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!!!!