Sunday, November 30, 2008

There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Fly...

We spent this past week giving thanks with all our family over food. A lot of food. It's gross! In fact, we still have more food than the fridge can hold... and we've had company over since the big meal to help with the leftovers. Sigh! I enjoy hosting the events for my family. We can send the kids outside despite the inclement weather. Bennett and his cousin Micah spent several hours out in the "rain" which really didn't count as rain since "it's only dripping" and they weren't cold. Which as we all know doesn't cause illness anyway! My Mom came up a few days early to help prepare the food and entertain the kids. We so wish she would just give in to our whines and get Dad to move up here to the mountains. So far, it's not working. I blame Dad's stubbornness! She baked pies while I supervised. We played a few hands of cards. We put together a couple puzzles (with the kids' help, of course). We drank coffee and tea. We visited. We shopped. Oh yeah... I must tell you all that read this (both of you). Do NOT leave your Mother unsupervised in Ingles with your children!! We came home with a computer game and two packs of panties. Panties at Ingles! Who knew?!! It made her happy to have Princess panties. But we did have to give her a pretty hard time about the whole thing.

During one of our card games (don't read this paragraph if you have a weak stomach... seriously!)... we were drinking coffee and chatting. As I was sipping on the last of my mug I had something foreign enter my mouth. Now, none of the kids were sharing my mug, and I wasn't eating, so there was no chance of it being part of a cookie or other food item. So, I ever so gently returned the coffee to my mug (and table) and then watched a lovely sweet little fly join in the puddle. He was floundering around trying to get away. ICK! Serious ICK! I had to wash my mouth out several times and we both shuddered in remembrance for many minutes. Nasty, I tell ya! So, as the title goes... I'm not so old and I didn't really swallow him.

Ok, it's safe here again. Mom also brought along Flat Stanley, the 1st grade project of Jackson, her cousin in California. We took Stanley on a few trips and wrote in Jackson's journal. It was fun to help out with his project. We may do it ourselves and send it to you. :) Saturday my bothers and their families came up and we ate like pigs all day. It was drizzly most of the day but that didn't stop the boys from playing outside. The big boys took out the guns and made themselves feel better by wasting several rounds of ammo they say will be difficult to acquire after January 22nd. Makes sense to me to go out and waste it in the woods!

The little boys played in the rain... which didn't really count as rain since "it's only dripping" and they weren't cold. The girls played dress-up most of the day and presented themselves to the parents quite fancifully many times. Here's Mom "snuggling" with Lydia. You can see that she is actually pinching her little hiney. In the next photo... you can see Grandma's discerning look over Lydia's response. Wonder why Grandma gets that kind of reaction?? Hmmmmm.

Sunday night we had our friends come join us in the leftover overtaking... but I don't think we made a dent in anything more than Leslie's super salad. I still have 5 pounds of stuffing and I had to toss the CROCK-POT full of gravy that Mom made. Today we had snow ALL day. It was too warm to stick to anything, mainly the road, so the kids still went to school. But it was very nice to watch out the window. When the two bigger ones got off the bus it was sticking to the decking and leaves. They enjoyed making snowballs by scooping up and scraping leaves. Bennett has pretty good aim when he's chasing his momma! I have a few token pictures of our first snow of the season. I know it doesn't compare to Aunt Lara's Pennsylvania snow, but it's still snow. :)

Here's a short video too... nothing funny or super, just the snow. Well, if your sound is up loud enough you can hear Bennett's description of snow and what he considers as "the dangerous" kind.

Tuesday update... apparently while I was at work today Curtis and the kids put lights on the tree outside... and the bushes. It was very pretty when I drove up at 8:30 tonight.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Shooting Stars

This week we had a meteor shower. I'm not sure about all the specifics... but I saw several stars falling Thursday night on my way home from work. I was on my way to camp to pick up the oldest kids from our dinner group, since it was a school night and all. I gathered them up and then decided to share the sky with them. I drove them down to the big field and had them lay out on the grass with me and stare up at the sky. Since we were ill prepared for a night on the lawn... we were cold. The light jackets that they had were not sufficient for the 30 degree air. It was brief, but I saw two more while we were there. It was brilliantly clear and God's glory shone all around us. I pointed out several constilations and the Milky Way, which they were excited to recognize. We had great conversation on our ride home. So, Friday night I asked if we could do it again. It was to be as clear, even colder, and the peak of the shower (per the computer). After the sun went down we loaded up the kids, heavy coats, sleeping bags, hot chocolate and marshmallows. :) Gotta keep 'em happy if I wanted to watch too. We drove up to camp and picked up the eldest two Himstedts and then headed down to the field. This time we were NOT going to be cold, even if it was mid-twenties already. Curtis layed out the bags and we lined the kids up and covered them to their noses. We saw many, many stars and airplanes. No space shuttle, that we know of. We had fun conversation talking about what we were seeing and other random subjects, generally courtesy of Shannon. I was out of cover and since I'm the adult, I couldn't just pull it away from the little people. I started running around the pile-o-kids trying to warm up as well as keep them settled. All at once the 4 oldest kids all exclaimed together "awesome... I saw it". I missed it for the silly running around... but the kids saw it fly, and that's all that mattered! It was a great family time together... until the cup of hot chocolate spilled in the van. Ooops!

Tonight we had a group of college kids over at the house. They roasted hot dogs and marshmallows. We had leftover chocolate cake from Grandma's visit. It was a sick cake! I mentioned it and asked them to eat up... you should have seen them attack the plate. Within 60 seconds the plate was clean and the crumbs were strewn across the counter. At least I get to wash my plate and I didn't have to eat the cake! :)

Thanks Mom!

What Did They Say?

If you have kids that speak you know where I'm coming from. There are times when things come out of their mouths that make yours fall open in amazement, wonder, disbelief, surprise, embarrassment... some emotion that you often can't even explain. Then there are times they say something and you make a mental note... I must remember that, write it down, because it's hilarious! Now, a lot of these phrases are wrapped in a moment that can't be duplicated and when verbalized the second time (by the adult) the hilariousness just isn't the same. Most of my "must remember" moments are forgotten long before I remember to write it down and then I say "what did they say?". Sometimes I'm in public and I hear something and I say "what did they say?" in a completely different motherly tone. One of my most recent moments was in the midst of aisle 3 at our local Ingles. I had Ruth and Lydia in tow and we were just picking up a few essentials. We passed another couple shopping and Ruth turns around to announce to all that "he's fat". The first time was sort of quietly spoken and I all buy ignored it thinking surely she wouldn't repeat it and surely he didn't hear her sweet little innocent voice. So she announced it again. This time a little more audible for all those on aisles 2-4, just in case they were missing out. Now my "what did you say" tone changed. Actually, it was my hand. It flew down to her mouth quicker than I thought it could. I covered hers in mid phrase and my fingers ended up actually in her mouth because it was so widely open with "fat". As I led her down the aisle, I strongly encouraged her to be careful with her words... especially when she's talking about other people. I think she understood. So, on aisle 4 we passed the nice couple again... as you often do while perusing the local stores. We smiled politely and I'm hoping he didn't remember, or didn't know it was my children who were shopping with me. And Lydia, sweet little innocent Lydia, thinks she needs to remind Ruth that "he's fat!". ARGH! Yes, I was mistaken about the sweet little innocent part!
Today we were eating breakfast and while I was flipping pancakes Maggie is over at the table explaining to her siblings how good the bacon is. She is a carnivore through and through! Her phrase today... "I love the smell of pig!" Ruth was unsure of her exact meaning so she tells her "I love to eat pig!"... and it was settled. At least there's no confusion where we get our food. :)

Today we celebrated 3 birthdays at two different parties with all our friends. The kids were all caked out and I had a cup of regular coffee at 6pm. So... it's 2:30am and here I sit. At least I've been productive. 2 loads of laundry and 3 TiVo shows... and this post.
No photos tonight though. I'd have to search, or edit, or think.
Ok... maybe just one.

Monday, November 10, 2008

In a tree in the woods... in a hole in the ground...

There's a hole in my bucket of life and my days are just never long enough. Saturday my friend Lenee came to visit and we took a hike through our woods with the kids who weren't napping. We had a great time exploring the fallen leaves and trees and general noisy tromping around together. We have a big tree that fell several years ago and landed in such a way as to create a really cool fort, bridge and tunnel all in one. As it ages it takes on new characteristics and possibilites for little people's imaginations.
Fall is here and things are changing. Many leaves have covered the earth and all that is on it... in their spectacular shades of red, orange, yellow and brown. As we went crunching through the change of seasons we came upon this tree stump. It's now completly hollow and stands as tall as me. The bridge tree has fallen just next to it so it gave me a great perspective of the kids when they all piled inside. I'm thankful no other wild animals had chosen this stump as a hiding place before the kids arrived.
I'm looking for the plug to put in my bucket and stop up the continual oozing of my life. The weekends are never long enough. The days disappear before I'm ready. The kids get 3 inches taller while I turn around and I'm finding more grey hairs! Anyone seen that plug?

Friday, November 07, 2008

Playgroup Friends

These are the friends who made it to the pumpkin farm. We were missing several for various reasons... so I don't have their family photo.

Erin, with Caleb and Sophia

Alison, with Elliott, AJ, and Tozer

Corie, with Amelia, Shannon, Avery and Elizabeth.

Jill with Sydney and bean.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Pumpkin Farm

We haven't gone to a pumpkin farm in 2 years... I think. I'm pretty sure we missed out last year for lack of planning and bad weather. We went today to Burt's... a farm on the other side of Dahlonega, with our playgroup friends.
Bennett and Maggie were quite disappointed that we would do such a thing while they were at school. "Why can't you have playgroup on a Saturday?"... he asks all the time. The woes of growing old! :)
Here's our crew (Back) Lydia, Sydney, AJ, Avery, Shannon (Front) Ruth - holding Tozer, Amelia - holding Elizabeth, Caleb - holding Sophia, Elliott
Anyway, there were 5 moms and 12 kids. We filled up the coffee mugs and loaded up the vans. We had photo ops in the pumpkin patch, took a ride on the hay filled wagon and had a picnic lunch by the river. We really had a great time. We were all beat and needed naps but no rest today!
We were home long enough to turn around and headed into town for the monthly PTO meeting at school. We then came home to a delicious dinner and headed back to school for the program described in the previous post.
Our friends... Lydia, Ruth, Avery, AJ, Shannon, Elliott, Amelia, Caleb, Sydney. The 3 stroller babies missing.

One of my favorite shots of Sophia... she didn't take to the pumpkin shots very well. We tried... briefly. :)

Bennett's 2nd Grade Patriotic Program

I guess with a title like that there isn't much explaining left to do. The 2nd grade classes at JPN put on a patriotic program each year... at least they have as long as I've been there. They invite as many veterans as they know and do it for them during the daylight hours, then again at night for the parents. Of course, it's good and emotional to see the pictures of all the men and women who are related to someone in the school as they flash up on the screen. I was there on the floor in front of the front row trying to get a shot or two decent enough for the yearbook. I was also trying to make sure Ruth didn't get run over by the color guard. I think Bennett had ants in his pants tonight because he would NOT sit still. I asked him what his deal was and he said he was tired and it was hard to sit still. Hmmm. Maggie came home from school today and crashed in bed for an hour and a half. Guess we need to get to bed earlier... doesn't help much when all the extra curricular stuff doesn't end until 8pm. Sunday night, Wednesday night, school programs, soccer games, etc.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

TIme for Fall... Time for Change

Another month has passed since our trip to Charleston. We have been just as busy around the house but I haven't taken the time to load any pictures or blog any stories. I know some of you sit by your computer just waiting for new posts, and to you I apologize! :)

Our Sunday school class had their fall gathering at the Talton home where we ate, had a hay ride with Curtis, ate some more, had bobbing for apples on strings, and enjoyed some general visiting with each other that we can't do during church. It was fun for me especially, since I teach the 1st graders and never get to see my peers, let alone have conversation! This is Ruth and Amelia on the hay ride. I hope they stay good friends forever. We sort of like her family. :)
We bought the kids an art easel this fall. It's something I've been wanting to get for the kids for the past 3 years and I just never did. I finally just got it and now I wonder why I waited so long. The kids love it and have had little versions of school with each other as well as drawing contests. Ruth wrote the entire alphabet the other day. The funniest part was watching her sing to herself and dance while she tried to remember the order.
I really don't know exactly what to call it anymore. Halloween has almost become a bad word to even speak. They are fall festivals or some other variation on the holiday but whatever you want to call it... we celebrated the last day of October. Our church had their fall festival and our friends have a good trick-or-treating neighborhood close to the church. So we started off at their house and walked to the church while gathering candy. By the time we got there the kids were satisfied with their loot... to the extent that kids can ever be satisfied. We played games at church and visited with friends and then walked back to the house. It was a long walk back because it had cooled considerably and the kids were tired of walking. We drove through the neighborhood in hopes to see some of our other friends, but the lights were out. The kids enjoyed their evening and we are almost done with the candy. Shouldn't be too much longer before it's all gone!
The kids school had their 1st Annual Family Fall Festival and Chili Dinner... it's a lot of words for a little gathering. The trouble with it (other than it being the first year) was that it was the day of the Georgia/Florida football game. I think some people felt the need to watch the slaughter first hand. Anyway, here are a couple pictures from that. I was involved in the kitchen duties so the kids paired up to do games and activities. They did really well on their own! Curtis came a few hours into it and took some pictures and fed them chili and hotdogs. A good time was had by all but we were very tired after a late night of Halloween the night before.

Soccer has officially ended. The kids all had their last game on the same night and their trophy presentations at the same time. It was a good season. I think they all learned a lot and enjoyed their time playing but more importantly, made good friends of their teammates. Bennett has already voiced missing some of the players that go to the other school.

In the morning I'm taking the little girls to the pumpkin farm with playgroup. We haven't been in 2 years so hopefully it'll be fun and I can get a couple of cute pictures to share with those who will remain by their computer waiting! :)

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