Monday, November 18, 2013

dirt trail bike riding = hot date

Date night:  on rare occasion when Phil and I get a date night there are only four things that we like to do:  

1.go to a movie (when there is a movie we like)
2. go out to eat (almost anytime, usually Texas Road house)
3. go on a bike ride (when the weather is decent)
4. go shopping (when we have $)

We usually only get to go on a bike ride together about once a year and this year I realized that two of Phil's bikes are basically unfixable and he is bikeless other than his tri bike.  He has been saving up his money for a decent mountain bike as he's really been enjoying riding dirt trails (something we vaguely remember doing when we were dating).  

Anyways, feeling generous (and I desired to go bike riding with him) I suggested he go look at bikes and long story short.. he bought one.  

Here are some pictures that he took on a ride.

Here is a turtle I spotted out at George Wyth.  It looks prehistoric.

I have always wanted to do the annual night ride in Cedar Falls and this year I finally could, with my best bud Phil.  Sorry the picture is so dark.  Thanks to mom who watched the kids!

After seeing Phil's pictures, I took a couple myself.  Nothing too special though.

Phil and I
bike riding

especially on dirt trails

with each other.

Falloween 2013

We have lots of neighbors with kids the same age as ours so their is plenty of opportunity for fun!

Have I mentioned that at the beginning of the year our church challenged us to a family mission statement?  Ours has been love God and love one another.  So every Wednesday we make a plan of how to love each other, focusing on our local friends and neighbors. 

** I even splurged and special ordered my own stationary based on this... I will have to post a picture as they turned out very neat!**

Here below is movie night with our friends.  We invited all the local kids to have supper and watch a movie at our house, giving the parents a night out.  9 kids, 4 pizzas and 1 movie = happy parents.  I hope we can do this again as it was easy and yet had many purposes. 

Going with the theme... here is our friend Maggie and Harlie on a Wednesday morning watching a movie.  For the past 6 years I've gone to MMO but this year I decided to ask Harlie what she wanted.  This is her only day off from school during the week and honestly, my last year to have a special day for her so Wednesday is her day.  Most days we sit at home coloring and watching tv but on occasion we have special days... like this past Wednesday when we spent the morning doing our hair, make up, and nails - Harlie style.  I should have taken pictures but didn't but I'm sure we'll have more days like this.

More friends and fun.  This is Mckenzie and our kids playing in the back of our trailer that held all our leaves.  Super fun!  As dad, not so legally, gave us a ride around the block while riding in the back.  It was like a hay ride only instead a leaf ride.

someone is hiding in here : ) 

Surprise!  It's Wendell hiding in there!

Ali got in on this too!

Below is my last minute Halloween party.  For some reason I love Halloween.. I love dressing up, the kids dressing up, I love a little scary fun (not real creepy stuff), I love carving pumpkins and I love having fun with my kids.   

Here below is our 'haunted living room'.  The kids and I made tents all over making it a crawl through path that our friends had to climb through.  I think it took us 30-45 minutes to make this and about 3 minutes to crawl through and destroy but we had a lot of fun.
This is the first door to go through.  Harlie had scary 'pictures' on the floor that made our haunted living room scary.  They were photographs my mom had taken of bugs in Florida... how funny!
Here we dressed up in some costumes we had around the house.  We had Abby and Mckenzie over for our 'party'.
 Here we had some monsters hair (rope), monster guts (cooked spaghetti), and monster eyes (grapes).  I had the kids put there hands in the buckets but they couldn't see what was in there.  Some kids were actually scared of what was in there!! : )
 My parents had given us some extra pumpkins so we had a pumpkin carving contest.





 Judge Phil says??
Wendell  - best smile
Abby - best teeth
Harlie - ?? we can't remember.. sorry
Mckenzie - most creative
All dressed up for trick-or-treating!  Wendell is Spiderman.. kind of obvious.  Harlie picked out this costume and it's a girl pirate off some cartoon I don't really know.. nor does she.  She just liked the costume.
 Here are our kids + our adopted daughter Mckenzie  : )
 Off we go....
But Alveda didn't get to go because she got sick just minutes before we left.  She upchucked all over our living room.  She stayed home with dad and handed out candy.  I took the kids out.  I was kind of bummed she didn't get to go but it was probably easier that way anyways.  There's always next year!


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Alveda Grace... how sweet the sound!

Sometimes I find myself singing, Alveeeedaa, Grace, how sweet the sound...   Then I have to think what are the real words to that song? Oh yea, Amazing Grace, not Alveda Grace.

I found so many of her mugs on the camera this past uploading that they cracked me up.  This stage is the beginning of my two year count down (1 1/2 to 3 1/2 hardest years to parent a young child) but it will be bitter sweet.

Here's some free humor for you..

she earns her cuteness here

does she not look like a movie star in the magazines?

windows + kids = more cuteness



I have a picture like this of Wendell.. I'll try and find it to compare hair

                                              Being one, is serious business.

not feeling well...

so we're using an apple as a pacifier.  
She sucked on that quite a while before 
I just put her to bed with the real deal.

oh the joys of climbing

and getting stuck

still stuck...



She has done this a few times so at this point I was a mean mamma and made her get down herself.  She figured it out.  It just took about 30 minutes.


The first day that Harlie and Wendell both went to school Ali and I came home.  I said what should we do?  Explore!  Walked the yard, over the street, to the park.. then back home.  I think she LOVED being free of kids wanting to pick her up and tell her what to do.  FREEDOM!!  One of the best things of walking with a one year old is seeing where they'll go; they have no idea of boundaries, traffic, or 'doing something useful'.  Her attention is just on walking the next two feet.. not the next block, not fast, not slow, not with a purpose, not with an agenda, not with much of any thought other than, one step at a time - just being present to the moment and place as it is.  Wish I could do that more.