Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas 2008

Well it all started Christmas Eve and the fun still continues on today. On Christmas Eve we spent the evening with Ryan’s mom and family and had so much fun. This year instead of gifts for everyone we attempted to enjoy a good old fashion Christmas with fun and activities. Char (Ryan’s mom) got the grand kids the night before Christmas Eve and they all spent the night with her making Cookies and working on a Christmas skit for their parents to see when we joined them for dinner on Christmas Eve. It was really fun and they go to focus on the real meaning of Christmas and not just the toys.

On Christmas we spent the morning at our house letting Taylor enjoy opening his gifts. Emma slept thru it all, but oh well there is always next year. Then we headed over to my parents for Lunch when we had a blast. My dad is back in town from Baton Rouge and it is just so nice to have the whole family safe and sounds in one town – under one roof. I am going to miss my parents when they are both gone to the “Red Stick” for real. Back to the story – after lunch we headed over to Ryan’s dads for dinner. It was a very busy day and we were all exhausted by the end of it. But it is so nice to spend it with family.

But leave it to us to continue to exhaust ourselves because on Friday we got up and headed over to Alabama to visit with my extended family. But we had to wait until Ryan got off of work on Friday afternoon before we could head over. Taylor spent the whole day asking my what time it was, and I would tell him and then ask him why he was so interested (he has never given a second thought to the time before). But his response was “I am ready to go see my Aunt Gwyn (my mother sister).” I knew exactly how he fells because growing up I could not hardly contain myself when waiting for a trip to see Aunt Gwyn. She is such an amazing women and has a way about making everyone she comes in contact feel so good about their self. I hope I can be that type of influence on kids one day.

I am so fortunate because all four of my grandparents are still living, and we try to take advantage of the opportunity to visit with them during Christmas. I wish it could be more often but it is just not easy traveling to Alabama with little ones. When we were at my mom's parents on Saturday we counted up 44 people who were all in the house at one point. My cousin Austen leaded over to my Memow and said “does it make you feel good to know that you has a big part to do with all of these people being here.” She just smiled. I hope I have a family that big that still comes around one day.

While in Alabama we are staying with my Aunt Gwyn. She has two 9 year old twin grand girls and Taylor has really taken to them this year. Yesterday they spent hours outside playing on the farm by their self, and Taylor did so very well. Thank you Alison and Brianna for taking such good care of them!!! I have also gotten the chance to spend some time with my cousin Laurie who I have adored my whole live. She has always been such a big influence in my life and I love her dearly.

I will post pictures when I get back home. Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas Surprise for Ryan (or not)…

A couple nights ago Ryan and I were laying in the bed and he burst out laughing, and said I have to tell you what Taylor told me today when we were shopping for your Christmas present.

Evidently as they were walking into Dillard’s they passed the men’s shoe department, and Taylor stopped, pointed (at the men’s shoes), and piped up to said “hey dad I’ve been there before, that is where mom is I got your Christmas present.” Ryan said he tried to quickly redirect the conversation, but at that point he could not help but laugh.

WhiteWave Christmas Party

Last week we had our work Christmas Party and the theme was to either dress up like a National Lampoon character or wear your Ugly Christmas Sweater. We played the dirty Santa game, had great food, fellowship, and just had a blast. Here are some pictures to see the evidence.

The Team:
This is Bryan and his wife Cindy – they dressed up like Cousin Eddy and his wife on the Lampoon’s. Bryan is such a character anyway that this part suits him well.

Green Initiative

As many of you know I am very committed to saving our earth. Unfortunately I have never known how to gain a broad audience, and my efforts have been confined to my home and those closest to me. By the encouraging words of others, I have decided to try my hand at educating more widely.

I have to say that my passion for saving the earth came to me in a unique form many years ago. It was in the form of a little old lady who wore all Red, White, and Blue and called herself Aunty Litter. Aunty Litter came to talk to my second grade class, in Birmingham, AL, about recycling. Her message was: that if Americans did not change their ways that there would not be an earth to live on in 50 years. The big take away for me from Aunty Litter, 21 years ago, was the importance of recycling, and as research and science has evolved over the years I have truly taken it to heart. I continually ask myself what I could do to insure that my children, and their children, and their children have a beautiful earth to live on like I have.

I mark this day as the day that I will launch my Green Blog. I will make every effort to fill it full of tips and tricks for saving the beautiful earth that our God had entrusted us with. I’m not claiming to be an expert or to know all the answers, but I will do everything that I can to insure that I provide you with meaningful and accurate facts. My intentions are not to offend anyone, but simply to help broaden my readers understanding of the things that are impacting our environment and what we can do to change these trends.

As always I welcome your comments, and your suggestions for topics to blog about.

You can visit my blog entitled Laura’s Green Living Blog at:

Monday, December 22, 2008

Merry Christmas

Seasons Greetings from the Coble Family

This was our Christmas card from this year. It will probably mark the last paper card that I send out. I hope so anyway. Cards are so expensive and they are just throwaway items, and most importantly they are not environmentally sustainable. I say this every year, but this year I am putting this in writing so that next year I will stick to my guns and do an electronic card. We’ll see how that that goes in 2009!

Dear Friends and Family,
We pray that this letter finds you and your loved ones all doing well this year. Our family has certainly had an exciting year and we wanted to send you all an update.

As you can see we have a new addition to our family. Miss Emma Grace was born July 21st and she is simply a doll. We truly could not have asked for a better baby. Taylor is also doing very well. When he is not busy being the best big brother any parents could ever ask for, he is busy with Swim Lessons, Wrestling, and preparing for Kindergarten in August. As you can imagine Ryan and I stay very busy trying to manage our household with two children, but we have both attempted to find time this year to do the other things that we enjoy. Ryan has had a blast hunting with his brothers for dear, ducks, and wild pigs. And I have truly enjoyed spending time with my sister and her new baby girl/my niece Lucy Abigail. Lucy and Emma were born just two days apart, and will probably always be best friends!

On a side note, our family will be changing residence at the first of the year. My parents are moving to Baton Rouge for five years and have asked us to house/animal sit for them. Taylor is very sad to see his Manna and G-Daddy move away, but he is very excited about moving into their house and taking care of their horses, dogs, and cats. With that being said we will be chaining our mailing address. If you need out new address just let me know.

Again we hope you are all doing well, and have a blessed holiday season.

Much Love,

Ryan, Laura, Taylor & Emma Coble

Emma Grace you are now 5 Months Old

My initial thoughts are: “stop growing up Emma.” But then we have nights like last night where we were up several times and I think “I can’t wait till we grow out of this.” I don’t mind getting up with you – it just makes for a long day at work for mommy. Wow I’m not sure where all the time has gone though. You are such a joy for your mommy and daddy to raise.

You have hit the following milestones:
- Rolling over from your belly to your back (not quite doing the reverse but you are almost there).
- Grabbing your feet and trying to put them in your mouth.
- Playing in your bouncer. Getting board in your swing.
- Loving Play School and all of your teacher. (You have made some of the most amazing artwork. I need to scan it in and start putting it on the blog for safe keeping.)
- Going goo-goo over your Daddy. Yes, I do believe that you will be a daddy’s girl. He can walk across a room and make you light up.
- And as of this weekend I believe that you are beginning to get teeth.

We love you little girl. Happy 5 months!!!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

They found each other....

My little Ryan the girl...
We had girl’s night on Friday night and Emma and Lucy really connected and found each other. They were so cute holding hands, and head butting.

Fancy Pants….

This is our Fancy dog. I obviously had to much time on my hand this day. Yes this is Emma’s hair bow. We also have another black pom named Aunyx, but she did not like her hair bow or having her picture taken the other day.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Two Questions to Ponder…..

Santa or No Santa?
Well I’m not even sure how to blog about this one, but I will give it my best shot. The other night we were getting Taylor ready for bed and he stated “mom dad I don’t think there is a Santa Clause.” Ryan and I looked at each other and shrugged out shoulders, and started to inquire as to where he heard this. He said “I thought it up on my own.” We have always said we weren’t going to string him along with the whole Santa thing (we honestly did not even want to start it because we have always wanted it to be abundantly clear to our children as to why we celebrate Christmas). So Ryan proceeded to tell him the truth about Santa. After hearing this Taylor looked at us and said “I was just kidding of course there is a Santa.” Ryan and I look at each other confused and said “okay sure there is a Santa.” We did not know what to think about this.

Does anyone have any great advice as to how to handle the whole Santa thing with little ones?

Disposable Diapers or Cloth Diapers
There is a new “all natural/all organic” children’s store in Fayetteville. Ryan, Taylor, Emma, and I all went in there for the first time on Saturday. If you don’t know me I am really into living a Green life style for the betterment of our environment and our health. I’m not all the way to extreme Green yet, but we try very hard to make an impact where we can. So I love these kinds of stores because you always learn new things when you expose yourself to them.

While we were in the store I asked the owner if I could change Emma’s diaper. She said that she would gladly let us use her changing table but that I would have to take her diaper with me because that was the one thing they did allow in their trash can. I told her that I completely respected this because I know that diapers are the world’s worst thing that we can throw in the trash (if you don’t know they take at least 500+ years to decompose and our sociality simply uses so may of them – each child will use 3000 of them in their life time). So while I was in there I started to inquire about her cloth diapers and her cleaning systems. I have not been able to stop thinking about what she said to me and some of the comments she made. I am seriously thinking about going back and taking one of her training seminars on Cloth Diapers.

With that being said does anyone have any experience/feedback with Cloth Diapers? I am especially interested to know the best way to sanitize them. We do not have a laundry service for them in Northwest Arkansas, so I would have to do it all at home. I know that they are gross and a lot of work, but I also know in my heart that they are much better for the earth that my children will raise their children on.

Side Note
On a side note Emma has been at home sick with the stomach bug all week. Poor baby she was not able to keep anything down for 2 whole days. She is almost all the way better now, but when I brought her to the doctor her weight was all the way up to 13 pounds and 5 ounces.

Also Emily is safe and sound and made it back in town on Monday, and we could not be happier. Especially Taylor!!! Emily – Taylor is ready for you to come back over and have a sleep over with him and play games all night long. We all missed you so much, but no one as much as Taylor.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

What Another Wonderful Weekend….

Yes, we had another great and busy week. Don’t feel obligated to read all this I just felt compelled to catch up on my notes since we had so much going on.

I finally got to go to my UMW (United Methodist Women’s) Meeting. I have not gotten to go since August and it was so wonderful to hang out with these women. It is really bad that I have not been because I am a co-president and I feel horrible that I have left Catherine with all of the work, but I look forward to getting back in the swing of things this winter/spring. We went to Mimi’s Café for our annual Christmas meeting and it was so nice to just hang out with the girls!!!

Ryan and I went to my work Christmas party and it was a blast. This update will be continued, hopefully tomorrow, when I get pictures (words cannot do it justice and I will have to steal someone’s pictures).

Spa day for mom!!!! Some friends/coworkers and I went to the spa and had Massages and Pedicures. It was so relaxing and so wonderful.
Taylor had is Christmas program and work and he danced and sang so loud and did such and awesome job!!! This was a much improvement from his last Jitter Bug’s performance – where he refused to sing or dance. He just stared at the bright lights shining down on him.
We also so go to hang out with Kris and Jennifer and went to have pizza and celebrated the holiday season. We don’t get to spend enough time with Kris and Jennifer, but we sure do treasure the little time that we do get to be together. While together Jennifer and I decided that we are going to start knitting with one of the church ministries. I hope they will be patient with me while I learn.

We got up and went to a charity Pancake breakfast that Uncle Aaron helped put together. It was such a nice event.
Then the whole family and I went and finished up our Christmas shopping. I was so trilled that I could talk Ryan into doing this with me. We were in Fayetteville during this time where they have many more hills that Bentonville. Taylor got the biggest kick out of driving up and down the hills. We just took it easy and drove around for about 30 minutes looking for hills to entertain him with. We did not feel to guilty because gas is only $1.36 right now.
Then Ryan and I decided to skip out Sunday School Christmas party and I took Taylor shopping for his daddy’s gift. I am only wondering if he can keep it a secret until daddy opens it!!!

Taylor and I went caroling with my UMW group at the Bentonville Manor (local nursing home). This was so much fun and so rewarding. The residences were so thrilled to see us and all the little kids that came to sing to them. I am really glad that Taylor was old enough this year to join us. One of his good buddy’s Erin was there and the two of them walked around and said “there sure are a lot of old people here.” You have to love it - little kids are so honest.
Taylor and daddy went to Lucas’s Birthday party.

Like I said these are busy times. Ryan and I were talking the other day and decided that we might as well make the best of them while they are here because I am sure we will miss them when they are gone. Well I better get going because I need to go finish my Christmas cards.

Taylor's Christmas Program (Taylor is the one on the end)

My little Bow Head

Don't they look just a like...

Sunday, December 7, 2008

I’ve Been Tagged

Up until a couple hours ago I did not even know what this was, but now that Mary has explained the rules to me I am very excited. She said all I simply need to do is answer the same questions that she answered and then tag two more lucky friends. Hope you lucky two don’t mind. It seems harmless anyway.

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate?
Slipppp, I love Egg Nog!!! Yum, nothing says Christmas time like a nice cold glass of Egg Nog. I don’t even know why people bother to put alcohol in something that taste so yummy.

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree?
When I was little Santa wrapped presents, but I like to leave them unwrapped for my children. Funny story – we were not ever going to teach our children about Santa Clause. I mean, why, when you can teach them about the actual meaning of Christmas. What more beautiful a story then the Birth of Christ, our lord and savior? We have never even mentioned Santa to Taylor, but it was a nature evolution for him and he truly is a “believer”. So we are trying not to bust his bubble, and we try to play along with the whole Santa Clause thing, but secretly (for now) I wish we did not take any part in it.

3. Colored lights on house/tree or white lights?
I love white lights on a house, and in a tree. But my baby boys loves colored lights; therefore, we have lots of colored lights in our house.

4. Do you hang mistletoe?
I usually do, but I did not see any for sell last night when we went to see the Christmas lights.

5. When do you put your decorations up?
The day after Thanksgiving.

6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)?
I love ham, and dressing.

7. Favorite holiday memory as a child?
One year my sister and I got a little red wagon for Christmas, and inside of it were two white Macy’s bears. My sister and I wore that wagon out dragging each other up and down the driveway.

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa?

I don’t think I ever believed in Santa. I am a very logical person, and we never had a chimney. My mom tried to play this magic key game, but I never bought it.

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve?
No, presents are meant for Christmas.

10. How do you decorate your tree?
I have lots of big colorful ornaments all over the tree and hanging for the ceiling. Everything on the tree is plastic and child proof, and I like it that way so my babies can tuck and feel them.

11. Snow! Love it or dread it?
Dread it – hate the mess. But I do like to pack up Taylor and take him to my moms house to sled – I guess I just like to bring the mess to her house plus she has really big hills.

12. Can you ice skate?
Did when I was little.

13. Do you remember your favorite gift?
The red wagon I spoke of earlier.

14. What is the most important thing about the holidays for you?
Being with friends and family.

15. What is your favorite holiday dessert?
Pecan pie and anything mint chocolate (mint during the holidays is my all-time favorite – right up there with Egg Nog).

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition?

We go to see the Christmas lights in Fayetteville.
We get a Radko ornament each year that symbolizes something monumental from the past year.
And finally my most favorite tradiditon, is packing up and going to Alabama to visit my family.

17. What tops your Christmas tree?

An explosion of gifts, ribbons, and miniature balls. (Sometimes I outdo myself.)

18. Which do you prefer-giving or receiving?
I love to give, especially to those that are less fortunate than us. We had the privilege of buying for 4 kids this year that would not have had a Christmas otherwise. If anyone is interested we did this thru the Bentonville Caring and Sharing organization.

19. What is your favorite Christmas song?

Silent Night

20. Candy Canes-yum or yuck?

Yuck – too messy and sticky, and I only like mint chocolate.

21. What do you want for Christmas?
To see my baby boy smile. He wants toy weapons this year.

22. Do you attend an annual Christmas party?
Yes, four and they are all so much fun. We have our KD alumni party, our Sunday School party, my Work party, and our United Methodist Women’s party.

23. Do you dress up on Christmas or wear PJ's?

Dress up – I don’t like to go anywhere or have any pictures taken without my makeup on.

24. Do you own a Santa hat?
Ryan has a camo one – does that count?

25. Who do you normally spend Christmas with?
All of our family, and we love it. Merry Christmas

The lucy two that I tag are Nene, and DeAnna B. Have fun can't wait to read them.

Christmas Activities in Full Swing

What a wonderful weekend we have had. I could definitely tell that the holidays are in the air.

Friday night Taylor and both of his cousins Lawson, and Britain all spent the night at Grandma Susan and Pop Roy’s house. This was the first time all three have been together without mom and dad. Evidently they had lots of fun! They went to see a movie and went to the toy store and did Breakfast with Santa at the church. We got to meet up with them at Breakfast with Santa and we really enjoyed it. Lucy and Emma also enjoyed sitting in Santa’s lap. Well Emma did, and Lucy had fun yelling at Santa. Mary took a picture of this and said she was going to use it as her Christmas card and write, “Have a Crappy Christmas.” She is so funny!!

Back to my Taylor and his cousin weekend. We were told it was a big dilemma as to which movie all of them would go to see because right now there are only two cartoons playing and Taylor had see one of them and Lawson and Britain had seen the other. So either way at least one of the children were going to have to see a movie they had already seen. It had been decided that they would go see Madagascar 2 (the one Taylor had not seen), but at the toy store Taylor had some of his money left over, and he thought it would be a good idea if he treated the other kids to Bolt (the movie they had not seen). Taylor you have such a big heart because I know that you did not want to see Bolt again, but you wanted to make your cousins happy.

Yesterday I got to see one of my sorority sister’s (Libby) newborn baby boy, and he was so cute. He was born last Saturday so he was only one week old. Libby had to have a c-section and she looked great (already up and back in her jeans). He was 6 pounds 3 ounces when he was born, and he is so tiny. I can’t believe that just 4 months ago my little girl was about that size. They sure do grow up fast. Hold on to every minute of it Libby!!!!

To top it all off last night we went to see the Christmas lights in Fayetteville with Mary, Jonathan, Manna, and Lucy. Taylor got to ride the ponies, and it was such a wonderful night! This is another one of our Christmas traditions that I love and I am glad that I remember to do year after year.

This girls were dressed like twins this day:
Lawson, Taylor, and Britain with Santa:
My little cowboy:
Jonathan, Lucy, and Mary:

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Christmas Tradition

I’m not really good at keeping with traditions. Don’t get me wrong I do love traditions but I am just not good at remember to keep up with them. But one tradition that Ryan and I have kept up with is our annual ornament purchase. Each year we get one ornament for us, and one for each child that represents some big milestone that has happened throughout the year. This year Taylor got a big brother ornament, Emma got a baby girl safety pin, and mom and dad got a baby girl ornament. I have posted pictures below.

Mom and Dad’s Ornament that represents Emma’s birth:

Emma’s Ornament that represents her birth year:

Taylor’s Big Brother Ornament:

I will be real honest I did not put any of these special ornaments up this year for two reasons: one I did not want to pull them all out since we will be packing up and moving soon, and two my four year old loves Christmas and he like to touch everything and I don’t want any of these ornaments broken. So I’ll admit that I only kind of half way kept up with this tradition this year. Sorry kids…..

I hope to next year take them all out and take pictures of them and post them on my blog so I can help myself remember why we bought all of them and what they mean to us. Right now I can keep up with all of it but in 20 years (60 ornaments later) not so sure I will be able to.