Thursday, October 30, 2008

October School Events

Warning: Long-ish post ahead!

October events for two boys in school seemed to be plentiful. Of course, Mommy came along for the ride (actually, driving in Noah's cases) taking pictures all the while. The boys are so used to mommy tagging along with the camera that as of now, there are still no "Mom, you're embarrassing me!" I am quite sure that will come soon enough.

Noah's school is so small (202 in the entire K-12 school) that they don't have buses. Instead, fields trips require parent drivers. There's nothing so embarrassing as getting an email from the teacher on the morning of a field trip reminding me that I haven't put my new insurance info in the car yet.

The first of the field trips was Noah's trip to a play, Fantastic Mr. Fox. As I sat down with Noah, I noticed something STICKY in his hair. It was quite yucky feeling, even though I couldn't see anything. Then, just after we got the kids settled, the school's fire alarm goes off. The class heads out to wait and Noah is now obsessed with the stickiness in his hair.

While the wait seemed to take forever, Noah also had to share his ickiness with other fascinated first graders.

After we got let back in and the play started, everybody settled down, but after the show, when the actors came into the audience to mingle with the kids, Noah didn't want anything to do with the "scary" characters.

The next week, Aaron's preschool class took a field trip to the library. I was amazed at how many kids had never been to the local library before. It was quite a long walk, but it was a beautiful day and one of the parents knew a short cut path through the woods.

Aaron put on a puppet show with a little friend from his class

Got a bracelet to hold his own library card (which has long since broken)

And they even had a story time with Miss Rita, the children's librarian. Notice my little boy the one who wormed his way onto Miss Rita's lap.

The next week, Noah's service field trip got a little goofed up. They were scheduled to go rake two homes and it started raining by 9:00 and never let up.

So because the kids were already going to McDonald's the parents decided that we might as well take them for lnh anyway. Because there had been no outside recess, the kids were very wound up and Mrs. T had no lesson plans done for the day since they were supposed to be gone, they played in the play area of the McD's for close to two hours. Rather than taking Noah back to school for an hour and a half to watch a movie and then drive the 15 minutes back to school to get him, we started the weekend early and I brought him home after lunch. He thought he was so special to be leaving early.

I don't know if they are going to try to make up the raking trip or not.

This week (finally), Aaron had two events.

The first was a "pumpkin patch" at his school. The teachers actually made an imaginary pumpkin patch outside, complete with scarecrows, hay, and pumpkins. The kids went in small groups to three stations; a scary story, donuts and cider, and "picking" pumpkins.

For some reason, Aaron decided to feed his pumpkin to the scarecrow...who knows why?

Luckily, the last event didn't cause any hard feeling between brothers. Noah's school isn't allowed to do Halloween, so Friday was a regular day of school for him. But Aaron's does, complete with allowing them to wear their costumes to school.

SPiderman is quite the hot costume this year. Mine is the one on the left.

They made cookies

and played games

I don't believe November holds as many activities, but I am looking forward to lots of days off with the kids, between conference days off (which of course fall on two different weeks) and Thanksgiving break.

I hope everyone has safe Halloween fun this weekend and comes back on Monday to sign Mr. Linky if they shared their weekend events on their blog.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Wordless Wednesday...Aaron's turning 4!

Aaron through the years

3 Months

6 months

9 months

12 months...1st Birthday

18 months

2 years

2 and a half

3 years

3 and a half years

Stay tuned tomorrow for the birth story saga.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Weekend Top 5 Written by Gregory Gorilla

Hi, my name is Gregory Gorilla. I go home with a different first grader every weekend and am required to go everywhere with my weekend owner for the entire weekend. This was a crazy weekend to have picked to come home with Noah, but I did. So I decided that since Noah's mom was required to take pictures of me doing all the fun activities this weekend anyway, I might as well write her top five for her.

Well, first I must say that Noah's family sure is a busy one. They kept me running pretty much all day on Saturday. I wonder if they're this busy every weekend. Here are the top five things I noticed in his house this weekend.

1. Weekend Visitor

I came home with Noah on Friday and played with him all day. Noah has to write a report about what we did all wekeend.

While they were eating dinner, their kitten Pumpkin even curled up in my lap for a nap.

2. Pumpkin Patch

This was the one time this weekend that I saw Noah's mom get really upset. She took a cute picture of me with Noah when we got out of the car headed for the pumpkin patch and when we got there to start the fun, the tab on her camera (actually her dad's camera) was gone, making the camera virtually useless. Apparently, for a mommy who is addicted to taking pictures, and a trip that requires pictures of a certain gorilla having fun, this can be very upsetting. Thankfully, the other members came through and took a lot of pictures of me. I think most of the 20 people that attended the orchard this year on our annual trip held me at some point.

They wouldn't let me be in the annual photo of all the cousins at Post Family Farm...what a crew. The only one missing was Cousin Sara who was in a band competition all day.

Here are Noah and Aaron with their Daddy and Grandpa on the hayride

Here I am in the pumpkin patch with Aaron and his Daddy.

I even had a chance to give Kristi a hug

3. New Camera

After the pumpkin Patch, where Noah's grandpa's camera got broken, Kristi knew that the evening activtivities (see below) were going to REQUIRE a reliable camera, being the main photographer for the event, I was left in the car while the whole family RUSHED into the mall to get a new camera at Sears. From the amount of pictures that Kristi has taken since the purchase, I can only assume that she absolutely LOVES it. She took 95 pictures at the party, and only had to throw away three from blurriness.

4. Party Time

I didn't get to go to this I'll let Kristi take over for this one event.

My dad and step mom celebrated 25 years of marriage this week. About two months ago, several of our siblings/step siblings wondered if we could pull off a surprise anniversary party for them. I never dreamed that we would actually have it remain a surprise. But we did it. Two of my stepbrothers have opened a restaurant, a sports bar in an old renovated building in downtown Muskegon Michigan. (Shameless plug...if you live in the West Michigan area, check out Muskegon Athletic Club "The MAC" for their signature gourmet mac and was awesome!)

We sent out invitations about six weeks ago to our family and their closest friends. About two weeks ago, when we were talking about our annual pumpkin patch trip (see above) Nancy suggested that maybe we could go to the MAC for dinner afterward since we hadn't seen it yet since it opened. She even went so far as to say she was going to make reservations for us (snicker snicker). I will spare any more details and show you some pictures of the highlights.

Nancy making the discovery

Dad making the discovery (holding Cousin Annabelle)

None of else ever knew (until last night) that they had never had a wedding cake. they got married kind of as an elopement when on a trip with their friends (who played a key role in pulling this party off). So when they were so excited about cutting the cake together, we were so happy that we had gone with the traditional wedding cake style.

The toasts were really neat. My brother Matt was the only one who actually spoke for us kids. He actually respoke the toast that Dad gave at his and Jenny's wedding 6 years ago. It was kind of neat to see it come full circle. What was the neatest one (and the second time everyone was crying that night) was when Nancy stood up and said "We have been so worried watching the stock market lately and I am just here to say I was wrong. We're the richest people in the world!" Of course, not a dry eye in the entire room.

There were a lot of other fun moments, but this entry just got really long, so here are just a few quick pictures that showed the merriment.

Uncle Andy teaching Noah how to play bowling on the HUGE Wii they have on one wall.

Aaron being silly

I couldn't get done with this point without Gregory taking back here he is:

When they all got back into the car after the party, they were very tired. Noah used me as a pillow to fall asleep in the way home. It feels so good to be useful.

5. Playworld

Noah and Aaron were quite wild on Sunday morning from the crazy day on Saturday, so Kristi decided that I wasn't going to church that day. As a matter of fact, she left all of us home and went by herself. By the time she got home, we were all REALLY ready to burn some energy so we headed to Playworld. I had so much fun.

Noah pushed me around in the little cars

I even had a piece of Steve's pizza

I am so sad that I have to go back to school with Noah, but I know I will have more adventures at someone else's house next week. Now here's a word from Kristi...

I hope you enjoyed my guest writer this week. If you actually made it all the way through this post, congrats. I hope you consider posting weekend top five. If you do, please add to Mr. Linky so I can visit soon.

Have a great week.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Thursday Thirteen; Looking On The Bright Side

I have really portrayed a less than cheerful persona for a little while now. I am also now facing a possible but inevitable divide coming in the not too distant future that is causing me much sadness. Because of this worry about the future, I thought I would feel better if my T13 could reflect the future in a positive light.

So for this reason, My T13 is things that I am looking forward to.

1. Saturday at the Pumpkin Patch with all the cousins

2. The Surprise. I'll share on Monday, but no it has nothing to do with me.

3. Celebrating Aaron's 4th birthday next week

4. Field Trips in the next two weeks. Going with Noah's class to go rake leaves for an elderly family and going to set up a pumpkin patch at Aaron's school for them to pick a pumpkin.

5. Halloween Night. We are going to try something different this year and take the kids to a party at local mall instead of trick or treating. I think it will be a much better choice for our boys.

6. Presidential election. I just want it over so we can stop all the bickering and we can find out which of the two, not really a great choice to be president, candidates will be trying to put our country back together

7. Sonatina Festival in November in which I have three students competing

8. Painting the living room and hallway in November to give it the same much needed makeover that the kitchen received.

9. Black Friday shopping with Deb (and maybe Jenny?). Even though I won't be buying much for the boys this year, it's still the experience of getting up before the roosters and being part of the mania.

10. Christmas Vacation. Two weeks of fun with the kids without the possibility of upsetting anyone (hopefully).

11. December 21st. Two biggies. The Christmas all music service which I really just need to be done and our 12th wedding anniversary which we probably won't get a chance to celebrate this year BECAUSE of the music service.

12. Christmas Eve and Day. Possibly two days in a row with Steve home with us all day and being together. I don't know when the last time that happened was.

13. Disney World in March. No explanation necessary.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Weekend Top Five 10/13/08

This weekend had beautiful, unseasonably warm weather. I was determined for us to be outside for as much of it as possible, which worked out quite well for us. We ended up actually digging out the shorts. Here are for the top five for this week.

5. Weekend Top Five Becomes A Meme

As you will now notice, I not only have a button, but also a Mr. Linky. My Weekend Top Five posts have started getting a little more traffic, and although I love reading people's weekend recaps, sometimes I wish they would be more concise and quicker reads, which is why I established the weekend top five in the first place. With the help of Judy Thomas at Welcome To My World of Dreams, I now have a button and an "official" meme. Since I didn't quite know what to do with it, Deb came over Friday night to help me. I now have a code for you to "steal" and pass on this Monday meme (please look to your right and steal away) and also know how to add Mr. Linky when I want (please link so I can see how your weekend went).

4. Playtime

Noah has established his new best friend, "Otto" who is actually an old CD player that he found. I don't know why it has a name, or why the name he chose is that of my father's, but it has followed him everywhere for the past three days. He found some CD's in the living room and made them his own. His favorite is one he found in my old teaching stuff, "Peter and the Wolf". So Saturday morning, he had Aaron and me bring pillows and blankets to his room and line up to lie on his floor to all listen to it together.

3. Pumpkin Path

Every year, the city businesses host an evening of trick or treat stops along a path in the park. It is probably no less than 1000 people at this thing. We have gone every year for the five years since its inception, and it gets bigger every year. By the time we were maybe halfway through the park, the kids declared they were done and wanted to go play at the playground instead.

Gotta love a Daddy who will go out in public wearing a silly wig in the spirit of fun. This just a few hours after being to the med center with a whopper of a sinus infection. What a good sport!

Since the playground was too crowded, they settled for playing on the rings that usually spurt water in the splash pad during the summer. My monkey Noah turned them into monkey bars...quite creative I thought.

2. Noah's Lost Babyhood Round Two

Yup, tooth number two. The tooth fairy was sent scrambling when we realized we had no cash in the house. Steve found some half dollar coins in his top drawer that saved the night. And I am quite sure Noah has never seen half dollar even though they are talking about counting coins in school, so knowing Noah, he will be all over it, probably taking them on Monday for his day of Show and Tell.

I just hope these grown up teeth straighten out a little. Someone said it c
an take six months for them to settle into place...fingers crossed.

1. Apple Picking

Another beautiful Sunday afternoon in Michigan...perfect for apple picking after church. We went to this orchard last year and I think it is our favorite one yet for apples.

Thank goodness there is a Daddy ladder to reach the good ones on top

Maybe Noah will grow up to be a veterinarian. This baby goat rolled over and licked his hand.

I love Aaron's expression in this picture trying to jump the hay bal
es. He just looks so concentrated.

Can't leave the farm without doughnuts.

Like I said above, please consider sharing your weekend with me and joining Mr. Linky. I will be sure to visit you.

Have a great week.