|He does have a patch on his shoulder, but I blurred it out.|
Fall officially arrived with a glorious weekend of 40-ish weather! It was an occasion for jackets, scarves, tights, and boots--all at the same time. I was in heaven...for that weekend at least, because it was back into the mid-70s the following week. But it gets gradually cooler every day
And we realized that we need to quickly outfit the kids for cooler weather. Luckily, we found a few items in their closets from last year that still fit them.
Bree lost her first tooth! It was literally hanging out of her mouth, and she was playing with it constantly. One day during school, I was getting so annoyed because she couldn't keep her fingers out of her mouth. I offered to pull it out for her, and she didn't exactly say no. She actually just looked at me skeptically, which I took as a yes. So I yanked it. She gave me a look as if she had been mortally wounded, and her feelings had been seriously hurt. "Ow! That hurt!" I handed her a tissue, reassured her that it would stop bleeding really soon, and told her to get back to her school work. She soon got over the insult, because she quickly discovered a slew of new tricks she can do with a gap in her teeth (poke the tip of her tongue through, breathe through it, drink through a straw, etc.). And the tooth fairy did not disappoint.
Chad and I celebrated our birthdays quietly. I made him chocolate lava cake, which, for future reference, is hot enough to melt a birthday candle, resulting in a cake with a beautiful gooey center laced with green wax. Surprise, surprise. But he ate it anyway, despite my offer to swap with him. That's love.
Chad made me waffles for breakfast the next morning for my birthday. And while he was at work that evening I got a sitter for the kids and went to see the final Twilight movie with a couple girlfriends. Going out with the girls is not something I get to do often enough, so it was a really enjoyable way to spend my birthday evening. The movie was decent too.
We've had to limit Mason to one hour of video games a day. He is like a crack addict. His first question to me each morning is "Can I play Mario Brothers/Lego Star wars?" He is often dressed with teeth brushed before I even get going in the morning, because he knows those are prerequisites to game time. I limit game playing because of the mental/emotional effects of too much play time, but the fact that gaming is a sedentary activity doesn't even come into it. Mason is literally incapable of sitting down while playing. It's impossible to play alongside him, because he can't stay out of the way. Here's an example of what Bree and Mason look like playing Mario Brothers.
Goal #22: Invite someone I'd like to know better over for dinner
This technically happened in October. On Halloween night, we made chili and cornbread, and invited my friend Mackenzie and her family over after we trick-or-treated downtown. Mackenzie and I know each other really well, but I haven't spent much time with her husband Aaron. I think this was only the second time we've had them both over! Shameful. Chad and I both agree that Aaron is good company. We should totally hang out again, before another two years goes by.
Goal #20: Turn off all electronics for 24 hours
This was not nearly as difficult as I thought. I purposely chose a Sunday, and a day when Chad would be working (because he wasn't enthusiastic about the idea). I was worried we'd have trouble filling the time. I could have done without the 50 or so requests to watch a movie (we are apparently addicted). But I played a few board games with the kids, which they loved because we don't do that often. Then I had to declutter the house a bit in preparation for a session of sugar cookie making (I have a hard time starting a new mess-making project when the house is already a disaster). So, once the house was passably clean, I mixed up some dough. The whole process of mixing, rolling, cutting, baking, frosting, and cleaning again took about 3 hours. It's a big process even without kids "helping." I even let Mason use some non-traditional cookie cutters (a "W", an "8", an ice cream cone, etc.), but had to stop him before he dirtied every cutter in the 100-piece Farberware set. Mason's decorating technique consists of squirting a blob of frosting and adding sprinkles to one cookie, then immediately eating it. He repeats this until he is sick to his stomach, then gives up on the whole thing. Bree actually stuck it out until every single cookie was frosted. She really gets into the creative stuff.
We had Thanksgiving at my grandparents' ranch this year. It was definitely the most delicious family meal we've had there--and there was a ridiculous amount of food. I am talking ridiculously ridiculous. We returned to my mom's house with two pies that had gone completely untouched because there were so many desserts. All the dishes were really tasty.
|Sweet Potato Casserole from The Pioneer Woman|
|Chocolate Caramel Pecan Pie from Southern Living|
While we were out there, we took some family snapshots in my grandpa's horse corral. I'm sure he thought I was out of my mind, raking horse manure out of the way, posing in front of the 100-year old fence. But I had a vision, and I think we captured it.
Bree keeps begging me to make ornaments with her. Unfortunately, most of my ornament-making supplies are packed away. I even have a bag full of pine cones and red berries somewhere in the camping trailer. But Bree was not to be deterred. She came out of her room a few days ago, showing off this little beauty. The hook is made from a paper clip.
And, one good guess as to why our tree looks like this:
The Christmas movie watching is well underway. So far we've watched:
- The Santa Clause
- Arthur Christmas
- Just Friends
- Rise of the Guardians (not a Christmas movie after all, but it does have Santa in it)
- Stealing Christmas (a cheesy ABC Family movie)
- White Christmas
- I'll Be Home for Christmas
- And the kids have been watching the kids' Christmas classics: Rudolph, Frosty, Charlie Brown, along with some Diego, Thomas the Train, and Wonder Pets
Yes, the end of November is Christmasy around here. I like it best that way.