I guess I can to summarize the last year in a-picture-a-month style (if you want more, 'cuz my kids are so cute, go to the gallery):
WHEW, that was hard. Because I have a lot of cute pictures.
Some recent events:
Oliver Starts School
Oliver started school this year. CUH-RAZY. He is in 3k, and a combined 3k/4k since he was an older 3. He goes Monday - Friday, 7:50 a.m. - 11:30 a.m., and then attends the after school "Camp" there. It's a long day, for sure, but he LOVES it and is doing well. And he is always very tired out at the end of the day (score!).
Oliver's First Field Trip
And I chaperoned! When school sent home a note asking for chaperones for the 3k/4k/5k trip to a pumpkin farm, I WANTED TO GO. I LOVE pumpkin farms, and thought this would be so awesome to attend WITH Oliver's class. Luckily, all the parents who volunteered got to go. It was so much fun! The place had a ton of different animals to pet, a hay ride, and lots of pumpkins. Although most of the kids were just over the moon about their first ride on a school bus. It was such a fun day. And tiring - almost all the kids conked out on the way back!
Rosie's First Birthday (and Oliver's Fourth)
Rosie turned 1! Oh my goodness. Where did that year go? We didn't do much to celebrate, but it was still a very special day. My baby is on her way to being a little kid. Bittersweet, for sure.
Oliver's birthday brought a little more excitement. This year, we had a party for him with 5 school friends (all girls, his pick). We chose a pirate theme - ARRRRRRR! We had pirate hats, eye patches, and swords, and a pirate themed treasure hunt (the clues on are Facebook if you are interested in reading them). The kids had a BLAST. Everything was perfect, except for the big fail on my part where I put whistles in the treat bags. 6 kids indoors + whistles = not awesome.
Rosie's First Trick or Treat
I have always enjoyed making Halloween costumes. I've done quite a few cool ones for Hannah (Cleopatra, zombie), and Oliver's robot costume was a success. Seeing, however, as I can't actually sew too well, they generally involve a lot of hot glue (it's just not Halloween if I don't burn the bajeebers out of my fingers!!). So when Oliver requested a Captain America costume this year, I have to admit I took the easy way out and bought him one. He already had the shield and the mask (but of course), so it was pretty easy.
Oliver wanted Rosie to be a witch, and I was able to find a mini witch's hat attached to a barette. Perfect, I thought, and easy. Yeah, sure, but then I got ambitious. I decided, wouldn't it be cute if I made curly witch's shoes for her to wear? And wouldn't it be even better if I made them curly witch's toes, like the wicked witch in the Wizard of Oz that had the house land on her? And then don't I need to make a house for her to be in???
She wasn't too fond of the hat, but the rest worked out rather well. A lot of people had no idea what she was (HELLO, DID YOU NOT SEE THE MOVIE?!), but those that got it thought it was wicked awesome. And it was.
And, no, I did not let her have any candy. Maybe next year.
We just finished up Thanksgiving, and everyone left happy and full, as per usual. Bryan and Shannon cooked up a storm: Spanikopita bites, 2 heritage turkeys from JenEhr Family Farm, caramelized onion gravy, cranberries with port, sweet potato spoon bread with rosemary infused maple glaze, brussel sprouts with bacon and breadcrumbs, stuffing. Mom brought yeast rolls (which were to die for) and salad, Aunt Debbie brought cheesy potatoes, and my cousin Andy's wife, Marissa, brought green beans with bacon and mushrooms. And if that weren't enough, I made a gluten free apple crumble, Mom made a pumpkin pie, and Shannon made a pumpple (a pumpkin pie baked inside a chocolate pie, on top of a vanilla cake with an apple pie baked in the middle, all covered in buttercream frosting - it was quite the architectural feat). Oliver wore himself out tearing around the house with Andy and Marissa's kids (which made me wonder how our parents handled every holiday when there were 9 of us tearing around our grandparents' house).
I can't believe it's nearly December already. Christmas will be here before we know it, and I'm nearly done with Christmas shopping. This year, I've gotten a LOT of great Christmas craft ideas from Pinterest (do you Pinterest? You should, it is officially teh awesome.). One of the ideas I really wanted to execute on was instead of an Advent calendar, having a Christmas activity each day between December 1st and Christmas (see here and here for ideas). I ordered 24 mini canvas bags from The Oriental Trading Company, bought a few bags of felt numbers & letters from Michaels (4 bags, to be exact, in order to get enough numbers), and some ribbon. I printed out activities and placed them in the bags, along with little trinkets where necessary. Some of our activities include: play the Secret Snowman game, write a letter to Santa, do a Christmas craft with Mom, take a sled ride with Dad, make paper snowflakes, learn a Christmas joke, sing Christmas carols to a neighbor, find the hidden pickle on the Christmas tree, hang the Santa key on the front door, set the table for a fancy dinner. I can't wait to do this with Oliver - it should be a fun way to count down the days until Christmas. I hung them in the window, since there were some hooks there already, and we have no mantel nor crown moulding to use. Hopefully it holds.
I promise I will blog again before next Christmas. (If I can put down the Pinterest long enough some night to do so.)