Friday, October 31, 2008

Cole's Fall Festival

I volunteered at Cole's preschool Fall Festival again this year and lucked out and got the job of photographer. This meant I didn't have to run any games or pass out prizes--I got to follow Cole's class around and take pictures! And take them I did! Out of the 108 pics I got of Cole and his classmates, here are the best of my favorite little preschooler:
Painting a ghost with shaving cream and a q-tip.

Someone left this bucket of candy unattended and guess who found it!

Waiting in line to skeleton bowl with his buddy Curtis.

Ring toss action shot!

With his sweet teacher, Ms. Jana in her spooky spider shirt.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

First Grade Smile

I can't even begin to explain the changes we've seen in Travis since he started first grade. He's always been mature. We jokingly call him our "little old man." But the new school has taken his structured personality and honed him into a superstar student. For example, one night it was nearing bedtime and we hadn't reviewed his spelling words. Knowing the next day was not a test day, I suggested that we just go to bed and leave them for the next night. He grimmaced, shook his head and said, "Now that would just be setting me up for bad habits." (And yes, I did feel badly about being less disciplined than my 6 year old.) On days that we have an after school activity, he comes home and dives right into his homework...usually without being reminded. And he's learning amazing theological truths. The first grade focuses on the stories of the New Testament and he was more than a little excited to relay the miracle at Cana to me. He said, "Mommy, Jesus did something you're really gonna love--he turned a barrel of plain ol' water into WINE!" Yes, miraculous...and again, feeling badly...
Travis--Mommy and Daddy are so proud of you. Thank you for being a wonderful son and a superstar first grader. We love you more than you can ever imagine!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Harvest Time

Our little pumpkin patch yields its bounty...
A pumpkin apiece--mission accomplished!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Halloween Fun

My rockin' friend, Ginger...
...hosted an awesome Halloween party for the kids.
But I think the Mommies had more fun!
Not all the Moms wore costumes, but we couldn't let Ginger down, so...
...we had Julie the Bumblebee
Amy the Black-Eyed Pea
and Jessica the "Spice Rack"

Travis (Harry Potter) thrilled to have found the snack table.

Cole (Speed Racer) and his friend Andrew (Batman)
Travis bobbing for apples.

Cole munching on the apple he bobbed for...incidentally, he ate Travis' too!

Cole eating a marshmallow ghost.
Shortly after this picture was taken, Cole ate one of the Red Hots that were the ghost's eyes, realized he didn't like Red Hots, and dribbled Red Hot juice all over the front of his costume!

Cole on the way home...completely passed out!
The sign of a great party...thanks Ginger!!!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Funny Travis

Today after school we needed to run some errands, so we whipped into Wendy's for a quick snack. We weren't the only ones there, but at 3:30, it was fairly deserted. Now, if you know Cole, you know that he's pretty verbal and pretty loud! When I asked the boys if they were ready to go, Cole threw his head back and said, "NOOOOOOOO!" really loudly. I quickly shhhhhhed him. And Travis interjected, "Yeah, Cole, these people will think we're a bad family." And then in that dead pan way that only Travis can, said, "And then word will get out..." Maybe you had to be there, but I laughed until I cried.

Trip to the Dentist

Today was Cole's first trip to the dentist! I wasn't sure how he'd behave. You really never know with Cole. Travis and I talked to him about what would happen and it really helped that Travis had his check-up at the same time. They took both boys back together and Cole got to see
how to behave by watching Travis. That always helps!
Because it's a Pediatric Dentist office, it's totally set up to make kids comfortable. Here's Cole laid back with his shades they provide so the light doesn't hurt their eyes and they can concentrate on the flat screen tv on the ceiling playing the cartoons of their choice! Seriously!
Choosing a toy from the treasure chest as a reward for a perfect check up!

Showing off those pearly whites!

Waiting for Travis to get done! By the way, Travis only has 12 more baby teeth to lose...that makes me a little sad.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Costumes on Parade

Halloween is just around the corner. I thought I'd take a stroll down memory lane of all the Halloweens past...


Travis--the tiniest Superman ever!

Only home from the hospital for 10 days. We bought the smallest size bunting costume the store had, but I still had to remake it so that even came close to fitting!


Travis--a cuddly lion

This was his first year to actually trick-or-treat and he thought going out into the neighborhood at night such a bizarre thing to do. Later, he had his first taste of a candy bar!


Travis--Bob the Builder

It was about 85 degrees this year and I put him in a flannel shirt and overalls. I think he was running fever by the end of the night. All in all, not a great year for trick-or-treating :(


Travis--the world's cutest magician!

A homemade cape by Mommy! The hat had a false bottom from which a Beanie Baby rabbit could be pulled! I never let him look in the mirror after I drew the mustache for fear that he's smear it off. Gotta say--my favorite costume ever!


Cole--a sweet monkey!

Even at 3 months, we knew it would be appropriate. Love the banana peel ontop of his head.


We were living in an apartment waiting for our house to be completed and Travis wore this costume everywhere! We got lots of giggles in the parking lot.


Batman and Robin
The one and only year I succeeded in getting them to coordinate! Loved this dynamic duo!


Cole--Buzz Lightyear

Travis--Optimus Prime

This Halloween was actually my first blog post ever! It's almost been a year of blogging...

Coming soon in 2008...a little Speed Racer and Harry Potter!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Fun in the Tub

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Happy Fall, Y'all!

I know it's technically been fall for a while, but it sure hasn't felt like it. Hopefully the cooler temperatures will start to settle in and the crisp weather will match the date on the calendar. Fall is our favorite season around here! Shayne likes it because of hunting and football seasons. Travis likes it because of his birthday. And I like it because of the decorations!
I love my fall decorations...
Our wooden pumpkin face that fits perfectly beside our back door; my super cute doormat I found at Target this year; and crotons--the only plant I don't kill--have beautiful fall colors!
The kids love to see the Halloween table decorations come out!
An oldie but goodie--I've actually had this witch candy bowl since before the kids were born. It's motion activated to scream at you when you go for the candy corn. And who doesn't love that?
New this year--Shayne's parents gave us our newest decoration. This awesome witch that looks great on our staircase. Love it!

And last but not least, if you're a follower of the blog, you know Shayne and the boys planted a little pumpkin patch this summer. WE HAVE PUMPKINS!!! Our initial goal was at least two pumpkins (one for each of them) and Shayne was prepared to spray paint them orange if they didn't turn on their own. But they did and we're the proud owners of at least two homegrown pumpkins! Thanks Shayne for all your hard work! We can't wait until harvest time!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Runaway Pumpkin

We made a visit to a local church's pumpkin patch this afternoon. Of course, the primary objective was the perfect pumpkin patch photo. Of the 24 photos I took, this is the only one in which both of them are remotely cooperating at the same time...

And I also love this one, because even though they look like they're laughing because they're enjoying themselves, I think they're actually mocking me and my vain attempts to get the perfectly posed photo...when will I ever learn?
The secondary objective was to acquire a pumpkin big enough to become a jack-o-lantern later this month. We found a nice $9 pumpkin and loaded it up in the back of the car. I should mention that one of my favorite features of the new car is the automatic liftgate. Well, I don't know if I hit the button one too many times or forgot to hit it altogether, but the long and short of it is that I accidentally pulled out onto a fairly busy four lane highway with my liftgate up. I heard the noise and felt the breeze about the same time and looked in my rearview mirror and saw my new pumpkin lying in the middle of the lane. Needless to say I flipped out a little bit. I quickly zipped into a business parking lot and my sweet mother-in-law, who was with us, volunteered to run back for the pumpkin! Miraculously, our pumpkin was intact. Even more of a blessing is that we didn't cause a wreck. We did, however, probably give the couple of youth working the pumpkin patch at the church at good chuckle...

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Pokemon Cake

As I stressed out about how I was going to make this round cake that Travis requested, so many of my friends suggested I just call a bakery and be done with it. At 1 a.m. last night as I was up to my elbows in red fondant that wouldn't cooperate, I thought that seemed like a brilliant idea. I've given many reasons for baking and decorating my kids' birthday cakes--it's cheaper; I'm a control freak; they've come to expect it. There's some truth to those reasons, but they're not the ultimate reason. The actual reason I insist on staying up to the wee hours working with icing tips twice per year is's one more way I can tell them I love them.
Last year in my MOM group, we studied the book The Five Love Languages of Children by Gary Chapman. The five ways children know you love them are quality time, words of affirmation, physical loving touch, gifts, and acts of service. It's the last one that applies here. Baking their cakes is an act of service and so much more rewarding than folding their laundry or packing their lunches. I've never seen my children's face light up to a drawer full of freshly folded socks. But twice a year, I get to see a huge smile and pure glee as they wake up to a freshly decorated cake of whatever cartoon character currently holds their affection. They don't have to understand now how much time it takes or realize how hard it is to get a cake in the shape of a ball not to implode on itself. They just have to know that I made it with love because their birthday is one of the most important days of my year. I know that the day is dangerously near when having your Mommy bake your birthday cake will be desperately dorky. So until that day comes, I'll be baking and icing my heart out...literally!

R.I.P. Pokeball cake

Pokemon Party

Scenes from a seven-year-old party:

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Evening at Chuckie's

We went to Chuck E Cheese tonight for dinner and fun in honor of Travis' birthday!

I don't know who loves this tradition more...the boys or Shayne!

Daddy is a major skee ball champ! He rolls up his sleeves and hits the jackpots (sometimes more than once) every time we're there. What a talent! It makes him a hero to the boys though!! Check out Travis' smile after confiscating all the jackpot tickets! Score!

Cole playing a new fighter pilot game that he really wasn't big enough for! He looks like the g-force is getting to him a bit.

We overheard Travis telling Cole a few days ago, "You know, on my birthday you probably won't get any attention...not a speck...and you'll probably cry!" Well, the complete opposite was true! Cole treated today as if it were a national holiday. The first thing and the last thing out of his mouth today was, "Happy Birthday, Travis!" He has a rare form of hero worship for his big brother. I hear more and more the phrase, "...just like Travis" associated with everything from the clothes he wears to how he plays with toys. So a day that's all about celebrating Travis? Cole was all for it! He really is an amazing kid!