Friday Favorites No. 2

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Sienna ran a 5k with her running club last Saturday in Charlotte, and David did it with her.  She loves running and really enjoys the accomplishment of finishing a race.  It was an unexpected surprise when her coach called later that morning to say she had won 1st place for girls in her age group!  She was so excited and pleased that her hard work had won her a gold medal!  Henry was completely transfixed by the live music on the main stage.  It was a COLD morning!  It was the first time we all pulled our heavy winter coats out!

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Charlie’s soccer club had their tournament weekend last week as well, and after some ups and downs during the season, they ended up winning all three of their games!  Charlie has made a lot of improvement over the season, and again, he felt so good to get a gold medal for all of his hard work!  I could only be there for the second game (it was a busy weekend!), but watching Charlie’s team play is so much more interesting to me than any sports games on TV!  I could care less about the pros, but I’m completely engrossed in watching these first graders!

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Sienna went on her first church retreat last weekend with the other fourth and fifth graders.  It was held at a camp in the area, which was beautiful.  (Of course I forgot to take a picture of her there!)  She played games, went ziplining, stayed up late, sang songs, and hopefully grew closer to God.  🙂  She had an amazing time!

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We had fun at our neighborhood block party on Saturday. It was nice to meet some neighbors we didn’t know and chat with those we do.  Plus fire pits + roasting giant marshmallows = joy!

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I met my friend Kathryn again for coffee this week, and the coffee stirrers proved to be more fun for Henry to play with than the toys he brought.  It was fun checking out all the Christmas stuff at Target with him afterwards!

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I just finished reading this book with a small mentoring group that I’m in.  It said a lot of things that I know are true, but are always good to be reminded of, about how chasing perfection is damaging to our self-image, relationships with friends, and relationships with our husbands and children.  She presents a great, simple “antidote” to what she calls the “perfection infection,” which includes choosing to replace specific negative emotions with positive ones, and letting go off expectations.  It was easy to read and a great reminder to me to let go of striving for an unrealistic ideal that doesn’t exist.  Most times I do this without even realizing it, so this helped me remember to be more aware as well!
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I went to have lunch with Charlie again on Thursday, followed by a fun presentation in his classroom.  Each student read out facts about Thanksgiving, and then they all sang some Thanksgiving songs.  It was really sweet!  They had cookies and drinks, which each student served to their parent first, before going back in line and waiting to get some for themselves.  Their teacher had them do this because the Pilgrim children would always serve their parents food and then wait and eat after the adults were finished!  Hearing facts about the lifestyle of the Pilgrims made me really thankful for the way we live now, with all of our modern conveniences!  Even if it means that my children are not serving me food every day.  🙂

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Autumn leaves!  They’re fun to play with, but I like them best on the tree and full of color.  I saw some gorgeous fall colors this morning on a walk I took with Henry, which brings me to…

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I enjoyed a really pretty walk this morning with Henry!  The air was very brisk, and the sunlight still had that early morning glow, which highlighted the autumn leaves so beautifully.  It was a perfect fall morning.

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No view can compare with this face though!

I hope you had a great week too!

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A Weekend in Savannah – Part 1

As I mentioned last week, two weekends ago we visited Savannah for the first time.  David had been training for months to run his second marathon with our friend Jonathan, so our two families decided to stay together to turn the marathon trip into a mini getaway!  Jonathan and Judith’s children are older than ours, so they just had their youngest son, Isaac, (who is 13) with them on this trip.  I felt a little bad for him because my boys were clamoring for his attention, but he was so patient and kind with them!  Our friends had already been to Savannah before and stayed on Tybee Island, so we did the same.  It worked out really well.  It’s an easy drive into Savannah from the island and takes 30 minutes at the most.  It is so scenic, and downtown Savannah is quaint and beautiful.  I can’t get over the TREES!  All of that moss hanging from the twisting oak branches is stunning.  As soon as we arrived in Savannah, we went to the race expo so David could pick up his running bib.

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It was the Rock n Roll Marathon, so Henry loved seeing guitars everywhere!!
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Then we met our friends for lunch and a stroll through Savannah.

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This is Paula Deen’s restaurant in Savannah.  I heard it’s standard Southern fare, but I liked the worn brick exterior!dsc_0283

The city is filled with small, pedestrian squares with seating areas and monuments in each one.  And more of those gorgeous trees!  It’s definitely a pedestrian friendly city.  I was surprised by how few traffic lights we came across, but most of the drivers showed Southern hospitality and graciously stopped for pedestrians.  (How many times can I use the word “pedestrian” in a paragraph? 🙂 )

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Henry was sweeping the ground with a tree branch.

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And sweeping all of the benches.  There must be a way I can capitalize on that in our house!

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Forsyth Park is right in the middle of Savannah and was really pretty.  It contains a fountain that is famous for being featured in the film, “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.”  Have you ever seen that? Do you recognize the fountain?  I’ve never seen the movie, but would like to now, if it’s set in Savannah!dsc_0304

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After our walk and time in the park, we headed to our holiday house on Tybee Island and ate a big dinner!  I participated in a lot of carb-loading, despite the fact that I wasn’t running.  I liken it to husbands gaining sympathy weight during their wife’s pregnancy.  It’s like my duty as a wife, or at least that’s what I’m telling myself!

Saturday was RACE DAY!  It was really cold in the morning!  I’m still getting used to Southern fall weather, which can be frigid in the morning and t-shirt weather in the afternoon.  The first marathon David ran was the New York City marathon, which was MUCH more crowded and stressful for spectators.  However, I went with just my sister so we were able to dash around and hop on Subways to watch David at a few different spots.  Because of the layout of the course in Savannah, plus the fact that we had three young children with us, we just cheered for the guys right around 8 1/2 miles and then at the finish line.

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They were looking great at this point!  We didn’t find out until later that David had hurt his calf somehow around three miles in and seriously thought he might not finish the race.  I am so thankful for Jonathan, who stayed with him and prayed with him, despite the face that David kept telling him to keep going without him.  They stuck together the entire race and crossed the finish line together.dsc_0396

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Our friend Shane was also running in the race and it was fun to see him and cheer him on too!

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 The kids worked on these posters to encourage our runners, but we realized that we didn’t have one for Shane!  So Isaac had the idea to add a little addendum to the poster on the left.  Can you see it?img_3806

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Shane loved it! 🙂

You may be wondering what we did with the kids for the long period of time between mile 8 and mile 26.  We strolled over to Forsyth Park, where the race was ending, and played in the playground!  On the way we stopped to see the Candler Oak tree next to the park, which is estimated to be about 300 years old.

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Henry’s trying for peace signs.  He got one and a half!

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They had live music and some other fun things set up after the race, but we just headed back to our cars, after taking a few pictures, of course!

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We took a few family group pictures (like you do when you have kids) – and I just had to put up the progression of Henry’s facial expressions.  I couldn’t stop laughing!

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Haha!  I don’t even know where that bottom expression came from!

Ok, that’s enough for today!  I’ll put up the rest of the pictures soon!

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Friday Favorites No. 1

1-img_3794-2Last week, Sienna went on a field trip and brought some of her own spending money for the gift shop.  She came back having not only bought herself something, but also surprised us by getting an arrowhead for David and the boys and a pair of earrings for me!  It was really sweet to see her generous spirit in action!  I’m wearing the earrings she bought me in the picture above.  I love the turquoise color!

2-dsc_0310 We spent a beautiful weekend in Savannah with friends, because David and our friend Jonathan ran the Rock ‘n Roll Marathon down there.  We stayed on Tybee Island, which has a gorgeous beach, and also had time to stroll downtown Savannah.  It was our first time visiting that city, but it won’t be our last!  I’m writing a separate post about our trip, but here’s a little peek:

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3-dsc_0337I’m always proud when I see David run at an event, and this was no exception.  There is also a great attitude of encouragement among the spectators of a big race, and I love the energy in the air!  Without fail, every time the thought runs through my mind that maybe I should attempt a half, just to feel the rush of crossing the finish line with all of that encouragement!  Then I come to my senses!

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I love the colors of fall.  And beautiful autumn sunsets.  God is the best artist in the world.

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I had a great morning on Wednesday meeting up with my friend Kathryn and her daughter.  We grabbed fancy drinks at Starbucks (I tried a salted caramel mocha with half syrup for the first time and it was AMAZING), then walked to Chick-fil-a to get some food for the little guys and let them play in the inside playspace.  Well, it was being deep cleaned and sanitized, so the poor kids had to entertain themselves for an hour while waiting for the workers to be finished.  I’m sure the playground has never been that clean before when they’ve been in it!  At least, until another kid in there decided to spit chewed up food onto the steps of the playset.  Fortunately, that was right about when we needed to leave anyway so I could be mystery reader in Charlie’s class.  I love when I can surprise the kids by doing something in their classrooms.  It doesn’t happen very much now that Sienna is older, but I still get to sign up for things in Charlie’s class sometimes.  I stayed and had lunch with him.  He was so excited!!

6- stranger-thingsSTRANGER THINGS – David and I took a little over a week to watch this show (we didn’t watch every night, but doubled up some nights!) and I was completely addicted! It’s a Netflix original and at just 8 episodes it has almost instant gratification.  I normally don’t like sci-fi that much and I hate horror, but I loved this.  It has some great characters (I love the little gang of outcast middle school boys), great acting, extreme suspense, laughs, major conspiracies, and the entire thing feels like a show birthed in my childhood, because it’s set in the 80’s and pays homage to all of the popular films of the same genre from that time period.  Although I had to watch more than a few scenes through my fingers (you just KNOW something is going to jump out at you!) the scares don’t stick with you once the episode is over. What does remain are the questions that are raised, and although the ending of season 1 was satisfying, I’m excited that they are already working on season 2!  I would highly recommend this show for adults who like suspense and don’t mind some scary bits, occasional bad language, and poor judgment on the part of teenagers (that can be extremely frustrating to watch)! (Image from netflix.com)

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Starbucks is having a Buy One Get One Free holiday drink sale through Monday!!  I am going to use this opportunity to meet Kathryn for another fancy coffee drink and try the Caramel Brulee Latte!!  I just started drinking coffee a couple of months ago and can finally understand how people spend a fortune at Starbucks.  I need to limit my exposure to Starbucks, or I might find myself spending way too much money there (and gaining ten pounds in the process!)  (Image from momsbyheart.net)

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The Ghosts of Halloween Past

I thought it would be fun to find the pictures of all of the kids’ past Halloweens, and I decided to share them with you too!  I’ll work my way backwards from last year.  Sorry that the quality is terrible in some pictures!

2015: Ariel and Sebastian.  Fortunately, Sienna already had the Ariel dress and wanted to use that.  We bought the wig at Target.  I made Henry’s costume out of felt and cardboard using a glue gun.

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Harry Potter!  Charlie wore clothes he already had under a robe I made out of cheap black fabric.  Sienna had the Hogwarts pin from a Harry Potter birthday party she attended, we borrowed the wand from a friend (it’s a Great Wolf Lodge wand!) and I bought the glasses on Amazon.  The actual Harry Potter glasses were pretty expensive, so I ended up ordering these that are supposed to be for a Santa costume for a few dollars!  (And free shipping – don’t you love Amazon Prime?)

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There was also a little Captain Hook wandering around the house around Halloween!

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2014: Our first NC Halloween!  We had Elsa, Captain Hook, and Peter Pan.  Sienna wore a dress she already had been given as a birthday gift, and we added on a dollar store crown.  Charlie had a vest I made by cutting up an old t-shirt and hot gluing ribbon onto it.  I made the little cuffs with felt and lace, and his hat was from the Target party favor aisle – I just hot glued strips of black fabric scraps to look like hair!  He already had the hook!  I sewed Henry’s little Peter Pan shirt and hat.  We reused the belt and dagger I had made when Charlie was Peter Pan as a toddler.

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David and I were supposed to be Katniss and Peeta from the Hunger Games, but you can’t really tell we are dressed up at all!

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2013: I barely took any pictures this year!  Sienna was Princess Leia, Charlie was Darth Vader, and Henry was Yoda.  I have this picture from Sienna’s costume parade at school.  She just wore a bathrobe and we put her hair in buns.

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I don’t have ANY pictures of Charlie from Halloween – I don’t know how! I found this from Star Wars day at our library in New York, and he was wearing the same shirt and dollar store cape.  He also had a Darth Vader mask on Halloween that had been a birthday present.  By the way, he was thrilled to meet Darth Vader at our library that day!  There were also storm troopers there and they were all appropriately menacing!
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I had to take a photo of this photo from a book my Mom made for Henry’s first birthday.  Somehow she got this picture but I can’t find it!  We borrowed a Yoda hat from a friend for Henry’s “costume.”

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2012: Rapunzel and Buzz Lightyear.  Everything was store bought except Sienna’s braid, which I made out of yarn.  We actually just gave these away when we purged a bunch of toys.  They used them for dress up for a looooong time.  The braid went to my friend’s little four year old girl, and I love it when we go to their house and she’s wearing it!
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2011: Beauty and the Beast.  Sienna’s costume this year was hands down my favorite ever, because it was a labor of love!  It might be my favorite sewing project that I’ve ever done!  This was another costume Sienna used for dress up for years.

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“The Beast,” who everyone (understandably) thought was a dog.  I just sewed furry fabric on an old sweatshirt and made little furry shoe and hand covers.

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They reused their costumes from 2010 for a pumpkin painting party at a friend’s house.  I just love these frosting covered faces!

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2010: Tinkerbell and Peter Pan.  I made Charlie’s hat, shirt, belt, and dagger.  Sienna’s dress was store bought, I made the tutu skirt, and I made the wings out of a clothes hanger and tights.

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2009:Sienna was Tigger!  This costume was a hand me down from a friend.  It’s strange to remember the days when we just had Sienna!

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fall-2009-jan-2010-0082008: I have no memory of what we did and no pictures! #ilostmorebraincellswitheachbaby  So here’s a (few) pictures from around Halloween that year!

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2007: Sienna’s first Halloween!  She was a cow, in a borrowed costume.  Her cousin was a little chick.

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I hope you enjoyed taking that little walk down memory lane with me!  I love looking back at older pictures of the kids and seeing how they’ve grown.  Another thing that this post makes me think is that I need to get back into sewing and crafting.  I used to do a lot more of it when the kids were little (and when there were less of them!)  Any good sewing/crafting project recommendations?

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Halloween Weekend in Pictures

Ok, get ready for picture overload!  This post is probably best for the grandparents, family, and my dearest friends.  (Friends: if I ask you a question about something in this post and you don’t know the answer then I’ll know where our relationship stands).  😉  We had a great weekend and a fun Halloween night!  We kicked it off by (finally) carving our Jack-o-lanterns on Friday night.dsc_0265-1

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The kids made designs on paper first, then drew them onto the pumpkins.

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I took this picture just to show that the kids disappeared rather quickly once they were done drawing on the pumpkins!  Henry said he wanted his pumpkin to say “hi” so this is what we came up with!

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Charlie’s was rather detailed.  He was actually disappointed when I said I couldn’t carve out the words, “BOO BOO.”  Haha!

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On Saturday, we went to a fall festival at a local park.  The kids were a ninja, an Odd Squad agent, and a witch.

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You can see our sweet friend Carol’s foot there next to the pile of toilet paper – after Henry’s fifth unsuccessful attempt to knock them down, she gave him a little helpful nudge!

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Watch out, Batgirl!  There’s a ninja behind you!  It was fun to run into some friends!

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Saturday night we went to a friend’s fall party/bonfire night.  The big kids had fun shooting a bb gun for the first time!

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Actually, Charlie had fun…once was enough for Sienna!

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I love spending time with girlfriends.  It’s a bonus when our kids like to play together too!

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Tonight was beautiful weather to be out trick or treating!

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Sienna was a “witch cat” and the rest of us were members of the Odd Squad, a show that the kids like.

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Here’s a side by side comparison!  The kids changed costume ideas about ten times, so I was glad when the boys settled on something that David and I could do with them! (I love family group costumes!)

 

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“You look pensive.”

“Man, I was going for thoughtful.”

(I know the quote is not completely accurate, but who can guess the movie reference?  Hint: it probably helps if you were in high school or college at the end of the 20th century!  I watched this movie approximately 5 million times as a teenager.)

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Sienna and her sweet friend from down the street.  She actually carried a fake tree with her as part of her costume!  She won for best “trending news” costume haha!  We had a fun weekend and great night tonight.  But I’m excited to be moving into the Thanksgiving season!  From now until New Year’s is my favorite time of the year!!!  I hope you had a great weekend and got to dress up and be goofy.  Any other grown ups don a costume this year?

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