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Happy Birthday, Britton

Better late than never. Never ever thought it would be this late though. Darn you multiple media platforms!

Britton turned 14 on July 9th and all she wanted was a sit down dinner on her actual birthday. Done and done.  Yours truly cooked the meal, her requested chicken parmesan, set out a robust cheeseboard, sparking grapefruit juice, got her the perfect succulent inspired buttercream cake (that she found with the help of Pinterest). Always one to plan a party, Britton made a photo booth after ordering a remote control and tripod for her digital camera. Genius! The teenagers loved it (although all the great photos are on Britton’s memory card). Indoors was a good thing since it was still 94 degrees at 6pm at night. Got to love summer birthdays in Florida!

Oh to be fourteen again.

Happy Birthday to my firstborn, Britton!

Happy Birthday, Britton via grateful simplicity

Happy Birthday, Britton via grateful simplicity

 

Happy Birthday, Britton via grateful simplicity

Happy Birthday, Britton via grateful simplicity

 

Happy Birthday, Britton via grateful simplicity

Happy Birthday, Britton via grateful simplicity

 

Happy Birthday, Britton via grateful simplicity

 

Happy Birthday, Britton via grateful simplicity

 

 

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Happy Valentine’s Day

A certain little 5 year old is determined to fill lots of love buckets today. In fact, time to quickly head down to his class party but in the mean time here’s a little love for YOU.  Middle child had some cute airhead themed valentine which, in true middle school fashion, I neglected to photograph. The struggle is real.

In an attempt to redeem myself from having used the same bug-themed valentine for R for the past three years, I opted to have Etsy help me out this year with his baseball valentines– an extra shout out to wal-mart for putting valentine supplies front and  center so that scattered moms like me couldn’t help but see it and remember what today is.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Christmas 2016

I try to keep myself in check. I really do. Attempting to give our children 3 gifts, just like the three wise man carrying gift. Santa also brings three gifts (excluding books and clothing).  Either their mama can’t count, or my kid’s Christmas list have gotten more expensive over the years because they made out big time this year.  And by big time I mean they have had a lot of down time, slacked some on their chores, slept a little later than usual, oh yes- and had a great Christmas morning to wake up to.

I struggle with this a bit but try to remind myself that my husband and I do not buy much for them (relatively speaking) throughout the year. Britton will tell you, matter of factly, that she purchases most of her clothing, makeup and “wants” herself.  And darn it, they are good kids whose daddy loves to give them things he wasn’t able to have growing up. Isn’t that what parenthood is all about? Giving our kids the best life possible? Be it experiences, gift, education, or love?

Christmas Eve was celebrated with Mike’s mom and step-dad, “Gan,” at our house for lunch followed by Christmas Eve at our church where Kenley served as crucifer (acolyte). For the past 35 years we have gone after church to the Hanley’s house. We’ve missed this tradition only twice in 35 years– and one of those times was when my dad was dying. It’s just not Christmas Eve if not with our dear friends and family at the Hanley’s house. We missed my life-long friend MHH (aka Mary Heather Hanley— yes, her real name is Mary Heather Lines now but she will always be MHH to me) this year who had baby #3, Ellie Grace, just a few weeks ago so she was not able to fly cross country from Seattle this time. She gets a free pass this one time. Once.

After listening to Santa’s sleigh bells on the drive home, the kids open their one gift (Christmas pajamas) finding out which wrapping paper is theirs. They then all sleep together, have their Mama threaten them not come out of their rooms, and count the hours until 7 am Christmas morning when they’re told they can wake us up.

Oh Christmas 2016, we don’t want you to be over. I stand in protest by continuing to play ‘Contemporary Christian Holiday Radio’ on Pandora. Just ask Alexa.

Christmas morning

Christmas morning

Christmas 2016 via grateful simplicity

Christmas eve pajamas for the kids (well, technically shark slippers for Raynes who has been able to wear the same Santa pajamas for three years strong now)

 

Christmas 2016 via grateful simplicity

 

We then made the annual trip over to Sassy and Pops– a whole one mile drive– to see cousins and create chaos.

Christmas 2016 via grateful simplicity

 

Christmas 2016 via grateful simplicity

New braces for B. Merry Christmas, kid.

 

After opening gifts, but before afternoon naps, we drive the one mile back him before we return a second time for the ‘big’ family dinner at my parent’s house with Mr. Robinson’s parents, Meme, aunts, uncles, cousins, and three french hens.

 

Christmas 2016 via grateful simplicity

Nana is doing great and has recently graduated from the wheelchair to the walker, and is a healthy weight now as well. She enjoys spending time with her grandchildren and having conversations (and laughter!) with them. They enjoy her company as well!

 

 

Roast beef. Need I say more?

Roast beef. Need I say more?

Christmas 2016 via grateful simplicity

 

My Aunt Deborah's ticket into Christmas dinner. Her annual Yule Log. Goodness knows how long this takes to make, but it only comes once a year and it is well worth the extra 6 (plus!) lbs I know have to loose come January 1st.

My Aunt Deborah’s ticket into Christmas dinner. Her annual Yule Log. Goodness knows how long this takes to make, but it only comes once a year and it is well worth the extra 6 (plus!) lbs I know have to loose come January 1st.

Christmas 2016 via grateful simplicity

My brother-in-law’s mother, Leslie, bakes the best Christmas cookies and decorates each and every one. My kids are lucky if I manage to make slice-n-bake cookies.

 

Not bad for almost 91 years young?! Her secret? Scotch tape on her brow every day. Think I'm kidding? Walk into her room any weekday and you will see what I mean.

Not bad for almost 91 years young?! Her secret? Scotch tape on her brow every day. Think I’m kidding? Walk into her room any weekday and you will see what I mean.

The Sisters. A proper noun.

The Sisters. A proper noun.

Christmas 2016 via grateful simplicity

Merry Christmas 2016 to you and yours!

Happy Birthday to you, Allie Boone

Happy Birthday to you, Allie Boone. Six years goes by in the blink of an eye. Trust me, I say this from experience little one. A whole 39 years and 9 months so I would know. 

In keeping with the theme of December birthdays, December 21st is always a good one with its cookie decorating, red and green colors and generally all-around jolly mood by all.  A foul-proof party if you will. The recent Florida fall-like weather has felt more like September than December. A good ol’ fashioned backyard birthday party, complete with a pinata and tire swing.

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Happy Birthday to you, Allie Boone

 

Happy Birthday to you, Allie Boone via grateful simplicity

 

Happy Birthday to you, Allie Boone

Happy Birthday to you, Allie Boone

A trampoline is really all one needs in life. According to these kids.

 

 

Happy Birthday to you, Allie Boone

Happy Birthday to you, Allie Boone

Mrs. Harris has a 9 day-old– who would’ve known?!

 

 

Happy Birthday to you, Allie Boone

Okay. this makes me laugh. Stand back!

 

 

Happy Birthday to you, Allie Boone

Happy Birthday to you, Allie Boone

A race for the candy- because they all need more sugar.

 

Happy Birthday to you, Allie Boone

 

Happy Birthday to you, Allie Boone

Happy Birthday to you, Allie Boone

Lemons Anyone?

We had our first (Florida version) winter freeze last week so all my lemons had to be picked. And there were a lot!  Think more lemons than sense- upwards of 60. Mr. Robinson had a great idea to give them as gifts as he watched me frantically searching Pinterest for a witty, yet cute, yet practical, yet realistic idea for gifting. Couple that with Sassy’s idea to pair them with lemon cookies (Trader Joe’s for the win) and whoila! Kenley happened to be home sick last Tuesday, I happened to have taken the day off (the first all semester) so she helped me by putting together 25 teacher gifts with hand written tags that read ‘Meyer Christmas’.  Luckily, we still have some to spare and I plan to ask Britton to bake a Meyer lemon pound cake like she did last year. It was delish! Lemons Anyone?

The girl does like a good glamour shot

The girl does like a good glamour shot

Lemons via grateful simplicity

 

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Tomorrow we celebrate little Allie Boone who is not so little anymore and turning the big SIX!