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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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Field Trips are grand

October 1, 2014

It’s starting to feel like Fall.

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Sweet baby had her first field trip…just for her! Usually she gets to partake in the “big kid” events and loves them immensely, but this one was just for her. This field trip was with her CLASS! How fun to see your teacher and not be in school! It was a bit of a mind-boggler for Clare.

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She loves all things Halloween…including pumpkins and spiders and ghosts. Today, she got to visit the pumpkin patch with her friends.

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Michael got to tag along also.

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Kinsey Family Farms hosts a fantastic field trip and just might be where we purchase this year’s Christmas tree. Cut your own sounds like a good idea, right?!

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The kids got to plant a tree.

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They also got to pet the animals and feed the fish.

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A hay ride was also fun.

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Thanks to Max’s arrival just five days before, Daddy got to participate in this field trip. Come to find out, there were several dads there to enjoy the field trip. One dad was also standing in for his wife who was nursing a newborn just a few days old too.

Five Days Old

September 30, 2014

Happy fifth day little man.

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(As an aside, this is one of our favorite Laurie Berkner songs. Lexi & Luke, this one is for you especially.)

Settling in at home

September 29, 2014

Sunday looks different now. Mass still at 7:30 a.m. but now followed by church class until 10:00 a.m. Max and I (and Elizabeth) opted to partake of the Sunday morning graces from home.

What a gift to have Aunt Jen and Julius come visit. Sweet Clare laughed so hard as Julius snuck in and played a bit of abbreviated hide and seek. Aunt Jenny is always so good to make her visits fun and memorable. The kids adore her and the loud raucous that is sure to follow in her presence. I hate we don’t see more of them during the week. This dang city of Atlanta is just too big for a quick get-together when you live 30+ miles from one another.

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His Godparents were able to come over for a little introduction also. We’ve walked many years side-by-side and welcomed babies and life events and all kinds of things together. We are honored that they accepted the invitation to be Max’s godparents. We couldn’t be happier.

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I can’t believe this picture. The older girls have been friends since before their first birthday and now there are so many more faces in this pictures of friends. I still need to photoshop in Elizabeth’s face. What a gift that after 10 years there are still memories to be made together!!

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Michael loves holding his brother. He is truly in love. Brothers are the best, right? I’m so thankful he gets this opportunity and there is another baby in our house to teach us so much more about loving, living, and growing together as a family. Little Max is pretty special and is already touching each of us in different ways.

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Wide eyed and awake…Michael’s favorite time for snuggles.

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I’m so thankful tomorrow is Monday AND Nate is home all week to spend this time with us. My recovery is going well, but I’m moving pretty slow for sure and taking it easy. There are a lot of physical limitations that catch me off guard, but it’s a time that won’t last long. Just trying to keep it in perspective, rest, and allow those around me who are able to assist. I’m thankful to have a houseful of help this week!!! To those reading this humble blog, hope your week goes well!!

Thank you to those who have offered to bring us meals. I’m so grateful!! For those who have requested the information, you can find the calendar HERE. Thank you to a sweet friend for setting it up on our behalf!

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