Sunday, November 29, 2015


After months of wishing for snow, we finally got snow.  Actually, it came earlier than I expected, but it felt like "finally" to the kids.  The snow arrived on a Saturday morning which is perfect because there is no school and Daddy is home to play too!  The kids were up and going very early!  They both enjoyed the snow this year!  T has always hated all the gear that goes with playing in the snow, but this year she wore it like a champ and enjoyed herself.  Head to toe pink gear might have helped. They played in the snow for a while then came in to change into swim suits.  It was the last day of M's last swim class so they had a pool party and invited the whole family and friends to come.  L and J and David joined us too.  The kids swam hard for 90 minutes.  They were so hungry when we got home.  After a hearty morning snack (while listening to and diffusing Christmas goodness) they got back to work.  M wanted to help Brandon shovel, but we discovered that the shovels were in the attic above the garage.  After getting the shovels, bird feeders, and sled down they decided to put all the summer stuff up.  The kids were in the attic moving things out of the way for Brandon.  They worked great as a team.  It was hard work.  After the attic work was done, M helped shovel.  We had friends over the night before and he stayed up two hours past his bedtime.  He woke up early to check the weather.  Needless to say he was emotionally and physically ready for bed by about 4:00pm.  We headed up for bed before 7:00 and he was sleeping by 7:17.  It was a full day!

Ready for the snow!

M: Let's clean off the chairs first. 

T: M threw snowballs at me.  I liked it!

M: It was so much fun to throw the snow. 

M: I was a slide snow plow!

M: There was just enough snow to make a snow angel. 
I love the joy on Brandon's face in this one!  Such a great dad! 

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Blast Off!!

One Saturday morning M's buddy L and his dad David invited my crew to watch them launch a couple of rockets.  The kids had a great time with the rockets. Charissa and I walked with her littles and had a lovely time catching up on mom talk.  It was a great morning for the both families!

M: I was so excited for Luke to launch the rocket. 

M: Then I got a turn to launch it!

M: It went really high!

T: I got to launch it too.  David shared his coat with me. 

T: Blastoff!  *I love the way this photo turned out.  Look at the fire under the rocket!

T: My rocket went up high too! 

Friday, November 27, 2015

Grandma and Grandpa Came AND Trick or Treating!

Brandon's parents came to town at the very end of October.  It was a very fun time to have family in town.  They were able to carve pumpkins (see previous post) with us as well as trick or treat!  Such fun!  

They arrived on a Friday afternoon.  M was at school and T was napping.  They made such great time that I was able to go for a short walk while they stayed at home with a sleeping T.  As usual, their visit was a surprise.  M was VERY excited to see their van in the driveway and to see them sitting on the steps when he got off the bus!   He was thrilled to go through his back pack with them and tell them all about Kindergarten.  He even got some wrestling in before T woke up. T was very excited to see the surprise guests as well!

M: I can't believe you are here!!!!
M: I love you Grandpa Tom!
M: I am so glad you are here Grandma Judy!

M: This is a little book that teaches us our sight words. 

M: We sound out words and guess how to spell them. 
M: I've got you Grandpa Tom.  
M: I think I am falling off. 

T: AHHHHHH!!!!  You are really here!  I knew you would be here!!!! (She loves to say that when she is surprised)

T: I love you Grandma Judy.  You give great hugs. 

Brandon's mom made some tasty soup for dinner.  What a great gift it is that she preps and brings a meal for us!  After dinner clean up we carved pumpkins.  It was a good night.

Saturday morning we woke up to rain.  We were quite bummed as our community does a festival for kids downtown each year and it would be very wet this year.  The kids were SO EXCITED to put on their costumes.  Thanks to Amazon and hours of decision making, the kids got just the costumes they wanted!

T: I l REALLY look like a princess!
M: I am officer M.  I am going to direct traffic. 

I can see so much of their personalities in this one!

T: I sure love my best big brother!
T: I am going to get you M!

M: Even the back of the uniform looks real! 
They were ready early so we had to do some library book reading and some Christmas shopping via book orders as well.
Sweet reading time. 
T: I want every book about princesses.  I don't want any other  books. 
We decided to brave the elements and give it a try.  Our dear friends joined us.  We were quite a crew of strollers and an Ergo and umbrellas and costumes.  We didn't do any of the festival activities, but they sent us home with a pumpkin to carve.  Since we had already done that I decided to cook the pumpkin so we have homemade pumpkin meat in our freezer for casseroles or baking.   Even without the festival, we did trick or treat at the local businesses.  It is a great way to get people into stores and a great and safe way for families to trick or treat.  It is a lovely idea.  Sadly, as lovely as it was, it was still very wet and cold.  The kids looked adorable in their costumes and the workers were complimentary and generous with the candy.

Making our way downtown. 

S is leading the way! 
It is a great thing we had a police officer with us to help us cross the street!

The kids got A LOT of candy.  Wow!  I am thankful a large percentage of it was chocolate so they were not able to eat it.  Being allergic to dairy pays off for parents on Halloween.  Our kids consume less candy and Daddy scores all the chocolate.  This year he had to share with his parents.  Luckily he is great at sharing.

T's stash... on the floor... in a pile!

M's stash... on the table...sorted perfectly! 
After trick or treating we came home to warm up and eat CANDY!  I immediately put the pumpkin seeds in the oven so that protein would be on the way.  I also popped a big batch of popcorn to balance out the sugar.  Tom and Judy bought some cider at the festival so our house smelled like fall amazingness.   We played cards and other games inside while we ate.

T: I have a great card to put down.

T: Look at this one Grandpa Tom!

Every once in a while I get a short lived cuddle.  I think she might be trying to get away!

T: Grandma taught me some clapping games.  They were really fun and hard work too. 
After lunch T went down for a nap and Grandpa Tom and M went to the Y to swim.  They were gone for SEVERAL hours.  They didn't get back until dinnertime.  I has the crock pot going and was trying to figure out if the kids would want to do actual trick or treating.  Thankfully they chose not to.  It was cold and wet out.  We had ten kids come to our door and the kids enjoyed seeing them.

The kids' school was doing a "Trick or Treat for UNICEF" thing so we got a bunch of change and had them walk around the basement collecting change from the adults.  They enjoyed this and I felt much better about them getting money from family than about them asking neighbors for money on trick or treating night.

Sunday morning was filled with church and Sunday School.  During T's afternoon nap M and Grandpa Tom headed back to the Y for more swimming.  We went out to eat on Sunday night.  The kids had school on Monday so after waving to each of the buses, Tom and Judy headed home as well.  Grandpa Tom was able to help T eat breakfast and take the items off her chart!

T: Please say "Busy Bee" Grandpa Tom! 
T:  Thank you for helping me with my breakfast!  
It was a great weekend together.  A lot of candy was consumed.  It was good to have the extra adults here and good for M to get extra energy out at the pool!   We are blessed with an incredible family!

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Pumpkin Carving 2015

We carved pumpkins while Grandpa Tom and Grandma Judy were here this year.  It was wonderful to have them here to enjoy the carving and also to help in huge ways.  There are more pictures from their time here in a future post, but there were so many carving photos I decided they needed their own post!

M: First I had to draw the face that I wanted Grandpa Tom to cut.  

T: I drew a face on my pumpkin too. 

M: Grandpa Tom made a couple of minor revisions. 

M: It looked just the way I wanted it. 
T: Be careful Grandma Judy! 

T: Daddy, I am glad you are cutting the top off. 

M: It was hard to be patient while Daddy cut T's pumpkin. 

T's pumpkin.  You  can see her "face" drawing just below the opening. 

T: I just pull this stuff out!  Cool! 

T: Hey, I found some seeds! 

M: It feels pretty gooey in there. 

T: It is fun to reach way down in there. 

M: Look at all this! 

M: Great job cutting out the face Dad! 
My little sensory seeker fell in love with the pumpkin guts.  She kneaded them for a LONG time.  She sang "wash-a-ble" over and over again while she worked.  We have no idea why. 

T: This feels great!

T: Dad, can I just have the bowl? 

T: Washable, Washable, Washable. 

T: Washable, Washable, Washable.

Finally it was time to light the pumpkins.  The kids each got to blow out the candles 5 times!


M: Mine looks spooky!  T: Mine looks circles! 

Ready to blow out the candles!