Monday, October 31, 2011

Saturday

With all my family together last Saturday we had a lot of fun talking, playing with the kids, watching Michigan football (the guys),taking a good walk (the girls), and eating lots yummy food.

Here are some photos from the day:







Here are the finished pumpkins from the afternoon. They look great, but the kiddos weren't quite up for a photo shoot with the pumpkins. lol







Saturday, October 29, 2011

2 years

Today is 2 years since my mom passed away. I'm so blessed because my whole family is coming over to my house so that we can be together for the day. I still miss her so much. Yesterday I made her banana bread and cried because I wished so deeply she could come over and eat some with me. I wish she could see our house and hold and kiss Becca. I wish we could just sit around and talk again. And yet, I think I'm moving to the acceptance side of grief. Right after she died I felt I was living in an alternative universe. If you've even seen Back To the Future II it is like when they come back to a different 1985 and they try to go back in time to change the event so they can get their old 1985 back. So much of the world seemed the same and yet there was something so different and so wrong for me. However, I feel now like I've lived in the alternate world enough that I'm starting to make my home there. I still wish I wasn't here at times, but it is life now. I have things to work for and things to be happy about. This past year I've started going back and scrapbooking some layouts from times with my mom. Here are some great pictures of her I've come across.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Poor Jon

He unfortunately inherited not only my allergies but also my asthma. Last fall we had to take him to the med center a couple of times for breathing treatments. So now we have some breathing medicine at home. Fall is back and so is the asthma. Jon is being such a big boy about it.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Pushing the Wagon

I can't seem to convince Becca that wagons are for pulling. Today she just pushed it round and round the house.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Are you ready for some football?!

Fall Sundays in our house have always been football days. Before the kids, and even when we just had Michael that usually meant heading off somewhere where we could see the Patriots. If anyone is reading this and doesn't know my husband, well let's just say he is a Boston sports NUT. He slams remotes and yells at the TV when watching recorded games he's seen 20 times already. He has thrown me from the couch even in one emotional moment.

However, I do have a soft spot for the Patriots for two reasons.
1. I remember listening to the Patriots/Bears super ball game back in the 80s. We lived in Boston at the time and we were at my cousin's house painting like every room with them. There was a TV or radio on in just about each room and I remember the excitement level just draining from the house that day. I think every child in New England was a Patriot's fan that year and all felt the devastation together as they lost.
2. The Patriots are what brought Tim and I together. It was the Patriots heading to the Super Bowl in 2003 that led me to e-mail Tim an I'll be thinking of you message that gave him the courage to ask me out. :)

Well, now that we have 3 kids going out and staying at a restaurant to watch a whole football game is next to impossible. So instead we pay careful attention to when they are shown on TV, which for being far out of New England here, they are actually on quite a bit. We have also been keeping up on the Lions this season too and cheering for them which has been fun. Well, all of us cheer for them except Michael. Michael, who will tell you he "grew up in Pittsburgh" is a die hard Steelers fan. Next in line he chooses to root for whoever is playing the Patriots or the Lions. Boy does he like to ruffle his daddy's feathers!

This past weekend, though, the Patriots had a buy so we found ourselves with a bit of extra time on our hands. Tim took the kids outside to play a bit and they ended up having a blast of a football game themselves:







Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Big Girl Pig Tails

Today we got all the hair up in pig tails, not just the front hairs like we usually do. Aren't the tails getting long?!!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

God Sees My Future

I was totally inspired by the October Shutterbug challenge over at 9th and Bloom - a digital scrapbooking site. You can check the challenge out here.

The challenge was to be selective in what you focused on in a picture, choosing something that may not be the most obvious or normal for the shot but really helps to tell the story. Here are a couple from the challenge:

I love the focus on the kid taking the picture and having the camera in the foreground out of focus.

Then there was this cool one focusing on the raindrops on the window. You can still make out the thermometer but I wouldn't have really paid any attention to the rain drops if they weren't the focus.

Here is the one I took to show the flower blossoms still out in the fall.

All of this inspired me to put together this mini layout too:

Friday, October 21, 2011

The weather outside is frightful!

OK, at least it is not snowing yet, but we have had rain and highs in the 40s for the last couple of days. While this means I've actually gotten some housework done, it also means that the kids have been stuck in the house. They tell me they have nothing to do, but I assure you that we do have a house FULL of toys. Sometimes in fact I think that maybe our problem is that we have too many options for the kids that everything looses a bit of the glamour.

So how do we pass our time? How about a kitchen table tent!


Or maybe some barnyard singing and dancing.

When I got this barn out, the kids played with it for a few minutes before figuring out that it made animal noises and played music. After pushing buttons for a while, Jon all of a sudden jerked his head towards me and grinned. "That's Old McDonald!" The first couple of times he sang along he waited and just sang on the "EIEIO"s. We have been working on the other words too.

Becca, as many of you know, loves music too, only she is the dancer in the family. I find her dancing along almost every time we turn music on. In fact, she dances a lot even when music is not playing, sometimes humming to herself. I think she has music playing in her head most of the day like her dad.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Halloween 2006

I went back through some old Halloween pics the other day and was recalling Michael's first trick or treating from 2006. I loved the dark pictures of him in that skeleton costume from that year. In fact I found this great video we took that night where you basically just see the skeleton with his hands and face attached - so super cute. He just wandered up and down the street that night, not really interested in going up to houses for candy. lol


And here is the layout I created with it.

Credits: Everything - including template from Hocus Pocus bundle by geniaBeana scraps and Cluster Queen Creations, font is Courier New

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Count so high!

Jon is getting so smart!

video

He actually got up to 39 just before I brought out the camera but this one was pretty good too.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Cutting the grass and the driveway

Both useful skills to have. :)

Monday, October 17, 2011

In a Bucket



Jon and Becca love to climb into the buckets around our house and then try to bring a bunch of toys in with them. Believe it or not about a week ago Jon fell asleep like this on a day he didn't get a nap.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Little Pooh

OK, I have failed my children. When I was little (and even in college) Winnie the Pooh and his friends were awesome. We read the books, watched the cartoons, and collected anything we could find with them. Eeyore was my favorite - I loved his devotion to his friends and how he mixed joy with gloominess so well.

This week we found my old Eeyore doll. Jon exclaimed that it was Pooh. I tried to tell him about Eeyore, but he now loves to walk around with his "Little Pooh" as he has now named him. I need to find some Hundrend Acre Wood books to educate my kiddos in the world of Winnie the Pooh.

Oh, well, at least he knew it was related to Pooh, right?

Friday, October 14, 2011

Pretending

It has been so much fun to have Jon and Becca into pretending. And not to be outshown by his little siblings, Michael is even finding joy in pretending now. This week:

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Shorts and leaves

Yesterday was suppose to be the last summery day here so we made sure to get outside a lot. It was high 70s and sunny - it may have even hit 80. So what did we do? Raked leaves! And jumped in them of course.

It was a bit strange to watch the kids jumping in leaves in summer weather - the boys even wore shorts, but they had a blast. Jon has been begging to jump in leaves since the first one fell off our tree. I guess last year's fall made a big impression on him. Becca got right into it too and kept giggling.


All was going well until Becca got stuck buried under the leaves and Jon lost a sandal in the pile.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Go Green Lunch Box

We made a great find this year for Michael's lunch box this year. Instead of needing to bags or multiple containers this box has individual compartments that can hold each food in it's own space. It is so cool. Here are some pictures and you can find more information on the website too.



Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Grandma and Grandpa Haig

Grandma and Grandpa Haig were here for a visit. We had so much fun. Unfortunately Tim and Grandpa were a bit under the weather at the beginning of the weekend so we decided to stay close to home. So here are Jon and Becca having some fun with them in our driveway.

Biking


Playing Ball




Visiting a cat on a stroll through the neighborhood

Monday, October 10, 2011

Goalie!

Michael got to play goalie in his soccer game this weekend. He had an absolute blast. Here is tossing the ball out after making a save!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Farm

This week we visited a family farm.

Michael's favorite: the zip line


Jon's favorite: feeding the goats


Becca's favorite: the pumpkin train ride


And they each picked out a pumpkin to take home.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Be Quiet

I was instructed by Jon to "be quiet" because they were napping. He actually says it "Be Ki-wet."

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Art Prize

Yesterday we dropped Michael off at school and headed to Grand Rapids to tour (a small section) of Art Prize with Michele and cousin Luke. Here are some highlights:

Jon is all about fountains right now and pointed them out to me everyone, so this was really cool for him. There were bear statues posted around and in the fountain.


And then we came to a bunch of hands sticking out of the ground - representing the number of new children's beds opened in the hospital I believe. We got Becca an Luke to hold up their hands to for a fun shot.


We saw the cool big dog. I asked Jon if he could touch the dogs head. He went up an tried jumping for a bit but wasn't even close.


And the monkeys on the bridge. Jon said we needed to get a picture to show Michael.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

She's becoming girly!

Becca was given a doll last Christmas. I was so excited to show her how to play with it, but she just didn't get it and the doll would get tossed aside in favor of the cars and balls her brothers played with.

Now, however, she loves dolls and stuffed animals. She will take them for rides in the doll stroller or large dump truck and she will feed them bites of her snack. And in the last few days I'm constantly seeing her walking around with one tucked under her arm.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Play-doh again

Jon and Becca are loving play-doh, and I'm always loving things to keep them busy, so our play-doh is making an appearance multiple times a week. I couldn't resist taking a picture this week, when Becca started using the cookie cutters as bracelets. She absolutely loves anything she can wear as a bracelet!



Oh, and the educator in me couldn't resist a little play-doh mini lesson. You see the three balls we made. We practiced counting to three and talking about little, medium, and big!

And speaking of education, we got letter stamps for Jon and look what he did on his own:



Close up:

Sunday, October 2, 2011

My superheros

A possible preview of Halloween!



By the way, they are showing off their muscles in this photo.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Breakfast for Becca

Becca has been getting very sick of dry cereal for breakfast and so we have been substituting things like bagels or waffles which she loves. This week, though, I let her try cereal with milk and she was thrilled!! Periodically she started trying to scoop with her hand, but with a few re-directions to her spoon she did a pretty good job. What a big girl. :)