Sing Songs, Bring Sweets

Taking longer than I expected.

The kids had the flu last week, then I caught it, so I haven’t had the energy to organize and post pictures just yet.  I already had the flu a month ago (the week before Christmas).  Apparently, my immune system is not robust anymore 😦

As you’ve noticed, it’s been SO hard for me to keep the blog updated these past few months!  I guess it’s the stress of holidays, moving, the flu….I’m not sure.  But every spare moment is consumed with some chore.  It makes me very sad because I love this blog and I’m determined to keep it going!  I’m so grateful to you loyal readers for sticking around!  My goal is by the end of this week.  Hang in there, folks!

Happy New Year!

Thanks so much for your patience!  I’ll be posting pictures and video from the holidays very soon.  I’ve been so busy and tired in the evenings, and I just haven’t had time for blogging!  Stay tuned 🙂

Christmas Festivities!

The preschool Christmas program was adorable, as always!

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Such great little singers!

 

And the next morning….it snowed!!  It was magical and amazing.  So sad Jimmy missed it!  He had to be at work at 5:00AM.

Mele Kalikimaka!

We decided to make a Christmas video for you rather than doing Christmas cards this year.  Lazy or genius?  You decide 🙂

But truly, December is flying by so quickly.  I’m trying to be very intentional about simplifying Christmas and focusing on hope, love, joy, and peace, but things seem to get a little crazy nonetheless.  I’ll be posting pictures and video of their adorable school program tomorrow (and also SNOW!!!), but for now….

Mele Kalikimaka!
*Disclaimer:  we have never been to Hawaii.

November highlights.

I apologize for the long delay, but here we are!

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Ready for the school Thanksgiving Feast!

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So glad GaGa and Pappy could join us!

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Beautiful Corpus!

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Jed discovered this lovely, cold-stunned Swallowtail butterfly in the yard.  It was a magical pet for about 15 minutes, until it finally came to its senses and happily flew away!

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Playing around at CVS while waiting for Eliza’s ear infection prescription.

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We were so thankful to have lots of family time over Thanksgiving break.  We adore our cousins and grandparents so much!

Though we had plenty of joy and laughter, our hearts were very heavy with the loss of Chuck, our wonderful brother-in-law.  He died in a traffic accident in early November, and there are just no words to describe the depth of the sadness that comes with such a devastating loss.  He leaves behind his wife and three young children, who are truly some of the most amazing people on the planet.  I’m so glad we were able to spend so much time with them.  Family is so important, and life is short and precious.  We must never take a single second for granted.

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Makeup time!

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We found a Christmas tree!

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They had so much fun decorating!

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Um…hello?

Man, oh man.  This poor little blog has been so neglected.  I thought evenings would get a little less hectic as the kids get older, but so far I am wrong.  Anyway, the month of November has been full.  So full.  I have plenty of pictures and meaningful moments to share, which I will post tomorrow.  For now, here’s a little dance video the kids made that will hopefully make you smile:

October takes my breath away.

Well here we are, November first.  October goes by in a flash.  Festive fun and sorrow intertwined.  It’s been an incredible month.
I have lots of pictures, so I’m just going to throw them up here without any thoughtful layout or plan.  I guess you’re accustomed to that by now, loyal readers!

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When one of your favorite books has a recipe at the end, you gotta make it.  YUM!

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My friend Anne (of tea party reknown) hosted a Halloween tea.  Halloween, fascinating guests, and tea parties…three of my favorite things!

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Little ghosts are hiding in the sugar cubes!

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Demeter–Greek goddess of the harvest.  Mother of Persephone.

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And then, we met these little critters.

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I noticed that asp season was upon us, so I had a chat with the kids about never touching fuzzy caterpillars.  Understandably, Jed FREAKED out when he was playing in his room and discovered this (harmless) little guy crawling on his pajamas!

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Our little oak tree in the backyard was full of them!

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Sweet little girl busted her lip at a birthday party 😦

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Octubafest at A&M Corpus Christi!

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We lasted 20 minutes.

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Interacting with a statue at one of our favorite new (to us) places–the Art Center of Corpus Christi.

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Calavera crafts!

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Gorgeous view from the swing set.

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I love this town.

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And now for the sad part.  This month, we lost two members of our family.  The first was “Pug,” Jimmy’s beloved grandpa.  Two weekends ago, we travelled to Nacogdoches to celebrate his life.  By all accounts, he was a wonderful man who left an incredible mark on the world during his long life.  We had an opportunity for reflection and family time, which we really enjoyed.  I wish I had taken pictures that weekend, but I thought we were returning to Kingwood the following weekend for a more lighthearted trip.  Unfortunately, that leads us to our next sad moment of October.

Slade, the greatest dog in the world, began to feel very sick toward the end of the month.  He had no appetite, was very lethargic, and was urinating frequently.  The vet prescribed medicine for a bladder and bacterial infection, plus a steroid which increased his appetite.  Unfortunately, his health deteriorated to the point where he couldn’t keep food down at all.  On Halloween, Jimmy and I took him back to the vet, where she suspected he had a large abdominal mass that could only be treated with a very risky surgery.  Due to his age, we decided it was best to put him down.  It was heartbreaking.  He was an amazing pet.

Jimmy and Slade were always a package deal.  I couldn’t have one without the other, and I was so fortunate to have both.  Slade leaves a big gaping hole in our family, and we will love and miss him forever.

Slade, thank you for being one of the (very) few individuals to make Eliza laugh and smile when she was a baby.  Thank you for loving me during these early years of child-rearing, when I was exhausted and had no patience for pets.  Thank you for being a loving companion whenever any of us felt sad or afraid.  Thank you for scaring the shit out of dubious salespeople who happened to knock on our door.   Most of all, thank you for loving and protecting our family since we became a family.  You’re one of the best who ever lived.

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Our very last walk (last week).  Slade wasn’t feeling well at all, but he never complained and gladly joined us.

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Goodbyes are so hard.

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We’ll see you in heaven, Buddy.

I’ll miss so many things about him, especially as I stand here at my computer blogging right now.  Every night, he would patiently wait until the kids were finally in bed and I had a little time to myself.  Then, he would gently come nuzzle me with his head while I typed.  It was almost as if he were saying, “You’ve worked hard today.  I’m here if you need anything.”  Man, I’m going to miss him.

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Anyway,  Halloween took place in the midst of the sadness.  Festive class parties followed by trick-or-treating.  The kids were too excited and distracted to dwell on Slade (they’ve been talking about him much more today).  Halloween is my favorite holiday, and I’ve been floating costume ideas since August.  We finally settled on a Greek Mythology theme, and I’m thrilled with the way it turned out!

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Eliza was very excited to be the Super Kid at school last week.  She brought a few of her favorite things to share with her friends.  Ray Ray was included, of course!

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Since we weren’t able to travel to RenFest this year, we enjoyed the cool weather at the pumpkin patch instead!

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He made his selection immediately.

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Eliza was so excited to give her daddy a big hug for this picture.

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Halloween daydreams.

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A little anticipatory costume prep.  It was a super fun project!

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More time at the Art Center creating a spooky Halloween scene.  An actual artist is there to help.  It’s the coolest thing!

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And finally…welcome to Mount Olympus!  Are you bold enough to approach the gods?

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She couldn’t wait to show off her costume at school (she had been telling her friends about it for weeks).  She wore the snakes in her hair all day!  Proud mom, here.

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Don’t be deceived by her beauty…she will turn you to stone!

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And now presenting HERCULES, famed for his great strength!  This little Hercules didn’t want to stay still very long for a picture, though.  Also, this is actually a Julius Caesar costume in case you couldn’t tell.

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“You don’t have to worry, Mom.  I will defeat the bad guys today.”

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“These are my Hercules muscles!”

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“I am the strongest!”

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A little more Medusa.  This costume turned out better than I ever imagined.

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Medusa and her classmates.

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Hercules felt so silly at his party!

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Ghost bowling!

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Got to drop in on Eliza during lunchtime while we were setting up the party.

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Mummy wrapping game!

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And then it was time for some trick or treating!

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Did you know that Dionysus was a very handsome god?

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Again–be on your guard.  Don’t look into her eyes, or you are destined to become a stone!

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Getting tattoos.  

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Medusa took a break for a Reese’s cup.

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One of Hercules’ 12 labors–kill the evil creature in the tree.

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Glad he’s such a good sport.  Also glad to have some smiles on this sad day.

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Blurry, of course, but here’s a family pic.

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We had a lively neighborhood for tricks and treats.

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Another one of his 12 labors–meeting Jack Skellington.

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Dionysus helpfully provided a TV for any trick-or-treaters who wished to stop by and watch the Astros play.

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She enjoyed handing out candy as much as receiving it.

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A less blurry family pick. 

Our celebration was dedicated to Slade, who would’ve made a magnificent Cerberus.  We love you always, buddy.

 

Well that’s a wrap, October!  Thanks for the chaos, melancholy, excitement, and fun.  So many emotions!  As one of our favorite books says at the very end…

Goodbye ’til next year, Halloween.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

I love October!

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When you run into your bestie at Artwalk downtown!

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And the next morning, and painting birthday party to celebrate Riley!

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How neat is this?!

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“Would you like to come to my pretend library?”  Yes.  Yes I would 🙂

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Oktoberfest with the birthday girl!

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Sillies!

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This girl loves to have her face painted!

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Not really in the mood for a pic with Mommy.

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Yesterday the temp dropped below 90 degrees!  Time to bust out the fall attire!

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We were all very excited for MOPS!

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Eliza did his “super hero” makeup for him.

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This tote bag began as a craft project at MOPS, but since I didn’t do a great job, I let the kids embellish it.

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It looks so much better now!  And matches everything!

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They are both REALLY into The Nightmare Before Christmas right now, so we made another stop at Spirit Halloween to visit the talking Jack Skellington.  And to pick up more glitter hairspray 🙂

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This picture just cracks me up!

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Zombie Jed!

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Halloween is my favorite!

Busy bees.

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I forgot about these pictures I took at the hotel in San Antonio.  Hotel beds are so fun for play!

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This funny dude!

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Just another school morning!

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Eliza told me that Joy is planning to marry her friend Jackson.  She wants to hold this picture at their wedding.

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Science experiments with Daddy!

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They’ve really been enjoying kids’ church on Wednesday nights.  They were very excited to say their first memory verse:

For all people are like grass,
and all their glory is like the flowers of the field;
the grass withers and the flowers fall,
but the word of the Lord endures forever.

1 Peter 1:24-25

 

And Jed couldn’t wait to teach me this song today:

Hello, October!

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A princess event at Toys R Us. 

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The most magnificent princesses of all.

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A totally awesome neon/alien birthday party!

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Butterfly crafts at the library.

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A perfect meme for Eliza 🙂