Friday, October 31, 2008

Trick or Treat!

After much drama, everyone finally found a costume to wear trick or treating. Jake was Darth Vader (left over from last year), Lexi was a cat (had to call a friend to borrow black pants...who would have thought to check for pants before Halloween night?) and Lizzy was a Vikings cheerleader (I figured the woof-woof ears wouldn't last past one house!)

Brad took the kids around the block. Lizzy caught on right away and even tried her best to say "trick or treat" and "thank you". Jake was the first to tucker out... he wanted to come home, sort his candy, and help me hand out candy. Lizzy was the second to quit, leaving just Dad and Lexi to make one more lap, which has become thier tradition the past few years. While they did that, Jake, Lizzy and I went to visit Sheena and Madonna. All three kids got a haul of candy...we'll still be eating it at Christmas! Click at the bottom of the page to hear Jake talk about trick or treating...
Still on a sugar high, the big kids invited themselves over to Sheena and Jesse's to play video games. Brad went to a party at the McCloud's house. Lizzy crashed, and I am about to do the same. But are the much anticipated pumpkin pictures...

Happy Halloween!

What a week it's been at our house! Lizzy picked up some weird virus at daycare last week, and has had some nasty strain of the stomach flu since Saturday. I won't gross you out with all the details, but I will say it's been a truly disgusting week at our house. She managed to pass it on to Brad, Lexi and me...we all missed a day of work/school. So far, Jake hasn't shown any signs of being sick. We are all crossing our fingers that he doesn't get it today and miss trick or treating. He had the stomach flu last year for Halloween, and still hasn't forgiven himself for being sick on the best night of the year!

Despite our sickness, Brad was determined to carve pumpkins from our garden last night. So, we let the big kids stay up way past their bedtimes to help. They actually look really good (thanks to the McClouds for teaching us how to carve cool pumpkins, and giving us the proper tools!) I will post pictures of them all lit up tomorrow! You'll notice in the pictures that Lexi has a costume on..that's because her friend had a Halloween party last night. Since when is my daughter old enough to go to Halloween parties? Why do they grow up so fast?!?!?

The big kids are so excited to go trick or treating! And, unlike when I was a kid, the weather is supposed to be beautiful. No need to cover up their cool costumes with heavy winter coats and snow boots!

Happy Halloween to you all! Have a fun night, and get lots of candy!

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Monday, October 27, 2008

Identity Crisis

What will you be for Halloween?

The kids have been thinking about that question for months. Jake begged to be Indiana Jones, but I convinced him since he was sick with the flu last Halloween, Darth Vader is still good for one more year (I paid $20 for that costume...and he hardly wore it last year!). Lexi decided to be a cat..against my better judgement (I'm not a cat person). But she found a cute cat mask and tail at the store, so at least she'll be a cute cat. Plus I was thinking her costume would still work even with a warm winter coat on.

Lizzy has been much more difficult to find a costume for. She likes to "borrow" Jake's costume (he's been trying it on a lot lately! He even wore the cape to Mary's one night). But, as cute as a baby Darth Vader is, I really wanted her to be a woof woof. She is absolutely crazy about dogs, so I thought it would be perfect, and there are so many cute puppy costumes, it should be easy, right? Wrong.

I stumbled upon a super-cute woof woof costume at Target one day when I wasn't even looking for costumes. I debated for several minutes over buying it..I just wasn't sure if it would fit. I finally decided it would. That night, I attempted to try the costume on Lizzy. She would have none of that. She thought it was a lovey, and just wanted to carry it around and cuddle it, like a lovey. When Brad got home I had him hold her down (no kidding) and I got the outfit on her the best I could. It didn't fit! In fact, it was way too small!

A few nights later, I took the big kids to faith formation and Lizzy and I headed to the party store. I found another puppy outfit (still cute, but not nearly as cute as the pug dog from Target). Problem is, all Halloween purchases at this store were non-returnable. So I fought with her in the store to try it on. She screamed... loudly... and this costume didn't fit. Now, since my neighbors own this store, I felt sure they could help me out. Nope. That was the biggest and only woof woof costume they had.

So, we went back to Target...where we found nothing. We picked up the big kids, and went back to the party store. That's when Lexi found her costume, and when we settled on the woof woof ears and nose for Lizzy. Not exactly what I had in mind, but good enough. She actually wore them to the Cub Scouts party..for about five minutes. So, I guess she'll just have to put on her puppy dog eyes on Halloween night, and hope that people give her candy for being cute!
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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Lexi Does the News

Every October, KFYR-TV holds "Students Do the News". It's a big deal..students in grades fourth through ninth write a 30 second story, then get to sit with a KFYR-TV news, weather or sports anchor and read their story. This is the first year one of my kids has been old enough to compete. Much to my surprise, Lexi was interested! I explained to her that she couldn't win.. it wouldn't be fair if a station employee's kid won. People would think it was rigged. She was ok with that. She was still elgible to win the door prizes, and that was enough for her. But, she told me, "no offense"...but she didn't want to do news. She wanted to do sports. Fine with me.

I actually think she might do very well in the news business someday, because she seems to thrive on deadlines. The night before the event, she still hadn't written her story! I made her jot down some ideas and then helped her jazz it up a bit. She did a pretty good job without my help though, I must say! Here's her final script:

Thanks Bill. I'm sure you all know that in 4th grade you can start basketball. Girl's basketball actually started in September. I'm on a team called the M and M's. We picked that name because all the girls on the team go to either Moses or Miller . We practice every Thursday for one hour and work on setting screens and boxing out. On Saturday mornings, we play real games. So far, we haven't lost a single game. There is one game left in this season. Basketball is a good sport for girls to play because it teaches teamwork and how to get along with others. Thanks for year, I'll have a report on fifth grade girls basketball.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Another Shiner

Yes, you are seeing correctly. Lizzy has a black eye. It's not her first. It's actually her second. Yes, she's only 18 months old. This is by far the worst shiner she's had though. It happened last week Monday. This picture was taken on Saturday. For a few days, she could barely open her eye because it was so swollen. We debated taking her in, but opted not to, for fear they'd think we abuse our daughter. Of course, if they knew me, they'd know she comes by her clumsiness quite naturally.
How this black eye happened is still a bit of a mystery. We do know it happened at daycare on Monday, somewhere in the living room. Lizzy and her friend Adyson were carrying baby dolls from the toyroom to the living room. Madonna stopped in the bathroom to wash her hands, and the next thing she knew, Lizzy was crying. Judging from where the baby doll landed, we think she hit her eye on the lever that reclines the Lazy boy rocker.

Madonna, of course, feels terrible. I feel bad for her, and for Lizzy. But really, things like this happen. Especially to kids who are as daring as Lizzy. The kid has no fear. And, she sees her big brother and sister doing things and doesn't understand why she can't do the same. I have a feeling that there will be many more black eyes in this little daredevil's future!
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Friday, October 10, 2008

Sleeping Beauty

Lizzy used to be such a good sleeper. I remember when she was a baby, she'd take four hour naps. The first few weeks I took her to daycare, she slept the four of the four and a half hours she was there. Those days seem like ancient history, because these days, it seems like she never sleeps.

Case in point, these pictures. She's been going to bed between 9:00 and 10:00 lately, which is later than I'd like, but not worth fighting about. On this particular night, she was fast asleep in her big girl bed by 9:30. I was sitting in the living room reading a book, Lexi was watching a movie in my bedroom, and the boys were watching a movie downstairs. After she'd been sleeping for about 20 minutes, Lizzy stumbled out of her room and into the living room. She looked at me, then headed downstairs. I knew the boys were sleeping.. I could hear Brad snoring, and Jake wasn't yelling at him to stop, so I knew he's dozed off too. I figured Lizzy would either wake them up, or come back upstairs. When I hadn't heard anything for about ten minutes, I went downstairs to investigate. This is what I found.

We have a spring-loaded gate that we put at the bottom of the stairs, to keep Lizzy from wandering. When we aren't using the gate, we prop it beside the stairs, against the wall. Apparently, the little space between the gate and the wall is the perfect sleeping place. No kidding..this is exactly how I found her! I promise I did not stage it! I made Lexi come a look, so I had a witness, then I snapped some pictures, before putting her safely back in her bed. I truly think she would have slept there all night though if I would have let her.

Lizzy is not my first child to sleep in such a weird place though. When Lexi was about the same age as Lizzy is now, I found her under the coffee table in the living room. And Jake still crawls into a small shelf space on his bunk bed from time to time.

I haven't found Lizzy in any other unusal places since this incident, but I've also been sleeping with one eye open, just in case. And don't worry.. if she does end up in another strange place, I'll make sure and take pictures!

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Monday, October 6, 2008

Welcome Willy

Three kids and two dogs is plenty of excitement for one home. Lexi has been begging for about a year to get another dog, a small one that can sleep in her bed with her. Brad asked for another hunting dog about a month ago. I stood my ground with both of those requests, and I don't intend on backing down. Then again, I never imagined I'd say yes to a pet turtle either.

Brad found it in a gravel pit on the job site. He called and asked if I thought Jake would like to see it. I said sure, he had been talking about turtles just a few days before that. Before I knew what was happening, the turtle had a name (Willy), a tupperware for a home, and a special place in the hearts of Jake and Lizzy. We had a new pet.

Willy has been to school for show and tell (we had to get special permission from the office..pets are not normally allowed in school). He was a big hit, and Jake told his whole class he was going to keep Willy for a very long time. He has settled into his tupperware (don't worry..we cut breathing holes for him) on top of Jake's dresser. And the other day at Wal-Mart, I caved. I invested two dollars in a bottle of turtle food. Looks like Willy is sticking around for a bit longer.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Share the Harvest

Even though the weather is still fairly warm during the days, the nights are getting colder. We haven't had a freeze yet, but parts of the state have already, and that had me worried about our pumpkin crop! I debated covering the pumpkin patch with blankets on Monday night, but was assured that it wasn't going to get that cold and that the pumpkins would be fine. Still, I decided last night it was harvest time.

The kids and I started "harvesting" a little after 7:00. It was 8:45 by the time we finished! We counted 42 pumpkins! We picked them (Jake was so happy to have an excuse to use his jack knife!) then hauled them to the front driveway (had to borrow the neighbor's wagon and Paul's wheelbarrow!) The pumpkins were pretty heavy, you can see some are almost as big as Lizzy!

Once we got them to the front driveway, I decided to make room for them in the garage. I figured it was easier to keep them from freezing in the garage and less likely to get stolen. Yes, people do steal pumpkins. Isn't that sad? As we were making room in the garage, a neighbor walked by. I offered her a pumpkin, and we ended up trading a bag of apples from her apple tree for two pumpkins. I have a feeling she'll be bringing more apples by soon. It's not only been a good year for growing pumpkins, but for apples too. The apples are amazing...bigger than the ones I just bought at the grocery store, and delicious too.

After the neighbor left, Lexi saidwe just "bartered". I guess she was right.. it absolutely amazes me the words my kids use sometimes. Obviously that was something they talked about in school. How cool is it that she actually had an opportunity to use that word? I'm sure there will be many more opportunities in the next month.. we still have 40 pumpkins to share!

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