The Thomas Family Blog

"And wherever we are, Home is there, too."
~ Jack Johnson

Friday, December 30, 2011

Over the River and Through the Woods...

Christmas 2011 got officially underway on the morning of Christmas Eve when we traveled, quite literally, over the river and through the woods to Grandma's house. My mom and stepdad live on the Alcovy River in a beautiful log cabin that they built themselves when they got married. It's a very peaceful place and Caroline absolutely loves to go and visit her. It's the one place that she really never wants to leave. It's sweet and now that Emily is getting older I can tell that she will be the same way with her Grandma. We spent the morning and afternoon with them and then had to head back to McDonough for round two! We had a great lunch and I tried eggnog for the first (and last - blecch!) time. The rest of the time we exchanged gifts and played around outside. A favorite activity is riding the mule (the gas-powered kind!) up and down the hills on their property. The weather was beautiful and it made for a wonderful day!

"Over the river and through the woods
To Grandmother's house we go."
~ Lydia Maria Child

Christmas Round Three



Santa Claus is Coming... to a Target Portrait Studio near you!

For the second year in a row, we have taken the girls to have their picture taken with the real Santa Claus at the McDonough Target store. I can't believe how lucky we are that Santa chooses our humble little town to make a stop each year! This year proved a little more challenging than last due to the fact that Little Miss Emmy Kay has developed a very strong aversion to chubby men with long, white beards who are dressed in red suits. (That really shouldn't come as a surprise to any parent, in my opinion. Sounds more like baby self-preservation instinct to me.) We were able to get Santa to sneak up behind the kids and get some really beautiful shots but as soon as Emily caught onto our little tricks the photo session was promptly over. At the end of the day, though, we came away with some beautiful pictures that we will treasure forever!!

You better watch out 
You better not cry 
Better not pout 
I'm telling you why 
Santa Claus is coming to town
~ Haven Gillespie, "Santa Claus is Coming to Town"

Hakuna Matata!

I hate it when I am behind on my posts. Well, yes... that would be pretty much all the time, but at least I am still plugging away at this thing! What normally happens is I think of something that needs to be entered and I jot it down and then tick off my list as I get them done. So this post has been in my to do list for quite some time. Months, actually. That's okay - because here it goes! For Becky's 30th birthday, she wanted to take the girls, Caroline and Madison, to see The Lion King in 3-D. I admit that I was not totally excited about it because this particular movie violates rule number one in my movie-viewing guideline manual. That rule being: Never watch movies with animal characters that make you cry. Ummm... when Scar throws Mufasa off the cliff and then lets little Simba believe that it's his fault that his dad died??? Can it get any sadder? So, no, I was not jumping up and down, but I will do whatever it takes to make any one of my besties happy on her big day, so I went along. We did have a great time and the movie was good. I just put on my big girl panties and pretended to be hard and unfeeling. It worked.... sort of. Of course, having the distraction of Caroline wanting to switch candy boxes every two minutes helped to distract me from the weep-fest on screen. We got pedicures, had a good dinner, and just overall had a good girls day out! Happy Birthday, Miss Betsy! Welcome to the Dirty Thirties!
"Hakuna Matata. It means, 'No worries.'" ~ Pumbaa

Little Pilgrim

Caroline is having a great time in kindergarten and it seems that at every turn there is a new and exciting activity or adventure for her to enjoy. At Thanksgiving each year, the East Lake Kindergarten students celebrate all they've learned about the first Thanksgiving with a feast - complete with Wampanoag Native Americans and Puritan Pilgrims. Like all things kindergarten, it's a little over the top, but I, once again, must tip my hat to East Lake and say that every year the teachers make things special for the kids - even though they've been through the same activities many times before. Each time they do something its like the first time and that is important. I LOVED the little Puritan headcovers they made for the girls to wear. I think Caroline makes a very fashionable and cute little Pilgrim!

"Our rural ancestors, with little blest,
Patient of labour when the end was rest,
Indulged the day that housed their annual grain,
With feasts, and off'rings, and a thankful strain."
~Alexander Pope

Friday, December 9, 2011

Who Ever Woulda Thunk It...

I am a certified Room Mother. I know. Nobody is more surprised than I am. I mean, really, when did this even become conceivably possible? The world must be in a sad state of affairs if I am that person. But, alas, I have been tapped and am very good, at least, at making it look like I know what the heck I am doing. I don't, just for the record, folks. I even warned Caroline's poor teachers, Mrs. Burnette and Mrs. Campbell, that I'd be glad to help... as long as they were okay with the fact that on the morning of the class party I would have to run out to my car and scavenge my backseat for stray cheerios, leftover shreds of fruit roll ups, and stale animal crackers for snacks. And maybe a broken Happy Meal toy or something like that. This would be because, of course, I would have forgotten that the party was that morning. She laughed like it was funny. She doesn't know me that well. Ask me to bring a batch of from scratch margaritas to your shindig and I'm golden. Ask me to remember something that would actually matter - like my daughter's class party - and I'm toast (or you're toast, depending on how you choose to look at it). Any-hoo, I have a great helper, the fabulous Heather Neeley, and she helps me keep it together. Between the two of us, we haven't messed anything up too royally yet. We hosted the Evening at East Lake event and that went well and just before Thanksgiving we went to the classroom and led the kids in a fall craft. It was a lot of fun and we even survived the addition of a new student that morning - read: we didn't buy extra craft supplies! Lesson learned. Here are some pictures of the morning.

My co-Room Mom, Heather, and her son, Knox

Caroline and Tessa

The results

We had a story time after we finished our craft.
"All I really need to know I learned in kindergarten." ~ Robert Fulghum

Monday, November 21, 2011

Savin' It For Later

Just a quick post about my little Emmy Kay. If you know her, you know that she always has a snack handy. On this particular day, we were watching the Georgia-Florida game (WIN!) with the neighbors in the cul de sac, and Emily was enjoying a piece of pizza. She got busy, however, and needed somewhere to deposit her slice of pie until a later time. Here is her solution. I love her. She is so adorable.

"You better cut the pizza in four pieces, because I'm not hungry enough to eat six." ~ Yogi Berra

The Monster by Jeff Moss

Each year, Henry County sponsors a Literacy Day event for elementary school children. There is an essay writing contest and a poetry recitation contest. In kindergarten, they really only focus on the poetry part (they are not really writing essays yet, if you know what I mean!), and Caroline chose the poem "The Monster" by Jeff Moss. Here is a link to the text. At first I was daunted because I really didn't think she (or I) would have the patience to tackle such a long (for a five-year-old) poem. I knew that she could do it, i just wasn't convinced that she would do it. Huge difference. Huge. So we practiced and practiced and practiced. I learned the poem and it still gets stuck in my head sometimes. When the big day came for her to recite it in front of her class and teachers, she did very well and was one of the class winners. She then went on to the kindergarten grade level competition and won second place! To say I am proud would be an understatement. Way to go, Caroline! It will be the first of many academic victories for you, we are sure!

 "Yes, every night he found my toes, and that was such a bore, 
he left for good, and now he doesn't bug me anymore." 
~ "The Monster" by Jeff Moss

Bringin' the 80s Back

Every now and then we like to throw etiquette to the wind and just let it all hang out here in our little neighborhood. To celebrate two of our beloved neighbors', Katey and Jennifer, birthdays, we had an 80's costume party - I have to admit that although I was not an 80s teenager (I was more like an 80s kindergartener), I actually really like the music and fashion of the 80s. Maybe not on a full-on everyday basis, but there are certain elements of 80s style that I really like (the chunky accessory, the pointy booties, the leggings, big scarves, hats) and who doesn't love 80s music? I don't care what you say, you might even think you don't like it, but once you start playing that Pandora 80s channel, you just can't turn it off. It's great stuff. We had a blast and (almost) saw the sun come up. Happy birthday, friends!!

Sloane: What are we going to do? Ferris: 
The question isn't 'what are we going to do', 
the question is 'what aren't we going to do?'" 
~Ferris Bueller's Day Off

Monday, November 14, 2011


I have aspired to begin blogging for several years - partly out of a selfish desire to indulge in writing again, but mostly out of a more altruistic desire to document our little family's memories and moments in the fervent hope that, one day, Caroline and Emily will look back on these entries and remember what it was like to be young, unhindered, and totally carefree. I am not sure how this blogging adventure will progress and evolve, but I invite you to read, critique, make requests, and enjoy this little window into our hectic, hilarious, and (mostly) happy home!

Stay committed to your decisions, but stay flexible in your approach.

~ Tony Robbins

This is what I wrote on my very first blog entry way back on April 11, 2010. I can't believe it's been as long as it's been since that first tapping away on the keyboard. I am proud of all I've gotten down and recorded. Of course, I'd like to have written 200 posts, but 100 is still an accomplishment. So much has happened in these 19 months... and many of the "little" moments would have been lost to memory had I not taken the time to blog them. I still blog for the girls in the hope that one day they will be able to appreciate reading the entries and remembering what it was like to grow up in our little family. Maybe one of these days I will convert the blog into a book... who knows. For now, the holiday season is upon us and that means lots of blog-fodder! Onward and upward!!

"As for goals, I don't set myself those anymore. I'm not one of these 'I must have 
achieved this and that by next year' kind of writers. I take things as they come 
and find that patience and persistence tend to win out in the end." 
~ Paul Kane

A Scary Vampire and a Sweet Little Pumpkin

We had so much fun this Halloween! As I have said before, I refuse to let Halloween die. It's a precious holiday to me and I find absolutely nothing offensive or dangerous about it. Halloween predates Christianity, so the whole anti-Christian thing is kind of far-fetched. Look around you. There are nasty, evil people everywhere and they don't choose only to do nasty, evil things on Halloween. Christianity itself has roots in paganism. You can make anything evil or Satanic in your mind if you concentrate on it hard enough. One of the saddest things is to plant seeds of distrust or judgment in a child's eyes over a nonsensical holiday.. It's heartbreaking when a child I teach thinks that his/her friends are bad or evil or not going to heaven because they dress up for Halloween. Do your own thing, but remember that kids aren't emotionally or intellectually sophisticated enough to understand things like unadulterated evil and Satanism. Love Jesus but remember that it's okay to enjoy a holiday. I'm pretty sure that you won't jeopardize your salvation by doing so. Now, being judgmental, self-righteous, and poisoning your child's mind against other people, that's more worrisome to me!

Anyway. We dressed up, we made cupcakes, we trick-or-treated, and we will do it all again next year! Emily was an adorable little pumpkin and Caroline was a "scary vampire." We had a blast with our neighborhood crew. Emily wanted to stop at every house and eat her candy and Caroline thought the night should never end! Check out the pictures for cuteness overload!
Scary Vampire

I go trick or treat.

All tuckered out.

Halloween cupcakes!

Caroline, Emma, and Madison

Boo's Coos and Scary Vampire

Mommy and Punkie
"I would rather sit on a pumpkin and have it all to myself than be crowded on a velvet cushion."
~ Henry David Thoreau