Saturday, October 31, 2015

Costumes Through The Years

You know I love a look back at the past!

2004: Gracie Giraffe
2005: Gracie Elephant
2006: Gracie Dog
2007: Gracie Kitty
2008: Gracie Snow White (and mommy's influence ended :(
2009: The Princess & The Frog
2010: Little Bo Peep & Her Sheep
2011: The Very Hungry Caterpillar & Butterfly (last of the coordinating :(
2012: Gracie Mermaid & Tow Truck Driver Thomas
2013: Gracie Angel & UPS Man Thomas
2014: Gracie Glenda (Oz The Great & Powerful) & Construction Man Thomas
2015: Gracie Rainbow Dash & Minion Thomas

Trick Or Treat 2015

I think the pictures can speak for themselves! So thankful for my DSLR!!!  I love, love, love my new camera!

Thomas was a Minion and Gracie was Rainbow Dash, and we went to Bryce's neighborhood (where we really, really, really want to buy a house!!!) and then to Bryce's church for their Trunk or Treat.

It was a long, but fun night and my kids racked up on candy!

Thomas trick or treated at his teacher house! Which surprised us, but it was a good surprise!

Happy Halloween!!

Pumpkin Tradition

We left it to the last minute, but we did finally carve our pumpkins--on Halloween!

Actually, it worked out well. We have had weird hot weather and I am pretty sure they would have rotted before tonight if we did them too early.

Gracie decided to paint hers, and Thomas picked out Peg and Cat from PBS' Peg + Cat.

Note to self: Thomas is still a little too little for pumpkin carving.  Well, maybe too little and too much like his mama! He couldn't stand to make any mistakes and spend most of the time brooding over any little flaw.

Here's where I failed. Gracie did a great job painting her Rainbow Dash pumpkin, but be the time the carving got done we had to rush and get them on the porch and get ready for Trick Or Treating. Well, her's were still wet with paint so they got left on deck and never made it to the steps or in a picture :(

I had found a template I really wanted to do, but since I spent the 2 hours "helping" Thomas do his, I didn't have much time left. But, you know me, I whipped that sucker out fast while the kids got dressed. I'm not super happy with it, but I had to rush and really didn't take my time.

We had fun though (in between bouts of pouts from the littlest master artist), and now that Grandma has my old phone, she was able to FaceTime and watch the kids as they made their pumpkins.

Pumpkins over the years:

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Gracie's First Orchestra Concert

It was our turn to sit in the padded seats and listen to our child grow (well in this case start) as a musician.

While we waited, Garren and I had several conversations about how we forced our parents to concerts like this for years while we were in school. Daddy did chorus, and I did band for 7 years and show choir senior year of high school.

And, now we have a better understanding of the "forced happy face" when inside you are cringing at the sound of squeaks.

Tonight's very first orchestra concert for Gracie was a Halloween themed one and all the students were allowed to dress up in a costume.

Gracie could not wait to put on the (over priced!) Rainbow Dash costume Grandma popped for in Lynchburg a few weeks back.

We are very proud of our girl.  It is not easy to learn and instrument, and keep in mind she only picked up her violin in September and they are already on stage less than 2 full months later!

Growing Our Patch

I saw something similar with a "pumpkin family" on Pinterest this month and just had to to make our family!  Of course it was meant as a pregnancy announcement, but I am still loving it.  I added a hair bow for pumpkin Gracie and a bow tie for pumpkin Thomas. Baby brother pumpkin has a blue ribbon on his little head. :)

Days With Rachel

Last Thursday

 Guess who had this sweet face for three days this month?!

Lucky me, me, me!


I love getting to watch Rachael, because not only is she a sweetheart, but it is a trip down memory lane for a mom of a little girl.

Rachael and I played Little People (princess no doubt!!) and we made pretend foods and we blew bubbles.
Today (Thursday)
She is an absolute joy--and I am so honored Keri calls on me when she needs me.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The Parable Of The Pumpkin

Have you ever read this book to your child?

It is such a sweet and simple explanation of what God does with our lives. I have read it to mine several times, and opted to use it as the basis for my Wednesday night class.

Of course, I over did my planning and had worksheets and made up my own candy corn Bingo game using the words from the book.

The kids seemed to love it!

I guess this is why so many people think I should be an elementary school teacher.

First Middle School Field Trip

This is probably going to be it for a while.

Gracie seemed to be over the moon though that I was able to go with her and her orchestra class to Center Stage to hear the Richmond Symphony Orchestra perform.

Actually, besides the ride on the school bus at 8 months pregnant (not fun!!!), it was a relatively easy assignment.

The 30+ kids were fairly good. They were loud on the bus, but middle-schoolers are wonderfully easier to wrangle!

And I really didn't have to chaparone much at all. My job was to handle any kids who hung out around my kid. Easy-peasy.

I have never been to Center Stage. It is downtown in Richmond and it was beautiful! Such an ornate and sophisticated place. I was in awe off all the decor.  But, I managed to focus when the orchestra took stage.

Now, I have spent many years in band (7!) and have listened and appreciated classical music, but I feel very out of the loop. I only recognized one piece and the entire performance was entitled "American Music."

After the concert the kids were allowed to choose their lunch from a restaurant in our Food Lion shopping center. I had to laugh because just like Gracie had been doing all week, most of the kids had been excitedly talking about where they were going to get their lunch.

There are several choices, but Gracie knew she wanted KFC. We never really get that at home as she will never understand the disappointment since she never tasted 1990 KFC chicken. Stupid trans-fat lawsuits!!!

But, I digress.  She loved eating with mommy and sitting with mommy on the bus and at the concert.  She kept remarking all day about how it was a "girls day" at school. I couldn't help but smile, she and I don't seem to connect much any more.  Being a tween is hard, and so is being a tween parent.

Bad Hair Cut + School Picture Day

= an unhappy mama.

It's just hair.

It will grow back.

I don't buy fall pictures anyway.

He's still my baby.

The things this mama reminded herself over and over again while putting her little "Brillo Head" on the bus.

Sports Clips usually does such a great job! Doesn't matter, not like I can glue it back on. :(

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Happy 60th Papaw

You are this many.... 

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Hands Of My Baby!

So apparently Thomas' first grade class is a little too General Hospital!

A (frustrated) teacher email came in my inbox today address to all parents in Thomas' class. Several classmates are calling each other boy & girl friends and talking about kissing each other!!

I did not tolerate girl/boy friend talk or insinuations with Gracie (still don't!!!!), and Thomas being a boy doesn't make that kind of "pretend play" okay with this mama either.

I'm about to whip out a homemade shirt that responds to any 6 year old girl who has her eyes on my boy: "hands off girls, I'm all moms!!!!!"

Chewey Reads

Look at what I got from Mrs. Tapper today!!

Pictures of Chewey at school!!

So excited to have these. 

Chewey returned for his 3rd trip to first grade, and apparently in addition to practice reading

today, he got to go out for recess and loved the slide.

I think this might be Chewey's best day at school yet!

Monday, October 19, 2015

Countdown To Baby

We set the date!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

is the date baby Shipley #3 will be delivered.

That is if everything stays great and according to plan. And, we all know how well babies stick to "plans" made by their parents.

But, regardless, we have a date set and we are aiming for it.

I will be 39 weeks, so he will only be arriving 1 week early.  The doctor in Winchester took Thomas 2 weeks early.

Now, to start the countdown.

Thomas is so excited to cross of the numbers as the days get closer.  And, I am now really aware of how close we are to being a family of 5!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Apple Picking 2015

We froze, and we didn't last long in the orchard-but we didn't care!

I could sit and shiver and look at those mountains for ours. This happy lady was "home" and soaking it all in.

But, seriously, we got our apples and sprinted out. 

We did take time for Thomas to ride the cow train. Gracie was super upset that she is officially to big (physically) to ride in the cow cars, but, since she is proud that she is taller than me, you would think she would have been prepared for that. (Nope.)

Now, why would we let Thomas ride and Gracie watch?  Well, she rode every year since she was 4 (that's 7 years), so I think she can let him have more years to enjoy it as well.

I did take pictures, but it was so cold that not many came out to be the perfect ones that I typically get in the orchard each year.

I will be happy with what I have and how much time I got to soak it all in.

And, we didn't leave the area after apples. We stopped in for hot chocolate, made a special surprise for Aunt Ruth & Uncle George who were out of town this weekend, and spent some quality time with our friends the Mozingo's!

A great, great Sunday!

So thankful!

***Yes, there are tons more pictures of Thomas than Gracie. She was freezing and not really enjoying the experience, so I didn't get the chance to take as many pics of her. ***