorite salad, next her favorite main course and then her favorite dessert. To assure they were hungry for all the courses they filled in between restaurants with shopping and a trip to the movies. At the end of the day she had visited 4 to 5 fabulous restaurants and had the PERFECT birthday meal!

2. Bubble Pizza
A saw this on Pinterest the other day and laughed out loud. I have great memories of watching Dirty Dancing repeatedly and eating Bubble Pizza with my old friend Mary Katherine!  I couldn't find her exact recipe so maybe we will share it soon.

3. Nutter Butter Ghost & Nutter Butter Snowmen
This is very popular now but I remember mom always doing this during the holidays. It's a tradition I have carried on with my children. Simple and delicious!

4. Creative Gifts
My mom has been a pastor's wife for over 38 years. As the holidays approached I knew it was time to figure out what she was going to give all the staff and deacons. Every year she tried topping the year before. The homemade gifts have included: delicious pretzel rods, homemade bread with honey butter, homemade cinnamon rolls, the BEST trail mix ever, rice krispie treats cut into the shape of JOY, popcorn-balls and more!
Looking back I appreciate this more and more. I recognize the time and money she put into preparing gifts for those who served alongside my father and the time they spent hand delivering the gifts to make sure they arrived fresh. 

5. Wrapping Gifts
This is something I did NOT inherit. To my mom the way a gift is wrapped is just as important as the gift itself. Thanks to Pinterest I might can learn to make beautiful bows and giftwrap as well as she does!

6. 12 Days of Christmas
This family tradition started in my early teenage years. My mom decided that we would celebrate the 12 Days of Christmas. So for the 12 days before Christmas we got to open a gift each day! Who wouldn't love that?!?! I plan to carry on this tradition once the kids are older.

7. Oreo Balls
If you have never had Oreo Balls your missing out!
She made them way before the days of Pinterest! :)

8. Sweet Tea
I'm sure you can find a billiion recipes for Sweet Tea but I promise none of them will touch Kathy Nixon's! Jessica actually would take a thermos of sweet tea to lunch in Jr. High and sell it to the other kids for money! It is that good!

9. Special Birthdays
Some of my (Jessica) favorite memories are of my birthdays.  My mom always tried to do something special. One year she let me invite all my friends over and she made her famous lasagna. She served everything on fine china. We took pictures and had an awesome night. 

10. Cookie in a Jar
This is very popular now but I am told she has been doing this for years. Put all the ingredients needed to make cookies from scratch in a mason jar, add a cute ribbon, and you have a perfect little gift!

11. "I Love You" Gifts
This is my (Julia) personal favorite! From as long as I can remember mom has always gotten us "I love You" gifts. This is just little gifts for no reason other than to let us know she loves us. From a Diet Coke to a new dress, I still like getting "I Love You" gifts!

12. Cinnamon Roll Christmas Trees
Mom has a way of getting any food item into a themed shape. I think this is where I get my obsession with themed food. I loved at Christmastime when she placed the cinnamon rolls in the shape of a Christmas tree and used green and red cherries for ornaments. Again, this is something I have carried on for my children.

13. Peanut Butter Ritz Crackers Dipped in Chocolate
This is as simple as it sounds and is AMAZING. Take two ritz crackers and make a peanut butter sandwich then dip it in chocolate. I could eat my weight in these! 

We have a very special mother who spent years creating wonderful fun memories for us. We are not sure she realized how much she was teaching us and the memories she was creating when she was baking, cooking, giving gifts, etc. She was just being a good mom.  She didn't have Pinterest or the internet to get her ideas from. She didn't have Facebook or Instagram to show everyone what she was doing. We are sure she did things that went completely unnoticed or unappreciated.  We are also sure we are forgetting many other yummy recipes and fun days. These are just a few that stick out in our mind today.

All these items may seem trivial to some but to us it's through these day to day activities that she taught us the most. She taught us to serve others, and to put others first.  She taught us to be givers, even when we might not have much to give. She taught us to welcome others in our home, to be hospitable. She taught to enjoy food and celebrate life. But most importantly she has taught us to count the many blessings our Lord has given us no matter the season we find ourself in.

We thank God for our wonderful mother.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

American Girl Boutique- Nixon's 8th Birthday!

In January we took a family road-trip 
for Nixon's 8th Birthday. 
We dropped the boys off in Phenix City
with Uncle Robb and picked 
up Donna and Nixon's best friend
Libby. We headed to Atlanta to the 
American Girl Boutique! 

Please excuse the weird lighting
 on most of the pictures. 
Not sure what that was all about!
(I am NOT a photographer) 

We started the day off with 
fixing up the girl's dolls!

Lorelei really needed her
hair done! 

And Lottie didn't waste anytime
going and getting Lorelei's
brother, Luke! 

Lorelei got all fixed
up with piggy-tails to match Lottie! 

Isla's doll Caroline needed
some TLC too! 



Watching the dolls get 
their hair done was a blast
for the girls! 

We couldn't leave Emma out! 



Emma also got her ear's
pierced just like Nixon
 did for her birthday! 

All the girls were looking 

We then went shopping for new friends!
They knew exactly who they wanted!

Such a fun day with our daughters!

Donna and Libby

We then went to the
American Girl Bistro for milkshakes!

All the dolls had their
very own booster seat!

Milkshakes & Rootbeer Floats!

They even got little tea sets 
for their dolls!

The only thing Lottie loves
more than baby dolls is chocolate milk!

It was such a fun day!!

Next we arrived at the 
American Girl Hotel!
(Marriott has AG suites) 

The girls got to check-in 

They had to walk the PINK 
carpet when they arrived!

They had several surprises
waiting for them! 

When they entered their room
they LOVED all the pink and 
the treats waiting for them! 

They had special note welcoming them 
and their new doll! 


They did hair! 


Jumped on the beds!

And make-up!

They fixed all their 
dolls up in their new accessories! 

Nixon had a sweet time
with her sisters and her best friend!

The highlight of the weekend 
was the breakfast 
buffet! Apparently my girls
 have never been to a buffet!
They were astonished they 
could go back and get as much food as
they liked! Unfortunately, I didn't
 get any pictures of the 
heart shaped waffles or yummy food!

I am so thankful I was able to give Nixon 
such a special weekend. 
I know before long she will outgrow 
playing babies and dress-up. 

But may she stay as kind hearted 
and loving as she is now forever!