Monday, February 27, 2017

Happy Second Birthday, Samuel!!!

Since Samuel's birthday is on Christmas Day, and rightfully upstaged by JESUS'S birthday, we decided to do something different for him this year.  We celebrated a week later on NEW YEAR'S EVE!!!  Is that not the most fun birthday party ever?!  Staying up late, popping fireworks, having a night where the whole world is celebrating with you?!  Yessssss!!!  I wish I would have thought of it before, but starting with his second birthday, this is a tradition I would like to continue!!  Annual birthday party for Samuel on New Year's Eve at the Poole house.. mark it on your calendars, because I'm already excited for next year's!!

As we prepared for his party, I saw this laying on the counter and thought it was the sweetest thing in the world.  I think Savannah made it and it says, Wade Husband Dad - Melissa Mom Wife.  I love that this is how she sees us.  Together and happy.  Me with my bouncy curls and Wade with a super fancy mustache.. hahaa!!  I just loved it!!

With the master chef at work, the house smelled heavenly as Wade smoked bacon-wrapped pork tenderloins.. and then painted them with his homemade barbecue sauce.  Oh my gosh, I love my husband.

Hahaa, happy birthday to our little Mawmaw!!  (The kids skipped the 'Sam' part of his name and just called him 'Muel'... which sounded like maw and now has turned into Mawmaw!!  Ha!!) And this is his new thing he does when I tell him to smile.. isn't it just lovely??  ;))

On the menu was Wadie's gorgeous tenderloins..

Grammie's fresh homemade rolls and Wadie's potato salad and baked beans and Casey's green beans..

The beautiful spread!!  I don't know why, but I love remembering what we ate!!  I saw an old journal once from my Grandma Richey.. There was only one page filled out, but she had written down the first meal she ever cooked for her and my grandpa as a married couple.  I can't remember what was for dinner (roast, carrots, and potatoes, maybe??), but for dessert, they had Raisin Pie.  Ever since then, I have been wanting to make one!!  There's something sweet about remembering what you personally created to be enjoyed by those you love, the specific dishes brought you all together to the table.. Okay, so maybe I do know why I love remembering what we ate. :))

Grammie also made one of my absolute most favorite things in this world to eat : Apple Danish!!

We had lots of our cousins and friends come over to celebrate with us!!

Look at that cutie little cook!! And ohh, yes.  It's not a true Poole party unless there's RIBS.

We ate dinner and then sang to our precious two-year old baby..

I think Samuel loved that Apple Danish almost as much as me!!


Oh, my little Mawmaw!!  You light up our days!!  You are just the sweetest and happiest kid, always running to Mommy and Daddy to hug and love on us.  You keep us on our toes with your little boy antics and God uses you daily to sanctify your Daddy and me, ha!!  We love you and are so thankful you are ours.  We pray that the Lord will bless you and keep you, protecting your heart, mind, body, and soul, all the days of your life.  Love the Lord your God, Samuel, and He will lead you into life everlasting.

Happy second birthday, my beautiful little boy.

Landry and Jude were tired of Lissie taking so many pictures.. they were ready to get on to the next event..

..which was FIREWORKS!!!!

Wade, Alan and Troy headed to the nearest fireworks stand and loaded us up.. All the babies LOVED this part of our party!!

Jack Jack loved throwing those little poppers down!  He was so good at it, too!!

It was SO LOUD outside that these babies got a front-view INSIDE seat.

These kiddos weren't asking for anything better!!

Full house, full hearts.  Thank you all for coming to play with us!!!
We ended 2016 on such a sweet note..  Celebrating our baby turning 2, eating like calories don't count, and saying goodnight only to wake up and do life together again tomorrow - it's a sweet life the Lord has blessed us with and I am forever grateful.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

A Merry, Merry Christmas To You!

On Christmas morning, we woke up to our most favorite breakfast in the world - Grammie's Tea Ring!! (Samuel had sneakily eaten all the cherries off the top the night before, hahaa!)

We snuggled together as the kids woke up. It's our tradition for starting off almost all of our days..

..and then got excited when we saw Santa had enjoyed his cookies and milk!!  He even left a note!! (I'm always so surprised at how much the kids enjoy this!!  Even knowing that Daddy is Santa doesn't take away from their excitement and joy.. they love playing the game as much as we do!!)

Along with all the goodness that Christmas Day brings, it's a double dose of special for our family, as it's also Samuel's birthday!!!

This sweet boy turned 2 years old this Christmas!!  He is every bit as scrumptious, mischievous, and lovable as he looks!!  He is more of a handful than I remember any of my others being, especially when he climbs to the top of his dresser and calls for me to come see because he is so proud of himself or when he takes off his diaper and brings it to me to show me all of his poop. Grrrrr, haha!! He is something else!!  Something wonderful.  Something precious.  Something absolutely edible.

Wade made sausage (both patties and links, because, hey! Why not??) and scrambled eggs to go with Grammie's tea ring!!

Samuel sure looks pleased with his birthday breakfast of champions!!

After everyone ate, we went to the living room, sat in a circle and got ready to open our presents!!  Stockings first!!

Remember how last year, Grant got pot holders?!  Hahaa, well, this year Samuel got a spoon.. and look at that face!!!  He loved it!!!  And it's something practical we can all use! WIN WIN!! ;))  He waved that spoon around all day!!

Everyone emptied out their stockings..

..and then we started with gifts from under the tree!!  Savannah went first and opened a fancy hairbrush - something she had been asking for and been wanting!!  I love seeing their faces when they realize we have been listening and remembering all the things they've wished for!!

Probably my most favorite gift we gave this year was to Vannie.  She had talked all summer about a sno-cone maker that was $40 at the Dollar General and could she please, please, please have it?!  We said nooooo all year, unless she wanted to earn the money and buy it herself.  (To which she replied, "I have 2 dollars and Sadie and Rylie said they have 38!  We can just all split it..  Ha!!)  Every trip to the DG that whole summer, we had to tell Van she was not getting that sno-cone machine!!  Once the cooler weather arrived, she stopped asking for it.
 I was looking for one last gift for her when suddenly, I remembered!!  I knew exactly what to get!!  I ordered one from Amazon and it came in only a day or two before Christmas, so she didn't really even have the chance to shake the box and wonder what it was.  I simply handed it to her, her last Christmas gift to unwrap..  And her gigantic smile was worth all forty of those dollars!! ;))

Free sno cones all summer long, y'all!!

Daddy picked out Grant's last gift..

And boy, did he love his brand new tent!!

Andrew was most excited about his new walky-talkies!!!

Hello, cutest gift there ever was!!!!!!

Wade and I are obsessed with this girl on a PBS cooking show.. we like her so much and one day, we WILL VISIT her restaurant.  Until then, though, her cookbook will have to do. ;))

Last, but not least, it was Samuel's turn to open his big gift!!

He had lots of friends to help, too.

It may not look like it here, but Samuel squealed when he saw this rider and rode it for miles around our house!! It's his favorite!!

Nothing like eating sno-cones on Christmas!!

We went outside and played Uncle Wiggily together!!

This bring back memories for anyone else?!?!

That night, we had a Christmas service at church.  And of course, I made everyone dress in red. ;))

Merry Christmas 2016 from our Poole Party (of almost SEVEN!!)

After a beautiful service together, we went home and Wade began preparing dinner.  I love having a husband who cooks.. I know I say it all the time, but goodness, that was as much of a Christmas gift as any of the others I got!! It's so nice to let him take over.. and know it'll be a perfect meal.  Samuel agrees:

Everyone's request for Christmas dinner??  RIBS!!!! 

This girl can eat her weight in ribs and that's no joke!!  Her husband had better come over for barbecuing lessons, ha!!

Thank you, my Wadie!!  This is such a gift!!

Nana and Paw stopped over after dinner to deliver Savannah's Christmas gift..

AN IPAD!!!!!!!!!  Y'all, this was a really good year for Vannie, hahaa!!

And then we all had sno-cones together for dessert!!

The next morning, Kurt, Mandy and the boys drove over to visit!!  We all had lunch on the deck..

And Samuel got in lots of extra birthday snuggles. He clearly enjoyed them.. ;))
Our whole Christmas season had been one of intention, instead of the normal rushing about.  It was simple and savored and made for such a sweet time together. While it was hectic in its own way (is life with 4 small children ever NOT hectic?? Ha!), it was so nice to attend a limited amount of parties and play dates, shop online, and spend as much time as we could in our polar bear jammies, eating Nan's Chex Mix and Grammie's Tea Ring, sitting and reading by the fire, and never letting the coffee or hot chocolate grow cold.  

I read somewhere that you don't have to have the perfect Christmas tree, throw the best parties, or do the most spiritual advent.  Instead, this season, just focus on leading one heart to Jesus. And that became my goal:  to not let the gifts, cookies, and wrapping overtake what really matters.  This is our only family.  This is our only Christmas 2016.  This is when it counts.  

And y'all. To focus on Jesus, His love and His sacrifice.. and less on ourselves, our traditions, our normal holiday activities.. was the best gift we gave to each other this year.

About Me

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From childhood friends to high school sweethearts, and now newlyweds and brand-new parents, Wade and I can only thank Jesus for His incredible blessings. Our three children are the ULTIMATE gifts from God and we pray that our lives glorify Him. He is our everything.