Saturday, December 31, 2011


WOW!  It's crazy to think another year has flown by!  I feel like we were just celebrating the beginning of 2011 a few months ago.  While we aren't staying up until midnight tonight (I know, we're losers)...We did close out the year with some great friends!  We met up with some old college friends to play a game of bowling this afternoon.  This was Caeden's first time to ever bowl, and we had so much fun!  After about 5 frames, he was pretty bored though.  But I guess that's pretty expected for a 2-year-old who has to wait for five other kids before he gets another turn.  He still had a great time though!  Everytime he'd bowl and knock the pins down, he'd jump up & down, shake his fists in the air, and yell, "YAY!!!"

Lacing up his first pair of bowling shoes

The kiddos:
Caeden, Isabelle, Levi, & Lilly

Checkin' out the bowling balls

Waiting for his turn...

Right on Buddy!

Then the worker dude pulled out this cool contraption.
It's to help the ball roll faster down the lane,
so we don't waste 2 minutes watching a ball meander towards the pins!

And back to our friends' house for PIZZA!

All the kids!  Caeden is obviously the youngest,
but he acted like he was just part of the others!

And playing with his friends toys - the best part!

  So, that's how we finished 2011!  Now, it's off to bed...  HAPPY 2012 TO YOU ALL!!!

Friday, December 30, 2011

There's No...Place Like Home...For the Holiidays...

As usual, we went to Joplin, MO to spend Christmas with our families.  We spent a few nights with Nonnie & Grandpa (Reid's parents) and a few nights with Nana & Papa (my parents).  It was a fun, relaxing, eventful week!  Each year gets better as Caeden understands more & more about Christmas!  Here are some memories made this Christmas:

Getting a kiss from his Great-Gram (Reid's grandmother)

Sitting on Santa's lap, who stopped by to visit on Christmas Eve

All the kids listening to Santa read "Twas the Night Before Christmas"

Caeden helping pass out each of the kid's one present they get
before they go to sleep...

One last hug before Santa leaves!

Setting out cookies for Santa

So proud of the cookies and milk he set out!

Our Stockings
(that I hand-stitched myself...yes, every piece!)

What Caeden got from Santa:
an easel, a race track, a Tonka truck

The look on his face when he saw what Santa brought

Playing with bows...the best part, right?

Visiting the newly-rebuilt Cunningham Park in Joplin: 

 The next day, visiting a real farm (owned by a familiy friend): 

Well, that was it!  We had an amazing week at "home" in Joplin, and are taking the next few days to rest up before Reid heads back to work!!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Merry CHRISTmas!!

I probably won't be posting over the next several days, since we'll be busy celebrating Jesus' birthday with our family.  But I just wanted to share some thoughts I've been thinking lately.  These resulted after reading a GREAT devotional earlier this month.  The month of December is probably the one month that believers face some of the most intense spirtual battles.  Think about how many people in the United States are being exposed to the Gospel right now, without even realizing it.  Songs of our Lord, Jesus Christ, are playing all over the radio, and in malls.  This is the one month that people's hearts will be softened, and some will begin asking questions about the birth of Jesus.  Because of that, Satan's number one goal is to keep US, as believers, distracted from fulfilling our most important calling - to be a witness for who Jesus really is.  If he can keep us busy (even with "spirtual" things), then he's successful.  It's so easy right now to get so distracted with gift shopping, Christmas plays, parties, and all the other distractions, that we miss this great opportunity that we have!

In the next few days, it may be easy for me (and maybe you?) to find yourself frustrated, losing your cool, or spending far more money than you should.  In this case, we're allowing the enemy to be successful.  My prayer is that we would have VICTORY over Satan's strategies, and that instead we would focus on the JOY and PEACE that comes with Christmas.  Next week, let's look back at this time to remember great memories around the tree with family, moments of deep sincere love with our friends & family, and maybe some random acts of kindness that we've done for some strangers!  By doing this, we are remembering Jesus - the true reason for this season!

I pray you all have a WONDERFUL, Jesus-filled Christmas!!!

Fight the good fight for what we beleive.  Hold tightly to the eternal life that God has given you, which you have confessed so well before many witnesses. (1 Timothy 6:12)

Just for smiles, here's a picture of Caeden - attempting to wrap a present!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

especially at the Pierce household.  Today was a Christmas Fun Day, or something like that.  The day started off with just Mommy & Caeden, since Daddy went hunting.  When Caeden woke up, I put him in bed with me and we layed there for about 20 minutes (which is a long time for Caeden).  Then he sat up quickly and said, "I ready get up!"  I don't have any pictures of this part of our day, because I was too busy cherishing the moment. 

Once we got up and around, we went to Krispy Kreme for a donut, and Caeden chose the SNOWMAN donut!!

Notice he just ate the icing off...

We then came home, played for awhile, and made our homemade Christmas cookies.  This is a recipe from my Grandma that we've made every year since I was a little girl!  I let Caeden pour in the ingredients...and lick the paddle when we were done mixing!  Then we put the batter in the fridge until Daddy got home...

We then went to a place here in Bentonville called Crafty Cottage, where you can paint pottery.  Caeden chose to paint a candy cane ornament.  (But he was not happy when we had to leave it there, so they can fire the glaze and make it shiny).   :( 

We picked up some lunch, headed home, and took a nap...

After naptime, Daddy was home.  So we cut out and baked our cookies!!!

While were finsihing the cookies, Caeden
was apparently entertaining himself by
lining up the cookie cutters! HA!

And our filthy mess!!
(This stressed Daddy out a little a lot).

After baking, we ate dinner, and headed to the Square to see the lights!  When we first got there, we were greeted with carolers!!

Once we got home, we needed to decorate our Christmas cookies.  Again, this is my Grandma's homemade recipe that is just delish!

After our cookie-decorating (and eating), Caeden took a bath, and then we finished off our day by cuddling up to watch "A Charlie Brown Christmas."  So great!  After Caeden was in bed, Reid and I continued decorating our cookies. :)  

Wooh....That was exhausting just typing it all out...  While it seems like we did a lot today (and we did), we still had times of relaxation this morning, and early afternoon.  It really wasn't until this evening that it got busy.  ;)  But we enjoyed every bit of it!  These are some of the memories I hope Caeden will soon remember as he gets older!  Merry Christmas!  Only 7 days left...!!!