Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Pumpkin Patch 2011

We were able to go to our new favorite pumpkin patch this year, with the homeschooling group at our church. We got the special group rates! Yay!

This place just seems to go on and on. With new and exciting things for the kids to do at every turn. Last year was our first time there and we loved it. This year, it wasn't half as fun without Mike there, but we still had a great time!

The air pillow was a hit again.
Chatterbox loved seeing all the animals. She especially loved the peacocks because of their beautiful feathers. She wishes it was the females who were so beautiful, not the males. But added, "I understand why God made it that way though." ;)

The Emu made the boys laugh so hard! They would hold their cup of food up to the fence and the Emu would try to bend its head over and eat from it. Sometimes the boys would be fast enough to take it away but sometimes the emu was faster. The boys saw this as great entertainment!

Posing with the goat. Their Uncle Garry is always talking about goats so they wanted a picture with one.The actual pumpkin patch is my favorite part. The scenery is beautiful and I love to take advantage of an opportunity to enjoy the cool open air of fall. The weather was perfect that day too! It also made me wish we had our own pumpkin patch. I wish that every year. Maybe next year we will!

Little Miss Sunshine spotted a little, tiny, green, baby pumpkin and acted as if she had just spotted a long lost friend. She ran as fast as her short legs would carry her and grabbed that pumpkin right into her arms. She smiled so big and showed me her new prized possession. She was very proud. :) It took awhile for all the other kids to pick out the perfect pumpkin so Sunshine had to carry that pumpkin around while navigating through vines and lumps of dirt on the ground. She tripped quite a few times, but never let go of that little pumpkin.
You get to ride in a huge wagon hitched behind a tractor that drives you out to the patch. Another fav of the kids.

Mr. Tickle with his cousin. They're only two weeks apart, Tickle being the older of the two, but his cousin is quite a bit taller!With our homeschool group, we were able to see a presentation on apples and pumpkins with little tidbits about how they grow, etc. Then the kids all got an apple to eat. Mr. Funny's favorite snack!
It was a lovely way to spend the day!
(This was taken early in the morning when we first got there. The wind was pretty chilly. But by the afternoon, the sun had warmed us up!)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

And Now She Is Eight...

Dear Little Miss Chatterbox,
I'm about a month behind with posting this but wanted to make sure it got here!

*deep breath*

My first born. The one who made me a mother. The first one to call me "Mama". Could it really have been eight years ago?

I have heard the "horror" stories of your birth from those who were there. It was so bizarre to watch the video that was taken right after you were born because you can sense a bit of panic in the room. And the video looks like the scene of a crime investigation. I was so young and knew near to nothing about giving birth and how it can and should be a beautiful experience. But I think in this situation, ignorance is bliss.
I didn't know that the epidural is what made me nauseous and was the reason why I was throwing up between pushes. I had no idea that the anesthesiologist had given me way too many drugs and that it would result in a spinal headache. Or that I would be so numb that I wouldn't be able to move or push as I should have. I did not see how scary it was when they put that suction cup on your head nor did I even notice the cone shape it left your head in. I didn't know that Grammy left the room and ran into Grandpa's arms to cry. I figured the tears that Daddy cried were tears of joy, not fear. I probably should have known something wasn't right when even the nurse was crying. But she told me she was pregnant and it was just her hormones. I believed her then. Now I don't. I had no idea that your life was in the hands of an incompetent doctor who eventually would never deliver another baby again and start his own business in surgical hair removal. (Much easier, I presume) But you were born on the Feast of the Guardian Angels and I know they were looking after you. I know that your life was really in the hands of God. And I know that when you were placed in my arms, everything was perfect.

You were beautiful and you were mine.
I noticed right away that you had Dad's little ears. I had hoped and prayed that my little girl would have brown curls and I was so excited to see brown hair on your head! The look on your face made me laugh. You were so serious! Your eyes were wide open and you looked around at everything and everyone. I knew we had been given a very intelligent child. Your little fingernails were red and we joked and said it looked like you had nail polish on. And I was so glad to have a little girl.

I didn't want to take my eyes off you. My heart was so full that I wanted to scream with joy. I was so excited with the anticipation of what was to be, my future with you and Dad always by my side, that I wanted to start clapping.

I still get excited when I think of what is to come. I still watch you and applaud and wonder, "What does God have planned for her?"

I know that no matter what you do, it's going to be amazing.

You're a leader. You're a teacher. You're an artist. You have an eye for beauty.
You love to create. You're a story teller.

You have a strong will. You love Jesus and Mary.
You love your family. You can do anything.

I hope to always be an encouragement to you.

I hope I lift you up and never bring you down. I hope I can help you find your dreams and make them a reality. I can't wait.

You're more beautiful every year.
And you'll always be mine. I'm the luckiest person in the world.

Happy Eighth Birthday! I love you.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Our Cast of Saint's: 2011

Little Miss Chatterbox as:
Saint Cecilia, the patroness of music

Mr. Funny as:
St. Benedict
(who was a hermit for 3 years before starting a religious order. While he was a hermit, it is said that a raven brought him bread to eat. Which is why Funny has a raven on his shoulder.
St. Benedict's motto was "Ora et Labora" (Pray and Work)

Mr. Tickle as:
St. Michael
(the archangel who threw Lucifer out of heaven)

Little Miss Sunshine is an angel, but we already knew that. ;)Happy Feast of All Saints!

Beach Trip: Homeward Bound

There were still a few other posts I wanted to write about our beach trip but I'm afraid it will be winter before I get them all done! So, I'm going to be at peace with letting them slide and just finish the beach trip posts with our good-bye tradition: a trip to Candy Kitchen! There are so many Candy Kitchen shops in Ocean City. The kids would point them out everytime we drove down the street. They even made up their own Candy Kitchen song. They would also talk about how they couldn't wait to go on our last day. Mr. Funny even said one time, "I can't wait to go home so we can go to Candy Kitchen!" Haha. It definitely makes it easier for the kids to say good bye to the beach. It's a tradition we've done for a few years now and it makes our trip home a little sweeter. ;)

This one's for Aunt Jan! (see bib)

Beach Trip- Nightly Fun

During our past beach trips, Mike and I would send the kids in their room, put Spongebob on the TV (for some reason that show seems to ALWAYS be on) and then let them fall asleep. Since we don't have TV at home, this was an exciting privilege for the kiddos. We then used that free time to enjoy each other's company without being interrupted a hundred times. :) That was an easy routine when they were little. But they're getting bigger.
As I made my list of things to bring on our trip, Little Miss Chatterbox asked, "Are you and Dad going to make us stay in our rooms all night at the beach again?" Uh-oh.
It was time for a new plan. I decided to come up with something different to do each night, together, and then hope the kids would be so worn out that they'd happily go off to bed. It worked for the most part! They may not have been happy to go to bed, but they did anyway. Making the bedtime routine as close as possible to our routine at home really helped too.
So anyway, here's what we did each night:

Night One: Game Night!

Even Little Miss Sunshine joined in the fun. She LOVED putting the little checkers into the slots of Connect Four! And she would clap for herself each time. ;)
Night Two: Moonlight Walk on the Beach

This was by far the favorite of the whole family. It was so neat being on the beach at night. We let the kids get their feet wet. But guess who got more than just her feet wet? Little Miss Chatterbox, of course.
The kids loved playing with Dad on the beach.

Me and my girls. :) (And Chatterbox with her wet dress!)

Night Three: Movie night!
Night Four: Birthday Party for Mother Mary!
We always celebrate Mother Mary's birthday at home and when I noticed that we'd be at the beach, I thought of a great way to spend the evening. A party!

We decorated all in blue, the color associated with Mary.
We had blue cupcakes and Party Cake ice cream made by Blue Ribbon. Mike even enjoyed a Blue Moon beer. ;)

We even played games! Balloon hop race and musical chairs.
Our gift to Mary was saying the family Rosary together before sending the kids to bed. :)

Our little themed nights were a lot of fun and I think we'll do it again next year!