Friday, December 25, 2009

I hope your Christmas is filled with many wonderful surprises!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas to all!

Christmas 2009

The snow is fiercely blowing outside in our winter wonderland. We are all snuggled up in our warm house – playing games, eating snacks and reading by the fire. All of us are happy, content and healthy – truly a day to remind us of how blessed we really are. It is the kind of day to reflect on the year that is coming to an end and to remember the amazing family and friends that are such an important part of our lives.

Spencer celebrated his 8th birthday this summer at one of his favorite places on Earth – a water park in the Wisconsin Dells. He is in 2nd grade this year and doing great in school. He excels at reading and absorbs science facts and figures like a little sponge. He enjoys riding his scooter, playing outside with his friends and watching TV. Spencer’s dream came true in March when we adopted a kitten. His name is “Dickens” (he had a roll in Trent’s production of Oliver!) and he is the most mild-mannered, patient, little cat that we ever could have hoped for. Most days I am surprised he doesn’t run for his life with the love (i.e. torture) the kids bestow on him.

Evan is 5 ½ and started Kindergarten this fall. He rides the bus every morning with his big brother – I still wonder every day how my baby boy can be that old. Evan loves school and I have never seen a kid that looks forward to doing homework and begs to work on flashcards like he does. He is a natural helper and enjoys working on any kind of project. Evan played soccer again this year and has improved immensely. He even scored a hand full of goals this past fall.

Hailey will be 3 in January. She has grown up so much in the last year. She speaks very well (and often) now. She has been working on potty training and catching on pretty quickly with the lure of gymnastics classes or Polly Pockets to hasten the process. After the New Year, the crib will be coming down and she will move into a new big girl bed. Big stuff is happening around here for our baby girl! Hailey loves her big brothers and tries to emulate them all the time – though they don’t seem to find it as endearing as we do. She loves her baby dolls, books, playing dress-up and stealing sips of Diet Coke.

Jen is still “working” at home to keep everyone and everything on track. She has been volunteering in Evan’s classroom and loves being back at school to keep “tabs” on the kids. She was able to get out with her camera and do some photography jobs this year. It has been very gratifying to open up Christmas cards that we have received and see the smiling faces on the photos that she has taken. Thank you to those of you who have supported her “habit” and put your memories in her care.

Trent is as busy as ever with work, theatre, golf, Cub Scouts, church, Knights and anything else that comes along. He discovered a new hobby in geocaching this year and spends most of his free time walking around in the woods looking for “treasures”. It is a fun family hobby that gets us moving around and even keeps the kids interested (most of the time anyway).

We were shocked and saddened in February when Trent’s mom, Lyn, passed away unexpectedly. It has been a year of trying to find a new normal as we carry on in our lives without her. She is extremely missed and will be even more so at this time of year that she loved so much. On the other end of the circle of life, we were thrilled to find out that Jen’s sister Dana and her husband Mark will be welcoming a new baby into their family in March.

The most important thing we have learned this year is that each day is truly a gift and not a guarantee. Miracles happen and devastating things occur without any rhyme or reason. It forces us to trust in God, to believe and to have faith – which is what this holiday and this life is all about. We wish you all a holiday filled with peace, health, happiness and most of all love.

Much love,
Trent, Jen, Spencer, Evan and Hailey

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The festivities continue...

We attended our second Christmas program on Monday night - Spencer's multi-age show. They put on a little play called "A Snow White Christmas" sort of a fractured fairy tale of the original "Snow White" story. It was short and sweet and quite entertaining. The fifth graders have all the speaking parts while the first through fourth graders make up the chorus.

Spencer did very well with his "part". Thankfully, he remembered to use the bathroom this year before the show, since last year he was in agony the whole time. I only noticed him attempting to bite his nails a couple times - a hard habit to break as I know from personal experience. I was extremely proud of him.

Each year they finish the program by singing "Let there be peace on Earth" and calling up the former multi-age "graduates" to the stage to sing along. They also sign the song while they sing. For some reason I find myself getting choked up every year during that part of the show. It is just so cool to see these big kids walking up to the stage, hugging their former teachers and singing and signing a song that they learned so many years ago. It was like I could see into the future with Hailey standing on the risers as her big brothers sat on the stage in front of her.

For the time that it takes them to sing the song, everything seems right with the world. You leave the auditorium thinking that maybe all of those sweet voices singing in unison really did make some sort of difference.

Friday, December 18, 2009

...and Santa is his name-oh!

Guess who had his first Christmas program at school last night?

He was just a little bit excited about it! He walked around the house practicing his songs and "word parts" for weeks.

He did a great job! He was very "into" the whole program and was extremely animated during the parts that he should have been. He had a bit of an issue with his Santa mask. Whoever stapled it together must have measured his head wrong because it kept slipping down and he had to keep tilting his head back to keep it on.

When it came to the "free" dancing part of the show, my boy was unstoppable. My poor slow camera couldn't even keep up with his moves.

At the end of the program the teacher told all the kids to smile at the mom's and dad's so that they could take a picture. I love how Evan is looking right at me. He knew exactly where his mommy's camera was. (He is in the top row - fifth from the right - see the miniature head right there?)

These pictures are not edited at all. I shouldn't even be taking time to do this post. We are having around fifty people at our house tomorrow night for a party. We are also helping with a children's party tomorrow morning at the Viking's club. One week from today we are having another thirty people over for a family Christmas party. Throw in all the school activities and shopping and food prep and wrapping....bite off more than you can chew much?

Back to work. I have to scrapbook all the party pictures from last year so that people can look at them. The saddest part is that I hadn't even ordered the prints until earlier this week. LAST YEARS party. I am getting stressed out just thinking about it. I so badly just want to sit on the couch and watch a movie and just take a minute to smell the Christmas tree instead of constantly running by it at a frenzied pace.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Peanuts and cauliflower

Evan and I set out last night in the calm before the storm to the paint your own pottery studio in the mall. I have wanted to make a cookie plate for Santa Claus with the names of the kids on it for a long time. Evan will sit and paint all day long if I let him so he was the perfect date to accompany me.

We invited Spencer to join us but he was afraid that we would not be home in time to watch the Charlie Brown Christmas special that was going to be on at eight o' clock. TV is very important to Spencer. Can anyone guess what one of his New Year's resolutions is going to be? While we were painting Evan commented to me that Spencer was missing out on all the fun. I told him that he had the chance to come, but he wanted to watch TV instead.

Evan: All he ever wants to do is watch TV! Plus did I ever tell you Mom that we got to watch Charlie Brown at school one time?

Mom: What Charlie Brown did you get to watch?

Evan: Around Thanksgiving time. You know, the one where they are riding on the Cauliflower?

Mom: You mean the Mayflower?

Evan: Oh right! The Mayflower! I keep getting those mixed up!

We drove the Subaru to the mall because it handles much better than the van in the slush and ice. I told Evan when we parked to remind me when we came out which car we had so we weren't scouring the parking lot for a van that was at home in the garage. True to his task, as we walked out he reminded me.

Evan: Mom! Don't forget that we drove the Subaru here!

Mom: Thanks Ev! You have a good memory.

Evan: That's because my brain is big.

Mom: Your brain is VERY big!

Evan: And Mom?

Mom: What honey?

Evan: My hair is smart too!

That kid of mine just cracks me up! As far as the storm...they did have a snow day today but it was sort of a bummer. We couldn't just hang out and chill. We had to have all three kids to the doctor for flu shot boosters at 8:30 and Evan had a dentist appointment at 1:00. The forecasters are predicting that round two is going to hit tonight and most likely school will be closed tomorrow as well. I am really hoping so because I have a lot to get done around here that is much more doable if I have another person to help with entertainment of the masses.

And Trent is a master entertainer.

And he also brought me home "Eclipse" from the library.

All of my tasks will head straight to the back burner once I start reading. Oh Edward! I can't tear myself away from you!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Every finger shall have its ring

little tree
by: e.e. cummings (1894-1962)

little tree
little silent Christmas tree
you are so little
you are more like a flower
who found you in the green forest
and were you very sorry to come away?
see i will comfort you
because you smell so sweetly
i will kiss your cool bark
and hug you safe and tight
just as your mother would,
only don't be afraid
look the spangles
that sleep all the year in a dark box
dreaming of being taken out and allowed to shine,
the balls the chains red and gold the fluffy threads,
put up your little arms
and i'll give them all to you to hold
every finger shall have its ring
and there won't be a single place dark or unhappy
then when you're quite dressed
you'll stand in the window for everyone to see
and how they'll stare!
oh but you'll be very proud
and my little sister and i will take hands
and looking up at our beautiful tree
we'll dance and sing
"Noel Noel"

I haven't done a blog hop in a while, but when I stopped by the Kelly's Korner blog today and she was hosting a "Show us your Life: Christmas Trees", that poem was all I could think of. I knew all of my former English major poetry books with the pages dog eared to my favorite verses would come in handy someday. And how much do I love the fact that I could google and copy and paste the whole poem. Technology is amazing!

Anyway...the first photo is of our main tree. It is real. It is huge. Every year we bring home a twelve to thirteen footer and it still looks tiny in relation to the nineteen foot ceiling. I love that the kids are old enough to be excited about decorating the tree and are actually able to help. Granted there are a lot of branches with six ornaments hanging in a bunch, but they are on there none the less. We get each of the kids a Hallmark ornament every year that symbolizes something about them or that happened over the course of the year. All of those ornaments are so fun to get out and reminisce about why we picked those and the things they did when they were younger.

This tree is on our stairway landing. It is my "Gone With the Wind" tree. All of the ornaments are from the Hallmark GWTW collections. I love this tree, and I love that movie. Obviously.

The kids each have a mini tree in their rooms. Evan's is the tree I used to have in my office at work. It has seen better days. His is decorated with mini dinosaur and truck ornaments.

Hailey's tree is pink and has some pink glitter ornaments on it. As she gets older she will probably want to pick out her own ornaments to hang, but for now she is pretty happy with these.

I don't have a photo of Spencer's tree because he has no ornaments. He didn't have a tree in his room last year so we need to find some for him this year.

I also have a little tree in our room for the first time. I bought a new tree for the basement and the former basement tree went to the GWTW tree and the former GWTW tree is now empty. I was thinking it might be cool to get some little frames and make a photo tree.

This is the new six foot tree I bought for the basement. Trent's MSU Spartan tree. All of the ornaments are from MSU or at least Spartan themed. I also hung some green and silver balls on it because it is a pretty big tree. Our neighbor usually buys Trent the Franklin Mint MSU ornament every year so those are on there as well. I need to think of a clever tree topper. I tried to put the Spartan Santa hat up there, but it just didn't look right. I was realizing that the tree needed a tree skirt and was thinking of all the MSU fabric at Joann's - as if I need another project right now.

Here are my silver trees in their new spot on the bay window. I know they are not what you traditionally call Christmas trees but I love them. And you can see the present that we got last night outside the window.
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

All I want for Christmas is....

....a nanny, a live in housekeeper, a personal shopper and a decorator. That's not too much to ask is it?

I think I am finally finished putting up all of the Christmas decor. I don't know what it is this year. I feel like I am so behind already. I think it has to do with Thanksgiving falling so late in the month. We usually have everything all festive around here after that long weekend. I changed some stuff around, so that is taking a lot of time. Things that I usually plop in the same spot year after year are getting a new home for the first time. I like how it is turning out, it just takes a lot more thinking and figuring.

I have been on the computer most of the day doing some Christmas shopping. I feel like I am way behind on that too. I don't know why. I don't think I am. In fact, we had our "Christmas" with my sister and her family over the holiday weekend since they won't be coming to town for "real Christmas" (as my kid's say). I am kind of at a loss as to what to get the kids this year. They are not really asking for anything much (which is good!), I would love to find something to WOW them, but am not finding anything that ignites that in me at all. Plus I need to watch our money so that Trent can buy me the new camera that I really want for Christmas this year! Ha! (I feel like I am cheating on my camera by writing that last sentence - seriously - I love you, you do a terrific job - I am really just jonesin' for an upgrade. I will still keep you around for the day to day fun stuff around here...I promise!)

That is the haps around here. So much going on. So much to write about. I just don't know where to begin. This is the time of year that this little blog of mine seems to always get pushed to the bottom of the list. I just realized the other day that many of my "projects" that I wanted to complete this year have still not been done. Updating my picture frames. Hanging frames on our basement landing. Creating and printing out my blog book for the past couple of years. (Has anyone found a site where you can print a blog book in the basic column form that the blog naturally has? I really don't feel like messing with formatting for almost 300 posts. Any ideas would be SO helpful!)

We brought the kids to see Santa on Monday. I am a big fan of going a few days before Thanksgiving because there is NO line whatsoever. We just didn't have time this year. The line on Monday wasn't bad at all. Just a few people in front of us. Spencer told me that he didn't want to go and see Santa. My stomach just fell because I thought for sure that he was going to tell me things that I am not ready to hear out of my baby boy's mouth. When I asked him why he didn't want to, he said because he didn't know what he wanted to ask him for. Whew!
He wound up asking him for LEGOS. Hailey told him she wanted a baby doll and Evan told him he wanted some balloons and a squirt gun. Squirt gun. He has been talking about a squirt gun and how that is what he wants for a long time now. Sadly, not long enough ago that I could have hit the summer clearance sales and got a sweet deal on some huge water blaster. Hello? Amazon? Do you have an out of season toy section? He is going to be one bummed kid opening that water gun on Christmas morning and realizing that if he shoots it outside his fire stream will freeze in mid air. That kid is a true individualist.

The Santa trip was nice. No tears. Pretty good smiles. A quick trip into the candy store. And their favorite part was dropping coins into the Salvation Army guy's bucket.

When we got home we got them all into their jammies (except for Spence who insists he is too hot at night and sleeps in his unders) and let them cuddle on the couch and watch the Grinch. After the Grinch had decimated Whoville and stood on the top of Mt. Crumpet listening for the Who's cries of sorrow, I asked the kids what the Who's were going to do without their feast and their presents. They all looked at me and Spencer said "Mom, Christmas isn't about the presents that you get. The most important part about Christmas is that Jesus was born! That is why they are not sad!"
I guess they listen more than I think they do. They are the best gifts that I could ever imagine. I don't need the nanny, the housekeeper, the shopper or the decorator. Just this cozy, festive, warm house full of the family that I love with all my heart!
The camera would be nice though....

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

What we are thankful for...

A couple days ago the kids made their leaves for our "thankful tree". Here is what they are thankful for this year.

Hailey - (She told me what she wanted me to write) Daddy and Mommy, Dickie-Boy and her bestfriends - who she told me were Mirabel, Ella, Nence and Doov.

Evan - (He wrote out a couple on his own but was quickly discouraged and wanted me to help him.) Cat, Family, Cousins, Grama Bonnie, Stuffies (his stuffed animals) and All the fish and the leaves.

Spencer - (He did his completely on his own and at record pace) Being together, homes, the World, Frens (friends), God and Life.

I was pretty proud to hear what they were thankful for. They really seem to get it - "it" being the true meaning of this holiday. We all are beyond blessed and for that, I am thankful every day.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

The visitors

We have had these little guys at our house on and off this past week. Trent told me that they needed a cat to play the part of Dinah in Alice in Wonderland. He wondered if I thought Dickens would like to go back to the stage. I told him that he should contact the lady that he got Dickens from and ask her if she had other cats that needed homes and maybe the exposure would get them adopted. He thought the idea was inspired.

I was mentally preparing for the addition of another cat to our family. I thought once the kids and Dickens had a new little kitten in their midst there would be no hope for them. I had been wondering for a while if Dickens would be happy with a friend to hang out with when we are not here. It is a slippery slope though because you go from having a cat to having cats. As I have said many times before - I am not an animal person. I have grown to care for Dickens, and it is a good thing because most of the time I am the only one who seems to care for him - his needs at least.

The two cat family doesn't seem like it is meant to be. At least not at this time. Dickens did not like having Cuddles and Meatballs in his house AT ALL! I have never heard him growl or hiss before, but he was very vocal and angry around those kittens. And by the way, if we did acquire one of those kittens it's name would be changed before I poured it's first bowl of kibble. I realize that we just sort of threw them together with no planning whatsoever. I know that there is a "protocol" that is necessary to introduce an animal into a home where another animal already resides. We didn't really follow the rules because we realized it was most likely not a permanent situation.

As much as Dickens despised those kittens, our kids LOVED them. They got plenty of cuddle and play time with Dickens locked safely away in another room. I hear that they both have potential owners, which is a great thing. Two more little kittens off the street and into good homes. If they were going back to the shelter it would make me feel bad. They were pretty cute. And I have always liked black cats.....

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

End of my rope...

I don't know what it is, but Hailey is driving me CRAZY today!

It started with her calling for Mommy at 5:20 a.m and when I went to get her so she wouldn't wake her brothers she was wide awake ready for morning and asking to watch a TV show. I told her it was too early for shows and she had to go back to bed. She then proceeded to tell me she wanted to watch a show approximately one hundred and thirty five times in a row. She seems to think that if she keeps saying what she wants, it will happen. I can't tell you how many times I have almost caved because I just wanted her to be quiet for thirty consecutive seconds - but I try to stand firm so the little annoyance doesn't become a full fledged habit.

Then came the spilling episodes. She has spilled full cups of water on the carpet three times today. She has also squirted a juice box filled with apple juice on the carpet and all over my scrap booking stuff, guaranteed to leave a nice sticky residue all over the bag. What makes that even better is that Trent and I spent hours on Saturday cleaning the carpets. I don't know what to do about her access to the cups. The boys need to be able to get cups on their own so that they can independently tend to their own thirst needs. She wants to do everything they do, so she fills her own cups with water from the bathroom sink and proceeds to carry them around the house and spill them. Granted, I am lucky it is mostly only water, but I am so tired of wiping up spills I could scream.

We were home all day today so I put her in easy sweat pants so that she could wear her big girl unders and go to the potty when she had to. She has gone through four pairs of pants today. She peed once on the carpet while she was pant less. She pooped in her pants about thirty seconds before we had to leave to make it to the bus stop to pick up Evan. And she pooped on the dining room carpet. The freshly cleaned carpet. Just to keep things interesting. You think I would have slapped that diaper on her after the first accident, but I am a gluten for punishment I guess.

She has been in time out more times today then she usually is in a week. And not for the potty accidents. Just for general badness. She has tried to hit and push me numerous times today. I had to put her in time out in her crib twice. The first time because she kept getting out of time out and smiling and laughing at my threats of a worse punishment. The second time because while all three of them were coloring nicely at the table, she decided to try and cut Evan's finger off with scissors.

Needless to say, I am counting down the minutes until bedtime.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Fall ballerina

The theme this week on the I ♥ Faces blog is Autumn Beauty. I can't think of anyone more beautiful than this little girl in her Halloween tu-tu.

If you have time to spare go to the blog and check out all the other gorgeous photos on the I heart faces blog.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Let's bowl, let's bowl, let's rock n' roll...

The weather during this first half of November has really made up for the fact that basically the whole month of October was atrocious. We have been taking advantage of the mild temperatures as often as we can. Yesterday Evan decided that a little game of bowling was in order. I ran inside to put some things away and when I came back out this is what I saw.

I know that one is a little hard to read so I helped you out a bit in the next photo.

He tends to struggle a bit with sounding words out and stretching them. I was happy to see that he had made a "mom" line. He has spelled out "mom" many times before so I wasn't too surprised at that. Then he had an "evan" line. Also not a huge leap since he has been writing his own name for over a year now. What floored me was the "hailey" line. I know that he did not spell her name correctly, but how he spelled it is exactly how he says it. He has a bit of trouble with his "L" sounds so he calls her Hay-Wee. He streched it though. And he even got the "Y" right!

Once the lines are's time to bowl!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Glitter therapy

I excel at wasting time.

And my accomplice - this screen that I sit in front of for minutes upon hours of time each day - does not help the matter. I could sit here for days and read blogs and surf Facebook-don't-talk-about-Facebook until the chair forms the shape of my behind. I am not proud of it. I am just being honest.

I have a lot to do. Much to accomplish. And I am not getting very far in my tasks. I am starting to feel very overwhelmed and very overextended and I don't like the way that feels. In church on Sunday, our Pastor began his sermon by talking about the very thing I am feeling. How life gets so unbelievably busy and you just keep going. And while you are so focused on what has to be done and how to make it happen, you lose sight of why you are even doing it. Who you are doing it for. And you just wait for survival mode to kick in.

Eventually you realize that something has to change. Something has to give. Unfortunately and too often, what "gives" is something that shouldn't. I don't want to get to that point.

Things are extremely busy around here these days. Trent is in full blown play mode. The holidays and the craziness that surrounds them has suddenly started to kick in. The normal day to day stuff that has to be done just seems to be building at a frenzied pace. I feel like I am so behind on so much. Something has to give. We need to find a way to re-prioritize.

I know the months of November and December are always insanely busy. There is so much planning, cooking, shopping and partying to do. I love this time of year and I enjoy all the hubbub and the celebrating that goes along with it. I just really want to make a point to slow down just a little. To cuddle with the kids and read books. To get out the board games and play with them. To just sit on the couch and look at the Christmas tree. To find time to work on crafts with them. To make them realize how incredible they are and how much they are loved.

So yesterday, even though many tasks were looming, Evan and I did a little project. The weather has been gorgeous so we were able to sit outside and bask in the sun while we worked on it.

We took these pumpkins that Gramma got for us in the clearance aisle.

We sprayed them with adhesive and put them in a bag with some glitter. Evan was the official bag shaker. He took his job very seriously and ran all over the yard twice to make sure they were completely "shooked"!

After they came out of the bag, they looked like this. B-E-A-utiful! Evan made his dog Laddie the "watcher" and also made him a blanket out of leaves.

Evan with the finished pumpkins!

This picture does not really show how awesome they look in their jar.

A very fun and festive time waster! Now I am off to get some chores done around here. That is until something else distracts me from my task!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Swine of the times.

Spencer went to the doctor yesterday for his eight year old well check. He has been eight since the end of July, but that is another story. Anyhoo....I have been trying since school started to get the kids into the pediatricians office to get their flu shots. My attempts have been futile - I was told time after time that they didn't have any of their shipment yet OR they had received some, but had just run out OR they were not even compiling a waiting list because they had no idea when any of their vaccines would arrive. Call back in two weeks. Call back at the beginning of next week. Call back in early November. Seriously frustrating when all you hear and read is about how bad the flu season is already and children who are the most at risk to get ill - CAN'T GET THEIR SHOTS!

A couple of weeks ago, I took Evan out of school a half hour early in a desperate attempt to get him and Hailey the seasonal flu shot at a local clinic. We were successful in getting Evan vaccinated! And he never even shed a tear! I was so proud of my brave kid. The nurses were stunned I think. He did so well! When it was time for Hailey's poke, my happiness started to deflate. They wouldn't give her the shot because she was under three years old. Even though she has had the shot before. Even though she will be three in January. Even though I promised I wouldn't tell anyone. I have never been so bummed to have someone hand me thirty dollars back.

The day before Spencer's appointment, I called the doctor's office yet again and told them that I was bringing my son in for a well check and I just wondered if while we were there if he would be able to get either of the vaccinations. The phone nurse told me that he could get the H1N1 nasal mist, but she would have to put him on a waiting list for the seasonal flu shot. I told her to add Hailey's name to the waiting list as well and I asked her if I brought my other kids to the appointment with me, if they could have the H1N1 mist. She told me they could, so Evan was leaving school early once again.

So yesterday morning we headed to the doctor's office armed with hand sanitizer and a bag full of our toys from home. I told the kids on the way there that they were forbidden to touch any of the toys or books in the waiting room and they should try to avoid touching the arms of the chairs as much as possible. They were extremely great about it for close to twenty minutes. Unfortunately our wait went on for another forty minutes or so. I am sure the other parents in the waiting room got tired of hearing me hiss "Please don't touch that!" "Get your Barbie off the floor!" "Get your BODY off the floor!" Finally after what seemed like an eternity, we were called back into the examination room.

The nurse was ready with the flu mist for all three. The boys were a little nervous, yet curious about this "shot" that was going to be squirted up their noses. Spencer went first and did fine. Evan followed his brother's lead and had no problems. I had to hold Hailey's arms down and she cried pretty hard but I guess that is to be expected from a two year old. The nurse asked me if they had received their seasonal flu shots yet. I told her that Evan had (at the clinic) but the other two were now on the waiting list. She then replied "I can get those out of the way for you today if you want?" I don't think I could form words at that point, what with my jaw being on the floor of the examination room and all. Despite Spencer's pleading eyes and head shaking no, I told her that would be wonderful. Spencer got his poke and was fine. His eyes didn't even start to water. That was a welcome change after the spectacle of last year's flu shot. Hailey cried of course, but only until I could dig a piece of candy out of my purse, then she was fine.

So....Yea! My kids are now completely vaccinated against the horribleness of the seasonal flu and the swine. It just irritates me that it took so long to get to this point. And what is with having to be on a waiting list one day and being able to get the shot without even asking for it the next? I feel for those that are still waiting. So frustrating!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


The photo challenge this week on the I ♥ Faces blog is balloons. When I think of balloons I think of them being carried in a big bunch or a single balloon tied to a child's wrist at the fair. I don't have any pictures like that. I do have some pictures of Evan trying with all his might to blow up a balloon - so that is my entry for this week.

Check out the blog for more balloon pictures. I am sure that there will be some amazing ones!

A Spook-tacular week of activity!

We had an extremely busy week last week. I had so much to blog and not a minute of time to do it. This week looks to be close to the same. I figured I better get some pictures on here, so here are the highlights of our busy Halloween week.

Carving pumpkins - Spencer carved the face on his pumpkin this year without any help. Evan wanted to, but was not quite strong enough to maneuver the knife through the body of the gourd. Hailey just liked looking at the pumpkin guts and wielding the knife in her hand whenever she could manage to grab it.

The first time I have ever attempted a photo like this. Love it.

Making yummy treats - We made Witchy pretzel fingers, pumpkin bars and the traditional Ghost in the Graveyard cake. On Saturday morning while I was mixing up the pudding for the graveyard cake, Spencer walked by and asked me if that was what I was making. When I told him it was, he started to sing "Best Day Ever...." his made up happy song.

Earlier in the week, Evan made up some treats of his own. A fine batch of Spider Cider. He made up the name all by himself and I was very impressed.

Dressing up for Halloween- I LOVED my kid's costumes this year. They were fairly simple to put together ( despite some minor sewing headaches) and they turned out so cute. They all had so many compliments on how great and creative they looked.
I also love how the pictures of them in their costumes turned out. The best tip that I can give anyone photographing a kid in a Halloween costume is to NOT do it on Halloween. Have the kid do a "dress rehearsal" the day or days before. The kids LOVE to have the costume on and are not chomping at the bit to get to the first house for candy, so they are totally natural and will pose for you all day long. I have done that the past two years and have been so happy with the outcome. It makes for a very stress free Halloween. Especially when the Mom is a photomaniac!
Little Red Riding Hood

Knight in Shining Armor

Mad Scientist

Trent dressed up as the Big, Bad Wolf and I was Little Red's Grandma for a Halloween party that we went to.

It was a fun filled, chaotic, amazing and crazy week! I think Spencer was on to something. Best. Day. EVER!