Friday, December 31, 2010

Maggie turns NINE... & Happy New Year

One of the good things about Maggie's birthday is it's considered a holiday/party day. One of the bad things about Maggie's birthday is it's also considered a hospital "critical" day... meaning we are required to work it as part of our holiday rotation. This year was not my turn to work.
So, we planned a special day out. I had won tickets to the Atlanta Aquarium off the radio earlier this fall and with our school schedule full we hadn't had the time to go yet. We decided New Year's Eve would be a great time to take a family of 6 downtown Atlanta for a fun time.

Well, Chick-fil-A also decided New Year's Eve would be a great time to sponsor a collegiate football Bowl Game downtown Atlanta... the ATL (read A-T-L; NOT hotlanta!) We headed south early enough to get there before lunchtime, walked around, oooed and ahhed, had snacks, saw MERMAIDS, and bumped elbows, rubbed shoulders, and shared spaces with all the Florida State and South Carolina fans who were experiencing all that Atlanta has to offer. EEKS!

Those 4 little heads on the front row are mine!

Ruth and Bennett both enjoyed the perks of their sister's "party" and sat watching the Baluga whales as they gracefully swam around and around their tank.
Here are the kids as they crawled through the penguin exhibit... talk about crowded! This place was packed... and stinky. And there were people there that I didn't want in this tunnel with my children... they were rude and loud and obviously not from the south. So I hurried them through and we moved on. The kids were unaware of the craziness around them, I think.
We had to take a couple of token pictures to prove we were there. It was a good time and I think the kids really enjoyed being there... even if they were hungry and didn't get the snacks they wanted.
After we spent ample time oo-ing and ah-ing at the aquatic life we headed back home.
There were no big plans for the evening except dinner where Maggie could get a STEAK! That's all she wanted to eat. She loves steak. She wanted Texas Roadhouse but there's not one in Atlanta and we were too hungry to drive all the way back to Gainesville before eating. Plus, that would have put us having to wait for a table... and who wants to wait for food when you have hungry little people clinging to you?!?!
So we ended up at a Longhorns - the same one we were at for her birthday last year with the Roses and Grandma. She thoroughly enjoyed her entire ribeye. They made her happy by acknowledging her day and brought a bowl of ice cream and sang to her. That's really what she wanted. LOOK AT ME!  IT's MY BIRTHDAY!  :)
After dinner we tried to go over to the American Girl store to shop and look. The girls had brought their dolls along for the day and we thought it would be a fun activity... if only it weren't a holiday. The store closed at 6 and we arrived at 6:03. I think I was more disappointed than they were. We stopped a few more times on the way home looking for sparkling juice to ring in the new year. We settled for ginger ale and grape juice. I guess that's what happens when you wait.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!  The kids all stayed up til midnight... not awake, just not in bed. Bennett made it til the clocked struck twelve and we went out on the porch waiting for the neighbors to shoot their guns and fireworks. We waited. Then we got Daddy to get our guns and fireworks to shoot since it seemed like everyone else was in bed. A couple booms and rockets and we were pleased to go on to bed.
Work comes early for those critical day people... and the 1st was my day.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas 2010

Christmas 2010 was simple and quiet this year. We didn't do any big family gatherings, but stayed close to home and enjoyed each other. No big fun stories. No huge gifts. We enjoyed each other. In fact, this was the first year in forever that we've had a White Christmas in Georgia. We played. The kids opened their gifts, enjoyed each other and we played.

Ruth at Gwinnett Arena waiting for the service to begin.

Bennett and Maggie with our friend Lenee
Christmas Eve we were able to join our "old" friends of Grace Fellowship at their service at the Gwinnett Arena. My good friend Lenee also joined us for the service. It was so good to see all the friends we spent so much time with before the mountains claimed us. Will and Shelley Heffner. Doug and Tiffanie Britt. Don and Ruth Koop. {Becka Mullinex was actually the first reason we went this year... her invitations to join Grace's service, the videos from last year... and less than a month later she was pulled from this life and into the arms of our Father. We miss your smile.}
Lenee taking a picture of Ruth taking a picture.

After the service we were able to join Philip and Marjorie Kesler for her famous Christmas Eve lasagna and homemade bread - and the fireworks and sparklers. The funny part was watching Curtis and James Dollar throw loud popping firecrackers at Bryce $$ and the Rowland boys. It was COLD but that did not deter the kids from staying outside to play. We stayed out long enough to get a few pictures and manage the fire... then Marjorie sent us home with Christmas morning cinnamon rolls. What a delight! Yum!

Garrett Rowland, showing us how to properly use the sparklers.



Maggie and Ruth with our SnowWoman
Bennett and his trusty pocket knife

Christmas morning with the kiddos...
as we wrapped and placed and prepared the night before my head thought this just wasn't special. The gifts were small. The piles were non-existent. We had done very little to make this year special. The kids were going to be so disappointed. My heart knew they had everything they needed, but my head wanted more.

These kids were such a blessing to me the next day. They each had one thing that was perfect in their eyes. They thanked us for what they got and never, ever complained or asked for more. Boy, was I put in my place! I was the ungrateful one... and it wasn't even about me.
Lydia's press on Princess nails

Maggie's pillow pet and toothbrush.
Maggie actually asked for an "electrical toothbrush".  What kind of kid asks for a toothbrush??  :)
Ruth's Legos and fancy chocolates

Bennett is always good about helping his little sisters

Lydia's prized Pillow Pet... it's all she needed

Merry Christmas!

Christmas day we played in the snow. We sledded down our neighbor's hill. The boys built a ramp. We played. We took pictures. We had hot chocolate and played some more. It was such a nice day not to have to go anywhere or fix any special food. We just played.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas from the D's

WOOO HOOOO!! With a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!
It’s Here! For those of you who have been waiting on our 2009 letter… it’s here! AND 2010 all wrapped up in one. I’m not sure exactly what happened last year that it completely got away, got busy, got forgotten – but I’m blaming it all on the computer that won’t allow me to type word documents! So, one week before Christmas I sit to type up greetings and Merry Wishes for the Christmas Season. For those of you with internet (??) you can follow us year-round at with more pictures than you really need, video footage of the kids, and interesting thoughts from Jenny! Yes, I still have thoughtful moments… but they’re fleeting fast. You can also find us on facebook and email I still desire to send hand written notes, cards, and mementoes because receiving REAL mail in the box is so much more enjoyable than emails and bills. The desire is there, we just despise licking stamps.
So here we go…Our days are filled with all things children! With 4 of them (now 5-10 years) it seems everything we do, think, say, eat, feel revolves around them. I absolutely, ABSOLUTELY love our 4 little people and all we get to do with them and for them. I don’t really miss the pre-children life because before long – it’ll be back. In less than 15 years all 4 will be gone and instead of enjoying our quiet and “freedom” we’ll be longing for the pitter-patter of their feet running and jumping through the house. First up….
Bennett (10) is in 4th grade and joined the school chorus this year. He is beginning to appreciate sports (although we didn’t play this year), still loves riding his 4-wheeler and Jeepin with Dad through the woods, rides 3 different sized bikes to do different tricks, trails, and roads, loves being outside, reading books, playing his drum set from Christmas past (which he just put back together), and he still plays with and entertains his sisters… although he pesters Maggie the most.
Maggie (9) is in 3rd grade and is becoming involved in school activities (K kids), playing the recorder (yippee!), learning to like books, putting forth more effort into schoolwork, and still loves to play with the little sisters. Her biggest accomplishment the last 2 years is running!! She has become Daddy’s running buddy and they have completed several 5k races in the area, the latest (and biggest) was in Atlanta on Thanksgiving Day. She has a great stride and a pretty quick time but really has endurance. If she’ll embrace this we hope to see her excel at cross country in middle and high school. Better yet a scholarship. One can pray.
Ruth (7) is in 1st grade and entertains us daily. She has a grasp of “common sense” and often explains to her sisters how and why things work a certain way… like everyone should just know! Her quick wit leaves us laughing when we least expect it. She has made some really good friends her 1st 2 years of school and is really excelling in her learning. It always amazes us to watch books come to life as she reads so well these days.
Lydia (5) started school this year and really struggled the first 8 weeks, but has learned a TON, made a few friends and now enjoys going, unless she’s tired. She makes us laugh ALL the time. She’s silly, fun and uninhibited. She has fallen and busted her chin twice this year and both times were trips to the ER for tape and/or glue. I’ve decided next time I’m just doing it at home! Bennett just reminded us we are out of superglue to fix his truck.
We’ve taken several trips to Chattanooga to play. Chat-town is our new favorite getaway. We always enjoy the Kid’s Museum, Aquarium, Rock City, The Choo-Choo, walks in town around the river and general vacation time! We had my family’s 5 year reunion and camped at Lake Hartwell this summer and we were also able to go to Ohio and camp for the Wallace family reunion in June. The 3 big kids and I went to summer camp at Strong Rock Camp for a week this past July.
I played nurse… but mostly, I just played. I love being there with all the kids and pretending I’m young again. (join us – plug..plug)
Curtis and I actually got to go on a cruise this spring. I finally convinced him to just go… he quickly changed his tune and is now a cruiser, as the veterans call it and is willing to go again. Anytime baby, anytime! Curtis and Bennett and Grandpa Nelson got to take in their first NASCAR race for B’s birthday. Thanks to Uncle Rob for the pits and all things smoked! We have a couple friends who have taken us to some of the Georgia Tech football games this fall too. The kids have become Jacket fans in a Bulldog world… we’re up to the challenge!
With all 4 finally in school and the housing construction market in the tank, Curtis has changed gears and was
blessed with an opportunity to work full time with a close friend in his Law Office. Time is spent learning the ins and outs of the real estate legal world. Collation and Court Houses are the new talk of the town. I’m still in the NICU, I resigned my charge nurse position last year and went back to bedside nursing… where I belong. Life is much calmer for me. We also got a whole new management team since last year… but it’s all good. Really good.
We stay busy, despite dropping our extra curricular activities this year. We have our weekly family dinner group and church and school and work and family and so on…and so on…and we love it.
I guess that about sums up the crazy life with the D’s. So in closing, we want to encourage you to make Much of Him, not just this Christmas, but every day and in every moment your crazy life finds you this New Year.

With Blessings of His Mercy and Grace
The D’s
Curtis, Jenny, Bennett, Maggie, Ruth, & Lydia Davidson

Monday, December 20, 2010

Punch buggy - no punch backs.

Punch buggy... it's a phrase we hear often these days. The kids have found a new fun game for the car and they are learning the thrills of being the beater, as well as the beaten. Or should I say puncher and punchee? I'm so thankful Volkswagen brought back the Bug. The games we played as kids on long road trips, revisited. We sometimes have to referee, but mostly we just laugh with the winner.
Lydia and Maggie sit next to each other and always want to be the puncher... but then don't really want to play if the other is doing the punching. I've tried to explain the whole "if you punch then you can be punch" philosophy, but they aren't accepting it yet. All 4 are getting pretty quick in spotting the bugs - and I am always trying to spot it first and yell punch buggy so nobody else can start punching. Once it's been called, it can't be punched again! It keeps the peace in the backseat... but it's not nearly as much fun.
I'm so thankful my kids are good riders. For 10 years, we have had pleasant trips no matter where we go. There have been times when the last 10 minutes to Grandma's house have been noisy and painful. But for the most part, they ride well! I'm thankful (SO thankful) we do not have a DVD player installed in our van. Many of our friends have those and I'm not knocking them... but I would rather hear my kids yell "punch buggy" than hear complete silence from the zombies in the back seat. I would rather hear them play the "ABC game" than hear the words of Buzz, Shrek, Cinderella, or even Bob and Larry. I would rather them see shapes and animals in the clouds than the newest videos. Now, we have used a DVD player for trips to Pennsylvania, Virginia, and DC... trips that are longer than 6 hours! And even then, we save them for when the sun goes down "because it's too hard to see in the daytime"! But we do not use it for trips to WalMart, church, Grandma's house. Why do people turn on the video for a 15 minute trip home from church? I don't understand that logic. Wouldn't you rather hear what the kids just learned about in class, or hear the songs they just sang?
So... kiddos, when you read this post and you're 10 years older, just remember I love riding with you in the car. I appreciate your love for each other. That you talk to each other. You read books together. You play dolls, family, whatever. You make up stories. You fight each other for billboard letters. You play punch buggy! You'll remember these times when you have kids of your own. You'll appreciate our trips without the DVD. In fact, you wouldn't remember any trips if all you did was watch DVDs everywhere we went.
PS - as you become icky old teenagers, I may change my mind about movies and hand held games!@ Just saying! :)

Monday, November 29, 2010

This Just In... Girl Catches Flu, Mom Catches Up!

Ok, so I'll never really be all caught up but I'm working on it.
Ruth has the flu. She alone got sick on Thanksgiving and was confined to the house and her chair for the next 4 days. This required an adult to also be confined to the house alongside her. She requested the mother. I obliged. While sitting next to her I've been able to catch up on some picture loading and blogging. I did a little laundry and dishes too.
So far, she has been the only one to fall to the dreaded illness. Her symptoms have been very mild but I'm sure if a male person had the same sickness, the world would be ending. She's pretty easy.
Earlier this month I took some family photos of our friends, the Himstedts. It wasn't too difficult. I just let James tell everybody what to do and then snapped the shots.
Here are the two littlest ones... they clean up nice like, now don't ya think?! :) Elizabeth and Avery Bavery Boo. He loves that name, really. Deep down in that big red belly. I feel the love.

The Kids' Choir also had a Sunday morning to lead worship for both services. Ruth and Maggie both got microphones for their efforts during practice each week. They were very pleased.
Bennett did sing a little, even though this picture look like he didn't. Lydia, Lyndsi and Syndey decided to entertain us while they sang. There were hand motions they did for one song. Then Lydia showed all of us her stockings. Pretty, eh?

For our Halloween thing at the church this year they had karaoke. Ruth and Amelia sang a little praise and worship and did a mighty fine job. I took video - but my card was full and it lasted like 3 seconds. Boo.
Here's a shot from a recent birthday. Our friends Tanner, Shannon and AJ around the Lego box with Lydia and Bennett.
And speaking of Bennett... here's one from school from Grandparent's day. This came off his class website so I'm not sure of the quality for blogs.
And this one with his friend Ethan Pickett, dressed up for book character day. Who knows?!?!

By the way, I went to high school with Ethan's dad way down in Griffin. Interesting, eh?
The girls had a GA (Girls in Action) sleep over... where they stay up "all" night and play. My courageous friend Corie actually stayed with them and shared a couple pictures. This was dinner... early in the evening. I did not stay!! One of them shared with me that it would not be as much fun if I were there. I agree!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Run - Run - Run as fast as you can...

Curtis started running a year or so ago... right after I had to stop. The pain in my feet became so severe I couldn't do it. In fact, some days I can hardly walk... different story...

He started off running at church on Wednesdays when the kids were doing choir and there was nothing else for him to do. Since I tend to work a lot of Wednesdays he was always taking the kids and having the opportunity to run. He got better... and went further... and faster. Now he's able to run the whole 5K distance. And now... he has a little runner to go with him. Maggie has always been a natural runner. She has a great stride and ability to outrun us all. The last 5K I ran with her and Bennett... she outran both of us quite handily. And that was almost 2 years ago. So, Curtis will take her on a run around town, around the country... and she runs. She runs faster than him and he has to slow her down so she'll go the distance. But she still finishes... and never complains.

They have completed 2 official 5K runs together. The first was here in Cleveland... to support our teachers. She came in 1st for her age group and was super pleased with the recognition!! Our friend, Amelia also ran and placed 3rd. Way to go girls! (Her time... 31:06)

The second run was the Atlanta Thanksgiving Day 5K... the first T-day 5k along with the annual half marathon for the city of Atlanta. There was a big (10) group of Concord friends who went down to ATL for the long run so Curtis and Maggie went along and did the 5k. They took our friend Lenee along since they used her for lodging the night before! Plus, she's a great cheer leader and photographer and updater for the family and traffic director and... and... and...

The crowd was large. The weather was cold and misty. The age group was wide (14 and under)... so Maggie was sad not to "win" anything. However, after all the times were posted online (this was an official Atlanta Track Club race!) there was only 1 8 year old, 1 9 year old and 1 10 year old ahead of her time of 32:09. She was 33 in a group of 75 girls 14 & under. 268 out of 862 women of all ages. I love numbers... and I love hers!

Curtis came in at 32:10. :) He's a good Daddy.

So, for now... they're running partners.

She's looking for a faster one.

He's searching for more races.

Age: 8 Gender: F
Clock Time
Chip Time
Overall Place
568 / 1397
Gender Place
268 / 862
Division Place
33 / 75

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