Friday, December 7, 2012

PART II - catching up on news from 2011

Ah, see?  You are not too cool for RetroWriting afterall, eh?  I see you're back to learn MORE about what happened in the Leggett nest in the latter part of 2011!  ah, welcome!, welcome!  I'm happy to share some more photos and milestones, and precious memories right here, using my new fab and fav technique of RetroWriting!  I'm getting used to this idea and I feel the trend spreading like wildfire already...  yep, this is where it's at!  All of my Bloggy friends should really consider this --  shall I call names???  Just glance over there at my Blog Roll... you know who you are!  Come on in!  RetroWriting is Supa-Cool!!!
Ok, ok, enough promo stuff....  let's get back to the memories!

In early September 2011, Joy and I had an impromptu photo shoot.  I had to take full advantage while she was in the mood - her photogenic moods come so few and far between!  And, she's 2 - you know that means, she's super-independent and has a mind of her own!  We were on the same wave-length this particular afternoon, thank goodness, because I had a large canvas print on my mind, to come out of this photo shoot!  We had tons of fun with a rainbow tutu, and a matching rainbow lollypop!  We also got tons of pictures, too.  Here are a few of my favs

Here's Joy chillaxin' with Kaylie, and Kaylie, and Kaylie, and Kaylie, and Kaylie, and Kaylie, and Baby Josh, and Kaylie, and Kaylie, and Kaylie, and Kaylie, and Kaylie, and Kaylie, and Kaylie.....   Yep, every.single.doll that she owns is named "Kaylie"... well, except for one, and 'his" name is Baby Josh.  Go figure.

In September and October (2011), Jax had lots of fun playing for the little "Packers" in a pee-wee flag football league.  This was his very first experience with organized football.  Let me just say those games were just as cute and funny as the famed first t-ball stories that so many mothers and fathers love to tell.  These kids were so cute, yet tough!  Through the season, they did learn A LOT about the game of football, and I must admit, I did too!  Football is hard in my opinion!  There's a lot of tiny rules that you don't know about from a glance.  Jax enjoyed the practices and games with his old buddies John and Samuel, and he made some new friends on the
team as well.  And, again, seeing him in that little
bitty uniform...  TOO CUTE!

Joy and Amelia continued Gymnastics in the Fall.  Every Monday at gymnastics, they greeted and hugged each other, as if they hadn't seen each other for months, when actually, they had been apart only about ten minutes - during the drive from Co-Lin daycare to the gym.  They are so funny.  Here, they're smearing on a little bit of lipstick because, you know, every girl needs fresh lipstick for her grand entrance to the gym!

In September, Josh got to go on a hunting trip to Wyoming with two of his buddies -- antelope hunting!  It was the first time he had ever been that far "north" and also the first hunting extravaganza out-of-state.  While he was gone, Jax and Joy and I planned a few things to keep us entertained, and keep us from missing Daddy too much.  We had "movie night' complete with pj's, popcorn, and plenty of snuggling with Mama in DADDY's recliner!  We watched Bambi II and had a great time just being at home. 

We also convinced cousins Eliza and Evan and their mom Melissa to accompany us on a day trip to the Audobon Zoo in New Orleans!  I had been wanting to go to the Audobon Zoo for quite some time, but due to Josh's apparant phobia of New Orleans, I had come to the realization that the trip would probably never come to fruition if I was waiting on him.  Sooooo... while the cat's away, the mice will play, right ladies?!!!  After nearly ten years of marriage, I am learning this.  He was in Wyoming for a week, so I saw that as the perfect opportunity to do something that I wanted to do, without having to torture him!  Ah, see? - it wasn't sneaky at all ... it was all for your best interest, Josh!    The weather was perfect, and the zoo was great.  We had no trouble with the drive - the kids were great -- it was a good day.
here's the four of them, doing the Forest Gump thing

Jax and Eliza and a very gracious goat

the goat looks like it's smiling to me 

this kid cracked me up!  the Audubon Zoo apparently hires a lot of tweens and teens to talk to visitors about various exhibits.  This young man was very knowledgeable about grasshoppers (such as the one on his finger) and insects.  I love the accessories he has chosen:  shark tooth necklace, grasshopper on finger, and tape on glasses.  Classic.  I felt inspired to do research and learn more about something!

the elephants were particularly playful

We thought, for a brief moment, that Joy had given (dropped) her prized "Bay" to the gators and flamingos... but alas, Bay was riding in the stroller.  Shucks.  Guess we will have to find another way to get rid of that thing!

Jax was astonished to find a " 'coon" in the zoo!   He immediately began to make sounds like a racoon does when fighting!  "Hello, the rednecks have arrived at the zoo, y'all !!"

too cute!!

look at the monkeys!

My fall photo session with the kids was not so great.  (October 2011)  I usually get some fabulous pictures of my kids in the fall, but this year, notsomuch.  It seems that Joy is not the willing model that Jax always was at the same age, so it is always a shock to me when she is not cooperative.  When she IS cooperative and into the picture thing, it is usually very short-lived... so I have to have all of my ducks in a row and be ready to shoot when she is in the mood.  This is very different from Jax at age 2.  However, Jax at age 5 is a different story - he is now getting into the "i'm too cool for pictures" and the "not more pictures, mom" phase.  Grrr.  I hate this stage.  His beautiful, photogenic smile has mostly been replaced by a fake smile and a roll of the eyes when I prompt him with the "cheese" cue.  Soooo....  I have a couple "fall" pictures to share, but none are fabulous.  Nevertheless, they do accurately mark my kids' personalities in the here and now....   Here's hoping that this phase (for both of them) is over soon - I want my camera hams back!

this is what he really felt like regarding the situation

Jax's Kindergarten class took their very first field trip to Mitchell Farms, to the pumpkin patch!  I was estatic to get to tag along.  The kids were so cute in their class t-shirts, and they were genuinely interested in the farm operations, and definitely thrilled with their chosen pumpkins to take home for Halloween and the upcoming season of Fall festivities. 
Jax and his friend (girlfriend-??) Autumn

we could NEVER get all 50 kindergarteners in one place, and looking at the camera!  here's our best effort, ha

so many colors, shapes, and sizes... such a hard choice!!

Jax and his buddy Marshall in a cotton field

most of the kids had seen much of the equipment before, but the cotton was a first even for me!  I've heard my parents talk about cotton farming as younsters but I don't recall ever seeing a cotton field myself

the sunflower fields at Mitchell Farms were amazing

the Mitchells must be very creative folks!  I was impressed with the creative repurposing of various farm equipment!

No sandboxes can be found at Mitchell Farms!  Instead, corn boxes!  Fun!

a cow-milking similation; the kids loved the hands-on activities

rubber ducky racing with manual water pumps!

a very CUTE scarecrow at Mitchell Farms!

I sorta arranged a fun trip back to my alma mater for the Homecoming football game, including friends who also graduated from the great Southern Miss. We ordered our tickets early and got great seats! It also happened to be the weekend of my birthday, so I got princess treatment from Josh. He wasn't too interested in going to the game, tailgating, or even making the trek to Hattiesburg, but he went along with whatever I wanted since it was my birthday also. He surprised me with his willingness to give up bow season, his weekend off, and all the things that he'd rather be doing, but I know he had a great time just like I did. It was a good weekend all around.
that's me, with my lil eagles
future Southern Miss Eagles, Brandon, Mallory, and Jax

cannot wait to see Joy cheer for Southern Miss!  To the Top!

Jax and his ole buddy Bryce met up for a little tailgating

Josh with our little eagle cheerleader
tailgating is never complete without a little football for the aspiring Eagles too!

...and a cute little sis cheerleader to cheer on the boys!


Layla and Joy cheering them on!

sometimes, the game was intense...

We couldn't have left Bay out of this family intro to USM culture; Joy made sure we didn't

Duane and Amy Burt, and Brandon and Layla

Chris and Kelli Beech, and Blaise
Brad and Amber Martin with Mallory

my Eagle family:  me, Joy, Jax, and Josh
Jax loved the boom-boom stix...  the people sitting in front of us, not so much !

Daddy makes a great stunt partner!

somehow, Josh always gets to be the favorite with the kids;

Jax shook Seymour's hand!  (er, wing)

Jax was selected "Student of the Month" for the month of October! We are so proud of our little man!

Let the Halloween festivities begin! Halloween and fall includes so many events for us. The kids wind up with SO MUCH candy - and they do not even eat half of it. But they do enjoy the events surrounding fall and halloween. We had the annual "trunk-or-treat" at church, Joy's class trick-or-treat'ed at school, and then we took Jax and Joy trick-or-treating locally to keep with tradition, and also so that the grandparents and other family could see them all dressed up. Jax was SnakeEyes, and Joy dressed as her most favorite princess, Snow White. I begged Josh and Jax to go along with me and dress as the dwarfs, but both of the boys were "party poopers" and refused to entertain the idea at all. Boo on them.

Brandon (Captain Jack Sparrow) and Jax (Snake Eyes)

Layla and Joy at the Calvary Trunk-or-Treat!

they HAD to view and approve every picture that was taken.  Such princesses.

Joy with cousin John Parson at Calvary's trunk-or-treat.  Tried to get pictures of all of the cousins, but, ha, there's no freakin' way to slow them allllll down at once

Snow White and Snake Eyes, ready to go trick-or-treating!
In November (2011), Jax had his very first "school project" to complete. This project was required of all kindergarteners as part of their math lesson, and included knowledge and recognition of several geometric shapes. They had to choose at least five geometric shapes and find household objects in those shapes, and then create a contraption using the objects. Jax made a bulldozer using a cube, rectangle, cones, spheres, and cylinders. It was a fun project - especially the objects Jax chose to use to create his bulldozer.

November also brought a special day at school for Jax... parents/grandparents were invited to have lunch with their kindergartener! The kids enjoyed showing their parents and grandparents how their routine works at school. They were very quick to point out the rules of the cafeteria!

Jax with MoMo and PawPaw Leggett after having lunch in the cafeteria

Since my Fall Photo Shoot wasn't what I had imagined it would be, I decided to give it a second shot! This time, I got Josh to help me out - he kept their attention or made silly faces or threatened them with their lives as needed so I could get the perfect shot that I had in my mind. :-) First Joy and I went to check out the perfect photo shoot spot, and I snapped a few trial pics of her, just to show her how fun it could be...

the sunflower field was captivating!  Thanks Uncle Robert and Aunt Marilyn!

Then we went back for the "official photo shoot", with Daddy in tow, and a little red wagon just for kicks.... and the results were fantastic! here are my favs:

everybody gets tired of having their picture made after a while, even Princesses

They loved the hammock even more than the sunflowers and wagon

so much fun

Fall here in south Mississippi often gets overlooked. We are all busy, and running from here to there with the kids, or work obligations, or whatever. I am guilty of all. Probably guilty-er than most of my friends and neighbors. However, when I do slow down, even if just for a moment, the beauty of our state just takes my breath away. Yes, Mississippi. We have some beautiful scenery - beautiful, perfect canvases from God. So perfect that cameras and film just don't do it justice. Why is that? I don't know. I tried to capture just a portion of the beautiful fall in Mississippi... in Bogue Chitto, Mississippi... well, actually, right outside of my window in Bogue Chitto, Mississippi... but the pictures do not give full justice. Even still, you can get a glimpse of nature's wonders, right under my nose. Thank you, God, for slowing me down enough to really see the beauty of your creation.

December 2011 There's so many things featured in December... it's a busy, memory-filled month. One of my FAVORITE December traditions is... Christmas cards! I simply LOVE sending and receiving Christmas cards. Preparations for Christmas cards, at least in thought, begin long before December, but finally come to fruition in December. It is a big job for me, and honestly a bit stressful, but I love every minute of it, and come back for more each year. Of course, Christmas cards also mean ANOTHER photo shoot! {insert GROANS from the kids here} {make that LOUD groans for the full effect} But, when it was all said and done, it didn't turn out so bad afterall, despite the groans and complaints... here are a few of my favorites: