Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Halloween 2011

Our night started with a little bit of a costume crisis.  You know those ink tags on costumes that they're supposed to remove?  Well, they didn't remove the one on Lucas's.  So, I tried to take it off..but then I looked like a Smurf because my hand had royal blue ink all over it.  However, our night wasn't completely ruined.  Halloween this year was SO MUCH FUN!  Natalie was SOOO into trick or treating, the boys cooperated and used their manners, and it was a super nice night outside.  I actually think that this is the first time I took my children out trick or treating for a good amount of time.  Usually, they want to go with grandma and grandpa, or Auntie Darragh.  But, they were stuck with me.
  I left my parents at home to hand out the candy, and off we went.  It only took about two houses for Natalie to catch on.  I was so thankful the boys used their manners at every house, they watched out for Natalie, and they stayed with me the whole time.  It was so funny every time I asked them to pose for a picture, Matthew got this serious look on his face.  He claimed he wanted to stay in character...and be a serious SWAT team guy.  Whatever.

As soon as we'd walk up to a driveway, Natalie would scramble out of her stroller, grab her bag, and run up the drive saying, "hurry, hurry".  Then, she'd help her herself to the candy, or allow the neighbor to put it in her bag, whatever the routine was.  Then, it was back in the stroller and on to the next house.  Meanwhile, my parents were at our house handing out candy, eating potato soup, and ham sandwiches.  Derrick's parents, sister, and her boyfriend came over, too.  They were there when we got back-we were out for about an hour and a half.  It was such fun!

Marmon Valley Farm

Sometimes, if it's a nice early evening, Natalie and I will stop by Marmon Valley Farm while the boys are at karate.  We walk around and pet the cow, look at the chickens, and visit the ponies.  She loves it, I love it, and we get some fresh air and a little bit of exercise.
 She squeals at the chickens, and tries to catch the barn cat that walks around and wants nothing to do with her.  She is always carrying a baby under her arm-this trip it was baby Alice, or as she says, "baby alsis".  So cute.  She holds her baby up to the chicken coop or the cow pen or the pony ring and "shows" baby Alice the animals.  It's priceless.

Jacquemin Farms

The day before Natalie's birthday party, Kristin came over to help me make cake pops.  We were done about noon, and Natalie had a haircut later that afternoon.  So, what did we do on that beautiful, sunny, perfect fall day?  Did we come home and clean, prep more food, and get ready for the party.  Heck no!  We went to Jacquemin Farms for a couple hours and had a total blast.   We ran into Natalie's babysitter, Sara, and her son Jacob.  It was perfect because while Sara and I sat and chatted, my boys and Jacob ran through the straw maze and played in the bounce houses while Natalie played in the corn box.  Then, we rode the hayride out to the pumpkin patch and grabbed some fresh pumpkin donuts-they were still warm when they boxed them up for us-before heading home.  It was a super fun day.  Unfortunately, I don't have a lot of pictures of the boys because they were running everywhere playing.  They had so much fun!

Natalie on her first hayride.  

Monday, November 14, 2011

Natalie's Second Birthday

Natalie's second birthday was so much fun this year.  We had a pink and green ladybug theme-mainly because I had worked hard on her "Happy Birthday Natalie" banner last year-in pink and green-and I really wanted to use it again.  So, we went with pink and green ladybugs.  So cute!
My sister, Kristin, and I decided to tackle cake pops.  Let's just say, it was an adventure.  I might be brave enough to try again by applying the lessons I learned...but we'll see.  Kristin totally saved the day with running to Michael's and getting a ladybug mold, baking, and decorating the cake RIGHT before the party!  Yay for Auntie K!

We had our whole family over, and it was a ton of fun.  The gift rundown:

Grandma Connie and Papa Ron-Brown boots, Dress up Minnie Mouse set
Grandma Patty and Grandpa Keith-Shopping cart
Aunt Lindsey and Uncle Ben-My Little Pony, pink/green polka dot outfit
Aunt Kristin and Uncle Joey-Disney Princes  Castle Playbook
Brian and Sarah-GRACO baby stroller, sweaters
Great Grandma Mae-stuffed pony, money

Great Grandpa Jim and Joyce-$25 to KMart
Aunt Devon and Uncle Chris-My Little Pony, Books, Unicorn shirt
Uncle Darin and Sarah-VTech "Chase Me" Kitty
Uncle Daniel-Mickey Sing a Ma Jig
Mommy and Daddy-clothes, baby doll (aka Baby Alice)
Chelsey, Mae, and Charlie-Sleeping Beauty Dress up dress
Sara, Nick, and Jacob-Cupcake bag, books, bath paints

It was quite the fun time.  I love it when both sides of our family can get together and have fun together.  We had potato soup, chicken chili, and regular chili.  Also, some bread, cheese and crackers, cake, and ice cream.