Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween, and All That it Entails...

Today Madison's school had a Halloween Parade. It was super cute, but very hard to get pictures due to the vast number of parents who were there. Thankfully, I had snapped a bunch pre-parade with Madison and some of her friends. In the upper left hand corner is Madison's little friend Andy, who had the same costume that Hudson has and Madison thought it was soooo cool and asked to have a picture with Peter Pan! The picture on the right are some of Madison's best girl friends in the class. The bottom left picture is Madison just before the parade...can you tell she was just a wee bit excited!?! The bottom right corner is of Madison and Kolten, one of her best buds in the class! Below is a picture of Madison and her good friend Layla (they also do AWANAS together).

After the parade, it was party time. Being that I'm the room mom this year, I was in charge of planning the Fall Party! I had so much fun! I had some great help too, which was much appreciated! We had a water coloring station. Below is a picture of Madison getting ready to water color over her leaf. Then, just below that is the finished framed product. I just love it!
 Didn't it turn out cute?!?

The second station was "Story Time with Mr. Ray." The kids LOVED this station. Mr. Ray is such an amazing story teller! He really is the most amazing teacher! We feel so blessed that God chose him to be Madison's Kindergarten teacher! There will be big shoes to fill come next year!

There was a cookie decorating station. Last night (as mentioned in the previous post) I baked several sugar cookies in the shape of pumpkins. The kids had red, green, orange, and yellow frosting to pick from and then a wonderful array of sprinkles to choose from when they decorated their cookies. Below is a picture of all of the finished cookies, our food buffet and the watercolor station.
 This was Madison's cookie! Whew...that's a lot of sugar! She ate every bit of that cookie and enjoyed every second of it!

There was also a sorting station, but somehow I missed getting a picture of that. The kids were given bags of candy corn and asked to sort them into groups of 10. Once they were done they were able to put all of their candy corn back in their baggies and put them in their backpacks to take home. Then they were able to stamp and color on HUGE orange butcher paper!

When all of the kids were finished with their stations, they sat on the floor and ate their breakfast while watching The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown! I think they had a lot of fun! I sure enjoyed planning and organizing it! I can't wait for the next party!

This evening we decided to go to our church's Trunk or Treat. (Below are pre-walking to Trunk or Treat pictures)

We me up with our friends Brittney and Matt and their kids (Brynn, Delaney, and Cy), as well as Travis and Kristyle and their kids (Kolten and Ashlynn). Madison had so much fun with her friends! I am so glad she was able to be with them!

Hudson on the other hand, man o man was he one unhappy Peter Pan! You'd think someone had just told him he had to grow up! ;) From the moment I put on Hudson's costume, he was a hot mess. He had done the same thing on Saturday (as mentioned in that post), but then got over it and was totally fine. So, I ignored how upset he was and carried on, thinking he'd get over it and move on. Man alive, he cried off and on for almost two hours straight! We walked to church for this event (which meant there was nothing I could do as a quick fix for getting him out of his costume) and so I felt awful on the way home when he was still upset. I tried everything, hot dogs, popcorn, apple chips, sun chips, apple sauce, water...nothing made this kid happy. He just flat out hated his costume and wanted me to suffer for making him wear it! And suffer I did...Yep! Mother of the Year Award right here! 

Anyway, Madison had a great time and I was trying to ignore Hudson in the hopes that he'd calm down and start having fun so that we could stay longer, but it just got to the point where I couldn't take it any more. I just wanted to get him out of his costume so that he'd smile! So, after we went to about two-thirds of the "trunks" Madison very graciously understood that we needed to go. She enjoyed some candy on the way home, along with her glow sticks. 

Once we finally made it home, I quick changed Hudson into his pj's and put him to bed. No joke, he was asleep in about 5 minutes! Then Madison was sweet and got herself all ready for bed! She said her prayers and now she, too, is out! 

Whew! What a day! It was a wonderfully fun day full of excitement, but man it was a tiring day! I think I am going to call it an early night and get some much needed rest! 

Hope you all had a wonderful day too!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

A Beautiful Box with a Thoughtful Surprise

Today was a fun, but busy, busy day!

This morning, after dropping Madison off at school, Hudson and I went to the Y. He was able to play and have fun, while I fit in a wonderful workout. After we left the Y, we headed to Trader Joe's (one of my favorite stops during the week).

When it was time to pick up Madison, I decided that I wanted to walk! Kristyle was free and decided to walk with me (which always makes the walk that much nicer). On the way to pick Madison up I was able to snap a cute picture of Hudson in the stroller. Then, on our way home, about two-thirds of the way home, Madison and Kolten decided to hold hands (and so it begins). I tried to snap a picture, but this was the best one I could get.

While we were at the park this afternoon, I was able to snap a cute picture of Hudson. I love our nightly visits to the park with all of our friends!

After the park we came home and I started making dinner. I was trying a new recipe tonight and oh my goodness, you need to try it, if you like asian food! It was a homemade version of Cashew Chicken. I included the link so that you guys can look at the recipe and try it. Madison asked for seconds (which doesn't happen all that much because she usually wants to hurry up so that she can get in some final art or reading before bedtime. I halved the recipe and it was the perfect amount for myself and the kids. They each had a decent portion and I had about a cup of rice and a cup of the chicken mixture AND there was enough left over for me for dinner tomorrow night.

Anyway, as we were finishing up dinner, a delivery truck came by and delivered the sweetest package. My parents were so thoughtful and sent us the most amazing cake pops as a special treat for Halloween. I took a couple pictures of the box because it was pretty, but also because it was funny. Make sure to read the inscription in the picture...made me laugh out loud!

As we were winding down for bed, Madison and I were on the couch reading some stories and Hudson was being a goofball. I was able to sneak a picture of one of the silly things Hudson was doing. This speaks volumes about his silly, rascally personality.

Once the kids were in bed, I was in Room Mom mode! Tomorrow is the Fall Party for Madison's class. I spent the evening printing cute Leaf Picture for the kids to color with crayon and then watercolor over, dividing candy corn so that the kids can practice sorting, and baking sugar cookies so that the kids decorate and enjoy them.

Monday, October 29, 2012

I Am One Proud Momma

So, not yesterday, but the previous Sunday, Madison started Sparks, which is part of AWANAS. I had wanted to start her at the beginning of the year (back in September), but when we found out that Alex was deploying, we decided to wait until he was gone to send her, so that she could have as much daddy time as possible. Well, this little girl has blown me away with her ability to memorize. She is soaking it all up and just LOVING her blue team and all of the fun they have.

This morning, we were at school a little early and her Sparks booklet was in the car, so I thought I'd quiz her on one of the verses she had to memorize (they earn points for the verses they memorize and at the end of the year they can earn patches and pins to add to their vest). Each letter in SPARKS stands for something and has a verse that goes along with it. When I started quizzing Madison, I was blown away that she knew every single letter and every single verse! Her blue team is on the last S this week and I thought it was going to take a few weeks to catch her up to speed with everyone else, but this morning she new them all. Anyway, I decided to record it tonight so that Alex could see it and so that all of you can see what she's been up to!

In other news, we also learned today that Madison is going to have to have surgery to remove her adenoids and to have tubes put in her ears. We don't have an exact date yet, but it will be soon (once we have the insurance approval). Anyway, here is a picture of her waiting to see her ENT.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Enjoyable Sunday

I miss Alex every day, but today, I missed him extra. I missed having him around for church and for our lazy afternoon and then for the two hours I had to myself while the kids were at AWANAS. It sure would have been nice to be on a date with him during that time. :) Soon enough! Right?!?

Anyway, this morning at church, it was extra special because some wonderful friends joined me and made it all the more special. These are the same friends that spoiled me with dinner at their house the first Friday that Alex was gone and blessed me with my very first Chicken Fried Steak. These are the same friends we walked home from school with this past Friday. God has placed them in my life during this season and they have been a constant! I am so thankful for their new friendship and for the ways God is already growing it! 

After church, the kids and I came home and watched a little Veggie Tales, had some lunch, and then were pleasantly surprised with a Face Time Chat with Alex! Always love those kind of surprises! :) 

Then we all took afternoon naps, much needed in this house today. Madison has had a cough (due to her enlarged adenoids) and it's been waking her up super early in the morning and then she is unable to go back to sleep. She is so sweet and does such a good job of trying to be quiet and lay in her room until it's time to get up, but unfortunately her coughing ends up waking up Hudson and of course, I'm already awake. So, the nap this afternoon was wonderful!

Tonight was the AWANAS Harvest Party, so there was a lot of excitement in the air as we got ready to  eat dinner and head on over to the party. Madison was so excited to get to wear her Tinkerbell costume again, as well as have her hair put back in that sock bun I mentioned yesterday! Tonight was Hudson's first time at AWANAS. His group is called Puggles. He had so much fun. It was a wonderful evening and now the kids are in bed and I'm winding down for the evening.

If you think about it, please say a prayer that Madison is able to get a full night's rest tonight! It is overdue! Thank you! :)

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Tinkerbell and Peter Pan

Today we went to an annual Halloween Party, hosted by some good friends of ours. This year we decided to pick costumes that go together. Madison is Tinkerbell and Hudson is Peter Pan. Madison was over the moon when we told her that we'd decided on Tinkerbell (it was one of her top choices this year) and Hudson, well, he just went along with what we chose. :)

This morning I watched a YouTube video to learn how to do a sock bun for Madison's costume...that was fun and much easier than I had imagined! So Madison eagerly put her costume on and I did her hair. Then, it was time for Hudson's costume. This boy has always been fine getting dressed, never had any issues. Well, something about this Peter Pan costume made him very upset. It was a battle from the moment I started getting him dressed. I almost thought I was going to have to just put him in normal clothes, but I prevailed and once the whole costume was on (minus that hat) he was totally fine and it was as if nothing had ever happened. So, I still have no idea what triggered the fight while putting his costume on, but it will be interesting to see if it happens again the next time he wears it, which will be in a few days. But without further ado, below is a picture of each of the kids right after I put their costumes on.

Both of the kids had a blast at the party. Hudson ran all over the place (and I mean all over the place) getting into all sorts of mischief and Madison had fun with her friends dancing, eating yummy food and treats, and just talking and being girlie. I wasn't able to snap any pictures of the two of the kids together, but I was able to get a cute one of Hudson in a window, which reminded me of a scene in Peter Pan where he's standing in Wendy's window. I was also able to get a picture of Madison twirling. (She informed me that her costume was perfect for twirling).

Right before we left to head home for nap time, I tried to take a self portrait of me and Hudson. It was the best I could do, but I tried. Hudson was finishing some yummy snack, so his hands and mouth were full, but least I was able to get one right?!?

Today was filled with laughter, reading, naps, silliness, mischief, and love. Today was a good day! We miss Alex more than ever, but he's never far from our thoughts and always in our hearts. Miss you babe!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Friday Traditions

Today is Friday, which in our house means it's Pizza and Movie Night. Back over the summer when we first saw the preview for the new Tinkerbell movie, Alex and I would have sworn that it said coming to theaters Fall 2012. As a result, we promised Madison we'd taker her to go see it in the theater. Then, we realized that it was going straight to DVD. Madison was bummed, but I promised her that when it came out, we'd get it and watch it. Well, the movie came out earlier this week and this was our first movie night since it's release and as promised, we watched Secret of the Wings. We also had homemade pizza and had a picnic in the living room! :)

Another thing that comes with Fridays is our new tradition (this is now our third week of upholding this tradition) of walking home from school. I walk to Madison's school (a little over 2 miles) and then I get Madison and we walk home. Today, we had the privilege of walking with our friends to and from school. Madison and Kolten had so much fun!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Monkey is 20 Months today!

This morning I kept Hudson in his jammies when taking Madison to school because I was going to have him the stroller for a walk later in the morning and I thought it would keep him warm. He was so funny! You could tell that he just loved being in his jammies all morning! Madison requested to wear her new dress AND her new boots today. The pictures below were taken just before heading off to drop Madison off at school.

Today after dropping Madison off at school, I went for a walk with another good friend. We went all over Tierrasanta. When all was said and done, I walked just shy of 8 miles round trip. We did some fast walking, we did some hiking and most importantly, we had great conversation!

After our walk, I had about 15 minutes until I had to leave to go pick up Madison from school (today is her short day), so Hudson and I grabbed some snacks and then loaded up in the car.

We were all pretty tired when we got home, so after lunch we all took naps and we we woke up, we went to the park and had a really good time. The weather was perfect and the company was lovely!

Once we came home and finished dinner, we got all cleaned up and ready for bed and then had some major story time. The kids have really taken to reading a lot more stories than normal after dinner, which I don't mind in the slightest. I was able to take video of Madison reading one of Hudson's stories and then I tried to just grab a quick video of Hudson being his silly self on his 20 month birthday. Hope you enjoy!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Mail for Daddy

I just thought this was too cute not to post! Madison made this (without any help) today after she was done eating dinner. (Babe, don't worry, I'm mailing it to you, but I just had to post it so that you could see it). I was very impressed by her phonetic spelling!

Upper right hand corner: Afghanistan

Main Body: To Dad, I love you, Love Madison

Bottom left hand corner: I miss you Dad

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

And He Hears Me When I Call....

Today, Madison, Hudson and I had a pretty normal day. We all got up, got ready for the day and then ate breakfast.

We dropped Madison off at school, which was fun (her scholastic book order came in...ALWAYS A GOOD DAY WITH NEW BOOKS). Some crazy lady parked so close to my car that I had to wait for her to finish dropping her child off and move her car, before I could go anywhere.

Hudson and I then went on our weekly date to Trader Joe's. I seriously LOVE that place. They had a new Brie and Herb dipping cheese that I had to buy for snack for our Life Group tomorrow night. Then, because I had picked that, I had to find a couple of other cheeses so that I could create a Cheese, Cracker and Fruit platter! I am so excited!

I had the lovely privilege of talking to a dear friend of mine and catching up with her! It had been too long and her phone call couldn't have come at a better time! It was nice to hear a friendly, supportive voice. I left that conversation feeling encouraged and uplifted!

Once we picked up Madison from school, we took our friend to the airport. She is flying to Texas to run a half Iron Man! I am so impressed and can't wait to hear how she does!

We had a great evening. We played at the park, had homemade chicken with rice soup and fruit salad, watched a little Magic School Bus (about Bats), and we read A LOT of stories. We LOVE to read stories, especially at night. We are in the middle of Junie B. Jones: The Beauty Shop is so funny and I love watching Madison get so into the story and the characters! I will definitely be putting some of these books on her Christmas Wish List this year!

During bedtime, Alex was able to face time us and Madison was able to talk to him for a few minutes as we were getting ready for bed and before Alex had to start getting ready for work. We always look forward to those bedtime chats! It was so sweet that Madison and Alex were able to sing one of their songs together tonight before she fell asleep!

Once the kids were asleep, another very dear friend of mine came over and we just sat and talked and had awesome, quality girl time together! This was totally spontaneous, but just what I needed. I love how God puts things on peoples' hearts and takes care of us through the gestures of our friends. It was such a blessing to catch up with her and to grow deeper in our friendship.

I couldn't help but have this worship song, "He Knows My Name" come to mind tonight. God knew my thoughts and He provided BIG time. The lyrics are beautiful:

I have a Maker
He Formed My Heart
before even time began
my life was in hands

He knows my name
he knows my every thought
he sees each tear that falls
and hears me when I call

I have a father
he calls me his own
he'll never leave me
no matter where I go

He knows my name
he knows my every thought
he sees each tear that falls 
and hears me when I call

He knows my name
he knows my every thought
he sees each tear that falls 
and hears me when I call

And now I must apologize, I am sorry that I don't have any pictures for tonight! Until tomorrow...

Monday, October 22, 2012

A Girl and Her Boots

Madison has been asking me for a few weeks now if she could have boots this year. She had boots last year, but out grew them (and to be honest, wasn't really interested in them last year). Anyway, my dear friend shared with me a good spot to go find cute boots for a decent price. So, last night while Madison was at AWANAS, I went and bought her a pair of boots! SHE LOVES THEM!!!! Below is a picture of her and how she dressed for school this morning...with the boots!

Today, while Madison was at school, Hudson and I had the opportunity to talk to Alex on Face Time. It was such a sweet time. Hudson hasn't really been able to see Alex on Face Time a whole lot because of the timing of when we're able to talk, but today Hudson had daddy all to himself. It was so cute. He kept waving hello and saying, "Hi, Dad!" Then he would come up to the screen and give Alex kisses. I can't wait to watch Hudson the next time it works out for them to have some good talk time together!

Hope you all had a great day! 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

A Sunday of Randomness

We had a great day today! We got up and had an early breakfast. Then, we all got ready for church. I must say (even though I am biased) my kids looked pretty darn cute this morning! Hudson was wearing new shoes and Madison was wearing a new dress (it's hard to tell in the picture, but it has cute little rosettes at the waist)! Oh and I was super stoked because I ended up getting the best deal on Madison's dress. It was originally $29.99 and I bought it on sale for $8.00 and then on top of that I received 30% off at checkout and free shipping for my whole order. Yay for good deals, especially when they are cute! :)

We are starting a new series called Relentless. The series is going to take us through the book of John. Today was titled Relentless Calling and we were in John 1:35-51.  Some of the thought provoking questions we were challenged with were:

1. How can I trust God knows me an is calling me to greatness?
2. Where is God calling me to step out?
3. How can I get out of my comfort zone?

One of the great take aways from today was a quote from Pastor Mike: "I can never settle for the greatness of yesterday."

Anyway, after church I met up with my wonderful friend Susan! I haven't seen her since we lived in 29 Palms. She is in town for work this week and she flew into the San Diego Airport, so we were able to grab lunch together and catch up! It was so wonderful to see her and to sit and chat like old times. We totally forgot to take a picture, so I am recalling and oldie, but a goodie!

After lunch, the kids and I came back home and they rested, while I finished up some chores around the house and prepped dinner.

Tonight was Madison's first night at AWANAS and she had so much fun (it was Pajama Night). She is in the blue, Sparks group! Tonight her team had the most points at the end of the night, so they each were able to pick a prize. She picked the sour patch kids! She was given her new vest tonight (now she is super excited about trying to earn badges for it). Next week is their Harvest party and she's so excited that she gets to wear her costume. I forgot to take pictures of Madison with her AWANA's gear, so maybe next week  I will snap a picture or two and post them.

Our night ended perfectly! As I was putting the kids to bed, we were able to talk with Alex over Face Time for a few minutes before he had to head in to work! It was wonderful!

Today was a good day!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

1st Saturday down!

Today when we all got up, Alex's absence was very present. We all had a great day, but it just wasn't as busy as the week had been, so it was much more noticeable. We played, ran errands, TALKED TO ALEX and hung out at the house.

Since we normally do family movie nights on Friday and we were so graciously invited to our friends' house for dinner last night, we moved family movie night to tonight. I had won a free pizza from Papa John's a few weeks back and it had to be used by the end of this weekend, so we used that for our pizza and movie night. We watched A Turtle's Tale: Sammy's Adventures! It was super cute (had a slight liberal spin, but cute nonetheless). Madison loved it and has already asked if we can watch it again!

Oh and below I just posted a picture of Hudson getting out of the bath tonight because he was being cute! :) Sure do love my little monkey!

Well, we did it! Our first Saturday on our own is done...

Friday, October 19, 2012

First Kindergarten Field Trip

Well, today was Madison's first kindergarten field trip: The Pumpkin Patch. I had the privilege of being a driver and chaperone for this field trip. We had so much fun!

Let me start by saying it was MUCH hotter than expected. When we drove to the pumpkin patch, it was about 20 degrees hotter there than in Tierrasanta! It was in the mid 90's with very little to no shade at most parts of the field trip. All that being said, we still had a blast and managed to come home without any type of sunburn!

The trip began with a presentation from a little old lady, who was wearing a very festive hat and overly excited about gords and pumpkins. The kids all sat in this little amphitheater on bales of hay, while she spoke.

Once we were done with the presentation, our class went to have snack. Then, we went to the petting zoo. Madison's teacher was so sweet. He spent his own money and bought carrots for the whole class, so that each child would have a chance to feed one of the animals.

Once we were done at the petting zoo. We all went to wait our turn for the hay ride. While we were waiting, there was a perfect photo opportunity for the class to take a group photo. Here are some of the ones I snapped, including a silly one at the end.

Below are a few pictures I snapped while on the hay ride. It was a cute little ride, but it sure was dusty and stung the nose. We were able to see corn fields, sunflower fields, scarecrows and the Christmas trees that are in the process of growing for the upcoming season.

As soon as we finished the hay ride, we went through a fun Corn Stalk Maze! The kids were too cute as they came to forks in the road and had to make decisions about which way to go. They felt so accomplished and proud of themselves when they successfully finished the maze.

At the end of the maze, it opened up into a little field filled with pumpkins. Each child was able to pick their favorite pumpkin and take it home. It was so much fun to watch the children run through the field going from pumpkin to pumpkin in search of just the right one!

As you can see in the was so hot and by this time the kids were spent. Once each child had picked out their pumpkin, we took one more photo opportunity and had all of the kids sit with their pumpkins next to this cute little decorative barn. Then we all packed up and headed back to school.

Once the kids were back at school, their teacher had them write about their field trip. I took pictures of what Madison wrote! I was so proud of her...this is all unassisted.

"I think I like the maze. I felt so excited."

"I think I will want to go on the pumpkin patch hay ride."