Saturday, November 17, 2012

Fall Review

I'm going to attempt to do a quick catch up on everything since Joel's birthday at the end of July to present time.  I'll leave out some details (which is really hard for me), but just hit the highlights.  The delays started when my dryer stopped drying...I saved lots of $ by fixing that myself!  Then, my computer quit working and it was a process to determine what was wrong and get it fixed.

On September 27th, my world was rocked in a very deep and difficult way.  My very dear friend, Bryant, died suddenly and unexpectedly at his home while doing his morning Bible reading.  It would take pages for me to describe the depth of my relationship with Bryant, but a glimpse is that he was my Sunday school teacher in high school, our families spent free time, weekends, birthdays, holidays, etc together, he took me to Hawaii as a hs graduation gift, and we supported each other in life with God by our side.  Please continue to pray for Bryant's wife, Ann, as she adjusts to life without him as her caregiver.  I hold his daughters Lauren and Michelle close to my heart always and pray that God continues to carry them as they are Christ's hands and feet in this world.

Then at the end of October, my Uncle Rex also died unexpectedly while visiting his newest grandson.  Consequently, the kids and I have had several unplanned whirlwind trips this fall.  First to New Orleans and then to Colorado.  We rejoice that both of these men are with Jesus, even while we miss them being here with us.

Among the grief and chaos that comes with it, college football season is in full swing.  This is a big deal in our family as Jim and I teach our kids to support our teams (Alabama and Ohio State with a subtle side of LSU).  The kids alternate between their Ohio State and Alabama jerseys/cheerleader outfits on Saturdays all fall.

Roll Tide!

Joel's starting to get the hang of it.  He now screams at the tv to cheer on his team.  Kirstin is still working on learning the fight songs. 

Joel's biggest news of the fall is that he started preschool.  He goes to the preschool at our church on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons.  His class has 5 boys (that's the whole class)!  Joel loves school.  Kirstin misses her brother while he's gone, even though she naps the whole time.  She wakes up asking, "Bubba?"  

Here's some of the pictures from the first day of preschool.
Such a big boy.  Can you tell that he picked his own outfit, too?

He's so silly and she loves every bit of him and the silliness.

I love my kids!

He was ready to walk to school (which he won't do until Kindergarten).  This picture seem so sentimental or metaphorical.

The biggest news for Kirstin is that she is very mobile.  She walks, runs, climbs, and get's "stuck".  Her vocabulary grows faster than I can keep track.  

Any circle with a hole is immediately tried on as a bracelet.  Here she is wearing one of her stacking rings and likely saying, "brace".  

I'll share pumpkin and Halloween fun in it's own post. 
Thanks for being part of our family through this fall.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Joel's 4th Birthday Party (3 of 3)

We had a Toy Story themed birthday party for Joel.  We started the party by playing with all the various Toy Story toys that we have at our house.  This activity was greatly enhanced as some of the first guests arrived bringing more of these toys (more on this coming).  Joel, along with his friends (and the parents) enjoyed checking out the features of various Buzz Lightyear and Woody figures, along with Mr and Mrs Potato Head, Etch-a-sketch, talking phone, etc.

Joel playing with big Buzz.

At the last minute, we invited 2 of the boys from Jim's youth choir to attend the party.  These guys love Joel and happen to have been fond of Toy Story when they were younger.  We thought Joel would like them coming to his party, especially since several of his originally invited friends were unable to attend.  This was the best idea ever!  I'm pretty sure all future parties will involve youth attendees!  They were amazing!  They did a great job of playing with the little kids, facilitating the games (after I provided the initial directions), and having fun themselves.  They even brought their own Toy Story toys that they had outgrown to give to Joel.  Again, what a blessing these boys (and the rest of their family) are to our family.

The Claw Game:  The Claw is one of Joel's favorite scenes from the movies.  So, we created our own version with Joel's stuffed animals and a claw.

Woody's Roundup: For this game, I hid 4 Woody action figures in one room of the house.  The kids had to then find them or Roundup Woody. 

Action Figure Race: This game didn't actually get played, but Joel designed (and decorated) the game and sign so I wanted to share it.  He was going to have Buzz race on his racecar against Woody on RC.  He plays this on his own, even if it didn't happen during the party. 

To Infinity and Beyond led us outside for the pinata experience. 

Special thanks to David and Daniel for holding the pinata.

Then it was time for dinner.

We had homemade Cheese pizza and BBQ Chicken pizza.

After dinner it was time for cake and ice cream.

Joel was super excited about his superman ice cream.  As ice cream fans, we are less than excited about his ice cream choice.  Oh well, he also likes good ice cream. 

Joel's piece of cake was complete with Buzz on top! 

The kids received an age appropriate Toy Story snack container or water bottle as a party favor.

Joel had so much fun at his birthday party.  He loves being with his friends.  He's already looking forward to next year.

Thank you for your patience as I come back to blogging after an unexpected time away.