Friday, December 26, 2008


Christmas was wonderful this year! I was so thankful as we opened gifts and hung out with family and talked about Jesus' birthday and the true reason for the season. I love watching the excitement in the kids!

You see, this Christmas was almost (way to close for comfort) going to find us not together on Christmas morning. Barron was very close to being sent to Vandy for an enlarged and infected lymph node on his neck. But, Praise be to God for answered prayers (yes, i have been on my knees several times this month asking for healings and... yes, God has healed). Then, there is my sweet sister who is trying to not have her sweet baby for atleast another month.

Here's the Lankford crew getting fired up for gifts on Christmas eve! We had a yummy lunch and fun present time before hitting a Christmas eve service!

The big day...
Here's my crew Christmas morning- nothing is better opening presents!

and digging in stockings!

My side of the family comes over for Christmas lunch and gifts. Here is Padre giving Barron his first knife. He has done this for all his grandboys!

My mom, me, my sis (and the little guy trying to stay in her belly)...
the annual force everyone to stand in front of the tree and smile Christmas pic! (yes, that's a gun i'm holding- like i said it takes "force")(oh and yes, it's fake)
now, as all you moms know, you always want an annual Christmas pj pic. i especially like one on Christmas morning. didn't happen for me this year. here's why... 2am Christmas morning brax wakes up all but barron b/c he has wet the bed and of course his pjs. so, new pjs- throw xmas ones in wash. then barron wakes up 6am with his pjs ruined from, nope not pee, but diarrhea (antibiotics will do that to you- you know). ok, boys wear other pjs- i'm a mom of 3- you gotta roll with the punches- no biggie! needless to say, after a couple of washings i snuck in our pic xmas nite before we all crashed form exhaustion:)

hope everyone had a Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

our annual Christmas light expedition

tonite, because there is only one more night and it is just too late, we went on our annual find cool Christmas light adventure! here they are on the pallet we made in the back of "Stella" admiring the lights!

my new favorite light display- we met the sweet man who has done this every year for the past 26 yrs in remembrance of his son. he adds more every year and has even gotten many of his neighbors involved. the kids (and the grown-ups) were in awe:) all barron could do was "ho ho ho" the entire time. truly, from the minute we unloaded him from the car until he was forced unwillingly back in, the kid "ho'd"!

the grand finale was, of course, George and Nancy's place... (see pic above and below)

the big guys got so excited when we pulled up and they remembered the big ole rockin chair!!

this is always one of my favorite memories every year!

Monday, December 22, 2008

more merriest memories

we have made many a merry memory so far this holiday season and we still have 2.5 fun filled days to go!

school parties- brax loves mrs cindy

bri loves mrs neal- whose baby boy is due in one month!

nothing ever ever ever beats some lap time with SANTA! even the bear loved the bearded fellow!

there is nothing like some reindeer games...

or gingerbread lickin'

or a rendition of The Christmas Story Lankford Dickson style! if you look closely you can count 33 people and well, that's not even the half of it. we think we broke a record of attendance this year. my guess is we hit 100?!

briley and joey's grandpa wayne.

because of an accident he had as a young man and the prayers of his mom- an entire family was changed for the good. an entire family was SAVED. this family, who once didn't know the Lord, now is full of many christians, several preachers, and a few missionaries!

yes, they are supposed to show their bellies in the Lankford Dickson annual guys singing of Up on the Housetop!

i had to include a pic of braxton and the family member we believe he looks like the most- his 2nd cousin hannah!

these girls make me smile. they are joey's cousins and their sis-in-law. we adopted them as our christmas project this year as their mom and dad are missionaries in china and are away for the holidays!

another family party required nonni to help with the caroling!

i love the old timey bubbly lights behind barron. i want to find some for us for next year. (please don't get distracted by the tv- just the old fashioned lights!hehe!)

this time of year is always so much fun. i feel like i have missed a chunk of it this year as we have had some type of illness going on since the beginning of december. i do believe we are almost totally healed as the day we celebrate Jesus' birthday fast approaches:)

yes- i am certain i have broken my record (and many others' records) for most pictures posted in one posting!!!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

my girl

yesterday (december 17) my firstborn, briley elisabeth, turned 7 years old. this sweet child never ceases to amaze me with her compassion, joy, imagination, love and much more. thank you God for the wonderful blessing of briley.

the mickey birthday pancakes have become a tradition...

the new birthday coat. she had grow to hate her silver one from last year that, of course, still fits but...
mommy and briley...

i wish i had pics from the fancy business dinner she attended with us last nite (aunt dana let us snap a few with her camera). we called it a bday dinner for her - she was just glad to get out with her parents and not her brothers:)

**on another note- today (december 18) our dossier left St Louis (where it was reviewed) for Washington D.C. since it's the holiday season i am pretty sure things are moving slow up there but hopefully the beginning of January it will be back in St Louis and we will be on the list:)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

a message, a message, a very important message

ok- this is a record. 3rd post of the day.

TODAY at 5pm i ran to UPS to try and retrieve the package joey had just dropped off for overnite mail to add 3 more important documents i had accidently left out of OUR DOSSIER.

yes my friends, IT IS DONE. every single page typed pretty, signed, notarized, copied,taken to 2 counties for county authentication (or whatever you call it), and to the Tennessee Secretary of State for certification.

i meant to actually count the pages but never got a chance to. let's just say they had to ship it in a box:)

tuesday our adoption consultant will review it and wednesday (i am praying all is perfect with the documents) it will be sent to D.C. we are pumped.

so very soon we will be on the list and the official wait will begin.

Monday, December 15, 2008

1st party of the weekend was...

a super duper thanks to jeff and ashley for hosting the 1st annual tacky christmas party. i felt like i had to edit most pics so i just picked these 2. we had 2 cousin eddies from christmas vacation (yes the had on homemade dickies), a cindy lou-who, a grinch, and lots of christmas sweaters.

my favorite part was the caroling. next year we know to start earlier. the only thing that could have made my night better...that Joey could have been there with me and not at home sick:(

most special party- Briley's tea party

this year we celebrated Briley's birthday with a tea party. it was my favorite party for her yet. so fun and girly. she loved every second of it!

i love my "almost" 7 year old.

briley and 2 party friends.

the tea party. i was surprised at all the consumption of hot tea. it was a yummy contribution by Braxton and his teacher Mrs Cindy.

3 cheers for cupcakes. thanks Em for the icing recipe and tool. i'd say they were as yummy as some i could have bought.

i can't believe i have thrown 7 birthday parties for sweet briley. time flies.

Friday, December 12, 2008

we're dreaming of a white christmas...

we were super surprised last nite that we got so much snow.

barron's first snow - he loved it. he didn't want to come back in.

braxton enjoyed rolling snowballs.

briley was beside herself with excitement!

joe helped the kids build this big guy while i wrestled with the bear. it was snowing so very hard i couldn't even get a pic because of all the snowflakes.

we woke up to a winter wonderland!

not sure how much we got but i'd say 3 inches +. it covered my boots!

oh what fun it is to play in the snow. yeah - for no school! yeah- for making snow memories!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

take time to watch...

how does your heart feel now?

Sunday, December 7, 2008

one of my favorite days...

each one of us look forward with eager anticipation every year the day we "do" the christmas tree. today was that day!

the super duper excitement was a bit subdued this morning as we had to stop in for our flu shots. but...that went without a hitch! oh, the bravery! (and bribery...chick-fil-a and the tree were to follow).

we donned snow suits (it was quite chilly) and headed to a fun little tree lot near smyrna for the perfect tree, some cocoa, and hayride.

after letting "green apple" (that's what Brax named her) get a bit settled in her new home- we decorated and sang and even danced a few jigs. this crew was soooo fired up!

as usual we ended the day with "The Polar Express".

i love this time of year!

oh, and one more thing- Briley surprised us all with an invitation to a tea party in her bedroom this afternoon. she's getting ready for the birthday one she has coming up next week:) it was so sweet.

Monday, December 1, 2008

it's beginning to look alot like Christmas...

Little by little it is starting to look like Christmas around here. Here's a few reasons why...

Each year (until they turn 5) Nonni and Papa get the kids an ornament for the tree.

This year may be Braxton's favorite as it is The Grinch! Just recently this little movie buff decided that this movie wasn't too scary to watch.

Barron loved his Pooh ornament. Too bad mommy won't let him hold it:)

Mimi has literally worked all year to finish these 2 stockings. Yes, she sewed on every detail! I must add that even Padre sewed a few sequins. Oh how special these stockings are! They remind me so much of the ones she made for Hayley and I when we were little. Sweet Memories!

Both big kids have their very own tree in their bedroom that they have decorated themselves!

And last but not least, maybe a favorite tradition- The Elf on the Shelf. Meet our very own little elf "Bernard" ! We love him alot around here.