Emma and Eli: November 2014

November started off with a lot of fun as our family headed to our annual Georgia Tech football game.  Ever since Emma was 1, we have picked 1 game a year to go to as a family.  This year was Eli’s first time and we had a blast!  We met up with Clint’s best friend Vernon and his kids for some fun during half-time and got a great pic of the four kids together.  As always, Emma was super excited to see the cheerleaders and Eli was happy to see the football.  Last year Emma ended up on the Jumbotron.  This year, Eli’s jacket ended up on the Jumbotron since his neighbor was up there…not bad for a first timer!
November provided lots of good opportunities to play at home and outside.  We had periods of really cold weather followed by days that the temp reached over 60 degrees under sunny skies.  We took advantage of all of it!  Emma and I headed to Memphis for a few days the second weekend in November to help my sister with her newborn twin boys.  We had a great time with the little guys and their big sister Nora.  Emma and I usually take at least one girls trip a year and it is always a blast when it includes flying.  Emma loves flying!  To have just turned 6, she has flown a ton…I love those adventures with our girl!  While we were in Memphis, she and I shared a room and it was mostly like a slumber party with lots and lots of giggles.  I wouldn’t trade these days for anything!
We came home for a weekend and it was time to celebrate Emma’s birthday.  Eli had been practicing saying “Happy Birthday” for days leading up to Emma’s big day and he was so proud when he said it.  We always try to get Eli to repeat things, but he had a lot of fun with this.  We would say “Eli…say Happy” he would say “Happy”…we would say “Birth” and he would proudly proclaim “Day!” knowing that he was being funny and not repeating what we said.  I am writing this on December 7 and his birthday is tomorrow.  He is happy to be practicing this again!
For Emma’s 6th birthday, we wanted to surprise her with tickets to the David Crowder Concert at the Tabernacle in Atlanta.  She had no idea!  Clint’s mom was sweet to come down and hang with Eli so we headed out in time to do a little exploring in downtown Atlanta.  Emma asked if we could ride the Atlanta Sky View ferris wheel and we happily said yes.  Clint isn’t a huge fan of heights…but he is always willing to do any adventure that Emma is up for!  We enjoyed a beautiful view of Atlanta!  After the ride high above the city, we walked over to the CNN Center and grabbed dinner before walking back over to The Tabernacle.  When we were walking towards the Tabernacle, Emma still didn’t know that we were there for a concert.  She thought that the people lined up outside were waiting for a wedding and she asked if we could go check it out.  We gave the ticket people our tickets without her seeing and we walked right in.  We ended up sitting with some dear friends and the opening acts started.  Emma still thought it was some kind of wedding!  When the lights went down, she spotted David Crowder coming out on stage and exclaimed “It’s David Crowder!!” to the humor of everyone around us.  She was so excited when she figured out her birthday present was a David Crowder concert.  She loves his music and she sang and danced the whole time the band was on stage.
The following week was a busy one with basketball games, rain, and cold weather.  We made some fun memories, but were mostly excited to head to Bowling Green, Kentucky the next weekend for Uncle Kevin and Marina’s wedding.  They had asked Emma to be the flower girl and she was over the moon excited!  One of my former students goes to college up there and she and her best friend babysit the night of the rehearsal and the wedding for all the Graffam kids and Eli so they wouldn’t all be up too late.  Emma, Mom, Katie, and I went out to lunch and to the nail place Friday afternoon.  We had a lot of fun together.  The rehearsal went great and we had a lot of fun at the rehearsal dinner.  Saturday the Strange crew got up early and piddled around town prior to the wedding pictures.  The wedding was beautiful and Marina was a gorgeous bride!  Super proud of my handsome brother too!  We all had a great time eating, visiting, and dancing the night away at the reception.  We are so happy for Uncle Kevin and Marina.  About a week after the wedding, they moved to Germany for a 3 year stint with the ARMY.  We can’t wait to go and visit the Abels in Germany!
After the wedding we drove back to Summerville and had Thanksgiving with Clint’s family.  It’s always a lot of fun to see everyone and the food was great! We decorated for Christmas late that night since we were headed out for the rest of the week.  Emma and I used Monday for some girl time and ran errands and went out to lunch while Eli was at school and Clint worked.  We left the house at 4am Tuesday and rolled into Germantown around 10am with no trouble.  We had a great time at Katie and JD’s hanging out.  Mom joined us for dinner a few times and we all had Thanksgiving dinner together and it was fun to cook together and just enjoy some down time.  The Strange crew headed back Friday afternoon and enjoyed the last weekend of the break at home.  No shopping craziness for this crew!
The last weekend of November was unseasonably warm, so we hopped on our bikes and headed to the park.  We opened all the windows of the house and enjoyed the sunshine.  November is a great time to stop and consider all that we have to be Thankful for.  God has blessed the Strange crew abundantly and we are so grateful for precious time with our family and friends!  Happy Thanksgiving!
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