Wednesday, October 31, 2012

To Do: First Halloween

We aren't lion (ha ha)...we have the cutest cub!!

Here's some more pictures of our little guy from our Halloween photo shoot.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Monday, October 22, 2012

To Do: Pumpkin Patch

In early October, we ventured to the Birmingham, Alabama area.  Matt went with his buddy, Heath, to the NASCAR race.  Parker and I stayed with Sophie, and her kiddos (Chloe & Jude).  They were our neighbors in SC.  I'm sure you've heard us mention them a time or two.

While we were there, Parker got to go to the Pumpkin Patch for the very first time.  I love seeing how all the pumpkin patches and apple orchards vary.  Plus, we had a nice, sunny day to enjoy the activities. 

We definitely don't have Boiled Peanuts at the pumpkin patch in Illinois!

There was giant inflatables, a petting zoo, teepees, craft shed, etc.

Oh yeah, and lots of pumpkins!  (Including my little pumpkin!)

And lots of pumpkins, means lots of picture taking.  Not Jude's favorite activity!

We finally boarded the wagon to head to the pumpkin patch!

Finding the perfect pumpkins took some time.

But don't tell Parker...we didn't actually get him a pumpkin.  He already has more than enough at home.  (Do you know how full your car is when you travel with an infant??)

Let's be honest--he was happy eating the pumpkin seeds he found in the dirt and of course, grass!

I had to take advantage of the opportunity and actually get a picture of the two of us.

I love how he cuddled up to Chloe as we rode the wagon back.

Ok, just one more of my favorite photos...

And before we left, we indulged in cut up apples covered in caramel...a new favorite snack for the kids.  Though Jude would have been happy if it was just the caramel :)

Really, what's better than going to the pumpkin patch in the fall?  Clearly, Parker loved it too!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

To Do: Pinterest Party

You've heard me tell you before that I LOVE Pinterest!  Oh how I wish it came into my life years before my wedding.  Or when I planned Girl Scout events.  Or when I was building my house.

But it's not like I don't fill up my boards (like daily!).  Recipes and crafts are my favorites.  And I really do try new recipes.  Probably more than Matt would like.  But, some of my new favorite recipes, like cheesy chicken spaghetti and crockpot lasagna were once just those experiments.  And trying new recipes means I have an excuse to make a whole batch of cookies or batch of some sweets (always way too much considering there is only 2 of us eating it).

So I decided to cross a few more things off my Pinterest list...and do it with friends!  We have monthly social events here on Sesame Street so I volunteered to do this Ladies' Night for this month.  I figured if it was a success, I would have time to throw together a Christmas one.  (Still to be was a lot of work to get ready!)  I charged everyone $10 and had all the supplies bought, cut, and ready to go.    I promised them that every craft was easy...because I've had experience doing staff craft with some craft-challenged people (right, Mama Sue??)

The Pinterest Party gave me the excuse to...
1. Clean my house good--having people over is the best motivation!
2. Try a whole slew of new recipes (ok, probably a few too many, but oh well)
3. Feel like I was planning a GS program again (except for 6, not 60)
4. Actually dedicate time to crafting
5. Have a few hours Parker-Free!

Like I said, I got a little new-recipe happy.  I could't stop.  Here's the food station:

1. Just cheesy popcorn--but I added the googly eyes to the bowl for a Halloween look.
2. Crunchy Peanut Butter mix (yummy)
3. My regular beer ranch pretzel dip...just covered it with cheese, a pepperoni face, and celery stem.

4. Pumpkin Pie Cookies (my favorite)
5. Candy Corn fruit cups (or what Matt called our jello funny he is)

6. Little weenies...always yummy
7. Pumpkin Cheesecake dip (ok, but not super sweet)
8. Apple toffee dip (Amazing!!) 
9. And my neighbor, Courtney, brought along her Pinterest experiment...where you mix cake mix and a can of pumpkin for cupcakes/muffins (sweet & moist)

Now for the best part...crafting!  We made 4 crafts.  And well, it took 4 hours.  Oops!  But we had lots to talk about of course and time just flew by!  In fact, I forgot to take pictures of our final projects, so I'll just have to show you mine.  But it was fun to see everyone's craftiness and imaginations work, coming up with variations on almost all the projects.  

We made:

1. Googly eye picture frames

2. Boo Blocks
 (Imagine mine finished with black and white plaid ribbon tied around each block)

3. Necklaces

4. Ruffle scarves from a t-shirt  (forgot to get a final photo but here is Kristen and Courtney hard at work on theirs)

So that was our Pinterest Party!  Oh my goodness, I had fun!  And let me tell you once again, if anything, this party proved once again why I love living on Sesame Street!  I love my neighbors!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Friday Photo 10.18.12 & Saying Goodbye

Dreaming of a new home

I typically don't write anything but a caption to go along with the Friday Photo, but this Friday Photo is special.  Maybe more like heart-wrenching!  

Yesterday we had to say good-bye to our cat, Shadow.  Whew, one of the hardest things I have had to do childbirth!

Eight years ago, after a year of marriage, Matt and I picked Shadow out from about a choice of 8-12 from Ms. Debbie's farm in Blue Mound.  Matt had been roofing on their house and convinced me that we needed a cat.  I admit--I really wasn't a cat person.  We had outside cats growing up, but I couldn't tell you their names, nor had much to do with them.  On Labor Day weekend, along with our niece, Kara, we went to the farm to pick our cat.  

I remember we debated between Shadow (originally named Smokey--which is the name of my sister's cat AND Matt's brother's cat) and another black cat Tipsy, which had a white blotch at the end of his tail.  But do you know why we picked Shadow?  Because she purred so loud (a quality which we adored, and later drove us crazy as we tried to sleep!).  We let Kara pick a new name and after about 8 hours, her creativity at age 9, came up with the name Shadow.  Shadow had the prettiest fur.  My friend Sophie always said it looked like someone dripped bleach on her.  

It wasn't long before Shadow had me wrapped around her paws :)  

She was such a fun, playful kitten.  And as cats do, eventually, decided that being lazy was more her thing.  Do you blame her?  She usually spent her days laying on our bed, or sitting on the back cushion of the chair by the window to watch the birds.  And yes, she got fat!  Happens to the best of us!

But 8 years later, along came this little guy into our life that kind of distracted all of Shadow's peaceful sleeping.  I don't think she saw that coming!! Shadow decided to "act out"--in fact, looking back, it all started about the time I became pregnant (before I even knew I was pregnant).  Her "acting out" didn't stop with water in the face, new cleaning products, nothing.  It didn't stop when Parker was born.  And it didn't stop when we moved to another house.  In fact, she recently decided to add more bad behavior.  

So as much as we hated to take away Parker's buddy (and motivation for speed crawling) and our beloved pet, we knew it was time for her to find a new home.  Matt likes to say it was time to chose her retirement home.  Unfortunately, waiting lists for no-kill shelters for cats means like a 6 month wait.  Luckily, our neighbor (who also used to work for Girl Scouts), is now the Executive Director at the local shelter.  After some begging, she got Shadow in.  So we had 2 days to say our good-byes.  

Parker shared his love by pulling her tail a few more times.  And it may look like he was biting Shadow or pulling her hair...let's just call that hugs and kisses!  

I miss that silly cat already.  But I'm optimistic that she's going to get all the attention she needs in her next home.  Surely she will be picked soon.  I bet she will turn on the charm and get that purr machine a going!  

Friday, October 12, 2012

Friday Photo 10.12.12

Looking like a BIG baby!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Friday Photo 10.5.12

Huey, Dewey, and Louie