Thursday, November 29, 2012


This year I took the kids to Shreveport for the entire week of Thanksgiving. Since Ross recently changed jobs, he doesn't have much vacation saved up, and I have an excess, which made this the perfect opportunity to spend some extra time with old friends and family!

We ate at some of our favorite restaurants, and I finally got to introduce Jackson and Audrey to Sara Beth, who is the daughter of one of my bridesmaids and best friends from high school, Brandi. I also took them by my dad's office to see what he does and to get to catch up with a sorority sister that works with my dad, Rachel. The funny story from that excursion was when we left his office, which is in downtown Shreveport, to go to lunch, Jackson asked why we weren't getting in the car to go somewhere...he's never been somewhere you could WALK from one place to another. What a concept!

We brought Jackson's scooter with us and spent some time at the park down the street. It was perfect weather, and it was fun to be somewhere with color in the trees!

Ross drove up Wednesday night, and we spent Thanksgiving day with my mom's side of the family. We had lots of delicious food and lots of fun visiting and playing! My cousin, Stephanie, who is an all-star mom, went all out and had turkey hat crafts for the kids, which of course, meant Jackson became a little turkey! He also spent some time picking flowers, climbing on the wood pile, swinging, and playing chase, which allowed me to get a couple of sweet shots too.

Audrey was loving all of the pretty flowers around the yard, as well as twirling in her dress and swinging with anyone that would either swing with her or let her push.

Ross took a few photos too, which means I'm actually in some! I don't remember what he was doing, but I love the attitude Jackson has in the pic with me. My multi-talented cousin, Tiffany, even took a picture of the four of us that turned out great!

This is most of the Napper family. We missed my Aunt Barbara, Uncle Chad, Bud, and Meg, but we were grateful so many of us could get together this year! The pics below the big family pic are of my 1st cousin once removed, Andrew, who I seriously think could be a kid model...check out those eyes and the hair...and my beautiful cousins, Stephanie and Tiffany.

We avoided the Black Friday sales and made our way to SciPort for some fun. My dad joined us and helped us introduce the kids to all kinds of fun concepts!

My ADCO (Attitude Determination and Control Officer) friends from work would be proud...we even introduced Jackson to the concept of a gyroscope!

While we were enjoying time with family and friends and counting our blessings, we were also mourning the loss of my Mamaw, my dad's mom, who passed away early that week. I was glad to be able to be there with my dad and help him and my Aunt Kathy and Uncle Mike with funeral preparations. I loved spending the extra time with them and hearing some of their favorite memories of her. The funeral service on Saturday was really nice, and all three of my cousins were able to make it despite David and his wife, Rachel, just having a beautiful baby girl that Monday!

When my Papaw passed away, Audrey was born a few days later, and this time when my Mamaw passed away, we welcomed precious Abigail into the world. While we were all a little sad not to be able to share in more of their lives, Jackson was quick to remind us that Mamaw and Papaw are happy to be with God now!

The entire week was packed with good food and great people, which of course, means there are lots more pictures in the album!

Christmas Card Photo Shoot

We did an impromptu photo shoot for our Christmas cards just before Thanksgiving. They aren't as great as the ones we had done by a professional last year, but they were a lot more reasonably priced! Can you guess which one will appear on our Christmas card?

In an attempt to get the kids to both look at the camera and smile, we did some silly pics, which the kids loved! Jackson was in a much more cooperative mood than Audrey, but she loved putting on the mustache!

I was also able to snap a few pics of some genuinely happy smiles from each of them while they were playing around.

The rest of the pics are in the album for those that just can't get enough of these two!

Saturday, November 10, 2012


Halloween was a long, fun-filled day this year! It started with trick-or-treating for the younger kids at the day care in the morning. Jackson and the older classes passed out candy to Audrey and the younger kiddos, which was really cute. Then the older kids piled into the bus and did a little trick-or-treating around the JSC campus. Lots of co-workers and friends greeted the kids with smiles and candy!

Audrey chose to be a princess this year. Specifically, she chose to be Rapunzel, and because of her short hair, we deemed she was Rapunzel after her hair is cut off in the movie Tangled. She loved it! Her teachers asked if she could wear the costume everyday because she was more calm and a little princess.

Jackson chose to be Simba from the Lion King. When asked what Simba says, his most common replies were either the typical roar or a song from the movie, which is his current favorite. He has a knack for remembering songs, so he could sing most of several of the songs!

Audrey's class spent afternoon partying! Ross' mom spent the week with us, so she was there to enjoy the festivities. The teachers did a great job making this first class party a success. Audrey and her friends got to decorate their own sugar cookies (yes, I made them), play with "yucky stuff" (the insides of a pumpkin), and see a witch's brew (made from dried ice).

I'm very sad to say I lost the pictures from trick-or-treating at our house that evening. (Make sure you've gotten ALL of the pictures off before reformating your memory card...lesson learned I hope!) The kids had a ton of fun though. We made it around our small block and down the street before calling it quits. Audrey was a little scared of some of the scarier costumes, but both did great knocking on doors and saying trick-or-treat and thank you. I think the highlight of their evening was handing out some candy before going to bed. They loved being the one to give to others! It was definitely a long, fun day!

There are more pictures in the album from the fun at school.

Pumpkin Patch

The weekend before Halloween, we finally made it to the pumpkin patch near our house to select our pumpkins and, of course, to take some pictures! The kiddos both love wagons, so selecting a wagon was the first order of business. From there, Jackson was determined to find the perfect (and apparently the largest) bumpy pumpkin he could find, which didn't leave much room in the wagon for either of the kids!

As a side note, we've realized recently that Jackson has had a good growth spurt at some point. These pictures really make me realize just how much he's grown up this year! Audrey is also starting to get some hair and is simply beautiful inside and out!

Clara met us at the pumpkin patch and spent the night with us that evening, which meant she had to have her picture taken too. Isn't she adorable!

Here's a better perspective on the pumpkin Jackson chose, and a shot of the kids as an airplane flew by overhead...the Wings Over Houston air show was going on at the same time.

For fun that evening the kids decorated brownies. They all chose to make an owl with Oreos and candy corn. Here they each are with their creations!

The next day we attempted to carve the bumpy pumpkin. I say attempted because we broke THREE saws trying to do a very simple design. In the end, Ross brought me the saws-all, and I managed to create exactly what Jackson wanted. It wasn't all that pretty, but it was a little scary looking, which was what he was hoping for! I somehow lost my pictures of the final product, but I did get a few of the kids scooping the insides out.

There are a few more pictures in the album!

Fall Festival 2012

JSC's daycare had their Fall Festival the week before Halloween. The kiddos had fun getting their hair painted, playing games, and even doing a cupcake walk. I didn't get a lot of pictures because both Ross and I volunteered to help with the activities, but I was able to capture a few shots from my seat...

Old MacDonald Farm

In mid-October, Jackson's class went on a field trip to Old MacDonald Farm in Humble, TX. Audrey and I joined them for the fun! There were lots of animals to pet, a train to ride, a dirt pile to play in, a huge fort to run around on, and a pumpkin patch!

I was impressed with how well the animals handled the craziness! There were a lot of kiddos running in and out of each pin and even jumping and screaming at times. Jackson was determined to make sure each animal had plenty of hay and that each of his friends did exactly what they were supposed to...hmmm, I wonder if my controlling nature is rubbing off on him?

We saw one goat that escaped from it's home. It was having lots of fun visiting the other animals and occasionally chasing a kid...we steered clear of it!

I'm not sure Jackson will ever grab a bull by the horns, but he wasn't afraid to grab the horns of a goat!

Audrey really enjoyed hanging out with the big kids, and they loved having her there. They were extremely helpful to both her and me! They made sure to show her what to do with each of the animals, held her hand when she got scared, and had lots of fun running and playing with her!

They also got to ride a horse! Audrey was a little too nervous, but Jackson was all about it! He did great being guided around the ring.

Jackson and Audrey rode the train twice because they loved it so much. It took them around all of the animals, but I think they enjoyed waving at the people the most. After our last train ride we found a spot by the horses and free range deer to play a little and waive at the next set of passengers.

The farm was a great Fall experience, and they each got to take home a small pumpkin! There are more pics in the album!

From there we met up with our friends, The Fulliloves, and headed north to Dallas to spend the weekend at Great Wolf Lodge. Unfortunately, I didn't take ANY pictures while we were there, but we had a ton of fun!

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Leakey in October

Ross' dad, John, was buried in Leakey, TX at their family cemetery on October 13, 2012. I posted pictures from the service in my post about John, but I didn't post these pictures of Jackson after the service. He was clearly in a reflective and curious mood.

While we were there, we spent a couple of days reminiscing and enjoying the beautiful weather and scenery. Our nephew, Mitchell, has a fun 4-wheeler all the kids enjoyed. Jackson had fun being the older sibling/cousin and driving everyone around!

Leakey is beautiful in October! When the sun is setting, you get a really beautiful golden glow you won't see in the middle of Houston! These pictures of my favorite people are from the fields on Susan and John's property, The Three Oaks ranch.

I attempted to get some sibling pics while the kiddos were dressed up and wearing their boots. I don't know how professional photographers get both kids looking at the camera and smiling at the same time! Here's what I managed to get...

There are a few more pictures in the album.