Sunday, December 20, 2009

Riverchase Christmas Party

Every year our Children's Ministry has a Christmas Party for all the families involved. And as you can see Santa even comes to pay us a visit so the kidos can put in their requests!! And let me say this picture is a far cry from a few years ago when I HAD to be in the pictures w/Santa b/c my babies were scared of him. They've figured out that he's a good guy who brings them stuff!
My CP, Maggie and my "adopted" daughter Miss Megan. She's basically part of the family!! When I say, "Hey, my girls smile please." She gladly joins in!!

Here we are making our all important visit w/Santa to tell him all the goodies that we want! I sure do hope Santa gets it all right this year.

There were fun craft projects and coloring sheets to keep them busy. Then we had a devotional, a great dinner and finished by decorating Christmas Cookies. We are so blessed to have such a wonderful church family!!
Hope you've got your shopping done!! Only a few more days till Christmas!!

Monday, December 14, 2009

2009 Hicks Family Express

This year we were privileged to be a part of the Gardendale Christmas parade! Every year we ride in PawPaw's Christmas train in at least 1 parade so this year it was Gardendale!
I was so happy to have so many of my friends show up to ride with us! Almost everyone that rode with us knew us from church, life long friendship or work!! Thanks everybody for coming. It was so much fun!!!

Here's my buddy Donna with her daughter Erica and my Gracie! It was cold but not too bad because we had so many cozy blankets to cover up with.

Clara Paige and Keely had loads of Christmas fun waving at all the parade watchers!!

Here's a shot of all the kidos that were so cute waving and shouting "Merry Christmas" that we won 1st place!!! I knew we were a pretty good looking, fun, cheery group!!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Holiday Cheer...

I need some; cheer that is. This has been a hectic season so far for me. I keep reminding myself of the reason for the season. With my purse being stolen and all it's been a little hard to see the positive side but I'm getting there. I love the festiveness and all the decorations but the hustle and bustle are almost too much for me. However, I love Chrismtas time!! I really do. It is a magical time so I plan on putting my inner Grinch up and enjoying the rest of the season with my family and friends with a much more serene heart!! The innocence and excitement of childhood on the faces of my girls this time of year put my attitude in check daily. I do hope you all have a great Holiday and that Santa puts what you wish for under the tree!! I'm just wishing for my family to be together and a warm cup of cider while my girls enjoy their presents on Christmas morning! That is what its about to me.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Build-A-Bear Party!!

So my baby girls who are not babies any more chose to have their 5th birthday party at Build-A-Bear Workshop. It was so much fun. We had so many friends come and share their "1/2 way to 10 day" with them!!

Here the kidos all are waiting to have their bear stuffed. I think Maggie named her bear Sunshine while Gracie named hers Sarah!

We had cake and opened presents in the food court b/c that's how it works at the lovely Riverchase Galleria!! It was a good spot though because we were kinda off to ourselves!! They got such wonderful presents but most of all they were so blessed to have so many people come out to share their day. Thank you all!!

Here we are all loving on our new and huggable/lovable Build-A-Bears!! (Of coarse we had to head straight back to the store to dress our bears after the party. Can't go around with a naked bear now can we??)

Monday, November 30, 2009

Marathon Post.....

So this will be a long post hence the title's warning. So many things have been happening at our house that I have no idea really where to start but if you can hang with me for all the chatter there are pictures at the end. All of you with short attention spans can scan and move on to the pictures but you might miss something if ya do!

I've had all kinds of things on my mind lately. With the Holiday Season upon us, I have lists upon lists of things to do and remember. And more things pop into my head by the minute. I'm sure you probably feel the same.
We have a very busy December creeping up on us so I do hope not to neglect the blog too badly. I hope to take a moment here and there to really take in the essence of the season and appreciate it's meaning and festiveness. I hope you do too.

First I have a quick prayer request - a sweet high school friend's daughter had a major surgery today. My friend's name is Rhonda and her daughter's name is Bailey. Although I've never gotten to meet Bailey she seems to be a delightful young lady who needs our prayers. She seems to be in a lot of pain so let's all ask God to ease her distress and lift her up to Him!

My babies are now 5 years old as I mentioned in an earlier post. They had an excellent birthday party at Build-A-Bear Workshop and I will share those pictures with you soon. I tell you I just can not relate to you how amazed I am that these past 5 years have gone by so quickly.

We made it through Thanksgiving barely. To update you all, my purse was taken from my van on Thanksgiving Day. My advice to you is just be careful out there. Although this is the joyful Christmas Season there are so many out there that unfortunately are dishonest and desperate. I'm thinking this year it might be worse with our struggling economy and so many out of work. I don't know if that is what happened in my case or just a mean old meanie who took the $$ I was to spend on my babies' Christmas on Friday but I sure wish I could rewind that day and take more precautions so I wouldn't have to live this nightmare. There are so many worse things that could have happened but just getting a replacement driver's license alone felt like a major undertaking. I've had multiple conversations with the bank and had to cancel everything. There are many more things to mark off my list before I can get to where I feel more like myself again but I'll be just fine. And I find myself realizing just how much stuff I kept in my purse. Wow, from the obvious important stuff to my favorite lip gloss, I miss it all. Man, it stinks. Anyway, just be safe and be cautious!!

AND, you may have thought you got through the regular college football season without anymore rantings from me about my Tigers BUT oh how wrong you were! So I don't have any amazing pictures with my beautiful little AU cheerleaders for you but let me say how proud I am and will always be to be an Auburn Tiger. As dejected and down as I was on Friday after learning my purse was MIA, the fact that my Tigers put up a darn good fight in the 2009 Iron Bowl against a No.2 ranked UA was enough to bring a smile to my face. We may not have come up with the win but we came out of it stronger and with much more respect as a team than before. I am so thrilled at the fact we pulled together as an AU family and supported our team even after the loss like many just can't understand or believe. If you don't get it, don't worry, you probably never will and that's ok with me. I'm Orange and Blue, Tried and True Always! There, I'm done with that (Until Next Season that is)!!

Ok so I guess I'm done rambling until next time. Enjoy my mixture of Halloween-ish pictures so I can move on to more seasonally appropriate posts for you!!

Trick or Trunk at our Church with good friends Keely & Erica Strickland

Clara Paige's class on her field trip to Hargis Retreat Center for lots of fun Fall activities. What a great group of kids. Quick tid-bit of info: The little boy on CP's left side has a dad who is an Alabaster Police Officer. He just so happened to be the officer who took my report about my stolen purse. Small world!! haha! Thanks Officer Johnson!

The cutest darn lil' Cowgirls in these here Southern parts
you'll see anywhere. The girls had Cowboy/Cowgirl day at pre-school so this was their get up for the big event. They even had a real pony come visit at school that day.

My silly girls holding up their goofy faced monster pumpkins they made this year. We didn't carve a pumpkin so I found these funny mix-n-match pieces.
I know you are so over the Halloween stuff but I just had to post this one. We went Trick-or-Treating with Rachel's kidos this year. My kitty cats joined the Wicked Witch and Dorothy to wander through the neighborhood in search of candy. It was a great time!! I still have too much candy left over!

I love you all and hope you feel as blessed as I do even in adversity! Here's to the start of an excellent Christmas Holiday Season!!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Turkey Day


PS- WAR EAGLE!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Today I am thankful for the fact that I have a job. I have a home that is comfortable and cozy. I may not be wealthy by today's standards at all but I am wealthy in the fact that I have a happy home full of love and am well taken care of. I am blessed beyond measure and for that I am honestly and completely grateful.

Tonight we had our second of what we hope to be weekly Family Nights. Last week we had Family Game Night which went over great. Tonight we had Family Movie Night and it was just as much fun. We watched Santa Buddies and it was a very cute movie to start out our Holiday Season with. More importantly Alex & I want our family to be close and have memories of simple times that we spent together. If we start now while our girls are young, hopefully it will instill a sense of family unity and spirit so they will cherish and look forward to it in the future as they do now. I know all too soon they will not want to spend so much time with us. Although that will tear me up inside when that time comes, I hope they will always feel close to us and be able to confide in us because of the times we took out of our week to spend together as a family unit. It is so important to me.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Half Way to 10!!

My babies are surely babies no longer as they are now officially 5 years old today! November 24th, 2004 changed our lives forever. Two of the most precious blessings were placed in mine & Alex's care on that day!! They are truly 2 of the many angels I have here on this earth! I love you to death my sweet girlies!!
Happy Birthday Gracie Michele and Maggie Nicole!!
I hope your day was as precious today as it was 5 years ago when I met you both!! You may look alike but your spirits and souls are so individually priceless to me and your whole family!!
HOWEVER, you will always be my babies!!

Today I am obviously thankful for the gift of my sweet Maggie & Gracie! However, I am also thankful that I am never alone! Huh?? Yes, I am not alone, ever. I am thankful that I have a Father that loves me without abandon, unconditionally and who is always there for me! When there is no other person around, He's there with me and I know it and feel it! His power and love makes me strong when I am weak. And believe me I'm weak in many areas all the time. I am so grateful that I am His!! There is nothing like the Love of a Father! Surely you've figured that out from my posts about my dad, so how great is it to know that there is a Heavenly Father waiting and longing to put his arms around us all and for us all to belong to him?! I am so lucky and blessed to know Christ and his love and to understand the sacrifice he made in order for my Father to know me.
So, I am thankful for my faith in the one, true God and the freedom to recognize and praise him. Let's not let that go! Let's be thankful everyday for that!

Monday, November 23, 2009


Remember to be thankful this week and every week for all the blessings in your life. I know I try to appreciate all the things that God has given me! Sometimes I fall short and forget to give Him all the glory but at the least we have this time of year to focus on that very thing!
I'm going to try to be thankful for a different thing each day this week. Today I am thankful for my precious family that provides me with the love I need. I am thankful for a husband who is my strength and motivator. My girls are the ones who inspire me to be great and dream beyond my abilities. I am certainly thankful for that.
Have a great week. Don't eat too much and be safe!!
I couldn't find this song to put on the playlist yet but I already love it. It's a great way to look at being thankful forour loving families!! Lyrics are below:

Trace Adkins
All I Ask For Anymore lyrics
Songwriters: Beathard, Casey Michael; James, Timothy A

It was a home run when the game was tied
A pick up truck when I could drive
One pink line when Katie said I'm late

It was a passing grade, a pretty girl
All the money in the world
What mattered then kept changing every day

But when I bow my head tonight
There'll be no me, myself and I
Just watch my wife and kids please Lord
That's all I ask for anymore

Now a days it's crazy how
A passing storm, a siren sound
Can make me drop it all and pick up the phone

To hear her say that all's okay
Is all I need to know these days
Can't wait to see their faces when I get home

And when I bow my head tonight
There'll be no me, myself and I
Just watch my wife and kids please Lord
That's all I ask for anymore

Let 'em outlive me by a hundred years
Let their laughter dry up all their tears
Let 'em love and be loved back like I have been

When I bow my head tonight
There'll be no me, myself and I
Just watch my wife and kids please Lord
That's all I ask for anymore
That's all that matters anymore

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Great Pumpkin Patch

So, you'll just have to bare with me on the catching up. I know that they have crammed the Christmas Season upon us (which I don't mind) but I have some Halloween posts I can't pass up on. I can't miss out on documenting our families lives on my blog and in the words of my dear friend Kim Bowling, It's My Blog so this Halloween related post revolves around my twinkies and their first field trip. This is their first year of Preschool so they thought they were HOT stuff getting to go on a real live class field trip!! We went to the Grand Old Pumpkin Patch in Clanton. Check out the excitement in their faces below before we got out of the van!
Cuteness just pours out of them don't you think? Well I do even if I am their momma.

Momma just could not pass up some pumpkin pictures of my little punkins! I LOVE pumpkin patch pictures for some reason. I think it's all the fall colors and the brightness of the orange. Unlike some folks, I happen to love the color orange in case ya didn't know. ;)

Here they are with some buddies on the Hay Ride to the patch to pick out their pumpkins.
(Gracie is on the left. Maggie is on the right.)

And at last one more cute picture. It was quite a chilly day but such a good time for me and my girlies to spend together!!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Mardi Gras Girlies

While on our NOLA trip we picked up some Mardi Gras masks for the girls. They loved them plus the beads and ORANGE & BLUE boas we brought back. They looked hilarious but precious all at the same time!! Check out the pictures below.

More to come soon......

Saturday, November 14, 2009

NOLA 2009

** I need to edit here for a second - a great big thank you to Alex's cousins the Shoenenbergers for inviting us to stay in their time share. Without them we could not have taken this little get away!! (Hope I spelled the name right)**
OK so I'm gonna attempt to post with my crippled computer. We've been so busy busy that it's been neglected. I've just been using other computers just to stay up to date with you guys. SOOOO, without further hesitation I'll get started with my marathon blogging while crossing my fingers it all goes well and my comp cooperates.

if you've never been to New Orleans, Louisiana then you are missing quite an explosion of local color, culture and cuisine! You either love it or hate it! Alex and I happen to enjoy it. My first trip was when I was 17 with a church group. Yes, I said church group. Can you believe our parents let us travel to the South's Sin City all those years ago? But I did fall in love with the architecture and the culture of it all.
Since I have so much to catch you up on I'm just going to hit some of the highlights you can't miss while visiting N'awlins.
Jackson's Square & Cathedral - beautiful place to take pictures.
Voodoo Museum we went to all those years ago when I was a teen that made it through the hurricane and all. This one happens to be located on Bourbon Street. (The true "Sin Station" of New Orleans but part of the city's fame) Our Hotel (Avenue Park Hotel) was situated in a lovely part of the Garden District. There was a quaint balcony on the second floor. If you look closely on the street behind me you can see the street car tracks. That was our mode of transportation on the trip. It's fun but quite an education on the stature of the locals!

Here's a local band playing in one of the bars we passed. It's not Billboard standards but it was amazing to see one guy play the accordion and the other play the modified washboard and it sound pretty darn good!! Excuse the poor girl who got to show off her back tat in my picture. I didn't want to go all the way in to take it so just over look her please.

And of coarse the beautiful French style buildings and houses. There's no other place like it and it's situated right here in the South ready for you to visit should you be brave enough.

We also saw the Superdome, street bands playing and dancing, we barely missed the USS New York sail down the river, Oh and there is the Riverwalk, Harrah's Casino, Cafe Dumonde for beignets, great creole cooking and much much more!!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

still here.....

I'm still around just waiting on the computer to be fixed. I hate not being able to fill you all in on all our antics. Maybe I will be back up and running soon!

And Happy Veteran's Day to all. Be sure to thank a soldier or a Veteran should you get the chance.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Hang on for Me....

Well at this rate I'll catch up on posting next Christmas. The computer is on the blink again. Who ever came up with the evil plot of computer viruses should be hung upside down by their toenails! I'll see what I can do until the comp is back up and running! Maybe I can squeeze a few posts in until then. They just aren't fun w/out pictures. Have a great rest of your week!!

Monday, October 26, 2009

October 26th, 2008

"My best friend gave me the best advice, He said each day's a gift and not a given right" -Nickelback

I have many fun and interesting things to post for you guys so you should have lots to read in the coming weeks but today I have to stop to do something else. Please bare with me on this one.

I wasn't sure how today would affect me, and honestly, I'm still not sure. The date listed above is not a typo. I did mean for it to read 2008. You see if you haven't already figured it out it was exactly one year ago today that I will remember for the rest of my life. I know as time continues to pass for us all the feelings and memories will not come back to cause so much pain but that day was the worst I've ever encountered, EVER. I lost my daddy that day. My girls lost their Pappy, my mom lost her husband, my bother lost his dad and so on. The hardest part so far for me is the memories of that day. I'm doing ok with remembering the good times and knowing what an excellent man my dad was. It's just hard when your mind takes over and leads you to places you don't want to remember. And those are memories that can be haunting if you choose to go there. So I'm not going to relive that day right now. That is not what this post is about.

Anyway, over all we've come through this year ok. All the 1sts were difficult but we pressed on through them. There have been good times, great times, bad times and sad times but I feel like I've never let any of them steal my joy in the fact that my dad was my hero. When I picture him in my mind, he is always smiling. That is how I remember him. Smiling and full of love.

The very hardest part for me is missing him. I wish for just one more time I could hug him and hear him tell me he loved me. I wish I could see him stand in the driveway when I left mom & dad's house as he waved goodbye until we were out of sight. BUT I feel like that is why we were blessed with the ability to remember: So we can cherish and honor those things we hold dear to our hearts.

I don't remember much from the sermons yesterday at church (preoccupied, I'm sure you can understand why) but I do remember one of the thoughts was Selfless Love. That's what my dad was to me and everyone he knew. He loved with all he had. He gave what he had so other's could be happy. I hope that is how I am. I think if there's one thing I learned from my dad it is to love others with all I have!

My dad died on my back deck. For months I could not set foot back there. It was too hard for me. Eventually I slowly made my way back out there but not to the area where it happened. Earlier this summer, my Alex re-built our back deck with the help of his dad - for me. I didn't realize it at first but it was his selfless act of love for me so I could enjoy our back deck again. My dad spent a lot of time out on back decks at our house and his so this is amazingly special to me. I've saved these pictures since then, knowing I wanted to share them with you now. They probably aren't significant to you but they are to me!

Thank you Alex for loving me and my dad so much that you did this for us.

They did an excellent job but that's not why I'm sharing this with you. I want you all to understand how powerful love is. It makes you do things you never thought you would do. It makes you sacrifice yourself for others, like Christ did for us. Yesterday, at church I had an experience that was moving for me. I do not want to go into details but there was someone who was obviously hurting. I saw her and it moved me tremendously. I'm not one to like attention or want to be the hero and save the day but she needed someone. I approached this person and I hope I helped her. This is significant to my dad and this post because it made me aware that we are all hurting in some way or another. It might not be too bad or it might be life changing but I'm not the only one with struggles. I personally, think God moved me into that situation yesterday so I could be reminded of that. I'm pray she gets some peace soon.

I want you all to do me a favor, love with all you have, never take a day for granted, and put yourself out there to help others. I'm not really great at doing these things myself but I constantly remind myself of that. We aren't guaranteed a tomorrow but we are guaranteed a forever!

Mom- I love with my heart more than I can say. You are my confidant and friend. I'm so blessed to have you and pray for you continuously.

Alex - Thank you for loving me and being there for me. I couldn't have made it through as well as I have without you. I love you wholeheartedly.

Jonathan - I want only great things for you. Know I love you so very much. I'll always be your big sister and am here for you always.

My Girls - I have such a special place for you in my heart. I will love you forever. I pray that I can sacrifice for you daily and that you can live your lives as happy, Christ loving individuals. Pappy would love that.

Wendi & Todd - I will never forget or be able to repay you for your efforts on that day last year. I love you both more than you know.

Rachel - Thanks for listening to me and being there when I needed to talk. I love you like family because you are in so many ways.

All other Family & Friends - Just in case you haven't figured it out - I love you too. You may not think you've touched me significantly or really helped in any way but so many people have reminded me throughout this last year and recently how caring and loving you all are. Your love and prayers have made all the difference.

Live each day like you mean it guys.
Committ a Selfless Act of Love today.