Well, we hit the beach again, I think we will be spending a LOT of time there. The entire family loves it. With it being only an hours drive it's easy to pack up and go for the day. I have been wanting to get back to Monterey to get some more Sea Glass, it is so very neat. Clay and I have been reading up on it so it makes it even more exciting to find it now. First, we went to the actual beach with the sand for the kids to play in. It was a chilly day so we had to have light jackets and hats. We saw people out surfing which was neat, but other than that not a lot of people out there. The kids enjoyed some digging in the sand and running from the water. Actually, Cohen was trying to get in an swim and yes eventually he fell in. (that was time to leave) Cohen was FREEZING but I seriously doubt he learned his lesson :). If he weren't so cold it would have been hilarious. After we got everyone changed and cleaned up we went to the Pier so Mama could get her sea glass. Cooper walked down with me and we searched for at least 30 minutes. Cooper said we were Pirates looking for Treasure. It was so much fun :). (and I had a great helper) Some more people came down where we were and Cooper said Oh No Mommy we have to get them to leave they are gonna get our treasure! :) Lastly, Coffee time for Mommy and milkshakes for kiddos. Another fun Beach trip!
So we celebrated Clay's 36th Birthday last week. Wow, I can't believe we are in the mid 30's already. (well Clay is :P) Clay brought home Olive Garden for his birthday. (yummy) and I made him an Almond Joy cake. It was really good, got the recipe off of Pinterest. ( my new love) Cooper is all about some party stuff, so we went with a Pirate theme and everyone wore an eye patch instead of a party hat and then we had a pin the patch on the Pirate game after cake. The kids had a blast. Even our parties are still all about the kids, sad isn't it? :) But, it was fun and we all enjoyed celebrating Clay.
So it has been a long time since I have done individual updates on the kiddos. They are all at fun ages but I think age 4 is great because Cooper says some of the funniest things. (at least we think so) He tells so many LONG stories and asks the Best questions and of course I can't tell you any of them because I forget it and forget to write it down. So, I thought it would be fun to do a little interview with Cooper and actually write down his responses. Age 4 1/2
1.What is your full name? Cooper
2.How old are you? 4 years old
3.Where do you live? San Jose, Californa (that's how he says it)
4. What is your favorite food? fries and chicken and orange juice
5.Where do you go to school? It's in California
6.What is your favorite thing to do? Color things with scissors (?) :)
7. Who are your friends? Lucas, Kaden and Nate
8. What do you learn about at Church? I make things at school and they tell lots of stories about the boat.
9.What is your favorite color? Blue
10. Where is your favorite place to go? The zoo and the Mexican restaurant
11. What is your favorite movie? Toy Story
12. What is your favorite book? A Bible one
13. What is your favorite food? mexican food
14. Tell me about your family. I love my Mommy and Daddy and Kimmy and Cohen and Gammy. I love Grandpa and Nana and Mama Pat and Aunt Sandy.
15.Who are your cousins? Griffin and Avery I asked him if he remembers the baby cousin. He said yes, he likes to take my stuff. :)
16.What is your favorite thing to do with your brother? Solve problems.
So when I say trip home this is actually about our trip to Chelsea (which is still home to me) and also our trip Back to California. (OH NO) I was so excited to go back to Chelsea even if it was just a quick one day trip. Cooper had been asking about our Old house and his friends almost every day. Oh and also our old Mexican restaurant. :) So I wanted to see some friends but also I think we all needed some closure with the sale of the house. It was really weird seeing someone else's things at our house, but it really helped Cooper see other people actually living there (and me). It's just not ours anymore. We went to see our friends "The Fieldings" and also Kelly who I surprised at home :). I had to go see my Kelli and her new sweet baby Kenna. I can not believe I did not bring my camera and take pictures, it just kills me. Kenna was sleeping but I waited it out until I got to hold that sweet baby girl!!! Love her. The next morning we had to get up early and trek back to Atlanta to fly back home. So, I have left the flight to the last part of my story because it's the last thing I really wan to think about. Our first flight to Atlanta went ok. We had to wake up really early and get to the San Jose airport. We had to catch a bus from the parking lot to the terminal. And um well somehow I left my carry on and my purse at the bus stop. Aghhhh! It had my walled, kindle, diapers everything we had to have! So Clay RAN back and it was still there, thankfully. That was just the beginning. The kids were actually pretty good. But, Cenley cried off and on the entire flight every time. I think her ears were hurting because she never cries like that. But, on the way home. That's another story. It was AWFUL!!!!!!!! I can't even explain how bad it was and I won't. Let's just say Hard, Exhausting, Humbling. It makes me want to be more gracious and kind to others when they are struggling. That's all I have to say about that!
The day after Christmas we drove from Brent's house in Georgia to Guntersville to visit Clay's family. Mama Pat had her basement all set up and ready for us. The kids were excited to see their Grandparents and enjoyed all of the extra Attention. We were able to relax and enjoy our visit with Nana, Grandpa and Mama Pat. We also enjoyed Clay's Aunt Sandy and cousin Bannings visit. Cenley absolutely fell in LOVE with Banning. I have never seen her cuddle up and love on someone that way that wasn't me or Clay. I think Banning enjoyed it too! :) Grandpa had an extra treat for the boys. He has a key to the train depot and brought us to see the train and look around in the train station. Very neat and the kids absolutely loved it. Cohen did not want to leave!! They will never forget that experience I am sure! I think we made some special memories on this trip!!
Well Clay and I packed up the kids our bags and ventured back to the East Coast. Brent and Merritt hosted Christmas this year. They were very, very brave!! Brent's family is a family of 5 and 1/2 plus a dog, our family of 5 and Gammy! So, yes it was WILD with 6 kids 5 and under if you can imagine. We had a really fun time though! Mom had lots of entertainment planned for the kids. Art project, leap frog, Mother May I. Also,Griffin has a "park" at his house. Well, that is what Cooper called it. He thinks every playset is a park because we don't have one anymore, we have to go to the park. We also attempted a Christmas Eve service at Brent and Merritt's Church. Our kids lasted all of 5 minutes before we had to walk out :). Pretty much the same as our attempt last year at Westwood. The kids put reindeer food in the yard on Christmas Eve after our delicious dinner! Santa came to the Parnell's house which was a little difficult for my kids because he had already come early in CA. But, he did deliver their stockings :). We all had a very fun time visiting and catching up with each other.
I guess it's about time I start doing some catch up on blogs. We celebrated Christmas as a family at home (early) before going to visit with our family in Georgia and Alabama. I had to send Santa Claus a letter and tell him that we would be out of town. So, Santa brought the kids big gifts early. We also did our family gifts with each other because there was no way we could pack all of that. So here are a few pictures of the kids with their gifts in California.
I have lots of blogs that I am behind on, and I promise they are coming. But, I really want to write this one today so I remember this conversation with Cooper correctly.
Cooper has just started really understanding and putting together who Jesus is. Still obviously very confusing to him that we talk to God/Jesus, but can't see him. In the car today Cooper was asking me and telling me a lot about "Baby Jesus." He asked me where Jesus lives. I told him he is in Heaven, but Jesus is everywhere. I explained he is always with him and lives in his heart.
So, Cooper explained to me that Jesus was born on a farm in the hay. He also said that Mommy's belly was really big and Mommy had a baby, and it was Jesus. I said No that Mommy had Baby Cenley and Baby Jesus was born from Mary. He asked where Mary lived, and I explained. He said he didn't know Mary! :)
Then Cooper went on to tell me that Baby Jesus plays with his toys, plays hide and seek with him and lives in his heart. He said he loves him very much!
These are the conversations I am enjoying with Cooper and look forward to more of these in the future!