Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas 09

We started our celebration on the 18th in Gastonia visiting with my dad, step-mom, brother, sister-in-law, nephews, and niece as well as some of David's dear friends. Thankfully my step mom took some pictures because we somehow managed to let Christmas come and go without taking very many pictures (and none posed!). Note to self: don't let that happen next year.

We had a great time celebrating with both of our families and of course, Santa paid a visit to the boys. I was convinced more than once that they had landed on the naughty list, but Santa took pity on them at the last minute. (I would have never done that!) :)

Andrew and John got new bikes...big boy bikes that look like motorcycles. Wyatt got a blue plasma car. So far the bikes haven't gotten much use, but the plasma car has gone round and round the downstairs of the house over and over and over and over...

As soon as it warms up a bit, the boys will get to enjoy their bikes more.

Two other big hits were stomp rockets from Granny Meg and Pop (one is already stuck on the neighbor's roof) and fishing poles (play ones with magnetic bait and minnows that allow the boys to catch a bass) compliments of Nana and Papa!!
Next birthday celebration on the horizon: Ashley turns 34 in less than a week.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Breakfast with Daddy

When the big boys were somewhere between 18 months and two, Ashley began a tradition of taking them to breakfast once a week. Every Friday from then on, the boys have taken turns going to breakfast with their Dad. It is the topic of MANY conversations and almost as many fights at our house. The boys always want to discuss whose turn it is that week and Ashley and I have gotten to the point where we really need to start keeping a calendar to make sure that each boy gets their proper turn. Apparantly raising children and memory loss are correlated!

This week our baby bear got his first turn at going to breakfast with his dad! They went to Krispy Kreme naturally, since P adores doughnuts.
I can not believe that my baby is old enough to enter the rotation, but I am also happy about his most recent rite of passage. I'm most happy that I am married to such a wonderful father who takes the time to bond with his boys in such a special way!

Check out the hat!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Thanksgiving 2009

It's so hard for me to believe that Thanksgiving 2009 has already come and gone. Our family had a great holiday that started on Tuesday night at church. The boys were all set to perform at the FBC Thanksgiving dinner. We practiced, talked about walking on stage, had the cheering section in attendance (Ashley, Nana, Papa, Granny, me). The only thing missing was the singing. When the preschool choir was called up on stage, John immediately started crying. I had to stay on stage with he and Andrew. I'll be sure to look nice for our next performance- just in case.

Wednesday my brother and his family arrived in Columbia (at my mom's house) and that night we had some family and friends over for an oyster roast. There were 11 kids under 6 here. You can imagine the noise level. It was a great way to kick off the holiday and spend time with our loved ones.
Thursday morning we all (my mom and step-dad, brother's family and of course the 5 G's) headed to Nana and Papa's house for Thanksgiving dinner. This was the second annual Chapin Thanksgiving with my mom, step-dad and brother and his family there; it was wonderful. Ashley and I are so fortunate that our families all get along so well and enjoy being together. It certainly makes holidays much less stressful for he and I and it allows the boys to spend holidays surrounded by everyone who loves them (at once). Thanks for a wonderful day, Sandra and Will! You are awesome.

Seated at the kid's table- Wyatt, Thomas, Lucy, Isaac

Friday morning I got up at 3:30 AM to go shopping. That is something I have never done before, but it might be the start of a new tradition. Who knew there would be a line wrapped around Belk's at 3:45 AM?? I got Ashley and I each a goodie and the rest of my shopping was focused on the boys.

Later that day (actually still relatively early but it felt like late in the day to me since I had been up for hours) we met at the zoo. Visiting the zoo the day after Thanksgiving is another holiday tradition that we all love. The kids enjoy the zoo so much and it's nice to walk off a few calories.

The boys (minus P) all posed on the baby elephant.

(L to R) Andrew, Thomas, Lucy, Wyatt, John and Isaac
Today we finished out the holiday weekend with a huge win over Clemson! Go Gamecocks. I rarely wish I was at a football game, but I truly hated that I did not get to see this one in person. Ashley was so happy!!

Tomorrow is our last day of rest before it's back to the grind. I have a sneaking suspicion that "Elfie" (from Elf on the Shelf) may show up tonight! The boys are at the PERFECT age for all of the holiday excitement. It makes me feel like a kid again! More pics-
John and Isaac coloring
Wiffle Ball game
Sweet P playing piano

Sunday, November 15, 2009

i heart iphone apps

Ashley is actually the one who hearts iphone apps! I heart cool pictures of my bears taken by the man i heart the most!!!

Funny Boys

I do not want to forget some of the funny (sometimes demanding) things that my boys say.
Here are couple of chuckles I got from them this week:

Driving in the car:
Andrew: "Mom, I want to watch Care Bears."
Me: "Well Andy I can not put it in right now because I am driving."
Me: "Andy, yelling is not the way to get you want, but I can't put a video in right now anyway because I am driving."
Andrew: "Yes, you can. Just pull over up here."

I tried not to let him see me smile. Seriously? Did my three year old just tell me to pull over to put in his video???

Upstairs in the playroom:
I was tired of the constant bickering but also trying to keep things in perspective after a day of being referee.
John and Wyatt were fighting over matchbox cars (again).

Me: "Boys, if you can not share then (me thinking of something I am going to follow through on and not wanting to make a big ordeal out of it)...I don't even know what to say."
John: "I know what to say! Wyatt, you need to go to bed!"

Good one, John. He caught me smiling over that comment. Very funny!

Monkey See, Monkey Do

Having three boys less than two years apart means that there is a LOT of copying going on at our house. If one jumps off the couch, two are sure to follow. If one want to be held, they all want to be held. Wyatt is particularly famous for copying everything that his big brothers do.

Last week while I was making dinner, I busted Andrew sneaking chips. (Notice the batman mask and Cookie Monster undies!!)
Less than five minutes later, another little monkey was in the chip bag too!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Getting Ready for Halloween

October has been a big month for the boys. They sang in big church, attended a couple birthday parties, went to a Halloween carnival at their new school and picked out pumpkins. Tomorrow they go to Harmon's with their school friends and Nana is going along for the field trip. So exciting.

Here I am with a little Lion, Diego and Batman. I am pretty sure Batman is picking his nose in this picture.

On October 11, the boys sang in big church. Our whole family was beaming with pride. As long as Ashley and I have been coming to FBC, I have been dreaming of the day when our child(ren) would be performing in church. It was so unreal to see them singing the songs that they have been practicing every week.

We were not sure what made Andrew decide to sit down, but we were just thankful that he stayed on stage.

The boys picked out their own pumpkins.

Here they are posing outside Granny Meg's's so hard to get a picture of everyone smiling.

(Check out John's McQueen boots...those will show up again in another post)

Monday, October 5, 2009

First Carolina Game

Saturday night we took the boys to their first Carolina game! Go Gamecocks!!!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Driving Lessons

Uh-oh! I fear that this is just the beginning...

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Our Cubbies

Two verses down:

"God is Love."
"God created the Heavens and the Earth"

Many more to go...


Two and half years ago, Heather started keeping these two boys.

A year and half later, she added one more to the bunch.

Friday the boys leave the only non-family member who has ever kept them and start "big boy school" for the first time on Monday morning. It's exciting and scary all at the same time.

All three boys will be in separate classes...the three who have spent no more than a day apart here and there when sickness kept one or two home with Nana or Granny Meg.

It's so hard for me to imagine them walking into different classrooms when I am so used to seeing them walk up the stairs to Heather's house...together.

It's even harder for me to find the words to thank her for all that she has poured into our children.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

All the fuss

Today I went to's "Latest News" and started going down the list of recent newsworthy events.
# 2 and 3 of the list of 20 or so things were related to Obama's address to students today.

A couple of quotes caught my attention:

In the past week, news of Obama's speech had upset some parents.
"Thinking about my kids in school having to listen to that just really upsets me," suburban Colorado mother Shanneen Barron told CNN Denver affiliate KMGH last week, before the text of the speech was released.

Florida Republican Party Chairman Jim Greer accused Obama last week of trying to "indoctrinate America's children to his socialist agenda."

I do not understand all the fuss BEFORE anyone even heard the speech (or read it). I think that this sort of flippant attitude and disrespect for our country's President is ridiculous and embarrassing.

The speech turned out to be a call to study hard, do well in school, and do your best...certainly things that Obama has painful as that may be for some to admit.

Weekends with Grandparents

Growing up my brother and I would often spend the weekend with our grandparents. David and I would eat our favorite foods, go for drives (my granddad let us driving under age), eat junk and stay up late. Inevitable we would fight and my grandmother would offer to pay us if we would be quiet! I am so glad to have those memories of weekend trips to the mountains where David and I would go down sliding rock together. I'd almost pass out from the cold water but my brother would manage to keep us both afloat and then we would do it all over again.

Thankfully we live close enough to all of our family that our boys can have close relationships with their grandparents. They say there is nothing like a mother's love, but I think a grandmother's love may be the exception.

Two weekends ago, Ashley, the boys and me all went to Goose Creek to spend the weekend with my Granny Meg and Pop! We visited the aquarium, ate out and went swimming in the community pool. The boys got to stay up late, watch movies and play with new toys that my mom had picked up for them. My mom and I even went shopping while the boys napped and it was so nice to get out together; we had not done that in a long time.

Wyatt loves Honey.

Granny Meg and Pop pose outside the aquarium with all the boys (facing the sun).

We had just enough time to do laundry and pack our bags again before we headed off for another fun weekend, this time with Ashley's parents. Our party of 7 checked in at the Yacht Cove Resort (after a minor hiccup with our online reservations that added an hour to check in) Friday night around 8:00 PM and then headed out to dinner. (Note: Wyatt goes to bed at 8:00!) It was a late for us all, but the boys did very well. Saturday we woke up to a gorgeous day; Will and Ashley played golf while Sandra and I took the boys to the beach. They love all things dirty. The boys made sand angels and had a ball playing in the water and looking for shells. I am still getting sand out of their ears.

Sunday and Monday were not as sunny, but we still had a wonderful time together shopping and eating (I think I gained 5 pounds). It was such a blast and was it very hard to come back to the real world of work (getting there on time), laundry, cooking dinner and bedtimes.

We are so lucky to have such involved parents who love our children as much as we do.

Shopping with the boys...Wyatt had had enough at this point.

Sleeping beauty!Nana and the boys!This is a 50 year old turtle. Did you know that these turtles live to be 110+ years old and continue to grow throughout their lives???
Lovebirds...after all the years. :)

Friday, August 21, 2009

Wyatt's well visit

On August 19th, Wyatt had his 18 month well visit.

He is in the 50% for height at 25 pounds 8 ounces and 75% for height at 33 inches tall.

Some of my favorite things that he says:

"mama, hold me"

"love lou" (love you)

"nigh nigh" (night night)

Wyatt's favorite thing to say:


Where does the time go??

I decide that the thought of moving home for the summer cramps my style. My parents decide that footing the bill for my summer (if I'm not taking classes) cramps their style. Fair enough. I can get a job.

I'll wait tables. Who cares that I have never done it before?? There is training, right?
Yes, sure there is! Ashley will be your trainer. I was expecting a girl named Ashley, but could not have been more wrong.

So there you have it. The "girl" I was expecting to train me turned out to be the cutest guy I had ever seen with the bluest eyes imaginable. I was swooning.

What started as a crush turned into a proposal...although it took patience on my part.

August 18, 2001.

I marry that wonderful guy and begin my life as a Gilfillan.

8 years and 3 children later I could not be happier.

I just do not understand, where does the time go??

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Triple Stroller

Man, I would love a triple stroller, but have you priced those things? Ridiculous.
The time to get a triple stroller would have been right when Wyatt was born. When we had three under two. When everyone was in diapers. The problem is that when you have three in diapers, you typically do not have an extra 700.00 bucks to blow on a stroller.

My next stroller wish would be a twin jogging stroller; it needs to have a bench seat though so I can squeeze my three into a space for two. This plan would save me a couple hundred bucks and would allow me to take my boys on walks that are actually fast enough to count as exercise.

The reality is that no one (including Wyatt) wants to stay in a stroller long enough anymore to make it worth the still very expensive price tag for a twin jogger (if I could even find one with a bench seat).

So when everyone wants to ride....we improvise!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Vacation Part II

The second half of our week was spent in Edisto. The weather was gorgeous and we had a great time. Ashley was able to join us Thursday and Friday which made the week complete!

Panoramic view of the beach
Wyatt playing in the sand
John coming out of the ocean...if you have a child who needs assistance swimming, this swimmie is the best flotation device ever invented. Unlike a life jacket, which pushes a child's head forward, this supports their neck and chest in the front and allows the child to "swim". This discovery (thanks to Libby Tucker) allows us to take the kids swimming without an extra adult.

Andrew having fun with his watering can.

The last day we were in Edisto, we decided to drive to Charleston for the afternoon. It was an hour drive through the most rural parts of South Carolina that I have ever seen. The boys loved Charleston too. They were troopers while we walked all over downtown. We did have to stop to rest our feet a few times.

Last stop...the fountain! The boys LOVED it. I can not wait to take them back.

It was a great week. I am hoping for a repeat over Labor Day...or any random weekend.

Vacation Part I

Our family just wrapped up a two part vacation that consisted of half a week having fun in Columbia and another half a week having fun at the beach. "Our family" is actually a stretch because Ashley worked most of the week, but it was wonderful for me to be off work.

Saturday our fun started with a visit from Granddaddy Terry and GG.
We washed the car, went to visit my Granna Ann, visited the zoo and Saluda Shoals Splash Pad. I could not have asked for a better start to my week off with the bears.

Andy was not really interested in helping. John was a worker, Wyatt had fun splashing and Andy spent a lot of time letting us know how displeased he was with the whole thing.

We got to see the vultures at feeding time. The zookeepers fed them raw meat of some kind. I like sushi and all, but it was NAS-TY!!

Brotherly Love

Sometimes the boys are so sweet. Our little angels. Giving hugs and kisses, professing their love for each other and mommy and daddy. They even hold hands on their own.