Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

This year has been the year of Preston with costumes.  He has really gotten into dressing up, but has always felt left out since he only had three costumes for the longest time.  However, this year for his birthday he received 6 new costumes!!  He has been wearing them out the past two months....playing in them, napping in them, running errands in them, going to church in them, going out to eat in them and the list goes on and on!  He LOVES to dress up!! 

It all started this summer when we went to Christian's birthday party and saw that he had a spiderman costume with big ninnies (AKA: puffy muscles).  He immediately asked for one for his birthday.  I knew he would be bored with just one, so he got several more from grandparents and Brian and Shannon.  To say that he was elated with his gifts is a complete understatement!  The kid was OVER THE MOON!  With Halloween quickly approaching, he had a difficult choice to make.... what would he be for Halloween?
 
My ninja with classmates during parade
He finally settled on being a ninja (I think it is because he loves the swords).  Bennett on the other hand, has lost interest in dressing up, and couldn't decide what she wanted to be for Halloween.  In fact, she was so noncommittal, that we couldn't even buy anything beforehand, so she was stuck going through her costume trunk.  Thankfully her Nene and Poppy bought her a new fairy costume back in the summer, so that was what she settled on at 4pm today!



So excited to receive his Halloween snack!
Pres and his buddy, Banks
B rose her leg because that is what fairies do before they fly
Earlier today, Pres got to attend school in his costume so he could wear it for the Halloween parade and class party.  Most of the kids take off their costumes after the parade, but not Pres.  He was still in full gear at 1pm when I picked him up!  I made him undress for a short nap before Bennett got home from school, but then he was all suited up again by 3:30.


B with mascara and lip gloss!



After visiting Steve's parents (always our first stop), we hit our neighborhood with the Crigger's.  The three kids had a blast running from house to house.  Pres was sure to tell me that he thanked everyone after each stop, and they were thrilled with the loot they collected.  Shockingly, they became bored after an hour or so, and asked to go to our friend's house where others were gathering.  Since they live on a busy street for trick or treaters, there is a plethora of people watching.  The kids all sat on their front steps and passed out candy to the other children (and brazen teens and adults who were not dressed up carrying their Walmart sacks).

My mean ninja!
Knocking on Mimi and Papa's door!
With Mimi

After the policemen drove down the streets at 7:45 telling everyone to go home, Bennett alerted us that she was ready to go to bed, so we took our cue and walked home.  It was a fun night, visiting with friends and watching the kids really enjoy the holiday.  Happy Halloween 2012!


Caroline, Bennett and Preston

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Pre-Halloween

We've been busy lately, but we've managed to squeeze in some pre-Halloween activities.  A couple of weeks ago our library hosted s'mores and Halloween stories as we sat next to a "bonfire."  It was a cute idea, and the kids certainly enjoyed their s'mores!!
Pres warming up next to "bonfire"


We've also been busy decorating pumpkins with markers, going to the pumpkin patch, carving pumpkins, getting "BOOed" and "BOOing" our friends, and making caramel apples and Halloween cookies.  For those who don't know what getting "BOOed" is (because I didn't until this year), it is when you create a little gift basket for a neighbor that can include candy, baked goods, small toys, etc.  You put it together, and then secretly leave it by their door with a note that tells them to do the same to other neighbors.  It was a great little surprise for the kids, and even more fun when they tried to be quiet while leaving a basket for a neighbor.

  Here are some photos to show the fun we've been having the past couple of weeks.
Kids wearing the lollipop vampire teeth that were in their "Boo" package

Our caramel apples!

Halloween cookies!

B and me while on her field trip to the pumpkin patch

Bennett holding the pumpkin she found at the patch

Steve carving a pumpkin for the kids

The kids cleaning the pumpkin out (but neither would use their hands)

The finished product, thanks to Daddy!

Happy Halloween!!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Old Baker Farm Field Trip

Around this time every year, I hear about my friends who visit the various pumpkin patches in the area.  Old Baker Farm is one of those places, and sadly I have not been there (or to any others) since I've lived in Alabama.  Bennett went here last year with her 4K class, but for some reason I didn't go with her.  I didn't want to make the same mistake twice, and was so happy I elected to go this year.

It was a beautiful Fall day...sunny and mid 70s!  All of the kindergarten classes from Shades Cahaba rode out on buses with the teachers, but the parents drove separately.  As I drove towards the property, all I saw were beautiful cotton fields.
  
Bennett, Foster and Katharine
Once we got the instructions from the teachers, each little group of kids (another mother and I had three), got their scavenger list.  They immediately began checking items off their lists as we toured the farm, learning about cotton, petting a couple farm animals, going through a hay maze, enjoying our lunch in a stinky barn, and finally visiting the pumpkin patch via a hay ride!  Of course, all of these activities kept us there for most of the day!
Bennett picking cotton
Basket of cotton that the kindergartners filled in 15 minutes!
Haines, Katharine and Bennett


Ms Greer's Silly Class Photo


Just me and my beautiful girl!

The perfect pumpkin!
 


Sunday, October 7, 2012

Warrior Dash!

At the beginning of this year I made a list of goals that I would like to achieve before year-end.  They were a mixture of things including financial, spiritual, personal, parental and fitness related.  Back in the day when I used to work, I would set goals, so why not have a clear path for myself this year since this is my job now!  One of those fitness related goals was do an adventure race.

Adventure races can be a little of anything, but they usually encompass running along with other challenges.  I tried to convince friends to do one back in March with me, but no one would agree because it was too cold and the host city was 2 hours away.  However, the Warrior Dash was just 40 miles north of Birmingham, and Shannon and her sister were already signed up, so I did the same!

Before the race (and the rain)
The Warrior Dash is put on by a company in Chicago, and is country-wide.  It is a 5K (3.2 miles) race with running and obstacles in between.  Dependent on the location, the obstacles can vary.  This particular race was held in Warrior, AL (pure coincidence that the city name matched the race name) on a farm.  Unfortunately it was a cold, rainy day so we were wet and freezing before the race even got started.  The race has a multitude of heats (one every 30 minutes) to prevent too many people from being on the course at one time.  Though we were signed up for heats later in the day, we all jumped into the 10:30 heat so we could be home at a reasonable time.  We were told that our official times wouldn't be tracked because of that.

After the race!

The race started with some running (which helped warm me up), then we were crawling through mud and jumping over hurdles that went to my chest.  Then more running before the course led us into muddy trails through the woods.  Because the trails were so steep (we needed to go up and down them) and they were pure mud, I kept losing my footing.  As I would run down the trail, my feet would literally go sideways .  Many people were falling, but I just kept catching trees as I went down to stabilize myself.  In between the running, there was more crawling through mud, under barbed wire, going through a crazy maze of string going all different directions, climbing a 30 foot net (and back down the other side), swimming (yes, the water was over my shoulders) in a very cold and dirty pond, jumping over fire and more things that I can't remember.



Shockingly, this was an incredible experience and one that I can't wait to do again!  After finishing in 38 minutes (my official time was recorded after all), I waited for my cohorts to finish.  When I spotted Shannon and started shouting for her, I heard someone else doing the same.  When I turned around, I noticed her mom, dad, Christian and sweet Lucy cheering for her too.  We all watched her finish, and then waited for Heather to do the same.  After we all were done, we posed for a few more photos, got sprayed down with a fire hose, donated our muddy shoes and hiked back to our cars.


Though it took me a couple of hours to warm up, thanks to a hot shower when I finally got home, it really was a fun race.  Had it been better weather, I probably would have gone back out on the course one more time that afternoon.  It really was fun, and awesome seeing all of the people in the crazy costumes!  I've already put next year's Warrior Dash on my calendar.... October 19, 2013!!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Summer Ends.....

As our summer came to an end, I felt it was necessary to wrap up Part II of our "summer to do list." Though we didn't hit the desired 50%+ like I had hoped, we did complete an impressive 40% for our first summer.  Here are a some pictures of my kiddos enjoying the last 7 weeks of their summer:
dress-up....poor Preston
At the summit of Ruffner Mtn
rookies at splash adventure water park
family time with cousins
Before vacation bible school at TUMC
More fun with cousins
Visiting Ed's Pet World for the 1st time
Date day w/ B to attend the children's theater
Fishing w/ Daddy at Smith Lake (B really enjoyed it this summer)
More bike riding for Preston
finger painting
building forts (even Spencer went in this one)
Final List - 40% Complete