Monday, December 29, 2008


More pictures of Ava James will come soon. But for now, I've got to brag on my hubby a little bit. He scored in the top 90th percentile on his LSAT (entrance exams required for law school)!!! This really opens up our options for school choices and scholarship opportunities. I know many of you have been praying for him and this last minute decision to take the test. Thanks so much for your support!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas 2008 with Ms. Ava James Part 1

Beene Beene made this manger scene for Ava. It's the same one that the Raines kiddos grew up with, which is really special for me. Do you notice something missing in the manger?

Ava gives Mary the night off and rocks baby Jesus to sleep. As I snapped this picture she was singing "Go to sleep, go to sleep, go to sleep baby Jesus..."

These are a few of my favorite things.

I know this has nothing to do with Ava, but I had to show off my 4th grade-made turtle doves. I have the template if any of you teacherfolk are interested.

Let me explain about the mark under Ava's left eye in the rest of these pictures. A few days ago Ava ran and slid underneath a chair and bumped her face on the leg. The chair was no worse for the ware, but Ava looked like a prizefighter in all of the Christmas pictures.
Here's the featherweight enjoying a candy cane. After this picture she decided to use it as a hairbrush.

On Christmas Eve Ava spent some quality time with her new cousin Lynnde. Later that night, about 4:00 am, she was dreaming about Lynnde. In her sleep she kept saying over and over, "I hold Lynnde, I love her, I hold her, I love her." Eventually I had to wake her up so she'd stop talking about Lynnde. She loves her sweet cousin. Maybe she's ready for a baby at her house...hurry and get out of school Daddy!

Ava cooks in her little kitchen. I have no idea why she's standing in a bowl. She seems to really like cooking with the "real stuff". Empty egg cartons, coffee creamer, and spice jars are her favorites. A blossoming chef, perhaps?

Rolling out sugar cookies...

just like Daddy (it takes a strong man to use a pink rolling pin).

Cutting out the dough (note the wardrobe change, we had too many cute Christmas pajamas to show off).

Icing the cookies with Mommy

Munching on cookies before bedtime

Posing by the goodies

Last year I made this plate at Practically Picasso for Ava's Santa cookies. It says, "Dear Santa, I have been good! Love, Ava James".

Let me see if those cookies are okay for Santa...

Mmmmmm, Santa's going to love the frosting...if Ava leaves any for him. (This picture makes me laugh and laugh.)

The next morning we saw that Santa brought Ava (and Mommy) a pink dollhouse. He must have really loved those cookies. We have named the family of dolls who live in the house, the dad is Nat, the mom is Norah, the boy baby is Neil, and the girl baby is Nelly. We were on a musician kick. The family's last name is Loving. ***Make sure to watch the video of Ava's dollhouse discovery at the bottom of this post. It's long, but worth it to see her final sweet words.***

After a scrumptious breakfast, we went to celebrate Christmas with BaBa, Pops, Nate, Sarah, and Brandon. It was a relaxing day with family. We hope they all have fun on the ski trip!

More Christmas pictures to come soon as we celebrate with the Locketts! Until then, enjoy the video below (coming soon, technical issues).

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Our Christmas Angel

After Thanksgiving Ava rescued a pumpkin from Uncle Nate (who had been exploding them on the hill behind BaBa and Pops' house). She reminded me of Fern from Charlotte's Web...saving the runt from certain doom.

Ava and Daddy straighten her little Christmas tree.

Mommy and Ava make a few final touches before decorating.

Posing beneath the finished product.

Ava is delighted with her own little Christmas tree.

Oooh, Christmas magic!

Ava was a model for Mimi and Mommy over the weekend.

Climbing the slide

In the windy weeds

When she was good, she was very good...

and when she was bad she was horrid.

Our pensive girl

Hamming it up on the porch...she's such a mess!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Turkey Day!

Our sweet little pilgrim girl...although she looks like a little Russian peasant to me.

And, our sweet little Native American girl

Happy Thanksgiving from the Locketts!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Here is my totally random thankful list, just in time for Thanksgiving.

*Ava’s sophisticated sense of humor
*Pike’s Place roast from Starbucks, I can pamper myself for only $2 and 35 calories)
*Family that drives you crazy… I could really just leave it at family, the crazy part is understood
*Pilot pens with purple ink
*my Macbook
*a husband who is insanely talented, intelligent, AND charmingly handsome
*Paula Poundstone, her Facebook statuses cause snortful laughter
*students who still bring flowers and apples to their teacher
*Lollia perfumes
*Agatha Christie
*Vicks Vapor Rub
*my incredibly considerate 4th grade coworkers
*Cooking Light magazine
*January 20, 2009
*Diet Coke
*Chi straighteners
*Scantron machines
*friends with different political views
*the yellow Dyson vacuum cleaner
*Germ X
*Hooter Hiders, no I’m not still nursing…but seriously, H.H.’s changed my life
*Gap long jeans
*Premium Mocha M&Ms
*Sirius satellite radio
*Dum Dums (<20 calorie sweet goodness)
*Maclaren strollers
*Palatable tap water
*Turner Classic Movie channel
*the precious weeks of school after the TAKS tests
*Biolage shampoo and conditioner
*Christmas music
*Aluminum-free, organic deodorant
*Ava’s pigtails
*non-bill snail mail
*old-fashioned oatmeal with golden raisins
*Josh’s aftershave
*alphabetical order
*Real Simple magazine
*front porch swings
*1st Mattress Church

What are you thankful for? Comment below!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Mid November

Giani Bini before age 2? Daddy's in trouble!

The finished product

Ava made a leaf collage with Mamaw

Ava reads Goodnight Moon to Coach. I promise to catch her "reading" it on video and post it soon, it's too adorable for words.

Making candy, sausage balls, pies, and a mess with Nana.

Ava visits Papa's grave with Mommy

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

My sunshine

Ava enjoys her "coffee" and cupcake for breakfast on Mommy's birthday.

We both enjoyed Ava's first viewing of my favorite movie, The Wizard of Oz. She was enthralled, and not at all scared...I'm so proud of my brave little munchkin!

Stretching for gymnastics with Daddy.

Balancing the brown beanbag on her head

Ava practices catching the brown beanbag.


Now Mommy helps Ava stretch.

I know this picture is blurry, but it was too fun not to post.

Ava concentrates on the task at hand.

Catching the beanbag!

Ava puts on her gameface and prepares to enter the obstacle course.

"You want me to crawl in there?"

We exchange a "look"

In order to convince Ava to crawl, not walk, across the balance beam we all three had to "meow" like kitties. Finally she did it. Evidently crawling on the beam is much more difficult.

The objective is to step OVER the obstacles on the beam, but I made the mistake of giving the donkey a voice. Then it became a game. Oops, I guess that's why Mommy was in band:)

Ava and Mommy jump on the trampoline. (Please observe the chalk "A" on Ava's leotard. Josh decided to make her a superhero.)

Mantle 2.0

Since I didn't get to smooch the Rocket in high school, I make up for lost time when I can. Thanks to Sarah Miller for my favorite picture of us in a very long time!

Nana treated all three of us to a birthday dinner and an evening of shopping. Thanks Nana! We loved spending time with you.

I'll close this post with lyrics to one of Ava's favorite rocking chair songs. It used to be my rocking chair song with my Papa:

You are my sunshine, my only sunshine
You make me happy when skies are gray,
You'll never know, dear, how much I love you
Please don't take my sunshine away

Someday they'll sing it as a duet.