Sunday, November 15, 2009

We're Going Public!

It's hard to believe the Holidays are already upon us. We just gave our children an early Christmas present for this year. A new baby is joining our clan and turning our 5 into 6. John says, "We're almost to our half dozen" . I laugh!

All the children seemed very excited. Abby hopes it's a boy so Andersen has a buddy, then thinks we need to have two more girls and two more boys after that to even things out! Whow! We are very excited about the new addition! I think I'm about 10-11 weeks along and due mid June sometime. First Dr. appointment scheduled for the week after Thanksgiving.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Birthday Boy!!!

Andersen turned two years old today. The older kids wanted to wake him up with a birthday song, traditional of how I grew up. So we marched into his bedroom this morning at 7 AM, singing "Happy Birthday to You". He first started to cry (I would too--we sounded pretty horrible!) But the tears quickly turned to excitement as he jumped up and down in the crib with sqeels and smiles.

We marched downstairs to open presents. He kept saying, "present I want football" over and over again. (Funny that he'd mention it. How many footballs do we have lying around our house?) It was fun to watch him open each one. The first two were bags of clothes, which he desperately needs. With absolutely zero emotion, he quickly tossed them aside and waited for the next gift. The football came--a little one, just perfect for his small hands. Then a tractor that made lots of noise and a tee ball set with a tee, bat, and lots of balls. He opened the last few presents one handed, never taking a hand off that football. And as I tucked him in bed tonight, he wanted to sleep with the football. Pretty cute.

Tonight we had birthday cake. And I thought; "why didn't I make a football cake instead of a baseball cake"? But he seemed excited nonetheless. I caught him a few times during the afternoon climbing up on the counter and laying fingerprints in the frosting. Just couldn't resist! And a few red liccorice pieces were missing tonight too. Wonder where those went. . .

#1 Prized Possession

Notice the hand, never leaving his football.

Before swinging, he would yell "ready, set, touchdown". Just a little confused. We'll try to fix that one later.

Notice the little finger that just took a swipe out of that frosting.

Andersen has been such a joy since day one. He is ALWAYS smiling--always! A few weeks ago while up at the cabin with some friends, we heard one of the men saying to him, "Andersen, Let me guess . . . are you still smiling? Yep--still smiling." And when he smiles, his eyes light up and smile too. I love being his mom. He keeps me smiling and laughing more than I would have without him. We're glad he's part of the clan.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Small Town Halloween Experience

A few months ago John asked our two oldest boys if they were interested in deer hunting with him, their grandpa, and a few uncles and cousins. "Yes-dah--of course!" was their answer. Then came the dilemma; it fell on Halloween weekend, which meant that most likely, the boys wouldn't go trick-or-treating and enjoy the normal Halloween traditions in our neighborhood. Both boys thought about it for over a day, then agreed that they'd go hunting if the other would go as well.

So last weekend John left town Thursday evening with our two oldest. Their hunting area was close to St. David, where John grew up. So they stayed the night at Johns' parents home and hunted all Friday and all Saturday. I enjoyed a neighborhood trunk-or-treat party with the three youngest Friday night, then drove down to St. David Saturday afternoon and met up with the boys. The small community has a traditional school-sponsored trunk-or-treat on the football field every Halloween night. So we packed our costumes and planned to attend.

But by the time we got there (about a 3 hour drive), unpacked and finished up dinner, we realized that we were running out of time and it might not be worth the hustle to take the kids to the football field. And, the hunters were just getting home--hungry and tired from a full day. Really last minute, my sister and I decided to throw our own Halloween party at the house instead of hauling all the kids (9 in all) to the football field.

At first, the kids weren't too thrilled. Especially Abby, who had been dreaming about all the candy she would get at the trunk-or-treat. But we promised it would be just as fun celebrating it at home. All the kids got in their costumes, and we sent them outside while we schemed up our "fun and exciting" Halloween party. Here's what ended up happening:

First, the kids all trick-or-treated to all 4 doors of the house; the master bedroom door, garage door, front door, and back door. And a different face met them at each door, ready to load their buckets up with candy. Then we hung small chocolate bars on strings from the ceiling, one for each child, and had a contest to see who could eat it first without using their hands. Then we had a pumpkin toss, of course. After that, we all loaded in the car and drove a few miles and watched a deer get skinned. Totally spooky! Lots of candy was earned for each game, the kids seemed to be satisfied, and we were glad NOT to drag them all down to the football field.

Red neck Halloween? Of course. And I'll never forget it. I doubt the kids will either!

Andersen was the world's cutest cowboy. He even got to ride on a real horse for his photo shoot.

Mason was a pirate, Taylor was a sheriff cowboy, Abby was a nurse, and Emma Claire was a cat.

Here's a picture of the kids, trying to eat the hanging chocolate.

PS- And about the hunt, John and his brother both got deer. John's was a 2X2 point. I know, that sounds pretty big. Not really. The antlers weren't more than about two inches long. So small that John was embarrassed to bring the antlers home in case anyone asked to see it. We'll get some meat from it soon. Any ideas of what to do with venison? I'm a little grossed out by the thoughts. Poor Bambi.