Monday, December 28, 2015

Christmas 2015

We had an unseasonably warm Christmas break this year. Wyatt was playing in the water with May days before Christmas in shorts and a tee shirt. I remember the first year we lived down here (1992), my mama and daddy were amazed that we were riding our new bikes on Christmas morning in shorts and a tee shirt. I guess that makes it less unusual than I thought.


Ashburn Christmas Parade and festivities


Wyatt had fun wearing his Olaf pajamas to his school Christmas party. He made the cutest ornaments and his letter to Santa said he wanted a hotdog grill and a steak grill. I guess this mama just didn’t realize they were different!

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We celebrated a mini Christmas gift exchange at Suzi and David’s house. This first picture is hilarous. David found a picture of me from elementary school wearing a cat tapestry vest. He gave me a hard time about it so I bought one for him for Christmas one year and made him wear it. So for the past several years we have re-gifted the vest to each other. This year he one-upped me and found this tacky tie-dyed cat shirt and made me wear it to Christmas Eve at Mama and Daddy’s house. Sami caught me in this picture laughing so hard I was crying when I opened it. Sami got me the oldest Christmas present of the night with an antique egg scale. We use it to size our eggs from the chickens. Wyatt loves it almost as much as I do!

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Christmas morning was fun and relaxing. Justin was able to get off duty early so he could be there when Wyatt woke up. I love spending quiet time with them on Christmas mornings and watching Wyatt get so excited about the fun stuff he gets. Justin got on the floor and played with Wyatt’s new toys almost as much as Wy did!

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My boys showed out this year. I got the dough bowl I have been dreaming of and a treasured key chain from Justin and Wyatt with their hand outlines and a ring from Wyatt with his name on it. I am a spoiled person for sure!

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Friday, December 18, 2015

Christmas Mini Photo Session

I absolutely love that my sister is a photographer and wants to capture Wyatt growing up. I couldn’t imagine anyone else doing as good a job as she does. We had fun doing this quick photo session at her studio one afternoon. She got these amazing photos in 20 minutes with no hassle out of Wyatt! She got him to make a mean face and he is just too much!

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Justin won this Christmas puppy—appropriately named Christmas by Wyatt—and he had to make his photo debut too.

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We even stole another one of Sami’s client’s ideas and brought a stack of Christmas books for Wyatt to peruse.


While I was very unprepared (no makeup and a pony tail) I am glad Sami even managed to capture some pictures of me reading to him too!


Saturday, December 12, 2015

2015 Christmas Tree

I absolutely love going to the Christmas tree farm and getting our annual tree! I am a die-hard supporter of the Georgia Grown program but the one thing I spring for from out of state on purpose is a North Carolina fir. The smell is intoxicating.

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After taking our annual Christmas tree selfie, I was happy to see I had five years of this tradition to put together in a photo collage. I can’t wait to add our fourth family member to the shot next year!


Wyatt even got his own little tree again this year. We had fun sticking tipless arrows in it and even topping it with a turkey decoy. He thought that was the coolest thing ever.

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Wyatt was happy to see that his Elf on the Shelf, Marshmallow, arrived the next day and brought him a small gift under his tree.


We didn’t buy any ornaments this year (a big mistake on my part!) but I did craft a few at a Young Farmers meeting. Liam also bought his cousin Wyatt this big brother ornament. He is so sweet. I think this was the most exciting ornament we have had in a while!

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Our Christmas lights were amazing this year. We found Star Shower laser lights on sale at Black Friday at Home Depot. They gave the house a magical feel and were set up within 20 minutes by the time we hunted down extension cords.

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Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Big Time Tree Removal

We have loved our pine tree-shaded back yard for a while now but every time a big storm came through, we worried that one of these massive behemoths would land right on our house. Justin found a wonderful tree service to come out and see what our options were. Surprisingly, we had trees that were 40-50 years old at least, making them very valuable for lumber. We had a grand total of 37 pine trees removed. Here is what it all looked like before. See the one on the far right, leaning directly toward our house. It was much scarier than that even when it was swaying during a storm.

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To make it a bit easier on the tree service, Justin took down the back barbed wire fence between our property and Uncle Glynn’s small pasture. The tree guys were able to fall the trees into the pasture without damaging any of the fence. We were also able to hire a man with a backhoe to pile up all of the branches and limbs to be burned later.

Wyatt tried to help. If you’ve never pulled up fence posts or wound barbed wire, you don’t understand the torture! I had never worked on fencing before. Justin is an old pro thankfully and he put up with my whining about barbed wire for two whole days. That stuff isn’t fun at all! I couldn’t be a rancher unless I got a leather shirt or elbow-length leather gloves.

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The ground was soggy so the lawn is messed up from the bull dozer tracks. Because of that, we opted to drag off some of the branches and stumps on our own with our four wheeler, a big chain, and the help of my dad’s tractor.

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See how big those stumps are? We are going to let them rot for a while and then try to speed up the process with borax or some other stump rotting chemical. We checked into a stump grinder but those suckers are expensive! At $50 a tree we were looking at nearly $2,000!

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Before and after: We kept the small trees and bushes but my back yard looks huge now!

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There used to be a solid row of hedgy trees here that were easily 20 feet tall. Now we can sit on the back porches and see the cows when they meander into the pasture.


The plus side of the mess and mud was that May and Wyatt had a blast getting muddy and playing with the equipment!