Sing Songs, Bring Sweets

November highlights.

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

IMG_0678

Ready for the school Thanksgiving Feast!

fullsizeoutput_1891OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAfullsizeoutput_173dOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAfullsizeoutput_173afullsizeoutput_1894DSC04957

fullsizeoutput_1725

So glad GaGa and Pappy could join us!

fullsizeoutput_172aOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAfullsizeoutput_172efullsizeoutput_1736

fullsizeoutput_1897

Beautiful Corpus!

fullsizeoutput_174f

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!

fullsizeoutput_1753fullsizeoutput_1752fullsizeoutput_1756fullsizeoutput_1755

fullsizeoutput_189d

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

IMG_0699

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.

IMG_0705

Makeup time!

fullsizeoutput_189ffullsizeoutput_18a3IMG_0714IMG_0716IMG_0721IMG_0724IMG_0739IMG_0745IMG_0756IMG_0757IMG_0760

IMG_0769

IMG_0773

We found a Christmas tree!

fullsizeoutput_18a8

They had so much fun decorating!

fullsizeoutput_18a7fullsizeoutput_18a6

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!

fullsizeoutput_f90

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

fullsizeoutput_160b

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

fullsizeoutput_160efullsizeoutput_160f

fullsizeoutput_1610

Little ghosts are hiding in the sugar cubes!

fullsizeoutput_1613

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

fullsizeoutput_1615fullsizeoutput_1616

And then, we met these little critters.

IMG_0394

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!

fullsizeoutput_f9d

fullsizeoutput_f9a

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

fullsizeoutput_f9bDSC04664fullsizeoutput_f9c

IMG_0403

Sweet little girl busted her lip at a birthday party 😦

IMG_E0419

Octubafest at A&M Corpus Christi!

IMG_E0422IMG_E0423

IMG_0427

We lasted 20 minutes.

fullsizeoutput_166e

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

IMG_E0445

Calavera crafts!

IMG_E0452

fullsizeoutput_166f

Gorgeous view from the swing set.

IMG_0463

I love this town.

IMG_0469

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.

IMG_0487

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

IMG_0488IMG_0489IMG_0490IMG_0491IMG_0492IMG_0493IMG_0497IMG_0504

fullsizeoutput_15b4

Goodbyes are so hard.

DSC04838DSC04840

fullsizeoutput_1672

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.

************************************************************************************

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!

IMG_0541

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!

IMG_0589

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

IMG_0592

He made his selection immediately.

IMG_0606

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

IMG_0607IMG_0613IMG_0615

IMG_0620

Halloween daydreams.

IMG_0622

fullsizeoutput_fa9

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

fullsizeoutput_1689

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

IMG_0643

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

fullsizeoutput_168a

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.

fullsizeoutput_168c

fullsizeoutput_168e

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

fullsizeoutput_1691

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.

fullsizeoutput_15d1

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

fullsizeoutput_15d3

“These are my Hercules muscles!”

DSC04788

“I am the strongest!”

DSC04780

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

DSC04781

fullsizeoutput_1692

Medusa and her classmates.

DSC04802

Hercules felt so silly at his party!

DSC04807fullsizeoutput_1699fullsizeoutput_169a

fullsizeoutput_1697

Ghost bowling!

fullsizeoutput_169d

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

fullsizeoutput_16a0DSC04849DSC04850

fullsizeoutput_16a4

Mummy wrapping game!

DSC04856fullsizeoutput_16a8fullsizeoutput_16aa

And then it was time for some trick or treating!

fullsizeoutput_16ad

fullsizeoutput_16ae

Did you know that Dionysus was a very handsome god?

fullsizeoutput_16b1fullsizeoutput_16b4

fullsizeoutput_15b7

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

fullsizeoutput_16b6

Getting tattoos.  

fullsizeoutput_16b7fullsizeoutput_16b9fullsizeoutput_16bbfullsizeoutput_16bffullsizeoutput_16c1fullsizeoutput_16c3fullsizeoutput_16c5fullsizeoutput_16c7

fullsizeoutput_16c9

Medusa took a break for a Reese’s cup.

fullsizeoutput_16ca

fullsizeoutput_16cc

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

fullsizeoutput_16cd

fullsizeoutput_15c0

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

fullsizeoutput_15bb

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

fullsizeoutput_16d1DSC04920

fullsizeoutput_16d3

We had a lively neighborhood for tricks and treats.

fullsizeoutput_16d4

Another one of his 12 labors–meeting Jack Skellington.

DSC04927

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

DSC04933

She enjoyed handing out candy as much as receiving it.

fullsizeoutput_15cc

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!

IMG_0235

When you run into your bestie at Artwalk downtown!

IMG_0244

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

IMG_0245

IMG_0249

How neat is this?!

IMG_0251IMG_0256

fullsizeoutput_f08

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

IMG_0275fullsizeoutput_f0cfullsizeoutput_f0aIMG_0277

IMG_0279

Oktoberfest with the birthday girl!

IMG_0284

Sillies!

IMG_0286

IMG_0290

This girl loves to have her face painted!

IMG_0306

Not really in the mood for a pic with Mommy.

IMG_0315

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

IMG_0316

We were all very excited for MOPS!

DSC04593

Eliza did his “super hero” makeup for him.

fullsizeoutput_f26

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.

fullsizeoutput_f21

fullsizeoutput_f22

It looks so much better now!  And matches everything!

fullsizeoutput_f24

IMG_0321

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 🙂

IMG_0326

IMG_0329

This picture just cracks me up!

IMG_0332

IMG_0337

Zombie Jed!

IMG_0342IMG_0345IMG_0348

Halloween is my favorite!

Busy bees.

fullsizeoutput_ed7

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

fullsizeoutput_ed9fullsizeoutput_eda

fullsizeoutput_edc

This funny dude!

fullsizeoutput_edf

Just another school morning!

fullsizeoutput_ee2

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

fullsizeoutput_ee5

fullsizeoutput_ee6

Science experiments with Daddy!

fullsizeoutput_ee8

 

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!

fullsizeoutput_e8e

A princess event at Toys R Us. 

fullsizeoutput_e93

The most magnificent princesses of all.

fullsizeoutput_eab

A totally awesome neon/alien birthday party!

fullsizeoutput_eb1

fullsizeoutput_ec3

Butterfly crafts at the library.

IMG_0208

A perfect meme for Eliza 🙂

Evening sidewalk art.

fullsizeoutput_e76fullsizeoutput_e7afullsizeoutput_e7cfullsizeoutput_e7f

Fall time!

A great time of year!  Still feels like summer, of course 🙂

fullsizeoutput_e4d

Ready for picture day!

IMG_0066

“Smile, Jed!”

IMG_0072

Picture ready!

IMG_0099

If you want to entertain your children, show them a video of a snake eating an egg.  A friend suggested videos about penguins pooping, which they also enjoyed.

fullsizeoutput_e4f

Rodeo day at school!  Wild and crazy fun.

IMG_0125

We ran into Joy at Target, so we (naturally) had fun in the Halloween section.

IMG_0126fullsizeoutput_e54

fullsizeoutput_e56

A sunny afternoon by the bay.

fullsizeoutput_e59

fullsizeoutput_e5b

Daddy’s girl.

 

And…we’re back!

I’m incredibly sorry for the very long absence!  We’ve had so many things going on, and I’ve been falling further and further behind with posts and updates!  I wish I had more time to write, but I’ll do my very best.  As always, thank you so much for your patience.  Now, without further ado, here are a few glimpses into our life for the past month!

fullsizeoutput_daf

On the way to Get Air with great friends.

fullsizeoutput_db0

Riley and Eliza:  pals since 2013.

fullsizeoutput_db3

Jed and Presley:  pals since 2014

fullsizeoutput_db6

fullsizeoutput_db9

She finally agreed to take a selfie with me!

fullsizeoutput_dbc

fullsizeoutput_dbf

The kids and I evacuated to the JW Marriott hotel in San Antonio when Harvey ominously threatened Corpus Christi.  It was SUPER nice.  Just wish Jimmy could’ve joined us.

fullsizeoutput_dc2

fullsizeoutput_dc4

My friend Jen (whose husband also had to stay behind for work) had an adjoining room with her three kiddos!  We had a blast!

fullsizeoutput_dc9

Such a gorgeous view.

fullsizeoutput_bf1fullsizeoutput_dcafullsizeoutput_dcbfullsizeoutput_bfeIMG_9701IMG_9716

fullsizeoutput_bf7

They really enjoyed movie and popcorn night (every night we were there).

IMG_9720

Cute little sleepies.

fullsizeoutput_bf4

fullsizeoutput_dcf

Morning yoga.

fullsizeoutput_dd1fullsizeoutput_dd2

fullsizeoutput_dd5

Why can’t all hotels have one of these, complete with friendly and helpful staff?

fullsizeoutput_dd6fullsizeoutput_dd7

fullsizeoutput_dd8

Complimentary treats delivered to our room.

IMG_9783

Just a couple of guys unwinding at the bar.

fullsizeoutput_ddafullsizeoutput_de0fullsizeoutput_de2fullsizeoutput_de3fullsizeoutput_de5

fullsizeoutput_de6

Breakfast and conversation on the balcony.

fullsizeoutput_bfc

She was delighted to find some reading material in the hotel nightstand.

fullsizeoutput_dea

Such a beautiful place!

fullsizeoutput_def

We made our way to a magical toy shop nearby.

fullsizeoutput_dedfullsizeoutput_df0

fullsizeoutput_df1

Floof, a delightful free gift from the friendly toy shopkeeper 🙂

fullsizeoutput_df4fullsizeoutput_df7IMG_9876fullsizeoutput_df8

IMG_9888

Isn’t she beautiful?!

fullsizeoutput_df9

fullsizeoutput_dfa

Back to school!  We feel very blessed to have a home that was untouched by the storm.

fullsizeoutput_dfdfullsizeoutput_dff

IMG_9918

Onto the next adventure!  A trip to the Hill Country for two weddings on the same day!  So glad Jimmy got to join us this time!

IMG_9920fullsizeoutput_e0a

fullsizeoutput_e0c

My wildflower picked some wildflowers.

fullsizeoutput_e10fullsizeoutput_e12fullsizeoutput_e14

fullsizeoutput_e15

A good place for a sit and think.

fullsizeoutput_e16fullsizeoutput_e18IMG_9963fullsizeoutput_e1b

fullsizeoutput_e1c

We woke up early to feed the turkeys and chickens.  So much fun!

fullsizeoutput_e1dfullsizeoutput_e1efullsizeoutput_e1fIMG_0006fullsizeoutput_e26

fullsizeoutput_e27

Time to get wedding-ready!

fullsizeoutput_e2afullsizeoutput_e2bfullsizeoutput_e2d

fullsizeoutput_e2f

So glad to spend time with one of my besties!

fullsizeoutput_e32

I sure do love this handsome dude.

fullsizeoutput_e35

They love Mel as much as I do!

Life is beautiful!

Gosh, I love these kids.  They are just amazing 🙂

fullsizeoutput_bdf

Hugs before school.

fullsizeoutput_be1

Peppa Pig birthday party at Brinca!

fullsizeoutput_be3

Such an adorable cake!

fullsizeoutput_be7

A little sweaty after all that jumping!

IMG_9619

First day back at ballet!  She rocked it 🙂

Since the kids are too young to understand why they can’t stare at the sun, and they don’t care about staring at a cardboard box (and I never bothered to search for eclipse-viewing glasses), we celebrated the solar eclipse by watching informative Youtube videos and singing this song: