Monday, October 31, 2011

Soggy Halloween

If you are looking for lots of Halloween excitement here...prepare to be disappointed...I was :(

Actually, I think I am more disappointed than the kids. Halloween is a fun mommy holiday too you know (at least for those of us with little ones).

Garren didn't want to be as he said on eof "the lame ones out before dark." So, we waited until dark...so did the rain. Wasn't that nice of it?!

Now, we put the costumes on the kids in the rain. We walked around Heather's neighborhood (practically no one had lights on last year so we made plans to go over to her street) in the steady rain. We knocked on doors and said "trick or treat" in the heavier rain. And then came the downpour.

Thomas was having such a good time. He loved saying "trick reat!"

We did 3 houses, and then daddy's exact words to Gracie were "how about I go to Walmart and buy you the biggest bag of candy I can find and we call this a night?"

She was super okay with this arrangement. I was not. Not about the candy, but all that work and excitement to take my kids trick or treating was over in 10 minutes.

It could have been worse. He could have been older and understood more of what Halloween was all about and thrown a tantrum. Or as Heather put it "it could be 3 inches of snow!"

But, I am still a little sad. They were so cute!

Show And Tell


Mommy wants to show you this candy corn pillow case dress I made for Gracie that she wore for the second time this season.

Thomas wants to show you he didn't pick up the apple beanbags like he was supposed to.

Gracie wants to show you the shoes she and DADDY picked out yesterday.


They are Sketchers. There she has a pair...and I had NO part in it.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Gracie Runs...Again

MY Gracie was ready to go this morning despite the steady rain and the very cool temperatures outside.

Today was the Mechanicsville Miler at her school, and we couldn't have been more proud as we watched our dedicated Gracie run in the rain and mud! (Now, how to get her that dedicated to the things I WANT her to do?!)

The rain was really causing havoc with the flow of the morning's events, but we managed. Thomas, however, did not. Daddy sat with a very cold baby in the car while Mommy cheered Gracie on (seriously, it was too cold and miserable and he was shivering).

Now, there was a 100 yard dash also to take place and any age could participate, and I talked to Gracie about it and told her she could do what she wanted to, but I was afraid there wouldn't be enough time to get from one event to the other. She agreed, but as we slowly tried to get info and move to where we were supposed to be...we ended up at the dash start line. So, I looked at Gracie and told her she could go for it if she wanted. She did!

So, she ran a 100 yard dash, got her ribbon and marched on to the 1 miler start line!!

They finally arranged the kids grades K-2 and counted down to the start. The other kids went out like a flash and Gracie was far behind for a while--but I knew what she was doing. And, sure enough, after a short way, some of the other kids ran out of steam and started walking. My Gracie kept her pace.

She kept her pace the entire mile and across the finish line 3rd!!!

I cheered her on as she rounded the last corner.

When she came through she high-five'd one of the Principals and told me "I saw Miss. Anderson!"


Apparently Miss. Anderson (her 1st grade teacher) was on the course (where I couldn't see) and she was excited. She told me she high-five'd her. And, then when I saw her I made her take a picture with Gracie.

Gracie got her certificate and I gushed and gushed. She told me she only walked 2 steps to catch her breath, and ran the WHOLE way!!

They gave out medals to the top girl and boy in her run (and the 3-5th graders as well)--she came right behind the top girl. Of course, I happen to think she's our TOP girl!

We are all so proud. And, now she is looking forward to running in the same race she did last year in Richmond!

Gracie's Quote Of The day

"I wonder how busy it is at the Walmart in Asia?"

What?!!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Manly Duties

My son takes his role as little man of the house very seriously.

Actually, I don't know how to describe his man-of-the-house attitude.

Today, we were at Costco and he insisted on putting the groceries on the belt. The man working was so impressed and commented on how his son came back in the house after giving up on mowing the lawn. He had apparently made 3 rows and told his dad "it was harder than I thought."

And, I know that all kids like to help--it is the way he helps. He gets this most serious look on his face and commands "I do it, I do it!!!" And, he doesn't stop there. As he helps he grunts and moans and then when his task is finished he (sometimes wipes his forehead) says "whew!" as if it was the hardest job he could imagine.

To say it is "cute" is an understatement.

In addition to lifting things his self-proclaimed job is to be the gate holder. Thomas insists on holding the backyard gate open for mommy to walk through.

I don't know if it is inherent in a male, but his little man mannerisms are obvious and profound.

While I don't force Thomas to be manly or to think that he rules the roost--I have to admit it kind of does my heart good. Yeah I know...not very feminist of me...but I like the idea of raising a good man (someday baby--you better stay small for a LONG, LONG time!).

Chw-ee, where are do?!

It is nap time, and once again the hunt is on for his best friend. He yells the above question down the steps as I go on a frantic search for the long lost lovey.


I find him hiding and taking a comfortable break from his morning of play time fun with his best buddy and constant companion.


My son is over joyed at the return of Chewey, and they snuggle down for a warm afternoon snooze.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Halloween With The Governor

Yes, the Governor of Virginia.

Daddy was super proud this evening to show off his family to Governor Bob McDonnell.

We were especially invited to the Executive Mansion for a Halloween party. Kids were invited to dress up and decorate pumpkins. So, this was my first chance to show off my costume handy work. Candice gave Gracie the great idea to go as a caterpillar and a butterfly (since they have been matching since Thomas was born) and since Thomas is really into the Very Hungry Caterpillar, we did before and after. I spent HOURS pasting cutout peices of tissue paper to make Gracie's wings--but they are a sight to behold. And, Thomas is being a trooper with his costume and I am thrilled.

But, back to the Governor, our shy Gracie was polite and shook the Governor's hand when Daddy introduced her. Since I was behind her and holding on to Thomas I hoped for a lucky camera shot--and it isn't bad. But, decided to push the video button quickly for Thomas' turn since I doubted I could get him in the picture while holding on to him. So, I have a video of my son (the future politician) extending his hand and shaking the Governor's hand without being prompted. Did I mention he is hand shaker? Loves it! When he meets people he sticks out his hand. Well, in certain situations (usually church or if daddy is showing him off). I promise I didn't teach him that--but it is too cute!!



But, the best picture by far of the evening came from one of Daddy's co-workers who wanted to tease him that he had no proof he works with the Governor. So, she snapped pictures from the yard while we were with him. I was thrilled to see them!

After we got in to the back yard the kids painted pumpkins. No, let me re-state...Gracie and I painted pumpkins. Thomas instantly went in to shy mode and he was clinging to me and wouldn't have anything to do with the pumpkin...or the chair...or the table. Daddy acted quickly and grabbed a fun size M&M packet from the bowl and he was fine the rest of the evening! So predictable. Anyway, I was trying to keep him from freaking out noticeably so I told him "what if we made Super Why on the pumpkin." He was interested, but still attempting to climb up me. After his M&M's were in hand (and on face and costume) he watched happily as mommy created Super Why on his pumpkin. Gracie made Rapunzel on hers (are you surprised?!)

We didn't stay too long, and left after meeting more of Daddy's important people. We carted the kids and the pumpkins back 2 blocks to the car.

You could tell Daddy had a great evening--I am pretty sure he was beaming. The kids did too...and me too, after I aimed all the air conditioning vents on me in the car--it was unbelievably hot today!


















Gracie Meets Gov. McDonnell Thomas Meets Gov. McDonnell

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Priceless Quote

Gracie is super excited about more Republican fun tomorrow and it is all she wants to talk about at dinner. She tells daddy "maybe I will see some of my school friends there!"

Daddy: "This party is only for people who help the Governor, people who work behind the scenes."

Mommy: (smiling) "You have to have to be extra special to get invited"

Gracie looks at her daddy "why do you get to go?"


LOVE IT!! (PS: Daddy laughed *almost* as hard as mommy did!)

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Pumpkin Creations

So, this is our second Halloween/fall here in Mechanicsville, and I have to say we have found several fun fall activities and enjoyed the season.

But, even in Strasburg I always cheated and bought our pumpkins to carve from Walmart (way cheaper!!).

This evening we carved them up, and I think they came out so cute!

Gracie wanted Rapunzel, and thankfully I found a pattern online.

I wasn't sure what to do for Thomas...we had done Thomas the Tank Engine and Barney already. I went hunting online and came up short. That's when I decided to make my own pattern and I did Cailliou. He came out awesome. I was thrilled with my...um I mean Thomas'...pumpkin.

While I was searching online a picture of Angry Bird pumpkin patterns popped up. Daddy loved the idea of making an Angry Birds pumpkin...so he did.

I am sure we are the envy of the entire cul-de-sac.

**Isn't that a GREAT picture of the kids and their pumpkins on the steps?!! Garren can always get him to cheese and look forward for a picture--I don't know why he HATES me to take his picture!!!**

Friday, October 21, 2011

Ready To Run

Gracie has signed up to do another mile run!

We are super proud of her for wanting to run in her school's race this fall.

Today they got to wear their "workout" clothes to school to help gear up for it. (Isn't this too cute! I scored it at a thrift store and it is pink and perfect!!)

Daddy won't be running with her this time...not because he doesn't want too--but no parents allowed! Well, not exactly, but they will be running in groups by grade level. So, Gracie will run with all of the second graders who signed up. And, I hope there are a few--she is the only one from her class registered to run!

We of course will post pics from race day, which is Saturday October 29th.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Watch The Apples Of My Eye Grow!




**Click to enlarge**

My Favorite Apple Picture

The Best Apples In The World

...grow at home.

The kids and I got in the car early this morning and headed to Strasburg for a day of fun and family and apples.

And, we had the most amazing day. Words can not describe how wonderful the day was. The weather was perfect, everyone was happy, and I literally enjoyed every minute!

We went to church this morning and heard the new minister. Rev. Ed was transfered this summer to Charlottesville, and we haven't been home since June!

After church we went and had lunch (where we usually do) at Gertrude's (George's mom) and the kids played with Uncle George and Aunt Ruth's new puppy "August." A very lively black lab. Yep, she got a new dog. Nope, I don't know what she was thinking--she has enough boys in that house to clean up after! ;)

George and Zachary had plans for the day, but not Ruth--so we were super excited for her to join us at Marker-Miller apple orchard.

Can you believe she had never been!

Oh, what fun! And oh, how busy! I bet there was easily 200 people there! But, we didn't care. We played, we picked apples, we ate apples, the kids rode the cow train...

I was tired--but not excited about knowing it was time to head back.

So, I stalled.

We took Ruth back home and we went to see our favorite neighbors. Imagine our excitement when the Energizer Bunny family...I mean the Mozingo's were home when we rang the bell!

Unfortunately I had no choice but to turn the car around and end our fabulous day. But, I had a HUGE bag of apples, a small bag of doughnuts, and a camera full of pictures to remember it all.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Thomas' First MatchBox

Like he needs more cars...right?!!

But, daddy couldn't help himself today in Walmart.

Garren remembers fondly the matchbox cars he collected as a child and couldn't wait to share the fun with Thomas.

Now, the age on the car package is 3 and up, but he is past the putting- things- in -his -mouth stage, and he really loves it.

I may not understand the excitement over a dollar car--but I don't think I was meant to. This is for a father and son to share.

***I tried to talk him into a different choice of car (this van looks creepy to me like one a drug dealer would have!), but just like me trying to talk him into taking a picture of him and his first matchbox car--it didn't go well***

Monday, October 10, 2011

Gracie's First "A"

In all the excitement of the three day weekend I can NOT believe I forgot to tell you all about Gracie's first A!! (Of course I waited all of 5 seconds to announce it all over Facebook, yes ma, you can complain later!)

Gracie will get graded in three subjects this year, and technically this was an interim report and not a report card, but I have decided it still counts!

So, Friday Gracie brings home her very first grade, which is her very first A! (She gets it from her mama!)

We are super proud. Of course we would be super proud even if she just went to school and ate paste, so you can imagine our boundless pride with the "A."

I can't remember off hand which subjects are graded this year, but this A was in Math!

A Visit To The Pumpkin Patch

So, we had planned to take the kids to Ashland Berry Farm yesterday (Sunday), but Thomas ended up taking a 4 hour nap--so that plan went out the window. But, I wasn't too crushed since I kind of accidentally fell asleep too.

But, I really wanted to take the kids and Gracie was out of school today for Columbus Day--so I got extra brave and took them by myself.

Ashland Berry Farm is the place we attempted to visit last year, only when we got there it was over an hour wait to ride the hay wagons to the patch! With Thomas being a year and a half then, and the place closing in an hour, we took some pretty pictures, walked around a bit and left.

My friend Heather took her boys yesterday and warned me that it was super crowded. In fact, she told me to go as soon as they opened.

I felt a little weird pulling in at 9:55 (they opened at 10), but that subsided when I saw how many cars (and strollers) were already there.

The kids and I had a great time.

We were on the second hay ride out to the patch. The kids picked pumpkins and carried them back to the loading zone. I had asked them to pick small ones, even though Gracie had her eye on the larger ones. I reminded her that we had to carry them back to the car and they had to travel home. Suddenly, the cute smaller ones were "perfect."

Thomas was super proud of his and he wanted to carry it himself. He told me "I do it!"

We ride the hay wagon back to the tourist trap, uhem, I mean entrance, and we paid for 2 tickets to the kids area.

They had a large hay bale maze and a bouncy house.

They had tons of other things, but the morning was getting late and it was getting hot. But, I had promised Thomas another tractor ride, so when Gracie finished bouncing we rode the hayride to the patch and stayed on and rode it back.

We really did have a great time, and the kids were wonderful. Lots of good memories made. And, I was thrilled at how my pictures came out!! I am including some of my favorites, but I loved 30+ of the 100 I took. Yes, I took over a 100 pictures.

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Tough Pumpkins

Gracie commented later about how tough the little pumpkin were that grew as she was telling Grandma all about it over the phone. She apparently decided this:

" I guess the magic seeds saw Thomas planting them and they knew to be extra tough." --Gracie

How To Grow Magic Pumpkins


Step 1: Find Magic Seeds


Step 2: Dig Hole


Step 3: Put your seeds inside and cover them up with dirt.


Step 4: Make a fancy-shmancy sign to show were your seeds are :)


Step 5: Wake up in the morning and see the magic before your eyes!



WOW!

Friday, October 07, 2011

Mommy's Pumpkins


**tonight I read the kids "The Pumpkin Patch Parable" and it reminded me of how my children are like the crops in my life, and I am the farmer...and so it inspired me to write this down for them:***

God planted you in my heart. He choose just the right size and shape of seed to sow.

It was my job to water you and to nurture you and wait for you to sprout. And, oh when you did how tiny and round and wrinkly you were. You were the sweetest, most beautiful pumpkin in the whole patch.

But God wasn't finished with you yet...and neither was I.

Your father and I picked you and wrapped you up in our warm love and brought you home so we could admire you and tend to you properly.

We washed you and pruned you and kept you shiny and neat as we showed you off to all those who wanted to take a peek.

We watched as you grew taller and leaner. You gained a few bumps, and a few bruises, but you were still the most beautiful of all in our eyes.

You are really growing now, and eventually we will have to cut the vines and pray that the stem that connects you to us will stay strong and firm.

We will continue to mold you, and keep you fresh and full of glorious color, knowing that some day all the care we gave you will be the lasting impression on others while you go outside and face the world.

God planted the seed that started you, you father and I shaped and molded you. You will have everything you need to some day let the light inside you shine forth and warm all who glance upon your path.

----
"You are the light of the world--like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden.
Matthew 5:14

Thursday, October 06, 2011

ABC's

Speaking solely as a proud mama--this might be the cutest thing ever! Listen to Thomas as he attempts to sing his ABC's!



I got him that phone from the Once Upon A Child here in Richmond. He LOVES it! He loved it in Walmart but I wasn't going to pay that for a baby toy! Well, we scored it for $2.50 and it rarely leaves his hand! Usually he calls Uncle George (whom he can't stop talking about lately!!) or Curry. I have videos of those conversations I will have to upload later.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

My New Favorite Room

I have been wanting to share my new room, but it never seems to be clean enough to snap pictures!

But, I got it all neat and tidy to show off.

I actually re-designed and re-arranged the play room a few weeks ago, and I really, really love it! It is so much more functional.

I really felt like the old room was just a store room for toys. I am hoping this new arrangement will make it easier for creative play and learning (a mom can dream can't she?!!) Oh, and check out the new and awesome child's table I have!! Both kids can fit in/on it and I love it! Got it from the trashy house next door when the actual owners came and cleaned it out!

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Just Becase


I really like this picture I snapped this morning...so I am sharing :)

Republican Fun

Yes, Republicans have fun. They have fun with bouncy houses, and a fire truck train, and a man on a unicycle and cotton candy and popcorn.

You thought I was going to say something else...didn't you?!

Well, the kids of the Republicans had fun with all of those things, and mine were no exception. Gracie bounced her little heart out and Thomas rode the fire truck train 4 times and got cotton candy. I think we were there to rally the troops--but I was there to chase my kids.

Gracie had been getting excited all week saying "I can't wait for Republican fun!" And I just had to laugh each time.

I think it was called the Republican RoundUp maybe, there were important people there, we got stickers--but mainly I went from attraction to attraction. Those Republicans really know how to throw a party!

Home Depot--On Steriods


I was seriously not prepared for this mornings Home Depot Kids Workshop--and I was definitely not prepared to do it alone!

Back in the olden days (when I took one child) we made a craft/build, I snapped a picture, she got a certificate and a pin and we went on our merry way.

Well, for the past few months when we arrive the kids get bombarded with stuff. It started out as chips and drinks (sugar water!!) to go along with the build (so now Thomas is only interested in the snack), and then they added in extras like a bag of school supplies in September, face painting, corn hole games with prizes. So, I know to expect an arm load of stuff.

Well, today was Fire Safety day, and I was not prepared for..

the helicopter in the parking lot..

...the firetruck in front of the store...

...policemen/women doing fingerprinting inside the store....

...the police car....

...the free fire hats.....

...the ice cream truck!!....

...and the free ice cream from said truck!!

Thomas was on sugar and vehicle over load!! We barely made it out alive! But, somewhere in the chaos at least one of my children actually built something--good thing since that was the whole reason we were there!