Monday, October 29, 2012

2012 Week 43

First eggnog of the season!  Sam in particular was excited to spot some in the grocery store.
We also got our fireplace hooked up (finally!  Why did we wait 2 years?!) and have loved using it.  We have also started family reading time a few nights every week, usually stretched out in front of the fire.  We take turns reading (our first pick was my old copy of Alice in Wonderland), even Tyler who will sit by me while I read and read any of his sight words that we come across.
Family reading time with the first night of eggnog was fun, but also a mistake as the kids were excited and fidgety and some eggnog got knocked over and now we have a yellow stain in the middle of the living room *sigh*
Sam and I have really been taking advantage of his random days off (he gets them every once in a while in an (pitiful) attempt to make up for some of the times he has to work straight through the weekends) and going out on Day Dates.  This week is was a trip on the motorcycle to explore downtown Fayetteville where we walked around a litle bit, had lunch at a restaurant we hadn't tried yet (another benefit of the day date - no crowds and the freedom to eat at places we wouldn't want to try with the kids), did a little window shopping, then stopped at a frozen yogurt place for dessert.  I really love days like that.
The next day I had another fun activity planned.  Audrey's schedule and mine finally meshed and we were able to meet for some shopping and lunch.  We met at an Outlet Mall that neither of us had explored before and that was fun - and successful.  I was in need of new jeans (how great that mine are too big, right?!) and we found some great inexpensive choices very easily, plus some other fun stuff to buy.
That day was a very full day because I had also scheduled myself to take some family photos for a friend at Raven Rock.  Actually it turned into two sessions as we got started way too late and we ended up with icky photos due to not enough light.  But it was fun seeing them, and having a picnic in the dark afterward (Sam had night fire but the kids were with me).  Take two happened a couple days later this time closer to their house (we thought) in downtown.  Luckily a neighbor had suggested a park there and it was a great location.  I had a lot of fun taking their photos and I think we ended up with a lot of really good ones - phew!

The kids were invited to a birthday party here in the neighborhood on Saturday - a costume birthday party.  Here's a sneak peek at their Halloween costumes.  Care to venture a guess what they were?

Monday, October 22, 2012

2012 Week 42

Tyler lost his second tooth, once again due to biting into an apple :)  This is pretty exciting stuff for a 5 year old.
It's been a busy week, so we decided to get in some good family fun time on the weekend and took the kids to a corn maze.

The bonus this year is that both kids are now old enough that the corn maze kept their interest the entire time - no complaining they were tired or needing snacks or wanting to be carried! Instead we all took turns being the leader and found all 10 checkpoints in a record (for us) 30 minutes. Actually the kids found them - when it was my turn with the flag it took me forever to find a checkpoint while the kids seems to unerringly know which way to turn

Sam insisted that we hadn't had enough time wandering around the corn, so we spent another 20 minutes getting ourselves "lost" again before exploring the other activities.

There were animals to see and feed, bouncy houses, tractors and piles of hay to climb on, etc etc. I think Kaitlyn's favorite was this sledge-hammer thing. She went back to it at least 5 times, getting to within one mark of the top by the end of her last turn.

We didn't forget the obligatory "hay" ride - a nice little break to sit and enjoy the scenery.

Monday, October 15, 2012

2012 Week 41

This week is all about the birthdays.  I had a very happy birthday on Monday.  Everyone had the day off.  The kids and Sam made breakfast and we finished painting the new shelves in the pantry - love them!  They also snuck out and bought me flowers.  And Sam made a very nice dinner for us all.
The rest of the week is a bit of a blur with normal stuff and party prep for Kaitlyn's birthday.

Hat Day on Friday!  Followed up by Kaitlyn's first big slumber party.  10 little girls, excited, hyper, happy, LOUD little girls.  They had a blast.

Kaitlyn's requested theme was a dance party, with rainbow colors.

And dance they did.  The music was on practically non-stop with them just dancing, playing a few dance games, putting on "shows," the limbo, and we even turned off the lights and did some dancing with glow sticks.

Sam and Tyler went out to dinner on their own but got back in time for cake.  Then at 9:00 everyone spread out their sleeping bags and we turned on the movies.  Too bad half of them were too excited to settle down.  Between one thing or another I pretty much got no sleep that night.

But everyone woke up happy in the morning.  And Kaitlyn had the best time, which is all that matters.
She was quite the little hostess too.  It was kind of fun watching her direct things without hurting feelings or walking on anyone.  She made sure the ones that were a bit scared of staying somewhere different had a place right by her to sleep and woke up with her friend that was having asthma/coughing problems almost every time I did.

Sunday was her actual birthday.  We set up a balloon avalanche behind her door the night before so she was greated with it as soon as she opened her door.  She thought that was great.  Sam had to work all weekend, so it was a bit hard for her to wait most of the day to open her presents, but I think she had a good day anyway.  She had her gifts from her friends and the books she had opened from us in the morning.  Once her dad got home, she ripped right into the gifts.  Then I made her do a little photo shoot while Sam lit the fire in the firepit.  Kaitlyn's request for dinner that night was to roast marshmallows and hot dogs - which I thought was a great idea.  It felt very festive, but didn't require a lot of prep or effort.

Isn't she pretty?!
And smores are just as yummy as cake - maybe even more so when they are made with home made marshmallows!
Happy Birthday to my Kaitlyn. I can't believe she's 9 years old!

Monday, October 8, 2012

2012 Week 40

I asked Tyler if he wanted to send anything special to Wyatt for his birthday.  His response was "I want you to take a picture of me and print it out so he knows how happy I am for his birthday."

We were discussing what how to decorate/carve pumpkins this year and Tyler said "I want mine to look like this face" then struck this pose.
Fall/Halloween decorations are all put up now - the house feels so festive!
Snails! I say "ew" but the kids found the fascinating.  We had 5 or 6 climbing up the porch post after a few days of rain.
Getting Wyatt's birthday card ready to send to him.
Home made marshmallows and pumpkin spice syrup for hot chocolate!  We tried out these new recipes this week and both of them are winners.  MMMMM.  And with the rainy and cooler weather this week it was just the right thing.
We also had a very long weekend this week.  Sam got an extra day off on Friday and we took full advantage of having the kids in school and went out for a "day date."  He borrowed a helmet and we took a ride on the motorcycle to a nearby town where we tried out a new restaurant.  Then we wandered down the tiny Main Street and had dessert at the fun frozen yogurt place.  I had a fantastic time.  It felt more like a date-date than we've had in a very long time.
Then we came home and hit the lumber yard (haha), as we had more than one project on the list for the weekend.  (including putting new shelves in the pantry - my gift request for my birthday)

Saturday found us wanting to do something fun with the family.  So we headed off to Raliegh to the State Fair.  Only it turns out we were a few days early for the Fair.  We ended up at the Children's Museum instead where we had a lot of fun, especially in the sports section that we hadn't explored in previous visits.  Kaitlyn had her first lesson in (giant) chess - and won against her dad, with a little help from me, her dad, and some random guy waiting that probably wanted his turn with the board to come around a lot sooner.
Sunday we tackled the pantry and other projects...

Monday, October 1, 2012

2012 Week 39

Mid-term reports came home this week.  Both Kaitlyn and Tyler are doing amazingly well - yay!  (not really surprised are we?  We have fantastic kids!)  I got a little chuckle out of the teachers comments on Tyler's - compliment, compliment, compliment and "but sometimes he likes to play too much"  lol  Yup - that's our Tyler.  He is a 5 year old boy after all.
The is what I see outside the dining room window almost every evening after school, snacks and homework are finished.  The kids and usually a friend or two pull out the baseball stuff and play.  None of them really have a clue how to play, but they seem to have plenty of fun anyway.

Sam had a sewing project he wanted me to do.  Of course I picked up the supplies but hadn't pulled out the sewing machine to make it.  He was either fidgety or really wanted it done, because one day he had me show him how to run the machine and he did it himself.

And our fun fall family outing this week - Apple Picking!  We've had BEAUTIFUL weather the past couple of weeks, then sure enough the one day we plan to do something outside it turns icky.  Oh well, we decided to brave the slowly falling rain anyway and didn't regret it.

Once we got home the kids worked on "science projects" for a while, using a book Kaitlyn brought home from the library.  It still astonishes me that more often than not, both of my kids choose informational-type books instead of ones for pure entertainment.
While the kids were busy with that Sam and I were in a Fall Food mood :)  We looked up a recipe for Pumpkin Moose with Gingersnaps and Sam got to work on that.  I whipped up a batch of pumpkin/cream cheese dip for the apples we had picked and put a pot of spiced apple cider on the stove.  I love Fall!