Monday, October 31, 2011

Fall Helpers

We finally got around to raking and mowing up our leaves the other day. The three kiddos were pretty excited to help out with the fall chores.I think their favorite part of helping out though was being being weights to hold all the leaves down while Daddy hauled them to the back mulch pile.
and of course jumping in the big piles of leaves is always a favorite too.
To go along with fall we finally carved our pumpkins the other night. Gabe had been begging to do it for quite awhile and he finally convinced Daddy to do it Saturday night. The other two kiddos kind of ditched Gabe to do the yucky pulling out of the pumpkin guts all by himself. They just stood there and watched him and said "Oh yuck"Gabe with is goopy, pumpkin hands
Ty wanted a silly faced jack o lanternCallie of course wanted a puppyGabe wanted a scary jack o lantern but by the time Carl got his carved it was getting too dark for a good picture of him with it. Here is his scary jack o lantern all lit up though.
and all three jack o lanterns.
Today I have 3 very excited kiddos to go trick or treating and to watch The Great Pumpkin one more time. I'm sure I will have some pictures of my little trick or treaters soon!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Quick Trip and Football

This past Friday my mom, the kids and I headed up to Algona for a quick trip. My Grandma Marj is still in the nursing home while her broken leg heals and if you know my Grandma Marj you know that she is VERY restless to get home. We thought a visit from 3 of her favorite little people might make her day and weekend a little brighter so we headed up Friday morning to see her. When we arrived she was resting in her chair but quickly was wide eyed when she saw who was there to visit her. We also surprised her with a few new pictures of the kids and a picture book full of pictures from this past summer and fall. Here are the kiddos showing her their pictures.Gabe was over there showing her the book too but suddenly when the camera came out he was camera shy...go figure. After a visit with Great Grandma we headed out to the farm so Mom could deliver a few things. While she was getting her things done I took the boys on a gator ride down to the bridge to throw rocks. There is a large pile of rocks off to the side of the bridge and the boys think it is great fun to throw them in and hear them splash. The funny thing is that was one of my favorite things to do when I was younger too. We used to go over to the bridge by my great aunt and uncles and throw in big rocks. There was a wire that ran across the creek too that we got bonus points for hitting as well:) Here are the boys with some of their rocks.and of course no quick to the farm would be complete without a quick trip to Dave's to jump on the trampoline. Look at those ups.
It was a long day but Grandma was so excited to see the kids and was so pleased with her pictures that it definately made the trip worth it. The next day we were given tickets for the whole family to the ISU football game. I won't go on about how we lost the game AGAIN to a team that we COULD have beaten had we been able to not shoot ourselves in the foot for the 4th game in a row but instead I will just show you the pictures I took. View of the jumbo tron from our endzone seats.and our friend Mike and Brady were able to come too!
and Callie enjoyed her 1st ever Cyclone Football game(well she slept through some of it and she didn't miss much when she did but enjoyed it none the less)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Hiking in Flip Flops

This past Friday Carl was able to get off work a little early so we could go for a family outing to Ledges State Park. We hadn't been there in a few years and wanted to go while there were still some leaves left on the trees. We had forgotton that Ledges was flooded last year and maybe even before that and didn't realize that the road was closed pretty quickly once you entered the park. That being the case I didn't have the kids or us wear the best shoes for our outing. I was thinking we would just park down in the bottom of the park somewhere and let the kids run around and splash through the little streams that run across the road so I had them wear their sandals. We wore our sandals too which when we discovered we would need to walk quite a distance to get to where we wanted to go ended up not being the best choice of footwear but the kids did GREAT and we made it just fine. We ended up hiking our way through the trails down to the bottom. I made the kids stop for several pictures on the way. This one was while we were on the road before we started off on the trail. I love the way the light is showing through the trees.We also took a picnic supper for the kiddos to eat while we were there so that is the plastic bag Carl is carrying, again didn't think we'd be hiking:)Nevermind the pink wand, Callie found it in the dollar section at Target earlier in the day and it became her best friend for the day. She carried that thing all over! Even though we didn't plan the hike, it was gorgeous! The trees were beautiful and the weather was perfect(maybe even a little warm!)We had the kids pictures taken at school and in a studio for Callie but that didn't stop me from trying to get a few of each of them individually at Ledges as well. I succeeded to varying degrees as you can see from the pictures below:)The most treacherous part of our hike in our sandals probably came from these stone stairs. Great for good pictures but not so great for walking down in flip flops.I think the best part of the trip came when we got down from the trail and the kids discovered the water! That was definately one advantage to the weather being nice and warm.
After we played in the water a little bit we found a picnic table and ate our supper. I found the kids were pretty hungry and ate pretty much everything without complaint after our hike to get to the table, guess we should hike every night before supper. After we ate I tortured them into a few more pictures in front of the bridge. It is crazy to think how much the road is broken up and the place overgrown after all the flooding but at the same time it was nice as we didn't have to worry about cars and traffic at all with our little explorers.By the time we hiked back up the road to our van it was starting to get dark. The kids did great on the way back up and thought it was pretty fun to walk through all the fallen leaves on the road. Gabe took our picture in front of the Inspiration Point sign on our way back to the van.
We had such a great time and it was just awesome to be out in God's beautiful creation. We may have to go hiking again this weekend except this time not in flip flops.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Ty's School and Little Pumpkins

The other night we had open house at Ty's preschool. He was VERY excited to show us and Grandpa Tim and Grandma Mel his classroom and his school. I tried to get a few pictures of him in his room but my model was less then willing to have his photo taken. I did manage to get this one of him working on a puzzle at his seat.He also had a good time trying out the magnet letters with Gabe.and here he is with his nametag he gets to use to answer the question of the day.After we visited his classroom we got to go to the gym and have some ice cream, I'm pretty sure that was his favorite part! Friday my mom and the two little ones made a trip over to Boone for some cheap pumpkins. My mom had seen an ad in the paper so we went over for lunch and then found the pumpkins. Ty had just had a pumpkin party at school that morning where he was supposed to wear orange or something with a pumpkin on it so he was dressed for the occasion. Ty and Callie loved the pumpkins.Both kiddos also really liked the little table full of gourds. Callie needed a little help to see over the edge.
I put Callie on the table to take her picture and she decided she wanted to eat a gourd...can't imagine it tasted very good:)
After Ty saw Callie on the table he wanted his turn too.
and one with Ty and Grandma
The kids had lots of fun picking out the right pumpkins and made sure to get a good one for Gabe who missed out on the fun since he was at school. Ty kept saying "Oh Gabe is going to Loooove these" Gabe was quite happy with their choices when he got home from school.

Monday, October 3, 2011

All About a Girl

This post is all about a girl who stole our hearts 2 years ago when she was born to a very surprised and overjoyed Mommy and Daddy! It's hard to believe it's already been two years but like the old saying goes the days are long and the years are short and it is so true! We started birthday celebrations Friday night with the traditional Hickory Park birthday sundae. While we were waiting for our food Callie and Grandpa practiced holding up 2 fingers, she kind of gets it.
The boys even took a break from their coloring every once in awhile to smile for the camera.Soon they brought out the birthday girls ice cream and she was shaking with excitement(literally!)She actually did a really good job blowing out the candle.
She very much enjoyed her ice cream as well!
On Saturday Carl and I worked on Callie's birthday cupcakes. If you've been around Callie very much you know she LOVES puppies! So of course we made puppy cupcakes for her big day. I think they turned out pretty cute.
The puppy in the center is one of my favorites.
Sunday morning our birthday girl woke up to a birthday donut and candles. She loves the sprinkles!We had church in the morning and I snapped this picture in her cute little 2 outfit before we left, just to make sure we had one picture of her wearing it while it was still clean!
She likes to create unique poses sometimes:)After church we headed to Grandma and Grandpas house for a small party. Callie loved her puppy cupcakes!
Before we sang Happy Birthday and ate cupcakes though we let the birthday girl open her presents. This big pink one was very intriguing.

She got many cute little clothes and a doll and matching dress up outfit, she loved everything! After presents we lit candles and sang to her. She had a little trouble blowing out the candles this time(although Ty tried to help her out by blowing them out for her before she had a chance, we had to relight them and tell him not to help this time:)
She did enjoy eating her puppy as well(she is wearing a headband from one of the cute little tutu's she received from Uncle Pete and (almost) Aunt Kim

Soon after the cupcakes the birthday girl was ready for a nap! She slept great. When we got home we took the traditional chair picture. We do it each month birthday from 0 to 12 months and then yearly after that. Here is her two year picture. She insisted on wearing her new dress up clothes and sit with her doll.

She had a great birthday. I can't wait to see what the next year holds for our sweet, smiley, messy, loud, wiggly, crazy, joyful, silly girl! We love you Callaghan Grayce, we are so blessed to have you in our family!