Shortly before 4am on Saturday morning we got the call from my brother that the long awaited family member had finally arrived! I am excited to say I am now officially an Auntie! Jo was amazing, Mike was glowing and little Henry... well he is perfect! I am so in awe of my brother becoming a Dad for the first time, his love for his son and his wife are truly a testament to the love we got from our parents. Today I am thankful... welcome to the family Henry and being my kids first cousin! Hugs, Auntie Jay!
Wow, day 300! Only 65 days left in my photography journey for the year. Had to make it something special, so here it is - our pumpkins! Ariel wanted us to be Yo Gabba Gabba characters, but in case you are not aware of who they are, here is a picture from the show. Ken is Muno the red one, I am Toodee the blue one, Ariel is Foofa the pink one and Xander is Brobee the green one.
I always do the guts scooping...
Ken is the rockstar carver!
The kids are the peanut gallery, haha. Xander actually enjoyed looking inside the empty pumpkins. We watched Charlie Brown together while we carved, which is tradition.
All the while we were sitting waiting for a special call... more on that tomorrow!
I was so good this year, not buying any candy for Halloween since we never get kids in our building and I always end up eating it all myself. Well we went to the kids night in the village and both kids got a goodie bag filled with treats. Xander was nice enough to share his chips, which are his fav! Nothing like a salty chip when you never have them around... oooh.
I haven't been on here much this week, but its been kinda nuts with the regular routine and 2 cake orders keeping me hopping. Today was a break from the norm and we attended a natural beauty pageant with Ariel. You might remember we did one back in May which she really enjoyed. Well they had a Halloween one and I thought 'why not' since she would get another wear out of her costume. Haha.
It was fun again to be at something fun which wasn't negative like those crazy shows you see on tv. This was again all natural, so just the girls being themselves, no make up etc. Ariel was more comfortable on the stage this time around, even smiling at the crowd and judges table. She went on by herself too, which was quite something for her confidence I think.
At crowning time (every girl gets a crown regardless) they started naming girls within her age division of 4-5 year olds. She was in the largest group of 13 kids, and I noticed we were getting to fewer and fewer girls left on stage when it dawned on me, oh my - she could win a title! Next thing I knew she was being crowned the winner of her division! Queen! She was given a sash, trophy, flowers, balloons, goodie pumpkin bucket filled with candy and a stuffed toy and a crown!
I think in the midst of it she really didn't get what was happening since all the girls get a crown. However when she looked up and saw that she got the BIG balloons she was excited! All she wanted was one of those big balloons on stage and she got it, we were so thrilled for her.
So this week I took the kids out to the trails to take pictures of them in their costumes since Halloween night is always so crazy. The kids had so much fun playing in their outfits and I am so happy they love them. Ariel felt so pretty and loves her hood.
Xander... well he is just adorable! We get lots of people thinking he looks a bit like Max from the wild things, hee.
It was also a sad day as we learned this week that Grammy's dog Buddy had kidney failure. We knew on our visit that he was sick and it wouldn't be long till the day would be coming that he would have to be put down. He couldn't go up the stairs himself and so the news came this week that this morning Buddy would be put down. Ariel was sad and even more concerned that Grammy, Dan and Jonathan were sad and wanted to talk to them tonight to make them happy. Awww.
Well its another busy week leading up to Halloween, Ariel gets to wear her costume to school, coffee party is at my place and we are coming up on the due date of Mike and Jo's baby! Eek, gonna be an Auntie soon!!!!!!!!!!!
I took the kids out to the walking trails today for some pictures in their finished Halloween costumes. Seemed a fitting backdrop for Little Red Riding Hood and the wolf! The kids had a blast running up and down the trail as I snapped pictures. Gosh I love these guys!
Here is Mr Rooster from the farm this morning. He was strutting his stuff for us and the hens, haha.
Sorry for the lack of blogs this weekend. I am finding my weekends are more and more becoming filled with the overflow of the week and trying to relax when I can. I had a bad migraine that lasted a few days so that was painful. Blah!
On Sunday the groups performed or shared the project they had been doing for the 'Creative Service' time. Ariel was part of the dance class and I couldn't have been prouder that morning. She took it so seriously and danced with her heart, and with the words to the song it really was moving. Pastor Dave told Ariel after the service it was special to see her dance for Jesus... yes it was!!!
After church we went to White Spot with Kara for lunch. It was nice to hang out and Ariel made a friend at the next table. They played with their pirate boats together, pretty cute. We came home for a web chat with Grammy and then the kids and Daddy had a nap while I worked.
Today was Ariel's class trip to the pumpkin patch. I was asked if I could drive on of Ariel's classmates and her Nanny since the Nanny didn't drive. So thankfully Stella was around to watch Xander, thanks again! In the end it was good I didn't have him since Ariel was a handful that morning anyways. It was really cold and she tends not to do well when she is uncomfortable.
While at the patch I was talking with one of Ariel's teachers who went on and on about how sweet and wonderful a girl Ariel is. She told me how Ariel goes out of her way to always include anyone who may want to play, getting the group together into an activity and how she almost sets kids up and goes on her way to do something else and then does the same elsewhere. She never excludes anyone, and just wants to be a friend to all her classmates. As a parent I was proud and moved to know my daughter was such a kind spirit. She is by no means perfect, especially when the 'diva' comes out in her, haha. Its those little moments that remind me that she has the heart that her Grandma Vickie and Nana had.
Speaking of that diva, Ariel had a fit when I told her that her friend from class couldn't come over today since I am busy with cake orders this week. Needless to say she flipped and cried most of the ride home and afternoon. Thankfully after some food she mellowed out, but it wasn't pretty!
Then while baking cookies this afternoon for an order, I watched a memorial for a little girl named Grace. I never knew her, but her story touched me and I found myself crying. She was only a year older than Ariel, so it hits close to home.
Well my little man has decided on his new favorite toy is the broom... yes, the broom. In fact the boy screamed when I took it away today. Kinda bizarre but funny at the same time. I'd be happy to give it to him if I wasn't so worried he take out someone with handle.
Well, the kids are starting to circle and demand Mommy, so I better go!
Its GLEE night! As you can see, Xander is also a fan, haha. If you are missing the joke, check out a sample poster below.
So our weekend came to an end and went back to our regular routines today. Ariel had ballet this morning and Kara was filling in as the sub teacher so Ariel was excited, although she didn't want to let it on in front of me. Her body is finally catching up with her brain in terms of coordination and she is correcting herself with the way things should be done. I see it when she practices at home, and Kara said both her and Miss Julie see it too. Ariel is such a dancer in her heart, always wanting to practice, it will be interesting to see how far she takes it.
Finally getting around to posting Thanksgiving dinner pictures from the weekend. Here is our table with our cute turkey place cards we made... complete with the meal that fed us all weekend... seriously, there was that much food!
Ariel was so excited for turkey which she kept reminding me was a large chicken.
Xander was just eager to eat... with a fork no less.
Sunday afternoon we hit the pumpkin patch in the glorious sun shine! The fields were mucky from the rain and Ariel was a tad unsure of that, but we made her get messy... as much as she could tolerate (which wasn't much!)
Xander was enjoying toddling around poking at pumpkins. A little Linus looking for the 'great pumpkin' haha.
My little pumpkins trying to blend in, haha. It was a little bright so it was hard not to find a spot where it wasn't in their eyes. Oh well.
Then on to our favorite part, the dancing produce! Well, most of us liked it, Xander was giving that Corn the evil eye.
Put then again I think we all do when we first see them, haha.
So Monday was a big cleaning day... a big one! We finally tackled the few areas that were driving me nuts. I am proud to say we took a car load of junk to the thrift, our bedroom no longer has a pile of sewing stuff in bins in the corner, and the kids closets just have their thing in them, not our stuff in storage! YAY! It was hard, and we were pretty tired by the end of the day, but its so worth it.
Well, its time for Glee.... and a slice of apple pie. Whee!
I got on a roll on the weekend with cleaning and then one night I took the measuring tape and ran out to London Drugs. They had all their baskets 50% off and I got these for the toys in the living room. Its so nice not feeling like a toy store. Ahhh... its a good thing!
When we saw the sun this morning we took advantage of it and went to the pumpkin patch. The rain has been in full force lately and its coming back soon so we just hopped in the car and went! Figuring everyone would be doing family stuff today it might also be less busy, which it was, yay! We got 3 pumpkins, Ariel is going with her class to a patch so she will get another one then we would have our family of 4 then.
Will post more pictures tomorrow, including the cleaning projects I have been doing, big progress - yay!
It was love at first sight! For the past little while I have been trying to decide what to do about our dinning set. Its a country style set we got when we first moved in to our place. I loved everything about it, and at the time it was an amazing price from a fine furniture store here in town. However, in the past few years our chairs haven't been holding up that well. With the slightly angled legs, and little feet climbing on them, I have been fixing them every so often. Finally one chair had enough and broke right at the seat. Thank goodness no one came crashing down, but it was beyond repair this time.
The time had come to make a choice. We had to find new chairs but nothing fit with our table and its country finish... until I happened to be browsing the Sears website. I stopped in my tracks and saw a table much like ours with chairs with a better design that could possibly match. It was a long week waiting for them to arrive and I got the email late last night they were at the hardware store for pick up! Yay!
I woke up early this morning and ended up going to Ikea while everyone else was asleep. I wanted to pick up the little hook set for another 'project' area of our entrance way. When I got back into town the hardware store was open and Ken and the kids met me and we got our 2 large boxes loaded and home. Upon opening the box I saw the color and the wood was nearly a perfect match! I was giddy and then I spent who knows how long putting them together. When I was done they looked soooooooo good!
Then I put up the Ikea hook rack I got and it took care of the constant mess that was littering our entrance way of bags, hats and coats belonging to the kids. Ariel was pleased and eager to hang her and Xander's things up.
When living in a small space, everything little thing counts! I know it might be small to others, but for us its home and we can make it work for our needs until the time comes when we can move on elsewhere.
We are enjoying our long weekend thus far. Eating lots of turkey and lounging around the house. We were planning to go to the pumpkin patch today but the rain changed that idea. Instead Ken animated, Ariel played, Xander napped and I cleaned. I am hoping to tidy a few other areas that need some new organization downstairs and in the kids rooms. With Xander mobile it makes it harder to keep things tidy.
Speaking of Xander, he is saying 'hello' and 'bye' into his toy phone. Its so cute and fun to hear his little voice coming out more as he toddles around the house. Well I better get sewing and finish Ariel's hem on her dress tonight. Have a Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
Ariel and I made these today for our Thanksgiving table, little hand print turkeys - perfect for place cards! Ariel made the prints and I added the details on the face and the names. She was so proud of them.
Well, I haven't had a real blog since last Thursday... its been busy to say the least. Also with Ken doing his online teaching stuff I don't get on the computer in the evening much. Soooo lets catch up with everything that has been going on with us.
First off, we celebrated our Thanksgiving with the family early. We had a fantastic dinner and stuffed ourselves silly. I am glad Ken and I had the will power to skip lunch to prepare for the meal ahead, haha.
Earlier that morning I had left Ken with the kids and headed off to the huge Toys r Us sale happening in Richmond. Within an hour I had finished our Christmas shopping! Yay! Afterwards I went to see the Quilt show and Stella who was working at it. I ended up buying a super cute ballet bag (Stella made) for Ariel. Sure I could have made one, but I am so busy I don't know when it would have happened. Ariel loved it!
Then the following day I went off to a baby shower for Jo which was lovely. It won't be long now till I am an official auntie! Eek! We will be having another shower for her once baby arrives... so I better start getting ideas together. Whee!
This week Ariel started her 'preschool plus' class. Basically once a week she stays an extra 2 hours. She gets a lunch, some gym time and extra crafts or baking time. Needless to say she LOVED IT. I picked her up and she was glowing with excitement over her turkey hat and chocolate chip cookies. The night before we had made some homemade macaroni and cheese to take her in lunch. She was so giddy and now I find I am getting asked if today will be a 'long' day or if its a 'short' day. I guess we are ready for kindergarten eh?
During that long class, Xander and I went over to Stella's to cut out the fabric pieces for the kid's Halloween costumes. By far its that step that always takes the longest. Bah! Xander for the most part was really good... he also discovered the sewing machine much like Ariel did at this stage. He loved to press the button that cuts the thread on Stella's machine. In fact he liked it so much he tried to find that button on my machine... but sadly I don't have it so I had to show him one he could push. Haha... oh and he says 'push' when he wants to do it, haha.
Xander also wanted to share his love for the Muppets, much like his parents. We are so proud! Lol.
During the week I got booked for 3 cake orders! 2 for this month and one for next month. Wowzers... a tad overwhelming but I think if I keep it to only one order a week I can balance it within my week. More incentive to finish the costumes asap!
Looking forward to a long weekend with the family. I went and got us a small turkey to cook up tomorrow. I figure we can eat the leftovers all weekend and then I don't have to cook... sounds good to me. We are hoping to hit the pumpkin patch but depends on the weather... the rain is coming, boo!
Well, I better get back to sewing as I have a little girl who expecting to see a finished costume in the morning. I will try not to wait a full week to blog again... try being the key word!