Church Program

Ella and Sam had their church program this morning. It was an early morning! Zan and I were at his work party and got home late; then had to get up early for early church. We made it though. Sam sung with the preschoolers and kindergartners and was so cute. Ella was in the nativity program. She even had a few lines and was super cute. 

Here's a photo I took this morning - still dark outside - before we left. 

It's been a busy week so far. Sam had his preschool concert on Thursday evening, which was also Ella's rehearsal at church among other things. We made it on time to everything. Now all we have left is Ella's school concert on Monday and Christmas Eve service at church that Ella sings in the choir for. Whew, I'll be happy to take a week off after that. 

And by the way I'm loving not having any snow yet!!!


Been Busy

Can you hear the crickets chirping? 

Sorry, I've been pretty busy lately just trying to knock some things off the to-do list. I'd say I'm doing pretty well. I got the Christmas cards mailed out yesterday, finally baked some cookies yesterday, getting all the shopping finished up and just generally getting things done.

The next week is going to be really busy. We have things going on everywhere. Ella has rehearsal for the Christmas program at church and Sam's preschool sing-a-long on the same night, we have Zan's work party and Ella's school holiday program. Busy week and I can't wait for break. 

The little bit of snow that we had melted - yay!! The longer we go without snow the better if you ask me. It stays warmer and the winter doesn't seem so long. I know it will snow soon enough. Yesterday it was 40 degrees outside and it smelled like spring. It was kind of sad because I knew it wasn't going to be spring for a long time. 

Well I think I'll get some more cookies baked today. Yum!!


Another Dress

It was nice finishing up the last dress that I thought I'd start on the next one. Only took a couple days and voila - another summer dress.

I'm starting to make a dent in my fabric stash, but not enough. I've got some really cute fabric that I need to find just the right thing to make.


Summer Dresses in Winter

I bought a couple dress patterns for Ella over the summer and even cut out the fabric for one of the dresses. Then it sat and sat and sat. I looked at it all the time thinking that it wouldn't even fit her by the time I was done sewing it. Well on Monday I had some free time, so I sewed it up. Just finished the buttons this morning (there are buttons all down the back). 

The good news it will fit her next year!

I didn't get a picture of the back, but it has the same little pleats on the the back and buttons all the way down. It turned out really nice. Now on to my other to-do projects.


Happy Thanksgiving

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. We had a good, long weekend over here. Zan took off Wednesday and we've just been hanging out until yesterday. 

For Thanksgiving we went over to Nana and Papa's and had a nice dinner and the kids had fun playing. Friday we went and got our Christmas tree. It was just too nice not to go get it. If you remember we went in October and picked our tree out, so we just had to find it and cut it down. We found it pretty quickly. 

Ella and Sam on the tractor ride to the tree field:

In the field getting the tree:

The kids were so excited to see Santa. 

Saturday we actually made it to the mall. It was busy, but not too busy. Didn't really stay too long or find too much. It was just nice to get out a little. Sunday after church we just kept busy around the house. I was in my office cleaning it out all day. It's much more organized now. 

Ella has a part in the Christmas pageant at church this year. It's a non-speaking role, but she's really excited about it. 

I downloaded the pictures from my point and shoot camera and there were 1100 photos. I've let Sam take pictures from this camera and he's been very busy. I have a lot of pictures to go through. Some of them are really cute. I'll get some up once they've been sorted.


New Crafty Space

Over the weekend Zan and I built the kids a new table to do all their coloring and crafting. Until now they've been in the kitchen sitting at the kitchen island. This has been driving me absolutely nuts! Paper everywhere, markers rolling under the refrigerator - it needed to stop!

Last weekend I reorganized Sam's room and brought the train table and some other toys into his room. Then this weekend we built the table to put downstairs and move their stuff out of my kitchen. It's brilliant and I love having my kitchen back!! There's a nice big shelf underneath the table too. We're going to buy some new pretty bins to put under there and they will have all the room they need for their things.


And He Dressed Himself

Sam was still in his jammies at lunch time so I told him to go get dressed. This is something I usually help with, but I was trying to finish up my work and figured it would be good practice for him.

He comes back wondering if he can wear these pants...

I don't know if you can tell but this is a jacket turned upside down and he has his feet in the arms and the hood is hanging down. Before I told him that they weren't pants I had to take a picture. 

Then I told him that it was a jacket and not pants and to please go get changed.

Then he came back in wearing this...

Much better!


Partied Too Hard

I think we partied too hard tonight. :)



Fall Photos

The burning bushes in front of the house are so red and beautiful I just had to get some photos. I have the kids' school photos, but none of them together. So yesterday I made the kids change for some photos. I didn't get any of just Ella (I took the one's of Sam while we were waiting for Ella to get home for school), but the pictures are very cute! In my opinion of course.



Trick or Treating

I'm not sure what to do with all the candy we have here at the house - oh wait, eat it! I had two huge bowls full of candy and didn't run out this year. I think we had about half of one bowl left, plus what the kids got around the neighborhood and we have almost the same amount I started with - just a better variety. I think it will last until Easter.

The kids had lots of fun trick or treating. The weather was nice - cool, but calm. Ella was a butterfly and Sam was a robot.

Instead of carving pumpkins this year which usually consists of Zan and I carving them we decided to let the kids paint their pumpkins. They had a fun time and I didn't have to stick my hand in a pumpkin (yet anyways). :) I do have plans for those pumpkins though and it requires a large knife.

Here's what the front porch looked like webs and all. (Oh and aren't my burning bushes pretty??) (And please ignore the dead mums - not quite sure what happened to those - other than them dying.)

Now off to get ready for Thanksgiving!


Happy Halloween

This year I have my very own Jack-O-Lantern!

She lost another tooth the other day. Thankfully I don't think any more will be coming out any time soon. 

The kids are very excited for trick or treating this evening - we have a few different places to go. I have stocked up on candy!! Last year I ran out - this year I will not. We have tons of kids in the neighborhood, so I have to buy a lot!

Have a fun and safe Halloween!!


Cooking with Pumpkin

At the pumpkin farm a couple weeks back I bought a small pumpkin specifically for me to cook and eat. The kids thought I was crazy and they were a little sad when they saw me pull out the biggest knife I have and cut that pumpkin in half and proceed to put it in the oven. I told them their gourds were safe and that put them at ease. :)

I've had this little thought in the back of my head for a while that I should use more pumpkin when I cook/bake. It's so good for you and yummy too. I'm not talking about making a lot of pumpkin pies either - just straight pumpkin. 

Last week I made pumpkin pancakes and they were so yummy!! Everyone loved them. Good I thought, there's one idea that worked. I also tried adding some pumpkin to the kids macaroni and cheese. It kind of worked. I added too much pumpkin and they weren't quite sure why they didn't like it as much, but they still ate it. Easy fix - next time not as much pumpkin.

I'm always looking for ways to try and make a dish healthier and this works for me. I need to come up with some more ways to incorporate this great food into things. 

Oh, and by the way the pumpkin that I cooked in the over didn't turn out as good as I had planned. I think I'll stick to buying the canned pumpkin. I was considering putting pumpkins in the garden next year, but I don't think I will. Canned pumpkin is nice because the kind I buy doesn't have anything added to it, just pumpkin. We'll stick with that.

Oh, and we are growing gourds in the garden next year!! Ella's so excited.



In case you thought that last picture Ella made of worms was a one time thing - nope, she does it all the time. Each page has a different theme if you will and she goes through all her colors so she doesn't repeat any.

Yesterday's drawing - dragons.

She just whips those things out in a jiffy and moves on to the next one. We go through an amazing amount of paper around here. Especially since she's teaching Sam how fun it is to draw different things. 

They're just too cute though. I have quite the stash of saved drawings.


Sunday Funday

Well, not really, but it rhymed.

It's going to get cold this week, so I went out to the garden and picked all the tomatoes and pulled the plants. Red and green they all came inside. They had to have weighed at least 50 pounds because I had a hard time getting them from the garden into the house.

The green ones will ripen over time. I pulled out all the ripe ones this morning and was going to cut them up and freeze them. I diced them and packed them into ~about one can size~, which is approximately 2 cups. I ended up with 13 packages. That was maybe a quarter of the tomatoes I have here. At least they aren't all ripe or I would have been in the kitchen all day instead of just this morning. 

I made some spiderwebs in our stairway that were really quick and simple and are super cute. I might have to do some more.

Here's Sam playing with their ship. Didn't you know Bumblebee rode on a ship? Yeah, neither did I....

And last, but not least one of Ella's drawings. This is a bunch of worms. There are two queen worms and other various fat and skinny worms. (Her words; not mine.)



Bats in the Entry

Here are the bats that came to stay for Halloween....


Gift Opening Videos

For those of you who mailed your gifts to Sam - they all arrived today - I took video's so you could ~watch~ him!! He loves all his presents!

Opening present from Auntie Jill and Uncle Bob. *Box was totally smooshed and open upon arrival, but bounced back nicely* :)


Here's the first gift from Grandma and Grandpa.


Second gift - I love the way he loves it then tosses it aside for the last one! 

And last gift from great-grandma.

 I hope you enjoyed the video's. Sam's currently working on the Optimus Prime puzzle. 


Happy Birthday Sam!!!

Yesterday was Sam's 4th birthday. We've been celebrating over the past few days and he's been having a great time! 

Sunday we had Nana and Papa over for some cake and presents. 

Here's the cake. It was so good!! As you can see on the bottom left my finger slipped through the frosting trying to get it out of the box. Oops! 

Sam with his cake.

Singing happy birthday to him.

Blowing out the candles.

He got the Transformer Bumblebee - he loves robots and Transformers!!

 Birthday card from Nana and Papa.

Lego robot from Nana and Papa.

 A little wind up robot we found at the Science Museum.

Monday evening we went out to Applebee's for his birthday dinner. They sang happy birthday and he got a yummy dessert. 

Yesterday on his birthday I blew up four balloons and had another little robot waiting for him when he came down. He went to preschool and brought little treats for all his friends. He thought it was great that his teacher knew it was his birthday. 

Birthday morning.

Today he is hanging around in his robot Halloween costume. Good times!!


Remember Those Holes???

You haven't forgotten about the holes I dug a couple weeks ago have you? I sure haven't. Romeo really hasn't because he keeps falling into them. I've been a very patient girl waiting for my ~package~ to arrive and yesterday it did!!!

These are my new apple trees!! I really wanted apple trees, so I did some research to find out what I needed. First of all we're really much more limited in MN with what types of trees we can plant. It just gets too cold during the winter. Then you need to have two different types of trees so they can cross pollinate. I found two happy trees!!

This is a Jonathan apple tree. 

And this is a McIntosh apple tree. 

Both trees are dwarf trees and should produce lots of nice apples within a couple years or so. I can't wait until I can get bushels and bushels of apples!!



Ella finally lost that top tooth!! (With a little help from me.) She looks so cute. She likes to stick her tongue between her teeth when I tell her to smile. 



Weekend Hiking

We packed up in the car and headed about an hour away to do some hiking and geocaching yesterday. The weather was absolutely beautiful and is supposed to stay that way all week!! 

It was our first time using our GPS for geocaching and it was a lot of fun. We'll be doing more of that soon. Ella was looking for (and found) some caterpillars. Sam was looking for the giant robot (because he lives in the woods) and didn't find him - maybe next time. We also saw a tiny little snake, butterflies and fish. 

See - I was there too!!

We found our treasure.

Looking for caterpillars in the parking lot before we started.