Wednesday, December 26, 2012

CHRISTmas 2012

This Christmas I really tried to be in the moment. Its so easy to miss it behind the camera. I took some pictures of the kids... none posed or frame worthy but precious in their own way. This was definitely a Christmas to remember but instead of paragraphs of details, I'll highlight it with the candid pictures I did snap. Thankfully, the joy and excitement my kids experienced will forever be ingrained in my memory.

We started the festivities with our annual Happy Birthday Jesus party with a few friends on Friday the 21st. 
On Christmas Eve, Lester left the kids their Christmas Eve PJs. I (I mean Lester) couldn't resist these Santa and Elf jammies.

We spent Christmas Eve at my parent's house. I'm SO glad we opened their presents then or I think Christmas Day would have been really overwhelming. 1st we ate a delicious lunch of steak and then headed to Christmas service at church. Parker did AMAZING sitting in service and Avery was tolerable. They may have consumed an entire bag of pretzel sticks and Avery did yell "YAY!" after every song... and army crawl under the pews BUT I was pleased we never had to take either out to roam the halls. 

As usual, the kids were wildly blessed (also known as spoiled!) with gifts!
Avery riding Parker's scooter
Parker shooting Aunt Kathy with a Nerf gun
The kids love my parent's dog, Peyton!

I told them, "Let's get a picture with Pey Pey" and this is how they posed themselves! haha

Daniel and my dad
 We drove home and got the kids settled in bed before we poured some wine and started trampoline installation! We said goodbye to our dining room table (aka Avery's dance studio) and replaced it with a ridiculous looking 7 foot indoor trampoline. We are parents of the year.... but no one without toddlers is allowed in our home or they'll make fun of us! haha

Daniel woke up first so excited to show the kids their presents but I made him go back to sleep until Avery woke up. She woke up way too early also so she watched a super why episode in our bed before we woke Mr. P up. 
The proverbial sitting on the step waiting to see what Santa brought picture!
Eyeing their loot!
Santa brought Avery a cottage
Santa brought Parker lots of new Thomas Trains including a TALKING DIESEL 10!!!! It's ALL he's wanted! He got a wooden one AND a die cast one! He must have been a VERY good boy!
Le Tired. They'll sleep one day, right?!
My parents and grandparents came to our house for lunch on Christmas Day. I SLAVED over a Stouffer's lasagna and Texas toast that I served on paper plates. Only the best for my sweet family!
My mom, dad and sister (who flew in from NYC!)
My grammie and grandaddy
Kelly, my mom and myself
Once they left, Avery napped and the rest of us recoperated a bit before round 3! Daniel's mom, boyfriend and our nephew came for dinner and MORE presents!
Blue Mountain Quarry was also a big hit with Parker!
I was sideways exhausted at this point and totally gave up on picture taking! The kids had a good time and played until they were WAY overtired! Once in bed, they were OUT...until 4:45am when they both woke up for the day to play with their toys! WHEW! It was an EARLY morning that looked a lot like this...
Parker playing trains, Avery pantless walking imaginary dogs on a leash and Thomas on the TV!

Another BLESSED WONDERFUL CHRISTmas at the Wise household!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas from the Wise Family!

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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Day Parker Slept through his Preschool Christmas Program

Tonight was Parker's preschool Christmas program. Unfortunately it was at 7pm and we have a pretty strict 7-7:30 bedtime. We decided to go anyways since he had been practicing for it and seemed enthusiastic to yell "NO!" when asked "hide it under a bushel?" Parker's class sang "This Little Light of Mine" and by "Parker's class" I mean 2 little girls, a background tape and their teacher. I adore watching toddlers sing, stare, dance, lift up their dresses, cry etc on stage.... there isn't much cuter than a preschool program!

Last year Parker was placed on stage, didn't sing a word, didn't move an inch and was carried off stage when their song as done. This year, we made strides.... Parker walked on and off stage by himself. Maybe next year he'll smile.... or sing a word or 2. He is his father's child.... stage performance is not his forte. To be totally honest, I thought it was adorable. I mean, seriously... check out the face:
His class was all wearing light up star headbands (Parker was clearly thrilled)
Parker fell asleep in the car on the way to the program. He woke up when we dropped him off to his teacher but apparently fell back asleep in her arms until this song. After their song, he went back to sleep in her arms where he remained through the rest of the program including the finale:
Look under the "C" in Christmas. That's Ms. Monica holding a floppy and totally asleep Parker. Bless her! We love Ms. Monica!  
Parker's head is drooped over into the Christmas tree picture passed out while 105 kids sing "Good News" around him. Bless his heart he slept through it!
While this is not the Christmas program we expected to see tonight, it couldn't have been more perfect in my eyes.  It was such a reminder of the sweet innocence of children. A sleepy little boy who just couldn't stay awake any longer asleep in the arms of his precious teacher surrounded by his friends lifting their voices to the Lord spreading the "Good News" of Jesus' birth. From the mouths (and snores) of babes....

Sunday, December 9, 2012

I made a meal... and it was good!

I can PROMISE you this blog will NEVER turn into a cooking blog but every now and then when the recipe gods cut me some slack and let something good come out of my oven that isn't met "was this another pinterest attempt?" I might just have to share it. Before I divulge this goodness, does anyone else have that problem?!?.... it looks SOOO good on Pinterest and then you try and and it taste nasty, cooks wrong or falls apart? I feel the same way about 90% of the crafts... especially those darn wreaths.... mine always look super DIY gone wrong.

Enough self deprecating... I made a dinner... and it was good... and healthy.... YAY me!

This recipe is from Skinny Taste and you can find it here.  I've also copied it below but the link has helpful pictures for us visual learners.

 Sausage Stuffed Zucchini Boats

Servings: 8 • Size: 1 boat • Old Points: 3 pts • Points+: 4 pts
Calories: 153 • Fat: 7 g • Protein: 12.8 g • Carb: 9 g • Fiber: 2 g • Sugar: 2 g
Sodium: 372 mg


  • 1 1/4 cups quick marinara sauce
  • 4 (31 oz total) medium zucchini
  • 1 tsp oil
  • 1/2 small onion, finely diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 14 oz lean Italian chicken sausage, removed from casing (Al Fresco)
  • 1/2 cup part skim shredded mozzarella (Polly-O)
  • 8 tsp grated Parmesan cheese

Bring a large pot of water to boil.
Preheat oven to 400°. Cut zucchini in half lengthwise and using a spoon or melon baller, scoop out flesh, leaving 1/4" thick. Chop the scooped out flesh of the zucchini in small pieces and set aside.
Drop zucchini halves in boiling water and cook 1 minute. Remove from water.

Place 1/4 cup of sauce in the bottom of a 9 x 12" baking dish, and place zucchini halves cut side up.
In a large saute pan, brown sausage, breaking up as it cooks into smaller pieces until browned; set aside. Heat oil and add onion, garlic and bell pepper. Cook on a medium-low heat for about 2-3 minutes, until onions are translucent. Add chopped zucchini, season with salt and pepper and cook about 2-3 minutes. Combine with sausage and cook a few more minutes.

Using a spoon, fill each hollowed zucchini with 1/3 cup cooked sausage, pressing firmly. Top each with 2 tablespoons each of sauce, 1 tablespoon each of shredded mozzarella cheese and 1 teaspoon each of Parmesan cheese. Cover with foil and bake 35 minutes until cheese is melted and zucchini is cooked through. 

I made a few changes... I used a yummy classico marinara sauce instead of the one they suggest you make just because I was short on time. I also accidentally used hot (spicy) chicken sausage but it turned out AMAZINGLY yummy and I will probably use it again....even Avery liked it. I also only baked it for 25 minutes because my cheese was nice and melted at that point. 

You must try this even of you don't like zucchini. I like zucchini and didn't even taste it. { may be able to get your kiddies to eat it} It is yummy yummy! This made enough to have left overs the next day and they were equally as good as the first day! 

We're having good days and bad days with cooking. In order for Parker to be able to eat this, I would need to use non spicy meat and no cheese on his boat. As of now, he would not eat this but I offered him a bite and he declined. I believe he ate almond butter toast and blueberries when I made this. I'm trying! We have days where I feel like super mom and days where I feel like he's surviving on applesauce, fruit and GF cereal. Day by day, right?! 

Now go buy yourself some zucchinis!

Saturday, December 8, 2012


This morning our neighborhood had it's annual Christmas Breakfast. Since this is our 1st year in the new hood, we were excited to go! Everyone brought breakfast foods. I signed up for doughnuts. Helpful tip... Harris Teeter clearances their doughnuts out around 7pm so we went last night and got 3 dozen for $9. Score one for mom. I cut them in halves and we were good to go! We went for quantity instead of quality since some of our previous neighborhood meals have been lacking. At Easter, if you weren't in the first half of the line you were left eating garnish. Thankfully, most people thought like me and there must have been hundreds of doughnuts, cinnamon rolls, eggs, casseroles, and muffins! More than enough... even for 2nds!

The kids were dressed in their Christmas duds and we strolled down the street!
The kids ate their weight in doughnuts (even Parker... we let him cheat the wheat restriction and he's doing fine) and then played with all of the other neighborhood kids on the hill. Parker rolled down the hill a few times and through a mud puddle, thus the muddy pants in the next few pictures.

Santa arrived on a firetruck and Parker surprised us by actually being excited!

We were certain that Parker would be afraid of Santa as he has been in the past years but he actually got giddy! Santa handed out candy canes and then went to his chair. We starting talking to Parker about how he had to tell Santa what he wanted for Christmas so when it was his turn he stood 3 feet from Santa and yelled "A Thomas Play Set! Thank you!"
We convinced him that it only worked if you sat on Santa's lap and surprisingly he obliged!
Note the muddy pants.
The next strand of pictures are my favorite! Every kid needs a set of these. It's the "You are CREEPY and I will NOT sit on your lap Santa shots....

Avery recovered with a candy cane that her face really enjoyed:
We had a wonderful breakfast with Santa! It got us in such a Christmas spirit that this evening we put on our Christmas PJs, made some peppermint coffee and drove around looking at lights and inflatables. Ho Ho Ho! 2 1/2 weeks until Christmas!!!!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Mommy Fail

Do you ever have days where things are just funny... or SO wrong but still worth laughing at? I feel like that's been my last 24 hours. Full of mommy failures that thankfully aren't bad enough to be defining moments in their precious lives (at least I hope not) but that sure make me giggle. I suppose this is sort of along the lines of my confessions from yesterday which always seem to be the most popular blog posts. I'm starting to feel like y'all like to read about my failures.  The good news is, I usually get a fun facebook thread going of yours too which makes airing my dirty laundry SO worth it!

I'll start with last night....

5-7pm are the witching hours.... can I get an amen. The hubs had to work late which meant I was home alone to make dinner, applique 4 shirts by the next morning, pack lunches, bake cookies, get the kids in the tub and to bed alone. I can do it but usually not gracefully. Last night a sweet friend dropped by unannounced to bring me my tastefully simple order.... a bucket of margarita mix.... so clearly she was welcomed with warm hugs and an invitation in.... to find my son in his pajamas eating "breakfast for dinner" aka.... fruity pebbles while playing on the iPad. A fine moment indeed... but it gets worse. Avery spent half our conversation eating her dinner sitting on the kitchen table while I chatted with my friend by my kitchen island which looked like a small sewing sweat shop. Only until she left did I also realize my outfit for the day... bra and undies included were on my counter top  (hold judgement).. because... I tried on a prom dress for my husband in he kitchen while he was rushing out the door for work. It's the truth... I promise... but I can only imagine what she must be thinking.

This morning I went upstairs to start a load of laundry and left Avery (big mistake) downstairs stacking blocks like a baby genius in a cute little Mud Pie outfit. When I returned, I found her pantsless, with the fridge door  open, chowing down on a hot dog. Who doesn't love a cold hot dog at 9:30am? It was one of those "the deed is already done" moments so of course, I snapped a picture... and then confiscated her hot dog... by giving it to the poor dog who waited so patiently for her to drop it.

I turned on a DVRed Curious George episode while I did a fridge clean out. Apparently that was unacceptable viewing material because I later found she had changed the channel to a Jerry Springer episode entitled "I'd rather have sex with her." Whoops. I counteracted it with a quick showing of "Praise Baby.... My Father's World." Obviously the later stuck because when we were at lunch she sang her prayer with great delight and screamed "YAY Jesus!" for all of Qdoba to hear.

Which brings me to my next failure... Avery and I ate Qdoba 2 days in a row for lunch. I unbuttoned my jeans in the process of polishing off my queso burrito. In my defense, I'm wearing my "boots jeans." You know, the pair that makes your legs and butt look GREAT but they may cause mini muffin tops so you wear jackets and tunics to hide that and still look cute? Yeah.. that pair... so I unbuttoned the top button and haven't buttoned it back yet but once again the burrito was life changing and totally worth it. Also life changing is this bag of popcorn from Trader Joes which I've hidden in my house away from the kids. FACT.

Picking up Parker from school can cause me serious anxiety. Lets just say the teachers have been receiving a lot of Starbucks gift cards lately and I've been doing a lot of post-school laundry. Today while in the pick up line, the Christmas Shoes song came on and I immediately changed it. That song is to radio as The ASPCA commercials are to TV... you change it or end up a tearful mess and out $20 from your donation to the first charity you come across. I changed the station to the next button on my preset, picked Parker up, chatted with the teacher about how he's in the pants I sent him to school in (PRAISE the Baby Jesus!) and pulled up to the "buckle up" section.... which is when I realized the lyrics to the song playing were something along the lines of "your Sex is like a paradise." I didn't get the whole gist because I flung myself into the front seat from the back seat to quickly change it back to "Christmas Shoes" but the damage was done... I picked my son up from his Christian preschool at a church to a song about sex.... Fabulous. 

Since I have been totally rocking out motherhood in the last 24 hours, this afternoon will be filled with lots of "Jesus loves me," Pinterest sensory bags and a home cooked meal prepared in a family heirloom apron.... except not really.

My sister and I enjoy texting each other funny pictures... Here is todays:

Got any good mommy fails to share?!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Midweek Confessional

It's been a while since we've done some confessing! I hope you'll join with me by commenting below or on the fb thread where I post my blog!

Ok... lets dive in....

1. As you may know, we're on a pretty strict new diet since Parker was diagnosed with food allergies. We're still trying to figure it all out and it's a big learning curve. I've definitely made some mistakes but I'm now working with a nutritionist to help me out. While we were on the phone with each other yesterday, she mentioned food I need to purge from my pantry to "heal our bodies" such as coffee.... which I was consuming while on the phone with her and alcohol.... which I enjoyed a glass (or 2) of when the kids went to bed.... so I'm off to a great start...

2. When Parker is in school, I consume a weeks worth of carbs. Today, Avery and I stopped by Qdoba for lunch and it was so good I took a picture of my burrito that weighed about as much as Avery. I believe the phrase "just smoother it in cheese sauce" may have been spoken while I was ordering. I ate every bite and regretted not adding chips and queso to my order.

3. I'm TERRIBLE at Elf on the Shelf.... he's currently riding our knife set. Totally appropriate, right?! I have also "tanned" him on the toaster, hung him upside down on the chandelier and made it look like he was stealing Parker's fruit snacks. The only problem is that I forget to do it most nights so I'm always telling Parker "looks like you've got a few more minutes to make a good impression on him before he goes and tells Santa!" Then, when P isnt looking, I move him.  I'm pretty sure I'm ruining the magic of this little game by constantly forgetting. BUT.... lets be honest... Parker is still totally uninterested in Santa. He thinks Santa is what you call the inflatables in people's yards. He thinks mommy and daddy give him presents on Christmas because it's Jesus' birthday and for some reason Jesus gives his birthday presents to Parker. He doesn't quite have the concept down yet but that's alright with me!

4. I don't floss... ever.... I went to the dentist this week and thanked her for my every 6 month flossing. I'm not sure she was amused but maybe she was charmed by my honesty.

5. Speaking of the dentist.... y'all know I'll befriend a brick wall so the hygienist and I were chatting since the TVs were down (ie.... the only good reason to go to the dentist.... 45 mins of non-cartoon TV!) and we discovered we're neighbors. She dropped by prom dresses for me to try on for a party I'm going to this weekend and we talked for an hour. I'm very pleased to have a new friend even if it does mean I feel pressure to floss... I've also discovered that I am no longer a "junior" and prom dresses and I aren't friends. I'd also like to add that brides are evil because I've been trying on my fair share of borrowed bridesmaids dresses in hopes that one won't be awful and it's just not the case. No, we won't be able to "wear them again!"  Where do you wear a satin lavender, floor length, side ruched dress, bride?  No where!

6. Back to our elf... we named him Lester... Lester Lester the Child Molester to be exact.... and I wish it hadn't "stuck" but it did. We had a very sweet moment on Thanksgiving where we read the book and explained the elf and asked the kids to name him. Avery so sweetly said "Jesus" which is what she calls every man. Parker said "no thanks!" because Christmas isn't his thing until he gets a present or Christmas cookie. Daniel announced that he looks like a pedophile which is sadly true... he's a creepy little thing and the concept of him staring at you all day is a little peeping Tomish. That spun off it's own conversation of calling him Chris Hanson (to catch a predator... remember that show?... "I'm just here to be a father figure and the beer and condoms are totally not for her.." Yeah right creepo...) Anyways... that spun into Lester Lester the child molester and then Parker picked up "Lester".... Whoops. Why couldn't we have named him something cute like "Jingle" or "Elvis" or "Buddy".... anything but LESTER!
 What did you name your elf? Do you have any good ideas other than sitting him on your knives because clearly I've got that one covered.

Your turn!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Thanksgiving 2012!

We spent Thanksgiving at my parents house in North Charlotte. It was GLORIOUS! The weather was perfect so we spent most of the day outside playing. The food was good and the company was better! My grandparents from Atlanta, aunt from Georgia, uncle from Fayetteville and sister from NYC all came. My parents needed a group picture for their Christmas card and despite the instant hives I felt start to surface due to group picture anxiety, they got 2 fairly usable ones. Hey, we're all in the photo even if only 1 kid is looking in each picture! Considering a 12 year old took these with my DSLR, it's a Thanksgiving miracle they came out this good!

My parents live across from a park. Avery loves the slides and swings but they weren't so good to her on this day!
This didn't end so well....
You may see a mulch pit barrier.... Parker sees train tracks!
Parker had SO much fun this Thanksgiving. He was feeling better and had so much energy! He created a game called "crash and bash" where the rules were very simple..... ride a small firetruck down a hill and crash. This game entertained him for at least an hour. 
Seeing my sister was definitely one of the highlights of my Thanksgiving!
I love this picture of my parents! If only Peyton would sit!
Avie's face had a rough Thanksgiving after 3 separate falls but she sure loved the extra attention and constant hip surfing! 

If every Thanksgiving could be as relaxing and fun as this one, I'd be one happy mama!

The list of things I am thankful for is longer than Santa's "nice list." It would start with the obvious answers like "God, my marriage, my kids, my parents, our home" and would end with something like "International Delight iced coffee, Cottonelle, Shutterfly and squeaky shoes." What I'm most thankful for recently are answers and solutions for Parker's tummy problems. He's a totally different kid and I couldn't be more thrilled to have my happy, healthy 3 year old buddy back! We let him splurge at Thanksgiving with a few bites of things he shouldn't have and he immediately broke into a full body rash and his stomach became distended, just confirming what we now know: Our little man has allergies and in order for him to feel best we've committed to removing eggs, dairy, wheat and soy from his (and mostly our) diets. It's TOUGH but I'm thankful for an answer to prayer for Parkerman. Thank you, Jesus! Amen!

Onto Christmas!