Tuesday, December 27

Hey, Santa!!

The weekend before Christmas we made our traditional visit to the Enchanted Forest to see Santa! I’ve been going to the Enchanted Forest since I was a little girl!! It was originally located in the old Goldsmith’s department store in downtown Memphis. Now, it’s at the Pink Palace. If you ask me, they always have THE BEST Santa in town!! We look forward to it every year.

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Before we left, we had to catch up on our link countdown! (I’ve been HORRIBLE with this this year!!)

We decided to go on Sunday, right when it opened and it was PERFECT! We always have to wait in line to see Santa but not this year!!

The Enchanted Forest has several “parts”, including the decorated Christmas trees! I LOVE the Christmas trees!! Each one is donated by a group/organization and they get to decorate it. So, the Memphis Zoo had a tree that was decorated with animals, the Memphis Grizzlies had a Grizzly basketball themed tree, and so on. It’s always fun seeing all the different trees.

Then there’s the “enchanted forest” part! It’s a winding path with with animated animals and Christmas decorations! There’s even a scavenger hunt for the kiddos!

G seemed to enjoy it!

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My family! LOVE them!


We couldn’t resist! ;)

A huge train set!! E asked if he could have one just like this! I told him that I didn’t think Thomas made this many pieces! ha!

Gingerbread houses!!! This one was our favorite!

Last, but certainly not least, was the Big Guy himself! The best part… Gray didn’t cry!!!! HORRAY!

He chatted with LK and E.. LK asked for an iPod touch and Ethan asked for a BB gun.


This is how family pics turn out these days! Someone is always a mess!! This day (and most days!), it was Ethan’s turn!

Our Santa pic 2011!

We had a great experience visiting Santa this year!

Monday, December 26

Go Tell It On The Mountain

The week school got out we had Christmas programs and parties galore! Luckily, I was able to make all of them. I was a little worried that I wouldn’t be able to b/c of my “nose issues” (ie: pain and drainage). HA! We started the week with Ethan’s “Polar Express” day at school, which he took the Reindeer cupcake for snack. Then we had his Program and Class party on Thursday. His program was PRECIOUS!! I always look forward to their programs and I always think how just a few years ago, LK was still a little thing up on that stage!


teacher gifts this year.. copco cups, crystal light, and target gift cards! I had intentions of embroidering hand towels too, but that didn’t happen! Maybe all the teachers will get special Valentine’s Day happies! :)


G loved the music!



That’s my little lamb! They sang the sweetest songs… my fave, “Go Tell It On The Mountain”!




He literally stood there, in the FRONT row, with his hands in his pockets.. THE ENTIRE TIME!! Not a single hand motion from this child!! No excitement in his face either! That’s Ethan! He’s SO laid back and nonchalant! Until you bring up superheroes, sports, or Star Wars!! BOYS!





They were adorable!

We also had LK’s program at her school! She even got to do a dance!! She was so excited! I could kick myself though b/c I forgot to take my camera.. so no pics of hers! :( Then she had her class party on Friday afternoon. Fortunately, Chris was home so he took the boys for me. I was happy to be able to devote my time to LK and not have to chase Ethan all over the classroom!

After all the excitement, we were worn out and so ready for a break from school! However, Mommy is SOOO ready for them to go back now! :)

Thursday, December 22

Good Tidings of Joy!

We have been gearing up for Christmas around our house! I can’t believe that it’s just in a few days!! This year has gone by WAY too quickly! I have all the gifts purchased and slowly but surely getting them all wrapped and put under the tree! Unfortunately, blogging has fallen a little behind.. AGAIN! But, a lot has been going on.. so I’m going to try to get you updated!

First… we had a little unexpected snowfall a few weeks ago! It didn’t stick to the streets, so much to the dismay of a certain, Lilly Kate Stickles, school was still on! It did cover the ground and buildings though, so it was beautiful to look at!




This just got everyone all that much more excited for Christmas!

We FINALLY finished up school for the 2010 year!! The last week was super busy with Christmas Programs and Holiday Parties (separate posts!), but we made it through! Ethan was sweet and helped me make his treats for his class! We ended up making reindeer cupcakes and he did a GREAT job!!! He had actually made something similar in his cooking class a few days earlier, so he was quite the little expert and was telling me exactly how it was supposed to be done!








Finished Product!

I am gradually recovering from my sinus surgery! It was a little spur of the moment, but was definitely something I needed to do before the end of the year. I’ve known for a few years that I needed sinus surgery, but it wasn’t necessary and we never seem to meet our deductibles, so I’ve just kept putting it off. Well, since I had Gray this year, we were able to meet our deductible AND our out of pocket expenses.. so I got into the ENT as quickly as I could! I met with him and had my CT scan, completely expecting him to tell me that it was really needed any more and that I should wait. Isn’t that the way it always goes when you’re finally ready to do something??! I couldn’t have been more wrong though! We met and went over my scans. He told me that based on my scans, my sinuses and facial bones stopped developing when I was around the age of 7! So, basically, all these years, I’ve had under-developed sinus cavities and that’s why I’ve had all the problems!! I was floored! I had no idea!! So, he had to go in and reconstruct bones around my eyes and nose, as well as, clean out and make new sinus passages that I didn’t have. They called me on the 8th and told me that they could either do it the next day, or on the 23rd! (We HAD to get it done before the end of the year, so we were trying to squeeze me in ASAP!) I told her that I would do it the next day. I wanted to be able to recover some before Christmas!! So, we hurriedly coordinated plans with everyone.. kiddos, Chris’ work, etc.. and got everything set in stone. Chris and I were at the surgery center bright and early the next day and were there most of the day! My surgery took about 3 hours. Dr. D is AMAZING!!! He fixed me right up!

Recovery has been a little harder than I had anticipated (and I’m usually pretty good at handling things like this!). The pain hasn’t been awful, it’s just the small things. Like, the constant drainage, the queasiness from the pain meds (which I took myself off of 2 days in to recovery b/c of!), and not really being able to do much with/for Gray b/c I’m scared he’ll hit my nose. My nose is very tender b/c it also had to be straightened out… apparently my septum was severely deviated. I had splints in for 10 days.. which was REAL fun! I had them removed on Monday. I cried like a baby!! OH MY GOODNESS.. it hurt like YOU KNOW WHAT!! WOW! That was the only thing that hurt in the entire process. Now, my nose is just a little sore and I have some swelling in my sinuses. Fortunately no bruising, and just a little swelling in my cheeks the first few days after surgery. All in all, it’s been pretty good. Just a long process!

I have to say a HUGE thank you to our family! There’s no way we could have done this without you! Everyone has chipped in with transporting kiddos to and from school, to coming over and sitting with them, and helping Chris manage everything! He truly got to see what daily life is like for me and the kiddos. He was more than ready to hand the reins back over once I got to feeling better! He was incredible though! He kept everything together and running smoothly, and was the best nurse in the world!

Backtracking a little… before the snow, the kiddos got to play in the leaves while Chris was raking them up.. Pictures are too cute not to share! :)











I hope everyone is ready for Christmas!! I’m going to try to get caught up before I have to start all the Christmas posts! :)

Monday, December 12


We haven't been up to much around the Stickles House for the past few days. I ended up having sinus surgery on Friday (which I will go more into detail about later.. when I'm off pain meds! ha!). So.. here are some more random pics to keep you entertained until I'm back to full speed.

Ethan makes me laugh.. he likes to pull out ALL of his men with his batcave!

So, this is actually one of Gray's gifts from Santa, but I couldn't help but get a few pics of him on it when it came in. ADORABLE!!! LK actually had this same exact chair when she was a baby!

Enjoying a fun game of Smashed Potatoes!
G LOVES his winter hat!

Who doesn't love George??? :)

I'll try to get some more posting done this week, but the pain and recovery is a little more than I had anticipated... SO, we'll just have to see how it goes! Also - working on the new layout. Excuse the kinks while I try to figure it out! (again, probably not the best idea to change things up while under the infulence of pain meds!! ha!)