Monday, December 12, 2011

Pensacola Elf Parade

Spending Thanksgiving week in Pensacola means that we always miss the fun Christmas parades and tree lightings back home, so this year I asked Karyn what fun things could we do around Pensacola.  She had never been, but had heard about this downtown Pensacola Elf Parade.  We now know that this simply means Santa and a few elves walk around a block and the kids walk with them.  But what we saw wasn't what was important.  What was important was spending fun quality time together as a family.  That we did.  We all went to dinner, then headed over to the parade.
 They had Frosty, Rudolph, and Santa for the kids to pose with.
 Of course Riley was the only one that would pose with the characters, but wasn't he cute?
Then they had SNOW!  Well Florida kind of snow (Soap Bubbles!)  The kids loved it!!

Alex loves her Papaw!
 Riley liked the view too, but his legs kept going to sleep. 
Afterward we wandered around downtown for a little bit and then stopped in a bakery for yummy cupcakes and hot chocolate.  Not what we expected, but a successful evening to say the least.


Keller always gives us the whole week of Thanksgiving off.  This is fabulous because it gives us a whole week to spend in Pensacola with Randy's family.  This year Randy had to work Monday & Tuesday.  So Mom, Dad, & I took advantage of the weekday discount (with no school the next day) to see Ice!  at the Gaylord. 
This year's theme is Shrek the Halls, which by the way is Alex's favorite Christmas show.  We have literally watched it at least 5 times a week, since we dvr'd it the Sunday before Thanksgiving. So it was a could not miss!
Yes, when they say it is cold, they do mean COLD!  We were all bundled up in our hats, mittens, heavy coats, plus their ICE provided coats and were still cold.  But the kids really enjoyed it.
3 little donkeys! I mean 1 donkey and 2 sweet kids!

So amazing what they can do with ice & color!
Then toward the end they had a ice slide.  The adult line had a decent line so us adults only rode it once.  But the kid line (under 6) was a shorter slide and way shorter line.  So my 2 monkeys raced up and slid down the ice slide over and over.  They had so much fun.  I was really glad that we had not spent the extra $10 to ride the big snow hill just outside the exhibit.  My kids had a blast on the ice slide and it was included in the cost of the ICE exhibit.

It was a great evening. Afterward we wandered around and admired the beautiful Christmas decorations around the Gaylord.


As usual the kids were more interested in being goofy than actually posing. 
 And as usual the kids went from loving each other to trying to strangle each other in a matter of moments.  But isn't that what they tell me siblings is all about??

Saturday, November 26, 2011


11-11-11 was the day Randy's cousin, Jason and his beautiful wife Danielle decided to get married.  That meant that we got to take 2 days off of work and travel to beautiful Alabama to experience the wedding.  First of all, I love weddings anyway.  We don't get to go to many anymore, because most of our friends are married.  Since this was a family wedding, we brought the kids.  Not my choice of how to have fun at a wedding, but the Farris family would have killed us, if we hadn't brought them.  Randy's Aunt Becky hadn't seen Riley since he was 4 months old and of course never seen Alex.  But it also game me an excuse to buy them some pretty new clothes.
The wedding took place at Lake Guntersville State Park.  It was an outdoor wedding, which of course turned out to be really cold.  But the skies were blue, sun shining, and seemed to warm up during the ceremony.  I can't say as much for during all the picture taking.   But what a breathtaking background.
I have seen alot of pictures of fall follage, but I have never truly experienced fall in the east.  It was beautiful.  Now if I can just figure out a way to get time off from teaching and see this every year. Although that mountain of schoolwork when I got back, reminded me why I don't!
A couple of handsome Farris men waiting for the wedding to begin....
Then some beautiful Farris women to round out the pictures.
We truly had so much fun, just hanging out as one big family.
More Farris men...This is my father in law Richard with all his brothers.  I felt it was really important to take some of these pictures along with the photographer.  The Farris family doesn't really get into all the pictures.  But I have watched my own family get smaller and smaller each year and feel the need to document some fun times together as well as that family heritage.  I think the last time I saw all these men together was our wedding 7 years ago.

Then the goofy next generation.  This picture just makes me crack up.

The parent's generation

The stunning bride & groom

The Farris Family

Then while we were waiting for the reception to begin and pictures to end, we wandered around to the empty reception room.  Of course my kids had to take advantage of the empty dance floor.

While it was a super fun day for all the adults, my kids got really tired.  With the wedding at 2 & a big breakfast, we didn't really eat lunch so they were starving by the time we got to dinner at the reception.  Plus no time for a nap for Alex and I was setting my self up for a disaster.  I thought she would be fine once the music started, because she LOVES to dance.  But I guess she was just too tired.  She whined practically the whole reception.

 Don't get me wrong we all still had lots of fun and the kids did enjoy themselves. Just not as much fun as I expected them to have.  The last wedding we went to they had a blast dancing on the dance floor.

  Randy and I took turns ignoring her and were determined to have fun anyway. We still did alot of dancing and we tried to ply her with sugar (wedding cake & cheesecake), but eventually we just had to give in and go to bed when both of them were begging to go to sleep. 

Friday, November 25, 2011

Let's Go Racin Boys!

The first weekend in November means two things, either my husband is gone hunting or else we are at the track all weekend.  Luckily for me, most of the time we are at the track.  Back in our younger days, we camped out, partied all weekend, and went to all 3 races.  Now we make it to 2 out of 3, sleep at home, and bring Riley.  Friday night that is exactly what we did.  Riley has always loved racing cars.  When he was little he used to watch the beginning & end of Cars over and over and scream GO the whole time.  So it only seems fair that we take him to see real race cars.  But the races are SO EXPENSIVE.  Our compromise, take him to the truck races on Friday night.  The race is shorter, and all 3 of us can go for the price of one ticket to Nascar.  Riley loves it, but he does begin to get bored just as the race is nearing the end. For now, that makes the truck races perfect for him.
Somehow Randy kept making fun of me for being on my phone, specifically facebook.  But the race was kind of boring.  All the action happened in the first 30 laps and I was downstairs trying to get the scanner to work.  Grr!
Sunday, I was not on my phone.  That was when my driver was running.  Love Kasey Kahne!!  Here is my father in law, Richard, and Ryan enjoying the race. Ryan is actually looking at the scanner in this picture, although he looks like he is sleeping. :)
We saw alot of this on that Sunday.  But considering the championship came down to Tony Stewart and Carl Edwards racing it out, that was pretty fitting.  Although extrememly quick, with very few cautions, it was a good race and a fun day.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Halloween 2011

Halloween night was relatively uneventful, but still fun.  We came home after school and enjoyed our new tradition, Sonic 50 cent corn dogs and 50 cent drinks.  Love it, especially on a night that I don't want to spend all evening cooking. Then we got dressed up and headed out to start our evening.
 My mischievious princess!


 For the first time ever, our trick or treating consisted completely of walking.  Every other year, we have ridden the four wheeler or the Ranger.  But this year the temps were warm and all of their legs are getting longer.  Plus we figured they didn't really need that much candy.  So we walked all the way down to the end of our street and back, caught up with a few neighbors, and headed home to call it an evening.  So much fun!

Trunk or Treat

Sunday night before Halloween is our church's Trunk or Treat.  This year our church made a big push to invite alot of the community.  Consequently they were strongly encouraging all the Sunday school classes to have more than one trunk and LOTS of candy.  That is exactly what it meant to my kids.  LOTS of candy.  Who needs to go trick or treating with the ridiculous amount of candy they brought home.  But don't worry we still trick or treated the next night too.
 Alex was actually old enough to try some of the games.  Although they were not quite as exciting as just getting more candy!
Riley is definitely old enough to try the games and is almost more interested in playing the games than in just taking the candy. 

I just love checking out all the themes by each classes trunk.  This year our class did a Harry Potter theme.  I don't have a picture of me, but I did get this one of Randy.  The only problem was we were both melting in long sleeve shirts, sweaters, and our cloaks. By the way, Randy is just holding Alex's candy.  He wasn't actually trick or treating himself. 

Pumpkin Patch

We really have been busy for the last month, that probably is not a good excuse for not blogging for the last month.  But it is all I've got.  I have to go back and post these pics though because I love Halloween so much!  I took the kids to the pumpkin patch for the first time ever all by myself.  My parents were in Washington D.C., and Randy was working out of town.  The weather was beautiful and I decided I could handle it.  I did handle it perfectly fine, although it wasn't quite as much fun without someone else to talk to.
 These are two of the pictures that I require every year.  I just love to compare how much they grow and change over a year.
Then Alex insisted that she get her face painted.  Riley DID NOT want to, but then when I made him stand in line anyway, he forced himself to get a witch. :)

 The favorite part remains the bounce houses.  It doesn't really matter to the kids how long the lines were, they just wanted to bounce down the slide.  Yes I did say bounce, because that is what they did, not

We finished up our fun day by taking just a few more pictures with the pumpkins.
By this point they were both getting tired and getting a little silly.  So I don't have the perfect picture of the two of them, but they were having fun.