Monday, November 28, 2011

The first of Christmas Tradtions

A few years ago the littles received a Disney Christmas train from Gramps that was his last Christmas with us, he passed away the following month in January. That last Christmas with him was so joyous. He managed to get out of his wheelchair to climb our 13 stairs, he ate wedges of oranges with Aiden and munched on pistachios. He "rested" his eyes a lot always denying sleeping, even if he was snoring! He was such a laid back man in his later years.

Apparently the train has become a tradition, it wasn't intended to be, but it sure did happen! All year long the littles ask to bring the train out and my answer is always no, mostly because it is a bit fragile and a PAIN to put away. The year long anticipation makes it their first request once they see us pull down the Christmas totes! Sure enough it happened again this year, when we announced it was time to decorate they asked for the train immediately.

This morning Gavin and Camille laughed and giggled together as the train went through the tunnel they created with our coffee table. They never met their Great Grandpa and I'm not even sure they know this train of joy came from him. I need to make sure to tell them.

Thanks Gramps for continuing to bring JOY into our lives.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving Party

From my childhood, my favorite Charlie Brown special was the Great Pumpkin but as an adult, watching them again with the littles, I fell in love with the Thanksgiving one. An impromptu party where "Chuck" graciously hosts his friends that invited themselves over and the special is usually followed by the Mayflower one which is my ALL time fav. It is filled with accurate historical facts, faith and fun.

We recently borrowed the movie from a friend and Aiden casually said "I wish we could have a dinner like that one Charlie Brown made"... an idea was born! Our party had similarities and differences it was quite impromptu (as we should be out of town right now) and different as our guests were invited, each boy picked 3 friends to come watch and Camille was joined by her BFF Ruthie and her family.

In case you don't remember, Charlie Brown said all he knows how to make is cold cereal and toast. The menu chef Snoopy landed on was buttered toast, popcorn, jelly beans and pretzel sticks. Guess what we ate?

 I just couldn't stand it, I had to throw in some fruit and veggies... though completely optional. Each and every kid did opt out!

The agenda for the afternoon was to first watch A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving

 Next each child took turns cranking the popcorn popper as the 
smell and noise of popping corn filled the air

 We all gathered hand in hand and blessed our food. Snoopy even joined in!

Gavin had the honor of throwing the plates to each guest (just like Snoopy). 
I can't even explain how excited he was to do this! Then the boys served our guests "dinner".

Then we all had our feast of all feasts! 
It has already been requested to happen again next year, I think that sounds like a good idea.

Tomorrow we will all pile into the minivan (instead of an old green station wagon) and sing "Over the River and Through the Woods" as we travel to Grandma's house...

Happy Thanksgiving week!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Oreo Turkey Dessert

Our family was invited to a friend's new home for a dinner get together. I offered to bring dessert, I think these Turkeys I found on pintrest turned out super cute! Why did the kids get the labor intensive chocolate laden dessert and all I brought for the adults was a store bought cake. Good thing our hostess made some decadent pumpkin bars as well as a delightful dinner. We had a fabulous time laughing all night long and catching up with friends.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Rainy November day with Tornado Warnings

The high was to be mid 70's today, it is November right?!? I woke up kind of grumpy, it was just one of those things when plans don't work out as I had hoped in my head and our family is having to alter what we want to do for what we need to do and have committed to do. Such as life but it still had me out of sorts.  Gavin, Camille and I go to bible study on Wed. I really didn't want to be grumpy so I put on as happy a face I could muster, tried not to be short with the kids and moved on with the morning.

Bible study was great and got me back on track in a much better mood. We are studying in Hebrews Ch2:1 "We must pay more careful attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away." How easy it is for me to drift from Jesus to not stay grounded in who he is and what he has done for me. One of the points in the lecture was: Spiritual drifting begins by neglecting the salvation that securely ties believers to the Lord Jesus Christ. He is my anchor I want to stay securely tied to Him and when I don't pay attention I begin to drift. I was thinking how my own selfishness makes me drift from my kids, family, friends all those that are important to me.

Today I'm going to be intentional and pay attention to who Jesus is and who he wants me to be. My husband and the littles often get the brunt of my moods and feelings... Today is an intentional day to show them love that Christ showed me. Guess how it manifested itself? Through paper airplanes just spending time playing!  We have a wonderful book that shows step by step instructions on how to build 10 planes.

We built 5 different models and had to make two of each so Gavin and Aiden would have their own. We were also in the middle of a tornado warning so distraction for Camille was key, she gets really scared in storms. Finally the storms passed and the sun came out, I felt safe enough to put Camille down for a nap. Then Aiden and Gavin had a grand time with plane races, trick wars and other stunts. After nap time Camille and Gavin began playing as they often do, they are two peas in a pod!  I heard muffled "Mommy, mommy where are you?" I honestly thought they were in the basement for a moment then realized where they were, and played along until they popped out of the ottoman together.

For dinner we made a pizza menu of all the topping options we had at home, took orders then took turns making our own pizza on gluten free crust. It was a huge hit and it was a great ending to a not so great beginning. We had fun just hanging out together.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Halloween 2011 Peter Pan

This was the earliest our family theme was decided upon! After we saw Peter Pan, 7 months ago, Aiden announced that was what he wanted to be for Halloween. I immediately gave it a two thumbs up. Here we are as Captain Hook, Wendy, Peter Pan, TickTock Crock and Tinker Bell. My mom again made up some wonderful costumes! She is amazing behind a sewing machine... I did make Tick Tock Croc's tail though.

 Precious Camille as Tinker Bell.
Her tutu was made from 4 large sparkly squares alternating them so the points varied then attached to a waistband. Her vest has individually sewn leaves, some sparkly and some not. Dollar store wings, little tennis shoes sprayed green with a pom pom (the tink slippers were too uncomfortable for trick or treating). And of course her hair in a bun.

 Gavin as Tick Tock Crocodile
Don't you just love his santa jammies turned inside out... Why is it so hard to find green sweats?
My mom made his Crocodile head I altered it to fit on his hat, and I made his tail all by myself (I'm quite proud about that, I've always joked that I'm great with a glue gun but don't get along well with sewing machines... that is until now) His clock was from Party City, my mom also made his claws from socks. I figured out a way to hide the bright red band on his ankles by tucking them into his socks see the last photo from Halloween Night.

Aiden as Peter Pan
My mom again with her magic made his shirt, hat and boot covers. I got the honors to add the red feather, found a belt at a garage sale and a dagger at the dollar store.

Captain Hook was made in full by my talented Mom. The coat is amazing, I wish now that it wasn't made out of felt so it would keep well for many years. The neck ruffles were 2 layers and sewn on binding to tie around his neck. She made the hat from a pattern but did the boot covers free hand. 

Wendy was the simplest. A store bought blue night gown, slippers, teddy bear, big white bow in my hair. For my necklace, I found a large acorn drilled a hole in the top, added a jump ring from my jewelry making days then put it on a cord. Remember the acorn saved her life from the lost boys' arrow. That pesky Tinker Bell always stirring up trouble!