Saturday, September 24, 2011

We are all in love with the cooler fall weather here. We are also still loving our trampoline. Best gift EVER!

Friday, September 23, 2011

All Hands On Deck.

When there is lots of work to be done, isn't nice to have a sister?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Cat's Out...

"The Cat's Out Of The Bag!"

This phrase has been thrown around our house quite a bit today, and for good reason.

Tanner keeps asking what it means. Finally, after the third time he asked I replied, "It means that now that you told your 4th grade class our secret, everyone will know."

He asked, "Is that okay?"

"Yes, it great news. So now everyone can know."

Jason and I are thrilled. The kids are ecstatic and are all predicting a girl (so there will be even "teams"). This little soul already has lots of nick-names: last hurrah, grand finale and the caboose ;)

Double Digits

Tanner, the boy who started it all, turned 10 this past weekend. We were lucky enough to spread the celebration out over a few days and he felt the love- for sure.

On Saturday, we celebrated at Aunt Emily's with our McMullin cousins. Everyone had a blast fishing and roasting marshmallows. Sweet Aunt Tara even made this awesome fish cake for the day.

On Sunday we celebrated after family dinner with the Burke cousins. Tanner was excited about this cake because of the surprise tie-dye cake inside. (I should have gotten a pic though.)

More than anything he just enjoyed the spotlight and the fun of being with so many wonderful people we love and who love us back.

Here are 10 reasons we love Tan-the-Man:

1. He made Jason and I parents, and turned us into a family.

2. He made a Nana and Poppa and Grandma and Grandad and LOTS of aunts and uncles when he entered this world.

3. He has a fun-loving spirit.

4. He is a leader in our family and at school and church.

5. He is polite.

6. He has a quick smile.

7. He has a real desire to do what is right. (This is coupled with a desire to see that others do the same. We call him "the enforcer.")

8. Tanner is organized and keeps his desk, and room and life that way.

9. He has a soft heart and compassion for those around him. He tries to help when he sees someone is hurting.

10. He gives great, quick little, lean-in hugs...just when I need them :)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Soccer Season is Here

We are two weeks into soccer season and this Mom is loving sights from the sidelines like this:

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Goldie Cat

During the summer this sweet, gentle cat walked her way into our lives. Well, she actually meowed her way in. After days of hearing her meowing on our porch, I took mercy on her and picked up some food at the store. She's been a fixture ever since.
She spends half of her time laying on our porch or patio and the other half we have no idea about. (Yes, that makes me nervous.) But she had definitely worked her way into everyone's heart- even JASON"S!!!
The kids love her because she adores any attention they throw her way. If they aren't petting her, she is rubbing on their legs until they give in.
Jason and I love her because she is a very low maintenance pet. Just my kind :)
Margaret dubbed her "Goldie" because of the coloring on her face and it stuck. We hope you are here to stay, Ms. Goldie Cat.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Apple Festival Kiddie Parade

Jason's hometown shines this time of year. It is Apple Festival complete with four days of food, rides and parades. The main parade draws about 25,000 people each year. Yes, they take the whole thing very seriously.

The parade is such a big deal that they have a separate day just for children's entries. So every year, we head over to make an appearance and have some hometown fun.

In year's past we've walked, rode bikes and even drove golf carts down the main street. This year though we decorated up Jason's truck and I got to drive in the shade with the windows down. With the 70 degree weather cooperating, I was a happy camper :)

Here are the cool kids, direct from the 1950's, getting ready for the big ride.

And of course, the boys were super tough and cool for the occasion.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Margaret's Room

Margaret working at her table. I LOVE that she does this. I remember turning a little metal stepstool into a "desk" when I was about her age. I would pilfer paper, pens and our family stapler and pretend I was doing very important work. I am sure her work is just as crucial to her.

Her animal friends have recently moved from the closet to this cute tent she got for her birthday.

Don't they look happy about the upgrade?

Showing off her big bed. I was happy to finally put away the toddler bed. Meg was thrilled to graduate and has done great with the transistion.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

How to be remembered forever...

Everytime I look at this sweet, slip-covered chair in Margaret's room I remember that it first sat in my own childhood room. The nicest lady, our adopted-grandmother, re-made a chair for each of my 4 siblings once when we moved and this was mine.

Her name was Meta. She and her husband Pertle, were a big part of my childhood. They sat in our pew at church, spent holidays with us and even had my sister and I over for sleepovers as we got older.
They will always be remembered because of their kindness. We were just five rag-tag kids, but they took us into their hearts, made us a part of their lives and made lasting impressions on each of us. That is exactly how you get to be remembered forever.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Birthday Mornings

On birthday mornings we start our day out with a little fun. Nothing crazy-
Just some junkie-sugar cereal (that they devour).

Our early morning redition of "Happy Birthday to You!"

And the honored guest can open one present. (I guess its a little like Christmas Eve in that respect.)

But it sure makes for a fun morning. Thanks to her big brothers, Margaret left the house feeling extra special this year. We love you, Megs!

Back to School Photos

I'm behind and I know none of you are surprised. But my children did return to school and I even took pictures on their first day back.
Tanner- ready for 4th grade. At our school this is his last year of elementary classes. I swear that is not even possible for me to wrap my head around.

Andrew was anxious about first grade, but has a wonderful teacher and is really enjoying his class. Thank goodness!
I am not sure why his photo was blurry. I was probably rushing by that point. So to make up for it below is a photo of a very proud Andrew. Displaying his gap from his very first lost tooth. He lost it in class during his first full week at school.

Finally, Miss Margaret. She waited an extra two weeks to begin school, but was happy to have her first day on her 4th birthday.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

A little distraction...

To avoid the onset of any nervous breakdowns (for the kids or me) we went fishing the evening before school began this year. I thought it would be a good idea for a two reasons:

1. Dwelling on a source of worry only makes it seem that much worse.

2. Fresh air is a cure for almost all problems. (I probably read that somewhere and it is so, so true. Try it.)

Turns out it was a great idea. The kids loved it. Jason and Uncle Kyle did all the gross stuff, so I just sat back, took pictures, and enjoyed one last sweet taste of summer.

Andrew with the first catch of the night. We had fun because everyone caught something. The fish were definitely biting for that to happen!

Margaret practiced and practiced her casting skills. I think she eventually broke five feet :)

Tanner holding his own catch. (He did this only after I did. He is smart and knows I am a BIG chicken about most things. If Mom is brave enough to stick her thumb in a fish's mouth, it must be safe.)

I think they loved just spending time with Dad.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Empire State of Mind

Jason and I went to New York City in July. I know, that kind of deserves a post, don't you think? First of all, it is New York. Secondly, we went without kids. It had been a while folks.

We ate some amazing food, saw the major sights, were lucky enough to see two shows, and walked those streets until we collapsed in bed each night. I loved it. Jason even walked the Brooklyn Bridge with me. (Yes, he IS a saint.)

I love the energy in major cities. I also am in love with the anonymity of it all. It reminds me of my summer in London, and we all know how much I adored that.

But when I went back through the really few pictures I took (maybe because I was preoccupied with absorbing it all) I realized that only one needed to be posted to tell the real story...

Hello!! This Just In... "Country girl meets the big city!" Could I have picked a more appropriate shirt to wear?

What's on YOUR Counter?

It probably won't top mine. I sit here typing away, staring at a snake skin in a jar. Yes, its true. Normally that thing would have been long gone, except Tanner built a display stand out of Legos for it. That bought it a week or so. Then he transferred it to a Mason jar and took it to school, another week was won. And now it sits here and all I can think about is this sweet book and that I really am fine with raising nature-loving, nerdy kids. That's my job afterall :)