Christmas Eve Video 2012

If you somehow missed the Christmas Eve video recorded last year, take a look at this...


Daniel chose not to invite the kiddos on stage tonight (wonder why!), so Riley sat with me, Ella & Ya Ya while Daddy spoke. Soon after Daniel went on stage, Riley leaned over and in his loudest "whisper" said, "When this is over, can I go up there?" I shook my head yes, and he anxiously sat through the rest of the 25-minute service waiting for his time to shine. 

After the service, Ella and I walked around talking to people. I totally forgot about Riley wanting to go on stage until someone said, "Look! He's preaching!" I turned around and saw my 3-year-old standing on a chair at the podium 'preaching.' 

This sweet little girl (Maci), danced around at his feet while he preached. I told her mom we had a preacher and a song leader!

Possibly one of my favorite pictures ever

And just in case you were hoping there'd be a video...no worries, there is!

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from the Bramlett's!

We are so thankful for another year to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ! 
And, what fun it is to experience this season through the eyes of small children.

The four Bramlett's are wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! May you experience His love and grace during this time and all throughout the next year.

Riley wants to wish you all a Merry Christmas in a special way...


She stood!

Remember here when I said we were waiting for her to stand before she could use the new toy my parents gave her?

She did it! :)

Skating Indoor

Ya Ya arrived today and brought some prizes with her! Most of them are sitting under the tree waiting for Christmas Day, but she brought these for me to fill with Christmas goodies.

Most people would place fudge, peanut butter balls, or Christmas cookies in the containers. At the Bramlett household, though, these were used for indoor skating/sledding tonight. Not sure what I'm talking about? Take a look at these videos and enjoy my goofy children!

Oh, how I love these kiddos! They sure keep us laughing!

1st Birthday

We were without internet last week because apparently our extender, which is located in the garage so it can pick up signal from the church, does not like real cold weather. And last week it was very cold. This week? Back in the 70's...well, that is until today when the high was in the 50's. And that's why everyone I know has a runny nose. But, I'm chasing rabbits. All of this to say, I've been wanting to post on the blog but haven't been able to. So now that Ella's almost 13 months old, I guess I'll go ahead and write about her 1st birthday. :)

On Riley's 1st birthday I made him blueberry muffins (from a package - I cheated), so I decided to make it a tradition each year. When Ella's 1st birthday came along, I thought, why not? So, out came the Martha White blueberry muffin mix.

"What did you say this is?"

"And what am I supposed to do with it?"

Sweet girl's a bit more picky as to what she'll stick into her mouth, so they weren't quite as big of a hit as they were with her brother. Oh well, there's always next year!

Thankfully, my mother (the baker) was here to help me prepare for Ella's party. We decided to keep her celebration pretty low-key by having a few close friends over for dinner and cupcakes.

Ella got her own mini-loaf cake. Stay tuned to find out how she liked it compared to the muffin...

My mother-in-law found these "Ella" balloons several months ago. Both kiddos LOVED playing with them. In fact, a couple are STILL filled with air...almost a month later! That's a good quality balloon, I'd say!

Is it just me, or does Riley look way too old here?! Slow down, time!!!

The goodies table

Happy Birthday, dear Ella! Happy Birthday to you!

 "Once again they've put something in front of me that I have no clue what to do with!"

"So they cut it up...now what?"

Daddy stepped in to help out

"You expect me to do what with this?!"

Ella's over the cake and Riley just wants to eat her cake since one cupcake was obviously not enough for him!

"Okay, people...what's next on the agenda?"


Gigi's tradition (Daniel's grandmother) is to send a dollar for every year the child is turning. Ella received her first dollar!

She got a cute (warm!) outfit from Ya Ya

Her first Cabbage Patch doll from our sweet friends, the Cody's (and they were thoughtful enough to find one that's named Ella! how fun is that?!)

Our friends, Lee (music minister at the church) and Jeannie gave her this soft purple bear. She loves to scoot around with it and give it kisses.

Her Uncle Chad, Auntie Jill & cousin CJ gave her this fun, talking picnic basket.

And Grandpa & Grandma gave her a toy that's supposed to help her as she learns to walk. We're still waiting for the day when she'll stand. :)

She was so adorable...she wanted to play with all of her toys immediately!

Ella with two of her biggest fans, Lee & Jeannie

Our sweet friends, the Cody family - Andy, Lena & Jamie

I'm horrible and didn't get a picture of Ella with my parents on her birthday, but here's one we took a couple of days later!

I'm still in denial that this little lady is 1! I am so thankful for the last year we've had with her, though. She has definitely made our house more exciting! I wouldn't trade watching her interact with her big brother for all the money in the world! They are two precious gifts we don't deserve, but how thankful I am that God chose us to be their parents!

We love you SO much, Ella Grace!


Center stage

Today was our last day at Community Bible Study for 2012. We'll start back again in January, but the last day before Christmas they always have the children sing some songs for the mama's and grandma's. 2 years ago, when we had just started attending CBS, Riley went on stage with his class, saw me on the front row attempting to take pictures, and immediately walked off the stage crying and ran into my arms. Last year he did much better, but didn't sing much. Just kind of looked around taking it all in.

Apparently, he is quite comfortable with being in the spotlight now because today he did SO well! I videoed the whole thing for the grandparent's sake (so if you're not a grandparent, I will not be offended if you skip this 3-minute video). Riley's in the middle of the stage just behind the older lady sitting on the floor. Enjoy watching our little man perform!

Let's Go Mustangs!

I spent most of my growing up years in a large city - Jacksonville, Florida. I have no clue how many high schools are in Jacksonville, but there are a lot! High school football was a pretty big deal, but within my youth group, there were many schools represented, so the church as a whole did not support just one team.

Moving to small town Texas has been eye-opening for me in many ways, but especially when it comes to school spirit and supporting sports teams at the school. Texas has independent school districts (unlike Florida), so each town has their own schools. Our elementary, junior high, high school and administrative buildings are all on the same property. Our youth group is made up of one school...Hughes Springs. So, everyone in Hughes Springs supports the Hughes Springs Mustangs. On any given Friday night in the fall, you will find most of the town at the football game. And even though the regular season for 2012 is over, you will still find most of the town at a football game on Friday nights because we are on the road to STATE! That's right, our Mighty Mustangs are in the 3rd round of the playoffs right now. If we win two more games, we'll head to the State Championship at Cowboy Stadium in Dallas. Do you know what my 3-year-old would do if he got to go to a football game at Cowboy Stadium?! Oh my...just thinking about it gets me excited! I know, I know. One game at a time. But still!

We didn't make a lot of their regular season games this year, but once the guys made it to the playoffs, Daniel and I pretty much had an unspoken agreement that we'd go to as many playoff games as they played...no matter where they were held. So far we've traveled down to Nacogdoches (about 2 hours away) 2 weeks ago, and then a small town outside of Tyler (an hour and a half away) this past week. In 2 days (Saturday), we'll go to Longview (just 45 minutes away - yay!) for their next game. The team we play Saturday night we've already beaten once this season, so we're praying it will happen again! Many of our youth are on the team, and several of the coaches are members of our church. It has been such a joy to watch both groups give glory to God and be very open about their faith throughout the season.

Before the team leaves town headed to the different games, there's always a send-off where people can come and show their support. Here's the first play-off game send-off where I grabbed a pic with my favorite cheerleader, and sweet friend, Halie.

Riley went with me to the send-off, and he was in awe as the football players walked by. He would give anything right now to be on the Mustang football team. :)

The first play-off game was held at Stephen F. Austin University in Nacogdoches, and we played the Hearne Eagles.

Within the first 50 seconds, we made a touchdown and a two-point conversion.

It was cold that night, and bad mama forgot Riley's gloves, so he just decided to wear mine. :)

Our little Mustang

His sweet friend Abigail moved away a little over a month ago, but she and her daddy came to the game. Riley was so glad to see her, and they had a blast playing together.

"Mama, they're winning by a lot...do we really have to stay until the end?"

Some of my favorite people...Kevin & Cara Carrington. They got married this past May. Daniel performed the ceremony, and we did their premarital counseling. Love them!

And the final score...

Fun night, but we were definitely ready to get in the car and get warm!

Playoff game #2: Mustangs vs. Centerville Tigers in Whitehouse, TX
Look at that moon!

This game was much more challenging than the week before.

"Do we have to take a picture, mama?" Yes, son, yes we do! :)

Love them! Don't worry, we didn't just leave Ella at home to fend for herself. :) (Although, that is what my hubby told several people when they asked about her.) My parents were in town for both games, so they played with lil' bit. This weekend, my awesome m-i-l is coming just to watch Ella so we can go to the game!

This was the last shot I got at the game because it was a very intense, down-to-the-second (literally!) kind of game. In fact, we went into overtime tied at 21. It was really late by then, and we still had to drive home, so we headed to the car when overtime started. However, we could still hear the game, so when Hughes Springs scored a touchdown in OT, we decided we had to stay and hear how the game ended. Amazingly, after Centerville scored a TD making it 28-27, their kicker missed the field goal and we WON!

Saturday night there will be a Mustang stampede heading down to Longview to take on the Elysian Fields Yellow jackets! Praying for a well-played, safe game in which the Mustangs dominate! So proud of our boys! Can't wait to see them in action again AND looking forward to watching our small town rally around them once again as they take the field!

So maybe small towns aren't so bad after all... :)