Monday, November 28, 2011

having some more thanksgiving

Last Friday, Grammy Pammy came to visit. We had another Thanksgiving dinner for her and invited some friends over, too.  (We needed the extra help eating the turkey)  The menu was varied a little bit:  mashed sweet potatoes and green bean casserole for our sides at this meal.  No pictures of this meal-I didn't want to creap out the friends.  Grammy also brought us all cool presents from her recent trip to Ireland.  The boys all got sweatbands of a local soccer (football) team from Kilkenny. 

Kella got a little wool sheep.  I got and awesome wool sweater.  But, Andy got the best present:  all the shampoos, teas and coffees from the hotels Mom stayed at.  What a gift!

Of course, we had to torture Grammy by having her play a board game with the boys.  I'm sure she's having flashbacks to how "fun" it was to play with me and my sibs when we were little. :-)

The kids loved getting the chance to see their Grammy Pammy, too, this weekend.  I did too!

with Kella

having some Thanskgiving

My favorite thing about Thanksgiving is the chance to plan a big meal. I don't like turkey, or ham or pumpkin pie. I pretty much gorge myself on sides.  This year we had 2 meals.  The first meal was on Thanksgiving. Grammy Linda, Grandpa Jerry, Chris, Kim and the girls all came over.  What can I say?  We are a cool family to visit.  Andy deep fried the turkey, Linda brought some noodles (and the turkey), Kim brought the pies and we had mashed potatoes, stuffing, glazed carrots, broccoli, rolls, a spinach cranberry salad and a cranberry jello dessert.  There was plenty of food and plenty of leftovers to make another meal.  But the best part was that we all got to visit and the cousins got to play together.  It stunk that I had to leave the fun for work that evening, but everyone hung around until Friday so I got to see them then, too.
the cousins' table-our picnic table from outside

the grown-up table-I busted out our nice china and some of our crystal for the meal

turkey induced sleepy

Grammy and Kella

It's getting harder to fit the cousins on the couch.  The girls all wanted to hold Kella.

with Aunt Kim

I love to get photos of the "C" cousins-Cassie and Cale-together.  They are only 6 months apart.

Liam has a new fun game-blast off!.  This chair is a rocket ship into space.

It was crazy and loud, but so much fun!  I'm thankful that we were able to get together.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Happy Birthday #7 Cale!

Happy birthday to our sweet Cale!  I can't believe he is turning seven years old today.  He has grown into a wonderful little boy.  He is smart-one of the smartest in his class.  He is kind to his little-est siblings.  He does butt heads with Ewan, but they can play so great together.  I love how he starts almost every sentence in a convesation with the words, "guess what".  He is very outgoing and likes to be in charge, be a leader.  He is doing great with karate and gymnastics.  He is an agressive little basketball player-competitive-likes to win.  Some of his favorite things right now:  cartoons, pokemon, building with dominos, reading chapter books, playing board games-especially monopoly, candy, shrimp. 

This morning, you would have thought it was Christmas at our house.  The boys were up way too early to go downstairs to see Cale's presents.  He had wanted a DS like Marcus got for his birthday, so they were downstairs analyzing the size of the wrapped presents.  The lucky boy got exactly what he wanted: a DS and a game.  He was a good sport about having to wait to play until after school.  Cale even got to go to the doctor today for his yearly checkup:  48 inches, 59 pounds=75th/80th percentile.  After dinner, we had cake, opened birthday cards, did some measuring on the door and took some pictures.  He had a great day.  We even overheard him singing "happy birthday" to himself in the shower-so sweet!

celebrating Cale!

From 2005

From 2006

From Cale prechool fall 2007
From OctNov2008

From Nov2009

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Excuse me while I get on my soapbox....

The boys brought home another fundraiser for their school the other day.  I'm pretty sure that makes the 4th fundraiser for school year and we are only in November!  This time, the PTO wants them to try to sell coupon books.  I know the money raised goes to support school activites that maybe aren't budgeted for, but really, how many times can you make the kids and their parents peddle these wares before the families and community members are tired of purchasing items?  My day was Monday.  I told the boys that we are not selling anything else for the school and I would rather take them to see a movie or some other treat than to have to try to sell these books.  Cale was more disappointed than Marcus.  Cale likes to be a part of everything and I don't think he liked the thought of not being included in the cheap little prizes the PTO is giving away as incentives.  I do feel a little bad for that.  But, it makes me angry, too.  These fundraisers "reward" participation with cheap trinkets and a little party at the end of the campaign.  What if your family and friends can't afford to support the fundraiser?  Children get excluded based on their friends and family's financial needs.  Ridiculous!  That makes me even more angry!  I hate the thought of kids getting excluded from something fun because they can't afford it.  So, I did what any fed up parent would do... I gave myself a day to calm down, and then I sent an email to the PTO person in charge of this campaign.  I tried to not sound angry through the email. I just said that I was disappointed that there was another fundraiser and we cannot keep supporting these activities.  I also questioned the exclusionary reward system they use and the money spent on the rewards.  I got a civil reply back, inviting my to the PTO meetings (which I have a feeling they don't expect me to attend) along with information saying that for this fundraiser, the company is supplying the rewards.  Which to me, does not make sense anyway.  That's just extra money that the fundraiser will take off the top to pay for the rewards before the school sees anything.  But, whatever, maybe I will go to a PTO meeting to see what goes on.  We'll see. 

I'm stepping down off my soapbox now.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

because I can't help but post a few photos...

Here's little sister stylin' in the first pair of jeans I've put on her..

...and here she is in her new high chair.
Thanks for the high chair seat Grammy Pammy!  Now we just need to buy some baby food....

singing sensations

Liam loves to sing.  He's got a fantastic memory for words and evens remembers songs from the radio-including call letters-he loves his alphabet!  Just wanted to share his sweet voice.  I'm glad I have the chance to capture it for everyone.

Can't be outdone by little brother.  Ewan is serenading you with an excerpt from Black Eyed Peas.  Enjoy.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

5 month old Kella

Kella was 5 months old last Saturday (10/29).  Just wanted to share a picture of her.  She's chewing on her hands a fair amount, as well as some of her toys.  I like to give her this one little stuffed unicorn because it fits nicely into her hand and mouth.  She is transitioning into 6-9 month clothes and I have so much fun dressing her and looking for clothes for her (after 4 boys, are you surprised?).  And, for her 5 month day, she celebrated by rolling over from back to tummy.  We have also moved her from her little crib to the pack and play.  She's still sleeping in our closet (don't worry, it's a big closet) and will for a while still.  Eventually, the plan is to move her into the room Liam is in right now.  I haven't started any cereal yet.  Honestly, it's because I haven't had time and I still need to go out and buy some rice cereal.  A regular sleep pattern is slowly emerging.  She can sleep for 12 hours a night, waking once to eat.  Most of the time, she does this the nights I'm at work.  So, Andy gets a pretty good night's sleep.  She's not an awesome napper yet, but we keep trying because I know one day she will figure out that it's okay to sleep a couple hours during the day in her bed.  She likes to be up in her walker and it's cute to watch Ewan wheel Kella around in it and then place her in front of him so she can "watch" him play.  Such a good baby and a healthy one at that!  We are blessed!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

pumpkins and halloween

Happy Halloween to everyone! We don't do a whole lot for Halloween here. We decorated with a couple things that I had, made some paper bats and ghosts for decorations and carved some pumpkins.  In photos...
the before photo of the pumpkins.  you can see Ewan's first attempt at a pumpkin face on the front pumpkin

this year, everyone helped scoop the pulp out of the pumpkins.  no one freaked out at the goopy-ness.  Liam even helped by putting the pulp back into the pumpkin

the next show was watching Daddy carve the pumpkins with a jigsaw

here's everyones' costumes.  I call this year's theme "the year I didn't try".  We tried to have everyone think of costumes using some of the thins from home.  We did okay with this.  We still ended up buying shirts for Marcus and Cale, pants for Cale and Ewan and weapons.  Maybe it would have been cheaper just to buy costumes, but at least this way, they can wear the clothes again.  If you're not sure, let me help you with the costumes:  Kella was clearly a pumpkin (thanks to the outfit Aunt Bitsy gave us).  Liam was a masked soccer player (in a desparate attempt to get him to wear something, I grabbed a bunch of old sports jersies, and he liked the mask).  Ewan was some kind of ninja, the only accessories he needed were some swords and gloves (in his mind, he had a great costume-Ewan has a great imagination).  Cale was a black ninja and Marcus was a white one (he had weapons too, but about 1 minute before we were going to walk out the door, he said he didn't want to trick or treat and took off the swords.  I thought he was going to cry about not wanting to go, but I kind of ignored it, and he ended up having fun.).

our little pumpkin

a close-up of some of the brothers

We went to a trunk or treat at the church at the front of our subdivision.  The elk farm brought an elk.  I'm not too sure why, but I thought that was neat.  The boys kept calling it a moose.  Clearly we are "townies".

The protesters were even there. :-)

Kella did okay.  She fell asleep as we got back to our house

We did about an hour of trick or treating as we worked our way back to our house.  Once we got there, I put Marcus in charge of handing out candy. We gave it all away.

And, here are the finished pumpkins.  I think Marcus's is on the left, then Cale's, Ewan's and Liam's.