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Vineyard Chats is a blog created by the owner of Vineyard Farms and Vineyard Real Estate Group. Here, you will find product reviews for local and international items, and ways to give in your community and across the globe!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Snow in GA!

Oh, Snowy Night!

On Wednesday, January 16th, it was SNOWING in Georgia!!!
Ashi had been asleep, and she woke up to her first SNOWFLAKES!

Avery had been napping as well, and she was THRILLED to see the snowflakes!

Ashi looks out the window to watch the snow

The 3 big kids are staring out the front door, contemplating whether or not enough will fall for them to play in!

Ashi is all bundled up to go out in the snow!

Courtney makes a snowball!

Alex was living it up!

This must have been half of the snow from our yard!

I love this picture of Avery watching the snow fall!

Vaagen kids and neighbor kids having a ball!

"What is this stuff falling from the sky????!!!!?!?!"

Mom and Ashi... I think she's getting sleepy. Stimulation overload.

So we came inside and ate dinner, then had some yummy strawberries and cream!!

...and Avery found the whisk...

Then we enjoyed the nice fire Daddy made,

and the kids (and Dan!) tried snow cream for the very first time!ALMOST everyone loved it! Here is Ashi with crazy hair, eating her snow cream.But Courtney decided she would rather gnaw on an actual snowball!Avery asked for seconds! What a FUN night!!!

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Dan's project

The New Theatre

After Christmas, we went out and found a great deal on a huge TV. We brought it home, and Dan immediately went to work to transform what used to be our home gym into a home theatre! What a change, huh??? I am watching pounds hop right on to my thighs just by saying those words...

ANYWAY... he ran to Home Depot with plans in his head, and about 4 hours later, he has built stadium seating to hold the couch in the back of the room! He even made it into a storage unit to hold our blankets and board games!

The kids absolutely love this room, and we have already spent some seriously family time in here!

Unfortunately, Mosby loves the theatre too. He sits smack in the middle of the center couch, watching a movie. Dan said he didn't take into account having to look over a dog's head when he built the stadium seating platform!!
... But I have to have somewhere to exercise...

So then we cleaned out one of our basement storage areas and made it into the new gym. It's a work in progress, but I think it is coming together!

We had decided to take our house off the market before Christmas (we just love this area, and can't find another house that we like as much as this one!). Since he has built the theatre, if I ever re-listed the house, I think I would have to include Dan and at least some of the kids in the sale!

Come watch a movie with us soon!

New Year 2008!

Happy New Year!!!!!
"Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each new year find you a better man."
~Benjamin Franklin

Here we all are getting ready to make our rounds New Years Eve!!

This year, we continued the tradition of ringing in the new year with good friends and good neighbors. We party-hopped through the neighborhood, stopping at 3 different homes before returning to our own!

It was pretty chilly that night, so we were all bundled up...
The last stop was at our neighbor's, the Holbrooks, who share our cul-de-sac with us, and who also have 4 children. The kids shot off fireworks, and we all wore party hats and blew horns to ring in the new year!

This is Lisa Holbrook, probably handing out noise makers and party hats to the kids!

Here are Dan and Alex Holbrook setting off fireworks!

The kids had a great time staying up late and making too much noise! Courtney was definitely in her element!

Our neighbor Hannah Holbrook, holding Avery

Can you hear the noise through this picture??????


Avery looks a little worried... But check out her party garb!

It's midnight! Happy New Year!!!

What a great bunch to ring in a new year with!!! Here I am with all little guys...

Thanks to everyone who invited us to spend time with you and your family this new year's eve!
All of the kids managed to stay awake until 2008, but when we returned home, Ashlyn Belle crashed HARD! She is in the forefront of this picture, crashed out in our bed. Look at her mouth hanging open!!!

May you see God's grace in 2008, and may He bless you with His peace and good health.

Christmas Decorations

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like CHRISTMAS!!!!
Each year, I put out the same decorations for Christmas, and so many of them make me ridiculously happy! I get SOOOO excited to put them around the house!! So this year, I took pictures of them, so I can log on and see them whenever I need a little mid-year boost!

Our family room Christmas tree
This one has all the kids' handcrafted ornaments on it, along with the ones I have had since I was small, AND the ones that have been given to us as gifts (newlywed ornaments, new baby ones, and souvenirs from MeMe and PawPaw's travels).

Our Christmas tree in the office
This one shows from the street, and it has Thomas the Tank Engine and some of his friends circling around the bottom of it!


My mantle is definitely weighted down! Only some of the stockings are on the mantle in this picture, because normally there are 7. Every member of the family, including our black lab Mosby, has their own. Mosby's is in the shape of a bone, and has the picture of him and the kids with Santa from PetSmart on it.

The snowman paratrooper

Mom and Dad found this guy for us when we were first married, and couldn't resist buying it, since Dan was in the Army Airborne. This is definitely one of my favorite Christmas decorations! He sparks a lot of conversation in our house!

Christmas Village

This year, the village lacks a little to be desired! The table that holds my Christmas village is within perfect reach of little Ashlyn Belle's fingers! She is constantly pulling the "snow" off and scattering it throughout the house! But, that just makes her enjoy the decorations that much more, so it's OK. But normally, there is not blue painters tape showing through the village snow! :)

Santa Pictures

Dan's company throws a big Christmas party each year, and they have Santa come visit for pictures, and he gives all the kids a gift. I updated my Christmas pictures each year to include the photos. These are from last year.

The Elf on the Shelf

For those of you who do not have a resident elf, you just might consider yourself lucky! The girl who wrote the book went to UT, so you know it's a good tradition! :)

Our kids named our elf Quimby. He comes to visit us each year on Thanksgiving, and he watches to see if the kids are behaving or not. At night, he flies back to the North Pole to report good (and bad) deeds to Santa Clause. But the problem is, the elfs like to create mischeif around the house at night. When we wake up each morning, the kids have to go find what he has gotten in to, along with where he is hiding.
Some of the things he has done around our house are: turn the kitchen chairs upside-down, hang shoes, socks and underwear from the Christmas tree, toilet paper different rooms of the house, hang himself by the toes from the parachuting snowman, etc.
Quimby left a few days after Christmas to spend the rest of the year with his elf buddies in the North Pole. We'll see him again after Thanksgiving 2008!

Dining Room Setting

I love the Christmas dishes from my Mom and Dad, along with our nutcrackers!

Christmas Plate!
A good friend bought me this plate, and I LOVE IT! I use it constantly for holidays, UT games, birthdays, etc.

Merry Christmas!!!

Christmas 2007

A Tender Tennessee Christmas!!!

This year, we had planned to spend Christmas with MeMe and PawPaw at our home in GA, but after a few last minute plan changes, we ended up at their house in TN!

The kids always enjoy being there, and they are spoiled to no end from the moment they crest the door!

...And talk about making yourself at home!!! Check out Court in PawPaw's massaging recliner!!

We did a lot while we were there, including EATING TOO MUCH, a trip to the new dinosaur museum, lots of shopping, LOTS OF EATING, a candlelight service at their church on Christmas Eve, and UGH.... MORE EATING!!! Dad did his famous "low country broil," and ... did I mention we ate??? As always, it was GOOOOOOOOOOOD!!!!

Here's PawPaw cooking in their basement kitchen.
Alex is hauling a paper mache Santa around for some unknown reason...
PawPaw shows off the feast!
Alex can hardly contain himself... He knows there are shrimp and crablegs in the pot...
The 3 oldest ones attempting to wait patiently...Look at those faces!!!
I was afraid he might actually pounce on the food.

MeMe and PawPaw allowed the kids to open one present from them for each day they were there, and the kids had a blast with it! One day, the 2 little ones opened talking and singing rocking horses! Check out Ashi all saddled up!

'Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house...

You could hear Ashi grumping because I was trying to take a cute "night before Christmas picture" of all 4 of my kids tucked into MeMe and PawPaw's bed!!!!!

Christmas Day, Alex read the story of Christ's birth:

Luke 2: 8-14, 8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. 10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. 12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
14 "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men."

Courtney and Avery led everyone in singing, "Happy Birthday to Jesus."

I am so thankful that they really do grasp that Christmas is about the birth of our Savior, and not simply getting presents!!!!

Here they are opening all their gifts on Christmas Day...

Ashi knew just how to do it!

Thank GOD for car carriers and for my "stow and go" minivan. Otherwise, we would have had to mail a couple of the kids back to GA!!! We still had to leave some of the presents there! Here is a shot of our playroom at home after we got back...

We drove back home Christmas Day, and found that Santa Clause had visited our house, too!

The kids had a great Christmas this year, and we were blessed to spend the season with family and friends. God is good!

Thanks to MeMe and PawPaw for a WONDERFUL time in TN, and for their thoughtful gifts!