Sunday, October 31, 2010

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Halloween 2010 - Raised On Country Sunshine Style

Tonight we had our annual Halloween party for the children's home, so we all got dressed up and had a spooky good time. There was trick-or-treating, yummy food (like hot dog worms and apple fangs), games involving ogre fangs, ghost poop, and rat eyeballs,and a costume contest. Fun was had by all!

This year I decided to do something crazy. I let my kids pick out their own Halloween costumes. GASP! I know. Usually I come up with a smashing theme months in advance, and then I send my children subliminal messages and steadily convince them (some might call it manipulation) that they want to be what I am suggesting. Then when Halloween actually rolls around, they want to be said costume that Mama has been talking about for months, and it was like it was their idea all along. This plan worked quite nicely for me for the past several years. One year we were lady bugs, the next year coordinating witch/pumpkin costumes, the next The Wizard of Oz theme, and then last year both girls were fairies. But then Emma turned six going on sixteen, and with this new age came an opinion about everything. Including Halloween costumes. And when she spotted the costume she chose (at Wal-Mart, no less, in a little plastic bag!), she just had to have it. Nothing else would do. So I finally caved and let both girls pick a costume of their own choosing. I tried to convince them that matching colors would be nice, but even that did not fly. Oh, well. At least I still have Jack!

Alas, I present to you, the Z three, Halloween 2010:

Sassy Senorita Emma


















Cute Cowgirl Kate


















And Jack-o-lantern Jack!









They actually all ended up looking quite precious. I may even go wild and crazy and let the madness of the children selecting their own costumes happen again next year. We shall see.

In other news, our house (meaning Boss, the big girls, and I) came up with a very cute theme this year for the costume contest. We were the spice girls! We had Cinnamon, Ginger, Nutmeg, and Pumpkin Spice! I was All Spice (because, really, I'm all that) and even Boss participated by letting us dress him up as Old Spice. It was fun and my big girls had so much fun working on their costumes! Our house won the prize for the funniest costume. Yeah! We are already planning for next year :).













P.S. Pretty please ignore that the photos showing my children's Halloween costumes also reveal that we have lived in our new home on campus for five months now, yet we still have no baseboards! Have no fear though, they have been purchased and are sitting in the garage. Now we just need them installed and I can quit showing you photos with unfinished floors! Whew! I know that has been bothering you :).

BOOtiful Dancing Ghouls

These are my bootiful dancing ghouls, er, my beautiful dancing girls!This week in dance class the girls both got to wear their Halloween costumes and dance in a Halloween dance for their Mama and Daddy (and Grammy and Da).

Presenting Emma, my Sassy Senorita. Her class danced to the Monster Mash. It was spooky and spicy, and she had soo much fun! Pure joy on her face when she is dancing.
















Next came Kate, my cutie-patootie cowgirl in her sparkling pink cowgirl hat. Her class danced to the Ghostbusters theme song. It was stinkin' cute.















What can I say? Being a girl Mama is fun, fun, fun! I love you my BOOtiful Ghouls!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

It Takes A Village

You know that old saying, "It takes a village to raise a child"? Well, I am going to change that old saying to read, "It takes a village to live life". Because it does. And I am so thankful for this "village" that surrounds me, and that surrounds my family, as we walk through life each day. For several days now I have tried to come up with words to describe to you the love that I have for the people who surround me each day, only words have failed me. Tonight I will try again.

The people that I work with are not just my coworkers and neighbors. They are even more than just my friends. To me, they are like family, and they bless me each day more than you will ever know. I am surrounded by people with hearts of a servant. They often give unconditionally, expecting nothing in return. For instance, it is not uncommon for me to walk down my stairs in the morning to find a plate of hot breakfast waiting for me on the table. Just because. In this past month alone, my children have come home from an outing on two different occasions to find goodies waiting for them on the front porch. Once Halloween treat buckets, and just today, two plates of delicious homemade sugar cookies. And last week? They parked their bikes outside the office and came out to find a shiny new windmill in the handlebars of each one. I have neighbors who will pull up my trashcans and let my dog out to use the bathroom if I am running late. I have neighbors who will make my portion of our staff lunch (even though they are not on the staff and will not be eating said lunch) simply because I am having a stressful week and they see that I could use a tiny break. I have neighbors who have offered to take my son for a night because he is not sleeping well and they would like to offer me a night of rest. I have neighbors who fed me (and my entire crew of ten people) every. single. night. for the entire last month that I was pregnant with Jack. I have neighbors who sew clothes for my children and leave them on my dining room table for me to find as a happy. And these are only the examples that I am thinking of off the top of my head.

These people come alongside me and they live life with me. They truly are the very best group of people that I know. I am privileged to call them my friends. Thank you, God, for this village. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of it. Help me to bless and serve others as they have blessed and served me!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Fall Fun 2

Last Friday we visited local pumpkin patch number two, and this time we went with our friends and fellow homeschoolers. Fun! I would love to tell you all that we turned our outing into an educational field trip about how pumpkins grow and how crops are harvested, or something like that, but that would be a lie. Instead, we just had plain, old fashioned fun! The children played on all of the wooden structures, visited with all of the animals, and ventured into the corn maze with super Ms. Jenny. My children love, love, love their friends and every moment that they get to spend with them. This works out perfectly for me since I love their momma's. It's a win-win situation!

(Sweet Sisters)








(The Gang)








(Cheese!)








(Besties)

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Seven Month Update












Yesterday, our boy turned seven months old. I am finding that hard to believe. One of my sweet friends daughter, Allye, said yesterday, "It really is hard to remember life without Jack!". She is oh, so right! With each one of my children's births into our family, life's abundant blessings have increased ten fold. Jack's addition to our family was no different. Life is just better with him in it!

Jack Ryan Huston,

Oh, how I love you little man! I love your rolls, your soft, big brown eyes, your contagious smile, and the way that you grab my face when you are happy to see me. You have really grown and changed this past month! I say to your daddy all the time, that I do believe this has been the biggest month for you to date. Let's see. What's new?

Well, you got your first two teeth! They are both on the bottom, and you look like a sweet little JACK-o-lantern when you grin! You also learned how to roll completely over this month. Before you would only roll from your tummy onto your back before getting angry and stuck. Now you can roll your chubby little body any which way you please. You can also sit up now and it is a whole new world for you! You no longer want to be strapped down for anything. I let you ride in the front of the shopping cart (instead of in your carrier) this week, and you smiled at everyone that we passed. You were happy to be up and free! You are turning into a busy, busy little boy. Mister Man, you love to eat baby food, and I do believe you have sampled most everything now. The only thing you are not too crazy about are green vegetables. You are your mothers child :).

The only negative thing would be that your sleeping habits are struggling a little bit right now. Clearly you missed the memo about how much sleep your Mama needs. Have no fear,I will resend it to you. You are no longer the little boy who will sleep anytime, anywhere. If you miss a nap you get overly tired and things get ugly. Sometimes the only solution is to put you in your bed and let you cry it out. Usually you are asleep within minutes. The problem seems to be that you have now started wanting to eat in the middle of the night again, and are waking earlier to eat as well. We love spending time with you buddy, but seriously, this needs to stop. :). Mama is hoping that this is just a little growth spurt and that things will return to normal soon!

This past week we packed away your baby swing and your bouncer and infant car seat are soon to follow. Right before our eyes you are turning into a chubby, sweet, rather grown up looking baby boy. Watching you grow and change melts my heart with sadness, yet fills it with an indescribable pride and joy at the very same time. I feel so thankful and blessed that you are mine!

Love, Mama

Monday, October 11, 2010

Hiking Hocking Hills

This past weekend was our monthly weekend of respite, so we headed to the hills with Grammy and Da.

















The drive there was breath taking. The leaves are in the process of changing and the colors ranged from yellow, to orange, to red.

















We hiked down to Old Man's Cave, played in streams, jumped in piles of leaves, and ate what will probably be our last ice cream cone of the season.











That night we stayed in a log cabin in the woods. We lit a fire, roasted marshmellows, listened to Da's campfire story, dipped in the hot tub, and played Domino's until the wee hours.











The next day we rode on an old fashioned train and enjoyed even more fall colors.











Before driving back to our little country home.





These are the moments that life is made of.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Fall Fun 1

One of my favorite things about living in Ohio is the abundance of pumpkin patches in our area. Seriously. They are everywhere, and I love it. This year my girls and I have made it our mission to visit and explore as many as we possibly can. Today we started with our first one. It was only about ten minutes from our home and it was oh, so very fun! Grammy and Da met us there and we had a great time. We slid down slides, did the hay maze, walked through the sunflower fields, posed for Momma's 1,000 photo's, completed the corn maze, and selected pumpkins. Super, duper fun. This is hands down the best season of the year. Love it.










Saturday, October 2, 2010

A Simple Saturday














Today was a simple Saturday in our home. Sometimes I think those are the very best kinds. For starters, all three children slept past seven in the morning, which is pretty much a little slice of heaven for Boss and I. Sweet Jack Ryan even went ten hours straight in his pack n' play without even needing a paci put back in or a bottom patted or anything. He is sleeping so well these days, and I am so thankful for a healthy, happy baby. Once we were all up and dressed we went and ran some Saturday errands. We got some new wheels (to be shared in another post) and then we headed to the mall in search of polo shirts. One of our big girls must start wearing school uniforms come Monday, so we were on a hunt! We all enjoyed being out and being together, big girls included. After errands, we came home for about an hour before heading to a church family hay ride. It drizzled and was so cold the whole time, but my little girls smiles were enough to warm me up! They got to go on a hay ride with their daddy and then our sweet neighbor Mr. Aaron took them on a canoe ride around the lake. Their first ever. Yeah, it's safe to say they pretty much think Mr. Aaron rocks. He also takes all of the little children bike riding, plays Aggie Ball with them, and pushes them on his tire swing in the back yard. We have the coolest neighbors ever. I am so thankful for where we are living and raising our family. Most people think I give up a lot to live here and serve and bless others, and I always tell them if you only knew how others serve me on a daily basis, you would know that I am the one who is blessed! On the drive home tonight I was thinking about just how grateful I feel for this life that I lead. I have so many blessings. Most of which are not deserved. We ended our day with slipper jammies (footed zip up pajamas) for Kate, one of daddies big T-shirts for Emma, a fuzzy sleeper for Jack Ryan, and cups of cocoa all around (except, you know, for the baby). This simple Saturday was pretty super.