Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Waiting for Santa {Project Two Times Twelve}

It would have been way more appropriate for me to have posted these images before Christmas got here, but seeing as how I barely made it to Christmas on time and with my sanity in check, it would have been irresponsible of me to be here posting pictures.

Not that that has stopped me before.

But now that we have made it through Christmas, and had an enjoyable time I might add, it is totally responsible of me to post these now.

It just will feel out of order.

Again, not something that has stopped me before.

I am a little bummed out about how these turned out. I was so hoping for real snow for Christmas pictures, but that was a no go this year.  As I waited and waited, time dwindled and dwindled.  So, even though these are exactly what I was hoping for, they did stretch me to think a little differently than I would have normally, which is totally the point.

So here are the kids waiting on Christmas:

You totally need hot cocoa when it is fake snowing outside:

Yes, that is our family Christmas tree that I had The Hubs drag outside.

The Little Man thinks he might see Santa off in the distance:


Some more love:

My favorite: 

Can you see how hard The Girl is hugging The Little Man?  There is LOTS of excitement!


Yes.  The snow is fake, but the happiness and excitement of waiting on Christmas is real. A few things:  I wish that the images weren't quite as flat.  I mean the lighting could have been much more interesting if I hadn't waited so long that I had to take what I was given.   Also, I wish that I could have had them a bit further away from the fence, however, there isn't that kind of room in our backyard. 

Overall, I do like the pictures.  I like the color and the emotion.  I also like our tree being in the background, and I did have fun learning how to create snow.  I realized after the fact (like two days later) that I totally forgot to take pics of each child individually.  Oh well.  I have plenty of those.  Another thing that I have learned, is that I LOVE being outdoors.  Even in the winter.  It's just so much more fun than studio.  I hope to lean more in that direction, with my work, in the next year.

Friday, December 24, 2010

So...Tomorrow's Christmas...

I'm having a little bit of a hard time accepting the fact that tomorrow is Christmas.  CHRISTMAS!  I know it is totally cliche to say, but this year zoomed right on past me.  I can honestly say, I have no idea where time went!  Also, because there has been but only the slightest bit of snow this season, well, it just doesn't feel very Christmas-y around these parts.  I know, I know.  You would think I would be happy with the whole no snow thing, and for the most part I am.  Except it doesn't feel like Christmas at all.  Heck, it barely feels like November let alone December.

So this morning, I decided it might be fun to go and re-read some of my past posts on Christmas.  I figured it would be fun to relive some old memories, see some old pictures,  and in general, try to get in the mood. 

It did help.  Sort of.

Then I started surfing around the web browsing some of my favorite blogs.  And I came upon this post, by a lady I have never met, but boy, I think I would really love to.

Anyway. Go.  Read it

I bawled.

Then I read it again.

And I cried some more.

I'm not sure that I'm in any more of a "Christmas mood", but I have been given a good dose of perspective. 

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Now That it is Christmas Break...

Two days ago, the bliss that is Christmas break fell upon us.  Well, technically it was four days ago, if you count the weekend.  Since The Hubs and I made an escape this weekend to one of my most favorite places, Arizona, I am not really counting this past weekend.  Upon returning home, it has been busy, busy, and a little more busy.  I have decided that Christmas break should really be three weeks.  One week per major holiday, and then a week to recoup. 

I have a feeling that even if that was the case, I would still want more.

I'm so greedy like that.

Anyway, after doing copious amounts of laundry, sheet changing, errand running, and some more laundry, we did take some time yesterday to hit up the Nature and Science Museum in our city yesterday.   One of the very organized and overly wonderful moms I know set up a tour for a group of about 25 of us.  The tour took us through the museum and taught Creationism.  It was so wonderful and eye opening.  I loved that the kids and I were able to have this experience.  It was a great way to spend the day.

On the way home we were listening to music and singing along.  One of the main lines of a chorus had us all singing, "You are strength in my weakness..." Shortly after singing the line, The Little Man paused and asked me, "Mom, do you know what my weakness is?"  not really knowing what he would share with me I asked, "What's that?"

"Cheese.  Every time I see cheese I just have to eat it.  I love cheese!"

Me too, buddy.  Me too.

Other things on the list to do this week, besides eating cheese:

1. Finish Christmas shopping....I know...I know...
2. Wrap purchased gifts.
3. I have a very dreamy vision of this glorious day of baking with the kids.  There will be no frustration, tons of patience, and so much fun they'll be talking about it for Christmases to come.  I'll let you know how that turns out.
4.  Three family get togethers.
5. Christmas Eve services (which I am so excited about that I can barely stand it! We haven't been to Christmas Eve services in years because of family get-togethers).
6. Project Two Times Twelve.  I have a great idea for this...we'll see if it all pans out as great as I am thinking it will.
7. Witnessing The Girl read approximately 40 or so books.  Seriously, her nose has been in a book since break started.  I think she is on her 10th.
8.  Finish watching/catching up with The Sing Off.
9.  Possibly squeezing in a jammie day...not likely, though, until next week.
10.  Watching in amazement as my kids as they take in Christmas, and praying that the real miracle that we are celebrating is filling their hearts.

Looks like I better get a move on it!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Is it Christmas Break Yet?

It would seem as though I don't blog that often unless I am challenging myself to be here each day with something I am thankful for.




I guess I'll have to figure out if I am going to find  a way to deal with that or move on. 

I am still undecided.

Here are a few things that are on the top of my mind:

1.  I am shocked at the lack of retailers who do not have cute Christmas outfits for children.  I guess if you are over the age of five, and under the age of being invited to a swanky Christmas/New Years party, you will not be dressing up this year.  When I asked a store clerk to guide me in the direction of their "dressier" items, he told me they don't sell those types of clothes in the winter.


I tried to explain that I was hoping to find something nice for Christmas services or Christmas pictures.

He looked at me like I was speaking a different language.

OK.  So, clearly this particular establishment was choosing to focus a little more on casual type clothing.  So instead of trying to get Christmas attire here, I thought I would just settle for picking up some Christmas jammies.  We (including myself) love getting Christmas jammies every year.   Guess what?  If you are a boy and where larger than a 5T, well then, you must not like to wear Christmas jammies.   I guess I should rephrase that.  If you think that skulls with Santa hats on or snowboarders are "Christmas-y" well, you are in luck.  (When I asked how snowboarders are considered Christmas jammies the clerk told me because they are in the snow.  Oh.  It's crystal clear now.) I searched high and low.  I did hear through the grapevine that Super T had some on Black Friday, but obviously that wasn't going to be of much help to me now.  So,  poor Little Man is sporting some jammies that have trucks on them.  In the back of the truck is an Evergreen tree with some snow on it.  That's the closest I could get.    Maybe if you are big enough to wear sizes larger than the toddler section, and you are a boy, then it's totally dorky to wear Christmas jammies? 

So we are all dorks.

It wouldn't be the first time.

2.  These comments from The Little Man made me laugh:

The Little Man was getting ready to go play outside since it had been so beautiful outside.
p: Mommy?  Can I go outside to play?
me: Sure!  That sounds like a great idea
p: OK, I'm going to get my shoes on.
In the meantime, our dog Grace had recognized the word "Outside" and was quite excited at the thought of going outside to play, as was demonstrated by her ferociously wagging tail.   Soon enough she whacked The Little Man right in his...well...here's what he said:
p: (Bending down and looking Grace right in the eye) GRACIE!  Calm down, girl!  Stop whacking me in the privates!

I probably shouldn't have, but I did laugh out loud. 

Later that same day The Little Man and I were in a tense game of Memory.  I had already gotten a few matches myself, and was totally holding my own, I might add, but then The Little Man got on a hot streak. 
p: (Flips over a match) WOW!  That's cool!
me: Good job.  Go again.
p: (Flips over another match) Wow!  That's pretty crazy! (Totally trying to hide his excitement). 
me: Go again, Bud!
p: (Misses the next match) Oh well.  You're turn.
me: (Misses a match) Oh, shoot.
p:  That's OK.  That was really well played.

Oh, my sweet encourager.  His comfort and good sportsmanship helped me to make it through the game without loosing hope.  (Plus, I totally won).

3.  Lastly, The Girl.  Each year her school sells candy canes before Christmas break.  You can get a candy cane delivered to a friend with a message for fifty cents.  The Girl really likes to do this each year and sends all her BFF's little Christmas messages.  This year as she was filling out her order form (with her yearbook out, no less)  she asked me what the Candy Cane Budget was this year. 

I do appreciate a girl who knows and appreciates limits.

I told her, "Well it's whatever you decide it to be."  (I was under the impression that she understood that she was paying for these gifts.)

She went on her merry way filling out her order form.  I was starting to get a little nervous when I looked over her shoulder and saw quite a few names written down.

me:  So, do you know how to add up the total?
d: Yes! 
me: Well, how much are you up to now?
d: I haven't stopped to count yet.
me: Well, just remember every two people you have written down is one dollar out of your piggy bank.
d: WHAT?!?  I have to pay for these?
me: Yes.  These are your gifts.  If they are coming from you, they should be bought by you.
d: Mom!  You know that I am trying to save up my money until I get $100.  You are totally cutting into that!

With a little more discussion about gift giving and a  budget, she was able to whittle her list down to four people.

4.  As we have been blessed to watch some Christmas programs put on by the kids' schools this week (pictures and more on that to follow), it has become quite clear how much taller The Little Man is than most of his friends.  At his school performance, he was the 2nd tallest on the stage. The other little boy who was taller than him is in Kindergarten.  Then today at BSF the older classes gave a little singing performance.  He was at least two heads taller than EVERYONE on stage.   What will this look like next year?  It will look like someone forced there seven year old to join the kindergarten class.  The Hubs keeps reminding me that one day it will all even out.  I guess I shouldn't worry about it too much since The Little Man is completely oblivious to the fact that all his friends come up to his shoulders.

My sweet giant boy.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Off By One Letter

A conversation from the back seat:

d: Oh mommy look!  The birds are flying in a "V" formation!
me: Yup!  Looks like they are headed South
P: Yea,  they make a "V" when they are vibrating.
d: Vibrating?  No, you mean MIGRATING.
P: Yea, migrating.

The Hubs and I DIED in the front seat.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

I Wish This Was the Card I Sent Out This Year

I know we've done these in the years past, but every year they make me laugh.  The kids think these are the most hilarious things that have ever happened to them.  They laugh until they are violently overcome with the hiccups.

Have a Rockin' Christmas!

Personalize funny videos and birthday eCards at JibJab!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Permanent Chocolate

Had this conversation with The Little Man today after a snack of toast with Nutella.  He was a MESS.  I don't know if I have ever seen him quite as covered in food since he was first learning to feed himself.  I don't know what happened, but I turned around for what felt like five minutes, and found him covered in Nutella. Whatever happened to him at snack time I guess is between him and the chocolate toast, but I just wanted him to clean up before he touched even a single thing.

me: Whoa, Buddy!  You're a mess!  You're going to need to clean up right away.
P: I know mom!  I am just trying to have snack, OK?  When I am all done I'll clean up.
me: OK, when you are finished head straight for the bathroom and clean your face.
P: I will!
me: Let me know if you need any help.
After a couple of minutes in the bathroom by himself, I hear some grumbling.
me: What's going on in there Bud?
P: I am trying to clean up, Mom!
me: Do you need help?
P: No, Mom!
The Little Man emerges from the bathroom, and opens the door just in time for me to see him wipe his still chocolate covered face on my GUEST TOWEL.  *Grrrr*
me: BUD!  Did you just use the nice hand towel to clean the chocolate off of your face?
P: Yes, mom!  I had to do something.  This chocolate is permanent!
me: What? (as I get a closer look at him, and see he still has a quite a bit of chocolate covering his face).
P:  This chocolate is permanent.  I can't get it off of my face! I'm just going to have to live like this forever now.
me: Chocolate is not permanent.  Let me help you clean it off.

Thankfully, he let me help him, and the chocolate came right off.

I thought about sharing with him that chocolate is only permanent on your hips and thighs.  Faces are safe.

He might be a little too young for this kind of wisdom.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Pretend Like This Post is Dated November 30th

I SO wanted to make sure that I didn't miss the last day of November with my "Month of Thanks" challenge I set before myself.  Alas, I had an interesting day yesterday, and flat fell asleep at 8:30.

Oh yes, I did.

I have had two things I wanted to express thanks for yesterday, and here they are:

1. I had the opportunity to spend the day with The Girl and her class on a class field trip.  They were wrapping up their Westward Expansion unit and wanted to cap the whole thing off with a trip the the Plains Conservation Center.  Here they have all sorts of wonderful and interesting things that teach about what the early settlers of our state used/lived in/had to work with.  There were sod houses, one room school houses, farm sites, and all kinds of chores to be done.  The kids were supposed to be make believing as though they were kids in the 1860's.  It really was set up to be a wonderful time.  The people that work there are very committed to teaching, and do a great job with large groups of children.  Really, the whole day was set up to be wonderful. And it so could have been.


It was a whopping 30 degrees and the wind chill was a whole 3 degrees.  I probably don't need to tell you that when you are out on the plains, the wind really whips.

Oh!  And we were outside for FIVE HOURS.


You all know how much I love cold weather.  It was torturous at times.  Towards the end, when I had finally lost all patience and was very close to calling The Hubs to come and pick me up, there was a point in which I almost got nasty with our tour guide.  I won't get into the details. 

It wasn't thankful or nice.

So, as I drove home and the feeling was starting to come back into my fingers and cheeks, I reflected on the fact that I had a chance to get out of there.   The people who first settled here many years ago didn't have that luxury.  They were stuck in their sod homes with no heat and no electricity.  They had no way to get out of their chores because it was freezing cold outside because their very lives depended on it.

I became thankful, and fast.   I am so thankful for heat, for shelter, for insulation in our home, warm clothes, and all things warm.  I would have totally crumbled had I been forced to live back in the 1800's. 

Also, I am very thankful that God has provided me with the opportunity to be able to take the time to go on the field trip with The Girl.  Even though the weather was less than stellar.  I love being able to be apart of her daily life.

2.  Yesterday was my parents 38th wedding anniversary.  I am so thankful for their marriage.  It hasn't always been the easiest of roads, but they have stuck by each other's sides through the thick and the thin.  They have sacrificed themselves for their marriage, and fully understand that a good marriage takes work. What a wonderful example they have set for me and my sisters.  This day in age when people around us live for themselves, their needs, and their hopes and desires as well as a society, who as a whole, sees so many things as disposable and not worth effort and hard work, I have my parents to look at and see the opposite.  They have shown me that sometimes it's just not about you.  In a marriage there are many things you just have to die to, and the first thing is self.  They also have shown me that marriage is something that takes work and effort, but in the end it is so sweet.  Congrats, Mom and Dad on 38 years!  I am thankful for your marriage and the example it is to me.

Monday, November 29, 2010

A Steadfast Mind and Some Warm Pants

Yesterday, a few things happened that I was thankful for:

1.  I heard a good word at church.  As we are studying stillness during this frantic season, I was reminded where my mind should be while I seek out some stillness/peace in the busyness.  We looked at this passage in Isaiah 26:3-4:

"You will keep in perfect peace
   those whose minds are steadfast,
   because they trust in you.
 Trust in the LORD forever,
   for the LORD, the LORD himself, is the Rock eternal."

Remembering not to focus on external circumstances and allowing them to swallow me up,  but instead keeping a steadfast mind on the Lord.  Peace comes from a mind stayed on Him.  A mind that is stayed on Him trusts in Him.  If I am trusting in Him I will find peace because I no longer have to trust in myself to make things happen, to get things done, to make things work out.  I can trust instead in Him who has proven to be faithful, righteous, just, and who loves me and who has a good plan for me.

Ahhhh.  That does make my heart (and my mind) still. 

2.  On a little bit more of the not-so-deep side, I got all my Christmas decorating done and the house clean.  Yes, thankful indeed!

3.  Lastly yesterday, began Advent season, and this year I found a great book that takes you day by day, all the way through until Christmas Eve, with daily devotionals, scripture, and activities for the whole family.  I was a little leery before we got started because some of the devotionals seemed like they might be a little too old for the kids, but thankfully they jumped right in.  They were interested and engaged and had topic appropriate comments.  This week we talk about hope, and right now I am hopeful that this new family tradition will keep our minds stayed on Him all season through (see number 1). I am thankful for this new family tradition.

Today, it is blustery, cold, a little snowy, and a whole lot of yuck.  You know, for people like me who feel like things are a little "off" when temps drop below 75 degrees.  So today, I am thankful for my warm cozy Jammie pants, and a full day where I can sit in them and enjoy the coziness they bring.  After heading out for a quick workout and an errand, I was so happy to see that the rest of the day I was free to stay inside, nice and toasty, and comfortable in my Jammie pants.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

This Time It Was On Purpose

Yup, I realize it's been a few days.  I did that on purpose, though.  I thought it was more important spend these last few days with the fam than it was for me to blog. 

Turns out, I was right.

I have really enjoyed the last few days with everyone, despite the holiday stress.

Thursday was a wonderful Thanksgiving.  I couldn't really complain about too much.  First, I am thankful that I didn't have to host this year.  Second, since The Hubs went and played flag football in the annual Turkey Bowl our church has, I got to do whatever I wanted to that morning.

Well, you know, with two kids in toe.

So, I popped in a movie and hopped on the treadmill for some pre-damage control. Which leads me to my next stop:  Third, I am thankful for my Mom's caramel corn.  It's the best stuff ever.  I am also thankful for taco dip and spinach dip.  I also love me a good french onion dip.  Really, just give me a dip.  Fourth, I am thankful that I completely avoided stuffing myself the entire day.  I really hate that feeling of eating too much, and so I was trying to be very conscious of how full I was getting through out the day, and making sure I didn't over do it.  I am desperately trying to live in the Land of Moderation these days.  It's an interesting and eye opening place to visit, but I haven't quite settled in yet.  And lastly, of course, I was very thankful to be surrounded by my family and extended family all day long. 

Yesterday, I was very thankful that I decided to forgo Black Friday shopping.  It just didn't seem necessary this year.  Maybe it was the Land of Moderation beckoning me, or just that I didn't seem to care too much about getting out in the crowds.  Whatever it was, sleeping in and going out for breakfast instead turned out to be quite wonderful.  I did do a little shopping after breakfast, but nothing too crazy.  I came home after a couple of hours and The Hubs had gotten out all of our Christmas decorations.  That's where I lived for the rest of the day.  Chest deep in Christmas decor.  Our house looks like a bomb went off.  Hopefully, tomorrow that will all change as I finish and clean.  I thought about the Land of Moderation a few times during this whole decorating extravaganza, but the kids' excitement has kept me from packing all away.

Which leads me to today.  Today, I finally got to the Family Tree (we have two trees, one that is decorated with coordinating decor, and our Family Tree).  The Family Christmas Tree has ornaments either for or made by each child for each Christmas they have celebrated.  It also has ornaments on it for The Hubs and I.  We bought the tree the first Christmas we were married, and it holds a lot of family memories of Christmases past.  It is so fun to decorate as we go through all the ornaments and remember when we got them and why we chose that ornament that year. 

As we were getting ready to get started, The Hubs was fluffing the bow that goes on the top (Oh, he is SO excited I just shared that he is the bow-fluffer!), and the bow fell apart.  Completely.  We tried to fix it, but as I was working on it, it came to my mind that the poor bow as been stored and used for TEN years now.  We decided to let the bow go to where ever bows go to when they die, and find a new tree topper. 

Well, as you can imagine, this impromptu trip to buy a new topper put a little stress into my day.  I was not planning on doing this, and I really wasn't sure what kind of topper I wanted.  The whole fam came with so we could all choose which topper we wanted, but ultimately the final decision was going to be made by me.  I'm embarrassed to share this, but I was stressed.  I wanted the tree to look so special.  It's our family tree!  Then I got a little whisper in my ear, "This is supposed to be fun!  The kids don't care what kind of topper the tree has or what ribbon goes around it, they just want to spend time going through ornaments and decorating."    It was just one of those moments where you remember what you are supposed to be focusing on, and making everything look perfect, wasn't it.  Today, I am thankful for remembering to be in the moment, and have fun. 

Oh, and the tree?  I think it looks pretty darn perfect.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Today, I am thankful for Compassion International.  Compassion is an organization that meets not only the physical needs of children living in poverty, but also their spiritual needs.  Recently, our family decided to sponsor a child in Uganda through Compassion.  Both kids are very excited about it, but I wasn't too sure how much they really understand about what these kids living in poverty were really facing.

Let's be honest, I'm not sure I really understand what it looks like to live a life in poverty, and with no hope. 

It just so happens that Compassion International has offices here in our state.  At their offices they give tours for both adults and children.  On the tour for the children the kids get to go into a life size replica of a home in a developing country, see toys that are made by the kids in these countries, and they get to see what a Compassion center in these countries looks like.  Today, we also got to make Christmas cards for those kids who are not yet sponsored.  It was a really wonderful tour and very hands on for the kids.

Today, I am thankful for not just Compassion International and all the work they do in order to care for those who are desperate for care and hope, but I am also thankful that my kids could have such an eye opening experience, and I am thankful that we are able to be apart of what Compassion does and are able to share some of what we have been blessed with with some one else half way around the world.  I just hope one day that our family can meet her face to face.

Here are some pics from the day:

First, we have both of the kids sitting on Jesus' lap in the lobby of the center:

Here the kids are taking their first look of a typical home in a third world country:

Then they were able to go inside and feel how small it is in there and take a look around at what was there, and what was not there:

And here they are in the Compassion center replica making Christmas cards for kids that are without sponsors:

Thank you, Lord for allowing us the opportunity to be used by you, and for the people that work so hard to make You known to all the nations.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010



So a couple of days have passed.  I was aware of not getting on here the entire time, but here's the deal: We've had some sickies running around, some school projects to complete, and sometimes, I'll just be honest, I just want to go to bed instead of blog. 

There.  I said it.

So, it's time to be thankful, quickly, because my bed is calling.


Sunday we took the entire day off.  I mean it.  I never left my pajamas the entire day.  I don't even remember the last time this has happened.  It felt so good, I can hardly wait for a repeat.  I missed going to church, but the rest was so wonderful.  So on Sunday I was thankful for my PJ's, rest, and the entire day to collect myself.

Monday came and initially I was bummed to be starting another week, but then I remembered.  It's a short week!  This gave me enough pep in my step to get through the first part of the day.  Also, The Girl turned in her huge project that we she had been working on so hard.  I was so thankful to watch that project walk right on out of my house on Monday morning!  It was a weight off of every one's shoulders!  I do have pictures of the project, but don't have time to upload now, so I'll be back with those maybe tomorrow? 

YEA!  I'm back!  Here's the pics:

The Girl proudly displaying her diorama.  She's not too sure about posing for the pic which explains the half smile:

A close up view:

Can you see what is happening?  It's a prairie fire sparked by a lightening storm.  All the people are working on putting out the fire with their empty flour bags.  I think it looks GREAT. 

I'm also the mom.

During the last part of the day, I finished a project that I had started in my mind the day before.   Don't you do that?  On Sunday I thought it would be such a good idea to clear out my closet, but somehow I was totally sidetracked by a Mantracker marathon.  However, in my mind, I had already committed.  So Monday afternoon I needed to bring the project to completion.

It felt as good as turning in The Girl's project!

As I bagged up THREE bags of clothing, I felt very thankful for the provision that I have been given in this past year.  Provision that I felt like it was time to pass on to someone else.

So to sum up Monday:  I am thankful for a short week, a finished project, and the ability to give to others.

Today the stuffy nose and congestion really hit me.  I didn't feel completely miserable, but I didn't feel like myself either.  I didn't want to work out at all, which is very unlike me.  I actually mentally beat myself up over the fact that I felt like being lazy today since I wasn't 100%.  After spending sometime in the Word and in prayer, I was able to break free from the guilt.  The treadmill will still be there tomorrow.  Hopefully, this sinus junk won't.

Thank you, Lord, for opening my eyes and letting me see a little more clearly.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Get 'Er Done

I hate being a slave to my "to do" list.  Yet, week in and week out, you can find me checking stuff off.  Why?  Because it works.  I will run around in circles without my list.  I will procrastinate without my list.  I will forget things without my list.  However, it does feel so good to scratch things off that list, and at the end of the week, if everything is accomplished, I feel great.

It's ridiculous really.

Today, I am thankful that I was able to really get a lot of stuff accomplished...without a list.  There are just some days where you will find me focused, determined, and ready to get things done.  Today was one of those days, and I am so thankful for it!  I am thankful for the weight of getting some lingering stuff off of my plate, and I am thankful for the provision of time to do so.

One of those things that has been on my plate for a while:  Project Two Times Twelve!

There wasn't anything in particular that I was trying to learn or stretch myself in this month.  I was simply out enjoying what ended up being our last bit of warm weather this year.  Literally, the day after these pictures were taken, it was like the switch was switched from our Indian Summer to late fall.  It's been cold ever since.  Every time I have looked back on these pictures,  since I took them at the beginning of the month, I remember how warm it was that day, and how beautiful our Fall has been this year.  That is all I need.

The Cousins were there with us too.  They have really become such great friends in the last year or so.

I guess now might be a good time to mention that the kids posed themselves in all of the pictures, no help from me!

Except this one.  The Little Man needed help posing himself against the fence.  He preferred a much different look...I'm just glad my choice won out!

Today I am thankful for catching up!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Friday, Running, and a Horrible Movie

There are a few things I am thankful for today.  Let me count the ways:

1. Hello, Friday!  I am so thankful for you!  For whatever reason the last two weeks have been a little extra exhausting.  I am so thankful for the week to come to a close and have the entire weekend to spend with my family.  Having the chance to sleep a bit longer on Saturday mornings beckons me all week long, and finally, I've arrived!

2. I am thankful for a chance to go for a long run with my Hubby today.  I am thankful that we share this common interest, and sometimes he will agree to take some time off in the middle of his work day to join me for a run.  Today, he even sacrificially gave up his normal pace so that he could run beside me all six miles.  It's so nice to have a running buddy, and it's even better that it's my husband.

3.  I was very thankful for the movie we rented tonight to come to an end.  We somehow thought that the recent Disney version of A Christmas Carol might be a good choice for a movie tonight.   (Oh, that trailer seems so stinkin' innocent, doesn't it!)


If you have small kids don't be misled that this movie is made for kids just because it's a Disney flick.  It was pretty horrible and terrifying the entire way through.  There were times I turned away.  Plus, the language they used was so way over the top of any child's understanding (well at least the 8 and under crowd).  I know that there is a website out there that you can look movies and books up on before allowing your kids access to them.  Now, if I could just remember to use it.

I'm sure tonight's sleepless night due to nightmares may just cement this fact into my mind.

Thursday, November 18, 2010


Today I am thankful for lunch with a good friend.  It was so nice to sit down, catch up, listen to, and be heard.  I so appreciate the quiet time in the house that allowed for me and this friend to really hear each other without all the background distractions.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

It's Another Twofer!

I think you should get used to reading that as a title.  I don't want to speculate, but I'm just sayin'.

Onward and upward, right?

So, yesterday I was making dinner for the fam.  Every week I make a menu plan and a grocery list based off of my menu plan.  It's totally anal and obsessive, but it's the only way I can stay sane.  Somehow pizza sauce never made it on the grocery list which is sad because pizza was on the menu for the night.  As I got into my car frustrated and almost sweating because I was trying so hard to refrain from using curse words, it dawned on me: Lord, I am so thankful that you have placed me in house that I am in because it is literally less than a few blocks from the grocery store.  If I was not in the 'burbs, I would be looking at a very different situation.  A dire situation? No.  But different.  (Well, I guess it depends on who you ask.  My kids and The Hubs may have said it was a dire situation because I probably would have attempted to make pizza sauce from scratch.  That would have been bad, very bad.)  Instead, I was able to jump into my car, take five minutes to pick up a jar of pizza sauce, and save dinner.

Please don't think that I haven't also realized this:  Lord, I am so thankful that you have provided us with a home, car, and and the means to pick up pizza sauce whenever I realize that I am without.  I am aware that not everyone is able to do that. 

Today, I am thankful that The Girl was well enough to return to school.  I am also thankful that her teacher kindly provided us yesterday with both the class work and the homework that she missed while she was away.  What this means is that she came home and finished her homework for today and there were no tears over feeling overwhelmed at how much work needed to be caught up on. 

A peaceful home is praiseworthy for sure!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Thankfullness Happens on the Weekends Too!

So, I realized that my blog doesn't even cross my mind on the weekends!  I've kind of set it up that way a long time ago.   Extra time we have on weekends is dedicated to family time.  So, with that said, I didn't even consider the "Thankfulness Blog" until this afternoon.  I do remember what I am thankful for, so thankfully (pun is so intended there) we won't miss a beat.

On Saturday, I was thankful to just get through the day with my mind in tact...somewhat.  OK, OK, so that's not really an expression of gratitude, but a somewhat passive aggressive complaint.  Although, Saturday was INSANELY busy, I do have something I am thankful for.  I am thankful that I had a chance to catch up with people.  In the afternoon, we spent some time at my mom's house, and had a chance to catch up with all my sisters and their spouses. 

Then that evening I spent some time with the ladies from our church.  We had a fun event called "Speed Friending."  It's just like speed dating except I didn't go home with a love connection.  Instead, I left feeling like I got a chance to get to know some of the women that I didn't know previous.  I did leave with two dates, though.  I am thankful that I will be able to get to know these two other ladies just a bit better.

So to sum up Saturday, I am thankful for friendships.  I am thankful that I have people in my life who desire to know me, love me, and live life with me.


On Sunday, The Girl, woke up feeling pretty horrible.  She had been brewing an illness since Friday evening and by Sunday it was rip roaring.  Poor girl has no voice, a horribly sore throat, and a slight fever.

So, I am thankful that I haven't heard her speak for two full days.



No, really I am thankful for The Hubs who graciously stayed home with her while I attended church on Sunday (and he stayed home with her this morning too, so I could make it to a Spin class).  Even though The Hubs had to spend a good chunk of his Saturday watching the kids while I was out maintaining friendships, he sacrificially gave up his time at church so our girl could mend.


Each year, I make each child a montage of pictures from their past year, and it goes along with music that speaks to my heart about that child.  Just this past weekend I had a thought run across my mind that reminded me that I had NO CLUE what music I was going use for The Girl's upcoming EIGHTH BIRTHDAY.  Mercy.  Usually, throughout the year, I will hear a song or four that I love because it makes me think about my kid(s).  I don't know what happened this year, but I have nothing!  Then, this morning I went to spin class.  Now, spin class is not exactly the first place that I think of when I think about going somewhere to hear music that makes me think of my kids.  However!  Today, there was a song that was totally perfect for The Girl.  I won't give it away until her montage is put together, but today I am thankful that I found The Girl's song.   Especially, since just recently, it has been weighing on my mind.

I just love how He is in all the little details.

Friday, November 12, 2010

The Way to my Heart is Through a Bowl of Guacamole

Tonight, I am thankful for date night.  Tableside guacomole, good conversation, and time alone with The Hubs.

Enough said.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Yes, It's a Twofer!

I didn't want to get a day behind, and yes, I did blog earlier this morning, but that was for yesterday, and I hadn't yet come upon what I was thankful for for today.  So, now I am back in an effort to stay on track.

I really don't need to explain myself, do I?  I mean, this is my blog, and my silly little challenge, so I guess I make up the rules, right?

So without getting too caught up in why I am posting twice in one day, we're going to move right on along with what I am thankful for today.

Today, I am thankful for the small amount of quiet time I was given unexpectedly.  I had an unbelievably busy day scheduled today.  Actually, there wasn't that much going on, but the amount of driving that was required to get done the few things that needed to get done, was what sucked the time (and enjoyment) right out of my day.  Plus, I had a few things which didn't overlap just right and so I had dead wait time.  Time that I could have gotten a whole bunch done, but instead of being productive, I had to sit and wait.  I hate it when that happens.

Oh wait!  I am supposed to share what I am THANKFUL for. 

So, earlier this morning, after I had dropped The Little Man off at school, I realized that some of the errands I needed to run would not be run because the stores that I needed to be open in order to complete the errand, were not open.  DRATS!  Another dead wait time.  Feeling angry about not getting things accomplished, I re-ran the to-do list through my head trying to figure a different approach to the day that would allow me to not waste the time I now had before me.  Nothing was working out.  As I was getting closer and closer back to home, I had a thought.  What if I just didn't even run these errands today?  What would happen if I said, "Nope, not today?"  What if I just went home and sat in my house with a warm cup of tea and some yummy honey toast and just took a deep breath?  I mean, really, who's in control here, me or my to-do list?  When the to-do list didn't get mouthy back at me because I threatened to ignore it, I took that chance and ran with it. 

I came home, made some tea, toasted up some honey toast, and sat down with The Word.  Not a single soul was home except me, the dog, and God.  Blissful doesn't even describe it. 

Today, I am thankful that the Holy Spirit prompted me to stop being a slave to my to-do list and to instead spend some time with my Father.

He knew just how much I would need it in order to face and conquer the rest of the day.

No Humans Were Harmed in the Making of This Post

Last night, after dinner out at one of my favorite places (I am so thankful for you Sweet Tomatoes!), the kids and I ran a couple of quick errands at the stores in the surrounding area.  As we were leaving a store, and I was backing the car out of the parking space, I heard a large(r) sounding thud.  Surprised, not only by the noise, but also because I had checked behind me before backing up and saw nothing in the way.  My car is equipped with a rear backup camera, so my eyes quickly glanced down at the screen and saw nothing. 

me: Phew! It must just be a hole in the street behind us.  I never noticed that there was a hole back there.
P: Well thank goodness it wasn't a human!
me: Well....Yes, I am thankful it wasn't a human.

In summary: I am thankful for Sweet Tomatoes, and that I didn't run over a human.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Thankful Despite the Storm

Today I am thankful for our garage.  Because of this luxury, I did not have to face the snow face-to-face.  While I did have to go out in the miserable weather, I never had to step foot out "in it" because I got into my car in the garage, picked up The Girl through the carpool line (which I get to stay in the car for thanks to dedicated teachers who run the carpool lane each day), and then drove right back into my garage and walked into my house.  Not a single flake touched my skin. 

I know you know how happy that makes me.

Also, because of said garage, I will not have to scrape my windshield in the morning.

Lastly, I am also thankful for The Hubs who, despite his busy schedule this week, made sure to get snow tires on my car.

And not a second too late!

Thanks, Hubs.

Monday, November 8, 2010

I Blame it on the Time Change

GAH!  I already missed a day?  All I can say is, "I told you so".

Also, I do remember what I was thankful for yesterday so this should be easy for me to catch up on.

Daylight savings came to an end yesterday.  In the past seven years this has meant nothing but torture to me. I would sit and remember the days of old when I would relish in the one hour of extra sleep and either catch up on rest or get an extra hour of stuff done.  Since having children, those days came to a screeching halt as my sweet cherubs could care less what the clock says and only respond to the clock in their stomachs.  In the early days of motherhood this meant one more feeding through the night.  As they grew out of night feedings, it meant that we were up at 6:00 am instead of 7:00 am to eat our breakfast.  It also translated into a day of torture as I  painfully tried to adjust their schedule to the new time difference convincing them that it wasn't time to eat lunch yet, and that nap that they I we so desperately needed would need to be put off for one. more. hour.  And the day?  I know it was only an hour time change, but it seemed like it stretched on to eternity.

This year was different.

This year BOTH children recognized the gift we were all receiving by turning those clocks back.  We all relished in an extra hour of sleep and snuggle time.  We all enjoyed waking up with the sun instead of a full hour before the sun.  There was no one begging to eat at 0'dark thirty, and no one fussy as they tried to hold off napping for one hour.  When bedtime came we all hit the hay and fell a sleep peacefully.  It was WONDERFUL!  I am so thankful to be at a time in our kids lives where we can enjoy this time change and not be cursing the fact that we don't live in a state that does not observe Daylight Savings.

I am also thankful that Daylight savings time comes to an end in November and is not beginning because otherwise, I would be writing a much different post probably titled "Why My Heart Really Lives in Arizona". 

Stay tuned.  March really isn't that far away.

Instead, this made for a very easy something to be thankful for.

You know, that I waited SEVEN years for.

Today, I am thankful for the library.  The amount of free entertainment available there is huge.  And if my kids are entertained, well then, so am I.  We usually come home from the library with two large bags bursting at the seams with books and movies. (Although, I do try to keep movies to a minimum because here they can only be checked out for one week while books are available for three weeks.  What that means in this house is when the books are due, I am usually looking at a pile of movies that I was supposed to take back two weeks ago.  So, sometimes the entertainment isn't so free.)

We recently took a break from the library because I needed a break from keeping track of all the library books and different due dates.   A couple of weeks ago, The Girl (or you could even read "I") was assigned a large project on Western Expansion.  It requires a lot of reading, a diorama, and a field trip.  I am so thankful to live in a community that has a great library system available to us.  Because of the library, not only do we get free entertainment, you know, barring I get everything back by it's due date, but I didn't have to BUY any books on Western Expansion.  Because I am sure we would have loved to have read those over and over.

Thank you, library, for allowing us to borrow books we would never want to buy.

And for not charging me an arm and a leg when I forget to return them.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

A Month Of Thanks

So, I would love, love, LOVE to do this little project where I jump on this ol' blog of mine and post something I am thankful for each day.  How cool would it be to have the whole month of November full of posts I found to be worthy of praise?  How cool would it be to be able to one day go back and re-read all the blessings I had the chance to be apart of?  Now, how likely is it that I would actually be able to do this?

Wait.  Don't answer that.

I do want to try though...even though I've already missed SIX days.

The pressure of it all makes me want to give up before I even start!

Since I can barely remember what I had for breakfast this morning, I am not going to name six things that happened each day this week, but six things that I can remember from the last few days.  Then, I will try my best to be here each day.  Even if it is just a simple sentence.

So far:

1. I am so thankful for the wonderful fall weather we have been given this year.  I am totally loving thoroughly enjoying the outdoors all the way into November.  Which leads me to number two...

2. I am thankful that the kids love being outdoors as much as I do, and when necessary, I am able to tell them to haul their little booties outdoors to burn off the energy that is about to drive me insane.  The other day, after being outside for a while, both kids came indoors as it was starting to get dark.   They didn't want to stay indoors, though.  They asked, instead, if they could each have some gloves to wear because their hands were getting too cold to climb trees.  Since I was in the thick of making dinner, I obliged, and smiled as I watched both walk back outside with their gloves, flip flops, and shorts.

Oh, and along the same lines, I am thankful for an afternoon (today) so warm that The Girl was begging me to get into her swimsuit so she could run in the sprinkler.

In November.

3.  After having some struggles with some people/situations I am facing in life, I was ever so thankful for God leading me to a little lesson written by Oswald Chambers.  As Oswald Chambers talks about God's advanced preparation for us in this life, he states that many experiences are not meant for us personally at all, but instead to make us useful in His hands and to help us understand others and situations that take place in their lives.  Because of this process, Oswald says that we may never state: "Oh, I just can't deal with that person."  he goes on to say, "Why can't you? God gave you sufficient opportunities to learn from Him about that problem; but you turned away, not heeding the lesson, because it seemed foolish to spend your time that way."


He goes on to talk about how we tend to want to know why we have to go through something even before we go through it in order to, many times, to see if we can manipulate some sort of "shortcut".  Then Oswald gives this reminder, "God's way is always the way of suffering--the way of the "long road home."

I am so thankful to have my eyes cleared and opened wide in light of this important lesson brought my way this week.

4. I am thankful for a wonderful conference with The Little Man and his dedicated teachers this week.

5. I am thankful for a chance to go through an old file cabinet in the basement.  The Hubs would really like to get the basement finished this winter, so that means we have A LOT of cleaning ahead of us.


Thankfully, he is allowing the cleaning process to go by in baby steps.  He knows that most of the stuff down there is mine and many items contain sentimental value.  I am also thankful that my heart has been changed towards much of that stuff and I am now at a point in which I am willingly able to purge.  Today, however, as I was going through this filing cabinet there were several things that caught my eye, and my heart.  Pictures, old cards, and specifically a letter.  The letter was from my grandmother and it was stuffed inside a card that she gave us to congratulate us on our marriage, and I almost tossed the card, until I saw the letter sticking out the bottom corner.  In the letter, my grandmother tells The Hubs and I how special it was that we were able to come and visit her earlier in the summer.  She was also sad that she could not attend our wedding because it was too far for her to travel, but she wanted us to know that she was there at the wedding.  "No, you could not see me, but I was there in my thoughts and prayers." she says.  This last summer we went to visit her again as we do every couple years.  The grandmother we visited this summer is much different now than the grandmother that wrote that letter because my grandmother now is in some pretty advanced stages of dementia.   With memories still fresh on my mind of her not knowing who I was this summer, reading this letter flooded my mind with memories of the woman she once was.

Thankful doesn't quite cover it.

6.  I am thankful that this past week we received all our information on the Compassion child we are sponsoring.  I loved looking at her sweet picture and pouring over the details of who she is and where she lives.  I am even more thankful that The Girl was even more excited to get her hands on all of Robinah's information.  I loved watching her dive into all the info and take in every small detail of this little girl half way around the world.  I am thankful that she is excited to be apart of Robinah's life and is anxious to send and receive letters to/from her.  The Girl is elated at the thought of having Robinah as a friend half way around the world.  She is relieved that Robinah is now being cared for physically (The Girl chose Robinah because she was an orphan), and most importantly, The Girl was ecstatic at the thought that now, since she is being sponsored through Compassion, she will have the opportunity to be taught about the love Jesus has for her.

I am so thankful that The Girl knew that that was the most important part.

Hopefully, I'll be back tomorrow...and all the days of November.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Holy Pictures Batman! {Project Two Times Twelve (x2)} and then some...

Since it's the last day of the month, I guess I can no longer procrastinate uploading a boatload of pictures and dealing with blogger any longer.  In fact, if you didn't notice yet, I totally skipped P2X12 last month, but that was because I was too lazy/way too busy.  This month I don't want to deal with the craziness that is uploading a ton of pictures.  So, I waited until the last possible day hoping that, at some point, something would happen to make it easier.  

Well, it didn't.

And to add to the pain, I am not including our Halloween pictures from this year.  That still has to be done.  Somehow, Halloween this year went from a one night adventure to a FOUR DAY celebration.  I do not even know how we will face Monday.  I am sure, though, it will be ugly.

Very ugly.

Enough of that, here we go!

Here is Project Two Times Twelve for September.  Which may have been taken on October first.  Who is keeping track though, really?

In September, I went all out and did something crazy.  I let the kids jump on the our bed.  I know.  All kinds of wild.  For those that don't know, we don't let our children on our bed...ever.  I know, we are cruel and mean.   I have a weird thing about my sheets and pillows not containing cooties from anyone else except me.

And also The Hubs.

So! When I told the kids that they could jump on my bed IF they let me take pictures of them, well, they didn't know how to contain their joy.  Plus, I got to drag my studio lighting into another area other than my studio and play with using two different light sources.

It was not as easy as I thought it was going to be, friends.

Here they are:

First up The Girl:

Then both:

Love The Girl's face here:

The Little Man who I had to BEG to stop trying to flip backwards (see above photo):

I figured since the pure joy they were experiencing while jumping was giving me honest happy expressions, as opposed to forced smiles, I would try to borrow some of that joy and have some happy smiles in a more posed pic:

 No such luck.

These pictures were super fun to take, but were not easy.  There is so much that didn't even make it off of my camera, and to be honest, I don't know if these should have made it off the camera.  Off camera flash is something I would love to dabble in more, but I think I will have to do a lot more reading and practicing before I can say that I've done anything worthwhile...One day, one day!

This month, we went back outside for some fall color and costumes.  Every year I have a photo shoot with the kids in their costumes.  The last two years they have been indoors/studio style, so this year I wanted something outside.  Plus, we have had one of the most beautiful Fall season I can remember, and I didn't want to forget how wonderful it has been

Here are the kids as Ironman and a Queen:

I SO wanted this to be a silhouette, but the white collar, white pail, and street lamps all interfered with that.  So, this is the best I could do:

So tough and scary all at the same time!

 Nope! Never mind, he's still crazy and wild:

He's supposed to be guarding the queen here, but whatever:

The last two pics are not P2X12 at all.  They are from The Girl's last allergy appointment.  Each October she is seen by her allergist to test her peanut allergy as well as other allergies that she has (environmental mostly) to see if they have progressed/gotten any worse.  Sometimes a kid can grow out of a food allergy (10-15% do), and so for the first few years after a diagnosis they like to keep track of the allergy.  This was The Girl's fifth visit, and thankfully, it will be the last for a few years now.

Here's her back:

All of the writing are markers and numbers that tell the doctor what allergen has been applied and where.   As you can see she has some larger red welts in some areas and in others just a slight irritation or nothing at all except for a serum.   This year she still tested positive to the things that we already knew about peanuts, cats, weeds, and trees, however, this year we found out specifically that we are dealing with Cottonwoods, Ragweed, and Pig weed.  Guess what kinds of trees and weeds we are surrounded by.


So after they mark up her back, they use small poking type things (they aren't as sharp as needles, but do break the skin a little) that are dipped into the allergen.  Then they scratch the surface of the skin with the allergen going into the scratch.  After that, they wait twenty minutes to see the reaction.  There are also control scratches done for comparison.

If you have any allergies, this twenty minutes is excruciatingly long.  The welts raise up and itch and burn like mad, but you are not supposed to touch them, hence why they do it on your back.  During our last test, The Girl had a secondary reaction to the peanut protein that caused the doctors to need to treat her with some strong antihistamines (thankfully the epi pen was not needed) and monitor her for a while.  This year stared off similarly.  Shortly after the peanut protein was scratched onto her back, she became very uncomfortable.  Then the tears came.  Followed by some strong agitation that reminded me of what she used to do when she was little and was about to throw a major temper tantrum.

 Here's a pic of the peanut welt (keep in mind the amount of peanut protein that is placed on her back is very small,  about the size of the tip of a ball point pin):

So, I tried my best to comfort her and convince her that I still loved her even though I was allowing this to happen.  I also prayed over her out loud.  This proved (as it always does) to be the most effective in calming her little body down.  I prayed that The Lord would protect her while we waited, and that he would calm her and give her a peace that goes beyond all understanding.   That she would feel God's arms wrap around her and hold her close.  I also prayed that if there was any way at all that the pain and itching could stop, that He our powerful God who is in control of all things, would instantly make it stop.

Wouldn't you know, at that very moment our doctor came in.  She took one look at the size and severity of the welt and decided right then and there to stop the testing with the peanut protein.  She immediately wiped the area clean with a special cleanser that gives instant relief.

That's the kind of Father we have.  What troubles you, troubles Him.   He is one that knows our pain and answer prayers.  In an instant.  Nothing is too big or too small.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

It Was a Fall Festival Type Weekend

Since it's Wednesday, I thought it would be perfect to talk about last Saturday.

I still cannot figure out where time goes....

We started off our Saturday at the neighborhood Fall Festival.  I know it sounds cheesy, and for the most part it is, but here's the deal: everything there is FREE.  A free pumpkin for each kid, free bounce houses, free face paining, and free food.  So, after going to two other "Fall Type Events" which cost an arm and a leg (seriously, one place was charging $10 a person just to get in.  You still had to pay for everything you wanted to do while there.  That might sound like I am being a cheap mom, but something about paying close to $80 for a couple of hours of mediocre (at best) fun made me want to scream.  I can think of approximately 103 different things I would like to spend $80 on) I was all over the "free".   Plus, I knew we were going to go to a corn maze later and that they would also be offering face painting and bounce houses for a fee, and if we already had our faces painted and were all bounced out, well then, we could pocket the difference.

Don't get jealous because for ONCE in my life I actually planned ahead.

So back at the neighborhood festival, there we were, standing in line for ONE HOUR to get our faces painted.  By the end of our wait, I was chanting over and over, "It's free, It's free!"  Praise the Lord, He blessed us with wonderful weather, so waiting wasn't too difficult.  Also, The Hubs took the kids to the bounce house while I waited in line so it was like killing two birds with one stone.

Oh, and he also went home to drop off our FREE pumpkins, and hit up a Starbucks.

All while I stood in line.

But we FINALLY made it!  Here is The Girl telling her Face Artist what she would like:

The Little Man getting right down to business in looking down right scary:

Getting nitty gritty with the details:

The Girl was done pretty quickly, as she took on the less is more approach when she chose her face decor:

True to The Little Man's personality, he wanted it all and the kitchen sink.  So, his face was much more detailed:

All done!  Can you see what he did here? He wanted to match the mummy on his shirt.

After loading up at the "Free Festival" we filled ourselves with a not-so-free lunch and then hit up the corn maze:

(The Hubs might kill me for posting this pic.  He's not fond of pictures where he is shot from behind...)

We were greeted by these Clydesdale horses when we entered the maze area.  They were pulling the cart for the hayride.  Thankfully, The Little Man didn't want anything to do with the horses so we were able to skip this not-so-free addition.

The Girl loves animals of all kinds.  Here she is getting up close and personal.   I think it is safe to look a horse right in the eye, right?

Getting ready to head into the maze:

The rules here are very serious:

Their appreciation for the correct time, however, is not.  After I clicked this shot, I about had a heart attack because we were supposed to be somewhere else by 5:00.  We decided it would be more accurate to track our time through the maze with our own watches:

Which way do we go?

The Little Man was not a slow leader. I had to put the fear of being lost forever in the maze with no food or water or treats into him in order for him to get the seriousness of him running off without us:

Just so you can see how tall the corn was (The Hubs is 6'1"):

Ah!  We finally made it out! 

For reference sake, it took us about 20 minutes.  I felt like that was pretty good time since the brochure said to expect an hour.  Then we realized that we totally neglected more than half of the maze.  Oh well, we were tired from our efforts anyway, and since the weather was so nice, instead of cozy-ing up to a cup of hot cocoa or cider, we thought it would be very "Fall Like" to dive right into some snow cones:

I have to say, I too partook in the snow cones, and they were by far the most delicious I have ever had.  Not icy at all.  They were soft and snowy and full of sugary flavor.

See!  Here's proof that I was actually there (you know, besides the fact that I was the one taking all the pictures)

In case you didn't get the memo, last Saturday was puffy black vest day.

It's so fun to be twinkies with your sis!