Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Assorted Activities

As Allie's week with us has come to a close, I thought it appropriate to post some additional photos from our week together in Florida. We've done a TON in such a short time, but it has been such a blast. She is such a special person and we just all love our time together so much.

We've watched quite a few movies including Disney's "Earth," one of Al's favorites.
cozy on the sofa watching a movie
To Allie's disappointment we only got to spend ONE day at the beach due to the wind and cold temperatures, but it was fun while it lasted. :)
playing at the beach
half way to China!
It's only appropriate that Songbird the indian would have a nice, comfy pair of moccasins...
new moccasins!
We gave Allie a hand-carved bow and arrow for her birthday and she LOVES that thing. She's gotten really good at it actually.

the archer
the buffalo bow
the arrow
After our costume dinner party, Allie added my costume to hers (plus the turkey headband!) and continued practicing with the bow and arrow...

We also spent a fun morning at Freedom Playground. This playground was designed and built while I was in elementary school and it's still super fun.

Zach and Al
Allie built a fort in the front yard with a variety of natural "scraps" as I call them - branches, leaves, moss, bark, etc. She's one nature girl! 

Amazingly, there's still stuff we did I DON'T have photos of, but this is enough I think. :) Video stuff is to come once I have time to work on it... :)

Al, we miss you already and can't wait to spend another week with you after Christmas! Love you girl :)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Creative Cats Unite

I come from a family that oozes creativity. In addition to building my parent's house and a lot of furniture, my dad is a painter and artist of large scale graphics (and some smaller scale stuff too). My mom knows how to do everything from sewing to ceramics. My sister is also just as crafty- knitting, sewing, making jewelry and the like. I have always felt the least creative of the bunch, but I am so glad Allie can benefit and be exposed to all the creative skills and abilities that are apart of our family. It is a blessing that we all know how to do different things that can nurture her creative tendencies and interests.

For Al's birthday my sister knitted her the cutest beanie cap. Lindsay made me a cap a few years ago, but it was much simpler compared to this fabulous piece of fashion.

My great-grandmother was actually a legit artist. From what I've been told she was quite a unique woman- creative, eccentric, and a world traveler. I've seen many of her detailed creations scattered about my grandparent's tables and walls. "Tootie", as she was called by her grandchildren, ( and for your reference it is pronounced "two tee") taught my mom how to do everything from drawing, to painting, to sewing and crocheting, to ceramics, etc. Because of this she inherited quite of bit of Tootie's art stuff including this enormous set of soft pastels.

Allie had a great time working with the vintage chalk and her limitless imagination. We are so impressed with Al's ability to visually articulate what she wants to draw on the very first attempt with NO erasing. She has an amazing eye for detail, scale, and perspective especially when it comes to drawing animals.

Mom of course still loves to do art so she joined in the fun and helped Allie with a fall scene...

Al's apple
the sign of an artist
Bella's portrait
It is always fun and interesting to see what Allie comes up with. I feel like she has the potential to be more creative and talented than all of us combined! I can't wait for her to be back after Christmas and able to finish up her projects! For now she is out in the yard building a fort out of Christmas tree limbs, dried palm branches, spanish moss, and bark. Nothing will stop that girl! Ha!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Thankful Thursday

I come from a family that is all about tradition and Thanksgiving is no exception. Each year about 25 of my family members get together in DeLand to celebrate the holiday and time with family, eating the same favorite holiday dishes, taking the same post-Thanksgiving nap, and enjoying the same family company. It's nice to know somethings never change. :) Here's a look at our Joiner/Dart/Wilkin/ now Greenhaw Thanksgiving. :) It's Zach's favorite holiday due to all the eating so appropriate attention must be paid to all the delicious dishes made by my family members!

On Wednesday the festivites began when Allie and I baked "Jam Up" cookies that we call the "gourmet pop tart" cookies. Ha! They are oatmeal pecan cookies with jam inside (apple, strawberry, or blackberry jam). Yum. For our baking extravaganza, mom got Allie the cutest gingerbread man apron...

... and made the cutest "Allie" button to go with it...

We had a great time making, rolling, cutting, and assembling the cookie dough. The cookies turned out AWESOME and were so delicious! Everyone loved them, especially Zach.

Thanksgiving morning began with Zach and Allie walking around the nearby woods looking for animal tracks. My parents have many wild animals near their house including raccoons, armadillos, and even a bear. 
morning rays at mom and dad's
talking about bear tracks
Lunch was had at Aunt Susan's house (next door to mom and dad's)...

love these rolls
my grandma's beautiful carrot cake
We like to name the Pilgrim shakers so Allie named these "Samuel and Hatia"
Many tables were placed throughout the house to seat all the family. We sat in the main dining room...
L to R: Granddaddy, Steve, Mom, Ginny, Lindsay, Allie, Ian, Zach
my sister Lindsay having a very interesting convo with Al
my brother-in-law Steve and cousin Ginny
mom, granddaddy, and grandma
It was our first Thanksgiving with Allie and of course she stole the show with her cuteness and beautiful personality...

in the door wreath
funny faces smashed on the glass
I took a few legit photos for some of my family and got this great shot of Zach and Al in the process...

Here's a few I took of Aunt Susan, Uncle Lloyd, and Gin... oh and Murphy the beagle too!

Their Christmas card photo
As Thanksgiving came to a close, Allie got to play with my sister's two dogs, Bella and Rosie. Allie loves these guys and playing in the backyard so much! 

Al in the yard
All in all we all had a great Thanksgiving day and are so thankful for many things, especially each other.