the children are nestled all snug in their beds....

We had a great low-key Christmas eve, filled with family time! David was able to have the whole day off of work, and for that, all four of us were very thankful!
With David leading, we made cookies for Santa....

We were very thankful that weather improved slightly this afternoon, after a day full of horrible weather. We got ready and headed to church. We were so excited that SuSu and G decided to come to our church with us.

{ a typical group pic these days}
Then we finished the night off with another tradition...David lit a pathway of sparklers in the front of our house for Santa...the kids loved to watch...
Elise even remembered that last year the sparklers were different colors, and was quite concerned that he would know it was still us. She cracks me up.

And now, everyone is tucked in. We are all looking forward to a few days filled with family and friends. Mo and Phillip are en route at this moment after a trip through some of the horrible rain. We can't wait to see them and to spend some time together.
We hope you and your families are filled with the love of family, the warmth of friendship, the joy of Christmas, and the Peace of Jesus this holiday season.
Merry Christmas!
The Parnell Five


reindeer games

Check out the extra cute shirts my kiddos are sporting these days. Handmade just for them by Suzanne. How adorable can you get?? And trust me, with the little bit of sewing I do, I KNOW these were a labor of love. Chenille is tough to sew on. They are the cutest things ever and they have been sporting them non-stop. As soon as we wear them I toss them in the wash so they are ready to go again!

The kids have been singing lots of Christmas carols. I love them all, but my favorite today has to be "We wish you the Peace of Jesus", which around here is being sung as "We wish you a piece a Jesus".
The other top contender is Happy Birthday Jesus. My favorite part is when Elise goes into her falsetto for "the real gift is yooooouuuuuuu!". David and I have to hold back the laughs. We wouldn't want to crush her American Idol hopes.

I can't help but smile.

The one sour note of our Christmas vacation thus far has to be the fact that Lila has fallen off of the potty training bandwagon. After a month of big girl underwear, we had finally gotten to the point where I wasn't even nervous in public with her. I trusted that she had it totally down pat. Well, based on the hugely disgusting mess I just finished cleaning up (I'll spare you the gory details), I would say the fact that she has completely regressed has been confirmed. Don't know what is up with that. I know I shouldn't compare, but it is hard not to do so. Elise HATED to have an accident. Lila seems to think it is kind of funny. And the mess all over herself and the floor doesn't phase her one bit. So, I guess we are back to two in diapers around here until she can prove she is a big girl again. Bennett stills seems very content to just let me change his diaper rather than going to all of the effort of pulling his pants down to potty!
I can't believe Christmas is so near....
Hope you are all enjoying your week!

day full of friends

I was feeling brave yesterday and piled all of the kids into the car for a day trip to Jackson, MS. Well, I should be honest, I wasn't feeling that brave...that is just how badly I have been dying to see my friend Dianne and to meet her beautiful twin boys. She is in Mississippi visiting her parents, and Jackson was about a half way point for us to meet. In addition, I knew Elise would love to see Millsaps, where Mommy and Daddy went to college, and where we met.
So, Dianne also loaded up her little 3 month old munchkins, and we met at our favorite lunch spot from college. Let me just say that Dianne has things WAY more under control than I did when our babies were that little. By the time we arrived she had already fed and burped them, and had Dyer back to sleep in his car seat. She is a natural..one of those calm Moms that looks like she takes it all in stride. And the babies are GORGEOUS. I couldn't stop staring.
Lunch went relatively well....but let's just say that it was obvious when it was time for the check...the Fields boys were just fine, but the Parnell crew had had enough of sitting still- between the 2 1/2 hour car ride and the restaurant.
So, we headed down the street to Millsaps so that the kids could run around and get some fresh air, and so that Dianne and I could visit some more. We also attempted to get some pics of our 5 little ones...

Surprisingly, Bennett was much more interested in Wyatt and Dyer than Elise and Lila. He kept asking to hold them and kept rubbing their heads softly. It was very sweet.
Lila was not so sure about the babies.....

This brought back some memories!! Dianne and Russell's boys are nice and big like our babies were and so I know she is getting some serious arm workouts when she is alone with both of them! I started remembering all of the different positions you have to get them in to get them both comfortable in your arms.
Oh they are so precious......
I am so thankful that she was up for the trip and that we were able to have a few hours together. It will definitely be a high point of my Christmas this year...
On the way home we were able to stop and see the Boerner family in Brookhaven. We were all so excited, as it had been quite a while since we had seen them. Quinn and Elise remembered each other so well and started playing immediately. Tyndale is turning into such a little man...I know he is keeping Lissa busy because he was moving pretty fast! Lila and Bennett made themselves at home right away....Lissa and I did some catching up as well, which was great!
We got back home around 6 and were happy to find David already at home! He made the kids breakfast for dinner with the new waffle iron we got from Emmy and Pop....and they loved it! Then everyone crashed after our day long adventure.
It doesn't get much better than that.


a parnell christmas

We had such a nice day today celebrating Christmas with the Parnells. They just got back into the U.S. Friday night after a 3 week buying trip in Europe. Elise has been loving all the postcards she has gotten in the mail, but was even more excited to see them today. After church we met them for lunch. Yum. After we ate ALOT, we came home to hang out and open gifts. They first gave the kids each a beret from Paris. SOOO cute. At first, Lila and Bennett wouldn't wear theirs, but eventually they put them on....here's our little French girl, with the name to match (Elise Laurent)....

As usual, Emmy and Pop spoiled the kids with lots of treats. Bennett really loves his "BIG BIG TRUCK", seen below...

And feeding his new baby Tiger, with some help from Emmy....

Here's B goofing around with the camera and Elise...
Lila feeding her doll....

A rare pic of me and my #1 girl....

Pop and his little ladies....

And his first grandchild....

We had a fun day hanging out, playing, and spending time together. It was fun to hear about the snow in Paris and pretend we were there!!
The kids actually did a pretty good job of sharing their new treats with each other, and were occupied all afternoon playing away....Thanks so much Emmy and Pop!
We are so thankful for the time with family and look forward to continuing to spend time with those close to us over the next few weeks.....
Gosh I love this time of year!!!!!!!!!
Merry, Merry!

breakfast with santa, take 2

We started off the weekend with the annual breakfast with Santa at our neighborhood country club. We hope to make this an annual tradition, as we not only get to see Santa, but lots of friends as well.
The breakfast was going along just fine...until Santa arrived!!
Lila just did not want to go near him, which is documented below....

Elise and Bennett were happy to smile for the camera! We were glad Su Su was able to join us- David and I were thankful for the company and the help - and we also enjoyed seeing so many of our friends dressed up in their Christmas outfits. As usual, Davis got some great pics- he is like our personal party-pic man!

If any of you who have received Christmas cards from us ( I JUST started sending them out) were wondering why I didn't do a picture card this year.....above would be the reason....This is about as good as it gets these days with a family pic! Thanks to Davis for at least catching us all in the same frame.....it is rare!!!

We hope to continue this tradition every year!


singing angels

Elise's Christmas program was at school today and it was the sweetest thing ever. I don't know why, but it made me cry. The same thing happened at her ballet recital last year. I thought that was because of all of the drama surrounding it (with her dog bite, etc), but I guess not. I think it is just seeing what a big girl she is and, although she is shy, how well she does on stage. She takes things very seriously, and was very focused on her performance. She sang her little heart out!!!

I was pretty disappointed today with my camera...it was not taking decent pics at all. The room was dark, and we were towards the back, and so I guess the flash couldn't reach that far. But, trust me, it was cute!

Lila and Bennett were mesmerized at first. But, Bennett lost interest quickly. Like most 2 year old boys, he can't sit still. AT ALL.

...unless he is on his Daddy's shoulders...

Lila kept waiving and waiving at Elise...she loves her big sis!

Here's a short little clip of our singing angels...Elise is the one in the middle with the Christmas headband (it is hard to see)...
*tip- scroll down to the bottom and pause the music before you press play..that way you'll be able to hear how perfectly in tune they are ;)

Off to her Christmas party!

let it snow

Actually, let it rain, and rain, and rain, and rain....that's all it has been doing in south Louisiana! Last night David surprised the kids with some new bubble bath, and it almost looked like they were playing in the snow....
Our huge, funky 1980's tub in the master bath was the perfect place for their snowy adventures...we even had a visit from Santa!

(In case you didn't recognize him- this is Santa!)

Lots of fun celebrating going on this week! More posts to come!



Feeling pretty happy today....

Here's why-

It is my Dad's birthday! Happy Birthday G!! We love you!!

My sister got engaged!!! Congrats Mo and Phillip!!

Bennett is taking a nap for the second day in a row. It is no easy feat, but it is worth it to have my little boy act like himself, instead of a sleep deprived maniac!!

My Christmas cactus is FULL of blooms. And, I actually kept this one alive since last Christmas. I am so impressed with myself!

I have a white one as well, but it is choosing not to bloom this year. Not so sure why, but I'll be happy with my pink one. It is definitely cheering up our gloomy house, since it has been raining here, without exaggeration, for 3 straight weeks.

And lastly, after staying up later than I had in a LONG time, I am almost finished with all of our two you orders, as well as my own Christmas cards!!! Whooohooo!!

Hope everyone is having a great week.