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Winter has arrived early

November 19, 2014

19 degrees this morning. I think Santa was feeling bad it wasn’t cold enough on Saturday so he delivered some North Pole temperatures a bit early. The south really isn’t supposed to be this cold!

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Stay warm today!

Cub Scout traditions

November 9, 2014

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Michael’s first Raingutter Regatta was this afternoon. Admittedly, I was a bit frustrated with the “forced upon us last minute” nature of this event. We received our kit on Thursday and the event was Sunday.

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Michael knew almost immediately that he wanted a video game theme and more specifically from the Clash of Clans. So…mom to the rescue while Daddy was at work. Michael helped me choose the images he wanted, I resized them and had them printed in color (since we don’t have a color printer). At least, this part we could do until Daddy could help after work on Friday night. I traced the images onto the sail and then Michael used permanent markers to color it. It turned out great, right?!

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I’m not one for last minute projects or having to work under a deadline. Although, not perfect, it seems our attempt at sealing the boat actually worked. Who needs 72 hours to cure? HA. Look at all these great boats ready for an afternoon race.

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What a surprise to have Aunt Loly & Uncle Nick arrive for the festivities. Thank you for honoring us and Michael also!

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The festivities began with the flag procession, pledge of allegiance, and cub scout promise.

2014-11-09_021 (851x1280)Race #1 and Michael learns a lot about blowing into his sail and competing against someone older.

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A sportsmanlike handshake and the promise of another opportunity to race in a double elimination bracket.

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While waiting for the next round, the boys played a huge game of soccer.

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Max enjoyed his first soccer game and boat race also.

2014-11-09_071 (851x1280)Lucas was a more equally matched opponent. Both boys had a great race. Michael’s sail got off kilter and ended up dead in the water unable to steer out of the gutter and back on course.

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I’m so proud of our little Cub Scout and his presence at this first competition. He was a great competitor who showed incredible joy and sportsmanship. Well played buddy. We look forward to your Pinewood Derby next. We promise to make sure you have more time to prepare…at least for mommy’s sanity. (Daddy does great under pressure.)

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Happy Halloween!

October 31, 2014

Costumes, family, friends, cold weather, trick or treating and of course traditions galore.

A little crafting before preschool pick-up.

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Daddy’s office had the option of coming to work in costume. You don’t have to ask Nate twice and this year was our year to dress in a family theme. Disney it was.

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Thanks to Michael & Julius, our frankenstein’s turned out pretty well.

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Grana Lissa made us cupcakes from Jen’s “BOO” porch treat.

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Friends stopped by to say hello and take a peek at the kids in costume. Thanks for the old decorations (blow up decor) and the new little light up man. We love you guys.

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So glad that Aunt Jen & Julius were able to join us for the festivities. Tradition continues.

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Mom & dad were here too!

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Grandma Sandy & Grandpa Kent AND great-grandma Edna came from Kansas to celebrate with us also. (Unfortunately, no pics of Kent & Sandy together tonight. More to come tomorrow.)

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Time to trick-or-treat before the freezing rain spoiled the fun.

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Happy Halloween to all!!!

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It’s almost Halloween!

October 28, 2014

The mom’s group at our church put on a fantastic little afternoon Halloween party.

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In fact, some of our comrades from the 7:30 a.m. Mass actually planned and hosted the event. Here’s Clare’s friend. Ironically they didn’t know each other in costume. I had to explain to them who the other was and how they knew each other. Hilarious.

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Clare especially loved the photo booth. She’s such a show-off and always ready for a good time.

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Katie was so excited to be a teen helper this year. In fact, she was very careful to change her costume plans to fit the occasion. She plans to be Maleficent from Disney this year, but was afraid it might scare some of the little kids. She opted for her sweet little poodle skirt instead. I love this girl. She has such a heart of gold.

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Ellie actually had a serious meltdown toward the end and I was nursing Max, thankfully Mr. Rich came to the rescue. He not only rescued Elizabeth from her fit of crying sprawled out on the floor, but he also escorted her through the trick-or-treat line trying to teach her the “drill”. So sweet and a huge help for this mom of five still learning to fly “solo” while out and about during the week.

For better or worse, I can always count on Clare to find something fun to do and create her own adventures apart from everything else. I’m feeding Max and look over to see Clare has found a game and is happily playing. I love her zeal for life and independence!

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Michael is a heroic knight but for some reason I don’t have his pictures uploaded. You’ll have to see his costume in the Halloween post instead.

Happy birthday to you!

October 28, 2014

So how does a mom spend her 61st birthday?

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At Chuck ‘E Cheese of course with the grandkids.

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and of course her kids also. (Well, three of the four at least.)

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All birthdays should include some celebrating, right and who doesn’t love to dance with ChuckE?

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Well, Clare actually. She saw the life-size ChuckE walking through the games and to say she came unglued would be an understatement. In fact, no one was with her when she saw him the first time. Papa found her hiding under a table crying. The second time, he came out, she scaled me with such fury and hysteria that I wasn’t sure she’d survive the moment. We got the nice lady to take us over to the closet to see where the costume hung, but sadly, that wasn’t even enough. She woke up this morning asking if ChuckE was going to eat her and reliving the moment with a great deal of calm but excessive conversation. Oh my goodness. I hope we now have her convinced that the mouse is friends with little kids. He just wants to give high 5s, and dance, and hand out tickets. Sweet girl. Sure hoping that this girl who seems to love Halloween isn’t too spooked to enjoy the festivities on Friday. Thank goodness for some games and pizza to save the day.

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If you dress in costume throughout the month of October, you get 50 tickets when you walk in the door. I’m thankful for facebook advertising as I looked for online coupons. Sadly, I wasn’t able to tell Julius in time to grab his costume. However, tThe “mouse” was gracious enough to give him tickets also. Michael also received his birthday email in time to take advantage of a few extra.

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There were definitely some skee-ball challenges. Jenny challenged dad and Nate to several basketball competitions also. I think it’s safe to say she’s still the winner.

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So after three hours of playing and eating and celebrating, there were some tickets to redeem. The kids have been saving their tickets for several years and tonight was the magic night to redeem them…1600+ of them actually. Katie took 600 and Michael took 1000.

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So, I think shutting down the place was a nice indicator of how much fun we all had. I’m thankful for great arms to snuggle the baby. Both Grana & Anna got their turn, Papa too I think. I got a little time to corral the girls, change some pants (after having a tiny little accident hiding from the Mouse), and play a few games myself. Happy birthday mom! Many more birthdays to come!!!

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Cub Scout Camping

October 5, 2014

Michael joined Cub Scouts this past August and has been so delighted by every experience. They’ve had several den meetings and one pack meeting. He’s sold popcorn outside Kroger, earned his Whittling Chip, purchased his uniform, and anticipated this weekend immensely.

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It’s time to go camping!!!! Papa had originally planned to join them for this weekend, but his back had other plans. Instead, Papa spent the weekend warm, in a bed, and with a good dose of Tylenol and muscle ointment.

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Nate & Michael drove almost two hours north of us to the Blue Ridge Mountains. They were actually the first to arrive at camp by about 40 minutes or so. Temperatures were about 20 degrees cooler there than our house. Needless to say, it was a cold weekend hovering around 50/60F daytime and 40s overnight.

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He’s made some great friends and they were able to meet more from the parish on this family weekend.

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Michael was so excited to have gotten his Whittling Chip which gave him access to the roped off whittling circle at camp. He removed the bark from this stick with his boy scout knife. He looks a little cold in this picture though and missing the glove that later surfaced inside his overnight bag. Later as in when mom did laundry after they walked in the door.

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They survived the second overnight with 30 degree temperatures and were ready to pack up camp and head home.

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Stories are still unfolding from the weekend, but suffice to say there wasn’t anything that Michael didn’t love. Nate was even able to help the den earn an unexpected Ultimate Frisbee belt loop. Way to go throwing in that Frisbee at the last minute!!

Happy 11th Birthday!!

October 5, 2014

I can’t believe eleven years ago our girl entered this world weighing 4# 11oz. Pre-eclampsia and the onset of my own kidney failure forced her delivery at 33 1/2 weeks. Such a strong girl from the very beginning. She was in the NICU only 8 days and came home weighing 4# 9 oz…not even the traditional 5 pounds. Thank God we proved ourselves competent to bring home such a tiny baby. At eleven years old, she’s now in the 98th percentile…a long way from her preemie self.

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This year’s celebrations included lunch with her dad on Friday and celebrations throughout the day on Saturday. Snuck in some ice cream for breakfast.

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Archery at 9:00 a.m. with her friends, volunteering at 1:00 p.m. with her favorite kitchen making meals for poor families in the county. Dinner, cake, duct tape crafting, and slumber party with the family including both aunts!

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Aunt Jenny was loved all over by these two girls. In fact, Elizabeth wouldn’t let Jenny put her down when they woke up Sunday morning. It was really sweet.

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This was a fantastic Sunday morning moment for me. I was nursing the baby and the kids came to play blocks at my feet. They were so nice to one another, playing, sharing, and seeing who could build the tallest tower. The sun was shining in and the kids were happy. For a few minutes, I loved everyone being at my feet.

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I love you sweet girl. I hope eleven is the best year yet!!

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