Monday, October 31, 2011

October and November Birthdays

Ed, his sister Susie and brother Joe

Blake, Amanda, Pap, Uncle Jim, Issac

On my husband's side of the family we celebrate the birthdays each month.  Some months we combine because it is hard to get 50+ people together at one time.  Ed is one of nine children so we don't buy gifts instead we give cards to the birthday people.  His parents still buy a gift for everyone, mostly because his mom likes to shop and this gives her more reason:)  In October we celebrated Ed, Susie, Joe, Chad and Danny.  In November we celebrated Blake, Amanda, Bud/Dad, Jim & Issac.  Blake was thrilled with his logging truck and magnetic train scene.  He even slept with the truck.  I don't know where he sleeps because he has 3 pillows, a pillow pet, trains, 2 balls and now a logging truck in bed with him not to mention the puppy dog, duck, moose and blanket that he has to have in with him!  We did have a great time of food and fellowship.

Saturday, OCTOBER 29, 2011

Saturday morning I woke up to SNOW!  Yes, that white stuff that is usually seen around Christmastime.  We didn't just get a few flakes, we got 6 inches of snow.  My parents, who live 20 minutes from us got a foot of snow!  Did you notice the pumpkins in the last picture?  It's not even Halloween and we are digging out snow.  So many of our trees were down because all the leaves are not off of them!  Many people are without electricity, we are one of the fortunate ones that keep theirs the entire time.  We did have fun on the sled, shoveling, making snowballs and a snowman.  Did you notice Ava was eating the snow?  She stood around eating snow probably because she is getting more teeth.  We even made hot chocolate...the kids preferred it to be cold.  I went to work baking an apple pie and pumpkin pie while the kids napped.  I just love the first snow in particular, of course I get to stay inside with my kids.  Kids make snow even more enjoyable. *Note to self buy snow pants and zippered, easy on snow boots.  Wearing Ed's clothes is not flattering!

Trick or Treat

Thursday before Halloween is the "traditional" day we go trick or treating.  Blake decided to be a Phillies baseball player and Ava went as a ballerina (they may have been influenced?).  Please notice Blake's hat, Mommy had to make it a Phillie's hat, thank goodness the lettering is easy!  Ava is wearing her Mommy's ballet costume from when she was 5 years old!  Yes, I have a mother who saved all of my ballet costumes and shoes!  The best part about Ava's Halloween costume is that her cousin Lauren wore it when she was either 2 or 3 years old also.  I wonder if Ava's daughter will wear it too.  I better take good care of it.  Blake was especially excited for this day, because he remembered going last year and he thought it was amazing that all you did was walk up to a door say, "trick or treat" and they would give you candy!  Now Ava being the independent sort, wanted to walk like a big girl without holding anyone's hand.  I must also add Holly's little girl Kate (5 years old) thought she could walk with her friend from the neighborhood without adults:)  We live on a street that does not have trick or treaters so we go to Aunt Holly and Uncle Steve's house and go with Kate and Ellie.  It's like old times for Holly and I so we enjoy the time together.  A big thank you to my mom who has also volunteered her time every year to go with me and put up with me barking orders to her:)  I don't know what I do without her help and support, maybe I would be gray by now, I shutter just typing that!
Blake, Kate (pumpkin), Ellie (Bell), Ava
Please notice the placement of my son's hand, no I did not tell him to act like a ball player

Holly's girls are always helpful with "baby Blake" and "baby Ava"

Ava's last swim class

Ava has been taking swim class the month of October to get her ready for next summer.  She loves going to class and I love taking her.  It gives us a great time to bond, just the two of us.  She has learned to blow bubbles, put her ears in the water (they call it listening to the fish), row her arms (she has learned the words to "row, row, row your boat"), kick her feet and jump in the pool (a favorite).  She is even relaxed enough to lay on her back and float, which shocks me.  It must be the warmth of the pool because the minute we get to swim class she is so mellow, of course it's also 8:30am!  I am very proud of all that she has accomplished in a short amount of time.  We are taking a break from swimming right now and hope to resume in January.

Farm Playground

A local farm has a playground for kids the month of October.  This is the first year we decided to come and check it out.  My good friend Cathy and two of her girls (Caroline and Leah) invited us to go along with them.  We all had a great little day trip to the farm.  As you can see they had goats, crazy things can really climb, and sheep for the kids to feed.  They also had slides, mazes made out of hay bales, tunnels and a pirate ship with swings and slide.

Blake, Caroline and Ava (they look similar don't you think)

Blake walking on hay bales

Ava looking out porthole of ship

Blake looking out porthole of ship

Ava and Blake loved the slide best!

Pumpkin Party 2011

Ava at party!

Kate and Blake

Aunt Sheila in backgroung, Ellie and Uncle Steve carving pumpkin

Molly and Maddy scooping out the "guts" of their pumpkin

Ava and Blake proudly standing by tractor wheel.  We had to take TWO hayrides:)

Uncle Rodney on tractor and his dad giving him tips

Ellie and hand waving Aunt Sheila on hayride
Our good friends had their annual pumpkin party and we had a blast.  Sheila is like my sister, my kids even call her Aunt Sheila and her husband Uncle Rodney, we are that close.  It's great having extended family!  We had great warm food and the warmth of lots of friends around.  The kids loved  the hayride and the glow sticks that they proudly wore around their necks and even had to sleep with them (I did remove string in case you were worried).  They loved playing outside in the dark, but they were pooped when we got home!  We did not carve our pumpkin (Mommy was sooo hear my sarcasm?), I thought Daddy may want that job.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Swim Class

We are nearing the end of our month of swim class for Blake.  He has improved so much in a short amount of time.  He started the summer very unsure of the water and now he closer to letting go of me and swimming on his own (with a bubble/life vest).  He can blow bubbles, listen for fish (put ears in water), jump in the pool, kick and move his arms.  He loves the song when I can toss him in the air!  He is a pro at throwing the ball and swimming to get it.  In fact he has a great arm and we end up swimming the length of the pool to get the ball! 

Pumpkin Farm

On a rainy and cold day we took the kids to pick out a pumpkin!  What where we thinking?  It was Ed's birthday and as a treat I thought he would enjoy going hunting in the morning and then he could come home and nap while my mom and I took the kids to the farm for some festivities.  Even though it was a rotten day we went to get pumpkins and meet up with my niece Lauren.  We actually had a great time and if the weather would have been nicer it would have been perfect.  Blake loved the tractors and Ava liked petting the animals (she thought the calf was a doggy and said, "look mommy a doggy, ruff").  They were taken back at the very large cows and Grandmother hated the smelly cows!  Lauren loves this smell, I can't understand that at all.  We rode big bikes and picked out a pumpkin to be carved later.  It was a fun morning on the farm.