Thursday, November 17, 2011

Happy November

Welcome to the full swing of my favroite season, Fall.
It is a time of falling leaves, rainy days, cooler temperatures, and cinnnamon spice everything.
Yankee Candle company makes one of my favorite fall scents, Autumn Harvest. Too bad it seems they stopped making tarts? I'd love to have a stash of them in this scent to burn everyday from now til January. It is a mix of crisp Fall leaves, cinnamon, firewood, and a hint of something sweet - vanilla, maybe? anyways, it's delish. Truly Fall in a jar!
We have celebrated a few milestones since my last post and had a few visitors travel through our humble home. Lunabell, our American Staffordshire Terrier, turned 5 on October 19. Grandma and Papa came to visit, as did Autnie Joy, for Squeak's third birthday November 14th. We made the decision to travel north to Michigan for the holidays this year, and I am looking forward to seeing all our family and some of my close friends as well. I'll miss our little snuggly Christmas from last year (truly one of the best Christmas holidays we've ever had) but am excited to resume the huge Christmas of the past! The kids are at ages when they should really understand and enjoy the holiday this year, and I'm hoping we will have some cozy time to remind them of the REAL reason for this amazing season.
We had an Under The Sea mermaid party for Squeak's big day and I am sad to say I didn't get any pictures that day. Grandma took quite a few but I neglected to transfer those over before they headed back north. We decorated a lot (crepe paper seaweed hung from the ceiling, homemade clownfish and jellyfish, tissue paper anemones, a homemade mermaid cake, etc.), got all her fave foods (hawaiian pizza, Chick-Fil-A nuggest and fruit, Goldfish crackers, cut up veggies and a red pepper octopus in the dip), and had a truly great day. Perfect weather, good friends and family, and the little Squeak was happy, happy alllllllll day. Truly an accomplishment for a three year old!

In other Squeak news, she has been lovin' gymnastics and I (we) are so happy for her! I do have a lot of pictures of that. It's hard to get close though! Grandma and I spoke about getting her in a dance class, also, so I will be researching it, too. Here she is on the mat, post somersault. (Impressive, since I was in 4TH GRADE before I learned to do one! Haha)

Bug has been doing amazing - he is such a MONKEY! Climbing and getting into everything, but better on his feet, so not as many bumps and bruises as of late. Combining the kids bedrooms has worked out well so far, although he is still the early riser. I was thrilled he let me sleep til 7:45 today, but on the flip side, Squeak didn't even stir until 9. Haha. You can tell which parent she takes after!
Halloween was great, we had good weather, and an amazing turn out for Trick or Treaters. Geez! As soon as dusk started, they were ringing our bell. I had to refill our candy bowl three times! Squeak was Ariel and Bug, a lion. We waited til Daddy got home at 7 to start our trick or treating and it was a sucess. We made it down two streets, as opposed to the one street of last year. Bug was a little freaked out at first - he'd approach the house with Squeak but once they opened their door, he'd bolt back down the driveway. we finally walked him to a door and made him stay there til the woman offered him some candy. Bingo! That changed his mind. He only ever took one piece, though, no matter how many pieces they would offer him. He'd take the candy, giggle, and then say his version of "Thank you" as he toddled back down the driveway. Priceless.

Let's carve pumpkins Daddy!

I adored (as did the kids and Jeff) having family here for Squeak's birthday, especially Auntie Joy. She is someone I miss terribly and after living in the same house for 2.5 years over the past 4, it never gets any easier to seperate from her when it's time to do so. Love you so much SISSY! And thank your husband for letting you for the week instead of just a couple days. :)
We recently did a family picture session with a family friend and the pictures turned out amazing! I have already used them to order prints and Christmas cards for this year, and saved a bundle over last year - and am SO SO much happier! There is something about doing photos outside that makes a huge difference. Thank you JEN!
I have yet to begin Squeak's homeschooling and with all the craziness of the holidays coming up, I am dragging my feet indoing so. I am nervous about starting a "curriculum" (and I use that term losely) with her, only to lose whatever ground we've gained over the holidays, and have to start over again. I am also really thinking about enrolling her in an actual 4yo preschool program next fall and just forgoing the whole homeschool thing altogether. I, often, try to do too much all at once..... I am fearful this is one of those instances.
As Thanksgiving approaches, I am reminded to slow down and dwell (I love to DWELL!) on the things this past year that I am thankful for.... and to thank the One who blessed me so richly with all of them. Here is my little list (so far):
My husband, a man who not only puts up with my organizing, far-fetched dreams, stressing out, sometimes laziness, but loves me and enjoys me for it, not in spite of it.
My two amazing children, who are constant reminders of God's humor, his beauty, his love of life, and his grace, and who remind me how much love I really have to give.
My puppies and my oft-forgotten lizard
My home and all that is in it
An amazing church and church family
Cherry Coke ( yes, it's an addiction, but I love it and truthfully... I need it)
Hot showers
Entourage Salon & Spa - my "work" family
PBS Kids programming and Animal Planet.... helping me make my children lovers of all animals
My friends - old and new, local and far away, I love you all
The oppurtunity to mother my children, to take care of my family and home, full time
My Lord and Saviour - without whom I would have nothing, and through whome I can do and have everything - you give me strength, purpose, peace, and joy. You have blessed me beyond measure. I love you.

I close with a favorite quote from a favourite blog:
"I’m also learning that while I might feel like a ping-pong ball, bouncing from one child
 to the next throughout the day, God is doing kingdom work in their hearts and mine.
Every hug, every book, every kind word, every laugh, every kiss, every correction,
every sleepless night, it’s all working together for something greater. And He promised that
if I don’t grow weary in doing good (and this work is good),
He will reap a harvest from what I’ve sown."

What's on YOUR list?

Happy Thanksgiving, all.

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