Monday, December 31, 2012

uncle peach

The day after Christmas we packed up and set off for the Georgia/North Carolina border to visit my mountain family. One of my favorite people in the whole world is Uncle Pete. He is the one that will help you do anything and come (wherever you are) if you need him. He is a huge help at every family function, has helped me move, and is an integral part in making any party, shower, wedding, reunion, a success. He is hospitable. He is so much fun to be around. He is somewhat of a Jeff Foxworthy and would not be offended by my saying that, I'm sure. He is one of those people with a personality that makes him larger than life. And he has a big heart.

Uncle Pete was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer a few weeks ago. Last Thursday (the day we left), he had his second round of chemo. The chemo treatment is once/week for 7 weeks. He has good days and not-so-good days, but he's got a great attitude and a strong support system. Aunt Kristie is his partner, coach, nurse, and number one cheerleader. The family has come together and sent more prayers up than imaginable. As one cousin put it, we are "flooding heaven."

Due to constant sickness between two little ones in the Buck house, it has been impossible for us to go up for a visit. But finally, on December 26th, we got to. Hannah loves her "Uncle Peach" and photos were a must.

These pictures are all blurry. It is impossible to get a clear shot with all the tickling and laughing...but I love it.

And on the ride home...

It was nice and quiet for a while. {Not much sleep going on in our bedroom overnight, so a nap was imperative.} And then they woke up...

but were happy for most of the ride home. All in all it was a good trip.

We love you Uncle Pete, Aunt Kristie and the rest of the family. Looking forward to our next visit soon!

merry merry

Christmas Eve we went to the candlelight service at church, my favorite tradition. Hannah wore a dress that I wore when I was 3. I let her stay in church with me the whole time. She was very well behaved, even when I got up to go help Daddy serve communion. Afterwards, we enjoyed Christmas cheer with friends before heading home. We sprinkled food outside for the reindeer and got the children all snug in their beds.

I forgot to get a family picture, either on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, but I do have a few from my phone of Hannah in the dress:

We watch a lot of Christmas movies all season long and one of our favorite traditions is watching The Nativity on Christmas Eve after the kids go to bed. Joe and I stayed up way too late doing the elves' work. Bernard went back to the North Pole, Santa came, and on Christmas morning, Hannah was eager to go to the playroom and see if Santa did in fact eat his cookies and drink his milk. He did. And left a letter! The little ones were surprised and excited to find a train in their playroom, too!

Hannah liked putting the track pieces together...

...and Joseph liked taking them apart.

After breakfast, we went into the living room to check out stockings and open presents.

I loved how determined Hannah was in emptying her stocking, making sure not one thing was left inside.

Hannah got fringed suede boots and a step stool for the bathroom, and Joseph got a giraffe neck pillow for the car, a GT hat and gloves, and a dustpan and brush (possible the most exciting present for him). Both got new pajamas and books, among other things. We were careful to not go overboard this year, and everyone was thrilled.

Hannah used the step stool as a stage and Joseph used the neck pillow as headphones. Hey, whatever makes them happy.

Uncle Ben and Aunt Katie, Uncle Will Will and Aunt Crystal brought the kiddos a car. Hannah was a tad overwhelmed and didn't really want to ride...

...but Joseph was a different story.

It was hilarious watching him. He LOVED it.

And though he couldn't reach the pedals, my siblings were eager to jump in to help!

We even tried to get Mollie to ride in the back. Palmer and Wilson, the boxers, did not know what to make of it.

At one point the little elf disappeared. Quiet is rarely good when it comes to Joseph.

{Someone accidentally left the child-lock off the cabinet doors.}

Meme brought a sack-load of presents for everyone. Hannah was beside herself with furniture for Bitty Baby's nursery:

We enjoyed a delicious Christmas dinner of smoked turkey, corn pudding, green bean casserole, rolls, and strawberry and spinach salad. Dessert consisted of a buffet of treats, both made for us and by us (Joe). Uncle Ben and Aunt Katie (and Wilson) headed back to Atlanta and Meme and Uncle Will Will spent the night. It was a wonderful day.

As for us and our "wish lists", I'd say we must've been good this year...

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Monday, December 24, 2012

happy christmas eve!

Thursday I took the kids to see Santa at the bank here in town. Just as I was pulling into the parking lot, Joseph threw up. All over himself and the carseat. Joe drove over from the church to help me clean everything up, and I took Hannah in to see Santa for a minute. Why should she miss out?

Hannah, wearing her Elf-on-the-Shelf dress, was quite surprised when Santa said he knew her elf and that Bernard was telling Santa about Hannah!

Very sweet.

Our trip to Savannah was postponed, due to having to take apart and wash both carseats (Hannah had an accident during the same outing). More accurately, I was at the end of my rope, and could take no more. We planned to leave the next morning instead. I took no pictures in Savannah except these with my phone:

We celebrated my birthday with family meals. Friday night we took the kids over to Hutchinson Island to see the drive-through Christmas lights display and petting zoo. Hearing Joseph's constant "Oh no!"s and "Oh wow!"s while passing the lights made it totally worth it. Short but nice trip.

After church yesterday (and after Joseph threw up at lunch) we came back home. He was completely fine, so I let he and Hannah play at the front door. Joseph's is wearing one of three matching outfits that my brother and two cousins wore Christmas 1980. I wanted to be sure to get a picture of him in it.


The only time I can get somewhat cooperation is when a door is involved. Love this face:

Sweet girl with the messy hair.

Joseph getting sick has been a frequent occurrence lately (as in the last two months). We are not sure the cause, which is very frustrating. Could be the drainage that he has had off and on for-seemingly-ever. Could be the excessive drooling with the two-year molars coming in. Could be reflux...again. Yesterday he was put on antibiotics for an ear infection, most likely unrelated, but still no fun. Hopefully we will have answers soon.

And just like that it's Christmas Eve. Today, we've had Christmas movies playing non-stop. I believe this was The Polar Express. Like father, like son, standing - not sitting - in front of the tv:

Presents are wrapped. {Well, all but the ones for me. Joe is a Christmas Eve wrapper.} About to get ready for the candlelight service at church! Wishing everyone a wonderful and blessed Christmas.

"During the Christmas season, we are reminded of God's gift to us, Emmanuel, which means "God with us." Jesus is a reminder of God's enduring love for us. We receive this gift with joy, knowing that God wrapped it with love and sealed it with grace." - Upper Room

special delivery

Back in November, Hannah and I collected pine cones. I used them on my dining room table piled in the dough bowl as a centerpiece for a while. And then we decided to use them to make bird feeders for Hannah's friends.

We spread peanut butter in every space we could, tied a string of yarn around the top...

and then covered the pine cone in bird seed. Hannah helped with this part.

I tied ribbons and tags around the cellophane bags and they were ready for delivery.

I buckled the kids in the car, put on Christmas music, and we drove around town bringing Christmas cheer to friends young and old, through m&m trail mix and pine cone bird feeders.