Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Sweetest Cowboy ever, Thanksgiving, and Birthday Party preparations . . .

This little guy is the sweetest little cowboy ever!! The girls and I took some of our friends to a near by nature park.  The moms had Christmas pictures in mind and the kiddos wanted to run and play!  We got some really cute pictures! (to come later . . .)  Adison kept falling down while trying to keep up with the big kids.  After one fall, she just laid there on the ground and sweet, Robert came to her rescue!  He was really worried about her.  This moment didn't last long before they were running down the trails again. I snatched up the camera as soon as I saw them and got the picture!!

We went over to Steven's sister's house for Thanksgiving and were able to see most of the family.  I joined them after work and the girls were having a blast.  All the girls love getting together whenever they can.  We are so thankful that Mumsey is feeling better and loved our time with her. We can't wait to see them all again at Christmas time!

The girls made cute little "turkeys" with feathers.  The extra feathers ended up in their hair.  It's "the style" as Abi said!

Pops and Adison enjoyed harassing each other as always! :)

Abi also loved her special, one-on-one time with Mumsey! 

Elissa is getting really good on the piano and played Silent Night for the rest of the clan.

We are gearing up for Christmas!  Hopefully the tree will be up this week and Christmas cards will be ordered.  The Christmas music is now playing proudly at this household!  We are getting ready for the most important birthday of the year!

Hope you are finding Peace and Joy this Christmas!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Me and My Turkey and some BBQ!

I'm cleaning up in the office this morning and Adison is perched on the bed watching Netflix on the iPad.  Sometimes I think she knows how to use it better than me!  She made a turkey at school yesterday and it has not left her side since she brought it home.  Turkey is her "right-hand" man (or fowl?) today! 


We are also gearing up for the big BBQ on Friday!  Can't wait to share it with family! :)


Early morning ramblings and snapshots (of course!)

As I sit here still in my scrubs after a long, long double day at work, I can't quite go to sleep yet.  Maybe it's that I am beyond tired, maybe I am still planning my health benefits in my mind, maybe I keep thinking of my sweet family all sound asleep, maybe I'm still excited that I'm now an official Starbucks Gold Card carrier, or maybe it's that I can hear my man snoring from down the hall.  :-)  The girls have played hard this past weekend.  We all have played hard this past weekend.  We had friends over one night and completely lost track of time.  Don't you love those times?  We sure do!  The girls have worn the tread off of their bike tires these past couple of days.  Notice anything about this picture of Adison?

Yep!! No training wheels!  Watch out Texas bike trails, 'cause here comes the Riles family! It took her only 2 days and she's got it down.  Here little chins are covered with bruises, but she wouldn't have it any other way.  If you know my Adison, then you know she has the strongest little will.  Not one tear was shed and she picked herself up every time. 

Steven raked up piles as the first leaves started to fill our yard.  And of course, the girls had to get in on the action. 

Abi get's out of school early tomorrow and we are getting ready to spend time with family.  There is turkey to be eaten, cousins to play with, stores to be visited, pictures to be taken, and family to cherish and enjoy!  I hope your Thanksgiving is a "leave-throwing" kind of day to remember!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Boots for Abi

We discovered a new App! Doodlecast. It lets you draw and tell a story at the same time! And you can then download it in movie form! How cool! Adison loved making these boots for Abi!

(FYI - I'm done with YouTube.  I find it crazy that I can't even post a video without inappropriate content showing up at the end due to a "tag" containing my daughter's name.  And I'm even supposed to be in "SAFE" mode!  I'm done! No more!)

A little while back, Abi and I were able to get away for an afternoon.  We quickly got homework out of the way while sipping on sweet, warm goodness!  We laughed.  We shopped.  We talked about life.  I listened. We had a special time together!

The weather has been great here lately.  Not too cold and not to hot.  We've made many trips down to the park by our house.  Some by foot.  Some by bike.  Some by scooter. Some being dragged by a dog!

I'm learning to use the camera on my phone a good bit more lately.  The pictures are not nearly as clear and focused, but I'm able to capture real life as it is happening.  And I will always look back at these images with a sweet smile. Hope you have moments to grin about today!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


Colossians 2:6-7

"So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness."

We've always emphasized being thankful to the girls. Especially as we near Thamksgiving time. But this year we wanted to give them a visual each day of just a few of the many things that we are so thankful for as a family. We are starting a new tradition of a "Thankfulness Tree". I've seen many versions out in the blog-community and have always loved the idea of having a daily reminder right out in the open. We will add a new "thanks" each day of this month. I pray that our hearts will overflow daily with all the things we have in which to be thankful.

Day 1: Grandparents
We are so thankful that our girls have the chance to know all 4 grandparents and to see the joy that comes with those sweet relationships!

Day 2: the food we eat each day
The girls are becoming more aware that there is a much bigger world out there and hopefully how fortunate we are in that big picture.

Day 3: Jesus
"Mommy, I'm thankful for Jesus!" These were the sweet words from the mouth of our 6 year old. Our prayer as parents is that the truth of Christ is so fixed in our hearts and minds that teaching His words to our children will become second nature. (Deu 6:6-9)

Day 4: a warm roof over our heads
This one is a luxury we often take for granted. We love to go camping and be outside, but we always like the comfort of going back home to a nice long shower and roof over our heads. We are so very thankful for our home! As I often sit back and watch our girls in conversation at the breakfast bar, I feel overwhelmed with gratitude for all the details that God unfailingly takes care of time amd time again. It may not be a house next time, or even something we can reach out and touch, but God has always been and will always be our comforting, Provider.

Day 5: Mommy and Daddy
The girls have been so, so sweet this weekend and I loved coming home from work and seeing what their ”thanks” was for today. They couldn't have a Mommy and Daddy who loved them any more!

(photo taken this past week at the park by our photographer-in-training, Abi)

Day 6: all the beautiful flowers
The girls absolutely love to pick flowers! I can't imagine this earth with out them.

Bloom where you are planted. - Mary Engelbreit

Day 7: friends, near and far
We have been blessed with so many special people in our lives. They stretch from those who live within walking distance to others who live on the other side of the world. Our lives are richer because of these dear friends and we cherish each and every one of them!

Day 8: Our Girls
Today Mommy and Daddy got to dedicate a "thanks" to our sweet girls.  We are so blessed to have them in our lives and are so thankful to God for His timing!

(this is one of my FAVORITE pictures of all times! It's not totally in focus but brings back a precious memory of giggles and whispers one night while on vacation.)

Day 9: Cousins
We are very thankful that the girls have such fun cousins! We wish more of them lived closer, but we cherish the times we get to spend with them. Abi and Adison are dying to meet their newest cousin, Sydney! 

Day 10:  Stripe
One year ago, Steven and I secretly went to the pound in search of a dog for the girls.  When I saw Stripe in the corner kennel, I just knew he was our dog!  The girls absolutely LOVE him and he's pretty crazy about them as well.  Adison rolls around with him, Abi carries him everywhere, and Steven loves to sneak him hot dogs!  He instantly became part of our family!

Day 11: our church family and staff
We can't begin to express how thankful we are for our family away from family! We have Texas sisters, brothers, parents, and grandparents!

Day 12: Teachers
We are so thankful for the teachers in our girls' lives. They have been patient and loving as they help them gain understanding and knowledge!


Day 13: sports and activities
We love to get out and play sports. We are thankful for the opportunities to meet new friends and learn how to play as a team!

Day 14: clothing to wear
The girls came up with this one on their very own. Abi knowS that there are some kids who have to wear the same jeans over and over. We don't ever want them to take basic things that we have each day for granted. Adison also threw in "headbands". Girls love accessories! And Daddy definitely loves headbands on days that Mommy has to work. :-)

Day 15: the Bible
God's Word is very precious to our family and we are so thankful for the guidance and strength it brings.

Day 16: Technology and Skype
We are able to Skype with family back in Louisiana and also with Mumsey when she was in the hospital.  Modern technology has help close the mileage gap between us and our loved ones.

Day 17: Pictures
I have always enjoyed crafts and just about anything creative.  Photography just seems to bring all those elements together.  It allows me to capture memories and share them with family and friends.  It allows me to be creative and crafty.  The girls love to pull out photos of themselves as babies and talk about the funny things they once did. I don't think I'll ever grow tired of a camera in my hand.

Day 18: God's Sovereignty
We are so very thankful the we serve a Sovereign God.  One who knows the beginning to the end and all that lies between.  We may not know what will happen tomorrow, but we can rest in the reassurance that our Lord does.

Day 19: Comedy
Our little Adison is quite the comedian.  She loves to laugh and make others laugh with her.  It brings tears to our eyes when her big sister is doubled over with laughter and can barely muster up the words, "Adison, you crack me up!!!"

Day 20: Fall Smells
Burning leaves.  Pumpkin spice bread.  Cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg.  Spiced tea. 

Day 21:  Family Game Nights
Our family of 4 loves a good game of Mario Cart.  We love to play Connect Four and Guess Who.  Those times when we give the girls undivided attention and just enjoy each others company.  Priceless.

Day 22:  Saturday Mornings
Saturday mornings are pretty much the only day we don't set alarms.  The girls usually make their way to our bed sometime that morning and we all curl up to watch TV.  I know they will eventually outgrow this, but for now I'm thankful for the snuggles. We have breakfast together and then Steven and I sit and sip on our warm coffee as the girls play. Ahhh . . gotta love those mornings.

Day 23: Health
We take for granted that we are healthy.  We may not be in the best of shape as we get older, but we are healthy.  This may not always be the case, and we don't want to take this for granted. 

Day 24: Jobs
Steven and I are so very blessed to both love our jobs.  We can look back and see God's hand in the path leading us to where we are now.  We enjoy where we are and look forward to what our days hold.

Day 25: Light
This can be so many things.  The feeling of the warm sun on your face on a Spring morning.  The lifting of your spirit when the sun rises after days of dark clouds and rain.  A small flame to light your path.  God himself.  I can't wait for the day when there is no darkness.

Day 26: Warm Blankets, Slippers, and Hot Chocolate
Steven likes to keep it cold around our house.  As Fall approaches, I pull out the blankets and have my slippers near by my bed.  And we all enjoy a cup of hot chocolate to keep us warm.

Day 27: Mumsey's Rolls
I've tried to recreate these things of beauty.  I don't have Mumsey's magic.   I will keep trying.  But for now, I will continue eat as many of her rolls as I can get my hands on.  

Day 28: Neighborhood Walks
When the weather is nice we like to walk and jog through the neighborhood.  The yards are full of Bradford Pear trees and all the blooms are beautiful in the spring.  We've started meeting more and more of our neighbors.  I remember not too long ago stopping to talk to 3 different  families and we ended up eating dinner with one of them.  We look forward to meeting more new friends.

Day 29: Freedom
Abi has been learning about Columbus and the Pilgrims.  We are so thankful that we live in a free country and for those who came before us.

Day 30:  Joy and Hope
On this last day of November,  I can't help but look toward Christmas.  The Joy and Hope that a baby in a manger brought to this world is indescribable. 

And our Thankfulness Tree is complete! We will continue this new tradition in the upcoming years and look forward to many more things for which we can be Thankful!