Archive for November, 2010


the Jesse tree

I’m going to have James build me a Jesse tree like thisone to put in our living room.

Every year before Christmas, since having a family, I try to find more ways in which we can incorporate keeping Jesus at the center of our celebration.  This year, God really spoke to me about the Jesse tree after seeing it online.  I am studying Isaiah right now in Bible Study Fellowship and we literally just read and studied Isaiah 11:1, “There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots.”   I love the explanation this one website says for the Jesse Tree.

“So what do we need to do to honor God on this day (Christmas) as well as the season? Why did we, and still to this day, need this child to be born? Why was it so important for God’s Word to become flesh?  The answers to these questions are woven through the Old Testament in God’s promises, prophecies and miracles. Focusing on these and working on a better understanding will greatly enhance your Christmas season and hopefully help you to abandon some of the materialistic traditions that are dragging you down. Traditions like Advent wreaths and Advent calendars don’t necessarily focus on why the birth of Christ was, and still is, so important. The Jesse Tree is a way to help children and adults get a better understanding of what and why we are celebrating. Jesse was the father of King David. The idea of the Jesse Tree comes from Isaiah 11:1-9, where God promises a discouraged nation that the glory they remember from David’s time will come again. They will have another king from Jesse’s family, in whose reign the whole earth will know God. As a Christian, we see that promise fulfilled in Jesus, and so we use a Jesse Tree and decorate it with reminders of how God prepared the world for that kingdom.”

I found this website from the Reformed Church in America that has devotionals for every day this Advent season with scripture (they start November 28th) and how to make the symbols/ornaments for the tree, (and if you don’t feel like making the ornaments, you can download and print the symbols they have online for free!)  Click here to see the symbols and scripture passages for each day. Click here to print the symbols out.  Click here for devotions every day for the Jesse Tree.

I’m really excited to start this Christmas tradition with my family and will post the picture of our completed tree after Christmas!  My goal is that each day we make the ornament together, (they post how to do that here), then read the short family devotion that goes with it.


Ella and the fireman

I went along with Ella today on her field trip to the local fire station.  Let’s just say that the firefighter who did most of the talking was not bad looking.  I think Ella took notice and it seems to be evident in the pictures I took!  🙂

Her eyes are on lock down!
Hanging on every word he says.
He let them touch him.  Ella was the first to run up.
Do you mind if I just stare at you?
And they called it puppy love…

Seriously, though, she had fun learning about everything at the fire station. The real thrill was when they got a call and one of the fire engines had to pull out and put on their sirens!

You can see the kids thought the sirens were a little loud!

Watching the fireman go down the pole was a treat too!

Ella and the preschool gang!

cheer banquet

Rilyn had her cheer banquet on Sunday night.  Of course, the highlight of the night was receiving a trophy!

*Rilyn was very distraught of wearing the dress she wore.  As we were walking in, she told me it looked like she was wearing “pajamas.”  She said all the other girls had pretty clothes on.  You can see in the picture that most girls are shopping at Justice these days.  My little girl is growing up and doesn’t want me, (or should I say grandma!) to shop at Gymboree anymore!

She got to sit at the flag cheer table.  No parents allowed!
Her cheer trophy with her name on it!

Aggie weekend

James and I got to spend the weekend in College Station while my mom took the kids.  My dad was with us too.  It was so nice to sleep in on Saturday, especially at the peaceful octahouse (my parent’s ‘gameday house’).   We got to go to a GREAT Aggie football game too!  And I must say, it was really nice to go back to College Station where everyone loves the Aggies like we do!

Octahouse in College Station
Ceiling of the octahouse.
Beautiful beams to support the octagon shape.
My dad ‘going green’ by buying a fake fireplace.  Seriously, it blows hot air at you 

when you turn the screen on.

our firepit (still need to make benches!)
the forest behind the house
The Brazos river that our land runs up to.
college sweethearts
We invited Noel to go with us!  After the game, the boys 

just had to go on the field to take a picture with the

Jumbo Tron behind them showing the score of how we

beat OU!


pinatas are scary sometimes

On Halloween night, one of our friends brought a pinata at our annual little get together to eat chili before we trick or treat, (one of these years it will be cold enough outside to enjoy eating it!)

Here is the neighborhood gang this year:

Asher loved the idea of a pinata, but he chose to only hit it once. It was so cute!

One hit, (it was more like a gentle tap), and I’m done!

Ella…well, she is afraid of pinatas. This stems back to her 2nd birthday party. She just doesn’t like the idea of whacking something.  The noise it makes as the bat hits the pinata, and then the surprise as it bursts open with flying candy.  And if the pinata is a character she cares about, (like Mickey Mouse), forget about it. She can not stand to see people hitting Mickey! Anyway, so here is Ella at the Halloween party during pinata time.

safe and sound behind glass doors

And here is where her fear started. 🙂

What is this thing?!?

She is crying from all the candy falling from her pinata which wasn’t even a hitting one, it was ‘pull the ribbon’!

aunt Jessica comforting her


Miss Ella was Tinker Bell this year.  I tried to get her to wear Rilyn’s old Cinderella costume from 2 years back, but she has her own mind set these days, and I’m just lucky that she still wears Rilyn’s hand-me-down clothes and shoes without complaining!  It helps that Rilyn really never dirtied her clothes or shoes, so most are in very nice condition, good enough that Ella has exclaimed, “Thank you mommy for these new shoes!”  Your welcome!  😉

Anyway, Ella loves a camera, so she was eager to pose in her new Tinker Bell costume! Complete with shoes, wings, and hair wreath!

“Do I look the part?”  🙂
one shoulder up pose-pretty standard for her these days
This is what happens when you try to trick or treat with 

20 kids all together.  Look how Ella squeezes herself in

to the porch, all in the name of candy!


to infinity and beyond!

Asher loves Toy Story and so I knew this Halloween, he had to be Buzz Lightyear like 90% of the other little boys his age!  🙂  (Speaking of Halloween, I love this woman’s view of why we celebrate, even as Christians.  You should check it out!)

This was Asher’s first Halloween where he really ‘got it.’  It was sooooo cute to watch him try to keep up with the other big kids.  And his wings…so precious!  They kept bonking people and he got stuck in a couple places, but they ‘made’ the costume, so he didn’t have a choice to take them off!  😉  Keeping with our uncompassionate parenting style ;-), here is James making Asher put the costume on.  You could say that it took awhile for him to warm up to dressing up!

Not even his blankie provided comfort!
I was sure this was the only picture I was going to get with his hood and wings on!
Much happier after going to his friend’s house and playing on the slide!
Seriously, cuteness!  He was waiting patiently for a turn at the pinata.  Love his hands!
trick or treating!
His bucket got too heavy for him near the end, so he had

to be carried!  He loved getting so much candy!

My photography business!

November 2010